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Found 79 results

  1. After the general sludge of 1999 WWF tv output, it has been refreshing seeing some of these matches get time this early in the year. Foley is now embedded to face HHH at Rumble and DX keeps teasing the tension with HHH. In a pleasant This is 2000 moment, Mr. Ass has a choker necklace on. Nice opening sequence with Rock cleaning house and being paired off with Mr. Ass. The Acolytes and X-Pac have good chemistry as they work together. HHH had been inauspicious so far in the match and they set up him and Foley interacting to get a big pop from the crowd. Foley beats HHH down in the corner as the crowd erupts. HHH goes for a tag but DX betrays him as they refuse to tag in. DX leaves and gets chased away by Rock and the Acolytes leaving just HHH and Mankind. Mankind gets the double arm DDT and goes for Socko. Stephanie gets teased with Socko and I’m glad they didn’t pay that off right away. HHH again shows nice viciousness here on top with Foley bumping around as he hits Foley with the bell that has him tumbling over the announce table. HHH hits a pedigree through the table in another big spot that gets OHHHHS from the crowd. Foley eats another pedigree inside the ring to win the match for HHH. Knowing that this leads to Mankind calling on Cactus Jack, I thought this was a great angle advancement and the match was fun as hell to boot. ***1/4
  2. Rock rushes down the ramp and the fight is on. He takes the fight to Rikishi but the referee interferes catching a chair that he is trying to throw Rikishi’s way and that allows Rikishi to take over on offense. Action spills to the outside and Tim White gets bumped allowing Rikishi to retrieve the sledgehammer. Rock blocks this and hits a Rock Bottom to a nuclear pop. Long pin and a dramatic nearfall. Rikishi is looking really imposing and the strongest as a heel here. Rikishi comes back and even gets heel heat going for the stinkface which is impressive. Rockss midsection is suffereing but he is able to muscle up a spinebuster and then the People’s Elbow with Rikishi doing a nice sell job off of that of all things. Rock takes a while to cover and ends up winning to a huge pop again. Rikishi is able to get his heat back after the match with the Bonsai Drop after the match. I watched this a few years ago when PTB podcast was reviewing the show and I thought it was a good match but it way exceeding expectations here and I think this is perhaps the best performance Rock has had all year. **** (7.8)
  3. This really is probably the last time WrestleMania felt like it could be any other PPV in a given year. Even the three years of this decade where they aren’t in a stadium had plenty of other big moments and caveats that this show really didn’t. This could have been Backlash and everything would have been the same. That being said, this as a main event was a tale of two matches. I actually thought the four way stuff was really effective. Big Show is giving a good run where he looks strong with them knowing he is going out early. Once he is gone, Foley and HHH and Rock have a compelling three way with bonds being formed and broke. The history between these three is so storied that any iteration of the pairings worked and felt enriched. I thought Rock was really working hard bumping like crazy and being crisp on his strikes. Foley flubs his big spot but it does play right into his elimination which felt shocking at the time as I was certain he was winning with the good out of them having a tournament later. Foley coming back does feel cheap but this was his last match for nearly four years so it feels more genuine in retrospect than it does now when he has had 50 matches after this one. The HHH and Rock portions was my least favorite of the match with a ton of tropes that are less flattering including going around the stage set up and tables at ringside being broken. The Vince turn is also perplexing as they went to WAY too many extremes in fighting each other for it to believable as a big ruse all along on Vince’s part. HHH winning is innovative but the closing moment is Rock reigning supreme firstly and the McMahons secondly so he gets overshadowed there. Overall, I think a three way would have been more effective and I don’t know how to book out the Vince turn but it still is just awful. ***1/4
  4. The Regal vs Rock promo debate here was excellent and Regal compliments Rock’s comedy probably better than anyone else we have seen in 2000. Rock going into the British accent was especially great with Regal’s reaction facials. This leads up to a match tonight where Rock says he is going to besmirch Regal with a turkey. Match is fun with Regal showing a lot of offense and Rock being generous with him. Regal is willing to bump off of Rock’s new wrestling moves so you have him moving against the hiptoss and Regal also utilizes some nice cutoffs to keep the match hanging in the balance. Rikishi is out for a better look throughout the match. Rock ends up winning the Sharpshooter which you didn’t see much. Regal is waving to the crowd after the match and gets hit with a Rock Bottom. **1/4
