The SmarK Rant for WWF Rebellion UK 2000 – 12.02.00
By Scott Keith on 21st June 2023
The SmarK Rant for WWF Rebellion UK 2000 – 12.02.00
Live from Sheffield, England, drawing 11,000.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Tazz
Commissioner Foley joins us to start, along with Emergency Backup Commish Debra. So he announces the main event of Kurt Angle defending against Austin, Rock & Rikishi. HHH apparently wanted to be in the match, but Foley said NO and then does a pretty impressive HHH impression, complete with nose. Also, it’s a no DQ match, which brings out Angle to protest the injustice. And that gets him nowhere.
Tables match: Test & Albert v. The Dudley Boyz v. Edge & Christian
So this is supposed to have been a live PPV, but the crowd noise for the entrances is clearly, blatantly, sweetened. Unless there’s something with the entrance music overdubbing that necessitating redoing the crowd noise too, which is also quite possible. Was this taken from a later home video release, I wonder? Albert beats on D-Von in the corner, but the Dudleyz double-team him with a suplex and Bubba slugs it out with him. Over to Test and T&A finds some tables. The Dudz intercept one, so Albert kicks it in half while they stand there holding it in a dumb spot. So Bubba is the face in peril but he quickly brings D-Von back in and the match is a huge mess while they all wander around trying to figure out the table spot in the corner. Finally E&C powerbomb Albert through the table and eliminate T&A. So E&C beat on D-Von outside for a bit and Christian slugs away in the ring. They go for another table and we get a false tag from the Dudleyz, which leads to the question of why you even bother with tags and rope breaks if the only way to win is putting someone through a table? Bubba gets the hot tag and runs wild for a bit, but Edge & Christian cut him off and do their own Whazzup. Sadly this goes wrong and Edge lands on Christian’s crotch. So another table gets set up, and Edge escapes 3D, but then Christian just kind of doesn’t escape and the Dudleyz put him through the table and win at 10:10. This was sloppy as hell and the match had no flow to it. **
WWF Women’s title: Ivory v. Lita
Steven Richards does a pre-match promo that would slot nicely into the conservative hellhole of Twitter today. Maybe they were just 23 years ahead of their time. Lita runs wild to start and hits a back suplex for two, then necks Steven on the top rope, which allows Ivory to jump her from behind and take over. Ivory chokes her out on the ropes and gets a legdrop for two. Lita gets a sloppy headscissors, dropping Ivory on her head, and that sets up the Twist of Fate, but Lita goes after Richards again, and that allows Ivory to block a rollup and get the pin at 3:00 to retain. This was bad. 1/2*.
Meanwhile, the Rock generously offers Kurt Angle the choice of either taking the back of his hand or the front of it.
Hardcore title: Steve Blackman v. Perry Saturn
Blackman was having a fun little run as Hardcore champ at this point. They trade rollup attempts to start and Blackman bails to the floor, so Saturn hits a dive for two. Blackman comes back with a suplex on the floor and brings the plunder into the ring for some abuse with various aluminum objects. Sorry, ALUMINIUM. They slug it out and Blackman gets a backslide for two. Saturn tosses him and Blackman skins the cat, but Saturn hits him with the metal cookie sheet deal to block it. Saturn with a tope, but Blackman uses that poor cookie sheet to block. That thing better have health insurance. Back in the ring, Saturn gets a chair for some shots, but Blackman uses his sticks and slams Saturn with those for two. Saturn with a small package for two while Tazz launches into an inane discussion about JR’s nutty catchphrases, but Blackman kicks a chair in Saturn’s face and pins him to retain at 6:10. I should note that Blackman wedged a garbage can into the corner at one point and I don’t think it was even used. Just a house show match. *1/2.
