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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: 4/24/03

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Guest TSMAdmin



One important programming note before we dive into this thing:


Effective at the end of May, I will no longer be recapping Smackdown!


Why, you may ask? As you know, I recently started going back to school, which is the reason these reports have been about two hours later than normal. I’m going to be locked into Thursday classes for some time, it appears. Basically, I do these reports now from watching a tape, which I watch after having a fourteen-hour day between work and school. Needless to say, it’s getting to be something of a chore. Also, because I don’t want to be up half the night writing and coding this report, I’ve had to truncate things a bit, sometimes more. At the risk of sounding immodest, I think I’ve set some pretty high standards for quality, and I feel I can no longer live up to them. I also feel that I’m doing you, my readers, a disservice by having to shorten things like I do. You deserve better than I’ve been able to give you for the past five weeks, and better than I’ll be able to give you for the next year or so. Thus, I’m stepping aside and letting someone else have their day in the sun. I started doing this at TSM a little more than a year ago, and at LOP a couple months after that, so I’ve put some good time into this.


Those of you who hated me and wanted me gone all along: it took a while, but you’re getting your wish. And thanks for reading every single week in the interim, you shameless hypocrites.


On tape from the home of American country music, this is WWE Smackdown! for 24 April 2003. Your hosts, whose wives just left them after running over their dogs with the pickup, are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Opening Match: Ice Ice Cena vs. Rhyno. Rhyno overpowers Cena, but soon ends up on the floor outside. Cena works the neck, then the arm, then back to the neck. That was kind of odd. Rhyno turns the tide with power moves, but the GORE GORE GORE is countered, and Cena wins with a fugly rollup at 4:40. This was a pretty good power match, but it was hampered by Cena’s random body part attacks, and the ugly ending. 4/10

(Winner: John Cena, pinfall via rollup at 4:40)


Meanwhile, the FBI confront Chris Benoit and let him know they’re cheesed because they lost money betting on him. This is obviously a side effect of workers being excluded from the production meetings.


Nunzio vs. Chris Benoit. Benoit absorbs a quick FBI shellacking, then blocks Nunzio’s armwork and chops his way back. Stamboli interferes, allowing Nunzio to gain the advantage with some choking and a neckbreaker. Benoit hits the rolling Germans, and reverses the flying armbar into the Crossface for the tap-out at 4:30. After the bell, the FBI lays the smack down on Benoit. Wow, I was expecting something really technical, and instead, this was basically chop-and-choke. 3/10

(Winner: Chris Benoit, submission via Crippler Crossface at 4:30)


Meanwhile, Sable plays middle-aged vixen for Not Tough Enough. Y’know, I still wouldn’t kick her out of bed, but I’d definitely send her packing the same night. Some women, you make breakfast for the next morning. She’s not one of them.


Meanwhile still, The Big Slow destroys a perfectly good TV and VCR that had done nothing to him except play his match with Rey Mysterio last week. Really, does anyone care about this mini-feud?


Rey Mysterio vs. Crash Not-Holly. Crash is the new MATTITUDE~! Follower (MF’er). Today’s solitary Matt fact: Matt only uses low-fat salad dressing. There’s also the FACT that he’s still employed, while his brother has been forced to take his body paint and blown spots to the unemployment line. I guess that would be a little uncharitable to put on the air, though. Decent back-and-forth action for a while, without a lot of highspots. Shannon Moore interferes, but Rey recovers to get a near fall with a tornado DDT. Moore interferes again, but this time it hurts Crash, and Rey finishes things with the 619 and a springboard legdrop. Solid enough match that lacked the flair I really expected it to have. 3/10

(Winner: Rey Mysterio, pinfall via springboard legdrop at 4:04)


Meanwhile, A-Train watches tape of the botched F5 that never aired. It's a shame this show doesn't have a superhero to investigate how these mysteries happen.


