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  1. A really good match that needed a crowd to invest into the action more. I thought the spots they innovated here were well done and the cutoffs and pin saves were also effective. The storyline of Kurt losing both of his belts in one night is pretty humorous but kind of hokey in execution. Benoit winning the IC belt is a big step and perfect placement for him at this point. My favorite spot of the whole match was Kurt locking in the chicken wing and the pop that received from the otherwise dead Anaheim crowd. ***1/2
  2. Steph announcers herself as being permanently in Kurt's corner. Nice bit when Kurt comes to the ring and goes for a hug but Steph offers a handshake. Kane still feels motivated but his character is really slipping as he is right back to mr. face here going after Angle and especially Steph to a big reaction from the crowd. Overall this was a fine match and Angle matches up well as a Kane opponent. Angle picks up the win after kane was occupied with Steph allowing himself to be rolled up. This puts over the tandem as a big threat for Rock at No Mercy. *3/4
  3. The match was so good last night, they run it again. This time Crash said he could win with one arm tied behind his back so that is what Angle offers him. JR informs us Rikishi and HHH are not there tonight. Crash unties his arm and goes to work on Angle before getting creamed with a belly to back suplex. Angle runs into Molly and Crash gets a DDT the crowd bites on. A unique facebuster and Angle goes right to the ankle lock for the submission. They are pushing that now. Angle attacks with a chair again but Hardcore Holly makes the save. This leads out E&C and here comes Taker to a huge pop. I like the way they are presenting Angle against Taker here as he doesn’t really back down. *
  4. Good spot for Holly going against the WWF champ on Heat. This was really fun. Angle has a lot of confidence now and just goes all out for the three minute match working a crazy pace. Crash is able to get some offense on him and look credible and even a nearfall. Angle quickly hits the Angle Slam and gets the win. After the match, Angle brings in a chair, hits Molly with an Angle Slam and uses the ankle lock for the first time I can remember. **
  5. This is an interesting match with Daniels vs a big WWF name in Angle. Angle is treated like the face as Daniels does a promo saying that its True according to the gospel of Christopher Daniels. This show has live commentary over the PA System which is one of the more offensive acts in wrestling presentation IMO. The match carries a quick pace and again here we are in September and Angle hasn’t really had that 15 minute long match yet. The work is good though with Daniels targeting the leg and going back to it in a multitude of ways. Daniels gets a close nearfall off of the Best Moonsault Ever. Some more reversals and Angle is able to hit the Angle Slam for the pin and he continues to limp around which is a solid sell job. This was cool to watch. *** (6)
  6. Really good promo that keeps the angle developing. I have no issue whatsoever with the HHH/Angle stuff and kind of thought it would decline after SummerSlam. Angle talks about what happened Monday and Chyna comes out to refute. Angle has some video evidence of Chyna checking on HHH instead of Eddy. Chyna makes her way to the ring and Angle says he doesn’t want to put his hand on a woman like HHH. Angle says his hand was forced as he gives Chyna an Angle Slam. After that we get a series of backstage segments with HHH blowing a gasket when he arrives seeing Kurt in the dressing room with Stephanie. Stephanie slaps HHH for hugging and talking to Chyna. HHH then apologizes after he has cooled off. Just as Stephanie goes up for the make up kiss, HHH brings up Angle and her and then goes nuts again. Just Joe is getting an earful from outside the locker room. Joe relays the message to Kurt. Kurt thinks Stephanie might be hit again and Kurt is pissed. Chyna and Eddy are backstage talking it out and preparing for the triple threat match. HHH and Stephanie are also prepping and HHH apologizes again for losing his cool. A police officer comes in and says that they have received a spousal abuse complaint. HHH gets carted away to jail and Foley needles him some more by telling Stephanie that she has to be in Angle’s corner. A tad of a mis step here as that feels pretty harsh for Foley. Eddy starts the match off first pissed. Michael Cole gets in a good line about being surprised that Angle doesn’t have a letterman jacket for Steph to wear at ringside. Chyna swings at Kurt on the outside and Kurt misses a retaliation punch at her. The match is just a preview of the chemistry these two will have in a few years. I liked the interaction between Steph and Chyna and that pays off in the finish with a lot going on involving the referee distracted and Angle able to use the IC belt to gain the win. After the match, Chyna knocks out Kurt and then Stephanie talks shit to Chyna. Chyna gives her a DDT and we end SmackDown with Angle helping Stephanie to the back. **1/4
