The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 01.20.00
Hey, back to 2000. Here’s where we left off, for those keeping track:
Taped from Providence, RI. So is it a road, or an island? Make up your damn mind.
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
HHH is in a giving mood tonight, so he gives the New Age Outlaws the night off, but books X-Pac against Test in a match where the winner gets #30 in the Royal Rumble. Sadly, Cactus Jack is unable to attend tonight due to a family illness.
Big Show is here and he’s sick of shaking hands and kissing babies, and everyone is jealous of the fact that he’s 7’2” and 500 pounds. Well, this nuanced heel character just got a lot more cut and dried. He just wants to clarify once again that he HATES ROCKY. This interview is going nowhere so Rock comes out looking like a star to interrupt and put this jabroni in his place. Rock notes that Big Show’s a 500 pound monster who grabs the microphone and whines “WHY ARE YOU BOOING ME?” Hot take: Rock is amazing. So Rock offers Show two choices: Wait for the Rumble, or Rock can head down to the ring in his $500 shirt and kick his ass tonight. This brings out Kane and Tori (who must be due for the Hall of Fame if Torrie Wilson is the bar to clear now) and she points out that Rock and Show are not the only two people capable of winning the Rumble. I would heartily disagree. So finally HHH interrupts all this, and he hates egomaniacs. Ha! And then he reminds everyone that they’re all competing for a shot at HIS title and it’s all about him. But he’s all about competition, so TONIGHT, IN THIS VERY RING, it’s Rock v. Kane v. Show in a three-man Royal Rumble with lumberjack rules. That sounds like something Russo would come up with on a napkin. Another funny line from HHH as the crowd does the “slut” chant and he tells them not to say things about Tori and that shuts them down. Rock cuts his promo on HHH, but Show lays him out from behind, so Rock fights him off with a chair to end the segment. Felt like this was stretched out a bit too long but Rock and HHH were both on fire at this point.
Meanwhile, the Friendly Tap is not so friendly for the Acolytes the last time RAW was in Providence.
X-Pac v. Test
Test hurls X-Pac around, but gets his nose guard ripped off, so he comes back with a clothesline to the floor. X-Pac actually hocks a loogie at him to get him mad and suckers him into the stairs as a result. Back in, Test wins a slugfest and gets a sideslam for two. Big boot and he goes up, but the Outlaws run in and the X-Factor finishes at 2:10 as poor Test jobs again. This act is SO stale. *
Meanwhile, HHH lets X-Pac know that he’s now a shoo-in to win the Rumble, so it’s gonna be HHH v. X-Pac at Wrestlemania!
Meanwhile, Al Snow and Steve Blackman are apparently going to be a tag team. “It’s perfect, you have no charisma and I have tons!” And just like that, the whole Al Snow heel run comes to a screeching halt and the character gets reset into a goofball again.
Kurt Angle & British Bulldog v. Steve Blackman & Al Snow
It seems that Kurt Angle has a mystery opponent at the Rumble, but he didn’t know the names of all of his opponents at the Olympics and he still won a freakin’ gold medal! The future Head Cheese works Angle over in the corner, but Kurt comes back with a belly to belly on Blackman. Bulldog tries the powerslam, but Snow trips him up and Blackman hits a couple of kicks for the pin at 1:10. Bulldog looked pathetic. Angle is doing a shitload of jobs for someone with an undefeated streak. ½*
Matt Hardy v. D-Von Dudley
Matt gets a neckbreaker for two as Cole announces that they’ll meet in the first ever tables match at the Rumble. Matt slugs away in the corner, but D-Von takes him down with a neckbreaker. Matt comes back with a moonsault for two, but Bubba interferes for the DQ at 1:30 and lays out both guys with chairshots. And with the pesky match portion of the proceedings done with, the Dudleyz set up a pair of tables by the side of the entrance ramp and threaten to powerbomb Matt through it until Jeff saves with a chair and Bubba collapses through it himself. And then they put D-Von onto another table and Matt legdrops him through it. You could just feel these guys getting ready to cut loose into the stratosphere together and do all the crazy shit they wanted. *1/4 for some hot moves in the 90 seconds it lasted. I wonder if that’s why Lita left Matt?
Meanwhile, the New Age Outlaws have the night off thanks to HHH, so they visit the Friendly Tap and find some fans there.
Meanwhile, Crash whines to Hardcore about not having competition, so Bob tells him to go find his own competition. So he runs in Viscera and demands a match.
