WWE PPV Flashbacks: Bad Blood (6/15/03) - "The Flagship Brand Goes Solo"

Submitted by Mpmcc91 on June 5, 2015 - 11:55pm
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Bad Blood
June 15, 2003
Compaq Center, Houston, TX

In the summer of 2003, the WWE took the next step in fully implementing the brand extension. With Raw and Smackdown now being their own shows for over a year, the decision was made for all but the big four PPVs to be brand exclusive, with Raw getting the first chance to show its efforts in the second ever Bad Blood event, the first of which took place all the way back in 1997 and saw Shawn Michaels battle the Undertaker in the original Hell in a Cell match. In a fitting move, the Cell is featured on this night as well, with the rivalry between Triple H and Kevin Nash over the World Heavyweight Championship to culminate in the demonic structure. To add a bit of interest to the feud, Mick Foley was announced as the special guest referee. Of course, Foley had been retired by Triple H in that same structure back in 2000. Now, since we had a Raw exclusive UK show a week or so before this event, we'll be seeing a lot of repeat matches on the show, although obviously this was the more important one as far as implications go. So then, lets dive into the first proper solo PPV outing of the flagship brand.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91 and share your thoughts.

The opening video package is all about the Triple H/Kevin Nash, Jericho/Goldberg and Austin/Bischoff rivalries which will all be featured on the show. After the opening pyro, we are welcomed by the usual Raw broadcast team of Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

Dudley Boyz vs Rodney Mack & Christopher Nowinski w/Theodore Long
Our opening contest sees the continuation of the issues between the Dudley Boyz and Thugging & Bugging Enterprises that we saw back at Insurrextion. Of course this all started with Rodney Mack being victorious against both Spike and Bubba Ray Dudley in "White Boy Challenges" held on Raw, thanks in part to the returning Christopher Nowinski who despite being caucasian joined up with Long's racially focused stable. On the Raw prior to this show, the feud continued with Rodney Mack picking up a victory over D-Von Dudley. The racial overtones continued from there as earlier in the night on Heat, Theodore Long approached D-Von and asked why his half brother always told him to get the tables. Of course, nobody expected the Dudley Boyz would split after reuniting less than a year prior coming off failed singles runs, but D-Von's pondering of the question gave the match another twist in the storyline, which effectively ended following this match. As far as the match goes, it was a fairly basic opener. On a dual brand PPV, this probably wouldn't have even made the card, but we need stuff to fill in time now that only half the roster is in the house. The announcers put over Rodney Mack big time during the match, as he is actually undefeated at this point. I can't remember when that ended, but it is strange considering this would probably be his peak as far as PPV was concerned. The Dudley Boyz are over as always, and they were just buying their time with this feud before making their way back into the tag title picture. The heels use double teaming tactics to gain the advantage illegally as the match goes on, but its really nothing all that exciting. Nowinski still has his facial mask by the way, and he attempts to hit Bubba with it, but that leads to the Dudley Boyz coming back when Bubba ducks and shoves Mack into Nowinski. They go for the Whazzup drop and Bubba tells D-Von to get the tables as usual. That brings Long into things though and he tries to get D-Von to reconsider. From there, Bubba is caught off guard by a shot from the mask by Nowinski, which he follows up with by pinning Bubba at 7:13 to give the heels the victory. The result is a bit of a surprise considering which team would stick around going forward, but it seems Mack & Nowinski were being set up to be players in the division at the time. Plans would be derailed shortly after this when Nowinski would suffer a career ending concussion which led to him founding an institute that conducted research into the health risks in contact sports. Mack would continue on for a while, but would become an afterthought to a new addition to Long's stable later in the year. A basic tag match overall that could have been on Raw.
Grade: *1/2

From there we go to some footage from Raw of Austin and Bischoff deciding on the stipulation for the second round in their Redneck Triathlon competition tonight - its a pie eating contest. The first round was decided on Heat and is a burping contest, and is held backstage now, conducted by Terri. Bischoff does some regular burps, while Austin's are obviously edited in sound effects and are longer and louder than natural. Austin wins after three burping rounds, making the score 1-0 to the Stone Cold one. A bit long but I get that they needed to fill in time on this show.

