Smackdown – July 4, 2002

Smackdown
Date: July 4, 2002
Location: FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’ve got a huge holiday show here with Kurt Angle challenging the Undertaker for the World Title a few days after Undertaker defended against Jeff Hardy in a ladder match. Other than that Smackdown has become the breeding ground for the new generation so it should be interesting to see where John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista go from here. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – June 27, 2002

Smackdown
Date: June 27, 2002
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re in the big city tonight and it’s time for a new challenger to face Undertaker. I know Jeff Hardy is getting a title shot on Raw next week but it’s fairly clear that we’re getting some combination of Rock/HHH/Undertaker for the title at Vengeance. Why Smackdown is getting back to back pay per view title shots isn’t immediately clear. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – May 9, 2002

Smackdown
Date: May 9, 2002
Location: Harbor Yard Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

As horrible as Raw has been in recent weeks, Smackdown is really starting to find a groove. They’ve hit that perfect balance of wrestling, storyline and entertainment to make two hours go by very quickly. The shows aren’t great but they’re easy to sit through and you actually get some good wrestling. Let’s get to it.

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Bryan or Batista?

So Scott, now that the IWC is rejoicing over Bryan most likely being added to the title match at WMania. How do you see that match ending? Do they go with Big Dave (most likely the original plan), or do they do what most EVERYBODY wants and finally give Bryan the title?

They already played chicken with the fanbase once and lost badly.  I really don't see them trying it again.  Clearly HHH is going to pin Bryan after three Pedigrees and then he'll take care of business in the main event and beat both Orton & Batista with one hand behind his back before impregnating Stephanie at ringside on the post-show.  

HHH vs. Orton vs. Batista vs. Bryan

Hello,

After the close of Raw, do you think it's possible they set up a four-way dance for the title? They have established an animosity (some subtle, some more overt) between all four competitors. Also, it would seriously stack the odds against Bryan and truly make him an underdog, making his (presumed) win more impressive. Plus, you could still have Batista/Bryan and HHH/Bryan later down the line.

It just doesn't make sense at the moment for them to stick with Orton/Batista, especially if it is the closing match. They would HAVE to know what the reaction would be either a complete burial on the likes of Goldberg/Lesnar or crickets like HHH/Jericho or HHH/Orton.

Thoughts?  


I know that people keep saying "They can't possibly run Orton-Batista" but they honestly think it's a big match that people want to see, and all signs point to them signing an idiotic agreement to put Batista over for the title in the main event of the show.  So no matter if everyone hates it or not, they're gonna do it.  Bryan's probably gonna have to settle for getting the belt somewhere between Wrestlemani-RAW and Extreme Rules.  

Batista, Hogan, Flair, DOD and 1994

Scott,

With the Batista rumored "win the belt" clause in his contract, it got me thinking back to Hogan's WCW jump in 1994. They bring him in, first PPV he takes the belt off Flair. Then in October, he beats Flair in a cage match with Flair's career on the line, all this to build to a Starrcade main with him against Brother Booty Man? 

Did Hogan's creative clause give him the power to book all of his angles? I mean, why not build to the Flair career match at Starrcade?

Oh yeah dude, I'm pretty sure Hogan's contract literally said the words "HOGAN CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS" in bold letters.  Really though, the Havoc show was more important to Bischoff than Starrcade, and it worked in this case and popped a big number.  But yes, Hogan had iron-clad and complete control over everything he did, absolutely.  

How to win the crowd back for Batista

Scott,

Instead of coming up with creative backstage segments and camera/audio tricks to mask the negative crowd reaction to Batista, why doesn't WWE take the path of least resistance to getting Batista's babyface heat back? Create a situation in which Daniel Bryan is getting beat up by some Authority goons and have Batista make the save. Or have Bryan team up with Batista in tag match, or have Bryan talk up Batista as his good friend, or have Batista say when he wins the title at WM he's going to give Bryan the first shot. Basically use Bryan to get Batista over again. Seems easy enough, right?

