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The following was published on PWTorch.com 15 years ago this week…
WWE Smackdown review
May 1, 2003
Taped Tuesday in Manchester, N.H.
Report by B.J. Bethel, PWTorch contributor
There was nothing mentioning the death of Elizabeth.
Pre-Intro: Highlights of Big Show swinging Rey Misterio into the ring post from Backlash were shown. Show gets yelled out by the boss for not protecting his guy, Misterio is sent to the hospital for numbness in his arms afterwards, but that doesn’t stop them from using that as the opener for the show.
1st Quarter Hour
(1) The Guerreros defeated Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore (w/ Crash). (Chavo used the tag title as a weapon.)
The Guerreros made their way to the ring brandishing the tag titles they stole from Team Angle at the PPV. Crash came to the ring with Hardy and Moore. Good to see he hasn’t been axed yet. Moore’s leg was attacked immediately at the beginning of the match. Eddie even used his patented slingshot senton on the leg. This led to Crash using Hardy’s book as weapon on Eddie to give Shannon a chance to recover. Matt Hardy tagged in and delivered a guillotine across the middle rope on Eddie to get a two count. Hardy locked on a full nelson and then switched to a side head lock, but Eddie countered with a back suplex. Eddie made the tag, but the ref ruled it void because his back was turned. Chavo ran past him anyway as the heels attacked Eddie. Chavo knocked Crash off the apron and hit him with a sweet slingshot plancha as Eddie used a springboard leg scissors out of a wristlock on Hardy for a two count. Moore came in to rescue Hardy and to help perform a double team swinging neck breaker on Eddie. Chavo used one of the stolen tag titles on Hardy to set up an Eddie Guerrero Frog Splash for the win. The heels attacked afterwards but the Guerreros fought them off. Team Angle then ran down to get their belts back, but the Guerrero’s weren’t in too much of a giving mood. Eddie and Chavo walked off towards the back as Team Angle had a temper tantrum in the ring.
2nd Quarter Hour
Josh Matthews asked Stephanie about Mr. America. She said he signed him sight unseen. She’s looking more and more like Ivory’s older sister every week, which is scary because Ivory is probably ten years older then her. Team Angle interrupted to complain about the Guerreros. Steph said they would have to give them their tag belts back, but she then set up a ladder match between T.A. and Eddie/Chavo.
They run the Mysterio stretcher-swing from the PPV. Tazz did a fantastic job of selling it with his tone if they didn’t fix it.
Stephanie walked out of Mr. America’s dressing room and looked quite distressed. She either 1.) saw Mr. America’s true identity or 2.) saw Mr. America naked.
Big Show came out with the microphone. He said something about people saying he should pick on someone his own size, but there is no one his own size. He said he would pick someone bigger then Misterio and out came Smackdown’s number one announcer.
(2) Big Show defeated Funaki. (Clean)
Show tossed Funaki into the corner and gave him a couple chops before hip tossing him out. Funaki rolled to the floor on the outside. Show then lumbered out of the ring and press slammed him back into the ring. Funaki rolled out as Show tried climbing back in. Funaki used the opportunity to crotch Show. Funaki followed it up with a missile drop kick and a swinging DDT, but Show put a stop to that. Show then pulled Funaki up at a two count and held him up in the air for a choke slam. Show let him down like he was going to let him go, but then clotheslined him instead for the three count. Atrocious.
Stephanie is playing with her laptop when Jayson Bernstein walked in and informed her that her Dad was on his way to the arena. Step didn’t look happy, but that’s cool, because I’m digging the look, baby!!!!
Commercial for UCW in Dayton aired locally. Big Daddy is back.
3rd Quarter Hour
Show is waking through the locker room as wrestlers look at him in disgust, including Bill Demott, Noble, Nidia, Tajiri and some others. A-Train came up to him and told him it didn’t matter what the locker room thought.
John Cena came to the ring and said he was robbed at Backlash. Brian Kendrick came out and introduced himself as Spanky. He was dressed up like Flava Flav. Kendrick said he needed a beat. Cena then gave the mic to the ref and said he needed a beat. Richmond started laying it down like he was in the Fatboys and Kendrick tore Cena apart. Kendrick had the crowd into it. Richmond started making record scratching noises as Kendrick acted like he was scratching a record on Cena’s head. Cena finally had enough and clotheslined him and gave him the “F.U.,” which looks like a standing fireman’s carry slam.
The FBI is backstage in a storage room scamming money out of a guy. They talked about taking out Nathan Jones before walking off.
4th Quarter Hour
(3) The FBI defeated Chris Benoit & Rhyno. (Interference from the FBI through out and during the finish.)
