wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK Rant For WWE King Of The Ring 2002

June 24, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK Rant for King of the Ring 2002

– Highlight of Heat: D-Lo and Coach arguing over who’s blacker, and the Rey Mysterio Jr. video.

– Live from Columbus, OH

– Your hosts are JR & The King

– Opening match, semi-final: Rob Van Dam v. Chris Jericho. Jericho grabs a headlock to start and works the arm, but Rob kicks back. Criss-cross and RVD gets an elbow and they armdrag each other to establish parity. Notice that Rob is wearing the formerly-taboo skull tights again. Rob hammers away and gets the monkey-flip and a legdrop for two. Jericho responds with a forearm and pounds away. Leg lariat and Rob bails, but when Jericho tries the dropkick Rob ducks and follows with a tope con hilo. Back in, missile dropkick and Rob goes up, but gets crotched. Jericho brings him down with a butterfly superplex that gets two. Jericho hammers away in the corner but hits boot on the charge, and Rob takes him down for two. Jericho pops up with a lariat for two. Rob cradles, but the ref is distracted with a turnbuckle and it’s only for two. Jericho gets the Breakdown, which gets two. Well there goes that finisher. Choking follows, with several variations on the theme. Jericho crotches himself however, and Rob fights back, only to walk into a knee. Jericho goes to the dreaded surfboard as his resthold of choice. Rob escapes and Jericho runs into the post, allowing Rob to fight back. Leg lariat and he gets a springboard kick for two. Spinning heel kick sets up Rolling Thunder for two. Neat legsweep dodge sequence ends with Jericho getting the enzuigiri for two. Another dodging sequence leads to Jericho getting a german suplex for two. Jericho keeps hammering away but gets hotshotted and Rob gets the split-legged moonsault for two. Rob takes a run at him, but gets caught in the Walls, and then reverses for two. Rob comes back with a catapult, but Jericho stops his own momentum. Rollup with the ropes gets two. Bulldog, and the Lionsault misses. Rob spinkicks him, goes up…and misses the frog splash. And NOW the Lionsault hits, but only gets two because no one ever jobs to it and really why should RVD be the first? Jericho misses a charge, but blocks a rana into the Walls. Rob is ridiculously close to the ropes, however. Jericho objects to the refereeing job, but carries on. They head up top, Jericho goes down the hard way, and the frog splash finishes at 14:31. This was good, but they looked a bit disjointed near the finish and the match was pretty slow overall. *** Jericho attacks afterwards, just because he can. Rob looked to be in bad shape after that attack, but you can be assured that the first person to call him afterwards was Kevin Nash.

– Test v. Brock Lesnar. This is a special “foregone conclusion match”. Devastating lockup battle to start. Can you feel the earth shake? Brock hammers away, but runs into an elbow. Test clotheslines him a couple of times, but misses the big boot, and Brock bails. Back in, Test slugs away in the corner like Kevin Nash in fast-forward (or after borrowing some of Shawn’s drugs), but Brock catches a spinebuster, thus showing that he’s ready for the main event. All he he needs now is the sleeper. Brock tosses Test around and stomps away. Oh yeah, this guy is so ready for a main event push. Backdrop suplex gets two. Backbreaker, but Test fights back with an atomic drop. He walks into a powerslam, however, for two. The excitement continues. They botch a sleeper spot and hammer on each other to cover it up, but Test gets a sideslam. Brock keeps punching, but Test gets a corner clothesline. Full-nelson slam gets two. Pumphandle is reversed by Brock, but Test has that Canadian sticktuitiveness and hits it on the second try, for two. Brock blocks the big boot, but can’t powerbomb Test. Big boot gets two. Well, he DID forget to slap his thigh for effect, so it didn’t really have the full effect. Test sets up for another one, but stands right in front of Heyman and might as well have a “trip me” sign on his back, and the Browser Refresh finishes at 8:17. Not good, nope. *

– Jobberweight title: The Hurricane v. Jamie Noble. They fight over a lockup and Helms poses to stress his superiority. Rollup gets two. They work the mat for a bit, and Noble pounds away in the corner. Helms with a Shining Wizard-like kick to the head, and a superkick gets two. He grabs a headscissors while the crowd chants “She’s a crack whore” at Nidia. Hurricane reverses a suplex and Nidia misses tripping him up (how do you blow THAT spot?), but when Hurricane chases he gets ambushed. Noble gets two. Noble whips him around and chokes away. Snap suplex gets two. Abdominal stretch into a backdrop suplex gets two. Hurricane comes back with a bodyblock for two. Noble blocks a victory roll with an electric chair for two. He grabs a submission hold, but Hurricane comes back with an Edge-o-Matic for two. Sleeper is reversed to a jawbreaker and reversed. This sudden sleeper revival is starting to bother me. Slugfest and Helms gets a neckbreaker and a clothesline. Buff Blockbuster gets two. Eye of the Hurricane is reversed to a german for two. Eye of the Hurricane gets two on the second go. He goes for the cape, but that villainous nemesis, Nidia, steals it, so Hurricane suplexes her cohort onto the floor and follows with a cross-body to the floor. Hey, a highspot, about time. Noble baseball slides him, however, and they head up top back in the ring. Hurricane wins that battle with a swinging neckbreaker off the top! SWANK~! Noble is, shockingly, still breathing, and Nidia distracts the ref. The heels collide and Helms gets the elusive chokeslam, for two. Back up, but Noble crotches him and finishes with a powerbomb at 11:56. What an anticlimactic finish. **1/2

