Sunday, July 31, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 14th, 2003

WWE Smackdown
August 14th, 2003
St Louis, Missouri 

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 7/27/03)
WWE United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero (since 7/27/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/3/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

The Undertaker vs. The Big Show

Mr. McMahon opens the show. He says he is here to introduce everyone to someone that they thought they knew.. Brock Lesnar. Vince then replays what happened last week with he & Brock swerving Angle and destroying him in the cage. Vince play by play narrates the entire thing over the mic and it is HILARIOUS LMAO. “LOOK AT THAT!” Vince brings Brock out and they have a love fest. STEPHANIE MCMAHON MAKES HER RETURN to interrupt. Steph says she learned a lot at Vengeance.. she learned that her dad would hire A-Train to physically assault his own daughter just so “his slut” (Sable) could win a match. Dear fucking lord. Considering everything happening right now in real life in 2022, this segment is nuts to look back on. Steph talking about being in a position of power and her dad being a piece of shit. Vince makes a lot of derogatory comments toward women. He says the worst day in his life was when he married her mother and Steph tries to slap him. Brock grabs her arm and she screams. Vince says he can handle it, though, and since Steph wants to accuse him of physical abuse, he’ll show her physical abuse when she faces THE 350
POUND A TRAIN TONIHJT! “And that’s physical abuse…” this is fucked. 

1) Worlds Greatest Tag Team (c) vs. Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman - WWE Tag Team Title Match

The Vengeance rematches continue, but I’m not complaining. Especially about this one. Early flurry of Rey showing off to begin, but Haas & Benjamin soon cut the ring off per usual. Awesome control segment with them cutting off multiple tag attempts which built to the crowd exploding to a Billy Kidman hot tag. It’s so weird even typing that. But it rocked. Things break down off that tag and they run through some cool spots. Rey sunset flip powerbomb into a shooting star press from Kidman while Rey nails a 619 on Benjamin gives us a 1…2… NOPE. The fuck. That felt like the finish for sure. Moments later the ref is distracted and Haas catches Kidman with a roll up for the win. Damn. 

Match rating - ***1/4

2) Danny Basham (w/ Doug Basham & Shaniqua) vs. Billy Gunn (w/ Torrie Wilson)

She’s a damn freak and the Bashams ain’t much better!” -Michael Cole

Last week involving these.. characters.. was a mess. Gunn charges Danny at the bell and starts laying in punches. This goes maybe two minutes. Shaniqua causes a distraction and Danny gets the pin, but THIS AINT OVER. Doug & Danny attack after the bell and Shaniqua corners Torrie and hits her with a body slam. The Bashams hit a flapjack on Billy and HERE COMES JAMIE NOBLE AND NIDIA! AINT NOBODY GONNA MESS WITH THEIR BANG BUDDIES!! No no no!! They don’t do much good though, The Bashams destroy Noble with a spine buster thing off the second turnbuckle. Shaniqua power bombs Nidia and THIS WAS CARNAGE BAH GAWD. 

Backstage, Bradshaw has the theory that Shaniqua is Shelton Benjamin dressed in drag and he shares that thought with Ron Simmons. 

Also backstage, Big Show walks out of Mr. McMahon’s office and begins walking down the hall for his match. 

3) The Undertaker vs. The Big Show

This pretty much always good, much to my surprise looking back. This was no different. Taker works the arm of Show and also does a lot of good striking. Taker really shined all around here and Show just follows his lead. They end up outside and A-Train runs through the crowd and nails Taker with a 2x4. This leads to Show getting the count out victory. This was good while it lasted. 

Match rating - **1/2

Back from commercial, Taker is backstage getting checked on. They’ve wrapped his ribs from the 2x4 shot, but he complains that he can’t breath and wants it off. 

Meanwhile, the United States Champion Eddie Guerrero has arrived in the arena in his lowrider. With this, they announce Benoit vs. Eddie vs. Rhyno vs. Tajiri for the US Title at SummerSlam. That’s gonna rule. 

Eddie joins commentary, hugs Tazz and declines a handshake from Michael Cole. Chris Benoit comes out unexpectedly and tries to hug Eddie. Eddie is apprehensive as Benoit asks for a chair so he can also join commentary for this upcoming match. 

4) Tajiri vs. Rhyno 

“Hey guys, you might wanna look at Rhyno, he’s staring at ya.” -Michael Cole 

This is a blast before the bell even rings. Benoit rubbing Eddie’s shoulders and Eddie side-eyeing him.. hilarious. Tajiri begins with crisp ass kicks as always before Rhyno floors him with a lariat. Rhyno is super vicious here. He exposes a turnbuckle and sends Tajiri shoulder first into it and goes for a gore. Rhyno misses and Tajiri capitalizes and gets the victory. 

Match rating - **1/4

Eddie tries to leave immediately after the bell, but Benoit wants a ride in Eddie’s truck. Eddie finally agrees after some arguing. They argue about turning the hydrolics on and Eddie tells Benoit to leave the vehicle, but he won’t so Eddie leaves his own car pissed. 

5) John Cena vs. Zach Gowen 

This was actually pretty awesome. Gowen is winning me over with these spotfests he’s having. He just takes crazy bumps every week. Cena goes for an FU off the top and Gowen reverses out of it. He goes for the crossbody and Cena catches him and does the soon to become signature roll through and nails him with the FU finally for the win.

Match rating - **1/2

A-Train corners Stephanie McMahon backstage and says Vince paid him a lot of money to do what he did at Vengeance. He also says he knows she likes it rough so he’s gonna bring it rough in their match later tonight. Jeeeesus. 

During the break, Matt Hardy attacked Zach Gowen as refs were helping him to the back. He fucking CLOCKED him from behind too, lmao. Cole is mad as shit about this.

Meanwhile, Brian Kendrick and Funaki are at a table with Orlando Jordan. Kendrick.. or Spanky rather, chugs chocolate syrup and accidentally spews it onto Mr. McMahon. Vince is pissed even though Spanky tries to apologize. Vince says Spanky stained his shirt and he’s actually like a stain himself.. a stain on life. Vince asks who he is and says he has to pay for him a new one. Kendrick makes a joke about the XFL so Vince puts him in a match with Brock Lesnar and says “NOW GET!” 

6) Brock Lesnar vs. Spanky

Soooo, Brock fucking annihilates Spanky. I’m talking blood and chairshots. I did not expect that. Lesnar is truly unhinged since aligning with Mr. McMahon and poor Kendrick got the brunt of it here. 

7) A-Train vs. Stephanie McMahon 

Before the match, Vince brings Sable out as the special ring announcer. She introduces Steph first and Steph charges her and starts laying into her. A-Train’s music hits and he comes down and the match begins. Train basically just hits his signature moves on her while Sable & Vince at ringside show their approval. Before Train can hit his finisher on her, per orders of Vince, The Undertaker comes out and goes after his SummerSlam opponent, A-Train. This brings out The Big Show which allows A-Train to head back to the ring and hit a huge splash from the top turnbuckle on Stephanie for the win. This was about what you’d expect. A damn mess. 

After the match, Vince & Sable makeout while standing over an injured Stephanie to close the show. 

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