Smackdown Date: September 18, 2003 Location: RBC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz This is almost literally a one match show and it's really the only reason I'm reviewing this. This was a request and it's because this show has the Lesnar/Angle one hour Iron Man match. In 2003 there were still individual brand PPVs so every other month you would get something resembling a supershow on free TV, usually having a huge match like this one. Brock and Angle have more or less traded the title all year and Angle is champion going into this. Nothing else matters for the most part so let's get to it. Here's Vince to open the show. One of the biggest criticisms of this year in Smackdown was that Vince was all over it as was Stephanie. He talks about the iron man match tonight and is in full on hype mode. Say what you want about Vince but the man is a promoter at heart and loves what he does. You can hear it in his voice. He talks about how awesome the main event is and how awesome both guys are and...that's it. Ok then. Oh wait here's Taker. He had been out for a bit due to I think a beatdown by Lesnar. I should mention Lesnar is Vince's hired gun at the moment. That'll likely be brought up later on. Anyway Vince tries to sweet talk him but Taker says the main event is safe. Vince however might not be. Intimidating indeed. We get a tale of the tape for the main event which is something they should do more often. Chris Benoit/Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri/Rhyno Rey is Cruiserweight Champion. He's defending the title next week against Tajiri and I think Benoit and Rhyno were feuding around this time so there's your explanation. Benoit vs. Tajiri to start this ECW Reunion match. Tarantula goes on but the referee keeps Rey from interfering. Rhyno comes in sans tag and Benoit keeps getting beaten up. Chris reverses a belly to back suplex into a cross body for two. Benoit manages to suplex Rhyno and it's hot tag to Rey. Something like a tornado DDT put Rhyno down and everything breaks down. Green mist hits Rhyno and a 619 into a German takes Tajiri down. 619 and Rey drops the dime on Rhyno for the pin. Quick match. Rating: C+. Just a quick tag match but they had some decent stuff in there. I've always been a fan of mixing two feuds into one tag match like this because you get two feuds advanced at the same time. Nothing wrong with being efficient like that and we got a decent match out of it too. No complains here. Video on Los Guerreros vs. Haas/Benjamin which is up later for the tag titles. Hype video for the iron man match....which is on the show we're already watching. The Rock is going to be on the cover of GQ. Shaniqua vs. Nidia/Torrie Wilson Shaniqua is a big old girl that won Tough Enough 2. Dawn Marie comes out with Nidia. Basically Shaniqua is getting pushed like a taller and black Chyna, just not one that anyone wanted to see. Torrie and Nidia get in some shots early but then it gets down to tagging. In the words of the theme song of Big Zeke, This here's what you call domination. Torrie is thrown to the floor and a powerbomb ends Nidia. Vince wants Stephanie to quit. Stephanie won't quit. Vince won't fire her but says he'll be rough on her now. This went on for about four months. Highlights of Lesnar vs. Angle I and II (Mania and Summerslam). Eddie and Chavo are glad to be back together. There's nothing to these promos tonight. Cena is on the roof and raps about underestimating Eddie and the returning Chavo. He'll win Eddie's US Title too. Smackdown Tag Titles: Los Guerreros vs. World's Greatest Tag Team The fans loudly cheer for Eddie who starts with Benjamin. They go to the mat first of course and it's off to Chavo. This is Chavo's first match after a torn bicep. The champs take over on Eddie but he fights out of the corner, hitting a belly to belly on Shelton to bring in Chavo. Chavo gets a wicked headscissors to send Benjamin to the floor where Los Guerreros hit stereo dives to take both guys out. Back with the challengers still in control, beating Charlie down. Eddie gets taken into the wrong corner and double teamed for a bit. It doesn't last long as he fights out and brings in Chavo. Shelton kicks his head off and Haas works on the bad arm. Northern lights suplex gets two for Shelton. Back to Haas and the arm work continues. It's so weird to hear Tazz being professional, talking about his past experience in the ring with the same injury and snapping off intricacies in moves being done. Chavo counters a double team move into a dropkick to Haas and it's hot tag Eddie. There are Three Amigos but Haas escapes the third and hits a German. Eddie gets a sweet arm drag/headscissors combo to take both guys down. Frog splash is broken up and the second attempt is rolled through because Haas moved. Haas grabs some chairs but Chavo pops up to take out Shelton with a dropkick into the chair into the knee. The Guerreros hit something that looked like Haas broke his freaking neck. Brainbuster sets up the Frog Splash and we have new champions. Rating: B-. Pretty solid match here as both teams know each other very well. They would hold the belts for a little while before the Bashams took them. Chavo would turn heel on Eddie but lose at the Rumble before Eddie would win the world title in February. Anyway pretty fun match here and fine for a TV tag title change. Taz has keys to victory in the Iron Man match. I'm stunned. Everyone is watching on monitors in the back. Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle Angle is champion coming in. This is an iron man match with a sixty minute time limit. There's a 15 second rest period after each fall. The challenger is the heel. Lesnar jumps him to start and we have a big old clock in the corner. Brock beats him down to start but Angle fires back with some clotheslines. Angle gets a shot to the knee and Brock chills on the floor. He stays out there until about 8 and the knee isn't right. Brock asks for time but he was just channeling his inner Bret Hart as he plays possum. Angle doesn't mind and hits a set of armdrags to send Brock out to the floor. Lesnar grabs the steps but tosses them back instead of using them. He slides in at 9 and goes right back out to break the count. Well it's not like they don't have a lot of time to kill. Brock breaks the count again and make it three times. Four times now. Angle is getting ticked which might be Lesnar's plan. We're five minutes into the clock