The broadcast opened with Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler reporting that Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff would hold a contract signing for their Survivor Series team challenge match later on the show.
Chris Jericho & Christian defeated Rob Van Dam & Booker T in 7:33. Jericho & Christian sneaked in through the crowd and attacked RVD & Booker from behind to start the match. Christian ended up bumping out to the floor. Booker vaulted Jericho out onto him, and RVD then hit a somersault plancha on the two of them. Back in the ring, Christian avoided a scissor kick from Booker. RVD hit some kicks on Jericho. Jericho really took some stiff shots, one of which busted his lip open. Jericho & Christian wound up back on the floor, where they hugged and consoled one another. RVD sneaked up and rammed their heads together, which is an old time babyface spot not seen all that much anymore. Jericho hit a missile kick on Booker. Christian then caught Booker with a dropkick. The heels got heat on Booker for a while in their corner. Booker eventually escaped with a scary looking kick on Christian. RVD hot tagged and hit a springboard crossbody, followed by the rolling thunder, on Jericho. RVD nearly pinned Jericho after a split-leg moonsault but Christian made the save. Booker put both foes down at once with a scissor kick and then did the spinaroonie. RVD hit a thrust kick on Jericho, and seemed to be in command, but Christian distracted the ref so he didn’t see RVD’s pin attempt. RVD went after Christian, which allowed Jericho to catch him with a neckbreaker. Jericho then pinned RVD with help from Christian, who held RVD’s leg from outside the ring (out of the ref’s line of sight). JR & Lawler put over that this was a win by two Bischoff team members over two Austin team members. Good opener.
Backstage, Austin was upset over his team members losing. Jonathan Coachman ran up with a smirk on his face. He told Austin he wasn’t worried about being assigned to interview him at Survivor Series, acting confident that Team Austin would lose to Team Bischoff, so the rule preventing Austin from kicking people’s ass won’t be repealed. Austin reminded the clueless Coach that he can kick his ass either way, noting that if his team loses, he’ll have to resign as general manager, so the rules won’t cover him anymore. Coach hadn’t though of it that way, and looked scared. Austin then excused himself, saying he had to go do something he never thought he’d have to do in a million years.
Terri interviewed Molly Holly. Molly went off on Lita, and accused Terri of wanting Lita to win the women’s title at Survivor Series since it would make such a heartwarming story for Lita to come back from a broken neck and win the belt. Molly attacked Terri and began beating her up. She pounded her out to the ramp top, bodyslamming her on the steel. She then dragged her down to the ring and continued pounding her. Lita charged in for the save. Molly fled into the crowd with Lita chasing her. Gail Kim was hiding in the crowd and did the Miss Goodwrench routine, walloping Lita with a wrench. Molly & Gail hauled Lita back to the ring and left her laying with a double DDT. JR said this must have been a set-up. I think he was right. Gail hiding in the crowd with the wrench was cool!
Austin visited Shawn Michaels in his locker room. Heartbreak Kid said he was just hanging out, waiting for his main event against Mark Henry. Austin began talking about the Survivor Series team challenge match, and how his job will be on the line, and how he has four members (yes, the Dudleys have joined) but needs one more. He was clearly hinting that he wanted HBK to volunteer, but HBK pretended not to get it. Finally, Austin simply asked him to be on his team. HBK noted that they haven’t gotten along all that well in the past, having to be forced on one occasion to team together, fighting one another in a classic WrestleMania match, etc.. HBK said the two of them just don’t mix as allies. Austin forced himself to say, “I need Shawn Michaels”. HBK said if that’s the case, Austin has a problem, and walked off. But he then came back and said he would be the fifth man on Austin’s team. Austin looked relieved. This was great interplay, because it recognized the past history between the two (even hinting at some legit heat) and made the team challenge issue look serious because Austin went against his personal feelings and asked HBK to join his squad, with HBK clearly pretending not to take Austin’s hints so that Austin would have to explicitly ask.
Lita was receiving medical attention from the trainer. Christian ran in, all concerned about her. He apologized for not being out there, saying he was in the shower after his match when the assault on her occurred. He was being ultra-protective of her, acting as if she was his girl or something. Lita didn’t quite know how to take Christian’s concern.
LeBron James was shown in the crowd.
Batista defeated Maven in 2:33. Ric Flair was out there with Batista. Maven charged the ring as if he had a chance to win. Maven hit Batista with fists. He shook the blows off and hit a spinebuster on Maven. JR said Goldberg was no doubt watching this match at home. Batista removed the padding from the security rail. Maven attacked from behind and rammed Batista into the steel, but he shook that off as well. Batista lariated the hell out of Maven on the floor. In the ring, Maven hit a missile kick, but when he went for a bulldog Batista slammed the daylights out of him for the pin.
