WWE SummerSlam 2003
by Scrooge McSuck
- Commentary for the annual event by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for Raw, and Michael Cole and Tazz for Smackdown!. Only notable moment from Heat, other than the warm-up match, is the announcement that Zach Gowen "forfeits" to Matt Hardy, and thus canceling their match for the PPV.
A. WWE Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio Jr. © vs. Shannon Moore:
Yes, REY MYSTERIO isn't good enough to make it on the second biggest pay-per-view of the year. I guess WWE canceling the Zach Gowen/Matt Hardy match at the last minute makes up for that fact, since that match had no place being on ANY PPV, let alone SummerSlam. Both men rush through a match that not only has no point to it, but super sloppy. Moore hits a moonsault for a two count, Rey no-sells once he's back up on his feet, hit's him with the 6-1-9, and finishes him off with a fugly version of the West Coast Pop at 2:01. Yes, 2 MINUTES. Someone must've had a grudge against the Cruiserweight Title, or something, because that's just wrong. I'm not fan of Shannon Moore, but he's capable of a decent match, and rushing him through one that lasts 2-minutes is just begging for unsuccessful results.
- For whatever reason, Lillian Garcia sings the national anthem to open the show. I say that because the show only opens like that maybe once a year, and it's usually WrestleMania.
1. World Tag Team Titles: La Resistance © vs. The Dudley Boyz:
(Sylvan Grenier & Rene Dupree vs. Bubba Ray & D'Von Dudley)
It's another one of those "Classic" Evil Foreigners vs. Flag-Hugging Good Guys, except in this case, the FHGG are two guys that are notorious for beating up women... yeah, they really should be the babyfaces representing America, I guess. And how are the La Rez guys evil? Because... um... I don't know, actually. I guess because they're from Canada, and they speak French? This is a really sad note, but I STILL can't tell the difference between Grenier and Dupree during this point of their WWE run. If you've seen one Dudleys match without 500 table spots, you've seen them all. Punch, punch, kick, punch, elbow, punch, clothesline, kick, punch. Dupree and Grenier don't add anything to help matters. The Dudleys appear to have the match won, but out of nowhere comes Rob Conway (dressed as a camera man) to brain D'Von with a camera, and rolls Dupree on top for the three count at 7:50. Was it me, or did Fink just say "La Resistace"? Spike Dudley comes out now, and gets KO'ed as well. Take that you fucking midget! Post-Match, Coach tries getting a word from the fallen Brothers, but Bubba Ray isn't too happy. Not happy at all.
- Backstage, Christian, the reigning Intercontinental Champion, is unhappy he doesn't have a match (the fuck?!), and offers his services to Bischoff for his "match" against Shane McMahon. No dice, says the Commish... I mean G.M.
2. The Undertaker vs. A-Train (w/ Sable):
Ew! We're reminded of the backstory to this match, with A-Train not only assaulting the Undertaker on several occasions, but Smackdown GM Stephanie McMahon. Why he wasn't fired for the latter seems kind of weird, but we all know what that means: Logic in WWE. The Undertaker has been on a anti-run of matches at SummerSlam, stinking up the ring in 2000, 2001, and 2002 heading into this show, after good outings in the 1996-1999 stretch. I seriously doubt A-Train is going to snap this streak. Talking about hypocrites, I forgot all about Sable's 2003-04 run in the WWE. I'm sorry, but "UFC/MMA Wannabe Undertaker" just looks damn silly to me. A slugfest for most of the match, with Undertaker working in his traditional spots whenever they come up. A-Train escapes a tombstone attempt, but Undertaker chokeslams him for the three count at 9:21. Not as bad of a match as I was expecting, but that's like saying having half of your finger cut off is better than the whole finger. Post-match, Undertaker goozles Sable, and Stephanie comes out for some cat-fights. Glad to see Stephanie forgave Undertaker for the Dark Wedding and Kidnapping 4 years earlier.
- For some reason, Coach is STILL hanging around ringside. I have a feeling this is all leading somewhere...
