5 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (2/1/03): Elimination Chamber set-up with Big E. Langston, Khali, Orton, Kane, Bryan, Sheamus, plus Del Rio, Ziggler, Rey, Barrett

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Big E. (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)


The following was first published five years ago…

FEBRUARY 1, 2013

[Q1] -They opened with footage of the Paul Heyman-Vince McMahon segment ending with Brock Lesnar’s return. Then a clip of the latest Alberto Del Rio-Big Show angle with Del Rio taking the KO punch while duct taped to the ropes. The voiceover guy said the Road to WrestleMania continues tonight.

-They went to the parking lot where a casually dressed Del Rio paced with an iron bar in hand. Josh Mathews introduced the show and JBL said he’s been waiting all night for Big Show to arrive. “This doesn’t end well for someone,” he said.

-Booker T stood mid-ring with Teddy Long. Also in the ring were The Great Khali, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton. Dolph Ziggler, A.J. Lee, and Big E. Langston were at ringside acting like bored schoolchildren. Booker said they all have been World Champion before, and they will have another chance. All they have to do is win the Elimination Chamber match. He said there are only six spots available.

-Jack Swagger music played and he walked out. Mathews said they haven’t seen Swagger since September, nearly nine months. He has longer hair slicked back and a full board. He said it appears Booker left someone off of his list of former World Champions. As he entered the ring, Booker asked, “Swag, where you been, dawg?” Swagger said he’s been living the life of a real American and his eyes are open. He said he’s been watching everything and he’s very disappointed in the direction WWE is heading. Booker asked what he wants him to do about it. Swagger said put him in the EC and he’ll do the rest. Booker said he has to earn his way into the match.

Ziggler said he’s already Mr. Money in the Bank so he has a guaranteed World Title match. He said in light of that, he wants him to compete in one of the most brutal matches in WWE, when instead he could sit back and still have his guaranteed World Title match. Ziggler said he will win the World Title, especially if ADR is the champion. He said he can cash it in anytime, including WrestleMania. “Babe, E, we’re out of here,” he said. Then he glanced at Booker said, “No Thanks.” As he walked away, Booker said he can chicken out of the EC match, but he cannot escape a match against ADR later. Booker said ADR is in a real bad mood.

Booker turned to the others and said they’ll be in a match tonight. He said if they impress him and Long, then they’re in. He said it’s time to kick the show off with a bang – a tag team match featuring Kane & Bryan vs. Sin Cara and another former World Champion, San Diego’s own Rey Mysterio. The crowd popped for the announcement that, indeed, Rey was there. Rey ran onto the stage as pyro blasted. [c]

(WK Reax: Strange tag match-up in that Rey is the hometown hero but Kane and Bryan have been portrayed as babyfaces or tweeners lately, so it undercuts the enthusiasm the crowd could have enjoying Rey’s performance.)

(1) Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara defeated Kane & Daniel Bryan in 12:00 when Rey pinned Bryan. Mathews said Mysterio “will bewilder and befuddle” his opponents.

(WK Reax: That sounded like a prepared line the way it was delivered and the way it was constructed as an alliteration. Vince McMahon has always had a fondness for usage of bigger power words on commentary. He even issues a glossary of descriptive words and preferred adjectives and adverbs to announcers to keep in their folders during shows.)

Kane beat up Rey for a while. Bryan tagged in. When Rey made a comeback and set up a 619, Bryan bailed out and yelled “No! No! No!” They cut to a break.

[Q2] [c] Back from the break, Mathews said it’s been back and forth so far. At 10:00 Rey hot-tagged in Rey who went to work on both Bryan and Kane. Rey nailed a roundhouse kick to the side of Bryan’s head and scored a two count. Rey then set up a 619, but he ran right into Kane’s hand. Kane kicked Cara when he tried to jump in for a save, but that gave time for Rey to recover and head scissors Kane out of the ring. Bryan then surprised Rey with the Yes Lock. Sin Cara broke it up with a basement dropkick. Sin Cara then dove onto Kane at ringside as Rey nailed Bryan with the 619 and the top rope splash for the win.

-They went to Mathews and JBL at ringside who reacted to the match, then threw to clips from Sunday’s Royal Rumble of Ricardo Rodrigues duct taping Big Show to the ropes, giving ADR the win in the Last Man Standing match, then Raw on Monday when, as JBL put it, “turnabout was fair play.” Mathews complained that Show duct taping ADR to the middle rope was uncalled for. JBL defended Show.

-They went back to the parking lot where Matt Striker approached ADR and asked if he’s waiting for Show. ADR said he’s just getting fresh air and asked Striker to leave him alone.

-The announcers hyped the ADR vs. Ziggler TV main event.

