WWF Unforgiven 2000 9/24/2000

September 24, 2000
First Union Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 19,315
Buy Rate: 1.5
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler; Michael Cole subs for three matches

1) The Right to Censor defeats the Acolytes & the Dudley Boys when Val Venis (Sean Morley) pins Bubba Ray (Mark Lomonica) after a Steven Richards superkick at 6:03

Fun Fact: On the August 31 Smackdown, Val Venis officially fired Trish Stratus for causing him to lose the Intercontinental title at Summerslam, ending their brief partnership. On the 9/4 Raw, Val had a showdown with the RTC where Steven Richards told Val that he was already one of them as he had ditched his porn star image, changed his tights to white and dumped Trish. Val denied it and said that he believes it is the parents’ job to monitor their children and not the RTC. Steven let it go, but warned Val that if he wasn’t with them, he was against them. Later that night, Val teamed with the Road Dogg to take on Goodfather and Bull. As the match was winding down, Bull DDT’d Val on the floor and knocked him out. He and Goodfather then scooped Val up and carried him to the back. The next Monday, Val came out after the RTC defeated the Acolytes and plastered both Faarooq and Bradshaw with it. He shook hands with the RTC and officially joined the cult. That week on Smackdown, Val appeared decked out in a white shirt, tie and pants and told the world that he hadn’t been brainwashed but because he realized he was missing something from his life. He examined his lifestyle and realized that his actions didn’t help him become a better man and didn’t make the world a better place. He let the WWF know that was joined the fight against violence, vulgarity and scantily clad women.

Scott: The opener is a basic eight-man tag with two face teams against a heel faction. The RTC was gaining more heel heat simply because their entrance theme is incessantly annoying. That whining siren sound goes right through your head. It was smart to turn those entire guys heel because their face gimmicks were very 1999 and quite stale. The Dudleys hadn’t sniffed the tag straps since losing at Wrestlemania, but they were starting to push for that long awaited title shot. They were the top face team on the roster next to the Hardys, but Bubba Ray and D-Von’s shot would have to wait. The Acolytes are not even in any of these teams’ leagues anymore, and are becoming more of a novelty. Here, the heels get the big win to keep the heat on. Grade: 2.5

Our opener tonight is an eight man tag featuring the up and coming heels battling the stalwart face tag teams. The Acolytes and Dudleys were very over at this point and worked about as snugly as they come. With Too Cool and, now, the Hardy Boys taking the role of top face contenders, both of these teams had taken a back seat and became embroiled in lower card feuds. After losing the IC title at Summerslam, Val was due for a change to keep him relevant. After turning down the RTC’s advances, Val finally succumbed and drank the kool-aid of Steven Richards. Venis instantly added some credibility to a faction comprised of lower mid carders and would become somewhat of a co-leader with Steven, most likely due to his strong mic skills. The role seemed to fit the man behind Venis, Sean Morely, as he is a big time conservative in real life. The RTC continues to roll along after stealing another opening match win over a group of faces that had been wronged by the fanatical group. Grade: 2.5

*** Triple H lays down the law to his wife Stephanie, that he will take Kurt Angle apart and end this for good. ***

2) Tazz (Peter Senerca) defeats Jerry Lawler in a strap match with the Tazmission at 5:04

Fun Fact: Raven is of course Johnny Polo, who was last in the WWF in 1994 managing the famed Quebecers. He would head to ECW in 1995 and become a multiple world and tag team champion, being involved in a very long and dramatic feud with Tommy Dreamer. Raven would move to WCW in 1997 and have an up-and-down time there. Raven would return to ECW in 1999 in time for their debut on TNN and win the tag titles with former adversary Dreamer. Of course, ECW was sinking fast and when Raven left ECW Paul Heyman owed him $78,000. Raven approached the WWF in June 2000 about returning, however with the situation involving Raven’s drug use, and what was going on with Steven Regal at the time, Federation officials were hesitant. They decided to sign him, but give him time to clean things up before debuting. In a funny story, legend has it that upon seeing him in a wrestler meeting, Vince looked around and asked “who the fuck hired Raven.”

