The road to WrestleMania 2000 continued with Smackdown taking place in Trenton, New Jersey. That’s not a city that the WWF did shows from that often considering all the other places in the northeast, but that’s where they were for this show. The main storyline coming out of Raw earlier in the week was that The Rock was trying to get into the WWF Title at WrestleMania 2000 while battling against the top heel duo of Triple H and Big Show. Yes, we know how it ended it up, but we must see how they got there.
I’m a little behind in posting these on the day of the week I want to. Starting next week, I feel confident I can get back to Raw 2000s on Mondays and Smackdown 2000s on Thursdays.
WWF Smackdown #28
March 2, 2000 (Taped February 29)
From in Trenton, New Jersey
This show gets a TV-PG rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network.
There was a video package featuring what happened at No Way Out earlier that week and Raw as well where Shane McMahon caused a disqualification in the main event. After the match, Rock was triple teamed and dropped with a Chokeslam from Big Show.
The Smackdown intro video aired and the pyro went off in the arena. Packed house as usual with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler calling the action.
The Too Cool duo of Grandmaster Sexay and Too Cool entered for a tag team match. For whatever reason, the introduction from ring announcer Tony Chimel sounded like it was taped in a studio instead of the arena. I don’t know why. Chyna was up next to support her buddy Chris Jericho, who was the tag team partner of Too Cool in the match.
The Radicals foursome made their entrance as the opponents. The introduction for them and the others sounded fine, but it just seemed off for Too Cool’s entrance.
Chris Jericho and Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty) (w/Chyna) vs. Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko (w/Eddie Guerrero)
Pre-match notes: Jericho and Too Cool were the faces while the Radicals were the heels.
Jericho started with old foe from WCW Malenko with Jericho hitting an overhead belly to belly suplex followed by a clothesline. Scotty tagged in with a dropkick on Malenko leading to Benoit tagging in. Running shoulder tackle by Benoit followed by chops and Scotty hit Benoit with a suplex. Sexay tagged in with a missile dropkick off the middle ropes that put down Benoit. Malenko with a cheap shot to Jericho’s back and Benoit with a stun gun that sent Jericho into the top rope. Corner clothesline by Malenko on Jericho. Saturn with an overhead suplex on Jericho with the crowd getting into it rallying behind Jericho. Benoit back in and Jericho managed a German Suplex on him. Sexay tagged in against Saturn with a body slam, body slam for Malenko and a dropkick for Benoit. Malenko accidentally knocked down Saturn with a clothesline, kick by Sexay on Malenko and Scotty sent Saturn out of the ring. Scotty with a bulldog on Malenko followed by the WORM with a chop to the face. Chyna pulled Eddie off the apron. Chyna decked Malenko with a punch. Double team elbow by Too Cool on Saturn, who was the legal man. Benoit pulled Scotty out of the ring and whipped him into the steel steps. Sexay up top with a Hip Hop Drop leg drop off the top. Benoit off the top with a headbutt to Sexay all the way across the ring (the ref never saw it because he was distracted by Guerrero) and Saturn pinned Sexay while Saturn laid on his own back to win the match for the team at 5:40.
Winners by pinfall: Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko
Analysis: **3/4 Good match while it lasted with a lot of action. I thought the finish was clever with the Guerrero distraction leading to the Benoit headbutt, which was impressive because he jumped over 3/4 of the way across the ring. The match made me want see these six guys paired up in a match again because the crowd was hot for it and the action was good. It’s also refreshing to see a good match starting a show instead of the usual in-ring promo segment.
The Rock was shown walking backstage and Mideon walked up to him. We couldn’t hear what he said and Rock punched Mideon.
A limo pulled up to the arena. Shane McMahon and Big Show emerged from it, so they’re coming up later.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Essa Rios (w/Lita) vs. Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy)
Pre-match notes: The Hardys were faces obviously. Essa Rios and Lita were new and they were faces going into the match. Rios was the Light Heavyweight Champion.
