Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report
By Dr. Tom
Oct 10, 2002, 23:12
WWE SMACKDOWN! 10/10/02
Last week, somebody got his hand all smashed up.
Tonight, The Undertaker (with “No Pain” written on the cast for his “broken hand”) waits for the champ in the parking garage.
On tape from Phoeniz, Arizona – home of the Gretzky Coyotes – this is WWE Smackdown for 10/10/02. Your hosts are Michael Cole and Taz(z).
Mattitude v1.0 comes out to talk about himself, but he has to contend with dueling “We Want Jeff!” and “You Suck!” chants. Well, there's just no accounting for taste. Matt says how dominant he is for beating Taker, and has footage to prove it. He keeps talking while Taker makes his way toward the ramp, then down to the ring. Matt whacks UT with the mike a few times, but Taker says, “NO POBO~!!” and goes on the offensive. Taker tosses Matt around, then they go outside, where Matt gets tossed around some more. UT makes the cast into a weapon, clubbing Matt with it until he blades. Matt ends up with a chair, but Taker bludgeons his cast into it a few times. Hmm, I have to wonder if his hand will be mysteriously unbroken before the PPV. Finally, Matt avoids a punch, and Taker’s hand slams into the post, allowing Matt to make his escape. Let’s see... Matt bumps like a madman and blades for UT, but UT no-sells everything except attacks to his broken hand. Yeah, that sounds fair.
After the break, Taker’s hand might be broken in another spot.
Rikishi vs. Eddy Guerrero (with Chavo Guerrero). Rikishi shoulderblocks Eddy down. They slug it out, which goes poorly for Eddy, and Rikishi slaps on a bearhug. It’s a lame move to begin with, but what the hell could it possibly mean 45 seconds into a match? Eddy rakes the eyes to break and does a sunset flip, with the usual results. Rikishi misses the sitdown splash, so Eddy dropkicks him in the face. He pounds on the big man before Rikishi rallies with a dropkick and spinebuster. He misses the fatass splash, though, so Eddy dropkicks him in the knee and nails the slingshot senton. He goes up, but the Frog Splash comes up empty. Samoan Drop, and Rikishi follows with a clothesline in the corner. Chavo distracts Rikishi from the Stinkface, and gets brought into the ring and superkicked for his magnanimous gesture. Rikishi beats on both Guerreros, and does a double Stinkface. Eddy gets a pair of chairs, and after Rikishi knocks them away from him and Chavo, ends up whacking Rikishi in the leg with a chair. The El Paso Lasso gets Rikishi to tap out at 4:37. Fun match, and decent enough, thanks as always to the antics of Eddy. 3/10
(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, submission, 4:37)
Meanwhile, Torrie Wilson is dumbstruck that Dawn Marie would challenge her to a lingerie competition.
After the break, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle mutter unpleasantries at each other, until Stephanie McMahon pleads with them to get along and save the tag team division. Kurt comments on the dental completeness of his partner, but Benoit reminds him who the former tag champion is. They do the “I asked you first!” bit when deciding who leaves the office first.
Meanwhile, Funaki talks to Rey Mysterio about his tag match with Edge later, until Nidia walks up. She and Rey scream at each other in Spanish as I beg for subtitles. Nidia leaves in a huff and shouts down Jamie Noble, who reminds her to show a redneck some respect. Their tiff gets security involved, and was good only for Noble’s Misogynist Redneck patois.
Meanwhile, Eddy and Chavo listen to Benoit commiserate about Angle. Eddy mentions that Angle is already thinking of taking a year off for Olympic training, planting the seeds of a CONSPIRACY~!
