Reviews

Retro Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2000

The year 2000 was such a great year for WWE with guys like The Rock and Triple H stepping up as main event talent. There were also the likes of Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, tag teams like Edge/Christian, The Dudley Boyz, The Hardy Boyz, Chyna, Eddie Guerrero and of course the leader of the locker room, The Undertaker. Prior to No Mercy 2000, WWE’s top star “Stone Cold” Steve Austin hadn’t wrestled a match all year due to neck surgery that put him out of action for about one year. This was his return match.

No Mercy did a huge PPV buyrate with 550,000 buys thanks to Austin’s return to the ring. WWE business was strong that year, so it wasn’t the best of 2000 in terms of PPV buys, but it did beat higher profile shows like King of the Ring and Survivor Series while nearly beating Royal Rumble and SummerSlam as well. It just showed how big of a draw Austin was.

This show followed Unforgiven 2000 and led to Survivor Series 2000.

Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:

“”Stone Cold” Steve Austin faces Rikishi in a No Holds Barred Match. Chris Jericho steps inside a steel cage with X-Pac. Plus, the Dudley Boyz Tag Team Elimination Table Invitational, Kurt Angle challenges The Rock for the WWE Championship, and The Hardy Boyz defend the Tag Team Championship against Los Conquistadors.” 14+ (D,L,V)

The VHS/DVD looked like this:

Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.

WWE No Mercy
From Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York
October 22, 2000

The opening video package focused on the Steve Austin story with Rikishi, who ran over Austin in a car and cost Stone Cold nearly a year of his career. Austin said he was a pissed off son of a bitch. Austin said he’ll show no remorse and no mercy with Austin saying Rikishi was a dead man. The No Mercy intro logo appeared after that.

The pyro went off by the entrance and the fans in Albany were loud with signs all over the place. They showed fans at WWF New York watching as well. The announce team was Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler as usual.

The Dudley Boyz Invitational Tables Match

There are five teams. The winners will be the ones that survive after four eliminations. To eliminate a team, you have to put one wrestler through a table. I’ll have one rating for the entire match.

Match #1: Low Down (D-Lo Brown & Chaz) vs. Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay)

Each team brought tables into the ring and there were no tags. Chaz sent Scotty into the turnbuckle and Sexay sent Brown into another table. The fans chanted “D-Lo sucks” at Brown. Scotty and Sexay each worked over the heels with punches. Sexay set up a table, but Brown hit him with a low blow. Low Down used a table to hit Sexay in the ribs wit ha table and they did it to Scotty too. Chaz hit a suplex on Scotty and Sexay hit a suplex on Brown. Scotty used the edge of a table to hit Chaz in the groin with a low blow. Brown got a hold of Sexay and hit a Sky High spinebuster. Brown set up Sexay on a table while Chaz tried to put Scotty through a table, but Scotty shoved Chaz through the table. Sexay moved and Brown splashed through a table. There’s the first elimination at 3:54.

Low Down have been eliminated

Match #2: Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) vs. Raven & Tazz

Tazz and Raven brought a table down to the ring. They were former ECW stars on the same side for this match. Too Cool hit double baseball slide dropkicks to start the floor. Tazz applied the Tazzmission on Scotty, but Sexay saved and Too Cool hit double clotheslines on their opponents. Raven with a corner clothesline and a bulldog on Scotty while Tazz punched Scotty while they were on the floor. Sexay teased a Powerbomb through the table on Raven, but Sexay’s feet broke the table. The fans chanted “you f**ked up” at him. That was funny. Anyway, back in the ring, Scotty hit a bulldog on Raven and did the WORM (under a table) and a forearm to Raven. Tazz and Raven hit a double team suplex on Scotty through a table. Second elimination at 7:10.

Match #3: Raven & Tazz vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

Huge pop for the babyface Dudleys wit ha table in hand as they faced off against their fellow former ECW guys. It started out as a brawl leading to Bubba hitting a Bubba Bomb on Tazz. Bubba with a body slam, D-Von up top and the Wassup Drop headbutt by D-Von connected to Raven’s groin. Bubba called for D-Von to get the table, which drew a big pop as usual. Loud “table” chant from the fans. Taz hit an overhead suplex on Bubba, D-Von with a clothesline and D-Von/Raven each collided into the turnbuckle. Something was messed up a bit there and they may have got things mixed up because D-Von had to talk to Raven about the next spot. D-Von with a suplex on Raven. That led to Raven rolling out of the ring, so he was out on the floor. Bubba worked over Tazz with punches, they put Tazz on the table and D-Von went up top and hit a leg drop on Tazz through the table. That was 9:18 into the match.

