written by Adam King
Thursday, April 27th, 2000
Taped (4/25) from the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, NC
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: Matt Hardy (4/24/2000)
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 and goes right to the into as Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us. Cole reminds us we’re just 72 hours away from Backlash as well as Steve Austin’s return.
Eddie Guerrero & Chyna vs. Val Venis & Essa Rios (w/Lita)
This resulted from all parties getting involved in the Eddie/Val match on Raw. Val and Rios double-team Eddie to start while Chyna goes to chase after Lita on the floor but Rios stops her and Chyna and Rios head to the corners leaving Val and Eddie to go at it. Val goes for a whip and Eddie reverses it and leaps over a baseball slide but Val comes back with a clothesline. Val press slams Eddie and goes for another whip but Eddie grabs the ropes to block it then nails Val with a standing enzuigiri. Eddie looks to tag in Chyna but Val pulls him away into a Blue Thunder power bomb and Chyna breaks up the pin. Val comes off the ropes but Eddie counters with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker and this time makes the tag to Chyna. Chyna comes in but runs into a drop toehold and Val tags in Rios but Rios runs into a drop toehold himself. Chyna hits an elbow and tags Eddie then slams Rios and holds him down while Eddie slings himself over the ropes into a hilo. Eddie draws Val in to distract the referee while he and Chyna whip Rios into a corner and Eddie hits a forearm before Chyna follows up with the handspring elbow. Eddie suplexes Rios right onto his head but only gets a two count. Eddie goes for a whip, Rios reverses it and Edge goes for another suplex but this time Rios flips out of it. Rios locks knuckles with Eddie and runs up the ropes then springs off the top rope into a huricanrana. Val tags in and both men whip Eddie and Rios holds his feet up while Val flapjacks Eddie onto them for two. Eddie starts fighting back and hits a European uppercut then goes for a backslide but Val counters and hits a clothesline. Val whips Eddie but Eddie comes back with a sloppy huricanrana and both men start crawling to their corners. Lita hops on the apron and distracts the referee while Chyna gets the tag and takes it to both Val and Rios but the referee orders Chyna back out since he missed the tag. Val plants Eddie with a spine buster and Rios climbs to the top rope and hits a moonsault on Eddie that gets the pin while Val holds Chyna back to prevent the save. (4:37) Good tag match to start us off. Val and Chyna duke it out on the floor while Lita climbs to the top and hits her own moonsault on Eddie. Rios and Lita work Eddie over but Chyna whips Val into the steps and scares both of them from the ring. So Rios has pinned Eddie tonight, but will he be able to get the pin on him for the title on Sunday? **½
~ Outside we see the DX Express pulling up to the building and the McMahon-Helmsley Regime starts filing out. However Vince McMahon admits he didn’t enjoy the bus ride as much as the others as they all head inside. We also get a shot of The Rock making his way somewhere as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a ‘Stone Cold Strikes’ clip, this time of Austin’s monster truck limo in January 1999 on Heat.
~ Out in the arena The Rock makes his way out to the ring and is going to kick off the long talking segment for once. Rock starts off with the usual and describes going through everything the McMahons threw at him to get to Backlash. Rock points out there’s one more night for the Regime to do damage and asks what kind of match they have for tonight, even offering a few suggestions. Rock then calls Triple H and the rest out to face him, telling them to just bring it. It doesn’t take long for Triple H to lead the Regime out to the stage but X-Pac is still absent to be with his family. Triple H gets on the mic first and praises Rock for his ideas saying they have been thinking of a way to destroy him again. However Triple H says he’s beaten Rock up so many times recently that it’s starting to get a little boring and redundant so he suggests they wait until Sunday for one last beating. Triple H tells Rock he looks stressed out so he offers him the night off because he will be taking it easy tonight as well. Triple H says he and the rest of DX will be relaxing tonight except for Road Dogg who will be taking on Christian later. Triple H also warns Edge not to get involved in the match or else he and Christian will be stripped of the tag team titles. Vince takes over the mic and talks about being excited for Backlash and promises there won’t be an Earl Hebner situation because Shane will be the guest referee in the title match (for the second year in a row). Vince claims Rock called them out because he’s worried about whether he can trust Steve Austin to be in his corner. Rock responds to that by saying he recently talked with Austin and suggests Austin maybe didn’t want to wait until Backlash but may in fact be making a special appearance tonight. Vince responds by accusing Rock of being a liar, claiming Austin doesn’t have the courage to show up here tonight. Rock guarantees Austin is here tonight just like he guarantees he will walk out of Backlash as the WWF Champion and finishes with the usual. We finish with Vince looking just a little worried about Rock’s guarantee.
