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WWF Smackdown 3/23/2000

written by Adam King


WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, March 23rd, 2000

Taped (3/21) from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI

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 (3/13/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Jacqueline (2/03/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (3/13/2000)

~ Smackdown comes on the air with clips of the Wrestlemania main event being done on free TV on Raw as well as Linda McMahon bringing back Mick Foley for ‘one night only’ and making the match a four-way. After the intro Michael Cole welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.

~ Things kick off with Triple H hitting the ring with Stephanie McMahon and grabbing a mic for our opening promo. Triple H starts by mentioning Vince McMahon’s announcement on Raw then says Stephanie has her own big announcement tonight. Triple H talks about the Wrestlemania main event happening on Raw with the premise it wouldn’t be done again and once the match took place he proved how good he was by beating both The Big Show and The Rock. However Triple H says as he left the ring with his WWF Championship intact another McMahon tried to screw him when Linda McMahon put him in a fatal-four way elimination match against the very men he’s beaten. Triple H brings up how he beat The Rock, The Big Show and destroyed Mick Foley and retired him last month then asks Linda who she is to demand anything of him. Triple H calls Linda out to the ring and answer him to his face and Linda does come out to the stage with a mic. Linda tells Triple H she has as much stroke in the WWF as anyone else and made the match because Foley is “deserving” to finally realize his dream of main-eventing Wrestlemania. Linda does know Foley had his shot at the ‘Mania main event and blew it, right? Linda also says since the other participants have a McMahon on their side, she will be in Foley’s corner as the fourth. Linda tries to emphasize that Foley is only coming back for that one night but Triple H says he isn’t buying that, asking what would happen if Foley should somehow win the title. Linda says should Foley win he would go out on top and retire as WWF Champion. Linda adds the title would then be vacated and a championship tournament would be held over the next few weeks concluding at Backlash. Triple H complements Linda on the thought and planning she put into this before telling her she wasted her time. Triple H says he’s going to beat Rock first because he hates him then beat Show then save Foley for last just for Linda. Triple H tells Linda when Foley is confined to a wheelchair after the match and can’t remember who his kids are it’ll be on her hands. Triple H says Linda could push Foley’s wheelchair while Foley will wonder why she just couldn’t let him stay retired. Triple H says Foley will realize Linda did this because she is cold and heartless and another word that gets bleeped. Linda seems taken aback by this comment and walks off while Triple H and Stephanie pose in the ring.

~ Backstage Crash Holly is getting a massage from Ivory as he stresses about his 24/7 Hardcore Title defenses and Ivory tries to get Crash to relax. Crash seems to calm down … while Ivory quietly brings referee Teddy Long out. Ivory quickly grabs a jar and smashes it on Crash’s head then covers him as Long counts but only gets a two count. Crash then grabs his Hardcore Title belt and takes off clad in only a towel as we go to commercial.

Kurt Angle © vs. Chris Benoit – Non-Title Match

Angle gets on the mic and talks about defending a title against Benoit and Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania. However Angle says he learned this morning that now both of his titles will be on the line in that very match and it’s also going to be a two-fall match which will have one of his two belts up for grabs in each fall. Angle calls it a conspiracy against him and promises to give Benoit a taste of what to expect at Wrestlemania. As Benoit comes out to the ring Jericho also makes his way out but joins the announcers for commentary since there’s no reason to give away two Wrestlemania matches. Benoit attacks the distracted Angle to start then slams him to the mat and dropkicks him through the ropes. Benoit goes out and throws Angle back in the ring but has words for Jericho after he calls Benoit “Mr. Roboto”. Benoit whips Angle into a corner and goes for a German suplex but Angle is able to fight out of it and whips him into an belly-to-belly throw. Angle stomps away on Benoit and beats him down in a corner then chokes Benoit with his boot and hits a suplex for a two count as Bob Backlund looks on from backstage. Angle whips Benoit into a clothesline for a near fall then clubs him in the back repeatedly for another two count. Angle whips Benoit into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot and Benoit quickly hits a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German suplex then holds for a bridge suplex but Angle gets his foot on the rope. Benoit chops Angle and goes for a whip, Angle counters it into the Olympic Slam but Benoit floats over him and shoves him into a corner and both men collide. Angle heads out and brings his IC belt in the ring. However Jericho grabs the European belt and brings that in as well then waffles Angle with it for a DQ end. (3:18) Not a bad match, just not much to it. Jericho then clocks Benoit with the belt for good measure before putting Angle in the Walls of Jericho and Angle starts tapping like mad. A swarm of referees come in and try to pull Jericho off Angle and Jericho eventually releases the hold only to turn toward Benoit and put him in the Walls of Jericho as well. **