European title: William Regal v. Crash Holly
Fun fact: Regal is from Blackpool. Wonder if that will ever come up sometime in the future. Regal’s mind-mannered pre-match promo with Michael Cole is pretty funny, as he pretends to be a babyface and buries England and their lack of sporting heroes. And then he does another promo in the ring where he makes sure to go super-heel on the crowd for good measure until Crash finally attacks him. Crash with a headscissors, but Regal runs him into the post and powerbombs him for two. Regal puts the boots to him and follows with a back elbow and a suplex for two. Regal with a chinlock, but Crash fights out with a rollup for two. Regal cuts him off and drops an elbow for two. Regal slugs away with forearms and drops him with a suplex for two. Back to the chinlock, but Crash gets a backslide for two. Rollup gets two. Rana gets two. Crash goes for a headscissors in the corner, but Regal drops him on his face and pins him at 4:40 to retain. But apparently the foot was in the ropes, so Molly Holly dropkicks Regal behind the ref’s back and Crash gets the pin and the title at 5:00 instead. Another short house show match with a super weird and nonsensical finish. **. And then Regal lays out both Hollies and steals the title back. I don’t remember this at all but I’m assuming Regal ended up getting the belt back right away.
Meanwhile, Kurt Angle is paranoid about losing his own title tonight, so he asks Chris Benoit to “lend him support” at ringside, which will surely result in Benoit getting a title shot!
Chyna & Billy Gunn v. Eddie Guerrero & Dean Malenko
This stems from Eddie sadly cheating on Chyna with two other women, and Billy standing up for her. Who else remembers and loves THE ONE Billy Gunn and his epic reign as Intercontinental champion and banger of an entrance song, which might as well have been called “Generic Babyface Rock Song”? I’m still astonished that it didn’t get over. Speaking of not getting over, Chyna is wearing the most generic gear possible here, just a pair of white boots and tiny trunks and a crop top that barely covers her enormous fake boobies. Gunn hits Eddie with a tilt a whirl slam and slugs away in the corner, so Eddie offers a truce. And they all brawl off that before Chyna and Billy get stereo military presses. I have no idea how Chyna was even able to move her arms with her implants at that point. Chyna clotheslines Malenko for two, but the Radicalz cut her off and double-team her in the corner, and Malenko gets an elbow for two. Given Chyna’s nonsense at this point I’m shocked she’s even selling for them. “Hot” tag to Gunn and he powerslams Dean for two. Jackhammer sets up the fameasser for two. Eddie saves, so Gunn tosses him and hits THE ONE AND ONLY for the pin on Dean at 7:30. Gunn looked bad as usual and Chyna was Chyna. *3/4
Kane v. Chris Jericho
Yes, it’s the infamous HOT COFFEE feud. Kane misses an elbow and Jericho clotheslines him to the floor and then gets a springboard dropkick off the apron. Back in, Jericho tries a flying bodypress, but Kane catches him and slams him for two. I should note we’re an hour or so into the show and I’m DONE with Tazz at this point, as his early “cackling heel” commentary era was really tiresome. Especially over an entire PPV. Once he settled down and got into the “not for nuthin’” and “so-and-so Jones” groove he was 1000 times better. Kane slowly beats on Jericho in the corner and chokes him out, and follows with a sideslam. Kane goes up and Jericho crotches him and then hits him with a dropkick on the way down. Missile dropkick gets two. Rollup gets two and Jericho tries for the Walls, but Kane powers out. So Jericho tries the Lionsault and hits Kane’s knees on that, an Kane chokeslams him for the pin at 8:03. Man Jericho was treading water for a long time until the Invasion stuff revived him. **1/4.
Meanwhile, Lita is enjoying a drink after her match, but that mean girl Trish attacks her and they have a clothes-tearing “brawl” in the hallway, leading to the punchline of Ivory in her underwear in the dressing room.
