Smackdown – August 28, 2003

Smackdown
Date: August 28, 2003
Location: Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

Summerslam is over and done with and this show has to be better than Raw. I know Smackdown hasn’t been great in recent weeks but this week’s Raw was one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. Kurt Angle could sit in the ring, read a newspaper and have a watercress sandwich and it would still beat Raw so they don’t have much of a bar to defeat. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Eddie Guerrero, who parks his car outside to make the already rabid fans wait on him a little longer. Eddie comes in through the crowd and is the biggest face to face around here in a LONG time (which isn’t much of a stretch as he’s been the hottest act on the show for months now). In a funny bit, Eddie hugs Tazz but ignores Cole before putting a sombrero on him. Eddie’s family is in the front row and my goodness this is one of the best receptions you’ll see in wrestling. I know it’s his hometown but the fans absolutely love Eddie. It gets even better when he greets them in Spanish and says he’s at home.

This is where lying, cheating and stealing started and we hear the Guerrero family history of his great, great grandmother walking the streets of El Paso, possibly after illegally jumping the border. One day a cop stopped her and asked if she belonged there. That earned the cop a tongue lashing in Spanish but she was just saying of course she belonged in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

That was the first ever Guerrero lie but then she had to take the citizenship test. It was all in English though so she looked over at the other grandmother….and beat the heck out of her before stealing the answers to become a citizen. Finally, as she was leaving the office, she saw a low rider. Eddie: “Ok they didn’t have low riders back then. It was a donkey.” This brings out John Cena, who is in WAY over his head here.

Cena makes his usual gay jokes and Eddie just smiles at him. He threatens to call border patrol and that’s a bit too far for Guerrero. Cena thinks Eddie should be a citizen before being the US Champion. A fight with Cena would be a setback because he would leave him with a broken…..well it rhymes with setback.

Eddie isn’t about to have Cena talk about his raza like that and accuses Cena of thinking he’s more of an American. Cena calms him down and talks Eddie into a US Title match later tonight. Cena implies he’ll leave with Eddie’s sister and the brawl is on. Eddie steals Cena’s jersey before rapping at him about how Cena will taste defeat thanks to the Latino Heat.

This was a GREAT face turn as Eddie is one of the most charismatic guys on the roster and the fans have been begging to cheer him for months now. Doing this to open the show in Eddie’s hometown was the perfect move and exactly how it should have gone. Oh and the stuff about the grandmother was hilarious.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Nunzio

Rey is def….hang on I need a minute. Rey is defending. Sorry I haven’t had to say that in a long time and I was out of practice. Cole mentions that Rey defended the title last night on Heat, which wasn’t important enough to mention in advance. The referee ejects the other Italians to make sure this is one on one. Nunzio takes him down without much effort to start and gets two off a harder clothesline than I thought Nunzio could pull off.

Back up and Rey sends him outside for a corkscrew dive over the top. A baseball slide is caught though and Nunzio drops him ribs first onto the barricade. Nunzio cranks on the arms for a bit but Rey fights up without much effort. Rey goes a little too fast though and the West Coast Pop is countered into a powerbomb (which Cole calls a gutbuster and a spinebuster) for two. A pinfall reversal sequence gets two each but Nunzio puts him on top. The belly to back superplex is reversed and Rey Drops the Dime to retain.

Rating: B-. Short match but they were rolling with the time they had. Nunzio is a talented guy and someone who can wrestle a surprisingly good match against a host of opponents. Mysterio is of course excellent but the Cruiserweight Title isn’t doing him any good. The fact that there’s no competition other than an occasional match doesn’t help either, but that’s the flaw with the title in general.

Chris Benoit vs. A-Train

A-Train has Sable in his corner, wearing a very short dress. Benoit gets thrown around with ease to start so of course he charges right at A-Train with more chops. A-Train throws him onto his shoulder to drive Benoit ribs first into the buckle and a single kick puts Benoit on the floor. The announcers make sex jokes about Sable as A-Train gets two off a double underhook gutbuster.

Instead of following up though, A-Train pulled a buckle pad off. Some chops and a German suplex give Benoit a breather and there’s the Swan Dive for two. Benoit it sent back first into the exposed buckle so the Derailer can get two. That’s fine with Benoit, who Crossfaces A-Train for the tap, despite A-Train’s legs being underneath the ropes.

Rating: C. So their method for building A-Train up is by having him lose most of his big matches? Such is life in WWE and that gets a little tiring. I mean, I know it’s just A-Train but if you want him to be a monster, I’d like to see more than him beating Stephanie in a “match”. Of course WWE thinks that means the world but it’s not exactly reality.

During the break, A-Train yelled at Benoit for not being able to beat him. A fight is about to break out but it’s a ruse so Rhyno can Gore Benoit through a door. What did Benoit do to get stuck with these feuds?

Eddie’s tire has been stolen and he accuses various people, eventually decking Johnny the Bull for smiling a bit too much.

Here’s Brock Lesnar for a chat, but only after telling us to shut up and sit down because he has something to say. Since Summerslam, everywhere he goes, he’s been told he tapped out. That’s quite the list of places in four days. Brock accidentally starts the YOU TAPPED OUT chant and he’s sick of it. Summerslam was a fluke, a mirage and a miracle because he’s never tapped out in his life.

