#100 seems like as good a time as any to call a halt to NFB Watches Wrestling. This series started as a lockdown project to keep myself busy and give me a good excuse to watch some wrestling of yesteryear, but never garnered anything worth calling an audience and has since transformed into something approaching the level of a chore, and that was never my intention. The last few months has seen my interest in wrestling wane a bit, a consequence of limited time, WWE’s stale main roster status, NXT’s metamorphosis into NXT 2.0, the lack of crowds for NXT UK and a few other things besides. I was thinking I might delve a bit more into the AEW side of things in an effort to reinvigorate my interest, but that’s something I will be doing for me, and not for here. So enjoy this last entry in the series, and for those few who have read along, thanks for your time.
Century time! It’s the 29th July 2002 and we’re in Greensboro Coliseum of, well, Greensboro, North Carolina for episode #479 of WWE Raw! Your main event tonight: The Rock vs Ric Flair in a non-title match! We went from Eddie to Flair? Yeesh.
New Attitude splash and into a video package recapping last week’s betrayal of Shawn Michaels by Triple H. No destruction derby repeated words on this occasion, that’s all for Stephanie it seems. “Beautiful People”, pyro and JR/King welcome us to Greensboro. Triple H will be delivering a lecture on the subject of betrayal later, commentary plugs the IC Title match, and our Here Comes The Pain career mode main event. But first, out comes Eric Bischoff.
He’s on the mike to admonish Stephanie McMahon. He told her he was going to knock her out, and thankfully he doesn’t mean physically. The newest members of Raw are…the Canadian Best Friends! Or, rather, the now officially christened “Un-Americans”. Out they come, with Test carrying the Stars and Stripes upside down, and you know they are going for hardcore hatred when Lawler is giving out about the heels. Storm on the mike has a message for America. The upside down flag is usually a symbol of distress, but in this case it stands for the upside down beliefs of American society. America is obsessed with celebrity but Elvis Presley was a bloated drug addict who died on a toilet, Marilyn Monroe was a manic depressive who OD’s on sleeping pills, Babe Ruth was an alcoholic who slept with prostitutes, and John Wayne was a prostitute too. The crowd went from booing to awkward silence for this, no one needs to be reminded of how Marilyn Monroe died at a wrestling show.
Christian’s turn to run down the ignorant crowd. The average teen can list every Britney Spears song, but can’t list the Bill of Rights. American children are too busy “sucking back” Big Macs and watching porn. “They’re taking advantage of our freedom of speech!” says JR, outraged. Storm again, to say there is one American who is alight, and that’s Bischoff. But before the lionising can go too far, out comes Shawn Michaels.
He describes the GM as “everybody’s all-American hero”, and he’s getting straight to the point: he wants Triple H. HHH doesn’t appear to be in the arena, and HBK doesn’t know why. But when he’s here he’s going to exercise his “right” to beat Haitch all around the building. Bischoff says when the Game gets here he’ll let him and Shawn talk it out face-to-face, which leads to Test ordering Michaels off the stage. “Just because you Canucks are still upset that I smacked around your Canadian hero Bret Hart”, and naturally that gets cheers in North Carolina. He tells the CBF to learn a way to live with it, and adds that if Bischoff doesn’t bring Triple H to him, he’ll drag HHH to Bischoff. Storm predicts that Michaels will be put in his place. The Un-Americans swear to make an impact tonight, an impact that will strike a blow for freedom and justice.
This was a weird, weird segment. First of all, Smackdown loses the Tag Titles, which isn’t so great, though there are a few proto-tag teams on Raw that could challenge. In the end it doesn’t really matter where those belts are, as long as a division is built around them. Second, the big introduction of Team Canada gets interrupted by a completely different feud, that goes out of its way to make the Un-Americans look bad. This felt like a last minute re-write that made it to the ring. Sloppy stuff.
After the break Bischoff is with Eddie Guerrero backstage. Tonight Eddie faces Booker T, and the GM wants Guerrero to show him what he can do. A mook turns up to tell Bischoff that there is a lady in a limo at the arena who wants to see him. Bischoff asks the mook to “tell that bitch” to sit tight, as he plans to “finish this thing” once and for all. Man, why does this feud have to follow this kind of course? Are we going to get Bischoff/Stephanie in a match eventually?
