“A night of gold for Evolution”
The last WWE PPV of 2003 was a Raw brand show called Armageddon. I originally wrote this review in 2003. My writing style was a bit different back then, but everything is covered in detail. I don’t feel like doing a re-write especially since this was a bad show. I will add current thoughts in orange font for every match.
TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, FL
The show begins with Lillian Garcia singing the national anthem. A fan has a sign that says: “Saddam Hussein: The Smell in the Cell.” That got a good pop. Big “USA” chants from the crowd.
Awesome video package as always focusing on Goldberg, Triple H and Kane. I feel redundant in saying that every month.
Mark Henry (w/Theodore Long) vs. Booker T
(Pre-match notes: Henry was the heel and Booker was the face.)
Henry comes out first. Booker is next. Crowd is pretty hot. Booker clubs to start, Henry shoves him off. Henry gets a clothesline. Bodyslam. Closeup of his face. Does he have eyes? Is that what Mae Young loved about him? Clothesline sends Booker to the floor. Booker walks away, kicks him in the gut. Henry throws him back first into the steel steps. Booker fights out with kicks. He goes back into the ring and slingshots over the top to the floor onto Henry. Back in the ring, missile dropkick by Booker gets two. Theodore Long distracts Booker, Henry decks Book from behind. Backbreaker by Henry gets two. Henry digs his knee into Booker’s back while pulling back on his leg. After about 30 seconds, Booker breaks it by raking the eyes. He chokes Booker’s neck over the ropes. Henry charges and hits his move where he jumps on the guy’s back, and then slides onto the floor. That gets two. I think that may be Henry’s only good offensive move. Chinlock by Henry. Booker fights out. Henry clubs him in the back.
Booker goes into the ropes and Henry gives him a bearhug. This is now the third rest hold by Henry in about three minutes of actual time. Booker fights out with punches. Into the ropes, but Henry decks him with a clothesline. Legdrop by Henry misses due to Booker rolling out of the way. Kick to the face by Book, then a heel hick. Into the ropes, Booker gets a forearm, kick to the gut and scissors kick that gets him two. Henry sends him into the ropes and hits a spinebuster for two. Into the turnbuckle, splash by Henry. Into the other turnbuckle, clothesline by Henry. Legdrop gets two. I guess he doesn’t have the power of Hulkamania. Henry picks him up and hits the worst powerbomb ever! Man, that was horrid. Thankfully, Book landed on his back. That gets two. Booker fights back with a scissors kick for the three count. According to JR, Booker had the fighting spirit just like the US troops in Iraq. Good call JR. Match went 10:20.
Winner by pinfall: Booker T.
Analysis: * Match was pretty boring. Has Mark Henry ever had a good match? No. I’m a little shocked that Booker won, but I am happy about it.
(Bad choice for an opener. An opener should have some exciting moments. A Mark Henry match is not a good way to start a show.)
Backstage, Eric Bischoff talks to Jericho & Christian. Christian says they’ll beat the girls. Bischoff says that Lita is only there so they can beat her. Jericho wants to say something, but gets interrupted. Mick Foley is on his way to the ring.
(Foley was the co-GM of Raw at this point. He replaced Steve Austin in that role.)
Mick Foley says that he usually watches WWE PPVs from his buddy Chris’ house in Seaford, New York, but tonight he’s in Orlando. (Cheap pop.) He says he has good news. The petition to bring back Steve Austin now has one million signatures. He says that shows how much the fans want Austin back. He asks if there’s somebody in the back who could celebrate with him. Stacy Keibler comes out in a cheerleader outfit. She does cartwheels, the fans pop for her panties. She tells Mick to do a cartwheel. He does and falls on his back. He holds Stacy to a big pop. Evolution music strikes up.
Randy Orton, in ring gear, comes out with Ric Flair. Stacy has left the area now. Randy hopes Mick didn’t hurt his hand doing the cartwheel because he’s got to count the fall in his title match. Randy says Austin is out because he got the winning fall at Survivor Series. Foley says he thinks Orton wants to fight, so RVD comes out to start the match.
