Gaylord Entertainment Center – Nashville, Tennessee – May 19, 2002
SUNDAY NIGHT HEAT MATCH: European Title Match – William Regal vs. D’Lo Brown
Regal has been the Champion since 5.6.02, and this is his first defense. Brown is a former four-time European Champion, which ties him with the current Champion for the most times to ever hold this particular title. They chain wrestle to start and Regal takes the first advantage. Brown fights back and knocks Regal to the floor. He suplexes him back in from the apron for a two-count. Brown keeps up the pressure, almost pinning Regal with a backslide. He drops his head too soon on a back body drop attempt and Regal takes advantage of the rookie mistake. Regal goes to work with his unorthodox offense, keeping Brown off guard and on the mat. After a few minutes Brown catches Regal with a spinning side slam and both men are down. They rise and trade strikes. Brown wins that battle and unleashes a flurry of offense. He tries a cross body block but Regal catches Brown and drops him in the ropes. Regal then scores a quick rollup to get the pin and retain the title at 6:22. That was perfectly decent Heat fare, between the two top European Champions ever. It’s too bad they never did more in the way of a feud between these two.
MATCH #1: Intercontinental Title Match – Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam
Guerrero has been the Champion since 4.21.02, and this is his fifth defense. He won the title from RVD back at Backlash. Things get heated quickly between these two rivals, but the challenger seems to be a step quicker than the Champion. Guerrero bails to the floor to take a breather. Back in the ring Guerrero I sable to take control, but just briefly. RVD gets Guerrero in position to hit a split-legged moonsault to the back. He continues to focus on the back and scores another near-fall after a back body drop and a spinning leg drop. RVD works the back some more, even using the surfboard hold to further injure the back. He hits a standing moonsault for two. Guerrero of course cheats to gain the advantage. RVD fights back with a monkey flip and then another one. He hits Rolling Thunder for a near-fall. Guerrero counters a suplex with an O’Connor Roll for two. RVD responds with a step over heel kick. He goes up top and Guerrero shoves him down on his crotch. Guerrero pulls RVD out of the corner with a nice powerbomb. He goes up top but misses the Frog Splash. RVD drills Guerrero with a spin kick. He goes up top but he misses the Five-Star Frog Splash. Both men are down. They rise up and start moving around the ring like greased lightning. RVD hits a cross body block for two. He grabs a backslide for another two-count. RVD tries a spin kick but Guerrero ducks it and gets his own backslide (with feet on the ropes) to get the pin at 10:58. That is a totally forgotten classic opener, with fast-paced action from both guys. They kept the crowd into it and made each other look good, and the finish was classic Eddie stuff.
MATCH #2: Women’s Championship Match – Trish Stratus vs. Stacy Keibler
Stratus has been the Champion since 5.13.02, and this is her first defense. She has Bubba Ray Dudley in her corner, while Keibler has Reverend D-Von and Deacon Batista in her corner. They start off quickly and Keibler hits a nice roundhouse kick for an early near-fall. Keibler this a back body drop for another two-count. Stratus fights back with clotheslines and a Boston Crab. Keibler uses her leg strength to escape. Stratus hits a nice neckbreaker for two. She kicks Keibler all the way to the floor, where the challenger throws a temper tantrum. Bubba laughs at Keibler, so she slaps him. That kerfuffle distracts the referee long enough for Batista to sneak in the ring and bodyslam Stratus, which actually only gets a two-count. Keibler goes for a back body drop and Stratus kicks her in the face. Stratus delivers a baseball slide to Batista. Keibler charges over and accidentally hits Batista! Stratus then hits a bulldog to get the pin at 2:55. That was actually going well until the very abrupt finish. I’m not sure what got into Stacy Keibler on this night, but she looked like a decent wrestler.
D-Von and Bubba Ray come face to face after the match and shake hands. Batista then tries to attack Bubba but gets dumped to the floor. D-Von then levels Bubba with a clothesline, and now the beatdown is on. Batista brings in a table. He hits Bubba with the collection box, and then they flapjack Bubba through the table.
