This is the first Smackdown after the great 2000 Royal Rumble PPV. Raw wasn’t that interesting, so here’s hoping for a good Smackdown. When looking at the lineup, I did remember a big heel turn moment on the show. Let’s get to it.
WWF Smackdown #23
January 27, 2000 (Taped January 25)
From the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland
This show earned a TV-PG and “V” for Violence. No “S” for Sexual Content this week.
The opening video showed highlights of the Raw main event with Rock and Rikishi facing Triple H and Big Show in a match that ended in a disqualification. Rock and Rikishi managed to stand tall after the match thanks to Cactus Jack helping them out.
The Smackdown opening video aired. The pyro went off in the arena with a typical loud crowd full of signs. The announce team is Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
Billy Gunn aka Mr. Ass made his entrance. It’s weird that the show isn’t starting with a promo. Gunn said that if Al Snow thinks he has a shot in hell of beating Mr. Ass, we have two words for you: “Suck it.” They said Road Dogg was sick with the flu.
Al Snow was backstage with Steve Blackman with Snow saying if he beats Billy Gunn then they get a Tag Team Title match. Snow put bunny ears on Blackman’s head and suggested the team name Snow Bunnies. Blackman hated it and complained about the Head Cheese name.
Billy Gunn vs. Al Snow
Pre-match notes: Gunn was a heel that was one half of the Tag Team Champions. Snow was a heel, but was turning face due to the comedy team with Blackman at the time.
They did a cross body block spot with Gunn getting a two count out of it. Gunn worked over Snow with punches. Gunn hit a corner splash. Snow sent Gunn out of the ring and Snow bit Gunn’s forehead. Gunn sent Snow into the barricade, but when they went back in the ring, Snow was in control. Gunn with a suplex over the top to the floor. Snow got back into it with a low blow punch to the groin that the ref Jimmy Korderas saw and there was no disqualification. Snow with a backbreaker on Gunn. Snow went up top, he jumped off with a leg drop, Gunn missed and Gunn hit an atomic drop. Gunn with a back body drop. Gunn hit a Jackhammer slam. Gunn wanted a Fameasser, Blackman in the ring, Gunn took care of Blackman and Gunn hit Blackman and Snow with the kendo stick, so Snow won by DQ at 3:31.
Winner by disqualification: Al Snow
Analysis: * It was a simple match that wasn’t that interesting. They were a bit sloppy in there too. The finish was done that way to set up the post match angle.
The win by Snow means that Snow and Blackman will challenge the New Age Outlaws for the Tag Team Titles on Raw.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon complained about how Raw ended with Rock and Rikishi together. Triple H said tonight on Smackdown it’s The Rock vs. Rikishi. Big Show went into the room. Show said that he’s got the proof of Rock’s feet hitting the floor first at the Royal Rumble. Hunter looked at the photos and said he needs more, like an eyewitness that saw it. Hunter told him to get suited up for a match.
Cactus Jack was shown backstage, so the promo segment got moved to the second part of the show.
They showed the four collector’s edition of TV Guide with The Rock, Triple H, Mick Foley and Chyna on the covers of the magazine.
Let’s Hear from Cactus Jack
Cactus Jack made his entrance with a lead pipe in his hands. They showed black and white clips of the Royal Rumble bloodbath between Triple H and Cactus because of how violent it was.
Jack said that he didn’t come out there alone because he knew there were guys in the back that didn’t like him, so that’s why he had the lead pipe. Jack talked about how the Royal Rumble was maybe one of the greatest matches of his professional life and said it was one of the best in his life and one of the best in wrestling history. I agree. Jack said that it was a disappointment because he didn’t bring home the WWF Championship. Jack said that we saw a side of Triple H that we didn’t know existed, and it was a side a bit more sadistic and tougher. Jack credited Triple H for being the WWF Champion and he proved he was The Game. Jack mentioned how it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you maim The Game. Good line.