3. Shane McMahon vs. Eric Bischoff:
Yes, this pile of trash made it to the SummerSlam card, but people like Christian and Rey Mysterio are left out in the cold to do nothing (or pull heat duty). The video package for this match lets me see Kane destroy Shane... but we all know that wouldn't be the last of their angle. Nowhere near being done. I'm really over-abusing this comment, but if you've seen one Shane McMahon match, you've seen them all. Bischoff is wearing his karate attire, because in wrestling, wearing loose clothling like that is always a good thing (especially to hide the extra pads underneath). Shane cleans Bischoff's clock around the entire ring until someone blasts Shane with a steel Chair!! Who did it.... JONATHON COACHMAN?!? The Coach turned heel! Coach turned heel! Coach turned heel! And he swings a chair pretty damn good. Bischoff turns the match into a No DQ/Pinfalls Count Anywhere Match, then calls Shane a "Piece of shit." Coach beating up Shane? I can dig it. Bischoff continues verbally assaulting Shane, then in the mercy move of the night, has the J.R./Lawler PBP cut off, and is replaced by Coach over the microphone, doing an imitation of Ross. I hate Shane so much, I'm actually enjoying this. Of course, to ruin my moment, Steve Austin comes out to make the save after being "provoked" by Coach (or Coach got knocked into Austin by Shane). Bischoff eats a stunner, but Shane pulls him up at the count of two. Shane, of course, does his tired flying elbow through an announcers table, and wins the match at 10:36. Blech... as a match, this probably dipped into the negative stars, but I got sick enjoyment out of the ass-kicking Coach laid out on Shane.
4. WWE United States Title: Eddie Guerrero © vs. Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno vs. Tajiri:
With so much talent... and Rhyno, in this match, we're guaranteed it won't go any longer than 10-minutes. A lot of minor angles going on here. Rhyno turned on Benoit at Vengeance to help Guerrero win the title, Benoit hated both Rhyno and Guerrero, and Tajiri wants revenge on Guerrero for putting him out of action by slamming him onto the hood of a low-rider a few months back. History has proven that it's almost (keyword: ALMOST) impossible to book a 3-way, 4-way, and every other way and have the outcome be quite positive. I don't care how talented the people are, without a good booker to detail the match and give it plenty of time, it'll just come across as mediocre and rushed. As in most of these matches, only 2 guys really fight at a time. First it's Benoit/Rhyno, then Tajiri/Benoit, then Tajiri/Rhyno. The cycle continues for about 5-minutes, with nothing of real interest going on. Things turn into a mess, because all four men brawl with each other, and you can't keep up with it all. In the "highspot" of the match, Guerrero applies the Laso from el Paso on Tajiri while Benoit puts the crossface on Rhyno. It's a battle of "who will flinch first", and it's Guerrero, who basement dropkicks Benoit's face. Bang Bang Bang time of big moves. Rhyno spears Guerrero, but Guerrero uses the US Title as a shield. Benoit puts Tajiri in the tree-of-woe and nails the diving headbutt on Rhyno for a two count. Tajiri and Benoit take each other out, and Guerrero gets froggy on Rhyno, and it's enough to retain the title at 10:51. Just a giant cluster-fuck. The first 5-6 minutes were just a bunch of transitions of partners, and the last couple was big move, big move, big move in rapid fire succession.
5. WWE World Title: Kurt Angle © vs. Brock Lesnar:
For those who are having trouble keeping up with these two, Angle was the babyface, and Lesnar had recently turned heel on Smackdown, beating down on Angle inside of a steel cage. Lesnar also had, in my opinion, one of the WORST nicknames at the time... The MANSTER. What happend, Looney Tunes had a copyright on Monstars or something? I guess we should all be thankful this feud is centered around good and bad, not homosexual innuendos of "manly stretching", chugging "milk", and kissing. Yes, KISSING. WHO THE FUCK WAS BOOKING THIS SHIT?! Before the match, we get "highlights" of Lesnar beating the piss out of crippy-boy Zach Gowen. No wonder people loved Lesnar so much. The insults end there, however, as these two put on a pretty good match. Not as good as WrestleMania XIX, because that was the biggest match of the show and there's no chance of matching expectations, but still, for 2003, a fine match, with a nice blend of power offense and chain-wrestling to change things up, and they never spend too long on one certain rest spot. After 15-minutes of see-saw action, Angle counters the Browser Refresh with a DDT for a two count. THE STRAPS COME DOWN! Angle Slam for a two count. Ankle lock is applied, but Lesnar counters, sending Angle into the referee. Angle applies a VERY unusual submission hold. Kinda like a sleeper, only with his legs, while Lesnar is STANDING UP. Angle switches to the Ankle Lock, but Vince McMahon runs out and clocks Angle. F5 by Lesnar, but Angle kicks out. Angle with the Ankle Lock AGAIN, and this time, after several escape attempts, Brock finally taps out at 21:17, allowing Angle to retain the title. Afterwards, Angle slams Vince across a steel chair, as a birthday present no doubt. Since this match was good enough, I'd probably clock it around ***1/2. If not for a bit of a down point around the 15-minute mark, it might've been closer to 4-stars. And people say I'm totally bias against Brock Lesnar. Just because he's a traitor-wanna-be football player that couldn't make a practice squad doesn't mean I can't say he had good matches.
