Monday Night Raw
Date: June 16, 2003
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re past Bad Blood and thank goodness for that. Hopefully it means we’re done with Kevin Nash as a main event star though stranger things have happened. Since Smackdown will have its own brand exclusive show in September, we’re on the road to Summerslam in just over two months. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Mick Foley (who promised to go back to his boring life after last night) to open things up and, shockingly enough, he’s carrying a book. Foley thanks the fans for their support and talks about returning to his normal life on June 16, which happens to be today. However, he wanted one more chance to be inside a WWE ring, though he’ll be here next week in Madison Square Garden as well. We hit the cheap plug for Tietam Brown (which I have on my bookshelf) before Foley talks about putting the Mandible Claw on HHH last night.
That made him remember who he is….but here’s Evolution, now with music (albeit not their best known song). Orton calls Foley a loser and puts over his teammates’ accomplishments from last night. As for tonight though, it’s time for Evolution to find a fourth member and Foley could be up for that spot. Foley isn’t interested in being a Four Horseman wannabe and hanging out with a sixteen year old with no idea what to do with all this testosterone. He rips into Orton for all those injuries so early in his career because he’s never shown the heart that you need to be a star in this business.
Orton says these people are here to see him because he doesn’t have to do things the way Foley did. Randy shows off the physique but Foley tells him to take his best shot. Foley gets physical for a bit but the numbers eventually get the better of him. Of all people, Maven and Al Snow run in for the save. Thankfully I don’t think this is setting up a six man tag but it was a heck of a segment with Foley selling emotion and planting some seeds for a match with Orton later on.
Eric Bischoff yells at Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young, threatening to knock the latter’s dentures out. Mae is going to have a match tonight as punishment for the pie incident last night.
Gail Kim is coming.
Dudley Boyz/Ivory vs. Rodney Mack/Jazz/Christopher Nowinski
The good ones clear the ring to start with Bubba throwing Ivory over the top onto Jazz. Bubba has to fight out of the corner but an elbow hits Nowinski’s mask and Mack takes over. The Bubba Bomb cuts Nowinski off though and everything breaks down in a hurry. Jazz gets shoved down and there’s a double flapjack to Nowinski. Ivory goes up top to play D-Von in What’s Up and Nowinski eats 3D. A rollup gives Ivory another pin on Jazz.
Rating: D+. How many times does Ivory get to pin Jazz before we get Jazz beating her in the title match because even WWE isn’t stupid enough to put the title on Ivory? I really could go for getting that over with and getting on to some fresh talent. Gail Kim would help a lot, assuming they don’t just add her to the rotating cast of uninteresting characters.
You can vote on who will be added to Evolution. Test is an option.
Kane and Rob Van Dam have a rematch for the Tag Team Titles but Kane isn’t thrilled. See, it was Rob’s fault last week so if they lose tonight, they’re done as a team.
Music video on Bad Blood.
Foley, Maven and Snow (in a Hurricane shirt) are annoyed at Evolution. Maven has Orton tonight and Foley will be out there with him.
Evolution is watching the next match to scout talent.
Garrison Cade vs. Lance Storm
What did I do to deserve this? Also, they couldn’t call him, I don’t know, George Cade? Or ANYTHING but Garrison? Maybe Mackey Cade? Before the match, Austin comes out and says BORING over and over while laying down on the stage with a pillow and blanket. He’s tried watching the grass grow and watched the paint dry but maybe this could put him to sleep. The camera stays on Austin as he hammers away, only to get dropkicked by Cade. Austin leads the BORING chants and Lance comes back with a leg lariat for two.
We hit an armbar as Austin is starting to snore. He’s having a dream where Storm is wrestling….which means it’s a nightmare. Now he’s waking up and he realizes it’s not a dream. He says everyone is asleep and the distraction lets Cade grab a rollup for the fast pin. Someone is going to have to explain this Austin making fun of/ripping on the wrestlers thing to me as we had Kane a few weeks back and now this. How does this help anyone? I mean, Austin doesn’t exactly get anything out of it either but it’s twice now that he’s treated another wrestler like garbage. It’s not like they have the talent to spare at the moment either.
Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Goldberg/Booker T.
Booker goes after the Canadians before Goldberg comes out but thankfully he doesn’t waste time with the full entrance. I’d have gotten a good laugh if he had though but thankfully sanity prevailed. Jericho is sent outside in a heap and we take a break before the bell. We’re joined in progress with Jericho bailing out to avoid the legal Goldberg. A thumb to Goldberg’s eye slows him down but he’s right back with a neckbreaker.
Goldberg clotheslines both of them as this is basically dominance whenever Goldberg is in. Booker comes in for a kick to the face and some chops against the ropes. Some cheap shots from the apron has Booker in trouble though as Evolution’s scouting continues. Things slow down with a chinlock but the twisting rollup out of the corner gets….countered into a failed Walls attempt. Booker kicks him away and makes the tag to Goldberg, which really doesn’t get much of a reaction.
A very delayed gorilla press powerslam gets the fans back but Christian breaks it up at two. Christian saves Jericho from the spear so it’s back to Booker as everything seems ready to break down but doesn’t quite get there. Instead Booker has to dropkick Christian out of the air, only to get caught with the Lionsault. Now the spear connects, only to bang up Goldberg’s bad shoulder. Christian brings in the Intercontinental Title, which Booker takes away and uses to knock him cold for the pin.
