WWE RAW - 7/15/02

It's a new day! Welcome to the first installment of Wrestling Wednesday at bumwinebob.com! As a special treat for all of you readers each week we will be having a special Wrestling Wednesday post from either myself or some guest bloggers highlighting some classic events in wrestling history. These could be PPV or TV show reviews, top event lists, or just commentary about the business in general. If you are interested in being part of the team and writing a special guest post, let me know!

We are now boarding the wayback bum wine machine and heading to July of 2002 for WWE Monday Night RAW!

The date is July 15, 2002 and I am getting ready to head to the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey for WWE RAW! I am pumped as this is the first WWE event I am attending live despite having been a fan for almost ten years at this point. Luckily I have a high quality disposable camera with me so I can document this momentous occasion! I have been told that my friend scored us some good tickets for the show and we should be close to ringside since he has a good "connection" at the arena.

I guess he thought lower section meant ringside?
Before heading out I still had to put the finishing touches on my sign that I thought would definitely make it on TV! RAW IS BOB! Come on! That HAS to make it on the Titan Tron, right?

Was I talking to you on AIM that day?
I wear my classic nWo shirt to the arena even though Kevin Nash tore his quad the week prior, but it's still the nWo, brother! We get to the arena and ask the parking attendant if this is the lot for WCW Monday Nitro. He did not find it funny. After we walk in I get suckered into purchasing an RVD shirt right away from the merchandise stand. $30 a shirt? Luckily I still have it and it was a fine investment!

As we are walking through the corridor we do manage to get a nice HUSS! HUSS! HUSS! chant going for The Berzerker. We make our way to our seats and are ready for some WWE RAW!

Now this is the first time in probably ten years or so that I have watched this episode since I converted my VHS copy to DVD, but thanks to the wonders of the WWE Network I can now watch this episode anytime anywhere for only $9.99 a month! Let's not waste anymore time and hit that play button!

Raw 477! Here we go!
ATTITUDE! ENTERTAINMENT! WWE! Raw kicks off with Paul Heyman in The Undertakers locker room to setup tonight's main event of Taker/Lesnar vs Flair and RVD. Heyman hopes Taker retains the title at Vengeance so Brock can face Taker at SummerSlam.

RAW intro with The Union Underground. What ever happened to those guys? I can't find my sign in the crowd. Bastards!

These don't look like ringside seats to me.
JR and the King welcomes us to the show! Big MAIN event tonight! The nWo music hits...but wait that's not the nWo...that's Mr. McMahon! Vince thanks the crowd for the warm New Jersey welcome. He thinks we wanted to hear the nWo music one last time as there is no more nWo and they are now history. Way to go Nash! Vince is looking around the arena as the crowd starts to call him an asshole! He announces that it's time for RAW to be reborn again! It's time to shake things up! There will be a new general manager for RAW named here tonight!

Terri Runnels is in the back with the former co-owner of the company, Ric Flair. He has no idea who the new GM will be. Anyone other than a McMahon will have their work cut out for them. Is that a hint?

Here comes European champion Jeff Hardy in his day glow paint as we get ready for a 6 man elimination tag. Jeff is teaming with Bubba Ray and Spike Dudley to take on William Regal, Eddie Guerrero, and some Chris Benoit guy. Regal, Benoit, and Guerrero pick up the win due to the use of some brass knuckles and other shenanigans.

The Coach is standing outside Mr. McMahon's locker room to try to get the inside scoop. Could the new GM be Mick Foley? Could it be Mr. McMahon's brother from Texas? Paul Heyman shows up and wants to be the new GM, but the new GM has already arrived! Vince says to send him in! Wait a second...that's Shane McMahon! He's not the new GM! Shane doesn't want Vince to make a BIG mistake with his decision.

Tommy Dreamer and RVD are having a chat in the locker room when Stevie Richards challenges Dreamer to a Singapore cane match TONIGHT! You whip out your stick and I'll whip out mine!

The innovator of violence!
Here comes Tommy Dreamer! It's time to whip our your big stick! Why is everyone wearing big pants? I guess those were still in thing in 2002. Stevie busts Dreamer wide open, but Dreamer picks up the win by shattering the Singapore cane over Stevie Richards head! JR says it was a Jason Giambi shot!

