SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Fri, September 5, 2003



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

SummerSlam


Kevin Steen


Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fan Fest


Raw in Miami


Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame inductions


WWE Battleground


ROH in Detroit







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





'Taker-Angle tops, Brock's angry
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling


Welcome to this week's Smackdown report. Jon Waldman here, now emanating from Toronto. Yes, I was sucked into the center of the universe. Deal with it. As usual, I'm taking over for a "vacationing" Slammer, in this case Dale Plummer. You know the routine of my ratings now, so I'll skip that.

I will quickly note this. I just picked up a tape from old-school WWF, called WWF's Greatest Hits. The tape, from 1991, is a cool look back on now, and I should have a review up at some point.

We kick off this week's show with a flashback video to last week's number-one contender's match that Undertaker won.

Match #1 - World's Greatest Tag Team vs. APA - WWE Tag title match

Match starts with a clusterfrick until Bradshaw and Benjamin end up on the outside. Faarooq hits the powerslam for a one-count. Benjamin helps Haas gain control, including their signature leap-frog rope choke. Benjamin then gets a two-count after a choke.

Benjamin tags to Haas as Cole notes that there's four All-American college athletes in this match. Shenanigans leads to a kneeling bearhug on Faarooq, which he powers out of until Haas reverses into a pin for two. Faarooq gets a hot tag to Bradshaw after reversing a top-rope attempt by Haas into a weak-looking powerslam. Bradshaw cleans house, as per the WWE standard. Powerbomb on Haas for two. Faarooq is tagged in, and clusterfrickery abounds. Faarooq gets his sidewalk slam on Haas for two before Benjamin gets involved. Benjamin somehow is now the legal man and gets a two-count off a superkick before Bradshaw interferes. Bradshaw gets another hot tag and gets two after an elbow drop. Bradshaw gets the lariat for two before Haas puts Benjamin's foot on the rope.

Now, usually a foot on the rope means the heels win with their feet on the rope. In this case, however, Haas hits Bradshaw with a tag belt, and Benjamin gets a handful of tights, too much tights for my liking, for the three count.

Winners: World's Greatest Tag Team

Rating 5 out of 10 - This one surprised me as to how well it flowed. Faarooq is quickly deteriorating, however.

Next, we see Eddy Guererro wiping down his car as a limo containing Big Show, Sable and Vince pulls up. Eddy and Vince chat it up until Brock comes in. Show and Sable leave as Lesnar whines about Vince not calling him. Brock looks so weak here as Vince invites Lesnar to his office for a pep talk. All the while, Eddy wipes the car. Guererro was so wasted in the scene.

Back from the break, Vince and Lesnar are yelling at each other. Brock is still crying about no phone call from Vince. Vince gives him the whole "monster" spiel again, while slapping Brock. You know, a monster doesn't usually give a damn about not getting phone calls.

We head back to the ring JUST IN TIME for John Cena's entrance. Cena's Word Life tee is advertised as Cena raps on Eddy, threatening to steal Eddy's low-rider, then continues to berate Latino Heat. Eddy comes out in the rider, with the belt. Brawl breaks out which ends with Cena using said belt, ko'ing Eddy and stealing the car. This is a damn hot feud that is elevating both men.

Angle, Brock and Torrie are coming to Winnipeg. Damn shame I'm missing the show.

During the break, we see Cena leaving the arena in the lowrider. Backstage, Eddy complains to Stephanie about the theft. Someway, somehow, I don't think Steph is an officer of the law. Stephanie, as compensation, offers Eddy the match of his choice for next week's show. Eddy demands a backlot match. Eddy leaves before Stephanie accepts.

Match #2 - Chris Benoit vs. A-Train

This is a re-match from last week because of the "controversy" of last week's ending. We then see clips of said match and the aftermath.

Back and forth to start until A-Train gains control with strikes and whips, mainly working the back. A-Train works a half Cobra Clutch as he digs his knee into Benoit's back. Cole then confirms the Cena/Eddy match will happen.

Benoit gains control for a short time until A-Train overpowers him and gets a butterfly suplex for two. Bearhug is applied and I hit the fast-forward button. I hit play as A-Train misses an avalanche attempt. Benoit takes over again, and gets a very impressive series of German suplexes. Throat slash leads to a Swandive attempt that misses. A-Train gets two off the Trainwreck until the ref (Mike Sparks) notices half of Benoit's is outside the ring. C'mon; that's a wee bit too obvious.

