Monday Night Raw – May 13, 2002: Perhaps The Worst Raw I’ve Ever Seen

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 13, 2002
Location: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is another request due to the world title being on the line with Hogan defending against Flair. Why anyone in their right mind would want to see that match in 2002 is beyond me but people have strange tastes at times. Anyway other than that there’s not much here. I think this is the go home show for Judgment Day 2002. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip of last week with Flair turning heel and beating Austin down with a chair. It’s Flair/Big Show vs. Austin at Judgment Day.

Brock Lesnar vs. Hardy Boys

This was Brock’s first feud. He’s already destroyed both of them one on one so this is the next logical step. Jeff jumps Brock to start. They have to tag here and Brock runs over Jeff very quickly. Jeff comes back with a running forearm as the fans chant for Goldberg. Off to Matt who comes off the top with a punch to the head. Now the fans chant for the Mapleleafs. Brock kills him with a belly to belly and the dominance continues. Off to Jeff who screws up his jawbreaker move twice before finally hitting it. The Hardys hit a double flapjack and a double shot from the top rope….and Heyman pulls the referee out for the DQ.

Rating: D. So it was a squash until the Hardys realized that they’re one of the best teams ever and then there’s a lame DQ loss for Lesnar. What was the point of this again? Well it sets up another match at the PPV with Heyman as Lesnar’s partner. What is that supposed to solve anyway? Whatever here, as Lesnar would move up the ladder quickly.

Brock kills Jeff post match but Matt saves him and they hit the Twist/Swanton combo. Heyman makes the challenge for the aforementioned tag match.

Pac and Big Show are in the back when Flair comes in. Flair says this is the start of the new era. Hall is fired but Nash is just hurt. There’s a new NWO member tonight and the guy doesn’t even know that he’s joining tonight. Free will isn’t a popular idea in WWE is it?

Here are Flair and Show in the ring for their explanation for last week. They’re both NWO here. JR rips Flair the whole time because Flair hurt JR’s BFF last week. Flair says that his name is Ric Flair and if you know anything about this business, you have to respect it. He’s a 16 world champion you know. That makes him about 15 times better than the Leafs. He says he has a real enforcer rather than the one the Leafs have.

Flair says he owns Raw which makes him very powerful. As for Austin, Flair drafted him and then he got Stunned for his efforts. Flair tried to be his friend and even gave him carte blanche but Flair got screwed with anyway. Austin is trash, just like the fans. Now Flair can sympathize with Vince for having to deal with Austin all those years. Austin has a giant to worry about now. Tonight, Flair is giving himself a world title match, because what do these young kids know right?

After a break we’re told that the match will be No DQ.

Hogan arrives on his motorcycle.

Shawn Stasiak vs. Eddie Guerrero

Stasiak is a little nuts here. Eddie is IC Champion but this is non-title. These two ran into each other earlier today while Stasiak was going on one of his crazy man rants. He’s from Planet Stasiak and Eddie thinks they grow weed on Planet Stasiak. That offended Shawn so here’s the match as a result. RVD, Eddie’s opponent on Sunday, comes out to watch. Eddie jumps Stasiak to start but Shawn takes him down. Gutwrench slam gets two. A suplex is countered and Eddie goes after the knee. Suplex, Frog Splash, pin. This was about a minute.

RVD jumps Eddie post match. Eddie grabs the mic and says that he’s going to prove he’s better. Pretty awful promo.

Coach goes looking for Austin but finds Debra instead. She says Austin wants to talk but says she’ll go get him for Coach. That’s later apparently.

Apparently later is now because Austin says Flair didn’t say anything important. This is in the height of the WHAT period so Austin speaks in very short statements. He’s not worried about Judgment Day and Flair doesn’t deserve a title match. He’ll be watching though.

Now, A Day In The Life Of Tommy Dreamer. This is during the Dreamer is a Freak stage, so we see things such as him shaving his tongue, drinking toilet water and sharing a toothbrush with his dog. Moving on.

Regal is here for commentary for the next match.

