WWF 2002: The Brand Extension
(presented by NotoriousMEAT & cmuk316)
As ordered by WWF CEO Linda McMahon and the Board of Directors, in response to the growing friction between WWF co-owners Vince McMahon and Ric Flair, the World Wrestling Federation will from here on out be representing its business through two separate brands, RAW and SmackDown. After personal conflicts between WWF Co-Owner Ric Flair and WWF Superstar The Undertaker, the Board found it necessary to return full ownership of the World Wrestling Federation to Mr. McMahon. Now after reviewing the situation and more importantly after speaking with Mr. Flair who has guaranteed he will refrain from anymore in ring action with active WWF Superstars, the Board of Directors find it only fair to give each owner full reign of control of their respective brands.
Therefor, Ric Flair will be in control of the RAW brand while Mr. McMahon runs things on SmackDown. The WWF roster will be split between the brands after the first ever WWE Draft, the results of which can be seen below. This brand extension takes full effect on Monday April 1st when WWF RAW emanates from Albany, New York. In order to avoid any future conflict, the Board has also decided to separate the WWF Undisputed Championship giving each brand it's own World Champion. Further details of this change are expected to be announced this Monday on RAW.
The only time the RAW and SmackDown brands are expected to interact are at the monthly WWF Pay-Per-Views. This is when the WWF as a whole will truly shine and each brand is expected to give their best, and prove superiority. The Pay-Per-View schedule for the next year can also be found below.
After a draft held at WWE Headquarters where Mr. McMahon and Mr. Flair alternated in selecting superstars, the rosters for the RAW and SmackDown brands are as follows..
Owner: Ric Flair
Commentary: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
Bubba Ray Dudley
Diamond Dallas page
Kevin Nash (nWo)
Scott Hall (nWo)
Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWF Tag Team Champions: Billy & Chuck
WWF European Champion: William Regal
WWF Hardcore Champion: Maven
WWF Women's Champion: Jazz
Owner: Vince McMahon
Commentary: Michael Cole & Tazz
Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Rob Van Dam
Scotty 2 Hotty
WWF Undisputed Champion: Triple H
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Rob Van Dam
WWF Cruiserweight Champion: Tajiri
April 21st, 2002
Kansas City, Missouri
Kemper Memorial Arena
May 19th, 2002
Gaylord Entertainment Center
King of the Ring
June 23rd, 2002
July 21st, 2002
Joe Louis Arena
August 25th, 2002
Uniondale, New York
September 22nd, 2002
Los Angeles, California
October 20th, 2002
Little Rock, Arkansas
November 17th, 2002
New York, New York
Madison Square Garden
December 15th, 2002
Office Depot Center
January 19th, 2003
No Way Out
February 23rd, 2003
March 30th, 2003
RAW April 1st, 2002 (1/2)
April 1st, 2002
Albany, New York
The 8 o'clock hour strikes. The new WWF programming signature plays, signaling the show has begun. The first face we see is that of WWF co-owner Ric Flair. The "Nature Boy" appears in his office, sitting at a desk with his nameplate front and center.
Ric Flair: "Ladies and gentleman my name.. is Ric Flair. Tonight I'm not "co"-owner of the World Wrestling Federation. Tonight, just like so many other nights over the last 30 years, I'm THE man. Monday nights from here on out are McMahon free! A new era in the WWF is upon on us, and it starts tonight. THIS! ... is RAW."
Flair flashes a smile before we suddenly rip into the brand new RAW entrance video..
At the video's conclusion we quickly go inside the arena which is packed to the rafters with rowdy and excited WWF fans! We're greeted by the familiar voices of Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler. JR thanks everyone for inviting the WWF into their homes and welcomes them to RAW live from Albany, New York. JR informs the viewing audience that he has no list of announced segments or confirmed matches for tonights show. It appears Ric Flair is keeping things very close to the vest tonight, which the King insists will make for an exciting night. No more time is wasted talking as the contestants for the night's opening match make their way to the ring.
First, the unmistakeable theme music of the Hardy Boyz! Matt Hardy makes his way out onto the stage flanked by his girlfriend Lita! Unfortuantely Jeff Hardy was drafted to the SmackDown brand, meaning the end of Team eXtreme and one of the WWF's most popular tag teams. But Matt Hardy's face shows that of a focused man, fully aware of the opportunities in front of him to become a true singles star! Next through the curtain is Matt's opponent for the evening and it happens to be the towering Canadian known as Test!
A WrestleMania X8 recap promoting the upcoming VHS and DVD release of the huge event runs right before we come back from break. When we do, we're inside the locker room where Lita is this hyped from the victory. Matt Hardy however has his eyes glued to a nearby TV set that's obviously playing RAW.
Hardy: "That. I want that."
Hardy: "Hogan. Rock. Undertaker. Flair. Jericho. Triple H. All those faces I just saw. WrestleMania. I want that. I want my face, to be WrestleMania. Not just with Jeff. Not with ladders or chairs or tables. I'm ready for it."
Lita: "You're gonna get there Matt! I know it. This is your chance on RAW."
Lita embraces her boyfriend who is now smiling. Matt nods in agreement as we switch over and see William Regal walking down a hallway. He's in his gear and proudly wears the European Champions around his waist. The door he approaches is clearly labeled "RIC FLAIR" but before Regal can knock, Flair steps out of his office, almost surprised to see Regal in front of him.
Flair: "Regal what are you doin here? You.."
Regal: "Mr. Flair I know I know, I just had to see you."
Flair: "Okay, but.."
Regal: "Now I know this is your first night captaining the ship, and I know that power and the responsibility of total control can be well, overwhelming."
Regal: "And well, I don't know if you remember but I am a former WWF Commissioner and the leadership role is a position I'm very comfortable with. So if you need any advice or help at all, don't be afraid to ask."
Flair: "That's mighty kind of you Mr. Regal, but you do have a match literally right now. So how bout you focus on that, and I tell ya what. When the job is just getting to be too much for me, I'll come find ya. Maybe even let you run the whole show one night."
Regal: "Absolutely sir! Thank you."
William shakes Flair's hand then scurries away for his match. Flair chuckles and shakes his head before walking out of frame. Lawler proclaims that Regal is a leader he could follow and suggests that adding the former commissioner to his cabinet would be the smartest thing Flair ever did. A moment later Regal's music begins to play and the European Champion trots out onto the stage. He starts down the ramp when "WOOOOO!" rips through the speakers. Ric Flair's music interupts Regal's entrance and the confused Englishman stops dead in his tracks and turns to see his new boss come out with mic in hand. With a huge smile on his face Flair waives Regal over to him.
Flair: "Hold up hold up, come back."
The music comes to a stop as Regal and his forced smile approach Flair.
