Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - December 26th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
December 26th, 2002
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Replays air of all the shenanigans last week with Angle joining up with Heyman and Big Show and assaulting Brock Lesnar.
The main event tonight is supposed to be Kurt Angle vs. Big Show for the WWE Title, but Stephanie McMahon comes out to start the show and says it will not be due to an attack Brock Lesnar made on Kurt Angle after Smackdown went off the air last week. Steph says Angle may be out of action until the Royal Rumble. This brings out Big Show who tries to intimidate her into making him the opponent for Angle at Royal Rumble. Instead she makes Show vs. Chris Benoit tonight in a #1 Contender's Match. Show says Benoit can't beat him unless he brings him down to his size which is impossible. Benoit kicks Show in the nuts and walks off laughing.

1) Bill Demott vs. Crash
Demott and Crash teamed up last week only for Demott to turn on him afterwards. So, here we get part two of that ass kicking. Demott wins in a fun squash.

Match rating - **

Al Wilson & Dawn Marie are backstage. Dawn bought Al a camera so they can "record all their adventures" and their wedding which is next week on Smackdown. What a way to kick off 2003..

They show a clip of Angle being helped out of the arena last week after Brock's supposed attack.

Matt Hardy comes out with Shannon Moore. He says Brock Lesnar is what's wrong with Smackdown and that tonight he's gonna take Mattitude to a whole new level. Hardy then strikes Moore with the microphone and proceeds to throw a bunch of kicks to him before leaving. Weird.. crowd boos, I guess Matt is officially heel now.

Kurt Angle is walking out of his locker room in crutches with Paul Heyman asking him if he really wants to do this..

2) Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (c) vs. Edge & Billy Kidman - WWE Tag Team Championship Match

Justin Roberts is here doing ring announcing! Hot start which leads to the Guerrero's trying to leave and lose via countout. Brian Hebner however says if they get counted out, they will lose the belts. We cut to commercial and the Guerreros are back in isolating Edge. They build towards the hottest tag Billy Kidman ever got. Crowd is hot for this finishing run, Eddie pulls out the ref when Edge & Kidman seemingly have it won after Kidman hit the SSP. The bell rings but the ref restarts the match as a No DQ Match. Lord have mercy. At the restart, Edge & Kidman spear Chavo & Eddie off the apron. Chavo tries to use the belt, but Edge uses it instead. It looks like we re gonna have new champs until A-Train runs out and attacks Edge, costing them the match. Guerreros retain.

Match rating - ***

This coming week's December 30th, 2002 edition of Raw will be a Best Of show. SOO I won't be reviewing it! That means this is the last episode of WWE TV until 2003! I made it this far - woooo!

The footage of Brock Lesnar assaulting Kurt Angle after Smackdown went off the air last week is finally shown. Amongst other things Brock F5'd Kurt into the ring post and it looked nasty. Angle grabbed his knee after and apparently that's the injury he's selling that will keep him out of competition until the Royal Rumble. 

This brings out Paul Heyman and WWE Champion Kurt Angle. After a bunch of babbling, they introduce Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas as Team Angle! This is Paul's Christmas gift to Kurt and hell yes! Seeing the birth of this for the first time rules. Angle says to Brock - "checkmate"

Funaki is backstage trying to get in touch with Torrie Wilson about what's going on with her situation. 

3) Rikishi vs. B-2 (w/ John Cena)

I guess we are re-hashing this feud again. Cena is on commentary for the match and it's hilarious. This is super short, bunch of shenanigans were tried by Cena, but Buchanan still eats a stinkface and the loss.

Match rating - **

Torrie Wilson is backstage for an interview with Funaki when her dad walks up. Good ol Al says Torrie always makes everything about her and next week he's doing something for him by marrying Dawn Marie. He says they are going to have a child together and it won't be a disgrace like Torrie... JEEZ.

Another pretty funny segment with Cena & B-2, this time, backstage with Los Guerreros as they mimic a northern accent and leave Cena pissed.

Josh Matthews is backstage with Chris Benoit. He says he knows he's better than Kurt Angle and he will prove it when he beats Show tonight and goes onto the Royal Rumble to beat Angle for the WWE Title. Benoit takes a page out of Angle's book and says "it's true... it's damn true." 

4) The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Chris Benoit - #1 Contender’s Match 

This happens and it’s relatively short but solid. Show dominates early with Benoit making all his stuff look awesome. Then Benoit pulls off the shocker. Post match, the crowd chants for Brock as Show, Benjamin & Haas beat down Benoit. But Brock isn’t here so there’s no save. They drag Benoit to Angle and he yells about how he’s weak. It’s Angle/Benoit at Royal Rumble. Team Angle poses to close the show. 

Match rating - **1/2

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