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Raw: An ultimatium for Nash
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


The King and his new partner Jonathan Coachman are on hand for another edition of Raw. The Rock\'s issues with Bill Goldberg should be front and center for another week, but there are other questions waiting to be answered. What does Eric Bischoff have in store for the departed Steve Austin and Jim Ross? And why has Kevin Nash inserted himself into the feud between Shawn Michaels and Triple H? Read on to find out (hopefully) as Richmond, Virginia hosts Raw.

The leadoff spot goes to Nash, and Big Sexy is glad to be back after nine months. He\'s not so glad that his good buddies HBK and HHH can\'t get along, since the whole reason he put himself through rehab was to enjoy one more run with his best friends. Nash doesn\'t care that Bischoff put him in the six-man tag at Backlash, he just wants to know what\'s up with his pals. Triple H takes the first shot at answering that question, coming to the ring and hugging Big Kev. One thing though: Helmsley says he\'ll never bury the hatchet with Michaels. The Showstoppa heads down and reinforces the point by getting right in HHH\'s face, forcing Nash to play referee. Triple H tells Nash that he has to make a choice. He can join the world champ, but if he does, he\'ll have to stay one step behind. But at least he\'ll know where he stands. According to Triple H, Michaels can\'t be trusted and lives to steal the spotlight from others. Nash is left to ponder one final fact: that both men enjoyed their greatest successes once they left Michaels.

Back in the locker room, Stacy Keibler goes through Test\'s gym bag and finds some things that could be used for baby care or something that happens when someone reads the Torrie Wilson issue of Playboy. Disgust? Yeah, I\'m thinking that\'s the emotion she\'s feeling here.

Match 1 - Test vs. Chris Jericho

Test gets in plenty of early offense, but his valet is too busy signing autographs to notice. Jericho survives several near falls while Stacy treats the fans to a little show. In the words of Dave Matthews, hike up your skirt a little more. Anyway, a distracted Test falls to a bulldog and a Lionsault and is promptly pinned. Test takes out his frustration by slapping and pummeling the \"fan\" who got the signature. I smell lawsuit!

A grinning Bischoff tells us that support has been pouring in for the fired Rattlesnake. Due to the demand, Raw\'s general manager claims he will do the right thing for Austin\'s fans tonight. In the lockeroom, Test is doing a pretty good job kissing up to Stacy. After all, she\'s got better legs and a prettier face than Torrie, and her breasts. Uh-oh.

Match 2 - Trish Stratus and Ivory vs. Victoria and Jazz

Theodore Long joins the announcers to make his case that Jazz is a victim of bigotry. I\'m \"haterizing\" (Long\'s word) on this match by not taking many notes. Jazz survives a few good moves from Trish and goes from the half crab to the STF to get the blonde bombshell to tap out.

A stagehand interrupts Goldberg\'s phone call to tell him he has a visitor that claims to be a relative. Goldust welcomes Da Man to WWE and offers him a gift of his very own blonde wig. The Bizarre One even helps Goldberg try it on, but he declines the gift and tells Goldust not to ever do that again. And someone just soiled his pants.

As Nash ponders his big decision backstage, the sound of breaking glass brings Bischoff to the stage. Come on, by now you couldn\'t have thought it was Austin. Shame on you. Eric wants to make things right with the fans, so he\'s got one heck of a merchandise deal. If you act now, you too can get an Austin Alcohol Fueled t-shirt and a Bullet Proof t-shirt. Plus Bischoff will throw in a WrestleMania XIX program and even a bottle of J.R.\'s barbecue sauce. And how much would you pay for all this? Seventy-five dollars? One hundred dollars? How about the unbelievable price of just $39.95? Act now - operators are standing by. Booker T\'s music hits, and the five-time WCW champ is in a deal-making mood of his own. He gives Bischoff some food for thought by proposing a rematch with Triple H for the world heavyweight title tonight.

Match 3 - Rob Van Dam and Kane vs. Chief Morley and Lance Storm (NO DQ World Tag Team Title Match)

All four men get to brawling, with the heels quickly finding themselves on the floor. RVD hits a leaping cross body for two and gets another quick two with a high kick. Kane tags in and gets double teamed but rallies against the Chief. Van Dam has Storm on the defensive with a slingshot legdrop and again with a spinning legdrop. A monkey flip gets reversed, but a step-over kick earns another near fall. Storm strikes from the outside with a trash can shot and Morley follows with a DDT, but strangely Morley decides not to cover and takes the fight outside. And as is now custom in all RVD-Kane matches, we break for a commercial. When we return the crowd is on its feet, though we may never know why. Kane receives the hot tag and ends his sequence by going up top for a jumping lariat. Morley makes the save, but RVD monkey flips Storm and hits Rolling Thunder on the Chief. Kane tosses Storm over the top rope onto Morley and Van Dam flips himself over to follow. The Big Red Machine looks for a chokeslam, but Bubba Ray Dudley interferes, then nails RVD with a Bubba Bomb. D-Von joins Bubba, and though the Dudleys appear to argue, Bubba tosses a chair to Morley to set up a Van Daminator. Kane chokeslams Storm but does not cover, instead setting Lance in the corner and encouraging his partner to go up top. RVD\'s Van Terminator is a little short, but he still gets props for even trying it. Kane gets the pin and the faces retain the straps.

