It was only fitting that Raw Co-GM Eric Bischoff \”threw up\” on the fans in attendance for the Judgment Day pay-per-view as that\’s exactly what the entire show amounted to. It was an affront to any discriminating professional wrestling fan and an outright embarrassment to each and every WWE employee. Truth be told, Judgment Day 2003 ranks as one of the worst pay-per-views ever put on by the WWE and anyone associated with the booking and management of the show should be given five stiff chair shots to the head as a reward for such an appalling job. There has been nothing this bad since the dying days of World Championship Wrestling, a company that the crumbling WWE now mirrors in all the worst ways possible.
It is abundantly clear that the WWE couldn\’t care less about its fans at the present time. If it did, it wouldn\’t feed them such vomit as Backlash and J-Day 2003 and have the unmitigated gall to ask them to shell out their hard-earned money to watch them.
From purely a business perspective, you have to wonder what the WWE braintrust is thinking…if it is at all anymore. One gets the sense that anyone who isn\’t a McMahon has just thrown up their hands in utter frustration and stopped beating their heads against a brick wall that won\’t budge. J-Day certainly wasn\’t the kind of show you would expect from an ailing firm desperately trying to rebuild its eroding fan base. A company that is in such a state of disarray that in handing out questionnaires at house shows has all but admitted that they are totally out of touch with their remaining viewers. Viewers who are treated to feuds they don\’t care about. Matches that draw no heat. Fiercely unpopular stars pushed as main event talent. Matches that are shorter than your average commercial break. Anyone with half a brain cell left in their head knows that these aren\’t the ways you reverse the company\’s downward spiral. Problem is the people with good sense aren\’t running the show and never will be in the position to do so.
For the handful of people who actually ordered J-Day 2003, they got more of the same slop the WWE has been churning out since WrestleMania went off the air in March. To make matters worse though, almost everything and everyone seemed out of step….except for Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero and the women in the Four-Way Match who managed to clock in lively appearances which briefly awoke the otherwise comatose crowd.
Trish Stratus, Jackie, Jazz and Victoria kept up the high quality of the recent women\’s matches in the WWE by orchestrating a frantic and fiery Fatal Four-Way that was one of the better matches of the evening. Even though Team Angle were obviously uneasy and at times totally befuddled to be in the Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships, skilled veteran Eddie Guerrero and his mystery partner Tajiri carried them through it. With Tajiri \”injured\” on the outside, Guerrero pushed the match forth in a big way on his own by providing some fantastic high spots such as a Frog Splash and a powerbomb off the ladder. If there was an MVP of the horrid pay-per-view, Guerrero would share that honour with Lesnar.
Without Lesnar\’s explosive energy, the main event Stretcher Match for the WWE Championship would\’ve been a total washout. Consisting mostly of Lesnar and The Big Show battering each other senseless with plastic bodyboards and stretchers on wheels, the bout was just one big repetitive brawl. Unlike the Stretcher Match between the legendary Andre The Giant and Killer Kahn 17 years ago, the goal was put your opponent on a stretcher and wheel them down the aisle and over a yellow line. As Lesnar got a bright idea and headed to the back, Rey Mysterio popped out from under the ring to 619 Big Show in the bread basket. Big Show clotheslined Mysterio to the mat while Lesnar drove a forklift to the ring. In the spot of the match, Lesnar leapt off the forklift, over the ropes and bodysplashed Big Show. Upon suplexing and giving Big Show a modified F5, Lesnar loaded Big Show onto a bodyboard resting on the forklift, lifted him high into the air and proceeded to drive him over the yellow line to retain the title.
The good news is the Lesnar – Big Show feud is seemingly over. The bad news is that the one between WWE World Champion Triple H and Kevin Nash isn\’t. In a bout nobody but the WWE brass wanted to witness, Triple H and Nash were almost as bad together as the humiliating Mr. America versus Roddy Piper match that ran right before them. You can bet your bottom dollar that the placement of the HHH – Nash match on the card didn\’t happen by coincidence either. Stephanie McMahon warned Triple H before his match to \”be careful\” against Nash, obviously teasing that the two are going to get back together on television to work towards an annoying wedding angle to match their own real life plans. Greaat. That\’s EXACTLY what fans want to see. Triple H and Stephanie equal ratings. Yeah, right.
