wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarKdown Rant – August 8 2002

August 8, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarKdown Rant – August 8 2002

– Some very sad news to report before we begin, as my counterpart on the Observer site, Nilton Fernandes, was killed earlier today in a freak accident while helping his father at work, as he was pinned between two trailers and crushed. I always enjoyed Nilton’s take on RAW and the other WWE TV shows, and to be killed in such a horrific and ugly way is something that no one deserves, especially someone so young. Best wishes to his family, and thanks to Nilton for all the fine work while it lasted.

– On a slightly happier note, ECW hasn’t even managed to do the world a favour and go away quietly, as the whole bankruptcy proceeding has now begun to turn into a giant legal boxing match between Annodeus (Acclaim) and the WWE. The bone of contention appears to be that the WWE felt that they should have been allowed to buy ECW outright for $250,000, and that letting Annodeus have the tape library now would be essentially throwing away up to $3 million in future revenue that could be going to the WWE. Most feel that Annodeus, if given the library by the courts, would simply turn around and sell to the WWE for anywhere between $200K and $1,000,000. ECW’s trustee responded that the ECW name isn’t worth the price of shit in summer right now, and thus claims of future earnings from the video library are ridiculous. Added to all this another lawsuit due to Joey Styles “borrowing” $50,000 from the ECW website for himself, and it’s BONZO GONZO for the lawyers. My personal guess is that no matter what happens, Vince McMahon is going to end up owning everything, and it’s just a matter of how much he’s going to have to pay for the remains of the promotion and to who.

– By the way, for those who are sending me e-mails about how the Judgment Day DVD is exclusively available on Shopzone and not in stores. Well, move to Canada. I picked it up at Future Shop today, because I guess Canada uses a different manufacturer and distributor than the US does for WWE DVDs.

– Taped from Richmond, VA.

– Your hosts are MC & Tazz.

– Opening match: Kurt Angle v. John Cena. Powder blue tights for Cena again. Some guy in the back of the arena has a sign saying “John Cena”. That’s kinda sad, actually. Cena works the mat and grabs a headlock, and Angle bails after getting punched. Angle gets his own headlock, and they do a repeat of the spot, but Cena gets the punch again. Funny and nicely subtle stuff. Angle dumps him to turn the tide, and he beats on him out there before tossing him back in and stomping away. Angle starts chopping, but Cena returns fire. Angle suplexes him to end that rally. Another overhead belly to belly gets two. Cena gets a suplex of his own and starts fighting back, but Angle spikes him into the corner and destroys him. Backbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Cena fights back. Angle nails him with the rolling germans, however, until Cena blocks the third one and DDTs him. They slug it out and Cena gets a forearm and two clotheslines, and a backdrop. Angle takes him down, however, and gets the anklelock. Cena kicks out of it, however, and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Protobomb is reversed by Angle, but he misses a charge and hits the post. Kurt heads out to rest, but Cena dropkicks him off the apron, into the stairs. Chris Benoit runs in and puts the crossface on Cena for the DQ at 8:18, however. Mysterio breaks that up, but Eddy takes care of him, and Edge completes the housecleaning by getting rid of Eddy and Angle. Cena didn’t do anything really new or exciting, but the basic stuff was done REALLY well. Keep him in the ring with the Angles and Benoits and he’ll get better in a hurry. ***1/4

– Elsewhere, Benoit & Guerrero let us know that Benoit is, in fact, the master of submissions. Angle takes exception to that, because Cena was going to tap. Obviously. Eddy brokers peace between the Masters of Submission, and focuses their energy against Cena, Edge & Mysterio.

