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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 3/27/03, March 28, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Mar 29 2003, 06:41 PM
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WWE Smackdown! 3/27/03

On tape from St. Joe, California, this is WWE Smackdown! for 27 March 2K3. Your bobbleheads remain Michael Cole and Taz(z).

Just a reminder: I’m writing this after working for almost nine hours, and being in school for four more, so you get what you get. Expect it to be a little briefer than normal, particularly in match descriptions and maybe omitting pointless little crap segments; and since I’ve had a long day, you can probably expect a few more bitter, cynical opinions. Just a heads-up. This is about the usual time these will be posted for the next few weeks, and beyond if I can’t get my classes moved to another night.

Time permitting, I'll be doing a recap of Mania this Sunday, too, exclusively for TSM. Look for it sometime Monday evening.

Opening Match: Rey Mysterio and Brian Kendrick vs. Matt Hardy v1.0 and Shannon Moore. Today’s fun Matt facts: MATTITUDE~! will make Mania a success, and Matt is very humble. I sense a contradiction in there somewhere, but just can’t put my finger on it. A lot of good back-and-forth action with the requisite cool spots ends up with Kendrick as the face in peril. Matt busts out Splash Mountain, but Kendrick turns a neckbreaker into a facecrusher and makes the hot tag to Rey. Rey does his usual springboard spots before Kendrick destroys Moore with a tornado DDT that only gets 2. Matt puts the kibosh on the Sliced Bread #2 festivities and finishes things with a Twist of Fate at 5:08. Very solid opener that had the crowd way into things. After the bell, Rey gets the 619 on Moore, but eats a Twist of Fate from Matt to remind everyone about their match Sunday. 6.5/10
(Winners: Team Mattitude, pinfall via Twist of Fate at 5:08)


Meanwhile, Jimmy Hart makes his less-than-triumphant return to WWE TV by being a Hulk Hogan sycophant. I know they’re fast friends and all, but doesn’t The Mouth deserve better than that?

A video package airs for the Hogan-Vince McMahon match Sunday.

First the soft sell, now the hard sell: Hogan joins us in the ring to talk about the Mania match. If you’ve watched the past few weeks, I’m sure you know what he said. I’m beginning to think all of Hogan’s promos use the same half-completed Mad Lib as a template. You know “Vince” is written in for the “proper name,” and that “Hulkamania” and “running wild” are etched into the “[Noun] is [verb]” sentence. Vince sucks, Hulkamania rules, me me me, etc etc. This is far too boring after such a long day.

Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero) vs. Charlie Haas (with Shelton Benjamin). They start with a nice amateur sequence, leading to Eddy selling a shoulder injury, which Haas of course goes to work on. The armwork ends with an armbar, which Eddy escapes via back suplex. Eddy continues to sell the arm while going on offense, which stops with a Haas catapult and Northern Lights suplex. Eddy pins him with a strange-looking rollup at 4:50. One thing Haas does well is psychology, but he’s still green to the point that the matches aren’t very compelling outside of it. He’s getting there, but matches like this one show he’s still a work in progress. 4/10
(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, pinfall via rollup at 4:50)


Meanwhile, Ice Ice Cena lays down some more dope rap beats, yo, and calls out Brock Lesnar for about the 8972056560796398th time.

An excellent promo airs for the FBI faction. I like the video packages WWE puts together, but it’s not like the FBI has been booked strongly so far. I just have to wonder if they’re wasting effort on a group the fans have already decided not to care about.

It’s bait-and-switch time now, kids, as the Nathan Jones-Chuck Palumbo match that was to take place has been scuttled because Jones beat the shit out of Palumbo backstage. So now a guy who, by all accounts, is VERY green has to debut at the biggest PPV of the year, in front of 50,000+ people, in the same ring with three people who aren’t exactly known for the quality of their matches. Mania will indeed be interesting, because it looks like Jones is being set up for a big fall here. If he’s exposed at Mania, then He Of The Awesome Debut Vignettes will be just another HOSS BAH GAWD~! who can’t work and isn’t especially over.

On the other hand, it WAS a Jones-Palumbo match, so it is really any big loss?

Another video package, this one of Vince training (with Shane-O-Mac, no less) for the Hogan match. Just think “Rocky,” but add thirty years and subtract a lot of interest on the part of the viewer.

Meanwhile, Nidia sees a poster of Torrie Wilson’s Playboy cover and is suitably miffed.

