WWF Smackdown 5/3/2001
Written by: Adam King
Thursday, May 3rd, 2001
Taped (5/1) from the Canseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/16/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Steve Austin & Triple H (4/29/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Matt Hardy (4/26/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Rhyno (4/19/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Chyna (4/01/2001)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Jerry Lynn (4/29/2001)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with highlights of the Steve Austin/Triple H vs. Undertaker/Kane war on Raw. Michael Cole and Tazz welcome us to the show and hey, we’ve got some matches signed for Judgment Day already. Lita will challenge Chyna for the Women’s Title while The Undertaker will face Steve Austin for the WWF Championship. At least they’re not waiting until the last minute to book this pay-per-view.
~ Speaking of which The Undertaker makes his way to the ring with a chain in hand to possibly address the fans. As Taker walks out we get exclusvie footage from after Raw went off the air of Austin messing up Taker’s motorcycle. Cole and Tazz also report Kane suffered a serious arm injury during the vicious attack and is on the shelf indefinitely. Anyway Taker gets on the mic and mentions receiving the news from the front office of his title shot at Judgment Day, which is fine with him because he’d love to take the title from Austin. Taker says he’s more concerned about tonight and talks about him and Kane getting beaten down by a tough-guy wannabe and a bald joker wearing Daisy Dukes. Taker mentions Kane’s arm was broken but he isn’t sweating it since he lost half his face in a fire as a boy. Taker says Austin and Triple H will have to deal with Kane down the line but tonight they have him to worry about, because if he would light the fire that burned Kane’s face, imagine what he would do to the Two-Man Power Trip. Taker dares Austin and Triple H to come out and face him but instead it’s Vince McMahon that comes out to the stage. Vince gets on the mic and asks if Kane got Austin’s sympathy card even thought Austin didn’t even send one before saying he’s glad that Kane is on the shelf, feeling everyone was growing tired of his red-haired antics. Vince then mocks Taker for calling Austin and Triple H out when he’s standing alone in the ring with a weapon. Vince asks Taker if getting his title shot wasn’t enough for him before announcing he will be in action tonight against a special opponent. All Vince says is this person has a big score to settle with him then orders Taker to leave ‘his’ ring until his match but Taker dares Vince to come in and make him leave it. Taker also reminds Vince that what he doesn’t get, he takes, and remains in the ring while Vince backs away.
~ Cole and Tazz also announce that Triple H defends the Intercontinental Title against Jeff Hardy tonight. Yes, these two will duke it out for the third time in almost a month. Will this mean the Hardys will get back in the main event scene? We’ll find out later.
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Triple H © (w/Stephanie) vs. Jeff Hardy (w/Matt & Lita)
I guess you would call this the rubber match between these two. Jeff upset Triple H for the title once, can he do it again? Steve Austin makes his way out and joins the announcers for guest commentary. Both men lockup to start and Triple H forces Jeff into a corner but Jeff slips out of there. Triple H again forces Jeff into a corner and hits some knees to the chest then whips him into the other corner but Jeff floats over Triple H and gets in his shots. Jeff comes off the ropes and hits a crossbody for a near fall then comes off the ropes again and hits a dropkick. Jeff wails on Triple H and hits the count-along punches but Triple H shoves him off and rams his head into a turnbuckle. Triple H drapes Jeff’s leg over a rope and kicks at the knee then works it over. Jeff comes back with an inverted mule kick and fights back when Undertaker suddenly comes out from the crowd with his chain in hand and attacks Austin! Austin manages to get away from Taker and sprints up the ramp to the back with Taker following close behind. Triple H watches this from the ring when Jeff dropkicks him from behind, sending him through the ropes. Jeff slings himself over the ropes for a pescado but Triple H sidesteps it and Jeff splats on the floor. Triple H rolls Jeff back in the ring then drills him with the Pedigree and this one is over. (3:31) Yep, Jeff didn’t even last four minutes with Triple H this time. Just a total burial to kill off any remaining chance of the Hardys getting elevated anytime soon. DUD
~ Backstage Undertaker is prowling the halls searching for Austin who lies in wait and ambushes him. However Taker quickly regains control then throws Austin through a plate-glass window! A gaggle of security arrive to break this up but it’s a little too late for Austin as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker and Austin’s brawl that saw Austin go through a window. We then find Triple H and Vince looking on as the trainer checks out Austin who says he has glass in his left eye. The trainer says Austin has to go to the hospital and Vince demands that someone call for an ambulance.
