TJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 08/03/00 Review

TJR Retro: WWF Smackdown 08/03/00 Review

The month of August is here and in the 2000 WWF world, it meant we were on the road to SummerSlam 2000. It was a time when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley were starting to have some marital problems. They were the focus of the show every week while others like Kurt Angle played a big part in the story and The Rock got to enjoy causing the chaos. Nothing was set for SummerSlam going into this show, but the seeds were being planted for the big matches.

Here’s the synopsis for this episode from WWE Network.

“The marital issues between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley continue to escalate when Commissioner Foley orders them to team up with Kurt Angle to take on Lita & The Dudley Boyz in the main event. Kane & WWE Champion The Rock unite for a Tag Team Match against Shane McMahon’s new allies. Plus, Tazz, Eddie Guerrero, and much more. / 14+ (D,L,S,V)”

Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives in case you missed anything (Raw, Smackdown and PPV reviews) from earlier in the year. Also, make sure to visit TJRWrestling.net daily for my reviews of the current WWE shows, plus historical columns and all the relevant current news in the wrestling business. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport and tweet me to talk about this show or anything else. Let’s get to it.

WWF Smackdown #50
August 3, 2000 (Taped August 1)
From Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Alabama

There was a recap of Raw from earlier in the week to show the problems between Triple H, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Trish Stratus getting involved again. Raw ended with The Rock hitting Hunter in the back with a chair and Hunter landed on top of Trish in the 69 position. Earlier in the night on that Raw, Stephanie left out of anger. Anyway, this video took about three minutes to recap everything.

Triple H was shown in the parking lot waiting for Stephanie to arrive when Trish Status showed up. Trish apologized for how things ended on Raw and she said she was embarrassed. Hunter said it’s Trish’s fault that he hasn’t talked to his wife in three days and that she won’t speak to him. Hunter told Trish to stay away from him, so Trish left. The Smackdown intro video aired after that.

The pyro went off in the arena as the crowd made a lot of noise and there were signs everywhere. The announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcomed us to the show.

Scotty Too Hotty entered for the first match with Grandmaster Sexay. Road Dogg joined commentary for this match.

Scotty Too Hotty (w/Grandmaster Sexay) vs. X-Pac (w/Road Dogg)

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

Scotty with a shoulder tackle, X-Pac with a hiptoss and both men quickly got back to their feet. Scotty with a kick that sent X-Pac out of the ring and X-Pac with a clothesline. Cole kept on asking Dogg about Triple H as X-Pac hit a suplex leading to a chinlock with Dogg saying nobody was asking Cole about how he bleached his hair. That was funny as X-Pac hit a belly to back suplex for two. Scotty fired back up with punches, then a leaping forearm and cover for two. Scotty charged in, X-Pac moved and X-Pac went shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Scotty avoided the Bronco Buster attempt, which led to the bulldog. Scotty hit the W-O-R-M to a HUGE pop from the crowd. The fans loved that move as Scotty hit the chop for a two count with X-Pac getting his foot on the bottom rope. Scotty with punches, the referee was close, X-Pac with a low blow and the X-Factor got the pinfall win at 4:12.

Winner by pinfall: X-Pac

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid match between two smaller wrestlers that were capable of good matches. There wasn’t much of a story here other than X-Pac and Road Dogg trying to see who was better, which led to a singles match between them at SummerSlam. That pop for the WORM was impressive at least.

Road Dogg said that X-Pac was up, but he was going to tie things up later since he faced Sexay later.

It was back to Triple H in the parking lot with a limo pulling up and there was Stephanie. When Hunter went up to her, she said she needs some space right now, so she walked into the building and Hunter backed away. When Stephanie got into the arena, Kurt Angle told her that he was there for her as a friend and she said thinks. She asked where Trish was, so Kurt said the dressing rooms were down a hallway.

(Commercial)

The ho’s were outside the arena with the “Save the Ho’s” signs. Just like on Raw, one of them was the future Victoria before she was given that name.

Let’s Hear from Shane McMahon and Friends

It was promo time with Shane McMahon leading Big Show and Chris Benoit down to the ring. They were booed by the fans since they were heels.

Shane spoke about how the balance of power in the WWF has shifted in their favor. Shane told the fans to pay respect to the Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian. Shane mentioned Kurt Angle, which drew boos. When Shane talked about Benoit, the fans booed him too. Lastly, Shane mentioned Big Show, which drew the loudest boos of them all. Shane said that collectively there’s nothing that they cannot accomplish. That’s why their targets have laid obliterated in their wake of destruction. Fans chanted “Rocky” at them. Shane said it didn’t matter how big, how tall or how small – if you are the target, then this group will take you out like that (finger snap). Shane mentioned The Undertaker.

