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Wrestling > TNA

Raw from JHawk's Beak
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Sep 2, 2002, 22:20

Raw from JHawk's Beak (9/2/2002)
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins

Allow me to wish all of you in the United States a happy Labor Day (or for those of you in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, Monday). I'd love to tell you exactly why we celebrate Labor Day, but the truth is nobody really seems to know for sure. From what I can gather, it's merely an excuse to cook hamburgers and hot dogs outside while avoiding work for no apparent reason. Works for me. But what the hell does VIP have to do with Labor Day? It gets its own marathon?

Ain't that a kick in the head: Because God loves to play practical jokes on me, I finally have a job interview tomorrow afternoon, so of course, yesterday after posting Today in Wrestling History I ended up with a head cold. So I'm hopped up on Sudafed and generally have no interest in even being awake, so this better be one kickass show.

And a quick call to arms: OK guys, I had a request a few weeks ago to do the Bret Hart-Chris Benoit Owen Hart tribute match for Today in Wrestling History. The only problem is I don't have a copy of it, so if anybody out there has a copy they'd be willing to trade/donate, contact me at my usual e-mail address. That would be the Nitro dated 10/4/1999, in case your wondering. A special deal will be made to anybody who has the commercial-free edition that aired on DirecTV.

Because of my cold, I haven't been online to check the preview for tonight, so my cable guide says "What's next for number one contender Triple H?" Of course, if you paid attention to SmackDown, Triple H isn't the number one contender anymore, so that's kind of a silly preview, isn't it? Forgive me for playing Fantasy Booker, but I would have Bischoff threatening a tampering lawsuit if he isn't allowed to use Brock Lesnar, leading to a triple threat match at Unforgiven as terms of a settlement. Seriously. If Brock doesn't become a SmackDown exclusive (against the agreement made in March), The Undertaker doesn't jump ship. Plus, Stephanie waiting until after the match has to be illegal in "real" situations somehow. OK, so Brock would be the best of three workers in the main event, but I don't want HHH-Brock main eventing WrestleMania, dammit!

Let's get on with it, shall we?

Segment 1

We are L-I-V-E LIVE from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! Tonight, RVD vs. Jericho for the Intercontinental Title! Shawn Michaels' first interview since SummerSlam!

And of course, GM Earache Bitchoff loves us all, and he is bringing a haliburton briefcase to the ring with him. And he's got the stick! Apparently, Brock claims to be the "undisputed" champion, but if he's not defending on Raw, it's definitely disputed, and Raw fans deserve their own World Champion. Who had nine months in the pool? And why didn't we do this in April? Anyway, we know who the real number one contender is, and the crowd is booing before his name is ever mentioned. Here comes Hungry Hungry Hippos, and apparently he's the face this week. HE PUT SHAWN MICHAELS IN THE HOSPITAL EIGHT DAYS AGO! I mean, hell! Make up your mind where he's aligned so the crowd reacts one way or the other from week to week! Anyway, Hunter claims Lesnar left because of him. Stroke that ego, Hunter. "As it turns out, 'The Next Big Thing' has no balls!" Bischoff kisses Hunter's ass by saying he'd have won the Monday Night Wars had he had Hunter. Um...didn't he have him in 1994? Bischoff takes the big gold belt out of a briefcase and hands it to Hunter. Hunter is your new World Champion. Back to square one. *sigh* And what World Champion did he beat for it? Hunter says a lot of guys would claim not to deserve it, but he's not one of those guys. And now the crowd's popping for this. What the hell is going on? And now they're booing again... My head hurts. Hunter says Bischoff's a better judge of talent than Stephanie is, but before the lovefest makes me puke, here comes The Man (WHOO!) to set up the main event to job to The Lame. Flair admits that Lesnar can't be Undisputed Champion without defending on Raw, so they deserve its own champion, and Flair would go so far as to say Triple H is "The Man". But Flair's problem is Hunter wore it once, but Flair held it 16 times, and nobody handed it to him...he earned it. "Bled, WHOO!, sweat, and paid the price of a wrestling lifetime." So he thinks Hunter needs to earn the right to wear that belt, and Bischoff agrees, so Triple H makes his first title defense against Flair. Can I call it? HHH: "I think it would be an honor and a privilege." Flair: "I'm equally honored." And Hunter gets the cheap shot in when Bischoff shakes Flair's hand.

Next, an intergender tag team table match!


