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 Molly Holly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Molly Holly. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 August 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWE King of the Ring 2002

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Event poster
June 23, 2002,
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Though it’s not an event that gets talked about much these days, WWE King of the Ring 2002 was a historically significant event, namely because it was the last time King of the Ring would feature as one of the company’s Big Five PPVs.

Indeed, although the concept would be revived for TV multiple times over the next two decades, this was ultimately the last King of the Ring PPV to ever take place.

To a lesser degree, it was also important for being the first PPV since Stone Cold Steve Austin had “taken his ball and gone home” - having exited the company a few weeks earlier following after being unhappy with a proposed TV match between himself and Brock Lesnar.

The company hadn’t exactly kept this quiet, either.

On the episode of Raw that Austin vs. Brock was supposed to take place on, Vince McMahon instead came out and publicly thanked Stone Cold for his service.

From there, Austin’s departure was played into an angle where McMahon thought he was coming back, only to find out that it was The Rock who was returning.

The Great One hit the ring and cut a semi-shoot promo in which he spoke of  how much wrestlers were passionate about what they do and urged any wrestler who didn’t want to be there to “get the F out.

And as for Brock? Well, it turned out he didn’t need a win over Austin to continue his meteoric rise.

He had smashed his way into the King of the Ring finals and was now well on the way to cementing his legacy as World Wrestling Entertainment presented King of the Ring 2002.






Who Will Win King of the Ring?

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler
Tonight’s show opened up with a look back at all of the people who had won the King of the Ring tournament since the PPV’s inception.

Well, I say all of them, it missed out the 1995 King of the Ring PPV and jumped right from ‘94 to ‘96, probably because the company was too embarrassed to admit that the Main Event Mabel experiment had been a disaster. 

It then skipped over Ken Shamrock and Billy Gunn too, probably for similar reasons. 

From there, the video asked the all-important question:

Who would win this year’s event.

Would it be The Next Big Thing Brock Lesnar?

The Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam?

The first ever undisputed champion Chris Jericho?

Or erm...Test?

There was, of course, only one way to find out, so went down to the arena with crowd shots aplenty and our usual greeting from announcers Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Ross and Lawler quickly put over the non-tournament matches and with that it was on with the show. 

King of the Ring Semi Final 1
Chris Jericho vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho
There are those occasions when two wrestlers are so talented that expectations for a match between them are set incredibly high, meaning no matter what they do, they can’t help but disappoint.

This was not one of those occasions.

The combined talents of Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho resulted in an opening match that was crazy good.

Definitely a contender for one of the best King of the Ring tournament matches ever, this was every bit as good as you’d hope it would be.

The match built up and built up towards a crescendo of near falls before RVD finally got the better of Jericho and earned his place in the final.
Your Winner (advances to the final): Rob Van Dam

After, Lawler conducted an in-ring post-match interview with the victor who, in a typical laid back fashion, claimed that he didn’t care if he had to face Lesnar, Test, or even Godzilla in the final.

Why?

Well, because he was R...V...D of course. 

Just as this was wrapping up, a frustrated Jericho attacked and locked Van Dam in the Walls, essentially giving the ever-popular Intercontinental Champion a good excuse for losing to Lesnar late on. 00.21.10 - RVD

Speaking of The Next Big Thing...

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Paul Heyman psyches up Brock Lesnar
Godzilla is Fake

Backstage, Lesnar and Paul Heyman had been watching this unfold on a television monitor.

Referencing RVD’s promo, Heyman buried Godzilla for being fake while reminding Lesnar that he was real.

It was a compelling pep talk from Heyman, even if Brock probably didn’t need it.

King of the Ring Semi Final Match 2
Test vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)

I originally started writing about this match by saying that I doubted anyone really thought Test stood a legitimate chance of beating Brock.

That’s not to say Test wasn’t a decent performer. I always enjoyed his character and while he wasn’t the best wrestler in the world, he was far from the worst.

Still, I assumed this was going to be Brock inevitably squashing the Canadian en route to the final.

Instead, Test delivered a star-making performance in which he almost...almost walked away with the victory and more than held his own against his rapidly rising opponent.

Though he was technically a heel, his somewhat underdog status and the fact that Brock was an uber-heel meant that Test had the crowd firmly behind him as he took the right to Lesnar and only lost because Heyman got involved.
Your Winner: Brock Lesnar (advances to the final) 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Marc Lloyd interviews Lance Storm and Christian
Out in the back, Jonathan Coachman made his way into the Raw Locker room to get some thoughts on the all-Raw final.

Bubba Ray Dudley told coach that having been in the ring with both RVD and Lesnar, he really didn’t fancy RVD’s chances.

Dudley also added that while he would have loved to be competing in the tournament tonight (he lost to Brock in the first round), he would simply find another way to make an impact.

Across the way, Marc Loyd looked to get a similar response from the Smackdown crew.

Instead, he bumped into Lance Storm and Christian.

The duo had recently started a whole “this company is prejudiced against Canadians” angle on Smackdown and told Loyd that the fact an all-Canadian final between Jericho and Test wasn’t happening was only further proof of WWE’s bias.

