Originally Published March 10, 2003
What a difference a few weeks makes. It seems like just yesterday that the Raw Champ was subscribing to the theory that if the "Casket's rocking – don't come knocking." UPN was the place to catch the top talent while the highlights of TNN were CSI commercials and HLA. Now with the Grim Reaper of Injuries playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" with the Smackdown roster, we have a healthy and strong Raw team. Well…healthy at least. Well, except for Evolution. Anyway the (mostly) Healthy Crew is in Cleveland and they're ready to rock. Me? I'm ready to watch.
The last time we saw our Monday Night Masters of Misdirection there was so many things still left unsettled. What does fate hold for Booker T? Will the Rocky Horror Brahma Bull take his WrestleMania title shot? What does Chris Jericho have in store for the Hartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels? Will the Texas Rattlesnake Steve Austin get his hands on the Minnesota Slug Eric Bischoff? Why doesn't Triple H just skip the middleman? The answers to all your inquiries can be found in the Uncensored, Uncut, and Uncooked Menagerie of Vince McMahon's Inner Being – AKA…RAW!
We kick things off with the gelatinous mix of Crisco and flesh that is Eric Bischoff's face. Apparently Uncle Eric has called together his forces of evil. He wants to discuss Steve Austin with them. Apparently Bischy made a mistake. Tonight he wants Steve Austin to feel welcome. When they rulebreaking bad guy heels nod as if they get his meaning, Eric screeches like a crazy old woman "Newwooo newwoooo noooo nooo!" Why make enemies with the Texas Rattlesnake? Greasy E has been there and done that., it's time to make peace. The last time he had a meeting with a group of wrestlers that big – Raven got his WCW release. As the Bisch dismisses his minions, Chief Morley questions his decision. But before Chief Val and his "special friend" can get too deep into conversation, the Rock shows up. Chief Valhoo McVenis asks if his puffy partner would like him to stick around, but Schoff sends him on his way (JG Note: Between the Rock's vest and pants and Eric's jacket – there is way too much leather in this room.) DDP's neighbor asks the People's Bull if he's ready for his bout with Booker T. According to Rocky, that match won't happen. Rock drifts in and out of third person the whole time as he declares his match with Booker T off. The Scorpion Brahma Eyebrow wants Stunning Steve Austin at WrestleMania. Why even waste time wrestling the T? It's not like the Great One's scared though. But Eric has a responsibility to his Advertisers. He promoted Booker T and the Rock and he has to deliver (JG Note: Oh – right, Eric! Like all those Nitro main events that never took place? You still owe me hours and hours of my life from main events that never happened! Now you care? Eric! Now do you care? Just a lil bit? ) The Rock laughs. Is this all about sponsors? The Rock will find his opponent – just relax, Sweaty. I hope it's Viscera.
(JG Note: This is where the Raw Theme would play – but they don't play the Raw Theme this week. I hum it in my head just for the sake of continuity.)
One of a Kind!
…and his partner in a leather mask!
Rob Van Dam and Kane stand in the ring as Jimbo Ross calls them an unlikely duo. Wow, the most unlikely duo since…Hurricane and Kane? X-Pac and Kane?
Recap of Y2J beating Shawn Michaels with a chair and Shawn rolling around like a scene from "The Miracle Worker."
(1) Chris Jericho & Christian defeated Rob Van Dam & Kane when Jericho pinned RVD Team Chris(tian) Jericho were doing their thing in this one . Excellent match technique wise. As JR and Kingy recounted Stacey's trouncing at the hands of Christmas and Fozzy, JR said "That made my Oklahoma heart sad." I think the gallons of barbecue sauce make it pretty unhappy too, Jim. Also, I'm afraid to say anything about Jericho and RVD in the ring because Chris might flip out again. Actually, all kidding aside, they put on a good match. Great kicks by Rob Van Dam as he eventually made his way to the top buckle. After hitting a Five Star Frog Splash on Christian, Rob rolled around in pain. As he was rolling, Y2J3 hit the Lionsault and scored the win. Good ending. Good spot.
After the win, Jericho made his way up the ramp while jawing with his fallen opponents. Little did he know, HBK Shawn Michaels was behind him. He hits Fozzyhead with a Superkick and straddles him before uttering "I'll see you at WrestleMania, boy!" Really…uh disturbing. I'm a firm believer that one man shouldn't stretch over another man with tight pants on. Just something icky about the whole segment.