Jeff took control early with a running clothesline. Rios sent Jeff to the apron, Jeff missed an attack off the ropes because Rios went to the floor and then Jeff jumped over the top with a cross body block on Rios on the floor. Rios took control wit ha dropkick to the back and then Jeff missed a dive out of the ring. Rios hit a somersault dive over the turnbuckle onto Jeff on the floor. That was great. Back in the ring, Rios hit a missile dropkick to the back of Jeff for a two count. Jeff got a pin attempt for two and Rios got a clothesline for two of his own. Jeff with a dropkick to the head of Rios to send him into the turnbuckle. Rios kicked Hardy to chest and went up top with a hurricanrana off the top that sent Jeff out of the ring. Lita hit a hurricanrana off the stops on Jeff and she tossed Jeff back inside for a two count. Lita got in the ring, but referee Chad Patton stopped her, so Matt went into the ring and hit a Twist of Fate on Rios without the referee seeing it. Jeff up top and hit a Swanton Bomb with Cole calling it that, so this is when they gave Jeff that name for that move. Lita up top and she hit a moonsault onto Jeff, who was standing and that looked bad because she almost broke her neck on the landing. Anyway, the ref called for the bell for the disqualification finish at 4:15.
Winner by disqualification: Jeff Hardy (Rios is still champion)
Analysis: *** That was all action at a fast pace. You could tell Jeff and Rios loved being able to show off in this match. I think it’s hard to hit three stars in a match that’s under five minutes, but this was such a cool match by two guys that were gifted at doing things in the era in an era where not a lot of guys were doing it. It’s different watching today’s wrestling where wrestlers do all kinds of stuff in the air. This was innovative for 2000 and looked like what the WCW cruiserweight guys were doing in the late 1990s as well.
Post match, Rios grabbed the microphone and spoke in Spanish at Lita. She replied to him with a slap to the face. Rios yelled at Lita and they left bickering at eachother.
Analysis: They were not on TV together that much and it was already dissolving quickly. Obviously, where things were going for Lita.
Al Snow and Steve Blackman were in a bar wearing matching green shirts. Snow set up a blind date for Blackman and the woman walked in showing way too much enthusiasm while chanting “Headcheese” at Steve.
Big Show and Shane McMahon were shown walking backstage because they are up next.
There was a shot of Blackman on the date with the girl, who would not stop talking. She talked about her cat, so she was really annoying while Blackman made faces to suggest he was annoyed by her.
Let’s Hear From Shane McMahon and Big Show
Shane McMahon, who was announced as a co-owner of the World Wrestling Federation, made his entrance with Big Show, who was not in his wrestling gear.
Shane said that he knows we have all been thinking where he has been as the crowd greeted him with “Asshole” chants. Shane said he missed all of us too. Shane said that life is all about timing as fans chanted “Rocky” at him with Shane saying that Rock had exactly what he deserved last Sunday at No Way Out. A clip aired from No Way Out showing Shane McMahon’s impressive chair shot to the head of Rock leading to Big Show’s win. Shane said that Rock was denied his title shot opportunity. Shane said that on Raw, he denied Rock from being number one contender again. A replay aired of Shane’s attack on Raw.
Shane said that people asked “why” and said that he can’t let The Rock dominate the WWF just like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin did. Shane said that his father Vince didn’t squash Austin on the road to success and it was too late. Shane said that he learned from his father’s mistakes and he won’t allow Rock to headline WrestleMania, so that’s why he stopped The Rock’s dream. Shane said that the WWF doesn’t need a champion that raises an eyebrow, is a prima donna or drops the People’s Elbow. Shane said that the WWF needs the most ferocious athlete in the world today, the 7’2” 500 pound Big Show and the fans booed. Show said he’s going on to WrestleMania to become the WWF Champion.
Analysis: It was a great explanation by Shane for his heel turn. He didn’t want Rock to become a bigger superstar like Steve Austin, so that’s why he stopped The Rock from becoming number one contender on two separate occasions.
The Rock made his entrance to a huge ovation as fans chanted “Rocky” for him. Rock said that they think they are cute by screwing over The Rock and by keeping Rock down, but what they did was piss The Rock off. The “piss” was bleeped. Rock said that right now he’s not the number one contender in the WWF and he is not going to WrestleMania to face the WWF Champion. Rock said that what he is regardless of what they do to him, he still stands before us as The People’s Champion, which led to loud “Rocky” chants. Rock said that he’s got nothing to lose now, so he thought he would entertain himself tonight and kicking both of their candy asses all over this arena.
Shane said that he knows that Rock doesn’t want another Chokeslam to hell to put Rock’s carcass through the mat. Shane also said that Rock doesn’t want any of him either. That was funny. Shane said they would be happy to accommodate a 2 on 1 match with Rock.
Rikishi Phatu showed up with a microphone in hand as the fans cheered him. Rikishi said that he knows Rock doesn’t need his help to beat those two jabronis. Rikishi said there were two things the people wanted to see: 1) Big Show taking the Rock Bottom and 2) Shane McMahon’s face taking my bottom and Rikishi showed off his ass. I prefer the closeups on the women when they do that.
