Smackdown – November 21, 2002

Date: November 21, 2002
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re in the Big Show era now as he defeated Brock Lesnar to win the Smackdown World Title at Survivor Series. Hopefully this one doesn’t last too long as I’m not sure I can handle sitting through it. Unless Lesnar gets a rematch, it would make sense to have one of those tag guys get the next shot as they’ve been the hottest thing in the company for months. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Brock Lesnar’s WWE career leading into his feud with Big Show. Paul Heyman is prominently featured, setting up his heel turn at the pay per view.

Lesnar is waiting for Big Show. What is with wrestlers always arriving late? It seems to happen every week.

Opening sequence.

Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble

Mysterio starts fast with the dropkicks and a headscissors for good measure. A trip to the floor seems to clear Jamie’s head as he sends Rey into the buckle and dropkicks him in the back of the mask. Rey keeps up the trend with a dropkick and a flapjack for two. The 619 looks to set up the West Coast Pop but Rey has to go after an interfering Nidia.

Back in and Jamie throws Rey into the air, only to have Mysterio springboard right into the hurricanrana for the pin. I remember taping this show and thinking that was so cool I actually showed it to a friend. Jamie standing there waiting on Mysterio to bounce back and looking up so he can take the hurricanrana doesn’t help but it’s still cool enough.

Lesnar is still angrily waiting and goes into the locker room. For some reason Matt Hardy thinks it’s a good idea to give him some criticism. Maybe if Brock had a few more Mattributes, he wouldn’t have suffered such an unfortunate twist of fate. Matt is then thrown through a wall, leaving a hole so big that Crash Holly can be seen on the other side.

Post break, Stephanie comes to check on Matt. Eddie Guerrero tells her that Brock did it, which surprises Stephanie. So wait: not only is she not watching the show but she sees a grown man thrown through a wall and doesn’t ask WHAT HAPPENED HERE? Basically everyone is scared of Lesnar so Stephanie will take care of him. Eddie asks if Brock will listen to a woman, setting Stephanie up for exactly the response you would expect from her.

Noble doesn’t know what to do but decides to call his crazy cousin Nunzio. Nidia is very worried about this choice.

Stephanie says Lesnar can have a rematch when he’s healed up but he’s suspended if he attacks anyone else. Somehow this takes a minute and a half because of that weird way Stephanie speaks.

Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Tajiri

Maybe the winner gets Torrie. Kidman is defending and offers an early handshake, earning himself a hard kick to the head. More kicks get more two counts before Tajiri mixes it up with the Tarantula. Kidman seems to hurt his head on a hurricanrana so Tajiri makes it worse with another kick to the head. The announcers find ways to praise Stephanie as Kidman gets in a spinebuster, followed by the shooting star to retain.

Rating: C. My head is hurting from those kicks as Tajiri was blasting Kidman every time. That’s why I like Tajiri so much: he’s not going to shift from that one idea very often but he does that thing very well. He doesn’t try to do anything out of his wheelhouse and it still works. It’s like Rhyno, which is why they’ve both had such long careers.

Chris Benoit vs. Chavo Guerrero

Eddie is ejected before the bell, just in case Chavo thought he had any chance. Benoit starts fast by sending Chavo chest first into the corner but can only hit one German suplex. A gutbuster drops Benoit and his shoulder goes into the post as Chavo takes his pick of the body parts.

Not that it matters as Benoit SNAPS him down into a Crossface attempt but Chavo makes the ropes. Back in and Benoit rolls three straight German suplexes to set up the Swan Dive for two. Benoit is so annoyed that he allows Chavo to fire some shoulders into the ribs. Chavo tries a springboard clothesline but dives straight into the Crossface for the tap.

Rating: C+. This made perfect sense as Chavo tried everything he could but just wasn’t in Benoit’s league. Seeing Benoit grab the suplexes and the Crossface from pretty much wherever he wanted made him look awesome with the hold looking better than it has in a long time. Chavo tried here but was in over his head, which made for a good story.

Stephanie tells Lesnar to stay in the back while Heyman and Show go to the ring. If Lesnar goes to the ring, she’ll suspend him.

Here’s Heyman, coming out to Lesnar’s music and wearing the title, complete with the bounce on the stage. Cole: “I think Heyman is mocking Lesnar.” Heyman talks about having the it factor that separates you from the rest of the locker room, which applies to himself of course. He prepared Lesnar for everything he was going to do and is responsible for all of his successes.

Then the monster stopped listening to Dr. Frankenstein because it takes more than physical attributes to be on top of the mountain. He orchestrated the greatest inside job in sports entertainment history (How can anyone hear that wording and think it sounds good?) and look at the success he’s created.

