Written by: Adam King
Thursday, June 22nd, 2000
Taped (6/20) from the Pyramid in Memphis, TN
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (5/21/2000)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit (5/08/2000)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Too Cool (5/29/2000)
● WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/03/2000)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Pat Patterson (6/19/2000)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Smackdown comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcoming us to the show while reminding us we’re just 72 hours away from King of the Ring.
~ Things kick off with Triple H and the McMahon clan making their way to the ring for our opening talkathon. Triple H takes the mic first and expresses his disgreement with his title being on the line in Sunday’s six-man match by saying the idea that The Rock, Undertaker or Kane can pin either Shane or Vince to win his belt makes him sick. However Triple H says he’ll reluctantly go with it anyway claiming the chance of one of them taking the belt is remote. Triple H says all three men want to be WWF Champion and won’t allow one to win at the expense of the other two, because once one of them has a chance at a cover his partners will break it up to get the title for themselves. Triple H tells Vince and Shane he trusts them and after Sunday he will still have the most important thing in his life. Vince takes his turn and claims the most important thing in life shouldn’t be the WWF title, money or even happiness, but it should be family. Vince feels if you have family you’ll have abundance of the other qualities. Vince talks on how he went through much hardship and sacrifice to instill wholesome family values into his offspring and sometimes he’s had to rule with an iron will and other times used a gentle hand. Vince says a family also needs love, and he loves his non-respectful son-in-law and doubting children to fogive them. Vince adds that love means putting challenges before your offspring to make them better which leads him into tonight. Vince says he, Triple H and Shane will team up for tonight … against Kane, The Undertaker and The Rock. Say what? Triple H and Stephanie are not happy about this latest move while Shane decides to walk out of the ring. Vince yells at Shane not to make him take on their opponents himself but Shane keeps walking as does the Helmsleys. Wow, so they’re going to take their big main event on Sunday and just give it away three days early on free TV?
~ Trish Stratus and Lita are both shown leading their respective teams to the ring for an intergender match as we go to commercial.
~ Back form break we find Shane McMahon about to climb into his limo when the Hemlsleys catch up with Triple H trying to convince Shane not to abandon him tonight. Shane is refusing to go along with Vince’s idea but Triple H tells him if he has to do it so does Shane as he and Stephanie drag Shane back into the building.
The Hardy Boyz & Lita vs. Test, Albert & Trish Stratus – Intergender Match
This is Trish’s first real match and I believe this stems from Lita and Trish duking it out after last week’s match. Cole also announces a four-team elimination match for the Tag Team Titles has been signed for Sunday which will feature these two teams along with Too Cool and Edge & Christian. Both sides have a staredown when Lita shoves Trish and chases her out of the ring leaving the men to go at it. Lita chases Trish on the floor when Albert blocks Lita’s path allowing Test to pull her onto the apron by the hair. Lita slaps Test in response and the Hardys plant him with a double suplex then turn and double-team Albert. The Hardys whip Albert into a corner and Matt drops to the mat while Jeff connects with the Poetry in Motion. Matt then drops in front of Test and Jeff goes for Poetry in Motion on him but Test stops it with a mid-air boot. Albert boots Matt down then heads out while Jeff goes to whip Test but Test reverses it and clotheslines him. Test tags Trish in and holds Jeff for a slap to the face when Lita comes in but the referee orders her back out. I guess the men are allowed to fight the women are something. Trish shoves Lita off the apron then scurries back to her corner and tags Albert while the referee holds Matt back. Test and Albert whip Jeff and drop him to the mat and Albert knocks Jeff around the ring with some hard shots. Albert whips Jeff into a corner and goes for the Avalanche but Jeff sidesteps it and makes the tag to Matt. Test also tags in when Matt goes for a whip, Test reverses him into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Matt hops to the middle rope and connects with a flying clothesline then follows that up with a neckbreaker. Jeff cuts Albert off then goes for a tornado DDT when Albert shoves him away but Jeff manages to land on his