Smackdown – July 31, 2003

Smackdown
Date: July 31, 2003
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re past the very good Vengeance and that means it’s time to gear up for Summerslam. The big story is Kurt Angle regaining the Smackdown World Title when he pinned Brock Lesnar. Other than that we have the continuing saga of the McMahons, which hopefully is kept on a leash again this week. We need to get ready for Summerslam though so let’s get to it.

We open with a stills package of Sunday’s main event.

Opening sequence.

We look at Eddie Guerrero splitting with Tajiri, who gets a US Title shot tonight.

Here’s Angle to open things up. After taking in some cheers, Angle talks about what it means to become WWE Champion for the fourth time. But really, was there any doubt? Kurt: “I’m Kurt freaking Angle! What did you expect???”. This title means more to him than any other because of the injury but here he is! Tonight is a dream come true but here’s Brock Lesnar with something to say.

Brock admits that Angle beat him but brings up Lesnar being there with him throughout his entire rehab. That’s why Brock is out here to challenge Angle face to face and man to man for his one on one title rematch. Angle says there’s a lot to consider and a lot of people deserve a shot. Angle: “So Brock, I just don’t think that ok you’re on.”. Well that was an abrupt shift.

This brings out Vince McMahon though and he has some bad news for Brock. Earlier today, Angle came to his office and begged him not to give Lesnar a rematch. Vince likes that line of thinking so Lesnar gets no shot. If Brock wants it, he can earn it down the line but tonight, Lesnar and Angle are facing a team of Vince’s choosing. Somehow, this took fifteen minutes.

Summerslam ad featuring Brock Lesnar F5ing a shark. That always gives me a chuckle.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Rey Mysterio

Non-title again because Rey never defends the stupid thing. Rey takes him down to start without much trouble but an early 619 attempt doesn’t work. Shelton sends Rey shoulder first into the post (underneath the bottom rope for a change) and Charlie Haas gets in a few shots to the bad arm. A shoulder breaker and a regular slam get two before it’s off to a hammerlock.

Rey sends him shoulder first into the post as well though and things are a bit more even. Shelton’s pop up….something is countered into a seated senton for a sweet reversal but Shelton takes him down by the arm again. Benjamin grabs a rather unique looking hold as it’s kind of like a crossface chickenwing but with his legs instead of his arm to wrap up Rey’s arm. Kidman and Haas get in a fight on the floor as the 619 connects. The West Coast Pop is broken up but Rey settles for a victory roll and the pin.

Rating: C+. Like this wasn’t going to be good. I could go for Rey actually defending the Cruiserweight Title but if we keep getting solid outings like this, I can live with it a little bit more. Benjamin wrestling on the mat with more holds and submissions is a good idea for him, as long as he keeps up the athletic stuff as well.

We look back at Jamie Noble defeating Billy Gunn on Sunday, earning him a night with Torrie Wilson.

Jamie is at the hotel, in a cowboy hat and white boxers, getting everything ready. Torrie shows up (my goodness she spends a lot of time winding up in hotel rooms) so Jamie opens the briefcase of toys. This includes leopard print handcuffs, a paddle, something to tickle with, and a Lone Ranger mask. Torrie runs to the bathroom before she’s sick. I guess she’s a Zorro fan.

Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno

Hang on a second though as Rhyno pops up on screen to say he’s tired of being treated like a joke. He has a warm up match for Benoit and this man knows something about jokes.

Chris Benoit vs. Doink the Clown

It’s Nick (Eugene) Dinsmore, who was basically a Benoit clone in OVW, down to using German suplexes and a Crossface for his finishers. Benoit gets tired of waiting on Doink to pull out the rubber chicken and runs him over. A hard clothesline (Benoit: “RHYNO!!!”) takes Doink’s head off (but the wig stays on) and a top rope belly to back superplex knocks Doink silly. The Swan Dive into the Crossface is good for the Benoit win.

Benoit takes his time letting go of the hold. Post match Benoit says he’s ready for Rhyno, who says Benoit doesn’t get what he wants.

Jamie is laying on the bed (with leopard print sheets of course) when Torrie comes out, still in her street clothes (I’m not sure what street someone would be on dressed like that). Nidia comes to the door though and says she’s here to win Noble back with some, ahem, female prowess. She drops her fur coat to reveal some lingerie and dives on Jamie as Torrie can’t help but watch.

Brock asks Angle if he talked to Vince earlier. As I try to figure out why Brock waited the better part of an hour to ask this, Angle says he did talk to Vince and says Vince should keep the major risk in mind. The rematch is still on but Angle has an idea for how Lesnar can get his rematch. It doesn’t make much more sense when Angle says it either.

US Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Tajiri

Eddie is defending and there’s almost no way to hide the fact that he’s the most popular act on the show. The hydraulics in the car don’t work though….because Tajiri was hiding in the trunk and mists Eddie in the aisle. The brawl is on in a hurry but the trainer comes out to check on Eddie’s eyes, drawing an EDDIE chant. Eddie: “I CAN’T SEE!!!” Trainer, holding up three fingers: “How many fingers am I holding up?” Eddie, to the referee: “WILL YOU TELL HIM I CAN’T SEE THE THREE FINGERS HE’S HOLDING UP???”. That’s enough for the referee, who says Eddie either wrestles or loses the title.