Raven & Tazz have been eliminated

Analysis: There was a bit of an awkward moment with D-Von/Raven there. Then Raven rolled out after a suplex, which is not a big move to take a guy out. Anyway, it was just a simple elimination.

Match #4: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. Right To Censor (Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather)

This was the final fall in the match. RTC were booed heavily. RTC brought a table even though they are against tables. Goodfather with a clothesline on D-Von, but then D-Von sent him out of the ring. Bull with a clothesline on Bubba and Bull brough a table into the ring. Bull hit a low blow on Bubba, then Bull went for a clothesline and Bubba moved, so Bull clotheslined the referee Jack Doan. A referee bump in a match without disqualifications? That’s not common. Bubba hit a low blow on Bull and a Powerbomb through a table. That should have won the match. Now you know why they did the referee bump. Goodfather hit Bubba with a hard steel chair shot to the head and Bubba landed on top of Bull. Goodfather pulled Bull out of the way, so it looked like Bubba went through the table. When referee Jack Doan woke up, he saw Bubba laying over the table and thought Bubba was put through it, so he called for the bell.

The RTC guys were announced as the winners until another referee (Mike Sparks) informed Doan of what happened. That led to the match restarting.

Goodfather went for a running attack on D-Von, who moved, Goodfather hit the turnbuckle and the Dudley Boys hit the 3D (Dudley Death Drop) though the table to win the match at 12:18.

Right To Censor (Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather) were eliminated

Winners: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley)

Analysis: **1/4 It wasn’t a great match by any means, but it was fine as an opener because it gave the fans what they want with the Dudley Boyz getting the win and a lot of tables being broken. Fans were crazy about table spots in this era especially, so it was a matter of giving people what they want. The false finish with RTC winning before it was reversed was a clever move to piss off the crowd briefly and then giving the happy ending with the Dudleys win.

Trish Stratus and T&A were shown backstage in the locker room talking about how their plan was falling into place.

Rikishi was shown somewhere backstage waiting on Steve Austin, who had not arrived yet.

They showed clips from Sunday Night Heat the previous week with Trish Stratus doing a strip poker performance towards APA, which led to T&A beating up APA. The story continued from there on Raw and Smackdown, so that set up a six-man tag with APA & Lita against T&A and Trish.

Lita made her entrance as the WWE Women’s Champions. Her partners were The Acolytes (APA), but there was no sign of Bradshaw and Faarooq. They showed a backstage scene with Test & Albert beating up the APA with weapons like a tire iron and they threw equipment boxes on Bradshaw and Faarooq. Some WWE Officials showed up to break it up. Lita was watching its, so she ran to the back.

Before Lita could make it backstage, T&A was there. Trish hit Lita with a forearm from behind. Trish rolled Lita into the ring with Trish hitting a bulldog. Albert did a slingshot that sent Lita into the middle rope. Albert got a hold of Lita again, but The Hardy Boys made the save. Jeff hit a dropkick that knocked Albert out of the ring while Test bailed. The Hardys checked on Lita while Trish and her team left.

Analysis: No match. Just an angle to further the T&A story with APA while Trish’s feud with Lita kept on going. The APA guys were out for a bit selling the attack while T&A became T&APA for a bit before the APA guys came back for revenge.

Edge & Christian were interviewed by Lilian Garcia in the locker room. They claimed they were sick earlier in the day and then they were fine. They kept on making “nuts” comments and Edge said he could “whip them out right now” so then they had a bowl of nuts. Christian complimented Edge on his nuts. They left.

Rikishi was shown outside the building in the parking lot and he had a sledgehammer with him.

It was time for a Steel Cage Match with Chris Jericho up first to a huge pop. Jericho was really popular of course. Jericho did a promo saying he can’t even remember why he hated X-Pac so much and then ripped on many things he hates about X-Pac. Jericho said that him and the Jerichoholics want to see this feud end in the Steel Cage or as he likes to call it, the Y2Jail. X-Pac was next as the heel with a mild reaction from the crowd.

Steel Cage Match: Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac

Pre-match notes: Chris Jericho was the face while X-Pac was the heel.

