Reviews

TJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 07/27/00 Review (The Rock vs. Kurt Angle)

This was the first Smackdown after Fully Loaded as the WWF was on the road to SummerSlam.

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

“Just 24 hours after a controversial Fully Loaded, Commissioner Mick Foley looks to make things right as he gives WWE Champion The Rock a chance at payback on Kurt Angle. With the help of Shane McMahon, Big Show unveils a new attitude. Plus, X-Pac and Steve Blackman get hardcore, the Right to Censor introduces their newest member, and more. / PG (D,L,V)”

Smackdown was not 24 hours after Fully Loaded. That was Raw, so whoever wrote this made a mistake. The rest of it is fine.

See that PG there? Sometimes it was like that for Smackdown. Most of the time it was TV-14 in this era.

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 #49
July 27, 2000 (Taped July 25)
From Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas

The show began with highlights from Raw that included Big Show aligning with Shane McMahon again, which led to those two along with Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit beating up The Rock and Kane to end the show. The Smackdown introduction video aired after that.

It was a packed house in San Antonio with the pyro going off, signs all over and the announce team of Michael Cole with Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us to the show.

Smackdown starts with a match sometimes as X-Pac entered with Road Dogg as highlights were shown of Blackman beating Road Dogg on Raw. Road Dogg joined commentary for the match. I don’t post many announcer pics in these reviews, so for the three Michael Cole fans out there, here you go.

Hardcore Championship: Steve Blackman vs. X-Pac (w/Road Dogg)

Pre-match notes: Blackman was the babyface Hardcore Champion although he didn’t show much in the way of personality. X-Pac was the heel.

X-Pac used a black leather strap to attack the ribs of Blackman and do some choking as well. X-Pac charged right into a body slam from Blackman, who whipped X-Pac with the leather strap. Dogg didn’t like Cole talking over him as X-Pac hit a spin kick to take over. X-Pac brought in a trash can lid that he used to hit Blackman in the head, but then Blackman kicked the trash can in his face. Blackman hit a trash can to the knee and then a spinning shot to the back of the head. Blackman launched X-Pac into the air for another trash can shot to the head. Blackman brought in a trash can along with nunchuks, which he tossed to X-Pac and Blackman had some sticks in his hands. Blackman with the sticks to the ribs, then to the ribs and to the legs. Blackman used a stick to assist with a slam for a two count. They each left the ring to get weapons with Blackman holding a stick, but then X-Pac sprayed some fire extinguisher spray into Blackman’s face. X-Pac with some hard chops to the chest. Back in the ring, X-Pac with a trash can shot to the head. X-Pac foolishly put the trash can by Blackman, who held it up to block a Bronco Buster attempt. Ouch. Blackman hit X-Pac in the head with the kendo stick for the pinfall win at 5:33.

Winner by pinfall: Steve Blackman

Analysis: **3/4 It was a fun match with Blackman continuing his dominant run as the champion. X-Pac worked well with him in terms of their styles meshing with a martial arts background. They came up with some creative spot and had a competitive match. Blackman was booked well as the champion as the WWF tried to make it a more serious title after it was more of a joke in the 24/7 title days.

Post match, Road Dogg attacked Blackman with a kendo stick. X-Pac hit Blackman with a kendo stick. Cole claimed that Road Dogg and X-Pac were arguably the greatest tag team in WWF history. What? They were never even the champions together. Road Dogg was with Billy Gunn. Anyway, there was more double teaming and nobody tried to help Blackman.

The Rock and Commissioner Mick Foley were shown talking backstage in the parking lot.

(Commercial)

The WWF Burn of the Week showed Rikishi’s amazing cage dive on Val Venis at Fully Loaded.

Let’s Hear from Commissioner Mick Foley

The WWF Commissioner Mick Foley made his entrance to a big pop from the crowd. On Raw, his promo was the first segment and on Smackdown here it was the second segment. That’s because they did it differently on Smackdown sometimes.

