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WWF Backlash

May 21, 2000

by Samoa Rowe

-Follow me on Twitter: @SamoaRowe

-From Louisville, KY. My hosts and your’s are Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. This review is brought to you (but not endorsed or sponsored by) the WWE Network.

-It’s worth mentioning that this pay-per-view is being sponsored by Army Men for the Panasonic 3DO! I bet you all have fond memories of that particular home console.

-DX and the McMahons are having a private party in the back. Vince McMahon berates Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco for being late and demands to know where Pat Patterson is. Vince sends Gerry off to get coffee and rallies the troops for their matches later. X-Pac and Road Dogg will beat the Dudleyz, Shane will defeat Big Show, and Triple H will reclaim the WWF title in the Iron Man match against The Rock.

-Gerald Brisco is ambushed by the Head Bangers (they were still a thing?) and gets chased away.

-Kurt Angle cuts a promo on his way to the ring. He’s coming to terms with his newfound status as a heartthrob to teenage girls. Angle is joined by Edge and Christian, wielding strange brown sacks. Christian intentionally mispronounces “Louisville” while annoying the fans with a disingenuous faux baby face promo. They set up a five second pose (for those with the benefit of flash photography) dressed up as a redneck jug band (complete with fake teeth and a banjo). This was pretty funny and still managed to generate heat.

Kurt Angle and WWF Tag Team Champions Edge and Christian vs. Too Cool (Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Grandmaster Sexay)

Team ECK jump Too Cool from behind but the tables are quickly turned as they all get splashed in the corner before retreating. GMS starts with an enziguri on Edge and the hip hop missile drop-kick. Scotty and GMS double team Edge with elbow drops. Christian tags but Scotty catches him with a vertical suplex, followed by the moonwalk. GMS uses his body to shield Scotty from a hard Irish whip. Team ECK retreats again and GMS loses his pants while dancing. Rikishi tags and plows through Edge and Christian and pulls Angle into the ring but misses a butt drop. Rikishi avoids getting cut off from his partners and tags in Scotty, but Angle prevents the Worm with a hard clothesline. Scotty gets isolated instead and is properly beaten down before making the hot tag to Rikishi. Team ECK gets piled in the corner for a Rikishi splash. Angle takes the Stink Face but retaliates with a DDT. Rikishi bounces back with double clotheslines but Edge puts him down with a spear. Scotty finally delivers the Worm to Edge. Christian clocks Rikishi with the ring bell, but the ref misses it. GMS saves Rikishi with the Hip Hop Drop on Edge. Angle is late making the save and Rikishi pins Edge at 9:44. I don’t think that was supposed to be the finish, Angle’s timing looked off. Either way, the crowd is pleased with this strong, high-energy opener, **¾.
Winners: Rikishi and Too Cool

-Rikishi and Too Cool stick around to dance. This routine never got old (until it was just Rikishi and Scotty in 2004 at least).

-Michael Cole interviews the guest referee for tonight’s main event, Shawn Michaels. Everyone is wondering where Michaels stands, after being spotted entering The Rock’s locker room on Sunday Night Heat. HBK says he was just checking in with Rock, and he plans on calling the match down the middle despite his friendship with Triple H. Cole asks Michaels to address rumors that he’s jealous of Rock’s success, and HBK says not to believe everything you read on the internet.

-Eddie Guerrero and Chyna roll into the arena, where a frustrated Dean Malenko is waiting for them. Perry Saturn confronts Dean, warning him not to be kissing Eddie’s ass. The Radicalz are imploding before our very eyes (Editor's Note: should that be: "eyez"? Hey-oh!)

European Championship:
Eddie Guerrero © (with Chyna) vs. Perry Saturn vs. Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko

Malenko and Saturn both go after Guerrero in the early going. Dean holds Eddie in place for Saturn’s flying leg drop, prompting a handshake. Naturally, they can’t decide on who should pin Guerrero and their alliance dissolves. Eddie low blows both opponents with one kick and takes control with a pair of hurricanranas. Malenko counters Eddie with a side slam, but Eddie bounces back with a tornado DDT on Saturn. Dean nearly pins Eddie with the double underhook power bomb. Malenko looks for the Texas Cloverleaf but breaks it to clothesline Saturn. Eddie finds himself on Saturn’s shoulders and gets hung on the ropes. Saturn suplexes Eddie but his superplex on Malenko is blocked. Dean improvises with a top rope gut buster on Eddie! Saturn steals the Frog Splash on Guerrero and applies the Cloverleaf! Saturn suffers a Brainbuster from Eddie and gets stretched by Malenko. Saturn returns to suplex both opponents at once! Chyna attacks Saturn with the metal pipe bouquet and trips Malenko. Eddie steals the pinfall on Malenko at 7:53. They made great use of their short time and had a fun spotfest, **¾.
Winner and still European Champion: Eddie Guerrero

-Earlier on Sunday Night Heat, Gerald Brisco pinned a napping Crash Holly to win the Hardcore title. Brisco tripped over a can on his way out of the room, prompting Crash to wake up and chase him away. Now, Brisco is hiding in the bathroom and is so worried about getting ambushed that he literally attacks his own reflection. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t pretty funny.

