Monday Night Raw – March 17, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 17, 2003
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re less than two weeks away from Wrestlemania and….yeah I’m not really caring that much yet. The show just isn’t looking interesting and I’m not sure how much tonight is going to help. This week’s big attraction is Steve Austin vs. Eric Bischoff II for no apparent reason, though a lack of logic has never stopped WWE before. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – March 17, 2003

Smackdown – August 15, 2017

Smackdown
Date: August 15, 2017
Location: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the last show before Summerslam and there’s a big main event to send us home. This week features Jinder Mahal vs. John Cena in a non-title match, which likely means that Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura will be lurking around. Other than that we’ll be pushing some of Sunday’s lower card matches as well. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – August 15, 2017

Smackdown – March 13, 2003

Smackdown
Date: March 13, 2003
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s a big night in Pittsburgh as the hometown boy Kurt Angle is defending the Smackdown World Title against former champion Brock Lesnar. WWE has hyped the heck out of having the Wrestlemania main event two and a half weeks early and that almost guarantees some kind of a screwy finish. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – March 13, 2003

Monday Night Raw – March 10, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 10, 2003
Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

With less than three weeks to go before Wrestlemania, it’s time to really start hammering things home. The big draw tonight is Rock vs. Booker T. and if Rock wins, he can either face HHH for the title or Steve Austin for pride at Wrestlemania. Why this is even happening isn’t clear as there’s no reason to think Rock would want the World Title but that’s Raw in general at times. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – March 10, 2003

Smackdown – August 8, 2017

Smackdown
Date: August 8, 2017
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re still in Toronto this week and it’s time to keep hamming home the Summerslam build. The main event this week is Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal because IT CAN NEVER BE OVER. Other than that we have a pair of women’s matches and Shane McMahon talking a lot because that’s what he does. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – August 8, 2017

Smackdown – March 6, 2003

Smackdown
Date: March 6, 2003
Location: Harbor Yard Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’ve reached Wrestlemania month and it’s time for some payback as we have Brock Lesnar vs. Paul Heyman inside a steel cage. The hard sell for the pay per view has become but Kurt Angle’s neck isn’t even being held together by gum and duct tape anymore. It should be interesting to see how the company deals with that as Wrestlemania is less than a month away. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – March 6, 2003

Monday Night Raw – March 3, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 3, 2003
Location: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s Wrestlemania month and that means it’s time to pick things up in a hurry. Tonight that will be accomplished by having Steve Austin show up to confront the Rock, who called him out last week for winning Superstar of the Decade. Other than that we’re going to start the build to HHH vs. Booker T. for the Raw World Title, which certainly won’t get really uncomfortable in a hurry. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – March 3, 2003

Smackdown – August 1, 2017

Smackdown
Date: August 1, 2017
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s one heck of a big show tonight as we have two major matches announced in advance (which thankfully seems to be a bit more of a trend lately). Tonight it’s AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the US Title but the big match is an actual dream match between Shinsuke Nakamura and John Cena for the Smackdown World Title shot at Summerslam. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – August 1, 2017

Smackdown – February 27, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 27, 2003
Location: Labatt Centre, London, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re officially on the road to Wrestlemania and that means it’s time to turn things up a lot. Thankfully the main event of Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar for the title is already set, but unfortunately there’s that whole broken neck thing that Angle has going on (again). Edge is having similar issues as well and hopefully that’s the end of the injury bug issues. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 27, 2003

Monday Night Raw – February 24, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 24, 2003
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after No Way Out and that means it’s time to start things shifting towards Wrestlemania. HHH defeated Scott Steiner last night to end their feud (thank goodness) and now he needs a new challenge for the titles. Other than that we have Steve Austin back tonight and it should be interesting to see how he holds up as a full time guy instead of someone just back for a stand alone appearance. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 24, 2003

Smackdown – July 25, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 25, 2017
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re past Battleground and that means we’re off to the biggest party of the summer. Jinder Mahal is still the Smackdown World Champion and there’s a chance that Great Khali will be in his corner for at least a little while. Tonight we’ll likely find out who is next up for Mahal now that Randy Orton is out of the way. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 25, 2017

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2016

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2016

(I literally remember NOTHING about this show from last year.  Apparently it happened, though!) 

Apologies in advance for formatting problems, as for various reasons I’m doing this one on my backup-backup-backup Ubuntu-formatted netbook because it was the only computer I had charged and I’m pressed for time tonight. (I’ve tried a million different “lite” Linux distributions on my Acer netbook looking for something that approximates Windows enough to comfortably resurrect it from the recycle pile, but it’s just too difficult to comfortably type on and I always end up going back to my Surface for taking notes on stuff.  I have WAY too many useless pieces of technology, I know.) 