Rock said that it’s set with Rock and Rikishi taking on their two candy asses, Shane’s face between those two cheeks and Rock sticking his foot turned sideways straight up Big Show’s candy ass.
Analysis: That was an effective way to set up a big tag team match for later in the show with a promise from Rikishi putting Shane’s face into his ass.
Kurt Angle was in the locker room with D-Lo Brown, who was playing video games. Sgt. Slaughter showed up to say that Godfather was looking for Brown, so Brown left. Slaughter was about to leave with Angle saying that he was a huge fan of his, so he’s disappointed. Slaughter said he still brings his gear and issued a challenge to Angle, so the match is on for later.
WWF Hardcore Championship: Crash Holly vs. Tazz
Pre-match notes: Crash was the heel champion that won the title one week earlier and Tazz was the face.
The fight quickly left the ring as Tazz tossed Crash over the barricade at ringside. The fight spilled to a backstage area where Tazz sent Crash into the walls backstage. Prince Albert tried to attack Tazz, but Tazz hit him with a wrench. Boss Man attacked and Tazz was ready for him with the wrench. Tazz tossed Albert into a freezer and smashed a bottle over Boss Man’s head. Crash capitalized on that with a fire extinguisher and a 2×4 piece of wood to the head of Tazz for the pinfall win in that hallway at 1:53.
Winner by pinfall: Crash Holly
Analysis: * The match was quick with interference that caused Tazz to lose. That Tazz feud with Boss Man and Albert was pretty bad. At least it was fun to see Crash retain as this was the start of his title reign that ended up being very entertaining.
After the match, Crash went back to the ring and celebrated the win.
It was back to the date at the restaurant with Blackman telling a waiter they’ll just get pasta while the girl didn’t stop talking.
Crash Holly was interviewed backstage by Lilian Garcia saying that he’s going to put the Hardcore Title on the line 24/7 and 365 days a year because he’s the greatest champion there is.
Road Dogg and X-Pac made their entrance with Tori, who had a neckbrace after taking a Tombstone from Kane at No Way Out. A clip aired of Gunn getting attacked backstage at Raw. It was a way to write out of Gunn from storylines because he had shoulder surgery. It was mentioned by Cole that Gunn will have shoulder surgery next week. Gunn would miss about eight months of action.
Edge and Christian made their entrance through the crowd as usual. Terri Runnels entered on the ramp. She helped E&C win twice in back to back nights although they didn’t ask for her help.
Degeneration X (Road Dogg and X-Pac) w/Tori vs. Edge and Christian
Pre-match notes: The DX boys were heels while Edge and Christian were still faces although their heel ways were coming soon. Edge and Christian were the number one contenders for the WWF Tag Team Titles held by the Dudleys.
Christian took control early with a side Russian legsweep on X-Pac followed by a double team hip toss by E&C. X-Pac got back into it with a spin kick on Edge. Dogg tagged in, Edge boot to the face and a missile dropkick by Edge off the middle ropes. X-Pac pulled the rope down after a whip in by Dogg, so the heels took control with X-Pac working on Edge on the floor. Dogg slapped on a headlock on Edge followed by a hair pull to prevent a tag. X-Pac tagged in, he missed a corner splash, so he was crotched against the turnbuckle and Edge hit a Spear on Dogg. Christian got the hot tag with punches for X-Pac, a powerslam by Christian and a gutbuster knee to the ribs. Dogg with punches, Christian blocked and there was a double clothesline. Edge helped Terri up, he wanted nothing to do with her and she slapped him in the face because of that while telling her that she was trying to help him. Everybody in the ring was distracted by that, so X-Pac hit a low blow on Christian (the referee never saw it) and an X-Factor for the pinfall win at 4:46.
Winners by pinfall: Degeneration X (Road Dogg and X-Pac)
Analysis: **1/4 It was a pretty good tag team match with the heels controlling most of it along with the distraction ending, which was very common for television matches in this era. It also meant that E&C lost some momentum after winning at No Way Out and Raw earlier that same week.
Post match, Terri walked away on her own while Edge and Christian were left to wonder what happened. That led to Christian shoving his “brother” Edge onto his ass and Edge tried to explain what happened.
There was a video package for the APA (Acolytes Protection Agency) with Bradshaw and Faarooq as they sat in an office with beers and cigars. It ended with this: “APA Protecetion…cuz we need beer money.”
Shane McMahon and Big Show were shown walking backstage where they entered the Degeneration X locker room.
