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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 2/27/03

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Guest TSMAdmin



More like a stillbirth: The Life Of David Gale is the worst movie I’ve seen in a while. To read some of the more gory details, go here.


On tape from London, Ontario, this is WWE Smackdown for 27 February 2K3. Your bobbleheads are the usual suspects: Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Kicking things off is Vince McMahon, who tells the crowd The Rock has left Smackdown for Raw because he can just switch shows like that. Must be one of those movie star perks. The good news is that Hollywood Hulk Hogan won’t be here tonight, and I agree: that’s dashed good news. Whatever the reason, he was heavily advertised for this show, further proof that Raw has given up exclusive rights to the bait-and-switch. Vince promises footage of the No Way Out finish, and declares that McMahonamania is running wild in place of the late Hulkamania.


Steamy Intergender Action: Torrie Wilson and NUMBAH ONE Announcer Funaki vs. Jamie Noble and Nidia. The menfolk kick it off, and Noble takes Funaki over with a snapmare, then shoulderblocks him. Funaki dropkicks Noble and works him over in the corner, but Noble comes out with a neckbreaker. He slams Funkai down, allowing Nidia to come in for a legdrop, broth . . . er, sister. Noble decides that’s enough wrestling from the girl who won the wrestling competition, so he’s back in. Funaki fights him off, though, and brings Nidia back in the hard way. Noble goes for the Tiger Driver, but Funaki counters by catapulting him into Nidia in the corner. Funaki DDTs Noble for 2, but can’t hit the tornado version, as Noble escapes. A mutual clothesline sends both men down, and Nidia tags in. She misses a mildly ugly frog splash, giving Torrie a chance to tag in. She beats on Torrie for a while before getting slap-happy on Noble, which gets her shoved down for her impudence. Noble chases Torrie outside the ring, but Funaki stops that with a baseball slide and plancha. In the ring, Dawn Marie tries to interfere, but Torrie whips Nidia into her and wins with the schoolgirl at 4:13. Nothing godawful, and it served its purpose of getting the crowd interested. 1.5/10

(Winners: Torrie and Funaki, Torrie pins Nidia via schoolgirl @ 4:13)


Stephanie McMahon joins us on the stage after the match. She’s talking about the Playboy spread, and teases that she’ll be focused in the magazine. The lucky winner is, of course, Torrie, and the other Divas do their best to act disgruntled. I'm guessing Trish is next.


After the break, Torrie and Stephanie discuss the Playboy shoot and the upcoming Girls Gone Wild show. Brian Kendrick is hanging around, with another idea to prove how badly he wants a job. His idea: he’ll take on Kurt Angle tonight. Stephanie says she’ll put him on Smackdown if he lasts five minutes in the ring with Angle .


Nunzio (with Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli) vs. Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero). Nunzio’s stable is again called the FB I, for those who remember the ECW incarnation. Eddy shoulderblocks Nunzio for quick 2 and lays in the forearms. He dropkicks Nunzio and hits a nice rolling armdrag using the top rope. Nunzio sends him into the buckle, though, and works him over in the corner. Palumbo trips Eddy from the outside, allowing Nunzio to pound away. Nunzio chokes Eddy and drops the knee for 2. Eddy rallies with a Tilt-a-Whirl backbreaker and slugs away in the corner. Noble flops down as a nice “Eddy!” chant gets going. Eddy hits the electric chair for 2, and gets another 2 off a nice quick spinning suplex. Take notes, “Freakzilla.” Eddy goes up, but rolls thru the Frog Splash when he sees Nunzio move. Nunzio small packages Eddy on a backbreaker, but Eddy rolls thru and hangs onto the tights for the win at 3:54. CHEAT TO WIN~! After the bell, the FBI jumps all over Los Guerreros, but Rikishi runs out to save the day. Looks like we’ll be having a six-man next week. This was brief, but decent. 3/10

(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, pinfall via tights-assisted rollup at 3:54)


After the break, Paul Heyman The Demoted confers with Stephanie. She informs him that, to make up for Angle inventing his own stips last week, Brock Lesnar will get to make a stipulation of his own if he beats Team Angle later tonight. His stip: he gets to take on any member of Team Angle in a cage match next week. Hmm, I think I know which way he’ll go (coughPAULcough) already.


