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7/31 WWE Smackdown review: Angle & Lesnar test their friendship

Jul 31, 2003 - 9:58:00 PM

By Sean Radican, Torch Team Phenomenon

WWE Smackdown review
July 31, 2003
Taped July 29 in Colorado Springs, Col.

The big picture: This week, Smackdown should begin hyping its matches for Summerslam. We will see the fallout from Vengeance as well. Undertaker defeated John Cena at Vengeance, but the match left me wanting to see more from these two. I didn't like the fact that Cena was held up by the Taker at the count of two. In my opinion, it made Cena look weak. Sablelicious took care of Steph in their match, thanks to some help from the A-Train. I look for these two to continue feuding this week, but I think Steph's exposure on television should be kept to a minimum. The World's Greatest Tag Team managed to retain their titles in an excellent match against Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman. Kidman looked set to turn heel, but showed no signs of doing so at the PPV. I think Kidman would do a good job playing the snobby heel and his character would add some interest to the underutilized Cruiserweight division. After the excellent match that Mysterio had against Hardy in the main event of Smackdown several weeks ago, the title has not been featured on the show. Eddie Guerrero came out of Vengeance with the US Title after defeating Chris Benoit in a good match that just didn't tear the house down like I thought it would. Hopefully, these two will continue their feud tonight heading into Summerslam for a rematch. I also wonder where Zach Gowen goes from here after being defeated by Vince at Vengeance. I was left wondering if the finish to their match was the original because I haven't seen too many wrestlers pinned after missing a basic move from the top rope. Hopefully, Gowen moves into a feud with a member of the Cruiserweight division. I'm still not sold on Gowen as being anything other than a special attraction. I'm going to have to wait and see him wrestle a few more matches before I form an opinion. In the main event of Vengeance, Kurt Angle regained the WWE title, pinning Brock Lesnar. I was surprised to see Angle get the pin on Lesnar as I thought Show would be the one to do the job in that match. I hope that Show doesn't disappear from television after this match. I think he deserves to be thrown into a fresh feud, given his effort the two months. It will be interesting to see if Angle and Lesnar continue to feud or move in opposite directions as we head towards Summerslam.

Book of the Week: Tietam Brown by Mick Foley. This book is well worth your time to read. If you don't want to pay for a hardcover, consider going to your local library and checking this book out. I read it in two nights and I really enjoyed Foley's writing style.

Game of the Week: Enter the Matrix. I'm sure most people have purchased this game, as it has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide. It is worth getting just to see the extra footage, which adds on to Matrix Reloaded.

DVD pick of the week: Office Space. This movie is a funny look into the working world by the creator of Beavis and Butthead, Mike Judge.

*** I was looking through a video game magazine and apparently the WWE is going to include Bra and Panties matches in the new Smackdown game. Sounds good to me.

And now, on to Smackdown!

1st Quarter Hour

Highlights from Vengeance air.

The Rock is still in the opening montage and so is Nathan Jones?

Cole and Tazz go over the card for tonight. Will Tajiri get revenge on Eddie in their match?

Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring. Cole notes that Angle trained for the Olympics for eight years in Colorado Springs. Angle thanks the crowd for their huge reaction. Kurt has the potential to be one of the best ever in my opinion if he can wrestle for 5-7 more years. Kurt says he could brag about becoming the 4-time WWE champ, but he's Kurt Angle so what do you expect. Kurt talks about how special winning the title was for him. Kurt is interrupted by Brock Lesnar's entrance music. Brock takes the mic from Kurt and says that he doesn't want to spoil his big moment. Brock says Kurt did the impossible by beating him. Brock says that Kurt knows how much the WWE Title means to him because of their friendship. Brock challenges Kurt for "his" WWE Title. The fans chant for a rematch. Kurt says there are a lot of people who deserve a shot at the title, but stops mid-sentence and tells Brock that he's on.

No chance! Vinnie Mac struts down to the ring. Vince tells Angle how special he is and now that he's WWE champion he kisses babies and signs autographs. Vince says that he is impressed that Kurt is such a gracious champion. Vince says that earlier today Kurt walked into his office and begged him not to let Brock have a rematch. He goes on about the Kurt is being a back stabber who would sell everyone down the river. Vince says he admires those qualities in Kurt. Vince announces that Steph isn't there tonight and tells Brock that he won't get a rematch, so instead Angle and Lesnar will be in a tag match against opponents of Vince's choosing. Vince guaran-damn-tees that their friendship will be tested tonight. Vince was very good during this segment.

