Monday Night Raw – February 17, 2003: How Did I Last As Long As I Did?

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 17, 2003
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for No Way Out and this show is already giving me a headache. Last week’s episode was absolutely worthless with nothing being accomplished (almost literally) and Bischoff being right back where he started after being fired earlier in the night. That’s the kind of thing you get on an episode of the Jetsons or some low level sitcom. Let’s get to it.

Also I’m going to start doing four in a row of both 1997 and 2003 Raw. I’ve been doing these series over a year and I’m not even to Wrestlemania yet.

Theme song gets us going.

Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm

Kane and Regal are at ringside due to the newly announced tag title match on Sunday. They trade flipping counters to start until Van Dam gets his stepover kick to the jaw to put Storm down. Lance takes him into the corner but gets caught by a middle rope cross body for two. Rob rolls to the apron and suplexes Storm next to him for an apron slugout, only to have Rob get slammed face first into the barricade. Back in and a springboard clothesline gets two for Lance as the crowd is trying to get into this.

Lance chokes away in the corner and actually tries to talk trash, which goes about as well as you would expect. Off to a facelock on Van Dam as Regal is pleased with how evil Lance is looking. Back up and Rob scores with a spinwheel kick before clotheslining Storm a few times. The middle rope kick to the chest gets two but Storm grabs Rob’s leg and puts on the Mapleleaf. A rope is quickly grabbed and Rob kicks Lance in the face, setting up Rolling Thunder for two. Regal tries to break up the Five Star but Kane takes care of him with ease. Storm’s superplex attempt is broken up and the Five Star is good for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match was fine from a technical standpoint but it didn’t do anything for the match at all. You have to have the challengers win the match before the title match to make it look like the titles are in jeopardy so the winner was pretty clear. Hopefully Kane and Van Dam can breathe some life into the titles on Sunday.

Shawn talks to Jeff Hardy about losing his luggage on a flight when Bischoff walks up. Michaels sarcastically tells him good luck on Sunday but Bischoff says he has an announcement that might make Shawn need luck.

Here’s Bischoff with something special for us. There’s someone here that the fans have been wanting for a long time and Bischoff has some unfinished business. That man is here tonight and it’s…..Chief Morely, who is officially reinstated. JR: “Well boy howdy, happy days are here again.” As for tonight, it’s Shawn Michaels/Jeff Hardy vs. Christian/Chris Jericho in a No DQ match.

Also the Dudley Boys have been suspended, meaning there will be no tables tonight. We get a clip of them being thrown out earlier, and I’m sure they won’t be here again tonight. However that was just Bubba and D-Von being thrown out, so tonight it’s Spike vs. Rico and 3 Minute Warning in a handicap match. Finally, Bischoff talks about how awesome he is at martial arts and is going to give us an exhibition tonight against one Jim Ross. Pretty standard “I’m the evil GM” promo here.

Steven Richards wants Victoria to talk to Jazz before their tag match tonight. They have their talk and it’s about as cordial as sitting on a porcupine.

Jacqueline/Molly Holly vs. Victoria/Jazz

Victoria is Womens’ Champion but Jazz shoves her out of the way to beat up Molly. The beating ensues for a few seconds until Jackie makes the save. Off to Victoria for her spinout side slam for two on Molly. Victoria screams her a bit before poewrslaming Molly down for two. She loads up the slingshot legdrop but Jazz comes in to steal the cover for two. Off to Jackie who elbows both Jazz and Victoria in the face but Jazz throws Jackie into Victoria to send the champion to the floor. A DDT ends Jackie quick.

Jazz beats up Jackie to complete silence which JR says is the crowd being in awe.

We recap Goldust being attacked by Evolution and getting electrocuted.

Booker T says Goldust has some neurological problems since the attack. He swears revenge on Evolution.

Evolution makes fun of Goldust’s condition. They’ll take Steiner out tonight too.

Lawler and JR talk about Curt Hennig’s passing and give us a nice video package on him. It includes the sports videos which still work like a charm.

Rodney Mack vs. Al Snow

Before the match, Mack’s manager Teddy Long promises that Mack will beat down the white man. “Al Snow? It doesn’t get any whiter than that.” He also says a black man has the same chance to be president that Snow has tonight. Snow takes him down to start but gets caught in an overhead belly to belly suplex. A powerslam gets two for Rodney but Al comes back with a running forearm and the headbutts. Snow’s moonsault hits knees though and Mack ends him with an AWESOME looking double underhook powerbomb, though Snow landed on the back of his head (intentionally). I loved that move on Smackdown vs. Raw.

Jericho and Christian are ready for their match and Jericho slaps his gum away ala Hennig. That made me smile.

Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Shawn Michaels/Jeff Hardy

This is No DQ and Shawn is in street clothes. It’s a brawl to start with Shawn taking Christian out to the floor. Jeff catapults Jericho outside as well but the barricade run is caught in a powerslam. Shawn gets double teamed and the heels handcuff him to the corner. Hardy gets double teamed for a bit before it’s off to Christian for some stomps to the face. More Canadian double teaming ensues and the reverse DDT puts Hardy down again. Jericho goes after Shawn but gets choked with Shawn’s free arm.