~ Back from break we find The Rock outside the building climbing into his limo and driving off somewhere. Elsewhere the DX Regime walks up to the DX Express finding a pair of Stone Cold foam fingers on the windshield. Naturally everyone assumes The Rock is behind the prank and waves goodbye to him before heading back inside.
WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Scotty 2 Hotty © vs. Dean Malenko
Cole says this rematch was scheduled for Backlash but with their rivalry so hot they decided it can’t wait. Especially after Malenko attacked Scotty on Heat following a three-way match. Malenko blindsides Scotty during his entrance and goes right to work on him, stomping him down in a corner. Malenko whips Scotty into an elbow and continues his assault then whips Scotty and hits a knee to the chest. Malenko whips Scotty again and goes for another knee to the chest but Scotty rolls him up getting a two count. Malenko hits a clothesline followed by a back suplex then hammers away on Scotty and whips him into a corner. Malenko clotheslines Scotty and sets him on the top rope then climbs up for a superplex but Scotty blocks it and fights Malenko off to the mat. Scotty connects with a missile dropkick but is too hurt to make the cover. Scotty fights back and whips Malenko into a corner then charges at him and eats a boot. Scotty ducks a clothesline and Scotty grabs a waist lock when Malenko breaks it and goes for a suplex but Scotty counters into a roll up for two. Scotty whips Malenko into a backdrop then goes for a whip but Malenko counters and whips him into a corner. Malenko charges at Scotty but Scotty sidesteps him and hits the bulldog then follows up with the Worm. Malenko pulls Scotty by the thighs through the ropes but Scotty lands on his feet then climbs back on the apron and shoulder blocks Malenko through the ropes. Scotty flips himself back in the ring going for a Sunset Flip but Malenko sits down on Scotty’s shoulders while grabbing the ropes and gets the three to regain the belt! (3:51) The now two-time champion takes the belt and walks off leaving Scotty frustrated in the ring. Another good encounter between these two but why couldn’t they save the title change for the pay-per-view? **½
~ We then find the Helmlseys and the rest of the Regime enjoying some light banter while sitting in the DX Express. As they’re talking Triple H’s pager goes off and when he finds it says ‘316′ he scoffs at that suspecting the Rock. Vince looks at the pager and is confident Steve Austin isn’t here but still has a funny feeling about tonight.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Charlotte Coliseum.
~ Backstage Hardcore Holly finds Crash moping around saying he’s upset about losing the Hardcore Title on Monday. Hardcore assures Crash he’ll get a chance to regain his belt on Sunday but Crash doesn’t seem to believe him. Hardcore tells Crash he’s no less of a man just because he lost the title, can’t get a girl and plays with Beanie Babies.
