WWF Royal Rumble 2000
By Peter Kostka
Jun 27, 2003, 16:13
This one’s for you, HartFan.
Remember 2000? Remember how awesome it was? Well, here’s where the WWF kicked it off with a bang. Since Wrestlemania XX (and this week’s RAW and Smackdown) will be in MSG, and watching Confidential this past Saturday kind of got me thinking about the last great PPV that took place there, I thought I’d dig out my review that was lost in cyberspace. Survivor Series 2002 was good, but the 2000 Royal Rumble is even better.
WWF Royal Rumble 2000
We are LIVE from the World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden in New York City with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler calling the action. I like the entrance used for this show, it’s simple, just a taxi hanging over an alleyway, complete with trashcans and graffiti. Obviously with the limited space, they can’t make a huge, gaudy set, and that’s sometimes a good thing.
- Opening Match: Kurt Angle vs. ???
Kurt was still undefeated at this point. He wasn’t one of the Wrestling Gods yet, though. He cuts a basic heel promo slamming the New York Knicks and giving a pep talk to his mystery opponent telling him to “give it his all.” The crowd already knows who it is, since there had been vignettes over the past month involving the number 13 hyping his debut. Yep, his opponent is the debuting Tazz, who gets a monster pop. Tazz slugs away to start and backdrops Angle over the top. Angle blocks a suplex and hits one of his own on the floor. Back in, a shoulderblock gets 2. Angle gets crotched on the top and Tazz hits a belly-to-back superplex, but Angle gets his foot on the rope at 2. While Tazz argues with the ref, Angle sneaks up and gets a small package for 2. Angle Slam attempt is blocked and Tazz hits almost every suplex in his arsenal on Angle before locking in the Tazzmission. Angle tries to hang on but passes out from the choke and the ref stops the match, giving Tazz the win and ending Angle’s streak. Angle does a stretcher job for good measure.
Short but good match solely to get Tazz over. Few months in to his tenure and they were already using Angle as enhancement talent. Too bad it didn’t amount to anything. Hey, at least Tazz is put to good use on Smackdown instead of on the unemployment line. 5/10
- Cole interviews the Hardyz and Terri and I’m reminded why they never got any promo time. Matt has improved, at least. Jeff? Well...
- The Hardy Boyz (w/o Terri) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Tag team table match)
Here is the second piece in what I call the “TLC Puzzle”. Edge, Christian and the Hardys debuted the tag team ladder match concept at No Mercy late in 1999 (a match that is also on the Most Memorable Matches of 1999 tape, which I may repost sometime). The Dudleys came from ECW also in late 1999 and brought the tables with them at Wrestlemainia 2000 later in the year. The TLC match officially debuted at Summerslam 2000.
The Dudleys go for the cheap heat with the NYC crowd by declaring their support for John Rocker (at the time, he pitched for the Braves and in an interview with Sports Illustrated, insulted New York by saying things like “You’ll never catch me riding the subway in that city”). The rules are that the first team to have both members put through a table by their opponents loses. Brawl to start and Buh Buh hits a Buh Buh Bomb on Jeff and gets a table. He tries to put Jeff through it, but Matt moves it out of the way and DDTs Buh Buh. He bails and Jeff follows him out. D’Von tries to powerbomb Matt, but he escapes and tries a suplex, which D’Von reverses. On the outside, Jett gets a chair and cracks Buh Buh a few times. He tries the railwalk but Buh Buh shoves a table in his face. Back in, the Hardyz try to superplex Buh Buh but D’Von moves the table. Matt retrieves a ladder from under the ring and dumps Buh Buh. Matt sets him up on a table, climbs the ladder, and the Hardyz hit their leg drop/splash combo (with Jeff getting some good air off the turnbuckles) to “eliminate” Buh Buh. They work over D’Von and set him up on the outside, but he escapes a Yodeling Legdrop and and a Jeff dive and the Hardys put themselves through tables. The match goes on, sez Teddy Long. The Dudleys bring the steps in and set up a table on them. Matt is the unlucky recipient of a superbomb through it, folding him up and nearly breaking his neck. Cool. The Dudleyz bring them into the crowd and Buh Buh gets to work stacking tables near the entranceway while D’Von holds the Hardyz off. D’Von puts Matt on them (kinda pointless, since Matt’s been put through one already) and Buh Buh goes to the balcony with Jeff in tow. Buh Buh goes for a dive, but Jeff low blows and chairshots him, causing Buh Buh to crash through 3 tables. Matt sets D’Von up on the only table still intact and Jeff lets his insanity come forth as he hits a swanton off the balcony onto D’Von to win.
