It’s time for the first Smackdown of 2000. I’m going to use WWF because that’s what the company was at the time until they changed to WWE in May 2002. If I type WWE by accident, then so be it, but I’ll stick to referring to this era as WWF because I don’t want to confuse people or have questions from people asking why I’m using WWE. Anyway, it’s the first Smackdown of the year that was taped on a Tuesday and aired on Thursday night on UPN.
Check out the WWF in 2000 archive here. Let’s get to it.
WWF Smackdown #20
January 6, 2000 (Taped January 4)
From the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida
This show earned a TV-PG and “V” for Violence. What, no sexual content? Shocking. I guess Smackdown wasn’t as raunchy since it was on Network TV instead of cable.
The opening video package showed Triple H beating Big Show for the WWF Title thanks to a distraction from X-Pac leading to a low blow and a Pedigree for the win.
There was a shot of Stephanie McMahon talking to Triple H and her DX buddies X-Pac, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg. Stephanie was mad that that the three DX guys didn’t beat The Rock to get him fired and she said that they strived to do better. She added that they’ll arrest Mick Foley if he trespasses. Stephanie said X-Pac will face Big Show, X-Pac was mad about it and Triple H told him to beat his ass. Stephanie told Billy he’ll face both Acolytes in a handicap match. Billy was not happy about that. Stephanie said that Triple H entered himself into a random drawing to face somebody on the show. Hunter said he was proud to be in DX and proud to be a part of the McMahon-Helmsley era.
Analysis: It was a weird segment in terms of the way they filmed it and the audio wasn’t great either.
There was a shot of the live crowd with a lot of noise and there were plenty of signs in the arena.
Big Show vs. X-Pac
Pre-Match notes: Show was in tweener mode by this point although leaning more towards being a face. X-Pac was a heel.
Show attacked X-Pac with a headbutt early on. Hard whip by Show sent X-Pac into the turnbuckle. Show with a two handed Chokeslam like move. That looked nasty. Show stood on the chest of X-Pac, the ref Mike Chioda wanted Show to stop, so Show shoved the referee down and that led to the disqualification at 1:09.
Winner by disqualification: X-Pac
Analysis: 1/2* There’s not much to rate because it was so quick. Show dominated, the referee wanted to stop and Show disagreed, so poor Chioda got his ass kicked.
Post match, Show went over to the referee Chioda and gave him a Chokeslam. X-Pac hit show with a steel chair to the back, Show no sold it and punched the chair into X-Pac’s face. Other referees went into the ring, Show yelled at them and they all left. Show celebrated his actions.
Analysis: This was done to show that Show was angry about losing the WWF Title on Monday’s Raw. It looked like he would be positioned as a face, but by the time the Royal Rumble happened later in the month, they went in another direction with Show.
Chris Jericho and Chyna with The Kat argued backstage about their situation as joint IC Champions.
Jericho and Chyna with The Kat were shown still bickering with Jericho telling Chyna he didn’t need her help.
Chris Jericho and Chyna (w/The Kat) vs. Hardcore and Crash Holly
Pre-match notes: Chyna was a face with The Kat as her manager. Jericho was a heel that would get cheered sometimes. Jericho and Chyna were co-Intercontinental Champions. The Hollys were mostly heels although they became faces due to how over the top they were with this gimmick. They were storyline cousins but were not related.
Hardcore stomped the match on Jericho to start. Jericho came back with a running forearm. Crash tagged in, Jericho trapped him in the Walls of Jericho and Hardcore hit Jericho in the back. When Jericho reached for a tag, Chyna turned her back on Jericho. Backbreaker by Jericho on Crash and a clothesline sent Hardcore out of the ring. The ref didn’t see a Holly double team that sent Jericho over the top to the floor. Jericho shoved Chyna on the floor, so Chyna hit Jericho with a clothesline. Hardcore hit a sitout slam like a Falcon Arrow on Jericho for the pinfall win at 2:25.
Winners by pinfall: Hardcore and Crash Holly
Analysis: * A quick match to further the story that Jericho and Chyna don’t get along. Chyna didn’t tag into the match at all. Hardcore Holly getting the win was done to built him up as a IC Title contender because he got a title shot at the Royal Rumble.
Post match, Chyna left with The Kat and Chyna had the IC Title with her.
There was a shot of “Mankind” at Universal Studios in Orlando. It was Mideon portraying Mankind and he told people to have a bad day.
