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The following report was originally published 20 years ago this week here at PWTorch.com…
WWE RAW REPORT
SEPTEMBER 29, 2003
LIVE FROM CHICAGO, ILL.
-Jonathan Coachman and Al Snow were formally introduced by Lilian Garcia. They plugged the TV main event of Ric Flair & Randy Orton vs. Goldberg & Shawn Michaels. They played up that they were in Chicago. Coach wore a Green Bay Packers jersey (the Packers were playing the Chicago Bears on ABC’s Monday Night Football at the same time as this show). He talked about facing Jim Ross later.
-Eric Bischoff and Chris Jericho walked out to the ring for the Highlight Reel. Bischoff announced that Steve Austin had been suspended for one night so there would be no Austin on the show. Jericho complained that Austin caused him to lose to Goldberg last week. “That title was mine!” he screamed. Jericho then introduced his official guest, Jim Ross. Ross came out wearing an Oklahoma Sooners jersey. Coach and Snow applauded as he came out because he made their jobs possible on Raw. Coach said he couldn’t wait to fight Ross later.
Bischoff said Coach should get the opportunity to decide what kind of match Coach and Ross should have later. Coach stood up and said he wanted it to be a good ol’ country whippin’ match. Jericho said Ross’s back is still healing from being burned by Kane. Jericho imitated Ross’s agonizing screams as Coach and Snow laughed. “Compassion is a big part of what makes me the success I am,” said Bischoff. “So I absolutely agree.” He granted Coach the match he requested.
Ross told Bischoff that Coach and Snow are just like Bischoff, they suck. Bischoff got in Ross’s face. Jericho stepped between them and told Bischoff he’s not allowed to touch talent. “But I can,” said Jericho, who then kicked Ross in the gut and put him in a Walls of Jericho. Steve Austin’s music then came on and Austin ran out to the ring. Coach said he had been suspended and wasn’t supposed to be there. He began throwing pieces of the Highlight Reel set out of the ring. Bischoff and Jericho fled up the ramp.
Bischoff asked Austin what he was doing there. Austin told him he knows he’s suspended. He said he knew Bischoff would try to pull something, so he showed up to offset it. Bischoff called for security. Two security guys walked to the ring. When one of them grabbed Austin’s arm, he said, “Be careful, son, that’s my drinking arm.”
When the other grabbed his other arm, Austin said, “That’s my other drinking arm.” Austin said he knows they have to do their jobs, but he knows the building well enough to leave on his own. When they let go of him, he punched one and gave the other a Stunner. “The man is insane,” declared Snow. The crowd popped as Bischoff and Jericho yelled at him from the stage. Coach said when he’s done whipping J.R.’s ass, he’s going to get a piece of Austin.
1 — THE DUDLEYS vs. TEST (w/Stacy) & SCOTT STEINER – WWE Tag Title match
Test wanted Steiner to start, but Steiner tagged Test without his knowledge. As Test complained, Bubba attacked him early. Coach said the Dudleys are “arguably” one of the best teams in the history of WWE. I’m sure the Dudleys, with all of their tag title wins and consistent top push the past few years, will love that qualifier by Coach.
When D-Von went to the top rope early, Test knocked the ref into the ropes, knocking D-Von off balance. Test grabbed a chair. Stacy yanked it out of his weak hands. Test shoved Stacy to the mat. Bubba gave Test a Bubba Bomb. As Steiner checked on Stacy, the Dudleys attacked him. Test then blindsided the Dudleys with a clothesline. Stacy hit Test with a chair. The Dudleys gave Test a 3D for the win.
When Test got in Stacy’s face after the match, Steiner knocked Test down. Steiner then asked Stacy if she wanted his forgiveness for costing him matches lately. She was playing along thinking he was flirting with her, but then he said, “Hell no.” He then gave her a belly-to-belly suplex. Test stood up with a big goofy smile on his face. Steiner left alone. Do I see Steiner being set up as Goldberg’s upcoming house show heel opponent? Makes sense. Snow criticized Steiner for putting his hands on a woman.
