Reviews

TJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 07/20/00 Review  

This was the go-home edition of Smackdown before the WWE Fully Loaded pay-per-view that took place on July 23.

Here’s the synopsis for this episode from WWE Network:

“Commissioner Mick Foley orders WWE Champion The Rock, Triple H, and more to compete in a Tag Team main event. The Godfather goes one-on-one with Bull Buchanan. Plus, Steve Blackman defends his Hardcore Championship against Al Snow, The Undertaker takes on the Big Boss Man, and much more. / 14+ (D,L,V)”

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 #48
July 20, 2000 (Taped July 18)
From the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York

The opening video package showed highlights of the chaos from Raw with The Rock getting payback on Chris Benoit.  The Smackdown intro video aired after that.

The pyro went off in the Nassau Coliseum as the packed house in Long Island was making a lot of noise and ready to go. There were signs everywhere as usual. The announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show.

Let’s Hear from Commissioner Foley

The Commissioner Mick Foley got a huge pop in his hometown because it was time for a show opening promo. That was a common thing back then just as it is today.

Foley said that he comes out there and sucks up to every town in this country, but he means it when he says it’s great to come back to his hometown right here in Long Island. That led to “Foley” chants. Foley spoke about how a few weeks earlier, he thought he had the greatest job as the Commissioner of the WWF, but he admitted that Raw was violent and brutal. Foley said as much as he likes being backstage, messing around and telling jokes with the boys, that’s not why he was brought back to the WWF. Foley said sometimes he has to do things differently because he’s got a lot of issues including The Rock’s recent actions.

Foley said he saw something a little bit different in The Rock on Raw. Foley did admit that Rock attacking Benoit was justified, but what he saw in Rock’s eyes was unbridled hatred. Foley said that he has a feeling that when Rock gets to Fully Loaded, he’ll be more focused beating up Benoit than obtaining a victory, but he feels like the fans deserve more than DQ or a two-minute main event. Foley announced that for the Rock vs. Benoit match at Fully Loaded, the WWF Title can change hands on a disqualification.

Foley spoke about wanting to put an end to some of the brutality that has been taken place…and here comes Chris Jericho.

Chris Jericho made his entrance in his ring gear, his ribs taped up and his head with a bandage on it. The fans gave Jericho a big pop as one of the top faces in the company. Jericho gets Triple H at Fully Loaded.

Jericho told Foley that after what he experienced at the hands of Triple H, he didn’t want the brutality to end just yet. Jericho said that getting hit with the sledgehammer made him feel a bit crazy and he doesn’t feel like a charismatic showman right now. Jericho said now he feels more like a predator or a hunter. The crowd didn’t react, so they piped in fake noise. Jericho wanted to join Foley in the club of guys that beat the hell out of Triple H and now the fans chanted “Y2J” for Jericho. Chris said it’s much easier to get in the club of wives where he insulted Stephanie McMahon by calling her a “trashbag tramp.” Jericho said that even though Foley granted Chris’ request for a Last Man Standing Match at Fully Loaded, Jericho said he can’t wait until Sunday and he wants in the club of kicking Triple H’s ass tonight.

Chris Benoit was next up for an interruption and he had Shane McMahon by his side. Benoit also had a bandage on his head after he was cut open on Raw. Lawler said Benoit was the next WWF Champion.

Benoit got in Foley’s face to tell him what a lousy Commissioner that he has been. Benoit complained about Rock smashing him in the face with a steel chair and giving Benoit the Rock Bottom on the hood of a limo. Benoit called those gutless acts while noting he was the greatest technical wrestler in the WWF. Benoit said all he needs is the Crossface and he said Jericho knew all about it while noting that Jericho passed out the last time he was in the Crossface.

Shane McMahon took over as the fans were fired up. Shane said by putting the WWF Title on the line via the DQ stipulation, Mick has taken away The Rock’s avenue of escape because Rock knows he can’t beat Benoit on his own. Shane said that the people knew Rock couldn’t beat Benoit either. Shane said tonight it should be Chris Benoit one on one with The Rock for the WWF Championship, but if Rock is disqualified then Benoit walks out the new WWF Champion. The fans booed that idea.

Triple H was next up for this promo fest with Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon by his side. Jericho looked at Hunter, so Benoit slapped on the Crossface on Jericho. Triple H went down to the ring and hit a Pedigree on Jericho. The Rock ran out to the ring and the fans were going wild for Rock. Huge pop! Rock cleaned house quickly.

