Quick recap- Mick Foley was reinstated on Raw and now he’s headed on a collision course with Triple H at the Royal Rumble. Speaking of the Rumble, we now know The Rock will join 29 other men in the Rumble match itself. Elsewhere, Kurt Angle is still technically unbeaten, Chris Jericho and Chyna are still at odds over the IC title and DX had been sabotaged on Raw into facing each other in matches, causing some mixed emotions amongst them.
HHH opened the show, apologising to his DX stablemates. He booked the New Age Outlaws against Bradshaw in a handicap match and then he booked them again to face Faarooq in another handicap bout. He also booked himself & X-Pac to team against The Rock and Big Show. The big story though was Mick Foley reintroducing Cactus Jack, after which he proceeded to demolish the WWF Champion.
The Outlaws defeated Bradshaw, taking advantage of the no DQ ruling by nailing him with a chair from behind.
Rikishi & Too Cool defeated Al Snow & The Hollys with Rikishi pinning Crash. Snow attacked the cousins afterwards.
Test defeated Gangrel by DQ after Luna attacked the referee. Post-match Test gave Luna a spanking and then a pumphandle slam before delivering a top rope flying elbow to Gangrel!
The Hardyz defeated Big Bossman and Albert. The heels came to loggerheads afterwards.
Edge & Christian defeated Steve Blackman and Kurt Angle with Blackman taking the fall.
The Outlaws defeated Faarooq in the second handicap match, but Bradshaw helped even the odds post match.
D’Lo Brown & Godfather easily dispatched The Headbangers.
Kane nailed Chris Jericho with the Tombstone for the pin. Post-Match Chyna runs off with the Intercontinental title.
Triple H & X-Pac beat Big Show and The Rock, after Show turned on Rock allowing HHH to nail the Pedigree for the pin. Show Chokeslammed Rock afterwards.
WWF Smackdown 13/01/2000
Heeeere’s Jacky!- Foley brings back his most dangerous persona.
Cactus is back, and with a bang (bang). The Royal Rumble PPV build continued apace tonight and we’ve got our unique selling point for the WWF title match. Mick had come to the realisation that Mankind just wasn’t up to the task against the Game. After putting him over as the top man in the industry, which he was, Mick admitted that this particular face of Foley he’d been portraying in recent years just wasn’t able to withstand the WWF Champion. Luckily he had a ready-made substitute in mind, and with a quick removal of the mask and his white shirt, Cactus Jack was reborn.
Here you’ve got an absolutely perfect segment which I absolutely can’t praise enough. It had literally every component that one could possibly ask for. Lets observe these in more detail:
– Show set up: Before all the Cactus business, HHH had issued a superb grovelling apology to his DX team-mates in addition to setting up some interesting DX themed bouts, including the main event.
– It provided even more reason for you to shell out your money and pay for what promises to be an absolutely marvellous PPV.
– Mick put over HHH as if he was God himself, really emphasising the point that he’s a real underdog and underlining the importance of the title and his holder around this point. Always put over your opponent in some way prior to a big match.
– The crowd were eating up everything from HHH and Steph getting under their skin to the incredible moment of Cactus Jack’s rebirth.
This was one of the most memorable moments in Smackdown history, and Cactus’ return breathed new life into what was already a stellar main event scene.
Suck It up- DX back on the same page?
As part of HHH’s apology to his stable mates, he booked the Outlaws against Bradshaw in handicap match and then another handicap match where they’d take on Faarooq. It was far from an easy task for the tag champs, with both members of the Acolytes showing their infinite toughness despite being a man down in each contest.
Ultimately both Acolytes succumbed to the numbers game, but these were two nice and effective handicap bouts which kept the hatred brewing nicely between these two teams. The faces looked strong, valiant and a thoroughly credible threat despite losing while the Outlaws showed their resourcefulness and their own butt-kicking abilities.
With the greatest of respects to both teams, it wouldn’t be long before younger, more exciting teams who would set the division alight and surpass them. But for now you can’t argue with how they’re producing the goods for their title match at the PPV.
