Raw Is War 14/02/2000 And Smackdown 17/02/2000

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Quick Recap- Kane is still on the rampage having torn through the DX ranks, while The Rock and Cactus Jack are hot on the heels of WWF Champion Triple H and his loyal followers.

Quick results-

Raw 14/02/2000

In a triple threat match, D’Von Dudley fended off Edge and Jeff Hardy to secure himself and Bubba Dudley a tag title shot at No Way Out! Edge had accidentally speared Hardy, allowing D’Von to nail him with a Super reverse DDT from behind to score the pin. Tensions rose between the face teams afterwards, but they didn’t come to blows on this occasion.

Road Dogg got the better of Grand Master Sexay.

Kurt Angle challenged Chris Jericho to a match for his Intercontinental title, hoping to add to the European title he’d won last week. Jericho appeared to accept and a fight broke out.

D’Lo and Godfather ended Head Cheese’s hot streak after Snow inadvertently threw off his partner’s concentration!

Chris Benoit beat The Rock! It took interference from Eddie Guerrero and the Big Show, but it’s still an impressive win.

Scotty 2 Hotty pinned Billy Gunn after Grand Master turned the tables on Road Dogg’s intervention.

Essa Rios retained the Lightheavyweight title against Crash Holly.

Tazz beat Hardcore Holly by DQ after Crash tried redeeming himself following his previous loss. Tazz suplexed him out of his boots for good measure.

Rikishi was awarded the DQ win against Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko after Eddie Guerrero interfered.

Kane beat Big Show and Triple H in a no DQ handicap match. All hell broke loose and Kane pinned Show in the chaos.

Smackdown 17/02/2000

Triple H and Kane went to a no-contest. DX assaulted Kane, then took Paul Bearer out to the back. Kane gave chase, but both of them wound up getting caught in the DX Express and carted out of the arena.

Chyna beats Kurt Angle by DQ after Kurt hit her with the European title belt. Chris Jericho tries to help her out, but gets caught by an Olympic Slam. Chyna gets revenge though, thanks to a low blow.

Tazz beats Gangrel via the Tazzmission.

Cactus Jack and X-Pac also went to a no contest, another DX ambush leading to Cactus being carted out by the DX express bus as well.

Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn defeated Too Cool thanks to Eddie Guerrero’s intervention.

Right after that, Rikishi limped down to take on an injured Eddie Guerrero, who’d been using a tire iron the whole time to take the babyfaces out. The Radicals then do a number on the big man and his pals, taking out the big man’s leg with the ring steps. Eddie then makes the ref announce him as the winner of their match by forfeit!

Edge & Christian pinned a reunited Big Bossman and Albert, but the heels got revenge post-match.

Another handicap match, another no contest. The Rock and The New Age Outlaws again wind up in the parking lot, but Rock escapes from the DX bus and takes out Big Show to end the night.

Rocking Radicalz are Too Cool- Benoit and Co continue to impress against their rivals.

For the WWF’s latest signings, the sacrifices they’d made and the bullshit forced upon them in their previous workplace must’ve seemed like a world apart from here. From training under gruelling regimes in Japan, honing their craft in the financially unstable Extreme Championship Wrestling, to the backstage politics and general lunacy of World Championship Wrestling, it’s fair to say that these four had paid their dues and them some. It had taken them over a decade to get to where they, but boy was the grass ever greener on this side of the fence!

The much travelled quartet raised the bar this week on both shows. On Raw, Chris Benoit not only pinned The Rock, but had competed in a darned fine match with him to boot. Benoit was proving time and time again that he had what it took to compete with the company’s biggest stars, and I’d bet this showing in particular went a long way to establishing his stay for the long-term. Obviously The Rock deserves credit too, one for proving he himself was up there with the best performers from an in-ring standpoint (Not just a pretty face and an excellent promo) and for putting him over.

Yes, there was interference, but it would’ve been silly to make it a clean sweep over him. But the match belonged to the Canadian, who in turn proved he belonged “Up North” with the big dogs.

As for his compatriots, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero sent Rikishi to hospital. Wrapping your foe’s leg into a chair and then squashing it with the steel ring steps is certainly one way to send a message, as is sneak attacking them with a tire iron. Eddie was still nursing his injury, but still found ways to make a good contribution. Their chemistry with the always charismatic Too Cool made for great television, both in terms of the rivalry and the tag match on Smackdown.

A fine showing from these four, who were carving a name for themselves as four of the most dangerous grapplers on the roster.

