Monday, July 12, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - January 30th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
January 30th, 2003 
Green Bay, Wisconsin

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)

Commentary: Michael Cole & Tazz

Tonight: Vince McMahon responds to Hulk Hogan’s actions/challenge from last week PLUS Edge/Benoit vs. Benjamin/Haas in a #1 Contender’s Match 

1) Rey Mysterio vs. A-Train 

After being injured by him a month or so ago, Mysterio gets his chance for redemption. He charges Albert during his entrance. This was just about the same as their first meeting. Fun little man-big man power vs speed stuff. Unfortunately, Train wins. Good little match though and it makes sense. 

Match rating - **1/2

Paul Heyman is backstage with Josh Matthews. He says he’s given Big Show the night off tonight. 

2) Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero) vs. John Cena (w/ Redd Dogg) 

Cena’s first match with his new dude with him since they turned on B2. He tries to get involved but the Guerrero’s ain’t the ones to fuck with and it costs Cena. Eddie wins an ok match. 

Match rating - **1/4 

Paul Heyman is on the phone, but gets distracted when he sees... BRIAN KENDRICK. “Aren’t you that guy who was trained by Shawn Michaels?” Heyman asks Kendrick if he knows who he is. Of course Brian does! Heyman asks if he wants to make a name for himself in this business. Kendrick says he does and Heyman puts his arm around him and they walk off together. 

Steph is perched up on her desk when Papa Vince walks in and asks what the hell she was thinking bringing Hogan back. Steph says he should be mad at Eric for trying to bring back his arch nemesis Stone Cold, not at her for bringing back Hogan. Steph tries to further explain herself. Vince says he has a surprise of his own tonight. 

This Saturday on VELOCITY: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie - the almighty rivalry continues. 

3) Shannon Moore (w/ Matt Hardy) vs. Billy Kidman

Moore works over Kidman and keeps his grounded with headlocks and shit. Kidman fires back like the fiery baby face cruserweight champion he is. Simple enough formula here and the comeback is topped off with Kidman thwarting a Hardy interference attempt and nailing Moore with a shooting star press for the win. Hardy attacks Kidman post match. Yay no more beating up poor Shannon and getting away with it. Two twists of fate to the cruserweight champ though. 

Match rating - **1/4 

Mr. McMahon is walking down the hallway and is headed to the ring!!!

Vince hits the ring and starts arguing with audience immediately as they have Hogan signs and are chanting his name. “NOW DONT YOU START THAT CRAP!!!!” Vince recaps what was going through his head last week. He says he may have been wrong about hulkamania being dead, but he has plans to kill it. Vince announces Hogan vs. Rock for No Way Out then The Rock appears via satellite to hype the match some more and say he’s accepting it, not for Vince, but because the people want to see Icon vs Icon in a rematch from last year’s WrestleMania. 

4) Rikishi vs. Bill Demott 

This has become a series for some reason, but I’m over it. They’re 1-1 against each other. Demott wins via a roll up using the ropes. 

Match rating - *3/4 

The Undertaker shows up immediately after this match. CAUSE HE CAN. He calls out The Big Show. Paul Heyman comes out instead and sends BRIAN KENDRICK OUT ON A BICYCLE OMFG. He sings a jingle for Taker that is apparently an apology from The Big Show. Taker tips Kendrick $100 then gives him a last ride. RIIIIP. Taker leaves on his motorcycle. 

Backstage, Kurt Angle stresses the importance of tonight’s match to Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas and tells them this is their chance to get an opportunity to hold gold. 

They replay Brock Lesnar’s comments from last week about the goals he has accomplished and the next two that he has - F5’ing Paul Heyman and beating Kurt Angle at WrestleMania for the WWE Title. 

5) Edge & Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (w/ Kurt Angle) - #1 Contenders Match for the Tag Team Titles 

Los Guerreros are watching backstage as this awesome match goes down. Haas & Benjamin isolate Edge after an early flurry from the babyfaces and work him over like madman. They tear into his leg with holds and figure fours. They frequently make tags, just classic tag team wrasslin. Benoit finally gets the hot tag and the closing sequence rules. Benjamin somehow kicks out of the fucking diving headbutt. Benoit locks him in the cross face, Haas breaks it up and eats a spear from Edge. Angle decks Benoit with the belt which allows Benjamin to get the pin. Team Angle are the new #1 contenders. Great match. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

Team Angle back up the ramp celebrating their victory to close the show. It’s Los Guerreros/Haas & Benjamin for the belts next week!

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