Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Edge & Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edge & Christian. Show all posts

Thursday, 27 February 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Judgement Day 2000

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 Event Poster
May 21, 2000,
Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky.

In the official history records (or at least on Wikipedia), Judgement Day 2000 is noted as being the first annual Judgement Day PPV.

While it's technically true that this was the event that kicked off a nine-year run for the franchise, it wasn't the first-ever Judgement Day PPV.

That took place back in October 1998 and featured The Rock competing in a throw-away match against his former Nation of Domination team mate Mark Henry as he moved one-step further to cementing his status as one of the company's biggest stars of all time.

Two years down the line, that's exacty what he was, a breakout superstar who would eventually transcend pro wrestling altogether and become one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

Tonight, one of The People's Champion's all-time greatest rivalries continued as The Great One went one-on-one with Triple H for the WWF title.

Here's what went down when Judgement Day 2000 came to us live from Louisville, Kentucky:






In One Hour, Everything Changes

Did you know that in one hour, 14,849 babies are born but 5,936 people die?

Did you know that in that same hour, 8,378 planes would take off in the US, causing 1.23 million passengers to 'contemplate disaster'?

No?

Well, you would if you watched WWF Judgement Day 2000 because tonight's opening video told us all these fascinating statistics as a way to introduce tonight's main event - a one-hour iron match between Triple H and The Rock.

In that one hour, according to this awesome video, those two men would see their life flash before their eyes as they duked it out in the ultimate battle for supremacy.

Epic pyro and a welcome from Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler followed, and with that, it was on with the show.

A Busy Night Ahead

WWE/ WWF - Mr McMahon, WWF Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco, HHH and Stephanie McMahon
Out in the back, Vince McMahon gave a pep talk to his McMahon-Helmsley Faction, which was just himself, his kids, and DX.

As the boss got excited about each Faction member's match tonight, WWF Hardcore Champion Gerald Briscoe arrived on the scene, sticking around just long enough to inform McMahon that Pat Patterson had missed his flight and wouldn't be at the show.

"Missed his flight? How can we have a show without Patterson?" said McMahon, in a line that was way funnier than it probably meant to be.

Briscoe was sent out to get the group's coffee order, but, in a scene that would become oh-so familiar with the launch of the 24/7 title 19 years later, the champion got attacked by a bunch of random, nomark midcarders.

Elsewhere in the arena, Shawn Michaels, the special guest referee for tonight's main event, strutted down a corridor.

Kurt Angle and WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. Rikishi & Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty)

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Edge doing a Five-Second Pose as a Hillbilly
Judgement Day got off to a fine start with this tremendously fun contest.

The first half was played mostly for laughs. Kurt Angle came out first to claim that teenage girls everywhere thought he was "all that," before his partners, Edge & Christian joined him in a new Five Second Pose.

The three of them donned false teeth, strummed banjos and stomped their feet as a Jug Band.

It was hilarious.

Later, Too Cool did a bit where Grandmaster Sexay's pants fell down and Scotty 2 Hotty laughed at him for having a small penis.

Nope, not making that up.

Eventually, things segued into more of a proper wrestling match and were all the better for it.

All six men had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands in what was pretty much a flawless opener.

After some wonderful back-and-forth, Christian clocked Rikishi with the ring bell, but referee Teddy Long was too busy having palpitations in the corner because of how much he loved tag team matches.

That gave Grandmaster Sexay the chance to hit the Hip Hop Drop. 'Kishi covered edge, and this awesome opener was over.
Your Winners: Rikishi & Too Cool

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Michael Cole interviews special guest referee Shawn Michaels
Post-matched, the babyfaces gave us their obligatory dance routine.

Out in the back, Michael Cole questioned whether Shawn Michaels was going to remain impartial in tonight's main event.

Michaels, whose last referee gig on PPV ended in controversial fashion at Summerslam 1997, insisted that despite Triple H being 'his boy,' he was going to do the job Linda McMahon hired him to do - be an unbiased referee.

Earlier, On Heat...


WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero and Chyna arrived at the arena, only to be confronted by Dean Malenko.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Dean Malenko confronts Eddie Guerrero and Chyna
The Radicalz had all but disintegrated by now, and Malenko was ready to take Eddie's title. The Ice Man warned Chyna to stay out of tonight's European Championship match, but she and Eddie were too loved-up and goofy to take him seriously.

Bless, it was kinda nice to see the two looking genuinely happy working together.

One person who wasn't happy, however, was Perry Saturn, who confronted Malenko to declare that it would be he who came up trumps in the upcoming match.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Perry Saturn vs. WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko

By all accounts, this was a fun, eight-minute match with some of the best actual wrestling you were going to see on WWF TV during this time period.

Unfortunately, the Kentucky crowd didn't seem to care.

Brian Christopher flashing his undies? They went wild for that.

Eddie Guerrero busting out hurricanranas and top-rope arm-drags?

Meh, not so much.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Perry Saturn gets ready to leap onto Eddie Guerrero
Despite the lacklustre crowd response, the three men worked hard to deliver an enjoyable performance that came to a head when Chyna got involved with a lead pipe disguised as a bouquet of roses.

Malenko stole the roses from Mamacita, but she tripped him up and he smacked headfirst onto them, and thus onto the pipe.

A quick Guerrero roll-up later, and this was all over.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

Flashing back to that week's Smackdown, we were reminded that Gerald Briscoe became our Hardcore Champion by pinning Crash Holly as Holly slept.

Back live, Briscoe was seen hiding out in the men's room trying to avoid a beat down. The poor Stooge was so on-edge that his own reflection in the mirror caused him to scream in fright and fall to the floor.

It was stupid, but it was also really funny.

Which Way Did He Go?

This was followed to a look back at the building rivalry between Shane McMahon and The Big Show.

This all started when Shane O' Mac backed Show in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000, only for The Big Nasty Bastard to be the first eliminated.

This caused a rift between the two that led to Shane mocking Big Show with his "Which Way Did He Go?" line.

For the life of me, I can't figure out where that line actually stemmed from, but if you were around at the time then you probably remember it.

Anyway, that match was next.

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Shane McMahon vs. The Big Show

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - The Big Show man handles Shane McMahon
This wasn't nearly as enjoyable as you might've hoped it would be.

Sure, it was great to begin with - Show charged out to the ring and spent the first two-thirds of the match just destroying McMahon in delightfully violent fashion.

Evening the score, McMahon had The Big Boss Man, Test, Albert, and even Trish Stratus come out and wail on Show, only for the big man to destroy them too.