feet. Albert goes for a clothesline but misses Jeff while Matt hops to the middle rope and gets off his tornado DDT. Albert rolls out to the floor when Jeff leaps over the ropes and connects with a somersault plancha on him. Matt has Test set for a Twist of Fate when Trish pulls on Matt’s hair so Lita comes in and pulls on Trish’s hair. Matt takes Test out with the Twist of Fate while Lita throws Trish down then hits her with her own Twist of Fate. Matt and Lita lay Trish on Test while Jeff climbs to the top rope and connects with the Swanton Bomb on both of them. Matt covers Test while Lita covers Trish but Albert makes it back in and breaks up both pinfalls for the save. Matt and Albert head out to fight on the floor while Lita climbs to the top rope and hits Trish with a moonsault. Lita covers Trish but the referee is too busy trying to break up the melee on the floor to make the count. Albert goes in and plants Lita with the chokebomb then drapes Trish over Lita and that gets the pin. (4:33) A little too chaotic, plus this series between these two teams seems a little too one-sided. **
~ We now get clips of Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson causing not one but two Hardcore title changes on Raw. We then see Brisco scouring the backstage area in search of Patterson when he comes across Earl Hebner who claims he hasn’t seen Patterson for a couple of hours so Brisco heads out to continue his search mission.
~ Back from break we get a look at Jerry Lee Lewis sitting in the crowd tonight.
~ Cole and Lawler then hype the King of the Ring tournament itself by showing the brackets for the pay-per-view:
– Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
– Crash Holly vs. Bull Buchanan
– Chris Benoit vs. Rikishi
– Val Venis vs. Eddie Guerrero
Christian (w/Edge) vs. Grandmaster Sexay (w/Scotty 2 Hotty)
Edge and Christian both come out wearing portly Elvis costumes and acting winded once they reach the ring. Christian gets on the mic and says everyone knows there were two Elvis’, the fat Elvis and the really fat Elvis, but they’ll sadly never know how big Elvis would have gotten because he’s dead just like Memphis. Edge unveils their latest 5-second pose, “Hunka-Hunka Edge & Christian” and even busts out a few kung-fu moves. Once Too Cool appears Christian shed his fat Elvis suit while Edge keeps his on. Christian gets in the first shots and applies an armwringer, Sexay counters out of it into a keylock but Christian counters that into a hammerlock. Sexay fights out of it when Christian regains control with a headlock and Sexay shoves him into the ropes but Chrstian comes back with a shoulderblock. Christian comes off the ropes and Sexay leapfrogs over him when Christian whips Sexay into a corner and charges at him but eats a stiff boot. Sexay follows up with a running bulldog then hops to the middle rope and connects with a missile dropkick. Christian bails out to the floor but Sexay hits him with a dropkick through the ropes. Edge helps Christian onto the apron when Sexay goes for a Sunset Flip onto the floor but Christian grabs the ropes and Edge breaks it up allowing Christian to hit a tornado DDT onto the floor. The referee keeps Scotty from helping out while Edge whips Sexay into Christian who tosses him into the steps. Christian throws Sexay back in and lays the boots to him then slams him to the mat and applies a chinlock. Sexay fights out and whips Christian into a corner but Christian comes back with a Russian legsweep for two. Sexay fights back but Christian stops that rally with a Slop Drop then mocks Sexay by busting out some moves. Christian whips Sexay but lowers the head and Sexay kicks the face then whips Christian and hits an enzuigiri. Sexay clotheslines Christian then charges at him in a corner but misses him and straddles the turnbuckles. Christian sets Sexay on the top rope looking for a superplex but Sexay fights him off and nails the Hip Hop Drop. Edge tries to bring the bell in the ring but Scotty cuts him off and the two of them start going at it on the floor. The referee goes out to break up the melee but that allows Edge to slip in the ring and nail Sexay with the spear (while still wearing his fat Elvis suit). The referee tries to get Edge out of the ring when Christian covers Sexay but Scotty comes in and nails Christian with the bell. Scotty then rolls Sexay onto Christian as the referee turns around and counts the pin. (4:48) The Too Cool guys celebrate while Edge tires to digest what just happened. Pretty solid match we just saw. **½
~ Backstage Dean Malenko is getting a massage from some ladies when Terri Runnels comes in with a proposition. Terri says she’s challenged The Kat to a mixed tag match tonight and asks Malenko if he’d be willing to be her partner. Malenko tells Terri he’s busy right now but when Terri storms out Malenko relents and chases after her.
