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   Fri, June 20, 2003



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Smackdown!: U.S. tourney begins
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


Smackdown! comes to us from  the SBC Center in San Antonio, Texas. Maybe some of the championship mojo from the Spurs NBA title run will rub off on the WWE. It doesn't look to promising as we are treated to last week's main event, Brock Lesnar versus the Big Show for the WWE Title, in what Michael Cole and Tazz are calling "Unfinished Business".

Match #1 - Undertaker vs. Nunzio w/ The FBI

If I've learned one thing since I started writing this column is that any one-on-one match with an FBI member is an unofficial handicapped match. I'll call it "The Goomba Theory".  The Goomba Theory states where there is one Full Blooded Italian; there will always be two right behind him. Therefore no match is truly ever one-on-one, no matter what the ring announcer says. And my theory hold true once again tonight as ėTaker faces Nunzio, with Johnny "The Bull" and Chuck Palumbo.  Nunzio runs from the dead man during most of this match. Stamboli and Palumbo distract Undertaker allowing Nunzio to get in some offense, but in the end ėTaker is too much for the runt of the FBI. Nunzio goes for the last ride, but not before he says his prayers! After the pin, the rest of the FBI hit the ring and Undertaker is overpowered by a low blow. Things look bad for the dead man, but the APA make the save! Yes, the APA, and Bradshaw had a makeover, sporting short, blonder hair. Michael Cole had to actually call out his name for me to recognize him.

Winner via pinfall: Undertaker

  Backstage Zach Gowen is looking for Stephanie McMahon's office. Spanky and Bill Demott offer their condolences on Zach loss to Mr. McMahon in the arm wrestling contest, before sending the young man on his way. Zach finds the office, but Sable greets him there instead of the Smackdown! GM. Sable wants to know is Zach is afraid of being with a real woman. He doesn't seem scared as they both enter the office. I'd be careful, rumor has it that Sable is single again and she's old.

Match #2 - Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno

Benoit and Rhyno must of think that they are tagging tonight, because they look awfully confused when Steph comes to the top of the ramp and informs them otherwise. They will be facing each other in the first round of a tournament for the U.S. title belt. Um, Steph, can we see the rest of the brackets, please? A "Go, Spurs, Go!" chant breaks out mid-match, causing Tazz to go off on basketball. I'll just jump ahead in the match here, since once again the WWE has gone to commercial in the middle of a match, which has been pre-taped! Benoit sidesteps a Gore attempt, but cannot hit the rolling German suplexes, as Rhyno grabs the ropes. After another missed Gore by Rhyno, Benoit locks in the Crippler Cross Face and Rhyno taps out. After the match Rhyno pushes Benoit away when he tries help his friend up.

Winner via submission: Chris Benoit

Back in Steph's office Sable is hitting on Zach Gowen. Get out, Zach, get out, now! It's a trap; I can smell it. No good can come of this, mark my words!

Ultimo Dragon will make his debut next week. YEAH!!!!!

Match #3 - Rey Misterio vs. Kanyon

This match makes me ask why? So, I'll give you the abridged version. Rey Misterio hit the 619 followed by the west Coast Pop and picked up the win. There were a lot of "Kanyon Sucks!" chants during this match, and they were dead on. Even Cole didn't care about this match; he was yammering on about Sable and Zach Gowen in the back.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Misterio

The tag team formerly known as Team Angle make their way to the ring. They have new music and tights; fully reflecting their severed ties with Kurt Angle. Benjamin grabs the stick and tells off Kurt Angle, and Haas says getting kicked out of Team Angle is the best thing that has happened to them. They're about to make a challenge to Kurt Angle for next week, when Angle's music hits. Kurt says he won't disagree with what was said, except for next week. Angle says next week is for criers, whiners, and guys with noÖas my hero Mick Foley once put it, grapefruits! Angle wants a match now. He tells his former friends to step up and do something.

Match #4 - Kurt Angle vs. Charlie Haas

Benjamin stays at ring side, as Haas takes on their former mentor. The crowd was super-hot for this match. Haas shows no respect as he slaps Angle in the corner. The Benjamin gets in a cheap shot on the outside. The ref didn't see the shot, but just hearing Angle being thrown into the steel steps is enough to have Benjamin sent to the showers. The WWE cuts to another commercial! After a belly-to-belly suplex, Haas dodges the Angle Slam. Haas then tries an Angle slam of his own that is unsuccessful. Angle then hits his signature move and gets the 1-2-3. After the bell, Benjamin hits the ring and jumps Angle. Haas joins in on the fun. They slap a double ankle-lock on Angle, but Brock Lesnar comes from the back to make the save.

Winner via pinfall: Kurt Angle

Back in Steph's office, Zach and Sable are making out. Sable wants to take it further, but once she has Zach in a compromising position, she reveals that this was all a ruse. She tells Zach that he isn't even a real man. Vince McMahon walks in and is furious. Poor Zach Gowen takes off, while Vince and Sable have a good laugh. Their plan to humiliate a one-legged kid worked. Well, good for them.

Match #5 - Billy Gunn w/ Torrie vs. Jamie Noble w/ Nidia

We all know why this match was booked, and it ain't because of Jaime Noble's wrestling abilities. Torrie and Nidia get into a catfight on the outside. Gunn breaks it up and then pins Noble after hitting the Fame-asser.

Winner via pinfall: Billy Gunn

Match #6 - Eddie Guerrero w/ Tajiri vs. Sean O'Haire w/ Roddy Piper

O'Haire takes advantage when Guerrero is distracted by Piper. Piper is swigging tequila at ringside. That gives me an idea for what to do after the show. Guerrero misses a frog splash after another Piper distraction. Tajiri decides to put a stop to that, but gets a face full of tequila for his efforts, and that burns. Trust me, I know. O'Haire then hits his finisher "The prophecy" and pins Guerrero for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Sean O'Haire

back in Steph's office, Vince and Sable are still celebrated that fact they humiliated a kid. Vince wants to thanks Sable, but first he takes another cheap shot at Gowen. Steph walks in and banishes Sable from the office. She proceeds to go off on her dad. Either Steph's been taking acting lessons or some of the things she said are true, because there was some real emotion there. Steph finally takes a stand, and says she deosn't care in she gets fired.

Match #7 - Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show WWE Title match

Yogi Berra said it. It's deja vu all over again. This match is just a continuation form last week. That's not a bad thing, though, as Lesnar can really carry Show in the match. The action spills to the floor and Big Show eats the steel post. Back in the ring though, he counters Lesnar with a sidewalk slam. Big Show teases the crowd with a superplex off the top rope, but Lesnar counters with a low blow. The giant hits the mat hard; Lesnar follows with a flying clothesline from the top rope. Lesnar tries for the F-5, but show counters by grabbing the ropes. The team formerly known as Team Angle storm the ring, punking Lesnar, and costing Show the title. Show chokeslams a weakened Lesanr. The Kurt Angle hits the ring, and Big Show ends up on the wrong end of a Angle Slam. Angle proceeds to clean house, but walks right into a chokeslam from Big Show. Then Mr. America sprints, okay, he jogs, to the ring. He hits Big show with three right hands and then a big boot. Mr. America tells the crowed he'll press slam the giant, but he never gets the chance. Benjamin and Haas cut him down. Big Show follows up the attack with a chokeslam. All the faces are left in the ring; taken out by the Big Show.

Winner via DQ and still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar

Dale Plummer is a rookie on the Slam! Wrestling staff.  With the NHL and NBA season over Dale has stopped channel surfing during commercial breaks, and realizes that there are some awesome movies coming out this summer.