Foley set up the obvious big tag team match for later tonight: Triple H and Benoit vs. Jericho and The Rock. That led to the first commercial after 18 minutes.

Analysis: It was a typical show opening segment that featured a lot of star power while setting up the main event for the show. I like how they had Foley out there trying to maintain control, but he really couldn’t do much as it turned into a brawl, so of course the logical thing was setting up a tag team match.

(Commercial)

Eddie Guerrero entered with Chyna. This was around the time when Chyna posed for Playboy magazine and it was released later in the year. Eddie was the European Champion. Perry Saturn was up next with his new manager Terri, who was scared of Chyna.

European Championship: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri) vs. Dean Malenko

Pre-match notes: Eddie was the babyface European Champion, Saturn was a heel and Malenko was the Light Heavyweight Champion that was a heel. They used to be friends, but no more.

Saturn went after Guerrero with punches as Dean Malenko entered with two random women along with the Light Heavyweight Title. Saturn with a headbutt on Guerrero, then punches and Malenko went into the ring and was greeted by punches to the face. Guerrero sent Saturn out of the ring with a headscissors. Chyna went over to Malenko and hit him with forearms to the face. Guerrero whipped Saturn into the steel steps. Malenko with a backbreaker to Guerrero followed by a suplex with Saturn breaking up the pin. Saturn with an overhead suplex on Malenko, then punches to Eddie and a Powerbomb. Saturn went for a submission on Guerrero, but Malenko broke it up. Malenko with a belly to back suplex on Saturn. Guerrero got back into it with a dropkick on Malenko. Hard whip by Malenko on Guerrero into the turnbuckle. Saturn bounced off the turnbuckle, he hit Malenko right into Guerrero getting a rollup on Malenko with Eddie on top for the pinfall win at 3:31.

Winner by pinfall: Eddie Guerrero

Analysis: *3/4 It was a quick match with a lot of action. The finish was a bit fluky since Malenko bounced right into a pin by Eddie, but it was a clever way to keep the title on the champion.

Post match, Saturn gave Guerrero a suplex into a powerslam. Terri went into the ring to slap Eddie, so Chyna went into the ring and Saturn hit Chyna with a clothesline. Saturn picked up Chyna and gave her a powerslam. Saturn went up top, Eddie pushed Chyna out of the ring and Saturn hit an elbow drop on Guerrero’s back. Terri got in some cheap shot kicks too.

Analysis: It was a cheap attack by Saturn to get some heat to establish his new alliance with Terri.

Edge and Christian were shown in a bar saying that since they know they’ll beat the Acolytes at Fully Loaded and the arena is only a few minutes away from the arena, maybe they’ll invite the Acolytes for a drink.

(Commercial)

The Acolytes were in their “office” in the arena when Just Jose showed up to talk to them. Bradshaw said that since Joe is new here, he should use the door. Joe walked out the door, then he walked back in the door, so Bradshaw made him knock. Joe tried to tell them about Edge & Christian, but Faarooq and Bradshaw told him to leave.

Analysis: Just Joe was a short-lived character that was Canadian wrestler Joe E Legend. He wasn’t used that much.

The great Kurt Angle did a pre-match promo talking about how he had a revelation. Angle reminded us that he is and forever will be an Olympic gold medallist. Angle spoke about how he’s beaten guys of all sizes and shapes from all over the world. Angle noted that in the last few weeks, he has been literally scared of a man who rides a bicycle. He meant The Undertaker, who had a motorcycle. Angle had a new I: “I don’t think so.” Angle said he is no longer scared of Undertaker, which is why he requested a match with Kane because he’s not scared of a man with a mask.

Analysis: Angle was so great during this period. Love the guy. I don’t know what else to say sometimes. He’s just amazing.

Kane made his entrance with Angle going after him with punches. Kane was able to slow him down and sent him into the steel steps. The Undertaker was shown watching on a TV backstage.

Kane vs. Kurt Angle

Pre-match notes: Kane was the face here while Angle was the heel.

Kane was in full control with a powerslam followed by Angle running off the ropes, right into a big boot from Kane. Angle finally got some offense when he clipped the back of the left knee of Kane. Angle with a dragon screw leg whip to take Kane down again and Angle jumped onto the knee again. Kane kicked Angle away followed by Kane hitting two clotheslines. Kane missed a running kick because Angle moved, so Angle kicked the left leg and pulled Kane down. Angle grabbed a chair from ringside, he shoved the referee down and hit Kane with a chair to the knee. That led to a DQ finish at 3:45.

