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KELLER'S RAW REPORT 8/4: Ongoing "virtual time" analysis of live show

Aug 4, 2003 - 10:12:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

The following was posted at the VIP site as an ongoing "virtual time" report throughout the show. Because Jason Powell is off tonight, we are posting my complete report here following Raw. Mallory Mahling and James Guttman will be by later with their detailed report, also.

WWE RAW
AUGUST 4, 2003
LIVE FROM VANCOUVER, B.C.


-The show opened with highlights of last week's main angles with Kane, Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, and Shane McMahon. The opening montage then aired.

-Johnathan Coachman and Jerry Lawler introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd which was as full of signs as ever. Coachman promoted Goldberg vs. Ric Flair as the big match of the show.

-Shane McMahon then walked out. He said he wanted to come out and say for the record that what he started last week on Kane with the steel chair would be finished tonight. "You may be the biggest, baddest man walking the planet, but tonight we're going to find out how big and bad you really are." He said as long as he is breathing, he is going to make life a living hell for Kane, breathing down his back at every opportunity. Eric Bischoff's music interrupted McMahon. Bischoff walked to the ring, back in his leather jacket after having worn a suit to impress Linda McMahon. Bischoff said there is nothing he'd rather see than him get revenge on Kane. He reminisced about almost breaking his neck when he got thrown off the stage. Bischoff said he'd love to book Shane vs. Kane tonight. Shane said book it. Bischoff said he can't because it's not about what Shane wanted or he wants, but what Vince McMahon wants. He said Vince told him on the phone he wants to see Kane vs. Rob Van Dam at SummerSlam. Shane said he will kick back and enjoy watching RVD kick Kane's ass, but he's not worried about SummerSlam, he wants Kane tonight. Bischoff said Vince anticipated that Shane might show up tonight, so he made it clear to him that Shane must be escorted out of the building at the start of the show. Bischoff said Vince wasn't thrilled with getting punched in the face by him last week. He said Shane can leave on his own without security getting involved, but only if he leaves right away. Shane said he isn't "buddy buddy" with Bischoff. He added, "I think you are nothing more than a parasite. You disgust me. And I don't give a damn what my dad says or what you say, I'm not leaving this ring unless, of course, you want to try to make me." They went nose to nose. Bischoff said Vince made him the G.M. of Raw because he can control his emotions, but he warned him not to push him too hard. "Two words: Black belt," said Bischoff. "Get out of this ring before somebody gets hurt." Shane went nose to nose with Bischoff again. Steve Austin walked out to his music as Coachman pointed out that Shane wasn't backing down from Bischoff "one single solitary bit."

Austin at first told Shane to leave the ring because Bischoff told him to. He then went on to say that Bischoff likes mature women and complimented Linda McMahon's breasts. Austin told Shane that he could walk out of the ring like a sissy or take his frustration out on Bischoff in a no holds barred match tonight. The crowd popped and Coachman said, "Take the match." Bischoff said, "No, no, no, no. There are a lot of things preventing that from happening. We are co-general managers. We cannot lay a hand on a WWE superstar, much less face one in a match." Austin pointed out that Shane is not a "contracted WWE superstar." Shane said he wasn't. Bischoff looked a bit worried. Austin said he saw no reason the match can't take place later. Bischoff began panicking. Shane said, "Ring the bell." Bischoff paused and then said, "Wait a minute, you want a match, no holds barred tonight, you're on." It seemed Bischoff came up with a devious idea that made the match appealing to him. Austin announced it was official. So much for Vince's order that security take Shane out of the arena. Lawler hyped that this was a PPV quality attraction, but viewers would get to see it on Raw.

[commercial break]

1 -- BUBBA RAY DUDLEY (w/D-Von Dudley) vs. RENE DUPREE (w/Sylvian Grenier)

Coachman played up how much the Dudleys love being tag champs but hate seeing the cocky, arrogant La Resistance hold those belts. Grenier tried to interfere with the French flag, but Dupree mistakenly clotheslined Grenier. D-Von then nailed Dupree with the flag while the ref's back was turned. Bubba hit the Bubba Bomb to finish off Dupree for the win.

WINNER: Bubba Ray at 3:20.

STAR RATING: 3/4*

-Backstage, Ric Flair warmed up for his match while Hunter lounged on a couch and Randy Orton sat on a chair taping his fists. Orton acknowledged Hunter's groin pull and asked how it felt. Hunter said he's had beautiful women massaging it for hours and he's feeling better. Eric Bischoff then walked in and said he needed a women with them. They cut to a commercial before we could hear Bischoff's plan.