Terri vs. Molly Holly

Regal and Molly are dating or something. This is because of a swimsuit contest last week where Molly hit Terri with a flipper. Terri attacks her and hits the apex of her offense with a slam. Molly is a virgin which is all Lawler can talk about. This is horrible and Molly goes up and gets crotched. Terri hits a rana off the top (nothing special) but Molly rolls her up for the pin. If you think the Divas today are bad, Terri makes Kelly Kelly look like Ricky Steamboat.

Oh apparently Regal dating Molly starts here. Ok then.

WWE Undisputed Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair

This is the world title match in 2002. Think about that for a minute. It’s No DQ as well. Hogan comes out on the motorcycle to further prove his mid life crisis. Hogan is a god in Toronto though so he gets a huge pop. To be fair, this is when Flair was 53 and he’s still in pretty decent shape, as is Hogan. It’s FAR better than when they’re in TNA and look about 80 each. Flair charges into him with doesn’t work at all.

Flair gets knocked down multiple times so he goes to get a chair which doesn’t work. He chops Hogan in the corner which goes even worse. Hogan pounds on him in the corner and we get the Flair Flop. He can’t do the Flair Flip though so he pokes Hogan in the eyes and goes up. Guess what happens next. Flair goes low and fires away in the corner. Out to the floor and Hogan takes over again with power, sending Flair into the steps face first.

Back inside and a thumb to the eye gives Flair control again. Hogan blocks the knee drop and hooks a Figure Four that Dusty Rhodes would say looks horrible. After Flair get the ropes, Hogan suplexes him for two. The chops still don’t work so Hogan Hulks Up (was he ever really in trouble?) and hits the boot and leg, drawing out the NWO. Bradshaw (why?) comes out to take out the NWO and Austin comes out to Stun Flair, setting up the legdrop for Hogan to retain.

Rating: D+. It’s Hogan vs. Flair which is the majority of the good stuff here. At the end of the day, Ric Flair is wrestling Hulk hogan for the world title in 2002 on Monday Night Raw, six days before Hogan defends against Undertaker on PPV. Does that seem like a problem to anyone else besides me? This was the year of nostalgia for WWE which resulted in HHH being world champion again by the fall, which is what it should have been over most of the summer. That would make too much sense though so we got this instead.

Flair goes on a rant in the back, the end results being Pac/Show vs. Bradshaw and Austin vs. the new NWO member in a lumberjack match.

Women’s Title/Hardcore Title: Trish Stratus/Bubba Ray Dudle vs. Jazz/Steven Richards

Trish and Bubba are the challengers. Only one title can change hands here I think. This is Toronto remember so Trish gets a huge reaction. This was set up because a blind Bubba powerbombed Trish through a table so that Steven could pin her to win the Hardcore Title. The genders have to match here. Bubba throws Trish onto the champions to start and the girls go first. Richards accidentally splashes Jazz and we get the face in the balls spot. Trish and Bubba bring in weapons but Trish can’t throw anything over the top.

Everything breaks down quickly and Steven takes a hockey stick to the crotch. Justin Credible comes out with a referee, as does Crash. Neither wins the title and various comedy spots follow. Bubba kills Justin with a guitar and Richards knocks Trish to the floor. Off to Jazz and Trish has to come in despite being out on the floor. The men have disappeared and Trish fumbles through some stuff before Stratusfaction gives her the title.

Rating: D. This show is so gimmicked it’s unreal. Now this should give you a good idea of how screwed up WWE was at this point. Trish wins the title here in Toronto from Jazz right? Less than two months earlier, they had a Women’s Title match in Toronto AT WRESTLE FREAKING MANIA, but they do the switch here instead? See how off they were in 2002?

Post match Trish says get the tables. Bubba powerbombs her through it, and by that I mean he jumps through it Jazz misses the table completely.

Undertaker has nothing to say. Literally. Hogan destroyed his motorcycle last week.

We run down the Judgment Day card. The card is stacked (Cell, hair vs. hair) but it wound up sucking.

