The following report was originally published on the PWTorch VIP website 15 years ago this week…
Keller’s WWE Raw report
September 8, 2003
Live from Huntsville, Ala.
After the opening montage, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. Clips aired of Kane zapping Shane McMahon’s nuts last week.
1 — KANE vs. ROB VAN DAM
RVD hit a somersault splash on Kane in the opening minute following by aggressive punches at Kane’s head. Kane turned the tables by ramming RVD head-first into the side of the cage. Lawler noted that he doesn’t know how Kane avoided being burned to a crisp two weeks ago. Ross admitted he couldn’t be objective when it came to Kane and apologized for his “unprofessionalism.” RVD punched his way out of a big Kane powerbomb attempt. RVD hit a Rolling Thunder and then attempted to climb over the top of the cage at 6:30. Kane got up and grabbed RVD, preventing him from winning. RVD, though, knocked Kane to the mat. Then he leaped off the top rope with a frog splash, but Kane moved. Kane began beating up RVD. Eventually, Kane threw RVD into the side of the cage, and the side of the cage gave and RVD hit the floor, bumping his neck on the apron on the way down. They immediately played RVD’s music as if he won. Eric Bischoff stepped out and said the match was not over because the rules state the winner must climb over the top of the cage or through the door, not through the cage. He said they would put RVD back in the cage, fix the cage, and restart the match. This was a clever way to get across Kane’s strength and create a natural commercial break. The only criticism is that they played RVD’s music so immediately that it seemed pre-planned. There should have a few seconds of confusion (as happened on TNA’s PPV a couple weeks ago with gimmicked X division match) before the music played to indicate RVD was the winner. Bischoff also walked out so quickly, it was as if he was standing right behind the stage door waiting to come out (which he was, but it shouldn’t have come across that way).
[commercial break – including TNA’s commercial for their one cent PPV]
When they returned from the break, Kane threw RVD back into the ring. The door wasn’t closed behind them, but just swung open. Kane began battering RVD’s head into the side of the cage. Finally a ref attempted to close the door, but Kane stopped him. Instead, he taunted the bloodied RVD with the chance to crawl to the floor, but then bashed the cage door into his head. Kane threw RVD across the ring, and RVD just flopped to the mat. Kane then chokeslammed RVD off the top rope and scored a clean three count. That finish didn’t make any sense since Bischoff had just explained the only way to win was to go through the door or climb over the cage. Suddenly scoring a pinfall is a way for WWE cage matches to end? Medics brought a stretcher to the ring and tended to RVD.
WINNER: Kane at 15:15.
STAR RATING: **1/4 — Pretty standard cage match with a nice job done by Ross and Lawler selling how brutal Kane was to RVD.
-Ross plugged that tonight would feature a Steve Austin State of the WWE Address.
[commercial break – including a plug for Unforgiven focusing on Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton; I like the singling out of various matches on different commercial spots because it makes more than just the main event or World Title match seem important.]
-They showed a clip of RVD being stretchered out of the ring during the commercial.
-Clips aired of last week’s main event tag match where Goldberg dominated.
-Eric Bischoff walked out and announced that now that Kane had eliminated Rob Van Dam from the picture, he deserved to get a one-on-one match with Shane McMahon at the PPV. He also said that the Ross vs. Jonathan Coachman match would instead be a tag match featuring Al Snow & Coach vs. Lawler & Ross. Bischoff also said the winning team would be the announcing team of Raw. He said he hopes Ross and Lawler end up in the unemployment line. He said he doesn’t look forward to losing Goldberg after Unforgiven, but just in case he did lose to Hunter, he was going to get his money’s worth out of him first. He announced that Triple H would face Goldberg later in a tag match where he got to choose the partners of each wrestler.
-Backstage, Golddust and Lance Storm discussed his progress at no longer being boring. Goldust had Storm did a Goldust-style deep breath and huff. Storm gave it his best shot. Goldust then sent Storm to the ring to take on Rico.
