The Netcop Rant for WWF Judgment Day 2000
– As a reminder, or cheap plug depending on your point of view, there is also an AUDIO version of this currently available, featuring yours truly doing the spoken word interpretation for you illiterates out there. As a warning, I’ve been told I sound like a “soft rock DJÃ¢â‚¬Â by more than one person, but it’s still all good.
– Live from Louisville, KY
– Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.
– Neat opening bit to start as they list all the things that happen in one hour. Unless I missed it, I don’t think “In one hour Mark Madden eats 750 jelly donutsÃ¢â‚¬Â was there.
– Vince offers the Regime a pep-talk as a way of reminding people of the matches for tonight. This segues into Gerald Brisco going for coffee and thus being forced to defend his Hardcore title all the way there and back throughout the show.
– Opening match: Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian v. Too Cool & Rikishi Phatu. For the Benefit of Those with Flash Photography (in Kentucky? Yeah right ), the pose tonight is “The Jug BandÃ¢â‚¬Â, which in this case comes complete with instruments and silly teeth for Edge. As opposed to his normal-looking teeth? Kurt Angle has a new “menage-a-flagÃ¢â‚¬Â pattern on his tights. Pier-six to start. Edge & Grandmaster Sexay start the match proper, with Edge taking an enzuigiri. Missile dropkick follows, and Scotty comes in for the double-team elbow. Scotty & Christian do a wrestling sequence that leads to a Scotty suplex. Funny spot as Sexay lies on the top rope to block a cross-corner whip that would hurt Scotty, but when Edge tries the same thing to protect Christian he gets hung up there. Grandmaster Sexay loses his pants, but manages to tag in Rikishi, who cleans house and gets caught briefly in the heel corner. Scotty comes in, but the Worm is stopped with a cheapshot. Angle controls with a suplex for two. Christian comes in and Scotty gets an over-the-shoulder powerbomb onto the top rope, ala Black Blood. Yeah, I know, 90% of you have no clue what I’m talking about there. Rikishi gets the hot tag and hits CHEEKS OF FIRE, then Kurt takes the Stinkyface. He tries the Rikishi Driver to finish, but the champs break it up and double-DDT Rikishi, which is no-sold. Edge spears him, however, and decides to mock the Worm. Big mistake, as Scotty retaliates with his the real Worm. Christian hits Rikishi with the ringbell in the meantime, but Sexay comes off the top with the Hip Hop Drop for the pin at 9:47. Good (and very HOT) opener. ***1/4
– Shawn Michaels cuts a quick promo and utters those words we never thought we’d hear: “Tonight, I’ll do that jobÃ¢â‚¬Â. Okay, so it’s in a different context, but it’s a start.
– European title match: Eddie Guerrero v. Perry Saturn v. Dean Malenko. Saturn & Malenko hit the Decapitation move quickly, and generally look to be in cahoots. That ends quickly as Saturn turns on Malenko. Saturn pancakes Dean and press-slams Eddie. Guerrero escapes a suplex and lowblows both at once, then hits a rana on Dean, and one on Saturn. Malenko blocks a flying headscissors with a sideslam for two. Eddie gets a tornado DDT on Saturn for two. Dean ligerbombs Eddie for two. Reversal sequence gives Dean the Cloverleaf, but Saturn breaks it up. Eddie and Dean go upstairs, but Saturn drops Eddie on the top, then gets shoved off by Dean. Eddie heads back up and takes a gutbuster from the top. Saturn dumps Dean and splashes Eddie for two. Saturn gives Dean a Cloverleaf of his own, and Eddie breaks it up by using Saturn’s brainbuster on him, then Dean adds to the coolness by putting Saturn in the Rings of Saturn! Eddie breaks that up, and dumps Saturn. Dean suplexes Eddie and splashes him for two. All three are up and we get a triple german suplex, with one person suplexing the other two in the middle of their suplex. Wild. Chyna then trips up Dean, who falls on the LOADED ROSES OF DEATH (loaded with a lead pipe in this case) and Eddie hits an Oklahoma roll for the pin at 7:58. Great match with the right person going over. ***1/2
– The Big Slow v. Shane McMahon. Shane comes flying at him with the tope con hilo right off the bat, and that proves to be not terribly bright on his part, because the Show catches him and destroys him. Into the ring, where Show literally kicks his ass and looks to finish quickly, but the run-ins start with Bossman and T&A both inflicting some damage. Trish Stratus even contributes a low blow, but gets tossed out of the ring in dramatic fashion. Shane crawls to the entrance and gets tossed into it, bumping all the place. T&A attack, and all three men are able to beat the Show down with various plunder. Bull Buchanan adds to the attack, and Shane drops a speaker on Show’s leg, then breaks a gimmicked cinderblock over his head for the upset pin at 7:13. This was good enough for what it was, with some crazy bumps by Shane. ** I don’t see why yet another McMahon had to go over, though.
