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.”
Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows (Raw, Smackdown, PPVs) from earlier in the year. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport if you’re not doing so already and let’s get started.
WWF Smackdown #40
May 25, 2000 (Taped May 23)
From Roberts Municipal Stadium in Evansville, Indiana
This show has a TV-14 rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network.
This episode of Smackdown began with a recap of key things from Raw with The Rock getting his revenge against Triple H and the McMahon-Helmsley Regime during the show. The video lasted about three minutes.
The Smackdown intro video aired, the pyro went off and there were signs all over with a very vocal crowd. The announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show. There were also cops in the ring to start the show.
Vince McMahon was shown arriving in a limousine with Shane McMahon and Gerald Brisco. The Undertaker was in the parking lot with his motorcycle as he tried to run over Vince a few times. There was once instance where Undertaker was close. Vince, Shane and Brisco went up some stairs into the arena with Undertaker getting off his bike nearby.
Analysis: That was an exciting start to the show with a pre-tape parking lot segment.
Vince McMahon, the WWF Chairman, made his entrance looking nervous about The Undertaker. Vince walked into the ring where there were eight cops in the ring. Fans greeted Vince with “Asshole” chants. Vince called the cops “stupid bastards” and yelled at them because they weren’t there to help him in the parking lot. Vince told the cops to do their job tonight. Vince asked a cop if they had bullets and they nodded “yes” at him. Vince said if The Undertaker is so big and so bad, he’s calling his ass out. Vince told Undertaker to come out there now.
The Undertaker walked out onto the stage as the fans gave him a big pop. Every time he enters during this era, they have to dub over the Kid Rock song with the “You’re Gonna Pay” song, so it messes up with the audio.
Vince asked The Undertaker who the hell does he think he is? Vince asked him if he’s having fun and if he’s above the law because he’s a badass that lives by his own rules (there is Vince summarizing the new Undertaker gimmick for us). Vince said there’s a price to pay for that and he’ll pay it right here tonight. Vince said he had something to get off his chest. Vince said that he was a happy individual at Judgment Day (more “asshole” chants) and when The Undertaker interfered at Judgment Day, he singlehandedly cost The Rock the WWF Title. Vince asked how it felt to know that he, The Rock, is no longer the WWF Champion. Vince told Undertaker not to turn his back on The Rock any time soon (insinuating that Rock could seek revenge on him) as fans chanted “bullshit” at Vince. Actually, Vince told the truth.
Vince said that as far as Monday Night Raw was concerned, he could have arrested him then for trespassing. Vince said he wasn’t prepared for him like he is tonight. Vince told Undertaker that he’s no longer under contract to the WWF, he walked out on the WWF and nobody walks out on Vinny Mac. Vince said that Undertaker is trespassing in his ring and on his property. Vince told the cops to arrest Undertaker.
The Undertaker took the microphone from Vince. Taker asked if Vince ever talks to his old lady (Linda McMahon) anymore? Undertaker said that if Vince talked to Linda, then Vince would know that she signed The Undertaker to a fat, new contract. Undertaker said there are lots of years and lots of zeroes as the fans cheered that. The Undertaker told Vince he gets the pleasure of paying Taker lots of money to kick Vince’s “stank ass.”
Vince told the officers to arrest The Undertaker on attempted vehicular homicide. One of the cops said that if he arrested Undertaker then he would have to arrest Vince too. The cop said that Vince assaulted a police officer when he poked him in the chest. The cop told Vince to work out their problems on their own and the cops left. Vince yelled at the cops. Taker smiled at him. Vince realized he was alone with Taker, he did his “oh shit” expression and the crowd was cheering this.
The Undertaker grabbed Vince by the throat, but Shane showed up with a chair to Undertaker’s back. That allowed Vince to escape up the ramp along with Brisco and Shane. The Undertaker stared them down. Undertaker raised his hand in the air to salute the crowd. It was about 16 minutes into the show when they went to the first commercial.
Analysis: That was fun. It was the first Undertaker promo since his return and he put Vince in his place. Vince was incredible in going from being overly confident to then realizing he was going to get his ass kicked again. I like how they have used Linda McMahon as the babyface boss to insert popular wrestlers like Mick Foley, Steve Austin and now The Undertaker in situations that made things tough on the other heel McMahons. Good booking.
There was a replay of Vince getting saved from The Undertaker by Shane and Brisco.
