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TV REPORTS
3/27 WWE Smackdown review: Sable returns, McMahon teases turn

Apr 3, 2003 - 9:20:00 PM
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By B.J. Bethel, Torch Team Contributor

WWE Smackdown
April 3, 2003
Taped April 1, 2003 in Spokane, Wash.


Pre Intro: The WrestleMania highlight package that aired before Raw is ran again, played along to Limp Bizkit.

Meanwhile, I've just found out that Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Double Trouble are on tour together this Summer. They could book KWS and Double Trouble in Baghdad by themselves in Baghdad, and I'd be there.

1st Quarter Hour

Stephanie came out and cut her usual baiting promo announcing a three week tourney for the spot as number one contender.

(1) Undertaker pinned Rey Misterio. (Clean) So much for pushing the Cruiserweights. The two played cat and mouse to start. Rey went after the big man's knee and dropkicked him out of the ring. 'Taker quickly recovered and delivered a Mafia kick to cool Rey off quick. Clothesline in the corner by Misterio, and UT takes his time pacing back and forth. 'Taker gave Rey an uppercut to the gut and made him flip over onto his back, but Rey followed up with a jaw breaker and some punches. 'Taker countered by going for the choke slam, but Rey reversed it by climbing up on his shoulders and hitting a spinning DDT. Rey hit the 619, but UT kicked out. Misterio then went for the springboard 'rana, but UT caught him in mid-air and gave him the Last Ride powerbomb for the pinfall. 'Taker moved on in the tournament. 'Taker stood over Misterio menacingly before helping him up to his feet. 'Taker then held up an American flag that a fan had a ringside.

Vince was shown walking around backstage with a big bandage on his forehead. He asked someone if Hogan had shown up yet.

2nd Quarter Hour

(2) Brian Kendrich pinned Jamie Noble (w/Nidia). (Clean) Shannon Moore and Matt Hardy came to ringside to help out on commentary. Moore said he lost to Kendrich because he had an earache and couldn't hear Matt. Noble didn't waste anytime taking on Kendrich, beating him down in a couple corners before Kendrich sent him out and landing a double springboard body press on the outside. Back in the ring, Kendrich went up top and hit a flying cross body for a two count. Kendrich flipped out of a Noble German suplex, but got caught with a power slam instead. Noble went up top, but Kendrich caught him with a punch to the jaw. Nice spot where Kendrich went for a top rope 'rana and Noble rolled through with a sunset flip for a two count. Kendrich was sent outside and held up by Nidia, but Noble's baseball slide missed and hit her instead, allowing Noble to get distracted so Kendrich could roll him up for the three count. Hardy and Moore attacked Kendrich afterwards and tossed him out of the ring and grabbed the mic.

After the match, Hardy challenged Lesnar to a "champion vs. champion" match next week. Kendrich came back in and attacked both guys, but Hardy nailed him with the Twist of Fate to put him out.

Another promo for the FBI, leaving some guy tied up and duct taped in an alley. I'm glad WWE hasn't gone to playing the racial stereotype card the last few weeks, geesh.

3rd Quarter Hour

They showed photo highlights of Lesnar/Angle from Wrestlemania. They showed Lesnar's missed SSP in slow motion and video of him after the match, showing symptoms of a concussion. Scary bump, but I still say Hayabusa's blown SSP against Gladiator in FMW was worse. You know you got twisted when the heels of your feet bounce off your forehead.

Promo for Roddy Piper. WWE could definitely use a dose of the "old" Roddy Piper, the one that could cut the best interviews in wrestling and not contradict himself in the same sentence.

