Date: December 11, 2003
Location: San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
We’re now on the way to the Royal Rumble and that means….well it probably means that the show takes a few weeks off. Last week saw Chris Benoit fall just short of winning the Smackdown World Title from Brock Lesnar, who now gets to move on to Hardcore Holly. A main event in probably no arena in the country. Let’s get to it.
We open on a very close shot of Paul Heyman as he says Chris Benoit will never get another shot at the WWE Title as long as Heyman is General Manager.
Heyman is in the ring to get things going. He’s going to follow a tradition and build Smackdown on the back of Brock Lesnar. Vince McMahon Sr. built the company on the back of Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon Jr. built his company on the backs of Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. Last week Chris Benoit got a little too close to destroying Heyman’s vision so there will be no more title shots at this man.
Brock comes out and smiles a lot as you can see the YOU TAPPED OUT signs in the crowd. Just in case that’s not enough, the accompanying chants start up as well. Lesnar rants about demanding respect and says it was Benoit who tapped out to him. We see a clip of Benoit “tapping” after passing out and Lesnar rants against the fans, only showing why he shouldn’t be allowed to talk that often. Lesnar says he has a chant for the fans here in Mexico, even though Heyman says we’re in San Diego. Lesnar: “It looks like Mexico out here!”
Cue Rey Mysterio to say he won’t let Lesnar make fun of his people and his family. Rey is here to issue a challenge for tonight and that means a 619 chant. Lesnar doesn’t agree so testicle jokes are made, which is enough to get the match made, albeit non-title of course. Brock does throw in a bonus: if Rey can win tonight, he can have a title shot next week. That’s cool with Rey, who promises a 619 chant next week. Perfectly fine for a one/two week story.
Rhyno vs. Bradshaw
Fallout from a Gore on Velocity. Bradshaw forearms him into the corner to start and gets two off a suplex. The threat of a Clothesline sends Rhyno bailing to the floor but he comes back in with a DDT for two. For reasons of general idiocy, Rhyno goes up top, allowing Bradshaw to hit a super fall away slam to take over again. A superplex plants Rhyno and they lay on the mat for a few seconds before Bradshaw lifts his legs, allowing Rhyno to turn it into a small package for the pin. That didn’t look contrived in the slightest.
Rating: D. Believe it or not I actually had some expectations here as these two could have a decent, short power match. For some reason though they couldn’t even do that right and it made for a lame outing, especially for the ending. Bad match here, which is actually a bit of a surprise.
Paul Heyman is with A-Train and Matt Morgan and mentions that he’s gotten rid of Nathan Jones. No reason is given, but he quit the company while on tour in Australia. Anyway A-Train needs to prove himself to make up for betting against Brock last week so he’s going to face Shannon Moore. Morgan tells him not to blow it.
The Bashams want to bet on themselves in their Tag Team Title defense next week, which nearly leads to a fight with the FBI over Shaniqua being rough with the money. Didn’t she dump them? They leave so Matt Morgan comes in to put everything he has on A-Train against Moore. Pretty obvious payoff but it might work here.
A-Train vs. Shannon Moore
Shannon has taped up ribs so A-Train punches him in the bandages and hits a splash in the corner. A spinning crossbody to the back puts A-Train down but A-Train tosses him outside and hits the ribs again. Back in and Shannon grabs a quick sunset flip for the clean fluke pin.
Post match here are Morgan and Big Show to beat up Moore but A-Train takes a beating of his own.
Cat is getting ready to dance.
Highlights of the Asia/Australia tour.
Here’s Lamont to introduce Cat to dance with Sable. Therefore here’s Sable, who says she’s not dancing for anyone but Vince McMahon. Cat isn’t happy so he kisses her, causing Sable to leave. That means Cat takes his pants off and dances. This might be the most “because Vince thinks it’s funny” segment in years.
Eddie Guerrero offers Chavo a Y J Stinger hat but promises to be serious. Chavo says his knee is feeling good enough that he doesn’t even need to tag Eddie in. They’re both going to steal the show.
Los Guerreros vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team
Eddie and Charlie start things off with neither being able to get the better of a technical off. Shelton comes in to try a test of strength as the EDDIE chants begin. Eddie gets the better of it and takes him down to the mat, legitimately injuring his shoulder in the process. Shelton gets sent into the corner so it’s off to Chavo as Eddie chokes from the apron. Shelton knocks him outside and opens the hood of the low rider in an attempt to crush Eddie’s arm. Well that certainly accelerated quickly.
