Originally Published April 14, 2003
Well, it's the last Raw before Easter and you know the roster has to be excited. Easter means different things to different people. For example, if you ask Jeff Hardy his thoughts on the holiday he'll tell you it's when he goes to the supermarket and rubs his face on the eggs. In Vince McMahon's mind, it's the anniversary of when his son rose from the dead. As for Eric Bischoff, it's the day he eats chocolate bunnies until he throws up – but that doesn't really have anything to do with Easter, he does that every Sunday.
But as we all await Peter Cottontail to hop down the bunny trail, we have some more pressing issues at hand. Namely, Monday Night Raw. When we last left our Rabbit Eared Roster so many questions were still left without answers. Will Goldust continue to...to...to...ooo...ooo..torment the King of Testicles with his accidental confessions to Stacy Kiebler? Who will Scott Steiner eat this week en route to his character reconstruction? Will Big Daddy Cool Kevin Nash seek out his Hunter Hearst Homeboy for an epic showdown? How long before the Coach succeeds in his evil plan to make the ears of the home audience bleed uncontrollably? What will the Rock have to say about WWE's newest locker room morale booster Bill Goldberg? Will Rob Van Dam and Kane continue to reign supreme as tag champs or will they just eat some brownies and take a nap? Why did the jellyroll? Because it saw the apple turnover. Ok that answer you got now. But the answers to the rest of your questions can be found in the two hour block of Pop on the New TNN. You may know it as....Raw...
Raw Theme Plays – Steve Austin's part now has a big red x over it. Also I think the lead singer of the Union Underground is the missing Hardy Boy.
Cue Kevin Vinnie Big Daddy Sexy the Giant KillingCool Outsider 4 Life Wolfpac Oz Steel Diesel Vegas Nash.
Things get going quickly with John Coachman and Jerry the King Lawler welcoming us to the program. Kevin Nash makes his way to the ring without tearing a tendon and he's got to have something to say. Nashy cues us all in that nine months is a long time and it's good to be back (JG Note: Psstt... I heard that the injury was a lie. I heard that Kevin was in a top secret government experiment that impregnates men – hence nine months. Pass it on.) As Big Daddy Nash tells the tale of his "injury" he explains that he had support. His buddies Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley would call him while he was rehabbing. But those bumbling numbskulls were on TV trying to kill each other at the time! Big Kev says "Come on." This group is best friends! It's like...come'awn. So the Outsider busted his butt to get back to action only to have his friends go at it again. Kevin says that "Shawn was handcuffed in the corner and Hunter had a sledgehammer and I'm right in the hell in the middle of it" (JG Note: There is – no joke – a million different comments that can be made right now.) He asks the boys what happened to being on the road? What happened to being best friends like Screech and Zack? Like Cory, Shawn and Topenga? Like Bert and Ernie? Plus and Minus? Mike and Ike? What happened to the promise that they'd stay together when they got to the top? Uh...Kevin, you went to WCW. That's what happened. Nash, the Guy who once dressed up like Vince McMahon on Nitro in a vicious parody, wants his buddies to get their act together. Oh Nashy boy...are you the "responsible one" that they referenced at the end of Hunter's old theme song? No...wait...the mellow one? No that was Waltman. I have no idea. Kevin wants his buddies to get the band back together. No matter what match Eric Bischoff signed for Backlash.
Time to play the game! Ooh...can I pick? Umm...Yahtzee!
Out steps Triple H complete in shades and leather jacket. As he enters the ring, J-Co informs us that over the weekend a match at Backlash was signed. It will be Shawn Michaels, Booker T and Kevin Nash meeting Triple H, Ric Flair and Chris Jericho. Trips enters and gives Diesel a big ol hug. They exchange pleasantries and confirm that they received each other's messages (JG Note: Ring...ring...Hello. You've reached – Argh! The Game! Hunter! Triple H! – and – The General Manager of Smackdown Stephanie McMahon – and we can't come to the phone right now. Leave a message at the blip...Ooops, Steph, I accidentally said 'blip'...Hunter! How can you screw this up? You screw everything up!...Don't yell at me! I have pretty hair! I am the king of this busi... BEEP) But despite all that Kevin has to accept the fact that this issue between him and the Heartbreak Kid is never going to end. Funny enough, I was starting to think that myself. Hunter pretty much confirmed it. So Vinnie Vegas best understand that the Game will never make peace with Shawn Michaels. In fact...
