WWF RAW 3/18/2002
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hollywood Hogan makes his way down to the ring and is greeted with a warm reception from the Montreal crowd. Hogan thought that Nash and Hall would respect his wishes and stay away from the match. Hogan vows to wrestle Rock again someday and the Rock makes his way down to the ring. Rock says that finally Hogan has come back to the Hulkamaniacs. Rock wonders why Hogan is wearing the New World Order colors. Hogan responds by ripping the shirt off and tossing it down to the ground. That brings out Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Nash believes that Hogan turned on them before they turned on Hogan. They had a plan to eliminate the WWF. However, Hogan had to have his ego get in the way and Mania had to be his night. Nash considers Hogan to be the poison of the New World Order. Rock makes fun of Nash and Hall complaining. Rock calls Nash a Big Daddy Bitch! Rock issues a challenge to Nash and Hall tonight! Nash asks Hogan if he is ready to choke tonight like he did last night. Rock finishes off asking what are they going to do when Hogan and Rock run wild on them!
Opening Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Christian: RVD hits a springboard kick to knock Christian off his feet but soon runs into a big boot from the challenger, who drops RVD gut first across the top rope. Christian knocks RVD off the apron into the guard railing, as well. The champ fights back with a spinning heel kick and a monkey flip out of the corner. RVD gets out of a reverse DDT and nearly wins with the rolling thunder. Christian hits the reverse DDT on the second attempt. Christian leaves the ring with the championship but DDP tosses Christian back into the ring. RVD connects with a step over heel kick and wins after the five star frog splash. (*1/2. Fine for what it was. The finish didn’t really make sense, as I don’t know why Christian would just leave the ring. Plus, was the DDP involvement really needed? RVD should have just cleanly beaten Christian to start his reign.)
Backstage, Chris Jericho arrives to the arena and beats up a security guard for saying that the fans looked forward to rubbing it in Jericho’s face for losing last night.
Second Contest: Trish Stratus vs. Lita: Trish gets a near fall after a clothesline early on, but Lita battles back with a back suplex and right hands. Lita hits a botched head scissors it looked like. Trish counters the Twist of Fate to deliver a kick, but Lita counters a springboard bulldog. Lita goes to the top and hits a moonsault for the win. After the match, Jazz enters the ring to attack Lita, but Trish helps Lita. Here comes Ivory to help out Jazz. Ivory and Jazz slap hands.
Linda McMahon announces a brand split taking place next week with a draft taking place. Vince McMahon will be taking control of Smackdown while Ric Flair will control RAW. The WWF World Champion and WWF Women’s Champion will be available for both brands.
Vince McMahon comes out to say goodbye to RAW. The fans chant “nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye” as Vince talks about Flair having a lack of business sense. Flair makes his way down to the ring and McMahon says the Canadians continue to associate themselves with failures. Flair believes that McMahon used the show to flaunt his wealth and to shove Stephanie down everyone’s throat. Flair thinks that RAW should be used to showcase the superstars putting on the greatest show on earth. Flair assures the fans that RAW will continue and not skip a beat. McMahon ends up winning a coin toss to get the first pick and sucker punches Flair. Flair gets the upper hand and locks in the figure four to end the segment!
Third Contest: Edge & Kane vs. Booker T & Kurt Angle: Kane tosses Booker into the ring and they start the match where Kane hits a side slam and goes to the top rope. Kane leaps off and hits a flying clothesline for a near fall as Angle breaks the cover up. Booker nails Kane with a kick and Angle tags in. Kane grabs Kurt by the throat, and double teamed with a double suplex. Kane avoids a scissors kick and hits a clothesline. Edge and Angle get tagged in with Edge hitting clotheslines and a back drop. Edge continues with a spinning heel kick. Edge shoves Angle off the top and hits a missile dropkick for a near fall. Kane and Booker go to the floor as Angle gets the ankle lock on Edge, but Kane enters to choke slam Angle! Booker clotheslines Kane to the floor. Angle counters the Edgecution but Booker accidentally hits Angle with a leaping side kick. Booker avoids the spear and Edge hits Angle for a near fall. Edge counters a German suplex with a roll up for a two count. Kane punches Angle from the apron and Edge gets the pin with a Edgecution. (***. I enjoyed the match and the moments involving Edge and Angle makes it clear that these two are capable of a great match. A good, fast pace match between these four guys.)
