Happy Saturday Everyone!
I’ve already reviewed the Opener and Main Event of this show before, so I thought I might as well finish reviewing it seeing as we’re in August and I remember this show being fun.
The WWF was of course in the midst of a hugely successful run during this time period, with The Rock riding high as WWF Champ whilst The Hardyz, Dudleyz and E+C were tearing it up in the tag ranks. The two big matches on this show are The Rock defending the WWF Title against Triple H and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match, whilst the tag team division goes to war in a TLC match.
The event is emanating from Raleigh, North Carolina on the 27th of August 2000
Calling the action are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Right To Censor (Bull Buchanan, Goodfather and Steven Richards) Vs Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty, Grandmaster Sexay and Rikishi)
RTC was an example of Vince McMahon getting at a real life enemy by introducing a character onto the wrestling show that mocked them. In this case it was the Parent Teacher Council who he was feuding with at the time, so we wrestling fans had to suffer through a seemingly never ending push for a boring puritanical Heel stable. Godfather even gave up his pimping ways to become a censor, thus removing the trappings that actually made him entertaining.
Rikishi has some of Godfather’s Ho’s with him here, with one of them being future Women’s Champ Victoria. The action isn’t bad to start, with Too Cool clearing the ring and getting a babyface shine. Goodfather ends up going after the Ho’s though and that leads to Sexay getting thrown into the ring steps by Bull for the cut off. Sexay does a decent job selling in the heat, although the crowd isn’t really that interested to see the RTC get any offence.
Sexay eventually manages to prevent Richards coming off the top by bringing him down with a Superplex and it’s hot tag Rikishi, who runs wild and looks good doing so. The RTC actually take some nice bumps for him too, as he throws them all into the corner and sends his partners into them DragonGate style. No, I didn’t expect to make a DragonGate reference in this match either. Life is strange sometimes.
Scotty sets up Bull for the W-O-R-M and the crowd is very excited to see it, but Richards catches him with a Steven Kick OUTTA NOWHERE and that’s enough for three to deflate the crowd. I would get it if this feud was going to continue and Too Cool were going to get their revenge but I think RTC moved onto The APA and Dudleyz after this, so you might as well have had Scotty get the move on Bull and THEN get super kicked just so the crowd could have their moment of fun first.
This actually wasn’t that bad, but it was pretty abrupt so I can’t really go higher on the rating. Too Cool looked good though, Rikishi especially. RTC kind of needed to win here as they were still new as a faction and without wins they would have been dead out of the gate
The commentary team bemoans the RTC’s win.
We get footage from HeAT, where Kurt Angle refused to speak to The Coach. Stephanie McMahon showed up and wouldn’t talk to Coach either. Kurt Angle then went into Stephanie’s locker room later on.
We see footage of Kurt Angle kissing a knocked out Stephanie on Smackdown. Stephanie fought it and first but then started to enjoy it.
WWF Hardcore Champ is with Michael Cole, but before he can give his views on what we just saw he has to flee from a stalking Steve Blackman.
Road Dogg Jesse James Vs X-Pac
These two had been having a friendly rivalry but had eventually fallen out completely in order to set this one up, with X-Pac accidentally putting Roadie through a table on Raw after knocking him off the apron. This is a decent match, with both men working it at a quick clip and the resting being kept to a minimum. Roadie is the more babyface like of the two, with X-Pac taunting a lot and doing some underhanded things like attacking when Roadie tries to get back into the ring.
The crowd doesn’t really see Roadie as a babyface though and doesn’t really care that much when he’s getting worked over, although they do dislike X-Pac and boo him. Roadie finally manages to get them to bite on his comeback, and X-Pac of course bumps around and sells well for it. X-Pac manages to catch Roadie with an unseen mule kick though and the X-Factor gets the three straight after.
