Date: August 10, 2002
Location: Colonial Stadium, Melbourne, Australia
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz
So this is another one of those it’s really a house show but we’ll put it on DVD and give you a really big card and a PPV feeling shows. This is the only PPV from Australia that I can think of other than some all-star shows and the like. The main event is HHH vs. Rock vs. Lesnar as Summerslam where Brock became champion was like two weeks away. Other than that there isn’t much here, but this is one of those obscure shows I’ve needed to do so let’s get to it. Oh and it’s a Smackdown show.
Apparently there were three matches on the card that didn’t come on the home video: Mark Henry/Randy Orton vs. D-Von/Batista (yes they were a real team), Hardcore Holly/Chavo vs. Billy/Chuck and Kurt Angle vs. Test.
Stephanie, the GM of Smackdown, comes out first. Dang I forgot how hot she could be. The crowd is HUGE here and it looks great. Also the ramp is freaking huge as it takes her almost 30 seconds to get to the ring at regular speed. She actually does a decent job of hyping the crowd which is impressive.
Rikishi vs. Rico
This is a loses kisses up to the winner match. Ok then. Stephanie dances with Rikishi on the way to the ring. Could we just watch that for a few hours instead? It’s a regular match but the loser has to do the deed. Rico is still just the stylist here and isn’t the flamboyant character yet.
The fat man’s leg is taped up here for no explained reason. The crowd is great here. Maybe a minute and a half in Rikishi goes for the Rump Shaker but Rico gets out of the way. Rikishi was supposed to be this big deal on Smackdown but he never really was. Rico misses a moonsault (looked perfect by the way) and a Samoan Drop ends it.
This was VERY short, not even breaking 3 minutes. Rikishi gives him a Stink Face which counts as kissing I guess. Rikishi gets some kids into the ring and dances with them. That’s always cool.
Rating: N/A. This was too short to be anything but it did a great job of getting the crowd which was already hot even hotter which is what an opener is supposed to do. This did its job and I’ve always had a soft spot for Rico. The guy was on the roster for like 3 years and he always gave it his all despite having a horrible gimmick. That’s all you can ask for and I can always respect it.
We see a video of Nidia and Jamie Noble going surfing. There is really no point to this as it’s not funny or interesting or anything like that, but I guess the culture thing is ok. Jamie Noble wearing glasses is different.
Cruiserweight Title: Jamie Noble vs. Hurricane
Noble is champion and a heel here, despite us watching him talk about how beautiful scenery is in a total non-kayfabe interview. I don’t get that. What was the point if they’re not in character or anything like that? Hurricane goes for the chokeslam but it doesn’t work.
Nidia kisses him for no apparent reason other than to distract him. Cole and Taz talk about Australian Rules Football and Taz more or less could care less. That was kind of funny. Instead of a cover, Nidia kisses Noble. Sure why not? You can tell the announcers could care less about the censors or whatever as a lot of their jokes are sex related etc. I can’t imagine Vince is watching or anything like that so there we are.
I love that jumping neckbreaker that Helms does. Helms just goes insane with some cool offense and Noble is in trouble. Something a lot of you might not know is that Noble used to be the ROH World Champion and I think Punk beat him to win the title. There’s a different one.
Vertebreaker doesn’t connect but a Northern Lights from Noble gets two. Hurricane hits a swinging neckbreaker from the top which looked great. Nidia comes up on the apron and Noble wins with a backslide of all things. Hurricane hits a chokeslam on Noble after the match.
Rating: B-. This started really slow and then went WAY up very fast. They just let loose out there and it worked very well. This is what the cruiserweight division should have been about but it just never clicked. And then a leprechaun got the belt. Sure why not. Anyway, this was a great match after the first minute or two, but the predictable ending hurt it.
