20 YRS AGO – WWE Live Event Report (8-16-2003): Cena opens with heel Thug-o-nomics aimed at local sports teams, Bikini contest with Torrie, Nidia, Sable, Dawn Marie, plus Angel vs. Lesnar vs. Show

John Cena (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


The following report was originally published 20 years ago this month on PWTorch.com.

WWE Smackdown house show
August 16, 2003
Minneapolis, Minn. at Target Center
Report by Noah Haas of Eau Claire, Wisc.

Attendance Estimate: 5,000.

As the show began, John Cena came out. He said that he normally lays down some Thuganomics for the crowd, but he wasn’t gonna waste his time tonight with a crowd from a state with four terrible sports teams. He then proceeded to rip on the Twins, the Wild, the T-Wolves, and the Vikings. (He claimed that the Vikings were so bad they couldn’t even touch the Green Bay Packers, which being from Wisconsin, delighted me!) He also said that Minnesota was such a pathetic state, that Vince McMahon refused to come and make an appearance as he had planned. Instead, Cena said that VKM appointed him to be special guest referee of the triple-threat WWE Championship later in the evening.

(1) Basham Brothers defeated Jamie Noble & Billy Gunn via pinfall. This match was surprisingly entertaining. Another surprise: Billy Gunn came out to a huge pop. The crowd really ate him up. Noble had Danny Basham rolled up for a cover, but the ref wasn’t looking and Sheniqua interfered. Danny rolled Noble the other way for the victory. The Bashams left catching a lot of heat.

(2) Matt Hardy (w/ Shannon Moore) defeated Zach Gowen via pinfall. This match was similar to what I’ve seen of them on TV lately. Hardy mocked Gowen and Shannon Moore interfered a few times. One guy near me was mocking Zach and I heard him yell, “Hey Zach, put him in a Figure Four!. . . .oh wait. . you can’t!” But aside from that, the crowd was really behind Zach and started a “Two legs suck!” chant. Hardy got the pinfall despite the fact that Zach caught the ropes at the last minute. The ref later motioned that he hadn’t seen it.

(3) Torrie Wilson defeated Sable, Nidia, and Dawn Marie in a Divas Bikini Contest.  Funaki was the guest MC. All the girls got cheers but Torrie won by a long shot. Torrie and Nidia ended up winning the mini-brawl that ensued after the contest.

(4) Rey Mysterio defeated Shannon Moore and Billy Kidman in a Triple Threat match to retain the Cruiserweight Title. Mysterio was way over with the crowd. He and Kidman began by doubling teaming Moore, but after some accidental kicks, the two began to attack each other. A decent match overall, but nothing spectacular. A few 619’s later, Rey got the victory. Moore left and Kidman offered a handshake to Mysterio, who finally shook after a lot of urging from the crowd. Rey then picked up the title and climbed up the turnbuckle to celebrate, and Kidman jumped him! Rey was knocked off the turnbuckle and Kidman beat on him some before stomping around and walking out of the arena. We haven’t seen this yet have we? Is Kidman finally turning? I’m excited to see next week’s Smackdown.

(5) The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team defeated the APA to retain the Tag Titles. Both sides did some mic work before the match. Bradshaw continued saying that Sheniqua was Shelton Benjamin with a wig. Bradshaw said there was only one way to prove that Shelton was a man, and Shelton began to undo his uniform, but the ref stopped him. The best part of the match was the “Sheniqua, Sheniqua” chants from the crowd. TWGTT got the victory but the APA cleaned up after the match as Bradshaw hit a Clothesline from Hell. The APA left the ring and drank as they walked up the aisle.

(6) Undertaker defeated A-Train via pinfall. A good match overall. Taker was over huge. There were a few ref bumps, and Taker kicked a chair into A-Train’s face and got the win. The crowd loved him.

(7) Tajiri & Chris Benoit defeated Rhyno and Eddie Guerrero via submission. This match reminded me that the wrestlers are actually decent actors too. Benoit had the biggest pop, but Eddie played to the crowd and was hilarious as he usually is. The first 5 minutes of the match was spent by Rhyno and Eddie tagging each other, because neither wanted to get into the ring to fight Benoit. They played it out well. Guerrero and Benoit both got in some huge chops. The end came when Rhyno accidentally gored Eddie. Tajiri gave Rhyno the Green Mist, and he was forced to tap after being put in the Crossface. This was an entertaining match to watch. Eddie played to the crowd and the only real heat was received by Rhyno.

(8) Kurt Angle defeated Brock Lesnar and Big Show in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE Title. Cena came out first as the special guest referee. Brock was the first to be introduced and came out to the biggest pop of the night from his hometown crowd. Lesnar took his time coming to the ring, finally entered it, and offered Cena a handshake. Cena took the bait, and Brock kicked him in the stomach and gave Cena a huge F5. It was hilarious. Cena was taken to the back and Brian Hebner came out to replace Cena. Most of the match was Angle and Show double-teaming Lesnar. Brock got in a belly-to-belly suplex on both Angle and Show, and a few F5’s as well. Show chokeslammed Brock and was Angle-Slammed by Kurt, who then covered Brock for the victory. As Kurt went up the turnbuckle to celebrate, he slipped and got caught in the bottom ropes. It was funny. He left and Lesnar grabbed a mic. He talked about the fact that it sucked that he lost in his hometown, but that Angle and Show both were ‘feeling the pain’ right now, right in his hometown, and that was great for him. Big Show got up and said, “Your hometown blows,” into the mic. Brock suplexed him, posed some more, and left. The crowd absolutely adored him.

Overall the show was entertaining and kept the current storylines going. Kidman’s turn and Cena’s involvement kept things very interesting. This was my first live WWE event, and it was definitely worth the $30 to get in. Brock and Show left the arena after the show in the same limousine.

Biggest Pops:

(1) Brock Lesnar
(2) Chris Benoit
(3) Rey Mysterio
(4) APA
(5) Billy Gunn
(6) Undertaker

Most Heat:

(1) Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
(2) Basham Brothers
(3) A-Train
(4) John Cena
(5) Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore

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