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WWF Smackdown - February 28, 2002

by Scrooge McSuck

Booker T

Taped on February 26th from the FleetCenter in Boston, MA, with Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler calling the action, unless otherwise noted. Taped for Sunday Night Heat: Rikishi pinned Perry Saturn, Test pinned The Hurricane, Rob Van Dam pinned Lance Storm, and Edge defeated Mr. Perfect by disqualification (featured on the DVD set "Edge: A Decade of Decadence).. No unique or interesting dark matches, just Spike Dudley pinning Funaki. The card for WrestleMania (X-8) is coming together, and outside of maybe two matches, none of the build is doing much to light the world on fire, especially the build for the Undisputed Championship. The Network/Peacock version of this episode is an 84-minute run time, so I'm curious if they cut something or the show ran short and was padded by extra commercials.

Tonight's Main Event: Triple H and Kane vs Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle. Angle went from being a consistent part of the World Title scene to a thrown-together feud with KANE for WrestleMania.

The Hardy Boyz & Lita vs. The Dudley Boyz & Stacy Keibler:

Stacy comes out with her ankle taped up. I know it's pro wrestling, but I couldn't imagine doing chicken-shit heel booking that lazy these days. I'd need someone on crutches at least, not taped up and walking to the ring without any kind of assistance. This seems a little random too, mostly due to them not crossing paths on Monday Night Raw. Hold on, through the magic of post-production, Bubba Ray cuts the most vanilla promo he's ever cut, saying Stacy hurt herself in a vigorous photoshoot, and introduces her replacement… WWF Women's Champion, Jazz. Whatever. Jazz gets right in Lita's face and works her over in the corner. Jazz with a snap suplex. Whip to the ropes and Lita with a spinning hurricanrana. Bubba cuts her off, yanking her down by the hair. Cole says Molly suffered a stinger on Raw. Lita avoids a splash and gets to her corner, tagging in Jeff. He hits Bubba with a pair of dropkicks but Bubba avoids Whisper in the Wind. Combo back suplex and neck breaker on Jeff. Whip and D'Von with his signature spinning back elbow. Whip and a powerslam from D'Von for two. Double flapjack and a series of elbow drops from Bubba for two. Whip to the corner and Jeff with a head-scissors, followed by a DDT. Matt with the hot tag, running wild on D'Von with clotheslines. Matt with "he calls that the Side Effect" but Jazz saves. Lita sends Jazz to the floor, shoves D'Von off the top rope, and gives Bubba the wassup drop. Jeff takes out Bubba on the floor with a plancha. Jazz tries giving Matt a Fisherman Suplex but Matt counters with a suplex of his own. Lita with a Spear. Whip and Lita with a butt-ugly tilt-o-whirl slam that Jazz almost doesn't get her shoulder up on time. Stacy comes in from behind, hits Lita with a standing heel kick ("on her alleged bad ankle!"), and Jazz finishes with the Fisherman Buster at 5:44. I think you could've had Jazz take the loss here to set up a natural challenger, but other than that, a fun little match.

Meanwhile, the Undertaker is backstage, watching what he did to Arn Anderson on Monday Night Raw, when Ric Flair enters, calling Undertaker a cold-hearted pr*ck. All Undertaker wants is a yes for WrestleMania. Flair rips the tape from the VCR and says he'll give Undertaker his answer tonight.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin comes to the ring, chair in hand and knee heavily bandaged to sell having A CINDER BLOCK smashed over it on Monday Night Raw. So you're doing back to back segments with people taped up to sell injuries (either storyline legitimate or imaginary)? Austin doesn't get out a word before the nWo make their presence known. Austin says he's taking out the first SOB who comes to the ring. Hogan says Austin is in no position to make any threats, just like the Rock. He leaves Austin to Hall and Nash, because the gimp is already in checkmate, and he has better things to do. Hall calls Austin a white-trash beer-guzzling redneck. Is that an insult? Hall says what happened on Raw is just the beginning of Austin being treated like an animal. At WrestleMania, he's doing down and out. Nash says instead of waiting for WrestleMania, Hall should go to the ring and kick the gimp's a$$ right now. Austin says Hall doesn't have to walk down here, because he's going to walk up there and he's not going to bring his little friend either. Austin stops halfway up the ramp and whips out a gun (Nash's words)! He takes out Nash with a NET and gets about 4-seconds worth of a$$-whooping on Hall before Hall cuts him off and runs. I guess when this was done live, the net didn't shoot the first time, and the whole thing looked like a mess. Thank goodness for the magic of taped television.

Non-Title Match: William Regal (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Big Show:

Regal made some negative remarks about the Big Show on Monday Night Raw, so here we are. Thank goodness this is Non-Title, because the match on Raw was a contender's match for the Intercontinental Title, and Show wasn't the winner. Regal avoids a lockup and goes after the legs. Show catches Regal off the ropes with a bearhug and sends him to the floor with a big boot. Show makes sure to keep Regal at ringside, giving him a taste of the ring steps. Regal gets sent over the top rope via press slam. Show pounds him down in the corner and lays Regal out with a short-arm clothesline. Regal gets sent from corner to corner. Show meets a knee, but cuts Regal off from reaching into his tights. Show takes down the straps and calls for the Chokeslam. Regal with the POWER OF THE PUNCH, but Show teeters off the ropes and falls on Regal for the three-count at 2:46. Regal's reaction to that was priceless and worth the payoff.

