Written by Adam King
Thursday, February 3rd, 2000
Taped (2/1) from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho (1/23/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (11/08/1999)
WWF European Champion: Val Venis (12/12/1999)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Test (1/17/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Harvey Whippleman (1/31/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with a recap of the Radicals’ surprise debut on Raw. After the intro Michael Cole welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
~ Things kick off with Cactus Jack leading Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn to the ring. Cactus gets on the mic and talks about bringing the four Radicals with him not as WWF members but as his guests before saying they’re going to change that tonight. Cactus brings up how the Radicals had Triple H on his back on Raw yet left ring because they aren’t out for his blood (at least not yet) but WWF contracts. Cactus talks on the mindset of Atlanta where you shut your mouth, check your pride and collect the big paychecks and that his four pals want more than that, they want to take on the best which can only be found in the WWF. Cactus brings up their desire to perform for the WWF fans and how they felt they weren’t old enough for WCW then mentions how they came to Raw as his guests and had the guts to go right after the very best. Cactus asks Triple H to come out for a contract signing, threatening to have a sit-down protest if he doesn’t. Cactus and the others start to gather chairs when Triple H and the rest of DX come out to the stage. Triple H grabs the mic and says if he wanted to, he could go down to the ring and beat all of them up by himself or he could summon security to throw the Radicals out because they’re trespassing in the WWF. However Triple H addresses what Cactus says about DX being afraid of competition, saying DX thrives on competition and that competition is what DX is all about. Stephanie McMahon takes the mic and tells the Radicals they may have been hot shots where they came from but in the WWF they have to earn their stripes. Stephanie says she and Triple H feel their skills are average and aren’t worthy to compete in the WWF. However Triple H decides to give the Radicals their chance to rise to the top by granting them a one-day permit to compete in a series of tryout matches tonight. Triple H tells Dean Malenko he will be in the first match against X-Pac, who he calls the fastest man alive. Triple H then books Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero in a non-title match against the New Age Outlaws. Triple H then addresses Chris Benoit, bringing up how he was once a standard bearer holding up a shiny belt. Triple H announces Benoit will step into the ring against the WWF Champion himself but only if it comes to it, telling the Radicals if they can take two of the three matches, all four will get their WWF contracts. However Triple H feels he will never face Benoit because his DX comrades will tear his friends apart. Cactus says all his buddies want is an opportunity but knows how DX likes to work together as a family so he will be watching backstage with a barbed-wire 2×4 to make sure things are on the up-and-up. Cactus begs DX for a reason to come out with his weapon before capping off with “Bang-Bang!”
~ After they finish Cole and Lawler buzz about the matches before mentioning more of tonight’s card. The Rock, Kurt Angle and Tazz will compete in a triple-threat match plus The Big Show takes on Rikishi Phatu.
~ Backstage we find most of the WWF women complaining to Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe about Harvey Whippleman winning the Women’s title on Raw. Patterson decides to give one of the ladies a title shot tonight and Briscoe has them draw straws to decide the challenger. Jacqueline ends up drawing the short straw and a scuffle quickly breaks out between the women with Jackie knocking out Luna with a chair while Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah attack Patterson. A number of officials try to restore order as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Jacqueline drawing a straw for a Women’s title shot tonight. We then find Mae Young with Mark Henry somewhere expressing her desire to be Women’s Champion. Mae feels she can beat Harvey Whippleman but Henry reminds her of her pregnancy with their child. Henry tells Mae to not think about the title or fighting because he has lots of baby stuff to give her. Yeah, I know, and it’s not going to get any better, folks.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho © (w/Chyna) vs. Gangrel (w/Luna Vachon)
Chyna comes out to the ring first followed by Jericho who gets on the mic and does his intro while thanking Chyna for watching his back and proving to the Jerichaolics how bad she can be. Gangrel then comes out with Luna who’s holding her head from the chair shot she took earlier. Both men exchange shots to start and Jericho gets the advantage and pounds Gangrel down in a corner. Jericho whips Gangrel into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Jericho ducks a right hand and hits some chops then whips Gangrel into a spinning heel kick. Jericho whips Gangrel into a corner and charges but Gangrel sidesteps and Jericho falls over the ropes. Luna goes over to him but Chyna stands in her way while Gangrel rolls Jericho back in the ring. Gangrel slams Jericho to the mat then hits a series of running elbow drops for a two count. Gangrel hammers Jericho and comes off the ropes but Jericho tosses him over the ropes. Gangrel climbs back in but Jericho whips him and comes off the ropes with the bulldog. Jericho goes for a whip, Gangrel reverses but Jericho connects with a flying forearm for a near fall. Jericho goes for a whip but Gangrel counters into a Russian leg sweep for a two count then goes for a whip. Jericho reverses Gangrel into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Gangrel hops to the middle rope and goes for a Sunset Flip but Jericho rolls through it and goes right into the Walls of Jericho. Luna climbs to the top rope but Chyna pulls her into the turnbuckle and Gangrel is forced to give it up. (2:41) Okay for what it was. **
~ We then get more clips from the Halftime Heat interview with Steve Austin, just in case we missed it on Raw.
