This was the third year where WWE used the Fully Loaded name in the month of July.
The synopsis from WWE Network looked like this:
“The Rock defends the WWE Championship in the main event. Chris Jericho takes on Triple H in a brutal Last Man Standing Match. Val Venis faces Rikishi in a Steel Cage with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. Edge & Christian defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against The APA. The Undertaker faces Kurt Angle in singles action and more.” / 18+ (L,V)
That 18+ is not a typo. I find that weird. If it was 14+ that would be normal, but to see 18+ on a PPV in 2000 is strange. I believe it should say 14+ there.
Did they avoid writing the name of Rock’s opponent on purpose? They sure did.
Fully Loaded did weak numbers in terms of PPV buyrates with 420,000 buys. That was tied for second-worst of the year with Judgment Day. The worst PPV that year in terms of buys was Survivor Series, which may come as a surprise because it’s supposed to be one of the best of the year as a “big four” PPV, but it did poorly. That could have been because of some newer wrestler in the biggest matches on this show. Anyway, I was pretty excited going into this one.
The original poster had Steve Austin on it because they were hoping he would be ready to return for this PPV, but he was not healthy enough yet.
Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows (Raw, Smackdown, PPVs) from earlier in the year. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport if you’re not doing so already and let’s get started.
WWF Fully Loaded
July 23, 2000
From Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas
The opening video package focused on gambling and taking risks. It focused on the triple main event participants Rock/Benoit, Triple H/Jericho and Undertaker/Angle.
The pyro went off in the arena and there were signs everywhere. It was another sold out show as usual with Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us to the show in Dallas.
The team of Test & Albert with Trish Stratus were up first. They were heels, but the fans popped for Trish because…look at her. A video package aired to show the rivalry between those three heels and Trish’s issues with Lita along with the Hardy Boyz. They made Trish and Lita the centerpiece of this story. The Hardys entered with Lita.
Test, Albert and Trish Stratus vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) and Lita
Pre-match notes: The team of Trish and T&A were the heels although Trish got a pop for her entrance. The Hardy Boyz and Lita were the popular faces. Lita was selling a back/rib injury after attacks from Trish. This was the first PPV match in the careers of Trish and Lita.
The guys went after eachother right away while Test stood in front of Lita to prevent her from getting to Trish. Albert whipped Matt into the turnbuckle and then Albert tossed Matt across the ring. Matt managed to hit an arm drag. Matt charged, Albert gave him a back body drop onto the apron and Matt bumped to the floor. I think Matt slipped there. Test into the match, Matt shoved him down and Matt hit a leg drop off the middle ropes. The Hardys hit a double team back elbow and Jeff got a two count after a splash. Jeff ran off the ropes with Test hitting a sidewalk slam. The fans chanted “We Want Puppies” for the girls as Jeff kicked Test down and hit a cross body block over the top to the floor. The Hardys stomped away on Test as fans chanted for Lita. Test with a boot to the face of Matt, Trish tagged in with slaps, Matt avoided a slap, Matt got a rollup on her and Test broke up the pin. Test with a DDT on Hardy. Trish missed an elbow drop, Lita got the tag to a HUGE pop and Trish tagged out quickly as the big man Albert tagged in for his team. The Hardys went after Albert with Jeff hitting the Poetry in Motion corner attack and a double suplex by the Hardys. They did a suplex spot with both Hardys and Lita hitting a suplex on Test and Trish at the same time. That drew a big pop. The Hardys took their shirts off and Lita took her shirt off (she had a sports bra style top) to a HUGE pop. These fans loved Lita. Lawler wanted to take his shirt. JR: “Please don’t.” Thanks Jim.
Albert picked up Jeff over his head and tossed him over the top to the floor. Albert with a slam on Jeff. Test went back in for a double team back body drop. Jeff avoided a corner charge, which led to a sunset flip for two. Test with a Full Nelson slam on Jeff followed by a chinlock. When Jeff got back up, he ran right into a Powerbomb by Test. Test went up top, took too long and missed an elbow drop because Jeff moved. Matt got the tag with a clothesline off the top on Test, Matt with an elbow and a bulldog off the middle ropes. Test with a pumphandle slam on Matt for two as Jeff jumped off the top with a Swanton Bomb for two with Albert breaking up that pin attempt. Albert tried a powerslam, but Matt turned it into a DDT. Lita tagged in with a Tornado DDT off the middle ropes on Test, who sold that great. Lita went up top and hit a cross body block on Albert on the floor. Lita up top again and she hit a hurricanrana off the top on Test for a two count. Why was Lita so popular? Three straight cool moves in a row. Albert hit Lita in the back and Test hit a gutwrench Powerbomb on her. Trish got the tag for her team and she covered Lita for a two count. Trish grabbed a headlock leading to a bulldog for a two count. You could tell both women were unsure of the spots they were doing, but then Trish hit an elbow. Trish went up top, Lita went after her and Lita hit a superplex off the top rope. That drew a huge pop as it got a two count because Albert broke up the pin. The Hardys took out the T&A guys with the four guys brawling on the floor. Lita went up top and hit a moonsault on Trish for the pinfall win at 13:12. The fans loved that.
Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) and Lita
Analysis: *** This was a fun tag team match with a very hot crowd especially when Lita was out there with Trish. Lita did a lot of high spots in the match and it made the fans love her even more. All four guys worked well together too, but the fans clearly cared more about the women in this match. The finish made sense because Trish kept on getting the advantage on Lita on TV building up to the match, so Lita getting the win was what you would expect.
Post match, Albert hit Lita with a clothesline to the back of head. Test and Albert beat up the Hardys with splash and big boot to the face to both Hardy boys. Albert gave Trish his belt and Trish hit Lita repeatedly with the belt to the ribs of Lita. The Hardys got back up, so T&A and Trish got out of there. The Hardys helped Lita to the back.
Analysis: More heat for Trish after Lita got the pinfall win. There would be payback later in the show.
Mick Foley, who was the WWF Commissioner, was talking to some random guy and Edge walked up to Foley saying that he thinks Christian has food poisoning. Foley referred to Christian as Edge’s brother because that’s what they said in the early stages. Edge said he was ready, but Christian is sick. Foley doubted that.
The Undertaker was shown arriving in his motorcycle and he saw Kurt Angle running around. Angle took off running, Undertaker drove the motorcycle in the backstage area and they were in the same room. Taker scared Angle, who ran away while Taker stared at him.
Tazz made his entrance for a match. They showed random attacks by Tazz on guys like Rikishi, Kane and Scotty 2 Hotty in recent weeks building up to this match. Al Snow entered as the opponent.
Do not read this sign.
If it was there during the first match I didn’t notice. It’s tough to notice signs when Trish Stratus is on screen. I didn’t notice it the rest of the night either.
Al Snow vs. Tazz
Pre-match notes: Tazz was the heel. Snow was the face, but he really wasn’t that popular at this point.
Snow with a back elbow followed by a Russian legsweep that led to Tazz bailing to the floor. They got back in the ring where they exchanged punches and then Snow avoided a clothesline followed by a clothesline. Snow hit a sitout spinebuster for a two count. Tazz came back with a move where he caught Snow on his shoulders and slammed him down. Snow came back with a punch, clothesline and body slam. The fans were dead quiet for this match. Snow went up top with a leg drop. Snow went up again and hit a moonsault for two. The fans were chanting “boring” even after two top rope moves and then when Snow grabbed Head, they cheered loudly because mannequin heads apparently are not boring. Tazz capitalized on that with a chop block with a shoulder to the back of the leg. Tazz with forearms, Snow came back with headbutts as the fans woke up a bit and Snow hit a hard kick to the chest. Tazz caught Snow and hit an overhead suplex across the ring. Snow fought out of the Tazzmission twice, then Tazz locked in the Tazmission and Snow tapped out to give Tazz the win at 5:20.
Winner by submission: Tazz
Analysis: *1/2 A short match (that’s not a Tazz joke, I swear) to put over Tazz as a heel to try to give him some momentum. As mentioned, the fans were not interested in this match.
They showed Edge in the dressing room while Christian was “puking” in a bathroom stall. Commissioner Foley showed up with a doctor with Christian struggling to breathe and the “doctor” said maybe Christian can’t go tonight. Foley and the doctor left.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in the locker room with Harvey Wippleman walked in with flowers. There were a lot of flowers on the table. Hunter wondered who the flowers were from because he said they weren’t from him. Stephanie said she didn’t know who they were from. Stephanie thought they were from Hunter. That led to Hunter getting the card: “Stephanie, best of luck to you and your, man tonight…It’s true, it’s true.” Hunter said Kurt Angle because he figured it was him. Hunter wasn’t happy about it with Stephanie saying she didn’t know.
Analysis: They did a great job of not rushing this storyline and doing small segments like that to slowly add the story.
Eddie Guerrero entered with the European Championship with Chyna, who was upset because Perry Saturn attacked her on Smackdown. Perry Saturn made his entrance with Terri, who was hiding behind Perry because she was scared of Chyna. Eddie tried to keep Chyna back, but Chyna left the ring and hit Saturn with a forearm. Terri ran away, Chyna grabbed her and then the guys got into a brawl as Terri went to the back.
European Championships: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri)
Pre-match notes: Eddie was the babyface champion while Saturn was a heel. They were former members of the Radicals group.