Flair: "Ya know William, it's really quite funny that you came and found me a minute ago, because I was actually out here on my way to find YOU! Now I know your European Championship isn't on the line, but I'm happy you brought the title out here with you tonight, because I'm gonna need you to hand it to me.. right now."
This gets a rise out of the crowd, they're not too sure whats going on and obviously neither does Regal who demands to know why.
Flair: "Now now, as valiantly as you and other great superstars have fought for that European Championship, I really feel that it's run it's course here in the World Wrestling Federation. I admit I was a little agitated to see the Intercontinental Championship drafted to SmackDown, but then I was struck with a grand idea. RAW is MY show. Not only can I create a new legacy, I can also continue one."
William Regal looks distraught as Flair reaches out for the European Champion. Regal doesn't let it go, and Flair all but yanks it away. Folding the the title's straps, Flair now holds the championship under his arm.
Flair: "As of now the European Championship, is retired. Beginning next week, I bring exclusive to RAW.. the United States Championship! Now nothing personal to Europe or it's amazing fans.. but the United States Heavyweight Championship has been a staple in wrestling almost as long as Ric Flair baby. Tonight I'm taking every available superstar who once held the prestigeous United States Championship, and they're gonna compete. Three 1-on-1 matches, which each winner meeting next week in a Triple Threat match to determine the brand new WWF United States Champion!"
The fans approve of the announcement with roar of cheers. William Regal on the other hand is completely flabbergasted.
Flair: "Now Mr. Regal, I was just informed that my new power can be rather overwhelming, so to make sure everything is fair, even though you have never been United States Champion, I'm going to allow you as incumbent European Champion to compete tonight in one of these matches for a shot at the title next week. Fair?"
Regal is obvioulsy irritated but has no other choice but to accept Flair's proposal.
Flair: "Excellent. Well your match is still next so, as you were."
William Regal's music again plays as Flair turns and exits the stage. Still not totally sure what just happened, Regal makes his way down to the ring for his qualifying match. "You think you know me.." the signature opening for one of WWF's most popular young stars, Edge! The canadian superstar emerges from the smoked, covered in his largel leather coat and hidden behind his sunglasses. With a huge smile on his face, Edge heads to the ring for an international battle to challenge for the U.S. title.
Flair: "What do you want Taker?"
The Deadman removes his sunglasses and places them on his head, tucked behind his bandana. He glares at Arn Anderson before his gaze moves back to Flair.
Undertaker: "You finally have a chance to get me out of your life for good. You just had to let me be drafted to SmackDown. But instead.. you keep me here."
Flair: "What's your point."
Undertaker: "I'll tell you my point. I figure you drafted me for one of two reasons. No matter how many times I punched you in the head, you must still realize the legend I've built over the last 12 years on whether it's RAW or SmackDown.. the WWF is still my yard. Or. You wanted to keep me close so you could try and make me miserable."
Ric and Arn remain quiet. Flair's stare never wavers.
Undertaker: "I'm here to find out. I know the Undisputed Championship has been split. Are you gonna show me the respect I've earned and make me the new WWF Champion or RAW Champion or whatever.. because anything other than that.. well I'd take that as a personal insult."
There's silence. Tensions are high. Arn is now looking at Flair who is still deadlocked with The Undertaker.
Flair: "I guess you'll have to wait and see."
The Undertaker lets out a snort and lifts his head. Moving his neck his eyes soon shoot back down to Flair. It seems he's doing all he can to not strike his new boss.
Flair: "But if you want something to help you pass the time until then, I've got a hell of a main event for ya. Tonight.. you face your brother, Kane!"
It's impossible to tell if The Undertaker is upset with the match or not, his intenet expression remains the same. The fans cheer for the match announcement as Taker glances back at Arn one last time before grunting and leaving the office.
We go back out into the arena, and the historic tune of Mr. Perfect begins to play. He receives a mixed reaction from the audience. Even though the perfect one has been rather smug since his return to the WWF back at the Royal Rumble, he is still beloved by many fans who enjoy seeing such an iconic star from their youth gracing the ring today. It's announced the following match is another U.S. Championship Qualifying match. After Mr. Perfect comes Raven! The hardcore standout was at one point United States Champion in WCW. The interesting clash of a wrestling purist and an extreme legend is only overshadowed by the question of who's gonna join Edge in next week's title bout.
A return promo for the Rabid Wolverine! Chris Benoit has been out of action since June of 2001 after suffering a broken neck. When he returns, he'll be exclusive to RAW! This vignette sends up to commercial.
When we return we again recap Edge's victory earlier in the night over William Regal, and look back at Raven's win moments ago against Mr. Perfect. With that we now see Kurt Angle knocking on Ric Flair's door. Arn Anderson opens, and in the background Ric Flair can be heard saying it's okay for Angle to enter. Kurt and Flair exchange pleasantries before Angle gets right to it.
Angle: "The real reason I'm here Ric... Mr. Flair, is I know tonight you're going to announce your new Champion. I just wanted to make sure you knew I.."
Flair: "Kurt look, I appreciate you coming in here. I have a pretty good idea what you're gonna say and let me make something perfectly clear. I'm not here to GIVE anyone, anything."
Kurt's expression shows his disappointment.
Flair: "Now you have a match tonight, and it's a big opprotunity. You're competing for a chance to become United States Champion next week on RAW!"
Angle nods, but still doesn't seem satisfied. He grabs hold of the gold medal around his neck, almost as reassurance.
Angle: "I know. And I intend to win that match, and the match after that. I'll be United States Champion on top of being an American Hero. But Mr. Flair, as great as it is being an American Hero.. nothing beats, being WORLD Champion. You know that. So, when you have the chance if you could.."
Flair starts nodding.
Flair: "Oh I know Kurt, I know. But you may wanna go do some final warm-ups before your match later, don'tcha think?"
Angle finally takes the hint and turns his head, pausing for a moment before exiting the office. Flair and Arn converse quietly for a moment before the sound of bombs falling from the sky tears across the arena. Turns out it's the pyro for the Dudley Boyz! And after it crashes into the stage, Bubba Ray and D-Von come rolling onto the stage. Flanked by the Dutchess of Dudleyville Stacy Keibler, the dynamic duo waste no time in getting to the ring. Their opponents for the evening are none other than the WWF Tag Team Champions, Billy & Chuck. Accompanied by their stylist Rico, the champs find their way to the ring after an uncomfortable amount of time admiring each other, and the match gets underway.
Coachman: "Please welcome my guest, former European Champion, William Regal."
The camera pans out to show Regal standing next to Coach, visibly upset.
Coachman: "Mr. Regal if you don't mind, could you tell us how you're feeling after everthing that's transpired here tonight between you being stripped of the European Champion, and losing your opportunity to beocome United States Champion?"
