Monday Night Raw – July 14, 2003: We Need a Sauce Recommendation

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 14, 2003
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler

So Kane is running around like a monster again and that could mean a lot of things. Well more likely it means Kane gets a big push and doesn’t win anything of note, but it’s still better than Kevin Nash. We also have Evolution back on the rise, albeit without any major challenger for HHH. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Kane being motivated by Steve Austin last week, turning him back into the monster in the process.

Opening sequence.

It’s time for the Highlight Reel with a ticked off Chris Jericho. Enough is enough and it’s time for something to be done tonight. Raw has broken down into chaos over the last few weeks with superstars being attacked, grown men being terrified and even Jericho himself being scared. There’s one man who could save things though and that man is his guest tonight: Eric Bischoff, sporting a neck brace.

Jericho praises Bischoff’s courage for coming out here with Eric saying there was no way he was taking the suggested eight weeks off. Bischoff is back to deal with Kane, who has been running amok. He even has exclusive footage from last week with Kane attacking Rob Van Dam. As for tonight, Eric has sent JR to Connecticut to interview Kane but here’s Austin to cut him off. Austin was ready to deal with Kane tonight and if that means beating him up, so be it.

Bischoff doesn’t think much of the plan and puts the whole thing on Austin’s head for berating Kane a few weeks ago. Austin is ready to leave with no violence but Jericho opens his mouth and calls him worthless, earning a Stunner to give the fans something to cheer for. This was nearly fifteen minutes long and went pretty much nowhere.

Trish Stratus/Kevin Nash/Scott Steiner vs. Steven Richards/Test/Victoria

This is supposed to be a fair match? Steiner and Richards start things off, meaning it’s an early belly to belly suplex into the pushups. The women come in and Trish Matrixes into the Chick Kick for two. Test trips Trish up from the apron though and comes in for a clothesline. Victoria’s slingshot suplex gets two but a neckbeaker gets Trish out of trouble. It’s off to Nash, now billed as Big Nasty, for a big boot to Test’s face. The Jackknife ends Richards.

Rating: D. So we were really supposed to buy Test and Steven Richards as a match for two former World Champions? That’s the best they can do for a midcard match around here? The women were trying here but there was too much bad going around to really allow this to work. Well that and the uninteresting story and trying to set up what seems to be a Test vs. Nash feud.

Jericho demands Bischoff do something about Austin.

Lance Storm vs. Maven

Before the match, Storm threatens to sue the fans for chanting BORING. As weird as this might sound, Storm might be too boring to make this work. They hit the mat to start with the boring chants beginning early. Maven manages to botch a hiptoss so Storm goes down for two anyway. Storm gets all fired up and throws off his elbow pad as Lawler points out that no one has ever chanted BORING at him. We hit an armbar as the crowd just keeps dying.

Storm grabs a long chinlock to try and set something up, only to have Maven fight up with some weak clotheslines. Maven’s high crossbody is rolled thru but Maven rolls thru that for a sloppy two. The announcers aren’t exactly hiding how bad this is as Storm gets two of his own off a superkick. The Maple Leaf goes on and Maven grabs the rope before reversing the unbroken hold into a rollup for the pin.

Rating: F. It takes a lot to bring down Lance Storm, who is one of the most technically sound wrestlers you’ll find. Maven managed to do it though and that can’t be a huge surprise. Basically WWE is having a guy who would be just getting started on the indy circuit to come on Raw and have high level matches. That’s just dumb thinking and I have no idea why WWE kept putting him out there like this. You have a developmental system for a reason.

JR is ready to interview Kane.

Here’s La Resistance for a chat. They’re glad Bischoff is back because Austin held them off the show last week. Today is Bastille Day so let’s hit that French National Anthem. They’re still at it after a break until all three Dudleys, carrying the American flag, come in for the save. Grenier takes a 3D and the Dudleyz sing the Star Spangled Banner because the French National Anthem sucks.

Dudley Boyz vs. Evolution

Elimination rules. Bubba and Flair get things going with a backdrop sending Ric into his swearing fit. Ric flips Spike off to bring him in and a single slap gives us the Flair Flop. A dropkick makes things even worse but Flair pokes him in the eye to stop the nonsense. Orton comes in for his own dropkick which nearly clears Spike’s head. HHH gets in a few shots before it’s back to Orton, who is taken down this time.

Spike’s top rope double stomp connects and everything breaks down. The Dudley Dog is countered into an RKO for the first elimination and it’s looking bad for the brothers. A Doomsday Device plants Orton and Bubba splashes the other two in the corner. Maybe it’s not looking so bad. There’s What’s Up to HHH and a 3D to Orton (who shakes his head no as he’s falling into the cutter for a great touch) but Flair makes a save.

HHH is back up with a French flag shot to D-Von though and the elimination leaves Bubba all alone. D-Von leaves but Bubba calls him back to get the table. Dude GET YOUR OWN TABLES FOR ONCE! Referees cut him off though and we take a break. Back with Flair having to let go of a reversed Figure Four. Bubba fights up and hits HHH low, followed by a Bubba Bomb to Orton. HHH is laid out on a table at ringside but Flair makes a save, allowing the Pedigree to connect. Orton gets the final pin to wrap things up.