Footage airs of Torrie’s Playboy press conference. Yawn. For those who haven’t seen the layout: yeah, she’s five-Hell hot, but in Playboy, she’s just another blonde with bedroom eyes and fake jugs. The spread itself was pretty pedestrian in terms of the photos chosen; Sable’s first layout was definitely better, and Chyna’s first probably was, too.

That Mediocre Photo Shoot Was Mine, Damnit! Match: Torrie vs. Nidia (with Jamie Noble). Despite Noble’s early interference, Torrie takes control by hitting a baseball slide into the chair Nidia had grabbed. The lethal neckbreaker sees the ref distracted, so Torrie finishes with the DDT at 2:20. Isn’t it interesting how moves that are commonplace in men’s matches end up being finishers for the fairer sex? Torrie jobs even less than HHH, I think. DUD
(Winner: Torrie Wilson, pinfall via DDT at 2:20)


Team Slow Train vs. Team Spinal Fusion. Benoit and Rhyno work their mojo, but the massive powers of suckitude possessed by the enemy are hard to overcome. Benoit sells like the devil with a vanload of encyclopedias for Slow and A-Train’s plodding offense. A-Train misses a pump splash, allowing Benoit to take him over with a German and make the hot tag to Rhyno. Rhyno and Slow are going at it until Nathan Jones runs in for the schmoz at 7:00 even. I’m presuming Team Slow Train wins by DQ. Add Undertaker to the fray, too, since they have a match to promote, and all that. Rhyno and Benoit tried, at least. 2/10
(Winners: Team Slow Train, DQ (interference) at 7:00)


Meanwhile, Kurt Angle and Brock stare it down before Sunday. Angle says he’s ready to lay it all on the line, but wonders if Brock can do the same. No matter who wins, Angle promises Brock that his life will never be the same. Angle talks about this maybe being the end for him, and says he won’t hesitate to end Brock’s career if it comes to that. Brock says it’s all good, and to bring it on. I really hope Angle doesn’t have to hang it up. That would leave a HUGE void in talent on the roster, and even though he could stick around as a manager/agent, they’d miss the hell out of him in the ring. I know I would.

Via video, Vince works out some more. A fifty-seven year-old man doing pushups seems an odd way to sell a PPV, methinks.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Chavo Guerrero. Chavo works the headscissors and dropkicks before Benjamin rallies with a faceplant and goes to the leg. A kneecrusher and leglock keep Chavo grounded until he breaks the latter with an enzuigiri. Chavo wins with La Majastral at 6:15. Solid match, if an unspectacular one. Team Spinal Fusion hits the ring after the bell, and there’s some love for the three-way tag match. 5/10
(Winner: Chavo Guerrero, pinfall via Majastral cradle at 6:15)


Main Event: Ice Ice Cena vs. Rikishi. THIS is the main event? Cena wins the slugfest, and manages to avoid some ass-based offense. He can’t keep it up forever, though, as the fatass splash and Stinkface find their marks. Cena blocks the Banzai Drop with raised knees, waylays Rikishi with the bling-bling chain, and finishes him with a Death Valley Driver at 5:13. I would suggest giving that to Cena as a finisher and calling it the “Rapper’s Delight,” but I doubt WWE anyone in WWE would get the reference. Forgettable match, especially for an alleged main event. Cena looks to be in line for at least a moderate push, which is good. 2/10
(Winner: John Cena, pinfall via Death Valley Driver at 5:13)


After the match, Cena and Brock throw it down until Angle interjects himself into their little scrum by punking out Brock to close the show.

I’ll skip the breakdown and just do an overall thought.

Overall: There was definitely a drop-off after the first match, with only two other matches after that being worth anything. The hard sell for WrestleMania was on, and based on what we’ve seen this week, I think WWE has to hope the name alone sells the PPV. I’ll be watching it, mainly because it’s WrestleMania and I have a group to watch it with, but if I were indifferent toward the show, I don’t think I’ve seen anything in the past two weeks that would have swayed me to buy it. Tonight’s show was a little bit above mediocre, but not much, and there’s no benefit of the doubt to be found three days before the biggest PPV of the year. 5.5/10

REMINDER: No SD report from me next week, since I'm out of town after finishing my class on Thursday.

Dr. Tom
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Catch up on what you missed at my TSM Archive!
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