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5/19 Raw review: Mahling's "alternative perspective" rundown

May 20, 2003 - 12:03:00 AM
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WWE Raw "Alternative Perspective" Rundown
May 19, 2003
Live from Greenville, S.C.
Aired on TNN
Report by Mallory Mahling, Torch Team Contributor


Top Five Items from the Program

(1) Ric Flair - the styling, profiling, and whooing one - took on Triple H tonight in a mark-out match.

(2) As a "reward" for winning his match with 'Naitch, Stone Cold told Triple H that he'd be meeting Kevin Nash in a Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood. (We all lose in this match-up.)

(3) The question of who tried to run down Goldberg was answered, but it lacked the element of a good mystery.

(4) The new Intercontinental Champion, Christian, debuted his new look tonight. He looked like Test's twin brother.

(5) Breaking up is hard to do, and there was plenty of that tonight. Rico parted company with Three Minute Warning. Then Test and Scott Steiner teased a split up, and Stacy washed her hands of them both.

Review of the Program

Quarter Hour 1

Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler welcomed viewers to Raw, live from the BI-LO Center in Greenville, South Carolina.

Co-General Manager Steve Austin came out to get this party started. He had a few things to get off his chest. He'd had a hell of a time at Judgment Day last night. On the downside, he'd had to share his skybox with Eric Bischoff, who'd made a complete jackass out of himself. Austin just happened to have a little footage (from several angles and in slow motion) of Bischoff spewing on the poor fans seated under the skybox. Understandably, Uncle Eric was a little under the weather tonight.

Austin began the pitch for Bad Blood. The first order of business was who had tried to run over Bill Goldberg last Monday night. Stone Cold said he was hard at work on the case. He would find the culprit and put him in a match with Goldberg later tonight.

Austin then introduced Triple H, who headed out (gingerly) with Ric Flair. Stone Cold stopped him from spraying "that stupid ass water." There was business to talk about, said Austin. When Trips didn't hop-to fast enough, Austin said he was about to lose his composure. The crowd clearly wanted him to lose it.

Stone Cold reminded Triple H that he'd gotten his ass whipped last night, and he did not deserve to have the championship belt. Hitting a senior official with a sledgehammer was nothing to be proud of. Austin said that Triple H would, indeed, wrestle tonight.

"A lot of people think that you're just a drunk," began Triple H. "But you're just drunk with power." Nash may have kicked his ass last night, but Triple H was still the champ. That meant that he had some stroke, and tonight he was "beat up, tired and in no mood" for any of Austin's crap. Therefore, he would not be wrestling tonight.

Stone Cold said he could feel his pain. Therefore, he would allow Trips to select his own opponent with the stipulation that it would have to be a former World Champ. Kane, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho or Kevin Nash were his choices.

Triple H waffled a bit, then agreed to wrestle . . . Ric Flair. "And that's the bottom line, because the Game says so," added Helmsley, certain that he had the upper hand.

Quarter Hour 2

(Commercial break) (Spike TV - Help them build it. Ugh!)

Viewers were asked to log onto wwe.com to cast their vote for who they think tried to run over Goldberg.

As the Dudleys made their entrance, J.R. pitched Freddie Blassie's new book.

(1) Tag Team Match: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba & D-Von) over Three Minute Warning (Rosie & Jamal). Not much finesse in this match. Double suplex by the Dudleys, followed by a Whazzup. It was time for tables, but the table never made it into the ring. Jamal went to pin Bubba, but the referee wouldn't make the count since he was not the legal man in the ring. D-Von ended up on a table, with Jamal sailing off the top. D-Von moved and Jamal tasted wood. After the obligatory interference, the Dudleys took the win when Rico's game plan went awry.

Rico looked at the carnage in the ring, grabbed a microphone, and had a meltdown. He said he'd had all of Three Minute Warning that he could take. He announced he was leaving them.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 3

In their office, Eric Bischoff was still a little rocky, but Austin pestered him relentlessly. Stone Cold said Eric needed a little "hair of the dog," and offered him a beer. Bischoff turned several shades of green and puked all over his own photograph. ICK!

