WWF Smackdown 3/15/2001

Written by: Adam King

Thursday, March 15th, 2001

Taped (3/13) from the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA

List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: The Rock (2/25/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho (1/21/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz (3/05/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Test (1/22/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: The Big Show (2/25/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)

~ Smackdown comes on the air with highlights of the Rock/Kurt Angle match on Raw and Steve Austin’s invovlement. Michael Cole and Tazz welcome us to the show and announce Austin and Angle will duke it out one more time tonight. That’s right, another Austin/Angle match.

WWF European Title: Test © vs. Eddie Guerrero (w/Perry Saturn & Terri Runnels)
This was set up earlier in the day when Eddie met with Commissioner William Regal hoping to get a rematch with Chris benoit. Instead Regal suggested Eddie let bygones be bygones and asked him to take care of Test, since he was a great European Champion once and was still mad about Test taking his title. Both men have a staredown when Test turns his back for some reason allowing Eddie to get the first shots. Eddie whips Test and hits an elbow and dropkicks his knee then slings himself over the ropes and hits a hilo. Eddie pops Test with an European uppercut and goes for a whip, Test reverses but Eddie rolls under a big boot. Test comes back with a clothesline then whips Eddie and hits a backdrop followed by a gutwrench powerbomb. Test whips Edide into a corner and charges but Eddie sidesteps it then rolls him up but only gets a two count. Eddie goes for a whip, Test reverses it and charges at him but tumbles over the ropes after Eddie ducks him. Eddie distracts the referee and Saturn clotheslines Test while we get a shot of Regal watching from his office. Saturn tosses Test back in the ring and Eddie hits another European uppercut then works him over with chops. Eddie goes for a whip but Test reverses it and plants him with a tilt-o-whirl slam that gets a two count. Test throws Eddie into a corner and kicks him down when Saturn hops on the apron with the European belt. Test brings Saturn in the hard way and works him over but that allows Eddie to grab the belt and ready a swing. However Chris Jericho runs out and snaps Eddie on the top rope and Test nails him with the big boot for the pin. (3:02) Test celebrates the win and Jericho walks off while Regal doesn’t look happy that his plans got thwarted. Okay match but Eddie is left with nothing for the pay-per-view since his feud with Benoit got blown off on Raw. *½

~ Cole and Tazz recap Triple H ambushing The Undertaker on Raw which would lead to The Big Show ambushing Kane. We then find Taker sitting on his motorcycle in the parking garage as if he’s waiting for a certain someone to arrive. Kane walks up to Taker and asks him if he’s waiting for Triple H then tells him that there are ways to handle this. Taker scoffs at Kane being the voice of reason and agrees that there are other ways but he’s handling this his way tonight. Kane sees Taker won’t budge so he offers to wait with him but Taker tells him he wants to take care of this himself and to head back inside. Kane leaves, but not before asking Taker to give Triple H one for him.

~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Anaheim Pond as Cole and Tazz hype tonight’s main event.

