The SmarK Retro Repost – Armageddon 2000

The SK Rant for WWF Armageddon 2000.

– THQ sucks. Well, No Mercy as a game is pretty kick-ass (I’m officially retracting my initial disappointment after playing the WWF title route with Bradshaw) but the dreaded glitches have started popping up, namely that I unlocked about 6 secret characters only to find that the game no longer wanted to save. Anything. Or re-initialize the cartridge, for that matter. Back to Wal-Mart we go, assuming they actually have a spare one during the Xmas shopping blitz.

– Live from Birmingham, Alabama.

– Your hosts are JR & The King

– Shocking news before we begin, as the much-anticipated Too Cool & Blackman v. Singh/Lo-Down is cancelled to a Blackman injury and replaced with Scotty going over D-Lo on Heat with the Worm. Truly the end of the world is nigh, making the title of the show apropos.

– Opening match: The Hardy Boyz & Lita v. The Radicalz. This is elimination rules, as rumored. Hey, here’s a WACKY idea why didn’t they do this one for Survivor Series, when it would have been appropriate? Big brawl to start, Hardyz take out the Radz one by one. The bad people bail and Jeff hits Eddy & Dean with a plancha. Matt plays Gump-in-peril for a bit. I’m surprised they didn’t give the Hardyz some mic time tonight, given that the show is coming from the one region of North America where the audience might actually be able to understand what they’re saying without a hick-to-English translation dictionary. Hot tag Jeff, but he gets put on the top rope and set up for a rana from Eddy. The move is blocked, Lita gives Eddy a nice diamond cutter, setting up the swanton for the pin on Eddy. Well, he has a hamstring injury, so no shock there. Radicalz double-team Jeff for a bit, and Saturn catches Jeff on Poetry in Motion and hits the Death Valley Driver for the pin. Matt gets a few near-falls on Saturn, but takes a superkick. He reverses a DVD attempt to the Twist of Fate, but Saturn blocks that with a german suplex for two. Matt sideslam and howling legdrop gets two. Twist of Fate finishes Saturn. Lita spears Terri, but Dean rolls up Matt for the pin, leaving Dean v. Lita. Lita headscissors and victory roll get two. She goes upstairs, and a moonsault press gets two. Floatover DDT and she goes upstairs again, but a Dean superplex gets two, as he picks her up. Heels rule. Two lariats and an elbow drop Lita, backbreaker gets two, and the Cloverleaf gets the submission. Decisive wins over the opposite sex RULE. Match was decent but too short to mean anything. **

– Meanwhile, Kurt Angle is READY, as he takes 10 minutes to tell us.

– European title match: William Regal v. Hardcore Holly. Cheap hometown pop for Holly. Regal chooses to educate the southern crowd on the use of handkerchiefs and how NOT to love your pet. He should make it into a road show and tour everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. They slug it out on the floor, and Holly eats post. Back in, Holly gets a backdrop suplex for two. Top rope move misses and Regal gets a superplex for two. He goes into a bow-and-arrow as Jerry raises the intellectual high-jump bar by making inbreeding and farm-animal jokes. Holly does a nice bridge out of a butterfly suplex for two. The DROPKICK OF DOOM sets up the Falcon Arrow, and Holly hits an Alabama Jam for two. Regal catches him with a powerbomb and goes into the Regal Stretch, but Holly makes the ropes. The STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM knocks Regal out, but Raven runs in to avenge his loss on Monday, DDTs Holly, and Regal gets the pin to retain. Match was much better than last month’s effort. **1/2

– Chyna v. Val Venis. Nice to see Val getting with the program and getting the proper black pants and black tie. Brawl on the floor to start, and back in for some abuse from Chyna. DDT gets two. Val comes back with some kneelifts and a legsweep for two. Butterfly suplex gets two. Elbowdrop misses and Clyna gets an alleged neckbreaker for two. Lariat gets two. Val gets a powerslam and goes upstairs, but the Morality Shot misses. Chyna gets two off it. Chyna chases Ivory at ringside, but runs into the fisherman’s suplex for the pin. Match was acceptable. *1/2

– And it’s retrospecticus time with the Undertaker, as we spend 10 minutes or so reminiscing about Hell in the Cell.