MATCH #3: The Hardy Boyz vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
Matt and Jeff attack Lesnar before he can even get to the ring. They turn their attention to Heyman, but Lesnar recovers and clotheslines both Hardys. Lesnar focuses on Jeff, whom he destroyed last month at Backlash. Matt tries his hand but doesn’t fare much better. After getting tossed around a bit Matt is able to hit a tornado DDT. Jeff tags in and hits the Whisper in the Wind. He follows with the chinbreaker, and then the Hardys hit the dueling legdrops. Poetry in Motion follows and then they dump Lesnar to the floor. The Hardys once again chase Heyman and they’re able to hit him with Poetry in Motion. Lesnar pulls Matt to the floor and takes him out. Jeff is on the top rope and Lesnar catches him on the way down, but Jeff is able to fall back on top for a two-count. Lesnar gets back to his feet and throws Jeff into Matt on the apron, sending Matt down to the floor. He then hits Jeff with the F-5. Heyman begs to be tagged in so he can score the pin at 4:47. That was fun enough for the time it got. Few things were as fun in 2002 WWE as watching Brock Lesnar manhandle Jeff Hardy.
MATCH #4: Handicap Match – Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Ric Flair & Big Show
Flair and Show are actually representing the nWo here. Remember that? Austin immediately starts throwing hands and he dominates a giant and the greatest wrestler of all-time. Of course he does. Austin dumps Flair to the floor and tries to put Show in the Figure-Four Leglock. Flair breaks that up so Austin puts the hold on him instead. Show tries to break it up with an elbow drop but misses. Austin breaks the hold and goes outside to grab a chair, but this is not a no-disqualification match. Referee Charles Robinson takes the chair, so Austin goes out for another one. Order is restored without any chairs being used. Austin continues to dominate Flair, so the nWo team regroups on the floor. Back in the ring Austin continues to dominate so Flair thumbs him int eh eye. Flair hits some chops, and Austin fires back with his own chops. Austin hits a back body drop and mounted punches in the corner. Flair tries to bring Austin out with an inverted atomic drop but Austin blocks it and clotheslines Flair down. Show tags in and uses his size and power to finally make Austin sell something for more than a second. Flair comes back in and it doesn’t take Austin long to go back on offense. Austin just wouldn’t sell for anybody at this point. Show cuts him off with a nice powerslam. Flair covers for two. Show and Flair work together on battering Austin’s heavily braced knees. Flair cinches on the Figure-Four Leglock and when Austin rolls it over Show breaks it up. Austin and Flair trade chops. Flair hits a shoulderblock and Austin responds with a spinebuster. Austin puts on the Figure-Four Leglock and Show breaks it up again. Show tags in officially and runs into a boot. Austin goes to the second rope to hit the Thesz Press. He has one for Flair too. Austin hits Flair with another spinebuster and Show breaks up the cover. X-Pac makes his way out to ringside as Austin hits Show with a Stunner. Show is still on his feet. X-Pac comes in the ring and accidentally kicks Show in the face. Austin hits X-Pac with the Stunner. He then hits Flair with a Stunner to get the pin at 15:34. That felt even longer than it was, given the repetitive nature of Austin not selling and using the same moves. I also have no idea why X-Pac needed to interfere, and why there was no disqualification. Austin was getting hard to watch at this time.
