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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 4/10/03

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Guest TSMAdmin



Ok, a couple pieces of old business before we dive into this.


-- My promised report on WrestleMania XIX is right here. I would have pimped it sooner, but I didn't do this report last week, so there.


-- School is going well, but since the classes (University of Phoenix) are condensed down to five weeks each, it feels a lot like having a second job. Seriously, I’m losing a good amount of free time for this. I like the structure, but unless you can handle fast-paced stuff with a weekly commitment of at least sixteen hours, you’ll have problems. With the individual and team projects we have to do (and with me serving as the team’s editor) – and the fact that I’m pretty much locked into Thursday classes – the reality is that I’ll probably have to give up this gig, sooner rather than later. But we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.


Remember, I’m doing these reports from tape, after thirteen-hour days between school and work, so they’re going to be a little skimpier than the norm established over the last few months. On with the show.


On tape from The City of Broad Shoulders, this is WWE Smackdown! for 10 April 2K3. Your bobbleheads are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Opening Match, Champion vs. Champion: Brock Lesnar vs. Matt Hardy v1.0. Today’s Matt facts: Matt’s book is a bestseller, and he is Matt puts the belt to good use right away, getting 2. Matt works the neck and does a rope straddle, which Brock counters with an electric chair. Pretty effective, I’d say. Brock goes into suplex mode, and reverses a Twist of Fate into the F5 for the pin at 3:50. Energetic opener, and it looked like the crowd thought Matt was more than just a sacrificial lamb. That’s to his credit for getting the very good Version One character over. 3/10

(Winner: Brock Lesnar, pinfall via F5 at 3:50)


Meanwhile, Rotund Roddy Piper reminisces.


Here’s a video about the Vince McMahon-Hulk Hogan confrontation last week.


Steamy Intergender Action: Torrie Wilson and Brian Kendrick vs. Jamie Noble and Nidia. Does Nidia’s recent engagement to Eric Angle dispel the rumors that Noble’s been poking her for a while now? Do I really care? Anyway, Kendrick gets killed by suplexes for a while, before rallying with an enzuigiri. Seriously, he was taking some pretty wicked bumps there. Torrie tags in, and after her devastating, career-killing neckbreaker fails to get the pin, she regroups after some heel chicanery to get the win with a DDT at 5:30. This was a pretty entertaining mixed match, especially for Kendrick’s mad bumping. 5/10

(Winners: Torrie and Kendrick, pinfall via Torrie DDT at 5:30)


Meanwhile, Team Spinal Fusion is coming APART AT THE SEAMS~! Well, not really, but Rhyno and Benoit are arguing over which one of them will be opposite Brock at Backlash. Brock adds that he really doesn’t care. Well, I guess that’s settled, then.


WWE Title Semifinal: Rhyno vs. Chris Benoit. Good mat sequence opens, with plenty of holds and counters until Parity Is Established. They go back and forth for a bit, with Rhyno using suplexes to set up the GORE GORE GORE, which misses the mark. Benoit goes to the suplex, and hits the Kamikaze Headbutt from the other side of the arena, only for 2. DAMN, he got some air on that one. Benoit’s usual finishers are blocked, so he breaks out the backslide, and gets the duke with that at 8:10. That’s a rather anticlimactic ending to match like this, but I really can’t complain about anything. 6.5/10

(Winner: Chris Benoit, pinfall via backslide at 8:10)


Meanwhile, Sable steals Torrie’s towel in the shower and makes her come and get it. Didn’t she quit over something like this the first time? Ah, the things (money) that will bring people back (money) after they left in a huff (money) and tried to sue the company.


Piper’s Pit is back, and the first guest is ... Vince McMahon. Well, talk about a buildup to a letdown. Vince takes credit for creating Piper, too, which is patently untrue. Christ, he’s getting to be like Al Gore with the internet. Piper refutes Vince and brings up some of his less successful endeavors, like the WBF and the XFL, and how he traded on his father’s name. I doubt many people watching remember the WBF (heck, I barely do), but the XFL is a zinger everyone should get. Piper says that Vince did something he never did: go down 1-2-3 to Hogan. Rikishi interrupts, with a coconut, to carp about the treatment Jimmy Snuka received many moons ago on Piper’s Pit. Sean O’Haire lays Rikishi out, and Piper adds the coconut shot to the head. I don’t know about the rekindling of Piper’s Pit as an effective segment in this day and age. If Piper ends up giving the rub to someone like O’Haire thru it, though, then it’s a good thing. It would also show how to use veterans like Piper – aging former stars who are certainly past their primes, but still have name value – effectively to build up the younger stars. Take notes, Hogan.


