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WWF RAW- February 4, 2002

by Scrooge McSuck

Tazz and Spike Dudley

Presented LIVE on TNN from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. Last week on Smackdown, Ric Flair turned down Mr. McMahon's proposal to purchase his stock in the company, even though he signed the contract first. Looks like the WWF is getting an injection of nWo poison! Randy Orton and Rico Constantino defeated Brock Lesnar and Ron Waterman in the only match that wasn't taped for TV. Yeah, these OVW guys were being used a lot to warm up the crowds.

After a lengthy recap of recent events, we open backstage where Michael Cole is standing by with Ric Flair, the man who technically signed the contract selling his shares of the WWF to Vince McMahon, and should be taken to the cleaners in a court of law for trying to destroy the documents with witnesses in a public setting. Cole asks if Flair had second thoughts, but Flair stands by his decision. Time for Vince to inject the poison that is the nWo.

TONIGHT: The Rock and Steve Austin take on Chris Jericho and The Undertaker!

Triple H comes out unexpectedly, and he's dressed to compete. We recap Thursday Night Smackdown where Kurt Angle relentlessly attacked Triple H after their match. He grabs the microphone to address Kurt Angle. He tells Kurt that he made two mistakes, he didn't get the job done and he screwed with the wrong guy. He's waited four days and he won't wait longer, calling Angle out to the ring RIGHT NOW... but he gets Booker T instead. He calls Triple H a loser and promises he can do it again.

Triple H vs. Booker T:

Looks like we're getting a rematch from last Monday Night on Raw. They meet in the aisle, exchanging blows. Hunter reverses an Irish whip, sending Booker into the steps. Tim White has made his way to ringside and the bell finally rings. Trips feeds Booker into the ring and nails him with a high knee. Booker takes advantage of Hunter having words with the referee and blasts him with a pair of jumping side kicks. Hunter fights out of the corner, only to meet an elbow coming off the ropes. Booker with a standing heel kick for two. Hunter counters the Book End with a spine-buster. Whip is reversed and Hunter with a knee to the face. Booker avoids the Pedigree, Hunter avoids the Scissors-Kick. The Pedigree connects on the second try, but here's Kurt Angle for the Disqualification at 2:34. He puts the boots to Helmsley and plants him with the Angle Slam.

Triple H is steamed, looking for Kurt Angle backstage. He should be fined for putting his hands on referee Jack Doan.

Chuck and Billy enter the women's dressing room uninvited as Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler argue over who owns the lipstick. Billy says who wants to look at any of these women when they can check out the 12 months of Billy and Chuck calendar. Torrie and Stacy, who were catfighting over lipstick 30-seconds ago, now act like besties, and accept the challenge from Chuck and Billy to a posedown on Thursday. Billy tells them it gives them a few days to get a tan and do something about their makeup.

Triple H is still wandering the halls and comes across Mr. McMahon's guarded dressing room. Kurt Angle pops out to inform Triple H that they'll meet in the ring at No Way Out, and Mr. McMahon added the stipulation that Hunter's title shot is on the line.

Rob Van Dam vs. Bubba Ray Dudley (w/ D'Von and Stacy Keibler):

At least we're going somewhere with the Dudley Boyz randomly inserting themselves in the business of William Regal. D'Von yanks RVD down from the apron before the bell, allowing Bubba to get the early advantage. Whip to the corner, RVD flips over the charging Bubba and hits him with a combination leg sweep and Rolling Thunder. Stacy hops on the apron to distract the referee, but he catches D'Von trying to interfere and ejects them both from ringside. Bubba Bomb connects despite the distraction of his posse being thrown out, followed by a hangman's neck breaker for two. Bubba with a clothesline and elbow drops for another two-count. RVD interrupts Bubba climbing the ropes, only to get shoved down. Bubba's senton misses, allowing RVD to hit the 5-Star Frog Splash for three at 3:24. Weird for RVD to sell most of the match against a tag team guy.

The celebration is short-lived, as Goldust's music plays and he pops up on the jumbo-screen. He offers congratulations to RVD as the rising star he's talked about. Unfortunately, his dreams won't come true, because they're about to be shattered, courtesy of the man whose name he will never forget.. Goldust sneaks up from behind, blitzing RVD with a flurry of boots and right hands. He traps RVD's legs in the ropes and connects with Shattered Dreams to cap off the big reveal.

Triple H is pacing in his dressing room as the camera awkwardly pans Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. She's ignorant to everything he's talking about, focusing only on the big announcement she has for later tonight. Were they trying to film her looking sexy? I don't get the camera work in that segment at all.

Michael Cole tries to get a word from The Undertaker and gets bullied for his troubles. Have I mentioned I hated American Badass era Undertaker? He promises to teach the Rock the word "respect", and then he'll move to Steve Austin. Chris Jericho interrupts and makes sure no one respects Undertaker more than he does. He wants Taker to remember this is a tag team match, not a handicap match, and wants to remind everyone he's the Undisputed Champion. Have I mentioned I hate "Background World Champion" booking?

