Monday Night Raw – September 29, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 29, 2003
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Al Snow, Jonathan Coachman

It’s a big night tonight because THE BATTLING ANNOUNCERS ARE BACK! This time around we have it’s in the form of Jim Ross vs. Jonathan Coachman for the commentary job, because Steve Austin can just do that again. Oh and there’s a ladder match for the Intercontinental Title with Christian defending against Rob Van Dam. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Snow and Coach, already at the desk, get another entrance this week.

Here are Chris Jericho and Eric Bischoff, who come out together, for the Highlight Reel. Bischoff gets things going by announcing that Austin is suspended for a week due to the unprovoked attack last week. Totally fair point actually. Jericho thinks that’s too light and blames Austin for costing him the World Title last week. It turns out that Bischoff isn’t the guest so here’s Jim Ross.

Jericho isn’t happy with it but tonight JR could get his job back. However, Bischoff thinks Coach should get to pick the stipulation. Coach says he’s thought about whipping JR before (That’s not something I’ve ever needed to know.) so we’ll make it a country whipping match. Jericho brings up Kane burning JR’s back a few months ago, which could make a whipping match all the more painful. That sounds great to Bischoff but JR says they better hope he wins tonight, because they all suck.

In response to that horrible comeback, Jericho slaps on the Walls of Jericho but here’s the suspended Austin for the save. Austin knew something like this would happen but Bischoff sends security after him. They grab his drinking arm (both of them actually) and that means a Stunner to give the fans something to cheer. I’m not seeing that happening when JR is wrestling so take what you can get.

Post break, Austin has been put outside with security blocking his entrance.

Tag Team Titles: Dudley Boyz vs. Test/Scott Steiner

Test and Steiner are challenging. The sleeveless top, black skirt and tie look works quite well for Stacy Keibler. Steiner and Test get in an argument over who starts so Bubba pulls Test in and pounds away in the corner. Test avoids a shot and goes to tag Steiner, who takes a step back down the steps.

The pumphandle slam is easily blocked but Test can break up the What’s Up. D-Von isn’t as adept at breaking up the pumphandle but Steiner breaks it up at two. Stacy takes a chair away from Test and gets shoved down, leaving Scott to take a Bubba Bomb. With Test still mad, Stacy chairs him in the head, setting up the 3D to retain in short order.

Post match Steiner says he doesn’t like Test but he doesn’t forgive Stacy for calling all these problems. He gives her a belly to belly, making Steiner a heel who is teaming with another heel who he doesn’t like while being managed by a face. Again: weird year.

Post break, we see some replays of the suplex to Stacy. Snow wants to know why director Kevin Dunn is showing this.

Here’s Kane to rant about Shane McMahon. Last week he tasted Shane’s blood and loved it. This is just the beginning….so here’s Hurricane to interrupt. Hurricane shows us a clip of the two of them winning the Tag Team Titles last year. Less than a year later, Kane has become a psychopathic monster.

Kane says Hurricane represents everything Kane used to hate about himself and invites Hurricane to come down and see what the monster is like. That’s a no (what a horrible superhero) so Kane goes after a kid in the front row. The kid needs to feel his pain and that’s enough for Hurricane to come in for the save. That just leads to a beatdown until Rosey comes in for the real save….which actually works?

Earlier today, Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade were playing the new WWE game when Maven wants to join in. La Resistance comes in and calls that stupid. Cade INSULTS THE FRENCH ARMY IN WORLD WAR TWO (Dupree: “That’s two hundred years ago!”) and a six man seems to be made for later.

La Resistance vs. Garrison Cade/Maven/Mark Jindrak

The good guys clean house to start until a flag shot to the back cuts Cade off. The French villains take turns with some shots to the jaw before Conway has to break up a sunset flip at two. Conway grabs a chinlock until a suplex gets Cade out of trouble. Maven gets the hot tag and fires off some dropkicks as everything breaks down. The double spinebuster plants Maven but Jindrak makes the save (Snow: “He’s just stuck with a really bad name. I tried to get him to change it.”). Jindrak and Cade’s Hart Attack with a dropkick pins Conway.

Rating: D. I get the youth movement idea but Jindrak is the only one with the slightest glimmer of potential. Maven is still a pair of eyebrows with a bad wrestler attached and Garrison Cade is named Garrison Cade. It’s not like La Resistance is much better but at least they have characters.

Austin is still trying to get in when Rob Van Dam comes up to thank him for giving Rob the ladder match tonight. Van Dam leaves and Austin runs into a good sized guy who is a bit star struck. His name is Jon Heidenreich and he’s tried to be a wrestler for ten years. Jon has a ticket, and that gets Austin’s attention. They go off to have a little talk.

HHH joins us via satellite to talk about paranoia sinking in on Goldberg. He knows Goldberg will crack but he’d like to push it along a bit. We pan to the side where HHH has a briefcase. If he had a dollar for every time someone chanted GOLDBERG, he’d be a rich man. It turns out that he is a rich man, so whoever can take Goldberg out gets $100,000. The game just got a lot more interesting. If you consider 1983 Mid-Atlantic more interesting (and I could see how you would), that’s true.

Jim Ross vs. Jonathan Coachman

The commentary jobs are on the line and they both have leather straps but you win via pin or submission. Jericho comes out for commentary and JR hits a quick whip shot to send Coach outside (though he maintains his hat). Coach gets in an argument with a fan (Jericho calls it ballyhooing) and gets whipped back into the ring. Jericho compares Coach to a young Tito Santana (YOU TAKE THAT BACK!) and now it’s time for Coach to get in his own whips.

