Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 1st, 2002

WWE Smackdown
August 1st, 2002
Charlotte, North Carolina

1) Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri 

YES. Another great showing for Rey following his debut against Chavo last week. Lots of good exchanges here as Tajiri can more than hold his own with someone like Mysterio. He finds a way out of the west coast pop hurricanrana forcing Mysterio to re-think and hit it from the top turnbuckle for the victory. Fiery start to Smackdown!

Match rating - ***1/4

Kurt Angle comes out and says he wants Brock Lesnar tonight. This brings out Hollywood Hulk Hogan who also has a bone to pick with Lesnar. Good segment with Steph coming out and making a match between the two for later with the winner facing Brock next week.

2) Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Henry

Awesome few minutes. Brock and Henry throwing each other's huge asses around. Brock with a belly to belly on Mark followed by an F5 for the win.

Match rating - **1/2

Backstage, Brock runs into Hogan and wishes him luck and says he hopes he wins and gets to face him next week. As Brock leaves Hogan's locker room, he sees Rico trying to calm down Billy & Chuck who are arguing. John Cena walks up and Rico asks what his big grin is about. Cena talks about the trouble Rico is having, they tease slapping each other and we know where this is going.

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle runs into Brock Lesnar and Lesnar gives him the same spill he gave Hogan.

3) Reverend Devon vs. Rikishi

This is a buzzkill to a so far, so great episode of Smackdown. These Devon accompanied by Batista meaningless singles matches are SO. OVER. DONE. But Rikishi gets the crowd alive and they somehow make this not completely shitty. Rikishi wins and gets beat down after the match.

Match rating - **

4) Kurt Angle vs. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan

Okay, this was good. Stakes are high, both guys clearly really wanting Brock and they keep it straight and to the point/ Crowd is hot. Angle tries to wear down Hogan, ends up grounding him in a headlock and uses the ropes and works this really well. Hogan fires up and comes out of it swinging. Crowd goes nuts. Angle fires back. ANGLE SLAM. HOGAN KICKS OUT. Angle retaliates with an ankle lock. Will Hogan tap again? Hogan holds on and shoves Kurt off into the ref which leads to Angle grabbing a chair and getting DQ'd.

Match rating - **3/4

Before the DQ, Brock came down. After the match, Angle and Hogan go at it. Hogan gets the upperhand only to get laid out by Brock.

Jamie Noble comes out with Nidia and we get some of the weirdest most pointless shit ever. Noble trashes NC and all the rednecks there, then makes Nidia kiss Michael Cole and grind on him because "Cole has been eyeing her down" - Noble calls it off bc the people of NC are perverts and tells Cole to talk good about them on commentary and he will make sure he gets more loving.. alright.

5) John Cena vs. Rico

This stemmed from the backstage interaction. Cena still moves around like he has a stick up his ass and has lost a lot of the heat from his debut streak with Angle. This still isn't terrible, though. They keep it simple. Cena wins.

Match rating - **

Eric Bischoff is seen coming through the crowd and despite being kicked out by Stephanie earlier in the night, he has bought himself a ticket and sits front row for the Rock/Edge one on one main event... or so he though. Steph comes out and says it's not a singles match for the main event... it's a tag team match. The Rock and Edge will team up to face Smackdown's new acquisition from Raw... EDDIE GUERRERO AND CHRIS BENOIT. Bischoff is livid and I am riled up. He tries to get in the ring, but security grabs him and throws him out of the arena.

6) The Rock & Edge vs. Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero

Killer tag here. The crowd is so fired up and everyone here is ace in their role. It's worked so smartly and like a classic traditional southern pro wrasslin tag and no better place to work it than Charlotte. Edge gets isolated and they work it so well. Rock gets the hot tag and it breaks down. Brock Lesnar comes down and distracts Rock allowing Benoit to lock in the crossface. The Rock can't escape and is forced to tap with Lesnar staring a hole through him by the apron.

Match rating - ***3/4

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