The SmarK Rant For WWE Bad Blood 2003
The SmarK Rant for WWE Bad Blood 2003
– Man, I got HAMMERED on the Play-Per-View prediction contest over at www.stablewars.com this time around, getting nearly every match wrong to the point where it became a running joke throughout the night up to and including me predicting Nash kicking out of the Pedigree and being wrong about that too.
– Live from Whitney Houston, TX.
– Your hosts are JR & King. The worst thing about this split-PPV deal is having to listen to them for three hours now without Michael Cole and Tazz to break up the monotony.
– Opening match: The Dudley Boyz v. Chris Nowinski & Rodney Mack. Tragedy immediately strikes as Teddy Long stands at ringside as a manager instead of doing color and spewing accusations of haterizing. And aren’t they taking the “Why does D-Von always get the tables” thing from a Bill Simmons column a while back? I seem to remember someone making that joke a while ago. Might have been me, come to think of it. JR expects a very fast-paced, offensive minded intense matchup. And I expect the Canadian dollar to drop to 30 cents US any day now so I can retire on my advance. I don’t think either will happen. Nowinski takes D-Von down to start, but runs afoul of Bubba and gets headlocked. Bubba pounds away in the corner and awkwardly walks into a clothesline from the apron by Mack. He slugs it out with Nowinski and pounds away on both of the oppressed, and then dumps them. Nowinski comes back in and gets double-teamed and splashed by Bubba, which gives D-Von two. Why must D-Von aid in the oppression of his black brethren? They need to bring back the Mean Street Posse to back up Nowinski. A cheapshot from Mack turns the tide and he drops an elbow for two. Mack gets the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for two and Nowinski splashes him for two. Flying elbow misses and Bubba gets the hot tag and cleans house with elbows and dumps Mack. Sideslam for Nowinski gets two. Nowinski blocks the Bubbabomb, but walks into a boot and Bubba gets a crossbody for two. Nowinski takes a swing with the mask, but misses. Mack sneaks up with the cobra clutch, but Bubba reverses him to the Whazzup drop, and D-Von seems to have moral issues with getting the tables. Hey, remember when Bubba was going to turn heel and join Chief Morley for about three weeks until they forgot about it? Mack finally gets his mask shot in for the pin at 7:07. Total TV match that had no place on PPV. ** I guess they’re giving up on Mack’s single push already. And here Wade Keller wrote that inspiring article about how he could be challenging Goldberg for the World title after Summerslam.
– Round one of the Redneck Triathlon sees a burping contest between Austin and Bischoff. Did they actually write this on paper and think it would be a good idea? They trade pre-recorded burps (complete with mis-timed burp-synching) and Austin wins easily. Nothing like watching one of the all-time greats ease into retirement with dignity.
– Winner gets Stacy: Test v. Scott Steiner. Test is actually trying to act charismatic tonight. Maybe he’s high on maple syrup. Speaking of high, Steiner dives at Test and gets the first unintentional comedy spot of the night as he trips on the apron and falls flat on his face to the floor. Back in, elbowdrop and pushups follow (it’s hard to look cool after that miscue, though) and they brawl out again, which Test wins. Test is being all badass arrogant Canadian and stuff. He pounds away in the corner and does his own pushups while hitting on Stacy. He’s a PLAYA. Main Event Sleeper (someone call HHH!) but Steiner fights out and then walks into an elbow. Test goes up but gets caught with a slow-motion overhead suplex (with Steiner barely getting the rotation needed not to drop Test on his head), and Steiner makes the comeback with a powerslam and chops in the corner. Test comes back with the full-nelson slam, but Steiner ducks the big boot and gets the inverted DDT for two. Pumphandle slam gets two for Test. Test stops to show Stacy some Canadian lovin’, but he’s too much man for her and she slaps him away. Big boot gets two on Steiner. He goes for a chair and shoves Stacy away in the process, but hits himself with it and Steiner finishes with the downward spiral at 6:24. I don’t get the point of jobbing Test right after they finally found a storyline that allows him to work all fired up (or lit up, not that I’m making any accusations) and Steiner was his usual useless self. Maybe Test can find a nice Canadian girl to abuse now. *1/2
– Meanwhile, Bischoff introduces Austin to a bevy of women for the pie-eating contest. They’re never gonna let him live down the Gold Club thing.
