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WWF RAW- February 11, 2002
by Scrooge McSuck
Presented LIVE on TNN from the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, AR. Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. OVW talent is once again showcased before the start of the Jakked/Metal taping, with Shelton Benjamin defeating Leviathan, and Rico Constantino and Randy Orton defeating Brock Lesnar and Ron Waterman. We're less than a week away from No Way Out, but the big news tonight is the renewal of the wedding vows between soon-to-be-parents Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Also, we'll see Torrie vs. Stacy in a Bikini Match. I've noticed they're trying to get away from the surnames, but that one didn't take.
The Undertaker comes out to kick off tonight's broadcast. Why is the crowd treating Undertaker like a babyface? He says the fans are showing respect for the man who FINALLY shut the Rock's mouth, then completes the dunk by calling them a bunch of hillbillies. He learned a long time ago to not look for much from people who have no reason to respect themselves. In 30-seconds, the crowd went from pro-Undertaker to drowning him out with chants of "Rocky." We show a replay of Smackdown, where Rock interfered in the match against Maven, costing Taker the Hardcore Championship (and probably more importantly, his pride). It's one thing not showing him proper respect, but no one disrespects him the way the Rock did. Next, we replay Taker assaulting the Rock in the parking garage, with Taker saying this is what happens when you disrespect him. The beatings will continue until he teaches Rock the word "respect." "I'm no Aretha Franklin and I won't be singing it." Ric Flair interrupts, which I guess is a nice change of Flair interrupted Vince McMahon. Flair tells Undertaker he's the most respected man in the ring and the locker room, but on Thursday, he lost all their respect. OH WHATEVER. Flair says Rock has a concussion and a "serious" neck injury, but not enough to keep him from wrestling on Sunday. Taker asks who the hell is Flair to say he doesn't respect him. "I'm Ric Flair, 50% owner of this company, and I'm telling you that." Taker says when the REAL owner gives him the word, he's going to bust Flair's a$$. Flair says until that happens, he's got bad news for Undertaker. Flair says Rock told him he'll be there Sunday and give him everything he has. Also, the Undertaker is going to wrestle tonight against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Non-Title Match: Chris Jericho (Undisputed Champion) vs. Edge:
We replay Regal assaulting Edge on last week's episode of Smackdown, once again knocking Edge out with the Power of the Punch. Edge attacks Jericho from behind, knocking him through the ropes and bringing the fight to the floor. Jericho cuts Edge off while rolling into the ring and unloads with chops. Whip to the ropes, Edge hangs back to avoid a forearm and comes bouncing back with a clothesline. Edge with a spinning heel kick and modified bulldog for two. Jericho knocks the referee into Edge, distracting him long enough to regain control. I'm bad with faces, but is that Brian Hebner? I haven't paid much attention lately, but this is the first time I'm noticing him working a match. Whip to the corner and Jericho meets the post. Edge with a shoulder block, followed by a clothesline. Edge sends Jericho into the turnbuckle and snaps him down for a near-fall. Jericho counters a back body-drop and takes Edge down with the bulldog. Edge avoids the Lionsault, then Jericho avoids a Spear. Jericho sweeps the legs and teases a Walls of Jericho, but Edge counters with a victory roll for two. Jericho blocks a DDT and leaves Edge out to dry. Jericho powders out, grabbing one of his belts. Edge hits him with the Spear and covers for a near-fall. Jericho smacks Edge in the ribs with the referee looking right at them (Ross notes this as well) and finishes with the Breakdown at 3:56. Decent action, but too short to tell any kind of story.
Michael Cole stops Mr. McMahon backstage, asking him what brings him to Arkansas. WOW, WHAT A QUESTION. Mr. McMahon says you can say he's fond of "hogs", or maybe he's the co-owner of the WWF, or he wanted to one last time witness the last Raw before the nWo arrives at No Way Out, THIS SUNDAY.
Backstage, Triple H is still stewing over what happened on Smackdown, but Stephanie assures him that everything is fine with the baby. Hunter says there's still something he needs to take care of.
Rikishi vs. Goldust:
This is Goldust's first match on Monday Night Raw in nearly three years. Last week, Goldust finally revealed that Rob Van Dam is the man who has Goldust's attention. Interesting enough, these two men started the Royal Rumble Match three weeks ago. Goldust attempts a jump start, but Rikishi fights him off. Whip is reversed and Goldust with the hip attack. He fights out of a belly-to-belly and takes Rikishi off his feet with a clothesline. Rikishi reverses a whip and takes Goldust over with a back body-drop that may have been designed as a Samoan drop spot. Rikishi with a clothesline, turning Goldust inside-out. He sets up for the Banzai Drop, but Goldust brings up the knees. Goldust rams Rikishi into the corner as RVD makes his way to the ring. RVD comes off the top with a missile dropkick, triggering the Disqualification at 1:30. STOP PROTECTING RIKISHI IN ALL THESE LOSSES. Goldust and RVD brawl, with Rikishi giving RVD the unfair advantage. Dumb finish aside, Goldust is moving much better than he has in years.
