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The SmarKdown Rant – August 7 2003

August 7, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarKdown Rant – August 7 2003

– Quick plug time: Since I was asked so nicely, be sure to check out Ross Williams’ column on the Top 50 US-based wrestlers of 2003, available on 411 right here: http://www.411wrestling.com/wrestling/columns/article.php?columns_id=2111

– Taped from Kelowna, BC.

– Your hosts are Cole & Tazz.

– Opening match: Eddie Guerrero v. Chris Benoit. You know, they could build a major angle out of someone keying Eddie’s lowrider on the way to the ring one of these times. This is non-title, by the way. Lockup to start and Benoit gives him a clean break, and they hit the mat. Benoit grabs a headlock, but Eddie floats over into a facelock and they trade wristlocks. Benoit goes to his own facelock, and takes Eddie over into another wristlock. They go to the test of strength, which Benoit wins easily, but Eddie flips him into a headscissors takedown and chops away in the corner. Well, that’s a mistake, as Benoit shows him how it’s done and Eddie is calling for time. Eddie’s facials are just awesome. He goes to the eyes and pounds away to take over, however, and a back elbow sets up the slingshot senton. That gets two. Eddie grabs a cross armlock, but Benoit blocks it and knees like a madman. Eddie stomps him on the mat to keep him down, and gets the backdrop driver for two. God that move is sick. Eddie goes to an armbar, and slugs away in the corner, but that just annoys Benoit and he fires back. Elbow and backdrop suplex, and a backbreaker gets two. Eddie blocks the german suplex, but Benoit kills him with the powerbomb. He must do that move as much as possible. To the top, but Rhyno runs in and pushes him off. Eddie misses the frog splash, so Benoit takes out Rhyno with a suicide dive. That allows Tajiri to run in and beat the crap out of Eddie for the DQ at 6:57. **1/2 However, Sgt. Slaughter tells them to get back in and do it as a tag match.

– Chris Benoit & Tajiri v. Eddie Guerrero & Rhyno. We join things with Benoit taking Rhyno down with a crossface, but Eddie breaks it up. They head up and Eddie snaps off a rana for two. Benoit baseball slides the knee, however, and makes the hot tag to Tajiri. He handsprings Rhyno and kicks the crap out of Eddie, but Rhyno blindsides him. Tarantula on Rhyno, but Eddie breaks it up and Rhyno takes over with a Sharpshooter on Tajiri, thus annoying the crowd. Benoit breaks it up, but Eddie sneaks in and switches it to a half-crab. Eddie tries a sideslam, but Tajiri reverses to a headscissors. Eddie cuts off a potential tag, however. Beating in the heel corner results. Rhyno slams him and drops a headbutt for two. Guerrero pounds on him, but runs into an elbow and gets backdropped over the top rope. Benoit gets the hot tag and Eddie accidentally frog splashes Rhyno’s leg, taking him out, and that allows Benoit to lock on the crossface for the submission at 7:28. Wow, great to see them giving the entire first 30 minutes to this stuff. More good stuff. **3/4

– Your unintentionally funny promo of the week: The Elimination Chamber commercial hyping Summerslam, declaring the match “the place where careers go to die”. I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments.

– Matt Hardy (Matt Facts: He puts ketchup on one fry at a time, and he’s a better commentator than Michael Cole. Speaking of shoot comments…) joins us for color.

– Zach Gowen v. Nunzio. Well, that OVW stint didn’t last long. Now Nunzio of all people should know to go for the leg. Nunzio takes him down to start and goes for the leg in the corner, and uses a stepover toehold. Matt tells it like it is on commentary, pointing out that he’s been doing this for 10 years, and Zach is a sideshow freak who people feel sorry for. Meanwhile, Zach reverses Nunzio into the ropes, and a downward spiral gets two. Nunzio tosses him, and when Zach slingshots back in, Nunzio clotheslines him for two. He takes him down for two, and hits the chinlock. Zach sets him up on the ropes and moonsaults him for a guillotine, and both are out. Leg lariat gets two. Legdrop gets two. Spinning neckbreaker, but the MFers surround the ring, drawing Zach off the top, and allowing Nunzio to dropkick him for the pin at 3:57. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, although Zach’s weaknesses are getting exposed REALLY fast. *1/2

– Elsewhere, UT verbally chastises Vince for sending A-Train against his own daughter, but someone has attacked Brock backstage! SMELL THE DRAMA!

