WWE RAW 7/15/2002

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: East Rutherford, NJ

WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker is talking with Paul Heyman in the locker room. Heyman says that the main event tonight was his idea. Taker will be teaming with Brock Lesnar to take on Ric Flair and WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam. Heyman says that is a great honor to team with the Undertaker, on behalf of Lesnar. Heyman says it would be Lesnar’s honor to wrestle Taker at SummerSlam. Taker says that Heyman better hope that he loses the championship at SummerSlam. Taker makes people famous by making them disappear. Heyman wants to focus on tonight and tries to shake Taker’s hand, but that backfires and he walks off after Taker tells him to never touch him again.

The New World Order music plays, but Vince McMahon makes his way down to the ring. McMahon says he figures the fans wanted to hear the NWO music one last time and says the music will never play again. McMahon announces the NWO is no more and that the group is history. The era of NWO is over. McMahon talks about several different eras in wrestling that all ended. WWE has changed with the times and they must change now, too. McMahon asks for a little bit of respect. McMahon talks about the birth of RAW at the Manhattan Center. They will be celebrating the 500th episode of RAW soon. McMahon thinks it is time to shakeup RAW and Smackdown. The shakeup starts tonight. He has hired two new general managers. One for RAW and one for Smackdown. They will have complete authority over their brands and McMahon’s support. McMahon will name the new general manager of RAW within the hour. This person will be firm and fair. They will take RAW to higher ground. McMahon declares they will give what the fans want.

Backstage, the RAW locker room are sitting by the television watching the show and talking about who could be the new general manager.

Backstage, Terri interviews Ric Flair about who could be the new general manager. Flair has no idea who the GM could be. Flair says that running the company is a thankless job and doesn’t know anybody that could run it that doesn’t have the last name McMahon.

Opening Contest: WWE European Champion Jeff Hardy, Bubba Dudley, & Spike Dudley vs. William Regal, Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit in an elimination match: All six men are going at it to start the match leaving Guerrero and Spike in the ring. Spike backdrops Guerrero followed by an atomic drop and a forearm for a two count. Guerrero tries for a suplex, but Spike counters with a neckbreaker. Spike rams Guerrero into the corner face first and delivers a headbutt to the midsection. Guerrero gets an inside cradle on Spike for the first elimination.

Bubba enters to hit the Bubba Bomb on Guerrero, but Regal breaks the cover and stomps on Bubba. Benoit gets tagged in and beats on Bubba until Bubba takes Benoit down to the mat with more right hands. Bubba works over Benoit in the corner with several chops to the chest. Bubba hits a splash in the corner and is decked by Regal. Benoit drops Bubba with a forearm strike followed by a snap suplex for a near fall. Regal decks Bubba and manages a few pin attempts. Regal forearms Bubba in the corner several times. Bubba backdrops Regal coming out of the corner followed by a scoop slam. Bubba jabs Regal several times before hitting an elbow strike. Benoit is driven down with a back suplex and Guerrero sent to the floor. Hardy leaps off of Bubba’s back onto Regal in the corner. Regal yanks Hardy down by his hair and Benoit takes Bubba over with a German suplex. Guerrero hits a back suplex on Hardy and Benoit keeps control with an elbow drop. Benoit sends Hardy into the corner to deliver several chops.

Guerrero tags into the match and beats on Hardy with stomps in the corner. Guerrero drops Hardy with a forearm strike. Guerrero takes Hardy down to the mat with a suplex before tagging in Regal. Hardy comes off the ropes with a crossbody for a two count. Regal keeps control with a double knee strike. Benoit stomps on Hardy managing to hit a back suplex. Hardy lands onto Benoit to counter a back suplex, but Guerrero is tagged in quickly. Regal delivers a knee drop and a double under hook suplex for a near fall. Hardy dropkicks Regal to stop his momentum. Guerrero helps Regal keep control with an elbow drop. Regal connects with a suplex on Hardy and decks Bubba off the apron. Hardy fires back with strikes, but Guerrero comes over and decks Hardy. Regal has the WWE European Championship, but Bubba gets it and decks Regal leading to him being DQ. Bubba splashes Guerrero and Benoit in the corner. Hardy hits the Swanton on Regal for the third elimination. We go to commercial.

