This week’s Smackdown saw WWE continue on the road to Backlash. On the previous edition of Raw, The Rock won a Handicap Steel Cage match against Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan to earn a WWF Title match against Triple H. That’s the singles match that everybody wanted at WrestleMania, but we had to wait until Backlash instead.
Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network: “The Rock teams with The Acolytes to face WWE Champion, Triple H, the Big Bossman, and Bull Buchanan. Plus, Chris Jericho, Rikishi, and more.”
WWF Smackdown #34
April 13, 2000 (Taped April 11)
From the Ice Palace in Tampa, Florida
This show has a TV-14 rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network.
A video package aired showing the highlights from the previous Raw when Rock beat Boss Man and Buchanan in a Steel Cage to earn a WWF Title shot. After the match, Rock was beat up by Triple H, Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon. The Acolytes made the save. Rock was a bloody mess after the attack.
The Smackdown intro video aired. The crowd was loud in the arena, the pyro went off and signs were all over the place. The announcers were Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
Rikishi Phatu made his entrance with Cole starting off with a ridiculous statement by saying this might be the biggest Smackdown ever. It was not.
Eddie Guerrero was up next as the opponent with Chyna by his side. Eddie gave Chyna a bouquet of flowers. Eddie said that as the true European Champion, it would be a disgrace for this title to go to an islander from Samoa. Eddie wondered if anybody knew where Samoa was. Eddie said that Rikishi may have the biggest ass in the world, but Eddie has the most Latino Heat in the world.
European Championship: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Rikishi Phatu
Pre-match notes: Eddie was the heel champion and Rikishi was the face.
The fans chanted “Eddie sucks” so Eddie covered Chyna’s ears, which was funny. Rikishi hit a body slam for a two count. Corner clothesline by Rikishi. The ref bumped after Rikishi bumped into him, so Chyna smashed the flower vase on Rikishi’s head and Eddie covered for two as the referee delivered a slow count. Guerrero with a running kick that sent Rikishi out of the ring leading to a Chyna clothesline that Rikishi sold well with a flip bump. Guerrero with a senton over the top into the ring for a two count. The fans chanted “Rikishi” as Eddie hit a dropkick to the knee of Rikishi. Back body drop by Rikishi followed by a Samoan Drop. Rikishi with a running back splash against the turnbuckle. Rikishi set up for the Stinkface against the turnbuckle, so Chyna went into the ring and referee Mike Chioda saw her. Eddie dropkicked Rikishi into Chyna, Rikishi with a superkick on Eddie and Rikishi hit the Stinkface on Chyna against the turnbuckle to a huge pop from the crowd. Chyna sold it like she was going to puke. The fans loved that. Chyna hit Rikishi with a low blow punch to the groin for the DQ finish at 5:09.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi Phatu (Guerrero is still champion)
Analysis: **1/2 Good match that was competitive. It was hurt by the cheap ending, but that’s because they didn’t want to do a title change or beat Rikishi, so DQ was their best option.
There was a shot of Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon in their office. Shane noted that Vince isn’t there tonight, but said they should have more fun than they did on Monday.
There was a shot of The Rock driving up to the arena and had a big bandage on his head. Hunter, Shane and Stephanie headed to the ring.
Let’s Hear from Hunter and the McMahons
Triple H, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Shane McMahon made their entrance. Hunter had a smile on his face as he had the WWF Championship on his shoulder and Stephanie had the Women’s Championship that she never defended. Somebody with a red laser pen tried to put it in Hunter’s face.
Analysis: For several weeks now, they did the opening promo on Smackdown in the second segment rather than the opener. I don’t know the reason for it, but maybe they felt like they needed to start with a match.
Shane was greeted with “Asshole” chants. Shane was fired up saying what happened on Raw was fantastic. There were loud “Rocky” chants. Shane said that people chanted that to Rock on Monday when he was lying at their feet in this very ring. Shane said that was such a proud moment to be there with Triple H. Shane said he is proud that Triple H is the WWF Champion. Shane said that for Rock, it was game over. Shane also said that he is proud that Triple H is his brother-in-law and they hugged.
