TJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 06/15/00 Review (The Rock vs. Kurt Angle)

Here’s the synopsis from WWE Network: “The McMahon-Helmsley Faction add a stipulation to the King of the Ring tournament. The Rock battles a true American hero in the main event.”

The main event of King of the Ring was set on the previous Raw. It was going to be Triple H in a tag team match with Vince and Shane McMahon against The Rock, The Undertaker and Kane. There would be more stipulations to come regarding that match. In addition to that, the King of the Ring tournament was in full swing as well.

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 #43
June 15, 2000 (Taped June 13)
From the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois

This show has a TV-PG rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network. Normally it’s TV-14, but they were likely tamer this week.

There was a video package that lasted over four minutes that showed a recap of the key moments from Raw. The Smackdown introduction video aired after that.

There was pyro in the arena and the crowd was very loud in Chicago. There were signs all over the arena as Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to Smackdown.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Edge (w/Christian) vs. Grandmaster Sexay (w/Scotty 2 Hotty)

Pre-match notes: Edge was a heel and Sexay was a face that was one half of the Tag Team Champions.

Edge went for a crossbody block, Sexay moved and Edge hit the mat. Sexay with a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Edge did an eye rake and Sexay came back with a clothesline to send Edge out of the ring. Sexay was on the floor, so Edge sent him into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Edge was in control with a hard whip into the turnbuckle followed by an elbow drop with Lawler talking about Edge’s big teeth. Sexay suplexed Edge onto the top rope followed by some rope shaking. Sexay with an enziguri kick followed by a scoop slam. They battled by the turnbuckle with Sexay hitting a sunset flip Powerbomb into a pin for two. Christian grabbed Sexay, Edge accidentally knocked Christian off the apron and Sexay hit a rollup for two. Sexay with a neckbreaker. Sexay went up top, Scotty took care of Christian on the floor and Sexay hit the leg drop off the top. The referee was busy looking at the guys on the floor even though this was a singles match. Shane McMahon ran down to the ring with a steel chair, Sexay turned around and Shane hit Sexay with a leaping chair shot to the head. Edge crawled over for the pin, Shane left and the referee counted to give Edge the win at 5:04.

Winner by pinfall: Edge

Analysis: **1/4 Good match with a cheap finish. The Shane attack felt random, but it would be explained. Sexay was on offense for most of it, which is common for a match where a guy is going to lose due to outside interference.

Vince McMahon and his heel allies were together backstage with Vince saying thanks to Shane McMahon, phase one was complete. Vince said let’s go have some fun.

(Commercial)

A replay aired of Shane McMahon helping Edge beat Grandmaster Sexay.

Let’s Hear from the McMahon-Helmsley Faction

The McMahon-Helmsley Faction group of WWF Chairman Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, WWF Champion Triple H, Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori made their entrance for promo time that they did pretty much ever Raw and Smackdown. There was a shot of Stone Phillips from NBC Dateline in the front row. The fans greeted Vince with an “Asshole” chant.

Shane McMahon said that Edge and Christian have challenged the Dudley Boyz to a match later on Smackdown. Shane said that Edge and Christian said that they will give the fans a photo opportunity. Shane was really sweaty with Vince even pointing it out.

Vince complained about his meddlesome wife Linda making Stephanie defend the Women’s Title against Lita with Vince reminding us that Stephanie is still the champion. Vince said that the fans cheered for the McMahons against Dudleys but they didn’t cheer when the McMahons beat the Dudleys. Vince said the fans didn’t like it when Triple H beat Chris Jericho either.

Analysis: Vince just recapped the key parts from Raw, which were already featured in the first four minutes of Smackdown. It’s wasting time.

Vince mentioned King of the Ring will be Kane, Undertaker and Rock against Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon and Triple H. Vince claimed that fans were thinking this could win Match of the Year honors while stating that these teams have similar abilities. Vince said that there were some people that probably thought Triple H’s team didn’t have a chance, so Hunter took over.

Hunter said that he was confident about being on the same team with Vince and Shane while telling us that they were virtually unstoppable. Hunter said it’s almost not even fair, so they’re going to make the match even better.

