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The Little Rey Rey That (Almost) Could 
December 12, 2003

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


Danny's a late scratch here today...  which leaves moi to do a quick recap of last night's SD!.  It'll be nothing fancy, though, just a jacked up (and fact-checked) version of the write-up I did for Wednesday's Spoilers, really...

Let's ride...

Cold Open: Paul Heyman is in the darkened ring, with a tight close-up on his spotlit face, and promises that Chris Benoit will never get another WWE Title shot for as long as Heyman is GM of SD!.

Opening theme/pyro/etc, not fer nothing, we get some yammering from Michael Cole and Tazz, and then it's back to Paul E....

The Opening Promo

Heyman expands upon his Benoit-hatin', saying that Brock Lesnar is the greatest WWE Champion ever, and his long term plan for SD! is to build the entire brand on the shoulders of Brock Lesnar.  And last week, Benoit came dangerously close to beating Lesnar and ruining everything.  He introduces the man himself, and Lesnar comes out to say a few words.  More solid mic work from Lesnar, who manages to convey the exact perfect whiny bad-assery that his character right now needs.  He also riled up fans with a few comments about (a) making them all tap out and (b) getting them all deported back to Mexico.  Wrong move.  Because when Brock said there was nobody in the building who could take him down, Rey Mysterio decided to step up to the plate.  Rey said Brock shouldn't diss his hometown or his people, and issued a challenge for a match later in the night.  Brock passed at first, but after Rey questioned his genitalia, Brock accepted, but with the stipulation that tonight's would be a non-title match.  Rey could only get a title shot if he won later tonight.

Rhyno vs. Bradshaw  

This was a continuation of the Red Hot Velocity feud that started last week!  Yee haw!  This time, Rhyno wins cheap after a superplex: he sort of cradled Bradshaw for the pin although it was Bradshaw who had hit the superplex.  I repeat: Yee Haw!  5 minutes of your life you can never have back.

Backstage: Paul Heyman is not happy, and the target of his bile is A-Train.  Team Lesnar is not pleased that A-Train beat on Benoit to win the title last week, and to prove himself to Heyman and Lesnar, he needs to win a big match this week.  Because if he doesn't, well, A-Train knows how Paul "dealt with" Nathan Jones, doesn't he?  (No Paul, we don't!) Anyway, Train has match against SD!'s next big superstar.  A-Train must prove himself by beating Shannon Moore.  Next.

Elsewhere backstage: the FBI are running numbers, again.  The Bashams are there, and bet on themselves in next week's big Tag Title match against Rikishi/Scotty.  And then Matt Morgan comes in and puts a big bet down on Train to beat Moore.

Shannon Moore vs. A-Train

For about a minute and a half, this was a repeat of Shannon's last three or four SD! matches...  and then Shannon hit a fluke-y move or two and reversed his way out of a powerbomb and into a surprise roll-up for a pinfall win!  With the help of Big Show and Matt Morgan, A-Train continued his onslaught after the match.... for about 15 seconds.  When A-Train tried charged Moore in a corner, Morgan intercepted him with a big boot, and then Show chokeslammed him.  Please don't tell me A-Train is going face...  Or forming a tag team with Shannon.... 

Backstage: we're in tight on some red shoes, and Lamont the Butler (or whatever his name is, now) is talking, saying it's time to shake some tail.  If ever there was a reason to NOT stay turned during a commercial break....

The Cat's Special Performance 

This craptacular segment was a little bit of booty-shakin' by Cat, followed by his announcement that to make this a memorable night, he was going to have a special guest come out and shake HER ass for the fans.  Sable came out, teased the fans for a moment, and then announced they didn't deserve to see her shake her tail feather; that is for Vince McMahon's eyes only.  On her way out of the ring, Sable was sexually harassed by the Cat, and didn't seem to like it.  But Cat got a kick out of his little taste of Sable, and went into one of his patented madman dances.  Cat's seizure ended with him stripped down to his boxers.  Why?

Backstage: Eddie and Chavo Guerrero are talking about their match (it's next) against the World's Greatest Tag Team.  They start just talking about how it's important to win, but end with each one talking about how HE intends to steal the win.  Uh oh.

Los Guerreros vs. the World's Greatest Tag Team.  

Really good match.  After a hot start, it appeared Eddie may have been legitimately hurt after a single-arm DDT about 3 minutes into the match.  There was some odd editing, it seemed, anyway; however, when things got back on track, Haas and Benjamin actually went right to work on the shoulder that Eddie might have hurt, so if it was real injury, Eddie shook it off and then was OK enough to work the shoulder into the match.  They threw in an ad break after Eddie was rammed shoulder-first into a ringpost, and when we came back, it was still Eddie getting pounded.  Warm tag to Chavo, and that set up an extended sequence where Chavo's previously-injured knee was the target, which in turn set up the real hot tag of the match, back to Eddie.  Eddie, although favoring his arm and shoulder, hit all his usual moves in his house o' fire act.  Match settled back down again, though, and the heels regained control for a cup of coffee.  During this phase, the ref actually threw up the dreaded "X" Signal of Legitimate Injury, but Eddie kept on working, anyway.  He fought back, and slammed Haas down.  At which point Chavo tagged himself in and hit a Frog Splash in an attempt to steal the win.  It didn't work; 2 count only.  Chavo was then shoved back into his corner by Benjamin, colliding the Eddie, which the ref ruled as a legal tag.  As he tried to restore order in the ring and get things sorted out, Eddie went to ringside, pulled the air filter out of his low-rider, and pasted Benjamin in the face with it.  Then he hopped in the ring and got the pinfall win. After the match, Eddie is again favoring the shoulder, but not so much that Chavo doesn't register mild frustration that Eddie stole the win from him

It's All For a Good Cause:  they have footage of the press conference where SD! announced it's holiday tour of Iraq, where they will entertain the troops stationed there and broadcast the footage stateside on Christmas night.  Blah blah blah, I'm sure I'm as asshole for saying this, but good cause or no, this was an awfully long piece of self-congratulatory crap to put in the middle of the show.