Eddie was in control early with some punches across the corner and a senton splash. Eddie with a clothesline that sent Saturn out of the ring. Chyna with a running clothesline on Saturn on the floor, which was not seen by the referee. Eddie with a hurricanrana off the top rope. Eddie sent Saturn out of the ring, the referee was distracted again and Chyna whipped Saturn into the steel steps. Chyna with a forearm to Saturn. Eddie went up top and jumped onto Saturn with a cross body block. Back in the ring, Eddie jumped off the top with a hurricanrana for a two count. When Eddie jumped up again, Saturn caught him and hit a powerbomb. Eddie came back with an elbow to the head followed by a Tornado DDT off the ropes while Saturn had a small cut on his had. Guerrero went for a move off the ropes, Saturn caught him and tossed him across the ring. Saturn tossed Eddie into the air for a slam, which led to a two count. Saturn launched Eddie up again, but there was a snap hurricanrana by Eddie. There was another powerbomb by Saturn to counter a move by Eddie. Saturn set up Eddie by the turnbuckle, Saturn went up top and jumped off with a moonsault, but Eddie left. Eddie with a brainbuster. Eddie went up top with a dive, Saturn moved and Saturn slammed Eddie off the shoulders for a two count. Saturn with a powerslam. Saturn on the turnbuckle, so Eddie dropkicked him down. Saturn punched Chyna followed by a clothesline on the Spanish announce table that broke the table. That must have been a very weak table. That led to Terri showing up at ringside, so Saturn hid behind her and Terri hit a low blow kick to the groin of Guerrero. Saturn shoved Guerrero into the ring post. The referee was apparently checking on Chyna. Saturn went up top and hit an elbow to the back followed by a pinfall win at 8:10.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW European Champion: Perry Saturn
Analysis: *** Good stuff here with the heel Saturn getting an assist from Terri for the win. I thought Eddie was tremendous in this match, both in terms of his offense and then selling the power moves from Saturn. It seemed like Saturn was lost a bit at times since he was moving slowly and you could tell Eddie was calling some spots. The finish could have been set up better, but the end result was what it needed to be.
Edge and Christian were shown backstage laughing about how they fooled Foley and they said: “Food poisoning rules!” Foley walked in the ring, Christian said he was sick again and he went into the stall. Foley checked on Christian in the stall and the camera showed that Christian was dumping some water into the toilet to try to make it sound like puke. The champs were caught in a lie with Foley saying they were busted. Christian claimed he was really sick before. Foley told them they’ll get their asses kicked when they defend the titles.
Analysis: That was a classic moment. Good comedy with E&C acting silly as usual while Foley caught Christian faking the sickness. I like how it was filmed too.
The Undertaker was interviewed backstage by Michael Cole, who mentioned the Olympic Hero is taking on the American Badass. Undertaker was shown looking at a TV where he saw Kurt Angle sitting on Undertaker’s motorcycle. Undertaker walked over to Angle, who ran away.
Edge and Christian were the Tag Team Champions and they greeted us with a pre-match promo. Edge said that Christian is really sick…sick and tired of being in Dallas, Texas, which drew boos. Edge ripped on Dallas sports teams saying that the Dallas Stars are not repeat champions while the Dallas Cowboys are repeat offenders. Christian brought up the JFK Assassination, was it a lone gunman or a conspiracy and fans chanted “Asshole” at them. Christian said that if JFK spent five more minutes in Dallas he would have committed suicide anyway. Ouch. The APA boys entered before the five second pose could happen.
Bradshaw did a promo saying that these guys go into towns to get cheap heat, but now they are in a city with five Super Bowl Championships and Bradshaw’s home state that has won every major sporting championship that there is. Bradshaw said if you want to poke fun at them it’s fine when your country is only known for high octane beer and two long haired punks like them. Bradshaw mentioned the Dallas Stars winning the Stanley Cup in that building one year earlier. Bradshaw also mentioned Texas wrestling legends like Dick Murdoch, Bruiser Brody, The Freebirds and The Von Erichs ruling and said they’ll give the fans a memorable evening that they can tell their kids about forever when the Acolytes made Edge & Christian their personal bitches.
Analysis: I like some of our Canadian beer, for the record. Better than Bud Light anyway. Good promo from both sides with Bradshaw showing a lot of passion.
WWF Tag Team Championships: Edge & Christian vs. Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw)
Pre-match notes: Edge & Christian were the heel tag team champions while the Acolytes were the babyface challengers. E&C won the titles one month earlier at King of the Ring.
Bradshaw and Faarooq left the ring and they brawled with the champions. Faarooq hit Christian with the steel stairs and Bradshaw threw Edge into the steel stairs. Bradshaw got a boot to the face and the challengers hit a double shoulder tackle for a two count. Bradshaw with a shoulder tackle on Edge followed by a Powerbomb. Faarooq distracted the referee for some reason because I think he saw Christian on the top and Christian hit a missile dropkick. The fans chanted “USA” as the heel Canadians worked over Bradshaw. There were punches from Bradshaw on Edge, but then Edge hit a swinging neckbreaker for two. Bradshaw blocked a double superplex attempt and then hit a shoulderblock off the ropes on Edge. Faarooq got the hot tag with a clothesline on Edge, a powerslam on Christian, a spinebuster on Edge and Bradshaw went back in with a Clothesline from Hell on Christian after Faarooq tried to pin Edge and Christian broke it up. Edge sent Bradshaw into the barricade at ringside. In the ring, Faarooq hit a Dominator slam on Christian, but Edge had a Tag Team Title, she shoved the referee Jimmy Korderas and then Edge hit Faarooq with the title for the DQ finish at 5:29.
Winners by disqualification: Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) – Edge and Christian retain their titles
Analysis: *1/2 A short match with a cheap ending to keep the titles on the champion. I would have preferred to see E&C win by cheating instead of this kind of finish, but I guess they wanted to protect the Acolytes and keep the feud going at least for a few weeks. I read in the Wrestling Observer about this show that WWE decided to do this finish because they wanted to have champs get disqualified because The Rock can’t do that in the main event or he’ll lose the title.
