PPV REVIEW: WWE Bad Blood 2003

June 15, 2003
Compaq Center, Houston, Texas

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Event Poster

WWE Bad Blood 2003 is often cited as the company's first Raw-only PPV. If you want to be all pedantic about it, it wasn't. Insurrextion 2002 was technically the first WWE Raw-only PPV, but since most fans don't count those UK PPVS as anything important, it's Bad Blood that usually gets the honor.

With that little bit of nit-picking out of the way, let's head down to Houston, Texas, to see Kevin Nash clash with Triple H inside Hell in a Cell, Shawn Michaels take on Ric Flair without telling him he loved him, and more.

Bad Blood Runs Deep

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called all the action

Our opening video focussed on three main raw rivalries:

Eric Bischoff and Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and Goldberg, and Triple H and Kevin Nash.

While focussing on their recent actions, the video told us that these feuds ran deep, hinting at / but never outright saying / that Austin’s beef with Eric might have something to do with the latter firing him from WCW while Goldberg and Jericho’s also had real-life issues back in their time in Turnerland.

Jim Ross then gave an impassioned welcome to Bad Blood as he and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler got set to call the action.

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) vs.Christopher Nowinski & Rodney Mack (w/ Theodore Long)

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - The Dudley Boyz

On the pre-show episode of Heat, Theodore Long’s stable of Christopher Nowinski, Rodney Mack, and Jazz had confronted D’Von Dudley.

The former reverend hadn’t taken too kindly to it, but when Nowinski asked D’Von why he always took orders from his white brother when it came time to get the tables, Dudley did at least stop and think.

In the ring, the two teams delivered a decent opening contest.

The Dudley Boyz were now well behind the glory days of tearing it up with Edge, Christian, and The Hardy Boyz, but they’d gotten their routine down to an artform now and went through it from one trademark, crowd-popping spot to the next without it ever seeming forced.

Towards the finish, Bubba Ray Dudley ordered his brother to get the wood. Long hopped up on the apron to confront DVon, who hesitated for barely a moment before scaring off the future Smackdown GM.

In the resulting confusion, Nowinski used his face mask to hit Bubba behind the referee’s back to pick up the win
Your Winners: Christopher Nowinski & Rodney Mack

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Terri declares Steve Austin the winner of a burping contest against Eric Bischoff

Out in the back, Terri officiated over round one of the Redneck Triathlon between Raw co-General Managers Stone Cold Steve Austin & Eric Bischoff.

Each man had three burps each to emerge victorious, though each of their attempts were so loud and ridiculously exaggerated that they were obviously fake.

Not that this was a bad thing, the absolute absurdity of it and the fact that the burps were clearly piped in made it funny in a “this is so dumb it’s comical”
Kind of way.

Winner Gets Stacy Keibler as a Manager
Test vs. Scott Steiner

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Stacy Keibler looks like she just smelled a fart

Stacy Keibler was more over than both of the men fighting for her services, so she got her own entrance and then sat at ringside as Test and Scott Steiner gave us the best match they were capable of delivering given their ability at the time.

Test's character work as the arrogant and misogynistic heel was on point and far surpassed his in-ring talent, while, at this stage of his career, Scott Steiner made a smart move to rely more on his Big Poppa Pumpisms than taking his opponent to suplex city.

Throw in Stacy's involvement, and what you had here was a fun match which served its purpose well and ended when Steiner hit Test with a Flatliner to secure the three-count and the services of the lovely Stacy.

This was never going to be a classic, but it certainly worked for what it was.
Your Winner: Scott Steiner

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Austin and Bischoff prepare to eat pie

Out in the back, Eric Bischoff and Steve Austin prepared for round 2 of thieir redneck triathlon; a pie-eating contest.

Bischoff had, naively, assumed this to be a traditional pie-eating contest, only for Austin to reveal that rather than blueberry, cherry, or chocolate, the type of pie they'd be eating was poontang pie.

After that revelation, Bischoff had been out and picked up four young beauties to serve as the pie, and argued that as a result, he should go first.

Offering a counter-argument, Stone Cold insisted that since they were in his home state of Texas, he should go first.

The two went back and forth on this because, you know, who wants slopppy seconds? 

Eventually, however, Austin relented and agreed that Bischoff could go first as long as he -Austin- got to pick "which flavor of pie" Uncle Eric got to eat.

I've never seen this show before as I was taking a break from wrestling in 2003, but I feel like I can almost guarantee that Austin picks some fat, ugly woman rather than one of the four beauties and we're all supposed to find it hilarious.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. Booker T

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Christian takes control of Booker T

Chrisitan had "stolen" the Intercontinental Championship by cheating his way to victory in a battle royal for the vacant title back at Judgement Day 2003.

