Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Charlotte, NC
Opening Contest: Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.: Mysterio hits a baseball slide and a springboard moonsault to kickoff the match. Mysterio connects with a slingshot head scissors into the ring. Tajiri misses a clothesline and Mysterio hits a wheelbarrow bulldog for a two count. Tajiri nails Mysterio with a short arm clothesline to gain the advantage. Tajiri nails Mysterio with a superkick right on the jaw. Tajiri lifts Mysterio into the air and drops Rey down to the mat gut first. Tajiri controls Mysterio on the mat, but Rey rolls through for a two count. Rey lands on the apron and tries for a springboard, but is met with a kick to the face. Tajiri comes off the apron with an axe handle. Tajiri rams Mysterio into the apron and railing back first. Tajiri pulls Mysterio’s back against the ring post. Tajiri puts Mysterio in the tree of woe and delivers a running dropkick for a two count. Tajiri can’t get a submission with a bow and arrow. Mysterio avoids a tilt a whirl backbreaker. They begin to trade right hands until Mysterio hits a tornado DDT.
Tajiri locks in the tarantula, but has to let go before being disqualified. Mysterio avoids a kick to the head and nearly pins Tajiri with a rollup. Tajiri plants Mysterio with a sit down powerbomb for a two count. Mysterio is wiped out from the powerbomb and can’t get up. Mysterio dropkicks Tajiri from behind and hits the 619. Tajiri counters a springboard sunset with a rollup for a near fall. Mysterio shoulder rams Tajiri and is met with a kick on the top rope. Mysterio shoves Tajiri off the middle rope and hits a leaping hurricanrana for the win. (***1/2. That was a great opener to Smackdown. These two killed it in there and Tajiri looked like a viable threat to Mysterio reminding me of his days in ECW.)
Kurt Angle makes his way out to cut a promo. Angle wants to apologize to everyone, especially UPN executives, for scaring them for thinking that he was leaving Smackdown. Angle believes that if he wasn’t on the show anymore that there would be no reason to watch Smackdown. Angle had to leave the arena to let off some steam causing the miscommunication. Angle had to leave due to the actions of Brock Lesnar. Angle isn’t impressed by Lesnar. Angle was winning gold medals when Lesnar was playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Angle asks where Lesnar’s gold medals are at. Angle is offended that Lesnar would suggest his days as number one on Smackdown are numbered. Angle wants Lesnar to come down to the ring and they can settle it.
Instead, Hulk Hogan comes out and mocks Angle for whining. Hogan wants Angle to shut up. Hogan wants to give Angle a little bit of an update. Hogan talks about getting F5’d by Lesnar when he was trying to regain the tag titles last week. Hogan wants Angle to leave the ring because Hogan is going to be the guy to wrestle Lesnar tonight. Angle asks if Hogan is going to challenge Lesnar to a game of shuffle board. Angle wants Hogan to come to the ring and Hogan makes his way down to the ring.
Stephanie McMahon makes her way out to the aisle to stop them from going at it. Stephanie loves the competitive spirit. She puts over the Smackdown brand. Stephanie says that Lesnar signed with Smackdown to wrestle Angle and Lesnar. Stephanie announces that Kurt Angle will wrestle Hulk Hogan tonight with the winner facing Lesnar next week on Smackdown. Angle promises to make Hogan tap out like he did at King of the Ring. Angle says he’ll make it quick. Hogan hammers away on Angle and tries for a backdrop but is kicked. Angle charges and is backdropped over the top to the floor to end the segment.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon is walking to her office. Eric Bischoff is sitting on her couch and Stephanie wonders how Bischoff got in there. Bischoff says there’s no reason they can’t be friends, but Stephanie doesn’t like Bischoff. Bischoff mentions he thought he’d be at a disadvantage, but he’s getting bored. Stephanie screams for security. Bischoff is escorted out. Bischoff asks what her main event is tonight and Stephanie reveals it’s the Rock and Edge.