Foley said that in general, he likes to smile quite a bit and he thinks he’s got a pretty nice smile, but unfortunately tonight he doesn’t feel a whole lot like smiling. Foley said he wasn’t happy with Shane McMahon, Big Show, the events from Raw and not happy about being a made a fool out of. Foley mentioned Big Show for the last two weeks called Foley about how he was ready to come back because his knee felt good. Mick said Big Show told him he wanted Shane McMahon, so Foley gave that to Big Show and Show duped all of them. Lawler: “It was great!”

Foley mentioned that the WWF Champion The Rock is not that happy right now. Foley said that The Rock told him he wants Benoit, Big Show, Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon. Foley said he’ll level the playing field a little bit by giving him a one on one contest in this very ring tonight right here in San Antonio, Texas (cheap pop) when Rock faces Angle.

Foley said that there will also be a mixed tag team match that will see Trish Stratus and Triple H take on Lita and Chris Jericho. The fans loved that idea. Foley set up a six-man tag team match where Edge & Christian will team up with the Big Show against The Dudley Boyz and Kane. Foley said since he’s feeling good right here in the birthplace of Dude Love and now he’s going to make that last match a Tables Match. The fans loved that announcement as I was ready for an interruption and here comes Big Show joined by Shane McMahon as that duo entered the ring.

Shane laughed about how they fooled Foley on Raw. Shane said that he will always be a couple of steps ahead of the Commish and Monday night was the first lesson in McMahon master manipulation. Shane introduced Big Show, which drew major boos from the crowd.

Show said that when he was sent to the hospital and doing physical therapy and rehab for his knee, he had one thought in his mind. Show said he had a thought about snapping Shane’s neck, but as time passed he looked in the mirror to see who was really responsible for his knee injury – it was himself. Show said he had a great time making everybody laugh, but he was a joke as fans chanted “Big Show sucks” at him, so Show told them to kiss his ass (they bleeped “ass”) right now. Show said he was a damn failure. Show said he was blind to who was trying to help him, he said it was Shane and Kurt Angle that were trying to keep him from being a moron. Show said that ever since he first got there, he’s been trying to find out who he is and what he’s about. Show said he’s the biggest, nastiest bastard to ever step foot in the WWF and he is damn proud of it.

Analysis: There’s the explanation by Big Show for his heel turn. I think it made sense, so that’s always a plus because there are a lot of heel turns that are so random and make no sense. At least in Show’s case he can admit that his time as a fun loving good guy didn’t work out, so he was back to being the big, nasty bastard. Foley did a nice job of setting up the matches for later as well. It’s a way to kill some time with a promo, but it’s also a productive segment.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley were backstage with Stephanie wanting him to put some ice on his injured left arm while Hunter wanted her to back off. They went into the dressing room where a camera was already inside and Stephanie reacted to the yellow roses in the room. Stephanie said she knew nothing about this. Hunter grabbed the card, read some of it and Stephanie said they were signed by Hunter, so he smiled. They kissed and hugged. Poor Chyna. Should I keep making that joke? Yes, I should.

(Commercial)

The Hardy Boyz made their entrance for the next match. The rarely used team of D-Lo Brown and Chaz aka Lo Down entered as the opponents.

The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) vs. Lo Down (D-Lo Brown and Chaz)

Pre-match notes: The Hardy Boyz were the faces while Lo Down were heels.

