The road to King of the Ring 2000 continued with The Rock, The Undertaker and Kane all having a common enemy as they tried to get a title shot against the WWF Champion, Triple H.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “As the McMahon-Helmsley Faction celebrates their success, The Rock interrupts the festivities leading to a Six-Man Tag Team main event.”
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 Smackdown #42
June 8, 2000 (Taped June 6)
From the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York
This show has a TV-PG rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network. Normally it’s TV-14, but they were likely tamer this week.
The Smackdown intro video aired to start the show. The pyro went off in the arena, there were signs all over and the announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show.
Chris Jericho entered for a match and had a microphone in hand. Jericho said he faces Test in the King of the Ring tournament and Test is the “Jerkel of the Squared Circle.” That was it.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Chris Jericho vs. Test (w/Trish Stratus)
Pre-match notes: Jericho was the face and Test was the heel. All three of them are Canadian.
Test attacked Jericho with punches, Jericho came back with chops and a spinning heel kick followed by a springboard dropkick to send Test to the floor. Back in the ring, Test knocked down Jericho with a kick to the face followed by a full nelson into a slam for two. Jericho got in a few punches, but Test came back with a gutwrench Powerbomb for two. Jericho hit a missile dropkick off the middle ropes followed by a running forearm for two. Jericho with a back elbow, he went for a Lionsault, but Trish took her boot off and hit Jericho in the head for two. The ref didn’t see the boot to the head. Jericho came back with a rollup, Trish distracted the referee and Jericho shoved Test into Trish. Jericho with a bulldog followed by a Lionsault for the pinfall win at 4:15.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ** The match was fine for the time given. Jericho getting the win made sense since he was a singles wrestler and Test was in a tag team.
Trish was angry about the loss, but she looked great while looking angry, so it didn’t make me too sad.
The Rock was shown arriving to the arena. Chaz, one of the Headbangers, asked how he has been, but Rock just walked into the arena looking serious. Poor Chaz.
Let’s Hear from the McMahon-Helmsley Faction
The DX music hit as WWF Champion Triple H led the McMahon-Helmsley Faction out to the ring. It was everybody in the group except Vince McMahon. There was confetti, pyro and fireworks. Kane was shown watching on a TV backstage.
Hunter said that when something good happens to Triple H he wants to hold a big party with his friends, family and associates and tonight he wants to have that party in front of all of us. Hunter said he still despises “each and every one of you” speaking of the fans and he wants to have the party in front of them to ram it down their friggin’ throats. Hunter said that on Monday night they had three contenders for his WWF Championship and by the end of the night, they had no number one contenders because as the night went on, they got rid of Kane, The Undertaker and then in the center of the ring, Hunter defeated The Rock one, two, three. Hunter said that it proved he was The Game, he was that damn good and the undisputed WWF Champion.
Hunter said thank you to his family and friends, which led to a “Rocky” chant. Hunter thanks Pat Patterson and Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco for being the best two stooges. Hunter told X-Pac and Road Dogg they were the best, they always have his back and he’s forever thankful. Hunter told Shane he is the king of brothers, he’s always got his back and he is the giant killer. Hunter told Tori she does a good job of keeping X-Pac and Dogg in line, so he thanked her. When Hunter brought up Stephanie, the fans chanted “slut” as usual, so Hunter said that behind every great man there’s an even greater woman. Hunter said that Stephanie was the best and gave her a hug. They did a group hug, which led to the interruption from The Rock.
The Rock stood on the stage as the crowd cheered loudly for him. The Rock said he would throw a party of his own right here in Buffalo (cheap pop). Rock said that at his party, the only thing he’ll serve is payback.
The Rock said that tonight it’s not about the WWF Title, it’s about The Rock giving Triple H an ass kicking of a lifetime. Rock said it could be him against Triple in a No DQ match, Rock vs. DX in a handicap match or Rock vs. Stephanie in a “Stick 50 Balloons Up Your Ass” match. That drew a pop. Rock said that he would get payback tonight.
Hunter said Rock’s anger is misguided. Hunter told Rock if he’s looking at payback, he’s staring in the wrong direction. Hunter said he had some footage prepared as a clip aired from Judgment Day when Undertaker attacked Hunter to cause the DQ that cost Rock the WWF Title. Then last Monday on Raw, Undertaker gave Rock a Chokeslam after Rock hit Taker in the back with an accidental chair shot leading to Hunter winning the match. Hunter wondered about luck striking twice in the exact same place in the ring.
