written by Adam King
Thursday, April 20th, 2000
Taped (4/18) from the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit (4/02/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/02/2000)
WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/03/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly (4/13/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Scotty 2 Hotty (4/17/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with highlights of Triple H’s bad day on Raw, including briefly losing the title, Linda McMahon’s announcement on Steve Austin and the Regime’s breakdown. After the intro Michael Cole welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
Road Dogg vs. Edge
This stemmed from Road Dogg and X-Pac jumping Edge and Christian from behind on Raw, and apparently because of that the DX’ers get another tag team title shot at Backlash. Road Dogg makes his way out first and gets on the mic to do his rhyming while promising to win the tag titles. Edge comes out and poses on the turnbuckles when Road Dogg tries a sneak attack but eats a flying elbow. Edge gets in his shots and goes for a whip, Road Dogg reverses it but Edge comes back with a shoulder tackle. Road Dogg rolls out to the floor to regroup but Edge hits a baseball slide then drops him onto the barricade. Edge rams Road Dogg into the steps and rolls him in the ring but Road Dogg hits Edge with a dropkick through the ropes. Road Dogg leaps off the apron with a clothesline then rams Edge into the barricade before throwing him back in. Road Dogg whips Edge into a corner but Edge sidesteps him and hits a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Road Dogg jabs Edge in the eyes to get the advantage then boots in the head and covers him for a two count. Edge whips Road Dogg and Road Dogg comes back and hits the juke ‘n jive punches but misses the big right. Edge rolls Road Dogg up but Road Dogg counters into his own rollup and holds the tights to get the three. (2:22) Looked like it was getting good when it suddenly ended. *½
~ Backstage Triple H is walking with Stephanie and Shane McMahon who says he’s going to round everyone up and departs while Stephanie mentions plans to “divide and conquer” tonight as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break they’re doing a series of ‘Stone Cold Strikes’ clips. This one shows Steve Austin’s shoving match with Mike Tyson in January 1998 on Raw.
~ In the arena Triple H makes his way out to the ring along with Stephanie to get on the mic for our talking segment. Triple H addresses all the talk of him having a bad day on Raw by claiming he doesn’t have that many bad days. Triple H says Monday wasn’t even that bad of a day for him and claims the record books will clearly back him up. Triple H says the records show he never lost the WWF Championship to Chris Jericho in a match that never happened and there was never a quick count by Earl Hebner before the Helmsleys fired him. Triple H does admit the one bad thing on Raw was Linda McMahon announcing Steve Austin will be at Backlash. Triple H calls Linda a psycho for slapping her own daughter and tells Stephanie he doesn’t feel comfortable leaving their kids with her. Triple H also brings up grabbing Linda claiming he wasn’t really going to Pedigree her, he just wanted to scare her. Triple H mentions Shane did punch him in response but he’s okay with it since Shane’s always been a mama’s boy. Triple H then addresses Austin being in The Rock’s corner during their WWF Championship match at Backlash, saying Linda is trying to ruin a fair championship match between two athletes by stacking the odds against him. Triple H says Rock will have someone in every corner tonight because he will face Chris Jericho in a lumberjack match with the lumberjacks for that match being handpicked at this very moment by Shane himself. Triple H then assures the fans that the McMahon-Helmsley Regime is in control and there will be no more bad days. Just as Triple H finishes, Tazz makes his way out to the stage still wearing the ECW World Heavyweight title belt. Tazz gets on the mic and claims Triple H always talks like all his bases are covered before challenging him to a match! Tazz adds the WWF Championship doesn’t have to be on the line, all he wants is for Triple H to take him on tonight and Triple H accepts the match. Triple H then makes fun of Tazz’s championship belt and promises to prove to everyone that ECW sucks, prompting an “ECW” chant from the Philly crowd. Tazz responds by promising to choke Triple H out and Cole starts buzzing about having two world champions in the ring together for the first time in forever.
~ Backstage Chyna is walking with Lita and says Eddie Guerrero is in a good mood tonight after passing his GED test so he wants to give Essa Rios another chance to team up with him, this time against The Dudley Boyz. However Chyna warns Lita not to screw this match up like she did on Monday as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break the announcers mention Chyna will be starring in Alien Fury on UPN Friday.
~ Backstage Kurt Angle is walking when Stephanie McMahon runs up to him and starts sweet-talking him, saying his biggest quality is his credibility. Stephanie invites Angle to be a lumberjack in the main event and Angle happily accepts then some tension develops between him and Stephanie before the two separate.