Your standard undercard bout, as both men had worked with one another numerous times and had decent chemistry. It wasn’t a great match or anything, but it was “perfectly cromulent” as Scott Keith would say
X-Pac cuts an insincere promo following the match asking for Road Dogg to start teaming with him again, leading to Road Dogg laying him out to officially break up the team. Road Dogg would form a team with R-Truth later in the year before getting fired for doing all the drugs.
Chyna and Eddy Guerrero are ready for their match next and are on the same page, whilst Val Venis and Trish Stratus don’t appear to be gelling as well.
WWF Intercontinental Title
Champ: Val Venis and Trish Stratus Vs Latino Heat (Eddy Guerrero and Chyna)
Eddy and Chyna both had an issue with Venis, so this Inter-Gender match was booked and Venis can lose the Title if he or his partner is pinned tonight. They had been trying to give Venis a harder edge during this period by having him cut his hair and switch to a Jun Akiyama styled white colour scheme, but the fans never really bought him in that role and he ended up in RTC not too soon after this. Trish also has white themed gear in order to match him here though which is pretty cute.
The Venis and Eddy bits in this match are really good, with Eddy in particular looking like the best wrestler on the entire show thus far. The bits involving Trish and Chyna are less good as Trish was still learning her craft and Chyna was never really that good of a wrestler. If they held this match with 2006 era Trish though then it would have probably been really good. They do a good job of making the crowd want to see Chyna clobber Trish, with Val working the majority of the match and Trish fleeing whenever it looks like Chyna might get her.
Chyna actually sells reasonably well when Venis works her over and Eddy does an excellent job when he gets the hot tag, with his offence being smooth as silk and Venis doing a good job as a base for his lucha styled attacks. Venis busts out the Blue Thunder at one stage, which suits his Akiyama look, although the commentators don’t give it its correct name. Venis and Eddy double down, leading to Trish coming in for some attacks on Eddy, but he has no interest in fighting her and tags out to Chyna, which leads to Chyna laying a whupping on Trish. It doesn’t look great but the crowd enjoys it. Venis and Eddy fight outside the ring and Chyna slams Trish in the ring for three and the Title.
WINNERS: LATINO HEAT (CHYNA WINS THE IC TITLE)
The Trish and Chyna bits weren’t great, but Venis and Eddy were having a pretty good match for the most part so the rating ended up averaging to what it was
In a nice touch, Eddy is supportive of Chyna’s victory and celebrates with her, although that wouldn’t last and they’d be broken up by the autumn with Eddy “accidentally” defeating Chyna for the Title.
Last night at WWF New York, Michael Cole and Mick Foley do a radio show of some kind. It all led to Mick Foley doing the W-O-R-M and stealing some fan’s cookie.
Stephanie McMahon and Jan the hairdresser are chatting about what happened on Smackdown, and Stephanie reveals that Kurt is a good kisser! I honestly can’t believe they ruined this storyline so much in the weeks following this show. I mean, I can believe it because Triple H was involved, but still, this storyline was great and it ended in such a flat manner.
Lawler and Ross talk about the next match, with Ross revealing that he has a candy jar there with him for Lawler’s sustenance.
We get a video package to hype up the next match. Taz became a thug Heel and started insulting Jim Ross, delivering the now infamous line of “I’d slap you in the face, but it looks like God beat me to it” which was in incredibly bad taste. Jerry Lawler ended up coming to his announce partner’s aid and we now have a match between he and Taz as a result.
Taz Vs Jerry Lawler
Taz had smashed a car window and gotten glass in Ross’ eyes, so he mocks Ross by coming down to the ring with sunglasses and a cane. This allows Lawler to attack him though and the match is on, with Lawler doing his usual Memphis match from this timeframe as he wellies Taz with punches in the early going for the babyface shine until Taz is able to cut him off and work some heat. Lawler sells well and Taz does a good job as a bully Heel, so the match works even though the crowd heat isn’t perhaps what you would want.
