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HOOTERS and Headlocks: Baltimore Smackdown! House Show Report 11-16
Posted by Dr. Tom and O. R. Polk, Jr. on Nov 17, 2002, 15:31
HOOTERS AND HEADLOCKS: Baltimore House Show Report
This tag-team report is brought to you by the Undisputed TSM Tag Team Champions, Dr. Tom and OR Polk Jr.
Dr. Tom: It’s a rainy and dreary day as I drive into Baltimore. Polk is waiting outside the Arena, decked out in his Celtics attire – at least the man roots for a good team, unlike the poseurs who put on Wizards apparel because Jordan came back.
CJ: It figures that the weather would be great all day Friday only to pour down on me when I have somewhere to go on Saturday. I live an hour away from the Arena, but leave my home about an hour and a half ahead of time to account for all the slow-ass drivers on I-95 and not to leave Doc Tom waiting in the rain too long. My throwback Celtics jersey, I'm afraid, is gonna get ruined so I break out an umbrella while I stand on the corner looking like the PIMP I am and wait for Tom to arrive.
Dr. Tom: Anyway, we buy our tickets, and they’re good ones: lower concourse, center of the arena. Since it’s almost three hours until showtime, we do what any hungry smarks would do in this situation:
Go to HOOTERS~!
Unfortunately, our waitress was probably the only girl in the restaurant I wouldn’t have gone home with if given the chance. Usually, there’s a knockout or two at the Inner Harbor Hooters, but the girls there that day (except ours, of course), were in the category of pretty and doable. Polk and I tossed back a few before leaving, of course. Had this been a Raw brand show, we would have stayed until we were sloshed.
CJ: On a scale of 1 to 10 (and I've been to alot of Hooters around this great nation) I'd rate this Hooters today at about a 4 1/2 and that's being nice. Our waitress was nice and all, but you don't go to Hooters for personality. If that's what they're selling then they need to seriously consider a name change. Some oysters and a few brews lightened my spirits, however.
Dr. Tom: Our seats gave us an excellent view of the ring. The guy who sold them said the floor sections were sold out, so I guess there were just a bunch of fans dressed up as empty seats down there. Still, we had a good angle at the ring for taking pictures, as I’m sure you’ll see once we get into the matches.
CJ: Tom's digi-cam had a little bit more zoom power than my digital camera (and the ability to capture 15 sec. MPEGS) so his pictures came out a little better than mine. You truly get a feel for where we were sitting by looking at my pics. But in all honesty, where we were sitting was rather awesome for only $40. I paid $100 for shittier seats at this January's Royal Rumble. And HHH won that, so I couldn't complain about the view tonight.
The marks (aka HHH fans) were out in full force (guess the joke was on me later) and we even had one middle-aged female Rocky mark in front of us who purchased a stuffed Brahma Bull and a framed portrait of the Rock. "Is the Rock gonna be here tonight," she asked the guy next to me. I didn't have the heart to tell her the cold hard truth.
Tony Chimmel made the grand mistake of calling Baltimore Arena the Baltimore CIVIC CENTER during his pre-show spiel. I don't think this place has been called that since the days of the original Four Horsemen.
Dr. Tom: And without further ado (at least on my part), here’s the card. I’m going to pass on star or x/10 ratings, since this was a house show.
CJ: I was totally waiting for Tom to show up with a pen, pad and stopwatch, but he turned out to not be the bleeding smark I thought he'd be. Because I sure as shit wasn't worrying about match times or star ratings, either.
Cruiserweight Title: Jamie Noble (with Nidia) vs. Billy Kidman
Dr. Tom: Nidia was very animated at ringside. Everything she did drew some heat, especially when she cheated on Noble’s behalf. Noble wins with the bridge he does near the ropes, where Nidia grabs hold for that extra bit of leverage. No SSP, but this was a very entertaining match, and a good opener.
"I'm gonna have this title FOREVER!...wait, I already have..."
CJ: All day I talked about getting’ some NIDIA NOGGIN~! so imagine my surprise when she and Noble ended up jerkin’ the curtain. Nothing terribly offensive here and Kidman busted out a SWANK~! neckbreaker variation I had never seen him use before. Noble won it with a bridge while Nidia held his hands to make sure he didn’t hurt himself before the really important match on Sunday. After the match, sore sport Vanilla Kidman Rydien Bombs Noble and prances around with the cruiserweight title.
Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas vs. Redd Dogg and Doug Basham
Dr. Tom: One of the few signs anyone brought: “I came to see Doug Basham.” Velocity has at least one viewer in Baltimore.
CJ: Must read my recaps.
Dr. Tom: It sounded like “Redd Dogg” was “Rectum” during the introductions. I guess his catchphrase would be “Rectum? I damn near KILLED ‘em!” Anyway, the faces win (that would be Benjamin and Haas, for those who don’t know these chaps), and I wish I could remember how. Benjamin definitely has some promise. This was a decent if unspectacular match.
