The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 10.10.02
By Scott Keith on 10th October 2023
The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 10.10.02
Still trying to figure out what the long-term goal with these is gonna be. I’m thinking I’m gonna go until Royal Rumble and then switch to something else, but these have certainly been fun to revisit. But I don’t want to run into the Vince and Stephanie stuff, to be honest.
Taped from Phoenix, AZ
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Tazz
Matt Hardy joins us to start and the fan mail has been rolling in since defeating the Undertaker last week. And in case we missed it last week, he has the footage of himself pinning Undertaker. But then grumpy old man Undertaker makes his way to the ring despite Matt’s warnings of further beatings if he doesn’t stop. So Matt attacks the broken hand as promised and runs it into the post, but Taker hits him with the cast like a coward and sends him to the floor for a beatdown out there. Well of course he can beat up Matt after using an illegal cast for a weapon! So Matt fights back with MATTITUDE but Taker headbutts him until he bleeds. They head into the ring and Matt actually gets a low blow and fights back again, but Taker uses the cast AGAIN and chases him out of the ring. So Matt grabs a chair and beats on Taker with that, but more cast shots put Matt down again and he even beats up some referees like a complete maniac. Granted it’s just referees and not real people. But still! Taker misses a punch and hits the post with the cast, and Matt is finally able to escape this monster while bleeding all over the place. This was looking like a comedy brawl and it turned into this awesome fight to open the show.
Meanwhile, the trainer talks Taker into getting more X-rays done on his broken hand after the fight.
Eddie Guerrero v. Rikishi
Eddie slugs away on Rikishi to start and that goes badly for him. He tries a sunset flip and Rikishi sits down, but that misses and Eddie dropkicks him to take over. Eddie puts the boots to him, but Rikishi slugs back out of the corner and backdrops him to set up the corner splash. That misses and Eddie gets the slingshot senton, but misses the frog splash. Rikishi with a corner splash, but Chavo interrupts the Stinkface and both Guerreros end up in the corner as a result. So we get a double Stinkface and Rikishi switches to going after Chavo, but Eddie grabs a chair and manages to hit Rikishi in the knee behind the ref’s back before finishing with the Lasso from El Paso at 4:34. The ref could not have looked any more stupid here but gotta protect Rikishi I guess. **
Meanwhile, Torrie Wilson can’t believe Dawn Marie actually challenged her to a lingerie contest this week.
Meanwhile, Stephanie reminds Angle and Benoit that they have to get along or get suspended without pay. Angle points out that he doesn’t even want to be teaming with Benoit but Steph doesn’t really offer any good reason for them teaming beyond “Because I said so”. And then they get into an argument about who should leave first. Hopefully we find out later who left first.
Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio gets interrupted by Nidia EN ESPANOL. I think that’s what they’re speaking, I don’t speak Spanish. Regardless the conversation goes badly for Nidia and poor Jamie Noble gets the worst of it. And it could jeopardize his tag team tournament match with Tie-Jiri tonight because they get thrown out of the building for arguing too much.
Meanwhile, Eddie goes to celebrate with Benoit, but he appears to be in no mood for celebration. “Did you just get in trouble with the principal, homes?” So the Guerreros reveal that Angle might be taking a year off soon and going to become an Olympic figure-skater instead. And then Angle comes out and it’s awkward but he cuts the tension by bonding with them with their own vernacular.
WWF tag team title tournament round one: Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit v. John Cena & Billy Kidman
As expected, Benoit chops on Kidman to start, but Cena comes in with a double elbow for two. Over to Angle and Cena hits him with a flying forearm for two. Kidman with a crossbody for two. Angle throws him over the top with a suplex as Tazz talks about someone needing to “catch a quick one” on Angle, which is funny because I just listened to a Lance Storm podcast where he went off about how much he hates that term. Back in the ring, Angle gets another overhead suplex on Kidman, but Benoit tags himself in aggressively. Rolling germans and a backbreaker for Kidman, and he goes to a half-crab, but Kidman “catches him with a quick one” in a cradle that only gets two. Angle with a backbreaker for two. Kidman fights back with an enzuigiri on Angle and makes the hot tag to Cena, and he runs wild and allows Kidman to hit the shooting star press on Benoit for two. But then Benoit dumps Cena to the floor with a backdrop suplex and tries to powerbomb Kidman, but apparently you can’t powerbomb him? This is new information. Kidman gets two from that. Angle decides he’s had enough and hits Kidman with the Angle Slam and Anklelock, but Cena breaks that up, so Benoit finishes Kidman with the crossface instead at 7:54. They had some hot near-falls here but man was Cena falling fast. ***
Brock Lesnar and a mystery guest join us, and Paul Heyman is mystified why anyone would want to enter Hell in a Cell with Undertaker. Or with Brock Lesnar for that matter. So Paul introduces “Tracy” to answer the question of what kind of man Undertaker is, but Taker interrupts before we can find out. So Brock runs off, but Tracy claims that “Mark” has been sleeping with her for the past three months and never told her that he was married. Mark is very agitated and uncomfortable during these allegations, but then claims he doesn’t know who she is. YEAH SURE. That was definitely the body language of an innocent person. He might as well have been playing an invisible accordion while talking.
