Raw is War

Chicago, Illinois
February 18, 2002

RAW wasted no time in getting started as Stone Cold Steve Austin romped down the entrance ramp as the show opened live from Chicago!

An obviously pumped up Stone Cold immediately grabbed a cooler filled with beer from ringside and tossed it into the ring, along with a steel chair. “I’m a little bit pissed off,” the Rattlesnake growled. Stone Cold retold the events of the previous evening at No Way Out where the nWo cost him his chance to take the Undisputed Championship away from Y2J. Stone Cold immediately told Hogan, Hall and Nash to get down to the ring!

While Stone Cold was talking, the television screen went fuzzy and to black and white. Suddenly, the nWo’s music hit and the infamous trio sauntered out! Stone Cold ordered the men to come to the ring, where he would whip each one of them!

The nWo huddled up and discussed some strategy while Austin continued to call them out. But instead of taking him up on the challenge, Hogan, Hall and Nash turned their backs and retreated backstage while Austin continued his verbal assault.

Austin set up the steel chair and said he would sit there and drink beer all night until the three came to the ring and confronted him. “All you’re doing is pissing me off more!” Austin growled. “And that’s fine with me!” RAW broke for commercial, with Austin defiantly chugging a Steveweiser.

When RAW returned, Austin continued to berate the nWo and demand that they come down and face him. Without warning, Kurt Angle appeared beneath the TitanTron flanked by a half dozen security guards. Angle said the men were off-duty cops, courtesy of Vince McMahon, who was not at the arena. Angle said that one thing he can not stand is a whiner, and he ordered Stone Cold to leave the ring so he could make an important announcement. Austin refused to move. Actually, he did move a little bit. Stone Cold began hurling cans of beer at Angle!

Angle told Austin to knock it off or else he would have him arrested. But Stone Cold simply chucked more brews at the Olympic Hero! Angle and the guards began to march toward the ring with Angle continuing to order Stone Cold to vacate the squared circle. Once in the ring, Angle told Austin he could stay while he made his announcement. Angle puffed up his chest and said that he would be going to WrestleMania X8 where he would become the Undisputed Champion! The Rattlesnake struck without warning. He sprang from his chair and knocked Angle to the canvas, taking down one of the off-duty cops in the process. The other guards subdued Austin while Angle said that Stone Cold was going to jail. The guards shackled Austin and forced him out of the ring and up the entrance ramp while Angle continued his taunting.

Next up, the Hardy Boyz made their return to RAW, accompanied by the lovely Lita, as they battled the tag team of Christian and Lance Storm. Jeff and Matt started off hot as they quickly hit a Poetry In Motion on Storm. The momentum shifted, however, as Christian hit a brutal gutbuster on Jeff. Christian hit a reverse DDT on Matt and went for the pin, but Matt kicked out, and the crybaby Christian started throwing a tantrum! On the outside, Lita took care of Storm with a Litacanrana, as Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Christian and Jeff finished their opponent off with a Swanton Bomb for the victory!

Backstage, Kurt Angle entered Stephanie McMahon’s locker room. She thanked Angle for having Stone Cold Steve Austin arrested earlier on RAW, and she also thanked him for taking care of her husband, Triple H, “clean” with an Angle Slam at No Way Out. Federation co-owner Ric Flair entered the locker room and told the duo that Mr. McMahon was a genius for making the Angle/Triple H match at No Way Out for the No. 1 contendership. Flair then said that it was such a good idea that Angle would be facing The Game again on RAW for the No. 1 contendership! Flair also added that if Stephanie interfered in any way during the match, then Triple H would automatically regain his Undisputed Federation Championship shot at WrestleMania X8. Flair left as an irate Stephanie and Angle screamed in disgust!

Backstage, Undertaker angrily accosted a photographer and demanded to know where Ric Flair’s office was. The mild-mannered photographer finally managed to point out the direction and the pissed-off Dead Man headed that way.

Once inside Flair’s office, Taker said that the men were not even until Taker said they were. Taker said he wanted to see Flair in the ring at WrestleMania so he could beat him down in front of the world. Flair said he was an owner, not a wrestler. Taker said he would see what he could do to change Flair’s mind.

