Armageddon 2003: This Year Is Really Bad

Armageddon 2003
Date: December 14, 2003
Location: TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 9,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

 

We continue this series with 2003’s show, which something tells me won’t be all that good. The main event is Kane vs. Goldberg vs. HHH for the Raw world title. This is Raw only so we’re not going to see much else other than that of note. This was a bad time for the company as the whole show on Raw was about HHH and there wasn’t much else to say. Benoit was on the rise though and that guy named Cena was making some noise on Smackdown. Anyway let’s get to this.

 

Foley has some authority here which I don’t remember at all.

 

Lillian sings the national anthem. Oh ok this is right after Sadaam Hussein was caught. That explains it.

 

The opening video quotes the Bible a lot.

 

Booker T vs. Mark Henry

 

Henry is getting a big heel push here which would be over soon. He beat Booker at Survivor Series to eliminate him from that match. Henry won a street fight also so we finish the feud with a regular match of course. Booker goes straight at him and that fails pretty quickly. Teddy Long manages Henry because they’re both black I guess. Henry tosses him to the floor and Booker fires off a kick. That gets him rammed into the steps so I guess that was a bad idea.

 

Booker manages a plancha to the floor and Henry is rocked a bit. Back in and the missile dropkick gets two. Henry gets him in position for the World’s Strongest Slam but I guess falling all the way down is too much for him so he settles for a backbreaker. Bow and arrow goes on and Henry is dominating. Off to the chinlock now to waste some time. Booker keeps slapping the mat but that’s not a tap because it’s not the planned finish I guess.

 

Oh now it’s a bearhug for rest hold #3 in a row. I guess the resting took too much out of Henry. Henry takes him down again but misses a legdrop to give Booker a breather. Booker gets in some kicks and the axe kick gets two. Henry gets a spinebuster for two as Henry is spent. Leg drop hits as Ross blames Henry’s lack of experience. Are you kidding me? Another slam gets two. And out of nowhere Booker gets a kick to the ribs and the second scissors kick to end it. Totally random ending.

 

Rating: D+. Not bad but Booker was in against someone that he couldn’t carry for the most part. Henry is someone that doesn’t need to be out there for nearly ten minutes, especially in the opening match. Not much here as for the most part it was pretty dull. Also the ending being all insane didn’t help.

 

Bischoff tells Christian and Jericho that they need to beat Lita and Trish tonight. Jericho is apprehensive about this which would lead to his face turn. They’re interrupted by Foley’s music in the arena.

 

Here’s Foley complete with a cheap pop for saying Orlando. There’s a petition to bring Austin back apparently and there are a lot of signatures on it. Stacy comes out as a cheerleader to celebrate with Foley for getting that many signatures. Even Foley does a cartwheel. Here’s Evolution to complain though, in the form of Orton and Flair. Orton vs. Foley was teased forever but they didn’t pull the trigger for a long time. Orton says Austin is gone and Orton wants the IC Title. Foley takes off his shirt and is refereeing the IC Title match, which is RIGHT NOW.

 

Intercontinental Title: Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton

 

Rob takes him down quickly and Orton heads to the floor. Back in and we get some surprisingly decent chain wrestling, resulting in a standoff. Rob gets a shot to the ribs and a cross body off the top for two. Spinwheel kick puts Orton on the floor as Rob has been in control nearly the entire match so far. Big dive takes Orton out again as Rob threatens Flair a bit.

 

Slingshot legdrop gets two. He tries to go up again but Orton manages to shove him off, flying into the railing in one of his signature spots. Out to the floor and Orton gets that awesome dropkick of his. Back in and Orton chokes away with Rob making a hilarious face at the same time. Foley pulls Orton off Rob and Flair is TICKED.

 

Orton takes over with his usual stuff. Well usual for this time at least. It’s so weird to see him with only a few tattoos and normal looking skin. There’s the chinlock just to confirm it’s an Orton match. Big clothesline by Orton but he poses instead of covering. Seated dropkick gets two and it’s chinlock city again. Rob grabs a rolling cradle out of nowhere for two.

 

Split legged moonsault gets two. Orton hits a move of his I’ve always loved: he puts Rob on his shoulder like for a powerbomb and steps forward, pulling Rob down into a neckbreaker. Love that. Oh look here’s another chinlock. I know that’s a cliché for him but it’s true. Rob fights out of it after WAY too long and hits his spin kick to take over.

