Smackdown – December 5, 2002

Date: December 5, 2002
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re getting close to the end of the year and thankfully there are no turkeys involved this week. However there’s still Big Show, who can indeed be put in the F5 and chokeslams people through tables. Hopefully we get to see some more of the young guys being pushed, which would do Smackdown a lot of good. Let’s get to it.

The opening video points out that Stephanie McMahon is in charge and you better understand that. She suspended Brock Lesnar last week but he screwed himself you see.

Opening sequence.

Albert vs. Rey Mysterio

Albert has been stuck on Velocity lately and is ready to turn some heads. Fair enough, but will those heads be 8 3/8 inches? Mysterio kicks at the leg to start but gets caught in a good looking sitout gorilla press slam. Back up and Albert charges into a boot, followed by a springboard bulldog for two. The 619 connects but the West Coast Pop is countered into an over the shoulder backbreaker to give Albert the huge upset. Well…..I know they need new stars but ALBERT? They couldn’t have Benoit or Angle do this and then move on to face Lesnar? They use Albert for it instead? Uh…..yeah.

Post match Alberto beats Rey’s knee with chair, likely writing him off TV to repair an injury, until Edge makes a save.

Bill DeMott rants about being interviewed by Funaki, who can barely speak English.

Edge yells at the medics for not taking care of Mysterio fast enough.

Here’s Stephanie to brag about throwing herself at Scott Steiner in the name of getting him to sign with Smackdown. It’s worked though as Steiner will be here next week to sign. As for tonight, Lesnar is still suspended but he’ll get to appear via satellite to give his side of the story. At least Stephanie is now a heel and supposed to be obnoxious and mean.

Jamie Noble vs. Crash

Nidia jumps in on commentary as Jamie takes Crash down for an early two. Noble works him over in the corner and Nidia doesn’t want to talk about Jamie’s cousin Nunzio. Crash comes back with a clothesline and Bodog but stops to kiss Nidia. The distraction lets Jamie load up the Tiger Bomb, only to be reversed into the Crash Landing (Styles Clash) for the pin. Now that’s how you make a losing streak stick: a clean loss to a low level contender.

Jamie says Nunzio gets here next week.

Chris Benoit gives one heck of an interview about how his whole life has been about becoming World Champion but the broken neck held him back. This is edited off the Network, which is understandable, though annoying if you really want everything.

Dawn Marie comes up to Torrie and gets straight to the point: she wants Torrie instead of her dad. If she comes to Dawn’s hotel room tonight, the wedding is over. Torrie looks disturbed and says no way. Dawn asks how much Torrie loves her father and the wheels seem to be turning. This would have worked better if the acting was a bit higher and if it came off as sexy rather than stalkerish.

One thing here: what exactly is hurt by Al marrying Dawn? He’ll be with someone WAY out of his league and seems to be happy. Is she going to take what is likely very limited money? Or just leave him? Or is it just to torment Torrie into sleeping with her? I really don’t see how Al is hurt in this whole thing, assuming Dawn doesn’t try to swindle him somehow.

Funaki vs. Bill DeMott

DeMott has Marc Mero’s music. Funaki gets taken down and stomped a lot as the announcers recap how horrible DeMott’s career has been. Choking with some screaming has Funaki in trouble, followed by a powerslam and the moonsault for the pin. Just a squash with DeMott basically having the same character and motivation as Albert.

Los Guerreros are ready to win their matches tonight and make Grandma Guerrero proud. That should be everyone’s mission in life really.

We get the Lesnar sitdown interview and he got what he deserved for working with Paul Heyman. He heard Stephanie say that Lesnar screwed himself…..and here are Heyman and Big Show to interrupt. Heyman compares Lesnar to a child that needed a spanking and who better than Big Show to administer one? The two of them screwed Lesnar and loved it. If they could go back in time to the week before Survivor Series, they would do it all over again. After some plugs of tonight’s four way #1 contenders match, Lesnar promises to be at Armageddon.

Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero

Kidman is defending. A fan in the crowd has a sign saying the Guerreros will mow your lawn for a green card. As stupid as that is, Cole tops it by saying “Brock Lesnar has said he’ll be at Armageddon in person, whatever that means.” Kidman grabs a hurricanrana to start but gets caught in a gutbuster to give Chavo the real early control. Some shots to the kidneys set up an abdominal stretch but a Gory Bomb is countered into a rollup.

