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by Samoa Rowe
September 24th 2000
-From Philadelphia, PA. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler (with Michael Cole covering for Lawler for a while). The big story going into this show is the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin after missing almost a year of action. Austin is gunning for the man who ran him over.
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) vs. Right to Censor (Val Venis, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather, and Steven Richards)
The Dudleyz take care of Goodfather in the early going, until the former pimp saves himself with a back drop counter. Buchanan tags but ends up on the receiving end of Bradshaw's swinging neck breaker. Buchanan counters with a springboard elbow. Venis tags but suffers a hard Irish whip from Bradshaw, followed by a fallaway slam. Venis counters D-Von's Irish whip and nails a powerbomb. RTC takes control by isolating D-Von for a short heat sequence. Bubba gets a hot tag and cleans house on RTC. The match quickly breaks down, and the Dudleyz hit the Doomsday Device on Val, but Goodfather saves the match. Richards catches Bubba with the Stevie Kick for the Venis pinfall at 6:02. Kind of a useless opener, with cheap heat vs. spinning wheels, *1/2.
Winners: Right to Censor
-The Dudleyz aren't taking that loss lightly and arrange for Steven Richards to take the WASSUP diving head butt. They prepare a table, but Richards' friends make the save. The APA join the part and clear the way for Bubba to powerbomb Steven through the table. The Dudleyz can afford to lose every match as long as someone goes through a table afterwards.
-Stephanie McMahon has a bad feeling about tonight, but Triple H assures her that he's going to finish things with Kurt Angle. Stephanie assures Hunter that she's behind him 100% and is sorry she ever defended Angle. She thought Angle was his friend but now feels that she was wrong. HHH admonishes her for ever mistaking Kurt as a friend.
-Kevin Kelly is waiting in the parking lot to get a word with Stone Cold.
Leather Strap Match:
Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz
Yeah, somehow this feud lasted for a full month after their apparent blow off at Summerslam. Lawler and Tazz are tied to each other with the leather strap, which Tazz immediately starts using as a weapon. Tazz chokes Lawler right in front of J.R. to add some spite. Jerry saves himself by using the strap as a whip. Tazz breaks a choke with a low blow and delivers a whipping. Lawler uses some old fashioned jabs and a piledriver. Tazz pops up after a second piledriver, so Jerry administers a third. Tazz pops up before collapsing in comedic fashion. Lawler hangs Tazz on his back but Tazz kicks the referee down. The crowd then goes nuts as Raven makes his debut with a run-in and plants Jerry with a DDT. Lawler succumbs to the Tazzmission at 5:04. Appropriately short match to finish off a useless feud, *.
-Steve Blackman is looking rather dangerous backstage.
-Steve Austin arrives in a 3:16 truck and beats up Kevin Kelly. It's worth noting that as a more casual fan at the time, I was not a fan of Austin attacking non-threatening characters and fellow babyfaces.
Hardcore Championship (Hardcore Invitational):
Steve Blackman ' vs. European Champion Al Snow vs. Crash Holly vs. Test (with Trish Stratus) vs. Perry Saturn (with Terri Runnels) vs. Funaki
This is one of those deals where there's a 10 minute time limit and whoever has the last pinfall gets the title. All the participants are former Hardcore champions. Blackman wastes no time dropping Crash with a martial arts kick and blocking Saturn's dive with a trash can lid. Everyone tries to pin Blackman in the ring. Terri passes head to Saturn, but Snow takes it and attacks everyone (as Cole gets carried away with Head jokes). Most of the action leaves the ring with several simultaneous brawls. Crash wins the title and tries to run away, but Saturn ambushes him on the stage to also win the title. The brawl moves through the crowd, though the commentators seem more concerned with the Stone Cold situation. Saturn and Blackman square off in the ring, and Blackman dishes out a slam with his martial arts sticks. Blackman uses a kendo stick to fight off the other participants and clocks Saturn to regain the title with a minute left. Everyone gangs up on Blackman in the aisle but they can't agree who should cover him. The time expires at 10:00, allowing Blackman to walk out as champion. This had it's moments, but there was far too much dead time in the middle, *3/4.
Winner and still Hardcore Champion: Kurt Angle
-Kurt Angle meets Steve Austin for the first time backstage. Angle tries to make nice and offers Austin one of his medals. Austin says he'll store it in a real special place, and as you could probably guess, that place is up Kurt's ass. Considering the rivalry they'd go on to have, this segment was pretty cool.
