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Wrestling > TNA

Raw from JHawk's Beak (September 30)
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Sep 30, 2002, 23:27

Raw from JHawk's Beak (9/30/2002)
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins

I've heard of conservative football, but give me a frickin' break: Can somebody explain to me why NFL coaches insist on putting the game into deep freeze the minute the fourth quarter starts? The Browns lead the Steelers by a touchdown, and all of a sudden it's "If we get the first down, fine, but let's worry more about the clock instead." And I suppose it has some merit when you end up with 2nd down and 27 yards to go (hell, the odds of getting that aren't very good anyway). But for the life of me, I don't get the thought of throwing a two-yard out pattern on 3rd and 11 with 1:03 to go in a tied game. Note to NFL coaches: Throwing a two-yard pattern on 3rd and 11 only guarantees you 4th and 9. Running plays to keep the clock moving only works when you're getting first downs to go with it.

Another note to NFL coaches: The prevent defense doesn't work. For those who don't know, this is a defense designed to keep the ball in bounds so the clock continues to run. The problem is the offense can pretty much pass the football at will because the secondary is more concerned with the sideline than the actual play. So the clock continues to run, but within about 45 seconds you go from having the offense pinned against their own endzone to them being one post pattern away from getting the tying or go-ahead touchdown.

The moral of the story: When you're only up by one score in the fourth quarter, play to win like. You know, like you were doing in the first three quarters. When you're up by two or more scores in the fourth quarter (say...I dunno, 45-17), play all the conservative football you want to, but immediately go back to playing to win if it's within eight points.

Is this really that hard to figure out?

Tonight: Jamal and Rosey vs. Booker T and Goldust. What's next for the Triple H/Ric Flair alliance? And some other stuff that we don't you to give a damn about!

Segment 1

Let's waste no time here in Houston, Texas, getting to Easy E and Nancy Drew (what is Lita doing here?), but don't watch Monday Night Football--this really is becoming more like Nitro every week--because three championships will be on the line, including Triple H defending the World Heavyweight Title! No defense for HurriKane? And at No Mercy, Intercontinental Champion vs. World Heavyweight Champion...winner take all. One show, one champion. Screw the midcard! Somehow, this segues into Lita's appearance, and apparently she told a reporter that SmackDown is the better show and not because of the talent. Of course, the "little bitch" is referring to the writing, but Bisch thinks she's talking about him. He calls Lita worthless because of her broken neck. She was worthless before the injury, Eric. Lita says it's a respect thing, but Lita (the new Heat announcer) gets about Three Minutes (and Rico) to make up for it. Of course, Mr. Extreme has to be her f'n hero and gets trounced, so they corner Lita...just to lead into the save by Booker T and Goldust. Well, at least they're building to the tag team match. So Bischoff says it's pretty clear they learned nothing last week, so start the damn match.

Three Minutes (w/Rico) vs. Booker T and Goldust

It's all Booker and Goldust to start, as the referee pays no attention to the illegal double teaming and counts two off of Booker's elbowsmash to Rosey. And apparently double teaming is the word of the day, as Jamal's attack of Goldust from behind gives the Samoans an advantage. Rico is the most over guy out there. Goldust trapped in the corner, and he tries to fight back, but the Samoans just clobber him. "Rico's gay" chants starting. Big leg drop by Rosey for 2, and as referee Chad Patten gets Booker T to the apron after the save, it's a Samoan beatdown for Goldust. Goldust reaching for the hot tag, but Jamal knocking Booker off the apron. Goldust finally gets some distance from Jamal but is clotheslined down. Rosey in, and he goes for a Gorilla press, but Goldust counters it into a reverse neckbreaker. Tag to Jamal, hot tag to Booker, and here we go! Spinning heel kick! Rosey in, and he gets a leg lariat! Booker holding his own, and he gets a leg lariat on Jamal and covers. Rosey goes for the save, but Booker moves. Down goes Rosey, and SPINNAROONIE! SPINNAROONIE TONY! Scissor kick to Jamal, and only 2 even though Rosey was late on the save attempt. Rico gets a spinning leg lariat on Goldust on the floor, but Booker refuses to allow the double team to work...until Booker goes after Rico. Front slam by Rosey, flying splash by Jamal, and there's the pin at 6:31. Actually not too bad.