Post match, Bradshaw and Faarooq went after Edge and Christian with punches. They went to the backstage area to end it.
Analysis: I was happy with the champs holding onto their titles because of what was coming soon. The next PPV was SummerSlam with the first TLC match, so the Acolytes were out of the picture by then while the TLC match is one of the best tag team matches ever.
They went to WWF New York with the Big Boss Man at the party. Boss Man threatened some guy at the bar and drank some of his beer.
Triple H was in the dressing room with Stephanie and he was complaining about Kurt Angle sending her flowers. Stephanie said that the card doesn’t say Kurt’s name on it while Hunter pointed out that it said “it’s true, it’s true” on it. Stephanie told Hunter to ask Kurt himself, so Hunter left.
Kurt Angle was shown walking backstage and The Undertaker was walking after him. Angle kept saying he was sorry, then Kurt got away and Angle grabbed a wrench that he used to hit Undertaker in the back of the left leg. Angle ran away.
Analysis: It was a way to weaken The Undertaker going into their match later in the show. As you would see later, it didn’t have much of an effect on the American Badass.
Rikishi entered as the challenger for the Intercontinental Title match. Val Venis won the IC Title from Rikishi two weeks earlier when Tazz hit Rikishi with a TV camera. The build to this match was pretty good. Val Venis made his entrance as the IC Champion with the lovely Trish Stratus, who was making her second appearance of the night. That is never a bad thing.
Steel Cage Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus) vs. Rikishi
Pre-match notes: Val Venis was the heel Intercontinental Champion and Rikishi was the babyface former champion. You can only win by escaping the cage or by pinfall.
Rikishi was aggressive early with punches followed by Val getting whipped into the cage four times. Rikishi tried to climb out of the cage, but Val stopped him and Rikishi hit an elbow to knock him down. Venis tried to crawl out the door, but Rikishi stopped him and hit a belly to back suplex. Venis sent Rikishi into the cage two times, but Rikishi came back with a corner clothesline. The fans popped big because they knew what was coming next, but Val hit a low blow punch to get out of a Stinkface attempt. Venis hit a bulldog off the middle ropes followed by a clothesline with Rikishi doing a flip bump. Venis tried to climb up the cage, Rikishi went up after him, Venis sent him into the age three times and Rikishi bumped into the ring, so Val jumped off the top with an elbow drop for two. Venis climbed up the cage, Rikishi went after him and grabbed Val on top of the cage. They sent eachother into the cage repeatedly and then they each did crotch bumps on the top rope. Venis had some blood on his forehead although it looked like a legit cut near the eye instead of a blade job. Rikishi went to the door, Venis stopped him with punches, but then Rikishi whipped Venis into the cage and a Samoan Drop followed that. Rikishi hit a running butt splash against the turnbuckle followed by a Banzai Drop off the middle ropes. That got a two because Val’s foot was on the bottom rope. Rikishi tried to leave, so Trish slammed the door in Rikishi’s face to knock him down and Venis got back up to deliver a neckbreaker. Venis went up top and hit the Money Shot splash for a two count. That was Val’s finisher, so it was a good nearfall with Rikishi kicking out of that. That was Lita’s cue as she showed up with a leather belt in her hand. Lita went up behind Trish and hit her in the back with it. Lita took off Trish’s top to show leave Trish in a bra as well as exposing some of Trish’s skin as payback for earlier. Lita whipped Trish in the lower back with the leather strap. Trish tried to crawl away, but Lita kept attacking her and choking her. Lita ended up chasing Trish to the back. The fans popped huge for this. They loved seeing Trish get payback for what she did to Lita.
Venis and Rikishi climbed to the top rope, Rikishi sent Val three times into the cage and Val fell back onto the referee Teddy Long. That bump was a bit ridiculous with Long falling in a comical way. Other referees were better at bumping in a spot like that. Rikishi climbed up to the top of the cage with JR assuming he would climb down to win the IC Title. However, Rikishi looked down at Venis, walked over to the center of the cage and Rikishi looked down from about 15 feet high. Rikishi jumped off and hit a Superfly Splash on Venis. HUGE POP for that. Amazing sight to see a 400-pound man doing a huge spot like that. JR: “Good God almighty, I’ve never seen anything like that.” I agree with that. Rikishi tried to climb out the door, but Tazz showed up at ringside and he had a TV camera in his hands. Tazz hit Rikishi with the TV camera to the head. JR called Tazz a piece of garbage. Venis crawled over put an arm on Rikishi’s chest for the pinfall win at 14:10.
Winner by pinfall: Val Venis
Analysis: **3/4 A solid match for the IC Title. This was memorable for the splash off the cage from Rikishi. Kudos to him for having the guts to do that. I remember watching the replay of that multiple times because I wondered what would have happened if he didn’t land it right and how much it might have hurt Venis. When watching it again, you can see Rikishi landed on his knees for the bump and Val likely didn’t feel much. I just think it shows how much Val trusted him because he could sit there for a big splash like that. Anyway, it was also fun to see the Trish and Lita spot in the match as well. The finish was cheap with the Tazz thing, but I didn’t mind it because they were trying to get Tazz over as a heel and hitting a guy with a camera is a good way to do it. A heel cheating to retain a title is certainly fine with me.
