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SmackDown from JHawk's Beak (7/17/2003)

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Guest TSMAdmin

SmackDown from JHawk's Beak (7/17/2003)

by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins


E-Mail of the Week: Scroby chimed in briefly with his take on the U.S. Title tournament.


You do realized the final U.S. Tournament is gonna end up on the PPV and not the semi-finals and the final matches. So were either gonna see Hardy vs Gunn for the title or Eddie vs Beniot for the title. Either way, some good talent is gonna be off the PPV and tournmanet will be just another waste of time.


And both of those matches air tonight. I haven't read the spoilers yet, so I pray to God that it's Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit so that those two guys don't taken off the Vengeance card for two separate McMahon matches and Billy Gunn. I could tolerate Gunn, but not with the McMahons ruining the show on their own.



Forums Quote of the Week: NOTE: The views expressed in the Forums Quote of the Week are those of the posters themselves and do not necessarily reflect the views of myself or anybody else on the TSM staff.


I've noticed it's also the cool thing nowadays to hate God. Go ahead,





He can go fuck Himself; I'm married.

-Cancer Marney, in response



Onto the business at hand. First off, look for Ring of Honor's Crowning a Champion and another Today in Wrestling History before the first of the month for sure, and I'm going to try to hammer out Ring of Honor's Honor Invades Boston by then as well, but I'm making no promises. That's in addition to two more SmackDown's after tonight as well as any UWC TV tapings I attend (and let me get a cheap plug in for my review of this week's UWC TV taping since I brought it up).


Also, check out the work of everybody else here on thesmartmarks.com, most notably Patrick Spoon's Raw review, Brandon Truitt's review of the Bill Watts Shoot Interview (which I also highly recommend getting a copy of. Good stuff), and The Dames explaining how Kane's current story arc can make sense, even if he and I are the only two people on the Internet that might agree on that.


Tonight: The digital cable preview tells us it's The Big Show, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjamin in a three-on-one handicap match against Kurt Angle tonight. Also, Chris Benoit battles Matt Hardy in a U.S. Title tournament semifinal, with Eddy Guerrero and Billy Gunn squaring off in the other semifinal. Plus there's sure to be plenty of development in the Vince-Steph-Sable-Gowen four way feud from hell, and maybe they'll actually throw some stuff in with John Cena vs. The Undertaker as well. And I've got some coffee to keep awake and some Bacardi rum to numb the senses, so let's do this thing, shall we?


Segment 1


Last week, Brock Lesnar was beat in a 3-on-1 match where The Big Show was left standing.


Taped 7/13/2003 from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio! Welcome to SmackDown! Tonight, Kurt Angle vs. The World's Greatest Tag Team and The Big Show!


But first, let's bring out Mr. McAsshole to kill the crowd! And he's got himself a microphone! "Welcome to SmackDown!" A couple of weeks ago, Zach Gowen and Stephanie McMahon won a handicap match in order for Zach to win his WWE contract. And that means you get to throw away $35 to see Vince vs. Zach. And there are two reasons he won that match:


1. Kurt Angle

2. Brock Lesnar


Everybody needs to be taught lessons in life. Steph will be taught one at Vengeance, and so will Zach, and last week, Brock learned one he'll never forget when he was choke slammed to hell by The Big Show! And where was Kurt Angle? Why, he was with Vince McMahon. And Angle was told that if he interfered last week, he would have been fired. And that same Kurt Angle will face the same three individuals in a falls count anywhere handicap match. So Brock got a lesson last week, Angle gets one this week, and that brings us to Zach Gowen. Nope, on second thought, that brings us to King Brock I, who has decided to interrupt the proceedings. Why is he here? He's not here to cross the boss. He's here to "beat the boss". Think about it. Brock Lesnar vs. Vince McMahon. Tonight! Why am I doubting that? Vince accepts that match (huh?). But not tonight. He wants Brock at 100%, and Brock's ribs can't be at 100% after that choke slam last week. But what Vince will do is give Brock the night off...for his own protection, of course. In fact, Vince orders him to take the night off because he doesn't want Brock to interfere during Angle's match tonight. If he does, he'll be stripped of the title and fired. Lesnar asks for clarification of the stipulations and says he understands them. And he knows he can't F5 Vince. But he's got one more thing to say: "F you!" Do the neck gulp Vince.


Your hosts are Michael Coleslaw and Tazz, who discuss the U.S. Title tournament semifinals that are coming up later tonight.