– And now Vinnie Mac and the Stooges are out to plead for our souls. We should all apparently contemplate the violence in silence and pray for the souls of the participants or something. Next week: Vince joins the RTC! Well, that would at least give them that main event cred they’ve been so desperately lacking.

– Last Man Standing: Chris Jericho v. Kane. Brawl on the floor to start and we head into the back. Standard stuff there as they use hay from an oddly-placed flatbed truck as a weapon. WCW already did that one, guys. Back to the ring, Jericho gets a top rope elbow and dumps Kane. More fighting out there. Back in, Kane pounds away. BORING. Hangman puts Jericho out and he’s up at the 8-count. Blind charge hits boot, but Kane goes up and hits the flying lariat. Jericho gets up at 6. Chokeslam, Jericho is up at 9. Kane grabs a chair, but Jericho DDTs him. Vicious chairshot follows and Jericho his a missile dropkick, and a Lionsault puts both down. Both are up at 9. Kane dumps Jericho on the floor and they brawl again. Jericho blocks a chokeslam and rams Kane headfirst into a table, which looks like it was intended to break. So they break Scott’s Rule #1 and REPEAT THE SPOT. Okay, that’s it, Jericho just dropped below Lance Storm in my books. Jericho then pushes a prop barrel stack onto Kane, which doesn’t even hit him, but holds him down long enough for the 10-count to give Y2J the win. Talk about your pyrrhic victories. **

– Meanwhile, in WWF New York, WE CAN’T SEE ANYTHING.

– WWF tag title match: Right to Censor v. Edge & Christian v. The Dudley Boyz v. K-Kwik & Road Dogg. RTC pounds on D-Von to start. Edge and Christian pound on K-Mart, then Dogg & Buh Buh turn on each other. K-Car controls Edge but they work on his arm. Single-arm DDT gets two for Edge. RTC carries on with all that stuff. Hot tag Buh Buh, and he kicks some Canadian ass. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa! RTC gets tossed, but catch K-Ration as he does a plancha. In the ring, Wassup Drop for Edge. D-Von goes for the table, but gets distracted beating up the RTC and the Dudleyz opt for the 2D instead. 3D for Bull, 3D for Goodfather, and another Wassup Drop for Christian follow. Steven DDTs D-Von on the floor to take him out, however, and Edge spears Buh Buh for the pin and the FOURTH tag titles for your heroes and mine. That’s 3-0 for the Canadians tonight, by the way. **3/4 Thank god they at least took the tag belts off the RTC.

– Intercontinental title: Billy Gunn v. Chris Benoit. This is apparently the proverbial “it” for Billy to see if he can hang with the big boys, so if he doesn’t pull out a good match here the main event push ain’t happening. Shoving to start. Benoit stomps him down, but takes a drop toehold for two. Fight to the floor, Gunn meets the stairs. Back in, Benoit works the knee, but Billy gets a sunset flip for two. Benoit dropkicks the knee to put him back down again. Dragon-screw into a figure-four follows, but Billy reverses. Gunn misses his corner splash, and Benoit hits the rolling germans, actually getting all three off without Gunn elbowing out of the third. Billy is TOTALLY gassed. Flying headbutt misses. Gunn powerslams him for two. Press-slam and Jackhammer (of sorts) but Billy’s knee is bad. Fameasser gets two. The curtain is falling. The drop sleeper is blocked and reversed to the Crossface, but Gunn makes the ropes. Gunn manages to f*ck up a tilt-a-whirl slam, which should pretty much seal his fate. Blind charge misses, and Benoit gets a backdrop suplex for two. Gunn cradle gets two, but Benoit calmly rolls into the Crossface, and with nowhere to go it’s BUH-BYE, ROCKABILLY as Billy taps like the little girl he is. Enjoy the undercard, Kip. ** That’s pretty much the first time Benoit’s been allowed to completely dismantle an opponent from bell to bell. 4-0 for the Canadians tonight.

