Date: 21st October 2003
Venue: Fayettesville, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
This period was weird for RAW in terms of they had decent storylines and potential, but they just couldn’t match the hype or expectations in their matches, save for a few wrestlers. Either way, Goldberg is the World Champion here with Triple H demanding a title shot. I think we are building to Survivor Series at this point, so lets see how this show stacks up. Oh and Eric Bischoff and Stone Cold are co-General Managers at this point as well.
We start with… ah yeah the $100,000 bounty on Goldberg, set by Triple H to anyone who takes out the world champ,which saw Henry beat down the champ before his match with HBK. The match goes on and Batista returned to take out Goldberg with a chair to the ankle. Awesome way to return.
The theme music by Union Underground was just bad ass!
A shot of the steel cage is shown, for the… ah ok we don’t know why it is there apparently.
We open with Evolution, minus Triple H. Damn Batista looked menacing at this point especially when he had hair! Batista is put over by Flair as the fans chant for Goldberg. Batista claims Goldberg should take the beating as an honour by Triple H as he turns up the intensity on the mic. Randy then brings our attention to the World Title and who should be the rightful owner of the belt now Goldberg has been taken out.
Before we go any further, Bischoff comes to the ring (with a bag) and is PISSED at Goldberg being taken out… before declaring himself happy about this whole situation! Ah right he got speared that’s why he’s happy, so screw Goldberg and the fans. The 30 day rule is mentioned (a rarity) and Eric unveils the world title belt from the bag he is carrying. He is about to declare HHH the new champion before Austin makes his grand entrance, to a massive pop.
The Team Bischoff v Team Austin for Survivor Series was announced last week on Raw, with Austin leaving the WWE if his team loses. Austin says Goldberg is returning at Survivor Series against HHH for the world title. Flair loses it and lets rip at Austin with those psycho eyes that are Flair’s trademark over the years. Austin remains calm (?) and that is the Bottom Line. Decent promo that did its job.
Batista speaks back up and tries to provoke and intimidate Austin. An exchange of words before Jindrak and Cade assault Evolution in the ring before fleeing through the crowd. Random attack but whatever.
Shane has a mystery opponent tonight.
Trish and Lita are in the locker room. Apparently Jericho left a message for good luck to Trish tonight. Lita reckons him and Christian are up to something so she’s gonna try and find out. Trish is stunning as usual!
Booker T v Rico w/ Jackie Gayda
Booker is the first man on Austin’s team at Survivor Series. No entrance for Rico, as he jumps Booker T to start. Near fall and a headlock slows the match down a lot. The crowd are hot tonight before Booker takes over with clotheslines and punches. Attempted Ax kick failed but works a second time for the pinfall. Too short to rate but Booker T looked good heading for the PPV.
Jericho interrupts before the spin-a-rooni, saying the crowd came to see Jericho and an impromptu Highlight Reel. He asks Booker how he is so stupid to side with Austin, before Jericho introduces two more members of team Bischoff: Scott Steiner (already knew he was on the team) and Christian (new addition). The cage is then ordered to be lowered by Jericho before Booker T strikes. The 3 on 1 is too much for Booker, before RVD takes out Team Bischoff with chair shots. The cage is down now and RVD makes the unsurprising announcement he is now on Team Austin.
Back from break, Jericho is complaining to Bischoff. Jericho calms down and asks for an IC title match against RVD to send a message to Austin’s team.
Mark Henry v Lance Storm
Long complains he and Henry were screwed out of $100,000 for attacking Goldberg last week. Henry is pissed apparently (when did he ever look happy??) so he has to take out his anger on someone in an open challenge. Enter Lance Storm, who was looking to show more charisma recently (yeah looks as stupid as it sounds). He is beaten down upon entering the ring. Irish whip fails and Storm briefly takes over. Dropkick misses and Henry tosses him over the top rope. Straight away, HBK is here to sweet chin music Henry for the DQ win at 0:48. Too short to rate its Henry v effectively a jobber on TV. Nothing special.
A fatal fourway no 1 contenders match for the Women’s title is announced for tonight.
Heidenrieich on Raw in 2003? Ok then, never knew that. Hurricane shows up to be Heidenreich’s partner for his trial match tonight. They have a picture taken by some journalist as Hurricane pulls a funny face over something about a Little Johnny. Pointless.