Brock is no quitter, unlike everyone here who quits looking for jobs after they don’t find one immediately (kind of an odd choice of an insult but no one ever accused Brock of being a good talker). He’s been told there’s no shame in tapping out to an Olympic champion. Brock: “I’M BROCK LESNAR AND I’M SPECIAL!” He’s demanding a title rematch and insults Angle’s ears for not coming out here immediately.

Angle pops up on screen and says Brock sounds like a baby who lost his rattle. He thinks the fans want to see action…..like when he beat Brock at Summerslam. Angle offers to come out here and make Brock tap again but here’s Undertaker instead. It’s time for Brock to go to the back of the line because Undertaker hasn’t had a title shot in a long time. Now Brock is standing in Undertaker’s yard but before anything can happen, here’s Big Show to interrupt. Does he come with the show like parsley with a steak?

Show talks about hurting more people than anyone ever has but here’s Angle to keep this segment going even longer. Angle talks about wanting to face any of these people, all of whom he would make tap. He wants someone to make a decision….so here’s Stephanie, who is in charge tonight because Vince is gone. Isn’t that always supposed to be the case? Anyway it’s a triple threat for the #1 contendership later tonight. This was WAY longer than it needed to be and really only served to prove that Lesnar is a really bad talker.

During the break, Cena (now in a fresh jersey with a matching hat) denies any involvement with stealing Eddie’s tire.

US Title: John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero

Eddie is defending and Cena comes out carrying a tire. Cole: “If this isn’t evidence, I don’t know what is.” You should need a license to be that stupid. Of course Cena stole it but unlike Eddie, he got away with it. That would be another stupid line. Eddie runs out and starts fast, busting Cena open in a hurry with some shots to the head.

The slingshot hilo connects and Eddie pounds at the cut in the corner. The ProtoBomb gets Cena out of trouble and a hard clothesline makes things even worse for the champ. Eddie gets in a few kicks and sends Cena outside but takes a bit too long, allowing Cena to hit him in the leg. That just earns him a ram into the announcers’ table to draw a little more blood. Eddie brings his tire in but it’s just a ruse to get in a chair to Cena’s back. The fans eat this up with a cuchara but the frog splash misses.

Back from an abrupt break with Cena holding a double chickenwing. A delayed vertical suplex gets two and Cena bearhugs him down for two arm drops. Eddie is back up with a suplex of his own and the FU is countered into a hurricanrana. The referee gets bumped and OF COURSE the frog splash connects a few seconds later. That means a delayed two, followed by the Three Amigos but Cena hits him low for the DQ.

Rating: B. Cena wasn’t ready to hang with Eddie in a long match (to be fair, not many people were on their best day) but Eddie is more than capable of carrying him to a good match. The rematch could be better but for a first match, this was about as good as it was going to get. At least neither lost clean though.

Post match Cena hits him with the chain to bust Eddie open. An FU onto the tire and it’s big rim makes it even worse.

We look back at Brock destroying Zach Gowen last week, making me a much bigger Lesnar fan in the process.

Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show

The winner gets Angle next week. Angle comes out to join commentary and the match starts after a break. Better than having thirty seconds of action and then going into a break. Back with Undertaker getting double teamed, including Brock hitting some shoulders in the corner. Show throws Undertaker down with a suplex so Brock can steal a near fall. You can imagine how well this goes and it starts with Undertaker being sent out to the floor.

Brock suplexes Show for two with Undertaker making the quick save. Undertaker starts slugging away and hits a jumping clothesline on Show (Angle: “Undertaker would probably miss me on that one.”) but Brock takes him down. Show decks Lesnar but Undertaker reverses a chokeslam into a Fujiwara armbar.

That’s broken up as well (they’re certainly not deviating from a pattern here) and Undertaker is knocked outside with his hands getting caught in the ropes. Show chairs Undertaker down and growls a lot as we take a break. Back with Brock on the floor and some right hands rocking Show. A triangle choke puts Show in trouble so Brock makes another save. The chokeslam gets two with Show pulling the referee out and then chokeslamming Undertaker for two of his own.

An F5 lays out Undertaker and Show makes ANOTHER save. Show chokeslams Brock for two and the kickout sends him up top for what looks to be a super chokeslam. Undertaker saves the ring from being broken and everyone is down with Show crotched on top. Brock goes up for a superplex of his own but gets caught in the Last Ride, leaving Show to fall off the top as Undertaker pins Lesnar.

Rating: D+. The constant near falls weren’t really dramatic or anything as you knew it was going to be something big to get to the finish. It was entertaining enough though and that’s a lot more than you can say about a lot of these matches. That being said, was there ANY reason not to have Big Show take the pin here? I mean….it’s Big Show. Suddenly we’re protecting him?

Angle and Undertaker do the big staredown to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. It was nowhere near perfect but this was an entertaining show. Swap out the horrible Lesnar promo with pretty much anything else and this show is a lot better but what we got was fine. Make no mistake about it though: this was the Eddie Guerrero Show with the hometown crowd loving their hero like no one I’ve seen in a long time. Some of the stories have me interested and that’s a nice feeling, especially after the mess that was Raw.

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