The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 01.27.00
Carrying on from the last 2000 episode of RAW, as I’m just looking for some good wrestling with a hot crowd these days…
Taped from Baltimore, MD
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Mr. Ass v. Al Snow
Apparently Road Dogg is out with the flu tonight. What kind of a wuss misses a show with the FLU? Backstage, Al pitches Snow Bunnies for his team with Blackman, but that appears to be a no-go as well. So anyway, Billy Gunn is introduced as “Mr. Ass” and that’s what the graphic says, but Cole calls him “BA Billy Gunn”. To paraphrase someone else, Gunn has 100 gimmicks and never drew a dime. Gunn goes for the Fameasser right away and misses, but recovers with a crossbody for two. This appears to be a botched spot and they struggle through a choking spot while they figure out what to do next. So Billy gets the corner splash, but Snow backdrops him to the floor and they brawl for a bit out there. They head back in, where Billy suplexes him to the floor, so Al hits him in the Googles right in front of the referee, which barely earns him a warning. Snow goes up and misses the legdrop and Billy sort of makes a comeback with an atomic drop as these guys are just stumbling around through everything and can’t get on track at all. Gunn with the jackhammer, but Blackman runs in with the kendo stick, so Billy steals it and uses it for the DQ at 3:40. This was a complete trainwreck. DUD
Meanwhile, HHH and Stephanie and their giant plate of charcuteries are upset at Head Cheese earning a tag title match with that stirring singles victory, but Big Show interrupts with PROOF that Rock’s feet hit first at Royal Rumble. In this case, a series of fuzzy Polaroids, but HHH isn’t really happy with that and wants an eyewitness.
Cactus Jack joins us with his new best friend, the lead pipe. Sure, he may have had a great match at the Rumble, but he failed to bring home the WWF title. On the bright side, he left HHH a bloody mess, while Jack just looked like he had a “pretty good time”. So he wants HHH again, TONIGHT IN THIS VERY RING, right now if possible. This brings out Steph, who declines that match, but Jack wonders how they’re ever going to reproduce since HER HUSBAND HAS NO TESTICLES. So Steph slaps him, and Jack tells her to try it again so he can haul off and slap her one back, then keeps goading her until she backs off in terror. But he leaves her with a message for HHH instead before he leaves tonight: Anytime the Game wants to finish what was started, he’s ready. Oh, and BANG BANG. Fantastic promo from Cactus here.
During the break, Cactus Jack packs his bag and leaves, as promised.
Meanwhile, Bob Holly tries to mend fences with Crash, for the family you see, but Crash is pretty happy with Viscera. So Bob offers to go take out his new partner and see how he likes THAT.
The Dudley Boyz v. Edge & Christian
E&C are avenging the vicious attack on Terri on behalf of the Hardyz, back before they’d stage their own spoof as a five second pose instead. Big brawl to start and Bubba tosses Edge out and goes to work on Christian. Edge pulls out Bubba and then dropkicks him into a neckbreaker from Christian, and a double flapjack on D-Von gets two. The Dudz cut off Christian in the corner and hit the future WAZZUP on him for two. Bubba works Christian over in the corner and goes low behind the ref’s back, then follows with a backdrop. Christian comes back, but walks into a samoan drop. Bubba goes up, but gets distracted by Edge, so Christian returns the low blow and gets a rana off the middle rope and it’s HOT tag Edge. Man, wrestling is REALLY missing the pretty boy teams and shrieking girls these days. Even before Covid. Christian dumps Bubba and follows with a dive, while Edge spears D-Von for the pin at 5:45 to avenge Terri! But then Edge walks into the 3D, and Christian takes one as well, which allows Bubba to get the tables and powerbomb Christian onto Edge while the HORRIFIED crowd gasps. This was a REALLY good 5:00 TV match and the Dudleyz were getting hotter by the week with the table gimmick. *** This is exactly the kind of solid midcard action that’s completely missing from WWE now.
Meanwhile, HHH points out to Steph that slapping guys around is probably not a great idea, but this time Kane interrupts them and HHH offers up X-Pac on Monday, if Kane is able to beat Big Show tonight.
Hardcore Holly v. Viscera
Holly offers a test of strength and then kicks Vis in the gut instead, but that goes badly for him and he ends up on the floor. Vis hauls him back in and follows with a leg lariat, but Hardcore gets the dropkick and actually manages to hit him in the head. This brings Crash down while Hardcore chokes Vis out, but Vis gets an avalanche and samoan drop for the pin at 2:15. This was pretty flat. 1/2* And then the Hollies get back together for an old fashioned beatdown afterwards, thus ending that experiment for good.
Meanwhile, Show gets his fuzzy pictures back from HHH.
So the “brought to you by” is the N64 game Wrestlemania 2000 as they note it’s now back in stock. Yeah man, I can personally testify that game was IMPOSSIBLE to find at Christmas time in 1999. Thank god for digital distribution these days. Although Nintendo would probably find a way to limit THOSE if they could as well.
Big Show v. Kane
Yes, it’s part 300 of their never-ending battle. We had LITERALLY just seen this match on TV a couple of weeks ago at this point and I was already at the point where I never wanted to see it again. But we did. Oh, did we ever. They slug it out to start and Show puts him down with a big boot, but Kane comes back with the Kanezuigiri and chokes Show out. Show tosses him to the floor and runs him into the stairs. Back in, he misses an elbow and Kane fights back to BUILD MOMENTUM, but X-Pac runs in and tries to kidnap Tori. So Kane goes to save and Show lays out Kane, and then D-X all comes out and goes after Kane as the match is a wash at 4:30 or so. So the beatdown continues as Kane gets tied to the ringpost, and X-Pac does a promo about how Tori seduced him in the hotel room at Christmas. And Tori acts all offended, but then reveals that in fact she was screwing X-Pac the whole time and joins D-X. This would have been much more effective if Tori had ANY acting ability whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Kane wanders off into the streets of Baltimore to figure out his life, man. It’s actually too bad that Undertaker was still out all this time, because having his brother return and destroy the heels on his behalf would have been a hell of a payoff to this whole shitty angle. Instead of whatever we got. Which was pretty much nothing.
