Smackdown – November 6, 2003

Smackdown
Date: November 5, 2003
Location: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 3,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re coming up on Survivor Series and that means things are picking up fast on the blue show. Last week saw most of the Survivor Series match being set up, which may or may not be something that interests you. The big part though: John Cena seems to be turning from the evil side to the good. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio

Cena says Rey beating him is like Big Show eating one Cheerio. Oh and Rey is a midget dominatrix. The fans love Cena’s jokes and give him a CENA chant as the turn is really starting to click. Cena drops to his knees to start and then bails when penis references are made. A hard shoulder works a bit better for Cena and he breaks up a springboard with a hard right hand. We hit the chinlock back inside but Rey fights up with the sitout bulldog for two. The springboard seated senton gets the same but Cena breaks up a top rope dive with a low blow. An FU is good for the pin.

Rating: C. Cena winning is the right call here as they’re doing something with him and having him lose to Rey would have made him lose some steam as they head into Survivor Series. It’s not like Mysterio needs to win every match so everything is fine here, especially with Cena getting a nice boost.

Post match here’s Team Lesnar, complete with Paul Heyman. Paul likes the idea of Cena taking things like that win, but tonight he’s going to give Cena something. Not a title like he has to earn, but the fifth spot on Team Lesnar at Survivor Series. Actually hang on a second though because no one tells him what to do. Besides, he doesn’t fit in on Team Sasquatch. Cue A-Train from behind to beat Cena down with the rest of the team coming in to join the attack. Lesnar cracks him over the head with a chair and Cena is done.

I know he cheated to do it, but having Cena win makes this better. Today, WWE would do this after he lost a nothing match and then wonder why the angle does nothing. It’s such a logical detail but for some reason it tends to elude WWE time after time, which gets very annoying in a hurry.

Post break, Heyman gives A-Train the fifth spot.

We recap everything falling apart for Eddie Guerrero. Break him down so you can build him up.

Chavo Guerrero tells Eddie that he can’t be out there for Eddie’s handicap match against the Bashams. Eddie needs to do this himself because he’s been the one who caused all of these issues.

Big Show vs. Bradshaw

Non-title. Bradshaw wastes no time in hammering away, just like the fans waste no time in calling this boring. A big boot puts Big Show on the floor and it’s Bradshaw hammering away even more as they get back in. Show kicks him in the face to take over though and the pace gets much slower. Some headbutts have Bradshaw in more trouble as Cole talks about how heavy Team Lesnar is. Bradshaw knees him in the face and takes it outside again with a hard whip sending Show into the barricade. Back in and a chokeslam ends Bradshaw in a hurry. It’s that fast.

Rating: D. There’s not much else that these two are going to do and the short time helped as much as it could. Bradshaw as a singles guy isn’t working very well when it’s just APA Bradshaw as a singles wrestler, doing exactly the same thing. You can only rip of Stan Hansen so many times and it’s not exactly thrilling stuff with Bradshaw on his own.

Heyman tells Torrie that he’s in charge now, backs her against the wall, and tells her she’s going to do this his way.

Kurt Angle is upset that Faarooq is officially out of Survivor Series. Chris Benoit tells him to calm down when Torrie comes in to say Heyman is sending them a message. Tonight it’s Benoit/Angle vs. Team Lesnar (minus Show).

We get a sitdown interview with Undertaker, who hates Vince for costing him the title. Therefore, Vince must be destroyed. Vince doesn’t respect the wrestlers and that’s not cool with Undertaker, so a beating has to take place. You have to be held accountable for your actions and that’s what Vince has waiting on him at Survivor Series.

Ernest Miller is still coming.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Basham Brothers

If Eddie wins, he and Chavo get a title shot next week. Eddie stomps away at Danny to start but Danny grabs a pumphandle, with a hard thrust as Eddie is bent over in front of him. That’s not cool with Eddie or the crowd for that matter as they don’t really react to it. Something like a reverse Michinoku Driver gives Doug two but Eddie walks the ropes for a hurricanrana. A slingshot dive drops Doug but Shaniqua kicks Eddie in the face to cut him off again. The lazy announcers don’t even call her an Amazon this time.

A double slingshot suplex puts Eddie down for two and we hit the chinlock. Eddie gets out with a jumping jawbreaker and avoids a top rope legdrop (with some serious height). Backdrops a go-go give Eddie some momentum and he takes them down at the same time. It’s frog splash time but Eddie has to deal with Shaniqua, allowing the Twin Magic switch. Not that it matters as Eddie steals Shaniqua’s whip and gives the ref a spank. Danny gets caught with the whip and while defending himself, gets rolled up to give Eddie the fluke pin.

