Monday Night Raw – February 3, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 3, 2003
Location: MCI Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s always cool to have a show from my birthday. We’re coming up on No Way Out and that means HHH needs a challenger for the World Title. That will be set up tonight as Scott Steiner faces Chris Jericho in a #1 contenders match. Given that Steiner won at the Royal Rumble and JR immediately talked about there being NO WAY OUT, this shouldn’t be too complicated. Let’s get to it.

Eric Bischoff is in his limo in San Antonio to sign Steve Austin. Chief Morley is in charge tonight but they can’t hear each other. I have no idea if this was supposed to be funny but egads we’re in trouble if that’s what passes for comedy. This was aired properly on the Network version but the Spanish audio bled over and drowned Bischoff out in the original broadcast.

Opening sequence.

Here are Stacy Keibler and Test, the former of whom is back from nearly being hit in the head by a chair. She says being hit was just an accident but she needs to be more careful. An apology from Chris Jericho would have made things better but Test wants Jericho out here right now.

This brings out Jericho to say he has more important things to worry about tonight. Test, showing the best acting skills of his career, says Jericho has five seconds to apologize or he’s coming up the ramp. The time passes but Christian comes in from behind to shove Test into Stacy. Test gets back up and beats the heck out of Christian before tending to Stacy.

Rob Van Dam and Kane nearly get into an argument over Kane leaving Van Dam last week. Kane goes into a rant about how Van Dam doesn’t know what it’s like to be him. Van Dam: “So all your power is in your mask?” Morley comes in and makes a match between the two of them for later.

Test and Stacy leave.

Dudley Boyz vs. 3 Minute Warning

Hang on as Morley makes Rico guest referee. The Samoan Bucks hit double superkicks to start but Rosey misses a split legged moonsault. The Doomsday Device drops Jamal for the slow two so they loads up 3D on Rosey. Not that it matters as Jamal grabs a rollup for the fastest count in recorded history and the pin.

With Spike’s help, Rico gets put through a table.

Bischoff is trying to find Austin but doesn’t have his address. He does however have a dumb limo driver who says he’ll get Bischoff to Austin’s house if he has the right address.

Back from a break with a countdown clock to Bischoff getting fired as they’ve entirely given up on the 30 days thing. They would have known that 30 days were up on a Wednesday so why not just say four weeks? Is a calendar too complicated of an idea?

Tommy Dreamer comes out for a match but HHH and company come out to destroy him instead. HHH says everything evolves and calls this group the greatest example of evolution in wrestling history. He brags about how awesome the whole team is and declares himself the one true diamond in the business. After introducing Batista, he describes Orton as the diamond. He really can’t go three minutes without using the same terms to describe someone? They hammer in the evolution name again and wrap things up. Evolution is a good enough name and “Evolution has just passed you by” was a pretty solid catchphrase.

Steiner is ready to deal with Evolution the only way he knows how. Riddling them with math problems?

Evolution is in a private box.

Bischoff goes to a house and finds….someone named Buford, who tells him that Austin is at a bar in nearby Bandera. Somehow this takes three minutes.

Victoria vs. Molly Holly

Non-title. Victoria goes for a full nelson to start but gets shouldered down without too much effort. The spinning side slam gives Victoria two but Molly slips out of the Widow’s Peak. Molly can’t hit the handspring elbow so the second attempt at the Widow’s Peak puts her away in a hurry. Not bad while it lasted actually.

Post match Jazz comes in to take Molly out. Victoria gets in Jazz’s face and Richards is shoved away but nothing happens.

Goldust tells Booker that if they don’t win the Tag Team Titles back tonight, Booker needs to go his own way because the team is holding them back. Booker is all fired up to win the titles.

Tag Team Titles: Booker T./Goldust vs. William Regal/Lance Storm

Regal and Storm are defending. Goldust and Storm get things going and the drop down into the right hand puts Lance down. Booker comes in to stay on the arm as the announcers talk about the bar Bischoff is heading for. It’s off to Regal who eats a forearm and kick to the face for two, followed by Goldust armdragging Storm down again.

Regal forearms Goldust in the back though and the evil champions take over. We hit the cravate to slow down an already slow match but Goldust fights up and cleans house on his own. The powerslam gets two as everything breaks down. Storm shoves Goldust into Booker though and a leg lariat gives Storm the clean pin to retain.

Rating: D. Goldust and Booker might be an entertaining team but they’ve gone ice cold in recent weeks. It doesn’t help when Goldust is losing in less than six minutes to a standard leg lariat. It’s clear that the team is done at this point, save for a long form story to build them back up. The match wasn’t very good but at least Booker doesn’t lose any face at the end of the match.

Booker tells Goldust he has nothing to feel sorry about and agrees to go their separate ways. They hug and raise hands, despite the team really not needing to split up so soon.