Storming off (no pun intended) Lance declared that he and Christian would have to stand up for what was right, and thus, a new tag team was born.

Standback, There’s a a Noble Coming Through 

Back in the arena, Smackdown’s Michael Cole and Tazz looked like they were standing in front of a green screen as they hyped up the upcoming Cruiserweight match between The Hurricane and Jamie Noble.

This was followed by a video package recapping the story between the two.

To sum up:

Shane Helms and Tough Enough 1 co-winner Nidia had dated at some point but then he dumped her to focus on superhero things, so Nidia had started dating former WCW Cruiserweight star Jamie Noble and recruited her new boyfriend to antagonize Hurricane.

Adding to all this was the fact that Nidia was portrayed as some kind of sexual deviant/nymphomaniac who got horny any time someone was aggressive.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship 
WWE Cruiserweight Champion The Hurricane vs. Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia)

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Jamie Noble vs. The Hurricane
This was a tremendously fun Cruiserweight match.

Maybe not an all-time classic, sure, and maybe not even on a par of some the jaw-dropping spotfests these two were involved in as members of 3 Count and The Jung Dragons back in WCW, but a good, solid, flip-flop-and-fly match in its own right.

After plenty of back and forth action and some genuinely exciting moments, Noble powerbombed the living hell out of Hurricane and made the cover.

Nidia prevented her ex-lover from using the ropes to break the fall, and one three count later we had a new Cruiserweight champion.
Your Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble 

Post-match, Nidia snogged the new champion’s face off.

A Word With Latino Heat

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Terri interviews Eddie Guerrero
Earlier, on Sunday Night Heat, The Rock had arrived at the arena.

We’d hear more from him later, but for now it was time for heat of a Latino kind.

Backstage, Terri reminded Eddie Guerrero of the time he and Krispin Wah had beaten up Ric Flair and asked if he was worried about unleashing ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game.’

As if to show just how unconcerned he was, Latino Heat spent the first part of his promo giving shout outs to his family before finally declaring that he was going to put Ric Flair in a retirement home once and for all.

This was good stuff from Guerrero, who never failed to entertain.

Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Eddie Guerrero vs. Ric Flair
For those keeping score, this was the first time Flair and Guerrero had wrestled -at least on PPV- since WCW Hog Wild 1996.

Meanwhile, Naitch had already turned twice in the six months he’d been in the company.

He’d joined as a babyface co-owner for a storyline with Vince, turned heel for a feud with Austin, then turned face again to take Austin’s place in a storyline with Eddie Guerrero.

Anyway, regardless of all that, this started off as a fine match with the wily Guerrera trying his best to out-maneuver his skillful opponent before finally getting the better of him and beating him down.

From there, however, the match slowly but surely ran out of steam and struggled to maintain this fan’s attention.

After an otherwise decent outing, an interfering Chris Benoit put Flair in the Crippler Crossface on the outside.

While the referee was busy sending The Rabid Wolverine to the back, Bubba Ray Dudley put in the night’s most random cameo and planted Eddie with a Bubba Bomb.

Flair got back in the ring, made the cover, and this one was done.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

Meanwhile, over at The World (formerly WWF New York), William Regal and newcomer Chris Nowinski complained about the slow service.

When Nowinski laughed at the waitress for only going to community college, she played with his food behind his back to gross it up a bit before he ate.

Up next, women’s action.

WWE Women’s Championship 
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly 

This was a good women’s championship between two talented performers who showed up to work, so it was a shame that Ross and Lawler spent most of the match referencing the awful “Molly’s got a big butt” angle.

That aside, this was a good match that came to an end when the challenger reversed a roll-up, grabbed a handful of tights, and captured the title.
Your Winner and New Women’s Champion: Molly Holly

Out in the back, Kurt Angle spoke to Marc Loyd about his rivalry with Hulk Hogan.

Back at Judgement Day, Hogan had lost the title to Undertaker while Angle had lost his hair to Edge.

Hogan had then tried to retire, only for Vince McMahon to declare that he had The Hulkster under an iron-clad contract and would insist he keep wrestling.

Hogan had challenged Vince to a fight but got attacked by loyal McMahon suck-up Angle instead.

All the while, Angle had been wearing a wig and wrestling headgear to hide his newfound baldness.

This led to one of the most hilarious promos of all time in which Hogan actually poked fun at his own baldness and declared that he has “lost a hair match to Mother Nature, brother.

Honestly, it’s been days since I watched that episode of Smackdown and I still haven’t stopped laughing at that line.

Anyway, that match was next.

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Kurt Angle 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Kurt Angle vs. Hulk Hogan
This was another good match, with Hogan’s old-school style somehow blending in well with Angle’s Wrestling Machine approach.

After a good back and forth battle, Hogan ripped Angle’s wig off, prompting The Olympic Gold Medalist to storm off.

He later returned brandishing a chair but when he swung, Hogan moved, the chair hit the ropes and Angle wound up KO’ing himself.

