The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 07.11.02
By Scott Keith on 11th July 2023
The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 07.11.02
That July 4 episode last week did some NUMBERS on the blog last week, like up there with Rampage, so it’s a no-brainer to carry on for a while. Plus it’s a nice “21 years ago this week” synergy and I really enjoyed reviewing it, so it’s win-win.
Last week: Undertaker taps out at the same time as he pins Kurt Angle, confusing everyone. So Mr. McMahon adds Angle to the title match at Vengeance, in the interest of fairness. Actually that sounds pretty fair.
Taped from the former Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Tazz
WWE tag team title: Edge & Hulk Hogan v. Billy & Chuck
It’s the rematch from last week, and Real American is back in mothballs in favor of a rather bland and lifeless No Name Brand Voodoo Chili. Chuck slugs away on Edge to start but gets put down with a leg lariat. Edge gets rid of Billy, but Chuck gets a cheapshot and puts the boots to him in the corner. Chuckabilly works him over in the corner. Chuck with an elbow drop for two. Billy hauls him out for a cheapshot on the floor and Chuck gets two off that. Chuck goes to a chinlock, but Edge fights back with the Impaler and makes the hot tag to Hogan, who has literally not even been in the match yet. He runs wild with big boots and Edge spears Rico into the barricade for the best bump of the match from the manager, but the fameasser gets two on Hulk. And he Hulks up off that and finishes him with the legdrop at 6:20 to retain. Nowhere near the level of the title change but again, they could have run with this formula for MONTHS AND MONTHS. **
Meanwhile, John Cena bugs the Undertaker in the parking lot while he’s waiting for the Rock to show up. Cena is all “It’s such an honor to tag with you tonight” and Taker tells him to fuck off and stop bothering him.
Earlier today, Torrie Wilson does a photo shoot on the beach, but Molly Holly interrupts and demands to be photographed to show off her athleticism, which turns into a scintillating battle of words that leads to a match getting signed TONIGHT in this very ring!
Meanwhile, the braintrust of Johnny Ace and Steve Lombardi try to talk Undertaker into leaving the Rock alone, but the car turns out to be Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho instead. Jericho thinks they should change his name to Undertapper, and that witty rejoinder is not appreciated and they brawl until Vince McMahon has to break things up. And then he goes off on some poor idiot ref who “let it happen”. Yeah, stupid ref, give him hell.
Meanwhile, grumpy old man Undertaker heads back to the dressing room and now he’s bitching at John Cena for not backing him up against Angle and Jericho, even though Cena points out that Taker clearly told him to fuck right off and keep on fucking off once he was done fucking off. Man no wonder poor Cena nearly got fired with mixed messages like that.
WWE Women’s title: Molly Holly v. Torrie Wilson
This week on Confidential: The Torrie Wilson Story! Plus “Whatever Happened to Jimmy Superfly Snuka”. He killed this girlfriend, that’s what happened. Sorry, spoiler. Molly was doing Vince’s favorite character, the prudish shrew who gets her comeuppance from the bikini models. Torrie gets some kicks to chase Molly to the floor, but Molly puts her down with a backbreaker. Torrie slingshots her into the turnbuckles for two, but Molly snaps off a northern lights suplex for two. Handspring is blocked with a kick to the back while the announcers are now doing a bit where Molly supposedly has a big ass, but Molly wraps up Torrie in a wacky submission and pins her at 2:30. A tad sloppy to say the least. *
Reverend D-Von & Batista v. Randy Orton & Mark Henry
So Orton is still trying to find a tag team partner he can count on. Maybe he should join a group or something. Orton runs wild right away and hits D-Von with a dropkick, but he tries to slug on D-Von in the corner and Batista necks him on the top rope to let the heels take over. Batista chokes away in the corner while the announcer discuss RUTHLESS AGGRESSION like it’s supposed to mean anything, and Batista hits the spinebuster out of the corner. Blind charge misses and Batista hits the post, so Mark Henry comes in for a double-team. Corner splash on D-Von sets up Orton’s flying bodypress, but Henry is legal. Randy did have a nice crossbody. Henry continues beating on both heels by himself, but Batista cuts him off with a rolling fireman’s carry slam for two. Spinebuster finishes Henry at 4:10. Surprisingly entertaining as we watch Batista improve weekly after a rough start as the Deacon. **1/2.
Meanwhile, Edge is totally going gambling with Hulk tonight, BROTHER. But their bro session is interrupted when the Rock saunters in and talks some shit about Hogan, but they just ignore him and Edge continues fanboying with Hulk.
