Smackdown – October 2, 2003

Date: October 2, 2003
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

Somehow we’re less than three weeks away from No Mercy but as luck would have it we already have a double main event. In this case it’s Vince McMahon vs. his daughter Stephanie in an I Quit match and Brock Lesnar defending the Smackdown World Title against Undertaker. This isn’t exactly the most thrilling stuff in the world but guess which one is going to get the most attention. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence, still including Sean O’Haire. I don’t remember the last time he was even on this show.

US Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Matt Hardy

Matt, who has had four speeding tickets but gotten out of over twenty of them, is challenging. Eddie is ticked off at Matt for injuring his ribs last week so the stomping is on in a hurry. A shoulder puts Matt down but bangs up Eddie’s ribs all over again. Eddie gets dropped ribs first onto the top rope and Matt starts in like a villain should.

Matt plants him with a powerbomb for two and the Side Effect gets the same. A bow and arrow hold is countered into a neckbreaker and Eddie gets a breather. Three Amigos connect as Tazz is talking about Mexican hockey teams. Matt is ready for the frog splash though and brings Eddie down with a superplex.

A neckbreaker cuts Eddie down again but Matt would rather distract Chavo, allowing Shannon to come in with a title. This is what happens when you let lackeys run wild. Naturally Eddie takes it away and throws the title to Matt while feigning innocence. The referee gets rid of that belt but Chavo hits Matt with the other one because cheating is a family business. The frog splash retains the title.

Rating: C+. The endings might be a bit unoriginal but you try turning down that grin. Eddie had so much charisma that it’s almost impossible to not like him at least on some level and that’s what worked so well here. I could watch Eddie do this stuff for hours and the wrestling working so well helped too. Eddie has been the best thing about the last several shows and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Video on Wrestlemania tickets going on sale.

John Cena got annoyed at Josh Matthews for talking about “dope rhymes”. Tonight, Cena puts Angle in his shadow.

Eddie and Chavo run into Big Show and ask him about him attacking Eddie last week. Show doesn’t like “Eddie’s kind”, but he does like Mexican food. He shoves Eddie down and Chavo isn’t happy with the lack of Latino heat. Eddie is going to take care of this Guerrero style.

APA vs. Basham Brothers

It’s a brawl to start and of course the APA gets the better of it, easily clearing out the ring. Faarooq beats both of them up on his own before it’s off to Bradshaw for chops and a Last Call on Doug. Shaniqua offers a distraction though and Danny posts Bradshaw to take over. As usual, Shaniqua comes off like the star of the team, completely defeating the purpose of her being out there. Bradshaw suplexes his way out of a chinlock and it’s back to Faarooq for the house cleaning. The referee gets bumped (In this match?) so Shaniqua kicks Bradshaw in the face, leaving Faarooq to take the Ball and Gag for the pin.

Rating: D. Again, I’d like to point out that I’m supposed to be interested in a team whose finishing move is called the Ball and Gag. There are times where a gimmick is going to kill yo before you can do anything else and that’s what’s happened with the Bashams. I have no idea why they spent so much time down in developmental to be given this treatment on the main roster, but it shows the disconnect between the two places.

Post match, Bradshaw hits Shaniqua with the Clothesline. Again: she’s treated like a more important deal than the team she’s managing.

Chris Benoit vs. Charlie Haas

A-Train is on commentary. As you might expect, it’s a grappling exchange to start with neither being able to get much of an advantage on the mat. Charlie’s hammerlock is reversed into a wristlock as A-Train rants about Benoit not being able to get him in the Crossface. Benoit headlocks him down and does it again when Charlie tries to get up. It’s too early for the Crossface though and Benoit is sent outside.

A-Train actually does something by offering a distraction, allowing Haas to baseball slide Benoit down. Haas starts in on the ribs with a gutbuster before a clothesline gets two. Something like an abdominal stretch with Benoit on the mat keeps the ribs in trouble as A-Train continues to have nothing interesting to say. Some kicks to the ribs set up a normal standard abdominal stretch as Benoit just can’t get anything going.

A single German suplex rocks Charlie but he takes Benoit right back down to continue the wrestling clinic. Benoit finally gets in a clothesline and the release German suplex is good for two. Haas is right back with a suplex of his own, dropping Benoit on his head in a scary landing. Not that it matters as Benoit slaps on the Crossface, drawing A-Train in for the DQ.

Rating: C+. Haas is someone who sticks to a game plan very well as his finisher works the ribs so he beats on the opponent’s ribs for the entire match. What’s not all well and good is A-Train talking. He looks like a monster and wrestles a monster style, but egads he doesn’t need to be out there talking. It’s just not something he’s good at and him saying these really lame limes for the whole match didn’t make me want to see them fight. Stick to what people are good at and stop trying to wedge them into places where they don’t fit.

Post match A-Train puts Benoit in a Crossface of his own.

Here are Vince and Sable for their weekly segment as Cole tries to explain why Vince vs. Stephanie is still going. Tazz thinks it’s all a way to get Stephanie to quit. What gave you that idea Tazz? All the times where he ordered her to quit? Vince talks about everyone needing an opportunity to be forgiven for making a mistake, which brings him to Stephanie. She needs to reverse her decision to have Brock Lesnar defend the title against Undertaker and then quit immediately.

