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RAW sound & fury
By DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun
Rhyno taps out against Chris Jericho during their match last night at the Corel Centre, where RAW rolled into town to entertain 15,000-plus fans. -- Jason Ransom, Ottawa Sun|
Photo Gallery from RAW in Ottawa
As the clock struck 9 -- with flashing lights, whistling sound effects, some 15,000 roaring fans and, especially, those eardrum-shattering exploding fireworks -- the big building literally shook.
It was actually a little unnerving at first, considering the state our world is in. For a brief moment, you might have thought we were under attack.
But then this night wasn't about terrorism or reality.
It was about an escape to RAW, which has wisely decided not to bill itself as war anymore.
The World Wrestling Federation's extremely popular live soap opera was back for the first time in four years and it hit Ottawa in full stride, just six days before the pay-per-view No Mercy.
And after the 65-minute, seven-bout undercard during which the place was relatively sane, RAW turned the Corel Centre into a Tale of Two Arenas.
The noise started to kick in about 8:50 p.m., when lovely ring announcer Lillian Garcia belted out a wonderful rendition of O Canada that had the fans cheering almost the entire song.
When she was done, she introduced TV commentators Paul Heyman and Jim Ross -- and the place went nuts.
But it was nothing compared to the impact of 9 p.m., when millions across North America tuned in to TSN and TNN (in the U.S.) and saw quiet and conservative Ottawa so unlike its reputation as a pretty little government town.
Instead, viewers saw that we can be sign-waving, screaming lunatics, too.
Kinda makes you proud, doesn't it?
RINGSIDE MANNERS: Unbelievable is the only way to describe the acrobatic talents of big men Booker T and The Undertaker in the headline tag-team match. And what about the slaps "Stone Cold" Steve Austin administered to Kurt Angle? They could be heard clearly way up on the fourth level. Fake? Not all of it, that's for sure ... The subject of signs like 'Foley is God' and `Welcome Back Mick' was the man formerly known as Mankind, who has returned as commissioner of the WWF. Mick Foley, who was once fired from that post by Vince McMahon, has it all over Sir William Regal in the popularity department. "The reason I came back was you, the fans," said Foley, whose "voice of reason" has instructed Austin, Angle and Rob Van Dam to meet in a Triple Threat match at No Mercy. "And I thought, `Why should I be sitting at home scratching my butt -- when I could be scratching my butt right here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada?' " ... Foley called Trish Stratus out to promote Sunday's Lingerie Match. And what a fine job she did. Trish removed her long black coat to reveal a tantalizing black outfit that had the hounds in the crowd just a barkin'. Foley wanted her to watch the rest of the night suspended from a cage over the ring, but it didn't happen ... Austin led the Alliance out to the ring and prompted new WCW commissioner Regal to set up a title match of The Rock having to defend his belt against R-V-D. Both were disqualified after outside interference -- you had to expect the Rock would want revenge.
OFF THE TURNBUCKLE: Three lucky ticket holders (Section 207, row A, seat 5; Floor, row F, seat 10; Section 307, row A, seat 2 in case you left early) were the winners of -- a Gameboy Advance and a Mario Kart Super Circuit? Isn't that kind of stuff for kids? ... Items at the concession stands -- a full-length Lita poster and a Kane mask. Talk about beauty and the beast ... First babe spotting of the night -- Terri, who accompanied Raven to the ring during an undercard event ... Ah-ha! The Rock did return, charging into the ring to take on Rhino after interference stopped his match with the very popular Chris Jericho. But after the Rock beat on Rhino, he slammed Jericho. Go figure ... Couldn't the WWF figure out a way to show the live audience all the back-stage interviews? Even if they were pre-taped? Without them, the show is definitely lacking ... Latest to join the Alliance is Christian, for those keeping score at home.
More on RAW in Ottawa
Oct. 16: RAW power rips into Ottawa
Oct. 16: Photo Gallery from RAW in Ottawa
Oct. 15: RAW rolls with punches
Raw - October 15, 2001
- It's time to bust out the picture-in-picture
function on your TV sports fans. Game 5 between the
A's and Yankees and a Monday Night Football game
that's like a train wreck (you don't want to watch,
but you can't look away). But those are topics for
other writers. I'm here as always to fill you in
Craig David style on Raw from Ottawa. I believe
that's in Canada somewhere. But I kid SLAM!
