Quick Recap- Big Show was trying to obtain proof that he was he rightful winner of the Royal Rumble, and Cactus Jack was still a thorn in Triple H’s side after their epic Royal Rumble clash. In the midcard, The Dudleyz were causing shockwaves after putting poor Terri through a table on Raw.
Al Snow beat Mr.Ass by DQ. Steve Blackman ran down with his kendo stick to interfere, but Gunn took it from him and attacked them in return! That’s what draw the DQ, since Blackman didn’t hit first, and as a result Snow and Blackman get a tag team title shot on Raw!
Edge & Christian pinned the Dudleyz Boyz, Edge getting the duke over D’Von. Post-match Bubba got revenge by powerbombing Christian onto Edge and through a table in the process!
Viscera beat Hardcore Holly, but after the match Crash and Hardcore attacked him. So much for the Viscera/Crash tag team!
Kane & Big Show went to a no-contest after the massive assault on Kane via Show, X-Pac and the rest of DX. Tori also turned on Kane, cosying up to her new boyfriend in X-Pac.
Too Cool vs D’Lo and Godfather went to a no-contest because all four of them started partying with the ho’s! Mae Young then announced she was pregnant. Party pooper.
Test retained the Hardcore title against Gangrel.
Tazz defeated all three members of the Mean Street Posse by himself! Kurt Angle attacked him after the match with a chokehold, following on from their previous two encounters.
Chris Jericho retained his Intercontinental title against Crash.
The Rock & Rikishi went to a no-contest after Triple H & Big Show attacked them. Too Cool tried to help, but they fell victim to a double chokeslam from Show.
Promo time with Cactus- Foley serves up another treat.
Despite the epic contest at the Rumble a few days ago, the HHH/Cactus feud seems like it hasn’t even started yet! After yet more excellence from Foley on the microphone, the crowd were in for a surprise when Cactus called out HHH again, only for Stephanie to answer the call instead! In fairness to Steph, she was still honing her promo skills but she gave as good as she got here.
The big issue around the promo was the slap. “Slap me again and find out what happens!” Steph, for all her bravado, showed her human side by wisely backing off of the crazed Cactus. Mainly, Cactus was trying to goad HHH into putting his title on the line one more time. It’s left open-ended as to wether or not he’ll get his wish, but you’d think this was a way of testing the audiences’ reaction to see how they’d respond to such a rematch. The reaction was almost a unanimous yes, and rightly so.
There have been some classic rivalries in the annals of wrestling time, but few match up in terms of the work involved in the promos. Every time HHH or Foley had a live mike to their lips, they’d deliver. The wild brawls may not be to everybody’s taste and that’s fine, but for promo work alone this is up there with some of the very, very best.
Somoa collides!- Rock vs Rikishi.
The Rock found himself in the unusual position of having to fight a fellow babyface and even a fellow Somoan, the ever-popular Rikishi, who WWF had recently pushed successfully. After his red-hot promo, the two went on to have a red-hot match in front of a red-hot crowd. So yeah, it was red-hot! More proof that Rikishi could cut in the main event against one of the best and more proof that The Rock was the WWF’s hottest commodity in 2000.
It was a cracking back and forth main event with some cool spots. At one point Rock nailed a DDT, but ‘Kish jumped straight back up and just superkicked Rock’s block off! There was also a pretty naff botched Rock Bottom spot, but the commentators covered it up by citing the weight factor. It didn’t detract from the overall quality though, and the Baltimore faithful will no doubt have gone home feeling they got their moneys worth.
The melee afterwards also saw Too Cool get involved in the proceedings, taking an impressive double chokeslam. This would in turn set up a brilliant Raw main event for next week. But you’ll have to wait to find out how that goes down…
X-Pac & Tori- A Match made in heaven…or hell?
Kane & Big Show were having a pretty good big man match, but that’s not the story here. All of DX, even Triple H, united with Big Show in order to take out the Big Red Machine who had been a real thorn in their side lately.