Taz stupidly keeps taking breaks from the match to chat wham to Ross, which gives Lawler windows to get back into it. Taz actually heads up top at one stage and comes off the top rope with a Swanton Bomb, but Lawler is able to dodge it. I don’t ever remember seeing Taz do something like that. Lawler gets a piledriver but Taz does his best Road Warrior Hawk impression by popping right up. The ref takes a bump following that and Taz locks in the REDRUM, but Ross grabs the candy jar from earlier and smashes it over Taz’s face so that Lawler can get three from the revived ref for a big pop.
WINNER: JERRY LAWLER
The crowd reactions were a bit disappointing but I thought the wrestling was decent and the crowd did enjoy the finish at least. I know a lot of ECW fans were freaking out at the time that they had Taz do a job for commentator Jerry Lawler but he was booked pretty strong for the most part, as he got to no sell Lawler’s finish and only lost because someone attacked him with a weapon. They protected him quite a bit and he eventually got his win back too, in Philly no less on the next pay per view, thanks to Raven running in to help him
Ross and Lawler reveal they had planned that all along.
Shane McMahon doesn’t have time to talk about Stephanie with Lillian Garcia as Steve Blackman is still coming after him.
WWF Hardcore Title
Champ: Shane McMahon Vs Steve Blackman
Shane was able to defeat Blackman on an episode of Raw thanks to Test, Albert, Edge and Christian helping him out, so this is Blackman’s rematch. In real life Shane was a big supporter of Blackman and wanted to help him out by working a feud with him. This was probably as far up the card in the WWF that Blackman ever got as feuding with a McMahon is about the most important thing you can do in that company.
This was before Shane was the Super Shane who could beat up pretty much every wrestler on the roster, so he spends the majority of the match trying to run away and getting battered by Blackman, with his only offence coming in small spurts and when people come down to help him. It’s a much more effective way of having him wrestle as it keeps his offence to a minimum and focuses on him taking bumps and getting beaten up, which was the thing he’s best at.
The crowd enjoys seeing Blackman give Shane a pasting, with Blackman showing some good fire and intensity whilst he beats Shane down. Eventually Test (another guy Shane was a big fan of) and Albert run down to help Shane out, which leads to Blackman getting webbed. Test gets a pretty darn impressive big elbow drop off the top rope onto Blackman at one stage actually. Blackman bravely keeps fighting though and manages to take out both Test and Albert with a Singapore Cane, which leads to Shane fleeing up the entrance way. Blackman gives chase though and hits Shane with the cane until Shane takes a fall from about 35 feet or so down onto a crash pad in an incredible bump, Blackman then follows with an elbow drop and that’s enough for three.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: STEVE BLACKMAN
This one is remembered for Shane’s bump and to be honest that’s probably fair as the match itself was solid enough but nothing really remarkable. The two big bumps gave it some real talking points though and the match itself did a good job of putting Blackman over by having him beat three men all by himself. This was about the limit of Blackman’s push though
Shane is stretchered out following that.
Stephanie is worried about Shane’s health, which leads to Kurt Angle coming in to console her. Mick Foley interrupts though and takes Stephanie away so she can check on him.
We get a video package to hype up the next match. Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho’s feud had increased in intensity, so now they’ve got a two out of three falls match. We did get a very silly segment where Benoit’s face was put onto a series of comic pictures, which undercut the seriousness of the feud a bit.
Two out of Three Falls
Chris Benoit Vs Chris Jericho
Shane McMahon was managing Benoit at the time but he’s obviously not here. There’s been some solid stuff on this show so far but it would be nice if these two could hit it for six and have a great match here as that’s the only thing the show has lacked thus far. We go straight to the hockey fight seeing as its two Canadians going at it and the crowd is very much behind Jericho. It’s a good intense fight in the early going, with both men getting across their mutual dislike well. Things settle into more of a wrestling match back inside, with both men throwing one another around, leading to Jericho going for the Lion Sault. Benoit gets his knees up though and goes to the Crossface to win the first fall.