Jericho did a baseball slide dropkick before X-Pac got in the cage. Jericho worked over X-Pac with punches. X-Pac tried a chair shot, Jericho moved and Jericho went into the cage, but then X-Pac slammed the cage door on Jericho’s head. There was no referee in the ring with them, so you had to win by escaping the cage by going over the top or through the door. X-Pac worked over Jericho with a spin kick. X-Pac went up top, he was on the top rope and Jericho did a springboard dropkick to the lower leg. Jericho with punches along with a whip into the steel cage. Jericho with a corner whip followed by a bulldog. Jericho tried a cage climb, X-Pac went after him, Jericho kicked him down and Jericho hit a missile dropkick off the top. Jericho with a Lionsault, but X-Pac got the knees up to block. X-Pac tried to go out the door, Jericho held onto the right leg. X-Pac whipped Jericho into the two times. X-Pac charged at Jericho, who hit a back body drop into the cage. X-Pac hit a spinning heel kick and went for a cover…oops. No pins here, pal. X-Pac with a spin kick against the turnbuckle. X-Pac connected with the Bronco Buster attack against the turnbuckle. X-Pac went to climb out of the cage, but Jericho got back up after him and Jericho gave X-Pac a Powerbomb off the top turnbuckle. Great spot. Jericho whipped X-Pac into the cage two times followed by a clothesline. Jericho climbed up top, X-Pac got a hold of his legs and X-Pac pulled Jericho so that Jericho was crotched across the top rope. X-Pac tried to crawl out, Jericho held his legs and X-Pac got a hold of a steel chair. When they got back up, X-Pac hit Jericho in the head with the steel chair. Ouch. Jericho called out something at X-Pac for the next stop. X-Pac could have easily walked out the door, but instead, X-Pac tried to climb out of the cage. X-Pac got to the top and Jericho pulled the leg, so X-Pac was crotched on the top of the cage. They were on the corner of the cage with Jericho applying the Walls of Jericho on the cage, but then X-Pac hit a low blow and Jericho flipped over with a bump into the ring. Big bump there. X-Pac tried to get out by leaving the cage, but Jericho dropkicked the cage and X-Pac was crotched on the top of the door! Jericho crawled out to win the match at 10:40.

Winner: Chris Jericho

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good. They went hard for ten minutes and did some innovative spots along the way. That Powerbomb off the top turnbuckle was a great move that you don’t see in cage matches very often, but Jericho and X-Pac did it well. The fans weren’t into it the whole way, but they cared a lot by the end of the match. They did some big bumps too like Jericho taking that slam off the top of the cage into the ring. That was right before the finish with Jericho outsmarting X-Pac and leaving by going through the door to win the match. I liked it for the most part. More time would have been nice although I give them credit for working a faster style and making the most of the time given.

They showed the crowd at WWF New York with Steve Blackman there doing some of his martial arts workout with sticks. Thrilling the crowd, I’m sure.

Mick Foley was shown in his Commissioner’s “Office” in the backstage area. Rikishi asked Foley where Austin was. Foley said that Rikishi should get ready because Austin is always closer than you think.

A video was shown from Raw when Eddie Guerrero injured his hamstring in a match against Chris Jericho. Earlier in the night, Mick Foley put Val Venis and Steven Richards in a tag team match against Billy Gunn and Chyna.

Billy Gunn and Chyna were interviewed by Jonathon Coachman. Chyna said she’ll get intimate with Eddie with a low blow and Gunn said these two tweebs will be destroyed.

Steven Richards did a pre-match promo saying they would never hit a woman unless it was absolutely necessary. Richard said it is necessary that they thrash Chyna and her “rectally obsessed friend” Mr. Ass while saying it is for our own good.

Right to Censor (Steven Richards & Val Venis) vs. Billy Gunn & Chyna

Pre-match notes: RTC were the heels while Billy & Chyna were the faces.

Gunn hit Venis with a back elbow, clothesline, body slam and a knee drop. Venis came back with punches, then Gunn sent Venis out of the ring. Chyna whipped Venis into the steel steps. Gunn got a two count on Venis, then Venis sent Gunn throat first into the top rope. Gunn with a press slam on legal man Richards. Chyna tossed Richards across the ring along with Chyna tossing Richards across the ring by grabbing his tie. Chyna with a dropkick on Richards into Venis and then a punch knocked Richards down. Gunn missed a corner when Richards moved and then Venis hit an armbar takedown. Venis pulled on Gunn’s arm against the top rope. Richards got in some cheap shots on Gunn too. Richards was the legal man and he jumped off the top with a double axehandle to the arm. Gunn hit a DDT, so Chyna got the hot tag against Venis with a back elbow. Chyna with a handspring elbow on Venis, then a low blow on Richards (the referee wasn’t looking – Richards was illegal anyway) and Gunn hit a Fameasser on Richards. Goodfather and Buchanan went down to the ring, Gunn fought them on the floor, the referee Char Patton was on the floor with them for some reason and then Eddie Guerrero hit Chyna with some flowers (with a weapon inside them) to the back. Venis pinned Chyna to win at 7:10.

Winners by pinfall: Right to Censor (Steven Richards & Val Venis)

Analysis: *3/4 A decent match that was also a bit boring. Like a house show tag team match more than anything. The lack of story hurt. They went with the cheap finish to get heat on RTC while Chyna and Billy would try to get payback at another time.