Silence. Frustration is written all over Regal's face. His bottom lip even begins to quiver as his breaths become louder and deeper. It looks like he's gonna explode!
Regal: "...no. I cannot."
With that Regal turns and walks away, leaving Coachman a bit perplexed. The fans though are eating up Regal's misery. JR and King have different feelings on the matter and again hype next week's championship bout. We're also reminded of tonights main event.
The Undertaker and Kane go 1-on-1 later tonight! We go to commercial.
The triumphant entrance theme of the only Olypmic Gold Medalist in WWF history brings us back from break as Kurt Angle makes his way through the curtain. Even with gold medals around his neck, Kurt's made it clear he won't be happy until he adds more gold around his waist. Though the pompous olympioan receives many jeers from the crowd, Angle pays them no mind. He's here tonight to prove himself. He wants to be THE champion. "Yo! It's me! It's me! It's D-D-P!" Diamond Dallas Page makes his way to the ring with a fair reception from the crowd. Even though he's all smiles, the former WCW United States Champion is fully aware of the opportunity in front of him tonight.
Bubba Ray: "We've been through a lot Coach, but not even as something as unpredictable as a Draft Expansion can slow down the Dudleyz. We're all here. I got my brotha! We got little Spike the biggest back up we've evah had! And even the lovely Dutchess of Dudleyville Stacy."
D-Von: "We're going to accomplish everything we want here on RAW. First those Tag Team Championships, but that's not all we want. And we will get what we want. We're by the far the superior group running through the WWF today. RAW or SmackDown. Because we're a family! Line em up, and we'll knock em down!"
Bubbay Ray: "And we WILL be starting with those Tag Team titles. Billy & Chuckles, consider yourselves on notice! Those shiny accessories of yours, are coming home to Dudleyville!"
D-Von: "Oh my brother! ... Testi..."
D-Von stops mid-sentence, unable to finish his signature sign off as all 4 Dudleyz stop and stare off screen. Before long, the nWo walk into view. X-Pac, Hall and Nash. There's a moment of silent uncertainty. No one knows what to expect from the nWo.
X-Pac: "So uh... superior? Think so huh?"
Stacy steps away as the Dudleyz, Spike inlcuded, step up to the nWo.
Spike: "You bet your ass."
Coachman now steps back as well, leaving the situation all together.
X-Pac: "Huh. Interesting."
Staredown. Who will fire the first shot. The nWo of course. Hall and Nash both lunge forward, striking Bubbay Ray and D-Von respectively. X-Pac and Spike begin going back and forth as the camera steps back a bit to catch the brawl. Bubba and D-Von get in very little offense, they were jumped and are kept on the ground. Spike actually finds himself getting the better of X-Pac, that is until big Kevin Nash grabs Spike by his shoulders and throws him into the wall! The youngest Dudley of only 150 lbs hits hard and lands on the floor motionless. Stacy screams the entire time, imploring the treacherous trio to stop. Scott Hall chuckles, pulling a toothpick from behind his ear and flicking it at the Dudleyz loyal valet. The nWo walk away glowing with pride as Stacy checks on her boys.
Terri Runnels is now posted in a different spot in the arena. She expresses her suprise at what just happened between the Dudleyz and nWo, but informs the audience that she has a guest of her own. That guest is Mr. Perfect.
Terri: "Mr. Perfect, after a grueling match that you unfortuantely were not able to win tonight, the WWF fans showed you great respect for your effort. Do moments like that help soothe the sting of such an upsetting loss?"
Mr. Perfect looks down after hearing the question, very contemplative before chinning up to answer.
???: "Are kidding me!?"
A hidden voice shouts, cutting Mr. Perfect off before he can really respond. Into view walks Kurt Angle.
Angle: "Is this what RAW is going ot be all about? We're gonna ask LOSERS how it felt to LOSE and if people liking them makes LOSING any less of a LOSS?"
Kurt scoffs. The fans in attendance reach a new bass level after Kurt's comments.
Angle: "While an Olypmic gold medalist has to jump through hoops to become champion. Has to earn championship opportunities. And on top of that, these people boo ME! What a joke."
Mr. Perfect doesn't show much emotion to Kurt's verbal attack. He still visibly a bit exhausted from his match, and seems somber all together.
Angle: "This whole thing is a joke. You! "Mr. Perfect", yeah. It's not 1992. You being a champion in 2002, that's the biggest joke of them all!"
The fans can't believe the disrespect Kurt is showing to a WWF legend. Perfect just shakes his head and walks away.
Angle: "That's what I thought. Now how would you like to interview a WINNER?"
Kurt turns to Terri who also simply shakes her head and walks away, which gets a small pop from the crowd.
Angle: "Really? How disrespectful!"
Kurt scoffs again and shakes his head. We leave this scene and now see a divided screen. On one side we see The Undertaker walking down a long hall way. On the other side, his opponent for tonight Kane is making the same walk, though his hallway has a dark red tint coincidentally. JR informs everyone that the two must be making their way to the ring, because our main event is next! And with that we again go to commercial.
RAW April 1st, 2002 (2/2)
When we come back, JR reveals two confirmed matches for next week's RAW from Phoenix! The first Diva's action of the Ric Flair RAW regime happens next week when Molly Holly and former Women's Champion Trish Stratus will meet in a Number One Contenders match!
And of course after tonight's announcement and three qualifying matches.. Edge, Raven and Kurt Angle will meet next week in a triple threat match to determine the NEW United States Champion!
JR reveals that he thinks Edge has a great chance of winning while King of course is 100% behind Kurt Angle. A sudden BOOM! ends all conversation as fire explodes from the stage, signaling the arrival of the Big Red Machine Kane! The masked monster makes his way right down the ramp, adjusting elbow pad before stepping up to the ring. He slowly raises his arms before thrusting them down, which naturally causes fire to explode from all 4 ring posts. Just then, Rollin' by Limp Bizkit begins to play and the crowd turns brutally hostile. The Undertaker lliterally rolls out onto the stage on top of his motorcycle. Through sunglasses he takes a minute to peer out at the crowd. Unimpressed he continues down to ringside where he parks his bike after circling Kane outside the ring. With both competitors soon in the ring, our main event is underway.
Flair: "As promised, I'm here to reveal the decision to split the Undisputed WWF Championship, and what that means for RAW. Well.. here it is."
Ric holds the championship in the air for the entire arena to see.
Flair: "The World Heavyweight Championship. A Championship that I have literally spilled buckets of blood all over the globe to attain and keep. When the board announced their intention to separate this title from the WWF Championship, I made it perfectly clear that Ric Flair's RAW, must have this championship. This ladies and gentlemen.. is the new symbol synonymous with greatness in the WWF. RAW's ultimate prize. The World Heavyweight Championship."