Christian makes the save and Jericho whips Shawn with his belt. However, like any stupid villain, Jericho taunts Shawn with the keys. Jeff hits the Whisper in the Wind on Christian which distracts Jericho, allowing Shawn to superkick him down and grab the key. The hot tag brings in Shawn to clean house even though the fans don’t seem interested. The heels are sent to the floor and Shawn backdrops Jeff onto Christian. Jericho brings in a chair but gets it superkicked into his face. A Swanton is enough for the pin.

Rating: C-. This was all about the story rather than the match itself. Jericho is feuding with Test, even though the writers don’t seem to remember him at all. We need to get to the Shawn vs. Jericho feud already because neither guy has anything special going on at all right now. Match was there but the fans didn’t care.

Jericho freaks out and wants a piece of Jeff Hardy.

Hurricane vs. Christopher Nowitski

Hurricane quickly takes him down to start and gets two off an Oklahoma roll. Nowitski bails to the floor but gets caught with a hurricanrana off the apron. Back in and Chris chokes away on the top rope before we hit the chinlock. Hurricane fights up and gets another rollup for two, only to be caught in a nice toss into the air spinebuster. Not that it matters as the Eye of the Hurricane is good for the pin on Chris a few seconds later.

Rating: C. Nothing terrible here but it worked well enough. Hurricane wasn’t bad in this role but it never went anywhere until Rock came back to give him the biggest rub of his career. Nowitski was decent but he never quite got to the level people were expecting of him. Again the match was fine but nothing special.

Morely and Bischoff warm up with Morely making fun of JR.

Spike Dudley vs. 3 Minute Warning/Rico

There’s nothing to say here. The three dominate Spike for about three and a half minutes and Rico pins Spike after a top rope splash from Jamal. There was nothing to talk about in between.

We run down the PPV card. To say it looks bad for the Raw side is an understatement. The only good thing about this preview is Bring Me To Life as the theme song. Also Edge is listed for a six man tag but wouldn’t make it due to his neck injury, putting him out for over a year.

Scott Steiner, as calm as you’ll ever hear him, says he knows he can beat HHH and will do it on Sunday. Booker comes up and wants to win the tag match tonight.

Scott Steiner/Booker T vs. HHH/Batista

HHH and Booker get us going with Booker leapfrogging the Game and hitting a kick to the face. A backdrop puts HHH down for two but Batista gets in a cheap shot from the apron, setting up the knee to the face to give Evolution control. The still very green Batista comes in for a hard clothesline in the corner and another one in the middle of the ring. Back to HHH but Booker rolls into the corner for the hot tag off to Steiner.

A bunch of chops have HHH in trouble and the spinning belly to belly suplex puts him down again. The fans continue to not care at all, which should be a good sign for what’s going to happen on Sunday and beyond. Flair tries to interfere but gets stalked up the ramp by Steiner. The distraction lets HHH send Steiner out to the floor so Orton can get in some cheap shots. Really basic formula stuff so far which is the last thing this show needs right now.

Back in and HHH puts on a sleeper which is quickly broken. The crowd is almost eerily silent here. Everything breaks down off the hot tag to Booker and house is cleaned. Batista runs him over with the clothesline but Steiner breaks up a Pedigree. Orton gets slammed off the top as Steiner clears the ring. HHH takes a scissors kick out of nowhere to give Booker the pin.

Rating: D+. The match was ok but it had nothing to it. The ending was a nice surprise but Steiner vs. HHH is just death and WWE figured that out by this point. This crowd is just dead though and it needed more than a generic tag match to fix that. Batista looked good in the short spurts he was in there though which is a good sign for the future.

Coach takes over JR’s spot on commentary for the main event.

Eric Bischoff vs. Jim Ross

Bischoff breaks some boards and a watermelon before the match to show how awesome he is. JR comes to the ring in his announcing clothes and Eric makes it no holds barred because he can. He looks at Morely as he says this to really hammer in the idea. Lawler is really worried but of course he stays seated.

Bischoff does some karate poses but gets punched in the face. Morely comes in to beat JR down and puts a cinder block against Ross’ head so Bischoff can kick it in half. This finally brings Lawler down to take Morely down, but a Bischoff distraction lets Morely take the King down. JR is busted open. More kicks put Ross down and Bischoff covers him with a half nelson for the pin.

Rating: N/A. This wasn’t wrestling. I’m not sure what it was, but it wasn’t wrestling. I’d like to point out that we’re spending the last segment of a show showing how Eric Bischoff could be a threat to STEVE AUSTIN. At least with Vince he would have some major backup, but Eric is going to have who? Morely? That’s supposed to be intriguing?

Bischoff drinks beer and says Austin catchphrases to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This is one of the worst kind of shows you can have. The wrestling wasn’t horrible, but there was nothing interesting to it at all. I’m supposed to be fired up for Austin annihilating Bischoff in a two minute match on Sunday? That or a rematch of HHH vs. Steiner? There’s just nothing interesting here and I have no idea why people stayed on at this point.

Here’s No Way Out if you’re interested:


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