Smackdown – November 13, 2003

Date: November 13, 2003
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Survivor Series and that means it’s time for a bunch of matches to set up Sunday’s elimination match. However, one of those matches needs a participant as Kurt Angle’s team only has four members at this point. You can probably guess the last member but the official announcement probably takes place tonight. Let’s get to it.

Later tonight: Brock Lesnar/Big Show vs. Chris Benoit/the fifth member.

Kurt Angle vs. Nathan Jones

Jones has Matt Morgan in his corner but he’s ejected before the music even turns off. A top wristlock goes very badly for Angle so he switches to a double leg takedown for some better results. You know, by using wrestling. Back up and a big boot misses so Angle can knock him out to the floor. Jones drops him face first onto the barricade though and Angle is in some sudden trouble. Not enough trouble that he can’t punch his way out of it, followed by a middle rope dropkick for two.

A hard slam plants Angle though and we hit a very lazy looking neck crank. Jones drops an elbow for two, which Cole calls impressive. That would be a vintage low standard. Back up and Angle’s clotheslines just get on Jones’ nerves but the rolling German suplexes work far better. Kurt grabs the Angle Slam and ankle lock but Morgan comes back in for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Angle was trying as hard as he could here but it’s clear that Jones is still very limited. If only there was a place they could send him for development of his skills or something like that. The match didn’t have time for Angle to build anything up, but I’m scared to imagine what it might have been if this wasn’t either Angle or Benoit or someone with the energy and skill to pull this off as well as he did.

The beatdown is on until Hardcore Holly makes his, ahem, triumphant return with a chair for the save. Holly wants Lesnar right now but gets no one.

After a break, Holly is still hunting for Lesnar but Paul Heyman threatens to suspend him if he doesn’t calm down. Heyman begs him to leave tonight because he’s not medically cleared until Sunday. Holly eventually leaves and yeah, the fact that it’s Hardcore Holly completely kills what they’re going for here.

Sable and Vince McMahon are looking at the WWE 24 book with pictures of Vince’s dog. Vince isn’t interested because he has a headache but a picture of Undertaker makes him angry. He talks about a dream he had where he was watching maggots eat his dead body but he wound up eating them. Then he couldn’t move and laid there in a stench until they ate him again and again in a loop. Eventually he woke up and smelled the same stench because he had soiled himself. Vince: “What does this mean?” It means that Vince wrote this segment and doesn’t understand why this feud is so bad.

Here’s Jamie Noble to call out Tajiri before Survivor Series. Tajiri actually comes out but the goons, now named as as Akia and Sakoda, follow him for the beatdown. Rey Mysterio runs in for the save though and clears the ring.

Akio/Sakoda vs. Rey Mysterio/Jamie Noble

Joined in progress after a break with Noble slamming Akio before it’s off to Sakoda for some stomping. Mysterio springboards in with a high crossbody to speed things up, only to walk into a hot shot. We hit the front facelock and then a cravate as the new guys are a decent power team, at least for their size. Rey slides between his legs but Akio (who the announcers keep calling Sakada) cuts Tajiri off.

Akio grabs a choke with his knees in Rey’s back but Rey pops up with a headscissors into a reverse DDT for the double knockdown. The hot tag brings in Noble so things can speed up again. Everything breaks down and Akio spinwheel kicks Noble down. The West Coast Pop is broken up though and Tajiri comes in to kick Tajiri in the head, giving Akio the pin. The referee doesn’t even notice that Akio’s feet are underneath the ropes. Fire this man.

Rating: D+. Not the worst match in the world here but Akio and Sakoda aren’t the most thrilling team. Tajiri being built up is a good idea and there’s something to this Noble feud as I want to see Jamie get some revenge. The wrestling wasn’t great though and the ending was a little messy. I do want to see Noble vs. Tajiri more though and that’s the point of the match.

Eddie and Chavo are in the back when a detective comes in. Eddie’s wife’s sister has been in a horrible accident in El Paso so Eddie has to leave. Chavo isn’t happy with this because of their Tag Team Title match tonight. Eddie glares at him and Chavo calms down.

Post break Chavo goes to Paul Heyman, who postpones the title match until Survivor Series. For tonight though, Chavo has to have a handicap match. Shaniqua and the Bashams agree to the idea with Shaniqua accusing Chavo of not having any huevos. The match is made.

The announcers plug the Unscripted book. I remember wanting to read that.

Undertaker is in the graveyard, saying Vince is the one that has to pay. Sunday is Vince’s day of reckoning and he’ll become another victim. Undertaker talks about all the people he’s destroyed but none of them have wanted his wife raped or his children kidnapped. Keep in mind that this is coming from Undertaker, who once kidnapped Vince’s daughter and tried to force her to become his wife in a demonic wedding.

Undertaker shovels dirt into the grave and talks about wanting Vince to suffocate on the thoughts of what he’s done to people over the years. This is said over shots of Vince torturing Stephanie, because somehow, this is still about her. Even when Stephanie isn’t here she drives stories.

