wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarKdown Rant – September 18 2003

September 19, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarKdown Rant – September 18, 2003

– Taped from Raleigh, NC.

– Your hosts are Cole & Tazz.

– Opening match: Rey Mysterio & Chris Benoit v. Rhyno & Tajiri. Benoit overpowers Tajiri to start and chops away, but gets caught in the Tarantula. Rhyno sneaks in with a spinebuster for two. Rhyno whips Benoit around, but gets caught with a cross-body and a backdrop suplex for two. Rey comes in and Rhyno runs into an elbow, and Rey moonsaults him. Tornado DDT gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Rey escapes a powerbomb, and Tajiri mists Rhyno by accident, allowing Benoit to fire off the germans, into a 619 from Rey while holding the move, and one final german. Another 619 for Rhyno and Rey Drops the dime for the pin at 3:15. Well that was ridiculously short, but understandably so. *1/2

– Shaniqua v. Torrie & Nidia. The faces attack her on the outside to start and Nidia chops away, but gets powerslammed for two. Shaniqua lays out Torrie and gets two again on Nidia. She pounds both of them and slams Torrie on Nidia, and then tosses her and disposes of Nidia with a powerbomb at 1:33. Mercifully short. DUD

– Elsewhere, the Vince McMahon clan tries to get Steph to quit. I still don’t get why Vince can’t just fire her – he hired her in the first place!

– Review of the Brock-Angle feud.

– Smackdown tag titles: The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team v. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero. But first, a word from John Cena, as he promises to win the US title next week on behalf of American thugs everywhere. Eddie takes Benjamin to the mat to start, and Chavo comes in and forearms him down. Double-team elbow, but Eddie gets caught in the heel corner and stomped down. Haas whips him into the corner, but Eddie fights out of the corner with an overhead suplex on Benjamin. Chavo gets a monkey-flip on Benjamin and takes him down with a headscissors that puts him on the floor, and Los Guerreros follow them out with stereo pescados. And we take a break. Back with Eddie choking Haas out in the corner with the tag rope and thumbing the eye. Now that’s a pro. Chavo slingshots in with a knee to the back, and a seated dropkick for two. Chavo gets caught in the wrong corner, but brings Benjamin back to his own corner for some abuse. Eddie tries a backdrop suplex, which is reversed for two. Eddie rolls him up for two, and they clothesline each other. Tags abound and Chavo gets superkicked, making him YOUR face in peril. Haas forearms him down and a northern lights suplex gets two. Benjamin hammerlocks him and Haas takes him down by the arm, but Chavo keeps fighting back. Benjamin cuts off the tag, drawing the ref over, and thus we get the false tag. Chavo escapes a double-team and dropkicks Haas, however, and makes the hot tag to Eddie. Clotheslines for everyone! Backdrop for Haas, rolling verticals for Benjamin. Haas breaks it up with a german suplex, however, and gets two. They try the double-team superkick and Benjamin hits Haas in the back of the head (and he went DOWN) so Eddie takes Benjamin out with the ropewalk headscissors and goes up. Benjamin follows him up, but gets knocked off. Eddie goes for Haas and misses, but dumps him. Haas grabs some chairs and Benjamin takes a swing with one of them, but Chavo clips him out of nowhere and he seems to be in pain. The Guerreros go after Haas alone and spike him with a double-backdrop (no wonder the poor guy has a concussion), and finish with a suplex into the frog splash at 13:37 to give them the titles back. That was UGLY and I think it might have affected the planned finish. Good match, though. ***1/4

– At this point, I’m forced to break off my rant of the show, because it’s DEF LEPPARD time. About 5000 packed like sardines into the Shaw Conference center for a general admission show, but it was absolutely one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen. I also saw them in (I think) 1987 when I was about 13, but an additional 15 years of musicianship and the addition of Vivian Campbell have left them a much better live band. I’m getting sick of this mosh pit setup shows, though – while this was a fairly well-behaved crowd, a few assholes aside, last week’s Poison/Vince Neil show was a NIGHTMARE, with drunken twits shoving people in WHEELCHAIRS around to squash up closer to the stage while their drunken skank girlfriends spilled beer on people. Foo Fighters, last month, was a bit more mellow, if only because 70% of the audience was too stoned to put up a fight, but I’d really prefer some of these acts start going back to the Coliseum, or even the Agricom, where at least you have the OPTION of getting a seat.

– Okay, back to the show, a day later.

