November 13, 2005
Graham Cawthon

Smackdown!
Televised September 25, 2003
Philadelphia, PA
Wachovia Center

WWE Smackdown! Tag Team Champions Eddie & Chavo Guerrero vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore

WWE US Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Charlie Haas

We are seven days removed from the 60-minute Ironman match between Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, at the end of which Lesnar entered his 3rd reign as WWE World Champion.

Brock Lesnar was an unstoppable force. As world champion, he was unbeatable. A mountain of a man, he left a line of bodies in his wake including those of Hulk Hogan, the Rock, the Undertaker, Kurt Angle, and the Big Show.

But one man would defeat Lesnar for that title. And when Smackdown! came to Philadelphia on September 23, 2003, the seeds were already being planted to elevate that superstar to the next level.

LATINO HEAT

For months, one of the top mid-card names on either WWE roster was that of Eddie Guerrero. Since breaking away from the tag team scene in the summer, Guerrero dominated the singles ranks and had the newly resurrected United States title to show for his efforts.

Following Summer Slam, in which Guerrero successfully defended the title against Chris Benoit, Rhyno, and Tajiri, Smackdown! came to El Paso and Guerrero turned babyface in his hometown after an altercation with the upstart John Cena. Two weeks later, Chavo Guerrero Jr., who had been out of action since May, returned and helped his uncle Eddie beat Cena in a parking lot brawl.

Los Guerreros were back and, with Eddie as the US Champion, were stronger than ever.

The same night Lesnar took the title away from Angle, Eddie & Chavo renewed their rivalry with the self-professed 'World's Greatest Tag Team' of Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin by making a successful return to the tag team division and winning the tag team titles.

At the top of the program, it was announced that not only would Los Guerreros defend their newly won championship against the duo of Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore but Eddie would put the US title up for grabs against Charlie Haas, a man seeking revenge for the injury sustained to Shelton Benjamin during the previous week’s tag title match.

STEP 1

“We lie, cheat, and steal … we lie, cheat, and steal …”

The crowd pops big at the sound of Los Guerreros’ theme as Eddie drives him and his partner out to ringside.

A replay shows the finish of last week’s match in which Chavo clipped Benjamin in the leg, injuring him, with Eddie then hitting the frog splash on Haas for the pin. It’s announced that Benjamin has undergone arthroscopic surgery to repair the injury.

Eddie and Chavo play to the fans, gold around their waists, as Eddie holds the US strap in his hand.

“OOOOH YEEEAAAAAAHH…”

“Live for the Moment” blares throughout the arena as Matt Hardy Version 1 and MFer #1 Shannon Moore come out to the ring.

MATTITUDE FACT: MATT HAS WRESTLED WITH STREP THROAT

“Tonight, for the first time in WWE history, Guerrero, the holder of two titles, will defend them both in the same night.” – Michael Cole

Michael Cole & Tazz put over WrestleMania XX tickets going on sale the coming Saturday morning at 10am EST as the challengers enter the ring.

THE MATCH:

“What a great opportunity here for the Sensei of Mattitude and the MFer.” – Cole

“V-ONE-AH!” – Tazz

Eddie starts with a headlock on Matt before making the blind tag to Chavo, who lands a dropkick and a drop toe hold on Hardy. A back suplex / heilo combo follows before Eddie tags back out. A snapmare / dropkick combo follows with a two count on Hardy.

With Chavo in the ring, the champion runs to the ropes only to be tripped up and pulled to the floor by Moore. Chavo blocks a punch and drops Moore with a punch. However, he’s caught off guard by a Hardy dropkick between the ropes.

As the referee is distracted, Moore slams Chavo face-first into the mat before rolling him back inside, where Hardy gains a near fall.

Shannon officially enters the match and hits a back suplex for a 2-count before tagging back out. Both challengers viciously ram Chavo back-first into the corner.

“Singling out Chavo is smart,” Tazz says, noting Chavo hasn’t shaken off all his ring rust from being on the DL since May.

With the champions in peril, Chavo counters a move from Moore, turning it into a face-first slam, and then tagging out to Eddie. “Latino Heat” clears house on both challengers and lands a big backdrop on Moore. Seconds later, an armdrag / headscissors takes both Hardy & Moore down to the mat.

Hardy eventually turns the tide by sending Eddie to the ropes and landing a big kick to the mid-section, allowing Moore to follow through with a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Moore holds Eddie up for Hardy but the leader of the MFers accidentally hits Moore. The challengers quickly regroup and try again, only for Chavo to trip Hardy up as he runs off the ropes.

In the ensuing battle, Eddie corners Moore before throwing him into the opposite corner, where Chavo comes off the top with a crossbody. Eddie, the legal man, gets a 2-count but Hardy makes the save.

