On This Day: October 23, 2000 – Monday Night Raw: When “Creative Has Nothing For You” Were Bad Words

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 23, 2000
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after No Mercy and the big story is Kurt Angle shocked the world by beating Rock to become the new WWF Champion. Angle has only been around for about a year at this point and is still a goofy character so this was a pretty big surprise. Other than that Austin didn’t quite get his revenge on Rikishi for nearly killing him eleven months prior but you know that’s not over. Let’s get to it.

We open with an In Memory graphic for Yokozuna. Ignore them incorrectly listing him as a three time world champion.

Here’s a bandaged up Rikishi to open things up. He wants to know where Steve Austin is despite knowing that Austin was arrested for trying to crush Rikishi with a car last night. Rikishi talks about the crime that was committed last night but he’s talking about Rock losing the WWF Title. Rikishi was down there to help Rock and even though they lost the battle last night, they’ll win the war. He asks Rock to come down here to hear what Rikishi has to say so here’s the Brahma Bull.

Rikishi apologizes for last night and that he didn’t mean for Rock to lose the title. Rock says that the two for them have done a lot together over the years, but Rock wants nothing to do with him or his apology. Not that it matters as Rock will be the WWF Champion again on his own, meaning without Rikishi’s help. Rikishi understands that Rock is upset, but he’s starting to hurt the big man’s feelings.

That doesn’t really sway Rock who says Rikishi can wipe himself with his feelings. Rock talks about Rikishi having a stomach ache from eating so many hamburgers and hot dogs and suggests Rikishi leave for good. Rikishi says he’ll be there for Rock whether he likes it or not, so Rock says he has to do what he has to do. A Rock Bottom lays the fat man out.

Trish pitches a Women’s Title match against Lita if it’s under bra and panties rules. Commissioner Mick Foley goes over the rules and accepts the idea.

Women’s Title: Lita vs. Trish Stratus

Lita is defending and remember that this is bra and panties. Lita tackles her down to start and takes it into the corner before this becomes a catfight. This is about two years before Trish was even remotely good in the ring so this isn’t going to be anything more than what you would expect. Trish rips off Lita’s top so Lita does the same to Trish. The champ is about to fall out of her top before suplexing Trish down, hitting the moonsault and completing the stripping to retain.

This brings out the furious Right to Censor to complain about how bad women like Lita and Trish are for America. Steven Richards brings out the newest member of the RTC: Ivory, dressed in something a Puritan would find too conservative. She’s in a white collared blouse and a long black skirt while ranting about the clothing women wear today being too revealing. Trish laughs the ideas off and we’ve got a new monster heel Diva.

Michael Cole is in the back with the new WWF Tag Team Champions, Los Conquistadors. This is a little complicated but I’ll get to the explanation later. Anyway, Edge and Christian come up to them to congratulate them on their win and prove that they’re two different teams. Remember that, as it becomes important later.

Here’s Benoit with something to say. He’s noticed that talent, will and determination are useless. Being the best technical wrestler in the world today doesn’t mean a thing. HHH may have beaten him last night but the only game that won last night was HHH getting help from his wife last night. Starting tonight, things are different because no one and nothing will stop him because his time is now. Prove him wrong.

Chris Benoit vs. Road Dogg

Benoit drives him into the corner to start and stomps Roadie down with ease. A backbreaker gets two but Benoit misses the swan dive, allowing Road Dogg to hit a few left hands. Dean Malenko comes out for a distraction though and the Crossface gets a quick submission. Basically a squash.

Cole tells Rikishi that no one wants him here but he says he’ll be here all night no matter who likes it.

HHH doesn’t like that people thought his era was over. Last night he proved Benoit wrong by showing he’s a better technical wrestler than Benoit is. Coach asks HHH about Stephanie helping Angle win the WWF Title last night but HHH says that’s his own business. However, Angle put Stephanie in harm’s way, so now it’s time for HHH to take it out on Angle.

We get a clip from last night of Austin trying to run over Rikishi and getting arrested last night.

Crash is in charge of the APA’s office while they’re out hurt. Test and Albert come in and kick him out.

Jericho gives a stagehand a Fozzie CD and plugs an upcoming performance on Heat. He turns around and spills his coffee on Kane, saying he hopes he didn’t burn him. You don’t talk about burning Kane and the Canadian is destroyed.

