15 YRS AGO – Powell’s WWE Raw Report (2-10-03): Curt Hennig death announced, Bischoff opens show, plus Vince, Booker, RVD, Dudleyz, Batista, Hardy, Jericho

By Jason Powell, PWTorch assistant editor


Batista (photo credit Mike Lana © PWTorch)

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


WWE Raw virtual time ongoing review
Aired Feb. 10, 2003
Live from Los Angeles, Calif.
Broadcast live on TNN
By Jason Powell, PWTorch assistant editor

1st Quarter Hour

The show opened with a graphic that noted the death of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig…

(Commentary: I was surprised to learn about Hennig’s death when I arrived at work earlier today. Having grown up in Minnesota, I watched Hennig go from being a skinny kid who was only given a push because of his father, to becoming the best wrestler in the promotion. For younger fans who only saw Hennig’s recent work, there was a time that he was one of the best workers on the planet. His feud with Bret Hart was just amazing, especially considering that the company wasn’t placing an emphasis on workrate at the time. Local fans should expect a lot of Hennig talk on tomorrow morning’s “Power Trip” radio show on KFAN 1130. Host Mike Morris was tight with Hennig and had him in studio at least once before. Morris is also tight with Brock Lesnar, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Lesnar appears on the show at some point. Unfortunately, tonight is deadline night for the Torch Newsletter, so I probably won’t be up in time to hear the show. So if anyone out there does listen, we’d love a recap.)

A video package recapped the storyline of Vince McMahon giving Eric Bischoff 30 days to get Raw back on track. Of course, tonight is the deadline… The opening montage aired…

Eric Bischoff walked onto the stage and said he had not heard from Steve Austin. Bischoff threw a fit about it, then turned his attention to announcers’ table, where Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were seated. Bischoff approached Jim Ross and accused him of sabotaging his negotiations with Austin. “Eric, did you ever stop to think that maybe Stone Cold Steve Austin hates your damn guts?” Ross asked. “Don’t you remember that when you ran WCW, you fired Steve Austin, and you said that Steve Austin would never amount to anything?” Bischoff admitted to firing Austin “because he deserved it.” Bischoff said maybe Ross also deserved it. Bischoff fired Ross until he could produce Austin…

A shot aired of a limousine pulling into the Staples Center…

[Commercial break]

Footage aired from during the break of Bischoff nervously greeting the limo as it arrived. Bischoff opened the limo door, only to find Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista. Triple H mocked Bischoff, asking him if he was expecting someone else…

2nd Quarter Hour

(1) Test (w/Stacy Keibler) beat Christian at 3:05. Lawler sat alone on commentary, recapped the Ross angle, then hyped his own book. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than Lawler on his own, out walked Jonathan Coachman to fill in for Ross. In the end, Test hit a full-nelson slam for the win. Afterward, Christian hit Test with a low-blow and followed up with the Unprettier. Christian backed Stacy into the corner until Jeff Hardy ran out for the save.

(Commentary: A nice curve-ball on the Jeff Hardy storyline.)

Backstage, Jim Ross was trying to reach Austin on his cell phone. “Just tell him to call me immediately,” Ross told the unidentified person on the other end of the line. My bet is that Ross was talking to Buford, who appeared to have revealed himself as Austin’s elderly live-in lover last week…

[Commercial break]

A shot aired of Rob “Meathead” Reiner sitting in the crowd with his children…

A video recapped Goldust’s losing the tag titles for his team, only to be “electrocuted” later in the show after a run-in with Randy Orton and Batista…

Booker walked to the ring for a pre-match promo. Before the match, Booker said he was dedicating his match to his friend “Goldy,” but was then interrupted by D-Lo Brown and Teddy Long’s entrance music. Teddy Long took the mic and said Booker should stop worrying about Goldust and start teaming with D-Lo. Booker punched Brown to start the match…

3rd Quarter Hour

(2) Booker T beat D-Lo Brown at 1:19. Coachman gave his best to Goldust, whom he said was watching at home. Lawler corrected him on the storyline by saying that he was under the impression that Goldust is still hospitalized. “Well,” Coachman said, “who knows where Goldust is at right now?” Okay. Booker made quick work of D-Lo and then performed the Spinaroonie…

Backstage, Chris Jericho complained to Bischoff and Chief Morley about Jeff Hardy’s antics. Bischoff said he had more important things to worry about. When Jericho continued his rant, Morley booked him in a match against Hardy for later in the show. Satisfied with that decision, Jericho asked Bischoff to say hello to Vince McMahon for him…

