Date: September 26, 2002
Location: San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
Well Brock retained the title but they basically ruined the end of the pay per view with a double DQ finish. That almost guarantees that we’re setting up a rematch at No Mercy in a month because that’s how WWE main events work. Other than that we don’t have much of note on Smackdown because Unforgiven wasn’t a very important show. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Stephanie McMahon’s BRILLIANT (and highly illogical) plan to have Rikishi humiliate Eric Bischoff at the pay per view.
Rikishi vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
This is over Chavo hitting Rikishi with a camera last week. Chavo wisely gets him to give chase early on but Rikishi grabs him by the head and then throws Chavo into the corner by the throat. Something like a Scotty 2 Hotty style bulldog drops the big guy though and Rikishi is sent shoulder first into the post.
In the unfunny comedy portion of the match, Chavo loads up a Stinkface of his own but gets shoved away, meaning it’s time to back it up in the corner. The Rump Shaker is countered though and Chavo goes for the camera, which is superkicked back into his face. That’s enough for the Rump Shaker to connect and put Chavo away.
Rating: C. This was MUCH better than I was expecting and Chavo got to show off a bit. Rikishi is fine in a role like this where he beats up a midcarder and stays away from the bigger stories. It’s easy to like someone as fun as Rikishi but it’s a lot more difficult to take him seriously.
Rikishi dances post match.
It’s time for a bikini contest between Torrie Wilson and Nidia with Billy and Chuck as the judges. I guess it’s time to rehabilitate their masculinity or something. Nidia gets a 6 and a 9 (it’s funny you see) and Torrie gets a double 10. Billy and Chuck get in the ring and here come Tajiri and Jamie Noble, giving us an impromptu tag match.
Billy and Chuck vs. Tajiri/Jamie Noble
Chuck gets sent to the floor so it’s a series of kicks to put Billy down. Torrie is on the apron in a neutral corner for no apparent reason but it makes for some better scenery. The always great looking Tajiri superkick drops Billy again and Jamie starts in on the knee. Noble wraps it around the post as you can see the Cruiserweight Title on the floor. At least put it on the apron so it looks somewhat important.
Billy can’t even stand on the banged up leg so Jamie puts on a leglock as the world’s only WE WANT CHUCK chant starts up. A flapjack finally puts Jamie down though and there’s the hot tag to Chuck. House is cleaned and Billy manages to get up top for the Code Red (bit of a stretch there) for the pin on Tajiri (who was on Chuck’s shoulders for a LONG time before Billy was ready).
Rating: C+. That’s your standard tag team formula and it’s going to work no matter how many times we see it. They managed to get Chuck Palumbo a chant with the most basic tag team match you can put together. There’s a reason it’s a classic and it’s going to work as long as wrestling is around.
Post match the women get into it again and Torrie spanks Nidia.
Funaki interviews Brock Lesnar and asks him if he’s going to give Undertaker a rematch. Brock will give him an answer in the ring. Funaki is thrilled with getting a scoop and doesn’t realize he’s likely about to die.
Kurt Angle comes in to see Stephanie and they reminisce about the Stinkface. Angle would like a rematch against Chris Benoit but Stephanie has something else in mind. Rey Mysterio pops up and Angle asks if this is a violation of child labor laws. Stephanie’s big idea: a triple threat match between Mysterio, Angle and Benoit. Angle says he’ll get the 1-2-3 but Rey says it’s more like the 6-1-9, which the fans certainly approve of.
Here’s Funaki with the chair that was dented over Lesnar’s head at Unforgiven. After Funaki actually gets one heck of a pop (I’m as shocked as you are), Lesnar comes out and doesn’t want to hear about the Undertaker. Brock shoves him into the corner and for reasons of general stupidity, Funaki comes out swinging. A running right hand is easily countered into an STO, followed by a few throws and an F5 for good measure.
Dawn Marie offers Torrie some insincere praise for the win, though everyone knows Dawn would have beaten her with ease.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge
No DQ. Eddie starts hammering away until a monkey flip puts him down. The fans are all over Eddie as he easily breaks up a keylock. An elbow to the head drops Edge and Eddie hits some rather hard right hands. We hit a chinlock for a bit before Edge snaps off a powerslam, only to take too long getting to the top.
That means a huge superplex to give Eddie two and it’s time to head outside. Unfortunately it’s also time for a ladder and that means a ref bump as the ladder goes straight into his face (looked great actually). Back in and Eddie unloads on him with a chair but misses the frog splash to put both guys down.
We come back from a break with a new referee and the second only now being taken to the back. That’s really not a good response time. Edge gets in the half nelson faceplant but takes too much time going up, allowing Eddie to snap off a hurricanrana for a close two. A springboard hurricanrana is countered into a sitout powerbomb with Eddie’s head bouncing off the mat in a scary visual.