Edge and Christian made their entrance as the WWF Tag Team Champions. Edge said they issued an open challenge to any team in the WWF that they haven’t beaten. Edge said they have already beaten everybody. Christian said they are lacking competition. They mentioned teams like Headbangers, Kaientai, the Moondogs and they wondered how many Doinks are left. Eddie Guerrero and Chyna entered as opponents. Chyna threw the flowers into the crowd.
WWF Tag Team Championships: Edge and Christian vs. Eddie Guerrero and Chyna
Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were heels while Eddie and Chyna were faces.
Guerrero and Chyna hit a double suplex on Edge followed by Chyna hitting a clothesline. Guerrero with a belly to back suplex on Edge. Christian pulled down the top rope to send Eddie out of the ring and Christian sent him into the barricade. Edge with a dropkick on Guerrero leading to Christian tagging in with a backbreaker. Guerrero with a neckbreaker on Christian. Chyna got the tag against Edge and Chyna hit a Powerbomb on Christian. Edge went for a jumping attack, but Chyna turned into a Powerbomb on Edge. Eddie distracted the referee, so Chyna hit a double low blow on E&C. Chyna with a handspring elbow on Christian. Edge with a Spear on Chyna. Eddie was sent to the floor. Double team neckbreaker by the champs on Chyna. Edge and Christian worked over Chyna with punches and they pushed the referee away, so that led to the DQ finish at 3:23.
Winners by disqualification: Eddie Guerrero and Chyna (Edge and Christian remain champions)
Analysis: **1/4 It was good while it lasted until that abrupt finish. The crowd came alive when Chyna got the hot tag, which was a nice reminder of how popular she was in the face role. Edge and Eddie had an awesome rivalry on Smackdown in 2002.
Post match, Christian tried an attack with the titles, but Eddie picked up Chyna to kick him and Chyna also kicked Edge out of the ring. Eddie and Chyna stood tall in the ring.
Crash Holly was shown in the APA “office” shaking beers. Bradshaw and Faarooq showed up. Crash called Faarooq the “little guy” and sprayed beer on him. Faarooq went after him. Bradshaw: “Remember, he’s just a boy!”
Vince, Shane and Brisco were shown in the office. Vince said he wants Brisco to keep his eyes open on The Rock. Vince told him that the moment that Rock arrives, let Vince know. Shane warned Brisco to watch for The Undertaker too.
Hardcore Match: Faarooq (w/Bradshaw) vs. Crash Holly
Pre-matches notes: Faarooq was a face and Crash was a face most of the time, but sometimes he did heelish things. Bradshaw destroyed Crash on Raw, so now Faarooq gets to do it.
Crash hit Faarooq in the back with a 2×4 piece of wood. Faarooq with a powerslam on the floor. Back in the ring, Faarooq hit a spinebuster. Faarooq tossed Crash out of the ring and hit him with a clothesline. Faarooq gave Crash the Dominator slam on a trash can in the ring for the pinfall win at 1:16.
Winner by pinfall: Faarooq
Analysis: 1/4* It was a very predictable match. It was also a good idea to keep it short.
Gerald Brisco was shown in the parking lot looking for The Rock.
The WWF Slam of the Week reminded us about what happened on Raw when Hardcore Holly hit Chris Benoit and Val Venis with chair shots. Chris Jericho also hit Holly with a chair shot.
A limousine was shown arriving to the arena with Gerald Brisco there to greet the people in it. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley were there. They told Gerald to take them to Vince.
Analysis: They loved to book people arriving late to the shows.
Chris Jericho made his entrance to a big pop. Jericho said that this match is supposed to see who is the number one contender to the Intercontinental Champion. Jericho said he is still the Ayatollah of Rock N Rolla and he is still…but here comes Hardcore Holly. Val Venis was up next.
Chris Jericho vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Val Venis
Pre-match notes: Jericho was a face, Holly was a heel and Venis was a face.
