Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents Smackdown
From: Rochester, NY
Vince McMahon lets us know that he will name the new number one contender for Triple H’s WWF Undisputed Championship later on in the show. He reminds Flair that whomever won the coin toss for the draft, would also name the number one contender for the WWF Undisputed Championship.
Kurt Angle comes out and naturally assumes that McMahon will choose him to be the number one contender. Angle goes on to explain, but is cut off by former champion Chris Jericho. Jericho says that he is not a has been and deserves the shot more than anyone else. Angle and Y2J agree to wrestle later on for it. The Rock comes out and suggests he deserves it but also says that someone else may be more deserving. The fans are chanting for Hogan, but Angle and Jericho disagree with that assumption. Rock wants the fans to yell who they want to get a title shot and it’s overwhelmingly Hogan to end the segment.
Backstage, Albert and Scotty 2 Hotty are discussing their upcoming tag team title match.
Opening Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck vs. Scotty 2 Hotty & Albert: Chuck and Scotty kick off the contest with Chuck working over Scotty with a few strikes. Scotty hits a neck breaker and Chuck goes to Billy for comfort, when Scotty sends Chuck into Billy’s groin. Billy tags in and clotheslines Scotty after Chuck got knocked off the apron. Scotty super kicks Chuck after getting out of a slam attempt. Albert is ready for a tag. Albert gets tagged in and he cleans house with strikes. Albert power slams Billy and Chuck accidentally elbow drops Billy. Albert splashes Billy in the corner. Rico gets on the apron and Albert chases after him until Chuck delivers a clothesline on the floor. Scotty hit a DDT on Billy but there is no referee. Rico nails Scotty with a spin kick and the champs retain. (*1/2. Not a bad match here. It went pretty quickly and they kept a good pace. I enjoyed it.) After the match, Scotty goes for the WORM on Rico, but Albert kicks Scotty in the face! Albert splashes Scotty in the corner and is beating the crap out of his now former partner. Albert tells Hotty that he weighed Albert down and suffers the Baldo Bomb.
Backstage, Mark Lloyd is with Vince McMahon and asks if McMahon has made up his mind. McMahon reveals that Hulk Hogan will get the title match at Backlash. We see Jericho upset about the decision and tells Rock it is his fault for this. Jericho mentions how he has beaten Rock in the past and Rock suggests that Jericho try again tonight.
Second Contest: Christian vs. Diamond Dallas Page: Page catapults Christian with his feet and sends him to the floor. Christian drops DDP throat first across the top rope and stomps away on his former friend. Christian nearly wins with a side Russian leg sweep. Page hits a wheelbarrow suplex for a near fall. DDP follows up with a discus clothesline and a sit down power bomb for a two count. Christian comes back with a back breaker for a two count. Christian holds onto the ropes to avoid a diamond cutter. Christian hits a reverse DDT but only gets a near fall and flips out. Christian eye rakes Page and wins with the Un-Prettier. (*1/2. The right guy goes over here. Christian has a lot more to offer at this point than Page does.)
Backstage, Angle is not happy either about McMahon’s choice. Edge comes over and shows Angle some photos he has found. As Angle looks at them, we see the following written on the back of them. “You Suck.” “Yes, I do suck”, “And I’m a dork”, “It’s True”, “PS: I have no testicles.”
WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H makes his way down to the ring and tells the Undertaker that he will get a championship match when he is done with Hulk Hogan at Backlash. Hulk Hogan comes out and talks about his past Mania moments but nothing is bigger than the heavyweight championship. Hogan is going to take it if the fans believe in him. HHH says it would be an honor to compete in the ring with Hogan. HHH tells Hogan that he will not come between himself and the championship. Hogan asks HHH what he is gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on him. They have a stare down until HHH leaves and Hogan plays to the crowd.
Third Contest: Edge vs. Kurt Angle: Early on, Angle works over Edge with several strikes and stomps. Edge quickly hits a spinning heel kick but Angle stops him with a German duplex for a near fall. Angle runs into a big boot but takes Edge over with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Edge drives Kurt down with a face buster to gain the advantage. Edge nearly wins after yanking Angle down by the head. Angle gets tied up in the ropes and Edge hits the spear a couple of times. Angle gets to the floor and grabs a chair. Edge goes to the floor and axe handles Angle. Edge backdrops Angle and clubs away on his back. Edge goes for the spear but Angle hits him with the chair to cause the disqualification. (*. Obviously just a way to extend the feud and not blow it off on television.) After the match, Edge avoids a chair shot and punches Angle to the floor. Edge has a cut over his left eye.
