The NeelDown Video Review: WWE SummerSlam 2003


– Want to play me in Mario Kart DS? Just shoot me an e-mail with your Friend Code, and it might happen. It is without a doubt my favorite DS game so far, and I haven’t even played anything Wi-Fi on it yet, just the single player Grand Prix. Awesomely fun game.

– But on a more important note, here I debut my new format I will be using for all of my future reviews. It looks cleaner and is a hell of a lot more easy to read, at any rate. Hope you like it, so here we go.

The NeelDown: SummerSlam 2003

– From Pheonix, Arizona

– Hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Tazz, & Michael Cole

– St. Anger is the theme here, which of course is high on the list of new Metallica songs that annoy the piss outta me. Great.

La Résistance v. The Dudley Boyz – Tag Team Championship

The Dudz jump them on the ramp to start to get the crowd hot. Inside D’Von chokes Dupree with his French robe and arm drags him. Tag to Grenier who falls victim to one of D’Von’s sloppy flying forearms, then a slam and a leg drop get two. D’Von comes in and CLUBS Grenier then hangs him in the tree of woe for some groin stomping, then sandwiches them in the corner. Some evil heel tag team tactics allow the French to take over.

They double team for a little while, getting a couple of two counts, and then Dupree locks in the OPENING MATCH LA FRANCAIS BEARHUG. Ouch. See, I took a couple of years of French in school, so I could bust out some jokes here, but no one would really get them, so oh well. Bubba fights out of the hold but runs into a spinebuster for two. For the records, the Dudleyz are going for tag champions number seventeen tonight. Hot tag to D’Von who cleans house but the French are able to get a double spinebuster on him for two. Bubba finally gets back involved and it’s Wazzzzzzup headbut time for Grenier, and 3-D time for Dupree, but Grenier yanks the ref out. Meanwhile a secret heel cameraman runs in and levels D’Von with the camera giving Dupree the pin and the retain. The cameraman turns out to be Rob Conway, who is basically making his debut here. The match was a hot opener for the crowd, but didn’t have any real flow to it. (*3/4)

Winners: La Résistance

– Christian seeks guidance from black-belt practicing Eric Bischoff in the back, but Uncle Eric declines.

Undertaker v. A-Train

This might quite honestly be the “match to be least excited about” in the history of wrestling. In fact, the only one advantage of it is that Taker is in the patriotic biker stage so we can cut down on the 10 minute entrance and staredowns to get it started. Lockup struggle to start but Albert grabs a headlock and shoulders him down, but misses an elbow, so he just grabs the headlock again, but gets knocked down for two. UT charges into an elbow but manages to get a DDT for two, then works on the arm and gets the token flying forearm. And speaking of token moves, there’s Old School. Train manages to pull down the ropes and dump him.

Out there he CLUBS the injured ribs, which gets two. More and more clubs to the back, and a suplex gets two. Taker manages to get a quick sleeper, but thankfully Train gets out of it quickly. Unfortunately it is a catch 22 though, because now we have to suffer through more CLUBS to the injured back. Taker rolls the snake eyes and they collide with clotheslines for a double-KO. They get up and things progress to a slug fest, won out of course by UT who gets a big boot and leg drop for two. Train counters the Last Ride by shoving Taker into the ref then gets the Baldo Bomb, ref is magically awake, but it only gets two. So, uh … what was even the purpose of the ref bump there? Another ref bump now and Train gets his bicycle kick.

The only thing left in this match would be for Train to go to the chair for help, but he gets it booted in his face for two. Train gets out of the Tombstone, but just gets Chokeslammed instead giving Taker the pin. Better than I expected, actually, and things weren’t too awfully slow. (**) Afterwards Sable, who I forgot to mention earlier accompanied A-Train to the ring, goes in and tries to woe Taker so he doesn’t powerbomb Train, but Stephanie runs out and tackles her. It is truly amazing how f*cking good Sable looks even at her age now.

Winner: Undertaker

– Coach asks a couple at ringside who will win the EC. They both go with Goldberg. I guess it’s too early to say “woopsie,” so we’ll just see what happens later on.

Eric Bischoff v. Shane McMahon

I would try to explain the background for this one, but it would really make my head hurt. Let’s just say it had to do with Kane setting JR on fire, and a bunch of contract signings involving Steve Austin, as well as Eric making out with Linda McMahon in a hotel room that left us wondering “what would happen” for the topping on the cake. Yes, The Bisch is wearing his black karate outfit. He comes out to talk on the mic about Vince saying he has a true “filet mignon” at home and now he sees where Shane gets all of his energy.

