Monday Night Raw – June 9, 2003: The Bad Before The Blood

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 9, 2003
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home show for Bad Blood and getting that show out of the way is going to hurt quite a bit but at least I’ll never have to think about it again. Most of the show’s card is already set and hopefully that means we get to see some more of Shawn and Flair yelling at each other in awesome fashion. Let’s get to it.

Steve Austin is in his office when HHH comes in. The champ wants to know who the special referee is going to be at Bad Blood but Austin won’t answer. Shouting ensues but it doesn’t get anywhere.

Opening sequence.

Rosey vs. Goldberg

The bell rings but we pause for Chris Jericho to come out and stand on the stage with a chair. They lock up to start with the fans shouting a rather mean word to Jericho. Goldberg hits a bad dropkick but gets caught in a Samoan drop. That’s about it for Rosey’s offense though as Goldberg kicks him down, only to have Jericho run in and miss a chair shot. Rosey breaks up the spear but takes one himself. The Jackhammer is enough to put the Samoan away.

You can vote on who you think will be the guest referee, with options of Austin, Mick Foley, Shane McMahon, Terry Funk or the Rock. Not the most ridiculous set of choices.

Rob Van Dam vs. Rene Dupree

In a bit of a twist, Rob starts by firing off some kicks. A monkey flip sends Rene outside so Rob drops him on the barricade for the spinning kick to the back. Back in and Rene gets in a few shots before sending Rob into the post. We hit an armbar for a bit until more kicks get Rob out of trouble. Rolling Thunder looks to set up the Five Star but Rob only hits mat. Not that it matters as he grabs a rollup to end Rene a few seconds later.

Rating: D. That ending really didn’t do much for anyone but that’s the case with the entire story. Rob beating the challenger isn’t exactly brilliant either but it’s not like this match was going to do much for the title match either way. Can we just get La Resistance beating up some other team? Just throw together some jobbers or something.

Sylvan Grenier comes in for the beatdown and Kane doesn’t make a save.

Bischoff and Austin have a big wheel to pick the events in the Redneck Triathlon. They do the first spin and it’s Pie Eating. Bischoff thinks of strawberry and apple but Austin has a different idea. Various jokes are made and Lawler is thrilled.

We get some memories from people on the life of Freddie Blassie, including his appearance on Raw last month. As you might expect, Stephanie talked about meeting him as a child. I’m sure they were best friends or something.

Rob berates Kane for not being there but Kane doesn’t say anything.

Trish Stratus/Ivory vs. Jazz/Victoria

Ivory jumps Jazz during her catchphrase before it’s off to Trish to fire off some chops. A hard clothesline cuts Trish off and it’s Victoria coming in to pummel away. Trish’s hurricanrana takes Victoria down so Ivory can come back in, only to get beaten up as well. The announcers talk about how all four of them want to be Women’s Champion, which is the closest thing to a story we’re going to have in this match.

Jazz suplexes Ivory three times in a row, which JR calls a trifecta. Lawler uses that to switch back to the Redneck Triathlon, which includes PIE EATING! The spinning side slam gives Victoria two on Ivory and everything breaks down. Jazz goes for Ivory’s leg but gets caught in a hideous small package for the pin.

Rating: D-. How many times in a row can we have the same match with the same five or six women that never leads to anything substantial? They don’t have any story development and the wrestling is getting worse and worse. New blood will help, but if that new blood is just added to the same rotating cast who never goes anywhere, it won’t matter.

Chris Jericho is trying to leave the arena but Christian talks him into staying. It turns out that Jericho is trying to get into Goldberg’s head. As for now though, he’s leaving before he hurts Goldberg.

Video on the UK tour.

Scott Steiner vs. Lance Storm

Test comes out to do commentary and the distraction lets Storm get in a cheap shot. That’s Canadian collusion if I’ve ever seen it. Steiner fights out of a chinlock as Test accuses Stacy of being rather unattractive without makeup. Test runs down to ringside to grab Stacy but gets forearmed in the face. Storm scores with a springboard clothesline but walks into the Downward Spiral for the fast pin.

Post match, Test kicks Steiner in the face and hits him with a chair. He yells at Stacy but then relents and says she doesn’t have to be his girlfriend anymore. Test: “Because this Sunday, I’m going to make you my w****.” He then kisses her and bends her arm back. Well. That was disturbing.

The Cell is lowered.

The fans overwhelmingly think Foley will be guest referee. Well to be fair, who else was it going to be?

Here’s Austin to announce Mick Foley as the referee. This is hardly a surprise and that’s not a bad thing. Austin leaves as Foley gets in the Cell and talks about not being around for awhile. You can take him out of the WWE but you can’t take the WWE out of him. Last week he was watching Raw and heard Austin talking about a man crazy enough to referee this match. Foley’s hair stood up and he was begging for it to be him. Then Austin called him and Foley couldn’t agree fast enough.

Foley goes around the country talking to kids about reading and helping those who need it. The one thing they all ask him about is flying off the Cell, but he doesn’t remember it because he won. He remembers it because he walked out under his own power. This Sunday, someone is going to be counted down 1-2-3, which Foley starts to chant for some reason.

