Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - July 22nd, 2002

July 22nd, 2002 
Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Eric Bischoff comes out. We are rolling into this era hard. The New Undisputed Champion The Rock will be here tonight. And now Bischoff introduces Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Huge pop for that. It soon turns sour as Bischoff tries to make HBK the manager of HHH and Shawn hates the idea and says it's his way or the highway and he walks out. H runs after him. As a side note, I've seen hardly nothing from this H/HBK feud so seeing all this unfold unspoiled is interesting!

1) Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy - Ladder Match for the IC/European Titles 

Bischoff announced this unification match. RVD and Hardy went out and went apeshit for 8 minutes. RVD wins after two of the most dangerous looking spots ever. Check this trainwreck out if you haven't seen it. 

Match rating - ***1/2

Chris Nowinski comes out and thankfully The Undertaker destroys him with a last ride. 

Bischoff is backstage striking a deal with Rhino when he isn't injured anymore. He runs into D-Lo Brown and Stasiak. They're begging for an opportunity so Bischoff gives them three minutes to entertain him or it's gonna be bad. 

2) Trish Stratus & Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Molly Holly & William Regal 

Trish is out in her cowboy hat yee fuckin haw. Bubba is her partner . . Random. Regal & Holly look decent together though. This actually was pretty fun though. Lots of entertaining stuff packed in. Bubba teased hitting Molly but smacked her ass instead. This went into weird intergender mode with the finish as Regal tapped out Trish while Bubba was gEtTiN da tablez ~

Match rating - **1/2 

Backstage, Bischoff schedules Benoit vs Booker T for later as a WCW throwback essentially.

The Rock comes out FINALLY. And is interrupted by Eddie Guerrero. Awesome promo exchange between them to set up a match for later. Eddie leaves and as Rock is leaving BROCK LESNAR comes out for his match and acts as if The Rock isn't even on the ramp as he passes. Love the tease. 

3) Tommy Dreamer vs. Brock Lesnar - Singapore Cane Match 

Second Singapore cane match in two weeks. Lesnar ends up winning after a fairly short one. Undertaker attacks him after and pops him in between the eyes with a cane. 

Big Show talks to HBK about how tough he is and teases a match. 

Back in the ring, Stasiak and D-Lo get their three minutes and Bischoff isn't impressed and sends 3 Minute Warning/Island Boyz to attack them. 

Triple H hands HBK a bag and tells him to "put this on" - HBK is tickled. We couldn't see what it was though. 

4) Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - IC Title #1 Contenders Match

This was too short to amount to much but both these guys are class so it was still solid for what it was. Benoit taps Booker out to the cross face and will meet RVD next week!

Match rating - **

5) The Big Show vs. Spike Dudley 

Eric Bischoff was on commentary for this and super proud of how creative of an idea this match as it's an "opportunity" for both men. Show wins and Eric coaxes him to put Spike through a table. Bubba Ray comes down for the save and gets a chokeslam onto Spike through the table. 

Triple H and Shawn Michaels come out as D GENERATION X. They run the whole schtick and TRIPLE H PEDIGREES HBK !! ~~ WHAT !! The turn has happened. H walks out of the arena as the crowd is left startled.

6) The Rock vs. Eddie Guerrero

Main event time. If Eddie wins, he gets a title shot. He doesn't win, though, but that's ok because this is worth watching just for Eddie's amazing counter out of the Rock Bottom. A decently fun 8 minutes. After the match, Brock Lesnar comes in and takes out The Rock to end the...

Not end the show...

Eric Bischoff meets Stephanie McMahon out back and Brock Lesnar walks up ONLY TO GET IN THE LIMO WITH STEPH TO GO TO SMACKDOWN. End of show. 

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