(The Orton/Foley rivalry built up for several months leading to a tag match at WrestleMania 20 and an awesome singles match between them at Backlash 2004.)
Intercontinental Title Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton (w/Ric Flair)
Mick Foley is the ref. Orton punches him in the gut to start. RVD hits a legsweep to send Orton to the ground. Headlock by Orton reversed into a headscissors by RVD. They exchange a bunch of moves, ducking and countering. Nice beginning. Orton gets a knee to the gut. Into the ropes, RVD flips over and hits a sidekick. Orton whips him into the corner, RVD hits a low dropkick to the gut. To the top, RVD gets a big cross body for two. Orton on the apron, punch misses and RVD kicks him down to the ground. RVD with a cannonball over the top sends Orton down. He rolls him back in for a springboard legdrop. Whip misses for Orton. RVD to the top facing the crowd, Orton shoves him and RVD eats chin on the barricade. Huge dropkick on the floor by Orton. Back in the ring, Orton gets two. Punch to the back of the head by Orton gets two. JR called it “high risk.” Uh, it was just a punch. He chokes him over the middle rope. More choking from Orton. Foley pulls him off at the five count. He yells at Flair on the floor. Orton stomps away in the corner. Hard whip into the turnbuckle by Orton. Into the ropes, crossbody by RVD. Orton gets a clothesline.
Orton rams RVD’s head into the turnbuckle a few times. That gets two. Reverse chinlock by Orton. Orton gets a punch to the face. He covers RVD with his back because he’s not only cocky, but stupid as well. Dropkick to the face gets two. Another reverse chinlock by Orton. I guess he was watching Mark Henry’s match closely. Into the ropes, Van Dam gets a rollup for two. Split legged moonsault gets two. Orton reverses something, then picks him up in a powerbomb position. He lets him go and catches him on the way down with a neckbreaker for two. Good move there. Another reverse chinlock for Orton. The announcers are talking about what Flair teaches Orton. Apparently he didn’t teach him different rest holds. There are other moves to work a person’s neck. This chinlock lasts about 90 seconds before RVD fights out with punches. He gets a spinning kick. RVD gets the ten punches in the corner. Monkey flip out of the corner. Springboard side kick again. Clothesline, corner whip and Northern Lights suplex gets RVD two. To the floor, he hangs Orton on the security wall to set him up for the patented spinning kick off the apron to the floor. RVD tries to walk in through the ropes, Orton grabs him and gives him a hard DDT. He gets two the first time because RVD is “under the rope” even though he really missed it. Another two. Off the ropes, Orton misses a knee drop. RVD gets a rollup with his legs on. Another sidekick for RVD. Seated dropkick to the face. Rolling Thunder, kick to the face of Flair and Orton gets a quick rollup for two. RVD goes for a kick, Orton holds it and RVD hits another sidekick. How many sidekicks has he done this match? I can remember at least five. RVD to the top, Flair on the apron with the brass knucks and Foley decks him. Orton dropkicks him on the top rope. They both get up and Orton hits the RKO for the one…two…three. The match went about 17:59.
Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Randy Orton
After the match, Flair put the belt on Orton as they celebrated the victory.
Analysis: **1/2 Match was pretty good, but lacked the extra stuff needed to make it really good. It was sloppy at some points and effective at others. It just wasn’t as exciting as it could have been.
(Orton was only 23 years old at the time. He was clearly a star on the rise that WWE had high hopes for. This was the first of many titles he would win in his long WWE career.)
Long video package to set up Jericho and Christian vs. Trish and Lita with Jericho telling Trish he can’t stop thinking about her. They even shared a kiss backstage. Christian also got Lita her job back after she was fired. It was later revealed that Christian and Jericho had a Loonie ($1 Canadian) bet about who could “hook” up with their girl first.
Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Trish Stratus & Lita
(Pre-match notes: Jericho and Christian were heels while Trish and Lita were faces.)
JR says he doesn’t like this match happening. Jericho comes out first, followed by Christian, Lita and Trish. The mood of the match is that Christian is anxious to fight while Jericho is hesitant about it all.
Trish and Jericho start it out. He blocks a right slap, so she gets a left handed one. He’s protecting herself. He won’t hit her, but he bends her over the knee and slaps her in the butt. He yells at her to calm down. Trish comes after him with a headscissors takedown. She gets a dropkick. Jericho pushes her off, tagging in Christian. He shoves Lita into the corner. He grabs her hands, so she headbutts him in the face. He chases her to the floor, she kicks him in the back when they get in the ring. Charge by Christian, monkey flip by Lita. Headscissors gets two for Lita. She goes into the ropes and Jericho decks her in the back. Bodyslam by Lita, tag in to Jericho. He body slams her. He steps on her hair, then pulls her up by her arms. Jericho powerbomb attempt is reversed into a hurricanrana by Lita for two. He tags in Christian. He pulls off Lita’s top, leaving her in her bra. He taunts her with the shirt. She gets a low blow while the referee was looking at Jericho for some reason. Crowd is going nuts right now.
Lita tags in Trish. Forearms to Christian, then the Trish kick. Stratusfaction reversed. He charges at her, she moves out and he goes to the floor. Jericho goes to the top, Lita crotches him. Trish handspring headscissors is blocked by Christian. Christian goes at her, she ducks it and Christian nails Jericho. She gets a rollup on Christian for two. Jericho takes Lita down. Jericho comes back in the ring. He picks up Trish, looking at her in the eye. Jericho comes up from behind, rolls up Trish and gets the pinfall after about 8 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jericho & Christian
After the match, Christian celebrates like it’s a huge win. Jericho “looks like he cares,” says JR.
Analysis: *1/2 A unique match that was mostly for storyline purposes rather than match quality. The crowd was pumped for all of it. Christian rules. The Jericho/Trish thing isn’t over obviously.
(The man on woman violence was something that WWE did occasionally in this era, but they won't do it today. I’m glad that they don’t do man on woman matches anymore. There was a big storyline heading into the match that they played up well. It was a weird match to watch. The story led to a big Jericho vs. Christian match at WrestleMania 20.)
A video package aired to set up Shawn Michaels vs. Batista. It was set up at Survivor Series one month earlier when Batista cost Shawn Michaels a win with a Batista Bomb. It led to Steve Austin losing his spot as co-GM of Raw. Batista bragged about costing Austin his job, so that set up this match.
Shawn Michaels vs. Batista (w/Ric Flair)
(Pre-match notes: Michaels was the face and Batista was the heel.)
Shawn Michaels out first. Can he carry Batista to a good match? I hope so. Batista comes out with Ric Flair in his corner. JR says that this is Shawn’s 68th PPV appearance.
HBK’s speed gets him the early advantage with some punches. Batista kicks him the gut. Knee to the face. Face into the turnbuckle. HBK blocks a kick, chops him in the chest. He slides to the floor between Batista’s legs. Flair comes at him, but gets decked by HBK. Flair rules. HBK goes back in. Flair talks strategy with Batista. Back in the ring, powerslam by Batista is reversed by HBK. Off the topes, he ducks a couple of clotheslines before Batista finally drills him with one. That gets two. Suplex by Batista gets another two. Hard whip into the corner gets two for Batista. Shawn sells it like he’s dead. Batista digs his elbow into Shawn’s face. Knee to the back. Another hard whip into the corner by Batista. Blatant choke by Batista. Shawn fights out with chops, but Batista gets a knee to the gut. Into the corner, big boot for HBK. Batista catches him, then sets him up on the top rope. Shawn elbows him back down. Shawn’s waiting for the moonsault. Batista takes about five seconds to get up. The moonsault gets two for HBK. Into the ropes, flying forearm by HBK. Shawn kips up, but eats a clothesline. Whip in to the turnbuckle, Shawn is upside down. He tosses Shawn to the floor. Out on the floor, he whips HBK back first into the steel steps.