Chris Benoit 1 – 0 Jericho
Benoit goes right back to the hold in an effort to seal things, but Jericho refuses to tap out and eventually makes it to the ropes. Jericho sold that really well and it was a good submission tease, although the first fall ending so abruptly didn’t do Jericho any favours. Benoit vicious attacks the arm, neck and shoulder following that, with it being the usual hard hitting realistic offence you would expect from him. Jericho continues to bump and sell well, although this is another match where the crowd reactions aren’t quite there. They do seem to be invested in the match; they just aren’t making a lot of noise. Jericho eventually manages to counter a German Suplex attempt into THE DREADED YOUNG LION BOSTON CRAB and Benoit taps out to tie us up.
Chris Benoit 1 – 1 Chris Jericho
The third fall continues to be good action, with both men going at it and trading counters and pin fall attempts. The crowd gets gradually more into it as the third fall progresses and both men bust out some darn good looking moves, including Benoit delivering a Dragon Suplex at one stage and Jericho snapping off a rana from the top rope. Thankfully Jericho didn’t nearly end his own career on the landing this time like he did when he wrestled Gedo at Halloween Havoc 97. Eventually Benoit manages to counter a pinning hold to a pin of his own and he grabs the ropes in order to pick up the dirty win.
Chris Benoit 2 – 1 Chris Jericho
WINNER: CHRIS BENOIT
This wasn’t the classic match I was hoping for, but it was still a darn good effort as both men worked hard and beat the heck out of one another. These two almost always had at least a good match with one another, and that was certainly the case in this instance as well
This issue is not settled according to Ross, and he was right as they’d fight one another in a ladder match at the Royal Rumble.
Triple H arrives and he is not in a good mood.
We get a video package for the next match. Edge and Christian kept clobbering The Hardyz and Dudleyz with chairs, so Commissioner Foley booked a Tables, Ladders and Chairs (Oh My!) match in order to punish them.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs for the WWF Tag Team Titles
Champs: Edge and Christian Vs The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) Vs The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff)
Matt and Jeff are from Cameron, North Carolina, so they are way over with the crowd. This match is widely regarded as one of the best spot fests in WWF/E history, and it deserves that reputation as it’s a non-stop thrill ride filled with big moves, weapon shots and ludicrous bumps. To list all of the big spots here would fill up an entire page, but rest assured that if you’ve never seen this one that the match is suitably nuts and still definitely holds up after all these years. You could put this match on a WWE pay per view today and it would still wow people.
It’s no surprise that Edge and Christian ended up with serious career threatening injuries at points when you see this, and The Hardyz are practically walking wounded these days as a result of years of doing matches like this. There’s no denying though that all six of these guys created magic with one another in these contests. I think the problem wasn’t so much that they did matches like this but rather the fact they did so many of them. If they did about 2 or 3 of them on big pay per views then they could have probably gotten away with it, but by 2001 they were doing TLC matches on episodes of Smackdown and it was just getting ridiculous.
All three teams have moments where they are in control, with The Dudleyz giving Christian a 3-D through a table at one stage, only to then get chaired by Edge, who then gets ladderised by The Hardyz. All of the spots flow into one another really well and the match feels very organic for the most part, which I think is the benefit of having six guys in there as you can structure the match so that one person takes a bump and recuperates a bit until it’s their time to get back in there and do a spot of their own.
Jeff of course does something silly off the top of a super duper extra sized ladder, as he tries to give Bubba a Swanton through some tables but Bubba rolls out of the way and Jeff finds nothing but table waiting for him. Lita ends up getting involved at one stage by shoving a ladder over when Edge and Christian seem to have it won, which would be a great way for the hometown Hardyz to pick up the big win, but it’s not to be.
