Monday Night Raw – July 7, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 7, 2003
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Please let Austin be back tonight. Last week was the Eric Bischoff Show with Eric restarting a bunch of matches and turning the show upside down in a bad way. The big story is Kane attacking almost everyone in sight in his latest path of rage. That might be what Austin wants though so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Kane being all attacky.

Here’s the returning Austin to a heck of a reaction. We even have to pause for a bit as the fans cheer him on even more. Last week he had some food poisoning to go with about six Mexican food TV dinners so it wasn’t the best night. He watched the show last week and saw Eric Bischoff take a chokeslam so tonight, it’s Austin’s show. Let’s get right to it with the first match.

Intercontinental Title: Booker T. vs. Christian

Christian is defending. Before the match, Christian says he’ll just take the countout but Austin says the title can change hands via countout or DQ. Austin throws him inside and we’re ready to go. Booker slugs away to start and hits a big backdrop before raining down some right hands. Christian heads outside though and gets Booker to chase him outside, allowing him to get in a few shots. A hot shot onto the turnbuckle gives Christian two and we hit the chinlock.

Back up and Booker scores with the side kick as this really isn’t lighting the world on fire so far. The ax kick gets the pin….with Booker’s foot on the ropes. Of course we’re restarting the match because Heaven forbid we have a match without some kind of shenanigans. Back from a break with Booker fighting out of a chinlock and getting two off a rollup. Christian slips out of a suplex but walks into the Book End for a rather close two.

Booker takes too long going up though and gets crotched, only to shove Christian down. The missile dropkick gets two but we stop for the Spinarooni. The referee blocks the ax kick for some reason though (unless Christian pushed him into the way, I have no idea what that was) and Christian gets in a low blow for two more. Christian misses a belt shot and the second ax kick gives Booker the title.

Rating: D+. These two just don’t work well together and it’s more and more apparent every time they’re out there together. Booker winning was the only way they could have gone and they did the title change just soon enough that people still cared. Not a good match here but the right call.

Mark Jindrak thanks Austin for an opportunity tonight but something has happened. Post break, Austin finds an injured Tommy Dreamer. Austin has to send the Dudleyz away so medics can work on Tommy.

JR and King talk about the Montreal Screwjob and we look at a clip of the incident. Shawn Michaels will be discussing the moment later tonight on the Highlight Reel.

Here are Theodore Long, Rodney Mack and new recruit Rosey. The man has been getting them razzle dazzled lately and he’s not happy. Last week, Jazz lost the Women’s Title without being eliminated from the battle royal. Christopher Nowinski has a concussion but they’re not going to let that get them down (Nowinski would never wrestle again and has since become an expert on concussions). Tonight though, they’re going to teach Rosey to back the mack by means of thuggin and buggin.

As Teddy talks, we cut back to Dreamer being loaded into the ambulance. Bubba goes off to find out who did it. I don’t see this ending well.

Hurricane vs. Rosey

Hurricane offers a handshake but goes with a cheap shot instead. What a villainous act. Rosey drops him with a hard shot and drops the big leg. The Samoan drop ends Hurricane in short order.

Post match Rosey turns on Long and Mack, only to get beaten down for his efforts. So to recap: Mack got squashed by Goldberg in less than a minute and now we’re supposed to be interested in his feud with Rosey? Oh and Hurricane gets squashed too. If there’s a point to this booking, I’m not seeing it.

Bubba accuses Evolution of attacking Dreamer but Orton has an alibi: he was in the back drinking a protein shake. Austin comes in and gives Bubba a tag match if he can find a partner (the other Dudleyz went to the hospital with Dreamer). Jackie Gayda comes up to say something has happened to Rico.

Post break, a bloody Rico says Kane did it.

Victoria/Steven Richards vs. Gail Kim/Val Venis

Gail gets to take off the towel, immediately making her seem a lot less important than she did last week. To make things worse, Victoria gorilla presses her down but gets caught in a hurricanrana. King: “Looks like Gail Kim likes to ride on top.” The men come in with Venis getting two off a spinebuster. Victoria offers a trip though and Steven grabs a DDT for two. It’s back to Gail for a top rope wristdrag and Richards elbows Victoria by mistake. Everything breaks down and Gail grabs a hurricanrana for the pin.

Rating: D-. And so much for Gail. This match made her look more like a fluke who can do a hurricanrana than anything else. She debuts one week and the next week is getting involved with Val Venis? There’s no way this can end well for her and the match was disappointing to say the least. It’s good that she didn’t get pinned but she’s going to need something more to brag about than just that.

Trish Stratus is warming up when Test comes in to hit on her. She’s on his list of women who might want to hook up with him. Trish isn’t impressed so Test grabs her, which brings in Kevin Nash of all people for the save. A match is made for later.

It’s Highlight Reel time with Jericho being a huge crowd favorite for a change. Tonight, Jericho is here to deal with with someone who committed horrible actions against Canada. We see another clip of the Montreal Screwjob and here’s tonight’s guest: Shawn Michaels. Shawn says he’s apologized to Bret himself but never to the fans in Montreal. He apologizes that the whole incident ever happened but what he’s most sorry about is the fact that the fans have never managed to get on with their lives.

