Monday Night Raw – August 11, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 11, 2003
Location: Mark of the Quad, Moline, Illinois
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler

The slow crawl towards Summerslam continues and now we have an Elimination Chamber match for the Raw main event. Why anyone would want that is beyond me, but we also have Shane McMahon as the big hero of the show, fighting off the evil monster known as Kane. Other than that though, the show is looking pretty rough. Let’s get to it.

On a side note, the show is now officially airing on SpikeTV instead of TNN.

Opening sequence.

Some pyro goes off signaling the network now being called SpikeTV. It’s a better name and at least they don’t waste any time on it.

Here’s Eric Bischoff to brag about beating Shane last week, even having Lillian Garcia announce him as the winner again. After looking at a clip of the ending, Eric sucks up to the McMahon Family, calling Linda a “big breasted mature woman”. The only member he doesn’t respect is Shane, who is only here because of his last name. Shane is the Frank Sinatra Jr. of WWE (I’m hoping that’s a topical joke because otherwise it’s really just bad).

Instead here’s the perfectly fine looking (save for a limp) JR to interrupt and mock Bischoff for throwing his weight around. He understands how important Kane is to this company though, which is why he’s only going to sue Bischoff. Eric immediately fires Coach from his commentary spot so JR can have his spot back but here’s Austin with a clipboard to interrupt.

After shaking JR’s hand, Austin says he has a contract drawn up to help settle some differences. Austin whispers something to JR and then gets to the point: JR won’t sue if Bischoff has a match tonight. Bischoff turns down a match with Shane so JR tells him to call a lawyer. That’s enough to convince Eric to sign…..a contract to face Kane tonight. Read the contract buddy.

So yeah, after watching last week’s show focusing on Bischoff wrestling, the next week’s show is the exact same thing. Let me guess: Lawler is going to be elated over this all night long. Also, Kane unmasked on June 23, took out Rob Van Dam, lit JR on fire, tombstoned Linda, and this is going to be his first actual match. After all that work building him up, they haven’t actually done anything with him aside from using him as a chess piece in a story involving Bischoff.

The problem right now is between Austin, Bischoff, JR, Kane, Shane and Van Dam, I’m not sure what the big story is. In theory it’s Kane vs. Shane down the line, but first we have to get through Kane vs. Van Dam. Rob would have been a good first victim a few weeks back, but that never even started.

Then there’s the Bischoff part, which doesn’t really have an interesting payoff other than Shane beating him up. Kane has been a monster for over a month now and we’re STILL waiting on him to have anything to do in the ring. Oh but Kevin Nash, who was feuding with Test for a little while, is getting a World Title match. Makes perfect sense.

Stacy Keibler/Scott Steiner vs. Rico/Miss Jackie

.what? If this is the option that made it to TV, what in the world was considered too bad to make it onto the show? Jackie watches Rico as he gets in ala Scott watching Stacy. Rico poses to start so Steiner forearms him in the head, followed by the spinning belly to belly. The pushup elbow gets two and it’s off to Jackie for the….showdown? Actually Stacy has to come in and egads this could be a nightmare.

They trade slaps until it’s the pinfall reversal sequence for exactly the reason you would expect. Stacy gets two off a spinning kick to the face but Rico knees her in the back. A double clothesline puts both of them down but here’s Test to jump Steiner. Rico snaps Stacy’s throat over the top, leaving Jackie to drop a leg for the pin.

Rating: F. Well of course it was to set up more Steiner vs. Test. Rico and Jackie were somehow the better option here with Stacy not being anything resembling a wrestler and Jackie looking at least somewhat improved from last year (hard not to be but indeed better). The problem here of course is still Steiner vs. Test, which has been going on for over three months now and hasn’t yet begun to be anything interesting. It needs to be dropped and both of them need to move on (perhaps to the unemployment line), though I’m kind of scared to know what could replace them.

Post match Test says this needs to end and wants to fight Steiner next week with Stacy on the line again. Stacy accepts in a hurry.