Cue Stephanie (nearly falling out of her top the entire way) to say she won’t do either of those things. Vince ups the ante for No Mercy: when she quits, she’s out of a job too. Stephanie almost begs him not to make the match but Vince goes into a rant about how Stephanie is throwing away all the years of their relationship. He calls what she’s doing defiance and Stephanie starts getting what she considers emotional.

Sable reminds Vince of what he called Stephanie last week so Stephanie tells her to go lay on her back in the men’s locker room like she does best. The catfight is on until Vince slams Stephanie, who starts crying. Undertaker comes out for the save and kicks fellow invader Brock Lesnar in the face as more crying ensues.

So quick recap of this story: we’re supposed to be on the side of and feel sympathy for the rather good looking (and surgically enhanced) millionaire heiress who is being told to quit her vanity job by the father who caused her to be a millionaire heiress in the first place? Oh and after EVERYTHING that Vince has done to people over the years (and that Stephanie has done to people over the years for that matter), a single slam is supposed to be this big, devastating moment? And this is their best idea?

A very stereotypical Mexican delivery guy (complete with a brightly colored blanket and a sombrero with MEXICO written on it) shouts about a delivery of burritos for Eddie. Big Show intercepts them and eats one before spitting in another, which is especially for Eddie. The delivery guy has no issue with any of this.

Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Tajiri

Tajiri is defending. Kidman accidentally runs into the referee to start (not something you see very often) but manages to hurricanrana the champ out to the floor. That means a big dive as things are starting fast. Back in and Kidman’s slingshot is countered with a kick to the shoulder and Tajiri takes over. Tajiri starts in on the arm with a hammerlock and some knees as Tazz talks about the importance of intensity.

Another kick to the shoulder set s up another hammerlock as this isn’t exactly what you would expect from Tajiri. Kidman comes back with an enziguri for two but Tajiri kicks him out of the air (that’s more like it) to take Kidman down again. The BK Bomb gets two and Kidman ducks the Buzzsaw Kick, only to get caught with a low blow. Now the Buzzsaw Kick connects to retain the title.

Rating: C. The arm work was a nice change for Tajiri and it made for a fun match. The cruiserweight division isn’t the most interesting in the world right now but at least the talent still around is putting on some good to very good matches. That being said, what in the world happened to Ultimo Dragon? He’s still doing dark matches and Velocity, but that might be a record for the fastest fall from grace I can remember in a long time. It was like two weeks.

Orlando Jordan vs. Big Show

Show comes to the ring holding his stomach and seems to have some issues after kicking Jordan in the ribs. A clothesline puts Jordan down but Show bails to the floor and takes the countout due to stomach issues. Cole after the countout: “The burritos having a negative effect on Big Show!” Thirty seconds later: “What is wrong with Big Show???”

Zach Gowen joins us live via satellite and says he’s tired of being asked how he’s doing. He knows wrestling is for him and he’s back in the ring next week.

We now join Big Show in the bathroom with various sound effects. Eddie comes in and admits that he spiked the burritos, knowing that Show would steal them. He also steals the toilet paper because COMEDY! So to recap: a few weeks ago, Eddie was in a great fight with Cena inside a ring of cars and then became a double champion. Now it’s toilet humor. Thanks for that WWE.

John Cena/Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle/Undertaker

Cena’s rap says he makes it ok to root for the villain and something about a man dressed as a woman. The fans remind Lesnar that he tapped out as Kurt and Cena start things off. Kurt takes him down without much effort and armdrags Cena into an armbar. One heck of a clothesline gives Angle two and it’s off to Undertaker. The arm cranking continues but Undertaker stops to swing at Lesnar.

The distraction lets Cena poke Angle in the eye and Kurt gets beaten down in the corner. A good looking backdrop puts Cena down though and we take a break. Back with Lesnar firing off shoulders to Kurt’s ribs in the corner as we’re firmly in the tag team formula. Lesnar stomps on Kurt and hits a gorilla press, only to have Angle grab a German suplex. Cena offers a distraction though and the referee misses the ensuing hot tag.

A Shell Shock of all things gives Brock two and a powerslam plants Kurt again. Somehow Kurt is right back up with the Angle Slam and it’s a double knockdown. That’s enough for the hot tag to Undertaker, who comes in with the running corner clotheslines. Brock is thrown to the floor (nearly landing on his head in the process) but still comes back in to break up the cover on Cena. There’s a spinebuster to Undertaker though and it’s back to Angle via the power of Olympic recovery skills. Suplexes a go-go have the villains reeling but Cena grabs the chain to knock Angle cold for the fast pin.

Rating: B-. Pretty solid main event tag here as I’m always a fan of combining two feuds into one for an easy match like this. Cena pinning Angle is the right call as Angle showed he’s dominant with wrestling and playing by the rules but loses when Cena cheats. Undertaker being all fired up doesn’t do much for me but it’s all we’ve got for a co-main event right now.

Post match Lesnar loads up the F5 to put Undertaker through the table but gets reversed, setting a chokeslam through said table to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a show where the wrestling was completely acceptable for the majority of the show but the stuff outside of the matches was dreadful. I mean, spiked burritos and OH NO VINCE MCMAHON DID A WRESTLING MOVE??? We’re coming up on a pretty weak pay per view with the battling McMahons as the real main event but the rest of the show isn’t exactly thrilling either. At least the TV is watchable, which is more than can be said about the episodes of Raw leading up to Unforgiven.

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