~ Back from break we find Gerald Brisco getting off a freight elevator still searching for Pat Patterson.
~ Elsewhere Triple H is with Shane and Stephanie trying to figure out what Vince is thinking with tonight’s match. Shane suggests Vince must have a plan in mind but Triple H points out Vince’s plans haven’t worked out so well lately.
WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © (w/Chyna) vs. The Big Bossman
Looks like Chyna has gotten over Eddie getting her eliminated from the tournament on Raw as she accepts some flowers from Eddie. Eddie hands his belt to Chyna when Bossman nails him from behind which also knocks Chyna to the floor. Bossman whips Eddie into a corner and chokes him before ramming him into the the mat and hitting an uppercut. Eddie tries to fight back but Bossman stops that with a shot then grabs a facelock and forces Eddie to the mat. Bossman hits a knee to Eddie’s head and drapes him in the ropes then slides out to the floor and hits the uppercut. Bossman glares at Chyna when Eddie hits a shoulerblock through the ropes then slings himself into a plancha on him. Bossman stops that rally and drops Eddie face-first onto the middle rope before tossing him back in the ring. Bossman grabs Eddie and headbutts him from behind before whipping him and hitting a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Bossman whips Eddie again and lifts him up but this time Eddie dropkicks him away. Eddie climbs to the top rope and leaps off looking for an axehandle but Bossman catches him into the Bossman Slam. Chyna hops on the apron when Bossman causes her to back away to the floor but Chyna trips him in response. Bossman decides to head out after Chyna who gets in a forearm but Bossman drops Chyna with a right hand. The referee holds Bossman back while Val Venis runs in the ring and lays Eddie out with Bossman’s nightstick. Bossman heads back in the ring and covers Eddie but Chyna nails him with the Euro belt to save the title. (3:39) Chyna helps Eddie out of the ring while Bossman is left to settle for the win but not the title. Match was just there, plus why protect Bossman with a DQ when he was starting to become irrelevant by this time and should have jobbed cleanly? *
~ Backstage Johnathan Coachman interviews Kane for his thoughts on competing with his partners for the WWF Title. Kane says Rock or no Rock, brother or no brother, the championship is what he wants and what he’ll get Sunday.
~ Elsewhere The Kat is asking someone to put out a cigarette and that someone looks like Pat Patterson in drag. Terri comes in and tells Kat the mixed-tag match is set for tonight and that she already has her partner ready. Terri wishes Kat luck in finding someone to team with then skips away merrily with Kat promising to find someone. This feud has been going on for how long now?
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Pyramid.
