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WWF in Boston


Guest columnist: Alex Beckers


Fleet Center
Boston, MA

Four friends and I went to Tuesday night's Smackdown taping at the Fleet Center in Boston. We had decent seats, we were behind the Ovaltron but could see the ring and the entranceway.

Dark Matches:

Gregory Helms & Chavo Guerrero vs. Kaientai
I missed most of this because I was getting food. Kaientai cut a short promo, "...eeeeevil!", "IN-DEED!" Kaientai were very over with the crowd, which was pretty hot all night. Taka won by nailing Chavo with the Michinoku Driver -- I think. Big "You suck!" chant to the WCW guys as they left.

Mark Jindrak vs. Jerry Lynn
Some discussion in our section about Jerry's loyalties. Pretty quiet match since Lynn's fairly new and most people have no clue who Jindrak is. Mark did a good job trying to get heel heat though. Some nice spots in this one including when Jerry reversed a wheelbarrow suplex attempt into an bulldog or inverted DDT. The end came when Jerry went for a tornado DDT off the turnbuckle, Mark spun around, put him back, and jumped up and snapped of a crisp Frankensteiner. (Jindrakensteiner?)

UK Heat Taping -- I think.
Coachman came out, followed by Michael Hayes. I was hoping for a minor note about Terry Gordy at some point in the night but if they did anything there was no video package.

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Shawn Stasiak
Huge pop for Scotty. "Turn it up!" Decent match here. Scotty hit a very cool somersault senton from the ring apron. Scotty nailed the Worm but Stasiak got his foot on the ropes. Scotty then hit a flying crossbody from the top turnbuckle, but Shawn rolled through and got a handful of shorts for the pin.

Word on the street... that is, certain rumors, certain whispers... I hear that the Yankees suck. Huge chant breaks out for the first of three or four times.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Albert for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Mixed pop/boos for Dreamer. Boos when the X-Factor theme comes on, but then a pop for Albert, and then a bigger one when he's announced as being from Boston. Crowd is split on who to root for. Pretty much a squash though, pin comes after a military press and Baldobomb, Tommy's DEAD.

Justin Credible vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri and the Mop)
Saturn's another hometown boy, tho' Terri gets the bigger pop I think. Better match here, late in the match Saturn just tosses Credible around but runs into a superkick. He kicks out, and goes for a catapult into the turnbuckle... but sees the mop, which he propped up at a different turnbuckle. He gives the mop a big thumbs-up, turns around, and catapults Justin INTO the mop. Moss covered, three handled family gredunza gets the pin. He takes the mop for a victory lap around the inside of the ring.

Someone who isn't the Fink shills merchandise. The posters of Lita and Trish get a big pop.

Big Show (BOOM!) & Billy Gunn vs. Hugh Morrus & Chris Kanyon
Think of it this way -- unless you live in the UK, you'll never see this match. I sat through it so YOU DON'T HAVE TO. Big Show and Billy Gunn are, horribly enough, over as faces with the fans. But not very -- crowd is mostly dead through a long segment of beat-down on Gunn, but comes alive as the Big Show comes in and cleans house. Gunn hits the One and Only on Kanyon but Morrus interrupts the count. Later Morrus hits the No Laughing Matter moonsault (in the center of the ring!!!) but Big Show KICKS OUT. Ugh. Big Show goes for a chokeslam, but Morrus elbows out of it... only to get hit with Big Show's new move, the powerbomb hoist into a flapjack.

We get the Smackdown! ring ropes and other sundries.

Lillian Garcia sings the National Anthem, I swear she sings it better every time I see it.

Michael Cole comes out to "My Way or the High Way", and then his secret mystery parter is... Jim Ross.

We get the WWF Attitude imagery.

We see a replay of Thursday, Vince trying to call out the old Stone Cold Steve Austin. Then Monday, shots of SCSA at the Tap in between shots of the rallying meetings. Then he returns (to the music from The Rock -- the movie not the wrestler) and destroys everyone.


Tonight -- The Brothers of Destruction & Tajiri vs. The Dudleyz and Tazz! SCSA & Angle vs. Booker T and Rhyno!

Shane and WCW come out, followed closely by Steph, Heyman, and WCW. Time for the monster promo. Shane says that the future of the business is in the ring right now. "Asshole." He rattles off the 5 WWF guys (although he had to stop to remember I think) to big pops. What's on the line at the inaugural brawl? Well, everything, EVERYTHING goes to the #1 in the business... the best ad rates, the top money, all the best wrestlers. They won't have to raid the WWF talent after they win, the WWF wrestlers will WANT to swtich after the WWF loses.

This is the best rationale for the Brawl being important that we've heard yet, incidentally.

