Thursday, 9 July 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Rebellion 2000

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Event poster
December 2, 2000
Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England

With the notable exception of Summerslam 1992, nothing that ever happened on a UK-based PPV really made that much of a difference to the landscape of the World Wrestling Federation. 

Sure, there was the time Shawn Michaels stole the European Championship from The British Bulldog in controversial fashion back at One Night Only in 1997, but let's be honest:

Michaels and the WWF cared so little about this that when he gave the title to his then-underling Hunter Hearst Helmsley, it barely even mattered.

That was a shame, because while the company tried to promote events like the second annual Rebellion as a big deal,  you knew before the opening bell that nothing of any real consequence was ever going to happen.

Still, that didn't mean that this wouldn't be a fun show...







...or did it?

Let's head down to the Sheffield Arena to find out.

The Fatal Four Way is Fatal

Rebellion UK 2000 began with Commissioner Mick Foley and recently-appointed Leuitenant Commissioner Debra arriving at the arena in a chauffeur-driven black cab.

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Mick Foley and Debra set up announced tonight's main event
As the two presumedly made their way into the arena, we were shown a video package highlighting tonight's main event, a Fatal Four-Way match in which Kurt Angle would defend the WWF Championship against The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Rikishi.

Just to hammer home the point, Foley and Debra then made their way to the ring, where Debra showed off her boobs while Foley told us that said Fatal Four Way was a No Disqualification match.

At this stage, all WWF main events were essentially anything-goes free-for-alls, so quite why they bothered even announcing the No Disqualification stipulation is beyond me.

Anyway, Foley after Foley got done telling us Triple H had gone home because he couldn't be in the main event, he and his Lieutenant were interrupted by the WWF Champion, who was there ostensibly to protest having to defend his title against three other men, but was really just there to wind up the crowd.

Tonight, Live, at Rebellion

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - JR called the show with Tazz despite the two being sworn enemies months earlier
With the main event set-up out of the way, it was up to our announce team of Jim Ross and Tazz to reveal some of tonight's other matches.

It was only at Summerslam 2000 that Tazz and Ross hated each other so much that JR smashed the Human Suplex Machine in the face with a glass candy jar. Tonight, all that animosity was apparently not only forgiven but entirely forgotten.

Sounding like they were on the same page, the do told us that tonight, live at Rebellion, we'd see The Undertaker take on Chris Benoit in a "special challenge match." Honestly, I miss the days when WCW would label every match that wasn't a gimmick or title match a "special challenge match" as a way to make it sound more important, so I'm all good with that one.

However, JR and Tazz also told us that we'd see Kane vs. Chris Jericho in a match that was specially named a "one fall to a finish" match. It even had a graphic advertising that fact, though it was never explained how this particular "one fall to a finish" match was different from 99.99% of all pro-wrestling matches.

Three-Team Table Elimination Match
10 minutes 20 - sexy Trish
T&A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley)

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - JR called the show with Tazz despite the two being sworn enemies months earlierThough there'd be much better matches involving The Dudleyz, Edge, and Christian (usually also including The Hardyz), this was fine for an opening contest an mostly insignificant PPV.

Unsurprisingly, Test and Albert were the first to go after Edge and Christian powerbombed Albert through a table.

That left the two sets of kayfabe brothers to duke it out in decent encounter which, to be fair, did a great job in getting the crowd suitably fired up for the show.

Also unsurprisingly given the type of match it was, The Dudleyz walked away with the victory, though not before putting in an entertaining effort.
Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz

Out in the back, Lita told Michael Cole how excited she was to be visiting England for the first time and had her sights set on defeating Ivory to reclaim her women's championship

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Ivory (w/ Steven Richards) vs. Lita

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Steven Richards looks on proudly as Ivory cuts a promo before her match against Lita
Before the bell, Steven Richards made reference to The Full Monty being filmed in Sheffield and, in true Right to Censor fashion, bemoaned how terrible nudity was.

He also criticized England for having "a pub on every street corner" which made the crowd cheer loudly and said some anti-monarchy stuff that the audience were largely apathetic about.

For her part, the WWF Champion talked about busting Lita open at Survivor Series 2000 and insisted it had been for her own good.

The match itself was short and relatively sweet - not a gripping epic by any stretch, but a decent showing from both women given the brief time allocated to them.