Christian and Lance Storm and some other guys go to the zoo. Angle gets called a bugger. Angle plays with a dog which is amusing. He talks about loving animals and wants to ride a giraffe. This is FAR better than the surfing thing as Angle is an interesting person and stays in character here for the most part. In other news, Christian tries to feed a kangaroo and Angle calls him Jay. His real name is Jason, so that’s WEIRD to head. He also says the words babyface and heel. What have I stumbled onto?
Tag Titles: Christian/Lance Storm vs. Rey Mysterio/Billy Kidman
I’m pretty sure there were only one set of tag titles at this point. This is Raw vs. Smackdown actually with the champions, the Canadians, being from Raw. Kidman has some awesome music here. Yeah there is just one set of belts at this point. The Smackdown ones would be introduced about two and a half months after this in late October.
Rey is WAY over. We get a little history of Rey, including why he has a crown on his mask: Rey means King, hence his name meaning King of Mystery or Mystery King. Kidman and Storm start us off so I can’t complain. Taz talks about Christian’s history of tag team success and Cole comes from out of NOWHERE with some story about going to an oyster bar. Cole is being more annoying and random than usual here which is saying a lot.
Christian apparently wanted to come to the original ECW and Taz might have said no to him. Well that’s interesting. That came from commentary. I told you they’re being different here. Storm and Christian suck apparently. Storm hooks a modified crossface chickenwing.
I’ve always liked Storm’s work especially in ECW. Kidman gets the hot tag and takes over. There’s a belt in the ring along with all four guys. Christian takes a 619 and then Storm takes a SWEET double team assisted rana from Rey. Just a ton of crazy high spots here but Storm hits Kidman in the head with the title for the pin.
Rating: C+. Not bad here especially with the insane high spots near the end. This was what you would expect from a match like this on this kind of card though. No one expected a title change but that’s fine. It came off well and did what it was supposed to do so I can’t complain much there. This worked fine.
Kidman, Torrie and Edge go sight seeing. Torrie goes shopping. Kidman goes shopping. Edge goes shopping. This is riveting. And then they eat cake.
Chris Jericho vs. Edge
This works. Jericho is heel and Edge is face here I believe. Yeah that’s right. This is Raw vs. Smackdown also with Edge being on Smackdown. Edge was on the verge of a HUGE push here and had it not been for HHH and Shawn might have won the first Elimination Chamber.
The original plan had been for him to jump during the show and take someone’s spot to beat HHH for the title. HHH decided against it and thought Shawn should win the title. Dang that match pissed me off and that was before I knew about the Edge thing. MAN Edge is popular here. He was the hottest thing in the world at this point and is filming everything here. The fans think Jericho is a wanker.
Jericho gets on the mic and yells at the fans for being rude to him before the match which is always a nice touch. Jericho is tied up in the ropes so I have a good feeling about this match. Taz keeps complaining about being stuck in his hotel room eating panda salad. The commentary on this show really is good. Cole goes on a rant about the taxis being clean in Melbourne. You can tell there’s no Vince yelling in their ears as they’re far looser here and it’s very nice.
Tazz wants to know if Cole has ever tried a vertical suplex on himself in his hotel room. There goes the turnbuckle pad. Cole says he wants to be unbiased. Given the Danielson angle, that’s very funny. Edge gets ALL FIRED UP and Jericho is in trouble. He gets a sitout Gordbuster from the top for two. Sweet looking move there.
Edge spears the referee by mistake and it’s chair time. They go through their finishers and the second spear from Edge only gets two. Ah there’s your chair to Edge’s throat. The Lionsault hits but only gets two. Yeah I’m stunned too. We go WAY old school with a slingshot into the exposed buckle and an Edge-O-Matic for two.
This is very solid stuff here. Jericho goes for the Walls but gets rolled up for the pin. Nice ending but a bit sudden. Jericho throws a fit afterwards which is an old standard for him. Edge climbs up a light tower and soaks in the crowd, which is indeed huge.