It was a great way to show that DX were still the dominant force, but also it was nice to see another member of the group actually getting more exposure here over HHH, who still joined in with the attack regardless. Road Dogg was absent I think due to injury, which may partially explain HHH’s presence to make up the numbers, but it was still a welcome presence all the same. He was obviously involved, but for once the spotlight wasn’t on him in the DX group.
It was a really memorable Smackdown moment that you often see get replayed. It was the biggest reaction Tori ever received and was the biggest night of her career effectively. As for Kane, it was a defining moment for his character. Stabbed in the back by his first love, you could be sure it re-lit a fire under him that would see him return stronger than ever before.
Big segment, one of the biggest in the career of both Kane and X-Pac and it reinforced the point that Smackdown was just as essential viewing as Raw in those days.
Parties, Pianos, Puzzling Pairings and Plunder- The midcard stuff.
Over the last couple of weeks the Dudleyz and Hardyz have been at war with each other. Tonight Edge & Christian were thrown into the war after the Dudleyz left them both laying courtesy of their trademark table attacks. Bubba and D’Von are clearly the tag team that everyone is talking about the most right now, belts round their waste or otherwise, and this was another incredibly effective way to put them over strongly. Credit to Cole on commentary too for putting over the angle strongly.
Al Snow and Mr.Ass had a decent opening contest, the result ensuring that Head Cheese would get a tag title shot on Raw the next week. Head Cheese was one of WWF’s most unlikely experiments in terms of how it would take off, but the crowd seemed to be warming to them by the week. As openers to shows go, this wasn’t the most memorable, purely because it didn’t last long and there were far more memorable events occurring at the top of the WWF’s broadcasts that year.
The Godfather/D’Lo vs Too Cool tag bout had one of the strangest yet brilliant endings from a tag match I’ve ever seen, both sides agreeing to abandon their fight and instead just throw a massive party. Both sides being babyfaces, the crowd has no problem with this whatsoever! Not much of a match, but it sure was entertaining.
But then Mae Young and Mark Henry have some celebrating to do of their own, as Mae is pregnant with the World’s Strongest, erm, child. You know where that eventually leads further down the year and as nostalgic WWF moments go, it’s right up there with the most awful ever conceived by the creative powers that be!
Test and Gangrel had a fun backstage brawl over the Hardcore title. Test powerbombing Luna onto a piano was pretty hilarious. The title was tailor made for him at this point. Not only did it give him some decent exposure but their whole ethos around him at this point was to keep showing his toughness. Fun brawl.
Sadly, the epic Crash Holly and Viscera pairing is no more after the Holly Cousins both did a number on him. The match between Hardcore and the big man was ok; nothing fancy but doing a good job of establishing that the Cousins had gotten over their little squabbles for now. With the greatest of respects to Viscera, he was only ever good for squash matches at this point. But slowly WWF was clearing out the midcard of guys like this and adding more talent into the fold from other promotions, as we’ll see in the coming shows.
Tazz made his Smackdown debut by taking out all three members of the Mean Street Posse. The trio were finding it hard to catch a break at this point, and picking on the newcomer may have seemed like a god idea at the time but it would come back to bite them! Kurt getting involved post-match was the main talking point, and it’s good to see this rivalry continue. Tazz was still mega-over following from his strong MSG debut, and it’s a shame that from February onwards he just seemed to gradually fall down the pecking order when he could’ve amounted to so much more.
Technique was the name of the game in the Intercontinental title match between Crash and Chris Jericho. Hardcore and Chyna’s presence on the outside made for easily the hottest moment of this three-way angle so far and it was another convincing win for Y2J in his latest title reign. Was Chyna getting attracted to Jericho or was it just respect? It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.
Really good edition of Smackdown here that keeps things moving on nicely to No Way Out. While Rock vs Big Show and HHH/Cactus II isn’t officially confirmed by now, you know this is where the company is heading. Rikishi continues to impress in the main event picture too. The Dudleyz claim yet another victim, Jericho rolls on as IC Champ, X-Pac and Tori take out Kane in a memorable segment and we had yet another brilliant Cactus promo. Thumbs up!
Worth a watch for…
Rock vs Rikishi and DX taking out Kane, with Tori joining the green and black.
Follow me on twitter: @Nick_Sellers