And what can happen when pay per views go exclusive.

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

The big match here is Kevin Nash vs. HHH inside the Cell in a Power of Nepotism match.  We also have Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels for the wrestling portion of the show. On top of that though we have the Redneck Triathlon because there are two General Managers for Monday Night Raw (Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff) so we need to see them in stupid contests designed to humiliate Bischoff. Let’s get to it.

The opening video focuses on the main event, Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg (debuted back in March) and the Redneck Triathlon.

The set actually looks unique with the video screen off to the left side and huge drops of blood on the right.

(Courtesy of
(Courtesy of


Dudley Boyz vs. Rodney Mack/Christopher Nowinski

Mack (a tough guy who issued “Five Minute White Boy Challenges”) and Nowinski (a Harvard graduate) are part of Thuggin N Buggin Enterprises and managed by Teddy Long. In short, this is the feud in which Nowinski asked D-Von why his white brother was always the one who told him to get the tables. D-Von and Mack take things a grand total of nowhere before it’s off to Bubba vs. Nowinski, the latter of whom is wearing a metal face mask due to a nose injury.

An early Long distraction lets Nowinski get in a cheap shot on Bubba but everything breaks down and the Dudleys clear the ring. Back in and Mack crotches D-Von against the post so Chris can bring him in legally. A slam sets up a splash from Nowinski for two but he misses the second version, allowing the tag off to Bubba. Everything breaks down and the fans want tables.

Bubba gets two off a middle rope crossbody of all things before he has to duck a mask shot. Mack sneaks in and throws on the Black Out (cobra clutch) but Bubba easily escapes, setting up What’s Up. We hear GET THE TABLES but Teddy asks D-Von why that’s his job. D-Von takes a swing at him anyway, only to have Nowinski hit Bubba with the mask for the pin at 7:13 to an almost eerie silence.

Rating: D. Well that happened. The racism angle was a stretch to say the least and it’s not like there was anything resembling heat to the match. Mack would go nowhere in WWE and this angle had a lot to do with it. It felt awkward and the one big idea they had here was mostly dropped as D-Von and Bubba didn’t split anytime in the near future. Nowinski had his final match eight days later after being forced to retire due to post concussion syndrome.

The Redneck Triathalon will consist of pie eating (with Austin making it clear that it’s THAT kind of pie), burping and something else to be named (if it’s not beer drinking, I’ll be stunned). First up we have burping with the burps clearly being sound effects. Austin wins after three attempts each as this is actually eating up pay per view time. The next time you’re looking for a job, remember that someone came up with this and was paid to do so.

Scott Steiner is Under Investigation for Threatening to Kill Hulk Hogan

Test vs. Scott Steiner

In case you don’t remember Steiner’s absolutely disastrous singles run in 2003, just consider that he was in the Raw World Title match at the Royal Rumble and is here five months later. The winner receives Stacy Keibler’s managerial services, which Test had coming in. Test wants to use her to further his career and various personal things but Stacy actually cares for Steiner.

Scott tries to dive off the apron but mostly slips, giving me a bad feeling as we’re about to get this started. Test whips him into the steps and takes it inside but stops to tell Stacy to wait for tonight. Another whip sends Scott into the corner and it’s time for Test to mock Steiner’s signature push-ups. Test dives into a belly to belly suplex and Scott follows up with something like a Samoan Drop.

Then again it’s hard to tell given how botched it was. A full nelson slam gets two for Test but Scott grabs a reverse DDT for the same. Test’s pumphandle slam gets two and the kickout has Stacy jumping up and down cheering. A big boot gets another near fall on Steiner and it’s time for a chair. Test goes full evil by shoving Stacy down, only to have the chair hit the ropes and bounce back into his own face. Steiner grabs a Downward Spiral for the pin at 6:27.

