This week’s Smackdown follows a newsworthy edition of Raw from earlier in the week. Mick Foley was appointed as the new babyface Commissioner and Vince McMahon went home to make babies with Linda McMahon. Heels lie! It just meant that Vince was taking a break from TV for the next several months.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “Triple H teams with X-Pac and Road Dogg to face Chris Jericho and The Dudley Boyz in the main event. Plus, Undertaker, Al Snow, and more!”
Here’s some info from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter from that week about WWE toning down their language: “Due to the pressure from sponsors, the language on the show is quietly being toned down. Words that used to be commonplace on the show without anyone even batting an eye like ass, ho and slut are either bleeped off or no longer allowed to be used.”
This was also the week where it became official that WWE would move Raw to Viacom (TNN, which became Spike TV) after USA Network tried to prevent it. The move took place in September 2000 and lasted five years, which is when WWE went back to USA Network in 2005.
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 #45
June 29, 2000 (Taped June 27)
From the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut
This show has a TV-14 rating and V for Violence on WWE Network.
The opening video package showed highlights from King of the Ring with The Rock becoming the WWF Champion. It also showed Mick Foley being announced as the new WWF Commissioner. Later that night, The Rock beat Kurt Angle and Triple H in a triple threat match thanks in part to Chris Jericho costing Triple H the match. The video lasted about three minutes.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley talked to Mick Foley in his office, which was the boiler room of the arena. Hunter complained about wanting his title shot, Foley said he had a shot on Raw, Triple H complained about Chris Jericho and Foley said he’ll do the right thing.
The Smackdown intro video aired. The pyro went off, the crowd in Hartford was very loud and there were signs all over the arena. The announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show.
Eddie Guerrero, the European Champion, and Chyna got a big pop for their entrance. A clip aired of Chyna hitting Trish Stratus with a Powerbomb on Raw. Rikishi was Eddie’s partner and he was the Intercontinental Champion. Val Venis was without Trish Stratus, who was selling the Powerbomb Chyna gave her. Chris Benoit was up last.
Rikishi and Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Val Venis and Chris Benoit
Pre-match notes: Rikishi and Guerrero were the faces the IC and Euro Titles while Venis and Benoit were the heels that were both Canadians.
Rikishi was wearing a brace on his right arm to sell the repeated attacks from Benoit. Rikishi with a clothesline on Venis followed by Guerrero with a senton splash. Benoit tagged and Guerrero hit him with a backbreaker. Guerrero sent Benoit into the top rope followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Venis held the rope down, so Guerrero bumped over the top to the floor. Benoit with a belly to back suplex on Guerrero. Venis with a corner clothesline on Eddie followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Guerrero got a rollup on Benoit for two leading to Venis hitting a cheap shot punch on Eddie. Guerrero came back with a dropkick, but Venis sent Eddie into the top rope. Guerrero did a rope walk into an arm drag and headscissors takeover at the same time. Rikishi got the tag with a double clothesline on the heels, Samoan Drop on Benoit and a kick to the face of Venis. Rikishi with a running back splash on both heels. It turned into a brawl and then Test and Albert showed up to attack Chyna at ringside. The lovely Trish Stratus was with them. Too Cool ran out for the save, so that led to the DQ ending at 4:35.
Winners by disqualification: Val Venis and Chris Benoit
Analysis: ** It was just okay with a weird ending. The heels got the win even though other heels went down to the ring to attack. That’s because they only went after Chyna, who was out on the floor, so there was no reason to call DQ for that. It was only a DQ when Too Cool went to the ring.
The faces cleared the ring with Sexay taking Venis out of the ring and Benoit was sent out of the ring. The faces celebrated in the ring, which led to a dance routine. The crowd was into it.
King Kurt Angle was shown talking to Kaientai backstage from earlier today. Angle said he realized they aren’t very quick, so he’ll make this very simple. Kurt said he wanted them to call them King Kurt. Angle said it was like being the head ninja. Hardcore Holly showed up saying they’re not stupid, they’re Japanese. Holly kicked Angle’s crown, so that set up a match. Holly asked “how do you like me now?” which would become his catchphrase later in his career.
