Written by: Kevin Kildenberger
The ratings last week were a 4.2 and it fell to a 3.7 this week. It is clear that the WWF is not, so far, making the show RAW-lite but this episode, the third total, will tell me if they will keep the main angles going. Also this is a good time to get some secondary angles going, try out new wrestlers and actually…gasp….have some longer matches.
Match 1: Chyna v. Mr. Ass
This is to be the number one contender for the IC title. JJ comes down to commentary. Ass and Chyna are jawing at each other and she moons him, so he shoves her into the corner, and she charges him and they brawl in the corner. Chyna slips free from a suplex and plants him with a DDT getting two. The fight spills to the floor and Ass is thrust over the steps and is getting plastered out on the floor. He is flung into a steel chair and rolled back into the ring. Ass nails her with the Famouser and the ref is nowhere to be found. HHH runs down and hits the Pedigree and Chyna is rolled on top and HHH rolls the ref back into the ring and she wins.
** Not bad. Mr. Ass has really fallen!
Big Show rumbles down to the ring. He has had enough and warns the Undertaker that if he ever left him again he would beat him up. He calls him out and instead Bearer comes out cackling making fun of Show for costing them the tag titles. Show knocks Bearer silly and chokes him out. Now Undertaker strolls out. He gets in his face and it looks like they are about to kiss but UT whispers in his ear. Show looks befuddled and UT asks what he has to say, and then goozles him and threatens Show, telling him that he better not do it again. Show looks upset but does nothing.
A limo has arrived.
Mankind comes down with his tag title. He talks about playing Colecovision etc. He is upset that Shane cost him the WWF title and also beat him last week. He will get even. He came out to talk about the Rock. He reminds us of last week. He knew the people wanted the Rock to be his partner, and most of all he wanted to be the People’s partner and announces the Rock. He has finally come back to Worcester. He is chastising Mankind for thinking they were friends. Rock tells Mankind to lower his hand and warns him to never mention the Rock’s testicles again. Here comes HHH with Chyna and Shane. The tag champs have to face one another to find out who the number one contender is. They have to brawl or get suspended. HHH has to face the winnner and he is pissed. Mankind reminds the Rock that the last time they fought here Mankind took his belt and calls out for the dozens of his fans and they respond. Now the Rock soaks in some chants. The Rock wonders if Mankind is insinuating that the Rock should just lay down and let him beat him. That sounds cool to Mankind. Rock does not like that and will take the tag belt and shine it up and shove it up Mankind’s ass. Mankind responds that it will not fit. Rock does not mind and shove his up there too!
The pan towards the limo….HHH has an opponent tonight that is why he was pissed.
Finkel is circling around Tony Chimel and tells him that they meet again and how he was humiliated last time. Finkel is challenging him and when he wins he will go back to ring announcing. Chimel tells him to beat it and Fink goes to leave and then blasts him from behind…..
Match 2: Howard Finkel v. Tony Chimel
Fink is tackled and ripped apart. Jericho is chuckling in the back as Fink gets his clothes torn off. Fink is stripped to his skivvies….It was a Tuxedo Match. I am off my game!
** Pretty classic.
X Pac tells Kane that he is sick of being the weak link and letting Kane down, so he needs to do this on his own.
Lillian is with Mankind who has to face the Rock. Rock is like a brother but the rewards are too great and he is in a position to qualify for a title shot. He will forget the belt going up his ass part though.
HHH is with Chyna and cannot believe what Shane is doing and Chyna tells him to trust Shane and HHH does not know who to trust.
During the break Jericho was talking to Finkel. He thinks that Chimel cheated and that Fink should start a nationwide Jockey campaign because he is looking good as is his body!
Match 3: X Pac v. Chris Jericho
I fucking love his entrance. I am sure I have said that. Best entrance EVER! I have a man-crush on Jericho right now. I miss him in WCW, and wish he was there because I am slightly biased but he is making the WWF better than it has been for months.