Flair's passion is building the crowd's excitement. But is he really about to.. award Undertaker the title?
Flair: "Now that we've answered that question, the only question left is.. who? Well, I'll tell you all right now. I'm glad your here big man, because the very first World Heavyweight Champion is going to be..."
Of course Ric pauses. Gotta build that anticipation.
Flair: "The Undertaker."
What!? IS the general reaction of everyone in attendance. The boo's alone could collapse the arena as The Undertaker can't even hold back an evil grin as he approaches Flair who's holding out the championship. Undertaker reaches for the gold.
The fans freak OUT! They are absolutely falling over each other as Stone Cold Steve Austin comes marching down the ramp. The Undertaker's grin has curled up into an expression of pure rage and disgust as he steps away from Flair and Steve who enters the ring. Stone Cold though closes the gap and gets right up in The Undertaker's face. Undertaker of course doesn't back down.
Flair: "Whoa whoa hey slow down now! We're not doing this right now. But in a few weeks at Backlash. Yeah, that's when you two can tear each other apart because it will be The Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin.. for the World Heavyweight Championship!"
The fans love it! Even though they'd probably rather see these two collide right here tonight, they'll accept an epic Pay-Per-View main event.
Flair: "What I need you two to do right now, is each take a step back.. and shake hands."
The people know damn well that's not going to happen, and Flair probably does too. But it appears he wants to reassure and confirm his ability of complete control over RAW. Stone Cold doesn't move. The Undertaker doesn't move. There's plenty of jaw jacking back and forth between the two title contenders, but not much is picked up by the cameras.
Flair: "I want an iconic photo-op for the first RAW of the Ric Flair era. Now come on. Did you two hear me? I said step back and.."
NEW! WORLD! ORDER!
Here comes trouble. The nWo make their way down to the ring. They've already left destruction in their wake tonight, with the tensions already in the ring, this powder keg could explode at any moment! The three enter the ring. Their arrival is the only thing that tear Austin and Undertaker away from each other as each retreat to a separate corner. Flair stands firm in the middle of the ring, refusing to stand down. The nWo arrive with mic's in hand.
Nash: "I'll tell ya Flair, if you're goal is to piss us off. Well you've done one hell of a job. First you draft us to RAW. Pulling us away from the boss we actually respect, Vince McMahon! Yeah, that's the WWF we wanna represent. Then, you leave us completely off the show, out of spite I'm sure. Now, with any three of us to choose from, you exclude us from a match to decide the World Heavyweight Champion."
Hall: "Stupid move Flair. Lemme ask you somethin. Did you happen to see what we just did back there? All we did was happen to disagree with that jolly group of jabrone's. So what do ya think happens when someone straight disrespects us?"
Nash and Hall both drop their mic's. Along with X-Pac, the three begin to circle the ring which forces Flair, Austin and Undertaker all to have to move putting the three of them on the opposite side of the ring. Not a single fan is in their seat as the battle lines have been drawn. As the nWo steps closer, World War III is about to erupt right in the middle of Albany... until The Undertaker falls to his back and rolls out of the ring. The fans condemn him for his cowardice as he stands off by the announcers table, more than willing to watch Austin and Flair be decimated. The two men stand their ground, outnumbered or not, it seems both have no problem fighting the nWo when from out of nowhere pyro shoots from the sky of the arena and slams into the stage, causing an explosion that could only mean one thing. The Dudleyz are here! Bubba Ray, D-Von and even Spike Dudley with chair in hand make a mad dash for the ring. The fans are going crazy. The Dudleyz come to their feet alongside Austin and Flair, the numbers no longer in the nWo's favor. The Undertaker looks to separate himself from the situation entirely as he walks away from the ring, even leaving his motorcycle behind as he leaves up the ramp. Realizing now that they are the ones outnumbered, the nWo turn and exit the ring which brings a chorus of boo's from the crowd. They stand outside the ring, shaking their heads and shouting. They have no problem talking smack now that they're safely outside the ring.. but it probably wasn't the smartest move as the Dudleyz still very heated from the backstage assault bolt out of the ring after Hall, Nash and X-Pac which causes the three to turn and hop over the barricade into the crowd, going to even further lengths to avoid a fair fight. In hot pursuit, the Dudleyz chase the nWo into the sea of people, eventually disappearing from view.
Flair appears flustered. He picks up his microphone and the World Heavyweight Championship.
Flair: ".. damn it! I'm not gonna have this type of chaos running RAW! Is that clear? I hope everyone hears.."
Austin kicks Flair! Right in the gut.. which he instantly follows up with a Stone Cold Stunner! The crowd is shocked. Did Austin really just drop his new boss? He gets back to his feet, passion burning in his eyes he grabs the World Heavyweight Championship on his way up. The Undertaker is still in the arena, now up on the stage where he was able to watch everything unfold from afar. Austin holds the World title out over the top rope towards Undertaker, as if daring him to come and get it. He then raises the title over his head and the crowd cheers! He drops the title near Flair's still body and calls for some beers. RAW goes off the air with Stone Cold smashing a few cold ones together before spilling the beer down his mouth.
April 21st, 2002
Kansas City, Missouri
Kemper Memorial Arena
World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWF SmackDown! April 4th 2002 - New Beginnings
Welcome to the Jungle
SmackDown begins with a recap of all the main draft picks including, Hulk Hogan, Triple H, Chris Jericho and The Rock. The intro package plays and Vince McMahon is in his office with a grin on his face. The Vin man announces that as of this moment Triple H has been scheduled to defend his title at Backlash and his opponent will be the winner of tonight's four man tournament! The huge matches include The Rock facing off with a mystery opponent and Hulk Hogan going one on one with the former champion Chris Jericho. Vince says SmackDown is the premier brand in sports entertainment and the SmackDown dynasty starts tonight! Michael Cole and Tazz welcome us to Rochester New York which will play host to the new era of the WWF. With that being said right now there's cruiser weight action as Tajiri takes on Billy Kidman!
Highlight from the match
After the match Billy looked pissed and as Tajiri is admonishing Torrie he springs up on the Japanese native and hits a BK bomb and goes up top for his signature shooting star press but Torrie pulls Tajiri out of the ring. She then makes her way up the ramp as Tajiri stumbles in pursuit. Cole and Tazz raise a number of issues such as Kidman's sure fire rematch and just what is going on between Torrie Wilson and the cruiserweight champion. Cole then hypes the one night #1 contenders tournament with Rock vs a mystery opponent being scheduled with in the first hour.
Chris Jericho barges into Vince McMahon's office demanding to know why he has to face Hulk Hogan and then The Rock/mystery opponent tonight when he has an automatic rematch. Jericho is on the verge of exploding as Vince retorts telling Jericho that this is a new age now and things like automatic rematches no longer exsist. Jericho calls it a travesty of justice and says that at the very least Triple H should not have the night off. Vince agrees and Triple H tonight will face Christian. Jericho calls it a start before leaving only slightly less angry as when he came in. With that we head to the ring.