Freestyle Rap Challenge

Big Show comes out to the ring in Cena Wear, which immediately strikes everybody as funny, so Show only gets half boos for this whole segment.  He says that since he's already proven himself physically superior to John Cena, he now wants to beat Cena at his own game:  it's Battle Rap time!  Show insists he's got mad rhymes, and wants Cena to come out and do a rap-off with him.  Cena obliges.  Show goes first, and after a slow start, fully amuses the crowd (and Cena) with a B+ caliber rap that included comparing Cena to a white girl and himself to Kobe Bryant.  Ooohhh, Snap!  Cena and the crowd seemed to appreciate Show's effort... but then Cena got on the mic and did a solid-grade-A caliber rap to win the fans fully over to his side, featuring the always-effective "yo mama" gambit.  When Cena hit his punchline (about Show being a big fat piece of microphone in the air), he distracted Show by tossing the mic at him, and then kicking him square in the nuts.  Revenge for all Show's put Cena through, we are told. A fun waste-of-time segment in exactly the way that the Cat's thing wasn't.

Video Package: Tazz and Cole take us back to last week, and they show us just how close Benoit came to beating Lesnar for the WWE Title.  After about 5 minutes of highlights/history lesson, they cut to backstage, where Josh Matthews got a few words with Chris Benoit.  Benoit refused to make excuses about last week; he lost, and that's it.  Now, because of Heyman, it's not a question of "when" but if "if" he'll ever get another title shot.  And he says that's OK, because Heyman made that decision based on numbers and money, but to Benoit, wrestling is his life and his passion, and nobody can take that away from him.  He'll keep fighting until he achieves his dream of being the Champion.  You do know what this means, right folks?  Lesnar/Benoit at WM20...  and I ain't complaining.

Brock Lesnar vs. Rey Mysterio

Seated at ringside are Rey's wife, kids, family, and (suspiciously) three "friends" all wearing Rey masks and clothes that could best be described as "Konnan-esque."  This was an excellent 12 minute main event, with a hot crowd and everything (the non-title nature meant they actually believed Rey might win, which was a nice touch).  Lesnar's power moves looked sweet on Rey, and Rey's high-flying offense was flashy enough to pop the crowd.  Not necessarily the total heel beat down followed by brief hope spots for Rey that you'd expect.  Instead, Lesnar gave Rey a decent amount of offense to start, selling it like Rey was a fly, a nuisance, and always recovered to kick out of big moves or go back on offense.  That was the entire first half of the match, which concluded with Rey wiping Lesnar out with about a half-dozen crazy high-flying moves from the ring to the floor.  At that point we took a break while Rey caught his breath and Lesnar was down and out.  When back from the ad break, the mood changed.  Lesnar began to dominate for the next several minutes until a Rey rally.  However, at about the 14 minute mark, Brock squashed the rally by turning a West Coast Pop into a rude powerbomb.  Then he cinched in the "Brock Lock" (the lame-ish name for the overhead half crab Lesnar debuted last week versus Benoit), and got Rey to tap out. Brock celebrated a bit... at which point one of the three masked Friends of Rey jumped over the railing to go after Brock.  He quickly pulls off the mask and reveals he's Bob Holly.  Holly and Brock trade a few blows, and then Brock retreats as the show ends.

Final Thoughts

Another excellent effort.  The show-opening promo was Brock's second strong mic effort in a row, and as it did last week, really set the tone for the night's main event.  The result was that, contrary to what I got from Spoiler reporters, I really thought that Rey vs. Lesnar was the Match of the Night.  The way it was set up (non-title making a Rey win seem possible), the heat it had, and then the excellent ringwork (honestly, I don't think there is another big man in the company who could have had the same kind of match with Rey, who could have sold his stuff the way Brock did and have it look real and plausible, but also have it be just as real when he kicked ass and won clean minutes later).

Guerreros/TWGTT was very good, too, don't get me wrong.  Along with the Battle Rap, the entire second hour was superb, actually.  Even the Benoit history package and promo was well done, and I don't think I'm saying that just because it convinced me that Benoit/Lesnar is going to headline at WM20.

Opening hour was a grab bag.  Rhyno/Bradshaw was just out of place, not so much bad as pointless.  The Cat's thing was kind of bad: forced and in no way funny or useful in terms of creating a marketable niche for Miller.  And the Team Lesnar/Shannon Moore thing was OK, at best.  Really, I think you could have recorded the show, watched the opening 15 minutes, FF'ed the next 45, and then picked it up at the start of the Guerreros match, and you would not have missed a whole lot.

A notch down from last week, but still a really entertaining show.


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SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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