CJ: Haas wins it with the “Haas of Pain”, a Lasso from El Paso-type leglock elevated to a Liontamer position. I was like, “Eddy SO has to steal that.” It looked really painful.
Chavo Guerrero vs. NUMBAH ONE Announcer Funaki
Dr. Tom: No Eddy = frown. Funaki seems best with TAKA. He hit all his signature spots, but the Kaientai dynamic in the match is missing. Chavo wins with the Gorry Special into the facebuster. Nifty move, I must say.
CJ: Chavo got a bigger pop than Funaki, which I thought was surprising. Chavo doesn’t come across as really over on television, while Funaki seems over EVERYWHERE. Baltimore is stupid. Sobrino Chavito puts Funaki away clean with a Gorry Special into a faceplant of some sort. Funaki may as well head back to Japan if this is all WWE has for him.
Chuck Palumbo, Shannon Moore, and Crash Not-Holly vs. D’Von, Bull Buchanan, and Sean O’Haire
Dr. Tom: Yes, that’s Sean O’Haire, the late WCW’s favorite young son in the smark community. Bull took me a moment to recognize: he’s slimmed down and looks a lot better. Pauumbo’s team wins, after Chuck annihilates Bull with the awesome power of the DISCUS PUNCH~! Seriously, that was the finish. I’m not making that up.
CJ: The whole match the smark in me was hoping for a Palumbo/O’Haire reunion of some sort. Instead, Chuck Palumbo hit O’Haire with a Jungle Kick and then pinned Bull after a discuss punch. After all of the faces left the ring, the heels posed and Bull fell straight backwards, still selling the awesome might of Palumbo’s spinning knuckle sandwich. Bull held his jaw all the way to the back. Not nearly enough O’Haire (his hair is really long now, too) for my money but he did hit some high impact stuff during the match on Moore.
Albert vs. The Big Valbowski
Dr. Tom: This was by far the worst match on the card. It was just brutally bad, as 90% of Val’s offense was chops to the chest, and Albert was in full HOSS BAH GAWD mode. The only thing that saved it from complete oblivion was the Big Slow’s run-in. Since I don’t like Slow, you KNOW a match has to suck the savage sausage if his involvement saves it. Anyway, Slow runs in and chokeslams everyone, including the ref (which gets him a nice pop). He then grabs the house mike and calls out Brock.
"I just did three chokeslams, and boy am I out of breath!"
CJ: Val got a pretty good pop upon his entrance. I’ve gotta do that arm waving thing he does the next time I go in to work. That was probably the most exciting part of this match. I was falling asleep and I looked over at Tom and he was GONE. The crowd must’ve been equally as bored because The Big Show actually got a decent pop when he came in and chokeslammed everyone responsible for this atrocity including the referee. BIG SHOW is 911~! Show then got on the stick and called out Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Slow
Dr. Tom: Brock comes out (to a HUGE pop, I might add. Anyone want to keep telling me this guy’s not over?), they stare down, and IT’S ON~!
CJ: Lesnar came out and got jumped from behind by Bull, D-Von and O’Haire. This brought out a few more faces and a few more heels until the lockerrooms were emptied and the ring was full. A big brawl ended with the faces running off the heels and Brock cutting a short promo on Show about their match on Sunday. Lesnar called Show back and stomped on him a little more before Show headed back to the back.
"You know we’re almost holding hands, right?"
Dr. Tom: I wasn’t really expecting this to be a match, since Brock has the bum rib heading into the PPV. The locker room soon empties, and there’s your schmozz.
Two wastes of space, center stage.
The faces beat back the heels, but Slow runs back in to get him some more of Brock. Brock gets the better of the exchange, though. I like this feud away from the ring.
Get him, Benoit!
Kiss My Ass Match: Matt Hardy v1.0 vs. Rikishi
Dr. Tom: It’s a house show, so no TitanTron for Matt. His theme song is still pretty cool, though. This was done for laughs, with a lot of the spots from their recent Smackdown match. Rikishi wins with a superkick, so Matt beats a hasty retreat before having to pucker up. The ref (Jim Korderas, I think, but I wouldn’t swear to it) grabs the mike and tells him he has until a ten-count to get back in the ring and fulfill the match conditions, or be indefinitely suspsended. Matt finally gets back in the ring (after trying to “bribe” the ref with a handshake and a hug), lowblows Rikishi, and tries to turn the ass-kissing tide. That doesn’t go well, though, as he takes a fatass splash, then the Stinkface to cap it off. Afterwards, Rikishi turned this into his own personal show, working the crowd and having a few helpers for his dancing routine.
Baltimore gets some MATTITUDE~!