Rating: C-. I’m over the Bashams’ “comedy” and having them lose in a handicap match wasn’t the best idea in the world (though it makes Eddie look great again, which is the bigger priority). This sets up the title match, and you can almost bet on Los Guerreros losing to further their split, which should help Eddie in the long run.

Post match, Eddie and Chavo are all cool again and leave in the low rider.

Here’s Vince to talk about the buried alive match hanging over his head like the Sword of Damocles. Vince wants one more chance and asks for everyone to lower their heads and close their eyes for an invocation. He prays for forgiveness for what he has to do but he’s been chosen to destroy the Undertaker. As usual, I have no idea why this is supposed to be the top feud.

Hardcore Holly is still on his way back.

Tajiri/Nunzio vs. Jamie Noble/Ultimo Dragon

Noble is making a surprise return and goes charging after Tajiri but gets dropped by Nunzio. It’s quickly off to Dragon for the strikes to Nunzio, including the series of rapid fire kicks for two. Tajiri comes in and gets sent to the floor with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. His still unnamed goons offer a distraction though and Nunzio gets in a cheap shot to take over again.

The Sicilian Slice gets two on Dragon and the stomping continues. Back up and Nunzio tries a superplex but gets reversed into a faceplant for a double knockdown. That’s enough for the hot tag to Noble but he gets caught in the springboard flying armbar (Arrivederchi). Tajiri misses the handspring elbow though and gets rolled up to give Noble the pin.

Rating: C+. The cruiserweights are fine and this face turn from Noble has been really well done. I want to see him beat Tajiri up for what was done to Nidia and that means the story has been working. It’s not going to lead anywhere because it’s a cruiserweight match but at least we’re getting a nice little story in the meantime.

Survivor Series rundown, with Noble vs. Tajiri for the title announced.

We recap the Cena beatdown, just after the announcers were wondering who would be Angle’s fifth man.

Brock Lesnar/A-Train/Nathan Jones/Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit

Brock sits in on commentary to start. Jones shoves Angle into the corner as Brock brags about how long Jones was in prison. A gorilla press is countered and Angle dropkicks the knee, allowing the tag to Benoit. Morgan tosses Benoit again, which Lesnar compares to throwing bales of hay on the farm. Lesnar: “I think he’s a farm kid.” Tazz: “He’s from Fairfield, Connecticut.” Lesnar: “They got farms up there!”

It’s back to Angle, who avoids a charge to send Morgan face first into the middle turnbuckle. A-Train comes in and bearhugs Benoit as Lesnar keeps listing off stats. Back from a break with A-Train running Benoit over again and throwing him outside. That’s enough to get Lesnar off of commentary and come in for some shots to Benoit’s back. A delayed fisherman’s suplex gives Brock two as the announcers declare Team Angle done because of how much Team Brock weighs. So not only is Cole Art Donovan’s dream commentator, but apparently wrestling really doesn’t matter in WWE.

Morgan grabs a bearhug of his own before handing it off to A-Train, who is taken down with a German suplex. The hot tag brings in Angle and it’s time for the rolling German suplexes. An Angle Slam drops Morgan and another one gets rid of Brock as the straps come down. Kurt gets the ankle lock on Lesnar while Benoit Crossfaces A-Train, drawing in Big Show for the DQ.

Rating: C-. Not terrible but the ending was pretty obvious. You’re not going to have most of THE GREATEST TEAM EVER losing ten days before Survivor Series, even if it’s to two of the best in the world. Jones and Morgan were kept to a minimum here and that’s a good thing. Let them get their feet wet in the next week before going into one of the biggest pay per views of the year. It’s totally logical.

Bradshaw runs in to clothesline Show but Morgan and Jones take him down. Cue Cena with a chair to clean half of the house until a Derailer cuts him off. Lesnar gets the chair and decks everyone, leaving Team Lesnar to stand really tall to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. They’re doing everything they can with this Survivor Series match but it’s turned into Big Show/Lesnar vs. Cena/Angle/Benoit and that’s not the most exciting thing in the world. As a show, this was fine and advanced the stories, but you have to remember which stories are being advanced and that brings things back down. Undertaker vs. Vince is a terrible main event and I’m having trouble remembering that Heyman is even running things at the moment. Not a bad show, but Survivor Series is looking bleak for the blue team.

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