Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents Smackdown
From: Tucson, AZ
Kurt Angle opens the show saying that he is not happy with Hulk Hogan being named the number one contender. He says that he beat tougher Russian opponents than guys like Nikolai Volkoff and Iron Sheik. He is going to prove that he is better than Hogan tonight when he beats Triple H in a non-title match. Edge makes his way out and challenges Angle to a match at Backlash, and it’s accepted. At the end of the segment, Edge wants the fans to chant “You Suck” after everything Angle says.
Backstage, Chris Jericho tells Kurt Angle that he is going to beat the hell out of Edge tonight. Angle says he hates loud mouthed Canadians with long blonde hair and dress like a rockstar. Jericho looks a bit confused by the statement, but Angle clarifies that Jericho is the exception.
Opening Contest: The Hurricane vs. Tajiri: Hurricane arm drags Tajiri to the floor and hits a somersault dive over the top to the floor! Back in the ring, Hurricane nearly wins with a sunset flip off the top. Tajiri drops Hurricane with a spin kick and scoop slams Hurricane. Hurricane catches Tajiri on a handspring but gets kicked to the floor. Hurricane avoids a dive but Tajiri manages to hit a hurricanrana on the floor! Back in the ring, Hurricane is able to hit a nice top rope hurricanrana! Hurricane hits an overhead exploder duplex. Tajiri goes for the Tarantula but Hurricane counters with the Eye of the Hurricane for a near fall. Tajiri blocks a kick and knocks Hurricane out cold with a kick to the head for the win. After the match, Billy Kidman saves Torrie from any abuse from Tajiri. (**. A fine match though it didn’t go long. They had several enjoyable spots. I’m liking Tajiri’s attitude as it seems similar to what he had in ECW.)
Backstage, Stacy Keibler is waiting for Vince McMahon in his office.
Second Contest: Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Albert: Early on, Albert hammers away on Scotty wasting no time. Albert catapults Scotty throat first into the middle rope for a near fall. Scotty gets his boots up to block a splash and nearly wins after a dropkick from the middle rope. Albert cuts Hotty off with a quick clothesline. Scotty avoids another splash in the corner and hits a face buster! Hotty signals for the WORM! Albert gets up and hits a bicycle kick and finishes Hotty off with the Baldo Bomb for the win. (*. A powerful win for Albert who should likely get a heel singles push. He was kind of being wasted tagging with Scotty for the last several months.) After the match, Albert continues to attack Scotty and hits a splash off the middle rope. Rikishi runs down and Albert bails to the floor as Rikishi protects Scotty. Albert tries to sneak attack Rikishi but that doesn’t work as Rikishi super kicks Albert to the floor!
Backstage, Vince McMahon tells Stacy that he is going to interview some candidates for the assistant position. Stacy responds by saying she will apply and offer Vince something he can’t refuse.
Backstage, Rico is making fun of Maven until Al Snow steps in and nearly brawls with the group of men.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan is interviewed and says that he wants Hulkamania to run wild one more time with the championship. He credits Triple H with coming back from injury and winning the title at WrestleMania. Chris Jericho enters the scene and tells Hogan that he has nothing to lose and HHH has everything to lose. Thus, HHH is one dangerous man.
Third Contest: Chris Jericho vs. Edge: Early on, Edge hits a spinning heel kick and a flapjack before hammering away on Jericho with right hands. Jericho works over Edge with some chops and is sent over the top by Edge. Edge baseball slides Jericho onto the announce table and slams him face first onto the table. Back in the ring, Edge goes up top and leaps off to hit a cross body for a near fall. Jericho fights back with a clothesline and maintains control for a little while. Jericho gets a near fall following a vertical suplex. Edge nearly pins Jericho with a quick rollup but Y2J regains control with a quick strike. Jericho misses a spear and hits the ring post shoulder first. Edge ducks under a clothesline and hammers away on Jericho hitting a leaping forearm smash. Edge comes off the middle rope with a sunset flip but Y2J rolls through and nearly gets the Walls of Jericho locked in but Edge gets a near fall with a rollup. Here comes Kurt Angle who gets speared! Jericho takes advantage with a bulldog and goes for the moonsault but Edge gets his knees up. Edge nearly wins after yanking Jericho down by the back of the head. Edge catapults Jericho into the referee in the corner and locks in a reverse Sharpshooter but no referee saves Y2J. Jericho goes to the floor and gets a chair. Edge charges and spears Jericho but can’t get a three count on the cover! Angle drops Edge throat first across the top and Jericho rolls Edge up for the win. (**1/2. Some fine action and the interference protects Edge while advancing his feud with Angle. Jericho needs some wins as he has lost quite a bit of momentum in recent weeks it feels like.)
