On The Streeter – It Was 20 Years Ago… [April, 2000]

Fourth month of the year 2000 and I am reminded again why this year is not looked upon as particularly fondly. By anybody. I look at today’s product and…

 

Look, there is a lot in today’s product, purely from a wrestling point of view, that is not great. It is anodyne and dull and people with too little talent are being pushed over those who can actually wrestle. Or they’re being let go because the WWE is trying to prove they are a greater source of evil than the Disney Corporation. However, we do have AEW who seem to have remembered how to put on great matches, even if some of their wrestlers think selling is something other people do.

 

In 2000, by April, we knew that what we had was 2 companies that thought wrestling was an optional extra, and another company on life support that was still clinging to that homeopathic healer that was network television like it was a crystal or that Gloop BS peddled by that blonde actress-dipshit. That life support company did not do a PPV in April, so we only have WCW… and two (TWO!) WWF offerings.

 

Wow, I sound a lot more bitter than I meant to. But… well… you’ll see…

 

APRIL, 2000!

 

We started off April, 2000 with the Grand-daddy of them all! Yes, we had Wrestlemania XVI! Only… we didn’t. We skipped 1984 versions! Apparently. Maybe. Look, I could be misreading it. But… it’s April the second!

 

WWF WRESTLEMANIA 2000

– Oh… it’s the year. 2000 isn’t the 2000th Wrestlemania. The 2000th Wrestlemania happened sometime during hour 967 of the 2019 version… Yeah, I’m going to go and have a lie down because just the thought of watching this again is not doing me any favours. Worse, I know what I’ll have to watch next.

– Okay, before I start, let me say first, this show has two watchable matches. Two. And that is it. So this is not going to be complete negativity. But there is still going to be a lot of negativity, because outside of these two bits of goodness, nothing else here stands up. At all. At. All.

– Let’s get this underway… Opening video package about the main event focuses on the McMahon family, not the wrestlers involved. Doesn’t bode well, does it? And then we get the opening match, pretty quickly (5 minutes) in. Ice-T raps the Godfather and D-Lo Brown down to the ring. He sounds so… unenthusiastic. D-Lo was playing Godfather Jr at this point, with them both being pimps with their “hos”… and they were good guys. WWF/E and their audience and morals… blergh.

– Jerry Lawler is already insufferable and we’re less than 10 minutes in. Godfather’s opening call-and-response spiel is… yeah. Shit.

– Godfather & D-Lo Brown v Big Bossman & Bull Buchanan
And the opening match of this show is absolute shit. It is dull and nothing happens and it lasts for 10 lo-o-o-ong minutes. What crap. And this will not be even close to the worst match tonight. Buchanan pins D-Lo with the top rope leg drop for the heel win. Post-match the heels chase the hos away and Lawler sounds like he was this close to coming while masturbating, but suffered coitus interruptus.

– Stephanie and HHH backstage have a dick comparing contest with their championship belts (yes, Steph was women’s champ at this point in time because the division was that crappy despite the presence of Chyna, who was awesome). For what it’s worth, Stephanie’s dick was bigger.

– Backstage the officials go over the rules for the hardcore battle royal. As badly as this was done, I think things like this could be used a lot more, at least for the viewers to understand what is going on.

– Hardcore battle royal (for the Hardcore Title… like that means anything). Where the opening match was dull, this was just a mess. Two matches in and both were shit. Crash Holly wins, decision is reversed so Hardcore Holly wins (don’t ask, it’s really not worth it), and the replays only make it more confusing. So a shit match with a terrible ending.

– We look at Axxxxxess. Puff piece.

– Look! A blimp!

– Backstage with Steve Blackman and Al Snow. We see Trish Stratus’ boobs. No, seriously, that is all we see. A screen full of breasts. Then she leads her tag team to the ring. Sexist much?

– Al Snow & Steve Blackman v Test & Albert
Blackman was a vastly under-rated and under-utilised talent. Oh, and this match introduces us to Chester McCheesyton in an assless cheese costume. F*ck… Problem is, the match was worse. This was even worse than the first two. Christ. T&A win and that’s all this warrants. Absolute garbage.