Show said that Undertaker left him high and dry. Show said if you want a nasty animal then you got a taste of him first hand. Show mentioned Taker was the American Badass, but then he wondered if he was so bad let’s just look at the clips that they have. They showed clips of when Show, Shane and friends injured The Undertaker. Show called Taker the “American Dumbass” and they bleeped the “ass” part of that.

Benoit said speaking of dumbasses, let’s talk about Chris Jericho. Benoit noted that Jericho ran his mouth, but then Benoit taught him that a chair to the head will shut you up every time. A clip aired from last week’s Smackdown when Benoit injured Jericho during a cheap attack. Shane spoke about last week on Raw when Edge and Christian used the steel chairs to Jeff Hardy’s head.

Shane noted that Big Show and Benoit will be teaming up to face Kane and The Rock later on Smackdown. Huge pop for The Rock mention there. Shane said that they shared the happiness because tonight Kane and The Rock are their targets of destruction.

Analysis: It was just a typical promo early in the show to talk about a big match coming up later. Solid promo from everybody involved here. I remember at the time thinking this would be a heel stable with Shane in a manager role, but it didn’t really evolve into that. It was a pretty good mix of talent.

The foursome of Trish Stratus, Test, Albert and Intercontinental Champion Venis were in the locker room with Stephanie showing up to confront Trish. Stephanie called her a conniving, manipulative bitch. Stephanie ripped on Trish for her actions and mentioned Trish’s face in Hunter’s private area to end Raw. Stephanie told Trish the only move she’ll be doing is walking away from her husband. Stephanie left in anger. Test had a great line: “Thank God I didn’t marry that woman!” Well played.

(Commercial)

Triple H was in his dressing room with Stephanie showing up to say that they didn’t have to worry about Trish anymore. Hunter wanted to talk, but Stephanie didn’t want to talk and somebody knocked. Harvey Wippleman walked in to tell them that Commissioner Foley wanted to see them in his office.

Eddie Guerrero entered with Chyna to a pretty good pop. This act was working very well. The announcers mentioned a Chyna comic book. Rikishi was their partner as they showed a clip of Rikishi’s impressive steel cage dive on Val Venis at Fully Loaded. The heel team of Val Venis with Trish and Tazz were up next.

Eddie Guerrero and Rikishi (w/Chyna) vs. Tazz and Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus)

Pre-match notes: Eddie and Rikishi were the faces. Venis was the heel Intercontinental Champion and Tazz was also a heel.

Venis with a press slam on Guerrero. Eddie used his legs to send Val over the top to the floor. The battle was out on the floor, so Rikishi punched Venis and Chyna hit a clothesline. The referee was likely looking at Tazz during that. Rikishi tagged in, headbutts for both opponents and a double clothesline. Rikishi hit a running butt splash on both guys followed by Samoan Drop on Tazz. Rikishi hit Venis with a superkick. Eddie went up top, looked at his huge elbow pad and then jumped off with a Frog Splash for the pinfall win at 2:03.

Winners by pinfall: Eddie Guerrero and Rikishi

The reason why the elbow was a big deal is because this was the first time Eddie did the Frog Splash since he hurt his elbow doing the move earlier in the year.

Analysis: *1/2 This was rushed. It sucks when the entrances go as long as the match. The refereeing was sloppy there because it looked like Rikishi was the legal man even though there was no tag and then Eddie was the one that got the pinfall. Normally the referees don’t make those kinds of mistakes in WWE. Anyway, Eddie pinning Val here was done that way because it would set up a SummerSlam match a few weeks later.

Triple H and Stephanie showed up in Mick Foley’s “office” somewhere backstage beside some cage. Foley said he was going to fine Stephanie for walking out of a match on Raw. Kurt Angle showed up, Hunter yelled at him and Angle said he is just Stephanie’s friend. Foley said that they are tag team partners with Triple H right here in Birmingham, Alabama (cheap pop) for a six-person tag team match with no disqualifications. They will take on Lita and the Dudley Boyz later on Smackdown. The trio did not like that idea.

(Commercial)

Jeff Hardy was shown backstage telling Matt Hardy that he was okay, but Matt told Jeff he had to stay back there. Matt told Jeff there’s a life after wrestling and he wants him to see it. Matt told Lita to keep Jeff backstage.