Back in the ring, Batista covers for two. Back up, forearm to the face gets two for Batista. Backbreaker by Batista, then he holds him over his knee in a submission type move. Shawn fights out with punches. Batista gets an elbow to the gut for two. Shawn flips out of a backbreaker attempt, they exchange blows that Shawn wins. Kick to the face, flying forearm and kip up by HBK. Atomic drop, chop to the throat and Batista grabs him by the throat. He goes to choke him in the air like he did on Raw. HBK reverses with a DDT-like maneuver. To the top, HBK hits the best top rope elbow in the business. Crowd is going bonkers now. The band is warming up. Superkick attempt is blocked by Batista. He hits a huge spinebuster that literally sucks the wind out of the crowd. Another spinebuster. Flair tells him to “show the body” so he flexes. Batista picks him up for the powerbomb, but HBK slides out and hits the Superkick. He falls on top for the one…two…three! Match went about 12:28. When Michaels’ covered him his own shoulders were down as well, but it was not mentioned
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Batista’s still in the ring because he’s pissed off about losing.
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with Michaels continuing to fight back. He was phenomenal for the second straight PPV. Batista’s power game was focused on a lot while Michaels sold great as he always did. Fun match that got the crowd into the action from the very beginning.
(Good match as usual from Michaels on a PPV. This was early in Batista’s career and he was still learning a lot about putting matches together. He improved over the next couple of years.)
Maven vs. Matt Hardy is supposed to be next, but Batista is still in the ring.
Maven vs. Matt Hardy
(Pre-match notes: Maven was the face and Hardy was the heel.)
Maven comes out first, then Matt. They fight in the aisle. Hardy wins that fight. He throws Maven into the ring where Batista beats the hell out of him. He gets a stiff powerbomb. Then a sitout powerbomb. Two refs tend to Maven. Flair & Batista leave while Hardy looks on at the carnage with a sinister smirk on his face. The refs and trainer tell Hardy to back off from Maven.
The referee tells Lillian Garcia that the Maven/Hardy match is off. She tells the crowd. Matt shoves the referees away, jumps on top of Maven and counts the three count for himself.
Matt grabs the microphone: “And the winner is, Matt Hardy, V1…uhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Hardy rules. King says he was the wrestler, referee and ring announcer in the same match.
(No match. Hardy’s character was an annoying type of heel and he was entertaining here. Maven didn’t get very far in his WWE career.)
Backstage, Batista is going nuts. “This is bullshit, Ric,” he says. Flair encourages him, saying he’s special. Flair tells him he’s still the man and to keep his head held high. They walk off.
World Tag Team Titles Turmoil Match: Dudleys vs. La Resistance vs. Hurricane & Rosey vs. Lance Storm & Val Venis vs. Scott Steiner & Test vs. Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade
Rules of the match are two teams start. Whenever a team loses they are out of the match and go to the back. A new team will replace them in the ring.
La Resistance vs. Hurricane & Rosey to start. Rosey hits his big spinning sideslam on Rob Conway. He chucks Dupree to the ground. Spinebuster to Conway. In the corner, Rosey stands there while Hurricane leaps off his shoulders with a splash. That gets the pinfall on Conway. La Resistance is out.
Jindrak & Cade are up next. They come in through the crowd. Jindrak rolls up Hurricane to eliminate them. Hurricane & Rosey are out. That fall took about eight seconds.
Venis & Storm are next. Venis and Jindrak exchange a bunch of moves to start it out. I missed a few minutes of the action. When I came back, Venis & Storm were eliminated.