- X-Pac (w/Albert & Justin Credible) vs. Raven
X-Pac gets in the first shots and kicks away at Raven in a corner when the referee demands that he back off. Raven starts fighting back when X-Pac jabs the eyes and goes for a whip but Raven reverses him into a corner and hits a series of clotheslines. Raven clotheslines X-Pac over the ropes and X-Pac tries to regroup on the floor then shoulderblocks Raven through the ropes as he climbs back in but misses a spinkick and eats a right hand. Raven goes for the Evenflow when Credible gets his attention allowing X-Pac to come back with the spinkick. X-Pac slaps on a chinlock and Raven counters with an armdrag but X-Pac clotheslines him down for a near fall. X-Pac applies a headlock and Raven fights out of it then goes for a whip but X-Pac reverses it and slaps on a sleeper. Raven tries to hold on but begins to fade as the referee checks the arm and it drops once, drops twice but Raven keeps it up on the third time. Raven fights out of the hold and comes off the ropes but runs right into a spinning heelkick that gets a near fall. X-Pac chokes Raven in a corner and goes for the Bronco Buster but Raven moves and X-Pac hits the buckles. Raven hammers away on X-Pac and caps off with a kneelift then whips him into a corner then hits a clothesline followed by the running bulldog. Albert hops on the apron so Raven decks him but X-Pac rakes his face. X-Pac whips Raven in a corner and spears him then sets him up again and is determined to hit the Bronco Buster and he does. X-Pac readies for the X-Factor but Raven counters and hits the Evenflow DDT for the three! (4:42) X-Pac actually jobbed! I’m just as surprised as you are. Of course Albert and Credible run in and jump Raven then Albert finishes him off with the BaldoBomb. After all why let Raven get any heat from this win when X-Pac and his pals always have to get the last word? **
~ Backstage the EMTs have Austin on a stretcher and wheel him out to the ambulance with Vince and Triple H nearby. Austin curses Undertaker as he’s loaded into the ambulance and Triple H even offers to ride with him to the hospital. The two of them are ready when Undertaker, who probably remembered what Austin did to Bret Hart in this situation, peeks out from the drivers seat saying “Hello boys” and attacks Triple H. Once the two of them fight out the ambulance’s back doors Taker pulls Austin out and hammers him in his injured eye. Vince summons security to pull him off but once again the damage is done as Triple H gets Austin back in the ambulance which finally drives off to the hospital.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker reminding Austin of the ambulance treatement he gave Bret Hart. We then see Debra arriving this late in the show and probably not even aware of what her husband’s gone through.
~ Out in the arena Cole and Tazz recap the continuing tensions between Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit on Raw, especially after Benoit stole Angle’s fabled Olympic medals We then see Angle prowling the halls backstage searching for Benoit when he bumps into the makeup person and tells her if she sees Benoit to come and find him, even if it’s in the middle of his match tonight.
~ Elsewhere backstage Vince and Stephanie are talking when Debra comes in saying she can’t find where Austin is. Vince tries to be tactful about Austin going to the hospital but Stephanie blurts out what Undertaker did to him. Vince offers to give Debra a ride to the hospital but feels she fight might want to hear go hear it from Taker himself. Debra says she just might do that and storms off while Vince chastises Stephanie for spilling the beans like that.
~ Back from break we get the video about The Rock at the Mummy Returns premiere, just in case you missed Raw.
~ Backstage Debra confronts The Undertaker in the lockerroom about him throwing her husband through a window but Taker tells her this thing is between him and Austin and has nothing to do with wives. Debra then slaps Taker in the face and Taker tells her she hits like Austin and even wants her to go tell him he said that.
