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Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report 11/21/02

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Guest TSMAdmin



The opening video package is an excellent retrospective of Brock Lesnar’s career to date – especially the shift in tone after it was declared that Brock was unbeatable.


At the arena, Brock paces in the parking area.


On tape from Hartford, Connecticut, this is WWE Smackdown! for 11/21/02. Your hosts are Michael Cole and Taz(z).


Opening Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble (with Nidia). Noble kicks Rey and tosses him into the corner for some good old-fashioned stomping. Rey hits an standing monkey flip, then a dropkick. He takes Noble over with a ‘rana off the ropes, and Noble bails. Rey misses the baseball slide, so Noble rams him into the wall. Back in, Rey meets the turnbuckle a few times, then Noble dropkicks his shoulder in the corner. Rey goes to the apron, but escapes the suplex coming back in. Noble buries a knee in his gut, but Rey answers with a push-off dropkick. A heel kick gets 2. Noble busts out a head-and-arms suplex for 2, which makes Tazz proud. Rey escapes the Tiger Driver and drop toeholds Noble into the ropes. That sets up the 619, but Nidia interrupts the West Coast Pop. Rey chases her back into the ring, where Noble tries to catapult him into the ropes. Rey lands on the second rope, though, and turns it into a mini-West Coast Pop for the win at 2:53. Definitely brief, but still a good and entertaining opener. 5/10

(Winner: Rey Mysterio, pinfall via mini-West Coast Pop at 2:53)


Meanwhile, Brock storms into the arena. He fumes in a locker room for a moment before Matt Hardy v1.0 tells him more Mattitude would have helped him at SurSer. Brock retorts by throwing Matt through a wall. They could greatly shorten political debates by making that an available response. Just picture it: Al Gore questions George Bush’s environmental record, and Bush picks him up and throws him through a wall (of recycled wood, of course) as his official answer.


After the break, Matt gets tended to while La Familia Guerrero complain to Stephanie McMahon about the unsafe work environment a maniac like Brock presents. Steph says she’ll take care of it, but Eddy wonders if Brock will listen to a woman. I’m sure he meant that in a completely non-chauvinistic way.


Meanwhile, Nidia tries to comfort a disconsolate Noble, and decides calling his crazy cousin is the only way to get them back to the good life.


Meanwhile still, Brock paces while Stephanie tries to lecture him. She threatens to suspend Brock if he keeps manhandling the rest of the talent. We’ll see how THAT goes.


Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Tajiri. Kidman’s new music SUCKS, by the way. They do some armwork to start befoe each man grabs an armdrag to establish parity. The Cruiserweight division: just like the NFL. Tajiri gets 2 off a nasty spinkick. He slams Kidman and kneedrops him for 2. Kidman misses a charge, but recovers enough to hit a dropkick for 2. He enzuigiris Tajiri and tries to drag him to the corner, but Tajiri counters with a kick to the head. Tajiri hits the Tarantula, but he whiffs on the Buzzsaw kick, allowing Kidman to sneak in a ‘rana. Tajiri kicks him in the back of the head, but Kidman escapes the powerbomb, turning into the Death Valley neckbreaker for 2. Tajiri comes back with the handspring elbow and tries a tornado DDT, but Kidman stops the rally by powerbombing him to counter. The Shooting Star Press (blatantly caught by Tajiri) finishes at 3:15. Nothing terrible, but this one didn’t seem to click very well. 2/10

(Winner: Billy Kidman via Shooting Star Press at 3:15)


Meanwhile, Marc Loyd catches Paul E. Dangerously and The Big Slow as they arrive. Paul leads Slow thru his brief commentary, intimidating that legendary tough guy Loyd.