"I like ya," said Stone Cold. "Not very much but I like ya."

In a hallway, Kevin Nash began to grouse. Austin told Big Kev that he would face the winner of the match between Triple H and Flair.

In their dressing room, Flair was thrilled that Triple H had picked him.

Triple H said he'd chosen Flair because he knew Flair would "lay down" and give him an easy win. Flair was hurt and bewildered.

(Commercial break)

It was time for Jericho's Highlight Reel. The new set included the JeriTron 5000, a plasma TV screen. On that very screen, Jericho showed lowlights of the devious tactics Christian had used to win the Intercontinental Title.

Out came the new and improved Christian. (He looked a lot like Test with the short haircut, black leather vest and black jeans.) It's a good look for him and high time for a change.

Jericho was just a little miffed at having been cheated out of the title. Then he admitted to Christian that he'd have done the exact same thing.

Christian said his "heart beats for his peeps." He and Jericho watched the final moments of the Battle Royal, and Christian said he didn't think Booker T was championship material.

Quarter Hour 4

The referee's decision was final, he said, and Christian was proud that he'd pulled it off under the collective noses of the co-General Managers. He tried to get the audience to chant "Christian Rules," but got a lot of boos for his effort.

Rob Van Dam came and told Christian his new catch phrase was weak. "Christian Sucks" would be more to the point, he said, and the crowd obviously thought so, too.

Van Dam tried to goad Christian into a match and ended up getting a beat down. Kane ran down and the Highlight Reel and Christian's celebration came to a screeching halt.

Stone Cold appeared on the TitanTron. He said he knew Christian had cheated to win and he admired that. Then he made a tag team title match that would pit Rob Van Dam and Kane against Christian and Chris Jericho.

(Commercial break)

(2) Tag Title Match: Rob Van Dam & Kane over Chris Jericho & Christian via DQ. The match had started during the break. Good back and forth action as J.R. and the King speculated about who could have attempted to run Goldberg down. Near falls by each side. Kane chokeslammed Christian, but Van Dam's Five Star Frog Splash was spoiled by Jericho. A Lionsault by Jericho and a cover by Christian, but Kane powered out. The two Chrises were up to no good, and the ref called for the bell rang to end the match, giving Van Dam and Kane the win via DQ. Christian and Jericho went for the Conchairto anyway. Suddenly, Booker T ran down to make the save . . . and to take out some aggression on Christian, who'd cheated him out of the Intercontinental Title last night.

A dejected Ric Flair was approached by Shawn Michaels. Michaels told Flair that fifteen years ago Flair had told the world that he was the measuring stick. Michaels had spent every day for the next fifteen years trying to reach that level. "You're only as good as your last match," reminded Michaels. Flair was doubting himself, but Michaels said he knew he could do it. Flair was moved to tears, and it was a touching moment.

(Commercial break)

Theodore Long and Rodney Mack headed out for a little haterizing. Mack commented on the white bigots in the audience. Long issued a challenge to any "white boy" superstar who wanted to take on the Big Mack. Spike Dudley (who is alabaster white, said the King) accepted the challenge.

Quarter Hour 6

(3) White Boy Challenge: Rodney Mack over Spike Dudley via submission. Long joined J.R. and the King for commentary, and his chair looked like it was a kiddie seat. (A plot by The Man, I suppose.) Spike gave Rodney a run for his money and got several pinning opportunities before Mack put him in the Black Out. The time clock ticked down dramatically, with Spike tapping out with only one second to go.

(Commercial break)

J.R. said he thought Ric Flair must be having second thoughts about his match with Triple H.

Bischoff was holding his aching head when Stone Cold came in with a bull horn and shouted in his ear. Then he pounded on a trash can lid and let loose with an air horn. Eric was in misery. Stone Cold said a couple of women would make him feel better. Mae Young and Moolah were not what Bischoff had in mind, but they were the women he got. Eric ushered them out of the office unceremoniously.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 7

Ric Flair, now in his sequined rob, was admiring himself in the mirror. A change seemed to come over him, and he began to style and profile.