Post match, Gunn opened up the bouquet of flowers to show that there was a lead pipe in the bouquet of flowers.

Triple H was shown in his dressing room with his wife Stephanie McMahon asking Hunter to be at ringside. Hunter didn’t want her to be there. Stephanie had a tape of Benoit applying the Crossface and she wanted Hunter to watch it. Stephanie said she had business to attend to, so Hunter told Stephanie that if anything happens to Stephanie at ringside then Hunter will take Kurt Angle out for good.

Rikishi was shown walking backstage with the sledgehammer.

A video package aired showing when Steve Austin was run over in the parking lot at Survivor Series 1999. I was at that show. Austin came back a few weeks before this saying he was going to figure out who was responsible for what happened. Austin beat up a lot of guys all around the building. Commissioner Mick Foley told Austin he wasn’t allowed to interfere in matches. Foley suspended Austin for his actions. Rikishi admitted that he ran over Steve Austin, he said he did it for The Rock and he would do it again. Austin went after Rikishi in a parking lot, but this time Austin saw the car and Rikishi drove away.

Analysis: The real reason for Austin getting run over by a car was so that he could have major neck surgery and he missed nearly a year. Rikishi was a popular face at the time when he turned heel by admitting he ran over Austin. The reason Rikishi gave, “I did it for The Rock” wasn’t the greatest, but it also led to a feud between those two men as well. It was WWE’s idea of elevating Rikishi into a role as one of the top heels in WWE.

Rikishi made his entrance for his match. Rikishi said that Stone Cold wasn’t going to show up and that Stone Cold is scared to face the man that ran his ass over. Rikishi wanted Mick Foley to bring his ass out there to declare Rikishi as the winner of the match. The fans chanted “Austin” for Stone Cold.

Commissioner Mick Foley got into the ring with Rikishi. Foley was about to speak, but then Steve Austin’s music hit and he entered the arena to a huge pop. Austin was shown driving into the arena in a huge truck and Austin drove the truck right against the ring. The bell rang.

No Holds Barred Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Rikishi

Pre-match notes: Austin was the face obviously and Rikishi was the heel.

The fans were going wilds as Austin beat on Rikishi with punches and kicks. Austin slammed the car door into Rikishi as well. Austin tossed Rikishi across the Spanish announce table. JR said he didn’t hear the bell ring to start the match, but it did ring. Austin choked Rikishi with a cable across the throat. They went brawling into the crowd, the fans were screaming for this and they went fighting up the stairs. Rikishi threw a drink in Austin’s face. Rikishi kicked Austin in the ribs a few times and Rikishi gave Austin a back body drop on the floor. Austin got a leather belt and whipped Rikishi several times in the upper body. Rikishi tossed Austin over the announce table, but Austin came back with a huge clothesline. Austin used a rope to choke Rikishi against the ropes. Austin tried to clear off an announce table, but Rikishi punched him and tossed Austin over the Spanish table. Rikishi with a superkick while they were on the floor. Rikishi went for a chair shot, Austin moved and Rikishi hit the ring post. Austin hit Rikishi with two hard chair shots to the head. Rikishi went down, he came up bleeding and Austin hit Rikishi in the head with another chair shot. Austin put JR’s hat on and hit Rikishi with three more chair shots. Austin went for a sledgehammer attack, Rikishi moved twice and Austin hit the truck both times. Austin slammed the back part of the truck onto Rikishi’s back. When Rikishi was back up, Austin hit him in the head with a chair again. Rikishi was in the back part of the truck with Austin going into the driver’s seat. Austin backed out of the arena and drove into the parking lot area. Austin beat up a bloody Rikishi with punches and forearms to the back. Rikishi was seated up against this rock structure that was on the grass near the parking lot. Austin backed up the truck, then he accelerated and a police car got in the way before Austin could hit Rikishi. Austin’s truck hit the police car twice. There were several police cars that showed up. The cops got Austin out of the car and they arrested Austin.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: **1/2 I don’t think the star rating matters that much here because it was more about furthering the story instead of the match quality. A wild brawl that was very intense and full of action. The lack of a finish was done to keep the story going, which made sense. The fans were into it so much although I’m sure they might have been frustrated by the lack of the finish in the building. The majority of the match was Austin in control, Rikishi taking a beating, doing the blade job and a lot of chair shots. I think Austin must have hit Rikishi in the head with seven or eight chair shots. That was common in this era, but I’m certainly glad that is something they have gotten rid of in WWE.

Austin was placed into the back of the police car and was taken away by the cops. JR and Lawler talked about how Austin took it too far. They showed replays of what happened.

There was a live shot of a bloody Rikishi on the grass. They also showed a police offer getting taken out on a stretcher.

