Smackdown – June 13, 2002: A Ratings Bonanza!

Smackdown
Date: June 13, 2002
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re ten days away from King of the Ring and it’s really not looking like the most interesting thing in the world. Granted you could say that about almost any show around this point but this one is looking even worse. Smackdown no longer has its own owner so things are changing all over again. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of the big angle from Monday.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Vince to get things going, flanked by a bunch of security guards and with a table and chairs set up in the ring. Vince stands on top of the table and goes on a rant about how he put everything on the line and how powerful people only get more powerful. That’s why we’re going to entertain you tonight, starting with a CONTRACT SIGNING!

The boss brings out Undertaker and HHH for the very slow paced staredown. Undertaker signs, HHH throws out a chair and then signs, Vince talks and it’s a ratings bonanza! Security grabs HHH and the beatdown is on until HHH pulls out a well placed sledgehammer. HHH says he isn’t leaving until he gets his hands on Undertaker. A security guard gets beaten down and it’s time for a break. Back with HHH still in the ring as Billy, Chuck and Rico are standing on the ramp with the champs holding chairs. Threats of sucking on a sledgehammer ensue and Billy gets laid out.

With that not getting HHH anywhere, HHH he on the announcers’ table until the hammer actually breaks. Naturally there’s another hammer waiting but that can’t break the table either so HHH just kicks the thing over. Now it’s a monitor being destroyed, followed by a camera. Vince FINALLY comes out and makes HHH/Hogan vs. Undertaker/Angle for later. We’re over a fourth of the way through this show and they’ve only set up the main event. Oh and HHH beat up a Tag Team Champion. The camera gets destroyed too.

Back from a break with….replays!

Earlier today, Nidia made fun of Hurricane so he suggested she use her oral skills to tell Jamie Noble to come find him. A challenge is issued so Nidia licks his face. She’s no Catrina.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Test vs. Hurricane

Non-title of course. Test no sells some right hands to start and we can see the announcers’ table still on its side. Is HHH going to come back out here and hit them with his hammer if someone tips it back over? Hurricane avoids a charge in the corner but his crossbody is pulled out of the air. The chokeslam is broken up but a quick Eye of the Hurricane gets two on Test. And never mind as the Test Drive gets rid of Hurricane clean in less than two minutes. That would be two champions taken out in less than forty minutes.

Nidia and Noble come out and take off Hurricane’s mask.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Tajiri vs. Hardcore Holly

The table has been turned back over. You can stop panicking. Tazz picks Holly to win the whole tournament while Cole, who isn’t quite as stupid, picks Chris Jericho. Tajiri starts fast with the kicks, including the big spinning version for two. A powerslam gives Holly the same To change things up a bit, Tajiri kicks him in the head again for two more, followed by an Alabama Slam to give Holly the pin.

Rating: D. To be fair this was just to get to the final eight so Holly advancing isn’t the worst thing in the world. They kept it short but this was about three and a half minutes of them trading moves until one of them got pinned. Maybe they don’t quite have enough room on the roster for sixteen people but then we couldn’t have qualifying matches and those are interesting. Not as interesting as a thirty minute contract signing segment but you have to take what you can get.

Val Venis and Jericho trash talk each other.

GET THE F OUT! BARBERSHOP VERSION!

Chris Jericho/Lance Storm vs. Val Venis/Billy Kidman

Val runs Jericho over with a shoulder to start and a neckbreaker gets two. Kidman comes in with a bad looking high crossbody, though it could be due to Kidman’s trunks being about three sizes too small. The former Sudden Impact starts taking over on Kidman with Storm hitting a dropkick before Jericho misses a charge in the corner.

That’s enough for the tag off to Val as everything breaks down. The good guys mess up a spot with Kidman being launched into a dropkick (or maybe a hurricanrana), leaving him a little short and only kicking Storm in the chest with one foot. Val and Jericho go outside so Kidman can hit the shooting star. Jericho pulls the referee though and drops Kidman, only to have Billy roll Storm up for the surprise pin.

Rating: C+. I can always go for moving a cruiserweight up the ladder a little bit and Kidman is more than good enough to make that jump. Now I have no faith in WWE to not screw this up all over again as that’s certainly their custom, but at least he got a win here and it’s a win he could build on rather than one over Jericho where he would get beaten in their singles rematch.

