October 21, 2002
Stephanie opened the show with a promo explaining that the Undertaker would not be on the show (he was shown in the opening credits, though) but as part of the Big Show trade, Booker T would wrestle on the show tonight - nice way of explaining that, or trying to. Steph also set the main event as Edge vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman - if Edge pins either Brock or Paul, he becomes WWE Champion.
Booker T defeated Matt
Matt's entrance video tonight told us that "Matt loves English muffins" which is always nice to know. Matt also showed off his new "Era of Mattitude" shirt in this match, which lasted about 14 minutes and was full of all the spots you'd expect - even a Book End thrown in by Booker. Guess while The Rock's away, The Book will play... Booker took the win in the end after an Axe Kick, and we got a post match Spinaroonie.
Heyman confronted Steph about his' match, throwing every excuse at her - it's not fair, I didn't bring my trunks, etc. etc. Steph told him life wasn't fair, and Paul left muttering "you're so much like your father".
Billy Kidman & Torrie
Wilson defeated John Cena & Dawn Marie.
Very short mixed tag match, with Cena playing his new heel role very well, even slamming Torrie! Shock! Horror! The end came in 5 minutes, as Kidman pinned Cena, after allegedly hitting a Shooting Star Press, even though it looked like it missed, so much so that Tazz and Cole tried to cover it by claiming that the SSP is so devastating, you only need the slightest glance... shyeah, right! After the match, Torrie and Kidman played Tonsil Tennis - what is it with the WWE putting these real-life relationships on screen now?
A pretty pointless Edge interview came and went, using the usual "boyhood dream" and "since he was 9..." lines, and the next match was upon us.
Funaki defeated Crash
Funaki told us before the match that not only was he Smackdown #1 announcer, but tonight in Manchester, he was #1 top man. O.....K. Didn't know what to expect with these two, but what we got was a pretty good cruiserweight match up - lots of counterholds and reversals, and a funny spot where Crash pulled out a Karate Kid headband and did a lot of Karate-style poses. Funaki's response? He kicked him in the face. Nice try, Crash. Funaki eventually took the win in about five minutes when he blocked and reversed what looked to me like Crash's version of La Magistral and won the three count.
Backstage, after sniffing a security guard (don't ask) Nidia decided that she wanted to go home. Jamie Noble agreed, and said as soon as he won his match, they'd head back to West Virginia - "God's Country".
Meanwhile, Rey put his mask on and breathed a bit.
Jamie Noble defeated
Tajiri and Rey Mysterio to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Title.
Contested under ECW style Elimination rules, Tajiri was eliminated first in just under three minutes. Further enhancing the ECW style of this match, the crowd got on Nidia's back with classic chants of "she's a crack whore" and "she's got herpes" - nice and friendly welcome from the Manchester crowd. From there we had a superb match - I would love to see a feud with these two if this is the standard of match that they put on. Noble retained his belt (surprise!) just short of 13 minutes after he blocked a Rey victory roll and Nidia helped him stay on top for the 3 count. Rey hit a double 619 on Jamie and Nidia after the match as they celebrated.
In a locker room, Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit argue some more about who the team captain should be, Benoit pointing out who won at Unforgiven AND Smackdown. Angle went to leave and told him that he was the captain of the team and that's true "bloody freakin' damn true" actually. Kurt rules, he really does.
D-Von & Ron Simmons
defeated The Big Valbowski & Chuck Palumbo.
Well, not much to say about this match. At 5 minutes, it was just about right, and D-Von won with a roll up, holding the tights in a heelish manner. Chuck really needs to tighten his trunks as D-Von pulled them down. Most frightening move of the night...
Eddie and Chavo gave their thoughts on the upcoming tag team title match, and their surroundings. Eddie said he was so impressed with the welcome he'd got that when he got home he would tell Grandma that he loved Germany, until Chavo pointed out that they were actually in Ireland. Close, but no cigar. Chavo then started on a promo about how Mexicans rule - "You remember the alamo? I do - we won!" - and Eddie went as far to say that "fish and chips and English muffins suck". Now when a man insults fish and chips, then that's fighting words, brother.
Fans of quality entertainment, skip the next two paragraphs.
Rikishi defeated Albert in
a Kiss my Ass match
Every bit as bad as it sounds. Not even the shock of Albert with the mic before the match could make this better. For the record, Albert claims he is "wicked sexy" and his hair is all natural. Now there's an image. Rikishi thankfully shut him up by taking the win in 8 minutes with a Banzai Drop, (although Cole called it a Rump Shaker) and Albert tried to avoid the asskissing. The referee told him to get back and face hit, so Albert came back and Baldobombed Rikishi, before attempting a stinkface of his own, but Rikishi blocked and got his own in.
But the fun doesn't stop there - oh no! Rikishi then went to do his dancing thing, but insisted that Tazz, Michael Cole and even Tony Chimel don the hat and do the dance. Lucky for us it didn't last long. Let's just say Tazz is as good at dancing as Albert is at shaving...
Kurt Angle & Chris
Benoit defeated Eddie & Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWE Tag
Absolutely incredible match, easily on a par with their Smackdown bout a couple of weeks ago. Angle was supremely over as a face for some reason, the crowd chanting "We Want Angle" nearly all the way through the match. Angle looked like he loved it. Huge suplexes for anyone named Guerrero, including a synchronised suplex spot that looked awesome. Hell, Benoit even wheeled out the Powerbomb - first time in a while that's been seen!
Slightly worrying moment for Eddie, he went out of the ring, and referee Brian Hebner flashed the dreaded "X" sign as Angle and Chavo covered in the ring - thankfully Eddie recovered and finished the match with no problems. Don't know what happened, but everyone looked worried for a moment. Angle took the popular win after he Angleslammed Eddie just after the 16 minute mark, and we got another episode of the "Tag Partners who hate each other" saga with Benoit and Angle.
Backstage we go as Heyman attempts a push up, and fails miserably. Brock tells Heyman he'll snap him in half is Heyman allows himself to be pinned.
Brock Lesnar & Paul
Heyman defeated Edge to retain the WWE Championship.
Edge came out to a huge face pop, although his coat did have a rip in the back... tut tut. Heyman came down with Tazz noting that he even taped his wrists up, and took his place cowering in the corner, where he would spend most of the match. Pretty good match from these two, Edge not looking out of place fighting for the title and Lesnar beginning to ooze confidence as a champion should. Heyman was knocked to the floor a few times, apart from one moment when he held Edge down so Lesnar could get a kick in, and he milked it, nearly doing a lap of honour around the ring. Lesnar took the win after he hit Edge in the ribs with a chair and hit the F5 to retain his title. After the match, Heyman for some reason decided to attack Edge, poking him in the ribs with a chair - a bad move as Edge kicked the chair into Heyman's face and hit him with an Edge-o-cution to send the crowd home happy