Scott Steiner vs Test
Our first singles match of the night is a rematch from Insurrextion as the issues between Test and Scott Steiner continue since their falling out as reluctant tag partners over the past month. With Test mistreating Stacy with each passing week, she ultimately dumped him on an episode of Raw. Test responded by telling her that their personal relationship may be over, but he was still obligated to manage him. This led to Scott Steiner, who had recently been coming to Stacy's aid, interrupting. Eric Bischoff announced that the two would face off at Bad Blood in a match where Stacy's managerial contract would be on the line, thus Stacy had a chance to get away from her ex-boyfriend. On the Raw before the show however, Test had the last laugh as he ambushed Steiner and then told Stacy that after he did the same on Sunday, she would be forced to continue to serve as his manager. The feud was just getting started here, but the change back to a heel attitude for Test was suited as he was great at portraying the sleazebag in this storyline. Steiner has now settled into the midcard after his failed main event run, but he hasn't really improved his limited ring work either. As a result, this is another basic match from the Raw brand. Stacy gets her own entrance and looks on from ringside for this by the way. Steiner has yet another embarrassing moment right from the outset as he attempts to jump up off the apron onto Test, only to slip and barely graze his opponent and landing face first. Test takes control from there with his power offence, but also spends much of the match yelling abuse at Stacy. When Steiner comes back, Test uses his manager as a human shield after she tried to slap Test after exposing a turnbuckle. Stacy ducks though, which allows Steiner to take Test down, but he comes back with a Big Boot for the near fall. Unable to put Big Poppa Pump away on his own, Test ends up going for a chair, but Stacy stops him from using it. He shoves her down but Steiner takes the opportunity to deliver a Steiner Flatliner for the victory at 6:27. Steiner celebrates his victory with Stacy afterwards, and she has a happy ending as she gets away from Test...for now.
Grade: *1/4

We go backstage to Austin and Bischoff again from here as they discuss the pie eating contest later on. Bischoff has a group of ladies with him, and Austin says Bischoff can eat the "pie" first, provided that Austin can choose the lady. That round is later on.

WWE Intercontinental Championship:
Christian (c) vs Booker T

Another rematch from Insurrextion next with the first championship match of the night taking place. Obviously this goes back to way in which Christian cheated to win the Intercontinental Championship back in the battle royal at Judgment Day, throwing Booker over the top once he had already been eliminated without the ref seeing anything. The following night on Raw, Christian teamed up with Jericho to battle Kane & Rob Van Dam for the tag titles, but Booker got involved and ran the heels off, looking for retribution on Christian. Two weeks later, Christian stepped in to host an episode of Jericho's Highlight Reel, naming it the Peep Show. His guest was The Rock in a surprise appearance. Jericho and Christian would attack Rock, which led to Booker T making the save for the Great One. Tensions between Booker and Christian continued to build heading into Bad Blood and on the final Raw before the PPV, the two competed in a Spinarooni contest. Christian would actually bust out some entertaining moves, but in the end he laid Booker out for the last laugh heading into the PPV. As I said back at Insurrextion, these two were on different paths at the time. Booker was on the way down the card after his World title shot at Mania, while Christian was embarking upon his hottest singles push of his career thus far and was really growing into his role as the conniving I.C champion that would do anything to hold onto the belt. That is the story of this match here as well. The actual action is fairly basic, something that I'm getting used to saying about this show, but its definitely better than the first two matches. The two men go back and forth, but Booker ends up building momentum and busts out the Scissor Kick. Christian ends up rolling to the outside though, and he grabs his title belt and attempts to leave and take a count out loss. The referee won't have any of that though and he says that if Christian doesn't return to ringside, he will forfeit the title to Booker. Christian returns to the ring and instead nails Booker with the belt to get intentionally disqualified at 7:55. Booker wins the match, but not the title as a result. I get the ending fitting Christian's character, but I really think Booker should have got the win here. He hadn't had a great track record on PPV for a while now, and being in his home state, a win would have been a good moment for the fans and some payback for the previous month. As it would turn out, he would end up winning the title in a rematch on Raw about a month later, so that makes me think the switch could have been done here even more. Overall, decent stuff but nothing to go out of the way for by any means. A slightly better showing than Insurrextion though. The reign of Christian continues in cheap fashion.
Grade: **1/2