~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Vince McMahon on what Stephanie’s announcement could be later tonight. Vince figures Stephanie is going to announce she’s pregnant and in nine months deliver an eight-pound baby anteater. Kevin then mentions being on the road to Wrestlemania as Vince says he’s anxious to be in The Rock’s corner. Vince then addresses the tag team title situation after the Dudley Boyz ruined the #1 contenders battle royal on Raw. Vince decides to have the Dudleys defend the belts at Wrestlemania against both the Hardys and Edge & Christian and even makes it a ladder match. Vince also mentions the Dudleys putting Rock through a table some weeks back, saying Rock still remembers it so as a result Bubba Ray Dudley gets to face Rock one-on-one tonight as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get footage of Al Snow taking a reluctant Steve Blackman to visit a dairy farm earlier today. Snow tells Blackman they’re in Wisconsin, the land of cheese, so he wants to help Blackman find his “inner cheese” and suggests Blackman should try milking a cow. Blackman begrudgingly complies and gets sprayed with milk so while Snow converses with the farmer, Blackman grabs his nun chucks and does something to the cow off-screen. Blackman then simply tells Snow the cow’s sick and Snow decides it’s time for them to go.

The Godfather (w/the ladies) vs. Bull Buchanan

This match resulted from the double-team beat down on Raw and Godfather has requested Bossman be banned from ringside. Godfather attacks Buchanan as he slides in the ring and whips him into an elbow then whips him into a boot. Godfather whips Buchanan a third time and backdrops him then clotheslines him over the ropes to the floor. Godfather goes out to the floor and whips Buchanan into the ring steps before throwing him back in the ring. Godfather whips Buchanan into a corner but Buchanan leaps to the top rope and springs off into a clothesline. Buchanan comes off the ropes with an axe kick for a two count then works Godfather over and chokes him. Buchanan charges at Godfather who backdrops him over the ropes but Buchanan skins the cat back in the ring. Buchanan suplexes Godfather then climbs to the top rope and goes for the guillotine leg drop but misses it. Godfather fights back and goes for a whip, Buchanan reverses but Godfather comes back with a pair of clotheslines then slams him to the mat and follows up with a running boot to the head. Godfather whips Buchanan into a corner looking for the Ho Train but Bossman comes in to break it for a DQ. (2:44) Nothing + nothing = nothing. Bossman and Buchanan then beat Godfather down with nightsticks and leave him laying in the ring. Again I wonder where D’Lo Brown was. DUD

~ Backstage Crash Holly is conversing with Hardcore Holly telling him he’s worried about their tag match later. Crash says someone might come after him just like on Raw but Hardcore tries to assure him he’s taken care of it. Hardcore promises Crash there will be no interference in their match and asks Crash to trust him, his own cousin. Hmm.

Crash & Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow (w/Head) & Steve Blackman

As the Holly cousins come out we get a recap of Ivory’s attempt to pin Crash for the Hardcore Title earlier. Snow then comes out trying to slip a giant cheese on Blackman’s head only for Blackman to throw it down. Snow further annoys Blackman by encouraging a “Head Cheese” chant from the crowd and showing off a sign. Blackman and Hardcore lockup to start and Blackman gets a headlock but Hardcore shoves him into the ropes. Blackman hits a shoulder block then comes off the ropes but Hardcore leapfrogs over him and whips him. Hardcore hits the dropkick then tags Crash in and holds Blackman while Crash leaps off the ropes with a punch. Crash gets in some shots and goes for a whip but Blackman reverses it and Snow nails Crash from behind. Crash stumbles into a thrust kick from Blackman who follows up with a backbreaker before tagging Snow in. Snow ties Crash in the tree of woe and goes for a baseball slide but Crash sits up and Snow slides to the floor. Snow heads back in as Crash tags in Hardcore who whips Snow into a corner but Snow slides to stop himself. Snow goes for a clothesline but Hardcore pulls the referee into the way and he ends up taking the hit instead. Hardcore clotheslines Snow in return then tags Crash in as a second referee, Mike Sparks, comes in the ring. Only Hardcore boots Crash down and pins him while Sparks makes a two count as an impromptu Hardcore title match starts. Crash flees from the ring into the crowd with Hardcore and his referee chasing him down in the tech area. Hardcore gets another two count on Crash while the original referee makes a 10 count to end the match. (2:20) The match was starting to really get going when it was suddenly cut off. Snow celebrates when Test and Albert suddenly hit the ring and start beating on the both of them. Test whips Blackman into a boot then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying elbow drop. Albert works Snow over and hits the double choke bomb as Trish Stratus makes her way out to the stage and gets on the mic saying they give the fans what they want to see, Test and Albert, T&A. *