Jack talked about how Triple H said that Jack’s blood would stain New York City and he said that it was Triple H that was the bloody mess that was flirting with unconsciousness. Jack said it looked like Triple H survived a trip through hell while Jack looked like he had a pretty good time. Jack thinks that the entire Smackdown world deserves another good time, so what he’s saying is for Triple H to find the testicular fortitude to enter the ring right now. The fans were cheering for all of this.
Triple H’s music hit, but no sign of the WWF Champion. It was Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walking out by herself and she walked down to the ring. The fans greeted her with “slut” chants.
Stephanie said that Jack was pathetic because he was trying to salvage his reputation after her husband Triple H beat him at his own game. She said that Triple H wanted to come out here, but she wondered what the point was because he already proved that he was just as crazy, tough and sadistic as Cactus Jack. She asked what the point was. Jack said that he’s afraid that there’s not going to be an heir to the McMahon-Helmsley and she wondered how she can produce an heir since her husband has no balls. Good line and Stephanie slapped him! Jack said his instinct was to slap her, but instead they’ll play a little game and it’s called “slap me again and find out what happens.” Jack dared her to slap him again, so she cowered against the ropes and left.
Jack said that the thought of Hunter and Stephanie together makes him sick as Stephanie backed up the ramp. Jack said he’s going to get out of town. Jack ended it saying that any time Triple H wants to finish what Jack started, Jack is ready for him. Jack’s music played to end it.
Analysis: Outstanding promo work from Cactus Jack as usual. Mick Foley is one of the best talkers in WWE history and he showed it again here. Jack let Stephanie know that he wanted more of Triple H while she stood up for his husband until Jack showed he wouldn’t back down against her. This was all done to set up the build to No Way Out 2000 as the next PPV event.
A commercial aired for Halftime Heat on Sunday featuring a Steve Austin interview after his neck surgery.
There was a clip of Cactus Jack leaving the arena with his bag.
Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly were shown talking backstage with Hardcore telling Crash maybe they should team up again. Crash said he had a new partner in Viscera, so Hardcore said that he should take out Viscera.
Edge and Christian did an earlier today promo saying that they wanted to send best wishes to Terri, who was attacked by the Dudley Boyz on Raw when they put her through a table. They noted that the Hardys are with Terri where they should be. The Dudleys entered as they showed a clip of Bubba Ray hitting a Powerbomb on Terri through the table.
Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz
Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were the faces while the Dudleys were the heels.
Bubba dumped Edge over the top to the floor with Cole saying the Dudleys were perhaps the two most hated men in the WWF. Christian hit a belly to back suplex on D-Von and Edge came back with a missile dropkick on Bubba. Christian with a neckbreaker on Bubba. Double team flapjack from E&C on D-Von. Reverse suplex by D-Von, the ref was distracted and D-Von hit the headbutt off the top to the groin of Christian. D-Von hit an elbow smash on Christian. Bubba worked over Christian for punches followed by a back body drop. Christian got back to his feet, Bubba hit a Samoan Drop and Bubba teased a splash off the top, Edge distracted the ref, so Christian punched Bubba in the groin. Christian hit a Frankensteiner off the top on Bubba. Edge got the hot tag against D-Von, body slam, spin kick by Edge on Bubba and Edge with a DDT for two. Back body drop by Edge and Christian on Bubba, so Christian followed with a cross body block on Bubba on the floor. Edge ran the ropes and hit a Spear on D-Von for the pinfall win at 5:45.
Winners by pinfall: Edge and Christian
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good match for the time given. The Dudleys lost to the Hardys at the Rumble and they lost this match, but they would have some success soon after. In this era, that’s about as much time as you would see for a match like this.
Post match, Bubba whipped Christian into the steel steps. The Dudleys hit a Dudley Death Drop (3D) on Edge. The Dudleys hit a 3D on Christian as well. Bubba set up a table outside the ring. Bubba had Christian on the apron and gave him a Powerbomb off the apron onto Edge on the table. Bubba had the crazy eyes look on his face again. Edge was bleeding from the mouth. The fans went wild for this booing the Dudleys for the attack.