Kidman’s fireman’s carry into a backbreaker gets two and the BK Bomb is good for the same. They head up top at the same time for the big crash out to the floor and we have a bit of a breather. Back in and Kidman misses the Shooting Star, setting up the Gory Bomb to give Chavo two. Kidman comes right back with something like a reverse implant DDT, followed by the Shooting Star to retain.

Rating: C+. The rib work didn’t go anywhere but it was nice to see Kidman getting some time instead of being thrown out there for three minutes before finishing with his one big move. Kidman can be a fine champion and a good choice for someone to take the title from later on so this is the right way to build him up.

Edge wants to become #1 contender but wants to get his hands on Albert too. He’s not entirely focused you see. Edge charges across the backstage and goes after Albert until referees break it up.

And now, a hip hop challenge between John Cena and Rikishi. They both rap and Rikishi wins the fan vote. An attack ensues but Rikishi and Tazz (hosting) easily fight off Cena and B Two. Dancing ensues and I have no idea how this helps anyone other than Rikishi.

Angle is ready for the main event.

Edge vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero

Elimination rules and the winner gets Big Show at Armageddon. Before we’re ready to go though, Albert jumps Edge and takes out his knee. After everyone else is ready to go, Edge slowly limps down to the ring to have all four in the ring at once. The match is joined in progress after a break with Edge backdropping and flapjacking anyone he sees (save for the referee, commentators and fans of course) until Benoit and Angle start going after the leg.

Angle and Eddie head outside, leaving Benoit to stay on the bad knee. The half nelson faceplant gives Edge a breather but Eddie throws both of them outside. Eddie misses the frog splash and gets hit by the Swan Dive for two. The Edgecution gets two on Benoit, who pops up and Crossfaces Eddie for the elimination.

Angle is right there with the rolling German suplexes on Benoit but Edge comes back with the missile dropkick on Kurt. The knee is banged up again though and it’s Angle on his feet first. The Angle Slam is countered into an Edge-O-Matic but Benoit breaks it up with a Crossface on Edge which is broken up by an ankle lock. We get a ref bump so here’s Eddie with a belt shot to Benoit. Edge adds a spear to get rid of Chris and we’re down to two.

Kurt is right back up with the ankle lock though and Edge somehow lasts the better part of a minute. They both fall to the floor in a crash and we take a break. Back with Angle clotheslining a bloody Edge, who hammers away with right hands in the corner. That just earns him an overhead belly to belly as Angle turns it up one more notch. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Edge comes back with his own belly to belly.

Another Edge-O-Matic gets two as the announcers are selling the heck out of that bad knee. Angle rolls some more German suplexes but Edge, with his thong sticking out, gets a spear for two more. The Edgecution gets another near fall as the fans are losing their minds on these kickouts.

Edge actually blocks the corner running superplex and hits another missile dropkick. The Angle Slam gets two and the kickout only makes Kurt more angry. Edge rolls through the ankle lock for a hot two and it’s right back to the ankle lock. A rope is finally grabbed and Edge hits his own Angle Slam for two more. He takes too long getting up top though and the running Angle Slam FINALLY puts Edge away to give Angle the title shot.

Rating: A. I remember watching this match when it aired live and thinking it was amazing. While I remember it differently (I would have sworn that Edge came out halfway through the match and that the first two eliminations took the better part of fifteen minutes), it’s still an outstanding back and forth battle with the last seven or eight minutes being incredible. Angle and Edge were trading bomb after bomb with Edge finally getting caught at the end. Edge looked like a star here and….is going to be facing Albert at the pay per view. But that’s for another time as this was a great match and well worth checking out.

Big Show is IMMEDIATELY there to chokeslam Angle and stand tall.

We cut to Torrie going into Dawn’s hotel room. Dawn is waiting on her wearing a robe and sipping a glass of wine. Torrie looks very uncomfortable as Dawn tucks back her hair and says how much Torrie must love her father. If Torrie does everything Dawn wants, the wedding is off. Torrie goes to leave but Dawn says that means Torrie doesn’t love her father. That’s enough to get Torrie to stay and we’re out. I was rather intrigued by this when I was younger for obvious reasons but now…..egads. The fact that you know nothing is going to make TV and the payoff is Dawn vs. Torrie tells you everything you need to know.

Overall Rating: B-. The main event more than carries the week but we’re looking down the barrel of Albert, Rikishi, Bill DeMott and Big Show as some of the top stars of this show. I’m not sure why they would go that route when they have Edge, Benoit and Los Guerreros sitting there but WWE never was one to go with what people seemed interested in seeing. Above all else though, this show toned the Stephanie stuff down by a few thousand notches and it was much easier watch as a result. Good show this week but the future is looking scary.

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