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 WWE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWE. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 May 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Unforgiven 2000

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Event poster
September 24, 2000
First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the world of professional wrestling, Philadelphia will perhaps always be synonymous with the defunct yet fondly remembered Extreme Championship Wrestling. 

Yet the City of Brotherly Love had also played an important part in the WWF's history, too.

It was here, in the exact same arena and almost exactly two years to the very day of tonight's show that the World Wrestling Federation had given us In Your House 10: Mind Games.

Taking place at the tail end of the New Generation Era, that show marked a noticeable shift in the tone of the company's on-screen product.

With an ECW invasion, several "off-colour" comments, and a brutal Mankind/Shawn Michaels, Retro Pro Wrestling has always considered Mind Games to be one of the pivotal events in the development of the Attitude Era.

So it was fitting that, with said era now in full bloom, the company returned to the First Union Center for their annual September PPV, bringing with them many of the things we fondly remember from that time period.

From key stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock to the daredevil antics of Edge, Christian and The Hardyz, attractive women like Trish Stratus, and much more, the Attitude Era was in full glory as the WWF presented Unforgiven 2000.

May God Have Mercy on Their Souls

Sticking with the Unforgiven brand’s usual spooky, creepy theme, tonight’s opening video package had a haunting, dramatic score with a chilling voice-over which at one point told us that Judgement Day was upon us.

It wasn’t. That was the following month.

All of this was to show us tonight’s three big selling points:

Stone Cold Steve Austin making his triumphant return to try and find out who ran him over back at Survivor Series 1999, a big, multi-man match for the title, and  Triple H taking on his love rival, Kurt Angle.

Pyro, crowd shots and a welcome from Jim Ross followed. Then, after some words from Ross and his broadcast colleague Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler - it was onto our opening match.

Eight Man Tag

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) & The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw) vs. Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather, and Val Venis

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Right to Censor faced The Dudley Boyz and The Acolytes
If you were going to get the Philly crowd riled up and ready for action, sticking Steven Richards against his fellow ECW alumni The Dudley Boyz was a good way to do it.

Richards was joined by his Right to Censor cohorts Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather and new recruit Val Venis, while The Dudleyz had Farooq and Bradshaw on their team.

The match wasn’t as good as many of the company’s other PPV openers from this time period, but it was short, hard-hitting and engaged the crowd, which is all anyone could have asked for.

After staying on the apron for the entire bout, three devious Richards have his team the assist and picked up the second PPV victory in a row for Right to Censor.
Your Winners: Right to Censor

Afterward, the good guys got their revenge by beating up RTC and putting Steven Richards through a table to the delight of the audience.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - HHH warned Stephanie McMahon that Kurt Angle is not her friendKurt Angle is Not Your Friend, Steph

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon was concerned about her husband’s ribs after Kurt Angle attacked them with a sledgehammer, but Triple H was more concerned with how badly he was going to hurt Angle.

Steph was fine with that and apologised for thinking that the Olympic Gold Medalist had been her friend, prompting The Game to reel off a long list of reasons why he wasn’t, all of which basically came down to Angle being a bit of a d**k.

Strap Match
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler vs. Tazz

The ECW vibe continued next as Tazz looked to settle his rivalry with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler in a strap match which Howard Finkle told us could end either via pinball/submission or the good ol’ fashioned touch-all-four-corners rule.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Tazz chokes out Jerry Lawler in front of Jim Ross
These two had met at the previous month’s Summerslam 2000, resulting in a win for the King when JR smashed Tazz in the face with a glass candy jar.

This time, it was Tazz’s turn to pick up the win, though not without a little help of his own.

After a few minutes of fairly reasonable action, the two went through a fun spot in which Lawler twice his patented piledriver on his rival, only for The Human Suplex Machine to pop right back up again.

Lawler then hit a third piledriver and Tazz once again popped right back up, only to look around and Flair Flop right into the mat.

After that entertaining bit, Lawler started to drag his opponent to all four corners. As he did so, the referee got bumped, creating an opportunity for ECW legend Raven to make his WWF debut and plant King with his trademark Even Flow DDT.

Tazz got the cover and this one was done.
Your Winner: Tazz

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Kevin Kelly interviews a returning Stone Cold Steve Austin
In between each match, we saw Kevin Kelly hanging around backstage waiting for the arrival of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

When the Texas Rattlesnake finally arrived, Kevin asked him how he was feeling.

“Stone Cold isn’t here to answer questions,” Austin replied. “Tonight,  I’m asking the questions.”

With that, he beat up Kevin Kelly before we went back to the arena where Michael Cole had taken over Lawler’s spot on commentary.

“Well, I don’t think Austin wants to answer questions. I think he wants to ask them,” said Cole, repeating exactly what Stone Cold had just said.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship Open Invitational
WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman vs. WWF European Champion Al Snow vs. Crash Holly vs. Test (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Funaki vs. Perry Saturn (w/ Terri)

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Perry Saturn and Terri
For those keeping score, this was the third match in a row featuring former ECW stars as Perry Saturn and the man who beat him for the European championship took part in this ten-minute hardcore free-for-all.

Following a similar format to the hardcore title match from Wrestlemania 2000, the idea was that you had to pin the champion and then whoever had the gold at the end of ten minutes would be crowned champion.

