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The following report was published on PWTorch.com 15 years ago this week…
WWE Smackdown review
February 13, 2003
Taped Feb. 11 in Bakersfield, Calif.
Broadcast on UPN
By B.J. Bethel, Torch Team Contributor
1st Quarter Hour
(1) Charlie Haas (w/ Paul Heyman) pinned Edge. (Distraction from Heyman at finish with Haas grabbing the tights.) Edge comes to the ring. This week, there is another box in the ring waiting for Undertaker. Lock up to start with Haas winning by taking Edge down into an armbar. Edge doesn’t have any of it, and comes back with a push off, a drop toe hold and a hammer lock. Cole called Heyman, “Perhaps the most powerful man in sports entertainment.” Haas back with a clothesline, but Edge comes back with a spinning heel kick. Edge stops to miss the ref and Haas takes advantage with a suplex. Angle is shown on TV watching in the back. Over-head belly-to-belly by Haas scored another two count. It’s a shame when Haas can out-suplex Scott Steiner. Northern Lights suplex with the cradle scored another two count for Haas. Modified bow and arrow by Haas as the ref asked Edge if he wanted to quit. The crowd cheered for Edge to hulk-out, but Haas stopped the comeback by yanking Edge onto the mat by his hair. Back suplex by Haas, but Edge flipped out of it onto his feet and hit Haas with one of his own, leaving both guys down on the mat as Heyman beat on the apron. Edge got the momentum first with a suplex, clothesline and back drop followed by Edge’s drop-down chin lock for two. DDT countered by Haas but rolled through into a cradle by Edge for a two count. Another roll through and Haas has control, but missed a move off the ropes when Edge caught him with a flap jack. Edge set up for the spear but Heyman distracted the ref on the apron. Haas ran over, but moved just in time for Edge to spear Heyman instead. The distraction worked anyway, as Haas rolled Edge up by the tights for the three count. Dear Triple H, this is how you put new talent over.
Cole announced that Nathan Jones was the exclusive property of Smackdown. Hear that sound? That’s the wrestlers running to their cell phones and calling Lloyds of London.
2nd Quarter Hour
Kurt is waiting in Steph’s office with a rose. Steph has her hair straight and highlighted and is wearing a nice and tight black top. Steph wanted to talk about a match, Angle said they were the perfect match. He went for a kiss but Brock came busting in. Steph then announced the six man match for the PPV. Brock left and Kurt took the rose back.
(2) Rikishi and Nunzio wrestled to a no-contest. (Rikishi was jumped by Stamboli and Palumbo before the bell even rang.) Rikishi caught Nunzio as he tried attacking him off the apron and ate a slam to the floor. Johnny Stamboli and Chuck Palumbo came out in black and then attacked Rikishi from behind. The two then held him back as Nunzio got in his face over insulting his family. Nunzio kept getting up in his face and said he was learning a valuable lesson, but Rikishi kept fighting back. Nunzio then gave him a big kiss and then punched him. Alrighty. The three then finished the beat down. If Tracy Smothers, Malmaluke and Tommy Rich came down to the Wyclef re-mix of Staying Alive, carrying the Italian flag with Tommy’s face, I would say this was the greatest moment in WWE history. But, they didn’t.
(3) Rey Mysterio pinned Matt Hardy. (Clean) Matt made sure that the Chimel announced his weight at 222 lbs. Hardy took Misterio down then showed off his new light-weight frame. Apparently, he’s wearing a rubber suit to help him lose weight. Misterio came back with a drop toe hold into a chin lock. Matt put a stop to that, but ate a boot in the corner and got taken down with a leg scissors take over. Misterio teased a suicide dive, then missed a plancha on the outside. This allowed Moore to attack him on the outside before putting him back in the ring. Hardy looked like he was going to suplex him into the ring but hung him out to dry on the top rope instead. Hardy attacked Rey with his side slam/elbow drop combo, called the ricochet before applying a modified bow and arrow. Gee, seen the move twice tonight already. Rey managed to get an arm free cane came back with some punches, but hardy couldn’t be knocked down. Hardy then applied the Torture Rack, but Rey countered out of it into a bulldog. Rey then hit a huge springboard Thesz Press. Rey then went upstairs and landed a springboard split-legged moonsault for a two count and to a huge pop. Misterio went for a springboard plancha but missed and Hardy made him pay with a version of a uranage for a two count. Hardy got up stumbling and went for the Twist of Fate, but Rey pushed off. Hardy collapsed on the ropes because of his rubber suit and Rey caught him with the 619 as Shannon tried to fan him. He then nailed Hardy with the springboard ‘rana into a cradle for the three count.
