October 31, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero

Armageddon 2000
December 10, 2000
Jefferson Civic Center
Birmingham, Alabama
Attendance: 14,920
Buy Rate: 1.15
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler

Sunday Night Heat:
Scotty 2 Hotty defeats D-Lo Brown

1) WWF Light-Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn (Perry Satullo) & Eddie Guerrero defeat Lita (Amy Dumas) & the Hardy Boys in an elimination match

Eliminations:
Jeff Hardy pins Eddie Guerrero with the Swanton Bomb at 2:57
Perry Saturn pins Jeff Hardy with the Death Valley Driver at 3:41
Matt Hardy pins Perry Saturn with the Twist of Fate at 5:08
Dean Malenko pins Matt Hardy with a roll up at 5:34
Dean Malenko makes Lita submit to the Texas Cloverleaf at 8:06

Fun Fact: This started on the 12/4 Raw, when Malenko defeated Lita to retain his Light-Heavyweight Title. Due to pre-match stipulations, Lita had to go out on a date with Malenko. They indeed did that on the 12/7 Smackdown, and dinner and some sexy innuendo preceded the couple heading to a hotel room. With Lita wearing some smoking hot white lingerie, Dean turns out the light. Lita says she likes to “do it with the lights on”. When the lights were turned back on, the Hardys were standing there, and Jeff crushed Dean with a champagne bottle, and Matt hit him with the lamp.

Scott: A pretty solid opener to get the final show of 2000 going. The Hardys were on a great roll still, and their energy keeps the match going. Eddie was hurt, apparently a hamstring injury. He was also suffering from other demons which we’ll document in the next few reviews. Saturn is, well, Saturn. What you see is what you get. This was the first storyline where Lita really had a chance to show off her “feminine” wiles, and damn she was hot in that white lingerie. Dean and Lita were the showcase of the match, and actually the 2 ½ minutes they had in the ring together was really good, and the moves they hit were really crisp. Dean really torques Lita in the Cloverleaf for the win. Grade: 2.5

Justin: Our final PPV of the year kicks off with an enjoyable intergender elimination battle. The match started quick and saw the Hardys set the pace early as Malenko was constantly distracted by Lita on the outside. Once the Radicalz took over, Eddie gained some really good heel heat and you could tell he had the major star presence of the team. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t mean much on this night, as he is the first man eliminated at the hands of Jeff, with an assist from Lita. Saturn would immediately even things up and take Jeff out and it was nice to see the lesser two Radicalz get a bit of a push here at the end of the year as Saturn and Dean were booked quite strong in this one. Lita also looked really good here as she gets into a brief catfight with Terri and then ends up being the final member of her team left standing, and she was left to face off with her nemesis: Malenko. After she held her own for a few minutes, Dean eventually cinched in the Cloverleaf for the submission win. I liked the match a lot and both Lita and Dean were booked really well. Lita was super over here and this was the best run of Dean’s WWF career, as he did a good job as the dick heel. Grade: 3

*** WWF Champion Kurt Angle is interviewed by Lillian Garcia while doing Hindu Squats. He’s not going to be made famous, because he already is. After that we get a clip from February at No Way Out, when Triple H backdropped Mick Foley through the cell ceiling. ***

2) William Regal (Darren Matthews) defeats Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard) to retain WWF European Title after a Raven (Scott Levy) DDT at 4:59

Fun Fact: Regal actually lost the European Title to Hardcore Holly’s cousin Crash at the UK PPV “Rebellion” on 12/2. Regal regained the title 2 days later on Raw. After the match, Regal applied the Regal Stretch on Molly Holly until Hardcore came in to make the save. Two nights later on Smackdown, Holly put Regal to sleep with a sleeper hold in a tag team match.

Scott: A pretty pedestrian match that included some pretty swank moves by Regal, including a butterfly suplex and a Bow and Arrow. Holly was pretty over, but the title fit better around Regal’s waist. Raven continues to try and make his mark by costing Holly the match, but otherwise nothing to see here. Grade: 2

Justin: After Holly screwed himself out of the title last month, he gets a rematch here in his home state. Regal dresses down the Alabama fans before the bout, as had become his calling card. The pre-match verbal attack gained Regal some good heat and Holly some support in the match. The match was stiff, as expected, but slowed down quite a bit as it wore on. The butterfly suplex that Scott referenced was really nice and probably the highlight of the match. After some more mat based action, the finish picked up some steam and saw Raven make his mark to cost Holly the match. Regal picks up another PPV win and rolls along as champion. The match was decent and better than Survivor Series, but still nothing to write home about. Grade: 2

*** We get a great XFL ad featuring the “Voice” of the league, Jesse Ventura, stressing the differences from conventional football and putting over the uniqueness of the league. ***

3) Val Venis (Sean Morley) defeats Chyna (Joanie Laurer) with the Fisherman’s Suplex at 5:02

Fun Fact: The previous week on Raw, Billy Gunn defeated Venis with Chyna’s help. Chyna and Gunn were attacked by Venis and fellow Right to Censor member Ivory after the match. Later in the night, while Chyna was at ringside announcing with JR and the King, Venis came out and attacked Chyna.