Hunter talked about how there was confusion about who the number one contender is for his championship between Kane, Undertaker and Rock. Hunter said that at King of the Ring, they’ll get it all done. Hunter claimed that in the unlikely event that Linda’s team can beat them, the person that gets that victory will be deemed the number one contender for the WWF Title and Triple H will face that person for the WWF Title in July. Hunter wondered if The Undertaker can trust that Kane won’t stab him in the back for a shot at this and you can’t trust The Rock either. Hunter said that there is no “I” in team, but this match will be about who wants it more between Undertaker, Kane and The Rock.

Hunter said that in the likely event that his team is victorious, then out of those three then nobody gets the shot at him and he will give the number one contender slot to the winner of the King of the Ring. Vince and Shane liked that. Vince called Hunter a magnanimous champion.

Vince announced that Chris Jericho will have a surprise opponent and The Undertaker will have a surprise as well. Vince said he didn’t want to tell us who Kane will face. Vince also added that The Rock will be in action, but Hunter told him that the fans don’t need to know who the opponent is. Vince told the fans that he hopes the fans enjoy the surprises.

Analysis: It was the typical opening promo to set up matches for later in the night, but this time they wanted to keep it a surprise to make it unfair for the babyface wrestlers. The stipulation that Triple H explained about the title shot would be changed. If you remember King of the Ring 2000 then you know what happened. I’ll get to that recap soon.

Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco were in New York City with referee Mike Chioda and they were in a taxi. Crash Holly pulled up in a taxi behind them with the Hardcore Championship.

(Commercial)

The WWF Rewind showed what happened on Raw when Bull Buchanan stole The Undertaker’s motorcycle and Taker chased after him.

Hello Trish. Oh yeah, Test and Albert were there too. The Hardys were the opponents.

Test and Albert (w/Trish Stratus) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)

Pre-match notes: T&A were the heels even though I could never boo Trish while the Hardys were faces.

Test hit a full nelson slam on Matt. Albert tagged in for a double team slam on Matt with Jeff breaking up the pin. Lawler complained about Linda saying she should be at home instead of trying to run WWE. Albert tossed Matt across the ring, Matt came back with a back elbow and a Tornado DDT off the middle ropes for Matt. Jeff got the tag against Test with Jeff hitting a dropkick. Jeff with a dropkick on Albert as well. Matt tagged in for a double team Hardy leg drop on Test. Jeff hit the Poetry in Motion corner attack on Albert and they sent Albert out of the ring. Matt with a Twist of Fate on Test. Jeff was on the apron, Trish pulled Jeff down to send him into the steel steps and Albert hit a running splash to Matt’s back. Test hit a running boot to the face of Matt for the pinfall win at 2:38.

Winners by pinfall: Test and Albert

Analysis: ** It was a solid match with fast-paced action. It was also the second straight match where the finish involved outside interference to get the heels the victory. They did a good job of booking T&A match finishes where Trish got more involved in every match. That’s what managers are for. She was the star of this team.

Post match, Trish went into the ring and slapped Jeff. Lita ran out for the save. Lita tackled Trish. Test tossed Lita down. The Hardys sent Test and Albert out of the ring and took them out with dives onto the floor. Lita with a weak looking side slam on Trish. Lita hit a leg drop off the middle ropes on Trish. It didn’t look like a good landing, but nobody was hurt. Lita looked like she jumped too far so that her butt landed on Trish’s face, then re-adjusted and put her leg over Trish’s throat. Test carried Trish away while Lita celebrated with the Hardys. The crowd loved it.

Analysis: It was the start of Lita’s alliance with the Hardys. I believe Lita was dating Matt by this point and that lasted for about five years. It was also the beginning of the Trish-Lita rivalry that lasted six years until they left the company at around the same time in late 2006. They were allies for some parts of their careers, but for the most part, they were rivals. These days, Trish and Lita are best friends that regularly do autograph signings together and use the name “Team Bestie” together.

