Movies / TV
Books / Comics
" The Gravel Pit "
Dr. Tom's Final Smackdown! Report: 5/29/03
Posted by Dr. Tom Fowler on May 29, 2003, 22:16
WWE SMACKDOWN! 5/29/03
Last week, Vince McMahon promised he’d be smiling at the end of the night, and he was.
This week, it’s the end of an era, the denouement of a day, the adjournment of an age, as I sign off from Smackdown! duty. I’m hoping to go out on a good note in terms of having a decent show to watch. We’ll see. My last class in the current course was tonight, so I got out early enough to watch this on TV instead of tape. You’ll notice the difference, believe me. Since it’s a special occasional and all, I’m going to eschew the usual x/10 ratings in favor of star ratings.
On tape from Pensacola, Florida, this is WWE SMackdown! For 29 May 2003. Your bobbleheads are Michael Cole and Taz(z).
Sable sashays out and into the ring. She wonders what Smackdown would be without her. Uh, let’s see … shorter, younger, and less full of pointless crap, just to name a few. Sable introduces the competitors (with insults, of course) for the chick match that will kick off the show:
Torrie Wilson vs. Nidia (with Jamie Noble). Torrie’s wearing entirely too much, just so you know. There’s Zach Gowen at ringside, since semi-famous spectators are obviously more important than a women’s match. Torrie shoves Noble off the apron, but gets rolled up and chopped by Nidia. Nidia snap suplexes Torrie for 2, but Torrie comes right back with chops of her own. WWE Women’s wrestling: we don’t care about our implants! Torrie “hurts” her knee on a leapfrog spot, which means they finally found a way to get psychology into a chick match, Nidia goes after the leg with the boots and a submission hold, and wraps it around the ropes. Torrie takes her down, causing the ref to get rolled over and celebrate it. Noble shoves Torrie into a Nidia schoolgirl for the pin at 3:05. It was watchable, but the ending was silly. 3/4*
(Winner: Nidia, pinfall via rollup at 3:05)
After the bell, theatrics ensue: Tazz shoves Noble into the apron, then gets jumped by Nidia. Tazz pulls her off, but stops himself before hitting her. Torrie takes the opportunity to pull Nidia’s shorts off. Sable lets the water fly at Tazz again, and gets watered in turn by Torrie. Yawn.
Meanwhile, Vince arrives, and chides his limo driver for considering leaving the handicapped zone he’s parked in. I can see where this one’s going already…
After the break, Stephanie McMahon is hooked up to the lie detector machine to make sure it works.
Meanwhile, Team Angle discuss their chance to reclaim the belts tonight.
Meanwhile, Eddy Guerrero approves of Tajiri’s new pseudo-Chicano look. Tajiri shows off some car keys he stole, to help him fit in with la familia.
