The 13th annual SummerSlam took place during my favorite year in WWE history, 2000. It was a time when the roster was stacked from top to bottom, there was a nice mix of main event talent that was fresh, midcarders that you could see would be ready to rise to main events and the tag team division was as good as ever too. There wasn’t much in the way of quality women’s wrestling, but that improved a bit over the next few years as well.
The Rock and Triple H had established themselves as the top two guys with Rock as the main face and Triple H as the main heel. I thought their 60-minute Ironman match at Judgment Day 2000 was the perfect example of two guys at their peak pulling off a fantastic match that was better than most people expected.
Steve Austin was off this show because he missed most of 2000 after major neck surgery. While his absence was felt due to his status as the top guy in WWE the two prior years, there was enough depth in the company that they managed to ride the wave they were on and had a great year. By this point, we knew online that Austin was going to be back soon. He made his in-ring return two months later in October 2000 at No Mercy.
As for WWE’s main competitor, World Championship Wrestling, they were clearly fading by this point with a severe drop in terms of ratings, attendance and overall interest in the company. They ended up closing in March 2001 when WWE bought them out.
Lastly, I listened to the Bruce Prichard “Something to Wrestle With” podcast about this show a few weeks ago, so there will be some tidbits from Bruce that I’ll mention throughout the review. Let’s roll.
WWE SummerSlam 2000
Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina
August 27, 2000
The opening video package featured some clips of “Classy” Freddie Blassie in a chair while there was black and white footage like an opera. It focused on the triple threat main event between The Rock, Triple H and Kurt Angle.
The pyro went off by the entrance and in the ring as the crowd was full of signs and a lot of enthusiasm. Jim Ross noted they have over a $1.1 million gate, which is something they didn’t mention that often. They must have been really happy about it. There was also a shot of WWF New York restaurant.
The announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show.
The Right to Censor trio of Stevie Richards, Bull Buchanan and The Godfather entered. Richards said I would think people in the bible belt would support them, yet the fans boo them. Richards tried to talk trash about Rikishi, but the Too Cool music hit to interrupt. Rikishi entered with Victoria and another girl with him. She was a storyline ho at that point. That’s a term I don’t have to use anymore: “storyline ho.”
Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather) vs. Rikishi and Too Cool (Brian Christopher & Scotty 2 Hotty)
(Pre-match notes: Rikishi and Too Cool were the faces while Right to Censor were heels. The RTC was a joke name ripping off the Parents Television Council – or PTC – group that often criticized WWE during that era.)
The faces were on fire early. Scotty tripped up Bull in the corner and went up top with a cross body block for a two count. Christopher tagged in for a double team suplex by Too Cool. Goodfather in for the heels and he missed a charging attack on Christopher. Victoria tried a slap, but Goodfather shoved her down and he shoved down the blonde woman. Boot to the face by Goodfather on Christopher. Fans were chanting “Save the ho’s.” Richards in with a Powerbomb on Christopher with JR noting earlier it was Richards’ first time in a WWE ring. Christopher nailed a suplex off the top to take down Richards. Rikishi hot tag on Richards, but the other heels went in the rings, so punches by Rikishi on everybody and a double clothesline. Rikishi dumped Richards to the floor. Victoria sent Richards back in. Rikishi threw all three heels into the turnbuckle, Scotty splash, Christopher splash and Rikishi with a big splash on Richards. Rikishi with a Samoan Drop on Goodfather. Buchanan axe kick on Rikishi. Scotty with a bulldog and teased the WORM, but Richards dumped Christopher out of the ring and Richards hit a superkick on Scotty. Richards pinned Scotty even though I’m pretty sure Rikishi was legal. The match went 5:14.
Winners by pinfall: Right to Censor
Analysis: *1/2 It was fine for the time given to give the heels a win. The crowd loved Rikishi and Too Cool so they were hot for everything, but the heels winning made sense because it was early in the run for the RTC.
There was a shot of Kurt Angle arriving earlier in the night on Heat. Jonathon Coachman asked him a question about kissing Stephanie on Smackdown. They showed Stephanie arriving on Heat. There was a clip from Smackdown when Angle kissed Stephanie on the couch. At first, she was resistant to it, but then she was into it.
Analysis: I remember thinking that Stephanie was going to turn on Triple H to help Angle. That was the popular choice among most fans.
Shane McMahon had the Hardcore Title and he was interviewed by Michael Cole backstage. Shane said he loved his sister Stephanie. Steve Blackman was shown walking towards him, so Shane took off running.
Road Dogg did a promo before his match about how everybody will know who the best man is.
Road Dogg vs. X-Pac
(Pre-match notes: Both guys were in Degeneration X. They were heels most of the year, but they had a tough time getting along at this point. Road Dogg was more like a face.)
