WWE RAW (03/24/03)
by Tony Ling

Welcome to another edition of Raw Huh! Good God! What Is It Good For - Absolutely Nothing! Haha, I kid - it's good for cheap laughs at the expense of wrestlers we've all grown to demise! Before we get to this week's recap, here's a fun little AIM conversation that I'd like to share with you all:

ALing88 (07:13:44 PM): Man I have an extra half hour of Raw to recap
ALing88 (07:13:52 PM): It better not be gay
ALing88 (07:13:55 PM): er
Abmulabmu (07:14:02 PM): why are you even doing it
ALing88 (07:15:02 PM): For the hell of it
Abmulabmu (07:15:18 PM): Tony no offense but that's the weirdest thing I've ever heard in my life
ALing88 (07:15:24 PM): ugh I ate too much pork and beans
Abmulabmu (07:15:36 PM): nevermind

I still am not quite sure why I'm recapping Raw, by the way. Well, hey, maybe this week will provide the answer … maybe?

Oscar thoughts: It sucked. What? Okay, fine, one more: Michael Moore's speech was in bad taste, despite the fact that I'm down with the anti-war sentiment. What I'm NOT down with is people that are against the war because they believe that for some reason Saddam Hussein doesn't deserve this. The motherfucker has been a pain in the ass of the world for his entire reign, has committed more atrocities than HHH has had title reigns, OWNED HIS OWN PERSON PAPER SHREDDER TO CHOP UP DISSIDENTS, and has borne two equally crazy sons more than willing to carry on their father's work. Don't get me wrong, this war is being done for all the wrong reasons (oil not being one of them, by the way), but let's not pretend that we're like attacking Switzerland or something. Okay, enough of this political crap, how about some, uh, wrestling political crap? Oh, I kid, of course. There's no wrestling on Raw!


9:00: Lillian Garcia's out to belt out her (so-so) rendition of the National Anthem. I have nothing to really say about this (coughnineelevenshowalreadyusedthissodoingitforacrappywarkindofcheapenstheeffectcough). USA chants, of course. And here comes the Raw theme, a nice contrast to the Star Spangled Banner, probably the only national anthem adopted from a drinking song. Although I GET THE GUNS THE DRUGS LET'S GET IT ON is a nice sentiment too.

9:03: The Rock Unplugged tonight! What'd REALLY be cool is if people could call in and request stuff - I'd ask for The Pina Colada Song! Whoops, no time for that silly crap, it's AUSTIN time! I still really wish that we'd never have had to listen to Disturbed piss all over the greatest theme the WWF ever created. Austin talks about what happened on Raw last week, after doing a nice little vaudeville routine with Lil' Naitch. Oh man, a repeat of Austin's fabled sit-down strike! I wish I could remember which Raw he'd done this before, just so I could REALLY impress you people, my reading constituency. But Rock isn't coming out…Test is! He doesn't seem particularly enthused with having to be out there - well, why the butt doesn't he just stay in the back, then? Speaking of butt…no, forget it. Test stooges on Bischoff and says he just wants to practice his craft, but Austin has no love for him! Stunner on Test! Lance Storm, that toady bastard, runs out and tries to get the cheap pin, but Robinson gets pulled back by Austin, who makes the count…1, 2 - AUSTIN SALUTE! Stunner for Storm! Okay, now THIS is classic Austin. And now here comes Bischoff (w/his gay theme and…oh shit, a cadre of police) to kill the mood. Yeah yeah general manager his show blah blah blah. "Asshole" chant. He's got a restraining order - what, did he and Austin go through a messy breakup or something? Great, and Austin has to leave the arena, too. This makes me wonder - Bischoff brought Austin back specifically to keep from losing his job by providing a shoddy product to the fans, and now he's depriving said fans from the one guy they really want to see. Where's Vince to FAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHRRRRRR his ass again? The cops roll on down to remove Austin, and he decides to (slowly) leave the ring. Bischoff KEEPS ON TALKING. And Austin's slowly walking up the ramp, more annoyed than anything. Bischoff goads Austin to hit him, and Austin doesn't rise to the bait. That should get the crowd in a nice and riled up mood! Bischoff pushes the Rock concert, as we get a live camera view of Austin walking away. But Austin stops as he hears strumming…and it's The Rock! The cops keep Austin away…Elvis time! Rock gives us "Jailhouse Rock", pausing to offer a smarmy smile to Austin every couple of seconds. Austin gives him a sarcastic round of applause, and he's gone. "Everybody in Sacramento/Let's get ready for the Rock's show", damn it, I thought it was going to be funny! Now why'd I transcribe that?

