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WWE Smackdown 7/18/2002

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Wilkes-Barre, PA

Smackdown starts with a video package highlighting that Eric Bischoff is the new RAW general manager. Tonight, we will find out who the Smackdown general manager will be. Bischoff said he wanted to speak with the Rock tonight on Smackdown to possibly join RAW.

Marc Lloyd is waiting in the parking lot for the arrival of the new Smackdown general manager. He’ll be there until we find out who it is.

Opening Contest: Chris Jericho vs. John Cena: Jericho slaps Cena and is taken down to the mat with right hands. Cena continues with a back elbow and hip toss. Cena plants Jericho with a spinebuster for a two count. Cena kicks Jericho to avoid a backdrop, but is sent over the top to the floor. Jericho follows to the floor and kicks Cena in the ribs a few times. Jericho heads to the top rope and is met with a dropkick in midair. Cena nails Jericho with a forearm smash and a back suplex for a near fall. Cena ducks a clothesline to plant Jericho with a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Jericho tries for the Walls of Jericho, but Cena spins out of it. Cena connects with a DDT for a two count. Cena misses a dropkick, but Jericho misses a springboard moonsault. Cena has a rollup, but Jericho kicks out. Jericho stops Cena with a low blow to lose the match by disqualification. After the match, Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho and Cena is tapping out. Several referees and officials come out to stop the attack. Jericho grabs a steel chair and whacks Cena over the back several times. (*1/2. It would appear this is advancing issues between Jericho and Cena. The action was fine for what it was. I’m liking that Jericho has snapped and is showing aggression.)

In the parking lot, a limo arrives and Marc Lloyd thinks it’s the new general manager. Instead, Eric Bischoff exits the limo and smiles at Lloyd before leaving.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff meets Randy Orton and gets directions to Hulk Hogan’s locker room. Hogan says it’s nice to see Bischoff, but doesn’t seem to be thrilled about it. Hogan doesn’t know how Bischoff is going to sign Triple H and knows that Bischoff is here to talk to Rock. Bischoff is looking for Edge, too.

Second Contest: The Hurricane vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Chavo slaps Hurricane’s hand away and is met with right hands. Hurricane drops Guerrero with a neckbreaker and a backdrop. Hurricane heads to the top rope hitting a crossbody for a two count. Guerrero drives Hurricane’s left knee down to the mat. Guerrero doesn’t wait and goes after the leg. Guerrero wraps Hurricane’s leg around the ring post. Guerrero pulls on the leg around the post some more. Guerrero puts Hurricane in a tree of woe and dropkicks the left knee. Guerrero comes off the ropes and avoids a chokeslam by leg sweeping Hurricane’s bad leg. Guerrero wraps Hurricane’s leg under the middle rope. Hurricane kicks Guerrero away and hits the shining wizard for a two count. Hurricane elbows Guerrero in the corner and hits a blockbuster for a near fall. Guerrero drives Hurricane down with a knee break and locks in a stretch muffler, but Hurricane reaches the ropes. Chavo slams Hurricane down with a stretch muffler slam and puts an STF on Hurricane for the clean submission win. (**1/2. It’s kind of bizarre to see Chavo win a match cleanly when we haven’t seen him in many months and Hurricane was just wrestling for the title. It’s a good match and held my interest.) After the match, Chavo gets on the microphone. Chavo puts himself over as the premier Latin American athlete in the WWE. Chavo is annoyed with the hype of Rey Mysterio Jr. Chavo issues a challenge to Rey Mysterio Jr. for a match next week on Smackdown.

In the parking lot, another limo has arrived and Marc Lloyd thinks its the Smackdown general manager. Instead, it’s Vince McMahon. McMahon is surprised that Bischoff is here and suggests this would be an interesting evening.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff is talking to Rico who is offering his fashion services. Bischoff walks into Vince McMahon as he’s looking for the Rock’s locker room. McMahon reminds Bischoff that he’s revealing the new general manager tonight. Bischoff isn’t concerned about the general manager for Smackdown. Bischoff says that Triple H is the first in his talent raid, but not the only one.

