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The SmarKdown Rant – July 25 2002

July 25, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarKdown Rant – July 25, 2002

– A REALLY annoying video of Stephanie running down the matches starts us out. I pity the people at home on acid trips who had to see that and thought that they had bought some bad shit.

– Live from Indianapolis, IN.

– Your hosts are MC & Tazz, at ringside. So I think the storyline IS gonna be Bischoff turning RAW into Nitro.

– Opening match: Kurt Angle v. Mark Henry. They’re still trying with the canned heat to make people think Henry is over. Henry overpowers Angle, and gets a slam. Angle takes him down, but gets put on the top rope. Angle slugs away on him, but walks into an elbow. Press slam, but Henry misses a charge and gets suplexed for two. Angle goes back to the punching, but walks into a clothesline. Henry misses ANOTHER charge, but no-sells and powerslams Angle. Lesnar comes in and beats up Henry for the DQ at 2:57. Horrible finish. DUD

– Elsewhere, Angle wants to know what the hell that was. Brock thinks Kurt blew it at Vengeance and he was in trouble against Henry. Ouch. Burn!

– Elsewhere, Stacy meets with Stephanie and offers her services. Her first service: Retrieving flowers sent by Uncle Eric. Huzzah.

– Reverend D-Von v. Val Venis. Val slugs away to start and gets a corner clothesline. Elbow and slam set up a kneedrop for two. Big boot and both guys tumble over the top. Back in, D-Von attacks as Val rolls in and follows with the elbow. Necksnap gets two. He goes up and misses an elbow, and Val makes the comeback with clotheslines. Backdrop and seaman’s suplex get two, but Batista saves. A brawl with Holly erupts, and Val gets the Blue thunder bomb for the pin at 3:07. Total filler. ј* Batista lays out Val and Hardcore afterwards. They need to get Batista FAR away from D-Von.

– Elsewhere, Stacy sends security after Edge.

– Elsewhere, Storm & Christian celebrate their clean win over Edge & Hogan and revel in their un-Americanness.

– Elsewhere, Stephanie wants to know if Edge is leaving to go to RAW or what. He wants to show her a videotape, though. It’s a countdown from now until the end of the show, when he gets Jericho in a cage match. Actually, if the clock is accurate, the show would be running 5 minutes over.

– Rikishi v. Albert. Albert comes in with his big kick and stomps away in the corner. Corner splash, but Rikishi slugs back. Albert wins that. He goes up with a pump splash for two. Another charge misses and Rikishi gets a DDT and samoan drop to set up Cheeks of Fire and the Stinkface. Superkick and the banzai drop finish at 2:44. The point eludes me. ј*

– Elsewhere, Stephanie gets to the bottom of Kurt Angle’s phone call with a mysterious “Eric”.

– Tag team title match: Lance Storm & Christian v. Hulk Hogan & Rock. Hogan starts with Storm and overpowers him with the LOCKUP OF DOOM. Storm slugs away and gets a clothesline, but Hogan no-sells and clotheslines him. The faces pinball Storm and Rock comes in with more punching. Lariat and suplex get two. Storm jawbreaks him, however, and the Canadian forces hammer away in the corner. Rock no-sells it and nails Christian with a clothesline and belly to belly, however. Storm distracts Rock long enough for Christian to get a spinkick for two. They trade off with the perfectly legal tactics, but Rock backdrops Storm and gets a spinebuster on Storm. People’s Elbow, but Test accidentally pulls down the top rope while attempting to point out some cheating from Hogan to the referee, and Rock hits the floor. Back in, Storm gets two. Christian gets two after a Canadian chokehold, which is legal. Rock gives him a neckbreaker, but Test reaches in to indicate to Rock that his shoelace is untied, and clumsy Rock slips and hurls himself into the announce table on the outside. Back in, the champs take turns getting near-falls on Rock. Slugfest is won by Rock, but Storm blocks Rock Bottom and gets the Stormkick for two. Hogan, poor sportsman, breaks up the count at two and ROBS the Canadians of their rightful victory. Rock goes for the hot tag, but Hogan was busy going after the perfectly innocent Test, and isn’t there to receive it. Finally Rock makes it, and Hogan cleans house with illegal right hands. Big boot misses and the Canadians get a double-suplex, however. Rock comes in without tagging, however, and sets a poor example by hitting Rock Bottom on Storm. Christian with the Unprettier on Hogan for two, but Hulk is up. He’s obviously on PCP. Big boot and legdrop, but Brock Lesnar runs in for his second DQ of the night at 9:15 and gives Hogan the Browser Refresh. I hate that finish. Match was okay, even though Rock wouldn’t really give them anything. **1/4

– Elsewhere, Brock steals Hogan’s limo. What a cad.

– Elsewhere, John Cena makes fun of Test’s teeth and gets smacked in the mouth as a result.

– Elsewhere, Chris Jericho shills his CD and revels in his own happiness.

