Date: October 10, 2002
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
We’re ten days away from No Mercy and the big question is Undertaker’s hand, which was broken last week. That’s not good when he’s heading into the Cell with Brock Lesnar. The other major story is the Tag Team Title tournament, which is almost destined to offer a string of great matches. Let’s get to it.
We open with one of those stuttering recaps with Stephanie McMahon narrating because we watch these shows to hear from her. Anyway we recap Undertaker vs. Lesnar with the OFFICIALLY broken hand (you want to make sure it’s the official one or you won’t be able to get a warranty) and an announcement of the Cell match.
Undertaker is in the parking lot.
Here’s Matt Hardy with something to say. After the WE WANT JEFF chants die down, Matt brags about beating Undertaker for the second time last week. Matt talks about how last week was a defining moment in Mattitude and we see a clip of last week’s pin. Of course we see Undertaker coming to the ring and the beating is on in a hurry. A few headbutts and cast shots open Matt up but he gets in a low blow. That’s fine with Undertaker who casts Matt in the head and then casts a chair into Matt’s head. Undertaker punches the post and Matt FINALLY escapes. This went on far longer than it should have but you have to fill time somehow.
Rikishi vs. Eddie Guerrero
Fallout from last week where Eddie make Mark Henry tap in a tag match. Rikishi doesn’t waste time and grabs a bearhug but Eddie crawls over into a sunset flip. That goes nowhere so Eddie hits a dropkick, allowing Chavo to get in some choking from the floor. The cheating earns Uncle Eddie a spinebuster but he goes after the knee and scores with the slingshot hilo for no cover.
The frog splash misses though and Rikishi loads up the Stinkface, meaning Chavo has to make another save. That means Rikishi superkicks him into the corner as well and Stinkfaces them both. You would think that the combined forces could have allowed them to escape but alas not so much. The referee, who somehow hasn’t called for a DQ, has to deal with Eddie throwing Chavo a chair. It is but a ruse though as Eddie uses another chair on Rikishi’s leg, setting up the El Paso Lasso for the tap.
Rating: C-. I could go for watching the Guerreros do their cheating every day. They have so much chemistry together and really do feel like they could beat anyone with these shenanigans. It helps that Eddie is doing some of the best work of his career right now and looking more and more awesome every single week. Rikishi was just fine here too as the one that gets to stand still while Eddie does his thing.
Torrie Wilson can’t believe Dawn Marie has challenged her to a lingerie contest. I can’t quite hear what she says next because the pop is far too strong. Torrie’s father shows up and she tries to hide her lingerie choices before getting him away.
Stephanie wants the tag division to be legitimate so she lectures Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle. Wouldn’t it make more sense to bring in regular teams to make the belts a bit more legit? I mean, I’m no one to question Stephanie but reforming the Dudleyz or something like that would have made more sense. Or not letting THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS JUMP TO RAW IN THE FIRST PLACE. Angle mocks Benoit’s missing tooth and they get in an argument over who leaves first.
Rey Mysterio is ready for his tournament match with Edge tonight when Nidia comes in for a Spanish argument. Rey seems to insult her so Nidia storms off to yell at Jamie Noble. Jamie says don’t treat him like that because he has a tournament match of his own tonight. Coffee is tossed away and security breaks it up.
The Guerreros are fired up over their win when Benoit comes out of Stephanie’s office (Does that mean he won or lost the competition with Angle?) and looks rather serious. Eddie: “Did you just get in trouble with the principal man?” Benoit doesn’t want to be suspended for a year but Chavo chimes in with a rumor that Angle is taking a year off to train for the Olympics. Chris is suspicious when Angle comes out. His greetings to Eddie and Chavo respectively: “What up home slice?” and “Word up my Chicano friend.” The Guerreros leave and Angle things they were talking about him. Violence is threatened and Benoit smirks.
Tag Team Title Tournament First Round: Billy Kidman/John Cena vs. Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit
The winners get the Guerreros next week. Kidman hurricanranas Benoit down to start and it’s off to Cena (in purple and orange, Phoenix Suns colors) for a hiptoss on Angle. That’s not cool with Kurt so he snaps off a belly to belly to send Kidman flying out to the floor. Benoit and Angle get annoyed at each other again (of course) so Chris rolls some German suplexes on Kidman.
We hit a kneeling half crab with Benoit cranking on it as only he can. Kidman does the tag that the referee doesn’t see spot so Angle can throw him down again. Angle is finally sent into the post and Benoit takes an enziguri, allowing the real hot tag off to Cena. Everything breaks down in a hurry and Benoit’s powerbomb is countered into an X-Factor to give Kidman a near fall. Angle is back in for an Angle Slam though but Cena saves the ankle lock. He can’t save the Crossface though and Kidman taps.
Rating: C. This got better at the end but was there any real question about who was going to win here? They kind of screwed themselves over with the “one year suspension” thing because no one is going to buy that happening. Angle and Benoit trying to one up each other is very entertaining though and that makes for some fun matches.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman arrive with a good looking woman. They want to have the path to the ring cleared because they have an announcement.
