Bad Blood 2004: Shawn and HHH Steal The Show. Oh Joy.

This is one of the first non-Big Four shows I ever did so please bare with me on how bad it is.

 

Bad Blood 2004
Date: June 13, 2004
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 9,000
Commentators; Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is really just to get this show from any year off my list of shows. We have two main events here, one of which is the World Title match as Benoit defends against Kane. Naturally though we can’t have the guy with amazing talent or the belt headlining a show, so we also have HHH and Shawn in a feud that just wouldn’t die in the Cell.

This was another show where HHH was highly looked down upon for his ego, as Benoit, the guy that was more over and better than HHH was in the ring, was pushed to the side so HHH and Shawn can have a FORTY FIVE MINUTE Cell match. Yes, I’m going to have to watch these two go at it for 45 minutes in there. Just take me now. Let’s get to it.

And hey what a shock: the main video talks about Shawn and HHH far more than the world champion. So Shawn and HHH are going to have to do a lot to end this feud. Oh and that Benoit guy is doing something too. It should be noted that ONLY these two matches are even talked about in the opening video.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Edge/Chris Benoit

Dupree is now replaced by Rob Conway. King is wearing a purple jacket. You can tell it’s a slow night as Benoit is pulling a double shift tonight. Good night Lillian looks amazing in blue. So we have two Canadians vs. a team from French Canada. Why must we always have Canadian on Canadian violence? Edge and Sylvan start us off.

The talent and championship differences amaze me here. Benoit gets a great pop coming in. This is the rematch from when Edge and Benoit lost the titles to the French guys after beating Evolution for them. DANG Benoit could chop like there was no tomorrow. Naturally the heels take over to prevent the fans from thinking we were doing anything other than the standard tag team formula. We talk about John Glenn for no apparent reason. Oh he’s from Columbus. That makes sense at least.

They’re keeping Benoit out which makes sense as you have to let him save up strength. Edge gets an AWESOME counter to a double suplex as he lands on his feet and hits a double neckbreaker. That was freaking sweet. Benoit gets the Sharpshooter but it’s broken up at the last minute. Benoit now gets the Crossface on Grenier and holds it for about 40 seconds without the tap.

Great way to plug the move there guys. Kane comes out for the DQ though which at least makes sense here. He chokeslams Benoit and I want to break that bell guy. Kane vs. Benoit sounds really good actually. Into the stairs goes the champion as Kane leaves.

Rating: C+. I like Benoit and Edge so this worked fine for me. It also tied into the main match later on so there’s some continuity there which is always a good thing. This was a nice little refresher to set up for later in the show, but it also shows that the rosters can’t manage to do a whole show by themselves. Also, there was no way the titles were changing here so there was no drama. Still though, not bad at all.

We see Coachman getting ready in the back. He has Eugene tonight in what I’m sure will be a classic. He’s wearing a Michigan shirt and hat to draw cheap heat which is fine. Eugene hears Bischoff run him down and Bischoff plays the nice guy to make the save. Dinsmore, the guy that plays Eugene, really is talented and it’s a shame he has to put up with this. The idiocy of this gimmick is simple: a retarded guy is wrestling. That just sums up the whole reason why this failed.

Chris Jericho vs. Tomko

Short version: Jericho is feuding with Christian because of Trish, Tomko works for Christian, Christian is hurt so we have Tomko left to fight for Christian. Jericho of course has bad ribs as is the requirement for a popular face. Trish is just ridiculously hot as a heel. This is more or less Jericho carrying things as he has to since he’s the only one in there with that pesky little thing called talent.

Tomko gets a nice gutbuster on Jericho to take over. There’s some black thing in the ring that’s driving me crazy. Tomko takes over again with a Boss Man Slam. That move is so simple and it works so well. I love moves like that. He really needs to grow his hair back. He just looks bad with it all short. After some Trish interference, we get the running enziguri and gets the pin. Well that was uneventful.

Rating: D+. This should have been on Raw but because of the single brand shows we get this instead which isn’t worth paying for. Jericho had the longest feud in history with Christian. Ok so it’s not even close but it felt like it. This was fine but just felt like a Raw match, which is never a good thing.

