April 4, 2002, | Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, New York | TV Rating: 4.1
The Good: I’m really struggling but the backstage stuff where Kurt Angle says Hillbilly Jim should be president if Hogan is the number one contender is funny. As is Edge doing the old “show someone some photos but they have “you suck” on the back pointing to the other guy” thing.
The Bad: The fact that less than a week into the brand split we’re already reneging on matches (on Raw we’re told it will be Triple H against Taker at Backlash) as Vince says he can choose the number one contender to Triple H’s title, which doesn’t bode well. That would be in the bad, other than the fact that the opening segment where Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and The Rock have verbals about who should be the challengers is quite entertaining. However, then The Rock uses his air-time to plead the case of Hulk Hogan. Who he beat at Mania. It’s a mess, so we’re back in the bad…
Hardcore Holly against Maven is a basic squash. The honeymoon for the latter is clearly over by now. Tough Enough 2 doesn’t happen for a few more years…
- Billy & Chuck’s irrelevant title reign rolls on in yet another dull encounter as they defeated Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert. Albert then turns heel on Scotty post-match, in an angle that anyone could see coming after about a minute of this three-minute epic.
- The Christian/DDP feud rolls on to no interest too. Christian wins when he throws another of his fits although this time it’s a ruse to draw Page in and hit him with the Unprettier.
- The in-ring promo from HHH about his upcoming match with Hulk is just so boring and so obviously something that’s come from nowhere because Hogan’s popularity needs to be capitalised on asap!
- Edge and Kurt Angle could be good… instead it’s less than four minutes and has a DQ finish. I know they need to “build up” feuds for PPV but there must be a better way to do it.
- Kidman winning the Cruiserweight title off Tajiri just seems like an excuse to have Torrie Wilson around and to build up to the end of the Tajiri/Torrie alliance. Maybe we shouldn’t say Alliance anymore… Vietnam flashbacks.
- Compared to anything else on the show wrestling wise, Chris Jericho against The Rock seems like a classic but in reality, it’s passable at best because many thought that Jericho might truly belong in the main event scene is long since a distant memory.
Overall: Well it was better than Raw I guess. There’s a lot going on here but there’s probably too much packed into one show for any of it to really register. AND it’s not all that good either. The brand extension is not off to the greatest of starts, is it? Smackdown would never crack the 4. rating ever again after this show…