Monday Night Raw – February 25, 2002: Well, That Happened

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 25, 2002
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Attendance: 10,059
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re getting closer to Wrestlemania and the main events are set. The only change so far has been Stephanie joining Jericho on Smackdown to set up the real main event of HHH vs. Stephanie at Wrestlemania. Other than that there isn’t much to say as the midcard will fill itself in over the next few weeks. Let’s get to it.

I’ve already done the March 4 and March 11 shows. The links can be found at the end of this review.

We open with a recap from the NWO on Smackdown for what they’ve done to Austin and Rock so far. Austin came out in the truck and chased the NWO off, eventually kidnapping Hall and beating the tar out of him. Why this is set to Rey Mysterio’s WCW theme music is beyond me.

Theme song.

Val Venis is at WWE New York.

Here’s the NWO to open the show with Hall pushing a wheelbarrow. Hogan doesn’t care that the fans are upset by his attack on Rock. It felt good to hurt Rock and apparently Rock will be here tonight because being hit in the head with a hammer by a 6’6 300lb man and being crushed by a semi-truck is a one week injury. Hall talks about what Austin did to him on Smackdown, setting up their Wrestlemania match. The wheelbarrow was never mentioned at all.

Recap of the WWF on Fear Factor, won by Matt Hardy.

Tag Titles: Billy and Chuck vs. Hardy Boyz

Billy and Chuck won the belts on Smackdown. Chuck punches Jeff down to start but gets caught in a jawbreaker. Off to Matt for some double teaming in the corner and a double suplex for two. The Twist of Fate is broken up and Billy takes Matt down with a clothesline. Chuck stomps Matt down in the corner and pounds away, only to be caught in a suplex to put both guys down.

A double tag brings in Jeff and Billy as everything breaks down. Both champions take Poetry in Motion but Billy breaks up the Swanton attempt. Billy’s cobra clutch slam gets two on Jeff but Lita comes in with the Litarana to take him down. The Twist/Swanton combination takes Billy down but Chuck superkicks Jeff down for the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have enough time to go anywhere but the tag titles continue to mean nothing at all. They’re just kind of there at this point with no story at all. Billy and Chuck are the flavor of the month which is all we’ll see for the next several years. Nothing to see here.

Jericho and his new business partner Stephanie McMahon arrive. Jericho has a video for a production guy.

Austin has nothing to say.

Arn Anderson says he’ll hold the fort down until Flair gets here. Christian comes in and wants to quit because the fans are laughing at him. Diamond Dallas Page and his creepy smile pop in behind him and tells Christian that he doesn’t want to quit. See, all the negativity is holding Christian back. Page gets Christian to do the smile as well, saying it’s a start. As corny as this is, looking at what Page has accomplished with Jake Roberts and Scott Hall, I’d listen to what Page told me to do.

Austin does the WHAT bit and accepts the match with Hall.

We look at Angle putting Kane through a table and destroying his ankle with a chair from Smackdown.

Lance Storm vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Big Show

Intercontinental Champion William Regal is on commentary as the winner of this gets a title shot. The champion wants Lance to win here. Storm kicks Rob down to start and tries to dive on Big Show, only to be tossed back into the ring. Show slams both guys down for two but Rob gets in some kicks and Rolling Thunder for two on Storm. Big Show throws everyone around again so the normal sized guys try to double team him. A double suplex puts both guys down so Storm brings in a chair. Rob hits a top rope kick to drive it into Show’s face and the Five Star sends him to Wrestlemania in less than three minutes.

Booker T is learning Japanese for a shampoo commercial in one of the most infamous storylines of the era.

The APA gets an invitation to the Friendly Tap. The bar owned by referee Tim White.

Rikishi vs. Booker T

Booker pounds Rikishi down into the corner but walks into a powerslam for two. A spin kick puts Rikishi down again and Booker stomps away some more. Rikishi comes back with a bad looking Samoan drop but misses a charge into the corner. A Japanese spin kick misses and Rikishi superkicks him into the corner. Booker uses the referee as a shield and kicks Rikishi down for the pin. This was nothing.

Mark Henry won the Arnold Schwarzenegger strongman challenge over the weekend.

Here are Jericho and Stephanie to show us what’s on the tape. Jericho brags about how awesome he is in the ring and how awesome he is now that he has Stephanie’s genius to help him. The tape is a clip of Jericho injuring HHH’s quad last year and putting him out for eight months. Jericho claims that the injury ruined HHH’s marriage, but Stephanie says it was because HHH is very, ahem, small.

This brings out HHH with Stephanie making small jokes all the way to the ring. HHH implies Stephanie is very wide down there with the fans not seeming to get the joke. HHH remembers Jericho is champion and asks for a match tonight even if the titles aren’t on the line. This brings out Angle who apparently has Vince’s authority to give himself a title shot tonight. Angle leaves so HHH beats up Jericho.