– Submission match, Intercontinental title: Chris Benoit v. Chris Jericho. BRING ON CANADIAN VIOLENCE! Slugfest to start. Jericho gets a bulldog and chops away. Jericho goes into a Fujiwara armbar, and they trade tombstone reversals until Benoit hits a shoulderbreaker off it. Benoit hits a diving headbutt onto Jericho’s shoulder and stretches him, thus setting the trend for the match with the shoulder injury. Jericho escapes and tries the Walls of Jericho, but Benoit flips out of it and goes to the apron. Jericho follows with the springboard dropkick and they brawl on the floor. Jericho goes to the stairs as Benoit keeps on the shoulder. Jericho comes back with a kneebreaker on those stairs. Back in the ring, Jericho gets the double-underhook backbreaker and we do some meat-chopping. Jericho’s blind charge misses and he hurts his shoulder further. Benoit rams the shoulder into an exposed turnbuckle twice and works it with an armbar. More chops. Snap suplex and keepdrop to the shoulder follow. A short-arm clothesline leads to a vicious cross-armbreaker (called a “fujiwara armbarÃ¢â‚¬Â by JR incorrectly). Jericho makes the ropes. Benoit charges and hits the turnbuckle knee-first, and Jericho takes some shots at the injured knee and pulls off the knee-brace, using it as a weapon. Figure-four is attempted and countered, so Jericho dropkicks the knee and Lionsaults him. Jericho then pulls out his own version of the Tarantula! Benoit fights out, and eventually works to the triple suplex, which is then countered into the Walls of Jericho. Benoit escapes by nailing him with the knee brace, then slaps on the Crippler Crossface. Jericho fights out twice, but Benoit subtly moves the arm down to the throat on the third try at it, and Jericho is choked out at 13:27, leaving the title with Benoit, who now looks like even more of a bad-ass with a finisher that can nearly kill people. Hella stiff match here, too. ****1/2
– Table match: The Dudley Boyz v. Smoke & Ashes. D-Von beats on Dogg for a while, then it turns into a formulaic tag match wit D-Von as face-in-peril. Nothing of note happens until Buh-Buh gets the hot tag and drops both D-Xers with an atomic bomb and a samoan drop. We head to the floor, where a brawl erupts and Road Dogg puts D-Von through a table with a pumphandle slam for the first “eliminationÃ¢â‚¬Â. Back in the ring, Buh Buh powerbombs X-Pac through a table to even it up. The ref then goes through a table to bump him. 3D on Road Dogg looks to finish, but the ref is of course out. They try to put Tori through, but Gerald Brisco stops them, and X-Pac hits the X-Factor on Buh Buh, through the table, for the win at 10:55. This was exactly as good as I and everyone else thought it would be. **
– Iron Man match, WWF title: The Rock v. HHH. Make or break time, kids. HHH sends the Regime back to the dressing room, because he wants to do this himself.