Backstage, Edge is attacked by Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho. Angle drops Edge with an Angle Slam on the concrete floor and locks in the ankle lock. Hulk Hogan enters the scene and helps Edge chasing off the heels.
Vince McMahon comes down and has candidates come down to be his assistant. The first two people are nerdy and are not up to Vince’s standards. Eventually, Stacy comes out and dances on the table causing McMahon to tip over in his chair. She gets the job.
Backstage, D-Von Dudley enters McMahon’s office. Dudley says he felt “the man” and the man told him to save the sinners. He needs a benefactor to help him. McMahon notes that he is a powerful man and that it would be an honor to help D-Von with his mission.
Outside, Mark Henry lifts a limo up with his legs. Test, who was in the limo doesn’t let go of the gas for an extra few seconds and several people get upset with him for doing that.
Fourth Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champion Chuck vs. Al Snow: Chuck works over Snow to kick off the match. Snow hits a cross body after coming off the ropes. Snow stomps away on Chuck and delivers a clothesline from behind. Rico distracts Snow to allow Chuck to get control with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Chuck hits a second overhead belly to belly suplex for a two count. Snow counters a third attempt with a series of head butts. Al backdrops Chuck and goes for the Snow Plow but Billy trips Al to almost give Chuck a win. Snow hits a sit out spine buster for a near fall. Maven chases after Rico and chases him in the crowd. Billy clotheslines Snow and Chuck only gets a near fall. Chuck connects with a good looking super kick for a two count. Chuck can’t hit the snake eyes and Snow spikes Chuck with the Snow Plow for the win. (*. Some decent action with these two guys as it’s obvious that Snow and Maven will be in line for a tag title match. The crowd wasn’t overly excited for the match as they seem to be more interested in Maven than they are in Snow. Regardless, it was a non-offensive match.)
Backstage, Hulk Hogan tells Triple H that he has his back if he wants it. HHH tells Hogan the next time he barges into his room he will take it as an act of aggression and handle it. HHH tells Hogan he doesn’t need anyone to watch his back as he is the top dog in this dog-eat-dog world. Hogan reminds HHH that he has played the Game longer than anyone.
Main Event: WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H vs. Kurt Angle: Side headlock by Triple H, which Kurt reverses into a wristlock. Side headlock by Triple H. Shoulderblock by Triple H. Another side headlock and another shoulderblock by Triple H. Big right hand by Trips. Side headlock by Angle. Shoulderblock by Angle. Another big right hand by Trips. Trips goes for the Pedigree, but Angle goes for the back body drop, which Trips reverses into a sunset flip. Trips pulls Kurt’s tights down, revealing his skimpy thong underwear! Kurt goes outside. Trips tosses Angle into the announce table and slaps his ass. Triple H goes into the steps. Back in the ring, Kurt pulls up his tights and hits three German suplexes on Triple H, 1-2-kickout. Belly to belly by Angle, 1-2-kickout. Sleeper by Angle. Back suplex by Triple H. DDT by Trips. Running knee strike and Neckbreaker by Trips. Clothsline and choke by Triple H. Spinebuster by HHH, 1-2-Jericho pulls the ref out. Trips tosses Jericho out of the ring. Trips goes for a Pedigree, but Jericho hits a bulldog and a Lionsault. Angle covers, 1-2-kickout. Elbow drop by Jericho to the ref. Double team on Triple H. Hogan comes out and they double team him. Hogan HULKS UP! He smashes their heads together. Right hands to both guys. Big boot to Angle. Jericho goes outside and into the barricade. Pedigree to Angle, 1-2-3! After the match, Trips gets on the mic and calls out Hogan. Maybe Hogan didn’t hear him earlier. Hogan gets in the ring. He respects Hogan, but until Backlash, stay out of his business. Hogan says that until Backlash, Triple H is his business. Angle knocks Triple H into Hogan and runs out of the ring. Hogan thinks Triple H hit him, and he HULKS UP AGAIN! He hits Triple H. Big Boot and Legdrop to Triple H! Jericho knocks Hogan down. Belt shots to the back of Hogan’s head by Angle. Belt shot to the face by Jericho. Belt shot to Triple H by Angle! (NR. The detail to this match goes to http://www.rajah.com. For whatever reason, the copy I had craps out at the start of the match, and I couldn’t find it online anywhere. Anyway, appears to be a standard good match between the two guys.)
Final Thoughts: The main matches were enjoyable, for what I could watch. I think after Backlash the shows will get on track and better material will be produced for television. Hogan/HHH feud is far more interesting than the Austin/Taker stuff happening on RAW. Smackdown comes across as a strong show in general.
Thanks for reading.