Mr. Michaels...you're on. No sir, I don't think the mirrored chaps would be appropriate for this segment. Even the black jeans are stretching it. You better get out there.
Out comes the Rocker with the good fortune Shawn Michaels. HBK sachets his way up the ramp and into a big 1996 reunion. He goes nose to beak with the Game and calls him out on his earlier threat to slap him. Once again, like Jan Brady, Big Kevin is still in the middle. He steps in to make sure that the two former Dxers don't resort to fisticuffs. Shawn and Hunter exchange insults as Big Daddy Oz's voice cracks with a "Stop it!" It's like...come AWN!. He didn't come back for this! Can't we just get along? (JG Note: That old gag.) Trippies breaks it down for his seven-foot buddy. You see, he understands the position that Kevo is in but he needs to make a choice. It's either Hunter or Michaels. He didn't need to do that. Jerry Seinfeld didn't make Kramer choose between him and Newman. Helmsley explains that the Boy Toy is bad news. He may be by your side, but he's stealing your spotlight behind your back. Diesel has a choice. He's can be with Helmsley and agree to walk behind and be a follower or go with Shawn. According to the Cerebral Assassin, at least he's being upfront about it. HBK won't. He tells Kev to mull over his choice because if he's with Michaels than he's a "part of the world (he's) against." God. So dramatic. Is Triple H's character supposed to have no people skills? As Big Daddy digests this, Trips reminds him of one more thing. Both their careers took off after they left Shawn Michaels. Gamy departs, leaving the Dudes with Attitude to deal with that. Not bad. It ended with a good point and overall was a good segment If for no other reason than that it actually showcased some of Hunter and Shawn's history together. I wonder if Kevin is still seeing people who aren't there. Oh...wait...that's John Nash. Sorry. Anywho...what's doing backstage?
Stacy Kiebler is backstage and she's dealing with some deep moral issues. Should she open her boyfriend, Test's gym bag? She gives into her bad angel and unzips it. Inside she finds: Lotion, Baby Wipes, a Towel and a copy of Torrie's PlayBoy Issue. Her greasy fisted Canadian runs in screaming like a twelve-year-old that just got. "What are you doing in my stuff?" Stacy hits him with the magazine and storms off. I guess he went from doing the "Testicle" gimmick to doing the masturbating gimmick. Andrew Martin has had such a strange career. Before there was Mattitude...Before there was Imag-eye-nation (Whatever that is)...there was the...
Commercial Break. Presenting...more toys from my childhood that GameBoy Advance SP makes look primitive: Light Brite, Presto Magix, Starting Lineup Big League Talking Baseball and the He-Man Snake Mountain Playset with "echo microphone."
King and The Coach both miss Jim Ross. They don't miss Tony Schiavone. No one misses Tony Schiavone.
Test...Test... Test has big Teeth
(1) Chris Jericho pinned Test after a Lionsault Sadly, this match was nothing to speak of. The general idea behind it was that Miss Hancock was stealing Test's spotlight by playing to the crowd. For a match centered around an outside distraction, this one went way too long. You know the dead feeling you get when you're watching a match on TV and a fight breaks out in the crowd or something. The audience stops reacting and the match seems dead. That was this. During the bout Stacy autographed a ringside "fan's" sign and flashed the crowd her thong. Pretty forgettable match, which saw the head Testicle distracted by his go-go dancing girlfriend find himself attacked, and Lionsaulted by Fozzy. Three seconds later – Y2J is the King of the World.