Kurt Angle entered with his king gear leading to a promo. Angle said he didn’t make fun of Holly because he dyes his hair or whatever is left of it. Angle mocked Holly’s buck teeth. Angle said that Holly is like the crowd full of jealous, foul-smelling peasants. Angle claimed it was tough to find a crown repair shot and he ended it with a joke about how the fans wanted to kill themselves because they were from Hartford. That drew cheap heat.
Kurt Angle vs. Hardcore Holly
Pre-match notes: They were both heels although based on the pre-match promo, they tried to make Holly more of a face here.
Holly connected with a clothesline and then he tied up Angle in the ropes followed by forearms to the chest. The action spilled to the floor with Angle whipping Holly into the ring post. Back in the ring, they exchanged chops, Holly with a boot to the face and Angle hit a belly to belly suplex for two. Angle with a regular vertical suplex also good for two. Angle grounded Holly with a chinlock on the mat. Holly with a cross body block, but Angle came back with a knee to the gut. Angle with a body slam. Angle up top for nothing as Holly slammed him down and Holly followed up with a belly to back suplex. Holly with a dropkick followed by a kick to the midsection and a Jackhammer slam for a two count. Angle took down Holly, then Holly came back jumping onto the shoulders and Angle hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. That’s not a move that Angle did regularly in his career. Holly went for a waistlock, but Angle countered with a low blow and the referee Jack Doan missed it even though he was right there. Angle with a body slam. Angle went up top for the moonsault, he jumped off and Holly was far away. Angle landed with his feet hitting the body of Holly, but the damage was really done when Angle’s feet hit the left wrist of Holly and that broke Holly’s wrist. You could see Holly wincing in pain right away.
Angle covered for a two count. Holly was holding his left wrist as Cole noted that Holly was hurt. They replayed the moonsault to show Angle hitting the left arm of Holly. Angle whipped Holly into the turnbuckle and Holly hit a clothesline. It looked like Holly was telling the referee that the wrist was broken. Doan spoke to Angle, so that was likely a cue from the back. Anyway, they went to the finish with Angle hitting a low blow punch that the referee didn’t see (again) and Kurt hit an Olympic Slam for the pinfall win at 7:25.
Winner by pinfall: Kurt Angle
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a very good match that was longer than most matches on TV in this era. Angle getting the win was the right call since it continued his momentum from King of the Ring. Two low blows from Angle made it a very cheap win, but what mattered is that Angle continued his massive push. The negative thing about this match is that Holly legitimately broke his arm during the match. Accidents happen and I don’t think there was any heat on Angle for it.
After the match, Angle celebrated while the referee checked on Holly. It was a broken wrist for Hardcore Holly, he had surgery and missed just over four months. He was back in action by mid-November.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley were in their office. Hunter complained about Jericho. Stephanie said that Mick Foley will give them what they want because Mick is intimidated. She told Hunter to go walk outside to cool off.
Edge and Christian went to Mick Foley’s “office” in the boiler room. They complained about having to face The Acolytes in the future. Foley said he won’t make them put their titles on the line tonight, but Christian has to face Kane and Edge has to face The Undertaker. E&C were not happy about that.
Let’s Hear from Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley made her entrance with the Women’s Championship on her shoulder. No Triple H with her. Stephanie said she was there in the city where she was born (Hartford) to set the record straight. Stephanie said that Triple H didn’t lose the WWF Championship at King of the Ring because her father did. She said Vince and Linda’s unhealthy relationship is why that match was made in the first place. Fans chanted “slut” at her. Stephanie said that she and Hunter have a healthy and virile relationship. She said she stands by her man and he stands by her. Stephanie complained about Chris Jericho. She said she’s impatient, so she demanded Commissioner Mick Foley comes out there right now.
Commissioner Mick Foley made his entrance to a big pop with “Foley” chants as Mick entered the ring with Stephanie.
