October 17, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
December 12, 1999
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Buy Rate: .94
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
1) The Acolytes win a Tag Team Battle Royal in 10:54
Mean Street Posse
Godfather & Mark Henry
Edge & Christian
Scott: The opener is a battle royal to determine the #1 contenders to the tag team titles. This is always the easy way to create the future #1 contender without having to come up with an intricate storyline. The Hardyz were really over at this point, and everyone in the arena was pushing for them to win, particularly when they were one of the last two with the Acolytes. The Hardyz eliminated Faarooq and Bradshaw once each, but the ref didn’t see it. As for the other teams, Edge & Christian are still in a holding pattern till their big push in a couple of months. The Dudleys were still low on the food chain, but that will change in a couple of months too. The others were just filler. The Posse wouldn’t be around much longer. Too Cool was still a novelty, and wouldn’t be taken seriously for a few months. Headbangers were pretty much done. Godfather & Mark Henry aren’t much without hoes. At least they’re in Florida, where the hoes are pretty smoking hot. Grade: 2
Justin: A fun opener that actually has tons of crowd heat, mainly due to the crowd’s undying love of the Hardy Boys. Ever since the epic Ladder Match at No Mercy, the Hardys have gone from underground heroes to tag division studs. The other duo in that classic match, Edge & Christian, were gaining a little momentum, but still lacked that extra something to really push them over the top. At this point they were bland partners who could put on solid matches, which was not a good thing in this burgeoning tag division, as they were quickly getting lost in the shuffle. One team who was making great strides, however, was Too Cool. Ever since returning from the sidelines, Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor had been on a roll in the ring, but were missing one last piece of the puzzle, and that piece was filled in right around the time of this show, as they added the recently debuted Rikishi Fatu, eventually renamed Phatu by Too Cool, in to their little stable. For some reason, the crowds rallied behind the trio, who had started dancing after each match with the first three man dance show was on the 11/22 Raw. By early 2000, they would become the second hottest act of the show, just behind the Rock. It was an amazing turnaround for two guys who were slated to be married earlier in the year (one guess who had written that angle). All in all, this is a solid Battle Royal with an interesting result. Grade: 2
2) Kurt Angle defeats Steve Blackman with a German Suplex at 6:56
Fun Fact: This stems from the previous Thursday’s Smackdown, when Angle & Blackman lost a tag team match to the Dudleys. Angle accused Blackman of dropping the ball since Blackman was pinned. Of course, Angle claimed that since he wasn’t pinned he was still undefeated.
Scott: Kurt Angle is still undefeated, and is still drawing great heel heat. He has made an immediate impact on the fans as someone you just have to hate. Blackman is just a nice character you can fit anywhere you need him to. He puts on a decent match, and isn’t overly offensive. This solidifies Angle as legit much more than his win over Shawn Stasiak last month. As 2000 dawns, Angle’s career really hits the fast track. Grade: 3
Justin: The legend of Kurt Angle continued to grow in his first month as a WWF superstar. From the get go, his overbearing, quick witted persona drew some quality heel heat. From his pompous boasts of his Olympic days, to his jabs at his opponents, to his mocking of local sports teams, Angle seemingly had quite the knack for pushing the right buttons. He and Blackman had actually been teaming up on Raw and Smackdown, but when Blackman was pinned in one match, Angle jumped ship before his undefeated streak went down as well, courtesy of the Lethal Weapon. Thus, the stage was set and my Olympic Hero and yours picked up his second PPV win of his career in a solid little matchup. Grade: 2.5
3) Miss Kitty (Stacy Carter) wins a Four Corners Evening Gown Swimming Pool Match to win WWF Women’s Title when she removes Ivory’s (Lisa Moretti) dress at 2:57
Also in the match were Jacqueline (Moore) and Barbara Bush (Kathy Dingman)