We see a brief shot of Kevin Nash backstage preparing for the main event later on, before heading back into the arena with Jerry Lawler in the ring. Its time for the pie eating contest. By the waym its a fancy way of saying oral sex for those who don't realise. Bischoff is out first, and his eager to get started, but Austin says he promised that he could pick the woman. Bischoff was under the impression that Austin was going to choose one of the women from earlier, but that all too familiar music hits and out comes Mae Young! Bischoff reluctantly kisses her, but Austin says its a pie eating contest, not a kissing contest! Bischoff doesn't want to do it, so Mae delivers a low blow and ends up giving him a Bronco Buster in the corner to the delight of Austin and the crowd. Austin decides to forfeit the round after all, much to the anger of Bischoff after what he was put through and he gives a Stunner to Mae Young instead, something the crowd didn't react to all that positively.

We get a brief video package highlighting the pending debut of Gail Kim. She would win the Women's Championship in her first match on Raw shortly after this show. From there, Jonathan Coachman gets a word with La Resistance backstage, who cut their usual promo running down America.

World Tag Team Championship:
Rob Van Dam & Kane (c) vs La Resistance

The rematches continue with our next title match of the night as the new heel tandem on the block continues to set their sights on the tag titles, while the current champions have been having issues in recent weeks. This all started when Sylvain Grenier defeated RVD in a flag match on Raw, a victory that earned La Resistance a shot at the straps at this show. The following week, the French duo continued their winning ways as Rene Dupree defeated Kane in a major upset. Thats where the problems started to really surface for the champions, as co-GM Steve Austin confronted Kane and told him he wanted to see the monster that Kane used to be resurface. Kane refused to fight back against Austin's verbal teardown, which led to the Rattlesnake delivering a stunner to the Big Red Machine. On the Raw before the PPV, RVD got some momentum back for his team as he defeated Dupree in singles action, but as La Resistance beat him down afterwards, Kane was nowhere to be seen. Later in the night RVD confronted Kane and tore into him for not making the save, while Kane was preoccupied on other thoughts. The seeds were obviously being planted for a split of the current champions, and with a new heel duo on the scene, this was the stage to do the title switch. The match is okay, but its another case of the action just being there rather than being a special match to watch the PPV for. RVD takes the fight to the challengers initially but is ultimately the victim of double teaming as La Resistance work him over. Kane gets the hot tag and cleans house afterwards though. Just as the champions look to be coming back however, RVD accidentally nails Kane off a plancha over the top when La Res get out of the way. With Kane down, the numbers game takes over again, and the heels hit a double spinebuster on RVD, with Sylvain getting the pin at 5:49. La Resistance are the new champions and take over as the top heel team on the brand over the summer, while Kane and RVD's tensions will escalate.
Grade: **

Up next we have a video package highlighting the Goldberg/Jericho feud that has been building since Rock's departure.