Booker T vs Eddie Guerrero
Hell of a match-up here, two of the best guys on the roster right now. Lock-up, T backed up, shots, Booker out of it and able to hit a pop-up Flapjack, then a heel kick for one. Scoop slam, elbow, two, Eddie ducks a heel kick, tries a suplex, Booker out of it, now T tries a suplex and Guerrero out of it, and now Latino Heat lands a reverse suplex. Interesting sequence. More shots and shoulders into the corner, even a drop-kick, Not much heat from the crowd it had to be said.
Shots to the lower back, snapmare, then into a modified Camel Clutch. Guerrero eventually relents, more shots, two, more strikes, head smashes in the corner, this has become a tad dull now. Now Guerrero exposes a turnbuckle with the ref just watching, dueling shots, Booker getting the advantage, hits a bit of a loose back body-drop (“nice elevation” says JR, not really), scores with a heel kick for two. Chops, Eddie back with a head scissors takedown, and now Guerrero goes back to the turnbuckle and he actually exposes it this time. T avoids going into the corner off a whip with a neat counter off the top rope, then drops Latino Heat into it instead. Scissors Kick ends it in just under five-and-a-half.
Winner: Booker T, who is just begging for a main event push,.
Verdict: It was OK, I’m sure these two could do a lot more if they were given the time to do more.
Booker treats us to a Spinarooni before we head backstage, where Bischoff is confronting the aforementioned limo. He pulls open the door to reveal…Mae Young (yay!) and the Fabulous Moolah (boo!). Bischoff tells the “bitches” to get the hell out of here, and looks like he’s going to get sick as he walks away.
Elsewhere, Shawn Michaels hunts for Hunter. He walks into a locker room that seems to contain the Raw midcard, and gets confronted by Booker T and Goldust. T has little sympathy for his betrayal last week, but HBK doesn’t have time to discuss it. Goldust can dig the idea of Booker and Michaels going at it, sucka. Obviously laying the foundations for something here, and honestly Booker T/Michaels is more appealing to me right now than Michaels/HHH.
Trish Stratus & Bubba Ray Dudley vs The Big Show & Molly Holly
Yet another intergender tag, this seems to be their way of covering for the crazy lack of depth in the womens division. This is straight intergender, as JR lays out after the confusion from last week. Commentary is back to talking about Holly’s non-existent large butt. This is meant to be a re-match from last week but as Holly outlines on the mike, Regal has a muscle pull so Bischoff has set-up a suitable replacement in the form of Show. Naturally Bischoff is too busy to make this announcement himself, because the only woman he shares screentime with is the boss’s daughter.
Holly with an ambush on Trish, snap suplex, Trish back with an arm-drag takedown, another, then Holly back with her own hair-based takedown. Tag to Show, and Stratus just avoids a falling elbow. Bubba Ray in, strikes, but TBS on top quick. Big elbow, big strike, then an arm wrench over the shoulder, cool looking move, looks sore. “This Dudley is Bubba tough”, what? Corner smash, Bubba thrown around a bit more, then floored off a hard corner shot. A bored sounding crowd starts a “We want tables” chant. Bubba avoids a corner charge, Holly in and she takes a hip toss. Trish in, Chick Kick, two. Holly with an elbow on a corner charge, to the top but intercepted with that cool handstand rana for two.
Show with a sneaky shot floors Trish, Bubba clears him out, then takes Molly for some dancing before a Scoop Slam. Stratus to the top looking for the Whats’s Upppp, but Show intervenes by crotching Trish (“I assume she’s not wearing a cup”, well of course JR) and flooring Bubba. Holly up after Trish, and nails a superplex, but only two. At ringside, Bubba nails Show with the ringsteps, in the ring Molly looks for the Molly-Go-Round but nobody home. Bubba in to get Holly into an Electric Chair position, Doomsday Device from Stratus and that’s it in just under four-and-a-half.
Winners: Bubba and Trish, perhaps a better combination than Bubba and Stacey.
Verdict: I’ll always pop a bit for proper intergender wrestling, though this was mostly of the “male-on-female” kind. Pretty basic tag otherwise.
Show in to put Stratus down and deliver a chokeslam to Bubba before grabbing a table. He sets it up in-ring, Trish gets in a few chair shots before being subdued, before Bubba saves her from a Showstopper through the table with some chair shots of his own. Hilariously Show breaks the table himself in frustration, which I think only showcases how weak the tables are. I guess this one is going to keep going.
