Before I start, a correction to my Hard Knocks DVD recap. I had stated that Al Snow was part of the ECW/WWF talent exchange in 1995, but CRZ was quick to point this out:
This isn’t right – the “loan” thing came for Snow’s SECOND run (when he picked up Head). He wasn’t a WWF employee at this time; back in early ’95 Snow was dividing his time between SMW and ECW.
A thank you to him. Go visit his message board“¦unless you’re annoying. He hates that.
So”¦. The WWE strikes back. After I damn them with praise for coming out with the WWE Jukebox because of it’s wonderful variety of stuff from the Big 3, they turn around with Month 2 and deliver The Best Of Smackdown!
And not just the Best Of Smackdown!, but the lazy buggers didn’t put anything up from the “WWF” era. I’m assuming this has to do with the time it takes to blur the WWF ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but we’re limited to stuff over the past 2 and a half years. I’ve had this Hate Relationship with Smackdown! ever since Stephanie McMahon was named GM around that time, and never fully forgave them. So if I seem irritated by our theme, there you go.
All is forgiven if next month is The Best Of WCW: 1997.
KURT ANGLE and CHRIS JERICHO vs. TRIPLE H and EDGE
May 16, 2002
WWE Preview: Heading into Judgment Day, see if Kurt Angle was able to get the upper hand on Edge just days before their Hair vs. Hair Match.
This was during the Mix and Match era of tag-team main events on RAW and Smackdown! where EVERY WEEK saw you pair some heels against the faces they were feuding with, even if both teams had no reason to tag. Triple H takes the place of Hulk Hogan in what’s a repeat of the main event from the week before. Edge tries to take both heels on by himself, but gets beaten down. Triple H makes his entrance and saves the day. Kurt and Hunter brawl outside the ring while Edge stomps on Jericho inside the ring. Edge delivers a flapjack and pounds away. Hunter tags in to deliver his weekly Jericho beating, but gets his eyes raked and Jericho bails. Kurt enters, and eats a big knee from Triple H. Edge follows with a spinning heel kick ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but gets too cocky going up, and winds up superplexed. Jericho re-enters the fray, snapmares Edge, and dropkicks him in the back of the head. Kurt takes his turn to give Edge and overhead belly to belly before turning things back over to Jericho. The Lionsault misses its mark ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Hunter begs for the tag. Kurt cuts off the ring right before the tag, and turns it back to Jericho who hits 3 rolling vertical suplexes for 2! Jericho puts Edge up top, but Edge fights him off and delivers a missile dropkick! Tags are made on both ends, and Triple H cleans house. Jericho takes a neckbreaker, Angle a spinebuster, Jericho a facebuster”¦and Angle busts up a near Pedigree on Jericho. Hunter simply comes back with a double clothesline, and tags in Edge who hits a top rope double clothesline. Jericho winds up catapulted over the top, and Angle’s potential Olympic Slam is turned into a running bulldog! Angle manages to shake it off and nail Edge with an Olympic Slam anyway, but his spinning dance spins him right into Triple H who PLANTS him with a nasty Pedigree! Jericho’s quick to break up the nearfall at 2, and they fight to the outside. Jericho posts Hunter, but the brawl continues into the crowd and the referee gets smushed into the wall like a bug during the melee. They head towards the concession stands, while back in the ring Edge hits an overhead belly to belly on Kurt! A spear is set”¦but BLOCKED by Kurt who stops him with a chair to the face! The referee slowly wakes up while Edge takes an Olympic Slam, and that’s all she wrote at 8:49. **1/4 Kurt shows off a lock of Edge’s hair in an attempt to foreshadow a haircut at Judgment Day, but we all know how that turned out”¦
RIKISHI and RICO vs. ACE and GARY (for the WWE world tag-team titles)
May 30, 2002
WWE Preview: Billy and Chuck try to grab back the World Tag Team Championship from the unlikely duo of their stylist Rico and Rikishi.
Oy”¦ I don’t even know where to start with this garbage. To put it bluntly, on my 2002 RSPW ballot, Rico and Rikishi were my #2 “worst tag-team”, my #3 “worst” feud was Billy & Chuck vs. Rikishi, and the initial title change drew as weak an audience response as you’ll ever see in pro-wrestling. What’s worse than drawing negative responses? Drawing no response at all”¦ This is the rematch from Judgment Day. At least THIS time the audience does make a little noise. Cole calls Rikishi 350 pounds of dancing fun, and that really disturbs me for some reason. Rico enters with Billy and Chuck ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Rikishi single handedly destroys the former champs to start. Chuck sits in the “PLEASE GIVE ME A STINKFACE” position about 10 seconds into the match, but Rico causes enough of a distraction to stop that. Billy and Chuck deliver a double flapjack, and hammer away at Rikishi on the apron. The announcers hype an Undertaker/Orton match for the Undisputed title, while Rikishi double clotheslines his opponents. As Rikishi celebrates, Rico comes in behind him and delivers an enzuigiri. Billy DDTs Rikishi, but the hard headed Samoan no-sells and superkicks Chuck. Billy walks right into a Samoan drop, and hauls Rico into the ring. Chuck tries a sunset flip, but Rikishi just sits on him ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” then gives Rico a savate kick causing Rico to fall on Chuck, and the champs retain at 2:17. 1/2* Billy and Chuck chew out Rico while Rikishi busts a move on stage.
EDGE vs. KURT ANGLE (in a cage match)
May 30, 2002
WWE Preview: A newly-bald Kurt Angle takes to the cage for this match against Edge. You will not believe who comes in after the match to help Edge. Watch and find out.
This is a rematch from Judgment Day that saw Angle shaved bald ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” though you’d never know it with the full head of hair he’s sporting beneath his new head gear. Angle works a headlock, but Edge takes him down. The “ANGLE SUCKS” chants are mighty loud tonight, while Edge slams Kurt, and gives him a drop toe hold. Edge hits a dropkick, and throws Kurt into the cage. He goes for a spear to end this one, but Angle sidesteps and Edge hits the cage fairly hard! Kurt gives Edge a vertical suplex, and gets 2. Edge comes right back with a belly to belly overhead suplex! Edge starts the climb up and over, and even kicks Angle way ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but opts to dive back in from the top rope with a clothesline for 2! That proves to be a mistake, because Kurt’s quick to start hitting suplexes, nailing 3 straight Germans for 2. Angle heads for the door, but Edge cuts him off ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” so Kurt casually tosses him into the side of the cage repeatedly. Edge starts to bleed, and Angle pulls him head back to open it up further! Edge manages to hit a catapult that sends Angle into the cage, and gets 2! Angle takes a bulldog, but ducks a crossbody ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Edge nails the referee instead. Angle tosses Edge with a German, and starts to climb. Edge follows, and hits Angle with an overhead belly to belly superplex!!!! Edge starts his climb, but Kurt catches him and hits a top rope Olympic Slam!! Kurt races to the top, and escapes! However, the referee is out cold and can’t end the match. HULK HOGAN arrives, and while Angle celebrates, Hogan grabs him from behind and throws Kurt into the cage a couple of times. Hogan opens the door, and rolls Kurt back into the cage ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and cheers Edge on as we hit commercial.
