RAW : A Phoenix Shall Arise

MCI Arena - Washington D.C.

This show takes place the day after the Antonio Inoki Festival where Shane Douglas upset "Nature Boy" Ric Flair for the World Wrestling Federation Championship and unified it with his ECW World Title. In the process, he formed The Revolution with former nWo member "Buff" Bagwell and former Horsemen Barry Windham.  This trio, along with Francine, laid Flair, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard to waste as they declared war on the wrestling world and any clique that chose to stand in their way!!  We now go to Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler.

ROSS:  Hello, I am Jim Ross along side Jerry "The King" Lawler and we are coming off an earth shattering PPV event from last night in Baltimore, MD!!

LAWLER:  Things certainly changed around last night didn't they?  We have a new WWF Champion and one of our guys took the WCW World Title too!!

ROSS:  What The King is referring to is Triple H from DX taking the WCW title from "The Crippler" Chris Benoit in what has to be considered an upset.  Also, Darkside retained their Unified World Tag Team Championships and gained the IWGP titles............

That's all Jim Ross gets out because the music of Shane Douglas plays out as he comes out with his Revolution clique of Bagwell, Windham and Francine!!  "The Franchise" has both titles out with him as "Buff" and Barry have on street clothes and Francine is sexually decked out as usual.  They enter the ring and raise their hands in the old "Triple Threat" sign.  Douglas raises his hands out to the crowd as he has the mic.

DOUGLAS:  Now, to all you marks out there that said that I couldn't do it!!  Here is the ECW World Heavyweight Championship and the World Wrestling Federation Championship, both owned by "The Franchise" Shane Douglas and The Revolution!!  The era of The Four Horsemen and The nWo is over!!  They will now bow down to the waist sides of The Revolution!!

Douglas now hands the mic to Windham.

WINDHAM:  You know, it feels damn good to finally be away from the Horsemen and especially that banana nose, stuck up, bleach blond bastard Ric Flair!!  For years, I had to listen to you talk about how great you were and yatta, yatta, yatta!!  I feel like I've been just given a reprieve from the governor!!  Flair, you and the old farts are history!!  This is the group that will now dominate wrestling.

Now, Bagwell cuts in......

BAGWELL:  Hey guys, one thing is missing though.  There is still one group left........

Douglas now speaks.......

DOUGLAS:  You're right!!  DX, don't you sleep for a moment because your day in the sun is going to end and Goldberg, your title isn't long for you either pal!

At this point, some "new" music plays out (actually it is "My Time" but bear in mind that the wrestlers in this world have never heard it until tonight)!!

ROSS:  Who's music is that?

LAWLER:  I don't know but we are fixing to find out shortly.

From the back comes the form of new WCW World Champion Triple H along with Chyna, "Ravishing" Rick Rude (who is the NWA World TV Champion), and X-Pac.  He is in his street clothes with his new title as he holds it up on the rampway to the crowd.  He now takes the mic and talks to The Revolution.

TRIPLE H:  Hey, Douglas.  Congratulations on your victory.  You've done the one thing that everyone in this business have been dying to do and that's bury the Four Horsemen now and forever!!  Destroying the old bastards was great but taking out Degeneration X is another ball game!!  Apparently, you wasn't watching last night when I took this very title from "The Crippler" Chris Benoit!  But that's okay because if you keep running your mouth, I'll school you on what DX and "The Game" is all about!

At this point, Bagwell and Windham are mocking DX by doing a little "oh, I'm so scared" pose.  Douglas has the stick again.

DOUGLAS:  It seems to me that because you are now the WCW World Champion, all the sudden you are a big shot or something?  Well, Mr. Triple H, if you balls are as large at that nose on your face then you'll come on down!

TRIPLE H:  That's fine by me.

At this point, Triple H, Rude, and X-Pac storm the ring and attack Bagwell, Windham and Douglas.  Francine heads to the outside and watches as does Chyna.  Security quickly hits the ring to break this up as we head to a commercial.