Edge and Christian as the WWF Tag Team Champions. No pre-match promo from the champions. Matt Hardy entered as the opponent on his own.

Edge (w/Christian) vs. Matt Hardy

Pre-match notes: Edge was a heel that was one half of the Tag Team Champions while Matt was a face.

Matt ran into the ring with a spear on Edge. Matt with a back body drop on Edge out of the ring and then Matt jumped off the top with a cross body block on both guys on the floor. Matt jumped off the middle rope with a leg drop. Christian grabbed Matt while Edge distracted the referee and Edge hit a baseball slide dropkick. Edge sent Matt back first into the barricade to take control. Back in the ring, Edge did some choking and sent Matt on the top turnbuckle. Matt came back with an elbow to the head followed by a moonsault press onto a standing Edge for two. Christian slid in a chair, Edge wasn’t able to use it and Matt got a rollup for two. Christian with a cheap shot to Matt’s back, Edge hit a flapjack and got a two count. Edge went up top, Matt met him there and Matt hit a superplex. Jeff ran out to the ring with a ladder and he knocked down Christian with it. Jeff stood on top of the ladder, but then he was dizzy, so he fell off it and went into the ropes as well as into the ring. The referee Jimmy Korderas called for help for Jeff, so Edge got a chair and hit Matt in the head with a steel chair for the blatant DQ at 4:36.

Winner by disqualification: Matt Hardy

Analysis: **3/4 Good work by two guys very familiar with eachother. The non-finish was common for this storyline where Edge and Christian were doing cheap tactics regularly. The chair shot was very loud. Jeff’s fall was almost comical, but he did sell it well.

Edge and Christian left with the titles while the Hardys were down in the ring with Lita checking on them while officials checked on the Hardys. They replayed Jeff’s fall and Matt taking that brutal chair shot.

The Rock was backstage with the WWF Title on his shoulder as Kevin Kelly tried to interview him with fans chanting “Rocky” for the champion. Rock did his usual intro about how he has finally come back to Birmingham. Rock mentioned all he’s gone through with Benoit, anybody can be like Benoit. Rock said even Kevin Kelly can be like Benoit. Rock turned his back to the camera, then he instructed Kelly to do something, so Rock said that Kelly is like Benoit, so Kelly smiled with a black thing in his tooth since Benoit had a missing tooth. The fans popped and laughed at that. Rock wanted “Benoit” to stick the tongue through the gap and lick a wolverine’s ass. Rock ripped on Big Show saying he got Rock’s attention, but not by taking out Undertaker or aligning with Shane McMahon. Rock did a Big Show Chokeslam impression, which drew more laughs and cheers. Rock fired up hyping up the tag team match saying they’ll kick their candy asses all over Smackdown…if ya smell what The Rock…is cooking (people’s eyebrow). Huge pop.

Analysis: Rock rules. Comedy gold on a consistent basis. There’s nobody else like him, that’s for sure.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of last week’s Smackdown when Big Show gave Kane a Chokeslam through a table.

The big tag team match was set for the midway point in the show with Big Show entering first for his team while Chris Benoit was joined by his buddy Shane McMahon. The faces were next with Kane getting a decent reaction while The Rock got the biggest pop of the night so far.

Chris Benoit and Big Show (w/Shane McMahon) vs. Kane and The Rock

Pre-match notes: The Rock was the babyface WWF Champion while Kane was also a face. Big Show and Benoit were heels.

The heels attacked Kane before Rock was in the ring, so Rock got in there and the faces cleared the ring quickly. Benoit worked over Rock with knees to the ribs as fans chanted “Rocky” and Rock hit a belly to belly suplex. Rock worked over Benoit with punches including the spit punch leading to a big bump. Benoit with a neckbreaker led to Show tagging in against Rock with punches. Rock bounced off the turnbuckle with a clothesline. Kane got a big pop when he tagged in and hit a running clothesline. Benoit got a cheap knee to the back of Kane, then Show knocked down Kane with a punch and the heels took over again. Benoit hit a belly to back suplex on Kane. Benoit sent Kane into the turnbuckle, Kane with a back elbow, Kane with a boot to the face and bulldog by Kane on Show. Rock got the hot tag against Benoit with the fans exploding in cheers! Wow, what a hot tag pop. Rock with a Samoan Drop and a DDT for a two count. Rock with a leg takedown leading to a Sharpshooter submission, but Big Show in the ring, Shane in the ring, Rock punched Shane out of the ring and Shane took a great bump out of the ring. Show in the ring illegally with a forearm to the back of Rock. Kane with punches on Show leading to a clothesline that sent Show over the top to the floor. Rock hit a spinebuster on Benoit. The referee Earl Hebner was looking at the guys on the floor even though they weren’t legal. Rock set up for the People’s Elbow, but Shane got back in the ring with a leaping steel chair shot to the head of Rock! That looked great. Rock who got his hand up to block, which is smart and Rock did that most of the time. The referee is also deaf apparently. Benoit went up top and hit a headbutt to Rock for the pinfall win at 8:25. Cole was yelling about Benoit has pinned the WWF Champion, which was the point of this finish.

