September 9, 2003
Raw: Cage match jumpstarts show
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling
Lots of promises are being made these days on Raw. Goldberg has promised to take the world title from Triple H at Unforgiven, and he needs to make good on that vow since his WWE career is over if he doesn't. Meanwhile, I promise that no one will have jumper cables connected to their genitals on tonight's show, but only because that happened to Shane McMahon just last week. We'll see who keeps their word as Raw hits the airwaves live from Huntsville, Alabama.
No fooling around this evening. A steel cage lowers from the ceiling to set the stage for our first match, and itís a good one.
Match 1 - Kane vs. Rob Van Dam - Steel Cage Match
Kane wastes no time getting his hands on Van Dam, who fights back with a flip off the top rope and a low dropkick. The crowd chants "RVD" at high volume while he repeatedly tastes the steel, getting bloody in the process. Kane hammers away with right hands, hits a sidewalk slam and sends his foe into the cage again. A powerslam ends a short RVD rally, and even when he escapes a power bomb by grabbing the cage, Rob runs right into a big boot. The Big Red Machine goes up top but is crotched by a jumping kick. Van Dam follows up with a series of shoulder charges and a cross body into the cage. He starts to climb the cage but stops to deliver a jumping kick off the top rope and some Rolling Thunder. Kane tries to grab RVD on his next climb but gets kicked down to the canvas in perfect position for the Five Star Frog Splash. It fails to connect as Kane rolls away, and the monster takes advantage by sending Rob into the steel again and mocking his famous hand motions. Kane's third toss actually hurls Van Dam through a section of the cage all the way to the floor, and his music hits as if he's won. Sadly, Eric Bischoff appears on the ramp to point out that a wrestler must exit the cage by climbing over the top or going through the door to win (a pinfall will work too), and he orders the cage repaired and the match restarted. After a commercial break it's all Kane, and he finishes RVD with a jumping chokeslam off the top rope. Now that's how Raw should start every week.
Paramedics drag Van Dam out of the ring on a stretcher as we learn that co-general manager Steve Austin will be on hand tonight to deliver his State of Raw address. That doesn't sit too well with Bischoff, who has a few things to get off his chest. First he makes a match between Shane McMahon and Kane at Unforgiven - no surprise there. He also throws Al Snow and Jerry Lawler into the match between Coach and J.R., upping the ante by saying the winning team will be the new announce team on Raw. Bischoff gloats about the end of the slobberknockers and puppies era. As the cherry on the sundae, Eric makes a match between Goldberg and HHH for tonight, with each man getting a mystery tag team partner of Bischoff's choosing. If your set-up alarm isn't going off now, it might be time to change the batteries.
Lance Storm gets his usual bizarre pep talk from Goldust, complete with a mention of a pornographic pop-up book. He takes his best Goldust breath and heads to the ring for his match.
Match 2 - Rico vs. Lance Storm
Rico says Storm will never be anything but boring, but Storm lays him out and Goldust encourages the fans to chant "Rico sucks." Jackie interferes on Rico's behalf from the apron, so Storm shows off his new adventurous side by grabbing her for a big kiss. With the fans behind him, Storm hits a missile dropkick to score the pinfall. He even does some fist-pumping to celebrate the win and... hey, is that a smile?Match 2 - Rico vs. Lance Storm Triple H stops Bischoff as he walks down a hallway to discuss the mystery partner situation. Actually it's more of a implied threat, as the world champ makes it known that he wouldn't want the wrong person to get hurt tonight.
Match 3 - Trish Stratus and Jacqueline vs. Gail Kim and Molly Holly
Throw-in girl Jackie gets in the early offense, rolling up Molly for a two count and hammering Kim with a low dropkick to the face. Kim eventually gets the upper hand and forces her opponent to tag Trish, who flies in with a Thesz press. Stratus runs wild for a minute but takes it too far when she is caught by both heels while trying a cross body and dumped to the floor. Kim easily pins Trish, and the heels add a double DDT after the bell. To paraphrase the RZA, it's jealousy in its purest form.
A long preview airs for The Rundown, the new movie featuring The Rock. Insert your own jokes here.