Booker T is warming up in the back before his match with Big Show tonight when Coach interrupts him to ask him about who he thinks the new GM will be. Booker wants Coach to do a spinaroonie and Coach responds with one sorry excuse for a spinaroonie. WAIT A SECOND! That's Eric Bischoff walking over and saying hello to his old friend Booker T! Tell him we didn't just see that!

Vince is ready for his big announcement.
Vince makes his way back out onto the ramp to introduce us to the new GM of Monday Night RAW! The new GM of RAW is ERIC BISCHOFF! (Thanks for spoiling the announcement by showing him in the back a minute earlier, WWE.) Vince and Eric embrace with a big hug on top of the stage. Bischoff has dyed his hair black so you know he means business! JR and King are not happy about this announcement as Bischoff tells the fans that he used to run WCW, and not that watered down version that "invaded" the WWE a year prior. I think I might see myself in the crowd...nope...that was just some random dude. Bischoff believes that if he was able to seal Triple H away from the WWE, WCW would still in business today. He will be at Vengeance this Sunday to sign Triple H away from SmackDown!

The Undertaker and Bradshaw are having a chat when Bischoff interrupts to tell Taker that if he needs anything just call him.

Pure Stratusfaction!
Trish Stratus is in the house and challenging Molly Holly for the WWE women's championship! Molly Holly has her feet on the ropes as she pins Trish for the win!

Bischoff runs into Ric Flair in the back and wants to leave their history behind them and start over now that they are both in the WWE. Surprised isn't the word Flair was thinking of when he found out Bischoff was the new GM. So what was the word, Ric?

It's the 5x WCW Champion!
Can you dig it SUCKA???? Booker T is ready to take on the Big Show. The Big Show really looked like a mess at this point. Booker T wants revenge on the nWo, but the nWo no longer exists. Big Show puts a beating on Booker T with a steel chair, but he isn't finished yet! Big Show choke slams Booker T right through the announce table!

Brock Lesnar is warming up in the back with Paul Heyman as he gets ready for the big main event tonight!

Christopher Nowiniski is here and he's the only Harvard graduate in WWE history! He is taking on Bradshaw for the Hardcore championship. Hey, Billy Kidman and Torrie are going to be at Ozzfest this weekend! Here comes Bradshaw with his own custom Texas hardcore championship belt. Nowinski is trying to back out of the match and will lay down and allow Bradshaw to get the win, but it's a swerve! Nowinski tries to roll up Bradshaw and the match is on! Trash can to the head as they head to the backstage area! Wait a second! That's Johnny The Bull Stamboli! He cracks Bradshaw over the head with a pipe for the win and we have a new hardcore champion! 24/7 rule!

Big Show visits Bischoff and wants Booker T at Vengeance in a NO DQ match! Bischoff is not paying any attention to the show he is now running as he is sitting in the back watching the Triple H DVD. Johnny Stamboli walks in and thanks Bischoff for the opportunity, but Bradshaw barges in with the clothesline from hell to take back the hardcore title!

The beast!
This is the summer of the next big thing! Here comes Lesnar as we get ready for the main event!

Dead man walking!
Big Evil! Booger Red! He's the Undisputed WWE Champion, The Undertaker!

Here come their opponents! Woooooo! It's the Nature Boy!

One Of A Kind! I was too busy trying to get my RVD for President sign on the air that I was unable to get a picture of Rob Van Dam as he made his way to the ring for his entrance. Sadly I did not make it on TV.

This match has a big fight feel according to JR! All hell has broken loose! Mass confusion! Cats and dogs living together! Taker hits the last ride on RVD to pick up the win! Wait a second! Lesnar assaults Taker from behind and hits the F5! Brock wants the undisputed championship! Business has picked up tonight on RAW!

We head to the back as Bischoff takes out his flip phone and is calling The Rock! He feels that RAW needs The Rock! Bischoff will head to Smackdown this Thursday to sign The Rock! Can he do that!?! See you this Thursday night on SmackDown!

This was a historic edition of RAW for being the first time that Eric Bischoff made his way on WWE television, but other than that it left much to be desired. The brand extension was only a few months in at this point and Stone Cold had walked out on the company a month earlier. The main event was good and it was the first interaction between The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. We all know the story between those two and it would go on to become one of the biggest feuds in WWE history. A good time was had by all and the night concluded with a trip to a classic New Jersey diner! You can't go wrong with that! I would once again make my way back to the Continental Airlines Arena for SummerSlam 2007, but that's another story for another day!

Be sure to check back next week for another installment of Wrestling Wednesday at bumwinebob.com!

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