Bischoff goes into the bar and gets laughed out of the room for ordering a martini. Naturally Austin has come and gone already, heading for another bar down the street. Given that, as of 2010, Bandera had a population of 827, I can’t imagine that’s a very long street so this shouldn’t take the 15-20 minutes that it’s likely going to take. I also can’t imagine why a place with a smaller population than my neighborhood needs at least two bars.

Rob Van Dam vs. Kane

Kane clotheslines him during the finger poke for two and it’s an early standoff. A spinning kick drops Kane but it’s way too early for Rolling Thunder. Instead it’s a no hands dive over the top to put them both down on the floor. Back in and Kane grabs a side slam for two but the chokeslam is broken up by a kick to the head. Now is the right time for Rolling Thunder with Kane sitting up and kicking Rob in the face. The top rope clothesline knocks Van Dam silly but it’s just goldbricking so he can fire off more kicks. Not that they matter as here’s Jeff Hardy to go after Rob for the DQ.

Rating: D+. They didn’t have time to go anywhere (a common theme tonight) and the ending was awful. Kane vs. Van Dam could be a good match/feud if they’re given more than four minutes and something more of a story. They seemed to have some chemistry out there for a little while but Jeff coming in was a really lame idea.

Jeff gets demolished with the usual.

Booker can’t find Goldust. Did Booker stop off for a taco and fish plate when they both left the arena earlier?

Post break, Jeff is still out in the ring when Shawn Michaels joins him. Since Chris Jericho already has something going on, Shawn is going to give Jeff some free advice. Jeff is frustrated and angry at the world. Shawn has been there before, like fifteen years ago (it was just over eleven) when he put Marty Jannetty through the barbershop window. Hardy is at the point where he needs to make a decision.

Shawn wants to know who Jeff Hardy is. Jeff needs to find out in a hurry, which doesn’t seem to please him. Hardy promises to start taking people out, starting with Shawn. One Sweet Chin Music later and Jeff is out again. I have no idea how this is supposed to help Jeff and I don’t think WWE does either.

Sean O’Haire doesn’t think you should pay taxes.

Maven vs. D’Lo Brown

Feeling out process to start with Brown getting headlocked to the mat. Brown fights up for a bit but gets sent hard into the corner, allowing Maven to come back with the kind of offense you would expect from someone of his ability level. When your high spots are a dropkick and a backslide, you might not be ready for Raw. D’Lo avoids a missile dropkick and finishes with the Sky High.

Rating: D-. If they think this is the way to elevate Brown, they’re better off with having Jeff Hardy take three finishers over two segments. The match was exactly what you would have expected here and that’s not a good sign, especially with how boring a lot of this show has been so far.

Long tries to get a DOWN WITH THE BROWN chant going and gets…..nothing, with JR pointing that out for us.

HHH sends Orton and Batista to deal with Steiner.

Bischoff goes into another bar, doesn’t find Austin, gets insulted by a redneck and hits said redneck with a beer glass. Eric gives up trying to find Austin, making this whole thing completely pointless.

Orton and Batista find Goldust (Why couldn’t Booker find him earlier?) and after making fun of him, beat him into the arena and toss him into electrical equipment. Goldust is electrocuted and we get the serious voices as he does a stretcher job.

Scott Steiner vs. Chris Jericho

Winner gets HHH at No Way Out. Jericho hides to start (probably his best idea) and gets one off an early rollup. They take turns hammering away in the corner with Steiner firing off the chops. A clothesline into the push-up elbow gets two but Chris grabs the referee to block an early belly to belly. They head outside with Steiner going into the steps (Steiner: “OW!”) and Jericho cranks on both arms back inside.

Something like a powerslam drops Jericho though and there’s the first belly to belly. A powerbomb gets two (with Steiner nearly dropping him) and Jericho rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for the same. The Walls don’t last long (well duh) so Jericho snaps him throat first across the top. Steiner catches him on the top though and a super Samoan drop sends Steiner to the pay per view.

Rating: D. The match could have been much worse had Steiner been on offense any more than he was. This was as much of Jericho doing his thing and trying to hold things together as he could and that was their best option. They were also smart to keep this especially short as Steiner has proven to be untrustworthy in longer matches as of late. That being said, WHY IN THE WORLD ARE WE SEEING HHH VS. STEINER AGAIN????? How could anyone watch that mess and then expect it to be anything good the second time around? I know I say this company makes no sense but egads this is a really bad idea.

Vince comes in to see Morely and says if he’s not impressed next week, Bischoff and Morely are fired.

Overall Rating: F. Between the horrible matches, the completely unnecessary splitting up of Goldust and Booker T., the wasting of any good feeling from the split for the sake of electrocuting Goldust and Hardy looking like a goof, I have no idea what positives happened on this show. The midcard is a disaster and we’re looking at more HHH vs. Steiner, leaving me with one heck of a headache as we officially move into the Evolution era.

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