We recap Orton vs. Shelton which more or less was Shelton pinned Orton twice then Orton had Batista half kill him. Orton says that he’s a legend and he’s had the longest title reign in seven years. That’s really impressive actually. He walks into the arena and screams about how great he is to the crowd, all in one promo.

This is really awesome actually as Orton was just amazing in this role. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO HIM??? He went from being this brash young rookie that knew how awesome he was and said he was better than everyone else and he was great at it. Why change that? Oh yeah he was getting over on Raw and we can’t have that, so sayeth HHH’s #1 commandment.

This was just when Shelton was gaining credibility. He has half the mic skills he has now and that’s saying a lot. The match is supposed to happen later but we’re doing it right now.

Intercontinental Title: Shelton Benjamin vs. Randy Orton

I like the booking here. It’s different and makes you feel like anything can happen. That’s painfully missing from modern wrestling and this was just five and a half years ago. There is a freaking gorgeous blonde in the front row. I need to go to Columbus more often. This is another thing the modern company is missing: well established midcard guys.

I get that Kofi and Miz are there, but they just don’t feel up to what these guys are. After a missed Stinger Splash from Shelton, here’s Flair who looks OLD all of a sudden. Orton hits the chinlock. I wonder if he gets paid per usage of that. He follows it up with a nice move as he sets for a shoulder breaker but shifts his arms forward to get a great falling neckbreaker instead. That looked great and it was one of the moves I used on Smackdown vs. Raw back in the day.

And we’re back in the chinlock again. Orton is a perfect example of the WWE anymore: flashes of brilliance but then the same old stuff all over again. Shelton bases a lot of his in ring work on that of Sting, meaning that he’s awesome. He makes his comeback and there’s a key to it: I’m buying it. They’ve managed to get me into this match and that’s all I can ask for. That Dragon Whip never gets old. The Splash hits this time and there’s the T-Bone but naturally Flair makes the save.

He really was so annoying back then and it got on a lot of people’s nerves including me as it was always the same thing. Shelton brings him in and beats him up as we get a thin reference to Sting. Shelton, ever the candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship, puts Flair in the figure four.

Just to show off though, while still having the hold on Flair, he hooks a small package on Orton for two. Ok that was cool. He hits a top rope crossbody in another of Sting’s old favorites but Orton rolls through and hooks the tights in a Flair move for the win.

Rating: B-. This was fun. I liked the middle with Shelton and Orton just going at it, but I could have done without Flair. I get that it fits the storyline, but Flair just got annoying by this point and wouldn’t leave well enough alone ever and it hurt the match for me. Orton would be world champion in three months.

Matt is with Lita who would soon screw him (and half the locker room) over. Matt gets thrown out of the arena because Bischoff thinks he’s going to interfere in Kane’s match.

Apparently the Cell is a soul searching event. HHH vs. Shawn is the storied rivalry of all time of the month.

Women’s Title: Trish vs. Lita vs. Gail Kim vs. Victoria

All four are too hot for words with Trish somehow possibly being the fourth best looking at the moment. Victoria is champion here. Trish vs. Lita never gets old especially when later this year they main evented Raw. That’s saying a lot and I don’t mean it was the last match and then there was a big angle to end the show. I

mean Trish vs. Lita for the title was the last thing you saw to end the show and it was built up all night. It was a very cool moment and I completely bought into it. Gail gets an AWESOME hold on Victoria. More or less it’s a headscissors combined with a crossface combined with an armbar but cooler than it sounds. Lita and Victoria botch something and we have no Trish for a long time, signaling that she’ll be winning. Yep there she is to roll up Lita for the title out of nowhere.

Rating: D+. They all looked great but other than that it was just your run of the mill Divas match but with four girls that could actually work which is the best case scenario.  Nothing more thant hat.

We recap Eugene vs. Coach which more or less is recapping Eugene. Now I’ve gone off about this before but I have to again as it makes sense here. Around this time, Eugene was the hottest character in the freaking world. I marked out for him like there was no tomorrow. He was a wrestling savant and it worked like a charm.