Working their way up the ilse, Show destroyed McMahon some more before Bull Buchanan arrived on the scene. He and Shane dumped an enormous speaker on Big Shows legs, then Shane smashed his opponent over the head with a breeze block and this one just kind of fizzled out.

Blah. Could've been better.
Your Winner: Shane McMahon

Post-match, a hobbling Big Show was helped to the back by Sgt. Slaughter and Tony Garea and loaded into a waiting ambulance.

Meanwhile, Gerald Briscoe tried to find some respite by hiding out in the officials' locker room. I like the idea that the WWF cared so little about their referees that their dedicated space was just a sparse, empty room with a couple of chairs.

Who Likes Short Shorts?

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Triple H and Shawn Michaels discuss HBK's short shorts
Across the arena, DX founders Triple H and Shawn Michaels enjoyed a quick catch up.

Hunter wanted to know about Shawn's wife and kid, but what he really wanted was to make fun of HBK's super tight shorts which, to be fair, did look ridiculous on a grown man.

Submission Rules

Next, we were reminded of the awesome, ongoing rivalry between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit which had seen the two trade the Intercontinental Championship.

Tonight, the two would finally look to settle their differences in a submission match. This would happen with the added twist that Bob Holly had recently destroyed Benoit's knee with a steel chair after the two had tagged up to face Jericho and Val Venis on Smackdown.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship Submission Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Chris Benoit puts a hurting on Chris Jericho
Back at Backlash, these two waged war on one another in a brilliantly brutal, stiff-as-hell matches that served as a highlight of the entire evening.

Tonight's encounter was more of the same - vicious, violent, and about as good as you were going to get from two master craftsman with only 15 minutes to play with.

The two battered each other in every which way, including Jericho busting out a tarantula a full year before Tajiri would join the company.

Unfortunately for Y2J, that wasn't enough to get the win.

As he went for the Walls of Jericho, Benoit took hold of his knee brace (removed earlier by the other Chris) and smashed it over his opponent's skull.

That allowed him to slap on the Crippler Crossface and hold it on until Jericho passed out.
Your Winner and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

One other thing of note from that match. At various points, we saw Bob Holly and Val Venis watching on from separate monitors. Val, who hadn't appeared on a WWF PPV since Royal Rumble 2000, would face the winner of the match for the title on the following night's episode of Raw.

Afterwards, Jericho got up and staggered about the ring as his music played while JR talked about how Chris Benoit was the king of this particular ring on this particular night.

Naturally, that led us into a commercial for next month's PPV, staring 1997 King of the Ring winner, Triple H.

Gerald Briscoe - Hardcore Legend

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Michael Cole interviews WWF Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco
The King of the Ring commercial was followed by a recap of Heat when The Headbangers attacked Gerald Briscoe but were unsuccessful at capturing the hardcore title.

Back live, the reigning champion was interviewed by Michael Cole about how hard it was holding the most sought-after title in the WWF.

As he was doing this, two "catering vendors" (clearly beefed-up indie workers) were spotted in the background, pointing at Briscoe and conferring with a referee.

Before they could strike, however, Briscoe turned around and beat the hell out of the two men who were about 30 years his junior.

Gerald Briscoe, ladies and gentlemen, hardcore legend.

Across the way, The Rock told a clearly disinterested HBK that there'd be trouble if he didn't call tonight's main event right down the middle.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Tag Team Table Match - Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/ Tori) vs. The Dudley BoyzTables Match
DX (Road Dogg & X-Pac w/ Tori) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

This was a decent match that could have been a lot better had they gone with the tornado-style rules used for the Dudleyz/Hardyz match back at the Royal Rumble.

Instead, they started out with a traditional tag match, which really made no sense considering there were no rules beyond "put your opponents through the wood."

That kind of took the shine off things a little, but it was still a perfectly serviceable match. Not the best, sure, but certainly nothing terrible.

Towards the end, Road Dogg and Bubba Ray were the only members of their respective teams not to have gone through a table. The two duked it out and got so fed up of the referee trying to break up their brawl that they both grabbed him and launched him through a table propped up in the corner.

That would come back to bite The Dudleyz on the ass, as even though they next put Roadie through the table, the referee was out cold and didn't see it.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - Bubba Ray gets ready to put Tori through a table
The wood-loving duo next turned their attentions to Tori, but before they could tablize her too, the man of the hour, Gerald Briscoe popped up and rescued her. X-Pac then hit Bubba with a top-rope X-Factor, Briscoe revived the official and this one was declared over.
Your Winners: DX

Post-match, Briscoe made the questionable decision to get in the ring and crotch chop the Dudleyz. Obviously, the two sent him through a table with a 3D.

This was followed by an ominous video featuring creepy kids playing hopscotch. Was that a variation of The Undertaker's theme music playing in this video?

The Sixty-Minute Men

A final, compelling video package for tonight's main event came next, after which it was down to the ring for the first WWF iron man match since Wrestlemania 12.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Iron Man Match
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Triple H (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon)

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - The Rock and Triple H face off Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels

The man who had competed in that last iron man bout, Shawn Michaels, made his way out first to officiate, wearing those stupidly ridiculous pants.

Triple H was out next, with Vince, Shane, and WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon in tow.

Not that the McMahons would stick around. When they reached the ring, Hunter asked them to go backstage so that he could do this by himself. Quite why he couldn't have had this conversation backstage before the match is anyone's guess.

Finally, The Rock came back to Kentucky, and this utterly magnificent iron man match was underway.

It's been a long time since this fan found myself on the edge of my seat, desperately cheering on a wrestler, praying to whatever God there may be that he could fight back and pick up a victory. It's been even longer since I felt so utterly drawn in by a match that took place over 20 years ago, but I did so with this match.

Seriously, if you're feeling disheartened, disappointed, and disillusioned with modern pro wrestling, I urge you to go back to Judgement Day 2000 and watch The Rock vs. Triple H for the WWF title.

Watching this match, I was reminded of exactly why I became a fan in the first place. It's the joy, the passion, the drama, the excitement and the intensity, all of which Rock/HHH delivered in spades.

At various points, Jerry Lawler made reference to their Summerslam 1998 ladder match, which -as I've mentioned multiple times- happens to be one of my favourite matches ever and which -as Lawler was keen to tell us- was the longest match either man had been involved in up to that point in their careers.

This captivating iron match surpassed even that bout, and would have been nigh on flawless were it not for the screwy finish.

WWE/ WWF - Judgement Day 2000 - The Rock and Triple H battle with referee Shawn Michaels looking on
After trailing behind for almost the entire match, The Rock managed to even the score by hitting HHH with a Pedigree onto Lawler & JR's announce table to earn a count-out, then make it five falls apiece thanks to the People's Elbow.

