Monday Night Raw – August 4, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 4, 2003
Location: PNE Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler

We’re coming up on Summerslam and as luck would have it, there’s a fresh McMahon to dominate the show! Last week Shane made his big return to stand up for his mother after Kane attacked her the previous week. This was of course the only logical choice instead of Kane’s former partner Rob Van Dam, who was already attacked by Kane a few weeks back. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Kane’s rampage last week, which was capped off by Shane’s return.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Shane to open things up. Shane is here to finish what he started with Kane because he wants to know how big and bad Kane is. As long as he’s able to walk, he’s going to be wherever Kane goes. Cue Eric Bischoff to say he’s appalled by what happened to Linda two weeks ago. Bischoff hates Kane as much as Shane does and he’d love to see Shane get some revenge. He teases Shane vs. Kane tonight and Shane is more than ready but Eric says not so fast.

That’s not what Vince wants though. Instead he wants Kane vs. Rob Van Dam at Summerslam. Shane can’t wait to see Van Dam give Kane a beating at Summerslam but he wants Kane tonight. On the other hand, Shane has to leave right now. Shane rips into Bischoff and says he won’t be leaving tonight, unless Eric wants to make him.

This brings out Austin who tells Shane to get out of the ring because Bischoff is a black belt. Austin brings up Bischoff saying he loved Linda McMahon and makes Bischoff vs. Shane in a no holds barred match for tonight. Bischoff says no way because he can’t face a WWE Superstar. Shane points out that he doesn’t have a contract though and the match is on. Eric panics but smiles and brings up the no holds barred part. Lawler: “THIS IS LIKE A DREAM MATCH!”

On what planet is this a dream match? And on what show should making Shane vs. Bischoff take SEVENTEEN MINUTES? I know this show doesn’t like to actually have wrestling on it a lot of the time but egads just do this in like five minutes or even in a backstage segment. Or better yet, HAVE ACTUAL WRESTLERS IN YOUR MATCH INSTEAD OF THESE TWO!

Rene Dupree vs. Bubba Ray Dudley

Lawler is still raving about how awesome Shane vs. Bischoff is going to be. I know Vince vs. Bischoff would be a dream match but have Shane and Eric ever even spoken on TV before? Dupree dances to start so Bubba sends him into the corner for the loud overhead chop. D-Von gets on the apron for some reason, allowing a quick double team behind the stupid referee’s back.

A neckbreaker gets Bubba out of trouble and a running clothesline gets two. Bubba even goes aerial for a middle rope crossbody but walks into a spinebuster for two more. Rene brings in the French flag but Sylvan comes in, only to clothesline his partner by mistake. That’s not a DQ either, so D-Von hits Rene in the head with the flag pole. The Bubba Bomb is good for the pin on a busted open Dupree. Not long enough to rate but my goodness how much overbooking do you need in a two and a half minute match? How much is there going to be in an actually important (work with me here) Tag Team Title match?

Evolution is in the back and HHH has a badly pulled groin. A panicked Bischoff comes in and has a proposition for HHH.

Video on the Australia tour. Seems to have been some good crowds, which isn’t the most surprising thing in the world.

Scott Steiner vs. Randy Orton

This really isn’t a good idea for a rookie like Orton (or a veteran like HHH actually). Stacy’s outfit is a bit of a better idea but that kind of goes without saying. No Flair with Orton as he has to worry about Goldberg. Before the match, Orton says he can feel the tension in this arena tonight. Orton, and I quote: “It seems that more people came to see Randy Orton’s nipples than Stacy Keibler’s.” Steiner will have none of that besmirchment (such a great word) and stomps away in the corner. He’s so mad that he lets Orton clothesline him twice before a dropkick takes him down. So he’s strong against shoulders but weak against feet.

The fans chant for Stacy as Steiner grabs a spinning belly to belly to put Orton on the floor. An accidental Stacy distraction lets Orton hammer away, only to charge into something like a powerslam for two. Some double ax handles to the chest (more people should use that) set up the push up elbow as Steiner goes through his regular routine. Cue Test for the most obvious finish ever, setting up the RKO to give Orton the pin.