-A vignette aired on The Rock Concert on Raw. It was part of a plug for the Best of Raw & Smackdown 2012. [c…]

[Q3] […c] -WWE Fact: Last Monday, Raw was again the no. 1 program on cable TV – beating every show on TNT, History, MTV, TBS, and all the ESPN Networks.

-A clip aired of 3MB getting beat up Great Khali on Raw. When Mathews mentioned Justin Timberlake, JBL gave him a hard time for being the only non-teenage girl he’s ever heard of who listened to Justin Bieber.

(2) The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle, Natalya) pinned Jinder Mahal in 2:00. JBL called 3MB “The Spirit Squad” and called Khali & Co. “The Adams Family.”

(Quotebook – JBL to Josh Mathews on 3MB: “They’re as much a band as you’re a commentator.”)

(WK Reax: Why is JBL pro-heel in most cases, but not all cases? Does his ripping on 3MB make them babyfaces, since the typical viewer tends to disagree with on everything else, so if he hates 3MB, it makes them seem more sympathetic. It’s just odd erratic commentary.)

As Khali gave Mahal the Punjabi Plunge, Slater chased after Hornswoggle under the ring. Hornswoggle ended up celebrating in the ring as Slater came out from under the ring looking bewildered and outmaneuvered. Khali, Natalya, and Hornswoggle danced.

-Booker told Long backstage that Khali was “totally impressive tonight.” Long said it’s shaping up to be a fun and unpredictable show tonight. Booker said he was blindsided by Swagger tonight. Long said it was his idea to bring him back. Before Booker could inquire further, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow walked in. Cody said they’ve decided to remain best friends, but pursue singles competition from now on.

Sandow quoted a French author as he looked at Cody: “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” He and Cody then hugged and assured each other they’d remain best friends and it would all work out.

Booker said he’s glad they’re going to pursue their singles career. Booker said that frees up Sandow to face Sheamus, the man who put him through a table on Raw. Cody took a deep breath and said he would be with him in spirit. Booker laughed that Sandow just went from Rhodes Scholar to Road Kill. He then looked at Sandow and said, “You’re welcome.” Sandow left as Booker and Long shared a laugh. [c]

-A WrestleMania 29 “Coming Home” video aired with people holding up flat screen images of WrestleMania scenes as they stood near New York landmarks. It said WM is 65 days away.

[Q4] -They showed aerial views of San Diego as Mathews threw to a highlight package of Heyman on Raw for his Performance Review with Mr. McMahon ending with Brock Lesnar giving Mr. McMahon the F5.

-Clips aired of Mr. McMahon being rolled to the back on a gurney by paramedics in what was labeled “WWE.com Exclusive” footage. Stephanie McMahon was show by his side crying as he was put on an ambulance.

-JBL said he doesn’t remember anything so shocking unfold right in front of him. He said Brock grabbing someone 30 years older than him and delivering that move. Mathews said reports are scarce, but sources say McMahon suffered a broken left hip and surgery is scheduled. He wished him a speedy recovery.

(WK Reax: Again, JBL applauds Big Show duct taping Del Rio to the ropes and beating him on but, but decries Brock Lesnar giving McMahon the F5. Yes, McMahon is a lot older and a non-wrestler compared to ADR, but it’s another example of JBL’s mostly arbitrary, scattershot, rudderless approach to approving or disapproving of heel tactics.) [c]

-They went to the parking lot again where ADR confronted every dar that arrived with a pipe in hand. JBL said ADR got what he deserved. Mathews threw to highlights of John Cena winning the Royal Rumble on Sunday. JBL praised The Shield’s synergy.

(3) Sheamus fought Damien Sandow to a no contest when The Shield interfered in 4:00.

[Q5] At 4:00 The Shield came through the crowd and attacked Sheamus. JBL heaped praise on them, declaring them “the best team I have ever seen in the history of Sports Entertainment, ever, bar done. They are the most violence, well-oiled guys I’ve ever seen. They waste no movement, they waste no motion.” Sheamus showed signs of life, but the Shield overwhelmed him and eventually triple power bombed him center-ring. [c]

-After the break, they showed the Tale of the Tape comparison between John Cena and Fred Flintstone. Mathews was barely making it through the show as he was clearly hoarse.

(4) Randy Orton pinned Wade Barrett in 4:00. At 3:00 Orton set up a second rope DDT, but Barrett slipped to ringside. Barrett then set up the Bull Hammer Elbow, but Orton moved and the elbow landed on the ring post. JBL thought Barrett broke his arm. Orton then gave Barrett a DDT off the middle rope. He played to the crowd and then delivered the ROIO and scored the pin.

-A commercial aired for The Rock on the cover of the WWE Magazine.

[Q6] [c] -Striker interviewed Barrett regarding his loss, saying it had to be a hard pill to swallow. Barrett then, out of the corner of his eye, saw Bo Dallas. He charged at him and attacked him from behind, then beat him down.

