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TV REPORTS
2/10 Raw review: Mahling's "alternative perspective" rundown

Feb 11, 2003 - 12:33:00 AM
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WWE Raw "Alternative Perspective" Rundown
February 10, 2003
Live from Los Angeles, California
Aired on TNN
Report by Mallory Mahling, Torch Team Contributor


Top Five Items from the Program

(1) Was there a FedEx package for Eric Bischoff tonight or did he manage to convince Mister McMahon that he should keep his job? Let's just say, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

(2) A major match was announced for Sunday's pay per view. Will Stone Cold vs. Eric Bischoff, the man who fired him years ago, put butts in seats at No Way Out? Oh, hell yeah.

(3) The old "favorites" were back tonight... Hot Lesbian Action and Vince's bare behind. (I guess we're lucky they didn't trot out Katie Vick for a guest appearance.)

(4) Tonight was all about revenge and the Dudley Boys got plenty of it in a handicap match with Chief Morley. It was a well-deserved beat down, to say the least.

(5) J.R. got fired tonight by Eric Bischoff and rehired by Vince McMahon. Unfortunately, in the interim, the audience was subjected to Jonathan Coachman doing commentary. Please, please, please... never do that again.

Review of the Program

Quarter Hour 1

The show started with a simple tribute to Curt Hennig who passed away earlier today. Rest in peace.

It was Zero Hour for a worried Eric Bischoff.

Jim Ross, joined by Jerry "The King" Lawler, welcomed viewers to Raw, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Although the King suggested that Bischoff change his theme song to "I'm Gone," he came out to "I'm Back," anyway. Eric reported he had not heard from Stone Cold yet. Vince McMahon was on his way to the building, and Bischoff acknowledged that he might be fired. "Yay!" shouted the crowd. Bischoff said he had done all he could to sign Austin, and added that he was glad to be in L.A., away from the toothless rednecks in Texas.

Bischoff urged the crowd to show McMahon their appreciation for all his hard work. "BOO!!" answered the crowd, which only angered Eric. He then ordered the crowd to support him and was rapidly losing his composure.

Bischoff walked over to the announce position and berated good old J.R. for not being supportive enough. J.R. asked Bischoff if he'd ever considered that Stone Cold might hate his guts. "You fired him and said he would never amount to anything," J.R. reminded Bischoff.

Eric said Austin deserved to be fired. And until J.R. delivered Stone Cold, he was fired, too. J.R. looked stunned.

Outside a limousine was pulling in the parking garage.

Back in the arena, a dejected J.R. headed backstage.

(Commercial break)

During the break, a fawning Bischoff had rushed to the limo to open the door, but out stepped Triple H and the rest of his Evolution buddies. They mocked Eric's disappointed look before coolly sauntering into the arena.

Lawler was all alone on commentary and almost missed an opportunity to drool over Stacy's long legs as she climbed into the ring. He didn't miss a chance to plug his book, though.

Quarter Hour 2

Last week, Test told Jericho to apologize for injuring Stacy several weeks ago, but he and Stacy had gotten punked out for their trouble.

(1) Test (w/Stacy Keibler) pinned Christian. Test was still ticked off at Jericho, and took his aggression out on Jericho's partner in crime.

Good grief. Jonathan Coachman joined Lawler on commentary. He immediately started to babble. The action in the ring took a backseat to the sparkling conversation going on between the announcers.

This was a so-so match won by Test. As Test celebrated, Christian nailed him from behind and came after Stacy. Suddenly, Jeff Hardy ran out to make the save. He tossed Christian over the ring barrier, then headed backstage. Jeff was either bleeding or had dipped his head in a bucket of red paint. Either way, he looked awful.

J.R. was in the parking garage talking on his cell phone. He left a message for someone to call him back immediately. It was an emergency, he said.

(Commercial break)

Actor Rob Reiner and his kids (or grandkids) were shown in the front row.

Last Monday, Booker T and Goldust had reluctantly parted ways. By the end of the show, Evolution had tossed Goldust into an electrical box and electrocuted him.

Booker T came out and said he would dedicate his match tonight to his friend, Goldie, who had somehow survived.

D-Lo and Teddy Long came out and interrupted Booker's heartfelt speech.

Long said Booker needed to stop fretting about Goldust since he was just another white man trying to keep a Black man down. (Gimme a break.) Booker threw a punch at D-Lo, and the match was on.

(2) Booker T pinned D-Lo Brown (w/Teddy Long). Short and sweet match. Booker T pinned D-Lo. It was a popular win, judging from the crowd's reaction.

Quarter Hour 3

In his office, Bischoff, who had more than enough trouble of his own, was listening to Jericho whine about the quality of his matches. Chief Morley gave Jericho a match versus Jeff Hardy and sent him on his way.

