Monday Night Raw
Date: December 8, 2003
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for Armageddon, which has really snuck up on me this year. The big story coming out of last week was Mick Foley being named the new co-General Manager of Raw and balancing out Eric Bischoff’s power mad rampage. I’m sure this will be a new and innovative story that has never been done before in WWE. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week, which saw Foley firing a bunch of people but then revealing that he was just joking to end the show. That’s quite the use of two hours.
Here are Chris Jericho and Christian with flowers to beg Trish and Lita’s forgiveness. Cue the ladies with Trish holding up a Canadian dollar. Jericho is shocked that this is what’s wrong because it was just a stupid joke. They recap the feud with Jericho trying to sweet talk his way out of things and Jericho begs forgiveness until she slaps him in the face. Trish and Lita beat the heck out of them with the flowers and it’s time for a match. Well with Christian and Jericho’s scheduled opponents.
Tag Team Titles: Dudley Boyz vs. Chris Jericho/Christian
Jericho/Christian are challenging and we’re joined in progress with D-Von elbowing Christian in the face and nailing a powerslam. It’s off to Jericho to stomp on Bubba and the Canadians start in on the leg as Trish and Lita glare from the floor. A chinlock sets up more stomping as they’re not exactly going deep into the heel offense playbook here.
Bubba grabs a Samoan drop to set up the hot tag to D-Von…who gets double teamed almost immediately. A blind tag brings Bubba back in for a hard clothesline with D-Von hitting another to put D-Von on the floor. Believe it or not, Bubba misses his middle rope backsplash and Jericho’s Lionsault gives Christian two. The Bubba Bomb gets the same and it’s the women going up to play D-Von in a double What’s Up. The 3D to Christian retains the titles.
Rating: C-. Kind of a boring match for the most part but anything with ticked off Trish and Lita at ringside is a good thing. There’s more to this story and I’m still interested in where things are going. Bubba and D-Von are good for this role as you could have them hold the titles for a long time and it’s not a stretch to have Christian and Jericho lose to them here. Good story for a not that bad match.
Evolution recaps the plans to get the World Title back on HHH. Randy Orton is cool with that but promises to leave Armageddon as the Intercontinental Champion.
Christian and Jericho rant to Bischoff so he makes a mixed tag at Armageddon.
Batista vs. Rob Van Dam
Non-title. Rob doesn’t bother with the feeling out stuff and kicks Batista to the floor early on. Back in and the shoulders in the corner are shrugged off with Batista’s hard clothesline. Rob gets shoved outside as Lawler keeps singing Evolution’s praises. Back in and Rob is put upside down in the Tree of Woe to no avail as he’s right back with more kicks.
A dropkick puts Batista down and the stepover kick does it again. It’s too early for the Five Star though and the ref gets bumped. The Batista Bomb is countered into a fairly botched hurricanrana but Flair breaks up the split legged moonsault. Now the Batista Bomb can connect for the pin.
Rating: D+. Batista is being brought along slowly but he can hit a great looking powerbomb. Rob losing here is fine as it sets up the numbers game problem on Sunday and the loss wasn’t clean. This was all it should have been and Rob’s botches didn’t even hurt it that badly.
Garrison Cade/Mark Jindrak vs. Val Venis/Lance Storm
Before the match, Cade and Jindrak make it clear that they were NOT whining last week. Jindrak jumps Storm from behind and stomps away in the corner as Lawler is hoping that Storm and Venis’ ladies will be in one of Val’s films soon. A double suplex gets two and we hit the chinlock. Storm fights up and hits a dropkick, allowing the tag off to Venis so everything can break down. The Blue Thunder Bomb gets two on Jindrak but Cade’s distraction sets up a rollup (with trunks) to pin Venis. They didn’t have much time here and the match was really rushed.
Kane talks about killing his dog and leaving the carcass to rot in the woods. Every day he would go to see what was left of it, which made him feel good about himself. Goldberg being World Champion annoys him too so he’ll change that on Sunday.
Here’s Foley for a chat. He’s named himself guest referee for the Intercontinental Title match on Sunday, after several hours of consulting with himself. That brings him to Steve Austin, who needs to be reinstated. There are now over 500,000 signatures that want Austin back on Raw. We need more though so let’s pass this one around too. Before that can happen, here’s La Resistance to interrupt. They’re not cool with Foley humiliating him last week on national TV because Foley is a joke, JUST LIKE AMERICA!
We talk about Iraq some more (egads here we go again) and now it’s time to humiliate Foley. That’s why he’s going to salute the French flag or violence will ensue. Foley likes French fries, French toast and French’s mustard but he doesn’t like La Resistance. He’s not saluting the flag tonight so it’s almost on…..AND HERE’S THE ROCK! That wakes the fans up for the next year or so.
Rock isn’t sure what’s going on here because he knows Foley, he knows the people, he knows JR and King and he knows Lillian Garcia (“You still like the strudel?”) but he doesn’t know the two French guys. I think you know his reaction to their names and Rock wants to know if they were going to French kiss Foley to death. He accuses them of being a little Fifi themselves and threatens to smack their lips off their faces (that one never caught on). Dupree calls him Rocky and that doesn’t sit well with Rock.