-A SummerSlam commercial aired. Just a generic music-video style highlight video of Raw and Smackdown wrestlers ending with a "Coming Soon" tag line.

[commercial break]

-Clips airs from WWE's Australian tour. It's a great touch that WWE is showing clips of these international tours because it really establishes to the masses how internationally popular the product is.

2 -- RANDY ORTON vs. SCOTT STEINER (w/Stacy)

This is a big enough match that it deserved billing during the early minutes of the show. Before the match Orton said he can sense excitement in the arena because more people in the arena came to see Randy Orton's nipples than Stacy Keibler's. Hey, if Rock can be obsessed with his testicles, then Orton can be obsessed with his nipples. Steiner then attacked Orton from behind. Steiner overpowered Orton most of the match. Coachman said that Jim Ross was recovering well and could be back as early as next week. Lawler said he couldn't wait. At 3:30 Test ran to the ring to try to help Orton, but Steiner yanked him into the ring and beat on him in the corner. He then clotheslined him over the top rope. That gave Orton a chance to recover. Orton gave Steiner his RKO for the win.

WINNER: Orton at 4:07.

STAR RATING: * -- Not bad. Steiner still wrestled like his body has been through three careers, but he's much better than he was in his early WWE matches.

-Backstage Hunter and Flair watched Orton's win on the monitor. Bischoff asked Hunter and Flair if they were agreeable to his offer. Hunter told Bischoff to calm down or he was going to pee himself. He agreed to Bischoff's deal. Bischoff then seemed relieved and walked off. Hunter treated Bischoff like a second grader begging for an extra cookie during break.

[commercial break]

-Christian interrupted a conversation between Rosie and Hurricane. He asked Rosie what he thinks he has that makes him qualified to be a superhero. Christian asked Hurricane what makes him think he can beat him in the ring after what he did to Booker. Hurricane said he has his superpowers. Rosie smiled and then showed off a box labeled SHIT (Super Hero in Training Kit). He said he made it. Hurricane looked excited, but said he isn't ready yet. "We'll see about that," said Rosie.

-They showed Shane McMahon pacing in the staging area in anticipation of his match with Bischoff later.

-Bischoff told Rodney Mack that preparation is the key to success in WWE. Steve Austin interrupted and asked Bischoff what he's so happy about. Bischoff said it's because he's so very good at what he does. He told Austin it was a stroke of genius to book that match. He reveals that he made a deal to have Evolution at ringside during his match. Austin asked what kind of deal was made. He said in exchange he made the Goldberg vs. Hunter match at SummerSlam no DQ, so that means Flair and Orton can interfere legally. Bischoff told Austin if he had stepped up to the plate earlier and agreed to remain as GM, he might have been able to get more involved. But now, he said, "There's not a damn thing you can do about it." Austin looked into space as if he trying to come up with a response to Bischoff as Bischoff left the room excitedly.

3 -- CHRISTIAN vs. HURRICANE

Christian celebrated early in the match avoiding Hurricane, but Hurricane just mocked him. Then he threw Christian to ringside and dove over the top rope onto him. A small "holy sh--" chant broke out, showing how desperate Raw fans are to see anything the least bit high flying. Christian rolled up Hurricane and scored the three count with a handful of tights. Christian attacked Hurricane after the match, so Rosie came out dressed with a white cape on, an orange bodysuit, and a t-shirt that said, "Super Hero In Training." Christian leaped at Rosie, but Rosie slammed him to the mat.

WINNER: Christian at 2:11.