Lita replaces D'Lo on Heat? Please let D'Lo get a real push.

And speaking of a real push, we need clarification. Is the Raw main event at No Mercy title for title or unification? Because if it's unification, then they're pissing on the midcard because they'll have nothing to shoot for until somebody who has some sense of how to elevate talent is brought in.

The match itself was actually pretty good, and a surprise that Booker T gets to do the job in his hometown. I thought this was a WWE rule until tonight. I have to think they're building to something big with Booker before the night is out.

Segment 2

Coach is with the winners, and he wants to know their goal. Rico says it should be obvious...he wants to lead the most dominant team in WWE history. But the original Samoans are retired. Work the sticks, Samoans!

Backstage, Christian and Lance Storm are bickering over who's to blame for their World Tag Team Championship loss. The voices of reason are William Regal and Test, and Lance has Randy Orton tonight, so concentrate on that. At least they're putting the Hurricane over.

Someone Feed Terri asks Y2J(2) if he's worried about defending his title against Kane tonight, but he's looking forward to No Mercy. "Kane's chances of winning are about as real as your chest." And in comes Ace Reporter Gregory Helms to ask "You can beat Kane? What is up with that?" Jericho says freaks are losers (ask Goldust), but Jericho's not afraid of a freak in a mask...until Kane comes on screen. Terri then repays Kane for the kiss last week. Kane: "What can I say? Chicks dig the mask." Gee, first it's a cruiserweight wearing black and green, and now a "hot" blonde with a thing for freaks...should I ask what this team is doing for Survivor Series?


Normally I automatically give a thumbs down to any segment without wrestling in it, but I liked this one. Let's examine, shall we? They're trying to pull off Jamal and Rosey as badass heels, and while there have been mixed results so far, it's a good way to go. Then, we tease animosity with the Un-Americans, even though the gimmick is just getting off the ground. Not good there, but blame W. and his meaningless war with Iraq that he's starting for refuses that he refuses to actually explain. And then the Kane-Jericho segment...well, most people are disappointed that they teased badass Kane and they're getting comic relief Kane, but I laughed.

Segment 3

One fall: Lance Storm vs. Randy Orton

Orton is the third third generation superstar on the roster, asshole. Orton, Rocky, and CHAVO! AND unlike Rocky, the second generation wasn't married into the family. Shit, he's on the fucking roster and you won't acknowledge him.! Anyway, every so often we cut to Christian nodding when Storm is in trouble. Storm, of course, is pissed about the losing streak and he takes it out on Orton in the corner. Nice looking armbar by Storm that actually looks painful. Orton comes back with some elbows, and there's a frog flying bodypress for a near fall. That is impressive, I must say. Storm goes for the Maple Leaf, but Orton counters into an inside cradle for 2. They botch a cradle sequence, and Orton gets the "pin" at 2:39 even though Storm's shoulder was up and the move was crap. Christian steals JR's hat and gets the stick. "I don't know who should feel more stupid. You for dropping the ball again, or me for dressing like a local yokel and wearing this stupid hat!" Storm charges Orton but gets backdropped out of the ring, so Christian then wants to show how easily he can defeat Orton, so we've got...

Impromptu match: Randy Orton vs. Christian

And Christian has the early advantage over the "weary" Orton and gets an early near fall. "USA" chants as Christian punches Orton repeatedly. Storm is still at ringside watching Orton get peppered by Christian. Orton gains the advantage by floating over Christian and backdropping him, and gets in a huge powerslam for 2. Christian regaining the advantage. "Christian sucks" chants as Orton drapes Christian's neck over the top rope, and he goes for that frog bodypress again, but Christian rolls out of the way. Christian taunts Storm, which allows Orton to regain his composure, botch one Play of the Day, and then hit a second one correctly for the pin at 2:50. And the crowd doesn't care. Orton gives JR his hat back. How polite.