The fact that they haven't done this yet makes me believe WWE is really planning to turn Batista heel and have him feud with Bryan, either before or after WrestleMania, which is why they're keeping them separate for now. Thoughts?

You'd be wasting Bryan on him.  I'd actually have Hulk Hogan make the save and do the posedown routine with Bryan to give him the rub in the same way he did with Edge in 02.  Fans would see right through the babyface act if Batista was doing it and would just keep booing him anyway.  Trust me, they tried it already a million times with John Cena and it never works.  

Wouldn’t it make more sense for Batista to get the title closer to his movie’s release?

Howdy Scott,

I'm not convinced that WWE is intent on having Batista walk out of WrestleMania as champion.


If Guardians of the Galaxy isn't coming out until August 1, why do most people think WWE is hotshotting the title on Batista at WrestleMania? Right now he's only scheduled through Extreme Rules and considering his limited dates will probably not be scheduled for the mid-to-late May European tour, meaning if he has the belt he'd be missing approximately two weeks of dates, including the Raw/Smackdown in England.

I am assuming WWE wants Batista to walk around with the title during promotional appearances for the movie like The Rock did last year, so wouldn't it make more sense to put the belt on him at Money in the Bank (June 29) or Battleground (July 20)?

Thoughts?

This entire Batista deal is crossing the line more every day from mere disaster into hilarious unintentional comedy, and the payoff will be the WM crowd shitting all over his title win like no other match.  You're right, the entire thing makes no sense on several levels, especially since no one knows how the movie is even going to do and the guy that's supposed to be the FACE OF THE WWE after Wrestlemania is doing one quick segment a week and not even being allowed to talk.  You just can't buy entertainment like this.

Bryan and WM and HHH and how they should have worked Batista into it

From: Jesse Baker 

1. Internet access has been hit or miss these last couple of weeks.
2. If the WWE is terrified of Batista being a casualty of their war against the fans who want Bryan, why not fucking pair them up? Especially since that means Kane vs Batista, which would sell far more than Batista versus Alberto Del Rio
3.Similarly, they should have done the following for how Batista came back: The entire show is basically HHH and Steph going “Batista is coming! Batista is coming!” and Orton panicking out of paranoia that HHH and Steph are going to fuck him over and get the belts onto Batista. Also, we get told Bryan is “banned” from the arena because of his concussion, which HHH is using as an excuse to get rid of him for as long as humanly possible (see his interaction with Edge early in the current storyline). Finally, the show ends with Batista apparently jilting HHH and HHH being furious, until Batista appears on the big screen…. WITH Danial Bryan. Batista reminds everyone he’s no fucking fool when it comes to HHH and his bullshit of burying people and has manipulated HHH into signing him for obscene amount of cash and to a Big Show-type “can do whatever he wants” contract. And they top off their middle finger salute to HHH by showing hidden camera footage Batista recorded, when he was negotiating his contract to come back, where HHH basically flat out says that he is sick and tired of Orton being a fuck-up who can’t beat Bryan without massive cheating/HHH flat out overturning the match result with trumped up bullshit, that he’s going to betray Orton by signing him and Batista to a match and “screwing him worse than me and Shawn and  Vince screwed Brett”. Also, HHH is caught offering Steph to Batista for sex, pointing out that (between “friends”) Steph is a whore and HHH is perfectly fine with her fucking around, since they have a “Profit”* style arrangement where they can fuck other people on the side, but that whoever basically decides to end the marriage to marry their fuck buddy, has to give up all of the couple’s assets to the other in the divorce. Maybe even toss in HHH admitting that the reason she was tormenting Big Show like she was, was due to the fact that the two were on-again/off-again fuck buddies until Big Show ended their casual sex relationship.
Orton goes apeshit and we get the storyline where Orton and HHH are now actively at odds with each other but forced to work together because neither one can keep their current position without the other as well as the perfect excuse to write Steph out: she’s basically exposed, irrefutably as a whore and decides to take off after being humiliated like she was by Bryan. 
The Authority is in chaos, Batista wins the Rumble (and we get Batista/Bryan vs Orton/Kane at Elimination Chamber with Bryan pinning Orton) and Vince finally comes back, realizing that HHH has run things into the ground, humiliated his daughter, and aligned himself with a psychopathic monster like Orton. So Vince decides to have HHH vs Bryan (now medically cleared) at WM, with HHH’s job and career on the line.
Bryan beats HHH, not just in decisive fashion, but like a bitch. HHH loses in ten-twelve seconds and then we get a full-on “HHH being buried like a bitch” send-off, complete with HHH being tossed into a garbage truck and driven off, not to be seen again in two-three years.
Afterwords, Vince annoints Bryan the new face of the company and THEN we get the haircut and shave, as Bryan slowly lets himself be seduced by Vince. Shawn Michaels is reduced to being Bryan’s much abused manservant (resurrect the plot point of Shawn being HORRIBLE with his money and Bryan wanting revenge on him) and slowly phase us back towards Bryan the self-absorbed egomaniac and having him abuse Shawn Michaels to the point that we WANT to see him and Bryan fight in terms of them having a legit issue against the other. 
(Further tying into that, as Bryan goes towards the dark side, Batista and Punk restart their bromance that was mentioned during the Punk/Cena feud of 2011 and we get them versus Bryan and his manservant Shawn Michaels, with the Tag Titles becoming involved as far as Batista and Punk while Cena is left playing clean-up with Orton, who has gone full-blown rabid after losing the belt to Batista and watching HHH being fired and Vince telling him to fuck-off as Bryan takes his spot. We can also get Batista vs Kane, with Kane being jealous that Bryan has replaced him and Kane being forced to don the mask again after being fired from his cushy job as a suit when Vince cleans house of all HHH loyalists.)
That gives us the stage for the spring/summer
Bryan’s descent back to villainy as he vanquishes HHH and becomes the face of the company
Batista vs Kane and the slow unravelling of his friendship with Bryan
Shawn Michaels going through seven shades of hell as Bryan’s bitch boy slave to justify a match between the two later in the fall
Batista/Punk Vs Bryan/Shawn
Cena vs Orton as the coda for the fall of Orton
Vince back in charge as a tweener type
Brock can fight Undertaker and lose and be dragged into a coffin and buried alive, never to be seen again
*Wonder how many blog of doomers will get that cult tv reference

