Written by: Adam King
Thursday, April 19th, 2001
Taped (4/17) from the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, TN
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/16/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/01/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/01/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Kane (4/01/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Chyna (4/01/2001)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Holly (3/18/2001)
~ Smackdown comes on the air with clips from the IC Title rematch on Raw and the subsequent events. Michael Cole then welcomes us to the show along with Tazz and announces tonight Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho will face the Dudleys in a tables match. And maybe some other stuff as well. Maybe they’ll even remember they have a pay-per-view in 10 days and actually book something for it.
~ Things kick off with Commissioner William Regal making his way to the ring. Regal gets on the mic and demands the Undertaker and Kane come out to the ring for a chat. The brothers quickly answer and Regal chasises them for interfering in Steve Austin and Triple H’s business, warning them it will not be tolerated. Regal suggests Taker and Kane stay away from Austin and Triple H feeling they will do the same to them. Uh-huh. Regal feels that Kane looks ready for action so he orders him to defend his Hardcore Title right now then proceeds to bring out Kane’s opponent which turns out to be…
- WWF Hardcore Title: Kane © (w/The Undertaker) vs. Rhyno (w/Edge & Christian)
Rhyno rushes the ring with his pals but Kane works him over him while Taker takes care of E&C and the brothers clear the ring. Takes and Kane go out after their foes and Taker works over E&C then tosses them over the barricade and chases them in the crowd. Rhyno rams Kane into the ringsteps and tees off on him before tossing him back in the ring. Rhyno goes for a whip but Kane reverses it and hits a boot then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane plants Rhyno with the chokeslam when Steve Austin and Triple H run in the ring brandishing chairs and nail Kane in the back before beating him down with them, especially targeting the arm. Triple H tells Rhyno to cover Kane and Rhyno does so for the 1..2..3 to win his first Hardcore Title. (2:31) Oddly enough they’re playing Triple H’s music even though Rhyno was the one who won the title. Taker rushes back to the ring and chases Austin and Triple H away but is far too late for Kane. NR
~ Back from break we get a replay of Austin and Triple H vicioulsy attacking Kane, followed by footage of Kane painfully making his way to the back while holding his arm.
- The Right To Censor vs. The Acolytes & Kaientai
The RTC is on a massive losing streak and they’re hoping to turn things around here. Steven Richards starts off against Sho Funkai who tries to intimidate Richards with a sumo stance but Richards doesn’t go for it and attacks Funaki in mid-pose. Richards whips Funaki but Funaki comes back with a headscissors. Funaki tags Taka Michinoku in and trips Richards with a drop toehold then goes into a camel clutch and holds Richards while Taka dropkicks the face. Richards drives Taka into his corner where the RTC triple-team him before Val Venis tags in to take over. Val whips Taka into a and chagres but Taka sidesteps him only to eat an elbow in return. Val climbs to the top rope and misses a corkscrew crossbody but comes back with a clothesline. Val whips Taka and hits a spinebuster then goes into a submission hold but Bradshaw breaks it up. Goodfather tags in and beats Taka down then throws him across the ring and hits a suplex. Goodfather covers but Faarooq makes the save and Val comes in without a tag and stomps Taka. Bull Buchanan tags in and helps Goodfather whip Taka and hit a double elbow. Buchanan clotheslines Taka and sets him on the top rope then goes up but Bradshaw throws him off to the mat. Buchanan knocks Bradshaw off the apron and everyone pours in the ring while Taka is still perched on the top rope. Goodafther tosses Funaki over the ropes while Faarooq clotheslines Buchanan over as well. Bradshaw powerbombs Richards while Buchanan comes over and tries to whip him but Bradshaw reverses and Faaoorq helps him hit a double spinebuster. Taka follows up a kneedrop from the top rope and that gets the pin to continue the RTC’s woes. (4:21) The Acolytes celebrate with Kaientai while the RTC are shocked that they lost again. What you’d expect. *
~ Cole and Tazz now hype Saturday’s XFL Championship game between the San Francisco Demons and the L.A. Xtreme and we even get a special video look at Xtreme quarterback Tommy Maddox’s journey through the XFL season. That’s this Saturday on NBC!