With two minutes left on the clock, Vince, Shane, Steph, Road Dogg and X-Pac all ran into the ring to decimate The Rock, inadvertently knocking HBK off the apron in the process.

As all this was going on, the creepy, hopscotch playing kids from earlier popped up on the titantron, signalling the arrival of American Bad Ass Undertaker.

Last seen on PPV way back at Summerslam 1999, 'Taker rode to ring on a Harley and destroyed everyone in sight. He lifted Triple H for the Tombstone, but Michaels saw it and called a DQ right at the very second that the bell sounded to end the match.

That gave HHH a dodgy 6-5 victory and his fourth WWF Championship:
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Triple H

I'm not the only one who thought the ending was BS. The crowds showed their disgust by pelting the ring, and the new champion, with garbage as the show, went off the air.






That questionable ending aside, Judgement Day 2000 was an awesome show from start to finish. Sure, the Big Show/Shane match wasn't to my taste, and sure, the DX/Dudleyz table match wasn't exactly enthralling, but everything else delivered quality action from bell-to-bell.

The six-man match was undoubtedly one of the hottest openers you'll ever see in terms of crowd reaction, the European three-way and the Benoit/Jericho match delivered, and that main event...man, that main event was something else.

It feels like a long time since I've said this, but I highly recommend tracking down this show.





For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
Other WWE Judgement Day Reviews
    Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

    Thursday, 30 January 2020

    PPV REVIEW: WWF Insurrexion 2000

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Event Poster
    May 6, 2000
    Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England

    From the night The British Bulldog beat Bret 'The Hitman' Hart for the Intercontinental Championship (whether he wanted to or not) in front of a sold out crowd at Wembley Arena to the night he rather unceremoniously dropped the European Championship to Shawn Michaels in front of a Birmingham crowd which happened to include this writer, the World Wrestling Federation had always been able to rely on Davey Boy Smith to help them sell-out shows on English soil.  

    Yet over the last few years, the Wigan-born wrestler's star had greatly diminished without any negative impact on the company's British box office numbers.

    UK fans were still more than happy to sell out arenas to see headline acts like The Rock and Triple, leaving Bulldog to play a bit-part cameo on shows which, once upon a time, would have been built entirely around him.


    Tonight, Davey Boy would put in not only his final UK PPV appearance but his final PPV appearance ever, adding a somewhat somber note to an otherwise enjoyable show.

    Here's what went down when the first Insurrexion event came to us live from the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, England.


    Three Men, One Gold

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler
    Our event this evening began with the standard WWF video package, complete with a brooding, dramatic voice-over which told us that tonight we'd see WWF Champion The Rock taking on Triple H and Shane McMahon in a triple threat match.

    This was a logical development given what happened between the three men a week earlier at Backlash 2000, and the ever-impressive video package did a good job of making this match seem like the biggest deal ever.

    As was the norm, the video was followed by a scan of the rabid Attitude Era crowd and a welcome from Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, after which we went straight into our opening contest.

    Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) vs. The Radicalz (WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn)

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Dean Malenko covers Scotty 2 Hotty
    This was a fun, if not necessarily spectacular, opener.

    Though nowhere near on the same level as the Scotty 2 Hotty/Dean Malenko clash from Backlash, it did at least deliver everything you could ask from competitors whose only job was to get the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show.

    Too Cool were super over in England, while Malenko and Perry Saturn were having issues which, according to JR, stemmed from Saturn being the only member of The Radicalz not to have a WWF title.

    At one point, the two got into a shoving contest and were never quite able to get back on the same page, resulting in Saturn inadvertently clotheslining the Light Heavyweight Champion and tha always-fun spot where one guy falls to the mat and accidentally headbutts the other guy's testicles.

    Obviously, this all led to a win for the good guys courtesy of Grandmaster Sexay's Hip Hop Drop.
    Your Winners: Too Cool

    Post-match, Saturn and Malenko came to blows until they were separated by a gaggle of referees.

    Meanwhile, back in the dressing room, Mae Young and The Kat talked about how they were going to work together in their upcoming match. A spooky promo for Judgement Day followed, then it was back out into the arena for a word from The Chairman.

    Nothing Ever Happens in England

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Vince McMahon cut a scathing promo
    Proving himself to be one of the best heels of all time, Vince McMahon was absolutely loathed by the London crowd as he stepped out onto the stage to cut a scathing promo against The Rock, the people of London, and the UK as a whole.

    According to Vince, nothing of any consequence ever happened in England, and that, he claimed, was exactly what The Rock was counting on, knowing that when he lost the title here tonight, nobody would know about it.

    Eliciting a loud 'ASSHOLE' chant from the Earls Court faithful, McMahon guaranteed that not only would a McMahon family member become the new champion tonight, but that he would make sure the whole world new about it.

    This was awesome stuff from the boss.

    Bull Buchanan vs. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer)

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Paul Bearer appeared with Kane
    Up next, we were reminded that Bull Buchanan had helped The Big Boss Man attack Kane on Raw a month before tonight's show. That was as good enough a reason as any to have a match tonight.

    Watching this short, explosive contest, I can't help but think that it's a shame WWE didn't do more with Buchanan. He was very athletic for his size and looked pretty decent in his offense. Unfortunately for him, simply looking good wasn't enough to win him a match.

    After a brief period of being on the defense, Kane anihilated Buchanan and picked up a quick win.
    Your Winner: Kane

    Out in the back, Triple H fawned over Stephanie McMahon and said, almost bashfully, how happy he was that Vince McMahon had referred to him as a 'family member' when talking about our next WWF Champion.

    Bursting her husband's bubble, Steph wasn't entirely sure that the 'McMahon family member' Vince had been referring to was actually The Game.

    Road Dogg (w/ Tori) vs. Bradshaw (w/ Farooq)

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Tori accompanied Road Dogg to the ring
    Back in the arena, Hunter's DX buddy Road Dogg made his way to the ring with Tori in tow. I said this in last week's Backlash 2000 review, but it's kind of funny that DX members Road Dogg and X-Pac weren't featured in their own titantron but HHH and Run-DMC were.

    As the D-O-Double-G did his usually pre-match schtick, Tori kind of flailed about the place, trying to get in on the act. Poor girl, she looked so awkward and out of place that it was hard not to feel bad for her.

    The same could be said for Roadie's opponent, Bradshaw who, taking The Acolytes' new APA gimmick to a whole new level, had clearly been spending a lot more time sitting around drinking beer than he had in the gym.

    Not that it really mattered when it came to the action.