Query Re Batista and the Rumble (Bonus: No Bryan Mentioned!)

I'm excited for the big guy to come back. I've actually wondered why he hasn't come back sooner. So Yay Batista! That being said, isn't it sort of wasteful to have him comeback and his debut match be the Rumble?

First, he's a returning big star and should be a draw by himself. "I get the Rumble AND Batista is coming back for a match?! Well that's great." said everyone at once. Batista comes in, destroys anyone, everyone cheers.


But since he appears to be in battle royal, There are two outcomes. Either he wins it, which I don't feel is necessary. Everyone believes him to be a player and he's cemented in the upper card. It also robs a potential upcoming star from rising a bit higher. Be it Punk, Reigns, Bryan (oops), Wyatt, Big E. whoever. In addition, if you want him to have a title shot, it's not like it's that hard. Cena didn't have to win anything to get a shot at either the World or WWE championships. He just sort of wandered out from backstage.

The other option is to have him be eliminated which doesn't exactly count as a loss, but isn't exactly a strong return of a monster. Particularly one signed to a year long deal with one last run on top.

So what the hell?.. I guess…is my question.
I'm just curious how they're gonna work in Cena/Orton, Cena/Orton/Brock and (winner of Cena/Orton/Brock) v. Batista all within the confines of Rumble/Mania season and not have the belt bounce around a bunch of times in the process.  Current track seems to be Batista winning the Rumble, beating Del Rio at the Chamber, and then beating Orton at WM for the title.  Since Brock is against Big Show at Rumble (ugh) and then faces the champion at the Chamber, I would guess that means a Cena-Orton-Brock three way there?  At least that match has never been done before.  Brock-Batista seems like a huge money match just sitting on the table, though.  
So I dunno.