WWE PPV Flashbacks: Insurrextion (6/7/03) – "One Last Time"

December 15, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

June 7, 2003
Telewest Arena, Newcastle, England

Going back to 1997, the UK exclusive PPV events had become a regular part of the WWE calendar throughout the Attitude era. For the most part, they were glorified house shows, with the occasional lost gem mixed in. In 2003 however, the Raw brand presented what would be the last of these shows to the present day. Insurrextion 2003 was headlined by a street fight for the World Heavyweight Championship, as Triple H would continue his rivalry with Kevin Nash. Of course, a few short weeks after this show, Raw had its first proper brand exclusive PPV scheduled, so nothing of great significance was going to happen here. For a final time, lets take a trip across the pond and look at the last ever UK exclusive WWE PPV.

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We kick off the broadcast with a memorial screen for the late great Freddie Blassie, who we saw in many a PPV opening over the years. He passed away shortly before this show. We then go into the regular video package which is all about the change on Raw. It focuses on the Triple H/Nash feud and the Austin/Bischoff authority figure clash. Weirdly again there is no mention of Goldberg. Steiner is still promoted heavily for what its worth. Anyway, we head into the arena for the pyro and are welcomed by the regular Raw announce team of Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

WWE Women’s Championship:
Jazz (c) w/Theodore Long vs Trish Stratus
In what I believe could be the first and only time in WWE PPV history, we kick off the night with a Women’s Championship match. This feud has been going on for a while now, with Jazz making her return from injury shortly before Mania and then defeating Trish for the title at Backlash. Jazz managed to escape a fatal four way at Judgment Day with her championship in tact, but the blonde from Toronto is still chasing her gold here. Of course, Jazz has Theodore Long with her at ringside and he gets on the mic beforehand and demands that the audience shows their appreciation for his champion. Speaking of Long, he continues to be a factor in the champ’s corner as he trips Trish up as she looks to be building some momentum in the early going. The ladies go back and forth from here until Trish manages to dish out a Chick Kick following a Stratusphere. Neither is enough to keep the dominant champion down though, and as Trish attempts to follow up with Stratusfaction, Jazz counters and takes control. The control is short lived though, as the challenger fights her way out of a Boston Crab and traps Jazz in an STF, the champ’s own finishing move. With the title in reach, another rival of Trish’s joins the mix though, as Victoria attempts to get into the ring. The referee stops her, but the distraction allows Teddy Long to throw Trish into the ring post behind the ref’s back. Jazz takes advantage of the opportunity and pins the challenger immediately afterwards to retain her title at 10:45. A decent divas match, although it was strange to see it as the opener. Even on house shows thats rare. Jazz continues her reign thanks to her intervening manager, but the women’s division would change quite significantly the next time we see it on PPV after a few months of these three ladies being involved with one another.
Grade: **1/2

We go right into a video package for the next match including footage of Christian’s controversial I.C title win at Judgment Day.

WWE Intercontinental Championship:
Christian (c) vs Booker T
Our second match is another title bout, as the newly reinstated Intercontinental Championship is to be defended. Back at Judgment Day, Booker T had the title won by all rights and purposes, as he was the last man standing in a battle royal to crown the champ. The referee had been taken out however and Christian snuck back in the ring and tossed Booker over to be declared the first holder of the title since its brief retirement in October 2002. Booker is out for revenge here as he gets another chance to close in on Intercontinental gold. Of course, its not happening at a show like this. The competitors in this match are really a tale of two stories at this point in their careers. Booker was coming off a huge amount of momentum earlier in the year, but that came to a halt following his World title loss to Triple H at Mania, and he’s now back in the midcard. Meanwhile this is around the time that Christian had really developed into a solid singles heel on the rise after mostly being in tag teams since his split from Edge over a year prior. He debuts his now regular look with the short hair, but still has the classic “At last you’re on your own song”. He also has started referring to fans as his Peeps after being endorsed by The Rock in a guest appearance on a recent episode of Raw, only to turn on the Great One that same night. That would never become a feud as Rock was done being a semi-full time guy by this point, but the segment did give Christian a rub. Anyway, back to the match at hand. Its a fairly basic affair that gets a good amount of time, but never kicks into gear with both guys seemingly just running through the motions in this one. They go back and forth and exchange a bunch of near falls as the action continues. Booker busts out a Scissor Kick towards the end following a Spinaroonie, but Christian kicks out of it. Booker looks to continue the momentum and goes for another not long afterwards, but the champion manages to duck and roll Booker up and scores the three count thanks to some added leverage from the ropes at 15:12. Christian cheats once again to get one over on Booker T as this feud continues.
Grade: **1/4