Backstage, Easy E is telling Jeff Hardy not to get involved in his business, so he gets The Big Show again. *yawn* "All I hear about is Mattitude, and I'm beginning to think I got stuck with the wrong Hardy." Noooooooo! Say it ain't so! And in comes The Man (WHOO!), who says Hardy didn't listen to him either, and apparently RVD wants him tonight, and Bisch hasn't decided. And apparently Flair's in charge of bringing in a former SmackDown star (Batista?)


It's official. I do not want to see an Un-Americans split. Not necessarily because it's a bad idea, although I think it is (hell, they got Test over with it for chrissakes), but because so far the only person it's served is Randy freaking Orton. Nothing against Orton, as he has a ton of potential, but he botched two finishes in successive matches within five minutes of each other on live television. He's not ready for the push yet, and this proved it.

Segment 4

One fall return match to bore the masses (with special referee Jacqueline): Mr. Extreme vs. The Too Damn Big Show

They release Mike Awesome and Shawn Stasiak but put these three in the same ring on live TV. My God. Baseball slide is blocked by Show early, and early on we basically repeat last week's match move for move with Hardy getting an extra shot or two in. It is funny to see tiny little Jackie bitching at Big Show when he cheats though. Hardy finally comes back with a weak jawbreaker (nicely sold by Show), but Show just shoves him over the top rope. Say what you will about Jeff Hardy, but he takes a bump. Show misses a charge into the ringpost, and Hardy does his version of the Van Daminator to send Show over the guardrail. Hardy rolls in for the countout 3:29 as JR marks out like a little school girl. Why is Jeff Hardy the one cruiserweight JR actually likes?


Can you say "waste of time"? I knew you could. This was a typical match between two guys who will be lost in the shuffle by the time No Mercy is over with, because neither of these guys will ever be in the main event for longer than a cup of coffee, and with only one singles title, they're going to have to be in the main event for anybody to care.

Segment 5

Tough Enough III debuts October 17.

The Houston Texans aren't watching Monday Night Football. They're at Raw!

Booker T confronts Jericho about being called a loser. Jericho runs through his accolades to try to convince people he hasn't been buried since WrestleMania, but Booker says he's going to kick his ass in Houston. Hmm... Jericho keeps Booker from saying "Sucka!" and says, "You are so damn lucky I have a match tonight, Booker."

One fall for the World Heavyweight Championship: American Dream Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Hungry Hungry Hippos (champion)

Bubba, who has waited 12 years for this opportunity (so JR sez), has trouble setting up a table for Hunter, but it's reserved for "HHH". But Bubba guarantees that at some point, maybe not tonight, but sometime, Hunter's going through it, and he will win the World Title. Bubba says he's going to do this for everybody in the back who has been forced to "play the game" and for the fans who never had something handed to them. Most of you are assuming this is a shoot promo. But backstage, Flair is walking with the champion. The match after the break.


They're giving the impression that Booker T might end up walking out of here with the Intercontinental Title before the night is over. I can dig that, but if it's a lame duck title, why bother? Anyway, decent little promo from Bubba Ray, but substitute him with Booker, RVD, or even Goldust and I'm ten times more interested. Maybe they'll surprise me.

Segment 6

One fall for the World Heavyweight Championship (I mean it this time): American Dream Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Hungry Hungry Hippos (champion)

