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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 2/13/03

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Guest TSMAdmin



On tape from Bakersfield, CA, this is WWE Smackdown! for 13 February 2K3. Your bobbleheads are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


There’s another large crate on the stage this week. Last week: Brother Love. This week: Dude Love? Probably not, but tell me you wouldn't be marking out for that.


Opening Match: Edge vs. Charlie Haas (with Paul Heyman). A tieup segues into a Haas fireman’s carry, which he quickly follows with an armbar. He takes Edge down with a shoulderblock, but Edge armdrags him into a keylock. Haas forces him into the corner and pounds away, then chokes Edge on the ropes. Edge comes back with a leg lariat and spears Haas in the corner. He almost bumps the ref on a subsequent corner charge, and Haas capitalizes with an EXPLODAH~! variant for 2. Overhead suplex gets 2, then a nice Northern Lights gets 2 as well. Haas locks in a bow and arrow, which Edge fights out of, only to get yanked down by his hair. Take that, hippie. Edge flips out of a back suplex and hits one of his own, leaving both men down. Edge gets the better of a slugfest and takes Haas down with an enzuigiri. The Edge-O-Matic, as always, gets 2. Edge DDTs Haas, but Haas hangs on to roll him up for 2. Edge victory rolls Haas for 2. Haas tries a clothesline, but ends up taking a flapjack. Heyman gets on the apron, and is quickly speared off. Haas, however, capitalizes on Edge’s close reading of Stupid Babyface Tactics Vol. IV, and rolls him up for the win at 5:36. The ending was a little cliched for my tastes, but this was certainly a solid enough opener. 4/10

(Winner: Charlie Haas, pinfall via rollup at 5:36)


Nathan Jones will be coming to Smackdown after all, the bobbleheads tell us.


After the beak, Kurt Angle has a rose for Stephanie McMahon. She wants to discuss a match, which Angle conveniently misinterprets until Brock Lesnar walks in. Steph makes a match for No Way Out: Kurt and Team Angle against Brock, Edge, and Chris Benoit. Brock’s looking forward to it, but I get the feeling Angle’s mind is still on his would-be paramour from 2000. Angle takes the rose back before he leaves. More intelligence, folks: those damn things are expensive this time of year.


Nunzio vs. Rikishi. Last week, Nunzio issued an ominous warning to Rikishi. Nunzio tries to grab a pre-bell advantage with a plancha, but Rikishi catches him and slams him to the floor. Rikishi pounds away on Nunzio until he gets assaulted from behind by Chuck Palumbo and Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli. Wasn't he on Raw and Heat the last time we saw him? “The Family,” as Nunzio calls them, proceeds to kick the hell out of Rikishi. I guess this is the new FBI. No match, no rating.


Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy v1.0 (with Shannon Moore). Today’s Valentine-themed fun Matt facts: Matt always gets more Valentines than his brother (but I bet Jeff’s are more... interesting), and Matt always gives chocolates instead of roses. For those who are counting, Matt’s lost eight pounds and is wearing some kind of rubber sweatsuit tonight. Matt tosses Rey down, but gets taken down himself and put in a headlock. Rey boots Matt on a charge and takes him over with a legscissors. Matt takes a dropkick, but ducks the 619. He grabs Rey’s leg, but Rey kicks him off and goes for a pescado. He hits only the floor, though, where Moore abuses him for a moment before putting him back on the apron. Matt looks like he’s going to suplex Rey in, but decides to drop him gut-first on the top rope instead. Matt wails on Rey and gets 2 off a gutwrench suplex. The Ricochet gets 2, and Matt goes to the surfboard. Rey kicks his way out of it, but Matt catches him in a Torture Rack. Rey DDTs Matt to escape, leaving both men down. Rey brawls with Matt and hits Bombs Away. Matt posts himself on a charge, nicely setting up a spingboard moonsault for 2. Matt catches another springboard maneuver and turns it into the Side Effect for 2. It looks like the rubber suit’s getting to Matt. Rey trips over Matt on a leapfrog, but Matt just collapses into the ropes and takes a 619. The West Coast Pop ends it at 6:06. It was interesting to see Matt’s “crash dieting” factor into the match like that. Energetic affair until Matt got all dehydrated. 5/10

(Winner: Rey Mysterio, pinfall via West Coast Pop at 6:06)


Matt complains about dehydration after the match, and vows to lose two more pounds by the PPV to meet the cruiserweight limit.


