Smackdown – June 19, 2003

Smackdown
Date: June 19, 2003
Location: SBC Center, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

So after last week’s main event saw Big Show and Brock Lesnar break the ring, it’s probably time to set up a rematch because these two have to be stuck fighting each other forever. Other than that Kurt Angle is back and full on face again, having fired Team Angle. There are some good stories going on around here at the moment so let’s get to it.

We open with a look at the superplex. I was worried it would be the arm wrestling.

Opening sequence.

Show gets his rematch for the title tonight.

Undertaker vs. Nunzio

Just in case the first two times didn’t make it clear. Nunzio threatens some kicks but a glare from Undertaker sends him bailing to the floor. The other Italians offer a distraction, only to have Undertaker ram Nunzio back first into the post for his efforts. Back in and the chokeslam…sends Nunzio over the top onto the other Italians. Back in and the Last Ride (with Nunzio crossing himself in the air) completes the destruction.

Rating: D-. So you know all those times where Undertaker beat up the FBI? This is the third one in a row. I’m not sure what the point of wasting Undertaker for the better part of two months like this is but I’m sure there’s a reason for it somewhere. Nothing match of course and just a squash.

Post match the beatdown is on but the APA of all people return (with Bradshaw sporting horrible looking blond hair) for the save. You know, because Undertaker needs help with the FBI.

Zack Gowan goes to Stephanie McMahon’s office but finds Sable instead. He’ll wait inside though.

Clip of Paul Heyman turning on Lesnar at Survivor Series because Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar is a big enough feud to get a history package throughout the night.

Rhyno and Chris Benoit come out for a tag match….and here’s Stephanie to say let’s make it a singles match. Eh we might as well make it a first round match in a tournament for the US Title, with the finals taking place in July at Vengeance.

US Title Tournament First Round: Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno

Benoit’s armbar doesn’t go anywhere so let’s hit a GO SPURS GO chant with Tazz sounding a bit annoyed. A headlock doesn’t seem to bore the crowd as much but Rhyno would rather drive Benoit into the corner. Some kicks send Rhyno bailing to the floor and we take a break. Back with Rhyno grabbing a half crab and taking over the heel role.

An Alley Oop into the corner drops Benoit again and gets a gasp from the Spurs happy fans. Another hard clothesline drops Benoit and a powerslam is good for two. We hit the chinlock as the crowd is gone again, albeit without the chanting. This goes on WAY too long, much like the match as a whole actually. Rhyno tells his partner to fight back, which Benoit does for a few clotheslines.

A snap suplex gets two but the German suplex has a bit more impact. The Swan Dive connects (with a nasty looking landing) for another near fall, only to have Rhyno come back with a DDT. That means both guys get to stay down even more, which continues to feel like stalling. An ax handle to the back gives Rhyno two but he charges into the Crossface for the tap.

Rating: D+. The match could have been worse but the time killed everything here. There’s no need for them to be out there for sixteen minutes with a long chinlock taking up so much of that time. Benoit vs. Rhyno wasn’t going to tear the house down but throwing it in the first round of a surprise tournament probably wasn’t the best usage of whatever they could have gotten from the thing.

Benoit takes his sweet time letting go and Rhyno isn’t interested in his help getting up. As he shouldn’t be.

Sable lets Gowan touch her chest. It’s as awkward as you can imagine it being.

Ultimo Dragon is here next week.

Rey Mysterio vs. Kanyon

Non-title of course. This is Kanyon’s first match on one of the main shows since October 2001 and he doesn’t even get an entrance. Kanyon gets sent outside early on but manages to catch Rey and drop him onto the barricade. Back in and Kanyon counters another springboard into a backbreaker and we hit a chinlock. Kanyon tries a superplex but Rey knocks him back, setting up a top rope seated senton for two of his own. A springboard moonsaults gives Rey two more and the West Coast Pop gives Rey the pin.

Rating: C. Maybe it was the lack of a character or this match (which was hardly terrible) but, outside of a battle royal at the upcoming pay per view, that’s Kanyon’s last match on the main roster. You would think they could find something for him to do but apparently not quite. Mysterio winning here was of course the right call and gives him something to do while we wait for him to find a new feud for the title.

Lesnar cost Big Show the title at Armageddon.

Here’s the former Team Angle, now in matching maroon singlets. Benjamin says they’re not about to come crawling back to Angle for a spot on the team. The name Angle was holding them back because Kurt represents everything they’re not. Haas challenges Angle for next week but here’s Kurt now instead. That’s quite the prompt response. Angle says maybe they’re right and maybe they are the best tag team period. There are only two words that Angle takes exception to though: next week. Angle is ready to go right now.

Kurt Angle vs. Charlie Haas

Impromptu match. Angle takes him down without too much effort and the fans are behind the returning hero. A keylock keeps Haas in trouble and Angle throws him down without much effort. Haas’ headlock only has a limited effect until Angle reverses into a catapult to send Charlie outside in a heap.

Back in and Haas slaps him in the face, which draws a rather unpleasant smile to Angle’s face. Haas sends him outside again though, meaning Angle smiled prematurely. With the nitwit referee distracted, Benjamin sends Angle into the steps, earning himself an ejection. Ok so maybe we’ll go with moron instead of nitwit.

Back from a break with Haas working on the shoulder which went into the steps. Angle fights up and slugs away before channeling his inner Shawn Michaels for a flying forearm. A German suplex cuts Angle off though and Haas takes down the straps. You don’t steal gimmicks though, meaning Kurt reverses an Angle Slam and hits one of his own for the pin.

Rating: C+. Nice match here with the guys getting time, mainly for the sake of Angle getting back into the swing of things. Haas is a good choice for an opponent in the comeback match as Angle knows the style well and won’t make too many mistakes. This was all it needed to be and entertained as a bonus.