A-Train yells at Sparks and regains control. Benoit fights for the Crippler Crossface and nails Sparks in the process. Rhyno comes in, attempts to hit Benoit with a gore, but hits A-Train instead. Benoit clears Rhyno out of the ring and gets the pin and the victory. This is the first time in a long time, at least from what I can remember, where Benoit not winning a match with a submission.

Winner: Chris Benoit

Rating: 3 out of 10 - This match was way too slow and too strike-heavy. Get rid of A-Train already, or at least relegate him to Velocity.

Earlier today, Undertaker does a sit-down interview talking about the match tonight.

Earlier today, Torrie and Nidia prepare for the Bourboun Street Bikini contest, including an oil rub. Yay.

Earlier today, Angle does a sit-down interview talking about the match tonight.

Earlier today, I wanted to see what was going to happen tonight on Smackdown, not what was going on at the moment.

Backstage, Stephanie tries to get into her office, but Vince and Big Show have the door barricaded. Inside, Brock is, "taking care of some business."

Match #3 - Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle - WWE Championship

Match starts with some feeling-out and basic moves, adding to the intrigue in this match. Undertaker gains control with a hip-toss into a leg-drop and Move # 43 (leg-assisted top armbar). Angle flips over, however, for a two-count, and gets two other covers for twos. I'm liking the reversal in psychology, establishing how even the two are.

The two fight over a wrist-lock, until Undertaker gains advantage on the arm and goes Old School on Angle. Angle, however, regains the advantage and gets two German suplexes on 'Taker (who appears to be gassing a bit), before getting flip-over cover for two. Taker then takes control with a sharp left hook. 'Taker controls with a couple Savage Outside elbows and the apron legdrop. Taker looks to have his best match in a long time here as we head to a break.

Commercial note: Soul Caliber II looks awesome, all thanks to the inclusion of Link. Link was going WAY too kiddy in recent games.

Back from the break and Taker is in firm control, and is settling back into his punchy offence. Angle attempts to turn the tide, and gets a sleeper on the Undertaker. Tazz insists on calling the sleeper a rear-naked choke. Fair enough. 'Taker back suplexes his way out of it, and regains control, until he attempts a Dragon Sleeper (which Tazz does not call a naked-Dragon choke much to my dismay), which Angle reverses. Angle gets two off a spinning B2B suplex. The two then go back and forth. Angle, however, gets the ankle lock after a missed leg-drop by Taker. Taker flips him out of it, but Angle gets the Olympic Slam... for two. Angle lowers the straps and goes for another Angle Slam, but Undertaker jumps(!) out of it and gets the chokeslam...for two. Damn this is getting hot again.

Undertaker calls for the Last Ride, but Angle rolls out of it and gets the ankle lock. Undertaker reverses, however, into move #29 (Fujiwara armbar). Angle, however, rolls into a pin for two, then goes back to the ankle lock. Dear god this is getting hot. Taker then reverses into the triangle hold. Taker's shoulders, it should be noted, are pinned, but the ref doesn't count. The ref starts t o arm-check as the crowd counts along. Before his arm can drop for a third time, however, Angle reaches the ropes with his foot. Another cool spot sees 'Taker go for the big boot, but gets straddled on the rope, and Angle putting on the ankle lock! Angle charges, but 'Taker gets a rope-drop stunner, a move that is not nearly used nearly as often as it should be. Angle's bleeding under his eye as Taker goes for the pin, but gets only two. The crowd is really into Taker at this point.

Undertaker punches away, but Angle then starts in with his own strokes until 'Taker gets the Yakuza Kick. Undertake tries for the chokeslam, but Angle somehow rolls and reverses into the ankle lock AGAIN! Taker again kicks out, gets the chokeslam, and calls for the Last Ride. This time it hits, but before Undertaker can cover, Brock attacks with a chair.

Winner: Undertaker via DQ (Angle keeps the belt). Rating: 9 out of 10 - By far, the best match I've seen out of the Undertaker in a long time. Both men put on a damn good match, and the finish was the only way to go. I desperately want to see a re-match now.

After the match, Brock kills Angle dead with the chair, and works 'Taker's angle. Unfortunately, he doesn't go for the Pillman-breaker. Brock then grabs the title, nails Kurt with it, and holds it high.

