WWE RAW 11/25/2002

World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: North Charleston, SC

A video package promoting Shawn Michaels winning the RAW World Championship at Survivor Series and Rob Van Dam winning the number one contender spot on RAW the following night is shown. Michaels defends against RVD tonight and it’s Shawn’s first RAW match since his return from a back injury.

Opening Contest: RAW Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Dudley Boys: Jericho and D-Von start the match with D-Von hammering away on Jericho followed by a clothesline. D-Von hammers away on Jericho, but runs into a boot in the corner. Jericho hits an axe handle off the middle rope and Christian enters the match to keep control with strikes. D-Von nails Christian with a spinning elbow strike. Bubba enters the match and pummels Christian with strikes in the corner. Bubba overhand chops Christian in the corner and hits a big splash. Bubba continues with a neckbreaker for a two count. Christian is driven down with a double flapjack, but Jericho breaks the cover. D-Von hammers away on Jericho, but Christian hits a reverse DDT. Jericho returns to the match and stomps on D-Von. Jericho plants D-Von with a back suplex. Jericho elbow drops D-Von a few times leading to a near fall. D-Von runs into a knee lift by Christian after a few right hands. Christian punches D-Von several times in the corner, but D-Von connects with a middle rope neckbreaker. Bubba and Jericho get tagged in with Bubba clotheslining and backdropping the champs. Bubba slams Jericho and goes to the middle rope missing a senton splash. D-Von sneaks a tag as Bubba plants Jericho with a DDT. D-Von hits a top rope clothesline on Jericho and a powerslam for a near fall. Jericho gets a rollup, but switches to the Walls of Jericho, but D-Von gets an inside cradle for a two count. D-Von kicks Jericho, and is sent into Christian. Jericho has a rollup on D-Von and wins the match.

Bischoff makes his way out with Chief Sean Morley. Morley has signed on with Bischoff administration and he’s chief of staff. Morley is there to enforce the rules. Morley says that both men had their shoulders on the mat. Morley’s first ruling is that the match must continue.

Back from commercial, Jericho has a chin lock on Bubba. Bubba fights out of the hold, but is kicked by Jericho and hits a Samoan Drop. D-Von and Christian get the tag with D-Von hammering away on Christian. D-Von plants Christian with a neckbreaker. D-Von hits a side slam on Christian for a near fall. Bubba backdrops Jericho over the top to the floor. Christian turns around and is met with a 3D for the win.

Chief Sean Morley comes out again to the top of the stage. Morley is there was a violation of the rules. Morley says that Bubba wasn’t the legal man and thus the match must restart. Jericho decks D-Von from behind. Bubba chops Jericho in the corner. Bubba boots Jericho in the corner and Jericho hits a sleeper slam for a near fall. Jericho continues with strikes against the ropes. Bubba jabs Jericho several times and delivers a scoop slam. Bubba holds Jericho’s legs leading to D-Von hitting the What’s Up! Bubba calls for the tables and D-Von goes under the ring to grab a table. Bubba is distracting the referee as Christian baseball slides the table into D-Von. Jericho bulldogs Bubba and tries for a springboard moonsault, but Bubba got his knees up. Bubba spears Jericho for a near fall. Jericho sneaks a low blow and Christian hits Bubba with a tag belt from the apron. Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho and Bubba is forced to submit. (**1/2. As a segment, it’s an entertaining one. However, there are some longterm issues here. First off, they blew the reaction for the Dudley’s regaining the tag titles. That pop and reaction has been used for a fake finish. That will devalue moving forward. If they are trying to pivot from Booker/Goldust to the Dudley’s as the team to chase the titles, I would have not done that. Secondly, giving the Dudley’s a title shot to begin with. Save that for PPV and make it mean something. In both instances it was used on TV and burned through. It’s segments like this that make it clear how an act can go stale very quickly. It’s a solid match and it was enjoyable, but they did too much here for nothing in the end.)

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discuss the injury that Triple H suffered by Rob Van Dam’s five star frog splash at Survivor Series.

Backstage, Terri is with Shawn Michaels. Terri notes that Michaels won the title eight days ago and how he feels about his title defense in five years. Michaels says its his first RAW match in five years. Michaels thinks there’s nobody more deserving than RVD. Michaels is going to say something to Rob, but to his face. Michaels walks off. Jericho and Christian enter the scene and they are celebrating their win. Jericho is pissed about Scott Steiner and believes he’d be the number one contender for tonight. Christian doesn’t care about Steiner and they begin to mock him. They go into their locker room to continue the celebration. The Dudley Boys enter the scene as well and almost storm into the same locker room, but Bubba stops D-Von. Bubba says they need to have a plan and Bubba has a plan.

