Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 25th, 2002

WWE Smackdown 
July 25th, 2002 
Indianapolis, IN

Tonight is Stephanie's first night as General Manger and she's bringing us Edge vs. Jericho in a Steel Cage, the debut of Rey Mysterio, and Hogan/Rock vs. Christian/Storm. 

1) Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry 

This doesn't last long before Brock Lesnar runs out and hits an F5 on Henry. Kurt follows him backstage to ask what that was about. Lesnar says Kurt was in trouble and he wanted to help him out. Brock proceeds to say Kurt's run as the #1 guy on Smackdown is over. Angle looks like he's gonna blow a gasket. 

Stacy Keibler volunteers to help Steph anyway she can since Vince "relieved her of her services." Someone knocks at the door and Eric Bischoff sent Steph flowers and says he will be there tonight. Steph throws the flowers and vase at the wall. 

2) Reverend D-Von vs. Big Valbowski 

Batista got some TV time here, that's all that matters.

Backstage scramble, Steph thinks Edge is leaving for Raw, but it turns out to be paranoia. Then Kurt Angle is overheard talking to someone named Eric on the phone. Panic #2 begins..

3) Rikishi vs. Albert

Lord jesus. Albert is kinda great here, but Rikishi wins and shakes it with pyro going off around him after the match. 2002, man.

4) Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

FINALLY SOMETHING GOOD!! REY REY IS HERE. Debut match and it's super solid. 619 and old school west coast pop hurricanrana into pin for the victory. Love it!

Match rating - **3/4

5) Lance Storm & Christian (c) (w/ Test) vs. Hollywood Hogan & The Rock

Edge is busy with Jericho so they threw The Rock into this one with the Hulkster. This actually is fuckin sick while it lasts. Rock takes a bunch of awesome bumps and the hot tags for him and Hogan rule. Test is causing ruckus and interfering constantly and the anti-americans work it so well and get a lot of heat. Then Brock Lesnar runs in and F5's Hogan out of nowhere and calls for the damn DQ. I get it, but bud, this was fun y u do that.

Match rating - **1/2

Brock & Paul high tail it out of the arena, forcing Hogan's limo driver to drive them because their's isn't at the arena yet.

John Cena makes fun of Test backstage and gets bitch slapped. Ouch.

6) John Cena vs. Test

Meh. This happened. Cena wins with a roll up at 3 minutes, big shocker. Cena eats a boot from Test afterwards for his trouble.

7) Chris Jericho vs. Edge - Steel Cage Match

I enjoyed this. It doesn't have the heat it should given how late they decided to do this blow-off, but it's solid for what it is. Edge gets some COLOR to add to things. In the end, Edge escapes the cage to win. After the match, awesome babyface save from Cena and Mysterio for Edge. Even though Cena got an awkward no pop when he ran down. That was so odd to see in 2020 lol. But yeah, Anti-Americans and Jericho attack Edge, Cena & Mysterio clean house. Fun all around.

Match rating - ***

Backstage, Steph thinks Kurt Angle is in a limo leaving with Eric Bischoff. As she stands there pissed, Angle walks up behind her. He was talking his brother Eric on the phone earlier...NOT Eric Bischoff. Steph is relieved then wonders if Angle wasn't in the limo with Eric.. who was?

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