Heyman gets the mike. This isn't just about business. Vince Senior, who was responsible for his death? Vince JUNIOR was for pushing his father out of business! (This was pretty harsh.) Maybe Vince's kids will give him a job after they put him out of business. Maybe he can start a football league in his spare time! The WWF is going to DIE.

Steph's turn. "Slut!" Maybe someday they can all make up? Not possible. After the WWF dies, how long will Vince live? Maybe a couple years, tops. At this point some people on the other side of the ring from the camera manage to peg some guys in the ring, or maybe the turnbuckle, with a cup of soda. I lose track of what Steph is saying, but come back when she says that even SCSA won't be able to save the WWF.

As they pose and start to head back, we see Vince and Jericho on the Ovaltron. Vince says actions speak louder than words. The *OLD* SCSA is in Boston. Jericho is facing DDP tonight. Jericho apologizes to Vince for what he said to Steph on Monday... Vince is upset he didn't insult her MORE.


Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Jericho
Huge pop for Y2J. We see a replay of the Booker T match from RAW -- Nick Patrick is refereeing this match. Match goes pretty well -- Y2J seems to land hard on one elbow off DDP's turning powerbomb. Nick Patrick pulls his usual "evil ref" stint when Jericho goes for a pin off the facebuster. Later after he tries to win the match for DDP with a fast count, Jericho hauls off and NAILS him! Huge pop. Nick calls for the DQ... so Jericho puts him in the Walls! DDP gets a chair... but Y2J ducks, and puts *him* in the Walls! He then drives off Nick Patrick, and beats DDP with the chair! Crowd eats this all up.

Meanwhile, in Regal's office, Heyman is there. He's in Regal's chair, with his feet up on Regal's desk. Heyman flatters William, tries to recruit him, but Regal flips out at him, tells him to go to hell, drives him off. Crowd eats this all up.

Small pop as Hebner comes out to ref the next match.

Lance Storm (w/Mike Awesome) vs. Christian (w/Edge)
Replay of the superkick from RAW. My friend Steve on Lance Storm: "He's not human, he's Canadian." Me: "He's a machine, he consumes nutrients and converts them into wrestling." Lance asks if he can be serious for a minute. He disses Boston because we have trouble with championships, and says that E&C being 7-time champs just says a lot about what the WWF Title Belts are worth. E&C cut him off and the match is on. Some nice innovative moves from Storm, and a sweet inverted tornado DDT from Christian. Near the end Awesome tries to nail Christian with a chair, but Hebner PULLS it away from him! While the ref's back is turned, Edge hits the Spear of Doom on Storm and Christian gets the pin.

Backstage, Sgt. Slaughter tells Vince that AUSTIN IS HERE! I've *never* seen Slaughter look that happy before.

We get a nice shot of the FleetCenter from I93 north, which will someday be underground thanks to the Big Dig. No, that's a GOOD thing.

Backstage, Torrie Wilson and my GODDESS, my STAR Stacy Keibler are... um, greasing up? Nick Patrick limps in and says that even though he's hurt, he'll still be able to ref their match coming up. They are grateful.

In Regal's office, Regal is telling Tajiri about Paul Heyman. He tells Tajiri that his partners will be UT and Kane, and Tajiri flips out in joy. When the two brothers come in (with Sara, out of the hospital) Tajiri's still flipping out. Undertaker: "What the hell's wrong with him?" Regal tries to give a rousing speech and when he says, "If you're down, rise up!" Tajiri lies on the desk and does the zombie situp. Kane to Tajiri on the way out: "Freak."

SCSA and Debra walk into Vince's room. Vince says that tonight is magic, and Sunday will be magic because the old SCSA is back. Vince tries to hug Austin, but Austin stops him. Austin brought BEER tonight.

Boot of the Week: Dudley beatdown on Spike and Molly. (It's been a while since we've had a match at this point.)

Dudley Boyz & Tazz vs. Tajiri & Undertaker (w/Sara) & Kane
Good solid match here, although they screw up the Dudley Device by dropping Tajiri before D-Von can come off the top with the clothesline. Tazz gets some solid time in too, nice suplexes on Tajiri. End comes when Tajiri moonsaults, landing on his feet but backing right into the Tazmission. UT comes into the ring and chokeslams Tazz before Tajiri passes out. 1, 2, 3. Kane lights the turnbuckles, scaring the bejeezus out of Tajiri. This won't be on TV, but all three play to the crowd, getting lots of pops. Lots of great interaction between Tajiri and Kane & UT, with Tajiri being a little afraid of them but also a little like a happy puppy. UT and Kane both high-five him on the way out.

ECW music plays and WCW/ECW come out. We get the starting promo AGAIN, I guess they decided to re-film it. Crowd is NOT HAPPY.

Shane redoes his promo -- he's more intense but doesn't mention the ad money, and all the reasons why the Brawl is important. So more energy but less logic, not good.

