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  1. A pretty splendid eight minute match. HHH is seemingly off his game not knowing his opponent and Jericho showed a lot of fire and energy. The cutoffs and paybacks were well executed here like HHH blowing a kiss but then eating a dropkick. The nearfalls were also timed wonderfully as the crowd bit on many of them. This is a testament to the 4/17 match as the anything can happen mentality is engrained in the viewer’s head. The finish comes with Steph distracting the ref and HHH using the belt shot off of a ref bump and the pedigree for the win. They did a good job teasing all of the spots and getting to them in a natural fashion. A really fun match that never gets talked about. ***1/2 (7.0)
  2. 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
  3. Really fun five minute match here. Regal uses some cutoff spots and looks great and Jericho doesn’t look outclassed on the mat which surprised me. Regal keeps going after the arm but Jericho is able to use some of his flashy offense to overcome the odds and win. Tazz was unbearable on commentary. He kept calling Regal Rizzo and it went no where and made no sense. **1/2
  4. Rikishi yells at Coach and reiterates that Rock was the one responsible for running over Austin. There was some meatiness to this four minute tv match as RIkishi is busted open and it shows Rikishi being more vicious. In fact, I think I would have preferred a long term feud here between these two instead of Kane vs Jericho. Speaking of the demon, here he comes to interrupt another match but Jericho is prepared this time with a chair. Jericho gives him a direct headshot which is no sold and then Kane chokeslams Jericho. It is subtle and WWF is still not near unwatchable but for the most part of the year, all of the feuds felt like the best case scenario for the wrestlers and this match exemplifies that is no longer the case. *1/2
  5. No long promo to start Raw tonight and Jericho even mentions that when he comes out. Eddie does cut a two minute short promo but it is really effective as the crowd heat comes out for him along with the Eddie Sucks chants. The match only goes a minute before Eddie takes a monkey flip on his head and the referee calls for the match. This was done in a way where I am unsure if it was legit or not. After the match, X-pac runs down and attacks Jericho until Mr. Ass makes the save. Gunn is really over with this crowd. ¼*
  6. I'm fearful as to where WWF booking is going as while the X-Pac feud was fine as a bridge, it being a bridge to a feud with Kane is a non-starter. Even more dumb is the setup of the feud resulting from spilled coffee. Regal giving a PSA about the amount of guns manufactured and sold in Connecticut makes him feel like a face in current day. Jericho doesn't even want to waste his insults on Regal. We only get two minutes bu the action is fun. Kane runs down and attacks Jericho drawing the DQ and that feud is on. 3/4*
  7. 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
  8. Jericho and Eddy do not seem to have that many long form matches in WWF and this seems like a match that can tie a bow on the Chyna storyline with both. Eddy gets a hell of a reaction coming out and the Latino Heat music is rocking. Jericho saying the British vernacular was funny. Eddy loses the coin toss so his European title is on the line. Eddy tries to bail and Chyna pushes him back in. Jericho really dominates the early going until the action spills outside and Chyna hits a clothesline on Jericho. Eddy takes over the match now but gets caught on the top rope. That is short lived as Eddy really brings the attack on the back of Jericho. A lot of lucha submissions including a Gory Special. Eddy is able to get a nasty rana to the outside. Jericho is able to roll in first only to be hit by a Chyna DDT that gives Eddy a real close nearfall. Chyna is arguing with the ref and gets dropkicked by Jericho but runs right into the European title for the pinfall victory for Eddy. Fun match. ***1/4
  9. Earl Hebner gets a hometown welcome as he is out to officiate this match. Knowing their time was of the essence, they really maximized things here and went all out from the onset. Big powerbomb from Jericho followed by consecutive German’s from Benoit. A stiff back heel kick pops Benoit right in the nose and he is bleeding profusely. Benoit is vicious in this match and really has an intensity to him that gets over as a no nonsense heel. He wipes out Hebner after a disagreement but this creates an opening for Jericho. I liked the establishment of Hebner helping Jericho in the HHH creating a red herring for the match here as Jericho hits the lionsault and Hebner counts regularly to give Jericho the belt in around 6 minutes. ***
  10. Jericho cuts a promo for the crowd beforehand and the crowd is jacked for him. Helping out on the NEVER EVERRRR part. This was worked like a Raw match between the two which isn’t a slight. Good work and energy, just only seven minutes of action. Unfortunately, the ref bumps are really starting to grate on me and we get another shoddy ref here as he has a cramp in his leg as soon as Jericho has Benoit tapping in the Walls of Jericho. A miraculous recovery occurs when Benoit locks on the crossface as the referee calls for the bell immediately. Enough with the evil ref trope of 2000. **1/4
  11. Jericho gets inserted into this feud which is a little beneath him but not awful as a bridge feud. The match is good and high impact for the time it was given. Jericho continues to be less sloppy than I remembered as even his wild strikes like the spinning back kicks land. X-Pac pulls out the cheap victory with a low blow and roll up much to the delight of Tazz on commentary. **
