TJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 04/20/00 Review (Rock vs. Jericho, Triple H vs. Tazz)

I’m back for another WWF in 2000 review. The storylines were really heating up in April 2000 and the matches were starting to improve on television as well. Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network: “WWE Champion Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley abuse their power going into Backlash. Plus, The Rock, Chris Jericho, and many more.”

Read moreTJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 04/20/00 Review (Rock vs. Jericho, Triple H vs. Tazz)

Why not Austin vs McMahon at mania 15

Since it had been the biggest story all year, why not have the match on your biggest show instead of doing it when they did? 

You can either do Austin winning the belt at St Valentine's day massacre or you keep the mankind vs rock match with Rock winning thanks to a debuting Big show. This sets up Mankind vs Show at mania, Austin vs McMahon, and say Rock vs Taker.

Really though all that fantasy booking aside, what was the reason for not doing Austin vs Mcmahon at mania?

​Because that would be a colossal waste of Steve Austin at Wrestlemania.  No one buys Vince as having a chance against Austin without the deck being ridiculously stacked, and Rock acting as Vince's avatar was good enough to draw a giant buyrate anyway.  Doing Vince v. Austin as a real match was fine for a throwaway show in February, but for the biggest of the year?  No chance.  ​

Blackballed by McMahon


OK with the yearly possibility of Savage getting into the hall of fame, what other deserving wrestlers (read: not Billy Jack Haynes) have been blackballed and why?  I seem to remember hearing something about Bill Eadie/Ax being on McMahon's shit list but i don't know why.
Eadie's been suing them off and on for years now over ownership of the gimmick and he'll probably never get in.  I wouldn't count on ever seeing Man Mountain Rock in there, either.  

Vince McMahon and Triple H at Odds Over Who Will be Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania Opponent?

According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, Vince and HHH have been “butting heads” when deciding who should be Lesnar’s opponent at WrestleMania. HHH reportedly wants Lesnar to face Roman Reigns while Vince wants him to face The Rock. Some people backstage have even reported that Vince tends to undercut HHH while others believe it is a case of the two playing “good cop/bad cop” as there are no hard feelings between the two.

Shane McMahon and WCW

Hi Scott,

I've been watching a lot of 2001 lately and seem to have a gap in my memory… I remember Shane O being the one to purchase WCW, beating Vince at Mania & then continuing on to the great match with Kurt Angle at KOTR. All of this was as a FACE.

My question is: when did Shane turn heel? It seemed that he/WCW were the faces to start with but obviously when the Invasion really kicked off they were all heels; please jog my memory!

​It was pretty quick after KOTR when they did the Alliance angle to turn everyone heel, so your timeline is correct.  It's kind of crazy how momentous a swing happened in ONE SHOW.  It literally was months of storyline twists crammed into a single RAW.  The disastrous Tacoma RAW was July 2, and then the crazy Atlanta RAW was July 9.  And they managed to do one of the biggest buyrates of the modern era with only 2 weeks build based off that, which still blows my mind.  ​

QOTD #24: Vince McMahon

Today’s Question:
What’s the first Vince
McMahon moment to pop into your head?
Seeing as how Vince might be the greatest character in the
history of the wrestling business, I suspect we’ll have a lot of fun with this
one. Start the conversation now by clicking on “Comments” or scrolling to the
end. Otherwise, stick around for yesterday’s discussion.