During the break, Undertaker collapses while walking back. Michael "Dok Hendrix" Hayes sees 'Taker fall and calls for help. Undertaker, however, refuses help, tries to stand again, and then gets some proper help.

Back in the trainer's room, Angle gets some help for his back and eye.

Next up are highlights from the bikini contest, which Torrie Wilson wins. After the event, Shaniqua attacks. You know, I never would've thought Linda Miles would be the one to come out looking the best from Tough Enough 2...

Backstage, APA talk about getting the tag belts back. Bradshaw then shows Faarooq the new APA office, including a butler. I loved this angle when it was first done, and I'm loving it again.

Match #4 - Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Yoshihiro Taijiri - Cruiserweight Title match

Is it possible that the Cruiserweights are getting a push??? Tajiri, it should be noted, has new music.

Feeling out process to start with some hot C-Weight moves and the Lucha stand-off. Tajiri takes over with kicks and strikes, but Rey hits a hopping leg-scissor. Sweet spot as Tajiri hits Rey with a thrust-kick as he was in mid-springboard. Rey, however, gets his springboard, into a leg-scissors, setting up for the 619. Tajiri moves out of the way, however, and side-kicks Rey out. Tajiri then works the arm outside, and gets two after a roll-in. Tajiri continues to work the arm. Rey whips Tajiri, and when the Japanese Buzzsaw goes for the springback elbow, Mysterio hits a spinning-wheel kick. Sweet. Rey gets a two from that, and then we go to break.

Back from commercials, more back and forth action before Tajiri gets a jumping arm snap, into move #29 (Fujiwara armbar). Tajiri then transitions into move #34 (Policeman's armbar), with some knees for good measure. As Rey sits up, Tajiri locks in a Buffalo Lock, but Rey elbows out, then Mexican Headsnaps Tajiri out to the floor. Tajiri stands, just as Rey hits a killer Tope Canadiana (so named by me because Bret Hart introduced the move to North American wrestling), sending both men into the aisle. Rey flings Tajiri into the ring, and as he climbs the ropes, Tajiri catches him. Rey, however, goes for the rolling powerbomb, but Taijiri holds onto the ropes to block. Rey eventually gets two after a thrust dropkick. Rey then gets a Lucha Bulldog for two. Damn it's getting hot in here.

Rey hits a springboard Thesz press, which Tajiri rolls through for a two-count on Mysterio. Tajiri then gets move #17 (crouching neckwrap, hidden armbar). Mysterio rolls out of it, but Tajiri hits a standing deathkick for two. Tajiri gets the Tarantula, and then goes for a deathkick, which Rey evades, and sets up and hits the 619. Rey goes for a springboard splash, which, Tajiri blocks. Tajiri then hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Damn hot!

Back and forth action leads to Rey attempting the Tarantula, which Tajiri blocks. Rey, however, gets a Canadian roll-up for two. Tajiri gets back on Rey, hits a high kick on Mysterio while he's on the ropes. The two fight on the top, Mysterio headbutts him off, and hits a clutching Hurricane Rana for the three count!

Winner: Rey Mysterio Jr. Rating: 8 out of 10 - an unbelievable match with some highspots that dazzled. Big props on this one.

Post-match, Tajiri offers his hand, then spews the green mist, and deathkicks Mysterio. Possibilities...

Back from the break, Show and Vince are in the ring. Vince announces that in two weeks, Angle will face Brock in a one-hour Iron Man match! Damn it will be good, but really, this should be saved for the pay-per-view. Vince calls Brock out, but Lesnar's not there. Lesnar is then shown in a luxury box. Lesnar then shows that he has Zack Gowen in the box with him, in a wheelchair, gagged. Brock, after some back-and-forth talk with Vince, wheels Zack out to a stairwell, and after some talk and an attempt to wheel him down the stairs, Brock throws him out of the chair. This is a hell of a character scene by Brock. Brock, after a good dialogue, successfully throws him down the stairs after choking him with his tee-shirt.

Overall, I have absolutely no complaints with this show. Two hot matches, some great build-up of Brock and Cena/Guererro made this one a keeper, despite the crappy bikini contest and Benoit/A-Train match.

Until the next time we hang, keep it real.

Jon Waldman has written for SLAM! Wrestling since 2000. Along with SLAM! Wrestling, Jon is a columnist for SLAM! Collectibles. Check out more of Jon's work at www.jonwaldman.com.