Crash Holly won it early on but then got pinned by Perry Saturn about ten seconds later.

Saturn held on to it for most of the match but was then pinned by Steve Blackman with sixty seconds to go, causing everybody in the match to pile on him in a last-ditch desperate effort to claim victory.

When said effort was unsuccessful, the timer ran out and Blackman was declared the winner after a fun but unspectacular match.
Your Winner and Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman

In a hilarious backstage skit, Kurt Angle finished showing off his medals to Tony Garea and some lanky dude with glasses, turned around and met Stone Cold Steve Austin for the first time.

Introducing himself, Angle offered Austin an honourary Olympic gold medal but Stone Cold wasn’t impressed. He promised to insert the medal up Kurt’s bottom and then beat him up.

It’s hard to explain in words how funny that was.

X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - X-Pac battled Chris Jericho
These two had met at the exact same PPV, Unforgiven 1999, a year earlier, and had also done battle at WCW Halloween Havoc 1996. This particular match wasn’t quite to the standard of either of their past encounters, but it was still a damn good effort that got better the longer it went on.

After struggling to gel in the early going, both men eventually found their grove and gave us a solid seesaw battle which ended the right way with Chris Jericho making X-Pac tap to the Walls of Jericho.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Post-match, X-Pac avenged his loss by grabbing a pair of nunchucks and whacking Y2J with them.

Kurt Complains to Mick

Out in the back, Mick Foley was interrupted from preparing for his guest referee role in the upcoming Angle/HHH match when he was interrupted by Angle himself.

The Olympic Gold Medalist declared that despite getting beat up by Austin, he was still ready to go tonight because he had problems before the Olympics too.

‘The day of the Olympics, I had IBS’ said Kurt.
‘You do BS’ replied Mick.

The exchange went on and was funnier than I could describe here. The point of it was that Mick made the upcoming Angle/HHH bout no DQ so that he would have less work to do.

A Rock/Austin Reunion

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Just Joe stirs the pot with Steve Austin and The Rock
Backstage, Stone Cold Steve Austin met up with his former arch-rival The Rock.

The two shook hands and announced that they were cool with one another, but Austin still wanted to know how The Rock’s car had been involved in the hit-and-run which had taken him out of commission way back at Survivor Series 1999.

The Rock had no idea but Just Joe (remember him? - the man better known as Joe E. Legend popped up and told Austin he had some news for him, but Austin just beat him up instead.

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

Well, obviously this was awesome.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Christian slams the cage door on Jeff Hardy
Though it may not have been their most memorable encounter, Edge, Christian and The Hardyz always delivered and tonight was no exception.

With pinfalls or cage escape rules applying, this was one of the more unique cage matches in the WWF’s history, at least in terms of storyline.

Jeff Hardy got knocked to the outside in the early going, leaving his brother Matt Hardy at the mercy of the tag team champions.

Every time Jeff tried to get back in the cage and make the save, Edge and Christian got the better of him and continued to beat Matt to a bloody pulp.

Eventually, we got the inevitable Hardy Boyz comeback, complete with a run-in from Lita who hit Christian with a sick-looking hurricanrana from Off the top of a ladder on the outside.

The drama and excitement came to a head when Matt and Jeff drilled Edge with a Conchairto on top of the cage.

Edge took a sick bump down, The Hardyz climbed to the outside and this one was done.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Triple H warns Mick Foley to be impartial in his match with Kirk Angel
Out in the back, Stephanie McMahon was so thrilled to see Steve Austin back that she revealed she’d spent the past year holding on to the hat he was wearing the night he got run over.

Returning the hat to its rightful owner, Steph also let Austin know that Shane McMahon had actual video evidence of the mystery assailant’s identity.

Across the way, Steph’s husband Triple H confronted Mick Foley to ensure he was going to call the match right down the middle later.

Trouble in Paradise

Before our upcoming Intercontinental Championship match, we got a look at the rift between Eddie Guerrero and his Mamacita Chyna.

Eddie had grown jealous of Chyna’s success and ended up not only stealing the Intercontinental Championship from her but also going so far as to stalk The Playboy Mansion to try and stop her from taking nude photos.

Naturally, Chyna was ready to leave so a desperate Eddie proposed.

Chyna said yes, and the two were all smiles as they made their way out for Guerrero’s match with Rikishi, but how long would their reconciliation last?

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

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Rikishi confronts Chyna while Eddie Guerrero gets set to pounce
Before the match, a somber-looking Jerry Lawler returned to commentary. He soon cheered up when talk turned to Chyna’s upcoming Playboy spread.

The match itself was OK for what it was, but it was mostly an angle to further the Eddie/Chyna story.

At one point, the heelish champion tried to bail on the match, but Chyna demanded that he man up and threw him back in the ring.

After that, however, she kept interfering on her man’s behalf, making the challenger more and more aggravated.

Eventually, Rikishi grabbed Chyna, tossed her in the ring and kicked her in the mush.

By some bizarre logic, this led to him being disqualified.
Your Winner via DQ and Still Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero

Post-match, ‘Kishi hit he Bandai drop on Chyna.

Undertaker Will Become Champion Once Again

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Jonathan Coachman interviews The Undertaker
Out in the back, a tobacco-chewing Undertaker told Jonathan Coachman that the ring was his yard and he was the big dog that ran it.

