WWE Smackdown 5/23/2002
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown
From: Tupelo, MS
A video promoting the apparent retirement for Hulk Hogan opens the show before the Smackdown opening.
Opening Contest: Triple H vs. Lance Storm: HHH starts the match hitting Storm with right hands and a high knee lift. HHH has the knee taped up and sells the injury as he drops Storm with a short arm clothesline. Storm stops HHH with a jaw breaker and drops HHH throat first across the top rope. HHH nails Storm with another knee lift and hammers away on Storm some more. Storm fights back with a standing dropkick. Storm sends HHH into the corner and works over HHH with several more strikes in the corner. HHH has been busted open, which was contributed to the Hell in a Cell match. Storm chokes HHH over the ropes and sends him head first into the turnbuckle. Storm leaps off the top hitting a flying clothesline for a two count. HHH battles back with strikes and avoids a big splash in the corner to hit a reverse neck breaker. HHH plants Storm with a spine buster but Storm kicks out at two. Storm ducks a clothesline and super kicks HHH. Storm locks in a half Boston Crab on the injured leg but HHH will not give in. Storm super kicks HHH again and heads to the top rope. HHH sends the referee into the ropes and Storm falls off the top. HHH takes advantage hitting the Pedigree for the win. (**1/4. That was some heel tactics there by HHH, which works well with his persona, I guess. It’s a solid opener with Storm getting some decent offense throughout.)
Backstage, Kurt Angle tells Christian he is going to do the most courageous thing he has ever done in his life.
Backstage, Test says that Vince McMahon asked him to take care of Randy Orton tonight. Test suggests he takes care of Stacy Keibler first and gives her a kiss to end the segment.
Kurt Angle makes his way down to the ring wearing headgear with a wig underneath to hide his bald head. Angle brags that he managed to get a full head of hair in less than a week. Maven comes out and laughs at Angle. Maven says their isn’t anything wrong with being bald and Angle tells Maven to come down and take the wig off for him. Maven comes into the ring and gets attacked but fights back and nearly removes the headgear. Angle takes Maven down and escapes only for Edge to attack and nearly get the wig off, too. Christian comes out and helps Angle escape the ringside area.
Stacy Keibler comes out and dances on the announcers table.
Second Contest: Randy Orton vs, Test: Test gets the early advantage with a cheap shot and pummels Orton on the canvas. Test sends Orton chest first into the corner and continues to work over Orton with blows before sending Orton to the floor. Orton returns hitting a couple of dropkicks. Test plants Orton with a pump handle slam but pulls Orton up at two on the cover attempt. Test gets crotched on the top rope and Orton shake the ropes. Orton clotheslines Test several times followed by a leaping clothesline. Orton heads to the top but Test stops him with a right hand. Orton shoves Test off the middle rope and hits a cross body but Test rolls through for a near fall. Test attempts another pump handle slam but Orton counters with a rollup for a two count. Test sends Orton shoulder first into the ring post and gets in the referees face. Test misses a shoulder in the corner and is nearly pinned again. Orton counters a full nelson slam with a rollup for a two count. Test stops Orton with a swinging neck breaker and that gets the win. (**. Test is always good with his viciousness and Orton looked good in an underdog role. I enjoyed that more than I was expecting that’s for sure.)
Backstage, WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker is interviewed and says he is here only to see the death of Hulkamania.
Backstage, Rico is polishing his tag team title until Billy and Chuck come in and tell Rico to get comfortable with the title. Rico is determined to show his loyalty to his guys.
Backstage, Chris Jericho bumps into Faarooq and says he knows why Mick Foley retired after a hell in a cell match. Jericho asks for protection but Faarooq declines. Jericho turns around and sees his opponent, Mark Henry.
Third Contest: Christian & Kurt Angle vs. Edge & Maven: Angle attacks Edge from behind to start the match. Edge hits a spinning heel kick and a lifting DDT but Christian gets tagged in and hammers away on Edge. Edge stops Christian with a flapjack and tags in Maven. Maven nails Christian with a spinning heel kick. Angle takes Maven over with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Christian controls Maven with a back breaker but Maven kicks out at two. Christian works over Maven in the corner with a few strikes and Angle holds Maven in the corner before tagging in. Angle decks Maven with a right hand. Maven low blows Angle and both men make tags. Edge cleans house on Angle and Christian with clotheslines. Edge backdrops both men as well. Edge is double teamed but clotheslines both Angle and Christian before tagging in Maven. Angle hits the Angle Slam on Maven but Maven plants Angle with a DDT. Maven heads to the top and nails Christian with a missile dropkick for a two count. Angle hits a German suplex on Maven but Edge face plants Angle. Edge spears Christian after avoiding a clothesline. Angle backdrops Edge to the floor and Maven clotheslines Angle to the floor. Maven counters the Un-Prettier and pins Christian with a rollup! (**. A quick match full of action and Maven got a big clean victory. Another enjoyable match.)