The Undertaker made his entrance on a motorcycle and he went down to ringside where he drove the motorcycle around the ring while Kane was still watching in the locker room.
Undertaker went into the ring and went after the Faction with punches for everybody. Hunter hit Taker in the back with a forearm. The Rock stayed on the stage watching what was going on. Taker fought back with punches, but there were too many guys. Rock finally ran down to the ring with punches for all the heels. Taker stopped a Shane chair attack with a punch to the face. X-Pac grabbed the chair, but Taker kicked the chair in his face. Taker grabbed the chair, X-Pac ducked and Taker hit Rock in the head with the chair. Rock got his hand up to block, but he sold it like he was knocked out. Taker hit Hunter in the back with the chair and the heels left. Undertaker went up the ramp on the motorcycle to chase the heels away.
Analysis: It was the typical long promo segment to get some heat on the heels with Hunter bragging and Rock wanting revenge. The part with Taker hitting Rock with the chair was a follow up from Raw when Rock hit Taker by accident with the chair. Both of them were accidental chair shots.
They replayed the action from before the break.
The Rock was shown walking backstage where he found a locker room door that said “Undertaker” on it. Kane was in the room. Rock asked where Undertaker was. Rock got in Kane’s face and they had a staredown. Kane said he would scramble Rock’s brains for him, that led to Rock shoving him and they got into a brawl. Referees showed up to break it up.
Analysis: It continued the story that the trio of Rock, Kane and Undertaker had issues even though they are faces.
WWF Tag Team Championships: Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty) vs. The Godfather and Dean Malenko
Pre-match notes: Too Cool were the face champions. Malenko was a heel Light Heavyweight Champion that liked the hos provided by The Godfather, who was a face. The Dean/Godfather team didn’t really earn a title shot, but they gave title shots more often in this era.
Too Cool cleared the challengers from the ring early on. Godfather came back with a splash on Scotty and Sexay hit a kick to the face of Godfather. Double team elbow from Too Cool missed. Godfather with a back body drop on Scotty, Malenko tagged in and hit a clothesline on Scotty. Malenko with a suplex. Godfather and Malenko with a double team back elbow on Scotty. Malenko with a corner clothesline on Scotty, but Scotty came back with a reverse suplex. Sexay got the hot tag with punches, a back body drop and a powerslam for two with Godfather making the save. Scotty back in and he hit the bulldog on Malenko. Scotty hit the W-O-R-M into a chop on Malenko with the crowd marking out for it. Godfather knocked Scotty out of the ring and the ladies picked up Scotty, so Godfather punched Scotty. The referee kept Godfather from going back into the ring, so Sexay hit a back body drop and Sexay hit a Hip Hop Drop leg drop on Malenko for the win at 4:59.
Winners by pinfall: Too Cool
Analysis: **1/4 It was a basic match to put the champs over. The team of Godfather and Malenko team didn’t really work. There was a lack of chemistry, but I guess WWE just wanted to try it to add depth to the tag team division.
Somebody let Brian know he’s a jabroni. I don’t think they meant Brian Christopher aka Grandmaster Sexay either.
The McMahon-Helmsley Faction were back in their office celebrating that Undertaker, Rock and Kane were all at each other’s throats. Hunter said it would be a great night to pick those guys apart, so Road Dogg suggested a six-man tag team match. Shane said that’s the match tonight. Hunter didn’t seem thrilled about it.
Analysis: It gave us the main event for later in the show with the DX trio of Hunter, Road Dogg and X-Pac against Rock, Kane and Undertaker.
The show returned for the intros for the next match, which was another title match.
Intercontinental Championship: Chris Benoit vs. Jeff Hardy
Pre-match notes: Benoit was the heel champion while Jeff was a face that was normally a tag team wrestler.
Benoit stomped away on “young” Jeff Hardy as Cole called him. That’s fine since Jeff was young here. Jeff hit a corkscrew crossbody block off the top followed a moonsault for two. Hardy up top, he went for a 450 Splash, Benoit moved and Hardy hit the mat hard. Benoit stomped away on an upside-down Jeff against the turnbuckle. Benoit with a suplex that sent Jeff ribs first into the top rope and Benoit kicked Hardy to the floor. Benoit whipped Hardy into the turnbuckle with Jeff taking the bump to the sternum. Hardy came back with a headscissors, Benoit wanted a Powerbomb, but Jeff rolled through into a sunset flip for two. Hardy avoided a Benoit charge and hit a spin kick. Hardy with a somersault dive over the top onto Benoit on the floor. Jeff went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb near the ropes, so Benoit got his right foot on the bottom rope to break up the count. Jeff went for a go behind into a suplex attempt, but Benoit slipped out and slapped on the Crippler Crossface for the submission win at 5:32.
