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, 11 June 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Mercy 2000

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Event poster
October 22, 2000
Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York

From late 1997 until November 1999, there was no hotter star in professional wrestling than Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

One of those rare performers who transcends the medium while still retaining a devoted following among the hardcore audience, Austin's run as 'The Guy' was on a level not seen since the heydey of Hulk Hogan.

In fact, you could probably argue -and find statistics to back you up- that Stone Colds popularity even dwarfed that of The Hulkster.

So it was a credit to Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation's creative efforts that the company had continued to flourish in the eleven months that Austin had been on the shelf.

With the former multi-time champion on the shelf, The Rock had moved from being a close second to being the number one man in the promotion, while the likes of Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Chris Benoit had also kept the WWFs main event scene burning bright.







Tonight, however, the Rattlesnake was back.

Would he be able to return effortlessly his throne as the undisputed king of the lawless jungle that was the WWF, or would he have to fight to take his spot back from those who had claimed it in his absence?

Let's head to the Pepsi Arena to find out as No Mercy 2000 comes live from Albany, New York.

Stone Cold Steve Austin is Out For Revenge

After a year off, Stone Cold Steve Austin had finally returned to the World Wrestling Federation at Unforgiven 2000 and promptly set about trying to discover who ran him over back at Survivor Series 1999.

Between then and now, The Texas Rattlesnake had learned that the culprit was none other than Rikishi who, as we all know, did it for The Rock.


In tonight's opening video package, Austin swore to get revenge on his assailant, promising no mercy on him when the two locked up later tonight.

Austin's promo was interspersed with clips of him in the ring, and of rabid dogs barking at chain link fences. As opening videos go, it wasn't the greatest, but it was still pretty compelling.


With that over, we got the usual pyro, crowd shots and welcome from Jim Ross who, along with Jerry 'The King' Lawler, was ready to call all the action.

The Dudley Boyz Invitational Tables Match
Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) vs. Low Down (D'Lo Brown & Chaz) vs. Tazz and Raven vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D'Von Dudley)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Chaz and D'Lo Brown competed in The Dudley Boyz Invitational Tables Match
The best way to describe this gauntlet-style, winner-stays on elimination match is that it was a good idea poorly executed.

Two teams began, and when one team was eliminated, the next team came in until only one team remained.

Too Cool and Low Down kicked things off, which really made you feel for D'Lo Brown.

For the past few years, the former European champion had been one of the most entertaining mid-card acts in the company and had become one of this writer's favourite performers from the time period.

However, he really hadn't been the same since the horrific Darren Drosdov incident and hadn't appeared on WWF PPV since Wrestlemania 2000. Even then, he'd been reduced to performing as The Godfather's mini-me and was now mostly a lower-card afterthought.

So it was no surprise when he and former Headbanger Chaz got taken out by the ever-popular Too Cool, nor did it come as much of a shock when Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay were eliminated by Raven and Tazz, setting up an inevitable ECW showdown with The Dudley Boyz.

More predictability followed.

Since it was their match, Bubba Ray and D'Von naturally took out Raven and Tazz, then got the better of Right to Censor's Goodfather and Bull Buchanan, though not before a pointless false finish. Bubba put Bull through a table, but the referee was knocked out, so Goodfather was able to pull his partner out of the way. When the referee woke up, he saw Bubba lying on a broken table and called for the bell.

A moment later, a second referee came out to explain what had really happened. The match was restarted and, one quick 3D later was officially over.

As I say, it wasn't a bad idea in theory, but in practice, it just came off as bland and predictable.
Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Trish Stratus with T&A
Backstage, Test, Albert, and Trish Stratus joked about how they were going to use Trish’s big boobs to distract Farooq and Bradshaw later on in the show.

I’m not making that up.

Across the way, Riksihi brandished a sledgehammer as he stalked the backstage arena in anticipation of Steve Austin’s arrival.

Back in the arena, King and JR told us why T&A were at odds with the APA.

It all stemmed from a backstage poker game between the two teams. T&A had run out of money, but Trish came to the rescue of her men by stripping down to her undies. It was then strongly implied that she showed them her hooha, distracting Farooq and Bradshaw so that Test and Albert could attack them.

