Date: October 9, 2003
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
With less than two weeks to No Mercy, the question becomes how can we find more time to talk about Vince and Stephanie. That story dominated last week’s show and has done so for months now. At least we’re heading towards their pay per view blowoff and that means we might be free soon enough. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s Vince/Stephanie segment with Vince demanding that she quit (again) and Stephanie saying no (again) and getting in a fight with Sable (again).
Here’s Linda McMahon with the always awesome old school Wrestlemania theme music. She knows people are used to the McMahon Family drama but then Shane wrecked a limo with Kane inside. The week before that, Vince slammed Stephanie in the middle of this ring. Now there’s an I Quit match at No Mercy so maybe she can talk some sense into Stephanie. You know you can’t let Stephanie have that much attention without her being here in person so here she is.
She’s not going to back down and let Vince win….so here’s Vince because of course we need all of them out here. Vince talks about giving Stephanie a chance to get out of this match last week but now he wouldn’t let her out of it if she got on her knees and begged her. She’s made him brutalize her but he’ll do it with a clear conscience. His soul will be cleansed because he’s being forced to do it, just like Linda forced him to sire a second child. Linda says this match isn’t fair and asks what Vince is putting up. After a little goading, Vince puts up his Chairman spot to even things up.
We’re still not done though as Sable comes out with Vince calling her voluptuous. He introduces her to Linda and Sable rubs his chest while announcing she’ll be in Vince’s corner at No Mercy. Linda isn’t surprised because Sable will offer her services to anyone. Sable slaps Linda so Stephanie jumps her, only to get clotheslined by Vince. That’s your fifteen minute opening, because last year’s great wrestling show needed to be turned into the McMahon Variety Show.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Tajiri
Non-title and Rey Mysterio, announced as the #1 contender for No Mercy, is on commentary. Tajiri grabs a wristlock to start but the handspring elbow is broken up with a kick to the back. The Asai moonsault mostly misses and they head back inside. Dragon grabs a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker but Tajiri hits a Michinoku Driver for two of his own. The Tarantula is broken up and Rey talks about using these same counters. Makes sense. Not that it matters as the Buzzsaw kick ends Dragon in short order.
Rating: C-. Nothing wrong with this one as Tajiri gets some momentum heading into the title match. I liked Rey actually talking about what he could get out of doing commentary as most of the time it’s just a way to advance a story. You can do that after the match while also making it seem like there’s a reason to be out there in the first place. I’m still not sure what happened to Dragon though, as he came in and never even got warmed up before being turned into this.
Post match Tajiri kicks Dragon again, drawing Rey in for a 619.
Stephanie has big news: LINDA will be in her corner at No Mercy! That’s so lame I can’t even bother to make fun of it.
Undertaker comes out for a match but first he promises to break Lesnar at No Mercy. Vince is about to send the FBI out here to soften him up but he hasn’t come alone. Undertaker wants us to meet his best friend and pulls out a chain.
Undertaker vs. Chuck Palumbo
Yes the FBI still exists. Undertaker wastes no time in throwing Chuck around and hits an early Old School. Nunzio offers a distraction so Chuck can get in a few shots, only to miss a charge into the post. Another distraction lets Palumbo try a superkick, which is countered into the chokeslam for a fast pin.
Post match Lesnar comes in but Undertaker cleans house with the chain.
Paul London interrupts Vince and Sable and can’t get a handshake from the boss. He can however get a title match with Lesnar tonight. Didn’t we do this with Spanky earlier this year?
Big Show shoves a burrito into the face of some guy at catering.
Zach Gowen is back. Egads good for him.
Big Show vs. Orlando Jordan
Rematch from last week when Show’s burritos gave him some issues. The announcers discuss Show’s body fat as he throws Jordan around with ease. A dropkick to the back annoys Show so much that he clotheslines Jordan’s head off. Show boots him in the face and finishes with a chokeslam in short order.
In the back, Eddie says of course he’s nervous about Big Show chasing after him. The thing is, he has some cousins around here and if Show does get some revenge, it’s going to be a very stinky situation. Eddie compares this to Jack and the Beanstalk but Big Show jumps him and kicks the heck out of Eddie’s ribs.
We look at John Cena using a chain to beat Kurt Angle last week.
Tazz is emceeing a battle rap between Angle and Cena. It’s Cena out first to say Angle has less street cred than Michael Cole. Now those are fighting words. Cole: “I’ve got some street cred!” After Angle comes out, Cena goes first and raps his usual string of insults: Angle couldn’t win a bronze in the Special Olympics, he has no testicles, and….something that Angle cuts him off which sounded like foul language.