Fun Fact II:
The night after Summerslam, Tazz threw down with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross at the commentary table during a match with Steve Blackman. The next week, the King teamed up with Chris Jericho to defeat Tazz and Mideon in under five seconds when Lawler rolled Tazz up when he wasn’t looking. A week later, Lawler cost Tazz a match against Al Snow. After the match, Tazz grabbed the mike and said he couldn’t compete with politics and that he was a guy nobody wanted in the WWF. He said he became just another victim to the WWF and was tapping out. On Smackdown, Tazz went to Commissioner Foley and asked out of his contract saying he didn’t want to be in the WWF any more due to all the politics. Foley offered him a match with Lawler at Unforgiven, but Tazz was hesitant and said the same crap would happen again. Foley promised it wouldn’t and Tazz accepted the offer. Later that night, Tazz popped up in the front row of the crowd and started harassing the King and Michael Cole. That Monday, Tazz showed up on Raw in a torn tuxedo and took on the role of announcer. During the matches, he hung around ringside and harassed Lawler, as the two jabbed with various one liners throughout the show. That week on Smackdown, the King and Chris Jericho picked up a win on Tazz and X-Pac, but this time the win was by DQ after Tazz jumped Lawler with a strap, playing into their newly announced PPV strap match.

You’d figure the feud would end after Lawler’s win at Summerslam, but alas there’s a rematch. The reason for the rematch was simple: A new debut. After being ECW’s biggest heel, floundering with the Flock in WCW, and returning to ECW, Raven makes his WWF debut. Now he returns to help his ECW brethren to get the return win. Not much otherwise, just a chance for Raven to make his debut. Grade: 1

The bizarre feud between Tazz and the King carries another month. Fed up with the cheap loss he took last month, Tazz was frustrated enough to quit the WWF. Commissioner Foley talked him into staying and promised that there would no interference. Well, Tazz took the opportunity to pull a power play of his own. In his former stomping grounds, Tazz shocks the WWF and has his old buddy Raven hop in the ring and plant the King with a stiff DDT to give Tazz the win. The crowd loved every last second of it and gave Raven a massive pop when he leapt into the ring. Also intriguing was how they had Tazz basically no sell a pair of piledrivers before finally being put down with a third. After being outsmarted and seemingly jobbed throughout this feud, Tazz gets the last laugh and seemed poised to take a step forward alongside his new running buddy. The match was as basic as it goes, but the pop for Raven and heat for Tazz was off the charts. Grade: 1.5

*** Michael Cole takes over for Jerry Lawler doing commentary. ***

*** Stone Cold Steve Austin arrives to punk out Kevin Kelly. This is Austin’s first on-camera appearance since Backlash. Now he’s back for good, looking to take out whoever hit him with the car last November in Detroit. ***

3) Steve Blackman wins a Hardcore Invitational to retain the WWF Hardcore Title
Crash Holly, Sho Funaki, Perry Saturn, Al Snow, and Test

Crash pinned Steve Blackman at 3:54
Saturn pinned Crash at 4:06
Steve Blackman pinned Saturn at 9:01

One good thing about the Hardcore division in 2000 was you really didn’t have to make much of it to enjoy it. Crash Holly was the Hardcore stud in the first half of the year. Now Steve Blackman has taken the ball and run with it. This is similar to the Wrestlemania battle royal, but with less people and not as exciting. By now the fun and frivolity of the hardcore division was slowly slipping from its peak. Once a fresh influx of talent comes in throughout the coming months, things pick up again. Right now, we’re seeing the same five-six guys smacking the crap out of each other with the same weapons. Raven arriving will throw some creativity into the mix. Not bad, but Wrestlemania was better. Grade: 2

: Another month and another hardcore schmozz to squeeze some guys onto the card. Steve Blackman was dominating the division and working in some creative little spots utilizing various weapons. The hook here was that everyone in the match was a former Hardcore champion. A moment worth mentioning was the entrance of Al Snow. Ripping of D-Lo Brown’s “son of Europe” gimmick, Snow paid homage to a different European country with each appearance. Here, he was from Italy and even carried a framed picture of Tony Danza with him to the ring. After a couple of changes in the match, Blackman takes the belt back with less than a minute to go and then wards off the challengers for the remaining time before escaping with his title. He was also safe for at least a day, as Commissioner Foley waived the 24-hour rule from the end of this match through the next night’s Raw. Grade: 2

*** Stone Cold continues to roam the arena and finds Kurt Angle. In the first of many memorable on-air moments between the two over the next year-plus, Angle introduces himself and offers him a gold medal of his own. Austin beats him to the ground. ***

4) Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) defeats X-Pac (Sean Waltman) when X-Pac taps out to the Liontamer at 9:04

Fun Fact: On the 9/11 Raw, X-Pac interfered in Chris Jericho’s match with Triple H and drilled him with a spinning heel kick and X-Factor. A week later, X-Pac jumped Jericho again and this time laid into him with a pair of numchuka.

