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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report

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Hopping up thru the stage is Rey Mysterio, and we’re kicking things off with a match this week. Damn, two weeks in a row – someone must have spiked the Kool-Aid.


On tape from Charlotte, NC, this is WWE Smackdown for 8/1/02. Your hosts are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri. Rey starts with a baseball slide while Tajiri is still coming to the ring. He follows with an Asai moonsault, then tosses Tajiri in for a ‘rana. Bodyscissors into a bulldog gets 2 for Rey, but Tajiri rallies by showing off his educated feet. Out goes Rey, and Tajiri tosses him around before applying a bow and arrow using the ringpost. That was a neat spot. Back in, Tajiri gets 2 off the sliding kick in the corner. He puts on a bow and arrow the conventional way. Rey tries a ‘rana, which Tajiri turns into a powerbomb, which Rey turns into a DDT for 2. Good reversals. Tarantula, but Tajiri misses the Buzzsaw Kick and Rey rolls him up for 2. Tajiri hits a sitout powerbomb for 2, but Rey dropkicks him in the back and gets the 619. Rey goes for the springboard hurricanrana, but Tajiri turns it into a cradle for 2. Rey starts to go up, so Tajiri kicks him in the head. They fight over the top rope, Rey shoves Tajiri down, and follows him with a top-rope hurricanrana for the win at 7:21. It lagged for a moment or two in the middle, but this was a solid match overall, and an excellent way to kick off the show. 6/10


Kurt Angle comes out to enlighten the masses in Charlotte. Angle apologizes to all the loyal Smackdown viewers for the false alarm about leaving for Raw last week. Kurt directs his venom at Brock Lesnarberg for interfering in his match last week, and reminds the “Next Big Thing” just who has the gold medals. Angle calls Brock out to see just who the #1 man is, but answering the call is Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Hogan reminds Angle about the F5 he took last week, and says if anyone should get a crack at Lesnar, it should be him. Angle busts out the age jokes and invites Hogan to the ring, an invitation the Hulkster quickly (well, as quickly as Hogan can do something these days, at least) accepts. Before this can turn into something, Stephanie McMahon comes out to book Angle/Hogan for later tonight, with the winner to get Brockberg next week. Angle makes some more cracks about Hogan, and the predictable ensues.


After the break, Steph heads back to her office, only to find Easy Eric Bischoff waiting for her. Bischoff compares defectors until Steph shrieks for security to take him away. Well, that was a productive segment.


Brock Lesnarberg (with Paul E. Dangerously) vs. Mark Henry. They lockup, and it’s even. Lesnar goes for an amateur takedown, but Henry is TOO FAT. A shoulderblock has no effect, so Brock gets in a clothesline. He pounds away, but can’t get the vertical suplex because Henry is still TOO FAT. Henry turns that into a half-hour suplex for 2. He chokes Lesnar, but an eye rake turns the tide, and Lesnar hits a German suplex. The F5 finishes Henry at 2:41. At least they had the good sense to keep this one brief. 1/10


Meanwhile, Lesnar confronts Hogan backstage, then walks past a bickering Unambiguously Gay Duo. Rico tries to talk them out of jumping to Raw, but they’d rather have a spat instead. John Cena is next in the talent show, and he and Rico squabble. The segment continues, as Rico storms off, only to run into Angle, who then runs into Lesnar. Well, at least the mess came full circle.


Kurt Angle vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Hogan wins a test of strength and hits some MANLY POSES~! Angle goes to the mat and slaps on a front facelock. A resthold one minute in – that has to be a record for a Hogan match. Hogan works the arm, but Angle pounds the hell out of him. Hogan hiptosses Angle and dumps him, then introduces him to the major features of ringside, headfirst. Back in, Angle gets familiar with the turnbuckle 9 times. Angle shoulders Hogan in the corner but takes a vertical suplex. Clothesline gets 2 for Angle, and he chokes Hogan on the ropes. Back suplex sets up a chinlock (and of course, Angle uses the ropes), but Hogan fights out. Angle hits a back suplex, but Hogan delivers the rights. He gets spry for a minute, backdropping Angle, then slamming him, and delivering a few elbowdrops. Man, we’re going to need another resthold soon. Hogan tries the big boot, but Angle goes for the Anglelock. Hogan kicks out before he can lock it in. Big boot hits this time, but Angle blocks the legdrop and hits a super-safe Olympic Slam for 2. He gets the Anglelock this time, and Hogan finally kicks out, bumping the ref in the process. Angle grabs a chair, but Hogan boots it into his face (while standing on his injured leg, of course). Legdrop, but the ref is still out. Brock runs out, but Hogan knocks him off the apron. Angle chairs Hogan from behind, and the ref calls for the bell (DQ, 10:35) I hate DQ endings, but I guess they feel Hogan gives Lesnar a better rub than Angle would. Hogan tried, and this was effective for what it was. 4/10 After the bell, Angle beats on Hogan until the inevitable Hulking up happens. The usual follows, but Lesnar stops the legdrop and lays Hogan out with the F5.


