WWE: The Best of SmackDown – 10th Anniversary, 1999-2009

September 15, 2009


MATCH #1: Undertaker vs. Randy Orton, 9.16.05

These two traded victories at WrestleMania 21 and SummerSlam, so this is a rubber match. The match is joined in progress, and Undertaker is dominating. He goes after Orton’s arm. Undertaker goes up to the top rope and tries Old School, but Orton kicks the rope and Undertaker gets crotched on the top rope. Orton hits a series of right hands and goes up for a superplex. Undertaker blocks it the first time but Orton is successful on the second try. Orton calls for his dad to bring out the truck, in this case a U-Haul. Meanwhile Undertaker sits up, but Orton plants him with a DDT. The U-Haul contains a casket, and Orton is in control as we cut to commercial. Back from the break and Orton has Undertaker in a chinlock. Undertaker powers out of it, but Orton levels him with a dropkick for two. Orton goes back to the chinlock and uses the ropes for leverage. Undertaker once again gets back to his feet, and this time Orton hits a bodyslam, and then goes up to the second rope. Orton tries the Flying Something, and Undertaker gets his boot up. Undertaker briefly takes control, but Orton cuts him off with the inverted backbreaker for a two-count. Orton tries a clothesline but Undertaker ducks and hits the flying clothesline. Undertaker hits Snake Eyes and a big boot to the face. He follows up with a Leg Drop for two, and I’m stunned that a big boot to the face and legdrop combination didn’t finish the match. Undertaker signals for the Chokeslam, but Orton avoids it. He then clotheslines Orton to the floor, where he chases Cowboy Bob Orton away. Undertaker opens the casket, and Undertaker sees a visage of himself. The distraction allows Orton to slam Undertaker into the barricade and the steel steps. Back in the ring Orton is working Undertaker over with forearms. He then stupidly goes for mounted punches in the corner, and Undertaker tries the Last Ride. Orton slips out, Undertaker accidentally clotheslines the referee, and Orton hits the RKO. Another referee makes his way down but Undertaker kicks out at two. Undertaker then sits up and he looks unhappy. He nails Orton with a chokeslam, but Cowboy Bob pulls the referee out at two. Cowboy gets in the ring and gets punched in the face for his troubles. Orton tries another RKO but Undertaker shoves him off. Undertaker then hits a Tombstone Piledriver and the first referee is back to count the fall at 15:41 (shown). The stuff with the casket was kind of silly, but the match was mostly a pretty good TV main event.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Steel Cage Match – Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, 9.9.05

This is the standard “pinfall, submission, or escape to win” cage match. Theodore Long and Palmer Cannon are in a skybox hanging out with Christy Hemme and Stacy Keibler. They show a quick video package highlighting this feud. It started off very strong with just the competitive spark setting Eddie off, but when they started the stuff with Dominic it fizzled. This is from Smackdown’s Friday night debut show. Rey is 7-0 against Eddie this year. They start throwing punches right away and Eddie immediately throws Rey into the side of the cage. He gets Rey in a powerbomb position and runs his head into the cage a few times. Rey comes back with his agility and sets up for a 619 and then realizes that the cage prevents him from doing that move. Eddie climbs up the cage and Rey hits a nice sunset bomb. Rey climbs up now and Eddie grabs him and pulls him down, causing Rey to awkwardly bend his knee on the top rope. We go to commercial and come back with Eddie climbing the cage. Rey goes up to stop him, and winds up taking a side Russian legsweep all the way down to the mat. They get up and Rey charges. Eddie tries to throw him into the cage but Rey hangs on and tries to climb out. Eddie stops him and they battle on top of the cage. Rey gets both his legs over and Eddie is hanging on. He pulls Rey back in and Rey almost punches Eddie right off the cage. They get back down on the top rope and Rey hits a sweet dropkick and both men fall to the mat. Eddie gets up and hits a DDT and tries to escape out the door. Rey pulls him back in. We go to another commercial and come back to Rey climbing up the cage. Eddie goes up and tries a powerbomb, but Rey wriggles out and tries to climb over the cage. Rey gets back in the powerbomb position and hits a rana, possibly hurting his knee in the process. He slowly tries to climb out, and kicks Eddie back down to the ring. He tries a cross body off the top of the cage and Eddie moves. Eddie walks out the door and could have had the match won, but instead he goes back in and hits the Frog Splash to get the pin at 11:07. That’s a good finish. They did some cool stuff with the cage and Eddie was just such a great heel, which helped make this yet another good TV match from Eddie.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #3: Intercontinental Championship Match – Chris Jericho vs. Chyna, 12.30.99

