The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 09.19.02
Last week: Billy and Chuck got married, but then didn’t, and it was never really followed up moving forward.
Taped from Colorado Springs, CO
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Tazz
Torrie Wilson & Rey Mysterio v. Jamie Noble & Nidia
This appears to be the TV debut of fresh-faced young ring announcer Justin Roberts, doing a much deeper voice than he would be known for later on, trying to sound like Finkel from what I can tell. Torrie throws chops on Torrie to start and gets a neckbreaker for two. Blind charge misses and Nidia gets a snap suplex for two. Noble tries to cut off the tag, but Torrie manages to bring in Rey anyway and Noble faceplants him for two. Rey comes back with the bulldog for two, but Nidia saves and allows Noble to get a sneak attack on the floor for two. Torrie saves that, so Noble hauls her in and tries a gentlemanly Pedigree on her. Nidia breaks it up and Torrie runs her into the corner and follows with a Broncobuster, which has Noble freaking out and demanding the same treatment. So Rey obliges and gives him the Broncobuster, and that’s probably not what he wanted. 619 and Code Red finish at 4:10. Just a goofy fun opener, and the Broncobuster spot in particular was tremendously done. **1/2
Meanwhile, D-Von whines to Stephanie about his issues with Batista, and she tells him to get lost and threatens to fire him. Paul Heyman interrupts and Stephanie bitches at him as well, because Sara Undertaker went to the hospital with “false labor” after last week and now Undertaker is all mad and coming back to the arena and looking for revenge. Brock is unconcerned.
Stephanie McMahon joins us in the ring now, introducing a clip from RAW on Monday where Eric Bischoff gets confronted by a “horde of lesbians”, but one of them turns out to be Stephanie, and she brings Billy and Chuck with her for a brawl with 3 Minute Warning. So it’s Chuckabilly v. 3MW at Unforgiven. I feel like I need that Spider-Man “you don’t have to keep selling me” meme here. Even more exciting, it’s Bischoff kissing Stephanie’s ass against Stephanie performing Hot Lesbian Action to really give the match some stakes. So Billy and Chuck join us, and we get some hilarious double entendres about how Billy and Chuck could “go both ways” with their career and “go down” to LA and beat up 3MW. Sadly, Billy is unable to tell us what the two words he has are, since Kurt Angle interrupts this brain melting segment and he wants to know when Smackdown turned into a bad episode of Three’s Company. Wait, there’s BAD episodes of Three’s Company? I love the one where Mr. Furley has a wacky misunderstanding with Jack Tripper! Also by a staggering coincidence, this was the anniversary of Three’s Company airing its final episode in 1984. And then it’s more gay panic as Kurt denies being gay despite Chuck’s accusations and in fact he’s beloved by the gay community because he’s ADORABLE. So this sets up a match with Angle and Chuck for later tonight. But Stephanie wants a tag match instead because reasons, so Angle is so confident that he’ll let “Will and Grace” pick his tag partner, and of course they choose Chris Benoit. And we get more gay jokes from Angle and we’re out. This was brutal and I’m gonna blame Seth Mates until proven wrong.
Brock Lesnar v. John Cena
Hope these guys have good chemistry. Brock takes him down and goes for the leg, but Cena makes the ropes to escape. He tries a headlock and Brock clubs him down and beats on the back before tossing him with an overhead suplex. Brock beats on the ribs and drops elbows on them and then goes to a bearhug on the mat, before hitting him with a suplex and going right back to the hold on the mat. Heyman is getting antsy about Undertaker and tells Brock to hurry up and finish this rookie, because I bet he’ll just give up anyway. Doesn’t seem like he’s got much hustle or loyalty if you ask me. But then Cena does come back with a dropkick, before Brock decides he’s had enough and hurks him up into the F5 to finish at 5:56. And this wasn’t even the most one-sided squash of John Cena that we’d ever see from Brock! *
Meanwhile, Rikishi discusses his life on the streets as a kid. Is he gonna be making a difference again? I don’t remember this at all. Also kind of confusing given how HE LOVES TO HAVE FUN was the thing they kept hammering home at this time.
Meanwhile, Los Guerreros are still fighting over the accidental Stinkface last week, but Eddie blames Edge and will get respect TONIGHT IN THIS VERY RING. Also it goes without saying that the Stinkface from last week is the Stacker 2 BURN OF THE NIGHT. I’d have written a strongly-worded Tweet if it wasn’t.