Yesterday our discussion was about the best match you
recently saw for the first time. We’re all fans who seek out content, and
you’ll never cease to be amazed by what treasures might have been missed. I was
giddy watching the match between the Japanese wrestler and the blow-up doll
that you shared with me a couple of days ago; that thing was a masterpiece.
Let’s check out your responses.
Will1225: Paul London vs. Billy Kidman from No Mercy
2004. One of the last storylines the Crusierweight wrestlers had in wwe without
it involving the cruiserweight title.
The Shooting Star Press of DEATH match. After their
fantastic tag-team run together, they really meshed well as Former Partners Who
Hate Each Other. This rarely actually works out.
VintageECW: Hogan v Funk from SNME was great! Hogan
could really move in 85-86.
A shocking pick from someone with “ECW” in their name, but a
great one nevertheless. I’ve heard reports of some legendary matches in Japan
that I’ve never seen. Hogan wasn’t really a stiff until the 90’s, and his WWWF
& AWA work prove it.
dirtyearsbill: Balls Mahoney vs Masato Tanaka from Hardcore
Heaven 2000. Put on this show not expecting much but this was a really fun and
brutal opener.
Extant1979: I watched the InVasion PPV yesterday for the
first time. I have to admit, the Trish/Lita vs. Stacy/Torrie match was
fantastic. Not a technical masterpiece per se, but definitely very enjoyable on
a certain level.
Trish Stratus was secretly coming into her own long before
we picked up on it. Her excellent match against Stephanie at No Way Out 2001
was largely attributed to Steph, because nobody was ready to believe a fitness
model who had undergone plastic surgery could figure this wrestling business
out. Of course, she promptly shattered every stereotype, worked her ass off,
and went on to become the most revered female of the modern era.
daveschlet: Flair vs Steamboat from 3/18/89 Landover,
MD. It was an easy *****. Great match, looked like it was filmed in Fan Cam. No
commentary. Still amazing.
ETB757: Al Snow vs Chris Benoit on ECW TV. It’s easy
to forget how great a worker Snow was in his prime
Great match, right in the heart of the “Chris Benoit is a
cold sadistic killer” angle. Snow is his victim du jour, who eats a pile of
powerbombs while Benoit laughs about the damage to his neck. Actually … let’s
just move on.
cultstatus: Just watched BROCK/Rock for the first time
since I saw it live. Holy Christ that much doesn’t get the love it deserves.
It’s legit ***** and epic as fuck. Plus it’s great seeing the crowd turn
against Rock.
I loved Brock’s Rock Bottom out of nowhere, and his absolute
decapitation of Rocky right before the People’s Elbow. It’s telling just how
electric the whole building was, even after the energy that went into Triple
H/Michaels, and the fact they were in the Nassau coliseum which is
traditionally blah. The fans were beyond prepared to see the end of the Rock,
which set the seeds in motion for his heel turn in the spring of 2003 (which
was probably set in stone by RAW X, but I digress).
YankeesHoganTripleHFan:
The HHH/Cena/Edge Triple threat match
from Backlash 06. I didn’t see it until this year when my girlfriend got me the
HHH King of Kings dvd. I LOVED that match and thought it could have been the
main event at WM 22. Literally the entire ringside area was covered in Triple
H’s blood
Danimal Crossing:
Macho Man and Billy Jack Haynes wrestled
a couple of gems back in 86. The charisma is just off the charts. Not really a
talked about series of matches, but some great stuff I stumbled upon while
putting together Macho Man compilations in my spare time.
Mike Mears: Triple H/Cena from NOC ’08. Watching it now.
Never seen it before. Never quite had the epic feel they were going for- like
Cena/Batista would at Summerslam two months later- but a really good match.
Also features a rare moment of Cena losing cleanly. Granted,
we shouldn’t be SURPRISED seeing as Hunter’s involved, but it’s always
noteworthy when it happens. Those two have secretly great chemisty, and it’s
always in the air who’s going to win since both are bulletproof.
Lenny Vowels: I really enjoyed Savage vs. Michaels from
the European Tour in ’92, which I had never seen prior to the days of YouTube.
James: CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio from Armageddon
’08. Can’t remember what spurred me to watching it but it was a pretty damn
good match.
This is also one of Rey’s last really good matches. He had
some standouts with Jericho, but his quality has decreased to the point I don’t
even really enjoy watching him anymore. His best asset was always his speed,
and was the only thing that made his size believable in terms of being a
threat.
joedust: Greg Valentine and Ron Garvin from the 1990