When we return, we find that the ring has been cleared and we go back to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

ROSS:  What a wild way to begin this program. The new WWF World Champion Shane Douglas along with The Revolution gets a rather "rude" reception from members of DX headed by WCW World Champion Hunter Hearst Hemsley.

LAWLER:  Rude is right, I mean, "The Franchise" was just out here to celebrate his win over "Nature Boy" Ric.......wait a minute, is that who I think it is?

ROSS:  Hey, that's Jim Crockett, Jr.!!  He's the president of the National Wrestling Alliance and he's got WCW Chairman JJ Dillion with him.

LAWLER:  Look who's behind him too. It's WWF owner Vince McMahon, Jr. and ECW CEO Paul Heyman.  What's going on here?

That question will be answered right now as Jim Crockett has the mic.

CROCKETT:  For the last year, the world of professional wrestling has changed from what we knew it to an exciting world of matches and contest once limited to our imagination.  Well, the world that we have come to know is about to change again.

At this point, he hands the mic to McMahon.

McMAHON:  What we have come to announce is an event of magnificent and far reaching ramifications.  First off, from this night on, there will be no World Wrestling Federation, no National Wrestling Alliance, no World Championship Wrestling and no Extreme Championship Wrestling!!  We will now be known as "WEW",  World Extreme Wrestling!!

This announcement is greeted by a mixture of cheers and stunned disbelief.  Paul Heyman has the stick now.

HEYMAN:  In other words, the boundaries that have been blurred for the last year and a half are crushed, finished, and over!!  Now, onto the champions.  The world heavyweight champions will stay as is until June 13 at The Great American Bash. On that night, it will be a night of "Triple Threats"!!  On that night, Shane Douglas, Triple H and Goldberg will fight it out in a three way elimination dance to determine who will be the WEW World Heavyweight Champion.  As for Sting and The Undertaker, their belts are now the WEW World Tag Team Titles. The IWGP tag titles they hold will remain a separate championship. They will also be defending the titles at The Bash against the rightful number one contenders......"Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Magnum TA---The Rattlesnakes as well as the recent ECW World Tag Team Champions Vader & Bam Bam Bigelow!!

McMahon has the mic again.

McMAHON:  Now, if you will look on that screen there, you will see the rest of the card as it is being planned for The Bash.

Here is the card as announced:

Shane "The Franchise" Douglas Vs. Triple H Vs. Goldberg
(WEW World Title Match/Three Way Elimination Match)

Darkside (Sting & The Undertaker) Vs. The Rattlesnakes ("Stone Cold" Steve Austin & Magnum T.A./WEW United States Tag Team Champions) Vs. Vader & Bam Bam Bigelow
(WEW World Tag Team Title Match)

Bret "The HitMan" Hart Vs. "Mr. Monday Night" Rob Van Damn Vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude (WEW World TV Title Match/Three Way Elimination Match)

"Diamond" Dallas Page(C) Vs. Vampiro
(WEW European Title Match)

TAZ (Intercontinental Champion) Vs. Ken Shamrock (United States Champion)
(Intercontinental Title Vs. United States Title/The winner will keep his belt active in WEW)

The Outsiders Vs. "Buff" Bagwell & Barry Windham

Rey Mysterio, Jr.(C) Vs. Juventud Gurrerra (J-Crown Title Match)

Dean Malenko(C) Vs. Kidman (WEW Cruiserweight Title Match)

After another commercial, we come back to hear some subdued comments by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

ROSS:  Man, I just can't believe what we have just heard. Four of the most powerful men in this industry have dissolved four the biggest companies to form World Extreme Wrestling.

LAWLER:  This is unbelievable JR.  Did you ever think in your lifetime that you would ever see this happen?  What are going to be the reaction of the wrestlers?  That's what I want to know and......wait, isn't that Bret "The Hitman" Hart?

Indeed, it is Bret Hart coming down to the ring in his street clothes and with a microphone.  He enters the ring with the former ECW World TV Title.

