The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com 15 years ago this weekend…
WWE Smackdown house show
September 20, 2003
New York City, N.Y. at Madison Square Garden
Report by Michael Barrett, PWTorch.com correspondent
Stephanie came out, starting cutting a promo to a lot of boos. The crowd was really low. The building was about 40% full, about 7,500 people in the Garden. Pathetic.
(1) Chris Benoit beat the Big Show with tapout to the Crossface. Benoit was very over with the crowd,
(2) Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore defeated Spanky & Paul London. Matt pinned London with the Twist of Fate. Spanky and London are an excellent team.
(3) Funaki pinned Nunzio in a decent match. Huge ECW chant for Nunzio, which for some reason seemed to make the referee nervous.
(4) The Basham Brothers beat Ultimo Dragon & Jamie Noble. Unfortunately, no one seemed to care.
(5) A-Train defeated Orlando Jordan. People cared even less. This is the show they bring to the Garden?
(6) WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio pinned Tajiri in a spectacular, but short match. The show seems very rushed for some reason. Maybe Vince needs to get to Hershey. Maybe they’re embarrassed by the lack of people in the Garden. Either way, the lack of matchtime is pissing off the crowd by this match.
(7) Charlie Haas pinned Billy Kidman after Kidman missed a Shooting Star Press. Really good match. Hey, guess what? Too short!
(8) U.S. Champion Eddie Guerrero defended the title in a Triple Threat Match when he defeated John Cena and Rhyno when Eddie pinned Cena with frog splash after Tazz came out and slapped the Tazmission on Cena, who had knocked Tazz, NY, Brooklyn, and everyone in the Garden before the match.
In some sort of Lingerie or “Teddie” contest, Torrie Wilson beat Dawn Marie and Sable.
I have to say, from a man’s perspective, that Sable has absolutely positively no bodyfat, and doesn’t look natural. Torrie sometimes looks a little worn. But Dawn Marie was smokin’. In the meantime, my favorite line of the night happened here as right behind me, a guy was with his wife and son, and the guy’s wife says, “What does this have to do with wrestling?” and the kid answers, “This is the Tits and Ass portion the show, mom!” Ah, from the mouths of babes!
(9) WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, with help from Vince McMahon, beat The Undertaker in a cage match when Brock climbed out of the cage in the only match with any time devoted to it, yet it still didn’t go 20 minutes. After watching last year’s Hell in a Cell between these two, in which Brock took a sick beating, Undertaker gave a career-best performance, and even Paul Heyman was covered head-to-toe in blood, I can honestly say this match was a great disappointment. The blame goes to Vince McMahon, because Brock bumped all over the place trying to get the crowd solidly behind Undertaker. But between the rushed show, and Undertaker not being able to sustain heat after his entrance, this was not worthy of being a Madison Square Garden cage match.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I can’t believe how low the crowd was. I’m sure all their concerns will just go away when they sell out WrestleMania just on the pre-sale, but their problems are avalanching and it’s getting to the point where even the densest fan can see it easily.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (9-8-03): Steve Austin’s “State of Raw” address, Orton & Goldberg vs. Triple H & Flair, plus RVD, Kane, Storm, Trish, Steiner, Bischoff