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The SmarKdown Rant – March 28 / 2002

March 28, 2002 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarKdown Rant – March 28 2002

– Taped from Philly.

– Your hosts are MC & King.

– Opening match: DDP v. Booker T. I’m having WCW flashbacks. Booker pounds away to start and stomps a mudhole, but DDP uses the Power of Positive Thinking to no-sell it. He walks into a sidekick for two, however. Booker grabs a sleeper, but DDP escapes via jawbreaker and slugs away. Discus clothesline and Rotation powerbomb get two. A back-kick turns the tide again, but DDP gets the Diamond Cutter, only to see Brock Lesnar make the run-in and destroy him for the SEF at 2:19. Match was cruising along just fine before the non-finish. *

– Kurt Angle comes out and gets hassled by the fans. He’s upset at Steph’s demise and wants a moment of silence. Just throw a HHH title match out there, that oughtta do it. He gets so upset that he decides to start beating up the entire arena, one by one, but Vince comes out to call him off. Vince goes off on HHH and all the bad things he did to Steph, which naturally draws out the Game. He’s gonna make Vince’s life a living hell. Well, he already has Stephanie as a daughter. We take a look at Stephanie getting dragged off by security again. Angle is ENRAGED and he wants a match tonight with HHH. So does Vince. So it’s a handicap match. BUT WAIT! Ric Flair changes that to a tag match with him involved. If Vince & Flair are 50% owners, why can Flair override Vince’s match-making? Oh well, it’s the last show anyway. This was a little long to set up that particular match as a main event. I mean, Angle & Vince v. HHH & Flair?

– Elsewhere, The Dudleyz are all melancholy about the impending end.

– WWF tag title: Billy & Chuck v. The Dudley Boyz. Chuck goes after Bubba to start, but gets slugged down. Dropkick (!!!) from Bubba gets two. Double-team elbow gets two for D-Von, but Billy comes in. D-Von overpowers him and gets a neckbreaker for two. Double KO and tags abound. Bubba backdrops Chuck and suplexes Billy. DDT on Chuck gets two. Samoan drop on Billy gets two. Bubbabomb gets two. Flapjack for Billy and he gets dumped, but Rico trips up D-Von on the top. The Dudleyz get the Dudley Device anyway, but no ref. Dumbasser finishes Bubba at 3:51. This was basically the Dudleyz squashing the champs until the fluke finish. Ѕ* Dudleyz do all the babyface spots after the match, which is only like a YEAR too late. Well, I’d imagine they’ll come to their senses and make a trade to keep them together, because D-Von is dead without Bubba. If anything, it’s the Hardy Boyz that needed the split.

– Elsewhere, the APA play poker and reminisce. It’s like a long-distance commercial from hell. Suddenly it turns into a game of strip poker with Torrie.

– Elsewhere, Lita & Matt are just happy to be together. Chris Jericho sees the happiness and he’s PISSED because he’s not the champion anymore and thus will never be happy again. A match seems imminent.

– Elsewhere, Rock & Hogan are ready to whup the nWo for the last time tonight. Rock does some 80s impressions as they wonder if Kane is trustworthy. Kane nails him with “It doesn’t matter” and does his Hogan/Rock hybrid impression. Who knew Kane had a sense of humor? If he actually showed some personality once in a while like this he’d be way more over and might be worth something.

– Rock, Hulk Hogan & Kane v. Nash, Hall & X-Pac. Well, Steve Austin may be no-showing house shows left and right, but they’ve still got Sean Waltman to draw the big bucks, by god! Let’s bring Virgil back, too – he was one of the founding members, too. You know, Hogan could fashion a perfectly good mid-card career for himself if they just did the 80s thing, by building up Big Fat Heels and feeding them to him PPV after PPV, while letting the actual talent have the main event. I mean, letting Hogan do a 5-minute formula match against the Bossmans and Rikishis of the world before intermission at house shows or halfway through a dull PPV to jack the crowd could probably draw some money and be completely inoffensive as long as it was kept short. Rock and X-Pac do some armdragging to start and Rock gets a belly to belly for two. X-Pac gets a spinkick and Hall comes in, but Rock lays the smack down. Lariat gets two. Hall gets a blockbuster for two. Nash uses his dazzling array of offense to keep the advantage. I notice that he has “Nash” written on the front of his tights now, I guess in case the Alzheimers kicks in when he’s dressing. Rock makes the hot tag to Hulk, and it’s weak punches for everyone! X-Pac goes flying (first-class, of course) and Hall gets legdropped for two. Nash comes in and starts pounding again, however. Sideslam gets two. Hall gets a sleeper, but Hogan suplexes out. Kane comes in with the flying clothesline and cleans house. Sideslam for Hall, big boot for Nash, and X-Pac gets dumped again. Poor guy spends all his time going over the top rope. He gets revenge, coming in for a bronco buster, but Kane blocks it with a chokeslam and gets the pin at 6:34. Nice to see X-Pac fulfilling his purpose in life. Match was a pretty decent 80s Coliseum video main event. **1/2

