WWF Smackdown 3/22/2001
Written by: Adam King
Thursday, March 22nd, 2001
Taped (3/20) from the Providence Civic Center in Providence, RI
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 Dudley Boyz (3/19/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Test (1/22/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Raven (3/19/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Holly (3/18/2001)
~ Smackdown comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Michael Cole and Tazz welcoming us to the show. Cole announces that tonight Steve Austin and The Rock will both sit down for a special face-to-face interview. Plus The Undertaker and Kane team up to take on Triple H and The Big Show.
- WWF Hardcore Title: Raven © vs. Chris Jericho
This is a champion vs. champion match but Jericho’s Intercontinential Title is not on the line here. Also Cole says Commissioner William Regal “rewarded” Jericho with this title oppetunity after his antics on Raw. Raven makes his way out with his shopping cart of plunder and tosses some of it in the ring when Jericho gets in the first shot but Raven clocks him with a trash lid. Raven hits Jericho a second time and goes for a whip but Jericho reverses it and hip tosses him onto a trash can. Raven climbs out to the apron with a trash can in hand when Jericho nails him with the springboard dropkick and Raven lands in the shopping cart. Jericho rams the cart into the barricade, sending Raven flying into the crowd. Both men brawl through the crowd making their way to the back when Raven whips Jericho into a set of poles. Jerihco whips Raven into a door and slides him scross the catering table then rusb a mop into Raven’s face. The two brawl their way into Regal’s office when Raven takes a swing at Jericho with a pole but misses him. Jericho throws Raven over the desk then grabs a picture of the Queen Mum and breaks it over Raven’s head. Jericho rubs Raven into a tray of crumpets when Regal appears and throws a cup of coffee into Jericho’s face. Regal then hits Jericho in the face with a vase of flowers and Jericho is down. Regal tries to help Raven out but Raven, blinded by the crumpets, swings the tray and nails Regal with it then covers him and gets the pin. (2:27) Raven takes his belt and stumbles away, probabaly not aware it was Regal he took out instead of Jericho. *
~ Back from break we get a replay of the closing moments of the Hardcore Title match. Johnathan Coachman then interviews Regal asking about his condition and Regal tells him that he’ll be fine but Raven won’t and adds him to the Kane/Big Show Wrestlemania match for his Hardcore Title.
~ Out in the arena Cole and Tazz talk about the Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon street fight set for Wrestlemania. That’s followed by clips of Shane making the challenge to Vince on Raw and getting beaten down because of it.
~ Elsewhere we find the Helmsleys reacting to the highlights we saw with Triple H saying Shane deserved the beating. Stephanie then says Undertaker and Kane both deserve getting torn apart by her husband and Big Show tonight after Kane held her above his head and Taker wanting him to throw her off the balcony. Triple H realizes he has some business to take care of before the match and heads out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Cole reminds us of the face-to-face interview and the big tag match coming up later. We then get a shot of Triple H and Big Show conversing in the back which can’t be good for the brothers.