~ Backstage Undertaker is promising Kane they’ll get even as he asks some backstage guys where Commissioner Regal’s office is. Once they point the way the brothers head off but not before Taker tells the guys to call 911 as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Grandmaster Sexay admires his reflection in Eddie Guerrero’s European Title belt when Eddie comes up and tells Sexay to keep his hands off his property. Sexay tells Eddie to chill while calling him dawg but Eddie takes offesne to being called a dog and Sexay tries to tell him not to be so hot, calling him tamale. Eddie takes offense to that as well and Sexay decides to show him his hip hop moves in the ring. Eddie takes that as a challenge so he grabs his title belt and storms off.
~ Elsewhere backstage a WCW1 limo arrives in the parking lot meaning Shane McMahon is here tonight. Maybe he’ll actually do something this time.
~ Still elsewhere William Regal is enjoy his tea when The Undertaker and Kane barge into his office and angrily clear off his desk. Taker grabs Regal by his coat and accuses him of setting them up earlier then demands he give them Austin and Triple H, and after that Edge, Christian and Rhyno as well. Regal claims he’s not inclined to grant such a request so Kane responds by setting Regal’s trashcan on fire and that convinces Regal to grant Taker and Kane a tag team title match with Edge and Christian tonight. Taker feels that isn’t enough and Regal is at a loss of what he wants until Kane sets a nearby plant on fire. Regal finally caves in and tells Taker and Kane if they win the titles they can have Austin and Triple H. Taker and Kane seem satisfied and start to depart when Regal mentions their tag title match is no disqualification. The brothers walk off but not before Kane sets Regal’s desk on fire on his way out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker forcing Regal to give him and Kane a tag title match. Cole reminds us of Taker and Kane win the titles they’ll they their shot at Austin and Triple H.
- WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © vs. Grandmaster Sexay
Sexay leads the crowd in a cheer and busts a move that allows Eddie to attack him from behind. Eddie whips Sexay and hits an elbow then whips him again but Sexay slides under him and hits a neckbreaker. Sexay goes for a whip, Eddie reverses him into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Sexay hops onto the middle rope and leaps off, Eddie ducks him but Sexay comes back with a DDT for a two count. Eddie bails out to the floor but Sexay hits a baseball slide then brawls with Eddie up the ramp before bulldoging him onto it. Sexay throws Eddie back in the ring and climbs to the top rope and goes for a flying crossbody but misses it. Eddie hits a double stomp to the chest followed by shoulderblocks in a corner. Eddie whips Sexay into the opposite corner but Sexay stops himself then tosses Eddie his head onto the turnbuckles. Sexay hits an euzuigiri then whips Eddie and hits a backdrop and dances a big before hitting a right hand. Sexay goes for a whip, Eddie reverses him into a corner and Sexay lifts himself over Eddie then grabs Eddie with a waistlock. Eddie switches into his own waistlock when Sexay elbows him away and goes for a Figure Four but Eddie kicks him into the ringpost and rolls him up for a two count. Eddie hits a back suplex then climbs to the top rope looking for the Frogsplash but Sexay cuts him off then goes up and hits a superplex. Instead of covering Eddie, Sexay climbs to the top rope himself but Eddie grabs the referee’s ankle and causes him to bump the ropes, straddling Sexay on the buckle. Sexay falls to the mat and Eddie rolls him up with his own feet on the ropes for the win. (4:38) Eddie did his best but this match still had no heat. After all it’s Sexay in there. *½
~ Backstage Vince McMahon, Steve Austin and Triple H demand an explanation from William Regal about the match he set up and Regal assures them they can use the no-DQ stipulation to their advantage. Vince decides to add some entertainment and asks the other three to see what happens to Shane later then departs while the others continue their discussion as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Lillian Garcia interviews Edge and Christian about their tag title defense later as well as Rhyno’s controversial Hardcore title win. Edge responds by saying controversy rules and there’s a huge problem in their match tonight but it’s The Undertaker and Kane’s, not theirs. Edge says he and Christian are the big game hunters and any bets placed on them will pay big dividends. Christian adds they’ve been up against big obstacles before but have always walks out still tag team champs. Christian says they have a plan that reeks of awesomeness before the three of them depart.