Fourth Contest: WWF Hardcore Champion Maven vs. Al Snow: Snow sends Maven into the ring steps to start the bout. Maven sends Snow into the railing and follows up with a dropkick on the floor. Maven misses a trash can lid shot. Maven is able to use the lid in the ring a few times. Snow whacks Maven over the head a few times with the lid. Spike Dudley comes out with a trash can lid. Here is some big guy, named Brock Lesnar. Lesnar drives Snow onto a trash can with a spine buster and takes care of Maen and Spike. Paul Heyman is with Lesnar, who hits a triple powerbomb on Spike. (Ladies and gentlemen, the fans are sold on Lesnar already. That was an effective debut.)
Backstage, Lita and Matt Hardy are kissing. William Regal comes in and asks what they will do if they are separated due to the draft?
Fifth Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck vs. the Dudley Boys: D-Von and Chuck start the match for a brief time. Bubba clotheslines Billy and hits a side slam before sending Chuck to the floor with a clothesline. Bubba slams Billy and they hit the What’s Up! Stacy gets on the apron to distract Billy, but that doesn’t work. Stacy hits Billy with a title belt and the Dudley’s hit the 3D. Stacy caused the DQ. Bubba is pissed and Stacy is sorry. Stacy tries to leave but Bubba isn’t having any of that. Looks like Stacy is going to get the table treatment. Bubba drives Stacy through the table from the middle rope. That’s the end of that relationship.
WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H comes down and talks about having doubts of making it back to the level he was once at. He proved to the world and Chris Jericho that he is the Game! Stephanie comes down after a clip of a pedigree from last night. She is wearing a neck brace. Stephanie tells HHH that Jericho will be getting his rematch next week on RAW. HHH reveals he will be wrestling Jericho and Stephanie next week! If HHH were to pin Stephanie, she will gone from the WWF! Stephanie doesn’t want to be part of the match. HHH takes a survey and the fans don’t want Stephanie in the WWF. HHH tells her that if she doesn’t wrestle, Jericho won’t get a title shot. Thus, Stephanie changes her tune and agrees to the match. She believes that Jericho will cripple HHH and get the titles back!
Main Event: Hulk Hogan & The Rock vs. Kevin Nash & Scott Hall: Rock works over Nash sending him to the floor with a clothesline. Hogan and Hall start the match with Hulk hitting a clothesline after right hands. Hulk scoop slams Hall and greets Nash with a right hand. Hall has his forehead bitten by Hogan in the corner and is punched by both Hulk and Rock. Rock tags in and hits a spine buster on Hall. Rock goes for the People’s Elbow but Nash trips Rock from the floor. Hall gains control with a clothesline before tagging in Nash. Nash side slams Rock for a two count. Nash worked over Rock in the corner with knees, forearms and elbow shots. Hall cheap shots Rock from the apron. Hall hits a fall away slam but only gets a near fall on Rock. Rock gets out of snake eyes by Nash to hit the Rock Bottom! Hogan and Hall get tagged in with Hogan hammering away on Hall. Nash is dumped to the floor and Hogan hits an odd looking leg drop on Hall. Nash pulls Hall out of the ring and they are counted out. (*1/4. Not all that good, but the fans were eating it up. The lame finish didn’t help, but I’d imagine the feud between these four were going to continue. The finish seemed to deflate the crowd completely.)
Hogan is back to being a babyface, which was forced due to the fans reaction. The whole New World Order experiment lasted all of a month. Not much happening here as it seems like RAW next week is a more important show with the draft and the HHH/Stephanie/Jericho main event. Aside from the tag match early in the show, not much happening in-ring wise this week. I’ll give the show a thumbs down, overall.
Thanks for reading.