Foley said he didn’t know that about Hartford being her birthplace. Foley told her that Hartford meant a lot to him too because it was in this very building through this very ring that Triple H forced him into retirement at No Way Out 2000 in February. Foley noted that he had a tear in his eye, blood on his face and look at him now. Foley put over his sleek, aerodynamic haircut and noted that he can screw over her husband’s career just like that. Foley said that Triple H brought it all upon himself. Foley said that if Triple H didn’t beat him in this ring then Mick would still be an active wrestler and he would not be in the position to make a match that would cost her husband a shot at the WWF Title.
Foley said he’s not there to make the WWF his personal little playground. What he wants to do is make sure everybody in Hartford (cheap pop) gets a hell of a show tonight. Foley told Stephanie she will give her what she wanted by putting Jericho and Triple H in a match (she was happy), but then he said it will be a six-man tag team match. Foley said it will be Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg vs. Chris Jericho and The Dudley Boyz. Big pop for that. Foley: “God, I love the commissionary position.” Good line.
Analysis: It set up a big tag team match for later. The addition of Foley as the babyface Commish was a refreshing change from the stale heel act of the evil McMahon family. It’s what they needed at the time.
Chris Jericho was shown arriving to the building.
The DX group were in the office with Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg talking confidently about their match for later in the show.
The Godfather made his entrance with the lovely ho’s by his side, but they called them “ladies” more on Smackdown since it was more tame than Raw. Godfather was about to do a promo, but he was interrupted by his opponent Bull Buchanan. That’s what I meant about Smackdown being tamer because they even cut off Godfather promos. There was another interruption.
There was an annoying buzzer sound and a logo with a red line through it. That led to Steven Richards entering the stage with a suit on. Godfather asked Stevie what he was doing out there. Richards corrected him by saying it is “Steven” now. Richards said that he saved millions of viewers from seeing the bare-naked breasts of Terri Runnels. They were piping in crowd noise here to make it sound like the crowd was booing him loudly. Steven did what the network would not do and what the producers could not do. Richards took the responsibility to censor unacceptable marketing material. He did what any respectable organization would do if they had morals, which this one does not. Stevie told Godfather to clean up his act. He told Godfather to stop bringing the half-naked women to the ring or Steven will be forced to censor his activity.
Analysis: Good heel promo. The gimmick worked well. This was the start of the Right to Censor that would become a midcard heel act based off the Parents Television Council complaining about WWE’s product. Richards was in ECW in the mid-1990s, had a very brief run in WCW, then started in the WWF about a year before this, but didn’t go very far. Calling him “Steven” was a chance to start over with him with this heel persona.
Bull Buchanan vs. The Godfather
Pre-match notes: Buchanan was the heel and Godfather was the face.
Buchanan attacked from behind with punches. Buchanan hit a jumping clothesline off the top rope. Cole claimed Buchanan was 6’7” 350 pounds, which was ridiculous and Lawler said he was more like a lean 300. I’d guess about 275, but it’s WWE. They always add more weight. He also was about 6’3” realistically. Buchanan with a boot to the face. Godfather with a kick, then a clothesline, shoulder tackle and a back body drop. Godfather with a spinning leg drop. Godfather sent Bull into the turnbuckle, Bull moved and Godfather punched him off the apron to the floor. One of the ho’s (the announcers said “lady” again) fell down, Godfather was distracted and Bull hit a scissors kick to the back of the head for the pinfall win at 2:19.
Winner by pinfall: Bull Buchanan
Analysis: 1/4* Bad match as expected from these two. My favorite part about it was that it was short.
Kane was shown walking backstage. Christian asked Edge what he was going to do. They said this totally sucks and off they went.
A replay was shown from earlier in the night when Angle’s moonsault broke the left arm (more like the wrist) of Hardcore Holly. Cole said Holly had been taken to a “local medical facility” because WWE didn’t say hospital even going back to these days. Cole ripped on Angle for celebrating, so that is WWE’s way of getting more heat on Angle.