At No Way Out, Edge’s neck injury was explained away by an alleged Team Angle ambush.


Meanwhile, Chris Benoit and Brock discuss the nefarious nature of Team Angle, and Benoit encourages him to use any means necessary to win. Benoit talks to an off-camera mystery partner before heading for the ring.


Tag Match: Matt Hardy v1.0 and Shannon Moore vs. Chris Benoit and RHYNO~! Today’s fun Matt facts: Matt’s pants are a 34W, and he thinks sweet potatoes are the bomb. Earlier today, Matt told Not Tough Enough that Edge could have avoided injury if he’d only had more MATTITUDE~! Seems like a sound idea to me. Benoit kicks Moore into a big Rhyno clothesline, and Rhyno stays in to batter his smaller opponent. He spears Moore in the corner (not leading so much with his neck anymore) and tags in Benoit, who brings the kicks. He snap suplexes Moore, but Matt trips him on a clothesline try, allowing Moore to capitalize. Matt tags in for some good old-fashioned heel double-teaming and wails away on Benoit. Matt hits the Side Effect for 2 (the crowd has been yelling, “TWO!” all night, which seems to be the custom in Canada recently) and tags Moore back in. S pounds on Benoit’s back and gets 2 off a back suplex. He goes to the chinlock, and the crowd is positively rabid for Rhyno at this point. Benoit fights out, but ends up in the heel corner. Matt comes in and tries to have Moore do the Poetry In Motion, but he whiffs, and Benoit nails a German on Matt. There’s the hot tag to Rhyno, who cleans house like he hasn’t done it in about sixteen months. Oh yeah. He hits a NICE spinebuster on Matt (which included turning around and driving his foe down, the former being absent on most “good” powerbombs), forcing Moore to save at 2. Moore tries a leg lariat, but Rhyno catches him and powerslams him. Rhyno finishes with the GORE GORE GORE~! on Matt at 3:51. He didn’t lead with the neck as much that time, either. I hope Rhyno can keep up these modifications to his moves. It was good to see Rhyno back in the ring, as I’ve always felt he’s underrated as a worker. This was a solid if unspectacular way for him to return. 3.5/10

(Winners: Benoit/Rhyno, Rhyno pins Hardy via GORE at 3:51)


Last week, Nathan Jones weirded out Michael Cole.


After the break, The Undertaker rides out and calls out A-Train, who comes out with agent Paul Heyman. After Paul talks for a spell, The Big Slow joins the party. Taker has the early advantage in the inevitable scrum, but the numbers catch up to him soon enough. Before Slow can use a chair, though, Nathan Jones sends both heels running for the hills. He and Taker have a brief staredown before the commercial.


Meanwhile, an injured Ice Ice Cena raps some more threats to Brock.


Five Minute Challenge: Brian Kendrick vs. Kurt Angle (with Paul Heyman). Angle starts on all fours, so Kendrick tries to break down his stance. That doesn’t work, so Angle goes amateur loco on him. He then gets on his knees, with his hands behind his back, but Kendrick is reluctant to pop him one. He finally does, kicking Angle flush in the side of the head and brings the punches. Angle cuts that off with an overhead and vents his frustrations by pounding away on Kendrick. Angle puts Kendrick on the top rope and bitch-slaps him to the floor. That was just dickishly awesome. Angle goes out and drops Kendrick on the wall before putting him back in. He grabs an Anglelock, but releases it quickly, preferring to toy with his young opponent. He clotheslines Kendrick down, then picks him up for what looks to be an Olympic Slam, but instead just drops him on his face. Kendrick sneaks in a jawbreaker and a standing enzuigiri, and forces Angle to post himself on a charge. Angle escapes Sliced Bread #2 (at least, I think that’s the name of Spanky’s finisher) as the clock counts down, and finishes Kendrick with the Olympic Slam at 4:58. Kendrick looks crestfallen at coming up two seconds short. This was a reasonably entertaining exhibition, but it’s a good thing Angle has such elastic heat. 4/10

(Winner: Kurt Angle, pinfall via Olympic Slam at 4:58)


Angle gets on the stick after the match and proclaims his team’s innocence in the Edge Caper. He then puts over Kendrick’s guts and raises his hand, before dedicating this shit-kicking to Brock. Angle kills Kendrick with a clothesline, wails away on him, and sends him to the floor. Kendrick goes into two ringposts before Angle puts him back in and delivers a Lesnarian F5. That’s what happens when you can’t last five minutes with the champ.