  5. HBK starts off Raw with a promo. He talks about his promotion and even name drops TWA. He says however the thing he is most proud of is his wife Rebecca and son Cameron. As a result of not being able to fully invest in his duties, he is resigning as Commissioner. He does however want to be the referee Sunday for the iron man match. We get a clip of him screwing the Rock on SmackDown in August and out comes Vince. They do a good bit of recon ensuring Shawn is a face by Vince getting in his face and getting shoved down. HBK leaves as the rest of the regime arrives. We get another long form promo. The promo from HHH was fine but this felt too much like the traditional 20 minute open of Raw that we are used to and burned out on now. I did think Rock’s promo was one of the better ones he has done this year in being about the match and the build instead of joking with the crowd. The match is interesting. These two don’t really mix up all that much and after this I am really looking forward to Fully Loaded. Rocks busts out a cross armbreaker and a figure four to really show versatility that your aren’t used to. Benoit is great as usual at leading the pace and keeping things going along when he is on offense. HHH drags Benoit to the ropes on the figure four and Benoit locks on the crossface and Vince reinacts Montreal in a move that is getting too played out already. If they let this go, why not do it for the championship. Jericho comes out and I think it is a really smart move that they still have untraditional pairings of Jericho and HHH and Rock and Benoit. Rock gives Benoit a Rock Bottom as Jericho has the walls on HHH. DX runs in but here are the Dudley’s to even it back up. Now we have Rock and HHH going at it and HHH gets Rock Bottomed through the table. Great go home segment. ***
  6. We get a backstage promo with some dissension between Shane and HHH already. Steph says why does it matter who is going to be champ if it is all within the family. A good three way with Shane mostly staying out of the way and allowing Rock and HHH to have their typically well done match. A bit of miscommunication happened of course with Shane and HHH going after each other and breaking up pins. The first official gets taken out allowing Gerald Briscoe to come in. HHH hits the Pedigree and Rock kicks out to a huge pop from the crowd. HHH decks Briscoe for counting too slow. HHH hits another Pedigree and Vince decides to take off Gerald's shirt and put it on. Here comes Earl and he drags Vince out of the ring. Earl tells Vince this is all bullshit. Vince goes to punch Earl and hits the ring post. HHH gets crotched by Shane and it is ambiguous whether it was inadvertent or not. Vince chases Earl around the ring and right into a Rock Bottom. HHH gets knocked outside and a People's Elbow puts Shane away. WWF had a good week of booking their main event in satisfying and unique ways. They all have been overbooked to a degree but just coherent enough to hook you for the next part of the story. ***1/2
  7. Stone Cold opens things up with a state of the Austin address. He talks about the things that have changed and says he is there to raise hell and see who ran him over. Foley comes out as well. Foley says he is happy that Austin is back and wanting to kick ass but he is going to conduct the investigation. Benoit comes out too and demands a match with Rock tonight. Benoit doesn’t look overshadowed in the ring with these two which is impressive. Foley has a Monica Lewinsky joke which seems dated even in 2000. Foley announces Rock vs Benoit tonight. Angle’s music then fires up and he comes out. Angle whines and says he got screwed. Foley denies his motion. Angle then tells Austin how dare you. In their first interaction together in ring, they already have some great chemistry with each other and just feel like Austin is going to recoil and attack. Angle says he doesn’t consider Austin a winner and demands an apology from Austin. Austin says he does owe him an apology but that isn’t happening tonight. Stunners for Angle and Benoit end the segment. Rock gives a quick promo but a good one at how intense he is and calling out Benoit. Time for the match and Shane is joining Benoit so this union is back together for one night. Quick action right out of the gate as a huge Shane’s a pussy chant breaks out. Lawler plays it off that Shane will admit to being cat like in some respects. Shane interferes with a choke and they are really pushing a title change on commentary. Dragon screw and Sharpshooter from Rock early and Shane hits him with a right hand quickly to break things up. The Shane interference throughout the match is overwrought but so much heated and logical compared to the mess we saw on Nitro. Shane gets popped with a chair after Hebner punks him out. Steph runs down to check on Shane and HHH tells her to go to the back. JR is freaking out that a referee isn’t out there. Benoit runs into HHH from a Rock Irish whip and they go after each other. HHH puts Benoit neck over the top rope and right into a Rock Bottom for the count. HHH seems to be pretty steadily heading into face territory. Angle and Benoit come out and double team the Rock. HHH pulls Angle off and Angle is able to attack HHH and go after those battered ribs. The crowd does seem a bit perplexed. Steph slaps Angle and Benoit headbutts her. Holy shit what a big role for him and that was shocking. Angle seems stunned as the show goes off the air. A good reset after Unforgiven. **1/2