Kane vs. Christian (w/Edge)
Pre-match notes: Kane was a face and Christian was a heel that one half of the Tag Team Champions.
Christian tried an attack from behind, but Kane overpowered him by sending him head first into the turnbuckle followed by a hard whip into the other turnbuckle across the ring. Christian avoided an attack, punches had no effect on Kane and Kane hit a press slam that sent Christian into the turnbuckle. Kane with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Kane went to the ropes, Edge pulled the top rope down, Kane to the floor and Christian followed with a cross body block onto Kane on the floor. Edge stomped away on Kane with the referee not seeing. Kane sent Christian throat first across the top rope followed by Kane hitting the clothesline off the top. Kane picked up Christian, sent him into the corner, referee Jimmy Korderas was bumped into the turnbuckle and Kane went for a clothesline, Christian moved, so Kane hit referee Korderas with the clothesline by accident. Edge into the ring, but Kane knocked him down. Edge brought a chair into the ring, Kane choked E&C at the same time and Tazz ran into the ring with a steel chair. Tazz hit Kane in the back with the chair. Tazz hit Kane in the head as well. Edge and Christian each grabbed a chair leading to the Conchairto double chair shot to Kane’s head. Edge woke up the referee and Christian covered Kane for the pinfall win at 4:44.
Winner by pinfall: Christian
Analysis: ** It was a very cheap win for Christian with Edge and Tazz interfering. It was booked well. They worked a typical match you would expect with a big guy like Kane against a smaller guy like Christian where Kane was no selling everything until Christian took advantage with some cheating.
Edge and Christian left up the ramp. The announcers were shocked by the result while wondering why Tazz did the attack on Kane. Tazz became a heel prior to this with random attacks.
The replays were shown of Christian’s cheap win over Kane.
Christian and Edge were interviewed by Lilian Garcia. Christian said he didn’t know how he did it, but he did it. Christian told Edge he can beat Undertaker and Edge said he can do this.
Chris Jericho walked up to the Dudley Boyz to talk strategy. Bubba made crazy eyes when Jericho mentioned Stephanie and D-Von was excited.
The Undertaker was shown walking backstage for his match after the break.
The Undertaker made his entrance on the motorcycle as usual. Edge entered with Christian. There was another replay of the chair shots that Kane took earlier.
Edge (w/Christian) vs. The Undertaker
Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel that was one half of the WWF Tag Team Champions. The Undertaker was the face. This would be a WrestleMania main event eight years later.
Taker tossed Edge out of the ring. Christian grabbed the waste of Taker, so Taker punched him down. Taker with punches, whip into the ropes and Taker wanted a Chokeslam. Christian slid a chair to Edge, the referee was distracted and Edge hit Taker with a chair to the back. Taker grabbed Edge by the throat followed by a boot to the face. Taker picked up Edge and connected with a Chokeslam to win at 1:47.
Winner by pinfall: The Undertaker
Analysis: * Easy win by Undertaker. Edge looked like a loser here instead of a credible opponent.
After the match, Christian with a chop block to the back of the leg of Taker. Edge and Christian double teamed Taker, so Kane walked down to the ring to make the save. Kane worked over Edge and Christian with punches. Kane with a Chokeslam on Christian. Undertaker hit the Powerbomb that would become known as the Last Ride on Edge. Taker and Kane celebrated their actions with the fans cheering them.
Analysis: That was a big ass kicking to give Taker and Kane the advantage again after Kane lost to Christian in cheap fashion.
Al Snow was shown walking backstage where Mick Foley was backstage drinking a Pepsi. Foley told Snow he’ll get a title shot, Snow said a match with The Rock, Foley spit the Pepsi on him because he was laughing and he told Snow he’ll face Crash for the Hardcore Title. Snow left.
There was another replay of Taker and Kane beating up Edge and Christian.
WWF Hardcore Championship: Crash Holly vs. Al Snow
Pre-match notes: Crash was the face champion and Snow was a tweener. Snow had his Head mannequin with him. I almost wrote 24/7 Title.