T & A (w/Trish Stratus) vs. Crash & Hardcore Holly
Hardcore and Test lock up to start and Test shoves Hardcore down but Hardcore comes back with his shots. Hardcore goes for a whip but Test counters it and hits the full nelson slam then kicks him down in a corner. Test whips Hardcore into the opposite corner and charges but eats a boot and Hardcore stomps him down. Hardcore whips Test into a corner and hits a clothesline followed by a second clothesline that gets a two count. Crash tags in and climbs to the top rope for an axe handle then gets in his shots on Test and goes for a whip. Test reverses Crash into a corner and charges but Crash sidesteps him then hits a tornado DDT for a near fall. Crash comes off the ropes and goes for a huricanrana but Test catches him into a power bomb that gets two. We get a shot of Trish looking on at the match but also find the Dudley’s looking on at Trish from the back. Back in the ring Albert tags in and throws Crash across the ring then goes for a big splash but Crash avoids it. Hardcore gets the tag and hammers Albert with right hands then whips him and hits the dropkick for a near fall. Hardcore hits a suplex then starts to head out to the apron but Crash stops him wanting to finish Albert himself and Hardcore reluctantly makes the tag. Crash climbs to the top rope and goes for a flying splash but misses it and Hardcore comes in and yells at Crash for messing it up. Hardcore turns as Test nails him with a boot to the face while Albert press slams Crash to the mat. Test climbs to the top rope and hits the flying elbow drop on Crash for the pin. (3:20) Decent action. The Hollys leave the ring with Hardcore blaming Crash for the loss while Trish and her men pose on the ramp. Suddenly the Dudley’s come out brandishing chairs and lay out Test and Albert then Bubba grabs Trish by the hair and throws her in the ring. D’Von slides in a table as well and sets it up then hands Trish over to Bubba on the middle rope. Bubba looks to finally put Trish through a table and goes for the super bomb but just before he hits it Trish suddenly kisses Bubba and causes him to stop. The crowd boos and D’Von his not happy with this just as Test comes in and nails D’Von with the big boot. Test pulls Trish off the mesmerized Bubba and Albert grabs him and choke bombs him through the table. **
~ Backstage Triple H, Stephanie, Shane and Tori try to calm Vince down while Vince insists that he is calm and knows Steve Austin isn’t here. Vince decides to have everyone search the building just to be on the safe side and Triple H goes along with it and takes Stephanie and Tori. Vince and Shane head out in the opposite direction when Vince thinks he sees something moving behind a nearby curtain. Vince moves Shane into position for an ambush then pulls the curtain back and Shane attacks what turns out to be a cardboard cutout of Austin. Vince and Shane are not happy with this game and walk off as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Stephanie is walking by herself when she gets startled by Kurt Angle appearing out of nowhere. Angle asks Stephanie if he can miss Raw since he’s been invited by Steven Spielberg to the premiere of Gladiator and Stephanie says it’s okay. Stephanie then asks Angle if he’s seen Austin around and Angle mentions how he never met Austin but hasn’t seen him. Angle then brings up another favor from Stephanie who quickly agrees to it and Angle seems pretty happy about it.
Chris Jericho & Tazz vs. Chris Benoit & Perry Saturn
All four men go at it to start and Jericho knocks Benoit through the ropes then attacks Saturn as Tazz heads out. Jericho chops Saturn against the ropes then goes for a whip and Saturn reverses it but Jericho kicks the face. Jericho comes off the ropes but runs into a flapjack and Saturn whips Jericho but Jericho slides under him puts Saturn in the Walls of Jericho. Benoit tries to come in to make the save but Tazz cuts him off and Saturn starts tapping out but the referee is too busy getting Tazz back out to the corner to notice the submission. Benoit nails Jericho with his IC belt then pops Tazz off the apron and Saturn covers Jericho but Tazz saves it. Saturn whips Jericho but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm then crawls to his corner and tags in Tazz. Tazz whips Saturn and goes for a belly-to belly suplex but Saturn fights out of it and applies an arm wringer. Tazz counters that into a Northern Lights Tazplex but Benoit breaks it up with a leg sweep to the feet. Saturn hits an exploder suplex then tags Benoit in and Benoit whips Tazz into an elbow and that gets a two count. Benoit follows up with a snap suplex for another near fall then tags Saturn back in and holds Tazz on his knee while Saturn climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying knee drop on Tazz for a near fall. Saturn tags Benoit back in and whips Tazz into a corner then Benoit in turn whips Saturn into a lariat on Tazz. Benoit slaps Tazz in the Cross face and Tazz tries to hold on when Jericho dropkicks Benoit’s head to break it. Benoit whips Tazz into a corner and goes for a German suplex but Tazz fights out of it and clotheslines him. Jericho gets the tag and pounds away on Benoit then whips him and hits an elbow and pops Saturn off the apron. Jericho comes off the ropes with the bulldog on Benoit and covers him but Saturn makes it back in for the save. Tazz goes to put the Tazzmission on Saturn but Saturn takes both Tazz and himself through the ropes to the floor. Jericho and Benoit exchange shots and Benoit goes for a whip but Jericho reverses him into Saturn on the apron. Benoit is down in the ring and Jericho connects with the Lionsault and gets the win. (4:17) Another good tag match. Jericho has beaten Benoit tonight but can he do it again on Sunday? **½
~ Backstage Shane is calling Triple H over to him as he points out some empty beer cans outside a dressing room. Shane charges into the room and crashes into something when Triple H follows and finds Shane in a pile of cans. Triple H helps Shane up but Shane is mad that he’s been handed another red herring as we go to commercial.