Shamrock runs down and Jericho skedaddles. Pac is imploring Ken to allow him to handle Jericho. Shamrock acquisces and Jericho is heel kicked in the skull and hammered. Jericho fires back and Show and UT are at the top of the ramp watching. Jericho goes up top and is kicked off and he tumbles to the floor. Pac misses the baseball slide and is clotheslined. X Pac is flung into the steel steps and Jericho showboats back in the ring. X Pac gets back in the ring and they slug it out. Pac is dropped and nearly pinned and Jericho stomps him once and heads upstairs and leaps right into a boot. They exchange blows and down goes Jericho after a heel kick, Pac is whipped but ducks a blow and nails Jericho with a big lariat getting two. X Pac leaps at him and is powerbombed and a Lionsault gets Jericho two. X Pac is up and kicks him into the corner. Bronco Buster! Here comes Show and he decleats X Pac with a clothesline and now a chokeslam.
*** This was great….needed more time. They had great matches in WCW too.
Shamrock chases Jericho through the crowd!
Kane runs down and clotheslines Show to the floor. UT calls him off and then calls Kane weak.
HHH is looking for Shane.
Back to the limo….
HHH comes down and demands to know what is going on. Shane comes down to calm him down and tells HHH that he is a fighting champ and he mentions Vince…..He tells HHH that a baldheaded man is waiting for him in that limo and it is Gillberg!
Match 4: HHH (c) v. Gillberg for WWF Title
Gillberg is the Light Heavyweight champ? Gillberg spears him but is front suplexed and destroyed. Gillberg spears him twice but on the third he eats post and is Pedigreed.
** Pretty classic. Shane ruined it by being on commentary.
HHH brings in a chair and lays waste to Gillberg.
Al Snow went to the hotel room earlier today….Bossman assures him that he has Pepper and he has a meal ready for him. He serves up some food and he wants to do the right thing. Al will eat the food and then wants the dog. Al starts eating and he likes it. He tells Al not to get a paw stuck in his throat and tells him that he is eating Pepper. Al ducks in a corner crying and heaving. Bossman warned the dog what would happen if he bit him and he did it again. Bossman beats up Snow and chokes him out with the nightstick. According to Bossman this is what Hardcore is all about.
Cole and King are stunned…..pretty fucking stupid angle but it does make Bossman the biggest asshole of all time.
Shamrock is still looking for Jericho.
Match 5: Mankind v. Rock
Mankind starts strong and hammers him in the corner but he retreats to the floor after the Rock returns the favor. Rock continues to punish him on the floor. He takes Mankind up the ramp and stomps on his nuts. Rock punches him back towards the ring and runs his head into the barrier. Mankind fights back and runs the Rock into the steps. He goes to the announce table and does the Rock’s thing with the headset. Rock does not appreciate that and clocks Mankind and yells at him for stealing his phrases and bounces his head off the table. Back in the ring Rock is DDT’d and Socko is applied. Rock knocked down the ref. Shane runs out and rolls the ref to the floor. Rock powers out and it is Rock Bottom time! HHH and Chyna come down and they all start fighting and when the faces get the upperhand Shane calls for the bell. Shane calls for a double DQ.
**1/2 Angle advancement.
Shamrock is still going after Jericho.
Shane feels bad about the decision and will make up for what happened.
Match 6: Val Venis v. Ken Shamrock
Shamrock charges down and gets assaulted by Val. Val though is taken down and nearly put in the Ankle Lock. Val retreats and lures Shamrock and stomps on him. When Shamrock goes back on the offensive he is back dropped to the floor. He misses the baseball slide and is flung into the steel steps. Back in the ring Shamrock goes to work on the knee and has the Ankle Lock applied and Val taps. He refuses to let it go. Blackman runs down and gets pummeled. Countdown! Jericho comes out and wants to meet Shamrock in the parking lot, so he can beat his ass. Blackman attacks Val.
*1/2 A lot happening here. Val looked weak…
Shamrock charges out and grabs Finkel who is dressed as Jericho. Jericho knocks him out with a snow shovel to the back of the head and beats on him. He has Fink take pictures and then puts him in the trunk and speeds off leaving Shamrock laid out.