The graphic says "with Ric Flair", and there he is, about 30 feet behind. Hell, even a legend gets held down-uh by the Game-uh. Hunter tries to back Bubba into the corner, but Bubba isn't buying it. But Sting always did! It's Punchamania to start, and Bubba clothesline Hunter over the top rope. And he hiptosses Hunter back in. And a spear! Mounted punches, and Charles Robinson wants him to play fair so that Hunter can cheat and toss Bubba to the floor. Flair sneaking in for an axhandle, but Bubba sees him. Hunter out, and Bubba stops him briefly, but Hunter sends Bubba into the steps. Hunter in, distracting Robinson, and Flair stomping away at Bubba. Bubba finally back in. And let's see how long it takes Hunter to start working above the knee. Hey, a neckbreaker for 2, and there's the Sleeperhold of Supreme Suckitude. I appreciate them trying to put the sleeper over, but give it to someone who actually uses submission moves. Bubba gets to the ropes, but Trips right back to it, and Bubba suplexes his way out of it. And there's the belly-to-back by Bubba to buy himself some time. They trade blows in center ring, and Bubba gets the better of it. Irish whip, Samoan drop, and Trips runs to the corner. Count along punches, Trips with an atomic drop, Bubba blocks it, DDT, cover for 2. Hunter with the facebuster, but he charges and nearly gets pinned by Bubba's sidewalk slam. Flair takes the jacket off and heads up top, but Bubba dumps Flair off. Bubba Bomb, but Flair's got Robinson distracted, and the crowd is actually pissed that Robinson is missing the pin. Flip flop fly, and the mistake is made: "Bubba, get the tables." Bubba goes after Flair instead, gets met with a kick by Hunter,, countered with a backdrop. Bubba goes for his own Pedigree, but Hunter with a backdrop, and there's the Pedigree by Hunter for the pin at 7:08. So even with all the interference, the finisher wins it. And you wonder why nobody ever becomes a credible challenger.

Backstage, Trish the Cheating Bitch is getting ready, but Victoria attacks her from behind and does a beatdown, including ripping her top off. Trish in a bra = RATINGS!


They tried, God knows they tried, but this just didn't work. I'm sorry, but the image of this title is fading with very successful title defense Triple H has. Maybe if Flair's interference was actually leading to the finishes instead of the damn Pedigree, I'd have some hope that somebody would take the damn thing off of him. Granted, Bubba Ray Dudley isn't the guy who should get it, but at least pretend that Hunter won't get every goddamn victory with his finisher and make the entire roster look weaker than the opening match at an XPW show.

Segment 7

One fall for the WWE Women's Championship: Victoria vs. Trish the Cheating Bitch (champion)

For the last time: This is NOT the same Victoria that lasted about 45 seconds in Tough Enough 1. Stop asking. Way to sell the prematch beating, Trish. Trish gets her shots in before the bell, then slingshots Victoria into the coner. Clothesline gets 2. An enzuigiri sends the challenger out of the ring, and Trish goes for a plancha... and she wouldn't have hit her even if Victoria hadn't moved. Back in, and it's all Victoria until Trish gets a sunset flip for 2, which Victoria reverses (with a hand on the ropes) for 2. Missed moonsault, but Trish gets a neckbreaker for 2. Whip into the corner, but Victoria with an elbow. Up top, but Trish with the handstand headscissors for 2. They take the fight to the outside, and Victoria levels Trish in the head with a chair shot. That will be a win for Trish by DQ at 2:52. An actual feud based on the action in the women's division?

Backstage, Easy E is spinning the Easy E wheel, and My Future Wife wants more airtime before her semifinal match with Trish in the Internet Babe of the Year voting. Anyway, the wheel is the Raw Roulette wheel. Next week, every match will be spin the wheel, make the deal, and Stacy will face Trish. An HLA match? A Kiss My Ass Match?


The match was OK for what it was, but they still haven't shown that they actually care about the women's division. Hey, I'm as excited to see my Stacy on TV next week, but against the women's champion? Stacy isn't a wrestler, she hasn't shown she wants to be a wrestler, and until she does she shouldn't have wrestling matches. Then again, remember two years ago when we were saying that about Trish?

Segment 8

We're live at the Compaq Center in Houston, and Randy Orton gets the 1970s NFL Films style video. Jesus Christ, what about the guys who were underpushed before he got there?

Backstage, the Un-Americans are still bickering, and Regal is the only one who's trying to keep it together. Regal and Test are teaming in a little bit.

Coach wants to give Triple H some airtime, but the locker room door is opened by a hot chick. It's party time. Coach wants to ask about the I-C Title Match, but Hunter's got two hot chicks in the shower waiting for him. In walks Jericho, and "if you transfer the blood to your brain, you'll realize this is about you too." Jericho has a seat, looks to his left... "How you doin'?"

