The previous edition of Raw was a big one with the Radicalz foursome of Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn making their WWF debuts. How does the WWF follow up on that? Let’s find out.
WWF Smackdown #24
February 3, 2000 (Taped February 1)
From Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan
This show earned a TV-PG and “V” for Violence. No “S” for Sexual Content this week.
The opening video package showed what happened on the previous Raw, which I covered in depth here in case you missed it. Raw ended with Cactus Jack getting helped by his new allies Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko and Saturn leading to an angry Triple H.
The Smackdown opening video aired and then the pyro went off in the arena in front of a packed house in Detroit. The announcers are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
Let’s Hear From Cactus Jack And Friends
Cactus Jack made his entrance wearing a WWF New York jersey. He was joined by Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko and Saturn. The fans gave them a big ovation.
Jack mentioned the four guys by name with Benoit last because he was considered the biggest name of the four. Jack said that they are not members of the WWF, but they are his guests and he said they are going to attempt to change all of that tonight. Jack said that they had Triple H flat on his back in the middle of the ring and they chose to leave because these four great athletes are after contracts. Jack said that to understand their mindsets, you have to understand how things were in Atlanta where they used to work. He said over there you sit back to collect a big paycheck, but that’s not enough for them because wrestling is more than a paycheck for them. Jack said that they want to take on the best, so the only place to do that is the WWF. The fans cheered. Jack mentioned their desire to perform in front of the WWF fans. Jack joked that no matter how good they were, they were not quite old enough for WCW. Good line. Jack said that these four men had the testicular fortitude to take on the very best by going after Triple H. Jack called out Hunter for a contract signing. Jack said that if they don’t come out, then they will sit in the ring for two hours. Eddie sat up on the top turnbuckle.
Triple H, the WWF Champion, and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley appeared on the stage along with their Degeneration X buddies Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac with Tori. Triple H still has a bandaged forehead.
Hunter said that if he felt like it, he would beat their asses and throw them in the back by himself. Hunter said he could send out 20 armed security guards to eject them from the building except for Jack because the other four guys are trespassing right now with no contracts. The fans chanted “Asshole” at Hunter, so he paused to let them quiet down. Hunter said that DX thrives on competition and they gravitate towards it while adding that it’s what they are about.
Stephanie said that the four of them may have been hot shots where they came from, but in the WWF they have to prove who they are and earn your stripes. Stephanie said that based on their actions on Raw, they aren’t worthy to compete in the WWF. Stephanie said they aren’t good, but they are just average. The fans didn’t agree.
Hunter took over saying that in the name of fairness and he told the fans to shut up during the “Asshole” chants. Hunter said that they will get their chance in a tryout, which he called a one-day permit.
The matches are: Dean Malenko against X-Pac, Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero will face the New Age Outlaws duo of Billy Gunn and Road Dogg. Hunter said that the last time he saw Benoit, he was standing in the “small pond” holding a shiny belt as the standard bearer, so that set up the main event: Chris Benoit to face Triple H in a non-title match. Hunter said that the four wrestlers will only get new contracts if they can win two matches out of those three matches.
Cactus Jack said there was one last night because he wants to make sure there’s no outside interference, he’s going to watch backstage with a 2×4 with razor sharp barbed wire around the wood. Jack’s music played to end it.
Analysis: That was a fun and informative opening promo that set up some big matches for later in the show. The fans wanted to see what was next with the four former WCW wrestlers, so it was the right decision to start the show with them. I think most fans realized that they already had contracts and that’s why they were on the show, but at least the storyline explanation made sense.
Later on Smackdown: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Tazz and Big Show vs. Rikishi Phatu.
The women’s locker room was shown with Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson trying to calm the women down because they were mad that Hervina was the Women’s Champion. They pulled straws with Jacqueline earning the title shot. Jacqueline even hit Luna with a steel chair during the argument, which seemed a bit much.
A commercial aired for The Rock’s new book. It was mostly in character, so it wasn’t that great, but it was a major financial success for the WWF Since he was so popular.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were shown on a date with Young wanting to beat Harvey and Henry telling her to calm down since she’s pregnant with their child. Henry went to get some baby material that he bought.
