This was the last edition of Smackdown before King of the Ring 2000. On the previous Raw, we found out that King of the Ring’s main event was going to be WWF Champion Triple H, Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon vs. The Rock, The Undertaker and Kane and if Triple H’s team lost, then Triple H would lose the WWF Championship in the tag team match.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “Mr. McMahon causes more tension within the McMahon-Helmsley Faction by making a unique Six-Man Tag Team main event.”
Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives in case you missed anything (Raw, Smackdown and PPV reviews) from earlier in the year. Also, make sure to visit TJRWrestling.net daily for my reviews of the current WWE shows, plus historical columns and all the relevant current news in the wrestling business. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport and tweet me to talk about this show or anything else. Let’s get to it.
WWF Smackdown #44
June 22, 2000 (Taped June 20)
From The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee
This show has a TV-14 rating and the dreaded “S” for Sexual Content on WWE Network.
The Smackdown intro video aired to start the show. I’m surprised there wasn’t a video package showing Raw highlights. The pyro went off in the air, the crowd was loud and there were signs all over. The announce team was Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler as usual in Lawler’s hometown of Memphis.
The show began in a familiar way with the heel McMahon-Helmsley Faction promo with WWF Champion Triple H, Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon.
Let’s Hear from the McMahon-Helmsley Faction
Hunter started off saying that even though he disagreed with Vince wanting to put the WWF Title on the line in the tag team match at King of the Ring, he will reluctantly agree with it. The fans chanted “Asshole” at Hunter, who complained about the possibility of Kane, Undertaker or Kane becoming WWF Champion by pinning Shane or Vince (“dad”) makes him want to puke. Hunter paused for the “Rocky” chants to settle down. Hunter said that the chance for any of those three to become WWF Champion is remote at best. Hunter said that their egos won’t allow one of them to win at the expense at the other two. Hunter reiterated that all three of their opponents want to become WWF Champion, so they won’t be able to work together. Hunter said even though the WWF Championship is on the line in the six-man tag team match, he has all the confidence in the world in them. The fans chanted “slut” at Stephanie.
Hunter said that he had trust in Shane, he had trust in Vince and they all trusted eachother while the others do not have trust. Hunter said that when it is over he will still be The Game and the WWF Champion…because that WWF Title is the most important thing in his life. (What about his “wife” Stephanie? Hmmm.)
Vince said that the most important thing in life is not a title, money, health or happiness – the single most important thing is family. Vince said that if you have family then you have an abundance of those other qualities. Vince said that for years he has taught his kids wholesome family values. Vince claimed it hasn’t been easy, but he did what he had to do. Vince talked about how sometimes he had to rule with an iron will, but always with generosity and sensitivity that the fans could never fathom. Vince added that the most important family value is love because a man like him has to love a shrew of a wife. He continued to rant about challenges he has overcome as a father.
Vince said that here in Memphis, there will be a challenge to prove their superiority even on the eve of King of the Ring. Vince announced that Shane, Hunter and Vince will see action in a six-man tag team match against Kane, The Undertaker and The Rock, who he called “That Damn Rock.” Shane and Hunter were not happy about that match.
Shane left the ring because he was frustrated by Vince. Hunter and Stephanie left as well. Vince told them not to make him face those three men by himself. The announcers wondered what Vince was thinking. That opening promo went about 11 minutes.
Analysis: It was an over the top, crazy heel promo that Vince was famous for. The idea behind it was that he was losing his mind a bit because of Linda McMahon causing him to change some of the decisions he had made, so the others in the family weren’t happy with it. Some of that promo dragged on a bit as Vince talked about family values, but it was fine by the end of it.
The lovely Trish Stratus was shown walking backstage with Test and Albert while Lita was walking with the Hardy Boyz in another hallway since they are in a match after the break.
Shane McMahon was shown leaving and going it into a limo. Hunter and Stephanie went up to Shane to prevent him from leaving because Hunter said if he was doing it then Shane had to do it too.