All aboard the DX Express- Kane, Cactus and Rocky all get a ride.

What do you do when the companies’ three top babyfaces are hot on your heels? Handicap matches, mass assaults and a large bus are all vital components in DX’s warfare playbook.

After kicking off the week in a manner very similar to WCW in it’s prime years, the leader of this particular group set the stall for the rest of the night, booking matches and making threats. But unlike Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan in the N.W.O, Triple H always cuts an engaging promo. His crew are always organised, calculating and talented enough to pull off the tasks at hand.

Bottom line, the four of them were headed into No Way Out with something to prove, as their opening promo on Smackdown proved. X-Pac and Kane were set on a collision course over Tori. The Outlaws had sent a clear message to the Dudleyz that they hadn’t a chance against them, while HHH once again vowed to cripple ol’ Mick Foley. All of their words had authority in them, just as should be delivered by this deadly faction.

All four of the green and black soldiers had torn the house down in their respective matches during the week. Both of the New Age Outlaws had contested great bouts against Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty and bumped around like pinballs for The Rock, X-Pac even showed he could brawl against Cactus Jack.

Triple H faced Kane on two occasions, gelling well with the big red machine, at one point defending the WWF title against him. ‘Twas a strong showing and Kane had deserved a title opportunity on the form he’d been on for the last three shows.

This is the incarnation of DX that, for me, stands out as the most entertaining. The four of them were on a brilliant roll, serving as the perfect nemesis’ for the good guys. I wish they were still around. With the exception of Evolution, no other group this size has even come close to matching the heights they did.

The World’s Strongest heart- Mark and Mae’s week of love.

I have to say fair play when it comes to all this Mark Henry/Mae Young stuff, because it’s starting to win me over. The way Mark plays the whole thing with a smile on his face and looks like he’s genuinely enjoying it all deserves respect. It might be horrible, but at least he’s having fun with it. Then there was Mae, who spent most of Smackdown with the APA playing cards, smoking cigars and drinking beer! What was funniest was Bradshaw and Faarooq’s begrudging respect of this tough ol’ bird coming into their realm. I still think it’s a bit silly, but it’s getting more and more entertaining to look back on.

Midcard madness- The rest of the week.

The Dudleyz were richly deserving of their title opportunity, won by D’Von in the triple threat match on Raw. If you want to be really pedantic, you could question the logic of having the number 1 contendership of the tag belts being decided in a match where the emphasis is on a worker not having his tag partner in the match. Still entertaining though, and the partners not in the match add a vital component to the atmosphere surrounding it.

It was also the first time since the turn of the year that we first saw tension between the two babyface teams, as The Hardyz and Edge & Christian’s competitive spirit was in full flow. It was strange for E&C to go from that to an apparent mini-feud against a reunited Big Bossman and Albert, however.

Head Cheese’s epic undefeated run was quashed by Godfather and D’Lo, with a little help from Al Snow and a ho. The fun with Blackman continues, and I like the dynamic. He’s desperate to maintain his tough guy image, yet Snow won’t give up on trying to give him personality. It’s brilliant!

Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho engaged in a nice bit of microphone duelling on Raw, as Angle went in search of yet more gold in the shape of Y2J’s Intercontinental title. Angle vs Chyna on Smackdown was nothing special, but the rivalry between the Olympian and the Ayatollah kicked off in good fashion. Bring on the matches!

Remember my last entry when I said the company needed an influx of new divas at that point? Step forward Lita, the first of the ‘new breed’ of young ladies arriving on the scene. She stole the match between Essa Rios and Crash Holly, wowing the crowd with her hurracanranas and moonsaults. It was the start of a storied, if controversial career for her.

Tazz got some decent screen time this week, looking like a beast against the Holly Cousins and absolutely battering Gangrel on Smackdown. See, Tazz’s WWF/E career wasn’t all bad. It wasn’t just about becoming a commentator and reducing his in-ring duties. At this point, he was still a suplex machine kicking plenty of arse. In other words, he was still doing what he was best at.

Overall-

The No Way Out build is hotting up to a very warm and welcoming temperature. We had our usual blend of good matches and good segments with the usual forward thinking and clever, progressional booking. It was a good time to be a WWF fan, and things were going to get even better leading up to Wrestlemania and beyond.

Worth a watch for-

Benoit vs Rock, HHH vs Kane on Smackdown and Mae Young playing cards against the APA (and winning!).

Follow me on twitter: @Nick_Sellers

#DXExpress

#MarkAndMae

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