WWF Smackdown 1/25/2001

Written by: Adam King

WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, January 25th, 2001

Taped (1/23) from the Civic Center in Mobile, AL

List of WWF Champions at the time:
●  WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Kurt Angle (10/22/2000)
●  WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho (1/21/2001)
●  WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (1/21/2001)
●  WWF European Champion: Test (1/22/2001)
●  WWF Hardcore Champion: Raven (1/22/2001)
●  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 rising tensions between Steve Austin and Triple H on Raw. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler then welcome us to the show and wonder how those two guys will react tonight. But first we’re actaully going to start things off with a match.

  • The Undertaker vs. Rikishi

This is the match that was made on Raw after Taker helped Kane against Rikishi and his new pal Haku, and it’s leading us off? Plus if you remeber Rikishi originally called for no holds barred but Cole said he later reneged on the stiplation. Okay then. Taker rides out first on his motorcycle then meets Rikishi on the ramp and both guys are exchanging punches. Taker rams Rikishi into the steps and peppers him with jabs then rolls him in the ring to get this match started proper. Taker clotheslines Rikishi in a corner then grabs the arm and walks the top rope and hits the shot to the back. Taker goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses and hits a Samoan Drop followed by the massive legdrop. Rikishi hits several thrust shots to the throat when Taker fights back but Rikishi stops it with another throat shot. Rikishi whips Taker but Taker comes back with a flying clothesline then works him over with right hands. Rikishi hits another shot to the throat followed by a belly-to-belly suplex as we see Haku standing on the stage. Rikishi whips Taker and Taker drills him with a DDT but Haku runs in and attacks Taker to end this one. (2:42) So not only did we not get the promised stipulation but it ended with an obvious run-in. No wonder this match jerked the curtain. *

Haku stomps Taker down in a corner and chokes him then he and Rikishi nail Taker with a double headbutt. Rikishi follows it up with the sitdown splash and holds Taker down as Haku adds in a few more headbutts. Kane then runs out for the save and takes it to both Rikishi and Haku but both guys eventually take control. That is, unter Taker is back to his feet to even the sides and just like on Raw the brothers clear the ring.

~ Outside we see a limo pulling up with Vince McMahon climbing out and he doesn’t seem to be in a good mood. Vince yells at the driver for making him 20 minutes late then teaches him that time is money by firing him. Vince then storms in the building while the driver quickly backs the limo away as we go to commercial. BTW, how is Vince going to get home without his limo?

~ Back from break the unhappy Vince McMahon makes his way to the ring to deliver his usual long-winded promo. Vince gets on the mic and says he’s not happy his driver made him late and with the reception the fans are giving him then procees to rip on them. Vince then talks about how he made a New Year’s resolution to be the epitome or fairness and after Triple H wanted a WWF Title rematch with Kurt Angle and Stephanie wanted Trish on Monday, he thought it was fair to combine those two matches together. Vince says that resulted in Angle manhandling his daughter, Triple H driving Trish into the mat with the Pedigree and Steve Austin interjecting himself. Vince says he’s given both Austin and Triple H the night off but feels their issues must come to a culmanation and they’ll get a chance to settle things when they meet in a final match at the No Way Out pay-per-view. Vince also announces that a contract signing for that match will take place live on Raw. Vince offers to take some of the blame for what happened on Monday but feels Triple H deserves some of it as well. Vince feels that Kurt Angle should also shoulder some of the blame and calls him out to the ring immediately.

Angle does make his way out and takes the mic saying he has something he’s wanted to say to Vince for a long time now … that he respects him, that he respects his character and ambition and slautes him for what he does. Angle claims his physical contact with Stephanie with accidental and if he could have somehow saved Trish he would. Angle tells Vince that he’s sorry for Trish getting hurt under his watch and asks Vince to somehow forgive him. Vince tells Angle that sorry won’t cut it tonight and decodes to have Angle defend the WWF Title tonight and announces his deserving challenger will be the man who was dominant in the Royal Rumble: Kane! Angle reacts to this match as you’d might expect while Vince storms out of the ring after 10 minutes of this.

~ Cole then announces that tonight Jeff Hardy teams with Bradshaw against …. Matt Hardy & Faarooq. Wha? Cole also says we’ll get the reasoning behind this match next as we go to commercial. I certainly hope so.