Angle praises the rapping skills and tells a story in rhyme, talking about how Cena thinks he’s black, threatening Cena if he uses the chain again (or a-gain as the story goes) and promising to make Cena tap. That’s enough for the fight to be on until Cena hits him with the mic. Cena gets in a few kicks tot he ribs but Angle rolls some German suplexes. The thread of an ankle lock sends Cena bailing. Fine segment, though it was no “I’m just a sexy Kurt, I’ll make your ankle hurt!”
Video on Zach Gowen.
Zach Gowen vs. Shannon Moore
Matt Hardy, who is not afraid to eat alone in public and likes portabella mushrooms, is on commentary. Moore puts him on top and gets kicked in the face, followed by another kick for two. Matt: “I may be going out on a limb here, one limb in particular, but Zach Gowen doesn’t impress me as a wrestler.” A suplex into the corner takes Gowen down and it’s off to a chinlock.
Back up and a springboard kick to the face drops Moore, followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Hardy offers a distraction and Moore gets two off a rollup. Gowen grabs a DDT but Matt shoves Gowen off the top (the referee seems fine with the idea that Gowen just dove down onto his back for no apparent reason), setting up Shannon’s running flip neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating: D. And that’s a Zach Gowen match: he does fairly impressive moves and the announcers talk about how amazing it is. It still has the exact same problem as always though: if you’ve seen it once, there’s not much appeal to seeing it again. Now that I’ve seen it for several months now, I’m really over it as the action is nothing above an independent level and the commentary beating the idea into my head gets really old.
Undertaker leaves Stephanie’s office and laughs.
No Mercy rundown. The card isn’t too bad but that double main event is death.
We recap the opening segment and Linda sneering still isn’t intimidating.
Chris Benoit/APA vs. Basham Brothers/A-Train
Hang on a second as the Bashams chair the APA down, leaving Faarooq down in the aisle and making this a handicap match. This must be the start of transitioning Faarooq out as it’s the second time in a few weeks where Bradshaw has wrestled and Faarooq hasn’t for one reason or another.
The double teaming is on with Bradshaw getting taken apart, including a Vader Bomb from A-Train as Faarooq is taken out. Danny grabs a chinlock but A-Train misses another splash, allowing the hot tag to Benoit. A-Train takes a German suplex and the Sharpshooter makes Danny tap but he’s not legal. The referee says no and it’s A-Train hitting the Derailer for the pin.
Rating: D+. I know I’ve said this a lot tonight but that’s another match where it went as you would expect. A-Train pinning Benoit when he had an advantage was fine, but it’s still setting up A-Train vs. Benoit on pay per view. This also seems to be setting up Bradshaw’s singles run and….egads.
Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Paul London
Paul, who is challenging, doesn’t even get an entrance. Brock actually says he respects London for coming out here but gets cut off by the YOU TAPPED OUT chants. He offers London a chance to look at the title, which he might get to hold himself one day. London does touch is and gets a hard clothesline as the beating begins in a hurry. Powerslams and a powerbomb set up the F5 to destroy London in less than ninety seconds. In case you didn’t get the idea when he did this to Gowen and Spanky earlier this year.
Post match Brock loads up the F5 into the post but Spanky runs out for the failed save attempt. Lesnar throws him back first into the post for a great looking bump. Cue Undertaker to say Stephanie has made their match at No Mercy a biker chain match. That’s all we hear and the announcers are left wondering what the heck that is. Good thing Undertaker decided he liked chains earlier in the night.
We look back at Big Show attacking Eddie earlier.
Chavo Guerrero leaves the trainer’s room and says Eddie is pretty banged up. He’s going to call Big Show out.
Post break Chavo is in the ring calling Show out. Here’s Show in a suit to say he’s hitting the town. Oh dear I’m scared of where this is going. Chavo says he’s chicken and that’s actually enough to get a match started. Who knew Big Show was a Marty McFly fan?
Big Show vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo rolls outside and it’s a countout at about forty five seconds.
Chavo isn’t done as he waves a sewage truck out with Eddie riding on the back. For some reason, Big Show stands in the ring which Eddie talks about his cousin bringing this truck to the arena. Eddie talks about the hose on the truck that you put in the ground to pull out all the….well you know. He’s going to spray it on Show, who FINALLY gets out of the ring and runs away, only to trip over a cord. Eddie sprays him down a few times and Big Show falls down multiple times to end the show. Counting the stuff before the break, this was the last fifteen minutes of the show.
Overall Rating: D-. Oh man that was awful. The show started with a fifteen minute McMahon summit and then ended with a fifteen minute segment built around spraying Big Show with human waste. In between, there was something about Undertaker discovering a love of chains, a battle rap, and some short squashes. That’s how they’re going to make us want to see a pay per view featuring the battling McMahons and something called a biker chain match. This was a total misfire and one of the worst Smackdowns I can ever remember.
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