Smackdown – December 19, 2002

Smackdown
Date: December 19, 2002
Location: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re past the last pay per view of the year and that means we only have two Smackdowns left. The big story on the Smackdown side is Kurt Angle becoming the new Smackdown World Champion, having defeated Big Show in a match that was way better than it had any right to be. That puts us on the road to the Royal Rumble, where Chris Benoit might be the new #1 contender. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s tag match with Big Show pinning Angle and then Angle winning the title thanks to Brock Lesnar’s help. This eats up over three minutes.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Angle, with a belt that still says Big Show, to open things up. He lists off his accomplishments but this title win was different. Angle isn’t sure if he could have won the title without Lesnar so he’d like Brock out here now. Cue Brock to one heck of a reaction. Angle agrees to give him a shot at the title anytime, any place. That’s what Brock wanted to hear because he wants his shot tonight. Actually that doesn’t work for Kurt though because he has a non-title match with Chris Benoit. Lesnar will get his title shot next week though, which Lesnar begrudgingly accepts.

Big Show is livid about Lesnar getting the first shot and rants to Paul Heyman about it. Don’t worry though because Heyman has a fan. Again, this takes way too long to accomplish something very simple.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman

Non-title. Eddie goes right for him and grabs a belly to back suplex to take over. A very fast tilt-a-whirl backbreaker looks to set up the frog splash but Kidman bails away and hits an enziguri. The BK Bomb gets two and the shooting star connects, only to have Chavo pull Kidman away. That’s not a DQ for no apparent reason though and Eddie grabs a Gory Bomb for the pin.

Matt Hardy walks into Stephanie’s office to explain the concept of MF’ers (Mattitude Followers). She’s worried that he won’t be able to face Lesnar tonight but Matt is ready to go.

John Cena vs. Chuck Palumbo

Cena’s rap calls the Buccaneers a rather surprising slur which rhymes with beers. The announcers start talking about the Torrie/Dawn Marie footage as “Bling Bling Buchanan” gets in a few shots on the floor. Cena grabs a seated full nelson (it’s better than the same old chinlock over and over) but Palumbo fights up for the comeback. A belly to belly sets up the discus punch and Chuck heads to the top, only to have Cena roll through a high crossbody and grab the trunks for the pin.

Chuck punches Cena out but gets hit by Buchanan’s change. Cue Rikishi for the save because THIS STORY IS STILL GOING!

We get a long, LONG recap of the build to Torrie/Dawn in the hotel room (same as the one from Sunday I believe) and then see about ten seconds, all of which we saw at the pay per view.

We get a sitdown interview with Torrie at her mom’s house in Idaho where she says she’s more proud than anything else. She’s willing to do anything for her father but he’s the one person she’s embarrassed her. As for being a sexual predator, she’s certainly a sexual person, but Dawn is going to find out what kind of a predator she can be. Cue Dawn and Al as Cole suggests that Al has no idea what’s going on. You mean getting to be with a woman WAY out of his league who doesn’t seem to mind being with him in exchange for tormenting his daughter? I still don’t quite get how Al is hurt in all this.

Anyway Dawn calls Torrie a nymphomaniac and says her relationship with Al is sacred. They never run out of things to say and enjoy their late night encounters. She’s never seen a more handsome and virile man than her “Al-sy Wal-sy.” The wedding will be here on Smackdown in two weeks. Torrie storms off because they deserve each other.

Raw Retro: Rock challenges Hogan. That’s one heck of a moment.

Brock Lesnar vs. Matt Hardy

This is over Brock throwing Matt, who has wrestled in 44 states, through a wall. However, Matt comes out holding his good eye and has Shannon Moore tagging along. We’ve got a substitution due to Matt getting something in his good eye, rendering him temporarily blind.

Brock Lesnar vs. Shannon Moore

Brock wastes no time in belly to bellying Shannon OVER THE TOP AND DOWN ONTO THE FLOOR in one of the sickest landings you’ll ever see. Moore somehow doesn’t have a broken leg as he takes the F5 for the pin in less than a minute. Great bump to go with the complete destruction.

Blind Matt gets beaten down as well.

Stephanie tells Angle to clear this up or she’ll do it herself.

Here’s Angle to explain whatever it is that Stephanie was talking about. Angle talks about having integrity and if it were up to him, he’d face Angle and Benoit in the same night. He has a lot on his plate though and he needs good representation. That’s why he’s now represented by……Paul Heyman.