WINNERS: The Dudleys at 2:45 to retain the tag belts.
STAR RATING: 1/2* — Not much to the match, but it told the story it intended effectively.
-They recapped the Steiner turn, then plugged that Triple H would have a major announcement later.
-Kane came out and said he tasted Shane McMahon’s blood last week and loved it. He said it isn’t over between them. Then Hurricane interrupted. Hurricane stood on the stage and asked Kane if he remembered this, pointing to the big screen. A clip aired of Hurricane and Kane winning the tag titles on Raw last year. Hurricane asked him why he went from being beloved to being hated. Kane said he has dedicated his life to pleasing the fans, something he now detests. Kane asked Hurricane to come to the ring. Hurricane said he was his friend, he doesn’t want to fight him.
Kane said he wants to fight someone. Kane spotted a kid in the front row in a Hurricane mask. He told the kid if his parents told him there are no monsters, they lied to him. He said the kid needs to feel his pain. When he jumped to ringside, Hurricane made the save. Kane beat up Hurricane. Rosey made the save, but Kane ducked a Rosey clothesline and set up a chokeslam. Hurricane stopped him and tossed him over the top rope. Kane retreated because a virtual jobber and mid-card gimmick wrestler are too much for a monster heel like Kane. It makes Shane’s achievements at this weekend’s house shows beating Kane seem less impressive.
-Backstage Maven, Mark Jindrak, and Garrison Cade were playing a wrestling videogame. La Resistance interrupted and mocked them for playing the game. Cade made fun of France’s war record.
2 — LA RESISTANCE (Rene Dupree & Rob Conway & Sylvian Grenier) vs. GARRISON CADE & MAVEN & MARK JINDRAK
It’s nice that they gave this match a backstage segment to set up a bit of an issue, but I suspect it’s still not going to be good for the quarter hour ratings. They kept the action going in the match including six-way action within the first three minutes. Coach asked what kind of a name Maven is. Snow said he tried to get Maven to change it. Jindrak dropkicked Conway as Cade held him in the air and scored the pin. Jindrak showed off his leaping ability.
WINNERS: Jindrak & Cade & Garrison at 3:43.
STAR RATING: * — Solid for a short six-man tag.
-Steve Austin was shown standing outside the arena, blocked by security from entering the arena. Austin asked if he could get inside the arena to use the bathroom. Security said no. Rob Van Dam walked up and thanked Austin for getting him his title shot in a ladder match later. A tall blond muscular guy walked up and said it was his dream to meet Austin. He said he and his son bought a ticket to see him. Austin shook his hand and said he wanted to talk to him.
-Triple H cut a promo via videotape sitting down in front of a backdrop. He mockingly applauded Goldberg for his title win and asked how it feels to have a big target on his chest. Hunter said he will eventually take back what is his. He said he has a lot to learn and thus will help him speed up the learning process.
Hunter said he often wonders what it would be like if he had a dollar for every time he heard fans chant his name, then he realized he does. Hunter then opened a brief case full of cash. Hunter said he is offering $100,000 of his own money to anyone who “takes out Bill Goldberg.” Hunter then belabored his point, as he often (always?) does and played with the money. “The game is just starting,” he said. “It looks like the game just got a whole lot more interesting.” We then got five more seconds of Hunter smiling and sniffing a wad of his money.
-Snow and Coach wondered who had the guts to take on Goldberg and shoot for the money. Coach then got himself hyped up for his match against Ross.
-They showed Ross with a worried look on his face warming up backstage.
3 — JONATHAN COACHMAN vs. JIM ROSS
As Coach walked to the ring. Snow said he just wishes he had the chance to train him in Tough Enough because he could have been such a superstar. He then praised Coach for connecting with the crowd and climbing the ropes with such agility. Jericho joined Snow on commentary. Jericho began mockingly running down Ross’s background, saying he used to announce for the USFL. He asked what a Sooner is. Ross whipped Coach as Coach yapped at fans.
