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 Insurrexion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Insurrexion. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Insurrexion 2002

May 4, 2002
Wembley Arena, London, England

Like most UK-exclusive PPVs, WWF Insurrexion 2002 may never be remembered for anything that took place in the squared circle, yet regardless, it's still an event that holds a unique place in the history of professional wrestling. 

For one thing, it was the last ever PPV of any type by Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire to be branded as a "World Wrestling Federation" event. 

Technically, Backlash 2002 was the company's last WWF Pay Per View on American soil, but since Insurrexion took place a few weeks later, it holds the distinct honour of being the last major event to take place before the company became WWE. 

Still, that's not the only reason why it's important. 

After all, it was following this event that the WWF superstars boarded a plane and embarked on what would go down in history as the infamous Plane Ride From Hell

That tumultuous journey has already been covered in great detail by just about every pro wrestling site on the web, so for today, let's simply head down to London for the World Wrestling Federation's last hurrah. 





The Battle Has Crossed the Ocean 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross

We began tonight with a simple video which spliced footage from moments from some of the bigger storylines going on at the time with a generic vocice over which told us that all of the stars who hated each other had crossed the ocean to continue their battle.

As opening videos went, this was hardly the greatest, but let's face it, nobody watches a pro wrestling event purely for the opening videos.

When it was over, we got the customary crowd shots and introduction from Jim Ross and Jerry 'The king' Lawler

King was on one as he promised to teach JR all about how to speak the Queen's English and then spent the evening demonstrating how to do so by tossing out phrases like "It's all gone Pete Tong" which, honestly, I don't think I've heard anybody say in about 20 years.

It means "it's all gone wrong," in case you were wondering.

With that, it was on to our opening match.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam
I've mentioned multiple times before that no matter how good the performer, they always seemed to turn it down a notch or two when they came over to jolly old England. That was still the case with two talented wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam, as their intercontinental championship match here paled to in comparison to the excellent encounter they'd had a fortnight previously at Backlash 2003.

Still, RVD and Guerrero at their worst was still better than many others best and this was still a fine effort nonetheless.

After a very good opener, Eddie Guerrero tossed the referee into the corner to get himself disqualified. 
Your Winner via Disqualification: Rob Van Dam (Eddie Guerrero retains)

Afterward, Eddie chased the official around the ring, only to get whacked in the face by one of Rob Van Dam's 'educated' feet. RVD then proceeded to wallop his rival with the title belt and finish him off with a crowd-pleasing frog splash before basking in the glory of the fans, making this the perfect way to start off the show.

The UK is Full of Trash...And So is Terri Runnels

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Terri interviews Molly Holly & Jazz
Backstage, Terri continued to settle into her new role as a backstage interviewer by asking Molly Holly and women's champion Jazz for some comments about their upcoming match.

Playing the puritan, Molly lambasted Trish Stratus, Terri, and other models for exposing their bodies and then turned her attention to the UK tabloid newspapers which featured topless models on Page 3.

According to Molly, Trish Stratus was trash, the Page 3 models were trash, and the whole UK was trash.

Terri then stood up to Molly by claiming that The Hurricane's former sidekick was jealous that she didn't have good boobs. As if to prove that she, Terri did have good boobs, she proceeded to get her kit off and stand around in her bra. 

Don't get me wrong, Terri was all kinds of gorgeous, but that was a pretty trashy move. 

WWF Women’s Champion Jazz & Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus & Jacqueline 

The ‘Divas’ era wasn’t exactly known for producing five-star classics, but it has to be said that all four women worked hard in this match and did the very best job they could with what they had.

Though it wasn’t spectacular by any stretch, it was a fairly enjoyable wrestling match in which Trish, Jacqueline, Molly, and Jazz were able to show off their wrestling prowess rather than their boobs.

Naturally then, the crowds all chanted for puppies.

In the end, Trish and Jacqui hit a couple of matching tornado DDTs for the three count.
Your Winners: Trish Stratus & Jacqueline 

Backstage, X-Pac twiddled his nun-chucks and boasted to Scott Hall about destroying Kane so bad that he was able to steal The Big Red Machine’s mask.

