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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 1/30/03

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Guest TSMAdmin



In case you’re wondering, the best movie to come out so far this year is Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. If you want to know what I thought about it, go to the TSM review.


Last week, Smackdown’s “bombshell” came out dressed in red and yellow, brother.


On tape from Titletown, this is WWE Smackdown! for 30 January 2K3. Your cheesehead hosts are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Opening Match: Rey Mysterio vs. A-Train. Let’s watch some clips that showed how stupid it was for a slug like A-Train to be getting a push. Leave it to WWE to sour on Edge for not being able to pin a bowtie on a dog turd. Rey tries a quick 619 as A-Train is getting to the ring, but he gets caught. Train ends up going into the post, and into the ring we go. A-Train picks up Rey, but Rey slugs his way out of that. Military press try, but Rey escapes. A-Train catches his springboard bodypress and slams him down, then pounds away on the mat. Rey bails, getting A-Train to chase, and greets him with a springboard legdrop coming back in, for 2. A-Train gets the Derailer, but just for 2. Dead finishers, now for sale in aisle 3. A-Train goes to the full nelson, forcing Rey to Stunner out of it. He tries a ‘rana, but gets caught, and somehow manages to pound A-Train down to one knee. Rey DDTs A-Train for 2. He goes for the 619, but gets bicycle kicked for his troubles. The Train Wreck (over-the-shoulder backbreaker) finishes Rey at 3:40. Why, why, WHY? Everybody’s found out that A-Train is a useless hunk of shit, so of course, he has to get heat back from Rey beating him in a tag match two weeks ago. Gah, this match felt like Raw. 1/10, all for Rey.

(Winner: A-Train, pinfall via Train Wreck at 3:40)


Meanwhile, Not Tough Enough talks to Paul Heyman, who has given The Big Slow the night off to keep him away from The Undertaker.


Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero) vs. Ice Ice Cena (with Redd Dogg). The “Eddy mows my lawn” signs just don’t mean as much without the MULLET~! Cena’s rap runs down Eddy, Mexicans, and the Packers in the lastest Thugamonics lesson. Eddy jumps all over Cena coming into the ring and beats the tar out of him in the corner. The elbows and forearms are flying like mad. Eddy tosses Cena, allowing Chavo to throw him into the wall before rolling him back in. Eddy hits a nice back suplex, but misses a charge into the corner. Cena faceplants Eddy and tosses him out, where Dogg slams him into the steps. Back in, that gets 2. An “Ed-dy!” chant breaks out as Cena works Eddy over in the corner. Cena hits a vertical suplex for 2, then a half-hour suplex for 2. A snap suplex gets 2. Side slam also gets 2, and Cena, apparently tired of getting 2, goes to the chinlock. Eddy sweeps his leg out, then slugs away, finishing the exchange with the European uppercut. Eddy dropkicks Cena, but gets pulled down by Dogg near the ropes. Cena cleverly capitalizes with a back suplex and goes up, but gets shoved down by Chavo. Eddy goes up, and finishes things with the Frog Splash at 5:53. Like the new T-shirt says, baby: Cheat 2 WIN~! Certainly good enough for government work. 4/10

(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, pinfall via Frog Splash at 5:53)


Meanwhile, Undertaker arrives.


After the break, Paul has a plan, involving young Brian Kendrick. He’ll do anything to make it in this business, so he and Paul walk off to discuss the plan.


Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon is joined in her office by daddy Vince. They get into a squabble over Hollywood Hulk Hogan, which ends with Vince telling us he’ll have a “surprise” announcement of his own shortly.


Non-Title Match: Shannon Moore (with Matt Hardy v1.0) vs. Billy Kidman. Today’s fun facts from Mattitude.com: Matt thinks Shannon has an iota of Mattitude, and Matt was the longest surviving SD star in the Rumble. Moore tries to brawl, but Kidman takes him down with a headscissor. Moore bails,Kidman stupidly follows, and gets sent into the wall and apron for his troubles. In, that gets 2. Moore goes to the chinlock, and pulls Kidman down by his hear when he fights out. Kidman takes a back suplex for 2 and ends up in a crossface chinlock. Kidman powers out of it and dropkicks Moore. A clothesline and backdrop set up the Death Valley neckbreaker, which gets 2. Moore ducks a clothesline and hits a rebound leg lariat for 2. Kidman spinebusters Moore for 2, but Moore escapes a tornado DDT and gets 2 off a nice rolling neckbreaker. Moore puts on a legbar, which Kidman counters by kipping up with one leg and hits an enzuigiri. Nifty spot there. Kidman goes up, and wins the fight over the top rope by tossing Moore down into a hotshot. Matt tries to interfere, but Kidman kicks him away and finishes Moore with the Shooting Star Press at 5:49. It started out kinda slowly, but the second half was very solid. 5/10