Before the next match, Mark Henry cut a pre-tape promo saying that Brock Lesnar made a mistake attacking him last week.
Second Contest: Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Henry: Lesnar gains the early advantage, but Henry doesn’t budge on a shoulder block. Lesnar clotheslines Henry for a two count. Lesnar sends Henry into the corner and delivers a shoulder ram. Lesnar tries for a suplex, but Henry blocks it and hits a suplex on Lesnar for a two count. Henry splashes onto Lesnar and slides to the floor over the middle rope. Henry hammers away on Lesnar in the corner. Henry lifts Lesnar up and is met with an eye rake. Lesnar tosses Henry overhead with a suplex. Lesnar finishes Henry off with the F5 for the win. (*1/2. Henry got a moment of shine, but Lesnar needs to dominate and impress with a quick win over a bigger opponent. I don’t think you can deny Lesnar at this point as being the next champion.)
Backstage, Brock Lesnar walks up to Hulk Hogan and says he hopes that Hogan beats Angle tonight. Lesnar really wants to wrestle the Hulkster on Smackdown and wishes him luck. Lesnar continues to walk along and walks by Billy and Chuck. They are talking about being on Smackdown and Chuck doesn’t know if they should be a team anymore without the tag titles on the brand. Rico wants them to trust him and wants them to know it will workout. John Cena enters the scene and says that Rico’s boys are in trouble. Rico insults Cena’s haircut and his color scheme for his tights. Rico doesn’t understand the women screaming for Cena. Cena asks what style Rico is going for and blocks a slap attempt. Cena fakes Rico out on a slap and walks off. Rico bumps into Angle and Angle walks on into Lesnar. Lesnar tells Angle he’s been looking for him. Lesnar wants to wrestle Angle next week on Smackdown and wishes Angle luck.
Third Contest: Hulk Hogan vs. Kurt Angle: Hogan shows his power advantage by shoving Angle to the mat a few times to start the contest. Angle controls Hogan on the mat with a front face lock. Hogan counters with a few elbow strikes to Angle, but Angle fires back with strikes against the ropes. Hogan clotheslines Angle several times followed by right hands. Hogan blocks a hip toss and hip tosses Angle followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Hogan rams Angle into the railing chest first and sends Angle shoulder first into the ring post. Hogan sends Angle face first into the ring steps. Hogan continues by ramming Angle’s head into the turnbuckle several times. Hogan decks Angle with a right hand and plays to the crowd. Angle drives Hogan into the corner and continues to pummel Hogan with strikes. Angle delivers a strike on the apron to maintain the advantage. Angle decks Hogan with a forearm strike. Angle hooks Hogan for a suplex, but Hogan counters with one of his own. Angle decks Hogan with a clothesline for a two count. Angle chokes Hogan over the middle rope and taunts the referee. Angle continues with several strikes in the corner and stomps.
Hogan fights back with a few strikes, but Angle plants Hogan with a back suplex for a near fall. Angle uses the ropes for leverage as he keeps a sleeper on Hogan. Hogan elbows free but is met with a knee to the gut and Angle hits another back suplex. Hogan pops up and fights back with right hands. Hogan backdrops Angle followed by a scoop slam and a few elbow drops for a two count. Angle blocks a big boot and locks in the ankle lock! Hogan kicks Angle away, but Angle hammers away on Hogan. Hogan big boots Angle and signals for the leg drop. Angle gets up and connects with the Angle Slam for a near fall. Angle locks in the ankle lock once again. Hogan tries to reach the ropes, but Angle pulls Hogan away. Hogan kicks Angle away and the referee gets knocked down. Angle leaves the ring and grabs a steel chair. Hogan big boots the chair into Angle’s head! Hogan hits the leg drop, but there’s no referee. Hogan knocks Brock Lesnar off the apron. Angle whacks Hogan over the back, but the referee saw that and gives the match to Hogan by disqualification. (***. A weak finish, but I enjoyed the match more than I was expecting to. Angle carried Hogan to this level of match. I’m glad they aren’t doing Lesnar/Angle on TV as that match should be saved for a bigger show. Hogan has been faded down the card a little bit and a TV match with Lesnar is better suited.) After the match, Angle attacks Hogan, but Hogan starts to Hulk Up. Hogan big boots Angle, but Lesnar trips Hogan from the floor. Lesnar hits the F5 on Hogan!