– Post-match Al Snow on the mic and he attacks Chester Mc. Blackman joins in. Oh, Christ…

– Backstage with a naked Kat and Mae Young. There’s a phone call. Kat stands while Mae holds a shirt with a cat picture on it. Yes, there is a picture of pussy in front of her… And people wonder why I hated the Attitude era so much? Humour for 12 year olds of all ages. And then old Austin Powers water in front of the breasts gag. Shit… (notice a recurring theme?)

– Interview with the Dudley Boyz. Standard. Not bad.

– Triangle Ladder Match, WWF Tag Team Titles: Christian & Edge v The Hardy Boyz v The Dudley Boyz (c)
And this is where it all started. Insane tag team matches in mainstream wrestling started with this one match. While not as insane and spot-tastic as some of today’s, it told a better story and had far better selling (though contrived as hell at times) and, at the time, it was so damned different. The moves, the bumps, the everythings were just incredible. These 3 teams would go on to completely revolutionise Tag Team Wrestling with the original TLC match, and then up it somehow for TLC-2… But it started here. One of only two matches to bother catching. But what a match! Look, it gets better later on in the year, but this is still really worth hunting down. Oh, and for the record, Edge & Christian win their first title here after about 25 minutes of insanity.

– With Linda McMahon and “her” wrestler, Mick Foley. She was such a bad actor…

– We recap the ladder match.

– Cat-Fight: Terri v Kat, Val Venis is guest referee.
Shit. Worst. WM. Match. Ever. No, I am completely serious: the very WORST! Terri wins, like it matters. F*CK THIS SHOW!

– The WCW Rejects tease dissent as Eddie lusts after Chyna. Eddie was great here. Then we go to the other locker room and Chyna is “disgusted”.

– 6-person Tag Match: The Radicalz (Perry Saturn, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko) v Scotty 2 Hotty, Master Sexay & Chyna
Chyna’s entrance with the fireworks gun needs to be brought back! This match was okay, but there was one thing wrong with it. Or two things – Too Cool. Two of the most over-rated, untalented wastes of wrestling space ever to grace the squared circle. All right, Scotty had his moments, but the other one was always shit. Speaking ill of the dead might not be the done thing, but screw it – he sucked. It might be okay if they were entertaining, but they’re not. Poor Radicalz having to sell for these two sacks of suck. Chyna pins Eddie to win. Chyna was a bit off here, but I liked her.

– Here’s a sobering thought – half the wrestlers in that last match are dead now.

– Some poor member of the public won tickets to this show. They looked to be treated well. Vince probably took it all away once the cameras were off. Evil bastard.

– Shane McMahon with The Big Show, “his” wrestler. Best of these so far.

– We recap Angle killing Backlund. Angle whinges to security.

– Two Fall Triple Threat Eurocontinental Title Match: Chris Jericho v Chris Benoit v Kurt Angle (c)
First fall is for the Intercontinental title, second is for the European title, both belts held by Kurt Angle. Oh, and this is Angle’s first Wrestlemania appearance. And this is the other match on this show you need to see. It still holds up okay today. It is quite good. Benoit was still too WCW, Jericho was in that in-between period and Angle was still finding his feet. But they managed to be entertaining and show some good stuff. Benoit pins Jericho to win the IC title, and then Jericho pins Benoit for the European title, so Angle lost both titles without being involved in either finish. Look, these 3 would go on to have better matches later on, but, again, it started here.

– Vince interviewed about tonight’s main event. HHH then talks about HHH.

– X-Pac & Road Dogg (with Torrie) v Rikishi & Kane
Road Dogg’s call-and-response gets the brain-f*ckedwashed multitudes doing what they knew they had to. 5 minutes of shit. Kane tombstones X-Pac for the win. There’s some stuff post-match but all you need to know is Pete Rose got choke-slammed and stink-faced. I don’t care what anyone says – he deserves to be in the WW Hall Of Fame. Another shitty match…

– The Rock talks. He is always entertaining.

