written by Adam King
Thursday, May 4th, 2000
Taped (5/2) from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: The Rock (4/30/2000)
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 (4/27/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with clips of The Rock surviving the cage match with hit title intact on Raw. After the intro Michael Cole welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
~ Things kick off with Richmond’s own Earl Hebner getting a special intro as he officiates our first match tonight. And you can already tell the evening won’t end well for Hebner since bad things often happen to certain people in their hometowns (i.e. Jim Ross).
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Chris Jericho
I guess this is a make-up for their match at Backlash having an unsatisfying finish. Benoit and Jericho stand nose-to-nose and Benoit slaps Jericho in the face but Jericho slaps him back so Benoit takes Jericho down by the legs and unloads on him. Both men end up rolling out of the ring to the floor then climb back in the ring and Benoit hits a clothesline. Benoit whips Jericho but Jericho comes back with a forearm then unloads on Benoit and both men exchange chops. Jericho gets the advantage by raking the face and goes for a whip, Benoit reverses it but lowers the head and Jericho clubs the back and power bombs him. Jericho then goes for the Lionsault but Benoit is back up and pulls Jericho off the ropes with a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German suplex then holds on for a bridge suplex but only gets a two count. Benoit follows up with a gut buster then stomps Jericho down in a corner when Hebner pulls him off Jericho so Benoit has words with him. Benoit chops Jericho and goes for a whip but Jericho reverses him into a corner. Jericho charges but eats a boot and Benoit comes out but runs into a spinning heel kick that gets a two count. Benoit chops Jericho down and works him over in a corner with chops as he starts bleeding from the nose. Benoit whips Jericho into the other corner and charges but eats an elbow and Jericho hops to the middle rope and connects with a missile dropkick. Both men start exchanging punches when Jericho gets the advantage and hammers Benoit with knee lifts then comes off the ropes with the bulldog for two. Jericho chops Benoit against the ropes and goes for a whip and Benoit counters into another gut buster attempt but Jericho counters that into a roll up for a two count. Benoit comes back and hits a back suplex then climbs up to the top rope but Jericho bumps the ropes causing Benoit to straddle the top turnbuckle. Jericho climbs up after Benoit but Benoit fights him off to the mat then leaps off going for a Sunset Flip. Jericho rolls through it and goes into the Walls of Jericho when Benoit tries to counter it into the Cross face but Jericho is able to keep Benoit from locking it in. Benoit suplexes Jericho over the ropes to the floor and Hebner tries to keep Benoit from going out to the floor but Benoit argues with Hebner before shoving him and Hebner shoves Benoit back. Benoit shoves Hebner through the ropes while Jericho brings the IC belt in the ring and clocks Benoit with it. Jericho connects with the Lionsault and Hebner counts the three for the win and Jericho’s third IC Title! (6:31) So the initial match ended inconclusively, and after a four-day wait Jericho gets his win, almost the same way the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. Not quite their pay-per-view epic but still another good battle between the Canadian Chris’s. ***
~ Backstage a pair of limos arrive and the McMahons, DX, and the Stooges all file out of them and head inside. Vince says tonight is going to be a fun evening as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Vince McMahon leads the McMahon-Helmsely Regime out to the ring for our promo segment. Vince gets on the mic first and talks about being in Richmond; a town he says contains so much historical significance such as being the home of Jefferson Davis, serving as the capital of the Confederacy and the location of Patrick Henry’s famous speech. Vince also says Richmond has been known for his corrupt city council and not coincidently is also the home of referee Earl Hebner. Vince decides since this is Hebner’s hometown then it’s only fitting that he should compete in his first match tonight, and should Hebner refuse he will be in breach of contract meaning he’ll be fired and this time stay fired. However Vince says Hebner won’t have to be in the ring all by himself since he’ll be teaming up with The Rock in a handicap match against X-Pac, Road Dogg and Triple H. It gets better as Vince announces the WWF Championship will be on the line as well and Rock will lose the title if either he or Hebner get pinned. Vince finishes up by saying Richmond will see more history made with the crowning of a new WWF Champion. Vince didn’t say if any member of DX could win the title by scoring the pin, not that it matters anyway.
~ Back from break we get footage of Edge and Christian trying to clean the pores on their faces earlier today. Christian wants to make Rikishi pay for the stink faces he gave them on Raw with Edge blaming him for losing to cover of Tiger Beat.