Scott: One of the most historic moments in WWF history. You probably think I’m on crack for saying that about a gimmick match with four chicks in a pool. Before I get to that, I’ll explain who Barbara Bush is. Not the former first lady. She was one of those fake on-air EMTs, a blonde with giant boobs. So, make her a useless diva. Now, the moment: Kitty wins the match, and then in her trailer park acceptance speech, she says the higher-ups can’t stop her from being naked. So, she takes off her own dress, and then, she takes off her bra, and her breasts are bared to all for about 3 seconds, marking the first time in WWF PPV history that there was actual nudity. Not much more to say here. Scott: .5
Justin: I find it amazing that the first pair of bare breasts did not appear on WWF TV until Vince Russo skipped town. He must have been quite upset that he wasn’t the one to drop that…err…those bombs. Kitty had sort of stepped up as the predominant sex-kitten diva during this period, as Debra had taken a leave of absence to help her husband, Steve Austin, recover from his spinal fusion surgery. After Jeff Jarrett left, Kitty began palling around with Chyna in a Mini-Me sort of role in which she even dyed her hair jet black and wore an outfit resembling Chyna’s, but was gaining popularity, mainly due to her apparent free-wheeling ways, as she didn’t seem to care being portrayed as a sex symbol or getting naked in front of the whole world. Now, we all know the positives of the situation, but there was one glaring negative: the Women’s title and, by proxy, Ivory took another step into the abyss of disrespect. Not only had a Septuagenarian won the title in October, but now a 90-pound valet won this once prestigious strap by ripping a dress off of the Champion in a swimming pool. Not really the best idea that was ever booked, as the title was basically a joke, and the worst part is that things would get much worse for the title before they would ever get better. Grade: 0 (5 for Historical Value)
4) The Holly Cousins defeat Viscera (Nelson Frazier) & Rikishi Phatu (Solofa Fatu) when Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard) pins Rikishi after Viscera accidentally kicks him at 4:23
Fun Fact: After a few altercations on various programming, the major shot in this feud was fired on the 12/9 Smackdown. Early in the show, WWF cameras followed Too Cool and Rikishi to a local dance club, where Too Cool wanted to get their freak on. Well, when they cut back for a second time, it was Rikishi’s turn to dance, and, in a moment that turned him into a true superstar, he turned the mother out with some swank dance moves. After a quick line dance with some hot mommas, Rikishi heads to the bar to get a drink, but is swiftly attacked by the Holly Cousins, and their illegitimate half brother, Scale Holly, who was being swung by little Crash. Hardcore then hits the line of the night “Your dancin’ days are over, fat boy,” dumps wine on Rikishi and the Cousins bolt out of the club before Too Cool can make it over to help.
Fun Fact II: This is Fatu’s first WWF PPV appearance since losing to Rocky Maivia at Wrestlemania XIII as the Sultan. Rikishi had made his TV return on the 11/20 Jakked when he defeated Crash Holly with the Rikishi Driver. He then beat Tracey Smothers on the 11/21 Sunday Night Heat and made his return to Raw on 11/22 when he saved Too Cool from a Mean Street Posse attack.
Scott: Not much here, just another win for the Holly’s, and the sudden face turn by Rikishi, the former Headshrinker and Samoan that makes a difference. He was also the Sultan, but we won’t admit that at all. Viscera begins the role he holds now: asshole fat heel. The Hollys continue their “super heavyweight” storyline, which at times was quite entertaining. Rikishi would have a busy 2000 in many ways. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Just a quick match that was meant to firmly establish Rikishi’s face turn. Viscera was basically a jobber to the stars at this point and he was only dragged out when needed to get someone over. The Hollys were sort of treading water after their brief tag run, but by early 2000, Holly would go back to his roots and rejoin the hardcore division, taking Crash along with him. Rikishi was getting quite over at this point, but his popularity levels would reach ridiculous heights in 2000. It is a shame, however, that he got rid of the Sitout Piledriver as his finisher, as it was quite nasty in his early days. Grade: 1
5) Val Venis (Sean Morely) defeats British Bulldog (David Smith) and D-Lo Brown (AC Conner) in a Triangle Match to win WWF European Title when Venis pins Bulldog with the Money Shot at 8:15