Wrestling. Let's get to it.
- The sound of a car collision can only mean one
thing: "new" WWF commissioner Mick Foley is on his way
to the ring, clutching a copy of his new children's
book. Why has Mick returned after getting canned by
Vince McMahon during his previous stint as the
commish? According to Mick, it's not Vince, or the
money or a chance to plug his new book. He's doing it
for the fans. Foley gets his cheap pop, then is
interrupted by music we haven't heard in a while.
Hint: it's a Canadian. Hint: it's not Tiger Ali
Singh. It's Trish Stratus, who claims Foley came back
to see her and events like the upcoming Lingerie Match
at No Mercy. Trish reveals some lingerie of her own,
leaving Foley to promise more T&A and more great
matches during his term. Just another HPIC: Head
Plugger In Charge.
- A hush falls over the Alliance as Stone Cold Steve
Austin addresses the assemblage. The Rattlesnake
claims he is cool with Rob Van Dam getting in on the
WWF title match between himself and Kurt Angle at
Unforgiven. Instead, he's focused on tonight, when he
and a partner of his choosing will take on Angle and a
partner of Kurt's choosing. Austin's come up with a
novel way to pick his partner too, as he will let the
Alliance members vote. Democracy in action is a
- The APA and Jacqueline take Tough Enough female
winner Nidia on a guided tour of the backstage area,
including such landmarks as catering, a dressing room
and the ever popular hallways. They also want Nidia
to be ringside for their match against The Hurricane,
Mighty Molly and Lance Storm later tonight. Speaking
of the super heroes, Helms and Molly want to show the
APA what happens to people who charge others
protection money to buy beer. The Hurri-Cycle
destroys the APA office, leaving Bradshaw in a foul
- Match 1 - Dudley Boyz vs. Big Show
Despite rampant double teaming and Stacy Keibler's
presence, Show holds his own. D-Von finds himself the
victim of a chokeslam, then Big Show gets the idea to
set up a table of his own. Keibler shows some tail to
the ref, allowing both Dudleys to attack and pin their
large foe. Tajiri runs down to help but is quickly
outnumbered. The Dudleys look for a 3-D, but Tajiri
foils it with some Green Mist in Bubba's eyes. Show
revives and gets a measure of revenge by chokeslamming
Bubba through a table.
- Surrounded by Debra, William Regal, Stephanie and
Shane McMahon, Austin decides it's time to go to the
ring to count the Alliance's votes. Debra has a
last-minute vote to turn in, but it ends up crumpled
on the floor when Stone Cold reads it.
- As promised, the Alliance members gather in the
squared circle to hear the results. But first, we
have to hear Steph whine about her mother's firing of
Regal as the WWF commissioner. When she's through,
Shane introduces Regal as the very first Alliance
commissioner. Willie gives way to Austin, who begins
reading the votes aloud. Guess this wasn't a secret
ballot thing. He calls out several votes for Booker T
and only one for RVD, so Austin decides it isn't worth
counting the rest of the box. Booker gets the nod,
and he's happy to finally get some respect. Austin
ridicules Van Dam for receiving only one vote, but
says RVD should get a title shot... against The Rock.
Regal gladly books the WCW title shot, making it look
like the Rattlesnake may slither out of facing RVD at
- Match 2 - The Hurricane, Mighty Molly and Lance
Storm vs. The APA and Jacqueline
Molly seems to be more brainwashed than ever as she
wants to go toe to toe with Bradshaw, who simply
laughs and tags in Jackie. The APA attacks Storm, so
Hurricane tries to come to the rescue off the top
rope. Bradshaw catches Helms and executes a fallaway
slam, then hits a vicious Clothesline From Hell to end
things rather quickly.
- Back in the locker room, deep thinker Billy Kidman
comes to the conclusion that the voting process was
rigged. No way! Tazz catches Kidman sharing his
hypothesis with RVD and challenges him to match.
Naturally, mellow Rob tells Billy not to worry.
- The Coach wants to know who Angle has picked as his
partner, but the Olympic hero is still weighing his
options. The Undertaker stops by and makes Angle's
decision a whole lot easier by making it clear that he
would like the spot. Meanwhile, Michael Cole asks
Chris Jericho if he'd rather face The Rock or RVD at
No Mercy. Jericho wants Rocky, and is busy poking fun
at The Rock's mannerisms when the WCW champ walks up.
