Thomas & Mack Center – Las Vegas, Nevada, TV Rating: 4.5
The Good: Ok, so it’s not THAT good. And it is another example of what could have been a three-minute segment stretching out five times that length because it’s Stephanie McMahon and we all love seeing her on TV right? But at least it takes us closer to the on-screen split between her and Triple H. She announces she wants to renew her wedding vows with Hunter next week and he thinks that’s a really stupid idea (“why does everything with the McMahon’s have to be on live TV”)… To everyone’s surprise, Stephanie’s Pregnant?! She announces with glee, so Triple Hrelents and agrees with a hug and a snog. The fans immediately see through this in a way that makes HHH look very dumb for falling for it. But we can’t have everything…
The Bad: I don’t know what’s worse. The angle here where Billy & Chuck invade the “Diva’s” locker room with their new poster or the realisation that this angle is setting up a posedown on Smackdown between them and Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson which I’ll have to sit through later.
The Indifferent: Bullet point time, since there is a lot of just stuff on this show… None of it really offensive, but it’s a show that exists in between Royal Rumble & No Way Out.
- The opening match between Triple H and Booker T goes two and a half minutes before Kurt Angle runs in for the DQ. As it was set up by Triple H calling out Angle only for Booker to answer it wasn’t really a surprise. Still, it’s clear that HHH is still not back to his best, he gets the visual win anyway (Angle run’s in once a Pedigree has put Booker down) and it all just seems pointless.
- Rob Van Dam against Bubba Ray Dudley is one of those nothing TV matches where we all know who is going to win. And sure enough, RVD picks up the win in less than four minutes. And then is attacked by Goldust. Because that’s a feud we all want to see isn’t it?
- As ever you can’t really blame the wrestlers but a sub-five minute three-way elimination match for the Tag Team Titles between Spike Dudley & Tazz, Billy & Chuck and the APA where the two eliminations happen within 20 seconds of each other is never going to work wonders is it? I would never have remembered Spike & Tazz as tag team champions without going back through these shows. My memory hasn’t missed anything of note.
- Vince and Flair go through the motions in this week’s face to face confrontation. It takes ages to go nowhere and just regurgitates what we’ve been listening to for the past couple of weeks anyway.
- The Intercontinental title match between William Regal and Rikishi is yet another “nothing of note” filler matches that ends in a no-contest when Edge ran in for the DQ. As if Rikishi needed “protecting” in 2002…
- The Rock’s promo about the main event tag team match is ok, but far from his best work.
- Jazz defeating Trish Straus for the Women’s Title isn’t bad (and is more of a wrestling match than most things involving the women we saw in 2001) but you can’t avoid the fact that no-one really cares about Jazz who doesn’t come across as the big deal that the WWE are making her out to be. (Which, it should be said, isn’t a knock on Jazz as such).
- The main event of Chris Jericho & The Undertaker against The Rock & Steve Austin has star power, but that’s about all it has. It’s one of those times when you wish a WWE TV match HADN’T been given thirteen minutes. Jericho gets to pin The Rock but only after Taker has smashed the People’s Champ with a lead pipe. Ho hum. Stephanie’s Pregnant!!1
Overall: When a Stephanie McMahon (Stephanie’s Pregnant?!) promo is the highlight of a show in 2002 you know you are in trouble. There’s very little that is outright “bad” on this show but there’s nothing much that’s really better than average either. It’s one of those shows that exist, some stuff happens and nothing really changes (besides Jazz winning the Women’s Title).