Stephanie grabbed the microphone leading to “slut” chants. She said she’s emotional just like dad. Stephanie said she knows her dad wanted to keep this as a surprise and fans chanted “slut” again. She said that when Hunter faces Rock for the WWF Title, Vince will be in Hunter’s corner.
Hunter took over to say he’s honored that Vince would be in his corner. Hunter said that he knows Vince is a bit of a glory hound and he didn’t want Vince to think he would steal his thunder. Hunter said that he wants to do this himself, Vince can be in his corner and Hunter will destroy Rock’s dreams once and for all. Hunter said that on Raw, he showed Rock what it means to be a champion like himself while showing the world what it’s like to be the best. Hunter said that it takes a lot of sweat, a lot of tears and on Monday night, it takes a whole lot of your blood. Hunter said that Rock can keep coming back and Hunter will keep teaching him that same lesson. Hunter said it doesn’t matter how much sweat, tears and blood there is because it will all be for nothing. Hunter said that Rock will never be the WWF Champion because he will never beat Triple H. Cue the interruption.
The Rock’s music hit as the People’s Champ entered to a thunderous ovation. Rock had the bandaged forehead as I mentioned earlier.
Hunter said that Rock is in his home state and he’s there to talk about his chance to be WWF Champion. Hunter said he thought about where Rock should get his title shot and suggested tonight in Rock’s home state of Florida. Hunter said that it’s a big match, so they should do it someplace important and make it in Washington, DC at Backlash.
The Rock said that on Monday night, Triple H beat his ass and left him laying in a pool of his own blood, and yes Rock could barely stand. Rock said that just as sure as Triple H stands there with a silver spoon jackass (he means Shane) and by a bargain, basement slut (that would be Stephanie – “slut” was bleeped), is as sure as Monday night, The Rock still walked out with his shot at the WWF Title. Rock said that they should bring on Vince McMahon, the congress, the senate, George Washington and bring him too. Rock said that there ain’t nobody that will stop Rock from whipping his candy ass.
Hunter noted that Rock is about 60% tonight after what happened on Raw. Hunter said that tonight in this ring it’s going be Rock and Hunter…but not in a singles match. Hunter said it’s not for his WWF Championship. Hunter told Rock to get his buddies the Acolytes while Hunter brings Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man in a six-man tag team match.
Rock said that this match is Hunter’s grand master scheme and the best he can come up with. Hunter said I’ll tell you what and Rock busted out “it doesn’t matter” to a big pop. Rock said he guarantees, no he promises the people, he is going to walk out of Backlash as the WWF Champion…if you smell what the Rock is cooking.
Analysis: Fun promo as usual from these guys. They set up the main event tag team match on this show and also the main event of Backlash, so I think they accomplished a lot there.
Al Snow and Steve Blackman were shown in a retirement home to visit some seniors where Blackman found out he had to do some comedy for the old people. It was from earlier today with more to come later.
The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt Hardy) vs. Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko
Pre-match notes: The Hardys were the faces while Benoit and Malenko were part of the Radicals and they were heels.
Matt started with Malenko, who hit a dropkick into Benoit, who had tagged in hit two German Suplexes on Matt. Benoit whipped Matt into the corner and Matt hit a bulldog off the middle ropes. Double team leg drop/fist drop by the Hardys on Benoit. Double team leg drop on Malenko by the Hardys. Malenko tagged in, Benoit held Jeff and Malenko jumped off the top with a clothesline to put down Jeff. Belly to back suplex by Malenko on Jeff. Benoit with a snap suplex on Jeff. Benoit with a backbreaker. Malenko back in with a corner clothesline on Jeff. Benoit with a lefty clothesline on Jeff followed by a running back elbow for two. Malenko tagged in with a baseball slide dropkick after a drop toe hold by Benoit on Jeff. Benoit with a forearm to Jeff’s back and he set Jeff off the top rope leading to a suplex by Benoit, but Jeff landed on top. Matt got the hot tag with punches on Malenko, back body drops for both guys and Malenko with a running heel kick to the face of Matt for two. Jeff hit a running corner attack on Malenko, then Benoit with a clothesline on Jeff and Benoit tossed Jeff out of the ring. Malenko went after Matt with a body slam, Malenko covered and Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb on Malenko’s back leading to Matt covering Malenko for the pinfall win at 6:51. Jeff hit a dropkick on Benoit to prevent the save.
Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz
Analysis: ***1/4 Very good tag team match that was better than most TV matches in this era. The heels were in control for about five minutes and then the action really picked up after the hot tag. I thought the finish was terrific with the Hardys taking advantage of the referee trying to get Benoit out of the ring, which set up the Swanton Bomb for Jeff. I think the right team went over sine the Hardys were more of a regular tag team.
Kurt Angle was in the office with Triple H and Shane McMahon. Hunter said that maybe they were wrong about Kurt and said that Kurt was screwed out of his titles at WrestleMania. Hunter presented Angle with a chance at the WWF Tag Team Championships and Shane said it was the 7’2” and 500-pound Big Show as Kurt’s partner. Angle was happy about it.
The WWF Smack of the Night showed The Acolytes helping Crash Holly win back the Hardcore Title two weeks earlier on Smackdown.
Hardcore Championship: Crash Holly vs. Perry Saturn
Pre-match notes: Crash was a heel at times, but more of a face by this point. Saturn was a heel that was the only member of the Radicals without a title.
Saturn brought a trash can with weapons to the ringside area. Saturn sent Crash into the apron and then Crash whipped Saturn into the steel steps. Crash hit a headscissors into a two count. Saturn hit a Powerbomb counter that sent Crash’s back into a sign. Saturn with a trash can lid to the head for two, then Crash used the trash can lid to the head for two. Saturn hit a slam off the shoulders. Saturn slammed Crash ribs first into the turnbuckle. Crash hit a Tornado DDT out of the corner for a two count. Saturn superkicked a cookie sheet in Crash’s face and pinned him to win the title at 3:10.
Winner by pinfall and New Hardcore Champion: Perry Saturn
Analysis: *1/2 It was a mildly entertaining match. The finish was weak. It meant that Saturn held a title just like his three Radicals buddies, but this wouldn’t last very long.
Tazz ran down to the ring, cookie sheet to the head of Saturn and he pinned him with a new referee Jimmy Korderas there to count and Tazz was the new Hardcore Champion.
Winner by pinfall and New Hardcore Champion: Tazz
Crash was back up with a cookie sheet to the head of Tazz and Crash covered to win the title again.
Winner by pinfall and New Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly
Crash ran up the ramp with the Hardcore Title. Tazz and Saturn got into a fight until referees showed up to break it up.
Analysis: The story was that Crash escaped with the title again.
Back at the senior’s home, Steve Blackman was reading some bad jokes that Al Snow wrote. The joke was bad while Snow loved it. The old people hated it. One of the old people yelled, “You stink, Blackman!” Hilarious! Not really.
Kurt Angle entered with a microphone in hand for a promo. Angle said he had a partner that is guaranteed to bring home the Tag Team Titles. Angle introduced the most dominant force in sports entertainment today, Big Show.
Big Show made his entrance wearing a kilt and a hat dressed like Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movie. Shane and Triple H were shown watching it backstage and laughing about it. Angle asked Show what he’s doing. Show said he’s trying to have a wee bit of fun. Show said that the audience wanted to know what was under his kilt and Angle stopped him. Show said let’s get this thing going.
Analysis: That was a weak Scottish impression from Show, but he looked funny at least.
WWF Tag Team Championships: Edge and Christian vs. Kurt Angle and Big Show
Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were the tag team champions. They were morphing into heels, but were booked as faces sometimes too. Angle was a heel while Show was becoming a comedic face.
