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12/4 WWE Smackdown review: Giebink's report on Benoit vs. Lesnar title match

Dec 5, 2003 - 10:40:00 AM
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WWE Smackdown review
December 4, 2003
Taped 12/2/03 in San Jose, Calif.
Aired on UPN
Report by Dusty Giebink, Sole Lounge Janitor


What is up, my people?! It's your least favorite, most obscure Velocity reviewer on the whole of the Internet, "Dynamic" Dusty Giebink, filling in for Sean "The Man" Radican, PWTorch's resident Karate Master. Sean has been feeling roughly like Anna Nicole Smith looks these days, and was thus unable to see the show this week. I will do the best I can. At the very least, my crap will be overshadowed by Burgan's excellence, and I will fade into further obscurity. On to the show!

Will Smackdown achieve the standard this week?

Smackdown is typically my favorite of the two brands, and always delivers some solid matches. This week will see the payoff for what was started on last week's show, as to whether John Cena or Chris Benoit will get the coveted WWE Championship match against Brock Lesnar, and whether that person will win the title. Will this be the week Chavo turns against Eddie? Will Nidia's blindness be revealed to be a phony ploy? Is this the week Paul Heyman finally has Shannon Moore killed once and for all? If a tree falls in the forest and. . .oh, nevermind.

Tazz and Michael Cole welcome us to tonight's show!

We begin the show with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar making his beautiful way to the ring. Later on tonight, Cena will face Benoit, with the winner taking on Lesnar for the title. He encourages the fans to chant "You Tapped Out" now, while they still can, because after tonight they won't be able to say anything. The fans have a lot in common: Lesnar can beat the hell out of all of them. Lesnar will never, ever tap out ever again. Write that down. Lesnar thinks the co-winner scenario was planned ahead of time, because neither one wanted to face him. It might be the first time in two years WWE has planned anything ahead of time. He doesn't care who wins, he will beat either one of them later on tonight.

(1) Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty defeated The Basham Brothers (with Shaniqua) in a non-title match. The Bashams come to the ring looking very Demolition. With Scotty on the ring apron, the Basham in the ring distracts the ref as Shaniqua pulls the way too hot one off the apron and to the floor. Shaniqua gets tossed from ringside by the ref. Tazz refers to her as the "Ace in the Hole" and I'm having Scross flashbacks. Either Cole identifies a "clubbing blow" way too late, or misidentifies a kick. Rikishi gets the hot tag and lays out both Bashams. Doug gets "in trouble in the corner," and it's funny that that only happens during Rikishi matches. Shaniqua comes back out to distract the ref, and the Bashams switch. Rikishi backs it on up, but eats a low blow from the fresh Basham. Scotty comes back in to hit the W.O.R.M., however. Rikishi dumps Doug over the top rope and for whatever reason, it's not a disqualification. Keesh gets the victory on Danny with the Samoan Drop. After, Shaniqua chews out the Bashams.

Grade: 2 (Nearing the standard.) This was a very good, Velocity main event style match. I love non-title matches where the champions lose. That's the only way it should be.

Bonus: 1 point.

We are shown clips of Bob "Lunatic" Holly coming after Brock week after week. Turns out, it's Paul Heyman watching it on a monitor. Dawn Marie~! is there, and she's offering her, uh, services to Heyman. Heyman makes her take a note to Holly that his suspension will continue for the foreseeable future. Wait, there's something else. They get real close. He needs Dawn. . .to go tell Shannon Moore he's needed in the ring, next. Dawn Marie, back on Smackdown~!

Bonus: 1 point. Hey, this is my review, I can do with it what I want.

Back from commercial break, and Paul Heyman is in the ring with Matt Morgan and Nathan Jones. He doesn't speak just to hear the sound of his own voice. When he speaks, he always has something substantive to say. We see clips of Morgan and especially Jones nearly killing Shannon Moore, John Heidenreich-style. Heyman: "Now, if you're like me, and you should aspire in life to be like me, you will notice in those highlights Shannon Moore." He keeps taking a beating, and keeps coming back for Moore. He calls Shannon out to ringside. Moore comes out, looking all DDP-ish and hobbling. Heyman points out for the third week in a row that he doesn't hold Moore accountable for Matt Hardy leaving for Raw. He keeps talking about it, I'm not sure if that's the truth. It's not going to be Jones and Morgan in a handicap match. That wouldn't be fair to Moore. Instead, it will be Moore vs. Big Show. Oh, that's completely fair.