~ Back from break a promo announces that next week is going to be a special ‘Xtreme’ edition of Smackdown. Sounds fascinating. I’m sure that the second edition of Survivor premiering andFriends expanding to 40 minutes that same week is just a coincedence.

  • Jeff Hardy & Bradshaw vs. Matt Hardy & Faarooq

No, that’s not a misprint, we do have one Hardy and one Acolyte against the other Hardy and other Acolyte. Cole explains Vince decided to make this match after the Hardys’ recent disagreements following the Rumble. Bradshaw and Jeff enter to the Hardys’ theme and Jeff does his goofy dancing while Bradshaw rolls his eyes. Matt and Faarooq use the Acolytes’ theme and Matt does his posing while Faarooq isn’t real impressed either. Matt and Jeff start opposite each other and Jeff gets in an armdrag and Matt isn’t happy at being shown up. Matt gets in his shots and whips Jeff who slides under the bottom rope. So Matt chases after him to the floor but Jeff slides back in and htis a dropkick through the ropes. Jeff slings himself over the ropes but misses a plancha and splats on the floor. Matt suplxes Jeff in the ring and covers for a two count as we see Lita and Jacqueline watching from the interview set. Matt whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff lifts himself over Matt with the ropes and hits a dropkick from behind. Jeff sets Matt on the top rope and goes up but Matt fights him down to the mat then hits the guilltoine legdrop. Matt chokes Jeff with his shirt then tags Faarooq to take over and Faarooq whips Jeff and hits a backbreaker. Matt tags back in but Jeff nails him with a jawbreaker then tags Bradshaw and Bradshaw gets in his offense. Bradshaw hits Matt with a pump-handle slam followed by an elbwodrop then covers but Faarooq(!) saves it. Bradshaw is stunned at what his normal partner did so he demands Matt tag him and Matt brings in Faarooq. The Acoltyes now battle it out as Faarooq takes Bradshaw down and wails away at him then goes for a whip but Bradshw reverses it and hits a big boot. Bradshaw goes for a whip but Faarooq reverses it and he hits a powerslam. Faarooq clotheslines Bradshaw over the ropes, Bradshaw pulls him out of the ring but gets sent into the steps. Faarooq grabs a chair but the referee takes it away allowing Bradshaw to throws Faarooq into the ringpost. Bradshaw throws Faarooq back in the ring then climbs to the top rope and nails him with a flying shouldertackle. Faarooq plants Bradshaw with a spinsebuster but Bradshaw comes back with the Clothesline from Hades. Both Acolytes try to recover when Jeff tags himself in just before Matt dropkicks Bradshaw through the ropes. Matt then lays Faarooq out with the Twist of Fate while Jeff hits the Swanton Bomb off the top and gets the pin. (4:45) There was actually some fun stuff in there. **

After the bell Matt and Jeff run up the ramp and embrace showing they just pulled a fast one on the Acolytes who realize that they’ve been suckered and apologize for beating each other up. So they’re saying the Hardys teased a breakup just to get one over on the Acolytes. I guess that makes sense.

~ Cole and Lawler hype Tough Enough by showing some more hilariously bad videos from guys applying for the show.

~ Backstage we find Vince on the phone talking to someone about lying in bed and recovering from some trauma. Anyone want to bet it’s Trish on the other side? Vince then gets a call on the other line and finds it’s Linda’s doctor who was told not to call him at the building. Vince tells him to double Linda’s medication and do what he has to do and not bother him anymore tonight. Vince goes back to talking on the first line but then looks at a monitor to see Triple H arriving at the building and realizes this situation is going to require his attention as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Vince is metting with Triple H askying what he’s doing here after he gave him the night off. Triple H says he heard Austin was going to be here and just because Vince says something doesn’t mean it’ll happen. Vince mentions other things possibly happening, like a certain young lady getting pulverized in the ring last Monday. Triple H asks Vince which young lady is he really talking about, his daughter or another woman he’s pretty close to. Triple H feels Vince made the mess which also wouldn’t have happened had he just given him the match that he wanted. Vince tells Triple H that if he’s looking for Austin he’s certainly not in his office then sends him angrily on his way.

~ In the arena Cole and Lawler talk about the Intercontinential ladder match as we get stills from the pay-per-view. We then see Chris Jericho heading to the ring for his first title defense which happens to be against the Big Show. We also see The Rock making his way somewhere even though he’s not scheduled tonight as we go to commercial.