Tonight, ‘Pac promised that he’d never return to England again if he couldn’t beat Bradshaw.

“I don’t know why you’d want to come back here anyway,” scoffed Hall.

Cheeky.

X-Pac vs. Bradshaw

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - X-Pac faced Bradshaw
This wasn’t as random a match as it sounds.

Bradshaw had been jumped by the nWo on a previous episode of Raw and found himself loosely aligned with Stone Cold Steve Austin in a war with the black-and-white rebels.

Tonight, he went up against X-Pac in what was a reasonably entertaining match.

Prior to the bell, ‘Pac -who always came to the ring wearing Kane’s mask now- loosened the padding from a middle turnbuckle and later used the exposed buckle to beat Bradshaw into a bloody pulp.

That wasn’t enough to put the Texan away, but plenty of outside interference courtesy of Scott Hall certainly was.

Though this was never going to earn Match of the Night honours, it was a perfectly serviceable undercard match that this fan enjoyed.
Your Winner: X-Pac

Out in the back, a pissed-off Undertaker told Jonathan Coachman that he was going to destroy Triple H tonight just like he destroyed Hollywood Hulk Hogan on that week's episode of Raw.

'Taker didn't care about The Game's passion for the wrestling business. All he cared about was kicking ass, and that's exactly what he was going to do tonight.

This was standard stuff from Booger Red, but that didn't make it any less of a convincing promo.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Steven Richards vs. Booker T

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Steven Richards faced Booker T for the hardcore title
Pac/Bradshaw may not have been as random as it appeared, but this match certainly seemed to be thrown together at the last minute. 

Steven Richards had beaten Bubba Ray for the Hardcore title on Raw with an assist from Jazz and here put it on the line against Booker T, who, despite being a heel, was very popular with the London audience.

"I guess they like a sucka over here," quipped a puzzled JR as he tried to figure out why 'T was getting such a positive reaction.

The crowd response helped elevate what was a good match in its own right and probably the best thing this writer has ever see that had Steven Richards involved.

The hardcore stuff was kept to a minimum in favor of some honest-to-goodness pro wrestling and was all the more enjoyable for it.

After a good battle, Booker T decked Big Stevie to win the hardcore title.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Booker T

As Booker was celebrating, Crash Holly ran out and rolled him up for a flash victory.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

Crash's joy was short lived as Booker almost immedietly got up, decapitated him with his patented scissor kick and regained the title.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Booker T

Not that he'd have much chance to celebrate either. Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible rushed out next and began an attack, only to get their butts whooped and sent packing.

Finally, Steven Richards returned to the ring wih Jazz, whacked Booker from behind and took the title back.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Stevie Richards

Honestly, there was more title changes in this one segment than there had been in the entire history of UK-based WWF PPVs.

Brock Visits Planet Stasiak

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar confront Shawn Stasiak
Up next, we got a look at newcomer Brock Lesnar's feud with The Hardy Boys, which was based on nothing more than Matt and Jeff repeatedly getting their asses kicked by The Next Big Thing.

Tonight, they'd team up to fight Brock and Shawn Stasiak in what was supposed to be a tag team match. Paul Heyman, however, had other ideas.

Backstage before the match, he urged Shawn to stay on the apron and have an easy night, essentially letting Brock do all the work.

The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Brock Lesnar & Shawn Stasiak (w/ Paul Heyman)

So of course, Stasiak didn't stay on the apron, he rushed to the ring ahead of his partner and took the fight to Matt and Jeff, only to inevitably get beaten up. 

Eventually, Big Brock managed to tag himself in and commence with the dismantling of his opponents, but when he attempted to shoulder tackle Matt in the corner, Hardy moved out of the way. That allowed the man from Planet Stasiak to tag himself back in and swiftly eat a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb to technically give Brock Lesnar his first official taste of defeat in the World Wrestling Federation.
Your Winners: The Hardy Boys

Afterwards, Brock F-5'd everyone in sight.

As a side note, I want to register how much I enjoyed Shawn Stasiak. 