Triple H and Stephanie were shown watching it on a TV in their office. Tori knocked and Triple H opened the door. Tori walked in wearing a tight red dress. Tori asked if she could use the washroom, Stephanie said sure.
The Acolytes were shown walking backstage for their match.
Road Dogg was in the office with Stephanie and he asked what he’s doing tonight. Dogg asked where Hunter was, she said I think he’s changing in the bathroom, Dogg went to the bathroom, opened it up and Tori screamed. Dogg yelled at Stephanie for not telling him and she said she forgot, so Dogg left angrily.
The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq) vs. “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn
Pre-match notes: The Acolytes were the faces. Gunn was the heel although he was announced as Mr. Ass officially. I’ll refer to him as Gunn. Anyway, Gunn was one half of the Tag Team Champions with Road Dogg at this point.
The two Acolytes worked over Gunn with punches, Gunn with a kick to Bradshaw and Farooq took a DDT. Farooq came back with a clothesline. Both Acolytes stayed in the ring as they hit a double team shoulder block. Gunn with a boot to Bradshaw, he got in a shot on Farooq and then Bradshaw came back with a huge Clothesline from Hell on Gunn leading to a flip bump from Gunn. Farooq picked up Gunn leading to a double team neckbreaker. Road Dogg ran out to save his partner Gunn as he hit Bradshaw in the knee, so that led to the DQ finish at 2:03.
Winners by disqualification: The Acolytes
Analysis: 1/2* A quick match with a predictable finish with Road Dogg saving his tag team partner. That Clothesline by Bradshaw on Gunn was very stiff, which isn’t a surprise because that’s what he does.
Post match, Farooq picked up Dogg and hit him with a spinebuster.
Analysis: There was a Tag Team Titles match between the New Age Outlaws and The Acolytes at the Royal Rumble, so they just brawled to show that the teams didn’t like eachother. Basic stuff.
Kane was in the office with Triple H and Stephanie. Kane said he wanted a match with the pervert Road Dogg right now. Triple H and Stephanie gave it to him.
Analysis: Kane is Tori’s boyfriend, so he wanted revenge.
Road Dogg was in the office with Triple H and Stephanie with Hunter telling them that Billy Gunn can’t interfere with Dogg’s match with Kane. Dogg complained, yelled at Stephanie for telling him and Hunter wondered what was going on.
Analysis: The story is that Stephanie didn’t tell Hunter about what happened with Dogg saw Tori in the bathroom after Stephanie set that up.
Kane (w/Tori) vs. Road Dogg
Pre-match notes: Kane was a face with Tori, who was in a very tight red dress showing off her curves.
Kane entered first, Dogg did his intro and Kane attacked him while on the ramp. Kane sent Dogg into the steel steps and the barricade at ringside. Kane sent Dogg throat first into the barricade.
They finally went back in the ring to start the match. Kane tossed Dogg into the turnbuckle followed by a barrage of punches. Kane choked Dogg relentlessly followed by two punches to the chest. Kane continued on offense with punches followed by a stomp on the throat. Suplex by Kane. Running back elbow by Kane followed by a leg drop. There’s an anti-WCW sign in the crowd “World Can’t Wrestle.” Dogg got back to his feet, ran the ropes and Kane hit him with a boot to the face. Kane up top and he connected with a clothesline off the top rope. That’s a move Kane did for a long time. X-Pac made his way down to the ring, so Kane left the ring to go after him. That allowed Dogg to hit Kane with a low blow punch and a DDT on the ramp. The referee Chad Patton went out of the ring to tell X-Pac to go back, which is not typical of a ref, so that’s how they set up that cheap offense for Road Dogg. Back in the ring, Dogg hit a forearm that knocked Kane down. Dogg went for a knee, Kane moved and Dogg hit the mat, so Kane followed up with a Chokeslam. Kane signaled for a Tombstone and connected with the Tombstone for the win at 5:07.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
Analysis: *1/4 Boring match. They got more time than the matches earlier in the show, but the moves by Kane were so basic. The only time Dogg got offense was after X-Pac’s distraction. It was an easy win for Kane.
After the match, Tori was all smiles after the match.
The Rock was shown standing backstage looking ready for a match.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in their office. Triple H informed Stephanie that Rock is facing the undefeated Kurt Angle.
There was another clip of Mideon doing the Mankind imitation while on some boat at Universal Studios and when a mechanical shark was in the water, Mankind freaked out because he was scared of it.