Earlier in the day, Michael Cole had a sit down interview with WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker. Cole talks about his upcoming triple threat match against the Rock and Kurt Angle at Vengeance this Sunday. Taker says he’s the champion not because he kissed any ass nor has be been protected. He’s defended the title against all challengers in any kind of match they wanted. Taker says nobody can beat him in a championship match. Taker talks about the Rock attacking him at King of the Ring. Taker believes that the Rock knows he can’t beat him in a one on one match. Taker says Rock needs to expect his wrath. Taker turns his attention to Kurt Angle. Taker thinks that Angle is delusional since he won a fluke match against him. Taker says that Angle can not make him tap ever. Taker assures us that they will both find out why he’s the American Bad Ass and why that’s his yard.

A funny note, the next match was originally taped to air on Velocity as the logo appears on the titantron. Michael Cole plays it off as an ad for Velocity.

Third Contest: Billy & Chuck vs. Val Venis & Hardcore Holly: Billy and Holly kickoff the tag match. Billy backs Holly into the corner delivering a few strikes for the advantage. Holly fires back with a right hand out of the corner. Holly shoulder blocks Billy followed by a standing dropkick. Holly holds Billy over the top rope and kicks Billy for a two count. Chuck tags in and Holly delivers an atomic drop. Venis tags in and hammers away on Chuck in the corner. Venis kicks Chuck in the corner, but runs into a forearm. Venis comes back with a boot, but Chuck delivers a strike. Venis slams Chuck followed by a knee drop off the ropes for a near fall. Holly returns to the match slamming Chuck and hits an elbow drop. Billy drops Holly throat first over the top rope and Chuck connects with an overhead suplex on Holly for a two count. Chuck has Holly over the shoulder, but Holly counters with a back suplex.

Billy and Venis get tagged in and Venis hammers away on Billy followed by a shoulder block. Venis dropkicks and clotheslines Chuck to the floor. Venis plants Billy with a sit out powerbomb for a two count. Holly is distracting the referee allowing Rico to spin kick Venis. Holly decks Rico to the floor. Billy has the cover on Venis, but only gets a two count. Billy runs into the Alabama Slam by Holly. Venis heads to the top hitting the Money Shot for the win. (**. A decent match with a surprising outcome. I’m wondering if this means that Billy and Chuck are on the decline since losing the tag titles and now losing cleanly to a makeshift duo. Holly and Venis could be a fun team to see challenge for the titles at some point.)

Fourth Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Hulk Hogan and Edge & Rikishi vs. Test, Christian & Lance Storm: Christian and Rikishi start the match with Rikishi hitting a backdrop and decks Storm off the apron. Christian delivers a few right hands before tagging in Storm. Rikishi clotheslines both men and Edge hits a top rope clothesline on Storm. Edge nails Christian and Test to the floor. Test trips Edge from the floor to help Storm. Storm nails Edge with a heel kick for a two count. Christian tags in and pummels Edge with stomps and right hands. We go to commercial with Christian choking Edge.

Test is hammering away on Edge in the corner followed by a clothesline. Test delivers a short arm clothesline and keeps a sleeper on Edge. Edge prevents his arm from dropping three times and powers to his feet. Edge elbows free of Test and is met with a knee strike. Test drives Edge down to the mat with a pump handle slam. Test tries for the big boot, but Edge ducks and hits a face buster. Edge slowly crawls to the corner and Christian runs in to deck Hogan off the apron. Storm clotheslines Edge in the corner and goes to the apron looking for a springboard, but is caught with a slam. Hogan gets the hot tag and cleans house with right hands on the heels. Test hits Hogan from behind and all six men are brawling. Storm superkicks Hogan, but Hogan powers out at two and Hulks Up. Storm tries a few right hands to no avail. Hogan battles back with right hands and tags in Edge. Edge spears Storm in the corner and Rikishi hits a running back splash in the corner. Storm drops down in the corner and Rikishi goes for the Stink Face, but Test big boots Rikishi! Hogan big boots Test, but Christian plants Hogan with a reverse DDT. Edge spears Christian and spikes Storm with the jumping DDT for the win. (**. I’m not understanding the decision to job out the Un-Americans here as they have a title match on Sunday. I understand it’s a feel good moment, but the heels are not looking like viable contenders leading into the PPV.)