Winners by pinfall: Chris Benoit and Big Show

Analysis: *** Fun match with a hot crowd that was going wild for everything. It’s so easy to get into the match when the fans care so much. I liked how the cheap finish was booked. Rock had no problem putting people over in his career, but a lot of times they were cheap losses. I thought this was booked well with Shane getting involved to help Benoit win. The win by Benoit would set up a WWF Title match on the next Raw, which was at Madison Square Garden.

Post match, Shane with a chair to Kane’s back and Kane no-sold that. Shane tried to run away, Kane threw a chair, Shane ducked and Show hit Kane from behind with a forearm. Show and Kane were on the steel stage where the screens were. Kane with a kick to the groin of Show. Shane with punches and kicks, Show pulled off a steel grate from the stage, so there was a hole there. Show hit Kane with punches. Show gave Kane a Chokeslam “through” the stage that had the hole in it. Show left while Shane looked down where Kane was shown out on the floor. That’s the magic of television editing, my friends.

Analysis: Big spot on the stage to get more heat for Big Show with another big attack on Kane. There was probably a soft landing for Kane there, but we don’t get to see that. The idea is that Kane was given a Chokeslam to the floor from about ten feet (or more) high.

There were EMTs with a board for Kane, who refused it and crawled away.

(Commercial)

There were replays of Big Show’s attack on Kane with Lawler noting that Shane had a shocked look on his face as well. They said that Kane refused medical attention.

Right to Censor’s Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather were backstage. They were shown by the APA office where they noted that the APA guys left. They cleared all the beers, cards, cigars and other stuff from the APA “office” and threw them in a box. Richards put their logo on the table. Right to Censor left.

Analysis: That’s some real office censorship heat, pal.

The next match was champion vs. champion with only the Hardcore Title on the line.

Hardcore Championship: Steve Blackman vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri)

Pre-match notes: Blackman was the face Hardcore Champion while Saturn was the European Champion.

Saturn with a superkick while on the floor and Blackman kicked Saturn. Terri sprayed some of the fire extinguisher spray into Blackman’s face. Back in the ring, Blackman kicked a trash can into Saturn. Terri hit Blackman in the head with a trash can lid. Blackman grabbed Terri, so Saturn went up top and hit a cross body block on Blackman for a two count on the floor. They went brawling up the ramp with Saturn hitting a powerslam on the ramp for two. That’s when Al Snow ran out and hit Saturn in the head with Al Snow’s mannequin Head and Blackman covered Saturn on the ramp to win at 1:40.

Winner by pinfall: Steve Blackman

Analysis: *1/2 It was fine while it lasted, but then the finished was rushed. Snow helped Blackman because Snow and Blackman lost a tag team match on Raw earlier in the week.

The Godfather’s ladies were shown earlier in the night leading the fans in “save the ho’s” chants.

The APA guys were back in their office and they were furious over what Right to Censor did to their stuff.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of Triple H and Stephanie in their dressing room with Stephanie telling Hunter that she didn’t want to change into her wrestling gear in front of him. Hunter was mad about that. What about the camera guy in the room? Oh right, we have to pretend they aren’t there. Hunter left.

The Right to Censor guys entered with Steven Richards about to do a promo, but then the APA music hit as they entered.

Right to Censor (The Goodfather and Bull Buchanan) w/Steven Richards vs. APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq)

Pre-match notes: The Right to Censor guys were the heels while the Acolyte Protection Agency were the faces.

Goodfather with a shoulder tackle on Bradshaw. The APA guys were wrestling in jeans and t-shirts. Bradshaw with a back elbow on Goodfather, but then Goodfather bounced off the corner with a clothesline. You could tell WWE was using a lot of fake crowd noise here. The women in the crowd were leading “save the ho’s” chants. Buchanan hit a clothesline off the ropes on Bradshaw. Faarooq got the tag, spinebuster on Buchanan and a powerslam on Goodfather. Richards sent 2×4 piece of wood to Goodfather, who hit Faarooq in the back with it and Bull hit the scissors kick for the win at 1:23.

