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The SmarK Rant For WWE Judgment Day 2003

May 19, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK Rant for Judgment Day 2003

– Live from Charlotte, NC.

– Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz.

– A word on the rating system before we begin – as you probably know by now, there are bad shows and then there are BAD SHOWS. When my Shitty Wrestling Sense starts tingling, I only have one way to adequately express my disgust with the product being presented, and that’s to torture the people responsible. So with that in mind, I present the return of the world-famous HOT POKER UP THE ASS RATING SYSTEM. Here’s how it works: In addition to the standard star ratings, I’ll also assign a given amount of flaming pokers up the ass of Stephanie McMahon (since she’s marrying HHH and should be used to having things shoved up her ass by now) for every match, segment, or interview that annoys me. More annoyance equals more pokers. Let’s demonstrate…

– Opening interview: Steve Austin announces that it’ll be a great show and he’ll be watching from the cheap seats with the fans. However, he ends up in a skybox. We’ll give Big Steph 5 hot pokers for starting a PPV with an interview, and then another 2 for lying to the fans.

– John Cena, Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli v. Chris Benoit, Rhyno & Spanky. The Spankster hits the FBI with a dive to start, and he slugs it out with Cena in the ring. Cena pounds him down, but gets hit with an enzuigiri. The FBI do some quick double-teaming and the heels work him over in the corner, as Palumbo goes to a bearhug. I hate that move, so 2 more hot pokers for Steph on general principles. He does it again, so she gets another 2. Spanky fights out, but gets short-armed. He fights out of the corner and makes the hot (?) tag to Benoit, who suplexes everyone and goes up for the flying headbutt on Palumbo. Nunzio tries a run-in and gets gored, as Spanky tags in with a missile dropkick on Cena. Sliced Bread #2 is blocked by Palumbo, and the Kiss of Death finishes him at 3:55. That’s it? 4 minutes for a PPV opener with 6 guys? They could have pounded on Spanky for 10 minutes, minimum. 10 hot pokers for every minute they should have added. Plus another 5 for wasting Benoit, Cena & Spanky in this manner. ѕ*

– Meanwhile, in the skybox, Bischoff and Austin face off over refreshments. Everything is 50/50, so Austin offers him his hot dog.

– Test & Scott Steiner v. La Resistance. I don’t know how JR can make fun of La Resistance for wearing berets when Steiner wears CHAIN MAIL to the ring. Test starts with Dupree and they slug it out, which Test wins. Test stomps a mudhole and backdrops him, and Steiner comes in for some pounding of his own. The clothesline and elbowdrop beget pushups, but a cheapshot from the French turns the tide, as Steiner ends up on the floor. Back in, Grenier gets a suplex for two and hits the chinlock. Steiner charges and hits boot, and Grenier comes out of the corner with a clothesline for two. Dupree comes off the top with whatever and gets caught with a suplex, in a sloppy spot. Steiner makes the hot tag to Test, who uses the Kane School of Tag Team Offense to control things. Things get really sloppy as La Resistance misses a cue for a pinfall attempt, and then Test steals a beret while Grenier hides behind the ref. The Flair Pin gets two. How could the ref possibly not see his feet on the ropes in that position? Steiner gets a bad suplex on Dupree and Test pumphandles Grenier, but Stacy is now distracting the ref. Test takes a lame bump into her, and she takes a lame bump to the arms of Steiner, and Test gets rolled up for two. Steiner comes back in again with something resembling a Flatliner, and Test boots him by mistake and then hits the post gently while The Evil French finish Steiner with Le Jacques de Flappe at 6:21. Test & Steiner again fail to split up. Match started watchable and then fell apart as it was overbooked all to hell and ended up worse than the six-man on RAW that set this up. Ѕ* 4 hot pokers for Steph for not pulling the trigger on this breakup yet, another 3 for engaging in mindless jingo against the French.