The idea was simple: the guy was mentally handicapped but he could outwrestle Regal. Bischoff put Regal with him as his manager and Eugene grows on him, making it like a cheesy but good movie. Rock came out one night and said he was Eugene’s friend, as did Chris Benoit. The whole thing worked at a ridiculously amazing level. Tonight he has Coach and in case you’re an idiot and can’t see this coming: Eugene wins.

Right there, that should have been the end of Eugene’s character. Either have him get injured, have him get hit in the head and become smart, or write him off and repackage him and pretend he was never retarded or have him act like it was an act, but in no way, shape or form should this have continued beyond tonight. Actually wait. There is one way it could have continued: Regal and Eugene win the tag belts, which they eventually did.

That I could actually see as no one cared about La Resistance anyway, but after THAT, it goes no farther. Instead do you know who he feuded with next? He feuded with HHH, resulting in a 20 minute match at Summerslam. Let me spell this out for you.

At Summerslam, HHH, the Cerebral Assassin, the man that’s going to break Flair’s world title record, the guy that’s been in 5 Hell in a Cell matches as of this show, the guy that’s main evented at least three Wrestlemanias that I can think of, one of the best wrestlers ever, spent 20 minutes fighting a retarded guy at the second biggest show of the year. Take a guess as to how the fans reacted to that.

Eugene got more heat than anyone I can remember in a LONG time. It’s the same thing WWE did with Santino. They had a good thing going but then they screwed it up by pushing him too far. He had no business even talking to guys like Batista. They screwed up Eugene even worse though by having him hang with HHH for a long time.

It completely bombed and they got lucky that he destroyed his knee and had to leave for 6 months. Anyway, that’s all later as right now he’s one of the most over guys on the roster so he’s got a match here.

Coach vs. Eugene

I think I smell a comedy match. Eugene’s song is so completely catchy that I’m going to have it in my head all night now. We get a massive Eugene chant. See what I mean? The guy was OVER. JR pushes home the idea that we all grew up wrestling fans and how cool it would be to get to wrestle someday on PPV. How can you not love that?

The fact that he really was a talented technical wrestler (in OVW he more or less wrestled the exact same style Benoit did and made it work perfectly well. The guy can go in the ring.) made it even better because it was actually believable that he was just imitating what he had seen over the years. Yes, I was a huge Eugene mark and still am for his old stuff.

In a funny spot Coach tries to shake his hand and gets brought to his knees by Eugene’s strength. In a unique spot, Eugene goes for a monkey flip and then locks his legs around his arms to make himself into a little ball. Coach rolls him around for a bit and then as he’s yelling at Eugene, Eugene pops his arm up, grabs Coach and flips him over with his legs for a rollup. It sounds stupid but that was awesome. I can’t stop laughing at this.

The fans start another Eugene chant to answer why he’s on this show. There’s nothing wrong with a comedy character. We get a criss cross and Eugene hits the floor and gets a teddy bear from the hot chick I mentioned earlier. Coach apparently doesn’t realize Eugene is gone for about 30 seconds.

Apparently he didn’t notice the overly large man at ringside in incredibly small electric blue tights hugging a stuffed bear, but then again I’m no coach. Anyone fighting Eugene had such an easy time getting heat. THEY’RE HITTING A RETARDED GUY. And a random hot chick in a bikini brings out a plate of cookies.

Coach, who called the girl out, slams Eugene into the cookies. Coach slams Eugene into the turnbuckle, and it’s time. Eugene Hulks Up, but here’s Garrison (Lance) Cade for the interference. He rips the bear from earlier in half and Coach jumps the distracted Eugene. It doesn’t work though and a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow ends this. Cade gets an awful Stunner after it. Regal comes out to congratulate him and Coach takes a somewhat better but still terrible Stunner.

Rating: B+. If anyone agrees here I’ll be shocked. I know it’s stupid but I love this guy. When he stays in comedy territory, it’s just a fun character and it works every time for me. Like I said, few are going to agree and I don’t care.

We recap Benoit vs. Kane which is Kane is jealous of Benoit for living his dream. It didn’t need much of a story, but in reality it’s Benoit needs a credibly challenger to further establish himself as champion so we get Kane so Shawn doesn’t have to job to him. Yeah that’s it.