We’re joined in progress after a break with Tajiri kicking away and kicking Eddie into the Tree of Woe. More kicks stagger Eddie until he pulls Tajiri face first into the buckle. Eddie gets into a rhythm and sends Tajiri outside for some shots to the back while trying not to make the fans cheer him even more. The slingshot hilo gives Eddie two and we’re off to a chinlock.

Eddie takes too much time going up and gets kicked in the leg, setting up a heck of a top rope superplex. Tajiri is so banged up that Eddie is on his feet first, only to get monkey flipped out to the floor. A hard whip sends Eddie into the steps and Tajiri kicks him in the head for painful measure. Back in and Tajiri scores with the handspring elbow, followed by a tornado DDT for a very delayed two.

We hit the Three Amigos but Tajiri slips out of the third and grabs the Tarantula. With the hold broken, Eddie grabs the referee so he can kick Tajiri low. The referee yells a lot and accidentally gets misted for his efforts. A belt shot to the head drops Tajiri and Eddie pours water in the referee’s eyes. The frog splash retains Eddie’s title.

Rating: B. You kind of knew these two were going to have a good match with each other and I’m glad to see Tajiri getting some exposure like this. The ending might have been a bit messier than it needed to be but it’s a very entertaining way to give Eddie his first title defense. I’m hoping Tajiri gets to do something else because he’s had a very successful summer.

We get a Confidential video on Zach Gowen. He loved wrestling, then he got cancer and lost his leg, then he kept fighting, then he got into wrestling anyway. It’s an amazing story but I think we’ve gotten the idea by now. This eats up over five minutes.

Zach Gowen vs. Shannon Moore

I do miss Out Of My Way as Gowen’s theme song. Moore has Matt, whose favorite season is summer and who is twice the wrestler Zach Gowen is, in his corner. Shannon takes him down and hops around on one foot, earning himself a dropkick to the floor. Back in and Gowen’s tornado DDT is countered into a suplex into the corner for a big crash. Matt offers a trip to cut off a comeback but Gowen hits a leg lariat anyway. A moonsault press gives Gowen two and he dropkicks Matt down, only to get rolled up for the pin.

Rating: C. Gowen is better than you would guess and could be more than just a novelty performer but he’s only going to get so far with having one thing to talk about all the time. The match wasn’t bad either but I’m not sure how many people Gowen can realistically fight as he’s very small, ignoring the leg point. Enjoy it while it lasts though.

John Cena vs. Orlando Jordan

Before the match, Cena challenges Undertaker to a rematch next week and suggests various sexual contact between Undertaker and Jordan. Orlando punches him before the bell and gets dropped ribs first over the top. Some shots to the ribs slow Cena down but he grabs the ropes to avoid being rolled up. Cena shrugs off some right hands and hits the FU for the easy pin.

A rather disheveled but still clothed Torrie seems to have been drinking all night. Jamie and Nidia come out of the shower and are willing to allow Torrie to join them. Torrie downs another glass of champagne but there’s a knock at the door. It’s a rather angry Billy Gunn, who hugs Torrie….as the other two are at it again.

Brock comes in to see Vince and says he can beat the boss to earn a rematch with Angle. Vince will take the rematch under consideration but the match is on. Brock leaves and Vince makes a phone call.

Back at the hotel….all four of them are in bed together. That would be the third woman Torrie has had at least some form of a relationship with in less than a year.

Here’s Sable to brag about winning and call Stephanie a pussycat. She’s the dominant female and we see a clip of Sunday’s match, which Sable won thanks to A-Train. Sable: “Thanks Vince.” She introduces Vince’s team for tonight and we’re ready to go.

A-Train/Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar/Kurt Angle

Brock doesn’t have any wrist tape and it’s a weird look for him. A-Train shoves Angle down to start as the SHAVE YOUR BACK chants start up. A shoulder runs Angle over but he misses a charge in the corner and gets his ankle locked. Lesnar comes in for a double shoulder, followed by more shoulders to A-Train in the corner. A-Train charges into a powerslam (he needs to stop the charging) and it’s back to Angle, who gets caught in a backbreaker.

Show finally does something by decking Angle from the apron, allowing A-Train to get in a bicycle kick. Now it’s Show coming in and running Angle over before chopping him hard in the corner. Angle’s right hands have little effect as Show cuts him off with a side slam. A Warrior Splash gives A-Train two but Angle catches him with a suplex, allowing the hot tag to Brock. Some rapid fire belly to belly suplexes cut A-Train off and there’s the F5 to Show. Angle tags himself in though and steals the pin like a jerk.

Rating: D. Just a main event tag match with little drama here as it might as well have been the Mega Powers vs. the Twin Towers. We’ve seen Angle and Lesnar beat these two in every possible combination so far so I’m not sure how much doubt there was on something like this. At least the ending helped advance things a bit.

Brock gives Angle an F5 and here’s Vince to say the match next week will be in a cage. Oh and Angle can be guest referee. Brock’s “I done screwed up” look ends the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a bit up and down as the US Title stuff was rather solid and the Mysterio vs. Benjamin match was entertaining. However, you then have the main event (which was more uneventful than bad), the hotel stuff (which did feature Torrie in some rather fetching attire) and the WAY too long Gowen section. The lack of Vince vs. Stephanie drama helped so much though and it was much more of a good show with some weak spots.

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