15 YRS AGO – WWE Raw in Houston: Booker T vs. Batista headlines, Bubba Ray Dudley calls crowd “queers” and Regal assures crowd Lance Storm isn’t gay

Bubba Ray Bully Ray Dudley (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)

The following report was published on PWTorch.com 15 years ago…

FEBRUARY 7, 2003

The Raw crew had an outstanding night of action at the Compaq Center in Houston. The attendance was lighter than usual with the floor seats completely full, the second tier was about 85 percent full, and the upper level was completely empty. I would estimate the attendance at 7,500 to 8,000. The show started on time with Howard Finkle coming out to Welcome to the Jungle. The pyro sounded, and we were off and running with our first match.

(1) Scott Steiner pinned Christian at 10:05. There was a lot of stalling by Christian before he actually locked up. Steiner dominated early, and even hit some of his old WCW spots that we had not seen yet. Christian gained a brief advantage with a low blow. Steiner would later kick out of the Unprettier, a pin by Christian with his feet on the ropes, and then rally to win with an Angle slam off the top rope. Afterwards, Steiner gave a shout out on the house mic to all his freaks in Houston.

(2) Jacquelyn beat Molly Holly at 4:53. Both contestants were accompanied by local radio contest winners. Unfortunately the two best female wrestlers on the roster were met with chants of “We Want Puppies,” and “Take off Your Top.” Midway through the match Molly feigned an ankle injury, which resulted in Fit Finley, more refs, and the trainer coming out. As Molly was being helped out, she kicked Jackie through the ropes. Jacquelyn would later score the win with a tornado DDT .

(3) Sean O’Haire defeated D-Lo Brown at 4:26. D-Lo came out to a mixed reaction, but got the crowd to turn on him with another racism promo, and asking if we were “Down with the Brown.” You could almost hear the crickets chirping when O’Haire came out. Good back and forth action. O’Haire gets the win with the Razor’s Edge. He actually held D-Lo for a good 30 seconds before finally dropping him.

(4) William Regal & Lance Storm beat The Dudleys to retain the WWE World Tag Team Titles. Best Match of the night! Bubba and D-Von were incredibly over with the crowd. Regal was going to cut a promo, but was drowned out by the “U-S-A” chants. He finally gave up and told us we weren’t worth his time. Bubba came out and informed Regal that Houston wants tables. The match started, but Regal grabbed the mic again to tell the crowd that he doesn’t suck and that Lance is not gay. Bubba said, “Well you know what they say, the only things in Texas are steers and queers, and I’ve never heard either one of you moo.” The champs retain when Chief Morley interferes allowing Storm to pin Bubba. Afterwards, the Dudleys got revenge by superbombing Morley through a table. They then gave a piece of the table to a kid in the crowd.

Finkel then shills for the merchandise stands, and sends us to intermission.

(5) Spike Dudley beat Steven Richards at 5:08. Both men received a mild reaction from the audience. It was mainly a comedy match. Crowd was apathetic, because we have seen this on Sunday Night Heat so many times already. Spike wins with the Dudley Dog.

(6) Kane & Rob Van Dam beat 3 Minute Warning (w/Rico) at 16:32. Kane’s pyro is really f—ing loud! It was so loud, it actually shook the arena floor. Crowd members, including one lady who sounded like Cletus the slacked jawed yokel from the Simpsons, tried to start a “Rico is Gay” chant. This led to a great line by my cousin, who was along for the ride. He said,” Apparently, the trailer park is empty tonight.” Lots of cool spots in this match. Kane slingshotted RVD into a somersault plancha onto both Rosey and Jamal who were on the floor. RVD also took another sick looking bump from the top rope into the barricade on the floor, followed a picture perfect spin kick from Rico, and a reverse thrust kick from Jamal. Finish came when Kane chokeslammed Rosey, and RVD hit the 5-star frogsplash for the pin. Surprisingly with 3 big guys in the ring, there were no rest holds.

(7) Chris Jericho (w/Christian) defeated Test (w/Stacy Keibler) at 10:58. Jericho came out to a mixed reaction, but got the crowd to turn on him by calling us jackasses, and ass clowns. Test charged the ring, and fought Jericho into the crowd. He even took someone’s beer, drank a sip, and spit it in Jericho’s face. Words do not do justice as to how drop dead gorgeous Stacy looks in person. Christian distracted the ref allowing Jericho to give Test a low blow followed by a sleeperhold-slam (for lack of a better name) for the pin. Jericho did something Mick Foley didn’t think was possible. He got the crowd to enjoy a Test match.

Before the main event, Finkel told us that the best fans are in Houston, and that WWE enjoys each visit they make here. Earl Hebner came out to ref the main event. Someone yelled something that made Earl flip off a section of the crowd, and give them a crotch chop. He then introduced Ric Flair, who entered to a total face pop. Flair then tries to again turn the crowd by saying we have a “nothin’ happenin’ football team, and had to go to China to get a hometown hero.” That was followed by him telling someone in the audience to “Shut your mouth fatboy, or I’ll take your girl home and make a woman out of her.” Classic. He then introduced Triple H, who came out on crutches, and told the crowd he couldn’t wrestle. Once he said that, Booker came out, and said, “Tell me you did not just say that.” After that, they traded insults, until Batista jumped Booker from behind leading us to our final match.

(8) Booker T pinned Batista (w/Ric Flair) at 10:07. Good back and forth match. Batista even got to showcase some good mat wrestling skills that they have not let him use on TV before. End came as Booker was making a comeback. Flair distracted the ref, while Triple H slipped into the ring and broke one of his crutches over Booker’s back. However, when he got back onto the floor, Scott Steiner was waiting, and fought with him back to the locker room. Booker later rallied again and hit the axe kick for the pin. Afterwards, he thanked the hometown crowd with a Texas sized Spinarooni.

Total event time : 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Biggest pops: 1.) Dudleys 2.) Booker T 3.) Steiner 4.) Flair 5.) Triple H’s entrance

Biggest heat: 1.) Regal&Storm 2.) Triple H saying he couldn’t wrestle 3.) Jericho 4.) Christian 5.)D-Lo Brown

Final thoughts: The Raw crew had a great show. All the guys busted their butts for the audience. There was not a single bad match on the show. As a matter of fact, if they booked their TV shows like this, then they would not have the ratings problems they do now.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 15 YEARS AGO FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – WWE in Minneapolis, Minn. (1-31-03): Brock vs. Shelton headlines, Jericho vs. Test, plus Booker, Molly, Steiner, Flair, RVD, Do-Lo, Dudleys, Batista, Storm

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