Goldust and Booker are going to be lumberjacks tonight so Goldie sings the Lumberjack Song from Monty Python. Booker for some reason is in full lumberjack gear, complete with beard. Goldust thought Booker would look ravishing in it. These two were hilarious together.

X-Pac/Big Show vs. Bradshaw

Pac has stolen Kane’s mask in a story I don’t really remember. Pac starts and gets thrown around so Bradshaw demands Big Show get in. Show knocks him down and it’s back to Pac. Powerslam gets two for the future JBL. The crowd is QUIET for this, because it’s 2002 and Bradshaw is getting a singles push for some reason. Show pulls him to the floor and throws him into the steps and it’s back to X-Pac. This is going so slowly. Bradshaw kicks Show to the floor and hits the fallaway slam on Pac. Show grabs a chair and cracks Bradshaw in the back with it and two chokeslams for the pin.

Rating: D. This NWO stuff never went anywhere at all and a lot of that is because they had no one to fight. Austin was the top guy in the company in name only in 2002, Rock was gone, Hogan didn’t do anything but nostalgia, and guys like Bradshaw weren’t going to cut it as a top guy at this point at all. The crowd reaction in Toronto, one of the loudest cities ever, being this weak should tell you a lot.

Hogan goes to leave but Coach stops him to talk about undertaker. Hogan is in a leather jacket (clearly with extra padding) and a helmet that looks like it belongs in a war propaganda movie from World War I. He’ll be a lumberjack later, despite Flair saying he was handpicking the lumberjacks. Taker attaches Hogan to the motorcycle and drags him along. It looks ridiculous and they’re going at about the speed of a brisk jog.

Post break it’s still going on and Hogan crashes into cardboard boxes. Oh man that’s hardcore. Why keeps a wall of cardboard boxes like that anyway?

Post another break we see it AGAIN. Hogan is treated for a neck injury in the back.

Steve Austin vs. ???

Flair hasn’t told the new NWO member who he is remember. This is a lumberjack match remember. Austin beats up the lumberjacks to start but the NWO jumps him. Flair says the new member is Booker T, which is kind of a heel turn I guess. Booker takes over on Austin to start and hits the side kick to take him down. Austin comes back with a spinebuster for two as Bossman pulls him to the floor.

Austin fights the lumberjacks but Lesnar takes him down and rams him into the ring a few times. Back in Austin comes back like the stuff on the floor was nothing. Thesz Press gets no reaction so Show pulls Austin to the floor. Booker hits the axe kick and we get a Spinarooni, which allows Austin to come back again. Booker throws him to the floor AGAIN for the NWO to beat on him. We get a REALLY sloppy sequence that results in Austin ramming Booker into Flair and rolling him up the pin.

Rating: F. That’s probably extreme but let’s look at this here. First of all, there’s no reason for this match to happen. Booker T was literally picked with no motivation to fight Austin. On top of that, the majority of this match was Austin vs. the NWO/lumberjacks. Third, the match SUCKED.

As Austin leaves, Arn Anderson of all people jumps him and the NWO (minus Booker) beats him down to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. This was one of the worst shows I can remember in a long time. First and foremost, all of the matches sucked. Second, out of seven matches, TWO (Eddie vs. Stasiak and the Divas) weren’t gimmicked. Those were also the two shortest matches of the night. On top of that, the whole thing is about the NWO and the old guys. Keep in mind this: Booker was the second biggest face on Raw but now he’s NWO.

Other than him and Austin, the biggest face is probably Eddie (remember that the World Champion could be on both shows so Hogan wasn’t exclusively Raw) who would turn heel by the end of the month. That left, I kid you not, Bubba Ray Dudley, Bradshaw or Goldust as the second biggest face on Raw. Austin legitimately bailed on the company, prompting them to bring back Rock and send HHH to Raw to give it some face blood. He was turned heel by August. See why this was a bad time for Raw? Horrible show.

Here’s Judgment Day if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/03/17/judgment-day-2002-jump-hogan-jump/

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