U.S. Title Semifinal Match scheduled for one fall: Chris BeNOIT vs. Matt Hardy v.1.0 (w/Shannon Moore v.0.75)


Four weeks ago, Chris Benoit advanced by making Rhyno tap out to the Crippler Crossface. Three weeks ago, Matt Hardy advanced by beating Rikishi with the Twist of Fate. Matt Facts: "Matt's beard is much cooler than Benoit's" and "Matt tans wearing only a sock". The winner meets the winner of Billy Gunn vs. Eddy Guerrero tonight. Benoit immediately goes for the Crossface, but Matt is quickly to the ropes. Benoit with a top wristlock takedown before locking in the armbar. Into a hammerlock. Hardy backs Benoit into the corner and hits some hard elbows. Benoit frees himself and gets some hard chops to Hardy's chest. Hardy with a facerake, but Benoit back with a hard forearm. Hardy is tied in the ropes and Benoit kicks away at him. Moore in from behind with a neckbreaker as Brian Hebner frees Hardy, and a freed Hardy covers for 2 and locks in a full nelson. Benoit with a switch, but Hardy hits the elbow. Hardy goes into a form of a surfboard. Hardy goes for a Twist of Fate, but Benoit counters with a backslide for 2. Running forearm smash by Benoit. Running back elbows, followed by a snap suplex. Moore in, but Benoit suplexes him over the top rope. Hardy with a shot to the midsection, and again he goes for the Twist of Fate, but Benoit counters into the Crippler Crossface. Hardy is finally able to hit the Twist of Fate, but he doesn't hook the leg and only gets 2. Three Side Effects by Hardy, who's bleeding heavily from the nose, and he comes off the top and misses his version of Benoit's Swan Dive Headbutt. Both men to their feet, and Benoit with some right hands. Rolling German suplexes! Hardy grabs the ropes before the third one and maneuvers both men to the floor. Back inside, and Benoit finally hits the third German. Benoit up top, but he misses the Swan Dive Headbutt. Hardy to the second rope, Benoit catches him and wants a superplex. Hardy attempts to counter with a Side Effect, but Benoit counters again into a Crippler Crossface for the tapout win in 7:27. That's a hell of a way to start a show! ***



A nice, simple explanation as to what happened to Angle last week, and a very believable one given the history of the Mr. McMahon character. And now we're teasing Brock vs. Vince, but please don't even bother until we're 100% sure there won't be a title on the line for that one.


Onto the match, which featured some solid wrestling with some nice looking high spots and some terrific psychology, with Hardy using Benoit's moves to try to get the win and Benoit finding ways to turn Hardy's move into the winning Crossface. That would have been perfectly acceptable as the finals. And an even better point about that finish: knowing WWE likes faces vs. heels in tournament finals, that pretty much guarantees the Benoit-Guerrero match a lot of us have been begging for.


Vince McMahon is much more tolerable when there's a good match is the same segment.

Segment 2


Vince is on his cell phone, claiming that he has an intimidating personality. His call is interrupted Stephanie McBitch, and she not only expected Vince, she also expected Sable. Sable's here, but in a safe environment to protect Steph. But Sable left Steph a box of Midol, which Vince apparently doesn't know the use for until he tries to read the fine print. Steph slaps the box away.


Brock Lesnar is on his way out, and My Olympic Hero is trying to convince Brock that everything is kosher. Brock tells Angle to watch out for the announce table, because he wants no excuses come Vengeance. Angle: "I've never made an excuse a day in my life."



From one of the world's longest segments to one of the world's shortest segments all in one shot. Apparently Steph being given PMS medication is supposed to make me want to pay for Vengeance. It doesn't. The build between Brock and Angle is slowly but surely getting better, and I can't wait for the opportunity to see the Brock-Angle singles match. The problem is Big Show is still a part of that match.

Segment 3


One fall: Jamie By God Noble (w/Nidia) vs. Ultimo Dragon


Before Dragon can come to the ring, Noble acknowledges his indecent proposal to Torrie Wilson last week and claims he doesn't blame her for being upset, so he's offering an apology...because she's actually worth $25,000 instead of $10,000. And that pisses Nidia off, so she storms off to the back. And don't forget to watch Afterburn and win WrestleMania tickets!


Dragon immediately uses the Mil Mascaras twisting anklescissors. He lands on his feet after a backdrop and legsweeps Noble down, covering for 2. A series of counters ends with Noble falling to the floor, and there's the Asai moonsault! Noble is tossed into the ring, and Dragon is up top, but Noble catches him coming in with a dropkick. Noble goes for the Tiger Bomb, but here comes Billy Gunn and Torrie Wilson for the distraction, which is enough for Dragon to get in a backflip cradle with a bridge for the pin at 2:14. * Cole: "Torrie Wilson just screwed you for free!"


