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Arena Reports
12/5 WWE Smackdown in Singapore: Flair-Train, Lesnar-Benoit, Guerreros-Bashams

Dec 6, 2003 - 1:16:00 AM
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WWE "Passport To Smackdown" Tour
December 5, 2003
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Report by Tengku Mizar, PWTorch.com reader


Within a decade, this is the WWE's third appearance in Singapore. Two years ago, the Raw roster (with Ric Flair doing the angle as the co-owner of the WWE in charge of Raw) came down with The Rock-Chris Jericho (the undisputed champion that time) headlining. This year round, the Smackdown roster made the trip, with Brock Lesnar and Chris Benoit headlining the main event. Unfortunately, Kurt Angle couldn't make the trip.

The event started on time with the ring announcer announcing the entrance of Ric Flair and not surprisingly, an opening promo.

Opening Promo:

The whole arena was filled with "Whoo!" as Flair stepped into the ring. Tonight, he's playing the face. No Evolution, No Triple H. He told the crowd, for the mandatory cheap pop, that he was glad to be in Singapore again. In fact, he had pleaded with the office to allow him, a Raw superstar, to follow the Smackdown crew to Singapore.

heymanpaul.jpg
Paul Heyman (photo by Wade Keller)

Cue Paul Heyman! Heyman introduced himself as the General Manager of Smackdown and told Ric Flair to get out of his ring. Flair just "Whoo!" him. This went back and forth until Heyman threw a tantrum. As Flair was about to leave, he chopped Heyman, stump a mudhole and was about to give him the figure-four leglock until A-Train ran in for the save. Heyman was furious and set a match between Flair and A-Train before the Lesnar-Benoit main event.

(1) Rikishi & Scotty Too Hotty beat the FBI (Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli). Rikishi and Scotty got the enthusiastic opening pop from the crowd. And they responded by pleasing the crowd with their signature moves, Rikishi doing the stinkface and Scotty doing the Worm. Finish came when Rikishi pinned Johnny (I think) after a backdrop slam, a variation of the Death Valley Driver (is it called Rikishi Driver?)

(2) Ultimo Dragon beat Shannon Moore. If Matt Hardy v1.0 was still around in Smackdown, might we have a Mattitude styled entrance, complete with Matt Facts? Oh anyway, no Titantron tonight or whatever they call the big screen nowadays. Good cruiserweight action from both guys, basically an almost carbon copy of Dragon's first match in the WWE with Moore. Dragon won with some variation of a reverse neck-breaker, that I may have yet to see before. Anyway, Dragon doesn't appear much on SD so I may not know his moves after all. The former and jilted MFer got a polite applause though as he left the ring.

(3) Kidman & Funaki beat The Self-Professed World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin). Well that's what the ring announcer (I've never seen him before on TV) called Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. I always thought it is "Self-Proclaimed". I was expecting Haas and Benjamin to win this one. Hey, after all they are former tag team champions. To lose to Kidman and SD No. 1 Announcer in a house show, my goodness, surely they are not in the doghouse or something! Standard tag team action with trademark double team maneuvers and heelish cheating from Haas and Benjamin. Finish came with Kidman giving the shooting star press to Haas for the pin. After the match, Benjamin cheekily hit Haas' butt with an elongated balloon he took from one of the fans, and made funny faces at Haas as he turned his back to exit the ring. Funny.

(4) Shaniqua beat Dawn Marie. Dawn looked better tonight than in her previous backstage bits. Shaniqua dominated the match with Dawn occasionally rallied back for some brief offense. Finish came with Shaniqua giving the big boot to Dawn for the pin. Despite winning the match already, Shaniqua wasn't done yet. She attacked Dawn post match, just to get a lot of heel heat from the crowd.

(5) Fatal Four-way Elimination Cruiserweight Title Match: Tajiri beat Rey Mysterio, Nunzio and Jamie Noble. How I wished title WOULD change hands at house shows! Anyway Rey Mysterio got the loudest pop so far. Jamie Noble came with blind Nidia and the lady beside me really thought Nidia was blind. It's either she's a mark or she's just a clueless parent following her wrestling-obsessed child. Noble attacked Tajiri before Tajiri could even make it to the ring. Yeah, payback for what Tajiri had done to Nidia. Another standard but good fast-paced cruiserweight action. At one point in time, Tajiri pulled Nidia into the ring and was taunting her but before he could physically harm her, Rey Mysterio came to the rescue. Jamie Noble did not like what he saw and an argument between him and Rey Rey ensued. Somehow Tajiri took advantage of the situation by pushing him into Nidia and rolled him up for the quick pin. Nunzio was next to be eliminated via a crucifix from Rey Rey. In somewhat a dj vu moment, Rey Rey had just given Tajiri the 619 and was about to do the West Coast Pop. However Tajiri pulled referee Nick Patrick in front of him for the mandatory title match ref bump. Luckily the ref wasn't out for long but Tajiri took the golden opportunity to spray the mist into Rey Mysterio's eyes and after a stiff kick to his head, Tajiri pinned Rey Rey for the win.

