RAW Main Event

Triple H vs. Kane in a match to unify the World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships

“One brand, one champion.”

In the fall of 2002, that was new RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff’s idea. When he took over RAW, the brand had three active singles championships and was sharing the WWE Champion with SmackDown. However, just weeks after his appointment, Bischoff began unifying the championships. The European and Hardcore Championships were absolved into the Intercontinental Championship, and at No Mercy, Bischoff’s master plan would be completed when the Intercontinental Championship and World Heavyweight Championship were unified into one.

The champions at the time were Triple H and Kane, so the match was made between the two. In the weeks leading up to the match, however, Triple H found a dark piece of Kane’s past: Katie Vick. Kane had some sort of relationship in the past with Miss Vick, and The Game used that relationship and her death to try to torment Kane while giving himself a psychological advantage.

When the match began, Kane’s anger and frustration as unleashed as he shoved The Game hard into the corner and beat him down. Kane continued his assault for a few minutes, until Triple H was finally able to use the steel ringpost to slow the Big Red Machine down.

The Game then tried to slow the pace down, applying a sleeper hold, but Kane suplexed his way out and went back on the advantage. But as he went for a pinfall, The Game’s mentor, Ric Flair, came to the ring and broke it up. That would give Triple H a momentary advantage, but when Kane’s partner The Hurricane came out to take care of Flair, the Big Red Monster went back on the offensive.

Unfortunately for Kane, that would come to a screeching halt. As the Intercontinental Champion attempted a kick, Triple H avoided the blow and the referee was knocked unconscious instead. The match spilled outside the ring and Kane was able to chokeslam The Game through the announcers’ table, but a recuperated Ric Flair came after Kane with Triple H’s signature sledgehammer.

Kane was able to wrest the weapon from Flair, but turned right into a low blow from The Game. Triple H grabbed the sledgehammer and tried to attack Kane, but he missed and walked right into a chokeslam. A new referee ran to the ring and the Big Red Monster went for the winning pinfall, but Flair pulled the ref out of the ring at the last minute to save Triple H’s championship.

Flair then scaled the ropes and jumped at Kane, but was caught with a thunderous chokeslam. Unfortunately for the Intercontinental Champion, that momentary change in direction allowed Triple H to recover. When Kane turned, The Game kicked him and nailed him with the Pedigree. He then covered Kane to get the winning pinfall, unifying the Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Championships were one.

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