WWF Smackdown 3/2/2000

written by Adam King

WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, March 2nd, 2000
Taped (2/29) from Trenton, NJ

List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kurt Angle (2/27/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (2/27/2000)
WWF European Champion: Kurt Angle (2/10/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly (2/24/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Jacqueline (2/03/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Essa Rios (2/13/2000)

~ Smackdown comes on the air with clips of The Rock’s failed attempt to get his Wrestlemania title shot back on Raw. After the intro Michael Cole welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) & Too Cool vs. Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn (w/Eddie Guerrero

Don’t know why Chyna gets her own entrance since she isn’t even one of the participants in this match. Jericho and Malenko lockup to start and Malenko goes into a drop toehold then floats over into a face lock but Jericho counters it into a hammerlock. Malenko counters that with a Fireman’s carry then hits an arm drag but Jericho takes the advantage with chops. Jericho whips Malenko but lowers the head and Malenko kicks the face then comes off the ropes but runs into a belly-to-belly throw. Jericho follows up with a clothesline then tags in Scotty 2 Hotty for a double team and Scotty whips Malenko into a dropkick. Benoit tags in and applies a headlock, Scotty shoves him off into the ropes but Benoit comes back with a shoulder block. Benoit comes off the ropes and Scotty leapfrogs over him but Benoit chops Scotty and goes for a whip. Scotty reverses it and Benoit blocks a hip toss but Scotty goes through several moves capping off with a suplex. Scotty kips up and moonwalks back to his corner then tags in Grandmaster Sexay who busts his own moves. Sexay clotheslines Benoit then hops to the middle rope and hits a missile dropkick before tagging Jericho back in. Jericho gets in some shots and goes for a whip but Benoit reverses it and hot shots Jericho on the top rope. Malenko tags back in and whips Jericho into a corner then clotheslines him down and lays the boots to him. Saturn then tags in and whips Jericho into a flying clothesline then follows up with an exploder suplex. Benoit tags back in and whips Jericho into a corner then goes for a back suplex. Jericho flips out of it and shoves Benoit into the corner then hits a release German suplex. Jericho crawls over and tags in Sexay and Saturn also tags in but Sexay takes it to him and Malenko and slams both of them to the mat in succession. Sexay dropkicks Benoit out to the apron then slings himself over the ropes and Sunset Flips him onto the floor. Scotty works Malenko over in a corner and Saturn nails Scotty from behind but Sexay comes to his partner’s aid. The Too Cool guys whip the Radicalz into each other when Saturn reverses as Malenko goes for a clothesline but Sexay ducks it and Malenko takes Saturn out instead. Sexay super kicks Malenko and the Too Cool guys clothesline Saturn over the ropes. Scotty whips Malenko into a corner and hits the bulldog then follows up with the Worm as Eddie hops onto the apron. Chyna pulls Eddie back down to the floor and Eddie begs Chyna off while Malenko tries to come up from behind but Chyna catches him with a right hand. Jericho clotheslines Malenko while Too Cool whips Saturn into a double elbow then hits the double elbow drop. Jericho and Chyna go at it with Malenko up the ramp while Too Cool goes for a clothesline but Saturn ducks it. Benoit pulls Scotty out to the floor and whips him into the ring steps while Sexay is able to DDT Saturn. Sexay climbs to the top rope and connects with the Hip Hop Drop on Saturn and covers him but Eddie distracts the referee from counting. Benoit climbs to the top himself and hits the diving head butt on Sexay and Saturn is able to roll onto him to grab the three for the win. (5:31) Very fun six-man tag to open the show. The Radicalz then celebrate their win and depart as Scotty glares at them from the ring. ***

~ The Rock is shown arriving at the building when Mideon comes up wanting a word with him but Rock responds with a right hand and storms off as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break a limo pulls up and Shane McMahon climbs out of it with the Big Show right behind him.

WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Essa Rios © (w/Lita) vs. Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy)

Yeah, I know. It’s weird to find Lita on the opposite side of the Hardys before 2005 but Team Xtreme was still a ways off. Rios pounds on Jeff to start and whips him, Jeff blocks a hip toss and goes for his own hip toss but Rios flips out of it. Jeff whips Rios and Rios goes back and forth to the ropes until Jeff eventually connects with a flying body block for a near fall. Jeff whips Rios in a corner and charges, Rios backdrops him over the ropes but Jeff lands his feet on the apron and pulls Rios down by his hair. Jeff springs off the top rope into a moonsault but Rios bails out to the floor before it hits so Jeff slings himself over the ropes into a plancha before throwing Rios back in the ring for a two count. Jeff goes for a whip, Rios reverses him into a corner and Jeff flips up the ropes when Rios dropkicks him. Jeff is in the Tree of Woe when Rios goes for a baseball slide but Jeff sits up and Rios slides out to the floor. Jeff climbs to the top and leaps off for another plancha but Rios sidesteps it and Jeff crashes into the barricade. Rios heads back in the ring then leaps over the top rope and connects with a somersault senton on Jeff. Rios throws Jeff back in then climbs to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Rios goes for a whip, Jeff reverses and Rios handsprings off the ropes and rolls Jeff up for a near fall. Rios hits a clothesline for another two count but Jeff trips Rios into the turnbuckles and goes for a whip. Rios reverses Jeff into a corner but Jeff lifts himself over the charging Rios and dropkicks him from behind. Jeff chops Rios then sets him on the top rope but Rios kicks him away and connects with a huricanrana. Jeff rolls out to the floor to regroup when Lita hops onto the ring steps and hits her own huricanrna on Jeff. Lita tosses Jeff back in the ring for a two count and Rios goes for a whip but Jeff reverses him into a corner and Rios runs up the ropes and goes for a moonsault but Jeff ducks it. Lita hops on the apron looking to slap Jeff but the referee warns Lita not to interfere while Matt comes in and lays Rios out with the Twist of Fate. Jeff climbs to the top rope and connects with the Swanton Bomb, the first time it’s officially called that. Lita comes to the top rope and hits Jeff with a moonsault but that causes the referee to call for a DQ. (4:51) The Hardys walk off but Jeff doesn’t look happy that he has the win but not the title to show for it. Rios then grabs the mic and yells at Lita in Spanish, perhaps for costing him a chance at a clean win and Lita responds by slapping Rios and the two walk off together but still arguing their way up the ramp. Bad ending to an otherwise great match, and let’s face it, the WWF’s lightweight division was blowing WCW’s cruiserweight division out of the water during this time. ***

~ We then find Al Snow and Steve Blackman waiting at a restaurant while wearing matching Hawaiian shirts. Blackman is reluctant as Snow explains he got him a hot chick for a blind date he feels with give him personality. Blackman asks about this girl and Snow says she’s a friend of his … who just happens to be in his therapy group. Almost on cue an overly excited woman appears and practically mugs Blackman who just stands there dumbfounded.

~ Shane McMahon and The Big Show are shown walking somewhere, maybe to the ring as we go to commercial.

~ Back form break we find Steve Blackman sitting at the restaurant while his date talks non-stop. Blackman tries to stay interested but ends up making funny faces and his date doesn’t even notice.

~ Back at the arena Shane McMahon and The Big Show both make their way to the ring for our talking segment. Shane gets on the mic and addresses where he’s been by saying life is about timing and his moment came at Sunday. Shane says The Rock got what he had coming to him on Sunday and even decides to show clips on the OvalTron of him helping Show beat Rock at No Way Out, denying him his Wrestlemania title shot. Shane says he wanted to do it again the next night and shows his interference in the handicap match from Raw. Shane claims he did this because he can’t allow The Rock to dominate the WWF the way Steve Austin did in his run. Shane says Austin became an icon when Vince McMahon didn’t squash him as he was climbing the ladder of success but he’s learned from his father’s mistakes and is not going to allow Rock to ever become WWF Champion. Shane adds the WWF doesn’t need an eyebrow-raising prima donna who does the People’s Elbow as its champion, what the WWF needs as champion is the largest, most ferocious athlete and that happens to be Big Show. Show takes the mic and talks on winning the title at Wrestlemania when Rock comes out to the stage for his rebuttal. Rock gets on the mic and asks Shane if he thinks he really managed to cheat him out of everything he worked for and keep him down but claims all Shane really did was p*** him off. Rock says he may not be going to Wrestlemania for the title but unlike Show he’ll always be the People’s Champion. Rock adds he has nothing to lose so he thought he’d entertain himself by challenging both of them to a match tonight. Shane chuckles saying Rock doesn’t want another seven-foot choke slam but he and Show do accept his challenge. Just then Rikishi comes out with his own mic and tells Rock he knows he doesn’t need help to beat the two jabronies but claims the fans want to see Show get the Rock Bottom and Shane get his bottom and offers his help. Rock accepts the offer and gives the usual parting words while Shane and Show don’t seem happy with this.