– Eddy Guerrero v. Ric Flair. Eddy’s pre-match promo, where he goes over his entire family (including some kid they picked up in the street the other night) is a thing of beauty. Eddy overpowers him to start and offers a Whoo and a half-hearted strut. Well, that’s just sacrilege. Dropkick off a criss-cross and Flair bails. Back in, Flair starts chopping, and Eddy bails. Back in, Eddy hammers away, and Flair returns fire as only he can – by going low. Cheat to win indeed. More chops send Eddy scurrying again. Back in, Eddy grabs a facelock, but gets powered into a suplex. Eddy goes after the knee, but Flair reverses a figure-four attempt for two. Eddy keeps on it and posts him, and stays on the knee. Figure-four (on the wrong leg as usual) gets two. Flair makes the ropes. Eddy beats him down in the corner and necksnaps him, but Flair is still game for a chopfest. Eddy hits the chinlock. Flair escapes and starts up with the chops again, and Eddy gets dumped. Back in, Eddy gets a suplex to set up the frog splash, but it misses. And now Flair goes to the knee, but Benoit joins us. Flair chops away, but Eddy rolls him up for two. Backslide gets two, and Flair isn’t even up to doing the rest of the sequence these days. That’s just sad. Flair walks into an elbow, and Eddy gets a tornado DDT for two. Benoit helpfully stretches out Flair’s stiff neck on the outside with a complex massage technique that might be mistaken by laymen for the Crossface. But this distraction allows Bubba Dudley to run in from the crowd, hit a BubbaBomb on Eddy, and Flair gets the pin at 16:59. Well, that finish doesn’t help anyone. Match was quite dreadfully dull. **

– Women’s title: Trish Stratus v. Molly Holly. Molly attacks for two. Trish comes back with a bicycle kick, but walks into a backdrop for two. Molly grabs a Herb Kunze armbar and works on it, but Trish rolls her over for two. Molly pounds her down again, but Trish steps up into a victory roll for two. Neckbreaker gets two. Reverse rollup gets two. Molly drops her on the bottom rope to regain the upper hand and chokes away. Trish bails and falls victim to the Power of Molly on the outside, landing in the front row. Trish is turning into quite the little bump freak. Back in, Trish gives her a Kawada kick off the apron, but Molly goes up. Trish follows with the headscissor takedown to bring her back down, and chops away. CANADIAN VIOLENCE~! Lariat and dropkick for Trish, but Molly gets a jawbreaker. Trish comes back with another Kawada Kick, but Molly blocks the bulldog with a german suplex for two. Molly drops her on her head and heads up for the Molly Go Round, but it misses. Trish rollup is reversed for the pin and the title at 5:33. This was some fine women’s wrestling packed into 5 minutes. And you know who the first person to call and congratulate her was? You guessed it – Kevin Nash. **3/4

– Kurt Angle v. Hulk Hogan. Speaking of the video package that precedes this, what the heck ever happened to that “Hogan just wants to retire” angle, anyway? That lasted, what, a week? Hogan wins his traditional lockup battle and goes to a headlock. That turns into a thrilling wristlock sequence and Hogan sends Angle running. Back in, Angle pounds away and gets a clothesline that knocks the bandana right off Hogan’s head. Angle gets dumped again. They brawl and of course Hogan wins that because otherwise people might think it was unrealistic or something. Back in, Angle meets the turnbuckles a bunch of times and Hogan uses the WINDMILL PUNCH OF DOOM to put Angle down. Kurt comes back with a low blow, thus earning the match * automatically. I’m willing to go as high as ***** if the ballshots to Hogan keep up. Angle lays in the chops and gets a backdrop suplex, which is one of the few bumps Hogan can take. He gets another one, for the same reason. That gets two. Hogan blocks a suplex and gets his own, and uses the BODYSLAM OF DEATH to come back. Kurt grabs a sleeper (SEE WHAT I MEAN???) and that turns into a resthold situation rather quickly. Hogan finally reverses, but gets suplexed again. Angle Slam gets two. Hogan does a delayed Hulk-up. Punch punch punch boot, but he stalls rather than using the legdrop. He instead chooses to go after the wig, and Angle is so discombobulated that he bails and takes a walk. We’re all thinking countout win for Hogan, but Angle returns with a chair, takes a swing, and hits himself instead. What a badass. Big boot, but the legdrop misses and Angle slaps on the anklelock! GO KURT! Hogan almost makes the ropes, but Kurt keeps pulling him back and reapplying, and Hogan finally does the right thing and taps to the better man at 12:09. Kudos to Hulk, but the match fucking blew. ѕ*

