wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Smackdown Report 01.16.03

January 16, 2003 | Posted by Brendan Johnston

WWE Smackdown for January 16, 2003, from East Rutherford, New Jersey
Report by Brendan Johnston, EXCLUSIVELY for www.411wrestling.com

So Saturday, I pack up the PS2 and head over to Tom’s to play some Smackdown and not displace my whole family out of the TV room. Much to my chagrin, I plugged in the second controller only to find that it was completely non-functional. I was pretty cheesed off because A) I had to go and buy a new controller and B) my little sister prefers that one, so I assumed that she used it, broke it and neglected to tell me about it. The next day, I ask her about it, and she and my mother inform me that… get this… she plugged it in a few days ago while I was out, and her hair was wet. Her hair was touching the television, and when she plugged the controller into the system, she created a circuit between the television, herself, and the controller, thus shorting the thing out and rendering it useless.

And try as I might, it is absolutely impossible for me to be mad at my sister about this. It’s one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard of.

According to the Ghostbusters DVD commentary, Slimer is the ghost of Jon Belushi. This makes me enjoy the movie even more, for some reason. And the deleted scenes of Slimer playing blues with Ray Stantz, screaming “TOGA! TOGA!” and shooting up heroin are just priceless.

Yep, I’m going to hell for that one.

I had a friend in high school who was in the drama club there, and he reminded me very disturbingly of Jon Belushi. The weight. The maniacal comedy. The love of music. And, quite frankly, the substance abuse. Last I saw/heard from him he’s delivering pizza for a local restaurant, and seems to be doing fine. I haven’t thought about him in years, but I was just reminded because of the Belushi thing.

Hey, go vote for me in the 411 Awards. My job may depend on it. If you vote for me, Tom Cocozza will be your love slave for one full week. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it, Ms. Claire Flynn Boyle?

Okay… wrestling…

I suppose it’s no secret anymore that the Undertaker will not be returning as the Zombie Undertaker, the Darkside Undertaker, the Bizarro Undertaker or the Manga Undertaker for the Royal Rumble, but will instead be continuing on as the American Bad-Ass Undertaker. I suppose I’m partially to blame for jumping to conclusions when the promos started airing, but just remember: Scott Keith jumped to the same conclusion, and he posts his reports first. Of course, he’s offered me and others here on the site a free copy of his book, which is big of him.

Raw… Sean O’Haire will debut soon as a gigolo/pimp type character. Honestly, I don’t remember ever seeing O’Haire wrestle, as I didn’t watch WCW and didn’t pay much attention during the Invasion. All I know is he’s big and he’s Irish. Thus, I like him on principle.

Nathan Jones is also big, but he’s Australian. But he’s playing a supervillain. As a comic book fan, another thumbs up on principle.

So the Dudleys were fired, suspended, reinstated and given a title shot all inside an hour. Way to build tension, guys.

Not to piss anyone off or anything, but note to PK and Keith: Test’s version of Rolling the Dice has been called the Test-Drive since just before King of the Ring. I suppose it’s just the fact that Raw’s commentators don’t actually call diddley-crap during the show, choosing instead to talk about the latest Steiner/HHH non-wrestling event coming up.

Raw X… well, that was a waste of TNN’s Tuesday night programming, now wasn’t it?

And could someone explain why, on the “Don’t Try This At Home” category, the friggin’ Big Show was nominated for an award for chokeslamming the Undertaker right through the ring? I mean, Undertaker’s the one who took the bump. I just didn’t get it.

Hardcore Holly beat the ever living hell out of a Tough Enough contestant, despite all those kids were taught about trusting your “opponent.” Matt reportedly didn’t fight back because of said lessons about trust. Kudos to the guy for sticking to his teaching, and to his classmates for also sticking to their lesson and not running in to try and help. Conversely… What the hell, guys? I don’t care what you’ve been taught or what’s on the line or how “hardcore” the other guy is: your buddy’s getting his face stomped in by a pissed off hick. Get your ass off the apron and start swinging.

And what about the trainers? Snow? DeMott? Anyone? Ever since Tough Enough began I’ve had a soft spot for Al Snow as the grizzled, tough old mentor who cares about “his kids,” and I’ve seen enough emotional season finales to back it up. Not having watched the show, I find it hard to believe that Snow didn’t try and stop Bob Holly. Probably goes back to that trust/respect thing, and not wanting to undermine anyone in front of the students. Still in all, I like to think that Al and Bob threw down in the parking lot after all was said and done. And that Al wiped the floor with him.