(3) Chris Benoit submitted A-Train to the CCF. (Clean) Benoit dodged some A-Train punches and went to the waist lock. Benoit kept going for the CCF, and A-Train kept attempting to get out of it, turning it into a pin at one point. A-Train went to an inverted wheel barrel and locked on a chin lock, using it to flip Benoit around and onto his back. Ouch. That was all Benoit on that one. Albert tossed Benoit, but brought him back in quickly and scored a two count. Albert worked Benoit over in the corner and then gave him a hard Irish whip into the next one. Train kept things slow and deliberate and stood for a second before locking on a side chin lock on the mat. Benoit quickly fought back with some elbows and hit some chops. A-Train tossed Benoit to the outside. Benoit and A-Train matched up on the apron where Benoit hit some chops, but A-Train dragged him and worked over his mid-section. God, that didn't sound right. Benoit fired back with some more chops, but A-Train shut him down again. Benoit countered again into the waist lock, but Albert took him down with an elbow. Train followed that up by missing the splash in the corner, and that allowed Benoit to take over with several rolling German suplexes. So much for calming things down. Benoit delivered the head butt, but A-Train had his foot on the ropes during the pinfall attempt. Benoit hooked a leg, but could only get a two count after that. Benoit came off the ropes to attack, but A-Train caught him with a Mafia kick. A-Train tried nailing his over-the-shoulder back breaker, but Benoit countered it into the CCF. A-Train tried standing out of it, but Benoit used his legs and the ropes to flip them both back onto the mat, causing A-Train to tap out.

Vince was on the phone when Stephanie walked in. She asked her father how he was holding up, and he responded by saying he was OK. Vince said he was going to "do something in the ring with Hogan that he should have done a long time ago." Steph said she wanted to make sure he didn't do anything he would regret.

4th Quarter Hour

Sean O'Hare promo aired.

Torrie Wilson was shown backstage.

(4) John Cena pinned Eddie Guerrero. (Clean) Cena attacked Guerrero the minute he entered the ring by battering him with forearms and choking him in the corner. Vertical suplex with a stall by Cena got a two count. Cena then went to a bear hug, picking Eddie up off of the mat. Eddie fought back by going for the eyes, but Cena rammed him in the corner and turned that into a belly to belly for a two count. Eddie came back with some blows of his own and a running forearm. Eddie took Cena down again with a couple clotheslines and then used a series of rolling suplexes. Eddie then connected with a missile drop kick for a two count. Cena picked Eddie up by his shoulders and dropped him with an electric chair suplex. Cena went for his chain, but Eddie managed to nail him before he could use it and grabbed it. The ref made him toss it. Cena tried a press slam, but Eddie slipped out. Eddie went for the Frog Splash, but Cena rolled out of the way. Standing 'rana by Eddie, but Cena quickly recovered and nailed him with the Death Valley Driver for the three count to go on. Wrong guy to put him over.

Jimmy Hart, Hulk Hogan and Hogan's kid were shown arriving.

They had Torrie Wilson's "Playboy Coming Out Party." I guess they haven't hyped this enough. Torrie was wearing some green two piece that couldn't have made her look any hotter if it was lit on fire. "I just want to thank all you guys. Who would have thought all these people would want to see me get naked." Torrie said she was going to have a coming out and started undoing her top when Sable's music hit. Rena appears to have gone implant size EEE. Sable said she was sorry to interrupt, but she had her own coming out party. Well, the time off sure didn't help develop her promo skills. Sable said she's been gone for a while, but some things never change. Sable then said that some people don't feel there is enough room for the two of them on Smackdown. Sable then said that she thought they were going to be the best of friends and the gave her a peck on the lips. Gee, so she was playing hard to get with Marlena that whole time?

5th Quarter Hour

(5) Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin defeated Funaki/Tajiri by tap out. (Usual heel tactics, but no interference) Tajiri and Funaki charged Team Angle but got taken down quick. Benjamin then matched up against Funaki and took him off his feet with a slam. Benjamin did a mocking bow, and got a boot from Tajiri for it. Tajiri and Funaki then did jumping jacks to mock Team Angle. Sweet leg scissors take over by Funaki on Benjamin. Haas ran in and ate a drop toe hold, but the distraction let Benjamin get the advantage over Funaki. Haas tagged in and let Funaki tag in Tajiri. Hard to believe that nine months ago Haas was almost out of a job. Chops in the corner by Tajiri. Haas tried whipping Tajiri into Benjamin on the apron, but Tajiri took both guys down with kicks to a big pop. The fans like it when you break the norm. Haas then worked over Tajiri, landing a standing over-head belly-to-belly suplex. This set up the double guillotine body splash, which Benjamin used to get a two count. Chin lock by Benjamin, but he changed his mind and went for the Boston Crab. Funaki broke it up with a drop kick to Benjamin. Double team attempt by T.A. is busted up by Tajiri's handspring elbow on both guys. Funaki then made the hot tag and went after both heels, nailing Haas with a flying body press for a two count. Benjamin broke up the count, but Tajiri made him pay with the Tarantula in the corner. Funaki went for a Tornado DDT, but Benjamin clipped Funaki's leg and slipped out of the ring with the ref's back turned so Haas could lock on the Haas of Pain to get the tap out. Best match of the night.