Royal Rumble. Great, stiff, match. Everytime I watch the 1990 Royal Rumble I
love it more and more.
I met Greg Valentine a couple of years ago, and asked him if
it’s true that it still takes him an hour in the ring just to get warmed up (as
Jesse liked to remind us). Valentine quipped: “It takes me an hour to get out
of bed.”
White Thunder: I randomly watched a Malenko – Guerrero
match from Hardcore TV on the network. Tremendous stuff.
Michael Weyer: Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair, November 1991.
Shawn was still with the Rockers but showing his skills, good battle between
them, shows how Shawn always had the stuff to hang with Flair so well.
Shawn was always excellent, right from the word jump. While
anyone could have hung in there with Flair in 1991 and picked up a *** rating,
Shawn really worked to show what he was capable of doing on his own. His ring
work was stellar in any era.
Uncruisimatic_Buck_Nasty:
got the “best of tna 2007” dvd
from netflix and watched a good chunk of it last night. i’d never seen the
texas death match b/w james storm and braden walker, even though i’d heard of
its praises. DAYUM that was a bloody match. they both earned the kudos and
respect they got for working that bad boy.
These two had some of the most amazing chemistry I’ve ever
seen. The fact they were randomly paired together on one of the first TNA
shows, and somehow turned that into the run they had together was nothing short
of a miracle. I always felt it was Harris who was on the cusp of superstardom,
and I will never quite understand why he celebrated signing his WWE contract by
putting on 40 pounds – but James Storm didn’t let the same opportunity slide.
Their matches together were great, and the Texas Death Match was the pinnacle.
Violent as hell. Good pick.
greaterpower99: Randy Orton vs Christian at Summerslam 2011.
Wasn’t blown away the first time I saw it years ago and bought the disc mostly
for Cena-Punk 2 (which is better than their MITB match imho). Took another look
at it recently and honestly don’t know what I was thinking the first time as
it’s an awesome match.
You’re probably on the cusp of blasphemy saying anything
exceeded MITB#1. To the point about Orton/Christian, they fought a great series
and it was really unfortunate that Christian again went down with injury
because it looked like he had finally found his winning angle to be treated
seriously atop the WWE card.
jobber123: Dustin Rhodes vs Bunkhouse Buck at spring
stampede 94 is all kinds of awesome I hadnt see it until this morning.
Heavy boot stomping, blinding powder, Bionic elbows, and
Dustin bleeding like a faucet. Spring Stampede 1994 was the perfect precursor
to the insanity that was Slamboree (essentially an ECW-show airing out of
Philly), and these two put on a great old school display. I was a big fan of
Dustin taking off his belt and just whipping the piss out of Buck.
MC Hesher: I just watched the Savage/Warrior WM7 match
for the first time a few days ago. Epic atmosphere, and the match was also
pretty good. Warrior is fun to watch in HD, because his face is constantly
going “Crap, what spot’s next again? Is he clotheslining me or am I
clotheslining him? Am I hungry?”
thebraziliankid: Kane vs Albert, Both guys just went there
and had energetic 10 minutes match. Probably Kane’s best along with his first
Taker match.
I still have no idea where on earth this came from. Both
guys had been averaging one star bouts all year, woke up, ate their Wheaties,
and promptly killed it.
CruelConnectionNumber2:
The greatest random match I ever saw is
from a late 1991 WCW Main Event. Bischoff shows us an exclusive match from
Japan as the team of.. yes… JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER and OZ (Kevin Nash!) take on
SCOTT NORTON and MR. SAITO. LIGER and OZ is the most ridiculous team I’ve ever
heard of.
I positively love sheer ridiculousness like this. That’s
pretty hard to top from a “Who The Hell Booked THOSE Two Together???”
standpoint.
On the topic of Liger, I was recapping WCW Prime about a
year ago, when he put on an absolutely bitchin’ match with Shinjiro Ohtani. It
was only about 3 and a half minute long, but I rated it at ***1/2, because they
never stopped moving or coming up with creative ways to hurt each other.
Absolutely caught me off guard on a show known more for giving “Cobra”
somewhere to wrestle.
However, recently I was thumbing through a bunch of newly
acquired WCW Saturday Night episodes, and came across this one that I had never
seen before. I knew right away it was probably going to be good, but it was
even better than that. Enjoy, Steven Regal vs. Ricky Steamboat.
I hope you have a wonderful day, and we’ll be back at it
again tomorrow.

