September 22, 2002
Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA
1) The UnAmericans (Christian, Lance Storm, Test, & William Regal) vs. Booker T, Goldust, Kane, & Bubba Ray Dudley
As usual, these guys tore it down. Perfect opener with the slow burn to start and a balls to the wall finish. Regal tried to grab brass knuckles. but Kane knocks the shit out of him and pins Storm following a chokeslam. Good stuff. Bubba waves an american flag in celebration of the babyface american victory.
Match rating - ***
2) Chris Jericho (c) vs. Ric Flair - Intercontinental Championship Match
Even though we get another screwy finish, it plays well to the story and I actually enjoyed this as opposed to their SummerSlam match which felt funky from the start. Jericho uses Flair's own cheap tactics against him to retain the title. Is Flair losing it?
Match rating - **1/2
Backstage, Steph is talking to Billy & Chuck about the importance of tonight's match with Jamal & Rosey.
3) Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge
This fucking ruled. I'd say I enjoyed it even more than their SummerSlam match. Edge sold everything super well as far as his concussion and dizziness goes. Eddie was the ace in his role as always, controlling most of the match and cutting off Edge's comebacks. But when Edge does comeback, they throw bombs and had me gasping multiple times. This was awesome. Guerrero wins with a nasty sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope.
Match rating - ****
Triple H walks into the Raw locker room and tells RVD he doesn't have the fire to win the title tonight. He points to Ric Flair who is sitting behind him and said Flair used to have that fire, but he has nothing anymore so it's accurate for RVD to be getting ready with a loser like him. This brings Flair to his feet. RVD stops him from doing anything, but says "DAAAAAMN TRIPS, you really came back here just to tell me that?" The 'damn trips' line was so fucking funny. Good little segment to keep building the title match and the Flair stuff is so well done.
4) Jamal & Rosey (w/ Rico) vs. Billy & Chuck
Rico comes down with Jamal & Rosey. What a mf traitor. So, this is actually better than I expected. It's action packed from start to finish. Jamal and Rosey look great in their debut match and subsequently get the victory. Steph has to participate in HLA tonight.. oh boy.
Match rating - **
5) Triple H (c) vs. Rob Van Dam - World Heavyweight Title Match
I honestly didn't expect to care for this too much, but I really liked it tbh. Super slow start and Van Dam gets some water and mocks H's entrance. Van Dam opts for holds and headlocks as opposed to flying around and really visibly gets under H's skin. He eventually resorts to all his flashy moves for some near falls. Ref bump, frog splash, there's no ref. H low blows Van Dam and goes outside for the sledgehammer. He misses when trying to hit Van Dam with it, both men are down and Ric Flair runs down. It looks like he’s gonna get revenge on H for all the shit he has been giving him instead FLAIR NAILS VAN DAM. This gives H the victory to retain the title and wow. I wasn’t expecting the Flair turn this soon but I def saw it coming.
Match rating - ***1/4
Eric gave Jamal & Rosey and Rico some girls for their victory earlier. He sends them out on the town but keeps two behind for Steph’s HLA session later on.
6) Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Wow this PPV has been fucking great and it’s topped off by this insanely good Angle/Benoit match. Benoit targets the shoulder of Kurt and they work it throughout the match but also throw fucking BOMBS. Benoit sent Angle inside out with a release german that got a holy shit chant. Benoit gets on the top rope but ANGLE RUNS UP AND MEETS HIM!! BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX OFF THE TURNBUCKLE EHAT THE FUCK. They trade submissions holds with some insane reversals. Angle resorts to locking Benoit in the damn cross face when he won’t tap, but Benoit rolls him up and uses the ropes for the pin.
Match rating - ****1/4
SOO. Let's run down this shit show real quick. Eric brings out Steph and his girls for HLA. Teases it heavy then brings out an "ugly" or "big" girl (can't remember the exact wording but you get the point) bc Steph is enjoying the others too much. This girl turns out to be Rikishi and he lays out Bischoff with a stinkface. Another insane swerve in this Eric/Stephanie - Raw vs. Smackdown GM saga thing.
7) Brock Lesnar (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. The Undertaker - WWE Championship Match
So this has a double DQ non finish BUT it was good while it lasted and was allowed plenty of time and they made up for it with a crazy spot at the end post match where Taker threw Brock through the stage set to close the show to make up for it so I can’t complain after such a stellar show. Brock and Taker both bleed and beat the hell out of each other. Looking back, it’s clear they were building towards hell in a cell.
Match rating - ***