Friday, July 30, 2021

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From the Vault: Raw – August 21st, 2000

Welcome, Diva Dirt readers! It’s been a while, once again, but I’m back on the Diva Dirt family wagon and absolutely thrilled about it! This week’s From the Vault feature comes to you from the millennium year – I was eight years old! How times flies… But moving on, because I don’t want to think about what I’m doing with my life and I’m sure you guys don’t really care.

This week, I’ve chosen an episode of Raw – and more importantly a match – that’s a personal favourite of mine. It features the Queen herself, Stephanie McMahon, defending her Women’s Championship against Lita. Also to come, we have vintage Trish Stratus vs. Ivory in a mixed tag match.

Kicking things off in the Diva department, Stephanie McMahon accompanied her husband Triple H to the stage, where they had a back and forth with my favourite of all time, The Rock. Sidenote here: Triple H’s old theme song is on my workout playlist. I love it.

So commissioner Mick Foley decided that Stephanie was going to put her title on the line against Lita, and Steph was confident that she’d beat her for the third time in the middle of the ring. She expected the referee to raise her hand in victory. That is until Foley informed her that the special guest referee would be… The Rock! Dun, dun, dun! As you can see, Stephanie was a little unhappy about that.

We cut later on to Trish backstage with Val Venis, and Trish isn’t happy about having to partake in a match. Understandable, really, because she’s mainly a manager at this point and has little experience. But Venis insists that he won’t compete if it’s one on two, so Trish needs to gain some experience ahead of their mixed tag team match at Summerslam against Eddie Guerrero and Chyna. Trish doesn’t have a choice, but he could have asked her!

Next up, we’re backstage with Stephanie, her two husbands and her brother. It’s a sit-com waiting to happen (copyright: Eleri at Diva Dirt). Stephanie, her two husbands and her brother (I need to think of a shorter title) are trying to figure out which of their matches is more important. Stephanie points out that she’s the only champion among them, with a title defense, so obviously it’s hers.

Moving on.

We’re shown a recap of Chyna powerbombing Val Venis. Awesome. It’s followed by Trish retaliating, smashing a glass pitcher over the back of Chyna’s head and taking her clean out. Even more awesome. As Trish and Venis make their way out to the ring, we cut backstage to where Eddie and Chyna are watching on a TV. Eddie’s accent game is strong. I love it. Out next are Crash Holly (may he rest in peace) and Ivory! Oh, Ivory! Always under appreciated, I feel. Crash is carrying a scale to the ring. I think it’s a scale. Could be anything.

After landing some knocks, Venis tags in Trish who cockily makes her way over to Crash. She lands a lovely bulldog on the guy, and goes for the pin. She manages a two count, which is impressive, before Crash literally throws her off himself. Trish hightails it back to her corner and tags in Venis.

The boys have a little run around, before they knock each other down with a double clothesline and crawl back to their partners. Ivory rushes in and grabs a distracted Trish, hurling her over the top rope. After a right hand and a slam, Trish is looking a bit worse for wear. But with Crash distracting the referee, Venis powerbombs Ivory and Trish quickly picks up the win for her team! Backstage, Chyna looks less than enthused and disappears.

She quickly re-appears on the ramp, interrupting Trish and Val’s celebration. Chyna makes quick work of Val Venis, then makes a beeline for Trish. Luckily, Val Venis makes the save and the two exit the ring as Eddie Guerrero arrives.

Ha, I forgot how comical Val Venis’ music was!

We’re backstage when we come back with Chyna, Eddie and Foley. Chyna is livid; all she cares about is getting her hands around Trish’s little throat and choking her out. Good Lord, that’s some tough talk. But if anyone can back it up, Chyna can. Foley manages to calm her down by offering a solution. The mixed tag match at SummerSlam just got a little more interesting. If Chyna or Eddie win, one of them will become the Intercontinental champion. Sweet!

Once again, we’re back with Stephanie and Triple H. Trips made a bad decision and left Steph’s other husband to the mercy of the APA (who will always and forever be awesome). I just want to put in here that I love Triple H as a heel. He works best when he’s manipulative and mean.

A couple of segments later, and we’re backstage yet again with Stephanie. This time she’s with husband number two. Kurt Angle‘s trying to leave. He just can’t fight this feeling any more. He’s forgotten what he started fighting for.

Wait, what?

In the interest of keeping things strictly professional, Stephanie tells Kurt to forget about Triple H because she needs him. Steph needs Kurt. The end of this tidbit was gold.

“Stop leaving like that, you’re so emotional.”

One final backstage segment. Is it just me, or have these been rather frequent? Kurt is teaching Steph some holds. Triple H arrives and catches them in what is really not that much of a compromising position, but he’s not happy. He’s a little angry, but Stephanie tries to calm the situation down. As if leaving Kurt to the APA wasn’t bad enough, Triple H then dubs him the Slowest Teacher of All Time. How rude. Trips removes Stephanie from the room. Ooh er, it’s all getting a bit domestic back there!

Finally, the Women’s championship match. It’s the main event!

Lita’s out first, and the crowd is on their feet. Stephanie’s out next, and they’re followed by the best special guest referee of all time (sorry Eva Marie), The Rock. Triple H and Kurt are both ringside for this one, and I suspect the Hardy Boys will make an appearance later on.

The bell rings and Lita goes right after Stephanie. She womanhandles Stephanie all around the ring, and the crowd loves it. Lita hits a hurricanrana, and it looks like Stephanie landed pretty awkwardly on her head there. Lita earns herself a two count. Kurt Angle distracts The Rock on the other side of the ring, giving Trips the opportunity to trip Lita and give his wife the advantage. Dastardly man.

As expected, the Hardy Boys arrive to defend their lady’s honour, and they lay into Triple H. Stephanie has the upper hand now, and she hits Lita with some kicks and forearms, followed by a monkey flip. Lita attempts to mount a comeback, but Stephanie plants Lita with a lovely DDT for a two count. Stephanie gets in the Rock’s face, but he ain’t got no time for that. Stephanie delivers some slaps, but Lita turns things around with a head-scissors off the ropes. A big clothesline later, and Lita is wearing down the champion.

Kurt Angle interferes, knocking Lita off the ring apron and chaos unfolds on the outside. Making quick work of the Hardys, Kurt tries to give Stephanie a helping title. But the Rock promptly catches him out, and he’s pissed. Things break down in the ring as Triple H and the Rock exchange blows, but Kurt accidentally lays out Trips with a championship belt to the head! Oops!

The Rock has had enough. He lays out Stephanie with a spine buster, in prime position for a moonsault, and instructs Lita to deliver the final blow. She does it in style, and after a count of three, Lita is the new Women’s Champion!

Brilliant.

It’s shows like that that make me remember why I got into wrestling in the first place. The connections we have with these people and the characters they play are unique, and there’s nothing quite like WWE. I hope you all enjoyed my return to form. I certainly did!

Without further ado, I’ll wrap things up. See you next Monday!

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