9:17: Gotta be ready! Remember, you can be attacked at ANY TIME! See, right that second you could be DEAD! Or right THIS second! So be ready, America! Because otherwise you might not be ready when you DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

9:18: That giggle before Trish's theme song scares me for some indefinable reason. And here comes her partner, the "complex" Jeff Hardy. I'm not sure what's so complex about him - "confused and slightly stupid" might fit the bill better. And weren't they going to do something different with him? What exactly is so different about this? Stevie and Victoria come on down to the strains of the song crafted in the fires of Hell. Lawler talks about Victoria not being able to live without her belt, which, by the way, is the ONE AND ONLY thing that makes up Victoria's character. Jeff gets a double leg takedown after Stevie got one of his own, leading to the double legdrop to Stevie's male area. Whip, reverse, and Jeff gets a neat flipping kick in the corner to Stevie's face. Victoria tags in and dares Jeff to hit her, but Jeff is too much of a gentleman. Here's Trish. Chick Kick for Victoria, Jeff hits something over the top on Stevie. Spinning sidewalk slam gets two for Victoria. She misses a standing moonsault, but gets Trish with a knee to the face, but leaves herself open for the top rope rana. Stevie's interference backfires, and Trish pushes off HIM to get Stratusfaction for the pin. That was underwhelming to say the least. Jeff did just about nothing. And now here comes Jazz to remind us that there are THREE women in this little feud! Boot to Victoria's face, just for fun. Did I tell you recently how excited I am for that title match at Wrestlemania? No? Good.

9:27: I remember Irish whipping a guy into a car and having it explode on contact in my younger, wilder days. Kudos to the makers of Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth of reminding me of my youth.

9:28: Bisch talks on his cell about him ruining this show, and Coach interrupts to tell him that there's a security emergency. And now here's Goldust, reading Playboy! Did he say "boobie"? Hey, here's Booker. Goldust plays Max Headroom as he tries to give Booker an inspirational pep talk. Don't hate the playa…hate "The Game". One step ahead of you, Book! Now we get the security problem: outside the east entrance, Austin's a-lurkin! There's his badass truck! The crowd pops for an image of him on a TV monitor from outside the arena, so God forbid he can actually stay on the show and do something worthwhile! Bischoff, as usual, didn't read the fine print on his restraining order. By the way, since I always forget, we are LIVE from the Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA tonight! And I just realize that I already noted that we're in Sacramento above, so, uh, whoops. Bischoff tells Coach to go out and tell Austin something, but Coach doesn't want to, with good reason. Bischoff decides to put Coach's job on the line. Wow, something Vince never did when HE was Evil WWF Owner Running Things Guy!

9:33: Ah, Game 7 of the 2001 World Series on ESPN Classic, a.k.a. the moment where I decided I would hate the New York Yankees for the rest of my life. It didn't hurt that this is still probably the best baseball game I've ever seen (live in full, anyway) in my life.


9:35 again: Test and Steiner have some bad words over Stacey, I guess. And here's Austin again, just chilling out, killing time. And the siren brings out the Big Bad Ugly Sumbitch, to his usual less than stellar ovation. By the way, the thought that the man who created Dragonball Z will one day rot in hell keeps me happy in my lowest moments. His opponent is Christian, wearing an outfit that looks like it was cut out of a spare Hurricane costume. Lawler plugs Austin on the Jimmy Kimmel show, although it might be cancelled by the time Austin's scheduled to appear. Collar and elbow tieup, and Steiner sends Christian out of the ring. Back in, headlock, Christian bounces off, and runs into one of those big gruesome arms. Steiner does his Jack Palance impersonation (although he could never do it one armed in a million years) and gets a press slam. Punches and chops in the corner, and Steiner goes to work on the back, but the second time gets turned into that reverse DDT thing Christian does. Christian cheats, of course. Whip reversed and countered into a Christian kick and neckbreaker for a near fall. I guess the throat is Christian's body part to work on tonight. He mocks Steiner, but Steiner comes back to a chorus of boos. Now Christian is sort of getting cheers! Suplex by Steiner, more boos. Clotheslines away, more boos. Backdrop thingy (called a powerslam by JR - sigh) gets two. Christian almost gets a Flair pin with his feet on the ropes for two. Christian goes over the top, but lands on the apron and catches Steiner with a throat drop on the ropes and goes up top. Steiner catches him, and hits a fallaway slam from the top, and that is all she wrote. Steiner gets the stick and says his catchphrase to a lukewarm reaction. And here's Coach with Eric's message: Austin must leave, or his life will become akin to a living hell. You mean like having to watch Maid In Manhattan every day for the rest of your life? An angry glower from Austin sufficiently spooks Coach into leaving.