Triple H/Vince McMahon


"There was a meeting called by Triple H before this past Monday’s RAW in Knoxville, TN. Triple H reportedly expressed his desire for RAW and SmackDown to have “more of a flow from top to bottom.”

There are concerns within WWE that people aren’t subscribing to the WWE Network because the product on TV isn’t good enough, which can be largely attributed to lack of flow, storylines being forgotten or outright dropped. One source pointed to Triple H and Vince McMahon having “different visions” and the ideas of the two clashing. It’s said that going into the summer, Triple H really wants more focus placed on under-card programs as a way to help build up the mid-card." 
Thoughts? Do you think Triple H is trying to make the product better but Vince is in the way? If HHH was giving creative control 100% do you think we would see an elevation of the overall product? Do you think Vince would ever give Triple H the chance to do so while he's still alive? Thanks.

Well NXT is quite clearly HHH's baby and it's the bomb as long as the writers aren't trying to "improve" it.  The main issue with WWE is the writing process and people who don't understand how to draw money crafting "stories" instead of feuds and angles.  Vince and/or HHH can only do so much on their own.   Personally I would happily watch nothing but NXT now that I get the weekly TV format with quarterly PPV payoffs.  That's the way WE LIKED IT, consarnit!

Sky is really falling – investors want McMahon family gone


"Ongoing losses, operating failures, material misstatements warrant and require urgent executive management changes or a sale of the company"

​I know, and people thought I was just freaking out over nothing when this TV deal thing broke last night.  As Dave noted on the audio show last night, the TV industry basically gave a huge ​vote of no-confidence in WWE as both sports and entertainment.  Vince has personally lost $350 million in a DAY.  That's three Linda senate runs!  Obviously there's a reason that they made sure to distance Hunter and Stephanie from the Network and TV deal negotiations.  

Shane McMahon

Hi Scott,

In an industry of prevalent rumours of comebacks/returns, why is it we never hear them about Shane McMahon? He'd seem like an obvious candidate to return at some point, yet the longer he's gone (been 5/6 years now?) the less likely it seems like it's ever going to happen.

Any idea/word floating around on Shane ever showing up on screen again? Is he involved with the company in any capacity whatsoever? I think he's got a massive pop waiting for him if he ever turns up. 

He's in China making millions off the burgeoning PPV market there, I honestly don't think he needs or wants the hassle and politics of the family business any longer.   And good for him if that makes him happy!

Vince McMahon Acknowledges CM Punk During Today’s Conference Call

When a caller asked about Punk’s status with the company, Vince replied with the following:

“As far as CM Punk is concerned, one of our performers is taking a sabbatical, let’s just put it that way.”

http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/3-news/35532-wwe-first-quarter-and-annual-business-conference-call-report-including-quote-from-vince-mcmahon-on-cm-punk

Vince McMahon may buy a Premier League team?


IBF? XFL?  This should end well.

People have been saying it's more likely Shane buying it and they just got the wrong McMahon via the telephone game somewhere.  
Also, hockey is the only real sport and deep down everyone in the UK knows it but they're jealous because they can't maintain a good enough ice surface to play it at a high level.  Sorry, but it had to be said.

WWF Livewire 96- Russo, McMahon, Cornette, Heyman etc – great video

Hi Scott,

Hope all is well!  I wanted to share this video with the blog o' doom.
I hadn't seen this since it aired live in the fall of 1996 but it's so fascinating watching all these personalities on one live show (WWF Livewire on USA).


You have Cornette and Russo shooting on each other, Sunny ripping Sable legit, McMahon talking dirt on Bischoff, Ross, Turner, and his thoughts on a WWF Network Channel (in 96), and even a call from Paul Heyman claiming his concepts are being stolen. Such a nice blend of shoot and fabrication in a very stale 96. It is awkward but compelling tv before they decided to finally strip things down and get edgy with Raw is War in 97.  