  12. HHH and Steph are backstage and HHH is frustrated at this mystery opponent nonsense. HHH doesn’t trust Foley and tells Steph to stay backstage as a precaution. As HHH makes his way to ringside we go backstage to Eddy/Chyna. Chyna informs Eddy she is going to be in playboy and Eddy flips out. Jericho gives a good promo getting under HHH’s skin and the match is on. I really appreciate how the matches worked between these two feels personal. Stephanie makes her way out but Jericho is still in control. HHH is able to get his knees up on a lionsault to save the match. Here comes Angle and he drags Stephanie to the back. HHH follows and him and Kurt get into a shouting match on the entranceway. X-Pac comes into the ring and hits a spinning kick and X Factor. HHH is pissed at the DQ and he punches X Pac. HHH is continuing to show some signs of a being a face without high fiving and being buddies with his enemies. Say what you will about HHH but his feud with Rock was really good and the 4th best feud he has had in 2000. **1/2
  13. Edge and Christian do the generic thing of bringing out their opponents dressed as old men this time. That is getting pretty played out in WWF by this point but this was ok enough I suppose. The six man is made by Foley for later and the Hardys and E&C brawl. The match itself is only four minutes long but I think they have done a good job at building up X Pac’s credibility. He gains the victory here again and looks like he belongs in the match vs Jericho. ¾*
  14. Trish is still with T&A so I don’t know exactly why they were so giddy to help Shane last night. Jericho meets Benoit on the stage and we get a pier six to start out. The match itself is good and the Acolytes continue to improve as a team especially Bradshaw who throws a hellacious boot to set up the Jericho pinfall. T&A is on the downswing and Benoit/Jericho look to be a feud that will continue. *1/2
  15. The Jericho Chefboyardee commercial is really lame and hokey. Good tag match here. The technical wrestling between Austin and Benoit was entertaining and well thought out and then Jericho transitions into FIP. This was a good segment with frequent tags between Benoit and Kane. Austin gets the tag but the referee missed it. In a fun character move on Austin’s part he gets fed up and just stunners the ref. He then gives Benoit and Kane a stunner as well as the show ends. *** (5.8)
  16. Another cool Foley opening promo with our final build up to Fully Loaded. Mick announces that if Rock is DQ’d, he will lose the title. That gets some boos but makes sense given that the violence has put things out of control leading up to the PPV and Mick says he can’t be seen as a pushover. Shane, Benoit, Jericho all get some promo time and Benoit locks on the crossface on Jericho. HHH music fires up and out he comes to continue the attack. Rock comes out to run the heels off. This did a good job of setting up stuff for the present tonight and also the future. The tag match is splendid and up there with the better tv offerings from WWF in the year. All of the issues feel personal and each one of the pairings work well together and interweaved. Jericho’s ribs get worked over and HHH/Benoit are ferocious in their attack. This is HHH as his Ric Flair lite best as he comes in and picks his spots while Benoit is the Enforcer of the tag team. Jericho isn’t even able to get the hot tag as Rock has enough and forcers his way in. He goes nuts on everyone including the referee causing a dQ. They do a good job on commenatary putting over that if he does that on Sunday, he loses the title. After the match, Shane comes in and gets beat up taking a ridiculous bump onto the announce table. Jericho locks on the Walls on HHH and Rock grabs a crossface on Benoit! This is excellently executed by Rock and he should have went with that over the Sharpshooter. What a great go home angle. ***1/2 (7)
  17. A WWF handheld which is going to be a rarity as we chronicle the 2000’s. This has a neat dynamic with them being in Edmonton so Benoit is a face and even comes out in an Oilers jersey. The promos beforehand set this up even more. This match is more condensed than their PPV offerings but well done and has some new spots like Benoit clotheslining Jericho as he goes for the springboard dropkick on the apron. It is nice to see Jericho as a heel as a bizzaro version of the feud overall. Jericho thinks he has the match won with the Walls of Jericho but Benoit reached the ropes. The tombstone reversal spot leads to Benoit taking the match with the diving headbutt. Jericho pitches a fit after the match and has some trash thrown at him from the crowd. ***
  18. Really classic style match. It starts with some nice chain wrestling but breaks down into some brutal chops really quickly. I liked the action on the outside and Benoit takes a brutal bump going for a tope and hitting it face first. He is able to regain the advantage though by kicking the steps into Jericho’s midsection. This becomes the focal point for Benoit and he utilizes a great variety of moves to go after the midsection culminating in an abdominal stretch. The crowd comes alive for the submission attempts. The finish is probably the weakest part of this match but continues the feud. Benoit introduces the IC belt and hits Jericho but the referee is out of position. Benoit goes for the diving headbutt and Jericho uses the belt to smash him. A dangerous bump that makes you cringe giving Benoit’s future but effective as a visual for the moment with Benoit bleeding. ***3/4
