WWE RAW (03/10/03)
by Tony Ling

Hi, I'm Tony Ling. You may remember me from such columns on CRZ's /slashwrestling as "Tony Ling Watches Wrestling" and "Tony Ling Watches Wrestling 2". And now I'm here, writing my first ever Raw recap for the legendary Cubs Fan and his even more legendary thecubsfan.com. Which begs the obvious question: What kind of sick masochist starts writing a Raw recap NOW, of all times?

Well…I can't really answer that. All I can tell you for sure is that this is going to be a limited time engagement, before I graduate from college. So enjoy the 100% pure Ling hilarity while it lasts!

Disclaimer: This is being done live, so maybe it won't be that funny. One thing I can't do is think of funny stuff improvising off the top of my head. Fortunately, this show is funny enough on its own, so we should be gravy!

9:00: We are live from oh wait it's Bischoff. He's talking to all the bad guys about welcoming Steve Austin. Hey, there's Teddy Long in a horrid blue suit! It's the Leo DiCaprio suit from Romeo and Juliet. Nothing much is said, and everyone leaves. Sean Morley expresses doubt…and it's THE ROCK! He's all like "make like a tree and get out of here" to Morley, and Morley does. Rocky tells us his match with Booker T ain't happening, DESPITE him knowing that he'd whup Booka's ass. Oh, okay, so he's committed to beating Steve Austin. Well, thank God Bischoff set that stupid stipulation and ruined the Austin/Rock showdown last week! That belt buckle Rocky's got is so awesome. So wait…is the match off now?

9:04: And now we're live from the Gund Arena in Cleveland (rocks), OH. Here's RVD, letting us know that despite the crowd loving him, he's shoved in some retarded tag team with Kane. Oh, and here he is. One of the winningest teams in WWF (I REFUSE to say "WWE", it sounds so dirty) history, eh? For what, their all of 2 month run? I hate you so much, JR. And now here are their opponents, Jericho and Christian. Test gets called Edge by JR, for Pete's sake. I mean, he did that crap in the past, too, but they're not even on the same brand! We do some opening fancy schmancy stuff, neato reverse kick by RVD gets two. Tag in to Jericho, who eats a high leg kick, but he recovers with the flying forearm. "I'M RIPPING OFF TITANIC!" Belly to back slam, corner whip reversed, RVD catches him in the face when Jericho comes off the top. Here comes Kane. Kane does stuff. What a great team! Air Kane gets two. I remember when he'd actually hit the guy BEFORE he landed on the mat! Blind tag, but Kane sets up for a double chokeslam! Not happening, though. Jericho gets backdropped over the top trying for a double team, and RVD comes off the top with a kick to Christian's face. His half of Rolling Thunder. On the outside, Kane gets drop toeholded into the steps (I know, I made up a move). Cheating backfired - it never works, kids. ***** frog splash, but he can't cover, Jericho comes in with the Lionsault, and that's it. I don't do match ratings, but that was okayish. Jericho celebrates on the ramp, but he doesn't see HBK! SWEET CHIN MUSIC! MICHAELS CALLS HIM "BOY!" THEY'RE GONNA GET IT ON AT WRESTLEMANIA! YES, I REALIZE THAT SOUNDS GROSS!

9:12: WM ad. That camera shot of Angle going up the stairs at (I think) the Astrodome so rules.

Quick editorial: I don't get how Rock/Austin wouldn't be a great match, ring rust and all, seeing as how those dudes have wrestled so many times that they could probably do a *** match with their eyes closed. It's like Hogan/Savage: you wrestle enough times, the odds are good you can have a decent match. Multiply that by the awesomeness of Rock and Austin, and…you get the idea.