9:45: This movie The Core, on top of coming like 7 or 8 years too late, just looks incredibly bad. Not as bad as Donny Osmond in concert (he's coming to Detroit), but close. Great seats are still available!

9:47: Wrestlemania moment: the end of the most overrated wrestling match of all time.

9:48: Sean Morley evokes the old "30 days" title reign thing to end Storm and Regal's title run, and make him and Morley new champs. That should get a couple "protect the lineage" whiny posts on Delphi! RVD and Kane come out to challenge, and "balls" gets horrendously bleeped not once, but twice. But they're not getting the shot - it's the Dudleys that have the inside track! Kane books his own match, asking for a title shot for the winner of that match. Morley agrees, and RVD says "cool". Neat bit as Kane slaps Storm on his Stunner-injured neck and Storm sells. And here comes Naitch and HHH to face Booker and Goldust, aka yet another example of wrestling not adhering to its own retirement stips.

9:53: Shoutout to CRZ and his Sacramento Kings! I'm pulling for them to go all the way, baby! Just as long as they can get past those goddamned Lakers!

9:54: Another shot to remind us Austin's still here. He's playing with his windshield wipers, looking as bored as I am looking right now. And now here comes The Former Best Wrestler In The WWF, complete with his own personal less awesome version of the WCW Big Gold Belt. The spit roar, as usual, gets a pop and flashbulbs, guaranteeing that we'll be seeing it until HHH finally gets his ass out of this sport. And now here comes his tag team partner, The Greatest Wrestler In The History of North America. I don't want to get into that All Japan Kawada/Misawa debate shit. Everyone gets separate entrances, which I guess makes this match feel a little bigger. Booker, of course, gets a nice pop, but not a pop that suggests that these people think he's winning the title (because, as everyone will tell you, THERE IS NOT A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN HELL HE IS WINNING THE BELT BECAUSE HHH WHAT A POLITICIAN). I'm not sure what my point was for doing that, but it felt good to get that out. Does Flair still have anything left in the tank? I'd ask the same about HHH, but there's no point even asking. Flair and Goldust start, and Flair does some styling and profiling to make me wish this was '86 Flair out there. Goldust mocks him, with stupid stuttering, of course. In the corner, "WHOO", and Goldust slaps him right in the face. Punches! Whip, and Flair hits his back for the 300 trillionth time from a backdrop. Tieup, Goldust into the wrong corner, HHH tags in, but Goldust fights out and tags in Booker! We get a staredown, and HHH does not look particularly enthused to tie up. "Booker T" chant. At least they like him, even if they don't think he's winning at Wrestlemania (of course). Booker goes down from a shoulderblock, but gets himself an armdrag! HHH backs off, looking even less enthused. Tieup, knee to the gut by HHH, slow punches, whip reversed into a back kick. Chops ahoy! Booker puts his head down and eats a NASTY kick. Back in comes Flair. Flair shows us all how to chop, and Booker reverses! FLAIR FLOP! Sidewalk slam gets two, and Flair goes to the eyes. I could watch that shit all day. Sadly, HHH comes in instead, but Booker catches him with a leg lariat to improve my mood. Flair, ever the pro, takes out Booker's knee with a chop block, and the champ goes to work. Slugfest, and HHH sends Booker to the outside, where Flair tries to work him over, but Goldust stops it. And we're taking a commercial break.

