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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 4/17/03, April 17, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Jun 19 2003, 04:03 PM
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WWE SMACKDOWN! 4/17/03

I regret the anticipated brevity of this report. This is going to be a Half-Hour Special – I’ll hit on the big stuff that leads to the ends of the matches, and probably little else. My first class is coming to an end, and we have two papers and two presentations (one individual, one team) to work on for next week. So you could say I’m a little pressed for time right now. Since my last class in the current course is next week, I should be back to the after-school norm then.

Brief pimp: I saw Phone Booth, and I think you should, too.

On tape from Richmond, VA, this is WWE Smackdown! for 17 April 2K3. I hope everyone filed their taxes on time, and that you all got nice, juicy refunds like I did. Your bobbleheads are Michael Cole and Taz(z).

Team Slow Train d. Rey Mysterio and Tajiri. The match went about as you’d expect, though I will say it was surprisingly watchable A-Train gets the win with the Yakuza kick following a Slow press slam.. After the bell, Tajiri christened A-Train with the GREEN MIST~!, and Big Slow took a 619, which appeared to send him into a fit.

Meanwhile, Slow informs us that he is indeed cheesed at getting kicked down by a man one-third his size. He’s so mad, in fact, he’s going to demand a singles match against Rey. This is why cruiserweights working outside their own division too much is a BAD idea: eventually, they’ll have to face a useless tub like Slow.

Cole conducts an interview with Brock Lesnar, talking about the grueling match at WrestleMania, and his self-inflicted concussion. He starts talking about his respect for the recuperating Kurt Angle, then John Cena and Chris Benoit get involved. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of respect between those two, which is hammered home when Cena cheap-shots Benoit at the end of the segment.

Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo) d. Jamie Noble (with Nidia). Team Angle tried to throw Eddy off his game with some ethnic jokes., but it was all for naught, as Eddy picked up the win with the Frog Splash. Another solid contest.

After the match, Eddy got on the mike and said Team Angle’s relations with one another give new meaning to “You suck.” That triggers a four-way brawl, and the announcement that these two teams will throw it down for Backlash.

Meanwhile, Nathan Jones cuffs Nunzio around and accuses him of setting him up with the police.

Undertaker’s elbow surgery is announced.

Meanwhile, Sable continues trying her awkward lesbian come-ons on Torrie Wilson.

PIPER’S PIT~!: The guest this week is Piper’s apparent protégé, Sean O’Haire. He and Piper verbally fellate each other for a while, until Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka shakes off the mothballs and comes out. He still remembers the coconut incident of 20 years ago, which Piper has already shown us by rolling that beautiful bean footage. Piper tries to attack Snuka, with O’Haire’s help, but Rikishi joins his relative in the Pit. O’Haire smartly attacks Rikishi while Piper distracted him. Afterwards, Rikishi challenges O’Haire at Backlash, and Piper for next week’s Smackdown. WHY put Piper in the ring? He’s fine in the dual role they have him in now: talker, and mentor to Sean O’Haire, who can benefit from the rub. Piper was never anything special in the ring, and age combined with his beer gut are guaranteeing he stays that way.

Torrie Wilson d. Nidia (with Jamie Noble). The special guest ref was, of course, Sable. Torrie picks up the pinfall win via “tornado” DDT, and looks uneasy at havng her hand raised by Sable after the bell. I think Torrie’s working on a 174-0 streak of her own.

Matt Hardy v1.0 (with Shannon Moore) d. Brian Kendrick to retain the Cruiserweight Title. Matt reverses Sliced Bread #2 into the Twist of Fate, and that’s good enough for the win. Entertaining match, as I would expect.

Meanwhile, the FBI huddle.

Nathan Jones d. Nunzio by DQ. The FBI interfered in this one before the match was even a minute old, another ringing endorsement for Jones’ ring work. He got his leg savaged with the steps, so maybe there’s an “injury” in his future that will conveniently see him rehabbing in OVW.

Main Event: John Cena d. Chris Benoit for the title shot at Backlash. A solid, well-paced match, bisected by a commercial break. Both men looked good and hit their signature spots. Benoit missed the Kamikaze Headbutt, then got the Crossface, only to have Cena make the ropes. Benoit tried the Crossface again, which Cena countered into the Death Valley Driver, which Benoit then countered. Cena settled for the win via modified rollup. A very good match, and it was encouraging to see Cena pick up the win and go on to a title shot at Backlash. I think it’s too early for him to win it (but it wouldn’t it be great if there were still a secondary title for him?), but it’s a positive sign that he’s getting the chance to shine on a stage like that. This was probably Cena’s best match, which includes his SD debut against Angle.

Overall: This was certainly an above average episode, with few blemishes on the card, and a great main event supported by other solid matches. I’m not feeling much love for Backlash yet, but they still have another week to get that all setup. Put another star in the gradebook for Smackdown. 7/10

Next week, I hope to be back to the after-school norm in terms of length and quality.

Dr. Tom
Shout, shout, let it all out.
(Chop off each leading X before vocalizing)
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