[Commercial break]

(3) Jazz beat Molly Holly at 3:36. Lawler mocked Molly’s new ring gear. Although Lawler didn’t mention it, Jazz’s ring gear is no better. She’s supposed to be the monster of the division, yet she’s wearing a cheerleader outfit. In the end, Molly tapped to the STF. After the match, Jazz continued her assault on Molly until the referees pulled her off. The crowd was really flat for this one…

Backstage, Ross took a call from “Steve” and told him “I’ve got it. Howard Finkel approached Ross and said he overheard the conversation and was wondering if Austin was going to arrive. Ross corrected Fink by telling him he was talking to his friend Steve from Oklahoma. Ross told Fink to stop eavesdropping and then sent him on his way…

[Commercial break]

4th Quarter Hour

An ad for “Confidential” teases a story on the demise of WCW. The clip featured a shot of Bischoff being interviewed, while another shot of Bill Goldberg from his WCW days was also being shown…

(4) Rob Van Dam & Kane beat Rosey & Jamal (w/Rico) at 4:08. In the end, Kane chokeslammed Jamal, then RVD followed up with a Five Star Frogsplash for the win.

A backstage shot aired of Ross talking on his cell phone. In the distance, Vince McMahon arrived in his limo. Vince noticed Ross and asked, “What the hell is J.R. doing in the parking garage?” Vince approached Ross as the show went to break…

[Commercial break]

(Commentary: Have you ever noticed that Jim Ross never laughs at Jerry Lawler’s jokes? On the other hand, Jonathan Coachman laughs every time Lawler cracks a one-liner, regardless of whether they are funny or not.)

Vince McMahon walked to the ring for a promo. Vince said there are times when a man of his stature has to make heart-wrenching decisions. He said this is not one of those nights. Vince said it was actually a joyous occasion. Vince called Bischoff and Morley to the ring.

 

5th Quarter Hour

Vince McMahon called Eric Bischoff and Chief Morley to the ring. Vince teased firing Morley, but said he had a change of heart. Vince said Morley would decide his own fate in the next match. Vince booked Morley against Bubba Ray, D-Von, and Spike Dudley in a handicap match.

Vince turned his attention to Bischoff and asked whether he’s signed Steve Austin for the No Way Out PPV. Bischoff tried dancing around the subject, but Vince demanded an answer. Bischoff admitted he had not signed Austin. “Wrong answer,” Vince said, adding that he actually would have enjoyed watching Bischoff attempt to control Austin.
Bischoff said he knew Vince was a man of action, and therefore wanted to give him action… “Hot Lesbian Action.”

Bischoff called two women to the ring and asked them to give Vince “a taste” of what’s in store. The girls started getting close with one another, but Bischoff stopped them long enough to tell Vince that they weren’t just lesbians, they’re bi-sexual women. The HLA girls started to come onto Vince, who stopped them in their tracks. Vince said he was all business tonight and sent the women backstage. Vince said Bischoff had run out of time. “Eric Bischoff… you’re fired!” Vince yelled. “I feel so good about firing Eric Bischoff that I’m gonna sing a song tonight.” Vince led the crowd in a the Goodbye song, and even strutted in the ring while singing it as Bischoff walked slowly backstage…

(Commentary: A good segment. I’m happy to see WWE follow through on the storyline because it should lead to Bischoff getting his revenge at some point. Although I suspect Bischoff will return as Goldberg’s manager, I’m still holding out hope for Bischoff taking over Raw and bringing back WCW Nitro.)

[Commercial break]

Backstage, William Regal and Lance Storm kissed up to Vince McMahon, saying the way he dealt with Bischoff was brilliant. Vince said if they thought that was brilliant, they should stick around to see who he names as the new general manager of Raw later in the show…

The announcers hyped the Raw Magazine that features the Steve Austin story…

6th Quarter Hour

(5) Bubba Ray & D-Von & Spike Dudley beat Chief Morley in a handicap match at 3:45. Morley wore his street clothes during the match, but they didn’t last long. The Dudleys shredded Morley’s shirt during the opening seconds of the match. After a fun beatdown, Bubba & D-Von hit 3D on Morley and let Spike score the pin. After the match, the Dudleys did a great job of getting the crowd worked to see Morley go through a table. The Dudleys followed through by powerbombing Morley through a table in the ring…

(Commentary: The situation called for at least a double-decker table bump, but it was still a fun match.)

