Bad Blood 2003

Bad Blood 2003
Date: June 15, 2003
Location: Compaq Center, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the first single brand pay per view and the question is can WWE manage to come up with ANYTHING better than what they’ve been doing on TV. They’ve basically punted on Kevin Nash as a main eventer, bringing in Mick Foley with the hopes that he and the Cell can save interest in the show. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at the three top stories: the main event, Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho and the Steve Austin vs. Eric Bischoff. That’s the top of their card, with Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels not getting any significant attention.

Dudley Boyz vs. Christopher Nowinski/Rodney Mack

Earlier tonight, Nowinski asked D-Von why the white brother was always the one saying get the tables. D-Von thought about it because 2003 is a year of bad storylines. Mack hammers on D-Von to start and the fans already want tables. Bubba comes in for some right hands to Chris’ ribs, which makes sense instead of hitting him in the metal face guard. He will however slam the back of Nowinski’s head into the mat though and the Dudleys clear the ring without too much effort.

Back in and Mack trips D-Von down for a crotching against the post. We hit a chinlock for a bit until Nowinski drops a knee for two. A middle rope elbow misses though and the hot tag brings in Bubba to clean house. Everything breaks down and Nowinski misses a mask shot. Mack can’t get the Black Out so it’s What’s Up and a table request but D-Von has second thoughts. The distraction lets Nowinski hit Bubba with the mask for the pin.

Rating: D. Just a TV match here and that’s not a good sign. The last few weeks have shown how uninteresting most of the feuds have been and this one being thrown together on the last Raw didn’t help things. The team has only been back together about eight months and we’ve seen how lame they were apart so teasing another split or even issues isn’t a good sign.

The announcers recap the pie eating contest of the Redneck Triathlon.

Now we see the pie eating being set up on Raw.

Earlier tonight, Bischoff and Austin spun the wheel to pick a burping contest.

And now, the burping contest, held in the back. They each get three burps and Austin is doing jumping jacks. Bischoff goes first and is outclassed by Austin and his canned burp. Round two is the same thing and so is the third as Austin wins as I’m sure the live audience is so happy they paid to watch this on a screen. Total time spent on this so far: 4:13 (minus recaps and announcers talking about it).

Test vs. Scott Steiner

The winner gets Stacy Keibler as manager. Test can’t even manage to jump Steiner as he’s watching Stacy get into the ring and it’s Scott taking over inside. They head outside again with Test sending him into the steps, earning a YOU SUCK chant as lead by Stacy. Back in and Test mocks the pushups, followed by a sleeper. The first belly to belly sends Test hovering (wasn’t quite flying) and the backdrop/powerslam gets two. Steiner’s reverse DDT gets the same but Test is right back with a pumphandle powerslam.

Stacy gets on the apron and accidentally distracts Steiner into a big boot. That’s only two as well because we just get to keep going. King: “Stacy was almost orgasmic when Steiner kicked out!” JR: “WHAT???” Test goes for a chair but shoves Stacy down first. Back in and Test’s chair shot hits the rope and bounces back onto his own head, setting up the Downward Spiral to give Steiner the pin.

Rating: D. The TV matches continue but this time we had a bad story to go with it. Well that and Lawler sounding like an annoying twelve year old, as was his custom. Neither guy is over with the crowd and the real star is Stacy, who isn’t exactly a driving force in the company these days. This was another match that didn’t need to be on pay per view.

Austin and Bischoff are in front of a tractor and talk about the pie eating. Bischoff has some women ready to assist him and they’re all rather good looking. They agree that Bischoff gets to go first but Austin gets to pick the flavor of pie. Can we just get to the sight gag already?

Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Booker T.

Christian is defending after screwing Booker, the hometown boy, out of the title in a battle royal last month. An armdrag only seems to annoy Booker, who claps the fans back to life. Booker grabs a headlock to take him down as Lawler wonders if there will be leftovers in the pie eating contest. Christian charges into a spinebuster for the first two but he gets Booker outside for a shot into the steps.