~ Out in the arena Vince McMahon hits the ring because we just have to get our McMahon promo time in. Vince gets on the mic and talks about how Shane McMahon came back to the WWF some time ago and attacked him in the ring then stole WCW from under his nose and kicked a trash can in his face. Vince then suggest Shane is stalking him after appearing on Raw and pulling up in his limo tonight. Vince claims he never wanted WCW in the first place then feels Shane has something important to say so he dares Shane to come out and confront him face-to-face. Shane does make his way out and grabs a mic and apologizes to Vince … for not beating him up a long time ago after Wrestlemania. Shane says things are getting hot in WCW just like the issues in his personal life after his speech on Raw, which Linda and her attorneys found in very interesting. Shane tells Vince to have a nice day and starts to head out but Vince stops him and tries to explain himself, claiming what he said on Monday wasn’t about divorce, it was about the sanctity of marriage. Vince brings up the conversation Shane had with The Big Show and even shows it on the OvalTron before reminding him that Shows’s working for the WWF.
Vince then invites Show to the ring for a public conversation and Show comes out and shake Shane’s hand. Vince accuses Show of trying to impress Shane when Shane sees him just as the world does, the single biggest dissapopintment in the WWF. Vince feels Shane is trying to recruit Show to WCW then congradulates him on his accquisition. However Vince tells Show that once he gets to WCW he’s going to get some of the pep talks Shane used to give him and shows a clip from Smackdown last year of Shane calling Show an pathetic, pea-brained, unmotivated slob. Vince then shows a still of Shane breaking a cement block over Show’s head at Judgment Day last May, followed by a series of clips of Shane making fun of Show over the past year as well. Vince tells Show he may have squandered his oppertunites but still has the potential to be WWF Champion before asking him to decide his path, whether he remains in the WWF or goes with Shane to WCW. Show grabs Vince by the throat but then turns and grabs Shane by the throat and proceeds to chokeslam him. Vince stands over Shane and tells him he will face Big Show at Backlash, in a Last Man Standing match. Vince and Show leave Shane laying in the ring and hey, we finally have a match booked for the pay-per-view.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Vince asking Show to make a decision and Show answering with a chokeslam.
~ Out in the arena The Dudleys make thier way to the ring for the tables match followed by Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho, who are teaming up for the first time. However before the match starts William Regal comes out to the stage along with Kurt Angle and gets on the mic mentioning that Backlash is just 10 days away. Regal tells Jericho he won’t be getting off that easy because the two will wrestle each other again, this time in a match under ‘Duchess of Queensbury’ rules which he will explain in due course. Regal then tells Benoit he will fight Angle on the card as well, in a 30-minute ultimate submission match where the most submissions wins. So we got three matches booked for Backlash, all in the span of five minutes. Anyway Regal then demands the tables match start just as the Dudleys attack Benoit and Jericho from behind.
- The Dudley Boyz vs. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho – Tables Match
Bubba Ray tosses Benoit through the ropes and goes after him on the floor while Jerricho tees off on D’Von in a corner. Jericho goes for a whip, D’Von reverses him into a corner and eats a boot but catches Jericho with a powerslam as Angle looks on. D’Von whips Jericho and hits the jumping elbow then whips him again but Jericho comes back with a forearm followed by a dropkick. D’Von rolls out to the apron when Jericho connects with the springboard dropkick but Bubba comes in and plants Jericho with a Samoan Drop. Benoit comes in and hammers away on Bubba then Benoit goes for a whip, Bubba reverses him into a corner and eats a double boot but nails Benoit with the Bubbabomb. Benoit fights back with chops and goes for a whip but Bubba reverses him into a corner and slams him. Bubba then sets Benoit up as D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt as Angle continues to observe. The Dudleys go out and grab a table when Jericho goes for a baseball slide but the Dudleys raise the table up and ram it into Jericho’s face. The Dudleys set the table up in the ring then go for a double flapjack on Benoit through the table but Jericho moves it just in time. Jericho nails D’Von with a spinning heelkick but eats a right hand from Bubba. Bubba places Jericho onto the table as D’Von climbs to the top rope but Benoit cuts him off. Bubba clubs Benoit in the back but Jericho knocks Bubba through the ropes. Benoit and Jericho then go to superplex D’Von through the table but Bubba moves it to prevent that as well. Bubba clotheslines Jericho over the ropes when Benoit grabs him with a waistlock, Bubba fights out of it and goes for the Bubbabomb but Benoit counters into a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German then goes to put Bubba through the table with a third German suplex but D’Von moves it to save Bubba. Jericho climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick on D’Von. The Chrises set the table up and Benoit places D’Von on it while Jericho goes for a Liondsault but Bubba trips him from the floor. Benoit climbs to the top rope looking for the diving headbutt through the table when Angle runs down and shoves Benoit off the top through the table, which somehow gets the Dudleys the victory. (4:31) Entertaining match there but can someone explain how Angle putting Benoit through the table means the Dudleys win? **½
~ Back from break we get a music video about the Undertaker and Kane set to Marilyn Manson’s “Fight Song”.
