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9/2 WWE Raw review: New Raw World Championship established

Sep 3, 2002 - 12:56:00 AM
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WWE Raw review
September 2, 2002
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the Bradley Center
Broadcast live on TNN
By Mallory Mahling, Torch Team Contributor


Top Five Items from the Program

(1) Following much speculation, Eric Bischoff introduced a separate championship belt for the Raw brand and promptly presented it to Triple H.

(2) Shawn Michaels made his first appearance since SummerSlam with an ominous message for Triple H: "Dont hunt what you cant kill. What goes around will definitely come around."

(3) Kane was back in action (and looking mighty good), and was joined by Bradshaw in defending Old Glory when the Un-Americans attempted once again to torch it.

(4) Rob Van Dams stock is obviously on the rise, as he managed to pin Triple H in tonights main event.

(5) First the Undertaker jumped ship (and thats not easy to do on a motorcycle), and now Crash Holly has defected to the Smackdown brand. What a loss. *Rolling eyes*

Review of the Program

Quarter Hour 1

(Finally, after a festive holiday marathon of Pamela Andersons "VIP" (the equivalent of beating ones head against a wall for hours on end), its show time.)

Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler welcomed viewers to this Labor Day edition of Raw, live from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Eric Bischoff headed to the ring carrying a briefcase. He felt the Undisputed Title was actually very much disputed at this moment. The Raw fans deserved their own World Champion -- one exclusive to the Raw brand. Taker could go ahead and challenge Brock Lesnar at Unforgiven, and they could be small fish in a little pond. But Bischoff said Raw meant swimming with the sharks. With that, he introduced Triple H.

Triple H came out and reminded Eric that the reason Lesnar left Raw for Smackdown was because of the Game. "The Next Big Thing has no b*lls" (bleeped by WWE for your protection), contended Triple H. (The fact that they bleeped the word "balls" was ridiculous when viewed in the context of the whole show, which delved into the prurient at times.)

Bischoff took back the mic and sucked up to Triple H big time. Then he pulled the old World Heavyweight Championship belt out of the briefcase and awarded it to Triple H.

"This is a historic and shocking moment," explained J.R.

Triple H modestly said lesser guys would claim they didnt deserve the honor. But then nobody deserved to be champion more than the Game. He complimented Eric by saying he was a much better judge of talent than his ex-wife.

Ric Flair came out and headed to the ring with a word or two about the award ceremony.

Flair agreed that if Lesnar refused to appear on Raw, then his title was definitely disputed. He thought it was fine that Raw would now have its own belt. And while Triple H may be The Man, Flair reminded the Game that Flair had worn that title 16 times. And nobody had gift wrapped it and delivered it in a Halliburton. Hed paid the price of a wrestling lifetime. He told Triple H that he needed to earn the right to wear the belt.

Bischoff thought that was a great idea. Triple H would face the Nature Boy tonight for the title.

Triple H said it would be an honor and a privilege, and Flair said he was probably the luckiest man to be the first contender. He was honored. They shook hands. But the moment was a little too warm and fuzzy. Triple H nailed Flair in the chin and scrammed with the belt.

Quarter Hour 2

(Commercial break)

Backstage, Triple H was accepting the congratulations of some of the boys. Bubba Dudley wasnt too pleased, though. Triple H accused him of being jealous and told him hed get his shot at the title if he stood in line.

Bubba told the Game it was not the look of jealousy, "it was the look of hunger -- to be the best in this business, to one day have the opportunity to be the World Heavyweight Champ, an opportunity that Lesnar walked out with last week. That belt is our salvation," stated Bubba passionately. And he suggested that Triple H wipe the smug look off his face before somebody smacked it off.

(1) Intergender Tag Team Table Match: Bubba Ray Dudley & Trish Stratus over Chris Nowinski & Molly Holly. (How many weeks in a row are we going to have to watch variations on this theme?)

Earlier today, Nowinski confided something in Jonathan Coachman that doesnt bear repeating. Suffice it to say he was hoping to get lucky with Molly.