  7. The final push for Unforgiven with all six main guys involved. It was a little jarring to see HHH tagging with Rock/Taker but they did a good enough job showing that all three of those men don’t like each other. I think they did go a little bit too far here in presenting Angle as the heel as HHH gets some funny crowd popping spots over him during the match and then Angle uses the sledgehammer against HHH in the post match attack. He then gives Stephanie a long kiss and insults HHH on the mic. They really presented them two as a blood feud but there is less intrigue IMO on which side Stephanie will choose on Sunday. A minor mis step but the angle had been so spot on up to this point that it was noticeable. *** (5.9)
  8. Stephanie comes out for her promo that she does every once in a while and she is still a fresh enough character that it isn’t stale yet. The heat from Chicago is great and she calls out Foley to cancel the Unforgiven match between Angle and HHH. Angle comes out instead and has provided a video package showing HHH being violent to Steph. Angle tells Steph that HHH is the biggest piece of trash human he has ever seen. HHH comes out and then gives a long reasoning on how Kurt has annoyed him. The punchline ends with HHH hypothesizing that Angle is a woman. Foley comes out and says the match is a go for the PPV and he sets up a six person tag for tonight with T&A/Trish vs Angle/HHH/Steph. Backstage, HHH says he is going to have to work with Angle he guesses. Steph is mad that she was never given a rematch for the title. Angle barges in and says he will protect Steph and asks HHH to go a week without hitting his wife. HHH gets a line in to go a week without hitting on him to a big laugh from the Chicago crowd. The match itself is fun for the five minutes it lasted. I think T&A were amped up to be in this position as both display some good double team moves. The dynamic with all being heels is unique and gives the fans a chance to decide who to cheer for. Trish attacking Steph gets a cheer for instance but Steph pinning Test does as well after the pedigree. Angle gives Steph a big congratulatory hug for the victory and HHH responds by beating up Angle. They have built the match up well, now lets see if it delivers. *3/4
  9. Good Angle promo weaving in the Olympics, dedicating the match to Stephanie and getting a potshot in at the Arizona Diamondbacks. The match setup here is fun as Angle wants to prove he can do what HHH did last week better. HHH is looking on backstage and laughing at the early shit kicking Angle takes from T&A. When Angle gets dumped on the outside, Trish puts the boots to him. This brings out Stephanie to take out Trish. Stephanie is then encountered by T&A and HHH has to run out and make the save. Angle checks on Stephanie and HHH explodes to big face pops. Stephanie gets in the middle of them and gets shoved away. Referees get punched away. HHH goes for a pedigree but Steph grabs a waistlock. HHH no knowing it was her back elbows her. Angle then blasts HHH right into Stephanie as well. Steph recovers on the apron but Angle gets sent into her on the apron and she takes a bad looking bump. HHH takes her to the back but Kurt cheapshots him. Backstage, Foley makes the match for Unforgiven with himself as the special referee. This angle is still building and great. I don’t think it has lost steam at all since SummerSlam. ½*
  10. Angle looked better here than at Fully Loaded against Taker but he still gets manhandled pretty well. At least Taker varies things up with a gutwrench suplex. Angle transitioning with a drop toe hold was a nice spot. The finish happens quickly as Benoit runs in for the DQ. A neat moment then happens as HHH makes the save but goes directly after Angle. Its not so much that he was helping Taker as he wants a piece at Angle. *1/2
  11. Another 2000 main event with a lot of bells and whistles that mostly works. The thing this had going for it was the quick pace right out of the gate. They get the crowd brawling out of the way and Rock shows some aggression sending Angle through the stage set. I thought Stephanie was fantastic in this match being delighted that she can freely interfere. Angle is going to be one of my more interesting wrestlers to rank in all of 2000. It again feels like he is protected in the confines of a garbage style match with a lot of run ins. On the other hand, you have someone 11 months into his career doing a main event with The Rock and Angle doesn't feel out of place at all. A few things in this match put me off such as Angle's chinlock halfway through. I think that is an easy critique of inexperience as you had this really relentless pace where they brutalized each other and then Angle resorts to a chinlock? The finish has a bevy of run ins but keeps things interesting and it sure looks like Rock was at least being slightly flirted with going heel with his involvement with Rikishi. Huge pop for Angle as he wins and him crying the show off the air is a memorable moment. Most point to this as Kurt's first big time great match and I don't think it quite reached that level but it was still very good. ***1/2 (7)