Tonight, the American Bad Ass vowed to send his opponents on their Last Ride and become WWF Champion once again.

Elsewhere in the arena, Kurt Angle bemoaned his luck tonight. Trish Stratus offered to be there for him if he needed a friend. Somehow, Trish touching his shoulder gave the Olympic Gold Medalist a flash of inspiration and he ran off, declaring that he had an idea.

His match was next.

No Disqualification
Kurt Angle vs. Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon)
Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley

Before the bell, Kurt tried to lead the crowd in singing ‘happy birthday’ to Steph. Naturally, the crowd were having none of it.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Triple H vs. Kurt Angle with Commissioner Foley as special referee
This was a great match with a somewhat underwhelming finish.

Kurt Angle dominated practically the whole thing, dominating HHH from bell-to-bell and looking like a superstar in the process.

Then he missed a moonsault. A few seconds later, Steph kicked him in the bollocks, Hunter hit the pedigree, and it was all over.

Look, I have no problem with HHH winning. This match definitely put Kurt over more than it did The Game. It just seems weird that he would spend twenty minutes getting his ass kicked and then win with one move.
Your Winner: HHH

Post-match, a remorseful Steph checked on Kurt. HHH kissed her so hard that he bust her lip open and the two went backstage.

After the carnage, we cut to WWF New York, where Too Cool we’re dancing away for the crowd.

Blackman Did it

Out in the ring, Shane McMahon revealed that he didn’t really have footage of Austin getting run over after all.

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Shane McMahon got Steve Blackman in trouble with Steve Austin
What he had was footage from a 1999 episode of Raw in which Steve Blackman ran over Ken Shamrock.

According to Shane, that was conclusive proof that The Lethal Weapon was to blame.

This brought out both Steves, Blackman to profess his innocence and Austin -complete with his new Disturbed theme (that wouldn't be officially released until 2002's Forcible Entry album) to kick some ass and raise hell.

You got the feeling that Austin didn’t believe Blackman was the real culprit, he obviously stunned him anyway.

Shane then encouraged The Texas Rattlesnake to join him in a beer bash. Austin did so, but then predictably battered Shane O’Mac with a couple of crowd-popping stunners.

The segment might have been kinda dumb, but it was awesome to see Stone Cold raising hell again after so long away.

Finally, The Rock has Come Back to Philadelphia

After a great video package promoting tonight’s main event, the WWF Champion cut a captivating promo in which he promised to shove his opponents’ heads so far up their backsides that they’d have to cut holes in their nipples just to see..if you could nasally detect the meal he was preparing.

This was, as always, awesome stuff from The Great One.

Fatal Fourway for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Unforgiven 2000 - Michael Cole interviews WWF Champion The Rock
This certainly wasn't the worst main event in history, but the World Wrestling Federation could -and often would- do a lot better.

The Rock and Chris Benoit were the two best things in the match by a large margin, but even they couldn't top their effort from several months earlier at Fully Loaded 2000.
 Speaking of that match, we got a similar false ending as Benoit levelled Undertaker with a chair and pinned him for the title, but Mick Foley restarted the match after it was revealed Undertaker's foot was on the rope.

Yes, that was the second time in three months that Chris Benoit had *almost* been the WWF Champion.

The match continued and was fine for the most part, but it was -like so many things on this show- somewhat underwhelming.

Eventually, The Rock planted Benoit with the match-winning Rock Bottom at 16 minutes.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

Post-match, The WWF Champion celebrated with his title to bring Unforgiven 2000 to a close.

And so, that was that.

The World Wrestling Federation had given us a number of exceptional pay per views in the year 2000 but, unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.

The tag team cage match was the highlight of the night, and I have to admit that Kurt Angle looked impressive while solidifying his main event status against Triple H, but there was a lof of sub-par action on this show, not to mention odd booking choices.

Why was Rikishi disqualified for attacking Chyna?
Why was HHH able to beat Angle so easily after getting his ass kicked for ages?
Why, when Rock hit Benoit with the Rock Bottom, did Kane prevent The Undertaker from breaking up the count and thus cost himself the title?

Who knows?

This was an off night for the WWF. Hopefully they'd bounce back the following month.

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

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Event Review: Saturday Night's Main Event 2 (1985)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Event logo
October 3, 1985 (aired October 5th)
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Following the success of the first Saturday Night's Main Event show five months earlier, the World Wrestling Federation returned to prime time television in October 1985 with a show that proved more than ever that Vince McMahon was always more interested in the entertainment aspect of his beloved sports entertainment.

Sure, tonight's show featured some wrestling, and we even sewed the seeds for the inevitable build to Wrestlemania 2, but for the most part, Saturday Night's Main Event 2 was focussed on a hillbilly wedding and George Steele hiding in a zoo.

Here's what went down:

Nikolai Volkoff Will Take the Title Back to the Soviet Union

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Nikolai Volkoff and Freddie Blassie
We began tonight's show with Mean Gene Okerlund interviewing Nikolai Volkoff and his manager, Classie Freddie Blassie.

Volkoff had a WWF Championship flag match against Hulk Hogan tonight so, naturally, he promised to win the title and take it back to his homeland.

Blassie warned us that Volkoff always meant what he said, which was supposed to be scary.

