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Smackdown: Gowan saves Angle
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling


We\'re 10 days out from Vengeance and it\'s been four days since this Smackdown! was taped. Once again Michael Cole and Tazz bring us all the action, as Smackdown! comes to us from Columbus, Ohio via the Titan Towers.

The show storms out of the gate with Vinnie Mac heading to the ring. Vince tells us things we all already know. And I\'m not talking about Sean O\'Haire\'s gimmick. McMahon says everyone needs to be taught a lesson; Lesnar got his last week. Vince also clears up the whereabouts of Kurt Angle during Lesnar\'s lesson. He told the Olympic champ that if he interfered he would have been fired, and now it\'s time for Angle to learn his lesson. Before Vince can tell us what we already know, (Angle being booked in a handicapped match against Big Show, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjiman), Lesnar interrupts the boss. Vince gives him a stern warning about crossing him, but Lesnar has no inentions of \"crossing the boss\". He\'d rather beat the boss. Vince accepts the challenge, but not this week. He instead \"suggests\" that Brock should go home a rest, for his own protection. Adding that if Lesnar interferes in tonights match, he will be stripped of the belt and fired. Before leaving a frustrated Lesnar gives Vince an \"F YOU!\", instead of an F-5.

Match #1: Chris Benoit vs. Matt Hardy (v1.0) w/ Shannon Moore
U.S. Title Tournament Semi-Final

Benoit tries to end this match early going for the Crippler Cross Face right at the bell. Hardy avoids its, but can\'t avoid the repeated chops to the chest from the rabid wolverine. Benoit continues the offensive onslaught, tying Hardy up in the ropes. With the ref trying to free Hardy, Moore hops into the ring and hits a swinging neckbreaker on Benoit. Hardy pins him, but Benoit kicks out after a two-count. Benoit turns a Twist of Fate from Hardy into the CCF, but Hardy is able to get to the ropes and break the hold. The leader of Mattitude is busted up on the exchange, but it doesn\'t stop him from hitting the Side Effect, twice. Hardy goes high risk, stealing Benoit\'s flying headbutt, but Benoit is able to roll away. Hardy takes Benoit to the corner, and tries for the Side Effect off the top rope. Three times isn\'t the charm, though. Benoit reverses the move into the CCF on the way down, and Matt Hardy taps. Chris Benoit is going the U.S. Title Final at Vengeance.

Winner via submission: Chris Benoit

Backstage, Vince is on the phone, but his call is interrupted by Steph, who is looking for Sable. Vince informs her that Sable is in a secure location, for Steph\'s safety. Sable did leave a gift for Steph, a bottle of Midol. Now, here\'s two words I never thought I\'d hear on WWE television \"menstrual cramps\".

Kurt Angle chases down Brock Lesnar as he leaves for the night, via McMahon \"suggestion\". Angle tries to get Lesnar to stay, but Brock just offers this advice, \"Watch out for that announce table.\"

Match #2 - Jamie Noble vs. Ultimo Dragon

Noble comes out on the stick, apologizing for his proposal to Torrie Wilson last week. Noble says he\'s sorry . . . Sorry, that he didn\'t offer Torrie $25,000 to spend the night with him. Well, by this point Nidia has heard enough, storming off to the locker room. Nidia, drop me line at Dplummer627@yahoo.com. (Hey, I gotta try.) Noble looks totally lost with his girlfriend at ringside. Ultimo hits the Asai Moonsalt from the ring apron. Noble gets his bearings and looks to be in control, when Torrie Wilson and Billy Gunn come out. This distracts Noble long enough for Ultimo Dragon to pin him with a bridge.

Winner via pinfall: Ultimo Dragon

It\'s the hottest tour this summer, John Cena: Live from the Graveyard! Cena does his lyrical thing, disrespecting Undertaker the whole time. Cena finishes the bit by urinating on a tombstone. And I thought the show hit the low point with the PMS reference.

The APA are handing out invitation for a beer bash. Not the Steve Austin kind, though. More like where the beer bottle gets bashed over your head. The APA will be hosting a bar room brawl somewhere in Denver during Vengeance and it\'s by invitation only. All I want to know is what are they going to do if someone crashes the party? Beat them up? Isn\'t that the point anyway?