After the break and a lengthy crowd pan, Shawn Michaels is looking for Triple H backstage when Big Show bumps into him. Michaels doesn’t have time for Show’s complaints about how he just got screwed over, and Show assures us that he’ll make the time. Show/HBK, really?
Elsewhere, Ric Flair is talking to Jeff Hardy. He doesn’t think Hardy has to put his career on the line every night just for ratings, but a suddenly arriving Eric Bischoff disagrees. He cares about Jeff’s health as he is the future of Raw, but thinks a Hardcore Title match with Bradshaw is just the ticket. Jeff drops the name of the town for the cheapest of pops, and departs. Flair is left with the GM, and knows he leaves the big moments for the last moment. After his match with The Rock tonight, Flair will have a big moment. We cut from this uncreditable retirement tease to Mae (yay!) and Moolah (boo!) accosting Bischoff again. Moolah wants to promote her book, and says Mae will keep on trying to kiss him if she doesn’t get the chance to. Bischoff reconsiders and will allow this “you old bag”. Wonderful stuff.
Bradshaw (c) vs Jeff Hardy (WWE Hardcore Championship)
So Jeff’s gone from being an inch from the Undisputed Title, to being the last Euro Champion, to being an inch from the IC belt, to now challenging for the Hardcore Championship? What is the thought process behind all this? He’s literally challenged for every belt on Raw in the course of a month!
He gets a good reception from his home state crowd regardless. Bradshaw out with a Texas flag on the Hardcore belt, because why not. Lock-up, into the corner, clubbing shots from the big Texan, Scoop Slam, elbow drop and amazingly a woman near the front row screams like Hardy is actually being killed in the ring. Jeff gets in a roll-up for two, then runs into a Fallaway Slam where he bounces into the first rope, whoops. To the outside, Hardy flung into the steps and I realise now that this is face-vs-face nominally, but rest assured no-one is cheering Bradshaw.
The Champ grabs a few things and puts them into the ring, only for Jeff to use one of them, a trash can, for a big shot. Another, Bradshaw back with a big boot, now sets up Hardy for a powerbomb on top of the steps, Hardy counters into a big back body-drop and Bradshaw lands hard. Jeff produces a ladder for a big pop, back shot to Bradshaw, then it gets set-up in the corner. Bradshaw back with another steps shot, but then walks into a Whisper In The Wind off a whip into the corner. “Jeff Hardy, the extremist” says JR, and rest-assured they wont be using that moniker for much longer.
Somewhere in an exchange of lid shots the ref takes a bump, and then both men are climbing the ladder for some reason. Bradshaw goes for a fall after more lid shots, and Hardy lands a Swanton off the top of the ladder. This guy is killing himself every week on TV. The ref has recovered enough to count the fall in just over four-and-a-half.
Winner (and new WWE Hardcore Champion): Jeff Hardy, just collecting belts it seems.
Verdict: One crazy spot at the end marks this one out, as it was otherwise unexceptional.
Hardy has just enough time to stand up when he gets a spinebuster from Johnny Stamboli, and that will be a 1, 2, 3 to absolutely no reaction.
New WWE Hardcore Champion: Johnny “the Bull” Stamboli
The Bull is immediately nailed by a Clothesline From Hell, only for Tommy Dreamer to appear and give Bradshaw a kendo stick shot. This lets him get the pin on Stamboli instead.
New WWE Hardcore Champion: Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer cuts a hasty retreat through the crowd, who celebrate wildly with him, to my surprise. Jeff Hardy has vanished so quickly that Lawler utters “Where’s Jeff?”
Backstage, William Regal is with the Un-Americans. Regal expands on his “injury” that is preventing him from competing tonight, but runs off for a “may-sage” before he can field any more questions. Chris Benoit appears, and Christian wishes him luck tonight. Benoit doesn’t need luck, and walks off to some admiring stares. I wouldn’t mind seeing Benoit in Team Canada actually. That match is next.
Rob Van Dam (c) vs Chris Benoit (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Another PPV worthy feud we’re getting on TV for some reason. This one brought to you by xXx (49% on RT), Burger King and Snickers. Lock-up, RVD pushed back. Wristlock chain, Benoit ducks a spinning heel kick, beat. Crowd is excited for this one. Lock-up, another hold chain and now Benoit eats the heel kick. Very loud “Rob. Van. Dam” chants. Benoit gets the advantage with strikes and a headbutt, but then gets an elbow on a corner charge. Van Dam with a crossbody off the second rope for two, then nails a drop-kick that sends Benoit out. Van Dam with a big straight-up tope to flatter Benoit, but Van Dam took some pain too.