Eddie Guerrero & Chyna vs. Essa Rios & Lita – Intergender Tag Match
This match is the result of Lita and Chyna disrobing each other over the past few days. Eddie then presents Chyna with some roses but Rios snatches them away from her and gives them to Lita. Eddie responds to that by getting in the first shots on Rios then whips him and hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Eddie follows up with a back suplex then tags Chyna in and both of them nail Rios with a double brain buster. Eddie whips Rios and Chyna trips him with a drop toehold then holds him while Eddie dropkicks him in the face. Chyna kicks at Rios then slams him to the mat while Eddie tags in and slings himself over the ropes into a hilo. Rios starts to fight back and goes for an enzuigiri when Eddie ducks it but Rios back flips out of it to his feet and hits an elbow. Rios dropkicks Chyna off the apron and Lita comes over to get in a few stomps on Chyna then quickly backs away. Rios whips Eddie and hits a power slam for a two count then goes for another whip, Eddie reverses it and goes for a backdrop but Rios lands on his feet and hits an arm drag. Rios then distracts the referee while Lita chokes Eddie on the rope from the floor and slaps him in the face. Rios goes for a whip but Eddie reverses it and connects with a jumping elbow then makes the tag to Chyna. Eddie holds Rios over his shoulder while Chyna hops to the middle rope and hits an elbow to the chest. Chyna whips Rios into an elbow then comes off the ropes but she and Rios end up clothesling each other. Lita starts begging Rios for a tag and once she gets it Lita climbs to the top rope. However Chyna bumps the ropes causing Lita to straddle the turnbuckle then Chyna power bombs her off the top rope. Eddie and Rios go at it on the floor while Chyna whips Lita and press slams her to the mat then covers her with one foot on the chest for the pin. (4:01) And I’d say this feud is definitely over. Match was okay while the men were in there but I didn’t really like seeing Chyna squash Lita like that. **
~ We then get footage of Kurt Angle attending the premiere of Gladiator in Los Angeles last Monday with Josh Olson & Pete Licata who won some sort of contest. After that Angle talks with Lillian Garcia backstage about how great the movie was. Angle then talks about how he loves gladiator movies then says he and his friends are having a gladiator movie party soon and invites Lillian to join them and bring a friend. Angle then walks off while Lillian just shakes her head in disbelief at Angle probably not knowing what he just said.
Kurt Angle vs. Hardcore Holly
Angle first gets on the mic and says whenever he hears the word ‘hardcore’ he thinks of hardcore pornography. Angle also suggests the state motto should be changed to ‘Virginia is for lovers, who aren’t in the same family.’ Hardcore then gets on the mic and tells Angle that neither he nor the fans care anything about his philosophy then says Virginia may be for lovers but isn’t a place for 30-year-old virgins about to get beaten up. Hardcore goes right to work on Angle and goes for a whip, Angle reverses it but Hardcore hits a shoulder block. Hardcore comes off the ropes and Angle leapfrogs over him but Hardcore power bombs him for a two count. Hardcore whips Angle and clotheslines him in a corner then whips him but Angle throws him through the ropes. Angle goes out after Hardcore on the floor and goes for a whip but Hardcore reverses him into the steps then goes for another whip but Angle reverses him into the ring post. Angle throws Hardcore back in the ring and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two then whips Hardcore but lowers the head and Hardcore kicks the face. Hardcore clubs Angle in the back repeatedly and follows up with a suplex but Angle shoves him into the ropes. Hardcore comes back and Angle leapfrogs him but apparently lands awkwardly and is down on the mat clutching his knee. Hardcore kicks at Angle’s injured knee when the referee pulls him away so Hardcore has words with the referee before shoving him. The referee shoves Hardcore back … right into a German suplex from Angle that gets the pin. (2:51) Angle celebrates the win while showing no signs of a hurt knee but Hardcore cuts it short with a dropkick then brings a chair in the ring and drills Angle with the Hollycaust onto it. Decent. **
~ Rikishi and his rear end start heading to the ring for a handicap match as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the building as Cole and Lawler buzz about the main event.