Paul comes out for a hug and says no one should be surprised by this. There was no way Lesnar was ever getting close to the title again and Heyman made sure of it. The plan started when Angle suggested he could get Lesnar’s suspension lifted and Heyman convinced Stephanie to let Brock come back. Angle played Lesnar like a violin (How?) and now the Angle vs. Lesnar match is postponed indefinitely.

Cue a livid Big Show to yell at Heyman and glare at Angle. Heyman says Show isn’t dumped because Show is still his favorite client. To make it up to him, Show can have a shot next week. Kurt isn’t happy but Heyman says it’s cool as long as either of them is champion. Just keep it away from Lesnar you see.

Ok……I need a minute on this one. So Heyman worked together with Show to get the title off of Lesnar and then signed Angle as an insurance policy to give him more leverage to keep the title away from Brock? Ok, fine. And Angle had to get Lesnar’s suspension lifted because Angle couldn’t beat Show on his own? If that’s not it, I have no idea why Lesnar had to be reinstated. Why would Heyman want him back in the first place?

I’m not really sure I get the idea. I guess Heyman thought Angle could beat Big Show so he bought Kurt off before he could, but Angle could only do it with Lesnar’s help? Show can beat an injured Lesnar with Heyman’s help but it takes Angle/Lesnar to beat Big Show? I’m probably missing something in there because this is already far beyond how complicated it needs to be. Just have Show vs. Lesnar go to a double DQ at Survivor Series and then do a triple threat so Angle can take the title from Show and announce Heyman’s plan after. Either way, it sets up an eventual Angle vs. Lesnar match and that’s just glorious sounding.

Bill DeMott/Crash vs. Jamie Noble/Nunzio

DeMott is teaming with Crash because he respects Hardcore Holly. Bill beats on Nunzio and then pulls Jamie in to beat on him as well. A release German suplex sends Noble flying and DeMott makes him tag Nunzio back in. Noble is thrown into Nunzio in the corner and a powerbomb sets up the moonsault to put Jamie away. Crash was never in. So Nunzio debuts one week and gets squashed the next by BILL DEMOTT. I’m so glad to know this show has a plan for everyone.

DeMott beats Crash down as well.

Edge is ready to beat up A-Train again tonight.

Edge vs. A-Train

A-Train charges straight at him to start but Edge slips out of a gorilla press. It’s already time to go after the knee though as A-Train lays on it and then grabs a half crab. Back up and Edge hits an enziguri followed by a missile dropkick due to the bad knee. The bicycle kick gives A-Train two and it’s right back to the half crab. The chokebomb is broken up and Edge spears him for the pin.

Rating: D. This was as good as A-Train doing half crabs for five minutes was going to be. I still don’t get the idea behind pushing him like this but it seems to be time for the big guys to get their pushes. Edge sold the leg well enough but there’s only so much he can do in a story like this.

Josh Matthews recaps Angle vs. Lesnar and it still doesn’t make a lot of sense. Lesnar comes in and says his state of mind is a good question.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

Non-title. Benoit takes him to the mat for an early hammerlock and a very fast armdrag. They head outside with Benoit chasing him back inside for the first suplex. Angle gets in his own overhead belly to belly as the announcers marvel at Heyman’s brainwashing abilities. Heyman even gets in a belt shot to Benoit for two and it’s time to trade some chops. A chinlock keeps Benoit down for a bit and a release German suplex drops him again.

Angle is right backup but a double clothesline puts both guys down. It’s Benoit up first with the seven rolling German suplexes, causing Heyman to put his head in his hand, as if he knows there’s nothing that can be done at this point. The Swan Dive sets up the Crossface but Big Show lumbers down for the DQ.

Rating: C+. Good match as usual but you could see the ending coming from a mile away. They’ve done this match too often lately though and it’s starting to get tiresome. It’s still entertaining but there are other options out there. Put Angle in there with Edge (because Heaven forbid we don’t get the A-Train match in there) or anyone else to save Benoit for later.

Lesnar runs in for some suplexes but gets beaten down as well to end the show. My only other thought here: Heyman reminds me of Louie De Palma in far too many ways.

Overall Rating: D. Really big step down here as this whole thing was about two stories with a few other matches filling in the rest of the time. The Heyman stuff is more complicated than it needs to be and the Dawn/Torrie stuff is clearly going nowhere. If you’re over fourteen years old here, you know you’re never going to see more than you saw at the pay per view and after that you have whatever disaster the wedding and ensuing match are going to be. This really wasn’t a good show and Smackdown should be better than what they did here.

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