The Hardy Boyz entered with Lita to a good pop. Trish Stratus led the T&A team to the ring.
The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) and Lita vs. Test, Albert and Trish Stratus
Pre-match notes: The Hardys and Lita were the faces while T&A with Trish were the heels. This was Trish’s first televised match. She was training to wrestle in Toronto on her off days.
The match began with Lita chasing Trish around the ring, Test grabbed Lita, she slapped him and the Hardys hit a double team suplex on Test. The Hardys hit the corner attack on Albert, but Test with a boot to the face and Albert kicked down Matt. Test with a clothesline on Jeff. Trish tagged in with a slap to Jeff’s face, Lita turned her back and Trish pushed Lita off the apron. Albert and Test tossed Jeff into the air to slam him into the mat. Albert missed a corner splash when Jeff moved, Albert hit the ring post and Matt got the tag against Test. Matt with a boot to the face followed by a clothesline off the ropes. Matt with a neckbreaker on Test and a DDT on Albert. Jeff hit a somersault dive over the top on to Albert on the floor. Trish grabbed Matt’s hair, Lita went in the ring and slammed Trish down after pulling her hair. Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Test and Lita hit a Twist of Fate on Trish. Stratus was put on top of Test, Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb and Albert made the save. Lita was left alone with Trish while the referee left the ring. Lita hit a moonsault on Trish, but the referee was out of the ring. Albert hit a sitout Baldo Bomb on Lita and he put Trish on top of Lita for the pinfall win at 4:32.
Winners by pinfall: Test, Albert and Trish Stratus
Analysis: ** It was solid for a mixed tag team match. Lita and Trish didn’t do that much, but what they did worked in terms of getting a big reaction from the crowd. The story was that Trish won her first match ever thanks to Albert’s help. It was as cheap as it gets.
A clip aired from Raw showing Pat Patterson beating his best friend Gerald Brisco for the Hardcore Title.
Gerald Brisco was shown walking around backstage looking for Pat Patterson.
When the show returned, they showed Jerry Lee Lewis at ringside. Remember the Great Balls of Fire PPV? It was named after his song. Vince McMahon must have been a big fan.
They displayed the King of the Ring graphics for the tournament that would take place at the PPV.
Spoiler: Bull Buchanan did not win. Sorry to the Bull Buchanan fans out there…if there are any.
Edge and Christian entered in Fat Elvis outfits since they were in Memphis. Christian said there were two types of Elvis (Presley), the Fat Elvis and the Really Fat Elvis. Edge said that they are offering a five-second pose called a “Hunka Hunka Edge and Christian.” The main image of this post is their Elvis look.
Analysis: Edge and Christian rule. I loved the five-second poses.
Christian (w/Edge) vs. Grandmaster Sexay (w/Scotty 2 Hotty)
Pre-match notes: Christian was a heel while Sexay was a face that was a Tag Team Champion. The King of the Ring tag team match was Too Cool vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. T&A for the Tag Team Titles. They certainly could have built up that match better.
Christian was wrestling in his normal gear, not his Elvis gear, but Edge was in his Elvis gear on the floor. Christian whipped Sexay into the corner, Sexay with a kick to the face and a bulldog. Sexay with a missile dropkick off the middle rope. Sexay with a dropkick while Christian was on the floor. Edge kicked Sexay in the ribs while the referee was distracted by Scotty for some reason and Christian hit a DDT on Christian on the floor. Scotty checked on Sexay, so Edge whipped Sexay into Christian, who sent Sexay into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Christian slapped on a headlock. Christian with a side Russian legsweep for a two count. Christian with a reverse DDT and then he mocked Sexay’s dancing. Sexay came back with an enziguri kick to the back of the head, a clothesline followed and a missed corner attack by Sexay because Christian moved. They battled on the top rope, Sexay shoved Christian down and hit the Hip Hop Drop leg drop on Christian. Edge tried to use the ring bell, Scotty got it and the referee stopped Scotty. Edge hit a Spear on Sexay. The referee Tim White made Edge leave the ring and Scotty hit Christian with the ring bell to give Sexay the pinfall win at 4:47. Big pop for the win.
