The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW – 01.24.00
OK, let’s get back to WWF 2000 as requested. I had skipped ahead a couple of weeks for the Dallas 10 man when we last hung out here, but that was missing a couple of weeks where some PRETTY important stuff happened. To say the least. So let’s head back to the night after Royal Rumble 2000!
Live from Philly, drawing a sellout 14359.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler
HHH joins us to start, and since this is the night after the Royal Rumble, he’s a little bit beat up after surviving Cactus Jack. Stephanie protests that he never should have been forced to defend the title in such a “demeaning” match but he sunk to Jack’s level and beat him anyway. “A ringing endorsement from the champion’s wife” notes JR. HHH points out that he left a piece of his leg and pints of blood in New York, but he did NOT leave the WWF title. Anyway, Jack was beat to death, so he’s not gonna be here tonight. Moving on, Wrestlemania 2000 is going to feature himself against the Rock in 10 weeks, but Big Show interrupts. He bitches that he never got a rematch with HHH, and also that Rock’s feet hit the floor first at the Rumble and so he was ROBBED. This of course brings out the Rock to a monster reaction, and he makes fun of Big Show for crying and complaining about losing because there’s no instant replay anyway, so deal with it. This prompts HHH to team with Big Show TONIGHT IN THIS VERY RING, if Rock can find a jabronie to be his partner. Otherwise, it’s a handicap match. Rock points out that he doesn’t care about a partner and doesn’t need one anyway. The announcers note that he called everyone in the locker room a bunch of jabronies so he might have trouble finding a partner.
Meanwhile, Bob Holly barges into the women’s dressing room looking to pick a fight with Chyna, and she laughs in his face. So he clobbers her, and Jericho dives in out of nowhere to make the save. So then Crash tells Bob that he’ll find another partner for tonight after that behavior. That was a pretty well timed segment.
Meanwhile, Al Snow has some team name ideas for Steve Blackman. Blackman shoots down Head Count, Head Cheese (“But we’ll be over in Wisconsin!”) and finally Head Games, but Al keeps trying.
Edge & Christian v. The Unnamed Team of Al Snow & Steve Blackman
I know Al was all about playing off the “Head” gimmick but there was probably more potential in the “Snow” name. Black Ice? They trade stuff and go nowhere while JR notes that King probably shouldn’t annoy Blackman because he’s psychotic and has “five or six years of his life unaccounted for”. Well, I mean, we know where he was, he was just really sick and out of wrestling. It’s not like he was missing in the jungle or whatever. Blackman fights with Christian on the floor and drops him on the stairs to take over while the Philly crowd picks up on “Head Cheese” already. Blackman misses a pump splash and Edge gets the hot tag, but Snow makes a blind tag and comes in with a backbreaker/legdrop combo on Edge. Blackman and Christian fight outside, but Teddy Long stops the match and calls for the EMTs at 3:40 because Edge isn’t moving. And of course the EMT is BB, who gives him mouth to mouth while Val Venis looks on in concern. Again, I don’t think this whole “Edge marries Val’s sister” storyline actually went anywhere.
Intercontinental title: Chris Jericho v. Hardcore Holly
Jericho was fresh off “unifying” the IC title at the Rumble to thankfully end that stupid “co-champion” storyline. They slug it out to start and fight in the corner while Chyna joins us at ringside, and then trade some pretty vicious chops until Jericho bulldogs him for two. They continue beating on each other and Holly gets a powerbomb for two and drops an elbow, but Chyna trips him up, and so he goes to the floor and kicks her in the face. Bob Holly as a miserable bastard is such a perfect role for him. He grabs a chair to finish the job, but Jericho saves and brings the chair into the ring for himself. Bob hits the dropkick and Jericho manages to land in the ropes, but then Chyna comes in and hits Holly with a terrible Pedigree on the chair while the ref somehow misses ALL OF THIS, and Jericho finishes with the Lionsault at 3:46 to retain. Not great. *
Meanwhile, the Hardyz do a promo about the Rumble where they sound like they’re reading off cue cards, but the Dudley Boyz interrupt and they want to shake hands and show respect for getting beaten at their own match. SOCIAL DISTANCING, guys!
Too Cool v. Crash Holly & Viscera
Crash gets double-teamed to start, but tags in Vis and he quickly throws around Sexay before missing the butt splash. Vis with the samoan drop while Crash goes up and falls off the top rope, which I’m assuming was a botch. Scotty beats on Vis in the corner, but gets powerbombed as a result. Vis misses a splash and Sexay comes in for a double dropkick and double bulldog on Viscera. This sets up the Worm, and they go to work on Crash with the Vegomatic, but he’s not the legal man. So Vis legdrops Sexay and gets the pin at 3:24. This was no good, with a bunch of missed spots and stumbling around. ½*
Meanwhile, on Smackdown, X-Pac joins the reformed D-X but assures Kane that it’s nothing against him. And then of course they all turn on him later on and X-Pac reveals that in fact Kane is just a big piece of crap to them.
Meanwhile, at WWF New York, it’s the Coach. Well at least he’s contained there. This was actually just a couple of days after the grand opening of what would become a giant money pit for the company.
