WWE SmackDown! for 06/12/2003
(Taped 06/10/2003 in Orlando FL at the TD Waterhouse Centre)
Results*: Rey Mysterio (champion) def. Matt Hardy via pinfall to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (4:50), Billy Gunn def. A-Train via pinfall to exchange butt-slaps and leave the ring with Torrie Wilson (1:28), The Undertaker def. Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli via pinfall to make the FBI seem impotent (3:45), Vince McMahon and Mr. America arm wrestle to a no contest, Vince McMahon def. Mr. America (arm wrestling) to compel Mr. America to leave the ring, Vince McMahon def. Zach Gowen (arm wrestling) to deny the poor kid a WWE contract (Aww, TNA'll take ya!), Doug and Danny Basham def. Chris Benoit and Rhyno via pinfall (3:25), John Cena def. Funaki via pinfall (0:34), Brock Lesnar (champion) and The Big Show wrestle to a no contest for the WWE Championship (longest match).
The Good: The WWE Cruiserweight Championship seems important again tonight following a classy recap and an exciting rematch. Tajiri and Eddie looked strong in their Piper's Pit segment (which I also commend for not focusing on Mr. McMahon), although it's not quite as good as seeing them in a twenty-minute match. Zach Gowen and Sean O'Haire, while not over, MIGHT be starting off on the long road to approaching the on-ramp of the 100-Series Highway of getting there. Tazz and Cole actually mentioned house shows in the context of, "so-and-so will be here when-and-such." Oh, and there's the new Spot. If you didn't see it, Brock Superplexed The Big Show (!!) and destroyed the ring. Also, Linda Miles is making a run for the border with all our BDSM** fanboy dreams.
The Bad: The WCW US Championship is on its way back, guaranteeing further nightmares for those poor souls who still keep track of title histories (I think the signal that we were supposed to stop caring came when wwftitlehistories.com or whatever it was was taken down.). We had to sit though the never-ending Mr. America saga, and although it wasn't that bad this week, we didn't get to see Sable's - er, eyes, and I think that would have hel- oh, what am I saying? This is broadcast. Also, if they keep it globally clean, we run less risk of witnessing a worthy follow-up to the Necrophilia Angle.
The Ugly (besides Sable): No long match tonight; no fun! Torrie, leave the ring announcing to the real professionals.
* - Times from smackdown.wwe.com.
** - I think Sloan said it best here: "And everybody loves it, but nobody knows what it stands for..." Well, I do, but you can look it up yourself - this is a family report!
They show highlights from last week's Cruiserweight Championship champ match, such that we usually see after a Pay-Per-View. The highlights look good and the belt looks important. The forthcoming WWE Championship is billed as another "irresistible force meets the immovable object." Well, they're half right.
Mysterio comes out. Hey, we're getting a rematch! Backstage Matt calls his M'fers screw-ups, bans them from ringside, and beats them around a bit. Today's Matt Fact: "Matt is too handsome to wear a mask like Rey." Matt's got fire in his eyes coming down the ramp.
Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio (champion) for WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Matt strikes Rey and takes the belt; Rey boots him down. The crowd likes this match. Rey misses a 619. There are a lot of false finishes in this match. Matt goes for a neckbreaker on the second turnbuckle, but Rey counters it into a Bulldog and both men are down for seven. Matt gets off a big Side Effect, but Rey kicks out. Matt tries another one, Rey counters, and Matt kicks out. Rey goes for a West Coast Pop, which Matt counters into a roll up, which Rey converts, which Matt converts, and Rey kicks out. Matt gives Rey a boot to the groin. Rey gets a 619, and a fantastic leg drop and cover, but Matt kicks out. This is pretty damn good for a rematch. Matt goes for the Power Bomb, but plants Rey on the turnbuckle. Matt has Rey up again for a Splash Mountain, which Rey kicks out of. Matt rules. Matt goes for a Twist of Fate, which Rey counters, then another, but Rey snatches the top rope and stays afloat. Rey goes up and down with a West Coast Pop that lacks finesse on the part where he puts Matt's shoulders down, but it gets the job done. Rey wins by pinfall.
