15 YRS AGO – WWE in Detroit, Mich.: Angle vs. Benoit, Lesnar vs. Heyman & Big Show, Jericho, Cena, Hardy, Torrie, Rey Jr.

Chris Jericho (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)

WWE Smackdown house show report
February 16, 2003
Detroit, Mich.
Report by Steve Gray, PWTorch.com correspondent

The entire upper deck was blocked off, but most of the lower bowl was sold out. Originally scheduled for the show was Cena vs O’Haire, Jones vs. DeMott, Matt/Shannon vs Funaki/Rey, and Edge/Rikishi vs Jericho/Christian in a Raw vs Smackdown Kiss My Ass Match. Edge was not on the show and Rey took his spot in the Raw vs SmackDown tag match, Matt took on Jones in a singles match, and Demott & Cena took on Funaki & O’Haire.

(1) Brock Lesnar defeated Big Show & Paul Heyman (Handicap Match). Tony Chimmel starts the show be saying how great Detroit is, but Heyman interrupts. The crowd was all over Heyman with a “You Suck” chant, to which Heyman replied to someone in the audience “Yes, I DO suck, but your daughter taught me now”. Make of that what you will. At one point, Show had Lesnar down and tagged in Paul, who cowardly kicked at Brock’s body. Match ended when Brock hit show with a chair while Heyman inadvertently distracted the ref. Heyman took the F5 afterwards.

(2) A-Train defeated Kanyon. Kanyon gave it his all and as a result it was a decent match. Kanyon’s tights resembled Storm’s old Red and White tights except they were Green and Black with “Who Betta?” written on them. Kanyon kicked out of the former Baldo Bomb but fell victim to the Derailer or Train Wreck or whatever the hell the Shoulder Backbreaker is called. Kanyon got a standing ovation after the match (from me and my friend Drew, anyway.. some scattered applause from others).

(3) John Cena & Bill Demott defeated Funaki & Sean O’Haire when Cena pinned Funaki with a small package. Cena cut an anti-Detroit rap promo (“I ain’t even tryin’, the worst NFL team is the Detroit Lions” or something like that). Good heat, decent match. Mostly heels beating Funaki, brief hot tag to O’Haire who rocket launched Funaki onto Cena while the ref was yelling at DeMott. O’Haire took out DeMott and Cena packaged Funaki. O’Haire and Funaki hugged afterwards to some cheers.

(4) Nathan Jones defeated Matt Hardy (Version 1.0). Matt cut a promo, asking if those were boo’s he heard (I informed him it was “Boo-urns”, but he continued to run down Detroit). Short match, Jones didn’t look as bad as I’ve been led to believe, but not a tremendous talent either. I’d say he did better than Batista.

(5) Billy Kidman defeated Jamie Noble (w/Nidia). Good match, better than the last one I saw live at Vengeance. There was a blown spot where either Kidman was too far or Noble didn’t sell it, but the always trusty “Opponent Powerbombs Kidman, Kidman does a Faceslam” spot ended with Kidman landing on his ass and Noble still standing. They quickly transitioned from that to that powerbomb Kidman does that D`Lo did too (Raiden bomb?) followed by the SSP.

Bonus Match: Steve Gray and Canadian Change vs. Soda Vendors Who Won’t take 3 Canadian Quarters. Also known as 15 minute intermission.

(6) Team Angle defeated Los Guerreros. Not much heat (some people hadn’t returned from intermission yet not to mention some people view the Guerreros as heels) but it picked up near the end. Team Angle went for a second Superkick / German Suplex Combo on Chavo, but the ref ended up getting in the way and was knocked out. Eddie hit Haas with the tag title with no ref. I apologize for forgetting the finish, but I believe Haas pinned Eddie with an Oklahoma Roll after the ref got up.

(7) Nidia defeated Torrie Wilson. Special Ref: Dawn Marie. Bad match that seemed decent live, mostly due to all the interest from the male fans. At one point, Torrie and Nidia did the trademark “let’s roll around, have the ref jump over us, continue rolling around and take the ref with us” spot, with the added twist Dawn was the ref, so you had tree chicks rolling around together. Torrie hit her Neckbreaker of Doom, but Dawn didn’t count it. Torrie argued, Nidia rolled her up, fast count by Dawn.

(8) Rikishi & Rey Mysterio defeated Chris Jericho & Christian. Comedy to start (Jericho promo, Christian standing on the ropes and falling down when Jericho high fives him). A good match live with both god comedy and good wrestling, but also some slow stuff when Rikishi was in. Finish involved Christian choking Rikishi on the middle rope, setting up a 619 from Rey and a belly-to-belly suplex by Rikishi (I think…). Rey and Rikishi gave stereo stinkfaces to Jericho and Christian respectively and danced with Brian Hebner and a little kid they brought into the ring.

(9) Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit. Some people left early to avoid traffic… shame, as the match was much slower than TV bouts but got quite good at the end. I assumed Lesnar would do a post-match run in, but was quite surprised by who DID show up. Benoit had Angle tapping in the crossface but Charlie Haas distracted the referee while Shelton hit Benoit with the title belt. After the match, Rhyno came out to a huge pop and everyone went nuts as he Gored Charlie and Shelton. Benoit and Rhyno had a staredown and shook hands.

Good show overall, I really enjoyed it. I just wish people wouldn’t bring signs to house shows…

Send results of live events you attend to pwtorch@pwtorch.com.

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