Brown and Chaz did some nice double team moves on Matt leading to Brown slamming Chaz onto Matt. Chaz with a belly to back suplex, Matt ran the ropes and hit a DDT. Jeff tagged in with a double team splash on Brown. Chaz tripped up Jeff, then pulled him into the ring post and Brown distracted the referee, so it was some nice cheating by the heels. Double team suplex into a slam by Lo Down followed by double teaming with the referee not looking. Jeff tried to get some momentum, but Brown hit him with a belly to back suplex. Chaz tagged in with a double axehandle on Jeff for a two count followed by a clothesline. Brown pounded on Jeff with a knee to the ribs followed by a forearm to the back. Brown missed a moonsault off the middle ropes when Jeff moved. Matt tagged in against Chaz, Matt with a DDT on Brown, then a back elbow to Chaz and a clothesline off the middle ropes. Jeff into the ring with a Poetry in Motion attack on both heels. Matt hit a leg drop off the middle ropes for two. Jeff hit a dropkick to D-Lo in the back. Jeff went over the top to take out Brown on the floor. Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Chaz, Jeff up top and he hit the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win at 6:05.

Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz

Analysis: *** This was good. The Hardys are so awesome and they were so consistent in every match. The Lo Down team didn’t have an issue in terms of matches because their offense looked good and they were always in the right spot to sell the moves of Hardys here. Lo Down just didn’t stand out much as personalities. Since the tag team division was so loaded with talent, Lo Down never got that big push.

Post match, Brown with a belly to back drop on Jeff over the top to the floor. Brown with a jumping kick on Matt and then a double team Powerbomb. Chaz with the superplex off the top on Jeff followed by Brown hitting a Frog Splash. That’s a bit like what Power & Glory used to do as a finisher.

Analysis: It got some heat for Lo Down since they did the cheap attack after a loss.

It was back to Triple H and Stephanie in their dressing room with Hunter complaining about Mick Foley making Trish Stratus his partner. Hunter said that Trish should be in a bar somewhere doing wet t-shirt contests and said she had no business in a wrestling ring. Hunter said she knows nothing about wrestling or technique. Hunter said that “you, her, all these other women it’s the same thing” so then Stephanie got mad and reminded him that wrestling has been in her family and she left in anger.

Analysis: Marriage problems. Poor Triple H just because he said a few words to piss off the wife. It would only get worse from there.

(Commercial)

The show returned with Hunter on the couch and Trish Stratus entered the room looking wonderful as usual. Trish said since they are partners, maybe Hunter can show her some holds. Hunter said she had no idea how much this bothers him. Hunter asked if she knew anything. It would continue later.

Grandmaster Sexay entered for a singles match without his tag team partner. Tazz was the opponent and Tazz had an issue with Sexay’s buddy Rikishi at this point.

Tazz vs. Grandmaster Sexay

Pre-match notes: Tazz was the heel while Sexay was the face. Tazz beat Scotty 2 Hotty on Raw and then Rikishi showed up to go after him.

Sexay greeted Tazz with a dropkick before Tazz could even get in the ring. Sexay gave Tazz a suplex on the floor and then they went back into the ring. Taz with a punch to the gut to block a top rope attack followed by a running clothesline. Sexay came back with a belly to back suplex with Tazz landing on the back of his head. That was a rough landing. Tazz came back with an Alabama Slam. It looked like there was an edit there, so maybe they messed up the spot. Tazz with a back elbow, then a snapmare and punches to the face. Tazz hit a bridging Northern Lights Suplex followed by another punch to the face. Sexay came back with a boot to the face followed by a powerslam. Sexay with an enziguri kick to the face. Sexay charged, Tazz moved and the Tazzmission submission was applied. Scotty 2 Hotty went into the ring and punched Tazz, so that was the DQ finish at 2:36.

Winner by disqualification: Tazz

Analysis: *1/2 This felt rushed, but they did work at a very fast pace. I think they should have had Tazz get the win by submission or pinfall instead of doing a DQ in this spot. It’s not like a tag team wrestler like Sexay needed to be protected in a match like this.

Scotty kicked Tazz out of the ring. When Scotty checked on Scotty, Tazz went back in the ring and Scotty hit a bulldog. Sexay went up top with the leg drop. That led to Scotty doing the W-O-R-M leading to the dreaded chop to the chest. The fans went crazy for the WORM spot as usual.

I like this shot of referee Tim White reacting to Scotty doing the WORM as if it was leading to some vicious attack on poor Tazz.

