The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 08.15.02
By Scott Keith on 15th August 2023
The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 08.15.02
Taped from Seattle, WA
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Tazz
Brock Lesnar joins us to start, ripping off a Hulkamania shirt to make a point. Paul Heyman is in full obnoxious celebration mode as he provides voiceover for Brock putting Hulk out to pasture. But then Rikishi interrupts the mirthmaking (“Brock gave me the microphone, so his hands are free!”) and Rikishi brawls with Brock and clotheslines him to the floor, leaving Heyman alone. Tazz is looking forward to a Stinkface on Paul E, but Brock saves to set up the main event for later tonight.
The Hurricane & Shannon Moore & Hardcore Holly v. Billy & Chuck & Rico
Quite the hilarious coincidence that I’m watching a show featuring RICO tonight. Not hilarious for Trump and his clown car full of co-conspirators. But for everyone else. Holly hits Billy with a dropkick and Bob hauls Rico in and beats on him with chops and a gas mask suplex. Shannon comes in and slugs on Rico, but he fights back with kicks to put him down. Over to Hurricane, and he comes in with a legdrop as Moore backslides Rico, and that gets two. Neat double-team there. Chuck tries a powerbomb and Hurricane reverses to a rana and follows with a shining wizard for two. But then the heels cut him off and Chuck gets an overhead suplex for two. Chuck with a chinlock, but Hurricane fights out of that, so Chuck hits him with a knee to the gut and Billy comes in and double-teams him. Hurricane fights back with the Eye of the Hurricane and it’s hot tag Shannon. It’s BONZO GONZO and Hurricane gets dumped, allowing Billy to hit the One and Only on Moore for the pin at 5:15. Fun little fast paced opener. **1/2. Matt Hardy quickly makes the save to prevent any further shenanigans, however.
Meanwhile, Dawn Marie grovels to Stephanie after losing the papers last week, which it turns out were RVD’s contract. Apparently the Intercontinental title is INVALUABLE to Smackdown and he’s got a rematch with Benoit coming up. Also Matt Hardy has now signed with Smackdown, which is why he popped up in the last match.
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy celebrates with the babyfaces, but they’re not super thrilled that Matt is there.
Meanwhile, Stephanie tells Benoit to make RVD tap out at Summerslam and keep the title on Smackdown, and uh not gonna lie it’s sounding pretty sexual on her part. So yeah this was pretty weird and uncomfortable. Also he’s gonna make the Rock tap out again tonight in our other main event.
Meanwhile, Kurt Angle still isn’t sold on this Rey Mysterio kid because he’s a CHEATER and his win doesn’t count. But then Mark Henry stops by to defend Rey and it’s apparently on. NEXT.
Kurt Angle v. Mark Henry
Angle tries to take him down to start and Henry runs him over to stop that. Mark with a press slam into a facebuster and a clothesline gets two. But then he hurts his ankle doing the rope choke and Angle goes for that leg like a shark. Angle clips him and wraps him up in a leglock on the mat, but Henry fights out of that, so Kurt takes him down with the anklelock. Henry rolls out of that and puts Angle on the floor and makes the comeback. Henry with a press slam, but Angle takes out the knee again and finishes with the anklelock at 5:38. Another fun match. **1/2. And then Rey Mysterio hits the ring and sends Angle to the floor, somehow busting him open in the process, to set up their Summerslam match.
Brock Lesnar v. Rikishi
We get a HOSS FIGHT to start as big meaty men are slapping meat, but Rikishi charges and hits the post, allowing Brock to take over. He goes to work on the arm, but Rikishi fights back and Brock hammers him down again. Overhead belly to belly gets two. Brock with the BEARHUG OF DEATH and he hammers away in the corner, but Rikishi fights back with a samoan drop and belly to belly. Corner splash sets up the Stinkface, but Paul Heyman sacrifices himself to save Brock, taking the ass so Brock doesn’t have to. And Brock hits him with the F5 and pins him at 5:40 as a result. Man Rikishi was getting really obnoxious about not really selling much at this point. **. Brock should have BULLDOZED him.