Offering a retort, his opponent, Hulk Hogan promised to stay true and defend the red, white, and blue tonight, because whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania and the US of A run wild on you, brother?

Welcome to Saturday Night's Main Event

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse 'The Body' Ventura & Vince McMahon hosted the show
Our commentators for tonight's show were none other than Vince McMahon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura. We got the usual opening words from them, but not before Mean Gene gave us another pre-recorded interview.

This one was with Uncle Elmer, who would get legitimately married later on in the show, and his best man, Hillbilly Jim. The two were excited for tonight, so naturally, that evil villain Rowdy Roddy Piper had to interrupt their promo and rain on their parade.

Ventura was equally as unimpressed with the wedding, telling Vince that all he cared about was the wrestling.

Please Rise and Respect the Singing of the Soviet National Anthem

Nobody rose, of course, and nobody respected it, but Nikolai Volkoff sang anyway after which Hogan told Mean Gene how infuriated he was with Volkoff carrying "our enemy's flag" to the ring.

With all of that out of the way, it was finally down to ringside for our opening contest.

Flag Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Freddie Blassie)

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan beat Nikolai Volkoff on the showThis was billed as a 'flag match,' but that didn't mean it was 'capture the flag' rules or anything like that. It was literally just a normal singles match which each man's flag propped up in the corner.

The match was a good effort by mid-1980s WWF standards, and that's what's important to remember here. Trying to watch these kinds of matches through the filter of modern pro wrestling is always going to make pretty much everything look crappy, so I'm trying not to do that as best I can.

Sure, there'll still be bad matches on these shows. Sometimes things just suck no matter how you look at it, but Hogan vs. Volkoff didn't.

It was a product of its time and it delighted the live audience. At one point, Hogan reversed a piledriver attempt with a simple back-body-drop, and the crowd exploded in a way that modern audiences don't when watching even the most intricate of high spots.

Predictably, Hogan put his opponent away after a few minutes of decent-for-the-time action.
Your Winner and still WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Hulk Hogan is interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund
Afterward, Hogan tore up the Soviet flag and used it to shine his boots just to ensure that there was some element of the flags being involved in this loosely-defined 'flag match.'

As Hogan celebrated, Vince McMahon encouraged us to stay tuned from more of the best in "wrestling and romance." Somewhere in Japan, Genichiro Tenryu suddenly had an idea.

Whatcha Gonna Do, Brother?

If you were a Hulkamaniac, this was the show for you.

Cutting his third promo of the show (and we were only fifteen minutes in), The Hulkster was stoked about his big victory and delivered a basic "I told you so," message to Nikolai. Hogan was also excited about the upcoming wedding because "it prove[d] wrestlers can be nice people."

You tell 'em, Hulk.

Uncle Elmer Ain't Worried

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer, Hillbilly Jim and Cousin Junior
Backstage, we saw Uncle Elmer's fiance, Joyce, getting ready for her wedding.

Out on the arena floor, Mean Gene asked Elmer himself whether he was more worried about his upcoming match with Gerry valiant or his impending nuptials.

Being a babyface and all, he wasn't worried about either, and when it came to the match, it would soon turn out he had no reason to be worried, either.

Uncle Elmer (w/ Hillbilly Jim & Cousin Junior) vs. Gerry Valiant

About six months after this, Uncle Elmer would compete in what was literally the worst professional wrestling match this writer has ever seen - an absolute farce of a performance against Adrian Adonis at Wrestlemania 2.

That was the bad match against which all other bad matches are judged on this blog. No matter how much a bout sucks, as long as it doesn't suck as much as Elmer/Adonis, that's fine with me.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Uncle Elmer and Hillbilly Jim about Elmer's wedding
Anyway, Elmer didn't have the chance to suck tonight. As soon as the bell rang, Valiant ran at him, but got slammed and pinned in six seconds flat.

That was it.
Your Winner: Uncle Elmer

Post-match, Howard Finkle announced that the six-second victory was a new WWF record, beating out the previous record set by King Kong Bundy in his win over S.D Jones at the first Wrestlemania.

Mean Gene then interviewed Elmer, who chuckled at his own quip that Valiant shouldn't have bothered taking his jacket off if he wasn't planning on staying. Haha.

The Bounty is Set

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Jesse Ventura interviews Bobby Heenan in the ring
On an in-ring edition of The Body Shop (think Piper's Pit but with dumbells on the floor instead of a tartan rug), Jesse Ventura welcomed his guest, Paul Orndorff's former manager, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

Heenan declared that even though he had previously put a $25,000 bounty on the head of Mr. Wonderful, he was now upping that to $50,000 and would happily pay it to Roddy Piper if the Rowdy One could take out Orndorff in their upcoming match.

Out on the arena floor, the talking continued with Piper telling Mean Gene that he would gladly take out Orndorff, and would happily rip Heenan's head off if he refused to pay up.

Finally, we got some more wrestling.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews Roddy PiperMr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper 

This was the best match out of both Saturday Night's Main Event shows so far, and it wasn't even much of a match. Instead, Orndorff beat Piper senseless around the ring and on the arena floor until the referee threw the whole thing out as a double count-out in under five minutes.

Though that result may have put a dampener on things for some people, it was such a spirited brawl with such a hot crowd that it proved very enjoyable indeed.