Road Dogg vs. Christian
Road Dogg comes out alone as Cole explains Tori was asked to stay in the back after what Christian and Edge did to her on Raw. Christian comes in through the crowd but Road Dogg meets him at ringside and the two of them go right at it. Road Dogg goes for a suplex but Christian counters with a suplex onto the barricade then heads in the ring. Road Dogg climbs onto the apron but Christian hits a baseball slide that knocks Road Dogg back off to the floor. Christian then springs over the ropes and connects with a plancha on the floor and throws Road Dogg in the ring then covers him for a two count. Road Dogg works Christian over in a corner but Christian reverses positions. Christian whips Road Dogg into a corner and Road Dogg gets the feet up but Christian slides under to the floor and trips Road Dogg. Christian climbs to the top rope and leaps off but Road Dogg clotheslines him down. Road Dogg sets Christian on the top rope then goes up but Christian fights him off and hits a tornado DDT. Road Dogg whips Christian but Christian comes back with a body block then hits a front slam for a two count. Christian whips Road Dogg into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Road Dogg floats over Christian and plants him with the pump-handle slam and there’s the three just like that. (2:54) Road Dogg decides he’s not done yet and throws Christian into the ring post then knocks down the referee. Road Dogg continues assaulting Christian then pulls him out to the floor and whips him into the ring steps. A bunch of referees come out to separate the two but Road Dogg shoves one of them aside. Finally the referee announces he’s reversing the decision and awarding the match to Christian. (2:54) Road Dogg storms off in frustration while the referees help Christian to the back. Not a bad match, just not a really interesting one. *½
~ Backstage The McMahons and Helmselys try to regroup when Tori runs up to them saying she’s found Steve Austin. Tori leads the group over to a door that has Austin’s theme song playing behind it so the gang readies for an ambush. Vince opens the door and Triple H and Shane charge into the room … only to find a boom box playing the CD. Triple H smashes up the boom box in response and Shane starts getting tired of this as we go to commercial.