They advertise the upcoming arm wrestling contest for Zach Gowen's contract. We come back to Piper's Pit where Piper and O'Haire (with a ponytail) are hosting an International Night, complete with tacos and sushi. Piper introduces the WWE Tag Team Champions (Yay! Something on Piper's Pit besides Vince, Hogan, Mr. America, Stephanie, or Zach!), who come out in a '65 Impala convertible. Eddie is pleased with the little buffet. ("Eddie! Eddie!") He says that he's always wanted to be on Piper's Pit. He asks Piper if he's going to do the loaded burrito gimmick. Piper says that he has them on Piper's Pit because they pride themselves on "lie, cheat, and steal." Eddie says that at least they're honest. Piper tells O'Haire to hold Eddie's belt. Eddie: "The only thing you can hold is my maracas!" Tajiri, though, notices the sushi. Eddie says that he's crazy, but Tajiri gives O'Haire the belt in exchange for the sushi. Piper says that people are now looking at the next champion. Eddie wants the belt back, and O'Haire says that, guess what, they lied. Eddie gets hot, but Tajiri calms him down, then takes a drink of tequila, then mists Piper. The table flips over and Eddie gives O'Haire a shot with the belt. Eddie and Tajiri leave in the Impala. Funny segment.
Sable's in Stephanie's office using a Think Pad when Stephanie comes in. "Hi Steph, I'm looking for the Zach Gowen contract..." Sable lets is slip that Stephanie is going to bring back the (WCW) US title. This got zero reaction from the audience. Stephanie thanks Sable for ruining the suprise. (My prediction for first champion is Sean O'Haire - if not he, then A-Train because someone will decide that he needs another push.) Stephanie accuses Sable of being a liar. Sable says that she's just doing her job as her assistant, but Stephanie says that she doesn't want or need any assistance. They have a glare-down and we go to break.
We come back with Torrie entering to be the Guest Ring Announcer. Oh, here we go! Torrie's really going to get back at Sable now! What great television! Tazz and Cole plug the Divas Search. But why do we need more Divas? Moreover, are any girls hot enough for the job watching this now? Torrie: "From Boston, Mass, weighing in at 350 pounds... he is a dreamboat if you like a bald man with back hair... A-Train!" (Speak of the fellow...) "And his opponent... weighing in at a chiselled 265... making his return to SmackDown! ... He has the best buns in the business... Billy Gunn!" He gets a good pop. He's come back with the Mr. Ass song and shorts but is referred to as "Billy Gunn."
Billy Gunn vs. A-Train: This match is pretty watchable. Billy goes for a Famouser but walks into a kick. Billy kicks out. A-Train tries to set up a Derailleur - but, whoa! Famouser! and a pinfall victory for Billy. Gee, the pre-and-post posturing went longer than the match.
Torrie announces the winner, but I don't think she's as good as Lillian. Torrie slaps Billy's butt, and he reciprocates, and they leave together. They show Lesnar's arrival earlier in the day. Me likes.
We come back with Taker riding in on his bike. They mention the house shows in Texas that he'll be at. Rock on.
The Undertaker vs. Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli: Taker strikes Stamboli repeatedly. He gives Stamboli a drop-kick from behind. Taker goes to choke slam Nunzio out of the way - but no! There's a lot of whacks back and forth and very little actual wrestling. The Bull goes up and down with a leg drop, but Taker kicks out. Bull gives Taker a vertical suplex. Yes, Taker kicks out. Bull goes for a leg drop but misses. He's working hard tonight. Taker comes back with blows and an uppercut. The Bull takes Taker up, but Taker counters - choke slam? No, he uses the Bull to knock Palumbo off the apron. Okay, Last Ride. 1,2,3. Man, he didn't even hook the leg. What an arrogant snot. (But don't tell him I said that or I'll be the one getting the Last Ride.) Taker gets out and goes after Nunzio but Palumbo gets him from behind. The crowd's behind Taker. Taker gives Palumbo a choke slam. Man, what's the point of having Taker destroy the FBI - you're just burying good wrestlers. The FBI are supposed to be scary and nigh-impossible to beat when they outnumber you. Guys, enforce the damn gimmick - it's a great one, don't waste it. Nunzio comes in with a steel chair and finally gets the last laugh. Nunzio gloats and the FBI leave. Next week: Taker defeats all three members of the FBI in a handicap match AND gets the last shots in after the match is over.