Arn Anderson meets with Triple H backstage and has a FedEx for Triple H, courtesy of Ric Flair's office.
Jonathan Coachman is backstage with Steve Austin, hyping up the Championship Match on Sunday, but tonight, Austin has to step in the ring with the Undertaker. Austin cuts another rambling nothing promo to entice fans into chanting "What" every time he pauses. Austin came to Jonesboro to open a can of whoop a$$, and tonight he's going to disrespect all over the Deadman's a$$.
The Godfather vs. Kurt Angle:
It's been three weeks and Godfather's act is already stale again. I can't imagine this one going long with how hard Angle is being pushed as Triple H's nemesis. Angle attacks before the bell, working him over in the ropes. That's what Godfather gets for being a gentleman, holding the ropes for his escorts. Whip is reversed and Godfather with a boot. He celebrates prematurely, allowing Angle to clip him from behind. Angle wraps the leg around the post and continues to punish the leg until the Ankle Lock finishes at 1:10. Angle reapplies the hold after the bell, no doubt a message to Triple H. After the bell, Angle says he thinks Stephanie can do better, and vows to kick his butt and take the title shot for WrestleMania.
More from Triple H and Stephanie getting prepared for their ceremony later tonight.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker:
Undertaker surprisingly doesn't ride to the ring again. Maybe it's to prevent the crowd popping for him again, but against Austin, they'll clearly side with the bionic redneck. Jericho attacks Austin as he makes his way out. "WHAT A COWARDLY ATTACK!" The referees rush out to restore order, but they're incompetent, allowing Jericho to get a few more shots in before he chooses to leave. Taker accepts the help and pounds away on Austin as the match has yet to (officially) begin. They're in the ring and the bell finally rings with Taker working Austin over in the corner. Austin fights back with a series of right hands. Whip to the ropes and Austin with the Thesz Press, followed by the F-U elbow drop. Taker ducks under a clothesline and bounces back with a diving lariat. Austin gets sent over the top rope, with Taker in hot pursuit. Austin reverses a whip, sending Taker's knees crashing into the steps. He's definitely not hitting those steps like he would 5-6 years ago (and for the better). Taker quickly regroups and dumbs Austin over the barricade. Back inside, Taker is in full control of the action. Austin counters the Tombstone and hits the Stunner! Unfortunately, Jericho is back, and we've got a Disqualification at 4:51. Austin avoids the belt shot, planting Jericho with a spine-buster, but Taker is there to lay out Austin and give Jericho a second chance with the belt shot. Jericho celebrates with some cold ones and smashes them over Austin's head. Not as bad as one expected, but this was just noise to build interest for Jericho/Austin (sorry, it's not working. I know Austin is a lame-duck challenger).
Tazz (w/ Spike Dudley) vs. Booker T (w/ Test):
Looks like Booker and Test are on the same page again in one of those weird on-and-off partnerships. Last night on Heat, Test pinned Spike after taking his head off with a big boot. Does this mean we're getting Tazz and Spike vs. Booker and Test at No Way Out? Booker with a boot to the midsection and clubbing blows in the corner. Tazz turns things around throwing right hands but is taken down with a clothesline. Tazz pops up, hitting Booker with a T-Bone Suplex for a near-fall. Booker blocks a whip and comes off the ropes with a Scissors-Kick. He busts out the Spinarooni. Tazz counters the Book End, but we get some overbooking as Spike enters the ring for no reason, distracting the referee. Test runs in and hits the big boot on Tazz. Spike goes after Test and lands on his diving out of the ring. Oh, and Booker covers for three at 2:14. Nothing burger match with our FOURTH match of the night that was overbooked with heels doing dastardly things or having a DQ finish.
Bubba Ray and D'Von Dudley are at WWF New York, and we're hyping the Bikini Match coming up next.
Bikini Match: Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Keibler:
If you need an explanation, both women compete in a bikini. I don't have to tell anyone that both women are gorgeous, and looking at them in as little clothing as possible isn't the worst thing in the world, but matches like this (or far more demeaning ones like when they did mud-pool matches) always gave being a fan of professional wrestling a dirty feeling. Stacy opens with a slap and Torrie responds. Stacy cartwheels out of an Irish whip. They do the pin-fall counter sequence in the usually sloppy style as the crowd catcalls them. Jack Doan gets steamrolled, making him the biggest heel of the match. Torrie with more slaps. Whip to the corner, Stacy avoids the charge, and a roll up finishes at 1:19. Lawler wants them to replay the match. At least it was short. So far, heels have won every match with a pin, while the two babyface victories were by DQ.