Fourth Contest: Rikishi vs. Rev. D-Von: D-Von attacks before the bell and hammers away on Rikishi in the corner. Rikishi clotheslines D-Von coming out of the corner and tries for a sit down splash, but D-Von avoids it. Batista distracts Rikishi, but Rikishi sends D-Von to the floor onto Batista. Rikishi decks Batista on the floor, but D-Von leg drops Rikishi. D-Von rams Rikishi into the ring steps and barricade. D-Von hits a middle rope leg drop for a near fall. D-Von nails Rikishi with an elbow strike. D-Von heads to the top rope missing a diving headbutt and lands on Rikishi’s groin. Rikishi hits a Samoan Drop and a DDT. Rikishi drags D-von to the corner and superkicks Batista. Rikishi hits a sit down splash for the clean win. (*. The push for Rikishi continues and I’m not sure what the end game for this is. I’m more interested in the Rev. D-Von character, but that may be short lived at this point.) After the match, Batista saves D-Von with a spinebuster and D-Von hits a top rope diving headbutt to leave Rikishi laying.
Backstage, Stacy Keibler is getting her hair done when Stephanie McMahon walks up. Stephanie wonders how Stacy can be sitting there when Bischoff was just in the arena. Stacy insists she had no idea. Stephanie tells Stacy if she betrays her that she will suffer the consequences. Stephanie leave and Stacy has a grin on her face.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble and Nidia are in the ring with Noble insulting the Charlotte crowd. Noble says they are better than the fans because he has the championship. Noble considers Nidia to be royalty. Noble says they are treated like white trash. They leave the ring say they don’t mess with Tazz, but they talk about Michael Cole. Noble knows that Cole has been looking at Nidia. Cole is denying that he’s been doing that. Nidia climbs onto the announcers table gives Cole a lap dance and begins to kiss Cole’s neck. Nidia makes out with Cole. Noble thinks everyone in the crowd are perverts. Noble says it’s nothing but big time for them.
Backstage, the Smckdown locker room is watching the RAW segment where Shawn Michaels was stretchered out. Stephanie is pissed that they are watching RAW. It’s just Hardcore Holly, Billy Kidman and Mike Awesome. Stephanie wants to know why they aren’t watching Smackdown. She says they are not in main events because they don’t watch their own show. Stephanie demands that they never watch RAW again.
Fifth Contest: John Cena vs. Rico: Rico has control early on with several kicks in the corner and a springboard kick. Rico nails Cena with a clothesline and a few more knee lifts for a two count. Cena tries to fight back, but Rico delivers a mule kick. Cena plants Rico with a spinebuster for a two count. Rico stops Cena with a superkick and climbs to the top rope missing a moonsault. Cena delivers a clothesline and a tilt a whirl slam for a near fall. Cena tries for a leaping shoulder block and is met with a dropkick. Cena almost wins with an inside cradle. Rico regains control with several elbow drops and a sit down splash. Cena ducks a spin kick and plants Rico with a spinning slam for the win. (*. The crowd was mostly dead for this and I’m not sure if this is a good sign for Cena to be going for main events to working managers and having trouble with them.) After the match, Billy and Chuck attack Cena after Cena slapped Rico. Cena is on Chuck’s shoulders and Billy comes off the top with an inverted bulldog to leave Cena laying.