As you might expect, we hit the chinlock for a bit as the crowd dies again. Back up and Christian dives into a flapjack, followed by a stun gun. Booker grabs Christian’s reverse DDT for two, followed by Christian getting the same off a Bookend. The threat of an ax kick sends Christian outside so he can try for an intentional countout. That’s fine with the referee, who says if Christian gets counted out, he’ll forfeit the title. Christian comes back in and hits Booker with the belt for the DQ instead.

Rating: D+. Bad finish aside, it’s easily the match of the night, mainly due to the talent involved actually being people worth watching. However, it doesn’t help that we’re three matches and forty minutes in and we haven’t exactly had anything pay per view worthy to cheer for. The Dudleys win a lot of nothing tag matches and Steiner getting Stacy is hardly important. Now we have this feud continuing for another month or so. Booker winning the title would have given the crowd gets another disappointment instead.

It’s time for part two of the Redneck Triathlon with this event taking place in the ring. Bischoff is rather smug about the pie he’ll be having but Austin brings up Bischoff saying he liked mature women. The four women in the back show up on screen but instead Austin brings out Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. Lawler: “WE SAID PIE! NOT CHEESECAKE!” This is hardly funny nor the biggest surprise in the world but it was the only option they were going to go with here, other than someone in drag or Rikishi.

Bischoff refuses so Austin declares himself the winner, which isn’t cool with Eric. Mae kisses him, which isn’t enough for Austin. Instead it’s a low blow and a Bronco Buster, but only after Mae pulls off her skirt to reveal a thong. Bischoff says it’s Austin’s turn but he has to warm up first….and then he Stuns Mae and forfeits. Beer is consumed as this is somehow an even bigger waste of time than I was expecting it to be. Total time spent on the Triathlon tonight: 15:46 (not counting backstage segments).

Gail Kim is coming, which just reminds me that we can’t get a Women’s Title match on the card tonight because we needed that mess.

We recap Kane not helping Rob Van Dam on Raw.

La Resistance insults Texas.

Tag Team Titles: La Resistance vs. Rob Van Dam/Kane

Van Dam and Kane are defending. Rob and Rene start things off with a headlock having the Frenchman in trouble. An interruption of the finger poke earns Dupree a spinning kick to the face and a crossbody for an early two. Evil French cheating lets Dupree get in a DDT for two and Rob is in trouble. Rob kicks his way to freedom (that’s AMERICAN freedom) and it’s off to Kane to clean house.

A choke drop to Dupree and a side slam on Grenier are good for two, followed by the top rope clothesline for the same. With Rob watching on, a neckbreaker/clothesline combination gets two on Kane. Since that’s a lame finisher, Kane is right back up and launching Rob off the top for the kick to Dupree’s chest. Rob’s big flip dive hits everyone but only Kane gets knocked down. Back in and the double spinebuster gives La Resistance the titles.

Rating: D. Much like earlier, this could have been on any given episode of Raw, which is a major problem on this show. The French guys are as generic of a team as any but it’s better than having Lance Storm and Chief Morely thrown together and boring the heck out of everyone. Van Dam and Kane had a longer shelf life but they were losing the belts to someone like La Resistance eventually so just doing it here is acceptable enough. It might have been better if La Resistance had been built up a bit better, but who were they supposed to beat to do that?

We recap Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg. Jericho tried to have Goldberg run over due to jealousy over Goldberg’s success in WCW. Goldberg found out, meaning it’s time for Jericho to die. Chris made it even worse by ruining Goldberg’s car and spearing him, because I guess he doesn’t mind extreme pain.

Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg

A lockup has Jericho in trouble as they fall outside in a hurry. Back in and a World’s Strongest Slam plants Chris but he gets in a few shots in the corner. That’s fine with Goldberg, who gorilla press crotches him on the top instead. They head outside again with the spear going through the barricade to give Jericho his best chance. Goldberg’s shoulder is banged up so Jericho is smart enough to send it into the post. Back in and Goldberg, who is bleeding from the forehead, has his arm wrapped around the ropes. A DDT on the arm sets up a Fujiwara armbar but Goldberg pops up without too much effort.

