Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 8th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
August 8th, 2002
Richmond, Virginia

Show begins with a Hulk Hogan video package that I skipped bc I don't care. Hogan faces Brock Lesnar in the main event tonight.

1) Kurt Angle vs. John Cena

What a rewind to how this whole era kicked off. Cena still isn't getting much of a reaction, but this is solid and honestly the best of any of his matches so far. It breaks down into hell after 6-7 minutes. Benoit runs in and locks Cena in the crossface. Mysterio runs down for the save. Eddie Guerrero is out next and takes Rey out. Next out is EDGE. Edge spears Angle off the apron and the baby faces stand tall. WE GONNA GET THE TRIOS MATCH I WANTED COMING OUT OF LAST WEEK. YUSSS.

Backstage, Angle confronts Benoit about him being the best at making people tap in the middle of Guerrero bragging about how Benoit made Rock tap last week. Guerrero & Benoit like Smackdown for this reason - so much good competition. Guerrero then proses the three of them team up to take on Cena/Edge/Mysterio.

2) Mark Henry vs. Rev Devon (w/ Batista)

UGH. Devon/Batista get two segments this week. Why not just use Batista? Love Devon, but not in this role at all. Esp when this thing has been going every week in some variation since I started reviewing these shows. He made Henry look awesome here though. Henry wins and gets attacked after by Batista. Rikishi makes the save and...

3) Rikishi vs. Batista

YAY. Batista is great. Throws Rikishi around and looks good doing so. Devon misfires in trying to help Dave and costs him the match. Rikishi win via a superkick.

Backstage, Paul is running to catch up with Brock "where are we going, where are we going?" and Brock responds "We are going into Hogan's locker room" OMG. Heyman tries to talk him down saying "why do you want to antagonize this man?" but Brock won't listen. He asks Hogan if he's sure he wants to do this. Hogan coaxes Brock into putting his SummerSlam WWE Title shot on the line. Paul scolds Brock about it. Brock grits his teeth and it's hilarious. Dissension in the Brock/Heyman camp as Paul storms off...

Meanwhile, Torrie Wilson is half naked beating the hell out of Nidia. Jamie Noble and refs separate them.

4) Billy & Chuck (w/ Rico) vs. The Hurricane & Shannon Moore

VELOCITY GANG COMES TO SMACKDOWN. And this RULED. This series of matches is so much better than it has any right to be. Shannon Moore & Hurricane looked amazing and Billy & Chuck accentuated that. Rico tried to pull some sly shit, but Shannon Moore ducked a doomsday device and put Chuck into a roll up for the pin. INSANE finish that was a callback to their Velocity match last week.

Match rating - ***

Backstage - Edge, Rey, & Cena talk about being the future of Smackdown.

Heyman goes into Steph's office to try to talk his way out of the stipulation in Brock/Hogan but it doesn't go how he expected bc Steph loves the idea. So Heyman kisses ass and leaves.

5) Edge, Rey Mysterio, & John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, & Eddie Guerrero

This match really defined the actual start of this era, in my opinion. The amount of feuds and moments that would come in the next 6 years from this 6 men is insane. This match was great. Cena gets isolated and worked over by the grizzly veterans in Angle, Benoit, & Eddie. Edge gets the hot tag and the final few moments are HOT. Everyone gets their shit in. Angle hits the angle slam on Cena. Cena rolls out of the ring, Angle starts talking shit to him from the ring, MYSTERIO OUT OF NOWHERE WITH THE 619. WEST COAST POP 1..2..3..!!!! Mysterio wasn't the legal man and this ended before it peaked but this was sick.

Match rating - ***1/2

Post-match, Angle is distraught backstage and cuts the infamous "I JUST GOT PINNED BY A FREAKIN 12 YEAR OLD!?" promo. Good sh*t.

6) Jamie Noble & Nidia vs. Billy Kidman & Torrie Wilson

Smackdown's intergender tag matches are already sooooo much better than Raw's. Quick, urgent and to the point. This stemmed off the backstage brawl earlier so now the couples are going at it. Torrie tries to go at Nidia as soon as she gets in the ring and that set the tone for this sprint. Unforuntately for Torrie, Nidia rolls her up and uses the tights to get the pin.

Match rating - **1/2

Backstage, Dawn Marie brings some highly sought papers to Steph's office. Stacy Keibler is there and convinces Dawn to give her the papers so she can make up for last week and discreetly gives Dawn the idea of going to see Vince one on one with her time instead. Stacy slides the papers under the couch and Steph comes in. Stacy rats out Dawn for leaving the building to see Steph's father, but doesn't give her the papers? Steph apologizes about last week and leaves out from behind the wall walks Eric Bischoff. Stacy hands him the papers what the f*ck?

7) Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan - Winner Faces The Rock at SummerSlam

Brock dismantles Hogan in classic fashion. This is the perfect match if you think about it from a story perspective and it's executed well. Hogan gives Brock more of a fight than most, but Brock kicks out of everything. Paul distracts Hogan and allows Brock to hit an F5. Cocky Brock doesn't cover and wants to make the ref call for the bell. He squeezes Hogan until blood is coming out of his mouth and the ref is forced to make the call.

Match rating - ***1/4

Post match, Brock isn't done. Huge chair shot that busts Hogan open. What a moment. The Next Big Thing takes out Hulk Hogan.

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