Monday Night Raw – October 7, 2002: Gimmicks Gone Wild

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 7, 2002
Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re in Las Vegas for a special show as WWE continues to fight (in vein) against Monday Night Football. This week it’s Raw Roulette, meaning every match is Spin the Wheel, Make the deal. I was always a fan of that gimmick back in WCW but having a full show built around it could be a mess. Let’s get to it.

Quick video on Raw Roulette which basically says “tonight is Raw Roulette”. Thanks for that one.

Eric Bischoff is in the back with some showgirls and explains the concept: a spin of the wheel determines the gimmick for every match tonight. First up: a steel cage match.

Opening sequence.

Booker T. vs. Big Show

In a cage of course. There’s a weird buzzing sound coming through commentary so I have another annoying sound to deal with aside from JR and King try to explain why this match is happening. Show tosses him into the cage and hits a hard clothesline before throwing Booker into the corner again.

The very slow beating continues as this is going nowhere. Booker slugs away a bit so Show kicks him in the face for his efforts. A side kick knocks Big Show into the cage and a top rope scissors kick (cool move) knocks him silly. Somehow that’s not enough to finish it either as Booker has to low blow Big Show off the top before escaping for the win.

Rating: D-. For a regular match it was boring but for a cage match it was a disaster. This is a good example of what’s going to be going wrong all night: these gimmicks aren’t adding anything to the matches but we’re getting them for the sake of trying to fight off football. Really boring stuff here as Show does little more than throwing Booker into things and that’s not enough to fill in eight minutes.

Chris Jericho runs in and lays Booker out, even drawing some blood.

Kane and the Hurricane get to defend the Tag Team Titles in…..a TLC match. Bischoff: “Tables, ladders and chairs.” Hurricane: “Holy Mick Foley!”

Jericho is tired of being overlooked and wants some respect.

HHH gets a blindfold match and thinks it should be against one of the showgirls. Flair calms HHH down and introduces Bischoff to his own personal lesbians. William Regal comes in to say this is ridiculous so the wheel gives him a Las Vegas Showgirl against Goldust. As in they have to dress like showgirls. We’re really going the drag route?

Batista is coming to Raw. Anything that gets him away from D-Von is great, but what about the contracts being frozen a few weeks ago?

HHH vs. D’Lo Brown

Non-title and they’re both blindfolded. They slowly walk past each other before the miss right hands. HHH talks smack to a turnbuckle and Brown hits a lucky right hand. Of course he grabs the referee because he thinks HHH wrestles in a shirt. Some right hands have Brown in trouble but he backdrops his way out of a Pedigree. There’s the Sky High but HHH rolls over to the ropes. A Flair distraction lets HHH cheat and hit the Pedigree for the pin. What a waste of time and the WORLD CHAMPION.

Christian, Bubba Ray Dudley and Jeff Hardy are in Bischoff’s office where he says no one knows more about TLC matches than they do. All three of them can pick their own partners for tonight’s title match and Bubba stares Eric down. Goldust comes in in his showgirl attire and seems right in his element.

Quick sidebar. The Raw tag division is a wreck, Smackdown is having to put together any two people they can to do a tournament and these three are all split from their respective partners. Edge is doing wonders on his own and Matt is doing pretty well (albeit as a goon in the Undertaker vs. Lesnar feud) but D-Von is a disaster. Can anyone give me one good reason why the Dudleyz weren’t back together two months ago? And maybe the Hardyz too? Anyway, Goldust pops up in his showgirl attire.

Goldust vs. William Regal

They’re both dressed as showgirls and of course Regal goes WAY too far with it to great comedic effect. It’s a good thing they had showgirl outfits in mens professional wrestlers’ sizes. Goldust takes over and tries the Shattered Dreams but Lance storm offers a distraction. Regal pulls the knucks from his bra (just go with it) and knocks Goldust cold for the pin in less than a minute.

Christian isn’t going to pick any of the Un-Americans to be his partner because he’d like to win. Instead he’ll have Chris Jericho as his partner.

Stacy Keibler vs. Trish Stratus for the Women’s Title gets two spins: paddle on a pole and bra and panties. The first to strip their opponent wins and then gets to spank the loser.

Bubba picks Tommy Dreamer as his partner tonight but sees Spike being upset. Spike has watched Bubba and D-Von for years and wanted to be there one day. Bubba changes partners and Spike smiles (Dreamer is fine with this).

Women’s Title: Stacy Keibler vs. Trish Stratus

Trish is defending and this is a bra and panties match. Stacy jumps her from behind and sends Trish face first into the title. They both lose their tops until Trish reverses a rollup and gets Stacy’s shorts off for the win. Normal situation here: great visuals, horrible non-wrestling.