2 — RICO (w/Miss Jackie) vs. LANCE STORM
Rico did some pre-match mic work ripping on Storm. Storm attempted to start a “Rico sucks” chant. Ross and Lawler then discussed the bombshell announcement that their jobs are at stake at Unforgiven. Ross said Rico is a former Las Vegas police officer, to which Lawler said he must have gotten his current ring outfits from Las Vegas showgirls. When Miss Jackie tried to interfere, Storm forced a kiss on her lips. Storm then smiled. Ross said that’s the first time he ever remembers Storm smiling. Storm then hit a top rope dropkick and scored a three count. He then celebrated with a touchdown-style dance. Goldust congratulated Storm at ringside.
WINNER: Storm in 3:00
STAR RATING: *
-Ross plugged the Goldberg vs. Triple H tag match.
-Backstage, Hunter asked Bischoff to give him some info regarding the mystery partners. Bischoff said if he told him, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Hunter told Bischoff he wants the surprise to make him unhappy, “because if I’m unhappy, you’d probably be unhappy.” Bischoff asked if that was some kind of a threat. Hunter said he realizes it’s a tough decision, and he’s hoping he’ll make the right decision because he wouldn’t want the wrong person to get hurt on this. Bischoff pondered Hunter’s words.
3 — TRISH STRATUS & JACQUELINE vs. MOLLY HOLLY & GAIL KIM
Trish went for a bodyblock on both Kim and Molly, but they caught her and threw her over the top rope. Molly tossed Trish back into the ring and then Gail covered her for the win.
WINNERS: Molly & Kim at 3:00.
STAR RATING: *
-Steve Austin walked to the ring for the “State of Raw Address.” Lawler said if Austin were President of the United States, the middle finger would be the national bird. Ross said Saddam would be dead by now. Austin threw the podium over the top rope to the floor; it broke in a few pieces. Austin talked about the Hunter vs. Goldberg match at Unforgiven. He said if Hunter gets DQ’d or counted out, he will lose the title. Ross said Hunter has no easy way out now. Austin apologized if his clothes were too tight but said he’s been on a “high alcohol, high cholesterol diet.” He then turned his attention to Kane and his actions against Shane McMahon last week. “The only answer to those actions would be a hand-delivered ass kicking by Stone Cold Steve Austin,” he said, but adding that he can’t touch anyone unless he’s physically provoked. Austin said he met with his “cabinet… more specifically, my liquor cabinet.” He led the crowd in counting outloud how many beers he had along with various hard liquor options. “After talking about it extensive, we all came to the same conclusion. The fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin can’t whip a man’s ass when he feels like it completely sucks.” He asked the crowd if they think he should be able to whip someone’s ass when he feels like it. They gave him a “hell yeah.” Christian’s music blared as he walked out to interrupt Austin.
Christian said what really sucks is that he is the Intercontinental Champion, yet the GM doesn’t respect him. He said his peeps agree. Austin said what’s obvious is that the “peep-u-lation thinks you’re a total asshole.” Christian asked for his own talk show. He said he is the “It Boy” and he’s “hot” whereas Chris Jericho’s and his “Highlight Reel” are not. Jericho’s music played and he walked out. Lawler mentioned, “I love peep shows.” As Christian began saying that the Highlight Reel is a little bit stale, Jericho interrupted with a series of punches to Christian’s face. Jericho cleared the ring of Christian with a clothesline. Christian staggered to the back as the crowd chanted “Y2J, Y2J.” Austin congratulated Jericho on a “wonderful display of violence.” He told Jericho he impressed him and called him “son.” Jericho said, “Don’t patronize me you sanctimonious son of a bitch.” He said the assclowns don’t have the guts to tell him the truth, which is that he isn’t allowed to hit people unless provoked because he’s a bully. He said like most bullies, when confronted he would back down. “You’re a failure as a GM, you’re a failure as a human beings, and there isn’t a day I don’t pray to the Lord above that you’re ass gets fired,” Jericho added. “I want to see you get fired so bad.” He told him he can’t believe he would consider cancelling the Highlight Reel.