Rikishi & The Big Show vs. Kurt Angle, The Big Bossman & Bull Buchanan – 3-on-2 Handicap Match
Angle first gets on the mic and says people think he hates Big Show when he in fact feels sorry for him. Angle says Show is an impressive 7′ athlete but lets his talent go to waste just like the Charlotte Hornets who aren’t going anywhere. Angle then promises to beat some sense into Show at Backlash. Bossman and Buchanan decide to let Angle start by throwing him into Show and Show responds with a head butt. Bossman and Buchanan turn and double-team Show and Buchanan heads out to fight with Rikishi on the floor, taking him out with the ring steps. Bossman works Show over in the ring when Angle and Buchanan join in for a triple-team and Bossman sets Show up for an Axe kick from Buchanan. Angle tees off on Show before Bossman and Buchanan whip him but Show comes back and clotheslines both men. Show nails Angle and Bossman with boots and Buchanan bails to the floor but Rikishi hits him with the steps. Rikishi throws Buchanan back in and Show super kicks him into a corner allowing Rikishi to do the stink face. Buchanan is reeling when Show grabs him and choke slams him to put this match away. (1:54) Nothing to really see here. Rikishi then gives Show some shades for the post-match dance when Bossman attacks them with the nightstick. Angle tees off on Show and Bossman and Buchanan double-team Rikishi when the Acolytes arrive for the save and clear out Bossman and Buchanan and chase them to the back. Angle also decides to depart and after that Rikishi stops Show from leaving the ring and now they proceed with the post-match dance. ½
~ Backstage we see a suspicious-looking character in the men’s room so Triple H and Shane rush in and attack him but quickly discover it’s not Steve Austin. The guy explains he works at the arena but Shane tells him he’s fired and sends him on his way, again coming up empty as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Steve Blackman is preparing for a match when Al Snow comes in waving a Kleenex as a white flag saying he wants the get back together with him. Blackman refuses, not wanting to deal with his crazy antics while Snow claims he can be serious. Blackman tells Snow no one can take him seriously when he talks to a wooden head then insists he wants no part of him anymore and storms off, leaving Snow behind to reflect on his words.
WWF Hardcore Title: Matt Hardy © vs. Jeff Hardy
On Raw Jeff had Crash Holly beaten for the Hardcore Title only for Matt to steal the cover so here we are. Also Cole announces the Hardy’s have been added to the Hardcore Title match at Backlash along with the Hollys, Tazz and Saturn. Jeff comes out first followed by Matt who’s wearing the belt and carrying a garbage can full of plunder. Matt starts off by offering Jeff a choice of weapon but Jeff declines, wanting this to be a scientific match. However Matt doesn’t agree with that idea and whacks Jeff twice with a trash can lid and covers him for two. Matt wedges a cookie sheet in a corner and goes to whip Jeff into it but Jeff reverses and sends Matt into the sheet then clocks him with the trash can lid for his own two count. Jeff hits a suplex then climbs to the top rope with a broom and connects with a broomstick leg drop for two. Perry Saturn makes his way out to ringside as Jeff goes out and throws a fire extinguisher in the ring then climbs back in but Matt greets him with the lid. Matt whips Jeff into a corner and Jeff flips up the ropes then Matt then drops Jeff off the turnbuckle into the garbage can and dropkicks it. Matt sets the can with Jeff in it on the mat then climbs to the top rope and connects with a moonsault right onto the trash can for a two count as Hardcore Holly comes out. Matt charges at Jeff but Jeff tosses Matt through the ropes and both Hardy’s go out and each bring a ladder in the ring. However Jeff drops his ladder and dropkicks Matt’s into his face. Now Tazz is coming out as Jeff sets one of the ladders up and slams Matt to the mat then climbs to the top rope and leapfrogs over the ladder connecting with a guillotine leg drop on Matt but only gets two! Jeff hits Matt with the extinguisher and climbs the ladder when Matt climbs the other side but Jeff shoves him off. Matt comes back and sprays Jeff with the extinguisher then throws the can at him knocking him off the ladder onto Tazz and Saturn on the floor. The three of them start fighting as Matt climbs to the top rope and takes Saturn out with a clothesline while Hardcore and Tazz start to duke it out nearby. Matt throws Jeff back in the ring and covers him but Crash Holly comes in the ring and breaks up the count. Crash wallops Matt with a trash can then covers him and gets the three to take back his title. (4:32) If my count is correct this marks Crash’s sixth title win in just two months. Crash then grabs the belt and takes off leaving the rest of his opponents in the dust. Pretty fun match with some nice spots that mainly served as the hard sell for the six-way match at the pay-per-view. I don’t see why Crash always has to win the title back through the 24/7 rule. **½
~ Backstage Vince tries to calm the rest of the DX Regime down saying he doesn’t want anyone else getting spooked when a delivery guy comes up saying he has something for Vince outside. Vince figures Austin may be setting them up and takes Triple H and Shane out to investigate only to find a cement mixer waiting to be poured into a Corvette. Vince realizes Austin could have baited them to get back in the building so they rush back in as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Jim Ross is talking with someone on a cell phone about Sunday when Vince and the others appear. Vince asks JR if he’s talking to Austin but JR insists he was talking to his cousin who’s coming to the pay-per-view then suggests Vince and the others are just a little paranoid. Vince responds by saying there’s a reason for that.