  12. Eddy attacks Kurt from behind and sends him into the ring. I have been kind of tough on Eddy but he has shown more fire in the past couple of weeks once he became involved in the main storyline. Eddy and Chyna work over Kurt teaming up on him. Eddy tries to bring in a chair but gets stopped by the referee. That allows Angle time to knock Chyna out with the IC belt. Eddy sends Kurt to the outside and checks on Mamacita. Eddy then is in a pinning position and inadvertently wins the IC title. Pretty clever way to get the belt on Eddy. ¾*
  13. HHH starts off the night with a promo describing the chain of events that have happened since Backlash and his dealings with Earl Hebner. He ends up issuing the challenge for the Iron Man match and does it in a convincing way that helps protect both guys. Really great promo by him. Just as Vince is about to speak, Jericho interrupts. Jericho calls him Vance McMahon that makes me laugh more than it should. Jericho gets a huge pop saying that Vince has a small penis. I did laugh at King asking JR if that is true and JR saying “HOW SHOULD I KNOW”. Vince says he has a set of grapefruits and grapefruits grow on a tree that has a trunk. Vince sets up a match vs. Angle and he offers a guarantee that Jericho wont leave the building as IC champ. Shane has some words for Big Show which sets up their Judgement Day match. Shane is called a pussy by the crowd. Angle comes out for his match and says he is honored to defend Stephanie. Stephanie possesses class which is something these people on Long Island could never possess. Pretty good five minute popcorn match with Angle again having a clear vision of what the match is wanting to accomplish and him doing that. Jericho looks strong as he puts Angle away with the Walls clean in the ring. ** Shane is upset backstage and Show comes in and chokes Shane. Shane informs Show that he was wanting to see that fire and that Show has a chance to become IC champion. Shane is leading Big Show out who seems to have taken the advice and is becoming more serious. Show is dominating and they are showing on the big screen the added portion from the night before where Shane makes fun of Show and says he has him brainwashed and making fun of him. Show is now furious at Shane and leaves the ring. That draws Jericho a countout win. * Vince is such a pompous ass backstage announcing the Benoit match. HHH comes out in a referee shirt. This is really start to become an endearing feud where they don’t have a ton of time to work with at points but they maximize the effort. Benoit suplexes Jericho on the outside to establish dominance. He maintains that work on the back with a back suplex inside the ring and barks at Choida about a slow count. Benoit is a brilliant technician on the back doing a Northern Lights suplex and back drop before running through the Germans sequences. Benoit continues to stake his claim as the best worker in 2000. Jericho is able to hook on the Walls of Jericho and we get an interesting moment where Choida gets shoved by Benoit who then gets shoved by HHH. HHH now takes charge of the match himself. Walls of Jericho is applied but HHH is preoccupied by Steph walking down. Well, he is a loving husband. Crossface is applied and HHH calls for the bell without Jericho tapping out. I thought it was a good moment after the match that Benoit just leaves allowing DX and HHH to lay the boots to Jericho. Show ends with Too Cool, Rikishi and Big Show coming to Jericho’s aid and making the McMahon-Helmsley regime retreat. They did an admirable job on this show without Rock. ***1/4