    Farooq got sent to the back early on after helping Bradshaw beat down Road Dogg, leaving the two legal competitors to give us a fun, five-minute effort in which Bradshaw mostly battered his opponent. A Torri distraction allowed Roadie to get a near-fall off a roll-up and then blast Bradshaw with a match-winning pump handle slam which was a little hard to believe when you consider the size difference between the two men.

    Though it was too short to really mean anything, this was nonetheless another decent bout.
    Your Winner: Road Dogg

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Teri Runnels eating a bananaOut in the back, Michael Cole interviewed Terri Runnels and The Fabulous Moolah. Apparently, the former Marlena had trained for her upcoming arm-wrestling match with The Kat by sucking off a banana.

    I'm not kidding.

    Arm Wrestling Match
    The Kat (w/ Mae Young) vs. Terri Runnels (w/ The Fabulous Moolah)

    Perhaps the best thing anyone could say about this is that it happened.

    Going down pretty much the same way that every arm wrestling match ever went down in pro wrestling history, this 'contest' saw Terri, the heel, stalling as much as possible.

    First, she complained that The Kat's hands were greasy, then she stopped to drink some water, then she stopped to pull her hot pants off and do some stretches in a pink swimsuit which rode up her ass.

    Eventually, the two got things underway, only for Terri to spit water in The Kat's face. Retaliating, Mae Young poured a whole bottle of water over Terri's head, allowing Kat to pick up the win.

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Teri Runnels faced The Kat in an arm-wrestling contest
    I mean, I won't lie, Terri Runnels was always smoking hot, but yeah, this was more embarassing than sexy.
    Your Winner: The Kat

    Post-match, Terri yanked off The Kat's top. Unphased, Kat flashed her puppies to the entire Earls Court Arena.

    Clever camera work would prevent the WWE Network from having to do any editing years later.

    #WomensRevolution

    Whatcha gonna do with all that ass

    Backstage, The Big Show and Rikishi were seen wearing matching show-as-much-ass-as-possible gear. This was during the phase when the WWF thought that the best way to use a 7ft former world champion monster was to make him "a guy who just likes to have fun."

    As he and 'Kishi waddled towards the curtain, Hardcore Champion Crash Holly was seen pointing at them and laughing his butt off.

    Elsewhere, The Rock arrived at the venue.

    The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & Devon Dudley) vs. Showkishi & Rikishi

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Bubba Ray Dudley with Rikishi's glasses
    Though this was never going to be a five-star classic, this could at least have been a fun and entertaining tag match.

    It wasn't.

    OK, so it wasn't exactly terrible or anything, but it just wasn't very interesting.

    I think part of the problem was that everyone -this writer included- was just waiting for the inevitable moment when Rikishi and Showkishi both hit simultaneous stinkfaces on their opponents.

    Even when it happened, it was just kind of "meh, yep, there it is."

    Towards the finish, Edge and Christian ran in. Edge speared Bubba Ray Dudley, Big Show landed a chokeslam and this one was over.
    Your Winners: Rikishi and Showkishi

    Afterwards, Too Cool returned to the ring and invited The Dudleyz to dance with them.

    In a cool moment, Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley only accepted Too Cool's trademark yellow dancing shades if Too Cool accepted *their* trademark Dudley glasses. You know, the ECW-style ones.

    This whole bit was far more entertaining than anything that happened in the ring.

    Angle Does London

    Up next, we were shown an entertaining video package of Kurt Angle wandering around London, introducing himself to bemused onlookers as their Olympic hero. Angle would take on Chris Benoit tonight, and The Crippler was in a foul mood.

    Sporting a black eye after a brutal match with Chris Jericho on Smackdown which saw Y2J capture the Intercontinental title, Benoit cut a menacing promo in which he stated that Angle was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

    Making his way to the ring, Angle took to the microphone to insult the good people of England, insisting that our children were weak and uneducated, and that we would all be better off ditching the English language and learning American instead.

    Benoit was out next, but before the two could lock up, Crash Holly stormed to ringside to do commentary. This was distracting. The Hardcore Champion forced Ross and Lawler to focus their attentions on him and his quest to 'fight an Englishman,' rather than on the match at hand.

    This was a shame, because, as you'd well expect, Angle and Benoit delivered the goods here. Certainly, this wasn't the best match the two would ever have. Angle was still relatively new into his career here and lacked the big-match experience that would make his future bouts with The Crippler such classics.

    Still, it was a fun, hard-hitting contest that saw The Olympic Gold Medalist pick up the win with an Angle Slam.

    One small, little detail that really made this more enjoyable was the way Angle pinned Benoit. Earlier in the bout, he'd gone for two cover attempts, only for Benoit to grab the ropes each time. After the Angle Slam, however, Kurt made sure to not only hook the leg but also hold Benoit's arm in place, preventing him from getting the ropes.
    Your Winner: Kurt Angle

    Out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that yes, Vince was supporting him in tonight's main event.

    Another creepy Judgement Day promo followed, after which Crash Holly got his wish of fighting an Englishman when Wigan's own Davey Boy Smith made an unexpected return to the World Wrestling Federation.

    World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
    WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly vs. The British Bulldog

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - The British Bulldog won the Hardcore title in his last PPV appearance
    The match itself was fine. Like almost everything on the undercard so far, it was short and inoffensive with very little of note happening.

    What was noteworthy was this would prove to be The British Bulldog's last ever PPV appearance.

    After beating Crash with his trademark powerslam to win the Hardcore title, Davey Boy would meander around on Smackdown and Sunday Night heat for about a week before leaving the company altogether and ultimately passing away two years later.

    What makes it sad is just how far Smith's stock had fallen. This is the guy who main evented Summerslam 1992 with Bret Hart and who, at the height of the Hart Foundation's popularity, also headlined One Night Only back in 1997 as Britain's returning hero.

    Now he was involved in a throw-away spot on a card in London with zero fanfare, treated like just another run-of-the-mill midcarder.

    I know not everybody will care or have the same sentimental attachment to this as I do, but I share a hometown with the Bulldog so he's always been one of my favourites.

    Thanks for the memories, Davey Boy.
    Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: The British Bulldog

    Earlier in the day, WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian were seen charging fans a fiver for autographs. Michael Cole turned up just as the two were asked for a photograph by a fan.

    Cole held the camera as the tag champs posed with the fan, but at the last possible moment they both blocked the fan out of the shot so that it was just a picture of the two of them.

    Trust me, it was funnier than I just made it sound.

    World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
    WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Christian puts a hurting on Jeff Hardy
    Though both teams would go onto have better matches with one another, this was still nonetheless a good match that saw all four men work hard.