John Cena is in a cemetary. Were you expecting someone else? He does a freestyle, claiming Undertaker likes men and shared a coffin with Paul Bearer. He's not a dead man--just a dead issue, and he'll piss on Taker's grave at Vengeance. And there's the visual for it.



The match was just getting started when we had the abrupt finish, and for what? To give Billy Gunn more airtime to stand there to complete silence? (But there was a pop from the crowd.) That was for Torrie. (Gotcha.) That's two straight weeks that an Ultimo Dragon match has been way too short, and if they ever start giving seven minutes on a consistent basis, he could do something silly. You know, like, get over.

Segment 4


Columbus, Ohio, home of the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes, but we have tag team action coming up next. Last week, Rey Misterio Jr. dropped the dime on Danny Basham to give himself and Billy Kidman a shot at Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin at Vengeance, but only after the APA and the FBI took themselves out of action.


The APA invite Spanky to a barroom brawl at Vengeance, but only after making sure he's 21. Ron Simmons asks Bradshaw what's up with his hair, and they invite Kanyon into the match, but he's got the cable guy coming that day. The APA tells him it's not optional, so he says he'll be there. Then the APA decides to charge people to be in it. OK...


Tag Team Contest scheduled for one fall: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio Jr. (Cruiserweight Champion) vs. Los Conquistadores


The Conquistadors? Again? Go to the Shopzone website and order the Rey Jr. DVD/beach towel combo. How are you supposed to watch the DVD on the beach? Kidman and Conquistador Numero 47 (according to Tazz) start. Some flying headscissors and a tag to Rey, who keeps the offense going. Conquistador Numero 45 gets in an illegal forearm and tags in, but Rey quickly gets in a springboard headscissors. Kidman with a clothesline, a senton by Kidman, but there's the illegal switch. Reverse neckbreaker by #47. Forearm to Rey Jr. as The World's Greatest Tag Team looks on. Kidman with a huracanrana, Rey with the 619, and Kidman goes up top...Shooting Star Press for the pin at 2:48. This was short. * Kidman puts Rey up on his shoulders, then makes the universal "I want the belt" sign.



If you absolutely have to bring the Conquistadors in, at least give them the old school all yellow jumpsuits. Those are cool. A pretty standard match that serves to establish some credibility in the Kidman/Rey Jr. team prior to Vengeance.


And speaking of Vengeance, now we've added an Invitational Barroom Brawl, and while that will get some people onto the show that otherwise wouldn't be on it, it also reeks of WCW's Junkyard Invitational, which means expect this to be put onto some sort of WrestleCrap tape or something in the near future. It could be interesting, but I'd doubt it.

Segment 5


Mr. McMahon is back into the ring. Damn it, and just when I was ready to call this a good show. He hasn't had a chance to give his match at Vengeance the hard sell yet, but first, let's point out No Longer Able Sable, who is in the presidential skybox. Um...can't Steph go find her now? That defeats the purpose of hiding her, doesn't it? Anyway, Sable stalks her prey before she pounces, mounts it, rips off its clothes, and goes on for hours. Onto Zach, who some apparently think is a hero, while most think he's just an amputee who makes people queasy. If someone has any sort of defect or disease, people want them as far away as possible. The man has a point, I have to admit. OK, sure, people might give money to charity, but that's just to get the sickness or deformity away from them. But Vince will deal with it at Vengeance. He'll do what Mother Nature should have already done...put Zach out of his misery. Here comes John Cena for...no apparent reason. He's making a habit of that these days. But how can he be here when he was in a cemetary in ten minutes? He ain't out here to hate on Vince, but everybody's talking about Taker-Cena now that Cena has veteran status. So he's out here to tell people what Vince will do to Zach. "He's just like Ted Turner man, he ain't no competition." The verbal blowjob continues. "I guess we've both got handicap matches at Vengeance, it seems. I've got a dead man, you've got Christopher Reeves." Vince says Cena reminds him of himself, and cue The Undertaker. Cena tosses the steps at Taker, presumably because they didn't magically disappear like usual. Vince is gone, and Cena attacks Taker as he enters the ring. But that doesn't last long. One shot by Taker, and out goes Cena. Ooo, The Undertaker can POINT! He's a badass, I tells ya!