The Undertaker arrived in the parking lot on his motorcycle. There were police officers waiting for him. Vince McMahon showed up with Bull Buchanan with Vince saying that the guy who Undertaker attacked and whose car he stole (on Raw) ended up pressing charges against him. Taker was cuffed and arrested. Vince said Taker didn’t look like a badass now. Taker spit tobacco juice on Bull and Bull punched him. Taker was taken away. Vince laughed about it: “I love being mean.”

Analysis: This was likely pre-taped with The Undertaker not at the show because later on Smackdown, they said Undertaker was going to Phoenix for a ticket on-sale date the next day, so he probably missed this taping.

(Commercial)

A replay was shown of Undertaker getting arrested.

Vince and Shane were shown in the locker room with Vince leaving in a limo. Shane said he’ll be fine running the show.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Scotty 2 Hotty vs. D-Lo Brown

Pre-match notes: Scotty was the face that was one half of the Tag Team Champions. Brown was a heel that didn’t have much going on.

Brown attacked with a jumping kick as soon as Scotty entered the ring. Scotty came back with a superkick followed by a dropkick and elbow drop. Scotty did a moonwalk. Brown launched Scotty into the air to slam him into the mat followed by a leg drop. When Brown whipped Scotty into the ropes, Scotty countered with a dropkick. Scotty with a jumping back elbow followed by a back body drop. Brown missed a corner attack, so Scotty hit the bulldog leading to the W-O-R-M with the crowd going crazy for it as Scotty ended the Worm with the chop. Scotty jumped off the ropes with an attack, but Brown came back with a flapjack to counter. Brown went up top for the Low Down frog splash, but Scotty moved, so Brown hit the mat hard. Scotty jumped off the ropes with a DDT for the pinfall win at 3:10.

Winner by pinfall: Scotty 2 Hotty

Analysis: ** That match was fine. Pretty basic stuff here. Scotty was popular with the fans, so it made sense for him to get the win.

It was back to NYC with Patterson telling Brisco to think about the Hardcore Championship. Crash Holly walked behind Chioda, who told Pat and Gerald, but they didn’t believe Chioda with Patterson telling him he was just there to count the pin.

Kane was shown backstage getting ready for his match.

(Commercial)

Kane made his entrance to face a surprise opponent. That opponent was…the Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit.

Chris Benoit vs. Kane

Pre-match notes: Benoit was the heel Intercontinental Champion while Kane was the face. This was a non-title match.

Benoit worked over Kane with chops, but Kane came back with punches followed by a hip toss across the ring and a clothesline. Kane with a boot to the face, but an elbow drop attempt missed for Kane. Benoit with a drop toe hold followed by a low dropkick to the head. Kane came back with a front suplex. Sidewalk slam by Kane. Benoit tried a Crossface, Kane tried a Chokeslam, but Benoit held onto the right arm. Kane with a lefty clothesline to knock down Benoit. When Benoit left the ring, Kane went after him and Benoit grabbed the IC Title from ringside. Kane jumped off the top and Benoit hit Kane in the face with the title. The referee saw it, so that led to the DQ finish at 3:29.

Winner by disqualification: Kane

Analysis: **1/4 It was a pretty good match. They worked well together. I think they went with that finish because they didn’t want to book either guy to lose.

Post match, Benoit hit Kane in the head with the title again and Kane sat up. Benoit bailed while Kane stood tall in the ring.

Christian was shown backstage with a hockey stick and said “damn midgets” referring to “little person” Joe C hitting Christian in the groin with a hockey stick to cost Christian and Edge the Tag Team Titles. Edge talked to “mom” who told him that she was happy that Edge advanced in King of the Ring while Christian said she didn’t call him. They argued over “faction” and “regime” (because WWE changed the names many times) so they compromised saying they were the “fac-gime.” They said they were so working for the “fac-gime” now.

Analysis: The “mom” thing is because at the time the WWF said they were brothers. A few years later, they ignored that. They are best friends since childhood.

(Commercial)

There was a video that showed Vince McMahon announcing there would be an XFL team in Chicago. The original XFL was a huge money loser for the WWF and NBC.