~ Backstage The Mean Street Posse are conversing with each other when Shane McMahon comes up to them saying he wants to let bygones be bygones. Shane says he even has an huge offer for the three of them and asks Pete Gas if he wouldn’t want to be Triple H for one day. Pete jumps on this chance to be The Game and Shane then asks Joey Abs if he wants to be Mick Foley and Rodney if he wants to be The Rock and they both accept. Shane then leads the Posse somewhere while plugging his idea and I think we can guess where this is going to lead.

~ We then see The Rock making his way to the ring for the next match as we go to commercial.

The Rock vs. Bubba Ray Dudley (w/D’Von Dudley)

Rock makes his way out to his WWF Aggression theme which was done by Method Man. Rock tries to keep his eyes on both Dudleys then goes right to work on Bubba and hits the Smackdown. Rock whips Bubba and hits an elbow then works Bubba over and goes for another whip but Bubba reverses it. D’Von then pulls Rock out to the floor while Bubba distracts Earl Hebner but Rock hammers away on D’Von. Rock nails D’Von with a short-arm clothesline but Bubba goes out and hits Rock with his own clothesline. Bubba rams Rock into the announce table then gets on the headset and mocks Rock’s “If ya smell…” line when Rock grabs the ring bell and clock Bubba with it then gives him the business on the headset as well. Rock then turns and nails D’Von with the bell but Bubba comes back and rams Rock into the ring steps. Bubba throws Rock over the barricade then goes after him but Rock clotheslines him back over to ringside. Rock rams Bubba into the announce table twice and Bubba tries to escape over the table but Rock cuts him off and throws him back in the ring. Rock goes for a whip but Bubba counters into a sidewalk slam for a two. Bubba chops Rock in a corner but Rock reverses positions and gets in his shots then goes for a whip. Bubba reverses Rock into the opposite corner but Rock rebounds with a clothesline then goes for a whip but Bubba counters with a suplex. Bubba hits elbow drop then goes for a whip but Rock reverses and hits a Samoan Drop for a two count. Rock follows that up with a DDT but D’Von distracts Hebner from seeing Rock covering Bubba. Rock pops D’Von off the apron but walks right into a back suplex form Bubba who tells D’Von to fetch a table and D’Von sets one up on the floor. Bubba readies Rock for a pile driver but Rock hits a low blow and whips Bubba into D’Von, knocking him off the apron and through the table. Rock plants Bubba with the spine buster and connects with the People’s Elbow to put this one to bed. (5:30) Entertaining through predictable match. You had to know Rock wasn’t losing twice to the Dudleys. **½

~ Back from break Jim Ross beings Mick Foley out to the ring for an interview to justify breaking his retirement. JR starts by asking Foley why he decided to come back for ‘one night only’ to be in the pay-per-view main event. Foley admits he did say he wouldn’t be like other wrestlers who lose career matches and come back six weeks later, he came back in four weeks instead. Foley does promise his return is for one night only and will never wrestle again after Wrestlemania. Foley says he did very little in the weeks since No Way Out when he received a phone call from Linda McMahon inviting him to be a part of Wrestlemania. Foley says at first he figured she meant the fan Axxess weekend but Linda actually gave him an invite to be part of the show’s main event, the one thing he has never done. Foley claims he first tried to talk Linda out of it but then remembered you just don’t walk out of Wrestlemania. Foley says when he showed up at Chicago he was nervous at the fans’ reaction but the response blew him away as many fans seem to be happy to have him back. Foley admits there are few that need time to forgive him but adds he would have never forgiven himself if he missed out on this opportunity and wants to make the most of it. JR then asks Foley for his thoughts on the fatal-four way elimination match for the WWF Title. Foley first calls The Big Show a freak of nature coming off the match of his life but says it will not be Show’s night. Foley then calls The Rock the best tag partner he ever had and a fellow #1 author but it won’t be his night either. Foley feels destiny is smiling down on him and tells Triple H it will definitely come down to the two of them. Foley says he didn’t know what he was going to do to Triple H until he verbally attacked Linda McMahon earlier but says he’s won’t threaten Triple H with barbed-wire bats and thumbtacks since he’s already done that. Foley says the best way to hurt Triple H is to beat him down and take his title in what will be his final match so the next morning Triple H will realize there won’t be a thing he can do about it because he will be retired. Foley says it won’t be like No Way Out where he walked up the ramp with blood on his face and tears in his eye; Wrestlemania will end will blood on his face, tears in his eye, and the WWF Championship in his hand. Doesn’t quite make up for breaking his word but still a pretty good promo.

