Dr. Tom's Smackdown! Report
By Dr. Tom
Nov 14, 2002, 20:03
WWE SMACKDOWN! 11/14/02
The opening video highlights the Brock Lesnarberg/ Big Slow feud thus far, and is far more interesting that the feud itself. This is a case where the whole is NOT greater than the sum of its parts, friends.
Right away, Marc Loyd catches up with Paul E. Dangerously, who gives us the update on Brock’s physical condition: he has a broken rib (that part’s true), and has been coughing up blood all week. He’s not appearing tonight by doctor’s orders, which means he’ll definitely be here. Slow informs us he’ll call Brock out if he does show up.
On tape from Columbus, Ohio, this is WWE Smackdown for 11/14/02. Your hosts, as always, are Michael Cole and Taz(z).
Opening Match: Edge vs. Chavo Guerrero. Cole shows that WWE is indeed aware of the IWC, as he calls last week’s tag match “a Match of the Year Candidate.” Edge shoulderblocks Chavo down, then takes him over with an armdrag. Cole informs us that partners are banned from ringside, after Chavo interfered against Edge on Super Tuesday. A headlock exchange sets up an Edge hiptoss, which he follows with a drop toehold and an armbar. Chavo escapes and dropkicks Edge, then clotheslines him out. Edge avoids a suplex coming back in, and flapjacks Chavo for 2. Chavo tosses Edge to the apron, where they slug it out. He kicks the middle rope into Edge’s groin when he comes back in, which just might be the most creative lowblow I’ve ever seen. Chavo puts the forearms to Edge and clotheslines him for 2. Chavo blocks a boot, then blocks an Edge-O-Matic try before hitting a back suplex for 2. Chavo goes up, but Edge dropkicks him out of midair when he dives. Both men are down. Edge gets the offense going with a kick and a backdrop, then the Edge-O-Matic for 2. Edge misses a spear, so Chavo gives him one of his own, but only for 2. Chavo tries a sunset flip, but Edge rolls thru it. He tries for a catapult, but Chavo lands on the middle rope and kicks Edge. Chavo goes for a tornado DDT, which Edge blocks, and finishes Chavo with the Impaler at 6:06. Perfectly sound match, but it didn’t grab me as anything special. 5/10
(Winner: Edge, pinfall via Impaler at 6:06)
Meawhile, Loyd talks to Rey Mysterio, but only briefly, as Brock decides to show up after all. That Brock is BUBBA TOUGH, BAH GAWD~!
After the break, Mr. Charisma Al Wilson and Dawn Marie exchange love patter. Wilson could make a killing reading I-love-you cards to the deaf.
Meanwhile, Paul berates Brock for defying doctor’s orders. Brock says he did it because he’s Brock Lesnar, and he’s the WWE Champion, and that’s all there is to it. Paul stresses his importance by informing Brock that he got injured, thrown off a stage, and fiddled while Rome burned, all because Paul wasn’t there. Paul has an idea, which is apparently so good, a commercial for a crappy movie is necessary to keep us from hearing it.
Tag Match: Matt Hardy v1.0 and Ice Ice Cena vs. Rikishi and Tajiri. Your Mattitude.com facts of the day: Matt loves guacamole, and was the “Fear Factor” champion. Matt and Tajiri start. They exchange armdrags before Matt shoves Tajiri down. Tajiri kips back up and ‘rana Matt over. Mat and Cena work over Tajiri with quick tags and some double-team offense. Rikishi comes in and Samoan Drops Cena, then plants him with a chokeslam. He whips both heels into the corner for a fatass splash, and Tajiri assists Cena in falling into Stinkface position by kicking him in the head. Matt blocks the Stinkface with a Side Effect, which Cena uses to cover for 2. Matt comes in and pounds Rikishi down. Rikishi backdrops out of a facelock. Cena tries to break up the hot tag by cheap-shotting Tajiri, but Tajiri boots him in the head to stop that. He tags in and takes Matt down with a heel kick. They do a double-KO spot in the center of the ring, and Matt lands with his arm atop Tajiri for the pin at 3:20. Pretty boring affair. 2/10
(Winners: Hardy/Cena, pinfall via contrived Double KO at 3:20)
Meanwhile, Kurt Angle blames the tag title loss on Chris Benoit, who points out Angle’s tendency to get pinned. It gets into a one-up verbal battle, until Angle plays the gold medal trump card. Somehow, Benoit has a spot on his shirt at the end of it, which Angle is only too happy to point out. Good, funny segment.