They’re not going to win the Tag Team Titles on Sunday because one, they’re French and two, they suck. The French Army sucks too (and for some reason sounds like a Japanese stereotype) and would have surrendered to anyone. A tag match is teased until Foley calls the team the Sock N Rock Connection, which doesn’t sit well with Rock. The French guys jump them as they argue over the name but Rock remembers that he’s the Rock, meaning it’s time to nip up and beat the heck out of Dupree.
Mr. Socko sets up the spinebuster and People’s Elbow. Conway gets an Elbow of his own (from Foley this time) and Foley loads up Rock’s catchphrase. That is NOT cool though so Rock shows him how the tongue is supposed to go. Posing ensues and Rock even signs the Austin petition. This was a lot of fun and exactly the kind of a surprise that we needed after the boring stuff that goes on around here most weeks. Rock and Foley are always fun together and this was a blast all over again as it’s so rare to see Rock respect someone.
Bischoff has had Rock escorted from the building and makes Goldberg vs. Kane a lumberjack match with Bischoff himself picking the lumberjacks.
Booker T./Hurricane/Rosey vs. Mark Henry/Scott Steiner/Test
No Stacy Keibler in sight. Rosey runs Test over to start and drops a splash for two. It’s off to Hurricane for a rather positive reaction but Test tilt-a-whirl slams him down for some right hands. Steiner comes in for the push-up elbow and threatens Rosey with the same. A missed elbow allows the hot tag to Booker so house can be cleaned. The Spinarooni looks to set up the ax kick on Test but Henry comes in and runs people over as we take a break. Back with Henry dropping some big elbows and grabbing the chinlock.
Booker fights up but his rights and lefts have no effect. Henry’s clothesline gets two with Hurricane making the save and Steiner comes back in to some major booing. A forearm to the back keeps Booker down and Test slaps on a bearhug. Booker gets out with a spinebuster and brings in Hurricane to clean house. Hurricane’s neckbreaker drops Test but Henry comes in and runs him over, setting up the bearhug to knock Hurricane out for the win.
Rating: D. This was longer than it needed to be at nearly fifteen minutes, which didn’t help anyone but Henry. I know they’re going for the big monster push, but coming right after he lost to Goldberg isn’t the best strategy. He’s fine for what he is, but the bearhug and the monster offense feels like it’s out of the Hogan of the 1980s playbook.
Post match Booker gets bearhugged out as well.
Sign the petition!
Bischoff makes Evolution and Henry the lumberjacks.
The announcers recap the evening and run down the pay per view card.
Molly Holly/Victoria vs. Trish Stratus/Lita
Joined in progress with Trish chopping Molly in the corner as Jericho and Christian are watching from the ramp. A dropkick gives Trish two but Victoria gets in a knee from the apron. The spinning side slam gives Victoria two as Jericho wants Trish to show him what she has. It’s already back to Molly who powerbombs Trish to break up a hurricanrana attempt. Trish avoids a charge though and the hot tag brings in Lita for a monkey flip and an STO (there’s a combination you don’t often see). Cue Matt Hardy for a distraction though, allowing Molly and Victoria to hit a side slam/belly to back combo to pin Lita.
Rating: D+. Another uninspired match, as you probably guessed given how fast it had to go. Molly and Victoria have nothing going on, to the point where I completely forgot that Molly was Women’s Champion. Trish and Lita were the story of course here, and I’m almost scared to see what’s going to happen in the mixed tag.
Kane vs. Goldberg
Non-title lumberjack match. Goldberg goes right for him with heavy right hands and a shoulder but Kane sends him over the top. The obligatory lumberjack beatdown is on with JR saying they’d be in jail if not for Bischoff making them lumberjacks. Back in and Goldberg hammers away but gets thrown out again, meaning it’s time for Evolution to beat on him some more.
Kane nearly drops him on a side slam and it’s off to a sleeper. Goldberg gets up and counters the chokeslam into an FU, allowing him to send Kane outside. JR is INCENSED that the lumberjacks don’t beat on Kane so Goldberg goes outside and throws Kane back in himself. The spear is loaded up but Orton comes in for the DQ.
Rating: D. Sloppy and not much to see here but at least they stuck with the formula that makes sense for the match. Keeping it short was the right move though as Goldberg is best used in short bursts. Sunday’s title match doesn’t do much for me but the triple threat lets HHH (who has managed to miss a good portion of the build while filming a movie) get the title back again without repeating the same match for what, the fourth time? Who cares if it’s not interesting for the fans?
The beat down is on so here are Rob Van Dam and Booker T. to get taken out as well. Shawn Michaels is in for the save with a “straight martial arts kick” (better known as Sweet Chin Music to everyone but JR) to Flair. Sweet Chin Music (JR got it that time) to Kane sets up the spear to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. Rock’s segment came close to shaving this show but there’s only so much you can do on the go home show for a pay per view as lifeless as Sunday’s. This show is dying for someone with some energy near the top of the show as Goldberg is pretty obviously just holding the title for HHH and after that it’s a bunch of midcarders trying to be next in line to lose to HHH. That’s been the case for way too long now and it’s dragged the rest of the show down.
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