Tag Team Title Match: Team Angle vs. Eddy Guerrero and Tajiri. The champs come out in a tricked-out low-riding pickup. Is that a Cadillac pickup? Do they even make pickups? Anyway, Team Angle jumps the champs, with Haas staying in against Eddy after the double-team. Eddy elbows Haas off the ropes and forearms him into the corner. Haas backdrops Eddy and tosses him out, where Benjamin works him over. Back in, Benjamin tags in and elbows Eddy down. Eddy dropkicks him off the ropes and tags Tajiri, setting Benjamin up for a kick to the head with a snapmare. Tajiri chops away and legscissors Benjamin down. He sunset flips him and rolls around before getting 2. Shelton is dizzy. Tajiri dropkicks Benjamin, and mutual big kicks leave both men down, nicely setting up the commercial break. Back from the break, Tajiri dropkicks Benjamin, then finds a kick caught by Haas, and Benjamin capitalizes with a straight kick to Tajiri’s other leg. Haas goes right to work on the knee like a good heel should. He wraps Tajiri in a leg vise, similar to an Indian Deathlock, which Tajiri finally escapes with chops. Haas nails a kneebreaker and tags in Benjamin, who comes in with a double axehandle to the bad knee. He puts Tajiri in a legbar, but there’s no submission forthcoming. Haas comes back in and locks Tajiri in a half-crab, forcing Eddy to make the save. Benjamin comes in sans tag and goes back to the half-crab. The ref asks the crowd if a tag was made, and is soundly told no. Nice shades of the NWA and ref Tommy Young there. Haas is forced to come back in, and manages to cut off Tajiri’s tag just in time. He hooks in a standing figure-four, on the wrong leg, of course. Benjamin comes in with a springing legdrop onto the injured leg, brother. He goes for a kneebreaker, but Tajiri manages to legscissor out of it. Hot tag to Eddy, who cleans house like he was born to work at the Hilton. Benjamin gets tossed, and Eddy hits the trio of vertical suplexes on Haas. He goes up and hits the Frog Splash, with Benjamin making the save at about 2.95. Haas holds Eddy for a Benjamin superkick, and rolls him up, forcing Tajiri to save. Eddy hits the double DDT out of a tandem spinebuster, leaving everyone down. Tajiri tags in and unleashes a flurry of kicks, followed by an enzuigiri. Haas blocks the tornado DDT with a Northern Lights suplex (nice), forcing Eddy to save at 2. Eddy dumps Benjamin and planchas him, while Tajiri misses the Buzzsaw kick and gets locked in the Haas of Pain. The bell mysteriously rings, causing confusion for a moment. Eddy gets a title belt, but misses the beltshot on Haas. They have a tug of war over the strap, with Haas winning. Eddy plays possum with Haas holding the belt, and the ref turns around to see Eddy prone, with Haas standing near him, belt in hand. There’s your DQ at 15:26. A replay shows Eddy ringing the bell, of course. Another very solid match between these two teams, with more of the old-school feel I like so much in tag matches. The same ending two weeks in a row is a bit thick, but everything else was first-rate. ****
(Winners: Eddy Guerrero and Tajiri via DQ at 15:26).
Meanwhile, Mr. America broods before the lie detector test.
Meanwhile still, Not Tough Enough asks Zach about the lie detector test. He’s concerned, both for Hogan and his own future, which you’ll remember is tied into the lie detector test.
Vince comes out to gloat about the expected results of the lie detector test on Mr. America. He pauses to point and laugh at Zach in the crowd. Hogan comes out for the test, and gets hooked up to the machine. “Are you Mr. America?” “Yes.” Ding. This thing is even sillier than most Hollywood lie detectors. “Are you sitting in a wrestling ring in Pensacola?” “Yes.” Ding. “Are you Hulk Hogan?” Hogan asks for water, which causes Vince to bitch and ask the question himself. The answer? “No.” Ding. Ding? Well of course he’s not Hogan: he’s Terry Bollea. Vince demands the question be asked again; it is, and the result is the same. A third time gets the same result again, and Vince is livid. He’s so livid, in fact, he decides that he can pass the lie detector test, too. Vince tells the officer to ask him anything, so they start off with the usual basics. Hogan decides to ask a question of his own: “Are you the biggest asshole on God’s green earth.” “No.” Buzz! Sorry, wrong answer. “Are you a sick, perverted, power-hungry freak?” “No.” Buzz! Vince goes on a tirade, saying he’s a well-reapected businessman (Buzz!), he does it all for the fans (Buzz!)… ok, most of it for the fans (Buzz!)… ok, he does it all for himself. (Ding!) And he’s no pervert, damnit! (Buzz!) Hogan asks if Vince pleasures himself regularly to Torrie’s Playboy, which he denies several times: no, last month, this morning (all buzzes), and on the limo tonight (ding!) But at least he doesn’t fantasize about people like Mae Young. (Buzz!) Vince has finally had enough, and storms to his feet. Hogan calls him a big fat liar and wallops him one. Ok, that was funny in spots, and I liked it in spite of myself.