Winners by pinfall:  Right to Censor (The Goodfather and Bull Buchanan)

Analysis: * It was rushed with the heels getting the cheap win. That kind of finish got the heels even more heat because they complain about violence a lot, yet they cheated with a weapon in order to get the win. Fans don’t like hypocrites. The RTC group was new and getting the push, so that’s why they got the win over the more experienced APA team.

Road Dogg was sitting in the locker room with Mideon talking about his match coming up and Hunter went in there with Dogg asking why he was there. Hunter said his wife threw him out of their locker room. Dogg told Hunter to talk it out with Stephanie and Hunter said she won’t even talk to him. Dogg left while Mideon asked Hunter to borrow his toothbrush, but Hunter just stared at him and Mideon left.

Analysis: A rare Mideon signing. Star of the night! Just kidding.

(Commercial)

A video aired about the XFL announcing that one of the teams would be in Birmingham. It lasted one year and lost a lot of money. It’s a surprise that they leave in those clips.

Road Dogg did his introduction for his match with X-Pac joining him while Grandmaster Sexay had Scotty with him.

Road Dogg (w/X-Pac) vs. Grandmaster Sexay (w/Scotty 2 Hotty)

Pre-match notes: Dogg was the heel while Sexay was the face. The story was that Dogg and X-Pac were trying to see who was better.

Dogg with a shoulder tackle, Sexay with a kick to the gut and a clothesline for two. X-Pac was on commentary saying he was the best technical wrestler. Sexay with a face first takedown that sent Dogg face first into the mat. Sexay to the top, X-Pac shoved and Sexay landed on his feet. Dogg went after Sexay, who moved and Dogg hit X-Pac off the apron. Sexay with a superkick on Dogg. Sexay went up top, put on the goggles and connected with the Hip Hop Drop leg drop. X-Pac in the ring, Scotty punched him, so the referee made Scotty leave the ring. X-Pac with a spin kick on Sexay and Dogg covered for the pinfall win at 1:58.

Winner by pinfall: Road Dogg

Analysis: *1/4 Another match that was too short and felt rushed. A cheap win for a heel, which was pretty common on this show since all the other heel wins weren’t clean either. I don’t mind it that much. That’s what heels should do. Since X-Pac won earlier, it made sense for Dogg to win as well to keep both of them strong with positive momentum.

Post match, the two teams got into a brawl with Rikishi slowly getting into the ring. Rikishi with a  punch on Dogg, a superkick on X-Pac, Dogg was punched out of the ring and Scotty hit a splash on X-Pac. Sexay with a splash on X-Pac. That set up for Rikishi to charge in, but Road Dogg pulled X-Pac out of the way for the save. That ended that.

Shane showed up in the locker room to talk to Triple H, who was getting his left arm taped up even more than it was. Shane told Hunter he needed Kurt Angle, but Hunter didn’t think so. Shane told Hunter he needed to get with Kurt, so Hunter reluctantly agreed. Kurt Angle walked into the ring, Shane told them they had to get it together for Stephanie’s safety. Shane said that if his sister Stephanie goes through a table, they’ve got hell to pay. Shane told them to talk about it.

A SummerSlam commercial featured Chyna running on a beach towards a fat shirtless guy and Chyna hit him with a clothesline. Trish and The Kat were there in bikinis to laugh about it.

(Commercial)

The video aired promoting WWF’s Smackdown Your Vote election campaign.

The announcers talked about how the fans could register their vote.

Kurt Angle and Triple H were talking strategy in the locker room. Angle said: “Your Three H’s plus my three I’s can easily over the 3 D’s of the Dudleys.” Hunter was not interested in that and Hunter told him to get the hell out of there.

Analysis: Angle is hilarious. That was ridiculous, but he made it work.

There were clips of the Dudley Boyz and Lita in separate parts of the arena walking towards the ring for the main event.

(Commercial)

An update on Kane is that he was taken to a “medical facility” (they can’t say hospital) after Big Show delivered a Chokeslam through the stage that saw Kane land on the floor…in theory.

The entrances took place for the main event with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, the WWF Women’s Champion, walking to the ring together with Stephanie walking quickly, which Hunter didn’t like. They replayed the spot on Raw that led to more marriage problems. Kurt Angle was up next as their partner. Lita was out first for her team for a good pop and the Dudleys got a huge ovation.