~ GTV then appears and shows The Kat talking with Terri Runnels in the dressing room. Kat tells Terri she’s returning a shirt she borrowed from her since she’s getting so much TV time. Terri takes the shirt from Kat but when she unrolls it she finds the shirt covered with stains.

~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Bradley Center before we get more highlights of The Rock hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend.

WWF Women’s Title: Jacqueline © vs. Lita

I believe this is Lita’s first one-on-one match and she’s already getting a title shot? Both ladies lockup to start and Lita applies an arm wringer while taking Jackie down by the legs. Lita goes into a front face lock and follows up with a snap suplex then hits a one-legged monkey flip. Lita then has words with the crowd but that allows Jackie to hit a drop toehold then apply a headlock. Lita shoves Jackie into the ropes but Jackie hits a shoulder block then comes off the ropes and hits a hip toss. Jackie whips Lita into a corner then hits a pair of arm drags and Lita rolls out to the floor to regroup. Jackie chases Lita back in the ring and starts cat fighting with her when the referee suddenly gets involved! Lita starts fighting back and goes for a whip, Jackie reverses it but Lita comes back with the head scissors. Lita follows up with a dropkick and whips Jackie but lowers the head and Jackie goes for a Sunset Flip. Lita sits down on Jackie’s shoulders but Jackie counters into her own rollup that gets the three. (2:19) After the match Lita suplexes Jackie then climbs to the top rope and connect with a moonsault. Not a bad match for what we got, though Lita was still a little ways away from being good in the ring. **

~ We then get another look at the DX/Run DMC music video as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Shane leads the dressed-up Mean Street Posse out to the ring and takes the mic introducing the Posse as three of the participants in the fatal four way match at Wrestlemania. Shane first introduces Pete Gas as “Triple H”, complete with a wig, fake nose and toy championship belt. Shane then presents Joey Abs as “Mick Foley” with Joey wearing a plaid shirt with padding and carrying a book. Shane finally shows off Rodney as “The Rock” who poses while sporting a flashy shirt and a drawn-on eyebrow. Shane then mentions the fourth participant in the match and brings out The Big Show who’s apparently playing himself. The Posse applaud Show not quite realizing the real reason they’re dressed up like Show’s pay-per-view opponents. Shane decides to have a small preview of Wrestlemania and has Show take on the Posse while he clears out to the floor.

The Big Show vs. The Mean Street Posse – 3-on-1 Handicap Match

Shane joins the announcers while Show dumps Rodney over the ropes. Pete and Joey double-team Show and whip him Show clotheslines both men. Show whips Joey and knocks him down then power slams Pete and brings Rodney back in the ring. Joey readies a sock for the Mandible Claw and goes for it but Show press slams him then signals for a choke slam. Rodney tries to get some offense when Show lies down on the mat and demands Rodney do the People’s Elbow. Rodney is happy to comply and comes off the ropes but Show pops right off and grabs him and Joey then choke slams them both. Show turns and choke slams Pete then covers all three Posse members and there’s the three count. (2:14) Shane then grabs the mic and proclaims Show then winner and the new WWF Champion at Wrestlemania. Not a real match but the segment did its job. NR

Too Cool & Rikishi Phatu vs. Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn

Cole announces that Too Cool will team with Chyna against these three same Radicalz at Wrestlemania. So I guess this is 83% of a pay-per-view match for free. This is also Eddie’s first real match since dislocating his elbow in his debut back in February. Malenko pounds on Grandmaster Sexay to start and goes for a whip but Sexay reverses him into a corner. Sexay charges at Malenko but eats a boot and Malenko comes out of the corner but runs right into a power slam. Sexay busts a move then comes off the ropes and stops to hit a clothesline before tagging in Scotty 2 Hotty. The Too Cool guys whip Malenko and throw him back to the mat then follow up with their double elbow drop. Scotty hits a suplex then kips up and moonwalks across the ring but Saturn clotheslines him from the apron. Saturn tags in and whips Scotty into a corner and hits a forearm then scoops him up and rams him into the corner. Saturn climbs to the middle rope and hits a suplex then tags Eddie in and Eddie lays the boots to him. Eddie whips Scotty and hits a jumping elbow and Scotty starts to fight back but Eddie rakes the eyes to stop it. Eddie goes for a whip but Scotty counters it and tosses Eddie over his head and onto the ropes. Scotty manages to tag in Rikishi and Eddie quickly scampers back to his corner and tags Saturn back in. Rikishi takes it to all three Radicals and super kicks Saturn then turns and clotheslines both Eddie and Malenko. Sexay comes in and super kicks Malenko through the ropes while Scotty hits a butt bump on Eddie in a corner. Sexay hits Eddie with his own butt splash than knocks Eddie down and Rikishi follows that up with the Stinkface. Scotty bulldogs Eddie then hits the Worm but Saturn comes in knocking Scotty through the ropes with a forearm. However Rikishi is still able to drill Saturn with the sit-down pile driver and that gets the pin. (3:53) Well we saw the Too Cool guys beat the Radicals so is there any reason to see it again in 10 days? Seriously the Radicalz should have gone over giving a reason for the semi-rematch on pay-per-view.
After the bell Rikishi and the Too Cool guys celebrate the win with the post-match dance but Road Dogg and X-Pac interrupt the dance by jumping them from behind. The Radicals and DX’ers team up for a 5-on-3 beat down when suddenly Kane makes his way out for the save. Kane knocks Saturn and Eddie out of the way then choke slams Malenko and choke slams Saturn as well. Kane grabs Eddie for a choke slam but Road Dogg chop blocks Kane while X-Pac whacks him with a chair. Rikishi tries to fight back but Road Dogg clocks him with the chair and all the faces are left laying.

~ Stephanie McMahon is shown heading to the ring to perhaps deliver her big announcement as we go to commercial.

~ The Wrestlemania countdown shows there’s just 10 days left until the big event. Get excited, people.

~ Back from break Stephanie makes her way to the ring by herself to apparently take up the rest of the television time. Stephanie gets on the mic and mentions her announcement but first invites Linda McMahon to join her in the ring. Linda come out to the ring and Stephanie tells her mother that she wasn’t surprised at her meddling in her business, accusing Linda of feeling threatened by her since she took Vince’s affection away when she was born. Stephanie claims as a result of that Linda tried to control her when she was growing up by having her make her own bed instead of the maid. Stephanie says her allowance was soon cut to $100 a week and she got a regular car at age 16 instead of a sports car. Stephanie then says when she went off to college she only received enough money to finance a one-bedroom apartment but she convinced the CFO to slip her a little cash after Linda taught her the power of persuasion. Stephanie tells Linda this game is about power and there’s only one dominant female in the McMahons, that being her. Stephanie admits she didn’t think Linda would stack the deck against Triple H or reinstate Mick Foley for one night and Linda insists it was the right thing to do. However Stephanie calls her mother a conniving ****h and slaps her in the face! Linda is reeling as Stephanie heads out of the ring and back up the ramp where Triple H meets her on the stage. The Helmsleys sneer back at Linda who tries to produce some tears in the ring as we fade to black. And to think we never did hear that big announcement Stephanie supposedly had.

Conclusion:
Not much to say about this episode. We started with a talking McMahon segment, ended with a talking McMahon segment, and in between there isn’t much else in the way of in-ring action. This was mainly about polishing up the Wrestlemania main event while giving the idea that they’re trying to get the undercard matches together even though there hasn’t been much in the way of storylines and feuds. Also this is where you start to really see the McMahon family feud taking up more of the main event build. While there were two more matches announced for the super card and there were a couple of solid matches this was still a pretty forgettable episode. Not a good sign when you only have two shows remaining before the biggest pay-per-view of the year.

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