Smackdown – August 15, 2002

Smackdown
Date: August 15, 2002
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

With ten days to go before Summerslam, the Raw half of the card is mostly filled in. That leaves a lot of Smackdown to go and that could mean some interesting things going on. Now of course the important thing tonight is Brock Lesnar vs. Rikishi because that’s the kind of match that needs to be advertised. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – August 12, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 12, 2002
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

With less than two weeks to go before Summerslam, it might be nice to add a few matches to the card. Unless I’m missing something, all we have at the moment is Rock vs. Lesnar and HHH vs. Shawn Michaels. While those are both big matches, you need more than that to fill out a show. I mean, Shawn and HHH might disagree but not everyone thinks like they do. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 1, 2002

Smackdown
Date: August 1, 2002
Location: Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s back to the blue show where Brock Lesnar is a monster and everyone else is just hoping he doesn’t come after them. On top of that though we have a new face force comprised of John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Edge, who cleaned house to end last week’s show. That being said, their opponents are now gone due to Bischoff vs. Stephanie. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – July 29, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 29, 2002
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re officially in the HHH Era on Raw but unfortunately he doesn’t really have a lot to do yet. Last week HHH debuted on the show and turned heel by beating up Shawn Michaels, but there’s absolutely no way that’s going to lead to a match anytime soon of course. With about a month left before Summerslam, the card is in need of some matches in a hurry. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 25, 2002

Smackdown
Date: July 25, 2002
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s another big night for Smackdown as we have the in ring debut of Rey Mysterio as well as the Smackdown debut of Brock Lesnar, who Stephanie stole this past Monday. We’re also getting ready for Summerslam and that’s the best thing that could happen after a rather dreadful summer. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – July 22, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 22, 2002
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re just over a month away from Summerslam but more importantly, HHH is now officially on Raw. I know it’s not the best sounding thing in the world but at this point, Raw is absolutely dying for star power and HHH gives them a top name. Booker T., Rob Van Dam and Ric Flair are big names but they’re not top level stars at this point, making HHH a necessary evil. Let’s get to it.

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Vengeance 2002

Vengeance 2002
Date: July 21, 2002
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 12,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re in an interesting place here as both shows have their first General Managers but the stories are hit and miss at best. The main event is the Rock, who has had one match since he came back, challenging Undertaker for the title in a triple threat also involving Kurt Angle. This is really just a pit stop before Summerslam though so let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 18, 2002

Smackdown
Date: July 18, 2002
Location: First Union Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Vengeance but the bigger story here is the in ring return of the Rock who will be facing Kurt Angle to warm up for his World Title match on Sunday. Other than that we get to meet the first Smackdown General Manager, who I’m sure won’t be a huge disappointment and create a bunch of plot holes. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – July 11, 2002

Smackdown
Date: July 11, 2002
Location: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the week after a big show and the top story is the return of the Rock. It’s not clear what he’s going to be doing here but odds are it’s something rather simple that is going to be considered amazing because it’s the Rock. If nothing else he needs to start the build towards Vengeance when he challenges for the World Title. Let’s get to it.

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King of the Ring 2002

King of the Ring 2002
Date: June 23, 2002
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 14,198
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

I haven’t been looking forward to this one and I have a feeling that’s going to be proven right. The triple main event is Hulk Hogan vs. Kurt Angle, HHH vs. Undertaker for the World Title and the tournament final, none of which would be interesting in the first place but here they’re getting a ton of focus. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – June 17, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 17, 2002
Location: The Arena in Oakland, Oakland, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for King of the Ring and that means we’re getting the first two quarterfinal matches tonight. Unfortunately it means we’re also getting more of the mess that Raw has become. However, with WWE having to hit a big reset button last week, it should be interesting to see where things go from here. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – March 25, 2002 (First WWF Draft)

This seemed appropriate given what we’re seeing now.  Starting tonight, I’ll be putting up alternating reviews from the original Brand Split with Raw going up on Wednesday and Smackdown/pay per views going up on Saturdays.  There’s no better place to start than on the original Draft so let’s get to it.

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 25, 2002
Location: Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,550
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This seemed due for a second look since they’re doing it all again this year. We’re just after Wrestlemania XVIII and things are kind of in a lull. With so many wrestlers and no big evil for the WWF to fight (since the WCW/ECW Invasion just had to be started and wrapped up by Thanksgiving), it was decided to split the rosters in two. This was a really cool idea at the time but it should be interesting to see how it worked when the initial Brand Extension isn’t the most fondly remembered concept. Let’s get to it.

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What the World Was Watching: WrestleMania XV

Boyz 2 Men sing “America the Beautiful” to kick off the show.  They receive a Cena-like mixed reaction.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 22, 1999

Steve Austin arrives at the arena and comes across a driver of a Coor’s Light truck.  Product placement 101.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are calling the action and they are live from Albany, New York.  This is the last RAW we have to hear called by Cole for a while so I am happy about that.  This is the go home show for WrestleMania XV.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 15, 1999

A video package recaps the tensions building between the Rock and Paul Wight, whose nickname has been changed to “The Big Show” instead of the “The Big Nasty.”  We are also reminded that the Undertaker is going after Vince McMahon.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from San Jose, California.

