This is the last Smackdown before WrestleMania 2000. The main event was actually a historic moment, which I’ll get to later. Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network:

“On the Road to WrestleMania, Vince McMahon has a surprise for Daddy’s Little Girl and her husband. Plus, The Rock, Mick Foley, and more.”

Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows from earlier in the year. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport if you’re not doing so already and let’s get started.

(I apologize for taking about three weeks to get to this review. Life has been hectic. Hopefully, I can pick up the pace again soon and not fall behind.)

WWF Smackdown #32
March 30, 2000 (Taped March 28)
From Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas

This show gets a TV-PG rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network.

The Smackdown opening video aired to start the show. There was a shot of the crowd making a lot of noise and looking ready for Smackdown. The announcers are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.

Kane as up first with Paul Bearer for a tag team match with Rikishi Phatu. They Dudleys are up as the opponents.

Rikishi Phatu and Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)

Pre-match notes: The Dudleys were the heel Tag Team Champions in this non-title match. Kane and Rikishi were faces that were also WrestleMania partners.

Kane started with D-Von with Kane no selling some punches and hitting a clothesline on Bubba as well as a sidewalk slam on D-Von. Rikishi tagged in with punches, a double noggin knocker on the Dudleys and the crowd was chanting “Rikishi” as the big man hit a double clothesline on both Dudleys. D-Von shoved Rikishi away and Bubba hit a clothesline. The ref was distracted, so D-Von hit the headbutt off the top rope. Lawler laughed about it. Rikishi with a headbutt on D-Von followed by the stinkface against the turnbuckle although it was not called the stinkface yet. Bubba went after the injured left leg at Rikishi to take him down and D-Von got a two count. Bubba tagged in, chops to Rikishi, headbutt by Bubba no sold by the Samoan Rikishi and Rikishi hit a superkick. Kane tagged in with a top rope clothesline on D-Von. Boot to the face by Kane on Bubba. The Dudleys went for a double team attack, but Kane hit a double Chokeslam on both guys. Rikishi tagged in and hit a Banzai Drop off the corner on D-Von for the pinfall win at 4:41.

Winners by pinfall: Rikishi Phatu and Kane

Analysis: *1/2 It was a decent match with the pace picking up after Kane got the hot tag. The crowd was really into it as they cheered likely for Rikishi and Kane the entire match. The champion Dudley’s losing clean so early was a bit of a surprise.

The DX Express bus pulled up to the building with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon emerging from it. The trio of Road Dogg, Tori and X-Pac greeted them.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley

Triple H, the WWF Champion and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley made their entrance. Instead of the opening show promo, we get the promo in the second promo. They were booed. Hunter was not in his ring gear.

When Hunter and Stephanie got into the ring, the fans greeted them with “Asshole” chants. Hunter said that they were three days away from the greatest pay-per-view of all time – three days until WrestleMania. He said that three days until four of the biggest stars ever step into this very ring to decide just who is…and the fans chanted “Rocky” there…so Hunter finished his thought saying it’s to determine who the WWF Champion is. Hunter noted the intensity picked up. Hunter said that he eats, sleep, breathe and think nothing else of this business. He said that he has paid the ultimate price to be the best in this business and he busts his ass every single day of his life to be the best in this business. Hunter said that there’s not a person that can prove to him that he is not the best at what he does. Hunter said he has no equal. Hunter said he guarantees that he will leave WrestleMania as the World Wrestling Federation because he is that damn good.

Analysis: That guarantee was the truth. If you would have told me that on March 30, 2000 I would have said no, but it was true.

Vince McMahon interrupted the promo by entering the arena and standing on the stage. Vince said that Hunter seems unusually confident and said that there must be a reason for that. Vince said knowing the coward that Hunter is, he thinks Hunter has found a way to weasel out of the match in some way at WrestleMania. Vince said maybe Hunter thinks there will be a countout. Vince said that the Fatal 4-Way Elimination matchup as of right now will have no disqualification, no countout and the public deserves to find out who the best man is only by pinfall. Hunter was mad about it. Vince wished Hunter good luck. Vince left.