Live from Washington, DC

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Byron Saxton & JBL.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2016

No Way Out 2003

No Way Out 2003
Date: February 23, 2003
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Attendance: 15,100
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for another pay per view that is little more than a glorified pit stop before the real pay per view. At least this time around there are some major matches though, including Scott Steiner vs. HHH II and Rock vs. Hulk Hogan II, the latter of which is a little more interesting as Rock is a full on heel. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNo Way Out 2003

Smackdown – February 20, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 20, 2003
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for No Way Out and the big draw this week is Hulk Hogan and the Rock being in the same building. I know it’s a battle of the generations but I’m not quite sure they’re going to have the same magic they had a year ago. Other than that, Kurt Angle has agreed to face Brock Lesnar. I’m sure he’s an honest man so let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 20, 2003

New E-Book/Paperback: KB’s Complete 2002 Monday Night Raw Reviews

It was the worst of times….and it’s mostly downhill from there. Monday Night Raw has been on the air for the better part of twenty five years and there have been a lot of ups and downs but 2002 is regularly near the bottom of the list.  In this book, I’m going back through the entire year and looking at every episode to see just how bad things got. There is so much to cover ranging from the final months of Steve Austin’s time as a WWE regular to the Brand Split to the period where WWE scrambled to replace Austin to the rise of Brock Lesnar to Katie Vick to the Shawn Michaels and Triple H Love Fest. I’ll be breaking down each show match by match and segment by segment, including analysis, ratings and historical content included.

The book is available as either an e-book ($2.99) or a regular paperback ($9.99) and are now available on Amazon. If you’re interested in the e-book but don’t have a Kindle or anything to read it on, there are several free apps from Amazon that you can get for whatever platform you like. You can see those right here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here:

E-Book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0742QFYY4

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521887594

From the UK Amazon here:

E-Book:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0742QFYY4

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1521887594

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon site, just search “KB Raw 2002” and it should be the first thing to pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1997, 1998, 2001 and the first half of 2014, Monday Nitro from 1995-1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998, Wrestlemania, WWE Grab Bag and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

Monday Night Raw – February 17, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 17, 2003
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home Raw for No Way Out and thankfully Scott Steiner vs. HHH II doesn’t feel like it’s anywhere near the biggest thing on the show anymore. Unfortunately what is the biggest story on this show is the chance that Steve Austin will be here on Sunday, which leaves a bunch of talking and nothing to see building up to the show. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 17, 2003

Smackdown – July 18, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 18, 2017
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Battleground and Jinder Mahal has brought the Punjabi Prison with him to Smackdown. My guess would be to get people interested in what the match is going to look like if they haven’t been around for more than ten years, which is about as good of an idea as they could have for this. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 18, 2017

The SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1993

The SmarK Retro Rant for King of the Ring 93

(Originally written June of 2001)

This would be one of the most frequent recipients of the “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE” type of request from people, for reasons that still elude me. But hey, the 2001 edition of KOTR is in a week, so let’s get to ‘er.

Live from Dayton, OH, home of The Rick.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1993

WWE House Show – July 17, 2017

I took in the Raw house show last night at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The featured attraction this time around was John Cena, who was making a rare house show appearance. However, this wasn’t mentioned on TV commercials until the week of the show, despite the announcement being made on WWE.com over three weeks ago. The crowd was solid enough for a Sunday house show but I have to think advertising Cena as a major attraction would have helped.

Read moreWWE House Show – July 17, 2017

Smackdown – February 13, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 13, 2003
Location: Centennial Garden, Bakersfield, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re less than two weeks away from No Way Out and you can see most of the card from here. The big story coming out of last week is Team Angle, now with a title for each, seemingly getting ready to face Edge/Chris Benoit/Brock Lesnar. Other than that there’s always Rock vs. Hulk Hogan so let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 13, 2003

Monday Night Raw – February 10, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 10, 2003
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re officially in the Evolution Era and less than two weeks away from No Way Out, meaning Scott Steiner vs. HHH II. Why we’re doing that is anyone’s guess but I would assume a lot of liquor was involved. There isn’t much else set on the Raw side but we’ll likely remedy that tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 10, 2003

Smackdown – July 11, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 11, 2017
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re less than two weeks away from Battleground and we don’t know much about the card yet. The big story so far is the Punjabi Prison match with Smackdown World Champion Jinder Mahal defending against Randy Orton, but Orton is off filming a movie. With that feud temporarily on the shelf, we’ll look at AJ Styles, who won the US Title over the weekend in a big surprise. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 11, 2017

The SmarK Rant for WWE Great Balls of Fire–07.09.17

The SmarK Rant for WWE GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!

Live from Dallas, TX

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T.

Apparently tonight is a “throwback feel”, which would be neat if it was in any way true. Doing a stripped down PPV set without all the LED screens, like it was a show from the 50s, would be cool. This is just another show.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Great Balls of Fire–07.09.17

Smackdown – February 6, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 6, 2003
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

No Way Out is creeping closer and it’s pretty clear that Hulk Hogan vs. the Rock is the main event, even if the big match on the horizon is Hogan vs. Vince McMahon. Other than that though we have Team Angle gearing up to face Los Guerreros for the Tag Team Titles, which should be a lot of fun. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 6, 2003