If I could be serious........
Lance Storm is in the ring and he has a Canadian flag with him and attempts to start his promo but as usual is just showered in boos and he calls America a disgrace and says he could beat any American at any time of he so wanted to. He calls America a disgrace and the poor man's Mexico. These comments bring out The Big Show to a good reaction. Big Show says he doesn't hate Canada but he hates the jackasses who come to America and criticise it. Show says that Storm said he could beat any American at any time and last time he checked he was American so Storm should face him right now. Despite Lance Storm's original objections the bell rings and are second match is underway.
As soon as we come back Rikishi and Scotty are in the ring dancing as there usual jovial selves. Their music cuts out and Billy and Chuck with their stylist Rico come out to big heat and Cole and Tazz bury them and say that because they're the tag champs they can appear on either show but due to the fact that they're from Raw they stand absolutely no chance whatsoever against a superior SmackDown team. The two teams face off in the ring as the bell rings.
Cole and Tazz are furious at these Raw punks coming onto SmackDown and winning and to make matters worse they're now beating up Rikishi and Scotty with their three on two advantage. However soon enough the music of the APA hits and Bradshaw and Faarooq hit the ring and Billy, Chuck and Rico bail. Cole applauds the two for sticking up for SmackDown and Tazz wants to see these teams fight as we cut to the back.
In the back Triple H is in his wrestling gear with his WWF Championship slung across his shoulder and his eyes focused on the camera. Lillian Garcia is with him and asks ' The Game what's going on in his mind right now with him facing Christian later on and who his potential opponent at Backlash could be. His reply goes something a bit like this:
" Well Lillian in terms of Christian I ain't worried a bit. I've faced plenty of people with more talent than him and I've always kicked their ass so I expect nothing different tonight. Prove me wrong Christian, prove me wrong. Lillian you mentioned Backlash and this whole one night tournament idea and the fact is that I've already beaten Rock and Jericho numerous times and this mystery guy I'm sure if he wins then I'll be able to handle him. When it comes to Hulk Hogan, he's man who I have a great deal of respect for but lets face it he's at an age where he shouldn't be able to contend for the WWF Title. So whoever wins the tournament tonight will have to play the game at Backlash and they will not come out the victor. The fans are behind me and I've never been surer that I'm the best wrestler in the WWF today!"
Triple H leaves as Michael Cole hypes are first tournament match of The Rock vs a mystery opponent being right after this break.
And The Opponent Is......
The Rock then comes out following the break as Cole reiterates the fact that this match is the first in this one night 4 man tournament and that the Rock's opponent is still yet to be announced. Rock then gets into the ring to a thunderous reaction and poses to the fans before taking the mic and announcing that he has 'finally come back to Rochester!' Rock hypes the fact that it's been a year since he last held the WWF Championship and tonight he's gonna whoop his mystery opponents ass as well as Hulk Hogan in tonight's main event because he know that Hulk is gonna beat Chris Jericho. Rock says to bring out the jabroni who's facing him so he can make him family's before he sends him back to where he came from. These comments bring out Paul Heyman.
Heyman calls Rock an idiot and says that he's been on top in the WWF for too long and that's he's lost sight of who the real talents are in wresting and that's the new blood. Heyman says Rock will leave the arena tonight in an ambulance and Paul takes a page out of Vince McMahon's book and guarantees it. Rock gives Heyman some of his signature catchphrases but Paul refuses to loose his cool and just smiles and calls Rock an idiot and encourages him to lap it up because this is his last ever WWF appearance. Brock Lesnar then comes out and charges straight into the ring with Heyman in tow as Brock clotheslines Rock as the bell rings.
End of an Icon
We see footage of the brutal attack from Brock Lesnar to The Rock and Cole informs us that Rock has left the building in an ambulance while Lesnar and Heyman have been escorted out of the building. Vince McMahon is backstage and he announces that Chris Jericho vs Hulk Hogan later tonight will determine who faces Triple H for the WWF title at Backlash.
Sucka Say What?
Booker T is in the back with Lillian Garcia and she asks about his match tonight with Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam. Booker says that he's gonna kick RVD's punk ass tonight but then gets interrupted by Goldust who proposes an alliance. Booker asks why the hell he'd so that and Goldust whispers something in his ear. Booker calls Goldust a freak and leaves as Goldust looks dejected.
Christian is then making his way to the ring taunting the fans and he's wearing Canadian themed tights. Triple H then comes out to a big pop with the title and gets into the ring and poses on the turnbuckle. Triple H and Christian square up to each other as we are ready to go.
Triple H then celebrates in the ring as the announcers hype Rob Van Dam vs Booker T and the #1 Contenders match between Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan with the winner facing Triple H at Backlash.
As we come back from break Booker T is getting into the ring and there's moderate heat for him as the announcers recap his bizarre encounter with Goldust a little earlier. Rob Van Dam, the Intercontinental Champion then makes his way out to the ring to a great pop as the fans chant his name in time with his posing as Mr Thursday Night looks supremely confidant as usual which Booker looking incredibly focused. Before the bell rings however familiar music hits and here comes Eddie Guerrero to a mixed reaction with his first WWF appearance in around a year. He then joins the announce team as the referee signals for the match to begin.
Backstage and Lillian Garcia is on the scene once again and this time she is joined by Jeff Hardy. Lillian reveals that Hardy requested this time and that the mic is his. Hardy gets the mic thanks Lillian and says something a bit like this:
" Earlier tonight Brock Lesnar came out here and destroyed one of the greatest of all time a living legend in The Rock. You know Heyman said something that got me thinking and that's that it's a new era now and time for the young guys. And you know what Paul your right it is time for the young guys to step up but it doesn't have to be Brock Lesnar, Paul. It needs to be guys that the fans respect guys like Rob Van Dam, Billy Kidman and myself to name a few. Paul you may have run one company but that's gone Paul and your client Brock Lesnar is intimidating, he is dominant but he isn't unbeatable I mean we've barely seen him compete yet. So Brock I wanna face you as soon as possible and then we will see who's ready to step up and who fades into the night!"
Hardy salutes the fans and walks off as Lillian throws back to ringside with Cole and Tazz. With that being said it's almost time for the main event as Hulk Hogan for the first time ever faces off with Hulk Hogan. With that being said here comes the Hulkster!