- Grandmaster Sexay, Steve Blackman & K-Kwik vs. X-Pac, Justin Credible & Albert
Albert helped his pals beat Blackman and Sexay on Raw so here’s their shot at revenge. Don’t know why K-Kwik’s involved, I guess they needed a third man and he had nothing better to do. Blackman works Credible over to start and goes for a w hip, Credible reverses but Blackman hits a legsweep. Blackman goes for an elbowdrop but misses it and Credible comes off the ropes but he eats a roundhouse kick. Blackman follows it up with a belly-to-belly suplex then decks Albert and rams Credible into K-Kwik’s boot. K-Kwik tags in and goes for a whip, Credible reverses it but K-Kwik hits a headsicssors then does a split. X-Pac tags in while Sexay also gets his tag and busts some moves with K-Kwik before X-Pac pounds on him. X-Pac gets a headlock and Sexay shoves him away but X-Pac hits a shoulderblock then comes off the ropes. Sexay leapfrogs over X-Pac who blocks a hiptoss and does his moves until Sexay nails him with an enzuigiri. Sexay rams X-Pac’s head into Credible’s head but X-Pac tags in Albert who nails Sexay with a headbutt. Albert whips Sexay into a corner and goes for the Avalanche but Sexay sidesteps it then hops to the middle rope. Sexay busts a move when X-Pac gets his attention while Albert knocks Sexay off the ropes with a bicycle kick. Blackman and K-Kwik come in but distract the referee while X-Pac and Credible crotch Sexay on the ringpost. X-Pac tosses Sexay back in the ring and Albert hits an Atomic Drop (without using a knee) then tags Credible. Credible gets in his shots before tagging X-Pac and whipping Sexay but Sexay comes back with a double clothesline. K-Wik gets the tag and takes to his opponents then goes to whip Credible and hits a spinning flying forearm. Albert is in and presses K-Kwik up but Blackman trips him with a legsweep and K-Kwik falls on top of him. Blackman and K-Kwik clothesline Albert over the ropes but Albert turns and pulls Blackman out to the floor. X-Pac drills K-Kwik with the X-Factor and Credible covers but the referee is busy with the brawl on the floor. Sexay climbs to the top and nails Credible with the Hip Hop Drop then covers him but X-Pac makes the save. X-Pac backdrops Sexay over the ropes then whips K-Kwik into a corner but K-Kwik lifts himself over X-Pac. K-Kwik does a backflip but eats a double superkick from Credible and X-Pac and X-Pac grabs the pin. (4:13) Match wasn’t bad but the crowd didn’t care about either side. *
~ Backstage The Undertaker is making his way somewhere when Triple H jumps him and rams him into a fuse box. Triple H stomps Taker down and leaves him laying while saying how it’s good to see him as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker suffering a sneak attack from Triple H ahead of the tag match. We then find Triple H talking with someone when Taker comes up so Triple H taunts him while backing into a room. Taker goes in after him … only to find Stephanie and a squadron of cops ready to enforcing the 25′ restraining order. The cops cuff Taker who tells them that he waives all his rights while Triple H and Stephanie enjoy this from nearby. Taker tells Triple H he’ll violate more than the law and that the cops won’t be there to protect him atWrestlemania. Stephanie then says she’s not sure she even wants to press charges and asks the cops to hold Taker until she decides.
~ Elsewhere Johnathan Coachman asks William Regal anout the tag match should Undertaker be unable to compete. Regal says if that’s the case then it’ll have to be a handicap match, Kane against both Triple H and The Big Show.
~ Again elsewhere Jim Ross asks Steve Austin if he can keep his composure during the interview with The Rock. Ausitn says he’ll be fine but wonders if Rock might possibly try to hit him with the title belt just like he did on Raw. JR assures Austin that this will be a civilized interview about Wrestlemania and Austin seems to believe him.
~ The Wrestlemania countdown shows we’re just 10 days away! Just 10 days, people, feel it!
~ Back from break The Rock meets with Jim Ross and asks what’s going to happen during the face-to-face interview. JR tells Rock that it’ll just be them and Austin talking about Wrestlemania and Rock responds with “talk, maybe”. That’s followed by the Austin/Rock hype video, once again updated with clips from their latest confrontations.
~ We now finally get that interview with Steve Austin on one side, Rock on the other and JR sitting in between them. JR starts by thanking both men for taking the time for this and for their professionalism despite the recent physicality. JR first reminds Rock that before he gets to Wrestlemania he has to take on both Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit tonight then starts to ask Austin if he’d maybe consider being Rock’s tag team partner tonight. However Rock takes exception to that, saying he doesn’t need nor want a partner and even if he did, Austin would be the last person he’d ever want. Austin asks if Rock is going to answer all his questions for him and JR admits he should have asked Rock first. JR then mentions their meeting being the most anticipated main event in Wrestlemania history, in WWF history. JR asks Rock what the WWF title means to him and Rock says being champion means you’re at the mountaintop. Rock says he grew up in the industry and worked his whole life to be the absolute best, which is the WWF Champion. JR next reminds Austin of their conversation about the match last week and asks if anything’s changed since then. Austin tells him that that nothing’s changed, that the match still means his journey is over and that Stone Cold is back. JR now brings up how the animosity between them has increased since Vince appointed Debra as Rock’s manager. Rock agress that it heightened a lot of things because he never asked for and never wanted Debra to be his manager. Rock adds he has no problem with Debra but feels that she’s not his responsiliby since she’s Austin’s wife, not his. Austin says he doesn’t like it either and calls it a conflict of interest that his wife is managing his opponent for the title. Austin says the whole scenario for their match is simple: he wants what Rock has, and that’s the WWF Championship. JR then goes back to the rising animosity and asks Austin what does he personally think about Rock as a human being. Austin says Rock may be a wonderful person in most people’s eyes but he himself could care less about him personally. JR asks Rock and Rock says that it’s no mysterty how they feel about each other but have earned each other’s respect. Rock also says he and Austin bring out the best of each other when they’re in the ring but personally he doesn’t like him.