Basham Brothers vs. Chavo Guerrero

Chavo takes Danny to the mat to start as Tazz determines why Eddie is called Latino Heat: He’s Latino and he has heat. An armdrag into some dropkicks have Danny in trouble so Shaniqua gives the Brothers a little whipping for motivation. Chavo kicks Doug in the ribs and dives off the apron onto Danny, followed by a Boston crab back inside. That’s broken up and we hit the double teaming in the corner.

Doug grabs a chinlock as the announcers debate Heyman’s issues with family. The hold goes nowhere so Doug goes up for the dive onto Chavo’s raised foot. Everything breaks down and Chavo hits a tornado DDT to send Doug outside. Shaniqua tries to come in and it’s Twin Magic so Danny can get a small package for the pin.

Rating: D. So in other words it’s the same match as last week but Chavo isn’t as good as Eddie. There’s not enough to this story to keep it going for so many weeks, mainly because the Bashams have no characters other than liking to be whipped by Shaniqua. Chavo is trying but at the end of the day, he’s Chavo Guerrero and working with Eddie. There’s only so much he can do.

Post match Shaniqua kicks Chavo in the face, setting up a double beatdown.

Kurt Angle won’t talk about the fifth member.

Chavo gets treatment as the Bashams laugh from the locker room. IT WAS A RUSE! So now the Bashams and Shaniqua are outsmarting Eddie and Chavo?

Bradshaw vs. A-Train

.oh dear. They fight over a lockup to start until Train clubs him upside the head a few times. Bradshaw sends him to the floor to no avail as Train runs him over back inside. The catapult into the middle rope has Bradshaw in more trouble and we hit a bad sleeper. Bradshaw reverses into one of his own but gets suplexed down. Somehow, that’s enough to keep A-Train down at the same time, mainly because wrestling is weird that way. Bradshaw gets in a dropkick (!) and swinging neckbreaker but charges into an elbow in the corner. The Derailer gets two and it’s the Clothesline to put A-Train away.

Rating: D. Oddly enough I didn’t hate this as they just hit each other really hard for a while. The problem is they did that for over six minutes, which is far longer than these two should be out there. The other problem is Bradshaw. There’s nothing about him (at least in this version) that makes him anything more than a big guy with a hard clothesline. I need something more than that to get invested in.

Angle and Benoit are in the back with Benoit really not liking Angle’s pick for the fifth team member. Whoever it is has made a career out of making them miserable and they can’t be trusted. Angle points out that they feel the same way about each other but sometimes you have to deal with it to reach a common goal. John Cena comes in to say he doesn’t like them either but he’ll team with them to get his hands on Team Lesnar. Benoit threatens Cena and promises to take it out on Angle if things go badly.

Vince is stressed so Sable brings in a priest to relieve some tension. Sable leaves them alone and Vince recaps the situation. The priest starts praying but Vince asks why his eyes are open. Is he that awed by Vince’s presence? Next Vince wants to pray on their knees but that doesn’t work either. The prayer continues and Vince breaks into laughter. See, this prayer needs to be for Undertaker because Vince has heard the calling. Vince cuts a promo on Undertaker and the priest is stunned. As has been the case since it started, this is stupid.

Video on Raw’s matches.

Tazz and Cole run down the blue show matches.

Brock Lesnar/Big Show vs. John Cena/Chris Benoit

Cena and Lesnar start things off and it feels so much more natural to have Cena as a face. Lesnar throws him around without much effort and drives the shoulders in the corner. Some power drives Lesnar into the corner and it’s off to Benoit for the rapid fire kicks to the ribs. A snap suplex gets two but Show comes in to headbutt Cena down without much effort. The fans chant SUBWAY because that passes for clever around here. Show gets in the chokeslam but Benoit pulls Cena to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Cena caught in an abdominal stretch and getting suplexed by Brock. Lesnar tries one too many suplexes though (I’m as shocked as you are) and gets taken down, allowing the hot tag to Benoit. A release German suplex sets up the Swan Dive for two with Show making the save. One heck of a clothesline takes Benoit down and it’s back to Show for more tossing. That means more SUBWAY chants as Show sits on Benoit’s chest.

Brock’s chinlock keeps things slow until Benoit chops his way up and grabs another German suplex. The hot tag isn’t seen though and Cena is taken back to the apron, allowing Lesnar to grab a DDT. Benoit finally gets in an enziguri for the real hot tag to Cena and everything breaks down. The Crossface to Lesnar has the referee distracted, allowing Cena to low blow Show and hit him with the chain for the pin.

Rating: D+. Dull match, but the ending was the right idea. Cena is still brand new at the good guy thing and it makes perfect sense to have him act like a villain until he gets used to this new role. He cheated to win here but he’s cheating against bad guys. Once this feud is over, he can become the full on good guy that he’s destined to be.

Overall Rating: D. There’s no way around it: Survivor Series isn’t looking great overall and the blue side is much weaker than its red counterpart. Undertaker vs. Vince is a bad story and the Survivor Series match feels thrown together (when Hardcore Holly and Bradshaw are two of your best options, there’s a major problem). Like, are Angle, Cena and Benoit going after the title after this? They’re certainly not acting like it at the moment. Throw in something like that and see if this gets better. As things are now, things aren’t looking good but maybe they can surprise me. Save us Raw?

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