Mr. America and Zach Gowen are backstage. Mr. America is helping Zach do lifts with his cane and tells Zach that he won't be alone out with Vince. Stephanie comes out to oversee the contest, and announces Zach Gowen, but Sable comes out instead. Stephanie asks Sable why she interrupted, and Stable starts, "Well, Stephanie..," but Stephanie cuts her off and introduces Zach Gowen, who comes out alongside Mr. America. She introduces Mr. McMahon, and he looks built! The crowd goes, "Asshole!" Mr. America tells his brother something - Vince is in the wrong war zone, because this is the Red, White, and Blue of Orlando, Florida. He's also fighting the wrong battle because this problem is between Vince and Mr. America - so "put that skinny spaghetti string up on the table!" and face the 24-inch pythons. "USA!" says the crowd.
Vince isn't afraid - he says he's got billion dollar biceps. Moreover, he didn't sign up to arm wrestle Mr. America. He tells Mr. America to leave, but Sable whispers something to him. Vince: "Tell you what..." ("You suck!") "... You're telling me Mr. America sucks, I agree - Hogan, you're on, but with two stipulations -" It's not over the contract, but if Mr. America loses, he's to leave the premises. Mr. America: "I say, put that skinny little arm down there brother!" ("USA!")
Vince McMahon vs. Mr. America: They go to work, and seem more or less evenly matched, but Mr. America doesn't have to work as hard to maintain status quo. Mr. America gives Vince the finger while they battle. Sable suddenly says that Mr. America is cheating, and she disrupts the contest.
Stephanie tells Sable that if she lays a hand on anyone, she'll declare a DQ and declare Mr. America the winner. Oh, Stephanie has power now? Lately she's been kind of like the Queen of England.
Vince McMahon vs. Mr. America: They use their other arms this time, and go to it. Sable flashes Mr. America and Vince takes the opportunity and wins.
Mr. America is told to leave. Mr. America is hot, and stares down Vince, but Vince says that if he hits him, Zach will never get a contract. Mr. America and Stephanie leave. Vince tells Sable that she has the most beautiful set of... eyes he's ever seen. Vince turns to Zach and asks him if he's lost his nerve. Vince will take him with his "bad arm." Vince: "It's only about your dreams; you're not getting nervous, are you?"
Vince McMahon vs. Zach Gowen: This is well contested. Zach slowly gets the edge on Vince. Vince accuses Zach of cheating, but to no avail. Finally, Vince kicks Zach in his prosthetic leg (under the table) and gets the victory.
Vince asks Zach if he's going to cry just because his dreams went up in smoke. Then, "GET OUT OF MY RING! I need athletes; not some freak!" ("Asshole!") Vince even takes a pose at a turnbuckle and a few smarks bow for him. "Alright, hit my music!" Vince tosses Zach's cane at him, then mocks him in the ring.
We come back with replays of all that's just happened since it's so crucial to following SmackDown! and enjoying any of the matches. What? Anyway, Mr. America is with Zach backstage. Zach is shaken up. The Big Show walks up and says he has two words for Zach: "Forget it." I've got to words for you, too, and the second is "Watchers." Chris Benoit comes out to the ring. Could this be the night of the heel turn? Rhyno comes out as his partner. Then... Oh, the Bashams again. So this'll probably be a rerun of last week, but wait! Linda Miles is back! Oooh, she has a riding crop! (Give that gimmick (more overtly) to Victoria, guys - I might have to start archiving RAW...) Apparently Linda's going by "Sheniqua" now. So now we just need to keep Bradshaw's hands off her. (Did you see the Confidential where the two played basketball? You could file a lawsuit over some of the things he was saying.)
Chris Benoit and Rhyno vs. Doug and Danny Basham: Rhyno starts with Doug. Rhyno comes in with these positively vicious clotheslines - I love his ring look, but don't we all? Doug gives Rhyno a neckbreaker, but Rhyno kicks out. He applies a chinlock... meanwhile, Tazz and Cole are talking about Linda / Sheniqua as much as they're calling the match. Rhyno gives ... is it still Doug? ... a big back suplex that makes him bounce. Chris Benoit comes in and cleans up. He gives Doug a snap suplex and covers him, but Danny makes the save. Chris Benoit gets off a German Suplex on ? and goes up to fly, but Sheniqua tries to stop him. He does make the flight, but ? rolls out of the way. Now if you think I'm being delinquent, read this ACTUAL EXCERPT of commentary: "... allowed Basham to regain himself..." Yeah, that helps! Maybe I'll go look up their eye colours or something. Anyway, it's Doug in a crossface and Danny saves. Rhyno comes in, but accidentally strikes Benoit and one of the Bashams pin Benoit to win.