Winner by pinfall: Grandmaster Sexay
Analysis: **1/4 Good match with some nice moves by both guys and a clever finish. The faces cheated to win, but it worked because it was done to prevent the heels from cheating.
Post match, “Edge-vis” and Christian were mad about the loss. No dancing routine for Too Cool this time.
Dean Malenko was on a table getting a massage from three ladies. Terri said Dean was getting the reputation of the “lady killer” and that’s what she wants him to do. Terri said she wanted Dean to join her in a mixed tag team match against her rival The Kat and a partner. Dean said he was busy, then she said he would miss out and then after he thought about it, he ran after her to say he would do it.
The Raw Rewind showed a clip of Eddie Guerrero beating Chyna in a match on Raw and then apologizing to her.
Gerald Brisco continued his search for Pat Patterson.
Triple H, Shane and Stephanie were in their office with Shane saying he hopes that Vince has a plan.
European Championship: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Big Boss Man
Pre-match notes: Eddie was the face European Champion while Boss Man was the heel. This matchup makes me sad because all three people have passed away too soon.
The match began with Boss Man aggressively attacking with a choke. Boss Man connected with punches, which always looked good. Boss Man left the ring, another punch, he stared at Chyna and Eddie jumped over the top with a cross body block. Back in the ring, Boss Man with a backbreaker. Guerrero with a dropkick. Guerrero jumped off the top, Boss Man caught him and hit a sidewalk slam. Chyna tripped up Boss Man while the referee checked on Eddie. Chyna hit Boss Man with a forearm to the face, referee Teddy Long got in the middle of it and Boss Man decked Chyna with a punch. Val Venis went into the ring, grabbed the nightstick that Boss Man had and he struck Eddie in the face. Why? Because Venis was Eddie’s opponent at King of the Ring. Boss Man went back into the ring, but Chyna broke up the pin with the European Title to the back of the head. That led to the DQ at 3:25.
Winner by disqualification: Eddie Guerrero
Analysis: * Not a good match. Even Eddie couldn’t get a good match out of Boss Man at this point. When he was younger, Boss Man was okay because he was more mobile. His matches just weren’t that good during this period. This finish was lame because there was no reason to protect Boss Man by having Chyna get Eddie DQ’d. They should have just put Eddie over. The attack from Venis did make sense since it was days before he faced Guerrero at King of the Ring.
Kane was interviewed backstage by Jonathon Coachman. Kane said the WWF Championship is what he wants and the WWF Championship is what he’ll get.
The Kat was in the women’s locker room with Pat Patterson sitting in there while wearing a dress and a wig. Terri told The Kat she booked them in a mixed tag team match and called her trash.
Kurt Angle was shown reading WWE Magazine that said “Integrities” on it. Stephanie McMahon walked up to him and Kurt said he achieved his dream by being on the WWF Magazine cover. Stephanie wished Kurt luck in the King of the Ring tournament. Kurt said he can’t wait to win the tournament and beat her husband for the WWF Title.
Analysis: It continued the story of Kurt and Stephanie having a flirty relationship, which would become a main event level storyline in the months that followed.
Intercontinental Championship: Chris Benoit vs. Rikishi
Pre-match notes: Benoit was the heel IC Champion while Rikishi was the face.
