Monday Night Raw
Date: May 12, 2003
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the final Raw before Judgment Day and the big matches are Goldberg vs. Christian inside a cage and Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Nash. Both of these matches are Steve Austin’s ideas, which makes me think that Austin might want to stick to the being retired thing as he’s not the best match maker in the world. Let’s get to it.
Austin’s picture now appears after Bischoff’s in a funny visual.
Christian is inside the cage to start things off, saying that this match doesn’t need to be taking place. No one wants to see the new People’s Champ get battered and bruised. On top of that, he has an important photo shoot tomorrow and shouldn’t come in all banged up. This brings out Austin to say there’s nothing like the feeling of a good old steel cage. Goldberg isn’t even here yet and the match is still on.
Christian saw Austin in the back earlier and was told he was on first. It was actually a different finger and Austin repeats it here. Christian thinks Austin might be jealous of Christian being friends with the Rock because it was Rock who beat Austin at Wrestlemania. We get Austin’s new “I’m trying very hard not to lose my patience” line which isn’t working for him as a new catchphrase.
Instead, he threatens to take Christian out of the Intercontinental Title battle royal but Rob Van Dam interrupts. Rob is going to be in the battle royal but Christian thinks Rob should fight Goldberg instead. That’s not cool with Austin so Christian asks the fans for a CHRISTIAN RULES chant. Austin: “That silence means you suck.” He’s not cool with his material being ripped off and threatens a Stunner as well.
This brings out Kane to enter as well, though Rob threatens to eliminate him to win the title. Austin likes the tension and thinks the way to cure it is another beer bash. Now it’s Bischoff coming out to interrupt because there won’t be a beer bash tonight. Instead he has some challenges for Van Dam and Kane’s Tag Team Titles.
Tag Team Titles: Rob Van Dam/Kane vs. Legion of Doom
As a huge Legion of Doom fan, I remember this one rather fondly. Animal kicks Rob into the corner to start but gets monkey flipped for his efforts. Hawk comes in and gets kicked in the face, only to come back with a hard clothesline. Another kick allows the hot tag to Kane as house is cleaned in a hurry. The top rope clothesline drops Hawk and Rolling Thunder connects as well. Animal makes the save and loads up the Doomsday Device but Rob ducks the clothesline. A chokeslam into the Five Star puts Hawk away.
Rating: D. This was…short. The Legion of Doom were a nice surprise and it’s nice to see the champs get a rub from them but it’s kind of sad to see them losing in a nothing match. At least the fans reacted to them, though that’s going to be the case with any older wrestler in Philadelphia.
Victoria and Steven Richards threaten to take away Trish’s looks in their hardcore match tonight.
We get the short version of last week’s way too long brawl between HHH and Kevin Nash.
Chris Jericho and HHH insult Philadelphia sports teams and discuss torn quadriceps. HHH says Jericho skyrocketed to the top of the wrestling world because he tore HHH’s quad. I really don’t know how to respond to that. Anyway HHH wants Jericho to injure Nash tonight.
Goldberg arrives in a long black limo. That’s so out of character for him. Someone tries to run him over but only hits the door.
Teddy Long tries to talk Austin into giving Rodney Mack a spot in the battle royal. You need a man of color in there. Austin agrees and gives Booker T. the spot instead.
Rodney Mack vs. Ken Phoenix/Mike Phoenix
This is a DOUBLE White Boy Challenge. Ken is better known as Kenny Dykstra/Doane (17 years old here) and Mike is his real life brother. Mack throws them around to start and plants Mike with an STO. A cobra clutch knocks Ken out but Mack throws him down before the match is stopped. The second cobra clutch on Mike is good for the quick tap.
Bischoff has no comment on the Goldberg incident but runs into Freddie Blassie of all people. Freddie is here to plug his new book and calls Bischoff a rather rude name. Rico comes in to ask if Bischoff has any ideas to fix 3 Minute Warning. Bischoff has an idea and sends Rico off. He tells Blassie to meet him inside for something he has in mind. Blassie: “What are you going to do? Hang yourself?”
Austin comes up to a livid Goldberg and asks what’s up. He knows what it’s like to be hit by a car and asks if Goldberg saw the driver. Goldberg didn’t but he’ll take it out on Christian.
Blassie comes out but Bischoff cuts off the big introduction and sends Mrs. Blassie to the back. Eric plugs the book and asks Blassie how old he is. Freddie says 23 but Bischoff thinks Blassie has about three more minutes. Bischoff wheels him to the ring where Rico and the Samoans are waiting. This brings out Austin to say one of his new big ideas is to unsuspend the Dudleys.
Dudley Boyz vs. 3 Minute Warning
The bell rings which would suggest a match but there’s no referee so that doesn’t seem to mean anything. 3 Minute Warning is quickly dispatched and Freddie says get the tables. One 3D through a table to Rico later and beer is consumed. That feels like them just bailing out on a story that wasn’t working and I’m perfectly fine with that.
Christian vs. Goldberg
Inside a cage and Christian brings a chair for protection. It turns out to be the same chair that Rock used to beat Goldberg down a few weeks back. Christian throws the chair at him which goes as well as you would expect. The beating is on in a hurry as Goldberg slowly starts taking him apart. Some chair shots get Christian out of trouble but he can’t get over the top just yet.