The Dudley Boyz vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) & Essa Rios (w/Lita)
Once again Eddie hands Chyna roses on the stage and again Chyna drops them on the ramp as they head to the ring. Rios locks up with Bubba Ray Dudley to start and Bubba knees him in the chest and clubs him in the back. Bubba whips Rios and goes for a backdrop but Rios lands on his feet and comes back with a head scissors. Rios follows up with a spinning heel kick but Bubba comes back and plants him with the Full Nelson bomb. D’Von tags in and goes for a whip and Rios reverses it but D’von hits him with a shoulder block. D’von comes off the ropes and Rios leapfrogs over him but D’Von whips Rios again and connects with a flying shoulder block for a two count. Rios fights back and kicks D’Von down then tags Eddie who climbs to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick. Eddie hammers D’Von in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges when D’Von sidesteps him and Eddie lands on his feet the middle rope but D’von hits a neck breaker. Bubba and Rios both get the tag and Bubba hits Rios with a hip toss and press slams Eddie then whips Rios into a backdrop. Bubba hits Eddie with a sidewalk slam then whips Rios and Rios kicks the face and goes for a huricanrana and Bubba counters into a power bomb. Eddie saves it with a dropkick but D’Von clotheslines him over the ropes. The Dudley’s whip Rios looking for a 3D but Eddie pulls Bubba out to the floor and Rios comes back with a DDT on D’Von. D’Von rolls out to the floor but Rios climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying cross body on the floor. Bubba and Eddie are also going at it nearby and Bubba tries to whip Eddie into Chyna but Chyna stops him. Lita climbs to the top rope and goes for her cross body on Bubba but Bubba ducks and Lita takes out Eddie. Chyna angrily yells at Lita for her mistake while in the ring the Dudley’s hit the 3D on Rios for the pin. (3:03) So Lita botches another match for her man and Eddie. Lita goes in to check on Rios but Chyna follows her and grabs Lita by the hair when the Dudley’s slide a table in the ring and sets it up, looking to make one of the ladies their next victim. Chyna turns around and finds the Dudley’s and a table so she tosses Lita at them and quickly makes her escape. Bubba sits onto the top rope while D’Von passes Lita to him and Bubba super bombs her through the table! Bubba has the euphoric trance and Lawler figures Bubba hopes to do the same to Trish Stratus at Backlash. **
~ Backstage Perry Saturn is talking with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit about Tazz looking like Donkey Kong. Shane McMahon comes in and asks Benoit about his Intercontinental title defense with Benoit saying it won’t take long. Shane McMahon then invites all three Radicalz to be lumberjacks for the main event and all three accept.
~ Rikishi and The Big Show are both shown walking to the ring for the next match as we go to commercial.
The Big Show vs. Rikishi Phatu
Before the match Cole mentions the issues Show has with Kurt Angle before announcing they will go one-on-one at Backlash. Show comes out in his fun mode and gets on the mic saying in Philadelphia they call him “The Big Fun-kay!” Show talks about Rikishi dancing and challenges him to a dance contest to see who shakes their rump better. Show decides to start things off and break dances to Too Cool’s theme and Rikishi seems amused by his moves. Rikishi then dons his shades and takes his turn when Show clotheslines him from behind to jump start the match. Show head butts Rikishi and hits a giant chop in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner but eats a boot. Rikishi super kicks Show down into a corner and moves in for the Stink face but Show bails out to the floor. Rikishi goes after Show but Show slides back in the ring and stomps Rikishi as he climbs in then head butts him again. Show goes for a whip but Rikishi counters it and hits a DDT then follows up with a leg drop for a two count. Rikishi tries to scoop Show up but collapses under the weight with Show splashing him. Show elbows Rikishi in the head and comes off the ropes with a forearm then starts mocking Scotty 2 Hotty, even hitting the Worm on Rikishi!! Show whips Rikishi into a corner and charges at him but Rikishi sidesteps him and comes back with an arm drag. Rikishi hits a Samoan Drop followed by the running butt charge then clotheslines Show and himself over the ropes. Both men get to their feet on the floor and Rikishi whips Show into the steps as the referee makes the 10 count. (2:52) This actually wasn’t that bad and the Philly crowd was pretty into it and are booing the finish. Show starts to head back up the ramp but Rikishi gets on the mic and dares Show to come back in the ring. Once Show returns they have a stare down when Rikishi gives Show a pair of shades and Show does the same to Rikishi and the two start the post-match dance. As Kurt Angle watches this from the back in disbelief Show looks for some love when Rikishi super kicks him and takes back his shades. Riksihi then walks off while Show is left in the ring looking dumbfounded. *
~ Back from break they show a trailer for the new movie “The Gladiator”. After that Kevin Kelly interviews Kurt Angle backstage about constantly being labeled a modern-day gladiator. Angle claims Steven Spielberg personally invited him to the premiere and also has him in mind for a possible sequel. Kevin then brings up Big Show’s dance routine and Angle says Show used to mean something as WWF Champion but nowadays he stands for nothing while he himself stands for intensity, integrity and intelligence Angle says the world will be a better place once he wins the Intercontinental Title and he’ll see us … at the movies.