Let me get this straight. You bring John Cena out to the ring, and the main reason he's there is to hype Vince McMahon vs. Zach Gowen? Why not just add The Midnight Rider to the mix, and then nobody will mention the rest of the pay-per-view at all? Come on, Vince. Get your ego in check, realize that there are about 35 people on your roster that the fans would rather see, get yourself off TV permanently, and then we can actually enjoy the entire show rather than just bits and pieces of it!

Segment 6


One fall: The Man Beast Rhyno vs. Sean O'Haire


O'Haire with a forearm before the bell, and he beats on Rhyno with kicks and punches on the floor. And now he chokes him out with a camera cord, but here comes the APA to give each man an invitation to the barroom brawl. O'Haire attacks Bradshaw, so Ron Simmons goes to work on him, and now the APA beats on Rhyno while O'Haire sneaks off to the back. And he accepts the invitation on his way to the back. No opening bell = no match = no rating.


Sable bitches at the server, Sarah, because her wine isn't chilled.



Nobody has ever given me one valid reason to doing a no contest that doesn't lead to a rematch between the same two people. "Ooo, we didn't have a match because we're inviting people to a brawl. That'll add to the buyrate." All it does is give the impression that WWE has no confidence in O'Haire and/or Rhyno, and that's not really the impression you should ever try to give the fans about any of your wrestlers.

Segment 7


WrestleMania Recall: Butterbean ends Bart Gunn's usefulness in the States by knocking him out in 35 seconds at WrestleMania XV.


U.S. Title Tournament Semifinal scheduled for one fall: Eddy Guerrero vs. Billy Gunn (w/Torrie Wilson)


Two weeks ago, Gunn beat John Cena with a distraction from The Undertaker. Last week, Guerrero beat Dragon in about four minutes. Low rider of choice: A 1979 Cadillac Coup de Ville. Early knucklelock, which Gunn gets the advantage with. Shoulderblock. Eddy with a side headlock and a takedown. Off the ropes, shoulderblock, but Gunn catches him coming in with a powerslam for 2. Delayed vertical suplex for 2, and into a modified surfboard. Eddy quickly regains the advantage and pounds away with punches and forearms. Inverted rolling neck snap for 2. Into a crevatte. Gunn tries to punch out of it and takes Eddy down with a back suplex. Cover for 1. Eddy with an elbow, and he locks in a chinlock while driving a knee to the back. Into more of a crossfacelock. Gunn with some elbows to the midsection and a backdrop. Hiptoss into a brain buster by Gunn for 2. Hard right hand. Gunn goes for an avalanche, but Eddy turns so his knee hits Gunn in the gut, then hits a missile dropkick for 2. Suplex, Gunn counters by landing behind him, Gunn dumps Eddy onto his face and goes for the Fameasser, but Eddy gets in a dropkick to the knee. Eddy goes for the Lasso from El Paso, but Gunn gets one leg free so it's only a half crab. Guerrero releases. Gunn punches out of it, but Eddy quickly catches Gunn with the rolling vertical suplexes. Up top for the frog splash, but Gunn moves out of the way. Gunn into the One and Only as the crowd chants "Torrie", but the cover only gets 2 as Eddy gets a foot on the ropes. A huge "Eddy" chant starts, and in comes Jamie Noble with a chair. The referee stops Noble, but the distraction is enough for Eddy knock Gunn into the referee, hit Gunn with the chair, pretend to be knocked out, and cover for the pin to monster pop at 8:28. ** Hey, this was a good Billy Gunn match! How often do you see those words together in the same sentence?


Josh Mathews interviews Sable about her match with Stephanie McMahon, and there's nothing she wouldn't do for Vince, including taking out his daughter. Of course, Steph has found the box, pours a glass of wine over Sable's head, and we get something vaguely resembling the Dynasty pool fight scene, complete with fake sounding groaning by Steph. Well, at least she isn't faking it when she's in bed with Hunter...not if she's trying to sound believable, anyway. Sable gets a slap in to Mathews for good measure, but Steph continues the fight, screaming "I'll kill you" as security breaks it up.



So the dream match is set, as Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero meet in the finals in ten days, making it the second match that might be pretty good and make the show remotely worth buying. And Eddy was able to get something out of Billy Gunn for Gunn's first good match since returning from the injury.


As far as Steph vs. Sable goes, this marks the first segment that actually did a decent job of building to their match. Too bad that build didn't go to people who are actually fully-trained to be out there busting their asses.