~ Backstage Vince wishes Edge & Christian luck in their match but something tells him they won’t need it. Vince then joins Steve Austin and Triple H in looking at highlights of them beating down the Hardys on Raw. I guess this is suppsoed to make us think the Hardys are still in the main storyline but we know better.
~ Elsewhere Johnathan Coachman interviews Molly Holly on her chances of winning the Women’s title tonight. Molly feels her chances are fair and she may not be as big is Chyna but is still going to do her best.
~ Chyna is then shown heading to the ring for her aforementioned title defense as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Gaylord Entertainment Center and also find Jevon Kearse of the Tennessee Titans in the crowd tonight.
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews the Undertaker and Kane (who has his left elbow taped up), asking if they’re ready for their title shot. Taker chastises Kevin for asking the dumbest questions sometimes then asks why Steve Austin and Triple H feel beating up women and commentators makes them such bad dudes. Taker says once he and Kane finish Edge and Christian they’re going to show them who the real bad guys are, and while E&C are 7-time Tag Team champions they’re going to lose the titles for the seventh time. Taker finishes by saying E&C will make a name for themselves because he and Kane are going to make them famous.
- WWF Women’s Title: Chyna © vs. Molly Holly
Molly grabs Chyna with a waistlock to start, Chyna counters into a hammerlock, Molly reverses it and Molly goes into a headlock but Chyna shoves her into the roeps and hits a shoulderblock. Molly locks up with Chyna and applies an arm wreinger but Chyna reverses into her own armwringer. Molly flips out of it and goes into an armbar but Chyna throws her to the mat and hits a press slam. Chyna charges at Molly in a corner but Molly sidesteps her and hits a bulldog for a two count. Molly climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying crossbody but that only gets two as well. Molly comes off the ropes but runs into a clothesline and Chyna powerbombs Molly for the pin. (2:15) And Chyna’s burial of the Women’s division continues. *
~ Backstage we find Kurt Angle telling someone off camera not to come out until he says it’s time because they’re going to teach Chris Benoit about the three I’s as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Cole and Tazz again shill the XFL Championship game this Saturday night. They really want is to watch it, dont they?
~ Kurt Angle comes out to the ring as Tony Chimel announces this as a five-minute submission exhibition. Angle gets on the mic and says how he’s been beating opponents his whole life which he calls his ‘thang’ and pinning opponents is great but leaves him a little empty since he just pins them to the mat. Angle says there’s no better feeling than humilitaing his opponent by making them submit to his Olympic wrath. Angle says he wanted the ultimate submisison match promising 30 minutes of torture for Chris Benoit at Backlash because he’s going to make Benoit squeal over and over. Angle feels the fans don’t get what he’s saying so he’s recruited a trio of local wrestlers and brings them out for a submission demonstration. Angle says he will give each of them the chance to make him submit and hopes Benoit is watching his future. The first guy moves in but Angle takes him down with a headlock/armbar combo and forces him to tap. The second guy charges but Angle trips him and hits a front facelock slam that gets a submission. The third guy grabs Angle with a waistlock but Angle hits a Fireman’s carry and forces a tapout with an armbar. The thrid guy tries agan but Angle throws him over his shoulder and slaps on a jujigatame for the submission. Angle hits the second guy with a belly-to-belly throw and forces him to quit with a Dragon sleeper. Angle helps the guy up but kicks him in the back of the knee and locks in the Anklelock for a tapout. The other two guys are hesitant to lockup again so Angle offer to be in the mount position for them. The third guy moves in with a waistlock but Angle rolls forward into the Anklelock for another tapout. Angle drops to the mat again but has his back to the ramp and I bet you’re thinking “I wonder if Benoit is going to come out, replace the scrub when Angle isn’t looking and slap on the Crossface.” Well, that’s exactly what happens as Benoit slips in the ring and tosses the remaining guy over the ropes behind Angle’s back then slaps on the Crossface and Angle is the one who’s forced to tap out. Benoit refuses to let go at first but eventually does and leaves Angle laying in the ring.