Winner by disqualification: Kane

Analysis: *3/4 Decent match with Angle realizing he wasn’t going to win, so he got out of it the cheap way with the chair. Kane is one of the few guys that Angle couldn’t have a great match with in singles. They had many matches including at a WrestleMania, but it never got to the point where I would call it great or memorable.

Angle continued the attack after the match with four more chair shots to the left knee of Kane. That’s when Kane slowly got back to his feet, so Angle left like the heel coward that he is.

Analysis: This was about making Angle look more serious going into the Fully Loaded match with The Undertaker. Angle did a lot of goofy stuff in the build up to the match, so it was important for Kurt to look more credible. Of course, if you remember the Fully Loaded match then it didn’t even matter, but at least they tried to make Kurt look tougher in this match and post match attack.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were shown walking backstage. A security guy asked for his autograph, so Triple H gave it to him reluctantly. The security guy asked if he could get him The Rock’s signature and Hunter yelled at him about. Hunter did not help him.

(Commercial)

Steve Blackman entered as the Hardcore Champion with Al Snow as the opponent with Snow bringing the “Head” with him to ringside.

Hardcore Championship: Steve Blackman vs. Al Snow

Pre-match notes: Blackman was the Hardcore Champion and Snow was his former tag team partner for a team called Head Cheese. Neither guy was clearly a face or heel at this point although I think Snow was more of a face.

Blackman with belly to back suplex, then he left the ring and hit Blackman with a trash can to the head. Blackman set up Snow on the steel steps, but then Snow sprayed a fire extinguisher spray in his face. Snow hit Blackman with a tray of drinks and Snow suplexed Blackman so that his head hit the top of the barricade. Snow with a trash can lid to the back. Back in the ring, Snow brought out the dreaded bowling ball and some other weapons. Blackman dropkicked Snow in the legs and then Snow landed headfirst into the groin. Snow with a DDT on a trash can lid for a two count. Snow set up Blackman against the turnbuckle and Snow went for the bowling ball. Snow even put on jacket. Blackman countered it by hitting Snow in the back with sticks and a forearm to the chest. Snow with a low blow with a stick. Blackman got a TV monitor and hit Snow in the head with it. That’s when Crash showed up with a diving cross body block off the stage onto Snow and Blackman. It was not a big leap since it’s only about six feet high, but cool spot anyway. Crash went after Blackman and went to ringside with the referee following them. They went back into the ring with Blackman beating on Crash with nunchuks. Snow brought the TV monitor to ringside and hit Blackman in the head with it. Tazz showed up from behind Snow and slapped on the Tazzmission on Snow at ringside. Blackman covered Snow on the floor to retain the title at 6:14.

Winner by pinfall: Steve Blackman

Analysis: **1/2 It was fine for a Hardcore Title match. Sometimes these matches were boring and terrible to watch, but this one had some fun moments. Tazz was facing Snow at Fully Loaded, so that’s why Tazz came out of nowhere with the cheap attack. It was chaotic a bit and, in the end, Blackman kept his title.

Triple H went up to the security guy backstage to apologize for being rude earlier. The security guy said that the autograph was for his son. Triple H told him to bring his son right back there and he’ll see what he can do.

(Commercial)

The Fastest Slam of the Week brought to you by Western Union showed a replay of Trish Stratus slamming Lita through a table on Raw.

The Hardy Boyz made their entrance for a tag team match without Lita by their side since she was injured. Rikishi was up next for the team. Trish Stratus led out the three men she was the manager for: Test, Albert and Intercontinental Champion Val Venis. Trish looked amazing in a red dress.

The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) and Rikishi vs. Val Venis, Test and Albert (w/Trish Stratus)

Pre-match notes: The Hardys and Rikishi were the faces while Trish’s group were the heels. The Fully Loaded match was the Hardys and Lita vs. Test, Albert and Trish Stratus. Meanwhile, Venis was going to defend the IC Title against Rikishi in a Steel Cage Match.