Show whipped Edge across the ring, chop block by Christian, double team dropkick on Show, Edge splash on Show against the turnbuckle and Show press slammed Christian down. Show went for a Chokeslam on Edge, but Christian saved his partner. Show whipped E&C into the turnbuckle, so Angle tagged himself in and ate a double team flapjack from the fans. Edge and Christian hit a double team headbutt on Angle. Clothesline from Angle on Christian. Angle went to tag in Show, but Show was dancing on the apron like a dumbass, so Edge hit a German Suplex on Angle for two. Angle hit a double arm belly to belly suplex on Edge. Angle argued with Show, Angle slapped him in the face and Show whipped Angle out of the ring. Show worked over Angle with punches. The referee counted Angle out, so Edge and Christian won at 3:03.
Winners by countout: Edge and Christian
Analysis: *1/2 It was okay while it lasted, but it was mostly about getting over Show’s new persona where he just wants to have fun and also reminding people he can get angry if you piss him off too.
Post match, Show went into the ring with Angle and hit a Powerbomb on him. Show left with a serious look on his face because he was pissed off that Angle slapped him.
Analysis: This would set up their match at Backlash with Angle facing Big Show.
There was a backstage scene by the water/coffee area where Chris Jericho asked two ladies if they have seen The Godfather. It was Stephanie McMahon and Tori, not ho’s. Jericho said he was sorry and he left. Tori and Stephanie were mad about it.
Analysis: There’s the beginning of the long term Stephanie/Jericho feud.
The team of T&A entered with Trish Stratus, which makes me happy only because Trish is there. The Dudleys were up next for this singles match. Obligatory Trish photo time.
Albert (w/Test and Trish Stratus) vs. Bubba Ray Dudley (w/D-Von Dudley)
Pre-match notes: The T&A guys were heels although Trish was always cheered because she’s hot. The Dudleys were heels for several months, but this feud turned them into faces.
Albert worked over Bubba with punches until Bubba came back with a shoulder tackle. Trish went on the apron, Bubba took a swing at her, he missed and Albert hit a kick for two. Sidewalk slam got a two count for Albert. Albert went to the middle rope, took way too much time, jumped off with a leg drop, Bubba moved and Bubba hit a DDT for a two count. They did a spot where Bubba jumped up, Albert caught him and Albert hit a Powerbomb. I don’t like spots where there’s a counter of a move that obviously was going nowhere. It’s not like Bubba does hurricanranas out there. After a whip into the ropes, Bubba came back with a Cutter that Bubba does when doing the 3D and he covered for the win at 2:31.
Winner by pinfall: Bubba Ray Dudley
Analysis: *1/4 Boring match that was designed to continue this storyline. Albert was on offense for most of it and Bubba beat him with one move, which made Albert look weak.
Post match, Test decked D-Von with a clothesline on the floor. Trish grabbed a table from under the ring with Test helping her out. Test set up the table in the ring. Test tried to put Bubba through a table, but D-Von hit Test in the back D-Von hit Albert in the head with a chair. Bubba went to the top rope and jumped on Albert to put him through the table. Trish was furious at ringside while Bubba and D-Von celebrated their actions.
Analysis: It continued this storyline with the teams trading moments where they put the other guys through tables. The match was boring, but in terms of the storyline, it was effective in the sense that it did turn the Dudleys into a popular team.
Chris Jericho was in the locker room when Stephanie and Tori showed up. Jericho said he wanted to apologize for what he said earlier while adding that they are as attractive as the Godfather’s ho’s. Stephanie said good luck in his match against X-Pac while adding that he must face Road Dogg too. Jericho wasn’t happy about that.
There was a shot of Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs at ringside. He wasn’t in the HOF yet because he was still playing or Tampa Bay, but he made it.
Steve Blackman was back at the retirement home. Blackman told a bad “yo momma” joke, then the woman said her mom died in 1964 and Blackman was mad about it, so he teased hitting her with his nunchuks.
Fabulous Moolah and Terri vs. Mae Young and The Kat
Pre-match notes: This won’t be good. Those are my notes.