Rating: D. Steiner is still a name and this is the best thing that he can do at this point. I mean, the Test feud is killing him but a clean pin for Orton helps him out well enough. What does it say that though that he was nearly unstoppable back in January and now he’s losing in about four minutes while feuding with Test? That’s some all time levels of falling down the card and yet it’s still not all that surprising.

HHH tells a nervous Bischoff that they have a deal, much to Eric’s relief.

Rosey, in street clothes, tells Hurricane that he’s ready to be a superhero. Christian comes in to brag about taking Booker out in Australia and promises to beat Hurricane tonight. Rosey pulls out a box labeled S.H.I.T. Hurricane: “HOLY S***!” Apparently Rosey made it himself.

Bischoff has recruited Rodney Mack of all people to help him with Shane but Austin comes up. Mack leaves so Bischoff can brag about having Evolution in his corner (What difference does it make if it’s anything goes?) in exchange for Goldberg vs. HHH at Summerslam being No DQ. Austin: “I think it sucks.” So Steve Austin thinks the main event of Summerslam sucks. Good to know.

Hurricane vs. Christian

The fans are behind their countryman, even as Hurricane elbows him down. A trip to the floor has Christian in more trouble and the high crossbody gets two. Christian slips out of the chokeslam though and a rollup with a handful of tights is good for the pin. Just there for the sake of setting up something after the match.

Post match Christian keeps up the beating until Rosey, now in the Superhero in Training garb makes the save. You can imagine the chant. Rosey poses in front of Hurricane, who taps him on the shoulder so they can change places. Not quite Shawn and Diesel but it works.

Kane arrives in the police van. As questionable as this is, having Kane in the role is probably better than anyone else as he can at least look intimidating.

Ric Flair vs. Goldberg

HHH is on commentary again. Goldberg shoves shoves Flair around to start and drops him with a shoulder….as we go over to a shot of HHH talking about his groin. Goldberg’s press slam is loudly booed (as Goldberg wasn’t exactly popular in Canada ever, which was made even worse when he kicked Bret Hart’s head off) and an awkward looking toss (with almost no height) doesn’t make things any better.

A shot to the knee slows Goldberg down as HHH asks Coach if he’ll massage the bad groin. HHH: “It’s the best offer you’ve ever had”. Back up and Flair’s shot to the face have no effect so Goldberg hits a good looking backdrops. Flair pokes him in the eye but gets slammed off the top, only to have Orton come in with a chair for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was basically a Goldberg squash until the ending and the ending is fine. It makes sense for Evolution to take as much out of Goldberg as they could before Summerslam. Goldberg in the ring in Canada just wasn’t a good idea, though to be fair I’m not sure how much time they would have to know that just yet. Storyline advancement here though and I can go with Orton getting to put Goldberg down with the chair shot.

Post match the beatdown is on but Shawn, then Jericho, then Nash come in for the respective saves. Cue Austin to make the Summerslam main event into an Elimination Chamber between HHH, Goldberg, Jericho, Nash, Shawn and Orton. Everyone is stunned and Goldberg spears Flair down. If Austin doesn’t think it, I certainly will: that sounds like it’s going to suck, mainly because HHH is hurt, Nash is Nash and Orton is WAY too young to be in this spot.

Post break everyone is still in the ring as Terri interviews Slamball (I remember that being awesome, though I was a stupid teenager) founder Pat Croche about the season two premiere. Jericho and Nash get in a fight with Nash easily getting the better of it.

HHH wants everything changed but Bischoff says that technically, this is out of his hands. Then technically, Bischoff is on his own tonight. Why not go get Rodney Mack back? Or just buy some other heel? Or find the person Shane is feuding with to advance their story? Would that be against Vince’s will either?