The fans chanted “X-Pac sucks” early on as Road Dogg kicked him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Road Dogg blocked a kick and hit a clothesline. X-Pack nailed Dogg with three kicks in the corner, which was followed by a Bronco Buster while Dogg bailed to the floor to avoid it. X-Pac slapped on a sleeper on Road Dogg. After Dogg broke free, X-Pac hit a spinning heel kick to knock him down. Bronco Buster by X-Pac on Dogg in the corner connected this time. JR said the crowd was mixed even though they booed X-Pac mostly. Dogg did his juke-jive punch combo, a splash to the back and a knee drop for two. Dogg countered the X-Factor with a slam. Dogg went for the Pumphandle Slam, X-Pac countered with a low blow kick and the X-Factor facebuster for the pinfall win at 4:41.
Winner by pinfall: X-Pac
Analysis: * Quick match with a cheap finish. I think they could have done that low blow spot better because the ref was standing right there and simply ignored what he should have seen.
Post match, X-Pac did a promo saying we found out who the better man is and they’re still a great team. X-Pac said no hard feelings. Dogg, kicked him in the gut and hit the Pumphandle Slam followed by DX chops.
Analysis: Just a quick post match angle to get Road Dogg revenge after the low blow.
They plugged “Vinnie’s Steak House & Tavern” in Raleigh. Prichard said on his podcast that Vince McMahon’s best friend owned it and named it after Vince, so that’s why it was mentioned.
Eddie Guerrero and Chyna were backstage talking about their match. Chyna said somebody is going to get lucky tonight.
Trish Stratus was in the locker room with Val Venis, who was the Intercontinental Champion. Trish asked about who would be a better centerfold between her and Chyna. Val told her it’s not about that, it’s about the IC Title.
Val Venis, the IC Champion, walked out with Trish for the tag match. Trish looked great of course. Eddie and Chyna entered next as the challengers.
Intercontinental Championship Tag Team Match: Val Venis & Trish Stratus vs. Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
(Pre-match notes: Eddie and Chyna were the faces while Val and Trish were the heels. Trish wasn’t wrestling a lot by this point. She was mostly a manager in 2000, which was her first year.)
Val’s IC Title is on the line. If Eddie or Chyna pins either Val or Trish then they become IC Champion.
Guerrero with a running kick and Northern Lights suplex for two. Venis came back with elbow drops followed by a knee drop. Chyna tagged in with a huge clothesline for Venis. Double flapjack by Chyna and Eddie as a notice a sign in the crowd that says: “Chyna get me a beer bitch.” Needs some commas in there, buddy. Anyway, not very flattering. It got taken away moments later. Venis with a kick to the gut and Chyna hit another clothesline. Trish tried a cheapshot, Chyna grabbed her, Venis with a punch to the back and a back suplex. Venis with a suplex. Elbow drop off the middle rope missed for Venis. The ref was distracted by Eddie, so Chyna hit a low blow punch. Chyna hit a DDT on Venis and a tag to Eddie. Guerrero with a back body drop and a springboard hurricanrana for a two count. Venis hit a sitout spinebuster. Double forearm by the guys put them both down. Trish got the tag against Eddie and she pinned him for a two count. Trish kicked Eddie a few times, he blocked it and brought in Chyna. Two clotheslines from Chyna on Trish followed by a body slam. Venis pulled Chyna down by the hair. Venis sent Eddie to the floor. Eddie pulled Val out of the ring, Trish tried a clothesline on Chyna, which led to Chyna no selling it and Trish falling down. Chyna with a Gorilla Press Slam on Trish leading to a cover and victory at 7:08.
Winners by pinfall: Chyna & Eddie Guerrero (Chyna wins the Intercontinental Championship)
Chyna won the IC Title for winning the match. Venis was furious with Stratus about losing the title. Eddie put the title around Chyna’s waist.
Analysis: *3/4 The crowd was into it, but it was a below average match. Trish was very limited in what she could do. Chyna no selling her offense leading to the finish drew a pop. Not an exciting match, though. The heels didn’t come close to winning, so there wasn’t a lot of drama either.
Chyna continued the celebration with Eddie.
Analysis: I remember there being a lot of IC Title changes in 2000. I looked it up and saw that there were 11 title changes for the IC Title that year. Nearly one per month is a crazy amount of title changes. Chyna’s reign only lasted eight days because Eddie won it from her.
There was clip from WWF Radio recorded at WWF New York. The WWF Radio was a concept that didn’t last very long.
Stephanie McMahon was shown backstage talking to a makeup lady with Stephanie admitting to her that Kurt is a good kisser.
A video aired of Tazz starting his feud with Jerry Lawler. There was a moment on Raw where Tazz picked on JR, so Lawler punched Tazz to defend JR. Tazz attacked Lawler on Smackdown leading to Lawler bleeding. Tazz also smashed a car window while JR was in it, so JR was bloody from it. During this show, JR had a scar around his right eye to sell it.