Hardy is being double teamed by Benoit and Guerrero. Benoit works over Hardy with strikes and a headbutt to drop Hardy to the mat. Benoit scoop slams Hardy and Guerrero misses a slingshot senton from the apron. Hardy pins Guerrero with a double leg drop. Hardy is beaten up by Benoit and Guerrero despite the elimination. Hardy dropkicks Guerrero to the floor. Benoit takes Hardy over with a German suplex. Benoit drops Hardy with a short arm clothesline for a two count. Benoit works over Hardy with more strikes in the corner. Hardy nails Benoit with the Whisper in the Wind causing both men to be down. Guerrero is distracting the referee on the floor. Regal nails Hardy with the brass knuckles. Benoit locks in the Crossface and Hardy has passed out leading to the victory. (**1/2. They got plenty of time and that was rather surprising. I’m not really a fan of the finish to the match as the interference is a bit much and doesn’t need to happen here since Hardy was at the disadvantage. The right outcome happened, but they went about it the wrong way to get there.) After the match, Guerrero brings a table into the ring, but they are ran off by Bubba and Spike.

Backstage, Coach is standing outside Vince McMahon’s office and talks about the possible general managers. He even mentions Vince’s brother, Rob. Heyman enters the scene and says he’s about to find out what’s going on himself and enters the room after asking who is more qualified than him. A woman enters the room and tells McMahon that the new general manager has arrived. McMahon is excited to hear this while Heyman is confused and leaves.

Backstage, McMahon invites the new general manager into his room… and it’s Shane McMahon! Vince says that Shane is not the general manager. Shane says he is here to stop Vince from making a mistake. Vince recalls Shane trying to take him out of business. Shane says that Vince at least knew who he was dealing with and calls the new GM a parasite. Shane thinks the man will screw over the family as soon as he can. Vince isn’t going to change his mind. Shane says this impacts himself and everyone else.

Backstage, Tommy Dreamer meets with WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam talking about the general manager rumors. Dreamer asks how it felt to hit the Van Terminator on Heyman. RVD says that Heyman had that coming for years. RVD can’t wait to do it to Lesnar too, whether it be tonight or at Vengeance. Steven Richards enters the scene and gives Dreamer props for standing up to Lesnar last week. Richards knows that Dreamer did it for himself to get noticed. Richards wants their match to be a Singapore cane match and he agrees to it. Goldust enters the scene and says it’s an offer that is too good to be true. Richards and Dreamer both laugh leading to Richards delivering a cheap shot to Dreamer’s ribs.

Second Contest: Tommy Dreamer vs. Steven Richards in a Singapore cane match: Dreamer trips Richards from the floor and Richards bails to the floor after avoiding a few swings. Dreamer gets a few shots in on the floor and leaps off the steps to whack Richards over the back. The fans are chanting for ECW, of course. Richards whacks Dreamer with the cane to stop Dreamer from using the ring steps. Richards whacks Dreamer over the back and Dreamer is bleeding. Richards hits a snap suplex onto the aisle way. Richards chokes Dreamer with the cane. Richards sends Dreamer back first into the cane setup in the corner. Richards continues to deliver cane shots. Dreamer wants more shots and ducks to hit a side Russian leg sweep. Dreamer delivers several cane shots to Richards legs. Dreamer blocks a superkick and plants Richards with a DDT but only manages a near fall on the cover. Dreamer comes off the middle rope with the cane, but Richards superkicks Dreamer in midair for a two count. They both have canes with Dreamer breaking the cane over Richards head to win the match. (*1/2. That went on a little too long, but it was fine for the undercard. Richards could probably be used in a better role than just jobbing to guys on RAW in random matches. Dreamer is a good character to get sympathy from, but he’s not going to rise up the ranks.)

Backstage, Coach is talking with Booker T regarding the general manager and the NWO disbanding. Booker talks about his history with the NWO and how he wants to celebrate that the group has broken up. Booker wants Coach to do a spinarooni. Booker gets offended that Coach doesn’t want to do it. Booker manages to get Coach to do one and it’s not good. Booker asks what that was by Coach and questions if Coach is black. Booker says he’s about to pull an Allen Iverson and show Big Show why you don’t put your hands on a five time champion. Booker stops in his tracks and ERIC BISCHOFF appears. Bischoff says it’s nice to see Booker again and walks off. Booker looks at Coach and says “tell me I didn’t just see that.”