Following the bell, Testes loses his mind. He yells at Stacy. (JG Note: Eh, you hoser! What's that all aboot?) The former UnAmerican sends Kiebs back to the showers. He then turns his attention to the autograph seeking "fan" from earlier. They get into a verbal confrontation and Test proceeds to beat him silly. Ah, the precious "plants." If this was 1987, Ted DiBiase would be paying him $500 to bark like a dog. 1997 Tiger Ali Singh would pay him to eat dogfood from his assistant's feet. 2003, Test kicks his ass. That, my friends, is evolution.
Eric Bischoff is in front of a slick red and black background. Tonight he will do the right thing for Stone Cold fans everywhere. Then he'll go to a strip club and try to convince the girls that he's "producing a movie." Yeah right, Bisch. I have more faith in the honesty of the...
Commercial Break. If you take Stacker 2 Tony Stewart will be your best friend and Jeff Hammond will take you to a rodeo.
Stacy and Test are trying to work through this recent relationship woe. Mr. Ticle convinces his chickie that she has no reason to be jealous. She's just as hot as Torrie. Her legs have Wilson beat by a mile and her "puppies" are...well...not so impressive. Kiebler gasps. I think that every guy on the planet knows that was a mistake. He's left once again in the doghouse while Stacy goes off to consult the rest of the committee.
(2) Jazz & Victoria defeated Trish & Ivory when Jazz forced Trish to submit Hi, my name is Ivory and it's my turn to be the generic, no gimmick, no frills, carbon copy, cut and paste, fourth female roster member of the month! Yeah, I can't figure out the mentality of putting so much effort into making three female characters so prominent while doing nothing for anyone else in the division. Great stuff as Theodore Long joined commentary and introduced the world to the term "Haterrizing" (JG Note: To be Hating). He gets into some verbal jabs with Lawler over Memphis and the racism of Tennessee. I couldn't figure out if it was just worked wrestling ad-libs or if Teddy had crossed a line and the King felt the need to defend Memphis. Long then switched attention to JC and asked how he felt to only be moved to Raw because the white man quit. (JG Note: It would have been funny if Jerry Lawler said "Coach, you're black!?") The women put on a good showing, which is starting to become the rule rather than the exception. Jazz Mack locks the Fitness Model in the STF for the tap out.
Goldberg is backstage and he's wearing a "Next" Shirt. A PA informs big Bill that he has a visitor. Apparently he has a "family member" here. With that, Goldust enters. (JG Note: I made the whole Goldust/Goldberg family joke last week.) Dustin expresses his sheer excitement over Goldie Number Two's debut. He stutters away before presenting Berg with a gift. He gives him a big blonde wig, much like the one he wears to the ring. Before Da Man can stop him, Dustin plops the wig on his head. I can't even think of a way to describe it other than "Goldberg in a blonde wig." Billy G gives us the whole "Ah Gee" look as he gives the wig back to his Golden family member. As he exits he reminds Dusty's kid to never do that again. Goldust than says he soiled himself. I am now dumber for having seen that whole segment. I'm going to go pour Drain-o in my ears and hope it cleans away the memory. You watch the...
Commercial break. OK, I rip on the Truth.com a lot, but we have to be fair here. Cigarette companies can come up with billion dollar budgets for advertising that go so far as to have a camel cleverly shaped like a phallic symbol, but the best they can come up with for an anti-smoking ad is "Tobacco is Whacko if you're a teen?" Plus the commercials are almost tongue in cheek funny. Like the guy who lives in squalor and dirt but his friend tells him not to smoke because it's disgusting? Or how about the one where the kid gets a tongue ring from a mummy-looking dude in a dark alley but proclaims that he would be crazy to accept when the man says "Join me in a cigarette?" It's like "Ha ha. Smoking isn't worse than getting your tongue pierced by a mutant or living knee deep in filth. I get it, Lorillard. Got the joke. Haha! Wink wink."
Nash is shown backstage. He's just sitting on a box and thinking. He must have been put on "Time Out."
Cue Austin's music. You don't need Miss Cleo to tell you it's Bischoff.
