Monday Night Raw – January 20, 2003 – Whoever Requested This, Start Running. Now.

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 20, 2003
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is another request and the last of the six straight Raws I decided to schedule in a row, probably due to head trauma of some sort. This is the night after the Rumble where Brock won and gets the shot at Angle at the PPV. Other than that, HHH is of course still world champion which he would hold for the greater part of eternity. This is a very bad year for WWE so I have no idea why someone would want to see this. Let’s get to it.

Here’s the required MLK video.

We open with Vince yelling at Eric and giving him 30 days to turn Raw around or he’s fired. This was from last week I presume. Bischoff wouldn’t get fired for like two and a half years. It’s implied that Shane will be made GM if Eric can’t do it. Eric has a bombshell for us tonight.

Raw is live, Across The Nation.

Here’s HHH to open things up, following what might have been the worst world title match in recorded history. JR has never seen anyone manhandle HHH like Steiner. If that means you’ve never seen a match that almost made the fans riot over how bad it was, I agree. HHH is too sore to do his pose. His eye is banged up pretty good. He asks the fans who the champ is and says that for those of you that didn’t see the Rumble, he is. Gee the big gold belt on your arm was so inconspicuous too. He went thirty minutes (more like 18 but it felt like 30 hours) and made Steiner look awful.

HHH does however bless us with the statement of there won’t be a rematch. Cue Steiner who says he’s here to finish what he started last night. That title is his and everyone knows it. He wants a rematch tonight. Oh dear. HHH would love to do it again tonight but he has a doctor’s note. Flair says if Steiner wants a match, he can have Batista. Big Dave comes out and Flair jumps Scott. Steiner throws them around and stares down Batista. Evolution was about two weeks away from fully forming so there’s no Orton.

Raw’s Tenth Anniversary is coming. Oh sweet Christmas. We’ll get to that atrocity someday.

Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy

Rob eliminated him last night to set this up. They do their usual acrobatics to start us off. Jeff gets some kind of jawbreaker and a dropkick to send Van Dam to the floor. He tries to run the railing but gets kicked in the ribs to break that up. Back in Jeff gets two off that leg trap pinning attempt of his. Whisper in the Wind gets two. Van Dam comes back with the rolling fireman’s carry and a middle rope moonsault for two. Five Star misses and Jeff hits a Codebreaker. Swanton gets two so Jeff tries a reverse Twist which is countered into the backslide for the pin by RVD.

Rating: C. Quick match here but it worked pretty well I thought. Jeff got frustrated when the Swanton didn’t work and he let the distraction catch up to him. RVD would be around the upper midcard for awhile and then would get put in a dark match at Mania, probably because he was getting too popular.

Post match, Hardy turns heel (I kid you not) and attacks RVD. This would last for about a month before everyone realized how stupid this was. Oh and Jeff got released. Yeah that happened too. He was released in April and wouldn’t be back for over three years.

Nowitski and Christian are in the back and Christian complains about Edge. Eric comes in and is asked about the surprise later. Eric won’t tell them. Nowitski thinks he knows but won’t tell Christian.

Steiner is in the back when Orton (with a lot of hair) makes fun of him for losing last night. He talks about his shoulder injury and Steiner chokes him.

Chief Morley talks to a referee about the Dudleys. He shows Nick Patrick some footage and wants an honest evaluation on Nick’s performance. The Dudleys cheated but Nick missed it. Nick says he made a mistake so Morely says there needs to be a public apology. Ok then.

We get a clip from last week where Morely (Val Venis) was beaten down by the Dudleys.

Here’s Morely (Worst theme music I’ve heard in YEARS) with Patrick. Nick officially apologizes so Morely says that it’s now time to reverse the decision. Patrick says that’s against company policy and he can’t do that. Morely says that means he has to call out the Dudleys right now. He demands the Dudleys forfeit the titles but D-Von says no, in slightly more colorful language.

Morely demands the belts and threatens them. Bubba says no. Morely says give them to me. Bubba says no. Morely tries to take it so D-Von decks him. Bubba says get the tables but Storm/Regal run in and put Bubba through it. Morely says ring the bell right now, because the titles are on the line.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. William Regal/Lance Storm

It lasts 10 seconds and there are new champs. Great. Between the segment in the back, the commercial and this, this stuff got about 17 minutes. On the Dudleys, Morely, Regal and Storm. Seriously.

Trish Stratus/Hurricane vs. Victoria/Stevie Richards

Trish was named Diva of the Decade in a total joke recently before this. Victoria is Women’s Champion. The guys start off but it’s off to Victoria quickly. Trish comes in and this is pretty bad so far. Trish fires off some kicks and Victoria’s tights are rapidly coming down. Slingshot legdrop misses and it’s off to the boys again. Richards sets to DDT Trish but Hurricane kicks his head off and Stratusfaction ends Victoria. This went nowhere and was only around to set up the next Women’s Title match.

Eric tries to get ahold of Vince because the big announcement is next. He throws darts at a picture of Shane.

Sean O’Haire says church is stupid. Man this character could have been great, but then they sacrificed him for the sake of Piper, Hogan and Rikishi.