Vince McMahon appears on the stage with a microphone. McMahon says it takes a real son of a bitch to be successful in this business. McMahon announces the new GM for RAW… Eric Bischoff! Bischoff makes his way out patting his chest and embraces McMahon the stage. A sight you never would have imagined seeing. They shake hands and pose for a moment as Bischoff makes his way down to the ring.

Bischoff reminds the fans who he is and the fact that he ran WCW. Bischoff dismisses the WCW that invaded WWE, but rather the real one. Bischoff was made famous during the Monday Night War. Bischoff talks about all the guys that he signed to beat WWE just because he could do it. Bischoff gave the family business a swift kick to the balls. He raided the company dry. Bischoff reminds the fans of spoiling RAW results so they didn’t have to watch the program, but it worked. Bischoff talks about Madusa dropping the WWE Women’s Championship in the trash. Bischoff takes credit for McMahon having to change how he did television. Bischoff believes he came close to ending the WWE. Bischoff talks about there being one talent he couldn’t steal away and believes he did that Nitro would be on air instead of RAW. Bischoff says that he’s going to sign Triple H to RAW. Bischoff says people like to work for him and it doesn’t have anything to do with money, but rather he’s a winner. Bischoff says he’s here to put the E in the WWE. Bischoff blows a kiss to the fans to end the segment.

Third Contest: WWF Women’s Champion Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus: Trish ducks a clothesline, but Molly delivers a backbreaker in the opening moments of the match for a two count. Trish tries for a bulldog, but Molly counters with a back suplex and uses the ropes for leverage to win the match. (1/2*. I’m fine with this as it gives Molly a big win.)

Backstage, Eric Bischoff walks up to Ric Flair and says that they have a lot of history and wants to leave that in the past. Flair wouldn’t use the word surprised and walks off for his big match tonight.

Fourth Contest: Big Show vs. Booker T: Booker ducks a clothesline and hammers away on Show in the corner. Show beats on Booker with knee lifts in the corner and an overhand chop. Show tosses Booker across the ring with a hip toss. Show hooks Booker for a suplex and drives Booker down to the mat. Show misses an elbow drop coming off the ropes. Booker hammers away on Show against the ropes several times. Show plants Booker with a side slam for a two count. Show has Booker over the shoulder and is sent into the corner chest first. Show sends Booker into the corner. Booker superkicks Show against the ropes followed by more right hands. Booker ducks a clothesline to hit a leaping side kick. Booker clotheslines himself and Show over the top to the floor. Show misses a running knee lift hitting the ring steps. Booker misses a chair shot hitting the ring post. Show slides the chair into the ring and steps over the ropes. Show punches the chair away and clotheslines Booker. Show shoves the referee down with the chair and whacks Booker over the back a few times with the chair leading to a DQ. Booker delivers a side kick on the floor, but Show no sells it and chokeslams Booker through the announcers table. (*1/2. Well, Show is all on his own now as none of the NWO guys are around anymore after last week. The match was okay for what it was with the most interesting part of the match being the aftermath. I’d assume this feud must continue on.)

Backstage, Paul Heyman is hyping up Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is curling a metal structure and asks Heyman if he talked to Undertaker. Heyman says that Taker has no idea why he’s teaming with Lesnar.

Before the next match, Nowinski gets on the microphone and says that he doesn’t want to wrestle in a hardcore match. Nowinski believes the fans don’t want to see this happen. Nowinski says he will allow Bradshaw to beat him and lay on the mat.

Fifth Contest: WWE Hardcore Champion Bradshaw vs. Chris Nowinski: Nowinski lays on the mat, but instead goes for an inside cradle for a two count. Bradshaw spears Nowinski followed by a big boot and a clothesline to the floor. Nowinski tries to escape, but Bradshaw catches him on the aisle with strikes. Bradshaw sends Nowinski into the guard railing followed by a ring steps shot to the face. Nowinski tries to escape over the railing into the crowd. Bradshaw whacks Nowinski over the head with a trash can and they head backstage. Bradshaw nails Nowinski with another cooking sheet. Johnny Stamboli arrives to hit Bradshaw with a wooden stick and pins Bradshaw to win the title. (1/2*. It’s just your typical hardcore stuff.)

