The SmarKdown Rant – December 13 / 2001
The SmarKdown Rant – December 13, 2001
– Jesus, the new guy comes in as GM for the Blue Jays and suddenly the entire infield gets traded, along with Billy Koch and Paul Quantrill. Plus he wants to dump Raul Mondesi, who has half the reason they did as well as they did last season. I mean, Koch was disappointing as all hell last year, granted, but QUANTRILL? The all-star Canadian who was holding the bullpen together? I miss Pat Gillick. On the bright side, the Expos will probably be purged from the face of baseball like a pimple on Test’s back within a week or so, so maybe the Jays can pick up some talent there.
– Taped from Bakersfield, CA. Where the hell is Bakersfield?
– Your hosts are Cole & King.
– Opening match: Kurt Angle & William Regal v. Rikishi & Edge. Ah, the old mix-and-match grudge match strategy. Big brawl to start as the marriages pair off. Rikishi & Regal start the match proper, and Rikishi overpowers the heels. Quick double-team puts them back on top, and they pound on Rikishi. Edge comes in and cleans house and spears Regal for the pin at 1:58. Um, sorry, that’s it? I know people who can pass gas for longer than that. DUD Speaking of which, Rikishi gives Regal the Stinkface, which prompts him to retaliate with the brass knuckles, which prompts Edge to retaliate to the retaliation with a chairshot. That’s a lot of information to digest in 30 seconds. DUD
– Elsewhere, Vince & Booker and their dogs arrive. I have to wonder if Vince got those Dobermans as a part of the WCW deal, or if he’s just renting them from Scott Steiner.
– Elsewhere, Regal bleeds all over the place.
– Elsewhere, Flair greets Vince and offers a new skybox. Vince is immediately suspicious of Austin’s involvement, as though this was just a rerun of something he’d already seen three years ago. Nah.
– Elsewhere, Test hits on Lita, but gets shot down. Test’s pickup line (“Once you’ve had Test, forget the rest.”) belongs in the bad pickup line Hall of Fame. He accuses her of being a tease, but Jeff saves the day. Test then tops himself with an EVEN WORSE line (“Hey, easy, Lance Romance”), until Jeff then trumps him with his reply: “If you like intimidating women so much, why not try intimidating ME?” Hey, he said it, not me. This was perhaps the most unintentionally funny skit I’ve seen in weeks.
– WWF (????) Cruiserweight title match: Tajiri v. Crash. Since when is there a WWF Cruiserweight title? You mean to tell me that out of all the titles left hanging with WCW’s death like so many boogers, the CRUISERWEIGHT title is the one that survives into the post-WCW era? The one that hasn’t even been seen on TV for more than six weeks? Tajiri & Crash do some matwork, and Crash hotshots Tajiri out of the ring and chases Torrie away. Back in, Crash gets a backbreaker for two. He stomps him down, but gets caught in the Tree of Woe and dropkicked. Spinkick misses and Tajiri comes back with a handspring and Tarantula. Big kick misses, so Crash tries a rana, which Tajiri escapes, and then Tajiri finishes with his own rana at 2:33. Tajiri’s getting kinda formulaic as of late in these 2 minute specials. Ѕ* Crash goes after Torrie, but Hurricane makes the dramatic save.
– Elsewhere, Lance Storm bugs Flair again. Flair confirms that he hired Hurricane back, apparently in order to fill the WWF’s superhero quota. Well, at least they actually offered an explanation for that one. But of course, he gives Storm one last chance to win his job back.
– Elsewhere, Vince’s room service arrives, but it’s Austin’s food from Monday. They decide to eat it anyway, because they’re EVIL.
– Test v. Jeff Hardy. Test pounds on Jeff, but gets dumped and baseball slid. Jeff follows with a pescado, but Test stops the railrunner. Back in, vertical suplex gets two for Test. Jeff comes back with a jawbreaker and a legdrop. Corkscrew and Lita comes in with the rana, but Test shoves the ref for the DQ at 3:05. So Lita can come in at will and nearly knock over Hebner on the way out, but Test shoves him and gets disqualified? Match was basically a Test squash. Ѕ* Rock comes in and destroys him afterwards.
– Elsewhere, Vince & Booker eat after a small fire scare.
– Elsewhere, Matt plays cards with the APA.
– Elsewhere, firemen investigate reports of a fire in Vince’s skybox. One of them is of course Steve Austin, and he goes after Booker T in one of those “Elaborate setup for a simple beating” plots that HHH used to use all the time. Booker runs for the limo and takes off, prompting Austin to chase in the truck.
– Lance Storm v. Kane. Storm attacks but gets pounded. Kane gets the big boot, but Lance escapes a suplex and clips him. Storm goes up with a missile dropkick variation for two, but Kane chokeslams for the pin at 1:43. Almost exactly move-for-move the same as Monday’s squash. DUD
– Elsewhere, the APA rib Matt one time too many, and he goes nuts and demands a match to settle things. You know, Matt sure seems to be taking this breakup a lot harder than Lita.