(2) Big Show defeated Shannon Moore. Moore attacks to start, but Show tosses him from the outside to the top of the turnbuckles, and then up and over them to the floor. This ain't going to be pretty, people. Moore hits some forearms, but Show hits a big clothesline. Cole: "Big Show's hand is larger than Shannon Moore's entire body." Write that down. Show tosses Moore from the top rope with one hand. Cole, only a few minutes later: "Look at the size of Big Show's hand. It covers up Shannon Moore's entire skull." So, it shrunk from the size of Moore's entire body, to just the size of his skull in a mere few minutes? Show hits a nice legdrop and follows it up with a chokeslam for the victory.

Grade: 2 (Nearing the standard.) I give this match a semi-high mark because of the story that was told. Eventually, and maybe I'm being too presumptuous here, but stay with me, Moore is going to beat one of these big guys. This was just paving the way for that to happen. Or else, another cruiserweight gets thoroughly buried, forced to spend the duration of his contract in Velocihell. In that case, I win anyway.

Backstage, Jamie Noble doesn't want Nidia to come to ringside for his match tonight. Nidia promises nothing bad will happen, she just wants to be out there with him. Noble reminds her that he has back-to-back loses because of her. He leaves the area to go to ringside, but comes back. He's got a better idea, and Nidia's going to be able to be at ringside with him after all. Where are you taking me?

(3) Jamie Noble (with Nidia) defeated Sakoda (with Tajiri). Cole sees Nidia coming to ringside with Noble, and has a bird. Does he pay any attention whatsoever?! Noble said, right on camera, that he had another plan, and was going to allow Nidia to be with him after all. It was pretty clear. Cole looked like 12 different kinds of stupid on that one. Noble gets tossed into the turnbuckles with extra Velocity. They trade counters and Sakoda goes spilling to the outside. Noble hits the suicide plancha to the outside. Tajiri stalks around ringside. Noble grabs Nidia from behind and tosses her into the ring. Then, he tosses her into Sakoda, enabling him to roll up Sakoda for the victory. After celebrating, he tends to Nidia and helps her up. Genius, I must say. He explains to her that one of the henchmen tossed her into the ring, and then tossed her into Sakoda. But the important thing is that he won the match. Cole is furious at Noble's actions.

Grade: 3 (Achieved the standard.) This was a really good short match. Plus, the storyline twist of Noble using Nidia's blindness to his advantage was a very clever way to play off of it. I mean, I would totally do that if I were Noble. A win is a win, after all.

We are shown multiple angles of the finish for last week's battle royale with cheese. All angles are inconclusive. We then see Cena, fixing to be interviewed by JOSH MATTHEWS~! This is a great Smacthis is the best Smackdown! If Cena has to beat Chris Benoit, and then beat Brock Lesnar in order to become WWE Champion, well it bees like dat sometimes. Benoit shows up and gets all up in Cena's face. He begs to differ with Cena's point of view.

benoitartjb.jpg
Chris Benoit (artist Joseph Borzotta)

(4) Chris Benoit defeated John Cena. Cena's wearing an old school Packer jersey, causing much jubilation among my Packer fan friends. In one of those perfect things, right after Cena gets down busting his rap, he holds the mic up for the fans to say the swear word, and right in the background is a fan sign that reads "Word Life." I love wrestling. We start out with a quick pace, with Benoit on the offensive. Cena hits a super-delayed vertical suplex and it gets two. Benoit hits a triad of Germans, and then tells Cena that he can't see him. Benoit, however, misses the diving headbutt. Cena goes for the F-U, and actually hits it. He gets the three count. . . but wait! Benoit had his foot on the ropes during the pin attempt, and keeps it there a good long time to show the ref what the score was. A second ref comes into the ring to tell the original one what happened. After some delay, the ref orders the match to restart. And then we go to commercial. Acceptable in this circumstance because of the soap opera style cliffhanger, so I will not deduct a point here.