Bubba and Matt both take spills through tables off the ladders and Edge takes out Lita with a Spear on the floor, which leads us to our next famous moment from this match as D-Von and Jeff both climb and grab a belt, leading to the ladder getting pulled out from under them and both men fighting one another whilst dangling. D-Von was supposedly terrified of heights in real life but still went up there and did the spot like a Champion. Edge and Christian end up knocking Jeff and D-Von down however and then clamber up to get the belts and deflate the crowd.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: EDGE & CHRISTIAN
If The Hardyz won then I would have given this the full monty. I always thought that The Hardyz should have won this one and The Dudleyz should have won TLC II at Mania X-Seven so that all three teams would have won one of these and it would have been a nice way to draw a line under the TLC Era. As it was they decided to delay the big Hardy Title win till the following month’s pay per view. This match deserves its reputation for being a classic match though, as all seven wrestlers involved gave their all and the action was top notch
Triple H and Stephanie are arguing backstage. Stephanie says that Angle took advantage of her and she didn’t know what was going on.
Stink Face Match
Terri Runnels w/ WWF European Champ Perry Saturn Vs The Kat w/ Al Snow and Head
These two had been feuding for months, with the two of them wrestling at WrestleMania in a cat fight. Kat upped the ante by demanding that Rikishi give Terri a stink face, thus giving us our T&A break following the big high octane spot fest. Both women “wrestle” in their undies here until Kat eventually rubs her bum in Terri’s face. The crowd seemed to enjoy it at least.
WINNER: THE KAT
I can’t rate this. It was a cheap T&A break following a big match. Let’s just be grateful that WWE and AEW don’t resort to this sort of cheap stuff anymore and move on
The APA are at WWF New York getting drunk.
We get a video package to hype up the next match. Kane went nuts on The Undertaker after teasing an alliance with him and Choke Slammed him through the ring to set this one up.
Kane Vs Undertaker
Kane debuts his Mortis look here I believe, as I can’t remember a time he’d worn it before. Undertaker had only recently gone to his Biker Taker gimmick back in May, and controversially I actually think the gimmick was a good idea. At the time Undertaker had taken the whole dark side thing as far as he possibly could and it made sense for him to go to a more realistic character during the Attitude Era. It freshened him up and the Ministry Undertaker gimmick was starting to get pretty stale. Absence makes the heart grow fonder as well, so when Undertaker finally busted out the classic gimmick again the fans were ready for it and enjoyed seeing it return.
The story of this match is that Undertaker is more interested in going for Kane’s mask than he actually is in winning the match. The match itself is mostly just a brawl, with chair and ring steps getting involved. Ross explains that referee Jack Doan is just scared off both men and that’s why he allows them so much leeway because he doesn’t want to get clobbered. Ross was genuinely the best in the business at the time and stuff like that was why as otherwise none of this would make any sense as it should have ended in a DQ ages ago.
Undertaker keeps going for the mask, with Kane even bleeding on the parts of skin that are exposed from where the mask has been ripped and torn. Kane hits Taker right in the Dallas Cowboy’s when they get back inside the ring, and the ref let’s that go as well. Undertaker keeps going for the mask though, and kicks Kane right in the libertarians before finally removing it, which leads to Kane fleeing and Undertaker’s music playing. Could they not just have done a count out finish or something? Ross says that he doesn’t think the match ever actually started, so I’m not sure if I should even review this as a match or not.
This wasn’t a terrible brawl or anything, but it made no real sense that the ref just let them go at it like this even with Ross’ explanation that Doan was too afraid to stop them. I mean, you’d just call for a DQ and then request security run down wouldn’t you? As a referee isn’t it in your job to act in the interests of the competitors and essentially save them from themselves? The finish was kind of lame as well, especially as they didn’t really follow up on this either and both men had moved onto new feuds by the time the autumn rolled around. This felt like they didn’t know what to do with either guy on this show so they just threw this on the show because they had the previous backstory and the finish meant that no one had to job
Kurt Angle calls Stephanie and she has to pretend that it’s Linda McMahon. Triple H asks to talk to Linda and Angle hangs up, leading to Triple H being bemused.
