June 3, 2003
Raw: Rock-ing and rolling in San Diego
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling
Word on the street has it that the People\'s Champ himself, The Rock, will be the guest tonight on Chris Jericho\'s Highlight Reel. Whether the rumor is true or just a scheme concocted by Jericho and Christian remains to be seen, but an appearance by the Great One couldn\'t hurt with Bad Blood less than two weeks away. We\'ll find out soon enough, plus get more feuding general manager shenanigans as Raw comes to us live from sunny San Diego.
It looks like we get our answer immediately, as a black truck pulls up to the arena and The Rock does, in fact, step out. Prepare to be electrified, figuratively speaking.
Match 1 - Trish Stratus, Ivory and Jacqueline vs. Jazz, Victoria and Molly Holly
Ivory and Molly must be happy just to be wrestling. Truthfully, I sometimes forget they are still on the roster. Ivory shows she\'s not rusty by executing a cross body from the top rope to the floor. Stratus works a few minutes and is worn down by the heels, but she manages a tag to Jackie who quickly turns things around. Surprisingly, Ivory gets the win with a facebuster (think X-Factor) on Jazz. Good for her.
Goldberg brings his black Barracuda to a stop outside the arena and quickly blows off the Coach on his way inside. But hey, Coach ought to be used to that by now. After a quick commercial break, it\'s time to plug, plug and plug some more for Jim Ross\' new cookbook. The ever so popular WWE.com poll question asks whether the cookbook will be a bestseller or a flop. I\'m having a premonition that the results are going to be positive.
Oh the humanity - Test and Stacy are arguing again. Stacy says it\'s over, but Test reminds her that she is contractually obligated to work for him. My partner in crime Dale Plummer spots a sign in the crowd that sums up the way most fans feel about this angle. It simply reads, \"Don\'t push Test.\"
The Hurricane is introduced but doesn\'t even make it down the ramp before Randy Orton assaults him from behind. Once Orton has disposed of the super hero, Triple H and Ric Flair follow him down to the ring. I\'m smelling a long-winded talking segment here. Hey, maybe my latent mutant powers are finally manifesting themselves. X-Men, here I come. Anyway, Flair rants about his swerve of Shawn Michaels, saying he\'s seen a hundred Flair wanna-bees come and go. Furthermore, he says he never passed the torch and isn\'t about to do it now to anyone other than Triple H. Flair finishes by saying he will make Michaels his \"bitch\" at Bad Blood, and HBK has no choice but to respond. Michaels admits he took a risk last week and got burnt. But he has established himself as the Heartbreak Kid, and he proved himself as the world champion back when Flair ėran South.î HBK is planning on taking the Nature Boy to school and shoving the torch where the sun doesn\'t shine. Triple H responds by trying to goad Michaels into coming to the ring, but he\'s not coming alone - he\'s coming with Kevin Nash. It\'s still not even, that is, until The Hurricane shows up with a steel chair. My new mutant powers are telling me this is going to end up as a six-man tag for the main event. Take that to the bank.
Match 2 - Scott Steiner vs. Steven Richards
What to make of the fact that Test is watching from the ramp laughing? I don\'t know - I\'m too busy watching Stacy and trying to figure out where she gets these outfits. Richards gets in virtually no offense, and Big Poppa Pump puts him out of his misery with his new variation on a Russian leg sweep.
The smoke is barely clear when Eric Bischoff makes his way down. Ah, that explains Test\'s grin. The co-general manager makes things real simple: it will be Test versus Steiner for Stacy\'s services at Bad Blood. Okay then.
J.R. and The King pass on the sad news that Freddie Blassie has passed away. Backstage, Bischoff brags to Stone Cold about the Test-Steiner match he just made, but Austin is unimpressed. The Rattlesnake would rather talk about their proposed competition at Bad Blood, and after a few minutes of negotiation, it turns out we\'ll be treated to a Redneck Triathlon whatever that is. My powers say beer will be involved somehow. Man, this is great. I can\'t wait to hang out with Wolverine.
Where the Coach fails, Terri succeeds. Maybe it\'s the cleavage. Anyway, her interview with Goldberg doesn\'t last long because it\'s interrupted by Jericho out in the parking lot. He gives Goldberg\'s Barracuda a fresh coat of splattered yellow paint and takes off. If he is trying to tick Goldberg off, he succeeds, as the man from Georgia takes off sprinting (that\'s right, not the wrestler run) and fires up the car to give chase.