– Chris Jericho v. Matt Hardy. To the shock of no one, guess who got all the blame for the HHH-Jericho feud sucking (hint: Jericho) and guess who got all the credit for “saving” it (hint: Stephanie)? So the bookers job him out for months before winning the title, put the title on him via massive interference, make it known that he can’t even beat Rikishi without cheating and/or getting outside help, turn him into Stephanie’s coffee boy leading into the biggest show of the year, job him cleanly to HHH at said show, and thus it’s JERICHO’S fault that HHH couldn’t get over as a babyface. Keep that sort of logic in mind if you’re ever in line for a job with the WWF – it’ll serve you well. Matt attacks to start and pounds away, and catapults Jericho to set up a yodelling legdrop for two. You’d think he’d be so upset with Jericho that he wouldn’t have time to go “AAAAAAaaaaah!” before the legdrop, but there it was. Jericho hangs him in the Tree of Woe and stomps away, but Lita comes in with the rana and Matt gets some uranage-type-thing for two. Jericho reverses a sunset flip into the Walls, but Matt shoves him into Lita my accident. Jericho goes low and into the Walls again, and Matt taps at 2:12. Maybe they should have done that sort of thing WHILE HE WAS CHAMPION. Ѕ*

– Elsewhere, Torrie only takes off a piece of jewelry, prompting Christian to throw a tantrum.

– Intercontinental title: Rob Van Dam v. Test. Test pounds away to start and Rob gets caught trying a bodypress, but comes back with a superkick for two. Test blocks a spinkick with a hotshot, and RVD responds by dropkicking the knee. Standing moonsault gets two. Spinkick misses and Test gets a full-nelson slam for two. Rob spinkicks him for two. Sunset flip gets two. Test clothesline Rob to put him down again and he seems upset at Earl Hebner. Rob attacks, and reverses a powerbomb into a sunset flip for the pin at 2:24, courtesy a fast count. This wasn’t so much a match as a series of stuff crammed into 2 minutes. *

– Hardcore title: Maven v. Raven. Well, even if their career fails, they can earn a good living leasing out their names to Roxette in case they need a better rhyme than “moon” and “June”. Raven brings the plunder but Maven attacks. Trashcan lids turn the tide, but in one of those cruel hand of irony moments, Maven uses them in turn before going low with a broom. Maven tries to go up and blows the spot horrible, slipping and hitting the floor. He comes back with a missile dropkick, but Tommy Dreamer runs in and beats on him. Raven uses the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM and Evenflow for the pin and the title at 1:45. Standard stuff. ј*

– Elsewhere, Vince and Angle discuss rumors of Austin showing up on RAW. Austin should write an open letter to them on WWF.com to refute that.

– Elsewhere, William Regal breaks up the merriment of the poker game. A brawl erupts. They close up shop with a ripoff of the Cheers finale.

– Kurt Angle & Vince McMahon v. Ric Flair & HHH. Vince & HHH start and Vince wants a posedown. So HHH lets Flair in, and Vince of course defers to Angle. Flair plays some mindgames and goes to the eyes, and we get some choppage. HHH comes in and pounds away, but gets caught with a belly to belly. Angle goes Olympic on his ass, but HHH does his choke takedown thing and Flair comes in. They double-team Angle and do some strutting in a cute spot. Flair grabs a sleeper (what’s with all the sleepers tonight?) and Angle suplexes out. He starts to working on the leg and Vince helps out, still not having learned the basic principles behind doing so. They double-team him, but Flair chops back. He goes low on Angle, who retaliates with the Anglelock, but HHH breaks. Vince gets the figure-four, as Jerry notes that Vince is “revolutionizing the hold”. That’s one word for it. Hot tag HHH, who gets a neckbreaker on Angle and slugs away. Spinebuster gets two. KICK WHAM PEDIGREE, but Vince uses the belt on HHH to break it up. Angle gets two. Vince sledges him, but Flair comes back in and chops away and goes low. Once again, I think Vince getting kicked in the nuts is a ratings WINNER. Undertaker runs in and nails Flair, and Vince gets that win back from Royal Rumble at 9:24. This was pretty slow and sloppy. *1/2

The Bottom Line:

Pretty much a lame duck show as we transition into Direction Change #1939. The wrestling sucked as usual, but it was an entertaining enough show to keep my amused for a couple of hours, so hey ho.

Next week: Yet another new direction begins!

NULL

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