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Celebrating 20-Something Years of
Being The Man
May 20, 2003

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


T(O)N(I)G(HT): It was that shitty episode with that creepy diplomat guy what hit on Troi.  I don't remember what it was called.  It wasn't very good.

QUICK QUOTE:  WWE 9.49 (+0.11 - last year: 14.95, two years ago: 17 1/8... but Bradshaw says BUY!)

KINGS UPDATE:  Whoops.  Maybe this was the wrong week to do a half-assed tribute to CRZ?

Or maybe it was the PERFECT week!  Zing!


Opening Credits, No Video Packages, Straight to the Ring for:

Steve Austin Promo

Austin opens things up with a very positive remembrance of the previous night at Judgment Day.  He drank some beer, ate some food, and got to see Eric Bischoff vomit.  Well, Steve's definition of a good time is a bit different than mine, I guess.  Austin then enters replay mode: first, Bischoff vomits again from three different angles.  And if you thought that was fun, Stone Cold promises that next month, he is in charge of putting together "Steve Austin Presents Badd Blood," and it will not disappoint.  Guaranteed, and Austin would not EVER lie to you.  If you believe that, Austin would also love to shake your hand in the middle of a wrestling ring.

To more serious matters: Austin also replays Goldberg not coming even close to getting run over by a car, and promises that by the end of the night to reveal the assailant.  Then Austin calls out Triple H and explains to everybody how he got his ass kicked by Kevin Nash the night before and only retained his title by getting DQ'ed.  He tells HHH that he's being forced to wrestle tonight, no matter how bad he's beat up from the night before... but Austin will let him pick his opponent.  As long as it's a former World Champion.  Triple H is briefly pissed about this, but then announces he'll do it.  He'll face... his good buddy Ric Flair.  Uh oh:  finger poke of doom, or an old man mutiny?


Dudley Boyz vs. Three Minute Warning

There's no point beating the dead horse that is the jobber status of 3MW... suffice to say this was not exactly enthralling the live crowd, though all involved seemed to be giving it a solid effort.  Finally, we got to the part of the match where the Duds do all their signature spots and go for a table.  But 3MW was able to counter things, and started to set D-Von up for a taste of wood.  But D-Von rolled out of the way, causing Rosie to crash through the table from the middle rope.  Then Jamal go the 3-D and the Dudleys were victorious.

After the match, Rico grabbed a mic, and announced that he had had enough of 3MW's losing ways, and that he was leaving them.  Look, if the Fed had booked 3MW the way they had been in HWA, it wouldn't have come to this... but now, with Rosie and Jamal where they're at in the fans' eyes, this had better not turn into a squashing of Rico in the name of career resuscitation.  He's the most over of the three.


Backstage: Bischoff is half-passed out in the GM office, playing the "Massively Hungover" card.  Austin tries to perk him up with a li'l Hair o' the Dog, but Bischoff vomits again.   I seriously want to slap somebody.  I just hope his name is "Brian" and not "Vince," otherwise, there go my chances of ever making it as WWE Online Shill of the Month.

Backstage 2: Austin leaves the office and bumps into Kevin Nash, who is obviously upset about winning the match but not the title last night.  Austin tells him to settle down and keep quiet, that Nash is still the #1 Contender in his book.  This appeases Nash.

Backstage 3: Ric Flair is excited and enthusiastic about getting a World Title shot tonight.  He cannot thank HHH enough.  But HHH rains on his parade by announcing that he only picked Flair because he thought Flair would lie down and make this easy for HHH, since HHH isn't close to 100%.  Flair is visibly distraught.  


Chris Jericho's Hi-Lite Reel

Jericho comes out and introduces us to his fancy new set, including the ultra-expensive plasma screen JeriTron 5000 to be used in the Airing of Grievances.  And Grievance #1:  Jericho was eliminated by a no good cheater from the previous night's IC Battle Royal, and he wants to confront that cheater right now.  And out comes....

Umm, is that Test?  Wait, it sort looks like Billy Gunn...  oh, no, I see:  it's Christian, with a new haircut and (for some reason) wearing women's jeans!  Either that, or they are the newest, manliest fashion sweeping the nation, and I am merely revealing my tragic unhipness! Jericho announces that when he looks at footage of Christian turning on him and eliminating him from the battle royal, he can only think of one thing:  "I would have done EXACTLY the same thing."  Awww, they still like each other afterall.  Christian takes a mic to do some bragging about how he eliminated Booker T to win the belt, but eventually, Rob Van Dam came out to say that he feels the fans would really appreciate a FIGHTING champion, and maybe RVD could get an IC Title shot tonight?  Christian says no, and before long he and Jericho are double teaming RVD.  Kane makes the save, and Christian and Jericho scatter.