Back in, and RVD hits a springboard leg-drop, but he isn’t Hulk Hogan so only two. Van Dam looks for a split-legged trip, but Benoit counters with a low drop-kick, you don’t see that kind of thing much. Scoop Slam into a shoulder-breaker, you don’t see many of those either. Van Dam sent shoulder first into the ringpost, as we move firmly into the “limb targeting” part of the evening. Crowd has predictably died as things slow down. Modified abdominal stretch puts the pressure on the shoulder, and the Wolverine adds some leverage from the rope to boot. Little Naitch spots it eventually, but then doesn’t break the hold because refs will sometimes just forget basic rules. Van Dam attempts a comeback but Benoit able to hit a bridging hammerlock suplex, what a thing of beauty, two.
The left shoulder continues to get worked over, then a rough looking reverse suplex for two. Van Dam back with a body scissors into a pinning predicament, very cool looking, two. Benoit nails a drop-kick to maintain the advantage, two. Corner smashes, RVD back with chops, Benoit with a rake to the eyes, Van Dam back again with another heel kick. Both men down for a count of five, dueling strikes, Van Dam avoids another trip into the ringpost by countering into a really bad looking Flapjack where Benoit was too close to the corner. A springboard martial arts kick isn’t much better, and this has entered sloppy territory now. Rolling Thunder gets two, corner spears, Benoit fights out and looks for the Crossface, then gets another heel kick. Van Dam to the top, but no water in the pool for the Five Star, though I think Van Dam actually partially landed on Benoit’s back. That was Benoit’s fault I think, he rolls in the wrong direction. These two aren’t clicking as well as you would think.
Benoit locks on the Crossface, but Van Dam edges his foot to the ropes. “He’s Van Damaged right now”, thank you King. Van Dam with a sweep kick, roll-up for two, countered into the Crossface again! Very good stuff. Van Dam battles out, we get a few pinning predicaments and Benoit gets the pin OUTTANOWHERE with his feet on the ropes in just under ten-and-a-half.
Winner (and new WWE Intercontinental Champion): Chris Benoit, which is a genuine surprise to me.
Verdict: Started good, got slow and sloppy, got good again at the end. I think they got on better with some pre-planned spots, and the stuff they called in the ring wasn’t so good. Surprised they are putting the IC strap on Benoit to be honest, at least like this.
Benoit skedaddles with the belt. Backstage, HBK is still looking for Triple H. A security mook hasn’t seen him, and Michaels tells him to let HHH know if he does see him that Michaels will be waiting in the parking lot. The Big Show observes this exchange from a distance, like the world’s most obvious voyeur.
Up on the ramp, Bischoff is out again, to loud boos. It’s his great pleasure to introduce a true legend in the industry to promote her book, the Fabulous Moolah w/Mae Young. Moolah should be getting the nuclear boos. “She wrote another book before this, the Old TESTAMENT” quips King, the daddest of dad jokes. Anyway, Moolah and Mae hit the ring, and Bischoff says she’s earned her…three minutes in the ring. Dun, dun duuuun. Moolah waffles on a bit about her tragic back story that doesn’t involve her active participation in the exploitation of numerous wrestlers under her care and supervision, and thankfully GM Eric interrupts her. He brings up her first match, she admits she got her ass kicked that night, more foreshadowing. Moolah talks about Cindi Lauper, “she’s a little bitch”, and I could describe someone else like that.
This crap continues on for a bit, with Moolah and Young bickering about what to talk about in the time they have left, and Bischoff decides they aren’t entertaining enough. Time for “the last chapter”, and his goons are in the ring to beat down Moolah and Young. The crowd is properly invested in Moolah’s safety, and Young’s, as they get flung around the ring. Mae actually tries to fight back a bit, but of course only gets destroyed more. “This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen” says JR, really? Bischoff hails his heroes, named here as Jamal and Rosey, as we get replays.
After the break the two women are being taken away on stretchers, with Sgt Slaughter supervising. Bischoff is in the ring, and congrats the women for their “big splash” hey oh. He arranged for their beatdown to prove a point, as the crowd lets out a huge “Asshole” chants. Bischoff is in charge, and all he has to do is snap his fingers and things happen. DEAD MAN WALKING interrupts, and the crowd pops big for the arrival of The Undertaker. Is he here to defend the honour of Mae and Moolah? I doubt it, but it would be a turn.