HART:  What the hell is going on here?  This is bullshit!!  Now, the fact that the WCW, WWF, NWA and ECW want to get together and all, that's just fine with "The Hitman" but what is this garbage about I have to go against Rob Van Damn and Rick Rude for WEW TV Title?  I have had more ring time than those two combined!!  I should've been awarded that title by default.  RVD is so stuck up his ass, he doesn't know which way is up and Rude is too busy posing in front of a mirror and sleeping with other men's wives to be worried about a title.  So, while I should've been made WEW Television champ, it won't matter because after The Great American Bash I'll have that belt anyway.  Now, onto some other business, remember that group called "The Shooters" that I created?  Well, while Owen's been touring mexico, Ken Shamrock has been a great U.S. Champion, Dan Severn has been a great I.W.G.P. champion but their is one person that hasn't been holding his end of the bargain......... "Rock"!!

A sound of "ohhh's" come from the crowd.

HART:  That's right, the so-called "People's Champion" is a great talker but hasn't done too good in the ring lately. I mean, how the hell could you loose to that over the hill pineapple head Ricky Steamboat?  As far as I am concerned, you are just a big a loser as all of these people out here (boos rain down at this point) and most of the wrestlers.............

At this point, "IF YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING" blares out and the music plays for The Rock to come out.

THE ROCK:  Bret Hart, did you actually think that you could come out here and run your mouth about "The Great One"?  Did you actually think that you could put down "The People's Champion"?

HART:  Well, I think........


The crowd roars on that remark.  Hart is looking furious muttering under his breath.

THE ROCK:  Now The Rock says since you say that I am out of the "Shooters"?  Well, that's just fine with The Great One because quite frankly, the "Shooters" suck!!  And, since you are out here bragging about how The Rock can't wrestle?  About how The Rock chokes under pressure?  Well, Bret Hart, I am not the one that has spent the last two years crying about "oh, Vince McMahon screwed me at Survivor Series!!  I was supposed to have creative control!!"  Oh get over it Bret Hart!!

The crowd cheers that on as Bret is now furious!

HART:  Well, Rock.  You have so 'eloquently' pointed out my short comings but let's talk about yours Rock.  Let's talk about "The Franchise" Shane Douglas!!  The biggest Ric Flair 'wanner be' in the business today.  A guy who couldn't lace my boots on my worst day!!  Let's talk about Ricky Steamboat, a great competitor in his day but a man who is way past his prime that I would blow away in under ten minutes.  Hey, let's talk about a guy who we both have in common......."Stone Cold" Steve Austin!!

The crowd let out a gasp and some "ohhh's" on that last statement.

ROSS:  Oh, boy.  I don't know if Bret wants to go there because both Austin and Magnum are here tonight and there is a long history not only between Hart and Austin but The Rock and Austin as well.

HART:  Let's talk about him for a moment Rock.  You, in your career, have yet to hold a single victory over "Stone Cold" Steve Austin!!  I, on the other hand, have kicked his ass everytime I have fought him.  I left him laying in a pool of his blood back at WrestleMania a few years ago.  You, on the other hand, have had your ass kicked time and time again by this same guy. So, as far as I am concerned, you are not even in my league at all and if you got the guts, then come on down and get your butt kicked by the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be!!

The Rock now is taking off his shirt and sunglasses and is heading towards the ring when the shattered glass rings over the loudspeakers!!  The music of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin blasts out as The Rattlesnake comes out with his partner Magnum TA.

MAGNUM:  Whoa, whoa, whoa!!  Now, before you two ladies get into your sissy fight, "Stone Cold" has some words for you.

AUSTIN:  Bret Hart, you come out here with your bitchass black and pink panties and talk about how you laid out "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.  True, you did leave me laying in my own blood at WrestleMania but role this footage and I will refresh your memory on what happened two weeks after WrestleMania.

The film rolls and shows the streetfight between Austin and Hart where "Stone Cold" injured Bret's leg and put him in his own "sharpshooter" for almost 10 minutes!!  They also show Bret being attacked by Austin in the ambulance after the match!!

