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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report

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Guest TSMAdmin



On tape from Fayettesville, deepinthehearta Hick Country, this is WWE Smackdown for 8/22/02. Calling the shots are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Since this is the Official Summerslam Hype Edition of Smackdown, we get a promo to open the show. Brock Lesnarberg and Paul E. Dangerously come out to a large round of indifference – well, except for those “Rocky!” chants. Paul hammers a nail into the supposed coffin of Hulkamania, and says the same fate awaits The Rock Sunday. Since Brock and Paul are in a giving mood, they promise some kind of collision between Rock and Brock. I guess a fender-bender with their rental cars wouldn’t count. Brock promises to make Rock cry like a little bitch, and Rock comes out to challenge the blatant misuse of his patented five-letter insult. Rock reminds Brock that he has brought nothing, despite recent challenges to Just Bring It. See, Rock needs to be more specific. Brock’s a rookie, and obviously doesn’t know what he’s supposed to be bringing to Rocky. I just hope he didn’t ask Bradshaw. Rock goes to rush the ring, only to be headed off by Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Rock ends up in the Crossface, of course, while Brock and Paul gloat in the ring.


After the break, Edge arrives, and gets the same treatment from Benoit and Guerrero.


Tag Match: The Hurricane and Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble and Tajiri (with Nidia). Moore and Tajiri flip around before Moore grabs an armdrag and a wheel kick for 2. Hurricane tags in, and they do the backslide/second-rope legdrop combo. Bodypress gets 2 for Hurricane. Noble comes in and gets greeted by an armdrag, then a Shining Wizard for 2. More comes down with a hurricanrana and planchas Noble on the floor. Nidia distracts Shannon long enough for Tajiri to kick him in the head. Back in, Noble gets 2. Tajiri snapares Moore and goes to the chinlock. He tries the handsrping elbow, but Moore has a back suplex waiting for the counter. Noble comes in, and Hurricane gets the hot tag and goes into housecleaning mode. Second-rope neckbreaker gets 2. Noble manages to escape both the Eye of the Hurricane and the Hurri-Chokeslam – wassupwitdat? Moore comes in for a fireman’s carry/neckbreajer double-team spot. That was pretty neat, with a little 3-D vibe going on. A Pier 4 breaks out, and Hurricane finally manages to hit his finishers. Noble dumps him, though, and goes to powerbomb Moore, but Moore turns it into a rollup for 3 at 5:06. The heels beat on Moore after the bell until Hurricane makes the save. Matt Hardy does another late rescue, and demands to be hoisted onto his friends’ shoulders this time. The match was very solid, with a hot finish. Hurricane has been having some excellent matches of late. 6/10


Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon calls Benoit and Guerrero onto the carpet for their ambushing antics. Edge breaks up the lecturing session by chairing Benoit in the back, then makes the obvious suggestion for a tag team main event.


After the break, Matt brags about the crowd reaction he got. He promises an even bigger reaction, and goes out again to prove it. Eh, I see a lot of people sitting on their hands. Someone finally has the good taste to spoil the redneck love-in, as Chavo Guerrero comes out to disparage Matt and the crowd.


Impromptu Match: Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero. They start with a brawl, and Matt nails a fistdrop. He does the nine-punch countalong in the corner, and Tazz is impressed the crowd was able to count that high. Chavo drop toeholds Matt to the outside and rams him into the apron. Chavo slingshots in and gets 2 off a back suplex. A modified abdominal stretch turns into a series of rollups. Mutual clothesline leaves both men down, and they get to their feet to slug it out. Matt neckbreakers Chavo for 2, then hits something that looks similar to a uranage for 2. Sorry, it doesn’t have a gay Hardyz name yet. Whisper In The Wind? Come on. Anyway, Matt gets the second-rope legdrop and calls for the Twist of Fate, but Kane’s pyro gives everyone pause. Chavo capitalizes by rolling Matt up for 3 at 4:15. That was a VERY stupid ending, but the rest of the match was decent enough. Matt complains to the ref afterward, citing the little-known explosion clause that's supposed to throw the results right out. When that fails, he goes the Montreal Screwjob route, but his protests are falling on deaf ears. 4/10


Meanwhile, Funaki promises to go into the Women’s locker room. One commercial break later, he goes in, to find Nidia half-dressed. Molly Holly objects to a man in the locker room. Nidia promises to show off her goods if she beats Molly later, which means we already know who’s winning.