Jericho has been the champion since 12.12.99. Chyna won at Survivor Series (I was there), and Jericho won the title at Armageddon so this is a rubber match. Jericho goes right to the headlock, and Chyna counters to a hammerlock. Chyna lands an elbow to the chest and whips Jericho into the turnbuckle. She hits the cartwheel elbow in the corner, and follows up with a DDT for two. Jericho gets tied up in the ropes, but when Chyna charges Jericho is able to get free and the challenger falls to the floor. The champion hits the springboard dropkick and slaps Chyna around on the floor. Back in the ring Jericho goes up top and the Kat distracts the referee. Chyna catches Jericho with a low blow off the top rope, and then a swinging neckbreaker for two. Jericho reverses an Irish whip to the turnbuckle and hits a bulldog. He follows up with the Lionsault (sort of) for two. Jericho hits a spinning heel kick and referee Jimmy Korderas takes an inadvertent bump. He brings a steel chair in the ring but Chyna avoids it and hits a weak looking Pedigree. A new referee comes out but Jericho kicks out at two. Jericho hits a belly-to-back suplex onto the chair, and each referee counts one set of shoulders down for the inconclusive finish at 3:50. I hate the finish, and I hate that it led to “co” Intercontinental Champions, but for four minutes the match wasn’t bad.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #4: United States Championship Match – John Cena vs. Carlito, 10.7.04

Cena has been the champion since 10.3.04, and this is his first defense. The champion tears right after the challenger, and the match quickly spills to the floor. It’s one hundred percent Cena in the early going. This is Carlito’s debut match, by the way. Cena hits a delayed vertical suplex for the first near-fall of the match. He stays in control, hitting a kind of scary back body drop and a legdrop for two. A side suplex gets another two. They go back to the floor and Cena whips Carlito into the steel steps. Carlito makes it back to the ring and Cena continues the slaughter. Cena charges and Carlito pulls a low bridge to send Cena crashing to the floor. Carlito follows the champ to the floor and rams his head into the apron and the announce table. He tries a piledriver and Cena reverses it to a catapult, sending Carlito sailing over the guardrail and into the crowd. We take a commercial break and come back to Cena missing a cross body block off the ropes. Carlito hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. A suplex gets another two-count for the challenger. A slingshot elbow from the apron gets yet another two-count. Carlito puts on a chinlock to try and wear the champion down. Cena powers up and hits a backdrop on Carlito to break the hold. He fires up and hits a flurry of offense for a two-count. The champ hits the Jericho bulldog and the Five Knuckle Shuffle for two. Cena goes for the F-U but Carlito blocks it, only to get knocked to the floor. Carlito grabs the U.S. Title belt and brings it in the ring. Cena promptly punches him in the face and takes the belt himself. Referee Brian Hebner stops him from using it, and in the confusion Carlito grabs Cena’s chain. With the referee’s back turned, Carlito waffles Cena with the chain to get the pin and the title at 12:52 (shown). I’m sure I haven’t seen this match since it was first on if at all, but damn Cena did quite the job making Carlito look good in his debut.
Rating: ***

MATCH #5: WWE Champion vs. ECW Champion – Triple H vs. Tazz, 4.20.00

I’m pretty sure everyone knows the background to this so I don’t feel the need to recap the entire situation. Triple H has been the WWE Champion since 1.3.00, and Tazz has been the ECW Champion since 4.14.00. Tazz looks like a child next to Triple H. Naturally Triple H tries to intimidate him, but Tazz isn’t scared. Tazz hits Triple H with a clothesline and a series of punches in the corner. He goes for a suplex but Triple H blocks it and hits a clothesline. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, the Woman’s Champion, is of course at ringside. Tazz fights back with some punches and tries a back body drop. Triple H avoids that, but Tazz clotheslines Triple H to the floor and follows him out. Tazz slams Triple H’s head into the announce table, and then bodyslams him on the floor. Triple H reverses a whip and sends Tazz crashing into the steel steps. Back in the ring Triple H is firmly in control, hitting a suplex and a knee drop for two. Tazz fires back with punches once again and hits a belly-to-back suplex. Both men rise to their feet, and Tazz hits a back elbow and a Northern Lights suplex for two. Tazz tries a back body drop but gets a knee to the face. Triple H tries a clothesline but Tazz ducks and locks on the Tazzmission. Stephanie gets up on the apron to distract the referee, and Triple H hits a low blow and the Pedigree. Tommy Dreamer comes in from out of nowhere and tries to hit Triple H with a chair but he hits Tazz instead. Triple H hits Dreamer with a Pedigree, and then pins Tazz at 5:51. That was a lot of fun for the small amount of time they had.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: No-DQ Match for the Undisputed WWF Championship – Chris Jericho vs. Hulk Hogan, 5.2.02