After a grueling five-month war with such warriors as Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and Triple H, Jericho drops down a notch to face X-Pac. X-Pac warred with his DX partner Road Dogg for the past couple of months. At this point, DX is pretty much dead. He’s still wearing the tights, but it’s effectively dead. So, guess what? It is time for him to become “jobber to the stars”. These two met exactly one year ago, and had a blistering match. Here, they become reacquainted, and Jericho has him tap clean. Wow, X-Pac actually tapped out. They have a rematch next month in a cage. Jericho enters a “going through the motions” phase through the end of the year. Grade: 3

Well, to correct Scott a bit, you would think X-Pac would become a jobber to the stars, but he actually still continues to be pushed a bit and picks up more wins than losses over the next year or so. Jericho is still mightily over but with the World title on a face and most of his nemeses stepping up into bigger roles, Chris would start to flounder. He was somewhat involved in the Lawler/Tazz feud, but only in an ancillary role. So, in this WWF atmosphere, if you weren’t involved in a major feud and you were a great wrestler, you were paired up with a wrestler that could also go in the ring and were given PPV time to go out and deliver a great match. And deliver they did, as for the second year in a row, these two men mesh wonderfully and put on a really fun match. Jericho picks up the clean win, but the feud doesn’t end here. Grade: 3

*** Kurt Angle comes out and complains to Commissioner Foley about Steve Austin attacking him. Foley responds by making Kurt’s match with Triple H a no-DQ match. ***

*** Speaking of Austin, he comes face to face with Rock, and they shake hands. Austin says it was Rock’s rent-a-car that hit him in Detroit last October. Rock says anyone could have come in and taken his keys. Then Just Joe came in to tell Austin that he heard some things in the dressing room. Austin thanks Joe by beating the crap out of him. ***

5) The Hardy Boys defeat Edge & Christian in a steel cage match to win WWF Tag Team Titles when Jeff Hardy escapes the cage at 13:31

Fun Fact: The apex of this feud occurred on the 9/21 Smackdown, when E&C were mocking the Hardys by using their old clips as adolescents with fake belts. The Hardys went to look for them and E&C blindsided them with some stiff chair shots, taking out Lita in the process.

The long awaited two-on-two match between the top two teams on the roster. No slight against the Dudleys, but after losing the straps at Wrestlemania they’ve been shunted down the card a little. The Hardys have been chasing E & C all summer, and after a hellacious TLC match at Summerslam we have this battle in a cage. After getting screwed with continuous cheating and shortcuts, the risk-takers from North Carolina win the straps for the first time in over a year. The match was good, but doesn’t reach the level of either of the three-team masterpieces from Wrestlemania or Summerslam. The stipulations were both men had to leave the cage, and once a participant is out, he can’t go back in. This led to some very confusing moments. However, a con-chair-to to Edge’s head finishes them off, and we have new champions. Great match, a little short of the TLC, but great nonetheless. Grade: 4

The tag team wars rage on for another month as the Hardys look to knock off the kings of the tag division. Outside of a two week stretch in June, Edge & Christian have had a stranglehold on the tag titles since Wrestlemania. Here, the Hardys get them in a cage and, just eleven months removed from their breakout match together at No Mercy, finally take the straps from their arch-nemeses. It was an interesting match, as Jeff escaped the cage within the first few minutes and the majority of the match was a big heat spot on Matt as E&C worked him over big time in the cage. Christian escaped next and eventually a ladder is pulled out. Christian attempts to climb it to help his brother, but Lita makes her return and takes Christian out with a huracarrana off the ladder. Matt and Jeff then polish Edge off with a dose of his own medicine by giving him a con-chair-to on top of the cage, sending him crashing back to the mat. The Hardys finally reigned supreme and are standing tall in the tag division, but there will be some interesting and confusing twists and turns over the next month. Grade: 4

*** There’s a promo for the first Raw is War to be on TNN the next night. It would be there until the show would return to USA in October 2005. ***

*** Stephanie is alone in the dressing room when Austin comes in looking for Triple H. Stephanie says he’s with Foley, but she does have the hat he wore when he was run down. ***

*** Triple H is indeed with Commissioner Foley, and he says regardless of how they feel about each other, Hunter hopes Foley will call it down the middle. Foley says he will. ***

