WWE has only ever lost money in 1995, and 2003. The WWWF was already making money when Vince McMahon Jr bought it. 2003 was a bad year for WWE because the company lost the benefit of being the only pro-wrestling company on national Tv. Raw wasn’t competing with just other wrestling, they were competing with Monday Night Football, Sponge Bob, and various MMA punch-sports. There was also a huge audience of people that stopped watching wrestling because the fad was over, and because they were WCW fans and found WWE stupid. WWE also lost money because they were still a young public corporation, and it’s hard to get stockholders when you have a stranglehold on your own stock. This stuff usually sorts itself out, and by 2004 WWE was back to making money.
I didn’t see many big problems, storyline wise, with the WWE product. It was just another year of Attitude Era type jackassery, and good fueds. The PPV’s seemed solid enough, lets look at them? We’re only admiring the heels because fuck heroes.
Royal Rumble 2003
- For the SD guys, Kurt(c) took on Benoit and made the Canadian Chris tap out because Benoit was a horrible worker.
- Brock beat Big Show and went on to win the Rumble.
- Cena acted like a dumbass and rapped in the ring, and his good friend The Cat sang in the ring, and they were both quickly thrown out.
- On the Raw side, Triple H(c) beat Scott Steiner, and Hunter was forced to make it look like he barley escaped with his belt.
No Way Out
- Hollywood Rock debuted to give Hulk Hogan a Hollywood ass-kicking.
- Triple H(c) finally beat Steiner without too much trouble.
- Matt Hardy beat the snot out of Billy Kidman(c) to win the Cruiserwieght Championship. Shannon Moore was only at ringside because he’s Hardy’s good friend, and worried that Kidman might cheat.
- Edge pussied out on his team, leaving only Brock Lesner and Benoit to take on Team Angle. Team Angle lost because if they won, fans would know Brock was going to win at Mania 19.
- Rock beat Austin for the first time at a WrestleMania event. Rock was on fire at this time, he was Raw’s top heel automatically, and made Triple H take a backseat in the heelmobile.
- Triple H(c) defeated Booker T for the World Title, despite the fact that everyone was finding the guy stale. Booker T was Raw’s top baby face at the time, and having him win the World Title was a win/win for everybody. Triple H held the belt for six more months because brass ring.
- Roddy Piper returned and costed Hogan his match with Vince McMahon…oh wait no he didn’t, Hogan won because he’s a delusional 50 year old that still wants to be booked as a delusional 30 year old.
- In the Main Event Brock Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle for the WWE Title. Kurt would be gone for awhile after this. Upon his return, the Brock/Angle feud would get wierd.
- Rapping Cena made his PPV debut as #1 contender for Brock Lesnar’s WWE Title. Cena lost, but he wasn’t squashed like we thought he would be. Cena’s stock was getting higher, and he was getting taken more seriously by WWE brass.
- Rock ran into Goldberg, and left WWE for Hollywood after. We love you Hollywood Rock!
- Chris Jericho teamed with Triple H and Flair to take on Nash, HBK, and Booker T. This match was a wet dream at the time for marks because they thought HBK and Nash would turn on Booker and create a Super DX. That would’ve seemed forced, and confusing, and rasslin fans can’t be confused.
- At this time WWE basically lost Austin and Rock as active talent. Rock would make a few appearances, and Austin would become Co-GM because Hell Yeah. WWE begin to put it’s money on Brock, and other talent like Eddie Guerrero, Benoit (who?), Taker, Orton, and a young rookie Mr America.
- Even though Cena lost at Backlash, he was still marching on. He teamed with The FBI to take on the team of Ryno, Brian Kendrick, and Benoit. Brock was supposed to be in this match, but Vince freaked out about “The Numbers”, and put Brock in a match with Big Show.
- Triple H took on his old friend Kevin Nash, and barley made it out alive. Hunter was showing why he was the top heel on Raw, and beginning to freshen up his character. The beginnings of Evolution would start after this also.
- Christian won a 8 man battle royale, but my Judgment Day DVD doesn’t have it. I found out about it when I was researching each PPV. Anyway Christian was becoming a thorn in Goldberg’s side around this time, and Jericho would begin his feud with Goldberg after this event. Hijinks were abound for The Man.
- Jericho lost to Goldberg here, but in the long run Jericho would really win.
- Triple H was forced into a Hell in the Cell match with Kevin Nash. It was another crazy HITC match where they lock the cell door, but everyone ends up getting inside it, and doing a bunch of hardcore spots. I actually like it better this way, keeping the cell locked bores CH. I can’t be bored or people get babbled at.
- Ric Flair and HBK also had a match where everything went wrong booking wise. I never noticed anything wrong with it.
- This PPV was a Raw exclusive. Orton was showing himself more, and it was obvious that he was becoming Hunter’s star pupil. Jericho’s loss to Goldberg didn’t matter, and Chris and Christian were colliding to be an even awesomer tag team.
- This would be Smackdown’s first exclusive PPV.
- Kurt Angle won the WWE Title match in a 3 way match with Big Show and Brock. Sadly Kurt lost his heelness while recovering earlier in 2003.
- John Cena lost to the Under Seller because politics. The lead up to this match was great. Cena would not respect Taker, and was afraid of the Deadman at all in the lead up to this match.
- Basically the main SD heel was Vince McMahon. He was literally sucking all the oxygen out of the heel locker room. I haven’t commented on his storylins because his segments were boring and involved him saying things like, “I love to ruin lives”, and parading around with Sable on his arm. It was bad, like Vince McMahon was writing fan fiction about himself.
I’ll continue into SummerSlam 2003, and finish out the year, next week.
Top Heels That Just Hung Around Vince McMahon in 2003
5) The Cat
3) Shawn O’Haire
2) Roddy Piper
1) Hulk Hogan/Mr America
Tags: Bill Goldberg, Christian, Evolution, Mr. America, Ruthless Aggression, Shawn o'haire, The Cat, World Heavyweight Championship