SummerFest Countdown: 2003

The SmarK Rant for WWE Summerslam 2003 Ah, my loyal readers…

Hey asshole you wonder why your fucking readership isn’t as large as it once was, why don’t you stop being a fat lazy faggot and post your piece of shit recaps quickly you fucking bastard…where the fuck is it? i don’t want to read any other goddamn recaps as i dont want to give hits to dick licking faggots like that fat mexican who runs your old message board, so p9ost your shit fag

That’s from [email protected], for those who wonder if people this dumb really do exist. But hey, who am I to argue with an eloquently-written letter like that one?  (He’s been working for the WWE writing team for two years now, I believe.)  – Live from Phoenix, AZ. – Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz. – Opening match, RAW tag titles: La Resistance v. The Dudley Boyz. Interesting sidenote: The Dudleyz are introduced as being from New York City. What, is Dudleyville shut down for the summer or something?  (DON’T YOU KNOW WHO HE IS?  HE’S FROM NEW YORK CITY!) D-Von hammers on Dupree in the corner to start and chokes him out with his own Sgt. Pepper coat. Clothesline and armdrag, but he gets caught in the French corner. He comes back with a shoulderblock on Grenier and a legdrop, but without a big boot it’s only worth two. Bubba comes in and slugs away, and then does the Tommy Dreamer nut stomp in the corner. Elbow and Bubba fights off both champs, and the Dudleyz clean house. Back in, he slugs Dupree down, but a cheapshot turns the tide and Dupree gets a backdrop suplex and elbow for two. They get a double shoulderblock as JR, trying for any bit of hyperbole, notes that he hasn’t ever seen quite this level of crowd participation at a Summerslam. Well, off-hand I’d say that the 80-some thousand at Wembley for Summerslam 92 were louder. But then you get into mathematical measurement of “pop per crowd member” and really no one wants that. (Herb Kunze would have been INTO IT.  He once did a mathematical breakdown of big splashes and the effect of torque therein.)  Dupree grabs a bearhug, but D-Von breaks it up. Bubbabomb on Grenier, hot tag D-Von. Backdrop and neckbreaker, and Grenier gets tossed. Powerslam on Dupree gets two. D-Von gets a clothesline, and heel miscommunication gives him two. La Resistance get a chokeslam for two. The Dudleyz regroup and it’s BONZO GONZO to set up the Whazzup Drop on Grenier and 3D on Dupree. It gets two, as Grenier misses his cue and barely makes the save. An Evil Photographer runs in, nails D-Von with his camera, and Dupree gets the pin to retain at 7:49. It is of course Rob Conway, who still doesn’t have a name but appears to be playing a character swiped from Master of Disguise. Match was basic RAW stuff and why these goofs get a PPV slot and The World’s Greatest Tag Team sit at home is beyond me. *1/2  (Because Grenier had connections with Pat Patterson.)  – On the way out, Coach foreshadows his later involvement by praising La Resistance’s effectiveness. – Meanwhile, Christian asks Bischoff for a spot backing him up later, but Bischoff has his own plan. – Undertaker v. A-Train. They fight over a lockup to start and Train grabs a headlock. He misses an elbow and goes back to the headlock. Taker comes back with a Russian legsweep for two. He pounds away in the corner, but runs into an elbow and Train unleashes CLUBBING FOREARMS~! UT gets a DDT for two, however. Even after CLUBBING FOREARMS? Dean would be shocked. Taker starts on the arm, and then gets the flying clothesline instead. ROPEWALK OF DOOM and he charges, but ends up on the floor as a result. Train drives him into the post and gets two. Train stomps away on the ribs and chokes him out as the blistering pace of the match continues. Well, it’s blistering in that it’s about as pleasant as leaving your hand on a stovetop. Train gets a suplex for two and slugs away, but Taker elbows back. Taker grabs the MAIN EVENT SLEEPER, but gets suplexed. Taker slugs away again and barely gets Snake Eyes, but they clothesline each other and both guys are out. So how do you tell the difference between that and the regular pace of the match? They slug it out again as the crowd doesn’t even buy A-Train’s PUNCHES as having a chance against Taker, and indeed UT gets the big boot and legdrop for two. Well, perhaps it also requires three punches and shaking the head. It’s a theory in progress. (Random note:  I was annoyed that older Hogan got so lazy that he shortened the Hulk-Up spot to skip about half of it, basically proceeding directly from the cheek-puffing to the big comeback.  