After the break, Paul tires to broker peace with Slow. As part of verbal fellating of Slow, Paul mentions that Slow beat Hollywood Hulk Hogan when the latter was in his prime. I wasn't aware Hogan had a prime; it must have been when he could jump more than six inches before a legdrop. Paul tries to persuade Slow not to call Brock out, which is met with a mixed reaction.
Meanwhile, Eddy Guerrero promises a brief title reign for Edge and Rey. Eddy's mock fear of Rey is terribly funny. Edge busts out the Spanglish, which would be infinitely funnier if he ended his sentences with “Eh?”
Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. Partners are banned from ringside again. Rey starts with an armdrag, but gets snapmared by Eddy and shoulderblocked. Rey dropkicks Eddy and armdrags him into an armbar. Eddy busts out an awesome tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Eddy goes to the armbar and works over the arm. Rey slugs it out with Eddy and hits a spinning headscissors out of the corner. Eddy takes him over with an armdrag and goes back to the arm. Rey escapes a hammerlock suplex and tosses Eddy into the ropes. He goes for the 619, but Eddy moves and the ref takes it. Chavo runs in, and puts Rey into a Gorry special, which he turns into a hard faceplant. Edge chases Chavo away. Eddy powerbombs Rey for a slow 2, and Edge sneaks in a spear before he brawls with Chavo some more. They get pulled apart by the ref as we go to commercial. Back from the break, Rey nails a springboard moonsault and his own tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. It looks like he tweaked his knee on that one. The Bronco Buster follows. Rey goes up, but Eddy shoves him to the outside and follows him with a picture-perfect plancha. Back in, he takes Rey down with a back suplex. He goes up, but Rey slugs it out with him and brings them both down with a superplex, which gets 2. Eddy tries a powerbomb, which Rey armdrags out of. He gets caught with a clothesline, though, and Eddy goes back to the arm. He puts Rey up, but Rey pounds him back down and follows with a moonsault for 2. He tosses Eddy out and baseball slides him, following that with a nifty slingshot senton to the floor. Excellent. Back in, Rey tries a springboard splash, but Eddy raises the knees. Eddy suplexes Rey and goes up, but misses the Frog Splash. Rey heel kicks him and hits the 619. He goes for the West Coast Pop, but Eddy rolls thru it and locks in the El Pao Lasso, which forces Rey to tap at 10:22 of TV time. I liked this one until the ending, when the Lasso came out of nowhere. Couldn’t Eddy work the leg instead of the arm to at least set up his move? 7/10
(Winner: Eddy Guerrero, submission via El Paso Lasso at 10:22)
Meanwhile, Torrie Wilson makes me envious of a lollipop, and snubs her old man.
Non-Title Match: Jamie Noble (with Nidia) vs. Billy Kidman. Kidman slugs it out, but gets sent to the apron by Noble, where Nidia pulls him down so he bangs his face on the apron. Back in, Noble dropkicks Kidman in the corner and goes to work on the arm. Y’know, I like the submission style they’re trying to introduce, but just like Eddy, Noble’s submission move involves the leg and lower back. Working the arm is all well and good, but it should lead to something or it’s just meaningless. Anyway, Noble takes Kidman down by the arm and slaps on a keylock. Kidman fights out and clotheslines Noble, then dropkicks him for 2. Noble ducks a clothesline and hits a Tiger Driver on Kidman. That sound you hear is the space-time continuum rupturing somewhere. Kidman rolls thru the pin attempt for 2. Noble goes up, but Kidman dropkicks him and climbs. Noble slips down and slugs Kidman, but Kidman escapes the crucifix powerbomb. Twice in one night would just flood the world with entropy. Kidman hits a powerbomb of his own and goes up, but Noble uses Nidia’s distraction to crotch Kidman. He goes up and hits a superplex, but Kidman ends up with the rollup for 3 at 3:22. Pretty blah for a cruiser match, and that ending is overdone. 2/10
(Winner: Billy Kidman, pinfall via rollup at 3:22)
Meanwhile, Al mopes to Dawn about Torrie snubbing the wedding.