~ Backstage Cactus Jack and the rest are getting Dean Malenko pumped up for his match. Cactus says X-Pac is fast but warns Malenko to watch Tori with the corner of his eye. Malenko appreciates the advice and promises not to let his mates down.
~ X-Pac and Tori are shown heading to the ring for that match as we go to commercial.
X-Pac (w/Tori) vs. Dean Malenko
I believe this is the first time these two have battled each other since their 1997 feud in WCW. Malenko comes out as Cactus and the others watch from the back…and he gets theme music? Both men feel each other out to start before locking up and X-Pac applies a headlock when Malenko shoves X-Pac into the ropes but X-Pac hits a shoulder block. Both men lockup again and Malenko trips X-Pac then floats over into a face lock but X-Pac slips out and applies a hammerlock. Malenko counters into a headlock and X-Pac shoves him into the ropes but Malenko shoulder blocks him. Malenko comes off the ropes and X-Pac leapfrogs over him but Malenko catches him with a heel kick. X-Pac goes for a whip; Malenko reverses him into a corner and charges but eats a boot. X-Pac comes out but runs right into a power slam for a two count as we see DX watching from the back. Malenko goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses him into a corner and Malenko is able to stop himself but X-Pac connects with the spin kick. X-Pac elbows Malenko in the head when Malenko comes back and goes for a whip but X-Pac reverses and drops him to the mat for a two count. X-Pac applies a chin lock and Malenko fights out of it then comes off the ropes, X-Pac goes for the spin kick but Malenko catches the leg and counters with a Dragon leg whip. X-Pac kicks Malenko down in a corner and goes for the Bronco Buster but Malenko sidesteps it. Malenko whips X-Pac into a corner and hits a clothesline then follows up with a vertical suplex. X-Pac goes for the X-Factor but Malenko blocks it and counters into the Texas Cloverleaf. X-Pac manages to grab the bottom rope when Tori hops on the apron and distracts the referee while X-Pac sneaks in a low blow then hits the X-Factor and grabs the pin. (4:07) Pretty good for a four-minute TV bout, but again I don’t see why X-Pac had to go over. ***
~ Backstage we find Mark Henry giving some stuff to Mae Young as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Triple H and the rest of DX are congratulating an exhausted X-Pac on his win. X-Pac claims he isn’t even tired and Triple H says he won’t need his wrestling boots tonight. The celebration gets interrupted when The Big Show suddenly bursts in wanting a word with Triple H. Show says after a week and a half he finally has video proof that he rightfully won the Royal Rumble and is hoping this finally gets his match with The Rock for the Wrestlemania title shot. Show motions over to a monitor which features the closing moments of the Rumble with Rock and Show going over the ropes, then plays the video and sure enough it shows that Rock’s feet did indeed hit the floor first. Triple H is finally satisfied and gives Show his #1 contender’s match with Rock at No Way Out.