AUSTIN:  You like that stroll down memory lane Bret?  Sure, you beat me in a couple of matches but you guaranteed the world that I would say "I Quit" at WrestleMania and you didn't get it done!  As for The Rock, quite frankly, I don't give a damn about you two at this moment because The Rattlesnakes have some unfinished business to take care of.  Number one, when they announced this "big" matchup pitting Triple H, Shane Douglas and Bill Goldberg, I must ask where the hell was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin?  I never got a rematch after I lost the NWA World title to Goldberg back at SuperBrawl and by rights, Bill Goldberg wouldn't have won that match to begin with if it hadn't been for Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson.

MAGNUM:  It seems to me that the WEW brass has seen fit to put us in the "Triple Threat Match" for the WEW World Tag Team Championship.  Well, that's all well and good because we are the best tag team out there today and we will prove that at The Bash.  However, like my partner, I must ask why is TAZ and Ken Shamrock going for the United States title?  Like Austin, I never got a rematch for that belt.  So, like my partner, I am demanding a match with the winner of the TAZ/Shamrock match for MY U.S. title!!

At this point, Vince McMahon comes back out with a look of purpose.  He has the mic.

McMAHON:  Now wait just a minute!!  You four better remember one thing, myself along with Paul Heyman, JJ Dillion, and Jim Crockett make the matches but since you guys are just itching for action, I'll give it to you.  In that very ring, The Rattlesnakes will defend the United States Tag Team Titles against "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Triple H!  As for you Bret Hart, since you want The Rock?  You will get a piece of The Rock tonight.......with just one special stipulation.  If you lose this match, you are out of the Triple Threat Match for the WEW World TV Title and The Rock will take you spot!

Bret Hart is livid inside the ring while The Rock has a big smile on his face.  The Rattlesnakes don't know what to think of all this but they are not complaining about it.

When we return from commercials, we see an angry Bret tearing up his dressing room.

ROSS:  We are back folks and, I'll tell you, Bret Hart is livid at the announcement that he not only has to go one on one with The Rock but his spot in the Triple Threat Match for the World TV Title is on the line!!

LAWLER:  You know that he can't be happy about this at all and what about Magnum T.A. and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin?  They have to defend their titles against the team of "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Triple H!  This night is chaotic to say the least.

ROSS:  Also, we have just been informed that the European Champion Diamond Dallas Page will defend his title against Gangrel.  Vader & Bam Bam Bigelow will face a new team in The Hardy Boyz and Chris Benoit---yes he is here tonight---will go one on one against RVD.

Vader & Bam Bam Bigelow Vs. The Hardy Boyz

In this match, it was the power and size of "The Rocky Mountain Monster" and "The Beast Of The East" against the quickness and energy of The Hardyz.  The match began badly for Matt and Jeff as their high-flying offense was repelled by Vader and BBB.  Using their combined 795lbs., they crushed and smothered the smaller opposition. Still, the Hardyz kept fighting back but it looked bad for them.  Then, with Jeff on the floor after a Vader clothesline over the top rope,  "Vader Time" held Matt for a clothesline from BBB but Matt got out of the way and Vader went through the ropes after the blow!  BBB, distracted by the miscue, got a kick into the guts and suffered Matt's "Twist Of Fate" (his version of The Diamond Cutter)!!  With BBB down, Jeff nailed him with his "Swanton Bomb" from the top rope and scored the big upset over the heavily favored Vader and Bam Bam.  Furious, Vader and BBB went on a rampage!  Vader nailed Matt with a forearm to the head while BBB pounded Jeff!  Vader then picked up Matt and powerbombed him over the top rope and to the floor!  BBB then executed his "Greetings From Ashbury Park" piledriver on Jeff.  Both monsters then went to the top rope with Jeff prone in the center of the ring.  BBB dived with his version of the flying headbutt while Vader crushed the youngster with his big moonsault!!

ROSS:  Someone needs to stop these two!!  They'll kill these kids!!

Suddenly, here comes Hall & Nash (The Outsiders) from the back.  Vader and BBB stand their ground and the fight is on!!  BBB is brawling with Scott Hall while Kevin Nash fights with old enemy Vader.  The Outsiders manage to drive the two men from the ring as medical help is now entering the ring to help the Hardyz.