Post match Haas and Benjamin beat Angle down until Lesnar makes the save.

Back on Halloween, Big Show chokeslammed Lesnar through the announcers’ table. Is there a reason we’re going back in time on these clips?

Sable kisses Gowan and shoves everything off of Stephanie’s desk. Gowan says her name and shows how horrible of an actor he is as the camera leans over Sable’s shoulder. Sable cuts him off though and asks if Gowan is crazy. He could never have a woman like her because he’s not a real man. Vince comes in and sends Gowan away. They break down in laughter with Vince saying Sable was great.

Billy Gunn vs. Jamie Noble

The guys take turns spanking their respective ladies because the writers of this show seem rather sexually frustrated. A Torrie chant breaks out as the guys fight over a wristlock. The announcers talk about Torrie looking better than Tony Chimmel and now the fans want puppies. Noble grabs a leglock as the announcers are happy with various camera shots of Torrie. Billy fights up but the leg gives out on a gorilla press. It’s fine enough for a Fameasser attempt but Nidia grabs Billy’s leg. The catfight is on until Billy breaks it up, followed by the Fameasser for the pin.

Rating: D. I know Billy has a good look and all that jazz but sweet goodness how many more times do I have to hear about how great he is while listening to that stupid song? It was fun while he was a comedy goof but they’re treating him like something serious, which makes the whole gimmick even more ridiculous. You can’t have it both ways and the fact that Gunn just isn’t all that great doesn’t help things.

Lesnar beat Big Show in a stretcher match.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Sean O’Haire

Roddy Piper has a bottle of tequila with him. Sean hammers away to start and gives Eddie a release flapjack with Eddie still wearing the title. It’s off to a waistlock for a good long while but Sean’s spinning kick to the head misses. Eddie starts in on the knee with a dropkick followed by a second to the chest. That’s enough to set up the frog splash but Piper offers a distraction so Sean can roll away. The reverse fireman’s carry slam (now called the Prophecy) is enough to end Guerrero.

Rating: D. There’s not much you can do in a match that’s just over three minutes and a minute of that is spent in a waistlock. I’ll give them points for having Sean win as he needs something positive but there’s not much he’s going to be able to do while Piper is out there. Piper is the guy who will wind up with the attention and that’s been the case the entire time. O’Haire’s win was close enough to clean here but you need more than one win in a three minute match.

Vince and Sable are gloating about pulling off the Gowan deal, which makes me wonder what they’ve been doing in the time since we last saw them. They kiss (kind of, though it’s more Vince rubbing his lip over hers) before Vince mocks Gowan’s actions earlier. Sable starts taking her top off when Stephanie comes in to throw her out. Stephanie goes into a rant about Stephanie taking her to dinners with his business associates where he would, I kid you not, offer them sex with Stephanie….who apparently went along with it.

She’s not going to let Vince do that with Gowan though (HUH?) because Gowan is her last chance to save herself (HUH HUH?). If Vince is going to fire her then do it, even though it means he’ll lose the one person who has ever cared about her and wanted to be like him (She wanted to be a man who pimped out his underage daughter in business deals???). Stephanie finally stops the crying/screeching voice and storms off, ending one of the most bizarre segments in the history of the McMahons.

So to recap: Vince was trading sex with his underage daughter (make your own Randy Savage joke) in exchange for business deals (in theory, as the way Stephanie put it he might have just been doing it for fun. Therefore, she’s championing Zack Gowan (though not really as Gowan just showed up and is more Hogan’s project than hers) so Vince can’t do the same thing to him (though Vince is really just mocking him instead of….whatever you call what she claimed Vince did) so she can be free of him…..whatever that means. I mean, if she wanted to be free of him, why is she not WORKING SOMEWHERE ELSE?

I’ll give the McMahon storylines this: they’re rather ambitious at times. Unfortunately they make pretty much no sense but they’re certainly not run of the mill stuff. Between this and the Stephanie signing Mr. America story, it’s been a rather eventful summer and there’s no sign of it slowing down at all.

Next week: Undertaker/APA vs. FBI. Why would I want to watch a public execution?

Last week, Lesnar and Big Show broke the ring.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar is defending and drives him into the corner to start. Show gets knocked outside so they can send each other into the barricade. Some chops and right hands have Lesnar rocked a bit, followed by a clothesline for two. The slow pace continues and we hit the abdominal stretch. That goes nowhere so it’s a big boot and legdrop for two on the champ.

Show can’t get a superplex so Brock shoves him down for a top rope clothesline. A release German suplex sends Show flying (well, hovering at least) in the first interesting move of the match. The F5 doesn’t work as Show grabs the rope, drawing in Haas and Benjamin to jump Lesnar for the DQ.

Rating: D. This was every slow, dull Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar match you’ve ever seen. There’s only so much these two can do to each other with Lesnar throwing him around and Big Show hitting him hard. They’ve run out of stuff to do and the problem with that is it makes the feud seem a bit less epic than WWE would like you to believe.

Angle runs in for the save and an Angle Slam on Show. He takes too long with Haas and Benjamin though, allowing Show to get in a chokeslam. This brings out Mr. America for the house cleaning until another chokeslam plants him as well. Six man next week it would seem.

Overall Rating: D. They did a lot of stuff here as we’re getting ready for Vengeance, hopefully with less of a focus on Vince vs. Stephanie. That line about Vince sending her out to business associates made my head spin, which is becoming more and more common with their stories. The main idea here was they were trying to do stuff, which is better than not trying. Unfortunately it’s not really working, mainly because a lot of the people they’re pushing aren’t interesting or the time they need is being taken up by the Vince vs. Stephanie stuff. This show wasn’t the worst and at least they’re trying.

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