Monday, October 26, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - October 24th, 2002

WWE Smackdown

October 24th, 2002

Memphis, Tennessee 

Off the heels of No Mercy, it’s time for Smackdownnnn


1) Matt Hardy vs. Rikishi 

Rikishi continues to be over as fuck. Crowd is literally buzzing as he stands there at the bell lol. This was a fun power vs speed type match sorta. Hardy tried to sneak his way around Rikishi and compensate for the size difference but just uhhh couldn’t. Rikishi wins with a fucking spike piledriver???? In a throwaway Smackdown opener??? What???? Hard regardless. And earned an extra quarter star from me bc fuck it.

Match rating - **1/4 

Rikishi is dancing his big ass off when BIG SHOW BIG SHOW BIG SHOW. What a Smackdown debut. Dropping Rikishi on his ass with a chokeslam. Now this really feels like my childhood. Big Show on Smackdown was goat. He gets the mic and off the jump is challenging BRRROCK LESNAR. 

Back from commercial, Brock & Paul have arrived. Paul has a black eye and all.  

Steph.. god damn.. is in the ring with a trophy to present for the tag team tournament winners... Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. They’re the first ever tag champions but they are still arguing as Angle claims he led the team to victory and is gonna take the trophy home. Benoit disputes that and they fight over the trophy. This breaks the trophy and it accidentally hits Steph. She slaps both of them and makes a match between the two tonight with the winner keeping the broken ass trophy. Normally I’d hate that the new tag champs in such an important monumental tourney are technically sort of feuding but it’s Kurt and Chris so.... how can I really complain? 

2) Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) (c) vs. Tajiri - Cruserweight Title Match 

Jamie is dressed as Elvis. I’m not even gonna cap I’m tired of his reign as champ. This has to end. Our lord and savior Tajiri interrupts and this match starts. He beats the hell out of Jamie and does an epic Elvis impersonation after taking Jamie’s sunglasses. Now I loved that. They go at it for a little while and Noble wins with help from Nidia at around 4 minutes.

Match rating - **

Tazz has ended up with the Elvis wig on commentary. 

Dawn Marie is looking for Torrie Wilson backstage. She apologizes for her recent actions and says she’s gonna break off things with her father. 

Los Guerrero’s are backstage trying to instigate the issues between Angle & Benoit. 


3) Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Los Guerrero’s (Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero) - Tag Team Title #1 Contender’s Match 

Oh yeah this ruled. I mean, how could it not? These two teams go all out, but not overdoing it with spots. The final few minutes had plenty of them though as Edge got the hot tag and shit reaaallly broke down. The finish was classic Eddie stuff as he & Rey kept playing games back and forth to distract the ref. So much so that Eddie turned his back a few seconds too long and Rey hits a flying leg drop on Chavo who was in position for the cover and Rey throws Edge on him for the 1..2..3 and Eddie turns around to shock as he thought Chavo had gotten the pin. Edge & Rey are the #1 contenders to Kurt & Chris. 

Match rating - ***1/2

Taker wants Brock to come out and he gets Heyman instead. He says Brock isn’t coming out BUT HE DOES. Brock storms to the ring and they stare down. This is epic. And honestly this whole segment was just... amazing. Simple and a little anticlimactic but so much fucking detail and character work I want to scream. Taker and Brock essentially showing mutual respect but in non direct ways. Taker says he’s beaten the best and on Sunday, Brock was the best. Brock says everything with Sara was business bc he knew he needed an edge going into the match with him. They awkwardly stare and Brock leaves and NODS AT TAKER FROM THE ENTRANCE RAMP. LOVED THIS. Wow. Big Show comes out and starts giving Taker shit. He says he’s a broken down has been to which Taker responds “I’d rather be a broken down has been than a giant who never was” DAMN. Taker leaves and Show goes to seemingly follow and attack him. But Taker turns around and Show plays it off the whole way up the ramp. I loved all this tbh. 

Aaand just when you think this is over, Show comes back out and press slams Undertaker off the stage. God damn. Doctors, Steph, Edge & Rey all come out to check on him and make this a big deal. Taker is stretchered out BUT HE STARTS TRYING TO GET UP AND REFUSES. Man I am way more into this than I ever expected. This was just so well done. Taker is to his feet to a huge pop but falls back down, his pride just won’t let him leave not under his own power. 

Dawn Marie backstage breaks things off with Torries dad but they kiss and hug after so.. ?

4) John Cena vs. Billy Kidman

This was honestly kiiiinda fun? Cena turns heel after the match which was kinda sick. I guess it's about time for him to start leaning into the rap gimmick as he's began throwing up the word life hand gestures despite still being in his generic original ring attire. 

5) Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

It's Angle & Benoit so its good. Not great, not amazing, and far from their best, but it's TV and they have a story to get over dammit. But you still get some great wrestling and a few near falls out of it. Chavo Guerrero gets involved and costs Angle the match/helps Benoit win. It feels like they are trying to sabotage this whole situation for some reason even though they aren't even #1 Contender's. So, yeah, after some back & forth, that happens. Angle attacks Benoit after the win and breaks the trophy he was supposed to get. That closes the show.

Match rating - **3/4

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