Add Stratus’ arch-rival Lita into the mix, and we had ourselves a six-person intergender tag match.

When T&A Attack

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Lita was attacked before her match
Well, we were supposed to, but Trish, Test and Albert had other ideas.

The men assaulted the APA backstage and dumped some huge cases on them. By this time, WWF Women’s Champion Lita was already in the ring.

When she set off to find out what had happened to her partners, she was blocked by T&A and attacked by Trish.

All three heels then proceeded to give Lita hell until her buddies The Hardy Boyz came to her rescue.

Got Nuts?

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Edge and Christian talk to Lilian Garcia about their nuts
Backstage, Lillian Garcia interviewed Edge & Christian. The duo had previously claimed to have food poisoning as a way to get out of the earlier Dudley Boyz table match.

The pair thought said poisoning had come from some bad nuts they’d had at the movies the night before, but apparently, that wasn’t the case.

As you can probably imagine, this was just a chance for Edge and Christian to make as many jokes about their nuts as possible.

Elsewhere in the arena, Rikishi continued to wait for Austin.

Steel Cage Match
Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Chris Jericho beat X-Pac in a cage match
With the notable exception of Bret vs. Owen at Wrestlemania 10, steel cage matches very rarely lived up to the hype.

Fortunately, this one did.

Before the bell, Chris Jericho took to the mic, rechristening the cage as a ‘Y2-JAIL’ and vowing to settle his long-running feud with X-Pac once and for all.

The two then locked up and gave us a really solid bout with plenty of high spots, the highlight of which saw Jericho slap Pac in the Walls of Jericho at the top of the cage before being thrown all the way down the canvas.

At that point, X-Pac looked to have the match won, climbing to the outside and standing atop the cage door. Before he could drop to the outside, however, Y2J dropkicked the cage, causing the former DX man to crotch the door, much to the delight of the crowd.

Jericho then climbed through the door and this very fun cage match was all over.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Backstage, Rikishi continued to wait for Stone Cold.

He approached Mick Foley’s makeshift office, where the WWF Commissioner insisted that, while he would be willing to declare ‘Kisihi the winner via forfeit if the Rattlesnake no-showed, he had every faith that Austin would arrive.

Billy & Chyna Reunited

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Billy Gunn and Chyna reunited to face Right to Censor
Having last teamed up back at Fully Loaded 1999, Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Chyna were once again a team and were set to take on Right to Censor here tonight.

A flashback told us that this match came about when Billy Gunn’s scheduled Intercontinental Championship match against Chyna’s ex, Eddie Guerrero, was cancelled due to a Guerrero injury.

For reasons that weren’t made entirely clear here, Eddie had formed an alliance of sorts with Steven Richards and Val Venis, making them a logical substitute.

Right to Censor (Steven Richards and Val Venis) vs. Bad Ass Billy Gunn & Chyna

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Right to Censor faced Billy Gunn and Chyna
Like the earlier gauntlet match, this was a rather bland affair with very little to get excited about.

Pre-match, Steven Richards cut a convincing promo, insisting that Right to Censor would never hit a woman unless they had to.

Tonight, he said, they had to. As such, he and Val were looking forward to taking out Chyna and her “rectally-obsessed” partner, Mr Ass.

That promo was the best part of this otherwise mediocre match which ended when Eddie Guerrero ran in and drilled his former Mama Cita with a lead pipe disguised as a bouquet of flowers behind the referee’s back.

That gave the RTC the opportunity to make the cover and pick up the win.
Your Winners: Right to Censor

Watching the action in the dressing room, Triple H was approached by his wife, Stephanie McMahon.

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
After Hunter refused to let her accompany him to the ring for a match with Chris Benoit, the McMahon heir handed her man a tape of The Crippler applying his patented Crossface which she assured him would be ‘very interesting.’

Paying little attention to it, The Game warned his missus that if anything happened to her as a result of her ‘business partner’ Kurt Angle facing The Rock tonight, he would put the Olympic Gold Medalist out of action for good.

