15 YRS AGO – WWE Smackdown Review (3-6-03): Hulk Hogan calls out Vince McMahon, Heyman-Angle-Lesnar-Steph interactions, plus Taker, Rey, Matt

By B.J. Bethel, PWTorch contributor

Hulk Hogan (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)

The following was published 15 years ago on PWTorch.com…

WWE Smackdown review
March 6, 2003
Taped Tuesday in Bridgeport, Conn.
By B.J. Bethel, PWTorch contributor

1st Quarter Hour

(1) Rey Mysterio defeated Tajiri and Jamie Noble in a three way dance. (Clean) Tajiri all over Misterio at first, but he gets headed off at the pass by Noble. Modified Thesz Press off a springboard by Misterio, but Tajiri boots him off for a two count. Tajiri landed a German suplex on Noble for a two count. Misterio then hit Tajiri with a standing moonsault for a two count. The two traded chops until Misterio landed a springboard flying body press for a two count. Tajiri kicked out and then landed his handspring elbow on Noble for two. Noble countered an arm whip with a knee to the gut, slammed Tajiri into the corner then slid Rey out of the ring. Hip toss counter by Noble on Tajiri into an arm bar, but Tajiri managed to get a foot on the ropes. In the corner, Noble put the boots to Tajiri, but Misterio quickly got involved. Misterio knocked Noble down on the apron with a fist, but that allowed Tajiri to put him on the top rope. Noble put Tajiri on his shoulders, and he superplexed Misterio off of Noble’s shoulders, leaving all three down on the mat. That one was an HWA favorite. Noble with a two count on Tajiri. He quickly ran over to pin Rey, but Tajiri pulled him off at two. Short-arm into a powerslam for a two count by Noble on Tajiri. Tajiri sent into the corner, but Noble missed a charge and got caught with the Tarantula. This set Noble up for the big kick. Tajiri landed it and got a two count until Rey broke it up. Rey turned Tajiri’s arm whip into a 619 on Noble. Tajiri made a quick cover on Noble, but Rey caught him with a springboard leg drop. Another 619 on Noble, this time with him out on the apron. Rey went for a springboard again, but Tajiri gave him a boot to the midsection as he planted his feet. Suplex into the ring by Tajiri on Rey, but Rey countered it into a roll up and got the three count. Great match, but just way too short. These guys deserve more time. Misterio goes on to ‘mania to face the Cruiserweight champ.

2nd Quarter Hour

(2) The Guerreros defeated the FBI. (Some interference by Nunzio during the match and usual Cheat to Win by Eddie and Chavo) New theme song for Eddie and Chavo that may be even more explicitly stereotypical then LATINOOOOOOO HEAT, if you can believe that. Chavo started off against Palumbo in a lock up. Chavo quickly went to a waist lock, but Chuck countered. Chavo went to an arm bar instead and backed the big guy into the corner. Break up by the ref ended with Chavo slapping the taste out of Palumbo’s mouth. This suckered Palumbo to the floor, allowing the double team. Eddie tagged in, but took an elbow to the face off the ropes. Stamboli then tagged but got caught by an excellent dropkick by Eddie. Eddie went for a waist lock, but Palumbo walked him to the ropes so Palumbo could punch him in the face. Stamboli then pounded him in the corner before using a the ropes and a front face lock to choke him. Palumbo in, and he cut Eddie off as he tried bolting for the safe corner. Chuck with a standing Samoan drop on Eddie, which set up a double make-a-wish when he tagged in Stamboli. Stamboli got a two count and then locked on a bear hug on Eddie. Chavo tried running in, but was cut off by the ref. This allowed Palumbo and Stamboli to switch. “Eddie” chant by the crowd. Eddie managed to box Palumbo’s ears for a slight rally. A Palumbo back drop was countered with a leg scissors take over by Eddie. This allowed Eddie to finally make the tag to Chavo, who was all over Stamboli with a drop kick. He then drop kicked Palumbo low in the knee, and again in the face. Spinning DDT off the ropes by Chavo on Stamboli for two as Palumbo broke it up. Eddie and Palumbo both ended up tossing each other outside, where Eddie ran him face first into the ring post. Body slam on Stamboli by Chavo. He followed that up by pulling Nunzio in the ring and giving him an European uppercut. Chavo made it to the top rope, but got caught by Stamboli, who hit him with a fall-away slam. As soon as Stamboli landed, Eddie nailed him with the Frog Splash for the three count. Nunzio put his leather jacket over Eddie’s head, allowing Palumbo to get the advantage. The FBI then laid both men out in the ring.

