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411’s WWE Smackdown Report 01.23.03

January 23, 2003 | Posted by Brendan Johnston

WWE Smackdown for January 23, 2003, from
Report done exclusively by Brendan Johnston for www.411wrestling.com

Is it me, or does it seem like the Royal Rumble was a long time ago?

Anyway… I enjoyed the PPV for the most part. I even enjoyed the Steiner/HHH match, but not on the level I was supposed to enjoy it. It was more laughing at the double underhook powerbomb that was neither a double underhook nor a powerbomb, or laughing at Triple H botching a neckbreaker into a Diamond Cutter and realizing that that was how he won his first WWF match. (Which I know from borrowing- and never technically returning- Dan’s “The Game” DVD… got to get around to that soon.) On a wrestling level it sucked though.

The Angle/Benoit match was great as always. Call me crazy, but I’d almost like to see these two have a shitty match just to prove they can.

And I liked the Rumble itself. Of course it might have just been the fact that we had a pool at Tom’s, and Tony kept freaking out whenever the guys he’d picked would fight each other, and also kept confusing Eddie and Chavo Guerrero. Also, poor Tom pulled the following guys: Maven, Rosey, Jamal, Rikishi, A-Train. You should all go read his column then e-mail him with your sympathies. pulled HBK, Jericho, Tommy Dreamer (that’s right, Tommy; screw convention; bash that blond Canadian sumbitch’s face in! WOOOO!!!!!!) and a few others. Dan was the big winner, pulling Brock, Goldust, Batista and the Undertaker.

Raw… I’m sorry. I know it was wrong. I know I shouldn’t have done it. But…. I actually cheered for HHH on Monday.

I couldn’t help it! I like Orton! I like Batista! I just like heel beatdowns in general. I’m sorry… I’m sorry…

Teddy Long as a manager. Why not? He did a swell job on the mic. Which reminds me that I still haven’t watched that NWA tape Tom found.

Apparently the lying sack of shit known to the world as “Joe Millionaire” is a former pro wrestler, coming out of the same California territory that produced current WWE talent John Cena, the soon-to-arrive Nathan Jones and wrestling legends (for better or for worse) Sting and the Ultimate Warrior. Also, the annoying guy from The Real World Returns to New York Because There’s No Cool Cities Left, I believe his name is Mike, is training there.

So, how long before Joe Millionaire is brought in as Joey Numbers, managed by Tazz?

Would it be too much to have Sean O’Haire or Nathan Jones come in as babyfaces? Just because I want to see an intelligent babyface for once. Someone who will say, “No, I’m not gonna get in the ring because your friends are gonna come from the crowd and kick my ass” or “Yeah, I see your manager on the apron; I’m gonna pin you anyway.” Is that too much to ask?

Anyway. Report time.

Your Smackdown soundtrack is Bruce Springsteen, Tracks Disc Three and Disc Four. Because sometimes you’re just in a Tracks Three and Four kinda mood.

Yet another new feature this week. The quote from the Body Slams desk calendar for today is Jesse Ventura, about his goal as a pro wrestler: Getting people mad enough to pay to see me get my ass kicked.

Steph and her boobs announce that the Undertaker makes his Smackdown return tonight, and informs us to stay tuned for a big surprise, then leans over the desk just to give us a shot down her shirt. There was no other logical reason for her to do that, I swear.

The montage rolls, the pyro hits and we kick off Smackdown for January 23, 2003. Your hosts for this week are Michael Cole and Tazz, who are already set to star in Kangaroo Jack 2: Jack Goes to Red Hook. Actually, that might be funny in a weird way.

Chris Benoit vs. Charlie Haas (w/Shelton Benjamin): Haas and Benjamin have new “Team Angle” warmup suits.