~ We then get a sit-down interview Jim Ross had with Steve Austin earlier today about his road back to Wrestlemania. JR reminds Austin they’re three weeks away from the biggest Wrestlemania ever and asks Austin what it means to him. Austin says he did what he had to get there, winning the Royal Rumble for a shot at the champion which is The Rock. Austin says Rock is the best since he’s WWF Champion so he goes in and either defeats Rock or gets beaten himself. Austin says Wrestlemania is in Texas, his backyard, and being in the main event tells him his journey is over and he’s back. JR mentions how everyone though Austin was done after his spinal surgery and only he thought he could come back. JR also mentions his obsession with being WWF Champion again and Austin says that should be everyone’s goal here. JR next brings up how Austin won the Royal Rumble and Rock won the title at No Way Out to set the main event up and it was smooth sailing until Vince McMahon threw a curveball by appointing Debra as Rock’s manager. Austin says Vince did it because their feud lasted over a year and he beat him up so many times that he lost count. Austin feels Vince can’t handle him one-on-one so he made his wife Rock’s manager just to shove it right back at him. JR then says the fans don’t understand why he Stunned Rock on Raw and Austin asks what’s so hard to understand, he warned Rock not to put Debra in jeopary or else, yet he went out and put Debra in jeporary so there. JR next brings up Kurt Angle putting his hands on Debra and figures the match tonight won’t be about wrestling. Austin concurs that Angle has a whipping coming because nobody messes with him and nobody messes with his wife. Austin adds there will be a winner and loser as well as a lot of burtality with Angle on the receiving end of it. JR mentions Rock is also due to be in Anaheim tonight and Austin says how much he’s glad that Rock will be in town. Austin mentions how he and Rock aren’t buddies but he doesn’t hate him, that he respects what he accomplished. Austin says he’s going to roll into Wrestlemania and stomp Rock’s guts in to win the title but that’s later down the road. As for tonight Austin invites Rock to park himself in front of a monitor and watch him beat Angle up all over the ring. Austin finishes by saying Angle will be the victim tonight and that’s all he has to say so he gets up and leaves.

~ Backstage we find Undertaker still in the garage as he searches for something and finds a large lead pipe. Taker then sits back on his bike and continues waiting for Triple H as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break William Regal summons Kevin Kelly to his office and talks about Chris Jericho interfering earlier. Regal decides that since Jericho likes to be out there performing he can face the Dudleys in a tag team tables match. Kevin asks about Jericho’s partner but Regal says Jericho won’t have one, that it’ll be another handicap match for him. Kevin next brings up The Undertaker waiting for Triple H in the parking garage and asks Regal what he’ll do about it. Regal feels that Taker is a reasonable man and that he can talk with him like gentlemen to diffuse this situation.

The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita) & Billy Gunn vs. X-Pac, Justin Credible & Albert
Albert attacked the Hardys and joined up with X-Pac and Credible on Raw, plus Credible cost Billy a match with X-Pac on Heat so there’s your setup. Jeff locks up with Credible to start us off and applies an armwringer but Credible quickly fights out of it. Credible whips Jeff and leapfrogs over him but Jeff kicks him in the back of the knee then dropkicks his face. Matt gets the tag and goes for a whip, Credible reverses it but Matt comes back with the takedown clothesline. Credible rakes Matt’s face and tags X-Pac for a double-team when Matt fights back but Albert clotheslines him. X-Pac slams Matt and hits a running legdrop for a two count then whips him into a corner but eats a boot. Matt hops to the middle rope and connects with the guilltoine legdrop but hurts himself and both men are down. Both men head to the corners and X-Pac tags Credible but Jeff gets his tag and dropkicks Albert off the apron. Jeff hits Credible with a jawbreaker then takes him down and hits the double legdrop as Matt goes after X-Pac. Matt whips X-Pac into a corner then drops down into position while Jeff nails X-Pac with the Poetry in Motion. Billy then comes in and gets in his shots on Albert in a corner before telling Jeff to charge at him which he does. Billy tosses Jeff over his head looking for a Frankesteiner on Albert but Albert catches him into a powerbomb. Albert shoves Jeff down then tags X-Pac in and X-Pac kicks Jeff down in a corner and hits the Bronco Buster. Credible tags in and whips Jeff into a corner and charges at him but Jeff sidesteps it and Credible hits the buckles. Lita then trips Credible from the floor and pulls him by the legs into the ringpost while Jeff makes the tag to Billy. Billy takes it to Credible and X-Pac and decks Albert then whips Billy and plants him with a tilt-o-whirl slam. Billy then press slams X-Pac onto Albert who catches him but the Hardys dropkick the pile over the ropes. The Hardys head out to the floor while Billy whips Credble into a corner and Credible nearly flips over the ropes. Billy nails Credible with the cobra clutch slam and covers him but X-Pac makes the save and hits the X-Factor. Matt is back in and drills X-Pac with the Twist of Fate but Albert grabs him and plants him with the Albertbomb. Jeff then springs off the top rope and nails Albert with a corkscrew moonsault as the referee calls for the bell, decided this has gotten way too out of control and we have a double disqualification. (5:05) Albert is back up and press slams Jeff over the ropes and it’s he and his pals who stand tall in the ring. Blah match and I don’t get the DDQ since this didn’t lead to a feud or anything. *

