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Retro RAW (12.13.99) Review

October 23, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Triple H Stephanie McMahon
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Retro RAW (12.13.99) Review  

Hey everyone! I wanted to start a retro review series of some sort, and I decided on the McMahon-Helmsley era as the starting point. So, we begin after Armageddon 1999 and march towards Royal Rumble 2000.

Obviously, in hindsight, these shows are much different than what we’re used to in this era of pro wrestling. Keep that in mind with match and show grades considering that the weekly TV was much more storyline-focused than match-focused. My taste in wrestling has changed, but I’m gonna approach watching and grading it within the context of the Attitude Era.

We probably all have different opinions on that era having watched so much wrestling since then, so it should make for some interesting discussion. Let’s have fun with it!

Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler
Location: The Ice Palace in Tampa, FL
Raw Rating: 6.10
Nitro Rating: 2.82

– Triple H and Stephanie McMahon arrive holding hands. We’d see that scene a few more times in WWE history. Shane McMahon is outside the building waiting for Vince McMahon.

(c) Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac – Intercontinental Title

Jericho had just won the title from Chyna at Armageddon in what I thought was a pretty good match. It’s one that makes you remember how unique Chyna was. Before this match, the new champ was in full RAW is Jericho mode. Meanwhile, X-Pac was coming off of a cage match against Kane, which featured X-Pac taunting Tori and also spitting in her face. It was a different era, folks. X-Pac cut a pre-match promo on Jericho telling him to put the title on the line, so that’s the setup. Chyna also came out and stood on the stage with Miss Kitty, and Jericho wasn’t exactly happy with that. Hot start to the match with X-Pac gaining the advantage with his leg drop. More offense with X-Pac as he works on Jericho in the corner. But then X-Pac misses the Bronco buster, and Jericho makes him pay for it. Jericho uses the Lionsault for a two count and Chyna and Kitty are plotting their revenge on the stage. Lawler wants a piece of Kitty, and something tells me he’ll get his wish. X-Pac off the top rope, but Jericho reverses and hits the powerbomb and goes to the Walls of Jericho. Chyna hits the ring to distract the ref as X-Pac taps out. Chyna punches the referee, and that’s a DQ at 3:12.

Blake’s Take: Chyna clearly had a plan, but surely X-Pac was pissed about having her screw up his title shot? We’ll see. **

– Triple H and Stephanie are still roaming and they find Shane. He’s not happy with her, and Triple H gets in a funny line about Shane not having any family spirit during the holidays.

The Godfather (w/Hoes) vs. Mark Henry

If you forgot how over Godfather and his hoes were, fire up WWE Network and listen to the pop he got at Armageddon. On this particular episode of RAW, the train featured seven women. Pimpin’ ain’t easy! And in the most perfect segway ever, GTV shows us footage of Mark Henry in an orgasmic state while laying next to Mae Young in a hotel bed. Mae is smoking a cigar and they prepare for round two or round three or round something. So, Henry coming out with an extra pep in his step is understandable I suppose. Pimpin’ aint easy! Godfather takes control as JR lets us know that Henry and Mae were “in the rack together” in case you needed more proof. Henry hits a splash and a bodyslam, then goes for the same combination but misses the splash. Here comes Mae as Godfather gets some offense going, and she’s on the apron. That distracts Godfather, who gets rolled up (zing) by Henry for the pin at 1:49.

Blake’s Take: Godfather doesn’t get distracted by the hoes but he gets distracted by Mae? Get it together, man! NR

– Vince McMahon arrives in his limo and Shane plays the good son and tries to calm his ass down. Vince has a sledgehammer and they walk by the vending machine, with this as the featured drink…….

– SURGE! 56 grams of sugar in one 16 ounce can! They continue walking backstage and Vince breaks down DX’s locker room door with the sledgehammer, but no one is there. Vince continues on the warpath with Shane trying to calm him down.

