Saturday, August 12, 2023

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 28th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
August 28th, 2003
El Paso, Texas 

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)


Eddie pulls up in a red car in the parking lot.. or as Michael Cole would say “the US Champion has arrived IN STYLE.” Guerrero enters through the crowd and it’s an awesome visual. Cole & Tazz meet him at the ringside and Eddie puts a huge sombrero on Cole. This was monumental. Eddie soaks it all in and begins cutting a prom on how his mom came to America and was harassed by a HONKY COP and cheated on her citizenship test. John Cena ends up coming out and cutting a pretty racist promo about Eddie and latino people. Cena says Eddie is the US Champ, but isn’t even American. Eddie gets super pissed and they get heated and into it. Eddie says Cena must be confused because he’s got about 12,000 of his homies and family here tonight. Cena shit talks his way into a US Title match for later and says it’s a shame they’re in El Paso because after he takes his title, he’s gonna take his sister and EDDIE THROWS A PUNCH AND SENDS CENA REELING TO THE FLOOR. Awesome fucking segment. After Cena leaves, Eddie puts on his Jersey and hat and imitates him. Cena tries to come after him, but Eddie tosses him to the floor again. This was a huge segment for both men. 

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

Crowd is hot for Rey as expected. Referee Jimmy Korderas sends Palumbo & Stamboli to the back so they can’t interfere. This starts and it rocks. Just pedal to the medal the entire time. Your classic Rey sprint from this time period in front of a hot ass El Paso crowd. I could watch these all day. Rey wins in around five mins with the West Coast Pop to retain.  

Match rating - ***

2) Chris Benoit vs. A-Train (w/ Sable)

Another banger between these two as usual. They just hit hard and it is great. Benoit hits a flying headbutt for a nearfall down the stretch that definitely felt like the end, but Albert kicks out. He fires back with his sit out powerbomb thing for a two count of his own. He goes for it again and Benoit counters into the cross face which looked awesome. A-Train taps, but his feet were under the ropes. GIVE ME A REMATCH NEXT WEEK.

Match rating - ***

During the break, A-Train and Benoit get into it backstage. A-Train says Benoit can’t beat him and that his feet were under the ropes. Rhyno comes out of nowhere and destroys Benoit with a gore. Jesus fuck. 

Meanwhile, someone took the tires off Eddie’s car in the parking lot and he’s freaking out. Bradshaw & Ron Simmons are standing by and Eddie starts yelling & asking if they knew what happened. Funaki and Orlando Jordan walk up and he asks them the same thing. FBI walks up and laugh at him so Eddie starts swinging on them. THIS EPISODE RULES MAN. 

Brock Lesnar comes out. He looks so odd without that WWE Title, man. He says that everyone has been telling him since Sunday that he “tapped out” but he’s here tell everyone that it was a FLUKE. Brock has this weird deeper tone in his voice here that I haven’t heard before. Brock makes a joke about the people not being able to find jobs and how they give up. Brock says he’s not done with Kurt and demands a title rematch. Angle shows up on the tron mocking Brock and talking to him in a baby voice. Angle says he used to do the same thing Brock is doing when he lost, but then he realized the fans like action, not bitching. Angle threatens to come down and slap an ankle lock on that OGRE LOOKING SON OF A BITCH. Angle heads toward the ring, but The Undertaker’s music hits and he rides out on his bike. Taker says Brock is talking about a title match, but it’s been too long since he himself has gotten a title match. Taker says Brock is trespassing iN HIS YARD and if he has a problem leaving the yard, he’d be glad to help him. WEEEEEEELL, here comes Big fuckin Paul Wight. Big Show stomps down to the ring. I’m not doing play by play for his ass. Stephanie McMahon ends up coming out and making a triple threat number one contender’s match for later in the night between Brock, Show, & Taker.

Backstage, Cena denies being who took the wheel off of Eddie’s car. 

3) Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. John Cena - United States Championship Match

This.. was fucking awesome. Immediately after that backstage segment, Cena walks to the ring WITH EDDIE’s TIRE IN HIS HAND. Eddie charges Cena from behind and this shit is ON. Great Eddie dominance early, Cena bleeds after a stair or ring post shot.. I can’t remember which. Eddie beats his ass for a bit then Cena takes control and Eddie sells his ASS OFF for him, bumping around like crazy and the crowd is hot & invested. This was building toward being a MOTY candidate if it didn’t have a non finish. But regardless of that, this is still one of my favorite Smackdown matches of the year. Cena continues to get better and better and Eddie remains underrated as fuck. Awesome counter of the FU by Eddie with a victory roll. The finishing run is cool, but comes to an end before it really kicks into full gear as Cena uses his chain to get disqualified. 

Match rating - ***3/4

After the match, Cena continues the assault on Eddie and busts him open. The crowd is livid and this is such a fucking coming out party for Cena tonight, man. Cena FU’s Eddie on the STEEL WHEEL to end the beating as the crowd lays into him. Phenomenal. 

4) The Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker 

Vintage great WWE style three way dance here. Kurt Angle is on commentary since this is a #1 contender’s match. Everyone here has phenomenal chemistry. Show & Lesnar try to double team Taker to start, but that alliance soon dissolves. There are a lot of great moments and callbacks in this. The way they tease another ring breaking spot between Lesnar & Show on the top rope makes the final few minutes super suspenseful. Taker hits a sick last ride powerbomb into Brock to stop him from super plexing Show. This ends up leading to the finish as Taker pins Brock. I did not expect that! Great main event. It’s Angle vs. Taker for the title NEXT WEEK. 

Match rating - ***1/2

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