Nash and HHH sleepwalked through this one hitting all the same, recycled spots. HHH was overpowered for the most part, suffering slams, punches, big boots and a thousand elbow smashes from Nash. The official took bump after bump early on foretelling the transparent conclusion.
Failing to pin Nash following a miserable Pedigree, Triple H once again pulled out the…you guessed it…trusty sledgehammer. Yep. Triple H\’s matches are now as predictable as Hulk Hogan\’s. When the official stopped HHH from using the sledgehammer, HHH hit him with it. Fed up with taking the abuse, the ref disqualified Triple H at seven minutes and 58 seconds. An irate Nash fought off Ric Flair, punched his friend Shawn Michaels and then proceeded to Jack Knife Powerbomb Triple H through the Raw team\’s announce table. Next up? How about Nash and HHH in a steel cage? Can you stand the excitement? Yawn.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Bad Blood on June 15th.
Judgment Day 2003 Results
- Co-GM \”Stone Cold\” Steve Austin announces that he will be taking in the show from his own private skybox tonight. You know. He\’s gonna drink some beers and embarrass Bischoff. You know. The same running gag he\’s been doing for a month now.
John Cena, F.B.I. versus Rhyno, Spanky, Chris Benoit
- At just under four minutes, why did they even bother? It is deplorable that Chris Benoit is given about 20 seconds in the match to do anything. He throws a couple of German Suplexes and that\’s it. F.B.I clobbers Spanky with the Kiss Of Death. Spanky is assisted by Benoit and Rhyno as he nurses a bloody and puffy eye.
- Winners: … F.B.I. and John Cena at 3 minutes and 55 seconds.
- Match Rating: 1 / 10.
- Eric Bischoff enters Austin\’s private box. Austin and Bischoff are off tonight. They keep tripping over each other\’s words and phrases. It is just a mess. Austin offers Bischoff a hot dog and a beer. Bischoff reluctantly accepts.
Test, Scott Steiner versus La Resistance
- The not-so Mega Powers explode. Whoopie! La Resistance sparks some heat by ripping on the U.S. The U.S. government preaches hate against their country. Yadda-yadda. The crowd reacts as you knew they would. All that\’s missing is Hacksaw Duggan stamping his foot and clapping his hands. Test is giving Steiner dirty looks throughout the match. Test accidentally collides with Stacy knocking her off the apron. Steiner just so happens to be in position to catch her in his arms. Test mistakenly kicks Steiner in the chops. La Resistance hurls Test into a steel post and double face-slams Steiner for the win. Stacy cradles a fallen Steiner. Test drags Stacy out of the ring.
- Winners: La Resistance at 6 minutes and 23 seconds.
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
- Backstage, Mr. America runs into The Hurricane\’s secret identity — the nerdy reporter character. Hurricane grills America on really being Hulk Hogan under the mask. Mr. America counters with he\’s heard that the reporter dude is really The Hurricane. It is a draw and each retracts the accusations. Eddie Guerrero reveals his partner to be Tajiri. Of course, Tajiri\’s heritage plays into some more of that disparaging Japanese humour by the WWE. At least there\’s no…choppy-choppy-your-pee-pee…to be heard. For some unknown reason, a short bio on Kurt Angle plays.
Eddie Guerrero, Tajiri (challengers) versus Team Angle (champions) (WWE Tag Team Championship – Ladder Match)
- Great effort by Eddie Guerrero though there are many times Team Angle doesn\’t exactly know what to do with the ladder or blows a planned spot. Team Angle looked really uncomfortable in this gimmick match. As Sheldon and Eddie battle on the ladder, Tajiri spits through the ladder spraying his face with the green mist. This allows Eddie to snatch the tag belts.
- Winners: … and new WWE Tag Team Champions…Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri at 14 minutes and 19 seconds .
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Austin gives Bischoff a burger and a beer. He mocks Bischoff over the house mike for sipping and not gulping the brewski.