Bubba took Mr. Harvard to school -- again. Then he bee-bopped with Molly til she lost her britches (she was wearing granny panties, which, oddly enough, seemed to titillate the King). This was a fairly decent match that went ignored while the King made off-color remarks about Mollys virginity and J.R. dredged up the big-butt angle.

Both members of a team had to go through a table to win. Nowinski managed to put himself through the first table, which left Molly alone in the ring. Sure enough, Bubba put her through the second table, to take the win.

Quarter Hour 3

(Commercial break)

Backstage, Jonathan Coachman interviewed Christian and Lance Storm. Christian went off on a rant about pride. It was their purpose to point out the flaws in this country, added Storm. Test walked up and told them to beat Kane so they could celebrate by burning the American flag. (Wheres a fire marshal when you really need one?)

Eric Bischoffs first ever Lingerie Pillow Fight Match was in the works between Stacy and Terri. Terri objected, saying she preferred to do interviews. "Yeah, yeah," said Bischoff, as he inspected their ring wear.

Flair was getting ready for his match when Chris Jericho came in and got in the Nature Boys face. Flair dished it right back.

(Commercial break)

(2) Booker T pinned William Regal. (Loud "Booker T" chants from the crowd.)

Quarter Hour 4

Regals uppercuts were brutal. But so was Bookers foot. A scissors kick and a pin later, Booker had won the rather short match. And, of course, Booker T topped it off with a victory Spineroonie.

Shawn Michaels was seated in a wheelchair in "San Antonio" waiting to be interviewed in the next segment.

(Commercial break)

Highlights were shown of Shawn Michaels remarkable performance at SummerSlam and Triple H destroying the Heartbreak Kid afterwards with a sledge hammer attack.

Shawn related that he had feeling in his legs, but his mobility was not where it should be. He would remain in the wheelchair while he underwent physical therapy. Was the match worth it? Yeah, it was worth it, he said. He thanked God for giving him the privilege of getting back in the ring again. His message for Triple H was this: "Dont hunt what you cant kill. What goes around will definitely come around." Michaels had a sledge hammer in his lap, and the implication was clear.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 5

(3) World Heavyweight Championship Match: Triple H beat Ric Flair to retain the title. Charles Robinson (Little Naitch) was the referee. Ric Flair still had gas in his tank and took charge early in the match. He whooed as Triple H writhed in pain as his elbow was twisted like a pretzel. Triple H rallied. An Irish whip took Flair to out outside, upside down. Triple H brought Flair back into the ring with a standing vertical suplex. Flair went to drop a knee, but Triple H moved and it was a hard landing. Triple H strutted a la Flair, then attempted to put Flair in the Figure Four. Flair reversed it and began a comeback. Lots of trademark chops. Triple H was sent flying to the outside (although it was obvious that he had to propel himself out). Flair locked on the Figure Four, but Triple H managed to grab the ropes. Flair tried for the Figure four again, but Triple H kicked him. A low blow, a Pedigree, and a pin later, Triple H had managed to retain the title.

Chris Jericho hopped into the ring and put Flair in the Walls of Jericho. Rob Van Dam ran out, pushing Triple H out of his way on the ramp, and made the save. The Game got back in the ring and tangled with RVD (who kicked his championship butt to the cheers of the crowd).

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 6

Eric Bischoff was trying to calm Big Show, who was still mad about being attacked by Rosie and Jamal. He objected to Triple H being handed the title belt on a silver platter. He demanded to be designated as the Number One contender. Eric told him to earn it and told Show to impress him in his match with Tommy Dreamer.

Erics cell phone rang and the person on the other end of the phone said theyd heard someone would defect to Smackdown tonight to be with a family member. (Bubba perhaps? Or Kane? Or Jeff Hardy?)

