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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 2/6/03

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WWE SMACKDOWN! 2/06/03

Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Dave Dymond sure made it look easy, though, as he pimped me like a $5000 call girl in his excellent 411 column. If you haven’t given “The Skeptic Tank” a read yet, be sure you do: it’s a very good column, and one of the few I make it a point to read. Dave, Jay Bower, and I were part of the old Smarks EZBoard at one point, and just look at us now as we RULE the IWC. Well, maybe not quite, but we ARE standing outside the throne room with menacing sneers on our faces.

Anyway, on to the real reason we’re all here tonight...

On tape from The City of Brotherly Love – where they boo you if you break your neck – this is WWE Smackdown! for 6 February 2003. Your hosts are Michael Cole and Taz(z).

A mysterious crate, suspended from a cable, slowly hovers about the arena.

Opening Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble (with Nidia). Noble starts with a single leg takedown, but can’t capitalize as Rey takes him down with an armdrag. Rey flips out of a powerbomb, only to get knockdown and gutbustered for 2. Noble goes to the abdominal stretch, but Rey fights out of it and gets the wheelbarrow bulldog. A springboard crossbody sets up a DDT from Rey, which gets 2. Rey ends up on the apron, and shoulders Noble into the gut, causing a brief ref bump. Nidia capitalizes by yanking Rey off the apron, sending him facefirst into the side of the ring. Back in, Rey flips out of a back suplex and drop toeholds Noble into the second rope. He goes for the 619, but alas, no one is home. Noble hits a very nice slingshot sitout powerbomb, only for 2. Rey escapes a more conventional powerbomb and nails Noble with an enzuigiri. Nidia comes in, but she soon joins her paramour draped over the second rope. Double 619! I guess that makes it a 1238, which probably isn’t the area code for anywhere. Rey finishes Noble with the West Coast Pop at 3:42. Nice opener that got the crowd into it with some good spots. 3/10
(Winner: Rey Mysterio, pinfall via West Coast Pop at 3:42)


The Rock is on the ‘Tron via satellite. Rock rags on Philly and the cheesesteak, which is an ass-whoopable offense on Broad Street. Rock gets a nice dig in, casually mentioning Tampa Bay, whose Bucs stomped the Eagles on their way to the Super Bowl. The boos rain down, and Rock wonders why. He decides it’s just Philly and their tendency to boo greatness, videlicet Donovan McNabb on draft day, and Mike Schmidt. He has a point. Rock proceeds to make fun of Hulk Hogan and his bad 10-10-220 commercials. He has a point there, too. Rock closes by promising the whipping of a certain red and yellow candy ass come No Way Out. Rock’s dickish heel routine is still great.

Rikishi vs. Nunzio (already in the ring). Damn, look at Guido getting the B-show jobber treatment. Nunzio jumps Rikishi coming in, but gets pounded for his efforts. He goes to the legs, taking the big man off his feet. Rikishi comes back with some power moves, then the superkick. An avalanche sets up a fatass splash to the head (in lieu of the Stinkface, thank Satan), which sets up the Banzai Drop for the pin at 1:32. Total squash, total yawner, and a total waste of Nunzio. DUD
(Winner: Rikishi, pinfall via Banzai Drop at 1:32)


Rikishi starts to dance, but Nunzio promises that the people he’s with won’t tolerate such a show of disrespect. I guess that doesn't mean his redneck "cousin." Rikishi chases him off, and the dancing resumes.

A minute later, the dancing is again interrupted, this time by Paul Heyman. The crate is apparently a gift for The Undertaker, which Heyman will reveal after the break.

After the break, Heyman says the gift is from The Big Slow, who was apparently so distraught that his singing telegram was refused that he decided to send a big wooden box that obviously has a person in it. I wonder what would happen if Taker deleted his emails unread. Taker juduciously inspects the crate, which opens to reveal Brother Love. He has a message of love and forgiveness, of course, saying UT should forgive Slow. Obviously, Taker’s idea of love is tough love, as Brother Love ends up on the receiving end of a chokeslam. There’s the throat slash, and THE TOMBSTONE~! makes a return appearance on Smackdown.

Meanwhile, Hogan gladhands backstage until he runs into Brock Lesnar, who had supposedly killed his career. Brock says, “Welcome back” with a smile and a laugh. I get the feeling he wasn’t being too sincere there.