STAR RATING: 3/4*

4 -- GOLDBERG vs. RIC FLAIR

Flair came out first to the Evolution music, to lyrics of which sound like someone groaning during a difficult bowel movement. Hunter joined Coachman and Lawler at the announcing desk. As Goldberg came out his locker room, Coachman said Goldberg has one speed only "and that's full speed ahead." Goldberg came out through the sparks on the entrance stage. A cursory glance in the crowd revealed more Flair and King signs than Goldberg signs. Hunter said Goldberg "is all show, no go." Flair and Goldberg went nose-to-nose. Coachman said that after last week's Raw, Goldberg and Hunter got into a scuffle and Hunter suffered a groin injury. Hunter made it clear he did it to himself. He bragged that a groin injury on him is a"large injury." Goldberg grabbed Flair by the throat, then pressed him and slammed him to the mat. Goldberg yelled at Hunter, but Hunter just smiled and waved back. A loud "Goldberg sucks" chant broke out from the Vancouver crowd, not exactly known as "Ric Flair Country." Many fans booed Goldberg's offense, which intensified after a sloppy toss of Flair across the ring. Goldberg, who can't handle crowds turning on him, seemed to lose his cool a bit. Flair clipped Goldberg's leg, which prompted a crowd pop. Then Flair "whoo'd" and the crowd booed back. If Flair's goal is to turn Goldberg babyface, "whooing" is probably not the best idea. He whoo'd again after chopping Goldberg. Goldberg no-sold the chops, then punched Flair in the face. Flair bumped to the mat, but popped up to deliver a punch of his own. Nikita, I mean, Goldberg no-sold it, and then he punched Flair again. He followed up with a powerslam. He then played to the crowd and got some cheers from his fans. Flair raked Goldberg's eyes and got cheers. Flair climbed to the top rope. Hunter hilariously said, "Flair's got him right where he wants him," as if that move ever works. Goldberg tossed Flair off the top rope. Orton then ran into the ring with a chair and hit Goldberg from behind with it as he set up the Spear. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: Goldberg at 4:44 via DQ.

STAR RATING: *

-After the match, Hunter then strolled to the ring and hit Goldberg with the sledge hammer. Flair and Orton held Goldberg as Hunter wound up again, but Shawn Michaels made the save. That elicited even louder boos mixed with cheers. Chris Jericho ran in and attacked Michaels for the biggest babyface pop of the night. Coachman acknowledged those against-the-grain cheers by saying it was a pro-Canadian crowd, ignoring that Goldberg was booed and Flair was cheered. Kevin Nash then came out to make the save with a chair.

-Austin stepped out and said Bischoff may have made Hunter vs. Goldberg a no DQ match. H\e said he couldn't change that stip, but he would add to it. He said SummerSlam's main event would be Triple H vs. Goldberg no DQ for the World Title, "but also in the same match will be Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton, and Shawn Michaels because the main event for the World Title will be defended at SummerSlam in an elimination chamber. Now beat the hell out of each other."

-Back in the ring, Flair went to hit Goldberg with a chair, but Goldberg speared him. Goldberg then was slow to get up. Hunter stood at ringside, upset over Austin's announcement. Once nice thing about Hunter's nonchalant arrogant attitude most of the time - when he gets rattled, it really indicates that something big happened.

[commercial break]

-Terri interviewed Pat Croce at ringside about Slamball, the basketball and trampoline show that follows Raw on TNN. The interview was interrupted by Jericho attacking Nash and Michaels, who were still in the ring celebrating that they were added to the SummerSlam main event. Nash got booed, of course, by the Canadian crowd, as he gave Jericho a Jackknife. Nash's music closed out the segment. Coachman pointed out that Jericho still has to compete later against Rob Van Dam. There's another match that could have seemed like a big deal, but by the lack of promotion and hype, it comes across as no big deal.

-Backstage, Hunter and Orton checked on Flair, who was on his back in the locker room. Bischoff interrupted and asked Hunter if they still have a deal in light of what happened. Hunter told Bischoff to change Austin's decision. Bischoff said it was "technically out of his hands." Hunter responded, "Then technically, you're on your own." A frazzled Bischoff left the locker room as Hunter returned to the locker room to check on Flair.

[commercial break]

5 -- MOLLY HOLLY vs. TRISH STRATUS - WWE Women's Title match.

As you'd expect from these two, they went all out with high energy and near falls. Trish ducked under a flying Molly, who landed on the floor as a result. Trish then dove onto Holly at ringside and punched away at her head. Victoria intervened and went after Trish. Trish threw a series of punched at Victoria. Victoria lifted Trish and spun her around and dropped her, but her knee caught on the ringside mat and her knee buckled badly underneath her. She limped as she threw Trish back into the ring. Molly shoved Victoria over her interference, but they soon turned their efforts to beating on Trish. Coach actually said at this point, "Both men now attacking Trish." Gail Kim ran out and cleared the ring of Victoria and Molly. Kim helped Trish to her feet, but then clotheslined her out of nowhere. The crowd booed. Lawler said, "I told you all women secretly hate each other!" Kim slapped Trish as the ref tried to get between them.

WINNER: Molly via DQ at 2:20.