They circle to start, then lockup to a Benoit armdrag. Lockup again and Benoit grabs a wristlock, which Haas reverses, then to a Benoit leg lock, then to a Haas facelock to a Benoit hammerlock to a Haas hammerlock. Benoit elbows out and armdrags Haas to the corner. Lockup again to a Benoit hammerlock. Drop toehold and Haas works the leg. Benoit grabs a a headlock then an armbar, to another Haas takedown, but Benoit goes to another headlock. Haas shoves him off but get shoulderblocked. Another lockup. Haas gets a hammerlock, reversed to a short arm clothesline by Benoit and Haas bails. Benjamin distracts the ref and Haas puts Benoit’s hand into the steps. Back in, Haas works the arm. Tazz talks about psychology of keepng Benoit away from the Crossface by injuring the arm. Benoit school boys Haas for two but Haas stays on the arm. Benoit screams like a bit of a nancy, actually. I’d expect a roar out of him. Benoit armdrags out of an armbar but Haas kicks him and goes right back to it. Benoit fights out with chops from the good arm but Haas ducks and takes him down into another armbar. Haas covers for two and stays on the arm. Okay, we get it… he’s a technician… get on with on it. Oh, there we go. Benoit finally fights out with elbows to the back and hits a DDT for a double KO. Benoit with a few back elbows and a back body drop. German suplex sets up the Swandive Headbutt but Benjamin distracts the ref. Benoit goes to take care of him, but Haas charges and gets put in a brief Crossface before the arm gives out. Haas hits a belly to belly then goes for a German but Benoit reverses to a roll up for the win.

Winner: Chris Benoit by pinfall (9:00)

Elsewhere, the Undertaker rides his motorcycle into the arena.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Rikishi vs. Bill DeMott: Ah, the rematch like three people demanded to see.

DeMott’s got a cast on from a Dreamer caneshot on Sunday. Rikishi punches in the corner to start. DeMott reverses and thrusts his shoulder a bit. He chokes away and talks some smack. Rikishi puts the bad hand into the turnbuckle, then hits a splash after a cross corner whip. DeMott fights out of an armbar and hits some forearm but Rikishi gets him on the mat and works the arm. Rikishi goes for a butt drop but gets spinebustered after a fashion. Double KO, then Rikishi hits Double Chin Music, then the Banzai Drop onto the bad arm for the win.

Winner: Rikishi by pinfall (4:26)

Nathan Jones promo, and Tazz and Cole talk about what a badass he is. Then we go to the subject of the Undertaker and Steph’s big surprise.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Not Quite Tough Enough Josh asks the Big Show about the Undertaker and Big Show threatens to crush his face. Okay then.

Backstage, Matt Hardy “Version One” instructs Shannon Moore to teach Nunzio a lesson in Mattitude later. Then he asks Nunzio to do the same thing. Nunzio goes into a rant about how he had to keep his nephew in line because he kept shoplifting some deli on Cross Bay Boulevard. I think I know that place. Anyway, Matt gets him to agree to give Shannon a “Mattitude adjustment” and Nunzio says he’s be glad to. Ha ha… playing both sides. Way to be a dick, Matt.

Tony Chimmel teases Steph’s surprise and announces WWE Champion Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio later tonight.

Undertaker gets on his bike and heads to the ring.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

Undertaker rides out to a nice pop. And I think I see a “Grut” sign. Taker on the mic, says it’s been a while. He says he’s not going to talk much, because he thinks there’s too much talking and not enough ass-kicking. He’s been sitting at home for three months thinking of nothing but kicking ass, and here’s tonight with nothing but bad intentions. He rolls the footage of Big Show press-slamming Taker off the stage. Taker says that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Taker invites Show down to get his ass kicked face-to-face. He suggests Show make the walk down the ramp, because if Taker has to go backstage, Show won’t walk out tonight. He says he’s got nothing but time.

“WELL IT’S THE BIG SHOW!!!” Show comes out in civvies, with a mic. Show says he can come down the ramp and put the beating from three months ago to shame. Show says Taker knows that if he walks down the ramp, one of them isn’t coming back up. Just in case the one not coming back up the ramp is him, he’s got what his agent calls a contingency plan. Show takes his jacket off and says he’s sending down someone else to answer his challenge, and calls out the A-Train.

