Corel Centre – Ottawa, Ontario | TV Rating: 4.3
The Good: It’s a little thing but a few days after being beaten up by Brock Lesnar in RAW, Spike Dudley is shown still needing a medical check-up AND he puts Brock over by saying he’s the worst man he’s ever been in the ring with. And we can question why Brock Lesnar would choose to come in and attack Hurricane Helms and Mighty Molly (whose one on one match goes all of a minute) but again, Lesnar looks like a star. Ottawa didn’t get much of a show apart from this… speaking of which
The Bad: It’s a moot point by now but the whole Chris Jericho / Stephanie McMahon / Triple H thing is a lame duck. Jericho cuts the same promo about beating Austin & The Rock on the same night that’s he has been doing for three months, HHH pops out to mock Jericho’s clothes and air a video of Stephanie’s most embarrassing moments and Stephanie says that the match on Raw isn’t going to be a handicap match it’s going to be a Triple Threat match ad she’s going to become the first-ever female Undisputed Champion. I mean we know she doesn’t. But it’s frightening that you can hear that an image of the WWE booking it in 2002.
The main event of the Rock against Kevin Nash is bad. Very boring and is only a set-up for X-Pac to (re)join the nWo. It’s almost as if they are running through all the big matches that they can because they know the nWo are not destined for a long run…
The Indifferent: With the draft coming up on Monday there are a lot of segments on the show that reference that. Some are mildly amusing (William Regal refusing to give the APA five dollars because they’d spend it at the strip club), most are just people backstage saying it doesn’t matter where they end up etc etc. That kind of negates the drama of it, doesn’t it?
- Lita and Trish against Jazz and Ivory aren’t as bad as you could have feared it was given that this is 2002 and we’re some way off Trish getting to the top of her game.
- DDP’s European Title defence against William Regal is fine for what it is, although once again you need to pay no attention to how someone losing at Mania entitles them to a title shot the next week. Christian interferes to prolong their feud and cost DDP the belt.
- We’re still trying to push Test. I don’t know why. But a competitive match against Tajiri does little for him really.
- Billy & Chuck (now accompanied by their stylist Rico) against The Hardy Boys is your usual TV filler which we’re supposed to care about because a title is on the line. We don’t.
Overall: Its a dull show with little to recommend. It’s holding court until we can get to the first WWE draft… So nothing much of note happens beyond a few feuds being extended and Regal winning the European title. Interestingly, as far as I can no other Smackdown that followed this show ever had more viewers in terms of the American ratings. Sorry Ottawa.