Analysis: The Dudleys were getting massive heat for these table attacks. It showed that the Dudleys didn’t need to win matches. It was all about the post match attacks to get massive heat and it was working.
Triple H and Stephanie were in the office on the couch. Kane said that he wanted to face X-Pac. Triple H said that X-Pac isn’t there, so he can wait until Monday night and Stephanie added that he can face Kane only if he can beat Big Show. Kane left.
Viscera vs. Hardcore Holly
Pre-match notes: They were both heels. Viscera was the tag team partner (for one match) with Crash Holly, who was Hardcore Holly’s cousin.
The match began with Viscera tossed Holly over the top to the floor. Viscera brought Holly back into the ring with a hip toss. Holly with a forearm and Viscera came back with a spinning heel kick. Holly with a standing dropkick that knocked Viscera down. Crash predictably made his way down to the ring. Viscera with a running splash against Hardcore in the corner followed by a Samoan Drop for the pinfall win at 2:14.
Winner by pinfall: Viscera
Analysis: 1/2* Boring match, which was typical for any Viscera match. He was very limited in what he could do. It did further the story that Crash liked Viscera more as a tag team partner.
Post match, Viscera wanted to do a big splash to Hardcore, but Crash jumped on Viscera’s back and Hardcore kicked Viscera to knock him down. Double team clothesline by the Hollys sent Viscera out of the ring.
Analysis: That means that Crash and Viscera were a team for one match. What a thrilling end to that storyline. Yawn.
Big Show walked into Hunter’s office asking for his photos back. Show said that he was doing Hunter a favor and told him not to abuse the privilege.
Kane and Tori were shown walking backstage for Kane’s match.
Kane entered with Tori as the “TV-PG” logo appeared on the screen because Smackdown was not as raunchy as Raw, which was TV-14. Smackdown was on network TV on UPN while Raw was on cable on USA Network. Big Show made his entrance as Kane’s opponent.
Kane (w/Tori) vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Kane was the face and Show was the heel. These two wrestled a lot in their careers. They also combined to turn heel/face over 20 times in their careers.
Kane worked over Big Show with punches early in the match. Kane with a clothesline, more punches and Show whipped in Kane leading to a kick by Show. Lawler made the point that Tori said that X-Pac was a perfect gentleman when she had to spend time with him during the holidays. Kane got back into a match with an enziguri kick. When they showed Tori, Lawler said “puppies” and he’s certainly right about that. After some more Kane punches, Show whipped Kane over the top to the floor. That’s an impressive bump for a 300 pounder like Kane. Show whipped Kane into the steel steps at ringside. Show with a body slam, Kane sat up to avoid an elbow drop and more punches from Kane. X-Pac ran down to the ring in Tommy overalls and a DX shirt under it. The heels lied about X-Pac not being there. Kane hit a DDT on Show. X-Pac grabbed Tori around the waist. Kane saved Tori, but Show attacked X-Pac with a punch. X-Pac attacked Kane with stomps as well. Triple H and Billy Gunn showed up with Triple H punching the referee, so I guess that’s where we can say the match ended at 4:33.
Match Result: No Contest (or Disqualification win for Kane)
Analysis: *1/4 It was a poor match as usual from these guys, but they got through it fine. It is just tough for two big guys to have a good match. This ended up being more about the post match angle than the actual match.
The post match angle saw Triple H and Gunn whip Kane into the steel steps. Tori was upset about it, so X-Pac chased Tori into the ring. When Kane fought back, Triple H hit him in the head with a steel chair. Show picked up Kane and hit him with a Chokeslam. Kane was dragged towards the turnbuckle. Hunter grabbed a rope and tied Kane’s hands around the ring post.