Tag Tourney Match: John Cena and Billy Kidman vs. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. That’s just what they need to do to start building the tag division again: take a pair of directionless midcarders like Kidman and Cena and make them a team. It’s not like they have a chance of winning, but it’s still the right idea. Kidman and Benoit start, and Benoit makes with the chopping. Kidman takes him over with a headscissors, then does the old armdrag-into-an-armbar trick. Cena tags in, and the faces hit the double-team elbow. Angle tags in, and walks right into a hiptoss. Cena hits the flying jalapeno for 1. Cena is wearing really fruity pink and purple tights. He’s hanky-free, though, in case you were wondering. Kidman dropkicks Angle, but Angle throws him out of the ring with an overhead belly-to-belly. Benoit puts Kidman back in, allowing Angle to hit a back suplex. Angle pauses to talk trash to his partner. Kidman flips out of a second back suplex try, only to take another overhead belly-to-belly. Benoit blind tags in and hits a pair of Germans on Kidman, then a backbreaker. He locks in a half-crab, which Kidman eventually turns into a small package for 2. Angle blind tags in and backbreakers Kidman for 2. They do a false tag near the ropes, forcing Kidman to stay in for more abuse. It’s little-used things like the false tag that can make a lot of difference in tag matches. Benoit and Angle whip Kidman into the corner, then Benoit sends Angle in after him. Kidman drops Benoit with an enzuigiri, setting up the hot tag to Cena. He’s in full house afire mode, cleaning house and tossing Angle out. Cena drops Benoit with a clothesline and tags Kidman. He goes up and NAILS the shooting star press, but Angle saves at 2.9. Cena tosses Angle, then Benoit tosses Cena. He tries to powerbomb Kidman, but since that would violate the laws of the universe, Kidman counters it with an X-Factor for 2. Kidman tries to do the Acid Drop to Angle, but Kurt turns it into an Olympic Slam. Anglelock, but Cena saves, and Benoit tosses them both out. He locks in the Crossface on Kidman, who taps at 7:50. I loved the old-school feel this match had... all it was missing was the hammerlock suplex. If this is a sign of what the tag division on Smackdown can do, I’m all for it. 7/10
(Winners: Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit, submission, 7:50)
Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar, Paul E. Dangerously, and some random hottie make their way to the gorilla position.
After the break, Brock, Paul, and the hottie make their way to the ring. Paul talks for a while before introducing “Tracy” to tell us what kind of man Undertaker is. I think I know where this is going, and it’ll SUCK if I’m right. She starts to say something, but Taker marches down to the ring and chases Brock and Paul off. Yep, there’s the accusation: “Tracy” accuses Taker of having an affair with her for three months. That's what I call "trading up." Y’know, if they’re going to steal soap-opera themes from Raw, at least steal the GOOD ONES, not this horseshit. Plot hole: if she didn't care that Mark was the Undertaker, never watched wrestling, and didn't know he was married, why did she pledge to keep their tryst a secret? So Kane is a murderer and Undertaker is an adulterer... I guess losing their parents in that fire left the brothers without a moral compass. Or half-brothers, if they’re even still related in WWE mythos. Bah, this segment can’t end soon enough, but my summary of it can.
After another break, Brock and Co. go to leave, before Stephanie informs the champ he has a tag match later tonight, filling in for the absent Jamie Noble. Paul goes off on an amusing mini-rant, but Stephanie’s mind is made up. Undertaker is barred from ringside for the match.
Billy Gunn (with Chuck Palumbo) vs. D’Von Damn Dudley (with Ron Simmons). There’s a lot going on here: Billy and Chuck got their surnames back, got new hetero music, D’Von lost the cloth, and Faarooq became plain old Ron Simmons again. They start with a brief brawl before Billy knocks D’Von down with a shoulderblock. He gets a one-armed suplex for 2, then a hiptoss into a neckbreaker for 2. Look at Billy, bringing the workrate. Damn, I never thought I’d get the chance to type that, at least not without a lot of prodding from Mr. Jim Beam. D’Von bails, Billy chases, and Simmons drops him with a clothesline. They never learn. D’Von sends Billy into the steps, then back in for the spinnign elbow off the ropes. D’Von flapjacks Billy for 2, then powerslams him for 2. Billy rallies with the One And Only out of nowhere, and both men are down. Billy slugs D’Von and does a Stinger Splash in the corner. Simmons stops the Famouser by grabbing Billy’s leg, so Chuck runs over and superkicks him. Billy escapes the Saving Grace and finishes with the Famouser at 5:23. I wasn’t expecting much, but this ended up being good enough for government work. 4/10
(Winner: Billy Gunn, pinfall, 5:23)
Meanwhile, UT has little success explaining “Tracy” to his wife, and takes his frustrations out on his poor cell phone. I don’t think that’s covered in the warranty, buddy.
After the break, Chavo goes yelling for Benoit, explaining that Angle jumped him and Eddy. Benoit runs to help, but Chavo locks him in a supply closet. Someone’s getting the tar knocked out of them in there. Eddy emerges with a chair in his hand, and Angle has been successfully framed. More good CONSPIRACY~! work from the Guerreros.
