Monday Night Raw
Date: September 15, 2003
Location: Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, South Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for Unforgiven and just like Summerslam, that can’t come early enough. The shows haven’t exactly been thrilling as of late and I don’t see that getting any better tonight. At the moment, the problem comes down to the show having almost every direction wrong, which doesn’t bode well as we head towards the pay per view. Let’s get to it.
HHH is walking through the back and runs into Eric Bischoff. Since tonight is Goldberg’s last night on Raw, HHH wants to throw him a going away party. Bischoff agrees, but wants to know what HHH is going to do when Goldberg shows up. HHH’s advice: keep watching. Do we have to?
Chris Jericho and Christian are in the ring, carrying anti-Steve Austin signs. He needs to be FIRED, especially due to the attack on Jericho last week. Fair point actually. Austin is a Stone Cold joke and the joke is on the two of them. Christian wants to know why he was off Summerslam and why he’s off Unforgiven. Again, fair point. Is there a reason why we’re not seeing Christian defend the title on back to back pay per views? Maybe the Canadians are on to something here.
They try to start a STONE COLD MUST GO chant but here’s Austin to interrupt. Austin wants to know what’s up with this attempt to stop the show. He brings up Jericho slapping him on the back, which insulted Steve’s manhood and hurt his feelings. That wasn’t going to fly and Austin retaliated. Austin wants to give them a beating but that stupid rule is holding him back.
This brings him to Christian, who WILL be defending the title at Unforgiven. Instead of announcing an opponent, Austin dares one of them to provoke him. Jericho gets in Austin’s face but tells Christian to get him. Since no violence is happening at the moment, Jericho is going to have a match right now. We’ll make that a #1 contenders match for the Intercontinental Title shot on Sunday.
Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam
From a one sided loss in a long cage match to a #1 contenders match. I’m certainly following the logic. Rob starts in with the kicks and dives onto both Canadians as we take an early break. Back with Rob still in control but Christian shoves him off the top. That earns Christian a stern lecture as Jericho whips Rob into the steps.
After a chinlock that doesn’t last very long, Rob dropkicks Jericho out of the air and scores with a spinwheel kick to the face. Rolling Thunder lands on Jericho’s face and a slingshot legdrop hits it again. That’s not how you treat a sexy rock star. An attempt at the Walls is countered into a small package for two as the fans are rather behind Van Dan here.
Jericho has better luck with the sleeper drop before ducking a kick, meaning it’s time for a ref bump. The Lionsault hits knees but the Five Star does as well. Christian tries to come in but hits Jericho with the belt by mistake (ignore Jericho being three feet behind Van Dam). Instead Christian hits Rob with the belt as well, drawing the DQ.
Rating: C-. The ending hurts this one a good bit and that doesn’t surprise me. I’ve never been a fan of a champion trying to break up a #1 contenders match with the stupid, illogical thinking of the non-ending (which should be an ending, but won’t because WWE) means no match. I know wrestling heels aren’t that bright, but you would think this would connect at some point.
Post match Austin says not quite, because neither guy winning (How did one of them not win??? The referee didn’t see Jericho get hit so Rob should win. If we’re supposed to believe that the referee did see it, then Jericho should win. Either way, this ending doesn’t add up but it gets us to the next match, which is all that matters.) doesn’t get Christian out of his defense. Therefore, it’s a triple threat match for the title at Unforgiven.
Great Moment in Goldberg History: beating Hogan for the WCW World Title.
Spike Dudley vs. Rob Conway
Spike is in a big neck brace after last week’s horrible looking botch….and loses to a neckbreaker in less than thirty seconds while the Dudleys and La Resistance fight on the floor. Well you can’t fault Conway’s thinking.
Post match, Conway powerbombs Spike through a table. The Dudleys make a late save.
Bischoff is in the back with Al Snow and Jonathan Coachman, asking if that’s the kind of violence they can expect on Sunday. A backstage worker (again Taylor from Tough Enough) brings Bischoff a note, saying there are two half naked women in his office. You should be able to guess what’s coming from here.
Post break, Bischoff finds Moolah and Mae Young in his office. Moolah is here to celebrate her 80th birthday and wants to have a match in her hometown. It turns out that Austin sent the letter and Mae kisses Bischoff. Austin: “I think she likes you!”
Victoria vs. Fabulous Moolah
Mae offers a distraction and Moolah wins with a rollup in thirty seconds. Quite the use of the go home show time.
Post match Victoria jumps both of them so here’s Randy Orton for the save. However, she’s a legend and he’s a legend killer so it’s an RKO for Moolah. I’m so glad they had Victoria lose for this. Orton laying Moolah out is a great way to get heel heat, but have him do it to interrupt an interview or a birthday celebration or something.
Great Moment in Goldberg history: hitting the Giant with the Jackhammer. Considering this is closer to a regular suplex, I’m more impressed by Curt Hennig giving Giant a PerfectPlex.
Lance Storm/Goldust vs. Rodney Mack/Mark Henry
Storm now has a rap theme and dances on the stage. Mack and Storm get things going with Lance working the arm. A dropkick gives Storm two but Henry gets in a shot from the apron to take over. Mark comes in and knocks Storm into the corner for the hot tag. Goldust slugs away…and gets caught in the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin in less than two minutes. We sat through a month of building Storm and Goldust as a comedy act for this in their debut. For the sake of Mack and Henry?
Evolution is planning the celebration but Orton says he has to take care of something. After running into Maven and saying nothing, Shawn Michaels pops up. Orton thinks they have a lot in common. Shawn uses people as stepping stones, which is what Orton is going to use Shawn for on Sunday. Michaels slaps him in the face and tells Randy to step hard.