Austin then calls JR out for not asking what the WWF Title means to him, feeling he’s acting a little one-sided here. Austin then echoes Rock’s sentiments, that being WWF Champion makes him the #1 guy in the industry, bottom line. JR now asks Austin about his gameplan for the match, knowing he has to beat Rock but Rock doesn’t have to beat him. Austin says once he gets in the ring with Rock in front of 65,000 fans at the Astrodome it’s going to be full speed ahead and he’s going to do whatever it takes to beat Rock 1-2-3, even if it means wrestling him for an entire hour. JR then asks Rock for his approach to this match and Rock reminds him about saying how Austin has to beat him. Rock says he may not have to beat Austin but as far as he’s concerned the belt is dangling and they’re both going for it. Rock says he’s not going to back off just because he’s champion, he’s going in with one goal: to beat Steve Austin. Austin responds by telling Rock that he’s glad he said he wants to beat him just as much as he needs to beat Rock and appreciates how Rock will be coming to beat him in the ring and won’t be on the defensive through the match. Rock tells Ausitn that he’s glad he appreciates his mentality but we’ll see how much he appreciates it on April 1st. Austin points out Rock’s shirt saying “Just Bring It” and Rock responds by talking about what Austin 3:16 means. JR then starts to wrap up the interview by asking Rock for any closing comments as the champion to his challenger. Rock says it doesn’t matter how many falls, how many minutes or how Debra is invovled, it’s the biggest match ever. Rock says once he and Austin step in the ring he’s going to give Ausitn every ounce of sweat, blood and energy he has and win, lose or draw, Austin will get the best of him at Wrestlemania and all questions will be answered. Austin responds by saying that every single time he’s been in the ring with Rock he’s brought out the best of him. Austin says personally he wants to beat him but professionaly he needs to beat Rock more than anything he can imagine. Austin says he’ll roll into the Astrodome knowing that he needs to beat Rock to become WWF Champion once again. Austin tells Rock there can only be one WWF Champion and once the dust settles it’ll be him, with all due respect. JR finishes up by thanking both men for their time and wishing them the best of luck at Wrestlemaina and that’s it. A little long but a good interview segment that showed what the main event build should have centered on: Austin looking to finally return to the top of to the mountain against the man who carried the company in his absence.
~ Back from break we get a shot of WWF New York as well as clips of Aerosmith paying a visit there last Friday.
