written by Adam King
Thursday, March 30th, 2000
Taped (3/28) from San Antonio, TX
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 (3/13/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Jacqueline (2/03/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (3/13/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air and goes right to the intro without a recap with Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us to the show. Cole reminds us we’re at the eve of Wrestlemania and Lawler mentions rumors of stipulations being added to the main event tonight. Cole mentions also tonight The Rock goes one-on-one with Kurt Angle.
Kane & Rikishi Phatu (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Dudley Boyz © – Non-Title Match
So we at least get one match with Kane and Rikishi teaming up before their tag match in three days. The Dudleys rush the ring and go right after Kane but Rikishi pulls Bubba Ray off and hammers him. Kane comes back against D’Von and whips him and D’Von lands several shots but Kane shrugs them off and grabs D’Von’s fist. Bubba tries to come in but Kane turns and catches him with a clothesline then plants D’Von with a sidewalk slam. Rikishi tags in and takes it to both Dudleys with rights then knocks their heads together and clotheslines both of them. D’Von crawls to a corner and Rikishi backs up for a stink face but D’Von shoves him away by his rear right into a clothesline from Bubba. Rikishi starts favoring his bad ankle when Bubba draws Kane in to distract the referee then sets Rikishi up while D’Von climbs to the top and hits the head butt to the groin. D’Von chokes Rikishi and whips him into his corner but Rikishi elbows Bubba off the apron. Rikishi head butts D’Von down in the corner and this time gets the stink face. Bubba comes in and chop blocks Rikishi’s bad ankle then hits a big splash and D’Von elbow drops the ankle for a two count. D’Von works over Rikishi then hits another elbow drop before tagging Bubba back in. Bubba chops Rikishi in a corner but Rikishi no-sells it so Bubba drills him with a DDT but Rikishi pops right up. Bubba taunts Kane then turns back and sees Rikishi back on his feet before he eats a super kick. Rikishi makes the tag to Kane who climbs to the top rope then connects with the flying clothesline on D’Von. Kane clotheslines Bubba and whips him into a boot then whips D’Von into a corner and grabs him by the throat. Bubba nails Kane from behind and the Dudleys whip him but Kane grabs both of them and hits a double choke slam. Kane tags Rikishi in to finish up and Rikishi climbs the ropes and hits the Banzai Drop on D’Von for the pin. (4:40) Really? The tag team champions job in a non-title match just before their big ladder match on Sunday? I know they wanted Kane and Rikishi to look like a cohesive unit but couldn’t they have just squashed a couple of jobbers instead? *
~ Outside we find the DX Express pulling up to the building with Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori coming out to greet it. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon exit the bus to meet them and the whole group heads in as we go to commercial.
~ Back form break the Helmsleys make their way out to the ring as we now get our opening promo segment. Triple H gets on the mic and asks Stephanie if she’s excited at being just three days away from Wrestlemania, where four of the biggest WWF stars ever will do battle for the WWF Championship. Triple H says the intensity has picked up recently and it’s so thick in the air that everyone can feel it. Triple H then decides to explain why he calls himself The Game by saying it’s because he lives this business non-stop; he eats, sleeps and breathes wrestling and that he sweat and paid the ultimate price to become the best. Triple H guarantees he will still be WWF Champion once Wrestlemania finishes because he is that good. On that note Vince McMahon makes his way out to the stage and gets on the mic to apparently offer a rebuttal. Vince tells Triple H they’re going to find out how good he is on Sunday then notices he seems unusually confident. Vince accuses Triple H of plotting to save his title in the elimination match by getting himself disqualified or counted out then says that’s not going to happen because the match will now have no DQ’s or count outs and can only be won by pin fall. Triple H seems unnerved by the announcement as Vince sarcastically wishes him good luck before departing the scene.
However Triple H says he won’t be shaken or rattled by that stipulation since he was the one who retired Mick Foley. Triple H says he put the hardcore legend and king of the death matches out of business so no-DQ means nothing to him. Almost on cue Mick Foley comes out to the stage to give his thoughts because this segment just isn’t long enough. Foley admits Triple H did put him out of wrestling but unfortunately for him he’s back in the business for one night only. Foley also says since there’s no disqualification in the match he’s brought along an old friend … his barbed-wire 2×4. Foley says he was simply out to take Triple H’s title but now sees no reason he couldn’t beat him up at the same time. Foley also points out Triple H will have to go back to work the next night after Wrestlemania while he’ll be re-retired, so he doesn’t care if he stays in a hospital bed all day as long as the WWF Championship is around his waist. Foley says it’ll be a very long time before wrestling fans see him again so he’s going to let it all hang out on Sunday, promising a great match. Foley finishes by telling Triple H to get his lip prints off the belt because he’s bringing it home. This segment did its job in promoting the ‘Mania main event by focusing on (two of) the participants.