It wasn’t over there though, our Olympic Hero reversed a pin attempt into an Ankle Lock, and despite a valiant effort to break the hold, Hulk Hogan had no choice but to submit in what was probably the first time in his career.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle 

Out in the back, the greatest backstage skit of all time took place.

Goldust had dressed up as The Rock and was busy hyping The Great One’s return to Booker T when Rock himself turned up and put an end to it.

What followed was a hilarious back and forth between all three men.

Here, see for yourself:


King of the Ring Final
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Rob Van Dam 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Brock Lesnar won the King of the Ring
This was one of -if not the- shortest matches on the show up to this point, but it was still entertaining in its own right.

RVD took the fight right to Lesnar and almost looked to have him beat with a five-star frog splash, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Lesnar caught Van Dam coming off the ropes, hit him with an F5 and won the tournament.
Your Winner and 2002 King of the Ring: Brock Lesnar

There was no fanfare or ceremony for your new King of the Ring, Big Brock simply walked backstage with Paul Heyman reminding him that the winner of the tournament earned a title shot at  Summerslam.

A Clique Reunion

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - The Clique had a backstage reunion
Backstage, Triple H was walking, ready for his match with The Undertaker when he bumped into the New World Order.

Teasing tensions, The Game eventually hugged it out with Kevin Nash and the recently returned Shawn Michaels before embracing X-Pac.

With Big Show looking on ominously, Nash told Hunter that if he needed help, all he had to do was throw up the too sweet gesture.

Hunter walked off, leading to another green screen appearance from Tazz and Cole, followed by a video package highlighting our upcoming main event.

WWE Undisputed Championship 
WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker vs. Triple H

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Undertaker defended the Undisputed title against Triple H
This was a match that was really a victim of circumstance. In any other situation and with anything else going on around it, Undertaker vs. Triple H could deliver, but tonight, it all went wrong. 

Perhaps the main problem was the inevitable appearance of The Rock casting a shadow over everything both combatants did. 

The Great One hadn't been scheduled to return for a few weeks but had been rushed back to the company to help fill the gaping void left by the absence of Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

In the aforementioned segment with Booker T and Goldust, he had claimed that his reason for being here was to watch the main event. That meant everybody knew there was going to be a run-in from The People's Champion at some point.

As such, the fans in attendance seemed to barely care about anything either competitor did. 

In fact, at various points, you could clearly see that fans in the first few rows were either visibly bored or simply trying to entertain themselves while waiting for The Rock, all to the detriment of the actual match taking place. 

Midway through a lacklustre performance, Earl Hebner got utterly mangled in the corner before both champ and challenger took each other out with clotheslines. The moment their bodies hit the mat, all eyes turned away from the ring and immediately started looking towards the entrance, as if to say "finally, something we actually care about." 

Sure enough, The Rock dashed to ringside and ran off Paul Heyman. Heyman had been doing a very annoying job on commentary, completely overshadowing anything going in the ring by incessantly focussing on Brock Lesnar. 

Yes, I get it, but Heyman's persistent chatter certainly didn't help a match that was already struggling, so it was a relief when Rock saw him off. 

Things picked up slightly from there.

Undertaker attacked The Rock, The Rock swung at 'Taker with a chair, missed, and took out The Game. Back in the ring -with Earl Hebner comatose- Rock finally laid out the champ with a Rock Bottom, but it wasn't enough to give HHH the win. 

With the match getting a second wind, I was almost ready to change my opinion on it entirely and say that it developed into a very good, dramatic match, but then the finish happened.

The challenger laid out his opponent with a Pedigree, but Hebner was so destroyed that he could make the pin. Hunter tried dragging the zebra over to the middle of the ring so that he could better count, but 'Taker struck his nemesis with a low-blow and this undisputed championship PPV main event ended with -of all things- a roll-up. 
Your Winner and Still Undisputed Champion: The Undertaker

Post match shenanigans ensued with The Rock returning to take out 'Taker, The Game getting revenge for that earlier chair shot by pummelling The People's Champion, and Big Evil taking out Triple H to stand tall as the show went off the air.







I've read a lot of criticism of this show, with many people saying that it underperformed and that the quality was bad.

I'll give you that the main event was severely disappointing. I won't lie, it took me three attempts to watch it. At first, I thought it was just because I wasn't in the mood, but now I realise it's because it sucked. 

That said, I stand by my verdict that the rest of the card was pretty good. RVD/Jericho was a fine opening contest, the cruiserweight battle and the Hogan/Angle matches were enjoyable, and Lesnar and his opponents played to their strengths as The Next Big Thing took another step closer to superstardom.

Not the greatest show of all time perhaps, but certainly better than some cynical fans would have you believe.

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, 18 February 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Rebellion 2001

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Event poster
November 3, 2001 
Manchester Arena, Manchester, England 

Finally...The Rock returns to Manchester for World Wrestling Federation Rebellion, the latest in a series of UK-exclusive WWF Pay Per Views were nothing of lasting consequence ever seemed to happen.

Yes, it's becoming the norm that every Retro Pro Wrestling review of these shows starts with that kind of introduction, but while it's true that these shows rarely mattered in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't make them all completely terrible.

