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Getting RAW in Vancouver


The Undertaker on his way to the ring. -- Rik Fedyk, www.picthisphotography.com
By DAN TITUS -- For SLAM! Wrestling

About 10 days ago, I called up my good friend Evil Steve (yes, the name fits) and said the sweetest words in the male vocabulary: Road Trip!

We board the 10:30 am Nanaimo to Vancouver ferry on our way to RAW is War. A multitude of WWF fans are already on board, and enthusiastic about tonight's show. After a 40 minute bus ride, we arrive at General Motors Place at about 1:30pm, and we notice that there's already a merchandise stand set up outside the building. To be honest there really wasn't much of a selection, as it's mainly Rock and Chris Jericho items. Evil Steve leaves for awhile to go shopping for comic books, and I stay behind to wait for my tickets at Will Call.

Ticket scalping for this event was wall to wall, I literally could not go anywhere without somebody trying to sell me a crummy seat at a ludicrously inflated price.

At about 4:45pm, everyone is searched, and let into the building. I had an excellent seat, about 10 rows off the floor. Just prior to the action starting, we got to see the video tribute to Mick Foley. Everyone was respectful of this, and a huge ovation toward the end.

Howard Finkel takes to the ring to inform us, that in addition to Raw, there will be some matches filmed for Jakked and Metal at "B.C. Place". The Fink corrects himself, but is roundly booed anyway (B.C. Place is considered the worlds largest white elephant, and is where the B.C. Lions CFL team plays). Lillian Garcia gets a warm response for her beautiful rendition of the Canadian Anthem.

A pretty tepid response to the Dark matches, However, Vancouver wrestler Lenny Olson (who usually works as "Dr. Luther") gets a good applause as he defeats newcomer Joe E. Legend.

The "Boring" chants come out as the Bossman defeats Stevie Richards, and The Dupps beat Scott Vick and Mark Large.

The last untelevised match was the Headbangers vs. The Dudley Boyz. Dudleys were over big time.

Godfather got everyone pumped during his six man tag. The crowd was really mad that we didn't see more of The Kat and Terri.

This was, of course, a night for the Canadian superstars, as Edge and Christian get a standing O as they cut a hilarious promo on Joe C.

Chris Jericho got a huge response everytime he came out, and Chris Benoit was appreciated as well.

We were all stunned when Too Cool was awarded the tag belts, because I don't think it was billed as a title match.

In between matches, Lillian Garcia would plug merchandise, and was subjected to repeated catcalls. She put her face in her hands in a laughing fit as a fan held a sign saying "Lillian makes me Raw".

Rikishi Phatu and Joe C. -- Rik Fedyk, www.picthisphotography.com
The spectators were completely apathetic to Bossman, Bull Buchanan, and Steve Blackman. I think a lot of people went to refill their beer mugs when they were on.

As far as the much hyped concert, Kid Rock tore the roof off the building, as he did his "American Badass" routine. I don't think I'll be buying the album, but I'm sure it'll expode up the chart. That kind of exposure can't hurt.

Speaking of exposure, EVERY commercial break had various women in my part of the building being encouraged to "Take it off". Many of them did, to rousing cheers. Being on hand as a representative of SLAM! I could not condone such activites.

Main Event time as Rock is set to battle the Undertaker in a Lumberjack match. Bedlam ensues. A lot of people were chanting "Kane, Kane" before he actually came out.

It wasn't until the show went off the air, that the real fireworks started. The heels came out for another brawl, at which point some clown tried getting into the ring. Kane almost kicked his head off as security intervened. HHH is chokeslammed, and given "The People's Elbow". After the ring is cleared, Rock called 'Taker back in, to settle unfinished business.

"Undertaker, we're off the air now, so the Rock only has one question. Do you like...Pie?".

When 'Taker said the magic word, the laughter and cheering was almost deafening. When The Rock took the mic again, he had everyone in the palm of his hand. He ended the show by holding a fan made sign, and calling Vancouver "The People's City", and asking us "If ya smelllll what the Rock is cooking". 18,000+ went home happy.

An excellent, fun-filled show. The crowd marked out as if on cue. Truly an awesome experience. No return date for the WWF was announced, but Vancouver fans are slated for a WCW PPV August 13th, follwed by Nitro in Kamloops, and Thunder in Kelowna. Looks like fans in this province are going to get a steady diet of "Big Two" action.

NOTE: Dan Titus is the regular SLAM! Wrestling contributor to the RAW Report on the TV reports page.