Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Sacramento, CA
Kurt Angle comes out to start the show and says that he know everyone has been laughing at him. Angle isn’t happy about Hogan taking his wig off last week. Angle is upset because his hair will not grow back. Kurt is going to make Hulk tap out at the King of the Ring and break his damn ankle. Hulk Hogan makes his way out and tells Angle that he’s a 100 year old man and is going to punk Angle out at the pay per view. Hogan says he’s going to take the wig off again and Angle tells him to try it. Hogan goes to the ring and takes Angle down but Kurt bails to the outside to avoid his head being exposed as being bald again.
Backstage, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler and Dawn Marie talk about the lingerie contest and Torrie shows off what is under her robe.
Opening Contest: Christian vs. Rikishi: Christian avoids a superkick early on, but not a backdrop. Rikishi follows up with a belly to belly suplex. Rikishi signals for a splash in the corner, but misses. Christian plants Rikishi with a reverse DDT and follows up with stomps and right hands. Christian hammers away on Rikishi in the corner along with shoulder rams. Christian eye rakes Rikishi, but runs into a superkick. Rikishi misses a sit down splash. Christian tries for the Un-Prettier, but Rikishi counters with a cutter. Rikishi has the cover and wins the match, but Christian had his foot on the bottom rope. After the match, Lance Storm makes his way out and he’s not happy. Storm and Christian are arguing with the referee. (1/2*. It was a short match and the finish came out of nowhere leading the fans to not have much of a reaction to it. The finish is clearly setting up an angle, as we will see in the next segment.)
Lance Storm says that the WWE has a prejudice against Canadians. Storm says the WWE has a history of screwing Canadians. Storm believes that all Americans think they are better than every country in the world. Storm says there is a reason to hate America and America deserves. America sucks!
Backstage, Triple H talks about winning back the WWE Undisputed Championship, which he will accomplish. He also talks about Billy Gunn again and says he thinks Chuck is calling Billy Mr. Ass.
Backstage, Nidia is confident that Jamie Noble is going to beat Kidman tonight and then will bat Hurricane at the King of the Ring pay per view. She hopes that Hurricane comes looking for his mask because she has it stored in a warm location. She is wearing the mask as underwear.
Second Contest: Billy Kidman vs. Jamie Noble in a number one contenders match: Noble starts off with right hands and hip tosses Kidman over the top to the floor. Noble rolls Kidman back into the ring to deliver an arm breaker. Noble locks in a key lock submission, but Kidman doesn’t give in. Kidman drops Noble with a flapjack and right hands. Noble is sent chest first into the corner and is met with a kick to the head for a near fall. Kidman elbows Noble in the corner, but Noble hits a powerbomb with a bridge for a two count. Kidman drives Noble down to the mat face first for a near fall. Noble hits a bridging German suplex for a near fall. Noble heads to the top rope looking for a crossbody, and is met with a dropkick in midair. Kidman heads to the top looking for the Shooting Star Press, but Nidia crotches Kidman. Noble plants Kidman with an elevated DDT for the win. (**. That was fine for the amount of time they had. Noble came across like he’s going to be a force to deal with in the division. This was well done to get Noble over.) After the match, Nidia puts Hurricane’s mask on Noble’s face. Noble wrestles Hurricane at KOTR. The lights go out and Hurricane’s music plays. Hurricane is behind Noble and chokeslams Noble! Hurricane gets his mask back!
Third Contest: Triple H vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Billy Gunn: Billy attacks with a clothesline before the bell and hammers away on HHH in the corner. HHH fights back with several strikes and a clothesline over the top to the floor. HHH sends Billy into the ring steps. Rico cheap shots HHH from behind and backs off quickly. HHH chases after Rico only to be clotheslined by Chuck. Chuck rolls HHH into the ring and Billy manages a two count. HHH blocks a backdrop with a boot, but runs into a powerslam for a near fall. Billy continues with strikes and stomps in the corner for a few moments. Billy jabs HHH as he comes out of the corner. Billy taunts HHH with a DX taunt, but HHH fired back with blows. Billy connects with a tilt a whirl slam for a near fall. Billy taunts the fans and runs into a high knee lift. HHH ducks a clothesline to hit a neckbreaker. HHH bounces out of the corner to clothesline Billy several times followed by a spinebuster for a near fall. HHH decks Chuck off the apron, but Rico nails HHH with a spin kick. Chuck misses a shot with the tag title. HHH decks Chuck with the tag title. Billy tries for the Fame-Asser, but HHH counters with the Pedigree to win the match. (**. It was rather obvious that HHH was going to look like a monster by overcoming three guys to win the match. I thought they worked a solid enough match to hold my interest.) After the match, Rico tried to clothesline HHH, but HHH ducked and went for a Pedigree. However, Kurt Angle runs into the ring and attacks. HHH fights Angle off and clotheslines Angle over the top to the floor. The Undertaker slides into the ring and attacks HHH with right hands. HHH drops Undertaker over his knee. Angle has a chair and whacks Taker over the back on accident. HHH bails to the floor and laughs at Angle. Angle is trying to explain to Taker what happened and that’s not working.
Backstage, The Undertake barges into Vince McMahon’s office and demands a match with Kurt Angle tonight. McMahon says nobody tells him what to do, but gives Taker the match anyway.