Nontitle Match: Matt Hardy v1.0 (with Shannon Moore) vs. Billy Kidman. Today’s fun Matt facts: Matt has a TV/DVD player in his car, and usually exceeds the speed limit. Hopefully not while watching something on the TV/DVD player, of course. Moore gets shoved into a Kidman backdrop, and Matt takes that opportunity to nail a Side Effect. He slams Kidman and drops the elbow for 2. A legdrop also gets 2, brother. Kidman takes Matt over with a headscissor, but Matt slaps on a sleeper. Kidman fights out and dropkicks Matt, and follows it up with a clothesline. Sitout powerbomb gets 2. Matt rallies with a mini-Snake Eyes and a Ricochet for 2. He goes for the Twist of Fate, but Kidman counters that with a tornado DDT. Kidman goes up, but Matt follows him, and they fight over the top rope. Kidman wins, but celebrates his momentary victory by coming down with the Please Counter Me. Matt does, with a kick, and again goes for the Twist of Fate. Kidman counters that again, this time with a rollup for the pin at 3:03. Sorry if that’s a little sketchy in spots; I had to take a phone call during the match. Pretty decent little match that could have used a few more minutes. 3/10
(Winner: Billy Kidman, pinfall via rollup at 3:03)


After the match, Matt vows to drop ten pounds and compete as a cruiserweight, just to prove the power of MATTITUDE~!

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle fires up Team Angle for their tag title match, and encourages them not to follow the Eagles’ shoddy example. Obviously, the Eagles lacked the three I’s.

Tag Title Match: Los Guerreros vs. Team Angle (with Paul Heyman). Chavo and Benjamin kick things off with a series of waistlocks, leading to a Chavo takedown. Shelton grabs a single-leg, but gets taken down amateur-style by Chavo. Eddy snapmares Benjamin, but gets powered into the Team Angle corner. Haas tags in, but Eddy has already fled the corner. They do a mat sequence, won by Eddy. Eddy shoulderblocks Haas down and snapmares him. In comes Chavo for the seated dropkick, which gets 2. Chavo back suplexes Haas and tags in Eddy, who comes in with the slingshot senton for 2. Haas pounds Eddy and tags Benjamin, who is immediately suplexed. Chavo is in, and he kirks out on Benjamin in the corner. He distracts the ref so Eddy can choke Benjamin in the corner. CHEAT TO WIN~! Eddy comes in to administer a drubbing. Chavo chokes Benjamin while the ref is indisposed, then the Guerreros dust off the wishbone. Eddy joins Chavo in some good old-fashioned stomping, and Eddy snapmares Banjamin before going to the chinlock. Benjamin escapes with a back suplex and pounds Eddy. Haas adds some beatings before getting jumped by Chavo. Eddy and Haas get whipped into each other, and Chavo ends up flying into the announce table as we take a commercial break. Back from the break, Benjamin has Chavo in a chinlock. He presses him for 2, and in comes Haas to drop the elbow for 2. Benjamin is back in, and they do the leapfrog back spot for 2. They try it again after Haas tags in, but Eddy pulls Benjamin down off the ropes. Chavo rolls up Benjamin – not the legal man (pay attention to that) – for 2. Chavo takes down both heels with a double DDT, and there’s the hot tag to Eddy. He has clotheslines for everyone, sending Benjamin to the floor. Haas takes a trio of rolling vertical suplexes for 2. Eddy puts Haas up for a superplex, with Chavo adding a Frog Splash. Eddy covers for 2, as Benjamin saves. Benjamin gets tossed again as Chavo nails a tornado DDT on Haas. Eddy goes up for the Frog Splash, but Benjamin shoves him down. Chavo tosses Benjamin again – at least he’s getting practice bumping out of the ring – and follows with a plancha from the top. Eddy clotheslines Haas, but Haas comes back with an overhead suplex for 2. Eddy takes the leapfrog back spot this time, then a German from Haas, forcing Chavo to save. Chavo gets tossed, and Eddy gets put up by both members of Team Angle. Chavo foils their plans by taking Haas down with an electric chair drop, and Eddy brings Benjamin down with a sunset flip powerbomb, for 2. Eddy goes up, but he’s grabbed by Heyman, so Chavo takes care of Paul. Eddy hits the Frog Splash on Benjamin, who again is not the legal man, but this time, the ref won’t count. Haas takes advanage of Eddy’s suprise with an Oklahoma roll for the win and the belts at 15:49. Great match, and while I’m not a fan of the finish, it does keep Los Guerreros strong for the inevitable rematch. 8/10
(Winners and new tag champs: Team Angle, Haas pins Eddy with Oklahoma Roll at 15:49)


Hogan comes out to regale the crowd, but before Jimi even stops playing, the Rock is back on the satellite. Rock talks about their match and takes a few jabs at Hogan before yielding the floor. Hogan actually wanted to talk about Vince McMahon, but before he can get going, Rock cuts him off with a nice Hulkster impression. Rock’s dinner (Tofu? Yuck!) Is ready, but he gets a few more shots in at Hogan before asking him not to bore anyone to death. Hogan has the floor now, brother, and disavows all of Vince’s words about him and Hulkamania last week. Won’t it be fun to watch two fifty-year olds trade insults until Mania? Finally, on to No Way Out, and the eternal question is posed: what is Rock going to do when Hulkamania runs wild on him?

Meanwhile, all the Smackdown wrestlers are watching Hogan backstage when Sean O’Haire pulls Brian Kendrick aside. Young Brian will still do anything to make it in WWE, so O’Haire, observantly noting his footwear, encourages him to streak like that chap on the Nike commercial. Conveniently, O’Haire even has a scarf handy. Kendrick seems up for it, as he starts to disrobe before the break.