    At one point, Jeff Hardy played face in peril which required some dubious officiating from referee Jimmy Korderas. Comically, King & JR decided to rag on Jimmy, not for his questionable refereeing, but for being 'follically challenged.'

    After a solid outing, all hell broke loose, disintegrating into a four-man brawl which only ended when Edge ran in with the ring bell and killed his opponents.
    Your Winners via Disqualification: The Hardy Boyz

    Post-match, The Dudley Boyz ran down and destroyed the tag champs, even putting Edge through a table.

    The European Champion Hates His Title

    Before the next contest, Eddie Guerrero and Chyna came to the ring to generate as much heel heat as possible for Guerrero.

    Foreshadowing Brexit by almost 20 years, Latino Heat talked about how Britons didn't really like being a part of Europe. That was fine by him, he said because he didn't like being the champion of Europe anyway.

    Guerrero was the consummate heel here and played his role to perfection, riling the crowd up so much that there was practically a frenzy when his opponent, Y2J arrived on the scene and told them -in his best British accent- that they could "bloody well piss off."

    Before locking up, referee Tim White flipped a coin to determine whether Jericho's IC title or Eddie's European belt would be on the line. Yes, this the exact same thing the WWF did seven months earlier at Rebellion 1999 when European Champion D'Lo Brown faced Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett.

    Back then, the company made the curious decision not to have the European title defended in Europe. This time, however, they got it right, with Guerrero putting his gold on the line.

    World Wrestling Federation European Championship
    WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Chris Jericho faced Eddie Guerrero
    A lot had changed since these two last met on PPV back at WCW Fall Brawl 1997.

    Though neither man was quite at the zenith of their careers, they were certainly much bigger stars than they'd been during their time in WCW's cruiserweight division. Take their heightened star power, a few years of extra experience, and add it to the already stellar ring-work the two had displayed at Fall Brawl, and you had the recipie for another fantastic performance from two all-time greats.

    A really good showing that delivered everything you'd expect from a Jericho/Guerrero encounter, this tremendous match ended when Chyna kept the referee and got a flying dropkick to the mush for her troubles courtesy of Y2J. The distraction allowed Eddie to blast his rival with the title belt -a finish that had really been overplayed as of late- and retain his title.
    Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

    In the build-up to our main event, we got a flashback to Backlash 2000 and The Rock's big world title win, followed by another compelling video package hyping tonight's three-way main event.

    Naturally, all of this led to a backstage promo from the champion himself.

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - Finally, The Rock...Has come back to LondonFinally, The Rock has Come Back...to London

    Shushing Michael Cole, The Great One was his usual ultra-charismatic self, cutting a captivating promo in which he claimed that the McMahons were all in-bred and didn't really trust each other.

    Tonight, The People's Champion would overcome the odds and leave London still our WWF Champion, if our nostrils sensed what he was preparing for dinner.

    World Wrestling Federation Championship
    WWF Champion The Rock vs. Shane McMahon (w/ Vince McMahon) vs. Triple H (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon)

    Well, this was awesome.

    WWF Insurrexion 2000 - The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Shane McMahon
    Up until the inevitable moment when the two heels miscommunicated and turned on each other, it was essentially a handicap match, albeit a very entertaining one.

    At one point, Shane O' Mac did his trademark, Ali-style shuffle. Not to be outdone, Triple H also floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

    It was uncharacteristic of The Game, but it was sure was funny. Later, when things broke down, McMahon went for a moonsault on Triple H, missed, and landed on his feet. While that might not sound like much by today's standards, this was non-wrestler Shane McMahon, and it looked pretty cool.

    Eventually, as most WWF main events did at the time, this one broke down into an overbooked mass of joyfully entertaining chaos. Referee Mike Chioda got squashed by Shane in the corner, Hunter hit the Pedigree on Rock, and Gerald Brisco ran in to make the count.

    Before we got a new champion, however, The Rock made a last-minute kick out that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Irate, The Game drew back his fist and laid out Brisco before smashing the champion with Pedigree number two. Fraught, Vince McMahon himself hit the ring and struggled to squeeze his jacked-up frame into the referee shirt belonging to a much smaller Gerald Briscoe.

    This is one humerous thing I've always loved about the WWF rulebook. Apparently the only thing you need to be a match official is the right attire. You could be ringside for an entire match and have no authority to count a fall, but as soon as you slip into the zebra stripes, you suddenly get Super Referee Powers.

    Sadly for Vince, he wouldn't get to use his powers as Earl Hebner rushed to the ring and yanked Vince out of it. Vinny Mac went to punch Hebner, but the plucky official moved and The Chairman struck the ring post in what looked like a legitimatley painful spot.

    Back in the ring, The People's Champion made the comeback we'd all been waiting for and destroyed Shane O' Mac with The People's Elbow. Hebner counted the three, and that was all she wrote.
    Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

    With the show at an end, The Great One celebrated with the people of London while a ticked off Triple H stormed angrily backstage with Stephanie in tow.






    There was a point, about an hour into Insurrexion 2000 when I thought this was going to go the way of most WWF UK shows, being nothing more than a glorified house show with better production values. From One Night Only to Capital Carnage and Rebellion, most events of this type featured throw-away bouts which, while not terrible, didn't exactly give you much to get excited about.

    Everything about the first hour of this show seemed as though it was going the same way. Then, Benoit and Angle came out and things got better from there on in. OK, so the Bulldog/Crash Holly bout which was sandwiched in there wasn't exactly a show-stealer, but apart from that, everything from Benoit/Angle more than delivered.

    The Eddie/Jericho bout and main event, in particular, were a lot of fun to watch. Those matches, along with The Hardyz contest and erm, a nice shot of Terri Runnels' bum, all contributed to what was the best WWF UK event since Summerslam 1992.




    For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
    Other WWE UK events
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      Thursday, 23 January 2020

      PPV REVIEW: WWF Backlash 2000

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Event poster
      April 30, 2000,
      MCI Center in Washington, D.C

      For a decade between 1999 and 2009, WWF/WWE Backlash was the one night of the year when all the fall out from that year's Wrestlemania would finally be settled.

      Which is just as well given just how much fall out there had been in the wake of Wrestlemania 2000.

      Having betrayed The Rock at the aforementioned 'Mania, Vince McMahon had now joined forces with his daughter Stephanie and her husband, WWF Champion Triple H, despite waging an all-out war with Hunter back at WWF Armageddon 1999.

      With D-Generation-X now playing the role of HHH's lackeys, the unified McMahon-Helmsley Faction ( boring name if ever there was one) were now fully at war with The Great One, who had earned a rematch for the title on tonight's show.