9:15: The FIVE (OR SIX) TIME WCW CHAMP is here! I wonder if HHH will interrupt him again and call him "Sambo" or something. That'd make Scott Christ happy! (Just playing, Scott.) Booker is mad at HHH's comments (more for the content than HHH actually being there - which is what made ME mad). Booker didn't kick some ass, because he IS an entertainer - the good kind! I guess he's the Hardcore Champion of entertainers! (You see, 24-7 - oh crap, forget it.) Booker's had himself a hard life, and he even tells us about doing time in the grey bar hotel! "BREAK YOSELF!" He said "gat"! Haha, Milli Vanilli. Haha, Vanilla Ice. Booker: "You wanna see me dance?" The fans want to! Booker is calling HHH out! Why? "I WILL DANCE ALL OVER YO PUNK ASS!" And everyone can dig it. Boy, I sure hope HHH responds! I can't wait to see oh hey it's Ric Flair. Boos for the Naitch. He tells someone (probably the fat boy that always follows him around) to shut up. Booker, apparently, isn't Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, OR Triple H. One of these names doesn't go together, one of these names doesn't belong…anyway, Flair tells him he's drawn a card, but not a World Title one. Maybe it's the Death card? You know, that doesn't actually mean Death in the Tarot world. That Tarot business, who thinks up shit like that? HHH, through Flair, says he won't lower himself to Booker's level again. And NEXT week in Saint Louis Booker will get to Choose His Own Adventure: Booker can be Flair's chauffer (ah, the good old days), or he can show up and get his ass whipped. Booker decides Flair needs a punch in the face! He's ready to hunt down the champ (in the locker room, so Flair says) now! And he's on the move! Hey, nice of HHH to label his locker room door like that. HHH is washing his hair in a sink, oh how cute. No wonder it looks so fucking bad all the time. HHH asks him for a towel (with tip money in hand), and instead gets a facefulla door. Man, if I was Booker, I'd pick up that bill - it was probably a big one!

9:26: Nice to see Marty McFly's dad is getting work still. Not so nice to see that it's in a movie as horrible looking as "Willard". As my friend put it, "nobody plays dorky loser quite like that guy". Kudos, friend.

9:29: The "Just in case you missed it" replay.

9:29 again: Flair and HHH are gonna hunt Booker down! They're going on SAFARI har har. Hey, Jeff Hardy. Did he paint himself up like this in OMEGA? I've read Death Valley Driver and I know Jeff used to wear facepaint and masks and shit there, but did he ever go to the day-glo extreme like he's got now? And 2 Skinnee J's (one of the best live bands out there - plug plug plug) welcome Rico to the ring. But never mind about the match - AUSTIN'S HERE! HE KNOCKED OVER SOME CUPS ON A POOR LADY! I SHOULDN'T BE LAUGHING AT THAT! Back to the action - Rico does a move where he drops the back of Jeff's head onto his knees. Whisper In The Wind - does ANYONE ever actually catch him correctly on that move? Rico goes over the top, 3 Minute Warning shove him back in, Rico's on all fours, and here comes Jeff over the top! Rollup! What a crappy short match! And off he goes! What IS Jeff thinking these days? He's probably thinking the same thing he always does, just in shorter matches where he always wins by rolling people up!

9:33: No audio for part of this, then HHH decks some guy (a Tough Enough dude, I guess, I didn't really watch that show) and tells Maven to suit up, because they're gonna FIGHT IT OUT!

9:34: Eww, that guy's a man! Oh good - Eminem in Viva Las Vega…I mean, 8 Mile is coming out on DVD. Jeez, all the good jokes I could've had at his expense, and I picked a lame Elvis one. Well, here's something to chew on - instead of recapping his life pre-fame (which he's done 50 million times in song and interviews already) in a formula Hollywood movie, couldn't Eminem have done a documentary on Detroit, maybe featuring him, and shed light on Detroit as an urban cesspool instead of a breeding ground for Shady Records rappers? Or would that not make him mainstream and commercially viable enough? Okay, I'll just stop, or I'll talk myself into a brain aneurysm. To be fair, I have always admired guys who could freestyle, simply because they can think on their feet 50 billion times better than I ever could.

