Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - February 27th, 2003

WWE: Smackdown
February 27th, 2003
London, Ontario, Canada

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 2/6/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Matt Hardy (since 2/23/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz 

Vince McMahon opens the show. He is here to talk about screwing Hulk Hogan at No Way Out on Sunday. He says Hogan won’t be here tonight and starts bragging about what he did to him. He says he will show footage of what happened later tonight for anyone who missed. MCMAHONAMANIA IS RUNNINGWILD. 

1) Torrie Wilson & Funaki vs. Nidia & Jamie Noble 

This has a lot more action than you’d expect. Noble & Funaki kill it. Torrie gets the hot tag and pins Nidia even after an interference bit from Dawn Marie.

Match rating - **

Stephanie McMahon comes out post match to announce she has closed a deal with Playboy Magazine and does a tease as if she’s gonna be “bare” in the magazine. Instead though she announces Torrie Wilson will be in Playboy! Torrie jumps for joy and Dawn Marie looks pissed. 

DURING THE BREAK. Torrie asks Steph if she’s REALLY gonna be in Playboy. She says yes and the shoot is next week. Brian Kendrick shows up and Steph refers to him as “naked boy” and Kendrick apologizes for streaking last week. Kendrick asks if he can face Kurt Angle tonight to prove that he really wants the job here in WWE. Steph says if he can last five minutes with Kurt then she’ll sign him. 

“Hey Brian Kendrick, don’t quit your day job.” -Michael Cole 

2) Nunzio (w/ F.B.I.) vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero) 

“This threesome has become a force in recent weeks.” -Michael Cole 
They grapple around and trade stuff for a while and it’s kinda fun. Eddie wins with a roll up and Palumbo & Stromboli of FBI attack immediately. Rikishi runs down to make the save for Eddie & Chavo.  

Back from commercial, Steph informs Paul Heyman that if Brock wins the handicap match tonight, Brock can pick any member from Team Angle to face in a steel cage next week. Heyman is upset and says this isn’t fair. Stephanie says life isn’t fair.. GET OUT. 

Cole & Tazz recap Edge’s injury from No Way Out and that he will be out for almost a year.. damn. This leads to Brock Lesnar and Chris Benoit talking in the hall. Chris tells Brock he needs to beat Haas & Benjamin by any means necessary and do to them what they did to Edge. Brock asks Chris what happens if they target him next and maybe he should focus on himself. Chris says he isn’t the only one with friends around here. 

WMXIX VIDEO PACKAGE MARCH 30TH 2003 IN SEATTLE LETS GO. They announce that Limp Bizkit will be performing at Mania. Aw hell. 

3) Chris Benoit & Rhyno vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore

Chris Benoit’s mystery partner is RHYNO. Damn this is pretty cool. He gets an awesome showing here in this match which is pretty short, but reintroduces him well. Benoit throws some suplexes and Rhyno gets the hot tag and gores Hardy for the win.

Match rating - **1/2

A-Train comes out for his match with The Undertaker, but it just turns into a handicap beatdown as Big Show comes out to help him assault Taker. Nathan Jones makes the big save and throws some weird kicks that make A-Train scatter out of the ring. Jones and Taker come face to face in the ring as we go to commercial. 

John Cena pre-tape time. For this one he’s rapping behind a computer, once again about Brock Lesnar who put him out with an injury. This is the one where he announces his finisher as the FU. “Your finisher’s the F5, mine’s the FU.” 

4) Kurt Angle vs. Brian Kendrick 

Time for Brian’s 5 minutes with Angle. If he lasts the five minutes, he gets a contract. This actually fucking rules. Kurt fucks around and Kendrick starts firing off at him and has the champion reeling for a minute or two. Kurt wins after some struggle and only 2 seconds to spare. Brian took an awesome bump off a clothesline and just bumped around amazingly all match, honestly. Just great stuff for what it is. Angle wins with the angle slam.

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, Angle raises Kendrick’s hand to seemingly give him praise and a show of respect only to say “Brock, this one’s for you” and lariat the hell out of him which leads to a big assault to get Kurt some HEAT. He caps it off by hitting Kendrick with an F5.

The referee from the Rock/Hogan match, Sylvan Grenier, comes out. Vince asked him to air the footage from No Way Out so he does. And so I fast forwarded it because I’ve already seen it almost three times now. 

After the PPV went off the air, Hogan asked Stephanie - “WHERES UR DAMN FATHER” and they showed that clip which leads to them announcing that Hulk Hogan will be on Smackdown next week plus Undertaker faces A-Train one on one.

Paul Heyman is backstage getting Benjamin & Haas ready for their match with Brock coming up next. 

5) Brock Lesnar vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (w/ Kurt Angle & Paul Heyman) 

So, yeah, the stip here is if Brock wins he gets any member of Team Angle that he wants in a cage match next week. The match itself is a blast. The great part about this story is everyone involved is a legit athlete with amateur wrestling background so everything feels all the more real. Brock fights the numbers game and ultimately wins. 

Match rating - **3/4

Afterwards, Kurt Angle is in distress as he’s sure Brock is gonna pick to face him in the cage and try to injure him before their Mania match. Paul Heyman gets attacked by Brock. He goes for an F5, but Angle chops out the legs of Lesnar before he can nail it. Lesnar gets on the mic and says he doesn’t pick Kurt like everyone is expecting him to. They have their match at WrestleMania, next week he wants Paul Heyman. Good swerve to pop the crowd. Heyman freezes with his jaw dropped as Angle, Benjamin & Haas back away. And that’s all, folks.

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