Kane v. X-Pac
Tori is still with Kane at this point, as THAT turn comes later on. X-Pac with the kick in the corner to start, but Kane beats him down and follows with a biel across the ring. Powerslam out of the corner and Kane chokes him out instead of going for the pin. X-Pac comes back with an impressive spinkick that hits Kane in the head, but Kane tosses him and wipes out the cameraman in the process. They brawl on the floor and X-Pac sends him into the stairs. And then he stops to kiss Tori back before the days of #METOO, and Tori freaks out in the ring and Kane goes to protect her, but X-Pac hits him with a chair for the DQ at 2:56. Another nothing match with a bad finish, but it was pretty good action for the 3 minutes it lasted. *1/2 And of course the fans cheered X-Pac when he forced himself on Tori, although as we learned later it was at least mutual.
WWF tag team titles: The New Age Outlaws v. The Hardy Boyz
This should have been the tag title match at the Rumble, given that the Hardyz had all the momentum at this point. The Outlaws attack to start and Billy goes after Matt’s taped ribs, while the Dudleyz come out to watch. Billy with the corner splash and he follows with a jackhammer while a table is set up at ringside. Road Dogg continues beating on the ribs, but the Outlaws try their own Poetry in Motion to be dicks and Matt dropkicks Gunn to block it. Hot tag Jeff and he runs wild to set up the swanton, but the Dudleyz run in for the DQ at 4:35. They take out both Hardyz with 3D and then change the course of their career by grabbing Terri (“Why would you punch her in the face when you can put her through a table?”) and Bubba powerbombs her through the table for the first time. And THAT was finally what got them over as bigtime heels and made them stars. The replay shows how completely safe the bump was, with Bubba taking all the impact himself, but of course it looked awesome and they played it up huge with the back brace and ambulance ride and the whole deal. And of course the Outlaws continue to look like a complete afterthought to the tag team division, despite being the champions.
Kurt Angle joins us while Terri is getting hauled out, completely ignoring the chaos in order to complain about the Rumble match with Tazz. It was an ILLEGAL HOLD. And the IOC says so! But Angle is pretty sure that Tazz was a street thug who didn’t know better, so he’s still undefeated and doesn’t hold the blatant cheating and lack of integrity against Tazz. So then Tazz comes out and quickly hooks Angle in the Tazzmission again and puts his lights out. Of course, the crowd chants for ECW after previously booing him out of ECW because mutants are fickle.
During the break, Terri gets loaded into the ambulance and taken to a local medical facility.
Meanwhile, the Rock insists that he’s just gonna beat both candy asses by himself.
The Godfather & D-Lo Brown v. The Acolytes
Godfather slugs it out with Bradshaw to start and takes a big boot as a result, but he comes back with a legdrop and the pimps double-team Bradshaw. D-Lo gets booted and beat up in the corner, but he comes back with a leg lariat and legdrop on Faarooq for two. Faarooq with a spinebuster while someone fights in the crowd and takes away any attention from this riveting match. The Acolytes double-team D-Lo, but he fights back with a Sky High on Faarooq and makes the tag to Godfather. Ho Train on Faarooq gets two, but Bradshaw makes the save. Clothesline from Hell finishes D-Lo at 3:45. Just a match. *
Meanwhile, Coach is still at WWF New York.
Jerry Lawler brings out the women from the swimsuit contest at the Rumble for no adequately explored reason. So Lawler crowns Mae Young as the winner, but Mae complains that everyone has fake boobs, so it turns into a brawl and everyone gets their shirt ripped off. Thankfully Mark Henry runs out and covers up Mae to end the trainwreck.
Test v. Big Bossman
Bossman gets a big boot and slugs Test to the floor, but Stevie Richards runs in, dressed like Test, for the DQ at 0:30 and attacks Bossman. And then gets laid out by Test afterwards. OK then. DUD I don’t remember where the whole “Stevie is looking for a new gimmick” thing ended up, but I don’t believe it was the RTC quite yet.
Meanwhile, Michael Cole promises to keep us updated on Terri’s condition.
HHH & Big Show v. The Rock & ???
And the mystery partner turns out to be Rikishi, as they take a tentative shot with him on top. Show immediately beats on Rock in the corner and headbutts him down, but he misses an elbow before coming back with a powerslam. Over to HHH and he stomps a mudhole on Rock in the corner, but Rock fires back with a DDT for two. Show misses a charge and Rikishi tags himself in and hits CHEEKS OF FIRE on Show to set up the superkick, then takes out HHH as well. Show catches him with a sideslam and stomps him down, as the heels go to work with time rapidly running out here. HHH with the facebuster, but Rikishi hits the samoan drop and nearly plants HHH on his head on the way down. Hot tag Rock and he hits Show with a DDT and HHH with the spinebuster, but HHH goes low and the Outlaws run in for the DQ at 4:17. So the heels go to work on the Rock, but Cactus Jack in fact is here in the building, and he makes the save with a 2×4 to end a very underwhelming post-PPV show. *1/2
Of course, the ratings war ended up being an unholy ass whupping on Nitro, with RAW doing a 6.83 (!!!!) to Nitro’s 3.06. Keep in mind, Nitro was being run by monkeys at this point with a gutted midcard and yet today WWE would KILL to have the ratings they had at that point. Regardless, this was largely just a show, but there was so much star power at their peak that it was a very easy to watch show, even with the all the matches being 3 minute nothings with DQ endings.