January 20th, 2003
Providence, Rhode Island
World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - The Dudley Boys (since 1/19/03)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)
Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler
The fallout from Royal Rumble 2003! Eric Bischoff promised a bombshell announcement tonight on the pre-show last night so god only knows what’s in store for us tonight.
World Heavyweight Champion Triple H starts the show with Ric Flair by his side. He’s selling his injuries from last night and has his ribs taped and can’t even raise his belt in the air or do his pose. H says he embarrassed Steiner so bad last night he had to resort to hitting him with a sledgehammer. H is playing that real shit eating heel here as usual. Steiner comes out and wants a rematch tonight. Triple H presents him with a DOCTORS NOTE LMAO. It says he can’t compete tonight. Flair says if Steiner wants competition, his main man BATISTA will face him. Batista’s music hits and he’s walking down to the ring. H tries to attack Steiner from behind, only to get his ass beat. H retreats and Batista gets up on the apron to try to go after Steiner, but H & Flair pull him down and hold him back. I guess it’s Steiner/Batista later?
1) Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy
Fun sprint from these two that stems from Van Dam eliminating Hardy in the Rumble last night. Jeff hits a swanton, but only gets a two count. Van Dam wins with a backslide, if I remember correctly? Hardy is disappointed and in a weird occurrence he clothesline Van Dam out of the ring post match. Hardy teases using a chair on him, but doesn’t. So weird, why would you ever give Jeff Hardy heel tendencies?
Match rating - **1/2
Backstage, Christian and Christopher Nowinski are talking about the Rumble last night and what Eric’s surprise will be. Eric walks up and says it’s the biggest thing he’s done since coming to WWE and they will have to wait just like everyone else to find out.
Scott Steiner is pissed and passes Randy Orton in the hallway. Orton wishes him luck for later and tries to be relatable about injury recovery time. Steiner slams Orton against the wall and says he can send him back to the doctor right now if he wanted. Steiner also says his shoulder might be 95% but he’s 100% asshole lol.
Sean Morley’s bitch ass has referee Nick Patrick backstage and replay’s the finish to last night’s World Tag Team Title Match. Sean brings him to the ring for a public apology. Patrick proceeds with it and Morley then asks him to reverse the decision. Patrick refuses because of company policy. Morley oddly respects it despite being pissed and he calls The Dudley Boys to the ring. The Dudleys come out and Morley tries to get them to forfeit the titles. They go back and forth talking shit. Obviously The Dudleys refuse. The crowd chants for tables and Bubba says that’s the only thing they regret from last night, and that’s taking Vince's advice of getting the tables. Bubba punches Morley and D-Von gets the tables. Before they can put Morley through it, Regal & Storm show up and attack them. They put Bubba through the table and Morley tells Nick Patrick to ring the bell. 1..2..3.. and William Regal & Lance Storm have regained the World Tag Team Titles..
STILL TO COME: Scott Steiner vs. Batista
2) Trish Stratus & The Hurricane vs. Victoria & Steven Richards
“Hey, I think I see Victoria’s undies.” -Jerry Lawler
Aside from one botch, this was pretty fun. Hurricane & Trish win after Trish pins Victoria. It also featured a conversation between JR & King about what “britches” are.
Match rating - **
Backstage, Eric tries to reach Vince, but gets his secretary. He tells her to tell him his bombshell announcement is next.
Another Sean O’Haire video package airs.
Eric Bischoff hits the ring and his bombshell announcement is an invitation to Stone Cold Steve Austin to return to Raw. WOWWWWW. That’s pretty nuts and I am so stoked to see him comeback. I just was hoping it was gonna happen tonight, but I’ll take it in a few weeks over not at all. Bischoff says Austin is the only one who can grab this show by the throat like Vince wants.
3) Booker T & Goldust vs. Jamal & Rosey (w/ Rico)
This is good, which could be considered a shocker, but it's also Book & Goldust and they are the goat tag team on Raw right now. Soooo, no surprise this rules. Awesome face in peril stuff with Goldust getting worked over and Jamal, Rosey, & Rico working super well as the rudo team. Simple formula, crowd is feeling it, executed well. No complaints from me. Book wins after some struggle. He nails a scissors kick for the pinfall. Now get these bastards back to the tag team titles!
Match rating - ***
4) Chris Jericho vs. Test (w/ Stacy Keibler)
Over at The World in Times Square, Al Snow has the Tough Enough finalists from this season. One of which is JOHN HENNIGAN/JOHNNY NITRO/JOHN MORRISON ETC.
Backstage, Ric Flair is getting Batista riled up for his match with Steiner coming up.
5) D-Lo Brown (w/ Teddy Long) vs. Tommy Dreamer - Singapore Cane Match
Teddy is D-Lo's new manager it seems. D-Lo says "free at last, free at last, free to cane a white boy's ass" and heads to the ring and he & Dreamer lay into each other. This is fine for what it is, D-Lo wins and looks to capitalize on his new found aggression & partnership with Teddy.
Match rating - **
6) Scott Steiner vs. Batista (w/ Ric Flair)
This doesn't last long.. the match itself at least. Turns out the interaction with Orton that Steiner had earlier was foreshadowing as we see the unofficial formation of Evolution here. Orton comes out first and when Steiner gets the better of him, Triple H & Flair join in, as well as Batista. It turns into a 4 on 1 beatdown of Steiner that leaves Big Poppa Pump bleeding from the head. WHAT HAVE WE JUST SEEN? EEEEEEVOLUTION. They haven't given a name or anything to this or even solidified they are a group going forward, I'm just hyped knowing what's to come. Great cliffhanger to end the show on.