The Godfather & D-Lo Brown v. Too Cool
Scotty trades some stuff with D-Lo to start and Sexay comes in with a bodypress out of the corner and a superkick, which sets up a middle rope bulldog. D-Lo comes back with a leg lariat on Scotty and Godfather throws him around and follows with the Ho Train in the corner, but it misses. Scotty calls him off and suggests a big dance party to settle things, so Godfather calls it off at 2:30 and everyone comes in and dances. I guess they’re pioneering the “dance party finish” here. And then that brings out Mae Young and Mark Henry, who announce that she’s pregnant to kick off one of the most legendarily awful storylines in history. So this was quite the segment and we’ll leave it there.
Meanwhile, the Mean Street Posse stupidly lip off to Tazz backstage and make short jokes, so Tazz offers to kill all three of them at the same time later.
Hardcore title: Test v. Gangrel
Still nice to see Gangrel and Luna get to be an on-screen couple after years of being kept apart. Test attacks at the ramp, but Luna spews “viscous red liquid” in his eyes and Gangrel gets some offense. So Test shrugs that off and they wander to the back and Luna hits Test with a table as Gangrel gets two. They fight into the parking lot while Luna keeps getting involved, so Test throws her into the back of a snow-filled pickup, allowing Gangrel to run him into a phone booth. What the fuck is a phone booth? Test stops for a phone joke: “What has small balls and hangs down? A bat. What has big balls and hangs up?” And then he hangs up the phone. See, the inference is that he’s the one with the large testicles, because he’s the one who hung up the phone. You’re welcome. Anyway, they find a piano and Test smashes Gangrel into that a bunch of times, but Luna gets involved again, so Test powerbombs her on the piano and then drops an elbow off a ramp onto Gangrel for the pin at 4:14 to retain. Luna was GAME for whatever ridiculous abuse they wanted her to take, and this was fun, but the whole “Test as hardcore legend” thing was a flop. **1/4
Tazz v. The Mean Street Posse
Cole is just cool-dadding this push already, calling Tazz a “scrapper” and an “underdog” as they just suck all the bad-ass cred out of him by the minute. The Posse manages to triple-team Tazz in the corner, but Tazz quickly has enough and ragdolls all three of them before finishing Pete Gas at 1:25. This was NOT how you get Tazz over, as the Posse had no clue what to do out there. -* This brings out Kurt Angle for the sneak attack with the Angle Slam, and he does his own rear naked choke, although that storyline would abruptly get dropped and Angle would go off in a totally different direction by the time we got to the PPV. That direction would be “upwards and away from Tazz”.
Intercontinental title: Chris Jericho v. Crash Holly
This was apparently the debut of Chyna’s stupid pyro bazooka according to the commentary. But then I would trust Michael Cole to tell me that the sun was coming up in the morning, so who knows. Jericho goes for the cheap shot by calling Crash “Elroy Jetson”, which I don’t think anyone else had done yet. Crash is all miffed so Jericho attacks with a leg lariat and gets the ARROGANT COVER for two, which they totally miss and ignore on commentary. I was always really sad that Jericho never go to work that gag into his WWF character. Back in, Jericho goes up and Crash crotches him and follows with a top rope rana for two. Anyway, the announcers are busy talking about Mae Young during the match. Crash tries a rana and Jericho reverses him into the double powerbomb, but Hardcore hits him with the IC belt and knocks him out. Then he knocks out Chyna for good measure. Jericho escapes, however, and finishes Crash with the Walls at 3:58 to retain. Meh. *1/2
HALFTIME HEAT: Steve Austin speaks and we get Rumble highlights. Yeah that one didn’t do very well, unsurprisingly.
The Rock v. Rikishi
Apparently Rock is guesting on Star Trek Voyager right away. Sounds like the Rock’s got a pretty good little acting career ahead of him! Anyway, this is because Rock and Rikishi teamed up on Monday, so HHH is basically just screwing with them because he can. They slug it out to start and Rikishi gets the samoan drop and follows with CHEEKS OF FIRE, but Rock dodges him and gets the spinebuster for two. Rock chokes him out on the ropes and happily goes a bit heel to makes sure Rikishi gets over as a babyface, despite himself being the biggest babyface star in the promotion. Rock gets a samoan drop for two and slugs away, but Rikishi cuts him off. Rock gets a DDT and Rikishi no-sells it and pops up for a superkick. Always a classic. He tries the Rikishi Driver, but Rock escapes and tries for the Rock Bottom, and then his knee buckles and both guys are down. That was ugly. Also not believable that someone with superhuman strength like Rock couldn’t hit the move. And indeed, a second try works and Rock comes back and lays the smackdown in the corner, here on Smackdown. Ref is bumped and Rikishi hits the Rump Shaker, but then the 82nd Airborne runs in for the DQ at 6:20. Good main event but it went nowhere. **1/2
Next time on RAW: EVERYTHING CHANGES. The time has come.
Anyway, I enjoyed this show, although whoever was booking the finishes can kindly screw off.