~ Backstage Kurt Angle complains to some security guy named “Phil” about the supposed conspiracy against him. Angle points out he has to face The Rock tonight just three days before defending both his titles at Wrestlemania. The Big Show then walks up interrupting Angle’s tirade and asks him for a moment of his time as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage of the NBC press conference announcing it’ll televise Saturday night XFL games. They seemed really happy to do it at the time.
WWF Hardcore Title: Crash Holly © vs. Tazz
Tazz pounds on Crash to start and whips him into a corner and Crash tries to block him with his boot but Tazz catches it and hits an overhead Tazplex. Crash rolls out to the floor with Tazz behind him and Tazz rams Crash into the announce table for a two count on the floor. Tazz tosses Crash into the crowd and chases him through then fans when Viscera appears tying to get the title himself and Tazz stops him. Crash tries to slip away while Tazz and Viscera duke it out but runs into the Headbangers who ambush him. Mosh whacks Crash with a 2×4 and covers him but Tazz and Viscera break it up and now it’s a four-way battle. Crash again tries to slip away behind the curtain but Tazz is on him and rams him into a chair then covers him. Thrasher breaks up the pin and whacks Crash with an ironing board but Tazz again tries to steal the cover. Thrasher pulls Tazz off Crash as Mosh moves in for the cover but Viscera whacks him with the ironing board. The four of them continue assaulting each other and breaking up covers while Crash tries desperately to escape. Crash soon takes off through the door with the others pursuing him and I guess that’s the match. (2:30) Actually that wouldn’t be the end of Crash’s night. NR
~ GTV suddenly pops in and show Val Venis laying in a motel room when he get a visit from the Kat. Kat mentions Val being the referee for the Catfight at Wrestlemania and tries to sway him to be on her side and Val seems willing to go with Kat’s proposal but before anything happens the clip cuts out.
~ Edge and Christian are shown heading to the ring for the next match as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage showing the Hardcore title match still going on during the break. We see Crash hiding from Tazz, Viscera and the Headbangers in a garage when the Mean Street Posse jump him and beat him down. Pete Gas covers Crash with a referee counting but Rodney and Joey Abs break it up. The Posse members start fighting each other again and Crash takes off back inside but the others chase after him.
Edge & Christian vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/Tori)
The Hardys make their way out and join the announcers for commentary, meaning they’re going to get involved one way or another. The DX’ers come out and Road Dogg tries to do the spiel on the mic but gets cut off by E&C’s entrance. Road Dogg and Edge lockup to start and Edge gets an arm wringer and wrenches it before going into a headlock. Road Dogg counters it into his own headlock and Edge shoves him off but Road Dogg hits a shoulder block. Road Dogg comes off the ropes but Edge tosses him over the ropes and Road Dogg manages to hang onto them. Road Dogg taunts Edge on the apron but Edge slides under Road Dogg to the floor and pulls him onto the apron then drops Road Dogg onto the barricade with a wheelbarrow slam before throwing him back in the ring. Edge tags in Christian and the two of them whip Road Dogg into a double hip toss that gets a two count. Road Dogg fights back and tags in X-Pac who goes for a whip but Christian reverses it and ducks a spin kick before hitting a Russian leg sweep. Christian climbs to the top rope but Road Dogg straddles him on the turnbuckle. X-Pac chokes Christian down with his boot and hits the Bronco Buster but Edge decks X-Pac from the apron. Road Dogg comes in for a double-team then takes over on Christian without a tag and sets him on the top rope. Road Dogg goes up looking for a superplex but Christian fights him off to the mat and hits a tornado Slop Drop. Christian makes the tag to Edge who goes for a whip, Road Dogg reverses it but Edge hits a spinning heel kick. X-Pac comes in and nails Edge from behind then goes for a whip bit Edge reverses it and hits a power slam. Edge then turns back to Road Dogg and sets him up for the Downward Spiral but Road Dogg shoves him off and goes for the pump-handle slam. Edge floats over him and shoves him right into the referee then spears Road Dogg and hits X-Pac with an Atomic Drop when the Hardys decide to get involved. Christian goes for the Unprettier on X-Pac but Matt breaks it up then lays Christian out with the Twist of Fate. Edge covers Road Dogg but Jeff climbs to the top rope and breaks up the pin with the Swanton Bomb on Edge. The Hardys departs and X-Pac rolls Road Dogg onto the fallen Edge to grab the pin. (3:52) Decent enough action. **
~ Backstage The Rock is drinking water when Mick Foley comes in and offers to watch his back during his match. Rock tells Foley he appreciates the offer but doesn’t want nor need his help and they head out in opposite directions.