Elsewhere in the arena, Riksihi looked set for battle, dressed in his ring gear and traditional Samoan attire and brandishing a sledgehammer.

The announcers told us that his match with Austin was next, and we got another look at the rivalry between the two men before the actual match took place.

No Holds Barred
Rikishi vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Stone Cold Steve Austin destroyed Rikishi in a no contest match
At this point, we were only an hour into a show in which Austin/Rikishi had been promoted as the only bout on the card that mattered, yet here we were already.

Much like he had done against  The Rock way back at D-Generation-X: In Your House 13, Stone Cold drove his pick-up truck right down to the ring and proceeded to stomp a mudhole in his nemesis.

Make no mistake about it, this wasn’t a match. This was Austin getting revenge on the man who tried to permanently incapacitate him by beating him down to within an inch of his life.

Sure, ‘Kishi got the occasional blow in, but Austin no-sold all of them and then went right back to his murder attempt.

Eventually, Austin killed Rikishi with a chair and dumped him in the back of his truck.

He then drove him outside, dumped him against a brick wall and was all set to murder him for real until a police car showed up.

Stone Cold rammed headlong into the police car, prompting about eight million more of them to show up.

The Rattlesnake was arrested and this utterly enthralling non-match was over.
No-Contest

Afterwards, the policeman who had been driving the car Austin ran into was taken out in an ambulance while Rikishi lay, battered and bloodied, on a grass verge.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion William Regal vs. Naked Mideon

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - European Champion William Regal faced Naked Mideon
Having ditched the ‘Real Man’s Man’ gimmick, William Regal had returned to the World Wrestling Federation in September 2000.

 Here, he made his first WWF PPV appearance since Survivor Series 1998 and his first appearance on any PPV since his cameo in the Hardcore Invitational Junkyard Battle Royal back at WCW Bash at the Beach 1999.

Before the match, Regal announced that  Commissioner Foley had given in to his demand that Naked Mideon wear some clothes for the match.

As such, the challenger came to the ring wearing an Undertaker tank top and those press-stud popper pants that were so popular in the 90s, so you knew some Naked Mideon nekkidness would take place at some point.

Sure enough, after a mostly decent throw-away match, the former Godwin stripped down to his thong and fanny-pack and drove the crowd into a frenzy.

His naked butt was enough to make Regal think twice about applying the Regal Stretch on him, but it wasn’t enough to help him win the match.

The champion hit a Regal Cutter and scored the fall.

The match was kind of entertaining for Regal’s always-excellent mannerisms, but the wrestling wasn’t much to write home about.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: William Regal

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Kurt Angle edited together a fake interview with The RockUp next, we were shown the classic ‘Kurt Angle interviews The Rock’ promo in which the Olympic Gold Medalist edited together clips from several of The Rock’s past interviews to make it look as though the WWF Champion was admitting to behind Rikishi running over Steve Austin.

It was so amazing that even The Rock himself couldn’t help but smirk as he watched it on a backstage TV.

At least, he did before he turned the TV off and walked away.

Si, Senor

Backstage, Kevin Kelly interviewed The Conquistadors about their upcoming tag team title match against The Hardyz, and about the rumours that they were really just Edge & Christian in disguise.

To all of Kelly’s questions, the 80s jobber team could only reply ‘si, senor.’

It was pretty funny.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Los Conquistadors (Conquistador Uno and Conquistador Dos)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Edge & Christian disguised themselves as 80s jobber team Los Conquistadors
If this was the original team consisting of José Estrada Sr. and Jose Luis Rivera, then this would be the first PPV appearance since Survivor Series 1988, but, of course, it wasn’t.

It was Edge and Christian, using the old gimmick to sneak their way into a title shot after it had been ruled that they would no longer be allowed to compete for the titles.

The match wasn’t the best Hardyz/E&C encounter we’d ever get, but the Conquistadors gimmick did make it very entertaining in its own right.