We return from commercial with Angle hitting an Olympic Slam ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but it’s only a 2 count! We see that during the break Edge had nearly won it with a spear. Kurt goes for a spear now, but Edge sidesteps, hits the Olympic Slam, but it’s only 2! Edge gets tripped up, and caught in an anklelock, but he rolls through, sending Kurt face first into the cage, and Edge puts on his own anklelock!!! Angle counters, and breaks the hold. Edge heads for the door, however Kurt is quick to tie Edge up in the ropes. Kurt wants out, but Hogan shuts the cage door. I’m with Tazz, who yells “MIND YOUR BUSINESS HULK!” Angle starts to climb over, and gets over ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” however Edge shoves him from the top, and Angle CROTCHES HIMSELF on the cage door, in a spot stolen from X-Pac, but still vicious! Angle is dragged back in, and Edge hits a top rope spear on Kurt which finishes him at 14:45! ***3/4 Very good match!
20-MAN BATTLE ROYAL (to determine the #1 contender to the WWE undisputed title)
June 6, 2002
WWE Preview: The winner of this 20-man, over-the-top-rope battle royal would be named the No. 1 Contender to the Undertaker WWE Championship. Watch the match to find out who it is.
If you like bad matches with lame finishes, this is the match for you! I spy HULK HOGAN, KURT ANGLE, CHRIS JERICHO, THE HURRICANE, FAAROOQ, THE GODFATHER, REVEREND D-VON, BILLY KIDMAN, RANDY ORTON, AL SNOW, VAL VENIS, CHRISTIAN, CHAVO GUERRERO JR., HUGH MORRUS, LANCE STORM, ALBERT, BOB HOLLY, MARK HENRY, TRIPLE H, and TEST. VINCE MCMAHON saunters on stage and announces that these guys will be tossing each other over the top ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and the winner will face The Undertaker at KOTR. Everyone starts the usual flurry of punching and kicking while the fans are firmly on the side of Hogan. The Godfather goes first, followed by Faarooq. More punching and kicking follows, with Hogan nearly press slamming Test. I’m serious! Reverend D-Von says goodbye, and a big boot from Test takes out Kidman. Christian celebrates an easy elimination of Val Venis, and gets into it with Hogan, including the pointing of the finger. Of course Hogan dumps him seconds later, and Christian throws his gimmicked tantrum. Triple H rolls to the floor, where Test and Lance Storm double team him ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” all three still in the match. Kurt backdrops Orton out, and Chris Jericho does the same to Al Snow. Mark Henry disposes of Lance Storm with a clothesline, and press slams Chavo over the top shortly thereafter. Hurricane tries to chokeslam Angle, but Angle shrugs him off and sends him over. Kurt dumps Hugh Morrus with ease, and tries his luck with Jericho. He opts for Albert instead, and dumps him out. Mark Henry NEARLY press slams Kurt over, but he hangs on. He then pulls down the top to get Henry to eliminate himself, having eliminated 4 in a row now. Triple H gives Kurt a big boot, and Bob Holly of all people takes him out. Bah!!! That’s followed by Hunter dumping Bob, leaving Triple H, Jericho, Test, and Hogan. The Canadians double team Hogan, but he simply hulks up and takes them both out with big boots. Hogan dumps Jericho and Hunter dumps Test, so we’re down to a rematch from Backlash. They go nose to giant nose, and Triple H dares him to attack. Hogan responds by stripping, so Hunter simply kicks his ass. Triple H hits a Cactus clothesline, and both guys tumble over for the draw at 8:15. 1/2* Hogan and Triple H continue to jaw as the referees announce both men as the winners, and we thankfully fade away.
KURT ANGLE vs. JOHN CENA
June 27, 2002
WWE Preview: John Cena is a well-known WWE Superstar. However, in June 2002, few people knew who he was. After his match with Kurt Angle on SmackDown!, that began to change.
We skip the fun opening segment where Kurt calls out anyone in the locker room he’s never faced before. Instead, we start with the two face to face and Kurt wanting to know just who on earth this guy he’s looking back at is. “I’m John Cena!” Impressive first words. “Well you tell me, what is the one quality that you possess that makes you think you can walk out here and get in this ring and face the very best in this business?” “RUTHLESS AGGRESSION!” And with that we get a slap to the face, and a MONSTER takedown to start Cena’s WWE career. Cena pounds the hell out of Kurt, and clotheslines him over the top to the outside! Cena follows, and rolls Kurt right back in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” backdropping him halfway across the ring! A clothesline takes Angle down, and a Stinger Splash gets 2! Angle goes for an anklelock, but Cena clotheslines him out of the way, and a second attempt sees Kurt thrown aside like he’s nothing! Kurt FINALLY gets in some real offense by hitting a belly to back, and follows with a German! Angle beats him down, tries another German, but Cena rolls forward and gets 2 off the roll up. Kurt clotheslines Cena, and stomps a mudhole in the corner. Angle slaps Cena in retaliation for minutes ago, and hits a vertical suplex. Cena fights back with a backdrop, and flying jalapeno! A short powerbomb gets a very close 2 for the newcomer. Kurt rakes the eyes, goes for an Olympic slam, but Cena DDTs Kurt”¦for ANOTHER close nearfall. The fans are on the edge of their seat here. Angle dives at Cena, but hits the ringpost shoulder first ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Cena rolls him up over and over for 2 counts! A powerslam gets 2! Angle grabs Cena’s shoulders in a chickenwing position, and rolls him up in a way you NEVER see from him (read: DESPERATION to win!) and gets the pin at 5:37! ***1/2 Now THAT is how you bring in a hot newcomer! Cena offers a handshake following the match, but Kurt blows him off.
DEACON BATISTA and REVEREND D-VON vs. RANDY ORTON and THE MASTURBATOR
June 27, 2002
WWE Preview: Today, Batista is a member of Evolution. Randy Orton is World Heavyweight Champion and a former member of Evolution. In 2002, however, they were on opposite sides of the ring for this SmackDown! tag team match.
Okay, seriously, what the hell is this??? I know it’s “cute” to show guys in their former gimmicks before they were big stars and what have you, but they had to choose THIS??? This was during the era of D-Von preaching against masturbation, while Faarooq was loudly screaming about the fact he jerks off as often as anyone. No”¦I’m not making this up. Cole informs us this is Batista’s debut match apparently. I vaguely remember this, and the smarks in general being relatively impressed with Batista’s power stuff and size. Orton and D-Von start. D-Von hammers away, but takes a couple of hiptosses and side slam. D-Von comes back with a dropkick and pretends he’s Vader ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” pulling the “WHO’S THE MAN???” routine. Flying shoulderblock is followed by Orton getting choked out in the corner. Placed on the top”¦but Orton shoves D-Von away and hits a sweet top rope bulldog resulting in 2. Tag is made to Faarooq ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and by god FUTURE TAG-TEAM PARTNERS COLLIDE! D-Von takes a backdrop and powerslam giving Faarooq 2. D-Von retaliates with a DDT, and heads to the top rope. The flying headbutt misses its mark, and Faarooq tags out quickly! Orton enters by coming in off the top with a bodypress for 2! Beautiful dropkick gets another close 2. Batista blindly tags himself in, and clotheslines the shit out of Orton!!!! He runs Orton back to the corner HARD, and slams him with a nasty spinebuster! That’ll do it at 3:20. * Batista’s face never changes off “one pissed off mofo” as Team Preacher heads to the back.