– Vince comes out to the ring solo with sledgehammer and proceeds to call Triple H a rapist. That’s exactly what he said. Here comes Stephanie. She wants to know what he wants to do with his sledgehammer, and let’s hope he doesn’t say Mae Young. Stephanie taunts him and points out the ring on her finger. Stephanie says it’s always been about Vince wants, which rings true 20 years later. She’s not daddy’s little girl anymore, and she got butterflies when Triple H looked at her. Stephanie reminds Vince he got her abducted, so naturally, the crowd starts chanting that she’s a slut. She brings up the sacrifice angle with The Undertaker, and damn, Vince really hated his daughter, didn’t he? Vince hurt her, so she married the man he hates most. Also, Triple H really turns her on. Triple H comes out and says the one mistake he made was leaving Vince unconscious at Armageddon, so he and Steph start reenacting their smooching.

Blake’s Take: Given her level of experience, I actually thought this was a pretty good promo from Stephanie.

– Vince is back near the Surge machine and he and Shane get in the limo and hit the road. Triple H and Stephanie wave them off and Steph says they should take over the show. Don’t worry, Steph, you will! They start scheming.

The Rock and Mankind vs. The Dudley Boyz

We get a Rock promo before the match, and he gives a shoutout to baseball star Wade Boggs in the stands. Rock says he doesn’t care their opponent is, but he wants Boggs to go home and grab a chicken so Rock can turn that sumbitch sideways and stick it straight up their candy asses. D’Von calls Rock and Mankind jabronis and runs off the commandments, but Rock gives him the hand and wants to know who the hell they are. Of course, that leads to Bubba Ray stuttering and Rock mocks him before we get a full-on BROUHAHA. Rock with his trademark punches on Bubba, but Bubba gets some offense with a nice vertical suplex.

D’Von joins the action, so Rock figures he’ll just punch him in the nuts. Why the hell not. Mankind goes to work on D’Von and gets a two count after a clothesline. Bubba tags in and chokes Mankind in the corner, then D’Von grabs a chair. Rock won’t have any of that as he throws D’Von into the announce table. The ref takes the chair away from Bubba Ray in the ring, and Jimmy Korderas calls for a DQ despite Bubba Ray not actually hitting anyone. And here comes Triple H and Stephanie. Asshole chants for Triple H, so the man decides to be an asshole and tells Rock and Mankind that this is actually a No DQ Match. Rock doesn’t give a monkey piss and wants Triple H to meet him in the ring with “the little tramp.”

The brouhaha rolls on as we come back from commercial and all four men are brawling, with Rock hitting both D’Von and Bubba Ray with unprotected headshots. Those never get easier to watch. Rock throws Bubba Ray into the steel steps before the action heads back inside the ring. Swinging neck breaker from Rock on Bubba gets a two count. Bubba turns that into a sidewalk slam on Rock for a near fall. Then Rock hits a huge DDT on Bubba for another two count. Dudleyz going at Mankind on the outside, then they bring it inside as referee Jimmy Korderas is still distracted with Rock.

D’Von hits a good diving nut shot for good measure. Bubba misses off the top, and Mankind hits a double-arm DDT. He follows that up with a mule kick before making the hot tag to Rock. Samoan drop and spine buster and HERE COMES THE PEOPLE’s ELBOW. Holy shit what a pop for that move. Rock goes for the pin but Bubba pulls out Korderas before he can count three. And what do you know, Triple H and Stephanie are back with a referee wearing a Vince mask. Referee Vince rolls in the ring and puts D’Von’s arm over Mankind and counts the quick three to seemingly give the Dudleyz the win? Rock throws masked Vince in the ring, and Mankind rips the mask off to reveal Al Snow, who interfered in the tag title match at Armageddon. Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Bubba, and Korderas is back to count the pin at 15:25.

Blake’s Take: Well, this was an Attitude Era match with several screwy twists and turns. It was also the first of many examples of the McMahon-Helmsley faction flexing its power. This match at least set up some building blocks for future Triple H/Mick Foley and Triple H/Rock feuds, so that was notable. **1/2

– Triple H and Stephanie sitting backstage and X-Pac is wearing scuba gear. After the commercial, we come back as Lawler hypes a Chocolate Pudding Match for the Women’s title, then we’re back to Triple H and Stephanie once again as the Mean Street Posse joins them. They congratulate them, but Stephanie isn’t buying their bullshit. She castrates them and says they’re gonna face the Acolytes.