Second Contest: Stevie Richards vs. Test: Richards goes after Test before the bell and yells at Keibler. Test battles back with right hands and a backdrop. Test goes for the big boot, but Richards bails to the floor. Richards drops Test throat first over the top rope and continues with strikes. Richards dropkicks Test on the knee and hits a leaping forearm smash leading to a near fall. Richards pummels Test on the mat and locks in a chin lock. Test gets up and plants Richards with an electric chair slam. Richards hammers away on Test, but is met with a few clotheslines. Test plants Richards with a full nelson slam for a two count. Test tries for a pumphandle, but Richards breaks free. Test connects with a tilt a whirl slam for a near fall. Test hammers away on Richards, but is stopped by a low blow. Richards its a facebuster for a near fall. Richards signals for a DDT, but Test counters with the Overdrive for the win. (*1/2. Not a bad extended squash as Richards did a good job in there making Test look good. I’m liking the new direction of Test, but I’m not sure if his testicles fanbase is going to lead to main event status.)

Backstage, Jericho and Christian have just gotten out of the shower. Christian asks where their bags are at and the other wrestlers have no idea where they are. Jericho confronts Hurricane, but Hurricane says that somebody committed larceny. D-Von appears and has their bags. The champs chase after him. Jericho tries to get back into the locker room, but the door is locked. Bubba is in the locker room and taunts them before locking the door again.

Backstage, Stacy Keibler is proud of Test for winning. Test admits that he loves his testicles and they make out. Keibler loves his testicles too and Test leaves to shower. Victoria comes up from behind and grabs Stacy warning her to not scream. Victoria has a match with Trish Stratus tonight, but she’ll be thinking of Stacy. Victoria loves Keibler for something else and something only Stacy can give her and licks her neck. Victoria loves the taste of fear and walks off.

Prior to the next match, Nowinski says he wants to savor this moment. Nowinski says this will be the last time anyone can say Maven is better than him. Nowinski believes Maven won Tough Enough because of politics and he had sympathy. Nowinski mentions Maven’s mother sickness..

Third Contest: Chris Nowinski vs. Maven: Maven dives onto Nowinski on the floor and knee lifts Nowinski several times followed by a right hand. Nowinski hits Maven with a book and is laid out. So, there’s no match.

Backstage, Jericho is still walking around in a towel and threatens a production worker. Christian calls Jericho into a room and has found some clothing they could use. Jericho insults the clothing and thinks it’s hideous. Three Minute Warning and Rico enter the scene and Rico tells them to leave. Jericho and Christian leave without issue.

Fourth Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Victoria vs. Trish Stratus: Stratus takes Victoria down to the mat with a go behind, but Victoria gets a headlock. Victoria shoulder blocks Stratus leading to an elbow drop for a two count. Stratus takes Victoria down with right hands. Stratus kicks Victoria a few times and gets a two count. Victoria drop toe holds Stratus into the ropes. Victoria shoulder rams Stratus in the corner to maintain control. Stratus avoids Victoria in the corner and gets a rollup for a two count. Victoria dumps Stratus through the ropes to the floor. Victoria spears Stratus on the floor and they return to the ring. Victoria hits a slingshot somersault leg drop from the apron for a near fall. Victoria rams Stratus face first onto the mat. Victoria knocks Stratus to the mat again and gets a one count. Victoria tosses Stratus across the ring. Victoria keeps a full nelson on Stratus, but doesn’t get a submission. Stratus counters with a couple of rollups for near falls. Stratus sunset flips Victoria for a near fall. Victoria catapults Stratus chest first into the ropes. Victoria takes Stratus over with a snap suplex for a near fall. They go to the floor where Victoria sends Stratus into the ring steps. Victoria decks Stratus over the back and Stratus comes back with a clothesline. Stratus hammers away on Victoria and delivers the Chick Kick for a near fall. Stratus chops Victoria in the corner a few times. Stratus runs into an elbow in the corner. Victoria is on the top, but Stratus his a hurricanrana. Victoria responds with a strike to the back. Victoria slams Stratus followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Victoria has a chokehold on Stratus, but doesn’t get a submission. Victoria sends Stratus into the ropes chest first. Victoria has Stratus over the shoulder and hits the Widows Peak to win the match cleanly. (**1/2. The crowd didn’t seem invested in the action and I’m wondering if it’s because Victoria is still very new to the company. Trish is really the only woman on the babyface side to provide a competitive match. Victoria showcased some good offense, but there were a few moments that she seemed lost on what to do and went to an awkward pin or headlock. It was a fine TV match even with a lackluster crowd reaction.) After the match, Stevie Richards is on the ramp and Victoria licks hi neck and bites his ear. Richards liked it.