A backstage shot aired of Bischoff glaring at Ross. Bischoff asked Ross if he’d heard from Austin. “No, Eric, I haven’t,” Ross replied. Bischoff said that despite the problems they had with one another, he was simply trying to do his job. Bischoff offered Ross a handshake, but Ross told him to clean out his desk…

[Commercial break]

(6) Batista (w/Ric Flair) beat Tommy Dreamer at 0:29. Dreamer entered the ring from out of nowhere and attacked Batista with a kendo stick. Batista took control a few seconds later and powerbombed Dreamer for the win. Afterward, the heels continued to attack Dreamer until Goldust made the save. Randy Orton ran out and the heels quickly took control of the situation. Hunter, who looks like he’s been taking hair tips from Kevin Nash, entered the ring and glared at Booker while the other heels held him. Scott Steiner ran out and cleared the heels from the ring, but was unable to get his hands on Hunter…

[Commercial break]

7th Quarter Hour

Backstage, Jeff Hardy walked past Shawn Michaels and shot him a look…

In another part of the backstage area, Stacy told Test she lined him up with a series of personal appearances with a company called “GGW.” Stacy said she didn’t know who it was, but said they told her it would be good exposure…

Bischoff packed his belongings in his office. The Dudleys entered the room to sing the Goodbye song…

[Commercial break]

A shot aired of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons sitting in the crowd…

(7) Chris Jericho beat Jeff Hardy with the Liontamer at 10:44. The wrestlers brawled in and out of the ring during the opening minutes.

8th Quarter Hour

Later, Jericho climbed to the top rope, but Hardy caught him and slammed him to the mat. Jeff went to the other corner and hit a Swanton, but Jericho put his foot on the ropes to break up the ref’s count. Jericho came back with the Liontamer and won via submission. Isn’t Jeff the same guy who wouldn’t quit no matter what Undertaker did to him a few months ago? Sloppy at times because of Hardy, but still a solid match…

Backstage, Triple H and his faction were about to leave the building when they crossed paths with Vince McMahon. Flair and Hunter joked about heading out to party with the HLA Girls. Vince laughed, but then said the faction may want to stick around until he introduces the new general manager. Vince also booked Triple H & Batista vs. Scott Steiner & Booker T for next week…

[Commercial break]

Vince McMahon was standing in the ring following the break. He said he had hired a G.M. who was not only fair, but someone the fans would probably like. Vince asked the new general manager to come forward. Jim Ross walked onto the ramp, but Vince quickly told the crowd Ross was not his choice. Seconds later, Eric Bischoff walked to the ring behind Ross. Once in the ring, Ross whispered to Vince that Austin was going to be at No Way Out. Vince reinstated Ross as the announcer and told him to take his seat next to Lawler. Vince then reinstated Chief Morley and reintroduced Bischoff as the Raw general manager.

9th Quarter Hour

Vince started to leave the ring, but then recalled Bischoff saying he would do anything to keep his job. Vince suggested that Bischoff join a special club that not just anyone can join. Of course, it was the Kiss My Ass Club. Vince dropped his pants in the ring while Ross talked about it being a night Bischoff would never live down. Bischoff moved in for the smooch, but stopped and said he couldn’t do it. Vince said that if Eric couldn’t join the Kiss My Ass Club, he would have to join the Just Got My Ass Kicked Club.

Bischoff said he would let Vince kick his ass if he meant he could keep his job. Vince said it wasn’t the first time he thought about “ripping your head off your shoulders and spitting down your throat.” Ross chimed in on commentary that Vince was telling the truth. Vince said Bischoff would have to appear at No Way Out as a wrestler. He said Bischoff will be in one corner, and in the other will be “Stone Cold” Steve Austin…

(Commentary: Personally, I’d rather have seen Bischoff shock Vince by kicking his ass when he was bent over, but the storyline WWE went with was solid. Although the live crowd was probably less than pleased with the end result since they didn’t get a payoff – unless Austin made an appearance after the cameras stopped rolling – the storyline did a nice job of building yet another match for the No Way Out pay-per-view.)


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 15 YRS AGO FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – WWE in Boise, Idaho (2-9-03): Brock opposite Heyman, Angle vs. Benoit in WWE Title main event, Cena & Dawn Marie vs. Kidman & Torrie, Team Angle, Edge, Kendrick

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