Austin interrupted and said he didn’t say anything about cancelling the Highlight Reel. Austin said, “No, I happen to like your talk show, you silly bastard.” He told him he just threw a fit and beat up Christian for no reason. Austin said he wasn’t insulting or intimidating him. He told him he got to keep his job and he didn’t even have to kiss his ass. He asked him if he wanted to keep huffing and puffing or if he wanted to drink beer with him. Jericho laughed and said he’s not “a stupid, moronic redneck from the South.” The crowd booed. Lawler said, “Well, we are in Alabama.” Jericho said he knows that every time someone drinks a beer with Austin, that person ends up getting a Stunner. Jericho said it wasn’t going to happen tonight because he doesn’t plan to provoke him.
Austin had some beers throw to him in the ring. He threw one at Jericho, who failed to catch it. The crowd laughed. Austin leaned in about a foot away from Jericho and tossed it to him. Jericho caught it. The crowd gave Jericho a mock applause. They each drank a couple of beers together. Jericho patted Austin on the shoulder from behind. Austin turned around and gave Jericho a Stunner, The crowd popped as Austin’s music played. Jericho looked “foiled” at ringside, although not especially hurt. Then again, the Stunner has been turned into a “cartoon finisher” over the years that’s worth a pop, but doesn’t really hurt anyone for longer than a second or two. Those who attended Raw house shows recently were familiar with this popular bit these two have been doing around the horn.
[Commercial Break – including an ad for an encore of Joe Schmo right after Raw, which I recommend, by the way. As I wrote at the VIP Forum message board this weekend in the TV show discussion area, I thought the producers did a “smart” job with Schmo in the same way that the Scream movies were a clever takeoff on slasher movies.]
4 — HURRICANE & ROSEY & BUBBA & D-VON & SPIKE DUDLEY vs. LA RESISTANCE & ROB CONWAY & RODNEY MACK & MARK HENRY (w/Teddy Long)
The Dudleys hit Conway with their top rope headbutt early. Then D-Von got a table as fans chanted “table, table.” The table didn’t make it into the ring, though, before the match settled in a standard ten-man tag. Ross called Henry a “freak of nature” and ‘the strongest man in the world.” When Long distracted Bubba, Henry hit Bubba from behind and powerslammed him for the win. Afterward, La Resistance threw Spike over the top rope toward the table below. Spike’s head just grazed the edge of the table, taking a small chip off the middle edge. It was just brutal looking since the impact of Spike’s weight was all on his head and not absorbed evenly throughout his back. The ref immediately checked on him and asked if he was okay, then he raised his arm to the back with a signal. La Resistance looked over the top rope down with concern at the result of their poorly executed toss. They followed up by tossing Hurricane through the table, but they started from the floor this time, so they were on target. They replayed the gruesome Spike bump two times.
WINNERS: Henry & Mack & Conway & Resistance when Henry pinned Bubba at 4:55.
STAR RATING: *
-Bischoff told Snow & Coach that he had booked a tables match with all three Dudleys against La Resistance & Rob Conway. Coach and Snow joked around with each other in obnoxious fashion. Bischoff told them that he couldn’t wait to reveal who the special partners of Goldberg and Hunter would be. Gail Kim interrupted and said she had some business to conduct with him. Bischoff asked Coach and Snow to leave. As Kim sat on Bischoff’s lap, Snow said he was going to throw up.
-Terri interviewed Hunter backstage. Hunter said Goldberg is all marketing and hype. He compared Goldberg to the energy drink he is a spokesman for. He said the drink he endorses delivered as promised, unlike Goldberg. He vowed to leave Goldberg a bloody mess in the TV main event.