  8. 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)
  9. Foley says hes been out a while so he will be brief. He calls out George W Bush and Al Gore for not answering the SmackDown challenge. Benoit is out for commentary for the main event. It is weird that Rock and Taker were around for so long and never had that signature match. Even Rock doing his reunion tour in 2011-2013 could have probably squeezed in a match with Taker. A nice spirited brawl with both going after each other and Taker having some motivation with the flying DDT. Ref bump and Taker hits a chokeslam but Rock kicks out. Taker then is able to hit the Last Ride to get the pin on Rock really giving himself a lot of momentum heading into Unforgiven. A strong tease for the PPV and they have built up Unforgiven really well. **
  10. Rock backstage promo with Lillian where he confirms that she likes pie. Another bit that plays well in 2000 with this crowd but doesn’t resonate at all in current day rewatching. The tag match itself is intriguing with the Dudley’s kind of just inserted into the match. I liked the physicality here. I don’t know if Bubba or D Von will rank on my top 100 workers of 2000 but they have been really solid both in tv and gimmick matches and them getting over with the crowd is a testament to their determination after a rocky first few months within WWF. Rock and Taker don’t really work together. Some nice teases of the table with Bubba saving D Von from going through one. D Von then saves Bubba as Rock hits a Rock Bottom. Bubba sends Rock into Taker as he went for a chokeslam and Taker is pissed. With them staring off at each other, the Dudleys hit Taker with the 3D through the table for the win. Nice to let the established team get the win. Taker is pissed after the match and chokeslams Rock through the table to end the show. I wish this was on Raw to hear the genuine crowd reaction because between the dubbed Network entrance music and the crowd sweetening, it is tough to gauge. **1/2
  11. Foley starts the show off saying that he is fledging an investigation as to who ran over Austin last November. He says that he would appreciate it if the guilty party just admitted it and came out there. Rock’s music fires up and Lawler gloats that he knew it all along. Rock says oh hell no to the notion that he ran over Austin but he wants a piece of Kane tonight. This brings out the #1 contender brigade including Benoit, Kane and Taker. They have a big brawl and Foley gets bumped by Kane in the middle of it. Foley says backstage he will name a #1 contender by the end of the night. He sets up the tag team main event for later. The Kane and Benoit backstage segment felt off. They humanize Kane somewhat but he is actually projecting himself as a decent monster in this role with the turn not making any sense. Rock and Taker also have tension and agree they are never going to be friends but will try to stay together. We cut backstage to Jericho busted wide open from a nun chucks shot by X Pac. The build to Unforgiven has been strong even with these unconventional big matches. Foley is out for commentary. Match is brief but continues the hot streak of WWF matches in providing a satisfying appetizer for the action that can sustain and hook the viewer into the big PPV. A fan jumps the rail off camera and gets taken out by security. A neat spot for the finish as Taker has Benoit in Last Ride position and Kane clotheslines Taker allowing Benoit to float over and pin him. JR blows the call by saying Jericho had pinned Taker. Foley says the only thing he can think of is to make the Unforgiven match a fatal four way. **
