Monday Night Raw
Date: November 11, 2002
Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for Survivor Series 2002 and that means we’re in for a lot of talking about the Elimination Chamber. Why do I have a feeling that means we get to hear about HHH being amazing and being able to overcome the odds? I know the others are just window dressing around the HHH vs. Shawn match but would at least giving us a reason to believe something is possible be that much to ask? Let’s get to it.
HHH vs. Booker T. later tonight and Shawn is here as well.
Tag Team Titles: Rob Van Dam/Kane vs. Chris Jericho/Christian
Christian and Jericho, coming out to Saliva’s King of the World here, are defending. Van Dam and Jericho run the ropes to start with Rob scoring off a kick to the jaw and the standing moonsault. Kane comes in to a very nice pop and punches Jericho out of the air. Everything breaks down in a hurry with Kane chokeslamming Jericho but the referee is distracted, allowing Christian to get in a low blow. Can we please get a referee who isn’t a complete screwup for once? It’s amazing how only one or two ever have been able to get this stuff right.
Christian works Kane over for a bit until it’s off to Van Dam without too much trouble. Rolling Thunder gets two on Christian but Jericho offers a distraction, allowing Christian to shove Van Dam to the floor. Things settle back down with Jericho getting two off a belly to back and grabbing a chinlock. Jericho stops to dance and actually hits his running crotch attack to the back of the neck.
The champs try some double teaming with Van Dam clotheslining Christian, allowing the hot tag to Kane. Everything breaks down again and the top rope clothesline misses. The Canadians suplex Kane down but he pops up for a chokeslam on Christian. Jericho is right back up for a belt shot to the mask, leaving Van Dam to Five Star Christian for no cover. Kane rolls onto Christian but Jericho hits him with a chair for the DQ.
Rating: B-. This was getting really good near the end with the cheap ending to save everyone. Jericho attacking Kane before Sunday made sense but the Tag Team Title situation is still kind of a mess. Christian and Jericho are probably the best option they have but it would be nice to have some regular teams instead of just throwing people together for a change.
Jericho wears Kane out with the chair.
Post break, Jericho says he’s winning the match no matter what. Christian says he’s the official alternate for anyone who can’t make the match. Jericho chairs him down because no one is winning that match but him.
Video on HHH vs. Shawn Michaels because, again, Sunday is all about them.
Booker is warming up when Ace Reporter Gregory Helms comes in to ask about the Chamber. Booker has been doing more thinking than Abraham Lincoln because he’s ready to beat up HHH, you dig? Goldust comes in to talk about the size of his microphone and mentions that they’re teaming up tonight to face Test/Steven Richards. Goldust: “Beware of the testicles because they’re becoming stronger.” To clarify, he’s NOT talking about Test’s fans.
Jeff Hardy vs. Lance Storm
JR yells about Storm and Regal carrying their flags on Veterans Day. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s also the Canadian and UK’s Remembrance Days, making this day important to all countries. Jeff doesn’t even have a flag but JR doesn’t bother complaining about that. An early crucifix attempt is countered into a Regal roll for two on Hardy and a backbeaker is good for the same.
Jeff’s legdrop between the legs gets a fast two but Storm sends him hard into the corner to work on the back some more. Lance cranks on the arms but gets caught by a mule kick to the chest to start the real comeback. The Whisper in the Wind gets two and they seem to botch a whip so Jeff gets two off a rollup instead.
Hardy sends him to the floor where Regal offers some help. As you might expect, Jeff tries to run the barricade but manages to fall off, setting up a regular double clothesline instead. Somehow he mess THAT up too as he misses Regal and only grazes Storm. Tommy Dreamer runs out to take care of Regal, leaving Jeff to hit a reverse Twist of Fate and the Swanton for the pin.
Rating: D+. So that was a mess and I can’t imagine it can be blamed on anyone but Jeff and his dealer. While he would have worse matches than this later on, it was clear that Jeff didn’t need to be in the ring at this point. It wasn’t the worst match in the world but I’d be scared to see what would happen if Hardy was in there with someone less talented than Storm.
We look back at Victoria attacking Terri last week.
Eric Bischoff has made Terri vs. Victoria for tonight. Terri freaks out as you would expect but Victoria is in the ring calling her out for looking like Trish Stratus. Terri says she’s not a wrestler (well duh) but Eric says go wrestler or get fired. He brings up her daughter because he’s a good heel boss.
Post break, Terri comes out and tries to beg off because there’s nothing for Victoria to prove. Victoria lets her off from the match but beats her up anyway. Terri loses her top (of course) but hits Victoria with a shoe. That earns her a slam on the ramp and a whip into the steps. Charles Robinson tries to break it up and gets hit low, leaving Victoria to grab a ladder. Trish finally comes out for the save.
Batista is walking through the back when Ric Flair comes out of HHH’s locker room (no idea how Flair knew Batista was there) to say how impressive Batista is. Batista won’t shake his hand but does say thank you.
D’Lo Brown vs. Dave Batista
JR tries to convince us that Brown has a chance here as the big clothesline, spinebuster and Batista Bomb wrap this up in a hurry.