Rikishi vs. Rotund Roddy Piper. Why why WHY did Piper have to doff the shirt? When you’re not in ring shape (unless having a big gut and a huge ass is part of your gimmick), you should keep your shirt on. This would force Big Slow to wrestle in a parka and hazmat suit, but damnit, there are standards to be upheld. They brawl rather unimpressively for a spell – hey, it’s not like Piper can do much more in the ring these days. Not that he was ever Captain Moveset, but still. Piper is about to take a Stinkface when Sean O’Haire runs in for the DQ at 1:40. A beatdown and mockery ensue. If I NEVER see this again, I’ll die happier for not having to repeat the experience. -1/10

(Winner: Rikishi via DQ (interference) at 1:40)


Another video airs for the Generic Evil French Team, now apparently called “Le Resistance.” From the looks of their video, I guess they’re resisting America. Let us now pause to reflect one of the sacred pronouncements of the great Al Bundy: it is WRONG to be French.


First (and hopefully last) Annual (?) Sable Invitational Bikini Contest: As you might have gathered, this is a bikini contest, with Sable as the judge. The contestants are Nidia and Dawn Marie, who was apparently taken out of mothballs just for a minute or two of completely benign T&A. Remember, kids: women have an important role in WWE. Anyway, Torrie Wilson objects to being excluded from this soiree, and treats Sable to a lap dance. That’s rather odd, since she’s been straight as an arrow despite Sable hitting on her for weeks. However, Sable disregards Torrie’s dance and declares Nidia and Dawn are co-winners. Torrie gets jumped afterwards, of course. Holy shit, Torrie actually lost at something! This might mean that HH ... nah, forget it.


Shelton Benjamin vs. Chavo Guerrero. Some early submission holds lead to a brawl on the floor, and Chavo gains the advantage back in the ring with a clothesline. Chavo stomps a BAH GAWD mudhole, but his failure to walk it dry allows Benjamin to come back with a nice Northern Lights powerslam. Chavo rolls into an STF, then Eddy Guerrero and Charlie Haas get involved. Chavo goes for a rollup, but Haas reverses the pile and Benjamin CHEATS TO WIN~! at 6:08. This was another match like the first: good, but I jest felt it was missing something that could have made it better. Not bad, but not great, either. Call it good enough for government work, and I should know.4/10

(Winner: Shelton Benjamin, pinfall via partner-assisted rollup at 6:08)


Wow, I think that’s the first segment that had an obvious tie-in to the Backlash PPV this Sunday.


The Big Slow vs. Tajiri. Slow says, “NO POBO~!!” to some kicks and tosses Tajiri around. Rey’s music distracts Slow, but he still won’t sell the kicks, and chokeslams Tajiri. Rey finally appears and ends up ramming Slow into the ringpost, where he gets counted out at 3:51. Nothing at all to see here. DUD

(Winner: Tajiri via hella lame countout at 3:51)


Next week, The Hulk Machine ... er, I mean, Mr. America, will make his first appearance. I know you’re quivering with excitement just like I am.


Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs. A-Train. Oh joy, oh rapture, A-Train’s back in the main event. Cena is on third headset for this one. Brock controls the power battle early, but ends up on the bad side of a slugfest. Brock tosses Train and wails on him outside, but Cena’s cheap shot allows A-Train to take control in the ring. LOOOOOONG chinlock sees Brock finally fight out, only to get pounded down again. He rallies with a spinebuster and some suplexes, but gets headbutted into the Derailer. That gets only 2. Brock goes for the F5, which would have the clean pin, but Cena runs in for the DQ at 10:26. This match probably could have been a decent power contest if it were about five minutes shorter, but as it was, it was too long, boring in too many spots, and had a stupid ending. 2/10

(Winner: Brock Lesnar via DQ (interference) at 10:26)


Let’s see, that’s two DQ finishes and a countout out of seven matches. Not good.


I'll skip the Good, Bad, and Ugly and go right to ...


Overall: What an exercise in wheel-spinning. From the lame finishes to the strangely disappointing matches, this was definitely an off week for Smackdown. It wasn’t terrible, but even their mediocre shows have had more reasons to keep watching. This also did dick to promote the Backlash PPV, which may be WWE preemptively waving the white flag on a lackluster card. 4/10


Reminder: No report from me next week, as I’m heading out of town for work after class next Thursday. Until May 8th, may the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.


Dr. Tom

Shout, shout, let it all out.

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

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

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