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Dr. Tom's Raw Report: 4/28/03

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Guest TSMAdmin

WWE RAW 4/28/03


This should be an interesting show, coming off one of the worst PPVs in recent memory. Fear not, friends: I have plenty of beer handy, and I’m a professional. Please, do not try this at home. I would suggest not watching this at home, either, but judging by the ratings, that’s already becoming a popular trend.


This would have been up sooner, but I got engrossed in CSI while finishing this up. Sue me, it’s only Raw.


LIVE plus seven seconds from Bahston, this is WWE Raw for 28 April 2003. Your bobbleheads, who shill last night’s Backlash PPV as something great and convince no one in the viewing audience, are The Whitest Black Man In History and Jerry The King Lecher.


Out for the opening promo is Raw Is Jericho, who immediately rags on Rotund Roddy Piper for being old and fat. Jericho feels Raw needs its own cool little show, so he introduces “Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel.” Jericho’s first guest is Goldberg. I wonder if Bill will crack on Jericho’s mike skills and trigger another brawl. Jericho pals up to Goldberg, which doesn’t seem to be going quite so well. He brings up Goldberg’s refusal to wrestle him and demands a rebuttal. And he gets one: to celebrate the new beginning, Goldberg would be happy to kick his ass right now. That’s not quite what Y2J had in mind, so he stick to the questions. He wonders why Goldberg walks around like a prima donna and why he didn’t stay in Japan. Valid questions, those. Before Goldberg can get the answer out, Chris-TIAN joins this segment from the stage. He’s The Rock’s favorite wrestler, dontchaknow, a mantle he extends into calling himself “The New People’s Champion.” Christian asks how Goldberg felt about half the people booing him out of the building, and gets in a good dig at the Red Sox’s record of futility. Goldberg threatens to take the fight to Christian, and Jericho retorts that many people don’t want Goldberg in WWE. Christian brings some midcarders (3000 Calorie Warning, Rico, Victoria, and Steven Richards) out to enforce that point with some good old-fashioned serial whining. Goldberg interrupts their kvetching by inviting them to the ring to try and solve their problems. So they all head down the ramp, but only Richards gets in the ring. He quickly eats a spear, bringing the segment to a close. There were some nice shoot digs in there, but if this doesn’t lead to match later, then it was pointless.


Back from the break, Steven finally hobbles out of the ring.


The Hurricane vs. Chief Morley. Morley overpowers Hurricane out of a lockup, and mocks him by doing the Hurricane pose. Not to be outdone, Helms put his towel to use in mockery of the Val Venis schtick. Morley offers the hand, and Hurricane wisely ducks the ensuing clothesline, unleashing the right hands and nailing an inverted atomic drop. He snapmares Morley down and does a rolling cradle for 2. Headlock takedown, but Morley rolls thru it for 2 and turns it into a front facelock. He slams Hurricane and puts the boots to him. Kneelifts set up a nice double underhook suplex, which gets 2. Morley goes to the chinlock, forcing Hurricane to elbow out. Morley spinebusters him off the ropes, and only gets 2 because of his showboating before the cover. Morley hits two rolling vertical suplexes, but Hurricane counters the third into the Eye of the Hurricane, leaving both men down. Helms pops up with clotheslines, neckbreakering Morley out of the corner for 2. Morley ducks the Shining Wizard, and nails the Blue Thunder powerbomb for 2. He misses the Money Shot, and Hurricane takes him down with the Overcast (Buff Blockbuster) for the win at 5:43. Good enough for government work, and a perfectly fine choice for an opener. 4/10

(Winner: The Hurricane, pinfall via Overcast at 5:43)


Meanwhile, HHHGH listens to Ric Fucking Flair give him another verbal blowjob. To nreward Flair for being such a dutiful sycophant, HHH got them a tag team title shot tonight.


Rodney Mack and Theodore Long come out for another five-minute White Boy Challenge. Before that, though, Long decides to opine about Boston legend Larry Bird. He says Bird would be forgotten had he been Black. Maybe, but at least then he could have jumped a little.