(Commercial Break) I love the Summerslam commercial where Brock F-5's a shark.

2nd Quarter Hour

Wow! They are announcing matches tonight as we learn Benoit will take on Rhyno later tonight

(1) Rey Mysterio (w/Billy Kidman) defeated Shelton Benjamin w/ Charlie Haas by pinfall. Mysterio takes down Benjamin to start the match and hits a drop toehold on the ropes, but Benjamin is able to avoid the 619. Benjamin throws Rey into the pole shoulder first and goes to work on his arm. Haas gets in some cheap shots on Rey, while Benjamin distracts the ref. Benjamin takes control and gets an early two count. Benjamin works over Mysterio's arm, but Rey reverses a suplex sending Benjamin into the post. Rey hits a nice enzugiri on Benjamin for a two count. Mysterio hits a senton on Benjamin, but Benjamin is able to take over hitting a flying arm bar. Kidman and Haas begin fighting on the outside, while Mysterio hits the 619 on Benjamin. Mysterio eventually goes for the West Coast Pop, but Haas grabs his ankles. Kidman nails Haas with an elbow and Mysterio connects with a victory roll for the pin. Good action, but a little short.

Noble is in a hotel room with his briefcase and Torrie enters the room. She doesn't look excited to be there. Noble tells her it will be okay and he shows her his sex toys, including some handcuffs. Torrie says she is going to be sick and runs to the bathroom.

(Commercial Break)

3rd Quarter Hour

I like that there are going to be two matches in a row.

Rhyno is on the Titan Tron talking trash to Benoit. Rhyno says he has an opponent for Benoit, Doink!

(2) Chris Benoit defeated Doink via the Crossface. WTF? Take back the comment I made about there being two good matches in a row. Benoit attacks Doink on the outside and throws him into the ring. Benoit is dominating the match. Doink takes some stiff looking chops in the process of being crushed. Doink goes to the top rope, but Benoit stops him. Benoit hits a huge belly to back superplex. Benoit connects with the diving headbutt and Doink taps out before the Crossface is even applied. Benoit showed good intensity during this match.

Benoit calls Rhyno out. Rhyno is on the Titan Tron and says he is ready for his match, but sometimes in life you don't get what you want. Rhyno says goodbye to Benoit and heads out the door. Rhyno is pretty bland as a heel.

Jamie Noble is in bed, waiting for Torrie. Noble is wearing cowboy boots and underwear; this is pretty funny. Noble goes to answer the door and it's Nidia. Nidia says that tonight is about her and Noble. Nidia attacks Noble on the bed, while Torrie watches. Torrie is watching them go at it in disgust and her facial expressions are really funny.

(Commercial Break)

Angle is backstage talking to Brock. Brock asks Angle if he talked to Vince and Angle says yes. Angle says he told Vince they would both go all out in a rematch and that Vince needs to look out for his investment in the both of them. Angle tells Brock he has a great idea of how Brock can get a rematch.

Eddie comes down in his low-rider.

Tajiri is in the trunk of Guerrero's low-rider and he hits Guerrero with the spray. Guerrero says he can't see, so he can't wrestle. Eddie says let's call it a night. Guerrero is using some great facial expressions during this segment, while pretending to be blinded.

4th Quarter Hour

(Commercial Break)

It is announced that Eddie Guerrero must compete or he will forfeit his match tonight.

(3) Eddie Guerrero defeated Tajiri via pinfall when he connected with the Frogsplash. We come back from the break and join the match already in action. I don't like when they join matches in progress. Guerrero takes over the action, punching away at Tajiri's head in the corner, but Tajiri puts Guerrero into the tree of woe and nails him with a sliding baseball kick. Tajiri gets a two count on Guerrero. Guerrero takes over and throws Tajiri to the outside. For some reason Guerrero was held in the ring by the ref for a long time, but he eventually made his way out and threw Tajiri back in. Tajiri rolls back out of the ring, but makes his way in before the count got to ten. It seems like he was playing some kind of game with Guerrero. Tajiri gets in a couple of kicks, but Guerrero takes over and hits a rolling senton over the top rope from the ring apron. Guerrero applies a chin lock on Tajiri, who tries to power out, but Guerrero slams him to the mat. Guerrero goes to the top rope, but is met with a couple of kicks from Tajiri. Tajiri nails Guerrero with a superplex, the second one that we've seen tonight. Guerrero makes his way to his feet first and is monkey flipped half way across the ring by Tajiri. The action spills to the outside and Tajiri throws Guerrero into the ring steps. Tajiri hits a dropkick on the outside and nails Guerrero with a huge kick that sends Guerrero sprawling on the table. Tajiri throws Guerrero back into the ring and nearly gets the pin. Tajiri connects with his handspring elbow, followed up by a tornado DDT and both men are down. Tajiri rolls over and drapes his arm over Guerrero, but he is able to kick out. Both men exchange punches while they are on their knees and Tajiri nails Guerrero with a dropkick to the face. This was a great match.