Footage aired of recent confrontations between HBK and Henry.
A video aired of Kane admiring an ambulance. He basically described the rules for an ambulance match and warned Shane McMahon that he’ll soon be taking a ride in the meat wagon. He ominously vowed that Shane will reach the hospital DOA.
Garrison Cade & Mark Jindrak were in their locker room, preparing for an upcoming non-title match against the Dudleys. They bragged to one another that they’ve been taking advantage of the opportunities that have come their way lately. They mentioned such successes as pinning Flair in the Carolinas and stealing Triple H’s $100,000 bounty. Well, that latter one clearly failed, but they acted like it was a success anyway. They agreed that a non-title win over the Dudleys would put them in title contention.
Cade & Jindrak defeated The Dudleys in the non-title match in 4:23. Cade & Jindrak got in more offense than you’d think, since I guess the idea was to avoid making this win look like a total fluke. Cade’s lip got busted somehow. D-Von was taking a pounding, but he rolled clear when Cade came off the top with an elbow. Bubba hot tagged in and cleaned house. The Dudleys seemed headed for victory when Scott Steiner appeared on the ramp top. He was holding Stacy Keibler in a press slam position, threatening to slam her on the steel. This distracted Bubba, who got caught with a lariat from Cade and was pinned. Steiner, for the record, didn’t slam Stacy. But he got what he wanted, causing another loss for Team Austin members. Cade & Jindrak did the motion for the belts around their waists, basically calling for a tag title shot for themselves. The Dudleys were actually good sports about the loss, which seemed out of character, even for babyface Dudleys.
Austin and Bischoff came out to the ring for the contract signing to begin hour two. There was a table and chairs in the ring, plus a red carpet. The crowd called Bischoff an a**hole. Hey, he may be an a**hole, but he’s unionized (Amalgamated Brotherhood of A**holes, Local 312). Before the signing, Bischoff introduced Randy Orton as his fifth team member (yes, Henry is a member), noting that Orton beat HBK at Unforgiven. Orton briefly appeared on the ramp top and promised to add Austin to the list of legends he’s destroyed, accusing Austin of having used his power as general manager to repeatedly screw Evolution. Austin dared Orton to come to the ring and provoke him, but Bischoff reminded Austin they were there to sign the contract. So they both signed it. Austin didn’t bother to read it. That may have been just to save time, or it’ll later be revealed that there was some secret clause in there. Either way, it was silly for him not to read it. Bischoff called Austin a fraud, noting that he’s always said “don’t trust anyone”, yet he’s now trusting five men to save his career. Bischoff predicted victory for his team, saying we won’t be seeing Austin’s bald head and redneck face much longer. Austin flipped Bischoff off. Damn, I was expecting something more intellectual. He then repeated a bunch of rhetorical questions to generate the “whats”, and admitted that he doesn’t like having to rely on others to fight for him. But he said he had no other choice thanks to the rule prohibiting him from kicking ass. He said that rule has prevented him from being the real Stone Cold, and if his team doesn’t win at Survivor Series and get that rule repealed, then he might as well leave because he can’t be himself with that rule in effect. Austin got the crowd to shout “hell yeah” when he asked them if he should kick Bischoff’s ass once the rule is repealed. He also got the crowd to flip Bischoff off. Austin concluded by vowing that the real Stone Cold will be back after his team wins at the PPV. I guess this was a standard promo, kind of anti-climactic since JR & Lawler had hyped it as if it would lead to an explosion of some sort. Maybe we should save it on tape since a contract signing with no one getting beat up is such a rarity.
Batista confronted Austin backstage. He said he was sick of Austin running his big mouth. He said Austin was just hiding behind that rule against general managers kicking ass, and said the truth is that Austin’s nothing but a “g**damned coward”. Austin was fuming.
Lance Storm defeated Rico in 1:57. Before the match, Val Venis came out with three hot babes. Lawler claimed to recognize them from porn videos. Well, he should know. They all watched the match from ringside. Storm came out doing the geeky stuff to get the crowd to cheer him. Rico hit some kicks and got in a little offense with Miss Jackie’s help. Storm hit some lariats and forced Rico to tap to a half crab. Afterward, Venis took the girls into the ring and they danced with Storm, who liked it in a geeky sort of way. I supposed Venis is going to try and turn Storm into a ladies’ man or something.
