Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Oklahoma City, OK
With all of the roster out in the ring and by ringside, Vince McMahon announces that tonight there will be a traditional battle royal where the winner will challenge WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker at the King of the Ring pay per view. That battle royal will be taking place right now.
Opening Contest: Battle Royal: Kurt Angle is eliminated by Hardcore Holly, which is a shocker. The final four are Test, Triple H, Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan. Hogan eliminates Jericho while Triple H takes out Test at the same time. HHH clotheslines himself and Hogan over the top to the floor and hit the floor at the same time. This leads to confusion for everyone involved and Vince McMahon makes a singles match between Triple H and Hogan for later tonight with the winner getting a shot at the Undertaker at King of the Ring.
Backstage, Kurt Angle is interviewed and he says that he was screwed over tonight in the battle royal. Hardcore Holly comes over and says that Angle stresses too much and might lose his hair from the stress. Of course, Angle issues a challenge to Holly for a match tonight and it’s accepted.
Backstage, Billy & Chuck are watching footage from last week. Rico enters and is trying to get their trust back but notes that they have really let themselves go.
Second Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Rikishi & Rico vs. Billy & Chuck in a elimination match: Rico starts the match telling Rikishi that he has this. Chuck takes Rico down with a wrist lock and Rico submits holding his wrist in pain. Of course, this leaves Rikishi for himself against the former champions. Rikishi knocks Chuck to the corner but is double teamed. Rikishi clotheslines Billy and Chuck sending Billy to the floor and hits a Samoan Drop on Chuck. Rikishi kicks Billy to the floor and splashes Chuck in the corner. Chuck falls in the corner to set up a stink face. Rikishi has to step away and plants Billy with an ace crusher to eliminate Billy. Chuck punches Rikishi to the floor where Billy sends Rikishi into the ring steps face first. Chuck works over Rikishi in the corner with several strikes in the corner. Rico gets on the apron to take the top turnbuckle pad off. Chuck drops a charging Rikishi onto the exposed turnbuckle but Rikishi manages to kick out at two. Rikishi misses a sit down splash but hits a Samoan Drop on both Billy and Chuck. Rico enters to hit a spin kick and that allows a super kick by Chuck to get the three count. Rikishi had his boot on the bottom rope but Rico knocked it off the bottom rope! (*1/2. Well, at least Billy and Chuck finally have the belts back and this angle can come to a close already.) After the match, Rikishi hits a Bonzai Drop on Rico.
Backstage, The Hurricane finds a note and reads it which says “You think I’m a witch I flew in on my broom…” “If you’re looking to find me, I’m in your locker room!”
Backstage, Hurricane enters his room and sees Nidia, who was the last person he wanted to see. He says he has something good going on and doesn’t need to be bothered by her. Nidia says she will forgive Hurricane for dumping her, but her new boyfriend is going to take the WWE Cruiserweight Championship away. Jamie Knoble attacks Hurricane and yells at Hurricane before making out with Nidia.
Third Contest: Christian vs. Val Venis in a KOTR Qualifying Match: Christian attacks before the bell working over Venis with strikes but that ends with Venis dropping Christian across the top rope and hits a neck breaker for a two count. Christian sends Venis hard into the corner back first. Christian hits a dropkick but can’t get a three on the cover. Christian counters a suplex attempt and hits a back breaker for another two count. Venis shoulder blocks Christian and follows up with several clotheslines. Venis gets out of a suplex to hit a fisherman suplex for a near fall. Venis plants Christian with a spine buster and locks in an Indian death lock! Christian reaches the ropes to break the hold. Christian hits a reverse DDT but Venis kicks out. Christian knee lifts Venis but Venis hits a swinging sit out power bomb for the win. (*1/2. Some decent action here and it’s a major upset for Venis, I’d think. I mean, Christian has some kind of direction while Venis isn’t doing much. Venis looked good and motivated, which is always good.)
Backstage, Vince McMahon is on the phone with the Undertaker when Jackie and Linda from Tough Enough enter the room and talk to Vince. Ivory enters and yells at them for disrespecting Vince. This all leads to Vince making a match between Linda and Ivory on Velocity.
Fourth Contest: Hardcore Holly vs. Kurt Angle: Early on, Angle controls Holly with a side headlock and hits a shoulder block. Holly comes back with a standing dropkick. Holly drops Angle across the top rope and hits a clothesline for a two count. Angle battles back with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Angle drops Holly with a short arm clothesline and they trade right hands. Angle continues with a German suplex and taunts the fans. Angle puts a sleeper on Holly and Holly drops to his knees. Holly puts a sleeper on Angle but Angle counters with a suplex. Angle runs into a big boot in the corner and hits the ring post shoulder first. Holly backdrops Angle and a few clotheslines follow. Holly plants Angle with a power slam but can’t keep Angle down on the cover long enough. Angle runs the ropes to take Holly off the top with an overhead suplex but Holly kicks out at two! Holly takes Angle over with a belly to belly suplex but Angle still kicks out. Holly picks Angle up against the ropes to kick Angle in the midsection. Holly drops Angle with a power bomb but again manages only a near fall. Holly goes for the Alabama Slam but Angle wiggles out of it and has the ankle lock on! Holly reaches the ropes and attempts a kick moments later but they roll through a pin attempt and Angle steals the match by holding the ropes for the win. (**1/2. I really enjoyed the action here. The fans were behind Holly and it was fun to watch. This could be an example of a guy needing a win and elevating him at a time where the brand split would have welcomed it.) After the match, Angle tries to attack Holly, but eventually Holly nails Angle with the ring bell and stands tall.