Eric Bischoff pays off a fan in the front row to take his seat to watch the main event in the crowd. Stephanie McMahon’s music hits and the Smackdown GM makes her way down to the ring. Stephanie begins her promo saying that Bischoff is clever for purchasing his own ticket. Stephanie says that the main event tonight is Rock teaming with Edge to take on her newly acquired RAW talent. Stephanie reveals that she’s signed Eddie Guerrero and new WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit. Bischoff is livid. Stephanie blows a kiss at Bischoff and Bischoff tries to jump into the ring only to be stopped by security.
Main Event: WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock & Edge vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero: Guerrero attacks Rock before the bell and delivers several strikes to get the cheap advantage. Rock drives Guerrero down to the mat face first followed by a Samoan Drop for a two count. Guerrero and Benoit double team Rock in the corner. Rock clotheslines Benoit followed by an overhead belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Rock is decked by Guerrero on the apron and Benoit hits a back suplex. Benoit rams Rock into the corner and tags in Guerrero. Guerrero chokes Rock over the middle rope and backs away before delivering a running strike. Benoit tags in and chops Rock in the corner a few times. Rock fights back with right hands, but Benoit stops Rock with a forearm strike. Guerrero returns to the match and stomps away on Rock. Rock lifts Guerrero into the air and down to the mat gut first. Edge tags in and hits a top rope clothesline to Guerrero. Edge nails Benoit with a flying forearm and monkey flips Guerrero. Edge spears Guerrero in the corner and does the same to Benoit. Edge almost pins Guerrero but Benoit made the save. Benoit legally tags in and knee lifts Edge coming off the ropes. Benoit sends Edge chest first into the corner followed by a headbutt. Guerrero chokes Edge while the referee is distracted.
Benoit hammers away on Edge in the corner, but Edge fires back with strikes. Benoit prevents Edge from tagging out and Guerrero hits a slingshot senton for a two count. Guerrero pummels Edge with several strikes. Guerrero locks in a leg lock, but Edge isn’t going to give in. Benoit drives Edge down with a backbreaker for a two count. Edge continues to be double teamed, but decks Guerrero off the apron. Benoit takes Edge over with a series of German suplexs managing a two count. Benoit locks in a single leg Boston Crab, but Edge doesn’t give in. Edge kicks Benoit away, but Benoit recovers with an elbow drop. Guerrero returns to the match and hits a brainbuster for a two count. Benoit tags back into the match and sits Edge on the top rope. Edge fights both men off the middle rope and slams Guerrero onto Benoit. Edge nearly pins Guerrero with a sunset flip off the top rope. They collide on stereo crossbody attempts.
Rock almost gets tagged in but Benoit knocks Rock to the floor. Edge continues to be pummeled by Guerrero in the corner. Edge plants Guerrero with a sit out powerbomb and both men are down. Rock is back on the apron wanting the tag. Edge makes the tag and Benoit enters as well. Rock hammers away on Benoit and tosses Guerrero to the floor. Rock plants Benoit with a DDT for a near fall. Guerrero makes the save and stomps on Rock. Edge is back in the ring and spears Guerrero. Edge misses Benoit and hits the post shoulder first. Rock plants Benoit with a spinebuster and the Rock Bottom to Guerrero. Rock waits for Benoit to get up. Brock Lesnar appears on the aisle with a chair. The distraction allows Benoit to lock in the Crossface and Rock is staring at Lesnar. Rock isn’t tapping out but is fading. Rock is forced to submit in the middle of the ring! (***1/2. A really good main event and I love that Benoit was able to make Rock submit. Sure there was the distraction by Lesnar, but it’s a minor thing, really. This could setup Benoit as a future contender to the championship. Lesnar has been getting a lot of momentum heading into SummerSlam.) After the match, Hogan whacks Lesnar with a chair from behind. Hogan whacks Lesnar over the back a second and third time to end the show.
This was a fantastic show with several enjoyable matches and a compelling angle between Stephanie and Bischoff. A nicely done episode. I’m excited to have Benoit and Guerrero on SD now as they have a long list of guys to wrestle that will likely lead to great matches on a weekly basis.
Thanks for reading.