Chavo and Hardy pair up, as do Eddie and Moore. Matt drops Chavo with a back suplex and goes for the Twist of Fate on Eddie, only to be shoved into the ropes and over the top to the floor, thanks to Chavo pulling down the top rope.

Moore hits an enzuiguri on the distracted Eddie to gain a near fall and goes up top to put the US Champion away. Unfortunately for him, Eddie moves out of the way at the last moment. A back suplex from Chavo and the frog splash from Eddie seal the match at 5:23.

WINNERS: EDDIE & CHAVO GUERRERO JR.

Step 1 was complete but the night was by no means over for Eddie Guerrero.

And just as the champions are celebrating, Hardy rolls back inside the ring and assaults Eddie, hitting a Side Effect onto one of the title belts. Chavo reenters the ring to check on his uncle as Hardy & Moore leave ringside.

During the commercial break, Charlie Haas runs to the ring, throws Chavo to the floor, and applies the Haas of Pain on the already injured Eddie. The damage done, Haas leaves through the crowd, a smile on his face.

With his partner on the DL for who knows how long, Haas was determined to not only gain revenge but to make his own mark as a singles competitor.

We fast-forward 40-minutes.

STEP 2

Charlie Haas comes out first, with Eddie gingerly walking out second. Eddie takes his time, holding his ribs, as the Big Show, who came out moments earlier and briefly joined the commentary team, walks backstage past Eddie.

Then, out of nowhere, Show attacks Eddie from behind, ramming him rib-first into the steel post before leaving ringside.

THE MATCH:

Haas jumps on his opportunity and assaults Eddie on the floor before rolling him inside the ring to officially begin the contest.

Selling the attacks from Hardy and Show, Eddie is doubled over in pain in the corner as Haas stomps away at the injured mid-section. A big backdrop follows. Haas falls to the floor after Eddie avoids a lunge.

The champion fights back with all that he has and lands a number of punches. Haas comes back with an Irish whip and throws Eddie in the air only to suffer a dropkick for his efforts.

The champion runs into a big sidewalk slam for a near-fall. A backbreaker follows, with Haas driving the knee deep into Guerrero’s back and turning it into a submission move. Haas picks Eddie back up, with the champion reversing into a head scissors.

Haas stalks Guerrero around the ring, punching and stomping him before ramming Eddie rib-first into the steel ring post from the apron. The US champion lays almost in the fetal position on the floor, his hands on his ribs.

Chavo Guerrero quickly runs out to check on Eddie and is summarily punched out by Haas. The challenger rolls Eddie back in the ring and makes the cover as Chavo is sent backstage by two officials.

With the referees distracted by Chavo, they fail to realize Haas has the match won inside the ring and neither slides in to count the cover. It’s not until several seconds later that Mike Chioda reenters the ring to make the count. By then Eddie has enough sense left in him to grab onto the bottom rope to avoid losing the contest.

With the match in hand, the challenger pulls Eddie into the center of the ring and hooks the Haas of Pain as Eddie screams.

“Will Eddie Guerrero tap out here? Will Charlie Haas win the US title?” – Cole

Guerrero, in a last ditched effort, pops out of the move. Seconds later, Eddie pulls Haas into the ropes and out to the floor.

Haas, feeling “as fresh as a daisy” according to Tazz, grabs the title belt and reenters the ring, only for referee Mike Chioda to steal it away. With the referee distracted by Haas, the champion hides the belt around his front and drapes it across the top turnbuckle.

With nearly 7 minutes gone, Haas shoves Chioda down, charges the corner, and ends up hitting the belt face-first after the champion moves out of the way. Eddie struggles to the top rope and hits the frog splash but the impact is such that it seems to cause him more pain than it does the challenger.

Guerrero rolls to the ropes, in obvious pain, as Haas lays motionless on the mat. After a few seconds, Eddie crawls over and hooks the leg for the 1-2-3 at 7:13.

“I’m telling you what, if there’s a will, there’s a way if your name is Eddie Guerrero.” – Tazz

Still in pain but with a smile on his face, Eddie leaves ringside still in possession of the United States title.

THE AFTERMATH

Eddie Guerrero had proven himself in two solid matches on one night. While neither was lengthy, both told very entertaining stories.

Although it would be another 5 months before Guerrero upset Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Title, this night was historic in that it did much to elevate him in the fans’ eyes. He defended two titles in one night, facing immense obstacles and struggling through overwhelming pain, and came out the victor in both.

Eddie Guerrero will always be remembered as an amazing athlete full of charisma and one of the top ‘total packages’ the WWE ever had on its roster.

He will be sorely missed.

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