Here’s Eric. Now remember, he has 21 days left to turn Raw around or Shane gets his job. At the tenth anniversary of Raw he saw Austin as Superstar of the Decade and decided to bring him back to Raw because he hadn’t been seen in about six months. Eric talks about Austin walking out and says we’ve never heard his side of it yet. The presses on Raw Magazine have been stopped and Austin has the chance to tell his side of it. That isn’t the bombshell yet though. That would be that Austin is invited to the PPV….which is 34 days from today, which is longer than the 21 he has. I give up.

Booker T/Goldust vs. 3 Minute Warning

JR calls them 3 Count. They have Rico with them. Goldust starts with Jamal. They start off slow but Goldie speeds things up and brings in Booker. Jamal (Umaga) takes his head off with a clothesline but Booker comes back with a superkick. Back to Goldie who works on the arm. Rosey comes in and this is going nowhere. Back to Jamal and Goldie beats both of them up.

Shattered Dreams is broken up by a superkick and the Samoans take over. Goldie fights back again but gets caught in a chinlock. Powerslam gets two for Umaga. Off to Booker who cleans house with kicks but Rico pulls the ropes down to send Booker to the floor. A double DDT by Booker takes the Samoans down (oh give me a break. Learn your stereotypes already!). Everything breaks down and Jamal misses a top rope splash and the axe kick ends him.

Rating: D+. The match was ok, but it just came and went. There’s no story to it that I know of and it didn’t wasn’t anything great. That being said, I’ve seen worse and it could have been worse. The match was pretty pointless though, which was a bad trend around this time.

We recap the Jericho/Shawn thing last night. Jericho was #2 and cheated to eliminate Shawn, #1. Jericho eliminated 6 people until Shawn came back, jumped Jericho, and Test eliminated him.

Chris Jericho vs. Test

Stacy looks great at least. Jericho rants a bit before match about Shawn and all that jazz. Test is your good guy here and he hammers Test down to start with the power stuff. Jericho takes over and beats him down but Test avoids a charge in the corner to send Jericho’s shoulder into the post. Tilt-a-whirl and full nelson slams get two. Big boot misses and Jericho gets sent to the floor. Pumphandle slam out there is countered and Test goes shoulder first into the post. Jericho gets a chair but hits the post and Stacy. The match is stopped.

Rating: D. The match was just there for the finish which would somehow lead to a Test heel turn if my memory serves me right. Anyway, Jericho would get Shawn at Mania in a great match so that’s really all you can ask for. This wasn’t much though, which I mostly blame on Test and his lack of anything of note after about 2001.

They do the LONG ride to the back for Stacy with the terrified voices and there’s even a commercial in between. Test is crying. Oh boy.

From earlier today, Al Snow hypes the Tough Enough 3 finale this week. You can vote for one to be eliminated! The winners would be Matt Cappotelli and John Hennigan (Morrison). Matt was better.

We’re back and Stacy is STILL down. It’s been about ten minutes of her being taken out after a five minute match. Remember that this is after the 18 minute tag title thing earlier.

Flair fires up Batista.

Tommy Dreamer vs. D’Lo Brown

This is a Singapore Cane match. Dreamer is in a Shawn Michael shirt for no apparent reason. Teddy Long comes out with Brown and talks about racism. He rants about how Brown is in this match because he’s black and Dreamer was in the Rumble last night because he’s right. Dreamer hits him to start but breaks his cane against the post. Brown takes over and hits him in the back with the cane while shouting 400 years. Oh this is just painful. Tommy hits him with the stick but jumps into a stick show and Low Down for the pin.

Rating: F. Let me give you a little preview of what this would turn into. Teddy would form the group Thuggin N Buggin Enterprises and add Rodney Mack, Jazz, Mark Henry and Christopher Nowitski. Mack would issue, and I quote, Five Minute White Boy Challenges, where any white boy had five minutes to beat him. Goldberg took him up on one. Just guess how well this went over.

Nathan Jones is coming.

Batista vs. Scott Steiner

They ram into the ropes but neither can get control. Steiner hits a belly to belly….and here’s Orton for the DQ. This might have lasted 90 seconds.

The soon to be Evolution destroys Steiner to end the show.

Overall Rating: R. As in revoked, which is what has happened to the requesting privileges of whomever asked me to do this thing. I knew Raw from 2003 was bad, but OH MY GOODNESS this was an abomination. We had 18 minutes spent on Sean Freaking Morely, HHH and Steiner talking, and then 12 minutes on Stacy Keibler being taken out. And somehow, this year WOULD GET WORSE. Just horrible all around.

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  1. Mathix says:

    Who on earth requested this show? Absolutely nothing of relevance happened. 2003 pissed me off in a different non kayfabe way in that Brock Lesnar turned heel. I hadn’t watch wrestling hardly ever before 2002 and Brock was what got me into it. So I really was legit shocked and depressed for weeks after it happened.

  2. Wayne says:

    This certainly was a bad show, but then again, MOST of the RAW shows in 2003 were not good at all. Smackdown was fairly decent, but that’s definitely NOT saying much at all.