6. No Holds Barred: Rob Van Dam vs. Kane:
Now it's time for the part of the show that makes me mad, but to save time, I'll lump my frustrations all together after the main event. The backstory here is that Kane, after unmasking, went off the deep-end even further, attacking anyone he felt was "laughing at him." Since RVD was responsible (or say they say in storylines) for the Mask vs. Title Match happening, Kane is even more pissed off at him. One highlight of this feud was Kane tying up RVD on a steel hook (BONDAGE!), stuffing a rag in his mouth, and failing to light matches. Kane just wanted him to FEEL HIS PAIN! On a serious note, this refrshing of Kane's character should have propeled him to the top of the card, but we'll get to that rant later. As a match, it's a very methodical style of brawling, with chairs, ladders, and steel steps being involved for most points, and Kane dominating for the most part. In one "highspot" of the match, Kane fucks up his top rope clothesline to the floor, then, in a uncharacteristic move, REPEATS THE SPOT. RVD counters it at least, so maybe they called an audible on the result of the move. RVD takes control, dropkicking a steel chair into Kane's face. RVD sets him up for the Van Terminator, but Kane rolls out of the way, and the chair gets knocked into the camera. RVD tries a cross body from the apron, but Kane catches him, and tombstone piledrives RVD on the steel steps (the camera angle thankfully gave us a shot that wasn't from the front view). Kane rolls RVD back in the ring, and the three count is academic at 12:51. Outside of some token offense by RVD, Kane pretty much squashes him like a bug. Decent for what it was, but it won't be making any "best of" tapes any time soon.
7. World Heavyweight Title;
Elimination Chamber Match: Triple H © vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton:
Nice group of "talent" for this match, eh? You have Triple H, who is injured to the point HE CAN'T EVEN WRESTLE, Kevin Nash, who hurts himself just walking across the ring, Randy Orton, who was even worse then than he was a year later, and Goldberg, who's had about one good match in his entire career. The only good workers are Jericho and, to an extent, Michaels, but no one could carry the amount of suck in this match. For "time purposes" no doubt, the intervals for participant entry is knocked down from 5-minutes to 3-minutes. In another awesome moment, Goldberg fucking slips during his little karate showcase entrance. Starting the match is Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, meaning the match is downhill from there. 3rd man to enter is Randy Orton, who does his incredibly goofy cross-body press on Shawn the moment he enters. No, I really expect someone to stand around for 10-seconds for Orton to fucking finish the damn move. Jericho chops the shit off of Orton's chest, making him my favorite wrestler for about 6 seconds. 4th to enter is Big Lazy, Kevin Nash, and no one cares. He's eliminated before the next man gets to enter, thanks to sweet chin music by HBK, and a roll-up by Jericho. At least the worst worker in the match is gone first. 5th to "enter" is Triple H, but HBK knocks him out with sweet Chin Music the second he steps out of his chamber, knocking him back into it in the process. Nash, before leaving the cage, takes everyone out before he leaves, because a guy with brittle bones can take out three guys in far better shape. So long Nash, way to go out a loser. Everyone lies around for about 2-minutes, because that really helps the match.
