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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 1/9/03

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Guest TSMAdmin



Last week, the gauntlet was thrown down for Brock Lesnar.


On tape from Tuscon, Arizona, this is WWE Smackdown for 9 January 2K3. Your hosts are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Before the pyro gets finished, the opening match is ready to go.


The Big Slow (with Paul Heyman) vs. Rikishi. Well, it can only get better from here, right? Slow chops, so Rikishi chops back while the crowd enlightens Slow on their opinion of him. Slow shoulderblocks Rikishi down, but misses the elbowdrop. Rikishi hits the superkick, but can’t do a slam because Slow is TOO FAT. Slow slams Rikishi and chops him down. Big boot gets 2, and Slow locks in the abdominal stretch, because the blistering pace of this match certainly necessitates a boring resthold. Then again, Slow IS gassed, so I guess it does. Getting... sleepy... After keeping the hold for more than a minute, Slow grabs the rope and pounds Rikishi down. Rikishi tries to slug his way back, but Slow clothesline him, with Rikishi bringing out the spinning sell. The chokeslam finally mercy-kills this atrocity at 4:08. If lulling the crowd to sleep was their objective here, bravo. If you’re ever having trouble falling asleep, watch this match. -3/10

(Winner: The Big Slow, pinfall via chokeslam @ 4:08)


After the bell, Heyman grabs the stick and promises a lesson for Brock tonight.


Ice Ice Cena (with B-2) vs. Chavo Guerrero (with Eddy Guerrero). Cena does the usual “Thug-enomics” rap en route to the ring. They tie it up into the corner, where Chavo AGGRESSIVELY~! climbs the ropes, only to get shooed down by the ref. Chavo takes Cena down with a European uppercut, then a back suplex. He dumps Cena out, and legdrags him when he comes back in. Chavo escapes a military press, and does a second back suplex for 2. Cena gets the rally started with a clothesline out of the corner, and elbows Chavo down off the ropes. Cena puts Chavo up in the corner, but Chavo elbows him down, only to get decked and sent to the mat by B-2. That brings Eddy over, as he and B-2 start throwing it down on the floor. Cena and B-2 double-team Eddy, but Eddy turns the tide, and Chavo evens the odds by nailing a pescado onto B-2. Eddy suplexes B-2 onto the ramp, then all the extras are evicted from ringside. The match proper resumes with Cena suplexing Chavo back into the ring. Cena goes up, but Chavo wins the fight for the top rope, and comes down with a superplex for 2. Chavo hits a nice DDT for 2. He tries a rollup near the ropes, but Cena kneels down and grabs the ropes for the pin at 4:56. Decent little match, though I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. 4/10

(Winner: John Cena, pinfall via rope-assisted rollup @ 4:56)


Last week, Mr. Charisma tied the knot with Dawn Marie, and that is all that we shall speak of this travesty.


Meanwhile, a camera crew is at the honeymoon suite. Dawn talks about how exhausted she is. “Home videos” are promised for later.


Non-Title Match: Matt Hardy v1.0 (with Shannon Moore) vs. Billy Kidman. Today’s fun facts from Mattitude.com: Matt has a heated toilet seat, and likes pulp in his orange juice. The first is TMI, IMO. They exchange hammerlocks before Kidman takes Matt down with a headscissor, then dropkicks him for 2. Matt pounds Kidman and chokes him on the ropes, then allows Shannon to do the same. Matt does the running straddle, then hits a back suplex into a side slam for 2. Matt grabs a sleeper, but Kidman escapes and puts on his own sleeper. Matt side slams out of it for 2. Kidman elbows out of the side effect and hits a springboard bulldog for 2. He does a nice leaping back elbow off the ropes, and enzuigiris Matt for 2. Kidman takes Matt over with a ‘rana, decks Shannon off the apron, and backdrops Matt to the floor. Kidman harkens back to the WCW days, standing on the top rope and nailing a Shooting Star Press onto both Matt and Shannon. It’s nice to see him break out that spot again. Looks like Kidman and Moore knocked noggins on the replay. Back in, that gets 2. Matt ducks a clothesline and hits the Side Effect for 2. He goes up, but misses the 2nd-rope legdrop. Kidman powerbombs Matt and goes up, but Moore distracts him enough for Matt to slam him down. Matt goes for the Twist of Fate, but Kidman shoves out, sending Matt into Moore, and rolls him up for the win at 4:26. Another decent match here, and the SSP to the floor is always a cool spot. 4/10

(Winner: Billy Kidman, pinfall via rollup @ 4:26)


Matt looks furious after the loss, and calls Shannon into the ring. Today’s lesson in MATTITUDE~!: it’s better to try and fail than not to try at all. Matt forgives Shannon, and gives him a big ol’ hug.


Meanwhile, Brock has arrived.


After the beak, Not Tough Enough solicits Torrie Wilson’s opinion of last week’s wedding, and she proclaims it disgusting. It’ll be Torrie vs. Dawn at the Rumble. I guess they’re trying to pay this three-month farce off in the ring; a shame neither of them can wrestle.


Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble (with Nidia). Tajiri missesa big kick, and both men work the arm. Noble escapes a Tarantula try and slips out, dropping Tajiri on the wall. Back in, that gets 2. Noble works the arm some more, adding a hammerlock suplex for 2. Noble goes back to the arm, but Tajiri kicks him to break it. Tajiri sunset flips Noble for 2, and they do a series of Mexican rolls before Tajiri gets another 2. Noble rolls Tajiri up, but Tajiri bridges out at 2. The mutual clothesline spot leaves both men down. Tajiri drop toeholds Noble into the buckle, and busts out a German suplex with bridge for 2. The handspring elbow gets 2, but Noble quickly rolls into the Trailer Hitch. Nice. Tajiri makes the ropes. Noble stays near the ropes to work the leg some more, so Tajiri hooks in the Tarantula. He misses the buzzsaw kick, and Noble goes for the Tiger Driver. Tajiri counters by catapulting him into the corner, but Noble lands on the 2nd rope and leaps down. Tajiri kicks him out of midair, then nails him with the Buzzsaw kick for the win at 5:00. Noble continues to have matches different from the other cruiserweights, but there were enough nice holds and counters to make this one good and interesting. 6/10

(Winner: Tajiri, pinfall via Buzzsaw kick @ 5:00)


Meanwhile, Team Angle has a mini pep rally.


Charlie Haas (with Shelton Benjamin and Kurt Angle) vs. Edge. Benoit joins Edge for moral support as the match begins. Haas takes Edge down, amateur-style, setting some some armwork by both men. Haas suplexes Edge goes right to a wristlock. He escapes an Edge suplex try, and it’s back to the arm again. Haas shoulderblocks Edge down, but Edge hiptosses him and applies an armbar. Haas fights out, only to get faceplanted for 2. Haas busts out a nice overhead belly-to-belly suplex for 2, then covers again for 2. Haas goes to the bow and arrow, forcing Edge to fight out. Edge suplexes Haas, but Haas has a German waiting, and it gets 2. Haas goes up and comes down with the Please Counter Me leap, so Edge obliges with a kick to the gut. Edge hits an overhead suplex of his own, and follows with the Edge-O-Matic for 2. Edge flapjacks Haas as Benoit and Angle get into it on the floor. Benjamin superkicks Benoit and gets on the apron, where Edge spears him back to the floor. Another spear, this one for Haas, and Angle pulls Edge off at 2. Haas whips Edge into the ropes, where Angle whacks him with a crutch, and Haas finishes with the EXPLODAH~! at 6:44. After the bell, Team Angle beats down Edge until Benoit makes the save and scatters them. A nice singles debut for Haas on Smackdown, as this was a solid match with a good finish. 5/10

(Winner: Charlie Haas, pinfall via exploder suplex @ 6:44)


After the match, Benoit reminds Angle that there’s only so much time until he makes him tap. He wants Benjamin right away, but not until we’ve had a commercial.


Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Benoit. No intros, and it looks like we’re picking this up after the bell has rung. Benoit armdrags Benjamin down, then drop toeholds his way out of a hammerlock before hitting another armdrag. Benoit tries a Crossface, but Benjamin makes the ropes quickly. Benoit chops him down, but Benjamin drags him out and tosses him into the wall. Back in, Benjamin suplexes Benoit for 2 and goes to the chinlock. He pounds Benoit down and hits a nice underhook suplex for 2. Benjamin applies a rear chinlock, but Benoit escapes with an electric chair. Benjamin dusts off the butterfly suplex, for 2. Northern Lights suplex gets 2 for the “rookie.” Bejamin rolls Benoit up for 2, then when that fails, backslides him for 2. Nice little story there, as Benjamin is doing all he can to put the veteran Benoit away, but none of it is working. Benjamin looks frustrated, so Benoit capitalizes by bringing the choppage. Benjamin rolls Benoit up and tries to use the ropes, but the ref spies his skullduggery. Undaunted, Benjamin tries a splash, but it misses, and Benoit busts out the trio of Germans. He goes up and nails the Kamikaze headbutt, but grabs the Crossface instead of going for the cover. That brings Angle out, and Bejamin taps like Gregory Hines on Broadway while the ref is busy with Kurt. Angle whacks Benoit with the crutch, and since that’s just cheating at Scrabble, it’s a DQ at 6:45. Benoit recovers and puts Angle in the Crossface, but Team Angle starts laying in the beats. Edge runs out for the save, but eventually gets whacked with a crutch. Benoit’s suplexes can’t overcome the numbers advantage, and the beatdown that was started earlier is finished. Angle adds the Anglelock to the helpless Benoit. Another solid contest in a series of them tonight. Benjamin already looks like he’ll be a good one, and putting him in there with Benoit will only help that. 6/10

(Winner: Chris Benoit, DQ (Angle interferes) @6:45 )


After the break, Dawn drags Al into the shower, and I feel my gorge rising.


