March 27th, 2003
San Jose, California
WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
THE FINAL SHOW BEFORE WRESTLEMANIA 19
1) Rey Mysterio & Brian Kendrick vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore
Oh yeah, bud. This was a blast. Kendrick takes the beating early. Hardy & Shannon rock as a team and hit big moves on him. Rey had to come in for the save several times. Rey finally gets the hot tag and him & Kendrick clean house. Just.. hell yeah. Kendrick is left alone in the ring after the mayhem, though, and Hardy catches him with a twist of fate for the win.
Match rating - **3/4
Hardy gets the upperhand on Rey post match, nails him with a Twist of Fate and stands over him. They clash for the Cruserweight title at WrestleMania.
Hulk Hogan is walking into the arena with his son and Jimmy Hart. NICK HOGAN IN THE HOUSE. Hulk tells Jimmy to take his soon to the dressing room or whatever.
20 years in the making video package with Piper talking about Hogan & Vince.
Hulk Hogan hits the ring and says he agreed to a street fight with Vince at Mania and to put his career on the line because he knows he can beat him. Hogan says this won’t be his last match and reassures the HuLkAmAniAcs of that. He says this is a fight that has been brewing for 20 years. Hogan promises to leave Vince in a pool of his own blood.
2) Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chavo Guerrero) vs. Charlie Haas (w/ Shelton Benjamin)
I loved this. Just rough grappling to start and really felt like a straight up wrestling match between the two. Guerrero and Haas deliver a perfect sub 5 minute match. Guerrero sneaks his way to victory with a roll up.
Match rating - **3/4
Josh Matthews catches John Cena backstage and he’s calling out Brock tonight. WORD LIFE.
Brock Lesnar is headed into the arena after commercial and responds to the news that Cena is gonna call him out. Brock says Cena can do whatever the hell he wants, all he’s focused on is winning the WWE Title at WrestleMania.
Nathan Jones’ debut match was supposed to be next, but he attacked Chuck Palumbo in the back and laid him out. He shows The Undertaker what he did. Taker laughs and says his first match will just have to happen at Mania.
Meanwhile Jamie Noble & Nidia are walking. Someone walks up with Torrie Wilson’s PLAYBOY MAGAZINE COVER. Nidia is upset because she should’ve been the cover girl. She poses and Jamie gets horny. Nidia faces Torrie up next!
Recap of the press conference and stuff where they announce Torrie as the cover girl and present the magazine. Her and Hugh take a picture and shit. Yeah.
3) Torrie Wilson vs. Nidia (w/ Jamie Noble)
This wasn’t much. Story is there but this was never going to get any time or attention to develop into anything. Torrie wins.
Match rating - *1/2
Show & A Train laugh at Nathan Jones backstage on their way to the ring.
4) Chris Benoit & Rhyno vs. The Big Show & A-Train
They brawl around and it's pretty good until Nathan Jones runs down and gets involved. He gets dominated by Train & Show before TAKER comes down for the save. It's Nathan Jones & Taker vs. Show & Albert on Sunday at WrestleMania.
Kurt Angle walks into Brock Lesnar's locker room and says he better be ready because no matter what happens at Mania, this match is going to set the standard for the future of pro wrestling. He points out that it's Brock's first Mania and it could very well be his last. Brock says he prays that Kurt brings everything he's got because that title means more to him than anything in this world. Brock agrees that they are going to raise the standard and says even though he may be a kid to him, this kid is going to take the title from him on Sunday. HERE COMES THE PAIN.
LIMP BIZKIT starts playing as Cole & Taz run down the card for Sunday including for Heat which airs before the PPV where the Raw World Tag Titles will be defended.
Another Hogan/Vince video package where Mean Gene picks Hogan to win.
5) Shelton Benjamin (w/ Charlie Haas) vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/ Eddie Guerrero)
Another good one hyping the tag title match here. Not quite as good as Eddie/Haas from earlier, but still very good. Shelton works Haas’ leg and they do a lot of interference stuff. It’s all super smartly worked, though which isn’t surprising considering those involved and the time period. Chavo wins and Rhyno & Chris Benoit walk down and all three teams involved in the tag title match on Sunday have a staredown.
Match rating - **1/2
6) John Cena vs. Rikishi
Cena is coming off some time away due to injury, and he has returned in full Doctor of Thuganomics form. The Basic Thuganomics music debuts and all so this is pretty sick to see. He goes after Rikishi viciously which is weird to see knowing the babyface he would become within the next 2 years. Seeing him work so heel is a sight to behold. Cena looks like a monster here and hits the FU for the first time to get the win.
Match rating - **1/2
Cena gets the mic and calls BROCK OUT LETS FUCKIN GO. Brock doesn’t come out so Cena says if he doesn’t want some, he’ll come get some. Commercial break as Cena walks backstage.
Back from commercial, Cena finds Brock and they brawl and it rules. Kurt Angle comes from behind when Brock gets the upper hand and smashes a piece of wood over his back. Angle looks strong heading into WrestleMania with Brock lying in pain as we go off air.