 

Off to the floor again and with Orton draped over the railing, Rob hits that spinwheel kick off the apron. Elevated DDT coming back in gets two. Knee drop by Orton misses and Van Dam gets a rollup with his legs for two. Rolling Thunder hits and there goes Flair whose hair is DRENCHED. Spinning kick takes down Randy again and it’s Five Star time. Flair has something in his hand but Foley takes him down. Orton dropkicks Rob off the ropes and there’s the RKO for the title.

 

Rating: C+. Pretty good here but Orton clearly didn’t know how to work a long match, although to be fair he still pretty much doesn’t. Van Dam is a weird guy to have carry you so Orton had to do a lot here. Foley would get spat on the next night and leave until the Rumble and then wrestle against Orton at Mania and Backlash. Either way, not bad here but not a classic.

 

We recap Christian/Jericho vs. Trish/Lita. This was a long story but a pretty good one at the same time. Jericho and Christian tried to hook up with Trish and Lita respectively with a secret bet being that whoever got to sleep with their respective chick first wins a single dollar, Canadian. Trish started to fall for Jericho and then overheard the whole story behind the bet.

 

The girls came out and held up the Canadian dollar that Christian put down for the bet. They actually beat up the Canadian guys and Eric made an intergender tag match. Jericho however started to feel bad about all this, beginning his face turn. This was a really good story and it worked all the way through Mania.

 

Chris Jericho/Christian vs. Lita/Trish Stratus

 

JR says that Bischoff is like Hussein. No, he isn’t. Jericho and Trish start us off and Jericho tries to explain. A right hand slap misses but the left connects. After all those years of Trish being the best female wrestler in the country, Trish becomes a slap fighter. Jericho spanks her which wakes Trish up a bit so she starts firing off some headscissors and dropkicks.

 

Christian tags himself in and wants Lita. Lita at least tries some more leverage and speed moves which is what she does in her regular matches so it makes sense. A slam puts Lita down and it’s off to Jericho. Then he stands on her hair and pulls her up. FREAKING OW MAN!!! Lita counters a powerbomb into a rana and it’s off to Christian. There goes Lita’s top which makes Christian far more popular.

 

Lita manages to get a low blow in and there’s Trish. THANKFULLY she wakes up and fights like she’s capable of doing, snapping off her forearms and the Chick Kick. Stratusfaction doesn’t work but she ducks to avoid a charging Christian and he goes to the floor. Lita crotches Jericho but the Stratusphere doesn’t work. Christian gets two but the Matrish sends Christian into Jericho for two. Lita snaps off a rana which she does better than almost anyone. Jericho checks on Trish and Christian rolls her up for the pin.

 

Rating: C. All things considered, not too bad here. Once Trish remembered how to wrestle this got a lot better. The men vs. women matches can work and this got close as the girls weren’t out there using nothing but chokes and slaps as they used their regular stuff and it worked pretty well. Not a great match or anything but for the purposes of this it was fine.

 

We recap Shawn vs. Batista. Shawn was the last man standing in the Survivor Series match and was making an incredibly comeback but Batista ran in and drilled Shawn with the Batista Bomb and Shawn couldn’t get up from that. Eric and Shawn blamed each other for Austin being gone as per the stipulations of the loss. Batista said he cost Shawn his job and Shawn said come get some, hence the following match.

 

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista

 

Batista hadn’t been back long after a triceps injury so this is one of his first major singles feuds. This is Shawn’s 68th PPV match. That’s a pretty awesome number, especially when this is Batista’s third match on PPV. Flair is with Batista here again. Shawn snaps off some punches in the corner which don’t do much damage but they’re something I guess. More of them land and Batista is getting annoyed.

 

Shawn fires some kicks into the leg and tags Ric on the floor. Back in the ring Batista gets his hands on Shawn and the pain begins. Suplex gets two. Big Dave works on the back which is still the focal point of Shawn every time he’s out there. There’s the forearm but Batista kills him with a clothesline after the nipup. To the floor we go and Shawn eats steps.

 

More back worth by Dave, this time in the form of a backbreaker. Shawn starts his comeback with a bunch of strikes and there’s a second forearm/nipup. A two handed choke by Batista is countered into a DDT to put both guys down. The big elbow hits and the fans are into it all of a sudden. Chin music is countered into a spinebuster though and there’s a second one. Batista Bomb is countered out of nowhere and Shawn hits the kick, falling on top for the pin.

 

Rating: B-. Not terrible but I wasn’t feeling the ending. I get the theory of it, which is Shawn can’t go toe to toe with him and needs to use his experience to get that one big shot in to take Batista down, but that doesn’t mean it worked. Not a bad match but Batista was still getting the hang of things and it showed. Shawn helped him through a lot of this, and that’s the point of a veteran.