The announcers wonder who will host the Highlight Reel, but my mutant powers have already given me the answer. Duh, it\'s Christian. The Intercontinental champ turns the show into The Peep Show and introduces his first guest, The Rock. The People\'s Champ is glad to finally be back in San Diego, but the host interrupts to inform him that he\'s been replaced. The Rock says there ėain\'t but one People\'s Champ,î and he\'s willing to actually go out into the crowd to prove it. Sounds good, but a near riot ensues as people try to um, get a piece of The Rock. With his point proved, Rocky makes his way back through the crowd. Jericho arrives and tells him to hurry up. He does, but not before telling the 20 guys starting a ėRocky sucksî chant that he gets more pie in one day than they will in their entire lives. Reassuming control of his own show, Jericho has only one question for his guest: how does it feel to be speared by Goldberg?î Turns out it hurts, plus Rocky doesn\'t like Jericho\'s line of questioning. Jericho and Christian lay into The Rock until Booker T hits the ring. Rock hits Jericho with right hands, a spinebuster and the People\'s Elbow. Christian tastes Rock Bottom, but that\'s not all. The Rock calls Booker in and invites him to drop a People\'s Elbow of his own. To top it all off, Booker implores Rocky to do his own take on the Spineroonie. And you know what? It\'s not half bad.
After the events of the last segment, Jericho and Christian are in a hurry to leave the premises. Austin stops them to tell them, \'No you ain\'t.\" Let\'s hope grammar isn\'t one of the events in the Redneck Triathlon. And there go my mutant powers again, telling me Austin is going to make the two Canadians wrestle.
Match 3 - Kane vs. Renee Dupree
Kane starts out on fire, forcing Dupree\'s La Resistance partner to get involved. Rob Van Dam evens the odds, but only temporarily. Grenier looks like he\'s about to get snatched from the apron, but Dupree hits a low blow and rolls Kane up for the pin.
Once again, the next segment starts immediately. Stone Cold marches to the ring to confront Kane. He\'s been watching the Big Red Machine and has not been impressed by what he\'s seen. The Rattlesnake wants to know what happened to the man who beat him down a few years back in a First Blood match. He continues to berate Kane verbally and practically begs the monster to chokeslam him, but Kane won\'t bite. A frustrated Austin drops Kane with a Stunner and storms off.
A promo airs for Gail Kim\'s imminent arrival on Raw. That\'s a good thing. Triple H smiles outside the officials\' locker room, then drops a cryptic hint to Orton and Flair that there might not be a Hell in a Cell. And wouldn\'t you know it, Christian and Jericho have to wrestle Goldust and Booker. Professor X, fit me for my costume now.
Match 4 - Booker T and Goldust vs. Chris Jericho and Christian
Wait, why is there a commercial now? I\'m protesting this turn of events by refusing to pick up the play-by-play until later in the match. How aboutÖ now. Goldust hits a double DDT and sets up Christian for the Golden Globes. Jericho makes the save and Booker tags in. He escapes a couple of pinning predicaments and hits Christian with a scissor kick to get the win. Jericho returns with the I-C belt and lays out both of his opponents, which naturally brings Goldberg running. A Spear is launched, but Jericho moves, and referee Charles Robinson gets demolished by the impact. That looks like it hurt.
Austin and Bischoff meet with the officials to see what all the commotion is about. It seems the zebras have been reminded that every time Triple H competes in a Hell in a Cell, one of them ends up injured. Consequently, no one wants to ref the main event at Bad Blood. The GM\'s huddle, and Austin says he can get the one man tough and crazy enough to ref the match by making a single phone call. Could it be true? Please, please let Mick Foley be on the other end of the call. Oh yeah!
Main Event - Randy Orton, Ric Flair and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, The Hurricane and Kevin Nash
Young Orton takes a serious beating in the opening minutes, or at least it looks that way through the smoke from Nash\'s pyro. Flair responds with a chop block to HBK and the heels take turns working over his leg. Flair slaps on the Figure Four but Nash breaks the hold with a big elbow. Big Daddy Cool gets the hot tag and wreaks havoc. The Hurricane gets a chance to shine, but a cross body, an atomic drop and a shining wizard aren\'t enough to put Orton away. Flair saves young Randy from the Overcast, and illegal man Triple H hits a Pedigree. Orton crawls over and Earl Hebner makes a strange count that may or may not have been three. He calls for the bell anyway, possibly furthering the ėrefs are scaredî angle but definitely bringing an anticlimactic close to an otherwise good episode of Raw. Just for kicks, Nash hits Helmsley with a Jackknife Power Bomb. Now we\'re done.
Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998, but is new to being a mutant super hero. He\'s hoping to soon be spending some quality time with Jean Grey and Emma Frost.