After the break, videos remind us how Bryan Kendrick will do anything to make it in this business. Back live, Sean O’Haire tells him how well he’s doing, until Bill DeMott interrupts. Bill allows Spanky to make an impact in WWE by tossing him into the wall a few times. I don't think the lad meant it quite that literally.


Chris Benoit vs. A-Train. A-Train powers Benoit into the corner, where Benoit chops away. A-Train no-sells the chops, in a serious affront to humanity. Benoit falls victim to a back elbow, then gets pounded on. He tries a Crossface on a clothesline, but A-Train is quickly to the ropes. Again, with the same result. A-Train nails a pair of backbreakers, the drops the elbow to the back. He grabs Benoit in an inverted full nelson, then turns it into a slam. A second-rope splash gets 2. Benoit counters a backbreaker into a rollup for 2, but gets clubbed for his efforts. A-Train misses a charge, setting up the rolling Germans. Benoit misses the Kamizake headbutt, and A-Train takes advantage of it with a bicycle kick. He goes for the Derailer, but Benoit counters that into the Crossface. There are no ropes nearby this time, and A-Train taps out at 5:47. If you like seeing one very talented guy bump like a fiend and wrestle himself for six minutes, this is the match for you. 2/10

(Winner: Chris Benoit, submission via Crippler Crossface at 5:47)


The crate is moved into the ring, while Paul Heyman tells us The Big Slow’s history of trying to apologize to The Undertaker for tossing him onto a foam pad four months ago. Taker motors out while Cole talks about how his career could have ended. I know if I fell six feet onto a foam mat, I’d be worried about my career. I just don’t see why they do “big bumps” as part of some injury angle, then make it obvious that no one’s being the slightest bit injured. There’s a singer in the box this weeks, and it’s Chris Kanyon singing a Culture Club song. He jumps Taker, whacking him with the mic and pounding away befoe UT turns the tide. Kanyon gets tossed, then generally gets the stuffing beaten out of him at ringside. Those chairshots are obviously meant to welcome Kanyon back after his layoff. That has to be one of the strangest and most ignominious re-debuts I’ve ever seen.


Meanwhile, Shannon encourages Matt to pedal those last two pounds away on the exercise bike.


Meanwhile, NUMBAH ONE Announcer Funaki catches up with Ice Ice Cena and tries to use his street lingo. Cena seems unimpressed.


Eddy Guerrero vs. Shelton Benjamin (with Charlie Haas). JIP after the break with a lockup sequence. Eddy flips thru a snapmare and does one of his own, but falls victim to an armdrag and a *quick* powerslam. Benjamin puts on an armbar as Cole explains that he ran a 4.2 40-yard dash while at Minnesota. That’s SERIOUSLY fast, so I’m not sure I believe that number (NFL speedsters are generally in the 4.3's), but Benjamin does look plenty quick. Eddy suplexes out of the armbar and locks Benjamin in a head vise. Benjamin makes the ropes, but since Eddy doesn’t release the hold, Shelton stands up and hits an electric chair for 2. Benjamin goes to the chinlock, but Eddy fights out and takes him down with a back elbow. The slingshot senton is good for 2. Benjamin hits a HIGH backdrop, then a backbreaker for 2. He charges into the corner, but Eddy turns that effort into a nice twisting suplex for 2. He goes up, but Benjamin follows and wins the fight over the top rope. He tries to bring Eddy down with an electric chair from the top, but Eddy turns it into the sunset flip powerbomb. Eddy goes up again, this time coming down on Haas with a double axehandle. He rams Benjamin into the buckle and goes up again, but misses the Frog Splash. Eddy catches a superkick, but Benjamin keeps his balance and spins that into a nice heel kick to pick up the win at 4:57. The new tag champs continue to get a nice buildup, as Eddy helped make Shelton look like a million bucks here. 5/10

(Winner: Shelton Benjamin, pinfall via spinning kick at 4:57)


A nice video package shows us the history of The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan.