Edge & Christian © vs. Rikishi Phatu – Non-Title Handicap Match
After E&C come out Christian gets on the mic and announces their faces are 100% clear of Rikishi’s rear while Edge promises to make Rikishi rue the day he disgraced the faces that the people love. E&C try to rush Rikishi to start but Rikishi hits both of them with a pair of double clotheslines. Rikishi whips Edge into a corner then whips Christian into Edge before hitting the running butt splash on both of them. Christian manages to crawl away but Edge slumps down on the mat and Rikishi gives him his second stink face. Rikishi then scoops Christian up for the sit-down pile driver but Christian slips out of it while Edge spears Rikishi. E&C double-team Rikishi and both hit running head butts and Christian covers Rikishi but Rikishi powers out of the pin. E&C both dropkick Rikishi through the ropes and Edge follows up with a baseball slide then goes out and holds Rikishi for Christian who springboards over the ropes with the plancha. Christian drops down to the floor while Edge launches off him looking for the cross body but Rikishi sidesteps it and Edge flies into the ring post. Rikishi nails Christian then rolls back in the ring just before the referee finishes the 10 count to take this match. (2:04) Christian goes back in the ring and attacks Rikishi from behind then sets him up for another spear from Edge. Christian then holds Rikishi while Edge brings the bell in the ring but Too Cool comes out for the save before he can use it. Grandmaster Sexay kicks the bell in Edge’s face and Rikishi whips Christian into a bulldog from Scotty 2 Hotty. Scotty hits the Worm on Christian and E&C depart while the Too Cool trio do the post-match dance. ½
~ Backstage Stephanie and Tori are conversing near the vending machines when the Dudley Boys walk into the frame. Stephanie berates the Dudley’s for the way they put women through tables then warns them not mess with her and Tori while calling them pathetic excuses for men before heading out. Bubba reaches out for them when D’Von holds him back asking him to think of the repercussions but Bubba just grins in response.
The Hardy Boyz vs. T & A
Matt Hardy and Albert lockup to start and Albert forces Matt into a corner but Matt manages to slip out of it. Albert charges at Matt but Matt trips him with a drop toehold then goes into a headlock. Albert tries to counter it and Matt keeps the hold on but Albert eventually shoves him off into the ropes and hits a shoulder block. Matt starts fighting back and goes for a whip and Albert reverses it but Matt slides under the ropes to the floor. Albert goes out and chases after Matt who tags Jeff on his way back in the ring before Albert corners him and stomps him down. Jeff nails Albert from behind and the Hardy’s whip Albert into the opposite corner then Matt drops to the mat while Jeff hits the Poetry in Motion but Albert powers out of the cover. Jeff comes off the ropes when Albert presses him up for a slam but falls down instead while Jeff lands on his feet and dropkicks the face. Albert whips Jeff into his corner and Jeff knocks Test off the apron when Albert charges at Jeff for the Avalanche but Jeff sidesteps and hits the count-along punches. Albert interrupts it attempting a power bomb and Jeff tries to counter into with huricanrana but can’t get Albert over and Albert plants Jeff with a sit-down power bomb. Matt makes the save but Test comes in for a double-team and Both men Jeff into a tilt-o-whirl slam. Test takes over and hits the Full Nelson slam for a two count then Albert tags in and pummels Jeff in a corner with kicks and punches. Albert whips Jeff into another corner but Jeff runs up the ropes and connects with a corkscrew moonsault. Both men are down and they crawl to the corners and Albert tags in Test while Jeff makes the hot tag to Matt. Matt pulls Test down by his hair and hits a neck breaker and Albert comes in but Matt catches him with a DDT. Matt hits Test with the Twist of Fate but Albert makes the save and all four men start going at it in the ring. Albert sends Jeff through the ropes while Test whips Matt into a corner and Albert pops him with an uppercut. Test then goes for the pump-handle slam when Jeff holds onto Matt’s leg from the apron to prevent the move but Albert knocks Jeff off the apron and Test hits the move. Test covers Matt but the referee is too busy getting Albert out of the ring, allowing Jeff to climb to the top rope and hit the Swanton Bomb on Test to break up the pin. Jeff then keeps Albert at bay while Matt is able to cover Test and grab the pin for his team. (5:11) Nothing special but the effort was there. Of course Albert decides to be a sore loser by tossing Jeff through the ropes and helping Test double-team Matt. Albert hits the Torture Rack slam and Test climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying elbow drop on Matt for good measure. **
~ Backstage Jonathan Coachman interviews Earl Hebner about having to wrestle in the main event tonight and Hebner says he’s a referee, not a wrestler, yet he’s being forced to go get beaten down in the ring or lose his job. Coach reminds Hebner if he gets pinned he’ll cost The Rock the WWF Title and Hebner says he’ll feel awful about it then asks how will he be in any condition to do his job and make a living for his family after tonight.
