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4/17 WWE Smackdown review: Cena vs. Benoit for title shot

Apr 17, 2003 - 9:15:00 PM
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By B.J. Bethel, Torch Team Contributor

WWE Smackdown review
April 17, 2003
Taped Tuesday in Norfolk, Va.


Pre Intro: Highlights of the #1 contender tourney over the past two weeks.

1st Quarter Hour

(1) Big Show & A-Train pinned Tajiri & Rey Misterio. (Clean) Someone needs to tell Albert that this is waxing season. Rey and Albert started things off. Rey used his speed to fend off Albert and to get a quick double team on him with Tajiri. Tajiri tagged quick to Rey and they hit some tandem dropkicks on Train's knees and head. Train took them off their feet with a double clothesline, but Rey fed him a jawbreaker. Show's big boot from the apron kept the 619 at bay and allowed Train to tag. Show did the usual big man vs. little man offense on Rey. Train tagged back in, and he got slightly more technical with a pair of back breakers and some knees, if you can call that technical. Train locked Rey in a version of the Gory stretch as Show gave him a big chop across the chest. This scored a two count for the heels. Some idiot is waving the camera with his cell phone like he's on live. HA. A-Train set Misterio up top, but Misterio countered to take both men off their feet, allowing Rey to hot tag. Tajiri went after Train with his kicks and dodged a Mafia kick to hit the handspring elbow. Big kick off a springboard scored a two count for Tajiri. Baseball slide on Big Show took him off the apron, and kick took Train down, but Show broke up the pinfall before it could hit three. One-handed press slam by Show on Misterio and he then set Tajiri up for Train's Mafia kick, which scored the pinfall. Train went for the Albert Bomb afterwards, but Tajiri sprayed him in the face. Rey then used the ringpost to nail show in the face with a 619 as he tried helping A-Train to the back. Show's mad and did is best Sid impression.

2nd Quarter Hour

Show is backstage ramming his face into a cage in the back. Finally, they found a way to book him. Show is upset that Misterio showed up, despitethe fact they won the match. Show is going to demand a one-on-one with Misterio with Stephanie.

Michael Cole was in the ring and he introduced Brock Lesnar to the crowd. Big pop for the next big thing. They showed yet another series of replays of Brock's blown SSP from Wrestlemania. Lesnar has a smile on his face and appears pretty happy. They are playing him as a straight babyface, which is odd for WWE, but is a good idea. Too bad they won't pull the writer's leash off of him to see if he could go it on his own. He addressed Angle. He said he respected the hell out of him and said Angle took him to another level. He was then interrupted by Cena. The throwback craze is getting too crazy when you can get an old Supersonics warm-up. Cena is mad at Lesnar for notrespecting him. He said Brock considered him a one hit wonder, Cena said the new one hit wonder was Lesnar. Cena went on a rant when Benoit's music hit. Benoit said Cena ignores the obvious. Benoit then ran Cena down for not respecting the title and not the man wearing it. Lesnar took that as Chris saying he didn't respect him, Benoit took that as Lesnar saying that he didn't respect him. Cena then put in his two cents. Lesnar said they should agree to respect whoever wins tonight and offered Lesnar a handshake. Cena was kind of reluctant to shake, Benoit shook but got blindsided by Cena as he shook. Could have been really good, but went way too long.

3rd Quarter Hour

They showed a new promo for "Mr. America," featuring some military footage and film of Patton and others.

(2) Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo Guerrero) pinned Jamie Noble (w/Nidia). (Clean) Eddie and Noble are in the ring when Team Angle walked out. Shelton Benjamin started cutting a promo imitating Eddie's accent and delivery. Haas called Eddie's grandma the "best housekeeper money could buy." Don't go there, holmes. This allowed Noble to get the jump on Eddie. Man, its been a while since Noble, Eddie and Stryker went four stars down at the Red Barn. Noble used the quick start to get a two count, but Eddie came firing back with an European uppercut. Suplex by Eddie got him two. Eddie tried charging Noble in the corner, but Noble caught him with an elbow. Eddie quickly recovered, but Noble used a baseball slide through Eddie's legs to hit a pump-handle/t-bone type back suplex. Eddie pushed Noble off into the corner and used a back suplex to set up a Frog Splash. Eddie was a little reluctant to go up top due to Team Angle, but that allowed Nidia to grab his leg. Noble tried going up top after Eddie, but Eddie pushed him off and hit the Frog Splash for the three count.

