Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents Smackdown
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Opening Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck vs. The Hurricane & Rikishi: Billy and Rikishi kick off the contest. Billy gets a few shots in to get the early advantage but goes for a head butt which was a mistake. Billy avoids a sit down splash and tags in Chuck who is quickly slammed and suffers a leg drop. Hurricane hits a top rope sunset flip for a two count. Hurricane takes Chuck over with a head scissors and goes for the choke slam but Billy enters to prevent that from happening. Chuck ends up hitting an overhead belly to belly suplex. Hurricane is worked over by the champs for a few moments. Hurricane plants Billy with a tornado DDT and hits a neck breaker on Chuck to tag in Rikishi. Rikishi cleans house with a clothesline and super kick on the champs. Rikishi hits a running back splash in the corner on both champs. Billy falls in the corner and Rikishi wants the Stink Face. Rico yanks Billy out but Rikishi still hits a Samoan Drop on Chuck. Hurricane hits a top rope cross body but the referee is distracted. Rico enters to nail Hurricane with a spin kick to give Chuck the pin fall. (**. Not a bad opener to the show as they kept it fairly non-stop and some decent near falls thrown in.) After the match, Hurricane choke slams Rico and Rikishi gives Rico the Stink Face!
Backstage, Kurt Angle tries to recruit Val Venis and Lance Storm to model his new shirt. Venis declines saying that Angle and his shirt suck. Storm accepts the offer.
Kurt Angle and Lance Storm come out with Storm wearing the new shirt for Angle. The front says “American Hero, It’s True, It’s True, I’ve Got Gold, How About You?” and the back lists Kurt’s accomplishments. Edge comes out and has Venis with him. Venis is wearing a “You Suck” shirt. This doesn’t sit well with Angle, who challenges Edge to put his hair on the line at Judgment Day in a hair vs. hair match. Edge quickly accepts and says that Angle will be Red, White and BALD at Judgment Day!
Earlier today, Stacy Keibler met up with Randy Orton to wish Orton luck. Stacy gives Randy a kiss on the cheek and checks him out before he walks away.
Second Contest: Randy Orton vs. Hardcore Holly: Orton gets a near fall following a dropkick and Holly gets frustrated. Holly pummels Orton in the corner but nearly gets pinned with a rollup out of the corner. Hardcore plants Randy with a power bomb and stomps away on the rookie. Holly hits his trademark dropkick and continues to work over Orton in the corner. Randy runs into a boot but takes Hardcore over with a snap power slam for a near fall. Orton hits an ugly looking leg lariat from the middle rope. Holly stops Orton with a low blow to cause the DQ. Holly brings Orton to the top of the ramp and hits the Alabama Slam on the steel ramp! (1/2*. Just an angle advancement between these two, though Holly being anything serious is tough to really believe in. Fans seem to be connecting with Orton already.)
Backstage, D-Von Dudley suggests to Faarooq that the money he has won thanks to Mark Henry and his strength go into his collection box. Henry tells D-Von to hit the bricks.
Backstage, Vince McMahon is hitting on Stacy Keibler when Chris Jericho enters the room. Jericho assures McMahon that he will win the WWF Undisputed Championship tonight and requests the match be made a no disqualification match. McMahon agrees to that. Vince tells Jericho that no member of RAW is in the arena and that if Triple H lays a hand on Jericho he would be fired.
Third Contest: Kurt Angle & Lance Storm vs. Edge & Val Venis: Edge and Angle kick off the match with Angle working over Edge with strikes in the corner. Edge boots Kurt in the corner and comes off the middle rope with a missile dropkick. Venis tags in and works over Angle with a few strikes. Venis delivers a knee drop but only manages a two count. Angle cuts Val off with a short arm clothesline. Storm kicks Venis in the midsection and continues to have the advantage. It doesn’t last long as Venis delivers a few knee lifts and a side Russian leg sweep. Angle grabs Edge from the apron to allow Storm to hit a spin kick. Angle tags back in with Edge weakened for him. Kurt gets a near fall after a snap suplex. Angle quickly takes Edge over with a German suplex and tags Storm back into the bout. Venis tries to come in and make the save but that just allows the heels to work over Edge in the corner. Edge slams Storm after a springboard attempt and both men are down.
Angle and Venis get the hot tags with Venis cleaning house with clotheslines. Venis shoulder blocks Angle and slams Storm but Angle comes over to hit a German suplex. Val plants Angle with a spinning slam but Lance breaks up the cover. Edge hits a top rope clothesline to take out both heels. Edge and Storm brawl on the floor while Angle hits an overhead belly to belly. Edge spears Angle but Storm clotheslines Edge over the top to the floor. Val covers Angle but only gets a two count. Venis plants Kurt with a spine buster and heads to the top rope. Storm gets kicked off the apron but Angle is able to hit a top rope overhead suplex for a near fall! Angle gets clotheslined by Edge and Lance gets sent over the top to the floor. Venis rolls Angle up but Storm delivers a super kick. Angle has the pin on Venis and Edge can’t make the save for the three count. (*1/2. The stuff involving Edge and Angle was fun, but I just don’t have a reason to care about Storm and Venis as they were just filler here to prevent from another singles match between Angle and Edge.)