– First fall: Staredown to start. Rock hits the headlock and they fight over that for a while. Rock gets a pair of two-counts of rollups and HHH bails. Back to the headlock. HHH breaks and works the arm. Single-arm DDT gets two. Back to the arm. Rock gets a Rock Bottom out of nowhere at 11 minutes for the pin. 1-0 Rock.
– Second fall: They brawl outside. HHH drops Rock on the railing, but charges and hits his knee on the railing. Rock works the knee on the floor, dropping it on the stairs. Back in, Rock kicks at the knee, and applies a figure-four, once which is thankfully 1000% better than the one he busted out on Smackdown. It gets a few two-counts. HHH reverses and they brawl into the crowd. Back inw tih 20 minutes gone, HHH drops a pair of elbows for two. He keeps trying for the pin. I *love* that spot, especially in the context of a long match. HHH dumps Rock to the floor, then back in for a Pedigree and the pin to even it up. 1-1 tie.
– Third fall: The Rock is still groggy, so HHH small packages him for the pin. 2-1 HHH. Great spot.
– Fourth fall: Rock bails to recover and they brawl at the entrance. Back in, Rock tries a spinebuster, but that’s reversed to a facebuster and a piledriver for ANOTHER HHH pin. 3-1 HHH.
– Fifth fall: HHH goes up top and gets slammed off, and Rock busts out La Magistral for two. Whoa! Moveset, baby! HHH hits a high knee for two. Sleeper follows. Rock fights out and hits a belly-to-belly, then a botched floatover DDT for the pin. 3-2 HHH.
– Sixth fall: Back to the floor for more brawling. HHH grabs a chair and wallops Rock in the ring, drawing a DQ. 3-3 tie.
– Seventh fall: Rock is out cold, so HHH calmly pins him. 4-3 HHH, and another great bit of booking there.
– Eighth fall: 15 minutes left, so HHH goes to the sleeper again. And it WORKS! 5-3 HHH. Man, what a well-booked match this is, with all sorts of finishes that you don’t see everyday.
– Ninth fall: HHH & Shawn get into a fight, allowing Rock to come back. HHH takes a wicked bump over the top onto the cameraman, and they fight on the floor. Back in, HHH gets two. Rock superplexes him for a double-KO spot. He rolls over for two. Back to the floor, Rock slingshots HHH into the ringpost, but gets whipped into the stairs. Over to the announce table, where HHH tries a Rock Bottom of his own, but Rock reverses and Pedigrees HHH! And the table doesn’t break OUCH! HHH gets counted out. 5-4 Rock.
– Tenth fall: 4 minutes to go, the McMahons make their return en masse. Rock takes them all out as they come, People’s Elbow, goodbye. 5-5 tie.
– Deciding fall: 2 minutes left, and all of D-X charges the ring and attacks, but the nursery rhyme video plays on the Titan-tron, and the Undertaker returns! The crowd goes apeshit as he chokeslams everything in sight (with Shawn having been bumped onto the floor) as time expires but Shawn recovers, calls for one last DQ at the bell, and HHH wins the match 6-5 to win the WWF title for a fourth time. Could’ve lived without the finish, but the match was the best old-school WRESTLING MATCH I’ve seen since the 80s. HHH is God. ****3/4
The Bottom Line: I freely eat my words I thought that HHH and Rock didn’t have the stamina, selling or moveset to pull this puppy off, but they did and they did it with mustard on top. 58 minutes of all-out busting ass, including some never-seen moves from them, awesome effort, and the only black mark being a goofy ending that kind of disrupted the flow of the match. Still, this is one of the best pure wrestling shows you’ll ever see, featuring nearly 90 minutes of sheer workrate in the form of the Euro title, the I-C title, and the WWF title. Who says wrestling doesn’t matter?
Thumbs way up for one of the best wrestling shows I’ve ever seen.