Monday Night Raw
Date: May 13, 2002
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Since when does a city get Wrestlemania in March and Raw in May? It’s the final Raw before Judgment Day and the big question is what can possibly happen to Hogan and Undertaker now? Last week was a total disaster and I can’t imagine things are going to get any better here. Let’s get to it.
Hardy Boyz vs. Brock Lesnar
From a Tag Team Title match at Wrestlemania to putting Lesnar over two months later. Matt gets in a few shots to start but hands it off to Jeff, who is planted with a big, strong slam. Matt goes after the leg as the fans chant for the Maple Leafs. The slow beating of Matt continues until a ram into the buckle allows the tag to Jeff. Right hands don’t work and a HORRIBLY botched jawbreaker sets up Poetry in Motion for the big hope spot. Jeff hits a splash as Matt drops a top rope leg but Heyman pulls the referee out at two for the LAME DQ. JR: “I think the referee has disqualified Heyman.” Not quite Jim.
Rating: D. So Matt and Jeff get to beat Brock and almost have him pinned? Well on one hand, Lesnar shouldn’t be able to beat one of the best teams ever but on the other hand, Lesnar shouldn’t be in anything close to this much trouble yet. As has been the case with everything else around here lately, this was really poorly booked and does a lot more harm than good.
Post match, the Hardys hit their tandem finishers so Heyman challenges them to a rematch at the pay per view with himself as Brock’s partner. Matt immediately accepts in a very loud voice for someone not on a microphone.
The NWO is in the back when Ric Flair comes in. Flair has apparently taken over as leader for the group but he’s had to fire Scott Hall for dropping the ball at Wrestlemania and multiple other times (read as because of the Plane Ride). On top of that, of course Nash isn’t suspended because he’s just out healing from bicep surgery. As for tonight though, there’s going to be a new member of the team and it’s such a big secret that even the new member doesn’t know yet. Uh, that’s kind of a stretch no?
Get The F Out.
Here are Flair and Big Show with something to say. Flair mentions being a sixteen time World Champion, which makes him fifteen times better than the Maple Leafs. The Leafs have won thirteen Stanley Cups so I have no idea what he’s going for there. I get what he means but the wording is weird. He also has a real enforcer in Big Show instead of that worthless Tie Domi.
Flair thinks it’s clear that there’s a problem between himself and Steve Austin. He gave Austin everything he wanted and got Stunned so Austin is like everyone else here: trash. Austin is in big trouble on Sunday, but tonight Flair has other ideas. Tonight, he’ll be challenging Hulk Hogan for the World Title. I can live with that actually as their matches can at least be passable and shouldn’t involve motorcycles.
Post break we’re told that Flair has made his title shot a No DQ match. That’s probably necessary.
Hogan arrives…..on a motorcyle. Oh geez.
Shawn Stasiak vs. Eddie Guerrero
Non-title and fallout from Eddie accusing Planet Stasiak of growing marijuana. I’ve heard weirder. I mean, I can’t think of anything at the moment but I’m sure it’s out there. Maybe on Planet Stasiak. We’re not ready yet though as Rob Van Dam comes out to watch as well. Stasiak grabs a quick gutwrench suplex but Eddie gets in a regular suplex to set up the frog splash for the easy pin.
Van Dam jumps Eddie post match. Eddie yells at Rob for interfering in his match (which he didn’t do) and promises to get revenge on Sunday.
Steve Austin doesn’t think much of Flair and does a lot of WHAT stuff to bother Coach. He says he’s going to win on Sunday and insults Flair in a bit that takes about three times as long as it should.
And now, A Day in the Life of Tommy Dreamer. See, Tommy is disgusting and brushes his dog’s teeth before using the same brush, shaves his tongue and drinks toilet water. I’ll take an answer to any one of the following questions:
How does this advance anything?
How stupid do you have to be to find this amusing?
What does this accomplish other than making the answer to the previous question laugh?
Was there no one else who could get this time?
Why am I watching this on a wrestling show?