Lita finds Christian about the whole Christian-Jericho trying to impress Lita and Stratus scenario (Lita gets dropped out of it for some reason) but the talk goes nowhere as Lita goes to prepare for her match. Two pointless segments in a row? Third time lucky?
Segment #3 is Shane O’Mac warming up when the Coach who implies Kane may be Shanes opponent. Shane says to bring it! Much better.
John Heidenreich and Hurricane v La Resistance
Heidenreich’s tryout match here tonight. Hurricane jumped by Conway to start but the advantage doesn’t last long. Cannonball to the outside onto Dupree before a swinging neckbreaker brings the advantage back to Resistance. I’ll give this to La Resistance they were a decent team despite the fans getting on their backs. Heidenreich hasn’t been in this match yet and we are 3 minutes in so far. USA chants are on here led by the US armed forces at ringside, so no complaints there.
Domination here by Resistance as the fans urge Hurricane on. I find it funny Hurricance goes for the chokeslam every time regardless of opponent’s size. Finally, Heidenreich is in after 6 minutes and beats down the French-Canadians. Bicycle kick for two before Conway makes a trip over the top. Modified Chokeslam to Dupree gets the win at 6:55.
Rating: C- Standard tag match which is fine in this case. The win makes Heidenreich look good as he took down two men. I don’t how long he lasted on RAW for (probably only this week) before heading to SmackDown next year but La Resistance, the former tag team champions, were done no favours here.
Another chokeslam for Conway after the match.
No Disqualification match: Shane McMahon v ???
The mystery opponent is Test. Wait Test is on crutches, who apparently got injured by Shane at a house show. He introduces the mystery opponent: Him!
Straight to the injured foot and Test bails before putting Stacy Keibler in harms way. Stacy repays him by slapping him before Shane beats on him. Any reinforcements (Kane) are not coming out as Shane gets beaten around ringside. Dude, get the message he ain’t coming! Weapons time as the crutch is saved from use by Stacy as Shane recovers. Trashcan lid to the head heard across the city as the Coast-to-Coast is set up.
The pyro of Kane goes off but no Kane as Test hits Shane with the crutch for a two count. Reverse DDT on Test which looked crunching-ly nasty. Only a two! Credit to Test for that kick out. Coast to Coast by Shane connects for the win at 6:25.
Rating: C – Whatever deal Kane and Test had backfired horribly (Kane’s intentions – come on people!) but Shane dished out some hard hitting moves here. These are the sort of matches Shane excels at so credit to the booking on this one and judging by the commentators here, Shane is on a death wish with the freak that is Kane at Survivor Series.
Shane on the same crazy levels as Kane?? Some truth to that, as he calls Kane out. A little demonstration on Test appears on the cards as Test’s foot is crushed on the steps. His foot is already injured Shane, a little compassion here! Kane appears on the ramp but he’s having none of it, because he looks “really scared”. The match is changed to an Ambulance match, with Kane’s pyro accepting the challenge.
IC title match: RVD v Jericho tonight!
Fatal Fourway #1 contenders match: Trish Stratus v Victoria v Lita v Gail Kim
Winner gets the champion, Molly Holly, at Survivor Series. Kim was the Women’s champion after her first match on RAW a few months back. All four in at the same time so a manic beginning ensues. Molly Holly watches on from the ramp. Leg drop from Kim to Lita that looked good as Trish takes a trip outside. Widows Peak before a wild kick by Kim keeps this match going. Richards interference fails before a DDT by Lita gets the pin at 2:53. Molly looks unimpressed by that match.
Rating: C- Too short and too busy to get everything in but the ladies all looked good tonight. Yeah apart from that I got nothing. At least this offered up the best of the Diva’s division at the time.
Tribute to Michael “Hawk” Hegstrand from the Road Warriors. A true legend who went downhill in a horrible way.
The Coach’s Book Review?? Oh God I need a drink! The “Stone Cold Truth” conatains lies… how ironic! Apparantly Bischoff tried to meet Austin face to face to FIRE HIM from WCW! The stupidity of that company overall makes me laugh at times! Austin arrives and Coach blames him for losing his announcer job! Thats a blessing if anything. Coach begs Austin to hit him which Austin is banned from. So Austin decides to make Coach his post match interview to stomp a mud hole in his face.