I know that's not a popular opinion, but the time he tried to attack The Rock at Summerslam 2001 and ran straight into a wall was absolutely hilarious, and the whole Planet Stasiak thing, if given enough time, could have gotten over.

Anyway, that being said, let's move on with the show.

William Regal: Britain’s Last Great Hope

Backstage, William Regal spoke to Jonathan Coachman about challenging Spike Dudley for the European Championship.

Trying to make sure he was still very much the heel, Regal put down his own countrymen and insisted that he was a role model to all the “dossers” in the audience.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Spike Dudley vs. William Regal 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Jonathan Coachman interviews William Regal
The match itself was pretty good, not necessarily because of the actual wrestling but because it was very cleverly done.

After a few minutes of decent action, Spike Dudley appeared to bust his ankle. Presenting it as legitimate, the champion spent a long time agonizing in the corner until a trainer arrived on the scene, cut Spike’s boot off and began helping him to the back.

The crowd gave Spike a genuine ovation, believing that the whole thing was real, but then Regal attacked him from behind to show that it wasn’t. 

Back in the ring, the challenger dominated but made the mistake of being too cocky, making a pin attempt and then breaking it at the count of two so that he could punish his opponent even further.

That was to be Regal’s downfall.

Spike got up, caught his rival off guard with a small package and that was that.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Spike Dudley 

Afterwards, Regal blasted Spike with his trusty brass knucks.

This was followed by a video pacakage detailing the story behind our next match.

To sum up, Ric Flair had been the special guest referee for Steve Austin’s match at Backlash 2002 against The Undertaker. Flair had inadvertently counted a fall on Austin not realising that The Rattlesnake’s foot was on the rope.

Flair then tried to make things right by giving Austin a tag team match pitting him and Bradshaw against the nWo, but someone had knocked Bradshaw out so Big Show took his place.

Big Show then proceeded to make heel turn #824 by turning on Austin and rejoining the nWo for the first time since the late 90s.

The two would clash next.

The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Special Referee: Nature Boy Ric Flair 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Big Show
Prior to the bell, Ric Flair came out and made himself the special guest “second” referee, meaning he’d be on the outside of the ring while Retro Pro Wrestling favourite Nick Patrick would officiate on the inside.

The match was...I mean it was as good a match as you were going to get out of a bloated Big Show at this stage of the career and was very formulaic (Austin worked his opponent’s legs, Big Show beat up Austin, Austin made a comeback and won) but it was entertaining in its own right and pretty enjoyable.

Towards the finish, Nick Patrick got bumped and Scott Hall and X-Pac came out, only for Flair to see them off.

Kevin Nash then turned up but Stone Cold gave him a stunner, followed up with one for Show and won the match.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin 

Post match, Flair returned to the ring and tried sucking up to Austin by boasting about how he’d gotten rid of the nWo. Unimpressed, Stone Cold gave Flair a beer then stunned him into oblivion.

A video then reminded us of the moment The Undertaker cost Triple H the WWF title at Backlash, leading to tonight’s main event.

The Game was a Smackdown star and had no business being on a Raw show like this one, but that didn’t fit the narrative so nobody mentioned it.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Triple H prepares to Face The Undertaker
There was nothing particularly remarkable about this match, not that you’d know that if your only experience of it was from JR’s commentary.

Doing his job perfectly, Ross sold this like it was the greatest match of all time and that both The Game and The Dead Man had waged an absolute gruelling war on each other.

The truth was that they took everything down a notch from their usual standards and delivered a match which, while enjoyable in its own right, was nothing more special then you might see on an average episode of Raw.

Triple H went over with the Pedigree.
Your Winner: Triple H

Afterwards, HHH and ‘Taker had a post-match staredown as the latter walked backstage, forgetting to take his motorbike with him.







These UK PPVs were never stand out classics, but give to give credit to the Raw roster, Insurrexion 2002 was better than average.

Nothing outright sucked, almost everything was watchable, and the wrestling-starved UK audience were pumped up enough that it created a great atmosphere.

