Smackdown – April 11, 2002

Smackdown
Date: April 11, 2002
Location: Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

This has to be better than Raw right? I’m almost convinced that it has to be just based on the law of nearly anything would be better than the mess that I sat through earlier this week. The big story continues to be the build towards Hulk Hogan vs. HHH for reasons of pure nostalgia. Let’s get to it.

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Hidden Gems: Flair vs. Windham, January 20, 1987

Today’s “Hidden Gems” review showcases a classic matchup for the NWA World Title between champion Ric Flair against Barry Windham. It takes place in Fayetteville, North Carolina on January 20, 1987. A little unknown history about this match: It wasn’t advertised locally. This was a TV taping for Crockett Promotions’ two syndicated programs, NWA Pro and WorldWide Wrestling. The only advertised match for the card was Ric Flair vs. Brad Armstrong! Yes, really…

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Monday Night Raw – April 8, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 8, 2002
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 13,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Hopefully things pick up a little bit after last week’s mess of a debut for the solo red show. Backlash is in thirteen days and it’s really not clear what we should be expecting from either brand, save for some of the top matches. Steve Austin is officially on Raw though and you know he’s going to do something big. Let’s get to it.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on SNME XVIII

Taped from Sacramento, CA

Airdate:  November 26, 1988 (taped 11/16)

Attendance:  15,900

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Warrior scares the dickens out of everyone by opening the program. Hey! This isn’t the Halloween episode! Regardless, he wants to spoil Super Ninja’s Thanksgiving weekend. I believe salmonella enterocolitis would be less painful.

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on SNME XVIII

Smackdown – April 4, 2002

Smackdown
Date: April 4, 2002
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

After Monday’s less than amazing debut for Raw, it’s time to see if Smackdown can save the opening week of the Brand Split. This show has its share of stars including The Rock, Chris Jericho, Hulk Hogan and Kurt Angle. Those names alone should be enough to help carry this past Raw but this company has managed to disappoint me with less. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – April 1, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 1, 2002
Location: Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York
Attendance: 9,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s time for the first show of a new generation as Ric Flair is officially in charge of Raw with a roster all its own. I’m really not sure what to expect here as almost all of the stories are restarting, save for Kane vs. the NWO for reasons that I don’t want to understand. Oh and Raven won the Hardcore Title to bring that “division” to Raw. Let’s get to it.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Survivor Series 1988

 

Live from Richfield, OH

Airdate: November 24, 1988

Attendance:  13,500

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

We’re back in Richfield for the 2nd annual Survivor Series on Thanksgiving Night. Grab your turkey leg and enjoy!

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WWF Survivor Series 1988

Smackdown – March 28, 2002

Smackdown
Date: March 28, 2002
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 13,600
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

With the Draft out of the way, this is the final regular episode of Smackdown with the full roster before things split up next week. That means it’s also the last chance for the wrestlers to make one last good impression against their interpromotional rivals. In other words it’s a lame duck show that they’re trying to pass off as something important. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – March 25, 2002 (First WWF Draft)

This seemed appropriate given what we’re seeing now.  Starting tonight, I’ll be putting up alternating reviews from the original Brand Split with Raw going up on Wednesday and Smackdown/pay per views going up on Saturdays.  There’s no better place to start than on the original Draft so let’s get to it.

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 25, 2002
Location: Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,550
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This seemed due for a second look since they’re doing it all again this year. We’re just after Wrestlemania XVIII and things are kind of in a lull. With so many wrestlers and no big evil for the WWF to fight (since the WCW/ECW Invasion just had to be started and wrapped up by Thanksgiving), it was decided to split the rosters in two. This was a really cool idea at the time but it should be interesting to see how it worked when the initial Brand Extension isn’t the most fondly remembered concept. Let’s get to it.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event XVII

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XVII

Taped from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: October 29, 1988 (taped 10/25)

Attendance:  unknown

Hosted by Vince McMahon & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

We open tonight’s program with Jake and Cheryl Roberts sharing a kiss. Jake then cuts a promo with Damian wrapped around his shoulders. According to Cheryl, Rude’s pain will be their “pleasure.”

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event XVII

What the World Was Watching: WrestleMania XV

Boyz 2 Men sing “America the Beautiful” to kick off the show.  They receive a Cena-like mixed reaction.

Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam ’88

Sorry for the grainy photo…like the original recording, it existed on videotape. Unlike the tape, the photo got lost in the shuffle when it came to remastering.

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WWF Summerslam ’88