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SmackDown! Spoilers...
March 13, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


What has been a largely disappointing Road to WrestleMania made its final stop last night in Cleveland, OH, where the WWF paused long enough to tape Thursday night's edition of SmackDown! for UPN.

After an almost embarrassingly poor job of promoting the Mania WWF Title match, that seemed to be where the emphasis was on SmackDown!, although other top matches were certainly not ignored (and in fact, one other match was actually added to the card, to).

If you'd like to spoil tomorrow night's surprises, then you can read on...  but the rest of you might prefer to hit BACK on your browser and enjoy something else (say, how about that newest edition of the OO Road to WrestleMania feature?!?).

But for those of you who have to know today, I put you in the trusted hands of regular OO contributor Howard Primer, who was there live at the Gund Arena, and who filed this timely report:

Six dark/Heat matches took place.  Of note: No announcers came out and no air date was announced. [Additional note from Rick:  the latter four Heat matches will air on the international edition of the show this weekend, as the US broadcast will be live from Toronto.]

Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert def. two guys I didn't recognize.

Brock Lesner def. Funaki. Lesner did a lot of power moves. He reminded me a lot of Sid, so hopefully he can get better.

Val Venis def. Bossman. Val did some type of leg submission, but I couldn't get a good look because there was a logjam in the row in front of me.

Lance Storm def. Rikishi. Storm avoided the stink face and countered with a super kick for the clean pin.

Mr. Perfect def. the Godfather. Godfather missed the Ho-train and Hennig locked in the Perfect Plex.

The Hurricane and Spike def. Saturn and Crash. I believe this was produced by the random match generator. Spike hit the Dudley Dog on Crash after the Hurricane soared through the heavens to knock down Saturn on the outside (or something like that).

Smackdown Matches

We start with footage of the Lucy the dog saga from Monday.

Cue fireworks.

We will get a major announcement from Triple H regarding his match at Wrestlemania.

Kurt Angle def. Rob Van Dam. RVD was trying for the 5-star, but William Regal interfered, setting up the ankle lock. Kane entered, and eventually chokeslammed Regal while Kurt ran up the ramp.

In the back, Vince tells Ric Flair that his match with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania will be no disqualification, then gives him the night off.

Billy pinned Jeff Hardy in a fatal four-way with Buh-Buh Ray Dudley and Bradshaw. All partners were accounted for at ringside, so as you can imagine, all hell broke loose at the end of the match.

Backstage, Christian is interviewed by Lillian. DDP interrupts, and they make their match at Wrestlemania official.

Again backstage, Trish confronts Lita in the woman's dressing room and we have a catfight. Some lucky referees break them apart.

More backstage, Vince offers a match with the Undertaker to David Flair (!). David declines, but Vince reminds David of an old saying by a great champion, "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." David then accepts and leaves. Out of nowhere, the Undertaker shows up and shakes Vince's hand. How David and the Undertaker didn't pass each other in the doorway I guess is best left to WWF logic.

Maven def. Al Snow for the Hardcore title. The match was originally Snow defending against the Big Show. Goldust then interfered. The Big Show chokeslammed Snow. Maven dropkicked the Big Show, then pinned Snow.

Rock "Desire" video

Hulk Hogan comes out to a mixed, but very loud ovation, which slowly turns into a few cheers. He talks about how everyone from the Ultimate Warrior to Andre the Giant tried to stop Hulkamania, but they couldn't. He shows footage of him beating the Rock on RAW three times. On the fourth time, the Rock comes out. Hogan says "Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you." Rock walks to the ring, stands in front of Hogan and says "I'll take my vitamins, but you better say your prayers ... if you ... smell ... what the ... Rock ... is cooking." They drop their microphones and go nose-to-nose. Hogan backs off, walks through the ropes, down to the floor and up the ramp. On his way up the ramp (this probably won't make it to air), the Rock took Hogan's nWo shirt and threw it on the stage.

Booker T and Test def. Edge and Tajiri. After the match, Test held Edge while Booker did the Spinarooni and axe kick on Edge.