Jericho and Trish Stratus talked backstage. They were flirting with one another. Jericho was worried that Trish was scheduled to team with Jon Heidenreich in a mixed gender match. He said no one seems to know much about Heidenreich and that he seems like a weirdo talking about Little Johnny all the time. Trish said Heidenreich is okay, and as she left for the ring, she reported that he showed Little Johnny to her in the locker room. Jericho was furious, and muttered that Heidenreich is a pervert, apparently thinking that Little Johnny is Heidenreich’s penis.
Trish & Heidenreich defeated Victoria & Steven Richards in 5:18. They used the rules here where the guys were banned from fighting the girls. Lawler, like Jericho, assumed Little Johnny is Heidenreich’s penis. By the way, JR reported officially that Austin did hire Heidenreich as a RAW competitor after his successful tryout match last week. Heidenreich tossed Richards around. The ladies came in and Trish did her Matrix stuff, plus a huracanrana, on Victoria. Richards slithered in like the coward he is and suplexed Trish. Victoria hit the Black Widow (backbreaker-type slam) on Trish. Victoria tagged out to Richards, which should have meant that Heidenreich automatically came in, but he still waited for the tag. Guess he’s a little green. He tossed Richards around again. Victoria jumped on his back but he shook her off. Trish pulled Victoria out to the floor and pounded her. Heidenreich killed Richards with sick looking slam and got the pin. Backstage, Jericho was watching the match on a monitor and looked jealous when Trish & Heidenreich celebrated their win.
Coach tempted fate once again by approaching Austin and asking how it feels to be punked out by Batista. He told Austin he can’t do a damn thing about it. But Austin said he can do something, and made himself special outside the ring enforcer referee for the HBK vs. Henry match, and said if Batista intereferes in the match it will constitute a physical provocation and he can then kick Batista’s ass. He sort of dared Batista to interfere. That seemed to be stretching things a little, given that there would be no particular reason for Batista to interfere in that match, and in fact he didn’t.
JR & Lawler hyped Survivor Series.
Sgt. Slaughter delivered a note from Shane to Kane. Kane read it, laughed, and told Sarge to tell Shane that he accepts the invitation. I guess we’ll find out what this is next week.
HBK defeated Henry in 6:26. HBK immediately threw kicks to Henry’s knees to try and bring him down to the mat. Henry came back with power moves. They traded fists. HBK did an awesome job here of carrying this to an okay match. HBK caused Henry to bump out to the floor. Theodore Long tried to interfere, prompting enforcer ref Austin to order him back to the locker room. HBK came over the top onto Henry, but Henry caught him and posted him. Henry dominated for a while, tossing HBK around, with HBK bumping for him. Henry hooked a bearhug, which HBK escaped. Henry began laying in the clubbing blows, but HBK hit the sweet chin music out of nowhere and scored the clean pin, saving Team Austin from losing all three matches involving team members on RAW. Afterward, Austin congratulated HBK on his win and thanked him for joining his team. But he then asked HBK to leave, saying he had something he needed to take care of on his own. HBK politely left, and Austin began calling Batista out. He said he wouldn’t leave the ring until Batista came out and provoked him.
After a commercial break, Batista finally came out. Batista charged in and began laying the fists to Austin. Austin came back and lariated Batista from the ring. Henry, who had remained lurking at ringside, ran in but Austin caught him with a stunner. This gave Batista an opening to nail Austin from behind. He pounded Austin and put the boots to him. Suddenly, Goldberg’s music began playing, and he was seen on the Titantron backstage, heading to the ring. He had a cast on his ankle and walked with a limp, but otherwise was fine. Meanwhile, Batista was posting Austin and continuing with the beat down. Goldberg encountered Henry on the ramp, and laid him out with a chairshot. Batista caught Goldberg as he was coming through the ropes. Goldberg started a comeback, which brought Flair out. Goldberg beat Batista down and put his leg through a chair, the same way Batista did to him two weeks ago. But he stopped long enough to spear Flair, which allowed Batista to escape. Goldberg was triumphant in the ring, and stopped selling the ankle. Last week, I received some e-mails noting that it was stupid to put Test out there to wrestle with a broken foot when Goldberg was supposed to be sidelined with a similar injury. Those e-mailers were right, but unfortunately it’s hard to sell injuries nowadays, as Goldberg’s return two weeks after his “career was ended” proves. Anyway, it came off as a good angle, if you overlook that one logical flaw. Afterward, Austin wanted to drink beer with Goldberg, but Goldberg refused. Austin reminded Goldberg of what happens to people who refuse his beer offers (exception #426 to the provocation rule). Goldberg said he’d drink with Austin if he can have a match next week against Batista. Austin agreed and they gulped beer together. JR & Lawler couldn’t believe that Goldberg is back already. Neither can a lot of us, but with the PPV coming so soon, it had to be, and they are building Survivor Series very well.