Rey Mysterio says he can’t wait until his match with Kurt Angle at Summerslam. Rey says he can hang with Angle, and Kurt comes out to object. Angle promises to beat on Billy Kidman tonight to teach Rey a lesson.


Kurt Angle vs. Billy Kidman. Angle starts with a fireman’s carry into an armbar. Kidman goes to the headscissors, but Angle plants him with a trio of German suplexes. Rey pops out of the stage, drawing Angle out to chase him, but Kurt makes it back in before the count of 10. Kidman walks into an overhead belly-to-belly, and Angle pounds him down. Angle hits a backbreaker, but Kidman headscissors him out. He comes down with a plancha, but it looks like he hurt himself as much as Angle. Angle pounds Kidman back in the ring, but Kidman rallies with a flying jalapeno. He hits a nifty tornado bulldog for 2, then a DDT for 2. Victory roll gets countered into the Anglelock, but Kidman rolls out of it. Enzuigiri, and Kidman goes up, but Angle dashes to the corner and brings him down with a quick belly-to-belly superplex. I LOVE that spot. Kidman escapes an Olympic Slam, and the ref gets bumped. Angle gets a chair and misses the chairshot, so Kidman dropkicks the chair into his face. The ref revives and counts a slow 2. Yep, that runs in the Hebner family. Olympic Slam hits this time, but Rey suckers Angle into chasing him, and Kurt can’t make it back before the 10. I hate countouts, so this one loses a point there. It’s cool to make the cruisers look good, but I don’t like it if it makes Angle look like a joke. Props to him for being a company man and all, but I hope his character doesn’t suffer as a result of all this. 6/10


Meanwhile, Rock and Edge confer before the tag match tonight. Edge does a pretty good Rock impression. And no, I’m not going anywhere near the Rock pantomiming having one of his own testicles in his mouth. Some things are meant to be avoided.


Tag Match: Rikishi and John Cena vs. Reverend D’Von Damn Dudley and Batista. Arm work to start, and D’Von pounds on Cena. Rikishi continues the pounding theme before slamming D’Von and squishing him with a legdrop. D’Von comes back with a flying fist off the ropes. Batista comes in and drops Rikishi with a clothesline. Rikishi hits the Samoan Drop. D’Von gets a blind tag, but Cena sneaks in to take him out. D’Von tosses him out, but Rikishi squashes Batista with a Fatass splash. D’Von takes a backdrop and brawls with Rikishi. Cena dropkicks Batista out while Rikishi DDTs D’Von. The Fatass splash and Stinkface follow. Batista clotheslines Rikishi down from behind, and D’Von hits an inverted suplex on Cena. D’Von and Batista argue again, so Batista plants him with the big spinebuster and takes a hike. Rikishi flattens him with the Banzai Drop for the win at 5:51. There were a couple of good moments here, but this was nothing special overall. 2/10


Meanwhile, Nidia flashes some random fat guy backstage.


Women’s Title Match: Nidia (with Jamie Noble) vs. Molly Holly. So who’s the heel here: the slut with the cheating manager/boyfriend, or the prudish good girl? Arm work starts in this one, too, though Nidia doesn’t roll through the spots crisply at all. Molly takes Nidia over with a firewoman’s carry and shoulderblocks her. Noble grabs her leg, allowing Nidia a rollup for 2. She follows with a backslide for 2, and a bridge for 2. Molly gets Snake Eyes, but Nidia cradles her on a suplex for 2. It’s a good thing the students learned a varied offense on Tough Enough . . . Nidia catapults Molly into the turnbuckle and DDTs her for 2. She puts Molly up, but Molly fights off both Nidia and Noble before coming down with the Molly Go Round at 3:27. Molly made Nidia look good enough out there. Nidia teases a striptease despite her loss, which Molly breaks up by dropkicking Noble into her. I guess we know who the heel is. 2/10


Stephanie comes out and promises the Smackdown boys will come through Sunday. The promotional video for Summerslam is very good, as I’ve come to expect from WWE’s production staff.