Analysis: Did Steve Austin serve jail time for driving a truck into a police car repeatedly? Of course. WWE law is not regular law, pal.

William Regal did a pre-match promo saying he found out he was told he was facing Naked Mideon. Regal demanded to Commissioner Mick Foley that Mideon wrestles in regular attire. Regal said he wouldn’t let Mideon besmirch his title reign.

European Championship: William Regal vs. Naked Mideon

Pre-match notes: Regal was the heel European Champion while Naked Mideon was a face I guess even though I don’t think fans really liked seeing a guy with “Naked” as his first name.

Mideon was dressed in a tank top and pants although the graphic did say “Naked Mideon.” Mideon was wearing an “American Badass” shirt since he’s good friends with The Undertaker. Mideon did a hiptoss while teasing to take off his clothes. Regal with a drop toe hold takedown, Mideon with a back elbow, a body slam and an unimpressive dropkick. Regal got a boot up to stop a charging Mideon and Regal sent Mideon into the ring post. Regal sent Mideon into the edge of the ring apron. Regal with a back body drop over the top to the floor. Mideon took his shirt off and hit a corner clothesline. Mideon with a headbutt, Regal with a double arm suplex and that got a two count. The crowd was dead. They left the ring with Regal punching Mideon, who was by the apron. Mideon put on his fanny pack and removed the pants he had. The WWE Network version has Mideon’s bottom half digitized, which was not on the live broadcast, but I’m not going to complain about it. Mideon even kissed Regal. The crowd woke up as Mideon punched Regal, then a back elbow and a back body drop. Mideon slowly climbed up top, Regal hit the ropes to knock him down and Regal was grossed out by what he saw. Regal didn’t want to do his STF finisher, so Regal hooked the arms into a neckbreaker for the pinfall win at 6:02.

Winner by pinfall: William Regal

Analysis: 1/2* This sucked. Six minutes felt like way longer. I felt bad for Regal being a part of this and the Naked Mideon gimmick was lame. The crowd reacted to Mideon’s teases of taking off his clothes, but they didn’t seem to care about much else. I get wanting to do a less important match (a “letdown match” I guess they call it in wrestling) after the intense Austin match, but this was bad.

They showed a video of Kurt Angle interviewing The Rock where they used different Rock clips while Angle asked questions and reacted to Rock “answers” to his questions. It was a parody thing. They aired it on Heat and aired it here as well. I think it was funny, but I don’t know if they needed to air the whole thing again here.

Towards the end of the interview, The Rock was shown watching it and Rock turned the TV off.

Los Conquistadores were interviewed by Kevin Kelly. The taller one said “Si Senor” to answer questions with Dos saying “Dos.” When Kelly asked about their true identity, they just said something and left.

The Hardy Boyz entered as the WWE Tag Team Champions that got a great ovation from the crowd. Los Conquistadores entered with their fast walking to the ring. They greeted the Spanish announce team at ringside.

WWE Tag Team Championships: The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Los Conquistadores (Uno & Dos)

Pre-match notes: The Hardys were the babyface Tag Team Champions. Los Conquistadors were heels, I guess. The deal was that it was Edge & Christian in the masks, but they under masks to earn a title shot. Uno was the taller guy while Dos was the shorter Christian.

Matt faced off with Dos, who avoided him a lot and when Uno tagged in, Jeff hit him with a clothesline. Jeff with a headscissors takedown and a dropkick on Uno for a two count. Dos tagged in, he bumped into Uno and Jeff clotheslined Uno to the floor. Jeff jumped over Dos doing a bad dance move leading to Jeff hitting back kick. Matt back in for a double team elbow for two. Matt worked over Dos with punches for a two count. Jeff Hardy tagged in for some Poetry in Motion on Dox and then Uno was sent into Dos with a drop toe hold. Los Conquistadors came back with a double dropkick. The Los boys left the ring with the Hardys whipping both Los boys into eachother. Dos got a hold of Jeff and shoved him ribs first into the ring post. Uno worked over Jeff with punches. Dos back in, Jeff fought back against both guys and hit a lateral press for two. Dos did bad dance moves while Uno got in a cheap shot on Jeff. Dos with a powerslam for two. Uno grabbed a chinlock, then a body slam and Uno missed an awkward-looking splash off the top because Jeff moved. Matt tagged in with a leaping clothesline and a DDT. Double team Hardy slam on Dos for two. Jeff ran the rails leading to a clothesline on Uno. Dos jumped off the middle rope with a cross body to the floor (a regular Christian spot), but Jeff didn’t catch him and Dos hit the floor hard. The three guys got up, so Matt jumped onto the three of them on the floor. Matt rolled Dos into the ring and you could tell the right arm of Dos was hurting. Dose hit a reverse DDT (another Christian move) and Jeff broke it up with a Swanton Bomb. Uno tossed Jeff out of the ring. Matt with a Twist of Fate on Uno. Matt took the mask off Uno, but then there was another mask on underneath. Dos hit the Unprettier on Matt for the pinfall win at 10:58.