– Fatal Four Way Elimination Match WWF Championship: Mick Foley (with Linda McMahon) v The Big Show (with Shane McMahon) v The Rock (with Vince McMahon) v HHH (with Stephanie McMahon) (c)
This match was about the McMahons… Okay. Where to start. This was long. Stupidly so. Over 35 minutes of match. And it was boring! Christ! Edge v Randy Orton from WM 36 was bad; this was actually worse. So dull! Big Show eliminated first. Mick Foley next, and then Vince turns on the Rock so HHH wins. First time a heel wins the WM main event… and it’s the one who married into the family. Of course. What a crock of shit this match actually was.

– Post-match, the Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Shane, Vince and then, after she slaps him, Stephanie. Then he hits the People’s Elbow on Stephanie. So the crowd goes home… happy?

– Notice something? One match – the worst of the night – was a standard 1-on-1 match. This was a clusterf*ck of a show and, to my mind, the second worse WM (after 9). The two good matches would be outdone later on, and, sorry, 2 matches do not a good WM make, especially a WM with Kat v Terri.

 

Let’s jump ahead two weeks, to the 16th. And it’s WCW’s time to shine!

 

WCW SPRING STAMPEDE 2000

– All right… this is going to take some explanation. 6 days before, on Nitro, the new Russo-Bischoff Era of Suckage reared its Indominus Rex hybrid Frankenstein Monster head to kill the poor promotion once and for all. What they did was declare all titles vacant and now we have tournaments! Tournaments for everything! I am sure offstage there was a tournament for head cleaner. About the only one unhappy with this was Sid Vicious, the world champ. But, yeah, that meant precisely zero. I could very easily go off here on a 3000 word rant about the death of the promotion I liked. I supported this promotion above WWF because they were giving me “real” wrestling. Yes, it meant buying an international video player and paying too much money in tape trading, but WCW was what I liked… And it came to this. They took my fandom and shat on me from a great height. I paid for their PPVs, I watched Nitro, I watched Thunder (when Foxtel bothered to broadcast it here in Australia), and they did this to me. I will try not to let my emotions get the better of me, but…

– Opening video is Russo v Flair, then Bischoff v Hogan. There’s a white Hummer and foreboding music, and we cut to Bischoff and Russo in an office with Billy Kidman and Torrie. Bischoff is panicking. Then we get the opening… oh, God… What a month to be watching…

– I said last month that Schiavone gave up as a commentator. Let’s see where it fails him this month, next to Scott Hudson (not bad) and Mark Madden. Okay, on Mark Madden. I think he is crap. But, after Jerry Lawler and Corey Graves, I have come to appreciate him more. He is not even close to being the worst commentator ever. The talking heads are going through the matches and mention that the DQ rule is relaxed.

– Tag Team Tournament 1: The Marmalukes v Team Package
Team Package do a Mean Gene interview and Flair is trying so very hard to add some enthusiasm. Luger is pissing himself laughing. Russo comes out and adds the Harrisses to help the Marmalukes because veterans v rookies was unfair. Anyway, the match is a beat-down, Disco Inferno is kidnapped, and Luger gets the win with the Torture Rack after 7 minutes. Well, what a crappy way to start this PPV.

– Mike Awesome is the 8th man in the title tournament, and while talking to Mean Gene, Bam Bam Bigelow interrupts. The we get a video package of radio DJ Mancow v Jimmy Hart. Yes. This was a thing. On a f’n PPV. I’d never heard of Mancow. I knew who Howard Stern was, because he became a bit of pop culture, but in Australia in the year 2000 – who the F was Mancow? Way to get those international buys, WCW!

– Jimmy Hart (with some big guy called “Hale”) v Mancow (with a pile of hangers-on who got rejected by Howard Stern)
7 minutes of total SHIT. 7 f’n minutes!! The problem is that in this month this is not the worst match, not after Terri v Kat. How f’n bad must a month be if this was not the worst f’n match? SHIT!! Mancow wins. Like it matters.

– Calm down… calm down. Deep breaths.

– Billy Kidman comes out to beat up Jimmy Hart as a substitute for Hulk Hogan who is not here and is not going to be here, uh-uh, no way, fuhgeddaboutit!

– Russo is chewing out the losers from the first match.

– US Title Tournament 1: The Wall v Scott Steiner (with extra Roidium!)
Brawl until Wall is blinded and accidentally (thanks to Steiner) grabs the ref and chokeslams him through a table, so Steiner wins by DQ after 4 minutes. They gave Mancow/Hart 7 and this got 4! Not terrible or anything, but 4 minutes!