– And now, the promo that almost single-handedly saves the show, as Goldust does his Rock impression for Booker, only to turn around and find the real thing behind him. Rock corrects him on his technique and does his new catchphrase. Booker offers his own version, and Goldust, feeling left out, tries one, but stops and says “I’m not very good at this.” Booker and Rock resolve their differences and Rock wants to know why Goldust keeps touching himself all the time. Man’s got a point. Rock thinks that the WWE title is bigger than the People’s Elbow, bigger than the Spinaroonie (Booker does a double-take here), and bigger than…”What is it that YOU do, anyway?” he asks of Goldust. Goldust: “I have more ammunination in my cannon than…” Rock: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Stop touching yourself!” I’m DYING watching this. Goldust gets shot down by both Booker and Rock before both leave him standing there with a stunned look on his face. AWESOME. Buy the PPV just for this promo. Okay, maybe not, but it was damn funny.

– King of the Ring: Brock Lesnar v. Rob Van Dam. Rob hammers away to start and goes for the knee, then gets a superkick. Monkeyflip is blocked with a powerbomb. Brock stomps away and tosses him around the ring. Powerslam gets two. Backbreaker sets up a bearhug. Brock keeps pounding in the corner, but misses a charge and hits the post. Rob goes back to the knee and gets a spinkick, and a missile dropkick. Rolling Thunder gets two. Legdrop and frog splash get two. Brock no-sells and gets the Browser Refresh for the crown at 5:42. Yawn. 1/2* This is gonna backfire bigtime if they’re not REALLY careful. There’s a reason why they don’t show 1995 KOTR highlights anymore.

– World title: Undertaker v. HHH. Slugfest to start, won by UT. Then HHH. Then UT. HHH comes back with the Voodoo Choke, but UT pulls him out and slugs away again. They keep punching each other on the floor. I guess this is what JR meant by “more old school” in his Ross Report. Okay, we’ve established the punch quite well for both guys now. Back in, Taker – you guessed it – keeps punching. HHH punches back. Taker hotshots him to escape all the punching, and mixes it up with a clothesline for two. That’s enough mixing it up, he says, and goes back to punching. And hey, how about another punch for two? HHH punches back again, but walks into a sideslam for two. Well, at least it’s not a punch. Taker chokes away as JR starts spin-doctoring the non-action with his “Well, this isn’t catch-as-catch-can…” speech. Taker whips him around, but walks into an elbow. And guess what’s next? PUNCHING! There’s a kick from UT for two. JR uses the old “deliberate methodical pace” line to say that it’s boring as fuck. On the floor, HHH suplexes him and both guys lay around for a bit. Back in, UT clotheslines him and drops the leg for two. They head to the top rope – very slowly – and Taker’s superplex attempt is blocked. What a highspot. HHH – that’s right – keeps punching. Taker clotheslines him for two. This match is slower than a French art film. Taker undoes the turnbuckle, but HHH keeps punching. Taker clotheslines him and they stand around again. I check to ensure that my stopwatch has not, in fact, run out of batteries. You know it’s a bad match when you check your watch, but you know it’s a truly horrible match when you check to make sure it’s still working. HHH with the neckbreaker and he punches and gets a sad spinebuster for two. More punching. Taker gives him Snake Eyes on the exposed turnbuckle, but HHH no-sells and gets the high knee for two, and then does the AJPW delayed sell. But not for long. Taker DDTs him for two. Taker punches away, HHH punches back, but the ref gets bumped , twice. Double KO and everyone is selling it like death, even though there’s been like 3 minutes total of contact so far. Rock does a walk-in, complete with music, but is only there to do commentary. Damn, I thought maybe he might be there to SAVE THIS SHITTY MATCH. Taker and HHH lay around FOREVER and UT grabs a chair, but can’t use it. Taker gets dumped and they brawl, and SHOCKINGLY Rock gets nailed by mistake, and then even more shockingly goes after UT and hits HHH by mistake. Can you guess what next month’s main event will be? I guess in WWF-land Rock v. HHH v. UT is a fresh matchup because we’ve never seen that exact combination of the same three guys we’ve been seeing for 4 years now. Back in, Hebner is still unconscious, so the Last Ride only gets two, courtesy of Nick Patrick. Patrick gets bumped, too. Rock interjects himself and beats on Taker with a Rock Bottom, and HHH gets two from that after they lay around for 20 minutes to sell all the action we’ve seen. More laying around substitutes for actual drama. What have they actually DONE to justify all this selling? KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets nothing because Earl is still out. UT goes low and gets a rollup for the pin at 23:43. Nearly half an hour for THAT shitty finish? BLOW ME, biatch. -** Easy candidate for Worst Match of the Year to this point. So glad we have HHH & UT to step forward and carry the slack left by Austin.

The Bottom Line:

P.U. This was a show that could have been bailed out by a good main event, or even a good effort in the main event, but instead we get the three-coiler special to end out this show and basically tank the entire thing for everyone else. And what do we get next month? HHH v. UT v. Rock in a rehash of the same shitty match they’ve been having for years now. Way to elevate new stars.

Thumbs way down, as usual for King of the Ring.


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