9:37: AUSTIN AUSTIN HE'S EATING SOMETHING! Oh crap it's Goldust. Maybe they can talk about old school WCW well maybe not. Bischoff wants to see him, so says Goldie (well, in between his lame stuttering). Now HE has the hot dog! Oh, the…whatever.

9:38: THE ROCK again! He's yelling at nobody! Haha Jim Thome! And now he's gonna rock out folk music style! "The Rock says Cleveland is totally lame/How did this dump get the Hall of Fame/The Rock something something (sorry, I missed it)/Because Cleveland doesn't rock, it totally sucks!" Ah, gotta love open mic night. YAY THE HURRICANE! It's amazing how the Rock could make a loser midcarder with a shit gimmick the hottest thing on Raw (yes, that's right). Ah, no DQ, that will be fun. Rock's bringing his awesome powers, and Hurricane's…gonna throw Chicken McNuggets! Being the Hamburglar and all, I guess. "I GOT MY HURRIPOWERS, BITCH!" And that gets face heat! My God, this feud should not be happening but it is and it totally rules. Just remember, the Rock TOTALLY tripped two weeks ago, and he ain't afraid of NOBODY. More aspersions are cast onto Rock's tiny weiner, and Rock makes funny noises again. Biggest night of Shane Helms' night, eh? What about the time he faced Chavo for the…oh, I don't even have the strength. CHEAP SHOT ON HURRICANE BY THE ROCK! I'M ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS MATCH! THE WOMEN'S MATCH UP NEXT, NOT SO MUCH!

9:43: When did Stephanie go from mildly chubby, cute, sweet-faced girl to big-breasted brick shithouse?

9:46: TNN's feed goes dark! Hey, a totally cool dude with a TNN shirt tells us to stand by, please!

9:47: Fuck you, Roger Moore.

9:50: So…when's Raw coming back? Hey, Bloodsport! My Van Damme impersonation: "RAAAAAARGH OOF I HAVE BEEN KICKED IN THE GUT"

9:52: One day, someone will actually think up an anti-drug campaign that doesn't completely insult everyone's intelligence. And by then, pot will be legalized anyway, so I guess it's a moot point.

9:53: We're back! It's Justin Shapiro's girlfriend Trish Stratus! (Wait…does Taylor from Tough Enough know about this? She's gonna be SO MAD!) And now it's Scott Keith's girlfriend Jazz! Seriously, she tries hard and is decent in the ring and all, but come on! Whip, reverse, boot to Trish's face, TRISHCANRANA! Oh hey it's Victoria with a beltshot to both competitors. That's okay, I wasn't up for watching this anyway! And now she leaves, cradling her belt like a newborn baby in the ruins of a church, with Stevie in tow. DON'T PLAY THIS SONG, IT'LL GET STUCK IN MY HEAD FOR HOURS AND I'LL HAVE TO DIG IT OUT WITH A FORK!

9:56: And here's Eric! So I guess the women's match was cut short by the feed problems so we could get all of Eric's grill on TV. Thanks, fellas! All the things she said all the OH FUCK GODDAMN IT. Bischoff talks about WCW, for the 8 people that still remember that FedEx stuff. And an apology to JR for the cinder block thing, for the 6 people that remember THAT. JR doesn't care. Bischoff is taking responsibility for Stone Cold, as well he should! Ahem. Bischoff tells Austin how similar they are, down to their tussles with Vince McMahon, their jeans preference, and that weird mole they both have on their butt cheeks. Okay not really. And now here comes Austin to rebut. Eric wants a handshake and bygones to be bygones. "Say sir when you're talking to me!" Everything you said all the things you said all the NO NO NO NO NO. Austin Salute for Eric. I'm thinking there will be no hatchet burying. Fans are just happy as pigs in shit to chant WHAT, and Austin's interview style still caters to it. And now it's THE ROCK! AGAIN! Pause for Rocky to have people tell him he sucks, and Austin lets him know, just in case he was thinking of something and missing the chants (like that TATu song ARGH). Rock's getting all hostile! Austin invites him to come on down and fight, and Rock…prefers to continue his tour of the stage. We take a trip down Memory Lane, stopping by WMs XV and X-7. Rock tells Austin he ain't nothing. "Stone Cold Nothing! The Texas Nothing! Open up a big can of nothing!" But Austin ain't having it. He's laying down to let Rocky take a shot! Haha the Rock says "nah"! Oh, he's saving it for Wrestlemania, I see, I get it. Austin decides to take out his frustration to Bischoff, and Rock slides in to get a cheap shot…and that backfires quite nicely. One thing for sure - no matter how badly the WWF screws up any other angle, Rock vs Austin always comes off like a million bucks.