Test made his entrance. They ramped up the fake crown noise for him because for weeks earlier, he would walk out to no reaction. Viscera was the opponent.
Test vs. Viscera
Pre-match notes: Test was the face and Viscera was the heel. Neither guy was that over, so there was a lot of fake crowd noise.
Viscera was in control early with a corner splash followed by a body slam and elbow drop. Test with a running back elbow, Viscera ducked his head and Test hit a DDT for a two count. Viscera knocked Test out of the ring and whipped Test into the steel steps. Viscera climbed onto a table that was at ringside, so Test punched him in the legs to knock him down. Viscera slammed Test back first into the barricade. The ref wasn’t counting them out. Back in the ring, Viscera connected with a Samoan Drop for two. Viscera took off the top turnbuckle even with the referee right there. Test managed to whip Viscera face first into the steel buckle. Test with a body slam on Viscera, which was impressive considering Viscera was a huge man. Test up top and he hit an elbow drop for the pinfall win at 3:40.
Winner by pinfall: Test
Analysis: * Boring match. This Test face run failed miserably. Beating a guy that was low on the totem pole like Viscera was not a big deal. He was a few weeks of going back to be a heel as part of the T&A team with Trish Stratus.
Shane McMahon and Big Show were shown walking backstage.
There was a shot of Steve Blackman on his date with the annoying woman while Al Snow danced like a fool.
Kurt Angle, the Intercontinental and European Champion, made his entrance talking about how Sgt. Slaughter was a man of intensity, integrity and intelligence. Angle said that now Slaughter is the three B’s: bald, bloated and a bonehead. Angle said he’s the Olympic Hero we can all look up to. There was fake crowd noise inserted in this promo too.
Sgt. Slaughter made his entrance to a decent pop that must have been bad because the fake crowd noise was used strongly for his entrance.
Intercontinental Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Pre-match notes: Angle was the heel IC and Euro Champion and Slaughter was the face. Slaughter was 52 years old at the time of the match. He was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2004.
Slaughter was in control early with some knees the to the ribs followed by a short clothesline. Slaughter with an elbow to the gut followed by a gut buster slam on the knee. Slaughter slapped on the Cobra Clutch submission, Angle drove him to the turnbuckle and Slaughter still had the hold locked in, but Angle managed to get to the ropes to break it. Angle whipped Slaughter into the turnbuckle and Slaughter bumped over the top to the floor. That was an impressive bump by an old guy. Angle suplexed Slaughter back into the ring. Slaughter went for the Cobra Clutch again, Angle kicked him away and Angle hit the Olympic Slam for the pinfall win at 2:59.
Winner by pinfall: Kurt Angle
Analysis: ** That was mildly entertaining with Angle bumping his ass off and selling for the older opponent. I was impressed by a few Slaughter bumps. Angle winning was no surprise.
Kane was shown backstage getting ready for his match.
Kurt Angle was shown backstage doing an over the top celebration with his titles around his waist. He threw some popcorn around to celebrate.
The Dudley Boyz were up next and they were the new WWF Tag Team Champions that also injured Billy Gunn (in the storyline) when they won the titles. Kane entered with his daddy Paul Bearer.
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) vs. Kane (w/Paul Bearer)
Pre-match notes: The Dudleys were the heels and Kane was the face. This company loved doing handicap match in this era.
The rules are the Dudleys could be in the match at the same time. Kane tried a double suplex, but the Dudleys turned it into a double team suplex of their own. Kane with a sidewalk slam on D-Von and a back body drop on Bubba. When Kane picked up D-Von, Bubba with a chop block to Kane’s leg. The Dudleys stomped away on Kane against the turnbuckle. Bubba with a running splash on Kane followed by D-Von hitting a forearm to the head. Bubba with an elbow drop to the chest of Kane followed by a running splash. Kane tried to fight out of the corner with punches, but the Dudleys came back with a double shoulder tackle. Kane took control again with uppercut punches on each Dudley, a boot by Kane to each Dudley and Kane went up top leading to a top rope clothesline on Bubba. Kane went after D-Von and Bubba hit a belly to back suplex. Bearer was on the apron, so the Dudleys did their double team headbutt off the top with D-Von headbutting the groin of Kane. Bubba set up a table outside the ring. Bubba tried to put Kane through the table, but Kane fought out of it and Kane hit a Chokeslam on D-Von off the apron through the table. The referee Teddy Long called for the bell due to the disqualification for using the table.