Hogan has been the champion since 4.21.02, and I think this is his first defense. He’s slightly over at this point. Naturally, Hogan overpowers Jericho in the early going, shoving the challenger to the floor. Back in the ring Hogan locks on a headlock, and then knocks Jericho down with a shoulderblock. It’s all Hogan on offense here. He goes back to the headlock and Jericho escapes it with a belly-to-back suplex. Unfortunately for Jericho he misses an elbow drop and Hogan goes back to work. Hogan hits an Irish whip but Jericho gets his elbow up on the charge in and goes to the top rope. Jericho gloats up there, and Hogan slams him down to the mat. Hogan puts Jericho in the corner and hits the mounted punches as the fans count along. Jericho escapes that predicament with a low blow. He whips Hogan into the corner but misses a charge and goes crashing to the floor. Hogan follows him out and tries to run Jericho’s head into the steel post, but Jericho slips out and rams Hogan into the post instead. Jericho goes up top and hits an axe handle to the back. Back in the ring Jericho snaps Hogan’s neck off the top rope. Before too long Hogan starts Hulking Up and hits a bodyslam. He hits two elbow drops, but pauses before running off the ropes for a third one and Jericho moves. Jericho hits the bulldog and the Lionsault, but Triple H’s music hits out of nowhere and he makes his way to the commentator’s table. Meanwhile, Hogan misses a big boot and Jericho hits a DDT for two. Now Hogan is really Hulking Up. He hits the big boot but Jericho avoids the Legdrop and puts on the Walls of Jericho. Hogan reaches the ropes to break the hold. Jericho goes to the floor for a chair and cracks Hogan across the back with it. He goes to hit Hogan again, but this time Undertaker’s music hits, even though Undertaker isn’t actually there. Oh that wacky Triple H. Jericho is distracted long enough for Hogan to get a schoolboy to retain the title at 10:18. The match was okay given Hogan’s limitations at this point.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #7: Batista, Rey Mysterio, Finlay & Jeff Hardy vs. MVP, JBL, Kane & The Brian Kendrick, 10.3.08

This is from the debut on My Network TV. Batista, Mysterio, JBL, and Kane are on loan from Raw for this match. Kendrick is accompanied by Ezekiel Jackson. Kendrick and Finlay start the match, and I expect a lot of action in this one. Finlay takes the first advantage and tags Batista, who gets a move or two in before tagging Finlay back in. Hornswoggle interferes behind the referee’s back as we go to commercial. We come back and Mysterio is working Kendrick over now. Hardy gets tagged in and Kendrick gets a shot on him. Finlay gets tagged in and Kendrick hits him with a dropkick and gloats. Hornswoggle gets up on the apron wearing Kendrick’s ring jacket. Kendrick chases Hornswoggle and gets leveled with a clothesline from Finlay. Ezekiel Jackson responds by delivering a clothesline to Finlay. Back in the ring Kendrick tags JBL, who goes right to work on Finlay. Kane gets tagged in and he picks up right where JBL left off. MVP gets tagged in for the first time, and he hits a knee drop for a near-fall. JBL gets tagged back in and tries a back body drop, and Finlay hits a DDT. Both men are down, and JBL tags MVP while Finlay finally makes the tag to Batista. He pretty much takes on the whole team, throwing spinebusters at Kane and MVP. He goes for the Batista Bomb on MVP but Kendrick breaks it up. Batista then powerslams MVP down, and tags Mysterio, who gets on Batista’s shoulders and hits a splash for two. I have no idea who’s legal for the heel team. Mysterio goes for a dual 619 on MVP and Kendrick, but Kane pulls him to the floor as we go to commercial. We’re back and Kane is working over Mysterio in the ring. Kendrick, JBL, and MVP also get their turns beating on Mysterio. After several minutes Mysterio makes the comeback and tags Hardy, and he’s all over MVP. He hits Whisper in the Wind, and the match breaks down to a brawl. Amidst all the chaos Mysterio hits MVP with the 619, and Hardy follows with the Swanton to get the victory for his team at 13:31. That was a ton of fun, and a good match to showcase everyone involved.
Rating: ***¼


MATCH #8: Randy Orton vs. Hardcore Holly, 4.25.02

This is Orton’s TV debut. They take it to the mat right way, and the action is fast paced in the early going here. Orton hits a bulldog for two, and then Holly gets up and hits a hard clothesline. Holly slugs away at the face and looks ornery about it. He hits the kick to the lower abdomen and continues slugging away. Orton comes back with a nice dropkick for two. He hits a charging Holly with an elbow and then goes up top and hits a high cross body block, which Holly rolls through for a two-count. Orton gets a drop toehold and an Oklahoma Roll to get the upset win at 2:46. Well they did about as much as you can do in that amount of time.
Rating: *