That cues out Shane, who still stops to do the shuffling dance, but then makes it to the ring to attack. They brawl up and back down the ramp where Eric takes some barricade abuse. Punch, punch, stomp, stomp. Coach comes down and wacks Shane a few times with a chair. Eric gets on the mic and makes the match no DQ, falls count anywhere. Coach sends Shane to the steps, so Eric pins him, while still on the mic, but he kicks out in a stupid-looking sequence. Into the ring and Coach makes fun of JR on the mic and cuts off JR and Lawler’s announcing voices. Well, if only Lawler’s was like that all the time.

So now Coach holds Shane up so Bischoff can give him a VICIOUS KARATE KICK. And another one, but this time spinning. And another, but this time higher. Shane FINALLY makes the comeback and DDTs Bischoff, but Coach low blows him. There’s the glass breaking, as Austin is still under contract, and he comes out to make the save, but Coach brags about how he can’t touch him, so Shane shoves him into Austin, and they stomp a mudhole in them. Austin now gives us commentary again, which is refreshing, and it’s Stunner time for Eric. Now, Shane could just get the clean pin here, but instead drops the Shane Elbow on him through Hector’s table to get the win. The whole match took place on the microphone, and a couple of the only actual moves done were Eric’s karate kicks, so that amounts to about, oh we’ll say (-**)

Winner: Shane McMahon

– The WrestleMania recall (hey, remember when they showed these on PPVs?) sees Shawn Michaels achieve the boyhood dream in 1996.

Eddie Guerrero v. Chris Benoit v. Tajiri v. Rhyno – United States Championship

Hey, remember when SmackDown was watchable? Here is proof. Kind of nice to see Tajiri throw into some type of non-Cruiserweight mix. Looks like I spoke too soon, as he gets tossed before the bell. Rhyno goes after Benoit, but Benoit chops away and goes for an early Crossface. Eddie breaks that up, but goes back outside. Tajiri kicks Benoit down and drops a knee for two after Eddie broke it up. Rhyno charges into a Tajiri elbow, but clotheslines him down for two. Eddie breaks that up, and Benoit prevents him from going back outside this time. Rhyno gives Eddie a corner Gore and a running powerslam, Benoit breaks the count. Benoit snap suplexes Rhino for two, then chops Tajiri down to size and gives him a backdrop suplex, Eddie breaks up the pin.

Eddie tosses Rhyno in order to go after Benoit, and he suplexes him to the floor. Oh, so now I see the strategy, he just wanted to be left alone with Tajiri. Tajiri manages a monkey flip and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, Rhyno comes back in to break up the pin. Rhyno gets a superplex on Eddie but Tajiri is ready for the count. If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is tornado format. Tajiri kicks Rhyno down for two, then gets attacked by Benoit, who ducks a spin kick but falls victim to the back handspring elbow. Eddie breaks up the pin though, of course. Back suplex by Rhyno gets two. Hey, a KICK OUT? What a concept. Eddie gets a headscissors on Rhyno, as well as one on Benoit for two. Benoit tries a lariat on Rhyno, but is met with a punch. Eddie takes Tajiri down by the legs and locks in the Lasso from El Passo, meanwhile Benoit has the Crossface on Rhyno. So it’s basically a competition on who can get the other guy to tap out first, and Tajiri makes the rope to save Benoit.

Eddie gets tired of waiting and then just breaks up the Crossface, though. So in return, Benoit locks HIM in the Crossface. Rhyno breaks that up and gives Tajiri a spinebuster for two. Benoit dropkicks Rhyno to the floor and gets the rolling germans on Tajiri, or at least two of them, as Tajiri gets out and gets one of his own, with a bridge to boot, but it only gets a close two. Pretty nice sequence there. Benoit misses a blind charge and gets locked in the Tarantula, meanwhile Eddie tries sneaking in with the belt, Rhyno doesn’t see it and Gores the belt, so Eddie goes up looking for the Frog Splash but Tajiri kicks him off. Benoit drops Tajiri in the tree of woe then gets the headbut on Rhino for two, but Tajiri is able to flip out of the tree and break up the pin just in time. Buzzsaw Kick on Tajiri misses and Benoit powerbombs him out, taking himself out in the process, leaving Eddie to Frog Splash Rhyno to retain the US title. Finish came out of nowhere, but just a good, fast-paced wrestling match here, which stood as breath of fresh air for the card. (***1/4)

Winner: Eddie Guerrero

– Unfortunately, the predicted ***** instant classic Matt Hardy v. Zach Gowen which was on the card will not happen due to Brock destroying Gowen to a bloody pulp, so instead Matt just came out and made fun of Gowen on Heat.