When we return, Ross and Lawler recap what happened during the last segment.  As they do, Michael Cole is standing with The Outsiders.

COLE:  Gentlemen, it seems that newcomers Matt and Jeff Hardy owe you two their lives as Vader and Bam Bam Bigelow was looking to end some careers.

HALL:  Hey, yo!  Vader and Triple B.  You want to end some careers try ending our careers.  The Hardyz are just some young kids that just got a quick education into the world of pro wrestling.  Still, it was our pleasure if only to put some knots on that Vader and that "Curly Joe" lookalike Bigelow.

NASH:  It is very simple, it seems that everyone around here has forgotten that we were the number one contenders for the ECW World Tag Team Championship.  I say this Wednesday on Nitro, lets have a match between Vader & BBB against us.  The winner will take on Darkside and The Rattlesnakes for the gold at The Great American Bash.

ROSS:  I am sure that Vader and BBB will be more than happy to accept that challenge but coming up next, we have WEW European Champion DDP against Gangrel.

Diamond Dallas Page Vs. Gangrel (WEW European Title Match)

In this contest, Gangrel was surprisingly dominant against his more experienced foe.  A near fall came when Page reversed an irish whip into a corner.  DDP charged in but Gangrel moved out of the way and Page went in chest first.  "The Vampire Man" quickly put DDP into his Texas-style DDT and would've gotten the pin but Page was too close to the ropes.  Undaunted, Gangrel went for it again but Page lifted him for a backdrop. Gangrel scooted behind him and wanted to go for a "Scorpion Death Drop" but Page spinned out of that for a "Diamond Cutter."  Page quickly got the 1-2-3 and retained his European belt.  Just as quickly, Raven (who hadn't been seen since WrestleMania in Los Angeles) appeared out of nowhere to attack Page but DDP fought back and knocked him down!  In the corners, Gangrel and Raven stood as Page stood in the center of the ring.  Suddenly, the lights went out and a rain of red liquid came down from the ceiling on top of Page!!  The lights came back up and there was Vampiro with Raven, Gangrel and Kane ganging up on Page.  Raven DDT's Page into the mat and the red substance as both Vampiro and Gangrel bathed themselves in it laughing the whole time!!  As Diamond Dallas was laid out in the red soaked mat, the three "ghouls" stood over him laughing as Kane did his fire effect and the whole arena turned red!

ROSS:  Oh my god!  What the hell have we just witnessed here?  Where's Dr. Van Hemsling when you need him?

LAWLER:  All I got to say is DDP, that's what is in store for you at The Great American Bash!

We go to a commercial and when we come back. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discuss what just happened with DDP.  Now coming down are DX members "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Triple H to take on The Rattlesnakes for the WEW United States Tag Team Championship.

TRIPLE H:  Washington, D.C.!!  DX has the future World Television Champion!!  DX has the future World Heavyweight Champion and after tonight, we will have the United States Tag Team Championship around our waists!

RUDE:  So Austin, Magnum, come on down and shine up those titles because they are going to look good over my jacuzzi when me, Madusa, Chyna and Triple H celebrate our victory!

With that, the shattered glass means that the U.S. champs are on the way.  They don't even wear their usual vests as they sprint down to get in on this!  Magnum is paired off with Rude while Austin tangles with Hunter Hearst Helmsley!  The champions drive the challengers from the ring and to the outside.  It is obvious that Helmsley and Rude won't win a pier six brawl with Magnum and Austin so they rethink their strategy on the outside.

"Ravishing" Rick Rude/Triple H Vs. The Rattlesnakes (WEW United States Tag Team Title Match)

In this bout, the more experienced duo of Austin and Magnum took over DX teammates Rude and Triple H with a mix of wrestling and brawling.  They kept the advantage until Austin was going for the "Stunner" on Rude.  Rude shoved him off into his corner where "The Game" was waiting with a right hand to the face!  Austin slugged him with a right hand but "Ravishing" was waiting for Steve with a boot to the guts and a quick "Rude Awakening" neckbreaker!  Rude would've had the pin had not Magnum came in and saved his partner.  With Austin at a disadvantage, Rude and Helmsley take over the match.