(6) John Cena & Bradshaw & Hardcore Holly beat Big Show & Nathan Jones & Matt Morgan. Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo! The crowd went apeshit when the Professor of Thuganomics did his freestyle. Cena certainly got the loudest pop of the night. Well, it's not one of his best rap, but Cena put in some Chinese in his rap for some cheap pop. Too bad, I'm a Malay Singaporean and may not understand those Chinese phrases but hey it's freaking THUGANOMICS for the first time here in Singapore! I marked out greatly for that. Big Show got a big pop as loud as John Cena. Initially, I thought it was a handicapped match since it was announced that Hardcore Holly was suspended. But Paul Heyman will allow him to compete if he could pay for his own air fare and came to the arena on time. As if that won't happen. Of course, cue the music and here's Hardcore Holly! The finish came when John Cena gave Big Show the FU for the pin. Okay I may have seen this before on TV but to see it "live", Cena picking up the enormous Big Show for the FU, that was truly a memorable sight. If only Cena had done the "You can't see me" sign when he lifted Big Show.

Intermission.

(7) WWE Tag Team Title Match: The Basham Brothers (with Shaniqua & whip) beat Los Guerreros. Another huge pop for the Guerreros. The Bashams came to the ring in their S&M garb, complete with masks. A guy behind me who's obviously last watched wrestling more than 10 years ago remarked in amazement that the Demolition are still the tag team champions after all these years! (Insert your own insult here) Eddie got a nice and huge "Eddie" chant before the match. Of course, to prevent nephew Chavo from getting too jealous, Eddie prompted to crowd to chant for Chavo and the crowd duly started another nice "Chavo" chant. Many antics from the Los Guerreros that delighted the crowd. One spot had Eddie and Chavo stealing the title belts, and making their way to the back before being halted by the ref. Another one saw Eddie making the moves, exuding his Latino Heat to Shaniqua, but she ain't a mamacita. The end came when Eddie gave a frog splash to one of the Bashams, but Shaniqua interfered right before the pin. With both Eddie and the ref distracted, the Bashams did their patented switch and as Eddie turned, he was rolled up for the pin. The Bashams retained but forgot to take their title belts. The Guerreros snatched the titles from Nick Patrick and threw the gauntlet to the Bashams to take their titles. As the Bashams were duly disposed by the Guerreros, Shaniqua stepped up to face the Latino Heat. But Dawn Marie ran in to give Shaniqua a taste of her very own payback. The three celebrated in the ring as Chavo hold up a fan's sign "Lie, Cheat, Steal" to another huge pop for Eddie, oops, for the Los Guerreros and Dawn Marie.

(8) Ric Flair beat A-Train. A-Train dominated the match but the crowd was more interested in "Whoo-ing". No wonder the writers try to prevent Flair from "Whoo-ing" too much. Anyway the finish came when Ric Flair, after some leg tackles and concentrated assault on A-Train's leg, put A-Train in a figure-four leglock for the tapout win. Of course, we never forget to chant "Shave Your Back" at A-Train. Post match, A-Train shook Flair's hands and respectfully raised the victor's hands. Gee, I thought he was going for cheap heel heat by attacking Flair. Surely A-Train's not foreshadowing a face turn, eh?

(9) WWE Title Match: Brock Lesnar beat Chris Benoit. Chris Benoit was alive and kicking after passing out on Tuesday after that submission move from Brock. Both wrestlers got a huge pop. Brock stalled a lot at the beginning of the match, like he did against Angle in the Iron Man Match. The crowd got very frustrated with Brock's antics and started chanting "You Tap Out!" very loudly. Benoit got on the mic and told Brock that he would make Brock tap out tonight. This jolted Brock into action. A good match from both wrestlers, with both of them performing their trademark moves, German suplexes, F5, swandive headbutt and all. After a couple of near falls, Brock lifted Benoit for another F5 but as he swung Benoit midair, the ref went down for the mandatory main event title match ref bump. Benoit countered the F5 with the crossface and Brock tapped out to the great delight of the crowd. Of course, no ref. Brock went out of the ring, took his title belt and knocked Benoit out cold with the belt for the winning pin. After the match, Benoit stole the title away from the ref and then taunted Brock, saying that he may have retain his title but everyone in the arena saw him tap out. This started a much louder "You Tap Out!" chant that drove Brock bonkers and into a fitful tantrum. After feeling that he had enough of the chant, Brock braved himself to take back his title from Benoit. Instead, he attacked Benoit but Benoit managed to counter the assault with the crossface. Brock tapped out yet again and Benoit got his heat back, and the crowd went home happy.

There may be no four-to-five stars match tonight but the Singapore crowd was here to watch their favorite superstars in action. The wrestlers involved, especially the faces, performed their signature moves and finishers, that made the crowd real pleased and went home happy. By the way, the arena, with a capacity of 12,000, was nearly three-quarters full and surely I would wait for the next WWE stopover, hopefully in the near future.

***

(QUICK TIPS FOR SENDING RESULTS

If you attend an arena event in future, either house shows or TV tapings, we encourage you to send us a report for publication. You can direct your reports to results@pwtorch.com.

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