As JR mouths some rather severe swearing, Coach whips him down even more until a low blow cuts him off. JR takes Coach’s shirt off and more whipping ensues. Bischoff tries to run in and gets whipped as well, leaving JR to hit a Stunner (Well, kind of. JR went down like he was giving a Diamond Cutter but Coach sold it like a Stunner.) for the pin.

Rating: F. Oh what else were you expecting? Well actually some more interference, though at least Coach isn’t a wrestler so this wasn’t the biggest stretch in the world. That being said, what in the world was the point of this whole story? To continue Bischoff vs. Austin? Well fine, but there was NOTHING else they could do other than this stupid announcers feud? I don’t quite buy that.

Lawler comes in to celebrate and of course Austin, with the ticket, jumps the barricade to raise JR’s hand. Jericho has been on a nearly continuous rant about how unfair this is, showing how he really could be an awesome heel announcer if he’d ever need to lower himself like that. Austin finally cuts him off by saying he’ll drink to this so beer is consumed.

Video on Wrestlemania tickets going on sale. It’s still cool.

Terri is in the ring to interview Lita about her new book. Lita sucks up to the fans a bit but says she’s past the broken neck. She’s back…and here are Gail Kim and Molly Holly to interrupt. Molly rants about Trish having a DVD and Lita having a book. Where’s Gail’s DVD? Where’s Molly’s book? Well Gail has been around for about three months and Molly could just write a book.

The beatdown is on with Lita easily escaping a double suplex before Trish can get in for the save. Molly and Gail get beaten up for a bit until Victoria runs in for the real beatdown. Gail rips up the book and shoves the pages in Lita’s mouth. This has some more potential, partially because there’s an actual division being put together instead of just three people.

Kane vs. The Hurricane

Hurricane jumps him on the floor and hits a flip dive from the top. Back in and a Shining Wizard (which was a knee that barely grazed the back of Kane’s head) gets two. That’s about it from Hurricane though as Kane sends him into the corner and finishes with the chokeslam in less than a minute.

Kane gives him another chokeslam for good measure.

Goldberg isn’t worried about the bounty and beats up Steven Richards as he tries to collect.

Ric Flair/Randy Orton vs. Goldberg/Shawn Michaels

Goldberg shoves Flair down to start and double clotheslines both villains down. It’s off to so Shawn for a clothesline to put Flair on the floor but Orton catches him with the backbreaker. The slow beating continues until Flair’s chops wake Shawn up for a bit but Orton cuts him off with a dropkick. It’s back to Flair who struts a lot, allowing Shawn to nip up and hit the flying forearm. The hot tag brings in Goldberg for a series of backdrops and a spear to Flair. Shawn superkicks Orton to the floor but here’s Rodney Mack with a chair to Goldberg for the DQ.

Rating: D+. This was a formula tag match to advance the bounty angle. There’s nothing wrong with that and at least they didn’t spend a ton of time on something like this. Goldberg having to fight off various people until he gets to the big fight is fine, especially when there’s about two months before the next time Raw is on pay per view.

Goldberg runs through Mack but Mark Henry destroys Shawn, busting him open and dragging him up the steps.

Post break Teddy Long praises Mark, who wants Goldberg next week.

Christian is walking through the back and blows a kiss to Trish and Lita before running into Tommy Dreamer. Tommy calls him a CLB so Christian rants about how awesome he is and steals Dreamer’s apple.

Video on the Rundown.

Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Rob Van Dam

Christian is defending in a ladder match. Rob easily wins a battle of kicks to start but Christian won’t let him set up an early ladder. Instead it’s Christian picking one up so Rob hits a flip dive over the top onto the ladder onto Christian. Well that was rather stupid. Since that did more damage to Rob than Christian, the champ bridges a ladder between the barricade and the steps. Christian is dropped ribs first onto the ladder and the spinning kick to the back makes things even worse.

There’s a ladder set up in the corner so of course Van Dam is whipped hard into it for his efforts. A catapult sends Rob face first into the ladder but he’s right back up with a delayed gorilla press onto the ladder. Rob has always been deceptively strong and the athleticism makes it even less noticeable. Christian gets knocked outside so Rob can make the first climb, only to be taken down by the reverse DDT off the ladder.

That’s not enough to get the title though as Christian is sent into the ladder in the corner, followed by a Cannonball (called Rolling Thunder, which is close enough). Rob uses the ladder for a Van Daminator but the Five Star only hits ladder. A hard running shot with the ladder puts Van Dam on the floor again but he comes back in with a top rope kick to knock it over again. The double climb leads to a slugout with both guys falling, only to have Rob catch himself on the other ladder. A Five Star from that ladder is enough for Rob to go up and get the title for the win.

Rating: B. While it’s no classic, this was the kind of match that Raw has been needing: hard hitting, a lot of fun and with a good guy winning in the end. Oh and a lack of HHH or Evolution helped too. This isn’t the kind of match that anyone is going to remember as anything great, but it was what they should have done on this show, especially as the main event instead of the big tag match.

Overall Rating: D. The main event helps this a lot but it’s very clear that we’re just waiting on HHH to heal up and come get his title back. Other than that….what is going on around here? You have the Austin vs. Bischoff feud which seems to tie into most of the stories on the show but can’t actually lead to a match because Austin can’t wrestle and Bischoff is Bischoff. Everything else seems to be just going in whatever direction with no end in sight. That’s fine if the stuff is good, but that’s not the case here. Not the worst, but they need a direction.

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