Let’s start putting Austin in a hole six foot deep. It’s the 17th June 2002 and we’re in the Oakland Arena or Oakland, California for episode #473 of WWE Raw! Your main event tonight: Booker T vs Brock Lesnar in a King Of The Ring Quarter-Final match! But it’s really an in-ring segment with Vince, featuring a “surprise”.
So, we once again have to talk about Stone Cold. Two days before this show his wife, Debra Marshall (who would never appear on WWE ever again), called the police and claimed that Austin had physically assaulted her (years later, after the Benoit murder-suicide, she would claim the assault was a case of “roid-rage”). It took a while for any action to be taken, but Austin would be arrested and charged a few months later. He eventually pleaded no contest, got a suspended sentence, a small fine and some community service. The two finalised a divorce in early 2003. I imagine this may have been a belated final straw for WWE who, through the persons of Vince McMahon and JR, tore into Austin on the WWE Confidential programme the day before this episode of Raw aired, using the now infamous line that Austin “took his ball and went home”. They’ll be showing parts of that show tonight, so we’ll cover it as they come up. Oh, and this is the Raw go-home for King Of The Ring, if anyone cares!
New Attitude splash, then a recap of the nWo segment from last week. Did anything else big happen last week? Ownership of the company? King Of The Ring? Anybody?
“Across The Nation”, pyro and King/Lawler welcome us to Oakland. They play up tonight’s King Of The Ring Quarter-Finals, and promise footage from WWE Confidential later. There’s also a crowd at The World, but forget about that because we are starting this show with some actual wrestling. Take that Smackdown!
Rob Van Dam vs X-Pac (King Of The Ring Quarter-Final #1)
Pac out on his own which seems strange. He’s lost the Kane mask too. Circling, some feinted kicks, lock-up, arm-drag takedown from X-Pac, and the crowd really, really doesn’t like him. Lock-up, enormous “X-Pac Sucks” chants, another Pac takedown, and he puts in some taunting slap to the back of RVD’s head. Break, lock-up, wrist-lock chain, countered, Van Dam with kicks and closes with a big jumping martial arts kick to the head. Shots in the corner, big “RVD” chants, leapfrog chain, RVD with a Monkey Flip and then clotheslines Pac out. Follows up with an asai moonsault off the apron. Good start to this one.
Baseball Slide catches Waltman as he tries to get back into the ring, set-up on the barricade and RVD hits that spinning leg-drop, this one looked a bit messy it has to be said, Pac was set-up too low. The nWo man slowly back into the ring with some shoulder-blocks through the ropes, looking for a springboard senton but Van Dam dodges, then counters into a roll-up for a near fall. Leapfrog chain but Pac catches Van Dam on the jump, powerbomb, roundhouse, two. Very good sequence. Snapmare and into a resthold. Van Dam, out of it but then flung to ringside on a charge. Pac follows up with a huge somersault plancha, which gets almost no reaction from the crowd.
Back in, Pac with chops in the corner, kicks, Van Dam set-up, but nobody home on the Broncho Buster. RVD with a clothesline, stepover heel kick that makes some rubbish-looking contact, looking for a powerslam, Pac out of it, Pac looking for the X-Factor, Van Dam counters by landing split-legged, nice. X-Pac put down, Rolling Thunder, two. Cooking with gas despite some badly done moves. Reversed whip puts Van Dam in the corner, he gets a boot up on a charge, to the top, but intercepted and pushed to the outside. As the ref sees to Van Dam Booker T suddenly appears, and he crowd explodes. Book End to X-Pac, Van Dam back to the top, Five Star that has huge distance, and that’s it in six on the dot.
Winner (and progressing to the King Of The Ring Semi-Finals): Mr Monday Night, who won’t need to defend the IC Title for a bit I guess.
Verdict: You know, despite a handful of badly performed moves, this was actually pretty damn good. Had a great energy, the crowd was into it for the most part and both guys were working hard. The interference spot also worked, for once.
King is apoplectic at the result as Van Dam walks away in triumph. He faces the winner of The Big Valbowski and Chris Jericho. So, you know, he’ll be facing Chris Jericho. Sorry Val.
We cut to some footage from that WWE Confidential show. JR doesn’t know why the biggest name in sports entertainment would walk out like Austin did. “It’s like John Wayne turning into a coward”, ouch that is rough. JR says he’s hurt, but he’s back on TV. It’s legitimately shocking to see someone like JR taking these kinds of public shots at Austin, but the knock-off Halloween soundtrack playing over the thing undercut it a bit. More footage coming up.
