Smackdown – September 4, 2003

Smackdown
Date: September 4, 2003
Location: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’ve got a big main event this time around as Smackdown World Champion Kurt Angle is defending against the Undertaker, who won a triple threat last week to earn the shot. Brock Lesnar is looming though and there’s a good chance that’s not going to end well. At the same time though we have the freshly face Eddie Guerrero spreading his awesomeness all over the place and that’s more than enough around here. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s triple threat with Undertaker winning the title shot.

Opening sequence, which actually still has Rock included. I can’t even remember the last time he was on this show.

Tag Team Titles: APA vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team

The APA is challenging…..for some reason. Faarooq powerslams Haas for two to start but Benjamin gets in a shot from behind to take over. The jump over Haas (which barely clears his head) crushes Faarooq’s back and the double stomping continues. Haas grabs a bearhug (not something you would expect from him) before tripping Faarooq down for two.

Now it’s Haas going up top but diving into a powerslam, allowing the hot tag to Bradshaw. A fall away slam and big boot drop the champs as everything breaks down. Bradshaw pulls Benjamin outside, leaving Faarooq to hit a spinebuster on Haas for two. Benjamin’s superkick gets two on Faarooq so Bradshaw takes his head off with the Clothesline. Haas gets the foot on the rope though and a belt shot lets the champs retain.

Rating: D+. Actually somewhat better match than I was expecting here and thankfully the APA were just there to give the champs a rub. The division needs some more teams though and having the APA thrown in there for a week is fine enough until we get some fresh acts. Not a bad match, though the ending didn’t do the champs a ton of good.

Eddie Guerrero is polishing his low rider and the US Title when the long black limo arrives. This time it’s Big Show, Sable and Vince, who seem to like Eddie’s car. Brock Lesnar shows up and wants to know why Vince hasn’t talked to him much since Summerslam. Maybe because he’s been busy with Brock’s future wife? It’s because Brock tapped out (Brock REALLY doesn’t want to hear that) but Vince will talk to him later.

Post break, Brock is in Vince’s office where the boss slaps him in the face as a wake up call. It seems to do the trick as Brock grabs him, only to be calmed down when Vince tells him to be a monster. Maybe now he can tap to Benoit or someone else instead of ripping through the roster?

Here’s John Cena for a chat. Cena wants to know why Eddie is waxing the car. Is it dirty, or is he worried that Cena will “jack it with a Compton quickness”? We see a clip of Cena beating Eddie up last week and giving him an AA onto the tire. Cena thinks Eddie should be mowing his lawn because he used him like a girl from a Girls Gone Wild video.

After calling Eddie a rather mean name, here comes the low rider. The fight is on in a hurry with Cena getting the better of it off a belt shot. He’s not done either as he steals the low rider, much to Eddie’s chagrin. Eddie is so shocked that he can’t get out of the ring and chase after the car, which must be going a full four miles an hour as it backs out of the arena.

Post break, after Cena has left the arena, Eddie rants to Stephanie about the car. A Latino street fight in the parking lot is made for next week. Maybe by that point Eddie will figure out how to catch up with a car backing up in slow motion.

Chris Benoit vs. A-Train

Rematch from last week where A-Train tapped with his legs under the ropes. Benoit sticks and moves to start but the chops don’t have much effect. A running elbow in the corner has an effect on Benoit though and A-Train whips him hard in the corner to start on the ribs. We’re already off to a chinlock with a knee in Benoit’s back as A-Train actually has some psychology.

A butterfly suplex of all things gets two on Benoit and we hit the bearhug. Benoit fights out and hits some running forearms, followed by the rolling German suplexes. The Swan Dive misses and the Train Wreck gets two but the referee gets bumped. Cue Rhyno to try a Gore on Benoit, only to hit A-Train by mistake to give Benoit the pin.

Rating: C-. A-Train working the back made sense but are they really spending back to back weeks protecting him? He’s that important? Anyway, Rhyno vs. Benoit should be fine for a one off match but it shouldn’t be any more than that. Benoit needs to move on to something important, especially after spending months with Rhyno in one form or another.

Undertaker praises Angle but says he’s not tapping to the ankle lock even if his ankle is broken. Then he’ll show Angle what a real submission is with the dragon sleeper. If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s a chokeslam or a Tombstone or a Last Ride but he’s leaving with the title. It’s almost weird to hear Undertaker talk like this.

Earlier today, Torrie Wilson and Nidia compared how they look in bikinis for the sake of a bikini contest which took place before the show. Nidia puts in her false breasts and they dance for no apparent reason. Nidia rubs lotion on Torrie’s back, which Torrie seems to like. Is it really already time for another Torrie likes girls story?

Angle promises to make Undertaker tap.

Vince has taken over Stephanie’s office where Brock is apparently slamming things into a wall. Sable is nowhere to be seen and….egads ok then.

Smackdown World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker

Undertaker is challenging. Angle grabs a front facelock to start so Undertaker grabs a wristlock and cranks away. That earns him a headlock on the mat as they seem to have a lot of time here. Undertaker drops a leg on the arm and cranks on a short armscissors. An armbar of all things sets up Old School but Angle suplexes him right back down.

Undertaker’s solution is to punch Angle in the face, followed by an elbow to the chest on the apron. The apron legdrop drops Angle to the floor and Undertaker posts him for good measure. Back from a break with Undertaker still in control and amazingly not using a chinlock. Angle grabs a sleeper but gets suplexed down, leaving Undertaker to slap himself in the head. Well at least he’s taking this one seriously.

Undertaker’s dragon sleeper is broken up in short order so he goes with the running corner clothesline. Snake Eyes into the running big boot looks to set up a legdrop but Kurt picks the ankle. It’s way too early for a tap out so Angle switches to the Slam for two instead. A second Angle Slam is countered into a chokeslam for two more.