-Ross and Lawler recapped the RVD-Kane match earlier. Ross plugged that they’d have an interview with Shane McMahon later via satellite from Stamford, Conn. They plugged the Unforgiven matches, including all three Dudleys vs. La Resistance & Rob Conway in a six-man tables match, Ross & Lawler vs. Snow & Coach, and Hunter vs. Goldberg in a belt vs. career match.
-Ross interviewed Shane, asking him how he was feeling. Shane said it doesn’t matter how he’s feeling, all that matters is how Kane is breathing. Bischoff interrupted the interview. They went to a split screen. Bischoff accused Shane of not having any testicles. Bischoff announced his match against Kane would be a “Last Man Standing” match. Shane no-sold the announcement and said, “Screw you, Bischoff.” Bischoff said, “No, I just screwed you.”
-Molly asked Gail if Bischoff “went for it.” Gail said it was “easier than I thought, and come to think of it, quicker than I thought.” Molly said that seals Trish’s fate next week.
5 — STEVEN RICHARDS (w/Victoria, Test, Stacy) vs. SCOTT STEINER
Lawler claimed that commercials draw bigger ratings than Coach & Snow on Heat. Test gave Steiner a full-nelson slam behind the ref’s back leading to a near fall from Richards. Steiner then blocked the Steviekick. Steiner then finished off Richards with a slam.
WINNER: Steiner at 2:35.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
-After the match, Steiner told Test that Stacy doesn’t want to be with him. He said it’s a shame that she doesn’t accompany him, the Genetic Freak. He propositioned that at Unforgiven, they wrestle each other over Stacy. Test said never. Stacy smiled. Test told her to shut up. Test said, “Scotty, you can’t get enough of my sloppy seconds, can you?” He said he can’t blame him, since Stacy is a great piece of (pinches her ass). He accepted his match, but said if Stacy’s services are on the line, than so are Steiner’s. “Because when I beat you, Scott, I’m going to make you sit there and watch me and stacy because not only do I get her, but I’m going to make you my little bitch, too.” Steiner said that was a deal. Of course, Stacy had no say in the matter.
-Coach and Snow stood in the ring. Coach did all the talking as he narrated a slide show of Ross’s face superimposed on the body of a bodybuilder, a sumo wrestler, a ballet dancer, and a mule. Coach told Ross if that makes him mad, do something about it. Ross walked to the ring. Lawler followed. Coach antagonized Ross to his face, then knocked his cowboy hat off of his head, poked his chest, and called him a redneck. Ross finally wound up and punched Coach. Lawler then knocked Snow out of the ring to the floor.
-Terri interviewed Goldberg backstage. She asked him about Hunter’s claim that he’s all hype. Goldberg looked at the camera and said, “Hunter, believe the hype.” He said he didn’t care about the mystery partner stip, all he cared about was getting Hunter in the ring. Goldberg managed to not slip and fall on his way to the ring tonight.
6 — GOLDBERG & RANDY ORTON vs. HUNTER & RIC FLAIR
Goldberg came out first, then Hunter followed. Eric Bischoff stepped onto the stage and announced the mystery partners. He said he thought a lot about what Hunter said backstage and “nobody tells Mr. Bischoff what to do, so let me introduce you to your tag team partner.” Ric Flair came out. Lawler and Ross said Hunter must be pleased with that. Bischoff then introduced Orton as Goldberg’s partner. Goldberg went after Hunter and Flair before Orton could get to the ring, but the three Evolution members soon overwhelmed Goldberg. The cage lowered over the ring at Hunter’s request. Orton attempted to use a chair against Goldberg, but Goldberg speared Orton first. Hunter then nailed Goldberg from behind as Goldberg played the crowd. Hunter shoved the ref to the mat as Flair stomped away at Goldberg. Goldberg bled heavily from the forehead. Hunter shoved the title belt in Goldberg’s face and said it’s his belt and nobody else gets to have it. This was a good, old-style angle to hype a singles match, although it had to be a bit of a letdown for viewers expecting to see an actual match.
WINNERS: No decision.