Fun Fact: After making an impressive return to the ring after nearly dying, the Bulldog’s PPV run effectively ends as 1999 comes to a close. The Bulldog returned to the Federation amongst much controversy, as he was smack dab in the midst of a nasty battle between the Hart Family and the WWF. After Owen Hart’s death, a major lawsuit was launched by his widow Martha; the Harts immediately began choosing sides. Half of the children were afraid to back Martha for fear of never gaining work with Vince again, and Davey Boy’s wife (and Owen’s sister) Diana was one of them. She actively began defending the WWF along with the Bulldog and actually collaborated with her sister Ellie, Jim Neidhart’s wife, in faxing confidential documents about the lawsuit to the WWF’s lawyers. Now, whether or not this was a leverage move, Vince indeed did rehire the Bulldog in mid-1999, which caused a lot of problems within the family, and pretty much destroyed any relationship between him and Bret, who was solidly with Martha. The whole thing was a nasty mess, and after all that trouble, Bulldog would be gone after January’s Royal Rumble. He would make one more quick appearance in April on the WWF’s European tour, where he traded the Hardcore Championship back and forth with Crash Holly over the course of two shows. Other than that, he was basically gone from the major wrestling world until news of his death broke in May of 2002. His story is a sad one, as would be the case for anyone involved directly with the Hart Family over the upcoming years. With that said, here is Bulldog’s final PPV record: 23-18-3. His record was even more impressive when you consider the fact that he was 23-14-3 heading into his 1999 run where he would go on to lose the four matches he was in. His best year was 1996, as he picked up six wins, appeared on every PPV and even main evented 3 of them. The Bulldog will always be considered one of the greats in wrestling history, but he was always in the middle of controversy, and that sadly outweighs the good he did in most people’s minds.
Fun Fact II: The British Bulldog had defeated D-Lo Brown on the 10/28 Smackdown to win back the European title he originally won back in February of 1997.
Scott: I may a bit generous with this grade, because there were a couple of clearly blown spots in this match that make it quite embarrassing, but it really didn’t bother me that much. Bulldog’s PPV run effectively ends here, as this his last actual match. He’s in the Rumble next month, but that’s it. Bulldog had three separate runs in the WWF. From 1985-1992, from 1994-1997, and for a few months here where even gets a title match, but he’s definitely a shell of his former self. Bulldog was a very good worker who could play a number of roles. He could be a face or a heel. Main event title matches or mid-card tag matches. He’s one of the few wrestlers to be a grand slam champion without winning the world title. He’s been in many world title matches, and put on top-notch performances. However, the painkiller demons are still in his head, and it would eventually kill him in 2002. As for D-Lo, his run as a title-holder is gone, as the accident he had that paralyzed Droz would stick in his head for quite a while. Val wins the title, and continues his solid mid-card run. Grade: 2
Justin: A decent little three-way dance here, but too many blown spots sort of detracts from it. The ending is pretty cool though, as D-Lo gives Bulldog a Frog Splash, and then Val gives both the Money Shot to pick up the win and his first and only European title. While Val was capitalizing on his fresh heel turn, D-Lo seemed stuck in mid-card hell. His mind is other places and he was contemplating retirement which led his once stellar in-ring work to quickly start slipping. It would take him a few more months before he could shake the nightmare of nearly killing someone in the ring, but even by that point, his stock as an upper-mid-card player is gone due to the arrival of bigger names and more marketable stars. It is sad to see him fall so quickly, as he was truly one of the breakout stars in 1999, as he helped to carry a sagging mid-card to tolerable levels. Grade: 2
6) Kane (Glen Jacobs) defeats X-Pac (Sean Waltman) in a Cage Match after a Tombstone at 8:12
Fun Fact: The Kane/X-Pac feud had intensified greatly over the few weeks since Survivor Series, with X-Pac picking his spots and laying out Tori whenever he had the opportunity. Kane did his best to prevent these attacks, as Tori was all he had left after X-Pac turned his back on him.
