- Broadcasted live on Pay-Per-View, on December 10th, 2000, from Birmingham, AL. I guess using "Sweet Home Alabama" is a lot more sensible for a PPV taking place in Alabama, than, say, using Springsteen's Born in the USA for a Pro-American tag team. Special significance for this PPV... this marked my last night as a resident of New York, moving down to Virginia Beach, VA the next morning. Much like this PPV, that Scrooge tidbit was completely pointless!
- Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling all the action from ringside. The December PPV's from the WWF/E have always fallen under one of two categories: complete ass or completely pointless. Sometimes a hybrid of both. In all my years of watching wrestling, there have been VERY few examples of a great, or mildly good, WWF PPV taking place in the Christmas month... oh and yes, this PPV opens with the "The End is Here" theme song used when they couldn't bother coming up with anything good. I seem to recall it being quite laughable at 2002 Armageddon for the "epic" Hunter vs. Shawn showdown in Three Stages of Hell. Remember that PPV? Me neither.
The Hardys control to start, double teaming Saturn and Guerrero. Malenko runs in and takes a clothesline from Matt, but avoids some Lita action... I thought that's what he wanted? Jeff with a plancha to Eddie and Malenko, but Saturn hammers away on Matt in the ring, where the action matters. Saturn with a suplex, and Guerrero comes in and connects with a back elbow. Whip to the corner, and Eddie gets lifted onto the turnbuckle, and taken down with a back suplex. Jeff tags in and takes shots at everyone. Saturn with a shot from the apron, allowing Eddie to regain control. Eddie sets Jeff up on the top turnbuckle, but misses a hurricanrana. Lita with a shitty (and I mean shitty) twist of fate, and Jeff comes off the top with a senton bomb for the three count at 2:57. Saturn attacks from behind, but gets nailed with a corkscrew moonsault. Malenko and Matt get involved, and it's Poetry in Motion for the remaining Radicalz, but Saturn counters it and plants Jeff with a Death Valley Driver for the three count at 3:46. Matt with a sunset flip back into the ring, and that gets a two count. Matt with a diving clothesline for another two count. Irish whip, and Terri trips Matt up, allowing Saturn to connect with a martial arts kick. Saturn goes for a DVD, but Matt counters, and Saturn counters back with a full nelson suplex for a two count. Matt counters a head scissors with a sidewalk slam, and a second rope leg drop gets two. Malenko comes in and gets sent back out, and the Twist of Fate finally hits on Saturn for the three count at 5:09. Terri gets in the ring to get some of matt, but Lita runs in with a spear. Malenko runs in from behind and surprises Matt with a roll up for the three count at 6:10, leaving Malenko against Lita. Jeez, I wonder who's winning this. Lita with a shitty head scissors, followed by a cradle for a two count. Lita to the top, and she hits a moonsault for another two count. Lita with a DDT, then to the top rope, but Malenko crotches her. Malenko with a super-plex, but he pulls Lita off the canvas, nails her with a pair of short-arm clotheslines, and elbows her across the side of the head. Malenko with a back breaker, and another pull up. Malenko with the Texas Cloverleaf, and the submission is academic at 8:09. Fun, and energetic opener. I'm really not a fan of the whole "man vs. woman" thing, and Malenko's wrestling skills should put him above that sort of level, but I enjoyed this, for the most part.
- Lillian Garcia is backstage talking with Kurt Angle, WWF Champion, and Prime Target for tonight's Hell in a Cell Match. He doesn't even have to be pinned to lose the belt, making things quite unfair for him, but he's ready to go. This backstage interview lasts roughly four minutes. I'm not saying it was terribly long or anything, but this PPV is swarmed with these segments, so anything longer than 90 seconds is too long.
- Next we get words from Rikishi. Remember when it was revealed he ran over Austin before the big main event at the 1999 Survivor Series? Yeah, that was totally stupid, ten years later. I know that Rikishi had an odd fan following in 2000, but turning him heel, to fight the white man for holding down his people (his words, not mine!) wasn't exactly the most original excuse for a heel turn. And the fact as a heel, he REALLY stunk in the ring. And for no reason other than to pile it on, he was incredibly injury prone for the remainder of his WWF run.
- We get a pre-recorded promo from the Undertaker, hanging around in the ring, in front of all the empty chairs, talking about how much it truely is "Hell" in a cell. Unlike the previous interviews, this goes on FOREVER. Seriously, when you do such a half-ass job of promoting the PPV, you don't CONTINUE WHEN YOU ARE MIDWAY THROUGH THE SHOW! People have already paid for the damn thing, enough with the hype job. It's Hell in a Cell, that's all we needed to hear, back when it wasn't trotted out once a month. I'm not going to bother 'capping Rock, Triple H, and Austin's moments of hype. It's too tedious.