Victoria comes out and destroys Trish post match.

Jeff Hardy picks Rob Van Dam as his partner.

Victoria wants the Women’s Title and suggests that Trish has done some horrible things in her past, including things that hurt Victoria personally.

Al Snow vs. Test

Las Vegas Street Fight, meaning they’ve found a new way to put hardcore back on TV. The weapons are pulled out and Snow starts swinging plastic dice. Test knocks him out of the air with a trashcan lid but gets suplexed onto the full can. A trashcan lid shot to the head staggers Test again and Snow grabs a bowling ball. Test gets up but slips on a trashcan lid (unintentionally) and gets hit in the head with the ball for the pin.

Rating: D. Remember when they got rid of the hardcore division because it was the same stupid stuff over and over? That’s exactly what the case was here as there was nothing we hadn’t seen before. Snow was one of the more entertaining hardcore guys but they got rid of this nonsense for a reason.

Jerry Lawler vs. Steven Richards

It’s Legal in Nevada match, meaning here come the Godfather and his ladies. The winner here gets to take a ride on the train so I think you know where this is going. Richards jumps Jerry from behind and gets two off a suplex. Lawler gets his feet up to block a middle rope fist drop though and the strap comes down. Jerry hits the dropkick and fist drop for two. Back up and Richards tries a sunset flip but Lawler drops down for the pin.

Lawler is very, very happy.

Randy Orton video. Bob Orton: “In ten years, I see Randy being one of the best of all time.” He’s not wrong.

Kane is all fired up to become a triple champion at No Mercy. Coach comes up to tell him that Flair and HHH are beating up Hurricane so Kane runs off for the late save.

Tag Team Titles: Rob Van Dam/Jeff Hardy vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Kane/Hurricane

TLC with Kane defending on his own as Hurricane is still down in the back. It’s a huge brawl to start with Jericho throwing in an early ladder as people pair off. Christian and Jericho are easily shoved off said ladder though and everyone else heads outside. Jeff dives off the barricade to take Kane down and it’s Christian and Jericho putting the ladder on the turnbuckle.

Spike goes into the ladder but heel miscommunication puts Christian down. Kane comes back in with the top rope clothesline and chokeslams Bubba for good measure. There’s a ladder up in the ring as Kane throws Spike over the top and onto Van Dam. The Canadians knock Kane to the floor and put him on a table so Jeff can hit a legdrop off a ladder. Christian gets powerbombed off the ladder and we take a break.

Back with Bubba and Jericho slugging it out on top of the ladder as it’s clear that Kane is the only one tall enough to reach the belts at that height. Jericho bulldogs Bubba off the ladder and Christian gives Van Dam a reverse DDT off another one. This match is still all over the place and doesn’t feel like there’s any teamwork or anything other than a bunch of people doing a bunch of spots.

With everyone down, the fans want tables. Christian goes up but gets crotched on the top by Kane, followed by a powerslam to Jeff. Bubba plays Matt for some Poetry in Motion to Kane and there’s the Van Terminator to knock him even sillier. Jeff goes up so Bubba superplexes him right back down and everyone is done. In an interesting note, we see a replay of the superplex and the original commentary is still there. You don’t hear that too often.

Now it’s Jericho going up with Spike shoving the ladder over, sending Jericho out to the floor in a scary looking crash. Christian throws Spike through a table as this just keeps going. The Five Star hits Christian and Jeff misses a Swanton before being backdropped through a table. Kane comes back in and chokeslams Jericho off a ladder before pulling down the titles for the win.

Rating: B-. This was entertaining but WAY too long at over twenty five minutes, the fourth longest of all time and the longest team version ever. Above that though, there was no flow or psychology to the match. With the more famous one, you could tell that the matches were laid out with far more precision, which made for a better match. This one was all over the place with everyone hitting random spots and popping back up for the next one. It’s entertaining but nothing I’ll remember watching in a day or two.

Post match here are HHH and Flair to mention the name…..here we go…..Katie Vick, who Kane killed ten years ago. HHH calls Kane a murderer to end the show as the audience doesn’t seem too thrilled.

Overall Rating: D-. The second best match of the night was Stevie Richards vs. Jerry Lawler in a match to leave with a bunch of random women. This was ALL about gimmick overload and proof that there’s no benefit from just throwing gimmicks out there for the sake of having them without the stories behind them. The wrestling barely existed and a main event that wasn’t all that great was nowhere near enough to save it, especially with the big angle to end the show. Terrible show here as they’re looking more and more desperate every week.

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