      Just to make things more interesting, Stone Cold Steve Austin -last seen getting mowed down at Survivor Series 1999- had recently made his return and was now inexplicably in The Rock's corner for tonight's show.

      Could The Brahma Bull trust The Texas Rattlesnake?

      Would the McMahon-Helmsley Faction be able to keep the belt around Hunter's waist?

      Let's find out as we head to the MCI Center in Washington D.C for WWF Backlash 2000.





      All Hell Breaks Loose

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler hosted the event
      We began tonight's show with the obligatory opening video package recapping everything we've just discussed.

      The video also featured an Austin in which he claimed that while he may physically be in The Rock's corner, the only side he was really on was his own.

      Cue intense pyro, a crowd with a thousand times more energy and enthusiasm than you'd find at today's WWE shows, and a greeting from none other than Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

      Debra is Your Special Guest Ring Announcer

      Much like her real-life partner, Steve Austin, Debra hadn't been seen since the previous year's Survivor Series.

      Tonight, she and her puppies made their long-awaited return to the World Wrestling Federation, much to the delight of the perpetually horny Jerry Lawler.

      At this point in her career, she was in the same position that Sunny was in before her ill-advised partnership with the LOD. That is, creative wanted her on camera, but since she couldn't actually wrestle, they had to scramble around to find her stuff to do.

      Much as they did with Sunny, they put Debra in a Special Guest Ring Announcer role for our upcoming contest.

      World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
      WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. D-Generation-X (Road Dogg & X-Pac w/ Torri)

      WWF Backlash 2000 - X-Pac w/ Tori
      I could be wrong, but I swear that Debra introduced the Road Dogg as "Go-Go Jesse James."

      Sadly, a helicopter did not appear out of Roadie's helmet, nor did rollerskates pop up from his shoes.

      Talk about disappointing.

      Speaking of disappointing, I kind of felt bad for X-Pac and Road Dogg - their titantron featured lots of shots of Triple H and lots of shots of Run DMC (who sang the updated DX theme), but not one shot of them.

      Fortunately, the one thing that didn't disappoint was this match.

      After Roadie got the crowd worked up, he and X-Pac locked up with a tag team championship team who were INSANELY over.

      Despite slowly transitioning into a heel role, Edge and Christian got a huge ovation as they battled their more experienced rivals in a very enjoyable opener.

      Usually, when you got Road Dogg in a tag team match, he played face-in-peril for half a century and sucked the life out of everything, but as a heel, he was in a much better position to contribute towards a very good bout.

      After a lot of back-and-forth action and a red hot finishing sequence, Christian took one step closer to being a true heel by blasting X-Pac with the ring bell behind the referee's back.

      A three-count later and this one was over.
      Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

      Post-match, a dazed-looking X-Pac sported a nasty gusher on his forehead.

      Meanwhile, out in the back, The Rock arrived at the venue.

      World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship
      WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Scotty 2 Hotty

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Scotty 2 Hotty challenged Dean Malenko for the Light Heavyweight Championship
      If I was Scotty 2 Hotty, I would definitely rank this Light Heavyweight Championship match up there as a career highlight.

      Given how popular the whole Too Cool schtick was with the dancing and the ridiculous but stupidly over Worm, it's easy to forget that Scott Taylor was a good wrestler in his own right.

      Here, he proved that in a long and dramatic war with Dean Malenko that had the crowds on the edge of their seat from start to finish.

      The two had recently traded the title back and forth, with Scotty beating The Ice Man for it on Raw before Malenko stole it back on the following week's Smackdown thanks to a ropes-assisted pin.

      Here, Dean was once again a step ahead of his opponent, spending a large portion of the match working over Taylor's knee and generally getting the better of him at every turn.

      Despite this, the Too Cool member more than held his own and came close to winning with several gripping near falls.

      In the end, however, Malenko reversed a superplex into a beautiful top rope DDT to put an end to what was a surprisingly awesome match.
      Your Winner and Still WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko

      Out in the back, Vince McMahon was hanging out with Hunter, Stephanie, and The Stooges.

      Shane McMahon, the referee for tonight's main event, stopped by to show off his new referee's shirt while Vince double-checked that Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe were really on board with his evil plan.

      All the while, Stephanie flashed her legs, which was just about the only thing this writer could focus on.

      Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs. The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw)

      WWF Backlash 2000 - The Acolytes faced Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man
      After two thrilling matches that really got the crowd worked up, Backlash 2000 needed something that could slow the pace down and allow the D.C faithful to catch their breath.

      This was the perfect match for it.

      On the face of it, Big Boss Man & Bull Buchanan vs. Farooq & Bradshaw was a perfectly serviceable tag team match.

      All four men played their roles well and Buchanan in particular with some impressive athleticism for a man of his size.

      Yet as solid as this might have been, it never felt like anything more than filler, or a way to deliberately cool down the crowd.

      After a decent all-round effort, Buchanan jumped off the top rope and hit Bradshaw with the match-winning scissor kick.
      Your Winners: Bull Buchanan & Big Boss Man

      Out in the back, The Hardyz agreed that even though they were brothers, they would have no problem fighting each other in the upcoming hardcore title match should the need arise.

      Across the way, Hardcore Holly told Crash Holly that even though they were cousins, he would have no problem beating his ass all over the arena.

      The younger Holly tried to convince Cousin Bob to work together, but got a wicked slap across the face for making such a suggestion.

      World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Six-Man Match
      WWF Hardcore Champion Crash Holly vs. Tazz vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Bob Holly vs. Perry Saturn

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Crash Holly defended the WWF Hardcore title
      This was a lot of fun with a brilliant story.

      Poor Crash Holly got his ass handed to him from start to finish. All five of his opponents took turns to beat him, body slam him, suplex and generally kick his head in, yet whenever anybody tried to pin the defending champion, another competitor broke it up.

      Though the match started to drag a little towards the end, it was a good effort with a finish that made this writer laugh out loud.

      After spending most of the match being dead, Crash got put in the Tazzmission, but Perry Saturn came in and blasted Tazz with the largest stop sign in the world.

      Before the former Eliminator could capitalize, however, he was dragged to the outside.

      Tazz and Crash both lay dead in the middle of the ring, then Crash got in what was literally his only offensive move of the entire match - draping an arm over a fallen Tazz to retain his title.
      Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

      Out in the back, Shane McMahon promised interviewer Johnathan Coachman that he would be an impartial referee in the upcoming Rock/Triple H match.

      R.I.P Paul Wight's Career

      In the 14 months since he had made his WWF debut at St. Valentine's Day Massacre, In Your House, The Big Show Paul Wight had never truly been presented as the kind of credible main event threat that a man of his stature and status should have been.