At just under three minutes, Ivory retained her title with help from Richards.
Your Winner and Still WWF Women's Champion: Ivory

Finally, The Rock had come back to Sheffield. Backstage, The People's Champion told Michael Cole that his Christmas present to Kurt Angle was to whip his candy bum all over the arena, that is if we could nasally detect what he had in the oven.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman vs. Perry Saturn

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Steve Blackman successfully defended the WWF Hardcore Championship against Perry Saturn
Most WWF hardcore matches were wacky, garbage-based brawls that went all over the place and utilized the kind of unique spots you usually wouldn't see in a standard wrestling match.

This wasn't one of those types of hardcore matches.

This was a bog-standard wrestling match with a few weapon shots thrown in and, you know what?

It worked.

Although the crowd wasn't too taken with the actual wrestling spots, from a TV viewer's perspective, it made for entertaining viewing.

After a fun six-minute encounter, Steve Blackman blasted the challenger to retain his gold.
Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman

Out in the back, European Champion William Regal tried to ensure that he’d still be received as a heel by cutting a fun promo in which he declared himself to be England’s only sporting hero.

After ripping on boxing greats like Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis and Sheffield’s own Prince Naseem (remember him?), Regal insisted it was his honor to be our hero.

It was fun stuff from the champion, even if he was a little more subdued than normal.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion William Regal vs. Crash Holly (w/ Molly Holly)

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - William Regal lost the European Championship to Crash Holly
Though he did get some boos, there were still a lot of cheers for Regal, so he decided to kill them by cutting yet another promo, this time in the ring.

The content was more of the same - English people are rubbish but Regal is awesome. However, it went on for so long that it was a relief when Crash Holly attacked him from behind to get this one underway.

What followed was a decent little title match that was fun right up until the unnecessarily weird finish.

Regal scored a three count but Crash had his foot on the rope the whole time. When Molly Holly pointed this out, the referee restarted the match then turned to ring announcer Tony Chimmel to let him know.

While the referee’s back was turned, Molly hit Regal with a missile dropkick. Crash scored the three and claimed the title.
Your Winner and NEW European Champion: Crash Holly

Post-match, Regal clobbered both Holly cousins from behind with a couple of clotheslines and walked off with his title, smiling and waving the whole time.

I know I started off this review talking about how nothing important ever really happened on these shows and then a title changed hands, but Regal would have his title back by Raw, so I stand by that.

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

Backstage, Kurt Angle complained to Chris Benoit about his upcoming title match.

As The Crippler stood there, stoic as ever, the champion suggested that if Benoit were to help him out tonight, he’d see to it that he was rewarded with a title match.

The Radicalz (WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko & Eddie Guerrero) vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion ‘The One’ Billy Gunn & Chyna

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Chyna teamed with Billy Gunn to face Eddie Guerrero & Dean Malenko
Before the match, a video package reminded us that Chyna and Eddie Guerrero had split up after GTV (remember that?) had revealed Eddie cheated on Chyna by having shower sex with two women.

Chyna then came to the ring wearing a top with a Union Jack flag on it, prompting Tazz to show off how little he knew, or cared, about the country he was in.

“Chyna’s wearing that British flag, whatever it’s called,” he said.
“The Union Jack,” explained Ross.
“Union what?” asked Tazz. “Who’s Jack?”

This wasn’t him trying to be funny or even play a heel. Throughout the night he’d make multiple quips which proved his UK knowledge was nonexistent.

It might have been comical were it done for laughs, but it mostly came across as awkward and a bit offensive.

Anyway, the match itself was fine. A fairly by-the-numbers tag bout, this one saw both teams go back and forth multiple times until Billy Gunn drilled Dean Malenko with a cobra clutch slam for the win.

It was an all-round good effort despite looking a little sloppy in places.
Your Winners: Billy Gunn & Chyna

Out in the crowd, some British guy called Dan who nobody had ever heard of before or since interviewed some members of the audience.

He made out like it was a huge deal that one girl traveled two hours from Birmingham to be at the show.

Pfft. I once traveled five hours from Manchester to London to be at Capital Carnage in 1998.

Beat that, random lady.

Up next, we got a look at the feud between Chris Jericho and Kane which were told both was and wasn’t about Jericho spilling coffee on The Big Red Machine.