Cade and Jindrak argue about winning against Evolution tonight as HBK pops up for a little motivating. They head off before Teddy Long calls out the “white boy” (his words) to suggest Henry v HBK next week on RAW. Bischoff then has HBK escorted off the premises for whatever reason. Oh getting back at Austin, right! *sighs*
Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade v Randy Orton and Ric Flair (w/ Batista
This is over Cade and Jindrak stealing the $100,000 last week and then attacking Evolution earlier. A simple yet effective story. Maven?! Ok he decides to back up Jindrak-Cade. Hard clothesline by Jindrak to Orton before Cade comes in as the Flair chops fly in Flair county. Jindrak back in to clean house before an Orton cheap shot gets a rollup. Maven hits Flair backwards so Jindrak gets the rollup pin at 3:16.
Too short to rate but it sets up the after match beat down by Evolution. Its telling the pop for the win was minimal, as if no one could give a damn about Cade-Jindrak. Batista Bombs all around to end this post-match squash. JR: “We could be looking at the future of RAW right there”. Freakish prediction, but give it another 18 months and that’s the case.
Recap on Jericho stealing a tag team win over RVD last week on RAW. Why can’t they do that more today?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: RVD (c) v Chris Jericho
Our main event and it looks good on paper. Jerry admits this more about the Survivor Series elimination match than the IC title which is about right at least. High flying and technical start for this match, with neither man gaining the advantage fully. A dropkick headscissors from Jericho for two looked awesome particularly. Jericho then mocks RVD’s taunt in a funny moment. Belly to belly by Van Dam gets two before a missed Lionsault by Jericho.
Five Star by RVD but it misses and a roll up by Jericho gets two. Low blow to RVD as this match is so fast paced… a Walls of Jericho now as I can barely type fast enough. RVD fights it…. wait here’s Bischoff to distract the referee who doesn’t see RVD on the ropes! RVD then taps and the referee sees that at 4:26! Oh wow that was quick but a fun match to watch!
Your new IC champion is…. oh no forget that as Austin is here to announce RVD’s rematch right now for the IC title… in the steel cage! Oh YES!
WWE Intercontinental Championship: RVD v Chris Jericho (c) – Steel Cage
Bischoff and all parties are banned from ringside. Oh boy Bischoff tripped into Austin and he’s now provoked, chasing Eric out back! Back from break and the match has begun with Jericho in control. He targets RVD’s back after the Walls of Jericho earlier which is sound strategy.
RVD counters as Jericho eats steel before punches ensue by both men. Jericho gets thrown repeatedly into the cage before RVD heads up to escape but his leg is grabbed back in. Facedrop and Lionsault fail ultimately after Van Dam is dragged back in again. Sunset flip to Jericho, who lands on the turnbuckle and heads for the top of the cage! Van Dam grabs him at the last second and drags him back in… another facedrop to RVD off the turnbuckle! Damn these two are going for each other!
Jericho escapes again but is dragged back in and kicked off the ropes. Van Dam heads for the exit and Jericho heads for the door. RVD kicks the door in Jericho’s face and drops to the floor at 6:07 shown to regain his IC title. These two should have had multiple PPV showings, seriously!
Rating: B Hugely enjoyable matches despite them being short ones. Considering it was to further an angle rather than about the match itself that’s fine for me. Fast paced and a twist in the steel cage match included, the ending was creative enough too, which is all you can ask for in a TV main event.
Christian and Steiner are out here to beat down RVD and throw him back into the cage. Three on one assault before the Dudley Boys come to make the save. Oh boy here’s Mark Henry as Teddy Long locks the cage door. Booker T now climbs in and jumps off the top to Team Bischoff below to a huge ovation! It doesn’t last as the World’s Strongest Slam ends him. Jericho was busted open somewhere as he sits atop the cage to observe the carnage below as the show ends.
Overall rating: C+ Good episode tonight, with much of the build on the Team Bischoff/Austin match at Survivor Series, which is fine but more build to the World Title match will be needed as well. It feels weird with barely any Triple H on RAW tonight considering he dominated this era of RAW but it felt fresh. Good main event, solid build to Survivor Series and solid promos (bar a couple) and this episode was watchable but nothing totally special.