Scott: Nothing really special here either, just a way to start up the Chyna/Ivory storyline for the Women’s Title. Chyna’s looking really good here, but this was when she started to be a pain in the ass backstage, pretty much the way Sable was one year earlier after being in Playboy. She’s still put in a high profile storyline, but as we see later in 2001, she becomes a casualty of ego. Right to Censor continues to pile up wins, and enemies with their grating music. Grade: 1

Justin: Val is accompanied by Ivory here, after the two had put the beat down on Chyna the week before the show. Chyna jumps Val in the aisle and controls pretty convincingly early on. She was still quite over and looked good while on offense. The match was basic enough and saw a lot of back and forth action between the two. Chyna had told her friend, Billy Gunn, to stay backstage and let her go it alone, but that would backfire on her as Ivory cost Chyna the match with some interference. After the loss, Chyna goes after Ivory, but Val makes the save. This match was here to set the stage for the top women’s feud heading into 2001, but it actually ended up being pretty good in the end and it was definitely one of Chyna’s best bouts, just a notch below her battles with Chris Jericho a year earlier. The RTC picks up another key victory, but they had bigger fish to fry later in the night. Grade: 2.5

*** We have another clip of No Way Out from February, when Triple H and Cactus Jack battled on the roof of the cell. Then, backstage Vince McMahon is talking to Stephanie, who is pleading with her father to stop the Cell match tonight, for Triple H’s health. Vince said he is going to go visit Mick Foley and put a stop to the match. Following that, we have an interview from earlier in the day with Kevin Kelly and Undertaker inside the cell. The interview is similar to the one with Owen Hart before his Summerslam 1994 match with his brother Bret and puts over the danger of the cell and Taker’s experience within it. We then go to ringside, where Vince McMahon and his evil cane join us to talk about his pending divorce to Linda, which had been announced on the previous Thursday’s Smackdown, and to plead to the crowd to not want the six biggest superstars in the business in the cell, where they could be seriously injured. The segment ran a bit long and was clearly just a time killer and that could have been easily accomplished with a backstage interview. ***

4) Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) defeats Kane (Glen Jacobs) in a Last Man Standing match when Jericho pushes a pile of barrels onto Kane at 17:16

Fun Fact: These two continue to go after each other leading into this match. The turning point was on the 12/4 Raw, when Kane distracted Jericho and cost him a match against Kurt Angle.

Scott: A decent brawl to back up their match at Survivor Series. This is Jericho’s second “Last Man Standing” match of the year, but this one doesn’t come close to his war with Triple H at Fully Loaded. Kane held his end of the bargain by drilling Jericho with a big-time cache of power moves. Jericho bumped like a bastard for Big Red, including a painful-looking press slam to the floor from the ropes. They do repeat a table spot when the table didn’t break the first time, but that’s ok. It ends when Jericho pushes a wall of fake trash barrels onto Kane, and he disappears. It was a pretty far-fetched ending that ruins a decent brawl. I know it’s probably to keep Kane’s heat as needing something so far-fetched to beat him. It still looked cheesy. Jericho upgrades to a much better match next month, and Kane sets a record at that same show. Grade: 2

Justin: The rematch from last month starts off quickly as Kane and Jericho battle their way backstage and then back out to the ring. The main storyline throughout the match was Kane’s power being able to stifle all of Jericho’s offense and comebacks. On the flip side, Jericho was painted as a resilient warrior who withstood a series of still power moves and a constant assault from Kane. Kane would dominate the match most of the way through and thwart all of Jericho’s offense, but he just couldn’t put Y2J away and started to get frustrated. That is where the match picked up and got interesting, as Kane became desperate in trying to put Chris down and it backfired, allowing Jericho to gain control with a chair. After a flurry of offense, Jericho lined up a chair on Kane’s chest and nailed a nasty Lionsault on top of it, hurting both men. They fought up the aisle and the brawl got a bit sloppy, but it was an understandable part of the story, as they had been battling for nearly 15 minutes at that point. The ending was a bit goofy and could have been better executed, but I kind of liked Kane’s hand popping up through the barrels as the ref reached ten. It added to the monster aura he had going on at this point. Jericho picks up a much needed win as he was being elevated back up to the upper mid card in the New Year. The match was up and down, but the final five minutes or so carried it to a solid grade. Grade: 2.5