Young choked Terri against the turnbuckle. Young was 77 years old at the time. Moolah went into the ring, Kat slapped her and Moolah did some hair tossing on Kat followed by some weak slaps. Terri back in with Kat getting a nearfall on her. Kat dumped Terri out of the ring. That led to a chase outside the ring where Terri tossed a glass of water on Kat. Lawler was excited because it could become a wet t-shirt contest. The old ladies tagged back in with Moolah hitting awkward looking monkey flips. Moolah with punches. Moolah whipped Terri to the corner. Kat and Moolah hit double bronco busters. At least that drew a pop from the crowd. Kat hit the worst looking Spear ever on Moolah and Mae covered Moolah to win at 4:16.
Winners by pinfall: Mae Young and The Kat
Analysis: -* It was awful. Who decided this deserved over four minutes? It was terrible like the WrestleMania match. I don’t know why they were given that much time. One minute would have been too much.
Mae and Kat celebrated the win. That led to a break.
Chris Jericho entered with a promo welcoming us to Tampa is Jericho. He said it seemed like he insulted Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, so he said he might as well get his money’s worth since he’s getting screwed in this tag team match. He said Rock was right to call Stephanie a bargain basement slut. Jericho called Stephanie the filthiest, dirtiest, most disgusting, skankiest, brutal, bottom-feeding, trashbag ho that he has ever seen in his life. He said he feels better now.
Analysis: That was the dawning of Jericho’s catchphrases that he would say all the time whenever he was feuding with Stephanie McMahon.
The Degeneration X team of X-Pac and Road Dogg with Tori made their entrance to the Run DMC version of their theme song.
Chris Jericho vs. Road Dogg and X-Pac (w/Tori)
Pre-match notes: Jericho was the face and the DX guys were the heels.
The heels took control early with X-Pac hitting a spin kick on Jericho. The DX guys had to tag in, but they were effective with their double teams. Jericho with a boot to the face followed by a spin kick. X-Pac back in and Dogg hit a clothesline on Jericho. Jericho came back with the Walls of Jericho on Dogg, X-Pac broke that up and Jericho hit a double Powerbomb on X-Pac. Dogg missed an elbow drop and hit X-Pac with it. Jericho with a bulldog on Dogg followed by a springboard dropkick to knock X-Pac off the apron to the floor. Tori went into the ring while the ref was distracted, so Jericho put the Walls of Jericho on her. Dogg kicked Jericho in the back and X-Pac hit the X-Factor on Jericho leading to the Dogg pin for the win after 2:24.
Winners by pinfall: Road Dogg and X-Pac
Analysis: *1/2 A quick match with a decent story where Jericho had a tough time getting going because it was a handicap match. The use of Tori was good too because that set up the finish well.
There was a scene backstage with Shane McMahon and Triple H in their office with Earl Hebner. Shane yelled at Hebner for being a terrible official. Shane said that he should fire him on the spot. Hunter said that they should just put Earl on probation, but this is his last chance. Hunter said if there’s one more screw up, Earl is fired and they told Earl to leave.
Analysis: This would set up a very memorable match on the next Raw with Triple H and Chris Jericho. I’ll get to that in the next review.
Al Snow and Steve Blackman were shown leaving the retirement home earlier today. Snow scolded Blackman for hitting some old people, which obviously didn’t happen and was not shown.
Let’s Hear from Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Muffy
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley made her entrance with an attractive blonde woman in a pink and silver outfit. Stephanie had the Women’s Title with her as they went into the ring.
Stephanie said she understood how hard it is for us to look at WWF superstars with their hard bodies, but it’s a lot tougher for them to look out at all of them. Stephanie said that we are fat, lazy, cellulite-riden people. Stephanie said that as the WWF Women’s Champion, she not only represents the women out there, but she represents all of the men and your fat kids too. Stephanie introduced us to her personal trainer and now our personal trainer, Muffy. Muffy told everybody to stand up, but that was it.