Since establishing both Rebellion and Insurexxion as UK PPV brands, the company had at least put some effort into delivering marquee matches and giving both shows a big-time feel.

Did that pay off in terms of quality entertainment? Or was this show forgettable in every sense f the word?

Let's head down to the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England, to find out.






Tonight, it’s Austin vs. Rock III

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Paul Heyman and Jim Ross called the show
Though their match at Wrestlemania 19 is generally referred to as Austin vs. Rock 3 (being their third ‘Mania main event outing together) the actual third PPV main event match for the title between Steve Austin and The Rock would take place tonight here at The MEN Arena.

To build up to that, our opening match combines clips and soundbites from their previous feuds to make it appear as though tonight’s match was to settle a recent grudge between them even though they hadn’t had much interaction on TV since The Rock returned a few months previously.

Nonetheless, the video was decent stuff and led us to the usual pyro, crowd shots and greeting from our announcers Jim Ross and Paul Heyman.

The duo also told us that we’d see Chris Jericho defending the WCW title against Kurt Angle and then sent us to the ring for our opening contest.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship Steel Cage Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Edge vs. WWF European Champion Christian

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Edge after beating Christian in a cage match
Edge
and Christian had been a solid tag team and were good performers in their own right, but when they met in the ring that never really translated into the kind of awesome matches you’d hope they would have.

The two had met in a ladder match back at WWF No Mercy 2001 and that had suffered due to some problems with pacing.

This time out, the ‘brothers’ met in a cage match and though their pace was much better, the match still wasn’t quite as good as this writer hoped it would be.

Then again, maybe that’s simply a matter of me managing my expectations rather than there being anything wrong with the match itself.

After all, it was still an above-average effort that clearly delighted the Manchester crowd, and at the end of the day, that’s probably all that matters.

Towards the finish, Christian looked to scale the cage and escape, only for Edge to drag his opponent’s feet through the cage bars and hogtie them with wrist tape so that he (Edge) could climb over and to the outside.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Edge 

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Hugh Morrus and Chavo Guerrero were perverts
After a video that reminded us that Kurt Angle had recently turned heel and joined The Alliance (dumbest move ever, by the way) we went backstage where Chavo Guerrero was all excited about his special assignment interviewing the divas.

Before Chavo could speak to any of the women, however, he was interrupted by Hugh Morrus who claimed that he too had been sent to do interview duties.

After a brief argument, the former Misfits in Action teammates stormed into the divas' locker room where Trish Stratus was busy getting changed.

The two turned into a couple of childish school children and giggled a lot before Trish sent the boys packing, promising to set them up an interview with her buddy Lita.

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. The Hurricane

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Scotty 2 Hotty faced The Hurricane
Honestly, I think anybody who has anything bad to say about it this match either has no soul or is too far up their own arse to appreciate the fun that wrestling is supposed to be.

Both The Hurricane and Scotty 2 Hotty were competent light heavyweight wrestlers with entertaining gimmicks that were over with the crowd.

Combined, this made for a very enjoyable match that was a lot of fun to watch.

Although it wasn’t going to be a Match of the Night contender, that was never its purpose.

Scotty and Shane had one job: go out and be entertaining.

They succeeded tremendously in that job and when Scotty 2 Hotty picked up the win thanks to his worm, it was a victory well earned.
Your Winner: Scotty 2 Hotty

Out in the back, Chavo and Hugh perved on Lita putting her pants on before Diamond Dallas Page told us that English people being depressed wasn’t a bad thing it...was a good thing.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. The Big Show

Thankfully, this was short and painless.

The two battles back and forth for what couldn’t have been more than three minutes. It wasn’t very interesting, but it wasn’t offensively bad or anything either.

After taking a Diamond Cutter from Page, The Big Show clambered to his feet, chokeslammed his opponent into oblivion, and won the match.
Your Winner: The Big Show

Afterward, DDP took to the microphone to claim that his loss was a good thing because now he’d get to leave the awful country of England.

Kurt Angle and the Knights of the Round Table

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Debra, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, and Shane McMahon talk strategy
Out in the back, Guerrero and Morrus had given up pretending to want to interview anybody and were now openly admitting that they just wanted to barge into different locker rooms hoping to find women in various states of undress.

Alas, they had no such luck this time as Mighty Molly Holly was fully attired, though she was appalled that the two former WCW stars had seen her without her cape.

Speaking of WCW, Alliance members Shane McMahon, US Champion Kurt Angle, WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin, and his wife Debra were sat around a table in a darkened room with a spotlight of them.

They were there to talk strategy for tonight’s show but everything went awry when Kurt realized that they were sat at a round table in England. Thus, he began comparing himself and his colleagues to the Knights of the Round Table.

“And of course, if we’re the good knights, there’s gotta be bad nights,” said Kurt.
“I’m having a bad night right now,” replied Austin, who got so fed up with Angle that he yelled at him and stormed off.

Ok, so that was pretty funny.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Three-Team Elimination Match
WCW Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) vs. The A.P.A (Bradshaw & Farooq) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Matt Hardy waits t
Though it was fairly obvious that Farooq and Bradshaw would be eliminated first to give us another standard Dudleyz/Hardyz encounter, that didn’t stop this one from being a pretty good match.