Analysis: This feud must continue. The Tazz feud was with Rikishi, but it was fine to get Too Cool involved to give them something to do.

It was back to Triple H’s dressing room as he tried to teach Trish some moves. Hunter wanted to teach her a hammerlock where you’ve got the arm behind the back, then you apply the pressure and he wanted Trish to do it. Hunter showed her a counter, which is the same thing, but then Trish had to grab the leg and trip them. That meant Hunter’s groin was positioned behind Trish as she was bent over…and here comes Stephanie! That was hilarious. The fans reacted to it with loud “ooohhh” reaction. Stephanie threw the flowers and tossed the lamp down. Hunter said it was nothing while Stephanie left angrily. Hunter was mad too. He yelled at Trish that it was Trish’s fault and Hunter left.

Analysis: This was a memorable scene due to the sexual position that Hunter and Trish were in when Stephanie walked into the room. Hunter was honest that it really was nothing, but when Stephanie walked in to see Hunter with Trish…I just gotta say it was a creative idea. As I said, people that saw this probably remember it forever. Some of Stephanie’s acting was too over the top.

(Commercial)

They replayed what happened before the break.

Triple H was shown in the parking lot with his bag while Road Dogg was there talking to him. Hunter said he was leaving, Dogg said he would talk to Stephanie and Hunter said he didn’t care. Hunter said “to hell with the match and to hell with my wife.” Triple H left in a car while Road Dogg wondered what to do.

Edge and Christian entered with ridiculous green and red cowboy hats. Christian said most people view Texans as big, smelly, pork rind chomping, tobacco spitting fatties and that led to a lot boos. Edge noted that everything is bigger in Texas and he noted their cowboy hats. Edge introduced the “totally Big Show” who entered with Shane McMahon.

The face team was up next with the Dudley Boyz getting a big pop followed by their partner Kane.

Tables Match: Edge, Christian and Big Show (w/Shane McMahon) vs. Kane and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)

Pre-match notes: Edge, Christian and Big Show were heels while Kane and Dudleys were faces.

The winners of this match have to put one of the opponents through a table.

Bubba started with Christian with a clothesline even though this is a match with no disqualifications, so I wonder why they are doing tags. D-Von tagged in with a clothesline and a running shoulder tackle. Edge into the ring, D-Von punched him, Christian with a low blow while the referee was distracted and a reverse DDT. Show tagged in and tossed D-Von across the ring followed by a powerslam. D-Von slammed Edge off the turnbuckle and then a clothesline. Christian into the ring with a belly to back suplex. Kane had enough of that, so he destroyed Edge & Christian by sending them out of the ring. Kane went after Big Show as the crowd went wild with Kane destroying Show with repeated punches. Show came back with a clothesline after a Shane distraction. Bubba with a back body drop on Edge, D-Von went up top and hit a headbutt to the groin of Edge. The match completely broke down by this point, which was fine since it wasn’t a regular match. The Dudleys brought a table into the ring and hit E&C with a table. Show knocked down Kane on the other side of the ring. Bubba set up a table in the ring and the Dudleys hit the 3D (Dudley Death Drop) on Edge through the table at 4:21.

Winners: Kane and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)

Analysis: **1/4 A lot of fun for the time given. I think it could have been structured better by not having them do tags to start the match and just make it a tornado rules match since it was about putting the opponent through a table. The finish was a bit flat, but it accomplished the goal of having the champions Edge & Christian losing in this match to help build up the Dudleys for a future title shot.

Post match, the Dudleys set up another table in the ring and Christian bailed to the floor to avoid an attack. Big Show decked Bubba and D-Von with punches. Show set the table up, Kane grabbed Show with a choke around the neck and Shane punched Kane in the back. Kane picked up Shane, but Show saved Shane. Show picked up Kane and gave him a Chokeslam through the table.