Analysis: Tazz started in WWE at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year after being a top guy in ECW. They tried him out as a face, it didn’t work and he turned heel.
Tazz walked out with a black cowboy hat and walking stick to mock JR’s eye injury. Lawler punched him to start the match.
Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Tazz
(Pre-show notes: Lawler was the face in this match even though he was a heel announcer. Tazz was the heel.)
Lawler hit a body slam followed by his fist drop off the second rope. Lawler missed an attack off the ropes, so Tazz stomped away. Running clothesline from Tazz as JR called the match by himself. Tazz dumped Lawler to the floor and talked trash to JR. Back in the ring, Tazz hit a headbutt to the stomach followed by a body slam. Tazz to the middle rope, he jumped off and missed with whatever he was trying to do. King pulled the strap down, punches and a piledriver connected for Lawler. Tazz no sold it and shoved Lawler into the referee. Tazz told Ross he’s going to choke out Lawler and then choke out JR. Tazz slapped on the Tazzmission on Lawler. JR grabbed a candy jar from ringside, Lawler pinned Tazz and ref Teddy Long woke up to count the pin at 4:23. The crowd popped big for the finish.
Winner by pinfall: Jerry Lawler
Post match, Lawler celebrated the win with JR at ringside.
Analysis: * It was an angle more than a match designed to give JR some revenge on Tazz. Since JR was so loved by the crowd, the fans got into the finish even though it wasn’t much of a match. As for Tazz, it eventually led to him becoming an announcer on Heat and later Smackdown. Tazz was the main Smackdown color commentator on Smackdown until 2006 when he was moved to ECW and left the company a few years later.
Shane McMahon was interviewed by Lilian Garcia backstage about Stephanie getting kissed by Angle. Shane didn’t say much and left for his match.
Hardcore Championship: Shane McMahon vs. Steve Blackman
(Pre-match notes: Shane was an apprehensive heel champion while Blackman was the face challenger.)
Blackman chased Shane early as Shane jumped the barrier and went into the crowd. Blackman went after him with a trash can shot to the head as they battled in the crowd. Blackman sent Shane into the trash can. They went back to ringside with Blackman hitting Shane with a thrust kick. Blackman hit Shane with a trash can lid to the head. Blackman put a trash can on Shane’s upper body and hit him with sticks followed a side kick that knocked Shane down. Suplex by Blackman on Shane using a stick as an assist on the slam. Blackman had a strap around Shane’s neck and put him in a single leg crab submission. Test and Albert ran out to save Shane. Two handed choke into a slam by Albert. Double team by the tag team as Test hit Blackman in the head with a trash can lid. Elbow off the top by Test onto a trash can lid on Blackman’s face. Blackman tried to fight back, but the bigger heels knocked him down. Shane with a leaping attack with a street sign to knock down Blackman. Shane put the leather strap around Blackman’s neck and they took Blackman over to the entrance area. Test tried dropping an equipment box on Blackman, but Blackman avoided it. Albert accidentally hit Test with a kendo stick. Blackman got the stick and beat on both guys with it. Shane climbed up the metal apparatus that was by the entrance. Blackman went after him with the kendo stick in his hand. Blackman went after Shane with the kendo stick. Blackman hit Shane in the back again, you could see Shane looking down to see if he was in the right spot and when Blackman hit Shane in the back again, down Shane went. It was around a 50 foot drop for Shane as he went crashing into some black padded area. One of the biggest bumps in WWE history. The crowd was going crazy about it. Blackman climbed down part of the apparatus and jumped from about 25 feet high. Blackman put his arm on top for the pin and ref Jimmy Korderas counted the pinfall at 10:07
Winner by pinfall and New WWE Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman
Analysis: ** The match is famous for that ending spot. There wasn’t much to the rest of it, but when you think about this show that fall by Shane is a moment we’ll never forget. It’s one of those bumps where it was carefully planned out, yet you still cringe watching it because of how dangerous it looked. The rest of the match is pretty average stuff.
Post match, Blackman was handed the Hardcore Title while Shane was taken away on a stretcher. The announcers talked about what happened as there was another shot of Shane on the stretcher.
Analysis: It was designed to get Blackman more over as a face specifically in the hardcore division. It worked a bit, but Blackman had a bland personality in an era where so many others stood out for having big personalities.
Stephanie McMahon was in the locker room freaking out about Shane. Angle went into the room to hug her. Foley walked in to say that he thinks Shane landed on his kisser and Stephanie left with Foley to check on Shane.
A clip aired of the Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho feud. Benoit was a heel associated with Shane McMahon at the time while Jericho was a face. It was an intense rivalry between two former WCW guys trying to prove themselves in a WWE. That led to a 2 out of 3 Falls match at SummerSlam.