Jericho and Venis hit a double back body drop on Holly. Venis and Jericho got into a slugfest with Holly dumping Jericho out of the ring. Holly with an atomic drop on Venis and a punch that knocked Jericho off the apron. Holly with a Powerbomb on Venis for a two count with Jericho breaking up the pin. Jericho tripped up Holly. Venis dumped Jericho out of the ring. Venis hit a Fisherman’s Suplex on Holly for two with Jericho breaking up that pin attempt. Jericho sent Venis into the barricade. Holly with a baseball slide dropkick on Jericho. Venis whipped Holly into the steel post and Jericho hit a clothesline on Venis. Jericho kicked Holly at ringside. Back in the ring, Jericho hit a missile dropkick on Venis for two. Holly back in with chops for Jericho and Venis hit a belly to back suplex on Holly for two. Jericho with a suplex for Venis and a suplex for Holly. Venis with a hip toss that sent Holly across the ring. Jericho with a cross body block on Holly and a stun gun that sent Venis into the top rope. Jericho with a forearm on Holly followed by a Jericho bulldog on Venis. Jericho hit a springboard dropkick on Venis on the apron. Holly with a dropkick on Jericho. Hardcore went for an attack, Jericho trapped Holly against the ropes and locked in the Walls of Jericho against the ropes. Venis broke it up with a kick followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb into the pin attempt for two. Jericho with a Lionsault on Venis. Holly went up top with a leg drop on Jericho’s head and Holly covered Venis for the pinfall win at 6:46.
Winner by pinfall: Hardcore Holly
The win by Holly meant he would be the next challenger for the Intercontinental Title.
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a very good match that was fast paced with a creative finish. I liked that lot. They worked hard and had a quality triple threat match for the time given. I think most people would have expected a Jericho win, so Holly winning was a bit of an upset.
Back in the McMahon Family office, Vince told Hunter, Shane and Stephanie that he’ll be alright. Vince said they better get even with The Undertaker tonight. Gerald Brisco said that he was just told that The Rock will be there shortly. Vince said he’s got this.
The Smack of the Night showed the clip of The Rock beating up Vince McMahon on Raw earlier in the week.
Vince and Gerald were out by the parking lot and they called for a garage to be lifted. The Rock emerged from a car that was there. Vince told Rock he is not looking for trouble. Vince said that The Undertaker is the reason why The Rock is not the WWF Champion, which is true. Vince said to show Rock there are no hard feelings, he wanted Rock to take the night off. The fans chanted “Rocky” when they heard that. Rock went back to his limousine and Vince told the driver that he can take Rock anywhere he wants to go and it’s on him. Rock told Vince he had to tell him one more thing, so Rock slapped Vince and left. That made me laugh, which was the intent.
The Undertaker was shown walking around somewhere in the arena to let us know he’s still there.
Matt Hardy (w/Jeff Hardy) vs. Essa Rios (w/Lita)
Pre-match notes: The Hardys were faces. Rios was a bit of a tweener. A replay from Raw showed that Lita cost Rios the win in his match.
Rios hit a headscissors takedown off the top followed by a spin kick. Rios hit an incredible somersault dive over the turnbuckle onto Matt on the floor. Matt grabbed Rios off the middle ropes and hit a Powerbomb. Matt with a clothesline that sent Rios over the top to the floor. Rios pulled Lita in front of him and Rios shoved Lita into Matt. Matt came back by whipping Rios into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Rios hit a moonsault press on a standing Matt for a two count. Lita was on the apron, so Matt launched Rios into the ropes and Rios knocked Lita down by accident. Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Rios for the pinfall win at 2:54.
Winner by pinfall: Matt Hardy
Analysis: **1/4 It was exciting for the time given. Rios and Lita continuing to have problems was part of the story that was built up on Raw. Lita playing a part of the finish set up what was next after the match.
Post match, the Hardys slowly went up the ramp while Rios was mad about the loss. Rios threw Lita back into the ring and Rios shoved the referee down. Rios hit Lita with a Powerbomb. Rios went up top and hit a moonsault on Lita. The Hardys went down to the ring. So they didn’t care after she was hit with one move, but they cared after two moves? Okay then. Matt gave Rios a back body drop over the top to the floor. Jeff decked Rios with a clothesline. The Hardys picked up Lita and carried her to the back. Cole called Essa Rios “disgraceful” for his actions.
Analysis: It was the start of something new and long term right there. I believe Matt was dating Lita by this point, so this was the start of her run with the Hardys in what would become known as Team Extreme. It was a long-term relationship that lasted about five years until she cheated on Matt with Edge (while Matt was at home injured) and that whole thing was publicized leading to several Matt vs. Edge matches. The best one was probably Unforgiven 2005, which I wrote about here. As for Essa Rios, he wasn’t used much on the main shows after this.
Vince and company were in the office saying that they needed to get rid of The Undertaker tonight. Triple H suggested somebody that wasn’t afraid of somebody that’s the stature of The Undertaker…a giant killer. That meant Shane McMahon, who was stunned by the recommendation. Vince told Shane he can do it.