Heyman was shown whining in the back about having to wrestle Brock in the cage. Show and Angle told him he had his back and he had nothing to worry about.

After the break, Stephanie is shown on her laptop to a massive canned pop. Jesus, give me a freakin’ break. Kurt Angle and Heyman then walked into her office. Heyman wanted a concession to the match. Steph said he wasn’t getting out of the match. Heyman responded by grabbing her leg and begging. Kurt got mad, because he wasn’t acting like a man. Kurt then tried putting the moves on Steph and started undoing her coat jacket. Kurt said he “knew” she had a thing for him, and he admitted he had a thing for her. Steph then took her hair down. Steph said there was a time and place for everything, and now was time for business. Steph said everything with them was in the past. Steph then said he insulted her intelligence by trying to seduce her and for that, Brock would wrestle him next week if Heyman lost the cage match.

3rd Quarter Hour

(3) Matt Hardy pinned Billy Kidman. (Interference from Moore throughout the match.) Hardy used a quick distraction by Moore to get a roll up as the bell rang. Kidman countered his offense quickly with a leg scissors take over. Hardy rolled through one of Kidman’s moves and then gave him a slingshot onto the floor, where Shannon Moore was waiting for him. Hardy then stood on the bottom rope and used it to choke Kidman back in the ring. Gut wrench suplex by hardy on Kidman. Half surfboard by Hardy on Kidman, but Kidman managed to stand out of it and hit an enzuigiri. Hardy missed a splash in the corner and got caught. Kidman then laid the kicks on him, hanging him up on the top rope just like Shawn Michaels used to do. Split-leg spinebuster on hardy by Kidman set up a leg drop from the top rope for a two count. Hardy tried coming back with a back suplex, but Kidman flipped out of it. Kidman hit his tornado bulldog to set up the SSP, but Moore pulled Hardy out, allowing Kidman to hit them both with a plancha. The fans saw right through that one, totally. Side effect by Kidman as he chased Moore into the ring. Kidman managed to get out, but got pushed into Moore on the apron, allowing Hardy to use the Twist of Fate to get the three count. Some great matches to start the show out so far, but they have all been too short and rushed and with the exception of the three way dance, too much interference.

Replay of Big Boobs McGee announcing Torrie’s appearance in Playboy last week. They then aired some of the footage of the shoot.

Matthews interviewed Nidia after Torrie’s skit. They then showed some footage of Nidia running around the grounds at the Playboy mansion. One of the guards called her Nadine. She told them to tell Hugh to watch GGW next Wednesday and he would give him two, big reasons to put her in the mag. They went back to Matthews, who was getting a kick out of seeing Nidia shake her ass. Nidia challenged Torrie to a “body challenge” to see who looks better naked. She then flashed Josh and walked off. Josh was really coming along great as the “young, somewhat serious” type of commentator and it only took the kiss-asses two weeks to turn him into Coach Part 2.

Hogan was shown walking around in the back.