~ Back from break Kurt Angle brags about his two titles as a disinterested D’Lo Brown plays the Smackdown video game. Sgt. Slaughter comes in and tells D’Lo the Godfather is looking for him but Angle takes offense at being interrupted. Angle tells Slaughter he used to be his hero and was even in his Cobra Corps but now he’s disappointed in him. Slaughter takes exception to that and says he still carries his gear with him, challenging Angle to match tonight. Angle scoffs at Slaughter’s challenge feeling he’s lost his intensity and integrity and his intelligence as well but Slaughter gets in Angle’s face and promises to take him to basic training while calling him a maggot.

WWF Hardcore Title: Crash Holly © vs. Tazz

Cole mentions Hardcore Holly is out for a few weeks with an rib injury so Crash is on his own. Tazz meets Crash at ringside and the two exchange shots to start with Tazz getting the advantage. Tazz throws Crash over the barricade and pounds on him through the crowd, ramming him into a guardrail. Crash tries to fight back but Tazz rams him into a door and the two fight their way through it to the back. As we cut to a hallway Tazz scoops Crash up and rams him into a wall twice then throws him into a door. Prince Albert runs up looking for a splash but Tazz sidesteps him then grabs a wrench and whacks Albert with it. Tazz turns as the Big Bossman comes up and whacks him with the wrench then throws Albert through a door. Tazz whacks Albert with a metal tank then shoves him into a freezer and locks the door trapping him inside. Bossman comes in and Tazz breaks a bottle in his face then heads out as Crash sprays him with a fire extinguisher. Finally Crash breaks a 2×4 over Tazz’s head and that knocks him out for him to grab the pin. (1:52) Crash then heads back to the ring and celebrates his victory even thought the match never went there. Nothing match but it does lead to a historical moment. *

~ We then check on Steve Blackman’s blind date as the two of them are about to order their food. However Blackman mentions fish and the date starts rambling non-stop again as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Lillian Garcia interviews Crash Holly on his successful title defense. Crash calls himself the greatest Hardcore Champion ever and says he’s going to prove it by putting his title on the line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Crash explains if anyone has a sanctioned referee nearby they can try and pin him for the title anytime, anyplace. Crash says if anyone can beat him they get the title but feels it’ll never happen because he’s the greatest.

Edge & Christian vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/Tori)

