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 Rebellion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rebellion. Show all posts

Monday, 29 August 2022

The Complete History of WWE'S UK PPVs: 1991 - 2003

The Complete History of WWE's UK PPVS: 1991 - 2003 is the second book from Retro Pro Wrestling. 



With WWE Clash at the Castle now just days away, I thought it would be the perfect time to go back and relieve all those earlier UK exclusives and special events. 

The result was this book, which recounts every major* event from Battle Royal at the Royal Albert Hall to the company's last UK PPV for 19 years, Insurrextion 2003.

The Complete History... recounts every match,angle, promo video backstage interview from these events and features a Who's Who of WWE legends such as: 

Andre The Giant, British Bulldog, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Nature Boy Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The Undertaker, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Kane, The Rock and many more. 

Get your copy from Amazon today.



PS: I'll be back to posting my regular reviews from September 4th, 2022.
P.P.S: Both The Complete History of WWE's UK PPVs and The Complete History of NWA/WCW Starrcade will be published in print form by the end of November.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE Rebellion 2002

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Event poster
October 26, 2002,
Manchester Arena, Manchester, England

WWE Rebellion 2002 may not be a show anybody talks about today, but it does have the distinction of clocking up a number of firsts and lasts in the history of Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire.

Since all of the previous incarnations of this event had been held while the company was still known as the World Wrestling Federation, tonight's show was the first Rebellion event to be promoted under the WWE banner.

In fact, it was the only Rebellion to be promoted under this banner as Vince would decide to stop doing UK-exclusive PPVs entirely the following year, making this the last ever Rebellion.

Notably -and here's a bit of obscure trivia for you- it was technically the first Smackdown-exclusive Pay Per View in WWE history as the Blue Brand made their way over to Manchester for one last hoorah.

Of course, the only question is:






Was it any good?

Let's head down to jolly old England and find out together, shall we?

The Rebellion Has Begun

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Michael Cole and Tazz called the action
We started tonight's show with a very impressive opening video in which a little girl gave a monologue over shots of the Smackdown superstars.

When the heels were shown on screen, the girl talked about how sad she was that evil forces had taken control and took pleasure in the pain and suffering of others. 

Switching over to shots of the babyfaces, she spoke of her hope that things would get better now that the rebellion had begun. 

This was very well done, especially for a UK PPV. 

From there, Michael Cole and Tazz welcomed us to the show as pyro exploded, the cameras panned the crowd, and WWE Rebellion 2002 got underway. 

Steph Starts the Show

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Stephanie McMahon made an announcement at the start of the show
Much as she'd done back at WWE Global Warning, Stephanie McMahon kicked off another international event by hitting the ring and taking to the microphone. 

This time, the Smackdown General Manager informed us that The Undertaker would not be here, partly becasue he'd been beaten up by Big Show and Brock Lesnar, but mostly because his new child was due to be born any day. 

She went onto inform us that Edge would be taking The Dead Man's place in a scheduled 2 vs. 1 handicap match against Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar for the WWE title, before wrapping up by announcing that, as part of a "special trade agreement" with Raw GM Eric Bischoff, Smackdown had secured the services of Booker T for one night only. 

On that note, the Booker Man himself made his way to ringside and it was on to our opening match.

Booker T vs. Matt Hardy V1

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Matt Hardy loves English muffins
Here, we had the PPV debut of Matt Hardy's V1 character, complete with "Matt Facts" and that awesome Monster Magnet theme song.

Tonight, he went up against Booker T in a fun opening contest. 

This wasn't an all-out wrestling classic, but it wasn't designed to be.

It was designed to entertain the fans by pitting a despised heel against a beloved babyface and having them appeal to the crowd. 

From a pure wrestling stand-point, it was average at best, but entertainment value, it was very good indeed.

To the surprise of no one (especially given that the faces usually always went over on these UK PPVs), Booker T picked up the win.
Your Winner: Booker T

Post match, The Five Time, Five Time, Five Time WCW champion continued to entertain the fans with a spinarooni.

Paul Heyman is Furious

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Paul Heyman confronts Stephanie McMahon about his role in the show's main event
Out in the backstage area, an upset Paul Heyman burst into Stephanie McMahon's office and did his damndest to get out of the handicap match later on in the show. 

Heyman first appealed to McMahon by noting how unfair it was that Edge could become champion by pinning him, rather than Lesnar.

