On This Day: September 15, 2003 – Monday Night Raw: Goldberg’s Funeral

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 15, 2003
Location: Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, South Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

I can understand asking for a 2002 Raw, but 2003? Why would you want to subject yourself to that? I don’t get wrestling fans sometimes. Anyway, this is the go home show for Unforgiven which had a main event of……Goldberg vs. HHH I believe? A check of that would say I’m right, as well as saying that I need to get a life. Let’s get to it.

Eric Bischoff and HHH are in the back and there’s going to be a going away party for Goldberg tonight because HHH is going to destroy him on Sunday.

Theme song. Across the Nation was as good a theme as they’ve ever had.

As the show opens, Jericho and Christian are in the ring with signs demanding that Stone Cold must go. This is an official protest you see. Jericho does the talking and says that Austin is a menace and a horrible GM. Christian says Austin is a joke because he’s keeping Christian off PPVs. They try to start a Stone Cole Must Go chant and here’s Austin. Austin talks about how Jericho slapped him on the back and eventually hurt his feelings. The idea here is that Austin cannot attack anyone unless provoked and he really wants to beat someone up.

Austin says that Christian will be defending on Sunday (that takes about 30 seconds) but doesn’t name an opponent. Instead he’s interested in getting someone to provoke him but as he pulls his fist back, he tells Christian to do it instead. Jericho gets in Austin’s face again and wants the shot at Christian on Sunday. Austin says ok but Jericho has to win the following match first.

Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho

Christian tries to get in a cheap shot but gets kicked down instead. Jericho gets dumped to the floor and taken out by a dive as we take a fast break. Back with Van Dam hitting a forearm and the cartwheel moonsault for two. A standing rana (called a moonsault by JR for some reason) gets two for Van Dam so he goes up, only to be shoved off the top by Christian.

Back in and Jericho puts on a chinlock as the fans chant for RVD. Rob fights up and hits a spinwheel kick and that stepover kick of his followed by Rolling Thunder. A flying kick off the top gets two but Jericho rolls through a monkey flip. The Walls don’t work so Jericho hits a sleeper drop for two. Rob tries a springboard kick but the referee gets kicked in the face. Well of course he does. The Lionsault and Five Star both hit knees so Christian comes in and hits both of them with the title so it’s a draw.

Rating: C. This wasn’t bad but Jericho was really needing to get the to the Trish storyline to get a recharge at this point. Christian would stay at about this level for awhile until he left for TNA for a few years. Van Dam is Van Dam and that’s about all there is to him. The match itself wasn’t bad but it’s nothing we haven’t seen them do way better at other times.

Austin makes it a triple threat. You know, LIKE EVERY OTHER TRIPLE THREAT.

Video of Goldberg beating Hogan on Nitro.

Spike Dudley vs. Rob Conway

Spike is in a neckbrace and his brothers fight the other members of La Resistance into the crowd. Conway hits a neckbreaker and wins in about 20 seconds.

Post match Conway powerbombs Spike through a table before the Dudleys make the save. The Dudleys would win the tag titles Sunday in a handicap tables match.

Coach and Al Snow suck up to Bischoff but he blows them off as some chick from Tough Enough gives him a note saying there are two half naked women here. I have a bad feeling about this. Regarding Snow and Coach, see they’re the Heat commentators and want to be the Raw commentators so there’s a tag match between the two of them and JR/King on Sunday for the Raw commentary job. Somehow WWE isn’t sure why no one liked 2003.

The two women are of course Moolah and Mae. We’re in South Carolina so you knew this was coming. Moolah wants a match for her 80th birthday. Austin pops in and says do it and tells Eric to kiss Moolah for luck. Mae Young is there, so you should know what comes next.

Victoria vs. Fabulous Moolah

Victoria hits both Moolah and Mae, but the distraction of Mae lets Moolah roll her up in thirty seconds. That would be two matches that combined to last less than 60 seconds.

Post match Victoria beats both of them up but Randy Orton comes out to save for some reason. Then he realizes they’re legends and RKO’s Moolah.

Goldust/Lance Storm vs. Mark Henry/Rodney Mack

This is when Storm was “just having fun” and would come to the ring dancing to hip hop music. Whoever asked me to review this show, I’d advise you to NOT REQUEST ANOTHER ONE LIKE THIS. Teddy Long manages the team you would expect him to manage, which may or may not be called Thuggin N Buggin Enterprises. Storm and Mack start things off and the fans chant boring, which is the idea behind Storm’s new character. See, Austin told him he was boring and to get a personality.

