Smackdown – September 25, 2003

Date: September 25, 2003
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time to start building to No Mercy and we have a new World Champion with Brock Lesnar having taken the title from Kurt Angle in last week’s Iron Man match. The other big story is Los Guerreros winning the Tag Team Titles to make Eddie a double champion. I’m sure there will be no animosity on Chavo’s part. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Tonight, the Cruiserweight, Tag Team and US Titles are on the line. That’s quite the show.

The World Title is on a podium in the ring and here are Vince McMahon and Sable for a presentation. Vince praises Brock for his win last week but here’s Angle to interrupt. Before Kurt can say anything, Vince knows he’s here to claim Brock cheated and to challenge him for the title tonight.

That’s not happening though, because Angle might have to wait a long time to get another chance. That means starting from the bottom so tonight he’s going to be here to present Brock with the title. Angle isn’t feeling that and says either Brock comes out here and gets a beating or Kurt can go outside and give him the beating there.

Instead here’s John Cena to accuse Angle of having female genitalia. The fight is on and Cena is thrown over the top with ease before he heads to the back. That’s enough waiting for Angle so he goes to the back and finds a door labeled Brock Lesnar. That might be a good place to start. All he finds is a gym bag but here’s Cena to jump Angle.

During the break, Cena ran to the parking lot and drove away. Angle commandeered Vince’s limo and driver for a very late pursuit.

Tag Team Titles: Los Guerreros vs. Matt Hardy/Shannon Moore

Matt, who has wrestled with strep throat and hates taking medicine, and Shannon are challenging. As someone with at least fifteen diagnosed cases of strep (to go with eight cases of bronchitis and three pneumonias, two of which were double pneumonia, I feel for him). Eddie and Matt start things off with Matt stopping for an early pose. It’s Chavo coming in off a blind tag to take Matt down as the champs start taking turns on Hardy.

Matt finally sends Chavo outside into the announcers’ table and Moore sends him into the apron for good measure. Shannon comes in and shows some nice fire with the forearms to the back. It’s not enough fire to keep Chavo in trouble for long though as he gets over for the hot tag.

Everything breaks down in a hurry with Eddie having to fight them both off, only to get caught in a neckbreaker from Matt. Chavo hits a high crossbody on Shannon to give Eddie two, only to have Shannon hit a dropkick to the back for the same. With Matt sent outside, Chavo belly to backs Shannon down so Eddie can drop the frog splash to retain.

Rating: C+. It’s always a good sign when a match makes me wonder what they could do with more time and that’s what happened here. Shannon is a pretty good high flier and he looked solid in support of Matt here. Los Guerreros are more than talented enough to make this work, especially when we get to the eventual split over Chavo being jealous.

Post match Matt jumps Eddie and gives him a Side Effect onto the belt.

During the break, Charlie Haas, who challenges Eddie tonight, ran out and attacked Chavo, followed by a Haas of Pain to Eddie. Tonight could make Eddie look like an even bigger star.

Here’s a ticked off A-Train for a chat. Now who thought this was a good idea? He’s tired of hearing that he can’t beat Chris Benoit because he can beat anyone. A-Train gives an open challenge but settles for beating up the timekeeper, even giving him a Crossface. Benoit runs out for the save and puts the Crossface on A-Train. That’s broken up with raw power though and A-Train chairs him down.

Eddie’s ribs are badly damaged but he swears he can wrestle.

Vince tells Sable how great she looks tonight and admires her figure. She takes off his jacket when a production guy comes in. Vince wanted to see him twenty minutes ago and yells as a result. Anyway, we’re doing the Brock presentation later. I’m sure nothing bad will happen.

Charlie says he’s taking the US Title tonight to make up for losing the Tag Team Titles.

We recap Tajiri’s heel turn and beatdown of Rey Mysterio to set up tonight’s title match.

Cruiserweight Title: Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio

Mysterio is defending. Tajiri cranks on the arm to start and drops a knee for an early two. A hurricanrana into a victory roll gives Rey two and we hit a quick pinfall reversal sequence. Rey’s charge hits the corner though and we hit the Tarantula for a few seconds. Tajiri loads up the mist but misses, allowing Rey to knock him outside and follow with a good looking slingshot dive.

Back from a break with Rey getting kicked out of the air for two. Tajiri hammers away at the ribs and hooks something like an abdominal stretch. It’s off to the bodyscissors with Tajiri even throwing in a few rollups for two as a bonus. That’s so much better than what you usually get with this hold. How often do you see a hold like this go on and stop paying attention for a bit because nothing is happening? Those rollups aren’t anything great but they’re keeping it from being boring, which is more than you can expect otherwise.