– Intercontinental title: Christian v. Booker T. Booker wins a lockup and overpowers Christian, and they criss-cross into a Booker hiptoss and headlock. They work off that and Booker backdrops him for two, and ges the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for two. They head out and Booker hits the stairs, and Christian hits the chinlock in the ring. It’s here I notice the two guys in the front row dressed like Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Man, the celebrity endorsements are really getting sad these days. Christian goes up and lands in a flapjack, and both are out. Booker slugs away and gets a sideslam for two. That’s like the official transition move of this PPV. Sidekick gets two. Christian goes for the Unprettier, but Booker reverses to an inverted DDT for two. Booker’s rollup out of the corner is sloppily reversed by Christian for two. Christian Bottom gets two. Booker suckers him into an inside cradle for two. Christian tries to toss him, but Booker does a nice axe kick onto the top rope, and heads up with a missile dropkick that gets two. Harlem sidekick and Spinarooni set up the axe kick, but Christian ducks out and takes a walk. The ref does the usual “Get back in the ring by 10 or lose the title” deal, and Christian immediately decks Booker with the belt for the intentional DQ to retain at 7:52. Wow, they teased us with one retarded screwjob and then SWERVED us with another retarded screwjob. If I’m Booker, I develop the flu every time they go through Houston. Match had a two minute stretch with some nice stuff, but the rest was mostly a miss. **
– The second part of the Triathlon is the “pie-eating contest”, and since they not only can’t book a segment without throwing some juvenile double-entendre into it, but are also incapable of booking a segment without doing a bait-and-switch (visions of a 400-pound woman were dancing in our heads) we get Mae Young as Steve Austin’s hand-picked pie for Bischoff. You’d think they’d realize that the joke got old in 1999 (along with much of the people in the main event now) but just in case we don’t get that Bischoff is an EVIL BASTARD who dared raid the talents of Vince McMahon, Last Independent Spirit In Wrestling, he gets to not only make out with the decrepit old woman, but gets to endure a broncobuster from her as well. Which is apropos, because the entire segment was roughly akin to having…no, sorry, I can’t even use it as a metaphor without throwing up. I mean, really, who besides Vince McMahon can possibly find this entertaining and a better use of 10 minutes than, say, WRESTLING? How would you feel if you’re Ivory and Jazz and the agents were like “Sorry, girls, we had you penciled in for 10 minutes, but it turns out we need the time to do a skit that features Eric Bischoff being forced to perform cunnilingus on a 90-year old woman. But I think we can fit you in if the dwarf-tossing finals go short.” And even worse, although you’d think that two brutally stupid segments that add nothing to the show would be enough to convince the higher-ups that Kevin Dunn is a retard who should skip the middle-man and start producing “One Life to Live” instead of wrestling and thus save everyone the trouble of having his “vision” of what the sport should be forced on an unwilling audience every two months because he gets a bright idea about a worked burping contest on a $35 PPV while sitting on the toilet and reading Soap Opera Digest, there’s still ANOTHER one coming. And speaking of non-wrestling segments…
– RAW tag title match: Kane & RVD v. La Resistance. JR, master of unintentional irony, tries to refute the xenophobia of the French team by noting that anyone who doesn’t like America should just go back to their own country. Like rain on your wedding day, indeed. God bless you for giving me material enough for a lifetime, Jimbo. Rene Dupree wins a lockup to start and does some prancing. Note to the kids: Study some tapes of 1988 Rougeau Brothers. It can only help, honest. An intense shoving match between a stoner and a French guy follows (i.e., it’s like a slapfight in a gay pride parade) and RVD gets a quick cradle for two. Some double-teaming allows Dupree to get a DDT for two, as apparently RVD is already your face-in-peril. Punch punch kick kick in the heel corner and Dupree hits the chinlock. You’ll notice (or not, because really who cares?) that Dupree is doing much of the work here for his team. Hot tag to Kane, who unleashes the usual CLOTHESLINES OF DEATH and keeps up the sideslam motif for two. Always good to see the consistency of EVERYONE IN THE PROMOTION using the same move. Flying clothesline gets two. The match breaks down (as though it was ever unbroken to begin with) and Kane no-sells a double-neckbreaker and hits them with…wait for it…another clothesline. Kane brawls out with Grenier and Rob follows with a plancha that grazes Kane by mistake, and somehow this cripples the offensive onslaught of RVD and he falls victim to La Crepe at 5:46 to give the Evil French the belts. Totally heatless mess. Ѕ*