After the break, Vince rampages into Stephanie’s office and bitches about everything. Vince promises a change for the better next week.
Sean O’Haire (with Rotund Roddy Piper) vs. Chris Benoit. A lockup kicks things off, with O’Haire powering Benoit into the corner. He pounds away there, then walks into a dragon screw legwhip. Benoit brings the choppage, but O’Haire kicks him down for 2. He goes to the chinlock, then misses another big kick. Benoit DDTs him, leaving both men down. Benoit chops away some more and nails a release German for 2, then a neckbreaker for 2. Piper grabs his leg on a whip, so Benoit chases him around the ring, then back in. He knocks O’Haire down and gets Piper in the Crossface. O’Haire waylays Benoit with a huge kick to the back of the neck, and rolls him up with a handful of tights for the upset win at 4:19. The crowd is SILENT, in case you were wondering. Pretty pedestrian match, and one that wasn’t helped by the ending. I don’t see this doing a damn thing for O’Haire, really. *
(Winner: Sean O’Haire, pinfall via rollup at 4:19)
Last week, Rey Mysterio fought thru a groin injury to get a shot at the Cruiserweight title. The title shot is next week, and Rey says that’s why he’s in WWE. Matt Hardy v1.0 interrupts and intensely promises to beat Rey in front of the hometown fans. Rey gets all in Matt’s face (well, as much as he can, since he’s two feet shorter), so Matt kicks him squarely in the injured groin.
A video package airs to hype Kurt Angle’s return next week.
Ultimo Dragon is coming…
Random note: if I see one more commercial for “America’s Next Top Model” tonight, I’m going on a goddamn killing spree. Wow, some pencil-thin girls with nice faces and empty heads are battling to be next in line to wear tack clothes down a runway and get hooked on heroin. You’ll forgive me if I don’t give the barest hint of a shit about this.
Tag Match: Spanky and Rikishi vs. Doug and Dan Basham. I’ve seen Doug Basham at a couple house shows, but damn do these two brothers look a lot alike. They’re also dressed alike, which isn’t going to help. Rikishi starts with Doug, who’s the smaller of the two. Rikishi treats Doug like his punching bag and then tosss him. Danny runs in and tries a sunset flip, which goes as well as you’d imagine. Spanky tags in and nails a running elbow in the corner. He kicks Danny down, but Danny trips him up and Doug legdrops the back of his head for 2, brother. Doug pounds away and gets 2 off a hard bodyslam. He locks in a facelock, which Spanky escapes with an armdrag. A standing enzuigiri sets up the tepid tag to Rikishi. Superkick for Danny, Samoan Drop for Doug, then a fatass splash for both. The double Stinkface follows, of course. Welcome to a TV taping, rooks. Spanky tags in and tries a monkey flip on Doug, which Dan blocks. Doug then rolls up Spanky, with Dan using his leg to push for more leverage, for the pin at 3:06. It was nice to see a new team debut (and go over), so the match worked to that end. It was nothing special, though. *
(Winners: The Brothers Basham, pinfall via assisted rollup at 3:06)
Meanwhile, Vince’s limo has been impounded for being parked in a handicapped zone. Tenacious Z reminds him it’s illegal to park in a gimp spot as the limo gets towed away with Vince inside it. Nope, didn’t see that coming AT ALL.
