Monday Night Raw – April 14, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 14, 2003
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler

We’re less than two weeks away from Backlash and we have the bigger stories already set up. Last week saw the return of Kevin Nash for reasons of general stupidity, along with more of Eric Bischoff being evil for preventing Steve Austin from wrecking his neck and back even worse. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Kevin Nash/Booker T./Shawn Michaels vs. HHH/Ric Flair/Chris Jericho is official for Backlash.

Here’s Nash to open things up. Nine months is a long time off and he’s been watching a lot of Raw. He’s been seeing HHH and Shawn Michaels beat each other up even though they’re all best friends. Now he’s back and wants to know what’s going on. Cue HHH to shake Nash’s hand as everything seems happy. HHH says it’s good to see him back and asks if Nash got his messages over the week. No matter what happens though, it’s never going to be over between Shawn and HHH. He’d slap Shawn in the face if Shawn was here so cue Shawn to see if that’s true.

Nash breaks it up and says he’s sick of these two fighting. HHH says Nash has to make a choice because it’s either him or me. Nash can join up with HHH but he’s going to be one step behind the leader and the general. On the other hand, Shawn is going to be stealing the spotlight and undercutting Nash every chance he gets because that’s what he does. Just understand that if you go with Shawn, you’re part of the world that HHH is against. Nash doesn’t make a decision because WWE wants us to think he won’t be getting the title shot against HHH at some point.

Stacy Keibler is unpacking Test’s stuff and finds lotion, a towel and Torrie’s Playboy. I still have no idea who I’m supposed to cheer for in this story. There’s an idea there with the Playboy thing (looking at Torrie is better than being with Stacy) but it’s not exactly making me care about either of them.

Test vs. Chris Jericho

Stacy turns around before getting into the ring to take away Test’s view. Jericho jumps his fellow Canadian from behind to take over and hits some rather hard chops in the corner. That earns him a clothesline as Lawler talks about how frustrated a young man Test must be. Jericho skins the cat and sends Test shoulder first into the post to take over again. It’s time to work on the arm as Stacy ignores the match to sign some autographs.

The arm is wrapped around the ropes before Jericho cranks on an armbar. Test finally comes back with a sidewalk slam but Stacy doesn’t look impressed. Jericho’s rollup with feet on the ropes gets two, only to have Stacy pull up her skirt for the fans. The pumphandle slam gives Test a near fall of his own but Stacy is doing the skirt thing again, this time with the camera on it to make Lawler rather happy. That’s enough of a distraction for Jericho to hit the bulldog and Lionsault for the pin.

Rating: D+. So am I supposed to be cheering for the guy who isn’t satisfied with Stacy Keibler or for Stacy, who apparently isn’t satisfying Test for whatever reason. I’m pretty sure it’s Stacy, though I have no idea how this is supposed to be interesting or make me care about the two of them. Torrie’s Playboy seems to be the idea but it’s only kind of a detail in the story. The match wasn’t too bad actually, though I’d put that success on Jericho with no hesitation.

Test beats up the fan who got the autograph.

Eric Bischoff says he’s going to do what the fans want.

Stacy yells at Test for the Playboy so he compares the two and says stupid stuff, causing her to storm off.

Trish Stratus/Ivory vs. Jazz/Victoria

Victoria pulls Ivory down by the hair to start as Teddy Long sits in on commentary. It’s off to Trish for a hurricanrana on Victoria, followed by a Thesz press and some right hands. Jazz comes in to hammer Trish down, including a double chickenwing. Jerry and Long get in an argument over calling someone playa as Jazz’s splash hits raised knees. The hot tag brings in Ivory for two off a faceplant before it’s right back to Trish. Everything breaks down and Jazz throws Trish down on her face to set up the STF for the tap.

Rating: D+. Again not bad, though we need some fresh blood in the division. You had to have Jazz win here after she joined up with Teddy last week, even if it’s a pretty low level story. Jazz vs. Trish can carry them for one more pay per view but after that they’re in dire need of someone else.

Goldberg is told that a relative of his is here. It’s Goldust and he has a wig for Goldberg, who doesn’t know what to do with it. Goldust puts it on his head but Goldberg says it looks better on Goldust instead. Oh and don’t ever put it on his head again. Goldust soils himself.

Here’s Bischoff to Austin’s music again. He laughs at the idea of bringing Austin back but he does have a special merchandising offer for all the Austin fans out there. You can get two shirts for $39.95 and he’ll even throw in the Wrestlemania XIX program! This is basically done as a Home Shopping Network pitch and is rather entertaining given how slimy Bischoff can be. For one final bonus, the first person to call in gets a bottle of JR’s Barbecue Sauce! Cue Booker T. to say he wants a title match tonight.

Rob Van Dam/Kane vs. Lance Storm/Chief Morely

Van Dam and Kane are defending and this is No DQ. Kane throws Storm over the top to start and Van Dam does the same to Morely. We actually get things going with Storm being especially aggressive as he chokes Van Dam in the corner, only to get kicked away without much effort. It’s off to Kane for some running clotheslines until Morely gets a boot up in the corner. A fisherman’s suplex is easily blocked but Storm comes in with a dropkick to keep Kane in trouble.

