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Wrestling > TNA

WWE Velocity Recap - August 24, 2002
Posted by Edward Robins on Aug 25, 2002, 03:16

Hey hey hey, it’s Saturday night! Before I start my column, let’s dig up the old mail bag and see if anyone wrote me… and someone did! This e-mail comes from reader and board mod areacode212:

“Hey, Rico is somewhat older than most wrestlers, and doing a moonsault as a finisher in every match would not be doing his knees a favor (just ask Mutoh). The spinning heel kick is cool-looking enough, anyway.

As for Holly, he was REALLY over for a brief period, when he started the Hardcore gimmick, and he may have been in the queue for a decent push when Angle broke his arm. Yeah, he has a boring moveset, but I always thought he was a decent worker. As long as he doesn't become king of Smackdown, I don't mind him being the focus of Velocity.”

You’re absolutely right about Rico’s age, sometimes I forget how old he is (how old is he anyway? Is he late 30s or early 40s?). It’s really a wonder that he goes up for moonsaults at all, and for me to expect one from him every week is a bit much. As for Hardcore Holly, I wasn’t watching at the time he started the “Hardcore” gimmick. What exactly did it entail – just a lot of “hardcore” matches, or anything more? Anyway, sorry I didn’t respond personally, but like I mentioned in my Road Trippin’ column yesterday, my thesmartmarks.com e-mail account has a weird SMTP bug that isn’t letting me send any e-mails out.

Now then, kick it into hyper-drive, it’s time for the WWE’s fastest show, Velocity!

Marc Loyd welcomes us and tells that he was promised a special guest tonight to join him on commentary (did Michael Cole wear out his mouth shilling on Smackdown?). Familiar entrance music hits – it’s Lita! Now, I’m no Lita fan, but after three months of injury, seeing her at the ramp with a big smile on her face, who couldn’t feel happy for her? Once she gets back to active wrestling maybe I’ll bitch on the boards, but for now, I’m glad to see her back, because nobody deserves to be injured. Loyd already starts the brand name questions (Lita’s on RAW, but Matt Hardy and Velocity are Smackdown!), but Lita says she was invited to guest commentate by Stephanie McMahon and that she’s not sure yet.

Opening Match
“The World’s Slowest Hoss” Mark Henry vs. “Gladiatori de Mullatos” Mike Awesome
Mike Awesome starts things off with an axe handle to the back, and dodging a leap frog (!) from Mark Henry. Yes, when you’re as big as Mark Henry, a screwed up leap frog is probably your best offense. Mark Henry scores with a clothesline, but then screws up a military press. Ha, not so strong now, are we?! Mike Awesome covers up by immediately locking in a sleeper, which actually flows somewhat nicely. Mark Henry fights his way out and elbows Awesome into the ropes, where Awesome comes colliding into Henry and falls off. Yes, when you’re as big as Mark Henry, you can do the hardest splash you want simply by standing still. Sheesh!

Mike Awesome comes off the ropes to try and garner some offense, but Henry catches him in a bear hug. Twice. Thankfully, Henry doesn’t actually follow through, but instead chooses to body slam Awesome and cover for 1…2…kick-out! Henry shoves Awesome into the corner, but gets a boot to the face. Awesome hits a running stomp, a standing leg drop, and covers for 1…2…Henry kicks out, but Awesome stays on him with a series of clubs to the upper body, and a choke on the second rope. Awesome goes up and nails a top rope clothesline and covers for 1…2…but Henry kicks out again. Damn you Henry! Awesome hits a series of right hands, but Henry hits a flap jack! Henry misses a running splash, and Awesome does the Big Show-ish spot of stepping over Henry, but since Awesome’s not THAT big, it looks more like a taunt than an actual move. Awesome goes up and hits a top-rope cross body on the fallen Henry and covers for 1…2…Henry kicks out again! This is terrible because I KNOW when Henry wins it’ll be from a much weaker move! Henry goes for the Awesome Bomb (Lita, having spent time with him in ECW, calls the move by its real name!), but when you’re as big as Mark Henry, you can reverse whatever the hell you want. Henry hits a corner splash and a body slam (?!) and covers for 1…2…3!
And da winnah is… Mark Henry, pinfall
½ *
I should give this no stars. Henry screws up two moves from the get-go, one of which ISN’T EVEN AN OFFENSIVE MOVE, and yet he still gets the win over Awesome, who hits several crisp top rope moves and even covers for the big lug yet hasn’t had a single win in his WWE career?! What… the… funk? As I predicted, Henry doesn’t even win with a decent looking move, just a simple, weak-ass body slam. Terrible, terrible.

wh00! COMMERCIALS!

