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[2000-09-07-WWF-Smackdown] The Rock vs Christian & Kane (Handicap)

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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

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Kane is being kept really strong and heavily pushed as a guy who the Rock can't shake. He gets to dominate Rock here for a good portion of the match and looks like he might win the belt with Christian stops it. Christian was real good here as an opportunist, I also loved his spinning wheel kick as a cut off to the Rock. The story of everybody gunning for the Rock is good enough and he portrays his struggle pretty well before catching Christian with a Rock Bottom to retain.

 

**

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The E&C-Rock verbal battle was real enjoyable. E&C seem like they are in a way higher spot than they were a month ago.

 

Match is a fun bit of business, as Rock is great as the selling babyface in this sort of context.

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Edge and Christian are opening up this episode of Smackdown, so it looks like there is an attempt to push them to the upper card after that win on Monday.  Edge says that they could come out here and brag about their Monday night win over The Rock & The Undertaker, or ‘Rockertaker’ as they like to call them, but they’re not the bragging types and instead of giving everyone a brand new pose they’re going to give them a history lesson.  So much for not being the ‘bragging types’ as that history lesson always worms its way back into them airing the footage of Christian pinning Rock on Raw.  Tazz’s forced laughter during this is really annoying.  As they’re about to replay that footage for the fourth time, they’re interrupted by The Rock.  He’s not hanging around and challenges them to a handicap match for later in the show.  E&C tell him that’s not going to happen as they’re not going to risk their “undefeated against the Rock in Kentucky streak”.  After Rock makes them look foolish in the verbal stakes they agree; only under the proviso though that instead of them tagging in and out in this handicap match, they’re both in the ring at the same time.  Edge doesn’t think he’ll accept that, but when he does, adds a further stipulation that he has to put the WWF World title on the line also.  Yhey’re doing all they can to try and not have to have the bout, but again Rock takes them up on it.

As E&C are backstage on their way out for the match they’re jumped by the Rock who nails Edge over the back with a chair, puts the boots to Christian and then throws Edge into a soda machine leaving the pair of them laying.

Tony Chimel introduces the champion first for this World title match, however when he announcers the challengers, Edge is nowhere to be seen.   Christian says how the Rock thinks he’s so smart jumping them from behind and taking out Edge, but he’s got some news for him.  By the orders of Commissioner Foley there will be a handicap match for the WWF World championship tonight and he introduces his new tag team partner, Kane.  Christian looks for a high five from the ‘Big Red Machine’ who marches straight past him and into the ring, concerned only with winning the World title.  Kane runs into a big boot and Rock with a Samoan Drop as Christian watches on from the outside.  He blocks a ‘Rock Bottom’ and a right hand sends the champ over the top rope and to the floor.  They head into the crowd, fighting amongst the fans with Christian continuing to watch on.  Jerry Lawler (who is back) surmises that he probably hopes that Kane knocks the Rock out and he can then steal the pin and the title.  Rock blasts Kane in the head with the ring bell when he’s levelled by a Christian clothesline as he finally gets involved in the action.  Spinning heel kick for a two count.  He comes off the top, but Rock catches him with a kick to the gut followed by a DDT.  Spinebuster and as he’s about to drop ‘the People’s Elbow’ he’s cut off by a returning Kane who plants him with a chokeslam.  Christian breaks up the pin, confirming what ‘the King’ thought earlier.  Reverse DDT and now Kane is the one doing the breaking up.  Kane launches Christian to the outside, however he pulls him out under the bottom rope as the two partners start fighting each other.  Edge rushes down to ringside to help his ‘brother’ as Earl Hebner leaves the ring to try and restore some order.  In the confusion, Christian grabs one of the title belts, swings at the Rock, but he ducks the shot and hits ‘the Rock Bottom’ to retain the gold.  A livid Kane chokeslams the Rock through the announcer’s table post-match as Michael Cole says how he will stop at nothing to get the WWF World title.  

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