We now go backstage as co-GM Stone Cold confronts Teddy Long for his interference in the opening match. As punishment he tells him that he will have to compete later on in tag team action with his proteges against the Dudley Boyz. Long storms off, but Austin then comes face to face with Kane, whom he stares down. That leads us to footage from Raw of Austin berating Kane after a loss to Rene Dupree, wanting to reawaken his inner monster. That would lead to some important happenings over the summer.

World Tag Team Championship:
Rob Van Dam & Kane (c) vs La Resistance
The string of title matches continues as the World Tag Team titles are up for grabs next, with the new team on the block taking on the odd pairing that have been in possession of the belts for the past few months. It was clear that La Resistance were being groomed to be the next heel team on Raw, while the seeds were being planted for something else with Kane here, but the title switch wasn’t going to happen on this show for reasons we are familiar with on these UK events. Grenier and Dupree have quickly made their way into title contention, including the big upset on Raw mentioned earlier with Dupree defeating the Big Red Machine, and they get major heat from the crowd as they rip on England in true foreigner heel fashion. Despite this, the champions get the early momentum in this one, with RVD taking the fight to both Frenchman before tagging in Kane to clean house. The faces continue to build momentum, but things shift when La Resistance isolate and double team Van Dam. The standard tag match formula kicks in and the champions make their comeback after a few minutes of La Resistance tactics. Kane comes in and delivers a double chokeslam, and RVD follows up with a Five Star Frog Splash to Dupree at 9:03. The reign of Kane & Rob Van Dam continues, but La Resistance will regroup to fight another day. Fine for what it was, but nothing worth going out of the way for.
Grade: **

Backstage, Al Snow is standing by with Goldust, who now has a speech impediment after being thrown into a power box by Randy Orton and Batista earlier in the year. The Bizarre one is up next.

Goldust vs Rico
This match is an example of the one problem with brand exclusive PPVs. Sure, you get guys who would otherwise not have the chance to put on matches with more time, but on the same token, you have filler like this that really wouldn’t have been out of place on Sunday Night Heat. Now, this is just a glorified house show so its not a huge deal, but we’ll see it going forward. Three Minute Warning is no more by the way, and Rico is back in his old stylist outfit and coming out to the Billy & Chuck theme. He’d take his character further of the next couple of months to the point where he would incorporate mind games more often into his matches, much like Goldust back in his early days. The crowd is more interested in chanting “You Screwed Bret” at referee Earl Hebner than they are in this match, and there’s not much to say. Goldust had really dropped off the face of the earth after his great run with Booker to end 2002. I don’t think he’d stick around much longer and this could actually be his last PPV in this run with the company. He’ll come back many times over the years though as we’ll see with time. Nothing special to talk about here. After some back and forth, Goldust ultimately takes the win with a basic powerslam at 9:55. This was just here.
Grade: *1/2

At this point we go to the proper memorial package for Classie Freddie Blassie.

Back in the arena, Chris Jericho makes his way out to the ring for a special edition of his new talk show, the Highlight Reel. The usual set is not there as the ring is just set up with some stools, and Jericho comments on the lack of the Jeritron 5000 before taking some shots at the crowd. He then introduces his guest, co-GM Eric Bischoff. He joins in with Jericho on the crowd bashing until Stone Cold heads out to a big pop. Austin rips into both men and goes through his usual stuff on the mic before making the main event between Triple H and Kevin Nash a street fight. Bischoff complains and threatens to tell Linda McMahon but Austin brushes him off. He offers to drink a beer with them, which leads to Jericho’s classic line “if you want to see Chris Jericho drink a beer with Stone Cold, give me a doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy do” and the crowd hilarious chant it. Of course this ends with stunners all round. Just a filler segment to get Austin in front of the crowd. Again the lack of Goldberg was strange here as he had started a feud with Jericho at the time heading into the next PPV.