FINALLY, The Rock has come back to Atlantic City, and he wants Undertaker to just bring it at Vengeance. However, Kurt Angle answers the challenge instead despite Undertaker literally waiting around for the first half hour trying to jump the Rock. So Kurt reminds us that he made Hulk Hogan tap out, and then made Undertaker tap last week, and he’ll add to the list next. Then he stops to call out “Puff Daddy over there” and he’ll make him tap too. Apparently it’s a famous rapper. So Rock isn’t actually sure who Kurt Angle is and calls out the big “A” on his gear, although Kurt clarifies that the A stands for Angle. And Rock notes that all the stars are out tonight, including Dr. Evil himself. Rock is hardly one to talk about bald heads these days. Also he lets me know that the rapper is Busta Rhymes. I’ll take his word for it. So Rock does some more Austin Powers jokes, which to be fair were pretty trendy in 2002, and Kurt gets so annoyed that he challenges Rock NEXT WEEK and promises to make him tap. Rock says “Why wait for next week” and Angle isn’t down with it, so Rock attacks him and puts him in an anklelock as Angle taps like crazy. And NOW finally Undertaker shows up, and destroys both guys with chokeslams. This felt like Rock phoning it in a bit to be honest, as he really didn’t get back into high gear again until Hollywood Rock.
Last week, Lillian Garcia is singing about MURICA, but Lance Storm and the Unamericans interrupt because they hate America and all things American.
Test v. Rikishi
They brawl on the floor to start and Rikishi runs him into the stairs, but Test comes back with a big boot in the ring and follows with a corner clothesline. Rikishi comes back with a belly to belly and that sets up the Stinkface, but Storm and Christian run in and allow Test to hit a pumphandle slam for two. Rikishi takes out the heels and tries the butt splash, but Test gets the knees up, so Rikishi hits him with a samoan drop for the pin at 2:05. Rikishi didn’t give Test much of anything here. 1/2*. The Unamericans come in for the beatdown afterwards, so Edge & Hogan make the save to set up their next program.
Meanwhile, Vince is all creepy with Stacy Keibler, but Jericho interrupts and thinks that Edge & Hogan should defend against the Unamericans. So Vince agrees to the title match, as long as Jericho is willing to step aside and have his match with Edge postponed. Jericho reluctantly agrees with that proposal.
Meanwhile, at the Tropicana Casino, Jamie Noble and Nidia bring Tajiri to the buffet so they can get much needed energy before their tag match tonight. Apparently having the Cruiserweight title means they’ll never be poor again. There’s a lot of former Cruiserweight champions who would disagree with that statement I’m pretty sure.
Meanwhile on RAW, Shawn Michaels and his nWo continue making the offer to HHH to join, but he continues to ignore them. But he’ll have to make his choice at Vengeance! Sadly, we learn that Poochie tore his quad and had to return to his home planet, and this entire thing was dropped completely as a result.
Jamie Noble & Tajiri v. Billy Kidman & Hurricane
Kidman alley-oops Noble into a Hurri-Bomb and Hurricane gets an axe kick for two. Noble suplexes him to escape and brings Tajiri in for a corner dropkick on Hurricane. Kidman gets the hot tag at 2:00 and it’s BONZO GONZO as everyone hits the floor and Noble dives and then Hurricane dives and they’re all out but Kidman immediately throws Noble in and Nidia crotches him but Kidman somehow powerbombs Noble for the pin at 3:15 and I feel like whoever agented this was on Red Bull because I couldn’t even find a natural spot to stop this sentence and it’s immediately TO THE BACK. *1/2
Meanwhile, Rock abuses whoever the stupid ginger interview mannequin is, and then does his own promo and promises to stay on the show until after the main event. He relates a story about finding a giant slot machine and hitting three Brahma Bulls, which is a sign to him that he’s winning the title match at Vengeance. Maybe he just saw the accidentally leaked advertising for Summerslam showing himself as champion that came out before the Vengeance show. Anyway he accuses the interviewer of pleasuring himself off-screen and he’s out. Wait, the interviewer was Louis CK? You learn something new every day.
Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle v. Undertaker & John Cena
Taker charges and hits Jericho’s boot in the corner to start, but beats him down and lets Cena come in. Jericho immediately knocks him down with a spinning back elbow, but Angle misses a charge and hits the post. So Cena slugs away on Angle, but Jericho comes in with a dropkick for two. Angle with a snap suplex on Cena for two. Overhead suplex and it’s back to Jericho, who hits Cena with a low dropkick. Back to Angle with a back suplex and the heels take turns putting the boots to Cena, before Cena fights back with a powerslam on Angle. Hot tag Undertapper and the ref immediately gets bumped while grumpy old man Taker cleans house. So Angle hits the Angle Slam on him, and Jericho gets two off that. Back to Cena, who hits Jericho with a spinebuster for two. Jericho tries a Lionsault and Taker slugs him to block that, allowing Cena to get the rollup for the pin at 6:10. Not much to this match, unfortunately. **. Afterwards, Taker beats on both heels and makes Angle tap to a guillotine because they just couldn’t resist beating Angle over and over and over since he was basically bulletproof at this point. And then Rock makes the save and lays out Angle with the Rock Bottom to get the last word and end the show.
Last week’s show was awesome but this week’s show was…decidedly less so. Lots and lots of talk and backstage stuff and nothing much in the ring this time. I will say, this thing FLEW by and reminded me a lot of Dynamite from a pacing standpoint, which is probably why it’s such an easy show to recap.
Next week: The Rock v. Kurt Angle!