Eric Bischoff comes out and goes off on how easy everyone was to fool. He claims that everyone fell for the Steve Austin music trick again. He promised a special gift for you Stone Cold fans. With that...he shills a Shopzone Exclusive of Austin shirts and Jim Ross BBQ sauce. Are they for real? This is legit. It's like that guy who used to do the commercials during the pay-per-views for T-shirts and programs. Wow. I can just imagine the Internet Feedback on this segment:
Bob Jones of Dover, DE. and Multiple-Newsletters Subscriber (-11.0): Best Match: Nothing. Worst Match: Everything. A friggin Shopzone commercial? I couldn't believe the WWE would have the nerve to hand me such a pile of garbage! After this segment I took the TV and threw it against the wall until it shattered and glass flew everywhere. My friend got mad because it was his TV and the shattered picture tube cut a gash across his forehead that required 17 stitches. Why? All because of Eric Bischoff. My friend said that I have to pay his medical bills and buy him a new TV but I told him to send the bill to WWE! Now he says he's going to sue me and it's all because of tonight's poor Raw. I will never watch Raw again. I can't watch Raw again since I've broken all my televisions anyway.
Can you dig it...Sucka?
Oh...where was I? Oh yeah, Easy E. He's still mid sentence when the Spinning Hungry Man of WWE, Booker T, confronts him. Mr. T gets up in Bisch's face and explains that he's a five time WCW champ (JG Note: Eric is like "Uh...not during my first run there, pal.") If Schoff wants to give the fans something they deserve, they should hook him up with a World Title match tonight....Sucka! Buy some merchandise too...Sucka!
Rob Van Dam and Kane are walking backstage. Through the magic of TIVO I rewound the spot and after throwing some shadow kicks, you can hear RVD say "I'll be doing that shit tonight."
Commercial Break. If the documentary film "The Real Cancun" isn't a sure sign of the apocalypse, I don't know what is.
(3) World Tag Team Champions Kane & Rob Van Dam defeated Lance Storm and Chief Morley when Kane pinned Storm. Definitely the best match on the show. This one had a good flow to it and I think it might have something to do with the new positioning of both teams. Not only are Kane and Van Dam over like crazy, but the fans are so used to them being jobbed that it's conceivable that they might drop the titles at any minute. Also, Storm and Chief Val Strongbow have started to really develop as a team. I still think they are in desperate need of a manager. I mean, how over would the Midnight Express have been without Jim Cornette? How much heat would the Iron Shiek and Nikolai Vollkoff have gotten without Fred Blassie? How big could Well Dunn have been without Harvey Whippleman? Well...forget that last one, but you get the idea. Great action in this one with the crowd really taking to it. Kane comes at Storm with the ringsteps, but falls victim to a garbage can shot. Kane hits the ground as Val gets it on with the Whole Dam Show in the ring. Suddenly...
Commercial Break. Daddy Day Care? I feel like the higher ticket prices become, the worse movies get.
We're back and this match is still going strong. We revisit an RVD DDT on both opponents and the Kane stairs shot. We see a lot of good spots and near falls with Robbie V hitting Venis with a Rolling Thunder and Kane tossing Storm out of the ring on top of him. As they regain their composure, Van Dam flipped the top rope and took them both down. Chief Val entered the ring and was set up for a chokeslam. But from behind...it's the Damn Dudleys! They rush the ring and take out Team Burn Out. But all is not well in Dudleyville, an argument ensues with Chief Morley that culminates with Bubba tossing him a chair. As he catches it, Rob hits the Van Daminator. Storm enters and gets a chokeslam followed by a Van Terminator! Awesome stuff. Kane covers Liznance and we have another unlikely win for the unlikely tag team! Did the writers not realize that they accidentally pushed RVD and Kane?