STAR RATING: 3/4*

-Coachman plugged Shane vs. Bischoff and Jericho vs. RVD. No promo time was given to the wrestlers, but tons of promo time was given to the non-wrestlers who don't work house shows.

[commercial break]

-Lance Storm told Goldust he is boring and needs help. Goldust told Storm he'd be glad to help him, and that they'd have a "b-b-b-ball!" Goldust seemed to scare the hell out of Lance Storm backstage.

-Bischoff took out some keys and indicated he was going to unlock Kane from the truck. Ring introductions then began for the next match.

6 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. CHRIS JERICHO

The crowd wasn't quite as vociferous in booking RVD as other babyfaces, although they still cheered Jericho. There was an RVD chant after he suplexed Jericho from inside the ring to the floor. Lawler mocked Coachman for his cliches, such as "rubber legs galore" and "giving 110 percent." Coachman no-sold the shoot comments from Lawler. Coachman has zero wit, or else he just doesn't try. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho at 8:00, but RVD blocked it and rolled up Jericho for a near fall that had the crowd "oohing." Jericho came back with an enzuigiri followed by a two count. RVD fought back and flattened Jericho with a kick followed by a Rolling Thunder attempt. Jericho lifted his legs, although RVD barely touched his legs upon impact. Jericho went for a back suplex, but RVD flipped out of it and charged at Jericho. Jericho stopped him with a clothesline, but then missed a Lionsault. Coachman touted this as a "PPV quality match." RVD then went for his Five-Star Splash, but Jericho moved and then covered RVD for the nearest of near falls. The crowd was really into the match. RVD followed up and a botched leg scissors which Jericho attempted to turn into a Walls of Jericho. RVD quickly grabbed the ropes to force a break. Jericho shoved the ref. RVD came back with a splash off the ropes for the clean pin.

WINNER: RVD at 11:27

STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- The type of match that Raw needs every week. Very good stuff, especially the final half. A bit of sloppiness hampered it a bit, but that's pretty much is going to come with the territory with these two being as ambitious as they were.

-Jericho grabbed the house mic after the loss "to get his heat back." He said there was a conspiracy against him. "The only reason I lost that match is because of Kevin Nash. Big Sexy, you're a big stupid son of a bitch." The crowd popped. "I'm Mr. Canada, dammit! And you don't treat me that way. So I'm going to make it my quest to take something from you, something you're so proud of. It's my quest to face you in a hair vs. hair match. And believe me when I tell you I'm going to shave you balder than a new born baby's bare behind, daddio." Lawler said Nash would never agree to it.

-Bischoff was shown backstage smiling and rubbing his taped fist.

[commercial break]

-Bischoff walked out for his match with a big confident smile and threw a sidekick into a body shield pad held by a WWE worker. He threw an offensive side kick. He followed with a series roundhouse kicks. Bischoff's got good kicks. He followed up with a reverse sidekick, which landed slightly off target (but it's a difficult kick to hit on target). Shane McMahon interrupted the demonstration.

7 -- ERIC BISCHOFF vs. SHANE MCMAHON - No Holds Barred

Bischoff threw a kick to Shane's side to start. He followed with a sidekick to the gut. Shane was slow to getup. He followed with a roundhouse kick to the face. Shane went down and was slow to getup, but then speared Bischoff and punched away at his face. Kane's music then started 30 seconds into the match. Shane stopped his attack on Bischoff and stared down Kane fearlessly. Shane went out to meet him in the aisle. Shane threw some punches, which Kane mostly no-sold. Kane shoved Shane into the ring. Shane continued to punch away at Kane who began to actually sell. Shane then leaped onto Kane's back and choked him with a cable. Kane flipped Shane off of him and flattened him with a boot to the face. "You're going to make my a life a living hell, huh? That's what you're going to do?" yelled Kane. Kane tossed Shane into the security barrier, then began throwing the stairs around. A "Shane-o-Mac" chant broke out with a handful of ringside fans. Kane tombstone piledrive Shane on the steel stairs. Shane went limp and fell to the mat. Bischoff then called for Kane to enter the ring. Kane threw Shane into the ring where Bischoff scored the three count. He then celebrated his pin like Kurt Angle when he wins a World Title. Bischoff went to the announce desek and asked Coachman for a high-five. Coachman went along with it. Lawler said, "Unbelievable! He beat Shane McMahon on Raw."

WINNER: Bischoff at 3:23.

STAR RATING: NR


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