Chyna made her entrance. Chris Jericho, the Intercontinental Champion, did a pre-match promo telling us that Detroit is Jericho. He went into the ring and thanked Chyna for watching his back. Jericho called her a “bad mama jama” and they gave eachother a high-five. Gangrel was up as the opponent with his wife Luna.
Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) vs. Gangrel (w/Luna)
Pre-match notes: Jericho was the face Intercontinental Champion while Gangrel was a heel. Luna was grabbing her head to sell the chair attack that Jackie had against her backstage.
Jericho was in control early with a spinning heel kick. Jericho charged, Gangrel moved and Jericho bumped into the turnbuckle leading to a bump to the floor. Back in the ring, Gangrel with a body slam followed by an elbow drop. Jericho avoided a charge and sent Gangrel over the top to the floor. Jericho with a bulldog. Gangrel with a Russian legsweep for a two count. Jericho went for a Walls of Jericho, Luna went up top, Chyna tripped her up and Gangrel tapped out even though Jericho barely had the hold in. Jericho couldn’t lock it in properly, but the referee Teddy Long called for the bell anyway. It went 2:41.
Winner by submission: Chris Jericho
Analysis: * It was a decent match with a sloppy finish since Jericho couldn’t lock in the Walls of Jericho submission properly. That’s the kind of thing they should have taped again because it looked awkward to see Gangrel tap out so easily when he was barely in the hold.
A clip aired from Steve Austin’s Halftime Heat interview conducted by Jim Ross. Austin was in a big neckbrace after neck surgery. Austin thought it would be 3-4 months until he returned to the ring. It was around nine months.
Dean Malenko was in the locker room with his buddies including Cactus Jack with the barbed wire wood in his hands. X-Pac and Tori were shown walking backstage for the match.
There was a plug for a Newsweek article about the WWF’s success. Remember when magazines were considered a big deal? It was a different time, my friends.
X-Pac (w/Tori) vs. Dean Malenko
Pre-match notes: X-Pac was the heel and Malenko was the face. This was their first match in the WWF. They worked together in WCW.
Malenko was in control early with a jumping heel kick. X-Pac hit a boot to the face, but Malenko came back with a powerslam. Spinning heel kick by X-Pac took down Malenko. X-Pac sent Malenko into the ropes leading to a face first slam into the match. Malenko got back into it with a leg whip takedown. X-Pac kicked Malenko down leading to a Bronco Buster attempt, but Malenko moved and X-Pac hit the turnbuckle. Malenko with a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Malenko countered an X-Factor attempt into a Texas Cloverleaf submission leading to X-Pac getting to the ropes. Tori on the apron, the ref was distracted, X-Pac with a low blow punch to the groin and X-Pac hit the X-Factor facebuster for the pinfall win at 4:07.
Winner by pinfall: X-Pac
Analysis: ** It was good for a fast-paced match that got under five minutes. The finish was the most textbook and predictable thing you would expect in a match like that. It’s not really creative at all, but it gave X-Pac a cheap win and that’s all it needed to be.
Mark Henry and Mae Young did another segment that made me want to hit fast forward, so I did.
There was a shot of the Degeneration X locker room with X-Pac saying his win was easy. He sounded exhausted. Big Show showed up saying that he has slow motion proof that The Rock’s feet hit first at the Royal Rumble. The video showed that Rock’s feet touched first. Show said he worked hard to get that. Triple H called him “Freddie Mercury” due to the bad haircut and mustache while telling Show that he gets to face The Rock at No Way Out.
Analysis: Show was telling the truth after all.
Women’s Title: Harvey Wippleman vs. Jacqueline
Harvey did a promo saying that he was the WWF Ladies Champion. He said the reason he’s the Women’s Champion is that there’s not a woman in the WWF or the world that can beat him because he’s a man. He called her ugly. The bell rang.
Jacqueline tackled Wippleman, she punched, Jackie with a body slam and an elbow drop led to the pin after about 17 seconds.
Winner and New WWF Women’s Champion: Jacqueline
Post match, Jacqueline took off Harvey’s pants and he ran away in his underwear. The fans cheered Jacqueline.