Winners by pinfall: Los Conquistadores (Uno & Dos)

Analysis: *3/4 This was not a classic Hardys/Edge & Christian match by any means. Since E&C weren’t doing their regular spots, it was more of a comedy match. There were several minutes where the fans were dead quiet for the match until the Hardys did their comebacks. The finish was creative with the double mask trick on Uno leading to Dos hitting the Unprettier, which is Christian’s finisher. Christian also hurt his shoulder and had a stringer from that move where he dove to the floor.

There was a shot of Steve Austin’s truck getting towed away while the destroyed police car was shown as well.

Triple H was shown in his dressing room looking at a tape of Chris Benoit applying a German Suplex and a Crossface. Hunter nodded his head at it as if he saw something he can use.

They showed a highlight from Raw last month when Chris Benoit headbutted Stephanie McMahon. The next week on Raw, Benoit asked Stephanie: “How’s your head?” Benoit also cost Triple H in his match against Kurt Angle to earn a WWE Title shot. That led to more brawling in the weeks that followed.

Chris Benoit entered as the heel in the match. Triple H got a bit of a mixed reaction for his long entrance.

Triple H vs. Chris Benoit

Pre-match notes: Triple H was a heel most of the time in 2000, but at this point, he was getting cheered a bit. The storyline with Kurt Angle/Stephanie and Benoit costing him the title match made Hunter look like more of a face here. This was a highly anticipated match since they were two of the best in-ring performers in WWE at the time.

There were “Triple H” chants from the crowd. Hunter worked over Benoit with punches along with kicks to the left leg. Benoit went for a kick to the head, but Hunter avoided it and Hunter rammed Benoit’s left leg into the mat two times. Hunter rammed Benoit’s left knee into the ring post along with the edge of the ring apron. Hunter kept on working on the left knee with a chop block along with an elbow drop onto the left knee. Hunter delivered a knee drop to the left knee as well. Hunter continued to work over Benoit’s leg by stretching it along with a kneebreaker. The fans cheered Triple H again. Hunter with a drop toe hold and then he dropped back to the mat while trapping the left leg. Hunter did that twice. Hunter bridged back while stretching the left knee again. Benoit finally got some offense with belly to back suplex over the top to the floor. Benoit with a catapult that sent Hunter face first into the ring post. Benoit whipped Hunter face/shoulder first into the steel steps. Benoit worked over Hunter with repeated chops, then punches and Benoit hit an armbar takedown. Benoit sent Hunter shoulder first into the turnbuckle followed by a belly to back suplex as Benoit worked on the left arm. Benoit with a Northern Lights Suplex while hooking the left arm and that got a two count. Benoit delivered a running clothesline. They left the ring again with Hunter sending Benoit into the steel steps. Benoit dropped Hunter onto the announce table.

They went back into the ring with Benoit hitting a snap suplex. Benoit applied an armbar to the left arm. Benoit with an armdrag takedown followed by Benoit applied a cross armbreaker on the mat. Benoit with a belly to back suplex with Hunter’s left arm hitting the mat. Benoit up top and he jumped off with a headbutt that hit mostly the left arm. Hunter got an inside cradle for two. Benoit was back up for a suplex attempt, but then Hunter hit a reverse suplex so that Benoit landed on his face/stomach hitting the mat. Hunter got some momentum going with the usual knee based offense including a jumping knee and a neckbreaker. Hunter set up Benoit for a superplex, Hunter went all the way to the top and Hunter delivered the superplex. Benoit with a back body drop to counter a Pedigree attempt. Benoit with two German Suplexes, Hunter fought out of a third attempt and Benoit hit a Dragon Suplex for two as Hunter got his foot on the middle rope. Benoit with another Dragon Suplex for two. Benoit with the Crippler Crossface submission, Hunter managed to get out of it and Benoit re-applied the Crippler Crossface. Hunter managed to get up to a vertical base and hit a fireman’s carry type of move to counter it. Stephanie McMahon went down to ringside where she slapped Benoit in the face. Hunter went for a Pedigree, Benoit counter, Hunter blocked a Crossface attempt, Hunter went for Pedigree again, Benoit got out of that and Benoit went for a Crossface, but Hunter hit him with a low blow while the referee was looking at Stephanie. Hunter hit a Pedigree for the pinfall win at 18:44.