But wait: there's Austin on the TitanTron... he says he'll give Christian a reprieve from defending the IC Title.  But tonight, NO RIGHT NOW, he wants to see a tag title match with RVD/Kane vs. the Canadian Chrisses! 


Rob Van Dam/Kane vs. Christian/Chris Jericho (joined in progress)

When we come back from break, the Hi-Lite Reel Set has been broken down, and this match is underway.  Good back and forth action, which settles down into the usual pattern of RVD getting beat down so he can hot tag Kane.  Eventually, Kane appears to have things in control: he's chokeslammed Christian, and RVD is ready to hit the Frog Splash, but Jericho decides he's having none of it.  He shoves RVD off the top rope, grabs a chair (and one for Christian), and knocks out the referee for a DQ finish.  But before the Chrisses can do anything nefarious, Booker T is out for the save.  Booker clears the ring, and then RVD goes out of his way to snag Christian a second time and feeds him to Booker for another beat down.  Then a Spinaroonie and everybody's happy.   Really good 10+ minute match; then again, since this took us into Hour Two and it was only the second match, I guess they had the time to burn...

Backstage: Ric Flair is having some sort of crisis of conscience when Shawn Michaels walks up to him.  But HBK doesn't want any trouble.  He wants to tell him how much he idolized Flair and how much he hopes that Flair does NOT go out there and just lie down for HHH.  Flair is getting teary-eyed and asks, "Yeah, but c'mon, do you really think I have a chance against a guy like HHH?"  Shawn tells him, "I KNOW you can do it, but the real question is, do YOU think you have a chance?"  Flair, obviously touched by the show of support (and too rattled to call Michaels on the time HE laid down for HHH, I guess), wiped away tears as Shawn left.  I don't know if "poignancy" is a word or not, but if it is, then this 30 second segment had more of it than all of WWE's prior Attempted Drama of 2003 rolled together.  Just perfect.


Teddy Long White Boy Challenge

Teddy admits that the competition level of the white boy challenge has been lacking... so he opens it up to any established WWE superstar (and proven White Boy).  And out comes...

Spike Dudley vs. Rodney Mack (Five Minute Challenge)

Oy.  I really think Teddy Long is doing a great job on the mic, but this is a case of the manager's heat not effectively transferring to the wrestler.  Belee dat, playa.  Spike gets a pair of hope sequences, the last coming at about the four minute mark, when fans actually wake up and start to think Mack's streak might end.  But shortly after that, Mack locks in the Cobra Clutch (of the "Black Out," if you prefer), and Spike spends the final 40 seconds trying to reach the ropes.  When he can't, he decides to tap out with one second remaining on the five minute clock.  Damn you, Spike Dudley!  This just means we'll be subjected to this crap again next week!

Rhetorical question of the day:  so if they did this exact same gimmick with D'Lo Brown, would we be loving every second of it?  [Answer:  Yes, of course.]


Backstage: Bischoff is still feeling awful, so Austin comes in shouting through a megaphone and banging on a trashcan lid just to be a dick.  This, unlike vomit, is funny.  Austin realizes Bischoff is still not well, and promises to talk in his inside voice, for which Bischoff thanks him.  Then, Austin apologizes about the hair o' the dog thing, and says the real solution to a hangover is some "female entertainment."  Bischoff, the sucker that he is, if briefly perked up by this.  But enter Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young, and he is utterly repulsed.  The two women are ejected from Bischoff's office.  And that, believe it or not, really was the whole segment here.


Backstage: Ric Flair has put on his robe and decided to quit feeling sorry for himself and be the Dirtiest Player one more time, it looks like....

La Resistance vs. Test/Scott Steiner

This lasted less than 2 minutes, and ended with a counterpoint to the previous night's match.  This time, it was Steiner who screwed up (he was injured on the outside, getting tended to by Stacy Keibler), leaving Test alone in the ring.  So Test got pinned.  Steiner's shoulder healed, and so he and test started arguing over the losing streak.  Stacy tried to break it up, but when the boys wouldn't play nice, she just left them alone in the ring.  Well, that makes one piece of reasonable behavior since this whole storyline started...

Backstage: Austin gets the Interrogation Room set up for, I presume, some top-notch Interrogating.  Unless the Interrogator and the rest of the Truth Commission are coming back?

