WWE Smackdown 7/25/2002

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Indianapolis, IN

A video package of Stephanie McMahon welcoming everyone to the new era of Smackdown. Tonight, Edge will battle Chris Jericho inside a steel cage. Rey Mysterio Jr. makes his debut. WWE Undisputed Champion the Rock will team with Hulk Hogan to challenge the WWE Tag Team Champions, Lance Storm & Christian. Brock Lesnar will also make his debut on the brand.

Opening Contest: Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry: Henry uses his strength to shove Angle down to the mat to start the contest. Angle tries for a German suplex, but Henry doesn’t budge. Henry scoop slams Angle causing Angle to flip out. Angle takes Henry down to the mat, but Henry quickly gets up and puts Angle on the top turnbuckle. Henry pats Angle on his bald head, which pisses of Angle. Angle hammers away on Henry, but runs into a back elbow. Henry press slams Angle to the mat. Henry misses a splash in the corner and Angle connects with a back suplex for a two count. Henry clotheslines Angle a few times, but runs into a forearm in the corner. Henry recovers to plant Angle with a powerslam. Henry splashes Angle chest first into the corner. However, Brock Lesnar comes out and decks Henry from behind before hitting the F5 to disqualify Angle. Angle leaves the ring to go backstage towards Lesnar. (*1/2. The interference by Lesnar was a bit bizarre, but that might have been Lesnar’s way to send a message to the Smackdown roster. I was enjoying the match leading to that point as Henry was doing well leading the offensive attack.)

Backstage, Kurt Angle confronts Lesnar and Heyman. Angle asks what that was all about. Lesnar tells Angle to relax and he helped him out. Lesnar reminds Angle that he’s doing to SummerSlam to wrestle the Rock, because Angle blew it. Lesnar says that the days of Angle being number one on Smackdown is over. Angle storms off.

Backstage, Stacy Keibler enters Stephanie McMahon’s office for a talk. Keibler talks about Mr. McMahon saying that he didn’t need her services anymore last week. Stacy tells Stephanie to just ask if she needs anything. Someone is at the door and Stacy brings back some flowers. Stephanie reads a note and gives the note to Stacy. Bischoff sent the letter saying that Smackdown’s loss is RAW’s gain. Stephanie throws the flowers against the wall out of anger.

Before the next match, Venis brings out Hardcore Holly to combat Batista being in D-Von’s corner.

Second Contest: Val Venis vs. Rev. D-Von: Venis hammers away on D-Von to start the match and delivers a few chops in the corner. Venis clotheslines D-Von in the corner followed by a back elbow. Venis slams D-Von and plays to the crowd before hitting a knee drop for a two count. D-Von stops Venis with a jawbreaker but is met with a boot to the face. Venis sends himself and D-Von over the top to the floor with a crossbody. D-Von gains control with right hands after Batista rolled him into the ring. D-Von delivers a spinning forearm smash. D-Von comes off the ropes to deliver a rolling neck snap for a two count. D-Von slams Venis and heads to the top rope. D-Von misses a middle rope elbow drop crashing to the mat. Venis clotheslines D-Von followed by a few right hands. Venis backdrops D-Von and connects with a fisherman suplex, but Batista stopped the cover. Holly comes over and attacks Batista. Venis plants D-Von with a sit out powerbomb for the win. (*1/4. Venis looks to be in a more slim shape than he had been in previously. It was simple action and I like that Venis still won the match despite Batista getting involved.) After the match, Batista slides in and clotheslines Venis. Holly gets a few punches in on Batista before being stopped by a spinebuster.

In the parking lot, Stacy Keibler is with security and tells them if they see anything out of the norm to get in contact with Stephanie. She sees Edge and sends security to stop him. Stacy calls Stephanie thinking that Bischoff has gotten Edge.

Earlier tonight, WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm and Christian are talking about being champion and how they earned the titles at Vengeance. They talk about wrestling Rock and Hogan tonight. Christian calls Americans lazy and stupid, which is what Americans are. Storm believes they will be tag champions for a long time.

