written by Adam King
Thursday, March 9th, 2000
Taped (3/7) from the Fleet Center in Boston, MA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kurt Angle (2/27/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (2/27/2000)
WWF European Champion: Kurt Angle (2/10/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly (2/24/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Jacqueline (2/03/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Essa Rios (2/13/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with footage of the building Triple H/Big Show tension on Raw. After the intro Michael Cole welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
~ Things kick off with the Helmsleys making their way out to the stage to start our opening gabfest. Stephanie grabs the mic but before she can say anything Shane McMahon and The Big Show come out as well. Shane gets on the mic and says he knows the fans want him to get some payback for Stephanie slapping him on Raw by slapping her across the face in exchange but tells them that’s not going to happen. Triple H takes the mic saying the fans want him and Show to tear each other apart as the two stand nose-to-nose but claims that’s going to wait until Wrestlemania. Show takes the mic as the fans chant “Rocky” and mentions facing Kane on Monday before saying Kane will face Road Dogg and X-Pac in a handicap match tonight. Shane takes the mic and makes another handicap match for tonight, this one pitting Rikishi against Triple H and The Big Show. Triple H takes the mic and announces his idea for a handicap match with The Rock taking on Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn. Stephanie then finishes by saying after The Radicalz destroy The Rock she’s going to have a personal surprise for him which she calls a figurative slap in the face from her. The four of them shake hands solidifying their truce, at least for now.
~ We then get footage of the Mean Street Posse’s latest attempt to pin Crash Holly for the Hardcore Title. This time we find the three of them about to ambush Crash at a nearby Laundromat earlier today with referee Teddy Long in tow. As they enter Rodney asks his pals to let him beat Crash one-on-one and Pete Gas and Joey Abs agree to stay back. Rodney soon spots Crash at the end of a corridor but Crash throws Tide at him and breaks a broom over his back. Pete then whacks Crash with a trash can then covers him but Joey breaks it up and goes for his own cover on Crash. The Posse then starts fighting among themselves once again while unsuccessfully trying to cover Crash during the melee. As the Posse continue to battle Crash is able to grab his belt and once again flee the scene with his championship intact. The Posse soon discover Crash has eluded them once again and argue about it, with Pete pouring Cheer on Rodney.
~ We then see The Rock heading somewhere backstage as we go to commercial. Is he in the opening match?
~ The Rock makes his way out to the ring and it looks like he really is jerking the curtain tonight. Rock first gets on the mic and does the usual intro and says Shane and Stephanie think they have all the answers but have absolutely nothing. Rock says the McMahon siblings won’t intimidate him by placing him in a handicap match and that no matter how many obstacles are thrown at him by the McMahons he will just keep on coming back. Rock mentions beating Chris Benoit in the cage match then makes fun of Perry Saturn by saying he has crossed eyes then promises to beat Benoit once again and knock Saturn’s eyes straight, “If ya smell…” you know how it goes. Benoit and Saturn then make their way out as we see the Helmsleys, Shane and Big Show watching from the back.
The Rock vs. Chris Benoit & Perry Saturn – Handicap Match
Benoit and Saturn double-team Rock in a corner to start then whip him into the opposite corner. Benoit goes to whip Saturn into Rock but Rock comes back and clotheslines both Radicals in succession. Rock tosses Saturn over the ropes then concentrates on Benoit with punches and whips him into an elbow. Rock then goes for another whip but Benoit reverses it and hits a knee to the chest then tags Saturn in. Rock slams Saturn to the mat and lays the boots to him but Benoit interrupts it with a sidewalk slam of his own. Saturn follows up with a clothesline and slams Rock as the McMahons and pals look on approvingly. Rock starts to fight back but Saturn trips Rock into the ropes with a drop toehold then goes for a whip. Rock counters it into a Rock Bottom attempt but Benoit comes in to break it up and hits a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German suplex then holds Rock in a full nelson as Saturn goes for a super kick. However Rock escapes the hold causing Saturn to nail Benoit and Rock plants Saturn with a spine buster. Rock drills Benoit with a DDT then hits the Rock Bottom on Saturn and just like that it’s over! (2:10) Well that was quick. However Benoit nails Rock from behind after the bell when Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko run out and the four Radicals stomp away on Rock. Malenko slams Rock to the mat then follows up with an elbow drop, Eddie adds in a leg drop and Benoit climbs to the top rope and hits the diving head butt for good measure. At least the Radicals were able to get their heat back. **
~ Backstage the coalition enjoys the carnage in the ring when Stephanie says it’s time for her to spring her surprise.