Recap
“Mr. Klean” Kurt Angle vs. Rey Rey “West Coast Up In HERRE!” Mysterio Jr.
SUMMERSLAM HYPE PACKAGE #1!!!!!!!11 This gives clips from Rey’s WWE debut and his top of the cage cross-body on Storm & Christian, then shows the ending of the six-man where Rey pinned Angle to spark the feud. It culminates with Angle’s recent match on Smackdown against Kidman, where Angle gets pissed, and is about to win when Rey distracts him and baits him into a chase resulting in a count out. Silly Angle… Unlike the majority of the ‘net community, I actually have high hopes for this match. As shown by the Benoit/RVD match on RAW (and hopefully the rematch tomorrow), just because a match screams “styles clash!” on paper doesn’t guarantee it in real life.

wh00! MORE COMMERCIALS!

Cruiserweight Midcard Match
“The MIST-ifying” Tajiri vs. “The Sho Stopper” Funaki
Funaki actually gets a small but noticeable pop once his entrance music hits. First he gets a win, then an actual thing to do, now a pop… is it all a dream come true? Before he enters the ring, Funaki makes a stop by the announcers’ table and taunts Marc Loyd, as Lita talks about how cute he is. This just confirms that with his recent gimmick, Funaki is the best Smackdown interviewer EVER and a true LADIES MAN! Anyway, in the ring, Tajiri coaxes FNK into a pre-match bow. FNK would prefer a handshake, but obliges and gets a stiff kick to the face from Tajiri. That’s what you get for listening to a HEEL! Tajiri follows up with some stiff chops and an arm-drag. Tajiri whips FNK into the ropes, but FNK comes back with a shoulder-block, a slap, and a drop-kick. Tajiri whips FNK into the corner, but FNK leaps over him and hits a nice German Suplex! Tajiri comes back with a kick to the face, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and a screeching knee drop. Tajiri covers for 1…2…FNK kicks out!

Tajiri stays on him with a snapmare and an arm/lower-back submission (the one where you stretch out the arms while putting pressure on the guy’s back with your knee, I still don’t know the proper name for it). FNK fights out into “test of strength” position, before finally fighting all the way out and attempting a sunset flip, but Tajiri reverses by crawling and making it to the ropes and out of the ring, where he hits a cheap shot to the face and goes up, up, and… misses the moonsault! Funaki is quick to capitalize with a bull-dog and a cover for 1…2…OH! Funaki follows up with an enzuigiri and another cover for 1…2…Tajiri kicks out AGAIN! Tajiri whips FNK into the corner and tries to lock in the Tarantula, but FNK reverses it and brings Tajiri down into a sit-down powerbomb cover for 1…2…Tajiri kicks out YET AGAIN! Tajiri gets a quick roll-up for 1…2…FNK kicks out! Go Funaki! Funaki proves he is the true Sho Stopper by going for a Tarantula of his own, but Tajiri breaks away and hits a kick to the face to set up the stiff kick to the temples, which he nails for the 1…2…3!
And da winnah is… Tajiri, pinfall
*** ½
It has come to my attention that the WWE needs more Japanese cruiserweights. Seriously, this was a great, fast-paced but even match-up. Both guys got in some good spots (including some uncharacteristic offense, the tilt-a-whirl from Tajiri and German Suplex from Funaki), and the constant pinfall attempts near the end were pretty suspenseful (I thought both men had it, and didn’t “know” who the winner was until Funaki went for the Tarantula spot). Excellent work from both men, and the fact that Funaki gets to do stuff before the match (showing that Marc Loyd who the REAL best Smackdown employee is, and don’t you forget it!) that will hopefully be involved in a storyline only sweetens the deal.

wh00! EVEN MORE COMMERCIALS!