White Boy Challenge: Rodney Mack vs. Some Pale Jobber (already in the ring). Damn, when they said white boy, they meant WHITE. Elmer’s Glue has nothing on this guy. Crayola needs to lighten up their white crayon a few shades to match his skin tone. Really, he’s THAT pale. I bet he’d be a hit at goth parties, as long as he didn't mind fat chicks in fishnets and fake fangs coming onto him. Anyway, Mack kicks the jobber around and abuses him in the corner. He chokes away while Long provides the highlight of the match, ridiculing Coach for his “slave name.” The jobber gets some token offense in, but the running powerslam finishes for Mack at 1:58. Yawn. DUD

(Winner: Rodney Mack, pinfall via running powerslam at 1:58)


After the match, Long introduces “the woman who turned Backlash into Blacklash,” new Women’s Champ Jazz. Some African-colored balloons are dispensed as Jazz poses with the belt and Trish Stratus sulks backstage.


After the break, Easy Eric Bischoff talks to someone on his cell phone when Trish interrupts, asking for a rematch. Uncle Eric says there’s no rematch clause in her contract (that’s a first), but she says she’ll do anything for a rematch. Bischoff proposes a match of Trish vs. himself, which she accepts. If she wins, she gets her rematch; if she loses, Uncle Eric needs a concubine.


Meanwhile, Test and Stacy Kiebler have another lover’s quarrel about just who the other was making eyes for at Backlash. Stacy has paired Test with Scott Steiner in a match tonight, which he doesn’t seem to like very much.


Raw Tag Title Match: HHHGH and Ric Fucking Flair vs. The Strange Team of Dr. Van Dam and Mr. Kane. Flair and Kane kick things off. Kane shoves Flair down, but Flair comes back and grabs a headlock. He hangs on on the resultant whip, struts in celebration of his savvy, and bails when Kane comes charging for him. Classic. Flair tries to chop Kane down, but Kane tosses him in the corner, pounds him, and press slams him coming out. Rob comes in with some punches, but Flair goes to the eyes and tags HHH in. H promptly eats a spin kick, and a second one sends him to the floor. RVD planchas onto HHH and Flair. He stays outside long enough to kick Flair down from the apron, then gets clotheslined by HHH back in the ring. We cut to the back, where the Holy Bible Kid is talking to someone on his cell phone about HHH being a sitting duck. Well, that’s certainly not very Christian of him. We cut to a commercial break, all of 2 minutes in. Back from the break, Kane choke tosses HHH and powerslams him. Rob comes in with the slingshot legdrop for 2. He works over H in the corner, and brings him out for a spinning legdrop for 2, brother. Flair knees Rob on a whip, so Rob cheap shots him, only to turn around into a HHH spinebuster. Flair comes in and chops Rob in the corner, then gives him a jolly good thrashing. He suckers Kane into helping him distract the ref so HHH can abuse Rob some more. HHH tags in and hits the running knee, but Kane saves. Flair is back in, sans tag, and kneedrops Rob for 2. RVD slugs him down, but HHH blind tags in and pounds Rob down. H wails away on Rob in the corner, and Flair posts his leg. HHH works the leg, then Flair does, then HHH comes back in for the Indian deathlock. Rob makes the ropes, despite Flair kicking his hands away. Flair tags in and goes for the figure 4, but Rob grabs an inside cradle for 2. Back in comes HHH, who soon takes an enzuigiri. Flair is back in, but he can’t stop the “hot” tag to Kane. Kane cleans house like he’s on the