– Goldberg v. Chris Jericho. Funny how they have Goldberg, who they’re paying millions for and publicly denounced as disappointing in their conference call for the quarter, and yet they’re still pushing him over people who they DO kinda have faith in because, hey, they MIGHT suddenly figure out how to get him over if they keep pushing him hard enough. That’s WWE logic for ya. I mean, think about it – his entire sum total of use was a match with Steve Austin, and a match with Brock Lesnar. So what’s his first match in? The Rock. They tumble out to start and Jericho hides behind the ref for sanctuary, and then tries a cross-body, which goes badly. Goldberg fights off Jericho’s weak striking offense, and then presses him onto the top rope and kicks him out. He drops him on the railing and then tries a spear through it, but Jericho sidesteps it and Goldberg goes through the unforgiving, cold…uh…foam rubber. Well, it’s the thought that counts. JR is worried about a separated shoulder. Bah, Mel Gibson had TONS of separated shoulders in Lethal Weapon 2, and he STILL kicked that South African diplomat’s ass. Remember, kids: Movies don’t lie! Jericho dropkicks the shoulder and gets two. He stays on it, working right for some reason, perhaps feeling his Mexican roots, and an armbar takedown into a Herb Kunze armbar follows. You know, if they gave a crap about getting submissions over, this might mean something. Goldberg mistimes a kick on a rebounding Jericho to take over, and then shoulderblocks him down with the remaining good shoulder. A Bret Hart special puts Jericho down, but Jericho comes back with another armbar takedown for two. Goldberg takes him down with a judo throw, but Jericho dropkicks him again. Bulldog and Lionsault get two. See, why work on the arm for 10 minutes and then try to finish with a moonsault? Another Lionsault is sort of caught by Goldberg and he slams Jericho to set up another try at the spear. This one works, but he hurts his own shoulder doing it. Jackhammer is countered as Jericho hammers his jacks, and then it’s the Walls of Jericho, which Goldberg powers out of. Another spear sets up the jackhammer for the pin at 10:58. In other news, Jericho turns water into wine tomorrow. *** This was very reminiscent of the basic layout of DDP-Goldberg, down to the selling, but without Goldberg’s enthusiasm for the sport.
– Shawn Michaels v. Ric Flair. Strut off to start and Flair grabs a headlock. Flair seems to be free to Whoo tonight. Shawn slugs him down and also Whoos. I give the edge to Flair in the owl impersonation category. They work the mat and Flair makes the ropes and then does an awesome sell of a shot to the jaw, hopping on one leg as if knocked off-balance by it. Back to the ropes again, and Shawn slugs him down again and dumps him. He follows with a pescado and they head back in, where Flair starts chopping. Shawn goes back to the headlock, however, drawing some HARD chops from Flair. Shawn tries to hang with him, but he might as well be French. Flair clips him, way too early given the way a Flair Broomstick Match generally goes, and he works the knee in the corner. He then goes to a figure-four, but eschews the old-school groove by NOT yelling “NOW…WHOOO…WE GO TO SCHOOL!” Must have been cut when they snipped this from 30 minutes to 14. I mean, seriously though, if you’re gonna build this as a nostalgic meeting of two 80s legends, at least give me the traditional spots. Flair chops him down again and keeps working the leg. Shawn comes back with an enzuigiri and they cross lines of communication in the corner, but cover with a slugfest that is won by Shawn. Backdrop, but Shawn runs into an elbow and Flair goes up. You know what happens next. Flair blocks the superkick and goes for the figure-four, but Shawn counters to a small package for two, and his own figure-four. Flair quickly breaks with the old thumb to the eye. Super-weak ref bump and they do a double-reverse rollup sequence that gets two for both. Flair Flip and he goes up again, but gets caught with a clothesline coming down. Time to retire it for good, Ric. They head up and Shawn brings him down with a superplex and heads out to set up a table. That’s so unnecessary. I guess they just didn’t know how to work on their own and needed Johnny Ace’s guidance on how to build a match. Flair ends up going through the table via a flying splash from Shawn, who stops to fight off Randy Orton. Back in, Shawn gets two. Flair uses a rare DOUBLE NUTCRACKER to take out both the ref and Shawn (everyone except the Russian judges give it 6.0), but Shawn makes the comeback with the flying elbow. The superkick is interrupted with a shot to the head from Randy Orton’s Sweet Chair Music, and that gets the pin for Flair at 14:18. The result was completely unimportant – either guy winning wouldn’t matter – since the match was built on the promise of a half-hour classic, more or less. What they delivered was 10 minutes of a **** match and about *1/2 after the table spot, complete with a run-in screwjob finish, so we’ll call it ***. The big point was to hammer home the push of Orton, which is okay.
– The redneck triathlon finishes up as they start to do a singing contest, but Bischoff gets tossed into the pigpen to end it because Austin rigged the wheel. Why they are wasting time pushing Austin like this? Entertaining the fans in skits is one thing, but dedicating nearly 30 minutes of a PPV to drive home the Sledgehammer of Plot (AUSTIN AND BISCHOFF ARE ENEMIES) is WCW level stupid.