The final man to enter is... GOLDBERG! He takes care of all three guys that don't have incapacitating injuries. Press slam into a NASTY spinebuster on Orton! Goldberg double clotheslines the teaming up of Jericho and HBK. SPEAR TO ORTON! Take that you fucking homo! Orton is the 2nd man eliminated at 13:04. Goldberg goozles Jericho, then press slams him against the chamber wall! Time for Michaels to eat dirt. Goldberg whips him into the corner, tying him in the tree-of-woe in the process. Goldberg heads outside, and Spears Jericho through the "glass" chamber! Actually, he spears him, then pushes him through since it doesn't break. Still pretty cool visual, and the crowd is eating it up. Michaels does his stupid elbow/kip up spot, but Goldberg ducks SCM and Spears Michaels back to the fucking doorstep of St. Peter. To add insult to prickery, Goldberg plants him with the Jackhammer, and Shawn is gone at 15:22. Jericho is back up, and he's fucked the second he enters the ring again. SPEAR! Another Jackhammer, and at 16:04, it's down to Goldberg and Cripple H. Flair and HHH try locking the chamber he's in, but Goldberg stupidly KICKS HIS WAY THROUGH, opening a nasty cut up on his calf. Goldberg beats the tar out of Trips for a few minutes, and Triple H has the fucking nerve to blade, despite doing nothing in the match so far. Goldberg no-sells some minor offense from Crips. Goldberg goes for the Spear, but HHH magically produces a Sledgehammer, nails Goldberg with it, and wins the match at 19:15... Yes, Triple H, who did NOTHING the entire match, and barely took a beating for the last 2-minutes, pinned Goldberg to retain the title with ONE MOVE, a SLEDGEHAMMER SHOT, in a ELIMINATION CHAMBER!!! To make matters worse, Evolution does a beat-down on Goldberg, because we really need to see more of that. This goes on for a good 3-4 minutes, too.
There's something right there that I don't understand. Goldberg went through THREE MEN, two of them being former World Champions, without as much as breaking a sweat. The crowd is totally buying into the resurrection of the old Goldberg en route to possibly winning the World Title from Cripple H. Now, onto the matter of Kane/RVD. For weeks, Kane is built up as an undestructable monster. He beat the crap out of Steve Austin, who never got touched after his retirement, he wiped the floor with Shane McMahon, set Jim Ross on fire, smashed RVD's skull with chair shots and throwing him through doors, chokeslammed Bischoff of a stage, and, the cou de grace, TOMBSTONED LINDA MCMAHON, WHO WAS UNFUCKING TOUCHABLE TO ANYONE NOT NAMED MCMAHON. Then, here we are, and Kane squashes RVD as if here were some ham n' egger. Anyone, ANYONE, with at least half of a brain, could see that a Goldberg vs. Kane match for the World Title would've been money. Kane was drawing the best ratings on Raw by a considerable amount, and Goldberg was getting seriously over. It's the Unstopable Monster vs. the Wrecking Machine. It would've been an AWFUL match, but my God, imagine, if things went right at SummerSlam, that would've happen.
So what happens instead? Kane is buried, BURIED, in a feud with Shane McMahon, for three fucking months. By the time that's over, all the work put into building him up again is completely nullified, and the sacrifice of RVD hurts his career for the short-run. Then Triple H, who can't wrestle because of a groin muscle strain, totally limiting him from wrestling the match, still retains the title, and totally killing whatever heat Goldberg got for the last 6-minutes of the match. On top of winning, Triple H then humiliates him after the match, because that really helps Goldberg more. So now let's see the overall tally here...
Shawn Michaels - fed to Goldberg. Chris Jericho - fed to Goldberg. Randy Orton - fed to Goldberg. Booker T - MIA. RVD - fed to Kane. Kane - humiliated in a feud with Shane McMahon. Goldberg - humiliated by Triple H after going through the above mentioned.
In a nutshell, this show is nothing more than stroking the ego of Triple H, and burying everyone and anyone possible who might have a snowballs chance in hell of over-shadowing him in the company. Maybe it's all just a coincidence.
Final Thoughts: A total pass of a show. Only one match is worthy of getting a star rating, the main event is a total joke, and Kane/RVD was the average brawl that we can see any time on plenty of other shows. As for the rest of the show, it's flat-out forgetable. Dudleys/La Rez sucked and was done at Unforgiven, the 4-way was a mess, Undertaker/A-Train stunk, and Bischoff/McMahon isn't worth commenting. Strong Recommendation to Avoid, unless you LOVE Triple H reigning supreme with a crippling injury