The Rock made his entrance and the fans went wild. I think they also dubbed in some noise because Smackdown has that fake noise all the time, but the pop for The Rock was great. The Rock talked about how he beat the three DX guys on Raw, he said he’s the People’s Champion like usual and soaked in the “Rocky” chants. He ended it doing his “if you smell what The Rock is cooking line.
Kurt Angle made his entrance to boos. Angle said he stands before us as an Olympic Champion, an American Hero, a representative of this great nation and he came out a winner in the Olympic games. Angle said that he is still undefeated in the WWF. Angle said since he had the three I’s, he should be the People’s Champion. The fans booed that, then he ripped on Rock and ended it saying give me a break.
The Rock said that you come down here and annoy The Rock, but Rock gave him credit for being an American hero. Rock said he noticed all his gold medals. The Rock told him to take an All American cloth, get some All American wax, shine up those gold medals real nice because Kurt’s very special, do about 13 jumping jacks, do 27 situps, do some squats, take those medals, turn those sumbitches sideways and stick them straight up his Olympic ass! That drew a massive ovation from the crowd.
Analysis: The story was that Triple H didn’t like Angle and he didn’t like that Angle was undefeated, so he decided to put him in a match with The Rock. The Rock’s promos were great there. Angle’s were pretty good as well as he got more comfortable.
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle
Pre-match notes: The Rock was a face and Angle was the heel.
The Rock was on fire, Angle tried to leave by going up the ramp, Rock went after him and Angle hit a suplex on the steel ramp. Angle sent Rock face first into the steel steps at ringside. Angle hit a belly to belly suplex for two. The fans chanted “Asshole” at Angle as he stomped away on Rock. Rock back up and he hit a neckbreaker. Angle came back with a belly to back suplex. Rock came back with a DDT for a two count. Rock worked over Angle with punches including the spit punch followed by a Samoan Drop for two. Steve Blackman ran out with a kendo stick, so Rock punched him down. Blackman on the apron again, Rock brought him in and Rock hit Blackman in the head with a kendo stick. Rock hit Angle with the kendo stick, so referee Tim White called for the bell for the disqualification finish at 3:45.
Winner by disqualification: Kurt Angle
Analysis: ** It was fun while it lasted. They were on their way to something pretty good, but then Blackman got involved and that was it. This was the era where they did not have long TV matches even though this one could have been great with another five minutes. The finish was done to continue Angle’s undefeated streak.
Post match, Rock was mad with the referee about the disqualification. Rock hit Blackman with a Rock Bottom. Angle had a big celebration for his win. The Rock saw Angle’s celebration on the big screen, so Rock went back into the ring. Rock hit a spinebuster followed by a People’s Elbow to a huge ovation. That was massive.
Analysis: That was an entertaining segment by The Rock from the opening promo to the match and the post match with the People’s Elbow. The crowd went crazy for this guy.
Triple H and Stephanie were in the office talking about how Angle was still undefeated with Triple H being upset about it.
There was a tumbler shown to pick a random opponent against Triple H.
Cops were shown outside the building to arrest Mick Foley if he shows up.
Jeff Hardy, Edge and Christian (w/Matt Hardy and Terri) vs. Al Snow, Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley
Pre-match notes: Jeff, Edge and Christian were the faces. Edge and Christian were not yet heels, but that was coming. Matt had his fingers taped to sell the injury from Raw. Snow and The Dudleys were heels.
Hardy was attacked by Snow early even though Snow wasn’t the legal man. Bubba worked over Jeff with punches followed by a delayed suplex, but Jeff landed on his feet. That was a weird spot. Bubba hit an Alabama Slam on Jeff, Snow distracted the referee and D-Von hit the headbutt off the top rope. Bubba with a back body drop on Jeff, then a clothesline and Jeff hit a hurricanrana on Bubba. Edge tagged in, Christian with a dropkick on Snow. Jeff hit a somersault dive over the top on Snow on the floor. Edge with a Spear on D-Von. Christian with a reverse DDT on Bubba. Edge hit a Downward Spiral on D-Von for the pinfall win at 3:08.
Winners by pinfall: Jeff Hardy, Edge and Christian
Analysis: *1/2 It was a fast paced tag team match that was too short like everything else on this show. I understand wanting to get a lot of people on the show and do quick matches, but this one should have got more time since it was an interesting six man tag team match.
Post match, Snow got the Head mannequin and hit both Dudleys in the head with it.
Analysis: It continued WWE’s attempt to make Snow a viable singles heel, but it didn’t really work.
