Monday, March 16, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - July 1st, 2002

WWE Monday Night Raw 
July 1st, 2002

Commentators - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman start the show. He is doing the opposite of what Kurt Angle did on Smackdown and issuing an open challenge to any veteran in the locker room. Heyman is interrupted by a WOOOOOO~

1) Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Ric Flair 

This was good! Flair takes the beat down from the young monster. Fights from under with chops and throws on the figure four for huge pop. Heyman on the apron to enhance the struggle. Flair pops Heyman in the face, Brock capitalizes with the F5 for the win.

Match rating - **3/4 

Jonathan Coachman is backstage with Jackie. Jackie blames her loss last week on her partner Molly Holly. Next thing you know they're brawling backstage and out to the ring. Trish Stratus comes out and pulls down Molly's pants to reveal "granny panties" this was so 2002 and not in a good way. Jesus Christ. 

2) Christopher Nowinski vs. Bradshaw 

The Harvard scholar Nowinski doesn't want this to be a hardcore title match. Bradshaw comes out like a house of fire and mows him down. He tries to introduces weapons but it bites him as Nowinski sneaks a cowbell head shot in for the quick cheap win. 

Rob Van Dam shows up and is looking for Brock Lesnar. William Regal chews him out and they will face each other later tonight. 

Jeff Hardy does an interview on a ladder backstage and says he will beat The Undertaker and become WWE Undisputed Champion tonight. 

Goldust is dressed as Darth Vader and Booker T is confused & furious. Booker does a bit with the light saber and it's great. 

Vince McMahon wants Eddie Guerrero to translate Ruthless Aggression to him in Spanish. Enter Chris Benoit, Vince says Benoit owes him and he says him & Eddie will show him in the ring later. 

3) Rob Van Dam vs. William Regal

Squash for Van Dam. Crazy long distance frog splash for the win. He gets on the mic and calls out Brock Lesnar. They set up a match for Vengeance in 3 weeks. 

4) Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero vs. Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley 

Crowd was real hot for this. Dudley's are still fresh off the ECW nostalgia and the TLC matches. Benoit is back from an injury and Eddie is Eddie. Real fun tag match with everyone being their best self. Dudley's tease the table but thankfully don't get to do it so we avoid a non finish. Bubba hits the Bubba Bomb on Eddie for the pin. Benoit and Eddie attack them after the match. Brutal assault by Benoit on Bubba. Spike ends up through the table they set up during the match. 

Match rating - **3/4


Kevin Nash tells Big Show he has to kick Booker T's ass or he's kicking his. Show goes on a journey backstage trying to find him. Instead he finds a beaten down X PAC. 

5) Booker T vs. Big Show 

And this leads to the ring. Show and Booker trade blows for a while. They end up outside. Show tries to use the stairs and it backfires on him. Booker gets the countout victory. 

Kevin Nash & Shawn Michaels come out to let Show have it for failing them and the NWO. Nash and Show trade a blow or two, HBK breaks it up and says they are gonna work through this. Only to superkick Show after a handshake between Nash & Show. Michaels also teases Triple H joining NWO next week! After the superkick, Michaels & Nash tell Show from the ramp to "come on, it was just tough love" 

Matt Hardy is backstage. His brother challenges Undertaker in a Ladder Match for the WWE Undisputed Title up next. LITA IS HERE to wish Jeff luck. Loved that.

6) The Undertaker (c) vs. Jeff Hardy - Ladder Match for the Undisputed Title

This is a super well known match for obvious reasons. I'd say it's the first noteworthy contest of the Ruthless Aggression Era as we saw Jeff Hardy be made into a star. Even though he wouldn't capture a world title until like 6 years later -- this match showed everyone that Jeff could be that guy. The finish with Hardy continuing to get up even after losing and Taker knocking him on his ass only to come back and shake his hand before the show goes off air is a classic moment.

Match rating - ****1/4

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