now and we haven't really gotten anything going but they have plenty of time. Angle goes for the knee and Brock hits the floor AGAIN. Angle charges at him and Brock nails him to finally take over. Angle snaps off a suplex and clotheslines Brock to the floor where he holds the knee again. Lesnar is down and holding the knee but this time Angle goes after him. He rams Brock into the steps head first and they slug it out. Brock gets the better of that and rams Kurt into the post back first. He goes to grab a chair and pops Angle in the head with it for a DQ at about nine minutes. Brock lays Angle out with the chair a bunch of times but it's in the rest period so it doesn't count. Brock grabs some water at ringside. Does that mean there's a conspiracy against him? Angle is barely able to stand so Brock drills him with an F5 to tie it up at 49:38 to go. Brock kicks him in the ribs and asks Angle if he wants to tap. Lesnar puts the ankle lock on Kurt and he taps to make it 2-1 at 47:21. We take a break and come back at 44 minutes left with Lesnar breaking an Angle rally with a knee to the ribs. During the break Brock hit an Angle Slam for two. Brock charges but his shoulder goes into the post. Angle gets a forearm smash and it's German time. Angle comes at Brock but gets sent back outside. Brock whips him into the railing HARD and this an F5 on the floor for the countout to go up 3-1 at 20 minutes in. We take a break and come back with Angle in control after hitting some suplexes during the break. Lesnar knocks Kurt to the floor with an elbow and takes over soon thereafter. We're at 35 minutes left now as Brock gets two off an elbow drop. Angle reverses an Irish whip into the Angle Slam and it's 3-2 at 34 minutes to go. We're told that if this goes to a tie we'll have overtime. Kurt pounds away but the Angle Slam is countered into an F5 attempt which is countered into the ankle lock. Brock rolls through and Angle manages to avoid the referee. Brock however drills him in the head with a clothesline so when Angle hits the Angle Slam, there's no referee. Brock hits Angle low and grabs the title. A shot to the head of Angle puts him down and the referee wakes up to make it 4-2 Brock at 29:30 to go. We take a break and come back with Angle on the floor with 25 minutes to go. Angle pulls him to the floor and hammers away, sending Brock into the steps. With Brock on the outside, Angle goes back in and up top to hit a double axe to Brock's back. That only gets two back inside though. Kurt goes up again and hits the missile dropkick for a close two. The moonsault that hits once a decade doesn't hit here and both guys are down. Angle grabs a rollup for two so Brock takes his head off with a clothesline. Brock gets all ticked off and throws Angle over his head without leaving his own feet. Well that was awesome. It only gets two though and both guys are down. Kurt reverses another belly to belly into the ankle lock but Brock rolls through to send Angle to the floor. Angle goes into the steps again and back to the ring we go. That only gets two in the ring as we have 20 minutes left with with score 4-2 Brock. Lesnar unhinges some steps but Angle hits a baseball slide to send them into Brock's face. Kurt looks like his shoulder is hurt from going into the steps. Angle gets an elbow for two as we take a break. Back and it's 5-2 as Brock hit a superplex for a fall during the break. We have 14 minuets to go and it's 5-2 Brock. Brock takes him outside and tries to F5 Angle into the post but Angle reverses to give Brock an F5 into the post with the bad knee hitting the steel. Back inside and Angle throws on a half crab which is very smart. Brock makes the ropes so Angle throws on the ankle lock. Lesnar STILL doesn't tap so Kurt stomps away at the leg/ankle. Kurt charges in at Brock but gets caught in an F5. Brock can't counter though and can only get a delayed two. Lesnar goes up top but Angle pops up for the running belly to belly and it's 5-3 with 9:50 to go. Angle wins a slugout and pounds Brock down in the corner. Angle puts the straps back up which is a new one for him. He tries to load up the Angle Slam but Brock grabs a DDT for two. Kurt misses a right hand and Lesnar hits a German. Make that two Germans. Would you believe three Germans? He tries a fourth (there has been a lot of laying around between them so about 90 seconds passed for all those Germans) but Angle counters into two Germans of his own. Angle rolls through something into the ankle lock and in more or less the same ending at Summerslam, Brock can't find a rope and taps with 4:11 to go. Four minutes left and both guys are down. Brock still leads 5-4. They're still down with 3:30 left. Kurt grabs the hold again but Brock rolls through to escape. They're both down again but Kurt is up and stomping away with three minutes left. Bow and arrow hold, which is like a side version of the STF, goes on to eat up some time. Brock wisely heads to the floor with two minutes left. Smart strategy there as Lesnar only has to play defense and run the clock out to win the title. Kurt puts the ankle lock on Brock outside but back inside we go. Brock runs again so Kurt rams him into the steps. Angle hits some rolling Germans back in the ring and we hit a minute to go. He hits four Germans but this is taking way too long. Brock kicks him low with 30 seconds left but it's not seen. Ankle lock with the grapevine is on with 15 seconds left but Lesnar hangs on to win the title and end the show. Rating: B. This match runs into the exact same problem that is more or less unavoidable for these matches: you can more or less skip the first 55 minutes and you still see the exciting parts. An hour is too long, even when the guys are having an entertaining match. This was good, but like I said the vast majority of it is just waiting for Angle to make his big comeback. However it does fly by as taking out commercials it runs about 46-48 minutes. Good match, but not a good idea for TV. Overall Rating: C+. Like I said in the previous grade, you can skip about 55 minutes of this show and you'll see the important points. The iron man match is a trap that is almost impossible to escape in that regard and it's not a good idea for PPV or TV. It eats up so much time and so many things are put on hold for it. This was an entertaining show and it's always cool to see a world title change, but a normal match running about half an hour would have been a lot better.