Backstage, the Rock is preparing for his main event with Kurt Angle. Eric Bischoff enters the scene to meet Rock formally. Bischoff wants Rock to be on RAW next Monday. Bischoff thinks they would be a great team. Bischoff thinks he could take Rock to places that nobody has ever been before. Rock tells Bischoff that he will be on RAW and Bischoff celebrates. However, Rock says he’s not signing with RAW. Rock tells Bischoff he’s going to RAW because he’s going to win the WWE Undisputed Championship at Vengeance. Rock notes that he can be on any show when he’s the champion. Rock tells Bischoff that he was doing his part to take WCW out of business while Bischoff was using his creative influence on WCW. Rock walks off saying it’s nothing personal.

Vince McMahon makes his way out to the stage to reveal the Smackdown general manager. McMahon says he’s never had the type of response like he has when Bischoff was revealed as the RAW GM. McMahon notes that wrestlers are free to talk to the general managers about jumping ship. Vince says that Bischoff is the best person for the job. McMahon says the Smackdown general manager also tried to kill his company. McMahon isn’t sure that the fans deserve their new general manager. McMahon reveals the new general manager as being… Stephanie McMahon! We see a shot of the wrestlers who are confused and can’t believe this.

Stephanie has the microphone as Vince leaves the ramp. Stephanie says that Bischoff is a parasite. Stephanie says that she will not allow Bischoff to steal the wrestlers of Smackdown nor will she let Bischoff kill the company. Stephanie says that guys like Hogan, Rock and Triple H will not be taken to RAW. Stephanie says that at Vengeance the egg will be on Bischoff’s face when Triple H leaves to come back to Smackdown. Stephanie says that Bischoff has an advantage of three days. Stephanie announces her first official act as general manager is for when she tosses Bischoff out of the arena. The camera follows Stephanie backstage as she’s looking for Bischoff. Bischoff is talking to Test, Lance Storm and Christian. Stephanie tells Bischoff he has two choices. He can walk out or he can be thrown out of the arena. Bischoff tells Stephanie that a lot can happen between now and Sunday. Bischoff walks off without issue.

Fifth Contest: Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman: Tajiri starts off with a kick to the midsection and a fdw strikes. Kidman snapmares Tajiri to the apron and connects with a leg drop over the middle rope. Tajiri has Kidman on his shoulders and drops Kidman over the top rope before hitting a heel kick. Tajiri chops Kidman in the corner, and soon locks in the tarantula. Tajiri delivers a knee drop for a two count. Tajiri chokes Kidman over the bottom rope and delivers a kick to the back over the bottom rope. Tajiri tries for a handspring, but Kidman delivers a dropkick to the back followed by clotheslines and drops Tajiri over his knee for a two count. Tajiri avoids a bulldog and superkicks Kidman followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Tajiri goes to the top rope looking for a moonsault, but Kidman hits a sit out powerbomb. Kidman goes to the top looking for the shooting star press and wins the match cleanly. (**. A decent match with the right outcome to give Kidman some momentum leading into the PPV as he’s going for the title.) After the match, Jamie Noble enters the ring and is met with right hands. Kidman backdrops Noble but is met with mist from Tajiri. Noble plants Kidman with a powerbomb and Nidia stands over Kidman taunting him.

Backstage, Chris Jericho knocks on a door and meets with Stephanie McMahon. Jericho is thrilled to have her on Smackdown. Stephanie says that Jericho deserves a compliment as well. Stephanie gives Jericho props for not wrestling Edge at Vengeance and Jericho deserves a reward. Stephanie says that Jericho will be wrestling Edge next week on Smackdown. Jericho walks off pissed off and calls her a bitch under his breath.

