The SmarK Rant for WWF Judgment Day 2001
– Would have had this done earlier on Monday, but it was the Simpsons season finale and I HAVE PRIORITIES, DAMMIT.
– Live from Sacra-mental, California.
– Your hosts are JR & Paul E.
– Opening match: William Regal v. Rikishi. Rikishi seems to be slipping into the Godfather’s old opening match slot as “lovable comedy figure to pop the crowdÃ¢â‚¬Â, and if that works for them, so be it. Slugfest, won by Rikishi and he gets a clothesline. Regal bails to the corner, and blocks an attempted Stinkface with a ballshot and hammers away. Sunset flip and Rikishi misses a buttdrop in retaliation. Regal gets the double-knee for two. Rikishi comes back with a legdrop and CHEEKS OF FIRE, setting up the Super-Mega-Extendo-Stinkface of DOOM. Regal escapes and gives us the best facial expression I’ve ever seen to fully express his disgust. Back in, Rikishi gets the superkick, but a blind charge misses and Regal finishes with his neckbreaker thingie at 3:56. This served the purpose intended. *1/2
– Kurt Angle v. Chris Benoit. Angle attacks to start, and stomps away in the corner. Angle uses Benoit’s rolling germans and tries the flying headbutt, but misses and Benoit finishes him with the Angle Slam at 1:04 to win the first fall. He grabs the crossface right away and Angle bails. They brawl outside and Angle eats stairs. Angle hits the post, but ducks a chop and sends Benoit nut-first to the post, drawing groans of sympathy from the crowd. Paul quips that he’s “not sure what sort of submission move you’d follow that up withÃ¢â‚¬Â. More brawling, dominated by Angle. Back in, Benoit evades the Anglelock, but Angle goes back to it. Benoit counters to the crossface, but Angle makes the ropes and runs. Angle gets a cheapshot, but Benoit hammers him. Angle beats him down again, however. A suplex is followed by a belly-to-belly (called quite obviously by Angle), but a second try is countered to the crossface. Angle makes the ropes again. Benoit hits a clothesline, but Angle goes to the ankle again. Angle tries some chops and a rollup (?), but Benoit suplexes him out of his boots ala Dynamite Kid. Angle hotshots him to catch a break, and puts a vicious reverse indian deathlock on. Benoit comes back and gets his own Walls of Jericho, drawing a monster pop. Angle bails to the ropes again. Benoit tries a figure-four, Angle escapes. Benoit works on the knee in classic Flairish fashion, and Angle keeps going to the ropes, causing Ross to comment that he’s going steady with them. Angle finally dumps Benoit in desperation and they brawl on the floor. Back in, Benoit wins a slugfest and DDTs Angle, but takes the Angle Slam and the anklelock finishes at 13:27 to even it at one fall apiece. Ladder fall begins as they fight on the floor and Benoit posts Angle, but gets sent to the stairs. Angle grabs a ladder from under the ring and climbs for the medals, but the ladder is too short and Benoit pushes him over. Benoit grabs the “officialÃ¢â‚¬Â ladder and climbs, but Angle dumps him off. Suplex follows and Angle batters him with the ladder. He charges and Benoit backdrops him over the top to the floor, then grabs the ladder back and returns the abuse with the ladder. He heads back in to climb, but Angle lowblows him to stop it. He puts the ladder in the corner and rams Benoit into it, but Benoit catapults him into it. CANADIAN VIOLENCE! Angle climbs the ladder in the corner to stop the momentum of a whip into said corner, but Benoit dumps the ladder back onto him. That was SUCH a cool spot. Vicious german suplex misses the ladder by about 4 inches, but Angle pops up with a clothesline and whips Benoit into the ladder. He suplexes Benoit onto the ladder. Ouch. Benoit quickly comes back and see-saws the ladder into Angle’s jaw, and then hits him in the head with it for good measure. Benoit climbs with Angle under the ladder, but Angle pushes off and topples the ladder. They lifted that one from Shawn-Razor, but it’s forgiveable. Benoit snaps off a crossface, meaning nothing, as Edge & Christian do the “run-inÃ¢â‚¬Â and distract Benoit long enough for Angle to climb and regain the medals at 24:00. I didn’t like the screwy finish at all, but it’s fine as long as you book Edge & Christian’s later match that way it was booked. The rest of the match was par excellence and was given more than enough time to shine without feeling forced like the Iron Man match. ****1/4
– Meanwhile, Jerry Lynn is so bitter and upset that he gives us a goofy death metal grunt to express the totality of his frustration. Oh lord
