Raw is War
The First Union
Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 30, 2001
One of the most anticipated episodes of RAW IS WAR kicked off from Philadelphia, with the allure of The Rock's return, and his decision to return to the World Wrestling Federation or jump to the WCW/ECW Alliance cutting the tension with a knife!
RAW also marked the return of ECW to the City of Brotherly Love as Tazz made his way to the ring accompanied by Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman. Dreamer and Heyman then confronted Michael Cole and Jim Ross. Tazz took the mic and told "Mr. Dreamer" to escort "Mr. Cole" to the backstage area, so that the message of the Alliance can finally be spread. Tazz then told "Mr. Heyman" that his seat next to J.R. was available, thanks to ECW owner Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley!
Tazz continued by saying that tonight will be a historic night for the Alliance because two things were going to happen: First, Booker T will "yank" the WCW Title from Kurt Angle and bring it back to the Alliance. Second, The Rock will join the Alliance -- and Tazz personally guaranteed it!
Before Tazz could continue, the entrance of Chris Jericho interrupted him! Y2J told the people that he was sick and tired of hearing Tazz's voice, and told Tazz to "Shut the hell up!" Jericho added that he knew Tazz had a big head because he was the star of "WWF Tough Enough," but Tazz was really better suited to be the star of MTV's "Jackass!"
Jericho then hit the ring to fight Tazz, who locked on the Tazzmission 20 seconds into the match! But Jericho escaped with a low blow, and executed the Lionsault to defeat Tazz in under a minute!
Mr. McMahon had just finished decorating The Rock's dressing room with Rock paraphernalia when Commissioner Regal and Tajiri walked in -- with Tajiri carrying pies. Mr. McMahon told Regal that he did not want The Rock feel that he was sucking up to him, and noted that Tajiri had a chance to bring back the Hardcore Championship to the Federation. Regal then explained why he brought the different variety of pies -- because The Rock likes pie so much. Mr. McMahon told the Commissioner that although he had good thoughts, The Rock liked a different kind of pie! Furthermore, one of the pies was missing a slice. With a raise of his eyebrow, Tajiri revealed he ate the pie by opening his mouth to show the chewed up pieces!
Representing the Alliance, Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam took on Tajiri, representing the Federation, in a Hardcore Championship match. Two of the best in the world squared off in a scintillating martial arts encounter and executed an array of dazzling maneuvers. At one point, Tajiri executed a baseball slide against two steel chairs stacked up against RVD's face! Van Dam then set up a chair on a prone Tajiri, and nailed the Five Star Frog Splash to get the win and retain the Hardcore Championship!
Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Stone Cold Steve Austin were also planning a party for The Rock, complete with balloons, Rock merchandise and Debra's special cookies! WCW official Nick Patrick then informed everyone that The Rock's limo was on its way to the arena. When everyone left, Austin told a concerned Booker T to not worry about The Rock, to instead worry about his rematch with WCW Champion Kurt Angle later that night and to make an example of him. Booker then tried one of Debra's cookies -- and they almost made him sick!
In the back, Mr. McMahon told someone that he'd be right back because he was expecting The Rock. The Big Show then approached Mr. McMahon with some marketing ideas concerning his T-shirt and the Showgunns tag team. Mr. McMahon tried to explain that he was in a hurry, but Show persisted and shared his ideas, including the name "Big Gunns." Mr. McMahon told Show that he did not care if he and Billy Gunn called themselves Double Trouble Crap on a Stick, he had to go. Show said that he loved the idea of he and Gunn being called Double Trouble!
Back ringside, Paul Heyman explained why he was back working with J.R. -- to provide the Alliance with a voice and spread the word.
Michael Cole interviewed WCW Champion Kurt Angle before his no-disqualification rematch with Booker T. Angle explained that Mary Lou Retton called him the other day, and said that she was so inspired by his win last week on SmackDown! that she showed herself to the world the other day. Angle then said that he's simply better than Booker, and that he never understood why a man would cry after he loses! Angle added that he's also a better athlete, competitor and even a better singer than Stone Cold Steve Austin -- and challenged him to a Federation Title match at SummerSlam!
In the parking lot, Shane and Stephanie were anxiously waiting for The Rock before Mr. McMahon joined them and argued with his children over which side The Rock would join. Then the limo pulled up, and the McMahons rushed it with excitement. But it was Kanyon who stepped out of the limo and not the Great One! All the WCW U.S. Champion could do was stand bewildered after everyone walked away disappointed!