~ Backstage we find Kurt Angle reading the new issue of WWF Magazine that happens to feature himself on the cover (the mock-up of a Wheates box, if you remember) when Stephanie walks up and gushes over Angle’s cover. Stephanie wishes Angle luck in his first King of the Ring tournament and Angle tells her he can’t wait to win the tournament then turn around and beat her husband for the championship. Angle then walks off while Stephanie seems a little divided by those words. Talk about awkward.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Rikishi
Can someone explain why these two are facing off tonight since they’ve also got a match on the pay-per-view? I hope nobody’s buying the supercard for this match since we’re getting it for free. Benoit goes right to work on Rikishi and wails on him with chops in a corner when Rikishi shoves him away. Benoit hammers Rikishi with more chops and kicks but Rikishi again shoves him away and gets in his shots. Rikishi whips Benoit and lowers the head, Benoit kicks the face but Rikishi no-sells it and clotheslines him down. Rikishi slams Benoit to the mat then goes for the big legdrop but misses it and Benoit dropkicks him in the head. Rikishi rolls out to the floor when Benoit nails him with a baseball slide then goes out to continue his assault. Rikishi starts fighting back and tosses Benoit in the ring but Benoit comes back with a legdrop on Rikishi’s arm. Benoit heads back out and throws Rikishi shoulder-first into the steps then pulls him by the arm into the ringpost. Both men roll back in the ring and Benoit continues working over the bad arm then applies a standing armbar. Rikishi fights out it and superkicks Benoit but is still affected by his hurt arm and only gets a two count. Benoit rams Rikishi shoulder-first into the turnbuckle and hits some chops but they start having no effect on him. Benoit comes off the ropes and hits a DDT but Rikishi pops right up so Benoit plants him with a back suplex. Benoit climbs to the top rope and goes for the diving headbutt but misses it and Rikishi plants him with a Samoan Drop. Rikishi superkicks Benoit into a corner and follows up with the running butt charge and Benoit slumps down in position for a stinkface. Rikishi moves in when Benoit goes for the Crossface but Rikishi counters with a belly-to-belly suplex. Rikishi quickly climbs up the ropes and hits a Banzai Drop then gets the 1..2..3 and we have a new champion! (4:26) Yes, folks, that’s how Benoit’s longest IC title run ends. While the match was fine and Rikishi earned a run with the strap the question is why have Rikishi beat Benoit three days before their pay-per-view meeting. **
Anyway The Too Cool Guys come out to celebrate with the new champion who’s still hurting from his shoulder and the three commence with their post-match dance. However Benoit interupts their celebration by taking out Scotty and Sexay with the chair then nailing Rikishi with it before slapping him in the Crossface. If Benoit is jobbing his title to Rikishi then surely that means he’s getting his win back on Sunday, right?
~ Back from break we get a replay of Rikishi winning the IC title and Benoit making him pay for it.
Chris Jericho vs. Hardcore Holly
Hardcore gets on the mic and says normally the Big Shot doesn’t care about anything since he doesn’t have to, but after Jericho got involved in his match with Triple H on Heat he now cares about him enough to give him a beating tonight. Jericho rushes the ring and the two start off exchanging shots when Jericho gets the advantage in a corner. The two go back and forth on the mat when Jericho whips Hardcore in a corner and follows up with a bulldog. Jericho gets on some chops and goes for a whip but Hardcore drops Jericho onto the ropes with a Hot Shot then drapes him on the top rope and kicks the chest. Jericho fights back with forearms and chops then goes for a whip but Hardcore reverses it and hits the dropkick. Hardcore pounds on Jericho and applies a chinlockand Jericho fights out and comes back with chops. Hardcore stops that and hits a powerbomb for a near fall then chops Jericho in a corner and pounds him down before choking him with his boot. Hardcore goes for a whip, Jericho reverses him into the opposite corner and eats a boot but comes back with a spinning heel kick. Jericho whips Hardcore and hits an elbow and whips him again into a corner. Jericho goes for the bulldog a second time but this time Hardcore cuts Jericho down with a clothesline for two. Hardcore whips Jericho but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm. Hardcore heads out to the apron when Jerihco goes for the springboard dropkick but Hardcore shoves him off the ropes onto the barricade. Hardcore goes out and whips Jericho into the ringsteps before tossing him back in the ring as Stephanie McMahon makes her way down the ramp. Hardcore then argues with the referee while Stephanie weakly clocks Jericho with her Women’s title belt. Hardcore heads back in the ring and covers Jericho but only gets a two count and Stephanie is shocked by that. Hardcore whips Jericho looking for a dropkick but Jericho fakes him out then hits the Lionsault and gets the pin! (5:38) That was actually a nice little match there. Jericho gets his arm raised while Stephanie is not happy her interference failed and storms off. **½
~ Backstage we find The Kat trying to recruit Taka Mickinoku as her partner for the mixed tag match but Taka misunderstands and thinks Kat is talking about Funaki. So Kat decides to just drag Taka out to the ring as we go to commercial.