  14. I guess this was before WWF just refereed to this town and building as the Cajun Dome to forgive the embarrassment of having to say they are in Lafayette. Rock was funny in his promo saying he was going to spread some gumbo and jambalaya on his boot before sticking it up Angle’s candy ass. Foley comes out and gives Rock the night off to a chorus of boos. Angle comes out and introduces his new friend, HHH. HHH then comes out as they call him an asshole and Stephanie a slut. HHH says that Thursday Angle made him proud and showed him a lot of integrity. Foley takes the opportunity to set them up in a tag match. He also makes Rock the special referee for Lita vs Steph. Backstage, the McMahon-HHH regime says they have to stay together. Steph points out that she is the only champion among them which HHH dismisses. This tag match was better than I would have imagined. Acolytes are great gatekeepers in that they are competent enough to be presented as ass kickers but also could take a loss if you want to continue the HHH/Angle being able to coexist thread. Bradshaw in particular had good punches throughout this. Finish was pretty rudimentary as HHH dispatches of Bradshow on the outside and then hits a pedigree on Faroqq for the win. Afterwards, we get a nice angle as the Acolytes attack Kurt who celebrated too long and HHH acts like he is going to help and then thinks better of it. Pretty smart way to continue the build to SummerSlam. **1/2
  15. Angle has a pretty scathing promo for HHH and HHH is out looking pissed. Shane is the mediator and tries to calm them down. Foley sets up our main event six man for tonight as the Dudley Boyz/Rock vs HHH/Angle/Shane. We then cut to a backstage spot where Angle thanks Steph for coming back for her on SmackDown and gives her a friendship kiss on the cheek. We get some more backstage segments of Shane talking to HHH to talk him off the ledge and Shane telling Kurt to not screw up their marriage and that he isn’t buying what Kurt is saying either. Just Joe spreads some news to both HHH and Angle that someone wants to meet them in ten minutes. HHH and Kurt meet and a limo comes up. We then cut to both HHH and Angle exiting the limo with Vince McMahon. HHH and Kurt have a look like they just came from the principal office. Vince tells them to protect Shane tonight. The match is upon us now and man is Rock over to molten levels. Like I have discussed before, WWE is presenting some really fun main events right now that are given some time but also want you seeing more. The crowd is clamoring for a table and it looks like Shane is going to be sent through one when E&C come out and lay out the Dudley’s with chairs. HHH and Angle then get on the same page and destroy the Rock. This is excellent work in showing that if they can work together, the Rock is no match for them. Raw ends with them two and Shane having their arms raised in victory. **3/4
  16. Angle meets with Foley and wants to present his case as the #1 contender for SummerSlam. HHH arrives and tells Steph that he needs his space. HHH pleads his case as #1 contender to Foley. HHH then gets into Stephs face and says this is his shot and that if he sees Angle in the building, he is going to kick his ass. Steph and Angle are chatting backstage and Steph is polishing Kurt’s medals. Kurt says HHH should be more sensitive and Steph thanks him for being such a good friend. We cut to the arena and learn we are in MSG. Joe informs HHH that Angle may be the one guy to take out HHH. Joe also talks to Kurt and gets him riled up. Now, Steph comes to the ring and publicly apologizes to HHH and assures him that Kurt and her are just friends. Hunter comes out and Steph apologizes again and says that she loves him. They hug and make up and this is actually when King is pretty funny on commentary. Once they reconcile, Steph switches gears right away to business. Steph now invites Angle out and JR is giddy at the prospect of this confrontation. Angle tries to reiterate the friend line. HHH says that Angle may have his naïve little wife fooled but he knows that Angle is full of shit. That gets a huge pop from the MSG crowd. Steph says if HHH really loves her, he will shake hands with Kurt. Foley makes his prescience known as he strolls to ringside. Mick shows the video from Thursday and then makes a #1 contenders match for the Raw main event to see who faces Rock at SummerSlam. Shane and Benoit are backstage after the title match talking to Foley and demanding retribution against Jericho. Foley has a punishment that seems fitting and it is adding Jericho to the #1 contenders match. HHH is stretching backstage and here comes Jericho to attack HHH. There is so much shit going on but it is all so engaging and they have done a wonderful job interweaving all of the principle players. We get to the main event match now. The action is good with HHH and Angle being kept mostly apart building up the tension between them squaring off. Rock is on commentary for this. Angle gets drop toe hold into HHH’s crotch in a fun spot. Angle and HHH prove that when they can get on the same page, they are a force to be reckoned with as they end up getting the double pin on Jericho after a back suplex from the ropes. King gets in a good line that with Hebner as the referee, anything can happen now. Rock has had enough and he gives a Rock Bottom to both HHH, Angle and Steph as the show goes off the air. Everyone is confused as to who the actual winner is and we have our three way SummerSlam main event. **1/2