X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho
If I remember properly, this was an insta-feud set up when X-Pac randomly beat the crap out of Jericho using nunchucks. Jericho storms the ring and X-Pac stalls. They lock up and are trying really hard to convince the viewers that this is a serious grudge match. Jericho avoids the Bronco Buster with a clothesline and nails a spin heel kick. X-Pac counters the springboard drop kick by sending Y2J crashing to ringside. Somersault plancha by X-Pac, who is now in the driver's seat. X-Pac dishes out the Bronco Buster and gets overconfident, allowing a Jericho powerbomb. Jericho steals the Bronco Buster but meets the ring post on a head of steam. X-Pac nails a blind low blow and X-Factor for a seriously close 2 count. Jericho rolls into the Walls but a rope break leads to a still kick from X-Pac for another near fall. X-Pac counters the Lionsault but Jericho counters back with the Walls for the win at 9:03. Very good workrate here, even if this feud was completely pointless, **1/2.
Winner: Chris Jericho
-If you were sad that this feud was over, fear not, because X-Pac ambushes Jericho with the nunchucks again.
-Kurt Angle complains to Mick Foley over how Stone Cold just disrespected him. Doesn't Austin know that Angle had to win the medals despite his Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Foley rewards him by making his match with Triple H a no disqualifications match.
-The Rock is hanging out in his locker room when Steve Austin barges in. They shake hands and Rock welcomes him back. Just Joe interrupts and has some gossip for Austin, but gets beaten up instead.
WWF Tag Team Championship (Steel Cage Match):
Edge and Christian © vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy
This rivalry has reached BLOOD FEUD levels because the DASTARDLY Edge and Christian' dressed up like film critics and made fun of home videos of Matt and Jeff playing wrestlers as kids. Those Hardyz are a sensitive bunch. Hot start for the Hardy Boyz, as they use the cage to punish Edge and Christian. Jeff teases a Swanton off the top rope but gets pushed to the floor by Edge. Matt has to go it alone and crotches Edge on the ropes to buy him some time with Christian. Edge saves Christian from the Twist of Fate and it turns into a handicap match for a while. Matt tries to escape but gets caught with a double suplex off the ropes. Jeff tries to climb back in but is continually knocked down, so he beats up the referee for the key. Christian cuts Jeff off at the door, but is happy to take his chair from him. Matt has been bloodied and Edge hides the door key in his tights. Matt ducks the Con-chair-to and clotheslines the chairs into the champions' faces. Matt is almost over the cage and Jeff throws a ladder at Christian! Edge DDTs Matt but can't do anything about Jeff climbing up a ladder to get back in. Matt suplexes Edge into position for Jeff's Whisper in the Wind off the cage! Lita runs in and hurricanranas Christian off the ladder. Edge tries to escape but the Hardyz catch him with a Con-Chair-to on top of the cage. Edge falls back into the ring and the Hardy'z climb down for the win at 13:26! Good stunt show with a healthy dose of creativity involved, ***1/2.
Winners and new WWF Tag Team Champions: Matt and Jeff Hardy
-Steve Austin confronts Stephanie McMahon about Triple H's whereabouts. Stephanie sucks up to him offers him the hat he was wearing the night he was run down. Stephanie claims that Shane McMahon knows who ran him over, but Austin doesn't trust her.
-Mick Foley is warming up for his guest referee job. Triple H, sporting taped ribs, tries to make peace with Foley to gain an advantage in his match against Kurt Angle. Hunter needs to know that Foley will call the match down the middle, which Foley promises to do.
Eddie Guerrero ' (with Chyna) vs. Rikishi
Eddie used a marriage proposal to save his relationship with Chyna, after he lost his temper over her Playboy deal. Guerrero is preoccupied with bossing Chyna around and is an easy target for Rikishi in the early going. Rikishi misses a butt splash and Eddie tries to leave. Chyna physically forces Eddie back into the ring, where Rikishi is ready to continue the beating. Chyna pulls Eddie to ringside to save him from the Stink Face. Rikishi confronts Chyna and is blindsided with a flying ax handle from Guerrero. The Frog Splash misses, and Rikishi hits a weird variation of the Ace Cutter. The Samoan Drop sets up a Banzai Bomb but Chyna disrupts the 3 count. Rikishi loses his temper and attacks Chyna with a super kick! The DQ is called at 6:02. Not much of a match, but solid angle advancement on display, *.
Winner via DQ: Rikishi
-Rikishi finishes Chyna off with the Banzai Bomb. Normally, I'd complain that a babyface is attacking a woman, but considering Rikishi was about to be revealed as the nefarious heel who ran over Stone Cold, I'm okay with this. Also, it's Chyna, she was pretty tough and frequently portrayed as being on the same level as the men. The segment ends with Eddie making sure the IC title is safe before he helps Chyna up.