Oh man, the Paul Heyman audio run-in was EPIC.  Didn't he do a fake name once too, calling in as "Bruce P. from Hartford" or something like that?  Good times.

Is Vince McMahon gay?

> Scott,
>
> I just got finished watching a 3-hour custom made compilation video of all the Kiss My Ass segments + buttshots (Rude, Michaels, Flair, etc) and it really got me thinking, is Vince McMahon really gay? Something tells me that he had a thing for big muscular men because even to this day the superstars that get pushes are those that are heavily muscular with nice deltoid development. Vince had his face shoved into wrestlers buttcheeks that were fully spread apart. Wrestlers like Big Show and Rikishi gave the CEO a face full. 
>
> Does Vince really sit in the script writing and say "well for this segment, The Rock will shove my face into Rikishi's dimpled Samoan ass!" or "well in this Hell in a Cell match, we have a blood rivalry. I think it would be a good thing to have Big Show, the current ECW Champion, to get his full 7'0 buttocks exposed and have DX toss my honker right in there!" It just doesn't add up. That plus the absurd amount of buttshots in the Rick Rude matches during the late 80's and Shawn Michaels matches during the mid-90's. Do you think there is any truth to his "bromance" with Shawn Michaels? Like, did they really do the deed? Listening to Vince as a commentator also made me think if he was purposely trying to get over his backstage boyfriends. Pat Patterson was also working for Vince for many years and we all know his deal. Perhaps Pat was his hotel buddy. 
>
> Anywho, have a great weekend Scott, you earned it!! My inbox, ladies and gentlemen.

McMahon Limo Explosion

Scott,


Obviously outside circumstances changed whatever plans were in place, but what was the plan for Vince McMahon's limo exploding/death angle?  Was there some big picture plan for it, or was it another of those "Higher Power"/"Who hit Austin?" type angles? 

The payoff was supposed to be Vince faking his own death so that he could discover who was truly loyal to him, ala King Lear.  That was all they had planned out at the point when Benoit went and selfishly cost them their big summer angle.  

The nail in the coffin for the Linda McMahon Campaign

No matter how hard they try to distance themselves from the Pro Wrestling stigma, they can’t and probably will never do that. Also, she has reportedly spent about twice as much as any other Senatorial campaign in the country so there might be some unemployed wrestlers in a few weeks.

http://news.yahoo.com/linda-mcmahon-turns-heel-sides-barack-obama-171716855.html

More On Linda McMahon winning in Connecticut

 

Rasmussen: McMahon leads in CT, 49/46

posted at 2:01 pm on August 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

There’s no way that Republicans can lose a Senate race in Missouri while winning two in Massachusetts and Connecticut … right?  Would Spock have to wear a goatee in that universe?  Rasmussen’s new poll in the Nutmeg State shows Republican nominee Linda McMahon out to a slight lead over Democratic nominee Chris Murphy in their first look at the general election race for Joe Lieberman’s US Senate seat:
Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon holds a narrow lead over Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race.
A new telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut shows McMahon with 49% of the vote to Murphy’s 46%.  One percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.
McMahon will surely make Murphy’s support for ObamaCare a big issue in the election, but Rasmussen sees that as more of a push:
Murphy voted in favor of President Obama’s health care reform law and has publicly stated that the law will save money on Medicare. When it comes to the future of Medicare, 44% of Connecticut voters are scared more by the president’s health care law than the reform proposal by Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan. But just as many (43%) say they are more scared of Ryan’s proposal on Medicare. Connecticut voters are more evenly divided on the question than voters are nationwide.
Eighty percent (80%) of Connecticut voters who fear the health care law’s impact on Medicare more support McMahon. Murphy is backed by 77% of those who fear Ryan’s plan for Medicare more.
This can’t be right, can it?  Rasmussen must be using a Republican-friendly sample, people will assume … but they’d be wrong.  In fact, the sample D/R/I (46/32/22) more closely resembles the 2008 Democratic wave exit polls (43/27/31) than the 2010 exit polls (39/28/33) for Connecticut.  Remember that Republicans lost the Senate seat in 2010 even with the narrower gap in turnout, too.  Murphy has a seven-point lead among women, which Rasmussen oversamples (56/44) in comparison to 2008 (53/47) and 2010 (49/51).  The poll sample, if anything, might be tilted a little in Murphy’s favor.
So how does McMahon get her lead?  She has a 24-point margin among independents, 55/31, for one thing.  McMahon only trails by nine among voters under 40 (40/49), but gets a majority of the other two age demos, including an 18-point lead among seniors.  Both candidates are seen favorably by voters, but McMahon’s 54/43 is slightly better than Murphy’s 50/41.  Among independents, though, McMahon again far outpaces Murphy, with a 57/36 compared to Murphy’s 38/46 — and only 6% of independents view Murphy “very favorably,” as opposed to 23% for McMahon.
The big difference, besides the obvious advantage among independents, is probably the economy.  Democrats will be on defense, especially Murphy, who currently has a seat in the House.  Only 5% of voters rate the economy as “good,” with no one rating it excellent.  A majority of 57% rate it “poor,” and another 37% only rate it “fair.”  That will not help an incumbent, not even in Connecticut.
If McMahon can maintain her advantage over Murphy, the GOP may get an unexpected pickup to make up for the now-expected loss in Missouri.  It might also force Obama to spend some resources to make sure McMahon doesn’t drive enough turnout to have Connecticut voters thinking about change at the very top of the ticket, too.
   