Booker T is hyping himself up for the Japanese Shampoo commercial, and says he wrote his own script to practice. "Just because you know kung-fu doesn't mean you know shampoo!" We find out he's practicing in front of Tajiri and Torrie Wilson. Torrie translates that Tajiri calls the performance offensive, then asks why he made fun of the hair of Japanese people when Booker's hair looks like "Buckwheat on crack." Looks like we've got a match for later tonight!

Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon are backstage scheming, but Stephanie is irritated that she doesn't have the right lotion and treats Jericho like a gofer, who is too much of a wimp to confront her for her bad attitude. YOUR WRESTLEMANIA MAIN EVENT, BAY-BAY!

WWF Hardcore Championship Match:
Maven (c) vs. Goldust:

We see Chris from Tough Enough (Chris Nowinski, a.k.a. Chris Harvard) is in the front row. Even though Maven won the belt from the Undertaker a few weeks ago, I keep forgetting the title exists. We've still got another 6-months until it would be put out of its misery. Lawler and Cole are shilling the Tough Enough 2 special airing immediately after Smackdown. I had to think for a second who won that season, and then remembered the horror. THE HORROR. SIDE NOTE: I've recently discovered Maven has his own YouTube channel, and it's definitely worth a watch. There was a stretch where it seemed like he wanted to forget about his wrestling past, but has come to embrace it and has a natural presence talking to the viewer. ANYWAY, back to 2002 Maven. Goldust gets the jump, laying Maven out with a clothesline. Whip and Goldust with the jumping hip attack. Snap mare and Goldust comes off the ropes with a fist drop for two. Maven reverses a second whip and catches Goldust with an inverted atomic drop but goes flying over the ropes missing a clothesline. Goldust fetches some toys and whacks Maven across the head with a trash can lid. Maven comes back, punting a trash can into Goldust's face for a near-fall. Goldust quickly cuts him off and slingshots Maven into the corner. Goldust with a gourd buster, but instead of covering he looks for more gimmicks, deciding on a fire extinguisher. Maven sets it off in Goldust's face and rolls him up for three at 3:10. Just your typical Hardcore Title Match. "Maven's dream continues!" Uh, Michael, MAVEN HAS A CONTRACT. The celebration is short-lived, as the Undertaker's entrance takes center stage. He gives Maven another warm welcome to the WWF until AL SNOW makes the save. Where's Teddy Long to make this an official match?! Wait...IT IS A MATCH...

Al Snow vs. The Undertaker:

We've got a referee and a bell, so this must be legal. Snow unloads with more right hands until Taker reverses a whip to the corner and charges in with a clothesline. Snow puts on the brakes on a whip across the ring and sends Taker over the top rope with a thrust kick. Taker picks the ankle, drags Snow to the outside and gives him a one-way ticket to the ring steps. Snow avoids a chair shot to the head, but Taker kindly audibles and gives him a chokeslam on the floor instead. Ric Flair makes his way down the ramp and pulls a lead pipe from Taker's bike. He saves Snow from the dragon sleeper and lays into Taker with the pipe, and I guess we're calling this a No Contest at 2:00. Flair snatches the microphone and tells Undertaker the answer for WrestleMania is still "no." If Taker ever touches a friend of his again, he's going to show him why he's the dirtiest player in the game. As long as Taker doesn't take those words literally, everything should be OK.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Billy & Chuck (c) vs. The APA:

We look back at Billy and Chuck's ambush of the APA at the Friendly Tap on Raw. I guess the APA didn't want to wait for WrestleMania and wanted the match NOW. YEAH, THAT'S SMART. Bradshaw chases Billy around the ring while Faarooq puts a hurting on Chuck. Bradshaw catches Billy coming off the ropes and tosses him with a fallaway slam. Combo back suplex and neck breaker to Billy. Chuck and his butchered hair gets tossed out of the ring while Faarooq continues to rag doll Billy. Teddy Long is almost as bad as Rick Knox is these days at maintaining order. Double-team Powerbomb to Chuck. Billy sends Bradshaw into the steps as Faarooq hits Chuck with a spine-buster. Billy with the Fame-Asser and Chuck covers to retain at 2:33. Cole cries Billy wasn't legal when the referee literally allowed all four men to come and go as they pleased.

Meanwhile, Maven is getting tended to in the trainer's room. Goldust attacks and covers him to win the Hardcore Championship. "What the hell is this?" OH MY GOD, HOW DUMB IS MICHAEL COLE IN 2002?!?!?!

Meanwhile, Booker T interrupts Tajiri's phone call and snatches his phone to talk to the "Japanese Shampoo commercial people." Then he snatches a bottle of shampoo from Torrie Wilson and calls her a Yak.