Winner by submission: Chris Benoit
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a really good TV match. Even though nobody thought Hardy was going to take the title here, they had some believable nearfalls where it looked like Jeff might find a way to win. When Jeff hit the Swanton, you could tell they would do the rope spot because they were so close to it, but that’s better than having Benoit kick out of a finish. I’m glad that Jeff got as much as offense as he did because he looked credible here.
After the match, Benoit extended his hand for a shake and Jeff shook his hand. The fans cheered until Benoit hit Jeff in the head with the IC Title. Benoit laughed about it and left.
The Stacker 2 replay showed a clip from Raw when the Dudleys gave Kurt Angle a 3D through a table.
My favorite trio of Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian made their entrance for a handicap match. Cole said the rumor is that Stephanie put this match together to continue the story that Stephanie had a crush on Angle.
Angle did a promo saying that when you lose, you should show sportsmanship or vow to do better, but you don’t put Olympic Heroes through tables. Angle said that children will fail their finals after what the Dudleys did to him. Angle reminded us that Christian lost the Tag Team Titles when a midget hit him in the genitals with a hockey stick. Angle said that this world is full of sore losers.
Christian said that they were in the capital city of sore losers, Buffalo, New York. Christian mentioned Super Bowls, Stanley Cup Finals, OJ and it doesn’t get any more depressing than right here. Edge said even though they are sore losers, here’s a new pose. Edge had a long title for this pose about how the Bills missed the field goal (Super Bowl in the 1990-91 season), so then Angle mocked the kick that went wide right. The fans were booing loudly.
The Dudleys got a nice pop especially because the fans hated the heels for the Buffalo mockery.
Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
Pre-match notes: Angle, Edge and Christian were heels while the Dudleys were faces.
Angle with a clothesline on D-Von. Edge tagged in, she went for an attack off the ropes on D-Von, but D-Von stopped him with a punch. Bubba Ray Dudley tagged in with body slams and a Samoan Drop. D-Von went up top for the headbutt, but Christian tripped him up. Edge sent Bubba out of the ring. Edge put Christian on his shoulders leading to a superplex. The referee was looking at the guys on the floor instead of the ring as Bubba avoided a Spear, so Edge hit Angle with the Spear. Bubba went back in the ring and the Dudleys hit the 3D for the pinfall win at 1:40.
Winners by pinfall: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
Analysis: *1/2 That was so rushed. A tag team match with five good performers and they got under two minutes? That’s lame. It gave the Dudleys some positive momentum, but it made Edge, Christian and Angle look like losers.
Stephanie McMahon, the Women’s Champion, was interviewed backstage by Jonathon Coachman. She said she would face the winner of the women’s battle royal later in the show. Stephanie opened the locker room door to see Lita, Jacqueline and The Kat in the locker room in their underwear, so Stephanie shut the door and left Coachman in there. Coach left to end the segment.
Kane was shown backstage when The Undertaker walked up to him wondering why Kane stayed back there while DX stomped a mudhole in him. Kane told him not to worry about the six-man tag.
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley entered with the Women’s Title on her shoulder and she as joined by Tori, who was looking great in a very tight referee shirt. Tori was announced as the special guest referee. The fans booed that.
The entrances took place for the battle royal that featured…five women? Yep. That’s it. Stephanie joined the announce team for this match. The wrestlers are The Kat, Terri, Ivory, Jacqueline and Lita.
Battle Royal: Lita vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline vs. The Kat vs. Terri
Pre-match notes: Lita was a face, The Kat was a face, Terri was a heel and the other two were barely on TV.
Eliminations can occur by pinfall or being thrown out of the ring and touching the floor.
There was a double hip toss by Jackie and Ivory on Lita. Terri gave the worst looking body slam to Kat and Terri tossed Kat out of the ring above the middle ropes. Lita tossed Terri out of the ring above the middle ropes as well. Jackie with a clothesline with Lita, who was showing a lot of the top of her thong, which became her thing. Lita went back with a forearm to the back. Lita with a headscissors that sent Jackie out of the ring to the floor to eliminate her. Lita and Ivory were the last two women with Ivory hitting a body slam, but then she missed a diving attack off the ropes. Lita with a suplex. Lita went up top and hit her moonsault for the pinfall win (Tori counted the pin) at 2:44.