Backstage, Billy Kidman approaches Torrie Wilson and says he knows they have a past but he is going to go out there and beat WCW Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri for the championship. They hug and a jealous Tajiri comes into the scene demanding Torrie give him a kiss before they leave.
Fourth Contest: WWF Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman: Tajiri takes Kidman down with a head scissors but Kidman comes back with one of his own. They trade a couple of arm drags and have a standoff. Tajiri sends Kidman to the floor with a kick to the head and takes Billy out with a springboard moonsault on the floor! Tajiri comes off the top but Kidman hits a dropkick in midair for a two count. Tajiri puts a stop to the offense with a spinning heel kick for a near fall. Kidman counters a tornado DDT with a sit-out spine buster. Kidman heads to the top rope and misses the shooting star press. Tajiri knocks Kidman silly with a kick for a two count. Tajiri goes for the Tarantula but Kidman shoves him off. Tajiri grabs the championship but Kidman places him on the top rope and Torrie has the title. Tajiri gets the Tarantula locked in and after he lets go, he looks for the championship which isn’t there. Kidman rolls Tajiri up and wins the match and title! (**. Some good action between these two guys. Torrie accidentally screwing Tajiri over sets up a rematch between the two and I can’t complain about that.) After the match, Tajiri gets the microphone and demands Torrie get in the ring. I have no idea what he said but he surely wasn’t happy.
Backstage, Vince McMahon wants Hardcore Holly to punish Maven for losing the WWF Hardcore Championship. Stacy Keibler enters the room and offers to be McMahon’s executive assistant.
Backstage, D-Von Dudley is complaining to Vince McMahon about the separation of himself and Bubba Dudley due to the draft. McMahon thought that D-Von was the best of the two and tells D-Von to leave until he is ready to be a superstar.
Backstage, Al Snow wishes Maven luck in the ring with Hardcore Holly.
Fifth Contest: Hardcore Holly vs. Maven: Early on, Maven gets a near fall following a spinning heel kick. Holly takes control with several strikes in the corner. Holly runs over Maven with a clothesline and a dropkick. Holly scoop slams Maven and heads to the top rope. Holly leaps off but Maven gets a boot up for a two count. Maven heads to the top and missile dropkicks Hardcore for a near fall. Holly gets up and his the Alabama Slam for the win. (1/2*. A harmless match.)
Main Event: Chris Jericho vs. The Rock: Jericho doesn’t waste any time going after Rock on the aisle way but Rock is ready for him. They trade right hands with Rock getting the better of the exchange. Rock punches Jericho over the railing. Rock hip tosses Jericho over the railing to the ringside area. Jericho gets control after catapulting Rock face first into the ring post. Rock fights back with chops in the corner. Jericho hits a spinning heel kick but only gets a two count. Jericho comes off the top to hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Jericho continues his offense with a vertical suplex and casually stomps away on Rock. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho but Rock gets to the bottom rope. Rock crotches Jericho on the top rope and Rock hammers away on the former champion. Rock goes for a superplex and hits it! Rock drops Jericho with a few right hands and a overhead suplex followed by a DDT for a near fall! Jericho hits the referee with a forearm smash on accident. Rock locks in the Sharpshooter! Kurt Angle runs in and tries to attack Rock but gets punched over the top to the floor. Jericho scoop slams Rock and goes for the People’s Elbow! Rock pops up to hit a spine buster and goes for the elbow but Angle enters and hits the Angle Slam! Jericho goes for the cover but Rock kicks out at two! Edge runs down and attacks Angle on the floor to help Rock. Rock goes for the Rock Bottom but Jericho avoids it and hits a face buster but misses a moonsault. Rock plants Jericho with the Rock Bottom to win the match. (***. A good main event to close the show. A much stronger main event than what RAW offered us. These two work very well with each other. This is Rock’s first win over Jericho in what seems like a long time.)
A strong show from Smackdown as there was quite a bit going on. We got a much needed heel turn from Albert, a title change and a strong main event. A much better performance than what we got on the first RAW. A thumbs up for this one.
Thanks for reading.
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.