European Champion William Regal is in the ring and calls most of the fans uncivilized. He’s in the capitol of Connecticut which produces more handguns which kill more people than any other stage. Cue Jericho to interrupt, apparently not dead at Kane’s hands. He does have a bad left arm though.

European Title: Chris Jericho vs. William Regal

Jericho gets the mic to insult Regal but decides Willy isn’t worth it and charges in to get us going. The bell rings and Jericho fires off chops followed by a spinwheel kick and a clothesline for two. Regal avoids a charge to send Jericho shoulder first into the post and gets two of his own off a spinning powerbomb. A tiger bomb is countered into a suplex by Jericho but Regal goes after the bad arm to take him down. They slug it out a bit but Regal blocks a clothesline by going after the arm again. Regal loads up a neckbreaker but the not very nice Jericho kicks Regal low. There’s the Lionsault but Kane comes in for the DQ.

Kane lays out Jericho with a chokeslam and lights up the corners of the ring.

T&A (Test and Albert) can’t figure out how the initials for Test and Albert Protection Agency should be spelled.

Stephanie and Angle arrive and are greeted by paparazzi.

Here are Stephanie and Kurt for their first public appearance with the title. Stephanie gives him a long winded (I’m as shocked as you are) intro before confetti and balloons rain from the ceiling. The balloons are popped as Angle talks about how America is falling apart. For most people it’s overcoming poverty but for most people here it’s about overcoming being born in Hartford, like Stephanie has done. Angle brags about winning the gold medal in Atlanta but that wasn’t enough for him. Most people would just give up, but he’s not most people.

Four years later (it was three) he came to the WWF and now he’s proven that he’s the best in this company as well. Two months after he got here, he won the European Title and tourism grew by 38% in Europe. We get an over the top highlight package with Angle narrating. He won the Intercontinental Title two months later, becoming the first Eurocontinental Champion in history. “Well except for D’Lo Brown who doesn’t count.” Then he won King of the Ring, sending sales of crowns and scepters up an amazing 40%.

Last night was the crowning achievement though by winning the WWF Title. Angle’s rookie year really is incredible and I can’t think of a better one in wrestling history. Angle has a poem for us called What Makes A Guy Super Great. He gets about two lines down until Foley interrupts. JR: “THANK GOD!” Mick asks for an ovation for Angle on his title win, but says there’s something he didn’t get last night: a celebratory hug.

Stephanie was unable to give him one due to being unconscious from a Rock Bottom. Mick is one heck of a hugger, so he’d be willing to offer his services. Foley gets all teary eyed and announces Angle’s first title defense……….right here in Hartford, Connecticut….against HHH and the Rock in a triple threat. Awesome segment here with Angle at his very best. Goofy Angle is one of my favorite characters ever and this was some of his best work.

Chyna goes looking for Eddie but finds the two women she caught him in the shower with last week. She shuts the door and a lot of violence can be heard. Chyna leaves and the bodies are shown laid out everywhere. One of those girls is Victoria/Tara.

Too Cool vs. Tazz/Raven

Tazz and Raven formed a short lived ECW tag team around this point because there was nothing else for them to do. Scotty kicks Raven in the face to start and Grandmaster adds a middle rope dropkick to take Bird Boy down again. Tazz walks into a powerslam and Raven is kicked out to the floor. The distraction lets Tazz suplex Grandmaster down and the heels take over.

Raven bulldogs him down for two and it’s already back to Tazz as the announcers ignore the match to talk about a cookbook. Raven jumps into a boot to the face and it’s off to Scotty to speed things up. A superkick gets two on Tazz and everything breaks down. Raven accidentally hits Tazz and Grandmaster hits Raven with the guillotine legdrop. Tazz makes the save and Raven returns the favor by breaking up Worm with a DDT to Scotty for the pin.

Rating: D. Just a match here really and as basic as you could ever get. Just throwing people together into a team because they used to work for another company doesn’t really work that well. They wouldn’t o anywhere as a team as there’s just nothing interesting about them together.

Christian isn’t sure which glasses to wear in the match tonight. Pete Gas from the Mean Street Posse of all people comes in and asks to see Edge.

After a break Edge comes back into his dressing room and finds the place wrecked and Christian put through a table. Apparently the Dudleys attacked him and injured his shoulder. Edge says it’s just Los Conquistadors so he’ll win the titles himself.

