Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents Smackdown
From: San Antonio, TX
Ric Flair starts the show pounding on the Undertaker’s door demanding Taker come out to confront him. We see Taker inside the room watching Flair and saying that Ric’s son David was a bleeder just like Arn Anderson. Seeing that Taker wasn’t going to come out, Ric heads to the ring.
Flair talks about dreaming of being the owner of the WWF and that dream coming true only for Vince McMahon to goad him into a match at the Rumble. Flair says that Arn Anderson told him to not let the Undertaker get the best of him. He noted that today is David Flair’s 23rd birthday but isn’t celebrating and is instead laying in bed recovering from the beating he received thanks to the Undertaker. Flair tells Taker he has his attention and from this day forward, Ric Flair is a wrestler again. He wants Taker in the ring and he wants to bleed! Undertaker makes his way out and tells Flair that after thinking about it, he isn’t sure he wants to fight Flair anymore. Taker is playing mind games telling Flair he will give him an answer later on in the show.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon walks into Triple H. They taunt each other about Stephanie’s skin getting better and HHH losing to Angle on RAW. HHH mentions returning the Corvette Stephanie got for her 16th birthday, but he wanted their dog Lucy. They argued over the dog when HHH asked why she would want another botch in the house. HHH left while Stephanie looked at her garment bag and smiled.
Opening Contest: WWF Hardcore Champion Goldust vs. Rob Van Dam: This is a rematch from No Way Out, but a title is on the line. RVD won that meeting. WWF Intercontinental Champion William Regal is o commentary for the contest, as well. RVD takes Goldust out with a somersault dive to the floor before the bell. RVD misses his spinning leg drop from the apron and Goldust hits a clothesline on the floor. Goldust uses a gold trash can lid before tossing a gold trash can into the ring. He also has a gold chair. RVD monkey flips Goldust onto the gold chair and baseball slides Regal. Goldust cuts RVD off with a clothesline. Goldust goes for the Shattered Dreams but gets a trash can instead and that is dropkicked in his face for a near fall. RVD dropkicks a chair into Goldust’s face. Regal hits RVD with the brass knuckles from the apron and Goldust steals the win with a roll up. (*. Not good, as it was a little messy between these two. The involvement of Regal was needed, but I personally don’t like the loss here. Seems like guys in high profile spots at Mania are jobbing on TV.)
Michael Cole announces that Steve Austin will not be on the show due to injuries suffered on Monday.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon gives WWF Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho Triple H’s first robe given to him by Killer Kowlaski. The reasoning is that robe is half hers. Plus, the robe should be worn by a champion. Jericho put the robe on and will wear it for his match against Kane later on.
Second Contest: WWF Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri vs. Booker T: Tajiri gets a few kicks in but Booker stops him with a short clothesline. Tajiri hits a missile dropkick and a standing moonsault. Tajiri with more kicks to Booker. Tajiri nearly wins after a kick to Booker’s face. Booker ends Tajiri’s offense with a spine buster and wins the match with the scissors kick. (*1/2. An enjoyable quick match with Tajiri getting some decent offense in against Booker T. I was surprised with the near falls Tajiri managed to get here, too.) After the match, Booker hits a leaping side kick. Edge comes out and spears Booker!
The Rock comes out and talks about being human and how when he thought of the New World Order he was excited to meet Hogan at Mania instead of the cancer the New World Order really was. Rock thinks that Hogan made a mistake by not finishing him off when he had the chance. Hogan, Nash and Hall make their way out to the stage. Hogan tells Rock he is going to wait until WrestleMania to finish Rock off. Hogan wants the millions of fans to see him kick Rock’s ass just like he had done to every other flash in the pan. Rock insists Hogan come down and insults Hogan by saying he never would have thought that a man with 24-inch pythons would have half-inch testicles! Hogan was prevented from going to the ring and Scott Hall steps up to the plate. Rock accepts the challenge and tells Hogan that he is next after he gets done with Hall tonight!