The ladder is brought in but it’s also knocked into Edge’s face to drop the Canadian again. That means Eddie needs a second ladder so he can sandwich Edge together, setting up the slingshot hilo. Guerrero gets one heck of a cheer from the crowd and it’s really hard to blame him with how hard they’re beating each other up out there.
Eddie goes up the ladder but Edge is there to slug it out…..so Eddie sunset powerbombs him off with one of the biggest bumps you’ll see on regular TV. Edge just got folded up and it looked awesome. That’s good for another respectful round of applause and somehow only two. In almost any other match, that should have been the fall.
Back up again and Edge backdrops him into the ladder in the corner before they climb the second ladder a second time. You know, because it ended so well earlier. This time Edge rams him face first into the top a few times and grabs an Edgecution off the ladder (looked a bit more like a superplex for the sake of clearing the ladder but the landing still looked great) for the pin and one last big reaction from the crowd.
Rating: A. Sometimes you need a great story with all kinds of intricacies and plot details. Sometimes you need a big climax to a major story. Then sometimes you need two incredibly talented wrestlers doing crazy things to each other involving a ladder. This was spectacular with both guys absolutely destroying each other with one more big spot after another. Nothing was topping that sunset powerbomb though and I think everyone knew it. Edge winning the match (and in theory the feud) is the right call and Eddie didn’t lose a thing here. Aside from the match of course. This is on multiple DVDs and it’s easy to see why.
A bloody Eddie gets the big respectful ovation, which he more than earned.
Marc Lloyd comes up to ask Benoit about the main event. Benoit: “YOU SUCK!” That got a good laugh. Anyway Benoit is ready.
Matt Hardy talks about running Hurricane off and suggests he’ll do the same thing to Undertaker tonight. Shannon Moore isn’t convinced and thinks it might have had something to do with Brock. Hardy pshaw’s him and leaves with Lesnar looking on. Good thing he was watching the show on a monitor and knew where Matt’s locker room was in relation to his.
Wrestlemania XIX press conference video. It’s very, very odd to see Undertaker in a collared shirt and pants.
Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy
I always liked the version of Undertaker’s song with lyrics. Matt’s handshake doesn’t go how he’d hope it would and the beating is on early. Hardy gets up an elbow in the corner though and starts in on the knee but the Twist of Fate is countered into a chokeslam. The Last Ride finishes Matt in less than two minutes.
Post match Lesnar runs out and busts Undertaker open again with a belt shot. During the break, Undertaker couldn’t stand up and EGADS he’s covered in blood. That’s one heck of a blade job for a TV show.
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio
Before the match, Angle accuses Rey’s fans of being illegal immigrants. The real threat in this match isn’t the toothless weirdo or the lost member of Menudo because it’s your Olympic hero. Rey takes over to start and hits the sitout bulldog on Benoit while kicking Angle in the face at the same time.
That earns Rey a trip out to the floor so Angle and Benoit can hit the match for their usual fast paced sequence. Kurt can’t get the ankle but settles for a two count with his feet on the ropes. Rey comes back in and avoids a charge to send Kurt shoulder first into the post. Not that it matters as Benoit is right there for a German suplex.
Chris throws Rey to the floor but gets chopped n the corner by a fresh Angle. We hit the rolling German suplexes and an Angle Slam on Benoit but Rey dropkicks Kurt for two. Benoit is sent outside this time and Rey scores with a dive, only to have Angle send him into the barricade.
Back in and Benoit gets his ankle locked until he grabs the rope, setting up a double 619. Angle blocks the West Coast Pop but gets rolled up for two more. Now it’s Kurt getting caught in the Crossface but Rey breaks it up by Dropping the Time for a VERY close two on Benoit. Angle gets suplexed to the floor and Benoit throws Rey over his head and onto the ropes, only to have Rey springboard into the West Coast Pop for the pin to blow the roof off the place.
Rating: A-. I’m exhausted after watching that. I didn’t skip more than a few moves here and there and all three guys came off looking outstanding. It’s a great example of just letting people do crazy sequences and look awesome all over the place. I’m going to need a little time to get over the idea that Mysterio won in his hometown. When was that concept banned? Anyway, check this one out after you see Eddie vs. Edge.
Overall Rating: A+. That’s probably the best Smackdown of all time and I’d be surprised if anything ever topped it. The worst match of the night was either Undertaker destroying Matt Hardy or a surprisingly good Rikishi vs. Chavo match. Even if you’re not impressed with that one, it didn’t even break five minutes. Throw in two classics and Torrie in a rather nice looking swimsuit and I don’t know what else you could ask for. Check this show out and have a great time with it because it might be the best Smackdown I’ve ever seen.
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