Analysis: In later years, all triple threat and 4-way matches became no countout and no disqualification, but in this era the rules changed all the time, so it was nice of Vince to clarify.

Hunter said that as unfair as that is and as ridiculous as that is, if you think it rattles him or shakes his confidence, you are wrong. Hunter reminded us who they are talking to and noted that he retired Mick Foley while adding that No DQ means nothing to him because he put Mick Foley aka Cactus Jack out of this business.

Mick Foley was up next for the interruption. Big pop for him. He said that Triple H retired him and put him out of this business, but at WrestleMania for one night only, he is back in this business. The fans cheered for that. Foley said that since it’s no disqualification, I guess it’s okay if he brought along this. He held up a barbed wire 2×4 piece of wood. The crowd was cheering for that.

Foley said that he’s going to take Triple H’s WWF Championship, but now he doesn’t see a reason why he can’t take the belt and beat the hell out of him at the same time. Foley said that after WrestleMania, Hunter has to get up and go back to work while Foley does not. Foley said that at WrestleMania, he’s going to let it all hang out. Foley said he didn’t care if he was in a hospital bed as long as he has Hunter’s championship around his waist. Foley said it has been his honor to go in our living rooms every Monday and Thursday night. He said he’ll promise us this will be one hell of a match. Foley told Hunter to get his lip marks off his belt because at WrestleMania, Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy is going home with the gold. The fans cheered as Foley’s music played.

Analysis: Good promo from Foley as usual. There were definitely some people that thought Foley might win the title at WrestleMania just because it would come off as a big surprise. The promos leading up to the match were really well done.

Kurt Angle was shown talking to a random old guy backstage as he complained about having to defend both titles at WrestleMania. Big Show showed up and said he had to talk to Kurt, so they left.

(Commercial)

When the show returned, Lawler and Cole talked about some XFL press conference, but that was not shown on WWE Network’s version of this show. Tazz made his entrance. There was some obvious fake crowd noise. Crash Holly is the opponent.

Hardcore Championship: Crash Holly vs. Tazz

Pre-match notes: Crash was the Hardcore Champion that was a heel, but was more of a face by this point. Tazz was a face.

Tazz with a head and arm suplex across the ring. They left the ring with Tazz sending Crash’s head into the announce table leading to a two count. Crash jumped the barricade, so Tazz went after them and they went into the crowd. Viscera attacked Crash as they went towards the backstage area. The Headbangers attacked Crash and that led to a brawl. They went brawling backstage with Crash getting hit with an ironing board. They were out in the parking lot near the trucks. Crash managed to get away and ran out of the building. Call it 2:28 that was shown.

Match Result: They don’t care and neither do I

Analysis: There’s no point in rating this because it was just a clusterfuck with a big brawl. This set up a multi-man match at WrestleMania, so that was the point of it to show that everybody was gunning for the Hardcore Title.

A GTV clip was shown with Val Venis in a hotel room. The Kat entered the room to flirt with him since he was the referee of her WrestleMania match with Terri Runnels. She flirted with him, said that she would never do anything to sway his decision and it teased that he hooked up with her as the feed cut away.

Analysis: The Kat/Terri feud was the only singles match at WrestleMania and they used GTV to build it up. That was different.

Edge and Christian were shown walking backstage because they were up next.

(Commercial)

There was a clip from during the break with Crash getting attacked by the Mean Street Posse and nobody was able to beat Crash for the title. Crash managed to get away.

The Hardy Boyz made their entrance even though they are not in a match. Their WrestleMania match is against The Dudleys and Edge and Christian in a Tables and Ladders Match for the Tag Team Titles. They are on commentary for the next match.

The Degeneration X group of Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori made their entrance. Edge and Christian were up as the opponents.

Degeneration X (Road Dogg and X-Pac) w/Tori vs. Edge and Christian

Pre-match notes: DX were heels. Edge and Christian were faces, but they showed a heelish attitude on Raw earlier in the same week, so this was the start of their heel turn.