Third Contest: The Undertaker vs. Maven & Al Snow in a handicap match: Taker attacks Snow before the bell and Maven is escorted to the apron. Snow plants Taker with a DDT but can’t get a three count on the cover. Snow runs into a big boot but Maven saves his trainer. Maven dropkicks Taker but Snow pulls Maven away. Taker clotheslines Snow and Maven. Taker starts to work over Maven in the corner with strikes. Maven gets dropped across the top turnbuckle and Taker hits another big boot. Taker sends Snow shoulder first into the ring post. Taker goes for a choke slam on Maven and hits it. Taker with the cover but pulls Maven up at two. Taker gets the submission win with the dragon sleeper. After the match, Taker gets on the microphone to give Flair an answer. Taker says he will wrestle Flair at Mania. He has one condition and that’s for Flair to come down to the ring and get on his hands and knees to beg Taker for the match. Flair runs down and brawls with Taker! Taker shoves Flair away and escapes into the crowd but Flair follows! Flair misses a punch and decks a fan in the front row. Taker walks away smiling while Flair is going nuts with a chair.
Fourth Contest: WWF Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho vs. Kane: Kane works over Jericho early on slamming Jericho to the canvas after a choke. Kane tosses Jericho to the apron and uppercuts Jericho on the top before slamming the champ to the canvas. Jericho bails to the floor to regroup with Stephanie. He tries to leave the area but Kane pulls the champ back in to hit a suplex from the apron back into the ring. Kane heads to the top rope but Jericho dropkicks Kane in midair to get control. Kane counters a bulldog with a side slam and a clothesline in the corner. Kane attempts a choke slam but Kurt Angle runs out to hit the Angle Slam while the referee was distracted and Jericho gets the win after a Lionsault. (*. Well, nothing much of a match, really.) After the match, Kane kicks a chair into Angle’s face and they brawl. Triple H comes out to clothesline Jericho to the floor. HHH grabs Stephanie and goes for the Pedigree but Jericho pulls her to safety. HHH poses with the championships to end the segment.
Backstage, Ric Flair is in his locker room when the police enter the room. A fan who was punched by Flair on accident earlier in the show was with them. Flair is arrested for assault. As the cops took Flair away we see Taker watching with a smile.
Outside, Kane is looking for Kurt Angle in the parking lot. Angle attacks Kane and knocks Kane under a metal door and drops the door onto Kane’s ribs. That wasn’t enough as Angle nails Kane with a steel chair.
Fifth Contest: Lita vs. Stacy Keibler: Stacy works over Lita early on but Lita fights back with a side slam and quickly wins the match.
Lilian Garcia talks to Lita about her goals. Lita wants to win the WWF Women’s Championship. Stacy attacked Lita but Lita hit the Twist of Fate and a moonsault on Stacy. Lita was then attacked by Jazz, who hit a DDT on the possible new challenger.
Backstage, Coach meets up with Stephanie who talks about the robe being half hers. Triple H comes over to give her the keys to the Corvette, which is revealed to be cut in half! Stephanie freaks out and HHH laughs at her expense.
Main Event: Scott Hall vs. the Rock: Rock is sporting taped ribs and hammers away on Hall early on hitting a DDT for a near fall. Hall gets a near fall after a clothesline. Rock decks Hall with a right hand and puts the Sharpshooter on Hall. Hogan distracts Hogan and Hall starts to work on Rock’s ribs. Nash is also at ringside. Hogan trips Rock and pulls him to the floor to get a few more shots in. Hall tries to get a pin with his feet on the ropes but Rock kicks out at two. Rock ducks a clothesline but Hall hits a fall away slam for a near fall. Hall attempts the Edge but Rock backdrops his way out of it. Rock hits the Rock Bottom! Nash enters but Rock fights him off. Nash gets stuck in the ropes as he didn’t get over the top. Hogan is in the ring to have a stare down with Rock. Hogan works over Rock thanks to a Nash distraction. This match has been thrown out as Rock is being triple teamed. Steve Austin’s music hits and Austin runs down to the ring. Austin cleans house with right hands. Austin has a chair and chases after Hall. Austin whacks Nash with the chair twice and Rock clotheslines Nash to the floor! Vince McMahon comes out and has a microphone. McMahon is pissed at Austin, of course. Vince announces that on RAW this Monday Rock and Austin will wrestle the New World Order in a handicap match! Austin throws beers at the New World Order and Vince. (*1/4. Well, it’s certainly an interesting match to have. Some decent action here, but of course the main point was to advance the issues leading into Mania.)
Aside from the Flair/Taker segments and the Angle/Kane brawl, there wasn’t much good happening on this show. Some Mania matches had their feuds advanced, but nothing was overly good in the ring or anything. This weeks show gets a thumbs down.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.