After the match, Eddie said he respected Team Angle for being great athletes and "taking each other down. And from what I hear, you guys go down on each other a lot." Chavo got in one about "you suck" and Team Angle charged the ring but got beaten down pretty quick and retreated back up the ramp.

Commercial: Backlash. God its weird hearing Tony Schiavone's voice during a WWE commercial.

Evil Frenchman bash us for being...us.... Tazz said between the Frenchman, Mr. American and the Guerreros he feels like he's in NATO... or something. Cole said its the UN, Tazz said it was NATO. He forgot the Italians.

4th Quarter Hour

Wait, here we are. Recap off the mugging incident from last week.

Earlier in the evening, they showed Nathan Jones choking he heck out of Nunzio against the cage Show was ramming his face into earlier. Nunzio is trying to yell for Palumbo. Stamboli ended up eating fence, as did Palumbo. I wouldn't choke on Nunzio, that dude can shoot.

A nice, gratuitous cleavage shot of Torrie as she did some stretches. Sable showed up to a nice canned pop. Torrie didn't look thrilled. Sable said she was impressed with her in Playboy, but there was no "comparison to the real thing." Probably, if it was as airbrushed as "I HEARD." Sable asked Torrie with some help with zipper. Torrie seemed unsure, so Sable unzipped herself and took off her top with her back to the corner. Sable said she had nowhere to change. Torrie told her to change where she liked. Sable turned around with only her hands keeping Smackdown on UPN.

5th Quarter Hour

Time for Piper's Pit. Piper promised to "get right to business." A "Piper" chant broke out. Piper said there are "new fans" who write on a computer keyboard. Piper said he came out and saw people beating people up and coming out of the closet. He liked it. Piper replayed the segment with O'Haire and Rikishi last week. Piper said he's looking for the "new millennium wrestler" and he's found him in O'Haire. O'Haire then came down. Piper kept cutting his promo over O'Haire's music. O'Haire said he is not kissing Piper's ass, but O'Haire wanted to learn from the one person who might be more evil then him, but he isn't telling Piper anything he doesn't already know. Snuka's music then hit and Piper was frothing at the mouth. Piper :"Hi Jimmy! How are ya', buddy!" Piper sucked up, saying "whatever the morons are saying, I agree with them." Snuka said there is a big problem. Superfly chant. Piper told O'Haire he had things covered and started taking his jacket off. Piper said he didn't need air, water, food or anything and was the greatest wrestler of all time. Piper offered to bury the hatchet/coconut but Snuka didn't bite. Piper tried a sucker punch but Snuka fired back with some chops. O'Haire ran in and attacked Snuka, but Rikishi made it out. Piper baited Rikishi by teasing a chairshot and then begging off, allowing O'Haire to nail Rikishi with a kick. Piper finished by saying "Ladies and gentlemen, Shawn O'Haire." Rikishi then called out Piper and wanted to have a match with O'Haire.

6th Quarter Hour

(3) Torrie Wilson pinned Nidia (w/ Jamie Noble). (Clean) Sable came out in her referee garb. After all the other crow she's been eating, I'm surprised Vince didn't have her paint the stripes on. Tazz voted to have all the refs look like Sable. Torrie and Sable had each others attention, allowing Nidia to attack Torrie and get a quick two count. Nidia used her shoulder to work over Torrie's back in the corner. Torrie nailed a flying crossbody for a two count. Jawbreaker from Nidia, but Torrie came back quick with a clothesline and some chops. Blown body drop on Nidia, not sure whose fault that was, but it got Torrie another two count. Arm whip into the corner and Torrie went for a monkey flip, but Nidia turned her around and sat her on the turnbuckle. Torrie turned that into a Tornado DDT as Sable baseball slid Noble off the apron and made the three count. Sable raised Torrie's hand as Torrie appeared rather uncomfortable.

(4) Matt Hardy pinned Brian Kendrick. (Clean)
Kendrick got a quick roll up for a two count. Matt's Irish whip backfired as Kendrick used it to hit a suicide dive on Moore on the outside. Kendrick missed a move from the top on Hardy, and that allowed Hardy to get a quick two count. Snake eyes by Hardy, followed by a clothesline got him another two count. Tazz announced that Piper just accepted a match against Rikishi next week. Full nelson on Hardy by Kendrick. Hardy missed the corner charge, but Kendrick couldn't get up top fast enough. Crucifix powerbomb attempt countered by Kendrick and turned a full nelson into a spinning DDT for a two count. Face breaker on Hardy and Kendrick went up top and hit a big elbow for a two count. Kendrick went for his finisher, but Hardy quickly reversed it into the Twist of Fate for the three count and the win.