Mr. Perfect thinks people are tired of hearing about Austin, which is why they’re fighting tonight.

Women’s Title: Jazz vs. Mighty Molly

Jazz is defending of course and jumps Molly on the floor to start. She even rips up Molly’s cape to really show how EVIL she is. Molly comes back with some Japanese armdrags, only to be caught in a world’s strongest slam for two. A splash gets another two so Jazz drapes Molly over the top rope for two more. Jazz hits a butterfly suplex and the double chicken wing, only to be rolled up for three straight near falls. Molly misses a high cross body and gets caught in the fisherman’s DDT for the pin.

Rating: C-. Not much to see here but it wasn’t bad or anything. At the end of the day though, no one cares about either of these girls and the crowd reaction proved it. Trish and Lita were the only girls that people cared about for a long time and as cruel as this sounds, it’s because they’re better looking than Jazz. Molly was cute but she had the personality of a door.

Post match Jazz lays out Molly. Back from a break and Arn Anderson is checking on Molly when Undertaker comes out for the beating to set up Flair vs. Taker at Wrestlemania.

WWF World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho

Angle punches Jericho while he still has the belts on his shoulders. A hard clothesline gets two for Kurt and a German suplex gets the same. There’s the overhead belly to belly for two more as this is all Angle so far. Angle charges again but gets backdropped out to the floor. Jericho rips some of the padding off the barricade to drop Angle across the exposed steel.

Back inside and a reverse elbow off the top gets two followed by some elbow drops for the same. Jericho chops him down but Angle counters a Walls attempt into a small package for two. A hot shot puts Angle down but he runs the corner to suplex Jericho down for another near fall. JR points out the obvious flaw in the match: the fans don’t like either guy so there’s no one to cheer for.

Rolling Germans take the champion over but Jericho escapes the ankle lock into a Walls attempt but Angle rolls through that into the ankle lock. Jericho grabs a rope and puts on the Walls but Kurt makes the rope. Chris throws in a title belt and the ring bell before poking the referee in the eye. Somehow that’s not a DQ so Angle hits Jericho with a belt for two. The ankle lock is broken by a rope grab after only a few seconds and an enziguri sends Kurt to the floor. Cue Kane to throw Angle back into the ring so the Breakdown can end Angle.

Rating: C+. This was good for the most part as you would expect from these two but the ending was WAY overbooked for what they were going for. JR was absolutely right with the whole “fans don’t know who to cheer for” thing, which really dragged the match down. Still though, given how lame the wrestling has been in previous weeks, this was solid stuff.

Kane swings a chair at Angle but Kurt ducks and bails through the crowd.

During the break Flair arrived, over an hour and a half into the show. He heard about Arn and immediately left. Ok then.

Hogan goes into Rock’s locker room.

Back from a break and Hogan is talking to the Rock….who is made of cardboard. Hogan talks a lot of trash and says nothing of note at all. He punches the cardboard down after talking about how big of a legend he is.

The APA goes to the Friendly Tap and get jumped by Billy and Chuck. All of the other patrons were gay men/men in drag as part of some joke that wasn’t funny.

The NWO wishes Perfect good luck tonight.

Mr. Perfect vs. Steve Austin

Austin shoves him into the corner to start and we actually get a clean break. Perfect takes him into the opposite corner and gets flipped off for his efforts. A shoulder block puts Austin down and a headlock sends us to a stalemate. They chop it out in the corner and Austin whips him around the ring a few times, getting two off a clothesline. An elbow to the jaw puts Steve down but Austin shrugs it off, does his stomping and hits the Stunner for the clean pin.

Rating: D. This was there to set up whatever post match stuff we’ve got going on. Perfect was a good guy to bring back in but there was clearly nothing for him to do this time around. Nothing to see here as the crowd didn’t care as most of them probably don’t remember Perfect in the first place.

Post match Hall brings the wheelbarrow full of cinder blocks to the ring. The NWO comes out for the beatdown and one of the blocks is broken over Austin’s right knee. This would explain why Austin spent the next few weeks with his left knee heavily taped.

Overall Rating: D. Well that happened. That was my response to almost everything that happened on tonight’s show: that just happened and it didn’t make me want to see anything at Wrestlemania at all. Austin vs. Hall doesn’t do anything for me, Rock vs. Hogan exists but there’s no Rock to build the match and I don’t know of anyone who wants to see Stephanie vs. HHH. Nothing to see here as Wrestlemania 18 continues to look incredibly lame.

Here’s the March 4 Raw if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/01/09/monday-night-raw-march-4-2002-its-two-weeks-before-mania-right/

Here’s the March 11 Raw if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/09/23/monday-night-raw-march-11-2002-for-the-only-time-in-history-steve-austin-vs-hulk-hogan/

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews, and pick up my new book of Complete 2001 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E8HXYM2

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

2 comments

  1. Mouldylocks says:

    what was the real reason Austins leg was taped?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’d assume a real leg injury.