he sound of breaking glass means Austin is on his way. The Rattlesnake examines the podium set up for his State of Raw address and decides to immediately toss it over the top rope. Addressing the Unforgiven title match between Goldberg and Triple H, he decides that the belt can change hands on a DQ or count-out so the champ can't weasel his way out. Stone Cole then turns to the state of the show and focuses on Kane. He feels the best solution for the Big Red Machine's actions would be a personal whooping by Stone Cold, but the rules of his position make that impossible. Austin spent the weekend consulting with his cabinet - his liquor cabinet - and decided that his inability to beat someone whenever he chooses sucks. An informal poll of the crowd shows Alabama backs him on the issue. He's about to elabortae on his solution when he's interrupted by Christian. The intercontinental champ is sick of the lack of respect shown to him by Austin, though his "peepulation" doesn't seem to agree. Christian has given up hoping for an apology from the Rattlesnake and has turned his attention toward getting his own talk show. Specifically, he wants to replace Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel with his own creation, The Peep Show. This brings out Y2J, who wastes no time laying out Christian and sending him back up the ramp. Austin tells Jericho he appreciates his action, but Y2J isn't hearing it. Calling Austin a bully and a failure, Jericho says he can't wait for Stone Cold to be fired and is outraged that the Highlight Reel could be canceled. The co-GM points out that he never said anything about cancelling Jericho's show and offers him a choice: continue to huff and puff or drink some beer. Jericho smirks, saying he's too smart to physically provoke Austin and won't be getting a Stone Cold Stunner tonight. He invents what Austin calls the worst catchphrase in the history of Raw and decides to drink some beer. After missing the first Steveweiser thrown at him, Jericho gets some soft tosses from Austin. The mistake comes when Jericho pats Austin on the shoulder. This "provocation" earns Chris a one-way ticket to Stunner land, much to the delight of the fans.
Match 4 - La Resistance, Rob Conway, Rodney Mack and Mark Henry vs. The Hurricane, Rosey and The Dudley Boyz
Um, no way am I going to try to do play-by-play for a ten-man tag. Sorry. Suffice it to say that the ending sequence features a whole bunch of signature moves one right after the other, but the finale comes when Henry plants Bubba with a front powerslam to get the pin. La Resistance tries to put an exclamation point on the affair by tossing Spike Dudley over the top and through a table on the floor, but the throw is short and Spike's head bounces off the edge of the table. Ouch. Unfazed, the tag champs put Hurricane through the table instead.
Coach and Al Snow watch the proceedings with amusement backstage, and Bischoff gets a great idea. He books a six-man tag between La Resistance, Conway and all three Dudleys, and makes it a Tables Match to boot. The heel announcers mock J.R. and The King until Gail Kim stops by for a private audience with Bischoff. How come no divas ever want a private audience with the Raw reporter? I'm down with that concept. Elsewhere, Terri asks Triple H about Goldberg, but he seems more interested in getting product placement shots of YJ Stinger, a.k.a. the scariest drink ever invented. The champ says Goldberg is all hype and promises to leave him a bloody mess at the end of the night. There's that word again.
J.R. and Lawler run down the Unforgiven card before we head to WWE headquarters for a live talk with Shane McMahon. The Boy Wonder only gets a second to speak before Bischoff cuts in, claiming Shane must be fine because he had no testicles to electrocute. EB tries to stick it to Shane even further by making his match with Kane a Last Man Standing match. Backstage, Kim tells Molly she was able to "persuade" Eric more quickly than she hoped, and Holly vows that next week they will finish off Stratus for good. What, no promise?
Match 5 - Steven Richards vs. Scott Steiner
Richards attacks from behind early, but to no avail as he quickly finds himself manhandled by Big Poppa Pump. Victoria interferes as does Test, who drops Steiner with a full nelson slam. Richards tries to take advantage with a cover but Steiner kicks out at two, and his finisher put Richards away a moment later. Steiner grabs the mic and proposes a match with Test for Unforgiven for Stacy's services - again. Test accepts but says he'll make it more interesting by putting Steiner's services on the line as well. Is it the most disturbing proposition ever? You make the call.
Coach and Al Snow come to the ring to say they are worried about J.R. being unemployed after Unforgiven, so they have researched jobs that might suit him. The Titan Tron shows pictures of Ross' face superimposed on an exotic dancer, a sumo wrestler, a ballerina, a mule and Jabba the Hutt. Coach says he's confident that J.R. doesn't have the guts to do anything about it, but Ross heads for the ring and Lawler follows to protect his buddy. Coach calls Ross a redneck loser, knocks his hat off and continues to provoke him until J.R. decides he's had enough and belts him with a right hand. Snow also gets a boot in the rear and a punch from The King as the fans erupt. Backstage, Goldberg tells Terri he doesn't care who his partner is tonight. That's good, because I don't think you're going to like who it turns out to be.
Main Event - Goldberg and ? vs. Triple H and ?
Bischoff comes to the stage and says he will not be intimidated by Triple H. He introduces Ric Flair as H's partner and unveils Randy Orton as Goldberg's partner in the least surprising twist of all time. There's no real match as it immediately becomes a three-on-one deal, and Goldberg's brief offense comes to an abrupt end when Triple H waffles him with a stiff chair shot. The world champ lives up to his word by bloodying Goldberg before taunting him and nailing him with a Pedigree. That's all she wrote for this week folks.
Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998. Rarely has he been so glad not to be somewhere as Monday night, when the Philadelphia Eagles laid an egg to open their new stadium.