Scott: In what everyone thought was the blow-off match to this feud; Kane decimates X-Pac in the cage, including an awesome clothesline off the top of the cage. This would be Kane’s best match in quite a while, and the intensity he brings is not seen by him since his arrival over two years before. X-Pac is settling nicely into his dickhead heel role, one he’d wear proudly for the rest of his WWF career. As he’s handcuffed to the ropes, Tori, Kane’s on-screen girlfriend, is X-Factored by his opponent, and his anger over that brings him to snap the cuffs and beat the shit out of X-Pac, and finish him off. Unfortunately, the feud doesn’t end, as one improbable thing happens that makes Kane even more sympathetic to the fans, and makes X-Pac even more of a dickhead. Grade: 3
Justin: A really fun, quick paced match that wakes the crowd back up. The run these two have had in 1999 is simply amazing. They first began teaming in March after Triple H and Chyna joined the Corporation, and had a solid run as partners all the way through October, including two World Tag Title reigns. After D-X reformed, X-Pac turned his back on Kane, and now the feud ends up continuing through March, meaning X-Pac and Kane were tied to each other in storylines for exactly one year, which is quite an amazing run from this time in wrestling history. X-Pac bumps like crazy for the Big Red Machine, which really adds to the quality of this match. It may have been a bit on the short side, but I think that helps things here, as it keeps the pace quick and allows no time for lagging. As Scott said, it seemed as if Kane polished this feud off here, but things would pick up two weeks after this show on Raw. Grade: 3
7) Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) defeats Chyna (Joanie Laurer) to win WWF Intercontinental Title with the Walls of Jericho at 10:22
Fun Fact: The night after Survivor Series, Chris Jericho was set to square of with Gangrel, when Chyna came from the back and began harassing Jericho and mocking him for losing to a woman at Survivor Series. Later in the show, Jericho grabbed a cameraman and brought him over to a dark room, where it was revealed that he had duct taped Chyna to a chair. After going on a long and deranged rant, Jericho brandished a hammer and proceeded to smash Chyna’s hand with it, breaking it in several places. Jericho had snapped, and Chyna was fucked. The following week on Smackdown, Chyna returned from surgery and smashed Jericho in the head with the hammer and thus “ruined my Thanksgiving,” according to Y2J. The stage was set for the rematch at the PPV, and away we go.
Scott: In the rematch to the surprisingly good title match at Survivor Series, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla wins the first of his record eight IC titles here with a fantastic match against Chyna. Even though Y2J was supposed to be a heel, he was easily turned face after this match, as the crowd was pretty much 50-50 in terms of support, with Jericho getting the slight edge. After Chyna tapped out to the Walls, it was pretty evident Jericho had arrived. He would be a face for the next 2 years, and when new arrivals come to the WWF, the matches he would have could be some of the greatest the WWF has seen in a long time. For God sakes, he carried Chyna to a 4-star match, which must mean something. As we see at the end of the night, she has broken off from Triple H storyline-wise, and soon, in real life. Grade: 4
Justin: Just a really good match that gave everyone hope to what was in store for Chris Jericho in the upcoming months. Many people were worried that his style and humor that had flown under the radar in WCW wouldn’t survive in the machine-like WWF, but they were all wrong, as his promo work had been dead on and is in-ring style had meshed beautifully with his opponents. The fact that he drags Chyna to a great 2-match series is simply amazing and is a testament to just how talented he really is. Now, finally, the crowds that had been dying to cheer him since he first came face to face with Rock back in August are given the go-ahead, as his face turn would coincide with his big title win. Y2J had made his mark, and it was just the beginning. Grade: 3.5
8) The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection defeat the New Age Outlaws by disqualification at 16:24; New Age Outlaws retain the WWF Tag Team Titles
