The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown–12.23.99

The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown – 12.23.99

Earlier today, Mick Foley assembles the locker room for a speech, rallying the troops against the McMahon-Helmsley Era and all the damage that they’re doing. Although he did think the Topless match was pretty cool. But worst of all, no one needs seven Mean Street Posse segments in one show. Stephanie butts in, however, and declares that she’s no longer listening to HHH and this is her show from now on. So it’s a Clipboard Smackdown, as Steph makes Mankind v. Big Show for the WWF title, plus Rock v. Al Snow in a cage, and Test v. Road Dogg. Well there’s one rebellion quelled!  If only the Hunger Games had been that easy to deal with.

Taped from Dallas, TX

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

Intercontinental title: Chris Jericho v. Hardcore Holly

Holly “earned” this shot by winning the Topless match on RAW. Jericho gets an elbow and slugs away in the corner to start, but walks into the DROPKICK OF DOOM. Holly pounds him down and follows with a suplex, but goes up and gets crotched. Jericho comes back with chops and a leg lariat, and a flying forearm gets two. Jericho gets rid of Crash and gets the Walls, but Crash returns for the DQ at 3:10. This brings out Chyna to make the save as weeks of “I don’t understand this relationship!” continues unabated. **

Meanwhile, The Outlaws counsel HHH about his sudden martial strife.

Meanwhile, Stephanie enlists Kane as a bodyguard tonight, in case DX comes after her, in exchange for a match with X-Pac on Monday. Michael Cole notes that he’s “somewhat skeptical” of Stephanie’s motives. What a brain surgeon.

Rikishi v. Viscera

They quickly fight on the floor and Vis runs him into the table, and back in for a clothesline and big fat splash for two. Vis decides not to take the win, but tries another splash and misses, allowing Rikishi to make the comeback with Cheeks of Fire. He tries a slam and Vis falls on top of him for two, but Rikishi finishes him with a superkick and the butt splash at 1:46. This was about as good as these two were going to deliver, thanks to judiciously short runtime. *1/2 Too Cool come out for another dance afterwards and continue to get more over.

Meanwhile, things are awkward between Test and Stephanie, but she doesn’t care if he’s buying this change of heart or not.

Meanwhile, it’s the historic debut of the COACH, as he interviews the Rock for the first time and immediately gets told to shut up. Tonight is the Rock’s show, so Al Snow has no chance.

Road Dogg v. Test

Test storms in and attacks with a sideslam, finally showing some fire long after it would do any good. He boots Dogg to the floor and gets whipped into the stairs, and Road Dogg hits him in the broken nose to get the heat. Back in, Road Dogg goes up with a dropkick, but lands on Test’s big boot, and Test hits the powerbomb to make the comeback. A shot with the nose guard and the pumphandle slam set up the flying elbow to finish at 2:30. TEST WINS! TEST WINS! TEST WINS! Now that’s the fire he should have been showing all along, instead of crawling back to Stephanie and tearfully giving back the ring. **

Meanwhile, HHH storms into Stephanie’s office and she books Kane against Billy Gunn as soon as he walks in. Stephanie clarifies that the sex is GREAT, but this is business, so he gets to hang in a shark cage above the main event tonight. And she calls in the police to make sure he does it. Good to know the Dallas cops are corrupt enough to hang out at the arena and work for the McMahons instead of dealing with actual crime.

Kurt Angle v. Edge

Edge attacks and controls Kurt with armdrags, but comes off the middle rope and lands in a suplex. Angle with another suplex for two and you can see him getting better by the week as he learns the timing and psychology on the fly. Edge comes back with a superkick and a powerbomb, and a DDT gets two. Edge takes him down and crotches him on the post, but the spear misses and the ref gets bumped as a result. Steve Blackman heads out and hits Edge with the kendo stick, and the Angle Slam finishes at 3:12. Angle’s over-the-top exuberance for the win in a nothing match is great. Fun little match. **1/2

Meanwhile, Stephanie chews out a confused Blackman for interfering again when she didn’t ask him to do it this time.

Meanwhile, Al Snow is confused by Stephanie’s rematch booking, but she gives him a title shot on Monday if he can beat the Rock in the cage match. God, if Rock does two straight jobs to Al Snow this week, it might retroactively destroy his Hollywood career in the future. It’s like leaving the almanac for Biff in 1955.