Billy Gunn vs. Val Venis

Chyna is with Billy here so Eddie comes out before the match. Billy stops her from killing him, allowing Val to jump the Gunn (I’m here all week) and get things going early. A knee drop gets two for Venis and he peppers Billy with forearms. Billy grabs a quickly broken sleeper but gets countered into a blue thunder bomb for two. They clothesline each other down before Billy hits a Stinger Splash and a Jackhammer, only to have Steven Richards break up a Fameasser. Richards is pulled in for a bit but the Fameasser hits for the pin anyway.

Rating: D. Why Billy Gunn kept getting pushed is beyond me. He was athletic but there are some people that just don’t work as a singles guy. Billy just didn’t have it, but I’d be curious to know how much of that is because of his nickname. You can only get so far with his name and gimmick and he crashed into that ceiling far before this.

Stephanie isn’t sure whose corner she should be in tonight. She asks HHH what he wants but he says he just wants her safe.

Video on Jerry Lawler at Las Vegas Outlaws cheerleader tryouts. I think you can figure this one out.

Tag Titles: Edge vs. Los Conquistadors

Edge looks confused as the champions come to the ring. We’ll say Uno starts but is easily punched down. Uno grabs a quick small package for two and Edge is furious. Los Conquistadors both come in and hit Poetry in Motion as the fans suddenly get it. A Twist of Fate and the Swaton connect for the pin to retain the titles.

Post match the champions of course unmask as the Hardys. Cue Mick Foley to wonder how the Hardys can be the Conquistdors when they wrestled the Conquistadors last night. Foley has some footage from earlier which shows Edge and Christian admitting they were in the Conquistadors costumes last night. The problem with that is Edge and Christian weren’t allowed to challenge for the tag titles, but since they fooled him, the tag title change from last night stands. Unfortunately for Edge and Christian, tonight’s title change (there was a change?) stands as well, meaning the Hardys are YOUR Tag Team Champions.

Rikishi tells Cole to tell Rock that he’s helping him get the title back.

WWF Title: The Rock vs. HHH vs. Kurt Angle

Stephanie is in the back with Kurt and tells him to wait before going to the ring since he’s the champ. He finally gets in and the challengers both deck him in the face for making them wait. Kurt clotheslines HHH down but celebrates too long, allowing Rock to drop him with a clothesline of his own. HHH is knocked to the floor and Kurt pounds away on Rock in the corner while he has a chance. Rock comes back with a quick Samoan drop but HHH dives in for the save.

Now it’s Rock being sent to the floor to give us another mini-match. HHH stomps the champion down in the corner and gets two of his own off a neckbreaker. Angle comes back with a gorgeous German suplex but Rock pulls him out to the floor. Everyone goes outside and Rock and HHH get into a contest to see who can slam Kurt head first into the announce table the hardest. Stephanie tries to break it up so Rock stares her down, causing HHH to get in Rock’s face. Angle has the ring bell but Rock ducks and HHH gets blasted in the side of the head instead.

That leaves Rock vs. Kurt in the ring for a bit with Rock hitting a DDT but the referee is checking on the Game. Kurt suplexes Rock down for the same result as a stretcher is brought out for HHH. Angle hits the Olympic Slam out of nowhere and Hebner FINALLY slides back in to count two. HHH gets off the stretcher and stumbles back to the ring for a quick Pedigree on Kurt. Rock saves and clotheslines HHH down before hitting a Rock Bottom on the champion. This time it’s HHH with the save but Angle breaks up a Pedigree with a belt shot to the face. Rikishi comes out to beat up Angle and that’s a DQ somehow.

Rating: C+. This picked up at the halfway point but why did we have a DQ when Rikishi came in but not for a bell or title shot to HHH’s head? Either way, good stuff here as Angle fits this role perfectly: the guy who isn’t all there at times but can be a killer in the ring. Good stuff here.

Post match here’s Austin to go after Rikishi. He clotheslines Angle on the way down the ramp before pounding away on Rikishi, only to have Kurt come back in to go after Austin for the clothesline. I like that as it’s better than just having Angle come in for no apparent reason. Rikishi escapes and a Stunner to Angle ends the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The key difference between today’s shows and this episode is how many different ideas there were back in 2000. You don’t see the same finishes or repetitive matches or the same stories being used over and over again until we get to a PPV to shake things up. There’s an idea to everything going on and instead of using a batch of jobbers over and over again, you get some fresh matches. It makes the show WAY easier to sit through and far more enjoyable as a result.


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