- Triple H & The Big Show (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Kane – Handicap Match
We finally get our third match almost 30 minutes after the last one ended. Everyone files out as we see of Undertaker watching backstage while still handcuffed and flanked by the cops. Show meets Kane on the ramp and Kane gets in the first shots but Show hits a knee to take the advantage. Show goes for a whip but Kane reverses him into the ringpost then climbs in the ring and works over Triple H. Kane whips Triple H and hits a boot then whips him into a corner and grabs a double choke then drops him. Show climbs in but Kane catches him then goes for a whip, Show reverses him into a corner but misses a splash. Kane turns and presses Triple H up and tosses him onto Show then somehow manages to scoop Show up(!!). However Triple H kicks Kane’s knee causing Show to crash on top of Kane then helps Show double-team him. Show heads out to the corner leaving Triple H to take over but Kane sits right up so Triple H stomps him down. Show tags in and slams Kane but Kane sits up again so Show whips him and plants him with a sidewalk slam. Kane sits up yet again and Show suplexes him but that doesn’t keep him down and the heels are dumbfounded. Show pummels Kane then charges but tumbles over the ropes after Kane ducks and pulls down the top rope. Triple H comes in and Kane pounds away at him then whips him and scoops him up for a running powerslam. Kane climbs to the top rope and nails Triple H with the flying clothesline then readies himself for the chokeslam. Kane grabs Triple H by the throat when Show comes in but Kane grabs him by the throat with the other hand. However Triple H kicks Kane below the belt to escape then Show hits his chokeslam and that gets the pin. (4:18)Triple H and Show celebrate their victory while Taker is frustrated backstage at not being able to help Kane. Not as bad as you’d expect, even if the result was never in doubt. *½
However Triple H and Show decide they’re not done with Kane yet as Triple H hits a kneedrop below the belt. Show shoves the referee away while Triele H unloads on Kane with right hands then Show adds in an elbowdrop. Triple H brings a chair in the ring and whacks Kane in the back with it then nails him with a Pedigree onto the chair. We then see Taker has had enough of this as he overpowers the cops and heads out to the ring still in handcuffs. Back in the ring Triple H sits the chair on Kane’s neck and gets on the mic giving him a message to deliver to Taker. Triple H says he’ll see Taker’s dead @$$ at Wrestlemania before wishing Kane luck when he faces Show. Triple H then says how he’ll enjoy ruining Taker’s family when he sees Taker coming out while fighting off the cops. Despite being cuffed Taker climbs in the ring but Triple H and Show have no trouble double-teaming him in a corner. Triple H grabs a chair and gets in another whack on Kane then jabs Taker with it while the cops come out to ringisde. Triple H then mentions how Taker figured out these aren’t real cops, admitting that he sent the real cops home earlier. Fake cops who are really fake cops? Will wonders never cease. Triple H says the “cops” are friends of his and some of them hold Taker down while he has the others handcuff Kane. Triple H then brings his sledgehammer in the ring and brags about having friends before nailing Taker in the head! Kane tries to get to his feet but Show and the “cops” keep him on the mat while Taker is busted open and bleeding. Taker then gets in Taker’s face about his warning not to mess with him while a close-up of Taker is pixelated. Triple H promises that Deadman Inc. goes belly-up at Wrestlemania before he and his crew leave the brothers laying.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Triple H delivering his message to Taker with the help of some fake cops.
~ Cole and Tazz announce some new additions to the Wrestlemania card, including a Gimmick Battle Royal(?). Tazz mentions some of the participants including The Iron Sheik, Bushwackers, Kamala and Brother Love. Some were asuming this was an April Fool’s joke but it happened.
~ Cole and Tazz announce the other addition: the second-ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Tag Titles which will feature The Dudleys defending the tag team belts against the Hardys and Edge & Christian, just like at SummerSlam. We then get highlights of how all three teams held the titles on Raw which I guess set this up. Plus the two debuts.
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Edge & Christian for their thoughts about the TLC II match at Wrestlemania. Christian asks Kevin who was the first U.S. President (Washington) and what the pilgrims ate at Thanksgiving (turkey). Christian then asks Kevin who won the triangle ladder match last year as well as the first TLC match at Summerslam. Edge says he and Christian beat the Hardys on Raw to become the first six-time champs only for the Dudleys to ruin it, plus they only lost because they had to wrestle twice and the Dudleys brought in their half-brother Spike. Edge says the Dudleys can bring Spike and the Hardys can bring Lita before telling Christian to get the Rhino.
~ We then find Steve Austin operating a forklift backstage for whatever reason. Just in case you’re interested.
~ The Dudleys are shown heading the ring for a six-man tag and behind them is Spike Dudley as we go to commerical.