*** Jerry Lawler returns to the broadcast table. ***

6) Eddie Guerrero defeats Rikishi (Solofa Fatu) to retain WWF Intercontinental Title by disqualification at 6:03

Fun Fact: The storyline between Eddie and “Mamacita” took a turn when Chyna was going to be in Playboy. Eddie was jealous and there would be clips of him attempting to storm Hugh Hefner’s mansion to stop the issue from taking place. Rikishi even handed one of the clips to Chyna on an episode of Smackdown. Chyna was fed up with Eddie’s nonsense and was ready to cut him loose until he asked her to marry him on the 9/21 Smackdown and she accepted.

This was a bizarre clusterfuck from the beginning. Eddie and Chyna are still tweeners, and Rikishi is the face. The match was unspectacular, and the ending was lame. Chyna stops the count, Rikishi superkicks her, and the ref disqualifies him? Huh? Eddie was on a roll, but this match was a big time roadblock. Once again we hit the skids when we hit September. It’s upsetting because both men were really on a roll and over with the fans with Rikishi as the face and Eddie as the conniving heel, but this match was booked opposite their strengths. It’s uncanny how every September the booking gets lame and the matches get sloppy. This is a pass. Grade: 2

A pretty weak match here that was on the card to get Rikishi out there and to push the ongoing tension with Eddie and Chyna. Chyna was ready to finally split away from Eddie before the proposal, but things still aren’t right here. After Chyna gets kicked by Rikishi, Eddie bails from the ring to grab his gold and Rikishi is able to land the Banzai drop on his Mamacita. The match never really got on track and these two couldn’t really make their styles work. It was reasonably short, but that is really the only good thing you can say about it, unfortunately. After being red hot for the entire year, Rikishi’s pops are finally waning and a major change would be in store over the next few weeks. Same goes for Eddie and Chyna as their relationship finally hits the skids and blows up in a big way. Grade: 1.5

*** Coach interviews the Undertaker, who says the other three men in the four-way tonight are in his yard, and he’s still the big dog. ***

*** Kurt Angle is lamenting about his night, until Trish Stratus comes in and says if he needs a friend she’s there for him. Kurt says thanks and leaves for his match. ***

7) Triple H (Paul Levesque) defeats Kurt Angle in a No Disqualification match with the Pedigree after a Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley low blow at 17:24

Fun Fact: The night after they both lost to the Rock at Summerslam, the war between Kurt Angle and Triple H raged on. They had an in ring confrontation where Hunter played up the concussion he gave Kurt the night before while Angle accused Triple H of striking his wife as Hunter had accidentally struck Steph at Summerslam. Stephanie was not in the house that night and Kurt surmised maybe it was because she was now afraid of her husband. Hunter didn’t take the jab kindly and a brawl broke out. Later in the show, feeling bad for her former running buddy, Chyna went to comfort Triple H. After a quick pep talk, they embraced in an innocent hug. On that week’s Smackdown, Angle and Steph had a confrontation in the ring and Kurt played two tapes: one of Hunter decking his wife and the one of her husband hugging Chyna. Later on, backstage, Steph stopped Hunter from attacking Kurt and slapped him in the face, questioning the hug with Chyna. Hunter tries to defend himself, but Steph was still leery and Triple H stormed off to cool down. Later in the show, Hunter and Steph tried to talk things out, but nothing was resolved (courtesy the tremendous CRZ): Back in the dressing room, Triple H is back and he wants to explain. Stephanie’s right; he should have told her. The hug was nothing, so he didn’t think about it. Still, she was right. And he was wrong. Stephanie says it was only because of the past history of their relationship, and it hurt. “I’m sorry.” Stephanie is ready to accept this, closes her eyes and sticks out her lips, but before H kisses her – he stops. “But, you know…I could say the same thing about you and Kurt.” “?? Kurt and I are totally different.” Stephanie explains how there’s no history between her and Kurt, see? They’re just friends. “Oh, so you and Kurt are just…’friends.’ So you and – and Kurt Angle – you’re just friends, the guy that – that kissed you. The guy that, every week, is constantly involved in our marriage, somehow trying to screw our marriage up, the guy that’s constantly needling me, the guy that is constantly in my face, the guy that is constantly doing something, hugging you, kissing you…” H starts to break some furniture, almost wiping out the camera. Damn, he should lay off the Metacuts! Hunter and Steph made up later in the show, but as they were apologizing, a pair of cops come and take Hunter away after somebody filed a complaint about spousal abuse. The next Raw kicked of with a marathon promo session that saw Triple H blame Mick Foley for calling the cops. Foley explained that it wasn’t him, but the argument continued on…until Test and Trish Stratus showed up on the scene. Test came clean and admitted to calling the cops last week, telling Triple H that it was his payback from last year’s wedding. He watched Hunter steal his woman and watched his career skyrocket to the top ever since. Foley decided they would settle things in the ring that night and Triple H picked up the easy win. The verbal and physical battles would continue on over the next few weeks with Commissioner Foley stirring the pot along the way. In the midst of the battling, a match was set for Unforgiven with Foley as the special ref. The final Smackdown before the PPV, Triple H came out firing and accused Kurt of being gay with a video montage of questionable moments, including him weeping at the 1996 Olympics. After four weeks of dominating the TV screens, Angle and Helmsley were finally set to throw down and battle over the woman that was the object of their desires.