Falls Count Anywhere:
Shane McMahon vs. Big Show

Shane immediately dives over the ropes and into the arms of Big Show, who drives him into the ring post. Show slams Shane onto the ring steps and presses his foot down on the hand. They head to the ring where Big Show completely dominates Shane until Big Bossman runs in and attacks with his nightstick. Show fights back with a power bomb on Bossman, but Test and Albert run in with chairs. Show punches away the chairs and clears the ring of T&A, and Trish Stratus sneaks in for a low blow. Show choke slams Trish over the ropes onto her team! Show catches Shane crawling away and tosses him into the metal scaffolding of the set. Show hoists more steel for an assault but Shane grabs the set for a swinging drop-kick. Test and Albert provide more backup, holding Show in place for Shane to roll a production box into him. Show fights off T&A again but Bull Buchanan joins the party, attacking with another nightstick. Shane pushes a speaker onto Show’s leg and sparks fly! Shane breaks a cinder block over Show’s head and pins him at 7:14. Aside from a brief comeback in July, this was the last we’d see Show until next year’s Royal Rumble. The match was a good example of entertaining crap, *.
Winner: Shane McMahon

-Big Show is helped to the back. Five months after being WWF Champion, two months after headlining Wrestlemania, Big Show was sent to development to lose weight, better his in-ring skills, and improve his attitude.

-Gerald Brisco looks for safety and rest in the referees’ locker room. The referees pretend to attack him, so he storms off.

-Triple H chats with his old buddy, Shawn Michaels. Triple H can’t believe HBK is actually going to wear biker shorts to the ring, as it looks like he’s “smuggling bananas” in those things.

Intercontinental Championship (Submission Match):
Chris Benoit © vs. Chris Jericho

Benoit has a hurt knee after suffering a vicious chair attack from Hardcore Holly on Smackdown. They keep a fast pace in the early going, with Jericho in the driver’s seat. They seem to trade Tombstone attempts until Benoit connects with a shoulder breaker. Benoit hits the flying head butt and ties up the arm and head. Jericho counters but Benoit blocks the Walls. Jericho drop-kicks Benoit off the apron, but Benoit reverse whips Y2J into the steps. Jericho counters by dropping Benoit knee-first onto the steps. Back to the ring, Jericho nails a backbreaker and they exchange chops. Jericho gets thrusted shoulder-first into the corner, allowing Benoit to expose a turnbuckle. Benoit picks Jericho apart and goes for an armbar. Jericho gets back into the fight, removing Benoit’s knee brace by force. Y2J whips the metal brace into Benoit’s injured knee repeatedly! Lionsault by Jericho, who then applies the Walls around the ring ropes. Benoit misses an enziguri and connects with rolling German suplexes. Jericho goes for the Walls, but Benoit knocks him in the head with the knee brace (Jericho has been hoisted by his own petard). Benoit applies the Crippler Crossface until Jericho passes out at 13:24. Another exciting chapter in this rivalry, ***¾.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit

-Michael Cole interviews Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco about having to defend the title 24 hours a day. Brisco is frustrated, his friends and neighbors have been trying to beat him for the title, and it’s turned him into a nervous wreck. Brisco doesn’t like the way the catering crew is looking at him and attacks them in paranoid fashion.

-The Rock warns Shawn Michaels to call the Iron Man match right down the middle.

Tables Match:
D-Generation X (Road Dogg and X-Pac, with Tori) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von)

Hated heel Road Dogg still does the baby face “Welcome to the Dogg house” routine. The crowd cannot wait to chant “X-Pac sucks” as Road Dogg starts against D-Von. X-Pac tags and eats a D-Von shoulder block. Bubba tags and flusters X-Pac with punches, but takes a roundhouse kick. X-Pac looks for one of the many tables surrounding the ring, but gets cut off. The Dudleyz deliver the WASSUP head butt on both members of DX, who decide to take a hike. Bubba gets his eyes set on Tori, inadvertently allowing D-Von to get double teamed. Bubba gets a hot tag and plows through DX. The Dudleyz bring three tables into the ring and set two of them up in opposite corners. Sadly, Road Dogg catches D-Von at ringside and pump handle slams him through a table. X-Pac strangely sets up a Bronco Buster into the table on the already eliminated D-Von, but Bubba makes the save. Bubba power bombs X-Pac through a table to massive crowd approval. Road Dogg hip tosses the referee through a table, and Hardcore Champion Gerald Brisco comes to the ring. The Dudleyz put Road Dogg through a table with the 3D, but the ref is down. Brisco pulls Dogg out of the ring to hide the evidence (so to speak). Bubba grabs Tori by the hair and prepares to power bomb her, but Brisco and DX make the save. X-Pac puts Bubba through the table with the X-Factor for the win at 10:53. Another kind of boring, weird, anti-woman Dudley Boyz feud, **.
Winners: Road Dogg and X-Pac

-The Dudleyz put Gerald Brisco through a table to gain the moral victory. They’ll have to wait another day to beat up Tori.