  12. Big spot for E&C leading off SmackDown with a promo. They go for cheap heat saying soap was discovered in Louisville recently but the delivery is solid and the crowd reaction is there. I enjoyed Tazz on commentary dissing on Rock's shirt and how it would be received in Red Hook. Rock's promo was his usual verbal berating but it works well against E&C. I liked E&C asking for the world title to be on the line. We then get a backstage segment of E&C walking to the ring and being attacked by Rock. This shows the problem with Lawler as he has been a big E&C fan but is also a face in a feud with Tazz so he kind of has to tow the line when Rock attacks and it is awkward. Christian comes out for the match and says Edge cant compete but Foley has found a replacement. Enter Kane. The match is good with Christian picking his spots and Kane looking motivated. The world title picture going into Unforgiven is basic but it does add a nice wrinkle of still feeling like it has stakes and peril for Rock just from the shear quantity of the suitors wanting the title instead of the quality. Christian breaks up a pin attempt because he wants to be champion and him and Kane brawl. Kane teases chokeslamming Christian through a table until Edge runs down. With Edge and Kane fighting on the outside, Christian looks to steal the win and title with a belt shot but Rock catches him with the Rock Bottom for the win. SmackDown ends with Kane attacking and chokeslamming Rock through the table in an impressive visual. **1/2
  13. Kane is out for commentary showing more personality from him as I can’t recall him doing something like this before. Lawler is disposed from Tazz earlier. Taker challenges Kane from his bike. This match did a lot for E&C. Just a few months earlier, Edge was getting jobbed out to Taker in a singles match in three minutes. Here they are seen as a tag threat and work over Taker as FIP for 5 minutes or so until he makes the tag to Rock. The E&C on top segment was also smothering and kept building properly. Benoit runs out and attacks Taker after he tags in Rock. Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Christian but Edge makes the save. Edge then pastes Rock with a chair that gets a close nearfall. Kane pulls out the referee and brawls with Taker on the floor and E&C give Rock the conchairto. That allows them to get a pin on Rock even though it was tainted. Big moment for them and a fun as hell match overall. ***1/4 (6.5)
  14. In a nice show of unity, HHH and Pac come out to the DX theme as HHH asked X-Pac to just trust him. Steph doing the crotch chop to the pyro is pretty awful. Enjoyed WWF so far but they aren’t immune to shakiness either as Big Show is right in the middle of another heel turn here less than a year into his tenure. Show takes over on HHH and refuses to tag Rock in. Rock cleans house and the crowd is electric. There is a lot of feuds set for HHH with Rock, Show and Foley right now which makes it logical that would be the main event at Mania at this point. X-Pac gets a chair up when Rock goes for the People’s Elbow on HHH. DX is working together well tonight. Big Show takes a page out of DX’s book when he refuses a tag when Rock gets a glimmer of hope. One pedigree later, HHH pins Rock and is looking huge early in 2000. Big Show chokeslams Rock to close the show and they come up with some phony stuff about Big Show being pissed that Rock called him a jabroni. This was my least favorite outing from WWF so far in 2000. *3/4
  15. 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)
  16. To set up this match we get a series of interviews with everyone involved. With HHH and Rikishi both out, the Radicalz did a good job acting as the hired guns for them. Benoit will never been the best promo person in the world, but his promo here did have me thinking that he might actually crack my top 10 on the Observer Year End awards which is a surprise and not something I would have expected. Rock, Billy and Chyna have some basic words and Austin comes to the ring and is pissed at HHH. Billy and Chyna charge the ring and get beat up for their trouble until Austin and Rock enter in. Saturn looks pretty rough here having to have Austin audibly call some spots to get him into place. Crowd is electric for Rock here maybe even more than Austin as that shows how prominent he has been in 2000. Saturn is again acting as the workhorse and he does better vs Rock. Benoit gives Rock a huge chop on the outside that sounded nasty. Benoit gets tagged in the ring and beats the shit out of Rock with more chops and stomps. Benoit looks vicious here. Saturn gets tagged in and Rock is able to get a quick Rock Bottom that Benoit has to make the save on. Eddie is now in shaking his stuff for Chyna. Rock clotheslines him and makes the big tag to Chyna. Chyna beats up Eddie and Eddie shows some good ass here. Big time Eddie Sucks chant and he is mugging it up for the crowd. Eddie and Benoit are the clear highlights of the Radicalz. Austin runs to the other side of the ring, pulls Saturn off and flying across the announce table. Match breaks down after Chyna makes a tag. Benoit and Rock go to the back as Austin stomps a mudhole in Eddie’s ass. The crowd comes alive for that. Stunner for Eddie and he eats the pin. Better options around than the IC champ but it is Austin doing it. Not as fluid as the classic 10 man in February but not a bad little sister as the heat was here and the Radicalz had a good showing for themselves overcoming Saturn. Rock and Benoit are backstage tearing up the set. This feud has been much more personal and heated than I remembered. Finish to Raw happens as Benoit sets Rock up to be hit by a sledgehammer of Rikishi in a car. ***1/4 (6.5)