$8.00-per-hour specialty crew at Holiday Inn. HHH takes a sidewalk slam, Flair takes the big boot, and out goes HHH. Kane barely makes contact on the flying clothesline, and HHH saves the pin at 2. Kane backdrops out of a Pedigree and tries to chokeslam HHH, only to get chop-blocked by Flair. He tries to chokeslam Flair and gets chop-blocked by HHH. Flair locks in the figure 4, on the wrong leg, as usual. Rob gets back into the match with a jumping side kick on HHH, and breaks up the submission hold with Rolling Thunder on Flair. HHH absolutely plants RVD with a DDT and Pedigrees Kane, which he takes worse than anyone else in the history of people taking the Pedigree. Before he can capitalize, though, Kevin Nash gimps out, Poochiehammer in hand, and chases HHH off. It’s comical to watch: Nash does the Jason Voorhees purposeful walk, while HHH lightly jogs to stay ahead of him. I know they’d both tear their quads again if they ran, but come in, this is pathetic. Flair ends up by himself, takes a chokeslam from Kane, and gets finished by the Five-Star at 15:46. This was basically the same 15-minute tag match we’ve been getting for a while now, with the “bonus” addition of two cripples limping around backstage. 3.5/10

(Winners: RVD and Kane, pinfall via ***** Frog Splash at 15:46)


Meanwhile, HHH continues his low-speed evasion of Nash. He gets into a limo, which Nash smashes a few times with the sledge before it pulls away.


Tag Match: Rico and Chris Nowinksi vs. Scott Steiner and Test (with Stacy Kiebler). Nowinksi punches Steiner and tries to ram him into the turnbuckle, but Steiner blocks it and wallops him in the corner. He brings him out with the spinning belly-to-belly. Steiner’s already busted open. Rico comes in, but gets clotheslined quickly, with the elbowdrop and pushups following. Nowinski grabs Steiner on an Irish whip, allowing Rico to kick him out of the ring. Outside, Nowinksi sends Steiner into the ringpost. Back in, Rico kicks Steiner some more and puts him in a sleeper as Test argues with Stacy. Nowinski and Rico take Steiner over with a double-team suplex and add a tandem elbowdrop. Rico covers for 2. Nowinski comes in and whiffs on a clothesline, allowing Steiner to hit an exploder and make the tepid tag to Test. Test clotheslines everyone and nails a Tilt-A-Whirl slam on Rico. Corner clotheslines for both, but Nowinski avoids the powerbomb, only to end up clotheslining Rico. Uncle Slam gets 2, as Rico saves. Rico kicks Test down, but Test comes back with the big boot. Steiner comes in, hits the inverted DDT on Nowinski, and that’s a rap at 3:58. Well, the ending was a little sudden, and what happened befoe it was completely pedestrian. 1/10

(Winners: Scott Steiner and Test, pinfall via inverted DDT at 3:58)


After the bell, Steiner hits his catchphrase, only to be interrupted by La Resistance. They play the tape of Steiner dissing France in the debate of two weeks ago. I’ve been to France: it’s not Hell, but some of the people definitely make it feel like Purgatory. But the loose French chicks in the discotheques make it all better. Anyway, Steiner acts like Robespierre, while La Resistance make like the borgeoisie facing the guillotine, but the tide is soon turned and Steiner gets le shit kicked out of him.


You know, they can debut any cheesy tag team they want. As long as that team kicks the shit out of Scott Steiner right away, it’s all good with me.


After the break, Bischoff gets ready for his match, while Morley informs him Thoze Damn Dudleyz are once again suspended indefinitely.


Meanwhile, Goldberg catches up with Booker T. Booker tells Goldberg the vocal minority earlier does not speak for everyone. He’s got a match with Christian later, apparently.


