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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Smackdown turns up the patriotism
By AARON 'HANK' HENRY -- For SLAM! Wrestling

 Patriotism runs rampant tonight as a very special Smackdown! went live from the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas.

  Tonight I will not go into detail of the matches, but I will give detail of all the showmanship the wrestlers presented as it was lighthearted and somewhat out of character for those involved.

  Throughout the night many wrestlers gave their thoughts and prayers to those affected by Tuesday's attack on America. The following wrestlers gave their thoughts: Tazz, Debra, Bubba Ray Dudley, Torrie Wilson, Hugh Morrus, Kurt Angle, Lance Storm, D-Von Dudley, Edge, WWF Agent Ricky Santana, Terri, The Rock, Chris Jericho, Michael Hayes, Shawn Stasiak, Kanyon, The Hurricane, Ivory, Bradshaw, Stacy Keibler, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Booker T, Stephanie McMahon, Lilian Garcia, Faarooq, Commissioner William Regal, Albert all sent out their prayers and thoughts to the victims of the attack on Tuesday. Everyone was very emotional and showed a side that nobody ever sees of them on camera.

  Retired Naval Lt. Commander Michael Thornton, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, spoke to the nation in this broadcast to thank the WWF for going forth and performing tonight, as well as expressing how he agrees with what the U.S. government has done thus far. Mr. Thornton's accomplishments consist of four tours of duties at Vietnam and he was a Navy Seal. A true American hero!

  We open with a live shot of the Compaq Center and the crowd chanting "U.S.A.!!" Vince McMahon is in the ring and he goes into a big patriotic speech. The idea of it was simple to what has been going on. No matter what these terrorists attempt to do, they will not be able to stop the U.S. from going about their daily lives. We will fight on and our government will do what it takes to find these terrorists and bring them down. The leaders of the U.S. have encouraged us to live our lives of normalcy and that will be done here tonight. Vince was very out of character and was great to see him take the advice of the U.S. leaders and went on with the show just two days after the horrific attack. To simply sum up the rest, "U.S.A.!!!"

  The opening was played. Immediately following this every wrestler from The Alliance to the WWF came out waving tiny American flags. It was an excellent show of unity as each wrestler showed emotion, nearly on the brink of tears. The crowd was deafening in its ovation. Howard Finkel got in the ring and asked everyone to rise as Lilian Garcia sang the National Anthem. This show literally sent chills up my spine as well as my roommates who witnessed it with me. To see tears being shed by Lilian and Albert was very emotional. As what will surely be the staple of the evening, the crowd immediately went into a chant of "U.S.A"

  Match Number 1: The Hardy Boyz, with Lita, versus The Hurricane and Lance Storm, with Ivory. The Twist of Fate by Matt Hardy and The Swanton by Jeff Hardy finished off Lance Storm.

 
Poll question

Q1: What should the WWF have done Thursday night?

Total Votes for this Question: 2557
62% voted for Run a live Smackdown! like they did
5% voted for Run a highlight show
10% voted for Run just a tribute show, with no wrestling
22% voted for Cancelled altogether
Match Number 2: Rob Van Dam versus Spike Dudley, with Molly Holly. In classic RVD style, The Frog Splash spelled the demise of the smallest Dudley of them all.

  Match Number 3: Christian versus Chris Jericho. These two started off by performing by the crowd as usual. The jibber jabber between the two was very humorous. Christian unveiled his new entrance music, which was that of an opera feel and the words were simple as all you had to do was sing "Christian." In typical Y2J style, Y2J inserted his own flavour, singing "Christian, The JackA$$." As for the match, Christian fell to a simple Roll Up as he argued with referee Charles Robinson about his near pin seconds before.

  The Rock comes out to have a great time because we are live on his show tonight. He issues a challenge to anyone in the back that wants a piece of The Great One. The man to answer the call is Shawn Stasiak. Stasiak comes out and charges the ring. Stasiak charges at The Rock. His charge was nothing more than embarrassing. The Rock stepped out of the way and tossed him over the top rope. Stasiak tried again with the same results. The Rock continued to try to goad another opponent, but Stasiak answers the challenge for the third time. This time The Rock stops him and asks Stasiak what he is doing. The Rock tells Stasiak that they should stop and talk about pie. The Rock poses the question of whether he likes the pie. Stasiak surprises everyone by saying he hates pie. Well, it doesn't matter what Stasiak thinks because Houston and The Rock love pie. The Rock makes sure Stasiak doesn't like strudel. The Rock suddenly gets distracted and asks Stacy Keibler if she likes The People's Strudle. All she does is simply smile. Stasiak becomes rude and demands his WCW Title shot. The Rock tells Stasiak to seal the deal and shake The Rock's hand so they can get it on. The Rock welcomes Stasiak to the Lone Star State and Rock Bottoms Stasiak to retain the WCW Title. A lighthearted performance it was bringing laughter to those watching in the arena and on television.

  Match Number 4: The APA, versus Albert and X-Pac. Albert tried to carry this team, but the power of the APA was too much. A Clothesline From Hell planted X-Pac into the mat allowing The APA to walk out victorious.

  Jim Ross and Paul Heyman sat at ringside going in and out of character at the right time. The even took the opportunity in these matches to tell America the real names of some of these wrestlers and their background.

  Jim Ross takes us back to the beginning of the show where Vince spoke out against terrorism and how proud it is to be American.

  Match Number 5: The Big Show versus Booker T. Booker T tried to retaliate time after time, but it wasn't until Booker T started to attack the legs of Show did Booker T slow him down. Show kicked out of two Scissor Kicks, but finally Show fell and was pinned for the upset win by Booker T.

  Match Number 6: Lita versus Ivory. These two ladies fought it to the end, scrapping back and forth the entire time. Lita took the match after hitting Ivory with the Twist of Fate and a Moonsault.

  Match Number 7: Tajiri, Commissioner William Regal and Scotty 2 Hotty, with Torrie Wilson, versus Test and The Dudley Boyz. Test hits Scotty with a Boot To Face for the win. Scotty hitting an unsuspecting Bubba Ray with The Worm followed this move by Test.

  Main Event: Rhyno versus Kurt Angle. Rhyno landed several near falls, but the bruised and battered Kurt Angle came out on top. Digging deep, Angle found the strength to put Rhyno away with the Angle Slam.

  Before the cameras could turn off on this eventful and emotion filled evening, Angle picked up the microphone and led the crowd in a chant of "U. S. A.!"

  This report was definitely different from those I have written in the past.

  One week ago I lost a dear friend in a traffic accident here at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I can only imagine the sadness that the families of the victims from the attack Tuesday are feeling right now. Most of you who read this may not condone this type of report, especially since it dealt very little with wrestling. However, what happened Tuesday is near and dear to me. My thoughts and prayers go out to the heroes of the past few days, that is everyone who was part of the rescue efforts in New York and those around the country that took time out of their busy schedules to give blood. This attack has not only affected the U.S., but other countries in the world. I applaud the WWF for going out tonight and bringing the country two hours of entertainment that, even if for only a minute, allowed the people, as Lita said earlier, to step back and take a breath. We all need time to get out minds off of things and the WWF did just that. You have heard this time and time again, but I need to express what I feel. God bless you all and take the time to hug your loved ones that one extra time . . . and saying I love you never hurts either. Go forth and be proud! That's it, I'm outta time, I gotta go!


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