– Smackdown World title, Iron Man match: Kurt Angle v. Brock Lesnar. Brock attacks to start and stomps away in the corner, and spikes him in the other corner. Hiptoss out of the corner and Brock keeps stomping, cutting off a comeback. He charges and hits elbow and Angle tries to knock him down with clotheslines, but no go, so he clips him and gets an overhead suplex, and Brock takes a powder. Back in, he stalls and tries a cheapshot, but Angle armdrags him right out of the ring again. Brock takes out his anger on the stairs and stalls, annoying the crowd. Brock finally gets back in, and Angle goes for the leg, so Brock ducks out again. Back in, Brock sneaks in with a cheapshot and chokes away. Angle gets another overhead suplex and dumps Brock again, however. Angle follows and brawls with him, which proves to be a mistake, as Brock kicks his ass and rams his back into the post. Brock grabs a chair and wallops Angle for the first fall, and then destroys him to put Angle up 1-0. There’s a 15 second rest period, and Brock goes back to the attack. The deal with the chair is less intelligent here than in Rock-HHH, because now you have to lay off for 15 seconds before continuing the assault. Regardless, Angle is dead weight and an F5 evens the score at 1-1. Brock keeps attacking and gets an anklelock, and Angle taps to his own move to make it 2-1 for Brock. And we take a break. Back at the 44:00 mark, and during the break Brock hit an Angle Slam and got a two-count. Back to live, and Brock is pounding Angle in the corner, but misses a charge. Angle fights back with the rolling germans, but Brock leverages him out of the ring. They brawl out there and Brock gets an F5 on the floor. That’s good enough for a countout to make it 3-1 Brock with 40:00 left. And we take another break. We’re back, and Brock elbows Angle out of the ring and drops an elbow for two. Angle comes back with an Angle Slam out of nowhere for the pin to make it 3-2 at 34:00 or so. Angle slugs him down and gets a vertical suplex for two. Angle keeps stomping him, but Brock hammers back, only to get suckered into a german suplex. Another Angle Slam is countered, but so is the F5, and Angle gets the anklelock in the middle of the ring, but the ref is bumped by Lesnar. Angle gets nothing, and Brock goes low on him. He grabs the title, lays out Angle, and tosses the ref into place for the pin at 30:00 to make it 4-2. And we take another break. Back with 25:00 to go, and they brawl outside, as Brock gets whipped into the stairs. Angle follows with a double axehandle to the floor, and back in he gets two. Back up, and he gets a missile dropkick for two. Holy crap, he hasn’t done that since 2000 in a match against Bob Holly. Or was it Benoit? Probably Benoit. Anglesault, but it misses by quite a lot. He tries a rollup but only gets two, and Brock levels him with a clothesline. Overhead suplex gets two. Angle comes back with another anklelock, but Brock reverses and dumps him. Brock sends him into the steps and gets two. Brock decides to grabs the stairs again, but Angle dropkicks them in his face. Back in, Angle gets a quick two, and works the count. Angle stomps away in the corner and shoulderblocks him down for two, as we take our last break. We return with Brock superplexing Angle during the break, for the 5-2 lead with 18:00 or so left. Back to live, 14:00 left, and Brock bounces Angle’s head off the table, but Angle bounces his head off the post and F5’s Brock’s knee into the post. Back in, Brock’s in pain, so Angle gets a half-crab on the knee. Brock won’t tap, so Angle switches to an anklelock. He should use a kneebar or a heel hook, ideally. Brock fights him off and catches him with another F5 while Angle wasn’t paying attention, but the knee is too hurt and he only gets two. Brock goes up, slowly, like Tito Santana in that match where he lost the tag titles to the Samoans in the late 70s, and Angle pops up with the superplex for the pin with 10:00 left to make it 5-3. Angle slugs away in the corner on an exhausted Lesnar, and gets a snap suplex, pulls the straps up, and then pulls them back down again to fire himself up. Angle Slam is escaped and Brock reverses to a DDT for two. Angle keeps fighting, but Brock gets a release german, just trying to hold off Angle. Another release german spends more time. Good strategy. A third one burns valuable time for Angle. That’s really smart, because it’s a high-impact move that takes time to recover from and also hurts you long-term. Another suplex is reversed to one from Angle, but Angle is still burned out from the previous suplexes. He gets another one, but is too slow to capitalize properly. Brock reverses, but Angle reverses to the anklelock and Brock has nowhere to go. If ever there was a time to just hang on and bear the pain, it’s now. They do the thing with making the ropes and pulling him back, and Brock taps with 4:00 left. Well, he’s a pussy, I guess. So it’s 5-4 for Brock with time running out. Back to the anklelock, but Brock breaks it with a leverage move. Angle takes him down with an STF with 2:40 left, and that’s not smart – that’s more of a long-term weardown move setting up something later. All it does is waste 30 seconds, bringing it to 2:00 left with no damage done, and Brock smartly runs. Angle tries an anklelock outside, but that’s a waste of time. Back in, 1:30 left, and Lesnar smartly runs away again. You can’t argue with that. Back in, Angle gets the rolling germans, but there’s only 1:00 left and Angle is the one at the disadvantage, so that’s not smart. Again, those are long-term impact moves to slow a guy down, not get a quick fall. 30 seconds left and Brock goes low to slow down Angle, but Angle grabs the heel hook, and Brock hangs on until time expires and regains the title 5 falls to 4. Angle has no one to blame but himself – Brock wrestled a smarter match and won it clean as a sheet. He even spotted Angle a fall! The match itself, though, wasn’t that great, sorry. The commercial breaks were just too annoying, and hopefully a DVD version will come out and give me a better judge of the match, but really we only saw about 45 minutes of the match. While Brock was smart near the end, the psychology was just all over the place for most of the match, with Brock injuring his knee and then Angle doing an anklelock on the other leg. The last 30 minutes were tremendous, Match of the Year quality stuff, but the first 30, with much of it spent by Brock outside the ring, were not, and it drags down the overall rating a lot. Look at matches like Flair v. Steamboat from Clash VI, or even Rock-HHH from 2000, and they maintain the pace for the whole match. It was really, really good, but it wasn’t even the best Angle match this year – that’s still Angle v. Benoit. I liked it a lot, it was a fantastic TV match, but this isn’t the kind of match that lends itself well to TV, and it’s not a Match of the Year candidate. ****1/4 I give them all the props in the world for going out and doing a 60-minute Broadway with injuries and short-attention span fans, though.

The Bottom Line: Smackdown regains the “best wrestling show of the week” crown from TNA this week, but with Dutch Mantell taking over as booker down south, the battle should be renewed again next week.

This was all wrestling, no bullshit, though, and that’s what I want.


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