The entrances took place for an eight-man tag team match: Too Cool and the Dudley Boyz were the face teams. The heel teams were Degeneration X and T&A.
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) and Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay) vs. Degeneration X (X-Pac and Road Dogg) w/Tori and T&A (Test and Albert) w/Trish Stratus)
Pre-match notes: The Dudleys and Too Cool were faces while T&A and DX were heels. It’s nice to see how much depth they had in the tag team division without even involving the champions in a match like this.
The fans chanted “tables” for the Dudleys as soon as the match began. Scotty with a dropkick on Test. Too Cool with a double team elbow on Test. Road Dogg worked over Sexay with kicks, Sexay with a superkick and a dropkick off the middle ropes. Tori grabbed Sexay’s foot and Albert hit a cheap clothesline, so the heels took over. Albert with a Gorilla Press Slam on Sexay. X-Pac tagged in with a spin kick followed by a Bronco Buster attempt that missed because Sexay moved out of the way. Bubba worked over the heels with punches and a Full Nelson Slam on X-Pac. D-Von tagged in, the fans wanted 3D, but T&A pulled the Dudleys out of the ring. Scotty with the bulldog on Dogg and Scotty with the W-O-R-M followed by the chop to the face. Sexay went up top and hit the Hip Hop Drop leg drop on Dogg. X-Pac sent Scotty over the top and kicked Sexay. X-Pac yelled at referee Teddy Long about something because he was out of position. Dudleys hit the low blow headbutt to the groin with D-Von doing the headbutt. Teddy Long was splashed in the corner after Bubba was sent into the turnbuckle against him. With the referee down, Rikishi went down to the ring and a kick to Road Dogg. Rikishi splashed X-Pac and the Dudleys hit a 3-D on X-Pac. Teddy Long was down for like a minute and then woke up to count the pin at 5:30. Bubba pinned X-Pac. I don’t even remember if they were the legal men because it was pretty crazy.
Winners by pinfall: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) and Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay)
Analysis: **3/4 That was a fun tag team match with the crowd very engaged as soon as the match started. It’s crazy how popular these face teams were. The crowd was loud for this and it wasn’t that annoying fake crowd noise either. Anyway, the match broke down at the end where it turned into a chaotic brawl, but I didn’t mind it because it was well booked and everybody got some big spots in.
Post match, Too Cool and the Dudleys did a dance routine. When Too Cool tried putting their sunglasses on, the Dudleys put some Dudley glasses on Too Cool and Too Cool put the sunglasses on the Dudleys. That was funny seeing the Dudleys joining in on the dance. The fans loved it.
It was back to the McMahon family office with Triple H giving Shane a pep talk telling him that he’s going to do this and he’ll be the man that buried The Undertaker.
Kurt Angle did a promo reminding us he’s an Olympic gold medalist while saying we don’t get the goals and high standards that he set for himself. Angle said it’s been too long since he had gold around his waist. Angle said he realized tonight that the people here don’t have much to live for, but the good news is you’ll witness the crowning of a new Intercontinental Champion. The IC Champion Chris Benoit made his entrance.
Intercontinental Championship: Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle
Pre-match notes: Benoit was the IC Champion. Both guys were heels.
Angle with a belly to belly suplex to take control early on. Angle with a back body drop followed by a running clothesline for two. Snap suplex by Benoit. After Benoit got some chops, Angle did a double leg takedown followed by a fireman’s carry. Benoit came back with a hard elbow to the face followed by a clothesline. Benoit hit a bridging German Suplex for two. Benoit went up top leading to Angle hitting a top rope belly to belly suplex that I always enjoyed seeing him do. Hardcore Holly went into the ring and hit Angle in the head with a chair shot at 4:24 leading to the DQ finish.
Winner by disqualification: Kurt Angle (Benoit is still IC Champion)
Analysis: **1/2 There was good action until it was cut short with the DQ finish since Hardcore Holly was getting the next title shot. It’s tough to do a heel vs. heel match because the fans have nobody to root for. Angle and Benoit would have many more great matches against eachother especially from 2001 to 2003. I recommend Royal Rumble 2003 if you want to see their best match.
Post match, Holly tried for another chair attack on Benoit, but Benoit kicked him in the ribs. Benoit hit Holly in the head with a chair shot. Benoit told Holly he’ll see him on Monday for their IC Title match.
Analysis: There were way too many chair shots to the head on both Raw and Smackdown. I know nobody thought about concussions back in these days. I’m just glad there are no more chair shots to the head in WWE.