That’s the ONE part of his nostalgia act that requires no energy expended on his part and he can’t even do THAT right anymore!)  UT guillotines him on the apron and gets a pair of corner clotheslines, but the ref is bumped. The REF IS BUMPED? In THIS match? Mehshugganator gets two. The ref is bumped AGAIN and Train gets the bicycle kick, allowing Train to get a chair. Taker kicks it back in his face, however, and gets two. Tombstone is escaped, but a chokeslam isn’t, and Taker gets the pin at 9:19. You see, Taker is bound for the main event again, so he has to be kept strong. Once again, you only hear that justification for one person in the WWE, and that’s him. (Well, and HHH.  I’m drawing a blank on where Undertaker ended up from here, actually.  Didn’t he end up against Vince McMahon at Survivor Series in that god-awful Buried Alive match?)  Super dull match. * Afterwards, Sable hits on him because he’s so feral and big and evil and stuff, but he shrugs her off and Stephanie comes out to get her revenge before Train makes the save. From STEPHANIE. Well, there’s your next main event program. Apparently Stephanie has forgiven Undertaker for the whole kidnapping and dark wedding thing. Well, it’s good that people can grow and forgive. (I grew and forgave Undertaker mostly!)  – Coach interviews some rubes at ringside to establish his presence there. – Eric Bischoff v. Shane McMahon. You know, using Jerry Lawler logic, I’m shocked they’d give this match away for a mere $34.95 instead of saving it for Wrestlemania. I bet when Lawler is at one of those fictional airports with Bobby Heenan talking to fans who are gathered around watercoolers, this match tops the list of things they’re buying the show to see, and they’ll probably call their friends during the PPV to tell them to order it mid-show. Shane slugs away in the corner to start, and then crossfaces him like a UFC veteran (unfortunately, that veteran is Tank Abbott), sending Bischoff fleeing. They brawl outside as JR notes that Bischoff’s treatment of Linda was as distasteful as anything he’s ever seen. Man, Bischoff’s quote about wrestling being no place for people with long memories was truer than you thought. (Especially considering Vince’s own quotes on the subject as of late.)  Shane continues beating on Bischoff outside (because Bischoff is a mere black belt in karate, but Shane is a McMahon) and has him at his mercy, when suddenly the awesome power of Coachman lays him out with a steel chair. You know, you may have thought that Hulk Hogan’s heel turn in 1996 shook the industry to its core, but I predict this will rupture the very foundation of wrestling for years to come. Bischoff makes the match falls count anywhere and gets two. They head into the ring, as Coach perfects his heel sneer and Bischoff lays in some kicks. They cut off JR’s mike (YAY!) and Coach does commentary while Bischoff kicks Shane. Coach is pretty funny here doing his JR impression. Shane fights back with a DDT on Bischoff, but Coach goes low on him. Finally Steve Austin does the walk-on to speed things up a bit, and Coach brags about how he can’t hurt him with provocation. So Shane trips Coach and a beating follows. KICK WHAM STUNNER for Bischoff, and Shane puts him on the Spanish announce table and drops the Super Shane Elbow for the pin at 10:33. So apparently the top programs are now Shane & Austin v. Bischoff & Coach, and Stephanie & Undertaker v. A-Train & Sable. I can see why they couldn’t squeeze John Cena into this show – the McMahons’ egos were taking up too much space. 1/2*  (Was this match really a thing?) – US title match: Eddie Guerrero v. Rhyno v. Chris Benoit v. Tajiri. Benoit tosses Tajiri to start, but Rhyno lays him out and stomps away. Short-arm clothesline, but Benoit chops back and takes him down with a crossface. Eddie saves, and then retreats again. Tajiri comes in and drops a knee on Benoit for two. Eddie gets some strategic shots again and escapes again. Rhyno clotheslines Tajiri for two, and again Eddie sneaks in, but this time gets caught by Benoit and slammed, and kicked down by Tajiri. Chops by Benoit, and Tajiri gets two. Rhyno chokes Benoit out in the corner, and then spears Eddie in the other corner. Powerslam gets two. Benoit hits him with a snap suplex for two, then turns his attention to Tajiri with a backdrop suplex. Cole notes that Benoit has had “split-level personalities” as of late. He wants to be a real estate broker? (Wow, that silly joke ended up being very not funny at all.)  