Very nice, simple, full of carnage. This is relatively tame compared to what these two teams have done since, but it is nice to look back and see how a relatively sane and functional Jeff Hardy was like. 8/10
- In the back, the medics check on Angle, who is in la-la land. He insists he’s still undefeated though, since choking is illegal.
- Miss Rumble 2000 Contest
The contest is emceed by (who else?) Jerry Lawler. Your judges are: Sgt. Slaughter, Tony Garea, Johnny V., the Fabulous Moolah, “Classy” Freddie Blassie (RIP, says this pencil necked geek), and Andy Richter (when he was still with Conan and still had a job).
- Ivory is first, showing a bit of her RTC attitude by calling Jerry a “pervert”. She shows off a pretty simple teal bikini and thong. It’s simple, but it shows off her great ass. Probably one of the only women I can say looks better with implants. 8/10
- Terri is wearing the outfit she wore at Summerslam ’96 (Google it). She leans over the ropes to give everyone a great view, but she’s never been high on my list. 5.5/10
- Jacqueline is wearing a black outfit that barely covers ANYTHING, and she actually looks borderline decent. She throws in some provocative moves to try and sway the vote. 5/10
- B.B. (Barbra Bush, an “EMT” for the WWF with a big rack who was boning Bob Holly at the time) is wearing pretty much the same outfit as Ivory, but blue. She pretty much disappeared from the WWF after this. Oh well. 5/10
- Luna refuses to participate, even though her robe is see-thru and you can see her bikini anyway. Simple white number. DUD
- Finally, The Kat shows her creative side with a bikini made of bubble wrap. Lawler loves it, naturally (she didn’t blow another guy and divorce Jerry after they were both fired yet). 7.5/10
The judges tabulate the votes (IVORY!!), BUT WAIT, we have another contestant! Yep, it’s Mae Young. Get the vomit bags ready. She’s been hitting the sauce and says the fans want to see her puppies and she will oblige. She removes her robe, revealing a swimsuit that might have been sexy during the Roaring Twenties. She unzips it and Jerry gets a look, screaming in terror. The Divas flee as a big “Censored” sign tries to cover her up for the viewers. Blassie loves this, by the way. No Viagra needed, I’ll bet. Mark Henry (her beau) finally comes down and takes control of Mae. The judges make their ruling, and MAE WINS, MAE WINS, BAH GAWD, MAE WINS!!! Mae celebrates and turns away from Mark, extending her arms in victory and killing a piece of every man alive. Excuse me, I must vomit. This was said to be a wink at “There’s Something About Mary”, but knowing how Vince’s mind works, I’m not sure.
- Coach tries to talk at WWF New York, but gets swallowed up by the crowd. Chyna and Jericho argue over who gets to wear the IC title to the ring until Dave Hebner takes it away. Chyna: “Why don’t you be chivalrous for once in your life and let me wear it?” Jericho: “Chivalrous? What do you think this is, Medieval Times?”
- Chris Jericho (C) vs. Chyna (C) vs. Hardcore Holly (IC title match)
Stephanie made Chyna and Jericho co-IC champs after they simultaneously pinned each other in an IC title match. Jericho cuts a promo in the aisle promising a victory party that makes the Millennium celebration in Times Square look like “my sister’s 7th birthday party.”