Al Snow (w/Steve Blackman) vs. Bull Buchanan (w/Big Boss Man)
Pre-match notes: Buchanan was a heel. Snow was more of a tweener at this point as they were trying a serious gimmick with him.
Buchanan hit a powerslam early. Snow hit a cross body block off the top for a two count. They cranked up the fake crowd noise because the fans don’t care about these guys. Buchanan did the jumping clothesline off the turnbuckle. Buchanan tried a press slam, Snow got out of it with a cradle, so Boss Man distracted referee Teddy Long. Buchanan with a back body drop that sent Snow over the top to the floor. Buchanan sent Snow into the ropes leading to slam. Bull followed up with a leg drop. Boss Man got in a cheap shot punch on Snow while Blackman did nothing about it. Boss Man whipped Snow into the steel ring post. Buchanan missed a corner attack, got crotched on the top rope and Snow hit a superkick. Boss Man went on the apron, Blackman also went on the apron, Snow ran right at Boss Man, who hit him with a nightstick and Buchanan hit the Scissors Kick on Snow for the pinfall win at 4:37.
Winner by pinfall: Bull Buchanan
Analysis: 1/2* This went too long and it was bad. There wasn’t anything going on with either guy, which is why the fans lost interest. It was just a match to put over Buchanan, who management was high on as a future star. Buchanan did not end up becoming much of a star.
Post match, Boss Man hit Blackman with the nightstick to put him down.
Shane was fired up in the locker room talking to his allies and he said he’s going to beat The Undertaker on his own. Vince commented that his son had big grapefruits, so Brisco kissed Vince’s ass by saying just like Vince.
There was a replay of The Undertaker nearly running over Vince backstage earlier in the show.
Shane McMahon made his entrance for the main event “match” wearing a WWF Attitude shirt. The fans chanted “Shane’s a pussy” at him. Shane said he has been dominating here in the WWF. Shane said that tonight will be The Undertaker’s Judgment Day just like it was Big Show’s judgment day on Sunday night. A clip aired of Shane beating Big Show at Judgment Day thanks to some help with Shane claiming he won on his own.
The Undertaker made his entrance on his motorcycle and he drove around the ring before biking the motorcycle by the ring.
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
The Undertaker was wearing his long black jacket for this match as he punched Shane and sent him into the turnbuckle leading to more punches. Taker grabbed Shane by the throat and spiked him with a Chokeslam. That led to the DX guys running in and referee Tim White didn’t bother to call for the bell for the DQ finish, but I’ll call it a DQ at around 1:20.
Winner by disqualification: The Undertaker
Analysis: There’s not much to say here. It was more of an angle than a match to end the show with some of the bigger names in the company.
Triple H, Road Dogg and X-Pac went into the ring with Undertaker punching all of them. Vince McMahon went to ringside as well. X-Pac saved Triple H from a Chokeslam. The DX guys managed to triple team Undertaker. Fans were chanting “Rocky” as Vince went into the ring.
The Rock’s music hit and Rock ran down to the ring. Rock cleaned house with punches for the DX guys and a Rock Bottom on Road Dogg. Rock tossed X-Pac out of the ring. Triple H was destroyed by punches. The Undertaker picked up Shane and gave him a Tombstone in the middle of the ring. Rock punched Triple H out of the ring. Vince led his heel group out of the ring while Rock and Undertaker were in the ring.
The Undertaker got on his motorcycle and chased the heels up the ramp. The Rock posed in the ring to end the show with the crowd cheering him. That was the end of Smackdown.
Analysis: This end of the show felt like a replay from Raw with Rock and Undertaker beating up the McMahon Helmsley-Regime. It sent the fans home happy after the controversial ending to Judgment Day where Triple H won the WWF Title from The Rock. It also set the stage for King of the Ring’s main event although that wasn’t announced yet.
This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:27:44 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- Vince McMahon
- The Undertaker
- Chris Jericho
This episode gets a 7 out of 10.
The in-ring action was pretty good most of the night (especially the triple threat) and I liked the story of Rock and Undertaker working together against the McMahons. I was entertained by it. Some of the things in the second half of the show was boring while the first half was more fun.
I’m glad they came up with a logical reason to bring The Undertaker back by saying Linda McMahon hired him, which pissed off Vince and set the stage for the rest of the night. In today’s WWE, they don’t explain things well. Back then, they did a much better of it.
They did not promote King of the Ring 2000 during the show, but that was coming in the weeks ahead.
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.
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