Raw is War
April 30, 2001
The fallout from Backlash began as RAW IS WAR kicked off live from Milwaukee!
Twenty-four hours after his 4-3, overtime loss to Chris Benoit in the Ultimate Submission match at Backlash, Kurt Angle addressed the Milwaukee crowd. The Olympic Hero said that Benoit showed him a side that he'd never seen before -- that he was the biggest cheater on God's green earth! Angle said that when he loses, he accepts it like a man, but what happened at Backlash was "ridiculous." He then aired footage of the final seconds of his match with Benoit over the TitanTron, and pointed out that Benoit tapped out after the buzzer, and with the score tied at 3, the referee called for overtime. But Angle quickly added that Olympic rules mandate that overtime begins immediately after the end of regulation. Therefore, because Benoit tapped out, Angle proclaimed himself the winner of the match!
Angle continued by saying that winning the gold medal at the Olympics made him immortal. By this time, the Wolverine had heard enough, and came to the ring to respond to Angle's claim of victory. Angle said that Benoit might have stolen a match from him at Backlash, but neither he, nor the fans in attendance, nor the people at home will ever feel what it is like to receive a gold medal around their necks.
Benoit then grabbed the microphone away from Angle -- and agreed with the fact the he became a legend by winning a gold medal. But after Backlash -- and after everything Angle did -- Benoit beat him, and nothing or nobody would ever change that! An angry Angle then attacked Benoit, but the Wolverine fought back by applying the Crossface, hitting Angle with a bevy of suplexes and tossing him out of the ring. While Angle lay stunned after bumping his head on the ring apron, Benoit left the ring with Angle's Olympic gold medals!
In the back, an incensed Angle told Tazz that Benoit stole his medals and asked him where Benoit was. Tazz didn't know, and Angle left in a huff. Sitting beside Tazz, Michael Cole inquired on if they should tell Angle that Benoit had left the building. Tazz said to let Angle sweat a little longer, and then referred to him as a jackass!
RAW's first match had Edge (with Christian) challenging Matt Hardy (with brother Jeff) for the World Wrestling Federation European Championship. Edge nearly won the title after Matt missed a mooonsault, but Matt kicked out at the last possible second. Edge then went to the top, but he too was nearly pinned when Matt rolled him up after a flying bodypress. Matt soon connected with a legdrop off the top rope, but Christian had the referee distracted. Edge then hit Matt with a spear, and apparently had the match won, but Jeff threw Christian into the ref to inadvertently interrupt the count!
Matt then hit the Twist of Fate on Edge to retain the European Championship!
Jonathan Coachman entered Commissioner William Regal's office so that the Commish can make an announcement. Regal ruled that since Chris Jericho took the Duchess of Queensbury out of her element at Backlash, he was going to take him out of his and book him into a Hardcore Match with Hardcore Champion Rhyno!
Trish Stratus then came in the Commish's office. Regal told her that since Mr. McMahon was impressed with her win over Ivory last week, he granted her a match with Women's Champion Chyna -- a non-title match. Regal added that that should Trish defeat Chyna, he may grant her a rematch, and indicated she may actually get in a little move or two. Trish responded that Regal was an expert on what's little!
Spike Dudley (with D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley) then took on X-Pac (with Justin Credible and Albert) one-on-one. X-Pac had things in hand when he went for the Bronco Buster, but he missed! As Spike went for the Dudley Dogg, X-Pac countered with the X-Factor to win the match!
A limo pulled up outside the Bradley Center, and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley exited without her husband, Triple H, Mr. McMahon or Stone Cold Steve Austin. Michael Cole pulled Stephanie and asked her about Backlash, and couldn't help notice the bruise on her face. Steph said that Kane would pay for what he did to her when Mr. McMahon arrived. The princess then began to look for Test, who she said would learn to stay out of her family business!
Earlier in the afternoon, Kane received medical attention to his injured left elbow. Then, Edge and Christian lamented about their lost opportunity at the European Championship when Kurt Angle complained about Chris Benoit stealing his gold medals -- and even went as far as accusing E & C about sticking up for their Canadian comrade. Edge said that he didn't know where Benoit went -- that maybe he had left the building -- and that frankly, he and Christian didn't care!
In the APA office, Faarroq told Crash to take it easy because he was drinking his beer too fast. It wasn't helping Crash that he was losing all his money in a poker game!
Stephanie then found Test in the back, and angrily scolded him for getting involved in Shane McMahon's match with the Big Show at Backlash. Stephanie added that since Test enjoyed interfering in family matters, Mr. McMahon booked him a match with Triple H!
Crash continued to pound beer as he continued to lose money. Bradshaw told Crash to stop being a sore loser, and Crash thought that he implied about his loss of the Light Heavyweight Championship to Jerry Lynn. Suddenly, Hardcore Holly scolded his cousin for drinking, before challenging the APA to a tag match against he and Crash. The APA tried to explain to Hardcore that it was only a card game. Hardcore responded by throwing a beer in Bradshaw's face!
With Commissioner Regal sitting with J.R. and Paul Heyman, Rhyno put up the Hardcore Championship against Chris Jericho. Though out of his element, Jericho took the fight right to Rhyno, and went to hit Regal with a chair until Rhyno stopped him. Y2J recovered to hit a hurricanrana on Rhyno on top of a pile of chairs, but Edge and Christian interfered on behalf of their friend. After Christian blinded Jericho by shooting a fire hydrant into his eyes, Rhyno took advantage to gore Jericho for the win. Regal went to continue the assault on Jericho, but Y2J recovered to hit Regal numerous times with a trash can!