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match as you would expect with this grouping. It was a good way to put over Lita.
Post match, Lita pointed at Stephanie for the match now. Tori hit Lita with a forearm to the back. Tori picked up Lita and tossed her across the ring.
Women’s Championship: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley vs. Lita
Stephanie entered the ring in her dress clothes including high heels. Stephanie told them to ring the bell to start the match. Stephanie covered Lita and Tori counted the pin at 0:11.
Winner by pinfall: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
Analysis: Match of the year! It was Stephanie’s first title defense after she won the title two months earlier.
Also, somebody let Brian know he’s a jabroni.
Replays aired of the cheap attack by Stephanie and Tori.
Lita was interviewed by Kevin Kelly backstage. Lita said this is a game to Stephanie, but it not a game to her and this is not over.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Matt Hardy
Pre-match notes: Eddie was a face that was the European Champion while Hardy was also a face. Chyna already advanced into the round of 16 in the King of the Ring tournament.
Hardy was in control with an armbar. Guerrero with a shoulder tackle, Hardy came back with a hip toss and a tilt-a-whirl slam. Hardy with a flapjack. Guerrero countered a Twist of Fate attempt into a backslide for two. Guerrero with a hurricanrana for two. They did an exchange of nearfalls leading to several two counts and then Guerrero hit a neckbreaker. Guerrero went up top and Hardy brought him down with a superplex. Guerrero came back with a Northern Lights suplex. Guerrero went up top for the Frog Splash, but Hardy moved out of the way. Hardy sent Guerrero into the top turnbuckle, back elbow by Guerrero and a hurricanrana off the ropes got the pin for Guerrero at 4:12. Hardy argued with the ref about it claiming he got his shoulder up.
Winner by pinfall: Eddie Guerrero
Analysis: **3/4 Good match. More time would have been nice, but they still had a nice showing with several nearfalls. Guerrero winning with something other than a Frog Splash was likely done just to show how close the match was with Matt kicking out right after the pinfall.
Val Venis was getting ready in the locker room where the lovely Trish Stratus complained about Rikishi putting his ass in her face. Stratus told Venis she was humiliated in front of millions of people and his family. Venis said what they had in common was they wanted Val to win some gold. Val said he will make Rikishi pay tonight and all she has to do is hold up her end of the bargain.
A replay was shown of Rikishi giving Trish Stratus the Stinkface on the previous Raw.
Val Venis entered with the lovely Trish Stratus as Cole reminded us this relationship is strictly business. Rikishi got a big pop for his entrance.
Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus) vs. Rikishi
Pre-match notes: Venis was a heel and Rikishi was a face. Both guys were already in the final 16 in the King of the Ring tournament.
Venis attacked Rikishi when he got into the ring and took him down with a clothesline. Rikishi with a Samoan Drop on Venis followed by punches and a corner clothesline. Rikishi hit a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Venis fell down against the turnbuckle, so Stratus went into the ring. Stratus threw some powder into Rikishi’s eyes for the DQ at 1:23.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi
Analysis: * It wasn’t much of a match, but there was more to the story here.
Shoutout to the guy with the “I Have To Poop” sign in the bottom right. For the sake of those around him, I hope he found a toilet.
Venis knocked down Rikishi with a clothesline followed by punches that sent Rikishi out of the ring. Stratus whipped Rikishi into the steel steps. Venis hit Rikishi with the steel steps to the face. Rikishi put his head under the ring and he came up bleeding, so he did a blade job. Venis tossed referee Teddy Long into the crowd. Venis worked over Rikishi with more punches as other referees and Long tried to stop the attack. Venis hit Rikishi in the head with the ring bell two times. Stratus was happy about it. Venis celebrated his attack with his foot on Rikishi’s chest. They replayed the attack.
Rikishi was still on his feet as he left the ring, so Venis tried to continue the attack. Rikishi came back with punches and he rammed Val’s head into the steel stage repeatedly. Rikishi grabbed Trish, but referees made his stop. Rikishi with a leg drop on the stage. Rikishi with a superkick leading to Venis bumping off the stage. It looked like Venis landed on some well-placed mats. Rikishi stood at the edge of the stage and jumped off with a Superfly Splash onto Venis! That was impressive. It drew a good pop and the announcers were freaking out about it.
Analysis: That was a great angle that I remembered very well. Venis looked strong in beating up and bloodying Rikishi, but then Rikishi was impressive in coming back the attack on the stage followed the big splash. Rikishi was positioned as one of the top faces in WWE during the early part of 2000, but with Undertaker and Kane back, he moved down the ladder a bit. This feud with Venis was good for Rikishi as a face and Venis as a heel. It would continue over the summer. I thought it was the highlight of this show. It was really well done by everybody involved. What we didn’t know at the time is that Rikishi would do an even more impressive splash in the future.
