WWF Smackdown 4/18/2002
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents Smackdown
From: Houston, TX
Opening Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champions Billy, Chuck & Albert vs. Rikishi, Maven & Al Snow: Chuck attacks Snow from behind to kick off the six man tag match. Snow fights back with a series of kicks and punches. Snow continues with an inverted atomic drop and a regular atomic drop. Maven tags in and comes off the top with a double axe handle. Maven works over Chuck with a few right hands and arm wrenches. Maven arm drags Chuck and quickly tags out to Snow who knocks the other heels off the apron only for Chuck to deliver a clothesline. Albert tags in and works over Al in the corner before sending Al into the corner. Billy enters and works over Snow with a few strikes in the corner.
Rikishi gets the hot tag and Billy soon tags out to Chuck who is press slammed. Rikishi with a few clotheslines on the tag champs and super kicks. Rico is flipped into the ring and Rikishi splashes Rico and Chuck in the corner. Both men are set up for the stink face, but Albert enters and drops Rikishi with a bicycle kick. Chuck covers but only gets a near fall. Albert hammers away on Rikishi in the corner and connects with a scoop slam. Maven and Snow are sent off the apron and Rikishi plants Albert with a Samoan Drop. Maven gets the tag and cleans house with a series of strikes and dropkicks. Billy hits the Fame Asser but Rikishi hits a super kick only for a clothesline from Albert to take care of him. Snow with a sit out spine buster on Chuck but Rico enters with a spin kick. Maven hits a top rope cross body and pins Chuck! (**. A fine opener to the show with a good pace throughout and the victory gives Maven and Snow more of a shot to win the tag straps at the pay per view. A good, clean victory for the baby face team.)
Backstage, Stacy Keibler tells Hulk Hogan that Vince McMahon wants to see him in his office.
Backstage, Billy Kidman is not thrilled that nobody is interested in his title match at Backlash. Hurricane thinks that Kidman should suck up to the fans, but Kidman has a better idea to gain interest.
Backstage, McMahon asks Hogan what is he going to do when reality comes striking down on him when he doesn’t win the WWF Undisputed Championship at Backlash.
Second Contest:Tajiri & Chavo Guerrero vs. Hurricane & WWF Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman: Kidman and Chavo kick off the match with Kidman taking Chavo down with a snap mare and an arm drag. Kidman hits a head scissors from the apron back into the ring and tags in Hurricane. Chavo is met with a double hip toss and Kidman hip tosses Hurricane onto Chavo. Tajiri gets tagged in and kicks Hurricane as he was posing for the fans. They trade a few chops until Tajiri drops Hurricane with a super kick. Chavo enters and upper cuts Hurricane a few times. Hurricane scoop slams Guerrero and Kidman enters to deliver a leg drop. Guerrero drops Kidman throat first across the top rope and chokes the champ across the bottom rope. Tajiri delivers a kick to the face from the floor.
Kidman delivers a kick to Chavo’s head and here comes Hurricane to work over Chavo with a clothesline. Hurricane backdrops Chavo and knocks Tajiri off the apron. Tajiri enters but is met with a super kick from Hurricane. Hurricane attempts and hits a choke slam on Tajiri but only gets a two count. Hurricane hits a neck breaker on Chavo and is soon backdropped to the floor by Guerrero. Kidman and Chavo are on the top until Tajiri grabs Kidman. Hurricane nearly pins Tajiri with top rope cross body. Chavo pulls Kidman to the floor and Tajiri hits Hurricane with a kick to the head for the win. (**. Similar to the opening match which saw some decently paced wrestling but not the type of cruserweight match most people are use to seeing. A good win for Tajiri as he needs momentum heading into the PPV.) After the match, Tajiri kicks Kidman from behind and berates Torrie Wilson as they go to the backstage area.
Backstage, Marc Lloyd is with Mark Henry who is being challenged to lift a car. Test doesn’t think it can be done and tries to do it himself but he fails at doing so. Test bets $100 that Henry can’t do it. Henry succeeds in lifting the car and Test pays up to Faarooq. Faarooq counts the money and it’s shortchanged. Thus, Test and Faarooq brawl until they are broken up by everyone.
Hulk Hogan comes out to the ring and talks about how much the WWF World Championship means to his career and he believes he can win the title again. Chris Jericho suddenly comes out and says that Hogan is a joke and proceeds to insult Hogan and his fans. Hogan tells Jericho to come down and they brawl until Kurt Angle runs down to attack Hogan as well. Edge comes down and makes the save.
Backstage, McMahon is not happy with Edge for saving Hogan moments ago and tells him to leave, but instead Edge gets in Vince’s face. McMahon looks nervous and decides to send for HHH to come to his office.