Two out of Three Falls: Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho
(Pre-match notes: Benoit was the heel without Shane at his side due to Shane’s fall. Jericho was the face.)
They were both very aggressive early on. Jericho sent Benoit into the corner with a catapult followed by a German Suplex, which Jericho didn’t do that often. They teased a Tombstone spot with Benoit hitting a shoulderbreaker. Jericho came back with a bulldog, but the Lionsault missed because Benoit got his knees up. Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface submission. Jericho tapped out to lose the first fall. Benoit’s music played briefly because I guess the music guy forgot this was 2/3 Falls.
Winner of first fall by submission: Chris Benoit
The second fall began with Benoit applying the Crippler Crossface again. Jericho managed to slowly crawl his way to the bottom rope to break free. Benoit continued the offense as he sent Jericho left shoulder first into the ring post a few times. Jericho nailed a forearm to get some offense going. Benoit avoided a punch and hit a German Suplex. Jericho rolled through of another suplex attempt. Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho submission. Benoit was close to the ropes, so Jericho walked towards the center of the ring and put his knee towards the head of Benoit to make it more like a Liontamer. Benoit tapped out. Jericho’s music played briefly since he won the fall.
Winner of the second fall by submission: Chris Jericho
Jericho with a backbreaker and he went up top leading to a flying back elbow for a two count for Jericho. They battled with each guy going for a move and Benoit ended up hitting a Dragon Suplex (Full Nelson Suplex) for a two count. Benoit went up, Jericho went after him and Jericho hit a top rope hurricanrana. Sweet move that’s not easy to do, but they executed it perfectly as Jericho sold his left shoulder on the way down before a delayed pin for two. Jericho was in control with clotheslines followed by a spinning heel kick for two as Benoit’s foot was on the bottom rope. Lawler’s prediction was that “Chris would win this match.” Well played. Jericho connected with the Lionsault, but his arm was too hurt and that prevented Jericho from making the cover. Jericho into the ropes, Jericho got a cradle, Benoit went on top for a cover of his own and Benoit held the bottom rope with his right hand (the ref didn’t see it) to win the match by pinfall at 13:20.
Winner of the second fall by pinfall: Chris Benoit
Winner of the match 2 falls to 1: Chris Benoit
Analysis: ***3/4 Very good match between two of my favorite wrestlers at the time. I liked the story of the match with each guy getting a submission fall followed by Benoit using cheap tactics to find a way to win. It fit the heel character of Benoit. The reason Benoit got the win is because he was part of the four way main event at the next PPV, Unforgiven 2000, so he used his momentum from this match to get the title shot. The Dragon Suplex was incredible to see because I had seen guys using it in Japan, but it was not a common move in WWE. This wasn’t their best match in WWE although it was still pretty good. If you want to see their best match, I recommend the Royal Rumble 2001 Ladder Match won by Jericho. That was awesome.
Triple H was shown arriving. There was another clip of Kurt and Stephanie kissing on Smackdown.
A video package set up the TLC Tag Team Title match between Edge and Christian (the Tag Team Champions), The Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz. It featured the chair usage from E&C, Dudleys using tables and Hardys using ladders in the weeks leading up to this match. Foley announced the first ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match…oh my.
Analysis: I remember going into this match thinking the Hardy Boyz would win in their home state of North Carolina. I was wrong.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships: Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) vs. The Dudley Boyz
(Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were heels. The other two teams were faces.)
The only way to win the match is to reach up and pull down the titles.
Matt threw a chair at Bubba and Bubba threw a chair at Jeff. Running splash in the corner by Christian on D-Von and Edge with a drop toe hold on D-Von onto the chair. Bubba sent a ladder into Edge’s face followed by a Bubba DDT on Christian as the crowd chanted for tables. Bubba tried a climb, but the Hardys pulled him down. Jeff and D-Von climbed up, so Edge hit a double Russian legsweep to bring them both down. Christian went up, Bubba went after him and hit a Full Nelson Slam on Christian. Nasty looking move and many more to come. Jeff tried a climb, so Edge shoved him off and Jeff landed on another ladder that was like a see saw that also hit Matt in the head. The Conchairto attempt by E&C missed as Jeff moved and Bubba took them all down with ladder shots to the head. Bubba slam on Edge leading to D-Von hitting a headbutt to the groin of Edge for the Wassup Drop and Bubba telling D-Von to get the tables. Such a huge ovation for that. Dudleys hit 3D on Christian through the table. There were two tables on the floor, so the Dudleys put two tables on them as they stacked four tables. Edge nailed both Dudleys with chair shots to the head. Matt hit Twist of Fate on Edge. Matt with a leg drop off a ladder on Edge. Jeff leaped over the ladder and hit a leg drop on Edge as well. That’s such a cool spot. Matt trapped Edge between a ladder and slammed Christian off the top rope onto Edge on the ladder. Jeff set up Bubba on two tables on the floor. Jeff knocked down D-Von and climbed up the ladder. Jeff went off the top of a ladder, did a Swanton and Bubba moved off it, so Jeff went crashing through the table. It’s a spot Jeff did at WrestleMania 16 earlier in the year, but this time he missed.