Three-way slap fest to start and Chyna kicks away on Hardcore. She gets dumped, and Jericho takes over on Hardcore, laying in some boots. He comes back with the Best Dropkick in the Business. Jericho hits a forearm for 2. Blind charge meets foot and Hardcore tries a hurricarana which is reversed by Jericho into the Walls. Chyna finally comes back in and breaks it up. Chyna hits a shoulderblock on Jericho but Hardcore steals the cover for 2. Hardcore is tossed and Chyna follows out with a baseball slide. Jericho follows with a springboard dive onto Hardcore. Chyna throw Jericho into the steps and hits her handspring elbow and DDT back in. Hardcore breaks the pin at 2. Chyna is tossed again and she “accidentally” pulls down the rope, knocking Jericho out. Hardcore gets a chair and Chyna hits an awful dropkick that, in theory, was supposed to drive it into his face. Back in, Chyna and Jericho dive onto Hardcore and pin him for 2. Jericho and Chyna slug it out and Chyna hits a low blow on him. She gets the Shittiest Pedigree Ever on Hardcore for 2. Jericho cross-bodies Chyna off Hardcore’s shoulders for 2. Jericho tries a superplex, but Chyna crotches both of them. She gets it instead and Holly cradles her for 2. Chyna chairs Hardcore while the ref checks on Jericho and steals the Walls. Jericho bulldogs her and hits the Lionsault for 3 and the “undisputed” IC title.
Man, take Chyna out and you would have a pretty decent match. Chyna’s sloppiness and general suckiness dragged the match down big time. 5/10.
- Michael Cole interviews Rock about the Rumble match. The Rock’s pick to win? Crash Holly. Rock runs down Big Show and hopes they are the last two in the ring.
- New Age Outlaws (C) vs. The Acolytes (Tag title match)
The two teams slug away on the outside with the Acolytes dominating. The Acolytes continue to dominate most of the match and Bradshaw hits the Clothesline from Hades on Billy. The ref is bumped and the Acolytes double powerbomb Road Dogg. X-Pac interferes and spinkicks Bradshaw. Farrooq gets rid of him and Billy hits the Dumbasser for the pin.
- HHH (C) vs. Cactus Jack (Street fight for the WWF Title)
This one is on the Most Memorable Matches of 2000 tape, so let’s just see what I had to say in that review:
Near the end of 1999, HHH married a drugged Stephanie McMahon at a drive thru chapel in Las Vegas. She then turned on her father at Armageddon, transforming from “Sweet and Demure” Stephanie to “Evil Bitch” Stephanie. Meanwhile, DX reformed under the guidance of HHH (again) and he beat the Big Show in December to win the WWF title, kicking off the McMahon-Helmsley Era. Mankind was not a fan of either of them and said the Era “kinda sucks”. HHH and Steph make his life a living hell, booking him in a “Pink Slip on a Pole” match against Rock in which the loser is fired. Mick loses, but Rock stages a protest that threatens a walkout if Mick isn’t reinstated. HHH concedes and Mick challenges him for the WWF title at the Rumble. In a tag match on RAW, HHH bloodies Mankind and Pedigrees him through the announce table. On Smackdown, Mick retires Mankind, saying “he’s not ready for HHH” and instead, brings in a “suitable replacement”: Cactus Jack.
Slugfest to start. Cactus pounds away in the corner and HHH bails. Cactus hits a neckbreaker on the floor and drops a leg on his throat. Cactus drives his head into the steps and timekeeper’s table but HHH comes back with the ring bell. HHH gets a chair and heads back in and dares Cactus to follow. He does and Hunter blasts him with it. Jack recovers, legdrops the chair onto Hunter’s face, and covers for 2. Cactus takes control and HHH bails again, taking control on the outside until he is backdropped into the crowd. They fight through the crowd back to the entranceway. Jack suplexes him onto some pallets and hits him with a trash can. Jack whips him into the door and slams his head against it a few times. He tries to take HHH back to the ring but Hunter suplexes him onto the can. Jack recovers again and tosses him back into the ring. He looks under it and retrieves a 2x4 wrapped in barb wire. HHH low blows him and hits him in the stomach and back with it. Cactus drives it between Hunter’s legs and Hebner gets rid of it, hiding it with the Spanish announcers.