Jeff started with Venis with a springboard leg drop to the chest. Venis came back with a stun gun into the ropes and an elbow drop. Albert tagged in, dropkick by Jeff and Albert charged right into two boots. Matt tagged in for a Hardy double team leg drop. Jeff with a Poetry in Motion attack on Test and Albert, but Jeff was illegal, so Albert hit a splash on Matt and Test hit a boot to the face of Matt. Venis was back in, Matt threw some good punches at him and Venis hit two corner clotheslines. Venis hit a sitout powerbomb and brought in Albert. The big man Albert stomped away on Matt against the turnbuckle. Albert went for a slam, but Matt got out of it and hit the Twist of Fate neckbreaker for two as Venis broke it up. Rikishi went after Val with the fans popping huge for that. Rikishi sent Val out of the ring. Jeff hit a Whisper in the Wind attack off the top on Test while Rikishi and Val went brawling to the back. Albert dumped Jeff over the top to the floor. Test shoved Matt into Albert and Test hit a pumphandle slam on Matt. The referee Jimmy Korderas was dealing with Albert, so Jeff went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on Test’s back while Matt rolled over on Test for the cover and the pinfall win at 4:37. I believe the legal men were Matt and Albert, but there may have been a quick tag in there that I didn’t see.

Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) and Rikishi

Analysis: **1/2 This was really good for the time given. The crowd was into everything, they didn’t blow any spots and it was easy to follow. Lots of action and the Hardys worked well together to pick up a much-needed win since they were getting beat up in this rivalry quite a bit. I like finishes like that sometimes where the faces cheat to win in a way that isn’t cheap, but just taking advantage of the situation.

Post match, Test and Albert went after the Hardys while Test took the referee’s belt off and kicked him out of the ring. Test choked both Hardys with the leather belt. Test went up top and hit an elbow drop on Matt. Albert hit the Albert Bomb on Jeff. Lita went out to ringside holding her right side. Lita shoved Test off the top, Lita jumped off and Albert caught her. Trish hit Lita with the belt to the back. Trish kept on hitting Lita, who had a big bruise on the lower right side of the back. Trish continued to attack Lita with the leather belt to the lower back of Lita. Lawler: “Wow…that was hot.” Something like that. Trish left with T&A while Lita and the Hardys were left in the ring.

Analysis: This got a lot of heat. The fans were screaming for it because they hated what was happening to Lita. Even though the T&A lost the match, they had the advantage going into the Fully Loaded match. This was really well done as an angle to get a lot of heat.

Triple H was talking to the security guard again with the security guard’s kid and ring announcer Howard Finkel was there. Hunter said that Howard can get The Rock’s autograph for them. Hunter said that Rock never refuses an autograph. The Fink said that it will be easy.

(Commercial)

It was back to JB’s Pub with Edge and Christian at the bar saying that the Acolytes were cowards for not showing up. They asked a random guy (who happened to be Charlie Haas) if they had seen the Acolytes. Charlie told Edge & Christian that they rule, so E&C wanted to buy those guys some drinks. There were others behind Charlie, but I don’t know who they are.

Analysis: I did some research and found out that a few weeks after this, Charlie had a WWE tryout with his brother Russ and they were signed to developmental deals. Sadly, Russ died of a heart attack in December 2001 at age 27. Charlie went on to have a pretty good career in WWE through the 2000s.

Howard Finkel was backstage in some room with the security guy and his son. The Rock showed up and he signed a WWF Magazine that the kid had. That led to Chris Benoit and Shane McMahon showing up in the room, so Benoit punched Rock and Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface while Shane talked trash. Triple H was also in the room to laugh about it. Benoit had Rock trapped in the Crossface for nearly one minute when officials showed up to try to break it up.

Analysis: Evil plan by Triple H to attack The Rock. Well played. That was a creative angle.

(Commercial)

They showed replays of the attack before the break.

Let’s Hear from Steven Richards

Steven Richards made his entrance with Bull Buchanan by his side in the white shirts and black ties. Richards talked about how he found a man that’s willing to fight the good fight and knows the consequences of certain actions. Richards said that you can’t go around half naked in thongs or putting people through tables. The fans booed this, of course. Richards said if there were no boundaries and no rules then they would live in utter chaos, which is wrong. Richards said that he knows that the people don’t like him censoring these grotesque displays, but he said that this is for your own good. Richards said with Buchanan’s help, their country will be raised from the depths of depravity and you will thank him for it.

The Godfather showed up for the interruption with several ho’s joining him including the future Victoria as part of the group. As I mentioned in the Raw review earlier in the week, she was in the early stages of her wrestling career.