Backstage, the nWo gloated over Austin having to go to jail. The three were set to get in a car and head out to celebrate, but Hogan hesitated and told his buddies to go ahead because he had some personal business to attend to.

Mr. Perfect came down to the ring, waving his towel and spitting out his gum along the way. Perfect said he was pumped to be back in his own backyard of Chicago. He pointed out Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears sitting in the front row. He complimented the Bears for having a great season, one that was almost perfect, but they blew it in the playoffs. While Perfect began telling just how Perfect he was, a red flash illuminated the building and signaled Kane’s entrance!

The Big Red Machine took control of Perfect from the start. He locked Perfect up and readied a chokeslam, but the Perfect one fought out of it. But shortly after, Perfect did indeed get chokeslammed and was pinned!

Hollywood Hogan was shown walking backstage with a purpose. Before RAW cut to a break, Hogan was heard saying that he would “rock his world.”

Following the break, Hogan came to the ring. He said that it felt great to be back in a Federation ring. He credited the Federation for making him a legend. He also recalled taking on the Russians and Andre the Giant with the help of his fans. But, Hogan said, something happened and the people turned on him and began taking him for granted. He said he always wanted to stay in the Federation, but suddenly, the fans had no respect for him and drove him away. It’s just like the people in Chicago did with Michael Jordan, Hogan said. Ever since he was driven out of the Federation, there’s been something he wanted to say: “You can kiss my ass!”

Hogan said he was the reason everyone was there, and he put the Federation on the map. He called himself the biggest icon in the business. He said nobody in the business would go down being as big as Hollywood Hulk Hogan. He called himself the biggest star past and present in the business, and there would never be a bigger star.

Suddenly, The Rock’s music hit and the Great One marched into the ring! The Rock circled Hogan with an evil stare. The People's Champ said many thought they would never see Hogan and The Rock in the same ring. He said he heard what Hogan said, and agreed with him on some things. He asked Hogan if he thought it was the people that drove him from the Federation.

Hogan began to respond, but Rock cut him off and said it didn’t matter what he thought!

The Rock said that the people loved and believed in Hogan, as did he. But the Great One said that the fans had had years and years of Hogan eating vitamins and Hulkamania running wild. After a while, the fans began to run, then pulled down their pants and took a crap every time Hogan opened his mouth!

The Rock complimented Hogan for being an icon and one of the best ever. The Brahma Bull then asked if Hogan would like to highlight one more WrestleMania … with The Rock! The crowd roared in excitement as Hogan sneered into Rock’s face. The arena swirled with a mix of “Rocky” and “Hogan” chants! Hogan called Rock the "flavor of the month" and said that guys like The Rock are a dime a dozen. Hogan asked why the People's Champ thought he was even in Hogan’s league. The Great One cut Hogan off with a stiff hand and demanded a simple yes or no. The Rock spelled it out for Hogan, saying the match would decide who will go down in history as the best ever.

The Rock then said maybe it wasn’t up to him or Hogan to decide. Maybe it was up to the people! The Rock asked the crowd if they wanted to see the two go one-on-one at WrestleMania, and the people screamed in unison. The Rock cupped a hand to his ear in old-school Hogan fashion and elicited more roaring from the crowd! Finally, Hogan glared right into The Rock’s eye and said yes!

Hogan said it will be a pleasure to kick The Rock’s ass at Mania, and offered The Rock a handshake. Rock took it, and Hogan offered him a wish of good luck, because he would need it. Hogan went to leave, but Rock held on and said, “Not as much as you, brother!” Without warning, the Great One lifted Hogan up in a Rock Bottom and stood over the breathless Hogan before exiting!

But when The Rock reached the top of the entrance ramp, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash leaped out and pummeled him, sending him back into the ring! Hogan whipped off his leather belt and whipped The Rock soundly across the back several times! Hall then picked up The Rock and delivered the old Razor’s Edge! Nash licked his lips, rubbed his hands together then broke The Rock with a smashing powerbomb! Hogan went beneath the ring and found a toolbox, pulling out a hammer. Hall stood The Rock up while Hogan belted the Great One in the head! Hogan followed with a leg drop and covered the Rock while Hall slapped the canvas three times. Finally, in the ultimate act of humiliation, Rock was stripped of his shirt and had the nWo logo spray-painted across his back! Medics streamed down and attended to the badly beaten Rock while the nWo gloated and slowly worked their way backstage.