- The lack of wrestling continues, with Vince McMahon coming out to cut a lengthy promo... on PPV. For those who need a refresher course, Mick Foley made Hell in a Cell against the wishes of everyone, and Vince McMahon will not be held accountable if there are any serious injuries. Foley then offered his position as Commissioner if anyone were to be hurt... too badly. I don't know, they're setting us up for a huge disappointment. You're hyping something that can't possibly be delivered without legitimate risk of someone getting hurt, so obviously nothing will happen, or something so tame, it's hard to get excited about.
Jericho beats the count again, not surprisingly. Kane lays Jericho out with roundhouse rights, and it's another count. I HATE these matches for just this one reason: constant dead spots with long counts. I want to see a LMS match where it only happens a handful of times, when it's really necessary. Jericho with an inapropriate gesture, so Kane chokeslams him to hell, and that gets a nice reaction from the otherwise lukewarm crowd. More counting, and Jericho is up at 9.99998. Kane grabs himself a chair, lays into Jericho with it, and bashes him across the back. Kane signals for the end, but Jericho wiggles free and goes low, then connects with a DDT. Jericho with the chair, and he bashes Kane over the head with it, but that's not enough to keep the Big Red Machine down. Irish whip is reversed, and Jericho with a diving forearm. Jericho to the top rope, and he comes off with a missile dropkick. Jericho with a bulldog, and then places a chair on top of Kane. Jericho hits the ropes and nails the Lionsault across the chair, but hurts himself more than it probably hurt Kane. Kane sits up and quickly nails a charging Jericho with a big boot. Kane with a press slam, launching Jericho to the arena floor. They fight up the aisle, back into the stage set. Kane goes for a chokeslam, but Jericho blocks and bulldogs Kane on top of a table, but it doesn't beak. Aww... Then Jericho REPEATS the spot, and the table just collapses. You don't repeat the spot! Jericho is way too good of a worker to do that. Jericho then pushes a stack of prop barrels "on top" of Kane, crushing him underneath. Too bad there's about three feet between the ground and where most of the barrels landed. Kane's hand pokes through, but Jericvho kicks it away, and this somehow is enough for the victory at 17:05. Really, really, REALLY awful finish, but a more enjoyable and better paced match than I originally gave it credit for. I still hate Last Man Standing matches, though. Too tedious.
RTC attacks the Dudleys to start, and Bull and D'Von officially start. D'Von connects with a diving back elbow, but Bull no-sells and connects with a boot. Goodfather tags in to do the same, then does the heatless version of the Ho Train. Bubba Ray comes in illegally and nails Goodfather with a clothesline. Road Dogg tags himself in and gets sucker punched for it. Edge tags himself in to work over Road Dogg, as well. Edge gets silly at the Dudleys, and somehow Bubba Ray and Road Dogg do simultanious jabbing efforts before KO'ing each other. K-Kwik tags in for a double hip toss and funky-do elbow drop on Edge. K-Kwik gets all fancy and hits Edge with a scissors kick. Christian nails him from the apron, allowing Edge to boot his head into the third row. Kwik tries for a comeback, but Edge with a single-arm DDT for a two count. Goodfather tags himself back into the ring to continue working the arm of K-Kwik. The crowd has not been into this match, sans the stuff with the Dudley Boyz. Buchanon tags in and he continues to bring the boring. Edge tags back in and, you guessed it, works the arm. K-Kwik surprises Edge with a swinging neck breaker, but the crowd has no reason to care for K-Kwik. Bubba Ray gets the hot tag (!?), and works over both Edge and Christian. Bubba with a sidewalk slam on Edge, then clotheslines to the RTC. Road Dogg comes in and clears Goodfather from the ring, then tosses Bull. K-Kwik uses Road Dogg as a ramp to suicide dive the RTC, but Goodfather catches him and plants him with a shoulder breaker. Road Dogg heads out and eats a Stevie Kick. The Dudleys do the stupid "WASSUP!!" headbutt on Edge and call for tables. The crowd is WAY into it now. The Dudleys clothesline the RTC with a table, then head back inside for the Dudley Device, but Christian breaks the cover. Chaos continues, the Dudleys 3D Bull Buchanon, then do it to the Goodfather. The Dudleys WASSUP Christian, and this time Richards DDT's D'Von onto the table. Back inside, Edge spears Bubba Ray, and that gets a two count. Christian quickly hits the Unprettier (or Impaler, depending on when the name changed), and THAT gets three and the Tag Titles at 9:35. Total clusterfuck for the last couple of minutes, but I guess it wasn't the worst four corners tag match I've ever seen. Again, why put the titles on RTC when you're going to pass them on to another heel team?