  • WWF Intercontinential Title: Chris Jericho © vs. The Big Show

The Rock comes out and joins the commentary to talk about being chokeslammed by Show two days in a row. Jericho starts off with a flying forearm then wails away on Show and goes for a whip but Show hits a clothesline. Show clubs Jericho and hits a press slam then nails him with a giant chop that sends him rolling out to the floor. Show tosses Jericho back in the ring then starts to climb in himself when Jericho snaps his neck on the top rope. Show stays upright so Jericho knocks him off the apron with the springboard dropkick but Show lands on his feet. Jericho hits a dropkick through the ropes then goes after him but Show rams Jericho chest-first into the ringpost. Show tosses Jericho back in the ring and hits a headbutt then yells at Rock before grabing Jericho in a bear hug. Jericho rakes Show’s face to break the hold then Show misses an elbowdrop and Jericho starts to fight back. Jericho goes for a whip, Show reverses him into a corner and goes for an Avalanhce but Jericho sidesteps it. Jericho climbs to the top rope and connects with a missile dropkick then covers but Show powers out of the pin. Jericho hits a dropkick to the head then tries to put him in the Walls of Jericho but Show grabs him by the throat. Jericho fights out of the chokeslam and comes off the ropes looking for a crossbody but Show catches him. Show then plants Jericho with something like an inverted Slop Drop which Cole says is called The Final Cut. However Chris Benoit runs in looking for revenge for Monday and hits Show with a dropkick to draw a DQ. (3:52)Watchable match but not much else. 

Benoit kicks away at Show but Show is back up and shoves him out of the ring then goes out to stalk after him when Rock then decides to get him some of Show. Rock wails away on Show but Show swats him aside with a right hand. Show then clears off the announce table again but Rock grabs the Intercontinential belt and waffles Show with it. Jericho leaps off the apron with a shouldertackle on Show and Rock hits him with a Rock Bottom onto the floor.

~ Backstage we find that Steve Austin is here tonight and enjoying some coffee in the dining area when the announcers start wondering when Triple H is going to swoop in as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Triple H reaches the dining area and finds a bunch of people there yet no sign of Austin. So Triple H starts interogating them but they all deny seeing Austin around. Looks like the chase is on.

  • Tazz vs. K-Kwik

Tazz tries to jump K-Kwik during his rapping but K-Kwik hits a flying forearm then kips up and does a split. K-Kwik goes for a whip, Tazz reverses into a corner but K-Kwik lifts himself over him and does his backflip before hitting a Memphis sidekick. K-Kwik climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick for a two. K-Kiwk misses with a spinkick then goes for another but Tazz catches him and hits a Fisherman’s Tazplex. Tazz works K-Kwik over when K-Kwik fights back then does some wacky gymnastics but eats a clothesline. Tazz goes for a whip but K-Kwik reverses it and hits a dropkick then dances before hitting a discus punch. K-Kwik whips Tazz and hits a powerslam for a near fall as we see tha Kaientai guys coming down the ramp. Taka is on the mic and tells K-Kwik that they’re out there because they’re mesmerized by his hip yet funky hair. Naturally K-Kwik has to look their way allowing Tazz to slap on the Tazzmission and that’s all for this one. (2:22) Taka then brags that they meant to distract K-Kwik because they’re evil and Funaki adds in an “Indeed!” I guess when Road Dogg left, so did K-Kwik’s push. Yet Tazz still needed Kaientai’s help to get the win. *

~ We then get the clips of Drew Carey’s appearence at the Royal Rumble that we already saw twice this week. And that also leads to yet another plug for Carey’s Improv All-Stars pay-per-view this Saturday.

~ Next we get a shot of Steve Austin sitting outside in the parking lot while drinking a bunch of beers. Will Triple H catch up to him this time? Maybe we’ll find out as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Triple H is out in the parking lot searching for the spot Austin was sitting at earlier but all he finds is some discarded beer cans. So Triple H kicks the cans then dares Austin to quit playing these games.

