August 19, 2003
RAW: All hair Jericho
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling
In just six days, six men will step into the Elimination Chamber to compete for the world title at SummerSlam. In the meantime, we've got the usual bit of last minute posturing and gamesmanship to get out of the way. Lest we think tonight's show from Grand Rapids, Michigan is a completely throwaway affair, we do have a hair versus hair match between Chris Jericho and Kevin Nash, plus a bout between Test and Scott Steiner for the services of Stacy Keibler. That has to count for something. It's Raw, live on Spike TV.
Since Raw is Jericho, it only makes sense to kick things off with the Highlight Reel. Chris has a busy week on tap, as he's planning on taking Big Daddy Cool's hair tonight and winning the world title on Sunday. He still has time to reminisce a little bit about the first Elimination Chamber match, when he was oh-so close to winning the world title before someone stole it from him. To prove he's over it, Jericho invites the thief in question to the ring in the person of Shawn Michaels. Sadly, Jericho has no time to talk to his guest, so he invites his special co-hosts Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton to finish the show. Evolution traps HBK in the ring as Triple H vows that he'll keep his belt and send Michaels to the hospital this time around. Michaels starts throwing rights instead of waiting to get jumped, but he's soon at the mercy of the three heels. Nash hurries to his aid but meets the same fate. They're both bailed out by Goldberg, who clears Orton and Flair from the ring and sets his sights on the world champ. The spear is launched, but Triple H moves and it connects with Nash. Score one for the bad guys in the early going.
Did I mention that Jim Ross is back on commentary tonight? Thank goodness. Stacy bumps into Test backstage, but he convinces her to hear him out. Test says he knows he did a lot of things wrong when they were together, so he promises that when he wins her back, he'll do things differently... by treating her like the slut she really is.
Match 1 - Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly - Women's Title Match
Still smarting at her treatment by both Molly and Gail Kim, Trish sets out to win her strap back tonight. She hits an early Thesz press but Molly retaliates with a clothesline and a shoulderbreaker. Stratus crotches the champ on the top rope and regains the momentum, though she also has to deal with Kim on the apron. Trish goes for a cross body off the top rope, but Molly moves and makes a cover. Kim breaks up the pin, forcing the ref to call for the bell and call for some help to break up the ensuing scrap.
The members of Evolution are in a good mood, and even Steve Austin can't bring them down. Not that the Rattlesnake won't try though, as he has a great idea for a match tonight between Orton and Goldberg. As he throws back a beer, Stone Cold gets an even better idea to name himself the special enforcer. Out in the ring, Shane McMahon says he's here for two reasons. The first is to make sure Eric Bischoff doesn't make it to SummerSlam, and the second is to deliver a special present to Kane. And since the Big Red Machine enjoys playing with fire, Shane's brought a big can of gasoline. In yet another part of the building, Lance Storm frets that he's still boring. Goldust looks for something to work with, but Storm tells him that the most spontaneous thing he's ever done was to return a video without rewinding. Appalled, Goldust instructs Storm to march into the women's locker room, talk nasty to the first diva he sees and plant a big kiss on her. Go Lance go!
Match 2 - Test vs. Scott Steiner
Apparently the WWE wants to build the anticipation for this one as we head to a commercial break as soon as Test is introduced. Steiner is all over Test as soon as the bell rings, seemingly as interested in pummeling his foe as he is in winning the match. Test makes a brief rally but Steiner ducks the big boot, and Test feigns an injury on the landing. Wait, maybe he's not faking. The ref calls for the trainer and gives the "X" signal that signifies a real injury. As the trainer takes off Test's right leg brace, the instant replay does make it look like he landed awkwardly on the missed kick. It sure is fishy that the ref never called for the bell though. I'm so confused. The fans actually clap as Test is helped across the ring, but he pauses and throws aside his helpers to plant a big kick in Steiner's grill. The startled ref hurries over to make the three count. Test steals back Stacy, and SLAM! Wrestling Smackdown! reporter Dale Plummer admits he was fooled by the whole thing. It will be our little secret, buddy.
La Resistance decides to grace us with their presence and head down to the ring. The fake Frenchmen get into it with a U.S. serviceman seated at ringside until the Dudley Boyz run down to save the day. As Bubba and D-Von invite the soldier into the ring to wave the American flag, I'm struck by the idea that it would be cool if he turned out to be a mole. Nah, couldn't happen. Then it does - the "serviceman" clobbers both Dudleys from behind and joins La Resistance in laying out the half-brothers and draping them under the flag once again. If only every idea I had during Raw came to pass, I might really be on to something.
Next up is the hair versus hair match, so it's time for a new segment on the SLAM! Wrestling Raw Report. It's a little something I like to call "Stand up for Big Sexy." See, most Internet wrestling fans hate Nash, and they're always complaining about how slow he is and how he doesn't know any moves. But somebody out there must love the big goof, or he wouldn't be in so many main events. Wink, wink. So I'm using the power of the Internet to give all of you Nash fans a voice. E-mail your testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell the world why Nash gets a bad rap. I'll sift through the hundreds of replies I'm sure to receive and post the best one in next week's report.