Backstage, Rob...Van...Dam and Tommy F'N Dreamer are ready for the Un-Americans.


And this is why I usually hate non-wrestling segments. We have Randy Orton getting a video after botching two finishes in one night, the only four heels worth damn (well, three and Test) arguing with each other, and part 2 of the Triple H Show which would appear to mean the Chris Jericho burial continues. SmackDown has so much less of this useless crap, and they wonder why people don't like Raw as much.

Segment 9

One fall tag team contest: Test and William Regal vs. Tommy F'N Dreamer and Rob...Van...Dam

Dreamer and RVD could be a hell of a tag team, and it will have to be if they ever want to hold a title again. Dreamer and Regal start with a wrestling sequence as an RVD chant starts. After 15 months, you'd think they get the hint. Test is tagged in, and Dreamer gets the edge and tags in RVD. RVD gets in a spinning heel kick and covers for 2. Lawler starts talking about a mud match in Vegas next week, and JR sarcastically says they're classics. Regal tagged in, and he takes RVD down with a full nelson suplex. RVD is sent outside the ring, Test works over the ribs, and then RVD is rolled in so Regal can cover for 2. Test in, and he locks in a double wristlock as a loud "RVD" chant echoes throughout the arena. Test goes for a running powerslam, but RVD shoves him into the corner. Test tries to prevent a tag, but RVD gets in a spinning back kick and makes the hot tag. "ECW" chants as Dreamer holds his own with both guys. Each Un-American misses their opponents and hit their partners. Test goes for the Pumphandle Slam, but Dreamer floats over Test's back, shoves Test into and RVD superkick, and Dreamer rolls Test up for the pin at 4:49. Great dive by Nick Patrick to get in position as well! Here come Storm and Christian, and we get a four way Un-American brawl, which is broken up by RVD and Dreamer getting their shots in.

Kane is walking backstage. So is Jericho, but he gets stopped by Booker T, who gets in the "sucka" that got interrupted earlier.


Decent little match with a hot finish, but shouldn't a stable break up angle take more than an hour and 40 minutes to go through? Well, either way, I'm liking the Dreamer-RVD team so far, and if you insist on keeping RVD out of the midcard, then this is the way to go.

However, Kane is in the main event? On the other hand, Jericho is in the main event. So we're getting HHH vs. Kane at No Mercy. Oh, yay. I like the subtle continuity with Booker's appearance though.

Segment 10

Kane's mask is on the cover of the WWE Magazine. Oh yeah, that will sell an extra issue.

One fall for the lame duck WWE Intercontinental Championship: Kane (one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions) vs. Y2J(2) (Intercontinental Champion)

Now, Kane's got one title already, so Jericho has to win this. Right? RIGHT? I'd hate to tell JR this, but it's more likely that people are watching Raw and flipping into football than watching football and flipping into Raw. Bell rings at 10:48, and we still have a commercial break left. Jericho stupidly tries to match strength with Kane and gets tossed around the ring for a while. Nice Beell throw, I must admit. Jericho takes a Tastykake break on the outside. He tries to come back in via the top rope, but Kane is right there to punch him down. Less than two minutes in, and Ric Flair is already at ringside. Flair distracts Kane, and Jericho gets a roll up (using the ropes for leverage) for 2. And now Jericho's in control. But not for long. Tilt-a-whirl slam by Kane gets 2. And now he's stupid, as he starts chasing Flair around the ring. Flair enters the ring, Kane follows, and Jericho catches him coming in. The advantage doesn't last long, as Kane gets in a big boot. And a Gorilla press over the top rope to the floor. Lawler wants a DQ, and Earl Hebner ejects Flair even though Flair did nothing except check on Jericho. Where was that two minutes ago, Earl? Kane takes both of them down anyway, and we have our last...


This sucks ass so far. There's really not much else to say at this point of the match. We'll have to wait and see if this improves at all, but so far, not good. Of course, they left nearly 20 minutes for it, so it could just be pacing.