- Kurt Angle vs. Hardcore Holly
Angle is out first followed by Hardcore who sips from a glass of milk as he asks Angle if he “got medals?” Both men exchange punches to start when Hardcore gets the advantage then whips Angle and hits an elbow followed by a powerslam for a two. Hardcore goes for a whip, Angle reverses him into a corner but Hardcore comes back with a clothesline then follows it up with a double-underhook slam that gets a near fall. Hardcore goes for a whip but Angle hot shots him on the top rope then stomps him down in a corner. Suddenly Chris Benoit’s theme fires up and Angle turns to see Benoit on the stage with the medals in hand. Angle yells at Benoit when Hardcore dropkicks him from behind and plants him with a German suplex for a two. Hardcore climbs to the top rope but Angle runs up the buckles and armdrags Hardcore off the top for a near fall. Angle tosses Hardcore through the ropes then heads out and starts after Benoit but Hardcore blindsides him and whips him into the steps. Hardcore works Angle over with chops before tossing him back in the ring. Hardcore drapes Angle on the top rope and kicks him in the chest then stomps him down as Benoit looks on. Hardcore whips Angle into the other corner and charges but eats a boot and Angle comes out with a clothesline. Angle unloads on Hardcore and slams him then comes off the ropes with an elbowdrop that gets a two count. Angle goes for a suplex, Hardcore flips out of it and and hits the Hollycaust but only gets a near fall. Hardcore goes for a whip when Angle reverses it but Hardcore slides under him and trips him by the legs. Hardcore then slaps on something like an inverted stump puller but Angle is able to grab the bottom rope. Hardcore goes for a whip, Angle reverses then Hardcore grabs him in a waistlock but Angle trips him by the leg and goes for the Anklelock. Before Angle can get it locked in Benoit gets on the mic telling him that he can find his medals around his neck. Angle stares out as Benoit when Hardcore rolls him up from behind and gets the three for the upset! (5:23) I guess Hardcore finally gets his revenge for Angle breaking his arm with that moonsault the previous. Angle looks back at the stage but Benoit has flown the coop so he takes off after him. **
~ Back from break Johnathan Coachman reports from the hospital where Steve Austin was taked following the assault. Triple H then walks out of an elevator so Coach asks him for an update on Austin but Triple H calls him a leach that makes a living off people’s misery. Triple H does tell Coach that Austin’s eye is supposedly hanging out of the socket and he may never see out of it again. Triple H starts to leave but turns back and says Taker calls himself the Dead Man but may be a dead man tonight. Some guy walks up asking Triple H to keep it down and not disturb the other patients, threatening to call the police. Triple H responds by shoving the guy and daring him to call the entire police force on him then walks off.
~ Back at the arena Vince and Stephanie head to the ring, because one long McMahon promo isn’t enough apparenlty. Vince gets on the mic and asking that fans what happened to their vaules and morals after they cheered when Kane kicked Stephanie right in the face at Backlash and during Taker’s earlier attack on Austin. Vince promises the fans won’t be cheering when Taker takes on his hand-picked opponent who has a grudge with him. However Taker appears on the stage and makes his way down to the ring despite Vince warning him to stay back. Vince tells Taker that this is his ring, not Taker’s yard, but Taker responds by dropping Vince with a right hand! Vince is out as Taker tells Stephanie to let Vince know he took back his yard then heads back up the ramp. Another 10 minutes I’ll never get back.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker cutting Vince’s latest rant short with a right hand. We then see Vince with an ice pack on his jaw promising that Taker will pay when he sees who his opponent is.