Flair doesn’t want to face Goldberg tonight because he’s out there all alone due to Evolution being barred from ringside. HHH basically ignores the whole thing and talks about the Elimination Chamber. Orton promises that he’ll retain because it’s the two of them against four guys.

Kane arrives in the police van.

Dudley Boyz vs. La Resistance

Non-title. Brawl to start until Dupree hits D-Von with the American flag for the DQ in about thirty seconds.

Post match the American flag is broken and La Resistance drinks French wine.

Goldust comes up to Molly Holly (such a random pairing) in the back to say she likes gold too. Therefore, he has someone he’d like her to meet. Someone who is truly NOT boring. This brings in Lance Storm in Goldust paint and wig. Storm pulls out cue card, complete with the Tourette’s Syndrome jokes. Molly leaves and Storm says this isn’t working. Not to worry Goldust says, because they have sausages and midgets waiting on them. That’s the second or third midgets joke in a week.

Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash get in a not very heated argument over who is winning the title. Goldberg comes in and sets them straight but the two of them make threats. It’s cute when Nash and Michaels pretend they’re anything more than filler in that match.

Here’s Intercontinental Champion Christian for a chat. That’s not an error as Christian, who comes out to Booker T.’s entrance, won the title from Booker last night at a house show. Somehow that would be Booker’s only title reign. You really would expect him to pick up the title again at some point but it was just the one time. As for tonight, Christian has found the perfect opponent for his first title defense, especially since we’re now on SpikeTV.

Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Spike Dudley

Spike is challenging in case you’re a bit slow. Christian drops him ribs first across the top rope, followed by a gutbuster to continue the squashification. We hit an abdominal stretch with Christian having to lean down because Spike is so short. The hold is broken without much drama and Spike comes back with a bulldog for two. The running headbutt to the ribs gets two and a top rope double stomp gets the same, this time with Christian needing the ropes to escape. Back up and an Unprettier plants Spike for the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. For a match based around the challenger’s first name and nothing else, this could have been a lot worse. Spike can have a good enough match, even if there’s no doubt that he’s losing every single one of them. Christian getting the title back at a house show is still kind of odd but maybe Booker really was hurt. Or they just wanted to throw in a surprise, which works quite well in the right way, especially if it might help drive up house show attendance.

Bischoff tries to suck up to Kane and offers to lay down for him. Kane says they’re doing this his way. Again, this is the best followup they have for Kane’s huge push over the last few weeks.

JR replaces Coach on commentary.

Eric Bischoff vs. Kane

Bischoff lays down and JR is aghast. So now the announcers don’t see what happens in the back? Kane grabs the chokeslam and JR is thrilled but Bischoff is sat back down and Kane walks out for the countout.

Post “match”, Kane asks the fans if they want to see him destroy Bischoff. That seems to be what they want, but Kane is tired of doing what everyone else wants. Cue Rob Van Dam to go after Kane…and dive onto the barricade instead. Rob sends him into a chair but the Five Star only hits chair. Kane chairs him down and laughs. Well so much for Van Dam, but now we get to wait a few more weeks before he gets squashed at Summerslam.

Gail Kim says she turned on Trish because no one talked to her when she was champion and she wanted some attention. Fair enough actually.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Gail Kim vs. Molly Holly

Molly is defending. Trish goes to fight Gail on the floor, followed by a Chick Kick to Molly. A Thesz press drops Gail but Molly pulls Trish face first into the apron. The villains double suplex Trish as JR is sounding just like his old self, despite being on commentary against doctors’ orders. Trish gets tied in the Tree of Woe with Molly telling Gail to hit her, only to have Molly ax handle her down and get the pin to retain in a clever finish.

Flair is worried about facing Goldberg with no one helping him tonight. HHH has been talking to Bischoff though and Orton is guest referee. Wouldn’t that likely mean the match, and therefore the beating, is going to go on longer?

Earlier today a little old lady was trying to get across a busy street when Rosey showed up to help her. He explains his name to her and gets hit in the ribs with a grocery bag. Hurricane comes in to say no good deed goes unpunished.