MATCH #9: Handicap Tables Match – The Rock vs. The Dudley Boyz, 3.9.00

The Dudley Boyz had just recently won the World Tag Team Titles from the New Age Outlaws. Of all the people I don’t understand, Rock Haters are right near the top of the list. Rock is all offense from the get-go, using the ring bell to subdue both Bubba Ray and D-Von. He then grabs a chair and slams it into their heads. Rock follows Bubba into the crowd and they brawl amidst the people. Bubba and Devon start making their way to the back but Rock follows them and clotheslines both of them down. He suplexes Bubba on the entrance ramp, and then takes D-Von into the ring. Bubba also gets in the ring and now the champions take control. They hit the What’s Up, and continue wearing Rock down. Rock fights back with a flurry of offense. He hits Bubba with a Samoan Drop, and then a spinebuster on D-Von. Rock tries the People’s Elbow, but Bubba breaks it up. They bring a table into the ring and go for the 3D, but Rock avoids it and hits a Rock Bottom on Bubba through the table! Rock is halfway home as he goes out and grabs another table. He goes to Rock Bottom D-Von, but Bubba slams a chair into Rock’s back and they hit the 3D through a table to get the win at 7:04. That had a ton of energy, and Rock was just awesome.
Rating: **½

MATCH #10: Cruiserweight Championship Match – Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy, 6.5.03

This was the first time the Cruiserweight Title was the main event of any WWE show that wasn’t Velocity, to the best of my knowledge. Hardy has been the champion since 2.23.03. The champion is accompanied by his Mattitude Followers Shannon Moore and Crash. Mysterio’s family is at ringside. The champion tries to intimidate, and Mysterio get s quick rollup for two. Mysterio is a five-time Cruiserweight Champion, all reigns from WCW. Hardy clobbers Mysterio with a clothesline to the back of the neck. The referee catches Moore and Crash almost interfering. Mysterio makes a comeback with a modified dropkick and a slingshot splash for two. He tries another springboard maneuver, but Hardy knocks him to the floor. Moore and Crash swarm on Mysterio, and the referee catches them and send them to the locker room. Hardy goes to the floor to protest, and Mysterio hits a springboard seated senton as we go to commercial. We come back to Hardy trying a Splash Mountain, and Mysterio avoids it, only to get hit with a sneaky low blow. Hardy goes to work on Mysterio’s previously injured groin now. He locks on a half Boston Crab and Mysterio reaches the ropes. Mysterio makes a brief comeback but can’t connect with the 619 and Hardy goes right back to work on the injury. Mysterio avoids a charge in the corner, and reverse a powerslam into a DDT for two. He hits a bulldog off the second rope for two. Hardy comes back with a kick to the leg and he goes to the second rope. Mysterio joins him up there, and Hardy hits a Super Side Effect for only two! Hardy complains and Mysterio gets a quick cradle for two. Mysterio then hits a Twist of Fate for a near-fall. He hits the 619 and tries the West Coast Pop. Hardy catches him, but Mysterio reverses the momentum and sends Hardy crashing to the floor. Mysterio joins him out there and the referee begins the count. The champion distracts the referee on the floor while Moore and Crash interfere in the ring. Hardy goes up top and hits the guillotine legdrop but Mysterio kicks out to a thunderous pop! He tries the Twist of Fate, but Mysterio sweeps the legs and gets a jackknife pin to win the title at 10:23 (shown). They could have given it some more time, but the drama was certainly there. It’s too bad they never really did anything with the Cruiserweight Title.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #11: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Rob Van Dam, 9.4.01

RVD was just a tiny bit over at this point. Austin attacks RVD right away and kicks him down in the corner. This is a rare WWE Champion versus Hardcore Champion match, and also an Alliance versus Alliance match. RVD comes back with a spinning heel kick and unloads some offense, so Austin pokes him in the eye and goes back to work. Austin gets an Irish whip and charges into an elbow. RVD goes up top and gets shoved into the barricade. Austin follows him out and continues the punishment. They fight into the crowd, and RVD gains some life out there, hitting Austin with a spin kick to send him back to ringside. RVD slams Austin’s head into the announce table, but Austin comes back with a clothesline. Austin rams RVD’s head into the ring post and then the ring steps. Back in the ring Austin gets two-count. Austin sets RVD on the top rope and hits a superplex for two. RVD tries to come back with a dropkick but Austin avoids it and stays in control. Austin drags RVD to the floor and goes for a suplex, but RVD reverses it. RVD tries a clothesline but Austin ducks it and drops RVD crotch first on the guardrail. Back in the ring Austin hits a short-arm clothesline for two. Austin goes for the Stunner but RVD blocks it and hits a dropkick. RVD tries the cartwheel moonsault but Austin gets his knees up. Austin grabs a chair but gets it kicked back into his face! RVD goes up for the Five-Star Frog Splash but Austin knocks him down and goes for a superplex. He can’t hit it, and RVD knocks him down but misses the Five-Star. Austin lands a Stunner, but instead of going for the pin he tries the Ankle Lock. Kurt Angle’s music hits, distracting Austin, and RVD gets a rollup for the cheap win at 9:48. The finish was lazy as all hell, but the match was action packed and lots of fun.
Rating: ***