The Undertaker was shown limping backstage because he was selling a left knee injury.
Triple H was walking backstage where he found Harvey Wippleman, who had more flowers for Stephanie. Harvey led Hunter to the room, Hunter went earn and we heard some loud noises. Chris Jericho emerged from the room, so the story was it was actually Jericho that sent the flowers to fool Hunter and Stephanie.
Analysis: It’s nice when a babyface outsmarts a heel once in a while.
Let’s Hear from Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon had on a “Just Bring It” shirt on. Lawler said that the fans were glad to see him even though he was getting booed a lot and there was a “Shane’s a pu**y” chant too. Shane said he was not a “pu**y.” I censor it because I’m classy. Shane said he was calling out The Rock to go one on one with Shane right now and it’s not for the WWF Title. Shane wanted Rock to experience the “Giant Killer” Shane O Mac and told Rock to just bring it.
The Rock marched his way out to the ring with a “Just Bring It” shirt that belonged to him and Lawler called it Shane’s shirt. Shane left the ring. Rock said that the fans can’t be wrong about what they call Shane. Rock said that he knows it’s a setup, so where is Benoit? Rock said it didn’t matter and said that they can do it now.
Chris Benoit appeared on the Titantron and he was in Rock’s locker room. Rock said he’ll become the next WWF Champion. Benoit grabbed some of Rock’s shirts and ripped them up. Benoit poured some liquid onto Rock’s bag and he ripped up more of Rock’s clothes. Rock saw it and went to the back as Benoit left.
Analysis: It was a way to get more heat on Benoit and Shane going into the WWF Title match later in the show.
They showed a video package about Kurt Angle’s problems with The Undertaker. Angle: “As they say in the streets, my bad!” Most of the story was about Angle being scared of Undertaker and running away from him repeatedly.
Kurt Angle made his entrance with a wrench in his hands and Angle was scared of his own pyro. The Undertaker didn’t wait for his entrance as he drove down to the ring in his motorcycle. Undertaker sent Angle over the barricade at ringside and they went brawling into the crowd until Angle made his way towards the ring. Taker sent Angle into the steel steps along with the barricade.
The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face while Angle was the heel.
Taker with a boot to the face and an elbow to the chest, but then Taker picked up Angle. Taker hit a delayed vertical suplex for two as Taker picked up Angle again. Taker with a corner whip, Angle got a boot up and Angle slapped on a sleeper, but Taker backed him into the turnbuckle to break free. Running clothesline from Taker followed by a sidewalk slam for two. Angle to the floor, Taker followed and Angle hit him in the left knee with the wrench. The referee didn’t see the wrench usage. Angle with a chop block to the left knee and then he twisted the knee, but Taker broke free with a boot to the head. Taker sent Angle into the ropes for a Chokeslam, so Angle kicked the leg and tripped up Taker again. Angle worked over the left knee for a few minutes. Taker broke free, drove Angle’s knee into the mat and Angle did a kick to the left leg. Taker with body shot punches and an uppercut to the face. Taker whipped Angle into the ropes leading to a huge Chokeslam for Taker. The referee Tim White told him that Angle was out, but Taker said he wanted to do more. Undertaker hit the Last Ride Powerbomb aka the Wedgie Bomb (because he pulls up the tights of his opponent) and he covered for the pinfall win at 7:34.
Winner by pinfall: The Undertaker
Analysis: *1/2 It was a short match with Undertaker dominating even while going into the match with an injury. Angle did get some offense, but it wasn’t that much and there wasn’t a point where you thought Angle might win. I think that Taker could have done a better job of selling the left knee injury. The story was about Taker getting revenge after repeated attacks. If you want to see a great Taker/Angle match, fast forward to No Way Out 2006 (read my review here) because that is one of the best matches of either man’s illustrious career. They would have another PPV singles match later in 2000 at Survivor Series as well.
The Undertaker left triumphantly while Angle was down selling the Last Ride as a devastating finisher.
Analysis: You may think that people were pissed off that Angle lost in that manner considering that he was on the rise. I’m sure some people were angry about it. However, the loser of this match (Angle) not only headlined the next pay-per-view, but he also won the WWF Title a few months after that. So yeah, Angle losing here there way he did was a bit frustrating. In the end, though, it turned out just fine for the “rookie” Angle.
They showed a clip of The Rock in his dressing room looking pissed off at his clothes that were destroyed earlier by Chris Benoit after being set up by Shane McMahon.
A video package aired showing highlights from the rivalry between Triple H and Chris Jericho leading to this Last Man Standing Match. It was a great story that started after Jericho kissed Stephanie at King of the Ring, then Triple H wanted revenge and Jericho cost Triple H a match where Hunter was pinned by Brooklyn Brawler. Triple H ended up beating up Jericho leading to Jericho becoming a bloody mess and that led to Jericho wanting a Last Man Standing Match. Foley set it up, so here we are.
Triple H made his entrance with the storyline wife Stephanie McMahon, who was the WWF Women’s Champion that did not defend that title. Triple H was in the middle of the best year in his career. Chris Jericho made his entrance with his ribs taped up to sell all of the attacks. Huge pop for him.