Winner by pinfall: Triple H

Analysis: ***3/4 A very good technical wrestling match with Triple H picking up a victory in a grueling matchup. They each picked a body part with Hunter working on the left knee early on so then Benoit worked on the left arm. It wasn’t the most exciting match or anything like that, but if you liked technical wrestler then they did a great job of telling a story about how smart both guys were at working over body parts. I think Benoit could have sold the knee more in the second half of the match and that’s not normally something he forgot to do, but I think he could have sold it more. The story was that Stephanie’s distraction helped Triple H win (because he hit the low blow at that moment), so Stephanie was proven right that she should be out there. Benoit cost Triple H some big matches, so it was Hunter’s chance to get revenge and since Hunter was a top guy at the time, it made sense for Hunter to get the win.

Stephanie left with a big smile on her face since she was proven right for being a big asset towards Triple H during his matches. Hunter left while selling a left shoulder injury.

Los Conquistadors were in the locker room with the Tag Team Titles. Edge & Christian walked up to them saying they got champagne and Corona beers. Edge & Christian congratulated them and said that their first title match is against them on Raw.

The video package aired for the WWE Championship match with champion The Rock against Kurt Angle. There was a number one contender match with Angle beating Triple H thanks to some help. Triple H said his wife Stephanie was a liability at ringside. Angle thanked Stephanie for helping him and asked her to be his permanent manager, so Stephanie agreed to it. Rock was dealing with a lot of things at the time since he learned Rikishi ran over Kurt Angle and Rikishi is a relative of Rock. Angle pushed the idea that Rock had something to do with the attack on Austin.

Kurt Angle made his entrance with his business associate Stephanie McMahon. During Angle’s entrance, it was announced as a No Disqualification Match while the announcers were shocked by that. Big ovation for The Rock as the WWE Champion as usual. Rock was intense for this title defense.

WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (w/Stephanie McMahon)

Pre-match notes: The Rock was the babyface WWE Champion while Angle was the heel challenger. They should have said no countout as well, but it was just announced as No Disqualification.

Stephanie got on the apron as the match began, Rock walked towards her, so Angle took over with punches and kicks. Angle punched Rock out of the ring. They left the ring with Angle tossing Rock into the announce tables. The referee Earl Hebner left the ring with them, so I guess there wasn’t going to be a countout either. Angle hit Rock in the back with a steel chair. Angle set up Rock against the middle rope, so Stephanie told Rock that he sucked. Rock came back with a clothesline, punches and a Samoan Drop for two. Triple H was shown watching in the locker room with some ice on his shoulder. Angle left the ring, so Rock hit him with a clothesline. They went brawling around the tech area with Rock throwing Angle into some objects. Rock threw Angle into a part of the No Mercy set by the entrance and did it again. Rock sent Angle into the barricade. Angle came back with a whip that sent Rock into some lighting equipment by the entrance. Rock put a cardboard cutout of himself in front of Angle and Rock punched Angle. Back in the ring, Angle was in control with his boot against Rock’s throat and then Stephanie choked Rock against the middle rope while Angle distracted the referee. Angle with a corner whip, Rock moved and Angle hit the turnbuckle. Rock pulled Angle by the legs and sent him groin first into the ring post. Rock hit Angle in the left knee/lower leg with a steel chair two times. Rock got back in the ring, he caught Angle’s foot and applied a Sharpshooter submission. Angle was tapping out, but Stephanie was on the apron distracting referee Earl Hebner, so the referee never saw the tapout that would have given Rock a win. Stephanie ran around the ring, Rock chased her, Stephanie back in and Angle caught Rock with a belly to belly suplex. Good sequence there.

