The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 09.05.02
Taped from Green Bay, WI
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Tazz
Rey Mysterio v. Billy Gunn
Who had these two guys still being active and champions in major promotions in 2023 on their bingo card? Billy attacks and beats on Rey for a bit, and then counters a headscissors into a powerslam. Snake Eyes gets two. He runs Rey into the corner and tries a back suplex, but Rey flips out of it, so Billy puts him down with a lariat for two. Billy chokes him out on the ropes and puts him down with a neckbreaker, but Rey fights back with a headscissors and the 619, which Chuck blocks by pulling Rey out of the ring. Back in, that gets two for Billy. Billy with a press slam, but Rey rolls him up for the pin at 5:10 for the banana peel win after getting squashed for five minutes straight. *. Afterwards, Rico decides to cheer his team up by announcing that now is the time for the single greatest moment of their career: Chuck proposing “a lifetime partnership” to Billy after reaching deep into his trunks and pulling out his… ring. Billy of course says yes while Michael has to explain to Tazz exactly what’s happening here. That one sure ended up spiraling away from them a bit.
Cruiserweight title: Jamie Noble v. Shannon Moore
Apparently now Moore’s WCW history has been erased and he’s a “rookie from North Carolina” who just debuted in the sport a few weeks back. Noble beats on him in the corner to start, but Moore comes back with a dropkick to put Noble on the floor and he follows with a tope con hilo and back in for two. Noble cuts him off with a clothesline and follows with a suplex for two. Backbreaker gets two. Moore fights back with a leg lariat for the double down and a flipping neckbreaker for two. Crossbody gets two. Moonsault press gets two. Noble tries the powerbomb and Moore reverses to a rollup for two. Noble charges and hits the post, and Moore goes up with a missile dropkick, but Noble catches him in a powerbomb and then finishes with the tiger driver at 5:10. Decent match, not much heat. **1/4.
Meanwhile, young Randy Orton bumps into Brock Lesnar and he’s not worried about facing him.
Meanwhile, Edge and Rikishi discuss their upcoming six-man match tonight, and Edge wants to know if there’s going to be any Stinkfaces. But Rikishi explains that it’s symbolic of bigger things, and not actually meant to be a joke. Who knew that shoving your ass in someone’s face could be so deep?
Brock Lesnar v. Randy Orton
Young rookie Orton charges in and attacks, but Brock beats him down, so Orton rolls him up for two. But then Brock tosses him with a suplex and hurls him into the corner, as Orton takes a Slaughter bump over the top rope and smacks into the post on the way down. He’s not going to have much career longevity taking bumps like that. He should tone it down a bit, maybe work a bit safer. Back in, Brock with an STO for two, just stiffing the hell out of Orton. Brock with a running shoulderblock in the corner, and then hits him with a corner clothesline as Orton should probably just go limp and let him finish at this point. Brock runs him into the corner with an Oklahoma Stampede and then just beats him down with clubbing forearms. Brock with something resembling the Big Ending, but he tries it again and Orton fights out and makes a comeback with the backbreaker. He goes up with a crossbody, but Lesnar just catches him and finishes with the F5 at 5:26. Fun squash. *1/2
Meanwhile, Crash Holly signs with Smackdown. And then Reverend D-Von bursts into Stephanie’s office and declares that Billy & Chuck’s impending union is wrong and a sin. But she announces that their “commitment ceremony” will take place in the ring next week. And D-Von is booked against Batista tonight. The whole thing was so weird because they were trying to act like they were being progressive but refused to say the word “gay” at any point, and then they were more than happy to curry the favor of the gay community before revealing that it was all a swerve.
Mark Henry v. Tajiri
Henry, who I hear loves to have fun and enjoy himself, overpowers Tajiri and tosses him, but Tajiri fights back with kicks for one. Tajiri with the Tarantula but he can’t hook it properly, and Henry tosses him and finishes with a running powerslam at 3:00. Henry was going nowhere at this point and this was nothing. 1/2*.
Meanwhile, Stephanie moderates a face to face meeting between Brock Lesnar & Undertaker in advance of their PPV title match in two weeks. So Taker does his usual promo and then Heyman promises to take care of Sara Undertaker if anything happens to Undertaker, but he refuses to take care of his unborn child. Eh, they tried. There was just nothing to this “feud” at this point and the title match felt like a rushed stopgap while they tried to find their real stars. In the Observer at the time Dave was like “Basically there’s no point to any finish but Brock destroying Undertaker and pinning him” but I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna work for Undertaker.