  17. The HHH/Steph/Angle stuff continues to be excellent and we get a series of vignettes from Steph arriving needing space, to Angle saying he is there for her as a friend. We then see HHH/Steph meeting with Foley and we learn that Kurt and Steph are more than friends…they are tag partners. Shane gives a rally talk saying that HHH/Kurt need to be on the same page for the sake of Steph’s health. I do think HHH’s acting is strong here as we get little character beats like Steph blitzing past him in their entrance and his budding frustration. This was another good match and overall this was a strong SmackDown. This was given enough time and I still appreciate how much of a threat they are making Lita out to be lately. The teases of Steph going through a table were well done and required a lot of moving parts that had to work in order to be logical. HHH gives Lita a pedigree which knocks her out but then D-Von starts brawling with HHH. Angle makes the save for Steph against Bubba and Steph gets the pin on Lita. The camera angle of Steph/Angle hugging and celebrating on the tron as an angered HHH looks on was awesome. *** (6.2)
  18. Tazz is still hanging around with the bigger stars longer than I remembered. Action here was only three minutes but had a good bit of high impact suplexes and powerbombs. Tazz gets the tazzmission on Angle to not much of a reaction. The one he gives to Backlund gets a much bigger one which is interesting. Backlund looks for the chicken wing but gets a low blow from Chyna. With all this chaos going on, Kurt is able to use a belt shot to win the match. *
  19. Foley gets a mixed reaction in the wake of his suspension of Austin. HBK is brought out and Mick points the finger at him. HBK clears his name by telling Mick what he did the entire day. Mick takes all of that into consideration but then provides some motive on why HBK would run over Austin. This is a great back and forth. Michaels ends the promo saying if he was responsible he would admit it because he thrives being in the spotlight. Shawn says he has suspicion on who it was. Someone that loves the spotlight more than HBK. Shawn then puts the blame on Rock and walks out. A strong segment to start. Foley doing his investigation is teetering into JJ Dillion bringing a contract for Sting to sign as far as incompetence goes on his part but at least they are finishing that up tonight. Afterwards, we get segments of Mick talking to Debra and Linda McMahon. He vets both of them and lays out reasons why they would have run over Stone Cold. HHH busts in after his match and wants a match with Benoit. Mick grants that at No Mercy. E&C have some jokes based off “The Game” nickname. Back again, he talks to Snow who is wearing a blonde wig but he is only representing Sweden. Crash Holly and Scotty 2 Hotty also get questioned and everyone seems to be pointing towards The Rock. Angle comes out for the match and gets attacked by Kane. That is his partner. Kurt is standing at ringside and not helping Kane as he goes it alone up against Rock/Rikishi. Crowd is still hot for Rock even amongst the allegations that he ran over Austin. Kane is doing a good job working the handicap and this continues to be his best in ring run. He even stops a Rock flurry with a sidewalk slam that had the crowd reacting. Stephanie is looking at a monitor backstage. Rock hits a spinebuster and is able to tag Rikishi. Rikishi has a bit of offense but Kane is actually able to come back with a DDT and chokeslam. Kurt now wants the tag and Kane chokes him out to cheers from the crowd. Kane leaves after the chokeslam. Both men get to their feet and Angle lucks into an Angle Slam but as he celebrates, Rock comes in for a Rock Bottom. Rikishi hits the butt drop and they win. **1/4 Foley comes back and says that all evidence points to Rock. It was his rental car, fingerprints of Rock were found in the car. Rock’s sunglasses were in the glove box and no one had as much to gain for running over Austin as Rock. Foley concludes that Rock is not guilty but Rikishi is. Foley lays out that Scotty said he was hanging out with Rikishi. The car was also configured to fit a large man. This is all good work from one stand point in that Rikishi debuted right around this time. Rikishi admits to doing it and the crowd is stunned along with Rock. As we know, Rikishi did it for The Rock and is never the same again. Rikishi’s reasoning is a race issue that honestly plays much better long term now in reasoning than in 2000. Im kind of complexed with this whole thing watching in retrospect. They have teased things with Rikishi but it came out of left field a bit. I guess a wait and see approach is appropriate.
