Reported by Keith Vinciguerra of WrestleView.com
» On Saturday, December 28, 2002 at 11:49 PM EST
Welcome to a special holiday Velocity!! Well actually it’s not really a holiday episode .... and it’s probably not going to be all that special either. I have a bad feeling that we are going to see an Ass-Train match tonight since he was only on Smackdown for a minute. I swear, if I have to see a Bill DeMott match and an Ass-Train match tonight, I am quitting this job. Anyway, you know the deal by now: recap followed by review.
The announcers for tonight are once again Josh Mathews and Ernest “The Cat” Miller.
Matt Hardy vs. Brandon Groom
The two wrestlers exchange some armbars and other grappling maneuvers, including a couple of roll ups. Groom tries to make fun of Matt by using his “that close” taunt, but the fans give him no response at all. Version 1.0 pummels Groom in the corner with a few elbows and punches and then runs and sits on his back while he is draped on the second rope. Groom ducks under a clothesline attempt and hits a flying body block and a side Russian leg sweep before catching nothing but air on a high cross body off the top rope. Matt hits his Side Effect and Twist of Fate for the easy win.
Winner by pinfall: Matt Hardy
Funaki vs. A-Train
Funaki takes control early by leaping onto Albert while he is still walking to the stairs. Back in the ring, Albert sits on Funaki as he tries a sunset flip, and then attempts a splash that misses. He catches Funaki in mid-air and drops him across the ropes. Albert lambastes Funaki in the corner with some brawling maneuvers and then locks on an abdominal stretch (otherwise known as the Cobra Twist in the 80’s arcade game Tag Team Wrestling). A-Train cheats by holding onto the tope rope for extra leverage and then he chases the ref out of the ring for discovering that he was cheating. Funaki tries a tornado DDT but Albert shrugs him off, misses a bicycle kick, and then catches Funaki in the corner with a wild slug to the back. Somehow Funaki nails a bulldog off the second rope, but Albert kicks out of the pin attempt. After a DDT by Funaki, the Unstoppable Locomotive catches Funaki with his new backbreaker for the win.
Winner by pinfall: A-Train
Flashback to Smackdown
We see Dawn Marie and Al Wilson exchanging gifts. Then Al Wilson yells at Torrie and says she is a disgrace.
Jamie Noble and Nunzio with Nidia vs. Gabe Roach and Billy Valentino
Nunzio starts off against Valentino and grapples with him for awhile. He tags in Jamie who hits a shoulder block before getting dropping by a kneelift. Roach enters the match and charges head first into Noble’s knee after successfully executing a gut breaker. The two heels double team Roach for awhile until he rolls to his corner and tags in Valentino who hits both cousins with a high cross body. Nidia grabs his leg but he moves out of the way of a charging Nunzio and then gets dropped by a Noble clothesline. The heels hit a double team move consisting of a dropkick off the second rope and a legdrop at the same time. Valentino is able to duck a double clothesline, kick both cousins from his back, and then make the tag to Roach who hits Nunzio with a clothesline off the top rope. Roach catches fire with a couple of T-Bone suplexes and then he and Valentino hit a double flapjack on Nunzio. Noble breaks up the pin attempt and dumps Valentino through the ropes. The cousins hit a double fisherman’s buster (a suplex with each hooking a leg) on Roach and Nunzio makes the cover for the win.
Winners by pinfall: Jamie Noble and Nunzio
Flashback to Smackdown
They show Brock destroying Angle’s knee with a vicious F-5 into the steel post followed by Stephanie making the #1 contender match and Benoit dropping Big Show with a kick between the uprights. Then we see Angle in the ring and the introduction of Team Angle. Finally, it’s Benoit vs. Big Show and Team Angle taking out Benoit after the match.
John Cena with B-2 vs. Chuck Palumbo
Cena lays down a supposed freestyle rap making fun of Oklahoma for some cheap heat. Palumbo starts off hot with a shoulder tackle, a hip toss, and a high vertical suplex. B-2 grabs onto Chuck’s leg which allows Cena to sneak up from behind and clothesline him. Cena throws Palumbo to the outside where B-2 kicks him a few times and then rolls him back into the ring. Cena hits a quick suplex and then applies the dreaded full nelson submission hold. Palumbo is able to break it but then runs into a shoulder tackle and gets put in the full nelson submission a second time. Chuck gets to his feet and hits a back suplex, a clothesline, and a back body drop. Cena reverses an irish whip but then charges into Palumbo’s elbow and gets belly-to-belly suplexed. B-2 runs into the ring and walks into a super kick. As the ref is rolling B-2 out of the ring, Cena wallops Chuck in the sack o’ plenty which allows him to get the win.
