Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - March 24th, 2003

WWE Raw 
March 24th, 2003 
Sacramento, California

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions: Chief Morley & Lance Storm (since 3/24/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Victoria (since 11/17/02)

Commentators - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

It’s the final Raw before WrestleMania 19!

Stone Cold Steve Austin opens the show. He wants The Rock to come out and sing him a song. Test comes out instead. He’s supposed to be in a match tonight, Austin gives him a stunner. Austin says he isn’t leaving until Rock comes out and takes a seat at ringside. Test’s scheduled opponent for the night, Lance Storm, runs down and goes for the cover. The ref hops in, but Austin stops him and does the count, but stops at two, flips off Storm and hits him with a stunner LMAO. Eric Bischoff comes out with a bunch of cops. He says he’s placed a restraining order against Austin to ensure he never lays hands on him again. He orders Austin to leave the building or get arrested and taunts him as he’s escorted out. Austin leaves under his own power, but surrounded by the police. 

1) Trish Stratus & Jeff Hardy vs. Victoria & Steven Richards 

I think Jerry Lawler was trying to get as many weird references in during this match as possible. But anyway. This is a blast! Much, MUCH better than I expected. Everything clicked, no filler. Richards bumps well, Hardy is fiery, and Trish & Victoria’s exchanges near the end are a highlight. Stratusfaction with Trish kicking off Richards gets her the win over Victoria heading into WrestleMania.

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, Hardy & Trish have an intimate moment up by the stage with Trish trying to hold his hand and leaning in for a kiss. OMG. This shit was weird last week but now it kinda cute. JAZZ ruins the moment ambushing Trish. Stevie Richards nails Jeff and they fight backstage. From here, we cut to commercial.

Coach interrupts a Eric Bischoff phone call. He says security needs him ASAP and it’s an emergency.

Goldust is backstage looking at Torrie Wilson’s edition of Playboy. Booker T walks up and tells him they need to focus on their match with Triple H and Ric Flair later. Everyone’s fav tag team is back tonight!! 

Cameras cut back to Coach & Bischoff. Security shows Eric footage of one of the cameras outside the arena. It’s Stone Cold in his truck. He is informed that they can’t force him to leave because his restraining order is for inside the arena not outside. Eric says he is going to make Austin’s life a living hell. Eric tells Coach to go outside and tell Austin what he said. Coach acts weird about it and Bischoff threatens to fire him if he doesn’t. 

2) Scott Steiner vs. Christian 

Decent little showing. Better than either of the Triple H matches that Steiner had LOL. Steiner wins with a throw off the top rope.

Match rating - **

Coach is in the parking lot and tells Austin what Bischoff told him to. Austin just stares at him. 

Chief Morley announces that William Regal has been unable to compete for 30 days so he is stripping he & Storm of the titles and making himself & Storm the new champions. RVD & Kane walk up and want a shot at the titles at WrestleMania. Morley says there’s another team who wants a shot.. the Dudleys. Kane proposes they have a #1 contenders match against the Dudley’s later on. Morley agrees.

3) Triple H & Ric Flair vs. Booker T & Goldust

I enjoyed this. Book busts H open by slamming his head on the steel steps. Seeing Book & Goldy back together rocked. This did go a little long, which can play against H sometimes, but it was a nice change of pace because most Raw matches don't get any time to breathe so yeah I liked it. Some nice hot tags and stuff. Book ends up getting the pin on Triple H which is HUGE for him heading into Mania. I like this finish because it adds to the believability of Booker dethroning Triple H at the PPV.

Match rating - **1/2

Flair and H are backstage recovering when we get back from commercial. Flair yells that the match was a fluke. 

Chris Jericho comes out and calls out Shawn Michaels. Jericho says he used to want to be Shawn Michaels and shows clips highlighting the influence HBK had on him as a young wrestler. Jericho says he no longer wants to be HBK and wants Shawn to admit that he has surpassed him. Jericho slaps Michaels and Michaels slaps him back. Jericho laughs. THIS THING GONNA EXPLODE AT MANIA.

Backstage, The Rock tells Bischoff the reason Austin is still outside the building is because he wants to hear his concert coming up later. Rock talks Bischoff into putting speakers in the parking lot so Austin can hear.. OH MY GOD LMAO. I remember this segment that's coming up. It's soooo good.

4) Rob Van Dam & Kane vs. The Dudleyz - #1 Contender's Match for the Tag Team Titles

This was basically what you'd expect from these two. Nice little TV match that picked up for a bit near the end. Van Dam & Kane and get the World Tag Team Title shot against Morley & Storm at WrestleMania.

Match rating - **1/4

In the parking lot, they begin to set up speakers in front of Stone Cold's truck so he can hear The Rock's concert which is NEXT. 

Okay so this segment is one that speaks for itself and is a classic, so I've embedded part of the video in this review. Enjoy. It's gold.

Basically, Austin has The Hurricane drive his truck into the building mid-set and The Rock is scared at first then sees Hurricane and lets his guard down. Come to find out, Austin is hiding in the bed of the truck and hits the ring and lays into The Rock. It's an unforgettable segment and one of the best of the early 2000's. Definitely check it out if you haven't seen it. 

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