Lockup to start, and it goes around the ring until Benoit shoves Gunn off. Benoit pounds away on Gunn and drops him to the canvas in the process. Gunn surprises Benoit with a drop toe hold, followed by a trio of arm drags for a two count. Gunn counters something by tossing Benoit over the top rope (DQ!), then rams Benoit into the steel ring post. Gunn "charges" (or lightly jogs) at Benoit and gets tossed into the steps for it. Jim Ross drops an XFL reference in the mean time. Back in the ring, and Benoit goes to work on the left leg of The One. Benoit pulls Gunn to the center of the ring and rams the knee into the canvas. Gunn counters an atomic drop with a sunset fliup for a two count. Benoit with a basement dropkick, taking the leg out from under Gunn. Benoit punishes Gunn more, while J.R. and Lawler continue being hung up on the fucking earrings. Benoit with a dragon twist leg whip, then slaps on the figure-four! Gunn manages to reverse the preasure, but Benoit grabs the ropes for a break... HUH!? Slugfest, and Gunn misses a charge to the corner. Benoit takes Gunn down with a series of german suplex's, then heads to the top rope to a mild pop. The Swandive headbutt misses, but Gunn is still in considerable state of jobbing. Gunn slugs away and takes Benoit over with a powerslam for a two count. Gunn sends Benoit to the corner and puts him down with a press slam, then follows up with a shitty jackhammer. Gunn hits the Fameasser (not Fame-ASSer), but Benoit kick out at two. Welcome to Jobville, Population Billy Gunn. Gunn goes for that sleeper hold slam, but Benoit counters with the Crippler Crossface, but Gunn is in the ropes. Lucky bastard. They botch something (way to go, Billy), and it looks like Billy is calling a spot, sucking wind the entire time. Sucking wind, 8 minutes into a match. Benoit boots a charging Gunn in the corner and covers for two. Benoit with a back suplex for another two count. Gunn surprises Benoit with a small package for a two count, and then Benoit with the Crossface for the submission and Intercontinental Title at 10:02. Well, that was pretty definitive of a victory. Good match, if unspectacular. Gunn was made to look like a complete jobber here, with Benoit very rarely looking like he had a chance in hell of not winning. Gunn would soon be dropped to the Hardcore ranks, before barely showing up on television, until forming a wonderful team with Chuck Palumbo. That was sarcasm, by the way.
As expected, it's a wild brawl to start, with Austin/Triple H, Angle/Undertaker, and Rock/Rikishi pairing up immediately. It's most slugfests, so I won't go into great detail. Undertaker and Angle venture into the ring, and Undertaker nails the champion with a clothesline for a quick two count. Undertaker chokes out Angle in the corner, while everyone else hugs each other on the outside. Rikishi and Rock make their way into the ring for their moment of spotlight. Rock "hammers" away with rights, then comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline. They head out, and Rock is introduced to the steps. Austin and Triple H are in the ring next, and Trips hits Austin with the face buster, but Austin comes back with the Thesz Press and rights, followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Austin chokes Triple H across the middle rope and gets another near fall. Irish whip is reversed, and Hunter with his running high knee. Hunter wraps the leg of Austin around the ring post, allowing the Rock and Angle to take center stage. Rock with a Samoan drop, and that gets a two count. Irish whip is reversed, and Angle with a back elbow. Rikishi waddles around doing nothing, and Undertaker is back, tossing Angle out of the ring. Meanwhile, Hunter takes Austin over with a suplex on the arena floor. Rikishi finally gets back into things, pounding away on the Rock, then whipping him into the mesh. Austin and Undertaker momentarily join forces on Triple H, and Hunter gets the cheese grater treatment courtesy of Stone Cold. Blade Job! Meanwhile, Rikishi has Undertaker in a compromising position, and Austin continues to make shredded cheese out of Hunter's face. Austin rolls into the ring for a timely executed leg drop from Rikishi, and Hunter surprises Rikishi with the Pedigree, but the Rock breaks the pin attempt and nails Hunter with a DDT for a two count. Angle makes the save there and gives the Olympic Slam to the Rock, but then Angle gets taken out by Austin's Stunner, and then Austin by the Undertaker's Chokeslam, and then Triple H makes the save, and gets thrown into the cage, at the hands of the Undertaker.