Towards the end, Matt Hardy ripped off Dos’ mask only to reveal another mask underneath. Uno then hit an Unprettier to claim the tag team titles.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Los Conquistadors

Outside the arena, Steve Austin’s truck and the police car he’d destroyed were both taken away by police. Meanwhile, in the locker room, HHH studied the tape that Stephanie McMahon had given him and apparently saw something he liked.

This led to a video package explaining the rivalry between Helmsley and Benoit. In a nutshell, the evil Benoit had headbutted Steph and then cost HHH a title shot against The Rock.

The two would meet next.

Chris Benoit vs. Triple H

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Triple H battled Chris Benoit
A hard-hitting, high-impact, all-out war, this was probably the best match Triple H had up to this point that wasn’t against The Rock.

Everything they did looked great, made sense, and told a compelling story.

That story was Pedigree vs. Crosssface, with both men having seemingly figured every possible way to counter or prevent their opponent’s finisher.

Stephanie McMahon got involved near the finish, but even that didn’t detract from what was otherwise an exceptional contest in which both men genuinely brought out the best in one another.

After an epic battle, HHH finally nailed the match-winning pedigree.
Your Winner: Triple H

Backstage, Los Conquistadors were congratulated on their big title victory by none other than Edge and Christian themselves.

For some completely unknown reason (since they clearly hadn’t just competed in a match), E&C were tired and sweaty as they handed the tag champs celebratory bottles of Corona and said that they looked forward to challenging for those titles on Raw the following evening.

I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that the Conquistador who was supposed to be Christian was actually played by Christopher Daniels.

No Disqualification Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (w/ Stephanie McMahon)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Kurt Angle defeated The Rock to win his first WWF title
A pre-match video told us that Stephanie had agreed to be Angle’s business associate and accompany him to the ring all the time after Triple H had banned her from his corner due to her being "a liability."

As the duo made their way out to the ring, Howard Finkle announced that it was now a no-disqualification match much to the surprise of the commentators who genuinely seemed taken off guard by the last-minute stipulation.

The champion then made his way out, and what we got was your typical WWF main event drama. I mean that very much as a compliment.

Nobody did main events quite like the World Wrestling Federation, and this was a perfect example of that. Though the earlier HHH/Benoit match may have technically been better from a pure wrestling standpoint, this was still a very, very, very good sports entertainment match that delivered on all counts.

That's even considering the couple of run-ins we had.

At one point, Stephanie got involved and ate a Rock Bottom for her trouble. Unsurprisingly, this brought out her husband who proceeded to attack both men, Angle for putting his wife in harm's way, and The Rock for causing said harm.

Angle even scored a near-fall after Hunter nailed the champion with a Pedigree, but that wasn't enough to end the match.

More gripping action followed before Rikishi made his way out. Wearing a bandage and wearing a mask of dried blood, he looked like he'd been through hell and back but was still out to help The Rock.

Not that he succeeded. On two separate occasions, he tried to hit Angle, missed, and planted the champ instead. Kurt then drilled Rikishi with an Olympic Slam, pinned The Rock, and won his first WWF Championship.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Kurt Angle

Afterwards, Angle raced from the ring so fast that Earl Hebner had to chase him down with the title belt. Holding the gold aloft, the new champion proceeded to drop to his knees and weep in such a way that you weren't sure whether it was part of his gimmick or whether he was genuinely overwhelmed.







What started off as a lacklustre show soon turned into a contender for one of the WWF's best efforts of the year. Outside of the Jericho/X-Pac cage match, the undercard was very underwhelming, but from the tag team title match onwards, everything got progressively better, culminating in two of the very best professional wrestling matches of the year 2000 and Kurt Angle's big moment.

Having debuted the previous year at Survivor Series 1999, Angle's rise had been nothing short of meteoric. From a nothing-feud with Steve Blackman in late '99 to the World Wrestling Federation Championship in less than a year, the Olympic Medalist had spent the time in between being the first man to capture the European Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, King of the Ring and now the grand prize in under 12 months, a feat which would begin establishing his status as one of the greatest of all time




For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
Other WWF No Mercy reviews:
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

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? http://wrestlecrap.com/inductions/justjoe/) - 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.



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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.
Double-Count.

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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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.