Winners by disqualification: The Dudley Boyz
Analysis: **1/4 It was entertaining for a handicap match, which is not an easy match to do. Kane did a good job with the comeback and even though Kane lost the match, he was made to look strong since he put D-Von through a table. It was a clever way to finish the match without having either side do the pinfall job.
Post match, even though D-Von was put through the table, Bubba celebrated the victory in the image you see above. That was funny. Kane left while the Dudleys were down at ringside.
Back at the restaurant, the woman let Al know that Blackman bailed on her and she didn’t seem upset about it.
WrestleMania 2000 is five weeks away.
Crash Holly was shown walking backstage by Lilian Garcia, who was on a payphone. Crash talked about how he’s defending the title 24/7.
There was a shot of Shane and Big Show walking down the hallway for their match coming up.
Crash was shown walking out to his car. All three Mean Street Posse members showed up to try to pin Cash in the trunk of his car, but they kept fighting amongst themselves and none of them could do it. Crash left in the car.
The Rock and Rikishi were shown walking backstage for the main event.
Big Show entered first with Shane McMahon wearing his own Big Show shirt. Shane McMahon announced a change in tonight’s lineup, so he introduced his replacement…Triple H. That led to WWF Champion Triple H entered with wifey Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley to team up with Big Show.
Analysis: It’s not a surprise that they went with Triple H in this spot since he was just chilling during this show.
Rikishi was up for the face team with the crowd giving him a good ovation. It was nothing compared to The Rock, though, who entered to a thunderous crowd reaction. It was usual for Rock in this era.
The Rock and Rikishi Phatu vs. Big Show and Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon)
Pre-match notes: Rock and Rikishi were the faces while Show and Hunter were the heels. I feel like I have reviewed this match recently because they did it a few times.
Rock and Rikishi with a double clothesline on Show. Rikishi hit a belly to belly on Show. Hunter tagged in leading to punches from Rikishi and Stephanie wasn’t happy (see pic above). Hunter took control when he went after the taped up left ankle of Rikishi. Big Show back in with elbow drops to the ankle of Rikishi. Show picked up Rikishi for a sidewalk slam. Show worked over Rikishi with chops followed by an elbow to the back of the head. Hunter kicked away at the bad ankle of Rikishi to keep him down. Show tagged in, he missed a splash on Rikishi against the turnbuckle and Rikishi hit a superkick on Show. Rikishi with a Stinkface (it was not yet called that) where he rubbed his ass into Show’s face. Rikishi with a Samoan Drop on Show, the fans were chanting “Rocky” and Rock tagged in against Hunter. Rock hit a clothesline followed by a kick to the stomach followed by a DDT. Big Show had a hair in his hand, he kicked Rikishi down and hit Rikishi’s left ankle with the chair. Rock hit a spinebuster on Hunter, Show on the apron and Rock punched him down. Triple H with a low blow on Rock. Show with a chair to Rikishi’s ankle again. Shane on the apron, ref distracted and Show hit Triple H in the head with a chair after Rock moved. Rock clotheslined Show over the top to the floor. Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Hunter followed by a thunderous People’s Elbow to a huge pop and Rock covered Hunter for the pinfall win at 7:22.
Winners by pinfall: The Rock and Rikishi Phatu
Analysis: *** Good match with a clever finish. The finishes of these matches was definitely a strength of the WWF in this era because they were usually well done. As soon as the Rock got in there, the excitement level went way up and he could have done anything in there with the fans supporting him in a big way. I thought the chair shot spot was clever leading into the finish. Rock pinning Hunter was a huge win for Rock to get him back into the title picture as we would see in the weeks ahead.
The show ended with Rock celebrating the win on the turnbuckle while all of the heels were selling what happened.
Shane and Stephanie went into the ring where Stephanie argued with Shane about Show’s errant chair shot on Hunter. That led to Hunter shoving Shane down and Show pushed Hunter. The duo of Hunter and Stephanie left the ring while Shane and Show were in the ring as they argued. That was it for Smackdown.
Analysis: Trouble for the heels on the show. It was a good way of telling the story of how just because they are heels, it didn’t mean they had to get along.
This episode had a run time of 1:26:45 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Rock
- Jeff Hardy
- Chris Jericho
This episode gets a 6.5 out of 10.
It was a solid show that was above average with some better than usual in-ring action. I thought most of the angles were fine, but nothing really that special in that regard. I think Smackdown was used mostly to further stories a bit in this era although they rarely did big storylines.
Please let me know what you think of these reviews and feel free to offer any suggestions too. Thanks for reading.