Dear God, did the first 10 minutes of that suck. I don't know what Hunter's problem is, but his once super mic work has sucked since his return and is showing no signs of ever improving. Anyway, Raw has its own World Champion in a man who hasn't won a match since June, and Ric Flair gets to put him over before we go off the air. And the crowd can't figure out how to react to Hunter, because they're supposed to be sympathetic to Hunter for getting screwed out of the shot against Brock, but he still cheats and cheap shots people and acts like a total prick! I expect to be highly pissed off by the end of the show. One more thing. How can one promotion have two World Champions? Wasn't that the point of Vengeance 2001 in the first place?

Segment 2

Backstage, Hunter is congratulated by Stevie Richards and Johnny Stamboli, when he runs into American Dream Bubba Ray Dudley. Bubba has a problem, which Hunter contributes to jealousy. Hunter promises Bubba a shot if he stands in line. Bubba grabs him, and says it's not jealousy, but hunger. Damn, I wish I had the HHHater Clock running tonight. Bubba does a great job selling this new World Title, I must admit.

Intergender Tag Team Table Match: Trish the Cheating Bitch and American Dream Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Pure and Wholesome Molly Holly (WWE Women's Champion) and Christopher Nowinski

Both members of a team have to go through tables for this match to end. Earlier tonight, Coach interviewed Nowinski and says he'll take Molly's virginity after they win. God, this angle sucks. So of course, Lawler has to focus on Nowinski's use of the word "hymen". Oh God. Bubba and Nowinski start. Bubba dominates Nowinski early. Nowinski fights back and tags in Molly, so of course Bubba can legally be in the ring with her. Down go the pants, and in comes Trish. Trish takes down her pants, and apparently that supercedes, you know, the actual match. The crowd boos when Nowinski hits Trish, even though it's legal. *sigh* Molly with a swinging neckbreaker as the "We want puppies" chant starts. Nowinski and Molly with quick tags, and GODDAMN IT LAWLER, GET OFF OF MOLLY'S HYMEN ALREADY! Jesus Christ! Bubba tags in and works over Nowinski, and this match is being ruined by the commentary to the point that I no longer give a damn. Nowinski ends up falling face first into Molly's crotch. Trish with the Quzzup Headbutt to Nowinski. Trish, get the tables, and we've made every tag pointless. They only bring in one table. Nowinski clotheslines Bubba and stalks Trish, and there's Molly with the Molly Go Round. Molly sets up a table on the outside, but Bubba prevents a table spot. Nowinski tries to dive onto Trish, but misses and goes through the table. If they show any continuity from Vengeance 2002, that's not an elimination. Trish with the handstand rana, Molly gets power bombed bu Bubba through a table, and that's the match at 6:34.

Tonight, Kane vs. The Un-Americans in a handicap match.


Oh, I can tell this is going to be one of those nights. We're pushing freaking Bubba Ray Dudley as the next main eventer. WWE table match rules state putting yourself through a table isn't an elimination, but by God, tonight it is an elimination! And nobody gives a rat's ass if Molly's a virgin or not because it has nothing to do with wrestling. I'll say my usual for this intergender shit: "Not bad, but not good, and just make these singles matches and be done with it already."

Segment 3

Coach interviews Christian and Lance Storm, and this time it's about how Americans are hypocritical to talk about pride. So tonight, they'll take pride in beating Kane. Lance Storm talks about how Labor Day is celebrated by the unemployed. Well, he's got a point. Test comes in and says they'll celebrate the win by burning the flag, unlike last week.

Bischoff says it will be Someone Feed Terri vs. My Future Wife in a lingirie pillow fight match, and he wants to check out their wardrobe and make sure they're properly attired. Stacy gets to say her pillows are natural. And highly underrated compared to her assets, I must say.

Flair is seated backstage, and in comes Y2J(2) to complain about Flair getting the shot, even though Flair made Jericho tap at SummerSlam. Jericho says he wants Flair to win the title, because there's going to be a rematch and Jericho wants his title back. At least they're trying.


Well, at least there's one positive about this whole thing. Stacy Keibler in her lingerie. It won't save the show, but at least I won't have to tape over the entire show. Nothing else to see here.

Segment 4

One fall: Booker T vs. William Regal

Booker T will be on the cover of WWE Magazine, on sale tomorrow. Sadly, this will get about half the time of the table match despite being potentially awesome. Regal with knees and forearms for an early advantage, but who cares because we've got chicks in underwear hitting each other with pillows! Booker misses the leg lariat and straddles the top rope, and the battle moves to the floor. Back in the ring, and this crowd is hot for Booker. Booker gets in the floatover sunset flip for 2. Booker in control, but Regal gets in the Union Jack for 2. And now some European uppercuts. Booker regains control with a leg lariat, then gets in the scissors kick for the win at 3:12. Yep, about half as long as the table match. Spin Booker spin! There you go!

