Monday Night Raw
Date: March 12, 2007
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We are less than three weeks away from Wrestlemania and it’s another Donald Trump show as the contract has to be signed. Other than that, the World Title situation has been picking up as you can feel the tension building between Shawn Michaels and John Cena. The shows have actually been working well as of late and that might be the case again this week. Let’s get to it.
Welcome back to more Dream Matches! Now, if you’re anything like me, every once in a while you wake up and go “I really want to watch a dozen Roadblock matches”, but I wasn’t sure about doing a “Best of Roadblock” column or just spreading the joy throughout multiple columns. But watching him fight Tugboat in 1991 just needs some focus on its own, you know?
Also, this week we’ll see the TV debut of some tall guy named Dwayne Johnson as “Flex Kavana”, as he teams up with Brian Christopher against Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee in the Memphis territory, while Dwayne prepares for his WWF callup in one of the few old territories left. Also, it’s a Berzerker frenzy, as John Nord squashes both Shawn Michaels and Jim Powers in different decades! Who knows if either of those pretty boys will recover their careers?
Also, come watch Blitzkrieg fight Super Calo! With NO BOTCHING! Swear to God! Except once. Where Blitzkrieg nearly dies. But other than that it was clean!
USWA TAG TEAM TITLES: FLEX KAVANA & “TOO SEXY” BRIAN CHRISTOPHER vs. “THE KING” JERRY LAWLER & BILL DUNDEE: (USWA, mid-1996) * So yes, this is the first EVER televised match for one Dwayne Johnson, as he appears in his USWA incarnation, with barely any training under his belt (he graduated college only the year before), as “Flex Kavana” (a nickname 411/Inside Pulse’s Eric S would always use to make fun of him). And he’s teaming with “Too Sexy” against the old men of the territory, Jerry & Bill, at a combined age of 970, with Bill in yellow tights and Jerry in his blue one-strap. Flex is in black trunks, Brian in white tiger-striped tights. Flex, with the same heelish tint in his voice that the Rock would later use, declares his team “Naughty by nature and violent by design”. There’s barely anyone at all in this embarrassingly-tiny red TV studio as the USWA promotion dies and dies. Lawler is actually a heel at this point.
Seeing as Chris Jericho is, in my opinion, doing a cracking job as the World Champ in AEW, I thought I’d look back to his very first World Title win in his career (Sorry if I just spoiled the result of the main event for you). Of course this reign ended up being a bit of a disaster (Owing mostly to the WWF booking Jericho to be an ineffectual putz as Champion) but it was someone new in the top spot for a change, which was refreshing at the time.
This event actually took place a month after Survivor Series 2001, an event that saw the WWF finally bring an end to the insipid “Invasion” angle by having The Alliance heel stable be defeated in the main event. As a result the company now had both the WWF and WCW Titles hanging around, so they decided to unify the two belts ahead of WrestleMania season, hence we get a four man tournament to decide who gets to take the two belts home.
Considering the December event this year is being treated as such an afterthought by WWE (To the point that it took till 10 days out to even announce any matches for it) it’s interesting to see such an important moment as unifying the two World Titles happening on this one.
There was actually a bit of controversy at the time as a lot of the marketing for the event seemed to strongly suggest that Triple H was going to make a return following his first torn quad injury, with his trademark sledgehammer all over the marketing and graphics for the show. Instead the WWF decided to have his return be changed to a Raw show in 2002. A video set to U2’s “Beautiful Day” (Which the WWE Network removes entirely) was added to the event to appease the people who might have wanted to see Triple H, but it mostly led to people feeling liked they’d be baited and switched.
Anyway, enough blabbing, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!
Smackdown Date: October 4, 2019 Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Well here we go. It’s time for the biggest opportunity WWE has had in a generation, if not ever, as they debut their weekly television series on a major broadcast network. They aren’t scaling back on anything either, with every major name you could ask for and a slate of huge matches to boot. Tonight is all going to be about the presentation and that could go various ways. Let’s get to it.
