WWF Thursday Night Smackdown Preview – April 5th, 2001
WrestleMania has now officially come and gone, but the aftermath on Raw is War this past Monday was just as explosive. With that being said, there probably isn’t a more explosive situation at the moment other than the WWF Championship scene. The WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin came down to the ring to ‘explain’ his alliance with his former enemy Vince McMahon on Raw, only for the former champion The Rock to attack the champion. ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ was quick to get out of dodge, but it’s quite clear that The Rock hasn’t forgotten being screwed by Austin and McMahon, and is going to continue to look for revenge. With Vince McMahon’s very own wife Linda McMahon back in charge of her CEO duties, all signs leads to The Rock deserving a rematch for the WWF title.
But there’s the moniker of anything can happen in the WWF for a reason. Two other men who think they are deserving of a shot at the WWF title are The Undertaker and Triple H. The animosity between these two men has continued to build over the past month, and it came to a head at WrestleMania, and again the next night on Raw. Both times the match couldn’t be contained inside the squared circle, with multiple minutes of the match taking place on the outside of the ring, and around the arena. When all the smoke was settled, and all the dust was cleared, both times The Undertaker has been victorious. Vince McMahon himself mentioned that the winner of the match would be in consideration for a title shot, and it should be expected for ‘The American Badass’ to explore that statement as much as he can. ‘The Game’ will also have a case to argue though, as on Raw, after he landed the Pedigree he had ‘Taker beat, but the referee was unconscious from a previous incident. Having the visual victory will have Helmsley extremely irritated, and he’ll be doing all he can to prove to his father in law that he’s worthy of a title shot... Especially when the champion is his most hated rival, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen here, but with arguably the four biggest names in the business all chasing the one goal, things are sure to only get hotter before cooling down any.
Another major talking point both inside and outside of the WWF at recent times has been the future of World Championship Wrestling. The new owner of WCW Shane McMahon seems to be showing some of the business savvy that his father has previously, as he was spotted trying to poach the most decorated tag team in the history of the business, The Dudley Boyz to WCW on Raw. Shane’s father dearest was shown to be fuming after seeing this, however how angry can Vince really be, when he did similar things to all the regional territory promoters to expand the WWF when he took over? Either way, after defeating his father in a street fight at WrestleMania, Shane doesn’t seem to be too worried about the consequences, so just who will be next on the list of WCW and Shane McMahon’s recruitment drive?
As always, we will also have plenty of in ring action on this week’s episode of Smackdown. In this week’s main event, coming off their epic victory at WrestleMania in TLC, the WWF Tag Team Champions Edge and Christian will defend their titles. In a shocking turn of events, Vince McMahon allowed the champions to choose who they would face out of the Hardyz and the Dudleyz, and coming off their shock loss to the Right to Censor on Raw, Edge and Christian chose The Dudleyz. Meanwhile, The Hardy Boyz will also be in action for the first time since TLC, as they will go head to head with the WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Crash Holly, and his cousin Hardcore Holly, as the Holly cousins reunite. There will be a trio of tag team matches on Smackdown this week, as the Right to Censor will look to continue their winning ways from Raw when they go up against The APA.
Of course there’s plenty more than just traditional tag team matches taking place this week though. Coming off an impressive defence of his WWF Hardcore Championship on Raw, Kane will be going one on one with Kurt Angle. The Olympic Gold Medallist has been on quite the winning streak as of late, defeating Chris Benoit, albeit in questionable circumstances at WrestleMania, and then rolling right through Hardcore Holly on Raw. Angle is another superstar who has mentioned his intentions to win the WWF Championship so another big win in this match would be crucial. Meanwhile, Kane will be rather banged up his Hardcore match with Raven on Raw, as well as the Chokeslam he received from The Big Show after the match. The Big Show seems hell bent on making an impact, and he seems to have chosen ‘The Big Red Machine’ as his target of choice. Kurt Angle is a formidable enough opponent, but with Kane possibly having to be on the lookout for Show as well, just how is he supposed to win this match?
Another champion coming off an impressive title defence is the WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho. ‘Y2J’ and the Commissioner of the WWF have been at each other’s throats for months, and it was all supposed to come to an end when they met at WrestleMania. Jericho was able to retain the gold, but Regal seems to have become even more obsessed with his personal vendetta against the loudmouth Canadian. He forced Jericho to defend his IC title against X Pac on Raw, which Jericho did successfully, and now tonight, Jericho has been booked to face X Pac, and his two stable mates, Albert and Justin Credible in a handicap match. One has to wonder what the evil Englishman’s plan is, and if it has something to do with softening Jericho up so he can have another shot at the gold.
After losing the WWF European Championship to Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania, Test cashed in his rematch clause the next night on Raw. Test looked likely to regain the gold after landing a Pump handle Slam, and pinning Eddie, when The Radicalz interfered, giving Test the victory by disqualification. Test got the win in the record books, but Guerrero retained the European title. Test looks set to continue gunning for the title, and he’ll start the chase again tonight, by going one on one with Perry Saturn. Also, Spike Dudley will make his first appearance since also being killed by Rhyno when both men were interfering in the TLC match, and he will be looking for revenge when he faces Rhyno himself.
Tune in to see all this and a lot more on Smackdown, coming from Oklahoma City!
WWF Tag Team Championship – Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz
Kane vs. Kurt Angle
Handicap Match – Chris Jericho vs. X Factor (Albert, Justin Credible, X Pac)
The Hardy Boyz vs. The Holly Cousins
The APA vs. The Right To Censor
Perry Saturn vs. Test
Rhyno vs. Spike Dudley