Back in the ring, and Austin takes Rikishi's head off with a clothesline, then sends Undertaker out of the ring with roundhouse rights. Rikishi is back up, but back down with a Thesz Press. Suddenly, the pickup track filled with leaves and hay that we saw during the Last Man Standing Match is brought to ringside, and yes, it tears off the cage door, allowing everyone to brawl outside the cage. There's a fucking surprise. If Vince was considered with the health of his "investments", wouldn't destroying the cage, with them still technically inside it, add to the risk of injuring them even more? Logic in Wrestling. Suddenly, Mick Foley makes his way to ringside (with theme music) and takes out the Stooges with ease, then ejects McMahon from the arena... I didn't think the Commissioner could eject his own boss, but again, Logic in Wrestling. Triple H and Stone Cold both crawl their way up the aisle, because you can only win the match in the ring... yeah, yeah, yeah. Logic in Wrestling. They take the action to the stage where a bunch of junk-heap cars rest. Austin with one of the camera, and he whirls it into Helmsley. Here comes the rest of the pack, as Austin rams Hunter into the pick-up truck. Hunter musters up enough strength to throw Austin through one of the windows. Rock works over Helmsley and goes for the Rock Bottom on a car, but Hunter goes low and lays the Rock out with the Pedigree, instead. Rikishi tries to go Donkey Kong on Austin, but the barrel throw is blocked. Rock with a VERY weak, Lex Luger level of lame blade job. Hunter is having a second wind, ramming Undertaker and Angle into cars, but Austin recovers to slingshot him into yet another car. Austin tries to kill Hunter (again), this time with a barrel, but misses. Undertaker brings Angle to the announcers position, and chokes him with a microphone cord. Angle fights back and whacks Undertaker with a chair.
As expected, Triple H starts climbing the cell, with Austin in pursuit. Meanwhile, Undertaker with a blade job, and a pretty good one, too. Austin pounds away on Helmsley with rights, teasing knocking him off the roof, but it's not to be. Angle and Undertaker make their way up now, as Austin hits the Stunner. That's a safe move to do on that roof. A lot of nothing happening on the roof, but Angle does a blade job next. Hunter and Austin both make their way down the cage, leaving Undertaker and Angle alone for the moment. Suddenly, Rikishi makes his way onto the roof... are you shitting me? I hear chair shots, but it was the timekeeper tossing a chair up to the Undertaker, who then uses it to lay out Angle. Rikishi with the chair, and he plays Whack-a-Taker. Angle makes his way off the roof, leaving the Undertaker and Rikishi. Undertaker knocks Rikishi around with rights, then in the obviously planned big spot of the night, choke tosses Rikishi off the roof, into the bed of the pick-up, conveniently laced with some piles of leaves (And whatever else) to cushion to break Rikishi's fall. Not to be a dick, but if a spot is so dangerous, you need protection like that, DON'T DO THE FUCKING SPOT. Rikishi is dead for the rest of the match, as if anyone expected him to win, anyway. Meanwhile, the Rock and Austin go face-to-face and slug it out. WrestleMania X-Seven can't get here soon enough... Rock blocks a Stunner and hits the Spinebuster. Rock goes for the People's Elbow, but Triple H takes him out with a clothesline. Angle runs back in the ring and a Rock Bottom lays him out, but Austin breaks the pin attempt. Austin with the stunner on the Rock, complete with over-sell, but Triple H pulls Austin off and connects with the neck breaker... then suddenly, angle puts a hand on the Rock, and gets the three count to retain the title at 32:11. After the match, Austin stunners Angle because he wasn't booked to look strong enough, I guess. Match was a fun brawl for the most part, but it's a total cluster-fuck to try and recap. As much of a daring bump Rikishi took, it was completely unnecessary, and didn't have to be done. The match was fine enough already at that point. I think everyone saw it coming once the truck was brought out, though.
As far as December PPV's go, this one lies somewhere in the middle. It's not outstanding in any way, but there's nothing truely awful about it, either. The main event delivered, although it was a waste of roster throwing all the high profile names into one match, and filling out the rest of the card with a lot of random pairings, mostly stuff you would see on a weekly basis on Smackdown. Other than the main event, there was some decent stuff in the Last Man Standing and Intercontinental Title matches, but neither is anything to brag about, and the undercard is just "there". Armageddon 2000 can best be described as background noise. Not something you have to give your undivided attention to, and you can pop in and out without missing anything great or worrying about skipping something dreadful.