Edge started with Dogg with Edge sending Dogg face first into the apron followed by a slam into the barricade at ringside. There was a double team hip toss by E&C with Christian as the legal man. X-Pac tagged in, he missed a spin kick and Christian hit a Russian legsweep takedown. Christian up top, but Dogg grabbed the rope to trip him up while the referee didn’t see him. X-Pac hit the bronco buster on Christian against the turnbuckle. Matt said that they aren’t afraid of the ladder match and they know no fear. Dogg tagged in with Christian hitting a reverse DDT. Edge tagged back in with a spinning heel kick and a powerslam on X-Pac. Dogg with a kick to the gut, Edge shoved Dogg into the referee and hit a Spear. With the ref down, Christian tried to cheat, but Matt took him out with a Twist of Fate. There was a dumb spot where Edge went to cover Dogg even though he looked right at Jeff climbing to the top rope and Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb to the back of Edge. X-Pac put Dogg onto Edge and Dogg covered for the pinfall win at 3:52.

Winners by pinfall: Degeneration X (Road Dogg and X-Pac)

Analysis: ** The match was okay with a cheap ending because the Hardys got payback because E&C attacked them on Raw. The reason I said it was a dumb spot is because Edge looked right at Jeff just before Jeff went to the top rope, so that makes Edge look like an idiot. They could have set it up better.

Post match, the Hardys celebrated their revenge with the announcers pointing out that they didn’t help DX, they did it for revenge.

The Rock and Mick Foley were shown in the locker room with Mick saying he’ll watch Rock’s back if Rock needs it. Rock said he doesn’t want his help and Foley said “say no more” and left.

(Commercial)

Kurt Angle entered with the Intercontinental and European Titles around his waist. Angle said he had a message for the children out there. Angle said he was giving his young fans permission to stay up for WrestleMania to watch him retain both titles. He said as sure as he is that the San Antonio Spurs will not repeat as NBA Champions, he will repeat as Eurocontinental Champion.

Analysis: He was right about the Spurs not winning in 2000 because the LA Lakers won. He was not right about his title.

The Rock entered to a thunderous ovation from the crowd. That response seemed like it got louder every week. He was so popular with the fans with good reason.

The Rock vs. Kurt Angle

Pre-match notes: The Rock was the face and Angle was the heel. Angle’s titles were not on the line.

Triple H and Stephanie walked down to ringside, Rock was distracted and Angle punched Rock in the back. Big Show and Shane McMahon also walked out to ringside. Angle choked Rock on the middle rope. Rock got back into it with punches, but Angle hit a belly to belly suplex for two. Angle remained in control with a body slam. Rock came back with a clothesline, but Angle connected with a belly to back suplex for two. Angle put Rock by the ropes near Shane and Show, so Shane choked Rock against the bottom rope. Angle with a back elbow to the chest for two. Angle went for an attack off the middle ropes, but Rock dropped him with a DDT. Rock with a powerslam for a two count. That’s not a move that Rock did that often. Rock did a spinebuster, which was one of his signature spots. The fans were screaming as Rock teased a People’s Elbow. Hunter on the apron, Rock punched him, referee told Hunter to go down, so Show hit a Chokeslam on Rock with Angle covering for a two count. Great nearfall. Rock got back up and hit a Rock Bottom for the pinfall win at 5:18. The crowd popped huge for the win.

Winner by pinfall: The Rock

Analysis: **1/2 Good stuff as usual from these two. The fans were so loud for everything that Rock did, so that helped the atmosphere surrounding the match. They always had strong chemistry between them. I think they could have went for a finish where Rock got beat by Angle, but I think the creative team wanted Rock to go over since he was in the WrestleMania main event while Angle could afford the loss.

After the match, Show and Hunter went into the ring to beat up Rock. They worked over Rock with stomps. Vince McMahon went down to the ring with a chair in hand. Hunter basically ran into the chair while Vince held it, then Vince hit Show with a chair and Shane hit Vince in the head with the WWF Title. Rock got back up and Shane hit Rock with the WWF Title. Shane and Show stood together in the ring with the WWF Title in their hands. When Hunter got back up, Shane hit Hunter in the head with the WWF Title. Shane left with Show while Stephanie yelled at them about what they did.