Back from break, and Benoit is working on Cena's shoulder and arm area. Cole doesn't agree with the referee's decision to restart the match, saying the original decision should have been final. I agree with him, so I take back my earlier criticisms. Cena hits a desperation clothesline, but he's too hurt to capitalize. Benoit sends him spilling to the outside, and that's a good line if I only use it about twice per review. Cena hits the Throwback. It only gets two. Benoit locks on the sharpshooter. Cena makes it to the ropes. Cena hits a sloppy, out of nowhere desperation F-U. Big Show comes out, but Cena nails him. This distraction allows for Benoit enough time to recuperate and lock on the Crossface for the victory.

Grade: 4 (Above the standard.) Ignoring that Big Show was involved in all this, I really liked this entire thing and it all made perfect sense. Cena can claim that he was robbed, because the ref originally declared him the victor, and it shouldn't matter if Benoit's foot was on the ropes because the ref didn't see it and shouldn't have reversed the decision such as he did. This should eventually lead to Cena finally getting his title shot sometime down the road. And, in the meantime, he feuds with Big Show because Show cost him the match. When things make sense, Dusty is happy.

Backstage, we see Eddie and Chavo talking. If I were a betting man, I would tell you this would be the beginning of the second segment of Saturday night's Velocity. Tune in to read Sean Radican's bad butt mothertrucking fill-in review to find out. If I were going to really make some guarantees, it would be a safe bet that Sean isn't going to like that show as much as I like this show. Just a guess. Chavo doesn't want Eddie to be at ringside for his match coming up, and this upsets Eddie greatly.

(5) Chavo Guerrero defeated Shelton Benjamin (with Charlie Haas). Smackdown is brought to us by Atari's "Enter the Matrix," but sadly, not by Atari Teenage Riot. How's that for obscure? As soon as Chavo enters the ring, Eddie comes out in a low rider. Benjamin jumps the distracted Chavito to start the match. Chavo yells at Eddie, saying he's got things under control. Eddie pulls out a lawn chair, and puts on one of those hats wear you can drink beer out of a straw. Instead, there's Y2J Stinger. Nice. Eddie's reading the new issue of Smackdown magazine. Again, nice. Benjamin works on Chavo's knee. Chavo hits a real nice standing dropkick and Eddie is there to cheer him on. Chavo hits a great tornado DDT, but Haas distracts the ref. This allows Eddie to hit a frog splash. Chavo takes advantage and gets the victory. After the match, Chavo is not appreciative of Eddie's help. He felt like he could have won the match on his own. He thinks Eddie was out there being a prima donna, stealing his spotlight, and he doesn't want to ride to the back with him in the low rider. What's his problem? I mean, you win the match, you should be happy no matter what.

Grade: 3 (Achieved the standard.) This was a very good match. Nice to see the continued development in the Guerrero family storyline. And, it's nice to see the World's Greatest Tag Team on Smackdown, even if it was in a singles match, and even if that sole competitor lost his match. Can't complain, though. This was good stuff.

We are shown a highlight package. Brock Lesnar is the youngest WWE champion in history. And he's an animal. And a whole bunch of other adjectives, all of which don't add up favorably for his opponents. Backstage, Chris Benoit is being interviewed by Josh Matthews~! If I give this show anything less than an A, I don't deserve my Velocity Card. Benoit made Lesnar tap out at the Survivor Series but one month ago. Benoit promises to be the next WWE Champion.

Backstage, several Velocity Hell members are taking bets on the Lesnar vs. Benoit match. We see Rhyno, we see Paul London, there's Ultimo Dragon, Funaki, the World's Greatest Tag Team, you name it. Then, to ruin my fun, A Train shows up. He puts ten grand on Benoit, and if that means he wrestles on Velocity, well then I believe I'm going to owe Radican big, big, huge time for this.

(6) Brock Lesnar defeated Chris Benoit to retain the WWE Championship. Lesnar is the fresh man, as Benoit had to fight earlier in the evening. With this advantage, Lesnar goes right for the kill. I mean this merely in the sense that he is trying to win the match and retain his championship. Action flows to the outside (like that?), and they use the announce table as a weapon. Lesnar gets his shoulder rammed into the ringpost with velocity. Benoit attempts the Crossface, but Lesnar gets to the outside. Cole speculates that Hardcore Holly is at home, watching this match, fuming. Tazz guarantees he is training for his eventual return. How can Tazz be so sure what Holly is doing right at that particular moment?

