WWE VELOCITY 12/28/02

Sounding Off: “Slamball” is incredibly stupid and boring. It’s all the worst aspects of the NBA, with none of that league’s limited redeeming graces.

Yeah, I’m back in the Velocity hizzouse. Can’t let Polk have all the spotlight of recapping a meaningless B-show, can I? Props to him for covering for me two weeks ago, though.

On tape from Oklahoma, this is WWE Velocity for 28 December 2002. Your hosts are Not Tough Enough and Somebody Call Mah Momma.

Opening Match: Matt Hardy v1.0 vs. Brandon Groom (already in the ring). Today’s fun facts from Mattitude.com: Matt loves eggnog and hates fruitcake, and can solve a Rubik’s cube. Yeah, but can he solve the SUPER Rubik’s Cube? That bad boy was 4x4 instead of 3x3, for those of who who missed the 80s. Matt starts with an arm wringer and pounds Groom like the jobber he is. Groom works the arm into a waistlock, and Matt schoolboys out of it for 2. Matt goes to the waistlock this time, and Groom rolls him up for 1. Reversal sequence sets up a Groom schoolboy for 1. Matt pounds away in the corner and does the Bossman straddle. Groom tries to brawl his way back, but Matt elbows him down off the ropes and drops the leg, brother. Matt misses an elbowdrop, and Groom bodypresses him off the ropes for 1. Groom hits a Russian legsweep and goes up, but misses the top-rope bodypress. Matt nails the Side Effect, and finishes Groom with the Twist Of Fate at 3:18. Decent enough opener for Velocity. 2/10
(Winner: Matt Hardy v1.0, pinfall via Twist Of Fate at 3:18)


NUMBAH ONE Announcer Funaki vs. A-Train. Is it just me, or is this the 400th time these two have met on this show? Funaki tries a pescado before the bell, but A-Train catches him and tosses him back in. Funaki goes to the dropkick thru the ropes this time, with somewhat better results. He jumps on A-Train coming in, but Train shrugs him off and goes for a military press. Funaki slips out and tries a rollup, but can’t get the big man over. A-Train gutwrenches Funaki and drops him across the top rope, then pounds him down. He runs Funaki’s back into the top turnbuckle, then does a pair of backbreakers for 2. Funaki pounds away, and A-Train stops the barrage with a weak knee to the gut. A-Train goes to the abdominal stretch, and uses the ropes twice before the ref catches him. The ref scatters as A-Train stares him down. That must be part of being a HOSS BAH GAWD. Not only do you get pushes you don’t deserve, but men half your size will cower before your malevolent stare! Funaki boots A-Train on a charge, but can’t hit the tornado DDT. A-Train pounds away in the corner, but Funaki fights him off and hits a 2nd rope bulldog for 2. A-Train tries to toss him around like a jobber, but Funaki counters with the #1 Announcer’s DDT for 2. A-Train suddenly no-sells some offense and finishes Funaki with the over-the-shoulder backbreaker at 3:44. This surprisingly didn’t suck until the end, when the no-selling ruined a decent vibe. After 500 matches, though, these two should work pretty well together. 2.5/10
(Winner: A-Train, pinfall via over-the-shoulder backbreaker at 3:44)


Clips Time: From TSM’s Smackdown report, penned by yours truly: Meanwhile, Dawn Marie and Mr. Charisma exchange holiday gifts. Viagra and a camcorder, in case you actually give two pins about any of this meaningless tripe.

The next clip is of Torrie Wilson’s interview a bit later: Meanwhile, Torrie says she doesn’t know if she’ll be at the wedding next week. Dear Old Dad wanders up to tell Torrie she’s self-centered, and that he hopes his next kid isn’t such a disappointment. WHEN WILL THIS END!?!

Tag Match: Jamie Noble and Nunzio (with Nidia) vs. Two Jobbers. I didn’t catch their names apart from a surname of Valentino. Nunzio starts by working the arm, but the red-trunked jobber fights him off. Armdrag from Nunzio, followed by a cross armbreaker. Nunzio takes the chap in red down by the arm again. Josh Matthews tells us his name now: Billy Vanentino. Cole and Loyd never managed to do that. I like Matthews better already, if only because he IDs the jobbers who get their names whispered in the intros. Noble comes in and continues working the arm. He shoulderblocks Valentino, but Valentino answers with a knee to the gut coming off the ropes. Valentino whips Noble HARD into the corner and tags in his partner, now identified as Gabe Roach. Roach shoulders Noble in the corner and dusts off the gutbuster for 2. Noble knees Roach on a charge and slugs away. Nunzio comes in to pound Roach in the corner, and it’s back to Noble. Roach avoids a double-team clothesline and tags in Valentino, who comes down with a crossbody on both members of Team Hick. Nidia grabs Valentino coming off the ropes, and Valentino vents his frustrations by tossing Nunzio out. Noble catches him with a clothesline, though, and stomps a BAH GAWD MUDHOLE in the corner. There will be no walking the mudhole dry, though, as Noble snapmares Valentino, and tags in Nunzio, who adds a dropkick from the 2nd rope for 2. Nunzio takes Valentino down by the arm, and legdrops the arm for 2, brother. Valentino fights off the heels and tags in Roach, who takes Nunzio down with a flying clothesline. EXPLODAH~! for Noble, then one for Nunzio. I like this Roach fellow already. Nunzio whips Roach into Noble, who tries for a Tiger Driver. Roach fights out, though, and teams with Valentino to take Noble down for 2, as Nunzio saves. Valentino gets tossed, and Noble and Nunzio combine for a double fisherman’s buster, which picks up the win at 5:15. The jobbers were actually pretty decent, especially Roach, who showed off some nifty moves. All in all, this was a solid tag match, especially for a B-show. 4/10
(Winners: Jamie Noble/Nunzio, pinfall via double fisherman’s buster at 5:15)