4th Quarter Hour

The Hulkster hit the ring to a big pop, as usual. Hogan said there is an issue between him and Vince that is twenty years old. He called out Vince and said he wanted to settle it like men. Vince McMahon came out at the top of the ramp. He said he would settle any issue with Hogan anywhere, but said it wouldn’t be man-to-man because Hogan is just a shell of a man. McMahon said he couldn’t believe he would call him out and then proceeded to get interrupted by Hogan, who then ripped into him and called him a liar. Hogan said Vince never created Hulkamania and it was a success in spite of him. Hogan said Vince can’t handle the fact he put the company on the map and he has all the planes, cash and vacation houses because of the Hulkamaniacs. Vince told him to shut up, Hogan told him to kiss his ass. Vince said Hogan was starting to believe his own bullshit (bleep). Vince said he could have given anyone the Hulkamania role, Hogan said it was bunk. He said he gave the ball to all “those other guys” and they couldn’t get it across the goal line, but he could. Hogan then challenged him to a match right then. Vince said there was no chance of him wrestling him. Vince said he didn’t hate Hulkamania, the Hulkamaniacs, and then said he hated Hogan with the usual deep, dark, nasty 1997 Kane after smoking a Basic Menthol voice. He said he hated Hogan for running to Turner and trying to put him out of business and he resented him for it. Vince then said he testified against him in federal court. Hogan then countered, saying if it wasn’t for him he would be in prison learning a new meaning of the word “screwed.” Vince said Hogan owed him for pulling him out of some small town in Minnesota and out of obscurity and making him a star. Vince said he wasn’t going to have a match, he was going to have a fight and it was at ‘Mania. Vince gave a stipulation of if he won, Hogan would never wrestle again. Vince said he created Hulkamania, and he was going to kill him. Hogan said he had been waiting for this for his whole life. Hogan told Vince to start taking his vitamins, training and saying his prayers. The crowd was very dead, except for the canned heat. There wasn’t any shots of the crowd during the Vince/Hogan confrontation either. Vince then gave Hogan his “maniacal” look as Hogan did the ear thing in the ring.

5th Quarter Hour

The showed Undertaker in the ring with Nathan Jones, training him in the ring as the crowd came in. Undertaker screamed at Jones when he couldn’t knock him down with two shoulder blocks. Jones responded by kicking his training partner in the face and choking him on the mat.

(4) A-Train defeated the Undertaker by DQ. (Interference from Show the entire time, while the whole story of the match was Jones not knowing how to handle himself with the ref and around the ring.) Train backed ‘Taker into the corner, but that didn’t last two long. Arm whip into the corner and a slam into the turnbuckle followed by ‘Taker. ‘Taker then nailed A-Train with the big boot for two, but Show pulled him out of the ring by his leg. Powerslam by Albert back in the ring, but the big fur coat missed a corner charge. Undertaker then dropped Albert to the mat by taking his leg out. Show teased interfering, just enough to distract ‘Taker, so Train could knock him out of the ring. Jones went after A-Train in the ring, allowing Show to work Undertaker over outside since the ref was distracted. Jones kept arguing with the ref, this time it paid off as it kept Train from making a cover on ‘Taker. A-Train and Undertaker traded punches with ‘Taker coming back on top. ‘Taker landed a flying clothesline and went to the rope walk. Show distracted ‘Taker again, setting him up for the Albert Bomb. Albert tried to pin ‘Taker, but ‘Taker countered with a triangle choke. Jones was arguing with the ref, allowing Show to drop an elbow on ‘Taker to break the hold. Jones finally threw the ref out of the way and attacked Big Show. Jones and Undertaker ran the heels out of the ring. Hey Nathan, didn’t the Red Rooster start out kind of like this?

7th Quarter Hour

(5) Chris Benoit & Rhyno defeated Team Angle. (Clean) Benjamin and Benoit started things off. Benoit quickly took Benjamin to the mat by grabbing his foot, but Benjamin countered by taking Benoit off his feet and wrapping up his leg. Benoit countered into a hammer lock and followed that up with a roll for a two count. New tights for Benoit, by the way. Tag to Rhyno and the two hit Benjamin with a double elbow off the ropes. Eye rake by Benjamin allowed him to make the tag, but Rhyno took Haas down with a drop toe hold and pounded him into the corner. Tag to Benoit, and he gave Haas a boot to the mid-section and used a Northern Lights suplex to get a two count. Haas then locked on a front face lock and pulled him into the heel corner and tagged Benjamin. Benjamin countered a hammerlock, but Benoit pushed him off into the ropes and went for the Crossface. Haas made the blind tag in there somewhere, and broke it up and attacked Benoit in the corner. Benoit caught him with a boot, but a Benoit charge ended with Haas hitting a powerslam. Short-arm clothesline by Benoit. God, I hope that wasn’t the arm with the torn biceps. Benoit made the tag and Rhyno started working over both members of Team Angle. Clotheslines for both men, set up a standing belly-to-belly. This set Benjamin up for the spear, but Haas distracted him long enough for Benjamin to nail Rhyno with an awesome superkick. Benjamin then locked on a rear double knuckle lock as they went to a break.