~ Backstage William Regal tries to reason with The Undertaker who’s still sitting on his bike waiting with the lead pipe. Regal suggests that he and Taker go inside and have some tea while they talk about his grievances with Triple H but Taker just taps his pipe on the floor. So Regal wanrs Taker not to make him do something that he doesn’t want to do and Taker tells Regal to get out of his face before he does something that he does want to do. Regal backs away and Taker goes back to waiting for Triple H but is getting impatient as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we find Rock pacing around backstage, perhaps pondering what Steve Austin said about him.

~ Cole and Tazz next talk about Shane McMahon making his surprise return on Raw as we get clips of that incident. We then find Shane sitting at the WWF Studios in Stanford about to speak with Johnathan Coachman later on. Yes, folks, we’re going to get two sitdown interviews on this show.

~ We then find a limo arriving in the parking lot and somehow we can hear the Helmsleys talking from inside it. Triple H notices Undertaker’s bike and pipe are unattended near them and decides to have some fun by tipping it over. Triple H climbs out but quickly climbs back in the limo when Taker comes in the picture daring him to take him out. Triple H locks the limo door but Taker takes the limo keys out and continutes taunting Triple H to finish this right now. Triple H still shows no interest in coming out to face him so Taker grabs his pipe and smashes the limo’s window in. Triple H climbs out the other side and Taker chases after him and Stephanie when some police cars suddenly drive up. Stephanie begs the cops to arrest Taker so Taker throws down the pipe then surrenders to them without resistance. Yes, they’ve even resorted to an arrest angle to build Wrestlemania up. Taker is cuffed but tells Triple H this isn’t over so Triple H gets in a free shot and the cops keep them separated. Taker and Triple H continue to exchange words while he’s loaded into one of the police cars and taken downtown. Stephanie then asks Triple H what will he do once Taker gets out and Triple H suddenly gets worried about that idea.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker getting arrested when he wanted Triple H to take him out. Wethen find the Helmsleys griping to William Regal who reveals that he called the police after Taker threatened him. Triple H tells Regal he intends to press full charges against Taker and Regal promises to take care of it for him. Regal then walks off and Triple H calls him a good guy while Stephanie feels he’ll be a pretty good commissioner. Of course, authority figures always have to support the heels. Like I said, it’s in the rulebook.

~ We now switch over to WWF Studios for Johnathan Coachman’s sit-down interview with Shane McMahon. Coach mentions Shane returning and attacking Vince on Raw and asks him where he’s been the past few months and Shane says he’s been focusing on the business that’s in his blood. Shane talks about trying to emulate his grandfather and that at times he’s like his father but isn’t proud of his deplorable actions and is ashamed to share his last name. Shane asks Coach how he’d feel his his father dragged his mother to the middle of the ring and demanded a divorce then put her in a sanitarium and kept her drugged up every day. Shane then brings up Vince having an affair with a woman Stephanie’s age and flaunting it right in front of Linda’s face. Shane says that he blames himself because of his long absence when he should have been there and put a stop to this. Shane says when he walked down the ramp on Monday and looked directly at Vince’s eyes he got angrier and angrier and once he stepped through the ropes he unleashed a flurry of violence on the very man that created him. Shane says that made him sick to his stomach, but at the same time he took great pleasure in beating up Vince. Shane says he doesn’t know what ramifications Vince has in store for him but his relationship with his father is now over.

~ The Dudleys are shown making their way to the ring with a table in hand as we go to commercial.