~ Back from break Stephanie makes her second appearance on the stage and gets on the mic addressing the Rock’s fans saying they must feel disappointed in Rock’s performance tonight and feel they won’t get to see him again. Stephanie says everyone will get to see Rock again tonight but instead of a slap to the face it’ll be a kick in the pants because Rock will face the Dudleys in another handicap match. Stephanie even makes it a tables match and says for Rock to win he must put both Dudleys through tables while he only has to go through once. Stephanie finishes by guaranteeing that tonight will be the night The Rock gets pulverized. Well, nobody said Stephanie was that good on the mic.
WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Essa Rios (w/Lita) © vs. Christian (w/Edge)
As E&C hit the ring Terri Runnels makes her way out to ringside and the two of them still don’t get her motives. Christian gets in the first shots and applies an arm wringer but Rios flips out of it and gets his own arm wringer. Christian whips Rios looking for a dropkick but Rios fakes him out then charges but runs into a monkey flip. Rios manages to land on his feet and kicks Christian in the face but Christian monkey flips him over the ropes then springboards over the ropes into a plancha on Rios. Christian throws Rios back into the ring and whips him into a corner and Rios lifts himself up with the ropes. However Christian sets him on his shoulders and spins Rios around into a power bomb for a two count. Christian comes off the ropes but Lita grabs his ankle and Christian glares at Lita then charges at Rios and both men end up driving each other to the mat with a face jam. Terri hops on the apron for some reason while Lita climbs to the top rope and hits a moonsault on Christian. Edge then comes into the ring and spears Lita but the referee sees this and …. calls for the bell and disqualifies Christian? (1:49) Can someone tell me how Edge gets Christian disqualified when he didn’t even touch either participant? Regardless Terri walks off doing her devil thing while Edge and Christian start arguing about the loss. Looked to be a fun match developing until it was suddenly cut off. *½
~ Backstage Kurt Angle talks to a disinterested security guy about what the Intercontinental Title means.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Kurt Angle © vs. Tazz
Angle comes out first and gets on the mic mentioning Boston sports stars that become famous after they leave such as Babe Ruth, Roger Clemens and Ray Bourque of the Bruins. Tazz then comes out and grabs the mic saying he’s going to show Angle some “heavy metal” then punks him out. Tazz pounds on Angle and whips him into a drop toehold then whips him again and connects with a clothesline. Tazz hits a T-bone Tazplex and Angle rolls out to the floor but Tazz goes out and continues working him over. Tazz whips Angle into the steps but Angle runs up them and leaps off them connecting with a flying elbow. Both men exchange shots before Angle throws Tazz back in the ring and follows up with a snap suplex. Angle takes a moment to cheer then goes for the Olympic Slam but Tazz slips out and slaps on the Tazzmission. Angle tries to roll out of it and reach the ropes but Tazz keeps the hold on and pulls him back to the center. Angle looks ready to submit but just like on Monday Bob Backlund runs in and pulls Tazz off for a DQ. (2:01) Bob Backlund then puts Tazz in the cross face chicken wing when Chris Jericho runs in and goes after Angle, dumping him over the ropes. Jericho turns and stomps away on Backlund and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Angle tries to climb to the top rope but Tazz cuts him off and hits a belly-to-belly super Tazplex. A number of referees then come into the ring and try to pull Jericho off Backlund. Some nice stuff but way too short to be anything good. **
~ Backstage X-Pac complains to Road Dogg about their match saying he wants nothing more to do with Kane. Road Dogg tries to assure X-Pac that they got this match in hand and X-Pac isn’t sure as we go to commercial.
Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/Tori) – Handicap Match
Road Dogg leads his crew to the ring and once again starts off with his incoherent rhyming on the mic. X-Pac goes after Kane to start and Kane grabs him by the neck but Road Dogg nails Kane from behind. The DX’ers double-team Kane in a corner and whip him but Kane comes back by clotheslining both men. Kane tosses X-Pac over the ropes then goes out to the floor after him and drops him onto the barricade. Road Dogg leaps off the apron and Kane catches him in a choke but X-Pac comes back to make the save. The DX’ers throw Kane back in the ring and X-Pac hammers away on Kane but he just shrugs off his blows and whips X-Pac into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Kane turns and clotheslines Road Dogg and hip tosses X-Pac across the ring then climbs to the top rope but Road Dogg straddles him on the turnbuckle. Kane tumbles to the mat and X-Pac lays the boots to him then tags Road Dogg in for a double-team. Road Dogg gets in a series of right hands but Kane pops him with an uppercut and whips him into a corner. Kane charges at him but eats a boot and Road Dogg rams Kane into X-Pac’s boot before tagging him back in. X-Pac stomps Kane down in their corner and distracts the referee while Road Dogg chokes him from the apron. Kane again fights back and whips X-Pac but X-Pac nails him with the spin kick then climbs to the top rope. Kane sits up just as X-Pac leaps off the top and catches him, moving him into position for a Tombstone but X-Pac slips out of it and hits the X-Factor! However Kane pops right up and no-sells X-Pac’s shots and whips him into a corner then charges at him. X-Pac sidesteps Kane and hits his trio of kicks but Kane still doesn’t go down and throws X-Pac into the corner then pummels him. Road Dogg comes in for more double-teaming and the DX’ers try to whip Kane but can’t seem to budge him. Kane then throws Road Dogg right into the referee in a corner then throws X-Pac into Road Dogg as well. Kane press slams X-Pac right onto Road Dogg then whips X-Pac into a corner and grabs him for a choke bomb but Road Dogg breaks it up. The DX’ers go for a suplex but Kane manages to suplex both of them then hits both men with big boots. Kane climbs to the top rope and hits the clothesline on X-Pac followed by a choke slam. Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n jive punches but Kane choke slams him before the big right. On the floor Tori knocks Paul Bearer down but that prompts Kane to bring her into the ring by her hair. Kane scoops Tori up for a Tombstone but X-Pac brings a chair into the ring and whacks Kane in the back then hits an X-Factor into the chair and that is able to keep Kane down for the three. (6:54) The DX’ers then quickly flee the scene when Kane sits up and chases after them to the back. Pretty entertaining match and they kept Kane looking strong despite jobbing to X-Pac again. **½
~ Cole and Lawler now talk about the Dudleys power bombing Mae Young through a table on Raw. After showing clips of the incident they next show Kevin Kelly interviewing Mae, Mark Henry and The Fabulous Moolah earlier today. Kevin asks Mae who’s sporting a neck brace in a wheelchair how she’s feeling and Mae rightfully snaps at him. Kevin asks Henry about the emotional toll and Henry promises that somebody is going to get seriously injured. Henry then decides the interview is over and wheels Mae away from the scene as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break the Dudleys discuss their big opportunity tonight with Bubba Ray wanting to give Stephanie a kiss. Bubba tells D’Von they get a shot at The Rock tonight, especially after he’s already be weakened by the Radicals and D’Von says the best part is they get to use tables as well and they both chuckle.