Back from the commercial, and Haas was getting a two count on Rhyno. He then locked on an arm bar, using his own leg to wrench it into Rhyno’s neck. Cole mentioned that Rhyno just came off extended time off due to neck injury. It’s amazing how much better Cole and Tazz are when they just are allowed to call the match. Benjamin tagged back in and locked on a head lock. He broke up a Rhyno rally with a neckbreaker across his knee, but Benoit broke up the pinfall attempt. Tag to Haas, and his pinfall attempt got a two. Cole mentioned Rhyno’s time off and if he has recovered his stamina. Leg rope across Rhyno’s head on the middle rope by Benjamin, allowing Haas to hit a spinning neck breaker for a two count. Chin lock by Benjamin. Arm whip countered by Rhyno, allowing him to nail Benjamin with a spinebuster. Rhyno managed to make the tag to Benoit, who took both guys down with double elbows before hitting Haas with three rolling German suplexes. Benoit then nailed the head butt in the middle of the ring, but Benjamin broke up the pin at the last possible instant. Rhyno tossed Benjamin to the outside. Benjamin reversed an arm whip into the guardrail as Haas countered the Cross face with the Haas of Pain. Rhyno broke that up, but Benjamin followed him in. Benjamin thought he out-smarted Rhyno on a corner charge, but ended up eating the Gore. Benoit then locked on the CCF, making Haas tap. Great match.

7th Quarter Hour

Cena is rapping while limping down an alley with a cane. He’s very upset at Brock Lesnar, apparently.

Tale of the Tape between Lesnar and Heyman. Somehow, payroll shenanigans were left off of Heyman’s attributes. Hey, I consider that a strength.

Kurt was tearing into Heyman, telling him he had to win or else he had to wrestle Brock next week. Kurt then broke up an argument between Haas and Benjamin, who just lost.

8th Quarter Hour

Angle scaled the cage as Team Angle ran in and attacked Lesnar before Heyman even came down. The double team ended when Benjamin missed a superkick and planted Haas. Lesnar then ran them both into the cage. Heyman came down and kept telling Brock he was sorry. Angle attacked Brock from behind, but got rammed into the steal post. Angle then juiced. Brock then threw Heyman into the ring. Lesnar was yelling at Heyman and set him up for the F 5 inside, but Angle climbed in over the top of the cage and took his knee out. He then gave Lesnar the Angle Slam, but Lesnar powered out. Angle then tore his shirt off and went for the ankle lock. As Angle applied the move, Lesnar grabbed Heyman and pulled him down as Heyman yelled for help. Angle then attacked Brock again. Heyman then tried climbing out over the top, but Lesnar grabbed him and pulled him back in after he finished pummeling Angle in the corner. Lesnar got Heyman up for the F 5, stopped Angle with a big boot, and then Heyman the F 5 for the pinfall. Afterwards, Angle and Lesnar had a stare down as the show ended.

(Commentary: Tonight’s show was a mix of the best with the worst. While we had some good wrestling, sometimes the booking of those matches wasn’t so good. Just look at the wrestling during the first hour. Sometimes, the wrestling and the booking was fantastic. That described the Team Angle vs. Rhyno/Benoit match and the main event, which was better then I thought it possibly could have been. The absolute worst part of the show as the masturbatory Vince vs. Hogan promo, which was a culmination of all of McMahon’s twisted-history rolled up into one. Before Vince “rescued” Hogan from that “obscure” town in Minnesota, Hogan was drawing thirty thousand for the AWA… First sign of Benoit is having biceps problems? Look for the back arm moves from him instead of the usual clotheslines. Even still, this was by far his most physical match since it became public that he has torn his biceps. Great effort from all involved in that tag match… The Guerreros continue to be over and continue to be the best tag team in the fed, despite being brought down from the top of the card. If Angle is going to be gone as a top heel, I think Eddie Guerrero deserves first shot at filling the spot. He’s the only guy available who can match the workrate, has the heat and has any mic ability… The new emphasis for the Cruiserweight division is good, but they still need to dedicate more matches on the show to the division and they need to start letting them wrestle longer… Nathan Jones, worker in training, how appropriate… )

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 15 YEARS AGO FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – WWE Sunday Night Heat Report (3-2-03): Bobby Roode working as enhancement talent, Coach and Lita provide insipid commentary, RVD, Stevie, Maven, Snow, Molly

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