Fun Fact: When we last left off, the Mankind/Rock friendship was a shambles, but the relationship between Foley and Al Snow was starting to blossom. Despite their Tag Title loss at Survivor Series, and the fact that” your dolls have been pulled off shelves across the country,” regarding the Wal-Mart fiasco, where they removed Al Snow’s figures because it came with Head, which they claimed was a ‘severed woman’s head, Mick continued to try and cheer up Al through various means, which included signing “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and taking a special trip to Las Vegas (ironically during “Las Vegas” week on UPN). The next week on Raw, Mankind and Snow were set to face off with the Hollys when this funny promo from Hardcore took place and be sure to keep in mind that Hardcore Holly’s figure came in a 2-pack with Snow’s (courtesy the beautiful CRZ): "As much as you people like to listen to me talk, I don't have time for any one of you right now. Now Al Snow, YOU are a complete idiot. YOU are the reason why Wal-Mart has pulled MY dolls off their shelf. So now, all my Hardcore Holly fans out there are gonna have the worst Christmas of their lives! And what's Christmas without a Hardcore Holly doll? There ain't no Christmas, ain't that right Crash?" "This is making me sick!" "It'll be okay...So Al, you can go around mutilating people, cutting' people's heads off - hey that's fine and dandy - that's YOUR business. Hey, I can forgive you for something like that. But when you affect the sales of my merchandise - I CAN'T forgive you." It was pretty cool seeing Holly bringing the funny, for sure. Later in the show, in a backstage interview, Rock claimed that he never threw Mick’s book in the trash, which Mick refused to believe, but Foley did end up coming out later and helping the Rock win a Handicap match. The next week on Raw, the Rock ‘n’ Sock was set for Six-Man tag action, but needed another guy to be on their team. Well, despite claiming that he hated the Rock” Mick convinced Al to join the Rock ‘n’ Sock for the match. Of course, Rock vetoed this, because he had no idea who “Al” even was and goes on to cut a funny promo with Al standing right there, but acting like he wasn’t. Snow would end up interfering in the Six-Man, as Kane was chosen to be the third member, and cost the team the match, when he hit the Road Dog with Head. Finally, on the Raw before the PPV, this epic encounter took place, which solidified the Rock ‘n’ Sock and established Al Snow as the heel (courtesy the amazing CRZ): MANKIND walks to the ring as we take a look at the New York Times Bestseller List - with a certain sports entertainer at #1. "Hello, Worcester Mass! I'd just like to take one second to thank all of Worcester and everybody around the country for making my book; Have a Nice Day, the #1 book in the country! So if it makes us feel any better, I want you to know the entire literary world not only hates me but they hate all of you for making it #1. But now, as you know I've had my share of problems concerning two friends, and I'd like to address that by pointing your eyes to the video screen, the Titantron, airing a little footage of Mr. Al Snow. There's Al taking a cheap shot at the Great One, putting the boots, and now he's got a couple of new buddies I guess, I don't know - you see D-Generation X Al - that's cheap, and the Rock deserves a little bit better than that. So, I know you're going through a lot of personal trauma, what I'd like for you to do is come on down here and maybe clear the air right here in the Worcester Centrum so please, let's have Al Snow down here right away. Al....hey Al...." The music hits and AL SNOW does indeed appear walking down the aisle with a sour look on his face. "Shut it off - SHUT IT OFF NOW! Oh yeah." "Rock E" chant from the crowd can't help matters any. "Oh yeah - you chant his name, sure, and I'M the bad guy in all this, huh? I'm the bad guy in all this because *I* as a real friend care about you. Do you think these people give a damn about you? Let me ask you something. What do you think these people are gonna say is your most memorable moment in your entire career? Do you think - do you think - SHUT UP! Do you think for one minute that it's gonna be your pride and joy, your book that you poured your heart and soul out on? No, the one thing that these people are gonna remember..." "Asshole" chant "The ONE thing that these people are gonna remember you for is the night your threw your body off that cage and through that table. Let me ask you something. Were any of those people there in that car, driving your ass to the Red Roof in Pittsburgh? No! Were they there to carry your bags? No! Were they there the next morning to get you up out of bed? No! Will they be there for you when you are old and crippled and can't play with your kids? No! These people will forget about you as if you were yesterday's news - they do not give a damn about you, and Rocky sure as hell doesn't either." "Hey Al, hold on, I mean anybody who's seen us together in Las Vegas knows we're friends - I'll admit to the world right now that not only are you a friend you may very well be my best friend in all of wrestling, but listen up! You know who else is my friend, Al? Gerald Brisco is my friend - it doesn't mean I'm gonna go down to Tampa and hammer out dents in the body shop with him. You know who else is my friend? That little Joe C., the little rapper guy - doesn't mean I'm gonna go on the road and start rapping with Kid Rock. Al, you are a very good friend but the truth is when I get in the ring, I kind of like being part of the Rock & Sock Connection." "Listen, I've seen you get out of the car. I've seen you can barely move. I cannot stand