*** Backstage, the Coach caught up with Mick Foley’s new Lt. Commissioner, Debra, in his search for Mick. Debra had been named to the position on the 10/30 Raw. When Coach found Mick, Foley admitted he was nervous to go through with the HITC match, but he knew it was the right decision in the end. We then head to WWF NY where Shawn Michaels is in the house. He discusses the danger of HITC, especially with six men in the mix. ***

5) Edge & Christian defeat the Dudley Boys, Right to Censor, and Road Dogg & K-Kwik in a Fatal Four Way match to win WWF Tag Team Titles when Christian (Jay Reso) pins Bubba Ray (Mark Lomonica) with an Unprettier at 9:42

Fun Fact: This is “Road Dogg” Jesse James final PPV appearance. He would be fired a couple of weeks after this show for showing up at a show in no condition to wrestle. Making his debut way back in 1995, it seems like more than 5 years ago, his final record is 19-21. Scottie will miss Dogg, as he owned the Dogg’s t-shirt to go with the 4 Triple H shirts and 2 DX shirts.

Fun Fact II: On the 12/10 Smackdown, the Dudleys had seemingly joined up with the RTC when they hit the ring decked out in shirts and ties. The RTC seemed pumped to have converted two more of their enemies. It was then that Bubba grabbed the mike and said if putting people through tables was wrong, then he didn’t want to be right and led a quick assault on the RTC. Bubba Ray and D-Von put the RTC through tables and added fuel to the fire heading into the PPV.

Scott: A fun tag match that gets the Dudleys back to the forefront of the tag team scene. This is our final PPV of the year, and what a year it was for tag team wrestling. Going back to the days of the Hart Foundation, the Rockers, Demolition, and the Brainbusters in the late 80s that was the last time you had an incredible cache of tag teams battling for a single prize. The year started with the New Age Outlaws, the Attitude Era’s top team, on top. They’re long gone, and now the tag team scene has fresh, young hungry teams who want nothing more than to be the best. This is another example of the landscape. A big win for the Canadian Connection, now 4-time champions, and that’s only since March. 2001 will still have some great teams battling, but it won’t match the unparalleled competition of 2000. Grade: 3

Justin: The tag division continues to flourish and I like how they had so many top level teams, that some could be cycled in and out of the title picture from month to month. After a few shows with the Hardys in the picture, they are taken out for a bit so the Dudleys can jump back in. Bubba and D-Von have been mixing it up in non-title feuds since Wrestlemania, so it was refreshing to see them get back in the hunt. I liked the double juke and jive spot that Dogg and Bubba did early in the match as it looked like they were going to hit a double team move, but then they turned and took each other out. Dogg and Kwik showed some good teamwork in there and were starting to gel, so it is too bad that Dogg got the axe shortly after the show. Kwik was actually quite impressive out there and was really the star of the match with some great offense and solid selling. The main heat segment saw E&C and the RTC work over Kwik for a bit. Out of the heat segment, Kwik hit a really nice plancha onto the RTC, who catch him and lays him out. Dogg follows, but gets taken out as well. E&C would take the opportunity to double team Bubba Ray and pick up the pin and the titles when Christian beat Bubba with the Unprettier. The finish was hot and the crowd was with it the whole way through, which was good to see. E&C are back on top of the mountain and the RTC are now former champions without being pinned to lose their belts. Grade: 3

6) Chris Benoit defeats Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) to win WWF Intercontinental Title with the Crippler Crossface at 10:03

Fun Fact: Billy Gunn defeated Eddie Guerrero on the 11/23 Smackdown to win his first and only Intercontinental Title.