Backstage, X-Pac fumes with The Big Show when Michaels and Nash show up. Pac wants Booker T now, but Michaels tells him to cool down. Nash has a plan. Will said plan be to interfere in Booker’s match later?
Vince McMahon heads to the ring. Sign of the night: “WWE: Get The Flair Out”, I agree. On the mike, McMahon addresses the Stone Cold situation, and confirms Austin is gone. Will he be back some day? McMahon hopes so, but doesn’t have the answer. Austin has a lot of explaining and apologising to do. Last Monday wasn’t the first time he no-showed, but McMahon gave him some slack when he vanished for two weeks after Wrestlemania. Fans with the “what” chants, but they sort of fade a bit as people realise McMahon is breaking kayfabe.
Vince continues, saying Austin owes an apology to the roster, the company and the fans, which gets mild cheers. “Austin” chants. McMahon says multiple people tried to get in contact with Austin last Monday, but the only person he spoke to was JR. JR tried to get Austin to show up to the arena to discuss his grievances “like a man”, but Austin refused. These actions are “uncharacteristic” of the man everyone knows, and now the WWE has to move on. They’ll develop new stars, now matches, new concepts. Vince chooses this moment to announce that the winner of the King Of The Ring tournament will get an Undisputed Title shot at Summerslam. Great idea, but needed more oomph behind the announcement than this throwaway line here. I presume this was an effort to save the King Of The Ring concept, but it proved too little, too late.
Austin is gone, but Stone Cold will never be forgotten. Vince knows Austin wishes the roaster, the fans and the company well. On behalf of all those people, Vince thanks Austin for the memories. McMahon is handed a beer, takes a swig and leaves it on the mat. This gets some boos, but the crowd reaction is mostly confused: I’d say a lot of people are expecting Austin to suddenly appear. Sorry folks. Zoom-in on the beer. Fade to black. I guess they handled this as well as they could have I suppose. After the break, wrestling.
Jeff Hardy vs Raven
Hardy out with some neon effects, to King’s general disgust. JR announces that Matt will face The Undertaker later, why not Jeff? He started it. Eight Legged Freaks and Greyhound Buses sponsor this one, what a combination. “We got a couple of freaks in the ring if you ask me”. This is a re-match from a contest on Heat the previous night where Hardy was disqualified for hanging Raven with a camera cord, what the hell? Was Bryan Danielson watching?
As soon as the bell rings Taker appears at the top of the ramp. Dueling slaps, Raven with a takedown, Hardy back with a rana, flying forearm then clotheslines Raven out. Flying clothesline off the barricade as the Deadman glares. Back in, Jeff distracted by the evil presence of Mean Mark, gets thrown out again, then back in again, it’s a roundabout. Raven with a beatdown, then hits this awful looking top-rope Bulldog thing, that looks like he just fell on top of Hardy. Gets two, hard whip into the corner, then a clothesline, knee to the head, two. JR spends a lot of time talking about how these two have unique hair and clothes, like they’re aliens or something. Jeff back with a jaw breaker, twisting mule kick, spinning heel kick, avoids a drop-kick and lands his double-heels for two.
Raven dodges a charge, Hardy lands on the second rope but then thrown off. Up way too quick, back to the top, intercepted, Raven follows, but Jeff avoids a superplex and hits a facebuster instead. Raven prone, Jeff points at Taker, hits the Swanton, and that’s it in just under four.
Winner: Mr Extreme
Verdict: Messy affair, with Raven hitting some damp squibs in terms of moves. Not going to do his main roster fortunes any good with efforts like this.
Jeff stares down Undertaker, who gives an almost respectful nod before departing. Are we going to see a turn?
Backstage Booker T talks himself up before Goldust arrives, dressed up like…what he calls the “Duke Of Gold”, which features a Ming the Merciless beard, purple robe that looks like the back-up for a King Of The Ring winner, Austin Powers wig (and teeth) and an English accent. Goldust wants to be part of the future King Booker’s court, but he’s four years early. Booker’s not so sure, but Goldust has a good track record with predictions, what with predicting Shawn Michaels’ betrayal. T says he’s better than all of the nWo put together, which might be a little bit of a stretch. Goldust isn’t sure looking for revenge was the best plan, but suggests that if the nWo attack him in his match tonight, Lesnar might be DQ’d. Booker likes the sound of that, and the idea of “King Booker” (or should I say “King Book-Ah”?) and decrees his first royal act is that Lesnar is getting his ass kicked tonight. So, are T and Goldust an actual team then, or?