– Meanwhile, Ace Reporter Gregory Helms meets up with Mr. America, as they may have discovered each others’ secret identity. Way to give that rub, Hulk.

– Smackdown tag titles: Team Angle v. Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri. Big brawl to start, and Eddie gets sent into the ladder by Benjamin while Tajiri hits Haas with a spinkick. The champs double-team him and choke him out, as Eddie returns to the ring. He gets hit with a double-team gutbuster, however, and Team Angle retrieves a ladder from under the ring. Tajiri tries to hit Haas with a pescado and nearly breaks his neck on the way down. Weird bit: Cole mentions that Eddie is the only one who’s been in a ladder match before, and it was against RVD. That’s weird because it was on RAW, and Eddie had ANOTHER ladder match, against Edge, later that year on Smackdown. You’d think they’d put over their own brand. Team Angle tries to climb, but Tajiri uses a handspring to knock them over, and Haas gets a ladder wedged into his crotch. They sandwich him between two ladders and Tajiri slingshots Eddie onto the ladders. Tajiri climbs and gets rudely yanked off by Benjamin. Benjamin then goes up and gets dropkicked off by Eddie. Benjamin gets revenge by powerslamming him into the ladder. Team Angle puts Tajiri onto another ladder against the ropes, as Benjamin comes off the main ladder with a rather nastier version of the leapfrog choke. Haas climbs, but Eddie sends him to the floor. He gets whipped into the ladder by Benjamin, and Tajiri does a couple of sloppy kicks into the ladder, and then opts for a pair of straight kicks instead. Good idea. He spears them with the ladder and knocks them down and out, and then weakly baseball slides the ladder into Benjamin. Tarantula for Haas, which Benjamin interrupts with the ladder. That leaves Eddie alone, so Team Angle goes to work on him, but Eddie monkey-flips Benjamin out of the corner and into the ladder. It sounds better than it looks. Eddie tosses Haas and climbs, but again gets interrupted by Team Angle. Haas follows him up, but Eddie knocks him off and then comes down onto Benjamin with a frog splash from the ladder. Haas takes advantage and climbs up again, but Eddie slugs him away from the belts and sunset bombs him off the ladder. Eddie climbs up again, but now Benjamin tries to stop him again, but Tajiri makes his return, mists Benjamin, and Eddie & Tajiri (after some anticlimactic struggling with the buckles) claim the titles at 14:21. No hot pokers needed, although putting Team Angle in this kind of match is counterintuitive to getting them over and the result was a lot of nerves on their part. The match itself, while good, was largely the same stuff we’ve seen more times than I can count and ended up feeling like a few feature spots with a lot of standing around. ***

– Meanwhile, Bischoff keeps eating and drinking. He drinks like a wuss, of course. 5 hot pokers for drinking Lite Beer and acting like it’s cool.

– Meanwhile, Roddy Piper and Jericho have a rambling confrontation that means nothing and gets no one over.

