Match 6th, 2003
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
1) Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble - #1 Contender’s Match for the Cruserweight Title
What a damn way to start the show. The winner of this faces Matt Hardy for the Cruserweight title at WrestleMania. Lots of great multi man spots here and an all around good flow that was honestly just a Mysterio showcase. Noble & Tajiri bump around nicely for him. Noble, being the heel, took most of the spots which allowed for Tajiri to get some stuff in, too. Mysterio & Tajiri have a killer exchange to finish things where Rey wins with a roll up/pinning combo of sorts.
Match rating - ***
Later tonight: Hulk Hogan appears, plus Rhyno & Chris Benoit vs. Benjamin/Haas
2) Los Guerreros vs. Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli (w/ Nunzio)
Tazz let out the most fucking insane “Viva La Raza” during the Guerrero’s entrance.. like actual fucking insane shit. Eddie & Chavo lead the FBI to a good ass little TV tag. Chavo gets the tag off Eddie being isolated. Things break down and an awesome frog splash ends it. Smackdown is 2/2 tonight for great matches. FBI attacks the Guerrero’s after the match.
Match rating - **1/2
“What’s wrong, Paul? You look worried.”
Kurt Angle was stressed as fuck last week when he thought he was gonna have to face Brock Lesnar in the cage, but now that it’s Paul, he’s chill as all hell and acting like Paul is overreacting and it’s fucking hilarious. Big Show is forceably trying to calm Heyman so Angle says he is gonna go talk to Stephanie and try to use his “personal relationship” with her to get the cage match cancelled.
Back from commercial, Angle tries to seduce Steph like he said and it doesn’t work. Poor bastard.
3) Matt Hardy (c) (w/ Shannon Moore) vs. Billy Kidman - Cruserweight Title Match
Return match for Kidman after losing the title at No Way Out. Winner has Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania. Fast start to things with Hardy using vintage heel cheap shit to get an advantage, especially with Shannon at ringside. Things move at a quick rate and this one is over before you know it. Hardy wins and will be challenged by Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania.
Match rating - **1/4
They replay last week where Steph announced that Torrie Wilson will be in Playboy. Next week, we get the cover reveal!
Nidia is backstage with Josh Matthews. They show footage of her going to Hugh Hefner’s house. She thinks she should be the playboy cover girl instead of Torrie and challenges her to a “body contest” next week. She then presumably flashes Josh Matthews.
The resident piece of dog shit Hulk Hogan is pacing down the hall looking for Vince. He’s headed to the ring.
Hulk Hogan calls out Vince McMahon and they go at it in a verbal battle that I wasn’t very interested in, but they 100% drew me in and commanded my attention. They talk about the steroid trials, Hogan leaving WWE for WCW, all the dirt that has happened between them over the years was laid out here. Vince challenges Hogan to a match at Mania where if Hogan loses, he will never wrestle again. Hogan accepts. God damn these boys were riled up.
“A wrestling ring is like a prison cell.”
They show clips of Taker training Nathan Jones before the show in the ring as the fans began entering the arena.
4) The Undertaker (w/ Nathan Jones) vs. A-Train (w/ The Big Show)
Some decent power v power stuff early. Taker gets sent to the outside and Show interferes while the ref is distracted. He slams Taker back first into the ring post. Train begins work on Taker’s back following this. Things end up breaking down with Jones & Show both getting involved and it’s kinda rough until Taker gets in and starts throwing some decent punches on Show in the corner. Show & Albert retreat as Taker & Jones stand together in the ring.
Replay of Rhyno’s return last week. He’s in action next!
Back from commercial, Show & Albert are looking for Heyman so they can have his back later in the cage match. Steph tells them to leave the arena.
5) Chris Benoit & Rhyno vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas
Grappling from Benoit & Benjamin to start. Rhyno ends up getting isolated by Haas & Benjamin. They work on his injured neck which kept him out for the last year and some change. This leads to the Benoit HOT tag and he starts throwing germans and the crowd is molten for it. Haas & Benjamin work super smart as always, cutting off momentum and breaking up pinfalls in this final sequence. Things really break down and Rhyno hits a huge gore on Benjamin which leads to Benoit being able to catch Haas in the crossface, forcing him to tap.
Match rating - **3/4
6) Brock Lesnar vs. Paul Heyman - Steel Cage Match
This was a shit show as you’d probably expect. Loads of interference from Angle, Benjamin, & Haas. Angle gets busted open. Brock goes for an F5 on Heyman, but Angle stops him. Heyman almost escapes off the distraction, but Brock pulls him down and nails the F5 for the win. A bloody Angle and Brock come face to face in the ring. Since Brock won, he gets his title shot early next week against Angle in Pittsburgh.