All in all then, a resounding success of a show. It’s just a shame that what would happen on the plane ride home was anything but a success.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Insurrextion 2001

May 5, 2001 
Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, England.

When WWE first started promoting their controversial shows in Saudi Arabia, many fans dismissed events like The Greatest Royal Rumble as being 'glorified house shows' as if that in itself was an absolutely terrible thing.

This wasn't the first time in history that the company's overseas events had been written off by American audiences. When the company promoted their UK-exclusive PPVs from the late-90s to the early 2000s, fans back then dismissed those as "basically house shows" as well.

What's interesting is that this was (and still is) meant as a criticism, as if being a 'glorified house show' is a bad thing and that pro wrestling shouldn't exist unless something majorly important happened.

What events like Insurrextion 2001 proved, is that sure, they may technically be glorified house shows, but that in itself doesn't mean that they were bad or not worth watching.







Sure, nothing majorly important ever happened at these events, and sure, it was always obvious that the wrestlers themselves were only performing at 75% of what they were capable of, but to write them off is to overlook the very point of pro wrestling in the first place - to entertain.

These events provided entertainment for the sake of entertainment and for this writer, that's a good enough reason to head back to Earls Court, London in the spring of 2001.

You with me? Let's do this.

Sometimes Change is Good

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - Linda McMahon confronts Vince in William Regal's office
We began tonight’s show not with the usual pyro but with a shot of WWF Commissioner William Regal talking to Kurt Angle on the phone in a low budget backstage office.

Regal was busy informing Angle that his match tonight had been changed when an angry Vince McMahon stormed in, demanding to know why Regal had changed almost every match on the card tonight.

Regal insisted that he hadn’t, but that Vince’s wife Linda McMahon had. That was Linda’s cue to stroll into the office and display some personality for the first time in her on-screen career as she insisted that everything but the main event had been changed to give the fans ‘the very best the WWF has to offer.

Sure, this was just a clever way of telling us that the card we’d been sold had been completely rewritten, but it was really entertaining all the same, especially when it ended with Vince recoiling in disgust at the news of the then-current foot-and-mouth disease, referred to by the chairman as ‘foot-in-mouth disease.’

We were then welcomed to the arena by our announcers Michael Cole and Paul Heyman as the Insurrextion theme, a knock off of Machinehead by Bush, played throughout the arena.

With that done, it was onto our opening contest.

Grandmaster Sexay vs. Eddie Guerrero

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - Grandmaster Sexay faced Eddie Guerrero
As random and seemingly thrown together as this might have been, this was a very entertaining opening contest, even if it did only last seven minutes.

Though we all probably didn’t appreciate it at the time, Grandmaster Sexay was great in his role as an opening match act.

In his run with Scotty 2 Hotty throughout 2000/early 2001, every time Too Cool opened a show the results were always enjoyable.

Combine that with the fact that Eddie Guerrero couldn’t be less than excellent if he tried and what you got here was a fun way to get the crowd invested in tonight’s show.

After a short match, we got a confusing bit of kerfuffle at the finish that resulted in Latino Heat putting his legs on the ropes to secure a pinfall victory.
Your Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Backstage, Triple H wore his Motörhead t-shirt as he told Stephanie McMahon that he has absolutely nothing to worry about when it came to his match tonight, a two-vs-one handicap match putting himself and Stone Cold Steve Austin against The Undertaker.

The Radicalz (Perry Saturn & Dean Malenko) vs. The Hollys (Hardcore & Crash Holly w/ Molly Holly)


WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - Terri and whatever the heck Perry Saturn was supposed to be
This was originally billed as a six-person match but then Terri took to the microphone to declare that she hadn’t been able to buy any wrestling gear in London and was thus dropping out.

What we were left with was a solid team match that did plenty to keep the fans -and this writer- perfectly happy.

Terri and Molly Holly got involved anyway toward the finish and, in the resulting chaos, a bizarre-looking Perry Saturn managed to hit Bob Holly with the moss-covered three-handled family gradunza.

