PPV REVIEW: WWE Insurrextion 2003

WWE Insurrextion 2003 - Event Poster
June 7, 2003
Telewest Arena in Newcastle, England

WWE Insurrextion 2003 has the distinction of being the WWE Insurrextion 2003 has the distinction of being both the first Insurrextion to take place under the WWE name following the WWF vs. WWF lawsuit and also the last Insurrextion to take place ever. 

After this, WWE wouldn't return to the UK for a pay per view offering until Clash at the Castle in 2022. 

So how was their final British PPV for 19 years?

Let's go down to Newcastle to find out. 

We’re Going Through Changes

Tonight’s opening video talked all about change, focussing on recent developments such as the return of Kevin Nash and Stone Cold Steve Austin now co-managing Raw with Eric Bischoff.

WWE Insurrexion 2003 Review - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the action

It was a decent opening, but not one of WWE’s best.

With that done, Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to Newcastle for what would prove to be WWE’s last-ever UK exclusive PPV before sending to the ring for our opening bout.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Jazz (w/ Theodore Long) vs. Trish Stratus

This match, along with multiple variations of it (triple threats, four-ways etc.) had been done so many times by this point that your writer is kind of tired of talking about Trish Stratus vs. Jazz.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 - Jazz is ready to defend her Women's Championship

The match wasn’t terrible or anything, but for the better part of ten minutes, the two ladies did nothing that particular made you sit up and take note.

That is apart from one brief moment when Trish Stratus slapped her opponent in such a horribly weak-looking Boston crab that it made The Rock’s sharpshooter look positively crippling by comparison.

Speaking of weak, the end came when an angry Victoria ran in, distracting the referee so that old man Teddy Long could grab Trish and attempt to throw her into the corner.

Long’s attempt was so slow and feeble that Stratus pretty much had to hurl herself into the corner.

With Long out of the ring, Jazz made the cover and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner and Still WWE Women’s Champion: Jazz

Up next, we got a quick look back at Christian screwing Booker T out of the Intercontinental title back at Judgement Day 2003.

The two would meet next.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. Booker T

WWE Insurrexion 2003 Review - Christian

Thanks to the guy in the crowd with the “Christian is on crack” sign. I laughed at that one.

Booker T was in no mood for humour though. The stoic-faced superstar snatched the title belt from Christian and lifted it aloft, nodding in recognition that be was the real champion before locking up in attempt to prove it.

The match was, quite honestly, fantastic.

I’ve read three other reviews of this show and all seem to say this one wasn’t anything special, but personally I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of it.

As I’ve mentioned many times, the wrestlers usually toned things down a notch or two when they wrestled in the UK, but these two didn’t.

The match was solid, exciting and genuinely entertaining and I don’t know what more anyone could expect from them.

Towards the end, referee Jack Doan took a tumble. Booker knocked Christian down and got him with what would have been a three count had Doan been in the zone.

Instead, by the time the zebra got to make the count, the challenger could only get a two.

Christian then went for an Unprettier but Booker reversed it into a German Suplex into a roll-up, but the champion reversed it and got the win by holding onto the ropes like the flukey cheating heel that he was.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Christian

Out in the back, Stone Cold Steve Austin confronted Theodore along.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Stone Cold Steve Austin confronts Teddy Long

Punishing Long for getting involved in the women’s title match, Austin announced a change to the upcoming Dudley Boyz vs. Rodney Mack & Chris Nowinski, making it a six-man with Spike Dudley on his brothers’ side and Long himself as Mack & Nowinski’s partner.

I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere about Teddy Long being booked in a tag match, but I can’t think of it right now.

Kane then walked by and stared down Austin as he made his way to the entrance for our next contest.

Before that, we looked back to Raw where Austin had tried to motivate Kane, who had been on something of a downward spiral.

When encouraging Kane to be the same badass who beat him for the title in a first blood match at King of the Ring ‘98 didn’t work, Austin slapped the piss out of the Big Red Machine and encouraged him to hit him with a chokeslam.

When that didn’t work, Austin merely stunned the tag team champion.

WWE Insurrexion 2003 - RVD & Kane vs. La Resistance

I’m glad they showed that because the backstage stare down made zero sense otherwise.

WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE World Tag Team Champions Kane & RVD vs. (Sylvian Grenier & René Duprée)

Our third straight title match in a row began with La Resistance getting heat by claiming that the UK was as bad as the USA and they couldn’t wait to leave with the titles.

Unfortunately for them, they wouldn’t get that opportunity as Kane and RVD beat them in a decent match.

Though this was nothing out of the ordinary, it served its purpose well and got the crowds involved.

After a good effort, Kane hit double choke slams to the French men and RVD came off the top with a five-star frog splash for the win.
Your Winners and Still World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance

Out in the back, Goldust was interviewed by Al Snow of all people

I’m not sure when Al got relegated to this position, but here we are.

Al Snow interviews Goldust

Promoting his upcoming match with Rico, Goldust -who was going through his ‘I have a vocal stammer/Tourette’s/whatever’ phase yelled the word “tally whacker” several times before promising to beat the “tally ho” out of Rico.

This was far less funny than it meant to be, and not just because nobody in England uses the word “tally whacker.”

Rico vs. Goldust

This match was OK, but it was the sort of thing that was best left to whatever B-show WWE was running at the time rather than what was supposed to be a special event.

Not that Jim Ross seemed to think it was anything special.

The announcer spent part of the previous match joking with King about having a small penis. In this match, he randomly name-dropped James Bond character Pussy Galore out of nowhere seemingly just to get a rise out of Lawler.