- Only fascinating promo of the night has Piper interrupting Jericho\’s interview about the Intercontinental Battle Royal. Jericho says Piper must have taken a wrong turn and missed the seniors\’ home. Piper blasts Jericho for ripping off the Piper\’s Pit idea and drilling it into the ground. Jericho brings up Piper tearing the \”fan\’s\” artificial leg off on Smackdown! Jericho says if Piper feels brave enough there are some lepers and midgets in the back he can thrash. Piper calls Jericho\’s birth an accident. They agree to disagree and part company.
Battle Royal for the Intercontinental Title
- For those who are clueless, the WWE runs a promo on the history of the I.C. Title. This of course further accentuates the WWE\’s utter stupidity in dissolving the title last year. Pat Patterson, the first Intercontinental Champion brings down the belt to the ring. The WWE yacks about him winning the title in a tournament held in 1979. The story is bogus. There was never any tournament. Patterson was just given the title.
- We learn that the Battle Royal is going to feature…get this…only nine participants. Feel free to scoff at great length. I did. The competitors are…the returning Val Venis…Jericho…Goldust…Lance Storm…RVD…Christian…Test…Kane and Booker T. For all the build up, the match is a joke and pared down to four people in less than two minutes. Lance Storm is gone at 43 seconds. Everyone tosses Kane at 1:08. Test goes at 1:50. Venis is out at 1:57. RVD is outta there at 2:06. Booker tosses Goldie at 4:51. Y2J and Christian double-team Booker T. As Jericho goes for a Lionsault, Christian shoves him over the top rope at 8:20. Christian decks the ref. Booker pins Christian at 10:39…but there is no official. The bell is rung. Booker is declared the winner. As Pat Patterson prepares to give the belt to Booker, Christian pops him outside the ring and takes the belt. Christian brains Booker with the belt and as the ref awakes, he throws Booker over the top rope. Christian is your winner. For all the hype, pomp and circumstance…a real letdown in every way.
- Winner: …and new WWE Intercontinental Champion…Christian at 11 minutes and 59 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
- Torrie and Sable act like strippers bumping and grinding for fans. The crowd picks the winner. Torrie is victorious once she doffs the bikini she is wearing to expose the tinier one underneath. Just to show there is no hard feelings, Torrie kisses Sable before she exits the ring. Yeah, that makes sense.
- Winner: Torrie.
- More of that annoying Bischoff and Austin banter. Bischoff does a real poor job of acting blitzed from all the beer Austin has been pushing on him. Austin cons Bischoff into eating some hot peppers and washing them down with juice from said peppers. Yuck. Yuck. Whatever. McMahon impresses upon Piper how important it is that he defeat Mr. America so he can expose him as…Hulk Hogan? No way. McMahon is tripping.
Roddy Piper versus Mr. America
- One of the worst matches ever wrestled. Piper is really out of shape and moves as if there is concrete in his veins. Mr. America is hobbling as well. Missed spots galore and all of the pacing of a death match between a tortoise and a snail. Zack Gowan (Tenuous Z) is in Mr. America\’s corner. Mr. America briefly lifts off his mask to reveal his face to Piper as he punishes him in a corner. Belts come into play as Mr. America and Piper whip each other. Mr. America \”Hulks up\” out of a weak sleeper by Piper. McMahon comes out and gives O\’Haire a steel pipe. Piper holds America for O\’Haire. America ducks and O\’Haire clocks Piper instead. Big boot and a pin. McMahon tried to break the count but Gowan stopped him.
- Winner: Mr. America at 4 minutes and 54 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
Triple H (champion) versus Kevin Nash (challenger) (WWE World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …via disqualification at 7 minutes and 88 seconds…Kevin Nash
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
Trish Stratus (challenger) versus Jazz (champion) versus Jackie (challenger) versus Victoria (challenger) (WWE Women\’s World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Jazz DDTs Jackie for the win.
- Winner: …and still WWE World Women\’s Champion…Jazz at 4 minutes and 48 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
- Austin mocks Bischoff for not being able to handle his booze. Bischoff \”barfs\” (more like spits some beer) out the skybox window and all over some fans seated below. Three replays are shown of the gag. Who says the WWE product is repetitious?
Brock Lesnar (champion) versus Big Show (challenger) (WWE Championship – Stretcher Match)
- Winner: …and still WWE Champion…Brock Lesnar at 15 minutes and 26 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Total Event Time: Two hours and 45 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 2.5 / 10.