Mr. Tito's WWE Smackdown Houseshow recap from Wheeling, WV 11-11-02
    Submitted by Mr. Tito on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at 1:52 AM EST

    WWE Smackdown Roster Houseshow
    November 11th, 2002
    Wheeling Civic Center
    Wheeling, WV
    Report by Mr. Tito

    First of all, let's go by the looks of the arena. I was surprised to see the old steel railings again for the WWE at this houseshow. It's been a while... Secondly, the Entrance for the wrestlers was simply a part of the hockey boards for the Wheeling Nailer taken out. Very tacky to say the least.

    As for attendance... The Wheeling Civic Center was roughly 1/3 full, which is sad in an arena that houses roughly 6,000 for wrestling events. The WWE was more filled up by the Thunder show that WCW had during the summer of 2000, and that was when WCW was on its way down the tubes. That's not good, and this area had plenty of advertising for the show, including a complete card listing through radio advertisements.

    Ok, the show started out with Tony Chimel or Chimmel coming out for opening announcements. Then, the National Anthem, which was a recording over the PA system, and then we were under way.

    6 Man Match: D'Von Dudley, Ron Simmons, and Bull Buchanan vs. Val Venis, Eric Angle, and Shelton Benjamin
    D'Von, Simmons, and Buchanan came out to tremendous heat by the small crowd for the first opening match. Then, D'Von got on the mic and ripped the hell out of the West Virginia crowd. He said that 80% of the people in the arena couldn't read, and made the usual inbred West Virginia jokes. He also questioned why fans shouted "You Suck" when they should be saying that when they look in the mirror. Funny stuff. You have to wonder why the WWE holds back on Bubba or D'Von when they are heels from getting on the mic like this. Val Venis's team came out to a good pop because D'Von pissed off the crowd that much. Eric Angle has shaved his head and very much looks like his brother Kurt. Very solid six man match, with the crowd fully into it. Benjamin, Angle, and Buchanan looked good in spots, while Val was good all around. This was the first time I've seen Venis in a long time. The match ended with a sequence that found Val Venis hitting the Money Shot for the final pin.
    Winners: Venis, Angle, and Benjamin

    3 Way Cruiserweight Elimination Match: Crash Holly vs. Jamie Noble(champ) vs. Tajiri
    Tajiri and Crash received a decent pop from the crowd, but Jamie Noble received a big face pop because of the listing of his "whereabouts" for his character, as he lives somewhere in West Virginia. Hell, Noble even gave high-fives to the crowd on the way down. Nidia looks good in person, too. Crash Holly was hilarious at the beginning of this match (I'm not making fun of him). He first came in and purposely fell over the ropes. Then, Nidia walked over to Crash before the match, obviously talking dirty, and Crash couldn't start the match as he acted as though he had a stiffy from what Nidia said. Then, Crash tried the Tarantula on Tajiri, but to no avail. It was quite entertaining, and making you wonder why he isn't pushed more as a main fixture of the Cruiserweight division. Crash was quickly eliminated by a Tajiri kick, which left Noble and Tajiri together. Really good Cruiserweight action followed, as both guys are probably very used to working with each other by now. The finish saw Nidia trying to get involved and Noble holding the tights on a roll up for the win.
    Winner: Jamie Noble

    John Cena/Doug Basham vs. Billy Kidman/Chuck Palumbo
    John Cena was absolutely hated by the crowd, for whatever reason. They were all over him during this match, making me wonder what kind of potential he could have as a heel. Match was back and forth and even went beyond the entrance way at one point. Eventually, Chuck Palumbo hit the Junglekick for the win on Basham. Crowd kept on riding Cena after the match.
    Winners: Palumbo and Kidman

    KISS MY ASS MATCH: Matt Hardy vs. Rikishi
    Very bizarre stuff here. It was advertised that Rikishi would take on Albert in this sort of match. However, the WWE changed up some things and had Rikishi taking on Hardy, while Benoit would take on Albert. Where it gets really weird is that Matt Hardy comes out, to a big face pop actually, and gets on the mic and cuts a face promo. What??!? Then, Rikishi comes out and starts yelling at the crowd for not appreciating him, and then tells the crowd to "kiss my ass". Rikishi walked out of the ring, and didn't come back until Hardy called him on. This match was short, and it had Rikishi winning with a superkick. Matt Hardy walked away, but was ordered by the referee to come in and kiss Rikishi's ass, or face suspension. Matt Hardy came back, and instead of kissing some ass, he gave Rikishi a nutshot, hit the Twist of Fate, and put Rikishi in the corner. Then, Matt Hardy gave Rikishi his own version of the Stinkface(!!).
    Winner: Rikishi

    {Intermission: 15 Minutes}

    Albert vs. Chris Benoit
    This match had Albert hitting a TON of power moves on Benoit, throughout the match, with Benoit hardly getting any offense back at Albert. Benoit hit this sweet Crossface counter on the Baldo-bomb at one point in the match. Plenty of "shave your back" chants directed towards Albert. Just when Benoit FINALLY started taking advantage of Albert, almost having him beat with the Crossface, the Big Show ran in and chokeslammed Benoit, Albert, and the referee.
    Winner: No Contest

    The Big Show would then get on the mic and insist that he didn't want to wait for Survivor Series, he wanted Brock Lesnar NOW! Lesnar came out to accept.

    Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show
    Not much of a match, as the Guerreros immediately attacked Brock Lesnar as he was coming down to the ring. This would prompt the whole Smackdown lockerroom to come down and we'd have a BIG BRAWL. The face wrestlers and Brock Lesnar would be left in the ring, while the Big Show and the other heels would eventually leave the ring. Lesnar would get on the mic and insist that the Big Show would get his, this Sunday, at Survivor Series. All a promotion for the Pay Per View.
    Winner: No Contest

    Then, a very strange incident. The face wrestlers remaining in the ring (Brock Lesnar left by now) went after announcer Tony Chimel and ripped open his shirt. Val Venis, Billy Kidman, and Shelton Benjamin would give Chimel some STIFF chops in the corner and then irish whip him to the other corner. Kidman, Val Venis, 2 referees, and eventually Rikishi, I guess getting back his face status, gave poor Tony Chimel Stinkfaces. It was very funny as it seemed like a good rib than anything purposely booked on a houseshow.

    Bra and Panties Match: Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson
    Both ladies had a decent pop, because you know, they are both hot as hell. Plenty of "We Want Puppies" chants by the crowd, because, you know, everyone has been conditioned by Jerry Lawler to say that at live events. Funny moment when referee Hebner rolled around with the ladies and then afterward, he jumped up on the turnbuckle and raised his arms in celebration. Lucky guy. Torrie won after several roll ups which led to Dawn Marie losing her pants. Nidia would run down after the match, but lose her bottom too. Very nice... Bad wrestling match, but good on the eyes otherwise.
    Winner: Torrie Wilson

    World Tag Titles: Edge/Mysterio vs. Eddie and Chavo Guerrero
    Great tag match all around between these guys. It started off slowly with plenty of weardown moves between both teams, which I thought was rather odd. They then reverted to the old tag format, and Edge was the "face in peril" and he would eventually get the hot tag to Mysterio. After that, great action occurred, leading to a hot finish that saw Edge spearing Eddie while Mysterio did his Frankensteiner pinning move on Chavo at the same time. It seemed like the ladies were greatly into Edge, while everyone in the arena HATED the Guerreros, with plenty of "Chavo Sucks" or "Eddie Sucks" chants forming.
    Winners: Edge and Rey Mysterio

    1) Matt Hardy
    2) Val Venis, Shelton Benjamin, and Eric Angle's entrances
    3) Edge

    1) D'Von Dudley
    2) The Guerreros
    3) John Cena

    TITO's ANALYSIS: Good houseshow from the WWE. I thought this show featured several aspects that the WWE should include on their television shows. For one, let D'Von speak, and namely, let him rip on the crowds! Sure, it's cheap heat, but he does it so well. Good speakers should get mic time. The WWE should greatly push John Cena as a heel because if this small Wheeling crowd will hate him, think of what bigger crowds would do?
    Guys like Crash Holly and Val Venis can easily find a good role on Smackdown instead of getting stuck on Velocity or whatever. Strange to see Rikishi trying heel stuff, while Matt was acting like a face again. I'm assuming that after a few bad matches between Big Show and Lesnar at recent houseshows, this match was held off before our crowd for fear of losing some Pay Per View buys. I liked how many wrestlers who didn't appear to be over on television received responses from the hot, yet small, Wheeling crowd. No Kurt Angle, but oh well. Angle has been experiencing some back pain and he has a knee in need of surgery soon.

    Good houseshow all around. I'm satisfied. I thought the main event tag match was very good and worth the price of admission alone, while the opening 6 man match was an extra treat. The rest wasn't that bad. I'm also proud to have went because I picked up a Hulk Hogan bobblehead, a very nice addition to my collection of what is now 52 bobbleheads.

    I love the Smackdown roster!

    (When using this Houseshow report, please have the respect to credit Mr. Tito AND

    By the way, Kudos to the guys from WrestlePalooza. I spotted them in the crowd after hearing several out-of-place "USA" chants during matches with Americans involved and no foreigners. That was funny! They also started a "We Want Tables" chant during the Torrie vs. Dawn Marie match. Classic!

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