Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Chicago, IL
Vince McMahon is in the ring to start the show. McMahon wants to introduce everyone to his friend and the man who made Hulk Hogan submit at King of the Ring. Kurt Angle makes his way down to the ring. Angle says he’s the poster boy for ruthless aggression. Angle brags about making Hogan tap out. Angle also pinned WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker last week. Angle is mad that the fans do not appreciate his greatness. Angle proclaims that he doesn’t suck and rather it’s the crowd that sucks. Angle blames them for mocking him and trying to break his focus. Angle knows they think it’s funny that he’s bald. Angle rips off his wig and asks if they have something to say about it now. Angle mentions having beat Undertaker on Smackdown and thinks its hilarious. Angle says that nobody could ruin his mood tonight because he’s on a roll. Angle is in the mood to show someone what ruthless aggression is all about. Angle is issuing a challenge to someone that he’s not wrestled before. It’s an open challenge. Angle knows there’s a lot of young guys who want to become a star.
Eventually a youngster named John Cena makes his way down to the ring. Angle doesn’t know who Cena is and asks who Cena is. Cena tells him his name and he’s clearly ready for a fight. Angle asks the one quality that Cena has that he can come to the ring and wrestle him. Cena responds with ruthless aggression and slaps Angle!
Opening Contest: Kurt Angle vs. John Cena: Cena mounts Angle with right hands and clotheslines Angle over the top to the floor. Cena rolls Angle into the ring and ducks a clothesline to deliver a backdrop. Cena clotheslines Angle several more times. Cena splashes Angle in the corner for a two count. Cena decks Angle with a quick clothesline. Angle gets the ankle lock, but Cena rolls through. Angle tosses Cena with a German suplex. Angle tosses Cena with a German suplex. Angle keeps control with a stomp to the face and a blow to the back. Cena counters a German suplex with a rollup, but Angle delivers a clothesline. Angle hammers away on Cena in the corner several times. Angle slaps Cena in the corner. Angle takes Cena over with a snap suplex for a two count. Angle keeps a front face lock on Cena for a few moments. Cena doesn’t give in and rises to his feet. Cena backdrops Angle to break free. Cena blocks right hands to battles back with strikes of his own. Cena plants Angle with a spinebuster for a near fall. Angle eye rakes Cena, but Cena avoids the Angle Slam by hitting a DDT for a two count. Angle goes shoulder first into the post and Cena nearly wins with a rollup. Cena powerslams Angle for another two count. Angle takes Cena down with a rollup and manages to get the three count. (***. The only questionable thing about this match would be giving Cena so much against Angle, but if you’re trying to make a new character viable than that’s what you gotta do. Angle outsmarted the rookie and prevails, but Cena looked good for his first TV match. A good start to the show.) After the match, Cena wants to shake hands, but Angle walks off. Angle walks back towards the ring but decides against it.
Backstage, John Cena is greeted by Faarooq, Rikishi and Billy Kidman. WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker walks into the scene and offers his hand. Cena accepts and Taker tells him nice job before walking off.
Second Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck vs. Hardcore Holly & Val Venis: Holly and Billy start off the match with Billy getting control with right hands. Holly shoulder blocks Billy but misses a clothesline. Billy runs into a dropkick. Chuck and Venis tag in with Venis working over Chuck with chops in the corner. Venis runs into a right hand out of the corner, but boots Chuck. Chuck nails Venis with a right hand. Chuck comes off the ropes and is met with a forearm. Venis delivers a knee drop for a two count. Holly tags into the contest slamming Chuck and hits an elbow drop. Billy dropkicks Holly while the referee was distracted. Chuck shoulder rams Holly in the corner several times. Chuck sends Holly to the floor where Billy gets a few shots in. Billy returns to the match hammering away on Holly and chokes him on the mat. Holly chops Chuck and hits a back suplex as both men are down now. Billy gets tagged in and Venis enters to drop Billy with forearm strikes. Venis hits a leaping shoulder block and decks Chuck to the mat before hitting a neckbreaker. Venis sends Billy to the floor. Venis plants Chuck with a spinebuster. Rico gets in the ring and is punched by Venis. Holly hits the Alabama Slam on Rico. Chuck superkicks Venis! Billy with the Fame-Asser to win the match. (**1/2. That was actually a solid tag match with some good hard hitting action and competitive offense from both sides. I’d like for a clean win over a makeshift tag team, but a victory is the right call here.)
Backstage, Torrie Wilson is getting ready for a bikini showcase. Torrie comes out to the stage to showoff her attire.
Backstage, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble, Nidia and Tajiri are talking with Noble saying he knows that Tajiri likes Nidia. Noble wants Nidia to give him a taste. Nidia kisses Tajiri and Noble suggests that Tajiri will get more of that if they win.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan has arrived to the arena.
Earlier in the day, Lance Storm vows that he will accomplish what his Canadian fans want and that’s him defeating an American.