We get a video presentation courtesy of Hulk Hogan himself. It opens with Hogan's winning the WWF Championship from the Iron Sheik at MSG and segues into a highlight reel set to "Real American", showcasing the Hulkster in action during the height of his WWF popularity (oh, and winning the title at WrestleMania IX). Then the WWF fans drove him out of the WWF and he went to World Championship Wrestling (with a quick soundbite of "American Made") and eventually betrayed his best friend and WCW to form the New World Order alongside Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. We jump ahead to the present day and the nWo making their WWF return at No Way Out and the beatdown of the Rock the next night on Monday Night Raw. Great segment that put over Hulk Hogan's status as an icon in Sports Entertainment.

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Booker T:

I'm sure we'll get a reasonable conclusion to this Japanese Shampoo commercial saga sooner than later. Booker with a boot to the midsection, followed by chops and a series of clubbing forearms. Lawler makes sure to point out Scotty will never have to worry about being cast for a shampoo commercial. Scotty skins the cat and returns fire with right hands, followed by a diving forearm. Whip is reversed and Booker plants him with a spine-buster. Booker with a standing heel kick and suplex for two. Scotty's comeback attempt is cut short about 5-seconds in. Whip from corner to corner, Booker misses a charge but counters the bulldog that sets up the Worm. Booker shows off his Kung-Fu and misses a heel kick, straddling the top rope. Scotty hits the bulldog on the second attempt but the Worm is countered with a boot to the face. Booker with a Hot Shot and the Axe Kick. He stops to celebrate with a Spin-a-rooni and finishes with a jumping heel kick at 4:26. Just a long squash for Booker. Unfortunately, the celebration is short-lived as we see EDGE is announced as the spokesperson for the shampoo company.

WrestleMania Moment: The Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz, and Edge and Christian go to war at WrestleMania 2000.

Christian is backstage, venting about being under the guidance of Diamond Dallas Page in an attempt to get his head back in the game. Christian's first step to winning ways is by developing a winning relationship with fans. DDP brings in two kids for Christian to interact with. He flashes an awful smile and one of the kids calls him ugly. Hopefully Christian doesn't tell him his dad is dead. Nope, instead he makes fun of them for not having a daddy because he left them. YES! ORIGIN STORY!

Triple H & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Kurt Angle (w/ Stephanie McMahon):

I'm surprised they're giving away Triple H vs. Jericho under any circumstances this far ahead of WrestleMania (number never mentioned by the commentary team). Did anyone actually visit the wrestler domains, like WWFHHH.com? Hunter nails Jericho off the apron and Kane brings Angle into the ring to kick off the match. Whip to the ropes and Kane with a BAAAAACK body drop, followed by a clothesline that sends Angle over the top rope. Hunter unloads on Jericho in the ring and hits him with a running high knee. Whip to the ropes and Jericho cuts him off with a diving forearm. Yay, Stephanie hollering at ringside is always great. Hunter takes Jericho down with a goozle and unloads with rights. Kane tags in, sending Jericho to the corner. Whip to the ropes and he gives Jericho a rough landing. Kane charges into the corner with a clothesline, but a second attempt is countered with a boot to the face and a missile dropkick. Angle tags in and reluctantly charges with Kane back on his feet. Kane catches Angle off the ropes with a tilt-o-whirl slam, but a distraction from Jericho allows Angle to take Kane off his feet. Whip and Kane lays both men out with a double clothesline. He signals for the Tombstone but Jericho saves. They take turns working the leg of Kane. When I think of the Ricky Morton role, I think of a "7-foot" monster. Kane fights out of a grapevine, smacking Angle across the face with his free leg. Angle cuts him off with a German suplex and clips the knee again. He goes to the well once too often and Kane greets him with a clothesline. Angle fights out of a Chokeslam, ducks the enzuigiri and applies the Ankle Lock. Triple H saves, planting Angle with a DDT. Jericho gets caught with a spinning back suplex, finally allowing Hunter to get the hot tag. He runs wild on Angle with right hands and hits Jericho with a neck breaker. Whip to the ropes and a spine-buster to Angle gets two. Hunter with a knee to the face and Jericho saves again. The referee wastes time with Kane, allowing Stephanie McMahon to get in the ring. Hunter blocks her slap and teases a Pedigree, but Jericho lays him out with a belt shot and Angle covers for a two-count. Ankle Lock applied, but Kane saves with a flying lariat. Kane no-sells a chair shot from Stephanie and brains Angle with the chair. Hunter with the Pedigree for three at 10:13. Energetic finish to an otherwise pedestrian match, especially with Kane being the unlikely face-in-peril.

Final Thoughts: We continue to march towards WrestleMania, and with the top matches already announced, we're waiting to see how the rest of the card fills out. We know we're getting Flair vs. Undertaker, we just don't know what Taker will do to get the "yes" he's been looking for from Flair, and oh my God, are we really going to do Edge vs Booker T with the basis of their feud being about a JAPANESE SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL?! The APA demanding to use their title shot on this episode leaves the door wide open for the Tag Titles, but with the division ice cold, without previous knowledge, I don't have any idea how they're going to come up with a meaningful match for the straps.

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