Monday Night Raw
Date: November 24, 2003
Location: E Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
We’re coming up on Thanksgiving but more importantly tonight is a double shot with HHH challenging Goldberg for the Raw World Title and Raw Roulette all night long. It’s a night of Spin the Wheel Make the Deal, which used to be one of my favorite ideas when I was a kid. Now let’s see how WWE can screw it up. Let’s get to it.
The roulette wheel is in the ring to start, accompanied by Eric Bischoff and a pair of showgirls. Bischoff reiterates that Raw Roulette is taking place because this is such a boring town and explains the concept. We get the first spin for a match to be announced but it’s Shawn Michaels with an interruption instead. Shawn says Bischoff interrupted him last week so this is his way of returning the favor. He’s spent the last week thinking back to Survivor Series and now it’s completely clear: he did the exact right thing. Shawn gave the fight of his life and didn’t cost Austin his job.
Cue Batista to say he cost Austin his job. Shawn wants the “jacked up nimrod” to come fight right now so he comes, only to have Bischoff cut them off. The match is made for Armageddon but tonight, as per the wheel, it’s Bischoff’s Choice. Tonight, we’ll do Batista/Ric Flair vs. Shawn/Chris Jericho.
Lita vs. Victoria
In a cage via a spin from Molly Holly and I believe the first women’s cage match in company history. Lita throws her her into the cage a few times to start and Lawler is panicking over Victoria’s thong being exposed. Victoria gets in her spinning side slam for two but Lita gets in a monkey flip and some right hands. A hurricanrana nearly drops Victoria on her head but she’s able to get in a slam off the top.
Lita goes up again….and falls off with no one touching her. That’s a really bad sign, as is Victoria ramming her into the cage again. A powerbomb pulls Victoria off the cage and there’s the moonsault. Lita goes for the door and here’s Matt Hardy to slam the door on her head to give Victoria the easy win.
Rating: D-. That fall off the cage looked so bad and there was no saving this thing. There was little drama and with only four minutes, you can’t get much done in there. It’s not a good match and there’s no real build to it, which is what’s going to cause problems with the show all night long.
Post match Matt goes after Lita but Christian runs in for the save.
Bischoff’s showgirls are huddled around Randy Orton, who promises to win the Intercontinental Title at Armageddon. He has a match tonight too and Bischoff has already spun the wheel for him (erg), setting up a Legend Killer match. Orton leaves and here are Hurricane and Rosey, who have a match tonight as well. They’ll be having a midget catching match and here’s a midget named Fernando, who runs off. Bischoff actually explains the match and Hurricane isn’t sure, so Bischoff says if they refuse, the loser gets fired. Hurricane: “I see. Rosey, wait here.” The chase is on.
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Randy Orton
Slaughter grabs a quickly broken Cobra Clutch as the fans chant USA. You know, in opposition to that foreigner from the far off city of St. Louis. Orton forearms him down and pounds away, setting up a sleeper. That’s reversed into a camel clutch which Slaughter reverses into another Cobra Clutch. Orton makes the rope and kicks him low, setting up the RKO for the pin. This was a thing that happened.
Post match Orton stomps away until Rob Van Dam makes the save.
Video on Goldberg vs. HHH from Survivor Series and the handicap match from last week.
Val Venis and Lance Storm are waiting for some women to arrive. These are a little more conservative than usual so they have to prove that they’re nicer guys. The ladies, looking pretty much the same as most of Venis’ women, show up and are ready to go out but are worried about wrestlers being too crazy. Cue Hurricane and Rosey, the former with a net, chasing Fernando. Storm: “They’re not with us.”
Ric Flair and Coach plug the Ultimate Ric Flair DVD set (Amen brother. That thing was awesome.) with Flair promising to take care of Shawn tonight.
Matt Hardy is ready to spin the wheel but first, insists that he’s slammed the door on Lita for good. Hang on though, as Bischoff has to gloat about firing Austin, though he does plug Austin’s upcoming UPN special. It’s a Strange Bedfellows match (Matt: “WHOA WHOA WHOA! Version 1 is straight!”), meaning a tag match with first time ever partners.
Lillian starts introducing the next match but hang on because we need to see Goldberg spearing HHH in video game form.
Bubba Ray Dudley/Garrison Cade vs. Matt Hardy/Christian
Sure why not. Matt and Bubba start with Hardy taking a heck of a chop to the chest. A takedown is enough for the tag to Christian (via a slap to the chest, which Matt may have learned from Bubba). Cade comes in with a headlock and the fans want tables. To be fair they’re more interesting than Cade’s headlock. A bulldog gets two on Christian and a middle rope shoulder is enough for the tag back to Bubba. The backsplash misses though…and Matt drops to the floor to walk out on Christian. The Bubba Bomb connects and Bubba yells at Matt, leaving Cade to tag himself in and drop a top rope elbow for the pin.
Rating: D. Angle instead of a match and that’s fine enough. Cade and Mark Jindrak have nothing going for them so giving the team a few wins isn’t the worst idea in the world. The gimmick allowed that to happen and it’s not quite as big of a deal as a cage match so this isn’t as annoying. Nothing match of course.
JR is aghast at Matt walking out on this nothing tag match. He wasn’t this annoyed at SLAMMING A METAL DOOR ON HER HEAD EARLIER. Cade hands Bubba the title but doesn’t let it go. Bubba yells a bit and Cade sneers as he leaves.
Shawn Michaels promises to beat the odds again tonight. He goes to leave but stops to point out the midget looking up Terri’s dress. A chase ensues.