Mr. McMahon and Stephanie made their way to the ring for the chairman's State of the Federation address. Mr. McMahon started by saying he was infinitely proud of Steve Austin and Triple H because they were different from anyone else, in that both refuse to live a life of mediocrity. Instead, they seize the moment, they create their own rules and they are leaders. Mr. McMahon then said he'd be remiss if he didn't mention what he thought were two blemishes at Backlash -- Shane McMahon's win over the Big Show, and Kane nailing Stephanie in the face with his boot, giving her a bruise on the side of her mouth.
As a result -- in the interest of fairness and complying with Austin's wish to defend the Federation Championship -- Mr. Mr. McMahon ruled that Austin would go one-on-one with Kane with the Federation Championship on the line. Mr. McMahon then turned the mic over to his daughter Stephanie, who introduced Austin and Triple H -- holders of every major championship in the Federation. Before the Power Trip had a chance to gloat, Linda McMahon appeared on the TitanTron live from WWF New York! Linda hated to spoil the party, but she indicated that Mr. McMahon's private life was a mess. She announced that their divorce attorneys were scheduled to meet this Friday, but she was willing to halt those proceedings if certain events were to occur.
So, in the interest of fairness, Linda ruled that since Kane's physical condition prevented him from competing for the Federation Championship -- and that he should have the night off -- Austin was to defend the title against the Undertaker! With that, Linda wished Mr. McMahon a good night!
In the back, Austin lamented to Mr. McMahon that the chairman's divorce proceedings were interfering with business. All Mr. McMahon could say was that he'd think of something.
Hardcore Holly and his cousin, Crash, who appeared to be a bit tipsy, hit the ring for their challenge match with an angry APA. Faarroq threw Crash out of the ring, and the APA immediately went to work on Hardcore. An apparently intoxicated Crash was little use in the match as the APA thoroughly dominated Hardcore. Though Hardcore managed to make a late run, Crash inadvertently hit his cousin with a missle dropkick, which set up Hardcore for Bradshaw's clothesline from hell that won the match for the APA. Crash tried to apologize to Hardcore with a hug, but he was met with a couple of hard right hooks and a double-arm suplex!
Mr. McMahon told Triple H and Stephanie before The Game's match with Test that things were not going as smoothly as he hoped. Because of the unexpected events that caused the Power Trip to have a rough night, Mr. McMahon told Triple H that he had to set the standard. The Game told the chairman that his end was covered!
Lilian Garcia spoke with the Undertaker about his opportunity to become Federation Champion. Taker chose to discuss Backlash, and how the Power Trip's game plan worked. But then Taker inquired on how it felt for four people to beat a man with an injured arm. Taker then switched subjects to tonight's title match, and that Austin couldn't take him one-on-one. Taker concluded by saying that the words "Try me, I'll make you famous" was his way of life, and that if anyone screwed with he or his family, they would get hurt!
Test walked to the ring for his showdown with Triple H. While outside the ring, Triple H nailed Test square in the head with a steel chair, which forced referee Tim White to call for the bell. But The Game continued his assault on Test by ramming him into the ring post and the steel steps. With Test nearly unconscious, Triple H began to rearrange the steel steps, and proceeded to powerbomb Test on J.R.'s and Paul Heyman's announce table! Suddenly, Kane came to get him some of The Game, and chased Triple H to the back!
In the back, Triple H told Mr. McMahon he was sick and tired of Kane sticking his nose in his business, and by the end of the night, those days will be over!
Up next was Chyna against Trish Stratus in a non-title match. Once again, Chyna's power and strength was just too much. A press slam and powerbowb was enough to finish Trish. Chyna then grabbed the mic to say that as much as she respected the women of the Federation, she feels that he hasn't had any competition of late, so she'd have to spank her competition after defeating them. That brought out Lita, who said Chyna has been a total inspiration to her. But she added that she also has a lot of respect for the Women's Championship, and that if it was competition Chyna wanted, Lita would be honored to fight her for it. Initially, Chyna made a mockery out of Lita's challenge, but soon accepted and told Lita to name a time and place -- but to not be surprised if her hiny was sore the next day.
Finally it was time for the main event, which pitted Stone Cold Steve Austin defending the Federation Championship against the Undertaker. As the American Bad Ass awaited Austin's arrival, the Rattlesnake and Triple H were brutally attacking Kane. Taker ran to the back and immediately went after Austin, leaving Kane motionless and The Game not much better.
Soon, champion and challenger began fighting on the rampway, and soon the ring to officially begin the match. Austin went for the Stunner early, but Taker countered with boot to the face and nearly pinned the champion. Suddenly, Triple H interfered with sledgehammer in hand, causing the disqualification. Triple H hit Taker in the skull with the sledgehammer, but Kane somehow made his way to the ring. The rescue would be short-lived, however, as Austin repeatedly hit Kane on the head and his injured arm with a chair. If it couldn't get any worse for Kane, Triple H held the Big Red Machine's arm on top of the steel steps for Austin to whale on repeatedly with another chair. With Kane screaming in pain, the Power Trip continued the assault on both Kane and the Undertaker, leaving the Brothers of Destruction destroyed as RAW went off the air!