Steph redoes hers, trashing Blassie before trashing her father again.

Heyman goes totally nuts, rants about getting rid of sports entertainment and bringing back real wrestling. He gives "last rites" to the WWF, in LATIN, while RAVING.

So Steph's was better the second time, but Shane and Paul were worse. In my opinion. Will be interesting to see which one they air.

Backstage, Lita talks to Trish. They have their differences but they need to stick together because they're both WWF. Hebner comes in and says HE will ref the women's match.

Bradshaw w/Faarooq vs. Sean O'Haire w/Chuck Palumbo
Oooh, psyched about this one. O'Haire rushes the ring and they start brawling. Crowd is distressingly quiet here, which annoys me. Bradshaw ends up winning with the Clothesline from Hell after taking Palumbo off the ring apron with a boot to the face.

Nick Patrick limps out to boos while they set up... an arm-wrestling table? Ah, the ladies match is an arm-wrestling match. Hebner is out -- he and Nick tussle, Nick plays the total cowardly heel quite well.

Torrie Wilson (w/Stacy Keibler) vs. Trish Stratus (w/Lita) in an arm-wrestling match
Torrie's entrance video is... incredible. Hebner ends up reffing this one. Torrie stalls. Finally she and Trish go back and forth... then Nick Patrick knocks down Hebner. Something happens that I miss, and the bell rings and Torrie's won the match. Quickly there's a WWF beatdown, the girls get tossed and the beatdown continues on Nick Patrick. MASSIVE beatdown on Patrick from Trish, Lita, AND Earl Hebner. Play Lita's music!

Backstage w/Vince, Debra, and SCSA. Vince is on the phone. Turns out his divorce proceedings are on hold. Vince wants to celebrate, he has "just the idea", he leaves.

Lil' Naitch is out to boos.

Jeff Hardy & X-Pac vs. Billy Kidman & Rob Van Dam
RVD's music is... similar to the cover of "Walk" he was using. X-Pac gets boos despite being on the "good side". Steve takes this moment to point out that you could get ANY WCW guy over as a face by putting him up against X-Pac. "He could be in the ring with HITLER and he'd still get booed!" The crowd has NO IDEA who to root for, there are like six conflicting chants because Kidman and RVD are over as faces with half these people. Cheers for Jeff Hardy turn into cheers for RVD when X-Pac gets tagged in. Some GREAT spots here, god it's been a while since I've seen RVD. After a... flurry of highspots, Kidman nails X-Pac with his finisher for the pin.

Vince comes back to Deb and SCSA with a guitar. He starts singing "Welcome Back Kotter" only it's "Welcome Back SCSA". Austin suffers. He tells Vince that the guitar is out of tune, then takes it and CLOBBERS Vince with it. This was not a cheap Jeff-Jarrett-in-WCW-style guitar. This was SOLID.

Tim White comes out.

Invasion promo.

Tough Enough Ad.

Backstage, the WCW/ECW leadership pumps up Booker T and Rhyno.

Vince has an icepack on his head. In runs Kurt Angle. Vince is a little light-headed, seems oddly happy, sends Kurt to the match.

Something... a fight? Flasher? Happens on an upper balcony that I don't see.

Another Tough Enough ad.

Booker T (w/Shane McMahon) & Rhyno (w/Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Kurt Angle & Stone Cold Steve Austin
Before SCSA comes in, Angle rushes the ring and gets hammered. GORE! GORE! GORE! SCSA is in and cleans HOUSE. Stunner to Booker T! Stunner to Rhyno! Inside of 2 minutes, WTF?! On the Ovaltron... DDP has Debra in the trunk of a limo! Austin takes off.

The three wrestlers lie in the ring.

In the parking lot, some...? WWF wrestlers attack DDP, I see UT there, Jericho, Kane maybe, but it's a trap! WCW attacks. The limo peels out -- SCSA jumps into another limo, peels out after it.

Meanwhile in the ring, Angle is up and has the anklelock on Booker T... but here come the Dudleyz! Angle tries to fight them all, GORE! They beat on Angle for a bit. Bubba Ray tries to pick him up... but Angle's not done yet! Anklelock on Bubbah Ray! But there are three other guys there to beat the crap out of him. Scissor kick. Whassup spot. "Get the tables"... gets booed! Wow! 3D through table. ECW music! Big heel pose. Trash rains down. TV probably stops.

TONS of trash rain down, and UT, Kane, and Jericho hit the ring! They clear it of the heels... but Angle is still DEAD.

My opinion... great show, with two exceptions. The ending angle was LAME LAME LAME. And depending on which ECW/WCW big promo they use, the big explanation for why the Brawl is important could be lost.

Still looking forward to Invasion, tho'!


Alex Beckers

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