The idea of adding whips was a great idea because it gave them something they could do to each other that would look relatively painful without forcing them to bump or throw believable punches or clotheslines. Ross chomped on gum throughout the contest. Coach got in a shot on Ross’s back at 1:40 and Ross squirmed in pain, selling the healing burns on his back. Snow said those whips must be opening scabs and scars.
Ross came back two minutes later with a low blow, then ripped off Coach’s shirt. Bischoff attempted to interfere, but Ross knocked him off the apron. Ross then gave Coach the Stunner and scored the three count. Jerry Lawler’s music played and he came to ringside to congratulate Ross for getting their jobs back. Jericho did a lot of more talking than Snow. He might actually make a really good color commentator once his wrestling days are over as an obnoxious heel commentator.
WINNER: Ross at 4:32.
STAR RATING: n/a
-Austin came through the crowd with a beer in his hand and a ticket stub in the other (that he got from the fan who met him outside). Austin rose the arm of Ross. Austin said since he has a ticket, he as a fan is saying welcome back to King and J.R. Jericho said it was disgusting. Austin asked for beer. All three drank beer together. “This night sucks,” said Jericho. “It sucked at the beginning. It sucks right now. This is not over, Steve Austin.”
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler returned to the announcing table and said they felt great to be back.
-Terri stood in mid-ring and introduced Lita. Terri said during her time off, Lita had a chance to start an animal shelter foundation and write her autobiography. She said the autobiography is released tomorrow. Lita began, “What’s up, Chicago?” Lawler said, “I think I know what’s up.” Oh, how we missed you, Jerry. She said like it or not, she is back. It was one of those pointless promos that you knew had to be interrupted any second. Sure enough, Gail Kim and Molly Holly interrupted.
Molly said, “Let me get this straight. First, Trish Stratus gets a new DVD and now Lita gets a new book?” She said as champion, she should have a DVD and a book. She told Lita her return was about to be the shortest in WWE history. Kim attacked Lita from behind. They double-teamed her. Trish came out to make the save. Victoria then ran out and turned the tide back toward the heels. They ripped pages out of Lita’s book and shoved them in her mouth.
4 — KANE vs. HURRICANE
Ross said Shane was still recovering from his injuries suffered last week on Raw, but said he might appear on Raw next week. So much for the new policy of selling injuries at house shows. If Shane’s too hurt to appear on Raw, what do those fans who watched him beat Kane this weekend in street fights headlining house shows think? Hurricane dove onto Kane at ringside at the start, but otherwise got demolished.
WINNER: Kane at 0:58.
STAR RATING: 1/4* — Just a quick squash.
-They showed Goldberg pacing backstage. Marc Loyd asked if he feared that Shawn Michaels might turn on him. Goldberg said if Michaels turns on him, he’ll take him out. Richards attacked Goldberg from behind. Goldberg immediately turned around, kneed Richards, and knocked him to the floor. Ross said Richards’s attempt to win the $100,000 from Hunter didn’t work out too well.
5 — RANDY ORTON & RIC FLAIR vs. SHAWN MICHAELS & GOLDBERG
Ross played up whether Michaels could be trusted. How many times has Michaels been the subject of that exact speculation during his career? Goldberg beat up Flair at first. Michaels got a hot tag and went to work on Flair and then Orton. Orton then gained advantage at 2:00 and began the heel domination of Michaels during the body of the match as Goldberg cheerlead on the ring apron waiting for the hot tag.
Michaels hot-tagged Goldberg at 5:00 who gracelessly knocked his way through Flair and Orton, but then gave Flair one of those half-assed whips into the ropes where it was obvious Flair was running himself rather than being forced by his opponent. Rodney Mack ran into the ring and nailed Goldberg with a chair from behind, prompting the ref to call for the bell. Goldberg then gave Mack a Jackhammer.