As the DX’ers make their way out clips are shown of them kicking Billy Gunn out of the group on Raw. Road Dogg gets on the mic and mentions X-Pac replacing Billy before finishing with the usual two words. Edge and Christian make their way out next when Terri Runnels comes out again much to E&C’s confusion. Christian and X-Pac lockup to start and X-Pac goes into a headlock but Christian shoves him into the ropes. X-Pac hits a shoulder block then comes off the ropes but Christian leapfrogs over him and goes for a hip toss. X-Pac blocks it and goes through his usual moves but misses a spin kick and Christian hits a Russian leg sweep. Road Dogg breaks up the pin but Edge tags in and he and Christian whip X-Pac and hit a double hip toss. Edge wrenches X-Pac’s arm and whips him but X-Pac ducks a clothesline and this time hits the spin kick. Road Dogg tags in and covers Edge for a two count then pounds on him as a “DX sucks” chant breaks out. Road Dogg goes for a whip, Edge reverses him into a corner but Road Dogg sends him into a corner as well. Road Dogg charges but eats a boot and Edge hops to the middle rope and hits a missile dropkick for a near fall. Edge goes for a whip but Road Dogg reverses and Edge sails out to the floor after X-Pac pulls down the top rope. Christian tries to come in but the referee holds him back while X-Pac whips Edge into the ring steps on the floor and lays the boots to Edge before throwing him back in. Road Dogg covers Edge for a two count then applies a chin lock over his knee and Edge fights out of it and tries to reach his corner for a tag but Road Dogg pulls Edge down by the hair. Road Dogg tags X-Pac in and the DX’ers whip Edge into a corner. Road Dogg then whips X-Pac into Edge but Edge sidesteps it and X-Pac straddles the turnbuckles instead. Edge follows that up by spearing Road Dogg then crawls to his corner and makes the hot tag to Christian. Christian hammers both DX’ers when X-Pac nails him from behind and goes for a whip but Christian reverses and hits a power slam on X-Pac. Christian goes for the Unprettier on Road Dogg when X-Pac tries to interrupt it but Christian hits X-Pac with a gut buster. Road Dogg comes up and hits the juke ‘n jive punches then pops Edge off the apron with the big right but Christian comes back with a shot of his own. Christian then goes for a whip and Road Dogg reverses it but both men end up clotheslining each other. On the floor Terri goes over to check on Edge who pulls away from her so Terri slaps him in the face. Christian goes over to ask Terri what’s going on but that allows X-Pac to low blow Christian form behind. X-Pac quickly follows that up with the X-Factor and this match is done. (4:47) Decent enough match though I don’t get why the #1 contenders had to job to X-Pac. After the replays Christian shoves Edge down to the mat and the two start arguing about the loss. **

~ Back from break we get an interesting vignette promoting the Acolyte Protection Agency.

~ We then find Shane McMahon and the Big Show walking backstage and barging into the DX dressing room.

Test vs. Viscera

Test jumps Viscera to start and hammers him into a corner but Viscera reverses positions and pounds him. Viscera whips Test into the opposite corner and follows up with an Avalanche then clubs him in the back. Viscera slams Test to the mat and hits an elbow drop for a two count then whips Test back into a corner. Viscera charges but Test sidesteps him then comes off the ropes with an elbow that gets Viscera off his feet. Test goes for a whip, Viscera reverses it but lowers the head and Test hits a DDT that gets a near fall. Test tries to scoop Viscera up but ends up hurting his back instead and rolls out to the floor to recover. Viscera goes out and whips Test into the ring steps then climbs onto the timekeeper’s table looking for a splash. However before he can leap off Test cuts Viscera off and knocks him over the barricade into the crowd. Test then climbs onto the barricade and leaps off but Viscera catches him and rams him into the barrier. Viscera clotheslines Test over the barricade to ringside then pounds him before tossing him back in the ring. Test starts fighting back and comes off the ropes but runs into a Samoan Drop that only gets a two count. Viscera removes a turnbuckle pad to expose the steel bolt but ends up ramming Test into a padded turnbuckle. Viscera brings Test over to the bolt but Test counters and rams him into the bolt then manages to slam him. Test climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying elbow drop to put this one away. (3:44) Not the worst match, just nothing real memorable about it.

~ We then get a glimpse of Shane and The Big Show exiting the DX dressing room. Maybe we’ll eventually find out what happened in there as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we check in on Steve Blackman who’s trying to enjoy his meal while his date blabbers to someone on her cell phone. We then see Al Snow in the background talking to the piano player who then starts playing the “Personality” song. Blackman eventually notices Snow dancing and pointing at him then gives us a great “Why am I here” expression.

