The nWo (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) Interrupted Hollywood Hulk Hogan and The Rock
Holy cow, the Montreal crowd went NUTS for Hogan! He received an incredible reaction at WrestleMania 18, but this sounded even louder because it was in a smaller arena. Hogan essentially completed his face turn here by endearing himself to the audience and then by heeding Rock's advice by ripping off his nWo shirt. Rock mocking Kevin Nash and Scott Hall was hilarious and made this drawn-out talking segment worthwhile, in addition to effectively setting up the night's tag team match.
Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam def. Christian
RVD won the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, while Christian failed to win the European Championship from Diamond Dallas Page. He also won and lost the Hardcore Championship that night. So, what exactly did he do to earn a shot at the Intercontinental title? It was a well-wrestled match while it lasted but was too short to be anything out of the ordinary. DDP was seen standing on the stage during the bout, so I guess his storyline with Christian continued for some reason.
Lita def. Trish Stratus
Lita and Stratus had some classic, unforgettable matches throughout their careers, but this was not one of them. Both ladies failed to win the Women's Championship at WrestleMania the night prior. Despite Stratus being from Canada, it didn't seem like the crowd cared much about this and it's not like it was that good, anyway. Ivory and Jazz attacked Stratus and Lita afterward, so at least that painted a clear picture of who'd be involved in the Women's Championship hunt going forward.
Ric Flair Attacked Mr. McMahon
It was announced by Linda McMahon right before this that there would be a draft the next week with Flair and Vince to determine who was going to Raw and who was going to SmackDown as part of the first-ever Brand Extension. Since Vince was put in charge of SmackDown, this segment served as his farewell from Raw. Of course, the Montreal crowd booed him out of the building and showered him with "You screwed Bret!" chants. Both McMahon and Flair played their roles well, but unlike the opening segment, it didn't warrant going as long as it did. They could have made their point about the Brand Extension in half the time.
Edge and Kane def. Kurt Angle and Booker T
Edge beat Booker T at WrestleMania while Angle defeated Kane. Both bouts were solid albeit forgettable. This tag team affair allowed them to further two feuds at once, even though they'd come to an abrupt end the following week due to the Brand Extension. It was another case of a contest not getting the time it deserved and never leaving first gear as a result. For what this was, however, it was enjoyable. Edge pinning Angle for the victory planted the seeds for their rivalry on SmackDown that spring.
Hardcore Champion Maven vs. Al Snow Ended in a No Contest
This was your typical Hardcore Championship clash with Maven and Snow battering the hell out of each other with weapons. Spike Dudley attempted to interfere to become champion, but before a winner could be determined, Brock Lesnar surfaced and laid everyone out in brutal, impressive fashion. This was a hell of a debut for Lesnar and it was smart for him to beat up nobodies because he looked dominant in doing so. Needless to say, it was off to the races for him from here.
WWE Tag Team Champions Billy and Chuck def. The Dudley Boyz by Disqualification
I believe both teams were heel, so the crowd didn't have an incentive to cheer either of them. After already failing to win the tag titles at WrestleMania, The Dudley Boyz did nothing to earn another title opportunity. This only served to set up what happened afterward because the match itself was total throwaway. Stacy Keibler got involved and unintentionally cost The Dudley Boyz the titles, leading to them putting her through a table and ending their alliance with her in the process. The crowd cheered this like the monsters they were.
Stephanie McMahon Interrupted Undisputed WWE Champion Triple H
By this point in the show, I was sick of the lengthy promos, so I wasn't a big fan of this segment. Triple H has always been a better heel than a babyface and that was pretty evident here. The crowd was into his exchange with Stephanie, but it was odd how all the focus was on them and very little on Chris Jericho (the former champ). They set up a 2-on-1 Handicap match for the following week, so there was that.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan and The Rock def. The nWo (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) by Count-Out
This started so close to the end of the episode that I assumed it would be brief. That may have been for the best considering Nash and Hall weren't having instant classics at this stage of their careers, but it didn't make for an epic main event by any means. I would've been fine with it had the finish not been so lame with The nWo getting themselves counted-out and the show immediately going off the air. What a disappointing ending.
The show started out hot with that awesome opening segment, but it lost momentum the longer it went on. This was back when Raw was still two hours long and it still felt like it dragged. There wasn't nearly enough wrestling, but I realize that was a recurring problem for Raw in 2002. It is newsworthy for Lesnar's debut and the announcement of the Brand Extension, but the rest felt like business as usual. At least the crowd was electric all night long and made it feel like a special occasion with it being the post-WrestleMania Raw.
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