You don’t see too many “classic” wrestling matches on WWE’s weekly “Monday Night RAW” and the reason why is simple: they often don’t want to give away too much on TV when they have pay-per-view/special events every month.
However, this match that took place 16 years ago on “RAW” certainly qualifies as a classic, and is one of the best matches the promotion has ever produced.
The background behind this match is that Stone Cold Steve Austin had just turned heel — into a villain character — at WrestleMania 17, and he had teamed up with Triple H to essentially horde all of the titles in the company. The group was won the tag team titles, and that was in addition to Stone Cold owning the then WWF-title and Triple H holding the Intercontinental Title.
Well, title reigns don’t last forever, and someone had to start taking the championships back to the good side of the wrestling spectrum. That’s where Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit came in, as the two were pegged to take the tag team championships from the so-called “Two-man Power Trip”.
Not only was the match incredible, and potentially the best in “Monday Night RAW” history, but it has become iconic for one moment: the stumble that Triple H takes near the end of the match. Triple H actually tore his right quad muscle at that moment, and instead of the match coming to a halt, the now WWE Executive Vice President continued on with the match, leading to the scheduled finish.
That right, Triple H is just walking around with a torn quad and executing the finish of the match to the best he can. That’s pretty amazing dedication to your craft.
The match, while amazing in a vacuum, has come under scrutiny in recent years due to the involvement of Benoit, and the double-murder/suicide he committed in 2007. Because of that, WWE often doesn’t recognize this match as one of the premier moments in “RAW” history.
However, it is nice to look back in wrestling history and see a moment on television that had a hot crowd, a great match with main-event players, and a title change.