Backstage, Triple H and Flair aren’t happy about the added stipulation to the main event.

Dudley Boyz & Spike Dudley vs Rodney Mack, Christopher Nowinski & Theodore Long
I imagine this was scheduled as a regular tag match between the Dudley Boyz and Mack & Nowinski before Austin added Long to the match earlier in the evening. I believe this is actually the first we have seen of Rodney Mack on PPV. He was introduced earlier in the year as Theodore Long’s new protege in the Thugging & Bugging Enterprises stable that was all about Long’s claims of prejudice against black athletes on Raw. Mack actually began holding “White Boy Challenges” on Raw, in which any white superstar could attempt to take him on in the ring. His issues with the Dudley family began when Spike answered the challenge only for Mack to be victorious. The following week Mack also defeated Bubba Ray Dudley, thanks to some interference from Christopher Nowinski. Nowinski, despite being white, claimed to share Long’s views of racial prejudice in the company and joined up with the stable. That pretty much brings us to this match. Speaking of Nowinski, he’s wearing a mask here as he was recovering from a broken nose. He’d suffer a much worse injury within a couple of weeks. Anyway, the Dudley Boyz take the fight to the heels from the moment the bell rings here and they utilise some triple teaming with the crowd behind them. Of course, the heels eventually turn the tide and they start working over little Spike, with Long doing the usual heel manager trick of only tagging in when his opponent is vulnerable for a few shots. Long ends up getting cocky and works with his team to do some damage to Spike, but some heel miscommunication leads to Mack accidentally decking his manager. Spike gets rid of Mack and covers Long to score the victory for the Dudleyz at 9:15. Yet again, another basic match that was no different to what you’d see on any other house show. The issues between the Dudley Boyz and Thugging & Bugging Enterprises would continue.
Grade: **

Up next we throw to a video package about the rivalry between Test and Scott Steiner, centred entirely around Stacy Keibler. Speaking of Stacy, she makes her way out to be the guest ring announcer for the next match.

Scott Steiner vs Test
Special Guest Referee: Val Venis
These two men are actually set to face off at the next Raw exclusive PPV in a match with more at stake, but they have a standard match tonight to continue what would actually be quite a long feud as 2003 progressed. We saw Test and Steiner as unwilling tag partners back at Judgment Day, and in the weeks that followed they would continue to get into altercations, primarily over Stacy. The tension led to Stacy announcing that the two would no longer be a team, but she would manage both men. Test would continue to abuse Stacy however, putting her in arms way to gain an advantage in matches, and Steiner would come to her defence. The abuse led to Stacy dumping Test, but he reminded her that she was still contractually obligated to manage him. More on that next time. For now its just Steiner defending Stacy’s honour. I have no idea why Val Venis is randomly refereeing either. He’s directionless since dumping the Chief Morley character. Hey, there’s a woman involved, I guess that’s a good enough reason for him to be involved with this. Anyway, Test jumps Steiner before the bell as he’s helping Stacy out of the ring, and that’s how we get underway. As Test beats on Steiner, he takes the time to force Stacy to put a towel around her because he thinks her outfit is too revealing as well. Stacy ends up throwing the towel back at Test though, which causes him to break a sleeper hold and allowing Big Poppa Pump to fight back with his suplex offence. The match continues on and Test attempts to regain control by various cheating techniques, but is thwarted by Val or Stacy on each occasion. The last such instance sees Test grab a chair only for Stacy to stop him using it, which allows Scott to deliver the Steiner Flatliner for the victory at 6:48. Basic stuff. Again, Steiner was much better suited to this position on the card than the main event slot he held earlier in the year, but he was so limited at this point that his matches weren’t very good regardless.
Grade: *1/2

The main event is next, so we get a video package for it.