Molly Holly vs. Terri
William Regal, who seems to be dating Molly is on commentary. Terri is wrestling in a tank top and underwear so you can imagine who Lawler is cheering for. We start with Terri’s horrible offense (since she’s not a wrestler) as Lawler makes fun of Molly for being a virgin. A suplex gets two for Molly but she gets crotched on top and taken down by a shockingly competent hurricanrana. Not that it matters as Molly small packages her for the easy pin. This got double the time as the match to set up Sunday’s Intercontinental Title match.
Regal escorts Molly out so she doesn’t have to deal with rude Canadian fans.
WWE World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair
No DQ. Hogan is defending and comes to the ring on a motorcycle because that’s the plot point of his feud with Undertaker. A shoulder puts Flair down early and it’s time to pose a lot. Flair gets shouldered again so it’s time for an early chair. By that I mean Ric throws one around and tries chops for some reason, only to have Hogan chop him in the corner instead.
Hogan switches over to the much better right hands and a slam off the top as they’re just doing the old standards here. Flair takes over with a low blow and stomps away before starting in on the knee. The knee drop to the knee is blocked and Hogan puts Ric in the Figure Four. Flair makes the ropes and it’s already Hulk Up time. The big boot and legdrop look to finish but X-Pac comes in for the save. Big Show and Bradshaw are your next to run-ins, followed by Austin to Stun Flair, setting up the legdrop to retain the title.
Rating: D. Hogan and Austin in the same match and somehow the idea of them doing ANYTHING together was never even teased on TV. Pay either of them whatever they want to set that match up as I’m sure one of them would be able to get over their legacy issues if the check was big enough. Anyway, Hogan was much more in his element here: getting in and out in less than two minutes and having more than enough interference to keep him from actually wrestling.
Flair yells at the NWO and makes a lumberjack match with Austin facing the newest member of the team. Fine, but have we gotten a reason as to why Flair is with the NWO or whether or not he’s actually with the team? I know he’s hanging out with them but he’s not in NWO gear and isn’t announced as an official member. Ignoring the fact that Flair would be the last person to join that group, could they at least make this a bit more clear?
Hardcore Title/Women’s Title: Bubba Ray Dudley/Trish Stratus vs. Steven Richards/Jazz
Richards and Jazz are defending and only one title changes if the champions lose. Bubba throws Trish onto both champions to start and tells Richards to shut up. Trish takes Jazz inside for the opening bell before Bubba splashes Richards into Jazz. That means Jazz falls face first into Richards’ crotch. It’s funny you see. The weapons are brought in because the match is half hardcore (just like the division for years now).
Bubba starts punching Richards and crushes his crotch with a hockey stick and stop sign. Since we haven’t buried this idea into the ground enough, here are Crash Holly and Justin Credible to unsuccessfully go after the title. Steven tags Jazz in because tags exist in a hardcore match. Jazz’s double chickenwing slam sends Trish crashing to the mat but a quick Stratusfaction gives Trish the title back.
Rating: D-. My head hurts again and most of it is due to that hardcore nonsense. This story could have been done just as easily (and far more effectively) with the men being left out. At least Trish won the title back in her hometown, which makes you wonder why they didn’t just do the title change at Wrestlemania about six weeks ago. The hardcore stuff got the focus because it’s flashier and the title change is overlooked. Such is life in 2002 WWE.
Trish tells Bubba to get the tables and the already knocked out Jazz is powerbombed. Nice one WWE.
Undertaker has nothing to say about last week’s motorcycle incident. That’s probably better for everyone involved.
We run down the pay per view card. I’m not exactly thrilled, even with all the gimmicks included.
Goldust and Booker T. will be lumberjacks tonight so Goldust has given Booker a costume. We get part of the Lumberjack Song from Monty Python and Booker finally snaps. I don’t know what it is about these things but they keep cracking me up. It could be that it’s two guys with comedic chemistry and funny material instead of unfunny people with no chemistry and bad material. Just a thought.
Bradshaw vs. X-Pac/Big Show
X-Pac starts for the team and gets thrown around like the smaller guy he is so Bradshaw can drop some elbows. Bradshaw makes the mistake of going after Big Show though and gets double teamed with Show pulling him down by the hair. X-Pac gets thrown around some more until Show hits Bradshaw in the back with a chair. Two chokeslams give X-Pac the easy pin.