Angle did a good job of selling the left leg injury as he limed around while hitting Rock with punches. Rock blocked punches, Rock off the ropes and Angle came back with a forearm for two. Angle grounded Rock with a headlock on the mat. That lasted for over a minute, then Rock was back up, Angle charged and Rock tossed Angle over the top to the floor. Great bump by Kurt. Angle recovered from that to send Rock throat first across the security wall. Rock came back with a whip into the steel steps. Rock sent Angle into the announce tables and Rock spit some water on Angle. Kurt came back with a whip that sent Rock into the ring post. Back in the ring, Stephanie gave Rock the WWE Title, Rock avoided a title shot at first while Stephanie distracted the referee and then Angle hit Rock with the WWE Title for one…two…and no. Just a two count. Angle went up top, which was not a usual place for him, so Rock tripped him up and Angle went crashing into the top turnbuckle. Rock hit a superplex off the middle rope for a two count. Both guys struggled to get back up leading to Angle hitting a German Suplex. Angle up top, he went for a moonsault, Rock moved and Angle hit the mat hard. Both guys were down again while Stephanie encouraged Angle to get back up. Rock worked over Angle with punches, then Rock hit a jumping floatover DDT for two. Angle with an eye rake, Rock came back with a belly to belly suplex and a spinebuster. Rock wanted the People’s Elbow, Stephanie got in the ring with Rock and Rock hit Stephanie with a huge Rock Bottom in the middle of the ring. Rock bounced off the ropes for the People’s Elbow, but Angle saved Stephanie and hit Rock with a clothesline. Triple H went out to the ring to go after Angle with punches and he tossed Angle out of the ring because Angle let Stephanie get hurt. Hunter hit Rock with a kick to the gut and a Pedigree for hitting a Rock Bottom on Stephanie. Some fans were chanting “Triple H” as Hunter carried his wife Stephanie to the back. Angle took advantage of the Pedigree to crawl back into the ring and covered for one…two…and no! Just a two count. Great nearfall there. Angle with punches, Rock came back with a kick to the gut and a DDT for two. Angle tried to leave the ring, Rock brought him back in, Angle back out again and Rock sent him into the announce tables. Rikishi walked out with heavy white tape around his head and blood on his face. Angle punched Rikishi, then Rikishi punched Angle back and Rikishi sent Angle into the ring. Rock beat on Angle with punches, but then Angle hit a low blow punch to the groin. Angle charged and Rock was ready for him with a Rock Bottom, but Rock was slow to cover until he crawled over for a two count with Angle shooting his left shoulder up at the last moment. Rikishi went into the ring, he accidentally splashed the Rock (who was in front of Angle) and then Rikishi hit Rock with a superkick after Angle ducked. Angle avoided a Rikishi kick and Angle hit an Olympic Slam. Angle hit an Olympic Slam on Rock for the one…two…and three! New WWE Champion! It went 21:45.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Kurt Angle

Analysis: **** This was a very good match as usual between these guys. I think they should have announced it as a Street Fight instead of just No Disqualification because there was no explanation for the lack of countouts. Either that or say it’s “No Countouts” as well. All of the interference from Stephanie, Triple H and Rikishi kept me from rating it higher, but it was an entertaining match. They did a tremendous job of making us care about the nearfalls because there were moments where it looked like Rock would win and then Angle might win before ultimately Angle got the win. There was also the spot early in the match where Rock had Angle tapping out, which is a way to show that Rock had the match won, but the referee didn’t see it. Those kinds of finishes might piss some people off, but it sure works in terms of building excitement. As for Rikishi’s actions, the idea was that he was trying to help Rock even though Rock didn’t want the help and in reality, Rikishi was going after Rock on purpose.

Angle was handed the WWE Title and he went down to his knees with tears of joy on his face. JR: “He’s crying for God’s sake!” Angle celebrated with the WWE Title while Rock had some blood on his forehead. Rock stared down at Rikishi in the ring as more replays were shown of what transpired at the conclusion of the match. They replayed Angle crying wit the title. The show signed off there.

Analysis: Kurt Angle made his televised in-ring debut at Survivor Series in November 1999. This match was 11 months later and he was the WWE Champion. It was one of the fastest rises in WWE history in terms of how quickly he won the WWE Title after his debut. That would be beaten by Brock Lesnar two years later (The Rock put him over too), but it’s still impressive thinking about this. My favorite Angle/Rock PPV match was a few months after this at No Way Out 2001 although both of them are awesome.

This event had a runtime of 2:44:06 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 7

There were plenty of things to like on here especially when considering the last two matches, but there were some bad segments/matches too. I thought the Angle win over Rock was a tremendous match worthy of a WWE Title switch. I think the interference did get to a be a lot by the end of it although if you listen to the crowd, they were so into it. The Triple H/Benoit match was very good although there’s another match with a cheap finish. That was a common theme in this era.

The angle with Austin/Rikishi was a huge selling point of the show, so the fans got what they paid for in terms of watching Austin kick Rikhishi’s ass all over the building. Rikishi was a bloody mess by the time Austin was done with him although Austin was taken to “jail” for his actions. It meant that the story was continuing.

Some of the rest of the show was slow-paced, boring and had a bit of a dead crowd. I can’t rate it as high as the best WWE PPVs of the great year 2000, but it was still a very good show from top to bottom.

 

FIVE STARS

  1. Kurt Angle
  2. The Rock
  3. Triple H
  4. Steve Austin
  5. Chris Jericho

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Kurt Angle vs. The Rock (**** out of 5)

Worst Match: William Regal vs. Naked Mideon (1/2*)

Most Memorable Moment: Kurt Angle winning the WWE Title from The Rock. It wasn’t a clean win by any means, but Angle winning the WWE Title in less than a full year from his WWE debut is pretty impressive.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

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My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

 

 

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