Coming up, the Shawn Michaels interview!


Well, that was potentially awesome, and they gave it three minutes. Is Brian Gerwitz or whatever his name is still writing this show, and if so, why? Is he really this clueless as to what we want? "Hey, let's hand Triple H a title we retired nine months ago! Instant ratings! Oh, and meaningless matches get 7 minutes while good ones get 3! I am so good at this!" Regal's style isn't suited for 3 minute TV matches, and insisting he wrestle them is why he can't get over to any extent.

Segment 5

We're live from Milwaukee, so let's show highlights of HBK and HHH at SummerSlam. I still say once the match was officially over, the legal waiver expired.

The Holy Bible Kid is in San Antonio, which just happens to have a WWE TV studio, and he's in a wheelchair. Although he has feeling in his legs, his mobility's shot, and until it's at pre-SummerSlam levels, he's going to stay in the chair. Lawler asks Michaels if it was worth it, and even though it's a one-word answer, we get a 90 second explanation of how the fans liked it, so yes it was. Hey, Shawn, it's only a two hour show. Anyway, it was the postmatch attack by Hunter that put him in that chair, and he Hunter should know the kind of guy HBK is but has apparently forgotten. "Triple H...don't hunt what you can't kill, because what goes around, comes around." And he holds up a sledgehammer for emphasis.

Triple H defends the World Title NEXT!


A bit of a long-winded interview, but it didn't bore me and got the point across, so we'll live with it. Hunter only bridges the top of the hour? He's not main eventing? Why does that give me a bad, bad feeling?

Segment 6

Stacy will be here tonight! Lawler wants to be the special referee, but I want to be the referee too! Well, he's in Milwaukee and I'm in Ohio, so he's probably got a better shot at it.

One fall for the World Heavyweight Championship: The Man (WHOO!) vs. Hungry Hungry Hippos ("champion")

Will this be "recognized" like the WCW International Title was? Oh yeah, and it's the same belt. Well, a replica of it, anyway. Flair is wearing black, so a loss isn't guaranteed. Well, it is, but he's not wearing red, so they might surprise me. Clean break in the corner to start. Flair gets the best of a slow wrestling sequence. Another wrestling sequence ends with Hunter "breaking" with an elbow. Flair with a chop, and we have a stalemate. Flair with a hiptoss, and it's still a wrestling match so far as Flair clamps on a wristlock. And into an armbar. Hunter tries to fight out, but Flair with chops until Hunter knocks Flair down with a right hand. Flair comes back with chops, but Hunter gets in a spinebuster. Lawler makes jokes about Flair's age despite being in his 50s himself. THE FLAIR FLIP WORKS! He didn't land on the apron, but he actually got over the top rope! Hunter suplexes Flair back in and covers for 2. Hunter gets in a sleeperhold, but Flair breaks it with a back suplex. Flair misses a kneedrop, and now in a neat bit of karma, Hunter works over Flair's left knee. Hunter mocks the Flair strut to some pretty solid heel heat. Hunter mocks Flair and goes for the figure four, but Flair counters with an inside cradle for 2. And a backslide gets 2, but Hunter back in control. Flair coming back with chops. Hunter stops the momentum with an elbow, but a reversal of an Irish whip send Hunter over the top rope. Hunter clotheslines Flair with the top rope, and reenters the ring, but Flair with a kneebreaker into the Figure Four. Hunter gets to the ropes, and the crowd is PISSED! Hunter begging off, and he kicks Flair off the Figure Four attempt. Low blow, Pedigree, pin at 9:38. Fuck. That's as clean as it gets, and from the one guy who doesn't deserve to win clean. Jericho runs out, and he's pissed that his potential title shot is shot to hell, so he puts Flair into the Walls of Jericho. Rob...Van...Dam runs out to make the save, so in comes Triple H...and Van Dam clears house of the World Champion to a huge pop!


Put the belt on RVD now and keep it on him! Triple H's only purpose is to put RVD over! I REPEAT! Triple H's only purpose is to put RVD over! The crowd didn't give Hunter any heat until he mocked Flair's mannerisms, and in fact, I'd say 75% of that crowd was pro-Flair despite knowing Flair had no shot in hell! The match was OK for what it was, but it's clear after this that RVD is the man, and if Triple H ends up going over RVD then they really have no clue what their fans want.

Segment 7

Bischoff is backstage with The Too Damn Big Show, and he's pissed that not only was he jumped two weeks ago, but why is he handing World Titles out? He wants the number one contender spot. Bischoff tells Show to impress him against Tommy Dreamer. Bischoff's cell phone rings, and someone's apparently leaving Raw to be with a family member. Jeff Hardy's leaving? Or one of the Dudleys?