Post-match, the two brawled all the way to the backstage area where Piper locked himself in a dressing room to escape the wrath of Mr. Wonderful.

Uncle Elmer Gets Married

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce Stazko got married on the show
Despite being referred to as "Uncle Elmer" throughout the ceremony, this was apparently a legitimate wedding between Stan Frazier and Joyce Stazko. Unlike normal wrestling weddings that end in some kind of shenanigans, this one was relatively smooth except for the interruption of Roddy Piper.

Hot Rod had spent most of the show being very vocal about his disdain for these nuptials, so it was no surprise when he turned up during the whole "does anybody have any reason why these two should not be married?" deal. Piper had a reason, and that reason was that everybody stunk.

Wedding guest Hulk Hogan saw Piper off, leaving the rest of the ceremony to go unplanned.

As segments go, there's not much else to tell you about it other than the fact that Vince and Jesse talked over the whole thing and then repeatedly asked each other what was being said by the officiant. You know guys, if you just shut up and listen, you'd be able to hear it.

We're The Real Giants

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan interviewed by The Meanest Gene of Them All
After all that, we went to Mean Gene Okerlund who was standing by for an interview with Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and his men, Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy.

The two wrestlers were mad about Andre The Giant calling himself a giant because, according to them, they were the real giants.

This was actually a fun 1980s heel promo in all its "We're very angry and shouty" glory.

Battle of the Giants
Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy vs. Andre The Giant & Tony Atlas

Here, the two teams attempted to set a new world record for the least amount of wrestling in a wrestling match. They would have set the record too if Tony Atlas hadn't jumped around a bit during his ninety seconds of ring time.

On either side of that, Andre basically walked back and forth around the ring with King Kong Bundy. It wasn't very interesting, but let's be honest, this was never going to be a classic.

After about four minutes, the lack of action came to an unspectacular finish with a disqualification win for the babyfaces.
Your Winners: Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas

The heels continued to attack the victors after the bell, prompting a Hulk Hogan To the Rescue run in.

George of the Jungle

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - George Steele does his elephant impression for Mean Gene
After a brief in-ring promo from Hogan in which he said nothing of note, we went to a pre-recorded clip in which Mean Gene Okerlund arrived at a zoo in a tiger-print jeep that even Joe Exotic would find embarrassing.

Okerlund's mission was to find George 'The Animal' Steele who, he told us, 'the whole world had been looking for.'

If you recall, Steele had been turned on by his partners Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff at the first Saturday Night's Main Event and ended up reconciling with Captain Lou Albano.

The reconciliation led to that Wrestlecap-worthy episode of Tuesday Night Titans where Lou tried to cure Steele of his mental difficulties by having him hypnotized by 'Dr. Sigmund Zif.'

IT even worked, temporarily, but an overload of the funky brain thing they stuck on Steele's head overloaded, causing The Animal to be crazier than ever. Since then, he'd been hiding out in this zoo pointing at camels, and Mean Gene had come to find him.

Nothing happened here. They walked around looking at animals. Gene said the name of them and then George said which WWF performer they reminded him of. (Hippo = King Kong Bundy, weasel = Heenan, obviously). It was relatively entertaining, sure, but nowhere near on the level of that insane Sigmund Zif angle.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Dream Team Brutus Beefcake & Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine (w/ Johnny Valiant) vs. Lanny Poffo & Tony Garea

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Mean Gene interviews The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine and their manager, Johnny Valiant)
Before the match, we were reminded of the time the Dream Team stole a victory over the U.S Express. Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham would be out on the front row to watch this match, presumedly to size up Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake for an upcoming title match, but in a fun pre-match promo, the champs insisted that they didn't care one way or another.

They were the true champions and, to them, that was all that mattered.

The match itself was about as fun as a three-and-a-half-minute match could get in the 1980s, with Lanny Poffo and Tony Garea jumping about the place to make the champs look impressive.

Unfortunately, no amount of leaping for Lanny and his partner would help the challengers on this night. Valentine locked Garea in his patented figure-four, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: the Dream team

Finally, we went to the wedding reception for Uncle Elmer which was an interesting experience to say the least.

WWE / WWF Saturday Night's Main Event 2 - Uncle Elmer and Joyce at their wedding reception
Still wearing his wrestling attire (seriously, imagine being at a wedding reception in your undies), Lanny Poffo read a poem dedicated to the happy couple before singer Tiny Tim randomly turned up and gave Elmer one of his famous ukeleles.

Next, Jesse Ventura decided that he was going to read a poem too though, naturally, his was all about how terrible an idea it was to mix wrestling and romance.

Never one to let anybody else have the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus for the final part of tonight's show. Still sitting at Uncle Elmer & Joyce's wedding reception, he told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan.

At the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team up with Andre The Giant to face King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

I wonder how that turned out.

Never one to let anyone else take the spotlight for too long, Hulk Hogan was the focus of the penultimate spot of Uncle Elmer's wedding reception. He told Vince McMahon that he accepted the challenge laid down by Bobby Heenan and at the next Saturday Night's Main Event, he would team with Andre The Giant to take on King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd.

Finally, Uncle Elmer and his beautiful bride Joyce had their first dance as the credits rolled, and Saturday Night's Main Event 2 came to an end.

If you're a wrestling purist only interested in five-star matches and lashings of #WORKRATE,  then you probably won't find much to enjoy by diving back to the second Saturday Night's Main Event special. 