Triple H © (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Tazz © – Non-Title Match
Well if there’s to be a WWF Champion vs. ECW Champion match Philadelphia is definitely the place to do it. After all both companies do have history in this city. Cole and Lawler even debate about it. Triple H and Tazz stand nose-to-nose and sadly they can’t disguise the fact that Tazz is significantly shorter. Both men lockup to start and Triple H forces Tazz into a corner but Tazz knocks him back down a right hand. Triple H pounds away on Tazz and goes for a whip but Tazz reverses it and connects with a pair of clotheslines. Tazz beats on Triple H in a corner and goes for a T-bone Tazplex but Triple H fights out of it and clotheslines him. Tazz whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H kicks the face but Tazz clotheslines him over the ropes. Tazz then goes out after Triple H and rams him into the announce table then slams him onto the floor. Tazz goes for a whip but Triple H reverses and sends Tazz into the steps then drops him onto the barricade before throwing him back in the ring. Triple H then hits a suplex followed by a knee drop for a two count and Tazz fights back but Triple H knees him in the chest to stop the rally. Tazz comes back with a back suplex then whips Triple H into an elbow and whips him looking for a belly-to belly suplex but Triple H head butts him. Triple H comes off the ropes and Tazz plants him with a Northern Lights Tazplex but only gets a two count. Tazz whips Triple H and Triple H hits the face buster but Tazz ducks a clothesline and locks in the Tazzmission! However Stephanie distracts the referee while Triple H hits a mule kick below the belt to escape from the hold and takes him out with the Pedigree. Suddenly from out of the crowd comes… Tommy Dreamer!! The referee tries to keep Dreamer out of the ring when Triple H goes over and decks Dreamer off the apron. Dreamer brings a chair in the ring and takes a swing at Triple H but misses him and nails Tazz by accident. Triple H takes out Dreamer with a Pedigree then covers the unconscious Tazz and gets the three. (5:53) Triple H then raises his WWF championship belt into the air, feeling he’s defended his company’s honor. Pretty solid, competitive match that would prove to be the height of Tazz’s WWF run. Dreamer’s appearance was a nice touch as well and was used to build up Tazz and Dreamer’s match at ECW’s Cyberslam the following Saturday. **½
~ Backstage Trish Stratus is giving a pep talk to Test and Albert before their match but they seem a little distracted. Trish has to constantly tell her charges to concentrate on the match and keep their eyes up as we go to commercial.
The Godfather & D’Lo Brown (w/the ladies) vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus)
D’Lo comes out in his normal gear for a change and Godfather does his spiel but gets interrupted by T&A. Test starts off with D’Lo and whips him and D’Lo slides under a boot but Test comes back with a clothesline. Test goes for a whip, D’Lo reverses it and Test ducks a clothesline but D’Lo plants him with a back suplex. D’Lo goes for a whip but Test counters it with the full nelson slam as we see Bubba Ray Dudley watching on the stage. Albert tags in and hits a pair of clotheslines then goes for a whip but D’Lo blocks a clothesline and fights back. Trish looks over and sees Bubba slowly advancing down the ramp when D’Von comes out to reason with him. In the ring D’Lo whips Albert into a slam from Godfather and D’Lo splashes him while Godfather adds a leg drop. Godfather goes for a whip and Albert reverses it but Godfather hits a kick to the chest followed by a crescent kick. Test breaks up the pin as we see D’Von has apparently convinced Bubba to go with him back to the locker-room. D’Lo works Test over in a corner while Godfather does the same to Albert and they whip T&A into each other. D’Lo knocks Albert through the ropes while Godfather goes for the Ho Train on Test but Albert grabs his leg. D’Lo and Godfather both whip Albert into Test in a corner and this time Godfather connects with the Ho Train. Godfather goes for the Death Valley Driver while D’Lo charges at Albert but misses him and nails Godfather. Test drops D’Lo with a right hand while Albert plants Godfather with the choke bomb to grab the pin. (2:20) Couldn’t really get into this one. D’Lo and Godfather try to sort out what happened and Godfather seems willing to forgive D’Lo for his error and looks for a hug. D’Lo instead plants Godfather with a Sky Hi and yells at him before storming off and that’s the end of that partnership, as well as Dale’s face run. DUD
X-Pac (w/Tori) vs. Christian