Batista v. Reverend D-Von
Batista comes in and chokes D-Von before slamming him out of the ring, so D-Von grabs a chair to defend himself. Batista smacks it away from him, but D-Von finds another chair and uses that to take over. Back in the ring, an elbowdrop gets two. But then Batista just powerbombs him and pins him at 1:46. They were on drastically different career trajectories at this point, of course. 1/2*
Meanwhile, Jamie Noble and Nidia discuss marriage plans and Noble has this amazing look of terror on his face while he’s looking at the camera.
Meanwhile, Matt Hardy shows Shannon Moore footage of himself taking on Brock Lesnar last week, because he sees potential in Moore even though he lost tonight. But then grumpy old Bob Holly stops by and points out that Matt lost last week too.
Meanwhile, Eddie Guerrero offers to pawn Kurt Angle’s medals for him, but Kurt is salty about losing his title shot last week and calls Eddie “Cheech” to blow him off. But then Chris Benoit stops by while Angle is talking some trash about him and we get an awkward standoff before they all have to team up later tonight.
Hardcore Holly v. Matt Hardy
Holly with a backslide for two, but Matt slugs him down and beats on him in the corner. Holly misses a charge and Matt gets a neckbreaker for two, but he goes to the apron and Holly runs him into the post. Back in, Holly with a suplex for two, but Matt comes back with a moonsault press for two. Side Effect gets two. Holly comes back with a powerbomb for two. Matt with the yodelling legdrop for two. Bob with the dropkick for two. Matt counters the Alabama Slam into a rollup for two, but Bob reverses and pulls the tights for the pin at 5:00. Just a match. **
Meanwhile, Funaki wants to know what to expect from the commitment ceremony next week, and Rico promises the spectacle of a lifetime. Also he’ll be Billy’s best man and standing up for Chuck.
Meanwhile, the Hollies reunite and don’t fight for once.
Crash Holly v. The Hurricane
Hurricane quickly hits a crossbody for two while the announcers offensively refer to both guys as “cruiserweights” even though they’re clearly super heavyweights. Crash tries a suplex and Hurricane reverses to the Eye of the Hurricane and goes up with the blockbuster. Shining Wizard gets two. Hurricane misses a blind charge and then so does Crash, and they head to the top for a neckbreaker off the top for a double down. Hurricane tries a chokeslam, but Crash rolls him up for the pin at 4:00. Another Velocity special. **
Rikishi, Edge & Undertaker v. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero
Taker works on the arm of Angle to start and puts him down with a big boot and legdrop for two. Over to Benoit and he beats on Taker in the corner, but Taker fires back and brings in Rikishi, who puts Benoit down with a clothesline and spinebuster. Samoan drop and Edge comes in and slugs it out with Eddie before hitting a flapjack and slugging away in the corner. Angle cuts him off with a back suplex for two and Benoit comes in with a backbreaker for two. Eddie with a senton for two. He puts the boots to Edge and Angle comes in with a snap suplex for two. Angle with the overhead suplex (“He’d rather throw ya than know ya!” notes Tazz) but they collide and both guys are down. Edge with the enzuigiri and he makes the hot tag to Undertaker who runs wild, or walks slightly faster wild to be more accurate, and it’s BONZO GONZO. Eddie hits Taker in the nuts to break that up and Benoit suplexes him, while Angle puts Rikishi in the anklelock. But then Edge spears Angle into the corner and Rikishi gives him the Stinkface, only for Benoit to run Rikishi into the post. So then Benoit stops to laugh like a supervillain at Angle’s predicament, and Eddie has to broker peace while Angle and Benoit attack each other. That leaves Eddie by himself with Undertaker and the other babyfaces and the poor guy gets Stinkfaced, chokeslammed and pinned at 11:05. Well the result was never in doubt here.
Without a doubt this was still better than the epic diarrhea that RAW was pumping out at this point, but the Undertaker-Brock program was a complete loser and they had nothing much going on in the midcard. Another weak show.
Next week: Wedding bells are ringing? I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about there, don’t worry.