X-Pac said that he wanted to tell Kane a tell that he’ll call the “X-Pac Tori Christmas Story.” X-Pac talked about the hotel room scene because that’s where the good stuff happened. X-Pac said that is where Kane’s girl seduced him. X-Pac said the way she looked at him, she took her clothes off piece by piece, totally nude (fans cheered) and X-Pac said that she had a hotty body. X-Pac said that she ripped off X-Pac’s clothes. He said that she kissed his lips, his neck…his…he’s not going to go there even though she did. Wink wink. X-Pac said that Santa had a hell of a sleigh ride, but it was nothing compared to the ride that Tori took and it lasted until the break of dawn. That drew a reaction from the fans full of cheers and heels. X-Pac said he hopes Kane liked the little tale while telling Tori she can do anything she damn well wants. Tori teased leaving, but then she stopped. Tori went up to X-Pac, grabbed him by the head and laid a kiss on him in front of Kane. X-Pac: “The end!” The DX music played to end it. Cole yelled about Kane being betrayed again. X-Pac and Tori left.
Analysis: I thought it was really well done with the heels doing the cheap attack, Kane was helpless and then heartbroken by what happened. There’s the heel turn from Tori with Cole noting that Kane has been betrayed again because that was the story of the early part of Kane’s career where he had people turn on him all the time. It was a big angle that was built up for months with Kane having Tori by his side, then throughout January she had Kane beat people up all the time and that was all a ruse to set up this heel turn moment. Tori ended up working with X-Pac for the next five or months or so, which I’ll cover in the reviews.
There was a replay of what happened with Tori’s heel turn. Kane was shown leaving alone during the break.
The Godfather and D-Lo Brown entered with the “ladies” because they don’t call them ho’s on Smackdown. It was a big Ho Train this week with about ten women joining the wrestlers. Too Cool made their entrance as the opponents.
Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay) vs. The Godfather and D-Lo Brown
Pre-match notes: Both teams were faces.
Scotty started with Brown with Scotty hitting a suplex. Sexay tagged in, Brown tripped him up and Sexay hit a cross body block off the ropes. Sexay with a superkick followed by a bulldog off the middle ropes. Scotty back in and he was met with a jumping side kick from Brown. The Godfather tagged in, hard whip into the corner, Godfather with two clotheslines and a kick to the head. Godfather went for the Ho Train splash against the ropes, but Scotty avoided it and did his Worm dance. The ladies were all on the apron. The Godfather said that they can fight any time, but if they want to party, the girls should get in the ring and they can all dance together.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: There’s no point in rating it since it was all about the dancing instead of the match.
Mark Henry showed up with Mae Young by his side. Mark said that we have an announcement to make. Mae: “I’m pregnant!” Cole and Lawler: “WHAT?” Indeed. Henry and Mae danced on the stage.
Analysis: This angle did not end well. I am not looking forward to watching that one again. It was comedy, which is the kind of weird shit that WWE loved doing at the time.
The Mean Street Posse were standing backstage. Tazz walked by. They ripped his name calling “Tizz” and asked if he was starting a short man’s division in WWE. Tazz said it was a real man’s division. Tazz challenged all three of them to a match. The Posse laughed at him.
Hardcore Championship: Test vs. Gangrel (w/Luna)
Pre-match notes: Test was the Hardcore Champion that was a face while Gangrel was a heel with his wife Luna by his side.
Test and Gangrel brawl up the aisle to start the match. Luna spit some red liquid into Test’s eyes, so Gangrel hit a clothesline on the floor. Test whipped Gangrel into a barricade and delivered a headbutt while a hard hat was on Test’s head. Gangrel ran away by going behind a curtain to the backstage area. It was hard to see what was going on as Luna hit Test with some object. They went backstage near the loading dock with Test whipping Gangrel into a garbage. Luna hit Test in a back with a 2×4 two times and it broke over Test’s back. Test dumped Luna into a pile of snow in a truck. Test and Gangrel fought by a phone booth, which wouldn’t happen today. Test tossed Gangrel into a steel structure. They went back to where the trucks were in the loading area and Gangrel sprayed him with a fire extinguisher. Gangrel whipped Test into some backboard that was there for some reason. Test whipped Gangrel into a piano that was there for some reason. Luna attacked with a shovel and hit Gangrel in the head with the shovel sort of. I don’t think it connected, but he sold it. Test gave Luna a Powerbomb on the piano. Test hit an elbow drop onto some garbage boxes and pinned him at 4:15.