There’s not much to say in the intro this week. The WWF was on the road to Fully Loaded in July with some interesting matches being set up. Here is the synopsis for this episode on WWE Network:
“While the rivalry between Triple H and Chris Jericho continues to escalate, Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon plans a special surprise for Y2J. Shane McMahon explains his radical new friendship and has him go one-on-one with WWE Champion The Rock. Plus, Lita takes on Trish Stratus in a Street Fight and more.”
The WWF in 2000 reviews are back. I took the month of July off from writing these reviews because I needed a bit of a break. I figured if I stopped at the midway point it would be a good time for it. Here is the synopsis for this episode on WWE Network:
“Shane McMahon goes one-on-one with The Rock for the WWE Championship in the main event. While Triple H’s quest for the WWE Championship is put on hold, he is given an opportunity at Rikishi’s Intercontinental Championship. But when Chris Jericho makes presence felt at The Game’s expense, Y2J finds himself in a Handicap Match. Kurt Angle in action.”
The King of the Ring 2000 PPV saw The Rock become the new WWF Champion and Kurt Angle won the King of the Ring tournament. Edge and Christian also won back the WWF Tag Team Titles. This Raw signified a change in direction for WWE. The heel McMahon-Helmsley group had dominated TV for months, but that was about to change. I’m excited to go through the second half of 2000 again. I remember a lot of good things happening.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Shawn Michaels returns to introduce the new Commissioner of WWE. Plus, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and many more in action!”
This was the last edition of Smackdown before King of the Ring 2000. On the previous Raw, we found out that King of the Ring’s main event was going to be WWF Champion Triple H, Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon vs. The Rock, The Undertaker and Kane and if Triple H’s team lost, then Triple H would lose the WWF Championship in the tag team match.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “Mr. McMahon causes more tension within the McMahon-Helmsley Faction by making a unique Six-Man Tag Team main event.”
This was the go-home edition of Raw heading into the King of the Ring PPV on Sunday, June 25, 2000. Due to that, they had six King of the Ring second round matches on this show.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “As the King of the Ring tournament continues, CEO Linda McMahon makes an announcement regarding Triple H’s WWE Championship at Judgment Day.” They screwed up the synopsis. It should say “King of the Ring” at the end, not Judgment Day.
The return of Kane was the big news from Raw on May 29. He saved The Rock and The Undertaker from a group attack from the McMahon-Helmsley Regime, so that meant that Kane, Rock and Undertaker all had their eyes on the WWF Title held by Triple H. The next PPV was King of the Ring on June 25.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “While The Rock and The Undertaker compete in matches for a shot at the WWE Title, Kane seizes his own golden opportunity. All this and more!”
This is first Smackdown after Judgment Day 2000, which was the return of The Undertaker. Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “The McMahon-Helmsley Faction looks to get even with The Undertaker when Shane McMahon battles the American Bad-Ass in the main event.”
This edition of Raw was the follow up to the Judgment Day 2000 PPV. The big news coming out of that show was that Triple H beat The Rock to regain the WWF Championship in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match that had a controversial finish. Plus, The Undertaker returned after missing about eight months of action. He was out for that long due to a groin injury and a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery. It was a different look for The Undertaker too.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “After losing the WWE Title to Triple H at Judgment Day, The Rock looks for payback on the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. Plus, much more!”
It’s time for WWE Judgment Day featuring a WWF Title match that saw The Rock defending the gold against Triple H in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match with Shawn Michaels as the referee. There was also a huge surprise return in the main event of this show as well.
This was the go-home edition of Smackdown heading into Judgment Day 2000. Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “The McMahon-Helmsley Faction place The Rock in a special Lumberjack Tables Match against The Dudley Boyz. Plus, Kurt Angle, Val Venis, and more!”
This was the first episode of Smackdown following Backlash with the next PPV, Judgment Day, on the horizon in less than three weeks. The Rock was the WWF Champion that had to deal with the McMahon Family trying to stack the deck against him all the time. In this episode, that meant defending the WWF Title in a handicap match.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “Referee Earl Hebner is forced to team with The Rock as The Great One defends the WWE Title against DX in a Handicap Tag Team Match.”