Backstage, Big Show meets with Eric Bischoff and asks what is going on. Show talks about the NWO no longer existing but he’s lucky that Bischoff is here as the general manager. Show has a favor to ask. Show says that Booker has been a pain in his ass. Show wants a piece of Booker at Vengeance in a no count-out, no disqualification match. Bischoff doesn’t want to piss anyone off on his first night. Bischoff makes the match for the PPV and Show hugs Bischoff. Bischoff starts to watch a Triple H DVD to end the segment.

Backstage, Johnny Stamboli is talking to Bischoff about beating Bradshaw for the WWE Hardcore Championship. Stamboli wants to thank Bischoff for competing on RAW tonight. Bischoff gave him the opportunity and Stamboli took advantage of it. Bradshaw storms into the room and nails Stamboli with the Clothesline From Hell and pins Stamboli. Bradshaw introduces himself to Bischoff before walking off.

Backstage, Paul Heyman is talking to Lesnar about Vengance and SummerSlam saying this is the summer of the next big thing. Undertaker appears from behind and has a stare down with Lesnar. Lesnar stops Heyman from talking and they head towards the ring.

Main Event: WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker & Brock Lesnar vs. Ric Flair & WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam: Taker shoulder blocks Flair to start the match and gets wrist control. Flair backs Taker into a corner and delivers a chop to break free. Flair continues to chop Taker a few times. RVD tags into the match hitting a crossbody off the top for a two count. Taker nails RVD with a clothesline in the corner. Taker misses a big boot in the corner. RVD dropkicks Taker on the knee and tags in Flair. Flair works over the left knee and locks in the figure four on Taker. Taker sits up and grabs Flair by the throat. Flair low blows Taker with the referee out of position. Flair beats on Taker with right hands and chops. Taker grabs Flair for a chokeslam and hits it for a two count. Lesnar is tagged in and boots Flair in the midsection. Lesnar spears Flair in the corner and Flair is selling the ribs. Lesnar spears Flair again in the corner. Lesnar stomps on Flair and chokes him in the corner.

Lesnar drives Flair down with a few backbreakers. Taker leg drops Flair over the apron behind the referees back. Taker rolls Flair into the ring for Lesnar to continue his offense. Lesnar tags in Taker to maintain control of the contest. Taker hammers away on Flair in the corner with right hands. Flair battles back with several chops, but Taker comes off the ropes to hit a leaping clothesline. Taker misses an elbow drop as Flair rolled to the apron. Flair eye rakes Taker and goes to the top rope. Taker punches Flair on the top rope looking for a superplex and hits it. Taker covers Flair, but RVD makes the save on the cover. Lesnar tags into the match and pummels Flair in the corner. Flair fights back with chops, but Lesnar delivers several shoulder rams. Lesnar powerslams Flair and taunts the crowd. Lesnar misses a spear in the corner hitting the ring post shoulder first.

Flair delivers a back suplex for a two count as Lesnar powered out. RVD tags into the match and hammers away on Taker. RVD nails Taker with a spinning heel kick and dropkicks Lesnar off the apron. RVD monkey flips Taker out of the corner and kicks Lesnar off the apron. RVD hits the rolling thunder for a two count. Lesnar broke the cover. Lesnar runs into a boot by RVD in the corner and RVD hits a leaping kick off the top before hitting the split legged moonsault. Taker makes the save on the cover attempt. Taker tries for the Last Ride, but Flair clotheslines Taker to the floor. Lesnar grabs Flair hitting the F5! RVD superkicks Lesnar and goes to the top rope hitting the Five Star Frog Splash! Taker plants RVD with the Last Ride for the win. (**. I can appreciate the clean win as I don’t think this hurts RVD by any means. The action was solid enough and they kept a fast approach to it instead of a slow plodding match that some may have expected.)

Taker stands tall in the ring holding the WWE Undisputed Championship in the air. Brock Lesnar attacks Taker from behind and hits the F5! Lesnar kicks the belt next to Taker’s body and picks it up looking at it as he challenges for the title at SummerSlam.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff makes a phone call and leaves a message for the Rock. Bischoff leaves a message saying he’s the general manager of RAW and says he’s a huge fan of Rock. Bischoff believes that RAW needs the Rock and says he will talk to Rock on Smackdown!

Final Thoughts:
It’s an average episode of RAW this week and maybe even a little boring. Outside of the Bischoff debut, which is great, there’s nothing much going on here for entertainment value. I’m excited to get into the Bischoff era of RAW as I think he’s a great character and will bring some life to the show.

Thanks for reading.

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