Meanwhile, Funaki debuts as Smackdown’s #1 announcer, interviewing Nidia in advance of her match with Torrie. So Nidia would rather talk about her voluptuous breasts and wants Funaki to touch her ass, but he’s worried that Jamie Noble will kill him. Oh and then Batista suddenly lays out Reverend D-Von in the background and apparently ends their relationship.
Nidia v. Torrie Wilson
Torrie puts her down with clotheslines to start and slingshots her into the corner, but Nidia comes back with a DDT for two. Torrie with a hotshot and a snap suplex for two. Torrie goes after Noble for some reason, triggering a brawl with Kidman, but Noble runs in and clotheslines Torrie behind the ref’s back and Nidia gets the pin at 2:23. And then we get Kane’s pyro as apparently he was a free agent at this point. 1/4*.
Meanwhile, Los Guerreros prepare to make their debut against Edge & Rey Mysterio tonight. Eddie is really sick of hearing about Edge, because everyone knows he’s got a better smile! Eddie trying to smile in order to demonstrate is of course hilarious.
Edge & Rey Mysterio v. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero
They quickly brawl and Eddie runs Edge into the railing to take over and beats him down back in the ring. Edge fights back with a faceplant and Rey comes in and runs wild with a standing moonsault on Eddie for two. He slugs away in the corner, but Eddie brings him down with the powerbomb with some STANK on it, and Chavo comes in with a senton for two. Chavo with a backbreaker and the slingshot senton from Eddie gets two. Eddie with a pumphandle backbreaker for two. Chavo comes in with a slam for two. Rey escapes a powerbomb with a leg lariat and they’re both down, but Eddie cuts off the tag with a cheapshot on Edge. He tries another powerbomb on Rey, but that’s reversed to a rana and it’s hot tag Edge. So he runs wild and tosses the Guerreros around, spearing Chavo in the corner, but he misses one on Eddie and hits the post. Eddie with the brainbuster and he goes up to finish, but Rey brings him down and hits Chavo with the 619. But then Kurt Angle attacks Rey for the DQ at 6:00, and Edge brawls with Eddie on the floor while Angle destroys Rey with the anklelock. But then Edge saves with the spear and the faces stand tall. Way too short but awesome while it lasted. ***
Meanwhile, WWE was in Australia for a show I gotta review at some point.
Meanwhile, the Rock does a coked up promo about Brock Lesnar, listing all the various ways around the world that you can say “Just Bring It”. But then he storms out and Brock Lesnar is revealed to be lurking in the background and watching.
The Rock v. Chris Benoit
Rock takes him down with armdrags and works a headlock, but Benoit drops him with a back suplex to take over. Benoit with the short clothesline and a backbreaker for two. He pounds Rock with chops in the corner and hits the 5 rolling germans for two. Oddly Tazz talks about how Benoit was previously a tag team champion and I was very confused about that until I remembered the brief reign with Jericho in 2001. Benoit goes to an armbar and Rock fights out of that and comes back with a DDT for two. So Benoit hits his own DDT and Rock bounces off the mat on that one. Benoit to the top with the diving headbutt and man that’s uncomfortable to watch these days. “Will this be the deathblow?” wonders Michael Cole. Yeah well anyway. Rock makes the comeback with a legdrag into the Scorpion King Deathlock, but Benoit somehow escapes the (cough) awesome submission skills of the Rock and makes the ropes. So Rock pops up with the spinebuster and People’s Elbow, at which point Brock heads down to ringside to provide distraction. So they have a staredown, but Benoit lays out Rock from behind and back in for another crossface while Brock watches. But this time Rock gets fired up and makes the ropes after teasing a submission. So Benoit drops elbows on the shoulder, but Rock catches him with the Rock Bottom and pins him at 11:28. A great match with a finish that played into the last time they fought. ****1/4.
Man this show has been on an incredible run and this was no exception.