Both men lockup to start and X-Pac applies a headlock when Christian shoves him off into the ropes but X-Pac hits a shoulder block. X-Pac comes off the ropes and Christian leapfrogs over him but X-Pac grabs a waist lock. Christian slings X-Pac through the ropes and X-Pac climbs on the apron but Christian slides out to the floor under him then drops X-Pac onto the apron. Christian goes back in the ring and hits a baseball slide before going back out. Tori grabs Christian’s hair and Christian shoves her down but turns back just as X-Pac nails him with a spin kick. X-Pac throws Christian into the steps then rolls back in the ring but Christian rams him into the turnbuckles. Christian then climbs up to the top rope but X-Pac kicks his leg causing him to straddle the turnbuckle. Christian tumbles down to the mat landing in a sitting position and X-Pac follows up with the Bronco Buster. X-Pac snap mares Christian to the mat then applies a chin lock but Christian fights out of it. Christian ducks a spin kick and goes for a Slop Drop but X-Pac kicks his way out of it and connects with a clothesline for a two count. X-Pac climbs to the top rope and goes for a somersault senton but misses and Christian hits him with a dropkick. Christian goes for a whip and X-Pac reverses but Christian blocks a clothesline and hits the Slop Drop for two. Christian whips X-Pac into a corner and charges but eats a boot and X-Pac comes out but runs into a gut buster. Christian goes for the Unprettier when Road Dogg runs out to the apron so Christian goes over and decks him. Edge comes out and attacks Road Dogg but X-Pac hit the X-Factor on the distracted Christian for the win. (3:31) Fun match for the most part. Edge goes in the ring and wails away on X-Pac while Christian hammers Road Dogg in a corner then drops to the mat while Edge launches off him into a flying cross body on Road Dogg. Edge clotheslines X-Pac over the ropes and E&C stand tall even though both champs got pinned by the challengers in singles matches. **½
~ Backstage the Dudley’s are walking when Shane runs up telling them that what they did to Lita earlier is insane then invites them to be lumberjacks. D’Von asks if tables will be involved Shane says anything can happen. Shane then tells the Dudley’s they can hit the 3D on anyone they want on the floor and they finally accept the offer.
~ Back from break another ‘Stone Cold Strikes’ clip is shown, this one of Austin’s beer bath for the Corporation in March 1999.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Kurt Angle
I guess this is Angle’s rematch for losing the title at Wrestlemania even though it is heel vs. heel. Both men lockup to start and jockey for position in a corner before Angle takes Benoit down with a waist lock. Angle follows up with a dropkick and starts celebrating but Benoit interrupts that foolishness with a pair of chops. Benoit goes for a whip but Angle reverses it and hits a belly-to-belly throw then works Benoit over in a corner and chokes him with his boot. Benoit fights out of the corner and hits a snap suplex for a two count then whips Angle into an elbow for another two count. Benoit slams Angle to the mat and hits a running elbow drop. Benoit whips Angle and blocks a backslide attempt but Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex instead for a near fall. Angle scoops Benoit up when Benoit counters into a roll up for two then rakes the face. Benoit goes for a whip but Angle counters into a suplex for another near fall. Angle goes for a whip but Benoit reverses him hard into a corner and hits a German suplex then holds on for a second German suplex and still holds on for a third German. Benoit climbs to the top rope when the Big Show appears and shoves Benoit off to the floor prompting a DQ. (3:07) Show then goes in the ring after Angle but Angle takes off for the back with Show following behind him. Good match but really needed more time and an actual finish. Benoit gets the win to retain the title but doesn’t seem happy he didn’t get to pin Angle cleanly. **½
~ Backstage Triple H meets with The Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan and invites them to be lumberjacks as well. The two of them don’t hesitate to accept and everyone gets excited about the main event as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the First Union Center.
~ Backstage the McMahon-Helmsley Regime is gathered around a table talking about the great night they’re all having. Triple H congratulates Road Dogg and X-Pac on their wins tonight, feeling they have the tag team titles in the bag. Shane then tells everyone they need to focus on the lumberjack match later saying if someone gets out, nail them.