The Godfather said that he enjoys his freedom and he loved the country as well as what it stands for. Godfather said he wants to look at beautiful women wearing what they want. Godfather said he wants to say what he wants whenever he wants to say. Godfather said he wants to take his fist and cram it down their throat. Godfather went into the ring to have a match with Buchanan.

The Godfather vs. Bull Buchanan (w/Steven Richards)

Pre-match notes: The Godfather was the face while Buchanan was the heel.

Godfather with a clothesline early on, but then Bull came back with a clothesline of his own. Bull with a big boot to the face followed by some choking against the turnbuckle. Bull went for a move off the turnbuckle, Godfather moved and Godfather hit a big boot followed by a clothesline. Godfather off the ropes, Richards grabbed the foot and Godfather got a rollup for two. The ladies outside the ring surrounded Richards at ringside as Godfather hit a powerslam for a two count. One of the girls was on the apron to distract the referee for some reason, Richards went into the ring and Richards hit a superkick. Bull hit a scissors kick to the back of Godfather for the pinfall win at 2:34.

Winner by pinfall: Bull Buchanan

Analysis: 1/2* This was boring. These guys weren’t really known for having good matches. Best part of the match was that at least it was short. Richards cheating to help Bull win made sense due to the numbers game. The woman going on the apron made no sense, but they needed to do something to set up a cheap finish.

It was back to the APA office with Just Joe knocking on the door. They made him go in through the door. Just Joe said that Edge & Christian are at a bar right near here. Bradshaw joked that Edge & Christian are not old enough to be in a bar. Just Joe said that Edge & Christian said that they could beat APA in a wrestling match and a bar fight. They yelled at Joe, who left and then the APA said they were running low on beer, so they are going to go to the bar.

(Commercial)

The Undertaker made his entrance on his motorcycle as usual. Big Boss Man was the opponent for this match.

The Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man

Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face while Boss Man was the heel.

Undertaker went after Boss Man with punches and a corner clothesline. Taker with a running clothesline. Kurt Angle showed up on the stage, so when Taker looked at him, Angle went backstage. Angle brought out a gift in a bag. Angle took out a tub full of some white liquid, then Angle poured it onto the Undertaker’s motorcycle and when Taker saw it, he was pissed off. Taker left the ring and saw the big with that white liquid on it. Angle ran to the backstage area and Undertaker walked after him. They replayed what happened.

Match Result: No Contest?

Analysis: They ignored the match once Undertaker walked to the back. It would have been a countout, but it’s not like there was a count. This one minute match just stopped. It was just a way to get heat on Angle for pouring a liquid onto The Undertaker’s motorcycle.

The Undertaker was shown walking in the backstage area. Angle showed up from behind with a wrench and he hit Undertaker in the back with it. Angle used the wrench to hit the left knee of Undertaker repeatedly. Taker was down on the ground as Angle hit both knees with the wrench. Kane showed up limping backstage and Angle ran away while Kane checked on Taker.

Analysis: The cheap attacks from Angle continue on this show. I liked the ongoing story of Angle trying to get the advantage going into Fully Loaded. It also gave fans more of a reason to tune in to see if Undertaker would get his revenge on Angle since that was one of the biggest matches at the PPV.

(Commercial)

They replayed what happened before the break.

It was back to the bar with the APA duo of Bradshaw and Faarooq showing up asking other patrons if they guys with surfer blonde hair. There was Charlie Haas again as one of the guys in the bar. I think his late brother Russ was one of the guys as well. APA was informed that Edge and Christian left five minutes earlier, but wanted to deliver a message, so APA beat up five guys or so in the bar. Edge and Christian were shown outside in the parking lot area. Bradshaw and Faarooq left the bar, they said they will get Edge and Christian on Sunday at Fully Loaded. As they walked down the street, Edge and Christian knocked down the APA with a 2×4 piece of wood to the back. It looked like a cheap prop that broke easily. Anyway, Edge and Christian drove away.

Analysis: It was another show long angle done to build to the showdown and the crafty heels managed to be successful with their plan.

The foursome of Chris Benoit, Shane McMahon, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were shown walking backstage for the main event.

(Commercial)

There was a WWF Rewind clip showing Chris Jericho getting revenge on Triple H at the end of Raw.

The heels were up first for the main event with Triple H joined by the “wife” Stephanie McMahon, who was the WWF Women’s Champion that didn’t defend the title. Chris Benoit was up next with his buddy Shane McMahon.