Christian misses a spear of his own and he bounces off the cage so Goldberg can slowly walk around some more. One heck of a cut has blood flowing down Christian’s head and a powerslam makes things even worse for him. The spear and Jackhammer end Christian without too much effort.
Rating: D+. Christian’s cut looked good and Goldberg was more like himself than usual here but it wasn’t even seven minutes long and there was no reason for this to be a cage match. It’s not a bad match or anything but Goldberg is just nothing in WWE at this point and this didn’t make it any better.
Flair sucks up to Austin and reminds him that HHH runs Raw. Austin isn’t convinced so here’s Hurricane to sing Kevin Nash’s praises. Ric yells but Austin tells him to shut up. Let’s have a match right now, starting in the back.
Ric Flair vs. Hurricane
You know Flair isn’t going to wait to sucker punch Hurricane and the fight is on in a hurry. They slug it out for a few seconds before heading into the arena with Hurricane being knocked over the announcers’ table. The fight heads to the ring and Flair’s pants come down because that’s always funny (allegedly). A backdrop and a high crossbody give Hurricane two and there’s a chokeslam for good measure. Hurricane adds a strut and the Shining Wizard for a close two. Flair gets in the chop block though and a Figure Four puts Hurricane away.
Rating: D+. I could have gone without Flair’s pants going down but the match was pretty much exactly what you would expect. I’m not sure what the point is in having Hurricane, in gear, losing clean to Flair in street clothes but they’ve done dumber things as of late. It’s hard to get annoyed at Flair winning though as it’s hardly an important match.
Post match HHH has to come in and make Flair break the hold, followed by a Pedigree to Hurricane.
Scott Steiner/Test/Goldust vs. La Resistance/Christopher Nowinski
Before the match, the French guys rip on America for being war mongers and claim Nowinski is the exception to the rule. The brawl is on in the aisle until it’s Test hammering on Grenier in the corner. Goldust comes in for an atomic drop and a powerslam before handing it off to Steiner. The pushup elbow wakes the crowd up a bit and it’s back to Test, who gets beaten down in short order. Nowinski grabs the armbar for a few seconds before it’s back to Steiner as everything breaks down. Goldust cleans house and it’s the reverse DDT to end Nowinski.
Rating: D. In a word, this story sucks. Test and Steiner aren’t interesting as a team and La Resistance is as simple of an evil foreigner team as you can find. It doesn’t help that you can pretty much guarantee that the French guys are going to be Tag Team Champions soon enough, just for the sake of pushing the anti-Iraq War stuff a little while longer.
We run down the pay per view card. This looks really bad.
Jericho doesn’t think much of Goldberg but on Sunday, he’ll become Intercontinental Champion again. Tonight though, he’ll take care of Kevin Nash.
Trish Stratus vs. Victoria
Hardcore match in Philadelphia so here’s Tommy Dreamer to cancel out Steven Richards. Trish forearms away to start and goes to the weapons but has to sunset flip her way out of trouble instead. Victoria finds a cookie sheet and they mess up a spot where Trish tries to kick it into her face. That’s fine as they just pop up and do it again, making things look even worse the second time. Victoria is right back with the spinning side slam but Trish Matrixes away from a trashcan lid shot.
The Chick Kick knocks the lid into Victoria’s face but she comes back with a leather strap for whipping and choking. Naturally, JR talks about bondage magazines. Victoria chokes her in the corner but gets taken down by a hurricanrana. The guys get in fight on the floor, leaving Trish to score with a kendo stick shot, followed by Stratusfaction for the pin.
Rating: D. Nothing to see here as usual, but that’s the case with most of the women from this stretch. We’ve seen them all fight so many times, including these two in the same kind of a match about six months ago. They need some fresh blood in the worst way as we’ve just covered everything that could possibly be done. It also doesn’t help that they were missing a lot of their spots, making this more sloppy than memorable.
Kevin Nash vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho tries to jump him to start but gets swatted away by Nash’s cat-like reflexes. A right hand to the head drops Jericho so Chris starts going after the leg (which HHH totally inspired of course). Jericho charges into an elbow and gets kneed out to the floor as I’m still trying to figure out why I’m supposed to care about Nash. A chop block cuts Nash down as you can’t fault Jericho’s logic.
The leg is wrapped around the post but Nash gets in a side slam as this match is killing the crowd in a hurry. As in there was just no reaction to one of his biggest moves (and it’s not like he has many others to pick from). Jericho is right back with the bulldog and a Lionsault for two. There’s the big boot but HHH and Flair come in for the DQ, though the bell doesn’t actually ring.
Rating: D-. Just for that non-reaction to the side slam alone. The fans are absolutely not caring about Nash but that’s never stopped them from going in a certain direction before. Jericho was trying here and the leg stuff was fine but there’s not much you can do whtn the fans don’t care in the slightest.
Shawn Michaels runs down to help and the good guys clean house with Shawn counting pins to end the show.
Overall Rating: D-. The Legion of Doom were a nice surprise to start things off and it’s just all downhill from there. I can’t think of a single positive thing about this show and the whole show is just uninteresting and bad. I’m really not sure I can make it that much simpler: it’s not good wrestling and the stories are even worse. Anything interesting would be an upgrade at this point as I just need something to hold onto with these shows. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
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