It was hard hitting from the start with Benoit chopping away, Rikishi with punches, a clothesline, body slam and a leg drop missed from Rikishi because Benoit moved. Benoit with a running dropkick followed by a baseball slide dropkick when Rikishi was on the floor. Benoit tossed Rikishi shoulder first into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Benoit worked over the right shoulder of Rikishi with an armbar. Rikishi came back with a superkick. Benoit with more hard chops followed by a DDT, but Rikishi popped up, so Benoit hit a belly to back suplex. Benoit went up top and missed a headbutt because Rikishi rolled out of the way. Rikishi with a Samoan Drop followed by a kick to the face and a running splash on Benoit against the turnbuckle. Rikishi with a belly to belly suplex and a Banzai Drop for the pinfall win at 4:20.
Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Rikishi
Analysis: **1/2 Good match. Benoit worked over the right shoulder, Rikishi came back and got the clean win with his new finisher. I remember being confused by the title change at the time, but considering what was coming for both guys it made a lot of sense. Benoit was in the main event of the next PPV Fully Loaded while Rikishi was in a pretty good feud for the IC Title. Rikishi was certainly popular enough to win the IC Title because he was one of the top five faces (or higher) in the company.
After the match, Rikishi started to dance with his buddies. However, Benoit went into the ring and hit Scotty, Sexay and Rikishi with chair shots. Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface on Rikishi with several referees trying to get him to stop. Benoit’s music played after the cheap attack and he left standing tall. He lost a match and then attacked guys from behind, so let’s play his music!
Analysis: It was a way to get Benoit some heat back after the loss. Benoit got a bigger push after King of the Ring, so even though he lost, the WWF wanted him to look like a star. Benoit and Rikishi were also a matchup in the King of the Ring tournament.
There was a replay of Chris Jericho attacking Triple H and Hardcore Holly on Heat.
Replays aired of the Benoit attack on Rikishi.
Hardcore Holly made his entrance. Holly complained about Jericho sticking his nose in his business. Holly turned his back to the hard camera (not supposed to do that) and said he’s going to kick Jericho’s ass and it’s going to hurt real bad. Basic promo. Jericho made his entrance.
Chris Jericho vs. Hardcore Holly
Pre-match notes: Jericho was a face while Holly was a heel.
It started as a slugfest as they exchanged punches. Jericho hit a bulldog. Holly sent Jericho into the top rope followed by a kick to the gut. Holly with a dropkick. Jericho with some chops, but Holly came back with a Powerbomb for two. Holly was whipped into the turnbuckle, boot to the face and Jericho hit a spin kick on Holly. Lawler said he was picking Kurt Angle to win King of the Ring. Good pick. Holly came back with a hard clothesline and Jericho hit a running forearm. Jericho went for the dropkick on the apron, but Holly shoved him over the top to the barricade. Holly whipped Jericho into the steel stairs. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley made her way down to the ring holding her Women’s Title. Jericho hobbled to his feet and Stephanie hit him in the back with the Women’s Title. Jericho sold it like she hit him hard, but she barely connected. Holly covered Jericho only for two. Stephanie was shocked by that. Jericho avoided a dropkick and hit a Lionsault for the pinfall win at 5:27.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: **1/2 It was an intense match from the beginning with Holly wanting revenge and Jericho finding a way to win. Stephanie tried to cost Jericho the match due to all the nasty things he said about her in the past, but it didn’t work. That rivalry between Jericho and Triple H would pick up after King of the Ring.
Jericho had his hand raised as the winner while Stephanie went to the back looking upset about what happened.
The Kat was shown talking to Taka Michinoku backstage and she said she needs Taka to be her partner. Taka called Funaki, she said she wanted Taka as the partner, but he didn’t get it and then they left.
The Kat entered with Taka Michinoku waving the Japanese flag. Terri Runnels entered with Dean Malenko as her partner. Cole said Terri and The Kat had a “huge” rivalry. I would not call it huge.
Malenko attacked Taka before the match. Malenko suplexed Taka onto the ramp to take him out of the match.