– Hardcore title: Rhyno v. Big Slow v. Test. Rhyno & Test double-team Slow, but he dumps both guys and they all brawl. Slow dumps Test into the crowd and they head into the teeming millions, and into the back. Standard RAW hardcore stuff follows as they wander around and then head back to the arena. Test & Rhyno end up alone, oblivious to the fate of the Big Slow. Rhyno loads up the arsenal and DDTs Test on a trashcan lid for two. Slow lumbers back and chokeslams Rhyno, but gets booted by Test for two. Rhyno backs up and it’s ALGORE! ALGORE! ALGORE for Big Slow, but Test nails him for two. Test fire extinguishes Slow for two, but Rhyno dumps him, and ALGORE finishes at 9:13 to retain. Well, it’s better than Test & Show would’ve been, I suppose, but it was mostly the usual here. **
– Women’s title match: Chyna v. Lita. Chyna is dressing like a Vegas drag queen tonight, complete with bizarre peacock head ornament. Hug to start draws boos. Chyna overpowers Lita, but gets sunset flipped for two. Chyna cradles her for two off of a handshake, a distinctly Eddy-ish move. Chyna does some kicking and hits a clothesline. Another one gets two. Lita gets a DDT and does some phantom punches. Jesus, someone teach her to punch. Lita gets a flying clothesline for two, and she works the arm, loosing the SILICON FUNBAGS OF DEATH from their flimsy holders, drawing big heat from the horny males in the crowd. Chyna gets a neckbreaker and a powerslam for two. Gorilla Press gets two, but she picks her up. Lita does something resembling a cross armbreaker, but Chyna casually counters with a headscissors. Poochiebomb is reversed into a rana that’s uglier than Chyna, but another Poochiebomb gets the duke at 6:30. I really don’t get that finish. Match wasn’t good or anything, but at least they’re out of the negative stars. Ã‚Â½*
– Intercontinental title match: HHH v. Kane. HHH attacks with the chain and goes after the arm. He wraps it around the post and introduces it to the stairs, then adds some damage with a chair. Into the ring, HHH attaches the chain to begin the match proper. Kane slugs away and uses the chair, but it goes back to the arm. He comes off the top with a chain to the head for two. More armwork. He rams Kane into the stairs a few times and they head back in. Paul & Jim appear to have a running contest to see who can say “GameÃ¢â‚¬Â and/or “Cerebral AssassinÃ¢â‚¬Â the most times. HHH takes an unexpected chairshot and blades, and Kane comes back. He chokes HHH out with the chain, and they head. Kane pulls out the old Muraco-Steamboat hangman spot, but HHH yanks him off the top rope back in the ring. Back out, Kane slams him on the floor, but they head back in and Kane walks into the facebuster. Pedigree is stopped with a ballshot, and a chain to the head puts HHH down. Kane goes up and gets a flying chain to the head. Chokeslam, but Austin runs in to help and gets tossed. He tries again with a chair, but hits HHH by mistake in another case of wacky heel miscommunication and Kane gets the pin at 12:28 to win the title. Longish and slowish, but it’s Kane, so what can ya do? ** It was better than their Wrestlemania XV anti-classic, that’s for sure.
– And now TAG TEAM TURMOIL. I feel like it’s one of the old Coliseum videos where they introduce MIDGET MADNESS or the like.
– The APA v. The Radicalz. Saturn walks into a spinebuster at 1:31 to give the APA the first win. Well, that was brisk. DUD
– The APA v. The Dudley Boyz. APA double-teams D-Von and a Faarooq powerslam gets two. The Dudz pound on Faarooq, but Buh Buh gets double-teamed for two. Buh Buh catches Bradshaw with a sideslam for two, and Bradshaw is your face-in-peril. D-Von legsweep gets two. Bradshaw fights back with a fallaway slam and big boot for two. Pier-six, Bradshaw takes the Dudley Device. Whazzup for Faarooq, tables are gotten. The Hollies run in and Hardcore whiplashes D-Von into his own table (OH! The harsh mistress that is irony ) and the Clothesline From Heck finishes Buh Buh at 4:56. Standard stuff here. Ã‚Â¾*
– The APA v. X-Factor. X-Pac SHAVED! Truly this is a new era. He gets Faarooq with a spinkick, but gets powerslammed for two. Bradshaw comes in with a suplex as JR notes the shaveitude “for those who might be keeping score at homeÃ¢â‚¬Â. Hey, that’s ME. Justin comes in and gets tossed, but Albert nails Bradshaw like the BIG BALD MONSTER he is. Back in, Bradshaw manages a powerslam, hot tag to the man with too many vowels in his name. Legdrop gets two. X-Pac beats him down, but gets powerslammed for two. Albert trips Bradshaw up and X-Pac gets the pin at 3:43. Ã‚Â¾*