We go to the hospital where Maven is laying in a bed and Torrie Wilson is by his side. Torrie teases Maven with a banana. Tajiri has appeared at the hospital and is looking for the room that Maven is in. He finds out the room that Maven is in. Tajiri dresses as a doctor but before he can enter the room he is escorted to another emergency by other doctors who think Tajiri is a doctor!
Edge comes out and announces that he tore his shoulder badly in the cage match last week and that he will be out of action for awhile. Edge is mad because his body let him down and can’t hold onto the ball that the company finally gave him. He’d do the spear from the top again if he could. Edge has to forfeit his King of the Ring qualifying match to Chris Jericho tonight. Edge promises to come back and win the WWE Undisputed Championship. That brings out Jericho who says that Edge makes him sick and wants Edge to raise his hand in victory, but Edge refuses. That causes Jericho to attack Edge sending him into the corner, guard railing and ring post. Jericho takes Edge’s sling off and rams Edge into the steel steps. Jericho gets a steel chair and whacks Edge over the shoulder with it! Jericho taunts the fans until Val Venis comes running down and saves Edge from further attack.
Backstage, Stacy Keibler and Dawn Marie have a confrontation where Stacy calls Dawn desperate and Dawn thinks that Stacy is jealous of her.
Backstage, Lance Storm tells Billy Kidman that he doesn’t have enough charisma to make it in the WWE. Kidman comes back with saying that Lance has the best haircut in the company.
Back at the hospital, Torrie asks if Maven feels better, suggesting she gave him oral sex, and Maven says he does. Tajiri gets in the room and spits green mist in her face and turns the table over on Maven.
Fifth Contest: Lance Storm vs. Billy Kidman: Kidman takes Storm over with a hurricanrana at the start of the match. Kidman gets dropkicked off the top to the floor by Storm. Storm hits a springboard clothesline but Kidman kicks out on the cover attempt. Kidman plants Storm with a sit out spine buster for a near fall. Storm plants Kidman with a DDT for a two count. Kidman takes Storm down with a bulldog off the middle rope. Storm takes Kidman down and has the half Boston Crab on but Kidman reaches the ropes. Kidman drops Storm with a kick to the head. Kidman goes to the top but Storm cuts him off with a right hand. Kidman hits a sunset flip power bomb for a near fall. Storm with a jaw breaker and ducks a clothesline to nail Kidman with a super kick, which is good enough for a three count. (*. It’s too short to really mean anything, but these two need to have a longer match and have a TV classic that they’d be capable of having.)
Backstage, Triple H is asked about his match with Hulk Hogan, but Triple H says nothing and leaves. Apparently, HHH has only 30% range of movement in his right arm due to Undertaker’s recent attack in him.
Main Event: Hulk Hogan vs. Triple H in a number one contenders match: For a guy with an injured arm, HHH had no problem doing his arm pose during his entrance on several occasions. HHH decks Hogan in the corner with several right hands. Hogan comes out of the corner with clothesline HHH and delivers a few punches. Hogan knocks HHH down with a forearm shot. Hogan knocks HHH through the middle rope to the floor. HHH hit his arm on the apron but they brawl on the floor. Hogan rams HHH into the ring steps arm first. Hogan sends HHH into the crowd but quickly brings HHH back to ringside. HHH sends Hogan face first into the ring post on the floor. HHH chokes Hogan in the corner, which feels quite like a heel. HHH delivers an elbow shot and an elbow drop for another two count. HHH puts a sleeper on Hogan and they go down to the canvas. Hogan finds a second wind and puts a sleeper on HHH! HHH counters with a back suplex and gets a two count. Hogan no sells some punches and hammers away on HHH followed by a big boot. Hogan misses the leg drop! HHH kicks Hogan and attempts the Pedigree but Hogan counters with a backdrop and hits the leg drop! Hogan has the cover but HHH manages to kick out! Hogan thinks he has won, and that allows HHH to hit the Pedigree. HHH has the cover and wins the match. (**. I like that HHH competed like a heel here and he’s better off winning than Hogan. For a less than seven minute match, the crowd was hot for it and the action was too bad, really.) After the match, Hogan shakes hands with HHH and they play to the crowd. Undertaker and Kurt Angle end up coming into the ring and attacking both Hogan and HHH. Taker drives HHH down with a choke slam! Angle takes Hogan over with the Angle Slam!
I thought it was an enjoyable show, for the most part. The Jericho/Edge segment will make for an exciting series of matches between them, I’d think. The Holly/Angle and Storm/Kidman matches were fine, too. The main event was solid and short with the right guy going over. And, even on some level the segments with Tajiri/Maven/Torrie were enjoyable. Oh, and Jamie Knoble make his debut, so there’s that too. Smackdown continues to deliver some good television.
Thanks for reading.