WWF Women’s Title: Harvey Whippleman © vs. Jacqueline
After both persons are in the ring Whippleman gets on the mic declaring himself Women’s Champion and saying he feels there’s no woman on earth who can beat him. Whippleman removes his shirt when Jackie spears him and tees off on him then slams him to the mat. Jackie follows up with an elbow and a 1..2..3 later we have a new Women’s Champion after just three days. (0:17) After the bell Jackie rips off Whippleman’s pants and he takes off for the back. Well after the past two titleholders there’s nowhere for this belt to go but up, right? Right? DUD
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock on facing Big Show while rambling on about instant replay. Eventually Rock cuts him off and does his usual opening then tells Kevin not to concern himself about replay but to get a glass of “shut up” juice. Rock then congratulates Show on getting another shot at him and says Show has 7 feet and 500 pounds on him but Show doesn’t have the recognized symbol of greatness. Rock points out his bull tattoo on his and talks about it meaning he’s the Brahma Bull and the Great One and promises to lay the Smackdown on Show at No Way Out. Rock then talks about the triple threat match saying Tazz and Kurt Angle are going 2-on-1 with him and that he will make both of them famous. Rock says after everything is settled he will win the title at Wrestlemania, if you smell and so on.
~ Back from break we find Mark Henry and Mae Young still conversing about their upcoming child. Moving right along…
The Rock vs. Tazz vs. Kurt Angle
Angle comes out first and gets on the mic talking about everyone being upset at his first loss saying Detroit can relate to losing, whether it is factory jobs or the Stanley Cup playoffs. Angle promises that unlike Detroit, he’s going to bounce back and be the fans’ champion once again. Tazz comes out next and goes right to work on Angle, not even waiting for The Rock to come out. Angle gets the advantage and chokes Tazz with his boot when Rock finally makes his way to the ring. Rock hammers away at Angle and hits a short-arm clothesline then clotheslines Tazz. Rock grabs Tazz’s legs and punches him below the belt then turns his attention back to Angle and goes for a whip but Angle counters into a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle stomps Rock down when Tazz shoves Angle aside to get in his own shots on Rock and the two double-team him. Angle tries to double-cross Tazz but Tazz ducks a clothesline and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Rock comes out of the corner with a clothesline on Tazz then throws Angle over the ropes, Rock goes out and rams Angle into the barricade but Tazz goes out and tees off on Rock then rams Rock into the apron. Tazz also rams Rock into the steps when Angle comes up and nails Tazz from behind then throws him over the barricade into the crowd. The two fight among the fans when Rock joins the fray and knocks Tazz and Angle’s heads together before tossing both of them back over the barricade to ringside. Rock rolls Tazz in the ring and goes for a whip but Tazz reverses him right into Angle on the apron. Rock stumbles into a Northern Lights Tazplex for a two count and Tazz goes for a whip and Rock counters into a Rock Bottom attempt but Angle breaks it up. Angle clotheslines Rock then goes for a clothesline on Tazz but Tazz ducks it and slaps on the Tazzmission. Rock breaks that up but Tazz comes back with a clothesline and all three men are down. Tazz crawls over and covers Rock but Angle breaks it up and beats on Rock in a corner. Tazz helps Angle but Angle won’t have it again and pounds on Tazz in the other corner. Angle turns back to Rock but Rock throws him into the corner and hits the Smackdown. Rock DDT’s Tazz and plants Angle with a Spine buster then hits the Rock Bottom on Tazz as well as Angle. Rock covers Angle but The Big Show pulls Rock out of the ring and rams him into the steps while Angle drapes an arm over Tazz and steals the pin. (5:04) Fun little match. Show continues working over Rock and head butts him then choke slams him onto the floor. **½
~ Back from break we get a replay of Big Show interfering in Rock’s match and choke slamming him on the floor.
~ Backstage Eddie Guerrero is getting Perry Saturn psyched up for their tag match which is next.