– X-Factor v. The Hardy Boyz. I’m still in shock over the shave. Big brawl to start, Hardyz double-team Justin. X-Pac pulls Jeff out and X-Factor posts him to take over. X-Pac hits the broncobuster as they’re apparently trying to re-establish that move. Jeff comes back with a double-dropkick, hot tag Matt. Yodelling legdrop, and they dump Justin. Poetry in Motion, and swanton gets two. Albert makes the save, and X-Factor finishes with a superkick at 3:13. RAW match. *
– X-Factor v. The Canadian Violence Connection. Note to the WWF: You can have that one gratis. Big brawl as Jericho & Benoit destroy X-Factor. Jericho dives onto Albert, but gets posted. And dropped on the railing. X-Pac works Benoit over with chops, and Justin gets an Aldobomb for two. He HITS THE CHINLOCK. Benoit sunset flip gets two, but he remains in enemy territory. X-Pac gets a flipping lariat, but the broncobuster misses. Hot tag Y2J. He nails everything that moves and gives X-Pac a missile dropkick for two. Ref bumped, X-Factor gets the double-superkick, and a new ref counts two. Justin gets catapulted into X-Pac, the CVC suplexes everyone and dumps Albert, and simultaneous submissions end X-Factor’s night at 5:15. Another good RAW match. **
– Benoit & Jericho v. Edge & Christian. Winner is YOUR #1 contender. It’s MASS CANADIAN VIOLENCE to start. Jericho suplexes Edge, but he gets hotshotted and Edge stomps him. Christian hammers him for two. Edge dropkick gets two, Edge hits the chinlock. Kneelift, but Jericho fights back against Christian. Christian gets the backbreaker thingie for two. Edge misses a dropkick, Jericho misses the Lionsault. Christian misses Poetry in Motion, hot tag Benoit. Snap suplex for Christian and he dumps Edge. German suplex on Christian gets two, but Edge gets the Edge-O-Matic. Pier-six and E&C go for a double superplex, but Jericho stops it. Benoit dropkicks Christian off of Jericho’s shoulders for two. Edge DDTs Benoit as Jericho posts himself on blind charge. Conchairto is stopped by a double baseball slide, and the CVC try their own and miss. Edge & Christian try the real thing again, but Christian gets caught with a crossface and taps at 7;15. Good stuff. ***
– WWF title match: Steve Austin v. The Undertaker. They brawl up at the entranceway and back to ringside, where Austin meets the stairs. UT does a railing walk and into the ring, but Austin runs again. They fight out to the entrance again. Into the ring, Austin goes after the leg. Neckbreaker, and Austin works the knee. UT gets the flying clothesline, Stunner is blocked with a big boot for two. Brawl outside AGAIN, Austin gets posted. Back in, Austin wraps the knee around the post a few times. More brawling, Austin clips him on the floor. Back in, back to the knee, and those portions of the knee pertaining to the crotch. Austin grabs a legbar and lays around. UT escapes and they brawl out with Austin taking a TRIP ALL THE WAY BY GAWD TO HELL via the announce table and AS GOD IS MY WITNESS HE’S BROKEN IN HALF! Okay, so JR wasn’t quite that amped up, but you know he was prepping it. Back in, UT gets two. The camera shows a tiny nick in Austin’s back to underscore the severity of the injury from the table. UT drops an elbow for two. UT should start using the heart punch again, just so I can hear JR sell the psychology of why it doesn’t work against Austin, due to him being heartless and all. Austin bails and weakly nails him with a TV monitor. He pulls a turnbuckle pad off as UT blades. More brawling. Back in, slugfest and THESZ PRESS, THESZ PRESS, THESZ PRESS, BY GAWD. Crowd boos and Austin is all Hollywood Blonds as he smirks. I miss the days when Austin & Pillman used guerrilla warfare on WCW brass to get over by any means necessary. Lowblow gets two. Austin stomps away (no mudhole) and grabs a sleeper, but gets suplexed. Austin grabs a chair and KO’s UT. KICK WHAM STUNNER gets two. Chokeslam to come back, UT uses the chair in excessive fashion. HHH runs in to protest his lack of sportsmanship, and I guess he wanted to make sure no one would steal his sledgehammer or something because we all know how close he is to it. Austin chairs Vince by mistake and Taker goes for the Last Ride, but the sledge, acting of it’s own volition, nails Undertaker and Austin gets the pin to retain at 22:53. HHH should get that thing checked. UT tried hard, but the gas tank is empty and the overbooking killed it. ***
The Bottom Line: I had a lot to say, but this is being written after RAW, so it was all negated in dramatic fashion.
The show itself was pretty enjoyable, good enough for a thumbs up but nothing to set the world on fire or anything. RAW on the other hand wow. My thoughts on that are up on TheSmarks.com for any interested parties.