Snow crawled under the ring before Crash made his entrance. Snow took advantage by slamming Crash face first into the steel ramp. Snow pulled out a table from under the ring and Crash hit a dropkick that sent a steel chair into Snow’s face. Snow tossed Crash down on the floor, but Crash came back with three trash can shots to the head. Crash with a hurricanrana off the steps onto the floor. Snow came back with a trash can to the back and a trash can to the head for two while they were in the aisle. Snow hit Crash with a street sign. Crash tried to run into the crowd to get away, but Snow brought him back to ringside. Snow got a popcorn tray and hit Crash in the head with it.
Snow rolled Crash back into the ring while also bringing in weapons including a bowling ball. Snow hit Crash in the back with a broomstick to the back. Crash avoided a chair shot and hit a DDT onto the chair for two. Snow hit him in the head with a trash can lid. Snow with a clothesline on Crash against the turnbuckle. Snow put on a bowling jacket and then a bowling ball. Snow rolled the bowling ball right into the groin of Crash! Ouch. Crash sold it like he was in a lot of pain. Crash tried to leave, but Snow brought him back into the ring. Snow brought the steel steps into the ring and Crash hit the steps with a steel chair. Crash tried to leave, but then he remembered he forgot his bowling ball. Steve Blackman went down to the ring with a referee joining him. Blackman hit Crash with nunchucks to the ribs and to the back. Blackman covered Crash on the floor to win the Hardcore Title at 5:40.
Winner and New Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman
Analysis: *3/4 This was typical silliness with the Hardcore Title. The bowling ball spot was funny. Language in the WWF had to be toned down, but a bowling ball to the balls is okay! Blackman winning the title was part of a summer push for him.
Blackman was shown walking to the parking lot when the Mean Street Posse showed up with a referee to try to take the title. Blackman beat them up using the nunchucks and strikes. Blackman drove off in a car.
A recap video aired showing the story of Vince McMahon choosing to go home to spend more time with his wife Linda.
Chris Jericho and the Dudleys were backstage talking strategy with Jericho talking about how awesome it would be put Stephanie through a table. Bubba was excited about that.
The Degeneration X group of Triple H with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, X-Pac and Road Dogg made their entrance to the Run DMC “King of Rock” song.
The Dudleys made their entrance as a highlight was shown of King of the Ring when Bubba put Tori through a table. Chris Jericho made his entrance and the Triple H wanted to get his hands on Jericho.
Degeneration X – Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Chris Jericho and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
Pre-match notes: The DX guys were the heels while Jericho and the Dudleys were faces.
The faces were in control early with D-Von hitting a back elbow on Dogg and Bubba tagged in for a double team shoulder tackle on Dogg. Bubba with an elbow drop on Dogg for two. X-Pac with a cheap kick to the back of D-Von, who was legal, so DX took over with cheap shots in their corner. Hunter stomped away on D-Von, referee Earl Hebner pulled him off and X-Pac tagged in with a spinning heel kick on D-Von. Dogg tagged in and D-Von hit a jumping clothesline to take down two guys. Bubba with a full nelson slam on Dogg followed by a sidewalk slam on X-Pac and a punch to Triple H. Bubba with a slam on Dogg leading to D-Von hitting the headbutt to the groin of Dogg and then the same move to X-Pac. Jericho punched Triple H to knock him down. Bubba told D-Von to get the table, so D-Von set up the table on the floor. Things were out of control for a bit, but it settled down with X-Pac hitting a spin kick on Bubba and then Dogg worked over Bubba in the corner. Hunter with a running knee lift on Bubba. X-Pac with a Bronco Buster on Bubba against the turnbuckle. Dogg tagged in with a chinlock on Bubba. The crowd chanted “X-Pac sucks” even though he was on the apron. When Bubba got up, Dogg did his punch combo followed by a knee drop. Hunter tagged back in with a neckbreaker on Bubba with Jericho breaking up the pin. Hunter slapped on a sleeper on Bubba. Hunter charged, Bubba avoided and Bubba hit a Bubba Cutter (like a Diamond Cutter). Jericho finally got the hot tag to a huge pop with a bulldog on Dogg and flying forearm on X-Pac.