Elsewhere, Coach recaps the Trish/Molly stuff from last week, and then walks in on Molly doing a workout, with the camera making sure to focus in on her ass. Oh God, why. Coach asks for some comments on Trish’s “fat ass” remarks. Holly was offended, but offended Trish in the ring by beating her (clean, remember) and will beat her tonight, and then again on Sunday. Coach suggests that if she does so she won’t be the “butt” of any more jokes, and she clouts him, to massive cheers from the NFB household. I’ve never wanted a heel to win more.
Elsewhere elsewhere, Show and X-Pac converse about his loss when Michaels and Nash walk up, and it’s like the last segment never ended. But here’s Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, to express his sympathies, and to insist neither he nor Brock had anything to do with it. Was that even suggested? He’s here to make sure the nWo don’t do anything to risk Lesnar’s destiny of becoming King Of The Ring and going on to win the Undisputed Title at Summerslam. Pac suggests that this is a threat, and Heyman says he was asking, but now he’s telling. Michaels assures Heyman there is no problem, and goes eye-to-eye with Lesnar, then Lesnar goes eye-to-eye with Nash, then everyone is starting at everyone. A few feuds we never got here, and at least one – Lesnar/Show – we got too much. At least it’s given the main event tonight a bit of spice.
Chris Nowinski w/William Regal vs Spike Dudley
Nowinski down in some preppy clothes. JR naturally less interested in Nowinski’s 4.0 GPA and more in his “Captain of the football team” status, but of course. Spike attacks from behind because he’s one of those extra heroic Raw babyfaces, like Trish Stratus. Regal thrown out, shots to Nowinski whose shirt is over his head, stomps in the corner, drop-kick, shots, and now Nowinski is able to fling Spike out. The preppy clothes are ripped off to reveal actual wrestling attire, to the outside and Spike whipped hard into the ringsteps. Back in, backbreaker, two. Rope choke, “Harvard Sucks” chants, foot choke, looking for a suplex, Spike lands on his feet, looking for a roll-up, Nowinski holds onto the ropes and then hits a big clothesline for two. Shots in the corner, hard whip into the opposite, two. Dudley set-up on top, Nowinski up, Spike fights back and sends Nowinksi flying then lands a stomp. Some knockdowns off whips, looking for the Dudley Dawg, Regal on the apron to distract, Nowinski hits a Full Nelson Slam and that’s it in just under three-and-a-half.
Winner: Mr Harvard
Verdict: I suppose it served its point as an introduction to Nowinski, but a shame Spike has to be the jobber.
Beatdown on Spike in the aftermath, and here comes Bradshaw to the make the save. The heels driven off quick and Bradshaw left standing tall. Remember when D-Lo Brown did this a few weeks back? Whatever happened to him?
Backstage, Ric Flair walks with a purpose. After the break we see a few members of the Oakland Raiders at ringside before the Nature Boy heads to the ring. On the mike he says a lot of people think he lost everything last week. Austin walked out on him, then he lost his ownership of Raw to Vince McMahon. He had to head home and talk a long hard look in the mirror, and he realised that he didn’t lose everything, he found the real Ric Flair. Being an owner made him an asshole (I’ll say), and life isn’t over. He’s not going home like Austin, he’s back tonight (really laying it on thick). He’s thinking of Hulk Hogan, who won the title and has a huge match with Kurt Angle on Sunday (say the name of the PPV at least) and he doesn’t want the end of his road to be a loss to Vince McMahon. He’s lost a step, but he’s still two steps faster than most people (yeah right). He signed a contract today to make him a wrestler on Raw, because he has one more good run left in him. He addresses Brock Lesnar directly, saying that before he says goodbye, he will prove to Brock that he is still the dirtiest player in the game.
Shattered glass, Austin’s theme tune, and the crowd explodes. Psyche! Latino Heat’s music hits quick and out comes Eddie Guerrero. You could almost feel the crowd deflating. King laughs long and hard at JR’s reaction. Eddie on the mike to declare we just heard Austin’s music for the last time. He was set to take on Austin mano-a-mano at King Of The Ring and he was going to kick his ass, but that’s not going to happen now. Does Ric realise how hard Guerrero has worked for that opportunity (impassioned Eddie is great, but not helped by the “what” chants). And now Flair has the audacity to come out here and say he found himself again, wooo.