Online Vote Tally:  All night long, WWE.com was running a poll to see who YOU thought ran over Goldberg.  Now, as we prepare for the interrogation, Jim Ross reveals that the plurality of fans believe it was The Rock.  Prepare to be disappointed, people.  Prepare to be disappointed...


The Interrogation

Austin is berating somebody... oh, pull out to a wide shot:  it's LANCE STORM.  Storm is quiet as Austin makes the case against him.  It was his rental car, wasn't it?  It was you driving, wasn't it?  Storm eventually breaks down and tries to say it was an accident, that the gas pedal got stuck, that he's Canadian and they drive on the other side of the road.  But ah-ha!  Austin's been to Canada and they DON'T drive on the wrong side of the road.  Storm, showing momentary weakness, admits, Austin's right, but says the whole thing wasn't his idea... Austin briefly tries to get him to admit who the mastermind was, but then just decides to send Storm to the ring to face Goldberg.  I think we ALL know where this is going.

Backstage:  Flair walks in on Triple H, and announces there will be no lying down, that he's the Man, the 16 time World Champ, and he took beatings like HHH took the night before and he never backed away from a fight the next night.  So he tells HHH to bring the best he's got, and he'll bring his best, and may the best man win.  Whoooo!


Goldberg vs. Lance Storm

Obviously, we're running late.  The previous match was less than 2 minutes, this one was less than 1.  Suplex, spear, jackhammer, over.  Goldberg wins, and then does an interrogation of his own.  Storm finally admits that that guy who asked him to run over Goldberg was.... Jericho.  Duh.  Those Canadians, thick as thieves, they are.

In the parking lot:  Jericho is beating a hasty retreat, but the Coach catches up with him and asks about the accusations just made by Storm.  Jericho gives an odd sort of "Yeah, alright, I guess it was me" response, but then promises to clear the air by having Goldberg as his guest on the Hi-Lite Reel next week.


Triple H vs. Ric Flair (World Title)

Flair is over huge in South Carolina.  After HHH gives Flair one last chance to just lie down, he's established as a heel.  And from there, Flair's off to a hot start, strutting and chopping and whoo'ing all over the place.  Finally, after about 3 minutes, HHH regains control with a spinebuster.  But Flair rallied...  double ax-handle lands because Flair's wrestling as a babyface, and then, it's Attack the Knee time.  At about the 6 minute mark, Flair locks in the Figure Four and fans in South Carolina are FEELING it. But HHH finally makes the ropes to break the hold.  BOO!  HHH manages a sleeper, but Flair backs him into a corner to break it... but whoops, he also sandwiched the ref behind HHH, so it's anything goes time.  HHH decides to go out and grab his title belt, but Flair blocks him with a lowblow and then pastes HHH with a belt shot of his own.  Flair wakes up the ref, makes the cover, and this time the crowd KNOWS Flair is gonna get the win.... but NO!  Two and nine-tenths...  HHH rallies again, goes for the Pedigree, but it's blocked.  Flair going for the Pedigree instead!  Nope, also blocked.  Finally, HHH triple reverses into a Pedigree and it lands.  That's it.  Flair stays down, 1-2-3.  HHH retains.  

After the match, Kevin Nash ran out, and HHH scurried away to the top of the ramp immediately.  There, he was met by Steve Austin, who announced that at his PPV in June, it will be Triple H vs. Kevin Nash.  Inside the Hell in the Cell.  HHH runs away in terror while Jim Ross is nearly orgasmic at the possibilities of another HitC as we fade to black.

My only complaints would be with regards to (1) vomit, (2) the predictably boring White Boy Challenge thing, and (3) the forging ahead with Steiner/Test even though there are more entertaining personalities who might use that TV time.  But total elapsed time of those things was under 8 minutes.

Everything else was very good or better.  Beyond any shadow of a doubt, Ric Flair gets the Gold Star for this week.  His promo with Shawn Michaels and his promo with HHH were tremendous, each completely different in tone, yet each perfect for setting the stage for the match.  And the match itself: again, perfect.  Flair comes out with renewed legitimacy as a wrestler, HHH comes out as the champ good enough to turn away a stiff challenge on another guy's home court.  Anyone who tells you Flair SHOULD have won last night... well, let's just say that anyone who says that better have their Vince Russo Fan Club Card ready for examination.  Because the last time I checked, you don't fabricate an angle out of nowhere and do a surprise world title switch within a single 2 hour show unless you believe the WWF's handling of titles in 1998-99 was the best in the history of the business.  But more on that in Wednesday's OO...

Really good RAW, one of the fastest 2-hour shows I can remember watching so far this year.  And that is all the people need to know.


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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