Backstage, Shawn Michaels is looking for Rob Van Dam and finds him stretching. Michaels thinks that RVD has a great gift and amazing talent. Michaels admires Rob Van Dam skill and says RVD reminds him of a younger HBK. Michaels thinks RVD is missing something and slaps RVD. RVD responds with a slap and Michaels says “now you’re speaking my language kid.” They have a standoff to end the segment.

Backstage, Chris Jericho and Christian are looking for their clothing. Christian is worried about shrinkage and says his little general is going into retreat. They see the Dudley’s with their bags going to the ring.

In the ring, the Dudley’s have Jericho and Christian’s bags. Bubba asks who wants free clothes. They have more clothes than the Godfather has hoes. They throw the clothing into the crowd. Jericho and Christian come out to the stage in their towels. Bubba gets a jar of ass cream and asks what that is about. D-Von tells them to come get their stuff if they want them. The champs aren’t wanting to come to the ring. They throw the bags into the crowd. Bubba says if they are going to rob them of their titles then they will rob them of their dignity. Spike Dudley appears and rips off their towels and runs to the ring. The champs run backstage ‘naked’.

Fifth Contest: Lance Storm & William Regal vs. Jeff Hardy & The Hurricane: Hardy baseball slides Storm followed by a crossbody to the floor. Hardy clotheslines Storm in the ring and hits a leg drop to the lower midsection. Hurricane tags into the match and hits a top rope crossbody for a near fall. Hurricane follows up with a neckbeaker. Hurricane backdrops Regal, but Storm gets a jawbreaker on Hurricane. Hurricane avoids a slam and decks Regal on the apron. Hurricane chokeslams Storm for a near fall as Regal breaks the cover. Regal tosses Hurricane overhead. Regal uppercuts Hurricane followed by an elbow drop and a forearm strike to the lower back. Hurricane is taken down to the mat and catapulted into the ropes landing on Regal’s knees. Storm delivers a backbreaker to Hurricane for a near fall. Regal uppercuts Hurricane and Storm pummels Hurricane while the referee is distracted. Storm kicks Hurricane upon entering the match. Hurricane elbows Regal and kicks Storm away managing to hit a shining wizard. Storm slams Hurricane to the mat and locks in the half Boston Crab, but Hardy makes the save. Regal kicks Hurricane in the face as the referee was distracted by Hardy. Storm puts the Sharpshooter on Hurricane and wins the match by submission. After the match, Hardy avoids being thrown out to the floor and attacks Regal, but misses Whisper In The Wind. Regal and Storm hit a dropkick/neckbreaker combo. (*1/2. At least it was a competitive match. It’s just weird to see Hardy in this kind of position when it seemed like back in the summer he was destined for a bigger push. I like the team of Regal and Storm and have no issue with them going over. Hurricane can absorb these losses and remain over. It’s an effective way to rebuild Storm and Regal.)

Prior to the next match, Ric Flair comes out to cut a promo while Kane is in the ring. Flair asks if Kane was expecting someone else. Flair knows that Kane is dying to get his hands on Batista. Flair reminds Kane he’s a former 16x World Champion. Kane leaves the ring and walks up the ramp. Batista attacks Kane from behind.

Sixth Contest: Kane vs. Batista: Batista sends Kane into the corner followed by a splash and stomps in the corner. Batista elbows Kane and hits a spinebuster. Batista clotheslines Kane a couple of times. Kane fights back with right hands in the corner. Kane scares the referee away and hits a splash in the corner. Kane clotheslines Batista and hits a side slam. Kane signals for a chokeslam, but is elbowed by Batista. Kane big boots Batista and goes to the top rope. Kane leaps off hitting a clothesline, but the referee is knocked down too. Kane big boots Flair and ducks a clothesline by Batista to hit a running powerslam. Kane goes for the cover, but there’s no referee. Flair decks Kane with a chair shot and Batista plants Kane with a sit down powerbomb for the win. (*. The win would have met a lot more if Batista didn’t need help from Flair. Kane has to be getting revenge on Flair, right? Is that what they are building to? Batista should have just dominated and pinned Kane.)

