September 18th, 2003
Raleigh, North Carolina - NC State University
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)
The show begins with Mr. McMahon hyping up the iron man match main event. He is interrupted by The Undertaker. Taker says he knows that Vince orchestrated the interference in his title match, but he isn't gonna mess up the title match tonight. He just wants Vince to know that he doesn't forget... or forgive. Take says he respects the title, but not Vince himself.
1) Chris Benoit & Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri & Rhyno
This absolutely rocked. 5 minutes or whatever and not a moment wasted. Everything crisp and does its job to hype Rey/Tajiri for next week more and also touch on the bad blood between Benoit & Rhyno. I would watch this go 10-15 any day of the week. Benoit & Mysterio get the win and leave the heels reeling. Perfect little opener, I just wanted a little more time.
Match rating - ***
TONIGHT: Los Guerreros defend the Tag Team Titles against Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
Backstage, it’s Stephanie, Big Show, Vince, and Sable. Vince is shocked Steph didn't quit last week, but he's not gonna fire her, he's just gonna make it even more rough on her since she wants to play it this way.
“From the GQ cover guy to the Playboy cover girl…” -Michael Cole’s transition from promoting The Rock on the cover of GQ to the following match
2) Torrie Wilson & Nidia (w/ Dawn Marie) vs. Shaniqua (w/ The Basham Brothers)
Another Shaniqua squash. She even destroys Dawn too after the match.
3) Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (c) vs. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero - WWE Tag Team Title Match
The review I had written this for match mysteriously disappeared so just enjoy my rating and know that it was really fucking good :) .. Los Guerreros win the straps too!!! YEAH!!!
Match rating - ***3/4
4) Kurt Angle (c) vs. Brock Lesnar - 60 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship
I have seen this match a handful of times. I loved it on first watch probably a decade ago. I watched it again a few years ago and I thought it was good, but not above a 4 star effort. I think my tastes are much different and more refined now, so I think my take on it in this moment will stand the test of time. Things can change, though. But as of this writing.. I fucking loved this match. Brock's dominance and control and the entire way he paced this match was just brilliant. You do see some of Kurt's flaws here in minor ways. Nothing big enough to hinder the match to a detrimental extent, and nothing Brock's strengths couldn't hide and make you forget. This is an all time Brock performance and one that everyone should see. Just absolutely phenomenal when on top and also when selling Kurt's comebacks. Kurt's selling is hit or miss as always, but he does a decently better job than you may expect. They made 60 minutes fly by and put Kurt down multiple falls due to some ref bumps and Brock blatantly cheating. Everything works, though. Somehow, it all fucking works and never drags or feels overbooked. I can't quite explain it and don't wanna try to break this down too much and over explain. I just know this was a ride. And that's what a match like this HAS to be. You can't run an exhibition for 60 minutes, you have to work these style of matches a certain way and god damn if they didn't lay out a phenomenal blue print for iron man matches to come. Kurt fighting from under almost the entire time and still coming up short at the end made the last stretch of this a fucking nail biter. At the end of this, I was still wanting more.
Match rating - ****1/2