Tazz and Spike Dudley are WALKING.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Tazz & Spike Dudley (c) vs. The APA vs. Billy & Chuck:

This is under Elimination Rules, surprisingly. Spike has finally ditched the neck brace he's wrestled in for the last three weeks. Tazz and Chuck start. Chuck forgoes the lockup by planting a boot in the midsection. He celebrates prematurely and gets laid out with a clothesline. Tazz with an overhead throw and Spike dives off the top with a double stomp. Chuck blocks the Dudley Dog, tossing Spike across the ring. Billy tags in, stomping Spike into the canvas. Whip to the corner and spike pops out with a battering ram. Billy quickly shrugs it off and catches Spike off the ropes with a one-man flapjack for two. The Blonde Bimbos take turns working Spike over until Spike surprises Chuck with a boot in the corner and a Tornado DDT. Faarooq tags in, planting Billy with a powerslam. APA with a double shoulder block to Chuck, followed by a spine-buster to Billy. Double-team Powerbomb on Chuck. Billy out of nowhere with a Famouser to eliminate Bradshaw at 4:22. Bradshaw, being a sore loser, trips up Billy while attempting it on Spike, allowing Spike to hit the Dudley Dog to retain at 4:46. This was OK until they decided it was time to go home, with Billy popping up from a double spine-buster like nothing happened and rushing through the rest.

Mr. McMahon comes out, and the smile that was on his face on Thursday Night is no longer present. Ric Flair was supposed to do the right thing and sell his stock in World Wrestling Entertainment, "but the lying S.O.B. changed his mind." We watch the replay and again, RIC FLAIR SIGNED THE DOCUMENT IN PUBLIC. He could've marked an "X" and it would've counted the same. Vince demands the two-faced liar come out and explain himself. Flair comes out, looking prepared to throw hands. McMahon says that down deep, Flair knows he's a liar. WHAT A BOMBSHELL. Flair didn't change his mind because of the nWo hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles, it's because he's selfish. He got a taste of being as powerful as Vince McMahon and couldn't give it up. Flair says he changed his mind because of the fans. Lawler: "What?! He's a liar!" Vince has a graphic on the jumbo-screen with Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash, and implies they'll arrive at NO WAY OUT. I should point out the crowd POPPED because, despite being disciples of the main heel, Hulk Hogan hasn't been seen in the WWF in nearly 10-years, and people always liked Hall and Nash.

Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, and Arn Anderson gossip around the water cooler about what is happening between McMahon and Flair.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
William Regal (c) vs. Rikishi:

Does Rikishi have any legitimate claim to a title opportunity? He feels like such a cold act in 2002, with that heel turn in 2000 and injuries costing him most of 2001. With RVD clearly facing Goldust in the coming weeks, I can only assume Regal has Edge as his PPV challenger unless they go a route that reheats Rikishi (spoilers: nope). I think Regal finally has his familiar music, or maybe a different arrangement of it. It's definitely not what he's used for the last few months. Teddy Long checks Regal and he's clean. Rikishi starts by pounding away with right hands. Whip to the corner and Regal charges into a clothesline. Regal cuts Rikishi off with a boot to the midsection, followed by a knee across the face. Regal throws forearms in the corner and trips Rikishi up to cut off his comeback attempt. Rikishi reverses a whip to the corner and takes Regal over with a back body-drop. Regal with more strikes to regain control. Rikishi fights out of a cravat and blasts Regal with a Super-Kick. Rikishi misses the Banzai Drop. Regal fishes around his trunks, bringing out Edge for the Disqualification at 4:05. Yes, protect Rikishi. Edge hits Regal with a Spear and unloads with right hands until all the referees come to the ring to try and restore order. Match wasn't much and we got a lame finish to protect a guy who hasn't meant much of anything for over a year. I stand corrected, Rikishi gives Regal a Stink-Face, because that's still a thing.

NEW European Champion Diamond Dallas Page is hanging around WWF New York (soon to be known as "The World").

Jonathan Coachman is standing by with The Rock. Rock has an announcement of his own, and it doesn't concern the nWo, it concerns The Undertaker. Taker cost the Rock the chance to challenge for the Undisputed Championship, so now the Undertaker gets to go one-on-one with the Great One. Is Undertaker mad because the Rock mentioned Maven eliminating him? Maybe it's because he had Coach dance the Charleston like never before. The Rock isn't "The Undertaker's Champion", he's "The People's Champion." The Rock rambles a little bit, how he can go out and prepare for his tag match after singing a verse of his favorite song, "Viva Rock Vegas" and entertain the Millions and Millions of the Rock's fans, or he can just walk away. Rock teases leaving before taking the microphone from Coach and hitting the catchphrase. Rock is Rock, but this was a little all over the place trying to sell their match at No Way Out.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley makes her way to the ring, and my goodness, we've had an abundance of talking segments tonight and 2 of the 4 matches featured (so far) had non-finishes. We've also had roughly 15-minutes of bell-to-bell action in a 60 minute window (and that's before hitting the timer to start this segment). She wants her husband to join her in the ring for THE BIG SURPRISE. She had an epiphany and Jim Ross was right, their marriage is falling apart. There's one way to prove their love for each other. In one week on Raw, they will renew their wedding vows! She wanted to wait until they were in Las Vegas, where they got married in the first place (the wedding that was first teased as Hunter sexually assaulting Stephanie, until swerve, she was either in on it the entire time, or enjoyed it enough to fully support Hunter's actions). Hunter calls it a dumb idea and asks why they need to put everything about their lives in front of the world. Stephanie whines about the fans, triggering a disparaging chant. Hunter beats around the bush and declines, so Stephanie digs down deep in the bag of desperation and says they need to do it because she's pregnant. After a long pause, Hunter accepts the news with a smile on his face. This storyline is starting to make me hate life again.

