Raw is War
June 17, 2002
With just six days before the 2002 King of the Ring is set to be crowned, RAW kicked off live from Oakland, CA!
The first King of the Ring quarterfinal match pitted Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam against the nWo's X-Pac. X-Pac taunted the champion from the start, but RVD ended the trash talk with a spinning heel kick to the chin. RVD also hit X-Pac with a guillotine leg drop and the Rolling Thunder.
X-Pac rallied and tried to hit the Bronco Buster, but RVD smartly avoided the move. X-Pac later tried to nail the X-Factor, but RVD fell right into a full split! RVD later dropped X-Pac with a kick and mounted the top rope. But X-Pac kicked him off and onto the ring barrier. Suddenly, Booker T raced in and delivered the Bookend to X-Pac, allowing RVD to hit a huge Five Star Frog Splash for the win!
Excerpts of Saturday's Confidential aired, with Jim Ross saying that he didn't think Austin would ever appear on RAW again.
Backstage, X-Pac was ticked off and complaining to Shawn Michaels and Big Show. X-Pac said he wanted to get revenge on Booker T> Kevin Nash walked in and tried to calm his friend down.
WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon came down to the ring to address the crowd. Mr. McMahon said everyone was asking if Stone Cold was really gone. The answer, he said, was yes and he said he didn't like it any more than the fans did. HE said he hoped Stone Cold would return to WWE one day. Vince said Austin had a lot of explaining and apologizing to do. When he walked out on RAW last week, it wasn't the first time as he skipped out on the show following WrestleMania. Mr. McMahon said Austin owes an apology to all the superstars, the company and each and every fans.
Last week, Mr. McMahon continued, Austin spoke with JR who told the Rattlesnake to come back to work. Stone Cold refused. Vince said Austin's actions were unprofessional. Mr. McMahon said the company had no choice to move on. As part of that process, a new stipulation stated that the King of the Ring winner this year would get a shot at the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. Mr. McMahon directed his attention to Stone Cold watching at home. Mr. McMahon thanked Stone Cold for all the memories. Vince then put down the mic, grabbed a beer from ringside, took a sip then placed the can in the middle of the ring before walking out.
Jeff Hardy sprang into action for a singles match against Raven. As the opening ring bell clanged, the Undertaker strolled out from the entryway and kept an eye on things. The match started off in a hurry, with Jeff launching a full body press from the ring barrier onto Raven outside the ropes. Jeff realized the Undisputed Champion was nearby and got distracted, allowing Raven to take over. Raven tried to hit a superplex, but Jeff reversed it and managed to land a Swanton Bomb that led to a pinfall! Afterward, the Undertaker grinned and gestured that he was watching the Team Xtreme member.
Backstage, Booker T was approached by Goldust who was dressed in royal medieval clothes. Goldust reminded Booker of his prediction last week about Shawn Michaels. Booker said his star shined brighter than the nWo's anyway. Goldust told Booker that if he could get past Brock Lesnar, he would become King Booker on Sunday. Booker decreed that Brock would get beaten up.
Backstage, Coach found Molly Holly doing thigh crunches. Coach asked Molly for a comments in regards to Trish saying Molly had a little too much junk in the trunk. Molly said she would have the last word by becoming the Women's Champion. Coach said that if that happened, Molly wouldn't be the "butt" of jokes! That earned him a smack across the face!
Big Show watched all this and laughed in his locker room when X-Pac came in, still seething over his loss. Paul Heyman arrived and said that Brock Lesnaer would become the King of the Ring, and he asked the nWo to stay out of his match against Booker T. X-Pac protested, which prompted Heyman to issue a stern warning. Shawn Michaels got up in Heyman's face and looked ready to start trouble. He shied off a bit though when Brock stepped up in his grill. Kevin Nash edged in and towered over Brock. Heyman had to drag Brock out of the locker room before things got out of hand!
A nattily dressed Chris Nowinski and William Regal strolled down the entrance ramp. Nowinski set to take on Spike Dudley, who quickly attacked the Tough Enough runner up upon entering the ring. Spike got Chris on the mat and began jumping up and down on his chest like it was a trampoline. But the bigger athlete overpowered Spike. Nowinski picked Spike up and slammed him to the canvas for the win, then proceeded to beat Spike with Regal's help! Bradshaw sprinted down and sent the two scurrying away!
Former WWE owner Ric Flair entered the ring to address the crowd. Flair said people think he lost everything last week after dropping his match and company ownership to Mr. McMahon. After some soul searching, though, he said he had found the real Ric Flair. He said he had looked at the great Hulk Hogan and how he mounted a tremendous comeback. Flair said that he refused to go out on a down note. Flair said that he wasn't ready to go home. He signed a contract to wrestle and wanted to prove that he's got a good run left in him. He said he wanted to prove to Brock Lesnar that he is the dirtiest player in the game!
Stone Cold's music hit and the crowd roared to life! But it soon faded out and Eddie Guerrero came out to his Latino Heat music. Guerrero said that fans had heard that music for the last time. He said that he was set to take on Austin one on one and King of the Ring and Eddie would have kicked his ass. Eddie became enraged and asked if Flair knew what that match meant to him. Guerrero chided Flair for being responsible for costing him the match of his life. Eddie labeled Flair a worthless piece of crap.
Chris Benoit entered the fray and yelled at Eddie for disrespecting Flair. Benoit held up four fingers and asked if Guerrero knew what that meant. Benoit reminded Guerrero that Flair is a 16 time World Champion. Guerrero countered that his family had devoted their entire lives to the business. Eddie promised that Flair's run would be worse than his run as an owner. Flair said if Eddie was so convinced, why doesn't he take Austin's spot at King of the Ring. Eddie began screaming at Flair in Spanish, but Benoit stopped him. He said that Flair is a legend. He also said that Flair single-handedly took away Benoit's opportunity and hope. Benoit got up in Flair's mug and said that he had wanted a piece of Austin for breaking his neck last week. He also held Flair responsible for Austin's leaving. Benoit nailed Flair and Guerrero joined in the beating, even applying Flair's own Figure Four leglock!