Rey fights up and hits a sitout bulldog, followed by a moonsault press for two. Tajiri is right back with a Michinoku Driver but kicks the referee by mistake. The handspring elbow is blocked with a dropkick to the back and Rey scores with the 619. The West Coast Pop misses and Tajiri kicks him in the face. Cue a second ref to check on the first and count a very delayed two. Rey snaps off a standing hurricanrana but the replacement referee is still checking on the first. Tajiri goes with the red mist and steals the pin and the title.

Rating: B. This got the time that it needed to make things work, though the referee stupidly turning his head at the end didn’t work so well. Tajiri winning the title makes the most sense as it strengthens his heel turn and lets Rey do something else. It’s not like he’s going to regularly defend the title so let someone else have it and get some more momentum as a result.

Video on WWF and the Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Action Network coming together for a voting drive.

Cole and Tazz brag about UPN’s ratings successes. But did Smackdown beat the Mullets?

Basham Brothers vs. Jamie Noble/Bradshaw

Billy Gunn is hurt so Jamie bought half of the APA for the night. It’s a brawl to start with Jamie diving onto Danny as Bradshaw beats Doug up in the corner. Danny low bridges Jamie to the floor though and Shaniqua kicks him in the head to take over. Back in and we hit the chinlock for a bit until Jamie dragon screw leg whips his way to freedom. A swinging neckbreaker is enough for the tag to Bradshaw for the quick beatdown. The Last Call sends Doug flying but Shaniqua takes Nidia’s head off with a clothesline. Jamie checks on her so Bradshaw hits the Clothesline, drawing in Shaniqua for the DQ.

Rating: D. So the point here was to push Bradshaw and Shaniqua? This would have made more sense as the APA vs. the Bashams but if that’s the case, just have the Bashams get a win. As usual, WWE feels the need to push the worst possible options out of a match and for some reason I don’t see Shaniqua panning out as the latest force in the women’s division.

Long recap of the Iron Man match.

US Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Charlie Haas

Eddie is defending and has bad ribs while an angry Big Show is on commentary. Show claims that he’s tired of being ignored so he gets up and posts Eddie before the bell. Charlie is smart enough to stomp away and hits a backdrop to stay on the ribs. A quick toss to the floor gives Eddie a breather but Charlie is back in with a double leg takedown for two. The back is bent over Charlie’s knee until Eddie grabs the face for the break.

Charlie is right back up with another posting so here’s Chavo to check on him. That earns the nephew a right hand and an ejection but the distraction allows Eddie to grab the rope at two. The Haas of Pain goes on but Eddie slips out after a good while. Haas grabs the belt, which is quickly taken away and laid in the corner. Eddie of course grabs it and wraps it around the corner as Charlie shoves the referee. That’s not a DQ so Charlie dives at the buckle and knocks himself silly, setting up the frog splash to retain.

Rating: B-. So we’re heading towards Big Show vs. Eddie? That would be a good way to make Eddie look like a giant killer, but if history has shown me anything, it’s never bet against WWE’s ability to push Big Show over the wrong talent. Eddie looked great here as he fought through the injuries and he continues to be the best thing on this show every single week.

Here are Vince and Sable to try the presentation again. Vince demands us on our feet to welcome Brock, who at least gets to come out this time. After Brock’s posing, Vince declares him the new unstoppable face of Smackdown. Brock doesn’t mind the YOU TAPPED OUT chants because he’s the new champion. As for Kurt, he had him in the palm of his hand last week and was never in danger of not getting the title back. Brock says he’s unstoppable so here’s Undertaker because who else was it going to be.

Undertaker didn’t interfere last week because he has too much respect for the title but he’ll get in Lesnar’s face now. He doesn’t forget or forgive but he does have some advice for Brock: polish that title up because his first defense is against Undertaker. Vince wants to know how that happened and here’s Stephanie, because this is still about the McMahons. Stephanie explains the match but Vince says no because her authority is going to be rescinded. If she doesn’t change her mind right now, it’s Vince vs. Stephanie in a match at No Mercy.

Stephanie is completely taken aback by this (Someone wants to hurt Stephanie? What insanity is this?) but won’t change her mind. Vince makes it an I Quit match and yells at Stephanie so Undertaker grabs his arm. That earns Undertaker a belt shot but he’s back up with a chokeslam to Lesnar to end the show. That’s a really bad double main event but they’re still way ahead of Unforgiven, which says more about that show than No Mercy.

Overall Rating: B-. The main event angle and the Basham match were the only bad things going on this week as the rest was focused around Eddie Guerrero, which is never a bad thing. There was good wrestling here though and the stories are solid enough to make the show not feel long, which is a lot more than Raw can say.

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