Dean Malenko and Terri Runnels vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler and The Kat
The Kat with a monkey flip on Terri. Malenko with a knee to the back of The Kat, so Jerry Lawler went into the ring to save The Kat, who was his wife. Lawler worked over Malenko with punches and the crowd was going wild for Lawler. Malenko stomped away on Lawler as fans chanted “Jerry” in support of Lawler as Malenko hit a jumping side kick. Lawler with a boot to the face followed by a clothesline. Lawler put the strap down to a huge pop, Lawler with punches and a suplex on Malenko. Terri got the tag from Malenko, The Kat rolled up Terri with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and that was enough to get the pinfall win at 2:26.
Winners by pinfall: Jerry “The King” Lawler and The Kat
Analysis: 1/2* The match was terrible, but the crowd loved Lawler being in the match and they popped huge for him when he made the comeback. The finish sucked.
Post match, Terri hit the worst Bronco Buster ever to Lawler, who probably liked it. Lawler was smiling against the turnbuckle. Kat with a low blow to Malenko and Kat sent Terri out of the ring.
The Undertaker was interviewed backstage by Kevin Kelly. Taker said he’s not about a bunch of talk, but he asked when’s the last time the WWF had a badass champion? He left.
Gerald Brisco was shown walking down the stairs when Howard Finkel walked up to him to say that Pat Patterson was dressed like a woman in the ladies locker room. Finkel gave Brisco some advice and Brisco left.
Road Dogg did a promo about how they put the Dudleys through dumpsters and through tables, so they are the kings of dumpsters and tables. Dogg said that they are in triple trouble. X-Pac gave the Dudleys a little credit for being pretty damn tough if you consider it tough to put a woman through a table on TV. X-Pac said you will not put his woman Tori through a table and you can cash that in the back like your momma does with her welfare check. The Dudleys entered with a table.
Road Dogg (w/X-Pac and Tori) vs. D-Von Dudley (w/Bubba Ray Dudley)
Pre-match notes: Road Dogg was the heel and D-Von was the face. The King of the Ring match was Dogg, X-Pac and Tori vs. Dudleys in a Handicap Table Dumpster Match.
D-Von with a leaping clothesline. Dogg hit a jumping splash to the back of D-Von. There was a dumpster on the stage. D-Von with a jumping forearm to the face followed by a reverse suplex. Bubba grabbed Tori, so X-Pac went into the ring and hit the X-Factor on Dogg leading to D-Von getting the win at 1:39.
Winner by pinfall: Road Dogg
Analysis: * That was quick. A cheap win for the heel Road Dogg as they continued to build up sympathy for the Dudleys.
After the match, Bubba went into the ring with a double clothesline on the DX guys. D-Von set up a table in the ring. Tori went into the ring, she tried to punch Bubba, but Bubba grabbed her and Dogg saved her with a 2×4 piece of wood to the back of Bubba. Tony Chimel announced Road Dogg as the winner, so Bubba punched Chimel in the face. The Dudleys put Chimel through the table with a Dudley Death Drop (3D). The crowd loved it. Bubba was selling an injury to the ribs.
Analysis: The DX guys had the advantage after nearly every show going into King of the Ring, so that let the audience know that the Dudleys would get their revenge at the PPV.
There was a shot backstage of referee Mike Chioda laughing about something as the camera panned over to see Gerald Brisco dressed as a woman. It was not a pretty sight. Brisco said he hated it. Brisco told Chioda to come with him.
Brisco went into the women’s locker room and attacked Patterson. Patterson threw some powder in his eyes. They had Lillian Garcia, Ivory and Jacqueline there screaming about it. Vince McMahon walked by to see what was happening. Vince: “What the hell are you doing?” Vince asked if they liked this. Vince said this Sunday at King of the Ring, they will have a first-ever Hardcore Evening Gown Match. Oh shit. Oh, steaming pile of shit.
Analysis: Terrible idea. Absolutely fucking terrible.