After the break, HEF~! announces that a diva will be in Playboy soon. It’s Torrie, if you didn’t already know, and the issue goes on sale around the end of next month.


Valentine’s Day Bra and Panties Match: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie. Torrie wins after about four minutes of the usual “action.” After the bell, Nidia jumps Torrie, but Torrie quickly overcomes the double-team. Nidia loses her shorts and gets spanked for her impudence. I guess this was OK for what passes for T&A on network TV.


De Facto Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs. Ice Ice Cena. Another amusing rap by Cena as he heads to the ring, getting in a few good digs at Brock, including, “That’s a nice tattoo of your mother on your back.” Mother jokes just never wear out, friends, and I’ll leave the obvious punchline there to you. Brock beats the tar out of Cena and hits an overhead suplex. He bulls Cena into the corner and shoulder rams him there. High backbreaker is followed by another overhead, and Cena bails to catch a breather. Brock follows, though (cleverly slipping out the side of the ring while the ref was looking at Cena), and presses him onto the announce table. Back in, Cena briefly turns the tide with a thumb to the eye, but Brock regains the advantage and pounds him down again. Another overhead suplex sends Cena to the floor again. Brock undoes a turnbuckle pad while Cena wraps his fist with the bling-bling chain. He gets in the ring and lays Brock out with it, but since the ref was tending to the turnbuckle, that only gets 2. Cena puts the boots to Brock and suplexes him for 2. Brock’s selling the head shot well, acting like he can’t even stand up. Cena goes to a chinlock with a body vise. Brock fights to his feet and runs Cena into the corner, but Cena hangs on and maintains the hold. Brock struggles to his feet again, this time running Cena into two corners, which knocks him loose. Both men are down, and Cena recovers first, dropping Brock with a running clothesline. He pounds away in the corner before Brock turns the tide. Overhead suplexes #4 and 5 follow, and Cena gets rammed into the still-exposed turnbuckle. The F5 is academic at 6:26. It’s good to see Brock get back in the ring. This was another solid but not great match, on a night that’s had a lot of those. 5/10

(Winner: Brock Lesnar, pinfall via F5 at 6:26)


After the bell, Brock is miffed that Angle didn’t accept his invitation to watch the match. Brock calls out Angle, but the champ’s not coming. As incentive, Brock F5's Cena into the ringpost. That “punking out” seemed to get Angle fired up. We’ll see just how fired up after the break.


After the break, here comes Angle, mic in hand and “You suck!” chants in his ears. Brock wants a throw-down in the ring, and Angle looks eager to oblige... just not tonight. Angle begs off because of a sinus infection, an admission that clearly takes integrity. Kurt is all about the matchup next week, though. After accepting the challenge, Brock punks out Angle, suplexes him across the ring, then dismantles him on the floor. Before Angle can take another F5 into the post, though, Team Angle breaks it up. Brock soon dispatches them, too, showcasing his destruction with an F5 to Benjamin on the floor. Brock stalks Angle up the ramp, then tosses his belt onto him before walking off. Next week, they’ll go at it for real.


The breakdown:


The Good: While there was no blowaway match this week, there were several very solid ones. It’s a shame Benoit had to be involved in the one that wasn’t (not counting the women’s “match”), but that’s what happens when you have to wrestle yourself. The post-main event confrontation was also well-done, building to next week’s Angle/Lesnar match, and showing Brock to still be a monster.


The Bad: I guess Benoit drew the short straw in the talent meeting this week.


The Ugly: Another week where this category remains empty.


Overall: While nothing really excelled, the whole of this show was made up of some very solid parts. Generally good action in the ring combined with a couple of decent segments out of the ring make this week another winner. 6.5/10


Dr. Tom

Send your holiday affection my way, baby.

(Remove the leading X from each field before ppuring your heart out)

Missed a recap or movie review? Look for it in my TSM Archive!

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