– Mean Gene is with Ernest Miller. Miller is so over-rated on the mic. Bigelow beats him unconscious and inserts himself in the match instead.

– US Title Tournament 2: Mike Awesome v Ernest Miller Bam Bam Bigelow
Awesome’s first official match in WCW apparently… EC-Dub chants. These two proceed to have a great little match! And then, after 3 minutes Ernest Miller kicks Bigelow out from behind, Miller dances, and so Awesome kills Miller and wins. And so Awesome was just made into a face. Best match and they went and ruined it with the f’n Cat! Augh!

– Russo is trying to make Bischoff relax. Kidman agrees with Russo.

– Mean Gene with Shane Douglas and Buff Bagwell. Great 1990’s promo… in the year 2000. I think I wrote that last month as well…

– Tag Title Tournament 2: Harlem Heat v Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell
This is the shitty Harlem Heat, not the good Booker T version. This match, though, was okay. Nothing great, nothing terrible. Just a match that lasted 3 minutes. In a tournament! Douglas pins Stevie Ray, then post-match Harlem Heat dissension is teased. Oh God, like this show needs more storylines!

– Mean Gene with Booker (T). He’s New Blood, but Bischoff is riding him. He’s not a happy camper.

– US Title Tournament 3: Booker (not T) v Sting
Hey, a decent match! Well, from these two, 20 years ago, I would expect nothing less. Obviously, they were motivated, because an unmotivated Sting is not a pretty sight. I’ve only seen Booker unmotivated in TNA, but that’s neither here nor there. There was an issue, however. 7 minutes! That’s all. This felt like the Cliff Notes version of a really good 15 minute match. Jeez-us! Sting wins with the Scorpion Death Drop. So sue me, I liked it. Post-match, Booker wants Sting back in the ring and they do the fist-bump of respect.

– Mean Gene is with Torrie Wilson, Billy Kidman and Eric Bischoff. Torrie is vapid, Kidman is confident and Bischoff is worried. I never realised how good an actor Eric was. No, I’m serious. He’s really good in these bits.

– US Tournament 4: Vampiro v Billy Kidman
Match started off fine and then… shit. (Deep breaths…) Hogan turns up. Mid-match. He then proceeds to beat the living shot out of Kidman for like 2 minutes outside the ring. The referee watched him! There’s leniency towards the DQ rule, and then there’s being a complete and utter moron. Oh, Charles Robinson, Flair’s mate, and Flair and Hogan are mates here. That makes… sense? No. No it f’n doesn’t! For the second time tonight a potentially good match is ruined by external f*ckwittery! Vampiro wins! This f’n show!

– Post-match, Hogan threatens Bischoff. Bischoff tries to leave, but Russo leaves instead. Hogan is looking for Bischoff. For 2 minutes. Just walking and asking various randoms, “Where’s Bischoff?” He finds Bischoff and then the police come and arrest Hogan, pulling guns on him! Oh… f*ck… Whole segment, over 3 minutes. WTF?

– Breathe… Calm down…

– The Red Rooster is with Terry Funk, chatting in the corridor. As you do. Funk is looking for Norman Smiley. They’re in catering. and so…

– Hardcore Title Match: Terry Funk v Norman Smiley
Just a standard, boring hardcore brawl. Dull, uninspired and just there. Still, 100 times better than the worst match this month. This one they give time to (9 minutes or so). Despite Dustin Rhodes destroying Funk with a chair, Funk wins. New champion. Yay.

– It was during this match that Schiavone’s will snapped. You can hear it in his voice. He lasted almost an hour and a half. I feel so sorry for Tony, looking back now.

– Russo and Booker have “words”.

– US Title Tournament 5: Mike Awesome v Scott Steiner
This could be… what? 3 minutes? You have a young guy who is still (at this point) ECW champ and job him out in 3 minutes to a roided injury-prone middle-aged man with anger management issues? WTF, WCW? Yes, Kevin Nash hit him with a crutch in full view of the ref which led to a Steiner recliner, but still… 3 minutes! This was even shaping up to be a decent match, but… 3 minutes! WTF?