EDGE and HULK HOGAN vs. ACE and GARY (with Rico) (for the WWE world tag-team titles)
July 4, 2002
WWE Preview: There are few things more American in the history of WWE than Hulk Hogan. Here, he teams with Edge to challenge for the World Tag Team Championship on the Fourth of July.
We open with Edge already in the ring, and Hogan starting his entrance to “Real American”, waving the American flag with all the flag waving intensity normally reserved for our foreign heels. Hogan starts against former 7 minute WCW champion Chuck. Hogan shoves him back to the corner, and the fans erupt into a very loud “HOGAN” chant. Chuck slams Hogan, and mocks the posing and cup to the ear. However, Hogan’s already back on his feet, knocks Chuck down and starts dropping elbows. Chuck tags out ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Billy’s not quite sure what to do with himself. He winds up being decked back and forth between Hogan and Edge, and Edge officially tags in. Edge mounts Billy (errr”¦) in the corner, but Chuck pulls him off his partner. Chuck hits an overhead double underhook suplex ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” which gets 2! Billy tags in to choke the hell out of Edge, and Chuck adds a couple of cheap shots while everyone’s distracted. Billy’s vertical suplex gets 2. Chuck tags in and drops a knee, scoring another 2. Edge starts to fight back while the fans clamor for Hogan, but gets dumped. Outside, a double team is attempted, but Rico superkicks Chuck by mistake! Edge goes back in”¦but Billy bulldogs Edge off the apron, face first into the ring steps. Youch! Edge is quickly rolled in, and the champs gets a 2. Edge tries to get to his corner, nearly fights off a front facelock, but takes a sunset flip and winds up in the middle of the ring, and nearly pinned. Chuck enters, but Edge is determined to get to the apron and gives him a bulldog. Tags are made on both ends, and the arena explodes while Hogan hulks up! Billy and Chuck both get decked, and take a double noggin knocker! Billy eats a big boot! Here comes the legdrop”¦but it’s blocked with a Chuck superkick ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Billy gets 2! Hogan gets right back up and hits a double clothesline, before tagging in Edge! Double clothesline off the top connects, and Chuck takes a Buzzkiller! The spear is set”¦but Rico trips him up, drawing the wrath of Hogan. Rico winds up crotched on the security wall, while in the ring Edge spears Billy!!! Edge goes for a cover”¦but Chuck JUST pulls him off at 2! Hogan gets involved, and the Edge/Hogan combo hit a simultaneous big boot! Hogan insists Edge drop a leg, and Hogan’s right behind him with one of his own. Edge grabs the cover, and we’ve got NEW tag-team champions at 10:04!!! *** This would be Hogan’s first, and only run as a tag-team champion in ANY promotion. Hogan and Edge wave the American flag to Real American while Michael Cole crows about this great fourth of July moment.
TORRIE WILSON vs. STACY KEIBLER (in a bra and panties match)
July 4, 2002
WWE Preview: It is every red-blooded, the American male dream ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” Torrie and Stacy in their bra and panties. In this case, it gets even better, as they fight each other in an attempt to rip each others clothes off, revealing their bra and panties.
Forget the entrances, we’re ringing the bell right away here and we’re off. Stacy slams Torrie headfirst to the buckle, and Torrie returns the favor. Stacy cartwheels around, and gets kicked out of the ring. The ladies fight back in, and Torrie takes a drop toe hold. The girls roll around in pinfall attempts, despite the facts there’s no pinfalls. Torrie finally rips off Stacy’s top, and delivers a lame spinebuster. They do the “roll over the referee” spot that makes its way into every ladies match, and Stacy gives Torrie a spin kick. Stacy hits a jawbreaker, but Torrie comes back with a hot shot and pulls off Stacy’s skirt for the win at 2:37. 1/4* As is usual, Torrie rips off her clothes after the match anyway to cheers. Wanktastic.
EDGE vs. CHRIS JERICHO (in a cage match)
July 25, 2002
WWE Preview: SmackDowns first-ever steel cage match features Edge and Chris Jericho. But that is not all, as Christian, Lance Storm, John Cena and more all found their way to the ring for this one.
I am amused by the fact this is apparently Smackdown!’s first ever cage match, despite featuring a match between Angle and Edge TWO MONTHS EARLIER above. They break after entrances, and during that time Edge apparently kicked the door into Jericho’s face to get him into the cage to start. Once inside, Edge immediately pancakes him. Jericho tries to escape through the door, but Edge pulls him right back in. Edge runs Jericho over with a forearm, and chops away. Edge whips Jericho to the corner, but Jericho runs right up the side of the cage, attempting to escape. Edge is all over him, and yanks him back in HARD! Jericho winds up tied up in the ropes, and Edge spears the prone Jericho. Jericho retaliates by side stepping a second spear, and sending Edge crashing into the mesh. We get Hogan style poses from Jericho, while close-ups reveal Edge has been busted open. Jericho rakes Edge’s face into the cage, and gives us a “COME ON BABY” cover for 2. Edge tries to mount a comeback, but takes a sleeper drop giving Jericho 2. Jericho ties up Edge in the ropes, but like before his charging comes back to haunt him when he goes crashing into the cage. Edge starts his comeback with clotheslines, and also hits a flying jalapeno! A faceplant gets 2, but a dropkick followup misses the mark! Jericho immediately tries a Lionsault, but Edge gets his feet up to block it, and drops Jericho for 2. Edge starts to climb out, but Jericho cuts him off ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and a fight on the top rope sees Edge win the battle, and DDT Jericho from the top! OW! That gets 2. Jericho blocks an attempted Buzzkiller by reversing into the Walls, and eventually opts to simply catapult Edge into the cage. Jericho makes his move towards the door, but Edge cuts him off ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” so Jericho grabs a chair sitting cageside, and slams Edge in the face. Michael Cole starts his Michael Coleisms with “Jericho is going to win the DAMN match!” He of course doesn’t, getting 2. Edge ducks a second chair shot, spearing Jericho for 2! Edge decides it’s time to leave, and starts his climb over the top, but Jericho lowblows him. From there we get a super bulldog off the top onto Edge! Quite impressive. Jericho starts his climb over, but his slowness hurts ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Edge catches him with a NASTY electric chair drop off the top of the cage! Everyone’s down, and now we get the slow climb finish ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” with Edge heading over, and Jericho going to the door. Edge manages to win that battle, and the match at 13:16! *** The teaser lies, as I did not see Cena, Storm, or Storm because the video cut out as soon as the match ended, failing to show Rey’s amazing leap from the top of the cage onto the heels. Jericho, Christian, and Storm jumped to RAW immediately following the show.
CHRIS BENOIT and EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE ROCK and EDGE
August 1, 2002
WWE Preview: Two future World Champions Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero team up to take on The Rock and Edge in this SmackDown! main event.
