Smackdown – November 14, 2002: Two Layups

Smackdown
Date: November 14, 2002
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Survivor Series and that means it’s time for more Big Show. One of the big stories coming out of this week came on Super Tuesday when Stephanie McMahon announced that the Smackdown Tag Team Titles will be decided in a triple threat match, which should be an amazing spectacle. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar with Show dominating for weeks and Paul Heyman being at his wits’ end.

Heyman says Lesnar has a broken rib and is off the show by doctors’ orders. Big Show pops up and says he’ll call Lesnar out anyway. It’s nice to see someone knowing the cliches and ignoring them.

Opening sequence.

Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Edge

Both guys are on their own and Sunday’s triple threat is officially an elimination match. Edge armdrags him into an armbar before elbowing Chavo in the face. Chavo sidesteps a charge to put Edge on the apron but gets flapjacked for his efforts. A kick to the ropes hits Edge low though and Chavo takes over for real this time. We hit an armbar on the Canadian until Chavo goes up top, only to get dropkicked out of the air. The Edge-O-Matic gets two but Edge spears the buckle, allowing Chavo to get in a spear of his own for two. Not that it matters as the tornado DDT is countered into the Edgecution for the pin.

Rating: B-. I’m not surprised that this was good as Chavo really was a solid hand in the ring. He gets a bad reputation for his horribly dull stuff later in his career but when you just let him work a good match, he’s a rather entertaining watch. Nice match here and a really strong opener.

Rey Mysterio is talking about the match when he runs over to see the arriving Brock, sounding like a ten year old fan. Brock basically tells him to buzz off.

Dawn Marie comes up to see Al Wilson and is ready to invite Torrie to the wedding. Al isn’t sure but she talks him into it. As enjoyable of a visual as it is, I do like the fact that we’re supposed to believe Dawn (and Torrie for that matter) walk around on the streets in the outfits they were on the show. Dawn was just casually strolling around in a top that showed off half her chest and went all the way down to her waist. Totally normal travel gear right?

Heyman wants to know why Lesnar is here and Brock says it’s because that’s what the title is all about. Paul goes on a rant about the injuries Lesnar has suffered and how it’s going to go badly if Lesnar stops doing what the team should do. If Lesnar doesn’t leave now, there’s nothing Heyman can do to protect Brock from Big Show. Paul has an idea though. I’ll give them credit for this: they’re making Big Show sound like a threat. You know, assuming you forget that he’s Big Show.

Matt Hardy/John Cena vs. Rikishi/Tajiri

What a completely different team that first one would be today. Matt was the Fear Factor Champion and loves guacamole. Cole describes Cena as being “lost in the 80s”. Like that’s a bad thing. Tajiri and Matt start things off with a quick hurricanrana sending the Fear Factor Champion down.

It’s off to Rikishi to take care of both Matt and Cena until a Side Effect gives Cena two. Matt hammers away in the corner as the fans want Jeff. Rikishi drives Cena over to the corner for the hot tag to Tajiri and things speed up. Tajiri gets a running start and grabs a running faceplant which sends both guys into the mat (picture fighting over a vertical suplex but both guys jump up and swing around, landing face first). Matt’s hand is on Tajiri’s chest for the pin.

Rating: D+. I have no idea what they were going for with that ending. First of all, a faceplant for the ending? I’m glad Matt and Cena got the win but it felt like a fluke (with the announcers talking about how Matt’s hand just happened to land on Tajiri’s chest) and I really don’t get this one. Oh and make sure Tajiri loses and not Rikishi because he’s the star power.

Hardy makes Cena put him on his shoulders to celebrate.

Angle and Benoit yell over the title loss last week. Benoit brings up winning their last two singles matches. Angle: “YOU WATCH YOUR MOUTH YOUNG MAN!” Benoit: “I have more hair than you!” This goes back and forth until Angle mentioned that he’s an Olympic gold medalist.

Scott Steiner video. Can he debut already so I can endlessly mock him?

Heyman asks Big Show to not call Lesnar out tonight but doesn’t get an answer. I’d like an answer as to why Show has his own locker room and there are at least ten large suitcases visible. Does he carry his snacks in there?

Los Guerreros run into Edge and Rey Mysterio. Eddie wants a match with Rey later and promises to win the titles on Sunday. Spanish is spoken and Eddie hides behind Chavo, only to have Edge speak some Spanish and tell them to shut up.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Partners are banned from ringside. Eddie takes him down into a headlock to start but gets armdragged into an armbar. The tilt-a-whirl backbreaker plants Rey though and Eddie takes over for real. The arm work continues until Rey monkey flips him into the ropes. It’s already 619 time but Eddie pulls the referee in the way, knocking him nearly unconscious.