Recap
“The Next Big Lug” Brock Lesnar vs. “Rocky to the fans, Dwayney Baby to my Agent”
SUMMERSLAM HYPE PACKAGE #2!!!!!11 First Brock went from The Next Big Thing to the Next Big King… of the Ring! This also earned him a guaranteed title shot at SummerSlam. At Vengeance, despite doing nothing prior to or since to deserve the title, The Rock won the title in the Triple Threat from Undertaker and Kurt Angle. Then the one-sided mind games (since Rock isn’t even capable of cutting a funny promo anymore, much less any sort of multi-dimensional character capable of pulling off mind games) began, Brock put Hulkamania to sleep, and… that about carries us to today. Even though Brock hasn’t yet shown himself, he’s being pushed too soon, blah blah blah, I support him 100% to win the title at SummerSlam. Now, I never liked Rocky in the first place, but his most recent reign as champion has been the last straw. He hasn’t defended the title even once, put anyone over (except Benoit once, but only because Brock was there to “distract” him), pinning everyone in non-title matches and kipping-up to no-sell an entire match’s worth of offense. I don’t care how much of a “company man” The Rock has been in the past, the facts are clear, he needs to get the hell out and never touch the title again. And don’t come back, either!

wh00! STILL MORE COMMERCIALS!

Main Event (hmmmm…. that’s early…)
“Up” Chuck w/ Billy & Rico vs. “The Alabama Android” Hardcore Holly
Before the match begins, Rico shows off to Lita and disses her hair. When she attempts a response, he gives her “the hand”! She seems to think it’s funny more than insulting… ooh, just bring it! Back in the ring, the match begins, but Billy & Rico mess with Hardcore Holly’s head, enabling Chuck to get the early advantage with a charge from behind, snake eyes, and a series of shoulder blocks to Holly’s back in the corner. Billy gets a cheap shot on Holly from the outside, reminding us that he and Chuck are heels, and Chuck whips out a suplex and a cover for 1…2…Holly kicks out. Chuck kicks and stomps away at the back, but Holly gets to his feet and catches Chuck by surprise with an Electric Chair Drop. Instead of covering, Holly goes for a clothesline, but Chuck dodges it and hits a stalling backbreaker and covers again for 1…2…Holly kicks out again. Chuck whips Holly into the ropes and catches him on the rebound with a shot to the back. He does this sequence again, and whips Holly into the ropes a third time, but Holly comes back with a clothesline and a series of shots!

Chuck hits another suplex and covers again for 1…2…Holly kicks out! Chuck locks in a sleeper, but Holly fights his way out. Unfortunately, he’s also met with a spinning back elbow and a series of shots in the corner by Chuck. Holly turns it around and gets some shots on Chuck in the corner before hitting a Gas Mask (Lita: “A what?!”) and a series of chops. Holly follows up with a clothesline, back body drop, and a hurricanrana for 1…2…Chuck kicks out! Holly whips Chuck, and catches him off the rebound with The Best Dropkick in the Business™ for 1…2…Chuck kicks out again. If it’s such a great dropkick, how come everyone kicks out of it? Chuck hits a body slam and covers for 1…2...but this isn’t a Mark Henry match, so Holly kicks out. Chuck goes for a Jungle Kick, but Holly catches it and goes for the Alabama Slamma, but Rico grabs Chuck’s hand, giving him the leverage to break out of the hold. The ref starts yelling at them, providing the perfect distraction for Billy to sneak in and hit the One and Only! Chuck goes for the cover, 1…2…3! In lieu of Michael Cole, DAMMIT! Those cheating heels win again!
And da winnah is… Chuck, dirty pinfall (but that’s just how he likes it). Post match, Holly tries to no-sell a three on one beat-down, but instead of keeping with the patented “Super Strong Face Somehow Knocks Out EVERYONE” position, Holly begins to focus on Chuck, enabling Billy & Rico to come in from behind and turn it into a proper beat-down, ya know, the kind where the face gets BEAT DOWN?! Since Holly’s Hardcore Porn partner Val Venis is still injured (I think), the save is made by… Randy Orton?! This is a joke, right? Orton issues a challenge now that “the odds are even!”, and B&C rush the ring, but Orton & Holly make short work of them AND Rico. Oh dear…
** 3/4
No complaints here. The match wasn’t particularly an eye-opener, but with no blown spots and some extra moves thrown into Holly’s plain offense (now that you mention it, Chuck could use a few extra moves as well) that haven’t gotten stale yet, this was perfectly watchable and acceptable. The Tajiri/Funaki would’ve made a better main event, but this wasn’t too bad.

wh00! YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY COMMERCIALS!