Raw World Title: Chris Benoit vs. Kane

I love how he just holds up the belt and points at it. That’s simple yet effective which describes a lot about Benoit. DANG that little man can throw some chops! I’ve always been a fan of Kane’s for stuff like this. You need a guy to come in and be a credible jobber: bring in Kane. The guy has laid down for so many people over the years that it’s not even funny.

Benoit goes for the arm and that just completely fails. This is a very physical match but the good thing is you have two guys that can wrestle that style which makes it work far better. Kane just keeps powering out of submissions which is so simple that it’s perfect.

We have a good story here: Benoit can’t get the submissions and Kane knows it so he doesn’t have to be afraid of the champion’s usual offense so he has to adjust things to get the win while Kane is comfortable with his usual stuff, therefore giving him the advantage. Kane hits a chinlock and Benoit fights out of it so Kane just SMACKS him. It looked and sounded awesome yet it was so simple. I love that.

Kane is dominating here in case you couldn’t tell. And never mind as he sends Kane into the post and he goes THUD. That sounded awesome. These guys are pounding the tar out of each other and it’s making the match. Lawler wants to have a telethon for some reason. Benoit finally wakes up and hammers on the knee. Sorry for a lack of jokes here but it’s a good match, making it hard to joke about. Kane counters the Sharpshooter with power, which again is a STORY.

He finally gets the Sharpshooter to a huge pop. Shawn’s will be bigger though of course, because only he and HHH can get the biggest pops of the night of course. Remember that. And we hit the Germans which never gets old. Kane gets two sets of them for six in total which is scary strength from Benoit. There’s your headbutt and Benoit is down too. After getting out of the crossface Kane finally hits the chokeslam for two.

Kane goes old school (WOOT!) and tries a tombstone but settles for a big boot instead. Benoit FINALLY gets the crossface off the Kane lariat though and Kane’s arm isn’t even locked. It looks terrible but how many people can actually see that? In an AWESOME spot, Kane stands up off the Crossface so Benoit just slides across his back and goes for the other arm before just rolling him up off the crossface for the quick pin. That is BRILLIANT psychology there in case you were wondering.

Think about it: Benoit had been using nothing but submissions all night and hadn’t even gone for a cover after his big moves. He tries another submission and while Kane is so preoccupied with fighting it off he shifts to the rollup and gets the pin. That’s thinking in the ring and it ties into the entire match, which is what you call storytelling. Brilliant stuff there.

Rating: B+. I really liked this. While it’s not epic or a classic or anything, this is a very good match. The storytelling was there and you had two guys working hard and being physical which is all I can ask for. I like both guys too so that helps a lot. This was as good as it could have been and was proof that the title match can work without HHH or one of his goons, yet they would have the title back in just a few months, which of course sucks but it’s life so there we are. Great match and worth seeing.

Ad for the HOF DVD. This was the first year they resurrected that thing and made it into the worthless thing that it is today, rather than the very worthless thing that it was before.

In something that I’d like to see more often, we go to the back with Todd and Benoit and Benoit looks at some footage of the match and says what he was thinking at that time as Todd more or less throws him some softball questions. It’s basic stuff, but it’s nice to hear it from the guy that was in the ring 3 minutes ago doing it. He throws in the Benoit is for real line he was using over the summer and leaves holding up the belt.

There’s no one walking in and it’s just Benoit talking about the win. I don’t know why but this was cool to me and I’d love to see it more often. It’s like 90 seconds so it serves as a little cool aside to the match and doesn’t take up much time. Naturally I don’t ever remember seeing it otherwise.

And with an hour left in the show we’re lowering the Cell. This is going to hurt isn’t it?

We recap the feud that would never die which here is because both guys tapped to Benoit or something. Again this is just a way for these two to upstage Benoit, because no matter how good of a match he just had, he can’t get past a Cell match, and of course Shawn and HHH couldn’t just go one on one or something simple like that as Benoit’s match might outshine them. When you hear people talk about Benoit not getting a fair shot as champion, this is the show they’re talking about.