The Godfather (w/the ladies) vs. Steve Blackman
This match is going on so late in the go-home show for the pay-per-view? Blackman nails Godfather from behind to start and stomps him down in a corner. Blackman goes for a whip, Godfather reverses and Blackman ducks a clothesline but misses a spin kick and Godfather knocks him down. Godfather slams Blackman and hits a leg drop then charges at him but Blackman stops him with a thrust kick. Blackman whips Godfather into a corner and dropkicks him from behind then whips him again but lowers the head and Godfather kicks the face. Godfather whips Blackman into a boot then hits a clothesline and slams him to the mat. Godfather readies for the Ho Train but Al Snow comes in dressed up exactly like Blackman and nails Godfather with a pair of nun chucks and there’s your DQ. (1:35) Snow then heads back up the ramp while Blackman nails Godfather with the pump kick. Pretty useless match. DUD
~ Backstage Vince tries to rally the DX Regime together when they hear a rattling sound coming from his bag. Shane thinks it’s a recording but when he goes to investigate the bag he finds a snake and everyone is sent scattering.
~ Outside a limo pulls up and The Rock makes his return to the building as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Triple H leads the Regime back out to the ring to take up the rest of the TV time with a promo. Shane gets on the mic first and talks about being sick of all these games then tells Austin if he is indeed here tonight to come out so the McMahons can welcome him back to the WWF. Austin fails to show up so Vince takes the mic and offers to face Austin himself while everyone else leaves the ring. Vince continues to dare Austin to come out to the ring asking where his guts are but Austin still doesn’t show up. Triple H takes his turn on the mic saying he’s already sick of Austin after just one day back and demands he come out but once again nothing happens. Triple H smirks and says either Austin isn’t here at the building or maybe he’s a chicken but he knows The Rock is at the building. Triple H says he changed his mind about tonight, and says that he and Rock don’t have to wait until Sunday then calls him out before calling him a chicken as well. The Rock does make his way out to the stage and Triple H looks ready to go at it but Rock gives him his hand to talk to. Rock says he’s been watching the Regime getting paranoid and confused all night long and has been enjoying it. Rock reminds everyone of his guarantee and says he doesn’t dress like Austin, talk like Austin or even look like him, but he knows someone who does. Rock points at the OvalTron and sure enough Steve Austin appears on it. Austin says he’s heard the Regime’s looking for him then says he’s in the parking lot after being in and out of the building all night long. Austin mentions the speculation of whose side he’ll be on at Backlash before saying he’s going to be on his own side. Austin then says he has a demonstration for the Regime then talks about how a lot of people are good at construction while he’s been good at tearing stuff up. Austin says he wants to show off his toy to anyone looking to get their hands on him as he jumps into a crane with ‘Austin Deconstruction’ on the side and a freeway barricade hanging from it. We then get a shot of the DX Express just before Austin drops the barricade right onto it causing the bus to explode! Austin warns that same thing will happen to anybody who messes with him at Backlash then gives us the bottom line and departs. We then get one more look at the flaming ruins of the DX Express before we fade to black.
Conclusion: Pretty good show go-home show for Backlash. The in-ring action was solid for the most part and many of the matches did their job in polishing up the undercard. The search for Steve Austin was a bit silly at times but the payoff was pretty cool, even though having Austin appear tonight instead of waiting until the pay-per-view does seem a little like hot shotting, as does having two titles change hands before they’re defended on the super card. Still a good edition of Smackdown to send us on to Backlash.