Match 3 - Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Nash - Hair Vs. Hair Match
The stipulation means that the loser gets his hair cut, not that the hair will be doing the fighting. Though that might be entertaining... [Editor's Note: Remember when Homer Simpson ended up with Spike's hair and had to fight it? That would be cool in real life.] Anyway, Nash quickly gets the upper hand with a sidewalk slam and a choke throw. Jericho responds with a low dropkick and goes to work on his foe's left leg. Things go back and forth on the outside until Jericho rolls Nash back into the ring and connects with a nice missile dropkick. Both men earn several near falls but manage to kick out at two each time. Jericho finally breaks the stalemate with a Lionsault and manages to get Nash into the Walls of Jericho. He thinks he's won the match, but Big Daddy Cool actually makes it to the ropes and the match continues. Nash hits a desperation Jackknife Power Bomb but can't make the cover right away, and Jericho gets his foot on the bottom rope. A big boot is next, and Nash sets up for yet another Jackknife. He never pulls it off though, as Jericho pushes the ref, hits a low blow and uses some brass knux to knock the goliath out cold. The pinfall is counted, and Jericho hurries to get some scissors to go to town on Nash's hair.
It's flashback time. Earlier today, Super Hero In Training Rosey responds to a call for help. A little girl says her cat Mr. Snugalot is stuck in a tree, and Rosey is only too happy to help. The girl asks how she can repay him, but The Hurricane drops in to set the girl straight on the motivations of true super heroes. Meanwhile, hilarity ensues when Rosey has to defend himself from an angry Mr. Snugalot by beating the cat against the tree and flinging him away. Rosey convinces his mentor it's time to leave - right now.
Match 4 - Rodney Mack vs. Rosey
Theodore Long complains that Whitey was still busy holding his boy down while he was away for a few weeks. Maybe Whitey is also on the booking committee, as Mack doesn't fare too well here. After some early offense, Mack is caught by a big Samoan drop, then put away with Rosey's side slam finisher. Nothing's left to do but pose.
The magic of satellite technology takes us to Greenwich, Connecticut for a chat with the recovering Linda McMahon. The family matriarch tells us she has a couple of herniated disks as a result of Kane's attack a few weeks back, but the doctors say she is recovering from the physical damage. She might not recover from the psychological trauma, as she says she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to be around Kane or get inside a ring again. While we ponder whether or not that's actually a bad thing, Linda is startled by an intruder in the McMahon compound. No, it's not Kane, it's that lover of mature women, Eric Bischoff. The co-general manager puts some slimy moves on Linda as we mercifully head to a commercial break.
Ah, but we're still in Greenwich when we return. Linda wants Eric to leave, but Bischoff is only there to please her and isn't about to let her call security. Bischoff is still upset about what Shane did to "his" company, WCW, and he figures he'll strike back in the most damaging possible way. Eric asks Linda to see the bedroom as he forces a long kiss on her. I wish I was making this up, but I'm not. Horrible acting, disturbing subject matter... hey, this segment was perfect for Spike TV. Back in Michigan, Shane is understandably upset, so much so that he swipes a car from some poor guy in the parking lot and speeds off. I guess this would be bad time to tell him it's a long drive to Connecticut.
Match 5 - Rob Van Dam vs. Christian - Intercontinental Title Match
Van Dam starts out on fire until Christian extinguishes it by sending him hard into the ringpost. Christian gets a quick two count then slows Rob with a submission hold on the mat. RVD gets hit with a single arm DDT and a pumphandle gutbuster but manages to kick out of both. A quick sequence of moves gets Van Dam in position for Rolling Thunder, but Christian gets his knees up. The ref takes a bump and Christian sets Rob up for a one-man Con-chair-to, but Rob springs up and nails a Van Daminator. It looks like Five Star time, but Kane has other ideas. Rob kicks a chair into the red giant only to be greeted by an even stiffer chair shot when he tries for a dive through the ropes. Kane carries RVD up the ramp and out of the match.
Test forces Stacy to lapdance for Steven Richards and Rico, who I assume is just playing along to fit in. Elsewhere, Kane handcuffs RVD to some pipes, douses him with gasoline and teases setting him on fire before deciding against it since he refuses to give the people what they want. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really think the people wanted to see RVD lit on fire.
Main Event - Randy Orton vs. Goldberg
Stone Cold heads to the ring to be the special enforcer and Orton's Evolution teammates join the announcers. Goldberg hits a clothesline; Orton nails a dropkick and takes the match outside. He gets a reverse chinlock applied back in the ring but Goldberg flips him up over his head to escape. The ref takes a bump, so Austin jumps in and makes the two count. Goldberg applies a leg submission, and Flair decides he's seen enough, heading to the ring to aid Orton. The Nature Boy even shoves Austin, giving him the provocation he needs to get physically involved. Orton gets a spear while Flair tastes a Stunner. Goldberg follows with a Jackhammer and Austin counts the pinfall. Out of nowhere, a freshly shorn Nash ambushes Goldberg with a steel chair. Triple H retreats up the ramp, where he's quickly knocked flat by some Sweet Chin Music by HBK. Michaels grabs the world title and exchanges looks with Nash, but it's Jericho who gets the last laugh with a chair shot from behind. The King of the World has his hands on the gold as Raw fades out.
Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. He's currently waiting anxiously for Rosey versus Mr. Snugalot to be added to the SummerSlam card.