- Rhyno, Edge & Christian vs. Matt Hardy (w/Lita) & Chris Jericho – 3-on-2 Handicap Match
E&C helped Rhyno retain his Hardcore Title over Jericho on Raw, but Jericho got even with Commissioner William Regal following the match. That said, Regal is recovering back in the UK but made this match and also banned Jeff Hardy from ringside. Christian starts off against Jericho and gets in the first shots then whips him but Jericho hits a flying forearm. Jericho hits some chops and kicks at Christian then goes for a whip but Christian reverses him into a corner. Christian charges but eats an elbow and Jericho hops to the middle rope and connects with a missle dropkick. Jericho catches Rhyno with a spinning heelkick then tags Matt and whips Christian and hits a drop toehold. Matt follows up with an elbowdrop when Edge comes in but Matt and Jericho nail him with a double right hand. Matt clotheslines Christian in a corner but Rhyno clotheslines him from the apron and Christian tags in Edge. Edge rams Matt into the bottom buckle and wails on him when Matt fights back but Edge regains the advantage. Edge tags Rhyno in and whips Matt into a corner then whips Rhyno who nails Matt with a spear for a near fall. Rhyno pounds Matt down in a corner then comes off the ropes and nails Matt with a running boot to the head. Christian tags in to take over when Matt starts fights back again then caps off with the takedown cltohesline. Both men crawl to their corners when Edge and Rhyno come in and the referee gets them back to their corner. Matt makes the tag to Jericho but naturally the referee misses it and refuses to allow Jericho in the ring. Christian brings Matt to his corner and helps with a triple-team before Edge takes over on him without a tag. Edge hits a dropkick for a near fall then Christian tags back in and snapmares Matt and applies a chinlock. Matt tries to fight out of it but Christian pulls him back by the hair and hits a Slop Drop on the knee for a two. Rhyno tags in and whips Matt into a corner then goes for an Avlanahce but misses it and Matt tries for his corner. Rhyno pulls Matt by the hair and scoops him up but Matt floats over and hits an inverted DDT then tags Jericho. Edge also gets the tag but Jericho knocks Christian off the apron then turn and nails Edge with a clothesline. Jericho hits the bulldog followed by the Lionsault then covers but Christian barely makes it back in to save it. Christian whips Jericho and Rhyno trips him then pulls him out to the floor and throws him into the barricade. Matt comes off the top rope with a clothesline on E&C … then looks over to see Eddie Guerrero coming out. And you know Eddie can’t be happy with Matt taking his European Title the previous week. The distraction allows Edge to spear Matt and cover him but the referee is too busy arguing with Lita to see it. Eddie hops on the apron and gives Edge a thumbs up … before snapping his neck on the top rope? The heck? Matt follows it up with the Twist of Fate and is able to grab the pin for his team.(6:23) So Eddie helps out the person who beat him for his title? Matt looks out at Eddie backing up the ramp while Tazz is asking what his agenda could possibly be. Good if forumlatic match and started an interesting storyline that never got finished. More on that as we get there. **
~ We then see that Steve Austin is back in the building with his left eye bandaged up as we go to commercial.
- WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Jerry Lynn © Grandmaster Sexay
We finally get out first look at the new champion after he won the belt in his debut on the Backlash pre-show. For some reason Cole is losing his voice so Tazz starts doing most of the talking. Lynn attacks Sexay as he removes his goggles then hits a backbreaker while still wearing his title belt. Lynn whips Sexay but lowers the head and Sexay kicks the face then hits an enzuigiri and busts a move. Lynn finally removes his belt when Sexay tosses him through the ropes then follows up with a baseball slide. Sexay goes out after Lynn and works him over then bulldogs him onto the ramp and does some more dancing. Sexay rolls Lynn in the ring and goes for a shoulderblock through the ropes but Lynn hits a Rocker Dropper. Sexay stumbles in the ring and Lynn pounces on him when Sexay fights back but Lynn hits a suplex for a two. Lynn works Sexay over and goes for a whip, Sexay reverses him into a corner but Lynn lifts himself over him. Lynn then rolls Sexay up with a bodyscissors but only gets a two count and Sexay comes back with a snapmare. Sexay misses a fistdrop and Lynn hits a sidewalk slam but doesn’t cover him and instead grabs Sexay’s goggles. Lynn then climbs to the top rope and mocks Sexay before going for his own Hip Hop Drop but misses it. Sexay takes back his goggles and wails on Lynn then whops him and hits a backdrop followed by a cltohesline. Sexay goes for a whip and Lynn counters it but Sexay counters that and hits a powerslam that gets a two count. Sexay whips Lynn into a corner and connects with a superkick then covers but Lynn gets his foot on the rope. Sexay rolls Lynn up when Lynn reverses into his own rollup and grabs the tights but only gets a near fall. Lynn rakes Sexay’s face and goes for a whip, Sexay reverses him into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Lynn hops to the middle rope and goes for a tornado DDT but Sexay blocks it and hits a Northen Lights suplex. Lynn takes Sexay down by the legs then rolls over into a cover with his feet on the ropes and gets the three. (4:52) Pretty decent match there. **
~ Backstage Austin angrily paces around the room while Vince and Stephanie try to calm him down with no success. Stephanie asks where Triple H is and Austin says he was arrested back at the hospital for raising too much of a ruckus. Austin says Undertaker will pay for his eye then grabs a chair and heads off while Vince advises him to be careful.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the building as Cole and Tazz get us caught up on tonight’s happenings, even though we’ve already seen it just a whole ago. We then get a shot of Undertaker prepraring for the main event against Vince’s mystery opponent. Elsewhere Vince addresses someone behind a door asking him to remember what Taker did to him in the past that he’s counting on him to get the job done.