Rikishi & Too Cool v. Chris Jericho, Chyna & Hardcore Holly
Michael Cole telling us that “they’re getting jiggy with it!” sounds like someone who has never gotten jiggy in his life, and likely wouldn’t know what to do if he was put into a position to get jiggy, and furthermore wouldn’t know what “it” is or how one would get jiggy in relation to whatever “it” was. Chris Jericho of course decides that smacktalking both his opponents and his own team is a fine idea. Hardcore starts with Sexay and gets his dropkick, but Jericho tags himself in and gets bulldogged. Over to Scotty for the Worm, which is getting bigger but still lacks a lot of the embellishments. Jericho basically no-sells it and stomps him down while yelling “COME ON SCOTT TAYLOR!” Oh man, he’s shooting just like HHH on Monday! Rikishi gets a hot tag and tries the Rikishi Driver on Jericho, but Chyna saves and everyone triple-teams Rikishi until the DQ at 2:30 for kicking too much ass. Literally in this case, I suppose. The men run away and Rikishi lays out Chyna and hits her with the buttdrop. HOT FLAMING DEATH, this storyline. Match was a veritable marathon for this week’s show. *
Meanwhile, at the bar, the bartender makes the mistake of picking the Acolytes in the tag title match on Sunday and gets thrown out by the Outlaws as a result. I think we can see where this is going.
Big Bossman v. Prince Albert
Speaking of hot flaming death, this storyline. Bossman attacks to start, but Albert slugs him down and they fight to the floor and Albert runs him into the post. Back in, that gets two. Albert clotheslines him under the ropes and they head back to the floor again, where the ref gets wiped out and it’s a double DQ at 1:50. DUD
Meanwhile, Rock is stuck between a “huge statuesque retard where you can’t understand a word he’s saying”…and Kane.
Viscera v. Crash Holly
We get our final orange light show before the Rumble as it’s blatantly obvious who’s coming by now. Vis beats him down to start and Crash bounces off him helplessly and whips him around the ring, but misses a blind charge. Crash comes back with a nice tornado DDT for two and a springboard missile dropkick, but he walks into a samoan drop. Viscera misses a big fat splash and Crash dropkicks the knee, but stupidly jumps onto Viscera’s shoulders and gets powerbombed. And then the big fat splash finishes for good at 2:34. This was way better than it had any right to be due to Crash being a great worker. **
Halftime Heat returns next week, the show that everyone forgets because nothing happened on it.
Edge v. Gangrel
BREAKING NEWS: Edge is set to be one of the judges of the swimsuit contest at Royal Rumble. Edge backdrops his former vampire master out of the corner and gets a legsweep for two, but Gangrel bails and Edge follows with a dive. This prompts Luna to have words with him, trying to bribe him for the contest on Sunday, but the other ladies all come out and make their case as well and Edge is counted out at 2:00. This whole thing went NOWHERE and this was basically just an angle. ¼*
Meanwhile, the Acolytes head to the Friendly Tap, where the Outlaws have left the bar all messy. We take a break and return with them finding the Outlaws at the pool tables, which of course turns into a giant bar brawl as the Outlaws run away in terror and the Acolytes beat up the same geeks that they did three months ago. This was hella lame.
The First Ever Triple Threat Over the Top Lumberjack Match: Kane v. Big Show v. The Rock
Everyone slugs it out in the corner to start and Rock hits Kane with a DDT and tries to put Show over the top with no luck. Show comes back with a double clothesline on them, but Kane gets the enzuigiri and puts Rock down with a big boot. Show with a powerslam on Kane and he tosses Rock, but only to the apron. Rock comes back, but walks into a flying clothesline from Kane. Show chokeslams Rock to the floor to eliminate him and then chokeslams Kane, but Rock comes back in with a Rock Bottom on Show, and Kane backdrops Show to the floor to win at 4:14. The lumberjack stipulation literally served zero purpose here, and everyone runs into the ring and brawls for the usual visual of everyone in the ring at once. This was a complete waste of time, much like the rest of this episode. ½*
And that’s the main event and last thing scheduled, with 15 minutes still left in the show.
HHH joins us for no adequately explored reason, and I guess he just wants to rant about Mick Foley, who is not here, you see. So he shows last year’s I Quit match at the Rumble and promises to beat Mick even worse than that, so he should probably leave the kids at home this year. But then, SHOCKINGLY, Cactus Jack actually is here tonight, and he’s not worried about his kids seeing what happens to himself, but rather what’s going to happen to HHH. So he’s bringing a few surprises to the Garden, such as thumbtacks with which to turn HHH into the world’s largest pincushion. And then the brawl is on as they end up on the announce table and Cactus piledrives him for a crazy bump and beats on him with a chair to end the show. That’s about the only time he got one up on HHH, actually.
Closing interview segment was good, but the rest was a complete filler and everyone was kind of sleepwalking through 90 second matches. Didn’t really do much for the Rumble, which had already peaked with the RAW show on Monday.