Winner by pinfall: Test
Analysis: *1/4 It was a boring hardcore match where they bumped into a bunch of objects in the backstage area. These matches never excited me.
The Mean Street Posse trio were shown talking strategy backstage.
Tazz vs. The Mean Street Posse (Joey Abs, Pete Gas and Rodney)
Pre-match notes: Tazz was the face in his first week in WWE while the Posse were heels.
The Posse trio had to tag in and out. Tazz tripped up Rodney. Abs and Gas each tagged in with kicks on Tazz against the turnbuckle. It was noted by Cole that the Posse has yet to win a tag team match. Tazz with a clothesline on Gas, a clothesline to Rodney, who couldn’t bump to the floor and Tazz knocked Abs off the apron. Tazz with the Tazzmission submission on Gas for the submission win at 1:28.
Winner by submission: Tazz
Analysis: 1/2* Easy win for Tazz as expected even in a 1 on 3 situation since the Posse were there to put people over.
Post match, Kurt Angle attacked Tazz from behind with a punch to the back. Angle sent Tazz into the ring and Angle hit the Olympic Slam. Angle slapped on a choke hold on Tazz with Tazz selling it like he was in a lot of pain. Angle celebrated.
Analysis: It was a way to continue the feud with Angle getting a cheap shot in after Tazz beat him at the Royal Rumble.
Crash Holly and Hardcore Holly were backstage with Crash telling Hardcore that he’s going to win the IC Title like Hardcore couldn’t do.
The Holly cousins made their entrance. Chyna entered to support Chris Jericho since they have mutual respect.
Jericho welcomed us to Baltimore is Jericho. Jericho called Crash “Elroy Jetson” so that’s how he got that nickname that stuck with him for a while. Jericho said that he’s going to give Crash a horrible and savage beating that he will never, eeeeeee-ver forget.
Analysis: Jericho turned face on the Raw after the Rumble and this continued it.
Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) vs. Crash Holly (w/Hardcore Holly)
Pre-match notes: Jericho was a face with Chyna as his friend while the Holly cousins were heels.
Jericho with a spinning heel kick as fans chanted “Y2J” for Jericho. Delayed suplex for Jericho. Crash took control by sending Jericho over the top to the floor. Jericho whipped Crash into the steel steps as some fans chanted “Elroy” at Crash. When Jericho went up top, Crash hit the top rope to trip up Jericho and Crash hit a Frankensteiner off the top for a two count. Crash with a body slam on Jericho. Crash up top, he jumped off and Jericho hit a dropkick to the ribs. Jericho hit a bulldog on Crash for a two count. Jericho with a Powerbomb. The ref was distracted by Chyna for some reason, so Hardcore hit Jericho in the face with the IC Title when Jericho was about to hit a Lionsault. Hardcore kicked Chyna in the head when they were outside the ring. Crash covered for a two count. Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho, Chyna grabbed Hardcore on the floor and hit a DDT on the floor to take him out. Crash tapped out and Jericho won by submission. It went 3:58.
Winner by submission: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ** It was a solid match to put Jericho over after he became the IC Champion at the Royal Rumble. I liked the nearfall by Crash after the belt shot to the head by Hardcore. The story was that Chyna was there to watch Jericho’s back and it worked because she prevented Hardcore from interfering.
Post match, Chyna raised Jericho’s hand as the IC Champion. Lawler speculated that maybe it’s more than respect because she’s got a twinkle in her eye. Cole wasn’t sure about that.
The Rock was shown walking backstage and so was Rikishi in another part of the arena because that’s the main event.
There was another commercial about Steve Austin interview on Halftime Heat on the following Sunday’s Heat.