Commercial: Jackass The Movie. I'm boycotting the Academy Awards until I get an explanation why Bam's Mom wasn't given a nom as Best Supporting Actress.

6th Quarter Hour

The FBI talked to Undertaker backstage in the catering area. They are wanting to talk out some differences between them and Nathan Jones. 'Taker gave them credit for wanting to talk things out. 'Taker told them he wasn't burying the hatchet because they took Jones out at 'Mania, and that almost left him in trouble without a partner. The FBI stood up to take on 'Taker when Jones showed up. Guido told him that they would deal with the problem when they felt it was the right time.

Sean Waltman and Joanie Laurer are being featured on E! right now for something. Waltman is dressed like he just walked out of Superfly.

7th Quarter Hour

(6) Rhyno defeated Big Show by DQ. (A-Train interfered to end the match.) Rhyno went right after Show, but got taken apart in the corner by the bigger guy. Show kept Rhyno off his feet with blows primarily, sometimes getting real ambitious and standing on him or using his wait to choke him with his foot. Moving gets hard for a big guy when they have an injured back. Side slam by Big Show got a two count. Show missed a splash in the corner, allowing Rhyno to hit him with a Gore. Rhyno set him up for another one after he fended off A-Train, who had ran down to interfere. A-Train got in the ring and started stomping Rhyno and that DQed Show. A-Train told Show to snap his neck, so he dropped a big leg across his throat as Train held his legs.

Another promo for Piper's Pit, debuting next week. March 30th, 2003. The day the sickness ended.

I'm missing American Graffiti on VH1!!! Damn you!! Damn you!!!!!

8th Quarter Hour

Vince McMahon came out for his weekly mic time. He wanted to set the record straight with Hogan and called him out to the ring. Hogan came out to the usual big Hulk-a-stalgia pop. If you want to know why Vince has resorted to making Raw and Smackdown a series of greatest hit packages, this is why. Vince tried to tell Hogan why how hard it is to deal with defeat. Vince wanted Hogan to find it in him to forgive him so that one day, just maybe, they could be friends again. Vince extended a hand and the fans booed as Hogan scanned the crowd for approval. Hogan didn't go fir it, Vince replied that he had that coming. Hogan asked if he was serious and offered his own hand and Vince went for it. The two shook as Voodoo Chile started crankin'. Vince smiled and started walking out of the ring. Hogan then asked them to cut the music and told Vince "thank you," which got a lot of boos. Just as things looked like they were ending, Vince stopped and said no. He then told Hogan thanks. He thanked Hogan and the Hulkamaniacs for the memories, then went to Mr. McMahon-tone and said that all they had were memories and Hogan's days were done. Vince said he was going to pay him to stay at home and that is how he was going to do it. He said he was going to deny the Hulkamaniacs any privilege they have of seeing them again. He said Hogan was going to die a slow death of leprosy. Vince said if he didn't like what he had to say, he was waiting in the parking lot for him. Hogan then went walking backstage after him. Vince was standing by his limo and was egging him on. Vince had a bunch of cops there. Hogan's kid was begging him to get in the car. Oh my God, this is so horrible its beyond description. The show ended with the limo driving and Vince saying that he never loses.

(Notes: To say the direction of the show has finally been turned upside down would be an understatement. Several months ago, the headline talent was mainly guys who hadn't been showcased before. Now the headlining talent is Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan.... The Big Guy vs. Smaller Guy theme of the show got a little stale as the night went on. Kendrich and Noble didn't really get going, but the Tajiri/Funaki vs. Team Angle tag match was the highlight of the show. Hopefully they start using that duo more.... Despite the nostalgia craze taking hold, it appears that John Cena will be in for a decent push. It wouldn't surprise me to see him getting the win in the tourney.... Undertaker hasn't been moved back into a prime slot, which is kind of a surprise. After a feud with Big Show, 'Taker is now in a side feud with the FBI.... Here is an idea; Push Eddie Guerrero...)

You can send feedback to bbethel@pwtorch.com.


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