Edge and Christian did a pre-match promo. Christian said that “this town blows” and they bleeped when he said “blows” as if that is a swear word. Christian said that the city is ugly. Edge mentioned Roger Ebert, Oprah and the Cubs record, which drew boos. They did a special 7-second pose as the crowd booed.

The Dudley Boyz entered to a good ovation.

Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)

Pre-match notes: E&C were the heels while the Dudleys were the faces.

Bubba hit a spinning splash on Christian followed by a D-Von splash. The fans were chanting “we want tables” for the Dudleys. Edge tagged in with Bubba hitting him with a Samoan Drop. Christian back in for a distraction, Edge with a dropkick and the heels took over leading to a corner splash by Christian. Bubba came back with a DDT on Edge and a clothesline on Christian. D-Von with a reverse suplex on Edge, but Christian broke up the pin. Bubba dumped Christian out of the ring, Edge left the ring and all four guys went up the ramp brawling. The referee counted them out, so it was a double countout finish at 3:14.

Match Result: Double Countout

Analysis: *3/4 A decent match with a weak finish because it was all about setting up for the post match angle. Double countouts are not popular with me.

The teams were at the top of the stage where Bubba gave Edge a suplex on the stage. Bubba saw a table on the floor and the fans went crazy. The Dudleys set up Christian for a table spot, but DX members Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori showed up with steel chairs. Dogg hit Bubba hard in the head with a steel chair. DX brought a dumpster onto the stage. Edge and Christian helped DX work over the Dudleys. Both Dudleys were tossed in the dumpster, but the four heels worked together to keep them in the dumpsters. Road Dogg tied some ropes outside the dumpster to keep it locked. That led to Road Dogg, X-Pac, Tori, Edge and Christian shoving the dumpster off the stage onto the concrete floor.

There were referees, officials and EMTs that showed up to check on the Dudleys in the dumpster while Cole yelled about how this was sick.

Analysis: Huge angle to get more heat for the DX guys in their rivalry with the Dudleys, which was already a hot feud. The crowd was really into this feud too, which again shows how WWE’s creative team did a great job in getting people into these midcard storylines. It was a nod to some DX history when the New Age Outlaws put Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie in a dumpster and threw it off the Raw stage two years earlier.

(Commercial)

Replays aired of the dumpster attack. They showed Bubba Ray coughing while he was put on a stretcher as he sold the attack.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley entered the arena to watch the next match as she joined the commentary team for this match. Stephanie said that she wasn’t going to tell Cole why she was out there.

Chris Jericho entered to a big pop with a microphone in hand. Jericho said that week after week, the Jerichoholics refer to Stephanie as a “slut” (it was bleeped) but she is not, she is a filthy, dirty, disgusting, filthy, skanky, bottom feeding and then it ended.

Analysis: That promo was edited because the WWF was getting heat with UPN for raunchy content in this era. You could tell from the way Jericho was walking to the ring saying one thing, then he was already in the ring and they did not play the “trashbag ho” part as well.

Bull Buchanan entered as the surprise opponent. His team with Big Boss Man ended, so he was on his own while also working with the McMahons to try to get him over more.

Chris Jericho vs. Bull Buchanan

Pre-match notes: Jericho was the heel and Buchanan was the face.

Jericho with a bulldog. Lawler said Buchanan was 6’8” because that was WWE’s way of making him seem taller, but he was maybe 6’3” or so. Jericho sent Buchanan to the apron leading to a springboard dropkick to knock Bull to the floor. Jericho with a drop toe hold that sent Buchanan to the steel stairs. Jericho grabbed a drink of water and spit in Stephanie’s face. Stephanie was irate. Back in the ring, Jericho with a clothesline. Jericho went for the Lionsault, but Stephanie threw a bucket of water in his face. The referee did not see it. Buchanan followed up with a bicycle kick for the pinfall win at 1:53.

Winner by pinfall: Bull Buchanan

Analysis: * A quick match to give Stephanie some revenge against Jericho while also giving Buchanan a much-needed win. The finish was creative since you don’t normally see the dreaded “water to the face” leading to the finish very often.