Chris Jericho © vs. The Dudley Boyz – Non-Title Handicap Tables Match
Cole feels the Dudleys don’t really want to do this but they still have to follow the Commissioner’s orders. Bubba gets Jericho’s attention allowing D’Von to jump him and pound on him then whip him into a corner. Jericho comes out with a clothesline and hits a chop then goes for a whip, D’von reverses but lowers the head. Jericho kicks the face then comes off the ropes but D’Von hits a powerslam then tags Bubba to get in his shots. Bubba sends D’Von out for a table and slams Jericho as we see William Regal enjoying the action in his office. D’Von has a table in hand when Jericho knocks it into him with a baseball slide but Bubba clotheslines him. Bubba hops to the middle rope and goes for a senton but misses it and Jericho tries to fight back again. Jericho whips Bubba into a corner and hits a spinning heelkick then nails D’Von with the springboard dropkick. Jericho drills Bubba with then bulldog then goes for the Lionsault but misses it and Bubba slams him to the mat. Bubba then sets Jericho up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. D’Von brings the table in and sets it up then Bubba hops to the middle rope while D’Von starts to hand Jericho to him for the superbomb but Jericho flips out of it and shoves D’Von right into Bubba’s netherregion. Jericho clotheslines D’Von over the ropes then goes and sets Bubba up for a Frankensteiner through the table but D’Von moves the table out of the way. D’Von sets Jericho up for a Curtain Call through the table when Jericho counters then goes a suplex through the table and Bubba moves it but D’Von still catches some of the table. Some of the table legs did collapse but the table itself didn’t break so the referee orders the match to continue. Jericho takes Bubba down into the Walls of Jericho and Bubba taps but that doesn’t mean anything in this match. D’Von breaks it up then slides a second table in the ring and sets it up when Jericho nails him below the belt. Jericho comes off the ropes but the Dudleys catch him with a 3D through the table for the victory. (4:37) Decent for what it was, though the crowd couldn’t decide who the cheer for. **

~ Backstage William Regal is enjoying Jericho’s demise when Kane barges in demanding a match with Triple H tonight. Regal offers Kane some tea but Kane gets in his face and growls at him for calling the police on his brother earlier. Kane says the police aren’t around reight now and demands Regal make the match and Regal gives in to his request. Kane then storms off and Regal nervously sips his cup of tea as we go to commercial.

~ Back form break Cole and Tazz take their turn trying to get us to care about the XFL. Honestly, guys, you can’t save a sinking ship so just jump off it.

~ Backstage we find The Rock still pacing around. That’s about all he’s done tonight thus far.

~ Elsewhere Grandmaster Sexay loads the WWF Music 5 CD into a boombox and plays The Rock’s song “Pie”, asking someone off camera if they can feel the beat then plays the Too Cool theme and busts a few moves. Sexay tells the unseen person that with Scotty 2 Hotty out injured he needs someone to help keep Too Cool alive. Sexay says he needs a partner to face the Right To Censor tonight and how the person is the baddest man around. Sexay mumbles some jargon before asking if he’ll team up with him as the camera pans to reveal … Steve Blackman? Blackman shuts the boombox off and tells Sexay he’ll do whatever he wants if he’ll keep his mouth shut then walks off. Sexay then turns the music back on and starts dancing as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Kevin Kelly interviews Kurt Angle about what Steve Austin promised to do to him in the main event. Angle says Austin can talk all he wants but this is his interview time right now and he has an announcement to make. Angle says he’s talked with Commissioner Regal who has granted his request so their match is now no disqualification. Angle also says should Austin be unable to make it to Wrestlemania then he gets to take his place in the title match.