Chris Benoit vs. Chavo Guerrero (with Eddy Guerrero). The ref promptly evicts Eddy before we get underway. Benoit takes Chavo down with a back elbow and backbreakers him for 2. Tilt-A-Whirl backbreaker also gets 2. Benoit takes Chao over with a German, but a reversal sequence leads to a Chavo knee in the gut and mucho stompage. He goes to work on Benoit’s midsection, ramming it into the second turnbuckle and working it in the corner. Benoit tries for the Crossface, but Chavo rolls into the ropes, sending Benoit to the floor. Chavo follows him with a tope suicida. Chavo tries to come in with the slingshot senton, but Benoit lifts the knees. Chavo rolls thru a rollup try, but Benoit has the trio of German ready. Benoit goes up and nails the Kamikaze headbutt, but just for 2. Remember when that used to end matches? Chavo rams Benoit into the turnbuckle, but Benoit drapes him on the top rope. Chavo comes down with a springboard move, but Benoit turns whatever it would have been into the Crossface, and Chavo taps at 4:52. Pretty good five-minute affair, with great psychology, but it really wanted another three to keep telling the story. 5/10

(Winner: Chris Benoit, submission via Crippler Crossface at 4:52)


Meanwhile, Stephanie tells Brock he should stay backstage when Paul and Slow go to the ring and try to provoke him. She threatens him with suspension again, but Brock is unfazed.


After the break, Heyman comes out to Brock’s music. Paul even mocks Brock’s mannerisms at ringside. Paul tells us how privileged we’ve been to watch a once-in-a-lifetime performer since WrestleMania: Heyman himself. He points to his excellent strategies and mad managerial skills as proof. He had to show Brock that was Heyman’s brain that drove his brawn. This is why they need Heyman on this show: the mike skills on SD fall off drastically after Kurt Angle, especially with The Rock (and even The Undertaker, when he's feeling it) absent. Paul brings out his new client, who really needs new music. Slow thanks Brock for being a careless hothead. Slow carries on for a while before Heyman mercifully takes the stick back to inform Brock that his last act as agent was to remove the “rematch clause” in the SurSer contract. Paul and Slow leave, only to have Brock run up from ringside and waylay Slow with a chair.


During the break, Stephanie tries to shout down Brock, and promises him a suspension if he does anything ELSE.


Kurt Angle vs. Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero). Just so no favorites are played, Chavo gets the boot from ringside, too. Angle starts with a headlock takeover, and knocks Eddy down with a shoulderblock. Eddy bails, then comes back in and does a shoulderblock of his own. Angle monkey flips Eddy and wails away in the corner. Eddy bails after a spinebuster, and suckers Angle into following so he can ram him into the steps. Eddy grabs two chairs, leaving one at ringside. The ref takes the one he brought into the ring, allowing Eddy to paste Angle with the other chair and get a 2-count. Angle goes back to the fists, but Eddy dusts off a Northern Lights suplex for 2. Angle escapes a camel clutch, but gets snapmared over before Eddy grinds the boot into his face. Eddy tries for the Northern Lights again, but Angle counters with a DDT, leaving both men down. Chavo comes out to the stage. Eddy slugs it out, but Angle hits the flying jalapeno and a clothesline for 2. Eddy comes back with a Tilt-A-Whirl backbreaker. Angle trumps that with a pair of Germans, but Eddy has a lowblow waiting to counter the third. Eddy tosses Angle so Chavo can work him over before scampering back up the ramp. Benoit wanders out to the stage. Eddy slams Angle on the floor, giving Chavo a chance to dash down and post him. Angle gets rolled in, and Eddy nails the slingshot senton to the back. El Paso Lasso is turned into the Anglelock, then back to the Lasso, then the Anglelock, which Eddy rolls out of. Angle hits a release German, but Eddy answers with a brainbuster. Eddy goes up, but Angle crotches him. He knocks Chavo off the apron, then climbs to deliver a second-rope Olympic Slam for the win at 9:41. Very, very good TV mach from two guys who can deliver them in their sleep. 7/10

(Winner: Kurt Angle, pinfall via Second-rope Olympic Slam at 9:41)


After the break, NUMBAH ONE Announcer Funaki asks Edge about his title match against Slow later. Funaki admits that Slow reminds him of Godzilla, so Edge says he’ll be playing King Kong in this little throwdown.


Tonight’s Raw anniversary moment: “Rocky, This Is Your Life.” I’m just wondering why they’re showing Raw clips on Smackdown, if the brands are supposed to be at odds . . .


