March 28, 2003
Smackdown!: Angle levels Lesnar
By DALE PLUMMER -- For SLAM! Wrestling

It's the last stop on the road to Wrestlemania. Smackdown is coming to you from San Jose, California. Before we get into the action, called by Michael Cole and Tazz, I have a question....If The Rock jumped to RAW, why is he still in the Smackdown opening? Just curious that's all.

Match 1: Rey Mysterio & Brian Kendrick vs. Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore

On his way to the ring Matt Hardy's web site reminds us that "Mattitude will make Wrestlemania a success" and "Matt is very humble". Anyway, this is Brain Kendrick's first official match as a paid employee of Smackdown, and does he ever impress. He hits a hurricanrana on Moore, with a little help from Rey. Hendrick and Mysterio are also impressive as team. Hedrick turns a hip toss from Mysterio into a sunset flip getting a two-count on Moore. Hardy eventually gets the tag in and destroys Hendrick. Mysterio breaks-up the pinfall attempt. Hendrick and Mysterio team up again, as Hendrick hits a Tornado DDT off the top rope. It doesn't phase Hardy for long though, as he eventually pins Hendrick for the win. After the match Mysterio knocked down Hardy from behind and then hit Moore with the 619. Hardy recovers quickly though and Mysterio got a taste of the Twist of Fate.

Backstage we see a battered and bruised Hogan arrive with his son and Jimmy Hart! The Mouth of the South!

After the break we see a recap of what happened last week on Smackdown when Hogan was punked by Vince McMahon at the cotract signing. World Wrestling Entertainment is promoting this match as 20 years in the making. There's the problem. I was four when this whole mess started!

Hogan's music hits and he strides down to the ring. After giving the fans what they want, posing and more posing, Hogan cuts a pretty good promo on Vince. "Vince fears Hulkemania" said Hogan, calling Vince a "damn, evil genius" in the process. Hogan also announces that his match with Vince at Wrestlemania is now a street fight. He then vows that this was not his last Smackdown!, as he will win and not be forced retirement. With Hogan returning to the locker room, Tazz wondered if this was Hogan farewell address.

Match 2: Charlie Haas w/ Sheldon Benjamin vs. Eddie Guerro w/ Chavo

The crowd is behind Eddie early in this match-up. Eddie hits a drop kick, but lands on his left shoulder awkwardly. Haas takes advantage working over the injured shoulder of Eddie. The match goes back and forth with many near falls. I don't know if Eddie was legitimately hurt our not, but he was holding his left arm through much of the match. Haas tried to set Eddie up for a slam, but Eddie works through it and reverses it into a roll-up and a victory.

John Cena is stopped backstage and announced that he will be calling out Brock Lesnar later tonight. Cena earns many points in my book by sporting a Philadelphia Phillies throwback jersey. Let's go Phils! Nathan Jones is set to debut next.

After the break, and before Jones' debut, we catch up with Brock Lesnar. He doesn't seem worried about Cena, he's just focused on winning the title from Angle.

Match 3: Nathan Jones vs. Chuck Palumbo

This match never took place. We encounter Jones backstage when the Undertaker approaches him. Jones has a psychotic look on his face. Taker asks him he's ready, Jones just smiles and open the locker room door, to reveal (dun, dun, duun) a laid-out Chuck Palumbo. Jones seems proud of his handywork. Taker and Jones walk away with Taker trying to explain why what Jones did was right, and wrong. On a side note, Nathan Jones really does look like a psycho, so I will refrain from making any jokes about his prison time just to be safe.

We then see a video of Vince training for his upcoming match with Hogan. Now, Vince I understand you own the company, but did you really need to punk Tom Pritchard like that?

We then join Jamie Noble and Nidia backstage. Noble stops and admires a poster of Torrie Wilson from the cover of Playboy. Speaking of which, I didn't even notice that she was in Playboy when I bought it. I picked it up for the 2003 baseball preview. No, really, I did, and if you believe that (insert joke here). Anyway, if Nidia has her way in the next match, Torrie won't be so pretty anymore.

After the break, a package featuring Torrie's Playboy press conference airs. I don't remember much except, Torrie hot and buy magazine. On to the match, but does anyone really care after seeing that?

