Friday, July 1, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 24th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
July 24th, 2003
Fresno, California 

WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar (since 3/30/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/7/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz


Replays air of the great handicap match from last week and the miracle work by Kurt Angle with help from Zach Gowen. 

The Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon makes her way to the ring to start the show. Steph says since Vince is out taking care of her mother Linda after she was piledriven by Kane on Raw.. SHES GONNA TAKE BACK SMACKDOWN. Steph then turns her attention to Sable and says she’s gonna TREAT HER LIKE THE B*TCH SHE IS at Vengeance. John Cena interrupts. Cena apologizes, but says he had a dream about her last night and goes into a bunch of different sexual innuendos while rapping about her & Sable. This is the infamous segment where Cena smacks Stephanie’s ass (RESPECTFULLY WITH PERMISSION) and this brings OUT DA HELLCAT SABLE. Well.. she’s on the screen actually. Sable replays last week’s incident with all the moments where Steph had the upper hand conveniently edited out. She makes fun of Linda being piledriven by Kane and dares Steph to not wait until Vengeance. Steph storms toward the back as we head to commercial.

Back from commercial, Steph is stomping around backstage looking for Sable. She thinks she’s found her, but it’s Torrie. Steph continues the hunt. 

1) Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore

This was naturally a blast. Mysterio & Kidman are getting a tag title shot on Sunday. Hardy is coming off his bloody match with Benoit last week. So, yeah, this had a lot of hype to it. Just a super fun little spotfest. Mysterio & Kidman get the win and look strong headed toward their big title match. 

Match rating - **3/4 

Backstage, Stephanie finds Sable in the parking lot. She chases her down and they brawl on top of a limo. STEPH RIPS OFF SABLES TOP AND THEY BLUR IT OUT. Sable still somehow finds a way to get into the limo. Steph picks up a pipe and goes to swing and VINCE POPS OUT OF THE LIMO. Steph yells about why Vince isn’t at home taking care of HIS WIFE.. HER MOTHER. Vince says he answers to no one and if Steph doesn’t stop and just focus on her match with Sable, she’ll end up incapacitated just likE HER MOTHER WHAY TJE FUCK LMAO.  

2) Jamie Noble vs. Billy Gunn (w/ Torrie Wilson)

“He got a new shirt!” -Michael Cole

Noble is on the mic to begin. He tries to offer Torrie more money to sleep with him. Gunn charges the ring and starts whooping his ass. Cole says it best. Billy makes short work of Jamie Noble. The real question here is WHY IS BILLY GUNNS THEME SO CATCHY??

Match rating - *1/2

After the match, Noble gets a mic and says he’s not done with Billy and wants a rematch. Torrie responds and says she has a deal for Noble. If Noble can beat Billy at Vengeance, she will sleep with him on Smackdown next week LMAO

They air footage of the Smackdown stars in Japan. 

Backstage, A-Train approach APA backstage. They have an invitation for him for the bar room brawl. They run down some of the others who will be there and Train agrees to come, but says they better have back-up. Bradshaw tries to sell Train his new book, but is denied. Steve Lombardi walks up and wants an invite so he can fight Doink the Clown. 

Meanwhile, John Cena has a torch and is standing inside a pentagram that’s on fire in the grass. He raps on Taker and it is.. fucking awesome again. What a visual. I wish I could find a clip of this so I could GIF it since Peacock won't allow it :(

Back in the arena, Eddie Guerrero comes out and shines up his low rider. He turns his attention to Chris Benoit. They meet in the finals of the US Title tournament on Sunday at Vengeance. Eddie says Chris is one of his best friends and may the best man win.  Benoit comes out and questions Eddie’s friendship because he hasn’t heard from him in months. Benoit says he’s not gonna let Eddie make him lower his guard so he can get an easier victory over him at Vengeance. Eddie admits that’s exactly what he was doing and that Chris caught him. Eddie says he actually hates Benoit because he’s always been in his shadow. From Japan to ECW and to when they debuted in WWE as the Radicals. Eddie says he’s gonna kick Benoit’s ass at Vengeance and prove that he’s better than Benoit. Eddie goes to leave and Benoit calls him back. Benoit asks why he doesn’t prove it right now. Eddie starts to back away only to attack Benoit when his back is turned and sprays wax in his eyes. Rhyno runs down to make the save and challenges Eddie to a match so he can KICK HIS ASS. 

3) Eddie Guerrero vs. Rhyno 

This wasn’t anything out of this world, but for what it was it was executed to perfection. Eddie is in such a unique spot here as a heel, but getting a lot of love since they’re in California. Somehow, he makes it work perfect. Rhyno controls early and Eddie cheats to win. Good match. 

Match rating - **1/2

4) APA (Bradshaw & Ron Simmons) vs. FBI (Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli) 

BRADSHAW PINS PALUMBO WITH THE CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL IN LIKE 30 SECONDS WOW. This turns into a mess. Steve Lombardi runs down with a chair and hits everyone. He’s here to make a statement so that he can get a spot in the bar room invitational at Vengeance. Everyone who’s gonna be involved shows up for a brawl. The Bashams, A-Train, Sean O’Haire and yeah.. Train stands over Simmons and yells I WILL BE THERE. The heels stand tall and leave APA laying. 

Backstage, Vince walks up on Zach Gowen and starts giving him a hard time. He says he’s gonna give people a real reason to feel sorry for him on Sunday at Vengeance. Brock Lesnar & Kurt Angle walk up and Vince says he’s just here to wish them all luck in their upcoming six man tag.. cause they’re gonna need it.

5) Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, & Zach Gowen vs. The Big Show, Shelton Benjamin, & Charlie Haas

This was good as usual. Gowen gets taken out early and it’s basically 2 on 1. Angle gets isolated and the heat segment is great. Lesnar gets the hot tag and things break down. We’ve seen these pairings a lot recently so it’s not anything we haven’t really seen before, but they kill it. Lesnar accidentally F5’s Haas into the head of Angle and it allows Show to chokeslam Angle for the win. 

Match rating - ***

After the match, Show stands tall as Angle & Lesnar go at it about the miscommunication. Show chokeslams them both as the show goes off the air and the commentary team drives home that Show has beaten both Angle and Lesnar in the past two weeks as a way to hype the triple threat title match at Vengeance on Sunday. 

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