After the break, Paul tries to placate a seething Brock, though he embellishes his bravado with Slow. Paul tries to beat an early retreat, but Brock won’t leave. Brock decides he’ll be the one doing the calling out in this here feud.
Angle comes to the ring and apologizes for being so consistently better than everyone else. No apologies necessary, Kurt. He lists the advantages he has over everyone else in the triple threat tag match, including English on Los Guerreros and puberty on Rey. The Guerreros (with no music) come out to dispute Angle’s take on things. Now Edge and Rey are out to tell us why they’re the best team. Angle cleverly deduces that the four inferior competitors are out to scout him, and promises to be at his best.
De Facto Main Event: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit. Benoit starts with a headlock takeover, which Angle answers with a classic amateur takedown. Benoit reverses it, though, and shoulderblocks Kurt down. Angle comes right back with a German, and jaws with the Guerreros for a while. Benoit brings the chops, but Angle hits an awesome snap overhead suplex. That was just a hella cool move there. Benoit fells Angle with a haymaker and drops the elbow. A hard back elbow off the ropes gets 2. Benoit backbreakers Angle for 2. Angle meets the turnbuckles a couple times, and they brawl. Benoit elbows Angle coming out of the corner, and starts exchanging pleasantries with Edge and Rey. He decides to make it a little more personal, and tosses Angle onto the tag champs. They brawl some more, and Benoit hits a pair of German suplexes. Angle blocks the third, and then hits a trio of his own Germans, for 2. Benoit escapes the Olympic Slam and slaps on the Crossface, right in the middle of the ring. Angle struggles for the ropes, but since he can’t get there, he turns the Crossface into the Anglelock. Yeah, it’s been done, but it’s still a good counter. Benoit tries to roll thru it, but Angle keeps the hold on. Benoit finally gets out on his third try. Angle hits the Olympic Slam, and jaws with Eddy before putting Benoit in the El Paso Lasso. When Benoit doesn’t tap, Angle looks out at Eddy and says, “This move sucks!” Eddy runs in to defend the honor of his submission move, so Angle tosses him out near Edge and Rey. That starts the expected four-way brawl while Benoit hits a vicious release German on Angle. All six men end up in the ring, and the Pier Six causes a DQ at 6:41. Highlights of the post-match brawl: Edge and Rey put Angle in a double Anglelock, Edge put Benoit in the Crossface, then Angle and Benoit did their submission moves to Eddy and Edge, respectively. Angle ends it by making nice with Benoit, including a hug that puts a comical look on Benoit’s face. The match was wicked good until the hard sell for Survivor Series took over. I know they have a PPV to sell, but couldn’t these guys get a few more minutes first? 7/10
(No Winner: Double-DQ (Pier Six brawl) at 6:41)
Meanwhile, Brock and Slow are both making their ways to the ring. I bet Brock gets there first, since he’s the one who’s NOT a fat tub of shit.
After the break, Brock calls out Slow. Heyman tries to take the mike from him, but Brock shouts him down and backs him into the corner. Slow finally comes out, and he still needs new music. Brock bulls Slow into the steps and pastes him with a pair of chairshots to the head. (Slow blades pretty blatantly on camera, btw.) He adds a few more to the back. Now Brock has the belt, and he nails Slow with that, too. Slow lies there bleeding, quite literally like a stuck pig, while Brock takes the belt and goes up the ramp.
The Good: Two really good matches paced the show, and the Edge/Rey match was pretty good, too. Angle was his usual gold on the mike, and even Benoit brought the funny when he needed to. Paul and Brock continued teasing their split, and Brock’s character has grown a lot since he got the belt.
The Bad: Five matches in all rarely makes me happy, especially when two of them are throwaways.
The Ugly: Do we really need to see several skits involving Al Wilson every week? I guess I should appreciate the authenticity of them bringing Torrie’s real dad in, but for chrissakes, get a trained actor if you’re going to let the guy talk. I literally almost fell asleep during a couple of his segments tonight.
Overall: Still a pretty good show overall. It wasn’t quite up to the standards of the past couple weeks, but Smackdown has to try really hard to lower itself to ordinary. They were still above it this week, and I think without the hard sell for the PPV, the show would have been better overall. 6/10
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