Rating: B-. Seriously, did you expect this to not be good? It was missing a little something but that’s fine. This was a great use of about 12 minutes and it worked out fine. Edge continues to be just freaking awesome here as you would expect him to be. Edge was going to be a huge star and if he hadn’t hurt his neck there was no telling how big.
We see highlights from the Fan Frenzy event which is like Access but not as big. These are always cool. Stacy Keibler is too pretty if that’s possible.
Val Venis is here. He’s likely the referee for the Bra and Panties match. Ah make that ring announcer. Well he can talk so that’s all that matters here. He uses the standard going down line which his voice is perfect for.
Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Keibler
as this isn’t very interesting. Torries ties it up. They do the spot with the referee where they roll onto him and there go HIS pants. And here’s Nidia for no apparent reason. Torrie “fight” them off and pulls Nidia’s shorts off. Torrie wins.
Rating: N/A. They made no secret here about what this was which is fine as it filled about 8 minutes or so.
We see highlights of a charity dinner for families with members that have cancer. There’s an auction too which is always cool. I’ll never make fun of charity stuff.
Undisputed Title: Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock vs. HHH
If I remember right, this is the last time HHH and the Rock were in the same ring. Hogan was supposed to be in this but bailed at the last minute. Last night at the charity dinner there were large paintings auctioned off and the third was of Hogan, not Lesnar. Brock was about two weeks from winning the world title, so the outcome here is pretty clear.
HHH is a heel here, having beaten up Shawn recently. No mention is made of Summerslam, which is odd. HHH vs. Lesnar is one heck of a staredown. That was supposed to be the main event of Mania 21 but Lesnar left. We got HHH vs. Batista instead so I can live with that I guess.
This doesn’t make sense: HHH had been revealed as the guy that put Shawn through the window, and he’s definitely over as a face here. Was Australian TV behind, as that happened about two weeks prior to this. That’s very odd. Ok Hogan was supposed to be in this but Brock hurt him, hence his absence. Ok then, at least that makes sense.
Wow it’s weird seeing Rock and HHH working together even for a few seconds. Pretty much they’re just competing to get in the last strike here which is kind of boring. HHH and Brock work together and Norcal smiles. Dang Brock can throw a freaking clothesline. Brock and Rock botch something and we hit the floor. Heyman jumps Rock and even Taz wants Heyman beaten down.
The two lighter skinned guys go at it in the ring with Brock dominating. Brock sets Rock for the F5 and for no apparent reason HHH interrupts it and goes for the Pedigree. So instead of letting Brock both use energy and take Rock out, HHH decides to do it himself. And remember: he’s BRILLIANT. HHH is busted open and Brock gets the bear hug. Rock takes a Pedigree but Brock makes the save. HHH takes an F5 for I think the only time ever.
Brock kicks out of the Elbow as this is pretty good. I love how Rock takes the F5. HHH of course makes the save. Notice right there that Brock kicked out of the Elbow but Rock had to be saved. Subtle but important. Then he kicks out of the PEDIGREE. Sweet GOODNESS he was pushed hard. HHH argues with the referee and walks into the Rock Bottom for Rock to retain. We’re off the air maybe 10 seconds after that, but the pin happened so it’s all good.
Rating: B-. This was fine for what it was. There was no way Rock would lose here, but they gave him an actual threat and that’s all they really needed to do I think. For the main event of a glorified house show, this came off great. Brock looked like a freaking MONSTER which was the point and Rock retains. HHH was a great placeholder, although there was zero mention of Shawn which was just odd. Still though, decent match and fine for the main event.
Overall Rating: B. This is on an adjusted scale since this wasn’t put on American TV until 24/7 came into existence so it’s not like it was supposed to be a huge show. Like I said earlier, this was a glorified house show but it was still good. There’s some decent wrestling and the matches made sense.
There’s a nice flow to it and a solid main event, so what more can you ask for? Considering how far away Australia is from America, this is a rare treat for the fans there and in front of this large of a crowd, this was a fine show. There’s really nothing worth going out of your way to see, but it’s not bad for a little under two hours.