Earlier today, Hurricane gives Rosey flying lessons but Rosey calls a cab instead. Terri came out of the building and talked to Molly Holly and Gail Kim, who don’t think Trish Stratus will have a partner tonight.
Here’s Bischoff, in rather casual clothes, including an un-tucked brown shirt and a hat, to oversee the contract signing between Kane and Shane McMahon. He explains the idea of a Last Man Standing match and says these two aren’t just signing contracts, but also releases. Kane is out first and signs before Shane shows up. Now it’s Shane coming out and OF COURSE he has something to say. He promises that if he’s going down, Kane is going down with him.
Shane likes the stipulation on Sunday and signs the contract so Kane turns the table over. The fight is on with Shane hitting him low four times in a row and cracking Kane with a few chair shots. With Kane down, Shane pulls a cover off a special announcers’ table (well good thing that was there) for the big elbow. Remember: Shane can do this while Rob Van Dam, #1 contender to the Intercontinental Title, got squashed last week.
Great Moment in Goldberg History: beating the Rock at Backlash. That’s not a great moment in any history.
Trish Stratus vs. Gail Kim/Molly Holly
No holds barred. Trish dropkicks them down at the same time and gets in a double neck snap across the top rope. Since it’s no holds barred, Gail heads to the apron while Trish hits a kick in the corner and the Stratusphere for no cover. Gail comes back with a slam and middle rope legdrop for two, followed by Molly’s handspring elbow. Trish fights out of a weak chinlock and scores with a spinebuster. That’s about it though as Gail sends her hard into the corner, setting up the Molly Go Round for the pin.
Rating: D. This was either the lamest no holds barred match ever or Lilian Garcia screwed up and announced the wrong stipulation. The feud continues to be pretty uninteresting but at least it now has a point. That’s far more than you usually get in these stories and when Trish actually gets a good partner, things will get even better.
Post match the beating continues until Lita makes her big return for the save. Lita plants them both, stops to take her top off, and then gives Molly a Twist of Fate.
Post break, Gail and Molly yell at Bischoff about what happened. Austin comes in to explain that he rehired Lita (holy continuity for once) and makes a tag match for Sunday.
Here are Coach and Al Snow doing a JR and King impression because THIS IS HOW WE SELL PAY PER VIEWS IN 2003! They’ll be doing commentary at the table Shane destroyed, which actually had equipment included (even down to the Raw Magazine). And yes, they’re sitting at the broken table because that needed to be broken before this happens.
Val Venis vs. Test
Val blows a kiss to Stacy Keibler so Test jumps him as Snow and Coach are doing commentary on their own. Test stops to yell at Stacy and gets decked from behind, including a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. The Money Shot is broken up as Test kicks the referee into the ropes (not a DQ of course), setting up the pumphandle slam. That’s only good for two as Stacy makes a save, meaning it’s time for a chase. Cue Scott Steiner for a distraction, causing Test to crotch himself. Stacy bounces the ropes a bit (with her skirt flying WAY up), allowing Val to hit a half nelson slam for the fast pin.
Post match Steiner cleans house until Test pulls Stacy out (sending the skirt up again).
Lawler comes to the ring and wants to face Snow right now. Well after a break that is.
Great Moment in Goldberg History: the Elimination Chamber. They have to hammer that one in one more time before he wins on Sunday don’t they?
Jerry Lawler vs. Al Snow
Snow is in street clothes. Coach joins JR on commentary, doing a JR impression in the process. Snow headlocks him down to start as the announcers bicker a lot. Lawler is right back with a DDT as JR yells at Coach for not knowing holds. A belly to back suplex takes King down as Coach talks about fans wanting a commentator in a white hat. Back up and Lawler grabs a rollup for the fast pin.
Coach decks JR, who rants about the EVIL announcers after a break.
We look back at Shane and Kane earlier.
Pay per view rundown.
Evolution is heading to the ring for the farewell party when they run into Austin. On Sunday, if HHH gets disqualified, he loses the title. Therefore, they’re staying back here tonight while HHH goes to the ring on his own.
Here’s HHH to the ring, which contains an easel and something wrapped up. HHH tries to get a Goldberg chant and you can see fans leaving. The fans better chant while they can because after tonight, Goldberg is off Raw. HHH says the party is on and we’ve got balloons. He’s been watching all night long and noticed that he’s beaten all these same guys as Goldberg, but he’s beaten Goldberg too. HHH is the greatest champion alive today…and his microphone goes out.
We can hear him talking but the arena can’t, meaning the longest string of HELLO HELLO HELLO in wrestling history. He finally gets a working microphone and gets right back on track. HHH: “I wasn’t aware that Goldberg made microphones.” This brings HHH to the present, which is a picture of Evolution beating Goldberg down in a cage last week. We see a clip of last weeks beatdown until a bandaged Goldberg pops up on screen. He says he’ll win the title, comes to the ring to press HHH into a powerslam, and poses to end the show. This was really boring as HHH went on forever without saying much of anything, as only he can.
Overall Rating: D-. And so much for me wanting to see Unforgiven. It’s the same usual nonsense: focusing on a bunch of non-wrestlers, the idea that Shane McMahon can fight Kane far better than Rob Van Dam could seem to hope to and a HHH vs. Goldberg title change that should have taken place a month ago. This was a complete waste of a go home show with a bunch of matches that meant nothing (the one match to break five minutes had a commercial and two didn’t break thirty five seconds) and one dumb story after another. Maybe a new World Champion will help, but I’m not exactly optimistic.
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