Cue HHH to say this is none of Foley’s business (he’s right, but then again Nash has no business being in the main event). Foley is just a normal guy now (I don’t think normal people get to referee pay per view main events), just like all these people here. HHH brings up retiring Foley inside the Cell, which Foley admits to. What HHH couldn’t do though was keep Foley down because Foley walked out under his own power. Foley does the 1-2-3 thing again and HHH tells him to back out of the match within the next hour.

This was quite a strange segment as Nash was barely mentioned and it felt like HHH was facing Foley at the pay per view. The problem is there’s no reason for the match to exist and Foley is very clearly being thrown in there in the hope that he’ll get a few more people to watch. There’s a connection between HHH and Foley, but have Foley and Nash ever even been on TV together?

It was very clear that Foley didn’t have anything to say here because there’s no story to be told. The Cell is just there to try and make people care about the match and Foley is a bonus to that concept. I love Foley and he’s going to be the most entertaining part of the match but he wasn’t clicking here. That’s not on him though as he had nothing to work with, much like everyone involved in this thing.

Here’s Ric Flair to introduce Randy Orton for his match. Orton comes out to Flair’s music, which doesn’t quite work. It’s better than AJ Styles as Flair II though.

Randy Orton vs. Hurricane

Hang on a second as Shawn Michaels comes out with Hurricane to keep things even. A very early Eye of the Hurricane attempt is blocked and Orton grabs a belly to back suplex. Something like a jumping clothesline (it was supposed to be a neckbreaker but Hurricane didn’t get the arms right) puts Orton down, followed by a crossbody for two.

The Blockbuster misses so Hurricane settles for a Shining Wizard. Flair and Shawn get into it with Shawn getting posted and Flair bleeding somehow. Orton uses the distraction to debut the RKO for the pin. It’s a different form here as he grabs the neck like a Diamond Cutter and then jumps, making for a good impact but not the smoothest path to get there.

Shawn beats Flair and Orton up without too much effort.

Spike Dudley comes up to Foley in the back and asks if Foley needs to be referee. Foley says he’ll think about it but kind of blows Spike off.

HHH yells at Bischoff but we can’t hear what’s being said.

And now, a Spinrooni contest between Booker T. and Christian with Lawler hosting. First though, Booker has King do his best King-a-Rooni, which is exactly what it sounds like. Christian asks who ordered the pizza with extra “peep”arooni and we get some dancing into the Spinarooni with a pose at the end. Booker calls it pathetic and tries his own, triggering the fight you knew was coming. Christian bails but does sneak back out to hit Booker with the title.

D-Von Dudley vs. Rodney Mack

Bubba Ray, Teddy Long and Christopher Nowinski are here too with Teddy on commentary. D-Von scores with some armdrags to start as Teddy talks about Nowinski being oppressed. Mack gets in a spinebuster and cranks on the arm, followed be a nerve hold. Teddy says Jerry’s jokes are whack as the fans want tables. A neckbreaker gives D-Von two but he has to go after Nowinski. The reverse inverted DDT plants Mack but Teddy offers a distraction. Nowinski eats a 3D, only to have Mack grab the Black Out for the submission.

Rating: D. Another week, another bad Mack match. The choke is a decent finisher but he’s not getting anywhere beating up tag wrestlers and we’ve seen him do this stuff for weeks now. Unfortunately his character isn’t exactly geared to go anywhere beyond this, so the first loss is going to wipe him out. At least Teddy is funny though.

Goldberg is ready for Sunday when Jericho chairs him from behind. It as as much effect as most chair shots on Goldberg.

Austin is looking for Foley. Post break, Austin tells Foley to drop this being afraid nonsense.

The Cell is lowered again and here’s HHH for Foley’s answer. Foley comes out and says he’s going to referee the match before returning to his boring, average life. He knows HHH is going to beat him up on Sunday, so let’s get it out of the way now. The fight is on with Foley getting the better of it until he’s sent knees first into the steps.

Foley gets chaired in the head so HHH leaves but Foley counts three again. He grabs a mic and tells HHH to come back so the beating continues, including a Pedigree on the chair. Foley counts again so Orton and Flair come in to help with the beatdown. Cue Nash and Michaels for the save, including a Jackknife to HHH so Foley can count three to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This show was the last bump on the road to a show that no one is interested in seeing (save for Michaels vs. Flair, which barely got any time tonight). The problem is of course no one is interested in Sunday’s title match. The fact that Nash was a last minute cameo tells you everything you need to know about how much WWE thinks of him in this spot. Nash has no chance of winning and Foley is basically the surrogate face in the whole thing.

Everything else was just kind of there as we get ready for Sunday, which is one of the weakest pay per views in a long time. Flair vs. Shawn sounds good but the rest is a messy combination of boring, uninteresting and bad with most of the matches barely registering. Hopefully things pick up as we start inching towards Summerslam but my goodness that sounds like a long way off.

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