Handicap Match scheduled for one fall: Christian and Lance Storm (WWE Tag Team Champions) vs. Kane

The UnAmericans immediately double team Kane as Lawler speculates Kane might jump ship. Of course, this is Kane's first TV match in four months, so he's going to get the advantage in a hurry. The champions finally get an advantage, and Christian chokes Kane in the corner. The UnAmericans double team when they can, and Christian gets 2 after a springboard bodyblock by Storm. Storm tags in and gets in a series of elbowdrops and a chokehold. Christian tags in, and Kane begins to regain control. Kane counters the Unprettier with an Electric Chair drop. Christian tags Storm just as Kane sits up, and if you can't call what happens from here, you're not paying attention. Side slam by Kane gets 2. Flying clothesline, and Christian makes the save. Christian distracts Kane, Storm with a superkick for 2. Double team fails, Storm accidentally superkicks Christian, and Kane choke slams Storm for the pin at 5:23. Out comes Test, and he lays out Kane and threatens to burn the American flag, but in comes Bradshaw to prevent it. Kane and Bradshaw clear the ring, and weren't you just waiting for this tag team?


Well, if you remember the post-September 11 SmackDown, and Bradshaw's comments in particular, then you know why this at least makes some sort of sense. The only problem is I've seen a few Bradshaw-Test matches in my lifetime and can't remember any of them being any good. Anyway, I'm presently surprised that this match was as good as it was, because I truly expected Kane to get the win in about 30 seconds flat. But Storm and Christian were able to get in a bunch of offense and even a couple of two counts. So they still appear somewhat credible despite losing to one guy in a 2 on 1 match. Not bad.

Segment 8

One fall: The Too Damn Big Show vs. Tommy F'N Dreamer

Next week, we're at Iowa State University next week. Please by tickets! Pretty please? Show attacks Dreamer before the bell. Vertical suplex, and Dreamer is a bumping machine! Show picks Dreamer up at a 2 coount, and I think we can call the finish from here. Show with a one foot cover for 2. Show with a bearhug and tossing Dreamer to the mat. There's a back suplex, and Dreamer gets a foot on the ropes for 2. Show throat Beells Dreamer over the top rope and beats on him on the floor. Show teases a chair shot, but there are no more hardcore matches on Raw. That doesn't matter to Dreamer, who gets in a chair shot to allow Show a DQ win at 2:41. Dreamer then beats the hell out of Show with the chair to an "EC-Dub" chant.

Triple H wants RVD tonight, but Bischoff won't make the match. HHH: "Screw Chris Jericho!" Bischoff decides to give in, but Jericho walks in to bitch about it. Jericho says he won the belt by beating two guys, and Bischoff stops the bickering by making HHH-Jericho vs. RVD-Flair.


Somehow, I didn't mind the match, but you know I can't let that backstage segment go. How about that one, HHHaters? RVD-Jericho should be match of the night, so Triple H says "I'm the man so I'm holding those guys down" and gets his wish. Hmm... And why is HHH pissed in the first place? RVD went after Jericho, and it was HUNTER who went after RVD. Jesus, are we stretching to add more time to Hunter's unwarranted push. Didn't I tell you I had a bad feeling with the placement of the title match?

Segment 9

One fall: Mr. Extreme vs. Crash

Tell me it's Jeff Hardy jumping ship so I don't have to comment of Jeff's body paint making him look like Skeletor after a date gone bad with She-Ra's evil twin. Eric immediately stops the match before it starts, and Bischoff apparently thinks Jeff's jumping ship, officially meaning it's not Hardy. In fact, it's probably Crash. Bischoff wanted three minutes notice, so out come Jamal and Rosie to beat down Jeff Hardy. This is officially the greatest no contest ever! Crash grabs a mic and claims he's leaving, and Bischoff doesn't look happy!

My Future Wife is NEXT!


Well, I have to admit, I forgot Crash was even on the roster, but can we stop with the roster jumping already? OK, it makes sense for Crash to leave now that the Hardcore Title is gone and he can concentrate on the Cruiserweight Title, but, Jesus. Outside of the top of the card, it's looking like OVW Raw anymore! Still, it's always fun to watch Jeff Hardy get the crap kicked out of him, and they're going to add to it by giving me Stacy in her lingerie! This is quite the second hour here.