Ric Flair can\'t believe Bischoff is actually considering making his champion defend against Booker T, so The Hurricane drops in to explain why the match should happen. Finally a plan begins to form: Booker and Hurricane will team to face Triple H and Flair, and Booker will get the shot next week if his team wins. Flair reminds Hurricane that he\'ll be facing two jet-flying sons of guns, but the WWE\'s resident super hero points out that some people don\'t need jets to fly.

NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler is in the house, and the APA is out supporting American troops. But forget all that, because The Rock is live via satellite. Or is he? Resident broadcasting expert Dale Plummer has his doubts, and the lack of chemistry between Rocky and the two announcers seems to support this theory. Rock says he went to Hollywood to get a brand new People\'s Guitar, and he\'s got not one but two big announcements. First, we\'ll all be treated to Rock Concert II next week in Atlanta. More importantly, Rock has changed his mind and will face Goldberg at Backlash. The crowd is less than enthusiastic about the match, possibly because almost everyone already knew it was going to happen.

Christian calls The Rock to tell him that he\'s going to seize the day by beating Goldust. He also thinks the People\'s Champ made a good call by avoiding Richmond and its nasty pie.

Match 4 - Goldust vs. Christian

I just finish noticing Christian\'s new entrance music when it seems the match is already over. Goldust picks up a DQ win thanks to a blow below the belt, plus a chair shot to add to his pain. It looks like Christian is doing all of this to impress The Rock, and he takes it to the next level by calling out Goldberg. In fact, he tells Goldberg to take off his wig, bra and panties and face him like a man. Sans entrance music and pyro, Goldberg obliges. You know what\'s next: spear, Jackhammer, lights out.

In the spirit of great debates like Lincoln-Douglas and Kennedy-Nixon, The King is proud to be the mediator for Nowinski-Steiner. Today\'s topic is Operation:Iraqi Freedom, and young Nowinski takes the opportunity to once again suggest that the U.S. is confusing might with right. For his rebuttal, Big Poppa Pump proves surprisingly eloquent by pointing out Iraq\'s hosting and training of terrorists of the sort that planned 9/11. Steiner suggests that Nowinski, the Dixie Chicks and \"Hollywood numbskulls\" all go straight to Hell or France - same difference. When Steiner is done securing this year\'s Nobel Peace Prize, Nowinski tells him his three minutes are up. Rico, Jamal and Rosie join the fun and lay a beating on BPP. Nowisnki finally gets some heat, and it only took him a debate and three other men to get it. Nice. Oh yeah, and another vignette airs with those scary French guys.

Main Event - Triple H and Ric Flair vs. Booker T and The Hurricane

Flair tries to go up top early and gets tossed down like he almost always does. Triple H tags in and immediately has to kick out of a spinebuster. The Hurricane gets the next near fall, but HHH scores with a spinebuster and tags in the Nature Boy for some dual chopping action. Several minutes of abuse end when The Hurricane hits a Russian leg sweep, then Flair and Booker engage in a chopping war. Both heels fall to sidekicks; Hunter regains control with a facebuster. Hurricane launches a missile dropkick at The Game and hits a shining wizard on Flair, but his partner makes the save. Natch crotches the super hero but falls victim to a scissor kick. That means it\'s Spineroonie time! Flair rolls out of the way of Hurricane\'s attack, but HBK sneaks in and floors the veteran with some Sweet Chin Music. Referee Earl Hebner was busy taking a chair from Triple H, but he returns to the ring just in time to count the pinfall for The Hurricane. Michaels and Helmsley slug it out as Jericho joins the fray. The heels quickly gain the upper hand, so Triple H fetches his trusty sledgehammer. Nash arrives to stop him, but no blows are exchanged as the two old friends exchange stares. Big Sexy feels someone behind him so he turns and hammers Booker, who in turn takes a shot at Michaels. The faces are in a classic state of heel-induced disarray as the curtain falls on another Raw.

Nick Tylwalk may or may not be the man penning reports and stories for SLAM! Wrestling for the last four and a half years. His identity cannot be corroborated, but the editors have a pretty good idea who he is.