Lesnar press slams Benoit face first onto the announce table on the outside. Lesnar hits a nice snap suplex. The suplex is my favorite move. Lesnar locks on what looks to me like the old Million Dollar Dream. Benoit gets planted by Lesnar for a two count. And we go to commercial. Sure, why not? Nothing can bring me down on this particular evening.

Back from break, and Lesnar has the same submission hold locked on. Benoit fights out of it. Action back on the outside, and the fans start the "You Tapped Out" chant once again. Benoit gets tossed into the 6,420 pound steel ringsteps. We see it again immediately after because we must all have three second attention spans. Benoit fights back, and manages to toss Lesnar into the 7,074 pound steel steps himself. Lesnar goes for a walk and Cole has a bird that Lesnar is running from Benoit. Lesnar hits a German release suplex. Lesnar misses a dive and rams himself into the turnbuckles. This enables Benoit to hit the rolling Germans. Can he take advantage? Benoit hits the diving headbutt. He is too hurt to immediately make the cover, and his causes him to only get a two count. Benoit gets an armbar, but can't quite lock on the Crossface. Lesnar finally rolls out of it. Benoit immediately goes back to it, but Lesnar stands up on it and this causes the ref to get knocked out. Who's booking this, Dusty Rhodes? Benoit locks it on, and you guessed it, Lesnar taps out. Remember when he said, just earlier in the show, that he would never, ever tap out again? Well, does it count when the ref is knocked out and can't see it? I suppose that's a matter of some conjecture. Lesnar hits the F-5 and "Lesnar is going to steal the damn match," according to Cole. The ref staggers over and only manages a two count. So, Lesnar didn't steal the damn match, at least not at that point. Lesnar nails Benoit in the knee with a steel chair and Cole is going ballistic. Lesnar locks on one scary looking knee submission hold. Imagine a one leg Boston crab, with Benoit stood up backwards. Lesnar then sits down on it. Benoit never taps, but the ref rules that he had lost consciousness, and therefore gives the match to Lesnar. After, Lesnar locks on the Crossface and forcefully makes Benoit tap out. Hilarious. Benoit sells like a million bucks, and Lesnar looks a little out of it as he celebrates.

Grade: 3 (Achieved the standard.) This was a very good match. I'm not sure if I liked the ending, but I suppose it allows Benoit to save face a bit. Having said that, I'm not sure if he can be taken seriously as a main event championship threat anymore, as he always seems to come up short in the big matches. But, I can't blame him for poor booking decisions of the past, only praise him for solid work on this night's show.

Giebink's Reaction:: This was an extremely solid edition of Smackdown, and I enjoyed it immensely. The Cena vs. Benoit match was great, and the Benoit vs. Lesnar match was also very good. Plus, I enjoyed the match between Benjamin and Chavo, and it was nice to see some of my old Velocity favorites appear on the "A-show," even if it was to make bets for the title match.

Drum roll please. . .

It is the holiday season, and that gives me more than enough reason (ha ha) to give this show a much deserved A. Storylines got furthered, some plots thickened, the title got defended in a fine match, and Dawn Marie actually appeared on the show. What's not to like. Of course, this leaves A Train and Kanyon for Sean on Saturday night, but as he was gracious enough to volunteer the switch this week, you have to take the bad with the pretty good. I'm sure for all you Radicanites out there, he will not only be doing the Velocity review this weekend, but will make his much awaited return to Smackdown, fully reloaded, next week. Therefore, you won't have to put up with my mindless drivel anymore, and can continue to ignore me in B-show hell. Thanks for reading!

Dusty Giebink likes ketchup very much, but isn't so sure about certain Presidential candidates with ketchup links. He likes other candidates, like those who share the same first name as those with ketchup links. He welcomes any questions, answers, comments or concerns and can be contacted at dustygiebink@yahoo.com. He would like to assure all of Sean's fans once again that Sean will hopefully be back next week and you won't have to deal with him again.


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