After the break, the Rock-Hogan ref, Sylvain Grenier, comes to the ring. He introduces clips of McMahon’s screwjob of Hogan to end Rock-Hogan Part Deux. I’m sure you’ve either seen it or read about it by now, so I’m not going to provide details. If you want the lowdown, go here for TSM’s own Dames’ take on things.


Meanwhile, Paul rallies the troops for the handicap main event match.


Main Event, Handicap Match: Team Angle (with Kurt Angle and Paul Heyman) vs. Brock Lesnar. Haas starts things off with Brock, and gets tossed down after a brief lockup. Haas comes back with a series of kicks, but Brock knees him and shoulders him in the corner. He beals Haas halfway across the ring, but Haas elbows him on a charge. Brock recaptures the advantage quickly, though, backbreakering Haas and taking him over with a tabletop suplex. Benjamin tags himself in, but walks right into an overhead suplex. Benjamin tries a DDT, but Brock drives him into the corner and shoulders him. Benjamin knees Brock on a charge, and a Haas clothesline sends Brock to the floor. Heyman puts the boots to Brock on the floor. Back in, Benjamin works over Brock until Brock takes him down with a clothesline. Angle trips Brock, compelling him to give chase, which ends rather abruptly with a Benjamin baseball side. Haas posts Brock, and Heyman adds a chairshot across the back. That gets 2 for Benjamin. Haas tags in and nails a nice back suplex on Brock, then follows it up with a chinlock, adding a body vise for good measure. Brock gets to his feet and goes to the corner. He climbs to the second rope and falls with an electric chair. Haas landed mostly on his hip there – ouch. Benjamin comes in, but Brock pops right up and goes to work on him. He suplexes both men and knocks Angle off the apron, but turns around into that awesome superkick/German suplex combo, which gets 2. Brock gets double-teamed, but shoves both guys down and goes for the F5 on Haas. Benjamin manages to catch him, though Haas still ends up on the floor. That leaves Benjamin alone with Brock, and it’s Kick-Wham-F5 at 7:55. Brock’s been getting an insane buildup in this feud; I have to wonder when Angle or his team will actually get one over on him. Pretty good match, especially considering the relative inexperience of all three men involved. 5/10

(Winner: Brock Lesnar, pinfall via F5 at 7:55)


After the bell, Brock tries to give Paul the F5, but Angle chop-blocks him to break it up. Brock gets on the stick and says who he wants in the cage next week: one Paul E. Heyman, who looks like he’s seen an armada of ghosts at that announcement.


The breakdown:


The Good: For the second week in a row, there’s not a lot to add to this department. None of the matches were actively bad, but even the best one (the main event) was only a little above average. It was good to see Rhyno make his return, though. He’d be a perfect guy for a secondary belt like the Intercontinental Title, but since that died to you know wHHHo’s vanity, we won’t get to see that. Kurt Angle was also at his dickish best against Spanky.


The Bad: Nothing was dreadful or anything like that, but the best parts of the show were just mentioned. The rest is trapped in some kind of Phantom Zone, where it doesn’t really deserve to be called good, but isn’t as bad as a lot of things we’ve had to suffer through in the last year.


The Ugly: Zip, zero, zilch.


Overall: I wanted to like this show, and I did, but it wasn’t one of Smackdown’s better efforts. The Hogan rehash could have been a sixth match, but if it sets up something for Mania, I can tolerate it. Call this one a little above average, but the benefit of the doubt is starting to wear off. 5.5/10


Dr. Tom

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Check out all my past work in the TSM Archives.

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