The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW – 01.10.00
Hey, look at me, getting with the zeitgeist, as we watched Bird Box tonight (which will instantly date this rant for those reading years later!) and it was pretty good! Definitely not as scary as the internet would have us believe, and I don’t really get all the confusion over the ending and such. I’d liken it to the A Quiet Place, which was a much better movie with a similar clever concept, but it’s absolutely worth a watch. Not sure why 45 million people signed up for Netflix to watch it or whatever the crazy claim is, but it’s pretty good.
Anyway, back to 2000 again, because Bryan & Vinny are gonna catch up to me again if I don’t get going with these. To be fair, I’m also doing Smackdown and they’re not, so it’s twice the work for me.
Live from St. Louis, MO
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
So the entire roster comes out to start, with The Rock acting as their spokesperson, even though he’s “unaccustomed to public speaking”. The demands are simple: HHH and Steph need to come out and reinstate Mick Foley, or else everyone walks and they all form “The World Rock Federation”. HHH agrees, but NOT because Rock wants it. They were gonna do it anyway. So there. Well…that’s kind of a deus ex machina resolution to that storyline. Anyway, no more bullshit “Pink slip on a pole matches”, because tonight is when HHH gets what is coming to him! HHH agrees to that, and when the crowd chants “slut” at Stephanie, HHH comments that “I thought they were talking about you, Rock.” So Foley comes out of the crowd and he’s got some suggestions for the Royal Rumble. First up, the main event will feature HHH defending the title against Mankind, and Rock declares himself for the Rumble, so he can hopefully win and face Mick at Wrestlemania. Furthermore, Mankind decides to play booker while he’s holding all the cards, and gosh darnit fans are always coming up to him in the airport and asking who the toughest New Age Outlaw is, so maybe they should book them against each other tonight? And maybe we should find out if X-Pac can take HHH (and in a nice touch, we cut to the back where X-Pac appears to like this idea). And finally, in tonight’s main event, D-X will have to take on the Acolytes, Rock and Mankind.
Billy Gunn v. Road Dogg
Weird heat for this one, I’m assuming because people don’t really want to see this match. They tentatively do the lockup in the corner and then Gunn attacks Dogg from behind and lays him out, while JR informs us that Foley has put a sign-up sheet in the back where people can pick their own opponents. I bet Test still does the job tonight. Gunn goes to a chinlock as King is like “Who would have thought we’d ever see Road Dogg facing Mr. Ass?” They just feuded extensively with each other six months before this! They had a match on PPV and everything! Road Dogg makes the comeback with the shaky knees for two. Ass with the Jackhammer for two and he follows with a corner splash, but Dogg turns the fameasser into a half-assed powerbomb for the pin at 4:33. I’ve got two words for this match: It sucked. ½*
Meanwhile, Mankind has “Mankind” tied up in the dressing room, and the Hardy Boyz sign up for something on the clipboard. So it’s a LITERAL clipboard RAW.
Kurt Angle & Steve Blackman v. The Hardy Boyz
Kind of an odd match for the Hardyz to request. Matt quickly gets a neckbreaker for two on Angle and Jeff hits the Whisper in the Wind for two. Over to Blackman, but Jeff hits him with a quebrada to the floor. He tries to follow with a rana off the railing, but Steve blocks it and swings him headfirst into the stairs for two. Angle tries a superplex on Jeff, but he gets dropkicked instead and it’s hot tag Matt. Angle gets dumped and Blackman grabs his trusty STICK OF KENDO, but Jeff dropkicks him from behind and Matt finishes with the Twist of Fate at 3:35. So TECHNICALLY, Angle is still undefeated because he didn’t take the pin here. Technically. Match was kind of a mess. *1/2
Meanwhile, Edge signs up for something, and Jericho talks Chyna into facing the Hollies.
WWF European title: Val Venis v. Edge
So JR mentions that Val’s sister is engaged to Edge, which is either a weird real life point to bring up, or a storyline that went completely nowhere. So a quick check reveals that yeah, Edge married Val’s sister in 2001 and they divorced in 2004. So there ya go. And after a few weeks off, the orange and black lightshow returns. They trade some basic stuff to start and Val reverses a neckbreaker into a DDT, with both guys down and out 2:00 into the match, but Edge makes the comeback with a missile dropkick and the Downward Spiral for two. Val dodges the spear and sends him into the post, and the Seaman’s Suplex finishes at 3:40. This was a lot of nothing and the crowd has been mostly flat for everything thus far. *1/2
Meanwhile, D-X argues with their weekly dissention that will no doubt be resolved by the end of the show with HHH standing tall again.