Grandmaster Sexay & Steve Blackman vs. Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather (w/Steven Richards)
So Sexay and Blackman are the latest “odd couple” tag team. Not exactly the Rock ‘n Sock Connection we got here. After the RTC’ers are out first Sexay dances his way down the ramp while Blackman just rolls his eyes at him. Goodfather pounds Blackman to start and whips him but Blackman rolls under a clothesline and gets in his shots. Blackman goes for a whip, Goodfather reverses it but Blackman hits a flying shouldertackle then slams him. Blackman follows up with a series of elbowdrops then tags Sexay in and the two make a wish with the legs. Sexay goes for a whip, Goodfather reverses him into a corner and goes for a splash but runs into a superkick. Sexay hops to the midde rope when Goodfather charges but Sexay hops over him and drills him with a DDT. Sexay goes for a running bulldog but Goodfather shoves him away and Sexay crotchs himself on the ringpost. Goodfather tags Buchanan and holds Sexay while Buchanan climbs to the top rope and hits a flying axehandle. Buchanan hits a backbreaker and slams Sexay then runs up the buckles and hits the springboard clothesline. Buchanan whips Sexay and hits a boot then works him over in a corner and whips him into the opposite corner. Buchanan charges but Sexay sidesteps it and hits an enzuigiri then crawls over and makes the tag to Blackman. Blackman kicks Buchanan then whips him and hits an elbow when Goodfather comes in but eats a clothesline. Blackman plants Buchanan with a spinebuster and covers him but Goodfather saves it and stomps away at him. Buchanan holds Blackman for Goodfather but Sexay cuts Goodfather off with a dropkick and wails away at him. Richards sides a chair in the ring then starts in Tazz leaves the announce table and grabs him with the Tazzmission. Richards is choked out on the floor while Blackman suplexes Buchanan and rolls him up for the three. (3:54) Yawner match, and the fans only really cared about Tazz choking out Richards. DUD

After the bell Tazz punks Buchanan out of the ring for good measure before returning to the announce table. Meanwhile Sexay pulls out the Too Cool sunglasses and offers them to Blackman who refuses to do any dancing. Sexay then slips the shades on Blackman’s face and they must be enchanted because now Blackman is all for it. So the music fires out and Blackman tries to follow Sexay’s lead by busting out some unusual moves. Sadly this team never went anywhere despite the bookers’ efforts to get them over.

Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Kane
The Helmselys make their way to the ring first when Triple H greets Motorhead who’s sitting in the crowd. Kane comes out next and sets off his pyro then catches Triple H with a clothesline and gets in the first shots. Kane pummels Triple H in a corner when Triple H tries to get a whip but can’t budge Kane who grabs the ropes. Kane throws Triple H into the corner and Triple H flips over the ropes then Kane goes after him on the floor. Kane rams Triple H into the steps and fights him up the ramp to the stage then throws him into the entrance set. Kane presses Triple H up and looks to throw him over the stage but the referee stands in his way to stop him. Triple H slips out of there and gets in his shot then tries to knock Kane off the stage but Kane stops him. Both men make their way back down the ramp when Triple H clotheslines Kane then whips him into the steps. Triple H throws Kane back in the ring and goes for a whip but Kane reverses it and hits him with a press slam. Kane follows up with an elbowdrop for a two count then whips him but Triple H comes back with the facebuster. Triple H hits a neckbreaker and stomps Kane down then goes for a whip but Kane reverses it and hits a boot. Kane climbs to the top rope for the clothesline but looks out and sees The Big Show coming down the ramp. That allows Triple H to throw him off to the mat and unload on him with rights while Show continues to look on. Triple H rams Kane into the top turnbuckle but Kane no-sells it then start shurging off Triple H’s blows. Kane throws Triple H into a corner and pummels him then whips him the other way and hits a sidewalk slam. Kane follows it up with a powerslam then climbs to the top rope again and this time hits the flying clothesline. Kane whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H drills him with a DDT. Triple H then climbs to the top himself but Kane sits right up and grabs Triple H by the throat. However Show hops on the apton so Kane decks him then Triple H leaps off the top but Kane catches him by the neck and plants him with the chokeslam. Kane covers Triple H but Stephanie distracts the referee while Show pulls Kane out to the floor and nails him with the Final Cut. Show throws Kane back in and Triple H finishes him with the Pedigree and gets the three to beat Kane yet again. (8:00) Okay match but I’ve seen better from these guys, plus who wanted to see Kane lose to Triple H for the umpteenth time. **

Triple H stands over Kane and taunts him when Kane suddeny pops right up and grabs Triple H by the throat. However Show comes in and nails Kane from behind to save Triple H. Kane grabs Show in a choke but before he can hit the chokeslam Triple H kicks Kane below the belt and Show plants Kane with his chokeslam.