In the parking lot, Edge is talking with security when Stephanie walks over to talk to Edge. Stephanie wants to know what’s going on if Edge is leaving to sign with Bischoff on RAW. Edge trusts Stephanie and is Smackdown through and through. Edge wants to show Stephanie something in the production truck. Edge gives a woman a tape. A clock appears and it’s the time leading to Edge having Jericho inside a steel cage and kicking his ass. The clock will remain running throughout the show, apparently.

In the parking lot, Marc Lloyd runs up to Kurt Angle who says “hang on Eric” before walking off. Lloyd notes that Bischoff was seen at the airport earlier.

Third Contest: Albert vs. Rikishi: Albert nails Rikishi with a big boot to start the match. Albert stomps away on Rikishi and delivers a few right hands. Rikishi counters, but Albert continues to pummel Rikishi in the corner. Albert splashes Rikishi in the corner a couple of times. Albert clotheslines Rikishi and comes off the middle rope hitting a splash for a two count. Albert argues with the referee in the corner and misses a splash in the corner. Rikishi hits a DDT and a Samoan Drop. Rikishi hits a running back splash in the corner and Albert sits down in the corner. Rikishi plays to the crowd and delivers the stink face. Rikishi superkicks Albert and hits a Bonzai Drop for the win. (*. I’m curious as to where this push for Rikishi is going as he’s getting a lot of steam on Smackdown.) After the match, Rikishi sees a hat on the ramp and begins to dance.

In the parking lot, Marc Lloyd is talking to Stephanie McMahon about the Kurt Angle situation. Stephanie is trying to figure out who Angle’s was talking to. Stephanie calls Angle and leaves a voicemail. Stephanie encourages Angle to not listen to whatever Bischoff is telling him.

Fourth Contest: WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock & Hulk Hogan vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Christian & Lance Storm: Hogan and Storm kickoff the title match. Hogan shoves Storm to the corner and threatens a right hand, but Storm gets out of the corner quickly. Storm hammers away on Hogan against the ropes with right hands. Storm decks Hogan with a clothesline and yells at the fans. Hogan gets up and hammers away on Storm followed by a clothesline. Rock and Hogan pinball Storm with right hands until Rock tags in and delivers a flurry of right hands and a clothesline to Storm. Rock takes Storm over with a suplex for a two count. Storm staggers Rock with a jawbreaker and tags in Christian to double team Rock in the corner. Rock tosses Christian overhead with a suplex. Storm hits Rock on the apron allowing Christian to get a near fall after a spinning heel kick. Storm continues to beat on Rock after tagging in. Rock plants Storm with a Samoan Drop and tosses Christian over the top to the floor. Rock decks Test off the apron and plants Storm with a spinebuster. Rock runs the ropes, but Test pulls the ropes down causing Rock to crash over the top to the floor. Christian rolls Rock back into the ring leading to a near fall for Storm. Christian forearms Rock to stop his momentum, but Rock comes off the ropes with s swinging neckbreaker. Test pulls Rock to the floor and drops Rock over the announcers table. Christian tries for a cover, but can’t put Rock away. Rock fights out of the corner with right hands to Storm. Rock tries for the Rock Bottom, but Storm elbows free to clothesline Rock and punches Hogan. Storm hits a superkick, but Hogan makes the save on the cover. Test pulls Hogan off the apron to distract him. Rock kicks Christian away and tries to make the tag, but Hogan isn’t there. Rock spikes Storm with a DDT. Rock crawls towards the corner and this time makes the tag as Christian enters.

Hogan drops Christian and Storm with right hands. Hogan tries for a big boot, but instead is met with a double back suplex. Rock plants Storm with the Rock Bottom and punches Test over the top to the floor. Rock goes to the floor as Christian hit a reverse DDT, but Hogan powers out. Christian tries to beat on Hogan, but Hogan starts to hulk up. Hogan big boots Christian and htis the leg drop! Brock Lesnar comes into the ring and attacks Hogan! Lesnar hits the F5 on Hogan! Rock looks up the aisle and makes it clear that he wants Lesnar. (**1/4. Christian and Storm got a lot of offense here and looked fine as the tag champs. I’m glad they didn’t lose the titles here, but it was pretty obvious that they were going to go with some kind of cheap finish to protect everyone involved. Lesnar coming out again is a lesser deal since he’s already come out earlier to do the same thing. I hope that was the last time Lesnar gets involved in a match. A fine tag match with a hot crowd for the action.)