Sure, the main event tag team title match was fun, but this wasn't really a wrestling show as much as it was a show about wrestlers. In particular, it was a show about a hillbilly wrestler getting married, with a B-story that would prove to set up Wrestlemania 2's main event.

By rescuing Andre The Giant and Tony Atlas from the clutches of Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, Hulk Hogan would establish himself a rivalry with Bundy and the two would go onto to have a cage match at the aforementioned 'Mania.

If you're interested in checking out the review of that show, you can do so here. Otherwise, thanks for reading.

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For other Saturday Night's Main Event reviews, see:
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Thursday, 30 April 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF Summerslam 2000

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Event poster
August 27, 2000
Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

By the summer of the year 2000, the Attitude Era was going through somewhat of a transitional period. 

The Austin/McMahon storyline upon which the whole first half of that period had focussed was now over. Some of the more cartoonish aspects were also largely forgotten about, replaced instead with an emphasis on intensity, drama, and a brand of in-ring action that remained consistently at a higher level than at any other time in the company's history.

If Summerslam 2000 was a perfect example of anything, it was that.

Between the first ever TLC match, Jericho and Benoit tearing it up and a truely fantastic main event, this show was the apex of what had been a brilliant year for the World Wrestling Federation from an in-ring standpoint.

But don't just take my word for it. Here's what went down when Summerslam came live from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Crimes of Passion - A Film by Freddie Fellini

In place of the usual quick introductory video, Summerslam 2000 opened up with Crimes of Passion, a film by 'Freddie Fellini'.

Though the name was an obvious nod to the famous Italian film director, this surreal short film looked more like the kind of thing David Lynch might come up with if he'd spent his time working for the WWF rather than making Mulholland Drive.

It featured Classy Freddie Blassie sitting in a locker room watching highlights of the Kurt Angle/Triple H feud while girls holding up Wakaonna masks cavorted around and a fat woman sat around eating something.

If that sounds bizarre, it's because it was, but it was also awesome.

The video was followed by a graphic which revealed for the first time on PPV the new Summerslam logo that the company would use all the way until 2008.

Pyro, a crushing metal riff  and a welcome from Jim Ross followed before and Jerry 'The King' Lawler got down to calling all the action from tonight's show.

With that, it was on to our opening match.

Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather) vs. Rikishi & Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay w/ Victoria and Mandy)

Too Cool were an awesome choice to open any PPV.

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Right to Censor faced Too Cool in the opening match
Super over with the audience, Scotty 2 Hotty, Grandmaster Sexay and their partner Rikishi always had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands from the moment their music struck until the end of the match and tonight was no different.

Well, it was kind of different.

After The Godfather abandoned his pimpin' ways and became The Goodfather, two of his hos had found solace in the arms of Rikishi and accompanied him to the ring tonight. One of those hos just happened to be future women's champion Victoria. In case you were wondering, the other ho was Mandy, better known as fitness model Frostee Moore.

The two got involved in what proved to be an entertaining opener, at one point getting in Goodfather's face only for the former Kama Mustafa to hurl them to the ground.

Though this was nowhere near as excellent as some of Too Cool's other opening contests throughout the year, it still got the crowd pumped up and ready for action, even if they missed out on seeing The Worm.

As Scotty got set to drop the crowd-pleasing move, Steven Richards levelled him with a swift kick to the mush and this one was over.
Your Winner: Right to Censor

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Michael Cole interviews Hardcore Champion Shane McMahon
After a word from King and JR, we were taken back to that night's episode of Heat in which Jonathan Coachman asked an arriving Kurt Angle why he'd recently taken advantage of Stephanie McMahon. Insulted that "fourth-string announcer" Coachman had questioned his integrity, the Olympic Gold Medalist shrugged off the question and headed into the arena.

In case you were wondering what Coachman was talking about, we were shown a clip of Kurt snogging a groggy and beaten up Steph.

Back on Heat, McMahon herself arrived and asked Coach where Triple H was. The interviewer responded that Hunter hadn't arrived yet but Angle had, prompting Steph to go looking for him.

Back live in the arena, Michael Cole asked WWF Hardcore Champion Shane McMahon about his sister's well being. Unfortunately for Shane, he didn't get to give much of a response as his opponent for the night, Steve Blackman, appeared and chased him off.

Road Dogg vs. X-Pac

JR reminded us that X-Pac and Road Dogg had actually fought side-by-side to keep the DX name back at Fully Loaded 1999.

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - X-Pac faced Road Dogg
They had even been partners just two months before, facing The Dudley Boyz back at King of The Ring 2000.

Now, however, they were going at it after a recent falling out which resulted in Pac accidentally sending Roadie through a table and The De Oh Double Jee abandoning his partner in a handicap match against The Undertaker.

Though it wasn’t on par with the excellent Roadie vs. 123 Kid match from In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks, this short little contest proved that the DX mainstays still worked very well together.

After a few minutes of good quality action, X-Pac broke out of Road Dogg’s patented Pump Handle Slam by levelling him with a low-blow.

One X-Factor later and this one was done.
Your Winner: X-Pac

Post-match, Pac took to the microphone and proved himself the consummate heel by declaring he and Roadie to be a great team and offering a ‘no hard feelings’ handshake to the man he just kicked in the balls.