Match 4: Torrie Wilson vs. Nidia w/ Jamie Noble

This match was actually pretty physical. Torrie kicks a chair back into Nidia's face. Noble tried to interfere. Torrie then hits a neckbreaker and goes for the pin, but once again Noble distracts the ref and Nidia kicks out. Nidia is finished off with a vicious DDT and Torrie get the pin. She doesn't get to celebrate long, as Noble chases her out of the ring after the pin.

A-Train and Big Show run into Nathan Jones backstage and make the joke that I am to scared to utter. I wonder if that will come back to haunt them?

Another Sean O'Haire vignette airs, he says eat whatever you want. Okay, thanks for the advice.

Match 5: A-Train & Big Show vs. Chris Benoit & Rhyno

A-Train is greeted by chants of "Shave your back" from the crowd. Poor Rhyno then has to bear the brunt of A-Train's anger. Benoit tags in followed by Big Show. The Canadian Crippler tries to go technical on Show, by Show is content to just toss the Rabid Wolverine around the ring. A-Train tags back in, only to have Benoit slap an impressive German Suplex on him. Benoit tags in Rhyno, who comes out like a house on fire. He is eventually overpowered by A-train and Show. Nathan Jones makes is way to the ring to seek revenge. He hits Show and A-Train with straight punches, but even this psycho is eventually over powered. Takers runs in and cleans house, saving his student from more punishment. The match ends with Taker and Jones standing tall in the ring.

We cut backstage where Angle is looking for Brock Lesnar. When he finds Lesnar locker room Angle has some words for him. Kurt tells Brock that they are a lot alike. They are champions that are used to winning. Come Sunday, though, Lesnar's life will change forever. Angle tells The Next Big Thing that he is okay if his own career is ended, but he is coming with everything he has. Lesnar replies by telling Angle that he won't jump him before Mania, but that he will lay everything on the line on his way to the title. Lesnar is planning on bringing the pain on Sunday.

More footage of Vince working out, just remember kids don't do steroids.

It's the Miller Lite catfight girls discussing Wrestlemania. I think we all know where this leads.

Match 6: Sheldon Benjamin w/ Charlie Haas vs. Chavo Guerrero w/ Eddie

Hey, it's the other half of tag teams we saw in singles action earlier tonight. The match progressed almost the same way, too. Benjamin focused on the leg of Chavo, hitting him with a variety of submission moves wearing down the leg and knee. Chavo does get in some offence going for a sunset flip. Haas prevented it by holding Benjamin up from the apron. Eddie served up a big side of ringpost to Haas, though, for his trouble. As in the earlier match Chavo wins on a roll-up that came out of nowhere. Los Guerreros celebrate in the ring as Benoit and Rhyno appear at the top of the ramp. Distracted, Los Guerreros get tattooed with the tag team belts courtesy of Team Angle. Benoit and Rhyno make their move then and clean house, standing victorious in the ring, eager to capture those tag team belts Sunday at Wrestlemania.

Main Event: John Cena Vs. Rikishi

Cena jumps Rikishi as the big man enters the ring. Rikishi regains form and throws Cean outside for his trouble. Cena locks in a tough submission move on Rikishi, but can't keep him down. Rikishi gets to his feet and sets Cena up for the Stinkface. Cena gets all cheek, but fights his way out, knocking down the ref in the process. With the ref down, Cena grabs his chain, wraps it around his fist and clocks Rikishi with it. Then in an impressive show of strength Cena lift Rikishi onto his shoulders and hold him there for a good five seconds. Cena finishes the big guy off with a Death Valley Driver and gets the three count.

After the match Cena calls out Lesnar. Lesnar won't bite, so Cena sets off to find him.

As Cena heads backstage we are treated to package featuring Limp Bizkit's upcoming Wrestlemania performance. At least I will have time to use the restroom during the show.

After the break we find Cena backstage. Lesnar has also found and the two go at it. Lesnar seems to have the upper hand until Angle appears from behind and levels Lesnar with a two-by-four. Lesnar is laid out only three days before Wrestlemania. That's the show for tonight as Smackdown ends very abruptly. It's hard being the new guy at SLAM! Wrestling. Have a nice day, I'm out!



CANOE.CA SLAM!