Friday, January 22, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - January 16th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
January 16th, 2003 
East Rutherford, New Jersey

WWE Champion - Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions - Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since 11/17/02)
WWE Cruserweight Champion - Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentators Michael Cole & Tazz 

Smackdown begins with the news that Al Wilson has.... died. What in the fuck. This is the most bizarre kayfabe death. So yeah. He “died” from a heart attack after they fucked too many times last week in their honeymoon suite and Dawn Marie is in a chair with sad music playing telling us about it and says she will host a.. public... viewing... tonight .. I’m at a loss for words 

TONIGHT: Edge & Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas 
1) Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (c) vs. John Cena & B-2 - WWE Tag Team Championship Match 

Cena and B-2 aren’t the best team, but Eddie & Chavo made this work. There was a sick spot where Eddie slingshot cross bodied onto all three men on the floor. This leads to the pin where Eddie frogsplashes B-2 for the pinfall. 

Match rating - **1/4

Post match, Cena argues with B-2 and blames him for the loss. Cena and assumingly a new cohort of his from the crowd jumps B-2 and leave him laying. 

Replays of what has happened in recent weeks with Team Angle and Benoit. This leads to a sit down pre-tape with Benoit. He says he’s gonna show Angle “toothless aggression” this Sunday. Holy hell. 

Stephanie McMahon is out next. She hyped The Undertaker’s return coming up in a few days at the Royal Rumble. She also announces Show/A Train vs. Brock and a partner to be named for tonight.

Nathan Jones vignette. He is coming soon. 

2) Bill Demott vs. Rikishi 

Demott cuts a promo about how everyone has been giving him shit recently for only facing smaller guys. Tonight he has Rikishi and Bill says if he was him, he’d back his ass up and out of the ring. They lock up and Demott works holds on Rikishi. Rikishi fights back and earns some momentum, only for Demott to use the rights to get the cheap win. 

Match rating - *3/4 

Funaki is backstage talking to Cruserweight Champion Billy Kidman. Kidman talks about Shannon Moore being brainwashed by Matt Hardy. Hardy & Moore walk up. Hardy says there’s a reason Shannon follows him and explains how great of a role model he is. Funaki questions why Shannon falls for Matt’s B.S. and Matt interjects and ends up swinging on Funaki. It turns into a brawl and Funaki lays into Matt and Moore & Hardy run off. 

3) Nunzio (w/ Jamie Noble & Nidia) vs. Tajiri 

How long are they gonna run with these angle of Nunzio being Noble’s cousin? It makes no god damn sense. Nunzio is looking for revenge here as Tajiri defeated Noble last week in a pretty fun spot fest. This isn’t bad. Tajiri looks like he’s gonna win, Nidia and Noble get involved. Nidia gets sprayed by the green mist, but it’s enough of a distraction for Nunzio to capitalize and get the victory. 

Match rating - **

They show highlights from the 10th Anniversary of Raw Award special that aired a few nights ago. Most notable thing here is Stone Cold winning the Raw Superstar of the Decade award and not appearing, instead Vince McMahon comes out and says he didn’t appear because “he wasn’t invited” oooof. This is interesting as we’re coming off Stone Cold walking out in the spring of last year after refusing to face Brock Lesnar on Raw. 

The Undertaker returns at the Royal Rumble.

Cole & Tazz with light piano music commentate Dawn Marie walking to the casket of Al Wilson. The public viewing is coming up later.

Steph is on the phone with Shane in the office about whether or not Bischoff is getting fired. Brock Lesnar comes in and says he doesn’t need a tag partner tonight and if he gets his ass beat he’s bringing Show and A-Train down with him. Steph says she has to protect her investment in him and insists on it.

Big Show and A-Train are headed to the ring followed by Paul Heyman who’s in a damn scarf. 

4) Brock Lesnar & Rey Mysterio vs. The Big Show & A-Train 

Brock’s mystery tag team partner is REY MYSTERIO who is returning after a month or more off due to the injury he suffered at the hands of A-Train. So, yeah this is the ultimate pay off. Brock & Rey clear house and end this is under two minutes. Awesome shit. 

Back at the public viewing, people have filled the seats in the funeral home. All of a sudden Torrie walks in and the music & chatter stops. Torrie approaches Dawn and the casket when all of a sudden we shift into a match. 

5) Matt Hardy (w/ Shannon Moore) vs. Funaki

They actually throw a good bit of shit out here. Shannon Moore ends up coming out and Billy Kidman comes for the save. Hardy still gets the win, though after a decent little back & forth match. 

Match rating - **

After the match, Hardy slaps Shannon for taking any credit in the victory. 

Back at the public viewing of Al Wilson. Dawn says Torrie killed her father and slaps her. Torrie slaps the shit out of her back and she leans on the casket and tips it which sets Torrie off. She cries and looks in the casket saying “Dad, I’m so sorry” and DAWN HITS HER WITH A DAMN VASE. This is fuuuucked. 

6) Chris Benoit & Edge vs. Kurt Angle, Shelton Benjamin, & Charlie Haas 

Team Angle isolates Edge for a while and it rules. Just great tag work and Edge killing the face in peril role. It builds to the big Benoit hot tag. He runs through everyone and throws Charlie Haas around with three German suplexes. Edge spears Shelton Benjamin and Benoit locks Angle in the cross face, but gets disqualified for refusing to break the hold. The brawl continues after the bell. Benoit beats Angle with the crutch he used on him last week to close the show. It’s Angle/Benoit for the title in just a few short days at Royal Rumble.

Match rating - ***

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