Benoit looked cautiously around the outside of the ring as the bell fang, selling the fact he was surrounded and out numbered. Benoit kept the advantage on the whole group until Bull got a jump on him as he came back in the ring. Johnny battered Benoit in the corner with weak stomps then got in the ref’s face so the rest of the FBI could choke Benoit in the corner. Stamboli tried to press slam him, but Benoit countered into the CCF, but he couldn’t lock it on. Bull battered Benoit some more to score a two count and then locked on a half surf board. Benoit reversed out by sliding into a body slide, which got a two count. Clothesline to the back of Bull’s head and a series of running forearms were followed by a snap suplex for a two count. Short arm clothesline by Johnny missed, allowing Benoit to give him the German suplex. Benoit signaled for the head butt and managed to nail it after fighting off Nunzio and Palumbo on the apron. Benoit crawled over to make the cover but Nunzio distracted the ref as he ran in with a chair. Rhyno then ran in to fight off the FBI. He annihilated Nunzio with a gore as he came in. The ref then turned the match into a tag match before they broke to a commercial break.
Rhyno scored a two count with a suplex on Palumbo as they came back from break. Palumbo made the tag to Johnny, but he didn’t fair much better. Rhyno tagged to Benoit, but the ref didn’t see the tag, this allowed Palumbo to come in and to nail what Rhyno with a superkick. Nunzio finally started coming to at ringside as Palumbo hit Rhyno with a back suplex. Things slowed down a bit as the FBI began to take over. Bull came in and dropped an elbow on Rhyno. The ref was busy with Benoit, who was trying to break up a double team. This allowed Palumbo to ram Rhyno into the guardrail on the outside. Back in the ring, Bull locked on a bear hug on Rhyno. Rhyno fought out once, but Bull locked it on again. Rhyno fought out again, but Palumbo nailed him from behind as Rhyno was too close to the FBI’s corner. Rhyno managed to tag Benoit, who took out Palumbo and Bull. Benoit hit one German suplex on Palumbo, but Palumbo grabbed the ropes to block the next one. Rhyno gored Bull as Benoit had Palumbo pinned. The gore knocked Bull into the ref, who then counted the three for Palumbo after Nunzio helped him roll Benoit over for the three count.
5th Quarter Hour
Stephanie was in the parking lot calling Vince on the cell. She said she had everything under control and she didn’t need him to come to the arena. Brock Lesnar then showed up. Apparently he wasn’t supposed to be at the show, but he is now.
Brock Lesnar came to the ring and cut a promo on Big Show. He said he was gutless and did what he did at the PPV because Misterio had a bigger heart then he did. Lesnar said he isn’t going to stand for him bullying anyone around and told him to come down and try bullying him. Show came to the top of the ramp with the mic. Show came out and told Lesnar he was going to beat him again. He said he wouldn’t face him unless Brock put the title up. Brock offered to put it up, Show said it was on, but not tonight and walked off. Lesnar’s doing a bit better in the promo department, particularly when he gets angry because he doesn’t sound as scripted. Show came off surprisingly strong in the segment.
6th Quarter Hour
Another Mr. America promo aired, featuring MLK, Reagan and George W. Ah, Ronald “The Bombing Starts in Ten Minutes” Reagan.
(4) Team Angle defeated John Walters & Aaron Stevens. (Clean)
Team Angle is taking on John Walters and Aaron Stevens. Stevens managed to get a quick two count, but Haas made him pay for it. Haas and Benjamin then nailed Stevens with their guillotine splash double team before Benjamin let Stevens tag to Walters. Haas worked Walters over against the ropes. Walters fought out, but Benjamin tripped him up. Stevens got tossed as Benjamin and Haas did a beautiful combo atomic drop/super kick for the three count. Afterwards, Haas got on the mic and called the Guerreros out to give their titles back. Eddie went to the ring with the belts as Chavo started pulling something out of his boot on the outside. Eddie had their back turned when Chavo finally entered the ring. Eddie grabbed the mic and apologized and promised not to steal anything of theirs again. Eddie and Chavo backed out of the ring as Haas and Benjamin acted like they won the titles again. Haas told them on the mic that they would never see the belts again. Chavo and Eddie said they may not be tag champs, but they are Olympic gold medallists. Apparently they thieved Angle’s medals off his picture at ringside when T.A. had their back turned. Overly drawn out segment that was saved by Eddie and Chavo.
Torrie is backstage stretching when Sable came up to her and put her arm on her. Torrie told her to get her arms off of her. Torrie was upset over what happened last week with the other girls in the ring. Sable told her to watch out when she doesn’t get what she wants. I can see them making a Smackdown women’s title. They can use a strap-on instead of a title belt.