In response to the Canadian trio being swiped away, as mentioned at the end of the last match ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” Steffo of COURSE got the last laugh and signed Guerrero and Benoit away from Bischoff. She’s perfect in every way, doncha know? We don’t witness Bischoff throwing a shit fit and subsequently getting tossed from the building here. Guerrero goes right after The Rock, following up a hot angle they’d been involved in on RAW that never went anywhere. Rocky gets the crap beaten out of him, but fights Guerrero off with a Samoan drop. Eddie rakes the eyes, and tags in Benoit to do some damage. The two pound away, but Rock comes back with a clothesline and overhead belly to belly for 2! Eddie stirs shit on the apron, and gets decked ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Benoit uses the distraction to backdrop Rocky. Eddie comes in and throws everything he’s got at Rock before choking him out. Back to Benoit. He starts laying in the chops, and levels Rock with a back elbow. Guerrero sneaks in a pinfall attempt for 2. Rock manages to tag out, and Edge enters with a flying clothesline on Benoit, and Eddie takes a monkey flip followed by a spear right into the turnbuckle! That’s gotta smart! Benoit is thrown into the turnbuckle, and Eddie gets planted by Edge for 2. Our champions take back over, as Benoit drives his knee into Edge’s midsection. Edge tries to escape, but Benoit hits a drop toe hold and Guerrero follows with a slingshot senton for 2. Eddie tries to apply the Lasso From El Paso, but can’t get it on so he tags back in Benoit. He hits a backbreaker, and sneaks in a couple of 2 counts. The rolling Germans start next, and a bridge on the third one gets 2! Benoit moves into a half crab, but Edge won’t tap. Benoit cuts off the ring, dragging Edge back to the corner, and turns it back to Eddie. Edge takes a brainbuster that really should have killed him, but still kicks out at 2. Both guys try to take Edge up top, but he fights them both off ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and he sunset flips Eddie for 2! They start criss crossing, and a duplicate crossbody leaves them both winded. Edge gets SO close to a tag, but Benoit levels Rocky off the apron, and the duo go back to pounding on Edge. Eddie goes up, but Edge runs him out of the corner with a powerbomb, and both guys lay dead. Tags are made on both ends, and Rocky’s a house of fire! Eddie gets dumped, and Benoit eats a DDT. Guerrero saves the day, breaking up a pinfall on Benoit at 2. Edge enters and spears Eddie, but misses a followup on Benoit ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” hitting the post! Rocky delivers a spinebuster on Benoit, and follows with a Rock Bottom to Eddie!!! He sets up on Benoit now, but BROCK LESNAR‘s on the ramp with a chair, and the split second distraction allows Benoit to apply the Crossface!!! Rocky and Brock stare at eachother, with Rock locked in the Crossface! He has no choice but to tap, and the newbies win at 12:59!!! **** Post-match, HULK HOGAN shows up out of nowhere and starts to beat down Brock with a chair, allowing Cole and Tazz to sneak in last second hype for Hogan’s impending funeral, NEXT WEEK ON SMACKDOWN! However, we already relived that memory with last month’s Jukebox.
EDDIE GUERRERO and TAJIRI vs. RODDY PIPER and SEAN O’HAIRE (for the WWE tag-team titles)
June 26, 2003
WWE Preview: The legendary “Rowdy” Roddy Piper looks to gain tag team glory, alongside his partner Sean O Haire, by taking on WWE Tag Team Champions Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri.
I had completely forgotten about Piper’s short lived return to the WWE. This was during O’Haire’s push that lasted for a couple of weeks, including a win over Hogan and Benoit. O’Haire and Eddie go straight to it, and Eddie hits an elbow. A slingshot senton connects, and Tajiri tags in. O’Haire takes a handspring elbow, which gets 2. He tries to apply the Tarantula, but Piper slowly walks over and kicks away at Tajiri. Tazz and Cole start ragging on Piper’s weight gain while O’Haire slams Tajiri. O’Haire kicks him in the back, and Piper hits the ring. He chops Tajiri for 2. Piper decks Eddie, and scoots of the ring. O’Haire re-enters with no tag, and works a headlock. Tajiri comes back with a reverse bulldog, and tags are made on both ends! Eddie beats the hell out of Piper, so O’Haire re-enters, but takes a dropkick! Piper nails Eddie from behind, but takes a Green Mist out of nowhere. Eddie follows with a Frog Splash, and the champs retain at 3:56! * If I’m not mistaken, Piper was canned a week or two later ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” though it’s hard to say, since nobody noticed.
THE BIG SHOW and THE WORLD’S GREATEST TAG-TEAM vs. MR. AMERICA, BROCK LESNAR, and KURT ANGLE
June 26, 2003
WWE Preview: Many people thought that Mr. America was simply Hulk Hogan under a mask. Judge for yourself, as he teams up with Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle to take on the Self-Proclaimed World Greatest Tag Team and the Big Show.
Ahh Hulkster, it feels like we’re always saying goodbye! Explanation shortly. This is from MSG, and Cole informs us that this match has a Wrestlemania feel to it. “Hogan” chants fire up, and it leads to this exchange between Cole and Tazz:
Tazz: “What’s with the Hogan chants? LOL”
Cole: “Hogan’s at home collecting a pay check. LMAO!”
Angle and Haas start. Angle takes him down with a snapmare, works a headlock takedown and hangs on. Haas gets thrown around with hiptosses, and tired of seeing this Benjamin gets involved. It fails, and soon Benjamin’s back outside while Haas gets backdropped. Haas backs himself into the corner, and tags out to Benjamin ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” allowing TWGTT to hit a double team dropkick. Benjamin rakes the eyes, but Kurt comes back with a crossbody and tags in Hogan. He clotheslines Benjamin, decks everyone on the apron, and gets 2. Lesnar tags in, and hits a double clothesline with Hogan. A clothesline by himself gets 2. Shelton fights back, and tags Haas back in. He’s press slammed in short order, and we go back to Hogan. Hogan hits a running clothesline in the corner, and hits a belly to back for 2. Lesnar re-enters, and pounds at Haas’ back. He hits a vertical suplex, and teases Big Show. With that, we take a commercial break.
The return is just in time to see Lesnar hit Haas with a spinebuster, and go for an F5! However, he misses Benjamin sneak up behind, who dropkicks him from behind. Haas drapes Lesnar on the top rope, and Benjamin leapfrogs Haas to staddle Lesnar’s back. And here comes Show!!!! Show starts with the giant chops, and chokes Lesnar out. Lesnar attempts to slam Show, but THAT ain’t happening, and he gets beaten down. Show gets lazy though, and Lesnar’s quickness allows him to hit a belly to back suplex out of nowhere! We get tags on both ends, to Angle and Haas. Haas promptly gets killed, and Benjamin enters only to get suplexed all over the place. Haas takes a drop toe hold, and winds up trapped in the anklelock, but thankfully Big Show saves. Lesnar drops Show over the top with a Cactus clothesline, but now we’ve got TWGTT vs. Angle alone. Angle does manage to fight them off, finishing with a Russian legsweep to get rid of Benjamin, and everyone’s down. Show and Hogan both want tags. They get them, and it’s 1995 all over again! Hogan delivers 7 rights, a running clothesline, and a big boot ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but can’t take Show down! Lesnar and Angle each grab a leg, and pull him out! They get in, and Haas takes an Olympic Slam, while Benjamin eats an F5! Show doesn’t like that, gets in, and Chokeslams both guys at the same time! He misses Hogan hulking up behind him though, and THIS time the big boot takes him down! VINCE MCMAHON appears on the ramp, dragging ZACH GOWAN by the neck.
Vince: “Hey Mr. America! Can you tell me what’s wrong with Zach Gowan? I’ll tell you what’s wrong”¦ He’s got a stomach ache!”