There was a Mideon as Mankind skit asking to go on a ride, but a guy told him that the ride is closed. Mideon as Mankind took off when security wouldn’t let him on the ride.
Test made his entrance. Clips aired of Test getting his ass kicked by Big Boss Man and Prince Albert over the last week going into this.
Big Boss Man vs. Test
Pre-match notes: Boss Man was the heel that was the Hardcore Champion, but that title was not on the line. Test was a face that was not getting over as a face.
Test started with punches. Test had a protective mask on his face. Boss Man came back with a backbreaker. Boss Man tied up Test in the ropes, Albert made his entrance and worked over Test with punches to the face while Boss Man distracted the referee. Boss Man grinded his forearm against the broken nose of Test. Running boot to the face by Test. Kick to the gut and a DDT by Test got a two count. Cole said it would be a “tremendous upset” as if Boss Man won all the time, which he did not. Test hit a spinning powerslam and punched Albert off the apron. Albert back in, he went for a Bicycle Kick, Test moved and Albert hit Boss Man. Test sent Albert out of the ring and Test covered for the pinfall win at 4:04.
Winner by pinfall: Test
Analysis: * Bad match. I don’t know why this got more time than the six man tag. It wasn’t that much more, but if a match should go shorter it’s this one. As I mentioned in the Raw review, WWE was trying to get Test over as a face. It didn’t work.
Post match, Boss Man yelled at Albert about the kick to the head.
Triple H and Stephanie were in their office on the couch. Triple H said he didn’t care who it was on the roster and nobody was going to beat him because he is that damn good. She said she liked when he talked by that.
The tumbler was shown with the names inside the balls inside it.
There was another shot of Mideon as Mankind by the Back to the Future ride.
Mean Street Posse (Joey Abs, Pete Gas and Rodney) vs. Kaientai (Taka Michinoku and Funaki)
Pre-match notes: The Posse were the heels. Funaki and Taka were the faces. Abs was the only Posse guy that was a real wrestler while Rodney and Gas were real life friends of Shane McMahon.
The Posse started off in control. Some of the punches that Gas threw looked so bad. He was not even coming close to connecting. Taka hit a dive outside the ring followed by a low dropkick to Abs. Fuanki hit a neckbreaker on the ropes on Abs. Rodney with a knee to the back of Funaki, Abs with a suplex and a gutwrench takedown. Rodney was in, he launched Funaki into the air and Abs hit a powerbomb. Gas said he wanted to finish him, so Gas hit a sitout spinebuster on Funaki called the Gas Mask for the two count. Rodney tried a body slam, Taka got back into it with a missile dropkick and Funaki rolled up Rodney for the pinfall win at 3:02.
Winners by pinfall: Kaientai
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match. The Mean Street Posse gimmick was fine when they didn’t wrestle, but Abs was the only guy of the three that could work decently. The crowd didn’t care about any of this and I don’t blame them.
Triple H and Stephanie were backstage on the couch saying it was time to find out who will face Triple H for the WWF Title. They left.
The wrestlers were in a room backstage. Stephanie McMahon stood in front of the room saying that this concerns every one of them. She said that never before in the history of the WWF has there been a champion with such honor and dignity. All of their names have been entered and only one has been chosen. Triple H entered the room with the WWF Title in his left hand. He said he was proud to be the WWF Champion, he looks at this as being a leader for them and a role model. He said that when he retires, they can take his place and become the WWF Champion while becoming a leader. He said take notice about what they are about to do because never before has a champion had a random drawing where anybody has a chance to be champion.
They spun the tumbler that was in the front of the room, Stephanie picked a ball, opened it up and Hunter read that the winner is…Andre the Giant. Sorry, but he’s dead. Hunter said if Andre was there he’d kick his ass. They opened up another plastic ball, read the name and it said…Fabulous Moolah. Hunter said if they got in the ring together it would be one for the ages, but he’s looking for a more serious challenger.
Triple H called on Howard Finkel to draw the name, but Finkel tripped and knocked over the tumbler. Finkel picked one, took way too long to open it and said it’s Rikishi. Triple H checked to make sure. Triple H sold it like he was mad about that. The guys in the locker room chanted “Rikishi” while Hunter left angrily.
Analysis: It took a while, but they finally got to the reveal. Rikishi was getting a lot of momentum as a face, so it was a good choice to pick him to face Triple H.