Much to the delight of the live audience, Dogg refused to accept and beat him his former partner instead.

Who’s Hotter, Trish or Chyna?

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Val Venis and Trish Stratus prepare for their match with Chyna and Eddie Guerrero
It’s Trish Stratus, isn’t it?

Sure, but you have to admit The Ninth Wonder of the World looked pretty hot as she and her man Eddie Guerrero talked backstage about their upcoming Intercontinental championship opportunity.

Watching the action on a nearby monitor, a paranoid and self-obsessed Trish Stratus badgered Val Venis about whether she or Chyna deserved to be a centrefold model.

Having renounced his sex-obsessed ways, the Intercontinental champion told off his manager, insisting that he didn’t care who was hotter, only that he walked out of the arena tonight with the gold still firmly around his waist.

Inter-gender Tag Match for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Val Venis & Trish Stratus vs. Chyna & Eddie Guerrero

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Chyna makes the hot tag to Eddie Guerrero
So far, Summerslam 2000 was three for three in terms of good matches.

Though this won’t go down in history as the greatest of all time, all four participants played their parts well to deliver a pretty solid effort that the crowd lapped up with gusto.

Somewhat predictably, Trish Stratus cost her man the match. After a fun match, The future Hall of Famer was picked up and gorilla press slammed by Chyna, who made the cover, got the fall, and became a two-time Intercontinental Champion.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chyna

Afterwards, a visibly irate Val Venis blasted his manager, and not in the way that most men would want to blast her.

Clearly, that relationship wouldn’t be lasting much longer.

Radio WWF

Remember Radio WWF?

Nah, neither does anybody else, but here was Michael Cole broadcasting on it live from WWF New York with Mick Foley as his broadcast partner.

The two had guests including Trish Stratus and Chyna, the latter of whom admitted to liking Foley’s ‘worm’ after the Commissioner bust out some dancing with Too Cool.

Finally, The Rock came back to New York via telephone to deliver a rendition of Smackdown hotel.

Steph is a Smitten Kitten

Back live, Stephanie McMahon was seen gossiping with a backstage worker called Janet, who let the bosses daughter know that everyone had been talking about her kissing Kurt Angle.

Despite insisting that Kurt kissed her and not the other way round, a clearly smitten Steph admitted that the Olympic Hero was a good kisser.

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jim Ross called the event Would you like some candy?

Before the next match, JR offered King some candy from a big glass jar on their table, making sure that we all knew the jar was there.

It was an odd moment, so obviously, that meant the glass jar would play a role in the next bout.

Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler vs. Tazz

Sure enough, it did.

According to the pre-match video package, Tazz had been brutalising everybody insight, leading to JR calling him a lowlife.

The former ECW star then confronted Ross and made a rather below-the-belt insult about his Bell’s Palsey.

‘I’d slap you in your face,’ said Tazz. ‘But it looks like God already beat me to it.’

Yeah, that was harsh. So harsh in fact that Jerry Lawler stood up for his broadcast partner, leading to a match with Tazz here tonight.

The video also showed us Tazz smashing JR’s windscreen in while Ross was still in the car, injuring the announcer’s eye.

Making fun of the injury, badass tough guy Tazz opted for a comedy routine for his entrance, staggering to the ring with sunglasses and a stick like a blind person.

After a few minutes of reasonable but mostly unforgettable action, the referee took a bump.

Tazz locked in the Tazmission, but JR smashed the glass candy jar in his tormentor’s face.

On cue, the referee made a miraculous recovery and counted the fall as King made the pin.
Your Winner: Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Backstage, Lilian Garcia attempted to find out what Shane McMahon thought about Steph and Kurt, but once again Steve Blackman chased the hardcore champion away before he could respond.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Shane McMahon vs. Steve Blackman

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Steve Blackman murders Shane McMahon
Though it was far from a legendary battle, this was no doubt the high point of Steve Blackman’s career.

Receiving the kind of rapturous ovation from the live crowd that today’s midcarders could only dream about, The Lethal Weapon battered Shane in the early going with some creative and entertaining offence.

Eventually, Test and Albert came out to McMahon’s rescue and battered Blackman all the way to the entrance.

However, the challenger fought back and took his attackers out with a kendo stick before chasing Shane some sixty-seventy feet up to the top of a huge scaffold structure.

Then, in a moment that would be replayed on WWE TV for years to come, Blackman waffled Shane with the Kendo stick and McMahon took an epic fall to the ground.

Blackman then hit an elbow from lower down on the scaffold and reclaimed the title.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman

Post-match, Shane O’Mac was stretchered out of the arena, sending his sister Stephanie into a panic.

Kurt Angle came to console her, but when the two hugged they were disturbed by Mick Foley, who wanted to talk to Steph about Shane.

Two-out-of-Three Falls
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Krispin Wah puts a hurtin' on Y2J
These two had delivered some of the best matches of the year 2000 at Backlash and Judgement Day.

This two-out-of-three falls match wasn’t quite at the same level as some of their earlier meetings and could have certainly benefited from having an extra ten minutes for the two men to really go it.

Regardless, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit did the best they could with the limited time they had, and the results were still pretty good.

In the WWF’s first two-out-of-three falls match since Rock/HHH at Fully Loaded 1998, Benoit earned the first fall by making Jericho tap to the crippler crossface.

