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Roger Hayden




RAW - April 8, 2002
United Center
Chicago, Illinois

The show opens with [EARLIER TODAY graphic] Ric Flair making of "State of RAW" address, to all the workers in a conference room somewhere in the building. He puts over that his show will be different than Vince's Smackdown, in that we will emphasize Wrestling over Sports Entertainment. Christian and Jericho snicker throughout the speech and make Beavis and Butthead-like comments. Flair announces that there will be some big changes made in the coming days and weeks. Stacy is notoriously sitting in the front row, taking notes, back in her Miss Hancock apparel, complete with glasses. Flair ends the speech by announcing RAW will have one simple philosophy: "To Be the Man, You have to Beat the Man! Whooo!" The faces all stand and clap. The heels sit quietly. Jericho and Christian roll their eyes.

[new opening to the show, featuring only wrestlers on RAW. The last show is of HHH holding the Unified Titles in the air from WM.]

Match 1: Eddy Guerrero vs. Randy Orton. JR puts over the battle of second generation superstars. Eddy wins with the Brainbuster in about six minutes.

In the back, it's Flair's office, with the Nature Boy, Stacy (taking notes), Tajiri and Torrie Wilson. Flair announces, through mediation, Vince has been given the Hardcore title, while Ric gets the Cruiserweight Title. Flair tells Tajiri to start the new era in the WWFE, the Cruiserweight belt will be retired. Tajiri gets up and starts cursing in Japanese. Flair calms him down and says there will be a new Jr. Heavyweight Title commissioned and the new champion will be crowned at Backlash. As the last champion, Tajiri will get a first-round bye. He seems placated, but still not happy.

After the commercial, JR announces the brackets. We will have the first round matches tonight, the semi-finals next week and the finals, as Flair said at Backlash.

Match 2: Tournament match: Hurricane vs. Crash Holly. Hurricane wins with the vertebreaker in about seven minutes. As he posing in the corner after the match, a masked man runs out of the crowd and punks out Hurricane. He seems to be dressed in a costume similar to Hurricane's, but is primarily yellow instead of green. He strikes a classic akimbo pose, laughs maniacally and runs up the ramp and behind the Titantron. Ross and Lawler are stunned.

Back from the break, Lillian interviews the Hurricane. He says only a dastardly super villain pulls a sneak attack like that, but not to worry, the Hurricane will take care of business.

Match 3: Tournament match: Billy Kidman vs. Rey Misterio. JR goes out of his way to praise Misterio, who Lawler claims to know nothing about. Misterio goes for the Dragoncanrana, but Kidman blocks in and powerbombs Rey. Then comes the shooting star press. Win for Kidman.

After the match, we are in the back, with Jericho and Christian. Both are still snickering, when they are approached by Arn Anderson. He tells them that Flair wants to see Jericho in his office. They snicker and make jokes about being called to the principal's office. Christian says he'll see him after his match with Chavo.

Match 4: Chavo vs. Christian. Christian showboats throughout the match and is stunned when Chavo catches him with a tornado DDT for the upset. After the match, Lance Storm comes out and says all his clowning has gotten him nowhere. It's time to be serious about his profession. They leave together.

In Flair's office, the Nature Boy berates Chris Jericho, telling him acting like a jackass is no way to get his titles back. His reward for his attitude is a match tonight with Kane. Jericho doesn't seem worried at all. On his way out of the office, he bumps into Kurt Angle, who wants a meeting with Flair. He wants HHH at Backlash. Flair tells him that Vince has the right to make the match at Backlash. Angle bemoans being stuck on RAW. Flair tells him to suck it up. To make up for it, he will give him a title match tonight, against William Regal, for the European Title. Angle says "whoop-de-freaking-do" and storms out.

At the top of the hour, it's glass-breaking time. Austin comes out, complains about wanting the title. Out comes HHH. He says, if you manage to be the number one contender next month, he'll be happy to kick his ass at King of the Ring. Austin says he doesn't want to wait til them and wants HHH right now. HHH begs off, saying his contract says he doesn't have to wrestle until the PPV, so why should he? Austin says they'll be hell to pay if he doesn't get a match tonight. Cue the music and out come Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. Heyman says that his man, the former collegiate superstar, is just itching to take on the Big Bad Rattlesnake. Austin agrees and JR goes crazy. Heyman whispers something in Lesnar's ear and they leave, while Austin's music plays.

After the commercial, we see Edge hanging with the Hardys. Edge is trying to cheer up Matt over Lita being on Smackdown. He promises to take out both brothers after the show and they'll have a good time.

Match 5: Jericho vs. Kane. Before the match, Jericho runs down Kane on the mic, calling him Frankenstein and similar insults. The match ends when Jericho tries the flying forearm and Kane catches him for the Choke Slam. After the match, Kane gets on the mic and berates Jericho for being a clown who's too busy trying to be funny to be good. Jericho rolls on the mat as we goto commercial.

Match 6: European Title: Angle vs. Regal. Just as the match is about to start, Flair comes on the Titantron and says there will be a troubleshooting referee, to keep Regal from using the Brass Knuckles: AA. Both Regal and Angle protest. The match ends when Angle reverses the Regal Stretch and puts on the Angle Lock and Regal submits. He never does use the brass knuckles.

After the match, Angle drops the European title on Flair's desk. Here, I don't want this piece of junk. Flair tells him to get the hell out of his office.