When that didn't work, the former ECW owner insisted that he couldn't wrestle anyway because he hadn't brought his "trunks," as if he ever owned a pair of wrestling trunks in his life. 

That didn't work either, with Steph simply demanding that Lesnar's manager go and get ready for the match.

This was followed by a look back at the rivalry between Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson, and was pretty much the same video we'd just seen back at No Mercy 2002 the week before.

Mixed Tag Team Match
Dawn Marie & John Cena vs. Torrie Wilson & Billy Kidman

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Kidman & Torrie Wilson vs. John Cena & Dawn Marie
John Cena
had recently turned heel on Kidman after the two had lost in the recent tag team titel tournament, making both men the perfect partners for Wilson and Marie.

Much like the last match, this was more about entertainment than actual wrestling, but it certainly wasn't bad. 

OK, so they once again did the lame spot where the girls cat fight and wind up rolling around on top of one of the guys, only this time it was Billy Kidman who got to be the "lucky" recipient rather than the referee as it usually was. 

I'd complain that this is the third event I've watched in about two weeks that I've seen this spot, and that Wilson and Marie did the exact same thing back at No Mercy, but hey, it always got a pop and Kidman's reaction afterward was pretty funny.

After that, we got a little more action before the girls toppled to the outside and Kidman smacked Cena with a wicked kick, causing the future world champion to face plant the mat in such a glorious fashion that it almost put the famous "Flair Flop" to shame. 

Billy followed this up with a shooting star press and, one three count later, won the match.
Your Winners: Billy Kidman & Torrie Wilson

Afterwards, Torrie celebrated by giving Kidman a good snog. Once again, the former cruiserweight champion's reaction was gold.

Edge Swears Victory

Out in the back, Edge cut an intense promo in which he vowed to become the WWE champion in front of the "Manchester chapter of the Edge Army."

This was good stuff from Edge, but he wasn't yet at a point in his career where I imagine many saw him as a legitimate threat to Lesnar. 

Funaki vs. Crash Holly

Holy crap, an actual Funaki match. 

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Funaki vs. Crash Holly
Funaki hadn't beeen seen on PPV since participating in a Battle Royal at Survivor Series 2001, and it had been so long since he'd participated in a non-battle royal PPV match that I can't even figure out when that would have been. 

Smackdown's Number One Announcer was popular with the UK crowd, but not popular enough to get them invested in this match.

In fact, despite the fact that it was competently performed, this one played out to almost total silence.

Not even Crash Holly sporting a Japanese headband and busting out Karate Kid moves was enough to elicit a response, proving that racial stereotyping wasn't always as funny as the wrestling business used to pretend it was.

In fact, the match was so uninteresting that Tazz started entertaining himself with a Gordon Sollie impression.

The match ended with a roll-up for Funaki.
Your Winner: Funaki 

Out in the back, Jamie Noble and Nidia agreed that people in the UK were smelly trash while across the way, Rey Mysterio psyched up himself up to face Noble and Tajiri in this next match.

Triple Threat Elimination Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Cruiserwieight Champion Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) vs. Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio 

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Jamie Noble defends his Cruiserweight title
This was just about as good a cruiserweight match as you might expect it to be, showcasing the kind of fast-paced, back-and-forth action that you just weren't going to see anywhere else on the card.

Somewhat predictably, Tajiri got taken out of this elimination rules match early on, clearing the way for champion Jamie Noble to have an exciting one-on-one encounter with Mysterio.

At multiple points, the challenger looked to have the match won, only Nidia to get in the way and stop things. Eventually, Noble drilled Mysterio down in to the mat and got the win thanks to his girflriend's assistance.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble 

Post match, Mysterio delivered a 619 to both Noble and Nidia. 

Who's The Captain?

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to explain to Chris Benoit that because he was American, he was therefore better than his Canadian tag team partner and therefore the captain of their team. Benoit countered by reminding the Olympic Gold Medalist that since he'd beaten him on Smackdown, that technically made him the captain. 

The two were clearly at loggerheads, but somehow they'd have to settle their differences in order to defend their titles on tonight's show. 

Chuck Palumbo & The Big Valbowski vs. D'Von & Ron Simmons

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Ron Simmons puts a hurting on Chuck Palumbo
After the whole wedding-that-wasn't debacle between Billy & Chuck, Billy Gunn had been injured, leaving Chuck Palumbo wandering around with nothing to do, hence a random tag team with The Big Valbowski

Across the ring, D'von had dropped the whole Reverand thing while Ron Simmons had ditched his Farooq moniker.