Fourth Contest: WWE Tag Team Champion Rikishi vs. Rev. D-Von: Rikishi decks D-Von a few times but misses a sit down splash after D-Von attempted a sunset flip. Rico makes his way down to the ring, the partner to Rikishi. Rikishi hits a belly to belly suplex on D-Von. D-Von stops Rikishi with a low blow and hits a leaping shoulder block. Billy and Chuck appear on the aisle way, as well. Rikishi goes for a power slam but Deacon Batista trips Rikishi allowing D-Von to get a near fall. D-Von plants Rikishi with a DDT, but Rikishi no sells and super kicks D-Von. Rikishi lifts D-Von into the air and hits an ace crusher. D-Von drops down in the corner and Rikishi goes for the Stink Face but Rico enters to hit Rikishi with his tag title. The referee was distracted and D-Von gets the win. (*. Mainly just angle advancement for Rico/Rikishi, but there were a few decent spots in there, too.) After the match, Batista lays Rikishi out with a spine buster. Rico checks on Rikishi but points to Billy and Chuck making it known he is with them still.
Backstage, Chavo Guerrero is watching Eddie Guerrero attack Steve Austin on RAW. Gregory Helms enters the scene and Chavo challenges Hurricane to a WWE Cruiserweight Championship match. Helms finds another note which reads “I’m not tall, and I’m not fat, but I left you a clue, what’s up with that?” The clue is a bag of beef jerky.
Backstage, Triple H says his focus is back on getting the WWE Undisputed Championship. Lance Storm says Triple H’s luck is about to run out. Test comes into the scene and hits a big boot to take Triple H out.
Fifth Contest: WWE Cruiserweight Champion The Hurricane vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.: Chavo shoves Hurricane but is met with an eye poke. Hurricane catches Chavo on a leapfrog attempt hitting a power slam. Hurricane is sent chest first into the corner and Chavo hits a back suplex. Chavo sets Hurricane up in the corner and delivers several right hands followed by a dropkick in the corner to drop Hurricane to the canvas for a near fall. Chavo dropkicks Hurricane but can’t get a near fall. Hurricane fights back with a leaping clothesline and hammers away on Chavo hitting a neck breaker for a two count. Chavo drives Hurricane down with a side slam but can’t get a three count on the cover. Hurricane attempts the choke slam but Chavo fights out of the hold. Hurricane leaps off the middle rope to hit the Overcast and thats good enough for three. (*1/2. A rather easy victory for Hurricane as it doesn’t appear the Cruiserweight division isn’t getting a lot of time.)
Backstage, Stacy Keibler assures Vince McMahon she was just having fun with Test. McMahon isn’t going to get angry tonight Chris Jericho enters pissed about having a match but Vince says it is his chance to beat the World’s Strongest Man.
Main Event: Chris Jericho vs. Mark Henry: Jericho runs into a big boot in the opening moments of the match. Henry works over Jericho in the corner and hits a big splash. Henry works over Jericho in the corner with several strikes hip tossing Jericho out of the corner. Henry steps on Jericho but misses a middle rope splash attempt. Jericho dropkicks Henry and runs into a body splash. Henry runs into a big boot but catches Jericho in midair to hit a press slam. Henry splashes Jericho over the middle rope and both men fall to the floor. Jericho is able to send Henry face first into the ring post but Henry sends Jericho into the post as well. Henry grabs a steel chair. The referee prevents Henry from using it but Jericho uses the other chair and pins Henry to escape. (*. I’d imagine this was just done to get Jericho a win on television.)
Hulk Hogan makes his way down to the ring and talks about enjoying the last twenty years of his career. Hogan wishes that his father could see him today. Hogan says his father wanted him to return to the WWE and straighten his career out. Hogan wants the fans to keep Hulkamania running forever and begins to soak in the crowd reaction until Vince McMahon comes out and mocks Hogan. Vince says there is no chance that Hogan retires tonight. Vince says that ten years ago Hogan walked out on him, but now he has a contract with Hogan. If Hogan walks out on him this time he will sue Hogan for everything he has. Vince says that Hogan will only leave the WWE in a pine box! He is going to milk Hulkamania for everything that it is until the day Hogan dies. Hogan says one day he will retire but not until he kicks McMahon’s ass. Hogan beats up McMahon with his belt until the Undertaker runs into the ring and attacks Hogan. Hogan fights back and knocks Taker out of the ring. Vince and Taker leave the ring and McMahon says that Hulkamania will only die on his terms!
In-ring wise it’s a solid show with several entertaining matches despite the show not having a true main event caliber match. It relied heavily on the McMahon/Hogan segment.
Thanks for reading.