Meanwhile, Brock is trying to leave, but Stephanie makes another one of her bullshit proclamations and forces Brock to take Jamie Noble’s place as Tajiri’s partner later tonight. How is THAT fair?
Billy Gunn v. Reverend D-Von
Billy now has generic rock music as the last vestiges of Billy & Chuck get stripped away and forgotten just a month after their peak as a team. Also Faarooq is officially changed to Ron Simmons here, as he’s in D-Von’s corner. Billy blocks a hiptoss and slams D-Von for two, but can’t get the One And Only. D-Von slugs away on the ropes, but Billy gets another slam variant for two. Billy chases him to the floor, but Simmons catches him with a clothesline out there and D-Von takes over again in the ring. D-Von with a chinlock as Tazz wonders if perhaps D-Von also attended Florida college on a football scholarship. I’m gonna say no. D-Von with a neckbreaker for two as this drags on. Billy comes back with the One and Only, which is ironic because a million people do a cobra clutch slam, and he makes the comeback with dropkicks. Ron trips him up to cut off the comeback, but Billy hits the fameasser on D-Von for the pin at 5:23. So weird how Billy keep collecting bits of his endless failed gimmicks into a Frankenstein of suck. ½*
Meanwhile, Undertaker tries to explain things to Sara Undertaker and apparently the power of the urn can’t save him from a pregnant wife.
Meanwhile, Chavo lures Benoit into a broom closet and Eddie lays him out in the dark with a chair, then casts the blame on Kurt Angle.
Meanwhile, Torrie feels weird about Al Wilson watching her in a lingerie contest and tells him to go home, but Dawn Marie stops by to try and sway him.
Lingerie Showdown: Torrie Wilson v. Dawn Marie
So they show their lingerie, which is basically just another swimsuit, and Torrie wins that battle, with Dawn refusing a handshake afterwards.
Meanwhile, Torrie is taking a shower in her dressing room while Al waits for her so they can go to dinner, but Dawn stops by with a copy of the Divas magazine…and her room key.
Meanwhile, I’m getting pretty sick of typing “Meanwhile” on this show because the ratio of wrestlng to backstage talking segments is getting out of hand, and also Brock borrows Paul’s cell phone so he can prank Sara Undertaker. Good thing Heyman had a cell phone on him!
Earlier Tonight, Undertaker might be cheating on his wife so let’s watch it again in case we missed it 30 minutes ago and missed all the people talking about it on the show. This abrupt switch in the direction of the main program was apparently pitched to Vince by Kevin Dunn in order to help the sagging attendance and ratings numbers by making the show into a soap opera. I have no idea how spending so much time on this angle is supposed to build up the Cell match a week after this.
WWE tag team title tournament, round one: Edge & Rey Mysterio v. Tajiri & Brock Lesnar
Brock tries to overpower Edge and gets foiled, but he catches a bodypress attempt and Rey tags himself in. So Brock grabs him by the ankles and slams him like Hulk slamming Loki, and then follows with a press slam. So Tajiri tags himself in and gets a buzzsaw kick for two. Rey fights back and Tajiri gets the Tarantula, but of course he has to break. Tajiri with another head kick for two as Tazz is excited about the notion of seeing a Rey v. Tajiri singles match. Didn’t we just see that a few weeks back? They fight to the top rope and Rey fights him off, which brings in Edge for the hot tag. He runs wild and gets the Edge O Matic on Tajiri for two, but Brock saves. But then Tajiri accidentally hits Brock with a kick and the babyfaces send Brock to the floor, and it’s 619 on Tajiri and the spear to finish at 7:21. This was decent but it was incredibly obvious why Tajiri was in there. **1/2. So Brock beats up both babyfaces by himself afterwards as well as Tajiri, but Undertaker makes the save and uses the cast to chase Taker out of the ring and end the show.
Undertaker fighting from underneath with a broken hand was fine, we didn’t need a topper by showing him to be an adulterer or whatever. And with only 4 short matches this was a hugely disappointing episode.
Next week: Toronto!