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Getting Beat by Girls! 
September 23, 2003

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


Remember last week when I was all pissy about RAW because I was still upset about the Giants OT loss on MNF?  Well, what would you say if I told you I was also a Raiders fan?

Ah, nevermind... I'm not really... at least, not so much since the University of Dayton's own John Gruden left.  So relax, I'm in a peachy frame of mind as I sit down to tell you what happened on RAW tonight:

Cold open: Lillian Garcia announces that a bunch of US Armed Services men and women are seated around ringside, most coming over to the MCI Center from Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in DC.  The crowd gives them a nice ovation, and throughout the night, about a half-dozen of the wounded soldiers did brief video segments, sending shout-outs to family and comrades still over in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Say Hello to: Al Snow and Jonathan Coachman were introduced as the new RAW announce team, and wasted no time putting themselves over as the greatest thing since Sliced Bread II.

Goldberg Promo

New World Champ, Goldberg, made his way to the ring to address the fans.  Oddly, as he was soaking in the cheers, the heel announcers were praising Goldberg.  What the....  I thought a Goldberg heel turn would have been doable back in his first underwhelming two months, but now is not the time.  Why does it feel like they are prepping us for one?  Goldberg gets as far as saying he fulfilled his promise and now Triple H Believes the Hype when Steve Austin interrupted.

But Austin was here on a mission of congratulations, and nothing more.  He says Goldberg dispatching HHH made him very happy, and announces that Goldberg as new World Champion... well, he'll drink to that.  Goldberg and Austin share a couple beers, and that's when Eric Bischoff decides to interrupt.

Bischoff says that when he was siding with HHH in recent weeks, it was just his way of motivating Goldberg, of bringing out his best.  Because Vince McMahon didn't make Goldberg, Eric Bischoff did, and Bischoff knows how to handle him.  Bischoff starts making noises about looking forward to a new Bischoff/Goldberg era when suddenly, Goldberg just up and spears him.  The announcers do a 180, and call Goldberg an ingrate for attacking Bischoff, the man who believed in them and helped them to get this job.  Nice opening segment that played to Goldberg's strengths: his mic time was cut short, and he got mad cheers for kicking Bischoff's ass.  It was probably a pretty good idea to have Austin out there to give his seal of approval, too.  This was a very sound way to intro Goldberg as the new champ.


Rob Van Dam vs. Christian (IC Title Match)

RVD came out strong, and the announcers were in full heel mode, making it clear that Christian is the greatest IC Champ ever and shouldn't have to be defending the belt again 24 hours after a PPV match.  Van Dam had some new stuff in his arsenal, too, and generally seemed to be giving off a slightly more intense vibe, which added to the match.  Nothing as cool as the closing minutes from Unforgiven, but definitely better than the RVD/Jericho match last week.  Finish had Christian get frustrated when he could not put RVD away, and RVD staged a late match rally.  Instead of trying to fend off the rally, Christian just grabbed his IC belt and whacked Van Dam in the head with it in front of the ref.  DQ after about 8 solid minutes.

Christian wanted to continue the attack after the match, but ref Nick Patrick grabbed the belt to stop him.  So instead, Christian went under the ring and grabbed a ladder.  He pasted RVD in the head with one shot, and then asceneded to the third-from-the-top rung of the ladder and delivered his own Frog Splash.  The announcers failed to dub it the "Six Star," but were falling all over themselves to make it sound like it was way better than RVD's.  Christian left with his belt, feeling secure in scoring the moral victory, even though he lost the match.  Good match, and cheap as the finish may have been, I think it's clear where they are going with this... and I likes it.  A lot.

Backstage: Bischoff is being checked out by a trainer, when Chris Jericho walks in.  He says that what Goldberg did was unconscienable, and that he has a great idea for cracking both Austin and Goldberg at the same time.  He asks Bischoff for a World Title match tonight against Goldberg.  Bischoff thinks that's a grand idea.  Whoa, they sure sprung that one out of nowhere...


Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade vs. ????

Jindrak and Cade don't even get 10 yards down the ramp when Evolution sprints out and attacks them.  The youngster are laid out on the stage, and Evolution heads to the ring....

Triple H Promo

HHH gets the stick, and says the fans can chant Goldberg all they want, but they are mistaken if they think that "losing one match doesn't mean I'm still not the best wrestler alive today."  I'll leave you to puzzle out the placement of the double negative, but I'm pretty sure HHH meant to say that the loss to Goldberg was a fluke, and he's still the greatest wrestler in the history of all time and space.  HHH says that he learned his lesson, now he Believes the Hype, and when he faces Goldberg again, his title is coming back home where it belongs.  He merely asks Goldberg to keep a tight grip on the title until HHH can secure his rematch.  Good, short/simple promo that allowed HHH to show some intensity and keep his name in the title mix.


Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer

Pre-match, Teddy Long cut a fun promo in which he could not help but notice the predominent whiteness of the elected officials in DC.  He threatened to run for President, and stuck the pose that he suggested would look great on the "Dollar-dollar Bill."  Then he said Mark Henry wanted to bring back the White Boy Challenge, and that this time, it's hardcore rules...

So Tommy Dreamer came out.  He got in about 2 kendo stick shots.  Then he got in a pair of trashcan shots.  Then Mark Henry powerslammed him and got the win.  Teddy's promo was longer and better and did more for Henry than this match did.


Backstage: Jindrak and Cade try to storm the Evolution locker room, but are being partially held back by officials, and also by Maven.  They want a piece of Evolution for what they did earlier.  HHH says fine, because they picked the wrong night to cross Evolution.  He also tells them to bring "that jack-off" (Maven), cuz it'll be a six man.

Elsewhere backstage: an audio fuck-up causes us to not hear anything as Lita and Trish walk past a camera.  Luckily, things get fixed as the camera pans to Christian and Chris Jericho, who are sitting nearby, admiring the view.  They are gloating about recent accomplishments (retaining the IC Title, securing World Title shot), when Steve Austin walks in on them.  When Jericho goads him about causing JR and King to lose their jobs, Austin announces that next week, it's JR vs. Coach, one-on-one, with the RAW announcer jobs on the line.  When Christian opines that "You can't do that," Austin says, "I just did, CLB."  After a moment's confusion, Austin reveals that he finds Christian to be a Creepy Little Bastard.  And further: since he likes playing with ladders so much, next week, he will be defending the IC Title against RVD in a ladder match.  I knew it.  Funny segment, and somebody in creative should take note that these three never seemed like they were reading off cue cards: they just knew where they had to get, and they got there in an entertaining fashion.  


Lita/Trish Stratus vs. Gail Kim/Molly Holly

No real reason given for this PPV rematch, though I guess that might have been what was covered during the Lugz Audio Fuck Up of the Night. Plus points for the announcers: they promise to never mention puppies again, and make good.  Minus points for the announcers: they can't stop talking about Coach vs. JR next week, which I'll already tell you right now will suck, while a VERY good wrestling match was taking place in front of them; also Coach had this weird thing where he couldn't go more than 30 seconds without implying that he was somehow responsible for Lita's in-ring success since they used to host Heat together.  You know, I'm starting to get the impression that heel announcers only work when the other guy is either neutral or a babyface so he can rope the sumbitch in.  Finally, Snow and Coach couldn't help but notice the crowd was way digging the match after about five minutes (Trish got the hot start, then Lita came in, and eventually became your Face In Peril), and started paying attention.  Lita's troubles became more and more pronounced as Molly and Gail did a great job cutting the ring in half and generally doing so in a compellingly.... well, I was gonna say "dick-ish" fashion, but honestly, I mean that in the BEST POSSIBLE and gender-neutral way.  Finally, when Gail Kim nailed Trish with a stiff shot that sent Trish flying off the apron, Trish had had enough, and tried to get involved.  She cracked the door enough that Lita was able to stage her own comeback, and then started brawling with Molly out on the floor. Back in the ring, Lita's rally concluded with a Twist of Fate on Gail for the pinfall win.  Crowd loves it, and Trish and Lita celebrate their win in a 8 minute match (the second best of the night!) by posing on the turnbuckles.   

Backstage: Jericho again drops by Bischoff's office.  This time, it's to suggest that Bischoff should make himself the special referee for tonight's World Title Match.  Bischoff would, but his ribs hurt too much.  They reach a compromise: Bischoff will be the special outside enforcer ref, who'll take care of business when the time comes.


Recycled Crap Rock Video Montage: the entire 4-plus minute Test/Stacy/Steiner Saga music video from the night before was shown, with BONUS FOOTAGE~!  They tack on the events from Unforgiven, so fans understand that Steiner is now Test's manslave, but only because of Stacy's misplaced chairshot.

In the Parking Lot: Stacy is trying to apologize to Steiner when Test interrupts and says somebody should grab his bags.  Stacy makes to do it (ah, leggy AND domesticated!), but Test decides Steiner should do it, instead.  Steiner balks, but Test then threatens him with the manliest of all possible sanctions: a lawsuit!  Because a deal's a deal.  Test and Stacy head out, and Steiner's told to have the bags in Test's dressing room in five minutes or else.  So of course, Steiner tosses the bags out of the back of the van, and we cut back to the announcers and hear nothing else of this terribly engrossing story the rest of the night.