WWF Women's Championship Match:
Trish Stratus (c) vs. Jazz:

What is this, Night of Champions? You'd think the women's division consists of three people based on the last 6-weeks of WWF TV. BREAKING NEWS: Triple H and Stephanie are leaving the building. Thanks for the update. Trish takes a swing at Jazz before the bell, but Jazz ducks and takes control. Whip is reversed to the corner but Trish meets a boot charging in. Trish misses a flying cross body press. Whip to the ropes and Jazz with a back body-drop for two. Trish fires off a series of forearms, but Jazz cuts her off again and gives her a crummy looking Hot Shot. Jazz with a slam and jumping leg drop for two. It's clear they are rushing through this one. Jazz showboats a bit, throwing rights and lefts. She turns Trish over with a single leg crab and transitions to an STF. Trish fights for the ropes (with catcall whistling, unfortunately) to force a break. Jazz with the double chicken wing, throwing Trish on her face. Trish counters a second body-drop with a hard punt to the chest. Jazz counters Stratusfaction with a back suplex, and finishes with a Fisherman Brain Buster to win the Women's Title at 3:43! Surprisingly one-sided. Ross says Trish made "one mistake". I counted 3 or 4, but whatever. I guess this allows Trish to come back looking strong, Rocky III style (insert your own CM Punk joke here, and guarantees dating this review).

The Rock & "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho & The Undertaker:

Jericho is the reigning Undisputed Champion and Undertaker is the Hardcore Champion, and unfortunately it feels like the Undisputed Champion is the 4th most important person in this match. Taker and Jericho hide on the floor, so Austin and Rock bring the fight to them, with the four men splitting off in their obvious matchup for No Way Out. Austin and Jericho assume the legal positions in the ring, with Austin lighting up Jericho with chops. Whip to the ropes and Austin plants Jericho with a spine-buster. Austin sends Jericho from corner to corner and lays him out with a clothesline for two. Rock tags in, unloading with right hands. Jericho avoids a back body-drop but gets dumped over the top. "The Rock wants BOOGER RED." Taker teases stepping in, but Jericho attacks from behind before he's willing to commit. Rock fights out of the corner, bounces off the ropes with a clothesline, and takes Taker down with a back suplex for two. Austin and Taker go at it now with the usual arsenal of offense. Austin with the Thesz Press and F-U elbow drop for a two-count. Crisscross and Taker with a boot to the face. Jericho grabs a sleeper, but Austin counters with a back suplex. Taker comes in to drop an elbow, preventing Austin from getting to his corner. He dumps Austin to the outside and chokes him with the camera cord until Rock saves.

Back inside, Jericho with an inside cradle for two. Austin pops out of the corner with a double-leg takedown and throws more right hands. Jericho avoids a charge into the corner and Austin smacks his shoulder on the post. Jericho with a flying double axe-handle for two. Whip to the ropes, Austin hangs back to avoid a dropkick and puts Jericho in the Walls of Jericho. Taker with the save and quickly backs away as the Rock tries to enter the ring. Taker with a lengthy chin-lock (at least as far as this era of pacing). Austin fights free with body blows (and of course the crowd chants with every blow). Whip to the ropes and we get a clothesline double-down. Rock with the hot tag, running wild on Jericho with right hands and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Jericho's counter is countered with the spinning DDT. Rock with a spine-buster and sharpshooter, but Taker saves again. Austin clears Taker out, then Jericho does the same with Austin. Rock with a clothesline to knock Jericho over the top rope, and we've got all four men brawling at ringside. Back inside, Jericho sweeps the legs of the Rock and applies the Walls of Jericho. Austin in with the Stunner but Taker pulls the referee out before finishing the count. Rock Bottom to Jericho and still no referee. Taker pulls out a lead pipe and KO's Rock with it. Jericho crawls on top as Taker sends Hebner back in the ring to make the three-count at 13:24. Jericho with his 4th or 5th cheap victory over the Rock in the last 3-months, otherwise a solid TV Main Event. ***

Final Thoughts: Boy am I ready to move on from some of the key storylines, specifically the crumbling relationship between Triple H and Stephanie (and we're still a solid 2-months away from blowing that off!). The Vince/Flair saga continues, and I've seen them share the ring far too much since the turn of the year, not to mention the few weeks closing out 2001. No Way Out is starting to come together, and I can't say I'm terribly excited for anything announced except the curiosity factor when it comes down to the nWo making their first appearance.

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