Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: St. Louis, MO
Opening Contest: Matt Hardy vs. Brock Lesnar: Hardy attacks Lesnar from behind and delivers several punches. Lesnar takes Hardy down with a spine buster and we see that Hardy has taped up ribs and that’s what Lesnar focuses on. Brock delivers a couple of back breakers and Heyman is telling Lesnar to hurt him and not pin him! Hardy avoids a spear and Lesnar hit the ring post shoulder first. Brock runs into a boot and Matt hits the Side Effect followed by a middle rope leg drop! Hardy comes off the top to deliver another leg drop! Brock counters the Twist of Fate and hits the F-5! Lesnar hits a spinning power bomb and the referee stops the match. (**1/2. A good match to kick off the show with Matt actually getting some good offense in. Lesnar is a beast and the fans have bought into him. There is no doubt about that.)
Backstage, Ric Flair is arriving to the building but the crew members are not wanting to shake Flair’s hand. Flair knows it’s because they think he cost Austin the match last night but he promises he didn’t see Austin’s foot on the rope. Undertaker enters the scene and thanks Flair for doing the right thing and owes Flair one for doing so.
The Undertaker comes out to the ring and says that Flair had done a good job last night while the fans are chanting for Austin to come out. Taker announces he will be wrestling WWF Undisputed Champion Hulk Hogan at Judgment Day. Taker is going to be the judge, jury and the executioner of Hulkamania at the pay per view. Backstage, the former champion Triple H enters the building and Taker quickly complains that HHH is property of Smackdown and shouldn’t be on RAW. Hunter doesn’t care as he enters the ring and attacks Undertaker because he is pissed! They brawl in and out of the ring and they make their way over the announce table. HHH nails Taker in the face with a TV monitor and Taker is busted wide open. They fight to the backstage area where Taker begs off and HHH is soon handcuffed by police for attacking Taker.
A video of Goldust and Booker T reviewing the movie The Scorpion King is shown. Booker and Goldust play the role of the Scorpion King, with Booker commenting that Goldust would be the Scorpion Queen.
Backstage, Ric Flair defends himself for last night when William Regal came over and mocked Flair for the mistake.
Second Contest: Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Perfect: Perfect gets the early advantage chopping Van Dam on the floor but RVD sends Perfect to the floor with a dropkick and hits a moonsault off the apron onto Perfect on the floor. Perfect stops RVD on the middle rope and hits a back suplex. Perfect follows up with a rolling neck snap. Van Dam gets a near fall after a spinning heel kick. Van Dam scoop slams Perfect and connects with the Rolling Thunder for a near fall. Perfect nearly steals a win with his feet on the ropes. RVD knocks Perfect down with a step over heel kick and finishes Perfect off with the Five Star Frog Splash for the win. After the match, WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero attacks RVD. Guerrero had been on commentary. Guerrero goes to the top and comes off looking for the frog splash but RVD moves out of he way! RVD kicks Guerrero to the floor and stands tall. (*. A filler match to give RVD a win to get back momentum since losing the title last night to Guerrero.)
Third Contest: WWF Women’s Champion Jazz & Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus & Jacqueline: Molly and Jacqueline kick off the contest. Jacqueline takes Molly over a few times with arm drags until Jazz tags in and Trish gets the tag as well. Stratus hammers away on Jazz and avoids a splash by the champ in the corner. Molly knee lifts Trish from the apron and Trish walks into a clothesline from Jazz. Trish avoids a splash attempt by Jazz, again. Jacqueline and Molly tag in with Jacqueline cleaning house. Jazz sends Trish into the ring steps and hits Jacqueline with the championship to allow Molly to get the win. (1/2*. A very quick match but it’s clear that the fans are very interested in the Trish/Jazz feud.) After the match, Trish fights off the heels with a clothesline.
Backstage, Arn Anderson is listening to Flair complain about being disrespected. Arn thinks that Flair should go to the ring and tell the truth.
Ric Flair comes out and admits to doing a poor job last night at Backlash Flair is out here to apologize to Steve Austin and he does just that. That brings out Steve Austin who believes that Flair is full of crap. Austin is pissed off so Flair decides to book him in a match against the Bew World Order with Bradshaw as his tag partner. Flair leaves but Austin is still not happy with him.