MATCH #12: Team Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri, 5.29.03

Eddie & Tajiri have been the champions since 5.18.03, and this is their second defense. The challengers attack before the bell can ring, and we’re off and running. Haas and Guerrero start the match proper, and Haas pitches him to the floor. Guerrero gets back in the ring and Team Angle works him over in their corner. Benjamin tosses Guerrero in the air and gets hit with a dropkick for his troubles. Guerrero tags Tajiri, who unleashes some kicks and a hurricanrana. Tajiri traps Benjamin in a rolling sunset flip for two. They get back to their feet and both men land a kick to the head as we go to commercial. We come back to Tajiri nailing Benjamin in the chest with a dropkick. Haas illegally interferes and Team Angle viciously attacks Tajiri’s knee. That’s good strategy, given how much Tajiri relies on his kicks for offense. Team Angle does an effective job keeping him isolated, but eventually Tajiri does make the hot tag and the crowd is on fire. Guerrero sends Benjamin to the floor, and hits the Three Amigos on Haas. He hits the frog Splash but Benjamin breaks it up. The match breaks down to a brawl, and the referee is having trouble maintaining order. Guerrero makes the tag, and Tajiri is fighting hard on one leg. Haas hits a Northern Lights Suplex and Guerrero has to break it up. Benjamin comes in and Guerrero dumps him to the floor. Guerrero wipes out Benjamin on the floor with a dive from the top rope. In the ring Tajiri misses the Buzz Saw Kick, and Haas locks on the Haas of Pain. The bell rings, but the referee doesn’t know why. While the referee is distracted, Guerrero brings one of the title belts in the ring and makes it look like Haas hit him with it, and the referee calls for the disqualification at 12:14 (shown). It’s not often you hear crowds pop like that for DQ finishes, but Eddie Guerrero was just that special. The match was terrific fun, and the crowd was super hot.
Rating: ****

MATCH #13: Steel Cage Match – Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL, 7.15.04

JBL won the title on 6.27.04, and this is already his second defense. Eddie is the aggressor early on, wanting to regain the title he feels like he lost unfairly. JBL is able to counter him and is the first man to use the cage as a weapon. He tries to escape early but Eddie pulls him back to the ring. JBL comes back and hits the Last Call. He tries to crawl over the top again but Eddie stops him. He slams JBL’s head into the cage and finds himself on the top rope. He goes for the Frog Splash and JBL moves out of the way. JBL tries to climb out again and Eddie crotches him on the top rope and gets a two-count. He gets JBL up and delivers the Three Amigos. Eddie goes up top and this time JBL knocks him down and delivers a superplex. We go to commercial. Back from the break the WWE Champion is still in control. JBL comes off the ropes and Eddie hits him with a dropkick. Eddie delivers a blatant low blow and gets a cover for two. JBL fights back with a spinebuster and gets his own near fall. He tries climbing out again but Eddie goes up and hits him with a super Russian legsweep. They get up and JBL is able to utilize the sleeper, while choking him with his wrist tape. Eddie pulls a Bret Hart and runs JBL into the cage to escape the hold. He runs JBL’s face into the cage again and gets a near fall. He charges at JBL with the running something and gets back dropped into the cage. The champ gets a near fall. They get up and trade punches, and JBL comes off the ropes with the Clothesline from Hell but Eddie kicks out! We take one more commercial break, and when we’re back JBL is trying to crawl out of the cage again. Eddie stops him again. JBL comes back and tries the Last Call, which Eddie reverses into a Tornado DDT. That gets two. Eddie then tries to climb out, and JBL comes up to bring him back into the ring. He follows up with a vicious powerbomb and Eddie kicks out again! JBL climbs up to the top and Eddie kicks him down to the mat. He climbs to the top of the cage but instead of climbing down to the floor and winning the match he delivers a huge Frog Splash from the top of the cage. Eddie is hurt as well, so it takes him a while to crawl over for the cover. When he does, JBL kicks out at two. They get back to their feet and JBL hits a DDT and goes to climb over the cage again. Eddie gets up and meets him at the top and they slug it out. All of a sudden the masked El Gran Luchadore comes out and holds Eddie’s legs while JBL climbs down and gets the win to retain the title at 21:04. The match was pretty great for TV, but I think the finish was a bit unnecessary. Luchadore climbs over the top of the cage and Eddie tries to bring him back to the ring but is only able to take his mask off, revealing Kurt Angle!
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #14: WWE Undisputed Championship Match – Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, 7.4.02