With that not working, Shelton sends him arm first into the post and we take a very abrupt break. Back with Shelton slingshotting in to land on the arm again. Charlie lets Eddie over for the tag for some reason and it’s Chavo coming in to clean house. A headscissors drops Charlie and a middle rope twisting swanton gets two. Another armbar slows Charlie down but Shelton kicks out Chavo’s bad knee to take over again.
Shelton slingshots in onto the knee as at least they’re mixing up the leg work. We hit a half crab but Eddie gets creative by taking off the tag rope, which draws the referee over and allows Eddie to break up the hold. It’s not enough for the hot tag though as Shelton pulls Eddie off the apron. Back up and Eddie dives over Charlie for the real hot tag but the bad arm keeps things from their usual pace. A monkey flip doesn’t work on Shelton as he lands on his feet but a dropkick sends him into Haas.
Charlie is fine enough to superplex Eddie and everyone is down again. It’s Shelton up first to jump over Charlie and land on Eddie’s back but a one legged Chavo makes the save. Eddie is fine enough to hit the rolling suplexes but Chavo tags himself in and hits the frog splash on Shelton. Eddie takes his time leaving though and it’s only good for a delayed two. Back up and Shelton superkicks Chavo and covers but Chavo isn’t legal. The referee straightens things out so Eddie pulls the air filter from the low rider and knocks Shelton cold for the pin.
Rating: C+. The arm injury clearly slowed Eddie a lot but even a below peak condition Eddie is still better than most performers ever. Chavo’s jealously can continue with Eddie stealing the pin as the team continues to win but also continues to deteriorate. It’s going to make Eddie into a bigger deal and that’s what matters most.
Tribute to the Troops is announced. That’s still a really cool concept, but once it turned into a stateside event, it stopped feeling special.
Here’s Big Show, dressed like John Cena, for a battle rap. Cena comes out and Show does the slow paced rhyming, including saying that he’s 500lbs and is the Kobe Bryant to Cena’s white girl. Oh and his finger is bigger than Cena’s…..anyway moving on. Cena’s response: Show is fat, in various forms of funny insults. He throws in a low blow for good measure and bails. This really wasn’t funny, but it was better than the Cat segment.
We recap Brock vs. Benoit last week.
Benoit passed out instead of giving up last week and now he’s not sure if he’s ever going to get another title shot.
Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar
Non-title and Rey’s family is in the front row. Brock makes short jokes and takes his time in going after Mysterio. Eventually he grabs Rey by the foot and swings him into the corner because he’s just that big. Rey dropkicks the knee and sends a charging Lesnar face first into the middle buckle.
Brock snaps up and the chase is on until Brock finally stops and glares at him. This time he picks up the steps but Rey dropkicks them into his face. That’s about it for Rey’s offense though as Brock sends him into the post, only to get hurricanranaed to the floor. Brock gets sent into the post and Rey hits a dive off the apron and we take a break. Back with Brock catching a high crossbody and distracting the referee so he can get in a low blow. Cole is INCENSED that Brock would have to cheat and the stomping continues.
It’s off to a bodyscissors with a crossarm choke as Brock is dominating. He gets tired of the hold though and lets Rey up, allowing Mysterio to hit the 619 for a close two. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a standing hurricanrana give Rey two more but the West Coast Pop is countered into a powerbomb. The Brock Lock makes Rey tap.
Rating: C-. Mysterio was trying here and the match wasn’t bad, but there was no drama to the whole thing and that was pretty clear. It wouldn’t make sense to have Mysterio win here just because it was in his hometown and the amount of offense he got in was more than enough. Lesnar taunting him was fine and Mysterio didn’t get squashed so what more can you ask for?
Post match a fan, who was sitting with Mysterio’s family, runs in and it’s Hardcore Holly. The beating is on and some right hands send Brock outside to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Not a bad show but as is WWE tradition, the build for the next pay per view can’t begin until this one is over, even if there’s no connection between the two shows. Benoit is still trying to get to the title and Cena is stuck not challenging for the US Title but at least we’re getting some good stuff with Eddie and Brock. The show needs a fresh top challenger though and Holly….I think that says enough.
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