Meanwhile, Torrie gets good luck wishes from her dad, who gets propositioned by Dawn Marie. What a tough job he has.
Lingerie Showdown: Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie. Dawn looks good in her black and red streetwalker getup, but words cannot describe how awesome Torrie looks in her split white... something. Just find a lot of synonyms for “hot” and start there. Dawn goes for the handshake, but Torrie has wised up this week, and does the old "Psyyyyyyyche!" move from the playgrounds.
After the break, Dawn hits on Torrie’s dad some more and slips him a hotel room keycard.
Meanwhile, Paul tries to handicap Brock’s opponents for him, but Brock pauses to make a call to Sara. I pity the fool who don’t use 1-800-CALLMRT.
Main Event, Tag Tourney Match: Brock Lesnar (with Paul E. Dangerously) and Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio and Edge. Brock and Edge kick it off. Brock shoves Edge down a couple times and mocks him. He shoulderblocks Edge, but misses the elbowdrop and walks right into a drop toehold. Brock gets dumped, and he’s pissed. Back in, Edge tries to slug it out, but Brock buries a few knees into his gut. Edge tries a crossbody, but Brock catches him. Edge makes the blind tag, though, and Rey leaps onto them both. Rey kicks Brock to keep him at bay, but Brock grabs him by the ankles and pulls him up into a bodyslam. That was a nifty spot. Brock military presses Rey, and Tajiri makes the blind tag. Brock looks none too pleased as Tajiri nails Rey in the face with a back kick for 2. Tajiri slaps on the chinlock, forcing Rey to fight out. Tajiri goes to the apron to avoid a charge and leaps into the Tarantula. That was an interesting way to apply the hold. Tazz calls it a “maneuver” in a tone that reminds me of Eddie Izzard’s line, “I have invented a maneuver.” (If you haven’t seen his “Dress To Kill” standup show, btw, do it. After this.) Tajiri misses the Buzzsaw kick, but still hits a dropkick for 2. Rey ends up on the apron, and comes back in with a ‘rana. Tajiri blocks the tag and bulls Tajiri to the corner. They fight over the top turnbuckle before Rey shoves Tajiri down and makes the hot tag to Edge. Edge wails on Tajiri, faceplants him, and cheapshots Brock off the apron. Edge-O-Matic gets 2 as Brock violently interrupts the count. Brock charges Edge, but posts himself. Edge spears him, but Brock borrows a page from Taker’s book of no-selling. Tajiri goes to kick Edge, but lays Brock out instead. Rey and Edge double dropkick Brock out, Tajiri takes the 619, and Edge ends it with a spear on Tajiri at 7:20. After the bell, Brock kills Edge with a belly-to-belly on the floor. Rey planchas onto him, but Brock backbreakers him and tosses him over his shoulder back into the ring. Brock gets back in and squashes Tajiri with the F5. Rey takes one, too, and here comes Undertaker now that the match is over. Brock gets a few shots in, but the power of the cast sends him to the floor. This was pretty brief for a Smackdown main event, but I guess we can’t have a twenty-minute match every week. Damnit. 6/10
(Winners: Edge and Rey Mysterio, pinfall, 7:20)
The good: Two very good tag matches, and a better than expected match out of Billy Gunn and D’Von highlight the wrestling side. The skits were well-done on the whole, even if there were too many of them. On the T&A side, the lingerie contest was a nice way to kill a few minutes.
The Bad: Four matches? Four matches!? I hate having only five, but four? Call Matt and Taker’s scrum an “unsanctioned match” if it keeps your rubber ducky afloat, but unless I hear two bells, I don’t call it a match. This episode was infected with the early stages of Raw Syndrome: a lot of talking, to the point that the storylines and skits overwhelm the in-ring action. More advanced Raw Syndrome causes chronic crappy matches, but I hope they catch this infection early enough to prevent that.
The Ugly: FOUR MATCHES?!?
Doing The Math: None of the wrestling was bad tonight; there just wasn’t enough of it. I like the tag team tournament, and I like that they’re actually building up some feuds this time for the PPV. But four matches does not make me a happy camper. Storylines and skits have their places. I thought Smackdown knew that. I’m going to hope this was just a one-week aberration, but with the pre-PPV edition next week, that remains to be seen. Residual goodwill from the previous two weeks compels me to call this one average, but that’s all I can give it. Four matches! 5/10
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