And now for the highlight of the show: a Desire video all about Matt Hardy with Matt narrating. I know he gets a lot of flack for all these reinventions but when they hit, they hit huge.
We recap the Undertaker vs. Matt brawl.
Here are Lesnar, Heyman and that woman for what I really hope isn’t the announcement I think it’s going to be. Heyman talks about Undertaker being in the back talking about the Cell, which Lesnar isn’t qualified to talk about. However, Tracy is qualified to talk about what kind of a man Undertaker is. This brings out a ticked off Undertaker so Heyman and Lesnar bail. Tracy stays though and calls him Mark because it’s serious you see.
They’ve been sleeping together for three months and she just found out he’s married. The big SARA tattoo on his throat wasn’t a hint that there was a woman in his life? She didn’t care that he was famous and promised to never take the relationship permanent. The fans chant some VERY unkind things about Tracy until Undertaker denies it. Tracy slaps him in the face and storms off.
Post break, Heyman and Lesnar are leaving when Stephanie pops up to put Lesnar in the tournament with Tajiri. It’s important to have the best teams, which is why the Dudley Boyz are still separated right? Heyman protests so Stephanie guarantees him that Undertaker is banned from ringside. If he interferes, he’s out of the title match.
Billy Gunn vs. Reverend D-Von
The Gunn is back and so is the generic rock music. D-Von, with Ron Simmons in his corner, hammers away to start but gets clotheslined for two. That’s enough for D-Von to take a breather on the floor and Simmons gets in a cheap shot to take over. Back in and we hit the chinlock as the announcers ignore the match to talk about anything else. Can you blame them in this case? A powerslam gets two but Billy grabs the One and Only for no cover. Simmons breaks up the Fameasser so Chuck superkicks him, allowing the Fameasser to connect for the pin a few seconds later.
Rating: D. Boring match here but that’s all you can expect here. I’m sure there’s a good reason to have D-Von lose before he and Simmons have their semifinal match next week. At least Bubba is still getting to team with Spike over on Raw and fill in a spot in a one off gimmick match. That’s also all we’ll see of Gunn until June of next year as he wrecked his shoulder a few days later at a house show.
Undertaker can’t get a word in with Sara and she hangs up on him. This is exactly what I want to see to build up the most violent match in the company.
Chavo is holding his head and screaming for Benoit. Chris comes up and Chavo says Angle jumped Eddie. Benoit goes off to find them and Chavo shoves him into a closet where violence can be heard. A smiling Eddie comes out holding a dented chair and saying Angle did it.
Torrie is ready for her lingerie contest and asks her dad to not watch (well duh). Dawn Marie comes up and gives Al a preview of her outfit, which he seems to approve of.
Lingerie contest, Torrie wins, Cole thinks this is WAY more impressive than it really is, Torrie won’t shake hands after winning.
Post break Al is waiting outside the women’s locker room when Dawn comes up to give him the Divas Undressed magazine with her hotel room key marking her pages.
Heyman is telling Brock what to watch for in the tag match when Lesnar asks for his phone. Brock calls Sara and asks if she’s ok before smiling and hanging up. Heyman looks somewhere between mortified and inspired.
We hear Tracy’s bad acting skills again.
Tag Team Title Tournament First Round: Brock Lesnar/Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio/Edge
The winners get D-Von and Simmons next week for reasons that make my head hurt. Edge and Lesnar start with the champ shoving him down with ease. The Canadian pops back up and gets in a takedown before mocking Lesnar’s pose. That just ticks Lesnar off and I don’t see this ending well. If nothing else, Brock being on the floor gives Cole a chance to praise Stephanie’s business sense.
Back in and the beating begins but Mysterio tags himself in and springboards into a crossbody on Lesnar. That gives us the staredown with Brock hitting something like a powerslam for two. Tajiri tags himself in for the first kick before grabbing a chinlock. That’s followed by the more successful Tarantula but Rey escapes and grabs a hurricanrana.
The hot tag brings in Edge and Lesnar has no issues watching his partner get beaten up. Edge makes the mistake of knocking Brock off the apron and here comes the champ. Brock actually gets dropped by a flying forearm and Tajiri kicks Lesnar by mistake. A double dropkick puts Lesnar on the floor and the 619 into the spear sends Edge and Rey on.
Rating: D+. This was exactly what you would expect from these four in this situation. I could certainly go for Tajiri vs. Rey and Edge vs. Lesnar doesn’t sound too bad either. I’m not sure I get the logic of giving the face team such an easy path to the finals but the tournament needs to be the best or something.
Lesnar cleans house until Undertaker makes the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. There’s good stuff sprinkled through this show but it’s not enough to overcome the stupid Tracy story, the pretty lame tournament stuff and Billy Gunn vs. D-Von. Smackdown works because it has a bunch of action instead of the weak drama and bad storylines. Give us any two combinations of the really talented guys for twelve minutes or so and everything will be fine.
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