Replays show Storm’s shoulder was up. So much for Kidman looking good.

Hogan doesn’t think much about Angle for attacking him last week after the big match with HHH (that one that didn’t even last seven minutes). See, Hogan and Angle are a lot alike. They’re both American icons, they both love the red, white and blue, they’re both former champions and they’re both bald. The only difference is Hogan lost his hair battle to mother nature. Hogan wants a fight with Angle at some point in the future and can’t wait to face him in the main event tonight.

Storm yells at Brian Hebner for screwing up and thinks it’s typical American behavior, especially from this family. To be fair, they haven’t done anything with Montreal in what, ten minutes at this point?

We look at Jackie Gayda costing Linda Miles her debut match on Velocity.

Linda has found a partner to help her fight Jackie and Ivory: Trish.

Vince is on the phone and says the camera cost $50,000. Angle comes in and accepts Hogan’s challenge for King of the Ring but can’t stand the idea that Hogan thinks he’s bald. Undertaker comes in but Vince tells him tonight is a calculated risk.

D-Von comes out, calls…..shall we say self pleasuring a sin and says he doesn’t do that anymore. Faarooq comes out and says he still does.

Faarooq vs. Reverend D-Von

Spinebuster ends D-Von in seven seconds.

Batista hits D-Von in the head with the collection box by mistake. This whole thing took about three minutes, which is likely due to the opening segment taking up a fourth of the show. That might not be the worst thing in the world.

Trish Stratus/Linda vs. Ivory/Jackie Gayda

Thankfully the veterans start things off with Ivory taking over, allowing Jackie to hit Trish in the face with a knee brace. It’s off to Linda for a slam and dropkick with Ivory making the save. A double flapjack plants Linda again but the Stratusphere sets up Stratusfaction for the pin on Ivory. It’s good that they kept this short for obvious reasons. I’d be rather annoyed if I paid for this show and had to sit through a pair of rookies having a horrible match because of some reality show.

Stacy, looking GREAT tonight, hits on Vince for becoming boss again. Vince kisses her and Stacy looks disgusted. Dawn Marie knocking at the door was ignored.

For the first time we see the brackets for the King of the Ring.

X-Pac

Rob Van Dam

Val Venis

Chris Jericho

Test

Hardcore Holly

Booker T.

Brock Lesnar

Angle and Undertaker attack Hogan.

Hulk Hogan/HHH vs. Undertaker/Kurt Angle

HHH runs out and blasts Angle during the entrances so it’s the HHH vs. Undertaker slugout to start. Angle gets back in and the double teaming has HHH in trouble as we get down to the regular tag structure. The champ is happy with letting Angle do most of the work and get in a cheap shot here and there. A right hand puts Taker down but that’s enough of a distraction to start the rolling German suplexes.

Cole thinks HHH might be thrown off by fighting two men at the same time. This would be your “Gee willikers Cole, you think so?” moment of the night. Undertaker comes in for some slow right hands before it’s back to Angle for a sleeper. A double clothesline drops Taker and HHH, followed by Angle going shoulder first into the post. HHH is able to send Kurt into the steps but grabs the sledgehammer to draw the DQ.

Rating: D. It’s hard to imagine that this took place for any reason other than “Hogan can’t be trusted for more than one match every few weeks”. The wrestling here was way too slow paced to work and I was very bored for the most part. HHH vs. Undertaker is looking horrible for a main event and Angle is going to need a miracle to make Hogan look passable.

The beatdown continues post match with HHH being left laying, only to have Hogan run out and attack Angle. HHH gets back up and the wig is ripped off. A lot of posing ensues to end the show.

Overall Rating: D-. I know Raw gets all the criticism but this show was a trainwreck. It was half an hour of waiting around until we get to the end of the first segment (with the Tag Team Champions being treated as cannon fodder) and then a bunch of short matches, including a seven second “match” which didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose. Things can get better but the main event is just killing this promotion right now.

Oh and as a bonus, here are the final four segments from a house show the Sunday before this show:

Billy and Chuck vs. Rikishi/Tazz

Chris Jericho vs. Val Venis

Swimsuit contestant

Hardcore Holly vs. Kurt Angle (Holly won)

Venis is probably a substitute for Edge but I have no idea where HHH was, as he and Angle main evented a house show the next night.

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