We're backstage with Triple H, Ric Flair and the Raw GM Eric Bischoff. Team Nose is trying to convince the former WCW honcho to ixnay on the match with Book. But as they banter, Hurricane Helms flies into the room with reasons that the Game should accept the match. Like a Tough Enough Kid with a question, Hunter dismisses him. Helms responds by calling Trips a "beeotch." The Game is not amused and continues to ignore the Three Counter. Hey, Hurricane has a hurri-idea. Since Booker T has issues with Ric Flair too, Helms offers the scenario that Booker can fight Ric and if he wins, he's granted a title shot next week. Hunter responds with the idea of Hurricane facing him this week with the stip that a loss would give BT a title match. Eric Bischoff says he thinks we should have Flair and the Game meeting Cane and T tonight with Book getting a title shot as a reward for victory. So, yeah,. everyone has an idea (JG Note: How about if Hurricane and Booker T and a midget and a one eyed Irish Guy with a pitchfork take on Triple H and Ric Flair and two spider monkeys and the winner gets two title matches...TONIGHT?) Slick Ric responds with a trademark strut but when he speaks of being a jet flier, Hurri-Shane says that he doesn't need a jet to fly before sailing away. Helms is delusional. Someone should get him some help.
Commercial Break. TNN Presents "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge." If only they could have found a way to include the terms "Off the Hook", "In Your Face" and "Hard Hitting."
Someone named "Sadler" is here. It's not Hermie Sadler. I think he lives in the TNA Asylum.
The APA visited some injured troops. Good piece. I miss the Acolytes.
Coachy and Kingly welcome us to the Nitro position and announce that the Great One, the Rock would not be in the arena tonight, but he's via satellite for an interview. The Brahma Bull delivers a totally canned video interview ala the Raw X Show. He has other things to do than be at Raw. Namely, buy a new guitar (JG Note: and new leather pants.) Rocky claims that Elvis "ate pie off this guitar" and then he sniffs it. Really, just gross. I don't know why he would want to smell the residual odor of 25-year-old "pie." Freak. The most insulting part of this promo was the "Live" box popping up. This interview was so obviously pre-taped and the editing was mediocre at best with Johnny C feeding questions to a tape. Weird. In essence, Maivia is taking on Goldenburger at Backlash. Just Bring It. If you smell what the Rock is cooking. Who in the blue hell are you? It doesn't matter what your name is...
Still to come – Team Comic Book versus Team Rickle H.
Commercial Break. Someone please tell me what drugs you have to be on to understand these stupid Snapple commercials.
Chistian! Chistian! At last you're on the pho-oh-own! Good old Canadian Christian is on the cellie backstage just shooting the breeze with the Brahma Bull. We hear Edge's little brother's side of the conversation, which seems pretty warm and fuzzy. He sweet talks the Scorpion King and explains that tonight he will take out Goldust and if Billy G Goldberger gets his baldhead into the action, he's done for. As he's speaking, he notices production workers sitting near him. He sends them away and scolds them for eavesdropping before walking off.
(4) Goldust defeated Christian via disqualification If I ever saw a man wearing what Christian was wearing outside of a wrestling ring, I'd probably laugh till I threw up. Goldust too actually. Come to think of it – this is a pretty weird match. Quick pace with Christian showing the world that being "born again" doesn't mean he'll win now as a chair shot earned him an early DQ loss.
Following the decision, Sister Christian took the microphone to defend his former Fozzy partner's honor by calling out Big Bad Bill Goldberg. He makes reference to Bill's wig...and his bra and panties. Wow. He then asks if it's "that time of the month" for Goldberg. Man! Remember in WCW BG would lose his mind if someone mispronounced his name? Bill hears this and comes to the ring. A Spear and a Jackhammer lay out Christian in the center of the ring. Here ya go, Bill. Eat him.
Hey...Are those Goldberg chants being piped in?
The Great Debate between Christopher Nowinski and Scott Steiner is next. What the hell are they talking about?
Commercial Break. Why would I want to eat Sour Starburst if it'll just force me to make faces that get me in trouble?
Next Week – The Rock Concert II! Why would he do another one if the first one ended with his guitar getting smashed?