Analysis: Big Show was booked very strong on Raw and Smackdown. Yes, he was on the losing side in this match, but it’s not like he was the one that got pinned. Show took out Undertaker on Raw and put Kane through a table here.

(Commercial)

A replay was shown of Big Show putting Kane through a table.

Steven Richards entered with Bull Buchanan by his side. We saw a highlight from Raw when The Godfather lost to Buchanan (because of a Richards chair shot) that meant Godfather can no longer bring ho’s to the ring.

No word on if that sign holder is a gardener.

Let’s Hear from Steven Richards

Richards did a promo saying they have always had the fans’ interests in mind. Richards claimed they had thousands of letters in support of their actions. Richards said that right will always prevail over wrong. Richards said scantily-clad women are wrong. Richards added that pimpin’ isn’t easy, it’s history and so are the scantily clad women. Richards said that they fought the good fight for our (the fans) no good and the fans don’t know any better. Richards said that their efforts are not in vain…and fans greeted Richards with an “Asshole” chant. Richards introduced us to…The Goodfather.

IT’s The Godfather with a new look with a white suit, black name and a new name known as The Goodfather. He was dressed by Richards and Buchanan. They were not known as Right to Censor yet, but that was coming soon.

The Goodfather: “So I see once the women are gone, so is the love, huh?” They did boo him. Goodfather said that Richards was right because he was spending too much time fighting for your rights, but all he was fighting for was filth. Goodfather said that parading women around as sex objects isn’t right. Goodfather said that he was pimpin’ just for the cheer when he should have been trying to set a better example. Goodfather said love is not for sale. Lawler: “WHAT?” Love is a privilege, not a commodity. Goodfather said he had one more thing to say: “I’m Sorry.” Goodfather told the fans that what they were cheering for was wrong. Goodfather said that he couldn’t see the trash in front of his eyes and that what he was doing was wrong. Goodfather said that Steven is right, which drew boos from the crowd. Goodfather said that the WWF will be better off with no pimps, no ho’s and selective censoring. They shook hands to celebrate.

Analysis: I thought it was a great heel promo. It got The Goodfather plenty of heat because of what he said, which was the opposite of what he was doing in the WWF for years before that. The best heel promos often times are the ones where they blame the fans, so that’s what he did here and it was very effective. As I said, they weren’t using the “Right to Censor” name yet, but it was coming soon. They were getting a lot of heat, that’s for sure.

Commissioner Foley was in his office with the lovely Trish Stratus went up to him. Speaking of scantily-clad women…well she had some clothes, but I’m not complaining about the outfit. Trish tried to get out of her tag team match since Triple H left. Trish was being flirty, then Foley was playing along and forcing her sexuality on him. Foley said he’ll assign a new partner in Chris Benoit. Foley said she’ll wrestle or he’ll sue her for sexual harassment, which was kind of silly, but also payback for something Trish said in the past.

Analysis: A lot of Trish on her shown and not really with her team either. You could tell by this point that the creative team loved utilizing Trish a lot and I loved that they did.

(Commercial)

The next match was scheduled for Raw, but there was no time, so they put it on Smackdown.

European Championship: Perry Saturn (w/Terri) vs. Crash

Pre-match notes: Saturn was a heel European Champion and Crash (Holly) was the face.

Crash hit a running dropkick for two, but then Saturn hit a superkick. Terri was on commentary saying she was Perry’s adviser. Saturn with a gorilla press slam and a neckbreaker that got a two count. Crash got a rollup pin for a two count. Saturn put Crash on his shoulders and then spun him around like a Powerbomb for a two count. Crash with a bulldog headlock off the ropes for two with Cole calling it a DDT even though it was a bulldog. Saturn had Crash on the shoulders followed by a spinning slam. It looked there was some weird edit after that as Crash hit a back body drop. Crash went up top and hit a hurricanrana for a two count. Crash ran to the ropes, Terri grabbed the foot, the referee Jack Doan saw it, did nothing and Saturn did a low blow kick followed by an inside cradle for the pinfall win at 2:51.