Dean Malenko & Terri Runnels vs. Taka Michinoku & The Kat
Malenko attacks Taka from behind before the match even starts and tosses him through the ropes then goes out and suplxes him onto the ramp. With Taka pretty much out of the picture on the floor Kat suddenly finds herself looking at a 2-on-1 situation and Terri taunts her about it. Kat decides to go on without a partner and hammers Terri in a corner with shoulderblocks and follows up with a monkey flip. Kat goes for a whip but Terri reverses it and Malenko kicks her from the apron. Malenko tags in and has Kat cornered when Lawler suddenly decides he can’t stand by and watch this happen. Lawler takes off his jacket and headset then heads in the ring and tees off on Malenko with right hands and I guess Lawler can replace Taka just like that since this is Memphis. Lawler whips Malenko and hits a backdrop then whips him into a corner and charges at him but eats an elbow. Malenko stomps Lawler down in a corner then whips him into a heel kick. Malenko whips Lawler again into a corner and charges at Lawler but eats a boot and Lawler clotheslines him down. Lawler pulls down the strap and plants Malenko with a vertical suplex before Malenko decides he’s had enough of this and tags in Terri. Terri doesn’t want to go in but Lawler brings her in and Kat rolls her up form behind for the pin. (2:31) However Malenko comes back in and beats Lawler down in a corner then forces Kat into another corner while Terri then hits Lawler with a Bronco Buster. Kat escapes from Malenko with a mule kick below the belt then pulls Terri off Lawler by the hair and tosses her through the ropes. At least Lawler is still pretty over in his hometown and got the crowd going. DUD
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews the Undertaker on the six-man tag match tonight and at the pay-per-view but Taker responds by saying everyone is talking but there isn’t much being said so he isn’t about a bunch of talk. Taker then finishes up by asking when was the last time the WWF has a real bad-a** champion.
~ Back from break Gerald Brisco is still searching for Pat Patterson when Howard Finkel runs up to him the with news that Patterson is hiding out in the women’s lockerroom dressed up like a lady. Brisco is stunned and asks how he’s supposed to get Patterson but when Finkel offers a suggestion Brisco is taken aback by it. Be afraid, people.
D’Von Dudley (w/Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. Road Dogg (w/X-Pac & Tori)
Road Dogg gets on the mic for the spiel wihle proclaiming he and X-Pac the kings of dumpsters as well as tables after what they put the Dudleys through. X-Pac then takes the mic and tells the Dudleys that Tori will be one woman they won’t put through a table Sunday. The Dudleys bring a table out to ringside and D’Von chases Road Dogg out of the ring and around the floor before they both head back in. Road Dogg gets in the first shots and whips D’Von but D’Von comes back and gets in his shots then whips Road Dogg into a clothesline. D’Von tells Bubba to get a table read on the floor when Road Dogg nails D’Von from behind and drapes him on the middle rope for the straddle bafore X-Pac adds in a choke. Road Dogg goes for a whip but D’Von reverses him into a corner then connects with a flying forearm for two. Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n jive punches and misses the big right then goes for the pump-handle slam but D’Von floats over him and hits the Curtain Call. Bubba manages to grab Tori on the floor but X-Pac goes in and drills D’Von with the X-Factor and Road Dogg is able to grab the pin. Sigh. (1:40) Yep, again. DUD
Road Dogg and X-Pac then double-team D’Von while Bubba has his attention focused on Tori on the floor. Bubba finally sees his partner in peril and heads in to come to D’Von’s aid but the DX’ers double-team him. Road Dogg and X-Pac whip Bubba but Bubba clotheslines both of them then tells D’Von to bring in a table. Tori gets in Bubba’s face for whaever reason so Bubba grabs her looking to finally put her through a table. However Road Dogg breaks a 2×4 over Bubba’s back and the DX’ers escape denying the Dudleys once again. Tony Chimel then tries to announce Road Dogg as the winner but his microphone keeps cutting out with static and Bubba takes exception to the annoucement so he throws Chimel in the ring then puts him through a table with 3D. This feud has been so one-sided it’s not even funny so the Dudleys should finally get their revenge on Sunday, right?
