Friday, September 11, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw - September 16th, 2002 Review

September 16th, 2002

Commentators - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

The final Raw before the UNFORGIVEN PPV

Eric Bischoff is the ring with the lights down and he introduces Raw’s newest acquisition from Smackdown - Rico. Well then. 

World Heavyweight Champion Triple H is out next. He talks about RVD and his upcoming title defense. This brings out RVD who proceeds to have the most amazing possible exchange with H possible considering their dynamic, basically saying H is just jealous of how cool and talented he is. Van Dam hits him with a kick when things heat up and ends the segment on top. 

1) Ric Flair vs. Rico 

Ok.. Rico won this and what the fuck lol. 4 minutes of ok stuff but what in the world! 

Booker T is backstage. He hated tests as a kid, tonight he will kick Test’s ass. 

2) Test vs. Booker T

What the HELL. This kinda ruled. Small slip up or two here or there but they went all out in the time they had. Booker busted out a flying drop kick and a hurricanrana. Fun shit all around. Book wins and the crowd pops hard bc 2002 Book is OVER AS FUCK. 

Match rating - **1/2

Triple H antagonizes and mocks Ric Flair for his loss to Rico and says he should retire. Flair says he doesn’t know what he’s capable of etc and walks off. H says “but yes I do” —— the loss to Rico makes sense now and I think this is the build to the start of Evolution?

3) Christian & Lance Storm (c) vs. The Dudleys (Bubba Ray & Spike) - Raw Tag Team Title Match 

Bubba starts strong. Spike gets in and is isolated and worked over. HOT tag to Bubba and it breaks down. Spike is powerbombed over the top rope through a table. Bubba takes out Christian but the ref is tending to Spike. Storm comes from behind and tries to hit Bubba with the belt. Bubba throws him out of the ring, but Christian comes behind with a roll up for the win. 

Match rating - **1/2

Spike Dudley is on a stretcher backstage. Triple H walks by laughing. 

4) Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Chris Jericho - Intercontinental Title Match 

This was whatever, we’ve seen this match a ton lately and it’s nothing new here. The inevitable happens and H runs down to cost RVD the title. Jericho is your new IC Champ. 

Match rating - **

5) William Regal vs. Kane 

Test ran in for the DQ about two minutes in, solidifying the alliance between Regal and the unamericans. I like that. 

There’s been women outside protesting Bischoff’s recent stunts like HLA. Eric invited them inside and one of the protestors is Stephanie. Billy & Chuck show up and attack Eric. This leads to Jamal & Rosey coming down. Back from commercial, Bischoff proposes Jamal & Rosey vs. Billy & Chuck at Unforgiven. If Bischoff wins, Steph participates in HLA, if he loses, he will kiss her ass. What a stipulation. This is so 2002. 

Triple H comes out for his mystery title defense and RVD attacks him and busts him open with the belt. 

6) Triple H (c) vs. Jeff Hardy - World Heavyweight Championship Match

H’s opponent is revealed as Jeff Hardy and THIS RULES. Jeff runs down full speed, the crowd pops, The Game is bloody and defenseless. This feels like a MITB cash in. For that reason alone I wanna say I love this but it was a little sloppy and the believe factor wasn’t fully there. Still much better than I ever expected for a 6 minute H/Hardy match in 02. H retains with the sleeper after several near falls where Jeff almost won. 

Match rating - **1/2

Post match, RVD shows back up and lays Triple H out again and poses with the belt to close the show. 

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