Sunday, May 8, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 3rd, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
July 3rd, 2003
Rochester, New York 

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

Replays of the Gowen/McMahon saga that led us to the handicap match that’s happening tonight.

Vince McMahon pre-tape thing to begin. He says tonight will be the first ever TRUE handicap match. Oh, man that’s fucked up. It’s Gowen & Steph vs. Big Show with a contract for Gowen on the line.

1) Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Nunzio - Cruserweight Championship Match

So, Nunzio loses a feud to Taker and his reward is a Cruserweight title match? Makes no sense, but I won’t complain because this is fun. Billy Kidman is in the crowd again this week and he’s paying close attention to this match. Awesome flurry from Mysterio that he caps off with a plancha to the floor. Mysterio goes for a west coast pop off the top rope and Nunzio counters inTO A POWERBOMB for a two count. That ruled. Before you know it, Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli run down to interfere. Rey kicks out after the assault, though, and APA runs down to make the save. This allows Rey to hit the 619 and shit for the win.

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, Billy Kidman runs in and hands Rey his Cruserweight title and raises his hand. Weird. Was waiting on a turn. 

TONIGHT: Guerrero/Tajiri vs. Benjamin/Haas

Back from commercial, Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle are at catering, eating together. Angle has a jug of milk. A lady walks up and says “hey champ” or something and they both respond. They argue about who she was talking to and it’s hilarious. LESNAR TAKES KURTS MILK GROSS. Lesnar says if Angle is gonna beat him at Vengeance, he better keep drinking his milk. Lesnar leaves and Angle walks up to the lady and says “just so you know, I’m the champ” and Lesnar slaps him on the back causing Kurt to spew milk in her face LMAO. Classic segment. 

2) Chris Benoit & Rhyno vs. The Basham Brothers (w/ Shanequa)

Welll.. Shanequa is whipping Doug & Danny now.. I guess this is some sort of.. I don’t even know the words to fully describe this. Anyways. This is solid showing. The Bashams are still dull, but their ring work is suffice. Benoit & Rhyno look great and get the victory.

Match rating - **1/4

Backstage, Stephanie tries to talk her way out of being in the match with Big Show tonight. Vince says some weird shit and refuses to change the match because she put him in harms way last week so it’s only fair. 

Back from commercial, Sable tries to act like she’s worried about Steph in the match tonight. She says if anything happens she’ll be able to satisfy Vince… as the interim general manager of Smackdown.

In the parking lot, Jamie Noble & Nidia went shopping with the money they inherited. They show each other their purchases, kiss, and tip the driver.. then take back the tip LMAO. 

Backstage again, The Undertaker is watching Orlando Jordan warm up. Taker says Orlando has to earn his dues in the ring, but the beating he took after his match with John Cena is messed up. He encourages Orlando to step up to Cena so people will learn to respect him. Cena walks up and says he has advice for Undertaker.. watch who’s business you stick your nose into. 

3) Billy Gunn (w/ Torrie Wilson) vs. John Cena - United States Championship Title Tournament 

“Billy Gunn is HOPPIN mad at those remarks.” -Michael Cole 

Tazz asks what Hoppin’ means and Cole gets defensive as fuck and Tazz goes “don’t get so defensive about Billy Gunn, Cole. Jeez.” God Tazz is so fucking hilarious. This match is whatever for a few minutes. Undertaker comes out on his bike to distract Cena and Gunn gets the quick victory with a small package.

Match rating - *3/4

Backstage, Brock and Kurt are still fucking around. Kurt tricks Brock into a 300 push up contest and when Brock finally hits 300, Kurt says “okay, you win” LMAO. He just made that man do 300 pushups for no reason. 

4) Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas - WWE Tag Team Title Match

These two teams always deliver. They had two of the best matches of the year last month and they have another banger here. It’s not quite on the level of their first two meetings, but it’s very good in its own right. Eddie gets an awesome hot tag. Benjamin & Haas knock Tajiri onto the hood of Eddie’s low rider. This causes enough of a distraction for Benjamin & Haas to get the pin on Eddie to regain the tag team titles! Hell yeah I wasn’t expecting the title change.

Match rating - ***1/4

After the match, Eddie jumps Tajiri for messing up his low rider. This was also a surprise. I knew Eddie turned on Tajiri at some point around this time, but I didn’t realize it was here. Crowd doesn’t really know what to think. Eddie slams Tajiri through the windshield which was sick. 

5) A-Train vs. Orlando Jordan

Orlando does okay, here, I guess. Not well enough to make me invested in his kick outs. I feel like they gave him far too many. A-Train was great, it’s unfortunate they had Jordan kick out of his finisher and everything. Eh. A Train wins obviously, but he should’ve got the job done way quicker.

Match rating - *1/2

Big Show backs Stephanie against the wall backstage and it’s weird. He smells her hair and she storms off. Vince reminds Show that’s his daughter and that he should pay attention to the announcement he’s gonna make next.

Vince and Sable come out. Vince reveals a video of Mr. America unmasking as Hulk Hogan from when Smackdown went off the air last week so now Mr. America’s contract is null and void. He also announces that the main event for Vengeance will be Lesnar defending the WWE Title against Kurt Angle AND The Big Show. OH and the handicap match that’s coming up, it will be No Holds Barred.. Jesus Christ. Vince and Sable take a seat at ringside for it. 

6) The Big Show vs. Stephanie McMahon & Zach Gowen 

This was hell. Absolute hell. And I honestly loved it. Gowen’s music sounds straight off the Smackdown vs Raw soundtrack. Steph & Gowen look fine bumping until the overbooking starts. Vince interferes, Angle runs in, Lesnar runs in. Chair shots and shit. Gowen hits a drop kick and moonsault on Show for the pin to win himself a WWE contract. I hated a lot of this story, but this ending had me kind of hyped. Fun fun stuff. 

Match rating - **1/4

Zach Gowen celebrates with Stephanie McMahon to close the show. Lesnar & Angle leave the ring for them to have their moment. 

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