Born and raised in the US of A
Hulk Hogan comes out draped in the red and yellow which gets a big pop for the fans. On his way to the ring Cole mentions that it's been 9 years since Hulk Hogan last held WWF gold and if he beats Chris Jericho tonight he's one step closer to regaining the title he lost to Yokozuna in 1993. Hogan then gets the mic and says its goos to be wearing the red and yellow instead of the black and white but there's one more colour that he wants and that's gold! Hogan also mentions that he heard what Lance Storm said earlier and while he did impressively beat the Big Show, the USA has still got a lot of great superstars who will line up to kick Storm's ass. These comments bring out Chris Jericho.
Jericho calls Hogan a sun burnt dinosaur and says that he shouldn't be worried about Lance Storm but that he's gonna be made an ass clown of by Y2J in front of the entire world on television right now. Jericho says that the closest Hogan will get to holding the gold again is buying a replica belt so he should really start saving up. Hogan calls Jericho an idiot for underestimating phimosis and the largest arms in the world. Chris laughs off these comments and says that those arms were the largest in the world 15 years ago and now Hogan is just some washed up piece of crap who doesn't know when to quit. Hogan says he's beaten plenty of punks like him over the years and Jericho says he a gonna name every former champion he's ever beaten as we go to break with the main event match coming up next.
Highlight from the match
After the match Jericho celebrates over the fallen Hogan while Storm and Chrsitian admire their handiwork and leave from whence they came (through the crowd.) Triple H then comes out and stares Jericho down from on the stage while Chris poses like Hogan in the ring as we fade to black.
April 21st, 2002
Kansas City, Missouri
Kemper Memorial Arena
World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Triple H (c) vs Chris Jericho
Just a couple of thoughts after your first two shows, fellas.
First of all, good job with the first two shows - they're interesting and really solid. I don't like commenting on storylines after one show so I won't - I'll save that for a later PPV - but my pet peeves were fine - formatting, grammar, punctuation etc ... Just make sure you check little things before posting, i.e. links to images and such. The two confirmed matches for Backlash are big news and I like how both of you are featuring some of the mid card guys and elevating them from the brand split.
It's also interesting to see two quite different styles in the same BT. One thing I would question is that you do know what the other is going to do? You don't want to clash with things. There were a couple of things about SMACKDOWN that I have gripes with though - Brock Lesnar's debut didn't really work for me; it set him up as a badass but a 4-minute match wasn't needed. You could have had The Rock vs. somebody and have Lesnar destroy them both if you wanted to put him over big. The fact you then set a feud/challenge with Jeff Hardy, who isn't The Rock or his calibre, seemed a little bit of a comedown. Also, Hogan - needed a promo. Coming off that huge WM18 moment, I think something should have been done for Hogan other than simply a loss to Jericho in the main event.
Short thoughts, I know. Will post more later when the storylines develop further. Good starts though. GCB
RAW April 8th, 2002 (1/2)
April 8th, 2002
We see the closing moments of last week's RAW. Ric Flair makes his World Heavyweight Championship announcement. Austin and Undertaker stand nose to nose. The nWo interrupt. The Dudleyz even the odds. And after everyone else flee's.. Austin hits Ric Flair with a Stone Cold Stunner as audio of Flair saying "I'm not gonna have this type of chaos running RAW!" plays over the clip. Austin holds the World Title out at The Undertaker with Ric Flair laying motionless as Jim Ross screams "We're on the brink of an all out war!" closes out last week's recap.
RAW comes onto the air and before JR and King can welcome us, bombs drop! Pyro crashes into the stage causing an explosion of even more pyro and as the smoke fades, out come the Dudley Boyz! Bubba Ray and D-Von with Stacy Keibler and Spike Dudley make their way down the ramp as Lilian Garcia announces our opening contest of the night is for the WWF Tag Team Championships! After a non-title victory over the champions last week, it seems the Dudleyz have earned a shot at the titles they promised last week they would be coming for. After the events of last week, not only defeating the Tag Team Champions, but the run-ins with the nWo, the entire Dudley family is giving off a greater feeling of intensity and focus. "You Look Soooo.. Good To Me!" Out next are the WWF Tag Team Champions Billy and Chuck. With them as always is their personal stylist Rico. JR implies that the titles will be switching hands tonight if the champs haven't done their homework and fix the mistakes they made 7 nights ago.
JR also mentions that we haven't seen the last of the nWo tonight as he announces tonight's main events. First, a rematch from WrestleMania X8 as Stone Cold Steve Austin takes on the nWo's Scott Hall!
Then of course after the event's of last week. The European Championship was retired and the return of the United States Heavyweight Championship was announced. A series of qualifying matches followed which brings us tonight.
Raven. Kurt Angle. Edge. All three men former United States Champions. All three will try and reclaim that gold tonight. But only ONE will succeed. As the referee's, officials and Stacy Keibler check on the Dudleyz we go backstage. We see The Undertaker! JR says Big Evil is making his way to the ring and announces that he has been allowed to choose his own opponent tonight to warm up for his title match at Backlash! JR and King speculate who he may choose, and King hopes Undertaker calls out Flair and whoops on him again! With this we take our first commercial break.
When we come back we see the door of the man in charge Ric Flair. Johnathan Coachman is posted right outside the door and says no one has spoken to Mr. Flair all day, but he hopes to get his reactions to Stone Cold's actions last week and what the nWo has already done here tonight. We then go over to Terri Runnels who is chasing down Kane!
Terri: "Kane! Kane! Can I have a word, please?"
Kane stops and turns.
Terri: "Are you heading out to the ring? Are you and your brother The Undertaker going to face each other again tonight?"
Kane: "Look! My brother has been on a 6 month tear in the World Wrestling Federation. Using fear and violence to try and get the resepct he feels he deserves. I've stayed out of his way, I've let him do whatever he wanted. Well last week he put me down, and he beat me down. Fine. But I'm not staying down. I'm gonna beat him here tonight, and after Backlash whether it's him or Stone Cold that walk out as World Heavyweight Champion I want them to know.. I'm coming for them!"
Kane turns and continues his march towards the ring.
We go out to JR and King at ringside. JR questions whether The Undertaker would really want to face his brother Kane again here tonight, but suggests it'd be a slobberknocker of a match! King thinks Kane should learn his place as the runt little brother and show his big brother some respect. Just then, "Rollin" by Limp Bizkit begins to play and out rides The Undertaker. The fans boo The Phenom upon arrival, but he could care less. Undertaker rides his motorcycle down and circles the ring. He parks the bike and leaves his sunglasses on the seat. After entering the ring, he demands a mic.
Undertaker: "Whether you've noticed or not, I'm usually pretty pissed off. But after last week I gotta say. I'm in a pretty damn good mood. Watching Ric Flair lose all control in just one night was entertaining as hell. He thinks he got under my skin by not giving me the World Heavyweight Championship. He thought that putting me in a match with Stone Cold Steve Austin was supposed to be some kind of punishment or payback. Huh. I know I haven't been WWF Champion in a while. But does anyone care to remember who I beat the last time I became champion? Yeah. It was that bald headed, booze stinkin redneck. And in two weeks I'll do it again. And I'll be, the World.. Heavyweight.. Champion."