Rhyno goes to see if Benoit's okay, but Benoit doesn't want anything to do with him. They exchange words and we go to break. Okay, there's something going on in the back now. Benoit is mad because Rhyno cost him his match two weeks in a row. Benoit won't listen to Rhyno's explanations and stalks off. John Cena comes out in a Cubs shirt for his match with Funaki. He lays down a very good rap. He says, among other things, that Cena will be chasing all the Florida boy bands. Funaki responds with a mini-rap of his own.
John Cena vs. Funaki: Cena clotheslines Funaki to begin the match. Cole says that he, "thought John Cena and (he) were down." Funaki goes up for a move, but Cena catches him and takes Funaki for a F-U lite (Death Valley Driver) and the pinfall. Well, it helps Cena, but I want to see Funaki in a longer match - I mean, this is Lance Storm territory.
Kurt's walking backstage (break), Kurt comes out and thanks the audience and tells us that it felt to come back last week, but he's looking forward to tonight's WWE Championship match even more. He reminds us that last week he challenged the winner such that Our Olympic Hero won't take long to be champ once again. Tonight he says he has some unfinished business, and introduces Team Angle because they need to talk. The crowd boos a bit and there's less hesitation on the "You suck!"s when they come out. Kurt greets them and says that he understands why they didn't call when he was in the hospital - they're athletes. He just doesn't get why they weren't around last week. He thinks calling in sick was a lame excuse. Haas: "We were sick, Kurt." Shelton: "Yeah, sick of being in your shadow! We're supposed to be a team, and all you can think about it yourself! ... When we lost our titles in the first place - where were you? We were fighting to keep your name alive. You let us down." Kurt: "I'm sick, too. I'm sick of hearing you guys going from athletes to whiners. Was I gone that long? This is TEAM ANGLE not TEAM WAAANGLE. C'mon, you have a setback, you look for an opportunity. We need to sit down and discuss how to win the tag straps back." Haas: "You've been doing a lot of talk and no action... let's go back to WrestleMania XVIII. Outcome: You lose; you even break your neck while Shelton and I were victorious. You taught us that a team is only as strong as their captain - and you're a loser! We're tired of your speeches, advice, and the 'You suck!'s." ("You suck!") Kurt: "Let me tell you, you don't deserve to hear "You suck!" Do you know why they tell me I suck? For one reason, I earned it! Four years in WWE winning title after title... so if you want to break up Team Angle-" No, they're not breaking up Team Angle, but they say they're voting themselves as co-captains. Kurt's still in, but they're his leader now. Kurt says that he's the founder of Team Angle (I thought Heyman was), and on behalf of Team Angle, he boots them out of Team Angle and sings a few bars of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye."
They present the Tale of the Tape, which is really cool to see for these two guys. I was pleased to learn that, in addition to Brock Lesnar being the youngest WWE Champion, The Big Show was also the youngest WCW Champion.
(Oh, I need to get a quick rant on the title situation out of the way. First of all, we wouldn't be having these problems if Viacom had allowed Vince McMahon to run two separate promotions. But moreover, why aren't they properly quantifying the championships? They say Ric Flair is a 16-time champion, (7 NWA, 7 WCW, 2 WWE), but why don't they put Kurt Angle's WCW Championship and WCW US Championship reigns in his career highlights? Why didn't Stone Cold mention Booker T as a former world champion when listing world champions that Triple H could face? Surely being a 5 time (5 time! 5 time! 5 time! 5 time!) WCW Champion ought to be more important than holding the WWE Championship for one day (as in Kane's case, but I should be glad they remembered to mention him - I didn't expect that they would). Stone Cold should NOT have been asking just for former WWE (not WCW) Champions on RAW - the WWE Championship is on SmackDown! and the World Heavyweight Championship is a successor to the WCW Championship! He SAID "world," and that ought to mean, in WWE context, all WWE and WCW/WHC champions. By the way, the last US Champion was Edge. But that was a victory to unify that to the IC title, which was unified into something else again, so one could make a case that the US Champion is Triple H, or possibly Christian. They ought to have a tournament. Anyway, the question I'm here to ask is, is Brock Lesnar also the youngest WCW Champion? He was the last Undisputed Champion, so as far as I'm concerned, he's a 1-time WCW/WWE Champion, but lost the WCW part of it to Triple H, and finished that reign and picked up another as WWE Champion. How old was Brock and how old was Show? I ought to go look this stuff up. Man, ever since Survivor Series 2001, WWE has made it really hard for people to keep track of title histories. And now they're putting the WWE Intercontinental Championship on RAW, which is sort of WCW-ish (all titles preceded by "World"), and they'll now have the WCW US Championship on SmackDown! which is sort of WWE-ish (all titles preceded by "WWE"). I guess we can kiss the hard split bye-bye. Oh, when Booker T wins (he will, eventually - something's got to happen) the World Heavyweight Championship (again), he'd better say "Six time!" but I imagine the office won't let him. I like Jericho and Booker T because they're the only guys who acknowledge that WCW ever existed - I loved it how Jericho always carried out both belts during his reign. I miss those days.)