Analysis: It was a dominating performance from Show and Shane in the post match attack as they managed to stand tall due to Shane connecting with multiple belt shots to the head. The interesting thing about it is that Vince McMahon turned on Rock at WrestleMania, yet they still booked it this way because they didn’t want people thinking that was possible. I certainly didn’t see it coming.

(Commercial)

A replay aired of the post match brawl from before the break.

Chyna entered to be in Chris Jericho’s corner for the next match. She teamed up with Too Cool in a six-person tag team match against The Radicals at WrestleMania. Jericho was up next. Eddie Guerrero was the opponent with Chris Benoit.

Eddie did a pre-match promo saying that when he found out that he was going to have the opportunity to physically wrestle her at WrestleMania, he got REALLY excited. Eddie said he knew that Chyna wanted to shake the bonbon with him. Chyna said she was going to vomit.

Analysis: It was the start of the Eddie storyline with Chyna that continued after WrestleMania.

Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/Chris Benoit)

Pre-match notes: Jericho was the face and Guerrero was the heel.

They worked at a fast pace with punches, so that meant it was going to be a short match. Guerrero hit a running kick, Jericho sent Guerrero into the turnbuckle and bulldog got two for Jericho. Jericho hit a double Powerbomb on Guerrero and a dropkick that knocked Benoit off the apron. They battled by the turnbuckle, Benoit in the ring, Jericho punched him and that ended the match at 1:33.

Winner by disqualification: Chris Jericho

Analysis: 1/2* They had no time to have a good match, which is a shame because they are two of my favorite wrestlers ever. It was just a quickie to advance WrestleMania storylines.

Post match, Chyna went into the ring, Eddie tried to flirt with her, she chased after him and Eddie left. Benoit dropped Jericho with a suplex. Kurt Angle ran down to the ring, punched Benoit in the back and hit the Olympic Slam on Benoit. Angle hit the Olympic Slam on Jericho as well. Angle left as his music played.

Analysis: It was just an angle to push the triple threat match between the guys battling for the midcard titles. It was fine, but I wish the match was longer.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley was shown walking backstage with an envelope in her hand.

(Commercial)

A replay aired from last week’s Smackdown with Stephanie slapping momma Linda McMahon.

Let’s Hear from Stephanie McMahon

Stephanie walked down to the ring with an envelope and a letter in her hand.

Stephanie read a letter from Donna McLeary, who is an 18 year old freshman from a university that she couldn’t tell us. Donna wrote that Stephanie is an inspiration to her and her girlfriends. The letter complimented Stephanie while calling Triple H the hottest man on the planet. The letter continued sucking up to Stephanie saying she was one step ahead of her family. The letter said that people are jealous of Stephanie having so much power. She was wished good luck for WrestleMania. It was signed by the “number one fan, Donna.”

Vince McMahon appeared on the stage saying that listening to Stephanie will give him a headache. Vince said he didn’t know if Stephanie wrote the letter herself or if the youth of American is going to hell and a handbasket, which is an old expression. Linda McMahon showed up to talk to Vince on the stage. Linda said that this bickering has got to stop. Linda said that they are in this situation because if Vince’s actions. Linda said Vince should fix the problems of this family. Linda left.

Vince said that he’s been asked to fix the situation and he will. Vince said he will fix the situation at WrestleMania. Vince said he guarantees us that he will. Vince said right now he’s not going to wait until WrestleMania because he’ll fix the situation in San Antonio. Vince said that since Stephanie likes to get physical, she will have her first match. The fans cheered while Stephanie was shocked. Vince said Stephanie will have her match against Jackie, the Women’s Champion. Vince left and Stephanie looked shocked saying “I can’t wrestle” in response.