Segment 8


Moments ago, we had a catfight. They meet at Vengeance. Also, the APA Invitational. Eddy vs. Benoit for the US Title. Mr. McMahon vs. Zach Gowen. Kidman and Rey Rey vs. Haas and Benjamin. Undertaker vs. Cena. And Brock vs. Show vs. Angle.


The following handicap match is also falls count anywhere: My Olympic Hero vs.



Two segments left and this is what's left? This is going to be rather long.

Segment 9


The following handicap match is also falls count anywhere: My Olympic Hero vs. The Too Damn Big Show and The World's Greatest Tag Team


Show gets a kick in before the bell, and the former Team Angle swarms over their former mentor. Benjamin finally decides to be the legal man. Angle comes back with some clotheslines and pucnes, including one that sends Benjamin onto the turnbuckle. In comes Haas, who misses Angle but hits Shelton low, and then when they fall off the turnbuckle, Shelton lands on Haas' crotch. Show eventually comes in and starts pounding away on Angle with forearms. Irish whip, Benjamin trips Angle, there's a trash can to the head, and Show covers for 2. Out of the ring goes Angle (thanks to Show), and there's the legal triple team. Show whips Angle into the steps. Chair shot by Haas and a cover for 2. Show military presses Angle back into the ring and follows him back in. Slaps to the chest. Irish whip, Angle grabs the ropes, Show charges, Angle ducks, and Show tumbles over the top rope. Angle hits Haas and Benjamin with release Germans, and Show stands up...and glares at the broadcast table, then at the steel steps. He grabs the steps and sets them up in front of the table, but over comes Angle to send Show face-first into the steps and then hit Show with a chair.



I like how they're playing off the table spot from last week.That was actually a pretty good going home groove, and we're only about halfway through. That doesn't usually bode too well. We'll have to see how it finishes up.

Segment 10


We're back, and Haas and Benjamin send Angle into the barricade. A whip, and Angle falls well before he hits anything. I like that, actually. It shows fatigue. More whips into the barricade, but Angle backdrops a charging Haas over the guardrail and clotheslines Benjamin. Now we take the brawl into the crowd, and remember that falls count anywhere. Ankle lock near the end of the ringside area, and Benjamin makes the save. Angle reverses a whip and sends Benjamin into a steel barricade, then locks in another ankle lock, but this time Show makes the save. Headbutt, and they're back by the entrance. Show goes for the Choke Slam, but Angle kicks Show low. Haas sends Angle into the guardrail as they make their way back to the ring. Benjamin with a series of punches to Angle's head. Haas and Benjamin send Angle back into the ring as an "Angle" chant starts. Angle blocks a trash can lid shot and hits Benjamin and Haas with a series of them. He even catches Show coming in with the lid and takes the legs out, but Show stops the comeback with a clothesline. Here comes Zach Gowen, and he lands dropkicks on everybody, but Show catches him and throws him across the ring. Choke slam, but Angle stops it with a forearm to the back. Show blocks a whip and reverses it, but Angle avoids a powerslam with an Angle Slam. Then one for Benjamin. Then into the ankle lock on Haas, but Show makes the save with a side kick. Show dumps Angle to the floor and follows him outside, and they're near the steps that were previously set up. Angle against the post and Show charges, but Angle moves out of the way. But one shot to the gut stops it. Choke slam, but Gowen dives off the top rope...but he's caught and tossed into the barricade. Angle has the steps and sends Show over the guardrail with it, but Haas and Benjamin regain control. Those three are into the ring, and they go for the atomic drop/superkick combo, but Angle avoids it by catching the foot, spinning Benjamin so he kicks Haas, then locks Benjamin into the ankle lock for the submission win at 15:38. *** There's the hug for Gowen on the floor, and cue the celebration. There's the replay, and Show looks PISSED!



Much more believable for this one to go fifteen minutes thanks to the outside interference, which cut it down to three on two instead of three on one. And by even lasting that long, Angle showed that he's a tough son of a bitch capable of winning the WWE Title. So it all makes sense. I still don't like the idea of a 3-on-1 lasting more than about 8 minutes or so unless the three are toying with the one, but it's more plausible.


Overall, a pretty solid effort once Vince McMahon got himself and his family off of TV. Does that sound familiar? The booking was better, but still not great, and the action was better, but largely still not great, but get rid of the McMahons and this was thoroughly enjoyable show.


But are they ever going to follow up on the Cena-Angle segment from last week?


Until next week, e-mail me, check out my archives, or just read the rest of the TSM staff writers' stuff.

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