In inter-gender tag team action, Matt Hardy and Lita faced the Alliance's Hurricane Helms and Torrie Wilson. Helms and Wilson nearly stole the match after they hit Lita with a double suplex. Lita recovered to tag in Hardy, who worked over Helms and teamed with Lita to nail Poetry in Motion to both Helms and Wilson! After a Lita hurriconrada, Matt covered Helms but Wilson broke up the count. Hardy then took down Helms with the Twist of Fate, but then walked into a Torrie low blow! Helms capitalized to earn the win for his team!
Back in the locker room, Stone Cold continued to fire up Booker T, telling him he did not have any gold. Booker then rubbed his stomach and complained he felt 10 pounds heavier.
Austin said he felt like that because of the "stupid" cookies he ate. Austin explained the last time he ate them he crapped for three days straight, before reminding Booker to make an example of Angle and bring back the WCW Championship to the Alliance!
J.R. then interviewed Test, live from WWF New York. Test said that although he was once angry about getting beat up after being accused about being the mole, and that Shane McMahon was a friend of his, he confirmed that his loyalty was with the Federation! Test then wished Angle luck against Booker Tm and expressed hope that The Rock would return to the Federation!
Up next was the WCW Championship match pitting champion Kurt Angle against challenger Booker T. Members of the Alliance suddenly took advantage of the no disqualification rule by attacking the champion. After Rhyno nearly broke Angle in half following a Gore, members of the Federation emptied the locker room came to Angle's aid by attacking the Alliance members while Booker and Shane McMahon hid from view. Officials frantically tried to separate the Federation and Alliance troops as RAW went to break.
When RAW returned, Booker T attacked a weakened Angle just before the official start of the match. Angle suddenly reached back for that something extra and nailed Booker with a belly-to-back suplex. After Shane McMahon distracted the champion, Booker floored Angle with a superkick.
Booker continued to work over Angle with a series of vicious chops and kicks, and nearly pinned Angle on a few occasions.
Another belly-to-back suplex brought Angle back into the match. In the midst of Angle's rally, footage of Federation and Alliance members brawling in the back was shown. Booker grabbed a chair, but Angle fought back with punches, elbows and a German suplex. After missing his first attempt, Angle scored with the Olympic Slam and locked on the Ankle Lock! That prompted Stone Cold Steve Austin to hit the ring. Angle chased him away but accidentally knocked down referee Earl Hebner.
Booker hit his scissors kick and covered Angle, while Shane waved WCW referee Charles Robinson to the ring and count to three -- but Angle kicked out! Angle then knocked out Robinson and hit and other Olympic slam on Booker, but Austin Stunned Angle, and Shane threw a dazed Hebner in the ring. Hebner counted out Angle, and Booker regained the WCW Championship! An angry Angle then ran after the Federation Champion as Shane and Booker celebrated in the middle of the ring!
The fighting continued backstage while Austin ran past it in an effort to escape from Kurt Angle. Austin then climbed in his truck and drove away!
Elsewhere, an incensed Angle ran into Debra, who was carrying a plate of cookies. Debra said that she made the cookies for The Rock.
Angle told Debra that he was going to do what Austin did not have the guts to tell her -- her cookies suck and her husband sucks too. Angle demanded that Debra tell him that when he sees Austin in the ring, to consider a cookie one of Austin's ankles. Angle then broke the cookie in half!
Edge & Christian then took on Federation Intercontinental Champion Lance Storm and U.S. Champion Chris Kanyon. Storm told E & C that nobody enjoys a good party like he does, but their shenanigans left Storm no choice but to... before he could finish, Edge & Christian attacked Storm. A Kanyon Flatliner to Edge on the U.S. belt won the match for he and Storm.
In the Alliance locker room, the Alliance was celebrating Booker T's win when Kurt Angle attacked. Angle then chased Booker out of the room.
An upset Mr. McMahon was pacing in The Rock's dressing room angry about Kurt Angle's loss to Booker T when Commissioner Regal informed him that The Rock was on his way -- in the car which Mr. McMahon sent for him.
In a title-for-title match, WCW Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman took on Federation Light-Heavyweight Champion X-Pac. The match took to the outside, where Kidman threw X-Pac into the ring post. Kidman ascended the top rope but missed a splash. X-Pac hit a couple of spinning heel kicks and executed a powerbomb, but Kidman kicked out at two. After an X-Pac BroncoBuster, X-Pac went upstairs, but Kidman countered an X-Pac leap with a dropkick.