Shane McMahon: highest average star ratings ever?

OK, this seems like someone on the blog can research:
Judged by your star ratings only, I'm pretty sure Shane McMahon is a top 5 all time wrestler, if you take everyone's average star ratings. Even though he's only had what- a dozen matches – I think his star rating average puts him as an all timer, possibly even #1! Thoughts? Is he the only wrestler never to have a bad match that you've reviewed?

Shane has absolutely had bad matches.  The Kane matches with the testicular electrocution were nothing special, and he had a big fat DUD against Vince on TV once.  I think Flair or Luger are actually #1 according to those who have tracked these things for me in the past.  

More Vince McMahon non-sense for ya!


Hey Scott!!!
Long time reader. Third time that I write to you. I was reading an article you posted on the blog where Vince McMahon brought the funny! Well he kept it coming, just make sure to read this article. Sometimes I wonder how a man in such denial of the performance of his own business can be such a millionaire. Well that's how life works sometimes…
http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/WWE_News_3/article_63583.shtml

Take care and keep the good work up!

Funny how Vince is STILL claiming 1.3 million buys for Wrestlemania.  It did 1.1 million, which is absolutely impressive but far from the biggest of all time, and further it's kind of ridiculous to just add 200,000 buys (or $10,000,000 gross revenue give or take) simply because that happened to be the number they invented the week after the show.  Like, people have actual money invested in their company, they can't just do interviews where they make up numbers and hope no one calls them on it.  At least I'd assume not.  

Vince McMahon Brings The Funny

Well you knew I couldn’t let this one go by without commenting. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-20/the-vince-mcmahon-school-of-productivity Some choice quotes here:

Listening is a lost art. I have a unique ability to listen to myself as I’m talking. That’s somewhat unique, but I think that to listen is to learn. Once you make a decision, you go with it, and everyone gets behind it. There’s no second-guessing. Certainly the best way to fail in management [is to be distant and imperious]. You shut people down. If you have all the answers, why is anyone around you? If your ego is so big, then there’s no room for anyone else’s. The fear stuff—that is so rotten.

Yes, this is all stuff said by VINCE MCMAHON.  I think this might explain the problems in creative they do have, given the level of denial coming from the top. 

Vince McMahon & The ARMY OF HOBOS

http://www.f4wonline.com/component/content/article/77-figure-four-daily/26284-june-26-figure-four-daily-bryan-alvarez-talks-to-robert-karpeles-the-man-behind-wwecreativeish-who-also-happened-to-be-a-part-of-the-wwe-creative-team-in-2005-and-2006-stories-galore
You should subscribe to the WON just to hear the epic story of Vince and his ARMY OF HOBOS.  He could have been a billionaire a million times over off that angle.