He wants to know if Bischoff is the man in charge, like they hadn’t met in person a few weeks ago. Taker wants Bischoff to click his fingers and make something happen, but before the Deadman gets a chance to enunciate what that is, out comes Chris Nowinski. On the mike on the way to the ring, he declares Mean Mark to be a bully, and wants an apology for what happened last week. It’s not Nowinski’s fault that Undertaker doesn’t have a college degree, amazing.
Instead of helping Nowinski get an apology, he instead suggests Nowinski get his aggression out of his system by taking on The Undertaker right now. Nowinski amazingly changes tack straight away and insists Bischoff has no right to do this. Taker won’t do it because of what the GM says, but he’ll do it because he likes to fight. A sneaky right floors Nowinski, and away we go.
The Undertaker vs Chris Nowinski
This ought to be quick. Big corner clothesline floors Nowinski, but then Harvard Chris gets an elbow on a corner charge. Fighting out of a chokeslam attempt, nails a clothesline, then a drop-kick out of a three point stance. That gets two, to no reaction from the crowd. Taker back with a big boot, then we “goin skool” with Old School. The Last Ride ends it in less than 90 seconds.
Winner: Take a wild guess.
Verdict: Eventually they’ll have to move Nowinski out of the hazing phase and give him some actual match time. Still, Taker gave him some offence here in a way that made him look good: the “fighting out of the chokeslam followed by a drop-kick” is a schtick he’s let numerous rookies do in the ring actually. Still a squash though.
The Un-Americans are here suddenly, marching out with their upside down flag. The Undertaker gets jumped, with Test doing most of the heavy lifting. They pause to celebrate a bit too long so Taker can get a brief comeback, but he eventually eats a vicious looking Big Boot from Test. Storm and Christian have some chairs, and deliver two Conchairto’s, that look super bad. Undertaker takes them like a champ. Test on the mike to declare “Here lies your American Badass”. “You’re dead-ass wrong” if you think they aren’t going to pay for that one, declares Ross, spoiling the inevitable next step of this feud.
After the break, the Un-Americans are backstage reminiscing about the beatdown they just instigated. I hate that “Did you see the way we just annihilated X?” dialogue, it’s like they’re children. The night’s not over though, because they have one more piece of business to take care of. Exeunt. Shenanigans incoming.
Elsewhere, The Rock is with Coach, so get ready for some hate crimes. The Champ is asked if he can make an impact tonight, and gets a hand in response. A beat to soak in the chants, Finally, etc. After years of being interviewed by freaks like hermaphrodite Kevin Kelly (told ya) or “masturbating Marc Lloyd” (wow) it’s an honour to be interviewed by someone normal like Coach. Of course this leads to The Rock implying that Coach likes to have sex with animals (he’s from Kansas you see), because this is The Rock at the time. Can’t wait for that Presidential run when this stuff gets brought up. This goes on for a loooong time, with Rock getting ridiculously detailed. I prefer it when he’s mocking other wrestlers. Coach confirms that he once did insert a microphone up a cow’s rectum, because of course.
Anyway, Rock eventually dismisses Coach so he can talk about Brock Lesnar. He’s ready for Lesnar’s mind games, and will respond by playing his own game: “Just Bring It”. Think that wasn’t out until the next year. If Lesnar wants a piece of him before Summerslam, The Rock will bring the whooping, and Lesnar can bring his candy ass. Onto tonight, with Rock taking on wrestling’s favorite sex predator Ric Flair (my words). They’re in Ric Flair country, though Greensboro has plenty of love for The Rock. Only one word for a match-up of this magnitude: catastrophe. No, wait, that was me, It’s actually “Woooo”. It’s going to be a classic, yeah right Dwayne. If you smell, etc. Rock gives us a weird pause before walking off, only to come back with a terrible Ric Flair strut. “Lot of respect” says JR, with deadly seriousness. Only 20 minutes left in the show, with more HHH/HBK to come, so Rock’s killing time majorly here.