Only Montreal cares about what happened all those years ago (well that and WWE it seems). They’re stuck back in November 1997…and there’s the YOU SCREWED BRET chant. Shawn: “And your point would be what?”. Jericho calls him sanctimonious but Shawn wants the fans to pick something else to dislike about him. Like, you know, beating Jericho at Wrestlemania earlier this year.

Jericho insists that no one is ever going to forgive Shawn, who accuses Jericho of being Mr. Canada. Well you know that gets a face pop. Shawn is ready to go right now but Jericho turns him down because he wants a better payment not based off the Canadian dollar. Instead, he’ll face Shawn in two weeks in Hollywood. Jericho says screw Montreal and we’re out. Seriously, that’s all we get. Jericho makes the fans boo Shawn over Montreal and then gets them to boo himself for the sake of setting up a match where Shawn will be cheered in two weeks. That’s their best use of nearly fifteen minutes?

Austin finds Kane in his office and goes over Kane’s reasons for wanting to quit. He tries to get Kane to be a monster in the ring instead of backstage because that’s where it matters. Austin thinks Kane would be cheered if he goes out there, so it’s either go to the arena or be fired. Kane stands up and leaves, touching the wall with a bloody hand as he goes.

Test vs. Kevin Nash

Nash clotheslines him in the corner to start before getting in some elbows to the jaw. Test gets knocked outside but manages to post the bigger man to take over. Back in and a turnbuckle pad is removed but here’s Trish for a failed distraction. Instead Test kicks Nash in the face for the fast pin. Is feuding with Test the official punishment for a horrible main event? I think I can live with this.

Test shoves Trish down and then into the barricade.

Booker T. is very happy to win the title and leaves with Terri.

Chris Jericho vs. Mark Jindrak

Jindrak has a great look but really bad, generic rock music. Jericho kicks him in the face and then scores with an enziguri as the fans aren’t exactly reacting to Jindrak. The Lionsault hits knees though and Mark comes back with some incredibly basic offense. The fans already think he’s boring so Jericho dropkicks him out to the floor. Back in and Mark escapes the Walls, followed by the jump to the top for a spinning clothesline. He’s certainly athletic. A low blow cuts Jindrak off though and the Walls make him tap.

Rating: D-. Oh goodness no. Jindrak has a great look and is crazy athletic but that’s the extent of his skills. I completely get why he was given this spot but it was a heck of a botched debut with Jindrak looking terrible, to the point where you would think he was fresh out of wrestling school. When Jericho can’t save you, you know it’s a bad night.

This Sunday on Heat: Maven vs……HHH? Well ok then.

Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus

The winner gets a title shot next week. Trish is very banged up to start and of course Lawler is right there to point out the thong sticking out. Molly easily takes over to start and gets two off a Hennig necksnap. We hit the neck crank for a bit before Molly switches to ripping at Trish’s jaws. Trish comes back with a victory roll for two but Molly cuts her off with a snapmare to stay on the neck. A shoulder breaker into a neck stretch makes Trish tap.

Rating: D+. Molly’s offense made perfect sense and it’s fine to have Molly win over a very banged up Trish but there’s only so much you can do in four minutes with one of the participants barely able to move. Of course Lawler talking about Trish’s underwear made things worse but that goes without saying. Gail beating Molly should help her, though it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t get some better offense.

Kane finally agrees to go to the ring.

Ric Flair/Randy Orton vs. Bubba Ray Dudley/???

The partner is….Rob Van Dam. Rob and Randy start things off with a spinning crossbody getting two on Orton. Flair grabs the boot though and Orton gets in the signature backbreaker. Some Flair stomps set up a great looking dropkick from Randy as this is one sided so far. It’s back to Flair for the Figure Four, which gets next to no reaction. It could be because it goes nowhere other than right back to Orton to stay on the leg. Just a hunch of course.

Rob finally kicks Orton away and brings Bubba in to a limited reaction. A neckbreaker drops Randy and Flair gets slammed off the top for two. Rob comes back in with the kick to the chest as everything breaks down. Orton tries to break up the Five Star but Spike Dudley comes in to break it up, allowing Rob to splash Flair for the pin.

Rating: D. I know a crowd can carry a match to a much higher level but egads the crowd is killing anything this show has going on tonight. They do not care about what’s going on out there, though in this case it’s not like it means much. Orton can’t even get a pin over Bubba Ray Dudley? And this guy is supposed to be your big bright star of the future? Put him over someone important then.

Here’s Austin to call out Kane, still with a towel around his head. The fans kind of cheer with JR acting like it’s Foley winning the title. Austin talks about Kane getting cheered but they care about what happens when Kane is throwing people around. We see a clip of Kane chokeslamming Eric Bischoff last week, which Austin describes as funny. That’s too much for Kane, who thinks Austin is calling him funny. Kane unloads on Austin until some right hands make the comeback. Austin gets in a chair shot and a Stunner but the bloody Kane sits up. A chokeslam to Austin ends the show.

Overall Rating: F. No HHH, no Goldberg, Kane turns heel (for what feels like the second time in a few weeks), the big segment is reminiscing about the Montreal Screwjob and the best match is a nothing to see Booker T. title change (which the crowd did care for). This felt like a big punt instead of any kind of effort and it was very clear that they don’t know how to handle this lack of a pay per view. It wasn’t even the worst show in the world but rather just really boring and that’s worse in this case.

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