Match #3- Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio vs. The Conquistidors

JOBBER ALERT! JOBBER ALERT! Kidman and Misterio win when Kidman follows up a 619 from Misterio with a Shooting Star Press. Haas and Benjiman are backstage checking out their opponents for Vengeance.

Winner via pinfall: Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio

Vince is back to eat up more TV time. This time he wants to talk about him match with Zach Gowan, but not before revealing Sable\'s location. She\'s in one of the arena\'s skyboxes. John Cena then interrupts Vince, but the Doctor of Thug-a-nomics tells Vince to chill. He\'s here to rap for him. Vince is lovin\' the rhymes, but Undertaker rides down to spoil the party. After a big boot to the face, Cena makes haste back to the locker room.

Match #4- Rhyno vs. Sean O\'Haire

Our Sean is all grown up! O\'Haire, free of Piper, jumps Rhyno before the bell can even ring. Rhyno and O\'Haire go out outside the ring, until the APA shows up. They give the pair invitations to the bar room brawl! O\'Haire takes a shot at Bradshaw, and Ron Simmons comes to his partner\'s aid. Only to have a inadvertent gore from Rhyno take him out. O\'Haire takes off to the back, and the match never comes off.

We see Sable enjoying the finer things in life in the skybox, and treating the help very rudely.

Match #5- Eddie Guerrero vs. Billy \"Mr. Ass\" Gunn w/ Torrie Wilson U.S. Title Tournament Semi-Final

Eddie is all business as this match starts. A scoop power slam from Gunn puts quick end to that. Eddie looks to be in trouble in the corner, but dodges a charge from Gunn, who eats ring post. A missile drop kick off the top rope lays Gunn out. Guerrero is able to hit two vertical suplexes in a row, but misses with a frog splash. Jamie Noble interferes with a chair, but is stopped by the ref. Guerrero capitalizes, nailing Gunn with the chair. When the ref turns back, Guerrero plays possum, as if he was hit. He then slowly covers Gunn and gets the 1-2-3 to move on to the tourney final to take on Benoit.

Winner via pin-fall: Eddie Guerrero

Josh Matthews is in Sable\'s skybox to talk to her about her match. He\'s not the only one. Steph has infiltrated the \"secure location\"! She attacks Sable, only to be thrown into the buffet. Look at all the food going to waste. Matthews tries to get a word from Sable, but all he gets is a slap across the face. Steph recovers to fight again, but the two are quickly pulled apart by security. I can\'t wait for this match a Vengeance!

Match #6 - Kurt Angle vs. Big Show, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjiman

This match is No Holds Barred and falls count anywhere. I swear I saw this match last week. Angle is beat down early. Benjiman breaks out the trash can lids to inflict even more damage. The fight goes to the outside. Angle tosses Haas over the security barrier, taking the fight into the crowd. Angle locks on the ankle lock multiple times, only to have someone break it up. The fight spills to the entranceway, and back down the ramp, with Angle getting acquainted with the security rail the whole way down. Back in the ring, Angle counters a Big Show choke slam with a kick to the junk. Then an unlikely ally hits the ring -- it\'s Zach Gowan. He takes out Haas and Benjiman with drop kicks, before being tossed aside by Big Show. Gowan is about to be choke slammed, when Angle saves him. Angle then hits his Angle Slam on Show and Benjiman. He then place Haas in the ankle lock, again, but Show makes the save, again. The fight spills outside again. Show has Angle lined up with a clothesline. Angle ducks at the last minute and Show wraps his arm around the ringpost. Show isn\'t phased at all, as he catch Gowan coming off the top rope, throwing him into the security wall. This gives Angle time to lay out Show with the steel steps from behind. With the big man down, Angle can concentrate on \"The world\'s greatest tag team\". Angle looks to be in trouble, but he catches Benjiman\'s foot and dragon whips him into his own partner. With Haas out cold, Angle slaps the ankle lock on Benjiman, and gets him to tap. Angle overcomes the odds to win. After the match he thanks Gowan for his help with a hug, and they head back up the ramp. Big Show looks on. He doesn\'t look happy.

Winner via submission: Kurt Angle

Call me crazy, but I think Angle and Lesnar can carry Big Show through the match at Vengeance. See you next week.

Dale Plummer is a rookie on the SLAM! Wrestling staff. After hearing \"menstrual cramps\" on WWE television, Dale is totally convinced the Apocalypse is upon us. Dale will be making his peace with the powers that be this week.