Storm takes Mack down but Henry hits him in the back of the head to take over. A splash crushed Storm and it’s off to Goldust who almost immediately gets caught in the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin. This actually broke 1:50, so we’re getting closer to a match that’s actually long enough to rate (even the first match barely was as a lot of that was in a lot of that was in a commercial). This would be Goldust’s last match on Raw for about three years.

Evolution (minus Batista who is recovering from injury) is in the back planning for the party for Goldberg later. Orton has to take care of something and runs into Shawn who he faces Sunday. Orton says Shawn made his career out of being a stepping stone and Sunday, he’s going to use Shawn as a stepping stone. Shawn slaps Randy in the face and says Orton better step hard.

Hurricane tries to teach Rosey to fly. Rosey gets a cab instead.

Molly and Gail Kim say their handicap match tonight with Trish is now No Holds Barred. Sure why not.

Here are Kane and Shane McMahon to sign the contract for their last man standing match on Sunday. Shane says he’s taking Kane down on Sunday and signs. There goes the table and the fight is on. Shane hits Kane low several times and gets in a pair of chair shots. With Kane down, Shane pulls the cover off an announce table at ringside that is apparently only here for this segment (JR and King broadcast from up by the stage at this point). Shane puts Kane on the table and hits the big elbow to drive Kane through it.

Gail Kim/Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus

No Holds Barred just because. Trish hits a quick double neckbreaker to start and gets down to one on one with Molly. You know, because they have to tag in a no holds barred match. I will say this: Molly is really good looking with black hair. Trish kicks Molly in the face and hits the Stratusphere before it’s off to Gail. Kim takes over with a clothesline and a middle rope legdrop for two. Some heel double teaming allows for a Molly handspring elbow for two. Apparently Molly is Women’s Champion. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Trish rops Molly while trying a spinebuster. The villains double team Trish and the Molly Go Round pins her.

Rating: F. When you hear the words “no holds barred”, you expect more than a generic bad handicap match. The only thing good about this was the girls all looking good, which was the case for most Divas matches back in the day. This division needed a shot in the arm and it needed one in a hurry.

Post match the beating continues and a chair is grabbed, but here’s the returning Lita to make the save. She’s been gone over a year due to a neck injury. If nothing else she looks great in a black bra and tiny shorts.

Post match Gail and Molly are in the back with Eric. Eric says he fired Lita but Austin comes in and says he rehired her. There’s a tag match for Sunday. Gail: “I slept with the wrong general manager.”

Here are Coach and Snow dressed as JR and King respectively. They go to the broken announce table as they’re going to give us a preview of what Raw is like next week. Yeah, THIS is one of the top matches at Unforgiven.

Test vs. Val Venis

Test has Stacy with him as his reluctant love slave or something like that. Test makes Stacy sit down in a chair after hitting Val a few times. Val escapes the pumphandle slam and hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Val loads up the Money Shot but Test kicks the referee into the ropes. There’s the Pumphandle Slam but Stacy pulls Test to the floor. Scott Steiner, Stacy’s alleged savior, comes out to distract Test and Stacy crotches her client on the ropes. Val hits a full nelson slam for the surprise pin. Coach and Snow were very annoying on commentary here. Steiner would turn heel and use Stacy just like Test was soon.

Steiner beats up Test post match but Test gets Stacy before he leaves.

Lawler comes out and asks to fight Snow right now. The match is after a break.

Al Snow vs. Jerry Lawler

Coach and JR are on commentary here as Lawler controls with some very basic stuff. They slug it out and King hits a DDT for two. Snow comes back with a slam but a suplex is countered into a small package for the pin. This was the last match of the show people. This is the main event. Let that sink in.

Coach hits JR before bailing.

Austin runs into Evolution and says HHH is having the Goldberg party by himself.

Here’s HHH for the farewell. He asks the crowd for a Goldberg chant but they’re not interested. We get music and confetti and balloons because this needs to get stupider. HHH says there are no such things as dynasties in wrestling but he’s the one constant. Apparently the one constant isn’t the mic as it goes out yet we can still hear it on TV. With a new mic, HHH shows off a portrait of Goldberg being bloodied by Evolution. This is going nowhere by the way. Now we get VIDEO of the beating! Goldberg finally pops up on screen and says he’ll win the title before coming out and gorilla pressing HHH to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. Despite that TEN MINUTE closing segment, I have zero desire to see either the main event or any of the matches on the show. There are two matches on this show that were long enough to rate: one ended in a draw and one was a no holds barred match that had nothing out of the ordinary. Other than that you have all kinds of stuff like Moolah and Test and the Spike match. Horrible show here and I want nothing to do with Unforgiven or Raw in 2003. Naturally the whole year is on my schedule.

Here’s Unforgiven if you’re interested:


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