Fifth Quarter Hour

Guerrero hits two suplexes, but Tajiri counters the third and locks in the tarantula. Tajiri goes for the kick, but Guerrero ducks and nails Tajiri down low. Tajiri accidentally nails the ref with the mist, while Eddie makes his way outside and grabs the US Title. Guerrero hits Tajiri with the belt and washes the mist out of the ref's eyes with some water. Guerrero makes his way to the top rope and hits Tajiri with the Frogsplash for the pin. This was a really good match. I don't know if the match was long enough, but it deserves four stars.

(Commercial Break) St. Anger plays in the background of a Summerslam commercial.
Zach Gowen's story from Confidential is aired. This is a great piece, explaining Zach's love of wrestling and his battle with cancer. I give Zach a ton of credit for overcoming the odds and becoming a wrestler. His story should serve as an example that anything is possible.

Zach will be in action, next!

(Commercial Break) Smackdown is really good tonight. I'm glad they aired the Gowen piece from Confidential, which I missed. The show has a great mix of talk and action tonight.

Sixth Quarter Hour

Matt Facts: Matt's favorite season is summer and Matt is twice the wrestler Zach is.

(4) Shannon Moore (w/Matt Hardy) defeated Zach Gowen via pinfall. Moore throws Gowen down and hops around on one leg, which gives Gowen the advantage. Hardy chews Moore out and he charges at Gowen. Gowen goes for the tornado DDT, but Moore reverses it into a northern lights suplex into the turnbuckle. Hardy trips up Gowen and Moore hits a swinging neck breaker. Cole says that no one wants to lose to Gowen. Gowen takes over and hits a spinning heel kick. He goes to the top rope and connects with a missile drop kick, but Moore kicks out. Gowen connects with a top rope moonsault, but Moore kicks out again. Gowen fends off Matt Hardy, but Moore comes from behind and rolls Gowen up for the pin.

Hardy attacks Gowen after the match and nails him with the Twist-of-Fate. Cole calls Hardy an ass.

(Commercial Break)

Questions for the next half hour:
1. Is John Cena going to appear tonight?
2. Where is Sablelicious?
3. Will Noble get off Nidia and nail Torrie?
4. Will Sable show up at Noble's hotel room?
5. Who are Angle and Lesnar's opponents?

***If the answer to the third question is yes, this might be the best episode in the history of Smackdown (***Credit given to Tony Schiavone for the previous statement).

Seventh Quarter Hour

Word Life! The Dr. of Thuganomics makes his way down to the ring. Cena busts out some Thuganomics, saying that Taker is sitting at home a bloody mess. Cena demands a rematch next week. Cena suggests that the Taker is engaging in some naughty behavior with Orlando Jones.

(5) John Cena defeated Orlando Jones via pinfall with the F-U. Cena drapes Jones over the top rope. Will we ever get some background on Jones, other than what Cena told us? Cole puts over Cena's performance at Vengeance. Cena nails Jones with a kick and charges into the corner, but misses. Cena chokes Jones and punches him in the gut. Cena is showing good intensity in the ring tonight. Jordan fights back, but Cena counters and hits a HUGE F-U for the pin. Short match, but good effort by both men. Jones sold Cena's offense well.

Torrie is in hotel room drinking. Nidia and Noble come out of the bathroom. Noble tells Torrie that they should have a naj ne twa. Gunn shows up and he's pissed. Torrie tells him she's just a little drunk. Noble and Nidia start going at it again, while Gunn and Torrie look on in amazement. Torrie is using some really great facial expressions tonight. I never knew she could act.

(Commercial Break) The new Nike commercial airs and Kevin Nash has been added. He says, "Can't wrestle", right after Seinfeld says that he can't tell a joke anymore.