We had more DX tag team action in the main event as Triple H and X-Pac patched up their differences to do battle with The Rock and Big Show. There were actually three sets of simmering rivalry going into this one; HHH and The Rock have been at odds for a while now, Big Show had just lost the WWF title to HHH a week or so before and Big Show admitted in a pre-match interview that he also wasn’t so keen on Rock.
As a result of all this, we had a solid tag team main event between these four. Despite the recent squabbling in DX, HHH and X-Pac actually co-existed perfectly whilst Rock and Big Show just couldn’t get along. Show turned heel by neglecting Rock in the match which allowed HHH to regain his heat from the beatdown earlier on and Pedigree Rocky for the pin. Show regained some of the momentum I felt he’d lost on Raw by Chokeslamming Rock to effectively complete the turn.
HHH still looks strong going into the Rumble and now we’ve got another dimension to the Rumble match in store, what with Rock and Big Show heading for certain fisticuffs on the show. It’s shaping up to be a cracking show and we’ve only got three matches on the card confirmed so far.
Tagaholics anonymous- More partners struggling to get along.
Tag teams having problems seems to have been a running theme so far in 2000. Tonight was no different as Chris Jericho, Big Bossman, Al Snow and even Kurt Angle were made to suffer from a torrid day at the office thanks to their respective accomplices.
Chyna and Chris Jericho’s IC title situation hasn’t been the easiest for either to deal with, but for the greater good they decided to put their differences aside, or so we thought. Chyna spread a rumour to Tori that Y2J had the hots for her, and as a result Kane would lay waste to him in their match later on.
Jericho showed his resilience and he was certainly one of the more energetic performers to watch in the ring in 2000, while Kane continued to look like a dominant force who you certainly wouldn’t bet against going for another WWF title challenge in the near future. So far this was easily the most entertaining part of the Co-Champ angle.
Kurt Angle’s undefeated record still can’t be broken, despite some close calls in recent weeks. On Raw his ally Steve Blackman took the loss for their team and he’d be doing so again tonight against Edge & Christian. ‘twas another good match here which showcased the talents of the young Canadian duo and Angle can still whine and complain that he’s technically unbeaten. Blackman seems to be getting the raw end of the stick in this respect, but the Lethal Weapon would still go on to have memorable year.
Another young tag team on the rise in the Hardy Boyz defeated Big Bossman and Albert. Post-match the heel duo came to loggerheads and basically ended their union, which I think is something of a mercy because I don’t see where they could’ve gone. It should at least be interesting to see how they’d follow it up.
Al Snow’s search for a reliable partner continues, after he came out on the losing end with the Holly cousins against Too Cool and Rikishi. It was another chance for Rikishi to show off his skills and it kept up the storyline with Al Snow’s search for a partner. This was a fun 6-man tag and Too Cool were super over with the crowd tonight.
Vampires and pimps- Other bits
Test and Gangrel contested a solid midcard match with a half-decent story, with Luna trying to interfere on Gangrel’s behalf. Luna eventually took out the ref for the DQ, but Test would have the last laugh as you’ll see from the quick results. Test looked good here and once again the crowd responded positively to him. He’d started of the year seemingly a bit flat footed, but he was really coming into his own again here displaying real toughness and even a spot of naughtiness with the Luna stuff.
D’Lo and Godfather were in good form against the Headbangers. Looking back it’s a shame D’Lo didn’t go further in his career, but he was still bringing it here and the babyfaces made for a really fun combination. Pimping isn’t easy, but it helps when Godfather has a little backup.
A mighty fine edition of Smackdown which kept up the momentum they’d built up towards the Rumble. Rock/Big Show and HHH/Cactus were leading the way in fine form while the midcard was getting more entertaining all the time, with everyone having something going on for them in one way or another.
Worth a watch for…
The whole show isn’t bad at all, but this will mainly be remembered for the opening segment and Cactus’ return to a WWF ring.
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