Analysis: -* Match of the year! Not really. I don’t understand why they even had Wippleman win as “Hervina” in the first place. It was stupid. They should have just had Jacqueline beat The Kat. Oh well. At least that awful Harvey reign ended after one show.
At least we will always have this image:
The Rock was interviewed backstage by Kevin Kelly, who mentioned Rock has to face Big Show at No Way Out. Rock did his “finally” bit to start the promo. Rock told Kelly not to concern himself with The Rock’s business. Rock told him to get a glass and fill it up with Shut Up Juice. Rock said that at No Way Out, Big Show gets another shot at The Rock, but Show does not have the recognized symbol of greatness – the Brahma Bull logo that means that Rock is the People’s Champion. The fans chanted “Rocky” so he paused. Rock said he’ll layeth the smackdown on Big Show’s candy ass. Rock spoke about the match against Angle and Tazz saying it didn’t matter what kind of match they had. Rock said that after tonight and after No Way Out, he’s going to WrestleMania to become the best damn WWF Champion there ever was if you smell what The Rock is cooking.
Analysis: It was a typical awesome promo from The Rock. It was also another attempt to get that “Shut Up Juice” phrase over, but it was one of the few catchphrases that didn’t get over.
A WWF commercial aired with beauty pageant contestants doing wrestling moves against eachother.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were in a restaurant with Henry saying a doctor gave her some cream to prevent stretch marks. Henry said he had gallons of it in the car.
It was time for the triple threat match at the top of the second hour. Kurt Angle was out first to boos. Angle did a promo about how he suffered his first loss to The Rock and he said a city like Detroit can relate losing, so that led to an “asshole” chant. Angle said he’d overcome adversity to be our champion again. Good ovation for Tazz for his entrance.
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Tazz
Pre-match notes: The Rock was a face, Tazz was a face and Angle was a heel.
Angle and Tazz got into a brawl before Rock even made his entrance and the bell rang. Rock entered the ring with clotheslines for both guys. Angle came back with a belly to belly suplex on Rock. Tazz hit Angle with an overhead suplex. Rock clothesline on Tazz and he dumped Angle over the top to the floor. Angle and Tazz started brawling into the crowd, so Rock joined them and whipped Angle into Tazz for a headbutt. Rock rolled Tazz back in the ring, Tazz whipped Rock into Angle and Tazz hit a Northern Lights Suplex on Rock for two. Angle back in with a forearm to Rock’s back and a clothesline. Tazz slapped on the Tazzmission, Rock broke that up and Tazz with a clothesline on Rock. Rock got back into it with punches for Angle and a DDT on Tazz. Rock with a Spinebuster on Angle and a Rock Bottom on Tazz. Rock with a Rock Bottom on Angle. Rock went to cover, but Big Show pulled Rock out of the ring and there’s no DQ in a triple threat. Angle had his left arm barely on Tazz, so the ref counted the pin to give Angle the win at 5:06.
Winner by pinfall: Kurt Angle
Analysis: **1/2 That was an exciting match for the five minutes they were given. The frustrating thing about some of the matches from this era is that I wish they got more time to have a more complete match. The finish was tainted due to Big Show attacking Rock, which protects Rock from losing the match.
Post match, Big Show whipped Rock into the steel steps. Show hit a Chokeslam on Rock on the floor that was very gentle. By that I mean, he barely put Rock down to the mat. Rock was down selling while the fans were booing as Big Show left.
Analysis: It adds some heat to their story going into their No Way Out match.
Replays aired of Big Show costing Rock that match followed by Show’s cheap attack.
Eddie Guerrero and Perry Saturn were in their locker room with their buddies encouraging them to win.
The New Age Outlaws are the WWF Tag Team Champions and they did their usual opening promo with Road Dogg doing the honors. Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero entered as the opponents.
New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) vs. Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero
Pre-match notes: The Outlaws were the heel Tag Team Champions. Saturn and Guerrero were faces. Eddie looks way smaller here compared to four years later when he won the WWE Title at No Way Out 2004. Drugs are bad sometimes.