Undertaker has been the champion since 5.19.02, and this is his fifth defense. He’s still a biker at this point, which is my least favorite Undertaker of all time. The champ overpowers Angle to start, shoving him down to the mat. He puts on a headlock and then shoulderblocks Angle down, and the challenger takes a quick powder. Back in the ring Angle locks on a side headlock, which Undertaker quickly breaks and shoulderblocks him down. Angle gets a single leg takedown into a front facelock, and rolls that over to cover for two. He taunts Undertaker and then bails to the floor. Back in the ring Angle outwrestles Undertaker and gloats about it, so Undertaker boots him in the face and Angle rolls back to the floor. Back in the ring again Undertaker hits a clothesline for two. Undertaker hits a clothesline in the corner, Snake Eyes, and a running big boot for two. He tries a Chokeslam but Angle counters with a release German suplex. Angle hits a belly-to-back suplex for two. He locks on a front facelock to try and wear Undertaker down. Angle works Undertaker over in the corner, but when Angle stops to jaw with the referee Undertaker makes the comeback with some fisticuffs of his own. Undertaker follows with a big shoulderblock and more punches. He hits a DDT for two. Undertaker tries the Tombstone but Angle slips out and locks on the Ankle Lock. That gets broken, but Angle is able to hit the Angle Slam for two, and then the straps come down and the Ankle Lock gets put back on. Undertaker breaks it again, and hits a chokeslam on one leg for a two-count. He sets up for the Last Ride, but Angle locks on a Triangle Choke. Then, for the first time ever, Undertaker taps out, but Angle’s shoulders are on the mat and he gets pinned at the same time to end the match in confusion at 10:21. I’m not a big fan of the finish, because why would Undertaker tap out when he had a two-count? Overall the match was pretty good though, one of Undertaker’s better ones from this time period.
Rating: ***


MATCH #15: World Tag Team Title Match – The Rock ‘n Sock Connection vs. The New Age Outlaws, 10.14.99

The Outlaws have been the champions since 9.23.99. The Rock and Billy Gunn start for their respective teams. I miss the days when crowds were this hot for everything. Rock locks on a side headlock, and then takes Gunn down with a shoulderblock. Gunn comes back with a drop toehold, but Rock fires back with a clothesline and a series of right hands in the corner. Rock whips Gunn into the corner, and Gunn comes out with a neckbreaker for two. Gunn tries the Fame-Ass-Er but Rock counters with a slam and goes for the Rock Bottom, but Road Dogg breaks it up. That turns the match into a pier-six brawl, and another referee comes out to restore order. We wind up with Road Dogg and Mankind in the ring. They trade punches, and Mankind tries to imitate his opponent. Road Dogg responds with a low blow, a punch, and the Shake Rattle N’ Roll Knee Drop. He sets up for the Pump Handle Slam, but Rock breaks it up and gets tagged into the match. Rock tags Mankind back in, and Road Dogg and Mankind clothesline each other. Road Dogg tags Gunn, who knocks Rock off the apron and hits Mankind with a piledriver, but Rock breaks up the count. The Outlaws work Mankind over in their corner. Gunn misses a Stinger Splash and Mankind hits a modified bulldog before making the hot tag. Rock is all over the champions, hitting Gunn with the Rock Bottom. Road Dogg breaks it up and he and Rock fight outside the ring. Back in the ring Mankind hits Gunn with the Double-Arm DDT for two. Road Dogg comes back in and Mankind traps him in the Mandible Claw. Rock pulls Road Dogg to the floor again, and Gunn hits Mankind with the Fame-Ass-Er. Crash and Hardcore Holly come in out of nowhere, and Hardcore hits Gunn with one of the title belts. Mankind drapes an arm over to get the pin and make the Rock ‘n Sock Connection three time World Tag Team Champions at 8:31. I don’t get the finish, as Hardcore and Crash were scheduled for a shot at the titles, and now they don’t get it. Other than that the match was the usual fun times from Mankind and The Rock.
Rating: **½