– The Dudley Boyz & Christian v. Scotty 2 Hotty & Albert & Tazz. The King informs us that Scotty & Albert are now called “The Zoo Crew”, which makes them sound like a morning radio show. “Hey, you’re listening to Scotty & Albert in the morning! [wacky sound effect]” Albert overpowers D-Von and slugs him down. Scotty comes in and fights off the heels, but gets posted. Christian with an atomic drop for two. Choking follows. Quite a lot of it. Scotty fights back, but gets legswept for two. Blind charge hits elbow, and Scotty superkicks him and makes the hot tag to Tazz. He suplexes Christian for two, and it’s BONZO GONZO. Scotty goes for the Worm, but Stacy pops up to stop him. Albert relieves her of her shorts, and Tazz suplexes Bubba and chokes out Christian for the win at 4:47. I’m curious if, ahem, the Zoo Crew can keep up their heat when put into a semi-serious feud with the Dudleyz, but I guess it’s worth a try since there’s no one else left to push in the pathetic tag division. This actually reminds me of late 96, when the Smoking Gunns were the only thing left in the tag ranks and the WWF was doing stuff like sticking Sid & 1-2-3 Kid together in hopes of anything to catch on. Match was the usual, but it served the purpose intended. *
– Elsewhere, Booker calls Vince on his cell phone to let him know that he’s stopping at a grocery store for a coffee, or something.
– Matt Hardy v. Bradshaw. Matt attacks but gets overpowered. Bradshaw drops an elbow for two. Corner clothesline and Bradshaw tries a superplex, but he gets shoved off and moonsaulted for two. Lariat gets two for Matt. Bradshaw gets a neckbreaker for two. Matt fights back but gets suplexed. Matt manages a tornado DDT and legsweep to set up the yodelling legdrop, but it only gets two. Twist of Fate is reversed to the Clothesline from Heck for the pin at 3:42. This was counterproductive on SO many levels that it’s ridiculous. Ѕ* It reminded me of something from Jakked, actually.
– Elsewhere, Flair gives Vince another cell phone, with Austin on the other end. Austin reads his grocery list (literally) and promises to get Booker.
– During the break, Vince can’t get through to Booker. Well, good thing we got THAT update.
– Supermarket Showdown: Booker T v. Steve Austin. Booker attacks the wrong bald guy to start and gets jumped by Austin. They battle through the produce section and Austin uses the PEANUTS OF DOOM to subdue Booker. I was hoping he’d use the vegetables so I could declare the match to be a squash, but sadly no. He dumps flour on him, obviously trying to bleach the black out of him, while Booker begs for mercy. From FLOUR? Booker gets put into the shopping cart, crying the whole time, while Austin takes him on a tour of the store and into the back. Austin starts throwing eggs at him and goes for the soda crackers, but Booker finally comes back and blocks it with a superkick. Good – saltines can be very abrasive to the skin. He dumps Austin into the cooler to take a breather, but Austin comes back and diapers him, then sends him through the checkout as the cops approach in the distance. Man, that segment just kept GOING. I’m left wondering if we needed every other segment of the show to build up to something that resembled one of those goofy Crash Holly hardcore “matches” from 2000 and if Booker is going to be arrested for assaulting that other shopper.
– Rob Van Dam & The Rock v. Chris Jericho & The Undertaker. Rock & UT start, and Taker hammers on him, as they miraculously jump from one corner to another in the space of one edit. It’s MAGIC. Rock comes back with a neckbreaker, but Jericho comes in and lays in some shots. He chops away, but Rock fights back…and gets a cheapshot from UT. Jericho with a leg lariat for two, and the ARROGANT COVER for one. Taker comes in and gets a backdrop suplex for two. He slugs away and hits a corner elbow. Slugfest is won by Rock, but Taker gets the flying clothesline. Rock DDTs him, hot tag RVD. Senton for Taker, spinkick and he goes up. Flying somersault gets two. He superkicks Jericho out, but gets tossed and worked over by Jericho outside. Back in, Taker gets two. Heel beatdown and Jericho chops away, and gets a forearm for two. Taker casually stomps away and tries the ROPEWALK OF DOOM, but Rob slams him off and both guys are down. Hot tag Rock and he kills Jericho and gets a belly to belly. Spinebuster and People’s Elbow get two, UT saves. RVD comes in with a frog splash, but misses and gets put in the Walls of Jericho. Rock saves and goes after Taker, leaving Jericho to take a swing at Rob with a chair, but that gets turned into a Van Daminator for the pin at 10:31, presumably setting up another RVD-Jericho program. Standard stuff here. **1/2
The Bottom Line:
Well, at least they’re delineating the heel-face lines again instead of all the “shades of grey” crap that went on during the InVasion. Can’t say as I’m terribly thrilled about any of the upcoming programs, but it’s something new and different and thus is worth a try. Enough with the Vince skybox storylines, though. And the wrestling still sucks – they REALLY need the WCW guys back in that midcard again.
Much like RAW, a decent setup show, but nothing I’d wanna watch if I was trying to stay awake for any period of time.