Winner by pinfall: John Cena
I know my review is so informative and entertaining that you might be tempted to skip right to it, but I advise against it. In doing so, you will miss the recap which details the amazing wrestling abilities of technical masters like Albert and Bill DeMott. So what if the Velocity recap/review is longer than the Smackdown and Raw full results combined? This is Velocity we're talking about so give it the respect it deserves and read the whole article!!
Matt Hardy vs. Brandon Groom
This was a rather boring opening match which is surprising and disappointing. Matt is usually entertaining, especially when he fights jobbers, because of his antics in the ring. He hardly seemed to try this week so all we got was a boring and formulaic match.
Funaki vs. Ass-Train
I can’t put into words how humorous it is that Albert is right back on Velocity where he (barely) belongs. A few months ago, he feuded with Funaki for a whole month and Funaki actually beat him at least once. Assbert made a brief appearance on Smackdown this week but it was only to ruin an otherwise great tag title match. I guess they just want us to remember that Albert and Edge have a feud in case they need to throw the two together to fill out a PPV card sometime in the future. Anyway, this match was boring as are all of Albert’s matches.
Dawn Marie / Al Wilson / Torrie Wilson flashback
Make it stop!! Oh wow, how clever, a Viagra joke. That’s only about five years past being funny. Does Al Wilson read his lines from a cue card? He seems to take dramatic pauses for no reason. The only good thing about this segment is that we know the wedding is in less than a week and hopefully after that Al Wilson will be off WWE television forever (we can only hope).
Noble and Nunzio with Funk Nasty vs. Jobber 1 and Jobber 2
You know you’re a jobber when they don’t even put your name on the screen. But Valentino and Roach actually got in a lot of offense in this match. There were several momentum shifts which is unusual for a Velocity match. The crowd was totally dead (you could hear individual fans talking) but this match was slightly better than expected.
Angle / Brock / Big Show / Benoit flashbacks
First of all, if Brock really did “destroy every ligament in Angle’s knee”, we wouldn’t be seeing our Olympic hero wrestling at Royal Rumble (or Wrestlemania for that matter). But that’s just nitpicking really. The F-5 that did the damage looked nasty!! Chris Benoit deserves tons of credit for his match against Big Show. He didn’t exactly drag a great match out of Show (how hilarious was it when Show tried to bump for the German Suplex?!) but the Rabid Wolverine made the best of a bad situation with lots of great moves and some creative counters. How amazing was that chokeslam reversal into a Crossface after the match? I like the idea of Team Angle so far. Real tag teams on Smackdown are rare these days and I’ve seen a few of Shelton Benjamin’s matches on Heat, all of which were respectable. Hopefully, we’ll see Shelton and Charlie Haus (sp?) using some innovative moves like they used on Benoit instead of resorting to typical heel tactics.
John Cena with B-2 vs. Chuck Palumbo
Decent match here. Nothing too creative as we all knew B-2 would interfere and help Cena get the win, but Palumbo got in some good offense including a few suplexes. Standard Velocity stuff.
Overall, the show this week was just average. The Matt Hardy match was uninspired and we had to see the Ass-Train fight Funaki again for like the tenth time. Not that having a different opponent would make Albert’s match any better (see Edge vs. Albert at the last PPV for further proof). The tag team match, which in itself is a rarity for Velocity, got no heat at all but was better than expected and the main event was passable. Next week, I think we’ll have a few more big name wrestlers on the show as the wedding on Smackdown should waste at least a half hour, leaving too little time to fit all the usual guys in.
This week’s best wrestling moment: Chris Benoit kicking Big Show in the beanbag at the beginning of Smackdown. I actually laughed out loud and I haven’t done that in months while watching wrestling. The sneer on Benoit’s face as he looked at Big Show’s agony was priceless.
This week’s random comment: I saw Two Towers finally. Is it just me or did all the soldiers of Rohan (especially Eomer) look like Edge?