10:09: Chris Rock, it's been fun. But this new movie's the end of your career. I'm gonna miss you. You were great.

10:13: Remember when this entrance was the coolest thing ever? Yeah, me neither. A nice closeup reminds the viewing audience that HHH is, indeed, a funny looking man. "Lead in your pencil"? That's a neat little metaphor. Maven was a former schoolteacher? That gives me hope for getting a teaching job in the fall. Hunter sends Maven out under the ropes, then comes out to throw him back first into the stairs. Back in as JR sings our champ's praises. Maven tries to fight back, but a clothesline ends it. Lawler and JR bicker about HH "George Wallace" H as Hunter uses a bare elbow to Maven's face. Rubbing against the ropes. HHH taunts Maven and I'm wishing this was 3 years ago. Maven tries to fight back but gets all of one shot in before his offense gets derailed again. Sleeper time! You know, I can just HEAR fans going "boy, that sleeper is so played out, why can't they just move onto a new resthold already, main event style, bonzo gonzo, dang jethro, buy the book". We get an uncomfortable moment as Maven pulls himself up using HHH, but it turns to a jawbreaker. Whip, reverse, boot to HHH's face, but HHH gets a spinebuster. Thank goodness Maven wasn't going anywhere anyway, otherwise I might question him getting buried like this. Pedigree time, and it's done. Sir, I knew HHH/Taka. I was friends with HHH/Taka. You, sir, are no HHH/Taka. Post-match, HHH talks smack to Maven's corpse, and Maven does a tribute to Foley! Al Snow frees him, and gets wailed on for his troubles. Pedigree! BASK IN THE GLOW OF ***YOUR*** WORLD CHAMPION! Just remember - YOUR world champion doesn't necessarily have to have nice hair.

10:23: Eric bitches and moans. Sean says Mr. McMahon never tried to make amends with Austin, which of course is a bald faced lie. Let's talk about Smackdown - never mind that brand extension crap. Next week, Bischoff vs Austin, part 2! Not this week, of course - you poor Cleveland saps got all the Bischoff and Austin you deserve, jerks! This WWF/Girls Gone Wild thing is…well, not even really worthy of comment. Hey, Stacy's talking to Test! He's partying again! Whew, Stacy isn't mad, if I was Test I would've been worried that she would be. Austin confirms that him getting Bischoff again is just dandy, as a big lump of veiny flesh looks on.

10:30: We're on the road to Dudleyville, and the Dudleys (apparently) have been reinstated! Why can't these guys just have nice, normal in-house theme music? And here's Sean Morley and Lance Storm and a cadre of police. Oh, only D-Von gets to wrestle. If he wins, reinstation; if not, suspension continues. Aren't they reinstated already? Should I care? What the hell, I'll pretend I do. The cops take Buh Buh off, yaaay. Double teaming, but they put their heads down, and that of course is stupid. Rollup, inside cradle, nothing. Fans yell TWO to remind us that Canadians are occasionally good for something. Lance breaks up another two, and in he comes to kick. Forearm by D-Von gets too. Whip into the corner, clothesline, pancake thing, two. Powerslam, two. Double teaming in the corner, but D-Von fights out. Cheating by Morley. Nice leg lariat by Lance. Not The Money Shot finishes. I yawn. Triple threat sign? Where's Shane Douglas to make me hate that even more than I normally would? And hey, a wet t-shirt contest! Thank goodness, wrestling bores me too.