Commercial Break. I like Mint Skittles. I have no idea what the hell "Feel the Kiss – Taste the Rainbow" means. In fact, just because of that stupid commercial – I don't like Mint Skittles anymore.
This Thursday Eric Bischoff presents Girls Gone Wild! The show is basically men getting women to expose themselves. But this Thursday's show is different. It's two hours of the GGW staff trying to get a tipsy Eric Bischoff to stop exposing himself. Also tonight – Jerry the King Lawler hosts a GGW Wet-T Shirt Contest or as Sean O'Haire likes to call it – "Ten minutes that they could use to have me do something goddamnit! All that build-up for nothing!"
HungryMan Dinners? Check. Kiwis on knives? Check. WrestleMania Title Match? Check. All that's left is whether or not I dig it….SUCKA!
Out comes Booker T. Someone hands a mic to the T-Man so he can give us his thoughts. He says that the Rock isn't there tonight – to which Jerry Lawler corrects him. BT corrects himself and says that the Rock doesn't want to fight tonight (JG Note: They dropped this whole thing like a bad habit. Kerplunk. Pretty abrupt. DO-OVER!). The Book claims that Hunter Hearst Helmsely was right last week. You see, Mr T knows he's entertaining. He entertains all of us "24/7." He entertains me while he's sleeping? Things then get really awkward and uncomfortable as Booker tells me all about the biggest mistake he ever made…the one that landed him in jail. He sat in a cell. He was behind bars. He held a "gat" to someone's head. He was in for armed robbery. (JG Note: What side are you on, mate? We shall see. G'day Mate…SUCKA!) It was really strange. Booker came off like a drunken friend at a party that just volunteers deeply personal information to a group of people when no one asked. (JG Note: "One time I killed a man…uh… I was just kidding, guys. Uh…huhuh…") He then moves on. It would have been better if they did a Confidential on it – instead we get Trish Stratus playing characters with Mo Collins on Fox. Well, the Bookerman is done baring his soul. He wants the Game…and he don't mean Parcheesi.
Ladies and Gentlemen – it's a Flair for the Gold. With Double A and Fifi the Maid. Tonight's guest is Booker T. Now ladies and gentlemen….Nature Boy Ric Flair!
Before anything, Ric - who has hair like that? Seriously, what are you doing? You look like a Simpsons Character. Flair then delivers a tirade about how Book is not World Champion material. He then tells T that Triple H is back in the locker room and asked him to wander out to the ring to deliver a message. Stephanie's Sweet Little Babboo wants Books to know that next week he can put on a chauffeur's cap and drive them around town. It sort of continues like that for a bit. (JG Note: This is my impression of Vince McMahon this afternoon – "Fine, fine, go as hard as you want…just don't say "black." Leave us some breathing room there.) As the Crypt Keeper in a White Wig continues to taunt the 5 Time WCW Champ, Booker inquires if he is finished. When Ric answers "yes" – he's knocked on his Nature Butt. Book walks the aisle and looks for the Gamy One.
Booker T finds Hunter wetting his hair in the sink. I swear to God. Hunter was wetting his hair in the sink. He was fully dressed and dowsing his hair. I have no idea what Hunter does when he's not on camera but I bet it's pretty weird. T gets in H's face and Hunter responds by tossing a dollar at him. Booker proceeds to beat him like it's 1993 GWF and he's Sebastian. Don't get the reference? Don't sweat it. Here…
Commercial Break. How come when Truth.com shows the results of the poll on whether women would want a healthy or sick baby, five people picked "Sick Baby?"
Recap – You just saw this. Remember? Hunter? Bathroom? Wethead? You saw it.
Hunter Ryzin is nursing his ample nose while Biff Tannen circa 2015 convinces him to find Booker T.
Hey dude, are you going to use that Woolite? You mind if I dip my left arm in it?