7th Quarter Hour
A replay of Sable’s bikini contest from last week.
(5) Nidia & Dawn Marie (w/Jamie Noble) defeated Torrie Wilson & Sable. (Usual heel stuff from Dawn and Nidia.)
Noble came down to the ring with Nidia and Dawn Marie and couldn’t have looked happier. Nidia and Dawn Marie got the jump on Torrie but Sable pushed them both off. The ref guided her out of the ring as Nidia’s snap mare got a two count on Torrie. Torrie came back with a swinging neck breaker for two. Torrie knocked Dawn down on the apron, but Nidia kicked her in the back of the leg to take her off her feet. Nidia then started working over her hamstring. Psychology?!?!?!?!?! HOLY SHIT!!!! Dawn Marie splashed Torrie off the second rope off the tag and then started working Torrie’s leg over on the bottom rope. Body slam by Dawn Marie, where she nearly dropped her on her head. Blind splash off the second rope by Dawn Marie missed, and Dawn crawled over to the corner to tag Sable. Sable didn’t make any effort at all to tag Torrie as she reached for her. Sable then walked off as Torrie glared at her from in the ring. Slingshot by Dawn Marie, who then locked on a weird version of a half crab to get her to submit. Torrie shook her head and looked at her as Sable walked off.
Steph met her dad in the parking lot. Steph tried to get him to go to the hotel with her to get something to eat, but he wanted to meet Mr. America.
8th Quarter Hour
Roddy Piper came to the ring with Sean O’Haire for Piper’s Pit. I can’t believe they are saving this for the last segment of the show. Piper took a shot at Jericho for his comments about him on Raw. Piper then introduced “Mr. America” to Rick Derringer’s Real American and to a big crowd pop. Mr. America’s outfit is a cross between Captain America and Hogan’s regular garb complete with feather boa. Piper isn’t happy. Piper said he wasn’t Mr. America, but Hulk Hogan as a “Hogan” chant erupted. Hogan doesn’t even try to hide his voice as he rips off a, “Let me tell you something, brutha” as Piper shook his head. “I am freedom, I am justice and I am liberty for all” is the tagline I guess. He said he stood for everything that makes America the greatest country in the world. He then insisted he was not Hulk Hogan as Vince’s music hit and an irate Vince came tot he ring. Vince grabbed the mic from Piper and laid into Hogan. He said Hogan breached his contract and he was going to sue him. He then told him to leave. “Mr. America” then said that Hogan must have gave him some brain damage when he kicked his ass. Vince then fired him, but Hogan stated that he signed an iron clad contract with Stephanie where he can’t get fired or suspended. This is so jingoistic and cheesy it makes me want to puke and I usually like some jingoism and some cheese. Vince then said the three of them were going to take Hogan’s mask off. Hogan knocked Piper down with a clothesline but O’Haire held him back. Before McMahon could get a grab at the mask, Hogan bailed and started waving a flag as red, white and blue confetti fired off over the ring. This make the James Boys look like Shakespeare.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This show seriously dragged and is feeling more and more like Raw every week. Mr. America is Mr. Ridiculous and the rest of the show didn’t hold up either. Bring freaking’ Heyman back, please… It’ll be interesting to see if the ratings jump for Raw means anything for Smackdown this week. If it does, I’m sure Hogan will be taking credit left and right…The Guerreros vs. Hardy/Moore was a great way to open the show. A hot match with some decent length is always a great way to start things off, I wish they would learn that lesson and do it every week, especially if they are going to fill the rest of the hour up with Big Show crap… Benoit continues to perform to his level in the ring, but putting him and Rhyno in a feud with the FBI is a waste. At this point, the FBI is a curtain jerker group and occupying them with Benoit and Rhyno is a waste, especially since Lesnar/Benoit and Lesnar/Rhyno are a lot better options right now then just about any other match up they could make… Just think, a year ago we thought we would next be seeing Sable on the relaunch of Wrestlevixxxens… Piper and Jericho taking shots at each other is probably the best job they have done of promoting the distinctions in the “brand extension” since the split happened. The scary part is they probably don’t even realize it… So much for the “Midnight Rider” angle. Stephanie just booked herself to look like a retard. Wait, she’s done that or two years, the only difference this time is she hasn’t dragged anyone down with her…)
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 15 YRS AGO FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – POWELL’S WWE RAW REPORT (4-28-03): Bischoff vs. Trish, Jericho-Goldberg angle, Hunter & Flair vs. Kane & RVD, plus Hurricane, Steiner, Booker T