Backstage, Sean Morley tells Eric Bischoff that the trade of D-Von, Ivory, Maven, and himself for Big Show going to Smackdown has been finalized. Bischoff says that’s good news and knows Morley will be a good addition. Bischoff has a problem with Big Show winning the title and that makes him look bad. Bischoff wants Scott Steiner on RAW and not on Smackdown, which he’ll be on this week. Morley can practically promise that Steiner will be on RAW next week. RNN breaks into the segment and it’s Randy Orton to provide a special injury update. Orton has a lot to be thankful for despite being injured. Orton is thankful for his family and doctors. Orton knows he’ll be back in no time with their support.

Seventh Contest: Goldust vs. Rico: Goldust arm drags Rico to start the contest a few times. Goldust shoulder blocks Rico, but Rico comes back with a hip toss. Goldust jabs Rico followed by a butt strike. Rico misses a spin kick and is clotheslined by Goldust. Rico kicks Goldust to counter a hip toss attempt. Rico delivers an arm breaker. Rico kicks Goldust followed by strikes to the shoulder. Rico traps Goldust in the corner and kicks the top rope on the arm. Rico leg drops Goldust on the arm for a near fall. Goldust hammers away on Rico and delivers a boot. Goldust plants Rico with a DDT for a two count. Goldust drops down to punch Rico and hits a snap powerslam for a near fall. Rico kicks Goldust followed by a mule kick and another spin kick. Rico tries for a suplex, but Goldust counters with a lifting reverse DDT for the win. (*. The crowd did not care for this at all. The action wasn’t bad, but a dead crowd just made this feel like it was never ending.)

Main Event: RAW World Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Rob Van Dam: Michaels gets a headlock on RVD to start the match, but RVD counters with a hammerlock. Michaels counters with a hammerlock and dropkicks RVD coming off the ropes. RVD gets out of a headlock with a head scissor and they bridge up leading to a backslide by RVD for a two count. RVD kicks Michaels a few times followed by a right hand. RVD spin kicks Michaels and clotheslines the champ over the top to the floor. RVD fakes a dive to the floor and hits a moonsault off the apron to the floor. RVD stomps on Michaels followed by a kick to the chest. RVD hits a slingshot leg drop from the apron into the ring. RVD stomps on Michaels followed by right hands. RVD tries for a monkey flip, but is dropped over the top turnbuckle face first. Michaels tries for an axe handle, but is met with a boot to the face. RVD floats over Michaels back and misses a spin kick. Michaels delivers a dragon screw leg whip. Michaels knee drops RVD a few times and wraps RVD’s knee around the ring post. Michaels twists RVD’s leg around the bottom rope and drives RVD’s knee down to the mat. Michaels puts the figure four on RVD in the middle of the ring. RVD struggles, but isn’t giving up.

RVD turns over, but Michaels reaches the ropes and stomps on RVD’s knee. Michaels delivers a knee breaker and is kicked into the corner shoulder first. RVD almost wins with a rollup. They trade right hands until RVD hits a step over heel kick. RVD shoulder rams Michaels in the corner and hits a twisting crossbody for a near fall. RVD forearms Michaels, but Michaels hits a flying forearm and kips up. Michaels waits in the corner missing the Sweet Chin Music and RVD hits a spin kick. RVD connects with the rolling thunder, but Michaels kicks out at two. RVD goes for a suplex, but Michaels twists off and plants RVD with a DDT. Michaels goes to the top rope hitting an elbow drop. Michaels goes for a cover, but RVD kicks out at two. RVD misses a wild right and settles for a backbreaker. RVD goes to the top and hits the five star frog splash on Michaels back. RVD has the cover, but Triple H comes out and pulls RVD out of the ring. HHH plants RVD with a pedigree on the floor as the referee throws out the match! (**1/4. It’s a decent match but it failed to reach dream match quality by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not sure if it’s the styles of the wrestlers that impacted this one, though. I didn’t see any awkward moments that derailed the action or anything. I think it’s a matter of overhyping a TV match and getting TV level quality action.)

HHH shoves the referee down to the floor and grabs a steel chair from the timekeepers. HHH brings the chair to the ring and sets it up in the middle of the ring. Michaels fires back with a few strikes, but a knee lift stops him. Michaels bounces off the ropes with right hands, but HHH counters with a flurry in the corner. HHH ducks a strike and delivers a backbreaker onto the chair. Michaels is left laying to end the show.

Final Thoughts:
This was another average episode of RAW as they have a few entertaining angles going on, but the in-ring action continues to struggle. I could see a three way between RVD, HHH and HBK at Armageddon to drag out the singles feud between HHH and HBK a little longer.

Thanks for reading.

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