  • WWF European Title: Test © vs. Christian

Christian comes out alone as he gets on the mic and talks about how he and Edge would be ready to regain the tag titles but Edge made the mistake of eating the food in Mobile so he has Test for the Euro belt instead. Christian says he has his own test which asks if Test a reekazoid who’s about to have the shortest title reign ever. Test then comes out and hands the belt over to the referee when Chrsitian suddenly shoves Test into the ref. Christian takes the belt but misses a swing and Test comes back with a clothesline followed by a powerslam. Test whips Christian for the big boot but Christian bails out to the floor. Test pulls Christian back in by the hair and hits the Full Nelson slam then covers him but the referee is still out of it and can’t count. Test goes over to revive the referee but Christian grabs the title belt again and this time connects with his shot. Christian then covers Test as the referee tries to get into position to count it … but only gets a two count! Christian lays the boots to Test and applies a nevrehold then hits some crossface shots. Test fights back when Christian comes off the roeps but runs into a tilt-o-whirl slam then Test whips him and drops him to the mat. Test goes for the pump handle slam but Christian floats over and shoves Test away the climbs to the top rope but Test cuts him off and backdrops him off the top rope. Test goes for the flying elbwodrop but misses it, Christian goes for the Unprettier but Test shoves him away and nails the big boot for the pin to retain. (3:08) Acceptable. **

~ Backstage we find Triple H pacing around the interview set wondering where to possibly search for Austin next. Triple H then sees Austin ejoying some beer with Kaientai on the monitor and heads out as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Triple H reaches the lockerroom but once again barely misses Austin as Kaientei is drinking alone. Triple H demands they tell him where Austin is but they says they don’t know so Triple H beats them both up.

~ Out in the arena Cole and Lawler now reminds us about Chyna reinjuring her neck at the pay-per-view. Cole says Chyna’s doctors recently found bone fragments in her neck and that she may need exploratory surgery.

  • Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather (w/Steven Richards & Ivory) vs. Crash & Hardcore Holly (w/Molly)

Goodfather locks up with Hardcore and gets a headlock, Hardcore shoves him away but eats a shoudlerblock. Goodfather charges but Hardcore leapfrogs over him and trips him with a drop toehold then hits an elbowdrop. Crash tags in and helps Hardcore whip Goodfather and hits a double jumping shoulderblock for a two count. Crash goes for a whip but Goodfather reverses it and hits a shoudlerblock then tags Buchanan and whips Crash. Goodfather sets Crash up for a boot from Buchanan then Buchanan takes over and plants him with a powerslam. Buchanan runs up the turnbuckles and hits a clothelsine then tags Goodfather and hits a double shoulderblock. Goodfather whips Crash but lowers the head and Crash kicks the face then gets in his shots but eats an elbow. Goodfather whips Crash into a corner and goes for the Ho Train but Crash sidesteps it and tags in Hardcore. Buchanan also gets the tag but Hardcore wails on him then goes for a whip and Buchanan eats a flying forearm. Hardcore whips Buchanan and hits a clothesline then drapes him on the top rope and kicks him in the chest. Goodfather comes in but Crash cuts him off with a flying axehandle and Goodfather rolls out to the floor. Richards hops on the apron but Hardcore decks him while Crash slings himself into a plancha on Goodfather. Buchanan drills Hardcore with a DDT for two when Richards hops on the apron again and distracts the referee. Ivory comes in with her Women’s belt and aims for Hardcore but ends up nailing Buchanan with it instead. Molly gets Ivory out of the ring while Hardcore whips Buchanan and hits the dropkick that gets the three. (3:30) I don’t know what’s more surprising, the RTC’ers jobbing cleanly for once or someone actually winning a match with a dropkick. DUD

~ Backstage Triple H is walking when Harvey Whippleman runs up telling him he’s needed in Vince’s office right now. Triple H just glares at Whippleman then walks off as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a shot of WWF New York followed by a series of clips recapping tonight’s happenings. I don’t get the reason for this long recap, it’s not like anybody was watching anything else tonight. The following week, on the other hand…

~ We then find Vince about to enter his office when Triple H runs up asking what it is that he wanted. Vince doesn’t understand what Triple H is talking about and even denys sending Harvey Whippleman to fetch him. Triple H and Vince then reazlie Austin could be waiting inside so they make up some chatter as they head in the room. Vince and Triple H keep talking as Triple H grabs a baking sheet and hits a nearby screen but finds nothing behind it. Triple H curses Austin as Vince complains … but neither guy sees Stone Cold creeping out from behind the door. Triple H turns around and spots Austin then swings the baking sheet but Austin shoves Vince in the way of the shot and Vince is KO’ed. Austin then pounces on Triple H with rights and throws him across a chair before breaking a lamp over his head. Triple H is out cold as Austin leraves both him and Vince laying, but not before he switches the lights off.