(c) Miss Kitty vs. Tori – Chocolate Pudding Match for the WWF Women’s Title

To say that Kitty is wearing nothing here would be inaccurate, but not by much. Of course, had we said that about her at Armageddon, it would’ve been pretty accurate. Before the match, Kitty instructs Lillian Garcia to start calling her The Kat as Lawler is drooling. We cut backstage to Stephanie forcing Tori to go wrestle Kat in her bra and panties. So, Tori comes out and sure enough, she’s in her bra and panties. And folks, these two women are rolling around in chocolate pudding. X-Pac comes out in his wetsuit, but Tori jumps on him and they fall into the pool of pudding. Meanwhile, apparently Kat pins Tori at 1:21 as the camera is zoomed out on X-Pac. Kane comes out and slams X-Pac into the pool, then the New Age Outlaws attack Kane from behind. Lillian announces Kitty as the winner, which leads to Kat getting pissed and throwing her in the pudding.

Blake’s Take: The highest-rated programming in WWE Network history would be raw footage of Vince McMahon backstage watching segments like this one. I imagine a deep belly laugh followed by ‘THAT’S GOOD SHIT, PAL!” NR

– Lawler promotes the Wired.com Stone Cold Steve Austin action figure. Lawler tries to show how it works, but it doesn’t actually work. JR says “folks, it actually does work” which is a hell of a pitch to potential buyers! The idea behind this was that you could download audio and it would play through the figure. I don’t remember buying this. Wonder why?

Mean Street Posse vs. The Acolytes

We get a replay of the Posse attacking the Acolytes on Heat. Posse attack but Bradshaw nearly decapitates Joey Abs with a clothesline. Farooq hits a spine buster on Rodney before Bradshaw hits Pete Gas with one of the most brutal unprotected chair shots I’ve seen in a while. JR calls it a “neurologist’s nightmare” and unfortunately, he’s right. Acolytes leave the ring and their music plays, so I have no clue if this was an actual match or what.

Blake’s Take: Bradshaw almost killed two guys. NR

– Lawler has the Austin action figure and reveals that the reason it didn’t work is because BATTERIES ARE NOT INCLUDED. And since he doesn’t have any batteries on hand, he hypes it the best he can. Gazillion dollar company and no one could get this man a few AAs before promoting this product on national television!

– Hey look, it’s Triple H and Stephanie again. The Outlaws grab some of the cheese tray and Triple H teases a cage match.

– Some of the sponsors for this episode of RAW: Wavesmusic.com, Castrol, and WWF The Music: Vol. 4. The best songs on that album were “My Time” and “Break Down the Wall”. That one also had “Oh Hell Yeah”, the alternative Austin theme. The music video for it sure was something……

The Hardy Boyz (w/Terri) vs. Edge and Christian – Steel Cage Match

JR informs us that this is escape rules only. Edge and Christian with some good teamwork early on. Hardyz return the favor as Matt tries to climb over, but Christian catches him and hits the Russian leg sweep off the top rope. Jeff starts his climb, but Edge goes on the chase. Jeff knocks Edge off and then goes for the senton off the top of the cage, but Edge moves out of the way. The 1-800-COLLECT replay shows us that Jeff was indeed broken in half on that one. Now Edge is on top of the cage, and he hits a corkscrew onto both Matt and Christian. Matt is the next to climb to the top and he goes over, but Edge holds him while Christian climbs over. It’s a race to the bottom, but as they’re doing it, Edge throws Jeff into the cage which knocks Matt and Christian to the floor at the same time. And since this episode has already proven that rules don’t matter, we get the announcement that the match must continue. So, Jeff climbs over but Christian holds him on his shoulders as Edge dives out of the cage door for the win at 5:36.

Blake’s Take: You knew what you were getting with these two teams. This was action-packed with several high spots. JR and Lawler did a good job playing up DX likely being angry that both these teams were still standing after the match, so it worked for storyline advancement. **3/4

– Triple H and Stephanie. They are back. Kane and Tori go to leave the arena, but Triple H says Kane has a triple threat match and he’s suspended for 30 days if he doesn’t participate.