Dudleys are next. Bubba starts out against Cade. Clothesline by Cade. Bubba reverses a corner whip, slams him into the turnbuckle upside down in the Tree of Woe position. Tag in to D’Von, shoulderblock gets two. Cade tags in Jindrak. Flying shoulder gets two for D’Von. Jindrak gets a clothesline for two. Cade gets a cheapshot to the head. Cade gets tagged in. Snapmare into a chinlock. Cade misses something off the top. D’Von gets a hot tag to Bubba. Big hiplock on Jindrak, body drop on Cade. He stacks them up in the corner, splashes both guys. He tags in D’Von. He’s left with Jindrak in the ring. Cade fights with Bubba on the floor, sending him into the steps. Rollup for Jindrak gets him two. D’Von gets a rollup for two. Bubba comes back in, takes out Cade. The Dudleys hit 3D on Jindrak for the victory. Cade & Jindrak are out.
Test & Steiner are in now. Steiner throws D’Von into the steps. Test works over Bubba with a whip into the corner. They double team on Bubba. Steiner hits a release side suplex. Test gets Bubba on the floor, slamming Bubba’s left arm into the ringpost three times. Back in, Steiner hits the clothesline and the muscle drop elbow. He drapes him over the middle rope neck first, then knees him in the back. Test punches him in the face. Steiner gets an armbar on Bubba’s injured left arm. Tag to Test, who stomps Bubba down. Armbar by Test. Bubba fights out, but Test wins that and props him on the top turnbuckle. Superplex by Test is blocked. He gets shoved down. Bubba hits his senton (back first) splash onto Test. Tag in to D’Von, who clears house on both guys. Big shoulder to Test, neckbreaker to Steiner. Kick to Test’s gut, neckbreaker for two. Test fights back and Steiner hits a T-Bone suplex. Test gets a side slam for two. Steiner decks Bubba. Test goes for the boot on D’Von, but he ducks and the boot drills Steiner in the mush. Full Nelson slam gets two while he puts his feet on the ropes. Test rolls out to the ground and grabs the title and chair. He throws the belt in the ring. Ref grabs it. He drills D’Von with a chair. He covers for two because Bubba pulls him back in. Bubba hits the Bubba Bomb on Test for the three count. The whole turmoil match went 19 minutes.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Bischoff comes out to say that in order to win the match you have to beat ALL the teams. Bischoff says that Ric Flair and Batista are in the match as well. JR complained about it. So I guess…
Tag Team Titles: Dudley Boyz vs. Flair & Batista
Flair and Batista start out destroying them. Batista gets a powerbomb on D’Von while Flair puts Bubba in the figure four. Batista pins. Match is over after about 1 minute. The entire match went 20:48.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Ric Flair & Batista
The story here is that Evolution won the IC Title and Tag Titles in one night. Can they win the World Title? That was the story heading into the main event.
Analysis: ** Good match, but nothing amazing because the Raw tag division was lacking great teams. The last fall with Dudleys vs. Test & Steiner was fun. Surprising title change to end it.
(Long match featuring the tag teams that wasn’t very interesting. There just weren’t a lot of strong teams on Raw at the time. It was hard to make fans care about some of them. The ending angle with Flair & Batista leaving with the titles was interesting as a cheap ending.)
They mention the Smackdown troops going to Iraq. They show the press conference.
Another match added to the show. It’s Molly vs. Ivory.
Women’s Championship: Molly Holly vs. Ivory
(Pre-match notes: Molly was the heel and Ivory was the face that didn’t get much of a reaction.)
Is this Heat? Ivory gets a dropkick. Rollup by Ivory. Crowd is dead by this. To the top, Ivory hits a crossbody for two. No reaction. Slingshot sends Molly over the top to the floor. Ivory flips on her on the floor. Again, no reaction. Molly gets control, hits a cover for two. Northern Lights suplex for two. Armbar by Molly. When I say the crowd is dead, I mean dead. I understand they need to fill time, but is there nothing better than this? Molly gets another two. Ivory gets a chinlock. Nice shot of Ivory’s cleavage there. Another chinlock. Handspring elbow by Molly gets the first mild pop of the match. That gets two. Ivory slams her face first into the turnbuckle. Ivory rolls her up. Molly flips over, grabs the tight and wins the match after about 5 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Molly Holly
Analysis: 3/4* Boring match. Way to kill the crowd. Nobody cared when it started or ended.