Analysis: This was definitely the biggest match of Jericho’s career at this point. Triple H was an established main eventer while Jericho was a star on the rise, so it was about proving Jericho was on the same level.
Last Man Standing Match: Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel and Jericho was the face. The winner of the match must keep his opponent down for a ten count.
They started out brawling with Jericho getting the advantage as he knocked Hunter out of the ring and hit a springboard dropkick. That’s the right way to start a rivalry like this with a brawl. Back in the ring, Jericho with a shoulder tackle followed by a reverse elbow. Hunter got the advantage with a facebuster into the knee followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Jericho charged, but Hunter picked him up and drove him face first into the top of the barricade followed by Hunter sending Jericho ribs first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Hunter with a hard kick to the ribs and then he took off some of the protective bandage that Jericho had on the ribs. Hunter with repeated shoulder tackles to the ribs of Jericho. Hunter with a running knee to the ribs, then he took off more bandages and choked Jericho with it. Hunter with a knee drop to the ribs/lower back of Jericho. Hunter dumped Jericho to the floor, which led to Stephanie slapping Jericho in the face two times. Hunter with a suplex on the floor, which led to the first count of the match with Jericho getting up at five. Back in the ring, Hunter slapped on the dreaded abdominal stretch to work on the ribs some more. Hunter grabbed the ropes, the referee kicked his hand to break and Jericho did a hip toss. Hunter shoved referee Mike Chioda, who shoved Hunter back and Jericho hit a spinning heel kick. Hunter had a reason to be mad since there are no DQ’s in this match, so you can use the ropes for leverage in that spot. Jericho went for a Lionsault off the ropes, but Hunter got the knees up to block followed by a DDT and a count that went to seven. Hunter slapped on a sleeper hold (sort of) with a body scissors on the mat, which led to Jericho selling it for another count, but Chris got back up. Hunter worked over Jericho with punches while Jericho told him to bring it and did a crotch chop. Triple H hit a Pedigree in the middle of the ring, Hunter posed by the ropes as if he had won and Jericho got up at a nine count. Hunter brought a chair into the ring, he jabbed Jericho in the ribs and then Hunter hit a hard chair shot to the back. Hunter wanted a Pedigree on the chair, referee wanted him to not to do it because it’s too violent and Hunter shoved the referee down. Jericho hit a low blow to a huge pop.
The tied had turned as Jericho grabbed the chair and hit Hunter in the head with the chair. Hunter blocked it with hand up, but the idea is that it was a chair to the head. Hunter turned over to do a blade job while the camera was on Jericho. Hunter had blood all over his face. Hunter bled a lot on these WWF 2000 PPVs. Jericho beat on Hunter with punches that knocked him on his ass. Jericho with a running forearm to the head and he was also selling his ribs. Jericho got a boot up followed by a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Jericho hit a bulldog onto the steel chair. That was a great bump by Hunter. Jericho with a whip into the ropes with Hunter doing his trademark bump going over the top to the floor. Jericho followed Hunter out to the floor, which led to Hunter whipping Jericho shoulder first into the steel steps. Hunter teased a Pedigree on the steel steps, but Jericho turned it into a back body drop on the floor. The fans loved that. They went to the English announce table and they each hit eachother with TV monitors to the head. Both guys were down for nine counts even though it was really more like 20 seconds, but referee counts are slower. Back in the ring, Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho submission with Triple H tapping out repeatedly. Hunter got to the ropes, the referee didn’t break the hold because it’s no DQ, so why did he get mad about Hunter using the ropes earlier? Anyway, Stephanie went into the ring and grabbed Jericho’s hair. Stephanie tried to slap Jericho, but Chris blocked it and Chris put her in the Walls of Jericho submission. Huge pop for that! The fans were going wild. Hunter hit Jericho in the back to end that. They left the ring with Hunter whipping Jericho into the barricade. Hunter grabbed the sledgehammer from under the ring, Jericho moved and Hunter hit the ring post. Jericho with a catapult that sent Hunter into the ring post. Jericho with a sledgehammer to the ribs with Jericho doing it like Hunter by holding the front of the hammer to make it a soft worked blow. They went to the timekeeper’s table, Hunter with a low blow to the groin and Hunter hit a belly to back suplex to put both men through the English announce table. The referee counted, he was at 5…(JR: “Count faster to put them out of their misery!)…6…7…8 with Triple H starting to stir…9 and Hunter stood up just before ten. The referee counted to 10, so Jericho lost and then after the referee ruled it was over, Hunter collapsed to the mat again. JR: “Triple H won this match by one second.” Well said. They went 23:11.