IMPROMPTU MAIN EVENT!!!!!!!!!
Ah, I knew we had a few minutes left! As usual, the “Rico sucks!” chants are loud and proud, but is there going to be a tag match or what? Here we go, tonight’s IMPROMPTU MAIN EVENT!!!!!! is:
“Silly-Willy” Billy vs. Randy “Lil’ Cowpoke” Orton
What, it’s the best I could do for a Billy nickname on such short notice… I wasn’t given time to prepare for this IMPROMPTU MAIN EVENT!!!!!!! Billy and Randy Orton lock up, but Orton gets the advantage and shoves Billy in the corner, where he does some weird thing mocking Billy as Billy’s curled up in the corner? Billy recovers, shoves Orton, and checks his mouth, presumably for if he lost a tooth. This makes sense because that weird spot didn’t look planned, and something must’ve gone down wrong. Billy hits a kick to the mid-section and a series of right hands before taking it back to the corner with a choke. Orton reverses a whip and delivers some arm drags. Billy sends Orton out of the ring, where Chuck hits some cheap shots and sends him back in the ring.

Billy locks in a sleeper, but Orton fights his way out. Billy connects with a dropkick and covers for 1…2…Orton kicks out! Billy gets in some more shots and chokes in the other corner, but misses a corner splash. Orton hits a surprise DDT, which starts the standing ten-count. Both men make it to their feet, but Orton blocks every one of Billy’s fore-arms before hitting one of his own. Thankfully, there’s no Orton spit punch at the end, but rather a roll-up for 1…2…Billy kicks out! Orton gets in a series of shots, a boot to the face, and a top rope bulldog. He covers for 1…2…Billy kicks out! Orton goes up for his devastating CROSS BODY OF DEATH~!, but Chuck runs into the ring and shoves Billy out of the way, choosing to sacrifice himself for Billy. Ahh, to be young and in love… this enables Billy to sneak in the Fameasser, but Holly runs into the ring and shoves Orton out of the way, choosing to reverse it into an Alabama Slammmmmma. Ahh, to be young and... ummmm…. hey, Orton sneaks in and covers for 1…2…3!
And da winnah is… Randy Orton, dirty pinfall (hey, anything’s better than a green vanilla pinfall, right?)
** 1/2
There’s something inherently cool yet tacky about an IMPROMPTU MAIN EVENT!!!!! It’s cool because it’s “spur of the moment, where ANYTHING can happen”, but at the same time it’s the main event, and you’d think they’d plan around these things. Anyway, it’s somewhat fitting that Randy Orton is teamed with Hardcore Holly, as both men are technically proficient but incredibly boring. Only two things really stick out in my mind, the “love conquers all” interference/sacrifice/save spot from Chuck, and that weird bit at the beginning that makes me think Billy seriously lost a tooth or something. If you think about it, one’s a clichéd attempt at romantic melodrama and the other one is probably a blown spot. Neither is a particularly “good” spot to stand out.

Well, considering we’re less than 24 hours away from the second biggest PPV of the year, I was expecting a LOT more hype. I’m disappointed. I’ll be watching tomorrow, and if I can remember I’ll send in my thoughts for TheSmartMark’s PPV Crossface. If not, since I’m going away to college soon I PROMISE to buckle down and write some more Pop Culture columns soon. Now, for this week’s Feedback Inducing Question of the Week: Counting tomorrow, I will have only seen two SummerSlam’s, 2001 and 2002, with some clips of some really early SummerSlams. For those who’ve seen a lot more than me, what’s your favorite SummerSlam match, and why? (NOTE: If anyone knows when Funaki’s last win prior to last week was, feel free to answer that one as well, but I think I picked too hard of a question again for last week)

I saw a thread in General Chat that infuriated me. It seems that there are some people on line who are more than willing to throw away their money on total strangers, yet nobody willing to buy me anything off my wish-list! Some people… I mean, I’m just as broke as those people, and I won’t just turn around and throw away your gift, I’ll watch it over and over and even write columns about it, praising your name and glory! What will these total strangers on the ‘net do other than put themselves thousands of dollars into debt again?

Anyway, that’s enough bitching from me for tonight. Enjoy SummerSlam, and I’ll see you in 7!

Edward Robins

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"To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about... [just] remember there is such a thing as good bad taste and bad bad taste." – John Waters



 

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