Monday Night Raw
Date: February 10, 2003
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re officially in the Evolution Era and less than two weeks away from No Way Out, meaning Scott Steiner vs. HHH II. Why we’re doing that is anyone’s guess but I would assume a lot of liquor was involved. There isn’t much else set on the Raw side but we’ll likely remedy that tonight. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Curt Hennig. That’s an especially sad one.
We get a long recap of the Bischoff Needs to Fix Raw angle, which seems to be culminating tonight because WWE can’t count to thirty.
Here’s a nervous looking Bischoff to open things up. Eric hasn’t heard from Steve Austin about No Way Out and that means he might be in trouble. Vince McMahon is on his way here tonight and there’s a good chance that he’s going to get fired. Eric starts sucking up to the fans and then demands their support. The old villains never learn.
Until Vince gets here, Eric is going to do whatever he wants to do and he’s going to start with the commentary team. Jim Ross seems to have almost guaranteed that Austin will be back but now it’s not happening. Eric thinks JR could do more and blames him for Austin not signing. JR suggests that Austin just hates Eric for firing him from WCW (there’s a reference that not many people will get) so Eric fires him.
During the break, a limo arrived with Eric waiting outside, only to find Evolution instead of Vince.
Since Lawler is on his own, he plugs his book in something that fits Lawler so perfectly.
Christian vs. Test
Test takes him down and rams his head into the mat a few times as Lawler tries to figure out how to do JR’s job. Christian snaps Test’s neck across the ropes as Jonathan Coachman comes out to join commentary. The pumphandle slam is countered into a reverse DDT for two on Test as Lawler is instantly better with someone to talk to. Test misses the big boot but hits the full nelson slam for the pin.
Rating: D. The story is helping Test a bit but that doesn’t make his matches any better. At least it’s not the same unfunny Testicles jokes over and over again, which were much more stupid than anything else. I can’t imagine they’ll put Test over Jericho in the eventual blowoff match but at least he’s getting a win here.
Christian takes Test out post match but Jeff Hardy of all people comes in to save Stacy.
JR tries to get in touch with Austin.
We recap Booker T. and Goldust splitting last week in a rushed yet emotional moment. Then Evolution electrocuted Goldust later in the night because reasons. On a well run show, this would lead to Booker/Goldust vs. Evolution but they don’t seem smart enough to pull that off at the moment.
Booker T. vs. D’Lo Brown
Yeah they’re not that smart. Booker dedicates this to Goldust but Brown and Teddy Long cut him off. Teddy says Goldust is another white man holding the man down and suggests a team with D’Lo. Booker opts to chop and punch away in the corner instead until Brown leg lariats him down. The side kick (clearly not making contact) sets up the ax kick to give Booker the easy win.
Jericho asks for a match with Jeff Hardy.
Jazz vs. Molly Holly
Molly goes right after her and has as much luck as you would expect with Jazz easily taking her down into a cross between the Muta Lock and Cattle Mutilation. Rolling butterfly suplexes get two on Molly as Lawler tries to figure out JR’s job status. A half crab cuts off Molly’s comeback and the STF puts her away without too much effort.
Rating: C. I’m not a big Jazz fan but she beat the heck out of Molly here and made it look awesome. Sometimes you need someone tough and awesome who can beat the heck out of various opponents. The problem is the division isn’t exactly deep right now and Jazz is probably already the #1 contender after winning one match. Not that she’s not undeserving of it but I could go with dedicating more time to set things up.
Jazz gives her the double chickenwing faceplant and the STF.
Steve calls JR. Fink comes up and asks what’s going on but that was Steve from Oklahoma, not Austin.
Kane/Rob Van Dam vs. 3 Minute Warning
Van Dam starts with Jamal and is quickly shoved off the top and onto the barricade in a big crash. Rosey gets in some clubbing forearms but heel miscommunication allows the hot tag to Kane. House is quickly cleaned and Rolling Thunder gets two on Rosey. A chokeslam into the Five Star puts Jamal away.
Rating: D. Just a step above a squash here as 3 Minute Warning somehow gets even less interesting and valuable every single week. I really don’t know why they’re even still on Raw other than filling in time. Kane and Van Dam are working as the oddball team and it gives them something to do, which in a way is a lot more important than having good matches.