10:36: This has to be the first horror movie to use the line "It's just the wind" in the last 50 years. If you don't know which movie I'm referring to, GOOD.

10:38: Scott Christ brought up a good point an hour back: wouldn't Booker beating the Rock give Booker much more momentum heading into WM? God knows him hitting HHH in the locker room a few times won't really cut the mustard. I'm looking forward to Rock/Hurricane, don't get me wrong, but…I mean, next week would've been just fine for it too. Ah well.

10:39: Why yes, this WAS last week. Why yes, this WAS earlier tonight. Lawler's here. "HELLO CLEVELAND! ROCK AND ROLL!" The genius of Spinal Tap isn't going to be enough to get my mind off of how crappy this is going to be. Here come four ladies to show us what they got. And just before the spraying, Stacy comes on out as JR quotes ZZ Top. Oh, she WAS upset, never mind, Test! You're back on the shitlist now! And now it's Stacy that gets to wield the Super Soaker. "Don't shoot prematurely", good thing little kids don't watch this show anymore. Yaay, being squirted is fun! I'm only recapping for you, the people that ostensibly are reading this. Hey, Stacy will be at the Girls Gone Wild PPV. And there's a squirting for her butt - she's as wild as anyone else, you know. And just in case you forgot you were watching Raw - it's Rock vs Hurricane, next!

10:47: WM moment is Pete Rose eating a tombstone. Wow, JR sounded way different back then.

10:49: For God's sake, just bring out the pictures of smoke-ridden lungs and pictures of people who died of lung cancer and just have done with it. I mean, are those commercials really going to stop smoking without letting people see firsthand how bad that shit is for you?

10:50: Let's hit the home stretch, everyone. The Rock's video is so great, I can't stand it. Listen to that ripping guitar solo! And, for contrast, The Hurricane's hokey ass video is so crappy that, indeed, I can't stand it. By the way, "Sugar" Shane Helms was my favorite WCW gimmick in its dying days. And here we go at 10:53. The Rock looks bemused by this plucky superhero dude. Bitchslap by the Rock! Hurricane charges, Rock dodges and gives him another helping of palm sandwich. Punches by Helms! Rock takes himself a breather and jawjacks with some fans, but Helms comes out to get him. Back in, Samoan drop by the Rock. Rock is amused by…something. He's putting on the cape! Boots to Helms, with the cape still on, even. Helms fight back, kick was kinda blown, Rock clotheslines him and poses like Superman. Big ol' suplex. JR is babbling about something or other, then brings it back to Wrestlemania in a brutal segue. Rock is just toying with Helms. Helms is trying to come back, but Rock ain't having it. Now Rock is doing laps, this is almost too great. Resthold time. This match is cool, not in a great wrestling way, but in a storyline way. Hurricane fights out, and knocks Rocky down! What the fuck is JR talking about? Haha, Rock is jabbering to the camera about the Scorpion King. Helms and Rock trade punches, Helms gets some clotheslines! MUTOH KICK! Up top…bodypress! Two count! Whip, Helms elbow, shoulderblock gets two! Now we're picking up. DDT, and a FAST kip-up into a superhero pose. Man alive. Please, PLEASE don't watch Helldorado so we can get this all the time. Rock Bottom is reversed, Helms tries the chokeslam twice for no luck, Rock tries a chokeslam for no luck, HURRICANE BOTTOM!!!!!! TWO! Wow, wow, wow. Now THIS is closer to HHH/Taka. Rock is selling like a champ, my goodness. Whip reversed, spinebuster, and it's TMEMISE time. He gives us a flipoff before, off the ropes, twice…GLASS BREAKS!!!! HERE COMES AUSTIN!!!!!! ROLLUP BY HURRICANE… HE GOT HIM! HE GOT HIM! HE GOT HIM! Austin offers him a salute, Rock is nonplussed. What a great ending to a middling show. If I had money, I'd totally buy this show now just for this one match. Be back next week!