Gunn launched Guerrero into the turnbuckle followed by a gorilla slam on Saturn. Road Dogg did some taunting to Guerrero, so Saturn hit him with a clothesline leading to Guerrero stomping away and Saturn tagged in with an overhead suplex. Lawler kept trashing Saturn for his awkward look. Dogg with a cross body block off the middle ropes that Saturn turned into a Rings of Saturn submission that Gunn quickly broke up. Guerrero tagged in against Gunn as Gunn elbowed Saturn out of the ring and Gunn hit a Jackhammer slam on Guerrero followed by a Fameasser. Saturn broke up the pin attempt. Saturn hit a belly to back suplex on Gunn. Saturn punched Dogg off the apron. Guerrero jumped off with a Frog Splash and as he landed, he immediately grabbed his left arm because he knew he broke it. Dogg pulled the referee out of the ring while he was counting the pin. Guerrero kept holding his left arm. Everything sort of unraveled from there. Saturn sent Gunn out of the ring with a clothesline. Road Dogg went into the ring and pinned Guerrero even though Gunn was clearly the legal man. The ref counted the pin while Guerrero was holding onto his injured arm and that was the end of the match at 4:28.
Winners by pinfall: New Age Outlaws
Analysis: *1/4 It was a decent tag team match that fell apart at the end with no explanation as to why Dogg was able to make the pin in the match even though Gunn was the legal. The big story became the elbow injury of Guerrero. It is also believed that Guerrero and Saturn were supposed to win this match, but Guerrero’s injury changed that plan on the fly.
Post match, the camera was on Guerrero’s elbow looking nasty.
Analysis: Eddie only missed about one month of action due to the injury because I checked his match listings and he was back in the ring regularly by March. He probably should have missed more time, but he felt there was a sense of urgency to return.
This was the same day where the XFL was announced, so fans were encouraged to go to WWF.com for more info.
The show returned with replays of the Guerrero left elbow injury.
The Degeneration X group were the office. Triple H said he’s feeling good, so he’s going to give Benoit the match he wanted anyway.
Steve Blackman and Al Snow were backstage with Snow telling him to pay off on the bet they made. Blackman wore the cheese hat on his head with Snow celebrating about it.
Hardcore and Crash Holly vs. Al Snow and Steve Blackman
Pre-match notes: Hardcore and Crash were heels. Snow and Blackman were heels, but they were turning into faces. Blackman wore the Head Cheese on his head.
Snow worked over Crash with stomps. You could tell that the WWF was piping in the fake crowd noise for Snow and Blackman. There was a “Head Cheese” chant that felt legit. Blackman worked over Crash with kicks and a backbreaker. The fans chanted “Head Cheese” again while Blackman was angry about it. Crash with a headscissors that sent Snow into the turnbuckle. Hardcore with a dropkick on Blackman and a Powerbomb on Snow for two as Blackman broke up the pin. Hardcore went up top, Snow tripped him up and Snow connected with a superplex for two. Crash went into the ring, so Blackman tossed him out. Snow wanted a slam, but Crash jumped off the top with a cross body block leading to Snow pinning Hardcore to win.
Winners by pinfall: Al Snow and Steve Blackman
Analysis: * Boring tag team match to put over Snow and Blackman with a fluke win. That’s what their gimmick was because they were booked to win matches in a lucky way.
Post match, Hardcore beat up Crash for costing the team to win.
Rikishi was shown warming up backstage because he’s up next.
Back to the restaurant, Mark Henry got Mae Young a battery powered breast pump. Young thanked him for it. I almost puked.
Rikishi Phatu vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Rikishi was the face and Show was the heel. Too Cool danced with Rikishi, but he told them to go to the back because he wants to face Big Show alone.
Rikishi connected with a Samoan Drop early on. That was impressive. Rikishi hit a running back splash against the corner followed by a belly to belly by Rikishi. Leg drop by Rikishi connected for a two count. Show blocked a kick and connected with a Chokeslam. Show sold a back injury as a Rikishi got his left shoulder up to kick out. Show brought a steel chair into the ring, Rikishi kicked the chair into Show’s face and Show with a chair to the head led to the DQ at 1:58.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi
Analysis: 1/2* It was a quick match to put over the aggression of Show by having him use a chair as a weapon even though it cost him the match. I was impressed by some of the power moves that each guy did. You could say Rikishi should have been DQ’d first since he kicked the chair in Show’s face, but the match ended when Show used the chair.
