Monday Night Raw
Date: September 2, 2002
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
So uh, we don’t have a World Champion around here anymore because Brock Lesnar is the second latest casualty of the Brand Wars. The latest casualty is the Undertaker, who went back to Smackdown when Stephanie basically just told him to come because that’s how this era works. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Eric Bischoff to open things up and he’s got a briefcase. Bischoff gets right to the point: Raw needs a champion so here’s the REAL #1 contender: HHH. Eric praises HHH by saying WCW would have won the Monday Night Wars with HHH on their side. HHH takes credit for running Lesnar off and says his wife knew what was best for the company (Wouldn’t that be signing HHH?).
It’s time for the briefcase which contains the Big Gold Belt because HHH is the brand new World Heavyweight Champion (Thereby beginning its lineage. I’ve heard people say it’s the same lineage as the WCW and/or NWA World Titles and it’s still nonsense. This belt began here and that’s all there is to it.).
HHH starts in on the big speech and here’s Ric Flair to cut him off. No one ever handed him a title in a briefcase (True. When Kevin Nash literally gave him the title for reign #16, there was no briefcase involved.) so Flair thinks he should get a title shot tonight. Bischoff makes the match and both guys say it’s going to be an honor. Are we in TNA all of a sudden? HHH gets in a cheap shot before leaving.
Post break, HHH and Bubba Ray Dudley run into each other and Bubba is declared jealous. HHH talks about how Bubba could be champion one day. Bubba isn’t pleased and calls the belt Raw’s salvation before saying he’ll win the title soon enough. Uh, right.
Bubba Ray Dudley/Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly/Christopher Nowinski
Tables match. Earlier today, Chris said that after their opponents are put through tables, he’ll burst through something else. I’ll quote the following line: “And by that, I mean Molly’s hymen.” What is with these disturbing stories involving Molly? First she’s fat (not really but whatever), then she’s horrible because she’s a virgin and now it’s about taking her virginity. I know they need characters but this is ridiculous.
The guys start with Nowinski actually taking over before it’s off to Molly. That means a failed powerbomb attempt as Molly grabs a waistlock. King: “What’s that? The hymen maneuver?” It leads to some dancing as Molly’s pointless humiliation continues. I speak too soon as Bully takes her pants down (King: “IS THAT HER HYMEN???”), allowing Trish to get in a few spanks.
A WE WANT PUPPIES chant starts up as Molly gets in a neckbreaker, only to have Trish grab her own to put both women down. Bubba comes in and cleans Nowinski’s clock, giving us the “Chris falls into Molly’s crotch” spot. Chris takes What’s Up and it’s finally table time. The Molly Go Round drops Trish but Bubba saves her from the table. Nowinski misses a splash to drive himself through a table and that counts as an elimination, likely as the referee wants this to end. Molly is sent through to finally end this.
Rating: No. In every possible sense of the word, no. This wasn’t funny, this wasn’t amusing, this wasn’t something that belongs on any wrestling show ever. Just imagine someone saying ANY of these jokes on a wrestling show today and think how long they would last before being fired. This was horrible and I feel so sorry for Molly having to deal with this nonsense.
Christian and Lance Storm don’t think much of American pride or Kane for that matter either. Storm laughs off the idea of such a fat country celebrating Labor Day. Test teases more flag burning.
Bischoff gives Terri and Stacy a lingerie pillow fight. Eric gets a preview of their attire and makes various jokes.
Chris Jericho yells at Flair for getting the title shot but Ric brings up Jericho tapping out at Summerslam. Jericho hopes Flair wins so he can get the title back. These two have good chemistry together.
William Regal vs. Booker T.
Regal slugs away to start but King wants to talk about the pillow fight. Booker’s right hands don’t have much effect as Regal knocks him to the floor. Back in and the Regal Cutter gets two, only to get caught by Booker’s collection of kicks for the pin.
Rating: D+. Well…it could have been worse. The problem here is that there’s no real reason to have the match but at least the right guy won. Regal hasn’t been doing anything of note in recent weeks but Booker is getting more and more over every week. I mean, it would be nice if they went somewhere with that (say, across a few continents, like something INTERCONTINENTAL, but that’s just nonsense of course) but for now it’s just Spinaroonis all around.
Booker does the Spinarooni.
We look back at Shawn Michaels winning at Summerslam but getting attacked by HHH.
Shawn is in a wheelchair and doesn’t know if he’ll ever get his mobility back (though he does have feeling in his legs). What he does know is that it was all worth it and as far as HHH goes, what goes around comes around. Shawn picks up a sledgehammer and stares.
HHH is rubbing the title and smiling way too much.
Raw World Title: HHH vs. Ric Flair
HHH is defending of course. Flair quickly takes him down so we can hit the technical sequence. One heck of a chop sends HHH to the floor before it’s time to work on the arm for a bit. The technical, which means boring here, pace continues as HHH stomps in the corner and whips Flair over the corner and out to the floor.
HHH cranks up the speed with a suplex so Flair gives him a belly to back version. The kneedrop misses and HHH very, VERY slowly starts working on it but makes sure to walk around a bit in between. The Figure Four is countered into a small package for two on HHH, followed by an Irish whip into a chop. I’m still waiting on them to top that suplex.