Jerry Lawler is front and center and the Brother Love tarp is spread across the ring. In the grand tradition of Lincoln/Douglas, this is the great debate. Tonight's participants are Scott Steiner and Chris Nowinksi. Christopher challenged Big Poppa to this forum. Wrestling is the weirdest form of entertainment. Where else can you challenge someone to something that has nothing to do with the sport? Can the Yankees challenge the Red Sox to a bake-off in the middle of a packed stadium? Hehe...that would be pretty funny actually. The topic will be "Operation Iraqi Freedom" (JG Note: Uh oh). Nowinksi will be speaking against military force while Steiner will be arguing for. Exactly what you would expect. Chris gave a heel-slanted promo speaking out about America's arrogance while Scotty delivered a memorable promo about terrorism and the Dixie Chicks. I don't know how great of a segment this was. On one hand, it really put Steiner over as a face and gave the fans something to relate to him. On the other hand, Scotty is speaking out against protesters who in many ways make up some sections of the audience. Just an observation. It's still better than his character's direction was before. After mentioning France and other hot buttons, Steiner concludes. Nowinski informs him that the only force he understands takes about "three minutes." Freakzilla knows what that means and topples the podium before pouncing Christopher. It took 3MW about an hour to get to the ring but when they entered they had Rico in tow and the three men plus Nowinski put the boots to the Genetic Freak. Segment ended with Chris mocking the Big Bad Booty Daddy. I guess this is a full-fledged feud now. Why is Three-Minute Warning here? I was starting to forget what they looked like.
Commercial Break. The Rugrats and SpongeBob SquarePants will be appearing at the Fun Zone out here on Long Island in three weeks. Fozzy's opening for them.
Dum da dum –Dum da dum – dum da dum dadum – We're not the Mounties! We're handsome, we're brave, we're strong...We are joined by Renee Dupree and Sylvan Grenier. They deliver a bilingual promo hyping their eventual debut. Uh...Vince....you better bring them in soon. You don't know how long the shelf life on the France gimmick is.
The Coachman and the King miss JR. They run down the Backlash card. If I could go back in time a few years and tell myself the card of Backlash 2003, I don't think I'd believe it.
Cue The Game and the Dirtiest Player in Him.
Jericho, Michaels and Nash are all watching backstage. This one should be a barnburner. SRO signs went out early. This capacity crowd is on hand and they’re filled to the rafters. I'll think of more cliches while you watch the...
Commercial Break. WWE Rewind is Kevin Nash's return. The WWE Rewind is sponsored by the new film "Malibu's Most Wanted." Ever get the feeling that advertisers have a very low opinion of wrestling fans?
(5) Hurricane & Booker T defeated Triple H & Ric Flair when Hurricane pinned Flair Ric Flair in his later years is still more technically sound that most guys in their prime. The Nature Boy really delivered a solid showing in this one and held his own against both guys. I couldn't help but feel this match was thrown together and still can't figure out how Hurricane fits into everyone's storylines. He held his own though and gave a good performance. Finale saw Flair set up Cane for the Figure Four but take a Shawn Michaels Superkick to give the win to Team Comic Book.
Following the bout, Jericho rushed the ring and attacked the Heartbreak Kid. Triple H retrieved his trusty sledgehammer (JG Note: He calls her "Miss Betsy") and as the two heels worked over the Boy Toy, Kevin Nash joined the melee. He stared down Trips but as things were about to get heated, they exchanged smiles. But no...as quick as he smiled, Big Kev snatched the sledgehammer and backed Helmsley into the corner. With the Game cowering, Booker tried to restore order. However an unknowing Nash turned and floored him with a punch. H ducked out of the ring and T confronted Diesel. This time HBK tried to step in, but Booker turned and hit him. The announcers contemplated whether this trio could co-exist and I pondered how pointless this main event was. Everybody's feelings are hurt as we fade to black...
All in all... I didn't like Raw this week. The opening segment was well planned and presented a good layout for the show. Unfortunately, it was all downhill after that. While I do give high points (JG Note: No pun intended) for the RVD-Kane/Morley-Storm tag match, the rest of the show, main event included, just seemed like filler. My personal feeling is that a show with five matches should at least do a good amount of storyline advancement. I didn't feel too much of that tonight and it seemed that you could have just skipped this week's show and still be all caught up next Monday. Plus the anti-climactic main event with Kevin Nash "choosing his loyalty" was pretty predictable and didn't offer much reason to stay tuned until the end. Until next Monday for Raw remember...don't be Haterizing...