– John Cena v. Undertaker. Cena has a weak rhyme, putting “Python” with “Tyson” while accusing Taker of being gay, and then threatening to rape him. Talk about your mixed messages. Taker takes him down to start and knees him out of a facelock, then pounds away in the corner. Slam and legdrop get two. He starts working the arm, but Cena hammers him in the corner. He walks into a clothesline, however. UT goes back to the arm and slowly pounds on it, but Cena stops the ropewalk by punching the knee. He pounds away in the corner with elbows, but Taker returns fire. It’s so weird to hear them talking about “ground and pound” and “strong style” with regards to Cena, and both terms totally in the wrong context. Taker comes back and goes to the arm again, and a pair of flying wristlocks follow. Another try at the ropewalk works, which Cole calls a “foolproof gameplan”. Except of course for two minutes ago, when Cena punched him in the knee to stop it. Taker takes him down with an armlock submission, but releases it and slowly slugs him out of the ring. Back in, Cena gets put on top and Taker slowly follows with a slow superslowplex. This match is very slow. We’re at 10 minutes, most of it Taker working on Cena’s arm. Apparently Taker has reinjured the ribs as a result of superplex, however, and we take a break as he yells in pain. So we return with Cena kicking at the ribs. Taker tries to bail, but Cena brings him back in for two. He stays on the ribs and Taker bails again, but catches Cena on a dive and posts him. Back in, he gets two. Cena catches him with a facelock and knees the ribs again, setting up the Throwback for two. Taker comes back with a boot and an elbow for two, however. Snake Eyes follows, but a boot misses and Cena gets the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for two. Cena slugs away on the mat, but Taker reverses and slugs back. He gets a sloppy clothesline and sets up for the Poochiebomb, but Cena escapes and the ref is bumped. Taker chokeslams him for the visual pinfall, and A-Train runs in and attacks. Backbreaker and he puts Cena on top, which gets two. Taker tries a tombstone, but Cena reverses to the FU, which finishes at 21:21. Very slow match that was more about setting up an A-Train-UT feud than putting over Cena. And it definitely didn’t need 20 minutes for Taker to hit Cena’s arm for a while and Cena to hit Taker’s ribs for a while. At least he did a semi-clean job to Cena’s finisher this time. **

– Jamie Noble v. Doug Basham. Goofy reader idea of the week: The Bashams should do the Killer Bees switch deal, but use S&M masks. Doug pounds him in the corner to start, but Noble shoves him off, only to fall victim to a hotshot in the corner. Doug pounds him with crossfaces and slugs away in the corner, and an elbow gets two. Seated dropkick gets two. Basham stomps away, and a backdrop suplex gets two. Doug gets some high knees, but Noble dragon-screws the leg, but gets dumped off a fireman’s carry for two. We hit the chinlock, but Noble suplexes out of it. Noble rolls him up for two. Neckbreaker gets two. The announcers are putting Noble over so I guess he’s a face now. Basham charges and hits boot, and Noble goes up with a flying elbow, but Danny distracts the ref. That allows Doug to come back with a suplex attempt, but Noble reverses for the pin at 4:09. Nothing exciting. * The heel beatdown follows, but Billy Gunn makes the save. Hey, another mix-and-match tag team featuring Billy Gunn as the anchor. How about that. The name is at least obvious this time – Jamie’s Got A Gunn.

– Rey Mysterio v. Charlie Haas. Haas works the mat with a facelock to start, and chokes away, but Rey slugs back and stops to hit Benjamin. That allows Haas to punk him out from behind. Rey’s Rube Goldberg bulldog is blocked with a backbreaker, and Haas stomps away. He whips Rey into the corner a couple of times and stomps him down, allowing Benjamin to add a shot of his own. Haas gets two. Haas hammerlocks the arm, but Rey fights out and dropkicks the knee. Haas catches him in a torture rack, however, and turns it into a backbreaker for two. Haas misses a blind charge and Rey takes him into the turnbuckle and goes up, but Haas knocks him down and slugs away. He misses yet another charge, however, and Rey springboards in and dropkicks Haas on the mat for two. Rey pounds away on the mat and springboards with a high cross for two. Haas comes back, but gets kicked into 619 zone, but Rey misses the West Coast Pop. Haas counters a rana with the Haas of Pain for the submission at 5:02. Haas continues to improve, looking like a regular wrestler doing a regular match instead of a green OVW guy struggling to get over. I think Haas & Benjamin are really gonna sneak up on people and get over as big stars through the back door. **

– Cage match: Brock Lesnar v. Vince McMahon. Kurt Angle is of course YOUR special guest referee. Brock overpowers Vince to start and quickly gets the F5, but suddenly drops him and collapses. Okay then. Kurt is concerned, but Vince insists on going for the pin anyway. Angle won’t count, so Vince gets in his face, which prompts an anklelock from Kurt. But lo and behold, Brock is fine, and he pops up with an F5 on Angle that perhaps a blind and deaf kid who was in the bathroom during the match might not have seen coming. And yes, the beating begins as Brock thankfully goes heel again, which is where he belongs. No match. Boring beating follows for the last five minutes of the show. Just kinda goes on until the show ends.

The Bottom Line:

Well, obvious heel turn aside, I like Brock better as a heel anyway. I’m not gonna complain about the non-finish, because who gives a shit about Vince McMahon anyway? The rest of the show was about the wrestling, and that keeps Smackdown on a hot streak as a result, even if Cena-UT was 10 minutes too long.

And there you have it.

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