Cactus hits a single arm DDT for 2 and he looks for the 2x4. He threatens Hebner and he spills the beans. The Spanish guys give him the 2x4, but the wire is now rewrapped and rubberized. The ref is bumped and Cactus hits HHH in the face with it, and HHH blades. He drops it again on him and covers for 2. Cactus scrapes the wire on his head, opening the cut more as HHH screams in pain. Hunter is doing his usual awesome, Flairesque bleeding. Cactus pounds on the cut some more and sets him up for a piledriver on the American announce table. HHH backdrops Cactus and the table barely breaks. HHH has a big gash in his calf now. Pedigree attempt, but Cactus counters and drives his face into the wire again. Cover for 2. Cactus Clothesline puts them both on the floor again and HHH hiptosses Cactus’ knee onto the steps. Hunter works the knee, clipping him and hitting it with the 2x4. Hunter gets some handcuffs from the Fink and cuffs Cactus. HHH slugs away and gets the ring steps, which Cactus counters by tripping him. He elbows Hunter’s groin and bites his forehead. HHH clotheslines him and gets a chair a la RR ’99. He lays in some HARD shots, breaking a piece of the chair off. Cactus flops out and they head down the aisle, where the Rock hits Hunter with a chair of his own. A cop unlocks Cactus and he slugs away on Hunter.
Jack piledrives Hunter on the Spanish announce table and it doesn’t even budge (ow). Jack tosses him in and gets his favorite toy, a bag of thumbtacks. Steph runs down, pleading Jack to stop. Jack spreads the tacks on the mat and tries to clothesline Hunter, but he backdropps Jack onto the tacks. HHH hits the Pedigree, but it only gets two, to the shock of Hunter. Another Pedigree, ON THE DAMN TACKS, gets the pin. HHH tries to flee with the medics, but Jack brings him back and lays in one last shot with the wire.
WOW!! This was the start of Hunter’s awesome streak of great matches in 2000. Too bad he can’t recapture that magic anymore. 10/10
-Coach speaks to Linda McMahon at WWF New York (first time she was seen since Steph slapped her on an episode of Smackdown) and the Fink goes over the rules for the Rumble while the ring crew cleans up the tacks. We see a clip of Shawn Michaels’ win in 1995.
2000 Royal Rumble Match (winner faces WWF champion at Wrestlemania 2000)
The intervals are 90 seconds this year. D’Lo Brown is #1 and Grandmaster Sexay is #2. They slug away to start and Sexay counters a powerbomb with a rana. Mosh is #3, looking like he raided Madonna's closet and did a little tailor work himself. Kaientai interferes, having been dumped from the Rumble on Heat, and are quickly disposed of. D’Lo hits Sky High on Mosh and Sexay bulldogs him onto Mosh’s ankle. D’Lo hits a suplex as Christian (#4) enters. They pair off and Mosh tries to toss D’Lo. Rikishi is #5 and he goes to work, tossing Mosh, Christian and D’Lo. Sexay tries to calm Rikishi down. He is saved by Scotty too Hotty (#6) who has the glasses. Too Cool and Rikishi dance to a mega pop from the crowd. Rikishi clotheslines and tosses Too Cool, but they can still shizzle his nizzle, yo. Rikishi does the Diesel job, tossing Steve Blackman (#7) and Viscera (#8) in short order. Big Bossman is #9, but he smartly waits outside the ring for the 90 seconds. Unfortunately, Test is #10, so he has no choice. Test and Bossman take turns on Rikishi but he fights back. British Bulldog is #11 and he goes after Rikishi also. Test boots Bossman and tries to toss him. Rikishi tries to Banzai Bulldog, but is low blowed. Gangrel is #12. Test and Bossman work over him. Kaientai interferes again and are tossed with Taka splatting on the floor right on his face. This becomes a running gag with Lawler, who keeps on asking to see it again. Edge is lucky #13, to a good pop from the ladies. Rikishi Banzai’s Bossman as the ex-Brooders brawl. Bob Backlund comes out to “Hail to the Chief” at #14. He actually looks younger, if that’s at all possible. Bossman goes right for