CJ: Matt Hardy made this match with all of his comedy spots. Before the match even started, Matt had run halfway to the back to retrieve Rikishi’s robe, brought it back to the ring and begged Rikishi to put it back on during the match. Rikishi missed a banzai drop but pinned Matt after a savate kick.
After the match, Matt tried to weasel out of kissing Rikishi’s ass by playing the “good sportsman”, shaking Rikishi’s hand and trying to leave. The referee, apparently empowered by Stephanie McMahon, gave Matt a 10-count to get back to the ring and kiss Rikishi’s ass or be “suspended indefinitely without pay.” Well, there.
Matt came back down but again, tried to avoid the stipulation by hugging the referee…several times. Matt takes his good time getting to his knees to kiss Rikishi’s ass but when he does, he crotches Rikishi and gives him the Twist of Fate. Matt pulls down his pants and tries to give Rikishi a stinkface of his own, but of course, Rikishi turns the tables and gives Matt the stinkface instead.
Rikishi dances with Chuck Palumbo, Shannon Moore, Funaki and Tony Chimmel afterwards. For some reason, the crowd was into it. This went about as long as it sounded. I guess they had to do something since Brock and Show weren’t going to go on as previously scheduled.
Zis is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve DANCE!
John Cena and Dawn Marie vs. Tajiri and Torrie Wilson
Dr.Tom: Torrie didn’t have a lollipop, so I was immediately disappointed. Cena drew some good heat during the match, especially when he was on the apron jawing with the fans. Tajiri and Torrie win after the girls unobtrusively tagged in, and she did her neckbreaker of doom to Dawn.
A living breathing Barbie Doll. I swear you could smell the plastic.
CJ: I hate to say it but Torrie’s ass doesn’t look as impressive or shapely in person. Maybe I was too far away. Color combination for Cena tonight: black and yellow. There was a funny moment when Torrie and Dawn were scuffling and Tajiri got in the ring, pretending to break them up and instead INTENTIONALLY pulled Dawn and Torrie on top of him while they rolled around. He got a HUGE pop for that. Torrie pinned Dawn after a swinging neckbreaker. I was just impressed that she did it correctly, so I guess she deserved the duke. A discus punch and now a neckbreaker? I've heard of taking it easy the night before a PPV but this is getting ridiculous.
Main Event; Tag Team Titles: Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle
"We don’t have to hug again after this match, do we?"
Dr. Tom: Considering that two of these guys are due for knee surgery soon, and there’s a PPV tomorrow, I wouldn’t have blamed them for coasting through this one. This was pretty standard fare, as everyone hit their spots and the faces won to send the crowd home happy.
The aftermath of the Kamikaze Headbutt
Angle was the victim of a 619/Spear combo for the win.
The 619, baby!
This was entertaining, if completely standard, but these guys are incapable of putting on bad matches.
Nothing happened after the final bell, so Polk and I headed back out into the rain and called it a day.
4/6ths of The Gods
CJ: Angle got on his knees to match up with Rey to start. Angle then decided he wasn’t low enough and sat flat on his butt. Angle did the “most muscular” pose to taunt Rey some more. But after Rey threw Angle back a few feet after a lockup, Rey got to do some posing of his own. Rey tormented Angle with his speed to begin the match and got Angle to chase him around the ring a little before throwing Angle out to the floor and tagging out to Edge. Rey continued to tease Angle from behind Edge. Benoit was in the corner laughing at Angle the entire time. Everyone hit their signature spots...
The Truth Won't Set You Free...SUBM!T
...but Rey and Edge take it after Rey hits the 619 on Angle and Edge finishes him with a spear.
No one bothered to do anything special for the crowd afterwards.
Dr. Tom: All told, it was good day in Baltimore, lousy weather aside. Decent food plus an enjoyable house show = good times. House shows tend to be fun, since there’s a much greater level of crowd interaction. Even guys like Doug Basham were getting into it with some of the fans, and Rikishi had the Baltimore crowd eating out of his hand. Attendance was dreadful; I’d guess the crowd to be about 3000, maybe 3500 if I were generous. The Baltimore Arena’s not an enormous place, but when it’s only about a quarter-full, that sucks.
Maybe Polk and I will do this again, when a show comes to the area that we can both go to. Maybe even Backlash in April?
CJ: This was decent for a house show even if they arena was more than half empty (and there was no fucking EDDY~!). I guess that allows for a more personal feel for some events, for others, it's just an excuse for the workers to ham it up with the fans and take it a little easier in the ring.
I'd gladly do it again, especially for a pay per view, as those crowds tend to be larger and a little more raucous. As long as I get beer and oysters again, Tom at least kisses me this time after walking me to my car and actually CALLS ME afterwards. Heh.
Here’s hoping Survivor Series is good.
Dr. Tom and OR Polk
(Remove the leading X's to talk back to us)