WWF Intercontinental Title: Kurt Angle © vs. Sgt. Slaughter

Angle gets on the mic and talks about how Slaughter was everything a hero should be when he was a kid but has since gone from representing his three I’s to being a bald, bloating bonehead. Angle also says there’s a new American Hero for the children to look up to and that happens to be himself. Both men lockup to start and Angle takes Slaughter down with a Fireman’s carry then stops to celebrate it. Both men lockup again and Angle takes Slaughter down by the legs and rolls him onto his shoulders for a count. Slaughter comes back with kicks and a knee to the chest then hits a short-arm clothesline for a two count. Slaughter whips Angle and elbows him in the chest then follows up with a gut wrench into a gut buster. Slaughter goes for a whip, Angle reverses it but Slaughter ducks a clothesline and locks in the Cobra Clutch! Angle struggles to hold on and tries backing Slaughter into a corner but can’t get Slaughter to break the hold. Angle drops to his knee and manages to flop Slaughter over him but Slaughter is still keeping the hold on. Finally Angle gets his foot on the rope and the referee has to pull Slaughter off Angle to break the hold. Slaughter goes for a whip but Angle reverses into a corner and Slaughter tumbles over the ropes. Angle suplexes Slaughter back in the ring but Slaughter fights back and tries to go back to the Cobra Clutch. This time Angle is able to slip out and kick Slaughter away then hits the Olympic Slam and this one is over. (2:59) That actually wasn’t a bad match and Slaughter showed he could still work some decent stuff on occasion. **

~ Kane is shown pacing in the back as Cole mentions he has the Dudleys in a handicap match as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Kurt Angle celebrates his victory by throwing various foodstuffs around.

Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Dudley Boyz – Non-Title Handicap Match

Cole says this was set up after Kane attacked the Dudleys during their title defense on Raw. Cole also informs us that in this match both Dudleys can be in the ring at the same time for some reason. The Dudleys double-team Kane to start and whip him but lower the heads and Kane kicks Bubba’s face and clotheslines D’Von. Kane grabs both Dudleys by the throat when the Dudleys counter with a double suplex but Kane sits right up and clotheslines both Dudleys. Kane whips D’Von into a corner and hits a sidewalk slam then backdrops Bubba and scoops D’Von onto his shoulder. However Bubba chop blocks Kane to bring him down and chokes Kane with his boot while D’Von stomps on him and the Dudleys work Kane over in a corner. Both Dudleys choke Kane and whip him into the other corner then D’Von whips Bubba into a splash on Kane and connects with a flying forearm. Bubba follows that up with a series of elbow drops and a splash and Kane starts to fights back with uppercuts but D’Von rakes his face to stop that. Bubba hits a head butt and the Dudleys whip Kane into a shoulder block then continue double-teaming and Bubba goes for the mask. The Dudleys then whip Kane into a corner but Kane comes back out and nails Bubba with a clothesline. D’Von hammers away on Kane but his shots have no effect and Kane uppercuts him and Bubba. Kane whips Bubba into a boot and boots D’Von then climbs to the top rope and hits Bubba with the flying clothesline. Kane pummels D’Von in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Bubba hits a back suplex then sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the head butt to the groin. D’Von lays the boots to Kane while Bubba goes out to the floor and pulls out a table which he sets up at ringside. Bubba goes back in and sets Bubba up for a power bomb through the table but Kane counters with a backdrop. Kane then grabs D’Von on the apron and choke slams him through the table drawing a DQ. (4:55) Okay for what it was. Bubba tries to tend to D’Von on the floor while Kane sets off his pyro and walks off. **

~ Back at the restaurant Al Snow meets with Steve Blackman’s date but finds out that Blackman ran off claiming to have a brain aneurism. The date starts rambling to Snow who actually seem interested.

~ The Wrestlemania 2000 countdown shows we’re now just 5 weeks away from the big day. Can you feel the excitement building?

~ Back from break Lillian Garcia is on a pay phone when Crash Holly walks by with his Hardcore title belt. Lillian asks Crash if he’s going to sleep with the belt and Crash reminds her of his title being on the line 24/7. Crash again claims he has nothing to worry about since he is the greatest Hardcore Champion after all.

~ The Big Show and Shane McMahon are shown walking to the ring for the main event.