  20. Most people surmise that the Fully Loaded match between is the most egregious example of 2000 of Taker burying Angle but I think it is very close. As I have talked about before, Angle was a blue chipper but they eased him into long/high end main event matches. It was a progression that culminated with the title win at No Mercy. Now, he is the champion and as a result, deserves more credibility than needing Edge & Christian to help bail him out from tapping out to a heel hook. When Angle goes on offense for this match, it is impressive and his leg work is well done and targeted. Unfortunately, Taker has no time to sell much of any of that when he makes his comeback and starts stalking Angle even more. Then you add on the “clever” finish of the switcheroo involving Eric Angle. On the surface, I wouldn’t have a huge issue with this but the way Angle has begged off throughout the match and feud, this felt like another layer that was added on unnecessarily to help Taker retain his heat. **
  21. Angle starts out raging on the Knicks and New York in general. The guy has it on the mic. Tazz music fires up and the crowd erupts. It is amazing that this is honestly the only time Tazz really felt this big during his WWF tenure. Angle takes a huge back drop bump to the outside to start things off as an ECW chant fires off. Angle gets a suplex on Tazz in the entry way which allows him to go on offense for a bit. I remember loving this Royal Rumble set at the time and it holds up as being one of my personal favorite in company history. Angle hits a really good belly to belly suplex and Angle actually has gotten more offense in than I remembered. Angle takes too long to climb to the top and Tazz gives him a belly to belly from the top. Angle barely escapes with his foot on the rope of the pin attempt. Tazz does a nuts overhead German and then goes through a ton of his suplex variations leading to the Tazzmission and the end of the undefeated streak. A great sprint and about as good a debut as you could ever ask for. ***
  22. Backstage, HHH says he has a bad feeling. As he is warming up, he pleads with Steph to stay in the back because he doesn’t want anything to happen to her. Steph runs into Benoit who asks how her head is. Steph slaps the shit out of him and he just smiles. HHH jumps Angle at his entrance and this is worked straight as a chaotic brawl. It is really well done and the intensity is up for these two. In fact, it may be better bell to bell than their PPV match. HHH sends Angle through a table with an elbow drop as Steph comes out. Benoit comes out again and HHH attacks him. Angle is now recovered and goes to hit a chair on HHH until Steph stops him. With Steph still on the apron, Benoit drags her down. This gets HHH going after her and allows Angle to sneak from behind and hit the Olympic Slam to become the #1 contender. After the match, HHH gives Steph the business and tells her that she should have stayed backstage. Steph is crying as HHH walks away. Really good tv main event and another match to add to HHH’s 2000 resume. ***1/4 (6.7)
  23. Backstage, HHH tells Steph that she cost him the #1 contendership. The relationship here is still rocky. Steph says if she is such a liability, then she shouldn’t be there at all. Angle comes out for his match and talks about how much of a roll he is on. Angle gets in a potshot on Cal Ripken. Angle brings out his pals, Edge & Christian. Match itself is fine with some good comedy involving Too Cool and Rikishi including a stinkface to Kurt. Knowing what is about to come down the pike with Rikishi, it was good to get a six man from him and Too Cool one last time. Finish is an interesting development as Steph runs down and throws Sexay off the top rope and right into an Angle Slam for the pin. Right as Steph leaves backstage, Kurt asks her to be her permanent manager and she says she appreciates that he cares for her and understands her worth. **
  24. Angle gives a pep talk to Kane before the match. We learn this is a no DQ match. Good primer for the two singles matches at Survivor Series and even though I know Survivor Series rep is that it isn’t a good show, I thought as a go home show, this was effective. Jericho and Kane are violent against each other and Angle takes his shots when he is able to. Kane chokeslams Jericho through a table and he bounces off it really violently. Inside, Taker has Angle up for the Last Ride but Kane saves Angle. Taker chokeslams Kane but here is Angle with a chair playing up the no DQ stip. Taker fends him off but the numbers game catches up to him as Kane pops him with a headshot and then Angle gets the sneaky pin to win. **
  25. This match gets set up by Foley backstage. Funny segment with E&C and Angle strategizing. A really good six man here with Hardcore looking motivated and E&C complimenting them well. I actually am longing for a tag feud. Taker comes in for the finale and lays out Angle with Last Ride for the dominant win and he is riding a lot of momentum heading into Survivor Series. **1/4
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