  17. 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)
  18. Shane and Benoit start Raw with a promo. I like this pairing and I thought Benoit more than held his own when asked to speak. Rock gives a rebuttal but they have put over the crossface well. Chyna and Eddy come out to chase Benoit and Shane out of the ring. Match between Rock and Benoit is only five minutes but they show good chemistry. Hebner gets taken out and Shane has a referee shirt on. Benoit locks in the crossface and when Rock grabs for the ropes, Shane rings the bell. Benoit keeps the crossface in again making the move feel like a threat. A cool visual is Shane and Benoit walking up the aisle and getting pelted with trash. The crowd is invested into this feud and so am I. WWF has done a great job of trying new stuff after KOTR. Hebner recovers and awards the match to Rock. Rock is groggy and gets up and hits a Rock Bottom on Hebner as he is not at full capacity as Benoit/Shane escape. **1/4
  19. 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. ***
  20. This cage looks really flimsy as Benoit gives Rock a dropkick and it almost pops open. I really enjoyed Benoit in this again working as an enforcer worker for HHH and Big Show. I didn’t think this was a downgrade at all because he is in there with Rock in a main event role. Benoit did a really good job of cutting off Rock at every angle leading to the climax of Rock hitting the Rock Bottom that felt well earned. The finish is spectacular as Rock hits a powerbomb on Benoit! And then has a big fist battle with HHH. Rock sends HHH into Big Show and is able to gain the win. After the match the heels team up on Rock and get him in the cage. HHH goes for a big chair shot and hits Show. HHH get slung into the cage and Shane flees by climbing over the top. Big night for Rock looking like the huge star he is. ***1/4
  21. Rikishi starts out the show with a promo. His anger has now fully transformed to Rock as he is grasping at straws to retain credibility following the reveal of him running over Austin. Rikishi shouts out the Radicalz and they say one down, one to go. Foley rolls out and has some words against Rikishi calling him a gutless coward. Foley says he is leaving the punishment of Rikishi up to Rock. He also states that Rock probably wont be there tonight and if Rock isn’t there tonight, neither is Rikishi. Cops come out and take out Rikishi out of the ring and building. Rock is here but looking rough. We are shown the finish of the Eddie vs Austin match and Eddie stomping backstage and pissed off. Foley barges in and says that Road Dogg and K-Kwick are facing the Radicalz. He also announces The Rock vs Benoit for the main event tonight. Rock promo with Kevin Kelly and this is probably one of my favorites of his from the year. He is more serious and tells Rikishi he is going to get one of the biggest ass kickings of his life on Sunday. The feud between these two is without a doubt the most underrated one in 2000 in the big two. Heated and physical matches that really rely on Rock to show toughness and make Benoit look like a pinpoint technician. This has brawling at the onset before Benoit is able to gain the advantage and he really takes it to Rock. Rock is giving to Benoit and allows him to hit a lot of his signature offense on top. Rock has a DDT and a nearfall but that transitions right into a nice moment for Benoit when he locks in the crossface and Rock narrowly is able to reach the ropes. Rock blocks a punch of Benoit and locks on the crossface of his own. That looked good by Rock mimicking submissions standards. Rock gets the spinebuster and People’s Elbow but is too winded to follow up. Benoit comes back with a snap suplex and a headbutt right to the sternum he has worked over. Rikishi makes his way through the crowd and Rock brawls with him a bit before Benoit comes from behind to continue the attack. Triple Germans and Benoit has the match at hand when Rikishi rolls into the ring and attacks Rock which certainly should cause the DQ since Hebner is pinned in the corner by Benoit but watching it happen. Bonsai drop from Rikishi to Rock and that is our closing image heading into Survivor series. Wonderful match that was a hot finish away from being perhaps the best tv match in WWF of the year. ***3/4 (7.7)