Shannon Moore (with Matt Hardy v1.0) vs, Bill DeMott. Matt takes the third seat at the annnounce table, and schools Taz and Cole in Mattematics. DeMott grabs a headlock and hits a swinging neackbreaker. Then we settle into this Thursday night presentation of Headlocks: Variations On a Tedious Theme for a while, until Moore gets some token jobber offense in. That lasts as long as you’d expect, and DeMott wins with the gutwrench powerbomb at 2:57. Yawn. DUD

(Winner: Bill DeMott, pinfall via gutwrench powerbomb @ 2:57)


After the bell, Matt helps Shannon to his feet, then surprises him with the Twist of Fate.


Cena and B-2 try to reprise their rap, but they get waylaid from behind by Los Guerreros. B-2 and Eddy gravitate toward the ring, setting up their match.


B-2 (with Ice Ice Cena) vs. Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero). Eddy pounds B2 on the apron, then slingshots into the ring. E works Cena’s dawg over in the corner, but B2 military presses Eddy. He adds the legdrop for 2, brother. More thrilling punchy-kicky from B2, finally broken by Eddy kicking at his leg. B2 clotheslines Eddy but misses a charge. Eddy escapes a suplex, and B2 “hits” the rebound clothesline, with a fortunate camera angle almost covering for him. B2 gets 2 off a Falcon Arrow, but Eddy turns the tide with a Tilt-A-Whirl backbreaker. Cena has the bling-bling chain on his fist, but Chavo alertly spies that and pastes him with a tag title belt. Eddy back suplexes B2 and finishes him with the Frog Splash at 4:10. Eddy tried to drag a good match out of B2, but it just wasn’t there. They have a keeper in Cena, but not in this guy. 2/10

(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, pinfall via Frog Splash @ 4:10)


Meanwhile, Brock works out with propane tanks.


After the break, Dawn’s friskiness is countered by the fact that Al is sacked out. Or dead. At this point, I wouldn’t mind the latter, because only HHH can no-sell death. Given the soap opera tendencies of the writers, I'd bet on the latter.


Meanwhile, A-Train insists to Slow and Heyman that any lessons taught to Brock will have to wait until he’s finished.


Main Event: A-Train vs. Brock Lesnar. Well, it was nice to have A-Train on Velocity while it lasted. Sigh. A-Train controls the tieup, but Brock eventually powers him into the corner and kicks his ass for a bit. A-Train elbows Brock on a charge, but misses the bicycle kick. He does get the Baldobomb, but just for 2. He doesn’t use it as a finisher anymore, so I guess killing it here doesn’t matter. A-Train pounds Brock and hotshots him, but Brock rallies with a powerslam. He boots A-Train on a charge and nails a trio of overhead suplexes. A-Train headbutts Brock to counter another suplex try, but Brock shrugs that off and hits the F5 for the pin at 3:01. At least three minutes keeps A-Train’s mutant suck factor in check. Speaking of mutants, give A-Train some blue paint and he could play the Beast in the next X-Men sequel. They’d have on CGI, that’s for sure. Anyway, pretty blah match, especially for a main event, but at least it was short and inoffensive. 1/10

(Winner: Brock Lesnar, pinfall via F5 @ 3:01)


After the match, Brock asks Paul and Slow for his lesson. The lesson is that Brock can’t beat Slow, which is reinforced by Slow and Heyman leaving the building.


Meanwhile, Al is apparently not breathing, so Dawn summons the paramedics and spends the rest of the scene in weepy melodrama mode. Hell, has Al been breathing any of the times he’s been on camera thus far? Christ, if the paramedics are looking for signs of life, Al might die of old age before they find them. The paramedics take Al away, Dawn keeps up the fake crying, and the logo flashes.


The breakdown:


The Good: The focus was definitely in the ring this week, as we had NINE matches on the card. Eight’s probably the more ideal number, but I love the intent. None of the matches were world-beaters, but except for the opener and the last three, they were all very solid. Kurt Angle continued his intense leadership of his eponymous team. Guys who are supposed to be intense wish they had half of what Angle’s brought to the table the past couple weeks.


The Bad: Do we really need to see Bill DeMott keep plowing thru the cruiserweights? I like him on Tough Enough and all, but I’m not a fan of what I’ve seen on Smackdown (or Velocity) thus far.


The Ugly: The opening match certainly qualifies. So does the ridiculous melodrama of Al Wilson’s alleged heart attack on his honeymoon with Dawn Marie. Hello: THESE GIRLS CAN’T WRESTLE. It’s fine to keep an angle going like this, as long as there’s a payoff in the ring. But Torrie vs. Dawn? Come on. The angle was already dreadful, but injecting weepy soap opera bullshit into it just made it ten times worse.


Overall: By the way, the overall number is not an average of the match ratings, for those of you who have questioned my (excellent) math skills. The focus in the ring was great, and they strung five solid matches together. I’d be willing to look past the other four, but the awful continuation of the Dawn/Al/Torrie story arc makes me lose my good cheer and my generosity. WWE definitely had the right intentions with tonight’s show, but the road to Hell is paved with lousy angles that just won’t freaking die. 6.5/10


Dr. Tom

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