The Undertaker vs. A-Train: The Baldo Bomb is apparently called the De-Railer now.

Side headlock by the Undertaker, and he gets shoulderblocked. A-Train talks some smack and gets slapped. Avalanche and clothesline get two. A-Train tosses ‘Taker around and grabs a bearhug, but Taker slugs his way out and runs into a knee. They slug it out and Taker hits the flying lariat and a big boot for two. A-Train bails but Taker follows and pounds away. Elbow to the throat on the apron, then another. Legdrop on the arpon and Taker finally gets back in the ring. Clothesline in the croner. Cross corner whip and Taker goes old school, then hits a chokeslam, but it only gets two. Wow. Taker signals for the Last Ride but A-Train back body drops out. Taker dodges the big splash but the… ahem… “Derailer” gets two. Taker floats out of a scoop slam and hooks the dragon sleeper (Taking Care of Business) for the win.

Winner: The Undertaker by submission (5:22)

Nice little match, I thought, but I’m biased as all get out.

Commercial Break… My new pet guy Sean O’Haire has another enigmatic spot. He’s not telling you anything you don’t already know.

And we’re back.

Shelton Benjamin (w/Charlie Hass) vs. Edge: Ah, it’s the former golden boy. Poor Edge. Just when he was growing on me he got exposed. Apparently Edge’s theme has been nominate d for a Grammy.

Lockup to a Benjamin waistlock takedown. Front facelock by Benjmain, Edge reverses to a wristlock. Drop toehold and Benjamin works a headlock, then a hammerlock. Edge elbows out and hits a heel kick. Neckbreaker gets two. Bejamin hits a German suplex, then hooks a bow and arrow lock around the ringpost. Far out. Butterfly suplex, then a double leg takedown. Drop toehold and Benjamin goes for a fireman’s carry, reversed to the Edge-O_matic for two. Short arm clothesline gets two. Cross arm camel clutch by Benjamin. Edge fights out and hits a belly to belly suplex for a doubel KO. Canadian forearm and faceplant get two. Flapjack sets up the spear, but Benajmin leapfrogs. It. Edge catches the superkick but Benjamin counters with a spinkick for two. Benjamin floats out of a cross corner whip and jumps right over Edge, but gets speared to put this one away.

Winner: Edge by pinfall (5:38)

Commercial break

And we’re back.

In the locker room, Kurt Angle chews Team Angle out for losing both matches tonight. Kurt’s got one of the warmup jackets on. He says that being a member of Team Angle entails some responsibilities, none of which involve LOSING! Angle vows that Team Angle will not go oh-and-three tonight. No, sir. He syas he’s embarassed and ashamed of both of them.

Shannon Moore vs. Nunzio: No entrances for the cruisers. Good that they’re taken seriously. “ECW” chant for Nunzio.

Cruiserweight stuff to start. Matt’s at ringside. Nunzio counters an attempted headscissors to a faceplant. Nunzio works the arm against the post. Nunzio covers for two and works the arm. Sicilian Slice (FameAsser from the second rope) gets two and Nunzio goes back to the arm. Figure four neck lock by Nunzio and Moore fights out. Whip to the corner and Moore hits a heel kick from the second rope. Moore ducks a clothesline and hits a forearm and heel kick. Flipping neckbreaker by Moore gets two. He hits a corkscrew moonsault but tells Matt he’s going for the Twist of Fate, which Nunzio reverses to the Arrivederci (springboard tornado armbar) for the win.

Winner: Nunzio by pinfall (3:29)

Matt chases Moore off and shakes Nunzio’s hand after the match.

Commercial break

Brock Lesnar gives a pre-taped interview about all he’s accomplished. NCAA champion. Debut after Wrestlemania. Win KotR. Win the Title. Beat the Undertaker. He accomplished all thos ethings, then was betrayed by Paul Heyman. Since then, he developed two more goals. Beat the Big Show. Win the Royal Rumble. Two more goals: to F5 Paul Heyman. Then, to beat Kurt Angle for the WWE Title in the main event at Wrestlemania.