With that, he winds up and boots Gowan in the midsection. Now THAT’S comedy! Hogan flips out, and goes to save, but Big Show’s all over him and chokeslams his ass ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” getting the clean win at 14:04!!!! ***1/4 Show pins Hogan clean! Show pins Hogan clean! Best day ever! Vince continues his beatdown on Zach until STEPHANIE MCMAHON throws herself in the middle. So Vince books them both in a match against The Big Show for a WWE contract. Show laughs heartily at the idea of beating the piss out of Stephanie (who wouldn’t?), while Hogan remains laid out. Post-match, Hogan threw a temper tantrum about not having received the Wrestlemania payout he’d expected, and left the WWE for good.
REY MYSTERIO JR. and EDGE vs. KURT ANGLE and CHRIS BENOIT (in a 2 out of 3 falls match for the WWE tag-team titles)
November 7, 2002
WWE Preview: A few weeks earlier, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit defeated Rey Mysterio and Edge to become the first-ever WWE Tag Team Champions. Here, they battle again. This time, it is a best-of-three series.
This is a fairly well known match, and appears on the Survivor Series 2002 DVD if I’m not mistaken. Angle and Benoit get into a shoving match immediately, arguing over who starts. However, they’re both under strict orders not to fight with eachother, or face suspension for a year. Mysterio and Kurt start, with Rey getting the best of Kurt. This leads to a chase around the ring, and Kurt can’t catch Rey”¦and diving after him does no better when he comes up empty and falls to the outside. He gets back in, applauding Rey, and begs Mysterio to come at him. Rey stupidly does, and gets taken down. Kurt gets cocky though, and doesn’t notice Rey on his feet ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” where he hits a rana. Tag into Edge, and Kurt throws a fit, because he wanted to beat up on Rey some more. Kurt smacks Benoit as a “tag”, pissing him off a little. Edge hiptosses Benoit around, and throws him into the turnbuckle face first. Edge gets pulled by the hair in Angle’s corner, and Benoit follows the distraction with a belly to back suplex. Kurt tags back in, and decks Rey on the apron for fun. Kurt and Rey feuding is always good for a laugh. Benoit comes back in and chops away at Edge. Edge fights him off with a swinging dropkick and buzzkiller, and tags in Rey. Rey drops the dime on Benoit, but it’s only a 2! Benoit charges, but takes a drop toe hold. Angle charges, but accidently avalanches his own partner ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Edge spears them both! Benoit is placed on the top rope by Edge, and Rey hits an elevated rana for 2 before Kurt saves! Edge dumps Angle right back out, picks up Benoit in a powerbomb position, and Rey springboards back in with a Thesz press off the shoulders to score the first pinfall at 5:59!
Angle immediately attacks Rey, but an Olympic slam is blocked via armdrag. A belly to belly suplex is not blocked, and Kurt gets 2. A backdrop yields similar results. Benoit tags in, and hits a nasty looking gutbuster. Edge cheers on his partner, as Benoit kicks away. Rey is positioned on Benoit’s shoulders, and he heads up”¦but Rey fights him off and hits a top rope bulldog! That’s the move that won him the Cruiserweight title in March of 1999! In this case, it’s a defensive move so they can make tags, and we’ve got Edge and Kurt. Edge takes him out with ease, and throws Benoit into a cameraman at ringside. Edge sets up the spear, but Kurt sidesteps and Edge spears the title belt that Benoit happens to be holding up! Edge is caught in an anklelock, and Rey is tossed by Benoit, and he’s got no choice but to tap at 9:35!
Kurt kicks Edge out of the ring, but Benoit and Angle get into a shoving match immediately following the fall, because they both want their arms raised and neither believes the other deserves it. And we take a break.
Upon return, Benoit trips up Rey allowing Kurt a chance to stomp away in the corner. Rey manages to reverse Kurt’s vertical suplex into one of his own(!) and delivers a spinning heel kick to keep him away. Edge tags in, and starts a beatdown on Angle. He boots Kurt in the face, but walks right into a belly to belly overhead suplex, and in comes Benoit. Benoit hits Edge with a backbreaker, and moves into a single leg crab ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Edge fights him off. Kurt tags in, and as usual starts by decking Rey despite him not currently being involved in the match. He kicks Edge a little, and tags back in Benoit. The two fight onto the top rope, and Benoit hits Edge with a belly to back superplex!!! Both guys make tags, and we’ve got Rey and Angle again. Angle winds up blind charging a corner, leading to Rey sneaking in a Bronco Buster! Benoit nails Rey with a German suplex, and Kurt tries to finish with an Olympic slam, but Rey slips off the shoulders and runs Kurt forward into Benoit ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” dumping Chris outside and leaving Kurt on the ropes. Kurt ducks a 619 attempt, but Rey sunset flips Kurt for the win and the titles at 16:02!!!
Benoit IMMEDIATELY throws a fit because Kurt’s hand was on the bottom rope. Kurt is quick to agree, and we take a commercial to sort it out.
We check out the highlights from the pinfall upon our return, and indeed Kurt was grasping the bottom rope with his life ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and we’re starting the match again. Benoit and Kurt argue over who should start, as usual, so Rey dropkicks them both. Benoit opts to stay, and plants Rey with a belly to back suplex. A snap suplex gets 2. Kurt comes in, and stomps away. Benoit makes the tag, and Benoit kicks Rey in the face. A gutwrench slam gets 2. Kurt kicks Rey in the midsection, and launches him with an overhead gutwrench throw ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Edge finally gets involved and gets Kurt to leave Rey alone for a minute. Rey manages to sneak in a DDT, and Edge wants a tag. It happens, and Edge enters in dramatic fashion by spearing Kurt off the top, and planting Benoit with a Buzzkiller. Benoit is dumped, but Edge finds himself caught in an anklelock once again. This time he rolls through sending Kurt face first to the turnbuckle, and Rey follows with a 619 from off the floor! Benoit beats up Rey on the floor and Edge spears Kurt!!!! He gets 2, before Benoit comes flying off the top and headbutts Kurt by mistake!! Rey’s quick to dropkick Benoit away, and Edge gets in the pinfall to win the titles for real this time at 22:06! ****3/4 And that’s nearly as perfect a tag-team match you’ll ever see, actually TOPPED by these same teams at No Mercy just a couple of weeks earlier. This is also the reason you’re buying the Jukebox this month.
KURT ANGLE (with Paul Heyman) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (in a non-title match)
January 23, 2003
WWE Preview: Rey Mysterio is one of the greatest high fliers in the business. Kurt Angle knows the mat game better than anybody. These two styles collide on this January episode of SmackDown!