The Rock was loaded into an ambulance, which began driving away, but a tractor-trailer rolled in front of its path! Hogan, Hall and Nash jumped out of the rig and began chopping into the ambulance with crowbars!

They chained all the vehicles doors shut, and Hogan jumped into the driver seat of the rig. He backed it up about 60 yards and shouted that he was going to lay the smack down on The Rock -- nWo style! Hollywood put the pedal to the metal and smashed the truck full speed into the ambulance with The Rock trapped inside! Hogan backed up several times and repeated the scene, then all three men taunted The Rock through the ambulance window before leaving behind a crumpled ambulance and, no doubt, a badly injured Rock!

Rescue personnel soon arrived to help The Rock while a somber King and J.R. expressed disbelief at what they had just witnessed. The King said that the whole situation was way beyond wrestling.

The Godfather with several of his attractive employees came down to the ring next. Booker T soon followed and the match got underway while King and J.R. said that EMTs were still attempting to get to The Rock. While the Godfather and Booker slugged away, the Godfather’s girls were lost in conversation about what the nWo had done to The Rock. Shortly into the match, the Godfather was distracted by his own employees, allowing Booker T to drop him with a kick to the head and cover him up for the pin!

Before commercial, cameras caught a glimpse of firemen and other rescue personnel working frantically to gain access to The Rock. Following the commercial, J.R. said that cameramen had been asked to move out of the way because there was a high risk of fire due to spilled fuel at the accident site.

A tag team match took place next with Goldust and William Regal challenging Edge and Rob Van Dam. This match began with a frenzy, as every man involved brawled inside the ring. Finally, Edge and Regal left the ring leaving Goldust and RVD to fight. Shortly after, Edge nailed Regal with a spear then locked him in a unique leg hold and forced his opponent to tap out! Goldust tried to get some revenge, but Edge speared him also and sent the Bizarre One packing. As the match ended, J.R. said that The Rock had been placed in an ambulance and was being sped to a local hospital.

Michael Cole asked Kurt Angle if he would be able to concentrate on his match. A somber Kurt Angle said he didn’t know. He said it wasn’t right what happened: Ric Flair shouldn’t have made him fight Triple H that night. Cole said he was actually referring to what happened to The Rock. Angle said he felt bad, but at least The Rock didn’t have a title shot at WrestleMania going for him at the time.

Chris Jericho came down and joined King and J.R. at ringside to watch Triple H face Kurt Angle. Triple H was still stewing over losing to Angle the previous evening at No Way Out, but in this match on RAW, Stephanie McMahon would not be able to get involved per the order of Ric Flair.

Angle looked to be well on the way to repeating his victory over Triple H at the start of this match. He made a point of striking and stretching The Game’s abdomen in order to inflict pain on the ribs. He also rammed his shoulder repeatedly into Triple H’s sore ribs to further break down his opponent.

Gradually, Triple H began to turn things around. He dropped Angle with a high knee to the chest, followed by a DDT and got a two count. A spinebuster moments later also produced a two count. Then, Triple H went for the Pedigree, but Angle blocked the finisher and catapulted Triple H into the turnbuckle.

Shortly after, Angle geared up for a moonsault, but Triple H caught him from behind and dropped the Olympic Hero hard to the canvas from the top rope. The brawl spread outside the ring with Triple H taking a German Suplex on the hard floor. Jericho stood up and got into an argument with Kurt Angle, causing the ref to step in and push Jericho away. Angle used the distraction to clock The Game with the ring bell and roll him back into the ring!

The ref got back in the squared circle but reached a two count before Triple H barely kicked out. Angle was obviously frustrated so he resorted to his ankle lock and made Triple H scream in agony. But The Game wanted the title shot at WrestleMania more than anything. He endured the pain and reached the bottom rope to break the hold.Triple H decided he had enough of this tomfoolery, so he set up Angle for the Pedigree and this time hit it! He covered Angle up and got the pinfall to again earn the right to take on Jericho at WrestleMania!