Scott: This isn’t even close to a competitive match, as Benoit dismantles “The One” from bell to bell. This is the first time in Benoit’s tenure that he has been allowed to just completely destroy an opponent. This was definitely a set-up for Benoit to head into 2001 as Champ, so Billy defeated a struggling Eddie Guerrero to transition the IC Title to Benoit. Billy gets a few punches in, and a bodyslam here and there but that’s pretty much it. About 5 ½ minutes in, when Benoit hits the triple German Suplexes, it’s evident Gunn is completely blown up. Benoit rips him apart for another 4 minutes, then ratchets up the Crossface, and it is back to the unimportant part of the mid-card for “The One”. Benoit began the year disgruntled and ignored in WCW. He ends the year as a strong Intercontinental Champion. Grade: 1.5

Justin: A basic match that just saw Benoit tear apart Billy and take his I-C title back. I like when they let Benoit go out there and just pick a guy apart with some crisp technical wrestling and that is what we got here. A funny little ongoing rant from JR about Billy’s earrings was entertaining as well. Billy looked good to start until Benoit took over and just beat him into oblivion. He works the knee for most of the match, but unleashes some stiff Germans on Billy as well. I also liked the battle over the Crossface in the last few minutes. At one point, the two battled on the ground, with Benoit finally locking it in. Gunn escaped, but Benoit would grab it again and pick up the win and the belt. Benoit takes his strap back and is poised for a big 2001. Grade: 2

*** We get another XFL promo, this time focusing on the seductive cheerleaders in their employ. ***

7) Ivory (Tina Moretti) defeats Trish Stratus (Patricia Stratigias) and Molly Holly (Nora Greenwald) to retain WWF Women’s Title when she pins Trish after a Molly power bomb at 2:12

Scott: Just a quickie to spell the crowd before the main event. Ivory wins and moves on to her next feud. Trish Stratus still is sowing her oats in the ring, and in the next year she’ll make it to the top of the mountain. I became an instant Molly Holly fan, with her pretty smile and simple figure. Not much more here, let’s get to the carnage. Grade: 1.5

Justin: Not much going on here as this match is short and to the point. I was actually kind of digging it and then it just abruptly ended. The pace stayed fast and I think it could have ended up being pretty good if they had another 4 or 5 minutes to work with. Trish is slowly getting better and Ivory and Molly are both pretty good at this point, so the match had potential. After the match, T&A comes out to intimidate Molly, but the APA make their return after T&A had put them out to make the save. Grade: 1.5

8) Kurt Angle defeats the Rock (Dwayne Johnson), Steve Austin (Steve Williams), Rikishi (Solofa Fatu), Triple H (Paul Levesque) and the Undertaker (Mark Callaway) in a Six-Pack Hell in the Cell match to retain WWF World Title when he pins Rock after an Austin stunner at 32:14

Fun Fact: This is Rikishi’s only PPV World Title shot, and the only Hell in the Cell match in the illustrious careers of the Rock and Kurt Angle.

Fun Fact II: On the 11/27 Raw, Mick Foley scheduled a number one contender’s match between Rock and Rikishi. Kurt Angle would interfere in the match and end up getting Rikishi disqualified. Later that week on Smackdown, Foley determined that, due to all the recent interference and fighting, there were five men who deserved a shot at Angle’s title and he made it happen inside Hell in the Cell.

Scott: What do you do when you have too many main eventers and not enough slots at the top of the card? Put them all in the same match. The final PPV match of 2000 is a sick, entertaining brawl with every major player in the WWF at the time. The focal point is Kurt Angle. Here he is barely in the WWF for one year, and now he’s facing 5 guys with a combined 16 WWF Championships in Rock, 5, Austin, 4, Triple H, 4 and Undertaker, 3. Could he go minute for minute with every big thoroughbred? Damn right he could. These 6 men, wrestling in the “Devil’s Den”, put every bead of sweat, every drop of blood into this 32 minute war. All 6 guys go all over the place: In the cell, on the roof, around the bevy of cars up and down the aisle. The other point is the continuing war between Austin and Triple H. After their underwhelming match at Survivor Series, they stay together for ¾ of the match and absolutely kill each other. Their vicious rivalry continues next month, albeit in separate matches. The crowd is in this match 100%, as everyone is a fan of pretty much everybody in the match, so the energy level is off the charts from the minute the match starts until the minute Angle pins Rock. The only gripe I have with this match is Vince’s silly truck stunt and Foley chasing him off. It was cheap heat that was unnecessary for this match, but it doesn’t take too much out of the grade. As much as the Rikishi stunt onto the truck wasn’t that crazy, it didn’t hurt much either. The ending is cool, as Austin stuns Rock, but gets picked off by Triple H before he can get the pin, which gives Angle the chance to steal the cheap pin and retain his title. A fantastic brawl that is one of my guilty pleasures, much like the 6-man tag main event at IYH: International Incident, and I’ll probably grade it higher than most people but it’s worth it for me. Grade: 4.5