Something tells me there’s no way this is going to top their match at SummerSlam 2002, but I’m always prepared to watch them try! Rey delivers a rana to start, and follows with a spinning heel kick. Kurt charges in anger, and winds up taking a drop toe hold and dropkick. Another rana attempt is turned into a sitdown powerbomb for 2. A belly to back suplex gets another 2. Kurt chokes Rey out in the ropes, and clotheslines him for 2. Rey shows a little fire, so Angle beats it out of him before dropping him on his head with a German suplex! That gets 2. Kurt wraps Rey’s head in a front facelock but Rey fights out, and delivers a springboard crossbody! A spinning heel kick floors Kurt, and he follows with a dropkick. Angle starts staggering all over the ring, allowing Rey to deliver a rana that sends Angle over the top and to the floor! Rey wants to fly, but the referee cuts him off”¦but Rey ignores him and delivers a sweet tope con hilo right over his head! Rey rolls Kurt back in, drops the dime”¦and gets a 2! A blind charge from the champ misses, and Angle’s shoulder hits the post in a bad way! Rey’s moonsault followup misses, and he’s suddenly caught in an anklelock. Kurt delivers an overhead belly to belly suplex, but misses the Olympic slam when Rey catches him with an armdrag, and goes for the 619! Kurt actually catches Rey in mid move ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” blocking it for one of the first times, but winds up hit with a bulldog from the speedster, giving Rey 2! Rey calls for the West Coast Pop, but it’s blocked, and Kurt gives him a snake eyes into a backdrop suplex ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Kurt rolls through ON TOP for the pinfall at 7:13!! ***1/2 Kurt’s not done though, locking Rey in an anklelock while he taps like crazy. EDGE hits the ring to save the day, but Kurt’s already up the ramp”¦backing right into CHRIS BENOIT! He runs Kurt back to the ring, where the Canadians proceed to suplex, spear, and suplex him again! They set Kurt up to take the 619 we were previously denied. The faces celebrate while the champion lies dead. Tons of fun!
STEPHANIE MCMAHON and ZACH GOWAN vs. THE BIG SHOW (in a handicap match for Zach Gowan’s contract)
July 3, 2003
WWE Preview: Throughout his entire life, Zach Gowen has overcome adversity. Now with a WWE contract on the line, he must do the same when he teams with Stephanie McMahon to take on the Big Show.
Now see, they’re half-way on the right track. You’re putting the person I hate most in pro-wrestling this side of Jim Ross in the person of Stephanie McMahon in the ring against my favorite wrestler who’s liable to snap her like a twig. In fact, when I got Wrestlemania XIX last year for the Gamecube, the first match I ran was my playing as The Big Show against Steffo and I promptly squashed her like a bug. Fun was had by all. So as you can well imagine, the only acceptable booking here would involve Show leaving Steph in a heap after about 30 seconds of action, and we’d be staring at a potential ***** affair. Anything less than that, and we may be faced with the dreaded negative stars. VINCE MCMAHON and SABLE are ringside here, cheering on the Big Show. Zach and Show start, with Show throwing the annoyance around. Stephanie jumps on Show’s back, and screams that smoker scream. Show throws her away, and chases Zach under the ring. He comes back with only a leg, and Zach resurfaces on the other side ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” delivering a baseball slide. Steph tries to attack, and gets shoved away, while Zach gets thrown as hard as I’ve seen ANYONE thrown back over the top rope and halfway across the ring. Stephanie faces the same treatment, but doesn’t fly quite as well. Show goes for a one handed press slam, which Vince encourages ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Zach breaks it up before taking a clothesline that nearly kills him. Vince wants a Chokeslam, and Zach is the recipient. Steph slaps Vince, but gets caught between Vince and Show. A chokeslam is setup (including full copping of the ass for the better part of 20 seconds) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but now KURT ANGLE just HAS to get involved to stop it. Show is placed in an anklelock, but Vince is quick to make a save with a chair. Now BROCK LESNAR runs in, goes to F5 Vince ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Show kicks him in the face. Gowan has recovered, and gives Show a Van Daminator with the chair, which is followed by an Olympic Slam from Kurt, and an F5 from Brock. Zach dropkicks Vince out of the ring, gives Show a moonsault, and wins himself a WWE contract at 4:45. 1/4* Cole and Tazz celebrate this overcoming of adversity while I list this as another reason on my already insanely long list of reasons I don’t watch Smackdown!
15-MAN ROYAL RUMBLE (for the #1 contender to the WWE title)
January 29, 2004
WWE Preview: Just days after the Royal Rumble, 15 of SmackDowns greatest Superstars battled in another Royal Rumble Match. This time, the winner of the match would be named the No. 1 Contender, and be given a shot at the WWE Championship at No Way Out.
I was actually watching, and recapping Smackdown! around this era, and I remember this match quite well. TONY CHIMEL goes over the rules, and reminds us that the winner gets the No Way Out title shot. KURT ANGLE and RHYNO draw unlucky #1 and #2. Rhyno overpowers Kurt to start ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Kurt fights back. Out of nowhere, Rhyno hits the GORE, and tries to toss Kurt, but Angle’s dead weight. Kurt hits an Olympic Slam while CHARLIE HAAS draws #3. Haas goes right after Angle. Picture perfect dropkick ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Haas jumps around. Rhyno decks him from behind, tries to throw him over, but can’t quite do it. Angle gets back in the mix, and nearly winds up dumped by Haas, but hangs on as SHELTON BENJAMIN joins his partner at #4. Angle gets suplexed by Benjamin while Rhyno takes a hotshot from TWGTT. Angle comes back and starts suplexing everything in sight. Haas powerslams Kurt, and #5 joins us in the person of BRADSHAW. Rhyno takes a Clothesline From Hell, and Benjamin a big boot. We cut out for commercial.
Upon return, ERNEST MILLER who was #6 has already come and gone (I seem to recall actually seeing him compete during the original Smackdown! though), and TAJIRI‘s in the midst of entering at #7. Tajiri kicks Rhyno in the face, while Cole shows us Cat’s entrance with LAMONT during the break. Miller actually succeeded in taking out everyone while dancing, but Kurt recovered and dumped him during the celebration. BILLY GUNN is #8. Bradshaw takes a Fameasser, and Billy nearly dumps Shelton. Haas gets the same treatment, but also hangs on. Tajiri takes a nasty spinebuster from Rhyno in the middle of the ring while Billy works over Kurt. Haas eats Tajiri’s handspring elbow while Shelton finds himself caught in an Anklelock from Angle. THE BIG SHOW is #9, and I think we can expect some dead weight cleaned out. Everyone stands waiting for him, and he shoves all seven guys away. Everyone gets their ass kicked, and Tajiri is chokeslammed over the top at 9:23! The remaining 6 guys again team up, but Show gets rid of them all, and dumps Bradshaw at 9:44. Kurt tries to suplex Show, but takes a Big Butt. JOHN CENA enters with the kneebrace as entrant #10. Cena goes straight to Big Show, as usual, and NEARLY dumps him as we take another break”¦