ROSS:  This looks bad for the U.S. champs.  Remember, Austin has a history of neck problems dating back to a few years ago when Owen Hart tombstoned him at SummerSlam.

LAWLER:  That's right.  Rude and Helmsley are smart to go after that weakness.  That is the one chink in Austin's armor. That neck!!

As if to respond to Lawler, Helmsley continued to work on the neck with a neck-twist.  "Stone Cold" fought his way out with right hands and whipped Triple H into the ropes. Austin, however, ducked too quickly for a backdrop and Hunter caught him with a jawbreaker onto his own knee with a DDT follow-up for a close two count!  Helmsley tags back in Rude and Rude hammers Austin in the back of the neck with more forearms!!  Rude, feeling confident, went for a piledriver but Steve countered with a quick backdrop!  Austin stumbles over and makes a life-saving tag to Magnum.  T.A. leaps into the ring with a dropkick on Rude.  Helmsley comes but is met with a right hand.  "The Boss" goes back and forth dropping Rude and Helmsley with right hands!!  He is on fire at this point as he takes Rude and picks him up onto his shoulders in a "snake-eyes" position.  As Magnum runs out, he lets Rude drop behind him slightly and catches him in the "Stone Cold Stunner"!  T.A. goes for the pin but Triple H breaks it up! Now, all four men are fighting in the ring with T.A. still with Rude while Austin tangles with Helmsley.  The latter goes to the outside while Magnum has things well in hand with Rick Rude.  Suddenly, Dusty and Dustin Rhodes hit the ring and nail Magnum!

ROSS:  Good God!  It's the "American Dream" and "The Natural", coming to get pay back for back in January when Magnum turned against them to join Austin!!

Indeed this is the case as Dustin nails T.A. with a bulldog headlock, leaving Magnum prone and in perfect position for his father's "Bionic Elbow"!!  The Rhodes' leave the ring as Rude covers as the ref returns to give the three count.  He counts one......two......but another ref comes down to stop him.  He tells him what happened just before and now it is being shown on the "Titan-tron"!  The ref now disqualifies Rude and Triple H!  Austin and Magnum retain the U.S. tag titles!  The Rhodes' reenter the ring and attack both Magnum and Austin!!  Dustin has a branding iron and is wearing Austin out with it while Dusty has brass knuckles!  Rude and Helmsley have already left as the carnage continues until more help arrives!

When we return, we get a footage shot of EMT's tending to The Rattlesnakes after the terrible beating administered to them by Dusty & Dustin Rhodes.  Both Austin and Magnum are hurt but they will be okay.  We now come back to live action where Kilgore's "Walk" blares out for the appearance of "Mr. Monday Night" Rob Van Damn!  He comes down to a nice applause as he hits the ring for his big match against "The Crippler" Chris Benoit.

Benoit is now making his way down with serious intent.  He is still sporting a bandage as a result of his world title loss to Triple H the night before but he is ready for action!

"The Crippler" Chris Benoit Vs. "Mr. Monday Night" Rob Van Damn

In this back and forth match, we saw a "see-saw" effect as both men did what they do best.  It started out fast as Benoit wasted no time as he attacked RVD immediately with punches and chops.  RVD fought back with forearms to the head but Benoit just overwhelmed him in the corner with his offense.  Chris whipped RVD into the corner but RVD leaped over the corner onto the ring apron and Benoit went in chest-first.  "Mr. Monday Night" leaped up to the top rope and caught "The Crippler" with a flying thrust kick to the face that floored Benoit.  RVD then covered his rival for a two count.  Van Damn whipped Benoit into the ropes and did a split in the middle of the ring expecting Benoit to go over him but Benoit countered that move with a dropkick to the head that nearly took RVD's head off!!  Benoit covers for a two count of his own as he had Rob in trouble.