After the break commentary plugs the main event, then out comes Triple H. No full entrance, for once, and he’s on the mike quick. He knows Shawn Michaels is in the parking lot, but he doesn’t solve his problems in parking lots, he solves them in the ring, like he did last Monday. Why did he do it? After all this time, after everything HHH has done for HBK, Michaels couldn’t do one thing for him and be his manager. They could have been unstoppable, but Michaels couldn’t lower himself to it. Time to face facts, and the fact is the Game has passed Michaels by. Now Haitch is the showstopper, the icon, while Michaels’ career is over. His back is busted up, and “your mind if more handicapped than your body”, wow. As motivations for heelery goes this is pretty weak, have to say.
Shawn knows the truth deep down inside, and all he has left is his pride. That’s going to get him hurt, and Triple H isn’t going anywhere, so Michaels can either listen to his pride and try to fight Triple H, or he can put his pride aside, walk down to the ring, and accept “your disabilities”, and accept the managerial role. Did we need the bigoted slurs here, really? Haitch doesn’t get much chance to wait around, and heads to the back presently after getting a word with the floor manager. Backstage, HHH stalks the halls and ends up in the “parking lot area”, otherwise known as as the parking lot. He finds a prostrate Shawn Michaels, bloodied up, his head having seemingly been slammed into a nearby car. Horrible image. A crowd of wrestlers is around too, which is a neat touch, and help is called for.
After the break Michaels is being strapped to a stretcher and carted away. Bischoff arrives, and implies Triple H is behind what happened. “You think I did this? Fuck you!” and Haitch storms off. Michaels is being taken to a “medical facility”. I’ll take three guesses as to who is actually behind this.
Ric Flair vs The Rock (non-title)
JR claims to have “waited a lifetime” for this match, and isn’t that just a sign of dementia? Only ten minutes left, so this is going to be short, with The Rock not even getting to take to the turnbuckles during his entrance. Circling, Flair with a quiet “woo”, lock-up, Flair with a knockdown, leapfrog chain, arm drags from The Rock, bit of a sloppy back body-drop and Flair retreats to the corner. After this breather we get a lock-up, Rock with a knock down, Flair just about able to come back with some arm drags of his own, and Rocky goes way overboard getting the Nature Boy over by taking a powder on the outside.
Flair egging things up for the crowd, Rock back in eventually, gets Flair in the corner and gets in some chops, to the displeasure of the crowd. Flair back with some of his own, crowd getting into this now, and Rock clotheslined out. To ringside, chops, strikes, back in and Flair lands a knee drop. Calling for the Figure 4, but the Champ powers out. Flair floored with a clothesline, Rock laying on the strikes and chops now, then a weird moment where he steps off, invites Flair to come to him, then hits a very iffy looking spinebuster. Did Flair need to take in a few breaths or something?
Calling for The People’s Elbow, but naturally Flair counters at the last second. Looking for the Figure 4, Rock powers out of it again, and now puts in the Sharpshooter. As always when The Rock does it, it looks terrible. Flair to the ropes, Rock pulls him back, looks for the Sharpshooter again but gets a thumb to the eye for his trouble. Now the Figure 4 locked in, Rock to the rope without too much trouble really, chops in the corner after, yawn. Rock starts laying the smackdown, until Flair comes rallying back with his own strikes. Rock kips up, and nails the Rock Bottom OUTTANOWHERE for the win in just under seven-and-a-half.
Winner: One of the few people on the roster that couldn’t be ordered to job to Flair.
Verdict: Flair pulled out a few different things for the home state crowd, but he was still sloppy, gassed and nowhere near Rock’s league.
The two share a handshake, and Flair raises The Rock’s hand. The Champ departs, and Flair is on the mike for his announcement, but gets cut off early by the sudden arrival of Chris Jericho! Or rather just his music. Flair looks bemused, but now the real Y2J appears from behind! With a chair! Huge chair shot, and Flair is laid out. Jericho grabs the mike to declare that the only announcement is that “Raw is Jericho”. That’s all we’ve got. That’s quite the transfer, but Smackdown is getting something better as I recall.
Best Match: I guess Van Dam/Benoit by default, it had bad elements but head and shoulders above everything else tonight.
Worst Match: Taker/Nowinski was a needless squash.
Best Wrestler: I dunno. Maybe Jeff Hardy for the stupid bump he took.
Worst Wrestler: Big Show is in big trouble.
Overall Verdict: A pisspoor show really, a lot of subpar matches, some stupid segments, and little in the way of progression ahead of Summerslam. Raw is in a spot of trouble, quality wise.
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