Segment 10

First ever lingerie pillow fight: My Future Wife vs. Someone Feed Terri

Lawler apparently gets his wish to referee this one. Stacy is wearing a see through baby doll teddy. Homina homina homina. Lawler helps clear off the bed and lies down, leading to a beautiful shot of Stacy's ass, and the fight begins. Ever see a sorority catfight? Now you have. And hot damn, I like it! Stacy loads a pillow with an alarm clock, but Terri gets in a standing dropkick off the bed and a bronco buster. She goes for a power bomb, but Stacy tries to counter. They trip over Lawler, who pushes Stacy's legs back to get a good look at her ass before counting the pin at 1:41. Postmatch, Stacy hits Terri with the loaded pillow, then pours oil over Terri before breaking a pillow over her. Tarring and feathering her. It's like a real life porno.

The main event is next.


For once, Lawler cracking jokes enhanced a match rather than ruined it. Note to WWE writers: Remember the context of the match involved. That aside, it was no Flair-Steamboat. Hell, it was no Kane-Test from No Mercy. But it was certainly entertaining. Certainly better that Kronik vs. Kane and The Undertaker. Just don't make this kind of match a habit, guys.

Segment 11

Tag Team Main Event scheduled for one fall: Hungry Hungry Hippos (World Champion) and Y2J(2) vs. Rob...Van...Dam (Intercontinental Champion) and The Man (WHOO!)

Fozzy will be featured on Confidential this week, which means I might miss this one. The positive: Two Ric Flair matches. The negative: Two Triple H matches. Jericho attacks RVD before Flair can even be introduced. Flair runs out and immediately takes down Triple H, and the air is out of the sails of this crowd already. Flair and RVD double team Jericho, then RVD is in the ring alone with Jericho. Spinning leg lariat. Monkey flip. Spingboard bodyblock for 2. Jericho avoids a legsweep and hits an enzuigiri for 2. Flair gets an RVD chant started. RVD with a slingshot Rocker dropper and a tag to Flair. Flair works Jericho over in the corner. Jericho gets an advantage and tags HHH. RVD. HHH. Y2J. It looks like a bowl of Alpha-Bits. Jericho back in and choking Flair against the ropes. He goes for a splash against the ropes, but Flair avoids it. Tag on each end, and we have RVD vs. HHH. RVD keeps Hunter at bay with martial arts and gets a fliying side kick. He sets up rolling thunder, but Jericho trips RVD and gloms him with a chair. Hunter covers and only gets 2. RVD's apparently going to be face-in-peril as Flair flips off HHH and Earl Hebner. Crowd firmly behind RVD (as usual). Jericho tagged in, and he hits a vertical suplex and does the one foot cover for 2 as a "Fozzy sucks" chant starts. Jericho puts RVD in the Walls of Jericho, and Flair in to break it. Jericho knocks Flair to the floor and tags HHH. HHH makes sure RVD can't tag and taunts Flair. Hunter with the front facelock, and he cheap shots Flair, who comes in and works over both Hunter and Jericho. Back to Hunter and RVD one on one. RVD gets in the stepover leg lariat, and then the rolling thunder for 2 and a half. Hunter sets up the Pedigree, but RVD backdrops him. Spinning heel kick, and up top for the Five Star, but Jericho shoves RVD off the turnbuckle. Jericho with the Lionsault to RVD, and Hunter covers for 2. Flair puts Jericho in the Figure-Four on the outside, and that has Hebner's attention. Hunter brings in the big gold belt, but RVD Van Daminators it into his face, then scores with the Five Star Frog Splash for the pin at 9:36 to a good pop. RVD holds up the World and IC belts as we fade out.


Well, this match was decent at best, and even though RVD was the only guy getting any real heat. Flair had some "WHOO"s, Jericho had some anti-Fozzy chants, and Triple H got such a small reaction that he appeared to be batting in the bottom of the ninth of a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game. Anyway, once again they appear to be pulling the trigger on the RVD main event push. They have to pull the trigger on it for real this time. The fans are tired of being treated like they don't matter, and we already resent Brock getting the push before RVD.

The show itself? The first hour sucked, the second hour was decent but hardly blowaway. More logic gaps, but if I went and nitpicked at all of them right here, I'd never get to bed.

But I wil say this. We were all dreading the TV time Triple H was going to get as number one contender. Now you're making him a "World Champion" and seemingly doubling his already excessive TV time. I didn't keep the running clock this week, but his in-ring time was just shy of 20 minutes, so there was no possible way Hunter got any less than 40 minutes out of 93 minutes of non-commercial time. There may be very few legitimate draws left on Raw, but that doesn't mean Hunter can monopolize the time every week either.

Call it a below average show and call it a night.

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