(Winner: Billy Kidman, pinfall via Shooting Star Press at 5:49)


After the bell, Matt gives Kidman a Twist of Fate, then another one for good measure. I don’t know why Johnny Ace thinks Matt can’t get over as a heel.


After the break, Vince heads to the ring. He threatens to walk out because of the “Hogan!” chants, which doesn’t go quite the way he wanted. Vince finally admits that Hulkamania is not dead, but it is on life support. He blames the fans for “blowing their hot air into the respirator of Hulkamania” in a nice turn of phrase. Of course, he promises to kill Hulkamania, since he created it and all. As for last week’s challenge, Vince says there’s No Way Out for Hogan, because at that PPV, he’ll be facing The Rock. That gets a rather mixed reaction. Rock, bald head and all, joins us “live” via “satellite.” After insulting Green Bay, Rock panders to the crowd, insults Hogan, and promises the same result from last year’s Mania. I *really* hope he comes back as a heel, and it looks like he’s going to.


Rikishi vs. Bill DeMott. Please, O infernal forces of evil, let this be the last match in this sad little feud. Rikishi starts with a headlock and shoulderblocks DeMott down off the ropes. He slugs away, but a quick hammerlock on DeMott’s bad arm is countered with an elbow to the face. DeMott clotheslines Rikishi and posts him, then pounds away. He locks in an abdominal stretch – and there are a lot of abs to be stretched – and uses the ropes like any good heel should. Rikishi tries a BELLY-to-belly, but DeMott headbutts out of it. That shouldn’t have worked. Obviously, the immutable law about headbutting Samoans has been suspended for this match. DeMott slams Rikishi and goes up, but Rikishi recovers and brings him down with an electric chair drop. That leaves both men down. Rikishi is up first, and wails away on DeMott. A Samoan Drop and superkick set up an avalanche, but Rikishi passes up a Stinkface. Maybe there is a God after all: I finally get to see a Rikish match where he’s not enveloping someone’s face with his ass. Rikishi tries a DDT, but DeMott couters it by hanging on to the top rope. He uses the ropes to get the cheap pin at 3:56. Clever finish, and I’ve always enjoyed that DDT counter, but there wasn’t much to see here. 1/10

(Winner: Bill DeMott, pinfall via heel chicanery at 3:56)


Before everyone has left, Undertaker rides the bike down to the ring. For the second week in a row, Taker tries to call Big Slow out to the ring. This challenge is apparently exciting enough to warrant a commercial break.


Back from the break, UT is sitting on the steps waiting for Slow. He calls him out again, and again, Slow’s music brings Paul Heyman to the ramp. He delivers Slow’s “personal message” to Taker: Kendrick riding a girl’s bicycle to the ring. He has a singing telegram from Slow:, the gist of which is that he’s sorry and he’ll never do it again. Methinks that won’t suffice. Kendrick asks for a tip, so Taker reaches into the wallet and slaps a Ben Franklin into the lad’s hand. He then gives him a Last Ride, and takes the C-note back. Just when I was ready to say he was a big tipper, too.


After the break, Kurt Angle gives a pep talk to underlings Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. He gets a nice dig in at the Packers before his charges vow to win one for the Kurtster, and everyone enjoys a group hug.


Sean O’Haire’s new commercial encourages people to indulge their vices. Never a bad idea, sez I.