The New Age Outlaws © vs. Eddie Guerrero & Perry Saturn – Non-Title Match
Eddie and Saturn need to win this match or else their shot for a contract is done, so logically they should go over to set the Triple H/Chris Benoit match up as the tiebreaker, right? Anyway The Outlaws come out to the ring first with Road Dogg doing his non-heel spiel on the mic. Eddie and Billy Gunn lockup to start and Billy forces Eddie into a corner and hammers away at him then whips Eddie hard into the opposite corner. Eddie ducks a clothesline and applies a waistlock then tries to shove Billy into the corner and Billy blocks it but Eddie gets in his own shots. Eddie pops Billy with an uppercut as we get a shot of the rest of DX watching in the back. Eddie whips Billy into the corner and charges but Billy tosses him over his head onto the ropes. Billy drops Eddie with a right hand and Saturn comes in but Billy slams him to the mat. Road Dogg tags in and pounds Eddie down in a corner then taunts Saturn with the DX chop. Road Dogg whips Eddie into the opposite corner but Eddie lifts himself over Road Dogg and Saturn follows up with a clothesline from the apron. Eddie lays the boots to Road Dogg then tags Saturn in and Saturn hits a Northern Lights suplex then applies an arm bar but Road Dogg grabs the rope. Saturn sets Road Dogg on the top rope and goes up for a superplex, Road Dogg fights him off and leaps off with a cross body but Saturn rolls through it right into the Rings of Saturn. Billy makes the save and Road Dogg tags him in while Saturn makes the tag to Eddie. Eddie goes for a dropkick but Billy swats him away and hammers both men with right hands. Billy whips Saturn into an elbow that knocks him through the ropes to the floor. Billy hits the Jackhammer on Eddie followed by the Rocker Dropper but Saturn makes the save. Saturn hits a back suplex on Billy and Eddie climbs to the top and connects with the Frog splash. Eddie covers Billy but Road Dogg pulls the referee out of the ring before he can count the three. Saturn clotheslines Billy and himself over the ropes as Eddie is noticeably holding his elbow, having dislocated it from the Frog splash attempt. Road Dogg then suddenly covers Eddie and it’s over just like that. (4:28) Pretty solid tag match but this means the Radicals’ chance to get WWF contracts is over after two straight losses. Plus Eddie’s dislocated elbow would put him on the shelf for weeks after just one match in the WWF. **½
~ Cole then announces a press conference was held earlier today to announce the formation of the WWF’s new pro football league, the XFL. I think we all remember how that worked out.
~ Back from break we get a replay of the Outlaws’ victory and Eddie Guerrero’s injury. Backstage the DX’ers celebrates clinching their series over the Radicals with two straight wins. Triple H says he feeling sporting enough that he’s going to give Chris Benoit his match anyway, just to show that none of the Radicals can cut the mustard in the WWF.
~ Elsewhere backstage Al Snow and Steve Blackman are apparently bickering about something. Blackman refuses to do something he promised but Snow reminds him about the bet he made Monday that they wouldn’t get beat by the Outlaws. Snow demands Blackman pay up and Blackman remains adamant until Snow claims he has no honor and that his word means nothing. Blackman finally caves in and reluctantly steps out of the frame as Snow starts to get excited. Blackman then comes back into the shot…wearing a giant cheese wedge on his head. Seriously. Snow refers to Blackman as the “Lethal Cheddar” and walks off as Blackman tries to suppress his rage. Words can’t do justice to just how funny it is seeing Blackman wearing a cheese hat. I wish I had a screen grab to display here.
Crash & Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow (w/Head) & Steve Blackman
Blackman emerges last still wearing the cheese head which he throws down on the ramp. Blackman argues with Snow when Crash attacks Snow from behind to start the match. Snow gets the advantage and lays the boots to Crash then suplexes him onto the ropes. Snow draws Hardcore in to distract the referee while Blackman rams Hardcore into the ring steps and throws Crash back in the ring. Snow covers Crash but Hardcore breaks it up. Snow whips Crash and hits a body block then tags Blackman in and they double-team Crash. Blackman hits a backbreaker but gets irritated when the crowd chants “Head Cheese”. Snow encourages the chants before he tags in and helps Blackman make a wish on Crash. Snow whips Crash into a corner but Crash lifts himself up and gets the head scissors driving Snow into the turnbuckles. Hardcore gets the tag and takes it to both men then whips Blackman into a dropkick and power bombs Snow but Blackman breaks up the pin. Hardcore climbs to the top rope but Snow cuts him off then goes up and hits a superplex. Crash breaks up that pin when Blackman comes in and throws him through the ropes. Snow goes for a whip, Hardcore reverses but Snow floats over him and goes for the Snowplow. Crash suddenly comes off the top rope and hits a splash onto Hardcore’s back but Snow manages to roll through it and gets the three. (3:08) Nothing really offensive here. Hardcore goes out and argues with Crash before he proceeds to beat him down again. **
~ Rikishi is shown in the back doing squats to get ready for his match as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Mark Henry and Mae Young are still having their conversation which goes into nourishment so I won’t get into it.