Angle reverses the Last Ride into a sunset flip and then the ankle lock but this time Undertaker pulls him down into a Fujiwara armbar. That’s rolled over into another ankle lock but Undertaker reverses again into a triangle choke. Angle’s arm drops twice so he gets his foot on the ropes for the break.

Undertaker limps into a big boot but only hits ropes, allowing Angle to slap on the ankle lock for a few more seconds. A shot to the face has Angle bleeding from the cheek and Undertaker slugs away for good measure. The chokeslam is countered into the fifth ankle lock and, again, Undertaker rolls out of it. The ankle is fine enough for a chokeslam and the Last Ride but here’s Brock with a chair to beat them both down for the DQ.

Rating: B-. This didn’t hit the level these two are capable of and the ankle lock seemingly not causing Undertaker much discomfort didn’t help things. It felt like they were just doing their thing until we got to the finish, which didn’t give us much drama. What we got was good, but it’s really hard to buy the threat of Undertaker tapping, even to someone like Angle.

Brock destroys them both with chair and belt shots.

Post break, Undertaker refuses attention until he collapses.

Angle just settles for some ice.

Some New Orleans Saints are here.

There was a bikini contest earlier today and it’s trimmed to a highlight package. How in the world can you screw up having good looking women walk around in swimsuits? It’s Sable, Dawn Marie, Nidia and Torrie in Mardi Gras themed attire before they disrobe. Torrie wins but Shaniqua runs in and beats them all down. I’m really hoping this was cut due to time instead of content because that would be a new low even for WWE.

The APA isn’t happy with their loss but the office is back. They even have a red bow on the door and a butler (Bradshaw: “I won him in a poker game. I even have a deed for him!”) to present them with cigars and beer. This might be better if they hadn’t lost earlier in the night but we’re not supposed to remember that part. Well assuming you ignored what they talked about to start the segment.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri

Rey is defending. They start fast with Rey armdragging him down, only to have us go into a standoff. Rey tries a headscissors out of the corner but lands on the referee, who is nice enough to throw him off so he can flip Tajiri over. The springboard is broken up with a superkick and Rey is rocked on the apron. He’s fine enough to miss a 619 though and Tajiri kicks him in the back to knock him outside.

Cole brags about Mysterio defending the title week after week the last few weeks (this is his second title defense in two weeks Cole) as the handspring elbow is broken up with a spinwheel kick. Back from a break with Tajiri kicking him out of the air and grabbing a hammerlock. Not exactly a move you expect to see so late into a match. Rey sends him outside and hits a hard suicide dive to take both guys down.

Back in and Tajiri blocks a sunset bomb with right hands but it’s Rey kicking him down for two. The sitout bulldog (which isn’t innovative Cole) gets two and the springboard seated senton gets the same. A hard kick to the arm drops Rey for two more and we hit the Tarantula.

Rey is right back with the 619 but the springboard splash hits raised boots to the face. Mysterio is fine enough to try his own Tarantula but Tajiri breaks it up without too much effort. They head up top with Tajiri getting shoved down, setting up the West Coast Pop from the turnbuckle to retain.

Rating: B. Solid wrestling match here with Rey getting tested. Who would have guessed that Rey Mysterio and Tajiri would have a good match if they were given a long stretch of time? Hopefully this goes somewhere else with Rey getting to defend the title against the top cruiserweights, which is kind of the point of the title in the first place. Good match, as you probably expected.

Post match Tajiri mists him to turn heel again.

Here are Vince and Big Show for the big closing segment. Vince didn’t like that DQ finish earlier so Angle will be defending the title again. In two weeks, it’s Angle vs. Lesnar in a sixty minute Iron Man match right here on Smackdown. Oddly enough, Vince is very low key in the announcement. Vince brings out Brock….who isn’t here.

Brock pops up in a sky box and thanks Vince for reminding him of who he is. Earlier tonight he proved who he is by attacking Undertaker and Angle. We pause for the YOU TAPPED OUT chants before Brock talks about what went on behind those closed doors earlier. Brock was, shall we saw, softening up someone who needed to be taught a lesson. Brock steps aside and Zach Gowen is in a wheelchair with a gag around his mouth.

Brock slaps him in the broken leg and talks about the wheelchair being jet powered. Gowen panics (well duh) and Brock wheels him back to the concourse where he throws Zach out of the chair. Zach crawls away (without taking the gag off for some reason) but Brock kicks him in the broken leg. Brock talks about wanting to be the monster and we cut back to Vince looking curious.

More stomps to the leg keep Gowen in trouble before Lesnar talks about the chair being magical. See, it can fly, and Brock is going to prove it. Gowen is sat in the chair and Brock chokes him out before shoving Gowen down the steps (complete with a camera cut to Vince before the big fall) to end the show.

This was rather long as Brock had him in the stairwell for above five minutes. I get the idea here of making Brock out to be a monster, but didn’t they do that when Brock caved Gowen’s head in and broke his leg in the first place? I think we’ve covered this already and it might have been a bit more effective if he hadn’t lost to Angle clean at Summerslam. The scene was effective but the camera cut hurt it a bit and it went on a tad too long. Hopefully that gets rid of Gowen for a little while longer as there’s only so much you can get out of having him around.

Overall Rating: C+. Two long and entertaining matches are more than enough to carry this show as we flash back to the glory days of Smackdown for a week. The Iron Man match has some serious potential as they’ll have time to do whatever they want, which is often lacking around here. Throw in booking Eddie vs. Cena a week in advance and it’s almost like they’re thinking ahead for once. This was a fun show and, stupid parts aside, gives me hope that Smackdown might be on its way back up.

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