Analysis: It went on too long, but it set up a unique match for later. The line from Vince about how he guarantees he’ll fix things was a way of foreshadowing his heel turn. I didn’t see it coming at the time, but looking at it now, it was a great line if you picked up on it at the time.

There was a GTV segment with Val Venis in bed with Terri Runnels. He got up and put a towel around his waist. She said she’s a she-devil, but she’s a fair she-devil. He said that she doesn’t want anything from their past to fog his judgment. Val said foreplay, no fair play, is his middle name.

Analysis: That means the way they set up Terri vs. Kat was with hidden GTV cameras and the idea that both women slept with him to make him favor them in their match. Nice quality booking, huh? That was the Attitude Era sometimes.

Crash Holly was shown back at the arena with cousin Hardcore showing up with a trash can and he hit Crash in the back with it. That was funny. It got a two count as one of the Headbangers broke up the pin. Crash went into the APA office where the APA and Kaientai beat him up. That led to a big brawl with Crash running towards the arena and he got in the ring.

Crash did a promo saying this 24/7 thing is nuts. He said he needs to call it off, but at WrestleMania, they all deserve a shot. Crash said that at WrestleMania, they’ll have a 15:00 battle royal and whoever gets the last fall wins. Hardcore said that he came up wit the 24/7 rule. Hardcore punched Crash and Crash ran away to escape everybody.

Analysis: It was a unique way to set up the Hardcore Battle Royal at WrestleMania. The 24/7 rule was fun, so it was a fine way to set it up.

(Commercial)

Stephanie and Hunter were in their office complaining about Vince putting her in a match.

Light Heavyweight Championship: Dean Malenko (w/Perry Saturn) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty (w/Grandmaster Sexay)

Pre-match notes: Malenko was the heel champion and Scotty was the face challenger.

Scotty went for a dropkick, Malenko held the ropes, Scotty with punches and Malenko with a drop toe hold that sent Scotty to the ropes. Malenko stomped away on Scotty against the turnbuckle. Malenko hit a suplex for a two count. They did a spot where they ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline. Scotty with a back body drop. Scotty with a bulldog leading to the W-O-R-M ending with a chop to the face. The crowd popped big for that. Saturn pulled Scotty out of the ring, the ref did nothing about it, Sexay went after Saturn and Scotty went back into the ring. Scotty got an inside cradle, the ref never saw it, Eddie Guerrero showed up, pulled Malenko on top of Scotty and Malenko got the pinfall win at 3:04.

Winner by pinfall: Dean Malenko

Analysis: *3/4 It was an okay match with a cheap finish. These two would have an outstanding match at Backlash at the end of April. This match was all about building to WrestleMania and a six person tag team match with Too Cool teaming with Chyna against Malenko, Saturn and Guerrero.

The lovely Trish Stratus was shown backstage leading her T&A tag team down to the ring.

There was a clip of the “Know Your Role” music video by Method Man about The Rock that was part of the WWF Aggression CD.

(Commercial)

The GTV cameras were back to show Mae Young going up to Val Venis in his hotel room. Young pushed Venis onto a bed and she wanted to strip, but Val told her not to show anything and made her get out.

Test and Albert (w/Trish Stratus) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)

Pre-match notes: T&A are the heels while the Hardys were faces.

Test hit a gutwrench slam on Jeff followed by a boot to the face. Albert in briefly, Test went back and the heels hit a double team slam on Jeff for a two count with Matt making the save. Jeff to the floor, he dropkicked Albert down and Matt got the tag with a drop toe hold on Test. Matt with a clothesline off the turnbuckle on Test, a DDT on Albert and Matt hit a neckbreaker on Test. Albert hit a sitout Powerbomb on Jeff. Test back up with a kick to Matt. Test tried a Powerbomb, Hardy slipped out and hit a Twist of Fate for the pinfall win at 2:14.

Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz

Analysis: *1/4 It was a rushed tag team match like most of the matches on this show. The finish looked like it was off a bit, but it was not a big deal since it felt like they were going through the motions too fast.