(When you add a match with no storyline featuring characters without much heat it’s not going to do well. It was a time filler for five minutes that was very forgettable.)
A video package aired to set up Goldberg vs. Triple H vs. Kane. Goldberg won the World Title three months earlier at Unforgiven. He beat Triple H at Survivor Series. Triple H told Goldberg it wasn’t over and Kane was added to the mix.
World Heavyweight Championship: Goldberg vs. Kane vs. Triple H
(Pre-match notes: Goldberg was the face champion while Kane and Triple H were heels.)
Kane comes out first. Next up is Triple H, who was a 7-time World Champion heading into the match. Hunter’s entrance takes about three times as long as Kane’s. The last man out is Goldberg to a big ovation.
Long staredown to start. Kane’s facial expressions rule. The staring lasts for a good minute or so. Hunter jumps Goldberg from behind with a clothesline. Kane and Hunter work together to beat up on Goldberg. Lots of punching going on. Goldberg clotheslines HHH, but gets clotheslined by Kane. Into the ropes, shoulder block takes down Kane. Clothesline to HHH, powerslam on Kane. Clothesline to HHH that sends him to the floor. Kane sits up. He laughs at Goldberg. They trade punches that Kane wins thanks to an uppercut. Irish whip, clothesline by Kane. Short arm clothesline by Kane gets two. Kane’s suplex attempt is reversed into a neckbreaker by Goldberg. Goldy gets a big hiptoss on HHH. Uppercut to Goldberg by Kane followed by a sidewalk slam. To the top, Goldberg slams down Kane as if that was Ric Flair. Military press into a power slam on Hunter by Goldberg. He sets Kane up for a spear, but Kane boots him in the face. Kane hammers away at him. Hunter jumps in to choke on Goldy. Kane gets a big uppercut on Goldberg. Double suplex on Goldberg. Hunter taps Kane on the arm, giving him the thumbs up sign. Powerslam by Kane. Hunter pins him, but Kane pulls him off. He says: “think of Katie Vick. What would she do right now?” Okay, he never said that.
Goldberg back up, he gets ducks a clothesline from Kane and that clothesline hits Hunter, sending him to the floor. Kane with a stun gun on Goldberg. He signals for the chokeslam. Hunter comes in with a chair for Goldberg. He moves and it drills Kane in the head. Match is no DQ apparently. Goldberg sends HHH down. He puts the chair onto HHH’s ankle, but Kane stops Goldberg before he can do anything to Hunter. Kane tosses Goldberg into steel steps. Kane takes off the stuff that was on the Spanish announce table. He goes to Goldberg, but he blocks it. Goldberg goes to Jackhammer Kane through the table. Hunter blocks it with a chair to the ribs. Chokeslam through the table sends Goldberg sliding across the table. The table didn’t break. The Spanish announce table is more powerful now! Kane props Goldberg on the announce table. Hunter climbs the security wall, and then drops an elbow that puts Goldberg through the table finally. Kane stares at Hunter, who is holding the chair. Hunter drops the chair, then walks away. Kane goes after Goldberg. Hunter jumps him from behind. He tosses Kane into the steps. Pedigree attempt reversed into a back body drop by Kane. Back in the ring, boot to the face by Kane. Irish whip and a clothesline in the corner. Sidewalk slam by Kane. How many clotheslines have there been now? Kane to the top for, you guessed it, the top rope clothesline. Chokeslam blocked by the thumb to the eye. Hunter drops him with a DDT. Kane sits up. Neckbreaker by Hunter. He sits up again. Punch to the face, Kane laughs and decks him. Clothesline (again) over the top to the floor. They fight up the aisle with Kane winning. Tombstone attempt blocked. Kane hits a chokeslam on the floor. The ref tells him he has to pin in the ring.