~ Elsewhere backstage Steve Blackman is warming up when Al Snow appears saying he found Blackman’s biggest fan then brings in an overly excited lad wearing a giant cheese on his head. Blackman is not thrilled with this as Snow has the fan and Blackman pose for a Polaroid photo but as he turns to develop it Blackman smacks the kid. Snow turns back to see the fan reeling and Blackman claims his heart must have fluttered from seeing his hero. Snow then walks off and Blackman follows him after shoving the fan down to the floor.
Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy) vs. Steve Blackman (w/Al Snow)
Blackman pinned Matt on Raw so maybe Jeff will have better luck. As they come out to the ring Snow tries to encourage the “Head Cheese” chants behind Blackman’s back. Jeff charges at Blackman to start but Blackman sidesteps him and works him over then chokes him with his boot. Jeff fights back when Blackman rakes the face and goes for a whip, Jeff reverses it but misses a right hand. Blackman misses an enzuigiri and Jeff goes into a headlock when Blackman shoves him off into the ropes. Blackman goes for a suplex, Jeff flips out of it and goes for an O’Connor roll but Blackman holds onto the ropes. Blackman then goes for a bicycle kick but Jeff ducks it and tosses Blackman through the ropes. Jeff climbs to the top rope and connects with a plancha on Blackman then rams him into the barricade. Jeff goes for a whip, Blackman reverses it but Jeff springs off the steps and lands on his feet on the barricade. Jeff then runs across the barricade but Blackman leaps up and backdrops Jeff off the barrier to the floor! Blackman throws Jeff back in the ring and covers him for a two count then whips him and hits a gut buster. Blackman tries to dissuade the “Head Cheese” chants while stomping away on Jeff and hitting a sidewalk slam. Blackman then climbs to the second rope and goes for the Vader splash but Jeff gets his feet up to block it. Blackman goes for a whip, Jeff reverses into a corner and charges but Blackman backdrops him over the ropes. Jeff lands on his feet on the apron and pulls Blackman down then connects with a springboard moonsault but only gets two. Jeff then leaps up to the top rope and connects with another moonsault but that only gets a two count as well. Jeff goes for a whip, Blackman reverses it but lowers the head and Jeff drills him with the Twist of Fate! Jeff climbs to the top rope and goes for the Swanton Bomb but Snow pulls Blackman out of the way of it. Blackman climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying pump kick to grab the three. (4:02) Good match with some nice spots. Blackman has beaten both Hardy brothers in singles matches though I’m not sure if that really means anything. **½
~ The Rock is shown backstage pacing around but hurting from the earlier match as we go to commercial.
The Rock vs. The Dudley Boyz © – Non-Title Handicap Tables Match
Rock must put both Dudleys through a table to win while they Dudleys only need to put him through once. The Dudleys go to meet Rock on the ramp but Rock is able to fight them off and punches D’Von below the belt. Rock pounds on Bubba as they head to ringside and rams him into the timekeeper’s table then knocks the Dudleys’ heads together. Rock grabs the ring bell and whacks Bubba and then D’Von in the head then rams Bubba into the barricade. Rock grabs the chair and whacks Bubba over the barrier into the crowd then turns and clocks D’Von with the chair. Rock brawls with Bubba in the crowd, spitting water in his face when D’von goes out to turn the tide but Rock backdrops him over the barricade. Rock tosses Bubba over as well and the Dudleys decide to walk out of the match but Rock cuts off their exit with a double clothesline on the ramp. Rock suplexes Bubba on the ramp as we see the Helmsleys and friends wearily watching from the back. Rock throws D’Von in the ring and tees off on him then goes for the Smackdown but Bubba interrupts it with a suplex. Bubba sets Rock up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the head butt to the groin. The Helmsleys look on approvingly as D’Von holds Rock by the legs while Bubba hits a series of elbow drops. D’Von whips Rock and Rock comes back with a clothesline on Bubba but D’Von clotheslines him in response. The Dudleys whip Rock but both lower the heads and Rock