MATCH #5: Hair vs. Hair Match – Edge vs. Kurt Angle
Angle takes early control of the matchup but Edge manages a quick rollup for two. Edge comes back and tosses Angle for the floor and follows him out with a baseball slide. He throws Angle back in Angle gets in some punches and kicks before Edge comes back with a back body drop. Edge ties Angle’s arms into the ropes and delivers a Spear, but then tries another and Angle is ale to free himself and hit a belly-to-belly suplex, sending Edge crashing to the floor. That was a nasty bump. Back in the ring Angle maintains control. He even hits a spinebuster. You don’t see that every day. A DDT by Angle gets two. Angle then puts on the chin lock but Edge won’t give in. Edge almost powers out of it but Angle slams him back down to the mat and hits a suplex for two. He puts on a front face lock, which Edge also powers out of. This time he’s able to hit a nice belly-to-belly suplex on Angle and both men are down. They get back up and Edge is on fire, hitting clotheslines and an Edge-O-Matic for two. Angle comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Edge responds by sending Angle to the floor and hitting a plancha. Back in the ring Edge goes to the top rope, and thwarts an attempt at the pop-up superplex, and hits a missile dropkick for two. Angle comes back with a release German Suplex. He tries another one and Edge gets a quick rollup for two. Edge comes back with a sit-out DDT. He goes back to the top rope and this time Angle hits the pop-up belly-to-belly superplex, and Edge kicks out at two. Edge comes back with an awesome rope-assisted DDT, and I wish he would still do that move. In fact I don’t recall ever seeing him do it besides right here. The referee gets in Edge’s way, and the distraction allows Angle to hit another suplex. He goes to the floor and grabs a chair, but Edge hits the Spear before Angle can use the chair. Unfortunately for Edge there’s no referee. He tries another Spear but Angle kicks him in the chest. He tries the Angle Slam but Edge slips out of it and hits another Spear but Angle kicks out! The crowd is really hot by this point. Edge tries the Edgecution but Angle avoids it and hits a Spear and the Angle Slam but Edge kicks out! Angle pulls the straps down and locks on the Ankle Lock. Edge reverses that with an enziguiri. Angle shakes it off and puts on the Ankle Lock again. Edge kicks him off and snags an inside cradle to score the pin at 15:30. There wasn’t a lot of selling to speak of, but both guys looked like they were legitimately fighting hard to avoid getting their head shaved, and the last few minutes were super hot.
MATCH #6: Hell in a Cell Match – Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
Triple H dominates early and throws Jericho to the floor. Jericho makes the comeback inside the ring and chokes HHH. They continue to go back and forth with HHH taking a majority of the offense. Jericho comes back by whipping HHH into the corner, and he goes flying to the floor. They fight outside the ring and Jericho’s shoulder is bleeding. He catapults HHH into the wall, and then grabs a ladder. He uses it to beat on HHH, and also uses the ring steps. The Game is busted open now, and Jericho stays in control, even hitting a bulldog onto the leader. He brings the steps into the ring and tries to hit HHH, who gets a drop toehold and Jericho’s face eats the steel. HHH hits a neckbreaker and a facebuster. He straight up throws the stairs at Jericho’s arm. They go outside the ring and HHH is throwing Jericho around now. Back in the ring the referee gets violently bumped off the apron and hits the cell. That caused a legitimate injury that ended his referring career. I think he still works in the office somewhere though. Jericho pours salt in the wound by throwing White into the cell and punching him. Even the referee gets color! Jericho thinks White cost him the match, but I don’t even see in kayfabe terms where he’s getting that from. Back in the ring Jericho eats a spinebuster. HHH introduces the sledgehammer and drills Jericho with it, but all the referees are occupied with Tim White so no one can make the count. Jericho rolls to the floor and crawls out the door left open by the referees. They fight outside the cell and over to the announce table, where Jericho tries a Pedigree on HHH, who reverses it to a DDT. HHH Finds a barbed wire 2×4, so Jericho climbs to the top of the cell to avoid him. The board has a handy carrying handle, so he climbs to the top to meet Jericho. For some reason HHH lets Jericho pick up the board and he this him over the back with it. He hits him again, and then puts on the Walls of Jericho. Referee Mike Chioda actually climbs to the top of the cell to ask HHH if he gives up. Hell yeah Chioda, way to climb that cell! HHH frees himself and Jericho almost falls off the cell. He picks up the board again but this time HHH slugs him in the balls. He goes for the Pedigree but Jericho back body drops him. This time the cell doesn’t break! HHH commandeers the board and hits Jericho in the head with it. He covers for two. He finally gets the Pedigree and that’s enough to get the pin at 24:31. That’s the only Hell in a Cell match to end at the top of the cell. The match had effort and blood, but the feud never really seemed to call for this match so the whole thing seemed like they were trying too hardy to put something there that just wasn’t. This would be Jericho’s last trip to Hell as of this writing.