The Real Mr Ass vs. Reverend D’Von Damn Dudley (with Batista). D’Von jumps Rikishi and tries to brawl, which doesn’t go very well for him. Batista distracts Rikishi, so he tosses D’Von out onto the former deacon. Batista holds Rikishi’s leg as he tries to get back in, letting D’Von legdrop him across the neck. D’Von hits a 2nd rope legdrop for 2. He misses a Wassup headbutt, ending up in a Stinkface position. My, how hilarious. Only WWE could get someone over as a fat guy who doesn’t wash his BUTT. Samoan Drop and DDT set up the Banzai Drop for the win at 3:18. I hope Rikishi goes to Raw next, just so I can stop writing about his matches every goddamn week. If you stepped away to prune your hedges, you didn’t miss much, and I envy you. DUD After the bell, Rikishi does the Fatass Splash to D’Von, but Batista hits the big spinebuster, allowing D’Von to do the Wassup headbutt. As if the match itself didn’t suck enough, they have to break out the silly get-your-heat-right back trick on top of it. Bah.


Meanwhile, Yummy Stacy gets a tongue-lashing from Steph for letting Easy Eric into the building.


Jamie Noble and Nidia come out to insult the crowd for a while. The redneck duo go to ringside, where Noble gets Nidia to make out with Cole. Michael Cole’s face buried in a girl’s breasts is NOT an image I needed to see. He was trying to push her away all the while, so draw your own conclusions there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


Meanwhile, Stephanie chides the midcarders for watching a tape of The Holy Bible Kid getting punked out on Raw. She channels HHHGH by saying they should be watching more of their own show.


John Cena vs. Rico. Rico slaps Cena and unleashes some fierce kicks in the corner. Kneelift gets 2, and Rico kicks Cena some more. Damn, if Rico messed up my haircut, I don’t think I’d bitch about it overmuch. Cena sneaks in a spinebuster for 2, but Rico goes back to the kicks. Rico misses a moonsault, and Cena dropkicks him, setting up a Tilt-a-Whirl slam for 2. Rico misses a spinning heel kick, setting up the Protobomb at 2:19. Very brief, but at least it was energetic. 2/10 Cena gets beaten down by Billy and Chuck after the bell.


Meanwhile, Bischoff ends up with a front-row ticket.


Stephanie comes out to condescend to Bischoff and set up tonight’s main event. Complete with recently-defected Raw talent, the main event is:


Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit vs. Edge and The Rock. Bischoff jumps the rail, allowing Stephanie to shriek for security again. And after all that excitement, it’s time for another commercial break. Didn’t Benoit just go to Raw about a month ago? I think it’s cool that they set up Guerrero and Benoit walking out on Bischoff again, but unless they explore that storyline, what does it really mean? Guerrero punks out Rock while he poses in the corner. Why don’t more people do that? Eddy pounds Rock, but Rock slugs his way back and faceplants him. Benoit comes in and the heels double-team Rock. Rock gets the belly-to-belly throw, but Benoit hits a high back suplex. Eddy comes in for some more double-teaming and chokes Rock. Benoit chops away. I like the quick tags. Eddy gets pressed, and Edge comes in with a top-rope clothesline. He monkey flips Eddy, spears both the heels, and hits the Edge-O-Matic on Guerrero for 2 as Benoit saves. Benoit goes on the offensive, and Eddy chokes Edge out, but Edge brawls back. Benoit drop toeholds Edge, allowing Eddy to come in with a slingshot senton for 2. Guerrero slaps on an Indian Deathlock, and Edge makes the ropes. Benoit hits a backbreaker, then a trio of Germans, with a bridge on the last one for 2. Nice. Edge rolls out of a half-crab, but Benoit drops the elbow. Eddy brainbusters Edge for 2. Edge fights off a double-team in the corner, dropping Guerrero onto Benoit. He and Eddy collide in midair, and they’re both down. Benoit stops the hot tag by knocking Rock off the apron. Benoit is so awesome. Edge gets double-teamed again, but he powerbombs Guerrero out of the corner, setting up tags all around. Rock wails on Benoit and drops him with the spit punch of SAVAGE MOISTURE~! Eddy gets tossed, and Rock DDTs Benoit for 2, with Guerrero making the save. Edge spears Eddy, but Benoit tosses him into the post. Rock spinebusters Benoit and plants Eddy with the Rock Bottom. He stalks Benoit, But Lesnar is on the stage, distracting Rock enough for Benoit to lock in the Crippler Crossface. Lesnar watches Rock fight the hold, then finally tap out at 13:00. Excellent tag match, with solid work from all four men, and I must say it's cool to see Benoit go over Rock clean with the Crossface. 8.5/10


In the extracurricular activities department, Lesnar walks back up the stage to goat some more, only to have Hogan waylay him from behind with a chair. They’re certainly doing a good job setting up the Lesnar-Hogan match. Hogan whacks Lesnar with the chair again as we fade to black.


Doing The Math: On the positive side, there was one good match and one great match. On the negative side, everything inbetween the bookend matches was lackluster in comparison. It’s great to see Guerrero and Benoit on Smackdown, and I like the continuing rivalry between the two shows. Why they didn’t do it that way from the start of the split, I’ll never know. This wasn’t as good as last week’s show, but it does continue WWE’s streak of solid free TV. 6/10


Dr. Tom

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