Austin left on Flair’s watch, so Eddie holds him responsible for not having the match of his life. Flair is a worthless piece of crap, and that brings out Chris Benoit. He gets in Guerrero’s face and asks who the hell does he think he is talking to? 30 years in the business, Flair has been in with the best and beaten the best. He flashes the Four Horsemen sign, which JR helpfully explains on commentary. Flair is a 16 time World Champion and has dedicated his entire life to this business. Eddie shoots back that he’s done the same, as has his family. Flair’s achievements are no big deal, and Ric is nothing but a loser. He has one last run in him, it’ll be a one match run, and will be worse than his run at being an owner.
Flair picks up the bait, and offers to take Austin’s spot at King Of The Ring, which gets mild cheers. Eddie mocks Flair’s use of Spanish, and says what he was going to do to Austin, he’ll do three times to Flair. Some swearing in Spanish, and Benoit intervenes again. He says Flair is a hero, a legend…and also took away his opportunity, dreams and hope! Swerve! Benoit wanted Austin after Stone Cold broke his neck (not how I remember it), and he left on Flair’s watch. He holds Flair responsible (are we just repeating the segment?) and Flair has heard enough and attacks. Benoit and Guerrero get the advantage quick, beatdown, and Eddie puts on the Figure 4. Benoit and Eddie demand he tap out, but Ric goes limp instead. The heels head off. Big drop for Eddie, to go from Austin to Flair as an opponent. Long segment, but they needed to build something quick.
Backstage, Vince is on the phone when Chris Nowinski comes in. They talk about his Harvard status, and McMahon says he’s a graduate of East Carolina, which apparently is not good? I dunno. Nowinski lists his accomplishments, and Vince blows him off when he gets a phone call. It’s his “look-out” at the airport, and he announces that “he’s on his way”. He got cut off, but Vince can only assume he means Stone Cold. Oh no, don’t do this. After the break McMahon assembles Sgt Slaughter and some security mooks. Their job is to control Austin, let him say what he’s going to say, but not let it go too far. He wants Austin’s words to be documented, and dismisses his posse. Please, we had one fakeout here already.
Trish Stratus & D-Lo Brown vs Molly Holly & Crash
D-Lo randomly appears just a little while after I ask about him. This one a mixture of two feuds, with Crash having an encounter with D-Lo last night on Heat. Brown’s apparently been working commentary on Heat? Never a good sign for your prospects. And hey, a Holly Cousins reunion! Recap of Holly’s victory last week, “caboose” talk and all.
Crash and D-Lo to start, whip chain into a flapjack from D-Lo, Scoop Slam, leg-drop, two. Crash begs off and in come the women. Trish ducks a clothesline, strikes, then hits a clothesline of her own. Drop-kick, Chick Kick, two. Takedown from Molly as King suggests fans chant “She’s a fatass”, make sure you don’t miss that one Peacock. Hair pull into a slam, face grind into the mat, elbow drops, backbreaker, to the top, but nobody home on the Molly-Go-Round. Tags to the guys, D-lo with a takedown, hard rights, drop-kick, then a big swinging side slam for two. Molly breaks it up, Trish takes her out, Crash with a boot up on a corner charge but then runs into a big pop-up sit out powerbomb for the pin in just under three.
Winners: One future hall-of-famer, and one guy who could have made it.
Verdict: Throwaway tag that felt more like filler than anything. Crowd was dead for D-Lo, which is just sad.
Molly chucks Trish into the announce table before D-Lo gets between them. Replays, and Brown checks Trish, who looks like she is in a bit of pain. My heart bleeds for the body shamer (character).
Over to The World, where tonight’s festivities are being hosted by Lita, who wears a neck brace. JR naturally asks her about her boyfriend’s match tonight over her recovery. Lita says she trusts Matt and believes in him, but she’s worried. She’s a bit off here, think there might be a delay in the transmission, it gets cut off quick.
Elsewhere, The Undertaker drives his bike somewhere in the arena. Plug for Neurotica, and for the online broadcast of King Of The Ring: Nine ninety nine Miggle!