10:07: We're back, and Flair's got Booker in the figure four. I take it there has been some work on the knee done. Flair mocks Booker, just for fun, but Booker reverses! Flair rolls out and nails Booker with a NICE chop, but Booker retaliates! Goldust in now! Whip, backdrop, butt drop for HHH! And Goldust has to fake a stupid fit. Double team whip, and Goldust does the awesome slide and nails them both! Atomic drops for both of them, double clothesline! Cross sequence, and HHH ducks a clothesline neatly to send Goldust outside. HHH sends him into the steps as Flair distracts the ref. Flair in, and HHH distracts the ref now as Flair nails a WHOPPER of a ballshot. How can you not love that man? HHH back in, and he works over Goldust nice and slowly. Back comes Goldust, and they sorta mess up a neckbreaker spot but manage to get it for 2. HHH's hair has gone steadily downhill as the match progresses. And now the fans are CHEERING Flair. It takes him 10 minutes to get the crowd on his side, what a guy. Kneedrop to the head gets two. Chops in the corner, and Goldust fights back. Flair takes the knee out, and Flair gets HHH to distract the ref just in time for him to miss the tag to Booker. How fucking classic is this? HHH and Flair go back to work. Whip, and HHH eats boot, comes back and misses a clothesline, and here comes Booker! Booker beats on HHH, big high kick for HHH! Kick for Flair! Kick for HHH! Kick for Flair! Chops aplenty, but Flair comes back and takes out the leg. Whip reversed, and HHH takes his trademark bump over the top. Flair gets thrown right into the second turnbuckle and goes out, and Goldust works him over! HHH is juicing now. This is a good match! Back in, and HHH begs off. Whip reversed, flying forarm to HHH! Goldust and Flair are battling it out on the outside. Inside, Booker is nailing HHH, and Flair comes back n and cheats, but eats the axe kick! Pinfall, but HHH is the legal man. And HHH catches him with a right while Booker looks confused. Pedigree reversed, and HHH gets slingshotted into the corner, axe kick! Three count! Okay, now I know that Booker is DEFINITELY not winning at Wrestlemania, if TV laws hold. All the same, they gave us a heck of a 15 minute or so TV match, probably the best match Raw has seen in months. Thanks, guys!

10:20: HHH gazes longingly into his belt as Flair promos like the Man that he says that HHH is. HHH FINALLY sort of gives Booker some credit. Now that's buildup! And here comes Albert Ching and Justin Shapiro's Favorite Wrestler. He's going to favor us with a promo! Oh man, he's got the serious voice going, I think he means business. Jericho asks HBK to come out for a mano-a-mano interview. And HBK complies, of course. Chant for Heartbreak. Jericho reminds us that he was completely influenced by Shawn Michaels, and he proves it with old footage of himself! My goodness, he really DID rip off HBK. Jericho tells us that he always wanted to be the next Shawn Michaels, but decided he wanted instead to be the first Chris Jericho? Why? Because he's better, that's why. Jericho (so he says) became what HBK had been in the WWF before. He mentions the Undisputed title for I think the first time since he won the fucking thing. Jericho's not just excited to FACE Shawn, but to BEAT and humiliate him. And when Jericho has done this, HBK's gonna have to admit that Jericho is, indeed, the better man. This is really good! Jericho tells HBK to look at him, and then smacks him…and HBK laughs! I'm pretty sure HBK said something you can't actually say on TV, and then he returns the favor…and now Jericho's the one amused! Okay, THAT is buildup.

10:33: Hey it's The Rock with Bischoff. Rock has a good idea, and Bischoff notes that every time that happens he gets his ass beat. Rock points out Bischoff's karate skills, amusingly. Rock tells us that Austin's not leaving for one reason: to hear the Rock concert! Rock wants Bischoff to take some speakers out so that Austin can hear the dulcet tones of one Rocky Maivia. Bischoff relents. He said "Sacramento!" The Tremendous Two go over the Wrestlemania card. That really does look like a pretty good show, actually. Too bad I'm dirt poor, otherwise I'd actually even watch it. And coming up next: Dudleys vs The Tag Team That Spawned A Thousand Descriptions for a shot at the tag team titles.

10:40: Is it just me or does that one Miller Light catfight girl look a little manly in the face? Not to mention the fact that it's so lame that all the WWF could get for this event are two women whose 15 minutes of fame are just about up. That should age quite well indeed.