(I’m sharing that pic because as you can see there, Jericho grabbed the shirt to deliver the move. On a normal wrestler that is shirtless, he can’t do it that way. Just saying it was noticeable when I watched it. Back to the match!)
Jericho avoided an X-Pac charge and X-Pac hit Triple H by accident. Jericho with the Walls of Jericho on X-Pac, but Jericho broke it up and dumped Jericho out of the ring. The Dudleys hit the double team neckbreaker (wrestler is picked up and the other guy delivers the neckbreaker) on Hunter with Cole and Lawler both shouting “3D” even though it was not the Dudley Death Drop, which is not what they did. Cole said it was a “modified 3D” after that. Hunter was whipped into the ropes, he held on, Bubba was tripped up by X-Pac, Hunter hit the kick to the gut of D-Von and the Pedigree led to the pin even though Jericho was clearly the legal man. There was no tag. It was not mentioned by the announcers, of course. The match went 10:07.
Winners by pinfall: Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg
Analysis: ***1/4 That was one of the longest TV matches they did in 2000 up to this point. A match going over ten minutes on Smackdown was rare. It was still pretty good for the most part. I think the heels got the win because Triple H lost at King of the Ring (without being pinned) and on Raw (by interference), so this was a way to give him some momentum back. The intensity in the match made for a fun atmosphere, especially between Hunter and Jericho even though Jericho wasn’t in the ring for that long. The crowd was really into the match. My complaint about the legal man not being pinned is something I have mentioned many times about matches in this era. It was just not something WWE enforced that well. They do a much better job with it in today’s product.
Post match, Bubba Ray hit Hunter in the back and knocked him out of the ring. Stephanie slapped Bubba in the face. The fans were going crazy as Bubba stared at her. Bubba teased a Powerbomb through the table that was outside the ring. X-Pac saved Stephanie with a low blow. Jericho tossed X-Pac out of the ring. Hunter with a clothesline on Bubba, Hunter was on the apron and Jericho took advantage with a dropkick out of the corner that sent Hunter off the apron through the table that was set up outside the ring earlier in the match. The crowd loved that, of course.
Jericho stood tall in the ring staring at Triple H through the table. Cole put over the intensity of Jericho. Stephanie checked on Hunter at ringside. Jericho continued the staredown as replays aired of what happened. Jericho and the Dudleys posed to celebrate even though they lost the match.
Analysis: This would continue the build for the Triple H/Jericho match at Fully Loaded, which was an excellent Last Man Standing Match. The reason for putting over the intensity of Jericho is because he was often times booked as a comedic face that made jokes. When he was put over as being intense, it showed that he was ready for a main event caliber feud with the WWF’s top heel Triple H. I also give Triple H a lot of credit because he helped build up Jericho after what happened on Raw (Jericho cost Triple H the match) and then this moment to end the show.
This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:28:16 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- Hardcore Holly – He deserves a lot of credit for finishing the match with a broken arm.
- Kurt Angle
- Triple H
This episode gets a 7.5 out of 10.
It was a very good edition of Smackdown. The Angle/Holly match was impressive especially with Holly working with a broken wrist for a few minutes and the main event was a lot of fun both as a match, as well as a post-match angle. I liked the promos from Mick Foley and Steven Richards too. I got so used to hearing McMahon promos twice a week every show for the first half of this year that it was nice to get some different voices.
They didn’t promote any Fully Loaded matches yet, but the seeds were planted for some of the matches like Jericho vs. Triple H.
The Rock wasn’t on the show even though he was the WWF Champion. He was there in a segment with musician Wyclef Jean promoting a music video at the time, but Rock was kept off Smackdown this week. That was rare for WWE to not use him while he was there.
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.