-The Undertaker tells Jonathan Coachman that he's the top dog in the yard, and someone in the fatal 4-way could be taking a last ride.
-Kurt Angle is whining out loud about his problems to himself. Trish Stratus consoles him and offers her services, which he seems oblivious to. Angle has an epiphany and bolts.
Special Referee: Mick Foley
Kurt Angle vs. Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley)
Angle doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut and leads the audience in singing Happy Birthday to Stephanie. The match begins with Angle immediately targeting Triple H's injured ribs. HHH fights back with a back drop to ringside. Kurt gets knocked around but manages to reverse an Irish whip and nails a clothesline. Back to the ring, Angle counters with an overhead belly to belly suplex. HHH and Angle argue with Foley over 2 counts and Foley shoves Kurt down. HHH shakes off another suplex and hits a neckbreaker. They brawl on the floor and HHH nails a reverse suplex. HHH attempts a Pedigree through the announce table, but Angle low blows. Angle delivers a belly to belly suplex through the Spanish table! Kurt continues softening Triple H up and delivers another belly to belly off the top rope. Angle applies an abdominal stretch! HHH survives, but Kurt drops a series of elbows onto the ribs. Angle's moonsault misses, and Triple H comes back with a one-armed Pedigree. HHH summons Stephanie in to make a choice and she decides to kick Kurt in the groin. The Pedigree finishes it at 17:20. This was pretty disappointing given the build up. Angle and HHH have a stunning lack of chemistry and never really got a groove going, despite some big moves and spots, **3/4.
Winner: Triple H
-Triple H gives Stephanie a forceful kiss as Angle recovers on the mat.
-Shane McMahon comes to the ring to share his video proof of who ran Stone Cold over. Shane shows old footage from Raw of Steve Blackman backing his car into Ken Shamrock. Shane's logic is that if Blackman can back over one man, why not another? Blackman comes to the ring to offer his rebuttal and chases Shane from the ring. Steve Austin, with his updated theme music by Disturbed, storms the ring to a massive pop. Austin strikes Blackman with the Stunner for no good reason. Shane thinks he's just helped Austin find the culprit and brings in a cooler full of beer for the celebration. This, of course, leads to Shane eating a trio of Stunners as well. The fans missed Austin over the past year and eat all of this up. Personally, this doesn't hold my attention and goes on far too long.
-Michael Cole interviews WWF Champion The Rock backstage. Rock insults Cole's interviewing skills and creatively insults his three opponents.
The Rock© vs. The Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane
Kane and Rock mix it up while Undertaker trades shots with Benoit. Rock and Taker tease a fight, but their opponents break it up. Benoit and Rock brawl into the crowd while the Brothers of Destruction engage in chapter 840 in their feud (it was already old news in 2000). They trade opponents, and Kane and Rock try to put each other away. Undertaker dismantles Benoit at ringside and returns to the ring to help Rock beat up Kane. Undertaker turns his attention to Rock and unloads his token offense, but Rock counters Old School. Rock shoves Kane into the referee and hits a DDT. Taker cracks a chair over Rock's skull, and walks into a chair shot from Benoit. Benoit pins Undertaker for the title at 7:04! Oh wait, Taker's leg was on the rope, so in a repeat from Fully Loaded, Mick Foley has to restart the match. Benoit gets triple teamed on the stage and is repeatedly smashed into the set. Kane and Undertaker resume their fight while Benoit delivers rolling Germans to Rock. Benoit hits the swan dive but Rock kicks out. Rock steals the Crossface but Undertaker breaks it up. Kane chokeslams Undertaker, but gets caught by Rock's spinebuster. Benoit interrupts the Peoples' Elbow but gets punched out. Last Ride on Rock, but Kane makes the save. Benoit puts the Brothers of Destruction down with chair shots and applies the Crossface to Rock. Taker saves with a chokeslam on Benoit, but Kane drags him to ringside for another punchfest. Meanwhile, the Rock Bottom finishes Benoit at 16:04. This was the very definition of a filler main event, four top guys exchanging trademark offense for a result that maintains the status quo, **1/2.
Winner and still WWF Champion: The Rock
Final Thoughts: The Hardy Boyz finally regaining the tag titles was neat, but that's about all I've got. I don't have any sentimental feelings towards Austin during this time period, and the Angle/HHH blow off was such a disappointment that it soured the 2-3 months of TV build up that had gone into it. Overall, Unforgiven 2000 is a flat show that you can skip. Thumbs down.
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