– WWF Women’s title: Ivory v. Trish Stratus v. Molly Holly. Trish monkey-flips Molly into an Ivory lariat. Trish small package gets two. Backslide gets two for Molly. Trish & Ivory double-suplex Molly, then Ivory turns on her. Molly bodypresses them both. Ivory gets dumped, and Molly powerbombs Trish, but Ivory sneaks in to get the pin. Kinda short, even by the chick standard. *

– T&A goes after Molly post-match, and the APA returns to kick some ass.

– WWF title match, Hell in a Cell: Kurt Angle v. HHH v. Rikishi v. Undertaker v. Rock v. Steve Austin. I guess the Kid Rock deal is dead, as Undertaker has moved onto Limp Bizkit for his entrance music. Talk about keeping up with the times. Kid Rock is SO early-2000. I just hope he doesn’t have to change his nickname from “American Badass” to “Chocolate Starfish” because god knows what the marketing department would be able to do with THAT. Bruhaha to start. Taker and Angle go in the ring, and Taker gets the best of that. Then Austin & HHH go, and HHH hits the facebuster, but Austin comes back with the rope straddle for two. HHH USES THE KNEE~!, and wraps Austin’s knee around the post. Rock samoan drops Angle for two. HHH suplexes Austin on the floor, but gets raked on the UNFORGIVING STEEL MESH OF DEATH and bleeds. Austin then uses his usual over-the-top charm and runs HHH all the way around the ring, doing the same literally from one end of the cage to the other. Rikishi legdrops him on the way into the ring, however. HHH then shows his gratitude by Pedigreeing Rikishi for two. Rock DDT gets two on HHH. Angle Olympic Slam gets two on Rock. KICK WHAM STUNNER gets two on Angle. Chokeslam gets two on Austin and since we’ve exhausted the finishers for one segment, Austin and Rikishi go off and do their thing. Austin gets a lariat and a Thesz Press, then we stop the match as Vince drives that flatbed truck we saw a couple of hours previous to the ring with a purpose of tearing down the cell. He gets as far as tearing the door off when Mick Foley comes out to stop his evil schemes. HHH exits stage left, and everyone follows him onto the floor and to the back. HHH puts Austin through a truck window, drawing blood. Rock Bottom on a car is reversed by HHH to a Pedigree. More brawling from everyone. HHH & Austin climb the cage and play on the roof. UT & Angle soon follow. Everyone stands around, then HHH runs away. Rikishi joins the party as Taker gets the timekeeper to throw a chair up there, and Taker destroys Angle with it. Rikishi gets both of them with it, and Angle has had enough and leaves. Undertaker chokeslams Rikishi off the cage and into the back of the hay-filled truck. Eh. They can’t duplicate Foley’s bumps, so why even try? In the ring, Rock & Austin square off to HUGE heat. There’s your WM X-Seven main event right there, kids. Spinebuster, but HHH breaks up the People’s Elbow. Rock Bottom for Angle, Austin saves. KICK WHAM STUNNER for Rock, who does his usual excellently overblown selling job, but Angle steals Austin’s pinfall to retain. Meltzer is insane if he think it’s a Match of the Year Contender, but it was much better than I anticipated. That being said, the lacklustre brawling just served to fill time, there was no real story, and there was no real drama for the first 15 minutes or so thanks to the goofy Vince run-in to set up the truck. ***1/2

The Bottom Line: I hate to ruin my rep by actually agreeing with one of Rick’s wishy-washy PPV appraisals, but this was definitely a middling show. Nothing actively sucked so it wasn’t a thumbs down, but with no true standout matches on the undercard and all the lasting appeal of a WCW PPV, there’s no way this was thumbs up either.

Thumbs dead in the middle as we begin the inevitable build to Rock-Austin II at Wrestlemania.