Backstage, Vince was talking on the phone when Chris Nowinski came in and introduced himself. Nowinski began running down the list of things he'd accomplished in his career. Vince got a call from Tony Garea, but the signal cut out. Mr. McMahon said Garea was his lookout at the airport, and it appeared that the man was coming their way. Nowinski asked who, and Mr. McMahon said he could only assume it was Stone Cold Steve Austin.
During commercial, Vince told security to let Austin into the arena when he arrived. He also told Sgt. Slaughter to find a camera crew because if Austin was coming to apologize, he wanted the whole thing caught on tape!
Trish Stratus teamed up with D'Lo Brown for an intergender tag match against Molly and Crash Holly. D'Lo gave Crash a facebuster early on, but Crash kicked out. Molly tagged in and demanded a piece of Trish. D'Lo was happy to oblige, and the Women's Champion began to pick apart her nemesis. Molly got in some offense, hitting Trish with a backbreaker. She then climbed the top rope and whirled into the Molly-Go-Round, but Trish rolled out of the way. Crash and D'Lo got back into action. D'Lo hit Crash with a spinning DDT, but Molly broke up the count. Soon after, D'Lo hit the Sky High and pinned Crash! But Molly wasn't done. She tossed Trish into the announce table before slinking away.
Mr. McMahon gave instructions to the camera crew backstage when Tough Enough Champion Jackie came in. She asked how Vince would like her to be a RAW girl. Vince said that if she competed next Tuesday on the special Divas Undressed, she could be on RAW. Jackie said next week he would see how raw she can get!
The Undertaker took on Matt Hardy in a non-title match next. Matt held his own, but Taker soon began to take over. He scooped Matt up in a chokeslam, but Jeff raced in and broke things up! Jeff went for a Swanton Bomb, but Raven ran in and pushed Jeff down. Taker took this time to hit Matt with the Last Ride and pick up the win. After, Raven produced a pair of handcuffs and locked Jeff to the top rope. While Raven held Matt at bay, Taker began to mercilessly beat Jeff while Matt was forced to watch the entire thing.
Backstage, Taker told Terri that what had just happened is an example of what becomes of people who try to make a name for themselves at his expense. Taker said he hoped Triple H was watching. Taker said he hurts people, not TV equipment.
Mr. McMahon got another call from Tony Garea, but was again cut off. Vince told the camera crew to get ready for Austin's imminent arrival.
Paul Heyman told Earl Hebner that he respected the official. Heyman said if anyone came to the ring in the next match, he needed to disqualify Booker T. Earl advised him not to tell him how to do his job, then stormed off. Heyman turned around and came face to face with Booker T! Booker told Heyman not to worry about him getting disqualified, he just needed to worry about the five-time WCW Champion whipping Brock Lesnar's ass!
Brock Lesnar and Booker T entered the ring, but the nWo followed after and took position at ringside. Brock attacked Booker immediately. While he was dismantling Booker, Goldust came down to the ring and was immediately accosted by Heyman. Meanwhile, Brock leveled Booker with a powerslam that produced a two-count. But Booker managed to mount a comeback. He nailed a scissors kick then whirled off a spineroonie!
The nWo tried to interfere, but Big Show was swatted off the ring apron by Booker. But Brock managed to surprise Booker with the F5 and took the three count to advance in the King of the Ring tournament! The nWo then climbed into the ring and assaulted Booker after Big Show gave Goldust a chokeslam. Big Shown then delivered another Showstopper to Booker T before the nWo saluted themselves and celbrated in the middle of the ring.
Backstage, Sgt. Slaughter rushed in and told Vince that Tony Garea had arrived in the parking lot. Vince said that meant Austin was close behind. Mr. McMahon told Sarge to convince Austin to go to the ring, because that is where he would be.
Following commercial, Vince stood in the ring and asked for a beer from ringside. He said it wasn't for him, it was for someone else. Vince called Austin out to the ring to say whatever he felt like saying. Vince implored Austin to not make the crowd wait any longer.
Suddenly, Tony Garea rushed in and told Vince that the "he" was not Stone Cold. Vince asked who it was ... and The Rock's music hit! The People's Champion rushed down to the ring as the crowd exploded!
The Great One pumped his fists as he paced around Mr. McMahon. The Rock said "Finally! The Rock has come back to Oakland!" He asked why Vince looked so surprised. Vince started to answer but The Rock cut him off saying it didn't matter what he thought!
The Rock said he was there to address the people, and only the people. He told Vince he had just 15 seconds to clear out of the ring. Mr. McMahon did as he was told. The Rock then picked up the beer can and hurled it in Mr. McMahon's direction.
The Rock said he wasn't supposed to return until next month, but given recent events he'd be damned if he didn't come back. The Rock said that every time he walks into a WWE locker room, he sees the eyes of guys who are there because they want to be there. He said if there was anyone in the back that doesn't want to be there, then they should do like the slogan says and Get the 'F Out!
The Rock said he would do one better than Mr. McMahon. The Rock said he wanted not just to move on, but move up. He said on Sunday, he would be at King of the Ring! The Rock said that even when The Rock is 80 years old, he would still be in WWE!
The Rock said that Austin can take his ball and go home, but as far as he is concerned, this is home! The Great One capped off his emotional speech with "If ya Smell what The Rock is cookin'!" RAW closed with The Great One getting a deafening standing ovation.