kicks Bubba’s face then rams D’Von into the mat and hits Bubba with a Samoan Drop. Rock plants D’Von with a spine buster and goes for the People’s Elbow but Bubba cuts him off with a spear. Bubba goes out and slides a table in the ring which D’Von sets up. D’Von sets Rock up for a 3D through the table but Rock is able to counter it with a DDT then drives Bubba through a table with the Rock Bottom. However that’s only part one as Rock still has to put D’Von through a table to win. Rock slides another table in the ring and sets it up then goes out after D’Von but gets rammed into the steps. D’Von throws Rock back into the ring then goes for a whip but Rock counters and sets up for a Rock Bottom. However Bubba comes in with a chair and whacks Rock in the back and the Dudleys hit a 3D through a table for the win! (7:14) For once the Rock doesn’t overcome the odds. The Helmsleys and the others cheer backstage while Bubba has that satisfied stare once again. The Dudleys leave Rock laying the table wreckage as the EMTs come out to tend to him. Fun match and Rock put the Dudleys over somewhat cleanly. **½
~ Back from break we get a replay of the Dudleys’ win over The Rock in the table match. We then get footage of Rock refusing the EMTs’ help during the break.
WWF Women’s Title: Jacqueline © vs. Ivory
Both ladies stand nose-to-nose when Ivory gets in the first shot but Jackie chases her out to the floor. Jackie chases Ivory back in the ring and shoulder blocks her through the ropes then goes for a Sunset Flip when Ivory sits down on Jackie’s shoulders for a two count. Jackie counters into a roll up for another two and both ladies clothesline each other. Jackie kicks then throws Ivory across the ring by the hair but Ivory comes back with a forearm and the two ladies start cat fighting. Ivory drives Jackie into a corner and hammers her with shoulder blocks then whips her and goes for a bulldog but Jackie throws her off. Ivory applies an arm wringer then works on the arm but Jackie flips out of it with the ropes and clotheslines her. Jackie follows up with an elbow drop and covers her but Ivory gets her foot on the bottom rope for the break. Jackie argues with the referee allowing Ivory to nail her from behind. Ivory goes for a whip but Jackie ducks a clothesline and floats over Ivory into a DDT that gets the pin. (2:05) Pretty solid match for a two-minute bout. **
~ Backstage we find The Rock reluctantly getting some medical help from the EMTs as we go to commercial.
~ The Wrestlemania 2000 countdown shows we’re just 4 weeks away. Isn’t everyone excited?
WWF Hardcore Title: Crash Holly © vs. Prince Albert
Crash comes out first but hides beside the entrance and ambushes Albert when he makes his entrance. However Albert no-sells it and pops Crash down the ramp and the two fight their way to the backstage. Crash whacks Albert with a trash can lid and rams him into a case but Albert comes back and scoops Crash up then slams him into a semi trailer. Albert grabs a pipe but Crash cuts him off with a handicap sign to the head. Crash leaps off but Albert catches him into a backbreaker then whips him into a stack of cases and a thin box. Albert throws Crash into a laundry basket and rams him into a hockey net causing the fans to yell “goal”. Albert dumps Crash out onto the floor and covers him but only gets two when the Mean Street Posse appear. Albert dukes it out with Joey Abs while Rodney tries to cover Crash but he and Pete Gas fight once again. Crash then takes off with Rodney right behind him while Pete and Joey brawl with Albert back out to the ring. Albert whips Joey into the ring post and Pete goes for a whip but Albert reverses him into the ring steps. Albert and Joey both climb into the ring but Albert whips Joey and plants him with the torture rack slam. Albert then hits Pete with the choke bomb and apparently that’s the match. (~3:00) We never did find out what happened between Crash and Rodney. DUD
~ Backstage Rikishi is preparing for his match when the Too Cool guys come in telling him they have his back. Rikishi appreciates their help then says he’s about to back his rear up and heads out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break they actually show a graphic for the Triple H/Big Show title match at Wrestlemania. They really want you to believe it’s really happening on April 2nd.