World Heavyweight Championship – Street Fight:
Triple H (c) w/Ric Flair vs Kevin Nash w/Shawn Michaels
Like most of the matches on the card tonight, the two men facing off in the main event are also set to meet again at the proper Raw exclusive PPV about a week later. This obviously goes back to Triple H getting himself intentionally disqualified at Judgment Day to retain his title against Big Daddy Cool. Just like at Judgment Day, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels are in the corners of champion and challenger respectively here. Flair and Triple H actually had a brief falling out over the past few weeks on Raw before reuniting, but I’ll go into that in more detail at our next show. This is all just about Nash wanting to get his hands on Triple H and take his title. Anyway, this time its a street fight meaning Triple H can’t take the easy way out. Nash takes the action to the floor right away only for Flair to go for a cheap shot. Shawn responds by tossing Flair into the ring post, busting the Nature Boy open in the process. Like at Judgment Day, a bunch of officials rush down to ringside and eject Shawn and Flair, putting the focus back on another slow and plodding encounter between the Game and Nash. Nash takes the fight to Hunter up to the stage and announce area, but this time Triple H escapes back down to the ring. Back in the ring the referee gets bumped, which brings a bloody Flair back out with a chair in hand. Nash stops him in his tracks, but the Game nails the challenger with the chair moments later. He gets a near fall as a new ref runs down, and as Nash kicks out, both Triple H and Flair dish out a stomping. This brings Shawn back out as well and he takes Flair out with some Sweet Chin Music before suffering a Pedigree for his efforts. Nash follows up with a Jackknife attempt, but the sledgehammer strikes again as Triple H hits Nash with it to score the pin at 16:33 to retain his title yet again. A fairly boring match that was saved by Shawn and Flair’s antics. This feud was flat enough, but Nash had no chance of winning here, especially with them set to face off at Bad Blood in a rematch a week later. They should have just done a tag here. Shawn and Flair could have helped carry the load, especially with them not booked in a match earlier in the night. Not a good main event as this feud was really dragging by this point.
Grade: *1/2

The last ever UK exclusive PPV is an entirely forgettable affair. That was expected going in as nothing happens on these events, a fact compounded by the fact that the Raw brand was about a week away from a regular PPV that would feature most of the matches taking place on this show. Again, the lack of Goldberg was surprising, and left Jericho with nothing to do aside from the Highlight Reel. Shawn and Flair were also kept out of the ring once again. The in ring action was quite lacking on this show as a result. The best match was the Divas opener and even that didn’t reach the three star level. Raw was clearly suffering here. We’ll see next time if they can do a better job with roughly the same line up, but with more at stake.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Christian – his match was basic, but one of the better ones of the night. This is more about his entire package coming together as a legit singles heel.
2. Trish Stratus – the crowd were behind the star of the women’s division as she continued her quest to regain the gold.
3. Jazz – solid performance in the opener by the reigning champion.

FINAL GRADE: 2 out of 10

What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1.

Steve Austin = 113
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 77
The Rock = 75
Triple H = 66
Kurt Angle = 47
Mick Foley = 38
Chris Jericho = 32
Undertaker = 31
Chris Benoit = 31
Randy Savage = 28
Hulk Hogan = 25
Owen Hart = 21
Edge = 19
X-Pac = 18
Jeff Hardy = 16
Diesel = 15
Christian = 15
Matt Hardy = 14
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Brock Lesnar = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 10
Eddie Guerrero = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Bubba Ray Dudley = 7
D-Von Dudley = 7
Rob Van Dam = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Shane McMahon = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Rikishi = 4
Kane = 4
Chavo Guerrero = 4
Shelton Benjamin = 4
Charlie Haas = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Chyna = 3
Tajiri = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Rey Mysterio = 2
Trish Stratus = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Test = 1
Big Show = 1
Dean Malenko = 1
Scotty 2 Hotty = 1
Rhyno = 1
Jazz = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @Mpmcc91. Thanks for reading!