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PostSubject: 2002 Discussion   Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:18 pm

Discuss Raw in 2002.
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:39 am

Eddie Guerrero v Rob Van Dam - RAW, 5/27/02
- This is their ladder match. I've seen this quite a few times, but when I watched it again today I was pretty blown away. A ladder in a wrestling ring is really a pretty stupid concept, and there's only been a few ladder matches where the fact it's a ladder match plays into the feud/storyline and not just an excuse for them to have a ladder match and do cool stuff. This wasn't a feud where a ladder match was required, but Eddie fucking UNDERSTANDS how to work a "smart" ladder match like a king, and moves right up there with Hall, Michaels, Benoit and Jericho as one of the 5 that do. He's in there with the king of spot-fu, but as long as Eddie can keep him tight, Van Dam's crazy offence is fine in this environment. Actually, if Van Dam's long-term selling was good he'd be a perfect opponent for Eddie, as opposed to being just a really good one. Because while he blows off limb selling after about 30 seconds, he's more than willing to bump like a lunatic and run head, neck, ribs, shoulder, back and stomach-first straight into ladders. Eddie going after the leg would've been a great piece to add to the story, but Van Dam just doesn't sell it, so Eddie moves on and takes a different route, because he's SMART AND STUFF. Some of the spots in this are really pretty great, yet they're spaced out and worked into the match in a logical - or as logical as they can be considering there's a fucking LADDER in a wrestling ring - way, similar to the Michaels/Ramon, Jericho/Benoit dynamic and not the Hardys/Dudleys/E&C spot-spot-spot dynamic (which I'm not even knocking, btw). I mentioned Van Dam's willingness to bump like a freak, and he takes a fair few good ones in this. The first ladder spot of the match is actually one of the nastiest looking as Eddie whips Rob into a standing ladder and Van Dam really eats one of the rungs with his forehead. Screwball. He actually hits it so hard that it breaks the thing. Then there's the sunset flip powerbomb spot, which is almost cliche nowadays, but it really was a terrific spot. The way Eddie just floats over Van Dam before DRIVING him into the mat is a thing of pure, unadultarated beauty. Again, Van Dam eats it like a trooper, and there's a great visual when you see it from the "Wiley Coyote" cam with Rob laying splattered on the canvas, spread out like a paraplegic starfish. The finish is quite clearly botched, but there was about a 10% chance Van Dam would be able to stand on top of that ladder without it collapsing due to all the damage it took, and the ad-libbed finish deflates the crowd somewhat, but I can't criticise them too much for it at all. Crazy shit goes wrong sometimes. After all, that's why it's high risk, right? Oh yeah, this was the originally aired version on the Eddie set (Goodhelmet's, not WWE's), so the bald dude running into the ring and tipping over the ladder when Eddie was climbing it was shown in full. Hilarious stuff. Eddie's initial reaction seems to be to get ready to fight, but the dude from the crowd just kinda dances in front of him before a referee (think it might've been Hebnar, in which case - GO, EARL!) tries to wrestle him to the ground. Of course, Eddie socks him anyway, but the moron's lucky he didn't get worse. Imagine he tried to upturn a ladder with someone like Angle on it? Kurt literally would've ripped his head off and shit down his neck, and if anybody tried to stop them he'd burn their house down and fuck their better half. Funny old thing, this pro-wrestling. I'm going out on a limb and saying this is a lock for my top 100... but that may - and probably will - change
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:39 am

Eddie Guerrero v The Rock - RAW, 7/22/02
- I'm not gonna nominate this since I'd probably be the only one to bother voting for it, and even then it's only got a shot at being 90-100 fodder. But it's a blast regardless. A lengthy Rock/Eddie feud is something I wish happened, because the 10 minute match we get here is a really nifty little sprint with a hot crowd. The interactions before the match between them are great, too. Eddie talks about how he's got the best mullet in the world and how he's better looking than Rock, so Rock says that judging by Eddie's face and hair, "it looks like Billy Ray Cyrus went ahead and had sex with a retarded hyena". Eddie counters a Rock Bottom into arm drag straight into a roll up in this, which blew my fragile little mind and had me leaning on rewind like a motherfucker. Seeing Rock bust out arm drags that would make Ricky Steamboat weep tears of sweet joy would blow Cal's fragile little mind as well. I'm guessing the whole aura of Dwayne "The Great" Johnson and Eddie "Motherfucking" Guerrero in the same ring mesmerizes me to the point where they could've had a thumb war for 10 minutes and I would've dug it, so you might want to take such pimpage with a grain of salt, but really, I can't imagine somebody watching this and not being at least mildly entertained. God, I miss both these guys.
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:35 am

