Raw is War

Bakersfield, California
February 16, 2004



Less than 24 hours after the SmackDown! pay-per-view event, “no way out” seemed to be the theme for RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff. A month from WrestleMania XX, Bischoff was faced with perhaps the toughest decision of his tenure – who would face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship – Shawn Michaels or Chris Benoit. With Triple H demanding and answer and Stone Cold Steve Austin prepared to take the law into his own hands without a response from Bischoff, the GM seemed backed into a corner. By evening’s end, he finally came to a conclusion with a shocking result:

At WrestleMania XX, for the first time in history, the World Heavyweight Championship will be defended in a Triple Threat Match when Triple H defends the Championship against both Michaels and Benoit! Ironically, Bischoff asked his nemesis Austin to deliver the news to Triple H – who ended RAW enraged by the announcement that he will have two opponents to defend the Championship against at WrestleMania XX. And, to make matters worse for himself, Triple H ended any speculation that he and Michaels were working together against Benoit when he entered the ring after the Michaels’ victory over Benoit, and delivered a Pedigree to Michaels. Now, at WrestleMania, Triple H will have two angry opponents to deal with!

The decision by Bischoff did not lessen his problems as he is a week away from perhaps the fight of his life. The Monday Night War seemed to be rekindled when Bischoff declared to Austin that he could beat Mr. McMahon in a fight based on Mr. McMahon’s track record in the ring, age, and Bischoff’s experience with Karate. Little did he know that Mr. McMahon was standing right behind him when he made his statement! An infuriated Mr. McMahon announced that next week, he would appear on RAW to make a bombshell announcement concerning WrestleMania XX … and he would do so in his wrestling gear. Mr. McMahon repeated his warning that interference by Goldberg at No Way Out would mean bad news for Bischoff, and since Goldberg did in fact interfere, McMahon will meet Bischoff next week, one-on-one! Click here for No Way Out

RAW also saw history made when new World Tag Team Champions were crowned. The Evolution duo of Ric Flair & Batista seemed to have their match with Rob Van Dam & Booker T in hand when Mick Foley made a sudden appearance to attack Randy Orton – who had gone to ringside in support of his fellow Evolution members. With Batista distracted by Foley, RVD & Booker T had an opportunity to double-team Flair, and emerged victorious as World Tag Team Champions.

Evolution would have a measure of revenge moments later when Orton called Foley out for an Unsanctioned Fight and during that battle, Flair & Batista joined Orton for a three-on-one on Foley and unleashed a vicious assault that left Foley in the hospital. It seems that the stakes in the rivalry between Foley and Orton are raised each week. What will happen next? Stay tuned to find out!

In other action, the situation between Chris Jericho, Christian and Trish Stratus took a new twist when Christian seemed to go against his claims that he is Jericho’s best friend. Shortly after Jericho professed to Christian that he wanted to be “more than just friends” with Stratus, and asked Christian to hold the rose he bought for Stratus, Jericho was hospitalized after an assault from Kane on Jericho’s already injured knee. Later, while celebrating her victory with Victoria over Molly Holly & Jazz, Stratus tried to fend off an assault from Test on Victoria and Steven Richards. When Test appeared to be in position to seriously injure Stratus, Christian ran to the ring to save the day. Moments later, Christian gave Stratus the very rose Jericho had asked him to hold!

With the road to WrestleMania XX entering its final stages, the action on RAW has never been hotter. After one of its worst nights in recent memory, how will Evolution respond? Does Triple H have a plan up his sleeve for his two WrestleMania XX opponents? How will Mick Foley react to the beating he took at the hands of Evolution? Most importantly, what will Mr. McMahon do when he gets his hands on Eric Bischoff? Only one way to find out … watch RAW next week live from Omaha, Nebraska at 9/8 CT on Spike TV!

Match Results:

Booker T & Rob Van Dam defeated Ric Flair & Batista to win the World Tag Team Championship

The match between Chris Jericho and Kane was ended due to an injury to Jericho

Trish Stratus & Victoria defeated Molly Holly & Jazz

Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Benoit