      Putting the final nail in the coffin of his credibility, Show had gone from headlining Wrestlemania 2000 into a terrible angle where he dressed up as midcarders like Val Venis and Godfather and pretended to be them.

      At one point, Show was so wrapped up in pretending to be a Scotsman that he cost himself and Kurt Angle a random shot at the WWF tag team titles.

      Naturally, this angered the Olympic Gold Medalist, who vowed to beat some sense into the former Giant when the two met on tonight's show.

      Kurt Angle vs. The Showster (Big Show)

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Big Show dressed up as Hulk Hogan to become The Showster
      As was his tradition, Kurt Angle came out talking smack about how he was the greatest thing since sliced bread and how he was going to wipe the floor with his opponent.

      Offering a response, The Big Show came down doing his best Hulk Hogan impression, complete with wig and Real American blaring through the PA.

      Credit where it's due,  Show's impression was spot on as he took to the microphone to go through the whole "Whatcha gonna do, brother?" routine.

      Once the bell rang, Show stayed in character, no-selling Angle's offense, Hulking up and planting him with the Leg Drop of Doom for a near fall.

      The crowds ate it up and a loud Hogan! Hogan! chant broke out through the arena.

      "There's more people chanting for Hogan than there has been in years," said Jim Ross, a man who could never resist getting in a cheap pop at the competition.

      Angle mounted a comeback, but eventually, Big Show snapped out of his silliness, dismantled the Olympic athlete in the corner then put him away with a chokeslam, ending the match in less than three minutes.

      OK, so this was tremendous fun and Big Show was hilarious, but I'd still rather see him be utilized as the monster that he was.
      Your Winner: The Big Show

      Prior to the next contest, we got a look back at the rivalry between The Dudley Boyz and T & A.

      Honestly, it was the kind of rivalry that could have only existed in the Attitude Era.

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Trish Stratus
      As the story went, Bubba Ray Dudley had some kind of fetish for putting women through tables. Over the previous weeks, he had slammed Terri Runnels, Mae Young, and Lita through the wood, but every time he tried to do the same to Trish Stratus, she would either flirt with him or kiss him, sending Bubba into some kind of trance.

      Trish had flaunted this by writing around on a table in her undies talking about how much tables made her horny.

      I bet she was great fun at Ikea.

      She was fun here too, as she gave a backstage interview to Michael Cole while Test and Albert stood by.

      Trish teased Cole while talking about how she had the ability to make men lose their minds.

      As a perfect example of her hypnotic powers, Bubba Ray was seen staring at the Trish/Cole interview on a TV screen, completely in a trance.

      Of course, he was snapped out of it by Devon Dudley, who gave his half-brother a good talking to before tonight's match.

      WWF Backlash 2000 - future NWA owner Billy Corgan was in the crowd Despite All His Rage, He Is Still Just a Fan of T & A

      Before the competitors made their way out, we were shown Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins sitting at ringside.

      This all makes a lot of sense now.

      Corgan was such a big fan of Test and Albert that, fifteen years later, he would try to buy the wrestling company named after them.

      The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D'Von Dudley) vs. T & A (Test & Albert w/ Trish Stratus)

      Like the earlier Acolytes/Boss Man & Buchanan bout, this was a straight-up big man brawl, but it worked brilliantly.

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Bubba Ray Dudley glares at Trish Stratus
      Though it was far from the best tag team match of all time, both teams played to their strengths to keep this at an acceptable level from start to finish.

      After a decent ten minute outing, Trish shook her sexy self against the ring ropes to distract Bubba Ray, allowing her men to attack and pick up the three count.
      Your Winners: T &A

      Post-match, The Dudleyz battered Test and Albert. Trish tried to kiss her way out of getting put through the wood, but this time it didn't work, allowing Bubba to finally get what he wanted, drilling Trish through a table.

      I have to say that all of the other times he did this with women, it looked like he fully protected them, but not this time. Man, he slammed Trish hard through that table.

      That said, even though they had to stretcher her out of there, I'm sure Trish didn't actually mind. After all, she loved her some table.

      Latino Heat is Back from Prom

      With Trish firmly on the stretcher, a bunch of referees and Sgt. Slaughter escorted her backstage into a waiting ambulance. This was a perfect excuse to take a camera backstage in time to catch Eddie Guerrero and Chyna arriving back from Eddie's prom.

      Apparently, Latino Heat had just completed his GED and had been to prom to celebrate with The Ninth Wonder of the World.

      Jack Doan ran up to tell Eddie that his match was next, and if he didn't get to the ring immediately, he'd have to forfeit his European title.

      Not wanting that to happen, Eddie shrugged his shoulders and drove his car to the ring, the first instance of a gimmick that would become his trademark for the rest of his career.

      World Wrestling Federation European Championship
      WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/ Chyna) vs. Essa Rios (w/ Lita)

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
      As Eddie was stripping out of his tuxedo (he wrestled in suit pants and a bow tie, which looked awesome), a video played which informed us how this match came about.

      It started when Chyna admitted that, following months of trying to woo her, Eddie's Latino heat had proven too much for her to handle.

      Then, the pair had somehow gotten tangled up with former Light Heavyweight Champion Essa Rios and his manager, Lita, leading to a tag team match pitting Eddie and Essa against The Dudleyz.

      Lita ended up costing the team the match, causing Chyna to toss her to The Dudleyz for the table spot mentioned earlier and, ultimately, causing tonight's match.

      I won't lie, I was excited about this one. Although he mainly competed on Sunday Night Heat, I had a soft spot for Essa Rios back in 1999 - 2000, and I was wondering if he'd ever show up on one of these PPV events.

      Thankfully, this one didn't disappoint.

      Clocking in at just shy of nine minutes, this was a fast-paced, high-flying affair with plenty of captivating spots that did more than enough to keep this fan entertained.

      An exceptional effort on both men's part, this very enjoyable bout ended with Eddie lifting Essa up for a Gory Special but then spinning him around and planting him with a neckbreaker instead.
      Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
      Afterward, Essa dropkicked Eddie into Chyna, allowing Lita to strip Chyna out of her prom dress and down to her underwear.

      Jerry Lawler nearly had a braineurysm, yelling "BRA AND PANTIES! BRA AND PANTIES!" so excitedly that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the first time the then-50 year-old had ever seen such things.

      Chyna was mortified at first.

      Then she lightened up and posed for the crowd, much to the delight of Latino Heat.

      Stone Cold May Not Show Up

      Out in the back, Jonathan Coachman interviewed Triple H, who said nothing interesting but did remind us that he was The Game.