~ Back from break The Big Show makes his way to the ring dressed up not unlike the Berzerker. Show gets on the mic and calls himself “Shonan the Barbarian” then says he will crush his enemies under his feet.
“Shonan The Barbarian” vs. Bull Buchanan
Buchanan rushes the ring with an extendable baton and works Show over with it then spits in his face. However Show shifts into his big nasty mode and levels Buchanan with a clothesline then whips him into a corner and clotheslines him. Show stomps Buchanan down before tossing him over the ropes then goes out and drops him on the barricade. Show tosses Buchanan back in the ring and choke slams him then grabs Buchanan by the neck and hits a second choke slam. Show clears Buchanan out to the floor and Show poses before heading to the back and I don’t believe this was an actual match. NR
~ Backstage Vince McMahon invites Earl Hebner into his office and says he hopes there’s no hard feelings between them, that he has to do what he has to do. Vince tells Hebner he hopes he doesn’t get hurt or lose The Rock’s WWF Championship but regardless of what happens everyone will know Hebner tried his best then wishes him luck in the match.
~ Back from break we find Crash Holly about to head out since he doesn’t have a scheduled Hardcore Title defense tonight. However Crash walks by some giant inflatable play sets and decides he can’t resist taking a peak without considering it might be a trap. Crash peers inside an inflatable house when Dean Malenko appears and shoves Crash inside the house then heads in with referee Jack Doan in tow and it looks like Crash has a title defense after all.
WWF Hardcore Title: Crash Holly © vs. Dean Malenko
Malenko covers Crash on the airbag floor but only gets a two count then trips Crash with a drop toehold. Crash comes back with a dropkick but misses a splash and Malenko goes for an elbow drop but he misses that and Crash hits a jawbreaker. Crash manages to escape from the house but Malenko chases after him out into the arena. Crash rolls Malenko up on the floor for two as they reach ringside and Malenko whips Crash into the steps before throwing him and a trash can in the ring. Malenko sets the can up in a corner and goes to whip Crash into it when Crash reverses it but Malenko stops himself. Crash charges at Malenko who backdrops him over the ropes but Crash lands on his feet on the apron. Crash climbs to the top rope and kicks the can out of Malenko’s hands but Malenko cuts Crash off then climbs up and hits a superplex as Perry Saturn makes his way out to the ring. Malenko covers Crash but Saturn pulls Malenko out of the ring then goes in looking to get the title for himself and drills Crash with a brain buster. Malenko pulls Saturn off Crash and the two start arguing with each other then exchange shoves. Suddenly Crash nails Malenko with a trash can bumping Saturn through the ropes then covers Malenko and gets the pin once again dodging a bullet. (2:40) Not much of a match but had its funny moments in the beginning. Crash grabs his belt and dashes off while Malenko and Saturn start going at it with each other and it looks like more trouble in the Radicals’ ranks. *½
~ Backstage The Big Show meets with Shane McMahon asking about what he thinks of his latest antics this week but Shane responds by walking away from Show and making a face as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage of Shane continuing his conversation with the Big Show during the break after he started to walk off. Shane turns back and tells Show he let him down at Wrestlemania after he tried to make him somebody. Shane reminds Show he gave him a shot to be WWF Champion but was embarrassed after Show was the first man eliminated. Shane brings up Show wanting to go out on his own and entertain the public but claims all he is doing is acting like a fool. Shane calls Show a pathetic, pea-brained, unmotivated waste of oxygen and claims no one will ever care about him because he doesn’t deserve it. Shane then walks off leaving Show on the verge of tears.
~ Elsewhere Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock and Earl Hebner suggesting the McMahons are putting the screws to him now. Rock admits the decked is stacked against him and he loses the WWF Title whether he or Hebner get beaten but says that’s not happening tonight. Rock mentions what Vince said about Patrick Henry before saying instead of liberty he wants DX rolled up in a ball so he can stuff it somewhere and finishing with the usual.
~ We then see the McMahon-Helmsley army heading to the ring for the main event as we go to commercial.