– D-Von v. Mark Henry. The canned heat for Henry is just getting embarrassing. Henry attacks to start, and blocks a sunset flip with a choke. D-Von bumps around , but Henry misses a charge and D-Von hammers away and gets a clothesline. Fistdrop and he stomps away. Michael Cole notes how D-Von is picking up the pace lately, and D-Von promptly starts walking around and stalling. Henry makes his comeback and tosses D-Von around some more. Flapjack, and sidekick, set up a powerslam for the pin at 2:47. Yeah, I care. Ѕ* Batista punks him out afterwards, but Rikishi waddles out to make the save. Rikishi wants some of Batista, however.

– Impromptu Match: Rikishi v. Batista. Rikishi attacks and tries to overpower him, but Batista hits a full-nelson slam. He pounds away in the corner and chokes away. Rikishi comes back with a DDT, but Cheeks of Fire is blocked with a knee to the back. D-Von hits Batista by mistake, however, and a superkick finishes at 2:30. Batista didn’t look particularly impressive in that outing. Ѕ*

– Elsewhere, Brock goes to Hogan’s locker room over Paul’s objections. Hogan dares him to put the title shot on the line tonight, and Brock is THERE. Paul freaks out as only he can. “He ALWAYS overcomes adversity! THAT’S HIS WHOLE M.O.!”

– Elsewhere, Torrie and Nidia get into a catfight.

– Billy & Chuck v. The Hurricane & Shannon Moore. Three Count…Reunited. I’m dismayed that they don’t even mention their former secret identities. Chuck attacks Hurricane, but gets taken down. Shining Wizard Magazine gets two. The EYEPOKE OF DOOM allows Moore to hit Chuck with a rana from the top, but Billy comes in and stomps him down. Moore dropkicks him and brings Hurricane back in, who slugs away and gets a tornado DDT. He tries a chokeslam on both guys, but gets flapjacked. Wow, 10 points for balls, minus several million for common sense. He gets worked over in the corner, but Billy misses his charge and falls prey to a Neckbreaker. Hot tag to Shannon, who gets a spinning spinning Neckbreaker on Chuck and a corkscrew, but Billy takes him out. Hurricane actually gets his chokeslam on Billy, though, and it’s BONZO GONZO. Hurricane flies with a highspot onto Rico, but Billy & Chuck go for the Dumbsday Device on Moore. It misses, and Moore rolls up Chuck for the pin at 4:33. That finish is actually lifted from the Destruction Crew v. DJ Peterson & The Trooper in the dying days of the AWA, which I’m sure no one cares about but I still remember it. *1/2

– Elsewhere, Cena is a bit too intense for Edge’s liking. Rey’s got the Angle situation under control, apparently. Okay then.

– Kane video…on Smackdown? No wonder no one takes the split seriously.

– Elsewhere, Paul appeals to Stephanie to save Brock’s title shot, but she flatters him into keeping the stipulation.

– Edge, Rey Mysterio & John Cena v. Chris Benoit, Eddy Guerrero & Kurt Angle. We take a break to start and return in progress, with Angle choking out Edge in the corner. Edge gets a belly-to-belly and chops away, and he flapjacks Benoit when he tags in. Mysterio goes next, but gets faceplanted by the Crippler and kneed to death. Benoit’s charge hits boot, however, and Mysterio goes up, and gets a rana. Benoit clobbers him from behind and Eddy pounds away, however. He works the arm, but Rey turns it into a headscissors and brings Cena in. They slug it out and Cena gets a hiptoss slam for two. Eddy reverses a suplex, but gets hit with a backdrop suplex for two. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa, and the end result is Cena getting bootfucked in the heel corner by Benoit & Guerrero. Benoit whips him into the corner and stomps away. Snap suplex gets two. Angle comes in with a short-arm clothesline and hits the chinlock. Cena fights back, so Angle gives him a spinebuster for two. Eddy slingshots in for two. He stomps away and twists the boot in, and Benoit & Guerrero double-team him with an elbow. Benoit gets a backdrop suplex, but misses a charge. Benoit calmly takes him down with a drop toehold and pounds him in the face, and back to the corner we go. The CANADIAN VIOLENCE is unleashed, and Eddy keeps hammering him down before grabbing a facelock. Backdrop suplex sets up the frog splash, but Rey pushes him down and Cena superplexes him. Hot tag Edge, and he cleans house. He spears Benoit in the corner and Eddy in the middle, but Benoit drops him on his head with a german suplex. Mysterio hits Benoit with a bulldog, but Eddy kills Rey with a brainbuster. Cena gets the Protobomb on Eddy, but Angle hits Cena with the Angle Slam. Rey hits Angle with the rana for the pin at 10:02. Awesome finish, and I think they short-changed that match in terms of time given. That thing had another 10 minutes in it, EASY. ***