(Commercial break)

WWE Rewind: Jazz had returned and pounded on Trish. Hard.

(3) Jazz over Molly Holly via submission. Coach said Trish was hurt worse than they'd first thought, and it was uncertain when she'd be back. On the fashion front, Molly had on a frumpy new frock.

Good action. Jazz was the dominant force, and had a few brand new moves. Jazz went for a single-leg Boston crab, but Molly reached the ropes. Jazz locked an elbow around her neck and Molly tapped. Jazz refused to let go and put on her fierce face. Jazz went back and put Molly into another submission hold, and the referees had to pull her away. The crowd seemed to be sitting on its collective hands as Jazz took a bow.

J.R. was pacing in the garage when his cell phone rang. It was "Steve."

Howard Finkel overheard and thought J.R. was talking to Austin. J.R. told the Fink to stop eavesdropping; it was only Steve from Oklahoma.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 4

(Coach has got to be the world's most annoying announcer. He never shut up, but he never said anything either. Not a good quality in a commentator.)

(4) Rob Van Dam & Kane over Three Minute Warming (w/Rico). Rob Van Dam took a nasty bump to the outside early and found himself double-teamed by Rosey and Jamal. (Just like every other time these four get in the ring.) Earl Hebner was making Kane tow the line as far as rules, but was turning a blind eye to all the infractions by Three Minute Warning and their meddling manager, Rico.

Kane went up top and nailed Rosey. Kane proceeded to use his arsenal of power moves on Three Minute Warning, then tagged Van Dam in. A Rolling Thunder by Van Dam resulted in a near fall. The match dissolved into a brawl and Kane chokeslammed Rosey while Van Dam went up top and landed a Five Star Frog Splash on Jamal for the pin and the win.

RVD did his thumb gestures and Kane exploded the ring posts as the two celebrated their win. "Back together again," said Coach. Very observant.

J.R. was still on his cell phone when another limo pulled into the garage. Mister McMahon stepped out and saw J.R. standing in the garage. He was not happy.

(Commercial break)

"No Chance in Hell" hit and Mister McMahon swaggered out with a frown on his face. On occasion, a man of his distinction had to make heart-wrenching, difficult decisions. But tonight was not one of those occasions, it was a joyous occasion. He called out Eric Bischoff and the Chief Morley with a smile on his face.

The apprehensive pair headed down the aisle (or "plank," as McMahon called it).

Bischoff tried to say something, but McMahon told him to stuff it. Then he turned to Morley and said he should fire him. But he wouldn't. He'd changed his mind and would allow Morley to decide his own fate. If he won the next match, he could keep his job. In one corner, it would be Morley; in the other corner, D-Von, Bubba, and Spike Dudley. Morley looked suitably horrified, considering how he'd plotted against the Dudleys for the past several weeks.

Quarter Hour 5

McMahon turned to Bischoff and asked about the status of signing Stone Cold. "Yes or no?' he barked.

"No," replied Bischoff meekly.

"Wrong answer," said McMahon. Then McMahon said he hated Austin's guts, too, but...

Eric stopped him with some more groveling. He said he knew McMahon was a man of action, so he gave him some action -- Hot Lesbian Action. It seemed to appeal to McMahon's prurient interests. Momentarily, anyway.

Out walked a couple of lesbians, hand in hand. The juvenile delinquents at the announce table were loving it.

But they weren't just lesbians, continued Bischoff, they were bi-sexual lesbians. They began to paw Vince, who said there was a time and place for everything, and he told them to bi-sex their tushies out of the ring.

Then the other shoe dropped, so to speak. McMahon got right in Bischoff's face and uttered the two words that Eric feared most: "YOU'RE FIRED!" The crowd cheered as Bischoff's lower lip began to quiver. McMahon said he felt so good he wanted to sing a song. Nah nah nah nah, hey hey, good bye.

(Commercial break)

Backstage, the brown-nosing William Regal and Lance Storm congratulated McMahon for firing Bischoff. Vince told them if they liked that, just wait til he announced the name of the new General Manager.

Coach recapped the action as Lawler drooled on the pinup of Stacy in this month's Raw Magazine.

(5) Handicap Match: The Dudley Boys (Bubba, D-Von, & Spike) beat Sean Morley. Morley looked like a caged animal as the Dudleys each took a corner. It was a stomp fest, a squash, and a delightful match as the Dudleys got a full measure of revenge for the past few weeks of poundings orchestrated by Morley.

Quarter Hour 6

The Dudleys continued to batter Morley. Finally, with a 3-D by Bubba and D-Von and a cover by Spike, Morley not only lost the match, but he also lost his job.

But the crowd wanted tables, and the Dudleys didn't disappoint. Morley was folded in half as he went through a table.

Bischoff was glaring at someone. Turned out it was J.R. Eric softened his look and tried to reassure J.R. that firing him had been nothing personal. He extended his hand, but J.R. told him to go clean out his desk. (A big Nelson Munz HA HA!)