MATCH #7: World Tag Team Championship Match – Billy & Chuck vs. Rikishi & A Mystery Partner
Billy & Chuck have been the Champions since 2.21.02, and this is their ninth defense. Rikishi’s partner, as selected by Mr. McMahon himself, is none other than Billy & Chuck’s stylist Rico! Oh that wacky Vince McMahon. Billy and Rikishi start the match, and Billy foolishly tries a DDT. Of course that has no affect and Rikishi pops up and hits a superkick. Billy & Chuck double-team Rikishi to take the advantage. Chuck hits an impressive belly-to-belly suplex on the big man. Billy follows with the Fame-Ass-Er for a two-count. Rikishi grabs Chuck and hits his own belly-to-belly suplex but can only stay in the cover for one. Both men rise and Rikishi unloads with strikes. Rikishi hits a back body drop, and then flattens Billy with a Samoan Drop. Chuck tries a sunset flip but Rikishi sits on him for a two-count. Rikishi hits Billy with a pop-up Ace Crusher to send him back to the floor. Chuck scores a quick dropkick, and then holds Rikishi for Rico to spin kick him. Rico accidentally hits Chuck! Rikishi hits his own partner with a superkick and then covers Chuck to get the pin and win the titles at 3:50. That felt like a match for TV, but something had to go on between Hell in a Cell and the main event. And people complain about the Tag Team Division now!
MATCH #8: WWE Undisputed Championship Match – Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker
Hogan has been the Champion since 4.21.02, and this is his third defense, previously defeating Chris Jericho on SmackDown and Ric Flair on RAW. Undertaker attacks Hogan before the bell and assaults him with his own weight lifting belt. Hogan pops up and unloads with punches. Hogan gets control of the belt and whips Undertaker with it. The Champion controls the early going of the match and sends Undertaker to the floor. Hogan rips the shirt off and now the match can REALLY begin. Out on the floor the Undertaker takes control but Hogan reverses a whip into the steel steps and Undertaker crashes knees-first. Back in the ring Undertaker tries Old School but Hogan yanks himself away from it and Undertaker falls on his groin. Hogan delivers a superplex but it only gets two. Undertaker fights back by going after the leg and grounding Hogan. Of course Hogan fights up and delivers the Big Boot! Hogan goes for the Leg Drop but Undertaker catches it and locks on a half crab. The hold is broken when Hogan reaches the bottom rope. Undertaker charges in with a boot but Hogan ducks it and Undertaker connects with the top rope. Hogan misses a clothesline and Undertaker hits the World’s Lamest Chokeslam for a two-count. That causes Hogan to Hulk Up and the crowd is into it. Hogan hits the Big Boot and this time lands the Leg Drop but Undertaker kicks out! The foolish Champion goes for a back body drop and Undertaker catches him with a DDT. Mr. McMahon makes his way out for some reason. Undertaker grabs and the referee gets distracted by McMahon. Hogan kicks the chair back in Undertaker’s face and hits the Leg Drop again but the referee is not there to count. An angry Hogan brings McMahon in the ring and knocks him out. Hogan hits the Leg Drop on McMahon. Undertaker takes the opportunity to crack Hogan with the chair. He hits the Chokeslam to get the pin and win the title for a fourth time at 11:09. They stayed within their physical limitations and wisely overbooked the finish, so this match wasn’t a disaster or anything, it just wasn’t particularly good or engaging. Undertaker as a heel was just weird, and the Hogan nostalgia tour was losing steam already.