– Elsewhere, Kurt is shell-shocked. “I just got pinned by a 12-year old.” He’s also concerned due to Rey being the illegal man in the match. He’s got a point. He vows revenge, however.

– Jamie Noble & Nidia v. Kidman & Torrie. This is mixed-tag rules rather than intergender. Noble gets a northern lights suplex for two to start, and chokes out Kidman. Kidman snaps off a rana and dropkicks him. Rydien bomb gets two. Kidman goes after Nidia, triggering a collision between the heels that puts Noble on the floor. Kidman chooses to make the fatal error all great leaders do – he tries to spank the ho instead of going after her redneck boyfriend. I hear that’s what ended the Roman empire. Torrie eventually gets that spanking in, but Noble trips her up and Nidia cradles for the pin at 2:00. ј*

– Elsewhere, Dawn is looking for Stephanie, but finds Stacy instead. An acting tour-de-force follows as they both drool over Vince, even when he’s not there. Stacy PROMISES to give the very important McGuffin papers to Stephanie, but of course that doesn’t happen. Wow, this feud just keeps going, doesn’t it?

– Elsewhere, Stacy tips off Stephanie to Dawn’s “betrayal”, and the Bisch is revealed to be hiding in the back. INTRIGUE!

– Brock Lesnar v. Hulk Hogan. The big staredown starts us off, and stalling follows. Brock turns the tables on him, winning Hogan’s usual speciality – the LOCKUP OF DEATH. Lesnar gets a shot to the back and Hogan goes into full 80s selling mode on the mat, but no-sells and comes back with punches. Brock misses a charge and gets clotheslined for two. Hogan drops the elbows and dumps Brock. More stalling results. Brock posts Hogan, however, and stomps away back in the ring. Elbowdrops of his own and Hogan is doing the old “cling to the leg” selljob. Brock spears him in the corner and works him over and gently tosses him. Hogan no-sells again and uses the EYERAKE OF DOOM, but back in Brock powerbombs him out of the corner for two. Hogan revives again, however, and does the hulking up routine. Big boot, but now Brock no-sells. More punches and another big boot, legdrop, but Brock no-sells it. Another boot, but once again the face goes after Heyman and falls victim to the Browser Refresh. This time, however, Brock opts for a bearhug, which the crowd takes as a chance to revive Hogan again. However, it turns into the finish, as the arm actually drops on the third try at 10:03. That was a pretty anticlimactic finish, but kudos to Hulk for doing the right thing. * The problem here was that Hogan kept no-selling the offense, so that there was nothing to indicate he would be beat up enough to lose to something like a bearhug. Brock rubs Hogan’s blood on his chest – geez, he’s not just big and mean, he’s unhygienic, too.

The Bottom Line:

Well, they’re going for it with Brock, but I just don’t know if Rock can pull off a miracle by both getting a good main event out of him AND getting him over enough to carry the promotion as champion. The fans just don’t buy him as the monster heel du jour or the “next big thing”, and there’s gonna come a point where they have to come to grips with that.

The opener and six-man made this a pretty decent show, but most of the rest fell flat for me, especially the D-Von stuff. And with a couple of weeks until Summerslam, they really need to find something to sell the show on, because people just don’t appear to be buying what they’re selling so far.


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