We continue the “eight-ball” booking of this show with the big blow-off to the summer’s biggest feud. Angle was trying to worm his way into the first couple’s marriage. Stephanie was clearly smitten with the Olympic hero, and as we saw at KOTR, wasn’t afraid to help him out. Triple H was getting a little annoyed with this. Believe it or not, the fans were slowly siding with Triple H on this. He was getting proxy face pops as this feud reached its boiling point. Foley, who had been named Commissioner after KOTR, was the special ref for this one, but the heat between Triple H and Foley from earlier in the year wasn’t there anymore. The pace of the match was a little sluggish, but the brawling was nice and the spot where Angle reverses a Pedigree attempt into a suplex on the Spanish table. The booking was a little odd. Everyone expected Stephanie to turn on her hubby, and join Angle. That would have made Hunter a hot face. Instead, Stephanie reluctantly nut shots Kurt, and Triple H hits the Big P for the win. He then gives her a forced kiss that cuts and swells her lip. Instead of Hunter looking like the sympathetic face, Stephanie and Kurt do. Was that really the point? I’m grading the match relatively high because I enjoyed it, but the booking was strange. These two will meet again in a few months, with more at stake. Grade: 3.5

Well, this match certainly wasn’t lacking in the storyline or buildup department. This angle had been slowly brewing since December, when Steph first started hinting at a schoolgirl-like interest in Kurt. Hunter sort of laughed it off at the time, but as the summer arrived, he was starting to get slightly annoyed at Angle’s role in his wife’s life. Things finally exploded before Summerslam, when Kurt stepped in and planted one on Steph. They battled over the month leading up to this show, and conventional booking said that Steph should finally turn on Hunter and join up with Kurt to make him a top flight heel and turn Hunter into a sympathetic face, which the fans seemed to be clamoring for. One problem arose, however, and that was that Hunter had no interest in turning face and wanted to remain a top heel. Perhaps with Austin coming back and Rock at the top of the mountain, he saw that he would be positioned as the third highest face on the card, sort of like Bret Hart in late 1997, so he balked. Well, with that wrench in the plans, the obvious ending quickly became impossible. Instead, Steph reluctantly turns on Kurt to keep on her husband’s good side and give him the win. The match itself was pretty good and had a lot of stiff action and a red hot crowd. Mick Foley plays it down the middle as promised and counts the three for the Game. The loss doesn’t derail Angle too much, as he steps up to an even bigger role next month. A win, however, could have made him even that much bigger of a heel. Grade: 3.5

*** Shane McMahon comes out to announce Steve Blackman is the mystery driver that hit Stone Cold. This continues the Shane/Blackman storyline. It was nice how Shane uses former WWF employee Ken Shamrock as an example in the clip, taken from Blackman and Shamrock’s 1999 feud when Blackman backed over Shamrock with his car on an episode of Raw. Austin fakes Shane out by believing him and stunning Blackman. They have some beers, and Austin stuns Shane three times. Stone Cold came out with suped-up entrance music, done by the band Disturbed. The mystery driver is still a mystery. ***

*** Michael Cole interviews the Rock, who throws some sharp barbs at his opponents in the four-way tonight. ***

8) The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) defeats Chris Benoit, Kane (Glen Jacobs) and Undertaker (Mark Callaway) in a Fatal Four-Way match to retain WWF World Title when Rock pins Benoit with a Rock Bottom at 16:03