Raw World Title: HHH vs. Goldberg
HHH is challenging. They talk trash to start until a Flair distraction lets HHH deck him from behind. That earns HHH a hard clothesline and the fight heads outside with Goldberg’s ankle seeming fine so far. Goldberg gets sent hard into the steps and it’s time to start working over the shoulder. You know, instead of the ankle that was broken about a month ago.
A knee drop rocks Goldberg again but he’s still able to slam HHH off the top. For some reason Goldberg thinks ducking your head against HHH is a good idea and that means a facebuster. The gorilla press powerslam drops HHH again but Flair grabs the foot. Cue Orton to grab Goldberg, which should be a DQ, but seems to be nothing as HHH hits the Pedigree to draw out Kane. That just earns him a spear so Kane comes in and attacks Goldberg to FINALLY draw the DQ. I’m not sure if that was a missed spot or really bad officiating but it looked terrible more than once.
Rating: D+. The ending destroys any good stuff this could have been but the bigger problem is how these two just don’t work well together. They haven’t had a good match yet and this feud has been going on since before Summerslam. HHH works too much of a power style to make this work and it’s not getting better every time they fight. We’ll be getting it again too and that’s really annoying to hear, but it’s what HHH wants so who are we to complain?
Post break HHH and Kane storm into Bischoff’s office so a triple threat is made for Armageddon.
Fernando runs through the parking lot.
Booker T. vs. Mark Henry
Bischoff’s spin makes this a Salt Lake City street fight but Booker is waiting on Henry at the entrance. That means a stop sign to the head but Henry doesn’t even go down. Henry takes that away and bends it with ease so Booker tries a 2×4. That earns him a ram into the corner so Booker swings a metal skillet. Henry bends THAT and clotheslines Booker to the floor as this is more of a strongman demonstration than a match. The missile dropkick puts Henry down and the ax kick gets two. Booker goes for a trashcan but Henry takes it away and smashes him in the head for the pin.
Rating: D+. There’s something to be said about Henry wrecking the weapons and doing the scary power stuff. It’s not a good match of course but I was entertained and that’s as good as you can get here. The problem is it’s also bad booking as you don’t want Henry and Booker T. trading wins in short matches. That philosophy doesn’t work, no matter how much WWE likes to think it does.
Trish Stratus gets a bra and panties match but doesn’t seem to mind. She leaves and runs into Chris Jericho, who offers to use his Bischoff favor to get her out of it. Trish: “I’ve got this.” Jericho: “I know you’ve got it but I can go talk to him.” Trish talks about the Shawn tag match and Trish wants him to be the man that she knows he is. Maybe if he’s good with Shawn tonight, she’ll be good with him tonight. That gets Jericho’s attention.
JR plugs the Austin special. As he and Lawler are talking, Fernando runs up and sits on JR’s lap, making him the winner. JR puts his hat on Fernando, who has a mustache, and calls him a little fella.
Rob Van Dam vs. Scott Steiner/Test
The wheel comes up with a handicap match but Orton convinces Bischoff to spin it again for a bonus stipulation, which is a Singapore cane match. Rob knocks Steiner off the apron and dives onto Test, followed by a whip to send Steiner into the steps. Scott gets kicked down but Test scores with a cane shot to break up Rolling Thunder. A clothesline with the cane gets two but Rob is right back with the kicks. Rob canes Steiner by mistake and the Five Star hits Scott. Test’s second shot to the head puts Rob down for the pin.
Jericho tries to get Trish out of the match but Bischoff thinks he’s falling for her.
Jackie Gayda vs. Trish Stratus
Bra and panties of course. Jackie jumps her to start but gets her top pulled off early on. Trish gets put in the Tree of Woe and loses her top as well. Rico gets pulled in and loses his pants, which he seems to like. Jackie kicks Rico down by mistake and Trish takes her down for the win.
Post match Jackie freaks out and rips off Lillian Garcia’s jacket.
Trish tells Jericho that their evening activities depends on what he does. That’s quite the offer.
Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels vs. Batista/Ric Flair
The arena is full of smoke from Shawn’s pyro. Shawn chops at Flair to start and Jericho comes in off the tag with no issues. A missile dropkick gets two on Flair and a few chops set up the Flair Flop. Batista comes in and spinebusts the heck out of Jericho. It’s back to Flair who goes up top and you know what’s next.
The tag brings Shawn back in as they’re certainly running through this one in a hurry. Batista gets knocked off the apron, leaving Shawn and Flair to punch it out. A poke to the eye blinds Shawn and he punches Jericho by mistake, followed by the superkick to Flair. Jericho superkicks Shawn, who falls onto Flair for the pin.
Rating: D. These four should be able to do better than this by definition. The time was killing them again though as there’s not much you can do with so little time and an angle involved in the finish. Shawn vs. Batista could be good with Shawn knowing how to handle someone like him, but the Jericho addition is a little odd.
Jericho bolts to the back as Shawn isn’t sure what happened. Batista and Flair lay Shawn out with Shawn bleeding from the mouth to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. I didn’t hate the show but there wasn’t much to see on there. The Raw Roulette thing helped a bit but having the chase scenes all night with JR as the payoff is a little beneath what I was hoping for. They set some stuff up for Armageddon though and that’s what helps most. However, when one of those things is ANOTHER Goldberg vs. HHH match, there’s only so much positive to be gathered. That story needs to change soon because it’s been out of steam for months now. There’s not much good to be found here, but I’ll take a gimmick show like this over a regular boring night.
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