Justin: Well, this match had tons of build up and it delivered in spades. Commissioner Foley was stuck with a glut of top contenders and couldn’t decide who deserved the next shot at Kurt Angle, so he put them all inside a cell and let them destroy each other over the title. The importance placed on the match before and during was tremendous for the PPV as well as the Championship. The star power was overwhelming here and the fans had three top faces to choose from throughout the match. What I also liked about this match was that it wasn’t just six guys tossed together. They all had personal issues mixed in and most of them had serious history to play off of as well, so that added to the drama and intensity of the bout as well. Early on, we got Survivor Series rematches as Austin/Hunter, Rikishi/Rock and Taker/Angle all paired off and beat the stuffing out of each other for a bit. They then rotated a bit as each feud took center stage in the ring while the others fought around the cage. Austin and Triple H warred for most of the match, including one nasty segment where Austin kept scraping a bloodied Triple H across the cage repeatedly. One spot I didn’t care for was Triple H obviously double crossing Rikishi after the big man helped him to his feet. It just made Rikishi look pretty dumb, especially after they had focused on their relationship for the past six weeks or so. I am fine with them fighting, but it was just hokey and telegraphed the way it went down. After showing concern throughout the night, Vince is driven down on the back of a pickup truck and orders the driver to hook a chain to the cell and tear it down. The driver just happened to look like Dennis Stamp’s twin brother which almost cracked me up as much as the visual of Vince standing proudly with his cane, flanked by the Stooges, on the back of the truck as it backed down the aisle. Before Vince can ruin his match, Foley comes out and has him taken away by security so the fight can continue. With the cage door opened during the Vince segment, all six men poured out of the cage and down the aisle, where they beat on each other all over the set. Eventually, everyone would head back to the cage and end up brawling on top of it, which was a neat moment. At one point, Taker gets hold of a chair up top and just crushes Angle with it. Rikishi would pry it loose and put a beating on both men, but the big highspot of the match came shortly after as Taker chokeslammed Rikishi off the top of the cage into the back of the pickup truck. In a weird way, that would be Rikishi’s swan song as a top level heel. He would still be in the mix after this show, but this was clearly his peak. The climax was great too as we got a bunch of finishers, near falls and last second saves to keep the match going. Angle finally got the pin when he rolled over and his hand covered the Rock, who had been taken out with a Stunner. This was really a great brawl and it was neat seeing all of the top talent in this setting just beating the piss out of each other for the belt. Grade: 4.5

Final Analysis:

Scott: The final PPV of 2000 has its good moments and bad. We see the Chris Benoit we all heard about on the big stage, and he’s carrying gold. We see a decent brawl between Kane and Chris Jericho, as Y2J is ready for big things in the coming year. The tag team scene is still strong with the tag team of the year as the champs, Edge & Christian, and every other very good team still chasing them. The main event situation is the juiciest. For the first time since early 1999, every major player still on the roster, Austin, Rock, Triple H and Undertaker, is in fighting shape, and included in that mix is hands down the Rookie of the Year, Kurt Angle. One year ago this guy was wrestling Shawn Stasiak and Steve Blackman. Now he’s ending the year the WWF Champion, and he just won a grueling half hour match in the Cell with 5 of the biggest stars of this generation. Now this show had some dogs. The women’s match was crap, and both the European Title match and the Val Venis/Chyna match were dull. There’s nothing bad about what the future holds for the WWF right now. Financially they’ve just completed the most lucrative year of their history. Their competitors are just about done. ECW’s finances are a wreck. WCW is hemorrhaging money and lacking quality. Vince McMahon’s quest to be #1 will come to fruition in 2001, and with this unbelievable wealth of talent, things can only get better. Overall this is a solid effort to wrap the year up. Final Grade: B

Justin: Most December PPVs are holdover shows and tend to come off a bit flat, but this one definitely broke away from that mold. The crowd was into everything, as was the theme for 2000, and the action stayed pretty fast and furious throughout and featured two titles changes and a huge main event. I didn’t think there was one clunker on the show as even the women’s match was entertaining while it lasted. The European title match was kind of disjointed, but it wasn’t actively bad in any way. I enjoyed the seriousness and importance placed on the Cell with all of the interviews and promo packages throughout the night. The match definitely delivered on the buildup and closed out the PPV year with a bang. Even though some of the same guys are on top, the main event scene did feel fresh due Austin and Taker having missed a lot of time and the injection of Rikishi and Angle to the top of the card. The WWF machine was continuing to roll along and WCW is on life support and was nearly purchased by Vince McMahon in October before the deal fell apart. Just like the main event, this show is sort of a forgotten gem in a very loaded year for PPVs. Final Grade: B+

MVP: Main Event
Runner Up: Edge & Christian
Non MVP: Billy Gunn
Runner Up: Road Dogg

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