Ice Ice Cena vs. Rikishi. Before the match gets underway, Dawn Marie and Mr. Charisma bore us all with wedding talk. It’s funny listening to Tazz laugh at Al and riff on everything he says. We have to pay for all that personality, folks, so it’s time for a commercial break. We’re JIP after the break, as Cena knocks the big man down with a clothesline, then hits a back suplex for 2. He goes to the headlock, which Rikishi fights out of, only to miss a sitdown splash when Cena tries the sunset flip. Cena does his own sitdown splash, Rikishi-style, but Rikishi kicks out hard enough to send Cena to the floor. Cena gets all up in Rikishi’s grill, so Rikishi punks him out with a big right hand. Samoan Drop sets up the fatass splash, and Rikishi finishes Cena with a BELLY-to-belly suplex at 2:05 of televised time. We didn’t get to see much of this one, but it didn’t strike me as anything special. 1/10. After the bell, Rikishi looks to add the Banzai Drop, but Bull Buchanan returns to a large round of indifference and hits an electric chair drop. He adds a couple of legdrops as the crowd collectively wonders who he is. I saw him at a house show recently, and he DOES look different, I’ll give him that.

(Winner: Rikishi, pinfall via BELLY-to-belly suplex at 2:05 of televised time)


Meanwhile, Paul complains about Brock’s animosity toward him. Slow complains he can’t wrestle after that chairshot, and bullies Paul into getting the match yanked.


After the break, Paul pleads his own fear and Slow’s tender back to Stephanie, who will hear none of it. Paul promises a lawsuit if Brock roughs him up.


Main Event, WWE Title: Edge vs. The Big Slow (with Paul E. Dangerously). Slow tosses Edge around. Edge dropkicks the knee, but Slow powers out of the Edge-O-Matic. Slow throws Edge around some more, until he takes off the turnbuckle pad. Edge stops an Irish whip into the buckle and sends Slow into it. Slow catches the top-rope axehandle with a goozle, but Edge lowblows him to break it up. Tornado DDT gets 2. It takes 3 spears to put Slow down, and Heyman pulls Edge off at 2. Edge chases Paul, but Slow grabs him at ringside and chokeslams him back into the ring. Heyman yells for no pin, and tells Slow to treat Edge like Brock. Two more chokeslams summon the genuine Brock to the ring, who quickly hoists Slow onto his shoulders and delivers an F5. I didn’t hear a bell. But I have to guess that’s a DQ around the 6:45 mark. Let me just say that seeing Brock F5 Slow with a broken rib is damned impressive, and this is the second time I’ve seen it. That guy is just crazy strong. The match was basically nothing, but Edge was game in what turned out to be a glorified squash. 1/10

(Winner: The Big Slow, DQ by interference at 6:45)


After vanquishing Slow, Brock looks for Heyman, who’s already running toward the back. Paul gets away in a limo before Brock can catch him, and Brock is left to angrily pace around, just like he did at the start of the show. Hey, symmetry.


The breakdown:


The Good: Eddy and Angle hooked it up in the night’s best match, Rey Mysterio and Jamie Noble had a good if too brief match, and Benoit and Chavo put on an entertaining little scrum. After losing to Big Slow over the weekend, Brock Lesnar went on a rampage, throwing Matt Hardy thru a wall and punking out Slow every chance he got. I’ve been very positive on Brock since he got the belt, and he was at his raging best tonight.


The Bad: None of the other matches were terrible, but none stood out. They were either too brief, or featured 500-pound men who suck in the ring.


The Ugly: Not only do I have to see The Big Slow carry the title belt to the ring, but Al Wilson had to put in an appearance. Obviously, no one on the creative team has any sympathy for my gag reflex.


Overall: There wasn’t a lot that excelled, but between the three solid matches and Brock’s rampage, this made for two hours of entertaining TV. I’m not sold on Slow as champion AT ALL, especially considering he’s more useless and less over than when he held the belt before. Despite him, though, Smackdown continues to churn out solid show after solid show, and this was another in the line. 7/10


Dr. Tom

Holler if you hear me.

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