Scott: The main event is another multi-person title match. This makes the fourth multi-person title match this year. I know there are so many main eventers, but it’s evident who belongs and who doesn’t. Taker has been an absolute mess since coming back, in and out of the ring. Kane doesn’t even deserve a title shot at this point. I would have gladly accepted a Rock/Benoit rematch with some sort of twist. A couple of other things about this match annoy me. First, Taker and Kane slow the match down. They’re not in great shape right now, so they’re not bringing anything to the table. Second is the “Dusty Finish”. It appeared Benoit had the title won after knocking Taker out with a chair. Mick Foley comes out, and just like at Fully Loaded, he continues the match. Why did we have to see that again? Why didn’t it lead to a Foley/Benoit feud? It was probably because the matches would have been awful. Rock retaining the title was fine, and Benoit carried a pretty good match. Of course Benoit had to eat the pin because god forbid Taker or Kane do anything for anybody during this stretch. Both of them did repent and change their ways as time has progressed. However this stretch of time from when Taker came back from his time off until early 2002 he was selfish and out of shape. Kane was on fire until the Deadman came back, and Taker dragged Kane down right along with him. Obviously if Big Show had put the fork down and stopped going to the all-night buffets, Kane would have stayed away from Taker and maybe he and Rock could have had an interesting feud together. The booking of the Brothers just killed what could have been a great Benoit/Rock rematch. Oh well. Grade: 2.5

Scott pretty much summed it all up here as Rock and Benoit carry their end of the bargain, but the Brothers of Destruction slow things way down. There wasn’t much of a story here, as Rock was trying to ward off a myriad of challengers. It was nice seeing Benoit mixing it up with the big dogs, but he once again eats the pin, keeping Taker and Kane strong going forward. Luckily, Benoit had been on such a roll, a loss to the dominant World champion doesn’t really affect him much. Rock has had a great run here and picks up another solid PPV defense. The false finish is a bit much, but it keeps emphasizing the fact that Foley is going to be an active commissioner. The crowd continues to be smoking hot throughout this match, only temporarily quieting down when Benoit had seemingly stolen the belt. I was hoping the match would have been a bit smoother and better all around, but Benoit and Rock could only do so much out there and Taker and Kane just weren’t really giving too much, as would be their wont over the next year. It was still a fun match, thanks to the crowd heat, but I just feel it had the potential to be something greater. Grade: 3

Final Analysis:

Scott: We have now officially reached the “fall doldrums”. The WWF is excited as they leave the USA Network for TNN (eventually changed to Spike), but the product is a little tired. 2000 was blazing along, but we now go back a gear with this show. It’s not bad like KOTR, but the bizarre booking and lack of anything from Undertaker is killing the hot mood of these shows. Stone Cold is back, and now the main event scene is really crowded. Benoit and Jericho return to the mid-card. Kurt Angle shakes off this defeat in preparation for the biggest match of his life to this point. Triple H is still a heel and will stay so for a while. Taker is a useless, ruining all of 2000’s good karma. Final Grade: C

Well, we get only our second weak show in the first nine of the year, which is still pretty impressive. This PPV really wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t as good as the others have been this year. In any other year, this show may have stood out as pretty good, but 2000 is loaded with great shows, so this doesn’t even crack the top seven. We still had three damn good matches in Jericho/X-Pac, the cage match and Angle/Triple H and a red hot crowd. Raven’s debut was a great moment that got a fantastic pop from the Philly fanatics. Austin’s return went over well too, and you could tell he was a bit out of it and trying to fit back into a product that had changed quite a bit in his absence. The main event was solid as well, but I think this show can be summed up by saying it was just filled with some missed potential. A Steph turn in the Angle/Hunter match and a tighter main event may have pushed this show up a notch, but as is it just comes across as a show put on by a promotion in a holding pattern that is afraid to pull the trigger and screw things up. The Hunter/Angle storyline would become a microcosm of what would eventually swing the WWF’s hot streak and that is a fear of changing the status quo. From here on out, it would be hard for other wrestlers to push their way up a level and the bookers would shy away from mixing things up too heavily. Luckily, the horses are still there to dominate, but without change even the hottest product will eventually become stale. We will track that theory over the next year or so. For now, we get a decent PPV with some good in ring action and some missed opportunities. Final Grade: C+

MVP: Hardy Boys
Runner Up: Chris Benoit & Rock
Non MVP: Undertaker & Kane
Runner Up: The booking of the Triple H & Kurt Angle match

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