Winner by pinfall: Perry Saturn

Analysis: *1/4 A quick match to put over Saturn in his first title defense. I don’t think Saturn should have to cheat to beat Crash in a match like that, but it was a way to involve Terri as a manager.

Post match, Eddie Guerrero went into the ring with Chyna and they went after Saturn. Eddie punched Saturn, referees broke it up and Chyna hit a clothesline on Saturn to send him out of the ring.

Analysis: Saturn cheated to win the European Title from Eddie, so it made sense for Eddie to want revenge.

They showed replays of what happened on Raw when The Undertaker was attacked by Big Show, Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon. They said that Undertaker had a “dislocated kneecap” but he wasn’t out for that long.

Chris Jericho and Lita were shown walking backstage for an intergender tag team match.

(Commercial)

Trish Stratus entered for the intergender tag team match while her partner Chris Benoit was joined by Shane McMahon.

Chris Benoit and Trish Stratus (w/Shane McMahon) vs. Chris Jericho and Lita

Pre-match notes: Benoit and Stratus were the heels while Jericho and Lita were the faces. This was the third time in the same week where Stratus was in a match with Lita after a six-person tag at Fully Loaded and Leather Strap Match on Raw.

Benoit and Jericho exchanged chops to start the match, Benoit with a boot to the face and Jericho came back with an enziguri kick to the head. Trish went into the ring for some reason, so Lita hit her with a clothesline and then a dropkick that sent Trish into the barricade. Benoit suplexed Jericho onto the top rope, Shane pulled Jericho out and stomped on him. Back in the ring, Benoit with a backbreaker and Benoit went up top with a flying headbutt on Jericho for two as Lita broke up the pin. Benoit tossed Lita out of the ring, but then Jericho came back with a spinning heel kick to the head. Jericho hit a running forearm to the head and a bulldog for him. Benoit kicked Jericho followed by a punch to Lita. Jericho with the Walls of Jericho, but Trish broke it up and Jericho put the Walls of Jericho on Trish, so Benoit punched Jericho. Lita went off the top and jumped on Benoit with a hurricanrana. Lita with a slingshot attack over the top onto Trish on the floor. Jericho with a Lionsault on Benoit. That was enough for the win after 3:27 of action.

Winners by pinfall: Chris Jericho and Lita

Analysis: ** It’s always good seeing Benoit and Jericho in a match because they had great chemistry. I didn’t expect the Lionsault to win the match, but they did use it as a finisher sometimes in this era. I’m just so used to Jericho matches where somebody kicks out of that move, so it was a bit of a surprise. Lita and Trish didn’t do much in the match other than Lita taking her out, which drew a good pop. Jericho got some momentum back here after losing to Triple H at Fully Loaded.

(Commercial)

They showed highlights of Jericho pinning Benoit before the break.

Kurt Angle was interviewed by Jonathon Coachman backstage. Angle said he can’t wait to face The Rock. Angle said that Rock and Texas have something in common because they all think they’re better than everybody else. Angle said: “Lone Star State, my ass.” That got booed. Angle said he’s going to beat Rock.

Chris Jericho was interviewed by Kevin Kelly. Jericho said that Triple H is not that damn good according to his wife. Jericho also ripped on Hunter getting caught by Stephanie when Hunter was showing moves to Trish. Jericho said that since he just beat Benoit then maybe Jericho’s the best technical wrestler in the WWF and Benoit is second now. That led to Benoit attacking Jericho from behind. Benoit hit Jericho with some equipment box. Benoit whipped Jericho into a steel garage door. Benoit dropped the door onto Jericho’s chest. Benoit grabbed a steel chair and hit him in the head with the chair as if it was a Conchairto. Jericho spit up blood out of the mouth.