- The Dudley Boyz & Spike Dudley vs. Rhyno, Edge & Christian
ECW fans are probably still finding it weird how Spike is teaming with the Dudleys considering their history. Edge starts for his team against D’Von and gets in the first shots then whips him but D’Von hits a clothesline. Bubba tags in and gets in his shots then goes for a whip but Edge reverses and connects with a spinning heelkick. Christian tags in and helps Rhyno with a double-team then goes for a whip, Bubba reverses and hits a backdrop. Bubba applies an armwringer then tags Spike in and Spike climbs to the top rope and hits a sledge on the arm. Christian takes the advanatage and whips Spike but lowers the head and Spike rolls him up for a two count. Christian scoops Spike onto his shoulders but Bubba and D’Von push Spike over into a victory roll for a two. Spike leaps onto Christian’s shoulders again and peppers away at him but Edge hot shots him onto the top rope. Rhyno tags in and clotheslines Spike then stomps him in a corner as an “ECW” chant erupts from the crowd. Rhyno whips Spike into a corner and hits a shoulderblock then follows it up with a running boot to the head. Edge tags back in and hot shots Spike on the top rope then stomps him down when Spike tries to fight back. Edge quickly stops that rally then ties Spike up in the ropes and nails him with a crossbody then slams him. Edge hops to the middle rope and goes for a senton but misses and both men start crawling to the corners. Edge tags in Christian but Spike also makes the tag to D’Von and D’Von pounds on both Christian and Edge. D’Von drops Edge with a neckbreaker then poweslams Christian but Rhyno comes in and knocks him down. Bubba is in and pulls Rhyno down by the hair then both Dudleys whip Rhyno and plant him with a flapjack. Bubba slams Rhyno then sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von to fetch a table which he does and they set it up even though this is not a tables match. The Dudleys whip Edge looking to flapjack him through the table but Christian moves the table out of his way. Christian sets the table in a corner when the Dudleys whip him for a 3D but Christian bails out to the floor. D’Von goes after Christian but Edge brings a chair in and whacks Bubbba from behind, getting his team DQ’ed. (5:54) This was actually a decent match, too. **
Edge nails Bubba with the chair a second time then whacks D’Von with hit but Spike dropkicks him from behind. Spike then goes to hit Christian with the Acid Drop just like on Monday but this time Christian throws him off. Christian then grabs a second chair and he and Edge set up for the ConChairto but Spike is able to duck it. Spike fights E&C off but Rhyno comes back in and spears Spike right through the table in the corner!
~ Backstage we find Vince preparing some coffee when Steve Austin walks up behind him demanding his attention. Austin tells Vince that should anything happen to Debra tonight, he’ll hold him responsible as well as The Rock. Vince tries to respond but Austin demands to know if he made himself clear then walks off as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break The Right To Censor make their way out as Cole plugs the Ivory vs. Chyna match in 10 days. However Bull Buchanan and Goodfather head to the announce table and shove Cole aside then both sit beside Tazz. Ivory gets on the mic and mentions Chyna signed the release for their match excusing her from any responsiblity but righteousness should not be confused with mercy because she’ll have no mercy on Chyna’s neck. Val Venis takes over the mic and rants on how good is perceived as evil and evil is preceived as good in the WWF. Val then asks how the fans can sleep with the truth all around them and if their words won’t wake them, their actions will. Steven Richards takes the mic and talks about tonight being a night of redemption as he heads to the announce table and gets in Tazz’s face about his getting involved in their business. Richards promises that Tazz will be censored tonight but Tazz reaches over and slams Richards’ head into the table then climbs over it and slaps Richards in the Tazzmission. Buchanan and Goodfather pounce on Tazz and pound him with Val joining in but can’t get Tazz to release the hold. Suddenly the Acolytes run out for the save and send the RTC’ers running for the back while Tazz is down. I wonder if anotherWrestlemania match just got set up there.
~ Backstage Kurt Angle meets with Chris Benoit and tells him about how they had a magical moment last Monday, that when he had Rock in the Anklelock and Beniot had the Crossface he could feel Rock almost snapping. Angle reminds Benoit it’s them against Rock and suggests that they break him in half and Benoit seems almost amused. 10 days away fromWrestlemania and these two still don’t have matches set up.
~ Rock is shown making his way to the ring which means main event time is just ahead as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we see Steve Austin in the lockerroom settling in with a beer to watch the match unfold.
~ Out in the arena Cole is by himself as he mentions how Tazz has been helped backstage following the assault. However that doesn’t last as Vince McMahon makes his way out and joins the announce table for some commentary, telling Cole that he’s not out here because of Austin’s warning, he’s just looking to add some color to the match.