Benoit then hooked in a front facelock, ran up the corner and delivered a Tornado DDT for another two count!  Benoit then hits the ropes again and RVD tried to hit him with a spinning kick!  Benoit ducks the first one but doesn't duck the second one from his opposite leg!  "Mr. Monday Night" follows that up with a spinning legdrop and (after a quick trip into the ropes) a tumbling sintaun back splash!  He covers for another two count.  RVD goes for more offense but Benoit counters with a quick jawbreaker!!  He whips "Mr. Monday Night" into the ropes and nearly tears his head off with a clothesline.  "The Crippler" follows that up with a snap-suplex on RVD, gets up and does his "cut-throat" sign for the flying headbutt!  He quickly heads up to the top rope, flies and connects!  He covers for the one.....two.....but Van Damn gets a shoulder up! Benoit is livid as he can't believe what just happened.

Quickly getting his composure back, he moves back in on Van Damn but RVD dropkicks Benoit's left knee. RVD, with a split second break, runs at Chris but Benoit hooks him for his german suplex!  Benoit hangs on and does another german suplex.  Benoit goes for a third but RVD blocks it with two quick elbows to the head that breaks the grip of "The Crippler"!!  RVD hits the ropes and goes for a clothesline but Benoit ducks and hooks his "Dragon" suplex (full-nelson suplex) on RVD!  Chris then quickly hooks in the "Crippler Crossface" on RVD!  Rob, however, was fortunate to have his arm close enough to the ropes to force a break.  As the ref checked on RVD, Benoit was waiting for him to get up.  Suddenly, TAZ comes from the back and slaps on the TAZmission on Benoit!!  Benoit, caught totally by surprise, has no defense as he's being choked out by the Intercontinental Champion for no apparent reason!  TAZ releases the hold and Benoit falls to the ground on his back!  Neither RVD nor the ref has seen this.  Both are bewildered as to what happened but the opportunistic TV champ went to the top rope and landed with his 5 Star Frog Splash on an already unconscious Benoit for an easy three!  RVD wins the match but he's still wondering what happened.

When we come back, we have Kevin Kelly chasing down TAZ for an explanation to what happened.

KELLY:  TAZ!!  Why did you just attack Chris Benoit and put him in the TAZmission?


With that, Kelly made a hasty retreat!!

ROSS:  Well, I'll tell you!!  TAZ is a tough S.O.B. but he may have hell to pay when "The Crippler" Chris Benoit gets his hands on him!  Well, it is time for the main event tonight as The Rock faces Bret "HitMan" Hart. The winner of this match will be in the three way dance for the WEW Television Title.  This announcement took place earlier in the broadcast and now, the two former mates in "The Shooters" are about to go at it.

LAWLER:  They sure are and I'll tell you, as much as I can't stand him, I got to go with Bret Hart here.  I mean, he has more to lose than The Rock.  I like The Rock as well as the next man but I've been in the ring with "The HitMan" and a victory over him is never easy.

ROSS:  The Rock, 6'5", 270lbs. has the size advantage over the 6', 235lbs. "HitMan" but Bret has a sizable experience advantage over The Rock in not only years in the sport but in technical wrestling.  As much of a "Blue Chipper" as The Rock is, his fortay isn't technical wrestling.

LAWLER:  So, in other words, if it is toe to toe, The Rock has the advantage but if its wrestling, then the advantage is with "The HitMan."

At this point, "IF YOU SMEEELLL........" rings out as the music of The Rock hits and "The People's Champion" powerwalks down to the ring.  For one of the few times in the "what-if" world, he actually acknowledges the fans as he mounts the second rope and throws his fist up in the air in a salute (along with the "people's eyebrow")!!  He enters the ring and mounts the second rope on the inside and does the same thing again!  He now turns his head to the rampway and awaits Bret Hart.