(2) Jeff Hardy pinned Rico with a roll-up. Awesome fact of the match? Rico was once the bodyguard of Benny Hinn! (JG Note: Some of my friends in college and I would watch him. It's funny stuff. He tells you to touch the screen and then proclaims that he heals people. But he specifically says what he "heals." For example: "Someone has just been cured of asthma." You have to see Benny Hinn! Rico? You don't need to see him. His character's kinda boring). During the match we shoot backstage and see that Steve Austin took his ball and went home to the Gund Arena. The Ringmaster has hit the building and he's fixing to open up a can of Whoop Ass. Jeff Hardy Version "Lost in the Shuffle" scores the victory with a roll-up. 3 Minute Warning and their Cabana Boy whine as Finger Paint Head takes off.
There is no audio coming through as Triple H and Ric Flair approach Maven and some guy I don't know. Apparently there's some arguing and Hunter hits the guy I don't know (JG Note: I make up my own words and try to match them to their lips. Hunter: "I like my pretty girlie hair. I'm such a pretty princess." Maven: I look like a Muppet.) As audio kicks back in, Maven tells Hunter "He (referring to the guy who just got hit) wasn't even on Tough Enough, Numbnuts!" Hunter flips out and tosses the grabs the kid by the throat. RMaven has thirty minutes. Get set. Tonight, it's Hunter Hearst Levesque against minor league Maven.
Commercial Break. The entire time I watched the new Lugz commercial, I thought it was a car commercial. I swear.
Steve Austin is in the house and he's munching on a Steve-Dog. Goldust stops him and tells him that Eric Bischoff is looking for him. Of course it takes Dustin about two minutes to say it because he has "tourette's syndrome" now. Segment ends with Austin sticking his hotdog in Goldy's mouth. I've never said this in a report before – but I hate this whole thing. I think it's terrible. Dustin's gimmick will not get over and will ultimately just end up being a big mistake.
The Rock is in the People's locker room sitting on a tiny purple chair. When what to his wondering eyes do appear? But the same guitar that follows him from city to city. Mr. I Only Know One Song plays…the same song only this time he insults Cleveland. But the song ends short when Rocky is confronted by his handpicked opponent for tonight. The camera pans back and reveals the Hurricane. It's very similar to the stuff they did before. "You're the Hamburgler", "Easy Big Fellow", "What are you're superpowers?" I was trying to put my finger on what was bothering me about this when my girlfriend just looked over and said "This is corny." You said a mouthful, young lady. I think this whole Rocky/Helms thing was enjoyable at first, but has really been played out enough. It's gotten…well, Corny. Rocky claims that Hurricane is a "Thorn in the Rock's thigh." Segment ends with Rocko knocking Suga Cane down with a punch. One thing about Maivia, he's got an amazing punch. It was like at SummerSlam 1995 when Razor Ramon knocked Dean Douglas out with a punch in a backstage segment. It was a solid shot and came out great on camera. After Rock hit him and the piece ended, Jim Ross asked "What's funny about that?" Nothing, JR, nothing.
Still to come – Rodney Mack's old lady – Jazz versus Mad TV's crown jewel Trish Stratus.
Commercial Break….for about 10 minutes. Seriously, we've been at commercial for over ten minutes. Pretty awkward. I bet the commercial break quarter hour scored higher ratings than A-Train.
Jerry Lawler acknowledges that we've been sitting through a long commercial break. Thank God, I thought I had "lost time" and been abducted by Aliens.
(3) Trish Stratus and Jazz fought to a draw when Victoria attacked both women "We've been at commercial forever! Cue Victoria now!" This match was about nine seconds long. It was like Bundy/Jones at WrestleMania 1. Victoria and Steven Richards are awesome. Potential written all over them. Looks like a three-way match at Mania between these women. If they throw Jacqueline into the mix – I'll cry.
I'm ba-ack…and ate all the butter…
Here comes the Former Executive Vice President of Wrestling Operations for World Championship Wrestling, Eric Bischoff. Easy E is embarrassed over his match at No Way Out with Superstar Steve Austin. You see, Eric's never been manhandled like that by anyone before (JG Note: Fate? God? Jamie Kellner?) Eric apologizes for firing Steve via FedEx in WCW. Wow. Did he just admit to that? He also gives a heartfelt "sorry" to JR for breaking a cinderblock over his head. You know, maybe we should thank the Puffy Daddy. You see, Eric created Stone Cold. By releasing him from WCW, Steve had the chance to move on and become a Superstar. So, Eric did it! This is the same rationale he uses when he claims to have invented the N.W.O. According to Bischy, he's similar to Steve Austin. They both took on Vince McMahon. (JG Note: Yeah, but you lost Eric.) Schoff then says that while Steve enjoys a beer, Eric fancies himself to be a martini guy. Man – I don't even have to stay something about Eric. He's doing my job for me. All he needs to do is admit to being puffy and bloated and I can go on autopilot.