3rd Quarter Hour
Matt went to the announcer to let him know that he lost 8 of his 10 pounds this week and he was going to beat Kidman at No Way Out for the Cruiserweight belt.
Benoit is shown doing push-ups backstage as A-Train is shown walking.
They aired a montage of Brian Kendrick’s highlights from the past few weeks. Ending with Sean O’Haire talking to him backstage. DeMott interrupted and threw Kendrick into the lockers until O’Haire made him stop. They both smiled at each other at DeMott walked off.
4th Quarter Hour
(4) Chris Benoit defeated A-Train with the CCF. (Clean) A-Train backed Benoit into the corner and started talking trash. Don’t back-talk the Crippla’, biatch, and Benoit attacked him with some chops. Apparently, fur is like kevlar as Albert shrugged them off. Some power offense from Albert kept Benoit at bay, but Benoit quickly came back. Two tries at the CCF put him on the mat, but Albert made it to the ropes. Backbreaker by A-Train sets up some elbows to Beniot’s back. He then stood Benoit up and nailed Benoit in the kidneys with some forearms before clotheslining him down. A-Train then applied a strange back submission move. Tazz called it an inverted full nelson. Bodyslam by Albert set Benoit up for a splash off the middle turnbuckle, but he could only manage a two count. Torture rack applied by Albert. Man, where’s Luger. Benoit managed to slip out into a sunset flip for a two count, but Train managed to kick out and attack Benoit with some fists. Train tried a charge into the corner, but he missed and Benoit nailed him with three German suplexes, releasing on the last one. Holy mother of God. Benoit went upstairs for the head butt and missed. Benoit then countered A-Train’s Albert Bomb with the CCF and the crowd went nuts. Train couldn’t reach the ropes and had to tap. The ref had to practically drag Benoit off of him after the bell rang. (By the way, Dave Meltzer just reported that Benoit tore his bicep last week against Angle. That’s a repeat of the same injury he had in ’98 after his feud with Booker T. It seems like every time this guy gets hot something bad happens to him.)
Joe Francis from Girls Gone Wild knocked on the Women’s locker room looking for Torrie Wilson. He invited her to some GGW event. Torrie warned him that she got pretty wild. I think she should come over and prove it to me.
Heyman is in the ring with the box. ‘Taker came down and Heyman dropped the mic and ran up the ramp. Inside is Kanyon, dressed up as Boy George singing “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me.” Kanyon then slammed ‘Taker in the back and attacked him. ‘Taker made a quick comeback and stomped Kanyon silly in the corner before tossing him out of the ring. ‘Taker continued the beating on the outside and spiked him with a chair a couple times as well. He then beat him with it while eye-balling Heyman at the top of the ramp.
5th Quarter Hour
Moore is motivating Matt Hardy on the an excer-cycle as he’s attempts to lose two more pounds.
Funaki went to interview Cena. Funaki put on a hat and got out a piece of paper, but before he could rap Cena started two. He finished by knocking his hat off.
(5) Shelton Benjamin (w/ Charlie Haas) pinned Eddie Guerrero. (Minor distraction from Charlie Haas)
Guerrero is one step ahead of the youngster until Benjamin nailed him with a power slam and slapped on an arm bar. Cole informed us that Benjamin ran a 4.2 in the 40. That’s Michael Vick speed, I believe. Guerrero came back with a snap mare and applied a head scissors on the mat. He can’t keep Benjamin down for long, as he came back and got a two count and applied a rear chin lock. Eddie managed to stand out of it. He nailed the slingshot plancha for two, but Benjamin came right back. Eddie fought him off with a Northern Lights suplex for a two count, but Benjamin got his leg on the rope. Eddie went up top, but Benjamin caught him halfway up. Eddie countered Benjamin’s attack with a top rope sunset flip for a two count. Eddie went up top for the Frog Splash, but decided to give Haas a plancha on the outside instead. Eddie then missed a Frog Splash on Benjamin. Benjamin went for a kick, but Eddie caught his leg. Benjamin countered that with a standing roundhouse kick instead of the usual enzuigiri to score the three count.
A commercial for Old School is interrupted by Chris Nowinski, who doesn’t like this depiction of higher education. Mean Gene came out and blasted Chris for using his set. Gene told them to roll the highlights and he began chugging a bear. I will boycott the Oscars until this is nominated, or they at least give Rourke and Johnson a lifetime achievement award for Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.
6th Quarter Hour
Highlights of the Rock/Hogan feud, dating back to last year, aired. They completely blew off everything between the night after ‘Mania last year to Hogan returning a couple weeks ago.