Chavo runs out for a Gory Bomb on Rey, allowing Eddie to add a powerbomb. Edge comes out to spear Eddie, drawing out the rest of the referees to drag them off. We take a break and come back with Rey hitting the Bronco Buster but getting tossed off the ropes. Eddie follows him out with a dive but takes too much time going up again, allowing Rey to grab a superplex.

A hard knee to Mysterio’s ribs sets up another armbar until Eddie lets him up for no logical reason. Rey springboards into an armdrag to send Eddie outside, followed by a slingshot hilo. Back in and Rey scores with the 619 but the West Coast Pop is reversed into the Lasso From El Paso (with something edited out). Eddie makes sure to grab the ropes, forcing Rey to tap.

Rating: B. I wouldn’t really consider that to be the biggest surprise. These two are capable of having good matches in their sleep and this was no exception, though Eddie working on the arm for a good chunk of the match didn’t make a lot of sense. Also, it was nice to have them do all the run-ins early on and then have a long stretch of the match follow them up. Good match here, as expected.

Torrie can’t talk to her dad but he follows her anyway. Eventually she says Dawn is just using him. Al just wanted to invite her to the wedding but she won’t go. She calls her dad an old fool.

Billy Kidman vs. Jamie Noble

Non-title. Jamie goes straight after the arm by wrapping it around the ropes. A keylock doesn’t get Noble very far either so Kidman gets in a dropkick for two. The tiger bomb gives Noble two but Kidman reverses the cover into a rollup for two more. Kidman flips over him out of the corner and gets in the BK Bomb for no cover. That looks to set up the shooting star press but Nidia offers a distraction. Jamie pops back up and tries a superplex, only to have Kidman tie the legs up for a small package and the pin.

Rating: C-. This didn’t have time to go anywhere but it set up Sunday’s match, thankfully without having Kidman hit his finisher. Instead he won off a quick pin, making it look like he can beat Noble without completely destroying him. As little as I don’t like having the champ lose, it’s about all they could do in the three and a half minutes they had out there.

Dawn consoles Al, who she loves. He puts his head on her shoulder and she gives a bit of an evil smile. This is the THIRD SEGMENT this story has gotten.

Heyman tells Lesnar about going to see Big Show. Lesnar isn’t happy and says he’s going to call Show out this time.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

Before the match, Angle laughs off the idea of either other team being a challenge to him. He’s a better athlete than Benoit, is better looking than Edge and has actually grown, unlike Mysterio. Cue Los Guerreros and the champs to watch from ringside. Angle starts fast by snapping off the suplexes but Benoit comes back by just hitting him in the face. A backbreaker gives Benoit two before Angle sends him outside, leading to a whip into the champs.

Back in and Kurt rolls the German suplexes for two but the Angle Slam is countered into the Crossface. That’s reversed into the ankle lock until Benoit rolls out, only to get caught in the Slam. Kurt grabs the Lasso From El Paso, drawing Eddie into the ring. It doesn’t last long as he’s launched out to the floor, triggering a brawl between Los Guerreros and the champs. Everyone comes in and that’s a no contest.

Rating: B-. The time killed it but much like Mysterio vs. Guerrero, these two are almost a guaranteed awesome match. They’re building the heck out of the triple threat tag, which is pretty easily bigger than Lesnar vs. Big Show, at least in the amount of hype it has. Let those six guys tear the house down and the extra build here helped.

Edge and Mysterio clean house and put Kurt in a double ankle lock. Eddie and Chavo make the save so it’s an ankle lock to Eddie and a Crossface to Edge. Benoit and Angle shake hands but Kurt hugs him instead, giving us a hilarious look from Benoit when it goes too long.

Lesnar yells at Heyman for telling him to stay out of the ring.

We run down Sunday’s card.

Here are Lesnar and Heyman with Brock calling out Big Show. Heyman tries to take the mic away and is told to shut up. Show finally comes out and Lesnar spears him into the steps, puncturing Show’s forearm with the blood flowing out like a fountain. Two big chair shots to the head bust open Show’s head and the chair is bent over his back. I remember watching this live and thinking it was the first time I thought Lesnar was awesome. If this was meant to be his full face turn, it worked quite well.

Overall Rating: B+. Survivor Series is certainly going to be interesting at this rate. The Tag Team Title match looks great on paper, Show vs. Lesnar could be good if Brock gets to be the Beast, the Elimination Chamber……well I think we all know where that’s going. This was the big hard sell show and it did make me want to watch the pay per view again, though it certainly seems to be walking a tightrope, which almost never works. Still though, three quite good matches and some other passable stuff sprinkled in (save for the Dawn/Torrie stuff which won’t end) makes this another high quality Smackdown.

 

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