Stone Cold does an interview in the back. What? I said, Stone Cold does an interview in the back. He is interrupted by Scott Hall, who is in the arena and calls out Austin. Anticipating Austin, Kevin Nash shows up on the stage, but Austin comes out through a tunnel on the other side of the arena. Hall never sees him. Kick, stunner and Hall is laid out before Nash can make it to the ring for the save. Hall sold the stunner like he was on a trampoline, by the way. It was pretty cool. Reminded me of Shane-O-Mac.

Backstage, Y2J and Steph talk about HHH's announcement. Y2J thinks he will retire.

Undertaker beat David by DQ. Undertaker kicked David's ass for a little bit until Ric interfered. Ric hit Undertaker with a chair.

Triple H's big announcement. His announcement is an unfortunate announcement. Unfortunately, Y2J, you didn't get the job done. (yes, that was the BIG announcement). Jericho and Steph interrupt on stage. Y2J says that Triple H is lying to himself and the fans if he thinks he can wrestle. Steph said the orthopedic surgeon who examined Triple H in Detroit called Dr. Andrews in Birmingham (the man who did Triple H's surgery) and told him he's at least a month away from wrestling. Steph says one false step, and the wires holding Triple H's quad together could snap. Y2J: Triple H and Lucy will walk the same the rest of their lives. HHH: I don't care. If it's my last step. I don't care if it's my last match. I don't care if it's my last breath .... blah, blah, blah ...he's going to WrestleMania to kick Chris Jericho's ass.

Jericho then attacks Triple H in the ring. It spills outside. He throws Jericho into the steps, then over the railing. He clears of the announce table and sets up Steph for the pedigree. At this point, Steph pops out of the vest she was barely wearing. That's going to be pretty difficult to edit out without the viewers noticing, I think. Jericho makes the save, and puts on the Walls of Jericho on the table. He then poses over a prone Triple H. That is most likely where the show will end.


- Nash had to run to the ring to try to save Hall, but I wouldn't call what he did running. It was more like lumbering. I don't know if he has a bad leg, was afraid he was going to trip or what, but he looked really bad. I mean, putting one foot in front of the other wouldn't seem that difficult, but he was having a lot of trouble with it.

- Funny moment: While all the people involved in the fatal four-way were fighting after the match, the commercial for WrestleMania appeared. Suddenly, they all stopped and went back to the dressing room. I thought it would have been a little more gradual.

- Maven got a lot of height on his drop kick.

- The Big Show is NOT 7 feet tall. He might be 6-6, 6-7, but not much more. I had floor seats and was close to the aisle, so I got a good look at him 10 feet away. I've stood next to Zdyrunas Ilgauskas, who's 7-3, and Jim Chones, a former NBA player who's 7-foot, and the Big Show is nowhere near as tall as they are. Don't get me wrong, he's every bit of 400 pounds.

- Lita didn't look happy about something on her way back to the locker room after the fatal four-way (this is before her backstage segment with Trish aired). Matt Hardy was playing to the crowd, but she gave a couple real nasty looks to people on her way up the ramp. Bad day, I guess.

- Val Venis was announced as "The Big Valboski" (or however you spell that) only. Not Val Venis. He did not get to do the towel shtick because the Bossman's introduction interrupted him.

- Saturn was wearing trunks that were Dalmatian patterned, only red and black. His arms are almost completely covered in tattoos now. I shouldn't rag on a Cleveland native, but this guy's nuts.

- Lillian Garcia sang the national anthem between Heat and Smackdown

- The WWF desire video (the one with the Kid Rock song) was played before Heat started

- Area radio stations announced that the show was sold out, but there was about 1 1/2 sections covered by black  tarp in the upper deck behind the cameras. I'd say they were a few hundred short of a sellout. A good turnout, though. The crowd had its moments in terms of noise level, but it wasn't sustained. I've heard much louder for RAWs and pay-per-views in Gund Arena.   

Thanks again to Howard for filing such a timely report...  enjoy the show on UPN on Thursday night, and then come on back to OO on Friday to find out who'll be replacing Eitan as our resident SmackDown! recapper!


Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


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