~ We then get a clip of Crash Holly’s latest Hardcore Title defense from earlier today at the Ringling Bros. circus. Crash is walking around when a pair of clowns appear and one of them recognizes him as the Hardcore Champion before suddenly attacking him. The clown covers Crash while the other clown reveals himself as referee Teddy Long but only gets a two count. Crash throws the clown into a trailer then tries to slip away but gets ambushed by another clown who covers him for a near fall. The second clown dumps a bucket of something on Crash and covers for another two count. A third clown comes along and helps his buddy double-team Crash while wailing away on him with his big clown shoe. One of the clowns covers Crash but the other breaks it up and they start fighting each other allowing Crash to escape. The three clowns are then revealed as the Mean Street Posse who are frustrated Crash has eluded them once again. I thought they were done with this by now.
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock about the lumberjack match and Rock starts off with his “Finally…” bit then talks about Triple H booking him against Chris Jericho. Rock says he doesn’t have a problem with Jericho and claims all Triple H is doing is delaying the inevitable, that he only has 10 days left as WWF Champion. Rock tells Triple H to live it up with the title while it’s still in his possession with him and even offers a few suggestions. Rock also mentions if Vince McMahon gets involved in their match there’s a Rattlesnake ready to be unleashed. Rock says regardless of what Triple H throws at him he will be the next WWF Champion at Backlash.
The Rock vs. Chris Jericho – Lumberjack Match
The lumberjacks include DX, the Dudley’s, the Radicals, Kurt Angle, Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan. Jericho comes out as Triple H taunts him with the title belt while Rock comes in and gives Triple H a glance. Rock and Jericho both stare the lumberjacks before exchanging punches to start and Rock gets the advantage. Rock whips Jericho but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm then works him over with chops and kicks. Jericho goes for a whip and Rock reverses him into a corner as we see the Hemlsleys watching from the ramp. Rock charges at Jericho and eats a boot but then nails Jericho with an elbow and lays the boots to him. Jericho comes back but Rock throws him over the ropes and the lumberjacks descend on Jericho on the floor and beat on him before throwing him back in the ring. Rock covers Jericho for a two count then hits a suplex for another two count. Rock goes for a whip but Jericho reverses and hits a spinning heel kick. Rock rolls out to the apron when Jericho connects with the springboard dropkick, knocking him off to the floor. The lumberjacks work Rock over and Triple H comes over to get a shot before Rock is tossed back in the ring. Jericho stomps away on Rock when Rock fights back and comes off the ropes but eats a clothesline for a near fall. Jericho throws Rock through the ropes and the lumberjacks beat Rock down before tossing him back in the ring and Jericho connects with the Lionsault but only gets a two count. Jericho goes for a whip and reverses it but lowers the head and Jericho kicks the face but runs into a tilt-o-whirl slam for a near fall. Rock then goes out to the floor and starts attacking the lumberjacks but gets overwhelmed by the numbers. Jericho goes out and starts throwing punched but he gets swarmed by the lumberjacks and thrown into the steps. Rock and Jericho are both thrown back in the ring and down on the mat as the referee starts making the count. Triple H then tries to come in the ring but that distracts the referee while Chris Benoit climbs to the top rope and hits the diving head butt on Jericho. Rock manages to drape an arm over Jericho but only gets two and Triple H again hops on the apron to distract the referee while X-Pac comes in and nails Rock with the X-Factor. Jericho covers Rock but he only gets two as well and Rock comes back and plants Jericho with a spine buster. The lumberjacks start climbing onto the apron but Rock tries to fight them off then brings Triple H in the ring and knocks him back over the ropes with the Smackdown. Shane comes in and nails Rock from behind and Rock goes after Shane who tries to escape through the ropes but Jericho beats on Rock. Jericho goes for a whip but Rock counters it and hits Jericho with a Rock Bottom. Rock covers Jericho but Triple H pulls Rock out of the ring. Rock is able to fight Triple H off then rolls back in the ring and plants Jericho with a second Rock Bottom. Rock covers Jericho but Shane distracts the referee while Triple H clocks Rock with the championship belt. Triple H then drapes Jericho’s arm over Rock and the referee counts the three for the pin. (7:11) It goes down as a win for Jericho but Triple H’s theme starts playing for some reason and Lawler explains it’s because Triple H is the real winner tonight. Can’t really argue with that. Triple H and the McMahons celebrate their two main enemies being destroyed as Smackdown goes off the air. **½
Conclusion: Kind of a lightweight episode of Smackdown this time, a step down from Raw. The in-ring action wasn’t too bad but almost all the matches were won by heels and only the main event really had much angle progression. The highlight was definitely Tazz having a competitive match with the WWF Champion, but sadly his WWF run would go downhill from there. Other than that not much else to see on the road to Backlash.