– Intercontinental battle royale. We’ve got Val Venis (3 hot pokers, one for every time they’ve resurrected this lame gimmick), Chris Jericho, Goldust, Lance Storm, Rob Van Dam, Kane, Christian, Test (2 hot pokers, one for each match I have to watch Test in) and Booker T. 8 hot pokers (one for each former champion in the match) for putting Booker T in, despite him not being a former champion. RVD & Kane slug it out to start and then everyone charges Kane and tries to put him out. He fights them all off and tosses Storm, however. They all go after him again and this time succeed, but he comes back in and chokeslams everyone. 7 hot pokers, one for every attack, for poor sportsmanship. Test gets tossed. Val gets tossed. Rob gets tossed, leaving Booker & Goldust v. Christian & Jericho. Why not just start with those four in the first place and do a mini-tournament, since that whole opening bit was only 2:23? Why not have Kane & RVD defend the tag belts instead? Why am I asking rhetorical questions like I’m Dave Scherer all of a sudden? The heels do some choking and work over Goldust, but he comes back with a double-bulldog and they set up the heels for a double Shattered Nuts. Booker stops to Spinaroonie, but Goldust turns on him and tries to put him out, only to fall prey to irony and end up on the floor. It’s all good between them, though. So it’s Booker left 2-on-1 with Vitamin C, and they double-suplex him. Jericho slugs him down and goes for the Lionsault after some extended double-teaming that goes nowhere and takes 5 minutes to get there, and Christian takes the moment when Jericho is perched on the second rope to push Jericho out. That’s just about the wittiest bit of booking I’ve seen in months, no sarcasm. So we’re down to Christian and Booker T, as Booker starts haterizing on him. Booker dodges a kick, and the ref somehow gets bumped. In a BATTLE ROYALE. Christian is tossed cleanly and Booker is the new champion, but the ref is out. Christian KOs Booker with the belt, and then muscles him out, in front of the recovering referee, and wins the title at 11:48. 500 hot pokers for booking a Dusty Finish in the FRIGGIN’ 21ST CENTURY. The rationale, I’m sure, is that they’re booking so that Booker can get the hometown pop for winning the title next month, but then the rationale for booking a racist heel leading up to Wrestlemania was so that Booker could avenge himself and win the title, and I don’t see him with that belt, either. So now we have two titles on RAW that fans perceive as illegitimately obtained. I don’t rate battle royales, but this was worse than most.

– Bikini Contest: Sable v. Torrie. As advertised, it’s a bikini contest, just like you see on a weekly basis on Smackdown. Sable clearly outclassed Torrie, however, and won based on fan response. 10 hot pokers for wasting PPV time with this stuff. Another 35 hot pokers for Torrie’s pathetic “lesbian kiss” afterwards with Sable – one for every dollar of the $34.95 price tag — show me some TONGUE, ladies.

– Mr. America v. Roddy Piper. Zach Gowan is in Hogan’s corner. You know, in a lot of ways it’s appropriate that my new book about the 2001-2003 WWE, “One Ring Circus”, is going to be titled like it is, because when you’ve got one-legged wrestlers and senior citizens wrestling while Sean O’Haire sits in the corner, you’re only a stone’s throw away from becoming a full-fledged freakshow anyway. Piper & O’Haire attack Hogan to start, allowing him to lay on the mat and twitch in place of selling. He immediately fights back and rams Piper into the turnbuckles a few times and pounds away. More punches, but Sean pulls him out, only to get dominated by Hogan. 20 hot pokers for making your hot new heel sell for a senile old man. Piper gets the weightlifting belts and starts laying in the leather, but Hogan’s already-leathery skin repels the belt’s force and allows him to no-sell. O’Haire turns the tide with a cheapshot and Piper gets a MAIN EVENT SLEEPER, barely even making contact with his arms. Hogan breaks free of Piper’s…uh…10 inch pythons and makes the comeback with (you guessed it) punches and a big boot, and Vince McMahon joins us. Piper goes low (which Hogan barely sells) and O’Haire runs in with a pipe, but it misses and the BIG FAT STINKY WART-INFESTED GIANT-KILLING LEGDROP OF DOOM finishes at 4:43. I’d say “at least it was short” but I think an obscure version of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity applies here and turns the 5 minutes into the equivalent of traveling to another galaxy in a slow-moving rocket while watching the same match for 3000 years on auto-repeat. There may be scientific precedent behind this phenomena, I’m not sure. I’m willing to accept government money to research Giant Gonzales matches, however. Anyway, 1985 hot pokers, in recognition of the last time this particular matchup was actually watchable. -**

– Speaking of Steph, she has one of those “wink wink” moments with HHH backstage, as she tells him to be careful against Nash. Yeah, wouldn’t want him to tear a quad or anything. 10 hot pokers for bringing up an on-screen relationship that died more than a year ago and won’t lead to anything.