Matt brought the big ladder in the ring. JR said it was a 20-foot ladder, but it looked more like a 15-foot ladder if I had to guess. Still big. Christian hit a reverse DDT on Matt off the ladder. Edge and D-Von went crashing off a ladder. Bubba looked stunned at ringside. Bubba climbed up the big ladder, Edge and Christian shoved the ladder and Bubba went crashing through the four tables outside the ring! Damn! At WrestleMania 17 in 2001, they did that spot again with Bubba and Matt crashing through the tables. This drew a massive reaction and was unlike anything we had ever seen before. Edge and Christian did a slow climb on the big ladder. Lita ran down to the ring, she was the manager of the Hardys and she shoved the ladder to knock down Edge and Christian. The crowd was going wild as Lita urged Matt on to climb the ladder. With Matt getting near the top of the ladder, D-Von tilted it back and Matt went crashing back first through two tables outside the ring. That’s an insane bump. That’s so dangerous taking a bump like that back first. Lita checked on Matt, so Edge hit Lita with a Spear on the floor and JR called him a “son of a bitch” for it. The ceiling cam showing Matt’s bump was crazy. D-Von climbed up one side of the ladder with Jeff on the other side. Both guys were holding onto the titles. Edge pulled the ladder away as D-Von fell. Edge and Christian threw a ladder at Jeff to knock him down. Edge and Christian set up the big ladder, they climbed the ladder together on opposite sides and pulled down the titles to win the match at 14:51.
Winners: Edge & Christian
The crowd gave them a huge ovation after the match was over in appreciation for how awesome this match was.
Analysis: ****3/4 That was an incredible match 17 years ago and it still is today. It’s amazing how they put their bodies on the line like that to put on a show for us. There were plenty of title matches and great moments between these teams over the course of a couple years, but this match is always going to stand out in my mind as one of their best moments. The spots they did were done perfectly. They made sense too because there were huge bumps taken by Bubba and Matt to take them out of the ending. Jeff and D-Von also had rough landings falling from 20 feet above the ring. I think it was more than just climb up and get knocked down because Edge and Christian avoided the monstrous falls that the other teams fell victim to. How can you not respect and admire these six guys for putting their careers on the line like this? It definitely shortened the career of Edge as we know and you know that it hurt the others too. Do they regret any of it? Probably not. Much respect to all of them.
They only showed a few replays of the match. I thought they should have spent more time showing more of the big bumps.
Bonus Analysis: Why is it not five stars? Just felt like it was missing that one extra thing needed to put it over the top. If you want to read about their two other major triple threat matches check out my WrestleMania 16 review for the triple threat ladder match and WrestleMania 17 review for TLC II (that one got five stars). I thought the WrestleMania 17 match was the best of their three classics.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in their dressing room. Hunter asked her about what happened with Kurt Angle on Smackdown with Stephanie saying she hit her head and Kurt took advantage of her with a kiss. Hunter told her to stay away from Angle. Steph said she didn’t feel anything for Kurt and that Hunter is the only man for her as she kissed him on the cheek.
Analysis: That story was pushed heavily all show long.
Thong Stinkface Match: The Kat (w/Al Snow) vs. Terri Runnels (w/Perry Saturn)
(Pre-match notes: The Kat was the face with Snow supporting her while Terri was the heel with Saturn, who was the European Champion. The Kat dated Jerry Lawler for several years and were married briefly.)
Both women “wrestled” in bikinis. I put “wrestled” in quotes for a reason. The Kat slammed Terri. Saturn pulled Terri out of the ring and Snow prevented them from leaving. The girls did a catfight spot on the mat. Kat did some ass slapping, which led to a big spot. The Kat hit a Bronco Buster that didn’t connect at all. Saturn shoved down Kat after the ref was talking to Snow. Another slam by Kat, but she missed a seated attack. Terri sent Kat into the corner. Kat kicked Terri into the ref with Terri hitting the ref in the groin by accident. Snow threw Head to Kat and Kat hit Terri with it. Snow took care of Saturn on the floor. Kat stuck her ass in Terri’s face for the Stinkface to win the match at 3:04 with JR saying it was a “unique matchup.”
Winner: The Kat
Analysis: -** Minus two stars at their attempt at having a match. At least they looked good doing it. I wasn’t a huge fan of either woman. The Kat was fired in early 2001, Lawler quit because of her and he was back by November 2001 because their marriage was over.