The Rock was interviewed in the interview area by Kevin Kelly. Rock did his “finally” line to pop the Memphis crowd. Rock said that just as sure as Jerry Lee Lewis is there, The Rock has got Great Balls of Fire and Lewis was shown laughing about it. Rock said he doesn’t know about Vince’s master plan, but he knows the result is that they will get their asses kicked not once, but twice. Rock said that this Sunday night at King of the Ring, a change will happen. He said that the never-ending McMahon-Helmsley Faction will be finished. Rock said that this Sunday night, The Rock’s era begins.
Analysis: There was a lot of truth in what he said there in terms of what actually happened at King of the Ring. Great delivery as usual.
The King of the Ring tournament brackets were shown again. Lawler picked Angle to win. Here were the matchups:
Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
Crash Holly vs. Bull Buchanan
Chris Benoit vs. Rikishi
Val Venis vs. Eddie Guerrero
The McMahon-Helmsley Faction group of WWF Champion Triple H, WWF Chairman Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley made their entrance. I should add also that Howard Finkel replaced Tony Chimel as the ring announcer.
The Undertaker was up first for the babyface team. He was on his motorcycle as usual. Kane was next as he had a staredown with his “brother” The Undertaker to start the match. The Rock was up last and he got a thunderous ovation as usual. Vince said before they kick their respective asses, the face team will have a series of opponents in a No Disqualification Handicap Match.
The Rock, Kane and The Undertaker vs. Triple H, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) and others
Pre-match notes: The trio of Rock, Kane and Undertaker were the faces while Hunter, Vince and Shane were the heels.
The trio of Road Dogg, X-Pac and Bull Buchanan went down to the ring, but they were beaten up by Rock, Taker and Kane easily. Vince said they had a second series of opponents: Edge, Kurt Angle and Christian. Rock, Taker and Kane beat them up a bit, but then the others went into the ring as well. Taker with a boot to Christian and a double clothesline. Rock hit Angle with a Rock Bottom. Kane hit Edge with a Chokeslam and Taker beat up Buchanan. The third set of opponents were Test, Albert and Val Venis. Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Venis. The other heels went back into the ring so it was 9 on 3 not including Hunter, Vince and Shane. The action spilled out of the ring. Hunter went into the ring with a clothesline on Rock. X-Pac hit Taker in the head with a chair. Kane was given a suplex by Test, Albert and Venis that put Kane through the announce table. The trio of Hunter, Shane and Vince worked over Rock with Shane hitting a clothesline. Rock came back with punches, but Hunter decked him with a clothesline and a Pedigree. Shane went up top and hit an elbow drop off the top onto Rock. Vince followed up with his People’s Elbow known as the Billionaire’s Elbow. The fans hated this. Vince covered Rock and they made Earl Hebner count the pin to end this “match” at 4:59.
Winners by pinfall: Triple H, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon
Analysis: There’s no way to properly rate this as a match, so I’m not going to put a star rating on it. It was an angle to have the heels show how dominant they were because it was a 12 on 3 attack with the heels standing tall. The Vince elbow to end it was a great idea because that’s the kind of thing that would piss off a diehard Rock fan, so it’s only going to build up the intensity for the King of the Ring match.
The McMahon Helmsley-Faction celebrated in the ring. Hunter and Shane put Vince on their shoulders. The show ended there.
This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:30:04 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- Chris Jericho
- Vince McMahon
This episode gets a 6.5 out of 10.
It was a solid edition of Smackdown thanks to some strong angle development throughout the night, but I can’t say it was a great show. There were dumb things like the Patterson/Brisco angle that was probably done just to make Vince laugh about it and I thought they overdid it in terms of some of the cheap finishes. When you see that many questionable endings in one episode, it gets to be too repetitive.
The heels were put over very strong in the main event. That was a counter to the faces having a good night on Raw. That happened often. Things would change at King of the Ring and after King of the Ring, so this was the end of the McMahons reign of terror at least for now.
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.