Kurt Angle v. Brock Lesnar – WWE Championship

So Brock has won the title from Angle at WrestleMania, and then lost it at Vengeance, so here we are again. Lesnar takes him to the corner to start and breaks, then Angle takes him down from behind and goes to a facelock, which Brock counters to a hammerlock, which Angle counters to a headlock, which sticks. Standoff and Angle takes him down by the leg then back to the facelock, which Lesnar reverses again. Tazz’s strategy is to “end this thing quick.” Always great to see Tazz providing his genius eye of the wrestler advice. Brock shoves him down twice, but Angle gets three hip tosses forcing Lesnar to bail, where he gets so upset that he throws the monitor and the ring steps.

Angle goes out and attacks him out there but on the stage Lesnar whips him to the apron. Angle slugs back and goes back inside where he gets kneeded down and gets a belly to belly for two. Lesnar, however, then presses Angle to the floor. Back in Lesnar gets a belly to belly of his own for two, therefor bringing the pain big time. Angle slips out of a suplex and manages a roll up for two, but then Brock gives him a backbreaker for two.

Lesnar locks in a body scissors where the shoulders go down for a quick two, then keeps it locked in. Angle fights out of it eventually but runs straight into a knee, followed by a BIG backbreaker by Brock. Angle slugs back and gets two count out of it. Lesnar lifts Angle up into a tight cradle and then slams him down, in an odd yet cool looking move. Remember that last year Brock beat The Rock at SS. Lesnar takes him to the corner for the SHOULDER RAMS OF DEATH. Angle is finally able to dodge one, and then pinpoint that shoulder, then chop block him down.

They slug it out and Angle gets a forearm and gets the rolling germans for two. Lesnar then comes back with a release belly to belly, though. Angle Slam attempt is blocked and Lesnar gets a spinebuster for two. Lesnar tries the F5, but Angle reverses it into a really nice looking tornado DDT for a CLOSE two. Angle LOSES THE STRAPS and snaps off the Angle Slam for another close two. Angle locks in the Ankle Lock but Lesnar makes the ropes, then kicks him off into a ref bump. Angle locks in an interesting sleeper where he is hanging on Brock’s back with his legs wrapped around Brock’s neck and his hands hooked around his waist, then switches back to the Ankle Lock but Brock makes the ropes. But it doesn’t matter, because the ref’s out. He makes the ropes a couple more times, but no ref, so Lesnar taps, but well, there’s NO REF.

That allows Vince to come out and wack Angle with a chair, and Lesnar finishes with the F5 (on one leg), but Angle pulls off one of his great, spur of the moment kick outs. Another F5, but Angle lands on his feet and goes back to the Ankle Lock and Lesnar taps. It’s a given that these two will put on a good match, but not surprisingly it wasn’t near as good as their WrestleMania match which was ****1/2, and I have a feeling the McMahon-ference had something to do with that. (***1/2)

Winner: Kurt Angle

– The Diamondbacks are here, speaking of which, Luis Gonzalez got thrown out of a game on this day.

Kane v. Rob Van Dam – No Holds Barred

Ah, nothing like a tag partner v. tag partner match before the main event EC, and The Fink announces that he has just been informed that it is No Holds Barred. RVD tries to get fancy to start but Kane ends that with a stiff clothesline, then tosses him out where Kane slugs away, but RVD snaps off a moonsault from the railing and hammers away. Kane feeds him to the post, then gets a ladder. RVD tries the Rolling Thunder but Kane grabs him by the throat and they both tumble out over the top rope. Kane must have something in common with Brock Lesnar, as he is now angry and tearing up the steps.

RVD gets a mule kick for one back inside, then hops up top but Kane shoves him off. That almost causes a “holy shit” chant. When someone falling to the outside causes that, you know the show has been dull. Kane levels RVD with the ladder and tries choking him out. RVD manages to dodge a charge … but the gets punched sending him to the floor. Kane tries following with the flying clothesline, but RVD evades it and charges at him with the ladder, but Kane DDTs him. Kane tries using the steps but RVD gets a drop toe hold. A dropkick sends Kane into the crowd then drops a leg from the apron.

