Smackdown – September 18, 2003

Date: September 18, 2003
Location: RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s a big show here with Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle in a one hour Iron Man match. What else can you really ask for here? These two are capable of putting together any kind of match you want them to and here they’ll have a chance to showcase whatever they want. The rest of the show….does it really matter? Let’s get to it.

Vince welcomes us to the show and hypes up the main event. Undertaker comes in to say he won’t interfere tonight but he’s not going to forget Vince sending Brock out to interrupt his title match. Better than him wanting the next title match at least.

Opening sequence.

Cole calls this the season premiere of Smackdown. They did that with the Billy and Chuck wedding episode so I guess we have a tradition.

Rey Mysterio/Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno/Tajiri

Tajiri gets a Cruiserweight Title shot next week. Benoit shoulders Tajiri down to start and snaps off some of those loud chops. Tajiri is right back with the Tarantula and a non-existent tag brings in Rhyno for a spinebuster. A clothesline gets Benoit out of trouble though and the hot tag brings in Mysterio with the springboard seated senton. Everything breaks down and Mysterio rolls the German suplexes on Tajiri. Rey hits the 619 on Rhyno, setting up the springboard legdrop for the pin.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have the time to go anywhere and it didn’t really accomplish much as Rey and Tajiri didn’t interact all that much. The action was good while it lasted though, which isn’t all that surprising given the four people involved. Thankfully it seems that Rhyno vs. Benoit is done though, which should be the case after last week.

Shaniqua vs. Torrie Wilson/Nidia

It’s a double team to start with Shaniqua actually being knocked outside, which is a lot more success than I was expecting. Shaniqua remembers that she’s fighting Torrie and Nidia though and it’s a double clothesline to take them down in short order. Torrie gets thrown outside and a powerbomb ends Nidia in short order. Keeping this short was the only option they could have had.

Dawn Marie comes out to check on her friends and gets posted.

Stephanie is drawing a mustache on a picture of Sable when Vince, Big Show and Sable come in. Vince tries to get Stephanie to quit but she won’t do it. In other words, nothing has changed since last week. Stephanie brings up the logical question: why doesn’t Vince just fire her? He doesn’t want to because he wants her to quit. Playing rough is mentioned and I don’t want to know what Vince means by that.

Long recap of Brock vs. Angle. They’re treating this like the big match that it should be.

Los Guerreros are ready to win the Tag Team Titles back. Tonight, they’re doing it for GRANDMA!

Earlier today, John Cena was on top of a building and saying he underestimated Los Guerreros. Next week, he fulfills his destiny. No word on what that means.

Tag Team Titles: Los Guerreros vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team

Charlie and Shelton are defending. Eddie starts with Benjamin but it’s quickly off to Chavo for some forearms to the back. The fast tags continue but this time Eddie is driven into the champs’ corner, followed by a hard whip. It’s already back to Chavo though and unloading ensues, including a monkey flip to send Benjamin flying. Back to back dives take the champs down and we take a break.

We come back with Eddie poking Haas in the eye, which of course gets him cheered even more. Chavo comes back in as the challengers manage to keep control for a lot longer than you might have expected. Eddie’s sunset flip gets two on Benjamin but a kick to Chavo’s arm cuts off the offense. A hammerlock northern lights suplex gets two and it’s back to Shelton for a keylock.

Chavo dives out of an arm hold and makes the hot tag….which doesn’t count as Benjamin has the referee. Instead a running dive into Benjamin’s arms is enough for the hot tag off to Eddie and it’s time to speed things up. Everything breaks down and house is cleaned but Eddie’s frog splash is broken up.

Eddie rolls through the second attempt and Charlie brings in a chair. Chavo dropkicks it into Shelton’s knee though and Benjamin is down. Back up and Charlie gets double backdropped but stays on the Guerreros’ back for some reason, crashing HARD onto his head. Apparently that gave him a concussion and that’s not even slightly surprising. Eddie frog splashes Haas for the pin and the titles.

Rating: B. Nearly breaking Haas in half aside, this was a good match with both teams getting to show off what they can do. Los Guerreros are an awesome team and there’s nothing wrong with putting the belts back on them. That US Title suggests that Eddie is in for bigger things so I don’t think the titles are staying on them for very long. It’s very nice to see another match on this show get some time though and the talent involved made sure that it was quality stuff.

Tazz has keys to victory for the main event. For Brock: a lot of F5’s. For Angle, ankle locks. And this man is a professional.

Bets are being taken on the match.

Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle

Angle is defending in a sixty minute Iron Man match. Lesnar jumps him before the bell and stomps the champ down in the corner early on. Angle comes out of the corner with a hard clothesline and the first suplex sends Brock out to the floor. Back in and a trio of armdrags send Lesnar outside again and we hit a long stall. We’re five minutes in now as Lesnar gets back inside. The threat of a single leg takedown sends Lesnar running again, though not for quite as long this time.