To be fair, that was more interesting than anything going in the match, which ended when Goldie power slammed his way to victory.
Your Winner: Goldust

The match was followed by an emotional tribute to Classie Freddie Blassie who had recently passed.

In memory of Classie Freddie Blassie

On behalf of pencil-necked geeks everywhere, RIP Freddie, you were one of a kind.

The Highlight Reel with Eric Bischoff

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Jericho, Stone Cold, and Bischoff

Up next, Chris Jericho came and proved he’d done his research by calling the Newcastle crowd ‘tossers’ and referencing rival city Liverpool’s recent appointment as a European City of Culture.

He then brought out his buddy Eric Bischoff and the two continued to insult the live audience until Steve Austin showed up.

Stone Cold was really there to announce that tonight’s main event between Triple H and Kevin Nash was now a street fight, but he also had some hilarious banter with the two heels before offering them a beer.

“If you want to see Chris Jericho and Eric Bischoff drink a beer with Stone Cold
Steve Austin, give me a doo-wah-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-do!” Yelled Jericho in a line that made this fan laugh his ass off.

The crowd naturally obliged, beers were drank and the whole thing ended with a couple of predictable stunners.

This whole thing was fantastic.

All three men were on form and were clearly having a laugh, with Austin visibly making Jericho break character and laugh on several occasions.

Honestly, I bet that segment ends up being the best thing on the whole show.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Ric Flair and Triple H

Out in the back, Triple H and manager Ric Flair were understandably outraged at Austin’s announcement.

A quick look at the outside of the arena followed at the Insurrexion theme played.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but that theme was just a take on Machine Head by Bush.

Rodney Mack, Chris Nowinski, and Teddy Long vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von, Bubba, and Spike Dudley)

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - D'Von Dudley

This match was, like many UK PPV matches, just OK.

The heels did their job well but this one was all about The Dudleyz getting their trademark spots in and popping the crowd.

It was reasonable enough, but no better than anything you might’ve seen on Raw around this time.

The end came when Rodney Mack accidentally clotheslined Teddy Long. Spike pounced on Long.
Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz

Next, we got a look back at the rivalry between Test and Scott Steiner.

To recap, this revolved Test being an absolute misogynistic asshole to his manager Stacy Keibler and Steiner being the chivalrous gentleman wanting to protect her.

The two would meet with Stacy’s services on the line at Badd Blood in a few weeks, but first we had this.

Test vs. Scott Steiner

(Special referee: Val Venis)

Prior to the match, Val Venis surprised everyone by coming out in tight little shorts and a referee’s shirt.

After doing his usual “hello, ladies…” shtick, he next introduced our girl Stacy, who took it upon herself to be the ring announcer.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Stacy Keibler and Scott Steiner

The match itself was…well, I mean it was no better but no worse than you’d expect a Test/Steiner match to be.

The action was fine, while the involvement of Stacy and the whole storyline surrounding it made it a little more entertaining than it might have otherwise been.

At the finish, Test went to swing a chair at Steiner, but Stacy blocked it and Big Poppa Pump hit what I think was a reverse DDT for the one, the two, and the three.
Your Winner: Scott Steiner

Post match, Stacy celebrated with The Big Bad Booty Daddy.

Finally, we got the standard video package for HHH vs. Kevin Nash that i feel like I’ve already seen a thousand times.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Kevin Nash vs. Triple H

With that, it was on to our main event.

Street Fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Kevin Nash (w/ Shawn Michaels

The match started with a wild four-man brawl. The actual combatants fought inside the ring while Shawn Michaels took Ric Flair to the outside to duke it out with his upcoming Badd Blood opponent.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Earl Hebner warns Triple H and Kevin Nash

The contest was barely two minutes in when Nature Boy began gushing blood despite not being in the actual match.


Because he was Ric Flair and he couldn’t help himself.

Flair and Michaels then made their way to the back, leaving the spotlight on The Game and Kevin Nash who gave us a solid match with an overbooked finish.

Although not the best street fight you’ll ever see, I genuinely thought this was a good outing for the two Kliq members and was exactly on the kind of level that you’d expect for a UK-only PPV.

Towards the end, Earl Hebner (who had been bombarded with “You screwed Bret!” Chants all night despite it being six years since Survivor Series 1997) got knocked and took a nap so long you’d be forgiven for thinking somebody had slipped him a NyQuil.

The ref bump opened up an opportunity for HBK and Nature Boy to return to the ring, Nash to hit a powerbomb and cover HHH for an eight count until a second referee came in and delivered an official two count, and finally, for the champion to plant his opponent with a sledgehammer to the head for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

Afterwards, H and Naitch’, both covered in blood, made their way to the back having narrowly escaped with the title intact.

All in all, Insurrextion 2003 was a good show for what it was.

If this had been a major PPV meant for global audiences, I’d probably be marginally less favorable towards it as nobody needs to see Goldust vs. Rico on PPV…or probably at all for that matter.

But it wasn’t, this was a show catering to a live audience who really only got the chance to see WWE live once or twice a year at most, and by those standards, it delivered.

Although this Raw-brand card didn’t give us as many stand out matches as the Smackdown only Rebellion 2002 had months earlier, it was perfectly acceptable for a piece of throwaway entertainment.

Besides, that Austin/Bischoff/Jericho Highlight Reel segment was a joy, especially when you could see Steve and Chris clearly having fun and laughing at themselves and each other.

All in all, a fitting way to bring WWE’s run of UK-exclusive PPVs to an end.

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