Goldberg vs Chris Jericho
Our next match of the night has some personal animosity mixed in, as there was legit heat between Jericho and Goldberg stemming from their days in WCW where Goldberg refused to work with Jericho due to him not being perceived as on his level at the time. In fact, Jericho actually got into a brawl with Goldberg behind the scenes shortly after his arrival in the WWE a few months prior to this show. As far as the actual storyline leading to this match goes, it all started on an episode of Raw when Goldberg was ambushed by a mystery attacker in a vehicle in the parking lot. Despite the attempted hit and run, Goldberg managed to compete in his steel cage match against Christian later that night. The following week, co-GM Austin attempted to solve the mystery of who was behind the ambush, and he ultimately discovered the driver had been Lance Storm. Storm admitted that somebody had put him up to the attack but refused to reveal who. Later that evening, Goldberg defeated Storm and beat him up until he finally revealed that the mastermind was none other than Chris Jericho. The next week, Jericho hosted an edition of the Highlight Reel and explained that he resented Goldberg due to their history in WCW and still had a problem with him in the WWE. He went on to challenge Goldberg to a match at the PPV, but when Goldberg confronted Y2J, Jericho blinded him with pepper spray and took him down with a Spear. In the weeks that followed, Jericho added further fuel to the fire as he took shots at Goldberg, and on the Raw before the PPV assaulted him with a steel chair. Anyway, this was a good follow up feud for Goldberg although his crowd reaction is still mixed, with Jericho getting a fair share of cheers despite his solid heel work at this time. Goldberg's whole run in the company is weird, especially with the way he was not even on the past two shows after defeating Rock at Backlash. He comes into this one strong though, absolutely dominating Y2J at the beginning, but things take a turn when Jericho avoids a spear and sends Goldberg into the crowd barricade as a result. That spot is fairly common now, but to my knowledge this was the first PPV on which it occurred, so it was an impressive visual at the time. From there, the story being told sees Jericho work over the injured arm of his opponent, with some loud Y2J chants from the crowd. Despite being known as a dominant powerhouse, Goldberg sells the injury well throughout the beating before coming back and trading offence with his opponent. In the end, Goldberg's momentum pays off, as he ultimately puts Jericho away with a Spear, followed by the Jackhammer for the victory at 10:55. A solid showing, but again not earth shattering. The feud was a good way to continue to establish Goldberg in the WWE setting as he defeats a credible opponent before setting his sights on the World title from here. Jericho continues on doing what he is doing at the moment.
Grade: **3/4

We go to the wheel backstage once again to find out the stipulation for the final round of the redneck triathlon. It ends up being a singing contest, and while Bischoff is happy with this, Austin thinks he might be in trouble. From there we get a video package for the Shawn/Flair match.

Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair
Our next match sees two legendary figures on the Raw roster facing off in what was something of a dream match, despite Flair obviously no longer being at the peak of his career at this point in time. As I mentioned in the last review, there was actually a tease of a Flair face turn for a few weeks going into this show. That started when Shawn confronted Flair the night after Judgment Day and told him that he didn't need to follow Triple H around, and that he should be proving that he was still the man. Flair seemingly took that advice to heart as he was set to face Triple H for the World title. Triple H had picked Flair as his opponent on a night where all titles were on the line, with the intention of having Flair lay down for him, but Flair instead took the fight to the Game in a memorable match that had the crowd behind the Nature Boy. Triple H was ultimately the winner of the match, but after Raw went off the air, the roster held a tribute to Flair, an act which Flair credits as being the moment that finally restored his confidence in himself after the horrid way he was treated in the final years of WCW. The following week, Shawn Michaels congratulated Flair on his performance against Triple H and it seemed the two legends were on the same page. They decided to face off in a match that night, but were interrupted by Eric Bischoff who said the match would take place at the PPV, and instead the two would team up against Triple H in a handicap match later in the evening. That was where Flair's true colours were shown as the Nature Boy attacked Michaels and joined Triple H in putting a beating on the Showstopper. Flair explained his actions by claiming Michaels was not in his league. The following week, Shawn responded that he was going to take Flair out for his betrayal at the PPV, setting the stage for this encounter. Of course, years later these two would have a far more well known match. This match doesn't reach the level of that one, but its still a very good showing by two icons, and easily the best match of the night. The crowd reaction is split almost 50-50 for the two legends and you can see the confidence exuding out of the Nature Boy again. The action starts out with some mat exchanges, with Flair going on offence from there as he targets the leg of his opponent. After taking some punishment from Flair, Shawn starts to come back and we get some more back and forth action, whilst Flair attempts to resort to his cheap tactics like using the tights. Shawn ends up delivering a superplex to Flair from the top and goes to the outside to bring a table into play. The recently returned Randy Orton makes an appearance however, and attempts to interfere on his Evolution partner and mentor's behalf, only to take a superkick for his effort. With Orton incapacitated, Michaels then puts Flair onto the set up table and splashes him through. Back in the ring, HBK looks to continue his offence, but Flair goes low and ends up taking down both Michaels and the ref. Nonetheless, Shawn comes backs and after an elbow drop sets up for a serving of Sweet Chin Music. As soon as he connects however, Randy Orton comes back in and nails Michaels with a chair, before placing Flair on top to give the pinfall victory to the Nature Boy at 14:18. Good stuff from these guys that could have been a classic with more time. That would come down the track in a couple of years. I liked the ending in particular, with the rub going to Orton, who from here would begin to establish his Legend Killer persona, and Evolution would finally take off after a shaky start.
Grade: ***3/4