him. Everyone in the ring gangs up on Rikishi, eliminating him. Y2J is #15 and he tosses Backlund, and then fights with Edge. Backlund does some campaigning in the crowd (he was running for office in Connecticut at the time, and got hammered in the polls). Rock’s favorite Crash Holly is #16 and he teams up with Bulldog on Edge. Chyna is #17 and she goes right for Jericho, naturally. She suplexes Jericho out (bitch) and Bossman elbows her out while she laughs. Faarooq is #18, but the Mean Street Posse (also snubbed on Heat) run down and cause his elimination. Man, Bossman has the longevity record so far. Road Dogg ("Oh you didn't know? Support my habit by bidding to spend a day with me on EBaaaaaaaaaaaay.")is #19. Crowd is chanting for Rocky. Crash goes to work on Bossman but almost gets tossed. Al Snow is #20. Road Dogg tosses Bulldog and clings to the bottom rope for most of the rest of the match. Crash boots him a few times. Edge hits a crossbody on Bossman. Val Venis is #21 and Test goes for him. Funaki runs in yet again (sans Taka, who went to the hospital) and gets tossed. We are now in the government-mandated “lull period” of the match. Albert breaks the sound barrier by running out before his music at #22. Edge gets tossed by both Val and Snow. T&A EXPLODES for a minute as Test and Albert go at it. Hardcore Holly is #23. Crash chokes Test in the corner and Bossman tries to dislodge Road Dogg from the ropes. The Rock is finally out at #24 to a huge pop. He tosses Bossman right away and Snow goes after him. Both Test and Val try to eliminate Rock then Hardcore gets his licks in. Test powerbombs Crash. Mr. Ass is #25 and, naturally, he also goes for Rocky. Rock escapes and eliminates Crash after a DDT. Road Dogg is STILL in the corner. The Big Show is #26, getting a good heel reaction (since when can you say THAT anymore?). He eliminates both Test in Gangrel in succession, headbutts Snow and goes for the Rock. He press slams Hardcore (why not throw him over the top?) Bradshaw is #27, but the Posse comes out again and the Outlaws eliminate him. Faarooq comes out to brawl to the back. Rock almost falls out off camera. Kane is #28, along with Tori (not Wilson, the Tori from TE1 that sounded like she's at two packs a day). He chokeslams Val out and chokes Road Dogg. Rock lariats Hardcore as Godfather comes out (with a full Ho Train) at #29. Kane tosses Albert. Funaki comes out and is eliminated for the last time. X-Pac rounds out the field at #30. Snow dumps Holly and Show eliminates Godfather. Rock hits a Samoan drop on Snow and clotheslines him out. Road Dogg stops to laugh at Snow and Gunn dumps him. Kane clotheslines Gunn out and we have our Final Four.
Final Four: Kane, The Big Show, Rock and X-Pac
The Outlaws pull Kane out and the refs try to break them up, missing X-Pac being harpooned out by the Rock. He comes back in and works Rocky over. Kane comes back and boots down Rock. Kane and Show fight over a chokeslam. Kane hits the enziguri and slams Show, but X-Pac kicks him out. He hits the Bronco Buster, but Show pops up and press slams him out. Rock hits the spinebuster and People’s Elbow but Show blocks the elimination and chokeslams him. He picks up Rock onto his shoulder and parades him around before charging to dump him, but the Rock hangs on for the win.
The winner was pretty much a given, but a very good Rumble nonetheless, not too much of a lull in the middle. Of course, they really didn't make Rock's victory that meaningful by sticking two other guys (including the one he eliminated for the win) in the WM main. 8/10
Rock cuts a celebratory promo, but Show comes back out and throws him out. We fade to black with Show screaming “It’s not over yet!”
The Verdict: Save for the Tag title match and Chyna’s presence in the IC title match, this was a very solid all around PPV with a fine Rumble and a brutal Street Fight.
Final Score: 8/10 (Not an average)
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