Back with another Stinker review, which will become a monthly feature going forwards, usually on the last Saturday of every month.
For those who haven’t read one of these before, the premise is that I review a show that has a reputation for being bad and then try to answer the question of whether it truly deserves its stinky reputation or not.
Recently we had a list of potential shows and I pulled a couple out of a hat to decide what I’ll be reviewing in January and March. This show (Requested by Bones) came out for January and Bash at the Beach 1999 (Requested by Sean Mooney) came out for March. All the other requested shows remain in the hat and I’ll be doing another draw in about a month or so, so if you want to request a stinky show for review then please stick it in the comments section. I’ve got one that I chose myself for February which you’ll hopefully enjoy.
Judgment Day 2003 came about during what was a pretty sucky period for WWE. Coming out of WrestleMania XIX, Kurt Angle was injured, Rock was off back to Hollywood and Stone Cold Steve Austin had been forced to retire, meaning we were stuck with Triple H on top of the Raw brand with a lack of credible challengers (Due to him killing Rob Van Dam, Kane and Booker T’s pushes since winning his vanity belt in the autumn of 2002). Thus they did what usually happens in wrestling when a top guy doesn’t really have anyone left to work with, which was bringing one of his mates for him to work with instead. This led to Kevin Nash coming in and getting an instant push to the top of the card, leading to some thrilling angles and bouts.
Meanwhile, over on Smackdown the much loved “Smackdown Six” Era of the show had ended in February when Paul Heyman was removed as head writer, leading to a pretty notable drop in quality for the show. Once built around great matches on top and interesting characters in the mid-card such as Matt Hardy Version 1.0 and Jamie “By God” Noble, Smackdown became a showcase for Vince McMahon and his never-ending feud with Hulk Hogan. Freshly turned babyface Champion Brock Lesnar was relegated to the background whilst Vince feuded with Hogan and his new best buddy Zach Gowen.
The product was really starting to feel like the lame-duck Kevin Sullivan booked era of WCW in early 2000, even down to the likes of Roddy Piper, Scott Steiner and Goldberg coming in long after they actually could have done any good during the Invasion storyline of 2001. The fact that Judgment Day was primarily promoted around a Bikini contest between Sable and Torrie Wilson showed just how little direction WWE had when it had to bank on pushing T&A to have any hope of popping a buy rate, even with an embarrassment of riches when it came to wrestling talent (Something we’ll see as the show progresses).
Just to give you an idea of the general online reaction to this show, Scott Keith decided to bust out the Hot Poker Up The Ass system for it, which is usually a good barometer that a show is pretty stinky.
However, let’s give the show a fair shake of the stick. Who knows, maybe time will have been kind to it?