Friday, May 6, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - June 26th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
June 26th, 2003
New York City - Madison Square Garden

WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar (since 3/30/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri (since 5/18/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

TONIGHT: Lesnar/Angle/America vs. Haas/Benjamin/Show 

Josh Matthews is ring announcing tonight and it’s weird. 

John Cena opens the show. He says he’s bigger than Madison Square Garden and that when WrestleMania 20 rolls around next year, he will be in the main event. He recites some lines from his theme, then does a rap. It’s the one year anniversary of him answering Kurt Angle’s open challenge so now he’s issuing an open challenge to “any rookie punk in the back looking to make a name.” 

Orlando Jordan answers the challenge and they show Billy Kidman in the crowd looking like a cool guy. 

1) John Cena vs. Orlando Jordan 

Cena throws some shade at Jordan and gets clotheslined out of nowhere for his troubles. Bell rings and they run the ropes and Jordan hits some explosive offense early. Jordan is another random person like the Basham’s that I remember seeing when I began watching Smackdown as a kid so it’s cool seeing his debut here against someone who would become quite the rival of his. Anyways, Cena finally gets his Jersey off and starts moving. He goes for an FU and Jordan escapes. Jordan fires off again and goes for a crossbody, but Cena rolls through and gets the pin. This was fun for like 3 minutes.

Match rating - **

Cena attacks Orlando post-match and The Undertaker shows up to confront him. Cena bails out as soon as Taker gets off his motorcycle and into the ring. Taker stares at Orlando as he gets up and gives him a nod. 

2) The Undertaker, Bradshaw, & Ron Simmons vs. Full Bloodied Italians (Nunzio, Chuck Palumbo, & Johnny Stamboli) 

This happens and is fine when Taker or Bradshaw is in. Bradshaw hits the clothesline from HELL for the victory. I hope this feud ends now.

Match rating - **

Jamie Noble & Nidia are walking around New York. They’re approached by a lawyer who says someone in Noble’s family died and he’s getting 827,000 dollars. They freak out, Nidia kisses the guy and Noble says THEYRE GOING TO APPLEBEES !!

Backstage, Sable is horny for Vince. Vince says NOT TONIGHT because “I have something I have to do..” and walks off. 

THIS SATURDAY ON VELOCITY: Benoit & Rhyno in tag team action! 

3) Matt Hardy vs. Rikishi - United States Championship Tournament 

A 2003 Rikishi singles match. What did we do to deserve this. Not even Matt Hardy Version One can save us from this torment. Rikishi hits a badass spike sit out piledriver on Matt here, though. DAMN. Hardy kicks out and hits the twist of fate for a two count of his own. Hardy exposes a turnbuckle and slams Rikishi into it and hits another twist of fate for the victory. 

Match rating - *3/4

Josh Matthews asks Billy Kidman at ringside how it feels to be back. Kidman says it doesn’t feel good because he’s having to watch people like Rey Mysterio fulfill their dream while he sits on the sidelines. Kidman says he’s ready to get back in the ring. 

4) Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri (c) vs. Roddy Piper & Sean O’Haire - WWE Tag Team Title Match 

FUCK. Smackdown… the last two weeks ruled. Why are we doing this :/ the opening exchange of Eddie/O’Haire completely exposes O’Haire. He’s just soooo bad. Bad punches, leaning around, terrible bumping, delayed reactions. It’s even worse when Tajiri is in. Get this dude the fuck out of here. The champs put in a good effort, though and luckily the pain is over quickly. Guerrero & Tajiri retain off mist to Piper and a frog splash.

Match rating - **

Mr. McMahon comes out after the break. He asks Stephanie McMahon and Zach Gowen to come to the ring. He says she’s always been the apple of his eye.. and.. she’s always been.. daddy’s little girl and.. that she matured quickly and at 17 he asked her to close certain business deals for hiM WHAT TJE FUCK. This family is so god damn WEIRD. I’m not even gonna say some of the other shit he said here. Vince says he’s never gonna forgive himself for what he did to her which somehow brings him to Zach Gowen. Vince says he’s learned something about himself thanks to Zach. Vince says he wants to be Zach Gowen.. what in the world is happening. He said Zach looked death in the eye and spit in its face and he admires that. Vince says he wants to know if Zach can accept his apology so they can start clean. Zach says “NO!” and the crowd loves it. Vince gives him a second chance to accept his apology… but this time he’s demanding. Vince says “Get ahold of yourself, pal” and Gowen goes off and says “LOOK ME IN THE EYE YOU SON OF A BITCH” and says Vince doesn’t intimidate him & enough is enough. Gowen doesn’t want to give McMahon an apology, he wants his Smackdown contract. Vince says that’s fine, he can have a contract, but he has to earn it by joining the KISS MY ASS CLUB. 

“My ass is hanging out in Madison Square Garden, now kiss it! Stephanie, tell him to kiss it!

This is a sight. Steph whispers something in Gowen’s ear. Gowen gets down like he’s going to and LOW BLOWS MCMAHON. Steph finds it hilarious and high fives Gowen afterwards as they leave the ringside area. Vince is shocked, pissed, and in pain as he lays in the ring. 

Back from commercial, Rey Mysterio is out next to watch and commentate the following match.

5) Ultimo Dragon vs. Shannon Moore

Oh man, fuck yeah, this is so cool!!! I haven’t seen ANY of Último Dragon’s work in WWE, to my knowledge so I’m hyped for this. This is just entirely a showcase for him and it’s a blast in that regard. The commentators and Mysterio put him over hard so everyone realizes how big of a deal it is that he’s here and rightfully so. Dragon wins in just under five minutes.

Match rating - **1/4

6) Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, & Mr. America vs. The Big Show, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas

Oh yeah!!! Vintage stacked trios TV main event with several stories intertwining. These are always a blast. Angle gets to mix it up with Benjamin & Haas early which rules. Lesnar, Angle, & Hogan soon isolate Haas before Big Show gets in clears house. This changes the advantage and we build to a Hogan hot tag. Things break down. There’s a cool spot with Lesnar F5’ing Benjamin and Angle hitting the Angle Slam on Haas. The thorn in the side of it all here, though, is Big Show who always turns the tables for his team. Mr. America seems to have things almost won, when Mr. McMahon throws Zach Gowen from behind the curtain and starts kicking him on the stage. This distracts America and Big Show chokeslams him for the win. 

Match rating - ***

After the match, Stephanie McMahon comes out to try to stop Vince from assaulting Gowen further. McMahon announces that if Gowen wants a contract, he can earn it next week when he teams with Stephanie to face The Big Show in a handicap match. This sends us off the air. 

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