Somewhere backstage, Y2J looked on approvingly.
Your Winners: The Radicalz

Up next, we were shown a highlight package from William Regal’s recent press tour of the UK, culminating in a sold-out autograph session where the Commissioner was hugely over with the crowd.

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - William Regal polishes The Queen's CupBack live in the arena, Regal spoke to an unknown person on the phone, telling them that there was no way his upcoming opponent Chris Jericho would get a better ovation than him because he -Regal- was the only sporting hero the UK had left.

Much as he had done back at Rebellion 2000, Regal once again insisted that he was more popular and successful than boxers Prince Nadeem and Lennox Lewis.

As he did so, Regal polished the Queen’s Cup that would be up for grabs in his match with Regal. I’m not convinced,  but I do believe the Queen’s Cup looked an awful lot like the Royal Samovar Trophy.

Test Failed

Speaking of Rebellion, Cole and Heyman shilled that for a bit before showing us a clip of Big Show destroying Test on Smackdown. That meant the advertised Test vs. Show match was off, but the big guy came and called out Test anyway.

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, well it's the Big Show!
After being called a ‘yellow-bellied coward’ for the 100th time, Test saved us all the bother of listening to Big Show repeating the same insult over and over again by hobbling down to ringside, holding the ribs that Show damaged on Smackdown.

Yes, we were supposed to believe that Test had been so badly injured in the United States that he could barely walk straight but had still flown all the way over to England anyway, all just to hang out backstage at a show he had no way of competing on.

Anyway, Show demolished Test a second time, called him a yellow-bellied coward fifty more times and finally issued an open challenge to anyone on the roster.

Bradshaw answered because yay fun.

Bradshaw vs. Big Show

There really wasn’t a lot to this. You can close your eyes, imagine what a Bradshaw vs. Big Show match would look like, and you’d be pretty much spot on.

After a few minutes of fairly uninspired brawling, Test made a miraculous comeback and kicked a chair into Big Show’s face. Show hit the Clothesline from Hell and that was pretty much that.
Your Winner: Bradshaw

Post-match, Show stood around looking angry.

How Stupid is The Undertaker?

Backstage, Stone Cold Steve Austin gave a fired-up interview to Jonathan Coachman.

After demanding that Coach tell him how stupid The Undertaker was, a p’d off Texas Rattlesnake vowed that he and Triple H would end The American Bad Ass’s Decade of Destruction here tonight.

Austin spotted some gnarly scars above his eye from his recent battles.

Four Team Elimination Match
The X-Factor (X-Pac & Justin Credible w/ X-Pac) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) vs. The Hardy Boyz (WWF European Champion Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - The Dudley Boyz
This was an excellent match and easily the best thing on the show so far.

Unsurprisingly, X-Pac and Justin Credible were the first to go, followed not long after by The Hardy Boyz.

While their contributions were fun, it was the remainder of the bout between Edge, Christian and The Dudleyz that really made This what it was.

After a really good quality performance from all concerned, Rhyno ran in and gored the living hell out of Bubba Ray to give his buddies Edge and Christian the fall.
Your Winners: Edge and Christian

Up next, we were taken to the previous evening’s charity event where  WWF merchandise was auctioned off to raise funds for the Make a Wish foundation.

The highlight of the evening appeared to be Stephanie McMahon slapping Michael Cole.

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - GMTV's Eamon Holmes was in the crowd
Back live in the arena, we entered some kind of bizarro-world where names British fans would never expect to see on WWF programming were shown in the audience.

Eamon Holmes, Chris Tarrant and Gianfranco Zola were all show gurning for the camera in what was a very surreal moment for this fan.

Angle Wants His Medals Back

Backstage, Kurt Angle took umbrage at Jonathan Coachman’s suggestion that he had ‘lost’ his gold medals, instead insisting that they had been stolen.

No matter, The Olympic Hero vowed to reclaim his gold by defeating Chris Benoit in their upcoming two-out-of-three-falls match.

Two-out-of-Three-Falls
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - Chris Benoit puts Kurt Angle in the crossface
The previous week, at Backlash 2001, Kurt Angle had Chris Benoit beat toward the finish of their Ultimate Submission iron man match. The Olympic Gold Medalist made his opponent tap but, since it was after the bell it didn’t count.