Rating: D. As bad as this was, it would get even more uncomfortable when Steiner basically turned Stacy into a sex slave after trading Stacy back and forth with Test. I get the idea they were going for but it came off as nothing but creepy and disturbing. It didn’t help that Steiner had been completely destroyed by the series against HHH and there was just no recovery for him.

Bischoff wants the rest of the contest called off before talking about the next event, which is of course pie eating. Eric has some good looking women ready to deliver some pie but Austin gets to pick the flavor. You can see the lame payoff coming from here.


Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Booker T.

Booker is challenging as the title has been reinstated after a few months of being retired to make HHH the champion of all that was Raw. Booker starts fast and hits a quick hiptoss before grabbing a headlock. Christian finally elbows him in the face and snaps the back of Booker’s neck across the top rope.

Back in and we hit the chinlock, only to have Christian dive into a flapjack to put both guys down. A quick sidewalk slam gets two for Booker and a hot shot makes things even worse for the champ. Christian gets two of his own off a Rock Bottom but gets caught with an ax kick and missile dropkick for two. The threat of another kick sends Christian outside to get his title and up the ramp like a coward. That’s not cool with the referee who says Christian loses the title if he gets counted out. Christian gets back in and nine and hits Booker with the belt for the DQ at 7:55.

Rating: D+. They weren’t exactly back to speed with the title yet but it’s better than having nothing for people on the lower half of the card to fight over. Booker chasing the title made sense but not changing the title here was pretty stupid as he would get the belt in less than a month anyway. Just let him have the hometown pop and stop being so petty about things like fans popping when you haven’t directed them to.

Jerry Lawler is hosting the second round of the Redneck Triathlon and brings out both bosses. Austin brings out the flavor of pie that Bischoff has to eat and it’s Mae Young, who is 80 years old at this point. Bischoff kisses her but Austin says those aren’t the rules. Mae then takes down her skirt to reveal…..well I think you can figure it out. A Bronco Buster to Bischoff sets up a Stunner to Mae but Austin forfeits the round, meaning we’ll be having a third contest. Somehow this took up ELEVEN MINUTES, or longer than any match so far tonight.

Gail Kim is coming.

We look at La Resistance (the most generic “we’re mean foreigners” team you’ll see in the better part of twenty years) beating down Rob Van Dam with partner Kane not making a save.

La Resistance says they’ll win the titles and hate Texas.


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

Van Dam and Kane are defending and La Resistance is comprised of Sylvan Grenier and Rene Dupree. Van Dam and Rene get things going at a slow pace before Rob scores with a crossbody for two. Sylvan gets in a neck snap across the top rope and the villains take over for a bit until Rob kicks them away.

The hot tag brings in Kane (minus the fans seeming to care of course) to clean house with a side slam getting two on Rene. The top rope clothesline gets two more but Sylvan comes in for a neckbreaker. That’s not enough to keep a monster down though so Kane brings Rob back in via a launch off the top. Van Dam sends both challengers to the floor but his flip dive takes out Kane by mistake. Back in and a double flapjack gives La Resistance the belts at 5:49.

Rating: D-. To recap, a title change gets less than six minutes while the segment where Mae Young gets a Stunner is given nearly double. This is the nightmare that is Raw in 2003, including La Resistance as the top team while the borderline interesting combination of Kane and Rob Van Dam can’t get along. Bad match with no heat and no time because there was absolutely no need to have two Tag Team Titles.

We recap Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg. Lance Storm of all people tried to run Goldberg over but he said it wasn’t his idea. It turned out to be Jericho (which you should have figured out by this point), who was sending a message that no one wanted Goldberg here in WWE. Jericho claimed that Goldberg’s ego was out of control in WCW and he wanted revenge for Goldberg holding him down.

This is a match that should have happened in WCW as Jericho did everything he could to convince the company to let Goldberg crush him in a match after weeks of trying to set up the feud on TV. For some reason WCW said no way because that might have worked and gotten Jericho some attention, which is not something that could have been allowed.

Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho dances around him to start but gets sent outside and mounted. Back in and Jericho’s crossbody is countered into a World’s Strongest Slam. A gorilla press lets Goldberg crotch him on the top rope and they head outside, only to have Goldberg spear the barricade by mistake. Jericho has a target and missile dropkicks the shoulder before bending it around the ropes. Goldberg is bleeding from the top of his head but is still able to knock Jericho out of the air with a jumping knee.

Both guys are down but Goldberg walks into another armbar to give Jericho a breather. The Lionsault connects for two, only to have Chris dive into a powerslam. Goldberg is able to hit the spear as the fans tell him he sucks. The Jackhammer doesn’t work because of the arm though so Jericho grabs the Walls of Jericho, only to be easily escaped. Back up and another spear sets up the Jackhammer to put Jericho away at 10:55.

Rating: D+. You could feel a lot of the Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page match from Halloween Havoc 1998 in here with the arm injury but minus any real chance for Goldberg to lose. Jericho was great but not exactly someone you could buy taking Goldberg down, at least not in 2003. Goldberg was clearly missing a lot of the intensity he had back in WCW, though he was still way ahead of most people anyway.

There’s a pig pen set up in the arena for the final event in the Redneck Triathlon.

It’s not that simple though as Bischoff spins a wheel to determine the final event and it’s…..a sing-off? Austin is ticked because he sucks but Bischoff claims to be great.

We recap Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels, which is over Shawn telling Ric that he could beat HHH. Flair got close to winning and Shawn tried to make Ric believe he was still the best. Ric agreed to a match with Flair at Bad Blood but Ric went full on heel again and said Shawn was just a Ric Flair wannabe. They’re building this up as a battle of the generations and the second biggest match of the show.

Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair

Feeling out process to start with Shawn easily strutting away from Ric before they hit the mat for some quick amateur stuff. A clothesline puts Ric on the floor and Shawn dives over the top to take him out. We hit the headlock back inside before Ric gets in a shot to the knee to take over. Ric drops knees to the front and back of the knee and it’s already time for the Figure Four. Shawn finally gets to the ropes so Ric gets in a quick shoving match with the referee.

Back up and Shawn gets in an enziguri so JR name drops Antonio Inoki. Flair is up first and goes to the top, only to get slammed right back down of course. It’s good to see that some things never change. Sweet Chin Music is countered but Shawn counters the counter into a small package for two. For a little poetic justice, Flair gets caught in a Figure Four so he pokes Shawn in the eye for the break. They trade rollups for two each before a bad looking superplex drops Flair.

Since we’ve been having a good wrestling match for eleven minutes, let’s bring in a table. Shawn puts him on said table but here’s Randy Orton (also of Evolution), only to be superkicked down so Shawn can dive off the top and through the table on the floor. Ric’s back is badly cut as Shawn sends him back inside where Ric kicks both Shawn and the referee low. Shawn is up first and nails Sweet Chin Music, only to have Orton come in and blast Michaels in the head with a chair to give Flair the pin at 14:29.

Rating: B. This was good stuff until they brought in the table which just felt so out of place. I get the idea of pushing Orton as the big deal and it’s better than pushing either of the guys in the match, but they really could have cut out the entire table spot as well as the first Orton run-in. That being said, these two can both still have one heck of a match, which is really impressive when Flair is in his early fifties here.

It’s time for the third round of the Redneck Triathlon and Bischoff sings his own theme song. Austin pops up on screen to accuse Bischoff of lip synching and demands that he sing the real thing. Bischoff sings and Austin cringes so let’s spin one more time. The result is Pig Pen Fun, meaning you have to throw your opponent in a pig pin. Austin finally comes out and stomps Bischoff down before giving him a Stunner.