After the match, Triple H went into the ring and stomped away on Jericho. Hunter shoved over referee Tim White and shoved Jack Doan down as well. Hunter picked up Jericho and gave him a Pedigree.

Analysis: There was the rivalry between Jericho and Stephanie for months and this was a case of Hunter defending his wife. They also did Jericho vs. Triple H at Fully Loaded one month after this, so it was smart to continue to build to that.

It was back to NYC with Patterson, Brisco and Chioda looking for Crash. Brisco had a hot dog. Crash was shown elsewhere and he walked into some store.

(Commercial)

There was a video package about the great angle from the previous week of Smackdown when Val Venis and Rikishi had a wild brawl that led to Rikishi hitting a splash off the ramp onto Venis.

Val Venis was in the ring doing a promo. He said last week on Smackdown, he left Rikishi beaten in the ring and screaming for mercy. Venis said that last week, Rikishi tried to end his career when he squashed him like a pancake. Val said that he has payback on the mind, so he called out Rikishi to the ring right now.

Rikishi made his entrance, so Venis went after him on the ramp. Rikishi was in control with punches and he tossed the steel steps into the ring. Rikishi whipped Venis into the steel stairs. Rikishi gave Venis a back body drop onto the announce table, but it was not enough to break the table. Rikishi gave Venis a body slam to break the table. Rikishi with a superplex. Venis came back with a monitor to the head of Rikishi. Venis hit him again with more force. Venis grabbed a steel chair and hit Rikishi hard in the head with it. The referees managed to send Venis to the back to end it.

Analysis: Good brawl just like last week. This time, Rikishi did not make the comeback, so Venis stood tall. They were building up this rivalry well. As I said previously, Rikishi didn’t really have a feud earlier in the year, so I’m glad that this rivalry took place because it was good for both guys.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of the Val Venis brawl with Rikishi. The announcers pointed out the broken announce table with some of Rikishi’s blood on the table. Rikishi did not do a blade job, but there may have been a small cut.

Crash Holly was at WWF New York where he met up with Shaft, who was Samuel L. Jackson in the movie and Shaft had a pretty woman with him. Crash asked for protection and Shaft said it’s his duty to protect his booty.

The Rock was shown backstage ready for an interview.

There were replays of winners in the King of the Ring tournament this week like when X-Pac beat Dean Malenko on Raw, Jeff Hardy beat Christian on Raw, Edge beat Grandmaster Sexay earlier on Smackdown and Scotty 2 Hotty beat D-Lo Brown earlier on Smackdown as well.

The final 16 in the King of the Ring tournament looked like this:

Kurt Angle vs. Bubba Ray Dudley
Chris Jericho vs. Edge
Crash Holly vs. Hardcore Holly
Bull Buchanan vs. Perry Saturn
Rikishi vs. Scotty 2 Hotty
Chris Benoit vs. X-Pac
Val Venis vs. Jeff Hardy
Eddie Guerrero vs. Chyna

The Rock was interviewed backstage by Kevin Kelly, who noted that Rock didn’t know who his opponent was going to be, so that must make it difficult for him. Rock paused for the “Rocky” chants and he did his “finally The Rock has come back to Chicago” line to start the promo. Rock said that his opponent could be anybody, even Kevin Kelly, then Rock said it doesn’t matter if you’re The Rock’s mystery opponent. Rock said it didn’t matter who you throw at The Rock, even if it was Scooby Doo and he said he would shove Scooby snacks up their candy asses. He has a way with words. Rock said to just bring it and ended it with the “if ya smell” line to a huge pop.

Analysis: Typical awesome Rock promo.

It was back to WWF New York when Patterson and Brisco asked Shaft about Crash. Shaft mocked them for letting a little guy like Crash take their belt. Brisco realized it was Shaft, so Shaft punched Patterson and that ended this confrontation.

Analysis: That was okay. It was a simple movie plug. I remember the movie in 2000. It was not that good. Now it’s 2019 and they are doing another one.

(Commercial)

The Rock entered for the main event to a huge ovation. Triple H and Stephanie were shown watching on a TV backstage.