– Chavo Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio. Apparently “Jr” is no longer allowed in the WWE. Rey is kinda HHH-ish. And what’s with the Adam Bomb contacts? Did he travel back to 1999 and get inducted by the Ministry of Darkness or something? They do a mat-sequence to start and Rey gets a rollup for two. An inverted rana (!) and Chavo misses a charge and gets rolled up again for two. Chavo gives him a release german, however, to turn the tide. He drops him on the top and works him over in the corner. Abdominal stretch, but Rey reverses for two. They fight it out on top, and Chavo blocks a bodypress with a dropkick for two. Chavo slides him out of the ring like a bartender sending a beer down to a cowboy, and back in with the exploding gutbuster for two. Rey comes back with a dropkick that puts Chavo on the outside, and follows with a corkscrew plancha. Back in, Rey goes up, but Chavo follows him up there. Chavo hits the mat and Rey follows with a Bombs Away. Chavo goes back to the ribs, but the brainbuster is reversed into a rolling bridge for two. Gory Special 2000 gets two for Chavo. Chavo charges and hits boot, but gets dropped onto the middle rope and Rey does his fakeout and kicks him in the face. Rana rollup gets the pin at 5:53. Good, but unspectacular, debut for Mysterio. I’m liking Chavo lately, though. **1/2

– Elsewhere, Rey runs into Test and gets beat up. Man, Test is in a bad mood tonight. Must be the stress of constantly dealing with the American conspiracy against him.

– John Cena v. Test. Cena is in Smurf blue tonight. Test attacks to start in the corner and tosses him. Back in, Cena gets a dropkick and slugs away. Test comes back with a corner clothesline, however, to end that rally. He slugs him down, but misses an elbow. Cena with the DDT, and Test misses a charge. Cena gets a forearm and a pair of clotheslines to set up the Stinger splash. Backdrop suplex gets two. Test pumphandles him for two. Test argues and gets rolled up for two. He comes back with a powerbomb, but it’s reversed for the pin at 3:20. Test gets his heat back by laying out Cena afterwards. They need to break that booking habit. Match was nothing special, your typical “little guy upsets big guy” thing. Ѕ*

– The timer has now become re-aligned with the actual time remaining.

– Cage match: Chris Jericho v. Edge. Note to Michael Cole: Edge injuring his shoulder in a previous cage match is coincidental, not ironic. We pick things up from commercial with Jericho eating cage. He comes back and pounds away in the corner, but Edge clotheslines him and chops away. Jericho makes a climb, but gets caught by Edge. They fight over that for a bit until Edge brings him back the hard way. Jericho gets tied up in the ropes, and Edge spears him out of there, but charges again and eats cage. Three times. Edge blades and Jericho works the cut in the corner and does a little cheese grater action with the cage. ARROGANT COVER~! gets two. Jericho starts with the Canadian Violence and lets Edge know that he’s the King of the World. Just in case he wasn’t aware. Flashback gets two. Now Jericho ties Edge into the ropes and pounds away on the cut, but charges and hits the steel. It’s very cold and unforgiving, doncha know? Edge makes the comeback with a forearm and half-nelson bulldog for two. Dropkick misses, however, and Jericho tries the Lionsault, but hits knee. Edge gets two. Then he tries climbing, but Jericho stops him and tries a superplex, which is countered with a facejam by Edge. That gets two. Edge’s DDT is reversed to the Walls, and when Edge tries to block Jericho catapults him into the cage instead and crawls for the door. Edge stops him. Jericho manages to snag a chair, however, and lays out Edge for two. Edge spears him for two. Edge climbs, but Jericho goes low to stop him and bulldogs him off the top. Jericho climbs again and makes it over the top of the cage, but Edge gets the hair to block and brings him back in with an electric chair off the top. Both guys crawl towards the cage, but Edge climbs out, before Jericho crawls out, and wins at 13:02. Kinda boring, actually, with a lot of laying around and ridiculously slow crawling for the cage. *** Team Canada attacks the traitor Edge and gives him some Canadian Justice, then gives Cena more of the same. Rey Mysterio hits the heels with a bodypress from the top of the cage to make the save, however. That’s a pretty interesting babyface force.

– Elsewhere, Steph runs off to find Eric Bischoff in the parking lot. He has someone unseen in the limo. Oh man, I bet it’s Mark Henry defecting to RAW! That’d be HUGE! Kurt Angle reveals that it was his brother Eric he was talking to, not Eric Bischoff. SMELL THE INTRIGUE!

The Bottom Line:

There was a lot more emphasis on wrestling this week, although the millions of backstage skits focusing on Stephanie are a bit much. My main thing with this new direction is that there’s no real incentive for the fans to care one way or the other who is on what show – Stephanie talks about “Smackdown fans”, but why would the WWE possibly want to divide their own fanbase into two camps? For the purposes of the angle they want to provide the illusion of competition, but for the purposes of maintaining fans, they can’t actually go all the way with it. That’s the main problem with the angle. As someone who watches both shows, whether I watch, say, Jericho on Smackdown or RAW doesn’t make a bit of difference to me.

Anyway, good long main event, good long tag team title match makes for a pretty good show overall to bail out the boring first hour.


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