Triple H (w/Stephanie) & The Big Show (w/Shane) vs. Rikishi Phatu – Handicap Match
Before the match Triple H gets on the mic and promises Rikishi a worse beating than the Rock’s been taking all night. Triple H and Snow discuss who gets the start off the match and they decide the issue with rock-paper-scissors. Triple H wins and charges at Rikishi but Rikishi manages to get in the first shots and whips him into a backdrop. Rikishi clotheslines Triple H and Show comes in but Rikishi hammers him and clotheslines him over the ropes. We get a shot of Too Cool watching from the back in approval as Rikishi continues to work over Triple H. Triple H comes back with a neck breaker then tags in Show who comes off the ropes but misses an elbow drop. Rikishi tries to scoop Show up for a slam but collapses under the weight and Show follows up with a pair of knee drops. Show has no problem hitting his slam then tags in Triple H to take over. Triple H stomps Rikishi down in his corner then distracts Earl Hebner while Show chokes Rikishi with his boot. Triple H stomps Rikishi out to the floor and Show goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses him into the barricade. Rikishi climbs back in the ring and whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H hits the face buster for two. Triple H unloads on Rikishi then tags Show back in and Show hits a head butt and chops Rikishi in a corner. Show hits a butt bump in another corner then whips him into the opposite corner and clotheslines him down. At that point Too Cool decides to help there buddy but as they head out Road Dogg and X-Pac ambushes them and beat them down. Back in the ring Show whips Rikishi into a corner and hits an Avalanche then goes to tag Triple H in but Triple H doesn’t want to go in. The two start arguing with each other and before long Show shoves Triple H but Triple H tries to smooth things over and even offers to shake hands. Once the two shake Triple H turns around and pops Show but Show responds by head butting his own partner. Rikishi comes back and super kicks Triple H and Show goes for another Avalanche in a corner but misses it. Rikishi pounds on Show in a corner and caps off with another super kick then whips Triple H right into Show and follows up with the running butt splash on both men. Rikishi plants Triple H with a belly-to-belly suplex and hits Show with a Samoan Drop then sees Triple H in a corner and quickly gives him another Stinkface! Rikishi looks to do the same to Show when Shane comes in with a chair and whacks Rikish in the back with it but it has no effect. Rikishi turns toward Shane but that allows Show to nail Rikishi from behind and clothesline him. Show choke slams Rikishi and Triple H follows up with the Pedigree to put this one away. (7:22) Okay match but this is the third handicap match that saw the heels on top. **
Triple H then decides he’s not done yet and works Rikishi over with the chair then tries to choke him out when The Rock tries to make his way out for the save with his ribs taped up. Show meets him on the ramp but Rock surprises Show with a pipe to the face then goes into the ring and hammers away on Triple H. Rock sets Triple H up for a Rock Bottom but Shane whacks him in his injured ribs with the pipe to stop that then tosses the pipe to Triple H who whacks Rock in the ribs repeatedly. Show comes back in the ring and choke slams Rock and Triple H hits the Pedigree for good measure. Shane, Show and the Helmsleys then raise their hands in victory having forgotten their issues for now as least. As they depart the Rock glares at them, his situation getting more desperate as Smackdown goes off the air.
Conclusion: If you like the heels dominating the main faces then this show was for you. Half the program was handicap matches, three of which saw The Rock, Kane and Rikishi fall to Triple H and his army, and the rest of the matches were mostly decent but nothing really standing out. At this point it was starting to seem like the Wrestlemania build was stuck in neutral, especially with the mid-card, while they continued the slow burn with Triple H and Big Show but that was losing steam. It was obvious that something big had to happen with the main event and soon.