Last Night: Coach and Snow walk us through the hellish Last Man Standing Match, but if you want to see Shane jumping off of high places, you have to buy the PPV replay.

Dick Cheney's Undisclosed Location Theater

Coach and Snow have Shane McMahon live, via satellite, from an undisclosed medical facility.  The chyron helpfully discloses the location as "Harrisburg, PA," however.  Shane says they are still running tests, and he's got some internal injuries, but... he's also still breathing.  So that means as soon as he's released, he's gonna get right back up in Kane's face.

No sooner did that threat leave Shane's mouth than did that mouth-breather, Kane, show up on the scene.  He scared the hell out of a poor nurse, who went running for security guards, and then laid into Shane with right hands.  He disconnected Shane from various devices, and even squeezed out a bag of "blood" onto Shane's head to add to the visual impact.  Then he wheeled Shane up and down the hallway for a bit, crashing him into various things as Shane mumbling stuff about Kane being a "bastard." Kane paused long enough to beat the hell out of one rent-a-cop, and sent another scurrying away with his tail between his legs.  Then he went back to Shane, pulling him off the gurney, and tossing him into various walls and doors.  Finally, Shane was slumped in a corner, and Kane decided it was enough.  He took off, but not before a gratuitously cheesy pose, in which he smirked at Shane through the window of a door.  Actually, unnecessarily dramatic closing shot aside, this was an example of a fun and acceptable "Hollywood-style" angle.  I don't feel like writing the 5000 thesis explaining it, but this was an order of magnitude less retarded than flaming dumpsters and jumper cables.  Because, at heart, it was a good, simple old-fashioned beat-down, and not some elaborated staged stunt.


Rene Dupree and Rob Conway vs. Hurricane and Rosey

Grenier is also at ringside, but apparently, it's true about him needing some time off...  La Resistance get big heat with the crowd for flaunting their Frenchness in front of the assembled troops.  Even Coach and Snow, who've been burying us in the heelishness all night, say that La Resistance is out of line.  Sort of a nothing match, just an excuse for cheap heat, building to a final chaotic segment in which Hurricane and Rosey finally powdered the other two guys out to isolate on Dupree.  They hit him with a combo Samoan Drop/Neckbreaker finisher to get the win.  After the match, the Dudleys came out, and after a moment of tension, shook Hurricane and Rosey's hands, and then went out to celebrate with the troops for a while.  Eventually, we didn't have any more time for the love-in and had to kick to....


Earlier today: Vince McMahon and Russell Simmons held a press conference to announce they were teaming wrestling and hip-hop together to get people registered to vote.

Evolution vs. Jindrak/Cade/Maven

The story here: Jindrak and Cade getting their asses kicked for a couple minutes, as Evolution (especially HHH) were intense and focused and not letting anyone upstage them on this night.  Until Maven tagged in, anyway, and that moved us into End Game.  Chaos broke loose, and all six guys were going at it.  Outside the ring, Randy Orton tried to use a steel chair against Cade, but ref Hebner broke it up by diving at Orton and grabbing the chair.  However, that also meant that when Maven hit a sweet missile dropkick on Flair and had him covered in the ring, Hebner was still recovering on the outside.  HHH took the chance to hop in the ring, give Maven a Pedigree, and drape Flair over him.  Hebner came to, crawled in the ring, and counted the fall in favor of Flair.  

After the match, Orton and HHH laid out Jindrak and Cade again for good measure, and then HHH grabbed a mic.  He said, "You people need me.  In fact, you need me more than I need you."  And then he dropped the mic and walked away.  Whhhaaaaa?  Match was nothing special, but seeing where they go with HHH and his ominous statement has got my interest piqued.


Live from Hollywood:  Mark Lloyd got the honor of interviewing The Rock on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Rundown."  It was a dubious honor, though, because after Rock got done with Phase One of the interview (which was the "Kiss the fans' asses by telling them he wished he was there live in Washington DC, and then kissing the locker room's collective ass by thanking all the wrestlers, crew, and even Vince McMahon for making him what he is today" phase), Phase Two of the interview got pretty ugly for Lloyd.  In the name of entertaining the millions and millions, Rock managed to create a scenario that involved Lloyd's fascination with bananas, bungholes, orangutan nipples, and monkey lovin'.  Rock's line of the night: "That's right, the Rock said 'bunghole,' and you better not bleep the Rock.  'Bunghole' is a funny word."  Damn straight, Rocky!


Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg (World Title Match)

Match doesn't even start till after 11pm (eastern), but that's OK, because we're here more for story than for ***** wrestling action.  Actually, the five or so minutes we got were good.  Goldberg came out strong to start, but about 2 minutes in, Jericho dodged a spear attempt on the outside, and Goldberg went shoulder-first into the ringsteps.  That opened the door for Jericho to hit a sequence of shoulder-based moves, that Goldberg actually sold quite well.  However, Goldberg rallied, and hit a big power slam, which motivated outside-ref Eric Bischoff to action.  He pulled the real ref out of the ring to break what may have been a three-count.  Jericho then hit a bulldog-Lionsault combo, but Bischoff was slow getting into the ring, and it was only good for a 2 count.  Still, the writing was on the wall, and so Steve Austin came out, and yanked Bischoff out of the ring and pounded him into the ground.  Inside the ring, Jericho was protesting Austin's unprovoked attack, but not paying attention to Goldberg.  Goldberg recovered, then hit a spear and a jackhammer as ref Charles Robinson regained his bearing and got in the ring to count the pinfall in favor of the champ.  Goldberg celebrated with troops at ringside as the announcers bemoaned Austin's unprovoked interference before we faded to black.

The Final Analysis

This was the best RAW in well over a month... at least since the one up in Canada with Jericho/RVD, and maybe even longer than that.  After two weeks of simply excising the crap (but keeping loads of pointless and forgettable stuff), this week, they gave us a cohesive 2 hours often with consecutive segments exhibiting significantly above-average levels of entertainment value.

To go with some intriguing new story directions, you had some good wrestling, and from unexpected sources, too.  I will tell you, point-blank, that my second favorite match of the night was Trish and Lita vs. Molly and Gail.  All four looked sharp, and the crowd was way into it, too.  Could it be that Lita's kind of the straw that stirs the drink, and that her presence has reminded the fans that hot chicks can WRESTLE, too?  Probably too early to tell, but for now, women's matches that are this much fun and that obviously keep the formerly-King-led masses entertained, too, are something I'm going to enjoy.  Also, I think it's kind of funny that if they wanted to, Trish, Lita, Molly, and Gail could go around taunting the locker room over how they (almost) all got out-wrestled by GIRLS.  But they won't.  So I'll be the prick who mentions it here.

And yeah, Christian/RVD are the ones immune to the taunting.  I can't put my finger on precise examples, but RVD really was coming off a bit more intense, which was cool.  These two were clicking, and they way their match set up a Ladder Match for next was a SD!-esque display of episodic TV focused on athleticism ahead of over-the-top skits.

Goldberg was also well-used tonight.  Austin gave him the seal of approval, which helped him (as did attacking Bischoff).  And then in the ring, I thought that he and Jericho had about as good a match as you could have in 5-6 minutes.  It felt maybe a bit time-compressed (you know, trying to make it feel like late-match damage has been incurred, despite the relative brevity), but the shoulder attacks by Jericho came off as plausible, which is more vulnerable than Goldberg seemed at any point the night before against HHH.

Jericho's free-roving heelishness is also growing on me.  Rather than do the smark thing of pointing out that it's probably just because they don't have any long-term concrete plan for him, I'll relish the fact that it means he's sort of dabbling in three different storylines at the same time, usually with positive results.

Even Evolution's little throw-away match against the young lions was set up nicely with an early-show brawl, then a face-to-face backstage.  The match was "eh," but it built to an effectively frustrating finish with Evolution stealing the win.  And again: HHH's ominous statement.  Where do we go from here?  First he said he wants his title rematch, but then that?  Interesting...

Instead of the wall-to-wall inoffensive/"Well, I guess I can't complain about that" segments of the last two weeks, RAW only brushed up against mere adequacy sporadically this week:  the Henry/Dreamer and La Resistance/Hurricane/Rosey/Dudleys segments did nothing for me.  Also, the announcing by Coach and Snow bordered on annoying at times, but I'm smart enough to know that in their first week out, one thing they have to do is craft a bit of a unique character for themselves.  I give them that, but I'd also caution against spiraling into such self-serving tangents so often in coming weeks.  If they even make it that far.  It could all be undone in next week's Coach/JR match.

Still, none of that sent me rushing for a Raiders update; they were merely among the handful of things that didn't seem to be "plus" elements on the night.  Good outing for RAW as they try to sell us on the "start of a New Era."


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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