– RAW World title: HHH v. Kevin Nash. Here’s WCW logic for you: They advertise Shawn Michaels & Ric Flair for weeks as being in the corners of the competitors, but they don’t want them out there because their presence would overshadow that of the people in the ring. So everyone gets their own entrances, at which point Flair & Michaels brawl to the back with each other and disappear. It just amuses me to no end when Vince makes sure to bilk the paying customer out of any little bit of satisfaction he might get from a match, just so that HHH won’t be offended. HHH is wearing his manly purple tights and matching boots, so I guess Stephanie is dressing him now. Nash elbows him down to start and uses the devastating knees in the corner and a backdrop. HHH is so overcome by pain that he rolls out of the ring, but Nash follows and introduces him to the post. Back in, big boot and a DEVASTATING bodyslam set up another elbow. And another! AND ANOTHER! He’s a heartless monster! He’ll kill him! HHH goes to the eyes to gain a moment, and then shoves down the ref. But it’s HHH, so he’s not DQ’d. Nash keeps up the onslaught, however, but falls prey to a neckbreaker, thus slowing the frantic pace set by both guys. Whew, I was having trouble keeping up with the transcript. HHH returns fire with punches, but gets clotheslined. Nash goes back to the punching again, and shoves the ref. We’ve had two ref bumps and Hebner won’t go down, thus showing that no one is going to sell anything here. Earl PULLS KEV’S HAIR in retaliation. If there’s anything that can motivate violence in Nash, it’s messing up his hair. HHH bumps the ref again as this turns more into a self-parody by the minute, and goes low on Nash. Just steal his conditioner, same thing. HHH undoes the turnbuckle (he’s the best wrestler in the world according to Ric Flair. Just reminding you), but Nash makes the comeback with a sideslam. That move is so midcard RAW now. Another big boot as Nash cycles through the moveset and comes around to the start again, and the ref gets bumped a fourth time as HHH sends Nash into the steel and Pedigrees him for two. At this point I would have taken HHH getting the pin there. Nash, of course, gets to be the first guy to kick out of the Pedigree, just to make sure that it means nothing if Goldberg ever does it. Nash backdrops him out to block another Pedigree, but HHH grabs his trusty sledgehammer, and the ref gets bumped with it, for the fifth time, and that’s finally a DQ at 7:44, for whatever arbitrary reason. We’ll do this mathematically: (Number of ref bumps) x (Number of times Nash touched his hair in lieu of a transition move) x (Number of stars better that the match would be had the managers wrestled instead of the wrestlers) x (Months of boring HHH title reign thus far) x (Knee or leg surgeries that Nash has gone through) = Hot pokers for the match. So by my count, that’s 5 x 5 x. 4 x. 9 x. 15 (at last count, I believe) for a whopping total of 13500 hot pokers up the shitter of HHH’s blushing bride. Better get her some Preparation H for a wedding present. DUD Don’t you love when they book PPV finishes to build for another PPV instead of giving a finish to the people who paid to see one? Who says they didn’t learn anything from WCW?

– Meanwhile, Austin tricks Bischoff into eating Jalapeno peppers, and he pukes. The only thing missing was the hose up the sleeve like on SNL. 3 hot pokers (one for each showing of the barf) x 100 for my mental anguish = 300 hot pokers for wasting time with this payoff.

– Women’s title match: Jazz v. Jackie v. Trish Stratus v. Victoria. Jackie starts with Trish as they do a laughable wrestling sequence, but the heels take them out. Jackie gets a suplex on Jazz for two, but Victoria goes after her. The sideslam gets two, but Jazz breaks it up and chickenwings her, and Jackie. Trish makes her return and slugs away, and a clothesline gets two. Jazz catches her with the STF, and Jackie gets a half-crab on Victoria. Trish makes the ropes, so Jazz breaks it up and puts another STF on Victoria. Trish breaks that up. Victoria & Jackie leave Trish & Jazz alone, and they slug it out. Trish works in her Matrix dodge and kicks Jazz down for two. That’s actually an interesting way to advance the sport. Trish gets the rana on both heels, but gets dumped trying the bulldog. Victoria can’t finish Jackie, so Jazz DDTs Jackie and gets the pin at 4:47. Just a big mess from the same four girls they’ve been using in the women’s division for months now. ѕ* 2 hot pokers for Jazz haterizing on another sista.

