15 YRS AGO – WWE in Burlington, Vt. (4-28-03): Cena vs. Lesnar, Team Angle vs. Los Guerreros, Dawn Marie vs. Trish, plus Rikishi, Matt Hardy, Noble

Brock Lesnar (art credit Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


The following report was published ten years ago on PWTorch.com…

WWE house show report
Apr. 28, 2003
Burlington, Vt.
Report by Jim C, PWTorch.com correspondent

There was a sold out crowd in Burlington, Vt. for last night’s Smackdown house show. Overall, it was a very entertaining show, highlighted by the return of Scotty Too Hotty. Unfortunately, there were also about a dozen protesters across the street, picketing the “violence against women” and “sexual violence” that is on WWE programming. Of course, it was in all the local TV and papers, but they came across looking totally foolish. For every woman at the protest, there were 15 women in line, some with signs protesting the protesters. When they were interviewed, they showed their complete lack of knowledge in the subject they were talking about.

(1) Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) beat Funaki. The show itself started out with a good, fast paced contest between Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) against Smackdown’s number one announcer, Funaki. Jamie got the rub, but Funaki got a good, long kiss from Nidia.

(2) Nathan Jones beat Crash Holly (w/Shannon Moore). Next up was a squash match between the lactating limey, Nathan Jones, and the super-heavyweight MF’er, Crash Holly (w/ Shannon Moore). It was a good comedy match, with Shannon and Crash reading the Hardy Boyz book for inspiration throughout the match. My final take on the match… My God, Jones is huge!

(3) Rikishi beat Sean O’Haire. The third match on the card was a one-minute wonder with Rikishi sitting on Sean O’Haire for the quick pin. We all wondered why the match was so short, when Rikishi made the announcement of the return of the Great One himself Scotty-2-Hotty. They danced around for about 5 minutes, and the crowd was so into Scotty, you would have thought he was Hogan, Rock, and Austin’s love child or something.

(4) Matt Hardy beat Tajiri to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Title. The next match was a battle for the Cruiserweight title between Matt Hardy and Tajiri. This was an excellent, back and forth match, with all the appropriate signature moments and funny bits. Matt finally won the match, and V-1 continued his reign atop the junior division.

(5) Team Angle beat Los Guerreros to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles. The next match had Team Angle going over Los Guerreros in a snooze-fest. The first 5-10 minutes were an unbelievably long series of headlocks by Eddie and Chavo on T.A., where it seemed like they couldn’t figure out what they wanted do do next. You could see a lot of conversation going on during the headlocks. The rest of the match was pretty good, with Haas getting the pin. After the match, Team Angle got their belts back and walked to the back. Unfortunately for them, they forgot their sweats in the ring. Eddie and Chavo put them on, and made fun of Team Angle, until they embarrassed them into a match for the sweats. As soon as the match started, Eddie and Chavo ran outside the ring, grabbed the belts, and ran off with the belts AND the sweats. Nice way to tease something important to the storylines, and make the switch back so that it will be consistent with what’s on TV.

(6) Palumbo & Stamboli beat Bill DeMott & Brian Kendrick. After the intermission, the FBI won a surprisingly interesting match against Bill Demott and “that blonde kid who impressed Stephanie into giving him a job” (I can’t remember his name). The teamwork between Palumbo and Johnny was excellent, and I can see them developing into a truly great tag team.

(7) Dawn Marie beat Torrie Wilson with Nidia as special ref. Next up, the Divas. Sable came out as guest ring announcer, looking as good as she can. I’ve never been a big Sable fan, but she played the crowd well. The match had Dawn-Marie Wilson vs. her daughter, Torrie, with Nidia as the special guest referee. The match was decent, longer than what they do on TV, and showed plenty of what Vermont wanted to see from all of these ladies. One especially notable moment was before the match started. Torrie came down, sucking on a lollipop. She buried it in Sable’s cleavage while she was being introduced. Sable then removed the lollipop from its hiding place, and put it in her mouth. I didn’t think to ask the protesters if women-on-women violence was okay or not.

(8) A-Train & Big Show beat Chris Benoit & Rhyno. were next, taking on Rhyno and a very over Chris Benoit. The match was a better version of the David-and-Goliath Show/Mysterio match at the PPV. Lots of good action by both sides, with Andre’s kid getting the pin after a vicious looking boot to the head of Rhyno.

(9) Brock Lesnar beat John Cena to retain the WWE Title. The main event of the evening was for the WWE title, with Brock Lesner going over John “Ice – Ice” Cena. Good, powerful match, with the crowd-pleasing F-5 at the end. Cena played the crowd brilliantly, even knowing enough to make fun of our local college hockey team, and comparing us to the protesters outside. He had the crowd ready to kill him. I also have to note the best line I heard from the crowd, with someone behind me calling John Cena “Warrior Princess.”

Overall, a very entertaining live show, though the matches as you might expect were fairly toned-down.

Biggest pops:
(1) Scotty Too Hotty (believe it or not)
(2) Brock Lesner
(2a) Chris Benoit
(3) Eddie Guerrero
(4) Matt Hardy’s entrance

Most heat:
(1) John Cena
(2) The protesters
(3) Matt Hardy, after he worked the crowd
(4) Show and A-Train
(5) FBI? (The crowd was so happy to have live wrestling back in, town, no one received too much heat except for Cena)

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 15 YRS AGO REPORT: 15 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT (4-24-03): Cena vs. Rhyno, plus Roddy Piper, Lesnar, Rey Mysterio, Shelton, Goldberg, Rikishi, Big Show

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