Kane vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Kane's match with Chris Jericho was weirdly billed as '1 fall to a finish' despite most matches being one fall
Before they locked up, Chris Jericho took to the microphone to go through his standard catchphrases and refer to Kane as a ‘black and white Union Jack Ass.’

At least one member of the roster knew what the flag was called.

The match itself was good stuff and probably the best thing on the card up to this point.

After a fun contest, Kane chokeslammed Jericho to hell for the three count.
Your Winner: Kane

Afterward, Jericho chased after his rival and blasted him with a chair and put him in the Walls of Jericho on the stage.

Tim White and Earl Hebner tried to stop him while Tony Garea just kind of stood there, watching.

Boobs and Stuff

Backstage, Trish Stratus mocked Lita for failing to win back her title.

Lita retaliated by throwing a glass of Apple Tango and Trish, beating her up and ripping her top off to expose her bra.

She then pushed her into a dressing room where Ivory was getting changed.

It was supposed to be sexy but it really wasn’t.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Right to Censor (The Goodfather & Bull Buchanan w/ Val Vanis) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - The Goodfather & Bull Buchanan defended the tag team titles against The Hardy Boyz
Like many of tonight's matches, this was a decent outing despite never really getting into high gear.

I've noted in the past how most Superstars would leave their A-Game in the States whenever they came over to England and usually did just enough to avoid sucking.

That seemed to be the case here.

The Hardyz, The Goodfather, and Bull Buchanan put in enough effort to make for a passable match, but this wasn't the sort of thing you'd ever be in a hurry to see again.

The Champions retained their title thanks to interference from Val Venis.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Right to Censor

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to convince Edge and Christian to help him out in his fatal four-way later, but since Christian was still suffering from the effects of being put through a table (Christian: "that was way harsh"), both men declined and were called selfish by The Olympic Gold Medalist.

The Undertaker Prepares for His Match

The Undertaker Prepares for His Match...that's what The WWE Network calls this segment, though they could have just called it "The Radicalz attack The Undertaker," because that's what happened.

Chris Benoit confronted The American Bad Ass in the locker room, while the rest of his group attacked from behind.

The best part about this is that a security guard was sitting on a chair and he didn't move a muscle to help.

Chris Benoit vs. The Undertaker

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Chris Benoit and The Undertaker faced off in their final ever singles match
After the attack, Benoit insisted that 'Taker would no-show the match and thus he should win via forfeit. Sure enough, The Dead Man failed to appear but then turned up just as Tony Chimmel was about to declare Benoit the victor.

The match got underway and was all about The Crippler going after his opponent's knee, which made for a compelling if occasionally lifeless battle. In many respects, this was the exact same match Undertaker had with Kurt Angle back at Survivor Series 2000.

I mean that as a compliment. On a show that never really went above average, this was the closest we got to an all-out great match.

What's interesting, is that despite working well together here, the two would never have another singles match together, and indeed, had only ever met twice before in singles action on TV.

Anyway, after dominating the majority of the bout, Benoit lost on a fluke when The Undertaker rolled him up for the eins, zwei, drie.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

With that done, it was onto our main event.

Fatal Fourway for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi vs. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2000 - Kurt Angle defended the WWF title against Steve Austin, The Rock, and Rikishi in a fatal fourway
It's only as the company's biggest stars blasted their way through a sub-10 minute main event at breakneck pace that I realize exactly what the problem was with this show:

It felt rushed.

Like, really rushed, as if the entire roster were in a hurry to get their stuff in and get back to America as quickly as possible without expending too much effort.

Don't get me wrong, this was an awesome effort with all four men going all-out with nary a moment's rest, but it sort of felt like watching a normal PPV main event at double-speed.

Great stuff, sure, but it might have been even better if it had another five minutes and didn't seem so rushed.

In the end, Edge, Christian, and The Radicalz got involved and, in the resulting fracas, Angle was able to plant Rikishi with the Olympic Slam for the three.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Kurt Angle

Afterward, Rock and Austin took turns destroying The Radicalz before spending about twenty years teasing tension between them and eventually patching things up with the obligatory beer bash.

I kid you not, the post-match shenanigans went on just as long as the match itself.







The World Wrestling Federation never brought their A-Game to these UK PPV shows, but this was about as good as you were going to get.

The card got progressively better as it went on, culminating in a fast and furious main event that was a joy to watch even if it did move way too quickly.

Not a bad show by any means, but far from essential viewing.




For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:

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