The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “The Rock battles The Undertaker and Kane in a Triple Threat match for the chance to challenge Triple H for the WWE Title in the main event.”
The return of Kane was the big news from Raw on May 29. He saved The Rock and The Undertaker from a group attack from the McMahon-Helmsley Regime, so that meant that Kane, Rock and Undertaker all had their eyes on the WWF Title held by Triple H. The next PPV was King of the Ring on June 25.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “While The Rock and The Undertaker compete in matches for a shot at the WWE Title, Kane seizes his own golden opportunity. All this and more!”
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Mr. McMahon forces The Rock and The Undertaker to meet in a Lumberjack Match. WWE Champion Triple H saves Shane McMahon the smell of defeat.”
This is first Smackdown after Judgment Day 2000, which was the return of The Undertaker. Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “The McMahon-Helmsley Faction looks to get even with The Undertaker when Shane McMahon battles the American Bad-Ass in the main event.”
This edition of Raw was the follow up to the Judgment Day 2000 PPV. The big news coming out of that show was that Triple H beat The Rock to regain the WWF Championship in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match that had a controversial finish. Plus, The Undertaker returned after missing about eight months of action. He was out for that long due to a groin injury and a torn pectoral muscle that required surgery. It was a different look for The Undertaker too.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “After losing the WWE Title to Triple H at Judgment Day, The Rock looks for payback on the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. Plus, much more!”
It’s time for WWE Judgment Day featuring a WWF Title match that saw The Rock defending the gold against Triple H in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match with Shawn Michaels as the referee. There was also a huge surprise return in the main event of this show as well.
The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW – 07.28.97
It’s the last show before Summerslam!
Live from Pittsburgh, PA. Hopefully no one has anything untoward to say about the city this week. The show did an all-time record gate of 12,000 people paying $185,000 as both shows in the war make money hand over fist.
This was the go-home edition of Smackdown heading into Judgment Day 2000. Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “The McMahon-Helmsley Faction place The Rock in a special Lumberjack Tables Match against The Dudley Boyz. Plus, Kurt Angle, Val Venis, and more!”
This was the go-home episode of Raw heading into Judgment Day 2000. The main event of Judgment Day 2000 was The Rock defending the WWF Title against Triple H in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Commissioner Shawn Michaels drops a bombshell about his career and the upcoming Iron Man match between The Rock and Triple H.”
The road to Judgment Day 2000 continued as the McMahon-Helmsley Regime did everything they could to make life miserable for the babyfaces. The Rock missed Raw due to filming a movie (The Mummy Returns) and he missed this episode of Smackdown too.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “Rikishi and Too Cool battle DX in a Six-Man Tag Team Elimination main event. Triple H issues a challenge to The Rock for the WWE Title.”
The WWF was rolling in May 2000 with an entertaining product on the road to Judgment Day on May 21. This was a unique episode of Raw because the WWF Champion, some guy named The Rock, was not at Raw or Smackdown this week. Instead, he was in England filming scenes for The Mummy Returns, which was his first movie role. Since The Rock was the top face on the show, that meant it was time for some other guys to step up.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Triple H challenges The Rock to an Iron Man Match for the WWE Title at Judgment Day. The McMahon-Helmsley Regime targets Chris Jericho.”
(My intention had been to do Backlash 99 during Wrestlemania weekend, but it was just too much wrestling, man. Instead, here’s my review of the RAW after Backlash, which is one of the first episodes that was put up on the Network when it went live. And then tomorrow, the esteemed pilot episode of Smackdown, as I continue a little bit of a vacation from writing to recharge my batteries this week.)
Brought to you by…
The SmarK RAW Rant – 04.25.99
Like hell I’d pass THIS one up.
Live from Hartford, CT
Your hosts are Jim Ross & James E. Cornette
This was the first episode of Smackdown following Backlash with the next PPV, Judgment Day, on the horizon in less than three weeks. The Rock was the WWF Champion that had to deal with the McMahon Family trying to stack the deck against him all the time. In this episode, that meant defending the WWF Title in a handicap match.
Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “Referee Earl Hebner is forced to team with The Rock as The Great One defends the WWE Title against DX in a Handicap Tag Team Match.”
The big news coming out of Backlash one night earlier was that The Rock became the WWF Champion for the fourth time when he defeated Triple H in a thrilling main event match. Rock didn’t do it alone because he got some help from Steve Austin, who saved Rock from Triple H and the McMahon family making things difficult. It was one of the most thrilling main event matches ever. The Rock’s feud with Triple H continued as they headed into the month of May on the road to Judgment Day, which was three weeks away.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “The Rock defends his WWE Championship against Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage main event. Plus, Chris Jericho, Triple H, and more!”
It’s time for WWF Backlash 2000. This is the pay-per-view that followed WrestleMania 2000 when Triple H retained the WWE Title thanks to Vince McMahon turning heel on The Rock to side with Triple H. Shane McMahon is the referee of the main event while Steve Austin (who had been out since November 1999 due to the neck injury that required surgery) is in The Rock’s corner and Vince McMahon is in Triple H’s corner. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley was with Triple H as the storyline wife, so Hunter had the support of three McMahons. We didn’t know if Rock could trust Austin, so that was the big storyline going into the show.