~ Back from break Austin is still roaming the halls with the chair in hand.
~ Out in the arena Undertaker rides out to the ring on his motorcycle for the main event with the chain in hand. Vince then comes out and gets on the mic telling Taker how Austin is back from the hospital and so is … Rikishi? Sure enough, it is indeed Rikishi who’s back from wherever he’s been and Vince urges him to break Taker in half. Now we’re supposed to believe that the man who ran Austin down with a car and put him on the shelf for a year can suddenly be on his side? We’re still having a hard time beliving Austin and Triple H are chums after their heated feud, but having Rikishi fighting for Ausitn is just asking too much. Just lazy booking here.
- The Undertaker vs. Rikishi
Anyway both guys waste no time exchanging punches when Taker takes control and whips Rikishi into a corner. Taker charges but eats an elbow then Rikishi gets in his offense and whips Taker but eats a flying clothesline. Taker grabs Rikishi’s arm then walks the top rope and clubs him in the back then boots him through the ropes. Taker goes out and rams Rikishi into the announce table then sends him across the table with a right hand. Taker throws Rikishi back in the ring and starts in but Rikishi catches him with the massive legdrop to the head. Rikishi goes back out and throws Taker into the steps then nails him with the superkick and unloads on him. Rikishi thorws Taker in the ring then Taker hits a headbutt but Rikishi no-sells it and hits his own headbutt. Rikishi whips Taker into a corner and hits the running butt splash then follows up with a belly-to-belly suplex. Rikishi drags Taker to a corner then climbs the ropes for the Banzai Drop but misses it when Taker sits up. Taker then starts fighting back with a flurry of right hands but Rikishi stops that with a thrust chop to the throat. Rikishi whips Taker but lowers the head and Taker comes back with a DDT then follows up with a clothesline. Taker grabs Rikishi and chokeslams him when Steve Austin makes his way down the ramp with the chair in hand. However Taker grabs his chain in response and Austin stops in his tracks as Taker dares him to come at him. Austin starts for the ring but quickly backs away when Taker swings his chain at him and leaves his chair behind. Taker then grabs the chair for himself and whacks Rikishi with it. (6:00) Just there to build the Austin/Taker angle, since you never had the sense that Taker was in any real danger. DUD
Taker just wears Rikishi out with the chair as Austin watches from the ramp with an uncomfortable look. Taker then essentially tells Austin that’s going to be him at Judgment Day and that’s it as we fade to black.
Conclusion: An up-and-down show that was still on the negative side and continued the dull months following Wrestlemania. There was some decent in-ring action for the most part but angles continued to drag with seemingly no end in sight for them. Plus way too much time was dedicated to the Austin/Triple H vs. Undertaker feud that nobody wanted to see continue, but the WWF felt these three just had to be the main focus with the rest of the roster as afterthoughts. Especially after the blah main event that made no sense when you look at it. So another thumbs down for this show.