Fourth Contest: Val Venis vs. Chris Jericho in a Quarter-Final match in the King of the Ring Tournament: Jericho attacks before the bell and chops Venis in the corner. Venis elbows Jericho followed by a hip toss and a knee drop for a two count. Jericho puts the referee in the way to send Venis chest first into the middle turnbuckle. Jericho gets a two count after several elbow drops. Jericho drives Venis down with a back suplex for a near fall. Venis fights back with chops in the corner and a big boot. Jericho ducks a clothesline to hit a sleeper hold slam for a near fall. Jericho misses a splash against the ropes. Jericho bulldogs Venis out of the corner but misses the Lionsault. Venis chops Jericho several times and a leaping shoulder block. Venis avoids a dropkick and catapults Jericho chest first into the corner. Venis nearly wins following a spinebuster. Jericho counters a sunset flip looking for the Walls of Jericho. Venis pushes Jericho away and nearly wins with an inside cradle. Jericho accidentally hits the referee with a forearm shot. Venis hits a fisherman suplex on Jericho and had a pin, but the referee was still down. Jericho goes to the floor to grabs a steel chair. Venis blocks a chair shot with a kick and hits a sit out powerbomb for a two count. Jericho low blows Venis and locks in the Walls of Jericho to win the match. (**. While the match was never in doubt, the action was solid and held my interest. The draft has been effective in allowing undercard guys to get some time to shine and they’re taking full advantage of it.)
Backstage, Hardcore Holly confronts Test and says he’s not taking the match lightly. Test tells Holly he will know just how serious he is.
Backstage, Kurt Angle is complaining to Vince McMahon about wrestling the Undertaker tonight. McMahon tells Angle that Taker demanded for the match. Angle ends up saying that he isn’t afraid of the Undertaker after Stacy Keibler asked Angle if he was. Angle is going to pretend that Taker is Hulk Hogan when he goes out there.
Fifth Contest: Test vs. Hardcore Holly in the Quarter-Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament: Test shoves Holly to the mat and Holly delivers right hands. Holly clotheslines Test and a powerslam for a two count. Test clotheslines Holly in the corner to gain the advantage. Test clotheslines Holly in the corner and Holly falls to the mat after staggering for a moment. Holly punches Test, but Test hooks Holly for a pump handle only to be met with a bulldog. Holly clotheslines Test several times but runs into a back elbow several times. Test leaps off the top only to be dropkicked in midair. Holly stands on the middle rope and is shoved off. Test misses a big boot but goes for a full nelson slam. Holly counters with a rollup for a two count. Test knee lifts Holly in the midsection and plants Holly with the pump handle slam for a near fall. Holly and Test begin to trade right hands. Holly boots Test and comes off the ropes only to be met with the big boot for the win. (*1/2. A short match as expected, but they kept a fast pace and the clean win for Test is the right call. It was hard hitting and I was surprised that Holly kicked out of the pump handle slam.) After the match, Marc Lloyd interviews Test about wrestling Brock Lesnar. Test says he’s going to get the next big boot. Test says he’s going to be the next big thing.
Backstage, Vince McMahon wants to have a meeting with Kurt Angle and the Undertaker. Vince talks with Johnny Ace and Fit Finlay. He sends them to grab Taker and Angle to protect the main events for KOTR. He tells Stacy Keibler to meet him at the hotel, but Stacy gives him a closed mouth kiss.
Backstage, Chris Jericho says that he and Test will make it an all Smackdown final at the King of the Ring. He’s going to regain his WWE Undisputed Championship.
Backstage, Vince McMahon tells Undertaker and Kurt Angle that he wants a good, clean match tonight but they refuse to shake hands. Taker says he’s going to rip Angle’s wig off. That causes Angle to freak out and attacks Taker knocking over McMahon, as well.
Main Event: WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle in a non-title match: Angle has a steel chair waiting for Taker to enter the ring. The referee stops Angle from using the chair. Angle settles for right hands in the corner, but Taker hits a clothesline in the corner. Angle comes out of the corner and takes Taker down with the ankle lock! Taker is close to the ropes to break the hold. Taker rolls to the floor and Angle focuses his attack on the ankle. Taker rams Angle face first onto the railing and delivers a few right hands around ringside. Taker drops Angle face first over the top turnbuckle. Angle fights back with a German suplex for a two count. Angle hammers away on Taker before going to the corner and taking the turnbuckle pad off. Angle tries to ram Taker into the exposed buckle, but Taker blocks it. Taker boots Angle in the corner, but Angle tosses Taker overhead with a suplex.
Angle is setting up for the Angle Slam, but Taker counters with a clothesline. Taker misses an elbow drop. Angle hammers away on Taker in the corner. Taker drops Angle with another clothesline as Angle hit the exposed buckle back first. Taker leg drops Angle over the apron. Taker delivers several knee lifts to drop Angle on the outside. Taker has Angle over the shoulder to ram Angle face first into the ring post. Taker connects with a big boot and signals for a chokeslam. Angle counters the chokeslam with the ankle lock! Angle has it locked in right in the middle of the ring. Taker is close to the ropes only to be pulled back. Taker is screaming in agony, but is able to roll through to counter the hold. Angle runs into a chokeslam and is driven down to the mat. Triple H comes out and distracts Taker. Angle has a rollup with a handful of tights to win the match. (***. I enjoyed the action as they kept the action moving and it was a competitive encounter. I was a bit surprised that Angle won, even with the distraction.) After the match, HHH and Taker brawl around ringside. HHH sends Taker into the railing. Hulk Hogan comes out and attacks Angle. Hogan puts the ankle lock on Angle! Angle is tapping to his own hold. Taker nails Hogan with a big boot. Taker plants Hogan with a chokeslam. HHH hits the Pedigree and stands tall to end the program.
I thought this was a good go-home show for King of the Ring. The action this week was consistent with every match having really good pacing and holding my interest. There wasn’t much angle advancement, but the closing segment effectively promoted the two main events coming from the Smackdown side.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.