Benoit went on to not only win that match in sudden death extra time but also to steal Angle’s medals on Raw.

Before tonight’s two-out-of-three falls match, the Crippler revealed that he’d been keeping those medals ‘somewhere safe and warm.’

If you didn’t immediately realize that meant they were down his pants then you’re clearly far too innocent for your own good.

Alas, we wouldn’t get to see Chris Benoit pull gold from his crotch (another sentence I never thought I’d write), at least not yet anyway.

The match got started and though neither man gave it their all (no WWF star ever did on a UK show), it was still a damn good effort.

Let’s be honest:

Even Benoit vs. Angle at their worst was better than many people’s best. So yes, it was still a quality performance, albeit one that ended too quickly and left you hungry for more.

Breaking from the normal two-out-of-three-falls formula, The Rabid Wolverine beat his opponent by two straight falls.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit

Post-match, Benoit made his way up to the stage where he grabbed a microphone and revealed that, yes, he had indeed wrestled the entire match with gold medals in his pants. He then proceeded to put the medals -ball sweat and all- around his neck before sauntering backstage, laughing at an irate Kurt Angle.

Debra is Not an Errand-Girl

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - Debra stands up to Stone Cold Steve Austin
Backstage, Stone Cold Steve Austin demanded water from his wife, Debora while he, HHH and Steph went over the plans for their match tonight.

After the McMahon-Helmsleys also asked from drinks, Debrah rightly told them where to go, insisting that they should be focusing on beating The Undertaker rather than sending her on errands.

This was followed by a look back at the recent rivalry been Chris Jericho and William Regal, including their Dutchess of Queensberry rules, match at Backlash.

Tonight, the two would have another such match, this time with the totally-not-made-up Queen’s Cup on the line.

Duchess of Queensberry Rules Match for the Queen’s Cup
William Regal vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - William Regal puts a hurting on Chris Jericho
Ignore the Duchess of Queensberry stuff here. Though it was billed as one, there was really no such match type and this was a basic straight singles match one of the shenanigans that made up their Backlash encounter.

If you ask this fan, avoiding such silliness only made this one even better.

Sure, there was a stretch in the middle when Regal kept his opponent grounded in multiple rest holds, but even they made sense in the context of the match and added to the sense of drama.

Besides, when the two got back to their feet, they really went for it, delivering a match which, dare I say it, surpassed even Benoit/Angle.

Despite dominating the bulk of the contest in front of his fellow countrymen, Regal eventually tapped to Chris Jericho’s Wall of Jericho, putting an end to a fine contest indeed.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Predictably, Regal picked up the Queen’s Cup after the bell and destroyed his rival with it.

Handicap Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Two-Man Power Trip (WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin & WWF Intercontinental Champion Triple H w/ Stephanie McMahon) vs. The Undertaker

According to Lillian Garcia, ‘Taker had to pin Steve Austin to win the title.

WWE / WWF Insurrextion (2001) - The Undertaker faced Steve Austin and Triple H in a handicap match
This was important as he would actually win the match, planting HHH with a chokeslam after Vince McMahon ran in and accidentally blasted his son-in-law with a steel chair.

Before that, we got a fun, by-the-numbers main event.

We started with brawling in the ring and up and down the aisle before things settled down into a standard match with Austin and The Game actually bothering to tag in and out.

It was entertaining enough, but this was the kind of match these three seasoned main eventers could sleep-wall through, and that’s pretty much what they did.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

With blood dripping from his ear, The Undertaker chokeslammed everyone in his sight then rode off into the sunset...

...well, into the grey and gloomy skies of England, anyway.







Though the WWF’s UK-exclusive cards were never going to win any ‘show of the year’ awards, this one did at least entertain and was probably the best WWF show in British soil since Summerslam 1992.

Only the Big Show/Bradshaw match was outright poor, while the four-team tag match and the Angle/Benoit encounter are definitely worth checking out.

Everything else was enjoyable, though nothing you haven’t seen before.




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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