Analysis: This would set up a SummerSlam match between Jericho and Benoit, who had multiple PPV matches earlier in the year. It’s actually pretty good booking to have Triple H taken out of the story, then you have Jericho beat Benoit in the tag and then an angry Benoit with the cheap attack to set up the next PPV match between them. Long term booking works! Jericho got married a few days after this, so that’s why they did the injury angle with him.

(Commercial)

They replayed Benoit’s attack on Jericho from before the break.

The “King of the Ring” Kurt Angle made his entrance. I think Angle referenced the king name less than any King of the Ring ever. The announcers said that this was now a WWF Title match. They showed a highlight from Raw when Angle hit Rock in the back with a chair, which led to Rock getting beat up by four guys. The Rock entered to a huge ovation.

WWF Championship: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle

Pre-match notes: The Rock was the babyface WWF Champion while Angle was the heel challenger.

There were loud “Rocky” chants as the match began. Rock went after Angle with punches, then a boot to the face and Angle ran into a back elbow. Angle came back with a powerslam. Rock with a corner whip into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline to the back. Angle with a high angle belly to back suplex. That led to Chris Benoit and Shane McMahon walking down to the ring with Angle distracting the referee, which led to Shane choking Rock’s throat against the middle rope. Angle sent Rock over the top to the floor. Shane hit Rock with a running clothesline on the floor, which referee Earl Hebner didn’t see due to Angle distracting Earl. Rock bounced back with a jumping clothesline. Angle distracted the referee again as Benoit pulled Rock out of the ring and Benoit sent Rock groin first across the barricade at ringside. The fans chanted “Rocky” to support Rock as Angle sent Rock back in the ring for a two count. Angle had Rock trapped in a headlock for about one minute until Rock came back with a belly to belly release suplex. Rock came back with a DDT for a two count, but then Angle hit a belly to belly suplex of his own. Angle charged right into a Spinebuster from Rock. Shane on the apron, so Rock punched him. Rock with a leg takedown on Angle and then a Sharpshooter on Angle. Benoit punched Rock in the back, but the referee didn’t see it because Hebner was busy with Shane. Rock whipped Benoit into the steel steps. Rock sent Benoit into the ring and brought a chair into the ring. Rock hit Benoit in the back with the steel chair. Rock also hit Angle with a chair to the head (Angle got a hand up to block). That was the end of the match at 7:41.

Winner by disqualification: Kurt Angle (The Rock remains WWF Champion)

Analysis: *** Good match by two of the best in the WWF at the time in a match that felt like a big deal. The disqualification finish wasn’t a surprise at all, but you would figure Rock would win by DQ instead of lose. I think they booked it this way to show that Rock was so stressed out due to having so many rivals that he was losing his mind a bit and that’s why he used the chair. Angle always worked well with Rock. I loved their chemistry in big matches like this. I also think Benoit and Shane were booked well in their role.

Post match, Rock chased after Shane, who ran up the ramp to the back. Rock gave Benoit a spinebuster on the ramp.

Kurt Angle was announced as the winner, he celebrated with the WWF Title and Rock was furious about it. Rock went back in the ring, punched Kurt, who dropped the title and Rock celebrated with the WWF Title while the heels were together at the top of the ramp. Cole mentioned that Rock was a marked man as the show ended there.

Analysis: There’s The Rock getting that revenge after he got his ass kicked on Smackdown.

This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:34:27 on WWE Network.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEulPsAlwAU

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Rock
  2. Kurt Angle
  3. The Hardy Boyz

 

The Scoreboard

This episode gets a 7.5 out of 10.

It was a pretty good episode with better matches than we usually get on some Smackdown episodes and I liked that there was a Tables Match to make things feel a bit different there. The Rock/Angle main event was booked very well with Rock getting some revenge after getting beat up on Smackdown. They also continued to book Big Show in a strong way after his return and heel turn on Raw. Speaking of heel turns, I really liked The Goodfather’s promo too.

You could tell some seeds were planted for SummerSlam as well as they moved in new directions following Fully Loaded. The booking is so consistently good on these shows.

—-

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