Earlier in the week, Mark Henry attempted to pickup a weight that weights 172lbs and is considered difficult because of the handle size. Henry did it easily.
Third Contest: Mark Henry vs. Lance Storm: Henry sends Storm into the corner, but Storm quickly breaks free. Storm tries for a punch, but Henry blocks the bunch with a test of strength. Storm gets out and tries for a rollup but fails. Henry sits Storm on the top rope and chops Storm to the floor. Henry hip tosses Storm from the floor over the top into the ring. Henry shoves Storm and runs over him. Henry locks in a bearhug, but Storm breaks free. Henry sends Storm shoulder first into the ring post. Henry slams Storm near the corner and goes to the middle rope. Henry misses a splash. Storm goes to the apron to hit a springboard missile dropkick. Storm nails Henry with a superkick to win the match cleanly. (*1/2. It’s a huge win for Storm to get a clean win over Henry. This is needed for Storm to get any traction.)
Backstage, WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker gets on his bike.
WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker makes his way down to the ring on his bike. Taker says he’s out here to get a few things straight. Taker says the championship has his name on it and that makes him the champion. Taker notes that nobody else can claim that. Taker says he was due to wrestle Triple H at King of the Ring. Taker says that Triple H is in the hospital because he had elbow surgery. Taker wants to know how the Rock thinks he can get involved in his match. Taker brought some footage for everyone to see. Taker is mad because Rock almost cost him the title. Taker has good and bad news. Taker says on July 11th the Rock will return, which is the good news. The bad news, Taker will make Rock pay for getting involved. Taker hypes up the ladder match with Jeff Hardy on RAW coming up.
Kurt Angle’s music hits and Angle makes his way out. Angle tells Taker that all he does is talk. Angle says he’s a man of action, but Taker calls him a punk. Angle says that Taker isn’t going to ruin his focus. Angle mentions the ladder match and doesn’t understand how Taker would agree to that. Angle asks if Taker would accept his title challenge if Taker got past Hardy on RAW. Taker tells Angle he could kick his ass right now instead of waiting for next week. Angle mentions that he had a match earlier in the show. Taker notes that Angle almost lost to a rookie. Angle doesn’t want the topic changed and wants the challenge to be accepted or not. Taker accepts the challenge, if he’s champion. Angle wants a chance to touch the title to know what he’s fighting for. Angle quickly got the ankle lock on Taker and exits the ring. Angle showed he could get the move on at any point.
Fourth Contest: Test vs. Rikishi: Test tries for a cheap shot, but Rikishi avoids that and hammers away on Test. Rikishi plants Test with a belly to belly suplex. Rikishi hammers away on Test, but Test comes back with a clothesline in the corner. Test delivers several elbows in the corner and threatens the referee. Test shoves the referee down, but Rikishi delivers several strikes. Test ducks a superkick and slams Rikishi. Test misses a running boot and is met with a savant kick for a near fall. Rikishi looks for a sit down splash in the corner. Test manages to get his knees up and connects with a clothesline for a two count. Test threatens the referee again. Rikishi sends Test into the referee, but Test delivers a big boot. The referee calls for the bell thinking that Test ran into him on purpose. Test is not happy with that. After the match, Test puts his hands on the referee, but Rikishi splashes Test in the corner and does the stink face. Christian enters and is met with a superkick. Lance Storm doesn’t enter to get kicked. (*. I’m liking Test as a bully. He’s playing that role rather well. The match was fine for what it was, but the main focus is adding Test to the heel stable of Canadians.)
Backstage, Hulk Hogan enters Vince McMahon’s office for a chat. Hogan tells McMahon he’s getting ready for his match with Chris Jericho. McMahon has something to tell Hogan. McMahon says he’s personally upset about Hogan’s loss to Angle at King of the Ring. McMahon has never seen Hogan submit and Hogan must have been in a lot of pain. Hogan points at McMahon and says “one day, Vince.”
Backstage, Lance Storm is talking with Test and Christian about how unfair it is. Test says “America sucks.”
Fifth Contest: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble & Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman & The Hurricane: Tajiri and Hurricane start off the match with Hurricane taking Tajiri down with a fireman’s carry. Hurricane scares Noble off the apron. Tajiri tags in Noble after a slam. Noble bails to the floor and is met with a clothesline from Hurricane. Noble blocks a superkick but is clotheslined. Hurricane continues with a shining wizard for a near fall. Noble clotheslines Hurricane before tagging in Tajiri. Hurricane ducks a double clothesline and manages to hit a double bulldog. Kidman is tagged in and hip tosses Hurricane onto Tajiri. Kidman arm drags Tajiri, but Tajiri comes back with a handspring elbow. Noble is driven down to the mat face first by Kidman. Nidia trips Kidman allowing Tajiri to deliver a kick from the apron. Kidman is worked over in the corner for a moment. Tajiri locks in the tarantula on Kidman for a moment. Tajiri tires for a tornado DDT, but Kidman hits a sit out spinebuster. Hurricane tags in and sends Tajiri to the floor. Hurricane goes after Noble with right hands on the mat. Hurricane dumps Noble to the floor and is met with a kick by Tajiri for a two count. Hurricane tries for a chokeslam and takes Tajiri out. Hurricane hits a crossbody to Noble on the floor. Kidman comes off the top to hit the Shooting Star Press for the win. (**1/2. An enjoyable match and I’m glad that Noble wasn’t involved in the finish to the match. I’m curious if Tajiri could be turned face again soon since he’s usually getting cheers from the crowd and the tarantula is over as a face move.)