10:41: Here comes RVD, still locked in the Tag Team Of Career Killing Agony with the Big Red Guy With a Stupid Theme Song. Nice #1 Contender's Match graphic. And here come the Dudleys, still ostensibly faces. JR: "I tell you what, you need a scorecard around here". That, or announcers that can actually properly describe what's going on. Kane and Buh Buh start. Buh Buh gets Kane over for a belly to back suplex, and D-Von comes in. Whip, reverse, flying clothesline by D-Von, jumping elbow gets 2. Kane gives D-Von a big boot to the face and in comes RVD. Slam by Kane, Sabu's half of Rolling Thunder gets 2. D-Von blocks a kick, and RVD gets a sloppy rana and a jumping kick. Slam, and his half of Rolling Thunder gets 2. Whip, D-Von moves out of the way and RVD catches himself on the second turnbuckle, and D-Von catches him with a neckbreaker. Buh Buh in, snap mare takeover, and we rest for a second. RVD fights out, but Buh Buh takes him down by the hair. RVD catches his stepover kick, and both guys tag out. Kane clotheslines D-Von, baaaaaaaaaaack body drop, whip, fist for Buh Buh, powerslam gets 2. Buh Buh eats clothesline, and Kane goes up but misses Air Kane. Buh Buh takes out RVD to prevent a tag, and hit Kane with a double flapjack, but RVD comes off the top with a kick to D-Von. Buh Buh instead gets a hipblock/DDT on RVD for 2 on the illegal man. Whip, RVD comes off the turnbuckle with a kick. Lance Storm and Morley come in, Storm goes for RVD but hits D-Von, Kane and RVD take out Buh Buh and Storm, and D-Von eats a chokeslam, and RVD gets the ***** for the victory. We've got ourselves a tag title match for Wrestlemania! But never mind that, let's go to Austin watching the speakers set up for the Rock's show. Austin takes himself a call on his cellie. And, as said before, the extra footage tonight will be the Hogan/Vince contract signing. So you will forgive me for not recapping that, I hope.

10:54: Rock's supremely amazing video brings out the Great One himself, with his cheap acoustic in tow. Odds on that guitar surviving the night: 50-1. A chair, sheet music stand, and table (with water bottle) has been set up, for the proper Unplugged experience. The crowd is really into this, I should note. Nice touch on "The Rock" logo using the American Idol font. Pop for Sacramento. The best part: in 90 minutes, Rock's LEAVING Sacramento! Tee hee. "Leaving Sacramento/Sacramento, there I go/Leaving Sacramento/Sacramento, there I go/They got some fat ass women there and Rock is gonna something something/Well I might take a plane, I might take a train/How can you people live here, you must be insane/Leaving Sacramento, something something/But I'll be sure to come back here when the Lakers beat the Kings in May!" OOOOOOOH, CHEAP SHOT. He brings up the Shaq "Sacramento Queens" comment just for the heck of it. And for Austin, a version of "Hound Dog" with "Redneck" substituted. I would like to transcribe, but I can't type that fast. By the way, Rock really needs to tune his guitar. "If you really think you'll beat the Rock, your bald ass must be high!" Rock gets Austin up on the screen, and Austin looks less than amused. Another song: "Whip your ass again/The Rock can't wait to whip Austin's ass again" oh fuck it I can't transcribe it. Suffice it to say that this rules in a very weird way. Aww, only one song left, and the Rock asks the crowd politely to keep it down. The crowd, who probably expected this to go less than 2 minutes at most (thanks, Scott), are no longer amused. "And now, with Mania near/The Rock will face the final curtain/Stone Cold, one on one/I'll win the match, of that I'm certain/I've lived, a life as full/I can get pie and get it all day/Much more, than any of you/Rock did it Rock's way/Yes there was time (hold your applause) Austin had fun/when he beat the Great One/But all of that is in the past/And now Austin can kiss the Rock's ass/I will be bold/And beat Stone Cold/And do it Roooooooock's waaaaaaay!!!!!!" Okay, that REALLY ruled. And here comes an ambulance…and Austin's truck is coming after it! Wow, I remember this from Die Hard with a Vengeance. Rock, pissed off, calls the cops out to boo. "Hey, don't boo the cops, these are your cops!" I'm just dying at this shit. Rock asks for another song…and the GLASS BREAKS. Here comes Austin's truck! But obviously he isn't in there… it's HURRICANE! Rock is amused and asks the cops to arrest him, which they do, the jerks. I don't really get WHY they'd do that, but what the hell. Rock accuses him of shoving Chicken McNuggets up his ass. This is the greatest non-wrestling main event ever. But the back of the truck moves…and AUSTIN'S THERE! THE COPS ARE NOT! The crowd is going batshit, and Rock of course is oblivious…then he sees him! Rock is getting WAILED ON! Hahaha Rock's groans are getting picked up by the mic. Big ol clothesline for the Rock, and Austin grabs the guitar, but Rock bails. Rock looks, to say the least, perturbed. And now it's time for me to collect on all you dorks that actually bet on the guitar not getting smashed, because Austin just put his boots to it and trashes it. Rock sells it like Austin just punched his old lady. And for me, anyway, that's the end of the show. See you next week, and WATCH WRESTLEMANIA!!!!!