***It's confirmed! Cole tells us that St. Anger rocks, and it will be theme song for Summerslam.

Vince is in his office and Brock pays him a visit. Brock asks Vince if he wants him to earn his rematch. Vince says yes and then Brock asks him if he can earn his title shot by beating Vince's ass. Vince says no one intimidates him and that Brock can have his match next week, but he won't guarantee a title shot. Vince tells Brock not to turn his back on Kurt during their match tonight.

Back in the hotel room, Gunn, Torrie, Noble, and Nidia are all getting along well in bed.

Sablelicious is here! She does the Sable Dance and is looking great tonight. Sable brags about her victory over Steph, reminding the fans that she told them she would beat Steph at Vengeance. Sable calls Steph a little pussycat (huh?) and claims that she is the dominant female in WWE. Sablelicious shows the footage of her match from Vengeance. Sable says it pays to have friends in high places and that she will see Vince later. I guess Vince sold his own daughter out at Vengeance. Sable announces that A-Train will be one of the men facing Brock and Kurt tonight.

Big Show's music plays and he makes up the other half of the heaviest tag-team ever.

Eighth Quarter Hour

(Commercial Break) Only ten minutes for the main event.

Cole confirms Cena vs. Taker next week and Lesnar vs. VKM. I think Smackdown has been doing a good job at hooking viewers in by promoting the matches for the next week.

Lesnar comes out, followed by Kurt Angle.

(6) Kurt Angle & Brock Lesnar defeated Big Show & A-Train when Angle pinned Show. Cole asks if Vince is trying to drive a wedge between Angle and Lesnar. A-Train and Angle begin the match. The crowd chants, "shave your back" at A-Train. A-Train takes down Kurt with a shoulder knockdown and then works him over in the corner. A-Train goes for a second splash in the corner, but Angle ducks and locks in The Anklelock. A-Train escapes and Lesnar tags in. A-Train goes to work on Lesnar, but Lesnar comes up with a powerslam. Angle tags in and A-Train nails him with a shoulder block. A-Train nearly gets the pin, but Angle kicks out. Show tags in and hits a leg-drop on Kurt and goes for the pin, which is broken up by Lesnar. Show gives Angle a headbutt. Angle begins to fight back, but Show nails him with a sidewalk slam. A-Train tags in and works over Angle in his corner. A-Train hits a huge bodyslam, followed by a splash. Again, Lesnar breaks up the pin. Kurt counters a clothesline and hits the Angle Slam. Kurt makes his way to the corner and tags in Lesnar who cleans house. Lesnar nails A-Train with two huge belly-to-belly suplexes. Lesnar goes for the F-5, but is stopped by the Show. Show is tagged in, but Lesnar greets him with an F-5. Angle tags in and gets the cheap pin.

Lesnar is angered by Angle's actions, so he gives Kurt an F-5. Vince comes out and tells Lesnar he has a little provision for their match. The match will be inside a 15-foot high steel cage. Vince says that the ref will be Kurt Angle. Is Kurt going to turn heel?

Radican's reaction: I thought that this was a good edition of Smackdown. Mysterio and Benjamin had a good, but short match. I think that Mysterio should be defending the Cruiserweight title, but I think he can go with anyone in the ringRhyno just didn't do it for me as a heel tonight. He needs to do less talking because he is most effective as a monster. He should have Gored Benoit during his match tonight, leading to a humiliating pinfall for Doink. I was hoping to see some interaction between Benoit and Guerrero, but there is still time for thatI thought that the vignettes with Noble were really well done. They came across as funny and part of that was because of the facial expressions of the usually plastic Torrie WilsonTajiri and Guerrero had an excellent match and both showed great intensity. Guerrero has stepped up to the plate with his facial expressions and mannerisms in the ring. I love how he always finds a way to cheat and fool the refereeVince is really effective as a heel and I'm beginning to rethink my position that he shouldn't be in so many segments on Smackdown. Vince is doing a really great job of breaking up Angle and LesnarSmackdown did a great job of hyping the matches for next week to get the fans to tune in. It will be interesting to see if the rating jumps for the Lesnar/Vince cage match. I thought that Smackdown would announce some of its matches for Summerslam, but none were announced. This puzzles me because Summerslam is the second biggest PPV of the year for the WWEOverall, I found tonight to be a very entertaining edition of Smackdown and I'm looking forward to the matches announced for next week.

Sean Radican is looking forward to reading the Harry Potter series. He would like to remind you to always be honest with yourself and others. He encourages you to send feedback to See you next week as the hype for Summerslam begins on Smackdown (Hopefully).

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