~ Back from break we get a promo announcing the XFL kicks off in just 9 days. We also get a shot of Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler sitting in the crowd tonight. That’s followed by a replay of Steve Austin springing his trap as well as Triple H and Vince both getting taken out.

  • WWF World Heavyweight Title: Kurt Angle © vs. Kane

Considering what happened in the opening match I think we can guess who’s going to get involved in this one. Angle is out first and gets on the mic about how he respects Kane for being a WWF Champion for 12 seconds but if Kane thinks he’s taking his title tonight then his brain is even more scarred than his face. Angle also says he has a lot of fans in burn centers who aren’t afraid to show their faces in public unlike Kane. Kane comes out when Angle tries to meet him on the ramp brandishing tbe title belt but runs into a big boot. Kane rams Angle into the steps repeatedly and decks him then throws him in the ring to start the match proper. Kane drapes Angle on the apron and elbows him in the chest then goes in and pounds him with several rights. Kane grabs Angle by the throat but Angle grabs the ropes to stop the chokeslam so Kane boots him over them. We then see Taker watching from the interview set … just before he’s suddenly ambushed by Rikishi and Haku. Taker tries to fight them both but Rikishi and Haku throw him into a garage door and Rikishi hits the butt splash. Taker is down as Rikishi and Haku give him some parting words. You think these guys are going to stop at Taker?

Back in the arena both guys are on the outside as Kane drops Angle on the barricade then rolls him in the ring and hits a tilt-o-whirl slam . Kane works Angle over then whips him into a corner but eats an elbow. Angle comes out as Kane goes for a tilt-o-whirl when Angle slips out so Kane elbows him back in the corner. Kane charges but eats a boot and Angle hops to the middle rope and connects with a Buff Blockbuster(!). Kane pops right up so Angle drills him with a DDT but Kane sits up again so Angle nails him with a clothesline. Kane is up again so Angle tries kicking at the knee then clubs him in the back and slaps on a front facelock. Kane drives Angle into a corner to break it and whips Angle into a backdrop but misses with an elbowdrop. Angle nails Kane with an enzuigiri but Kane doesn’t go down so Angle wails on him and gets another facelock. Kane drops to one knee and tries to hang on but eventually gets back to his feet and throws Angle off him. Angle trips Kane into the roeps with a drop toehold then goes and brings in a chair but Kane boots it in his face. Kane hits Angle with a gutbuster then whips him and hits a sidewalk slam and throws him back to the mat. Kane climbs to the top rope and hits the flying clothesline … but sure enough here comes Rikishi and Haku. Kane decks Haku off the apron then brings Rikishi in and works him over, capping it off with a clothesline. The referee tends to Rikishi but Haku is in and grabs the chair then whacks Kane repeatedly in the head with it thenfollows it up with the Kick of Fear. Haku heads out while Angle covers Kane and gets the cheap pin. (6:30) Ugh. Angle was completely dominated in there and once again needed a run-in to bail him out. Plus it was a run-in we all saw coming the minute this match was announced. 

Angle heads out and celebrates on the ramp with his belt laving Haku and Rikishi to double-team Kane. Rikishi hits Kane with the sit-down splash and Haku adds in some headbutts then Rikishi hits another splash. Undertaker tries to come in for the save but Rikishi and Hauk owerwhelm him and beat him down in a corner then hit a double headbutt. Bikishi climbs up the ropes and hits the Bazani Drop, Haku adds in a headbutt on Taker and Rikishi taunts him before hitting a sitdown splash for good measure. Rikishi and Haku finally head out having sent a huge message to the brothers as the show fades to black.

Conclusion: Another poor show as the WWF was pretty much coasting at this time. Other than the Hardys/Acolytes stuff the wrestling was pretty forgettable with Kurt Angle again looking like a chump champion. The rest of the show was populated with a lot of silly backstage segments and too many replays and clips, several of which we already saw on Monday. Austin/Triple H again was the major focus and while that match was set for No Way Out as exepected, nothing else was built toward the supercard. It’s sad how the WWF had a great Royal Rumble card but followed it up with two bleh shows, but what can you expect when they have no competition. Thumbs down for the second straight review.

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