Mark Henry beat up and blohttps://vip.pwtorch.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.phpodied Michaels at ringside. the cameras didn’t show it because they focused on Goldberg. On the replay, they showed Henry shoving Michaels into the stairs at ringside. Goldberg then noticed Henry dragged Michaels up the ramp to the back. Goldberg stood and watched rather than saving his partner from being kidnapped.
WINNERS: Goldberg & Michaels at 5:48 via DQ.
STAR RATING: *1/2 — Basic formula tag you’d expect with these four. I guess they’re setting up Rodney Mack and Mark Henry as potential opponents for Goldberg, too.
-Teddy Long told Henry he likes what he sees from Henry. Henry said he is going to collect the $100,000 bounty next week on Goldberg.
-Ross told Lawler he isn’t sure Henry can get it done. Ross congratulated Rock for starring in the no. 1 movie of the weekend. A video feature then aired on the movie’s opening weekend including interviews with co-stars. Lawler said The Rundown is “utterly fantastic” and one of the best movies he’s seen.
-They showed Christian getting ready for his ladder match main event. I’m impressed this is getting top billing over the tag match with Goldberg. It’s a nice boost to both ladder matches (which was turned into a mid-card gimmick match by TNA over the past year) and the IC Title (which was turned into a mid-card title in recent months by WWE).
6 — CHRISTIAN vs. ROB VAN DAM – IC Title match
They brawled at ringside at the start, with RVD flipping over the top rope onto Christian at ringside as Christian held the ladder. Christian set up a ladder on the apron and barrier, but as he suplexed RVD, RVD reversed it and dropped Christian on the ladder. He then leaped off the barrier and flip legdropped Christian. Back in the ring they continued to work ladder spots, including RVD knocking Christian off the ladder just as he reached the belt hanging from the rafters.
At 7:00 Christian gave RVD a reverse DDT off the ladder in a cool spot. RVD came back and set up the ladder at 9:00 and climbed to the top. Christian knocked him off the top. RVD landed on his stomach with a thud. RVD then dropkicked a ladder into Christian. RVD put Christian on the ladder and then frog splashed off the top rope toward him. Christian moved, and RVD landed rib-first on the ladder. Ross and Lawler said RVD must be seriously hurt.
Christian slidekicked RVD out of the ring, then climbed the ladder. RVD re-entered the ring dropkicked the ladder just as Christian gripped the belt. They showed a cool overhead angle of the move. They each recovered enough to climb opposite sides of the ladder. The tipped the ladder over. Christian fell over the top rope, then to the mat. RVD caught himself on the second ladder in the corner. RVD stood on the very top of the ladder. Ross said that was suicide.
RVD raised his arms and did his shoulder pointing routine. The crowd chanted, “R-V-D.” RVD then Five-Star Frog Splashed Christian in center ring. He sold it like he was also hurt. He recovered first, though, and set up the ladder right over Christian, locking him on his back. RVD then climbed the ladder and got the belt to win the belt. The crowd went nuts for the match.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam at 13:42 to win the IC Title.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 — Very good ladder match, helped by the energy of the crowd feeding the wrestlers. Long-term convincing selling is impossible in a match like this, but at least RVD really sold each move intensely for a few seconds. They cut away right away, which wasn’t bad, but I would have liked to have seen more of RVD’s celebration with the belt because the crowd was soooo into him that it would have made great TV to show him soaking up cheers. Cutting away suddenly like they did would be akin to cutting away from a Hulk Hogan match right after the legdrop and three count, missing out on the post-match posing and crowd cheering.
OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s NXT No Mercy Hit List: Becky Lynch vs. Tiffany Stratton in an Extreme Rules match for the NXT Women’s Championship, Carmelo Hayes vs. Ilja Dragunov for the NXT Championship