Chris Jericho comes out and says that tonight he is the King of the World and nothing can bring him down. Jericho brags about his win over Triple H last week and how Hogan’s time is running out. Jericho tries to get HHH to punch him, but HHH just remains calm and smiles at Jericho simply telling him that Jericho has no chance in hell of winning the championship tonight.
Fourth Contest: Faarooq & Mark Henry vs. Test & Christian: Henry and Test kick off the match. Henry shoves Test to the corner to show off his strength. Christian distracts Henry to allow Test to work over him and here comes Christian to do the same. Henry runs over both men with a clothesline. Henry press slams Christian and tags in Faarooq. Henry drops Christian gut first across Faarooq’s knee. Faarooq elbows Christian but is clotheslined by Test from the apron. Test delivers a few running clotheslines in the corner. Faarooq fights off the heels with a power slam but Test breaks the cover up. Brother D-Von comes out through the crowd with his collection box. This is distracting Mark Henry and D-Von gets confronted by Faarooq and Henry. Henry tosses the money in the box to the fans. D-Von punches Henry from behind and runs away. Back in the ring, Faarooq hits a spine buster on Test but Christian hits a reverse DDT and gets the win. (DUD. I’m glad Test and Christian went over. Brother D-Von could be an interesting character, but Henry is not interesting at all.)
Fifth Contest: WWF Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman: This is a rematch from Backlash. Kidman starts off with a head scissors and an arm drag but Tajiri quickly comes back with a few kicks of his own. Tajiri focuses his attack on Kidman’s left knee. Tajiri takes Kidman down with a dragon screw leg whip. Tajiri dropkicks the knee of Kidman while he was in the tree of woe. Kidman stops the champ with a kick to the head. Kidman has the fans behind him as they are chanting “Lets Go Kidman.” Tajiri tries a handspring back elbow but Kidman counters with a dropkick. Tajiri spin kicks Kidman to regain the advantage. Kidman nearly wins after a sit out spine buster! Tajiri wipes Billy out with a quick super kick but only gets a two count. Tajiri goes for the Tarantula but Kidman counters. Kidman accidentally hits Torrie Wilson with a slingshot cross body. Tajiri delivers a kick to the head and wins the match. (**. These two work very well together but this was just a way to advance things again between the two, it appears. The fans were heavily behind Kidman, perhaps showing that this is the most over Kidman has been in his career.)
Backstage, Vince McMahon tells Triple H that if he interferes in the match that he would be fired.
Main Event: WWF Undisputed Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Chris Jericho in a no disqualification match: Hogan shoves Jericho away and poses for the crowd to a huge ovation. Hogan is acting like Jericho is a Cruiserweight when they lockup. Hogan scoop slams Jericho and works over the shoulder early on. Jericho takes Hogan down with a back suplex. Hogan avoids an elbow drop and makes his comeback with right hands. Jericho goes to the top but Hulk press slams the challenger down to the canvas. Hogan gets stopped by Jericho with a low blow in the corner and that allows Jericho to take over. Jericho misses a splash in the corner and Hogan plays to the crowd. Hogan goes to the floor to go after Jericho but is sent shoulder first into the ring post. Jericho heads to the top and double axe handles Hogan. Jericho drops Hogan across the top turnbuckle and jumps onto Hogan while he was across the middle rope.
Jericho uses his ring tape to choke Hogan and delivers a few more strikes. Hogan avoids a splash and Jericho lands on the middle rope. Hogan works over Jericho with right hands and a scoop slam. Jericho avoids an elbow drop and hits a running bulldog. Jericho hits a springboard Lionsault. Triple H comes out and Jericho flips out. HHH stands at ringside and is laughing at Jericho. HHH’s music plays the entire time it takes to sit at the announcers table. Jericho gets a two count following a DDT. Hogan begins to Hulk Up. Hogan with at the big boot and signals for the end. Hulk goes for the leg drop but Jericho trips Hulk and has the Walls Of Jericho locked in. Hogan reaches the bottom rope to break the hold. Jericho grabs a steel chair and whacks Hogan across the back.
HHH hints that there is a presence and sure enough here comes the Undertaker. Wait, it’s just his music and doesn’t come out. Hogan takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Jericho up for the win. After the match, HHH enters the ring and pummels Jericho with right hands. (*1/2. Just about as good of a match you’re going to get from Hogan with a talent like Jericho. A lot of Jericho’s offense just wouldn’t work with Hogan, but he still got quite a bit of his move set in.)
Honestly, the wrestling was all that great but Smackdown progresses their angles very well each week. I mean, every match on the show had some story behind it at some point or is currently going on. Thus, I give the show a thumbs up because they advanced something every segment. That’s what a TV show should be doing.
Thanks for reading.