Quick Recap- The go home shows featured Triple H dragging a caged Mick Foley around in a parking lot and Big Show throwing The Rock through a window. That gives you an idea of what’s to come tonight!
Kurt Angle, already European Champion, pins Chris Jericho to win the Intercontinental title, thus becomming Euro-Continental Champion.
The Dudley Boyz defeated The New Age Outlaws to win the Tag Team titles.
Mark Henry pinned Viscera.
Edge & Christian defeated The Hardyz after Terri turned on them. Edge & Christian were equally puzzled at Terri’s action. She’d also hired the APA for protection, and they took out the Hardyz post match.
Tazz defeated Big Bossman by DQ.
X-Pac defeated Kane.
Too Cool and Rikishi bested The Radicalz (Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko)
Big Show defeated The Rock after Shane McMahon returned and cost Rock the match.
Triple H retained the WWF title against Cactus Jack in the Hell in a Cell match. Mick Foley is forced to retire as a result of the loss.
Mick’s (first) last stand- HHH/Cactus II, Hell in a Cell edition.
The sequel to the Royal Rumble street fight had a lot to live up to. 2×4’s wrapped in barbed wire, thumb tacks, bucket loads of blood; Those were just some of the elements that made the first instalment of Triple H vs Cactus Jack great, so how on earth could they possibly top it?
A giant cage isn’t a bad way to try. Oh, and that 2×4 in barbed wire, why not set it on fire?
Of course, the main stipulation that got coverage prior to this barbaric sequel was that if Mick Foley lost, he’d consequently lose his career. After falling through the top of the cell and right through the ring below, the crowd knew it would soon be curtains. Despite somehow mustering the willpower to get up from the fall, the Pedigree moments later was enough to conclude a fantastic, violent and dramatic main event.
In the last column, I talked about Foley’s comebacks since this match. As retirement matches go, this would’ve certainly been a good one to bow out with, but it’s also the type of performance that made you hope it wouldn’t be the last time we saw Foley compete. Mick has received criticism in the past for not honouring the stipulations of this match, but the critique normally comes from the same people who were hoping to see him defy the result here in the first place.
Perhaps coming back so soon afterwards (only for the one match) wasn’t the best tonic and maybe it should’ve been saved and savoured for an event further down the line, but I’m certainly glad this isn’t the last we ever saw of him as an in-ring performer.
As for Triple H, it was another top quality effort from him. It was Foley’s night, but HHH played a big part in making it happen. A brilliant Hell in a Cell match from two brilliant WWF superstars.
D-Generates make way for the new generation- Outlaws drop the tag titles
The New Age Outlaws had previously been one of the most popular acts in the entire business. It’s been reported that the duo were third in total merchandise sales only to Stone Cold and The Rock during their peak run.
But while they were making waves in DX, a new breed of tag teams were forcing their way into the upper echelons of the division. Edge & Christian and The Hardyz were terrific babyface teams who had been turning in some terrific high flying displays. Then the Dudley Boyz came along started putting people through tables and generally kicked as much arse as they possibly could.
The Rumble told it’s own story in terms of tag team wrestling. In the actual tag title match, The Outlaws defended against The Acolytes in a match that just never got off the ground. Earlier that night, The Hardyz and Dudleyz blew the roof off of the Garden after a riveting brawl.
It was time for The Outlaws to pass the torch, and it was passed to the Dudleyz, who would become the new heel foil for the other two babyface teams doing battle later in the night. Despite the heel vs heel dynamic, the crowd were mainly behind the Outlaws.
The Outlaws never teamed in the WWF again under that name. They did feature in the same team once or twice in multi-man tag matches, and even reformed the team under different names in other promotions upon leaving the WWF, but ultimately this was their last hurrah.
Gunn’s shoulder injury meant the bout probably wasn’t as good as it could’ve been, but you can’t deny Bubba and D’Von didn’t deserve the belts. Easily the most notorious duo around at that point, they just had to have the titles. The next couple of years would be arguably the most memorable for the tites for a long, long time to come.
Shane, game changer- Show upsets The Rock with a little help from McMahon.
While no one doubts Big Show’s credentials as a main event talent, The Rock seemed like an absolute lock here to defeat him and move on to a program with Triple H for Wrestlemania. But thanks to Shane McMahon’s return and his chair shot to Rocky, Show actually pulled off something of an upset victory.
Rock is arguably one of the most unselfish main eventers ever, and here’s a good example of why. By Show winning and surprising everybody, it made everyone want to tune in and find out what Rock would do in order to get his Wrestlemania spot back. It left plenty of questions to answer, least of all why would Shane do such a thing.
The match itself is one of Big Show’s best of his career, and he actually had some good chemistry with The Rock. It brought the best out of him both in and out of the ring while it kept Rock on good form heading into Wrestlemania the next month. The fans were clamouring for Rock/HHH, but because of the events in the resulting couple of months I think we’d be fools to wind the clock back and change them.
Kane and X-Pac’s brawl was a good culmination of their recent rivalry. As I’ve alluded to in previous entries, Kane was stupidly over and it’s almost a shame for him that all the Wrestlemania plans were as good as set in stone, because it would’ve been a great time for them to capitalize on his good form by giving him a run with the gold. It’s almost a shame for X-Pac too, because if the main event scene wasn’t already so stacked he’d likely be in line for a few title matches himself.
Edge & Christian’s collision with The Hardyz was a fun watch. While the tag title match earlier in the night had featured the heel vs heel dynamic, this one pitted two babyface teams together in combat. They were given roughly 15 minutes to go out and tear the house down, and the chemistry was there for all to see. Terri’s return and subsequent heel turn made for a good talking point, and it also gave the APA a chance to get some airtime, which is never a bad thing!
Kurt Angle wins yet more gold, this time defeating Chris Jericho for his Intercontinental title. Already the European Champion, it was another feather in the Olympian’s cap and another sign that the company were increasingly getting behind him. Only four months since his debut at Survivor Series 99, Kurt’s now won two titles and looked almost on equal footing with folks like The Rock. Another career milestone for him. The match itself with Jericho was good, albeit slightly sloppy in places.
Mark Henry vs Viscera wasn’t actually too bad as big-man brawls go. Lots of stiff shots thrown in by both parties. Oddly, considering Viscera may well have scuzzed up Mark’s baby plans, they were teaming together on ECW around 7 years later!
Tazz’s altercation with Bossman and Albert didn’t last long, probably for the best I’d say. I can understand trying to get Tazz over in the WWF as someone who wouldn’t stay down, but there’s two problems here with that. 1) Bossman and Albert were not the people to try and pull this off, and 2) People already KNEW he was a badass from his ECW days. And even if they didn’t, they didn’t need to try to rebuild him as such, because he already looked dominant on his Royal Rumble debut as it was.
The six man tag was a blinder, typical fluency and efficiency from the workers involved. They’ve all collectively bounced off of each other very well since the Radicalz arrived on the scene. It’s been a great way for the former WCW stars to get going in their new surroundings and it’s also elevated their rivals to the point where they’re no longer solely a comedy trio.
WWF PPV’s in 2000 were absolutely great most months, and this is just as you’d expect. The main event delivered in spades, while we had a shock (the good kind) in the conclusion to Rock vs Show. Kurt Angle and the Dudleyz title victories were also moments you could look back on and see how they were pivotal moments in their respective careers. Tazz getting stuck with Bossman and Albert aside, this PPV is perfectly watchable from start to finish with some great moments.
Worth a watch for-
The main event is up there with some of the best of this decade, possibly the top ten. The rest of the show is also worth a watch if you have the time.
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