(6) Torrie Wilson defeated Dawn Wilson. (Clean. Nidia ran in afterwards) Dawn attacked Torrie outside to start. She then choked her with her own top. The girls worked their way outside, where Torrie chopped Dawn before rolling her back inside and relieving her of her top. The girls then tried the roll-up/pull off the pants trick, but that didn’t quite work. Dawn had Torrie up in a fireman’s carry, but Torrie rolled her up in a sunset flip and the two girls rolled around the ring. That wasn’t very fluid. I guess I shouldn’t use the word “fluid” in a bra and panties match. Torrie then caught Dawn as she tried to go up top and pulled her pants off. Nidia then ran in and attacked Torrie from behind. Torrie ducked a double clothesline from the heels and came back with one of her own before tossing Dawn and pulling off Nidia’s shorts. She then gave her a spanking. Cole and Tazz must have plugged Girls Gone Wild a thousand times. Tazz: I wouldn’t put this on par with a Benoit/Angle match… Cole: I would probably put it on par with a Tazz match. Torrie gave the crowd a butt-shot before heading up the ramp.
7th Quarter Hour
(7) Brock Lesnar pinned John Cena. (Clean) Cena did a rap at the top of the ramp before the match. Brock countered by pounding Cena upon entering the ring and giving him an over-head belly-to-belly before attacking him in the corner. Backbreaker by Brock before sending Cena outside and dropping him on the announcer’s table. Cena came back with a thumb to the eye, but Brock fired off some knees that took Cena off his feet. Cena ended up outside again and brought his chain with him, nailing Lesnar with it. Brock kicked out at two, shocking Cena. Cena hit a gut wrench suplex for another two and applied a headlock combination with a body scissors. Lesnar stood out of it and rammed Cena into the turnbuckle, but Cena refused to let go and pulled him back to the mat. Lesnar stood out of the submission move again and rammed him into two turnbuckles to finally get out of the hold. Cena stayed on Lesnar in the corner and pummeled him with blows. Lesnar managed to get back on his feet, and rammed Cena with his shoulder in the corner. Two over-head belly-to-bellys followed by a big shot from an elbow and a face full of cover-less turnbuckle set him up for the F 5 and the pinfall.
8th Quarter Hour
After the match, Lesnar grabbed the mic and told Angle to come out to the ring. Angle was shown backstage with Heyman. Lesnar then taunted Angle and gave Cena an F 5 into the ring post like he did Angle several weeks ago. That upset Angle, who accused Lesnar of punking him out. Angle got mad and took off as they went to a break.
(Duke is absolutely losing it in double overtime right now. What a wild season. Wake just had three breaks in row to give them a 9 point lead with a guy on the line ready to shoot two. Half of Duke is fouled out.)
Back from the break, and Lesnar said he was calling Angle’s bluff and wanted to take him on right now. Angle said it was fine with him. He immediately walked into the ring and had a stare down with Brock. He then said he wasn’t going to wrestle him tonight. Angle said he’d love to go, but he has a sinus infection. Lesnar then called him a chicken shit. Angle then offered to give Lesnar a match next week. Lesnar paced around a bit as the crowd chanted. Lesnar said he was on, and gave Angle a clothesline and a belly-to-belly. Angle rolled outside and Lesnar threw him into the ring stairs before giving him another belly-to-belly on the floor. Lesnar set him up for the F 5 against the ring post when Haas and Benjamin ran down to the ring and attacked Lesnar. Lesnar dispatched them both and gave Benjamin a F 5 on the floor as Angle crawled up the ramp towards the locker room. Brock then walked past him and left him laying.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This show was completely dedicated to building up the PPV. Nothing really special of note and that made the Kanyon “Boy George” impression and the Torrie/Dawn match stick out even worse…. Matt Hardy continues to shine with his character. Adding him to the Cruiserweight title scene should really give the division a needed boost… Speaking of Girls Gone Wild, they were filming at “Have A Nice Day Cafe” in Dayton where several people got arrested for underage drinking. A couple “young women” were alleged to be having sex on a bar upstairs… Edge vs. Haas wasn’t too bad, but Edge has yet to distinguish himself as someone who could carry a lesser opponent to a great match. His match against Haas was serviceable, but Haas isn’t exactly a slouch. Edge needs to work on getting a stronger offense as well… I don’t know what in the hell they were thinking with Kanyon. His Smackdown debut tonight was beyond stupid. Hopefully this isn’t the start of an on-going gimmick for him… Saving Lesnar has really made a difference. His appearances come off as a bit more special, especially with the way he wrestled Cena tonight. Cena deserves credit for taking a crappy gimmick and running with it… I could definitely use a bit more of the Guerreros.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 15 YEARS AGO FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – Powell’s WWE Raw Report (2-10-03): Curt Hennig death announced, Bischoff opens show, plus Vince, Booker, RVD, Dudleyz, Batista, Hardy, Jericho