Chris Jericho was out first for the face and he got a big pop from the crowd. The Rock was next with the WWF Title with Rock getting the loudest reaction of the night.

The Rock and Chris Jericho vs. Triple H and Chris Benoit (w/Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon)

Pre-match notes: The Rock and Jericho were faces while Triple H and Benoit were the heels. The matchups at Fully Loaded were The Rock defending the WWF Title against Benoit while Jericho and Triple H were in a Last Man Standing Match.

It started as a brawl right away as Rock went after Benoit and Jericho went after Hunter will four guys taking the action to the floor. Jericho sent Hunter into the ring post and the top of the announce table. Rock punched Benoit in the groin while they were on the ramp. Hunter slammed Jericho face first onto the announce table. Shane attacked Rock from behind and Benoit took over with chops on Rock in the ring. Hunter tossed Jericho over the announce table and into Cole. Hunter back in the ring, but Benoit was there with a clothesline. Hunter worked over Rock with punches while Jericho was back on the apron. Rock was sent into the ropes followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Hunter charged right into two boots by Jericho followed by a Jericho clothesline. Hunter with a punch to the ribs, which were taped by Jericho. Benoit was back in as he worked over the ribs of Jericho with some kicks. Benoit suplexed Jericho across the top rope. Hunter with repeated shoulder tackles to Jericho’s ribs and a running knee to the ribs for two. Benoit tagged in, Jericho with a back elbow and then a moonsault attempt, but Benoit got the knees up to block. Hunter sent Jericho into the steel steps and back in the ring that got a two count for Benoit. Triple H shoved referee Earl Hebner, which led to Benoit getting cheap shots on Jericho. Hunter with a knee to the ribs. Rock was knocked out of the ring and Rock hit a clothesline. Rock with punches for both heels, then a DDT on Hunter and a spinebuster on Benoit. Hebner tried to get Rock out of the ring since Rock wasn’t legal, so Rock punched Hebner! The bell rang to end the match at 7:45.

Winners by disqualification: Triple H and Chris Benoit

Analysis: *** This was a high energy tag team match with a molten hot crowd that was going wild for everything. The deal is that if Rock gets DQ’d at Fully Loaded then he loses the WWF Title, so that’s why they booked that finish. I know fans don’t like DQ finishes ever, but if you are telling a story like that then you need to tease the possibility of that happening at the PPV as well. It makes sense from a storytelling perspective. Anyway, Jericho did a great job of selling for the majority of the match, Rock was barely the legal man in the match and then Rock couldn’t help himself, which led to the DQ.

There were a few minutes left in the show as Jericho hit a springboard dropkick on Triple H to knock him off the apron. Shane was on the apron, so Rock punched him out of the ring. Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Benoit, Hunter back in with a chair, but Jericho tripped him up. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho on Hunter and Rock slapped on the Crippler Crossface on Benoit. The crowd was SCREAMING in excitement at the sight of Jericho putting Hunter in the Walls of Jericho while Rock had the Crippler Crossface on Benoit. The fans were on fire for this and they absolutely loved it. Rock had a crazed look on his face as payback for what Benoit has done to him. Jericho wouldn’t let go of Triple H either. Rock and Jericho finally let go as the show came to an end there.

Here is a look at crazy eyes Rock.

Analysis: This was an excellent way to end the show with a lot of excitement going into Fully Loaded. Listen to that crowd. It’s not like WWE needed crowd sweetener here to make the crowd care more. The fans were absolutely on fire. They went off the air with Rock controlling Benoit and Jericho controlling Triple H, so it was a nice way to end on a positive note. I thought it worked very well as a show closing angle.

This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:29:39 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Kurt Angle
  2. Chris Jericho
  3. The Rock

 

The Scoreboard

This episode gets a 6.75 out of 10.

A lot of the heels were getting the advantage going into Fully Loaded. There were cheap attacks for Kurt Angle, T&A with Trish, Edge & Christian, Tazz and Saturn where in each case, the heels were standing tall. At least there were the babyfaces Rock and Jericho standing tall at the end of the night. There wasn’t a particular match or promo that stood out more than anything else, but I think there was good storytelling through this Smackdown episode.

It’s tough to complain about the short matches because that’s just how the shows were booked back then. I think they built up to every Fully Loaded match well and really, that’s what matters in this era when you are trying to convince people to spend money on pay-per-views. Every match on the card had moments where they were the focus and I think everything was built up pretty well.

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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.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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