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[2000-01-27-WWF-Smackdown] The Rock vs Rikishi


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These two were forced into this match against each other by HHH and Stephanie. I hate matches as punishment like this, because Rikishi is a star on the rise, and no one is going to cheer him over The Rock, yet no one really wants to boo him either, so matches like this make him seem less over than he really is. The action is good, but it's not really a good spot for Rikishi to be in when he's on a hot streak. And if they were going to do it, I sort of wish Rock had worked subtle heel so Rikishi could work from underneath and build to comebacks. You give Bret Hart this exact same booking and I suspect that's how he works the match. I always love when Rikishi no-sells anything to the head, in this case Rock's DDT. Rikishi gets a visual fall on Rock after a ref bump and HHH and Show run in to attack both guys, which gets the match thrown out, leaving the heels to stand tall to close the show. They are keeping the heat on HHH, which makes sense on the road to Wrestlemania, but knowing they are still perpetually keeping the heat on him because of Wrestlemania almost 20 years later makes it a little less fun to watch.

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Rock cuts his promo beforehand. Nothing you haven’t heard before but the crowd was way into it. Rock and Rikishi don’t mess around before mixing it up. Rikishi gets the first impact move with a Samoan Drop. Rock fires back with his spinebuster and takes control. The crowd does seem a little perplexed on who to cheer for here. Rock tries a DDT but that doesn’t work on Rikishi as he pops up and delivers a kick. I couldn’t tell if the Rock Bottom was supposed to be blocked or was a botch but it looked pretty awful either way and I am shocked it wasn’t edited out. Rock then hits the Rock Bottom next but Rikishi gets up fairly easy from it. The ref gets wiped out but Hebner is out of commission. Here comes Big Show for the DQ and he beats up the Rock. HHH joins the proceedings and does the same to HHH. Besides the weird botch, the action here was fine but the crowd did not want these two to face each other and responded by being quiet during the match. **1/4

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  • 4 months later...

The Rock tells Rikishi that although he appreciated what he did for him on Monday, tonight is a different night. He then turns his attention to the Big Show and his ‘investigation’ into the result of the Royal Rumble and says how he can turn his findings sideways and stick them straight up his candy ass! Michael Cole points out that Rock and Rikishi were forced to go one on one by Triple H and Stephanie after being partners last week, as it’s their way of trying to ‘divide and conquer’ the new alliance between them. Onto the match itself and the two of them exchange rights before a clothesline drops Rikishi although he’s straight back to his feet. Samoan drop and a headbutt as Rikishi takes it to the ‘people’s champ’. Rock avoids the charge in the corner and he plants Rikishi with a spinebuster for two. He chokes him over the middle rope and goes for a suplex, but he can’t get the big man up and Rikishi counters with one of his own. Rock with a Samoan drop for another two count. A DDT has no effect on Rikishi (those old wrestling stereotypes of hard headed Samoans!) and he levels Rock with a thrust kick. ‘Rikishi Driver’ attempt, but Rock escapes and an ugly looking ‘Rock Bottom’ that Rikishi doesn’t appear to take right. Second ‘Rock Bottom’ and this one is much smoother than the first. He unloads on Rikishi in the corner, whip to the opposite one is reversed and Rock ends up squashing Earl Hebner who had gotten in the way. Belly to belly, Bonzai splash, but before Hebner is able to make the count Big Show is out to attack him. Hebner throws the match out as Show screams that now Rock is his. Chokeslam to Rock and here is Triple H who hits the pedigree on Rikishi. Too Cool try to make the save but don’t fair well. Pedigree on Scotty, then Show with a double chokeslam on them as everyone is left laying whil Show, Hunter and Stephanie celebrate in the ring.


The crowd lapped up Rock’s promo (as they always do), but were pretty muted for the match itself. I think they were clearly confused about who to cheer for and who to boo, and as a result there wasn’t much heat to this and it didn’t really benefit Rikishi (who up until now they’d been doing a great job in pushing). That botch was awful and a really lame ending with Big Show interfering.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-01-27-WWF-Smackdown] The Rock vs Rikishi

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