Main Event, 2-on-3 Handicap Match: The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar vs. The FBI. Nunzio comes out with mike in hand, so I’m guessing we have a change of personnel. So scratch this match and make it…
Main Event, 2-on-3 Handicap Match: The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Slow. Well, the match quality just plummeted about 33%. Brock and Slow stare it down while UT goes to work on Palumbo. Palumbo elbows him on a charge and kicks the living shit out of him in the corner. UT rallies with the leaping clothesline for 1. One? One!? HOLY SHIT, SOMEONE KICKED OUT AT ONE! Taker hits the ropewalk and tags in Brock, who leads with the fists. He shoulder rams Palumbo in the corner, then helps him out of it with a nice overhead suplex. Palumbo knees him and shoves him into the heel corner, where Stamboli tags in and punches away. Brock spinebusters him and hits a vicious snap suplex. Seriously, that looks evil when someone as strong as Lesnar does it. Taker comes in to lift the boot and drop the elbow, and forces Palumbo to save on a DDT. Slow tags in and wants Brock, so UT obliges. They lock it up, with Slow winning that one, and following with an elbow. Brock rams him in the corner but walks into a clothesline. Slow works Brock over and slams him down, but the legdrop gets a big whiff. Brock knocks Slow down with a flying forearm and goes for the F5, but drops Slow to deal with Stamboli. Slow chokeslams Brock, with UT saving at 2. Slow then rolls Brock outside to absorb the FBI triple-team. Back in, Stamboli and Palumbo pound away on Brock. Slow posts him outside, which Palumbo uses to get 2 in the ring. He hits the fearsoms DISCUS PUNCH~! and tags in Stamboli for a wishbone. Mutual clothesline sets up the hit tag to Taker, who goes into house afire mode. Slow finally stops that with a clothesline, but falls victim to the dragon sleeper. Before Slow can tap, Nunzio sneaks in and whacks UT in the back with a chair. However... NO POBO~! Yeah, I had to work that one in again, since it’s the last chance I’ll get. Besides, with Undertaker absent the past few weeks, the volume of no-selling on the show has been on the decline. UT chokeslams Nunzio but falls victim to a Palumbo superkick. He manages to tag Brock, who hits the F5 on all the FBI chaps, but turns around into a Slow chokeslam for the pin at 10:32. Wow, that actually didn’t suck. In fact, it was better than I expected. Brock and the FBI did a lot here, and the only person who really didn’t add to the match was Slow, but that’s because he sucks massive dick. **1/2
(Winners: Big Slow and The FBI, pinfall via Slow chokeslam at 10:32)
The final breakdown:
The Good: Hella good tag title match, of course. The main event was also better than I thought it would be; sometimes those odd-looking tag matches just click. Despite the fact that something so silly would definitely qualify as a guilty pleasure, I actually liked the Hogan/Vince segment. Nothing else stood out at all.
The Bad: Lie detectors do not helpfully DING and BUZZ when someone gives an answer. I know they really can’t just show the graph all the time (which clearly showed Hogan was lying when they did focus on it), but come on. I know several people whose jobs would be made easier if that were the case, but then they wouldn’t be nearly as good at their jobs, so it would all come out in the wash. I also don’t like what they’re doing with Zach Gowen. Send him to OVW and get him in the ring, but his whole thing is that he’s a one-legged wrestler, which is something of a fucking marvel. Stop exploiting him in cheesy you-parked-in-my-spot skits already.
The Ugly: Nothing, really.
Overall: Despite having only two good matches, this was a mediocre show that somehow ended up being better than it should have been. It’s not quite the sendoff I was looking for, but I guess I can live with it. 6/10
Signing Off: And now, I bid you all adieu. Those reading me on TSM will still see me do the pop culture things, as well as the occasional commentary piece. Wherever you're seeing this, thanks for reading me over the past year, and thanks to the honchos at The Smart Marks and Lords of Pain for allowing me to monopolize your computer screens once a week, and to the smaller site fellows who use this report, too. And to those who have shamelessly plagiarized my masterpieces without asking me: fuck you and eat a bag of dicks, because I would have said yes had you just asked. Next week, you’ll find the Raw guys getting a reprieve and switching shows on both sites. You’re welcome, guys, and my wishlist in the sig. As for me... it’s been real, it’s been fun, and most of the time, it’s been real fun.
Ave atque vale.
Dr. Tom Fowler
Roger wilco, over and out.
(Remove the leading X from each field to send me all your farewell praise)
You know the links: TSM Archive and Amazon wishlist. So click 'em.