For the most part, it was no different to any of the countless other matches you’ve seen between these teams so if you enjoyed those you’ll enjoy this one and if you hated every match you’ve ever seen between them then this one will do little to change your mind about them.

This fan quite enjoyed it, and even though The Dudleyz got the predictable win thanks to the 3D, it was still a good outing.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: The Dudleyz

Out in the back, Vince McMahon urged bitter rivals The Rock and Chris Jericho to shake hands and bury the hatchet so that Team WWF would have a better chance of winning at Survivor Series.

The two did as their boss requested, but as soon as Vince was gone they started brawling until a gaggle of referees and Arn Anderson broke them up.

William Regal vs. WCW Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - William Regal cuts a pre-match promo before facing Tajiri
Before the match, William Regal took to the microphone to address his hometown audience, thanking them for spending their unemployment allowance on coming to see him wrestle and insisting that he was a better role model than David Beckham and any one of the Manchester United football team.

Having firmly established himself as the heel, Regal locked up with his former sidekick Tajiri in a really good wrestling match.

The two took it to the mat, pounded the shit out of each other, and occasionally bust out a few fancy moves to create one of the better matches on what had already been a decent show.

Unsurprisingly, Regal picked up the victory with his Regal Stretch, but his celebration was short-lived when Tajiri recovered and blew the Green Mist of Doom in the Alliance Commissioner's face.
Your Winner: William Regal

01.15.52 - Angle

Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed US champion Kurt Angle who made fun of Chris Jericho’s Y2J nickname and promised to take his WCW title from him.

WCW Championship
WCW Champion Chris Jericho vs. WCW US Champion Kurt Angle

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Kurt Angle challenged Chris Jericho for the WCW title
As was often the case with most wrestlers on these UK shows, it really felt as though Angle and Jericho weren’t giving it their all here, but let’s be honest:

Angle and Jericho at even 50% are still better than many people at 100% and so this was still a very good see-saw battle in which both champ and challenger traded the advantage several times.

They worked at a decent pace that was enough to keep the crowd entertained and deliver a captivating dual of submissions, suplexes, and more all without overexerting themselves.

After a good effort, Y2J rolled up his opponent to retain the WCW title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Chris Jericho

Unhappy with the decision, Angle attacked Jericho after the bell and destroyed him with a few Angle Slams.

Finally, The Rock Has Come Back to Manchester

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Michael Cole interviews The Rock
Out in the back, Michael Cole asked The Rock how he could concentrate on his title match with Stone Cole with all that he had going on with Jericho.

The Great One clearly couldn’t concentrate because all that he seemed to care about was whether Cole liked pie or strudel.

Which one was it? Did Cole like pie...or strudel.

IT DOESN’T MATTER...

Obviously.

Divas Tag Team Match
Mighty Molly & Stacy Kiebler vs. Lita & Torrie Wilson

Special Guest Referee: Trish Stratus
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I think this was the first instance of the company sandwiching a women’s match between the two high profile PPV main events to give the crowd a breather.

Of course, the “divas bathroom break” would be a running joke for years until the women started to be taken more seriously, and I’m pretty sure it all started here.

The match was...well, it was a divas bathroom break which was a shame given that Molly Holly and Lita were talented performers and Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler at least looked like they were putting the effort in despite their limited experience.

Ultimately though, this was a whole lot of nothing leading up to an admittedly cool finish which saw Lita pick up the win for her team.
Your Winners: Lita and Torrie Wilson

Much like Kurt Angle in the previous match, Stacy Kiebler was unhappy with the result and confronted special referee Trish Stratus, only to get slapped and bulldogged.

Finally, after a look back at the long rivalry between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, it was time for the two to meet in our main event.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Rebellion 2001 - Steve Austin puts The Rock in a Boston crab
Much as Angle and Jericho had done, Austin and The Rock failed to bring their A-game here, but their B-game was still good enough to provide a quality main event.

The two superstars took the obligatory walk up to the entrance in the early going and battled around ringside for a while before returning to the ring for an enjoyable back and forth brawl.

At every opportunity, Austin would throw his middle fingers in the air, mostly at the crowd but also towards referee Earl Hebner.

Finally having had enough of such behavior, Earl flipped Austin off in response and very loudly yelled ‘F**K YOU!’

Hebner’s potty mouth would later be punished when both champ and challenger accidentally bumped into him in quick succession, forcing the head zebra to lie out on the canvas for half a year.

Seriously, I’ve heard of referees ‘taking a nap’ when they get bumped in a match, but I’m pretty sure Earl got his full eight hours in here.

While he was doing that, Rock put the sharpshooter on his opponent only for Stone Cold to break free and apply a sharpshooter of his own.

“That’s not one of Austin’s specialty moves,” said Jim Ross apologetically, covering for the fact that the champion had applied possibly the worst version of the hold you’d ever seen.

Honestly, if you’re of the opinion that The Rock’s sharpshooter was awful, you need to see this match just to see how much worse Austin’s was.