-Triple H comes to the ring accompanied by Stephanie, Shane, and Vince McMahon. HHH grabs a mic and says while he appreciates their support, he feels the need to settle things with The Rock by himself. Vince looks baffled by Triple H’s unusual act of integrity but the McMahons leave without making a fuss.

WWF Championship (60 Minute Iron Man Match):
The Rock © vs. Triple H

Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels
They spend nearly a minute talking smack, so yeah, they’re pacing themselves. Rock actually gets booed for working a headlock too long. Rock quickens the pace, prompting Hunter to stall at ringside. They trade strikes and HHH connects with a hard clothesline. Triple H starts working over the arm. Rock surprises with the Rock Bottom to win the first fall at 10:43. They fill time with a brawl up the aisle. HHH hurts himself with a missed knee lift into the barricade and Rock suplexes him back into the ring. Rock goes to work on the hurt leg and applies a Figure Four! HHH reverses the hold after a struggle. They brawl at ringside and into the crowd (41 minutes left, gotta fill it). Back to the ring, HHH methodically picks Rock apart. Rock reverses a whip into the steps to further damage Hunter’s leg. Rock continues targeting the leg with increasing viciousness. Triple H surprises with the Pedigree to tie things up at 25:22. HHH follows with an inside cradle to take the lead at 26:25. Back to the aisle, Rock reverses a whip into the set and clotheslines HHH onto the concrete. Triple H reverses a suplex on the floor, Rock desperately retaliates with a back suplex. If things weren’t bad enough for HHH, he suffers a back drop on the floor before the action finally returns to the ring. Piledriver by Triple H gets another pinfall at 32:23, giving him a 3-1 lead. Rock is on defense but manages to arm drag HHH off the top rope. Rock tries to rally but HHH cuts him down with a knee lift. Cue the sleeper! HBK catches Triple H using the ropes for leverage and Rock comes back with a belly to belly suplex. Rock pins HHH with a DDT at 40:23. They brawl at ringside yet again and HHH earns a DQ with a chair shot at 43:45. That ties things up at 3-3. HHH earns a convenient pinfall at 44:00 and busts Rock open, making it 4-3. Hunter reapplies the sleeper while fake blood “pours” down Rock’s face. After a struggle, Rock succumbs to the sleeper at 47:19, giving The Game a 5-3 lead. HBK forces HHH to break the hold and they exchange shoves. The break allows Rock to find his second (or third) wind and make a comeback. Rock nails a superplex but is slow to cover and gets 2. Back to ringside, Rock catapults Hunter into the ring post, but HHH reverses a whip into the steps. HHH attempts a Rock Bottom through the announce table, but Rock counters with the Pedigree, but the table doesn’t break!! Rock earns a fall by count-out at 55:59, making it 5-4. The McMahon family returns as a blood Triple H crawls into the ring. Rock is on fire but has to knock Vince and Shane off the apron. The building goes nuts for the People’s Elbow to tie things at 5-5. HBK gets into a fight with Vince and doesn’t see X-Pac and Road Dogg interfere. A spooky video plays on the Titantron to signal the return of The Undertaker, who rides a motorcycle to ringside. This is the debut of BIKER TAKER and he cleans the ring of the McMahons and DX. Michaels wakes up just in time to see Undertaker choke slam Triple H and disqualifies Rock at 59:57. Undertaker Tombstones Triple H as the time expires at 60:00. Triple H wins 6-5! This was overall a great match, though at times I felt like it was stuck in a holding pattern (repeated ringside brawls). The screwy finish didn’t annoy me as much as I thought it would, as the building was going nuts and it generated some excellent heat. Even though it took me 14 years to finally sit down and watch this, I’m glad I did, ****¼.
Winner and new WWF Champion: Triple H

-Undertaker is frustrated that he just helped Triple H regain the championship. Some fans throw trash in the ring as Taker chases Shawn Michaels up the aisle. DX and Vince help Triple H walk out and a fan throws a drink at them. What a scene.

Final Thoughts: The WWF scored another hit with Judgment Day 2000. Rock/Triple H and Benoit/Jericho both put in must-see chapters in their rivalries and the rest of the undercard was pretty solid. I don’t think the Dudley Boyz stuff from this era has aged particularly well, but that’s not enough to sour me on the product as a whole. Thumbs up!

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