(WK Reax: The booking here makes some sense. Orton is getting a bigger push at a World Title level headed into WrestleMania, while Barrett is the nasty heel on a losing streak who is taking out his frustration on rookie Bo Dallas. Still, having Barrett lose to Orton in just four minutes further cements that he’s a second tier guy whose reeling right now rather than a future main evener on the fast track to the top.)

(5) Jack Swagger submitted Kofi Kingston in 7:00. Mathews talked about Swagger deciding to take some time off last September, but now returning. JBL said Striker is a machine. He said of all NCAA wrestlers, he has the most pins in a single year of anyone. Swagger dominated out of the gate. He hit a corner splash at 2:00 for a one count. JBL said he’s never seen Swagger so aggressive. He said, “Good lord, did it rejuvenate him.”

Kofi finally made a comeback at 5:00 and hit the Boom Drop. He played to the crowd and signaled for the Trouble in Paradise. Swagger caught him mid-move and powered him into the corner. Kofi countered with a high round kick, which Mathews called a Pendulum Kick. He dropkicked Swagger to the floor. He leaped off the steps and forearmed Swagger. Then he went for Trouble in Paradise at ringside, but Swagger moved and Kofi kicked the announce table. Swagger threw Kofi back into the ring and stomped on Kofi and then applied an ankle lock for the tap out win.

-Security approached ADR in the parking lot and asked him to put the pipe down. ADR backed them down and then a bus drove up. Big Show stepped out. ADR charged at him with is pipe. He struck and hit a car instead, breaking the side window and denting the hood. Show yelled, “Hey, what’s the deal!”

(WK Reax: That’s what Show gets for arriving 30 minutes before Smackdown ends, at least 90 minute late for work.)

Show tried to escape by climbing onto the roof of the car. ADR knocked his legs out from under him. Show bumped onto his back. ADR mounted him and punched him. Show shoved him to the pavement. ADR got up and yelled at Show from one side of the car with Show on the opposite side. Show made a run for it. He crawled into a running car and sped away. [c]

[Q7] -As they showed the “Gaslamp Quarter” historic district of San Diego, Mathews threw to a clip of the C.M. Punk-Rock segment on Raw. Then Mathews and JBL plugged the Rock vs. Punk title match at Elimination Chamber.

-Ziggler made his ring introduction. [c]

-WWE Fact: “Last Monday, Raw was far and away the most social show on TV – more than doubling any other show on any other network.”

-ADR asked Ricardo backstage what he was doing there. He told him to stay back tonight. Ricardo said they’re a team. ADR said he’s hurt and he needs to trust him and stay in the back. Ricardo looked crestfallen.

-Del Rio’s made his full ring intro, giving his white towel to a fan at ringside.

[Q8] (6) Alberto Del Rio beat Dolph Ziggler via tapout in 13:00.

(Quotebook – JBL to Mathews: “I know it’s a great point. I’m a great color commentator.”)

At 3:00 Big E interfered by knocking ADR off the top rope at A.J. distracted the ref. That led to a two count for Ziggler. When Big E. began to jump onto the ring apron, the ref booted him from ringside. They cut to a break. [c]

Ziggler took over control after the break and landed a nice high dropkick for a two count at 8:00. ADR superplexed Ziggler a minute later. Both were slow to get up. Ziggler charged at ADR in the corner, but ADR moved and Ziggler hit the top turnbuckle. ADR gave Ziggler a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and then got fired up and played to the crowd. He super kicked Ziggler who was on his knees. That was good for a two count at 10:00. Ziggler then set up his Cross Armbreaker, but Ziggler escaped and landed the power legdrop for a convincing near fall. They really turned up the crowd sound enhancement there. ADR turned up his attack and gave Ziggler some elbows to the back and then a back stabber for a two count. ADR climbed to the top rope, but Ziggler caught him mid-air with a massive dropkick for a near fall. Ziggler then set up the Zig Zag, but ADR blocked it and he went into the Cross Armbreaker for the tap out win.

-Afterward Show appeared on the big screen and bragged about being back in the building. He had Ricardo with him. He ordered ADR to return to the ring or he’d snap Ricardo like a piece of straw. ADR looked panicked and conciliatory. Show said if ADR ever attacks him like that again, he’ll make him sorry you ever woke up that day. He said he would hurt him and anyone who gets in his way. Ricardo pleaded with Show to please stop. Show said he will let him go, but then gave him a KO punch. ADR ran to the back to find them. A ref was checking on Ricardo, calling for help from the doctor. ADR arrived on the scene.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS AGO FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (1/28/13): Cena celebrates Rumble win, Stellar Heyman promo with Lesnar, Cena squashes Cody, Rock, Punk, Del Rio

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