      Turning his attention to Vince McMahon, Coach asked the Chairman what his 'big surprise' was going to be for tonight.

      Vince couldn't say, but did allude to the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin hadn't arrived yet, and insinuated that he may have had something to do with Austin suffering from 'transportation issues' that would prevent him from appearing.

      Chris Benoit Has Emotions

      Elsewhere in the arena, Michael Cole interviewed WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit about his upcoming match with Chris Jericho.

      "Chris Jericho likes to compare me to a robot," said Benoit. "But the difference between me and a robot is that I have emotions, and tonight I'm going to express my emotions all over Chris Jericho."

      Right you are then.

      World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
      WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Chris Jericho puts the Walls of Jericho on Krispin Wah
      Before the two locked up, Jericho cut a promo on "Chris Ben-oyt," likening him to a politician and promising to beat him up. Though it may not have been Jericho's finest moment on the mic, he was, naturally, very entertaining.

      Then the bell sounded, and the two had their first PPV singles since WCW Fall Brawl 1996.

      Four years after that encounter, the two held nothing back to deliver an incredible match which, up to this point in the show, stood out as Match of the Night.

      That's really saying something when you consider just how high the bar had been set by some of the earlier matches on this show, but trust me, this was excellent.

      Working pretty stiff, the two traded strikes, submissions, and the occasional aerial move. They chopped one another, they chain wrestled one another, and they even gave us a wicked brawl on the outside.

      Almost everything about this match was perfect, apart from the finish.

      Referee Tim White got knocked down, so The Crippler picked up his IC belt and smashed Jericho in the face with it. He dragged White over and got the nearest of near falls, then scaled the ropes for his patented head butt.

      However, as Benoit came into landing, Jericho smashed him in the face with the belt, prompting White to call for the bell.
      Your Winner via Disqualification and Still WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

      Man, that was awesome. Even the DQ finish wasn't so bad when you consider it gave the two Canadians a perfectly valid excuse to do battle again further down the line.

      The Wrath of Jericho

      One person who wasn't happy with the finish was Y2J himself. After the bell, Jericho snapped and slapped Tim White in the Walls of Jericho, prompting a gaggle of officials to rush to his rescue.

      Jericho looked like a maniacal man possessed here. White looked like he'd never even seen the Walls of Jericho, selling the move awkwardly and unconvincingly. Still, I suppose we should cut him some slack since he wasn't actually a trained performer.

      Austin 3:16 Said I Just Wrecked Your Bus

      WWF Backlash 2000 - Michael Cole interviews The Rock
      Before the main event, we got another look back at the rivalry between The Rock and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin.

      The video package recalled everything we discussed at the start of this review, though there were two details I forgot to mention:

      1: The reason why Stone Cold was in The Rock's corner is that Linda McMahon -the only babyface member of the McMahon clan- had decreed it so.
      2: After being teased for weeks, Austin finally made his return on the pre-Backlash Smackdown and used a crane to drop something heavy on DX's tour bus, prompting Michael Cole to yell "Austin 3:16 says I just wrecked your bus!"

      Speaking of Cole, he was standing by with The Rock for a pre-match promo.

      The Great One guaran-damn-teed to make history with Triple H tonight and walk out of Washington D.C as our new WWF Champion if our noses were capable of detecting what The Rock had in the oven.

      World Wrestling Federation Championship
      WWF Champion Triple H (w/ WWF Women's Champion Stephanie McMahon & Vince McMahon) vs. The Rock (w/ Stone Cold Steve Austin)

      Special guest referee: Shane McMahon

      WWF Backlash 2000 - The Rock beat HHH for the WWF Championship
      The WWF Champion was the first to arrive on the scene, his 'My Time' theme music blaring through the PA with its anti-McMahon lyrics while Vince himself stood next to The Game.

      Brandishing a copy of the night's event program, Vince brought our attention to the old 'Card Subject to Change' caveat, earning a rousing chorus of boos for announcing that Stone Cold Steve Austin wouldn't be there after all.

      The boos may have been loud, but it's not as though anybody took the news seriously.

      Every time The Rock was in trouble -and he was in trouble *a lot* in this match- the fans chanted not for him but for Austin.

      Was it any good?

      Yes, absolutely.

      Triple H and The Rock always worked well together, and while the first half of this match wasn't quite on par with their excellent Summerslam 1998 encounter, it was still a very good effort, with Hunter gaining the advantage thanks to biased officiating and McMahon interference.

      Then the whole thing spilled to the outside, and things took a dramatic turn from "very good" to "all-out awesome."

      Referee Shane McMahon tried to prevent The Rock from blasting Hunter with a Rock Bottom on the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table, so Rocky just grabbed Shane and killed both men with a  wicked double rock bottom.

      With Shane totally out of it, Vince gave up any pretense of this being a fair fight by joining Hunter in the ring and blasting Rock with the title.

      WWF Backlash 2000 - The Rock and Stone Cold celebrate with a beer
      At one point, Patterson and Briscoe came out in referees shirts to make the cover following a Triple H pedigree. When The Great One kicked out, The Stooges put the boot to him and held him in place ready for a Triple H chair shot.

      Inevitably, the glass shattered and Stone Cold Steve Austin stormed to ringside, taking out both Stooges, Shane, Vince, and Triple H with vicious chair shots before storming off as Linda McMahon walked stoically to the ring with Earl Hebner in tow.

      HHH had recently fired Hebner, but it seemed as though Linda had reinstated him.

      The place went crazy as Rock hit the People's Elbow, then Hebner took about five years to get in the ring and put himself in the right position to count the match-winning pinfall.
      Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock

      Finishing what had been an almost perfect main event, Steve Austin came back to the ring in his Stone Cold pickup truck, towing the damaged remains of the DX bus with him.

      He shared a beer with the new champion, and that was all she wrote for what had been one of the best WWF PPVs in years, if not of all time.






      I don't make such a statement lightly, either.

      I've seen a lot of disappointing, underwhelming, and just plain terrible wrestling shows lately, so WWF Backlash 2000 was truly a breath of fresh air.

      Though some matches were better than others, practically everything on this show delivered in one way or another.

      The opening tag team match was explosive, the hardcore match was crazy good fun, Benoit and Jericho put on a classic and Malenko/Taylor and Guerrero/Rios all proved mighty enjoyable. The main event was, naturally, on another level, not necessarily in terms of technical wrestling action, but certainly in terms of drama, suspense and compelling action.

      Overall, this was an awesome show that I highly recommend you check out.




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      Retro Pro Wrestling

      New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.