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle © – Non-Title Match
Angle makes his way out but first decides to get on the mic and say he’s giving all his young fans permission to stay late up on Sunday and watch him retain both his belts. Angle also says he will repeat as champion just as sure as he is that the Spurs won’t win a second title. Rock and Angle have a stare down when we see the Helmsleys making their way down the ramp to ringside. Rock looks over and sees them but that allows Angle to nail him from behind and get the early advantage. Angle elbows Rock in the back of the head as we see Shane and the Big Show coming down the ramp as well. Angle chokes Rock on the middle rope and whips him but Rock starts to fight back and goes for his own whip. Angle counters it with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count then slams him to the mat and unloads on him. Angle goes for a whip and Rock reverses it but lowers the head and Angle kicks the face but eats a clothesline. Angle comes back with a back suplex for a near fall then chokes him on the bottom rope as Show taunts him. Angle distracts the referee while Shane chokes Rock and Angle works Rock over in a corner and chokes him. Rock fights back again and goes for a whip but Angle reverses him into the opposite corner and hits an elbow. Angle slams Rock to the mat again and climbs to the middle rope then leaps off but lands right into a DDT. Rock again rallies back and looks for the Smackdown but misses it yet continues to hammer away on Angle. Rock hits a tilt-o-whirl slam for a near fall and Angle goes for a whip but Rock reverses it into the spine buster. Rock readies for the People’s Elbow when Triple H hops on the apron so Rock goes and decks him back off. Triple H heads in the ring and Earl Hebner tries to keep him out while Show comes in and choke slams Rock. Triple H and Show head back out as Angle manages to cover the fallen Rock … but only gets a two count! Angle goes for a whip but Rock counters it into a Rock Bottom and that gets the pin. (5:19) Solid match but even with help from two people Angle couldn’t put Rock away. How is he going to fare in two matches against two people at Wrestlemania? **
Triple H and Show both head in the ring and Rock pops Triple H and goes for the Smackdown on Show but Show blocks it and hits a head butt. Shane comes in to help the two with a 3-on-1 beat down. Suddenly Vince McMahon runs in the ring brandishing a chair and whacks Triple H and Show with it. However Shane nails Vince with the WWF Championship belt then waffles Rock with it and hands it to Show. Show and Shane pose with the title belt before nailing Triple H with it and the two leave everyone laying.
~ Back from break we get a recap of all the mayhem at the end of the previous match.
Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/Chris Benoit)
After everyone comes out Eddie decides to get on the mic wanting to get some things straight with Chyna. Eddie says he got excited at finding out the two of them were going to wrestle each other at Wrestlemania then says he sees a twinkle in Chyna’s eye whenever she looks at him and feels she’s real excited as well. Eddie then says something about Chyna shaking a bon-bon with him or whatever and Chyna looks ready to hurl. Both men exchange shots to start but Eddie gets the advantage and pops Jericho with a European uppercut. Eddie comes off the ropes but runs into a drop toehold and Jericho chops away at Eddie and goes for a whip. Eddie reverses and hits a high knee. Eddie charges at Jericho but Jericho tosses him over his head onto the turnbuckles then comes off the ropes with the bulldog for a two count. Jericho whips Eddie and Eddie rolls over his back but Jericho hits a power bomb but holds on for a second power bomb. Jericho turns and dropkicks Benoit off the apron but Eddie nails Jericho and chops him. Eddie whips Jericho into a corner and Jericho tries to backdrop him over the ropes but Eddie tries to counter with the head scissors. Jericho counters that and goes right into the Walls of Jericho but Benoit them comes in so Jericho lets go of Eddie to meet him and that’s the match, folks. (1:33) Jericho hammers Benoit in a corner but Eddie nails Jericho from behind and starts to work him over. Chyna then comes in and Eddie begs her off then flees from the ring with Chyna right behind him. Meanwhile Benoit suplexes Jericho and has words when Kurt Angle comes out and nails Benoit from behind then hits the Olympic Slam. Angle also hits the slam on Jericho and leaves both opponents laying. *½
~ We then find Stephanie McMahon heading somewhere with an envelope in hand as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Stephanie comes out to the ring with the envelope and maybe she just might reveal its contents. Stephanie gets on the mic and claims to have received a fan letter from an 18-year old freshman which she reads for us. The writer, “Donna McClearly”, calls Stephanie an inspiration to her for being young, smart, beautiful and powerful. “Donna” says she’s watched Stephanie since her first appearance and mentions the abuse her family put her through then praises her for being one step ahead of them. “Donna” says everyone is jealous of the power Stephanie wields and finishes by wishing both her and Triple H luck at Wrestlemania, feeling Triple H will retain the title. Guess what, Vince McMahon comes back out to the stage for a rebuttal. Vince gets on the mic and claims Stephanie either wrote that letter to herself or America’s youth is going downhill. Before Vince can say much more Linda McMahon comes out telling Vince the constant bickering has got to stop. Linda says the family is being torn apart by Vince’s actions and demands Vince fulfill his role as the patriarch and fix it. Vince says he is going to start fixing things by booking Stephanie in her first official match against Jacqueline tonight. Stephanie reacts to the news with the “deer in the headlights look” while Vince struts to the back. Well, you knew the McMahons were going to get the focus back on them sometime tonight.