Vince arrives and wants to know why JR is in the parking lot.
Here’s Vince in the ring for the big speech of the week. He wastes no time in calling down Bischoff and Chief Morely. Coach: “It’s been a long thirty days.” Actually it’s been a short 21 days. Starting with Morely, he hasn’t met any of the goals that Vince has set for him. He’s not getting fired immediately though, because he has a chance to keep his job. All he has to do is win a match against all three Dudley Boyz.
Morely goes to get ready so Vince asks if Bischoff has signed Austin, which apparently became the saving grace move off camera. Vince says Eric would have saved his job if he had signed Austin but Bischoff pleads his case. By that he means bringing out lesbians for HLA. But wait, because these aren’t just regular lesbians but rather bisexual lesbians. Since that’s one heck of an oxymoron, Vince fires him anyway. Vince even leads the Goodbye Song on the way out and throws in the maniacal strut.
William Regal and Lance Storm suck up to Vince after a break and he announces a new GM being hired tonight.
Chief Morely vs. Dudley Boyz
The trio wastes no time in starting the beating with a double flapjack and overhand chops in the corner. There’s a Samoan drop before the trio just stomps him down in the middle. A whip sends Morely into the steps and they bounce off his head for good measure. The Dudley Dog and 3D finally end the massacre.
Rating: D. It’s pretty unfair to rate this but obviously this was more about the angle than the “match”. This is all it needed to be though as the Dudleyz have been screwed over by Morely and Bischoff for weeks now and it’s time for them to get something back. They kept it quick though and this accomplished its goal. Morely deserves some credit here too as he sold everything really well.
Morely goes through a table for good measure.
Bischoff offers JR a handshake but he tells Eric to go clean out his desk.
Batista vs. Tommy Dreamer
Batista Bomb and we’re done in 22 seconds.
Booker T. comes in for the post match save but Scott Steiner makes the real save.
Jeff Hardy nods at Shawn Michaels but says nothing.
Stacy has a new idea for Test: some personal appearances with GGW. Yes, that would be Girls Gone Wild.
Bischoff is packing up his office (as he does every week) but the Dudleyz come in to sing the Goodbye Song again.
Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff’s headlock doesn’t get him anywhere so Jericho forearms him in the face to take over. Hardy gets tossed over the top but Jericho misses a dive for a crash on the floor. Jeff sends him into the steps but gets crotched on the way back inside. A backbreaker keeps Jeff in trouble and Jericho bends the back over his knee to make things even worse.
Jeff’s comeback is cut off by a clothesline and we hit the chinlock with a knee in the back as the crowd is really not interested so far. Back up and Jericho goes shoulder first into the post, though his leg is fine enough for an enziguri to take over again. The Walls go on but are quickly broken with Jeff taking him down in a hurry. The Swanton gets two with Jericho getting his foot on the ropes. Jericho has had enough now and grabs the Walls for the tap, which Jeff has to do three different times before the referee stops the match.
Rating: C. Jeff is on another planet at this point and it’s becoming clear that he’s not getting much better anytime soon. I have no idea what happened with the heel turn from last week but he’s about as much of a face as you can be this time around. Jericho was doing what he could here but that was only going to get him so far.
Evolution is on the way to the strip to celebrate but Vince cuts them off, saying the new GM is about to be announced. Next week, it’s going to HHH/Batista vs. Booker T./Scott Steiner.
Here’s Vince to announce the new GM. Jim Ross comes out but Vince says it’s not him. Bischoff comes out behind JR, who says Austin WILL BE at No Way Out. That means JR is reinstated…..and so is Bischoff, assuming he’s will to join Vince’s signature Club (complete with Vince making it do tricks). Eric says no way so Vince puts him in a match with Austin at No Way Out to end the show. Somehow everything from the announcement of the club to the end of the show took nearly eight minutes.
Overall Rating: D. The wrestling wasn’t all that great but even worse than that is the whole Bischoff junk. Ignoring the fact that they apparently can’t count to thirty, there’s the fact that this story has been little more than “Sorry fans, but your rattlesnake is on another show.” Raw has become a mess as of late, though at least this week didn’t focus on Steiner, who has been shifted to more of a glorified afterthought role. That’s better for everyone, though it still doesn’t make for a good show.
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