Mr. Perfect is playing chess against the 1999 National Amateur Champion and cheats to win. This is Perfect's first appearance on Raw since the night after the Royal Rumble, and as a reintroduction of who he is, I'm a little annoyed that Perfect resorted to cheating. Yes, HE'S A HEEL, HE CHEATS, but I prefer the original vignettes where he was allowed to look good doing whatever competitive task was at hand.
Rob Van Dam vs. Christian:
Breaking Point are in the crowd as we hype RVD's theme song (featured on the upcoming Forceable Entry album). Christian rushes down the ramp without an entrance to, get this, GET THE JUMP ON HIS OPPONENT. 5 out of 7 matches started that way tonight, for those keeping score. Christian puts the boots to RVD in the corner as Ross notes Christian is in a slump. Whip to the corner, RVD brings up an elbow and works him over with shoulders to the midsection. Christian thinks he outsmarts RVD and ends up running into a heel kick. RVD misses a charge to the corner and is left to hang out to dry. Christian with a shoulder tackle, knocking RVD off the apron. RVD comes back in and hits a springboard body press for two. Christian quickly regains control, laying RVD out with a clothesline. Whip to the ropes and Christian with a powerslam for two. Christian slows things down with a chin-lock. Whip to the ropes and RVD with a standing heel kick. Whip to the corner and RVD takes Christian over with a monkey-flip. RVD with a rolling fireman's carry and springboard moonsault for two. Leg trap heel kick connects. Christian gets the knees up to counter Rolling tHunder. RVD whiffs a heel kick and is taken down with a reverse DDT for two. Christian complains about the count and has a tantrum. RVD out of nowhere with the Five-Star Frog Splash mid-tantrum to take the match at 6:29. That was dumb and hilarious at the same time. Afterwards, Goldust shows up on the Jumbo-screen and warns RVD to prepare himself for the feature film at No Way Out.
Linda McMahon is on the phone with Triple H. She's the one who sent the FedEx, and insists that he watch the VHS tape in the package. We find out the doctor that Triple H met last week is nothing more than a sham infomercial actor. That guy really likes using the word "smashing" to describe things. Stephanie's been lying, she was never pregnant.
Vince McMahon offers to walk Stephanie to the ring. Stephanie's wearing the most hoochiemama wedding dress you can imagine (well, as far as Stephanie goes. Lita would top it with the Edge ceremony in 2005 by leaps and bounds). Howard Finkel interrupts with some information they need to hear, but is told to get the hell out.
The renewal of vows between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley is our main event segment, of course. Vince McMahon interrupts the ceremony to ask for some respect from the audience. Oh God, there's singers on the stage to perform the wedding song that was used way back in 1991 for the wedding of Randy Savage and Elizabeth (a.k.a. Mr. and Mrs. Macho). Triple H has a look on his face like he's up to no good, but we're forced to sit through an excruciating ten minutes of nonsense to get where we knew we were going in the first place. STEPHANIE IS SO BAD DELIVERING LINES. I can't tell if she's trying to be sincere or trying to be obviously insincere. Hunter says the greatest day was being told he would be a father. He sees not just a loving wife, but the mother of his child. Tonight, he sees her in a different light. She's not just his loving wife and the mother of his child, but he sees her as who she truly is… a no-good lying b!tch. He confronts her with the lies she's told. He admits he's an a$$hole, but even he wouldn't go so low as to fake a pregnancy (no, he would go on to accuse someone of necrophilia and imitate the performance). Hunter says the marriage is over. Vince gets in the way of things and gets decked. Hunter tears apart the set and hits Vince with the Pedigree (but not before Vince goes down too early and they need to reset)! Stephanie starts giving Hunter to the business and gets pie-faced to the ground. Hunter throws his wedding band at her and walks off, with the show closing on an enraged Stephanie. I'm sure we'll see that image recycled in hype packages for next month. This was what we knew it would be, Triple H finally confronting Stephanie and breaking away from her. 20-minutes of TV time that could've wrapped up in half the amount if you cut all the fluff.
Final Thoughts: Wow, this show didn't do much to get me excited for the card at No Way Out, and that's a really poor sign for the go-home episode of Raw. Almost every match had a dumb or non-finish, and babyfaces in general came off poorly (except Triple H, of course). It feels like they're teasing something with Flair and Undertaker. While I'm not excited for anything Undertaker, it means we won't get weekly segments of Flair and Vince bickering with each other. I haven't mentioned the nWo much, because we were treated to half-a-dozen teaser videos hyping their appearance, but I stand by what I said the previous week. Outside of their appearance, I don't care about anything announced for the PPV.
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