Eddie dumps Benoit and Rhyno and chops Tajiri, but gets monkey-flipped. Backbreaker gets two. Rhyno dumps Tajiri and goes after Eddie, but Benoit ruins his fun. So Rhyno charges him into the corner, allowing Eddie to get two. Rhyno superplexes Eddie for two. Tajiri kicks the crap out of him and gets two. He tries the same on Benoit, and then changes up to a handspring elbow for two. Rhyno hits Eddie with a backdrop suplex for two. Eddie comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Rhyno and the ropewalk headscissors on Benoit, which gets two. Rhyno breaks it up and chops Eddie down, but Benoit chops Rhyno in turn, only to get forearmed down. Eddie then puts Rhyno on the floor and goes after Tajiri, but gets kicked and recovers with the lasso from El Paso. Rhyno tries to save, but Benoit takes him down with a crossface. Eddie’s facials as he desperately tries to make Tajiri tap are great. Tajiri makes the ropes, so Eddie breaks up the crossface. But that allows Benoit to take HIM down with a crossface until the other two save. Rhyno hits Tajiri with a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for two. Benoit dropkicks Rhyno out of the ring and Tajiri knocks him down with a handspring, but Benoit delivers the rolling germans to Tajiri as a result. Tajiri uses Eddie’s interference to reverse into his own bridged german suplex for two. Tarantula, and while the ref is busy checking that, Eddie uses the belt to block the GOAR GOAR GOAR. Tajiri gets rid of him, but Benoit hangs him in the Tree of Woe and does the diving headbutt over Tajiri, onto Rhyno, for two. Tajiri misses the Big Kick on Benoit, they tumble out, and Eddie sneaks in to finish Rhyno at 10:50. Felt really short and Smackdown-ish. *** They’ve gotta do something with Eddie RIGHT NOW. He’s over, he’s wrestling the matches of his life, and he needs to be elevated before he can be killed off again.  (HOLLA!  I am the best, thank you for asking.)  – Smackdown World title: Kurt Angle v. The Real Brock Lesnar. Brock gives him a clean break to start, but Kurt takes him down with a facelock. They reverse each other and Angle takes him down again with a headlock, which prompts Brock to take a breather. Back to the headlock and Angle hangs on, but Brock kips out of it. Brock overpowers him off a lockup, but Angle shoves him into the corner in response. Angle takes him down with a pair of armdrags and Brock bails and throws a tantrum. So much for Happy Fun Brock. Brock takes a walk with the belt, so Angle attacks him and they brawl down the aisle, and back to ringside, as Angle sends him into the railing and back in. Brock misses a charge and Angle gets the overhead suplex for two. Brock comes back with a nice military press right out of the ring. If Michael Cole uses “lunatic fringe” one more time, I hope Tom Cochrane sues for royalties. Angle meets the stairs and Brock steps on his face. Back in, Brock stomps him down and gets an overhead suplex of his own, hardly even going down himself on the move. That gets two. Brock tries another press, but Angle rolls him up for two. Brock follows through with a backbreaker for two. Brock hooks in a chinlock, and Angle fights free and makes the comeback, but walks into a knee. Brock gets a backbreaker and stomps away in the corner, and chokes him out. Angle fights back with a rollup for two, but Brock clotheslines him down again. Delayed fisherman’s suplex gets two. Brock pounds away in the corner and they do what appears to be an extended planning session there before they slug it out to give Brock advantage again. Brock charges into the ribs in the corner, and amazingly DOESN’T miss. Another try does miss, however, and he hits the post. Angle shoulderblocks him a couple of times to work on the weakened shoulder, and then clips him. Rolling germans further hurt the shoulder, and Angle gets two. Another overhead suplex, and he blocks an Angle Slam with a spinebuster that gets two. They seem to be throwing each other around with abandon tonight. F5 is countered by Angle, but they mess up the spot and Angle lamely drops an elbow for two. Then they break rule #1 of wrestling by repeating the spot, with Angle this time countering to a DDT. That gets two. That would have been edited off Smackdown. Angle pulls down the straps and gets the Angle Slam, but it only gets two. Anklelock, but Brock counters and the ref is bumped. That’s what we needed, more ref bumps. Angle grabs Brock in what appears to be a rimjob, and then thankfully lets go and switches to the anklelock. The ref is still out. Brock taps with no ref, and of course Vince breaks it up with a chair to the back. F5 gets two as a result. Everyone’s shocked, apparently. Vince calls for another one, but Angle takes him down with another anklelock. Brock makes the ropes, but Angle pulls him away. Um, how does that work? Again to the ropes, and again he gets pulled back, which is totally outside of the rules, but Brock taps regardless at 21:19. Kinda oddball booking — building up Brock as a monster killer psycho destroyer for two weeks and then having him tap clean? (Get used to it, Brock.)  