 

Maven vs. Matt Hardy

 

Maven comes out while Batista is still in the ring and Big Dave is MAD. This is still Matt Hardy V 1.0. Today’s Matt fact is that his fingernails go quickly. They start it out on the ramp as Batista and Flair are still in the ring. Matt throws Maven into the ring and Batista kills him with some clotheslines and various other attacks, finishing it with the Bomb. Make that a pair of Bombs. No match due to the attack. This match was added on Heat so it’s not like this is some huge match that they’re taking from us. Matt counts a pin of his own which doesn’t count.

 

In the back Batista is still freaking out. See what I mean about the whole show being around one set of people? Flair tells him they’re walking out with title belts tonight.

 

Raw Tag Titles: Tag Team Turmoil

 

Gauntlet match more or less, with two teams starting and the winners advancing to face the next team. There are six teams total and we start with La Resistance vs. Rosey/Hurricane. The Dudleys are the champions coming in. Rosey takes over on Conway to start but it’s off to Hurricane very quickly. Out to the floor quickly which goes nowhere so back in for a full nelson by Conway.

 

Swinging neckbreaker gets no count because he’s under the ropes. Dupree comes in as we talk about France in Iraq. Never let it be said that Vince passes up a chance to cheer on AMERICA. Hurricane gets a face buster to escape and there’s a double tag. Rosey cleans house and throws out Dupree. A super splash off the shoulders of Rosey off the second rope ends Conway.

 

Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade are in next, running through the crowd and stealing a rollup pin in maybe 20 seconds.

 

In next are Storm and Venis with the new guys taking over on Jindrak who escapes to bring in Cade. The fans tell Storm he’s boring which is a point to his character at this point. Storm speeds things up a bit but double teaming by the heels takes the heel down. Wait, actually I guess Storm and Venis are good guys. Works for me I guess. Storm avoids a splash in the corner and here’s Venis.

 

Val cleans house, destroying both guys with relative ease. He was always a pretty steady hand so that doesn’t really surprise me. Lance hits a Cactus Clothesline to take himself and Cade out. Val tries a suplex to bring Jindrak back in but it’s the Warrior at Mania 5 ending for them.

 

Team number five are the Dudleys, the reigning champions. The Dudleys take over and it’s a Tree of Woe for Cade. They’re only ten time champions here so this is a LONG time ago for them. Off to D-Von and Jindrak with Jindrak hitting a clothesline to get two. Jindrak isn’t that good at stomping. Cade goes up but mostly misses an elbow. Double tag and Bubba cranks it up. Everything breaks down and D-Von and Jindrak trade rollups. Dropkick misses and 3D ends Jindrak.

 

The final team is Steiner/Test. Bubba may have hurt his shoulder. Double team on Bubba but he manages to take Test down. Suplex sends Bubba flying and Test works on his arm a bit. We finally get something normal going with Steiner vs. Bubba. Steiner drops the elbow and actually covers, getting two. Fujiwara Armbar by Steiner and it’s off to Test who works on the arm even more.

 

Up to the corner and Bubba shoves Test off and ACTUALLY HITS THE BACKSPLASH!!! I’ve never seen him hit that ever and shockingly enough the guy he hit it on is now dead. Double tag brings in Steiner and D-Von. Neckbreaker takes Scotty down and another one to Test gets two. Double teaming occurs by the challengers and Test gets a sidewalk slam for two. Test accidentally kicks Steiner but Test gets a full nelson slam to D-Von for two. Nice move by the Canadian to send in the belt as a decoy and then he gets a chair shot with the referee distracted. Doesn’t work as a Bubba Bomb gets the pin on Test but nice idea.

 

That would be the end in theory but here’s Bischoff to announce that there’s a final team, who have used their favor for winning at Survivor Series. Yep it’s Flair/Batista. This lasts about 90 seconds and the Dudleys get in maybe two punches combined. Batista gets the powerbomb on D-Von for the titles.

 

Rating: C-. Hard to call these because they’re more or less just a bunch of Raw matches thrown together into a 20 minute match. It’s ok but if you’ve seen one of these you’ve seen the vast majority of them. It really does show you how weak the division is when the Dudleys are the only realistic team that could win in there. Nothing great but I’ve seen worse.

 

We hear about Christmas in Baghdad a bit and we get some clips of a press conference about it.