There was a shot of the Acolytes at WWF New York.
A video package aired to set up Kane vs. The Undertaker. This was during the biker Undertaker run, which started a few months before. Kane saved Undertaker from an attack and hit a Chokeslam on his “brother” through the ring to set up yet another feud between them.
Analysis: It was noted by Bruce Prichard on his podcast that it was originally going to be Undertaker vs. Big Show, but they pulled Show from the match due to not being in good shape. That led to a Kane heel turn to set up this match.
The Undertaker vs. Kane
(Pre-match notes: The Undertaker was the face and Kane was the heel. They were storyline “brothers” as I’m sure most of you know.)
Undertaker attacked Kane outside the ring to start the match. Taker tried to rip off Kane’s mask, but Kane fought him off and nailed him with punches. Kane brought a chair into the ring. Ref Jack Doan did nothing to stop it. Undertaker punched Kane to knock the chair out. Taker hit Kane in the back with the chair in front of the ref, who did nothing about it. Undertaker ripped off part of Kane’s mask. Kane freaked out about it. Kane sent Undertaker face first into the steel steps a few times. Kane missed an attack with the steps on the floor. Taker threw the steps at Kane on the floor. Back in the ring, Kane punched Taker in the groin for the low blow. Kane was bleeding on the forehead where the mask was exposed. Undertaker came back by tackling Kane and hitting him with punches. Undertaker tried to yank the mask off. Kane grabbed Taker by the choke and Taker hit a kick to the groin. The mask was off Kane’s face, but the camera didn’t zoom in on Kane’s face. JR on commentary tried to cover for the lack of the finish: “I don’t think this match ever started! I never heard a bell.” I heard the bell when Undertaker went after Kane outside the ring. The fans cheered as Undertaker held the mask in the ring. It went around 6:15 in terms of action.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: *1/2 It was more of an angle than a match with Undertaker trying to take the mask off. I think they had Taker try to take the mask off because there wasn’t much a story going into this, so it was something for them to do. I don’t remember much of a follow up to this. It took three years for Kane to finally unmask in June 2003.
There was a shot of Kurt Angle in the locker room on the phone ready to make a call. The camera cut to Stephanie and Hunter getting ready. Stephanie’s phone rang, she answered, said it was “mom” and Hunter wanted to talk, so when Hunter talked he said her mom hung up on him.
Analysis: Another clever way of advancing this storyline.
The video package aired to set up The Rock defending the WWE Title against Kurt Angle and Triple H. A lot of the story focused on Angle becoming friendly with Stephanie, who was the storyline wife of Triple H (became real wife three years later). Kurt and Hunter were both heels that didn’t like eachother. The angle on Smackdown showed Stephanie falling onto the ring steps, Hunter checked on her, then he went back to the ring and got beat up. Angle went to the dressing room where he told Stephanie he really cared about her and Kurt kissed Stephanie, which led to her kissing him back and she liked it.
Analysis: The story was strong. There was a lot of different ways it could go, so heading into SummerSlam 2000 people were trying to figure out what might happen.
Kurt Angle made his entrance for the main event. Angle said he would like to apologize for not kissing Stephanie a heck of a lot of sooner. Angle said he didn’t get those Olympic medals from backing down or second guessing himself. Angle said he’s proud of what he did. Angle said he gave Stephanie the kind of passion that Triple H never could.
Analysis: Great heel promo from Angle. It was Kurt’s first WWE PPV main event. That’s impressive considering he debuted on the main roster about nine months earlier.
Triple H entered with a sense of purpose and he didn’t do his signature posing during his entrance.
Triple H attacked Angle with clotheslines and punches. The ref Earl Hebner tried to break it up, but Hunter shoved the ref down. The match didn’t start yet because no Rock at this point. Angle clothesline sent Hunter over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Hunter sent Angle over the top to the floor. Hunter sent Angle shoulder first into the ring steps. Hunter cleared off the Spanish announce table. Triple H hit a Pedigree on Angle on the Spanish announce table, but the table gave way and Angle hit hard. Angle suffered a legitimate concussion. He was out of it. You could see Triple H checking on him after the landing with JR noting that Angle’s eyes were glazed over. Triple H grabbed the sledgehammer as The Rock’s music hit.
Analysis: Angle was legitimately out of it there. It was a rough landing because the table gave way and he landed right on his head. I’ll get to some quotes about that Angle concussion later.
The Rock made his entrance to a thunderous ovation and the bell rang.
WWE Championship: The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle
(Pre-match notes: Rock was the face champion while Hunter and Kurt were heels.)
No disqualification and no countout. First fall wins.