Third Contest: Faarooq vs. Test: Faarooq enters the ring and is quickly worked over by Test. Faarooq comes back with a running clothesline and hammers away on Test in the corner before being dropped face first across the top turnbuckle. Test delivers a few clotheslines in the corner to drop Faarooq. Test splashes Faarooq a few times but eventually lands on Faarooq’s knees. Faarooq clotheslines Test a couple of times and hits a power slam but only manages a near fall. Test elbows Faarooq in the corner and uses the ropes for leverage but the referee sees that. Test counters a spine buster with a couple of punches but is nearly pinned after a leaping shoulder block. Test goes for the pump handle slam but Faarooq gets out of it. Faarooq rolls Test up out of the corner and uses the ropes for leverage to win the match. After the match, Test hits a big boot to drop Faarooq. (*1/2. I’m kind of surprised that Test lost this one. Test seems like a guy who could be a top heel on the Smackdown side if given the chance to elevate up the card. So, a loss here doesn’t help that mindset. A better match than expected.)
Backstage, Stacy tells HHH that he is wanted in Vince’s office, but the champ tells her that he will see Vince when he wants to.
Backstage, Sharmell interviews Hardcore Holly. He talks about beating DDP who enters the scene and says that Holly’s bullying ways are starting to piss him off.
Backstage, Vince lets HHH know that if he were to lose the WWF Undisputed Championship he will be exclusive to Smackdown.
Fourth Contest: Hardcore Holly vs. Diamond Dallas Page: Holly gets the early advantage with several strikes but runs into an elbow in the corner. DDP drops Holly with a short arm clothesline and a swinging neck breaker. Holly drops Page face first across the top turnbuckle. Holly kicks Page in the lower midsection while DDP was draped across the top rope. Page chops Holy in the corner but runs into a big boot and Holly hits a clothesline. Hardcore follows up with a snap suplex and heads to the top but is crotched by Page. DDP hits a superplex! Page hits a discus clothesline a couple of times but only manages a near fall. Holly avoids the Diamond Cutter and hits a dropkick to win the match. (*. A quick match but it’s shocking to win a match with a basic move like a dropkick even if Hardcore has a near perfect version of it.) After the match, DDP plants Holly with a Diamond Cutter.
We see Brother D-Von who is telling everyone that Vince McMahon is a prophet and if he can saved then anyone can be saved. He proceeds to accept donations from fans.
Main Event: WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H & Hulk Hogan vs. Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle: HHH and Angle kick off the main event with Angle backing HHH to a corner but getting met with a few right hands. Angle is sent into a corner and dropped with a backdrop. Angle runs into a few right hands and punches Hogan out of frustration. Hogan gets tagged into the match and the fans erupt. Hogan shoves Angle to the canvas and plays to the crowd. Jericho gets tagged into the match now. Jericho taunts Hogan and the fans. Hogan wins a test of strength until he is double teamed. Hogan runs them over with a double clothesline and continues to work over Jericho. HHH gets tagged back into the bout and pummels Jericho in the corner with stomps. HHH knee lifts Jericho and is clubbed by Angle from the apron. HHH catapults Jericho into Angle on the apron and plants Jericho with a spine buster for a near fall!
Hogan knocks Angle to the floor and there seems to be tension between Hogan and HHH. Jericho low blows HHH and Angle enters to work over his rival. Angle hits a German suplex and gets a near fall. Jericho clothesline HHH in the corner and works over the champ with strikes in the corner. HHH comes out of the corner and chokes Jericho briefly until Jericho has a sleeper hold on Jericho. HHH breaks the hold with a back suplex and here comes Angle. Angle misses a spear and hits the ring post shoulder first. Hogan gets the hot tag and cleans house with right hands. Hogan clotheslines Jericho to the floor and Angle is met with a big boot and attempts a leg drop but is pulled to the floor by Jericho.
Jericho rams Hogan into the ring steps face first and grabs a chair. Jericho tosses the referee to the floor and tries to use the chair but HHH hits a DDT on Jericho. HHH works over Angle with a few right hands and goes for the Pedigree but Jericho makes the save. HHH is getting worked over in the corner and Jericho has the chair. Hogan is back and saves HHH. Hogan goes to hit Angle with the chair but instead whacks HHH with it on accident! Angle has the chair and goes to hit Hogan but here comes Edge to spear Angle! Edge and Angle brawl through the crowd. Hogan hammers away on Jericho and delivers a big boot followed by the leg drop! HHH is back up and whacks Hogan with the chair! The fans are booing HHH for that! HHH stands over Hogan with the belt over his shoulder to close the show! (**1/2. A fine match that didn’t have a finish but it gives some much needed interest into the HHH/Hogan match at Backlash. HHH is going in as a baby face but is taking the heel role just for the match, I’d assume. An enjoyable main event to close out Smackdown.)
It’s a fine go-home show for Backlash as a few feuds were given last minute hype jobs and the main event was given a new level of interest from me. It’s just amazing that people were tired of Hogan’s act in 1999 but three years later everyone goes nuts for it. Quite a bit of average wrestling but everyone seemed to be wanting to work hard and it showed. A good episode of Smackdown.
Thanks for reading.