Road Dogg vs. Billy Gunn vs. Kane – Triple Threat Match

Touching moment as Billy gives tiny Austin Gunn a kiss in the crowd. Gunn Club still undefeated as of this writing! JR is pissed about Kane being put in a triple threat match with the Outlaws. They attack Kane from the outset, but he eventually fights back and Gunn does the Ric Flair flop on the outside. Road Dogg tries to shake, rattle, and roll, but Kane kicks him in the face and then hits a chokeslam on Gunn before Road Dogg makes the save. Road Dogg with a low blow on Kane, which leads to Billy hitting the Fameasser. Kane sits up but gets a double suplex for his efforts. Spike piledriver on Kane and that’ll do it at 2:31. Kane sits up after the match and chases the Outlaws to the back.

Blake’s Take: The crowd didn’t much care for this one, but score another victory for DX. NR

– Did you know that Triple H and Stephanie are in control? Well, they are. They put together a handicap match with Big Show vs. Boss Man and Prince Albert.

– Lawler FINALLY has this talking Austin figure working. JR reminds us to buy it at Electronic Boutique, KB Toys, or K-Mart. Those places were the best.

(c) Big Show vs. Big Boss Man and Prince Albert – Handicap Match for the WWF Title

Before the match, we get a mysterious graphic on the Titantron. Who could it be? We’ll find out at the Royal Rumble. It’s worth noting that at the time, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter speculated that Show’s knee injury may have prevented him losing the title to Triple H on this particular episode of RAW. But we’d get there. Show attacks the dastardly duo on the ramp and reminder that this is your traditional handicap match with Albert on the apron. Also, did you know Triple H and Stephanie were here? If not, there’s a camera cut to remind you. Show with a DROPKICK on Albert and he uses the double clothesline on him and Boss Man. Chokeslam on Albert gets a two count as Boss Man makes the save. Show hits a chokeslam on Bossman for the win at 1:58.

Blake’s Take: Big Show destroys Boss Man on consecutive nights, which makes sense after the guy interrupted his dad’s funeral. NR

– Hey look, it’s Triple H and Stephanie! Stephanie says it’s DX night and the Outlaws are gonna defend their titles. They aren’t a fan of the idea, so Triple H says he’s the boss and they’re gonna wrestle. Stephanie then says she wants Triple H in the ring. She makes Triple H and Test vs. The Outlaws for the titles. I think we know where this is headed.

The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. Triple H and Test – WWF Tag Team Titles

Triple H doesn’t even have his wrists taped, so that ensures this won’t be an epic. Also, surely Test sees this devious plot coming a mile away, right? Then again, I probably loved this at the time. Outlaws attack Test from behind before the match even starts. Road Dogg and Triple H play up their frustrations with one another as the Outlaws work on Test. The momentum changes with Test getting in some offense. Stephanie is cheering on Test on the outside because she’s a total psycho. Billy continues to work on Test until Triple H pulls Test to the corner and forces a tag. You know what’s next. Triple H gets in and prepares to fight Billy, then all three go over and attack Test as Stephanie is grinning from ear to ear. She gets in the ring and slaps Test repeatedly until we get another unprotected headshot with Triple H hitting Test. X-Pac joins the party and DX poses, with Stephanie giving the suck it taunt.

Blake’s Take: STEPHANIE IS EVIL. But in hindsight, let’s also realize that they once again made Test look like a real dummy here taking this match. *1/2

For more of my thoughts on pro wrestling, subscribe to the 411 On Wrestling podcast and follow me on Twitter @wrestleblake. Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
I realize the Triple H and Stephanie act has gotten old for most people 20 years later. But since this was the starting point for it, I thought Stephanie was great with her facial expressions at Armageddon and she was great here as the newly-turned daddy's girl who has all the power. However, there's no doubting the fact that this particular episode was the Triple H and Stephanie Show. I get why they did it to reset a lot of storylines moving forward, but if you didn't enjoy them, you probably weren't gonna enjoy this show. Elsewhere, you knew what you were getting with the Attitude Era match stipulations and such. The Hardyz vs. Edge and Christian was at least fun, and man did the people love them some Rock. Probably not the strongest Attitude Era edition of Raw, but it was still an important one.

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RAW, WWE, Blake Lovell