Smackdown – July 25, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 25, 2017
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re past Battleground and that means we’re off to the biggest party of the summer. Jinder Mahal is still the Smackdown World Champion and there’s a chance that Great Khali will be in his corner for at least a little while. Tonight we’ll likely find out who is next up for Mahal now that Randy Orton is out of the way. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 25, 2017

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2016

The SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2016

(I literally remember NOTHING about this show from last year.  Apparently it happened, though!) 

Apologies in advance for formatting problems, as for various reasons I’m doing this one on my backup-backup-backup Ubuntu-formatted netbook because it was the only computer I had charged and I’m pressed for time tonight. (I’ve tried a million different “lite” Linux distributions on my Acer netbook looking for something that approximates Windows enough to comfortably resurrect it from the recycle pile, but it’s just too difficult to comfortably type on and I always end up going back to my Surface for taking notes on stuff.  I have WAY too many useless pieces of technology, I know.) 

Live from Washington, DC

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Byron Saxton & JBL.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Battleground 2016

No Way Out 2003

No Way Out 2003
Date: February 23, 2003
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Attendance: 15,100
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for another pay per view that is little more than a glorified pit stop before the real pay per view. At least this time around there are some major matches though, including Scott Steiner vs. HHH II and Rock vs. Hulk Hogan II, the latter of which is a little more interesting as Rock is a full on heel. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNo Way Out 2003

Smackdown – February 20, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 20, 2003
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for No Way Out and the big draw this week is Hulk Hogan and the Rock being in the same building. I know it’s a battle of the generations but I’m not quite sure they’re going to have the same magic they had a year ago. Other than that, Kurt Angle has agreed to face Brock Lesnar. I’m sure he’s an honest man so let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 20, 2003

New E-Book/Paperback: KB’s Complete 2002 Monday Night Raw Reviews

It was the worst of times….and it’s mostly downhill from there. Monday Night Raw has been on the air for the better part of twenty five years and there have been a lot of ups and downs but 2002 is regularly near the bottom of the list.  In this book, I’m going back through the entire year and looking at every episode to see just how bad things got. There is so much to cover ranging from the final months of Steve Austin’s time as a WWE regular to the Brand Split to the period where WWE scrambled to replace Austin to the rise of Brock Lesnar to Katie Vick to the Shawn Michaels and Triple H Love Fest. I’ll be breaking down each show match by match and segment by segment, including analysis, ratings and historical content included.

The book is available as either an e-book ($2.99) or a regular paperback ($9.99) and are now available on Amazon. If you’re interested in the e-book but don’t have a Kindle or anything to read it on, there are several free apps from Amazon that you can get for whatever platform you like. You can see those right here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here:

E-Book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0742QFYY4

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521887594

From the UK Amazon here:

E-Book:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0742QFYY4

Paperback:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1521887594

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon site, just search “KB Raw 2002” and it should be the first thing to pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1997, 1998, 2001 and the first half of 2014, Monday Nitro from 1995-1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998, Wrestlemania, WWE Grab Bag and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

Monday Night Raw – February 17, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 17, 2003
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the go home Raw for No Way Out and thankfully Scott Steiner vs. HHH II doesn’t feel like it’s anywhere near the biggest thing on the show anymore. Unfortunately what is the biggest story on this show is the chance that Steve Austin will be here on Sunday, which leaves a bunch of talking and nothing to see building up to the show. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 17, 2003

Smackdown – July 18, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 18, 2017
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Battleground and Jinder Mahal has brought the Punjabi Prison with him to Smackdown. My guess would be to get people interested in what the match is going to look like if they haven’t been around for more than ten years, which is about as good of an idea as they could have for this. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 18, 2017

The SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1993

The SmarK Retro Rant for King of the Ring 93

(Originally written June of 2001)

This would be one of the most frequent recipients of the “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE” type of request from people, for reasons that still elude me. But hey, the 2001 edition of KOTR is in a week, so let’s get to ‘er.

Live from Dayton, OH, home of The Rick.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWF King of the Ring 1993

WWE House Show – July 17, 2017

I took in the Raw house show last night at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The featured attraction this time around was John Cena, who was making a rare house show appearance. However, this wasn’t mentioned on TV commercials until the week of the show, despite the announcement being made on WWE.com over three weeks ago. The crowd was solid enough for a Sunday house show but I have to think advertising Cena as a major attraction would have helped.