A very basic whip into the corner sets up a way too big bump over the corner to send HHH to the floor. Back in and the shinbreaker sets up the Figure Four but HHH makes the ropes. The referee is sent to the floor, low blow, Pedigree and the title is retained. It’s as sudden as it sounds.
Rating: D-. I can accept the idea of a slower paced match but this felt like two seventy year olds who were on a reunion show. I’m sure HHH had a blast wrestling a rather old school style match against Flair but isn’t one big present enough in one night? HHH can be entertaining but this was taking everything that made him work (as a heel that is) and putting it in slow motion.
Post match Jericho comes out to put Flair in the Walls but Rob Van Dam makes a save.
Big Show yells at Bischoff, demanding to be #1 contender. Bischoff says go impress him and Show leaves. Eric gets a call and yells in his exposition voice that someone is jumping from Raw to join a family member on Smackdown.
Kane vs. Lance Storm/Christian
Kane shrugs off a double team and throws Storm at Christian for the early advantage. The slow (WAY too common of a theme tonight) pace begins again with Kane getting beaten down in the corner, allowing some cheap double teaming to put him down for two. The Unprettier is broken up and an electric chair puts Christian down. Kane’s comeback is cut off by even more double teaming as this is just BORING. How can you have three talented guys putting on such an uninteresting match? Storm superkicks Christian by mistake and it’s a chokeslam for the pin.
Rating: D. The Tag Team Champions, as in the ONLY Tag Team Champions in the company, just got beat clean in less than six minutes by someone who hasn’t had a match in four months. Normally I would call this an issue of the era but champions losing will always be an issue in WWE.
Post match Test tries to burn the flag but Bradshaw returns for the save. Oh. Great.
Big Show vs. Tommy Dreamer
Show throws him around with ease, then throws him around with no effort, followed by throwing him around like he’s nothing. The referee tells him not to use a chair though so Dreamer uses it and Show wins via DQ.
Dreamer beats the heck out of Show because we’re to the point where TOMMY DREAMER might be an option.
HHH wants to fight RVD tonight (HHH? Wanting to have three major segments on one show? You don’t say!) so Bischoff makes a tag with HHH/Jericho vs. Flair/Van Dam. At least Jericho and HHH argue to keep up some continuity.
Jeff Hardy vs. Crash
…..Crash is the one jumping isn’t he? This show has been so bad and so dull that it would be the only possible choice. Bischoff comes out before the bell and accuses Jeff of being the jumper so he sends out 3 Minute Warning for the big beatdown.
Jeff gets destroyed and OF COURSE CRASH IS THE ONE LEAVING. Bischoff is shocked because someone whose last (non-instant Hardcore Title match) win on Raw was in June 2001 is jumping to Raw.
Stacy Keibler vs. Terri
There’s a carpet, bed and pillows in the ring with Jerry Lawler doing running commentary. There’s spanking, stuffed animals, a slam onto a bed, a Bronco Buster and a rollup gives Terri the pin in less than two minutes. Holy sweet goodness END THIS SHOW ALREADY.
Post match Stacy hits her with a loaded pillow and covers her with a bucket of oil, which just happened to be underneath the ring. Feathering ensues. I’m so glad they had Stacy stop being the sexy assistant (as in the role she was born to play) to be….whatever this is.
HHH/Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam/Ric Flair
Van Dam goes after the heels before Flair can come out for no apparent reason, meaning Ric gets to make the save. We settle down to Jericho suplexing Van Dam for two so Lawler starts talking about the hymen again. Flair struts in as we hit the WOO before Jericho easily drops him. HHH gets in some right hands of his own but Jericho crotches himself, allowing the hot tag off to Van Dam.
One heck of a chair shot drops Rob but the fans are too busy chanting FOZZY SUCKS. Van Dam takes every main event tag team beating that you’ve ever seen in about three minutes until HHH throws Flair to the floor. Rob comes back with a few kicks to HHH but Jericho breaks up the Five Star. The Lionsault gives HHH two and Flair puts Jericho in the Figure Four on the outside. That allows HHH to bring in the title and very blatantly hold it up for the Van Daminator. The Five Star puts HHH away.
Rating: D+. See? He puts people over! All it took was a belt shot and Van Dam being fresh while HHH was in his second match. The match wasn’t half bad actually and sets up the title shot, but it’s WAY too late to save this show, especially with a match that wasn’t all that great in the first place.
Overall Rating: F. This was horrible and I have no idea how else to describe it. Between making jokes about taking Molly’s virginity and King going on and on about her various body parts to HHH taking his sweet time getting the World Title to the AWFUL Flair vs. HHH match to the pillow fight to a story about Crash freaking Holly (good thing he was on the show tonight) to the Tag Team Champions doing a clean job, I can’t think of a single good thing on this show. I’ll give Bischoff this much: I feel like I’m watching Nitro more and more every single week.
This show got as close to breaking me as anything has in a good while. It felt like there was no effort being put in here other than to amuse the people who put it together while making HHH into the most boring top star in history. I really could not stand this show and if this is where we’re going for the next several months, they’re in a lot of trouble.
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