Bischoff is thrown into the mud and a lot of beer is consumed. This ate up ten minutes, putting the total time spent on this at roughly twenty eight minutes, or over a third of the total wrestling time on this show. And for what? To have Austin humiliate Bischoff, just like he does almost weekly? That’s really the best they can come up with? It doesn’t help that the announcers were flat out saying Bischoff would have something to screw with Austin tomorrow night on Raw.

Long recap of HHH vs. Kevin Nash, which is built around Nash being a guy who happens to be there and getting a title shot as a result. Clearly there was NO ONE more deserving than him either right? Mick Foley is guest referee because he’s hardcore enough to be in the Cell with these two. This gets the full music video treatment, which is likely to be more action packed than the match itself.

Raw World Title: Kevin Nash vs. HHH

Nash is challenging and it’s inside the Cell with Mick Foley as guest referee. Nash kicks the champ in the face to start and sends him out to the floor. Something like a Stunner across the top rope stops Nash’s momentum (work with me here) and Foley is knocked over. Thankfully that goes nowhere so Nash clotheslines HHH out to the floor. HHH is whipped into the cage a few times before a side slam gets two back inside. They’re not exactly lighting up the world right now.

Nash hits him in the ribs with a chair and takes it back outside. They back into a cameraman who actually says “pardon me” as he gets away. Well at least some people are polite. Nash throws the steps at HHH but only hits the cage wall. HHH grabs the cage to prevent a Jackknife on the floor and it’s time to grab a toolbox. Instead of hitting Nash with the metal toolbox, HHH hits him in the knee with a hammer. Well there’s some logic to that.

A hammer to the head knocks Nash down (not out of course) but Foley takes it away from HHH and shoves him down. Nash is busted so HHH gouges at the cut with a screwdriver. That’s fine with Nash who comes back with a barbed wire 2×4 to the head and the champ is busted as well. A wooden crate to the face puts Nash down again but HHH brings in the steps, only to have Nash trip him up to send the champ face first into the steel.

HHH is just gushing blood and he accidentally hits Foley with a chair to bust the referee open as well. Foley is fine enough to pull out Mr. Socko, only to have Nash accidentally knock him down with the steps. The Pedigree is countered into a catapult to send HHH into the barbed wire, setting up the Jackknife for a very close two. Everyone is down but HHH gets the sledgehammer to blast Nash, which STILL isn’t enough to keep him down. The Pedigree does though, allowing HHH to retain at 21:04.

Rating: D. The action wasn’t the worst but at the end of the day, there’s no reason for most of the fans to get invested in a glorified triple threat match between a boring, self obsessed champion, a mostly retired big man who can’t move, and Mick Foley who wishes he could still do this stuff and would give the fans everything he had as referee. A lot of the stuff here was downright goofy, including Nash barely selling a sledgehammer to the head but going down to a Pedigree seconds later.

At the end of the day though, HHH vs. Kevin Nash is not an interesting main event in 2003, no matter what gimmick they’re using. The story was lame and the match had almost no expectations coming in. It’s not the worst match in the world but it would have had to be a masterpiece to justify giving it this spot on this show with the reaction the build was receiving. In other words, it was perfect for this time period.

Flair and Orton come out to celebrate to end the show.

Overall Rating: F. Like I said, that Triathlon took up about half an hour of the show and they STILL ended at 10:32pm EST. With half an hour added on for a stupid segment, they still had two hours of regular wrestling (73 minutes from bell to bell that is). I get that this is the first ever solo brand show but I don’t buy the idea that this is the best they could do. Just a hunch but maybe having any of the first four matches break eight minutes might do the show some good. If you can’t fill in a show for three hours, don’t advertise it as such.

Having thirty minutes dedicated to a series of unfunny comedy segments (including the one where an eighty year old woman in her underwear sat on a man’s chest before being knocked out by Steve Austin) is unacceptable, especially when the show ends early and the wrestling is this poor. This is one of the least interesting and borderline embarrassing shows I’ve ever seen and it’s widely considered one of the worst shows ever. Absolute disaster here and a horrible sign going forward.

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