Edge & Rikishi v. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero
The Guerreros manage to annoy the babyfaces enough to lure Edge to the floor for an attack, and Eddie beats him down in the ring to take over. They work him over in the corner and Chavo gets a back suplex, setting up an Eddie senton for two. Edge comes back with a powerslam, but the Guerreros cut him off again and Eddie goes up for a tornado DDT. Edge blocks that and it’s hot tag Rikishi, which gives us a Stinkface for Chavo. So Chavo grabs the TV camera, hits Rikishi with it behind the ref’s back, and pins him to win at 5:46. Really, Rikishi stuck his ass in Chavo’s face, he had that coming. Edge saves Rikishi from further punishment, so Eddie lays him out with a chairshot and leaves him busted open. Hopefully the Edge-Eddie and Benoit-Angle matches at the PPV will be enough to carry it. Match was nothing special here. **
Meanwhile, we get a “satellite” interview with Eric Bischoff and Stephanie, as they lay out the stips for the Unforgiven tag match again: If Billy and Chuck win, Eric has to kiss Stephanie’s ass in the ring. If 3MW win, Stephanie has to peform “hot lesbian action” in the ring. But she warns that she might like it. Given that her character was booked to openly hate and degrade every other woman on the roster, I somehow doubt that.
The Hurricane v. Matt Hardy
Hurricane with a crossbody for two and he goes for the chokeslam, but Matt elbows out of it and beats him down in the corner as the announcers wonder what “Matt Hardy Version 1” is supposed to mean. Hurricane fights back with a clothesline, but Matt drops another elbow on him while the crowd chants for Jeff. Matt with a back suplex for two. Twist of Fate is countered by Hurricane into a neckbreaker and he makes a comeback. Blockbuster gets two. Matt misses the legdrop and Hurricane gets the Shining Wizard for two. Matt with the Side Effect for two. Eye of the Hurricane gets two. Hurricane goes up with a double axehandle, but Matt nails him on the way down, and then goes low and finishes with the Twist of Fate at 5:55. Obviously these two could have a good match in their sleep. ***
Meanwhile, Heyman tries to convince Brock to just leave the building, but then second-guesses himself and thinks that Undertaker is waiting for them in the parking lot and decides they should stay in the dressing room instead.
Meanwhile, Michael Cole runs down the Unforgiven card and it, uh, looks kinda good actually. OK, this might not be so bad to redo tomorrow given I remember nothing about it. Also extra points for the super-professional Photoshop of the IC title onto Chris Jericho here, which I was completely unable to pick out as an addition after the fact.
Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle v. Chuck & Billy
How will Angle and Benoit ever be able to co-exist going into their match at the PPV where they have to fight each other? I’ll forgive the tired trope this time because it did actually go somewhere. Benoit beats on Chuck to start, but Chuck hits him with a dropkick while Angle laughs on the apron. So Angle comes in and he too gets double-teamed by Chuckabilly before coming back with a suplex on Billy for two. Benoit comes in and fires off the suplexes on Billy, but Angle comes in for an Angle Slam and Billy manages to reverse to the One and Only for the double down. So Benoit demands a tag and comes in, but he gets double-teamed as well. Angle takes the fameasser, but Benoit hits Billy with a german suplex and Angle puts Chuck in the anklelock. But then Benoit breaks that up and wants the crossface himself, and Billy breaks that up, allowing Chuck to superkick Benoit for the pin at 7:00. And of course the Bickersons brawl and put each other in submission holds. This never really got going to any degree but it wasn’t bad, mostly because Billy and Chuck were pretty terrible babyfaces but Angle and Benoit were still able to work around them. Also the string of losses leading up to their turn didn’t help make them look like a threat. **1/2.
Undertaker finally joins us at the end of the show, looking to call out Brock Lesnar, and Brock obliges for a quick brawl. Matt Hardy hits the ring and Undertaker beats him up, which allows Brock and Heyman to escape to “protective custody” with the cops as the buildup to this main event fizzles out for another week.
Well this one certainly had ups and downs, with the Eric v. Stephanie stuff being some of the most desperate ratings-grubbing cringe they ever put out. Regardless I’m still kinda pumped to see this Unforgiven show for a couple of matches in particular, so I’d call it a win overall.