The match between the two teams was fine for what it was, but the crowd were practically silent for it and I can't really blame them. It was a by-the-numbers, go-through-the-motions affair which ended with a win for Ron and D'Von when the latter rolled up Valbowski.
Your Winners: D'Von & Ron Simmons

Prior to the next match, Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero cut a backstage promo in which they played up to some Mexican stereotypes and then tried to get heat by ragging on British staples like tea and crumpets.

Their match was later, but first, we had this. 

Kiss My Arse Match
Albert vs. Rikishi

WWE Rebellion 2002 - Rikishi faced Albert in a "Kiss My Arse" match
Yes, it's a Kiss My Ass match, but we're in England, so it's Kiss My Arse instead.

Prior to the bell, Albert took to the microphone to talk about how sexy he was and promised to make Rikishi kiss his "Big Hairy Ass."

Unfortunately for the big fella, he didn't get to keep his promise. 

After a decent but rather unexciting match, 'Kishi predictably toppled his "sexy" opponent and picked up the victory.
Your Winner: Rikishi 

Post-match, Albert tried to leave but Rikishi called him back to the ring. Instead of willingly puckering up, the former Hip Hop Hippo attacked and went to ram his hairy butt into his foe's face, only for Big Kish to hit him with a low-blow and an equally as predictable stink face.

From there, the one-time Headshrinker called Michael Cole, Tazz, and Tony Chimmel into the ring for a spot of some of the most awkward dancing you've ever seen in your life. 

This was followed by a look back at the rivalry between The Guerreros and the team of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, leading into their upcoming title match.

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit vs. Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero Jr)

WWE Rebellion 2002 - Eddie Guerrero Tries to Break Kurt Angle's back
It's fair to say that, alongside Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker from One Night Only 1997, this was one of the best matches ever showcased on a UK PPV. 

Whereas many wrestlers tended to phone it in at these kind of shows, Eddie, Chavo, Benoit, and Angle all busted their behinds to deliver an excellent performance that was captivating from start to finish. 

At various points, it looked as though Los Guerreros would genuinly be taking the titles home with them but, of course, that never happened. 

After a thrilling contest, Kurt drilled Eddie with the Angle Slam and that was that.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit

Post-match, Angle and Benoit continued their "partners who hate each other" thing by almost coming to blows before finally united to see off Eddie & Chavo, who had tried to steal the tag titles.

Brock is Mad

Backstage, Brock Lesnar scolded his manager Paul Heyman for not getting tonight's main event cancelled, and insisted that if Edge should beat the former ECW manager, he (Lesnar) would have no problem busting him in half. 

Handicap Match for the WWE Championship
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman vs. Edge

WWE Rebellion 2002 - Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
This was another thrilling match in which Edge looked like he could genuinly beat The Next Big Thing and become our new champion.

Of course, despite it being a handicap match, Paul Heyman didn't get involved any more than he would have done in his capacity as a manager, though he did recieve a wicked spear courtesy of the future Rated-R Superstar. 

After a tremendously exciting match in which the challenger gave his opponent everything he could possibly throw at him, Brock hit an F5 to retain.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar

Post-match, Paul Heyman yelled at Edge for spearing him and looked to hit him with a chair, only for Edge to kick the chair right into Heyman's face and give him a Downward Spiral to end the show. 








The last ever WWE Rebellion Show was a largely positive show. 

While matches like Albert/Rikishi, Funaki/Crash, and Dvon/Simmons vs. Palumbo/Valbowski didn't really deliver, everything else did to varying degrees. 

The opening Hardy/Booker match was a fun sports entertainment contest, the Cruiserweight title match was great, and the last two matches were as exciting as you could possibly ask for. 

Despite nothing major happening in terms of development, this was still a very watchable show that saw the Rebellion brand go out on a high note. 




Other 2002 pro wrestling reviews: 

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, 9 July 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Rebellion 2000

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

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

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

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

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

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







...or did it?

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

The Fatal Four Way is Fatal

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

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

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

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

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

Tonight, Live, at Rebellion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It worked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beat that, random lady.

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

Kane vs. Chris Jericho

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boobs and Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That seemed to be the case here.

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

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

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

The Undertaker Prepares for His Match

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

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

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

Chris Benoit vs. The Undertaker

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

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

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

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

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

With that done, it was onto our main event.

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

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

It felt rushed.

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

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

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

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

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

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







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

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

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




For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:

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.