Elsewhere, Rey Mysterio puts his mask on, then Shannon Moore runs in and hides in a crate. Matt comes throught looking for him.

Commerical break

And we’re back.

Rey Mysterio vs. WWE Champion Kurt Angle (w?Paul Heyman): Oh man… I’m suddenly remembering what a bitching pain in the ass it is to recap this guy’s match. I can only assume this is non-title. Cole asks why Heyman doesn’t have a warmup suit.

Lockup and Angle hits a knee to the gut, then gets headscissored. Heel kick by Mysterio. Drop toehold and front dropkick by Rey. Angle counters a rana attempt into a sitoout powerbomb for two. Backdrop gets two. Angle chokes Rey on the ropes and slugs him down. Short arm clothesline by Angle. Angle hits some elbows on the apron. Angle hits a sick German suplex and Rey kicks out despute being legally dead from landing clean on his head. Front facelock to let Rey get his wits back. Rey counters into a suplex. Springboard cross body by Rey and a heel kick. Angle reverses a cross corner whip but Rey gets the boots up and hits a dropkick. Angle tosses Rey over his head onto the ropes and Rey hits a reverse ‘rana, then springboards over the ref to hit a hilo on Angle after he rolls out. Back in, Rey hits a springboard leg drop fro two. Rey misses a split-legged moonsault (RVWho?) and gets ankle locked, then belly to belly suplexed. Angle Slam countered to an arm drag. 619 is caught but Rey hits a spinning bulldog for two. West Coast Pop countered to a hotshot and rollup.

Winner: Kurt Angle by pinfall (7:14)

After the match, Kurt grabs the ankle lock but Edge runs in to make the save. Benoit runs down to exact some vengeance. The faces beat down Angle and Rey hits the 619.

Funaki interviews Steph, who completely blows the surprise, and I’m not going to do the same.

Commercial break

And we’re back.

“VooDoo Child” hits and here’s your Smackdown bombshell folks. The Return of Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Apparently they couldn’t sign the black beard though. HUGE pop for the Hulkster. Hogan looks thrilled to be out there. The crowd pops so long they actually cut to commercial. They’re still cheering when we come back. Hogan points to the mic and asks everyone for one minute. He finally says, “Okay, ‘Maniacs. You are my life. I admit it.” He came her to make one announcement, and that announcement is that he’s signed a brand new contract. Hulk Hogan is back, Jack, and one more time, Hulkamania is gonna run wild, brother! Hogan’s got a lot of unfinished business, and by the looks of things in the back, he’s got a lot of new business to take care of. And this time, he’s gonna do it with each and every one of the Hulkamaniacs. Hulk Hogan and the Hulkamaniacs are gonna march into battle together and fight the forces of evil together. He doesn’t care what it takes, they’re gonna come out victorious. Hogan has to be honest and says it may be their last journey together, and he vows that he won’t let the ‘maniacs down this time, and may this be their greatest hour of all.

“NO CHANCE! THAT’S WHAT YOU GOT!” WWE Chairman Vince McMahon comes down the ramp. He gets in the ring and they stare down. Vince on the mic, says he’s disappointed with Steph’s bombshell. He runs down the Hulkster for a bit, saying it’s not 1985, but 2003. He doesn’t wihs to offend, but suggests that Hulkamania is as dead as Al Wilson. Hogan on the mic, says that sinc ehtis might well be his last comeback, he wants to do things the right way. He says the first WWE Superstar he wants to throw down with is… Vince McMahon. Vince gets all indignant and says he doesn’t answer to Hulk Hogan and the Hulkamaniacs. He doesn’t answer to anyone but Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Hogan lays out Vince to help him make up his mind. He tears the shirt and heards out of the ring. Hogan poses at the top of the ring.

End of show. See you next week.


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Brendan Johnston

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