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly

Molly is defending and starts fast with a snap suplex for two. A northern lights suplex (back bridge, according to Coach) gets the same as the fans want puppies. Odds are they mean the Canadian puppies, because Heaven forbid anyone find Molly attractive (even though she’s rather pretty at this point with the short brown hair). A headscissors out of the corner gets Trish out of trouble and the Matrish sends Molly flying out to the floor. Trish hammers away on the floor but here’s Victoria for the quick DQ. Yeah make sure to beat down those Canadians.

Gail Kim runs in for the save but turns on Trish anyway. Then the point for the save was…..? Writers trying to be smarter than they really are perhaps?

Shane attacks the police van because he has no respect for government property.

Lance Storm needs help being boring and asks Goldust for help. This is not going to end well, but hopefully it ends soon.

Bischoff sends the cops off after Austin but uses the distraction to unlock the van.

Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho

Rob starts fast with a dropkick and monkey flip, only to miss a dive off the top, sending him into the barricade. Back in and Jericho drops some elbows as the announcers talk about the Elimination Chamber. A knee to the ribs cuts Rob down for two more and Jericho elbows him in the head. This isn’t exactly thrilling stuff and the announcers talking about ANYTHING else isn’t helping things.

Rob manages to suplex him over the ropes onto the floor but can’t follow up. Back in and a dropkick drops Van Dam, only to have him come back with a springboard kick to the face. A jumping enziguri continues the battle of kicks to the head and gives Jericho two more. Rob’s stepover kick to the face looks to set up Rolling Thunder but Jericho rolls away just in time.

The Lionsault misses as well but Rob misses a Five Star splash (there was nothing froggy about it). They botch a hurricanrana with Jericho trying a quick Walls, only to have Rob next to the ropes. He’s right back up with another kick to the face and the split legged moonsault to put Jericho away.

Rating: D. Where do you even start? The botches? The REALLY dull first half? The announcers not caring? Giving Van Dam a pin over a World Title contender before he gets squashed by Kane at the pay per view? They had an interesting idea here with both guys mirroring each others’ moves (the kicks, the missed flip attacks) but the execution was much, much worse than you would have expected from these two.

Post match Jericho says there’s a conspiracy against him so he wants Nash in a hair vs. hair match. This would have made a lot more sense after the earlier segment between the two and without the clean loss to Van Dam in between but this show has far bigger problems to get around.

Bischoff is smiling.

Kane is out of his van. Coach: “Is this why Bischoff is smiling???” And people think JR misses the obvious sometimes?

Eric Bischoff vs. Shane McMahon

Anything goes and Bischoff comes out carrying a kick pad for a karate demonstration. After that waste of time, we’re ready to go with both guys in street clothes. Actually hang on again because Shane has to dance. Bischoff kicks him down three times in a row without much effort but gets speared down for the famous Shane punches. Cue Kane for the brawl in the aisle with Shane getting the better of it because he’s a better fighter than Rob Van Dam or STEVE AUSTIN you see. Kane fights back and kicks Shane in the face, followed by a Tombstone on the steps to give Bischoff the pin.

Rating: F. Somehow this was an official match and somehow it was long enough to rate because of course it was. I’m really not sure why we’re not getting Shane vs. Kane at the pay per view because that’s clearly what makes sense here. I mean, I know you can’t just have Kane take Van Dam out again or something (or just have Van Dam not come back yet) because that’s just too complicated. Not a match of course but that’s best for everyone.

Lawler acts like Bischoff just won the World Title because this was a dream match remember. Bischoff celebrates forever (including getting two more three counts) to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. This was awful with nothing really good all night long. Between putting WAY too much emphasis on Shane vs. Eric, the completely illogical mess of the Van Dam/Kane/Shane stuff and the rather dumb changes to the main event (I know HHH was injured but I’m thinking he was healthy enough to take a spear and Jackhammer, then have the real match when he’s back to full strength), I have no idea what they think they accomplished here. Absolutely awful and one of the worst they’ve done in several months.

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