More Clips Than The Hair Cuttery: First, of Kurt Angle’s injury at the hands of Brock Lesnar after Smackdown went off the air two weeks ago: Angle tries to get away, but Brock grabs him and tosses him into the post, knee-first. It was basically an F5 that was aborted early when Angle’s leg smashed into the post. After the refs come out to tend to Angle, Brock picks him up and drops him knee-first on the barricade.

Then, from earlier in the show, The Big Slow and Chris Benoit had a staredown: Stephanie books Slow in a #1 Contender’s match against Chris Benoit. Slow whines some more, drawing Benoit out. He might need a ladder to get in Slow’s face, but I’ll be damned if he’s not trying. Slow informs Benoit that he’ll only win by bringing Slow down to his size, so Benoit does just that by walloping Slow right in the junk. Good tactic, that.

The clips continue, as Angle becomes the captain of his very own team: Angle has a fit of pique at the fans’ bloodlust, and swears Brock will never get a title shot against him. Paul Heyman reveals his latest contingency plan: Team Angle, consisting of Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. They both have amateur backgrounds, which Heyman talks up at length. It’s good to see a pair of new guys debut and get an immediate rub from people like Angle and Heyman.

Last clip: Smackdown’s main event was Benoit vs. Big Slow, in a #1 Contender’s match: Benoit kicks the crouching Slow and dropkicks his knee. He goes for the German suplex . . . and gets it! Benoit goes up, and because of Slow’s massive girth, the Kamikaze Headbutt ends up looking more like a splash. Whatever it was, it gets 2. Slow charges Benoit, but Benoit trips him up and sends him into the exposed turnbuckle. Slow basically no-sells it and goes for a chokeslam, but Benoit rolls him up and picks up the pin with the aid of the bottom rope. After the bell, Team Angle jumps Benoit. Benjamin and Haas do some nice double-team offense, with a Benjamin superkick enabling a pretty nasty German suplex from Haas. Slow adds the chokeslam, and Benoit gets dragged up the ramp. Angle comes out and talks trash to Benoit before choking him out with one of his crutches.

Main Event: John Cena (with B-2) vs. Chuck Palumbo. Cena does a very anti-Oklahoma rap before the match, just in case there was any confusion as to who the heel was. Palumbo attacks Cena before the bell, beating on him outside the ring. In we go, and Palumbo elbows Cena off the ropes and takes him down with a reverse hiptoss. Jackhammer gets 2, even though Matthews seemed to think it was a vertical suplex. The Cat, who probably saw a few hundred jackhammers during his WCW days, offers no correction. Cena comes back with a clothesline and pounds away. He tosses Palumbo out, where B-2 puts the boots to him. He rolls Palumbo back in, where Cena covers him for 2. Cena chokes Palumbo on the middle rope, then B-2 does the same. Cena suplexes Chuck for 2, then slaps on a seated full nelson. Palumbo fights out, but Cena slugs him down and puts the full nelson on again. Palumbo fights out, then sits out and kicks Cena in the face, but Cena goes to the full nelson AGAIN. Palumbo fights out yet again, this time with a back suplex. Palumbo goes on a mini-flurry, hitting a clothesline and backdrop, then gets a belly-to-belly suplex for 2. Cena rakes the eyes to stop an overhead suplex, then comes down from the second rope with a Please Counter Me leap. Palumbo obliges by hitting the overhead suplex denied him a few seconds before. Palumbo hits the Discus Punch of FACE CRUSHING. He goes for the superkick, but B-2 runs in and bravely takes it in Cena’s stead. While the ref is busy with B-2, Cena lowblows Palumbo, and gets the win with a rollup at 5:05. The trio of full nelsons was irritating, and this wouldn’t have been a very good match without them. 2/10
(Winner: John Cena, pinfall via rollup after lowblow at 5:05)


Overall: Apart from the excellent tag match Thursday, the wrestling on this show was better than on Smackdown. Keeping the bulk of the clips to one long segment was good for two reasons: it preserved the flow of the show, and it showed the strengths of the Angle/Brock/Benoit buildup. For a B-show, this was pretty dashed good, and just one standout match away from being better than Smackdown.

Polk's your hookup next week. Ave atque vale.

Dr. Tom
(Remove the leading X from each field before sending your mail)
Peep my TSM Archive, and my Amazon wishlist.