The fake Mankind that was Mideon was at Universal Studios when the real Mankind showed up for an attack. Foley beat up Mideon and whipped him into screen. Foley stomped away on him and said “have a nice day you son of a bitch.”
Analysis: That was building all show long with the fake Mankind comedy skits.
Replays aired of the Mankind segment and the Triple H lottery won by Rikishi.
Rikishi Phatu made his entrance. That’s how they spelled his name. His real last name is spelled Fatu. Rikishi had his Too Cool buddies with him for the entrance, but then he told them to go to the back. The crowd liked Rikishi a lot during this period.
Triple H made his entrance, he’s the WWF Champion and he had his storyline wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley with him. The water spit that he is known to do on the apron was not part of the entrance at this point, but that was coming soon. Stephanie joined the commentary team for the match.
WWF Championship: Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Rikishi Phatu
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel WWF Champion that I’ll refer to as Hunter. Rikishi was the face.
Hunter attacked with punches before the bell rang, but Rikishi came back with punches and a back body drop. Rikishi continued the offense outside the ring as he whipped Hunter into the steel steps followed by a body slam on the floor. Rikishi hit a leg drop on the floor with Cole saying that it was 400 pounds dropping on the champion. Stephanie: “That certainly concerns me.” Hunter came back with a hard whip that sent Rikishi into the steel steps at ringside. Hunter sent Rikishi back in. Rikishi with a punch, Hunter came back with a facebuster knee smash into the knee while X-Pac, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn were shown watching in the locker room. Hunter with a clothesline leading to flip bump from Rikishi for a two count. That was a great bump by Rikishi. They left the ring again with Rikishi whipping Hunter into the barricade and a clothesline by Rikishi. Back in the ring, Rikishi hit a running back splash followed by a Samoan Drop for a two count that got a pretty good reaction from the crowd. Rikishi blocked a punch and hit a belly to belly suplex. Rikishi dragged Hunter towards the turnbuckle, Stephanie was freaking out and Rikishi hit the Banzai Drop for a two count because Hunter kicked out. That was an even better nearfall. Rikishi set up for the Rikishi Driver, Hunter slipped out, kick to the gut and Pedigree attempt, but Rikishi hit a back body drop. Rikishi with a superkick for a two count with no leg hook. Another great nearfall. Rikishi missed a splash attempt, Stephanie left the announce table, she handed Hunter the steel chair, Stephanie on the apron and Hunter hit Rikishi in the head with a steel chair for two. The ref is apparently deaf. Hunter freaked out at referee Tim White. That drew a good reaction. The fans chanted “Rikishi” as Stephanie handed Triple H the championship and Hunter hit Rikishi in the head with title. The ref saw it, so that led to the disqualification at 7:12.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi (Triple H is still the WWF Champion)
Analysis: *** That was a very good match for the time given. More time would have been nice, but I enjoyed it. The positive thing about a match where you only get about seven minutes is there is no wasted time with headlocks and stuff like that to slow the pace down. They went full speed from the beginning of the match with several believable nearfalls in the match. I think this was WWE’s way of trying to build up Rikishi as a credible threat because they needed faces on the roster to step up after The Rock as the top face. The fans liked Rikishi, so it’s easy to see why he was put in that spot. I thought it was really well booked.
Post match, the fans chanted “Asshole” at Triple H. Hunter got another chair, he hit Rikishi in the ribs with it and a chair to the back. Referees were in the ring to break it up. Rikishi got back to his feet and he wanted more, but Hunter went up the ramp with Stephanie. The DX trio were shown in the locker room.
The Too Cool team of Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty joined Rikishi for a post match dance much to the delight of the crowd. Triple H and Stephanie made angry faces about it. The show ended with the dancing trio.
Analysis: You would think that finish and booking would lead to a big match between Hunter and Rikishi, but it didn’t really build to anything like that because Hunter had the feud with Cactus Jack.
This episode had a run time of 1:29:00 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Rock
- Triple H
This episode gets a 5.5 out of 10.
They had nine matches in two hours. That’s a lot. They waited until the final twenty minutes of the show to find out who would be in the main event match against Triple H, which is rare. Normally you want an announce a main event a lot earlier in the show.
Some of the match finishes were frustrating because they did four DQ’s out of the nine matches on the show. That’s a lot. I would have liked to see some better endings to these matches.
That’s all for now. The next WWF 2000 review will be the January 10, 2000 edition of Raw. Thanks for reading.
Please let me know what you think of these reviews and feel free to offer any suggestions too.