WWF tag team titles: Bull Buchanan & Goodfather v. The Hardyz Boyz
So glad I get to hear the RTC theme twice in the same show. And we also get to hear the announcers loudly complaining about FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and their other ridiculous dog whistle arguments of the time. The Hardyz chase the RTC to the floor to start, but Jeff gets caught in the corner and beaten down as the crowd gets deader and deader. Matt gets a tag, I guess, and clotheslines Bull for two. Val takes the ref and Goodfather grabs the tag title, but his Bull by mistake and Matt gets two. But then Goodfather pulls out Matt and rams him into the ringpost and OH MY GOD THAT’S JUST THE HEAT SEGMENT. So we carry on with the RTC working Matt over now as I was hoping that false finish meant they were wrapping it up quickly but no such luck. RTC double-team him for two. Goodfather misses the Ho Train and Jeff gets the hot tag and does Jeff Hardy stuff while the champs stumble around the ring trying to get into position for him and feed him. Buchanan was so bad. Twist of Fate on Goodfather sets up the swanton, but Bull takes the ref and Val hits the Money Shot on Jeff, putting Goodfather on top for the pin at 8:07 to retain. *. This whole Right to Censor period was so bad as to be nearly unwatchable and wrecked the whole tag team division. Plus Vince bitching about “freedom of expression” while literally confiscating signs at the door because they didn’t fit his narrative is the height of Vince-ism.
Meanwhile, Angle tries to recruit Edge & Christian, but Christian is busy selling a table shot (“it hurts to breathe in” “So don’t breathe in, sheesh!”) and doesn’t think they’d be much help to Kurt at the moment. “Some people are so selfish! It’s all about me me me with you guys!”
Meanwhile, the Radicalz attack Undertaker and take out his knee in advance of the next match.
Chris Benoit v. The Undertaker
The Network had to overdub Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock or whatever Undertaker was using at the time, giving us the much lamer Big Evil theme instead. So they tease a forfeit win for Benoit, but then Taker comes out after all and slugs it out with Benoit while limping a little bit. Taker with a press slam and he puts the boots to Benoit in the corner to set up the ropewalk, but he hurts his knee on the way down and gets two. Benoit tries to take out the knee on the post, but Taker powers out of that and they fight on the floor. Benoit dives off the apron and Taker catches him and runs him into the post, and back in that gets two. Taker with the bearhug and he puts Benoit down with a big boot for two. He tries a sideslam and Benoit flips out of it and dropkicks the knee to finally get offense on Bikertaker, and he goes to work on it. So he cranks on the knee with basic stuff and gets a figure-four, but Taker reverses and Benoit makes the ropes. So Benoit goes back to working on the knee, but he tries another figure-four and Taker cradles him for the pin at 12:20. Pretty dull match. **1/4.
WWF World title: Kurt Angle v. Rikishi v. Steve Austin v. The Rock
Oh lord Austin has the bizarre nu metal remix of his music here. Just no. I’m still kind of amazed that Disturbed not only survived that time period but ended up having a legitimate comeback later. Big brawl to start and Austin hits Angle with a spinebuster for two and an overhead suplex for two. Rikishi pulls out Steve and that allows Rock to hit Angle with a samoan drop for two. Rock and Austin double-team Rikishi while Angle tries to walk out of the match, but Rock hauls him back while Austin drops the elbow on Rikishi for two. Rock slugs away on Rikishi while Austin brawls with Angle on the floor, but Rikishi gets Cheeks of Fire on Rock in the corner and tries for the Stinkface. Rock goes low to escape that and drops the People’s Elbow, but Angle saves at two. Everyone slugs it out and the heels win that battle, but Rock and Austin toss them and they have a showdown in the ring. They should do a match with those two, it might draw pretty well. KICK WHAM STUNNER on the Rock gets two as Angle saves again, and then Rikishi drops a leg on the Rock for two but can’t steal the pin. Austin stomps a mudhole on Angle in the corner, but walks into Rock Bottom and that gets two. Rikishi pulls out the ref to save, and the Angle Slam on Rock gets two. Austin rolls up Angle for two, but Edge & Christian come through after all and hit the ring on Angle’s behalf! Austin takes them out while Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Rikishi for two, but Edge saves and takes out Rock. Next up, the Radicalz hit the ring as it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER on Rikishi, and they take out Austin before he can cover. This leaves Angle alone with Rikishi, and the Angle Slam finishes at 8:50 to retain. This was a fun sprint but not exactly a classic or anything. ***.
And then Rock and Austin clear the ring together and drink beer to end the show.
Of all the UK PPVs I’ve watched so far, this was certainly one of them.