We return, and during the break apparently Cena eliminated NUNZIO who had come and gone like a fart in the wind. A-TRAIN‘s also around at this point. EDDIE GUERRERO fresh from the hospital is #13. The booking is starting to look directly ripped from a Battle Royal TNA held just a couple months prior, with Eddie playing the role of Raven. Eddie, nearly dead, still musters up the strength to eliminate A-Train at 12:20. Somehow Eddie winds up on the shoulders of Big Show, and tries fish hooking him, failing to do any serious damage. Annoyance strikes with RIKISHI entering at #14. Billy Gunn nearly gets superkicked over the top, but hangs on. Show winds up seated in the corner, and takes a Stinkface. Bah! Show deserves better. Shelton also takes one, and nearly hurls. Billy Gunn is an assman, but not a fan of his Stinkface either. BOB HOLLY is #15, while the announcers speculate about a potential Holly/Lesnar rematch that the world is demanding to see. Cena is choked out by Big Show, and passes out on the apron, tumbling out at 15:39. With one foot over the top, a bunch of guys attack Show seeing their chance ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and before long, everyone gets in on the act, with Cena pulling from outside the ring, and they get him at 16:11! We recap the eliminations thus far, completely ignoring Nunzio, Cena, and Show. Eddie dumps Haas completely out of nowhere at 18:11. Down to 6, and Angle clotheslines Benjamin over and out at 18:25. Rikishi gets nailed with an Olympic Slam and Froggy Splash back to back while Angle dumps Holly at 18:53! Holly’s PISSED, and mouths off at Kurt, allowing Gunn to sneak in and attack during the distraction. Eddie monkeyflips Gunn, NEARLY gets dumped, but holds on the ropes while Gunn flies out at 19:45! Angle and Eddie decide stalking Rikishi would probably be best ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but he takes them both out. Angle takes a superkick, Eddie a chokeslam, and he calls for the Banzai on Kurt. Angle rolls out of the way at the last second, and Eddie dives in to attempt to eliminate the big man. Rikishi shrugs him off, and then shrugs off Kurt trying the same thing. The boys attack together, and THIS time it works, and we say goodbye to Rikishi at 21:47! The two stare each other down ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Angle takes Eddie down. Eddie elbows Kurt in the face, pissing him off ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” so he charges and nearly gets dumped. Angle hits two Germans, and a belly to back that almost dumps Eddie, but he hangs on, and puts Angle in an anklelock! Kurt reverses it, to a series of boos. Wheelbarrow suplex leaves Eddie out to dry on the top, where Angle clasps the anklelock back on again! Eddie dives to the outside, Kurt lets him fall”¦but Eddie hangs on to the bottom rope, and the feet never hit the floor! Impressive! Eddie re-enters, and hits the trifecta of vertical suplexes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and calls for the Frog Splash! Angle however was playing possum, and catches Eddie on the top rope! They fight up there”¦and both wind up crotching themselves on the top rope, and nearly falling out. Angle’s in the best shape of the two, and is able to knock Eddie out cold with a sleeper. Eddie fades in and out, falls towards the ropes, and Kurt falls over the top, barely hanging on! Eddie starts to hammer Angle who’s teetering on the apron ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Angle gets in a headbutt that stops Eddie’s momentum dead! Angle goes for a vertical suplex and has Eddie right up, but Eddie rolls back, picks up Kurt in the vertical suplex position ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and drops him forward to the floor to win the match and get the title shot at 29:52!!! **** This would of course lead to Eddie being pushed over the top, with a win over Brock to win the belt, and a 4-month run. All hail Eddie!
MATT HARDY (with Shannon Moore) vs. BILLY KIDMAN (for the WWE cruiserweight title)
March 6, 2003
WWE Preview: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy takes on the man he beat for the belt just days prior, Billy Kidman. Find out if Kidman was able to regain the championship on SmackDown!
This rematch is straight out of No Way Out ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” the PPV that saw Sylvain Grenier get his first taste of main event spotlight. No, really, look it up. Moore distracts Kidman before the opening bell, and Hardy rolls him up immediately getting a 2 count to start. Kidman comes right back with a rana, but Hardy winds up catapulting him over the top. Moore attacks on the floor, and rolls Kidman back in where Hardy chokes him out. A gutwrench suplex gets 2. Kidman comes back with an enzuirgiri, and the boys slug it out. Hardy blind charges, and winds up on the top where Kidman kicks away at him. Rydien bomb gets 2! Having not learned, Matt blind charges again, getting kicked in the face and hit with a Mattitude Legdrop from Kidman. Top rope bulldog hits, and Kidman goes for the Shooting Star Press! Moore drags Hardy outside, but Kidman dives with a double clothesline on both and rolls Matt back in. Shannon pulls Kidman off the apron, resulting in a chase around the ring ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” walking right into a Side Effect which gets 2! The Twist Of Fate is blocked, but a second one is good, and Matt retains at 4:03! *1/2 Far too short to mean anything.
BROCK LESNAR vs. KURT ANGLE (in a 60 minute ironman match for the WWE title)
September 18, 2003
WWE Preview: In what may arguably be described as one of the best matches in the history of SmackDown!, WWE Champion Kurt Angle put it all on the line against Brock Lesnar in a legendary WWE 60-minute Iron Man Match.
There’s a 15 second rest period between every fall, but besides that everything else contains your standard Iron Man rules. Brock attacks before the opening bell, and stomps away at Kurt in the corner. A shoulderblock takes the wind out of Angle, and Brock chokes him out. Angle tries throwing some clotheslines, but Brock won’t budge. So he opts for a chop block and an overhead belly to belly instead, and that’s so effective that Lesnar has to take a break on the floor. He calls for time out, but when Kurt comes forward anyway, Brock kicks the crap out of him. Kurt comes back with a bunch of hiptosses, and Lesnar rolls out ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” hitting the security wall kind of hard. Brock FREAKS about not having control, and rips up the ringsteps. The referee tells him not to bother, and Brock listens”¦breaking the count instead, and continuing to walk around the ring. He does this on five straight occasions, royally pissing off both Kurt and the fans. Lesnar finally gets in, but when Kurt comes forward, Brock just jumps out again. Re-entering this time, he waits for Angle to charge ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and hits a jawbreaker! Now in charge, he stomps on the champion and chokes him out. Angle’s not in the mood though, and comes right back with an overhead belly to belly, and clotheslines Lesnar back outside. Angle follows this time though, and slams Brock’s head to the steps. Lesnar comes right back, driving Angle back first into the ring post, grabs a chair, and slams Kurt over the head ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” causing a DQ at 8:30!
Brock continues his assault during the rest period, but then takes a break on the outside with the announcers, drinking Michael Cole’s water. As soon as the period ends, Lesnar calmly hits an F5, and ties it up at 10:22.
Following this rest period, Lesnar takes some time to talk trash to Kurt ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” asking him if he wants to be the one to tap out this time? Lesnar pulls him right out to the middle of the ring with an anklelock, and Angle taps quickly at 12:08! The announcers cut away for commercial.
We return, and see that during commercial Brock had attempted to pick up a third fall with an Olympic Slam, but Angle kept kicking out. Lesnar headbutts Kurt, and stomps on his face in the corner. He goes for a blind charge and hits the post, allowing Kurt to get in his first offense in quite some time. The flying jalapeno connects, and is followed by the German trifecta! Before he can follow up, Brock tosses him outside and whips him into the barricade. That’s followed by an F5 on the floor ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Michael Cole has a hemorrhage! Lesnar rolls in and wins via countout at 19:57! Make it 3-1 for Brock.
We take another commercial, and come back with Kurt in control. During the break, he’d managed to hit two belly to belly overhead suplexes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but Brock’s quick to regain control, blocking Kurt’s attack and elbowing him to the outside. Back in they go, and Brock drops a series of elbows on Angle, and gets 2. Angle pops up, and hits the Olympic Slam out of nowhere, and gets a pinfall at 25:56!