– Russo is chewing out Dustin Rhodes for letting Funk win. Then he fires Dustin. And Russo goes all insider-y as he takes credit for everything Goldust did. Oh, for f*ck’s sake… I… This show… This month…

– US Title Tournament 6: Vampiro v Sting
A grudge match that has been building for a whole week! Seriously – that is what Madden said. Another ‘just a match’ in a string of them tonight. At least they gave it 6 minutes, and Sting wins with a nice submission through the Scorpion Death Lock. Nothing great, nothing terrible, just there. I can live with “just there”.

– Mean Gene with Diamond Dallas Page. Page gives a Page promo. Nothing great, nothing terrible. Fine.

– 3 Count come out so we have dancing. They give us this shit and only give us a 3 minute Awesome-Steiner match? WTF?

– Cruiserweight Ttile: Shannon Moore v Lash LeRoux v Juventud Guerrera v TAFKAPI v Crowbar v Chris Candido
Okay… two guys in the ring, and you have to tag others in. Why would you tag? You give up your chance to win? This makes less sense than TNA’s reverse battle royal. And it is a freakin’ mess. Hang on… they let 3 Count dance for 2 minutes and then give the match only 5. WTF? Oh, I remember when the cruisers were the best bits if WCW programming. What was this shit? Candido wins. Who cares? But Tammy Sytch is here, and so that automatically makes this match better. Yes, I was a fan.

– Post-match, Paisley and Tammy go at it. For another 2 minutes. Shit…

– Mean Gene is with Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett is awful on the mic. The most over-rated wrestler. The more I watch old WCW and old TNA, the more I am reminded that he is not good. And, of course, he calls Mean Gene ‘Slapnuts’ because he’s also a 12 yr old with masculinity issues.

– Tag Team Title Final: Team Package (Lex Luger & Ric Flair) v Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell
Russo is doing commentary. The match is dull. Then Russo breaks up a Flair pin, Kronik come out to kill Luger, Russo counts the pin and Bagwell and Douglas are your tag team champions.

– Mean Gene with Steiner. Steiner delivers a typical promo for Steiner. After Steiner’s entrance, Mean Gene is with Sting who delivers the best promo of the night.

– US Title Tournament Final: Scott Steiner v Sting
This could have been a good match but after a few minutes, Sting is dragged under the ring by Vampiro, then pops up with a bit of a boo-boo on his mouth (covered, busted open, drenched in red according to Hudson and Madden showing they are blind as well as stupid) and Steiner puts on the recliner to win. Another potentially good match completely ruined by over-booking insanity. 6 minutes.

– We cut to the commentators and Tony looks like he doesn’t give a shit. Yep, he can’t physically hide it.

– We recap Jarret v Page. It’s Jarret. I don’t care.

– World Title match: Jeff Jarrett v Diamond Dallas Page
And former champ Sid Vicious is… where? The match – overbooked mess with weapons (including using Page’s own book), Kimberley turning on Page (of course – everyone turns on Page; unluckiest man when it comes to choosing friends and people to associate with) and Jarrett winning after a Greco-Roman guitar shot. Jarrett is your champ, and the New Blood celebrate like it means something.

– No best match of the night. Screw ‘em. Somehow this ended up being worse than WM-2000. Even if that had Kat v Terri. This had lots of good beginnings, though. Call it a tie. And I’ve still got one to go…

 

And finally, let’s jump two more weeks, to the 30th. And we’re back with WWF…

 

WWF BACKLASH 2000

– Right off the bat, I haven’t watched this show in, literally, over a decade. I mean, why bother? I don’t remember a lot about it, so this is going to be almost new to me. It has also been three days since I watched WCW, so that foul taste has been wiped from my mind. I am in a better place. Watching WM-2000 and Spring Stampede back-to-back was a bad move…

– Opening video montage focuses on… the McMahons. Oh… FFS. Oh, the Rock and Steve Austin are there, but it’s all about the Maccas.

– Debra comes out to open the show… and Jerry Lawler almost pulls his penis off he is masturbating so much. Give me Mark Madden any day of the f’n week. JR sounds pissed, actually. Debra is our ring announcer… is she okay? She sounds… under the weather… Ooh, not good.