Main Event, #1 Contenders Match: Team Angle (with Kurt Angle) vs. Edge and Chris Benoit. Angle takes third commentary chair as Benoit and Haas start in the ring. Benoit pounds Haas and knees him in the corner. He brings some filthy choppage and slugs away, but a Benjamin cheap shot turns the tide for Haas. Bejamin comes in and promptly hits a gutbuster, for 1. He works Benoit’s arm and tries to post him, but Benoit counters by catapulting him into the top turnbuckle. Edge comes in, greeting Haas with clotheslines and a backdrop. He faceplants the running-in Benjamin before taking Haas down with an Edge-O-Matic. Angle gets on the apron, and is promptly speared off. Edge dumps Haas, but is then himself dumped by Benjamin. Benoit Germans Benjamin as Haas puts the boots to Edge on the floor. Benoit breaks that up with a TOPE SUICIDA~! Back in, Edge goes up and missile dropkicks Benjamin for 2. We now interrupt this match for a few words from our sponsors. Back from the break, Benoit is stomping a BAH GAWD mudhole in Benjamin. Benoit starts working over the arm, and tags in Edge for more of the same. Edge locks in a cross armbreaker, which Benjamin manages to work into a cover for 2. Haas comes in and tries for a vertical suplex, but Edge blocks it and hits one of his own. Edge works the arm some more, and Benoit comes in to keep it up. He hits a very nice hammerlock Northern Lights suplex for 2. Edge works the arm some more, as does Benoit. Benoit grabs a Crossface, but Haas is quickly to the ropes. Edge tags in, but falls victim to an overhead suplex. He gets worked over in the heel corner, and they isolate his left leg. Benjamin comes in to work the leg over. Haas drops the leg on the leg, brother, and dusts off a stump puller. There’s a move you don’t see much anymore. Haas drop toeholds Edge down, and Benjamin tags in, quickly slapping on a side figure four. Bonus points for putting it on the correct leg, too: the straight one is the injured one. Haas works the leg some more, and it’s back to Benjamin, who goes to the conventional figure four this time. On the wrong leg, too. Alas, poor Shelton, he showed such promise with the submission holds. Benoit, clearly offended by such shoddy technique, breaks the hold with a dropkick. Haas comes in and goes right back to the figure four, again on the wrong leg. It’s obvious these two are ignoring the advice of Kurt Angle. I refuse to believe he would teach his proteges the wrong way to apply a submission move. More intensity is needed in their lessons, methinks. Edge, obviously peeved at having been subjected to two awful figure fours, reverses the hold. Edge enzuigiris Haas down, but Benjamin comes in and cuts him off from the tag. He’s sharp enough to duck the enzuigiri that floored Haas, but Edge rolls him into the turnbuckle anyway. Hot tag to Benoit, and he cleans house like they just doubled his pay at the Best Western. He snap suplexes Benjamin, then Haas onto Benjamin, and covers the latter for 2. Angle grabs Benoit’s leg, turning the tide and allowing Team Angle to do the double-team running back spot. Edge gets tossed, but Benoit ducks Benjamin’s superkick, which hits Haas and kills him dead. Benjamin takes the rolling Germans, and Benoit goes up. Edge stops Angle from interfering, and the kamikaze headbutt gets a very close 2. Haas gets tossed, and Benoit grabs the Crossface on Benjamin. Haas comes back in to save. Edge spears Haas, but Angle waylays Benoit with his title belt, and Benjamin picks up the win at 19:04. The right team won, since Los Guerreros are getting face pops these days. Very well-constructed match, with flurries of great action combined with effective psychology. 8/10

(Winners: Team Angle, Greco-Roman belt to the noggin at 19:04)


The Breakdown:


The Good: A very good main event was the highlight of tonight’s show. Kidman and Shannon Moore also put on a very entertaining match. The only bout that was actively bad was the first one, and that was solely because of A-Train’s involvement. The Rock talked some smack over the satellite airwaves, setting himself up to come back as a heel for what may be his last real run with the company.


The Bad: There was a lot of talking tonight. Talking’s fine and all, to a point, but it when it means we only get five matches, I have an issue with it. A-Train inexplicably went over Rey-Rey, despite the fact that it looked like his idiotic push was dead last week. Never count out a bad idea, I guess.


The Ugly: Nothing too bothersome this week.


Overall: With the excess talking factored in, this was a completely average show, maybe even a little on the south side of that, until the excellent main event. It’s enough to kick this one back onto the good side of the median, but I’m not going to give it a ringing endorsement. 6/10


Dr. Tom

(Remove the leading X from each field to holler back at me)

Missed a masterpiece? Look for it in my TSM Archive!

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