Up next, we have the finals of the redneck triathlon - the singing contest. Eric Bischoff makes his way out to the ring first and decides he is going to perform his own entrance music. The music starts up, but Austin discovers he is lip synching, and from the back orders him to sing properly. He lets Bischoff embarrass himself by butchering the song before saying that he can't sing either and thinks they should just spin the wheel a final time. Austin spins the wheel and it comes up as a pigpen match! Austin makes his way to ringside as Bischoff freaks out and tries to leave. Austin stops him in his tracks and drags his co-GM partner to a pigpen set up by the entrance. He tosses Bischoff into the manure filled enclosure and is officially declared as the winner of the triathlon. This was a fun segment and on its own would have been fine rather than having the contest drag on all night. As I've said though, the depleted Raw roster meant there was a need to fill time on the show.

Up next, we get a video package for the Hell in a Cell main event.

World Heavyweight Championship - Hell in a Cell:
Triple H (c) vs Kevin Nash
Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley

Our main event of the evening serves as the culmination of the three month long rivalry between former friends Triple H and Kevin Nash over the World Heavyweight Championship. Back at Judgment Day, Triple H got himself intentionally disqualified to save his title against Nash. The night after on Raw, Nash attacked Triple H after his World title defence against Ric Flair. Moments later, Austin announced that Triple H would have to defend his title against Nash one more time at Bad Blood, this time inside Hell in a Cell. The following week, Nash was beat down by Evolution, with the returning Randy Orton joining in as well. Nash fired back a week later however as he teamed with Shawn Michaels and the Hurricane to defeat all three active members of Evolution in a tag team match. After the victory, Nash sent a final message to the Game by laying him out with a Jackknife Powerbomb. Finally on the Raw before the PPV, it was revealed that no referee was willing to step inside the cell to officiate the PPV match, especially as Tim White's career had been ended the last time the Game was inside the structure. Austin announced that there was only one man crazy enough to officiate the match, and for the first time since late 2001, Mick Foley made his way out to a huge pop. Foley vowed to call the match down the middle despite his history with Triple H, but Triple H interrupted and got into a brawl with the Hardcore Legend inside the cell to hype the PPV title match, with Kevin Nash also getting involved before Raw went off the air. So the Nash/HHH feud had really played out by this point, but the injection of Foley and the cell itself definitely made things more interesting here. It was great seeing Foley back as over a year had passed since he left the company on a sour note. He gets a far bigger pop than Nash as well. His involvement with Triple H would lead to an angle the following night on Raw that would really have major implications for another star in Evolution down the line, but we'll cover that eventually. Speaking of those issues, Triple H gets in Foley's face right from the outset of the match. Nash then joins the mix and we kick things off with a slow pace as expected from the past encounters between these guys. Unlike their past few matches though, this is at least solid, with the cell and Foley making up for the lack of interest in Nash as a main event face at this stage in his career. Weapons are brought into play and this turns into a bloody war, with the Game even using a screwdriver, as well as his trademark sledgehammer to punish the challenger. The barbed wire bat also makes an appearance, and Nash uses it to his advantage, Jackknifing the champion onto it and following up by busting him open with it. The two competitors are not the only ones who end up bleeding though, as after getting into a few altercations with Foley throughout the match over the use of weapons, the Game busts the guest official open with a chair shot as well. Foley doesn't appreciate that however, and he unleashes Mr Socko to a big pop. Triple H gets out of it with a low blow from there, but Nash goes on offence and almost puts the champ away with another successful Jackknife. With far more face challengers than heels to justify a title change however, Triple H comes back and finally puts Nash away with a Pedigree after a bloody war at 21:01. A surprisingly decent match to cap off what has otherwise been a very meh feud. The use of the weapons definitely helped things out as they didn't have to show off any athleticism or anything of the sort. Triple H conquers another foe with a new challenger looming ahead over the summer from here. The show goes off the air as Flair and Orton help the bloody champion to his feet in victory.
Grade: ***1/4