In the parking lot, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman try to leave and the driver says it’s for Hulk Hogan. Lesnar and Heyman take the limo and force the driver to drive them out of the arena.

Backstage, John Cena cuts a promo about Test saying that Test talks a lot about America. Cena thinks that Test doesn’t get dental care from the free health care. Cena makes a joke about woodchucks. Test enters the scene and proceeds to slap Cena and says that Cena is a punk. Cena acts like he liked getting slap.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon finds Chris Jericho and talks about what’s been going on. Stephanie wants to make sure that Jericho is happy on Smackdown. Jericho is happy about his band releasing a new CD. Jericho promises to leave Edge in a pool of his own blood, which makes him very happy.

Fifth Contest: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Guerrero takes Mysterio down to the mat, but that doesn’t last long. Guerrero kicks Mysterio and monkey flips Mysterio. Mysterio gets a rollup for a two count. Mysterio connects with a head scissors. Mysterio elbows Guerrero in the corner and gets another rollup for a two count. Guerrero tosses Mysterio with a release German suplex. Chavo drops Rey gut first over the top rope and taunts the crowd. Chavo shoulder rams Rey in the corner a few times. Chavo keeps an abdominal stretch on Mysterio for a few moments. Rey lands on top to counter a slam for a two count. Rey kicks Chavo away in the corner, but is met with a dropkick as Rey tried for a crossbody off the middle rope. Chavo sends Rey under the bottom rope leading to Mysterio landing chest first on the floor. Chavo drives Rey down with a gut buster for a near fall. Rey dropkicks Chavo after being lifted into the air and kicks Chavo to the floor. Rey takes Chavo out with a twisting crossbody to the floor. Rey goes to the top rope, but Chavo stops him. Chavo is shoved off the top rope and Rey hits a splash followed by a dropkick. Chavo knee lifts Rey and tries for a suplex, but Rey counters and has a rollup on Chavo for a two count. Chavo kicks Rey in the midsection. Chavo plants Rey with the Gory Bomb, but Rey kicks out. Chavo sends Rey chest first into the corner. Rey kicks Chavo in the corner and drop toe holds Guerrero into the corner. Rey hits the 619! Rey connects with the springboard hurricanrana and pins Guerrero. (***. A good match and a solid debut for Rey. I hope he’s not stuck in the Cruiserweight division to start, but he certainly enhances that division. I would be interested in seeing Mysterio taking on the likes of Tajiri, Noble and Kidman.)

Backstage, Test is walking and bumps into Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey goes to walk off, but Test tosses Rey into the wall and tells him to go back to kindergarten.

Sixth Contest: John Cena vs. Test: Test quickly stomps on Cena followed by elbow strikes in the corner to keep the upper hand at the start. Test sends Cena to the floor and threatens the referee. Cena returns and dropkicks Test followed by a bulldog and right hands in the corner. Test clotheslines Cena in the corner to regain control of the match. Test slams Cena and comes off the ropes missing an elbow drop. Cena fights back with forearms, but a knee lift stops him. Cena plants Test with a DDT after ducking a clothesline. Cena avoids Test in the corner and ducks a clothesline to hit a leaping forearm. Cena splashes Test in the corner, but misses a clothesline. Test tries for the pump handle, but Cena counters with a spinning back suplex. Test knee lifts Cena and this time hits the pump handle slam for a two count. The referee shoves Test and Cena almost wins with a rollup. Test kicks Cena in the midsection and tries for a powerbomb, but Cena counters with a rollup for the win. After the match, Test nails Cena with a big boot. (*1/4. The booking of Test and the Un-Americans in general has been baffling. I understand that Cena is a prospect and someone they are high on, but Test should be winning this match. Especially if Test could be feuding with a guy like Rey Mysterio. I just don’t get it.)

Backstage, Stephanie and Stacy have continued to try and get a hold of Kurt Angle. Stephanie is annoyed with Angle not coming to her face to say he was leaving. Stephanie expects Angle to return tonight and tell her to her face.