Segment 11

We are back, and even though we have no halftimes, we took a mid-match commercial break. Um...that would be a halftime guys. Anyway, Kane has apparently been dominating throughout the break. Up top, and Jericho shoves Hebner into the ropes, and Kane falls crotch first onto the turnbuckle. So we should have had two DQs and a double countout by now. Superplex by Jericho, and both men are down. Jericho covers 30 seconds later for 2. Kane to his feet, and he tries the tilt-a-whirl again, but Jericho shoves him into the turnbuckle and dropkicks his knee. Jericho now has the challenger down and is targeting the legs, even whipping Kane knee first into the ringsteps on the outside. Back in the ring, and Jericho continues to work over Kane's knee. This is a lost art. Work over the bigger man's knee to negate the size advantage. Kane is able to use the good leg to send Jericho out of the ring. That just allows Jericho to ram Kane's knee into the ringpost though. Ringpost figure-four! Yes! Complete with Bret Hart reference! Jericho in the ring, and he tries to suplex Kane back in, but Kane suplexes Jericho to the floor. By the way, one fall to a finish, we ain't leaving if it ain't over. Good...I think. "Y2J" chant starts. Heh! Jericho back into the ring and again back to the leg. Kane starts a comeback, and it stops with a Jericho chop block. Kane suplexes Jericho, and it's time for, dare I say it, the CLASSIC comeback (tm D'Lo Brown). A series of punches knocks Jericho down, and a flapjack (and Kane selling the knee afterwards). Tilt-a-whirl slam and a cover for 2. Into the turnbuckle, and then into the opposite ringpost and out to the floor. Stay down Chris! Kane follows him out and sends Jericho into the ringsteps. He throws Jericho into the ring and goes up top...flying clothesline for 3! But Earl says it's only two anyway, and out comes Hunter for the distraction. Jericho gets Kane down but misses the Lionsault. Kane goes for the choke slam, but Jericho slips it into a roll up and goes for the Walls of Jericho. That gets countered Kane, and he gets distracted by Hunter. Hunter catches him into a belly-to-belly on the floor and sends him back in, and Jericho gets 2 off a missile dropkick. Another distraction, and Jericho hits Kane's knee with a chair before actually getting the Walls of Jericho. Kane gets to the ropes to force the break. Jericho grabs the chair and charges, but Kane stops it with the big boot, and there's the choke slam for the pin and the title at 19:38. Oh, fuck you and pushing your overrated fucking hosses!


The match was decent (at best), was overbooked all to hell, and the wrong guy went over. Do you really want my opinion on it? I mean, you leave 20 minutes for your main event (which is a good thing, no knock there), only to screw up what should have been obvious booking...Jericho cheats to win. If Kane had to win the title, Booker T should have had a hand in it since you more or less said we'd have Jericho vs. Booker tonight, and yet Booker is nowhere to be found, Hunter gets more airtime, and Kane (who is underrated by smarks but overrated by WWE staff) gets a second title in two weeks for no apparent reason.

The biggest problem with the show tonight isn't the show itself, but the apparent promise of the demise of the I-C title. This is a title with 23 years of history. A title that was held by some great legends. A title that could get a midcarder some credibility before making the main event while giving a former main eventer something to shoot for on the way down. And you're going to phase it out. And for what? A "World Title" that has served as nothing more than an ego boost for Triple H. Face it, the I-C title is the one that people have any interest in--or rather had interest in before tonight--and you've just gone and pissed on that legacy. There is now nothing for the midcard to shoot for, and over 80% of the midcard will never be seen as a credible main eventer, and 50% of that lower 20% will never be given a fair shot at the brass ring. I'm begging WWE to end that one as a disqualification so we can keep both titles. I'm also begging that if it's not a DQ, then it somehow it ends up being RVD-HHH with RVD taking the damned thing.

Overall, nothing actively bad, but nothing exceptionally good either. Honestly, my favorite match tonight was the opener. Somehow, it just seems wrong for that one to be the best match of the night.

Friday, a special edition of Today in Wrestling History where we cover one of the rare matches that means more than just a win or a loss in the record book.

Until then, tell me what you thought of this show.


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