– Smackdown World title: Brock Lesnar v. Big Show. 17 hot pokers for Cole hammering home that incorrect date of the last stretcher match. Lesnar hammers on Show with the stretcher and sends him to the floor, but Show headbutts him and then sets up the board against the post before getting sent into it by Brock. Now, wouldn’t it hurt more just to ram the guy into the post directly? Brock rams the proper stretcher into him, but Show uses the plastic board to put him down again. Tazz notes that it’s ironic that both Andre and Big Show are giants. Actually, that’s noteworthy, not ironic. 5 hot pokers for abusing the language. Show chokeslams him and uses the BIG FAT STINKY WART-INFESTED GIANT LEGDROP, and then stops to rearrange furniture outside. He puts Brock onto a stretcher, but can’t get him over the yellow line. He opts to clothesline him off the stretcher instead. Cole helpfully points out that Brock rolling over the line doesn’t count. 2 hot pokers for stating the obvious. They slug it out as Cole notes that Show has made a career out of putting people on stretchers. Well, then Nathan Jones should be a natural at this match. Brock comes back and chokes him out with the camera cable, but sadly the feed doesn’t disappear and I’m forced to continue watching this PPV. He waits until Show is catatonic and motionless, but no one is able to tell the difference between that and his usual workrate. Brock puts him on the stretcher, but Show clings to the cable and thus can’t be rolled off. Cole properly works “ironic” into a sentence, so I can retract the previous pokers. Although they’ve used “ironic” twice in this match without once pointing out the irony of using medical instruments to inflict injury, so I’m retracting my retraction. They collide and both are out on the floor. I fear that I’m going into anaphylactic shock, but it’s just the boredom of the match. Brock sends another stretcher into him, and they play tug-of-war with it. Next month: Thumb wrestling! Show tosses the stretcher down for no reason, and the crowd goes “ooooo”. Doesn’t take much to impress you guys in Charlotte, does it? Brock gets sent into the post and Show finds another backboard for some damage, but Brock knocks him off the apron and onto the stretcher. There’s your finish in a non-Russo world, but Show falls off and thus the match continues. Brock takes a powder while Show takes a breather, and Rey does a run-in and gets killed. 619 hot pokers for wasting Rey in this match when he could have faced Matt Hardy. Brock then returns, driving a forklift, and dives in onto Show, showing more fire than in the last three months combined. He beats the shit out of Show, and kills him with a suplex and shitty F5, then puts him on the forklift and drives him over the line to win the match at 15:27. When you’re so fat that the storyline of the match depends on you being hauled away like one of those 1000 pound freaks who live in their bedroom and wash themselves with a rag on a stick, it’s time to reconsider your dignity and lack thereof. It was a creative finish in a match that didn’t need one. I wouldn’t call it “good”, but the last couple of minutes were entertaining, as opposed to the first 10 which were like a do-it-yourself root canal kit. **1/4

The Bottom Line: With a grand total of 17041 flaming rods of metal jammed up her most delicate of orifices, Stephanie will be dipping into Daddy’s health care plan for a while, I guess.

You’d think after weeks of crappy Smackdowns and RAWs that putting on a 3-hour version of essentially the same show wouldn’t be the greatest idea, but then you come to expect a certain level of ineptitude with these guys after a while.

Backlash was bad, this was worse, and things are only looking down from here.

Thumbs way down for one of the worst PPVs in company history.

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