Winner via Last Man Standing: Triple H
Analysis: ****3/4 This is an incredible match. I love it. I have watched this match so many times because it was one of my favorites from this year and whenever I would put this DVD in, this is the match I would watch. The Triple H blade job led to a crazy amount of blood that made this one of the bloodiest matches in Hunter’s career. I know that sometimes in LMS matches, there is less drama due to the countdown not being as interesting as a nearfall, but the crowd remained hot during all of this. They did a great job of brawling all over the arena. When they did the spot where they each hit eachother in the head with monitors and they got back up at nine, I thought that maybe it would be a draw finish. Instead, they kept on going. The finish was clever because Stephanie got involved, Jericho put the Walls of Jericho on her (the fans went CRAZY for that) and Triple H took advantage with a forearm to the back. That led to the finishing sequence because they knew it would be hard to top that Stephanie spot. Sometimes a match goes 23 minutes and it’s too long. Not in this case. I thought it was just right. I’m going just under five stars. I know people will say why is it not five stars and it’s just one of those things where it felt a notch below. I would have loved to see Jericho win, but obviously Hunter winning was done since he was in the SummerSlam main event and always around the title picture.
Post match, Jericho and Hunter sold it in a big way with both guys down around ringside. Stephanie put her hand on Hunter, who was a bloody mess, so she freaked out due to having so much blood on her hands. The referees helped Triple H back to his feet with JR putting over the two superstars giving everything they had and noted that Triple H won by one second. Triple H was a bloody mess as he was helped to the back.
The video package aired showing the story of WWE Champion The Rock defending the gold against Chris Benoit. Shane McMahon became an ally of Benoit as Benoit repeatedly attacked Rock. Benoit didn’t win a tournament or do anything to earn the title shot, but he was being pushed and they put him in this title match. There were a lot of cheap attacks from behind by Benoit, but then Rock managed to get revenge on him.
Chris Benoit entered with Shane McMahon with Benoit wearing one of Rock’s shirts that was ripped up after Benoit’s attack earlier. Shane was wearing a “Just Bring It” shirt and sunglasses.
Analysis: Going into the match, I don’t think people really believed Benoit was going to win. The idea was to elevate Benoit by putting him in a WWF Title match on a PPV, so it accomplished that goal by featuring Benoit more.
WWE Championship: The Rock vs. Chris Benoit (w/Shane McMahon)
Pre-match notes: The Rock was the babyface WWF Champion while Benoit was the heel challenger. Rock won the title back at King of the Ring one month earlier. This was Benoit’s first WWE PPV main event. It was the fifth straight PPV where Rock was in the main event.
The stipulation is that if The Rock gets disqualified then he will lose the WWE Title.
Rock was staring at Benoit, so Shane distracted Rock and Benoit tried a cheap shot, but Rock knocked Benoit out of the ring. Rock whipped Benoit into the steel steps. The fans chanted “Rocky” as Rock chased after Shane and back in the ring with Rock hitting a clothesline on Benoit. Rock with an atomic drop on Benoit, then a catapult that sent Benoit into Shane on the apron to knock Shane down. Benoit avoided a Crossface attempt by getting out of the ring. Benoit sent Rock into the ropes followed by a knee to the ribs, he sent Rock into the turnbuckle and hit a gutbuster. The fans chanted “Shane’s a pu**y” again as Shane got in a cheap shot elbow on Rock. Benoit worked over Rock with chops and a whip into the steel steps. Back in the ring, fans were chanting “Benoit sucks” as Benoit hit a knee to the ribs for a two count. Rock suplexed Benoit across the top rope followed by a kick to the ribs. They went to the turnbuckle with Rock hitting a belly to back suplex on Benoit. I should point out also there was a lot of blood in the ring after that Triple H match and a lot of blood coming from his head. Shane slid the WWF Title to Benoit, Shane distracted dumb referee Earl Hebner and Benoit hit Rock with the WWF Title (referee didn’t see that) for two. Benoit hit a suplex for two. Rock came back with a powerslam for a two count, but then Benoit took control with a belly to back suplex. Benoit slapped on the Sharpshooter submission on Rock in the middle of the ring and Rock managed to crawl to the bottom rope to break the hold. Benoit drove Rock’s left knee into the mat. Rock fought back with punches, Benoit whipped Rock into the ropes, Shane pulled the top rope down (while Benoit was distracting the referee) and Rock bumped over the top to the floor. Benoit went after Rock, but Rock whipped Benoit into the steel steps. Rock picked up Benoit, then drove him groin first into the ring post. JR noted that Rock could have been disqualified for that. Back in the ring, Rock with a leg whip takedown and Rock slapped on a Figure Four Leglock, but Shane was distracting Hebner. Benoit got to the ropes to break the hold. Benoit got back up with a clothesline that sent Rock over the top to the floor, which led to Shane hitting a clothesline on Rock (the referee didn’t see that). Benoit distracted the referee some more and Shane gave Rock a clothesline to send him over the barricade into the crowd. Benoit and Rock went into the crowd a bit with Rock hitting Benoit with a beer to the head. Hebner left the ring with the guys, so he was not counting them out on the floor. Benoit suplex Rock back over the barricade and onto the floor. Benoit sent Rock back first into the barricade two times.