The fans strongly disagree. They begin shouting "WHAT!?" every time there's a pause in The Undertaker's speech. But Undertaker is unaffected.
Undertaker: "But let's not forget about tonight. Ric Flair is so flustered by everything that happened last week, he couldn't even be bothered to find me an opponent. Instead I have to find my own. No problem. I hear there's someone back there behind a mask that's looking for opportunity here on RAW. You wanna be Champion huh? You think you're ready for The Undertaker? Well tonight's you're lucky night son. You know who you are. You wanna be a hero!? Getcha ass out here. Let's do this."
The Undertaker lets out a snort and tosses the microphone out of the ring. He turns and puts his back into the far corner and faces the stage. The crowd waits in anticipation for Kane to come out and hopefully this time shut his brother up!
STAND BACK! ..
THERE'S A HURRICANE COMIN' THROUGH!
Wait, what? The Hurricane!? The fans let out a groan. Not out of disdain for The Hurricane, but rather for The Undertaker's cowardice! The Hurricane makes his way out to the stage, but as always, the WWF's resident superhero exudes confidence as he approaches the ring. A small grin curls up in the corner of The Undertaker's mouth as his hand picked opponent enters the ring. The Hurricane stands proud in the middle of the ring with both fists on his hip when BAM! Hurricane is kicked right in the jaw with a big boot from The Undertaker. The Hurricane's music comes to a sudden stop and the referee jumps in front of The Undertaker demanding he return to his corner and wait for the match to start. Undertaker does so, the smile on his face a little bigger. The ref checks on Hurricane who has retreated to his corner. The referee asks The Hurricane if he's ready, he even asks if he's really sure, and both times The Hurricane emphatically answers YES! The ref calls for the bell.
JR let's us know we're heading back to commercial break but when we return it'll be for Diva's action! The King is a tad excited.
Before RAW returns we see the RAW Slam of the Week! It briefly recaps Ric Flair's U.S. Title announcement last week, and Edge's victory over the incumbent European Champion William Regal to qualify him for tonight's big title match. Now back from break we go backstage where Terri Runnels is standing by with Edge himself.
Terri: "Edge, last week you scored a huge victory and your steady roll of momentum brings you to Phoenix with a shot to become United States Champion. What are you thinking going into tonight's match?"
Edge: "Ya know Terri, what I'm thinking about right now, is history. Not just the almost 30 year history of the United States Championship itself. But my history with the United States Championship. Like how I was the last man to hold that championship before it was unified with the Intercontinental Championship 5 months ago. I also think about who I beat to win the United States Championship. You remember who that was? I sure do. It was Kurt Angle. One of my opponents tonight. And history.. history is going to repeat itself. Because I'm going to beat Kurt Angle. I'm also going to beat Raven. And I will walk out of RAW tonight with the championship I technically, never lost."
The fans are eating it up. They can tell Edge believes in Edge. And the fans believe in Edge.
Edge: "Tonight I make history and become the WWF United States Champion!"
Terri: "Thank you Edge."
The confident young superstar walks away and we go back out to the ring where Molly Holly is already in the ring. After Lillian announces her, out comes Trish Stratus. The former champion came up short in her attempt to regain the Women's Championship at WrestleMania in her hometown. But that was a Triple Threat match. If she can win tonight, she gets Jazz 1 on 1. Before the match can start though, the Women's Champion makes her way out onto the stage. With the Women's Championship around her shoulder and the undivided attention of both Trish and Molly, Jazz walks down to the announcers table where she joins Ross and Lawler on commentary.
We go backstage where Terri is right outside the Trainer's Room door. She hopes to get an update on The Hurricane when Kane walks up. Before he can enter the room, Terri again asks him for a few words.
Terri: "Kane why did you go out there tonight? Why did you help The Hurricane?"
Kane's breathing hard. He's still obviously worked up from what happened out in the arena.
Kane: "Tonight my brother showed me his true colors. Now we've had our differences in the past, but there's where all that is, in the past. For the last few years we've fought side by side for both pride and championships. But he's changed. He's no longer the "American Bad Ass". He's a coward."
The fans let out an "oooooh" in unison.
Kane: "He was too big of a coward to fight the nWo last week. He was too big of a coward to fight me tonight. And he was too big of a cowards to take his victory like a MAN. If he ever agree's to face me again in that ring.. the monster, will make him a man."
Kane walks away and enters the trainers room, presumably to check on Hurricane. We go back to Coachman who is still waiting outside Ric Flair's door. He again states that NO ONE has spoken to Mr. Flair all night, and how he feels about everything that's happened here tonight is still unknown. Three matches down, and three post match assaults have followed. He hopes to speak with Flair very soon. The camera zooms in on the nameplate on the door, "RIC FLAIR" as we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial in the same place we were when we went to break. With Coachman outside Flair's office. He's seen waiting patiently when William Regal approaches and knocks on the door.
Regal: "Mr. Flair... Mr. Flair I really must have a word!"
Coachman: "Excuse me, William Regal. What is your business tonight with Mr. Flair?"
Regal turns away from the door and looks at Coach with a bit of disgust, as if, "Who are you to talk to me?"
Regal: "My business with Mr. Flair is MY business. When I want you to know something, I'll be bloody damn sure to let you know, but until then bugger off!"
Regal returns to knocking, but is getting no response whatsoever.
Coachman: "Not that it's any of MY business Mr. Regal but.. don't you have a match like, next?"
Regal is in his gear, and looks back at Coach, again with disgust. He looks back at the door then down at the floor for a moment before walking away mumbling to himself. Again we go from Coach to Terri who has another guest. This time, it's Raven.
Terri: "Raven the one time you were United States Champion in WCW.. you held the title for only, one day. Is tonight you opportunity at redemption?"
Raven: "Redemption? Yeah, as if my goal for the last 4 years has been to reclaim the United States title. My goal for the last 4 years, has been to get to the top. I don't care about the United States Championship. You know what I care about? Main eventing RAW. Defeating Edge. Defeating Kurt Angle. That championship is just another stepping stone to the top. I've floated around the WWF for far too long. There are plenty of guys out there who didn't get drafted by either brand. And now they have no job. That's a wake up call. For some reason and I don't care why, Flair drafted me. I'm either gonna make him proud he did so, or make sure he lives to regret it. Either way, I'm done floating around here. Tonight isn't about the return of the United States Championship. It's the rebirth, of Raven. Quote the raven.. nevermore."