Booker T vs. Christian. Booker shoulderblocks Christian down and hiptosses him, setting up a clothesline. He chops away in the corner and backdrops Christian for 2. Christian hotshots Booker from the apron and sends him headfirst into the steps. Back in, Christian stomps Booker and dropkicks him for 2. He goes to the chinlock, and Booker elbows out, only to get yanked down by the hair. Christian chokes Booker on the ropes and snapmares him into an elbowdrop for 2. Christian elbows Booker on a charge and goes up. He elects to come down with the Please Counter Me, however, and Booker obliges with a flapjack. Booker sideslams Christian for 2, but misses the scissors kick. Booker gets 2 off a spinebuster, but misses a sidekick. He fights out of the Unprettier and hits the scissors kick, but does a Spinaroonie instead of going for the pin. That’s all for the match, as Rico and 3000 Calorie Warning run in for the DQ. They work Booker over until Goldberg makes the save, killing Rico with a spear and hefting one of the fat Samoans – Jamal, Coach said, so I’ll take his word for it – into the Jackhammer. Christian dumps Goldberg, but he shrugs off Rosie’s offense and ends up spearing him thru the barricade. I know the wall’s gimmicked, but that still looked impressive. The match was kind of slow and pedestrian. 3/10

(Winner: Booker T via DQ (interference) at 5:40)


Meanwhile, the barricade is patched up with police tape.


Trish Stratus vs. Easy Eric Bischoff. Before the match, Eric makes sure Trish knows what she’s doing ... and by the way, this is a no-DQ match. So either the Dudleys save Trish, or a deus ex machina ending gets her off the hook. Bischoff taunts Trish with some karate poses, so she kicks him in the back of the head. That almost totally whiffed, and might have knocked five hairs out of place. Before Trish can capitalize, Victoria runs in and assaults her. Trish kicks her out of the ring, only to turn around and get jumped by Jazz. Jazz dumps her, rams her into the apron, and puts her in the flying hammerlock on the floor. Back in, Jazz gives Trish another flying hammerlock. Bischoff gloats on the stick for a while, talking about his sexual exploits and what he and Trish might be able to learn from each other. After a minute or so of that, he casually pins her at 3:17. Well, that sucked a savage sausage, but could we really expect anything else? DUD

(Winner: Eric Bischoff, pinfall via talking the poor girl to death at 3:17)


After the bell, Bischoff gloats some more as a limo pulls up. And stepping out of the limo, it’s ... Linda McMannequin. Bischoff immediately changes his tune to one of concern for Trish’s well-being as Linda makes the long walk to the ring.


Linda hits the ring for the main event interview, to speak on behalf of the Board of Directors. The Board has beem keeping tabs on Bischoff, and Linda summons the departed Easy E back to the ring. He sucks up to Linda and blows the whole thing with Trish off as his attempt to create compelling television. Bischoff then hits on Linda, which doesn’t go well, as she tongue-lashes him for his unprofessional behavior the last month. She accuses him of egomania, which is comical coming from any of the McMahons. Instead of firing Bischoff, though, the board has reached a compromise: a new GM will share duties with Eric on a 50/50 basis, effective tomorrow morning. And the new co-GM is ... Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin offers Bischoff the handshake, but Eric is reluctant. Bischoff finally accepts the hand, at which time Austin reminds him that the key word in that whole exchange was “tomorrow.” Kick-Wham-Stunner for Bischoff, which pops the crowd as the credits roll.


The breakdown:


The Good: Not much here, really. Jericho’s interview show was going OK until all the midcarders got involved and they ended up doing nothing with it. The Hurricane/Morley match was decent, and the tag team title match was adequate. Other than that, the only thing that stood out was the image of Goldberg spearing Tubby #1 thru the barricade.


The Bad: Everything else, basically. The rest of the card featured plodding matches, lousy matches, two cripples trying to run around and act like one was chasing the other, and the predictable return of Steve Austin as co-GM. It’s not that I dislike Austin, but I have my doubts about this co-GM thing working out. I’d like to see it work, but we’ll see.


The Ugly: While this show laid its fair share of eggs, nothing was that bad.


Overall: I finally get to recap a show without watching it on tape after a fourteen-hour day, and this is my reward? Bah. Once again, I’m glad I don’t have this gig every week. This show was pretty lousy overall, a step or two below mediocre, but it was also completely inoffensive and forgettable. I miss The Rock already. 3.5/10


Dr. Tom

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