Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - July 21st, 2003

WWE Raw 
July 21st, 2003
Los Angeles, California 

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
Intercontinental Champion: Booker T (since 7/7/03)
World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance (since 6/15/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Gail Kim (since 6/30/03)

Commentators Jerry “The King” Lawler & Jonathan Coachman

TONIGHT: Kane vs. Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho 

In the ring, Eric Bischoff is here. He says Austin’s run is about to come to an end. He welcomes Linda McMahon to the ring. Linda wants to address Kane. She says he’s been put on house arrest and under serious psychological evaluation BUT that won’t prevent him from coming to work and competing against Rob Van Dam later. Bischoff isn’t too happy with that portion, so he turns his attention to Steve Austin. Before he can start throwing him under the bus completely, Austin comes out to a huge ovation. Austin says he stands by all his decisions because they were what he thought would be best at that given time. Linda says he’s done a good job, but the biggest issue is that he can’t go around assaulting the other superstars as a co-general manager. Bischoff loves when the attention is turned to Austin. Linda says basically that if he can’t follow the rules, he has to step down and he can’t get physical with anyone unless provoked. Austin says it sounds like he has a lot of thinking to do. Linda reminds him that if he steps down, full power goes back to Bischoff then says it may be best if he takes the rest of the night off. Bischoff mocks Austin for this and then Linda says Bischoff should take the night off as well. Bischoff gets ran off from the ring by Austin and Austin shares a beer with Linda McMahon to close the segment. Austin has until next week to decide what he’s gonna do. 

1) Gail Kim & Trish Stratus vs. Victoria & Molly Holly (w/ Steven Richards)

Stevie has on a bucket hat.. that’s a look. These women kick ass again. It seems like the division has really began to find its footing in ring wise around this time thanks to the addition of Gail and the focus on Trish, Molly & Victoria. This is pretty much a sprint. There’s some miscommunication during the final stretch between Gail & Trish that allows Victoria & Molly to get the win. 

Match rating - **

Backstage, Stone Cold and Bischoff argue about who’s fault it is that they are in the parking lot right now instead of inside the arena. Austin makes sure to flip off Bischoff before he walks away. 

At ringside, Coach & Jerry Lawler talk about JR’s condition after his incident last week. There’s a poll on asking whether you think JR should press charges against Kane or not.. LOL. Then Jerry gets pissed because Coach is smirking as they talk about it. 

2) Randy Orton vs. Val Venis

Before the match, Triple H & Ric Flair accompany Orton to the ring as he introduces himself as “The Legend Killer” for the first time, asking Mick Foley if he proved himself enough when he threw him down the stairs the other week. We go to commercial and come back to this match. H is on commentary. This is solid. Venis works Orton over just enough to make H sweat on commentary. Orton has a small comeback and nails Val with the RKO for the quick win. 

Match rating - **1/2

Afterwards, Triple H gives Randy the new Evolution t-shirt which reads “LAID PAID AND MADE” on the back. Amazing. H begins to put himself over as an unbeatable world champion and says that NO ONE can stop Evolution. Goldberg interrupts and does his gimmick. They go nose to nose. H is next blah blah. Bye. 

Backstage after commercial, Orton wants to go after Goldberg right now. Flair tells him he needs to remember that everyone operates on their terms and they’ll get Goldberg when the time is right. H agrees and tells Orton to just stick to the plan for later… the plan?? 

3) Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania Rewind Match 

This is a rematch from WrestleMania earlier this year. It was announced two weeks ago. Their Mania match was very good, not as high for me as some, but it was good. This is also good. Not as good as the Mania match and not great.. but good. They wrestle clean for the first 8-9 minutes, then Flair and Orton get involved. Shawn has a hope spot or two, but is largely getting beaten down. He’s awesome in that role so no complaints here. 

With that in mind, I loved the finish as rather than doing a bunch of false finishes, Jericho locks HBK in the Walls and holds it for a long time. It makes you anticipate the HBK fire up, but instead he taps. Those closing seconds were so intense. Part of me may have enjoyed this more than their Mania match. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

They replay Linda sending Austin & Bischoff home earlier in the night. 

Lance Storm is in the ring. He has another statement to read. This one is directed toward the Hollywood Elite. Quote unquote. Meanwhile.. camera cuts to Kane being led into the arena in shackles. I still cannot stop cackling every time they mention that Kane is under house arrest. God almighty. 

4) Booker T (c) vs. Test - Intercontinental Championship Match 

DAMN Book looks good with that IC Title. Test is getting a title shot for some reason. They go back & forth for a minute or two. Scott Steiner comes out with Stacy Keibler. Stacy gives him a lap dance to taunt Test which distracts him and costs him the match.

Match rating - *1/2

Backstage, Hurricane is talking to Rosey about how Kane isn’t who he thought he was when they were teaming together. Hurricane tells Rosey that when he looks at him.. he sees a superhero in training. IS THIS THE START OF THE HURRICANE/ROSEY TEAM?! Goldust comes up and spells out S.H.I.T. as the acronym for superhero in training. 

5) Kane vs. Rob Van Dam

And here comes Kane.. flanked by security and all shackled up. That broken motherfucker. Looks badass, though, honestly and you can tell the crowd is in awe of all this. Back from commercial, things get started and turn to shit quick. In an entertaining way, though. After an early flurry from Van Dam, Kane takes him and tries to chokeslam him off the stage. Referees come out along with Arn Anderson, John Laurinitus, & Linda McMahon. He is stopped and Van Dam throws some kicks.. BUT KANE SITS UP.

Kane slams Van Dam head first into the tron/stage and some small explosions go off. Kane then motors through all the security and gets to Linda OH NO. He grabs Mrs. McMahon by the throat!!! BUT JERRY LAWLER STARTS SEINGING AT KANE!!! Fuck JERRY BUT THIS RULED SEEING HIM TRY TO MAKE THE SAVE FOR POOR LINDA. Kane floors Jerry and then proceeds to FUCKING TOMBSTONE LINDA ON THE STAGE. God damn. Kane leaves as people scurry to check on Linda and find EMT’s to help her. This closes the show.  

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