(Commercial break)

(6) Batista (w/Ric Flair) pinned Tommy Dreamer. Tommy attacked Batista from behind with his Kendo stick, but it didn't last long. Batista planted Tommy for the 1-2-3 in about 25 seconds.

Flair and Batista began to attack Tommy after the match, and Booker T ran out to make the save. Randy Orton ran out to attack Booker, then Triple H hobbled out on crutches to catch some of the action, too. He hammered away on Booker T until Scott Steiner ran out and cleaned house. All four bad asses fled from the muscle-bound monster.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 7

Last week, Jeff Hardy had his ass handed to him by Shawn Michaels who was giving him a lesson on tough love.

Walking down a hallway, the Painted One encountered Michaels and they exchanged meaningful looks.

Stacy told Test she had an idea for a new marketing venture that would give him some "great exposure."

In his office, Bischoff looked wistfully at a poster of himself as he "cleaned out his desk." All three Dudley Boys came in to confront him. Bischoff gulped and told them he had the utmost respect for them. As Bischoff left the room with his personal effects, they began to sing: Nah nah nah, hey hey, good bye.

(Commercial break)

(7) Chris Jericho beat Jeff Hardy via submission. Sloppy work by Hardy, but the announcers were pretty much ignoring the match anyway. Yammer, yammer, yammer. Jeff went up top, but the ref bumped into the ropes and Hardy was crotched. Jericho began to pummel Hardy, who was still on the ropes. They came off the top rope together, and Jericho made a pinning attempt.

Quarter Hour 8

The new General Manager would be announced by the end of the show, but Lawler said he didn't want to speculate on who it might be. (That had to be a first.) He admitted he missed J.R. and his references to scalded dogs and pet coons.

(Ironically, Hardy was wearing a tee shirt with a picture of his old, fresh-faced self on it. What a contrast.)

Rest holds were the name of the game in this match. A neckbreaker and a cover by Hardy, but Jericho kicked out. Y2J went for the Walls of Jericho, but Hardy made it to the ropes. Hardy pulled off his shirt and the little girls began to squeal. A Swanton and a cover, but Jericho got his foot on the rope at the last second. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho again, and Jeff ended up tapping out in frustration.

McMahon, with a sly look on his face, ran into Evolution in the garage. Triple H said they were headed out to party, since they knew what to do with bisexual lesbians, even if Vince didn't.

Vince told them they might be interested in his announcement about the new General Manager, since next week two of them would be involved in a tag match: Triple H & Batista vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner. "Enjoy your night," said McMahon with a smirk.

(Commercial break)

Vince McMahon was in the ring for his big announcement. The new General Manager was well-qualified, fair, and someone the audience might like. Out came Good Old J.R. The audience liked that.

"No, that's not the new General Manager," McMahon said quickly. J.R. whispered something in his ear about Austin.

J.R. was followed out by Eric Bischoff.

J.R. assured McMahon that Stone Cold would be at No Way Out. A pleased McMahon reinstated J.R. (Thank goodness!)

Bischoff thought it would only be fair to reinstate him, too.

McMahon introduced the new General Manager -- Eric Bischoff. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Vince McMahon (who has a memory like an elephant) recalled Eric saying he would do anything to keep his job. This gave Vince an idea. He gave Eric an opportunity to join an exclusive club as a condition of his employment. If you were thinking the Kiss My Ass Club, you'd be right.

Quarter Hour 9

As Vince began to drop his drawers, Bischoff looked like he wanted to puke. There it was, Vince's dimpled white ass, complete with a tan line. Eric bent over and started to pucker up, but he just couldn't do it. Vince pulled up his britches with a scowl on his face. He gave Bischoff one more chance. He could join the Get My Ass Kicked Club, and Eric agreed.

Bischoff would be at No Way Out, announced McMahon, but not as General Manager. As a condition of employment, he would be competing in a match. In one corner would be Eric Bischoff, and in the other corner would be Stone Cold Steve Austin. Bischoff's saggy face fell even further. He suddenly seemed willing to kiss McMahon's behind, but it was too late. Bischoff's fate was sealed.

The Wrap Up This was a good Raw, but not because of anything that had to do with wrestling. The matches were mostly insignificant, but the drama surrounding Bischoff, McMahon and Stone Cold was strangely compelling. Will Stone Cold vs. the man who fired him years ago put butts in seats at No Way Out? Oh, hell yeah.

And let me wish everybody a happy Stone Cold Vehicular Assault Week. (I'm not making that up.) A visit to www.wwe.com will let you click your way through squealing tires and twisted steel -- Stone Cold style.

Comments? You can reach me at mmahling@pwtorch.com. See you in The Lounge on Saturday.


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