Rock was on fire with punches and a Samoan Drop on Hunter. They brawled out of the ring. Angle was sitting on a chair with doctors trying to talk to him. Angle was put on a stretcher looking dazed. Back in the ring, Triple H sent Rock into the top rope, which led to Rock bumping over the top to the floor. Hunter ran towards the entrance area to grab Angle. Ref Earl Hebner was talking to Hunter and Hunter punched Angle in the head twice. Rock knocked Triple H down. I assume Hebner told Hunter that Kurt was hurt. Rock did a catapult that sent Hunter into the steel structure by the entrance. Rock punched Triple H in the groin. Stephanie walked out to check on Angle on the stretcher with fans chanting “slut” at her because they are classy like that. Hunter and Rock were brawling around ringside with Hunter hitting a clothesline on the floor. Stephanie walked down to the ring. This was about a year before her breast implants, which they mentioned in storylines plenty at that time. Hunter told Stephanie she shouldn’t be there as he hit a knee to the face. Hunter told Stephanie to get the belt. Stephanie went into the ring, tried to hit Rock, but he moved and she accidentally “hit” Hunter in the face. I put “hit” in quotes because it was a weak looking belt shot. Low blow by Trips to Rock and Hunter told Stephanie to go, so she left. Rock came back with a leaping clothesline and Hunter hit a neckbreaker. Hunter brought the sledgehammer into the ring leading to a hammer to the gut shot by Hunter to Rock. Good job by Rock selling it. Hunter worked on Rock’s ribs with repeated shoulder tackles. Knee to face facebuster by Hunter for a two count. Outside the ring, Hunter picked up Rock and drove him back/ribs first into the ring post. Rock nailed some punches followed by a running neckbreaker, but Hunter stopped him with a knee to the groin. Triple H up top, so Rock stopped him with a superplex with Rock standing on the middle rope. There was a shot of Stephanie talking to Angle on the stretcher. She pleaded with Kurt to help Triple H and Kurt said he would do it for her. Rock covered Hunter with one arm for a two count. Belly to belly suplex by Rock got a two count.
Angle made his return with Stephanie with Angle having a tough time getting down to the ring. She was grabbing him by an arm to help him. Angle grabbed Rock’s foot to trim him up. Triple H hit a Pedigree on Rock and covered. Angle pulled Hunter out of the ring and sent Hunter into the steel steps. Angle covered Rock for a two count. Crowd was going nuts for this. Back elbow by Angle for two. Angle hit a belly to belly suplex on Rock for two. JR noted that Stephanie hasn’t moved a step to help Triple H on the floor. Rock hit an overhead belly to belly and a DDT for two. You could see ref Earl Hebner touch Kurt’s left arm as if he was telling him to get his left shoulder up because Angle was concussed. Hunter was on the apron, Angle was sent into him and Hunter went to the floor. Rock hit a Rock Bottom for two on Angle, but Hunter was there to pull Rock out of the ring. Hunter sent Rock into the ring post. Hunter told Steph to get the hammer, so she slid the sledgehammer into the ring. Stephanie went into the ring. Hunter went to punch Kurt, he ducked and Hunter accidentally punched Stephanie. Crowd was going wild again. You could see Hunter put his hand on Kurt’s head and helped him move out of the way. Angle hit Hunter in the head with the sledgehammer. It looked like Hebner told Kurt to cover Hunter, so Kurt did. Rock broke up the pin. Rock punched Angle over the top to the floor. Rock hit a People’s Elbow on Triple H and covered for the pinfall win at 17:53.
Winner by pinfall: The Rock
Analysis: **** It was a wild match that was very entertaining from start to finish. Four stars out of five. The first half of the match was about Triple H dominating Rock by working on his ribs for most of it. Rock did a good job of selling it as well as making his comebacks. The final five minutes were as exciting as any triple threat match I can ever remember. There was a lot going on with Stephanie taking a punch from Hunter (he was going for Kurt), Angle hitting Triple H with a sledgehammer and then Rock pinning Hunter with the People’s Elbow for the win. These were three guys with great chemistry that timed everything right, were super over with the crowd (they were really loud for the finish) and ended the show with a finish that left everybody happy as the top babyface won in convincing fashion. It’s amazing how well they got through it despite Angle having a concussion. If he was feeling better they probably would have had an even better match.
The Rock celebrated with the WWE Title as the crowd cheered him. The story was about the other two guys, but he did a great job.
Angle pulled Stephanie out of the ring and carried her up the aisle. Triple H was still out in the ring. Angle’s music played with Stephanie in Kurt’s arms as the show came to a close.
Analysis: The next pay-per-view, Unforgiven 2000, had Triple H beat Angle. The PPV after that was No Mercy in October 2000 and Angle beat The Rock for his first WWE Title thanks in part to Stephanie.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 41 minutes on WWE Network.
