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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report: T-Minus-4

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Guest TSMAdmin



T-Minus four weeks and counting.


If you missed it in the last report, friends, the end of May will see me resign this gig, from whatever website you’re reading it on right now. If you’re reading it on Lords of Pain (or one of the sites which “borrow” their content from LOP), they are looking for someone to replace me. If you think your feet are big enough to step into these ample, ample shoes, contact the webmaster.


Now that I’ve pimped another site, I’ll pimp myself: my review of X2 has been up for a week and generating mad traffic for TSM. Catch the buzz.


Last week, the “mystery” of Mr. America began to unfold.


On tape from Halifax, Nova Scotia, this is WWE Smackdown! For 8 May 2003. Your bobbleheads are the usual suspects: Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Vince McMahon hits the ring for the opening promo and promises to deliver Hulk Hogan tonight ... via satellite, since he’s being paid to sit home and rot. He’s still cheesed at Hogan claiming to be Mr. America. I think it would be great if the angle ended up where Vince was the only one who didn’t think Hogan was Mr. America. It has much more potential in its comedic value alone than another McMahon vs. Rebellious Superstar of the Week angle. For clarification of why “Mr. America” was even signed in the first place, Vince summons daughter Stephanie to the ring. She says she signed Mr. America for the fans, to a contract that forbids him from being fired or suspended. Of course, there is an out, but Vince has to prove the masked stranger is really Hogan. And as the segment that won’t end rolls on, here’s Hogan via satellite from Tampa. Hogan denies being Mr. America, naturally. To settle this, since Hogan is “3000 miles away,” Vince thinks it would be great to see Mr. America tonight. I just think it would be great to see another segment beside this one.


After the break, some random chap informs Vince that Mr. America is indeed here tonight.


Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero) vs. Matt Hardy (with Shannon Moore and Crash). Matt facts: Matt hates waking up before noon, and eats slowly to savor his food. Those are pretty weak. They establish parity before Matt drops Eddy onto the second turnbuckle and goes to work. Eddy gets the better end of a brawl but ends up taking a Side Effect. They exchange restholds, and Eddy blocks the yodeling legdrop and nails a Frankensteiner. He gets the trio of vertical suplexes, but misses the Frog Splash. Matt tries for the Twist of Fate, which Eddy counters with a rollup for the win at 5:17. Solid opener, but I have to wonder if they have any idea what to do with Matt at this point. 5/10

(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, pinfall via rollup at 5:17)


After the bell, Team Angle steal the medals back.


Meanwhile, The Big Slow and The FBI confer.


Spanky vs. Jamie Noble (with Nidia). They work some innovative reversals until Noble hangs Spanky on the top rope and lets Nidia get some shots in. Noble turns a crucifix into a half-crab, but Spanky escapes and nails him with an enzuigiri. He fights off Noble’s superplex and ends things with Sliced Bread #2 at 4:37. Short, but there were some excellent counters and sequences in this one, so it gets an extra point. 6/10

(Winner: Spanky, pinfall via Sliced Bread #2 at 4:37)


Here’s a clip of Big Slow smashing Rey Mysterio into the ringpost at Backlash. Ouch.


Brock Lesnar informs Not Tough Enough that he and Chris Benoit will dispatch Team Slow Train tonight, and makes the Judgment Day match with Big Slow a stretcher match.


Meanwhile, NUMBAH ONE Announcer Funaki tells Vince he’s going to watch Mr. America in the ring soon. Vince makes him a coffee bitch for his insolence.


Mr. America heads to the ring, with only long shots to maintain the possibility that it’s a Hogan impostor. The mannerisms are a dead giveaway, as is the voice as soon as Mr. America gets on the stick. Vince storms out of the back once he hears the voice and sees a closer camera shot, Mr. America talks about Hogan’s influence on him, giving Hogan a chance to verbally fellate himself before a national audience. Vince storms out, but not until after Hogan has busted his nut. He brings Stephanie out to help him unmask Mr. America, which he tries to do after a lowblow. Hogan shakes him off and sends him tumbling into Stephanie, who acts like she’s been shot. After dispatching Vince, Hogan carries Stephanie to the back.


After the break, Vince seems insensitive to his daughter’s “injury,” which may be because she blamed him.


Sable comes out and sits ringside for ...


Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie. Torrie wins in about a minute with a rollup. Yawn. Sable gets on the stick after the bell and throws down the challenge for a bikini contest, presumably at Judgment Day. They’ve both worn a lot less in Playboy, so, while I never object to gratuitous T&A, I really don’t see how this is going to sell the PPV.


Here’s a video package for Kurt Angle.


Team Angle vs. Rikishi and Tajiri. That’s certainly an interesting pairing. Rikishi uses his ass, and Tajiri uses his feet to keep the heels back on their ... well, heels. A lowblow changes things up, though, and Team Angle go to work on Tajiri. Haas eats a superkick, allowing Tajiri to tag Rikishi, who goes on a housecleaning spree. Benjamin refuses to be Stinkfaced, however, and Tajiri ends up taking the superkick-suplex combo spot for the pin at 4:29. Good enough for government work. Post-bell, the Guerreros steal the medals back again. 4/10

(Winners: Team Angle, pinfall via superkick/suplex at 4:29)


Ice Ice Cena vs. Rhyno. The crowd is mad in to Cena’s pre-match rap, always a good sign. Rhyno starts with a spear, but Cena turns things around with a suplex after getting tossed out of the ring. Rhyno spinebusters Cena, who goes for the bling-bling chain, only to be thwarted by Spanky. Rhyno finishes with a rollup, which is apparently the Ending Of The Night, at 3:03. I fail to see the harm in putting Cena over and keeping him strong instead of doing this lame rollup garbage. The match was nothing to write home about. 2/10

(Winner: Rhyno, pinfall via rollup of inescapable damnation at 3:03)


Meanwhile, Nunzio lures Brock into a dressing room, where the FBI traps him with the not-so-cunning use of a forklift. I’m sure he’ll never manage to escape ...


Bait-and-Switch Main Event: Chris Benoit vs. The Big Slow (with A-Train). If they wanted to do this match, why not just announce it in the first place instead of the lame trapped-in-a-locker-room-by-forklift mini-angle? Benoit tries to chop away and go to the knee, but Slow slugs him and tosses him around. Benoit gets trapped in an enthralling bearhug, but Slow misses the legdrop, allowing Benoit a 2-count on the Kamikaze Headbutt. The chokeslam is reversed to the Crossface, but Benoit breaks the hold to deal with A-Train. He ends up getting chokeslammed for the win at 4:59. Well, that stinking turdburger did nothing for anyone involved. Bravo, WWE. DUD

(Winner: The Big Slow, pinfall via chokeslam at 4:59)


After the bell, Team Slow Train tethers Benoit to a stretcher, but before things can truly bust loose in Nova Scotia, Brock (who has magically freed himself from the horrors of a forklift prison) makes the save. Slow gets the better of him before the fade to black, however.


Overall: A solid first hour highlighted by the two very good opening matches fell apart quickly. The Vince-Hogan storyline refuses to die, despite no one caring about it. The WrestleMania numbers don’t lie, kids: the show was sold on the premise of two AARP members throwing it down, and the PPV audience responded with a large round of indifference. It doesn’t matter if Hogan is in a mask or not. The second hour basically sucked a savage sausage, which is a real letdown after the opening hour held such promise. Maybe next week. 4/10


Dr. Tom

Talk back to me while you still can.

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