Main Event: Chris Jericho vs. Edge in a steel cage match: Jericho hammers away on Edge as the match started during a commercial. Edge had hit a baseball slide at the cage door during the break. Edge flapjacks Jericho and delivers right hands. Edge tries to ram Jericho into the side of the cage, but Jericho blocks it. Edge clotheslines Jericho out of the corner. Jericho tries to escape over the top of the cage. Edge stops Jericho and pulls him back down to mat. Edge chops Jericho against the ropes. Edge kicks Jericho into the ropes and Jericho is tied up. Edge spears Jericho, but on a second attempt is sent into the cage face first. Jericho sends Edge face first into the cage. Jericho sends Edge into the cage a second time face first. Jericho beats on Edge in the corner and Edge has been busted wide open. Jericho rubs Edge’s face against the cage to open the cut some more. Jericho chokes Edge over the middle rope and delivers a splash. Jericho taunts the crowd as he gets a two count on a cover. Jericho continues to beat on Edge in the corner with several chops. Edge counters in the corner with several chops.

Edge misses a clothesline and Jericho connects with a sleeper slam for a two count. Jericho continues to beat on Edge and ties him up in the ropes. Jericho punches Edge several times. Edge side steps Jericho and sends Jericho shoulder first into the cage. Edge clotheslines Jericho several times followed by a forearm smash and a face plant for a two count. Edge tries for a dropkick, but Jericho avoids it. Edge blocks a springboard moonsault with his knees and almost wins with a takedown. Edge begins to climb the cage, but Jericho stops Edge on the top rope. Edge hits a middle rope Edgecution for a two count. Edge tries for another one, but Jericho counters with a catapult sending Edge into the cage. Jericho crawls to the door and is nearly escaped, but Edge leaps to stop Jericho. Jericho dragged a chair into the ring and smashed Edge over the head! Jericho has the cover, but Edge kicks out at two. Jericho has a chair and misses a chair shot. Edge nails Jericho with a spear for a two count. Edge climbs the cage, but Jericho stops Edge with a low blow.

Jericho hits a top rope bulldog sending both men crashing to the mat. Jericho climbs the cage and is over the top as Edge struggles to climb the corner. Edge grabs Jericho by his hair and pulls Jericho back in. Edge hits an electric chair slam off the middle rope to the mat! Jericho crawls to the door as Edge starts to climb the cage. Edge is at the top and slides down the side to win the match as Jericho weeps in the ring. (***1/2. An enjoyable match and the outcome really allows them to revisit the feud down the road. Blood added to the match and there was good intensity to the match. Jericho has been losing a lot of matches recently and I’m not sure where he can go from here on Smackdown. Edge gets a huge singles win and continues his momentum upward.)

Lance Storm, Test and Christian attack Edge on the floor. They send Edge into the cage to continue the attack. John Cena enters the cage to help, but he’s beaten up quickly. Rey Mysterio climbs the cage and leaps off the top to hit a crossbody onto Christian and Storm! Test tries for a powerbomb, but Rey counters with a hurricanrana. Rey and Cena dropkick Test. Cena backdrops Christian. Storm is sent into the cage by Edge. Jericho manages to escape the cage to avoid further punishment.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon is with Billy Kidman talking about the match. Stacy Keibler runs over and tells Stephanie that Eric Bischoff is in the parking lot. Stephanie gets to the limo and wants Bischoff out of the limo. Bischoff pops out of the top of the limo smiling. Bischoff told Stephanie that he’d knocked her out. Stephanie can’t believe it. Kurt Angle walks up from behind and asks what that was all about. Stephanie is surprised that Kurt is here. Kurt tells Stephanie that he was talking to his brother, Eric. Stephanie says that if Kurt wasn’t in the limo then who is?

Final Thoughts:
I thought Smackdown was really good this week. They produced a show long angle that held my interest and they finished off with a cliffhanger to make you interested in RAW to find out who jumped ship to RAW. The cage match was enjoyable as was Rey’s debut. This was a very strong Smackdown.

Thanks for reading.

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