Kurt Angle’s Concussion
Here’s Kurt Angle talking in depth to Sports Illustrated about the concussion he suffered and how the other guys helped him so much to get through the match.
“When I got my concussion at SummerSlam, Triple H did so much for me in that match. When I went through that table, I was out. Stephanie [McMahon] brought me back out, and when we got back to the ring, I asked her, ‘What do I do?’ She said, ‘When Rock’s foot hits the rope, grab him.’ So I grabbed him by the foot, and then looked at Stephanie again. And she said, ‘Throw Triple H into the steps!’ So I threw him into the steps, and then she said, ‘Get the hell in the ring!’
There was a spot where Triple H was going to hit me with his sledgehammer, but I had the concussion and didn’t even know I was out there. My mind was blank. I came to two hours after the pay-per-view. When Triple H was going to hit me, he actually put his hand on my head and made sure I ducked. If you watch it over, you’ll see that I was clueless, but he was looking out for me the whole match. They literally had to walk me through every step of the match to make sure I was safe. I don’t remember any of it, but for them it must have been a nightmare. Triple H is one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
It’s crazy to read that and know that Angle somehow managed to get through the match.
On his podcast, Bruce Prichard said if that happened today there’s no way Angle would have been allowed to go back out there. Knowing what we know today about concussions it’s easy to see why. Back then, it just wasn’t common knowledge.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– Two matches above four stars plus a third match nearly at that level makes it an enjoyable show in my eyes. There were some parts that were really bad and it was tough to get through them, but I try not to focus on the negative too much.
– I touched on it above, but whenever I think of SummerSlam 2000 I’ll always think of Angle’s concussion. It was probably the worst bump anybody has taken around that Spanish announce table. Their weight was too much, so the table just broke leading to Angle landing straight to the floor. There was no way for him to brace himself. Kudos to Hunter and Rock for helping him get through that. At the time, we really didn’t know how hurt he was, but looking back now and reading Kurt’s comments, I’m able to appreciate what they did even more.
– The booking in that Undertaker/Kane “match” was poor. It was advertised as one of the biggest matches on the show, yet WWE clearly didn’t want to book a proper finish and it ended up making both guys look dumb.
– I wasn’t a fan of the tag team match determining the IC Title. Not a good way to book what is supposed to be a prestigious championship. Don’t book singles titles in tag matches. It’s not that complicated.
– SummerSlam 2000 did a good number on PPV with 570,000 buys. It was down about 30,000 from the year before and 130,000 from the record two years earlier, but getting nearly 600k buys in 2000 was very good. Like I have said many times, 2000 was one of WWE’s best years financially and in terms of on screen product, I thought it was their best year.
Best Match: TLC: Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz (****3/4)
Worst Match: The Kat vs. Terri (-**)
Most Memorable Moment: Shane McMahon’s fall of course. Kurt Angle’s nasty landing on the table also stood out a lot.
1. Edge & Christian
2. Hardy Boyz
3. Dudley Boyz
4. Triple H
5. (tie) The Rock
5. (tie) Kurt Angle
Show rating (out of 10): 7.5
I enjoyed the show a lot. The TLC match plus the main event and Benoit/Jericho carried the night as they gave us three above average matches. The TLC match was one of the best matches of the year. The rest of the card was underwhelming, so that’s why I’m not going higher than a 7.5 for the whole thing.
Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:
British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart @ SummerSlam 1992 (*****)
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart @ SummerSlam 1994 (*****)
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon @ SummerSlam 1995 (*****)
TLC: Edge & Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz @ SummerSlam 2000 (****3/4)
Triple H vs. The Rock @ SummerSlam 1998 (****1/2)
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect @ SummerSlam 1991 (****1/4)
Shawn Michaels vs. Vader @ SummerSlam 1996 (***1/4)
The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle @ SummerSlam 2000 (****)
Ranking SummerSlam Reviews (on 1-10 scale)
SummerSlam 1998 (Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker) – 8
SummerSlam 2000 (The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle) – 7.5
SummerSlam 1992 (British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart) – 7
SummerSlam 1997 (Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1996 (Shawn Michaels vs. Vader) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1989 (Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1994 (Undertaker vs. Underfaker, Bret vs. Owen) – 5
SummerSlam 1999 (Mankind vs. Steve Austin vs. Triple H) – 5
SummerSlam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks) – 5
SummerSlam 1991 (Match Made In Heaven & Hell) – 4.5
SummerSlam 1995 (Diesel vs. Mabel, Michaels vs. Ramon) – 4
SummerSlam 1993 (Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna) – 4
SummerSlam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude) – 3.5
Next up is SummerSlam 2001, which took place after WWE acquired WCW as well as the remnants of ECW and it meant a lot of new talent on the show.
Check out the SummerSlam Reviews archive.