Van Dam offers a kick from the apron though and it’s a powerslam into a slingshot legdrop for two. Rob has to fight out of the corner as we’re seven minutes in with the stipulations not being a factor whatsoever yet. As I say that, Storm hits a trashcan shot to Van Dam’s back. Kane comes in before anything else can happen though and everything breaks down. The stairs get knocked into Kane’s head though and we take a break.

Back with Van Dam fighting out of a chinlock and bringing in Kane via the hot tag. House is cleaned in a hurry with the top rope clothesline getting two. The evil foreigners are sent outside with Kane launching Van Dam onto them in a heap. Cue Bubba Ray Dudley to hit Rob with a Bubba Bomb but D-Von comes in to yell at him. Morely and D-Von go nose to nose so Bubba tosses Morely a chair for the Van Daminator. Kane chokeslams Storm and it’s the Van Terminator to retain the titles.

Rating: D+. The length hurt this one and the No DQ stuff was barely used, though I’d prefer doing it this way instead of having a ref bump or a distraction. Van Dam and Kane really need some new challengers though as the Bischoff administration isn’t doing it anymore, nor did they do it in the first place.

HHH and Ric Flair try to talk Bischoff out of giving Booker a title shot. Hurricane comes in to say there are three reasons. First, Booker pinned HHH last week. Second, Flair cost Booker T. the title at Wrestlemania. Third, WHATSUPWITDAT? HHH thinks Booker should have to earn the shot so Bischoff makes a tag match with Booker teaming up with Hurricane to face the two of them. If Booker’s team wins, he gets a title shot. Flair says they’re a team of wheeling dealing, jet flying…..but Hurricane cuts him off to say that some of us don’t need jets to fly.

The APA visited soldiers in Washington DC over the weekend.

Rock joins us live via satellite from Hollywood and wishes he could be there live in West Virginia. He has a big announcement for us tonight: he’s bought a new guitar! Rock: “ELVIS ATE PIE ON THIS GUITAR!” Next week though is going to be even more special with the Rock Concert II. That’s going to be in Goldberg’s hometown of Atlanta where Rock has turned down a match with Goldberg. It’s not because he’s scared of getting beaten though as he’s willing to face Goldberg at Backlash. That night, Goldberg is next.

Christian calls Rock and says he’s going to beat Goldust like Rock is going to beat Goldberg. His ribs are fine from the spear last week and he was holding them from laughing so hard at how much the spear didn’t hurt.

Goldust vs. Christian

Goldust gets in a few shots but takes a low blow for the DQ less than a minute in.

Christian chairs him down and calls Goldberg out to prove something to Rock. Spear (good one too), Jackhammer, next segment.

And now, a debate between Scott Steiner and Christopher Nowinski on Operation Iraqi Freedom. Nowinski says America is bullying other countries and asks where it ends. Steiner goes on a rant about 9/11 and terrorism as this really has no business on a wrestling show. Oh and France sucks too. 3 Minute Warning finally comes in to beat Steiner down.

The French guys are still coming.

Bischoff won’t let Lawler show a video of Jim Ross leaving.

Backlash card rundown.

HHH/Ric Flair vs. Hurricane/Booker T.

If Hurricane/Booker win, Booker gets a title shot. Booker and Flair get things going with Booker chopping away in the corner. A thumb to the eye allows the tag to HHH but he charges right into a spinebuster. It’s off to Hurricane to work on the arm and a neckbreaker gets two. A better spinebuster puts Hurricane down though and it’s time for the villains to take over.

Hurricane gets chopped and stomped in the corner but HHH spends too much time mocking Booker, allowing the tag. A missile dropkick to HHH and the Shining Wizard to Flair has Evolution reeling until Hurricane misses the Blockbuster. HHH tries to get a chair but the distraction allows Shawn to come in and superkick Flair to give Hurricane the pin.

Rating: D. Hurricane getting the win is nice, though it would be nicer if he had any hope of getting something out of this stuff. Pinning Flair is a good thing but it’s not like he’s going anywhere else. Booker getting the title shot is fine, even if there’s almost no chance of him winning with HHH vs. Nash pretty clearly the next big showdown.

Shawn goes after HHH until Jericho comes in for the save. It’s sledgehammer time but Nash slowly walks down to the ring for the save. Nash takes the hammer away but forearms Booker by mistake. Booker shoves him away and hits Shawn by mistake, meaning there’s EXTREME TENSION heading into the six man at Backlash.

Overall Rating: D-. This was pretty bad with no good matches all night and a pair of main event storylines that aren’t doing anything for anyone. We’re coming up on a six man tag where it probably should just be a three way between Nash, Michaels and HHH as the story is all about them with the other three just being details. Couple that with Goldberg vs. Rock going nowhere and the nonsense of Test vs. sexual frustration and what in the world is supposed to interest me in this whole show? Bad week again, which is becoming way too common of a trend.

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