Post match, Albert with a two handed sitout slam. On Matt. Test went to the top, he jumped off Albert’s shoulders and completely missed Matt! LOL. That was funny. He couldn’t get any distance jumping off the shoulders. Matt sold it anyway. T&A left. I think we need another Trish shot to make up for that bad match.

Edge and Christian went back into the ring with Christian hitting the Unprettier on Matt. Edge grabbed a ladder from under the ring and brought it into the ring. Edge and Christian climbed up the ladder, but the Dudleys showed up to push the ladder over. The Dudleys destroyed both Hardys by hitting them with the Dudleys. The Dudleys posed on the ladder.

Analysis: That was a good way to get us more excited about the ladder match at WrestleMania. Since the Dudleys got the advantage here, it showed that the “look strong on TV, lose on PPV” theory applied.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (in a SMH shirt) was shown walking backstage looking frustrated with Triple H by her side.

(Commercial)

Trish Stratus was in the locker room with Test and Albert. She was giving them a pep talk, but Steve Blackman and Al Snow showed up for a surprising attack with kendo stick shots to the back of the guys. Blackman and Snow just left.

Analysis: Those teams were in a tag team match at WrestleMania. The build was poor.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley entered for the match in a white SMH shirt, black shoes and sneakers. Triple H had the WWF Title with him and he was trying to hype her up for the match. Jacqueline entered as the opponent as the Women’s Champion. The trio of Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori went down to ringside to support Stephanie.

Women’s Championship: Jacqueline vs. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley

Pre-match notes: Jacqueline was the face champion that was barely on TV while Stephanie was a heel.

Stephanie was reluctant to get into the ring with Earl Hebner calling for the bell to start the match. Triple H pulled Hebner out of the ring and argued with him. Stephanie ran around the ring, Jacqueline chased after Steph and X-Pac tripped up Jackie leading to a bump by Jackie. Tori went into the ring and hit Jackie with a DDT. The referee never saw it. Stephanie went over to Jackie and covered her while Hebner went back into the ring to count the pinfall with Stephanie winning the title at 0:40.

Winner and New Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Hemsley

Analysis: No rating. Match of the year! Not really. Just an angle to get the title on Stephanie. They treated that title like a joke, so they might as well make it a joke by putting it on a non-wrestler like Stephanie.

There was a celebration with Stephanie and DX that was brief because there was an interruption.

Kane and Rikishi went down to the ring to go after Dogg and X-Pac. They went brawling to the back. That led to the Dudleys, Edge and Christian, The Hardy Boyz, the Radicals and others to go into the ring to join the brawl.

Other wrestlers went down to the ring leading to a wild brawl between everybody that was involved in WrestleMania. Shane and Big Show went down to the ring with Show dumping wrestlers out of the ring. The Rock ran down to join the fun. Mick Foley went down to the ring with his barbed wire 2×4, so Rock and Foley were the only ones left in the ring.

Triple H’s music hit as the WWF Champion appeared on the stage with the title along with new Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Big Show and Shane were at the bottom of the ramp while Rock and Foley were in the ring. Hunter and Stephanie posed with their titles as the show ended there.

Analysis: That was a wild ending to the show. I liked it a lot because they managed to involve a lot of the talent in matches at WrestleMania. It showed how chaotic everything was. Going into WrestleMania, I thought The Rock would win the WWF Title because every WrestleMania ended with the good guy getting the win. I’m sure a lot of people thought that way and if you did, you were wrong.

This episode had a run time of 1:27:26 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Rock
  2. Triple H
  3. Kurt Angle

 

The Scoreboard

This episode gets a 5 out of 10.

This was a weird episode that I would say was just average. I don’t know how to really rate it because some of the matches were so short with bad finishes and too many run-ins that I lost count. I think there was at least an effort to promote everything at WrestleMania 2000, so that’s a positive thing, but more meaningful in-ring action would have helped.

It was memorable because of Stephanie winning the Women’s Title, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing because it showed how little they cared about that title by putting it on a joke champion like her.

—-

Please let me know what you think of these reviews and feel free to offer any suggestions too. Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows from earlier in the year. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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