Steel Cage match: Al Snow v. The Rock

They immediately fight during Rock’s entrance, but Rock sends him into the cage and drops him on the railing. Snow grabs a chair and swings for the fences, but Rock heads into the cage to get away from him and stomps away on him when he gets in. Snow slugs away in the corner and tries to go over the top, but Rock hauls him down and gets a neckbreaker. Al grabs the chair again and gets some shots with that, but tries to climb out and Rock follows him up this time. Snow brings him down and comes off the top rope, but Rock hits him with a DDT on the way down and gets two. That’s actually the THIRD spot in this show where someone comes off the top rope and lands in their opponent’s move. Snow puts him down with a chair to the head and gets two. He then tries to climb out again, but Rock pulls him back in by the hair and brings him down with a superplex and both guys are down. Rock hits Snow with a flying forearm and Snow lands on the chair and breaks it, and Rock hits a spinebuster on the remains and follows with the People’s Elbow at 6:15. Thank god. **

Meanwhile, Ivory rallies the women against pudding matches and complains that something needs to be done to save the women’s division. After the break, she heads out to the ring to complain about too many boobies and Miss Kitty “wiping her smut” all over the belt. So she calls out Kitty for a wrestling match in a wrestling ring.

WWF Women’s title: The Kat v. Ivory

This is no DQ, no countout as requested by Ivory, and Chyna immediately comes into the ring on Kat’s behalf and destroys her with a Pedigree, which allows Kat to get the pin and retain at 1:30. And these are supposed to be the BABYFACES?!? DUD

Meanwhile, the Mean Street Posse offers some racist advice to Kaientai.

Christian & Jeff Hardy v. Taka Michinoku & Funaki

So the bizarre team from Monday continues on here. Hey, they looked good, why not? Christian gets a legsweep on Taka, but a rollup gets two. Christian blocks a bulldog with a faceplant and goes after Funaki with a springboard dive, but Taka comes at him with an Asai moonsault. And then Jeff hits everyone with a tope con hilo. Back in, Christian with a slam of Funaki to set up a top rope legdrop from Jeff for two. Whisper in the Wind follows, but the faces have miscommunication and Kaientai gets some heat on Christian. He comes back and makes the hot tag to Jeff, who hits a springboard moonsault on Funaki for two. They fight outside and Jeff hits the rail runner, and back in with the swanton on Funaki to finish at 4:12. This Jeff Hardy kid might have something. **3/4

Meanwhile, JR gives Mankind some advice as Michael Cole once again is sure that this Stephanie deal is for real and not at all a setup.

Billy Gunn v. Kane

Oh man, since this is a singles match we are blessed with “Ass Man” for the entrance music. Billy comes out swinging and that goes badly for him, as Kane hits a big boot and finishes with the chokeslam at 1:08.

Mark Henry v. Bubba Ray Dudley

Bubba cuts a scathing heel promo on the way to the ring and the stutter is suddenly gone for good. Mae Young smells like a bedpan and the Cowboys suck, or so he claims. OUCH. D-Von trips up Mark and Bubba gets a backdrop suplex and pounds away in the corner. He goes up with a clothesline off the middle rope and calls in D-Von, but Mae crotches him and Henry flapjacks Bubba to set up the big splash at 1:54. Nothing to this one but DAMN the sudden transformation for Bubba was something to see. DUD

WWF title: Big Show v. Mankind

They trade shots to start and Mick clotheslines Show to the floor while bitchy Stephanie does commentary. Show gets a chairshot on the floor to take over and pounds away in the ring, then goes to a bearhug, but Mankind bites his way out of it, so Show slams him. Back to the floor, and Show grabs the stairs, but Mankind counters with a chair and beats on Show with that. Back in, Mick tries a sleeper, but Show slams out of it and tries the chokeslam. Mick goes low to escape and hits the double arm DDT for two. This sets up Socko and they both tumble to the floor, at which point HHH’s cage lowers and he escapes. Cole is worried for Stephanie’s well-being because he’s a moron, and of course it’s all a setup for D-X to beat up Show and Mankind and it’s a non-finish at 8:00 or so. Match was OK but it was just filling time until the obvious angle at the end. *1/4

Well, although the Stephanie “turn” was predictable and rang false, it was nice to see the babyfaces all go over as a change of pace. Because RAW is damn sure a bummer if I’m remembering the next one correctly.