Analysis: This angle went nowhere. I looked it up and Muffy was only on Heat one other time. Then she was gone. I don’t know why they killed the angle, but they did.
The Rock was shown backstage with Farooq and Bradshaw asking if he could trust them. They didn’t give him much of an answer.
A replay aired of Monday’s Raw when Triple H and the McMahon Family beat up The Rock and left him in the ring in a bloody mess.
The intros took place for the main event. Triple H made his entrance with wifey Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Shane McMahon. His partners were up next: Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man.
The faces were up next with the Acolytes getting a mild reaction. The Rock got a massive ovation as usual. The Rock had a bandage on the left side of his head after he was busted open on Raw.
The Rock, Bradshaw and Faarooq vs. Triple H, Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Shane McMahon)
Pre-match notes: Rock, Bradshaw and Faarooq were the faces while Hunter, Bull and Boss Man were the heels.
Rock punched Boss Man out of the ring, clothesline to Bull and Rock tossed Bull out of the ring. Boss Man went back in with a punch to the throat. Hunter tagged in with boots toe the ribs of Rock. Hunter hit a jumping knee to the face. Bull back in and Rock dropped him with a DDT. Faarooq tagged in with clotheslines on the heels, Bradshaw tagged in and the APA hit a double team spinebuster on Bull. Bradshaw went up top, he jumped off and hit a shoulder tackle on Buchanan for a two count. Boot to the face by Buchanan. Buchanan did his running clothesline off the turnbuckle that he did in nearly every match. Bradshaw with a forearm to the back. Bradshaw with two neckbreakers on Buchanan. Faarooq tagged in, Shane grabbed his foot, so the heels took over with Buchanan hitting a scissors kick to the back of the head. The heels worked over Faarooq as they whipped him into the steel steps. Boss Man with a boot to the face for two on Faarooq. Hunter worked over Faarooq with stomps in the corner leading to an argument with Hunter and Earl Hebner. Shane grabbed Earl, Shane shoved Earl and Earl shoved Shane off the apron! Huge pop! Great sell by Shane.
The crowd was going crazy as Hunter argued with Hebner again. Faarooq got back up, Hunter wanted a Pedigree, but Rock saved his partner with a clothesline. Rock got the hot tag with punches on Hunter followed by a running clothesline and Buchanan attacked Rock with a forearm to the back. The APA guys sent Boss Man and Buchanan out of the ring with punches. The APA guys prevented Hunter from leaving the ring, so DX members Road Dogg and X-Pac ran down to the ring, which led to them brawling with the APA. I think that’s where we can say the match ended at around 9:03 although the bell didn’t ring to end it.
Match Result: No Contest (Sure?)
Analysis: **1/2 The match was pretty good and intense, but the lack of a finish keeps from giving it a higher rating. The story between Hebner and Hunter was effective in terms of making the fans react to it in a big way. Rock getting his hands on Hunter also drew a lot of support from the crowd.
Hunter and Rock were isolated in the ring with Rock hitting a spinebuster on Hunter. Shane went into the ring and Rock chased him out of the ring. They battled on the floor by the announce table. Rock hit Shane in the head with a monitor. Rock picked up Shane and gave him a Rock Bottom through the announce table. That drew a huge pop from the crowd.
Rock posed in the ring while Triple H escaped up the ramp and they had a staredown to end the show. They were on a collision course for a WWF Title match at Backlash later that month.
Analysis: It was a good way to build to Backlash. Rock took care of Shane by putting him through the table and the fans loved it. It was smart to not give away too much by having Hunter retreat up the ramp to get away from a further beatdown from The Rock. It was well booked as a show ending angle.
This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:30:12 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Rock – The usual greatness from him.
- Triple H – Quality work as always.
- Chris Jericho – This was when his popular was really growing.
This episode gets a 6 out of 10.
Good storyline progression throughout the show, but some bad matches hurt it too. I still liked most of it, so I’d call it an above average edition of Smackdown.
Please let me know what you think of these reviews. Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows from earlier in the year. Thanks for reading.