Here’s a promo video for the Generic Evil French Team. I know the French aren’t popular because they looked like money-grubbing sissies in the Iraq scenario, but come on ... everyone hates the French. It’s a universal in-joke that probably isn’t going to get the heat the creative staff would like. Then again, it’s much better than an Iraqi sympathizer gimmick, so at least we’ve made progress in the last dozen years.


Nontitle Tag Match: Team Angle vs. Tajiri and Rey Mysterio. Team Angle try to dedicate the match to captain Kurt, who’s undergoing neck surgery, but the Chicago fans respond most unkindly. Some people. The faces double-team off a quick Tarantula, but Team Angle recaptures the momentum when Benjamin levels Rey with a nasty kick. Rey gets worked over until Tajiri gets the hot tag and brings the highspots. Rey comes back in and gets powerbombed, but Tajiri sets up the 619 nicely for him, and a springboard legdrop on Haas finishes the heels at 4:46. Team Angle is now 3-648 in matches. Solid match, as expected. 5/10

(Winners: Tajiri and Rey, pinfall via Rey springboard legdrop at 4:46)


Meanwhile, Not Tough Enough talks to The Undertaker about his match tonight.


Nathan Jones vs. Bill DeMott. Finally, he gets in the ring. Jones pounds on DeMott, who bails, then boots him in the face coming back in for the pin in a little more than a minute. Wow, that really showed off what the guy can do. I know some people have drawn criticism for having too much punch-and-kick in their movesets, but come on. I’m calling three weeks in the “How long until Jones is sent to OVW?” pool. –1/10

(Winner: Nathan Jones, pinfall via vast powers of suckitude at 1:something)


Meanwhile, the FBI summon security and report the theft of cash and a laptop.


Meanwhile, security wants to question Nathan Jones, and Undertaker half-heartedly sticks up for him.


Main Event, WWE Title Semi-Final: The Undertaker vs. Ice Ice Cena. If you can’t guess who runs in, then, uh ... you lose, I guess. Cena’s pre-match rap gets the crowd on his back, just like it should. Taker slugs away and no-sells a lot. A chokeslam gets 2, as Cena puts his foot on the ropes. Taker pounds him some more as we cut to commercial, and some more still after the break. UT legdrops Cena on the apron, brother, and kills him for a while in the ring. Cena uses the bling-bling chain to seize the advantage, but it’s brief. He works on Taker’s elbow (which Cole mentions is in need of surgery), but that’s shrugged off for the ropewalk. UT bumps the ref, and hits the Last Ride while no one is available to count. The FBI runs in, and Taker fights them off until Palumbo is finally able to waylay him with a chair. Cena gets the slow 3 for the pin at 14:56. Let’s see, it only took a ref bump, a chain, a chair, a run-in, an ICBM, and a dozen UN resolutions for Taker to job to Cena. I would say “put Cena over,” but that doesn’t seem like what happened, which gives the match an odd feel. Yeah, Cena won, but it seemed the match was designed more to preserve Undertaker’s heat than elevate his younger opponent. The match was nothing much, either. 1.5/10

(Winner: John Cena, pinfall via FBI chairshot at 14:52)


The breakdown (in brief):


The Good: Most of the matches were good this week, and it was nice to see Piper give some rub to O’Haire in the Pit segment.


The Bad: The feel of the main event, which felt nothing like a rising young star getting the elevation he needs.


The Ugly: Sable. Have you seen her since she’s come back? If not, hold on to your Playboy mammarie . . . er, memories, since they’re infinitely better than the real thing these days.


Overall: Definitely an above-average show this week. I would have liked it more had Cena actually gone over (instead of just winning) in the main event, but since the wrestling was good overall, I really can’t carp too much about it. 6.5/10


Dr. Tom

Shout, shout, let it all out.

(Remove the spam-sniffing X from each field before hollering from the hilltops)

Check out my TSM Archives and my Amazon wishlist!

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