We come back and it's shown that during the break, Hass and Benjamin confronted Kurt Angle and tried to apologize and get the team back together, but Kurt just told them that they blew it - it's over. Benjamin strikes Angle from behind. They toss their robes on Kurt and tell him to shove it. So now what are they going use as a name for themselves? I'll bet WWE still hasn't decided.
The Big Show comes out. It's 9:45 ADT, so is this going to be a 15-minute match? Oh, another break. Yawn. It'd be nice if these shows ended after 90 minutes - all the promos and posturing and advertisements make me sleepy. We come back at 9:50. The Big Show's done posing in the ring. Here comes the pain. Tazz and Cole mention that next week will be SmackDown!s 200th episode. Crazy. Maybe they should have a special where they can show stuff like TLC III. I'd watch it.
Brock Lesnar (champion) vs. The Big Show for WWE Championship: Lesnar drives BS into the corner. BS comes back with a quick hit and a cover, but Lesnar kicks out. BS lays down some vicious chops on Lesnar. ("Big Show Sucks!") Lesnar ducks and rolls BS over the top rope on a charge. Lesnar comes down and mounts offence. Tazz: "Some people say you only win a match in the ring; that's BS..." and he explains the simple concept with all the eloquence of John Davidson telling you why such-and-such a goaltender could make the big save. Tazz rules. BS drives Lesnar into the steps before putting Lesnar in. ("Big Show Sucks!") Brock gets up, but BS gives him the Sidewalk Slam, which Tazz says is a few feet higher and therefore worse from The Big Show due to his height. Lesnar kicks out of said Slam. BS puts Lesnar in a single-leg Boston Crap. Lesnar tries to get to the ropes. He does, but I don't think they made the "pulling towards the ropes" part of it look good enough. Brock gives BS a German Suplex - BS barely clears landing on Brock's head! Lesnar brings up the crowd and BS gets up. Lesnar gives him a shot to the midsection. F-5? No, Lesnar couldn't hang onto him. It makes sense; Lesnar ought to fail giving a 500 pound man a F-5 once in a while. Lesnar nurses his ribs, BS tries a choke slam but doesn't capitalize - he does get off a big clothesline and he tries the choke slam again but there's a reversal. He gets Lesnar under his boot anyway and goes for a big leg drop. Lesnar kicks out. "Argghhh!" Choke slam? Yes. Cover, and Lesnar kicks out. Another choke slam? BS has Lesnar by the throat, but BS is on the apron side of the ropes. BS climbs up the turnbuckle. "Big Show ain't no cruiserweight!" Tazz says. Lesnar's desperate now and hits back in such a way that Big Show slips down and hangs crotch-first on the top turnbuckle. Brock gets up and applies some chops - Oh, you're kidding! A Superplex? AAAAAAAAAAaaaa.... Superplex! and it - HOLY F*****G S**T!! OH MAN! It knocks down all the turnbuckles and implodes the ring. Both men are down. Holy - get this on tape! It's probably a work, but who cares! The EMTs come out. Well, the move looked like it went okay, and I hope they talk about it on the LAW - it's worth a few seconds, anyway. Now how long 'till Brock does a Shooting Star Press again? Crazy. So I guess this is no contest match result. What implications does that have for next week? There's no time for discussion - SmackDown! goes off the air before anyone can say much.
Grade: (A-) I was going to give this largely status quo show a B-something, but then I saw that spot. Plus Eddie and Tajiri looked strong even though they didn't wrestle, and Matt's really stepping up his game. Cena had his funniest rap in months. My only complaint is the Mr. America angle made me a little sleepy, but I say that to all of you every week.
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