~ GTV pops back up and shows Val Venis being visited by Terri Runnels who tries to sway him to his side.
~ We then cut backstage and find Crash Holly still trying to escape from everyone gunning for his Hardcore title. Hardcore Holly comes out and whacks Crash with a trash can then covers him but gets interrupted by Mosh and Tazz. Crash goes into the Acolytes’ office but gets attacked by Bradshaw and the Kaientai guys both try to cover him but Hardcore pulls them off Crash. Everyone else pours in (through the door) and starts fighting it out with each other while Crash slips away again and makes his out to the arena. Crash climbs in the ring with everyone else surrounding it and gets on the mic saying this whole 24/7 thing has gotten way out of control so he’s calling off the stipulation. Crash instead suggests a hardcore battle royal at Wrestlemania where everyone surrounding the ring gets a shot. Crash says the match will have a 15-minute time limit and whoever gets the last pin fall is the Hardcore Champion. Hardcore goes in and takes the mic from Crash then accepts the challenge on behalf of everyone else. Hardcore then tells Crash the issue between the two of them is personal before dropping him with a right hand.
~ Back from break we get a look at the San Antonio skyline.
~ Backstage we find Stephanie complaining to Triple H about her match tonight saying she can’t wrestle and Triple H responds by asking what Vince is thinking by booking his own daughter in a match.
WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Dean Malenko © (w/Perry Saturn) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty (w/Grandmaster Sexay)
Scotty ducks a right hand and gets in the first shots but Malenko ducks into the ropes toward him off. Malenko jabs Scotty in the eye and whips him into a corner then charges at him but Scotty sidesteps Malenko. Malenko again tries ducking into the ropes but Sexay gets in a shot from the floor behind the referee’s back. Scotty whips Malenko looking for a dropkick, Malenko fakes him out and rolls him up but Scotty rolls through it and tees off on Malenko. Scotty charges at Malenko but Malenko trips Scotty into the ropes with a drop toehold. Malenko kicks Scotty down in a corner and chokes him with his boot then hits a suplex that gets a two count. Malenko goes for a whip, Scotty reverses and lowers the head but catches the kick and spins Malenko around. Both men come off the ropes and clothesline each other then get to their feet but Scotty gets the advantage and whips Malenko into a backdrop. Scotty goes for another whip but Malenko reverses him into a corner and goes for a suplex but Scotty flips out of it. Scotty hits the bulldog then follows up with the Worm and covers Malenko when Saturn pulls him out off and out to the floor. Shouldn’t that have been a DQ right there? Anyway Scotty and Sexay fight Saturn off and Scotty leaves Sexay to duke it out with him. Scotty goes in and rolls Malenko up with an inside cradle but Eddie Guerrero comes out and rolls it the other way and Malenko ends up getting the three. (3:05) Okay match but nothing like the bouts these two would have over the next month. **
~ We cut backstage as Trish Stratus leads Test and Albert to the ring for the next match.
~ Next we get another look at The Rock/Method Man music video, just in case you missed it on Raw.
~ Back from break we get another GTV clip, this time showing Mae Young visiting Val Venis in his motel room. Mae wants to show Val something but thankfully Val throws her back out the door before anything happens.