Chris Jericho & Chyna v. Crash & Hardcore Holly
Jericho gives a peptalk promo before the match, where he points out that he got a bigger pop than Chyna, but despite that they’ll still emerge victorious! Jericho quickly bulldogs Bob and Chyna comes in for a double backdrop on him. Over to Crash, the one guy in the company who will sell for Chyna, and she works him over with clotheslines before walking into a Hart Attack from the Hollies. Crash goes up and lands on Chyna’s boot ball-first, but Hardcore cuts off the tag while Jericho conveniently is unable to make the tag, and the falcon arrow finishes her at 3:00 while Jericho steals the IC title back and leaves. This storyline is so lame. I know I say that every week, but it bears repeating.
Meanwhile, Mankind decides to try some water torture on “Mankind”, but then opts to just throw coffee in his face instead.
HHH v. X-Pac
HHH stomps him down in the corner to start and chokes away, but X-Pac fights back with leg lariats and clotheslines him to the floor. They brawl out there and HHH sends him into the stairs. Back in, X-Pac gets the broncobuster, but he goes up and Steph trips him up and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE finishes at 3:10. Even X-Pac goes down to the Pedigree. Another short but reasonably entertaining match. **
Rikishi & Too Cool v. The Headbangers & Al Snow
Wow what a dream match this one is. The Bangers and Snow triple-team Sexay in the corner, but he comes back with a powerslam on Thrasher and makes a hot tag to Rikshi at 1:40. It’s BONZO GONZO and Rikishi destroys both Bangers and pins Mosh with the Rikishi Driver at 2:10. Nothing to this one, just like everything else tonight. ½* And then Snow turns on his partners again on the way out and everyone dances. I’m fascinated to see when the Worm becomes the thing we remember because I remembered it being bigger at this point.
Meanwhile, Mankind has the most vicious torture he can imagine ready: AN HOUR OF AL SNOW MATCHES.
WWF New York: Coming January 2000! And going in February 2003.
The Godfather & D-Lo Brown v. The Dudley Boyz
The Dudleyz storm in and cut off the Godfather’s opening spiel, and Bubba gets a powerbomb on D-Lo to set up the Wazzup. D-Von with a back elbow and a suplex for two, but D-Lo gets the Sky High on Bubba and makes the hot tag to Godfather, and it’s the Ho Train for D-Von. Bubba decides to leave and take the Ho contingent with him, and that’s a double countout at 3:24. Bleh. ½*
Meanwhile, Mankind runs into Tori and casually mentions what he’d like to do to her voluptuous heaving breasts, and by the way, he’s staying in dressing room #3. Boy, I bet Kane is gonna be mad and want to destroy someone who looks exactly like Mankind!
Test & Big Show v. Albert & Big Bossman
Man, the relatively clever concept of this show has gone completely to waste thus far. Test & Show run the heels into each other, beat on them in the corner, and then Test finishes Albert with a flying elbow at 0:50. ½* Wow, Test didn’t look stupid OR do a job! This must be a special night!
D-Generation X v. The Acolytes & Rock & Mankind
It’s more dissention for D-X as everyone gives HHH the cold shoulder before the match, and then Billy Bitchcakes lips off to the Rock and gets up in the corner. He comes back with a neckbreaker, but Rock hits Rock Bottom for two as X-Pac saves. Bradshaw comes in and beats on Road Dogg, but misses an elbow. X-Pac comes in with a spinkick in the corner, but walks into the fallaway slam. Faarooq beats him down for two, but X-Pac gets the spinkick, so Faarooq gets a backbreaker for two. Dominator is escaped and X-Pac gets a DDT and brings HHH in, but Mankind comes in and beats him down in the corner. HHH cuts him off with the facebuster, but his team short-arms him and walks out, leaving the champ alone. So then the other babyfaces follow them to the dressing room, so it’s now a one-on-one match. Mankind with the DDT and Mr. Socko, but Steph trips him up and HHH comes back and stomps Mick out of the ring. He follows with a HORRIFYING shot with the bell, which sends Mick flying into the announcers, and then puts him down with a Pedigree through the table. Back in, KICK WHAM PEDIGREE ends it at 10:00. **1/2 Well, so much for that challenger. Hopefully they’ve got someone else ready to go for the Rumble title match. Mick goes a little crazy and smashes the stairs into HHH’s head afterwards and tosses him through the remains of the table, then adds a Cactus clothesline for our big hint as we wrap it up.
Huh, I thought The Thing happened on this show, but I guess it happens on Smackdown. Much like all the meaningless tag matches, there wasn’t much to this show and it all just kind of led nowhere. So to summarize: The show where the entire roster bands together to give HHH his just desserts sees HHH going over, cleanly, TWICE. Truly, the smartest man in wrestling!