  19. Jericho really cuts a seething promo beforehand calling Chyna a bitch. The match between these two is good again. Eddy is really finding his side and Chyna did help there. Chyna becomes the x factor allowing him to win again in the same way he did the previous week. I am interested in how this feud that has been fun so far gets transitioned away so quickly because it really feels like we are building to a stipulation PPV match currently. **3/4
  20. Chyna has been a failure with everything they have tried to do for her since she split from HHH. They seem to have finally honed in something with the Latino Heat character of Eddy. Eddy’s personality is starting to shine and the Radicalz are becoming more and more splintered day by day with Eddy and Benoit at the forefront, Dean hanging on to the Cruiser belt run and Saturn quickly losing a purpose. The chemistry between Jericho and Eddy has always been good and this was no exception. A really fast paced 7 minute match that culminates in the big turn for Chyna as she walks to the back with Eddy kick starting the angle overall. ***
  21. Hunter and Shane make up to start things off. JR saying pass the barf bag is funny. I also appreciate Shane and HHH’s acting here tearing up. HHH goes through his interview and gets interrupted by Jericho. Jericho insults Steph and that sets up Shane/HHH vs Rock/Jericho tonight. Segment ends with Jericho stealing the title and whacking HHH with it. Rock then gives a promo in the back. It is a classic Rock promo with the crowd in the palm of his hand even though Rock’s style is never my absolute favorite. HHH is up against a handicapped match in a piece of context we miss out on. However, he has found a partner in Chris Benoit. In addition, shane is the guest referee now and Vince is in the corner of the champs. The action here is pretty electric with Benoit and Jericho starting out chopping the shit out of each other and the crowd popping huge with Rock motioning for HHH to come get some. The neat thing about this match is that every single pairing even between the tag team members seem fresh and exciting for the future. That is perfect thing to see in the current non Austin state even though his presence is looming over Backlash handily. Rock gets the hot tag and is a great hot tag just going off on Benoit and dragging HHH into the ring to another huge reaction. Jericho and Benoit are battling on the outside when Rock hits the Rock Bottom that Shane refuses to count. Rock decks Shane and sets his sights on Vince before Benoit breaks it up. Vince low blows Rock and HHH hits the pedigree to get the pin showing how stacked the deck is against Rock heading into Sunday. Great go home stuff. ***
  22. Jericho does one of his more memorable and classic promos where he inserts Benoit’s face onto different situations including a jackass. Benoit comes out all serious and presents a picture of his own with Jericho in the crossface. E&C come out for the six man and they have a dig at Ricky Williams and his fumble. The New Orleans Saints in the front row do not look amused. Quick match but a way to preview what is coming up on Sunday. I did like the chair being thwarted by the Hardy’s as it felt like E&C had gotten the upper hand for most of the build. E&C do remain on top as the segment ends against the Hardy’s with E&C hitting a chair against a ladder. The Dudley Boyz come out and hit the wassup drop on Christian. Matt Hardy recovers and dives onto everyone on the outside. Meanwhile, Jericho/Benoit are brawling and eventually both go through the table. These two feuds along with the main event carried the SummerSlam build. *1/2
  23. The first of a few dozen (if I had to guess) Benoit-Jericho matches in 2000-2001 that we'll be watching. Jericho's pre-match promo has an edge to it that I like, and Benoit ambushes him to make this pretty intense right away, immediately making clear this is a strong rivalry. This was really good. I think this is good for them both in different ways -- Benoit needed to work with a guy who was over, and Jericho needed to log some good matches. While this is all action, it's also pretty empty, but that's typical of most WWF TV matches in the time period, so I don't hold that against it too much. ***1/4
  24. Tazz has another promo making fun of JR and Lawler. Jericho refutes the promo with an insulting promo at Tazz. Jericho has a pretty cool Y2J hockey jersey around this time. Jericho’s Tazz impersonation is pretty good. Jericho fires away and looks for the Walls within the first 20 seconds. I liked Lawler at least admitting on commentary he hasn’t been a big Jericho fan but he is happy he is shutting the bully up. On the outside, Tazz takes a shot at Lawler and Jerry responds. Jericho gets in a baseball slide as the crowd chants Jerry. Jericho gets a low blow and lionsault to pick up the quick victory. ¾*
  25. JR says he is full as a tick eating a lot of catfish. My father in law literally says he is full as a tick after every meal. Saturn in WWE is weird as I don’t think he looked bad here for all of the two minutes it lasted and he was associated with Terri but he just didn’t seem to fit anywhere. Benoit runs in and again him and Jericho have a violent pull apart. I really want to see this carry over to the SummerSlam match. After the break, we get a clip of Angle and HHH arguing over who can show Steph the better full nelson. ½*