Cue the man who retired the "Million Dollar Belt."
It's the Rattlesnake! By God! It's the Texas By God Rattlesnake! It's the friggin By God Son of A Gun Texas By God Rattlesnake! As Austin flips his fans the bird, Easy E stands center ring. Stone Cold instructs the Bisch to call him "sir." Eric complies and reaches his hand out to the former Hollywood Blonde. All Sleazy E wants to do is bury the hatchet. Steve endears himself to me by mocking Eric's beady eyes and stupid hair before rebuffing his friendly advances. He shoots the Bisch the bird and calls his speech "boring." After he backs EB into the ropes and prepares to take him out…What? Take him out…
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" - - The Rock, 3/10/03 – 10:04 PM
The Great Bull steps through the curtain and stops the Chris Adams wrestling school Grad from pounding the grease out of Uncle Eric. Rocky wants to come out here and slap Austin. Austin replies that all he has to do is walk the aisle and take his best shot. Well, wait Steve. You see, Rock has done it all in this business except for one thing (JG Note: He never won a BattleBowl ring.) You see, the Scorpion Bull never beat the Texas Ringmastersnake at WrestleMania. The Rock can't understand why considering that Steve Austin is "nothing." Stone Cold tells the Rock to remove his sunglasses and come down for a fight. Steve even lays down for the Rock. Rocky takes a few steps and decides "Nah!" As the Rocker retreats, Austin decides that someone is getting whooped tonight! He turns and pounds Eric into sweaty oblivion. When the Rock runs in and attempts to jump the Bionic Redneck from behind, he's caught and takes a powder. Later, Rocky.
Still to Come – The Tough Enough 1 Winner versus The Guy Who Gets Mail At Vince's House.
Commercial Break. Free Game with a purchase of Nintendo Gamecube. That's pretty generous considering that they charge $60 for something that costs about $1.25 to make.
Still to come…Flex Kavana v One Third of Three Count.
(4) World Champion Triple H pinned Maven after a Pedigree Line of the night from Good Ol Jimmy Ross -"Maven showed that he's got some lead in his pencil, let's see if he has someone to write to tonight!" Great stuff, Jim...duh. They talk about Hunt's feud with Booker and again mention his comments. When Lawler sides with Gameboy, JR acts as if Jerry just shot his pa. I wish Linda McMahon would hold one of those conference calls right now so I can call up and ask "Uh, Hello Mrs. McMahon. What exactly does Hunter mean by "you people?" Let's see her dance around that one. Also, the announcers point out that Triple H's whole crew is gone. I think there's this bad cosmic energy that just follows Trips around. Everyone near him fades away. Just a thought, but doesn't the position Maven is in after over two seasons have passed since his Tough Enough victory show just how useless "Tough Enough" has been? Hunter Hearst Wethead hits the Pedigree for the win. After the match, Trips tosses Maven over the ropes and his head gets caught. Al Snow comes out to help him and is Pedigreed for his trouble. I'm sure destroying Al Snow and Maven will do a lot for Hunter's character. Yes…I'm kidding.
We're outside the Gund arena and JR forgets the city they're in.
Chief Val of Venis is taping up his wrist. He has nothing but happy thoughts for Uncle Bischoff. Easy E tried to make amends with Sunning Steve. That's something that even Mr. McMahon never did. Hey, Chief! That gives Sleazy E an idea! You know the way that Eric's mind works ! Vinnie Mac made his match with Steve a no-interference match! Now he'll do it on his terms! Next week it will be Eric Bischoff versus Stone…Cold…Steve…Austin! Three people cheer. Ok...maybe four.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler shill the Girls Gone Wild PPV.
Stacey Kiebler must have some weird DNA or something because apparently she doesn't feel cold air like the rest of us. She's half-naked and on the phone with Test. Apparently, Testicle is with some woman in an exotic location. Well, Legs isn't too pleased. Uh oh….