~ But first we cut to the parking lot and find Crash loading up his rental car about to call it a night when Rodney appears with referee Jim Korderas looking to be the first to takes up Crash’s 24/7 challenge. Rodney whacks Crash from behind with a trash can and covers him in the car trunk but Joey Abs pulls Rodney off and tries covering Crash himself. Rodney pulls Joey off and the two argue on who gets to pin Crash when Pete Gas suddenly appears and shoves both men aside then covers Crash himself but he gets pulled off as well. The Posse then start fighting among themselves while Crash manages to slip into his car and drive into the night. Once the Posse realize Crash has escaped the three of them argue on losing their shot at championship gold. Thus the saga of Crash Holly, 24/7 Champion begins.

~ The Rock and Rikishi are now shown making their way out for the main event as we go to commercial.

The Rock & Rikishi Phatu vs. The Big Show & Shane McMahon

Show and Shane make their way out to the ring when Shane first decides to get on the mic. Shane claims he’d like to lay the Smackdown on the Rock but announces there’s been a change in the lineup. Shane says he felt sorry for the Rock never touching WWF gold again so he thought he give him a taste. Shane then announces his replacement and out comes Triple H and Stephanie for the first time tonight. So as Rock and Rikishi (with his ankle taped up) come out apparently we now have as our main event….

The Rock & Rikishi Phatu vs. The Big Show (w/Shane) & Triple H (w/Stephanie)

Rock and Rikishi rush the ring and pair off with Rock pounding on Triple H and Rikishi battling Show. Rock tosses Triple H over the ropes then he and Rikishi whip Show into a double clothesline. Rock heads to the corner while Rikishi takes over on Show and plants him with a belly-to-belly suplex then hits a leg drop for a two count. Show comes back with a head butt then tags Triple H in and Triple H and Rikishi exchange shots with Rikishi getting the advantage. Rikishi hits the running butt splash then scoops Triple H onto his shoulders but Triple H slips out and chop blocks Rikishi’s bad leg. Show tags in and elbow drops the leg and Rikishi goes for a whip but Show counters with a sidewalk slam. Show chops Rikishi in a corner and elbows him in the back of the head then tags Triple H in to take over. Rikishi starts to fight back but Triple H stomps away on his bad ankle then wraps it around the ring post. Rock goes over to get a piece of Triple H but Earl Hebner orders him back while Triple H chokes Rikishi. Show tags in and goes for an Avalanche in a corner but misses it and Rikishi comes back with a super kick. Instead of heading for his corner Rikishi gives Show the Stinkface and follows that up with a Samoan Drop. Both men start crawling to their corners and Show tags in Triple H while Rikishi makes the hot tag to Rock. Rock pounds away on Triple H and goes for a whip, Triple H reverses him into a corner but Rock hits a clothesline then DDT’s Triple H for a two count. Show grabs a chair and whacks Rikishi’s bad ankle on the floor while in the ring Triple H goes for a whip but Rock reverses it into a spine buster. Show hops on the apron with the chair and Rock pops Show back off to the floor but Shane distracts Hebner while Triple H hits a low blow on Rock. Show then brings the chair into the ring and swings it at Rock but misses him and nails Triple H instead. Rock knocks Show over the ropes with the Smackdown then turns and plants Triple H with the Rock Bottom. Rock follows that up with the People’s Elbow on Triple H and gets the three to take this match. (7:23) Solid enough main event that the crowd was into and Rock finally gets one back on Triple H. Rock celebrates pinning the WWF Champion while having some parting words as he departs. Shane then tries to help Triple H up but Stephanie has words with him on Show costing them the match. Suddenly Triple H shoves Shane down and Show gets in his face prompting the Helmsleys to leave the ring. The two McMahon factions then have a stare down and Cole declares this a civil war as we fade to black. **½

Conclusion:
Looks like the WWF tried to make up for that horrible Raw episode with a very solid edition of the Thursday show. We started off with two great matches and while the show does take a slight dip in match quality the hot main event brings it back with the top faces coming out on top for the first time in over a week. Also they started a slow burn between Triple H and Big Show, making it seem like they really are going with that for our Wrestlemania main event. Add in some funny stuff like the birth of the 24/7 rule and you have a good episode of Smackdown.

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