They went back into the ring with fans chanting “Rocky” as Rock did a kick to the gut followed by a DDT for a two count. Benoit came back with a clothesline and a backbreaker for two. Shane got in a cheap shot elbow along with some choking while Benoit distracted the referee. Benoit got a neckbreaker for another two count. Rock picked up Benoit like he was going for a Powerbomb, but then Rock sent him throat first into the top rope, which got a two count. Benoit sent Rock into the ropes with a forearm to the face. Benoit with a body slam, then he went up top and hit a headbutt across the ring and it was slow cover for a two count. Rock came back with a spinebuster followed by the elbow toss and the People’s Elbow. Shane was on the apron as Rock covered Benoit and Hebner was distracted by him. When Hebner turned back around, he counted two with Benoit getting his left shoulder up at the last possible moment. That was an awesome nearfall with the fans reacting to it in a big way. Benoit with headbutts, then he set up Rock on the top rope and gave him a superplex into the center of the ring, which led to a slow cover by Benoit for a two count. Benoit stomped on Rock, Hebner tried to get him to back away, Benoit shoved him and Rock hit a clothesline. Benoit with a reverse into a short lefty clothesline. Benoit left the ring to grab a steel chair, Rock took the chair away and Shane went into the ring, which he used to hit referee Hebner in the back! Rock punched Shane, then he punched Benoit repeatedly. Rock chased after Shane with a chair, Shane left the ring and Rock took down Benoit with the Crossface. Hebner turned around, he tapped Rock’s left arm and Hebner called for the bell. The announcers thought Benoit gave up. Hebner gave instructions to ring announcer Howard Finkel. It was announced by Fink that the winner of this match as a result of a disqualification AND NEW World Wrestling Federation Champion…Chris Benoit. Rock was pissed off. The fans were booing.
Shane went into the ring with a chair and he hit Rock in the head with it. Fans were tossing garbage into the ring as Benoit left with the WWF Title and with Shane. Rock was bleeding from the head after doing a blade job to sell the chair to the head that Shane hit him with. Benoit and Shane were in the aisle celebrating, but here comes Commissioner Foley, who walked down to ringside.
Foley said that the title can change hands on a disqualification, but he didn’t see a disqualification, nobody in Dallas, Texas saw a disqualification (cheap pop) and he said there was no disqualification. Foley said that he was ordering this match to continue. JR said that was the right call. Rock told Benoit to just bring it. The fans loved that.
Analysis: It’s one of those cases where it comes in handy to have a babyface authority figure with Foley out there to say that the match continues. I know fans don’t like false finishes, but when you do it as a way to pop the crowd going into the finish then it’s a good thing. As JR said, it was the right call because Hebner didn’t see that it was Shane that hit him with the chair and because of that, the match should continue.
The match continued with Rock connecting with punches, but then Benoit hit three German Suplexes for a two count. There were still cups in the ring from the fans throwing them in the ring. Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface, Rock fought it and he crawled to the bottom rope to break the hold. Rock fought back with punches and he hit a Rock Bottom for the pinfall win at 22:12.
Winner by pinfall: The Rock
Analysis: ****1/4 This was a great championship match with some impressive work by both guys and a lot of drama throughout the match. The finish was clean in the sense that the babyface won the match, but it took a while to get there with the false finishes. Rock got his ass kicked in the match, he took a beating that led to him getting bloody and he still found a way to retain the title as a heroic babyface. Benoit was aggressive as the heel that was relentless and controlled a lot of the match until Rock beat him with one move. I think they could have set up the finish a bit better with that with Rock doing a few more moves before putting Benoit away, but they probably best to just end it on that note on the match restart. These two always worked well together.
Post match, Benoit left with Shane while Foley was happy at ringside.
The Rock was selling the beating for about a minute as he struggled to get to his feet. Rock got back up to his feet and held up the WWF Title proudly. That was the end of the show.
This event had a run time of 2:41:21 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho – He didn’t win the match, but it was the biggest match of his career at this point and he was amazing.
2. Triple H
3. The Rock
5. Trish Stratus/Lita – They did pretty well for their first PPV match. The crowd reacted strongly to everything they did.
I don’t put Chris Benoit here out of principal. I think he would have been three or four based on performance.
I rate this show an 8.5 out of 10.
This is an outstanding show that was one of the best PPVs of the year. The three “main event” matches were the ones they built around and two of them delivered matches that were over four stars with Triple H vs. Jericho nearly getting to five stars. When your top matches deliver like that, it’s a very successful show. I liked the six-person tag to open, plus matches like Saturn/Guerrero and Venis/Rikishi were solid with the heels getting cheap wins. The other matches were boring, but at least they were kept short. Kudos to Triple H and Rock for incredible PPV matches again. They were on fire in 2000.
It’s interesting that Jericho, Benoit and Angle were all given the biggest pushes of their careers at this show and they all lost, yet none of them were really damaged by it. Angle went on to main event SummerSlam while Jericho and Benoit picked up their rivalry and obviously we know they had a lot of success in their careers. It’s a nice example that wins aren’t everything. The fact that two of these three guys came so close to beating established main eventers meant so much for all of them.
I always think fondly of Fully Loaded 2000. It is one of my favorite WWE PPVs ever.
Ranking the WWF in 2000 PPVs so far (out of 10):
Royal Rumble – 9
Fully Loaded – 8.5
Backlash – 8.5
Judgment Day – 8.5
No Way Out – 8
WrestleMania 2000 (16) – 5.5
King of the Ring – 5
Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows (Raw, Smackdown, PPVs) from earlier in the year. Thanks for reading.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org