MATCH #16: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, 6.27.02

This is Cena’s TV debut, and it came about because Kurt Angle challenged anyone who he has never wrestled before to come out and make a name for himself. Cena gets a quick takedown and clotheslines Angle to the floor. He follows Angle out and throws him right back in. He hits a back body drop and a couple of clotheslines. He whips Angle into the corner and hits a Stinger Splash for two. Angle tries to put the Ankle Lock on but Cena counters it twice, so Angle hits a release German suplex instead. The veteran Angle is in control now, withstanding a victory roll and slugging away at Cena in the corner. He locks Cena in a front facelock and wears him down. Cena powers out of it and slams Angle down. Both men make it back to their feet and Cena is on fire, hitting a modified spinebuster for two. Angle rakes the eyes and tries an Angle Slam, but Cena reverses it to a DDT for three straight near-falls. A schoolboy rollup gets two, as does a small package. Cena whips Angle off the ropes for a powerslam that gets two more near-falls. Out of nowhere Angle grabs Cena’s arms in a chicken wing and rolls it into a pinning combination to get the pin at 5:37. Cena wants a handshake but Angle refuses. That’s a terrific debut match.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #17: Handicap Match – Zach Gowen & Stephanie McMahon vs. Big Show, 7.3.03

Show obviously dominates from the get-go and it spills to the floor. Stephanie jumps on Show’s back and tries to choke him, and gets (sort of) slammed down to the floor for her troubles. Gowen also tries to get some offense in, but Show just throws him around and Stephanie too. Vince McMahon comes in to direct traffic, and Show hits Gowen with a chokeslam. Stephanie slaps her father, who then directs Show to chokeslam her. Kurt Angle comes out to save Stephanie, and he hits Show with a low blow and puts on the Ankle Lock. Vince hits Angle with a chair, so Brock Lesnar comes out and sets Vince up for the F-5 and Show breaks it up. Show grabs the chair and Gowen kicks it into his head! Angle hits Show with the Angle Slam and Lesnar hits an F-5. Gowen dropkicks Vince to the floor and hits Show with the one-legged moonsault to get the pin and earn his contract at 4:46. The match was fine enough.
Rating: *

MATCH #18: World Tag Team Championship Match – Billy & Chuck vs. Edge & Hulk Hogan, 7.4.02

Billy & Chuck have been the champions since 6.6.02, and this is their third defense. Hogan and Chuck start the match, and Hogan easily overpowers him. Chuck comes back with a series of right hands and a bodyslam. That doesn’t keep Hogan down for long, and he catches Chuck gloating and hits a series of punches and a clothesline. Hogan rakes his boot across Chuck’s face, which is “vintage Hogan.” So this has been going on at least seven years then. Edge and Billy are tagged in, and Edge hits the Edge-O-Matic for two. The champions cheat to gain an advantage and start working Edge over. The battle spills to the floor, where Rico accidentally superkicks Billy. That doesn’t keep Billy down for too long, as he bulldogs Edge off the apron into the steel steps. Back in the ring the champs keep wearing Edge down. Finally Edge makes the hot tag and the crowd loses it. He Hulks Up on both Billy and Chuck. He hits the big boot on Billy but when he goes for the leg drop Chuck comes in with a Jungle Kick. Hogan kicks out but the champions are double-teaming him now. No matter, Hogan clotheslines both of them and makes the tag to Edge. He comes off the top rope with a clothesline on both champions. He hits Chuck with the Edgecution, and then Rico trips him up. Hogan takes care of that little problem. Billy tries the Fame-Ass-Er on Edge but he avoids it and hits a Spear. Hogan is back in now and he and Edge hit a double big boot on Chuck. Edge hits a Leg Drop, Hogan hits one too, and Edge makes the pin at 10:03. That was Hogan’s first major World Tag Team Championship victory. I know there are many Hogan haters out there but this was the absolute best way to use him and this match was super fun.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #19: Intercontinental Championship Match – Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy, 4.12.01

Triple H had just beaten Jericho for the title one week ago. Hardy attacked HHH, Stone Cold, and even hit Stephanie with a Twist of Fate earlier tonight, so HHH comes down to the ring pissed off. Hardy gets some offense in and a couple of near falls, but HHH continually overpowers him. HHH tosses Hardy to the floor, and when he tries to run the guardrail on him HHH catches him and slams him. Hardy tries to jump off the apron and gets the exact same treatment. Back in the ring HHH hits the Harley Race knee and instead of going for a cover he punches him in the face a few times. HHH goes to the sleeper and Hardy breaks it up with a chinbreaker. Hardy hits a side Russian Legsweep, and Cole and Tazz think HHH executed it. In their defense it was awkward looking. Hardy goes up to the top rope and HHH shoves the referee into the ropes. Referee Tim White gets in HHH’s face about it so HHH shoves him down. HHH goes up to superplex Hardy, but Matt Hardy comes out and nails HHH with a chair and Jeff hits the Swanton for the major upset at 8:07. Matt was supposedly at home with injuries so it was a surprise to see him there. The match was a pretty good underdog babyface overcoming the odds display, and a big win for Jeff. He would lose it back to HHH on Raw four days later, but it was still a big moment.
Rating: **½