Kane pulls Hunter down the ramp and then carries him into the ring literally. As he gets back in, Goldberg charges at him with the spear. All three guys are down. Goldberg covers Kane for two. Hunter broke it up. Goldberg decks Hunter with a big right. Kane trades blows with Goldberg. They all throw punches, won by Goldberg. Crowd is into it again. Double clothesline by Goldberg. Another spear on Kane. Spear to Hunter. Here comes Evolution to ringside, led by Orton & Flair. Goldberg fights them off. Another spear by Goldberg to HHH, this time it was weaker. Kane breaks it up at two. Goldberg starts to choke him, Kane grabs a choke of his own. It’s a duel choke-off. Hunter gets a low blow on Goldberg. Kane chokeslams Goldberg. Batista pulls Kane out. Hunter covers Goldberg for the one…two…three. Match went 19:28.
Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H
Analysis: ** Very slow, plodding match that lacked the kind of energy needed for a main event level match. It was boring for most of it. There wasn’t a sense of this being a main event or a big match. Also, there were WAY too many clotheslines in this match. Way too many repeated moves. It just kept going and going without any sort of order whatsoever.
(I think the word “boring” is an accurate description of it. They booked a triple threat because they had already done Goldberg vs. Triple H as a singles match twice, so doing it again would have been repetitive. I really liked Kane as a character at this point, but I didn’t expect him to win the match. Going into it I thought Triple H was a lock to win just because it was the end of the year and I figured Triple H would be in a big WrestleMania match. A match like this is an example of how limited Goldberg was even in his prime. He didn’t know how to put on good matches.)
The night ends as all four members of Evolution poses on the ramp with their titles. They have all the belts now.
The show has a run time of 2 hours, 34 minutes on WWE Network. In my live review I noted it was 2 hours, 36 minutes so they cut out two minutes.
(That is one of the shorter three hour PPVs in WWE history. They usually went about ten minutes longer than that.)
1. Shawn Michaels
2. Randy Orton
3. Rob Van Dam
4. Matt Hardy
5. Triple H
Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Batista (***1/4 out of five)
Worst Match: Molly Holly vs. Ivory (3/4*)
Show rating: 3.5 (out of 10)
I’m not shocked by the lack of match quality presented in this show. Going in it was obvious that the matchups were not ones that would lead to great matches. If you are into great wrestling like myself then this was not the show for you. If you’re more into storylines then maybe you would have liked this event more than I did.
The main event went too long for the type of match they had and at no point was I that interested in it.
Shawn Michaels gave Batista the best match he’s going to have. If you want a definition of what it means to carry another person to a match that was it right there. Once again, Shawn Michaels did his job exceptionally well.
The IC Title match was pretty good, but the inexperience of Orton shone through there. Van Dam was okay, which seems to be what I say about him every month. He never seems to be able to turn it up.
What’s the point of having a three hour Raw PPV if they can barely reach three hours? The women’s title match should not have been on here. The Maven/Hardy bit should not have been on here. The promo by Foley was not necessary. There was way too much filler and they still only made it to 10:36pm. Back at Bad Blood, the first Raw PPV, the event ended at around 10:30pm. Instead of three hour PPVs as promised, the fans are being treated to shows that barely go 2.5 hours. I hope people complain to WWE about this because it’s not something that they should continue. If they can’t get three hours then cut it back to two like they did in the In Your House days. It’s better than having this much filler on PPV.
When looking back at Armageddon 2003, I think I’ll remember it as a show that had a good build for a whole month, but ended up disappointing when it came to putting on a pay per view that was worth $30.
All in all, this show was well below average. And that’s probably being generous.
(Remember the days of paying $30 or more for a PPV? We are spoiled today, my friends. Don’t forget it.)
Next Up: Royal Rumble 2004.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org