WWF Champion The Rock opens the show and he tells Steve Austin that he will prove his status as “The Great One” at WrestleMania.  He demands that Vince McMahon come out and prove to him that the Big Show is not working with Austin.  McMahon complies and says that “Dwayne” needs a reality check for being ungrateful for all that McMahon has given him.  He says that three generations of his family have looked after the Rock’s ancestors and that Paul Wight is not as quick to understand the existing agreement.  Wight comes out and demands to know what McMahon is talking about, threatening he and the Rock.  McMahon does not kindly to that, leading Wight to manhandle him into a corner to get his point across.  McMahon collects himself and books the Rock and Wight to team up to face Mankind and Steve Austin, thereby making this a preview of WrestleMania.  The Rock and Wight shake hands to end the segment at McMahon’s behest.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 8, 1999

A video package chronicles Steve Austin attacking the Rock on Sunday Night Heat and Paul Wight not trying to save the Rock from the assault.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are calling the action and they are live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 1, 1999

A video package recaps the Undertaker’s recent threats against Vince McMahon, culminating in the Undertaker burning a teddy bear at the end of last week’s RAW.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Cleveland, Ohio.

The Corporation comes out and Vince McMahon discusses how the audience does not understand his capacity to love.  He fires Kane for losing the inferno match to the Undertaker last week and has orderlies come down to send Kane to the insane asylum.  However, Chyna comes to Kane’s aid and they fight them off.  Chyna tells McMahon that she can control Kane and asks for Kane to be booked against Steve Austin, with Kane’s job on the line.  McMahon counters by also putting Chyna’s job on the line.  Mankind then joins the festivities and volunteers to referee the Steve Austin-Kane match to prove himself worthy of refereeing the title match at WrestleMania XV.  McMahon agrees on the condition that Mankind is able to defeat the Undertaker on tonight’s show (this is later clarified in the broadcast to mean that McMahon will consider Mankind for the role at WrestleMania based on how the match goes).  The Undertaker’s voice then comes on via the loudspeakers and he says that he has already told McMahon what he is going to take from him.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – February 22, 1999

A video package recaps the Rock winning the WWF title in a ladder match against Mankind on last week’s show.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Vince McMahon comes out to hype tonight’s Inferno Match between the Undertaker and Kane.  He welcomes Paul Wight to the ring, who is booked to be the guest referee at WrestleMania.  Cole is trying to get Wight over as “The Big Nasty,” so I guess it is good that “The Big Show” name was chosen instead.  WWF Champion The Rock also comes out, quickly getting into a verbal confrontation with Wight, telling him to “Know his role.”  McMahon’s efforts at playing peacemaker get nowhere until Mankind marches onto the stage and volunteers to referee the WrestleMania main event, as well as referee a Rock-Wight encounter tonight.  Wight then proceeds to challenge the Rock to a match, which the Rock gladly accepts and he says he will put the WWF title on the line too.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – February 15, 1999

A series of narrated photographs recaps last night’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre pay-per-view.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Birmingham, Alabama.

Commissioner Shawn Michaels comes out and welcomes out the participants in the WrestleMania main event:  WWF Champion Mankind and Steve Austin.  Before anything can be said between them, Vince McMahon interrupts, wearing a neck brace and selling his beating from Austin the previous night.  McMahon claims to be a broken man and that he wants a fresh start with Austin on the condition that Austin apologizes.  Austin does apologize, but only for beating McMahon more than he intended.  McMahon tells Michaels that people deserve a WWF title rematch between Mankind and the Rock because their match last night ended in a draw so he needs to do his job and book it for tonight.  Mankind says he needs a week to recover, bringing out the Rock, who continues to goad Michaels into booking a title match for this evening.  Mankind decides to take on the Rock after all and to make sure that there is a winner Michaels announces that tonight’s title match will be a ladder match.  After that, McMahon welcomes out Paul Wight, who he says will be the special guest referee of the title match at WrestleMania.  Austin simply flips him off from the ring to end the segment.

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What the World Was Watching: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House

So after being away for several months due to some work obligations, “What the World Was Watching” returns by picking up where we left off in 1999.  The Steve Austin-Vince McMahon rivalry is continuing and they are set to do battle in a steel cage match where if Austin loses then he surrenders his WrestleMania title shot.  The Undertaker is busy with his Ministry of Darkness nonsense and Mankind is keeping the Rock busy before WrestleMania.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Memphis, Tennessee.

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Wrestlemania XXXII

Wrestlemania XXXII
Date: April 3, 2016
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Attendance: 101,763
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton
America the Beautiful: Fifth Harmony

We’ve finally arrived at what might be the biggest show of all time. The attendance record is going to be set tonight (it just is) and the card is……well did I mention that attendance? Yeah the build to this one hasn’t been all that great with a double main event of Roman Reigns challenging HHH for the WWE World Title and Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon inside the Cell with Undertaker’s future at Wrestlemania vs. Shane controlling Raw on the line in a story that stops making sense as soon as you start thinking about it too much. Let’s get to it.

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What the World Was Watching: Saturday Night Raw – February 13, 1999

Even though it is the height of the Attitude Era, RAW was still being pre-empted by the Westminster Dog Show.  As a result, this is Saturday Night Raw. At least it is in Skydome and that is always a cool visual.

A video package recaps the Austin-McMahon feud from the Royal Rumble up to last week’s show.

Michael Cole and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  This is the “go home” show for St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – February 1, 1999

Footage of Mankind defeating the Rock for the WWF title during Halftime Heat is shown.  There was a spoiler for that match since this show was taped nearly a week before that match aired.

Shane McMahon tells the Corporation that Vince McMahon is on a separate assignment in Texas, so he lets them know that he is in charge.  Test, Ken Shamrock, and the Big Bossman have no idea where Kane is.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Tucson, Arizona.

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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – January 25, 1999

Pictures and audio excerpts recap last night’s Royal Rumble match.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth from Phoenix, Arizona.

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