Bret Hart comes out to a round of boos from the crowd in Washington D.C. He makes his way to the ring but before he could enter it, The Rock goes out and attacks him!  The two men are trading right hands with The Rock getting the upper-hand.  The Rock beats Bret back into the ring and still has the upper hand as he fires Bret into the ropes and decks him with a hard clothesline!  The "Brahma Bull" goes for another clothesline but Hart ducks it and gets in a neckbreaker as The Rock goes by!  Bret follows up on this advantage with a quick piledriver on The Rock.  Hart covers for a two count.  "The HitMan" follows up with a rear chinlock but "The People's Champ" fights out of it with quick right hands to the mid-section of Bret!  The Rock has broken the hold and fights back with right hands but Bret stops the momentum with a face-rake.  Hart moves in but The Rock surprises him with a quick Japanese armbar takedown into an armbar submission hold!  Bret is screaming out of pain and shock as he quickly gets to the ropes! The referee forces a break of the hold. The "Brahma Bull" tries to go back in but Hart gets in a quick kick to the nuts as the ref's back was turned.  With The Rock down, Bret comes off the second rope with his patened elbow to the jaw.  Bret then picks up The Rock for his side backbreaker and holds him there trying to get a submission.  The Rock fights back with right hands to the head as Bret breaks the hold but not before throwing a sharp elbow to the face of "The Great One."

The Rock is reeling from the punishment he's received. Bret, feeling confident, goes to the second rope and waits for The Rock to get up on his feet!  Hart jumps off the second rope, only to be caught in position for "The Rock Bottom!"  Before "The Great One" can execute it, however, Bret quickly throws four quick elbows to the side of The Rock's face.  The "Brahma Bull" is staggard as Hart gets in a double leg takedown and locks in his "SharpShooter Deathlock" on The Rock!

The Rock struggles to make it to the ropes but Bret has got the hold locked in tight! After a few minutes in the hold, "The Great One" manages to get to the ropes for a break. Bret, feeling confident, backs off a bit and lets The Rock get to his feet.  "The HitMan" is ready for another move off the ropes as soon as The Rock gets up. When he stands up, Bret charges him but "The People's Champion" counters with a spinebuster slam! This takes something out of Mavia as well though as the legs have had a lot taken out of them.  Still, he struggles to his feet and stands over Bret Hart.  He then kicks the right arm of Bret in and begins to remove the elbowpad, signifying that the "People's Elbow" is on its way!  The crowd cheers and stands as The Rock criss crosses the ropes and drops the elbow hard onto his opponent. The Rock goes for the cover, the ref counts 1.....2......but Bret kicks out!  Undaunted, The Great One deviates from his usual gameplan a bit and decides to head to the top rope.  This proves to be a costly move as Bret gets to his feet and simply falls against the ropes to cause Mavia to lose his balance and fall crotch first on the top turnbuckle (Let's hope he didn't make any plans for later :) ).  Bret now gets aggressive as he pounds the head of Rocky.  The ref tries to get Bret to break it up but accidentally gets nailed with an elbow as Hart was rearing back for a punch on The Rock.  Hart, undaunted, decides to go up top to execute a superplex from the top rope.  As he hooks the move, however, Mavia counters with a few punches to the gut of Bret.  Then, in a spetacular move, he hooks up "The HitMan" for a ROCK BOTTOM slam from the top rope!  The impact is so hard it causes Bret to flip over onto his front after he hits the canvas with his back!


LAWLER:  I don't often agree with you J.R. but your right!  But look, there is still no referee!


Unfortunately, the ref does count to three and Bret Hart retains his spot in the three way dance at The Great American Bash!  The identity of the man in question is former Olympic wrestler Kurt Angle!  Keep in mind, however, that no one knows who he is in this world!  Anyway, The Rock makes it back to his feet and decks Bret Hart!  He then goes after the new interloper but is taken down by the legs and hooked into an anklelock submission!


LAWLER:  We are seeing the end of The Rock!

But now, the fans are cheering because Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat has hit the ring!  He fights off Bret Hart with series of chops to the chest and head!  Kurt Angle comes over and gets the same treatment from Steamboat! Shamrock now has joined the fray and it is a 3 on 1 attack on Steamboat! As Bret and Angle hold him, Shamrock is getting ready to come off the ropes with a blow to "The Dragon" but The Rock prevents that by catching him in "The Rock Bottom."  The Rock then decks Angle while Steamboat hooks it up with Bret! The two men clear the ring as Shamrock, Hart and Angle head up the ring ramp. As they leave, the two men (who were adversaries the previous night) stare each other down as RAW goes off the air!

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