Anyway, with the referee still out cold, we got run-ins from both Angle and Jericho before finally, Austin hit a stunner to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Steve Austin

Afterwards, Austin and Angle hugged and made their way backstage, presumedly to celebrate a triumph that few fans in the United States would ever actually hear about.






It’s fair to say that not a single one of the WWF’s UK-only PPVs were ‘must-see’ TV, and I say that as a Brit who was there love for some of the earlier shows.

Still, while WWF Rebellion 2001 wasn’t exactly essential viewing, it was at least one of the better UK shows, with a decent double main event in the form of Rock/Austin and Angle/Jericho, a decent opening cage match and a surprisingly fun match between Scotty 2 Hotty and The Hurricane.

Don’t go out of your way to watch this, but if you’re bored and looking for something to watch, Rebellion should at least keep you relatively entertained for two hours and 15 minutes.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Armageddon 2000

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - event poster
December 10, 2000, 
Birmingham–Jefferson Civic Center, Birmingham, Alabama

I've said it before that the World Wrestling Federation's annual December PPV often felt like an off night for the company and its roster; a chance to slow it down a gear before things picked back up in the run towards the Royal Rumble.


Tonight, however, something just felt different.

Armageddon 2000 was to be headlined by a multi-man Hell in a Cell match which the company were promoting as the biggest thing to happen in the WWF since...

..Well, since ever.

That alone made the show feel important right from the outset.  At a time when Hell in a Cell is basically just another match, it's refreshing to find a show where the 'demonic steel structure' is still held in some reverence.

Yet for all the hype, would the World Wrestling Federation really be able to deliver? Or would this be yet another lacklustre December PPV in which everyone took a night off?







Let's head to Birmingham, Alabama to find out.

The End is Here

Tonight’s show began with an awesome video package that interspersed scenes of war, violence, and general-Armageddon-things with shots of the WWF’s top stars.

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the show
On its own, it wasn’t too impressive, but it was the song that accompanied it that really made it work.

An obvious nod to The Doors’ track of the same name, The End was a Jim Johnson original with Jim Morrison-esque vocals that really made for a compelling introduction to tonight’s show.

What wasn’t so great was the take on Sweet Home Alabama which accompanied the opening crowd shots and introduction from Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

On its own, the music was annoyingly repetitive, but the worst part was that it’s cheery, upbeat tone was totally at odds with the general theme of doom that you’d want for a show called Armageddon.

With the Hell in a Cell hanging seriously low over the ring, Ross and Lawler told us that Mick Foley had promised to resign if anyone was seriously injured in tonight’s match.

Vince Don’t Want No Coffee

Backstage, a limousine pulled up. Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe argued over who was going to open the door to allow Vince McMahon to step out of it.

For some reason that I can’t be bothered to look up, Vince was limping with a cane as he pushed onto into the arena, refusing an offer for coffee because he wasn’t in the mood for it, damnit.

That was a mostly odd and pointless segment.

Six Person Inter-Gender Elimination Match
Team Xtreme (Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Lita) vs. The Radicalz (WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Perry Saturn w/ Terri)

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Lita teamed with The Hardy Boyz to face The Radicalz
Before the bell, a video recap told us how this match came about:

Lita challenged Dean Malenko to a Light Heavyweight Championship match, lost, and had to go on a date with the champion.

She then tricked him into taking her to a hotel room for some nookie, reminded him that he was a married man, then had Matt and Jeff Hardy attack him.

The actual match was pretty good even if it was entirely predictable.

Busting out the kind of entertaining spots that you’d want from a PPV opener, this fun, fast-paced elimination match obviously came down to just Malenko and Lita.

After a good bit of back-and-forth, the former put the latter in the Texas Cloverleaf and this one was done.

All round, an enjoyable effort, and not just because Terri got involved and flashed her ass at one point.
Your Winner: Dean Malenko

Afterwards, Malenko hurled Lita out of the ring. The Ice Man showed more personality in this one little bit then he had done for his entire career.

Eventually, The Hardyz came to Lita’s aid while Michael Cole got a ringside interview with her.

Clearly in agony, the former women’s champion insisted she could beat Malenko.

Angle is Ready

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Lilian Garcia interviews WWF Champion Kurt Angle
Backstage, Lillian Garcia interrupted Kurt Angle’s workout routine to get an interview.

As excellent as he ever was on the microphone, the WWF Champion admitted that there was no way he could properly prepare to face five other men inside Hell in a Cell, but that he wasn’t worried anyway because he was an Olympic Gold Medalist who was sure to win.

The promo was followed by a flashback to No Way Out 2000, when Triple H backdropped a battered and bloody Cactus Jack through the cage roof to the ring below.

Man, it feels like such a long time ago that I reviewed that show.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion William Regal vs. Hardcore Holly

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - William Regal defended the European Championship against Hardcore Holly
This was a better match than William Regal had with Hardcore Holly’s cousin Crash a week earlier at Rebellion 2000, but it still wasn’t Regal’s finest hour.