Rating: D-. Was this supposed to be interesting? The NWO is down to the sixth original member and someone who left the team twice, plus Ric Flair (maybe). It took two members plus a chair shot to beat BRADSHAW. The team can’t even beat midcarders on their own anymore and it’s not even sad anymore. Now it’s just annoying and a really big waste of time.
Hogan, in a helmet and leather jacket, says he was thinking about taking the gear off and scaring hoodlums in neighborhoods but he’d rather be a lumberjack. Cue Undertaker to beat Hogan down and tie him to the motorcycle. Undertaker then rides it around the back of the arena in something that looks like it belongs in a straight to DVD comedy which isn’t funny in the first place. Actually, I think Hogan does something like this in Suburban Commando (which is a classic and therefore doesn’t fit the earlier description).
After riding around the back of the arena for a bit, which looks more fun than dangerous and painful, Hogan crashes into some cardboard boxes. That could be very abrasive to the skin, especially in leather. This was more funny than bad but can I get Hogan in a leather jacket and helmet rampaging through neighborhoods and beating up low level criminals? That almost has to be a rejected movie script somewhere. Hogan gets looked at by medics and put in a neck brace, despite that probably being the safest stunt this side of a stunt man you’ll see in WWE.
Steve Austin vs. ???
Flair has handpicked the lumberjacks so Austin beats up the low level heels for a warmup. The newest member is….Booker T. Well who else was it going to be? Like seriously, who else? Regal maybe? Eddie? It’s not like Booker is doing anything else at the moment other than the funniest stuff on the show. Luckily Booker is completely willing to join the team, even though it’s a downgrade from the Lumberjack Song. Lawler: “Who wouldn’t want to be in the NWO?” JR: “Just about anybody with any common sense.” True story.
Booker hammers away and Austin hammers away before grabbing a spinebuster to take over. The FU elbow is broken up by Boss Man pulling Austin to the floor so Brock can beat him up. A ram into the post only gives Booker two so Austin hits another spinebuster and the worst right hands I’ve ever seen him throw. Flair and the NWO beat on Austin some more but he clotheslines Booker as he gets up from the Spinarooni. The NWO beats up Austin for the third time so he hits Booker low, beats up more lumberjacks, Stuns Regal…..and rolls Booker up for the pin.
Rating: F. My head is exploding from watching this. In case it’s not clear, Austin is fighting the NWO, which they established earlier tonight, over the last several months, plus THREE TIMES IN A FIVE MINUTE MATCH. The NWO has turned into a horrible disaster (which wasn’t that far of a fall in the first place) and now the newest member, and pretty easily the most talented member of the team at the moment, is losing in a 10 on 1 match? Booker is the kind of guy who could easily be elevated to the main event (which is DYING for fresh blood, especially on the face side) but he’s jobbing to Austin like this? There are no words.
Post match Arn Anderson of all people jumps Austin from behind and a big beatdown ends the show.
Overall Rating: Agoobwa. This show has turned into a circus and the NWO is stuck in the tiny car. The ONLY face worth anything on this show is Austin and he’s stuck with this never ending NWO feud where he’s clearly slumming it, even when the entire team is fighting him at once. Flair is a low rent version of Mr. McMahon, Brock is stuck fighting the Hardyz again and again, Booker is now in the NWO because reasons, Eddie and Van Dam are talented but are basically this show’s cruiserweights (have the only good matches all night and then get forgotten by the halfway point) and the women are fighting about being virgins.
I don’t even know what to make fun of on here. They know how to put on good shows but this whole EVERYONE IS A HEEL BUT AUSTIN schtick is getting old. Let Van Dam go fight in the main event or have Booker help in the fight against the NWO instead of joining it. Just do…..ANYTHING other than what they’re doing at the moment. I have no idea who thinks this is the best way to go about doing things but something needs to change and it needs to change soon because this is some of the worst wrestling TV I’ve ever seen.
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