This isn’t the first time Holly’s gotten in hot water for stiffing a newbie. It is generally accepted that Brock Lesnar powerbombed Holly on his head a few months back- injuring Holly’s neck and sidelining him for the better part of a year- because Holly threw a few too many potatoes for the Next Big Thing’s liking. Now, mind you, I’m not an advocate of attempting to cripple a guy because he smacks you one in a wrestling ring where getting punched is part of the show, but apparently Holly’s a bit of a tool. Everyone and their dog appears to be pissed off at him. Given his age, his tendency toward injury and now this fiasco, I honestly don’t expect to see Hardcore Holly on my TV anytime soon.

And now, on with the report…

We open with a recap of the Al Wislon death crap from last week, then Dawn Marie- dressed like a cheap skank even in mourning- talks about how miserable she is. Al oved being the center of attention, which is why the wedding and the honeymoon were televised, and that’s why the wake will be televised as well.

Apparently the funeral home is just down the turnpike from the Jersey strip joint where they obviously found Dawn.

The montage rolls, the pyro hits and we are LIVE (on tape) FROM NEW JERSEY… it’s WWE Smackdown for January 16, 2003.

Your masters of ceremonies for this evening’s festivities are award winning journalist Tazz and former ECW Champion Michael Cole. I’m Brendan Johnston, award winning former ECW champion, and I’ll be guiding you through the magical mystery tour that is WWE’s Thursday night programming. We are just 72 hours away, three days, from the Royal Rumble. Later tonight we’ll get Team Angle vs. Chris Benoit and Edge in a handicap match.

Your Smackdown soundtrack for this week is Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising and the self-titled debut album by Tenacious D.

John Cena & B2 vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero: Eddie and Chavo are both in the Rumble, and did a pre-taped segment about how grandma would be upset if one of them eliminated other. Cena’s raps get more and more racist by the week. And B2 playing a giant Fuanki, replacing “Indeed” with “Booyah!”

Lockup to a takedown by Eddie on Cena. Dropkick by Eddie, tag to Chavo, dropkick off an Eddie snapmare for two. Tag Eddie and Chavo backdrop sets up the slingshot swanton. Eddie works him over with the elbows. And gets a side suplex. Wristlock and Chavo tags in, slingshot legdropping the arm. Snap suplex by Chavo but Cena tags out. Drop toehold and backdrop by Chavo. Eddie comes in sans tag and starts kicking B2’s leg out from under his leg. B2 reverses a whip and Cena pulls the top rope down, then slaps Eddie around utside, hits a scoop slam and rolls Eddie in. Falcon Arrow (called a Vertical Bomb by Tazz) gets two for Buchannan, then two for Cena when he tags in. Facelock by Cena. Chavo tags in by hitting Eddie’s foot and Eddie appears to be legit hurt. Snap suplex by Cena gets two, tehn to another facelock. Eddie’s not getting up. Chavo counters a flapjack with aa dropkick and tags Eddie in as B2 tags in. Eddie hits a DDT for two, broken by Cena.Chavo back dody drops B2 out and his a plancha that’s caught by both heels, then Eddie hits another plancha onto all three, hurting himself further. Back in, Chavo gets whipped but B2 telgraphs and gets kicked in the mush. Dropkickand Chavo hits a frog splash to pick up the win.

Winners, and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: Chavo Guerrero and Eddie Guerrero by pinfall(5:00)

After the match, Cena and B2 slug it out, and B2 takes Cena down. Someon ehwo I think its Rikishi charges in but it turns out to be OVW’s Red Dogg. The two former OVWers put B2 into the post, then Red Dogg grabs an armbar and works it on the mats outside. Cena and Red Dogg head up the ramp. Okay, sure. Why not?

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Kurt Angle/Team Angle vs. Chris Benoit over the last few weeks.

Pre-taped interview with Benoit, talking about his family and the sacrifices they’ve made, his injuries, etc. Three days from now, he has the opportunity to make all the sacrifices he and his wife and kids have made mean something. Benoit says that Angle thinks he’s a hundred percent now, but after tonight, he won’t be. Some might call that Ruthless Aggression, but Benoit chuckles and says he’d rather look at it as “Toothless Agression.”