- The Rock © (w/Debra) vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit – Non-Title Handicap Match
Rock starts things off against Angle when Benoit gets his attention allowing Angle to get in the first shots. Angle goes for a whip but Rock reverses and hits a clothesline then whips him and powerslams him for a two. Angle comes back with a knee to the chest then tags Benoit in and Benoit stomps away at Rock in a corner. Benoit then goes for a whip but Rock reverses him into the opposite corner and clotheslines him from behind. Rock follows it up with a suplex for a near fall then goes for a whip but Benoit counters it into a back suplex. Angle tags in and lays the boots to Rock then hits a snap suplex for a two count before tagging Benoit in. Benoit comes off the ropes but Rock tosses him over the ropes then goes out and rams him into the barricade. Rock goes for a whip when Benoit reverses him in Angle’s direction but Rock nails Angle with a clothesline. Rock turns and clotheslines Benoit then gives Vince a look before tossing Benoit over the table and into Vince.
Rock tosses Benoit back in the ring while Vince gets back to his feet and has a pretty scary look in his eyes. In the ring Rock goes for a whip but Benoit reverses it and Angle nails Rock from behind so Rock decks him. Benoit plants Rock with a German suplex then holds on for a second German suplex followed by a third German. Angle tags back in and lays the boots to Rock then works him over in a corner and chokes him with his boot. Rock fights back and goes for a whip but Angle reverses and hits an elbow then clotheslines him over the ropes. Earl Hebner keeps Angle from going out to the floor while Benoit grabs a chair and rams it into Rock’s face. Benoit tosses Rock back in and Angle climbs to the top rope and connects with a missile dropkick but gets two. Angle slams Rock then climbs to the top rope again and this time goes for the moonsault but ends up missing it. Benoit is in and slams Rock then he climbs to the top and goes for the diving headbutt but that misses as well. All three men are down but Angle is up first and stomps away at Rock before tagging Benoit in to take over. Rock rallies and hits Benoit with a belly-to-belly throw when Angle comes in but Rock nails him with a DDT. Rock plants Benoit with a spinebsuter and covers but Angle saves it allowing Benoit to slap on the Crossface! Benoit cinches it in and Rock tries not to submit when Angle … goes and puts Rock’s foot on the bottom rope? Hebner sees this and orders a break and Benoit demands to know what’s going on when Angle tags himself in but Rock pounds on him. Rock decks Benoit then plants Angle with the Rock Bottom and there’s your pin. (8:27) So for the second time in three weeks Rock is able to cleanly go over two guys by himself, two talented guys like Angle and Benoit. Not to mention who also gave up the pin as well. **
After the bell Rock doesn’t get a chance to celebrate as Benoit goes in and nails Rock with an elbowdrop. Benoit goes for a whip but Rock reverses it and plants him with a spinebuster then puts him in the Sharpshooter. Benoit is screaming in pain while Angle decides to leave the ring instead of trying to help his partner out. A number of referees come out but they can’t get Rock to break the hold while Angle watches with a smile. Finally Vince goes in and gets in Rock’s face demanding he break the hold then decks Hebner for no reason. Rock takes Vince out with a Rock Bottom but Angle runs back in and nails Rock then slaps on the Anklelock. Rock is in agony now and Debra tries to get Angle to let go of him while Austin watches this from the back. Suddenly Austin gets up from his seat and Cole feels Austin must be on his way out there to come to Rock’s aid. Meanwhile Angle is really cranking the Anklelock in as the referees try in vain to get him to release the hold. However we cut back and find Austin sitting back down because he only got up to get himself another beer. Angle still has Rock in the Anklelock and Austin is in no hurry to help his opponent as we fade to black.
Conclusion: Rather forgettable episode of Smackdown, and considering we’re 10 days away from Wrestlemania that’s not a good thing. The only interesting part of this show was the Rock/Austin interview which again showed where the focus should have been. Other than that we got just five matches, with only the last two slightly worth your time, as well as lots of backstage segments and sports-entertainment hype trying to build up the supercard. So check out the interview segment but nothing else is worth your time for the most part. Thumbs down.