The Hardy Boyz vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus)
Test pounds on Jeff Hardy to start and whips him and Jeff knocks Albert off the apron with a baseball slide but Test plants with a gut wrench power bomb. Test tags Albert in and both men whip Jeff into a corner, Test whips Albert into an Avalanche on Jeff and Albert in turn rams Jeff right into a big boot from Test. Albert goes for a back suplex when Jeff flips out of it and goes for a whip but doesn’t see Test’s blind tag. Albert reverses it and Test helps Albert hit a tilt-a-whirl face plant then covers Jeff but Matt breaks up the pin. Test whips Jeff but Jeff slides under the ropes to the floor then dropkicks Albert. Test goes out after Jeff but Jeff slides back in the ring and tags in Matt and Test charges at them but Matt trips him into turnbuckles. Matt hops to the middle rope and connects with a flying clothesline then drills Albert with a jumping DDT and hits a neck breaker on Test. Jeff climbs to the top rope but Albert tosses Matt through the ropes so Jeff leaps over Albert back to the mat. Jeff goes for a huricanrana but Albert counters it into a massive power bomb. Matt comes back in and dropkicks Albert in the head but Test boots him down. Test sets up for a power bomb but Matt manages to slip out of it then hits the Twist of Fate and there’s the three count. (2:17) At least the Hardys were able to win their match even if the finish was out of left field. Albert comes in and plants Matt with the choke bomb and Test climbs to the top rope and stands on Albert’s shoulders before hitting the flying elbow drop on Matt even though they’ve already lost the match. *½
Test and Albert walk off with Trish but we’re not done as Edge and Christian come in and attack the Hardys. Edge throws Jeff under the ropes to the floor then tosses Matt at Christian who drills him with the Unprettier. Edge slides a ladder in the ring and sets it up in the center then he and Christian each climb a side to the top. At that point the Dudleys charge in and knock the ladder over sending E&C falling to the mat. The Dudleys grab the ladder and ram it into Matt and Jeff before setting it back up and climbing it to pose at the top. Yep, there’s your hard-sell for the ladder match on Sunday.
~ Triple H and a very-concerned looking Stephanie are shown heading to the ring as we go to commercial.
~ The Wrestlemania 2000 countdown shows we’re just 3 days away.
~ Back form break Trish Stratus is trying to help Test and Albert regroup for their match at Wrestlemania. Suddenly Al Snow and Steve Blackman barge into the locker-room and attack Test and Albert with kendo sticks. After Test and Albert are left laying Blackman has some parting words with Trish before departing.
WWF Women’s Title: Jacqueline © vs. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (w/Triple H)
We’re about to finish the final show before Wrestlemania and this is our main event? Once Jackie makes her entrance Stephanie quickly bails from the ring not wanting to go through with this when the rest of DX makes their way down the ramp to show their support. Earl Hebner tries to get Stephanie in the ring where Jackie is anxiously awaiting her and Stephanie climbs onto the apron but refuses to go in. Hebner finally orders the bell rung to start the match and Stephanie still backs away to the floor but Jackie gets tired of waiting and goes out to chase her in the ring. Jackie has Stephanie cornered in the ring but X-Pac trips Jackie from the floor so she turns her focus to him allowing Tori to come in and drill Jackie with a DDT then slip back out to the floor. Triple H orders the confused Stephanie to cover Jackie and Hebner counts the 1..2..3! Stephanie wins!! (0:40) Yep, Stephanie gets to hold the title as if the McMahon’s didn’t dominate things already, and this makes Linda the only McMahon to never win a championship. Triple H and the rest of DX pour in the ring to celebrate with Stephanie as she holds up her new title belt. DUD
However Kane and Rikishi interrupt the celebration looking to get themselves a piece of Road Dogg and X-Pac. Rikishi pounds on Road Dogg on the floor while Kane chases X-Pac out of the ring and starts after him. Just then the Dudleys appear and get a shot on Kane but the Hardys come out and start attacking the Dudleys. The Hardys and Dudleys battle in the ring but Edge & Christian join in the fight followed by the Radicals. Chris Jericho, Hardcore Holly, The Headbangers, Kurt Angle, and the rest of the Wrestlemania participants pour in the ring resulting in a massive brawl. Shane McMahon leads the Big Show in and Show starts cleaning house. The Rock then joins the fray and starts hitting the Smackdown on everyone he sees before tossing them out. At that point Mick Foley runs out with his barbed-wire 2×4 and causes everyone to clear out of the ring. Rock, Foley and Show exchange words while the Helmsleys pose with their respective titles on the stage and we’re out.
Conclusion: Well, folks that was your go-home show for the biggest pay-per-view of the year and it was a half-decent effort. While almost every segment was used to build toward Wrestlemania there were some questionable decisions, especially when certain people (i.e. Angle and the Dudleys) should have gotten momentum instead of looking weak. There was some nice interactions with the main event quarter and the show would have been fine had they ended with the stuff after Rock/Angle match but we had to see the McMahons take over, resulting in Stephanie winning a title she has no business holding. That should have sent a warning that Wrestlemania was not going to end the way everyone wanted. At least we got a fun brawl to close thing out but overall I’m glad to finally be done with this month’s worth of shows.