Backstage, Torrie Wilson is confronted by Stacy Keibler who is trying to steal her spotlight with her own lingerie. Wilson suggests they allow the fans to pick who looks better in their lingerie. Stacy comes out, too. However, Dawn Marie comes out in her lingerie. Marie says she’s sexier than both women combined. Marie will prove that at Divas Undressed. Marie shoves Torrie into Stacy and that leads to a catfight. Stacy tried to throw Torrie off the stage, but failed.
Backstage, Chris Jericho is interviewed by Marc Lloyd. Jericho introduces footage from three weeks ago when Jericho injured Edge’s shoulder. Jericho has a decision to make tonight whether to force Hogan to submit or pin him. Jericho might finish off Hogan the same way he finished Edge off.
Sixth Contest: Faarooq & Randy Orton vs. Rev. D-Von & Batista: Orton and D-Von start the match with D-Von hammering away on Orton. Orton hip tosses and arm drags D-Von. Orton gets a two count following a side slam. D-Von dropkicks Orton and taunts the fans. D-Von delivers a spinning elbow strike and beats on Orton in the corner. D-Von sits Orton on the top rope looking for a superplex, but Orton breaks free and hits a bulldog. Faarooq backdrops D-Von and plants D-Von with a powerslam for a two count. Faarooq tried for the Dominator, but D-Von counters with a DDT. D-Von slams Faarooq and heads to the top rope. D-Von missing a diving headbutt. Orton tags in and connects with a crossbody. Orton nails D-Von with a standing dropkick for a two count. Orton misses a clothesline and elbows D-Von to the floor. Batista decks Orton with a vicious clothesline and knocks Faarooq off the apron. Batista drives Orton into the corner and hits a spinebuster for the win. (*1/4. Orton had a few moments of shine, but the lasting impression was Batista without question.)
Main Event: Hulk Hogan vs. Chris Jericho: Jericho attacks Hogan before the bell with right hands in the corner. Jericho chops Hogan in the corner along with chokes. Hogan fights back with clotheslines and right hands. Hogan backdrops Jericho followed by a scoop slam and misses an elbow drop. Jericho hammers away on Hogan against the ropes along with chops. Hogan dumps Jericho to the apron but delivers a right hand when Jericho pulls himself up. Hogan punches Jericho ten times in the corner and is stopped by a low blow. Jericho taunts the crowd and decks Hogan with a right hand. Jericho plants Hogan with a back suplex and does his cocky cover. Jericho chokes Hogan over the middle rope and splashes Hogan. The fans are quite vocal for their displeasure. Jericho plants Hogan with a DDT. Jericho locks in an abdominal stretch and uses the ropes for leverage. Hogan hip tosses Jericho and delivers right hands in the corner. Jericho misses a spear hitting the ring post.
Hogan gets a second wind and misses a big boot after right hands. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho. Hogan spins over to break free. Hogan tries for a backdrop, but Jericho blocks it and hits a bulldog. Jericho hits the Lionsault for a two count. Hogan begins to Hulk Up. Hogan gets to his feet and hammers away on Jericho. Hogan boots Jericho to the floor. Jericho grabs a chair from the floor. Jericho blocks a big boot and whacks Hogan over the head with a steel chair. That causes a disqualification. (**. It’s the formula Hogan match with a cheap finish because Hogan can’t do the job on TV for Jericho.) Jericho taunts the fans while getting the ring steps situated. Jericho tosses Hogan to the floor and has the steel chair. Jericho whacks Hogan over the back and Hogan is laid over the ring steps. Jericho stands on the steps with the chair.
However, Jericho’s theme music starts to play for some reason. It’s Edge doing Jericho’s entrance! Jericho is shocked to see Edge! Edge runs down to the ring and clotheslines Jericho. Edge hammers away on Jericho before hitting a clothesline over the top to the floor. Edge spears Jericho in the corner followed by a spinning heel kick. Hogan prevents Jericho from leaving through the crowd. Edge hits the spear! Edge plays to the crowd and poses with Hogan.
An enjoyable episode of Smackdown this week that featured some solid angle advancement and solid in-ring. The debut of John Cena came across well to me and it should be fun to see his rise from the beginning. Smackdown focuses on youth with Cena, Orton and Batista all belonging to the blue brand. Edge’s return was greeted with an enormous pop, but the blowoff between him and Jericho should be a lot of fun.
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.