(4) Handicap Match: Kane over Lance Storm & Christian. Loud "USA" chants as Kane dominated the Un-Americans for the majority of this match. Christian managed to take Kane down with a drop toe hold on the ring steps. The King urged Kane to be the Big Red White & Blue Machine tonight. Kane was impressive, using a new move that consisted of putting Christian on his shoulders and falling backwards. Kane flew off the top with a clothesline to Storm and got a near fall. Kane finally chokeslammed Storm for the pin and the win.

Test jumped into the ring with a blow torch and the American flag. Bradshaw saved Old Glory this time. He and Kane kicked the Un-Americans out of the ring, and Bradshaw proudly waved the flag.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 7

(5) Big Show over Tommy Dreamer via disqualification. Dreamer, the last Hardcore Champion, had his hands full tonight. Big (Fat) Show bullied, stomped and tossed Dreamer from pillar to post, but Tommy kept eluding the pin. Dreamed picked up a chair and went to town on Show with it. He was disqualified, but he continued to use the chair as an equalizer. Show won the match, so to speak, but Dreamer had the dented chair as his trophy.

Triple H confronted Eric Bischoff in the hallway and demanded a match with RVD for his interference earlier. Jericho rushed up and reminded Bischoff that hed already been promised a shot at RVD tonight. Bischoff didnt have time for their petty squabbling. As he hurried off, he told them the main event tonight would be Triple H and Chris Jericho against Ric Flair and RVD.

(Commercial break)

(6) Jeff Hardy vs. Crash Holly was a non-event.

Before the match could start, Eric Bischoff came out and accused Jeff of being the one who would be defecting to Smackdown. As punishment for giving no notice, he ordered Rosie and Jamal to give Jeff the 3-minute squash. And anybody else who decided to leave Raw would receive the same treatment, stated Bischoff emphatically.

(You dont really believe its Jeff, do you?)

Crash headed up the ramp and out the door with a message for Eric. It was he who was going to Smackdown. (Hit the road, Crash -- and dont ya come back no more, no more.)

(Are they trying to kill off Smackdown? First the Undertaker jumps ship (and thats not easy to do on a motorcycle), and now Elroy is being added to the otherwise successful mix.)

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 8

(7) Lingerie Pillow Fight: Terri beat Stacy. The King was in his element as the special guest referee for this ridiculous "match." A bed was set up in the ring, and the match included lots of bare buns, spanking, bronco busters, double entendre, soft-core porn, and a win by Terri. It ended in a post-match tar and feathering by Stacy. Geez!

(Commercial break)

The line of the night: "Youve got something sticky all over your hand, but thats not unusual," said J.R. to Lawler.

(8) Tag Team Main Event: Rob Van Dam & Ric Flair over Triple H & Chris Jericho. Before Flair could make his entrance, Triple H and Y2J were already double-teaming RVD.

Quarter Hour 9

Good match, although sloppy in spots. RVD was the stand-out. For some reason, there was a loud "Rocky Sucks" chant going on.

As they began to take the match home, the action picked up. A Rolling Thunder and near pin on Triple H by RVD. RVD reversed a Pedigree and gave Triple H a spinning heel kick. RVD went up top, but Jericho pushed him off the ropes. A Lionsault on RVD, followed by a near pin by Triple H. Triple H went for a belt shot on RVD, but Van Dam saw it coming and flattened the champ. RVD went up top for a Five Star Frog Splash (with sick air) to pin Triple H and take the win.

"RVD has beaten the Game," shouted J.R. as the show went off the air.

The Wrap Up Not much sports tonight, and not much in the way of entertainment either. Of the eight matches on the card, most were fluff and nonsense, but the ones intended to be serious, were quite good. Raw has its own belt now, and its not much of a surprise that it went to Triple H. However, now that the Undertaker is out of the picture, the title defenses have real potential.

Comments? You can reach me at mallory_m_@hotmail.com.

Mallory Mahling talks wrestling with Harv Roman and the "Club Kids on the Radio," Saturdays at 2:00 P.M. on WLUW, 88.7 FM, Chicago.


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