The Big Show vs. Rikishi Phatu
Rikishi comes out with Too Cool but as usual sends them to the back to fly solo. Rikishi attacks Show as he comes in but Show head butts him to get the advantage. Show goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses and manages to hit a Samoan Drop followed by an arm drag. Rikishi whips Show into a corner and hits the running butt splash then hits a belly-to-belly suplex and follows up with a leg drop for a two count. Rikishi goes for a super kick but Show swats it away and counters with a choke slam. However that hurts Show’s back as he covers Rikishi but only gets two. Show is shocked the choke slam didn’t do it so he goes out to the floor and grabs a chair. Show brings the chair into the ring but Rikishi kicks it into Show’s face. Show bounces off the ropes and whacks Rikishi with the chair and that gets himself DQ’ed. (1:58) Too Cool runs out but Show fights them off and plant both of them with choke slams. The Rock then comes runs in the ring and tees off on Show, capping off with the Smackdown. Rock then grabs the chair and whacks Show with it then hits the Rock Bottom and continues to assault Show as a number of referees try to break it up. *½
~ Back from break we get a replay of Show and Rock both making use of the chair.
~ Backstage we find DX getting Triple H pumped up for his match with Chris Benoit.
~ Out in the arena Cole and Lawler announce Eddie Guerrero has suffered a dislocated elbow. Cole then mentions the Dudleys have also been sending people to the hospital as well lately and that takes us to a special video look at the path of destruction the Dudleys have raged.
~ Backstage we once again find Mark Henry and Mae Young having a tender moment. Barf.
~ Triple H is shown walking to the ring with Stephanie for the main event as we go to commercial.
Triple H © (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Chris Benoit – Non-Title Match
Nice to see this match take place anyway even though it’s meaningless. Both men stand nose-to-nose before locking up and jockeying for position in a corner when Earl Hebner orders a break. Both men lockup again and Triple H forces Benoit into a corner and shoves him but Benoit shoves back. Benoit drops Triple H with a right hand then tries going for the Crippler Cross face already but Triple H bails out to the floor for a breather as Benoit dares him to come back in. Triple H climbs back in and pounds Benoit down in a corner but Benoit comes back and whips Triple H into an elbow. Benoit hits a snap suplex and Triple H again bails out to the floor but Benoit quickly follows up with a baseball slide. Benoit goes out after Triple H and chops him but Triple H trips Benoit into the ring steps then whips him into the steps. Triple H rolls Benoit back in the ring and stomps him down in a corner then chokes him on the mat but Benoit begins to fight back goes for a whip. Triple H reverses it and connects with the high knee for a two count as Lawler actually touches on Benoit being WCW champion and never losing the title. Benoit unloads on Triple H in a corner but Triple H counters and rams Benoit into the turnbuckles. Benoit fights out of the corner and whips Triple H into a clothesline then hits a back suplex. Benoit whips Triple H and hits a German suplex then holds on for a second German suplex followed by a third German. Benoit climbs to the top rope but Triple H throws Hebner into the ropes straddling Benoit on the turnbuckle. Triple H climbs up the ropes and hits a superplex but only gets a two count. Triple then whips Benoit into a corner and goes for the Pedigree but Benoit counters it and catapults Triple H right into Hebner. Benoit locks in the Cross face and Triple H taps but Hebner is out and doesn’t see the submission. Benoit tries to revive Hebner when Triple H lunges at him and Benoit slaps the Cross face on again but Triple H grabs the ropes. Benoit whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H hits the Face buster but Benoit comes back with a clothesline. Benoit then climbs to the top rope again and connects with the diving head butt. Benoit covers Triple H as Hebner regains consciousness to make the count … but only gets two! The crowd is certainly not happy with that and boos something fierce. Triple H low blows Benoit and follows up with the Pedigree to get the pin and complete the sweep. (9:03) Very good match for their first meeting though they would have bigger epics down the line. Triple H and Stephanie celebrate and Benoit looks on disappointed as Smackdown fades to black. ***½
Conclusion: Very good episode that showed why the additions of the Radicals were such a positive for the WWF. Most of the in-ring action was solid with some good matches including the series against DX and there was some build to No Way Out with Show finally getting his match with Rock. Of course the horrid Mark Henry/Mae Young stuff continues to be a sore spot and some might have issues with Benoit and the rest all jobbing in their in-ring debuts but they still looked pretty good and weren’t totally buried, just paying dues I guess. All in all another solid show and though the Radicals were denied their WWF contracts things would change quickly the following Monday.