Read moreWWE House Show – July 17, 2017

Smackdown – February 13, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 13, 2003
Location: Centennial Garden, Bakersfield, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re less than two weeks away from No Way Out and you can see most of the card from here. The big story coming out of last week is Team Angle, now with a title for each, seemingly getting ready to face Edge/Chris Benoit/Brock Lesnar. Other than that there’s always Rock vs. Hulk Hogan so let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 13, 2003

Monday Night Raw – February 10, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 10, 2003
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re officially in the Evolution Era and less than two weeks away from No Way Out, meaning Scott Steiner vs. HHH II. Why we’re doing that is anyone’s guess but I would assume a lot of liquor was involved. There isn’t much else set on the Raw side but we’ll likely remedy that tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 10, 2003

Smackdown – July 11, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 11, 2017
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re less than two weeks away from Battleground and we don’t know much about the card yet. The big story so far is the Punjabi Prison match with Smackdown World Champion Jinder Mahal defending against Randy Orton, but Orton is off filming a movie. With that feud temporarily on the shelf, we’ll look at AJ Styles, who won the US Title over the weekend in a big surprise. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 11, 2017

The SmarK Rant for WWE Great Balls of Fire–07.09.17

The SmarK Rant for WWE GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!

Live from Dallas, TX

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T.

Apparently tonight is a “throwback feel”, which would be neat if it was in any way true. Doing a stripped down PPV set without all the LED screens, like it was a show from the 50s, would be cool. This is just another show.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Great Balls of Fire–07.09.17

Smackdown – February 6, 2003

Smackdown
Date: February 6, 2003
Location: First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

No Way Out is creeping closer and it’s pretty clear that Hulk Hogan vs. the Rock is the main event, even if the big match on the horizon is Hogan vs. Vince McMahon. Other than that though we have Team Angle gearing up to face Los Guerreros for the Tag Team Titles, which should be a lot of fun. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 6, 2003

Jack Swagger as World Heavyweight Champion

Crapendium: World Champion Jack Swagger

I take a look back and see why exactly Jack Swagger’s 2010 run was crap.

If you don’t want to click, the short answer is ”it was supposed to be.”

Monday Night Raw – February 3, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 3, 2003
Location: MCI Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s always cool to have a show from my birthday. We’re coming up on No Way Out and that means HHH needs a challenger for the World Title. That will be set up tonight as Scott Steiner faces Chris Jericho in a #1 contenders match. Given that Steiner won at the Royal Rumble and JR immediately talked about there being NO WAY OUT, this shouldn’t be too complicated. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 3, 2003

Smackdown – July 4, 2017

Smackdown
Date: July 4, 2017
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

Welcome home Johnny! After weeks of hype, John Cena is making his return to WWE TV tonight. This is the first time Cena has been seen since Wrestlemania XXXIII and there’s no real indication of what he’ll be doing. Since Cena can appear on either show, this might be something of note or just a glorified one off appearance. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – July 4, 2017

Smackdown – January 30, 2003

Smackdown
Date: January 30, 2003
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re getting closer to No Way Out and the big story is the return of Hulk Hogan, who showed up last week and punched out Vince McMahon. Other than that we have the far less important story of Brock Lesnar chasing Kurt Angle and the Smackdown World Title. You know, that secondary issue. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – January 30, 2003

Monday Night Raw – January 27, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 27, 2003
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Eric Bischoff’s time to fix Raw continues to count down but he has a secret weapon: magazine interviews! Yeah that was his big announcement last week: Steve Austin can tell his side of the story in Raw Magazine. I’m going to assume that it leads to an on-screen return but at least it gives us something to talk about other than HHH vs. Scott Steiner, which is still going for some reason as well. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – January 27, 2003

Smackdown – June 27, 2017

Smackdown
Date: June 27, 2017
Location: Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, California
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s ladies night with two major women’s matches on the card. First up we have the second ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match as the WWE tries to fix the mess they made out of the first one just nine days ago. After that we have Lana challenging Naomi for the Women’s Title in another Money in the Bank rematch. It’s almost like they’re just doing the same things twice for the sake of not having to come up with anything new. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – June 27, 2017

Smackdown – January 23, 2003

Smackdown
Date: January 23, 2003
Location: Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re past the Royal Rumble and it’s all hands on deck towards Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle for the World Title. Lesnar won the Royal Rumble and Angle successfully defended his title in a masterpiece against Chris Benoit, leaving the two of them as the undisputed top names on the show. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – January 23, 2003

Smackdown – June 20, 2017

Smackdown
Date: January 20, 2017
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

We’re past Money in the Bank and there are two briefcases floating around the blue show. In addition to that, we also saw Jinder Mahal retain his Smackdown World Title when he defeated Randy Orton for the second time. There’s a chance we’ll be setting up a third match between the two as we head towards Battleground in just over a month. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – June 20, 2017

Royal Rumble 2003

Royal Rumble 2003
Date: January 19, 2003
Location: Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 15,338
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is a really odd entry in the series as the namesake match is being treated as secondary to almost everything else. Really, coming into this show, there’s a good argument to be made that Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie is being treated as a bigger deal than the Rumble itself. Let’s get to it.

Read moreRoyal Rumble 2003

Smackdown – January 16, 2003

Smackdown
Date: January 16, 2003
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re at the go home show for the Royal Rumble and you wouldn’t really know based on the TV they’ve been building towards it. The Rumble itself has taken a huge backseat to almost everything else, including tonight when a good chunk of the focus is likely to be focused on Al Wilson’s death. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – January 16, 2003