After the break, Kendrick indeed streaks, and, to pinch a phrase from the British announcer on the commercial, gives the referee nothing but a good look at his backside.

A-Train vs. Shannon Moore. A-Train pounds Moore and generally treats him like a silly little jobber until the Train Wreck ends this one at a whopping 0:47. What the bloody fuck was the point of that? DUD
(Winner: A-Train, pinfall via Train Wreck at 0:47)


After the bell, Kendrick streaks some more, managing to elude the refs and security again.

After the break, Stephanie McMahon is inquiring about Easy Eric’s deadline when Kendrick runs into her office. It’s not polite to stare, Stephanie.

Ice Ice Cena comes to the ring to rap out a challenge to Brock for next week. He’s actually not bad with the dope freesytling part of the gimmick, yo.

Chris Benoit talks about his Royal Rumble title match loss to Angle. He mentions his wife and kids for a moment, before pausing when he realizes Kurt Angle his right beside him. Angle has a wife, too: the WWE title, and his kids are the gold medals around his neck. Benoit just glares DAGGERS at him the entire time, not even blinking once. He says he’s looking forward to taking Angle’s family from him. The quiet intensity in this segment was awesome.

Main Event: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit. It’s matches like this that just illustrate why Raw is the inferior show. People have to basically wrestle themselves against a big steroid freak on that show, while we get Benoit/Angle. May the infernal forces of evil always bless the roster split. Angle starts with a headlock, into a takedown. He shoulderblocks Benoit, but quickly gets taken over by an armdrag, into an armbar. Angle escapes and pounds Benoit in the corner. He eats Canadian leather on a charge, and Benoit snap suplexes him for 2. Angle hits an absolutely beautiful overhead suplex off the ropes. They brawl, controlled by Angle, who clotheslines Benoit for 2. Angle tosses Benoit to the floor, where Heyman summons some guts and wallops him down. Back in, Angle covers for 2. Angle gets 2 off a vertical suplex, then goes to the chinlock, with a body vise. Benoit gets back to his feet, but gets kneed down off the ropes. Angle shoulders him in the corner and hits a high back suplex for 2. Benoit brings the mad choppage and takes Angle down with a short-arm clothesline. Angle blocks a German and turns it into the Anglelock, but Benoit rolls thru for 2. He grabs the Crossface, and maintains it despite Angle’s rolling counter. Angle tries to escape with an Olympic Slam, but Benoit cradles him for 2. Benoit gets one German, but no more, as Angle stops him with some elbows to the face. Another Olympic Slam try, but Benoit counters that one with an armdrag, into the Crossface. Angle turns it into an Anglelock, but Benoit soon counters back to the Crossface. Excellent sequence. Angle makes the ropes. Benoit shoulderblocks Angle and goes up. Angle tries for the pop-up overhead superplex, but Benoit shoves him down. Benoit climbs down, but Angle has a kick to the gut ready, and powerbombs Benoit right into the corner. Benoit rallies with a release German, flip sold by Angle. Benoit is busted open, right above the eye by the looks of it. He hits a regular German and goes up, but the Kamikaze headbutt misses. Angle rolls him up for 2. They do a reversal sequence which ends with Angle hitting the Olympic Slam and picking up the 3 at 10:37. Screw the “main event style,” WWE: just let these two show everybody how it’s fucking done. It’s a shame they don’t get 20 minutes everytime they go out there. 7/10
(Winner: Kurt Angle, pinfall via Olympic Slam at 10:37)


After the bell, Angle shows his good sportsmanship by extending the hand to Benoit. Benoit accepts, but gets jumped by Team Angle. A lesson in intelligence for us all, provided by Kurt Angle. They lay the beats down on Benoit before Edge tries to make the save. He’s soon overcome, but here comes Brock to F5 everyone he can grab. If he didn’t have that match with Cena next week, this would be a hell of a six-man. Maybe for the PPV.

The breakdown:

The Good: Two of the six matches were great, and they completely carried the night in terms of in-ring action. The Rock is still working a couple kinks out of his heel act, but he was in fine form tonight as he ran down Hogan whenever he could. The Benoit/Angle interview was great for its quiet, seething intensity. And maybe I’m a mark for the old-school Undertaker, but it’s always good to see a Tombstone on free TV.

The Bad: Two other matches on the card combined for about two minutes, and both were stillbirths. Maybe they can solve the suck factor by having a tag match every week: Rikishi and Hogan against A-Train and Big Slow. They could even kick off the show with it, so we’d all know to tune in at 8:05 and see the real wrestling.

The Ugly: Nothing dreadful this week.

Overall: Two awesome matches, a couple of good interview segments, and an amusing streaking skit were tonight’s high points. They’re enough to overcome the negatives and make this show a winner overall. They could stand to condense the deadwood a bit better, though, and showcase the people more deserving of being on the air. 7/10

Dr. Tom
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