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Live SmackDown! Spoilers
January 30, 2002

by Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine/Dr. Alquimia Magazine/OnlineOnslaught.com


Will Flair give up his half of the WWF? Who are the celebrity guest stars on tonight’s show? Why did it take so long for the staff at the Norfolk Scope to have more than two points of entry? How will the WWF fit 2 ½ hours of content into two hours of show? Those questions, plus many more, will be answered in this special edition of SmackDown! Spoilers.

Before the show, lots of good omens on the TV. Pardon the Interruption featured Bob Ryan and Mr. Tony wearing more funny masks from New Orleans. The Simpsons syndicated show tonight was the classic Monorail episode.

My friend Rob (Go Pats!) and I arrive at the Norfolk Scope at around 6:45 and find a huge line. Only two doors open. Stupid people. Finally, minutes before the show was to begin, they open more doors and the crowd flows in. We get to our seats (opposite the hard camera) and away we go.

Dark Matches:

Randy Orton and Rico Constantino vs. Brock Lesnar and Ron Waterman. Up and down match for the developmental boys. Cowboy Bob’s son pins Waterman with a flying body press. I am disappointed that I didn’t see Lesnar’s shooting star press.

Orlando Jordan vs. Jeff Jeffries. Jordan I knew when I worked for MCW. Jeffries, I’ve never heard of, maybe he’s someone I’ve heard of under a new name. Jordan wins.

Heat Matches:

Hurricane (w/ Mighty Molly) vs. Lance Storm. A fast-paced match, almost Lucha speed. Helms throws a superkick that Lance avoids and then hits one of his own for the win.

Tajiri (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty. Two faces? I’m confused. A cool finish as Tajiri reverses a tilt-a-whirl slam into a small package to retain his Junior title.

Val Venis vs. Perry Saturn. Val does the whole Ric Rude shtick before the match. He picks out the girl in the front row I had bet would be his selection. Perry seems to be sane again and wrestling more competently (maybe it’s the use of the Radicals music). Venis wins with a new leg lock move I’ve not yet seen before.

Godfather vs. Funaki. Four escorts, for those counting at home. You know the formula. Ho Train, DVD, pin. Afterwards, the artist formerly known as Kama throws cards to the crowd. Oddly enough, they say “Southern Justice” on them.

Bossman vs. Crash. I will never get these five minutes of my life back. Bossman wins with the Bubba slam.

Time to change the ropes and ring apron for SmackDown.

A local woman signs the national anthem.

Intro for Michael Cole and Lawler.

The Show Begins.

Video package – Vince vs. Flair. Whither the N.W.O.?

Tazz vs. Jericho. Tazz is sticking up for Maven, even though he thrashed him after Tough Enough. Jericho continually gets in the face of special enforcer ref Jackie. Jericho wins with the Dreambuster after a low blow missed by the ref. After the match, the champ argues with Jackie and puts her in the Walls for good measure.

Backstage, we see Flair outside his dressing room.

Enter the APA office. Ron and John talk up the new Rollerball movie. As if on cue, in walk LL Cool J and Chris Klein. They act all chummy and then Rebecca Romijn-Stamos shows up. They offer her “girl drinks,” but she wants beer. Damn.

Out comes Flair. The crowd, in an old NWA town, gives him a long standing ovation (take that, MJ). He announces that tonight will be his last night. He’s selling his stock, to save the company from the N.W.O. “I’m here to say goodbye. Last year, I didn’t get that chance.”

DDP vs. Christian. Page reverses the Tomikaze into a diamond cutter. New European champ.

Backstage, a limo. It’s Vince and he’s happy. But he won’t let Flair leave on his own terms. They have to be on Vince’s terms.

Goldust video – After quoting from Scorsese’s Cape Fear (rent the original), he proclaims he will announces who he is targeting Monday on Raw.

JR has a sit down interview with Stephanie. She is “the epitome of a career woman.” She stuck by HHH and led him to the win at the Rumble. Their marriage is fine. She rebukes the claims of infidelity, on her part and on HHH’s part. She boasts about how good she is in bed. She vows to prove how much HHH loves her.

Backstage, at the APA poker game. Booker crashes the game, angry he was not in the Rollerball movie. (If Paul Heyman can be, anyone can, right Book?) LL tells him that they wouldn’t have anyone who got their ass kicked in a grocery store. Booker challenges the APA to a tag match later in the show.

Backstage, Flair says goodbye to Earl Hebner. Or was it Dave? (It was Earl.)

Dudleys vs. Edge/Rob Van Dam. William Regal comes out to do commentary and still gets searched by the referee. Regal tries to interfere in the finish, but accidentally hits Bubba, leaving him vulnerable to the Implant DDT.

Backstage, Booker runs into Test, who volunteers to be the Book’s partner. Why? To impress Rebecca Romijn. Booker brings back his brother’s favorite word to describe a woman: yak.

Backstage, Vince drinks coffee and is interrupted by the Fink, the Brawler and Downtown Bruno. He just wants to be alone.

Backstage, Angle yells at Lillian. He’s not a loser, even though he lost the Rumble and lost to Austin on Raw. He is that damn special and promises to go Olympic on HHH later in the show.

Backstage, Flair says goodbye to the Rock. Rock just says “Thanks for the memories.”

In the ring, Lawler shows off the new “Billy and Chuck 2002 calendar.” He says there are two other people in the back who wants their own calendar. It’s Torrie and Trish. They have a pose-down to see who deserves it. Take a wild guess who wins.

APA vs. Booker and Test. Much to our surprise, the APA is accompanied to ringside by Ladies Love Cool James, Mrs. John Stamos and the guy from American Pie. The APA win with Bradshaw’s Jack the Ripper Lariat. Afterwards, they all celebrate in the ring.

Backstage, Vince meets with his lawyers.

Before the main event, they show the Scorpion King trailer.

HHH/Rock vs. Angle/Undertaker. Angle is so great. He actually sells a body part throughout the entire match. He also does the German Suplex (X3), apparently without HHH helping. The heels get DQ’ed when the Undertaker clocks HHH with a chair, when he was going from the pin on Angle. After the match, the Rock gave UT a Rock bottom through the announce table. Also after the match, Angle slapped on the Ankle Lock on HHH until a herd of referees broke it up.

During the penultimate commercial break, they show the cool “WWF History” video from RAW.

Backstage, Flair is walking. And hugs Arn before going to the ring.

Backstage, Vince is gloating.

During the last commercial break, they put the ominous contract-signing table and red carpet in the ring.

Vince and lawyers hit the ring. The contract gives him 100% of the stock, but a clause prevents him from signing the N.W.O. He apologizes to Nash, Hall and Hogan for being unable to sign them at the moment. He asks what would have happened if they had come? “They would cut a path of destruction across the company and pounded the WWF into oblivion. They would have again revolutionized Sports Entertainment.”

Out comes Flair and lawyer. He finally sits down. He pauses. Vince says “Don’t have any second thoughts.” Flair signs his first name. He pauses. Vince gets edgy. And then.

Breaking Glass.

Austin tells Flair not to sign. Lots of uses of the word “What.” The Hell Yeah question is “If you want to see Ric Flair tear up that contract and stick it to Vince McMahon,…” Vince tries to take a swing at Flair. He misses, but Flair doesn’t. A stunner on Vince. Flair tears up the contract. Lots of beer drinking.

As mentioned above, SmackDown lasted, more or less, two and a half hours. How and where they cut down will be interesting.


Mark Coale has the same kind of acidic foreboding in his stomach about this that he used to get when taking comp exams in grad school. I hope the results turn out better this time.

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