~ Backstage we find Gerald Brisco dressed in drag while referee Mike Chioda laughs at him uncontrollably. Brisco takes exception to that and tells Chioda to come with him so he can get his Hardcore Title back.
~ Back from break Geralo Brisco gives Chiods his final instructions then charges into the women’s lockerroom and goes right after Patterson. Patterson tries to beg his friend off before throwing powder in Brisco’s eyes and the two of them fight out of the room. Patterson and Brisco roll around on the floor just as Vince McMahon happens to walk by and demands an explanation for this. Vince decides that since the Stooges like to be dressed up, he’s going to have them compete at King of the Ring … in a Hardcore evening gown match. Seriously, I thought the WWF was out to get people to buy their pay-per-view, not scare them away.
~ Elsewhere Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock about the main event when Rock takes the mic and pushes Kevin aside. Rock starts with “Finally..” as usual and mentions Jerry Lewis in the audience before saying he has great balls of fire. Rock addresses Vince’s supposed plan before saying Vince, Triple H and Shane are going to get beaten not once but twice. Rock says his alliance with Undertaker and Kane will be over this Sunday, just like the McMahon-Helmsley Regime. Rock says his era will begin again once the dust settles at King of the Ring, if you smell and you know it goes.
~ Back from break we get one more look at the King of the Ring brackets.
The Rock, The Undertaker & Kane vs. Triple H, Vince McMahon & Shane McMahon (w/Stephanie)
So they’re really going ahead with this main event meaning we don’t have buy the pay-per-view in three days. Incidentally Howard Finkel is doing the intros for this match after Tony Chimel got taken out. Once everyone has filed out the McMahon clan stalls on the floor while Rock, Taker and Kane are ready to go. However Vince gets on the mic and announces that this contest is now a no-disqualification handicap match then introduces the first series of opponents. Out comes Road Dogg, X-Pac and Bull Buchanan but Rock, Taker and Kane are able to fight the trio off and clear them out to the floor in just a matter of seconds. Vince then brings out Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle but Rock, Taker and Kane manage to handle them as well. However Road Dogg, X-Pac and Buchanan make it back in and Rock, Taker and Kane all get double-teamed. The DX’ers whip Taker into a corner then whip Christian but Taker boots him down before clotheslining Road Dogg and X-Pac. Rock takes Angle out with a Rock Bottom while Kane chokeslams Edge and Taker stomps Buchanan down. Vince calls out more reinforcements and Test, Albert and Val Venis charge in the ring to make it 9-on-3. Rock hits Val with a Rock Bottom but all the heels come back and Rock and friends start getting overwhelmed. All the heels then take Taker and Kane out to the floor and work them over while Rock is left alone in the ring. Test, Albert and Val suplex Kane through the anounce table while Team ECK and the DX’ers have Taker down. Triple H heads in the ring and clotheslines Rock down then tees off on him before Vince and Shane get in a shot. Rock tries to fight back against them but Triple H stops that rally with a clothesline followed by the Pedigree. Shane climbs to the top and hits a flying elbowdrop and Vince adds the period with his own People’s Elbow. Vince then covers Rock while Triple H and Shane force Earl Hebner to count a pinfall for them. (4:58) The Regime then stand tall over the Rock’s prone body with Vince smellin’ it as the show fades to black. The McMahons got the win tonight so surely the faces are getting the win on Sunday, right? DUD
Conclusion: And that’s how we go into King of the Ring. This episode was entirely focused on putting the final touches on the pay-per-view and there was some nice in-ring action in the first 2/3 of the show, including Rikishi’s big IC title victory which, though nice, should have been saved until after the pay-per-view. On the other hand the last 1/3 of the episode isn’t worth your time, especially the main event which bordered on a bait-and-switch. Also the booking of this show essentially promised certain stuff would happen at the pay-per-view but how much of that stuff actually takes place is another thing. So enjoy the show up to the Jericho/Hardcore match then turn it off because there’s nothing to see after that.