Saturday, December 11, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - April 10th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
Chicago, Illinois
April 10th, 2003

WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar (since 3/30/03)
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

EARLIER TONIGHT: THE NEW WWE CHAMPION BROCK LESNAR is BACK!!! He is shaking the hands of people backstage including CM Punk, Jamie Noble, Ken Anderson and others. What a wild scene. He then signs some woman’s boobs. What a champ. He faces Matt Hardy tonight!! 

Also tonight: CENA vs TAKER and RHYNO vs BENOIT in tournament action! 

1) Brock Lesnar vs. Matt Hardy (w/ Shannon Moore)

This is a champion vs champion match, but not one with any sort of big feel. It has intent though. Just not about two champions clashing. It’s more about giving Brock a strong win now that he’s back and also establishing Matt as more of a chicken shit. Shannon Moore allows Hardy to get an advantage early, then Brock makes his comeback and destroys him for the win with an F5.

Match rating - **1/2

They replay all the Vince/Hogan stuff from last week. I NEVER LOSE HOGAN. 

2) Brian Kendrick & Torrie Wilson vs. Jamie Noble & Nidia
Sable is on commentary for this. This match is a blast. Kendrick & Noble kill it yet again. Crowd chants for Torrie and they get her. A miscue causes Nidia to hit a crossbody on Noble which leads to Torrie hitting a swinging DDT on Nidia for the pin for her team. Sable watches on and walks away slowly as Torrie & Kendrick celebrate. 

Match rating - **1/2 

Backstage, Chris Benoit approaches Brock and says he’s glad he’s back, but he’s looking forward to facing him at Backlash even more. Rhyno walks up and asks why he thinks he’s gonna get past him tonight. Brock is smirking and says he hopes they beat the shit out of each other tonight and whoever wins will have hell to pay at Backlash. BROCK !!! 

3) Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno - #1 Contender’s Tournament Match 

Another very good ass beating contest from Benoit here in this tournament. Benoit & Rhyno have been teaming so there was a great sense of sportsmanship throughout, but you could also tell both guys were down to do whatever to win. Rhyno hitting a belly to belly / throw suplex on Benoit was cool. This was just solid as hell wrasslin as you’d probably expect with no real advantage either way or story outside of that, just a sense of struggle from start to finish. Benoit wins with a backslide and hugs Rhyno post match. Good shit pal. 

Match rating - ***

Sable walks in on Torrie showering and brings her a towel, but not before taking a long hard look at her. 

Back in the arena, they are setting up the ring for Piper’s Pit, but Mr. McMahon is here. Vince repeats his line from last week about giving Hulk Hogan the LETHAL DOSE OF LEPROSY. Vince says just like Hogan, Piper is one of his creations. Vince brings him out and this turns into the weirdest shit talking fest ever lol. It kinda rules and is funny as hell, but is also like.. weird? They go after each other then bond over the fact that they both hate Hogan. Piper says make no mistake though, he hates Vince too. Vince calls him a son of a bitch and Piper says it takes a son of a bitch to know a son of a bitch. They shake hands and Vince leaves. Rikishi comes out after all this as Vince is leaving. They do a callback to when Piper hit Rikishi’s uncle Jimmy Snuka as Rikishi comes out with a coconut. Rikishi says he wants revenge, but before he can do anything, Sean O Haire attacks him from behind. Piper has him hold Rikishi up as he smashes him in the head with the coconut. Lots of questions comin’ out of this one! 

“The last time I saw your lips this afternoon, they were sucking on a bratwurst.” -Vince McMahon to Roddy Piper

4) Rey Mysterio & Tajiri vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas 

“Well this ain’t basketball, Cole. It’s wrestling.” -Tazz

I guess Mysterio and Funaki traded places. Anyways I ain’t complaining cause fuck yeah. This rules. Haas & Benjamin are pissed off the jump and try to wrestle & ground their challengers. It causes them to slip up when the boys start flying around. They do get a decent little isolation segment on Mysterio where they cut off a tag or two. The small comeback run from the faces is awesome. WINE ME DINE ME 619 ME AND ITS OVER OFF THE SPRINGBOARD LEG DROP & 619. Mysterio & Tajiri have upset the champs! 

Match rating - **1/2

“I’ve had more shower time than he’s had ring time.” -The Undertaker 

Backstage interview with The Undertaker. Taker didn’t take kindly to Cena’s promo last week and says his mouth wrote a check that his ass can’t cash. 

5) Nathan Jones vs. Bill DeMott

It's a squash and I've never been so happy about a Nathan Jones squash, but I am because fuck Bill DeMott.

Match rating - 1/2*

6) The Undertaker vs. John Cena

"You're a deadman? I'm a necrophiliac." -John Cena

Huge match for Cena, but he has the momentum coming off a victory over Eddie Guerrero. Cena really stepped up to the plate when he needed to cause this was another great performance from him and Taker made him look even better. This was just good shit considering where both men were in their careers at this point. They get a good chunk of time to work before FBI interferes and Cena is able to pin Taker off the interference. WOW. They put Cena over Taker AND Eddie in two weeks time. That's just so insane even looking back, I had no idea or recollection that they went with him this hard from the jump.

Match rating - ***

Cena celebrates his cheap victory as he's now heading to the finals of the #1 Contender tournament next week when he faces Chris Benoit!

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