Backstage, Vince is setting up a camera crew to document Stone Cold’s alleged arrival when there is a knock on the door, but it’s actual Jackie (the one from Tough Enough). McMahon welcomes her with a leer, and asks what she’s doing here. Jackie wants to become “a Raw girl”, and Vince thinks this is a great idea. Next week they’re having a “Divas Undressed” competition, so she can enter that. No, please, why. Jackie says next Monday they will see “how Raw” she can get. She isn’t in the company a fortnite and she’s already being sacrificed to McMahon’s ego.
The Undertaker vs Matt Hardy (non-title)
Recap of some of the set destruction on Smackdown, like any of that matters here, and the wrestling between HHH and Taker later. But enough about that, what about the Champ’s Raw storyline? Matt out on his own, and charges the ring. Right into a choke, but Matt out of it with a low kick, before the bell. Strikes from Taker, Hardy has a boot up on a corner charge but then runs into a clothesline. Matt set up prone over the apron, and Undertaker drops a leg. Looking for The Last Ride, Matt fights out of it, dodges a clothesline then able to hit a spinning DDT for two. Strikes in the corner, hard whip reversed, Deadman with Snake Eyes then Matt dodges another clothesline only to walk into a chokeslam,
Cheering heralds the arrival of Jeff, who pulls the ref out before a count and attacks. Trading shots, Matt with a clothesline sends Taker down, Jeff up looking for the Swanton, but Raven is suddenly here to shove Hardy off. In the ring Matt looks for the Twist Of Fate, Undertaker pushes out of it, lands The Last Ride and that’s it in just over two.
Winner: Mean Mark, in a mess.
Verdict: You can’t have two separate interference spots in a match this short, come on.
Raven throws Jeff into the ring, reveals some handcuffs and attaches Jeff to the ring ropes. Taker lays in some shots as Raven attacks Matt. Matt is selling the few shots Jeff is taking like Taker is murdering his brother, but it’s pretty tame by heel Taker’s standards. The Deadman’s music plays before the beatdown is even finished, and he holds his title belt high.
After the break Undertaker walks backstage when he runs into Terri, who asks for comments. After putting her down for her height Taker says this is what happens when people try to make a name at his expense. He hopes Triple H was watching. Until HHH has the title, Undertaker is the best. Camera equipment doesn’t hurt people. Walk off. A bit stuttery from Taker.
Elsewhere Vince takes a phonecall that announces “he’s on his way”. The camera crews are told to be ready.
Elsewhere elsewhere Paul Heyman chats to Earl Hebner. He and Brock respect Hebner and his authority. Her wants tonight’s match to be one where the better man wins, and he hasn’t authorised anyone else to be ringside. If someone does up, he wants Earl to disqualify them. Hebner says he won’t tell Heyman how to do his job, he shouldn’t tell him how to do his, and walks off. Earl can’t deliver a line to save his life. Suddenly Booker is here and in Heyman’s face. T says Heyman doesn’t have to worry about Lesnar getting DQ’d, he has to worry about Lesnar’s ass getting whopped. Can you dig that, walk away, sudden return, sucka? That match is up next.
An attractive woman with a WWF logo for a head goes to see a plastic surgeon for “a reduction”. Now WWE, she looks more beautiful than ever. “Get The F Out”. Really pushing this campaign hard.
Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs Booker T (King Of The Ring Quarter-Final #2)
King plugs WWE Magazine ahead of this one. Lesnar now has his more familiar theme tune by the way. Just counting down to the nWo’s nefarious plan, and it might be coming early as they appear before a bell is rung, all four of them. X-Pac has to be held back, and the distraction lets Brock get the advantage with some corner spears. Booker back with strikes and chops as Heyman complains to the nWo. Nash and Michaels stick on some headsets and join commentary, before immediately mocking JR, this is going to be fun. Lesnar hits a belly-to-belly and then clotheslines T out. Following him out, Booker back with strikes but then whipped into the ringsteps. Into the apron as JR asks why T was thrown out of the nWo: Michaels says Booker is a showboater and a dancer, and they “can’t have those kinds of people” in the nWo, good lord. King points out that Michaels dances in his entrance, and HBK insists that’s different. Yeah.