Kurt Angle made his entrance as the surprise opponent for The Rock. Angle said he has been hand-picked by the McMahon-Helmsley Faction to face The Rock with Angle calling himself the true People’s Champion. Angle said that he didn’t raise an eyebrow, he raised a standard of excellence that Rock and the people here tonight can only hope of achieving. Rock did the “just bring it” hand gesture. Angle said he’s been “bringing it since 1982, mister” and he went into the ring to start the match.

Analysis: Angle was my second favorite promo guy from these shows after Rock. I really liked Jericho and Edge/Christian promos too. Lots of good talkers in mid-2000 WWF.

Kurt Angle vs. The Rock

Pre-match notes: Angle was the heel and Rock was the face.

Rock worked over Angle with punches. Stephanie and Hunter were shown in an inset with Stephanie wanting Hunter to help Angle, Hunter said no and then Stephanie said she was going since Kurt helped her retain the Women’s Title on Raw. Stephanie left, so Hunter left as well. Angle took over by sending Rock head first into the turnbuckle. Angle charged in, but Rock took him down with a powerslam. That’s when Hunter and Stephanie walked down to the ring to watch from ringside. Stephanie grabbed Rock’s leg leading to Angle hitting a belly to belly suplex on Rock for a two count. Triple H hit Rock with a cheap shot punch and forearm to the chest. Angle with a belly to back suplex for two. Angle charged in, Rock moved and Rock sent Angle over the top to the floor. Angle was running full speed there, so that looked like a painful bump. Rock decked Hunter with a punch to the face. Stephanie hit Rock in the back with the Women’s Championship while Hunter distracted the referee. Angle whipped Rock into the ring post. Back in the ring, Rock recovered with a Rock Bottom on Angle for a two count. Rock worked over Angle with punches followed by a powerslam for a two count. Hunter on the apron, so Rock whipped Angle into Hunter and Rock hit a DDT on Angle. Shane and Bull ran to ringside, so Rock punched them down. Rock with a spinebuster on Angle. Rock with the People’s Elbow to a huge ovation, but Triple H hit Rock in the back for the DQ finish at 6:06.

Winner by disqualification: The Rock

Analysis: **3/4 Good match as usual from these two. They always had chemistry together and we would see more of that later in the year when Angle got the main event push. The DQ finish was obvious as soon as Triple H made his way to ringside. The crowd was really into this match.

After the match was over, Triple H, Angle, Bull and Shane worked over Rock with punches. Kane did his power walk to the ring for the save. Kane punched the four heels. Chris Benoit ran out to attack Kane from behind. Kane managed to come back with a Chokeslam on Benoit. Rock worked over Hunter and Angle with punches, so Road Dogg and X-Pac went into the ring with clubs in their hands, which they used as weapons on Rock and Kane. The heels beat up Rock and Kane. The fans chanted “Undertaker” as Hunter hit Rock with a Pedigree in the middle of the ring. Hunter hit Kane with a Pedigree as well. Triple H’s music hit.

The heels celebrated in the ring over the fallen bodies of Rock and Kane. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: There was often times a repetitive pattern where the faces would get the advantage on Raw, then the heels get it back on Smackdown and that’s what we saw here. There was no Undertaker due to the arrest angle, so that meant that the babyfaces Rock and Kane had no way of fighting back.

This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:32:56 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Rock
  2. Kurt Angle
  3. Edge

 

The Scoreboard

This episode gets a 6.5 out of 10.

The heels had a dominant night. There were three matches where heels won due to outside interference, Val Venis got the advantage over Rikishi in their brawl and of course, the McMahon-Helmsley Faction stood tall to end the night. Top faces on the show like The Rock, Kane, Rikishi and The Dudley Boyz all got their asses kicked. The Undertaker was arrested, so that took him out too.

The matches were a bit of a step back from Raw, which had better matches in the same week. That’s why the score is lower than the 8 I gave Raw.

In terms of storylines, they were doing an excellent job of not just giving the main eventers something to do, but the midcard talent was busy too. Everything was building up well to King of the Ring with another week of Raw and Smackdown to go before KOTR took place.

—-

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.

John Canton

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