 

Raw Women’s Title: Molly Holly vs. Ivory

 

This is a bonus match. Molly is champion and there’s no story to this whatsoever. The thing with Molly at this point is she’s a virgin and she’s frustrated all the time. From what I remember she was a virgin until she was married in real life. That’s rather cool. Molly is sent to the floor as no one cares about this at all. Ivory hits a flip off the apron to take Molly down again.

 

Back inside as there’s nothing going on here at all. You can tell this is the food break match before the main event and that’s fine. You have to have one of those I guess. Armbar goes on by Molly as we talk about anything but this match. JR apologizes for having nothing to say because he doesn’t have any notes for it. Molly hits a Muta elbow for two. Ivory gets a rollup which is reversed into one by Molly for the pin.

 

Rating: D+. Just a match really here. Was there going to be anything of note here at all expected? It’s just a bonus match so it’s not like you can really complain here. Neither of these chicks would wind up doing anything else in the division for more or less the rest of time, so there you are.

 

We recap the main event. Goldberg beat HHH at Survivor Series on a broken ankle. You would think that would end the feud but HHH said we’re not done yet. Then Kane just kind of jumped in for no apparent reason. A triple threat was made and we get a music video out of it.

 

Raw World Title: Kane vs. HHH vs. Goldberg

 

Goldberg is champion. The first minute is literally just standing around yelling at each other. Way to use that PPV time guys! The first shot hits after about a minute and twenty seconds and Goldberg gets double teamed. After a solid beating, Goldberg gets a shot in via a clothesline but Kane takes him down with ease. Goldberg fights them both off for a bit and knocks HHH to the floor.

 

Kane sits up and it’s time for the showdown. After the taller one takes over, Goldberg gets a spinning neckbreaker but HHH comes back in before he can capitalize. The top rope clothesline is countered by a slam but Goldberg actually can’t get HHH up for a gorilla press. Spear is loaded up and the crowd gets up for it, only for Kane to kick his head off and hammer away on his fellow member of the bald brotherhood.

 

Double suplex to Goldberg and HHH applauds Kane, who hits a powerslam on Billy Boy. HHH tries to steal the pin and we knew we’d get here eventually. HHH gets knocked to the floor but Kane clothesline Goldberg on the top rope. JR calls it bowling shoe ugly as HHH pops Kane with a chair to prevent a chokeslam. Goldberg gets the chair and goes to Pillmanize HHH’s ankle like HHH hired Batista to do.

 

Kane saves the Game for no apparent reason. I guess this doesn’t have a password system. Out to the floor and we load up the announce table. Goldberg fights Kane off and tries to Jackhammer him through the table, but HHH gets a chair shot in to break it up. Kane chokeslams the other bald dude on the table but it doesn’t break. HHH drops an elbow to put him though it though and pops him with a chair also.

 

Kane sees HHH holding the chair and isn’t happy. Then again Kane is never happy so that works out well. Kane actually lets HHH live, only to be sent into the steps as soon as he turns his back. Pedigree on the floor doesn’t work and Kane goes all evil again. Back in the ring and Kane hits some of his signature spots. The big clothesline looks to set up the chokeslam, but HHH gets a thumb to the eye to break it up.

 

DDT puts Kane down but Kane sits up. Neckbreaker doesn’t get a cover either so Kane sits up again. They fight to the floor as Goldberg is still down. Pretty weak chokeslam on the ramp so only Kane is left standing. Everyone gets back in the ring and Goldberg spears Kane down for two. Everybody punches everybody and Goldberg takes over. Another spear to Kane and one to HHH as well. Cue Evolution and we keep going. Goldberg and Kane choke each other to huge booing and there’s a low blow to set up the chokeslam on Goldberg. Batista pops up to pull Kane out so HHH can steal the title.

 

Rating: D+. This ran twenty minutes which is really not something that you want to do when you have three people that work more or less the exact same style. Not a very good match here as this got old quickly. It’s also rather boring to see the same stuff over and over again in three ways. This really needed a different guy besides Kane out there to change up the styles and it would have helped a lot if that had been the case.

 

Overall Rating: D. Really weak show here with nothing at all being very good. The total Evolution dominance isn’t that interesting either as it’s all the same stuff over and over again all night long. I’ve seen worse shows, but at the same time things just dragged on this show. This is another example of a show that would have been ok as an In Your House, but as a regular PPV, this wasn’t very good at all. Nothing to see here.
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1 comment

  1. Mike R. says:

    Why weren’t Jericho and Christian main event players at this time?