Back in again and Brock pounds him down, only to be sent outside yet again. This time Kurt follows him out but gets posted to give Lesnar his first real advantage. Instead of following up by normal means, Brock chairs him down to give up the first fall at 8:42. There’s a fifteen second rest period, after which Brock hits a great looking F5 to tie it up at 10:21. Brock talks a lot of trash and an ankle lock makes Angle tap at 12:08 to make it 2-1.

We take a break and come back with the same score and 44:00 to go. Brock hits a shoulder in the corner but a second attempt only hits post, allowing Angle to slug away. The rolling German suplexes have Lesnar reeling but he sends Angle outside for a breather. You can tell they’re filling time and for once, that’s completely understandable as there’s only so much you can do in an hour long match. An F5 on the floor is good for a countout and Lesnar is up 3-1 with 40:03 to go.

We take another break and come back with 36:05 to go and Angle punching away. A hard shoulder puts Angle down but he’s right back with an Angle Slam to make it 3-2 with 34:05 left. Some suplexes rock Lesnar and there go the straps! Both finishers are escaped and it’s the ankle lock to put Lesnar in trouble. Lesnar rolls out in short order and the referee gets bumped, meaning there’s no count off the Angle Slam. By the powers, what a coincidence.

A low blow takes Angle down again and Brock gets in a belt shot as we hit the halfway mark. Cole: “Now the true colors of Brock Lesnar are coming out!” Sweet goodness you’ve spent the better part of a month telling us how Brock is a monster after he BROKE GOWEN’S LEG THEN THREW HIM DOWN THE STEPS but a belt shot proves he’s evil? Anyway said belt shot gives Brock another fall at 29:32 to go.

We take another break and come back with 25:00 left and Angle taking it to the floor for some right hands. A top rope ax handle to the floor keeps Lesnar in trouble, followed by a missile dropkick for another near fall. Kurt misses the moonsault though and it’s a double knockdown. A clothesline drops Angle again and a suplex gives Brock two. Angle slaps on a quick ankle lock but the counter sends him outside all over again. We’re under twenty minutes to go as Lesnar grabs the steps, only to have Angle kick them into his face. That’s only good for a pair of near falls and we take another break.

Back again with Lesnar up 5-2, having hit a superplex during the break to extend the lead even further. Angle is trying to get to his feet on the floor as we have 14:00 left. Brock follows him out but Angle F5’s him knee first into the post, which excites Cole way too much. A half crab into the ankle lock doesn’t work (probably because it was on the leg that didn’t go into the post) as Lesnar makes the rope again. Lesnar’s knee is fine enough to hit another F5 but that’s only good for two.

Brock goes up for the sole purpose of being taken down with a belly to belly superplex as Angle gets a fall back with 9:52 to go. Kurt wins a slugout and pounds Brock down in the corner, followed by a suplex with 8:00 left. There go the straps again but Brock plants him with a DDT for two more. Lesnar snaps off a German suplex of his own and the time is being eaten up faster and faster. Even more German suplexes get us down to 6:00 left but Angle gets a series of his own.

Lesnar’s next suplex is reversed into the ankle lock and it’s a shortened version of the Summerslam ending with Brock grabbing two ropes but having to tap with 4:07 to go. I still don’t get how that works but it’s 5-4 Lesnar with 4:00 on the clock. They’re both down for a good while until Kurt slaps the hold on again. This one is broken up in short order and we’re down to 3:00.

Kurt goes with something like an STF with Lesnar on his side but it doesn’t last long. Lesnar rolls outside with 2:00 left so Kurt sends him head first into the steps. Back in and Kurt hits three straight German suplexes as we have less than a minute to go. A low blow behind the referee’s back gets Brock out of trouble but Kurt is back with the grapevined ankle lock with 15 seconds left. Brock somehow hangs on to win the title back.

Rating: A-. This match falls into the same problem that so many Iron Man matches fall into: aside from a spot or two, the first fifteen to twenty minutes don’t really add anything to the match. That makes sense as you have so much time to kill in a match like this, but it doesn’t exactly make for the best TV experience. It’s similar to a tournament: you know the drama is all going to be at the end and it makes a lot of the falls feel a little uninteresting.

Now that being said, this was a heck of a match with both guys beating the tar out of each other with all kinds of holds and suplexes. It was the match these two should have had and felt like a big deal. The ending had good drama which was set up by Lesnar tapping not too long before the final hold went on. The rest of the second half of the match is great and the whole thing is very good, but it’s no Rock vs. HHH.

Overall Rating: A. Now that’s more like it. This was all about the wrestling (save for the nothing women’s match) and it was a great time watching the thing. This was supposed to be the pay per view style TV show since Smackdown didn’t have a pay per view in September and it certainly delivered. Great main event, a really solid tag match and nothing stupid (aside from the stupid McMahons segment) make for a really outstanding show.

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