FINAL THOUGHTS:
The first proper brand exclusive PPV was an opportunity for Raw to show what it could do on a solo three hour PPV. As it turned out, the event only just passed the two and a half hour mark and all up was a below average show. Michaels/Flair stole the show, while the main event was much better than expected to be. From there we had an average undercard with a whole heap of filler in the redneck triathlon mixed in as well. Overall the show just felt like a stacked up episode of Raw rather than a PPV, but thats something we might see a bit of on these brand exclusive shows over the next few years. The show did serve to set up fresh things over the summer however, as the three big matches blew those feuds off, and we also got new things kicked off such as the growing tension between Kane and RVD, and the return of Randy Orton, both of which would be key components of the show as year continued. It wasn't a terrible show, just a below average one. Coming off seeing most of these matches at Insurrextion just prior to this PPV probably affected my enjoyment as well. Next time we'll see what Smackdown can deliver in response.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Ric Flair - the confidence was restored and he put on a very good showing here with a fellow legend.
2. Shawn Michaels - the Showstopper steals the show once again. He'd returned to the full time schedule around this time and would deliver many more classics.
3. Triple H/Kevin Nash (tie) - a bit of a shocker to see them in the awards list, but they put on a main event that surpassed the low expectations they had set in their previous encounters. The fact that it only just surpassed the *** mark was an indication of Raw in mid 2003 though. An honourable mention goes out to Mick Foley for his involvement in their match as well.

FINAL GRADE: 4 out of 10

ALL TIME PERFORMANCE TALLY:
What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1.

Steve Austin = 113
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 79
The Rock = 75
Triple H = 67
Kurt Angle = 47
Mick Foley = 38
Chris Jericho = 32
Undertaker = 31
Chris Benoit = 31
Randy Savage = 28
Hulk Hogan = 25
Owen Hart = 21
Edge = 19
X-Pac = 18
Jeff Hardy = 16
Kevin Nash = 16
Christian = 15
Matt Hardy = 14
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Brock Lesnar = 11
Ric Flair = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 10
Eddie Guerrero = 10
Jim Neidhart = 7
Bubba Ray Dudley = 7
D-Von Dudley = 7
Rob Van Dam = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Shane McMahon = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Rikishi = 4
Kane = 4
Chavo Guerrero = 4
Shelton Benjamin = 4
Charlie Haas = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Chyna = 3
Tajiri = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Rey Mysterio = 2
Trish Stratus = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Test = 1
Big Show = 1
Dean Malenko = 1
Scotty 2 Hotty = 1
Rhyno = 1
Jazz = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @Mpmcc91. Thanks for reading!



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