Fourth Contest: Goldust & Booker T vs. WWF Hardcore Champion Bubba Ray Dudley & WWF European Champion Spike Dudley: Bubba press slams Spike over the top onto Booker and Goldust to kick off the match. Goldust and Bubba are the legal guys to start the match with Bubba delivering a few chops and strikes. Goldust misses a clothesline and is met with a back suplex but Bubba misses a splash off the middle rope. Bubba drops Goldust with an elbow strike and clothesline. Spike comes off the top to double stomp Goldust. Spike tries for a few pins but Goldust kicks out. Booker knee lifts Spike from the floor and Spike is knocked to the floor where Booker sends Spike into the ring steps and chest first across the railing.
Goldust continues his offense with a butt strike and Booker enters to pummel Spike in the corner. Booker hits a flapjack on Spike and Goldust comes back in. Bubba punches Goldust from the apron and Spike nearly gets a pin. Spike gets caught in a sleeper hold but fights out of the hold and rams Goldust face first into the canvas. Spike kicks Goldust away and Bubba tags in as does Booker. Bubba strikes Booker and follows up with a side slam. Bubba with a couple of clotheslines and scoop slams Booker. Spike comes off the top to hit a sit down splash but Booker kicks out.
Spike backdrops Booker to the floor and Goldust is sent out as well. Spike wants a table and tells Bubba to get one! Goldust clotheslines Bubba on the floor and Booker hits the scissors kick back in the ring for the three count. (**. Some decent action but the fact that Booker and Goldust are playing the heel role just doesn’t make sense. The fans want to cheer them.)
Fifth Contest: WWF Hardcore Champion Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Stevie Richards: Richards hit Bubba with a trash can lid and sends Spike over the top to the floor. Stevie has a table and sets that up on the floor. Bubba is up and power bombs Richards through the table. There is no pin fall, but Bubba surely won that battle.
Backstage, Shawn Stasiak is talking like he is hyper to get his Planet Stasiak gimmick over. Tommy Dreamer asks if Shawn is alright. William Regal comes over and demands that Stasiak make some sense. That leads to a challenge later tonight.
Sixth Contest: William Regal vs. Shawn Stasiak: Stasiak runs into the ring and is met with the power of the punch and Regal wins the match. Regal clearly had his brass knuckles but the pin is counted. (DUD. This is just a comedy segment to make Stasiak look like a goof.)
Backstage, we see that Bradshaw has been laid out. Flair has a good idea who did it. Flair finds the New World Order and tosses Kevin Nash out of the building and lets X-Pac and Scott Hall know that the Big Show will be teaming with Austin.
WWF Undisputed Champion Hulk Hogan comes out and says that Triple H deserves a rematch and he talks about how Hulkamania was reborn at Backlash. He believes in the Hulkamanaiacs and he asks the Undertaker what he is going to do when Hulkamania runs wild on him!
Main Event: Scott Hall & X-Pac vs. Steve Austin & Big Show: Pac and Show start the match with Show shoving Pac across the ring. Hall tags in to try his luck against Show by throwing his toothpick at Show. Hall is shoved across the ring as well and Hall wants a piece of Austin. Austin hammers away on Hall and knocks Pac off the apron. Hall knee lifts Austin to counter a backdrop to get the upper hand. Pac tags in and chops away on Austin several times. Austin takes both men down with spine busters. Austin rams Pac head first into the corner several times and stomps away on Hall. Austin chops Pac in the corner and sends Pac into Hall in the corner. Hall avoids a splash in the ropes and Pac gets a few strikes in. Hall connects with a fallaway slam. Hall delivers a discus punch and Pac comes back in to deliver a few kicks on Austin. Austin takes Hall down with a Thez Press and gets a near fall after a forearm drop.
Hall locks in an abdominal stretch with Pac giving some extra leverage. The referee kicks Pac away and Austin fights back on Hall. Hall knocks Austin down with a clothesline for a near fall. Pac drops Austin with a spin kick but can’t get a three count on the cover attempt. Hall clotheslines Stone Cold in the corner but Austin has a sleeper hold on Hall. Hall puts a sleeper on Austin but that doesn’t last. Austin breaks the hold with a jawbreaker and is knocked down by Pac. Austin is close to his corner and Show gets the tag. Pac and Hall beg off. Show turns around and grabs Austin to hit a choke slam! Big Show has once again joined the New World Order. The NWO stand over Austin to close the show. (*1/2. Some decent action, but did Show really have to turn heel and join a faction that had kicked him out at least three other times in his career? That just comes across really stale, though the fans seemed to have not expected the heel turn.)
RAW doesn’t really have much of anything going on that I’d consider to be interesting or entertaining. The in-ring action was lacking this week and the storyline development of a Big Show heel turn is really repetitive even in 2002. A bad show to follow up from the PPV.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.