  22. Stephs promo to start out was great. She says she had to do everything in life on her own and earned everything that has happened. She demands a rematch. Kurt Angle comes out and talks about children. Well, he had Jason Jordan by this time right? Kurt gets in a potshot on New Orleans by saying it is ridiculous a vile and filthy city like that calls its football team the Saints. That as a Falcons fan has me saying It’s True. Angle says that one other person deserves blame and that is HHH. HHH comes out all pissed off and gets a face reaction as he goes after Angle. Foley comes out now. Foley has found some medals and states that Steph would now be attracted to him. I enjoyed the way Foley built up who would be Steph’s partner. Steph has to decide who teams with her. Steph suggests they need Angle to talk strategy and HHH gets hot headed at that idea. Kurt pleads his case to be Steph’s partner. HHH is now back with Steph and she tells him that Kurt talked about how hot headed HHH is and she agrees. Steph admits that she is considering Kurt being her partner. HHH storms at Kurt and they argue. HHH says that Steph doesn’t make the decisions right as Steph comes in. Steph is mad that HHH said that but she decides to flip a coin to make her decision. Now we get an interview with Rock. I don’t want to undersell Rock’s role in this whole angle as he has been integral but also taking the appropriate backseat when needed. Rock gives a pretty generic promo for him but it has all the highs from the crowd. We get the coin flip. It turns up tails which means Kurt is her partner. Kurt is all pumped and says now that they are partners, they have to get serious. Match starts with a brawl and Steph takes a pretty dangerous bump two minutes in off of a Lita rana. The big setup happens where Steph gets bumped from the apron and hits the steps. HHH leaves the backstage area and comes down to check on her. HHH takes her to the back and HHH says he is going back out to help Kurt. He tells the EMS to take care of her. The action in the ring spills to the entranceway and HHH comes back out and is ready to kick Rock’s ass. HHH/Angle double team Rock and HHH knocks out Hebner for the DQ. With Rock sent to the outside, Angle and HHH go after Lita until the Hardy Boyz come out. Rock is back and issues a challenge at Angle but Angle bails. It looks like Angle has left HHH high and dry and Rock gives him a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow. Backstage, we now get the big payoff as Angle checks on Steph. He sends the EMS people away. Kurt tells her she cares about her. Kurt gives her a hug and then goes in for the kiss. Steph is reluctant at first but takes it in by the dn. Kurt has the biggest shit eating grin on his face while Steph is looking like she realizes what she has done. Holy shit this has to be the best WWF angle of all time. *1/2 for the match. ***** for the angle.
  23. 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
  24. It didn’t take long for Benoit’s music to get refined to its familiar sound. He has also been mixing it up with the big guns right away between HHH on SmackDown and now The Rock here. You don’t really want to be seen as a Benoit apologist or pedestal holder but he really does seem like he may have a case at being the wrestler of the year for 2000 so far. Here he is able to go toe to toe with Rock as the technical wizard which compliments the charisma of Rock nicely. He targets the arm and goes after it in a variety of ways including putting Rock on the outside and using the table and a chair. Eddy adds some flavor on the outside and did a good of making himself look relevant even with the sling as Saturn and Dean are nowhere to be found and in some ways were already downshifted even at this moment. Benoit has the crossface locked in and cries from the crowd come for Rock to reach the ropes. Rock makes his comeback to shrieks from the crowd. Rock really does have a nice variety of good looking offense People’s Elbow aside. Big Show who was supposed to be in Hawaii comes out and slams Rock down on the ground. This allows Benoit to hit a German suplex and get the pin which it took Hebner a LONGGGG time to count. Really strong tv effort for the time given and with interference or not, this was big for Benoit to pin Rock. ***
  25. Rock starts out Raw and the crowd is molten. He wants a piece of Benoit tonight at all costs. This brings out Shane and Benoit and we get the title match set up for later with the added stipulation that it is no DQ. The match itself is a great sprint with Benoit being intense as hell, Rock hanging with him from a cardio standpoint and Shane inserting himself enough to get over the stipulation but not enough to derail the flow of the match overall. They only got about 8 minutes but they maximize their time and the crowd is going crazy. The finish was also really clever as Benoit locks on the crossface and like Storm on Nitro, it really feels like a title change could happen with Shane peppering Rock with additional kicks. Just then, Jericho makes his return from two weeks and gives Benoit two powerbombs onto a steel chair. As Jericho chases Shane to the back, Rock hits Benoit with the Rock Bottom to pick up the win. I liked Storm vs Booker well enough but in the African American vs Canadian main event match that dueled this night, this match outclassed it in most every way. ***1/2 (6.9)