No Disqualification Match: Triple H, Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) and Lita

Pre-match notes: The Triple H team were heels while the Dudleys and Lita were the faces. Lita was in the main event on Raw and Smackdown in the same week for the first time in her career.

Triple H whipped Bubba into the turnbuckle, Bubba with a boot to the face and a clothesline off the middle ropes. Hunter hit a neckbreaker on Bubba, Angle was tagged in and Bubba hit Kurt with a body slam. D-Von tagged in with a punch on Angle, then Angle came back with an elbow and a clothesline as Stephanie looked impressed by Angle. Hunter sent Bubba in the ropes, Angle with a kick to the back, Bubba punched Kurt and Hunter with a clothesline. Angle was back in with punches and kicks. Angle with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Angle tagged in Stephanie, who kicked Bubba and Hunter tagged back in while yelling at Angle. Hunter with the facebuster into the knee. Angle was back in with punches, but Bubba worked him over with hard chops to the chest. Bubba with a kick, but then Angle came back with a German Suplex. D-Von tagged in with punches, a back elbow and a leaping forearm on Angle. D-Von hit a reverse suplex on Hunter for a two count with Angle breaking it up. Bubba with a body slam on Hunter, D-Von went up top and hit the Whassup headbutt to the groin. Bubba slammed Angle and D-Von did the headbutt to Angle’s groin as well. Bubba with the shove: “D-Von, get the tables!” The fans loved that as the Dudleys brought a table in the ring. Earl Hebner was arguing with Stephanie to try to keep her out of the ring as the Dudleys stared at Stephanie, which led to HUGE cheers from the crowd. Hunter saved his wife by hitting Bubba in the back and Angle got back into it as well. Stephanie and Lita squared off in the ring while the guys were on the floor. Lita pulled down Stephanie by the head followed by punches to the head. Lita tossed Stephanie across the ring. Hunter whipped Bubba into the steel steps and Lita hit a suplex on Stephanie. Lita went up top, Hunter pulled his wife out of the way and Lita hit the mat. Hunter hit Lita with a Pedigree and Stephanie but Hunter on top of Lita. The referee Earl Hebner, who had left the ring, was not there to count. Why did he leave the ring? It didn’t make sense. D-Von pulled Hunter out of the ring at this point while Bubba went in the ring and he got a hold of Stephanie, but there was Angle to save Stephanie. Angle clipped the back of the leg of Bubba and then threw him out of the ring. Hunter and D-Von were up the ramp by this point. Stephanie covered Lita, who was still down from the Pedigree and Stephanie got the pinfall win for her team at 9:15.

Winners by pinfall: Triple H, Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a fun, well-booked tag team match with a lot of action going on, but they made it all work and it made sense. You could say that it was flawed because in a No DQ tag team match, there is no reason to make tags or have people stan on the apron, so that’s something that hurts from a logical point of view. With that said, it was different 20 years ago. Stephanie pinning Lita in that manner was very fluky and the idea was to get a lot of heat, which it did.

Post match, Angle went into the ring and gave Stephanie a big hug while Triple H was on the stage. Triple H was looking back in the ring and he was angry about that. The visual at the top of the post was that image. Angle continued to hug Stephanie. Hunter was pissed off and the announcers were freaking out. That was the end of Smackdown.

Analysis: The blossoming “friendship” of Stephanie and Kurt pissed off Hunter for months leading up to this, so now it was really in the spotlight.

This episode of Smackdown had a run time of 1:32:22 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Rock
  2. Triple H
  3. Matt Hardy/Edge

 

The Scoreboard

This episode gets a 6.5 out of 10.

The show continued to focus on Triple H as usual with Stephanie McMahon and her friendship with Kurt Angle getting pushed more as well. That really became the dominant story and you can tell by how many segments they were in. I thought that main event match was booked very well with a clever finish to have Stephanie win cheap thanks to Kurt while Hunter was up the aisle and looking pissed off when he saw what happened. The perfect way of telling that story.

There were a lot of rushed matches on this show. For example, three of the four matches in the second hour were under two minutes. I think they can time the matches better than that. Also, every match won by a heel had a cheap ending, so you can say that the booking was consistent in that regard. There were at least two good matches with the main event and Matt Hardy vs. Edge, which had a cheap finish to continue that storyline.

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Check out our WWF in 2000 archives for my reviews of all the other shows (Raw, Smackdown, PPVs) from earlier in the year. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email [email protected]

Twitter @johnreport