Back in, more corner spears, and now Goldust is coming down to the ring. That makes six people at ringside. Heyman jawing with Goldust, demanding he leave as Booker hits a clothesline, but a superkick is blocked. Lesnar nails a big powerslam as Goldust chucks Heyman to the floor. Lesnar looking to confront Rhodes and this allows T to get an ambush. Savate Kick, superkick, kick to the mid-section, as Michaels accuses T of “gimmick infringement, Scissors Kicks, Spinarooni and X-Pac is on the apron. Cleared off by Booker, now Show on the apron, Heyman stops him from interfering, T clears him off, but this allows Lesnar to hit the now named F-5 for the three in just under three-and-a-half.
Winner (and progressing to the King Of The Ring Semi-Finals): Big Brock, and he really is better suited to winning the whole thing?
Verdict: Very short and a mess with all of the hangers on. Very little made of the potential disqualification angle.
Heyman ushers Lesnar away as Goldust tries to revive Booket T. The nWo in the ring, and TBS delivers a Showstopper to Rhodes. Pac with a choke on T, Show pulls him up, and delivers another Chokeslam. Too Sweets and that’s all. There should be a match on Sunday between these guys, right? Lesnar faces the winner of Test and Hardcore Holly from this coming Thursday.
Backstage Sgt Slaughter comes running into McMahon’s office and announces that a car has arrived at the arena. McMahon tells him to convince Austin to come to the ring. “All I can say is, stay tuned”. For what JR, another fakeout?
After the break McMahon is in the ring, demanding a beer be given to him. It’s not for him, it’s for somebody else. He confirms Stone Cold is in the building, and wants to give him the opportunity to say whatever he wants, to him and the audience. Big pause, McMahon suggests Austin not keep the audience waiting. “We Want Austin” chants. A hand suddenly appears in the ring, and whispers something in Vince’s ear. The guy at the airport wasn’t Stone Cold. Then who was it?
The crowd explodes as The Rock’s theme hits, and out comes the People’s Champion. They act like he’s been gone for an age, but it’s only been the better part of two months really. McMahon looks stunned as the The Rock gets in the ring and plays to the crowd, who have forgotten about the ridiculous fakeout they were just subjected to. Huge “Rocky” chants, Rock enjoys whipping them up, and a staredown with McMahon. Finally The Rock has come back to Oakland. Rock says Vince looks surprised. Did he think Austin was just going to walk down the ramp? It doesn’t matter what he thinks, naturally. No, it was the Brahma Bull. He came out here to address the people, and that doesn’t include McMahon. Vince leaves quick, like the proverbial scalded dog, with Rock throwing the beer after him.
Left alone, Rock says he knows he’s not meant to be here, but after what happened last week he wanted to be back a month earlier than planned, and on the live show. Five years ago when he came here, he wanted to become the best in the industry and he’s going to continue to work to make sure that happens. He see’s the fire in the eyes of the Raw and Smackdown roster, and they are here because they want to be here. They bust their ass, and they do it because they love to do it. If anyone in the back doesn’t want to be with the company, then get like the slogan and get the F out. A big rolling “Rocky” chants greets this.
If Vince is serious about moving on, then great. The Rock is going to be at King Of The Ring this Sunday. He has WWE in his blood, and 80 years from now on when he is an old man The Rock will still step in the ring and ask people to bring it. A name drop of Peter Maivia who started his career in the area, and Rocky Johnson, and the point is this: Austin can take his ball and go home, but as far as Rock is concerned, “this….this is home”. Catchphrase, theme tune, and that will be all. Bit of a risk sending Rock out like this in front of what could have been a hostile crowd, but they needed a big good news story to counter the Austin stuff, and it worked. A bit rambling from the Great One, but it was the biggest non-Hogan pop since we started this series.
Best Match: Van Dam/Pac, two guys who work pretty well together and who I could stand to watch more of.
Best Wrestler: Not sure, but lets say The Rock, who has enough charisma to single-handedly make it seem for a moment that Austin being gone is a good thing.
Worst Match: Booker/Lesnar had the potential to be great, but was destroyed by its short length and many interference spots.
Worst Wrestler: Raven, who hit some bad moves against Jeff and really doesn’t need to be part of that whole storyline.
Overall Verdict: Whatever about Austin’s professionalism or lack of it at the time, an episode dedicated to tearing him down a bit is never going to look good in retrosepct. A few bad matches, too much interference in finishes, lengthy in-ring segments, most of this wasn’t great. But hey, The Rock’s back. Of course he won’t actually be wrestling this Sunday…but hey, it’s The Rock!
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