Main Event: Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit vs. Edge and The Rock. Edge charges in and goes after both of the heels, but ends up double-teamed before long. See, he probably thought it was one-on-one, but with the lousy Canadian exchange rate, he ended up double-teamed. Ok, so that was a bit of a reach, but mocking the lame Canadian dollar is fun. Anyway, Rock evens the odds, leaving Edge and Eddy in the ring. Edge catapults Eddy into Benoit and clotheslines him for 2. Eddy works Edge over in the corner, and Benoit comes in to lay down the chops. Edge flapjacks Benoit for 2, and gets double-teamed as Eddy suckers the Rock into coming in and drawing the ref over. Eddy slingshots in and puts the boots to Edge. Benoit backbreakers Edge and pounds him down. Eddy is back in, and he goes for the brainbuster. Edge slips out and hits a flying jalapeno. Benoit and Rock come in, and Rock is a house afire. Rock DDTs Benoit and locks him in the Sharpshooter. Eddy saves, but Rock kips up and spinebusters him. People’s Elbow hits, but Benoit breaks it up at 2. Benoit drags Rock out and drops him robs-first on the announce table, then sends him into the ringpost. Back in, Benoit works on the ribs. Guerrero stays on the ribs and dropkicks Rock down. Benoit cinches in the Crossface, and Rock finally makes the ropes after almost passing out in the hold. Benoit drags Rock back to the center of the ring and applies the Crossface again, but Edge saves. Benoit tosses him out. Eddy goes for the Frog Splash, but Edge trips him on his way down. Edge gets the second hot tag, and he’s also a house afire. Between Kane’s pyro and the two houses afire in this match, the fire marshal in Fayettesville must be a busy man. Edge hits the Impaler on Eddy, but Benoit saves at 2. Rock slugs it out with Benoit and gets the Rock Bottom. Edge spears Eddy for the win at 11:44. After the bell, Brock comes in for the promised collision. Brock works the ribs like a madman, but Rock pounds away and sends Brock flying out with the Dreaded Spit Punch. Pretty standard mix-and-pair main event here, but these four guys are all pretty damn good, so it was an excellent match. 8/10


Breaking it down:


The Good: One excellent match, two very good ones, and one decent one. Good wrestling = good show. It really is that simple, and it frustrates me when WWE forgets that. The other two matches were at least watchable, so nothing sucked in the ring tonight. The Rock-Edge dual promo was pretty good, too, as both men had it working tonight.


The Bad: Funaki’s segment was pretty pointless. I can see they want to build up the women’s match, but they could have done it without a patsy for alleged comic relief. The Rock’s mike work was better than it was Monday, but I don’t know WHAT that whole testicle pantomime was about.


The Ugly: Nada.


Overall: Pay attention, Raw: THIS is how you put on a good show before a major PPV. The hard selling wasn’t as blatant, the in-ring action was much better, and the vignettes were better also. The hype was there, but if people hadn’t yet decided to order Summerslam, this show gave them a lot more reasons to cough up $35 than Raw did. And if you’re the WWE, that’s all you can ask of your free TV shows leading up to a PPV. Mission accomplished, and a heck of a show. 8/10.


Note: Smackdown is being pre-empted in my area next week, for the fucking Redskins, who aren't even the local team. I love the NFL, but I HATE preseason football. It's not going to air again until Saturday evening, so I doubt I'll have a recap next week. Those who hate me (bastards, all of you) can enjoy the brief reprieve, while my loyal and adoring readers will have to content themselves with the rest of what I write.


Dr. Tom

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