Steve Austin Vs Kurt Angle - Raw January 28th 2002
This match is for a title shot at NWO against Jericho, and only lasts about 10 minutes, but it felt a lot longer (in a VERY good way) when I was watching it. Both guys have fantastic chemistry, going all the way back to their first match in 2000 on Raw I believe, and its in this match too. Andy mentioned yesterday or the day before that Rey might be Angle's best opponent ever, but you know what? I'd say Austin is WAY better than Rey when it comes to being Angle's best opponent. They have had quite a few matches over the space of just 2 years, mainly on TV (and 3 one on one matches on PPV), and every single one of them is at the very least good (though I need to re-watch their Vengeance 01 match again), and they have had a few classics as well (something Rey was never able to do with Angle). Anyways, great match for sure, and they did a hell of a lot with the time they got. Angle wasn't going suplex crazy, and when he did hit a suplex he usually went straight for the cover, so they weren't as meaningless to the match as they would become in a couple of years time. Austin brawled for the most part, even though he could get down and wrestle with Angle if he wanted, as we had seen it before. Crowd were red hot, chanting things like "You Suck WHAT?!" at Angle when he was in control, which I find funny every time (unlike just WHAT?! on its own...), and going bananas when Austin was punching and slapping the shit out of Angle on the turnbuckle. Austin gets so pissed of with Angle that he goes for a chair, ad Angle grabs the referee to protect him like a giant pussy. Austin looks determined to hit Angle, so Angle finally says fuck it, and begs Austin to hit him, knowing he will win the title shot by DQ! Austin is too smart for this though, and while Angle is begging to get hit, Austin throws the chair down and levels Angle with a right hand instead! Finish comes with an Ankle Lock (first and only attempt at it too I believe), where Austin gets to the ropes but Angle thinks he has won. While Angle is distracted, Austin recovers and Stuns the fuck out of him, getting the 3. Like I said, the seemed to do a whole lot in such a short amount of time, which is a big factor in why I really liked this match. Angle wasn't suplex crazy yet, all the moves felt like they had meaning, and Austin was still coming off his incredible 2001 so he was fantastic all the way through too.

Rating: ****
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:36 am

RVD Vs HBK - Raw 25th November 2002
Less than 10 minutes to work, and a screwy HHH finish. On paper they don't have much to work with, and in practice... well they don't too that great either. Its not a bad match, I mean, how could it? HBK is HBK, and RVD in 2002 was an extremely hard worker and had a number of great opponents to make his matches more than just MOVES~!. So it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Just... decent. Very basic start, which is the theme for the match. Both guys exchange basic holds, before RVD gains the advantage with some of his high flying offence. HBK regains control when he uses his veteran instincts to counter one of RVD's moves, and he begins to work over the knee of RVD. Some decent leg work, but it doesn't last very long due to the shortness of the match. RVD makes a comeback, and for the first time in the match goes after the back of Shawn, which allows RVD to keep the champ down long enough for a 5 Star Frog Splash! He goes for a cover, and HHH appears out of nowhere and pedigrees him, then attacks Shawn. Shame it got the small amount of time it did, because this probably could have been a good TV match if given the chance, even with the HHH ending. Despite this being Shawn's first title defence for his first title win in 5 years, and his first match on Raw in 5 years, its as basic as basic gets.

Rating: **
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:43 am

RVD Vs Eddie Guerrero - Raw 10th June 2002
Awesome, an RVD/Eddie match I haven't seen since it aired, and forgot it ever happened . Loved their other matches in 02, with the worst of them being Judgment Day at ***1/2 . After watching this match though, JD is still the worst . This is a KOTR qualifier, and arguably more important then the IC belt that they had been feuding over. Eddie's style goes with RVD's better than probably anyone's (including Benoit and Lynn), and this match proves it once again. Eddie is able to make RVD slow down a bit in terms of hitting overly stupid high flying moves, so when RVD does go for them towards the end of the match, they have way more meaning. Small mark out moment for a mini-5 star frog splash from the apron to the floor . Ending looked to be botched (by the ref, counting to 3 too early lol), but that doesn't take anything away from the match. ***3/4 for this one, making their 4 matches look like this in the ratings:

***1/2 (JD)
***3/4 (RAW KOTR Qualifier)
**** (Backlash)
****1/4 (Raw Ladder)
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:17 am

The Undertaker Vs RVD - Raw 20th May 2002
It was the night after JD where 'Taker won the Undisputed Title from Hogan, and while it seemed RVD was starting off the show with a match, The Undertaker came from behind and destroyed RVD, busting him open, and then cut a promo about how he should open Raw because is the champ blah blah blah won't go into details on the promo lol. While he is cutting the promo though, RVD keeps trying to get back in the ring, only to be beaten down again, until he finally gains a second wind and takes the fight to the new champion, landing a 5 Star Frog Splash! The Undertaker goes into Flair's office and demands a match with RVD tonight, and Flair grants it, but also makes it for the title! The match begins, and RVD is still pissed at what 'Taker did to him, so he dives over the ropes before the bell, and they fight on the outside. They get back in the ring and brawl for a while, with both guys going back and forth before The Undertaker finds an opening thanks to a big right hand, and busts RVD open again in the same place. RVD makes a come back towards the end of the match, countering a chokeslam with a kick to the face (looked and sounded awesome), then followed it up with a ton of RVD style offence. Rolling Thunder to 'Taker, the cover... the 3 count! RVD has won the Undisputed Title! Except The Undertaker's foot was on the ropes, and Flair comes down to restart the match. RVD attacks Flair, 'Taker attacks RVD, hits the Last Ride, and wins the match in the middle of the ring. Its only a short match, around 10 minutes, but its pretty awesome. RVD does a great job of getting sympathy from the crowd when he is busted open again, and 'Taker sells RVD's offence tremendously. False finish got a great pop, and even though RVD never technically won the title, and eventually lost the match, it did make him look more credible than ever.

Rating: ***1/4 sounds about right.
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PostSubject: Re: 2002 Discussion   Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:15 am

Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy - Ladder Match - WWE RAW 7/1/2002
Easily Jeff Hardy's best performance and possibly best match. He gets some great sympathy from the crowd by flopping around El Generico style. The spots aren't all that extreme when compared to other gimmick matches at the time, but it's the well executed yet simple and cliche narrative is where the match really shines. Take that and add all the post-match stuff and you are looking at a ****1/4 rating.
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