– Tag Team Titles: X-Pac & Road Dogg v Edge & Christian (c)
Torrie looks fine… Debra is definitely not looking good. Road Dogg does a reasonable spiel, and does the call-and response ending. Finally, an opening match worth watching. This is better. These four put on a decent match. Standard tag team formula, sure, but they are all quite good at this tag team thing and pull it off well. Decent enough and fun. Ending comes when Christian sneak hits X-Pac with the ring bell and then pins him, and X-Pac bleeds nicely as well. Yep, good match, lasting a decent 10 minutes.

– Okay, there’s no denying it – Debra’s drunk. And she does not appear for the rest of the night.

– A limousine appears and it’s the Rock! That’s it.

– Light Heavyweight Title: Scotty 2 Hotty v Dean Malenko (c)
This was a weird match for me. Dean Malenko is one of my favourite in-ring workers. Scotty 2 Hotty has his moments but also has the WORST MOVE IN WRESTLING EVER. I cannot stand the f’n Worm. And in this match he hops on the leg Malenko was working on to do it. But there were still some other moves that looked good. S2H’s dancing sucks and he was working loose compared to the snugness of Malenko. But the ending! Malenko goes up to the top rope, S2H goes for a superplex, and then, in mid-air Malenko turns it into a DDT to get the pin. There’s a move some-one has to bring back. So… meh match. Some good bits, some crap, and an awesome ending. Harmless.

– Weird Judgement Day is coming video.

– McMahons are backstage with a nice spread of food, and Vince is berating Patterson and Brisco. “All hands on deck.”

– Big Bossman & Bull Buchanan v The Acolytes (APA)
Oh goody, a JBL match. Boss Man and Simmons (Farooq) are fine, Buchanan tried hard but JBL was useless. This match was bad. Ending comes with a night-stick shot to Bradshaw from BBM so BB can pin JBL after almost 10 minutes with a scissor kick off the top rope. Next!

– Matt & Jeff talk about having an understanding. Hardcore and Crash Holly have the same discussion with Hardcore doing what he always does – bullies the little guy. Kayfabe, real life – Hardcore Holly is a dick.

– Soft core porn advert for the WWF Divas edition of the RAW magazine.

– Hardcore Title Match: Crash Holly (c) v Tazz v Matt Hardy v Jeff Hardy v Hardcore Holly v Perry Saturn
I love Garcia’s call for Crash and Hardcore – “Weighing in at an alleged 400 pounds.” The only way the match can end is if Crash is involved in the pinfall. Well, that’s stupid. Standard messy WWF/E hardcore match. “I hit you, you hit me/ We’re a dysfunctional family.” Not horrible, but long and nothing special. WWF/E really have no idea how to do hardcore matches. Just a mess. Crash retains by pinning an unconscious Tazz.

– Shane McMahon is being interviewed about being the guest referee for tonight’s main event. McMahon gives a humble response. Wow.

– Video recap of Big Show/Kurt Angle rivalry. Big Show’s impressions were actually pretty good. Being reminded of this really makes me want to see The Big Show Show. He is genuinely funny.

– Kurt Angle v The Big Show
And to make my point… This is one of the funniest things I have seen in wrestling. Sorry… back to the start. Angle makes a funny Marion Barry reference that has dated badly. The “liar cheater” president reference, though… yeah, that still holds. Then ‘Real American’ sounds out and out comes the Showster! In the yellow and red, bald skull cap, dyed moustache, long blonde wig, the actions, the works. Even ripping the t-shirt off, and the poses. Genuine comedy. And then he gets on the mic and the “brothers” and “dudes” abound and he sounds just like Hulk Hogan and uses all Hogan’s clichés. Match starts, Showster hulks up quickly, no-sells, does Hogan’s offence and taunts, but Angle kicks out of the leg drop. The crowd even chants, “Hogan! Hogan!” The Big Show goes into Big Show mode, delayed chokeslam, pin, win for the Showster. Match was crap, but the whole was entertaining as all hell. No, seriously, you need to check this out.

– We recap Bubba Ray lusting after Trish, but also power-bombing women through tables. Sort of indicative of the way WWF/E treated women in general. Stupid, stupid feud.

– If I hear one more “get wood” reference in regards to Trish, it’ll be two too many.