Austin comes in to toast Bischoff’s victory and has a little fine print for him: the winner of Kane vs. Bischoff will face Shane McMahon at some point in the future. That might seem a little convenient, but Austin was in a win/win situation. Shane wanted to fight either guy and Austin would have gotten a good attraction either way. That’s actually logical, even if it seems that they’re stretching quite a bit to get to the ending they want.

Hurricane vs. Rodney Mack

Still no Theodore Long. Rodney shoulders him in the ribs to start and cuts off a charge with a powerslam. Mack dared to mock the Hurricane pose before slapping on a bearhug. Hurricane fights up with a crossbody but can’t hit a chokeslam. Instead he goes with a high crossbody to put Mack away.

Rating: D. So much for Mack, but that was the case after the Goldberg feud anyway. Hurricane is a character who can work very well in certain circumstances and he can wrestle a very solid match, but there’s only so much you can do in a situation like this one. I actually like the team with Rosey, though it’s not something that would have much of a shelf life.

Post match Mack beats Hurricane down until Rosey makes the save. This seems to confuse Hurricane, but to be fair it’s probably confusing to have a 400lb Samoan in a home made superhero costume save you.

Video on the Elimination Chamber.

It’s time for the Highlight Reel. Chris Jericho wants to set the record straight about his hair vs. hair match with Kevin Nash. The rules are very simple: when he beats Nash, Kevin has to shave his head. If Jericho somehow loses though, he’ll shave every bit of hair off his face (meaning eyebrows only) because there’s no way anyone is touching these gorgeous locks. Jericho: “Watch how it cascades around my face as I flick it to and fro.”

Cue Nash with a metal briefcase to talk about how Jericho needs a makeover. Nash asks “Kerwin in the back” to put up some images on the Titantron. Jericho: “ONLY I CAN DO THAT!” Instead we put the clip on the Jeritron 5000, which is a shot of Jericho with his hair changing to various FUNNY styles. Jericho says Nash is funny but what’s going to be funny is eliminating Nash from the Chamber. Then he’ll take the title and put it back around his gorgeous waist.

Nash pulls out some electric clippers and wants an answer on hair vs. hair. Wasn’t that already accepted? After threats of beating him up and cutting his hair right now, Jericho agrees to the match for next week. Nash fights off a cheap shot and hits a side slam before pulling out some gardening sheers. Jericho tries to hide underneath the ring but comes out with a fire extinguisher to blind Nash and bail. I believe Nash had to get his hair cut for a movie so this wasn’t the biggest mystery in the world. At the same time it does add a personal issue to the Chamber and gives the fans a big match to look forward to on Raw.

Summerslam rundown.

Ric Flair vs. Goldberg

Anything goes with Randy Orton as guest referee. Orton slips some brass knuckles to Flair before Goldberg comes out. Flair wastes no time in hitting Goldberg in the jaw for a fast two and a belly to back suplex gets the same. Goldberg is right back up with a gorilla press for the customary extra slow count. A clothesline gets the same, because Goldberg is so well known for going for multiple covers off run of the mill offense.

Goldberg yells at Orton and gets chaired in the back for no effect. Instead it’s a shot to the knee to set up the Figure Four with Orton stomping on Goldberg as he makes the rope. Flair lets go for no apparent reason and stays on the knee but Goldberg spears them both down. Cue Shawn Michaels to superkick Orton, allowing Goldberg to Jackhammer Flair. Shawn grabs Orton’s hand and slaps the mat three times for the pin.

Rating: D. So Goldberg can beat Flair and Orton up at the same time. That’s some good information to know and I’m glad it took them two weeks to establish that fact. Goldberg could have speared Flair down and pinned him clean but why do what works with Goldberg when you can just throw everything together and take away what made Goldberg work in the first place?

Overall Rating: D-. Well it did get better from the Steiner match on but that’s about as much as I can say about this one. The wrestling was a disaster as the big story continues to be the adventures of the battling bosses who can’t actually fight, plus waiting on Kane vs. Shane, which isn’t that thrilling in the first place. Then there’s the Elimination Chamber, which has thrown most of the card into a tailspin. I’m not exactly looking forward to Summerslam at this point and the next few weeks aren’t likely to make things much better.

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