Since the arm isn’t working, a superkick drops Jericho, who comes right back with another arm takedown. The Lionsault gets two (as always) and a weaker than usual spear puts Jericho down. The referee gets poked in the eye though and a low blow takes Goldberg down. Jericho grabs the Walls but Goldberg powers out, setting up a spear with the good shoulder. The Jackhammer ends Jericho as we finally have a match break ten minutes.

Rating: C+. Match of the night by a mile or two and it’s not even anything great. They were pretty much copying Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page from Halloween Havoc 1998 (nothing wrong with that) but there’s only so much you can do when Page had one home run move with the Diamond Cutter and Jericho only has the Lionsault. It’s a good match though, and that’s what this show needed, desperately.

There’s a pig pen set up for the last part of the Triathlon.

They spin the wheel again….and it’s a Sing Off. Austin knows he’s in trouble and Bischoff gloats.

We recap Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair, which is easily the best thing going over the last few weeks. Shawn has been trying to convince Flair that he’s still great because Shawn grew up idolizing him. Flair seemed to buy into it and gave HHH a good match, only to turn on Shawn again and set up this match. The promos have been outstanding and if they do the match the justice it deserves, it could be excellent.

Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair

They strut it out to start until Shawn takes him down and walks over Flair’s back. A good slap puts Flair down again and a clothesline puts him on the floor for a dive. Back in and Shawn chops away, followed by some right hands in the corner. The referee tries to get Shawn off of him, allowing Ric to score with a chop block and take over. We’re already off to the Figure Four and Shawn is in trouble, though I don’t think many people are actually worried.

Shawn makes the rope so Flair shoves the referee, earning a stern lecture. An enziguri gives Shawn a breather but he gets elbowed in the jaw. Flair gets slammed off the top so Shawn tries the Figure Four, only to get a finger in the eye. Ric goes up again but gets clotheslined out of the air to give Shawn another opening. The crowd is oddly silent here, which might be due to the fact that they’re only ten minutes into the match. A superplex brings Flair down and….let’s get the most unnecessary table in recent memory.

Shawn puts Flair on the table but has to drop an interfering Randy Orton. That’s enough for the top rope splash through the table and both guys are down. Back in and Flair kicks both Shawn and the referee low at the same time. Shawn hits the forearm and top rope elbow sets up Sweet Chin Music, only to have Orton chair him in the head. Flair is pulled on top for the easy pin.

Rating: B-. They were getting there but the table felt so far out of left field. It’s completely fine to make this about Orton but having him run in with the chair instead of getting taken down before the table spot made him look like a bumbling lackey at first. The other problem is you can only get so much out of a match that’s just over fourteen minutes long and had a lot spent on the table stuff and interference. Still good though.

Ad for Freddie Blassie’s book.

It’s time for the final part of the Triathlon. Bischoff goes first and lip syncs his theme song until Austin comes on screen and calls him out for it. Therefore Bischoff has to sing it himself and of course it’s awful. Since that’s basically a loss and Austin can’t do any better, we’ll spin the wheel again. Austin stops it on Pig Pen Fun and thank goodness we already have a pen set up. Since Austin is still in the back, the fans are deputized to keep Bischoff in the arena. Bischoff: “I un-deputize every one of you!”

A fan throws Bischoff back to ringside and here’s Austin to punch Bischoff out. Austin takes him into the ring for a beating and a Stunner. Bischoff is taken up to the stage and thrown into the pen so beer can be consumed. Total time spent on the Triathlon: 25:49, not counting all the backstage stuff which probably brings it over thirty minutes. That’s more than twice what Flair vs. Michaels got, which really doesn’t instill me with confidence.

They could have done these three things maybe in ten minutes total but they stretched it out WAY longer than it needed to be. What did this accomplish anyway? Austin humiliates Bischoff and they still don’t get along? We established that the second they were on screen together and have reminded us of it every time since. This wasn’t particularly funny and just kept going, making a show that wasn’t good in the first place even worse.

The Cell is lowered.