Here’s Big Show, with Heyman kneeling down to hand him the title. Show thanks Lesnar for the opportunity and heaps praise on Heyman. Edge has a shot later tonight but there’s no way he’s losing the title just yet. Oh and one more thing: Lesnar is officially fired and there’s a no rematch clause in the contract. As they go to leave, here’s Lesnar with a chair to lay Show out. The worst part is Lesnar running right at him and Show turning around to run. So he’s big, stupid, and a coward. Sounds like your typical heel champion.

During the break, Stephanie yells at Lesnar some more because that’s what she gets to do.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle

During the entrances, Cole announces next week as “an all new Smackdown with special guest star Scott Steiner.” Just in case you thought it was a rerun with Milton Berle. Chavo is ejected as well so we can have consistent refereeing for once. An early headlock sends Eddie outside as thinks slow down.

Back in and Angle busts out a monkey flip of all things before a suplex puts Eddie outside again. Angle follows this time and gets sent back first into the steps as Eddie cheats to take over. Eddie does the old “grab two chairs so the stupid referee only sees one”, allowing him to smack Angle in the back with the other. A northern lights suplex gets two as the dumb fans chant USA. Thankfully Cole points out that Eddie is from Texas as we hit the camel clutch.

Angle gets a DDT for a breather and here’s Chavo to watch from the stage. We hit the rolling German suplexes until a low blow breaks Angle’s momentum. As I wonder how the referee didn’t see that, Chavo comes down and gets in a few stomps. Cue Benoit to just stare at Chavo, even as he goes down to stomp on Angle some more. They trade submission attempts until Angle throws him with a release German suplex. Chavo gets forearmed off the apron, leaving Angle to run the corner for a super Angle Slam and the pin.

Rating: B. Like these two aren’t going to have a really good match. The Benoit stuff adds a new layer to the story and you can feel the big Angle vs. Benoit feud building very nicely. Eddie and Chavo getting beaten up like this is fine as all they have to do is hold up the belts again and everything will be back to normal. Good match here, filling the quota for the week.

Angle gives Chavo the ankle lock post match as the champs are easily dispatched. Benoit offers Kurt some applause.

We look at Scott Steiner beating up Christopher Nowinski and Matt Hardy. Nowinski is one thing but Hardy’s role in that segment is just dumb.

Edge is ready for Big Show but Funaki thinks Show is like Godzilla. That makes Edge King Kong but he’s willing to fight for the title.

Another Raw moment: This is Your Life Rock. That’s still amazing.

John Cena vs. Rikishi

Actually hang on a second as Dawn Marie and Al Wilson come out to invite us to their wedding. The match is joined in progress with Cena hitting a belly to back suplex, followed by sitting on Rikishi’s chest. That earns him a toss to the floor and a Samoan Drop, followed by a belly to belly for the pin.

Post match Rikishi loads up the Rump Shaker but Bull Buchanan comes in to save Cena. I might be thinking about this too hard but it might have been better to have Cena WIN THE MATCH and then have Buchanan show up.

Show says he can’t wrestle tonight because of Lesnar’s attack. Heyman isn’t about to go anywhere with Lesnar around.

We recap Lesnar and Show’s night.

Heyman is in Stephanie’s office but can’t get Show out of the main event. If Lesnar gets involved, she’ll suspend him. Heyman: “Like you did before?” Lawsuits against Stephanie and company are threatened so she throws him out. In case you haven’t figured it out, this was the 14th or so segment tonight to show you that Stephanie RUNS SMACKDOWN. Let’s say it together shall we? Stephanie runs Smackdown. Now don’t you forget it or more lectures will ensue.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Edge

Edge is challenging and is thrown into the corner almost immediately. Show launches him with ease and stands on Edge’s head (not to be confused with the Edgeheads) as this is already in slow motion. An Edgecution attempt is countered as easily as you would expect it to be and Show posts edge to keep the pace. We hit the bearhug as Heyman tells Edge he’d be good representation.

A turnbuckle pad was removed somewhere in there and Edge sends him face first into the buckle, followed by a low blow for good measure. Edge gets two off a tornado DDT and three spears finally drop Show. Heyman breaks up the pin though, allowing Show to grab the chokeslam. We’re not done yet though as Heyman wants Show to treat Edge like he’s Lesnar. That means a second chokeslam but here’s Lesnar for an F5 before a third can connect. I guess the match was thrown out.

Rating: D+. Edge’s comeback was good but when you watch him tear the house down with everyone else, it’s really hard to sit through Big Show’s eight mile an hour offense. He’s the current monster champion and hopefully that means his days with the title are numbered. This really wasn’t interesting and I have no interest in watching him doing his “hey, I’m big” promos and bad matches while I know the roster is capable of so much more.

Lesnar chases Heyman through the crowd to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. There’s nothing terrible here and they kept the bad stuff short but there’s nothing that really offers a spark to make me want to keep watching. The tag stuff seems to be coming to an end and that leaves Rikishi, Big Show, Al/Dawn and whatever Los Guerreros are doing. Now the latter of that list is fine but the rest….egads the rest. The show was still fun but this didn’t really leave me optimistic.

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