by and watch you, a former Hardcore legend, a king of the Japanese Death matches debase yourself, degrade yourself, make yourself into a clown for these people, and make yourself into a no-good suck up brown-nose to the Rock!" "Wait a second, wait wait wait-" "As a friend, I cannot stand by and let that happen!" "Hey Al, remember 'This Is Your Life, Rock?' Remember that? Did you know that during the entire filming of that little incident, I didn't sustain one concussion? Did you know the entire time the Rock & Sock Connection was together I didn't get hurt at all? You see, I knew I was playing the fool - you wanna know why I stuck around? For three reasons, because A) I liked it, the Rock liked it, and C) the fans liked it. And besides, the Rock & Sock Connection was pretty damn good, and with all due respect, as a team, Al Snow & Mankind - uhh - they sucked." "We sucked! We sucked as a team!" "Big time, Al." "I'll tell you what...I'll go backstage right now and I will find myself a partner and I will be glad to take on the Rock & Sock Connection tonight." "Al, first off, I don't want to wrestle you - after all, who the hell am I gonna see the Christmas Display at Santa's Village with, right? But, I know for a fact, and I think everyone else out here might enjoy seeing the Rock get a piece of your ass...so I'll tell you what Al, you go off to the back, and you find some guy, you bring him out and the Rock & Sock Connection will put the action to this very ring tonight in Worcester!" "Mick - MICK! I got one more question for you - do you remember how hurt you were when the Rock threw your book in the garbage? Do you remember how let down you felt? Do you remember how it felt, like he had stabbed you right in the back, and you screamed at the Rock? Do you remember how you turned your back on the Rock and how you left him in the ring during a title match? Do you remember how heavy your heart was after all of that? Do you remember that? Good, because that's exactly how I felt after I got done reading your book - and all the Al Snow jokes. That book is a piece of garbage, and I'M the one who threw it in the trash because that's where it belongs - I did it to show you just how real a friend the Rock was - SHUT YOUR MOUTH!" "You threw my book out...Al, I don't--" and Snow WAFFLES him with the mike and then wails away. It was now official, as the end of his career loomed, the creative team had decided to eschew the Mankind heel turn, and instead keep the Rock ‘n’ Sock together and give Snow the big heel push.
Scott: I have to give a lot of credit to the writers here. They found a way to give Rock something to do for the last few months, building his credibility as a face challenger for the Road to Wrestlemania. His mini-feuds with British Bulldog and now this tag team detour with Mankind have been welcome distractions while other feuds were building. The Outlaws continue to be on borrowed time, but with Rock in the mix, this was a very entertaining match with good action. Al Snow, who is turning heel due to his jealousy, interferes to cause the DQ. He wants to be Mick’s best friend, but Mick likes Rock more. It was a little bizarre, but it was very realistic and that seemed to work. The Rock/Snow feud would not really go anywhere but, again, a welcome distraction while things are set up for Wrestlemania’s big storyline. As for the Outlaws, Billy Gunn probably should have been fired soon and sent to WCW. It was obvious he didn’t want to be a tag team afterthought, but in any event, they keep the titles. Only a couple more months, and they would officially be outdated in terms of relevant tag teams. Grade: 3.5
Justin: An OK tag match with a pretty weak ending. While not in as bad shape as last month, Mankind is still not in the best of cardiovascular condition, so this match lags a little bit just like the one at Survivor Series. Thankfully, Rock and his monster pop salvage things somewhat. Also, the weird feeling of tension between the Rock ‘n’ Sock is now gone, as all plans of a heel turn for Foley have now been dropped. The Outlaws are dragging ass in the ring here, and their time is finally coming to an end, a full 2 years after they first took the wrestling world by storm. Snow interferes for the cheap DQ, and ends up having a brief feud with Rock, before being shunted back down to the mid-card. Grade: 2.5
9) Big Show (Paul Wight) defeats the Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) with a Chokeslam in 3:12 to retain the WWF World Title
Fun Fact: As this intense feud continued, the mind games began to wane, and the physicality began to take over, as Big Show took every chance he had to beat on Boss Man and his lackey, Prince Albert. However, one more memorable head game took place, as Boss Man took a hidden cameraman to Big Show’s mother’s house and got her to admit on national TV that Big Show’s daddy wasn’t really his daddy, and that in fact he was “a nasty bastard, and your mama said so!” It was another bizarre, yet classic moment in this feud, which added more fuel to the flames.