Cole announces that in the event of a tie, UPN has granted them permission to go into overtime. Angle continues the attack, and hits a snap suplex for 2. Lesnar for the second time asks for a timeout, but it’s to no avail and Kurt keeps punching and stomping away. A German suplex connects, and DOWN COME THE STRAPS! An Olympic Slam attempt is blocked, and reversed into an F5″¦but Kurt slips off the back and puts on the anklelock!!! Brock rolls through, and dives at Kurt for a clothesline, knocking out the referee! Angle hits an Olympic Slam, and the fans count to 5 for the pinfall ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but without a ref, it’s meaningless. Brock hits a lowblow, and Cole screams about Kurt having won with an Olympic Slam, and taking a DQ for the lowblow and SHOULD be up 4-3. To the outside, and Brock chases around TONY CHIMEL for shits and giggles, before beating up a camera man ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and grabbing Angle’s title belt. He gets back in, and knocks out Kurt with the title. The referee is revived, and Brock takes another pinfall at 30:28!
We take another commercial, and return with Kurt dragging Brock to the outside. They fight by the announce tables, and Lesnar gets whipped into the steps! Angle rolls in, but heads up like a tool ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and dives at Brock with an axehandle to the back. They head in, and Angle gets 2. Kurt goes up a second time, and tries a missile dropkick”¦and again only scores 2! Another slam, and again Kurt goes up”¦this time missing a moonsault! Lesnar thinks he’s in control, and walks right into a schoolboy ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but it’s only a 2. Brock is pissed, and delivers a clothesline from hell, and follows with an overhead belly to belly. Lesnar goes for another, but Kurt breaks the hold and rolls into an anklelock. Lesnar throws him off ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Angle flies to the outside. Lesnar’s on him, and whips Kurt into the steps. They head back in, and Brock only gets 2. That annoys him, so Lesnar decides to get the stairs. Before he can enter the ring though, Kurt gives him a baseball slide dropkick, rolls Brock in”¦and only gets 2. And we take another break.
During the break ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” we find out that Brock is now up 5-2, having won with a superplex! We’ve got only 14 minutes left at this point. Brock is busy slamming Kurt’s head into the announce table upon return, and tries to F5 Kurt into the ringpost! Angle slips away, and this time he reverses and uses Brock’s own move on himself. Brock sells it hard, and rolls around in pain. Kurt smartly applies a single leg crap, and when Brock makes the ropes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” he’s dragged right back out in an anklelock. Brock manages to escape, but Angle continues to stomp away”¦only to see Lesnar recover enough to nail yet ANOTHER F5! Kurt actually kicks out at 2 this time, as time continues to wind down ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” along with Angle’s chances. Brock, dizzy, heads up for the Shooting Star Press, but Kurt’s playing possum and launches Brock across the ring, and scoots in for the pin at 50:08!!! 5-3 in favor of Brock now.
Both guys are down and out, killing nearly a minute before standing. Both guys start throwing punches ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” like it’s Round 15 of Rocky! Angle pounds at the back of Lesnar’s head, tries an Olympic slam, but it’s blocked with a DDT! Lesnar gets a very close 2 on that. Kurt throws some punches, but eats a German suplex! A second suplex pretty much seals Lesnar’s impending victory, with only 6:00 left. For kicks, he hits a third one anyway. He goes for a fourth, but Angle does the standing switch and hits his own! He hits a second, goes for a third ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” but it’s blocked, so he rolls through into the anklelock”¦and holds Brock steady in the middle of the ring! Lesnar TRIES hanging on with everything he’s got, but eventually taps at 55:50! 5-4 for Lesnar.
Kurt continues to hold the anklelock in hopes of another tap out, but Lesnar throws him aside with his leg strength, and Angle bounces off the ropes. Kurt goes to a bow and arrow with only 2 minutes left, but Brock rolls out of the ring. Angle FREAKS, and follows”¦applying an anklelock outside the ring!!! Lesnar dives back into the ring, but again rolls out immediately. Angle’s right behind him, and slams him head first into the steps. Lesnar’s back in, and Angle hits four consecutive Germans! A fifth is blocked by Lesnar’s holding the referee, and sneaking in a lowblow on Kurt! Kurt won’t let his testicles bother him though, and applies a legbar! Brock hangs on as time ticks down, and won’t tap as time expires at 60:00!!! ****1/2 And we’ve got a new WWE champion! Excellent match, albeit a little long. Not a “classic” in the traditional sense, but certainly better than anything else they’ll feed us on TV!
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. JOHN CENA (in a non-title Latino heat parking lot brawl)
September 11, 2003
WWE Preview: United States Champion Eddie Guerrero takes on John Cena in this truly unique match. Watch as both competitors risk life and limb in an attempt to come out on top in this Latino Heat Parking Lot Brawl.
Cena stands in a Smackdown! parking garage while various wrestlers stand around in anticipation for the fight”¦
“Yo yo yo chill chill chill chill CHILL!
So Eddie Guerrero wanna challenge me to a street fight
He gonna butcher me? He can’t even beat his meat right
I’m gonna Rock him so hard, they’re gonna think my name is Maivia
I’ll force feed him gorditas until he explodes from diarrhea
So last chance Eddie, back out, save your pride
I’m gonna steal his shine quicker than I stole his ride
I’m a Jedi knight, I was a stunt double for Anikin
I fight with my light sabre, his is for backdoor shenanigans
Got no hydraulics in your car, you got a sexual sickness
This car bounces up and down because he sits on the stick shift
Come on out boy!”
Eddie pulls up in a low rider ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and there’s nowhere for either guy to run now, with cars arranged in a circle. Eddie bursts out of the car, knees Cena in the gut, and drives him face first to a car. Cena fights back, and returns the favor. Punches are traded all over the place, and they wind up on the hood of a car where Cena gives Eddie a vertical suplex on to the roof!!! Cena runs into the back seat of a mini-van, and finds a lawn mower. He turns it on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and attempts to run over Eddie’s feet, but Eddie sidesteps and slams Cena into a car. Cena grabs a shovel, but misses a couple of shots, leaving some serious holes in a nearby car. Eddie drives Cena into the car with a flapjack, and takes out the headlights with the shovel. Cena tries to chase Eddie, but Eddie whips open a car door which catches Cena in the midsection ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and Eddie chokes him out with a seatbelt hanging out the side of the car. Cena comes back, and tries to lock Eddie in the back of a car ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” however upon closing it, Eddie pops the truck and it nails Cena in the jaw. They fight back towards the middle of the circle, and Eddie is thrown into a car ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” smashing the windshield, getting a 2 count for Cena. Cena slams Eddie’s head in a car door, but a second more vicious slamming misses the mark, and Eddie throws John face first through a car window!!! After some brief staggering around, Cena manages to slam Eddie’s face through a window of his own”¦and gets 2! They brawl into the front seat of a car, where Eddie starts slamming Cena’s face over and over into a car horn, and screams “SMILE FOR MAMA!” before burning him with the cigarette lighter!!! Cena runs out, and Eddie turns on the windshield fluid which catches Cena in the eyes. Eddie charges”¦but winds up backdropped onto a car hood, through the windshield ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” giving Cena another 2. Cena goes for the FU, but it’s countered with a hiptoss through a windshield ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” and out of nowhere CHAVO GUERRERO JR. slams another unseen weapon over Cena’s head! Eddie now dives off the roof of another car with the frog splash to Cena who’s DOA, and wins the brawl at 8:10! ***3/4 Los Guerreros celebrate their win ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” while Cena bleeds all over the parking lot. Eddie: “I have a headache.” Fantastic selection to end the September Jukebox.
While I’m not thrilled with Smackdown! being the focus, I can’t deny the high quality of awesomeness here. Come on, spend the $4 and join me already.
Oh, and get your wallets ready for