Match was good, but I wasn’t digging it as much as Wrestlemania, perhaps because of the ref bumpery and Vince’s involvement. ***1/2 Angle puts Vince through a chair as a birthday present. – Rob Van Dam v. Kane. RVD attacks to start and flips around, but gets clotheslined. JR notes that Rob has to “destroy Kane’s verticality”, and that it’s easier said than done. I wasn’t aware it was even easily said. They brawl out and Rob moonsaults him off the railing. Kane sends him into the post and finds a ladder under the ring (now REALLY, why would you even need a ladder?) and takes forever to bring it in, which allows Rob to see-saw it into his face. Rob gets a missile dropkick as JR notes that Kane may think he’s at Home Depot. Now THAT would be a funny skit. “Show me the plungers or I’LL BURN THIS WHOLE PLACE DOWN!” (Yeah, good look finding someone to help you there.)  They brawl out again and Rob gets tossed around, allowing Kane to do some exterior decorating with the stairs. What is this, Queer Eye for the Pyromaniac?  (Kind of dated joke there.  Maybe I should go with a Mike Holmes reference for a more timeless one.)  Kane searches for Feng Shui? Back in, Rob kicks him into the corner and flips around some more, and a legdrop gets one. Kane tosses him and Rob takes his standard bump into the railing. Kane rams him with the ladder after taking forever to set up the spot, and they head back in where Kane gets two. JR notes that RVD will never quit. Except for when he tapped out twice in 2002 on RAW, both times to lose the I-C title to Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho. So really, it’s more accurate to say he WILL quit, but only in important title matches. Anyway, Kane stomps away and does some choking and stuff. Charge misses and Rob flips around some more, but gets tossed again and takes the same bump to the railing. Kane follows with the flying clothesline, but on the first try slips and nearly breaks his neck. Yes, Kane is another dangerous psycho – the SHOCKMASTER. A second try works better, but he misses and Rob comes back with the ladder. Kane DDTs him on the floor, however. Kane charges with the stairs and gets tripped up, and Rob dropkicks him into the crowd. Rob guillotines him on the railing and grabs a chair, and follows him back into the ring with a spinkick. Rolling Thunder onto a chair, but Kane sits up. Dropkick with the chair sets up a Van Terminator, but Kane apparently moves out of the way, although the camera work was pretty lousy there. Kane tombstones him onto the stairs to finish at 12:51. This was way long and sloppy and was pretty much there to set up Kane for Shane McMahon next month. Kane’s window of hotness was a few weeks ago and the longer they try to use him as a midcard player without shooting him to the top, the colder he’s gonna get. History has shown it. **1/4  (HOLLA AGAIN.  Make all cheques payable to me.)  – RAW World title, Elimination Chamber: HHH v. Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho v. Goldberg v. Kevin Nash v. Shawn Michaels. They don’t even bother to explain the rules this time, which is pretty stupid. Goldberg is so pumped that he slips on the way to the ring. Jericho starts with Michaels in the ring while the other four are locked away. Shawn elbows out of a hammerlock to start, but Jericho rolls through a cross body for two. Shawn backslides him for two. They work off a headlock and into a pinfall reversal sequence (possibly for Flair’s benefit at ringside) and Shawn tries a sunset flip, blocked by Jericho for two, and reversed by Michaels for two. They slug it out and Michaels backdrops him, but Jericho goes for the Walls. Shawn reverses for two. Jericho bulldogs him but misses the Lionsault, and recovers with a clothesline. Again with the goofy title lineage, as JR notes that this title has only changed hands once in Arizona – the Halftime Heat match in 1999. But that’s the WWE title, which is the one held by Angle, not HHH’s made-up belt. They’re totally different