A vignette promoting Rey Mysterio’s debut next week is shown.

Kurt Angle comes out and says that he’s going to be the next WWE Undisputed Champion and he’s basically a given because he’s made the Undertaker tap out and he can do the same to the Rock. WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker’s music hits and the champ comes out on his motorcycle. Angle is not thrilled with this development as we go to commercial. Taker will be on commentary for the match.

Main Event: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle: Rock runs into the ring and drops Angle with right hands. Rock clotheslines Angle and sends Angle over the top to the floor with a clothesline. Rock rams Angle face first into the ring steps. Rock rams Angle face first onto Taker’s motorcycle. Rock delivers a back suplex onto the ramp. Rock rams Angle face first onto the apron. Angle ducks a right hand and catapults Rock face first into the ring post. Angle rolls Rock into the ring and stomps away on Rock in the corner before choking Rock. Angle continues his advantage with a snap suplex and hammers away on Rock in the corner. Rock reverses with chops of his own. Rock tosses Angle with an overhead suplex. Angle knee lifts Rock and hits a German suplex. Angle holds onto Rock as he delivers several German suplexs for a two count. Angle decks Rock with a right hand and taunts the crowd. Rock battles back with right hands, but Angle kicks Rock only to run into a clothesline and a Samoan Drop. Angle drives Rock down to the mat with a back suplex. Angle delivers an elbow strike on the apron and taunts Taker at the commentary table. Angle delivers another blow to Rock’s chest.

Rock hammers away on Angle and rolls through a crossbody for a two count. Angle decks Rock with a clothesline to stop his momentum. Angle hits an overhead belly to belly suplex to control Rock. Angle hits another overhead belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Angle keeps a sleeper on Rock and puts his feet on the ropes for the extra leverage. Rock prevents his arm from dropping three times and gets to his feet. Rock breaks free and hammers away on Angle. Angle hits the Angle Slam! Angle has the cover, but Rock kicks out at two. Angle argues with the referee and waits for Rock. Rock takes Angle down with a dragon screw leg whip and locks in the Sharpshooter. Angle reaches the ropes to break the hold. Rock yanks Angle off the ropes and looks for the Rock Bottom. Angle clotheslines Rock, but Rock fights back with right hands to send Angle over the top to the floor. Rock punches Angle onto the announcers table and delivers a low blow. Rock tries to clothesline Angle and misses clotheslining Taker over the railing into the crowd. Angle locks in the ankle lock, but Rock rolls free. Rock plants Angle with a float over DDT for a near fall. Rock decks Taker off the apron and hits a spinebuster on Angle. Rock tries for the People’s Elbow, but Taker clotheslines Rock. Taker pummels Rock with right hands on the mat. Angle enters with a chair and whacks Taker over the back. Rock hammers away on Angle, but Angle takes Rock down and locks in the ankle lock! Rock is tapping out! Angle stands tall to end the segment. (***. A good match and a fine conclusion to give some last minute promotion for the main event this Sunday. Each man has had their moment to shine leading into the PPV and that adds to intrigue for the title match.)

Marc Lloyd runs up to Triple H in the parking lot. Stephanie comes up and has to talk to Triple H and wants to speak just business. Stephanie asks for a minute to speak with Triple H. HHH asks if Stephanie wants to do that alone or if she needs a lawyer. Stephanie acknowledges that she deserves that. Triple H promises to make his decision this Sunday after hearing both sides. Triple H looks Stephanie up and down before asking if she’s gaining weight. HHH enters the limo and the window goes down revealing Eric Bischoff and he says that she looks great before driving off to end the show.

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed the go-home show for Vengeance on the Smackdown side. The triple threat title match has my interest and the undercard has developed well. The closing with Triple H teasing which side he will join adds a layer to the PPV. Vengeance is going to be a fun show.
Thanks for reading.

Bob Colling Jr. View All

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.

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