Stephanie comes to the top of the ramp to talk about the Road to Wrestlemania beginning on Sunday, and the return of the Undertaker. Brock and the Big Show are going to face off on Sunday, but they want to get it on in the ring tonight. (Oh GOD! That’s DISGUSTING! Oh, wait, she means they’re gonna fight. Nevermind.) So Steph has made a tag match tonight. A-Train and Big Show vs. Brock and a mystery partner.

Commercial break… Nathan Jones promo

And we’re back.

Tazz talks about Nathan Jones doing ten years for armed robbery, which is of course patently untrue.

Rikishi vs. Bill DeMott: Lockup to the corner, and they fightover it. Rikishi scores with a right, tehn to another lockup. Rikishi hits some more punches and hits a scoop slam for two. Rikishi starts working the arm and grabs an armbar. DeMott punches out and hits a jawbreaker. DeMott chokes Rikishi on the second rope. Armbar by DeMott, Rikishi fights out but spears post and gets rolled up for two. Double Chin Music gets two. Wackiness in the corner sets up the Banzai Drop but DeMott gets up and powerbombs him, then grabs the tight for the win.

Winner: Bill DeMott by pinfall (4:11)

Backstage, Kidman and Funaki make fun of Shannon Moore for being brainwashed, then Matt Hardy “Version One” and Shannon Moore show up and they argue, which leads to a brawl, which’ll probably lead to a match in a bit.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Nunzio (w/Jamie Noble & Nidia) vs. Tajiri: Earlier, Tajiri taped a pormo- in Japanaedse- about winnign the Rumble.

Mat stuff to start. Nunzio getsa ansapmer but Tajiri blocks a hip toss with a rana and hits a heel kick for two. Nunzio hits a cross boud into an armbar, and Tajiri barely makesthe ropes. Nunzio works the arm on the lower rope. Snapmare to another armbar by Nunzio. Tajir grabs the leg but ducks and enzuigir and starts kickin Nunzio’s leg. Nunzio does something that I miss for two. Cross armbreaker by Nunzio and Tajiri makes the ropes again. Some kind of spinning side Gory Special sets up a bridging German for two. Back up, Tajir gets ome kikcs and the handspring elbow, then a kick to the head that Nunzio sells beautifully fro two. Shoulder amr breaker by Nunzio and he whips Tajiri to the corner. Tarantula sets up the Buzzsaw Kick but Noble distracts and gets kicked. Nidia goes to distract by kissing Tajiri but gets a faceful of green mist. Nunizo takes advantage and hits a springboard tornado armbar- called the Arrivederci, apparently- for the win.

Winner: Nunzio by pinfall (4:36)

Highlights of Raw X, then John Cena introduces the world to Red Dogg by way of Tough Enough Josh’s interview.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Dawn Marie walks around the funeral home. Tazz and Cole even do the “Look at Al! Look at Dawn!” Dawn opens the casket and says some heel-ish stuff, then remembers the camera and starts to cry.

Then HHH comes in in a Kane mask, sees Dawn and says, “I’m sorry. I thought this was Katie Vick’s room,” and walks out.

Elsewhere, Steph is on the phone with Shane regarding Bischoff. Brcok Lesnar comes in to make sure that Steph is getting a tag partner worthy of him. Steph assures him she will.

The Big Show (w/Paul Heyman) & A-Train vs. Brock Lesnar and a Mystery Partner: Heyman rants about how Brock’s gonna lose on Sunday. Even if he does get past Show, Heyman’s clients Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas and their friend the A-Train are all in the Rumble as well. Brock comes down and his partner is non other than Rey mysterio.

Brock and Rey hit the ring, Brock F5s A-Train, floats out of the chokeslam and clotheslines Show out. 619 to A-Train and a slingshot body splash finishes.

Winners: Rey Mysterio and Brock Lesnar by pinfall (0:37)

Commercial break

And we’re back.

At the wake, Torrie and Dawn argue over who’s dressed more inappropriately.