Obviously not amused, The Rock tells Y2J to stay out
of his way.
- Match 3 - Rob Van Dam vs. The Rock - WCW Title
Thank goodness for low ratings. Without them, we'd
never see this match on free TV. Jericho looks on
from the announce table as Rob gains the early
advantage. Rob shows off a little and goes for a
split-legged moonsault, but Rocky rolls away and hits
a DDT that forces RVD to kick out. Van Dam escapes
from a Rock Bottom but isn't as fortunate with a
spinebuster; a quick rally ends with Rolling Thunder
that can't find the mark. The Rock tosses RVD to the
outside and smashes his head into the announce table.
Out of nowhere, Rhyno appears and crushes the WCW
champ with a Gore. RVD goes for the Five Star, but
Jericho knocks him off the turnbuckle and the ref
calls for the bell. Rhyno and RVD put the boots to
the People's Champ, but Jericho respects The Rock's
wishes and stays away. Nice.
- Hey, I just realized we haven't had too much Steph
tonight. Oops... spoke too soon. SMH vents her
frustrations with Jericho to Rhyno, who promises Y2J
won't make it to No Mercy.
- Match 4 - Tazz vs. Billy Kidman
Not much to this one. Kidman hits an elbow from the
top rope that can't put Tazz away, then weathers a
short rally. Billy's new modified facejam move is
enough to get the pinfall.
- Match 5 - Rhyno vs. Chris Jericho
Rhyno scores a near fall with a big spinebuster, then
hits an airplane spin drop but misses a second rope
splash. Jericho fires back, but Rhyno dodges a
Lionsault and connects with a belly-to-belly suplex.
An inside cradle turns into the Walls of Jericho, and
Rhyno looks like he might tap when Mike Awesome and
Raven hit the ring. The ref calls for the bell, and
The Rock runs down and clears the ring of Alliance
members. Then he turns and hits Jericho with a Rock
- Flashing his mysteriously white teeth at the WWF
New York crowd, DDP promises he won't let the terrible
Canadians or New Yorkers get to him. He's going to
get us all to like him, remember?
- Match 6 - Edge vs. X-Pac
A fast-paced opening ends when Pac hits a nice
baseball slide kick to the outside. Several spinning
heel kicks force Edge to kick out, but Pac's luck ends
when he tries for a Bronco Buster and receives a spear
instead. More two counts are exchanged, then Edge
hits a flapjack and shrugs off one final kick before
hitting the Impaler for the win. As Edge celebrates,
J.R. leaves his table and whispers something to the
victor. Edge looks concerned as he sprints up the
ramp and the show goes to commercial.
- Edge sets his differences aside and goes to find
his brother to deliver the bad news that their mother
has been in an accident. As they go to leave the
arena, Hugh Morrus and Chuck Palumbo help Christian
assault his brother. You guessed it: it's a setup. A
gleeful Paul Heyman climbs on the announce table to
formally introduce Christian as the newest addition to
the Alliance. Backstage, Undertaker knocks on Angle's
door to summon him for the main event. Angle sports
some shades and an American flag bandana, but he's
flexible about taking them off when 'Taker presses the
- And that's all for this week folks. Oh, I'm sure
there was one heck of a main event, but in my neck of
the woods, TNN went black right after Booker T was
introduced and didn't return until Raw was over.
Hopefully the SLAM! editors can fill in the blanks and
Aaron Henry can catch you up with his Smackdown!
report. Talk to you after No Mercy.
- [Editor's RAW Report] Match 6 - Booker T & Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle & Undertaker Booker T comes out first, then Austin, 'Taker and finally Angle. Lots of tags and close calls under 'Taker sends Booker T into ref Tim White. Shortly thereafter, Test runs in and chops at 'Taker's knee, and gives a big boot to Angle. Kane chases Test through the crowd, followed by Booker T and 'Taker, leaving Angle and Austin in the ring. The Rattlesnake hits Angle with the title, and ref Charles Robinson comes running down but is too slow -- Angle kicks out. Low blows by each wrestler follow. RVD races to the ring, mounts the turnbuckle and prepares to leap ... but onto who?? He hits Angle with the Five Star splash and Austin scores the win as Nick Patrick counts 1-2-3.