Raven extends his arms and stares straight into the camera. We go back out to the arena where William Regal makes his entrance. He stands in the ring only staring out at the crowd as Matt Hardy's music hits the speakers. The fans go bonkers! As always with his girlfriend Lita by his side, Matt Hardy makes his way to the ring.
We come back and see Kurt Angle backstage. The fans instantly boo and jeer the Olympic Gold Medalist. On a nearby monitor he's watching a clip from an episode of RAW late last year. It's when he won the United States Championship. Terri steps into view to see if Kurt has a moment.
Terri: "Excuse me Kurt. Is watching this helping you prepare for your match tonight?"
Angle: "First of all Tori, I'm always prepared. This here, is when America's Hero become America's Champion. And that's what I will be again after tonight. It's what I have to be. You know what happened after I won the U.S. Title? I took down the Alliance by myself and kept the WWF alive!"
Kurt is referring to when he betrayed the Alliance and assited the WWF in winning the Winner Take All match at Surivor Series. Something Kurt and Mr. McMahon revealed as a secret plan all along.
Angle: "Tonight I win the United States Championship, then put the WWF on my back AGAIN when I go become the World Heavyweight Champion! Oh it's true, it's DAMN true!"
Kurt shoo's Terri away and rewinds the clip back to the beginning so he can watch his victory again. But he doesn't get the chance as Mr. Perfect steps into view. Gripping the towel around his neck, Perfect stares at the monitor then up at Kurt as Angle asks just what in the hell he wants.
Perfect: "I just wanna give you some advice Kurt."
Angle: "Advice? YOU wanna give ME.. advice?"
Perfect: "I do."
Angle: "Oh I can't wait to hear this."
Perfect: "You put a lot of pressure on yourself Kurt. Now I know you're no stranger to pressure. I mean, you're an Olympic Gold Medalist. But that was six years ago. And it's been well over a year since you were WWF Champion."
Angle: "What's your damn point Perfect? Where's this, advice?"
Pefect: "You said.. you kept the WWF alive all by yourself. But what have you done since then Kurt? You failed to become the first Undisputed Champion. You lost the Royal Rumble. I remember, I was there. You found a way to steal the title shot for WrestleMania.. but managed to screw that up in less than 24 hours. And ultimately failed to main event WrestleMania for the third year in a row."
Angle: "I don't have time for this.."
Perfect: "Don't choke!"
Perfect: "That's my advice for you. Don't choke. Tonight really is your chance to get back on track. Gold cures all ills. But if you choke out there tonight. If one of those up and comers gets the better of you. I mean, where do you go from there? It's a slippery slope down the mountain Kurt. Don't choke."
Perfect smirks and walks away. Kurt looks pissed! And concerned. He throws the remote to the ground as we go to ringside. The King proclaims Kurt Angle will once again be America's Champion when he wins here tonight. JR and King then start to breakdown the upcoming match. The WrestleMania Rematch between Stone Cold and Scott Hall when they're suddenly interrupted..
All of a sudden here comes the man of the hour, Ric Flair. There's been a dozen questions tonight about not only what he'll do, but where's he's been, perhaps he's ready to answer those questions. Ric Flair enters the ring and motions for a microphone. He waits for his music to die down before he finally speaks.
Flair: "I'm not too proud to admit that last week, things go a little out of hand and I, well I lost control. I knew that was a risk I was taking when I drafted the nWo. I knew when I drafted The Undertaker that he would hate me even more. And I knew, when I drafted Stone Cold Steve Austin that he had a problem with.. authority."
The fans cheer. Maybe they have a problem with authority too.
Flair: "There's been a hundred questions since last week and about a hundred more since we went on the air tonight so I'm gonna make this short and sweet and go down the list. First, the nWo. The nWo and the Dudleyz obviously wanna fight. And I'll be damned if I let that fight tear RAW to the ground. So at Backlash, in a Six-Man tag team match, it will be the entire Dudley family against the nWo! Feel free to tear each other apart then."
The fans love it! JR puts over that a war is heading to Kansas City in two weeks.
Flair: "The Undertaker. Tonight your actions were borderline criminal. Nothing you did from the moment you rode into this arena until the moment you rode out were actions befitting of a World Champion. But you seemed pretty happy that someone left on a stretcher at your hands. Well I KNOW someone who isn't too happy with you at all. The Big Red Machine, Kane. No body fights like family, and next week I'm gonna give your brother a chance to feed you some of your own medicine Undertaker. Because you and Kane will go 1 on 1.. in a Stretcher Match!"
Again the fans show Flair they approve of his decisions with a huge ovation.
Flair: "Finally. Stone Cold Steve Austin. I'd like to address you man to man, so if you would, please.. come on out here."
The fans begin to buzz. Did Flair just call out Stone Cold Steve Austin? Be careful what you ask for.. *Glass Shatters* Out comes Stone Cold Steve Austin to a deafening reception from the live audience. Austin's match is next, so he comes out in full gear ready to fight. But will that fight be BEFORE the match? Austin hits the ring and makes sure to climb all four corners, throwing up the middle fingers each time. He steps down from the last corner and turns right towards Flair.
Flair: "Austin... Austin. Look. I didn't call you out here to fight. I can't fight anymore. I don't fight. I'm a business man now it's no secret. I didn't call you out here to punish you either. But, I did call you out here.. to warn you."
The fans ooooh and aaaawe in anticipation for how Austin might react to a warning.
Flair: "It's not a threat. I just need you to understand, that what you did to me last week. That's not how things work around here anymore. I can't have it. I will be respected on RAW. I have to be. I've never done anything to you Austin. I'm fully aware of your value to this company. I don't wanna change you. I'm not ashamed of you. I wanna strap the rocket to your ass and watch you take RAW to new heights!"
There's a pause. Looks like cooler heads may prevail. Hard to tell if the fans are happy about that though.
Flair: "Do we understand each other?"
Flair extends his hand. Austin just looks at it. Half the fans want him to shake, the other half are begging for another Stunner. But the screen goes grey. The picture starts to riff.. and out comes the nWo. The fans boo as both Austin and Flair turn to face the trio. Scott Hall leads the way as his Nash and X-Pac follow. Less than a month ago these two clashed on the biggest stage of them all, and tonight they go at it one more time. Hall enters the ring. Flair exits the ring, but doesn't leave. He stands near the announcers table as the match gets underway.
JR informs everyone that coming up next, is our main event.
He tells King it's prediction time, but Lawler sticks with his original pick Kurt Angle. Believe it or not, Jim Ross agrees and states as always, Kurt Angle will rise to the occasion. But the only way to find out is to stay tuned. We go to commercial.
RAW April 8th, 2002 (2/2)
April 21st, 2002
Kansas City, Missouri
Kemper Memorial Arena
World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Triple H (C) vs Chris Jericho
Six-Man Tag Team Match
nWo vs Dudleyz
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