We get a video package for the next match. Triple H and Kurt Angle both pinned Chris Jericho at the same time in order to become joint number one contenders, intensifying the feud being the two men.
Champ: The Rock Vs Kurt Angle Vs Triple H
Rock had won the Title back at King of the Ring 2000 by pinning Vince McMahon in a six man tag, meaning that Triple H had been able to drop it without getting pinned himself. Rock had feuded with Chris Benoit and Shane McMahon in the meantime whilst Angle and Triple had developed an issue built around a love triangle involving Stephanie McMahon. It was probably one of the best examples of wrestling soap opera, as viewers were hooked, with women especially getting into it all. As a result Rock is kind of the third wheel here and he barely features in the pre-match video package, with Angle and Triple H’s issue getting the most coverage.
Angle had kissed a near unconscious Stephanie on the previous episode of Smackdown and then stupidly stokes the flames by refusing to apologise. This leads to Triple H storming down before the match even starts to have a brawl. Triple H tries to give Angle the Pedigree through the commentary table but the table collapses before he can execute the move properly, which leads to Angle landing on his head and suffering an absolute mother-hugger of a concussion in the process. That was one heck of a fight before the table went into business for itself though.
Angle is scary knocked out after that, to the point that he doesn’t seem to realise that he has to sell it and keeps trying to get up. It’s not unlike a Last Man Standing match that Cactus Jack and The Sandman had in ECW where Sandman kept getting up long past it should have been the finish due to being so concussed he didn’t realise he had to stay down. Triple H tries to keep things moving by grabbing a sledgehammer, which is Rock’s cue to run down and officially start the match. Angle is of course in no condition to perform, so we essentially have a Triple H Vs Rock match going on instead, which is the usual good effort between the two.
This year was the first time they used the yellow, blue and green colour scheme for Summer Slam and that lasted for quite a few years. To this say I still find it weird when they don’t use those colours for a Summer Slam event as it’s so ingrained in my brain that they are Summer Slam colours. Stephanie joins us now and ties to hit Rock with the Title belt, only to clock Triple H by accident to give Rock a near fall before fleeing. Triple H hits Rock in the gut with the hammer and starts working some heat. That’s sure one heck of a believable cut off I’ll give him that and it suits the stipulations seeing as this is technically a No DQ match.
Rock sells the mid-section well and Triple H draws some good heat from the crowd. These two had that special chemistry together and were on a roll when it came to being opponents during 1998 to 2001. Rock starts fighting back, so Stephanie coaxes a still out of it Angle into coming back down to the ring to help Triple H out. This soap opera storytelling worked a treat and is some of the best of its kind in wrestling. Angle does indeed come back down, but he of course tries to steal the pin on Rock for himself in a fantastic near fall that had pretty much the entire arena buying that he was going to win. The crowd was going nuts there, I love it!
Rock manages to respond with a Rock Bottom to Angle, but Triple H breaks up the pin. The hammer comes into play again, as Triple H accidentally punches Stephanie to knock her out and Angle brains him with the hammer in retribution. Rock takes out Angle following that and then drops the People’s Elbow on Triple H to pin him and make up for not actually defeating the Champion back at King of the Ring.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: THE ROCK
This was a really good match, with strong work and an intriguing story being told. The crowd was going nuts for all the big story beats and the match in general was a really entertaining watch
After Rock celebrates and leaves with his belt, Angle recovers and carries Stephanie to the back to continue the love triangle angle.
This show didn’t have a lot of great matches but it had a lot of solid ones and a genuine classic in the TLC match. The show also flowed really well, with even the cool down stink face match getting over with the crowd. Kane Vs Undertaker is the obvious stinker of the bunch, but on a ten match card you can live with a match like that when you close things as strongly as they did with the Main Event.
Overall I’d say this is probably one of the better SummerSlam’s and definitely worth a watch if you’ve never seen it.