Post match, Scotty and Sexay went into the ring where Show delivered huge Chokeslams to both guys. The Rock ran out for the save. Rock grabbed the chair and hit Show in the head with it. Rock hit a Rock Bottom for Show. The fans loved it. They cheered loudly for it.
Analysis: That was all about Rock getting payback for Show’s attack earlier in the night. Good build for their No Way Out match.
The replays aired of Rock attacking Big Show.
Triple H was in the DX office saying he was ready for his match.
The announce team talked about Eddie Guerrero’s injury while noting he was in the hospital with a dislocated elbow.
A video package aired about all the carnage the Dudley Boyz have caused in the last month including huge table spots to Terri, Edge, Christian and The Hardy Boyz. This was really working in terms of getting the Dudleys over as huge heels.
Mark and Mae had a moment in the restaurant where Mae farted. Brutal.
Triple H and Stephanie were shown walking backstage for the main event match up next.
It was time for the main event as the WWF Champion Triple H entered along with wifey Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley by his side with Lawler saying he didn’t think Hunter was doing a wise thing by having this match.
Chris Benoit was up next as the last man in his four man team to have a match on this show.
Analysis: At the time, I can remember reading spoilers the day after this show and being so excited about this match because it was surreal to us that Benoit was in the WWF. Sadly, those excited feelings about Benoit matches don’t exist anymore due to the double murder suicide he committed in 2007.
Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Chris Benoit
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel WWF Champion while Benoit was the face. This was a non-title match.
Benoit was in control early with a punch followed by a Crippler Crossface attempt, but Triple H bailed to the floor. Back in the ring, Benoit with a forearm to the face followed by a snap suplex. Triple H to the floor again, so Benoit hit a baseball slide dropkick into the barricade. Hunter tripped up Benoit with a drop toe hold into the steel steps with Benoit selling it like he was knocked out. Hunter whipped Benoit into steel steps. Back in the ring, Hunter took over with a deliberate choke. Hunter hit the flying knee to the face with Lawler putting over that Benoit was the champion in Atlanta (WCW) that never lost the title. That’s true because he left the company. Benoit with a lefty clothesline followed by a back body drop for two. Benoit hit three straight German Suplexes. Benoit went up top, so Hunter pulled referee Earl Hebner into the ropes to knock Benoit down. That should be a disqualification, but the match continued with Hunter hitting a superplex off the middle ropes for two. Benoit with a catapult that sent Hunter into the turnbuckle and he bumped into Hebner, who went down. Benoit with the Crippler Crossface submission, Hunter tapped out and there was no referee to see. Benoit with a Crippler Crossface locked in again, but this time Hunter got his hand on the bottom rope. Hunter with a knee to face facebuster and Benoit with another clothesline. Benoit up top, he jumped off and connected with a headbutt to the shoulder. Hebner was slow to count to two with Hunter kicking out just before three. Great nearfall. Hunter with a low blow uppercut punch and a Pedigree finished off Benoit at 9:03.
Winner by pinfall: Triple H
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a great match just as I remembered it. The finish was the same thing they did in the X-Pac match, so it did not feel fresh on the same show. If this was done today they would have got another five more minutes and had an even better match. What they did was still awesome pro wrestling. Benoit was arguably the best in-ring performer in the world at the time while Triple H was in the prime of his career that was in the best run of his career. Triple H getting the win made sense since he was the WWF Champion and there was no reason for him to lose a non-title match. It’s not like Benoit was hurt from losing the match because they did the ref bump spot where Hunter tapped out, but with no referee it was not an official tapout loss for Hunter. The match was good for both guys in terms of having a very competitive match in the main event of the show.
Triple H celebrated with Stephanie as the announcers talked about how it was a clean sweep for DX and that they were stronger than ever. That was the end of the show.
This episode had a run time of 1:35:14 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- Triple H
- The Rock
- Chris Benoit
This episode gets a 6.5 out of 10.
It was a pretty good show thanks to the story of the four new guys trying to earn jobs in the WWF.
That’s all for now. The next WWF 2000 review will be Raw from February 7, 2000.
Please let me know what you think of these reviews and feel free to offer any suggestions too. Thanks for reading.