Backstage, the FBI was shown preparing for a match.

7th Quarter Hour

Footage shown of Bradshaw and Simmons visiting some injured soldiers from Iraq. They then showed Bradshaw laying a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Really good segment.

(5)Nathan Jones defeated Nunzio by DQ. (FBI ran in to attack Jones) Jones came to the ring in shoot-style garb, including the gloves. Guido got the quick jump on him, but Jones knocked him down with a blow. Jones stood Nunzio up witha choke and hit him with a slow roundhouse kick. Standing choke on Nunzio, then Stamboli ran in to cause the DQ. Big gut-wrench suplex on Stamboli by Jones and Palumbo got taken out as well. Big superkick by Palumbo took Jones down on the outside and Stamboli caught him with a knee lift before dropping him on the guardrail out of a press slam. Stamboli dropped the top half of thering steps on Jones's leg as Nunzio held it in place on the bottom half of the steps.

Note to Self: If wife forces me to go see "The Real Cancun," shoot myself.

Cena called Benoit a "Dynamite rip off" in his latest rap. I care, and I'm sure two other guys in the crowd who get the reference do, too.

8th Quarter Hour

(6) John Cena pinned Chris Benoit. (Clean) Lock up ends with Cena backing Benoit into the corner, but Benoit took him down with an arm drag. Cena tried hanging with Benoit on the mat to start, but that was a big mistake as Benoit took him apart. Cena managed to lock on a rear chin lock after taking Benoit down with a low blow, but Benoit quickly got out. Two count by Cena after another blow and Cena went back to the chin lock. Benoit fought to his feet and hit some nasty chops on Cena. Waist lock by Benoit, but Cena managed to roll Benoit up for a two count. Benoit went for the CCF, but Cena escaped outside. Benoit made him pay with a suicide dive. They went to a break with both men laying on the mat outside the ring.

Benoit had control over Cena until Cena dropped Benoit on the top rope by his neck a couple times. Cena followed that up witha snap mare for a two count. The crowd tried rallying behind Benoit, who was getting worked over by Cena on the mat. Benoit finally took Cena off his feet and worked him over with some chops. That didn't last long, as Cena quickly got the momentum back with some of the usual heel tactics. Chin lock on Benoit, but the Crippler made it to his feet and hit a desperation back suplex. Both guys managed to get to their feet at the same time and Benoit let it loose with a clothesline and the patented snap suplex for a two count. Cena with his Twisting side slam for a two count. Haven't seen that in a while. After a quick illegal choke, Cena tried using an arm whip to the corner to take Benoit down a notch, but Benoit came charging out with a forearm. German suplex, and Benoit went up top for the head butt. Cena managed to move out of the way, but Cena managed to move and countered with a quick roll up. Benoit locked on the CCF as Cena tried stretching for the ropes. He eventually made it. Cena draped his arm around the ropes and held on as Benoit pounded on him. CCF countered to the DVD, countered to a roll up by John Cena to score the upset pinfall on Chris Benoit. Cena is absolutely in shock and disbelief at ringside as his name is announced as the winner. Benoit looks like someone just kicked his dog.

(Notes: Let me get this straight. Funaki, Misterio and Tajiri have two weeks worth of great matches so they then feed them to a couple un-over mega-jobbers like Show and Train? Why did they choose this opener to finally get the full first quarter hour for a change? I'm glad I don't own any of the stock... Eddie and Noble could have used some time. That is a great match waiting to happen, why not give the guys some time?... Piper has been good in his segments, and O'Haire could sure use the rub, but they could have used the time for the Pit segments a lot more effectively by pushing some or letting someone show off some ring ability.... Lesbian sexual harassment=Ratings?!... Funny, they have made Brian Kendrick look stronger over the last month then they have Rey Misterio or Tajiri... I'm not crazy about Cena, but at least they are pushing someone new. We know they have no title plans for either guy in the future... Overall, the show wasn't too bad but there were too many flat points and the match times have gotten smaller over the last few weeks. Hopefully that changes.)


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