Naturally, Jericho evened the score by making Benoit tap to the Walls of Jericho.

The Crippler then stole the third fall by using the ropes for leverage on a pin, ending the match in somewhat disappointing fashion.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit

Out in the back, Triple H arrived at the arena 90 minutes after the opening bell.

Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, Oh My!

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for was almost upon us.

Before we got to the groundbreaking, first-ever TLC match, we got a video package looking at how the match came together:

The Dudleyz loved pushing people trough tables. The Hardyz loved diving off ladders, and now Edge & Christian had developed a fondness for hitting people with steel chairs, causing Mick Foley to put the whole thing together into one unique contest.

TLC Match for the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championships
WWF Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - The Hardyz battled Edge, Christian and The Dudleyz in the first TLC match
Going from 0-epic in about two seconds flat, this was an absolutely spectacular match that your writer is immediately adding to his Favourite Matches of All Time list.

All six men held nothing back as they beat the living daylights out of one another and took some seriously insane bumps off from 20ft in the air, crashing through tables to the shock and delight of the audience.

At one point, Lita came in to try and help her men The Hardy Boyz, but she only managed to get herself speared by her future boyfriend Edge instead.

Not long after, Edge and Christian climbed the ladder and retained the titles, but not before they gave it all they had in an absolute classic war.
Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian

Out in the back, Stephanie McMahon tried to convince her husband that the Kurt kiss meant nothing to her and that The Game was the only man for her.

Thong Stinkface Match
The Kat (w/ Al Snow) vs. Terri (w/ WWF European Champion Perry Saturn)

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Perry Saturn tries to cover Terri's nakedness
As they came out, Terri’s man Perry Saturn tried to cover her up with a towel.

It’s a blessing that he didn’t succeed because both she and The Kat looked stunning.

I mean OK, the match was kinda dumb, but the ladies looked so good that I can’t say I care much.

After about two minutes of bodyslams and the sexually suggestive moves, Al Snow gave The Kat head and she used it to blast Terri with it.

One stinkface later, this was over.
Your Winner: The Kat

Over at WWF New York, The APA were drinking Jack Daniels, smoking cigars, stealing money out of the cash register and toasting to Vince McMahon.

If you weren’t at WWF New York but were watching the show on PPV then you could send in a copy of your cable bill showing proof of purchase to claim a free pair of sunglasses with The Rock’s logo on it.

No Disqualification Match
The Undertaker vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - The Undertaker beats up Kane
Two weeks ago, Kane had turned heel on his brother by chokeslamming him through the ring.

Despite the announcers wanting to know why, Kane never really explained himself, instead offering a vague reason that he did it because he was a monster.

That was enough for this rematch from their bouts at Wrestlemania 14 and Unforgiven 1998.

The match itself was nothing special, but it told a captivating story.

The Undertaker declared quite boldly that he was going to ‘rip his [Kane’s] f**cking mask off' and then spent the rest of the match trying to do just that.

It’s funny that the WWF bleeped out several F-bombs on this show but left Goldberg’s in when he told Vince Russo to go f-himself at New Blood Rising, an event held around the same time as this one.

Anyway, the American Bad Ass succeeded in his mission, Kane ran off and this one was somehow over.
No Contest

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to call Stephanie on her cell phone, but Steph had to pretend it was Linda McMahon because Triple H was in the room. When Hunter asked to speak to his mother-in-law, Angle hung up.

No Disqualification Triple Threat Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H

WWE / WWF Summerslam 2000 - Triple H with a sledgehammer
Yes, all this HHH/Angle/Steph stuff was building to this - a world title match in which The Rock, the actual WWF Champion, had been treated like an afterthought.

The People’s Champion barely even featured in the pre-match video.

Speaking of pre-match stuff, Kurt Angle came out first to address the fact that many people had said he should apologise for kissing Steph.

Kurt did just that.

Kind of.

He apologised for not doing it sooner and boldly declared that he’d shown Steph the kind of passion The Game could only dream of.

That brought out Hunter and this one was on.

As all good WWF main events did, this one came in three acts.

In the first act, HHH and Angle waged war on each other, resulting in the former murdering the latter by sending him through the Spanish announce table. Angle was stretchered out and The Rock made his entrance.

In the second act, Rock and HHH went at it in a straight-forward singles match. Any time you got these two in the ring together it was gold, and this was no exception.

Though it might not have been the best match they'd ever have together, the pair nonetheless delivered an excellent leading into the third and final act.

In said act, Stephanie McMahon urged Kurt Angle to return to the math and help her husband. Angle returned but instead tried to beat The Rock himself.

This all resulted in HHH accidentally decking his wife and getting pinned by The Rock, bringing this brilliant main event to a close.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

Post-match, Angle picked up a prone Stephanie McMahon and carried her backstage.

Summerslam 2000 may not have been an all-time classic show, but it certainly gave us an all-time classic match in the first-ever TLC match and a classic moment in Shane McMahon falling a million feet to his doom. Both that all-out war of a match and Shane O' Mac's insane spot continue to be talked about to this day, and for good reason:

They were both awesome.

Elsewhere on the card, there was nothing on the card that was essential, must-see viewing, but it was all generally good stuff that made this year's Summerslam an enjoyable watch from start to finish.

For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:

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