WWF World Heavyweight Title: The Rock © & Earl Hebner vs. D-Generation X (w/The Regime) – 3-on-2 Handicap Match
I bet the Regime never considered the possibility of Road Dogg or X-Pac getting the pin and winning the title. Hebner comes out with the Rock but has that “deer in the headlights” look. Rock starts off with Road Dogg who constantly dares Hebner to come in allowing Rock to get in the first shots. Rock whips Road Dogg into a corner but eats an elbow and Road Dogg charges out but runs into a clothesline. Rock hits a series of elbows but Road Dogg jabs the eyes to get the advantage then brings Rock to his corner then tags X-Pac in for a double-team. Road Dogg taunts Hebner to come in and help Rock but Hebner stays out while X-Pac chops away on Rock. Rock goes for a whip and X-Pac reverses it but Rock hits a tilt-o-whirl slam. Rock then covers X-Pac when Road Dogg tries to make the save with an elbow drop but nails X-Pac instead. Triple H comes in and clotheslines Rock to stop that rally then tags in to take over on Rock with his good arm. Triple H stomps Rock down in a corner but Rock switches position and hammers Triple H then hits the Smackdown. Rock holds Triple H for Hebner to get in a shot then takes off Triple H’s sling and works over the bad arm. Rock applies an arm wringer then goes for a whip but Triple H reverses it and X-Pac kicks Rock from behind. Rock decks X-Pac off the apron but Triple H comes back with a neck breaker. X-Pac tags in to take over and kicks away on Rock’s ribs when Hebner actually comes in but the referee tries to get him back out. While Hebner argues with the referee Triple H helps X-Pac choke Rock on the ropes then hits a forearm. X-Pac chokes Rock then draws Hebner in to distract the referee while Vince and X-Pac double-team Rock. Triple H tags in and pounds on Rock with a series of rights then tags Road Dogg in and Road Dogg slams him before hitting the shake, rattle ‘n knee drop for a two count. X-Pac tags back in when Rock rallies back and comes off the ropes but runs into a heel kick. X-Pac clotheslines Rock over the ropes and Triple H pounds on Rock on the floor then throws him into the ring post. The DX’ers taunt Hebner to come in and Hebner decides against it and tries backing away but Triple H cuts off his escape and tosses him in the ring. Road Dogg and X-Pac have Hebner cornered when Rock pulls Triple H off the apron and clotheslines him. Rock then goes in and takes it to the DX’ers before knocking X-Pac over the ropes with the Smackdown. Rock drills Road Dogg with a DDT when Shane runs in the ring but Rock takes him out with the spin buster. The Stooges hop on the apron but Rock dispatches the two of them as well. Chris Jericho comes out and attacks Triple H but Vince goes over and decks Jericho. Rock stomps Road Dogg down as X-Pac brings a chair in the ring but Hebner low blows X-Pac and Rock plants him with the Rock Bottom and gets the three to retain. (7:30) Okay main event that was way overbooked in the end but they wisely limited Hebner’s participation, though this means Rock was able to beat three men almost single-handedly again. **
Rock and Hebner celebrate the win but Triple H nails Rock from behind and helps the DX’ers triple-team him. Road Dogg and X-Pac then hold Rock up while Triple H clocks Rock in the head with the championship belt. Hebner tries to escape but Vince and Shane grab him and force him to watch Triple H give Rock the Pedigree before tossing him in the ring. Road Dogg keeps Rock at bay while Triple H knocks Hebner out with a right hand and pounds on him as we see Hebner bleeding from the mouth. Triple H and X-Pac hold Hebner for a chair shot from Road Dogg then drives him into the chair with a Pedigree. Rikishi makes his way out to the ring and takes out everyone his sees but gets overwhelmed by the numbers. Big Show then comes out and takes out the Regime with head butt when Shane leaps on his back with a sleeper and brings him down. Rock tries to fight back but Triple H low blows Rock to stop that rally then low blows Show and hits a DDT. The Dudley Boyz now make their way out with a table in hand and clear the Regime from the ring and Triple H’s crew departs to the ramp while the faces are left standing tall.
Oh, but we’re still not done yet. Rikishi notices the Stooges are still at ringside so he goes out and tosses both of them in the ring. Show head butts Pat Patterson and Bubba chokes him down in a corner while Rikishi gives him the Stink face. D’Von sets the table up and hands Gerald Briscoe over to Bubba so he can super bomb him through the table. Finally the EMTs make their way out to ringside and load the fallen Hebner onto a stretcher then wheel him to the back with Rock walking beside him as we fade to black.
Conclusion: Kind of a middling show as the WWF was still trying to figure things out for Judgment Day. The opener was good with a nice surprise title change but after that none of the other matches could follow it, plus there was little in angle progression. Unfortunately at this time the McMahon-Hemlsely Regime was starting to resemble the nWo more and more as evidenced by the overbooked main event and long closing segment that we’ve seen on many a Nitro. So other than the Benoit/Jericho opener there’s nothing really worth seeking out here.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.