Before the match, the European Champion took to the microphone to insult the Alabama crowd, labeling them all as overall-wearing, beastiality-loving rednecks.

He was great at this part, but when Alabama’s own Bob Holly came down and the match got underway, it never really went past being inoffensively decent.

After a short encounter, Raven inexplicably ran in and destroyed Holly with an Even Flow DDT.

The champ capitalized and, one three count later, this was all over.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: William Regal

On Smackdown, Kurt Angle had broken an alliance with HHH and Rikishi by blasting the latter with the world title.

Backstage at Armageddon, ‘Kishi cut a convincing promo in which he told Kevin Kelly that it didn’t matter who else turned on him because he had sacrificed his heart, body, and soul for a shot at the WWF title and would take advantage of that shot tonight.

I may be in the minority, but I enjoyed main event ‘Kishi.

Chyna vs. Val Venis (w/ WWF Women’s Champion Ivory)

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Val Venis bodyslams Chyna in their singles match
Right to Censor were upset with Chyna for appearing in Playboy, so Val Venis was tasked with taking her out in this short, uninteresting match.

I’m usually a fan of Chyna and tend to give her more credit than some reviewers, but there was nothing about this match that made me want to pay attention.

Val won after Ivory interfered.
Your Winner: Val Venis

Post-match, Chyna went to attack Ivory but Venis returned and planted The Ninth Wonder of the World with a powerbomb.

Steph is Scared

Afterward, we once again flashed back to No away Out, where Cactus Jack set a barb-wire wrapped 2x4 on fire and blasted HHH with it.

Back live in the arena, Stephanie McMahon told Vince that she was scared for her husband’s safety in the upcoming main event.

For his part, Vince replied that he’d had enough of Commissioner Foley and would put a stop to him and his actions.

The Animal Within

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - The Undertaker gave a compelling interview to Kevin Kelly
Earlier in the day, The Undertaker met Kevin Kelly inside Hell in a Cell to about his history in the sadistic cage.

Talking about how he felt more like an animal than a human Inside Hell in a Cell, ‘Taker went into graphic, gruesome detail about the violence he’d inflicted on both Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley, and promised to do the same to someone here tonight.

This was excellent stuff that really sold how brutal the Hell in the Cell match was, as well as how wicked the American Bad Ass could be.

Vince Hates the Main Event

With The Stooges by his side, the Chairman of the Board took to the ring to express just how much he was opposed to tonight’s main event.

The backstory here was that Vince didn't want the main event to go ahead because it contained all of his top stars in one violent match. If any of them -or many of them- got injured, then he was down a lot of money.

It was a smart backstory, but despite Vince being a genius on the microphone, he struggled to get that message across, not even in a subtle way.

Last Man Standing Match
Kane vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Kane puts a submission hold on Chris Jericho in their last man standing match
At Fully Loaded 2000, Chris Jericho was involved in one of the greatest Last Man Standing matches ever against Triple H.

This was nowhere near on a par with that one, but it was still a pretty solid effort by all accounts.

Kane destroyed Jericho, but the plucky Y2J continually found a way to fight back, eventually dropping The Big Red Machine in an awkward table spot before burying him under a stack of fake toxic waste barrels that were made up the set.

At the last possible second, Kane’s arm shot through the barrels but it was too little, too late.

Teddy Long called for the bell and this gripping Last Man Standing match was over.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Out in the back, Jonathan Coachman had to get past Debra’s boobs so that he could have a word with Commissioner Foley.

In a good promo, Foley insisted that he knew how dangerous tonight’s main event was, but that he was committed to seeing that it went ahead anyway.

Live from New York, it’s The Heart Break Kid

Dancing around on the stage at WWF New York, Shawn Michaels was asked if he had any advice for tonight’s Hell in a Cell competitors.

Despite being in the first-ever cell match back at Badd Blood 1997, HBK declared that there was nothing he could say as literally anything could happen tonight.

We then flashed back to Hell in a Cell 2 at King of the Ring ‘98, where Undertaker chokeslammed Mick Foley onto some thumbtacks.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship Fatal Fourway Match
WWF Tag Team Champions Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather w/ Steven Richards) vs. Edge & Christian vs. Road Dogg & K-Kwik vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley)

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - The Dudleyz do 'Wassup' on Edge
This was a solid effort from all involved, even if the first half of the match seemed to matter very little.

Things started with all four teams taking to their corners as in a traditional tag team match.

It was fine, and the actual wrestling that took place during this portion of the match was good enough, but you knew that it would eventually break down into a free-for-all, and so did the crowd.

From very early on, they got loud with their ‘WE WANT TABLES’ chants, making anything going on in the ring seem like it was killing time until they eventually got them.

Inevitably, The Dudley Boyz went through a crowd-popping burst of offense, taking out everyone in their path and reaching under the ring for the furniture.

'I think Bubba Ray’s got wood.....on his mind!’ Yelled JR, who clearly knew what he was doing.

The actual tables never really came into play in the match, but the whole chaotic closing minutes of the match were still very enjoyable.