– Trish is being interviewed backstage. She’s doing the full-on slut persona here. Thank God she broke out of this stereotype to become a decent wrestler. Bubba is entranced by Trish’s image on TV. D-Von tries to get him to see sense. This was… actually good. D-Von was under-rated in many ways.

– Billy Corgan, future wrestling powerbroker, in the crowd!

– The Dudley Boyz v Test & Albert (with Trish Stratus)
And… a shit match to go with a shit feud. Over 10 minutes of nothing. End comes when Trish does the bikini distraction, Test gets the big boot to pin Bubba. Post-match, the Dudleys get rid of T&A (so why didn’t they do that in the match?), Bubba holds Trish, a table is set up and Trish “gets wood” as she is power-bombed through a table despite trying the kiss distraction. Crap on so many levels.

– They do the whole EMT thing afterwards. Fine, sure, whatever…

– Eddie and Chyna dressed to the nines. They drive to the ring. Cool visual. Then Eddie gets ready to fight and they run a good explanation video.

– European Title: Eddie Guerrero (c) (with Chyna) v Essa Rios (with Lita)
Eddie wrestles in his tuxedo pants and bow-tie. Match started off sloppy as hell, but got into a decent groove at the end and was okay, all things considered. Yeah, not too bad at all, really. Whatever happened to Rios, by the way? If I could be bothered, I’d look it up, but… you know. Eddie wins with an airplane spin into a neckbreaker. Post-match, Rios attacks and Lita strips Chyna of her evening gown. Chyna looks good, FWIW.

– HHH/Stephanie interview. Typical HHH interview about HHH. What a tedious man he is. Then Vince plays up the Steve Austin is not here angle. Now we’re with Chris Benoit. Surprisingly good promo from Benoit.

– Another creepy Judgement Day is Coming video.

– Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho v Chris Benoit (c)
Jericho always has been gold on the mic. This is a great match. They just basically try to kill one another in the ring. This was really good and really intense and I loved it… until the end. Jericho holds the title belt so Benoit hits it while doing his flying headbutt, and is DQed. Crowd is not happy, and even JR thinks it sucks. Until then, this was one of the best matches of the month. Maybe still is. It hasn’t been a good month. Definitely a step up from the 3-way at WM-2000, and that was a decent match.

– Video hype package for the main event. I loved the exploding bus.

– The Rock interview. His promo skills are sorely missed today. One of the greatest talkers in the history of professional wrestling. Don’t @ me.

– WWF World Title: The Rock v HHH (with Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon), special guest referee Shane McMahon
Steve Austin is supposed to be in The Rock’s corner, but Vince has arranged for him to be delayed. Okay… cue the overbooking! HHH is really an over-rated wrestler and definitely one of the most over-rated world champions ever. His matches were boring, with the same moves done over and over, long pauses and treating opponents like shit in the ring, giving them very little. This match was boring, made worse by the insane over-booking. Shane is knocked out. Patterson and Brisco come out as refs and it breaks down. Vince hits the Rock with a chair… and the glass breaks and out comes Austin and he cleans house with a chair, and Linda McMahon brings out Earl Hebner, pushing Stephanie down as she does so, who counts the pinfall for the Rock victory after 20 minutes. The crowd’s pop is HUGE. This match gets a lot of love, but I don’t see it. Despite Rock winning, it was still all about the McMahons. Sorry, but I did not like it.

– Post-match, Steve Austin comes back out, towing the remains of the DX Express bus to the ring. Then he and The Rock share some beer. And we’re out of here.

 

Backlash is the only show worth catching. Seriously. Even if just to see the Showster, watch it. Thank-you, Backlash, for saving this month.

 

And next month I have 5 of these babies to sit through.

 

Anyway, I’ll finish with my personal wrestling journey. At the end of April, I finally gathered the courage to go to this promotion whose advert I had seen. My first night there I bumped for over an hour and took some simple moves… and I was shit. I mean, shit in a big way. Slow, my timing was off and I’d forgotten how to run the ropes properly. Next session my bumping was better, but it still felt off. My confidence was shaken and there was a chance I would not make it into the next month…

 

That month would be May.

 

5 PPVs. Heaven help me…

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