SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report originally published 20 years ago this week here at PWTorch.com.
WWE Smackdown house show
November 22, 2003
Los Angeles, Calif. at Staple Center
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com reader
(1) Rey Mysterio beat Nunzio. Rey received a great opening match pop from the Southern California crowd. Good match with some great spots by both. Rey hit the 619 after a Hip Hop Drop to pick up the win.
(2) World’s Greatest Tag Team defeated Kyo Dai. Kyo Dai earned some heavy boo’s from the crowd while the crowd wasn’t sure whether to cheer for Benjamin and Charlie. Towards the end of the match, Benjamin and Charlie won over the crowd. Charlie had some great moves and looked very fluid. Best performance of the night by any wrestler. World’s Greatest won with a combination powerbomb and leg drop from the top rope.
(3) Sean O’Haire beat Rhyno. Both received face heat even though Sean was trying to put himself over as a heel. Rhyno acted like an idiot before the match on the mic. He started off by asking if we love puppies…then he asked if we love Internet Porn. I believe that’s what he said but I could be wrong. Under his breath, he said he couldn’t believe he just said that. He followed with an I Love LA spiel to bring the crowd back. Sean O’Haire hit a huge dropkick to win after Rhyno missed the Gore. Good match.
(4) Scotty Too Hotty & Rikishi defeated The FBI. Not too great of a match. Just the usual from Rikishi. Scotty weirded out the crowd by slapping Rikishi’s ass repeatedly.
(5) Tajiri beat Jamie Noble and Ultimo Dragon to retain the Cruiseweight Title. Tajiri sat in the corner for about 99 percent of the match watching Ultimo take it to Noble. When Noble was thrown out of the ring, Tajiri finally stepped in and hit his Superkick on Ultimo followed by a three count for the win. Right after, he ran out of the ring, leaving Ultimo down in the ring with Noble scrambled on the outside. Decent match.
(6) Los Guerreros challenged The Bashams for the WWE Tag Titles. Before the match, Shaniqua whipped both Bashams to inspire them to do their best. Chavo and Eddy received the biggest pop of the night from the mainly Latino LA crowd. Great action. Eddy and Chavo had the upperhand then the referee was knocked out of the action allowing the Tag Titles to come into play. Instead of the Bashams attempting to use them, Eddy and Chavo picked up the belts and were stuck with them in their hands when the referee came to. Eddy and Chavo tried to plead their case that they were not using the belts, but the ref didn’t buy it and DQ’ed them. Soon after, the Guerreros decided it didn’t matter if they used the belts anymore and clocked the Bashams. Shaniqua went to check on her team whereas Eddy and Chavo dragged her into the ring. Chavo laid out Shaniqua then held her down and Eddy nailed a Frog Splash to finish her off. Good match and excellent heat for both teams.
Next was the Tiny Teddy Match between Sable and Dawn Marie. Funaki was the guest MC and brought out Jeff Garcia, a local DJ from Power 106 in La who announced Sable and Dawn Marie. Sable said that she didn’t have to show off what she had underneath her robe because Vinnie Mac said she didn’t have to. Dawn Marie took offense and tackled Sable causing Sable to become disrobed. Sable scampered to the back with only a skimpy suit on. Dawn Marie said that she wasn’t the winner until she showed off the goods and proceeded to show the crowd why she was the winner.
Chris Benoit and Bradshaw came out for a 3 on 2 match. Benoit received the second best pop of the night behind the Guerreros upon his entrance. Paul Heyman made and appearance and announced that because Hardcore Holly had been suspended, the match between Benoit and Bradshaw against Big Show, Nathan Jones, and Morgan would remain a 3 on 2 match. I didn’t realize how huge Heyman’s team was until I saw them in person.
(7) Chris Benoit & Bradshaw beat Nathan Jones & Matt Morgan & Big Show. Jones and Morgan were horrible. They’re greener than a head of lettuce. Both missed some key spots and missed horribly on elbows in the corner. Like someone said who was sitting next to me, I think they’re scared of really destroying an opponent. Both are very green and stiff. Benoit saved the match with his awesome wrestling. Bradshaw looked really good as well. Benoit and Bradshaw won when Bradshaw hit the Clothesline from Hell followed by a Benoit Flying Headbutt on either Jones or Morgan. After the match, Big Show chokeslammed Benoit and Bradshaw then the three losers left to huge heel heat.
(8) Brock Lesnar beat John Cena. John Cena came out the second largest pop of the night. (1. Guerreros 2. Cena 3. Benoit) Everyone was waiting for Cena. His thug o nomics shirt was one of the hot sellers at the show. Cena grabbed the mic and rhymed about the West Coast. He received a huge pop for an In N Out burger reference. (In N Out has the best burgers anywhere.) He also made the obligatory Kobe Bryant reference. Good pop for a 10 Freeway reference and being stuck on it. (I was stuck for an hour on the 10 trying to get to Staples Center.) Good heat. He’s going over really well as a Face. Lesnar came out to the biggest heel heat of the night. Lots of face heat too. The man is a monster. The You Tapped out chant went on for a good 15 minutes, no exaggeration. It would start up, then stop, then start up and stop a few times. Lesnar didn’t want to start the match because we kept chanting and Cena just played off that by indicating that Lesnar had tapped. Good confrontation. Lesnar dominated the match then Cena came back. One blown spot with Lesnar going for a presslam where it looked like Cena was going to turn it into a backslide but fell down and landed on the mat. Lesnar managed to knock the referee out with a squash in the corner. After Lesnar nailed the ref, Cena hit the Fu and pinned him for about an 8 count, but of course the ref wasn’t there. This led to an invasion by Big Show, Jones, and Morgan. Benoit and Bradshaw soon entered where Benoit nailed an absolute rocket chair shot on Morgan. Hardcore Holly came out and slapped on a Chicken Wing Submission Move ala Bob Backlund. Big Show managed to break it up and then everyone was cleared out of the ring except Lesnar and Cena. Cena got Lesnar and tried another Fu, but Lesnar countered and nailed the F-5. Lesnar made the cover and the referee came to. He dragged himself into the ring and slowly made the three count. Lesnar picked up the W. Lesnar left to heavy boos. The show ended with Hardcore Holly and Cena exchanging a handshake and walking off together.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, a good show for a house show. Everyone worked hard for the crowd. Not a full sell out, but still a good size crowd and everyone was into the matches.
Afterwards, my roommates and I went to the wrestler entrance/exit to watch for wrestlers leaving. Shaniqua came out and was very friendly to the crowd. She waved and smiled at all of us from her car. Chavo Guerrero came out in some VW bug and waved at the crowd. Eddie Guerrero came out in an SUV (much to the chagrin of the fans wanting to see a Lowrider) with his wife, we assume. Eddie talked to the crowd from his car as we all started an “Eddie” chant. A real treat from Eddie.
Bradshaw came out in a really nice truck and waved at as all. He took the award for nicest ride of the night. Morgan and Jones drove out in an SUV that wasn’t big enough and both guys had their heads near the roof. After nearly everyone had cleared out, a car driven by Lesnar tried to sneak out with Sable in the passenger seat.
Sable flicked her hair at the remaining crowd while Lesnar drove off. Lastly, Big Show drove out an SUV with Paul Heyman riding Shotgun. Both ignored the crowd and drove off. Heyman looked very tired and upset. Overall, the wrestlers were pretty friendly interacting with us. Great experience for the night.
OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Gunther on why he’s excited to face The Miz at WWE Survivor Series WarGames, who chopped him the hardest, his favorite match from his Intercontinental Title reign