There was a shot of Val Venis getting wheeled out of the arena on a stretcher. They replayed the Rikishi splash. Cole and Lawler said they had never seen anything like it.
The announce team of Cole and Lawler recapped some King of the Ring matches so far with Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero advancing to the round of 16.
Chris Benoit was shown walking backstage with Kevin Kelly asking him to explain his actions from earlier in the night. Benoit said he did what he did because he wanted to. Cole: “He’s flat out scary.” GULP.
The Undertaker, Kane and The Rock were shown in separate parts of the arena as they walked to the ring for the main event.
The McMahon-Helmsley Faction group entered for DX in a tag team match main event.
The faces made their entrances individually with Kane out first and when Kane entered the ring, the bell rang even without his partners there.
Triple H, Road Dogg and X-Pac (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Shane McMahon, Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson and Tori) vs. The Rock, Kane and The Undertaker
Pre-match notes: The DX guys were the heels while Rock, Kane and Undertaker were the faces. Triple H was the WWF Champion.
Kane tried to fight off DX on his own. The Undertaker made his entrance walking to the ring. Taker decked X-Pac, Road Dogg and Triple H with punches. The Rock made his entrance last to a huge ovation from the crowd. That’s the usual. Rock worked over Hunter with punches and the DX guys were cleared from the ring. Kane tossed Road Dogg back into the ring for Taker to work him over with punches. Taker dropped Dogg with a boot to the face. Taker worked over Dogg with punches followed by a back elbow to the face and Kane was tagged in. X-Pac tagged in and Kane hit a double suplex on Dogg/X-Pac at the same time. Kane with a gorilla press slam on X-Pac. Rock tagged in with a spinebuster on Dogg, spinebuster on X-Pac, punch for Hunter and Rock with a DDT on Dogg for a two count. Dogg whipped Rock into the ropes, Hunter pulled down the top rope and Rock bumped over the top to the floor. The heels worked over Rock a bit, Rock tried a comeback, but Hunter hit a knee to the face followed by a clothesline. X-Pac with a spinning heel kick for two. Dogg worked over Rock with punches, Rock came back with punches of his own and Rock hit a side belly to belly suplex.
Undertaker got the hot tag against Hunter and worked him over with punches. Undertaker cleaned house. Kane knocked Dogg out of the ring. Taker with a back body drop on X-Pac. Taker with a back body drop. Taker with a Chokeslam on X-Pac while Rock sent Hunter out of the ring. Undertaker covered X-Pac to win the match at 8:44. I thought Hunter was the legal man, but I guess it didn’t matter.
Winners by pinfall: The Undertaker, Kane and The Rock
Analysis: **3/4 That was a pretty good main event. There was no surprise about who got pinned since it was obvious the heels were going to lose and Triple H shouldn’t get pinned in that kind of a match. Rock sold well for a few minutes, Taker got the hot tag and that was it. The story was that the trio of Rock, Taker and Kane were dysfunctional going into the match, but they worked well together to win the match.
The Rock and Kane walked up the ramp while Undertaker was in the ring where DX attacked Taker from behind. Rock and Kane went back in the ring for a save. Shane went into the ring with a chair, Rock stopped him with a punch and Rock tried to hit Shane with a chair, but Shane moved and Rock hit Kane by accident. Hunter hit Rock in the back and Taker punched Hunter out of the ring. Rock hit Taker in the head with a chair too because he thought Taker hit him in the back, but it was really Hunter.
The heels left up the ramp. Rock chased after them with a steel chair and the heels went to the back. Cole yelled about how Rock would be in trouble for attacking Undertaker and Kane. As Rock looked back towards Taker and Kane, they had serious looks on their faces. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: It was a great post match angle too. As I said, they worked well together as a team, but then it fell apart after the match and it would continue the story where Rock had issues with Undertaker and Kane.
This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:33:20 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- Val Venis
- The Rock
This episode gets an 8 out of 10.
I thought this was an awesome episode of Smackdown. There was some great storyline development throughout the show, the Rikishi/Venis angle was well done in terms of getting some heat on that rivalry and the main event storyline was furthered well. Plus, there were matches that were better than what we usually got on TV during this era.
They still didn’t have a main event announced for King of the Ring yet, but that was coming soon.
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.