Shane and HHH and Chyna are in the ring. Shane states that there seems to be a problem as there is no number contender. He demands Rock and Mankind come down. They will fight again and he will be the ref. Rock has five seconds to get down to the ring. He counts down and someone says that he thinks that idea sucks and it is Test. He introduces the two other owners of the WWF. It is Linda and Steph and Linda chases the game. Instead of Rock and Mankind fighting they will face Shane and HHH!
Shane is telling HHH all will be well as they could become WWF tag champs. HHH is trying to calm him down, as he has it all under control.
Match 7: Tag Team Royal Rumble
Mideon and Viscera start off against the Holly’s. Viscera squashes Crash and now Mideon beats on him. But he is rolled over and nearly pinned. All four are in the ring. The Holly’s take out Viscera and get the win.
Here comes Droz and PA. PA launches Crash and gets the near fall. Hardcore gets the tag and Droz sideslams him after he gets the tag. Droz sets him up in the corner and misses the charge and is giving a front suplex, a powerplex actually. Droz is pinned.
New Brood. They get a pop too bad they are misused. One of the Hardyz flies into Crash and it is already over.
Acolytes are down and Jeff is flung over the top rope. Matt is powerslammed. Bradshaw kicks off his head and places Matt up top and Jeff provides a momentary distraction. Matt shoves him off and leaps into his arms. Jeff dropkicks Matt onto Bradshaw getting two. All four are going at it. Farooq takes out Jeff and goes after Matt but is given a neckbreaker. Jeff is up top and hits the swan dive turned into a senton bomb. Bradshaw rejoins the melee. Jeff gets the clothesline from Hell and it is over….I swear Jeff had his foot on the rope.
Here comes Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie. Stevie is demolished as Mean takes his down coming down. Stevie is pinned.
Edge and Christian. The fight is on. Christian and Edge get the upperhand and unload. Dudley’s come down!! They lay waste and cause the DQ.
**1/2 Decent. Hardyz are misused.
Rock and Mankind are walking in the back.
Lillian is talking to the Dudley’s and Bubba Ray is stuttering about being the best tag team in the world. He is really stuttering. The WWF needs to know three things and Devon finishes and that is thou shalt not steal, kill or mess with them.
Match 8: HHH and Shane McMahon v. Rock and Mankind (c) for WWF Tag Champs
Rock has not come down yet and Mankind is getting doubleteamed. Rock finally comes out and the faces get in a little offense but does not last. Mankind is battered and Shane gets two. Shane keeps after him and pounds away but Mankind rolls on top and mauls him in the head with hard rights. Shane clings to his ankle but a right puts the stop to that. Here comes HHH and he goes to work and suplexes him. Shane is tagged back in and he flies from the middle rope nailing Mankind getting two. HHH is back in and he is punishing Mankind and runs him over with a high knee and gets two. Shane Bronco Busts Mankind but turns into a lariat from Rock! Mankind tries to make the tag but HHH cuts him short, Mankind ducks after the whip and lock in the Claw but of course Chyna nuts him. Fucking sick of her….I say that every show but it gets old. Mankind struggles over to where the Rock is and makes the tag! Rock explodes and HHH pays the price. HHH is whipped into the corner and DDT’d off the rebound and Shane makes the save. Bodies are flying around and Ass runs in and gives HHH the Famouser and it is Rock Bottom time! People’s Elbow and it is over!
*** Not the greatest main event but good enough.
****1/2 I am rating this compared to Thunder and not Nitro and RAW. Damn this was great. No, the wrestling still needs a lot of work but the storytelling was fine, and it was just fun, Mankind and Rock are great playing off of one another. Jericho was awesome and the wrestling was above average. The last two SD’s have been better than RAW. Nice to see the WWF get good again. It has been two years since WWF has been better than WCW in any long-term capacity and while they had some good stuff in 1998, 1999 has been pretty damn bad. It is turning around.