(4) La Resistance (Sylvan Grenier & Rene Dupree) over Scott Steiner & Test (w/Stacy Keibler). J.R. announced this was a rematch of their Judgment Day match. Loud "USA" chants as the match began. Scott Steiner got tossed to the outside, and Stacy tended to him (as the King tried in vain to look up her skirt). Rene pinned Test again, and Freakzilla lost his temper. He and Test began to fight, and Stacy jumped in the middle. Test and Steiner each tried to get her to leave with them, but a disgusted Stacy left alone.

Stone Cold entered the "Interrogation Room" where he planned to grill some suspects.

The Rock, Christian and Triple H were leading in the Internet poll to determine who had tried to run down Goldberg.

(Commercial break)

Stone Cold was questioning Lance Storm, but Storm wasn't talking. Austin said he had ways of making him talk. Lance "confessed" and said the accelerator stuck, he was Canadian and they drove on the other side of the road, and it wasn't his idea. Storm refused to give up his co-conspirator, and Austin told him to get in the ring with Goldberg.

Triple H was getting his ribs taped and reading Freddie Blassie's book. Ric Flair came in and recalled a conversation they'd had six months ago when Triple H said he wanted Flair to be his partner. With his veins popping, Flair said he could still bring it, and in Greenville, South Carolina - Flair Country - he would not lie down for anyone. "WHOOO!" The Game was not pleased to hear that.

(Commercial break)

Quarter Hour 8

(5) Goldberg beat up Lance Storm. This really wasn't a match, since "match" would imply that Lance Storm got a chance to participate. He got speared and jack hammered and pinned in short order. With a paw wrapped around his throat, Storm confessed that Jericho had put him up to running down Goldberg. Mystery solved.

(Commercial break)

Jonathan Coachman chased Jericho into the parking lot where he was getting into his car. He got Jericho to admit that he'd put Storm up to it. Before speeding away, Jericho said Goldberg would be his guest on the Highlight Reel next week.

(6) Triple H pinned Ric Flair. Flair got cheers and a standing ovation. Flair extended his hand to Triple H. When Trips went to take it, Flair pulled his hand back and ran it through his hair. The tone of the match was set.

Quarter Hour 9

Triple H was pretty much dog meat from last night's beating at the hands of Kevin Nash, and Flair was taking full advantage.

Flair was chopping and the crowd was "whooing." Flair came off the top and took the Game off his feet. The Dirtiest Player in the Game was throwing punching and strutting and it was like old times. Flair locked on the Figure Four and the Game was screaming in pain. Triple H grabbed the ropes to break the hold.

The referee got knocked down (how convenient) and Triple H had the advantage. Flair mule kicked Triple H, then smacked him in the head with the belt. Flair covered Triple H, who kicked out at the very last second. Undeterred, Flair went for another Figure Four. It took three Pedigree attempts, but Triple H finally pinned flair to take the win. Excellent match and a mark-out moment to be sure.

Triple H didn't have long to savor the win, since Kevin Nash headed to the ring. Triple H got out of Dodge quick, and stumbled up the ramp where he collapsed.

Stone Cold came out, stood over Triple H, and told him that he and Kevin Nash would meet at Bad Blood in a Hell in a Cell Match. Triple H looked panic-stricken. Big Kev stood in the ring with a big, satisfied grin on his face.

The Wrap Up The Ric Flair match alone made this show a winner. It truly was a mark-out moment to see the Nature Boy in the ring again. The surprise of the mystery driver would have been better if they'd made a bigger deal out of it last week, coaxed it along, and not tried to drag the viewing audience into it at the last minute. Christian's new look is a good one, and Jericho's Highlight Reel gets better every week. The interaction between Stone Cold and Bischoff continues to be well done (if somewhat gross at times). I'm sure it will get old eventually, but it's part of what made this show very enjoyable.

Comments? You can reach me at mmahling@pwtorch.com. See you in The Lounge on Saturday.


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