Here’s Benoit’s title reign, which lasted about four months (remember the rosters alternated months on PPV in these days): Wins title at Mania, rematch at Backlash so it’s Shawn and HHH again, this show, vs. HHH at Vengeance, loses at Summerslam. Every single show where he was champion either had HHH and/or Shawn in the main event until he lost. HHH did what Hogan did after Mania 6: he stayed.

There was no need for HHH to stay in the main event all summer long and it’s why Benoit’s title reign sucked. No one bought him as champion because HHH, the bigger star, wouldn’t step out of the way to allow Benoit to become a bigger star and it killed Benoit’s credibility until next year he was right back in the midcard “where he belonged.”

Shawn Michaels vs. HHH

HHH is wearing white boots and black tights. That’s just criminal. The fans are kind of split here which is interesting. Naturally it starts off really slow with regular stuff where the cage is pointless. We hit the floor where you can see a small hole in the Cell which is odd. HHH is bleeding and nearly fifteen minutes in we get something other than fists and bad cage shots between these two. The greatness they bring in is a chair.

And Shawn’s back is hurting. Can we get anything original with him please? Maybe a legit knee injury? He’s never had one of those before. We go really hardcore with STAIRS. Shawn is bleeding pretty badly now too. HHH has more or less stopped bleeding at this point. We have over half an hour of this left too. HHH dominates and they keep saying the match should be stopped. We have a sleeper in a Hell in a Cell match.

The match is ok, but this just shows one thing to me: this did not need to be a Cell match at all. This completely could have been no holds barred or a street fight or anything like that. It’s pure overkill and nothing but a way to have a really long match and make sure that everyone knows that these two are THE top guys on the roster. HHH takes a chair shot and is bleeding a lot harder now which helps a bit. And now we have a ladder.

Seriously, what’s the point of all these weapons WHEN YOU HAVE A CELL AROUND YOU? Shawn needs to bleed a lot more as it’s not working at this rate. It’s table time as the Cell hasn’t been used in over 20 minutes now. The only thing it’s doing here is blocking the view of the camera of this street fight. Now we’ve reached the part of big time matches that I absolutely hate: the laying around between nothing but finishers part.

This is my major criticism of Austin/Rock III at Mania 19: it’s a 19 minute match and about 10 of that is nothing but finisher, two count, finisher, two count, repeat. That’s what they do here as we’re about over 40 minutes. Yeah about 1/3 of this show (as remember it won’t go 3 hours) is this match.

Oh and here’s your Shawn and HHH are great moment of the match: it takes THREE Pedigrees to end Shawn after a 45 minute match. Yeah, this isn’t all about them AT ALL. This again is why people got so fed up with HHH around this time, right here. HHH wins with a third Pedigree.

Rating: B-. This was WAY too long. It did nothing but cement the theory that HHH and Shawn only cared about themselves and were just clinging to their spots. There’s a big myth in wrestling that long means good which isn’t the case at all. This was good but it needed to be about 20 minutes shorter which could have gone to another match on the card. Oh that’s right: THERE WEREN’T ANY OTHERS BECAUSE THE SINGLE BRAND SHOWS WERE FREAKING STUPID!

Instead we get nearly an hour of Shawn and HHH making themselves look better than anyone else on the roster because they need the ego boosts. Yeah the match was ok, but it didn’t need to be in the Cell. It’s like when you’re playing basketball against a kid. Sure you can easily beat him, but that doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be done. Benoit needed to come out of this show looking great but instead this match is really all that’s remembered and I refuse to believe that that wasn’t intentional.

Overall Rating: B-. This was a hard one as it was back and forth with B and B-. It’s definitely a good show but far from great. Benoit and Kane were completely forgotten by HHH and Shawn not so much stealing the show but hijacking it. There was just no need for them to have either 48 minutes or the Cell here at all. I mean it just wasn’t needed at all. Those two were notorious for hogging the spotlight and they did it here again.

The match was ok but it needed to lose about 20 minutes to be really good as there was just WAY too much laying around and setting up stuff. Make that a 25 minute street fight and it’s an easy A. There really isn’t a bad match on the card but there’s nothing great either. Check out Kane/Benoit but if you watch the Cell, be prepared to hit fast forward a good amount.

 

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1 comment

  1. Farhan says:

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