Eventually, Christian hit Bubba with the Unprettier, Edge made the cover and Right to Censor lost the tag team titles without even being beaten.
Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - HHH told his wife that the WWF Championship was the most important thing in the world to him. What a jerk.
Backstage, Triple H told his own wife that the WWF Championship was the most important thing in the world to him.

Honestly, with that kind of attitude, it’s a miracle their relationship lasted so long.

The Game then cut a scathing promo in Steph’s face, promising that nothing would stop him from getting the title back tonight.

We then flashed back once again to HHH/Cactus from No Way Out, with Hunter sending Jack crashing off the cage through the announce table.

Curiously, both HHH and Steph had referred to that match as taking place ‘last year,’ even though it had only been in February.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion ‘The One’ Billy Gunn vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Chris Benoit puts the crossface on Billy Gunn
If you’re the kind of fan who hates Billy Gunn, you’ll probably love this match.

The intercontinental champion got his ass handed to him in what was, admittedly, a thoroughly satisfying contest.

After getting destroyed for most of the contest, The One submitted to the Crippler Crossface snd relinquished his title.
Your Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

And that was about it for Billy Gunn’s push as a major star in the WWF. He’d do nothing of note until Chuck Palumbo turned up, eventually turning up in TNA as The Outlaw and, um...Cute Kip.

100% Coffee Fuelled

Earlier in the day, Stone Cold Steve Austin had hung out in some kind of random kitchen, telling Jim Ross that he’d been drinking coffee all day and was now ready to go stomp a mudhole in his opponents.

Austin didn’t care that Hell in a Cell had shortened Shawn Michael’s career, or that it had ended Foley’s, all he cared about was becoming the champion again.

As all the main event promos had been so far, this was very compelling stuff from Stone Cold.

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - Trish Stratus faced Molly Holly and Ivory in a three-way for Ivory's women's championshipWorld Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship Triple Threat
WWF Women’s Champion Ivory vs. Molly Holly vs. Trish

It would be years before the women were putting on matches that consistently rivaled the men’s and tonight was no exception despite having competent workers in the form of Ivory and Molly Holly in there.

This was an incredibly short match that barely lasted more than two minutes.

The actual action was OK for what it was but, really, what can you do in two minutes?

Ivory won. Very few people cared.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Ivory

Afterward, Test and Albert came down to get Molly after she cost Trish the match, but Crash came down and challenged them to a brawl.

This led to the return of the APA, who came after their rivals.

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - The Rock silences Kevin KellyFinally, The Rock has Come Back...to Hell

Backstage, The Rock cut a captivating promo in which he promised Kevin Kelly that he would sweat and bleed and beat everyone’s candy asses when he walked straight into hell to become our six-time WWF Champion.

The Great One was on fire here, and I’m glad he cut a serious promo rather than goofing around for laughs, an approach which only added to the gravitas of our main event.

Six-Man Hell in a Cell for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Kurt Angle vs. Triple H vs. Rikishi vs. The Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

I love HHH’s theme here, by the way, it’s a mix of My Time and The Game, and it sounds epic.

The Undertaker came out to 'Rollin’which was surprising because they had to edit out American Bad Ass on the WWE Network but somehow Limp Bizkit was still ok.

In between them both, Kurt Angle was the third man to make his way to the ring, an odd position given his status as the reigning champion.

Regardless, this match met every exception.

A glorious celebration of pro wrestling violence, the match was essentially a three-act story.

WWE / WWF - Armageddon 2000 - The Rock silences Kevin Kelly
In the first act, all six men brawled wildly around the ring until Vince McMahon and The Stooges came down with a flatbed truck carrying a bunch of kennel bedding that you immediately knew somebody would take a bump on later.

McMahon had his cronies attach a chain between the cage door and the truck to rip the door off. The Chairman’s aim was to use the truck to tear down the cage completely, but Foley came down, beat a bunch of people up and had McMahon escorted away by security.

This led to act two, an even wilder, bloodier brawl in which all six men made their way to the junk cars that made up the entrance set and annihilated one another. Everyone except Rikishi got busted open.

It was chaotic, it was fun, and it was as brutally brilliant and brilliantly brutal as you might hope for.

Eventually, the match wound up on the top of the cell where Rikishi almost caved Angle’s skull in with a chair before -somewhat predictably- being the one to take the big bump off the top of the cage to the truck courtesy of an Undertaker chokeslam.

Back in the ring for the final act, only HHH, Angle, The Rock, and Austin remained, and even they could barely stand.

After a gripping climax, Angle barely got a hand on The Rock’s chest to pin him for the three count.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Kurt Angle

Afterward, Austin delivered one last stunner to Angle, but that was all he was capable of.

Battered, bloodied, and absolutely broken, nobody could stand. Nobody could move.

Hell in a Cell had delivered everything the WWF had told us it would.







And that’s why I love this show so much.

From an in-ring standpoint, only the main event stood out as anything special, but man did it ever stand out.

The story throughout the night was that this was one match so brutal and diabolical that it would forever change the lives of those who entered it, and then they came through by really selling us on the fact that it really had done that.

The story and the sell may have been better than most of the matches, but it made for compelling viewing.



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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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.