MATCH #20: No DQ Match – Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero, 9.26.02

These two split singles matches at SummerSlam and Unforgiven, so this is the rubber match. This match is often mistaken for a ladder match, but it’s just no-DQ. I vividly remember watching this match in my dorm room at Western when Jimmy Jacobs’s brother was my roommate. I had been a fan of both guys for a while (Eddie in WCW, and Edge from The Brood) so the reports of this match’s awesomeness excited me. Eddie takes the early advantage, and Edge comes back with a powerslam. He heads up top and Eddie knocks him down and hits a superplex. Edge kicks out at two, but Eddie stays in control, wearing Edge down. Some in the crowd are actually chanting “boring,” which is strange because there’s barely been any resting in this match. Edge recovers and knocks Eddie to the floor and he grabs a ladder from under the ring. He charges at Eddie, who ducks, and Edge strikes the referee instead. That distraction allows Eddie to take control and whack Edge on the back with a steel chair. Eddie throws Edge back in the ring and hits him with the chair again. He goes up and tries the Frog Splash but Edge rolls out of the way and we go to a commercial. We come back with a new referee and Eddie is pummeling Edge the corner. The poor first referee is still lying unconscious on the floor; I guess the medics are busy doing something else. Finally some other referees come out to bring him to the back. During the break Edge did hit a Spear for a near-fall. While we’re being shown that footage, Edge gains control and hits a face plant for two. Edge goes to the top rope but Eddie counters with a rana for two. Eddie works on the arm for a moment, and then goes up for another rana on a standing Edge, who counters to a powerbomb. Edge goes back to the ladder and brings it in the ring. Eddie dropkicks it into Edge’s face. He then goes out and gets his own ladder. He puts Edge between the two ladders and hits the Hilo on him, hurting himself a bit in the process too. He covers Edge on the ladder and only gets two. Undaunted, he sets up one ladder in the corner and goes all the way up. Edge recovers and meets him there. They slug it out and Eddie is able to hit a huge Sunset Bomb and the crowd gasps and then cheers. That’s a good sign. Amazingly, that does not end the match. Eddie charges and Edge backdrops him into the ladder that’s still set up in the corner. Ouch. Edge sets up the other ladder in the other corner and climbs it for some reason. Eddie meets him up there and they slug it out. Edge hits an unbelievably awesome Edgecution from the top to get the pin at 16:42. Wow, talk about a match that holds up seven years after the fact. The crowd was a little tepid at first but they won them over by executing awesome spots without making them look contrived. Eddie got busted open on the last sequence from getting his head slammed into the ladder. They used the weapons to enhance the story they were telling, not as a crutch. These two were part of so many great matches in the year 2002 (particularly the latter half) and this was one of the best. It’s also one of the best matches in Smackdown history.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #21: WWE Championship Match – The Rock vs. Triple H, 8.26.99

Shawn Michaels is the special guest referee. Triple H won the title on 8.23.99 so this would be his first defense. They slug it out to start, and both guys try to hit their finishers early. They trade offense back and forth and take the brawl to the floor, all the way up the entrance ramp. Rock hits a suplex and throws more punches. They make their way back to ringside, and Chyna hits a low blow, causing Michaels to eject her from the premises. Triple H argues with Michaels, giving Rock time to recover. Back in the ring Rock hits a DDT but Michaels was out of position arguing with Chyna so the champion kicks out. Shane McMahon comes down to argue with Michaels, and the crowd doesn’t appreciate Shane being around. Triple H takes control with the big knee to the face. He wears Rock down for several minutes, until Rock powers out of a front facelock and hits a Hot Shot, but Shane distracts Michaels and he can’t make the count. Rock hits a swinging neckbreaker and Shane once again gets on the apron, so Rock slugs him down. He hits the Rock Bottom and sets up for the People’s Elbow, when out of nowhere Shawn intercepts him with the Superkick! Triple H then hits the Pedigree and gets the pin to retain the title at 9:41. I think this was Shawn’s only appearance around this time, so sadly it ended up going nowhere. It’s really too bad we never got to see Shawn Michaels versus The Rock. As for this match, it was a solid way to kickoff Smackdown.
Rating: **¾


About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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