Thank you veterans.
Here’s Shawn for a chat. By now, everyone knows how he believes in his God, his family and in each and every one of them. The thing is he’s human, and that means he also believes in retribution. Shawn doesn’t know what an Elimination Chamber match is but he didn’t know what a ladder match, the Cell or a Marathon match was but they wound up going just fine. Well he lost the first two ladder matches, nearly died in the Cell and apparently can’t remember the name of the third so this might not be the best idea.
It was only four years off with a career ending back injury but hey, it could happen! He might not be the Heartbreak Kid anymore but he’s still Shawn Michaels and that might be enough. Shawn really doesn’t care about winning the World Heavyweight Championship. All that matters is making sure HHH doesn’t walk out with the belt. Shawn believes all things are possible and it’s possible that he’s the next champ. Cue HHH to say that in this arena, he’s god. The brawl is on and HHH leaves him laying with the Pedigree. Referees come out to break up the sledgehammer swing.
Dudley Boyz vs. 3 Minute Warning
Jeff Hardy is here as there’s a six man tables match between Bubba/Spike/Jeff vs. Rico/3 Minute Warning on Sunday. Normally I would ask why Rico wasn’t facing Jeff earlier but Storm was the better option all Jeff issues considered. Bubba beats up both Samoans to start and Spike adds a top rope double stomp to Jamal’s ribs. A backdrop sends Spike to the floor for one heck of a crash. The slow beating sees Spike being sent outside but Bubba tags himself in on the way through the ropes. Bubba cleans house as Jeff beats up Rico. Jamal gives Bubba the pop up Samoan drop for the fast pin.
Jeff beats up all three bad guys but misses the Swanton as Rico is pulled to safety. Jamal splashes Jeff and Spike through the same table for a huge crash.
Scott Steiner video.
Here’s Christopher Nowinski to say Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. Never mind of course as he’s just doing an experiment in crowd manipulation.
Al Snow vs. Christopher Nowinski
Snow charges the ring and Nowinski drops the mic for a rather loud noise. A headlock takes Chris down and a right hand to the jaw makes things even worse. Nowinski grabs a rollup and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin.
Chris goes after him again post match but Maven makes the save.
Here’s Eric Bischoff for a chat. After a quick plug for tomorrow’s Super Tuesday special, we get a video on the making of the Chamber. Eric actually explains the concept and that’s about it.
F-View shows us Steven Richards trying to get Stacy to be his marketing agent too. In other words, he wants her to spank him with the kendo stick. Test does it instead and Stacy bends over for something but……RNN BREAKING NEWS!
Orton has suffered a setback in the form of a chaffed shoulder due to a bad sling. It’s been solved though and his recovery will be fine.
Trish says buy Anthology.
Hurricane/Goldust vs. Test/Steven Richards
Test beats on Hurricane to start before it’s off to Richards who takes a Blockbuster. Richards hits Test by mistake and the Eye of the Hurricane gets two. Everything breaks down and Test Rolls the Dice on Hurricane for the fast pin.
Richards hugs Stacy so Test beats him up. Test: “DON’T YOU EVER TOUCH ONE OF MY TESTICLES!”
Booker tells HHH that he’ll win on Sunday. There are five opponents on Sunday and someone is beating HHH. The champ holds up five fingers and slowly counts them down. I think you get where this is going.
HHH vs. Booker T.
Non-title. Booker spinwheel kicks him down at the bell and scores with a suplex on the floor. That earns Booker a whip into the steps and the jumping knee/facebuster back inside. Naturally the announcers are talking about college football with JR getting overly annoyed. Booker elbows HHH in the face to set up the ax kick but has to slam Flair off the top. Flair gets kicked to the floor but it’s a low blow in the Pedigree to give HHH the pin.
Rating: D. And so much for Booker, just in case you thought he had the slightest chance of pulling off a miracle on Sunday. There was no reason to have him lose here other than to make sure you knew HHH was the star. Booker didn’t have to win but do a no contest or something other than having Booker lose like this. Then again he’s already lost all the credibility he could have had in the first place so this doesn’t exactly cripple him.
Shawn comes in to beat on HHH and Flair but all six Chamber participants come in for the brawl. Everyone hits everyone as this goes on WAY too long. Shawn eventually gives HHH a Pedigree but gets chaired by Jericho to end the show.
Overall Rating: D-. This show managed to kill off the Elimination Chamber before the thing even debuts. WWE is making one thing very clear: HHH and Shawn Michaels are all that matter on Sunday and the other four are just window dressing. They really would have been better off doing a cage match or something like that but I guess Shawn isn’t ready to do that kind of thing yet. Either way, there’s no secret that the other four have no chance and WWE isn’t bothering to hide it.
The rest of the show continued to showcase how worthless most of Raw really is. We sat through a bunch of short, worthless matches that aren’t interesting and didn’t do anything to make me want to keep watching. Everything feels either sloppy or lethargic with nothing that would even remotely classify as a hot feud. When you factor in that it’s being compared to the recently amazing Smackdown, the show somehow feels even worse, if that’s possible.
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