We recap HHH vs. Kevin Nash, which is still going for reasons of it’s the Kliq, who we were all just begging to see again. Nash beat the heck out of HHH at the last pay per view so we’re having a rematch in the Cell with Mick Foley as referee to try and salvage some interest. Nash just is not working in the main event and even WWE seems to know it by this point (he was barely on Raw while HHH and Foley carried the build) so hopefully this gets rid of him once and for all.

Raw World Title: HHH vs. Kevin Nash

Inside the Cell. Nash is challenging and scores with a big boot to put HHH on the floor to start. That’s a little too intense for Nash though and he takes him back inside for some right hands. Now that’s more Nash’s speed. Nash shoves HHH into Foley as JR says not many people can beat Nash in a straight up fist fight. I’m not sure I’d buy him being able to beat either people in the ring with him in a fight but that’s just me. A big whip sends HHH into the Cell wall and Nash gets two off a side slam.

Nash goes with some chair shots as Lawler wonders why there’s a chair inside the Cell. They head outside again with Nash moving a cameraman out of the way. The cameraman actually says “oh pardon me”, making him the most polite wrestling employee I’ve ever heard. HHH goes into the steps before Nash throws them at his head. They only hit the wall but at least it sounded good.

HHH finally gets in some right hands for a breather before pulling out…..a hammer, which he uses to hit Nash in the knee. Now normally that would probably break something, but Nash is a manly man. A hammer shot TO THE HEAD puts Nash down long enough for Foley to get in a shoving match with HHH. Nash is busted open but alive, which is more than most would have from being HIT IN THE HEAD WITH A HAMMER.

The cut is raked over the wall and now, let’s bring in a screwdriver. That’s jabbed into the hands covering Nash’s head for a little more blood, but we need more toys. HHH pulls out the barbed wire 2×4 but Nash gets in some right hands. Nash hits him in the head with the board and HHH is busted as well (in better fashion too). Snake Eyes onto the barbed wire on the buckle draws even more blood and a HHH covering Booker at Wrestlemania delayed two count.

The steps are thrown in again but HHH comes back with a wooden crate to the face for the stop. HHH finds the sledgehammer, which Foley takes it away. That rightfully earns him a shot to the head (Foley had no business interfering there) but Nash grabs a drop toehold to send HHH into the steps. A kick to the leg cuts Nash down again and HHH chairs them both in the head.

The bloody Foley pulls out Mr. Socko, which is broken up by a low blow. Nash accidentally hits them both with the steps so there’s no count, only to have HHH ram Nash into Foley into the wall (for the expected great bump). The Jackknife gets two but Nash can’t follow up. A sledgehammer to the head sets up the Pedigree to retain HHH’s title.

Rating: C-. Really, it’s not even terrible. The Cell didn’t need to be there as this could have been a street fight but that doesn’t sell as many pay per views (nothing wrong with that line of thinking). The problem here though is Nash could have shot HHH in the chest and not pinned him here and that was obvious from the start. It could have been much worse but that’s not enough to validate two months of completely uninteresting build to get here. It’s far from the worst Cell match ever (those shows from the last few years had some awful ten minute Cell matches) but it’s one of the least interesting and that to me is worse.

We’re off the air after two hours and thirty two minutes for one of the earliest endings in company history.

Overall Rating: D-. It’s a really, really bad show but it’s far from the worst show ever or even close to it. The short run time, the fact that they had that short run time with half an hour dedicated to one comedy gag and the complete lack of anything worthwhile in the first hour or so make this much more unnecessary than anything else. This EASILY could have been chopped down to a two hour show (or expanded to a decent time by letting Shawn vs. Flair go 20+ minutes) but as it was, it really didn’t work.

That being said, there are some good points to it, with the main event being far better than I was expecting. I would even go so far as likening it to a trip to the dentist (“There now. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”) but that’s about as high a level of praise as I can go. Shawn vs. Flair was good too and the ending actually accomplished something, but my goodness it was rough getting there. The Triathlon stuff was brutal and the first three or four matches belonged on Raw at best. Simply put, this didn’t need to be either three hours or brand exclusive and they weren’t ready for that combination.

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