The Rock made his entrance to a huge ovation. They plugged him being on Star Trek Voyager a few weeks later. Rock soaked up the cheers. The ovation for Rock was consistently loud. Rock stood on the turnbuckles and said: “Finally The Rock has come back to Baltimore. Rikishi, The Rock says that he appreciates what you did on Raw being tag team partner, but tonight is a different show on The Rock’s show Smackdown.” Fans chanted “Rocky” for him. Rock said that Rikishi will come out there surrounded by the millions and millions of Rock’s fans all chanting his name leading to more “Rocky” chants. The Rock ripped on Big Show for saying he’s doing a little investigation with his photographs and turn them sideways straight up his candy ass. He has a way with words. He ended it with the “if ya smell” bit with the fans chanting along.
Analysis: These Rock promos are one of the highlights of the show every week. I know you know that if you were watching during this period, but if you weren’t, you need to know how special of a talent this guy was.
Rikishi made his entrance to the Too Cool song that also became his song.
The Rock vs. Rikishi
Pre-match notes: They were both faces. Rock was the biggest face on the show. Rikishi was growing in popularity every week. They were also distant cousins that were part of the big Samoan wrestling family. They also had a WrestleMania 13 match in 1997 when Rocky Maivia faced The Sultan, which was a terrible match. I’m sorry for reminding myself of that!
Rock started with punches and Rikishi came back with a Samoan Drop that led to Rock selling it on the mad. Rikishi worked over Rock with a punch to the face, a headbutt a whip into the corner. Rock avoided the corner charge leading to Rock hitting a spinebuster for two. Rock tried a suplex only for Rikishi to counter into a suplex of his own. Rikishi charged in and Rock hit a Samoan Drop of his own for two. Rock with a kick to the ribs, he hit a DDT on Rikishi and Rikishi popped right up (Samoans no sell shots to the head a lot) and hit a superkick. Rikishi set up for the Rikishi Driver, but Rock landed on his feet. Rock wanted a Rock Bottom, but then they just collapse because Rock couldn’t hit it. I don’t know if that was a botch by Rikishi selling or if it was supposed to go that way. I think it was just selling. They were both down selling, Rock got back up and Rock was able to connect with a Rock Bottom. Rikishi got back up, whipped Rock into referee Earl Hebner against the turnbuckle and Hebner bumped. Rikishi hit a side belly to belly suplex. Rikishi went to the middle ropes and hit a Banzai Drop splash on Rock. The referee Hebner was too out of it to count. Big Show went in the ring, he clotheslined Rikishi and Hebner called for the bell at 6:18.
Match Result: Rikishi wins by DQ (or No Contest)
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good match until the cheap ending that was expected as soon as the match started. I’m not surprised that there was a lack of a finish because of the status of both guys. If one of them was going to lose it would have been Rikishi, but I think WWE wanted to keep building him up without booking him to lose. Rock sold well for Rikishi to show that Rikishi was capable of being a top guy.
Big Show stomped away on Rock. Show hit a Chokeslam on Rock. Triple H went into the ring and hit a Pedigree on Rikishi. That was the main event tag team match on Raw, so they are following up on that. The Too Cool tag team of Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay went in for the save. Triple H hit a Pedigree on Scotty. Big Show with a double Chokeslam on Too Cool at the same time.
The trio of Big Show, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon posed in the ring. Triple H punched referee Hebner down. The heels celebrated and that was it.
Analysis: It was an effective ending in terms of showing that Show and Triple H were on the same page now with Show firmly entrenched as the second biggest heel after Triple H.
This episode had a run time of 1:34:31 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Rock
- Cactus Jack
This episode gets a 5.5 out of 10.
It felt like an average show. The big angle was Tori turning heel on Kane to join X-Pac, so that set up some future stories between them. Some of the undercard stuff was bad and it made it tough to get through it. The Dudley Boys continued to build up heat as a badass tag team, so that was a good part of the show too. I liked the idea of the main event with Rock facing Rikishi even with the crappy ending due to the interference. The Cactus Jack promo was fun too.
Oh yeah and there was the Mae Young pregnancy angle too. Scary!
That’s all for now. The next WWF 2000 review will be Raw from January 31, 2000. That’s one day after my St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams won the Super Bowl. I’ll never forget that!
Please let me know what you think of these reviews and feel free to offer any suggestions too. Thanks for reading.