With the two perched at the top rope, X-Pac hit X-Pac from off the top to win the match and unify the Federation Light-Heavyweight Title and the WCW Cruiserweight Title!
Commissioner Regal and Mr. McMahon were waiting for The Rock when Shane and Stephanie arrived to wait for him too. The limo with the "Rock 1" license plate -- the same limo that Mr. McMahon sent to pick up The Rock -- pulled up, but inside was Howard Finkel! The Fink explained that he couldn't understand Mr. McMahon's directions! The McMahon children accused their father of kissing The Rock's ass and told them he'd meet the Great One in the ring. Mr. McMahon agreed that it was a good idea that he'd meet Rock in the ring as well -- after admonishing Finkel for his screwup! Once Mr. McMahon left, Commissioner Regal said he'd keep a look out for The Rock.
Moments before their match against Taker and Kane, the Dudley Boyz said that they accepted the Table Match with the Brothers of Destruction because of Sara's presence. Bubba Ray said that if the opportunity arises, Sara is going through a table! The Dudleys speculated where Sara may be during the match, and if Sara may actually be safe!
Outside the First Union Center, The Rock looked up at the famous statue of Rocky Balboa. The Great One then turned to the camera, took off his sunglasses, and raised the People's Eyebrow!
Armed with a table, D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley walked down the ramp for their Tag Team Table match against the Undertaker and Kane -- who had Sara beside them at ringside. Taker was about to chokeslam D-Von through a table until WCW official Nick Patrick moved it out of the way. Then, Diamond Dallas Page jumped in, hit Taker with a low blow, and set up Sara to go through the table! Sara tried to fight it, but Bubba Ray was about to give her wood, until Taker grabbed Bubba Ray by the throat and chokeslammed him through the table from the top rope to win the match! Immediately afterward, DDP ran for his life!
Elsewhere, Mr. McMahon was seen speaking on his cell phone telling someone to make sure The Rock had everything he needed, because this was going to be big! Shane and Stephanie were also headed ringside, and in the parking lot, The Rock stepped out of his car and entered the First Union Center serenaded by flash photography!
Finally... it was time for The Rock to make his big decision. First, Mr. McMahon entered the ring, followed by WCW owner Shane McMahon and ECW owner Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, all with the same goal in mind. Then, out came The Rock to a thunderous ovation! Would he return to the Federation? Would he join the Alliance? Or would The People's Champion just go back home?
Shane spoke first, taking The Rock down memory lane by reminding him that he was screwed by Mr. McMahon the last time he was in the Federation.
Shane took Rock back to RAW the day after WrestleMania, when Mr. McMahon screwed him while he competed in a Steel Cage match, and to WrestleMania, where before 67,000 people, the Federation chairman also screwed The Rock. Shane went even further back, to WrestleMania 2000, where Mr. McMahon screwed him too. Shane warned Rock that if he should return to the Federation, Mr. McMahon would screw him over and over again!
Mr. McMahon then spoke, admitting that Shane's view was distorted but somewhat accurate, and also admitting that it was a very bad decision for him to back Stone Cold Steve Austin at Rock's expense. Mr. McMahon would not offer an apology, saying it was too empty-handed, but if The Rock returned to the Federation, Mr. McMahon would have no intention of screwing him again -- except if it was the right thing for business. In short, Rock was getting the truth from the devil he knew, instead of the devils he didn't know. Mr. McMahon concluded that he would work to earn back Rock's trust. Rock may never trust Mr. McMahon again, but Vince asked the Great One to trust himself and the people, because his future was with the people and the World Wrestling Federation! Shane countered by saying that his future was with the people, but not with the Federation, because it was dying and the Alliance was a progressive company, which transcends the biggest icon in the business -- The Rock!
As Shane and Mr.McMahon continued to debate and push each other, Rock suddenly RockBottomed Mr. McMahon! Shane and Stephanie began to celebrate! Then, Rock stared down the Boy Wonder and smiled at him! Rock shook his hand -- and RockBottomed Shane! Rock then stood over a fallen Shane and hit him with the People's Elbow! The People's Champion then grabbed the microphone and said that finally... The Rock had come back to the WWF, if you smell what The Rock is cooking! The Great One proceeded to celebrate with the deafening Philadelphia crowd as RAW went off the air!