Terri is sprinting down the hall as she catches up to Steve Austin and Scott Steiner. She asks Steve what he thinks about his match with the Bisch. Austin smiles and says he likes it. He walks off leaving Terri alone with Freakzilla. She looks at Scott Steiner and they both sort of just giggle and shrug. Scott has absolutely nothing to say because he's not doing anything at all right now.
Commercial Break. John Madden tells me "No Credit? No Problem!" (We'll just charge you so much interest that we will eventually own you)
The Dudleys come to the ring followed by Dope Stupid Fresh Lance Storm and Chief Venis. Val books tonight's match as a handi-cap match. If D-Von can beat The Venis-Storm tonight, the Duds return to WWE. If not, they remain suspended. > Why does Chief Morley continue to book matches that he has nothing to gain from?
(5) Chief Morley & Lance Storm defeated D-Von Dudley in a Handicap Match when Chief pinned D-Von Pretty much a traditional handi-cap match. Although, I have to say that this feud is getting pretty stale. In order to advance a feud like this, you need different outcomes to situations. From what I've seen, it's the same old story every week. One thing I did learn from this match was that Jim Ross hates the French Government. Chief Val Strongbow hit the "Money Shot" (JG Note: I guess we're keeping that name. Hey, Chieftain, you know what that means, right? OK.) for the pin. The Duds stay suspended…until Val brings one back again to fight him. This is stupid.
Commercial Break. Local Long Island Commercial for "King Quality." They do siding or something. Really cheesy commercial. I guess there's a large number of Raw viewers that are looking to buy "siding"…and Snicker's Crunchers.
Raw Recap: Hey…remember when Jericho knocked Shawn Michaels senseless with a chair and then Shawn caught up to him on the ramp and kicked him – then straddled him? No you don't. Watch it again.
Jerry Lawler is in the ring for the Girls Gone Wild Wet T-Shirt Contest. These are the best looking girls they could get? Nothing too spectacular. I'm not going into detail on this because this whole segment was not even close to wrestling. Four girls stood in the ring (JG Note: The type of girls that would beg you to buy them a shot) and Stacey comes out. She makes a number of double entendres about getting "wet" and then waters down the girls's tops with a Super Soaker. The only thing that really came out of all this was that Kiebler would be at the GGW PPV (and that's barely "news"). Right to Censor lost the good fight. This went over like a lead balloon. I can’t believe I just sat through this.
Commercial Break. Gameboy Advance SP – Brilliant. Gameboy Advance PP – Smelly.
Next Week – Stunning Steve versus Stuffed Eric.
(6) Hurricane pinned the Rock with a roll-up This match wasn't good. I mean, it wasn't the worst match I've ever seen, but it was definitely a poor outing. Pretty anti-climatic with most of the match featuring a Rocky chinlock. Rock did manage to put on Shane's cape at one point and jump around the ring, but mostly this contest came off sort of bland. Maybe it's just me, but Hurricane isn't really too exciting to me. I think the guy is a good competitor, but I find him to be a bit overrated and it's matches like this that prove that point. Helms stages a comeback and hits Rocky with a chokeslam. But, The Scorpion Bull gains control and ends up in the position to land the People's Elbow. However, as he's about to hit the move, Stone Cold's music hits. Rocky Maivia is distracted and Hurricane rolls him up for the pin.
Rocky is flipping out as Austin is flipping him the bird. Stone Cold promises a third WrestleMania win over the Rocky one as we fade to black…
All in All… So-so show. I would say that the main problem with Raw right now is very similar to the problems they've had all along. There is too much emphasis on main characters despite the fact that their storylines haven't even been properly developed. Think about it, back when Hunter was the center of every Raw, it was obvious. We saw it because there was only one Top Level guy. Now there's a few others, but the problem is still there, only now there's more guys to spread it out between. I also question putting Hurricane over Rocky when Jeff Hardy would have benefited far greater from the a victory over the Great One. All together, nothing to write home about but nothing that makes me regret watching…well except for that GGW segment. I still can’t imagine that no one could have thought of a better way to present that segment. Don't any of these people watch wrestling shows? Anyway, next week….it's Bischoff versus Austin! I'm going to start thinking of snide Bischoff things for next week…right now!