~ Kurt Angle and Steve Austin are both shown heading to the ring which means main event time is next. We also see The Rock still pacing around the back. Maybe he’ll do something else later as we go to commercial.

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle – No Disqualification Match
Austin didn’t like Angle putting his wife in the Anklelock and wants Angle to know it. Angle is out first followed by Austin who pulls Angle out of the ring then pounds on him and rams him into the steps. Austin continues his assault on Angle and clotheslines him over the barricade then brawls with him in the crowd. Austin tosses Angle back over the barrier and rams him into the announce table then finally they go in the ring. Austin ties Angle in a Tree of Woe and stomps away at him then goes out and brings the bell in the ring. Angle bails out to the floor and Austin chases after him on the ramp when Angle catches him with a clothesline. Angle finally gets some offense in as he stomps away on Austin then knocks him down the ramp back to ringside. Angle rams Austin into the apron and into the steps but Austin comes back with a Stun Gun onto the barricade! Austin throws Angle in the ring then brings a chair in but then whips Angle and plants him with a spinebuster. Austin grabs the chair and jabs Angle’s knees repeatedly then wedges his ankle in the chair a’la Brian Pillman. Austin hops to the middle rope but Earl Hebner is begging him not to do it allowing Angle to get the chair off. Angle rolls out to the floor with the bell in hand and Austin moves in but gets clocked in the face with the bell. Austin is out in the ring and Angle is down on the floor when The Rock decides to make his way down the ramp. Rock tosses Angle back in the ring and Angle manages to cover the fallen Austin … but only gets a two count!

Angle lays the boots to Austin while Rock makes his way over to the announce table and joins the commentary. Angle plants Austin with a back suplex then goes and drapes him over the apron and elbows him in the chest. Angle props Austin in a corner then grabs the chair and charges at him when Austin boots the chair in his face. Angle comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex and stomps Austin down in a corner when Austin fights back. Angle regains the advantage then comes off the ropes but Austin hits a Thesz Press and hammers him with rights. Austin tosses Angle through the ropes then notices Rock at the announce table before ramming Angle into it. Austin grabs a chair and readies a swing at Angle but Angle cuts him off then whips Austin right into Rock. Angle takes the chair himself and takes a swing at Austin when Austin ducks it but Rock gets nailed instead. Angle clocks Austin with the chair then rolls him back in the ring while Rock tries to recover on the floor. Angle slams Austin then climbs to the top rope and connects with the moonsault … but only gets a two count! Rock angrily climbs on the apron when Austin goes for the Stunner but Angle shoves him off right into Rock. Angle the slaps Austin in the Anklelock and Austin tries not to submit when Rock comes in and breaks it up. Rock works Angle over in a corner and hits the Smackdown then looks to hit Austin with the Rock Bottom. Rock grabs Austin but Angle breaks it up then pounds on Rock but Rock plants him with the Rock Bottom. However Austin thanks Rock for his help with the Stunner then covers Angle and gets the three for the win. (10:50) Fun match with an overbooked ending, but at least we finally get an actual decision in this series. **½

Austin celebrates his victory with a round of beers and leaves both Rock and Angle laying as we fade to black.

Conclusion: Another okay show, though not one I was really into for some reason. The Austin/Rock build was continued nicely and we’re starting to see other angles develop for Wrestlemania such as Triple H/Undertaker and Vince/Shane. But then again it seemed a lot of guys didn’t have anything set up for them for the pay-per-view such as Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, many of the other titleholders and Chris Benoit (who wasn’t even on this show for some reason) and were left spinning their wheels. Also did we need to have two sit-down interviews on one episode? Overall this isn’t a must-see edition of Smackdown but it’s still a decent way to kill two hours.

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