IN the locker room, Lesnar works a heavy bag. Heyman chats on the cell phone. JR says he won't be able to do any damage with a phone that small.

Match 7: Austin vs. Lesnar. Lesnar is in the ring. Paul E joins the table for commentary. Lawler complains, as does JR. JR can't believe his is putting this rookie in the ring with the Rattlesnake. Heyman just laughs. Austin's music plays. And plays. Where's Austin, asks JR. Heyman laughs. We go backstage and see a bloody Austin laying on the ground. We pan up and see Kurt Angle, holding a steel chair. Standing behind him are Val Venis, and someone the crowd doesn't recognize (Shelton Benjamin). "JR, King, allow me to introduce to you the New Dangerous Alliance. If there's anyone in the company who knows what that means, it's Steve Austin, who was the centerpiece of the last Dangerous Alliance. Well, it's 2002 and the Rattlesnake is yesterday's news." The camera pulls in close on Angle who says, "It's True. It's True." Fade to Black.

SMACKDOWN -- April 11, 2002
Rupp Arena
Lexington, Kentucky

Match 1: IC Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Test. This goes about seven minutes, with Van Dam winning with the Frog Splash.

Cut to Vince in the back, sitting in his office with Hall, Nash and Waltman. Hall complains about Hogan. Vince says he has a plan. Nash says he's glad to be away from Steve Austin, calling him a bad influence on the locker room (sending the smarks on the net into a tizzy). Vince says to put him out of your mind. You need to worry about the Rock. They all nod.

Match 2: Women's title: Jazz vs. Trish. Jazz wins a quick match with the fisherman buster. Jazz punks her out after the match, with Molly (with new hair) coming down to make the save. After she runs off Jazz, she turns on Trish. She grabs a mic and says "She's going to rid the WWF of all the bleach-blonde, silicon-filled bimbos." Tazz laughs.

IN the back, Al Snow tries to prepare Maven for his Hardcore Title match tonight against Tommy Dreamer. Al explains how Dreamer is a founder of ECW, etc. Maven says he's ready for anything. Snow says good, as that's the key to a hardcore match.

Match 3: Hardcore title: Maven vs Dreamer. A classic ECW-style brawl, using all the old favorites, including the stop sign hidden in a sign. Dreamer wins with the DVD and then continues to pound him after the match. Snow runs in, gives Dreamer the Snow Plow and pins him. Two new champions in about 10 seconds. Al picks up Maven to celebrate, but Maven is annoyed at Snow's interference.

[EARLIER TODAY graphic] In Vince's office, he calls in David Flair. He says that he hates Flair's father and he'll do everything in his power to make his life miserable. He tells him to go out and help them set up the ring. We then see footage of David putting up the ropes and all that stuff. Cole says it's unfair. Tazz says everyone that starts in the business has to do so from the ground up.

Match 4: Dudleys vs. APA. Cole informs us this is for the # 1 contender's slot at Backlash against Billy and Chuck. Acolytes win when Bradshaw hits the Lariat after some miscommunication from the Dudleys. They argue in the ring after the match, when Spike runs in to break up the fight. They all, grudgingly leave together.

Backstage, it's the Rock and he's walking. Commercial.

Top of the hour, and it's the Rock show. He runs down the N.W.O, saying they weren't fit to carry Hogan's bandana. After some more typical Rock stuff, Nash and Hall appear on the ramp. They challenge Rock to a match tonight. He says Hogan isn't here tonight (small boos from crowd), but he'll find a partner.

During the commercial, we see the Rock talking to someone behind a door, thanking them for being his partner tonight. Cole and Tazz speculate.

Match 5: Booker vs. Big Show. Big Show comes out in a nappy wig and gloves. He tries to do the Spinaroonie in the ring, but Booker jumps him. A slow blow behind the ref's back leads to the Harlem Hangover and a victory for the T man.

In the back, Lita is on the phone talking to Matt Hardy, when she's approached by Rico. He tries to hit on her, but she insinuated that she thought he played for the other team. Eventually, she slaps him and he grabs her by the hair, saying something threatening and throws her down. He walks off laughing.

Meanwhile, Vince talks with the Bossman, who he names as his "director of security." IN walks Hennig, who says he didn't come back to the WWF to just sit around in the back. Vince says if he feels that way, go to the ring and he'll have a match after the break.

Match 6: Hennig vs. DDP. Hennig gets squashed. DDP offers to help him get his career back on track. They leave together.

In the back, we see the N.W.O. getting ready. Then we cut to the Rock's dressing room door with Cole and Tazz still wondering who's back there.

Match 7: Hall/Waltman vs. Rock/??? - The heels come out first, with Nash in street clothes. Out comes the Rock. HE stands on the ramp. The music stops. Out walks HHH. The crowd goes crazy. The heels work over Rock. HHH eventually makes the hot tag. Brawl in the ring. Rock on floor with Hall and Nash. HHH pins Waltman with the Pedigree. On the floor, Rock throws Nash into the ringpost (to explain Nash's bicep injury). Rock chases Hall to the back.

In the ring, HHH poses. Music Stops. Out come Vince and Bossman. Vince says he's prepared to name HHH's opponent for Backlash. HHH starts laughing and says if it's the Bossman, Vince must not care about buyrates anymore. Bossman gets pissed, but Vince holds him back. Vince says no, your opponent will be ... The Undertaker. Hit the Music, out walks the Dead Man. They have a stare-down as we fade to black.

Roger Hayden

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