Rating: B-. Nice main event style tag match here, which was a lot more than I was expecting. Goldberg looked like a killing machine here and Booker looked fine, though it’s not the best use of your Intercontinental Champion. Would it have been the worst thing in the world to have Jericho lose here? Or to have Goldberg do what the fans want to see him do and just break a few people? Good match though.
Long recap of the pie eating segment from last night.
Mae Young vs. Test
An angry Bischoff is out for ring announcing. And no match of course as Austin comes out to make Scott Steiner guest referee (JR: “FINALLY SOME FAIRNESS HERE!” No JR, no that’s still not fairness.), only to have Test give Mae a pumphandle slam before Steiner can come out to even things up. I still never need to see the pie thing again and Moolah/Mae being used for anything other than bad comedy would be in the same category.
Rico is in the back for his match and now he’s even more over the top, with moisturizer and sparkle glitter (his words) along with Miss Jackie (Gayda), which is quite the upgrade as I was always a fan.
After that debut (complete with “IT’S RAINING RICO!”), let’s look at Mae being destroyed again.
Austin wants to see Van Dam and Kane.
Rico vs. Spike Dudley
Rico takes him down with a few kicks and a neckbreaker gets two. Some stomps in the corner have Spike in more trouble as the announcers talk about anything other than this new gimmick. We hit a seated full nelson to keep Spike in trouble, followed by a middle rope ax handle for more of the same. The BORING chants begin (Who could have guessed that would have caught on from earlier?) as JR and King try to figure out if Rico and Jackie are dating. Spike is put on top but bites Rico’s head, setting up a double stomp to the ribs. Jackie offers a distraction though and Rico finishes with a spinning kick.
Rating: D-. Yeah this isn’t the biggest surprise but this gimmick is dead in the water. It’s WWE’s version of being funny when Rico has the potential to be a heck of a star on his own. But instead we’ll go with the stupid jokes because that’s what got Rico over so hard in the first place. Bad match and a bad sign for Rico as well.
Austin yells at Van Dam and Kane, saying DO IT FOR AMERICA.
Maven vs. Randy Orton
Foley and Flair are at ringside. Orton easily takes him down to start as JR thinks Randy could be a star with a slight attitude adjustment. That’s more accurate than he could have known. Maven gets in a dropkick to put Orton on the floor but the hanging DDT gives Orton two. A hard whip into the corner has Maven in more trouble and a northern lights suplex gets two.
Maven fights out of a chinlock as Lawler accuses Foley of ripping him off for some illustrations in a book. JR completely ignores that to talk about Van Dam and Kane, making me think there’s a coverup. Orton’s dropkick gets two but Maven avoids a charge in the corner. A middle rope bulldog gives Maven two as Foley gives Flair Mr. Socko. Maven gets two more off a high crossbody but the RKO (so weird to have it get no reaction) puts him away.
Rating: D. Not terrible and better than the boss yelling about a match being boring but there’s a reason that Maven wasn’t around very often. It’s understandable when you consider he was only a few years into the business at this point but he never really got much better. You can see Orton’s potential shining here though and a lot of his signature stuff is starting to pick up.
Foley tries to start a post match fight but the villains run.
Test, Jericho and Kane win the fan vote about who will be in Evolution.
Tag Team Titles: La Resistance vs. Kane/Rob Van Dam
La Resistance is defending after winning the titles last night. Kane throws Rene Dupree around to start and choke drops Sylvan Grenier for a bonus. The champs are sent outside and Rob hits a running dive (which seemed like it was supposed to include a flip) to take them both down again.
Back from a break with Van Dam in trouble and Rene grabbing a chinlock. JR stays on his rants against France, including the classic “if you don’t like America, get out”. Grenier comes in for a bow and arrow hold until Rob fights up for the hot tag off to Kane. The top rope clothesline misses though, which Lawler thinks is impressive. Kane chokes Grenier in the air for a top rope kick to the face in a spot that was cooler than I thought it would have been.
Things settle back down with Van Dam scoring two off a dropkick. Rene is back in with a Death Valley Driver but now the top rope clothesline connects. A thumb to the eye cuts Kane off though and the double spinebuster plants him on the floor. Back in and the double spinebuster is countered with a double DDT (didn’t look good and wasn’t clear until the champs stayed down) for two. Rob goes up but gets shoved onto Kane, who chairs Rene in the head for the DQ.
Rating: D+. Not terrible but WAY too long as it felt like it should have ended five minutes earlier. Kane snapping again is interesting, though I could have gone for more of Kane and Van Dam as a team. At least we have some new champs who have proven they can beat the old champs, though it’s still not the most thrilling stuff in the world.
Post match Kane destroys La Resistance with chair shots and a chokeslam….so here’s HHH. The champ says he respects Kane, unlike Van Dam. Right here tonight, HHH is offering Kane a spot in Evolution. As HHH gives his sales pitch, here’s Austin to interrupt. HHH and Austin bicker a bit until Austin gives Kane a title shot next week in Madison Square Garden. This brings out Bischoff to say if Kane loses, he loses the mask. Kane chokeslams HHH to accept the match.
Overall Rating: D. You know it really is amazing how much easier this was to sit through without having to deal with Kevin Nash. Kane isn’t a great opponent but at least he can move around and the fans might buy him as a threat to win the title. Unfortunately there’s not much else to cheer for on this show, save for the good tag match in the middle. When you have Austin yelling about how boring Storm is, you can only get the show so far. Evolution is starting to have some potential though, which is a good sign as it’s likely going to be the biggest story on the show for a very long time.
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