Matt Hardy “Version One” (w/Shannon Moore) vs. Funaki (w/WWE Crusierweight Champion Billy Kidman: Funaki attacks to start and stomps a mudhole. Quick Side Effect out of the corner gets two. Scoop slam and elbow drop get two. Matt chokes Funaki on the ropes, then Moore does the same while the ref is distracted, then Hardy hits a rope straddle. Sleeper to neckbreaker gets two. Whip, and Funaki gets a sunset flip for two. Hotshot and swinging backdrop get two for Matt. They’re using a weird angle for some shots on this match. Twist of Fate blocked to the corner. Bulldog and seated dropkick get two.Enzuigiri sets up a reverse tornado DDT fro two. Matt charges and gets drop toeheld out, then Funaki hits a plancha. Back in, Funaki goes up top and hits a cross body but the ref is distracted by Shannon Moore and Billy Kidman going at it on the apron and misses it. Matt hits the Twist of Fate for the win.

Winner: Matt Hardy “Version One” by pinfall (4:16)

Commercial break

And we’re back.

At the wake, Dawn blames Torrie for Al’s death of a broken heart, and slaps her. They fight and knock over the casket. Dante and Randal appear, then realize they’re in the wrong Jersey funeral home, and leave.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Another Nathan Jones promo. Cole and Tazz run down the Rumble card.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin and WWE Champion Kurt Angle vs. Edge & Chris Benoit: We come back from commercial in progress.

Benoit backrops Haas and calls out Angle. Chops, and Benoit puts Haas into the corner for more chops. He jaws at Angle and hits a back body drop and snap suplex Back elbow off a whip and Angle sneaks in with a lowblow. Haas covers for two, then grabs an armbar which Benoit turns into a roll up for two. Snap suplex sets up a double KO. Tag to Edge. Haas Whips Edge and Benjamin trips him up. Tag Angle., who stomps a mudhole. Edge ducks a clothesline and hits a Canadian forearm and a faceplant. Tag Benoit and Angle bails. Benoit follows and runs into a clotheslinfrom Benjamin. Angle stomspaway and hits some mounted punches. Short arm clothesline gets two for Angle. German suplex to Benoit, cheap shot to Edge, by Angle. Ankle lock to Benoit, but he kikcs Angle away and Benjamin tags in. Whip to the corner and Benoit clotheslines Benjmain. Tag to Edge, who’s in with a flying clothesline for two. Angle draws Benoit into the ring so Team Angle can beat on Edge. Haas dumps Edge and Angle clotheslines him. Heelishness by Team Angle whil the ref is distracted by Benoit. Scoop slam and legdrop by Benjamin gets two. The leapfrog/backbreaker by Team Angle gets two for Haas. Bulldog by Haas gets two, broken by Benoit. Tag to Benjamin. Neckbreaker drop gets two. Edge fights out of a chinlock and hits Edge-O-Matic for a double KO. Tag to Haas who breaks up the tag to Benot. Suplex gets two. Team Angle chokes away in the heel corner. Double team elbow by Team Angle. Tag to angle, and Edge mounts his superhero comeback, but runs into an overhead belly to belly. Haas works a neck vise fro a bit and tags Angle. Angle stomps away. Edge clotehsline for another double KO spot., but Angle hits a German. Overhead belly to belly by Edge and tag Benjamin. Tag Benoit, who kills Benjamin dead with elbows. Germans to Team Angle. Benoit coutners a fireman’s carry to a Crossface, then counters Angle’s beltshot to another Crossface. He won’t let go and the ref DQ’s him because Angle’s not legal.

Winners: Kurt Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin by disqualification (15:10)

After the match, Benoit destroys the bad knee with the crutch and Edge hands him the title as Team Angle retreats.

Match Breakdown

John Cena & B2 vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero: Not bad at all. I hope Eddie’s all right. I know nothing about this Red Dogg guy, except he was supposed to have been trained by the Junkyard Dog, who I believe was a Dungeon graduate. I could be wrong.
Rikishi vs. Bill DeMott: Bleah. I’m not terribly fond of either of these guys.
Nunzio vs. Tajiri: Nice little match. Nunzio
s growing on me.
Big Show & A-Train vs. Brock Lesnar and Rey Mysterio: Nice to see Rey back in action. His gear looks a litte uncharacteristically flashy tonight though.
Matt Hardy “Version One” vs. Funaki: Another nice match.
Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin and WWE Champion Kurt Angle vs. Edge & Chris Benoit: Edge gets more exposed as luggage every time they throw him against a rookie or someone whose last name isn’t Angle or Guerrero, and Haas isn’t ready for prime time just yet, but Benjamin has a nice little heel act going. The ending of the match was a necessity, to keep both guys strong going into the title match Sunday.

See you next week. Enjoy the Rumble.


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Brendan Johnston

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