Since then, he'd been on a roll as an "underserving champion" who constantly cheated and fluked his way to victory.

Tonight was no exception.

As they often did, he and Booker T put on a good, solid match that was the best thing on the card up to this point.

Then, after an enjoyable back-and-forth contest, the champion found himself at risk of losing, so he grabbed his belt and high-tailed it up the ramp, only for referee Jack Doan to warn him that he'd forfeit the championship if he didn't make it back before the count of 10.

Begrudgingly obeying the referee's orders, Christian returned to the ring but then smashed Booker in the face with the gold, getting himself DQ'd.

It was a solid match, though it did make you wonder why Doan was happy to strip Chrsitian of the title for getting intentionally counted out but not for getting intentionally disqualified.
Your Winner via DQ: Booker T (Christian retains the title)

Out in the back, Kevin Nash taped up his wrists ready for his upcoming match with Triple H. 

As I've mentioned many times, I was a big Diesel fan back when I was 11 years-old, so a part of me popped to see him with the initials "BDC" emblazed on his top.

The Redneck Triathlon: Round 2

OK, so I was wrong about the big, fat heffer thing.

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff

Jerry Lawler announced that we'd have the pie-eating contest right here in the middle of the ring and brought out both men for the proceedings to begin.

Austin then teased Bischoff about liking "mature women," which -if you'd ever seen any wrestling in the last 5 years leading up to Badd Blood '03- immedietly told you that we'd be getting an appearance from Mae Young.

Not that she appeared right away. Austin teased some more, drawing this out for much longer than necessary before bringing out the grappling granny.

Naturally, Bischoff was reluctant to go down on Mae, but also didn't want to forfeit. 

Not that he'd have a choice.

As Sleazy E psyched himself up in the corner, Young kicked him in the bollocks, stripped down to a thong and suspenders, and gave Bischoff a bronco buster for the ages.

When it was his turn, Stone Cold simply forfeited by booting Mae in the tummy and giving her a stunner.

This whole thing went far too long and was nowhere near as entertaining as it was meant to be, though I did laugh out loud at Austin stunning Mae Young.

A word with La Resistance

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Coach interviews La Resistance

After a look back at Raw, when Kane failed to come to the aid of his fellow tag champion Rob Van Dam, Jonathan Coachman interviewed the duo's upcoming opponents, La Resistance.

Sylvain Grenier and René Duprée said nothing about the match itself, instead telling Coach that George W. Bush was a buffoon but French president Jacques Chirac was awesome.

Alright then, way to get me excited about your tag match, I suppose.

WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE World Tag Team Champions Kane & Rob Van Dam vs. La Resistance (Sylvain Grenier & René Duprée)

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - La Resistance won the tag team titles

Kane and RVD may not have been on the page, but they still gave a good effort against the young La Resistance.

This wasn't a bad match by any stretch, but it wasn't all that impressive either. It felt more like a reasonable attempt at a time-filler on Raw than a high-quality pay per view match, but if that's the worst I have to say about it then it can't have been too terrible.

After just under 10 minutes of average-at-best action, RVD went flying over the top rope looking to hit the challengers but nailing his own partner instead.

At that point, La Resistance dragged Van Dam back in the ring, hit him with a double-flapjack and won the titles.
Your Winners and New World Tag Team Champions: La Resitance

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho

I'm including this Goldberg/Jericho graphic here because I just want to show you how poorly done the graphics were for Bad Blood 2003.

WWE normally excelled in the presentation department. 

Say what you want about the quality of their product, their presentation was usually better than any other wrestling company around, but these graphics -and indeed the entire visual appearance of this show- made it look like a low-rent indie fed with graphics done by the time-keeper's brother on Gimp.

Anyway, this graphic led us to a look back at how the rivalry between Goldberg and Chris Jericho.

This all started with Lance Storm trying to run Goldberg over, only to be forced by Austin to face him in a match. Goldberg naturally destroyed Storm, who threw his former Thrillseeker's buddy under the bus and confessed that Jericho had put him up to the attack.

Jericho admitted that yes, he hated Golberg, and his reasons all dated back to their time together in WCW when Big Bill thought himself too big of a star to face The Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla.

The two would finally meet next.

Chris Jericho vs. Goldberg

There's no getting away from the fact that Goldberg's first run in WWE was a disaster.

Despite being pushed as a superstar babyface, the fans had booed him out of the building when he faced The Rock back at Backlash, a reception that was so hostile and -to WWE Creative at least- so unexpected that he hadn't been seen on PPV again until tonight.

Not that it made much difference.