– Heck in a Cell: HHH v. Kevin Nash. For those curious about the mindset of the insane, HHH has told the writers that Hell in a Cell is “his” match at various points. They head out immediately and back in, and Nash slugs him down. And up again. HHH comes back with his own punches, but so does Nash. Ooo, COUNTER WRESTLING. Nash dumps him and they fight by the cage, but HHH goes into the post and gets whipped into the cage. OH MY GOD! IT’S BRUTAL! HORRIBLE! Oh, wait, sorry, I just flipped over to TNN and caught a commercial for “Stripperella” there. HHH takes a backdrop on the floor and they head back in as Slow Motion Theater continues. Nash unleashes the move of the night and gets two. Big Lazy Elbow and then Nash grabs a chair and hits HHH with it. They head out and do what appears to be prison rape in the corner of the cell, complete with homoerotic grunting, and then Nash tosses HHH into the stairs. Nash grabs said stairs and tosses them at him, but it misses and hits the wall of the cell. That normally, with non-crippled wrestlers, would be the signal to leave the cage and climb. Let’s all reflect on Kevin Nash trying to climb the cage and have a good laugh. HHH fights off a powerbomb on the floor and slugs away, and then finds a toolbox under the ring. And then in the true bit of genius, uses the ALUMINUM TRAY to go after Nash before deciding to use the ball peen hammer on the knee instead. HHH seems to have shrinkage issues with his sledgehammer. Back in the ring, Foley steals the hammer and picks a fight with HHH over it. What happened to “I’ll just be there to count”? HHH hammers away as Nash does a GIRLY bladejob. HHH then rubs his HAIR into the CAGE. You BASTARD! The only worthwhile thing on Nash is his head of hair, and you’re DESTROYING IT. JR calls the match cruel and unusual punishment. HHH then ups the ante by using a screwdriver. I bet when HHH called the spot Kevin thought it was time to stop for a drink. We get some indy-level stuff as HHH brutally rams the screwdriver into Nash’s head (with four sets of hands protecting it the whole way) and Nash seems to bleed LESS. Next up, the barbed-wire 2×4 (although not flaming, because I guess HHH didn’t want too many hints being dropped about him and Nash) but the vicious hand of irony slaps back and Nash gets the 2×4 and uses it for no good. HHH does a better job of bleeding and bumps for the piece of wood some more (and Flair was probably sitting in the back thinking that he could get a *** match out of it) as Nash makes the superhero comeback and drops HHH on the 2×4 with Snake Eyes. And then we all stand around. It finally gets two. The stairs come back in again and HHH leaves and hits him with an apple crate. An APPLE CRATE. Why not use a bag of popcorn while you’re at it? HHH finally whips out his sledgehammer, but Foley again sticks his nose in and takes it away. So HHH goes to Plan B by running at Nash with the stairs in a manner only useful for getting taken down, and indeed Nash uses a drop toehold for two. I’m just waiting for someone to pull out a pair of scissors and start running with them so JR can really hammer home the danger involved. HHH chairs both Nash and Foley (and really, can you blame him) and even Foley bleeds. But he retaliates by using the Mandible Sock on HHH (as, in a surreal moment, I have to stop and explain to a newer fan watching with us why this is supposed to work) but a low blow stops that. Nash knocks both of them down with the stairs and covers HHH, but Foley is out of it. He gets up but takes another bump into the cage, the best of the MATCH, and Nash counters a Pedigree into a catapult into the barbed wire to set up the Poochiebomb, which Foley charges into the ring to count a fast…two. All that was missing was Vince Russo adding a baseball bat shot for HHH to kick out of, too. And then, just to really hammer home the point, HHH recovers first and gets the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE after a sledgehammer shot, for the clean pin, with a slow count after one of HHH”s patented “Make the guy lay around for a minute” sells, at 21:01. Hunter and Big Kev are so exhausted that they cuddle, too tired to even 69, and bask in the afterglow. Isn’t that sweet. Evolution runs in for the beatdown on Foley afterwards. Some people were expecting this to be the worst HITC match ever, but really that’d be giving Nash too much credit for being able to move able his usual level of mediocrity in the big match. As it was, the cage itself wasn’t even a factor, and Foley’s participation only served to have him put over HHH yet again. I wouldn’t say it was good, but Nash lot, so I’ll be merciful. **1/2
The Bottom Line:
While certainly not the WORST PPV ever (or even of the year), it’s certainly one of the most uninteresting, as it took me nearly 5 hours to slog through the entire rant while I tried to motivate myself to continue. And really, what was it? An extended RAW.
All I was looking for was for Flair-Michaels to deliver, and they didn’t, so thumbs down. Easy as that.
And now I get to watch RAW.