things. Randy Orton is in next and dropkicks Shawn out, but gets chopped down by Jericho. Orton takes him down with a neckbreaker for two. Jericho with an enzuigiri on Shawn for two. Orton dropkicks him down and stomps away. He sets up for the RKO, but gets backdropped out and Jericho stomps away. JR notes that with flesh on steel, steel wins. I’d like to see Yu-Gi-Oh cards to back that assertion up. Jericho gets the Walls on Shawn as Big Blondie is next in, and he slugs everyone down. Jericho gets speared into the cage a few times and eats COLD, UNFORGIVING STEEL. Sideslam on Orton gets two. Short-arm clothesline on Shawn gets two. Big boot for Jericho sets up a Poochiebomb, but Shawn superkicks him over for the pin at 8:09. Nice to see Big Kev earning his pay out there. However, just because he has to be a role model for children everywhere, he throws a tantrum and powerbombs everyone to keep his nonexistent heat. Next in: HHH, sort of. Shawn immediately superkicks him, and it’s such a powerful one that he ends up unconscious for about 10 minutes. This match is like a grade school primer on how to play political games in wrestling. Everyone is dead and buried from the awesome power of the Poochiebombs, but they manage to crawl back to life and slug it out. I’m surprised they weren’t instructed to stop and cut a promo about how lucky they were to not have Nash in there to beat them up any longer. Goldberg is the last man in and he kills everyone, which shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, gets him over with the crowd. Press spinebuster on Orton, but Jericho and Michaels try a double-team and get clotheslined. Spear for Orton gets rid of him at 13:01. Jericho tries a missile dropkick and gets two, but Goldberg presses him into the cage. Shawn gets in Goldberg’s face and gets whipped into the corner for his troubles. Goldberg then deals with Jericho, spearing him through the mini-chamber, albeit not very cleanly. Shawn tries making a comeback, dropping an elbow and prepping the superkick, but the stomping only gives away his position and the spear and Jackhammer send him back to meet Jesus at 15:21. Jericho is dead and buried already, and the spear and Jackhammer are academic at 16:05. HHH hides in his chamber, as Flair goes nuts trying to prop the door closed and kick him out, but Goldberg kicks in the plexiglass to break him loose. He never learns about punching and kicking glass, does he? Goldberg pounds on him for a bit, but sets up for a spear and falls prey to the SLEDGEHAMMER OF DOOM and gets pinned at 19:15, thus sucking all the life out of a previously-hot crowd.(I’m sitting here nine years later reading that and I’m STILL gobsmacked that they actually booked that finish.)  Match was more energetic than the first EC thanks to shorter intervals, but as a match wasn’t as good and didn’t tell as good a story. *** And check this out for a brilliant political maneuver – HHH gets injured and refuses to job the title to Goldberg at the second-biggest PPV of the year, so he’s rewarded by being stuck in a match where he does maybe 90 seconds tops of in-ring work, while Goldberg demolishes anyone even close to threatening HHH’s spot and then jobs to the almighty sledgehammer. And then next month, when once again HHH is asked to do a job like, you know, a professional, he can point to Goldberg’s diminished heat from tonight’s match (or one of 1000 other of the same excuses he always uses) and get another win over him to keep the title for another 8 months. There’s a weird belief that the money is in the chase with this feud, but Goldberg’s been chasing him since June and still hasn’t gotten so much as the upper hand in the feud. And there’s certainly no money yet. In fact, when has Goldberg’s money ever been in the chase to begin with? He demolished Hulk Hogan in their first match to win the World title in WCW, and I didn’t see anyone trying to claim that Hogan should get the win first to set up the chase. In fact, the only real objection was that it should have been on PPV instead of TV. The fans were into Goldberg tonight, they wanted to see him demolish everyone and win the title, and instead the WWE continued to send the same message: We don’t care what you want.  (Yeah, get used to that one.)  The Bottom Line: I can’t really call it a disappointing show because I wasn’t expecting anything out of it to begin with. Angle-Lesnar was about what I thought it was gonna be, and the four-way was a little worse, so I’ve gotta go thumbs in the middle, leaning down, for Summerslam.