The fans still hated Big Bad Bill, partly because he was a WCW guy, but mostly because his limited ability was more exposed in WWE than it ever had been in WCW.

Thankfully, the ever-talented Chris Jericho was on hand to help Goldberg through, and the result was the best match you were going to get out of a monster babyface who had not much to offer and even less appeal.

After a reasonably good match, Goldberg got the win by hitting Jericho with a jackhammer.

It was a result that was never in question, and it certainly didn't harm Y2J's career much, but didn't do much to endear Billy Boy to the WWE faithful either.
Your Winner: Bill Goldberg

After the match, Goldberg argued with a Jericho fan at ringside before cameras showed us a pig pen that had been set up at ringside.

Somewhere in the back, Triple H was probably having traumatic flashbacks about Henry Godwin.

JR told us that the pig pen was for the third and final round of the Redneck Triathlon, which was weird because when Austin and Bischoff spun the wheel backstage, it revealed that the tie-breaker round would be a sing off.

This made Bischoff happy and Austin mad because everyone -including Stone Cold himself- agreed that The Texas Rattlesnake was not a very good singer.

Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair

Prior to the match, we got a look back at the rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair.

It was an emotionally charged video which really made this match seem like a huge deal, and that can only be a good thing.

Flair came out first, followed by Michaels who, wrestling in his home state of Texas, wore the very same tights we’d last seen him wear at the 1997 Royal Rumble.

OK, so they may not have been the exact same pair, but they certainly had the exact same design.

The match was excellent, and I don’t know why anybody would say otherwise.

Michaels -who had grown up idolising Flair before going on to become just as big of a star in his own right- took the fight to Nature Boy in the early going, slapping him around the ring with gusto and getting the better of him at every opportunity.

As the intensity built, Flair managed to take out HBK’s leg and worked over that for a while before the action spilled to the outside.

There, Randy Orton popped up but immediately got decapitated by a Michaels super kick before The Showstopper put Flair on a table and lept off the top rope onto him.

That proved to be the spot of the match, especially when Naitch’ sold it like it he’d just been shot.

As the match kept getting better and better, Earl Hebner took a tumble.

HBK went for the sweet chin music (albeit without confessing his love for Nature Boy) but Orton re-emerged, drilled Shawn with a chair and draped a lifeless Nature Boy over him.

Three seconds later, this one was done.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

That was a great match and I don’t even mind the interference finish if it allowed the HBK vs. Evolution feud to continue.

Redneck Triathlon: Round 3

This was supposed to be the singing contest, with Bischoff first Milli Vinillying to his own theme song before Austin demanded he sang for real.

It turned out Eric was just as bad at singing as Austin was, so Stone Cold decided they were going to have “pig pen fun,” which equated to Austin hitting his co-gm with a stunner and throwing him in the pig pen.

I’m normally pretty lenient with WWE comedy stuff, but this whole Redneck Triathlon stuff was pretty awful.

Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Kevin Nash

Special referee: Mick Foley

WWE Bad Blood 2003 - Mick Foley refereed the Hell in a Cell match between Kevin Nash and Triple H

Prior to the match, we got a look back at the build up to this match which involved all the referees refusing to officiate it because Triple H always destroyed them like the time he ended Tim White’s career back at Judgement Day 2002.

This led to Mick Foley being introduced as the special referee because he was the only person crazy enough to do it.

This led to a big brawl between HHH and Foley because apparently, that was more interesting than anything The Game was doing with Nash.

I can see why people may have written this match off because the first half was pretty tedious.

Eventually, however, it picked up and became a compelling blood match for the ages.

That’s exactly what I liked about this one.

Unlike other Hell in a Cell encounters, it didn’t rely on huge stunts and insane spots.

It just involved the champ and challenger beating each other -and the referee- to a bloody pulp.

It was captivating, it was compelling, and it was brutally entertaining.

By the end, all three men (yes, Foley included) looked like they’d been involved in a car wreck and it was kind of a miracle that a battered and bloody HHH was able to hit the match-winning pedigree.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

Post-match, The Game’s Evolution buddies Ric Flair and Randy Orton came down to help the lifeless Champion out of the ring as Badd Blood 2003 went off the air.

This show wasn’t as bad as some people might have you believe but it wasn’t that great either.

The Redneck Triathlon stuff started humorously enough but soon descended into a never-ending dumbness that was beneath both men. Honestly, I’m a fan of both Austin and Bischoff, but what they gave us here was embarrassingly painful.

Match-wise, only the blood-soaked main event and the HBK/Flair match really stood out, with the latter earning match of the night honours.

If you’re going to watch this show, maybe don’t set your expectations too high but be sure to enjoy the last two matches.

Other 2003 pro wrestling reviews: 

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