~ Edge, Christian and Rhyno are all shown heading to the ring as are The Undertaker and Kane which means main event time is next. We then see Steve Austin and Triple H getting up and heading somewhere as we go to commercial.
- WWF World Tag Team Titles: Edge & Christian © (w/Rhyno) vs. The Undertaker & Kane – No-DQ Match
We opened the show with these five guys and it looks like we’re going to close with these same guys. Edge, Christian and Rhyno triple-team Kane while Taker rides to the ring on his motorcycle. Taker heads in and manages to clear Edge and Rhyno out then goes out after Edge leaving Christian and Kane. Kane plants Christian with a sidewalk slam and hits a clothesline then Christian goes after Kane’s bad arm but Kane swats him away and pounds him down in a corner. Christian slips out of the corner and gets in his own shots then goes for the count-along punches but Kane shoves him off and decks Edge off the apron. Kane manages to hit a one-arm powerslam then brings Edge in the ring and hits him with a big boot. Kane goes for the ropes and Rhyno nails him from behind to distract him as Christian moves in but Kane backdrops Christian over the ropes where Taker meets him with a right hand on the floor. In the ring Kane grabs Edge by the throat for a chokeslam but Rhyno comes in and Gores Kane. Edge lays the boots to Kane and kicks at the bad arm. Kane kicks him away and crawls to his corner but Edge cuts off the tag, even thought it’s no-DQ and Taker should just be able to come in whenever he wants. Edge applies an armwringer on the bad arm and Kane tries to fight back but Edge hits an amrbar slam. Taker breaks up the pin but is ordered out of the ring by Earl Hebner, again even though the match is no-DQ. Christian comes in without a tag and tees off on Kane’s bad arm then locks in a short-arm scissors. Kane manages to roll over and get to his feet with Christian on his arm and suplex him. Kane crawls over to his corner and makes the tag to Taker but Edge distracts Hebner who misses it. Making me ask why they’re doing the false tag spot in a no-DQ match?
Hebner orders Taker out of the ring while E&C pull Kane to their corner and Edge lays the boots to him. Both men exchange punches and Edge goes for a whip but Kane slings Edge into a corner and hits a suplex. Christian comes in but Kane clotheslines him down then crawls to his corner and makes the hot tag to Taker. Taker takes it to both E&C and whips Christian hitting a backdrop then nails Edge with a big boot. Taker works over E&C in opposite corners before clohteslining Edge over the ropes. Taker grabs Christian by the throat when Rhyno comes in with a chair and whacks Taker in the back. Christian crawls over and covers Taker but only gets a two count. Rhyno starts to work over Taker when Kane grabs him for a chokeslam but Rhyno kicks the bad arm and clotheslines him over the ropes. Kane lands on his feet on the floor as Rhyno goes out after him but Kane boots him down on the ramp. E&C double-team Taker in the ring while Kane chokeslams Rhyno on the ramp. Steve Austin and Triple H run out and beat Kane down on the floor as E&C continue to assault Taker. E&c bring a pair of chairs in the ring and go for the ConChairto but Taker ducks the shot. Taker pops Edge then plants Christian with the Last Ride and gets the three for the belts! (8:14) Taker and Kane get their first tag titles as a duo as well as a match with Austin and Triple H. Okay main event but got overbooked toward the finish and it would mark the end of E&C’s last tag title run together. **
Austin and Triple H prevent a celebration by rushing the ring and double-teaming Taker. Kane comes in swinging a chair with his good arm and manages to clear Austin and Triple H from the ring and we have a staredown to finish the show. Hmm, Austin is World Champ, Triple H is Intercontinential Champ and Taker and Kane are Tag Team Champs. I wonder if there’s any type of match to take advantage of this fact.
Conclusion: Unusual but mediocre show as the WWF scrambled to put together Backlash, which was only 10 days away. The matches weren’t anything noteworthy other than the opener and main event, both of which, oddly enough, had the same cast of characters and featured title changes. Plus there was too much talking to build up the three matches suddenly made for the supercard so far. But that’s what happens when you squander three weeks with very little happening and are left with only three shows (four if you include Heat, which you’ll have to) to build the pay-per-view, kind of like the 2011 NBA preseason. So unless you want see Taker and Kane win the belts or Rhyno capture his first WWF gold, go ahead and skip this one.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.