Rating: D+. The wrestling wasn’t much but they FINALLY gave Orton something here as he scored all three pins. They need to do something to make him look like a big deal and while this isn’t enough to pull the job off, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Let him pick up the Intercontinental Title in the near future and things will be just fine for him.

Rob Van Dam tells Bischoff he wants Kane so the match is made for next week. Bischoff tells him to proceed with caution but Van Dam says he started this with Kane and next week he’ll finish it.

Jericho is gathering signatures on a petition to get rid of Austin. A bunch of people have signed but Tommy Dreamer seems hesitant.

Before the next match, Teddy Long says he and Rodney Mack signed the petition to get rid of Austin. There should be a black man replacing him, but Teddy can’t do it himself due to obligations to Players Inc. He has other ideas though, like Snoop Dogg or Johnnie Cochran.

Rodney Mack vs. Rosey

Rosey shoulders him down and hits a corner splash but Long breaks up the Samoan drop with a low blow to give Mack the fast pin.

Post match Hurricane comes in with a missile dropkick on Mack.

Evolution signs the petition.

Intercontinental Title: Booker T. vs. Christian

Booker is defending in the feud that won’t die. Some early forearms have Christian in trouble as Coach dares to question the power of the peepulation. A missile dropkick attempt is broken up and Booker is sent into the corner. Christian whips him into the steps for two and it’s time for the chinlock with a knee in Booker’s back. Booker fights up with a spinning kick to the face and a spinebuster for two as Lawler sings Christian’s praises.

We get a ref bump (here we go) and Christian hits the Unprettier for no count. A second ref comes in for the two and Christian isn’t happy with the near fall. He makes up for it with a rollup while grabbing ropes and the trunks for the pin and the title. That’s all well and good but the first referee gets up and says not so fast. Cue Austin to bring in a THIRD ref and restart the match so Booker can hit a quick ax kick to retain.

Rating: C-. I could live with this a little more if the matches weren’t so bad but these have been the very definition of average at best. The guys don’t have chemistry together and it becomes more clear every week. It also doesn’t help that there are a bunch of people who could use an Intercontinental Title feud (or even a match or two) and we’re stuck with this stuff over and over. It’s not awful but it’s been covered quite thoroughly.

Post match Christian beats up a referee so Austin runs back in for a Stunner.

Bischoff gets a call from Linda McMahon.

Kane gives JR a present but it’s left on a table for now.

Women’s Title: Gail Kim vs. Molly Holly

Gail is defending. They trade wristlocks to start with Gail wristdragging her out of the corner. Lawler asks Coach what he knows about Gail’s background. Coach: “Well I know she looks good.” I know it’s only been a few weeks but they probably should have more than just that to go on. Molly gets rolled up for two as Lawler talks about liking Molly’s high estrogen levels. Gail gets in a dropkick and a hurricanrana, followed by a second hurricanrana to retain.

Rating: D-. The commentary actually summed up the problem with Gail, and most of the women on the roster for that matter. Can someone tell me any details about almost any of the women? Molly is annoyed at almost everyone, Victoria is basically crazy, Trish is plucky, Jacqueline is loud, Ivory is….well her name is Ivory, and Gail is an attractive rookie. Am I really missing anything important? The match was terrible too as Gail showed the ability to do fewer moves than a banged up Kevin Nash.

JR opens his gift and finds….a gas can. If he makes fun of Kane once, he’ll be set on fire. Since security around here sucks, we go ahead with the interview. After JR sucks up to avoid a bad case of being burned alive, we see the same video that opened the show. Kane’s reactions to that: anger and hatred. He doesn’t understand why so many people want to see his face because it brings him pain.

JR brings up the lack of scars or horrible skin that Kane always talks about. Kane says JR sounds like the doctors from when he was a kid who told him to go see a shrink. The towel comes off as Kane keeps ranting about how much of a monster he is. JR says he sees a man who needs help so Kane asks him for help.

We get some Oklahoma psychiatry with JR saying no one cares what Kane looks like. That sets him off and screaming ensues, only to have Austin come into the arena to calm Kane down. I mean, I’m not sure how well that’s going to work when Austin is in Indianapolis and Kane is in Connecticut but I’m no Austin.

Kane yells at Austin and JR before punching the latter down. JR is lit on fire (I wonder if it would be wrong to ask him which kind of barbecue sauce would go best on him.) and put out rather slowly. Bischoff comes out to say this is Austin’s fault so Linda will be here to fire him next week. So yeah, a guy was just lit on fire (didn’t need to happen as Kane was nailing it before things got silly) but let’s cut back to the bickering bosses to end the show. You know, because THE GUY BEING LIT ON FIRE is totally forgettable.

Overall Rating: D. There are moments of acceptable on here but egads the bad stuff is really bad. It’s a bunch of horrible wrestling but the worse part is the lack of much of a direction. Why am I supposed to be interested in Test vs. Nash, Rosey vs. Mack and Storm vs. being boring? That’s really as good as they can get at this point? You can’t throw Goldberg out there for a squash just to wake the crowd up a little bit? A pay per view might help, but above all else they need something interesting just to give me something to look forward to on these shows. As usual, really boring show with almost nothing worth seeing.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Volume VI: July – December 1999 in e-book or paperback. Check out the information here:

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