RVD gets a spin kick then the Rolling Thunder with assistance from a chair, followed by a low dropkick with it. He tries the Van Terminator, but Kane sits up and scoots out of the way. Kane finishes with a crappy-looking Tombstone onto the chairs and pinning him back inside. Seemed too long and got dull and boring, but at least there were some good spots to keep it entertaining. (**3/4)

Winner: Kane

– Terri wants word from the bloodied and battered Eric, who tells her to get out because she is blonde and stupid. Linda them comes in to slap him.

Triple H v. Randy Orton v. Kevin Nash v. Goldberg v. Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels – Elimination Chamber for the World Heavyweight Championship

Interesting that the champion HHH comes out third, who for the record has not won at Summerslam since 1998. We start with Michaels and Jericho, who grabs a headlock to start and then works the arm. Michaels knocks him down with a shoulder and gets a quick crossbody which is rolled through by Jericho for two. Backslide by Michaels gets two, reversed by Jericho, who then goes downstairs. Jericho blocks a sunset flip and goes with the cocky slap, but has the flavor returned. Backdrop by Michaels. Jericho tries the Walls but Michaels counters to a cradle for two. Jericho gets the bulldog and tries an early Lionsault but misses. Well, these two have already put on close to a three star + match by themselves.

Orton comes in next and gets the high crossbody on Jericho. Textbook dropkick on Michaels. Jericho chops away on Orton but falls victim to the silly backbreaker for two. Orton thinks the referee needs to wake up. Jericho gets an enzigiri on Michaels for two. Can’t they just let these two go at it the whole time while everyone else stands off and watches? Orton gets backdropped out onto the STEEL floor, where Jericho scoops and slams him. Jericho locks in the Walls on Michaels, but the next entrant is Kevin Nash.

Nash comes in and dumps Jericho then tosses him into the chains, as the true inner character Shredder comes out in him. If he would just pretend, let’s say, Jericho was Leonardo, he would be doing fine. He must have imagined Orton as Master Splinter, because he gives him a backdrop suplex for two. Short-arm clothesline on Shawn gets two. Jericho tries chopping Nash but runs into a big boot. Nash tries the Powerbomb on Jericho, but Michaels nails him with the superkick and Jericho flips over into a pin and eliminates Nash. Wasn’t expecting that at all, but oh well.

Next in is HHH, as they are of course saving Bill for last. HHH can’t even step out of his chamber though, as Michaels superkicks him back into it. Meanwhile Nash, though he is eliminated, Jackknifes Jericho. And there’s one for Orton. He could have just done all of that setting up where Shawn got the superkick on him, so it would have all looked clean. Michaels tries covering Orton, but he has the rope. Same process for Jericho. So now it’s a slugest between the slow moving trio of Michaels, Orton, and Jericho, and they duke it for a little bit.

Goldberg is of course your final entrant, who comes in and kills everyone but HHH, who is still laying peacefully inside his cell until he has to actually, you know, be in the match. They try some double-teaming on Goldberg that only gets them more punishment. Spear for Orton, and he’s gone. Jericho surprised Goldberg with the missile dropkick, but that only gets one, and in return he gets press slammed into the chains. Michaels takes his annual silly turnbuckle bump and falls into the tree of woe, which would set up a perfect Spear for Goldberg, but instead he goes out and Spears Jericho through one of the glass cells, which looked cool even though it didn’t break at first so they kind of just had to push through it after the Spear.

Michaels is fresh, however, and he drops the Heartbreak Elbow but Goldberg ducks the superkick and Spears him straight to hell, and now it’s Jackhammer time, and Shawn’s gone. The last victim is Jericho, who they apparently only kept around this whole time was for the glass spot. He gets Speared and Jackhammer, goodnight Jericho. So we’re down of course to the anticlimactic HHH-Goldberg confrontation. Flair tries holding HHH’s door closed. Goldberg of course then kicks the ever so strong Plexiglas to break it and pounds away on HHH, then rakes his face into the chain wall. HHH slips out of a slam and sends Goldberg into the chains a few times, but gets knocked down with a short-arm clothesline.

Flair slides HHH in the sledgehammer, Goldberg tries the Spear but gets hammered on the head, and there’s the pin, as HHH ends his Summerslam drought streak, retains his title, wins his first EC, and totally kills the crowd in their place. You would have at least expected a quick Pedigree after that, as it wasn’t even a clear sledge shot. I think HHH was maybe in the ring a minute and a half that whole match, and look who comes out on top. Afterwards Goldberg gets handcuffed so HHH can taunt and stuff. The match, given what it was, seemed really rushed and short, probably due in most part that they decided to do it at Summerslam where other matches needed the time, and quality-wise not as good as the first. (***)

Winner: Triple H