Scott: Big Show’s first PPV as champion is an expected and anticipated squash of his nemesis for the past 4 months. A bizarre storyline involving Big Show’s father and the dragging of a casket made for interesting television to say the least. However, as champion, Big Show made short work of the Boss Man, and that was that. Unfortunately, this would be Show’s last PPV match as champion for exactly 3 years. In that time he would go through frustration, weight gain, and demotions. For now, he’s the champ; he squashed the thorn in his side, and moves on. Grade: .5
Justin: A really quick match that was meant to simply bring closure to the Boss Man feud and make Show look a like a stud, so mission accomplished on those fronts. The Boss Man has been in some high profile feuds since his return in October of 1998, but from here on out he is pushed down into the lower-mid-card and tag team ranks, where he would stay until the end of his final WWF run. Big Show escapes with his title, but his reign was on borrowed time. Grade: .5
10) Triple H (Paul McMahon) defeats Vince McMahon in No Holds Barred Match with a sledgehammer shot at 29:42
Scott: Everything comes to a head here. Stephanie McMahon and Test were to be married on RAW in Los Angeles. The ring was set in wedding regalia, and everything was nice. Until Triple H, pissed off that Vince cost him the World Title at Survivor Series, hit him where it mattered most: his family. Footage is shown of a mysterious bartender slipping Steph a mickey at her Bachelorette party. Then, Triple H kidnaps her while she is drugged, takes her a drive-through chapel, and marries her. The best line from the footage: Chapel employee: “You’re Triple H!” Triple H: “You’re damn straight I am.” So, now they’re married, and Vince is furious. So, this match is set. If Vince wins, the marriage is annulled, but if Triple H wins, the marriage holds, and Triple H gets a title shot. This match is a great brawl, maybe a little too long. There was a lot of stalling in the parking lot, and posturing near the entrance. In the climax, Triple H gets the trusty sledgehammer, but Vince gets control of it. Stephanie, who’s sitting at ringside, comes in and gets the weapon from Daddy, wanting to do it herself. A blind monkey can see where this is going. She hesitates; Triple H grabs it, crushed Vince with it, and gets the pin. After the match, Triple H stares into Stephanie’s eyes, and she grins. It was all a rouse, as the two were in cahoots all along. Test now becomes a forgotten mid-carder. Vince is so upset he leaves the spotlight for a couple of months, but will be a vital cog in the Wrestlemania machine soon enough. More importantly, Triple H gets a title shot, and would use it to get the gold back, and set himself up for a very busy and career-making 2000. Grade: 3.5
Justin: The weeks following the wedding fiasco were quite entertaining, as Triple H basically spent four TV shows harassing the whole McMahon family. From running down the clan (“what kind of family did I marry into”), to receiving joke wedding presents from D-X (catcher’s mask, lingerie) to assaulting Shane McMahon and tossing him off the stage through a table, Triple H did it all. Vince was so incensed that he tried to run the Game over, which led to Triple H trying to convince the authorities that Vince also ran down Steve Austin. The whole story was well written and well executed with Triple H as the dickhead husband, Vince as the crazed father, D-X as the asshole friends, Shane as the overprotective brother and Stephanie as the innocent victim. The match itself was a solid brawl but could have been a bit shorter, as it started to drag towards the end. Despite the finish being predictable, it was still a good way to go, as Triple H becomes a bigger heel and Stephanie becomes the pre-eminent heel diva of the WWF. In an ironic vision of years to come, the next night, Vince disappears and takes Shane with him, leaving full control of the WWF in the hands of Triple H and Stephanie, who go on to abuse their power over the upcoming months. Grade: 3
Scott: The final show of 1999 is a pleasant surprise. There were a few dogs in this show, including the world title match, but in that case it was fine, and necessary. The big highlight was the official coming out party for Chris Jericho, who wins his first gold in a great match. The main eventers are being lined up for the Wrestlemania storyline, which we’ll get into more in our next review. Fresh mid-carders are coming into the mix, with more on the way. All in all, a decent show with a couple of surprising gems, and the surprise nudity didn’t hurt either. Usually, I’ll mention a joke about WCW here, but since they are a joke right now, it doesn’t even matter. Most didn’t think it at the time, but the WWF is about to start the most lucrative, and successful year in their history, and that’s without Steve Austin. Final Grade: B-
Justin: A very surprising PPV, considering the December shows are usually quite a mess. The creative team does an excellent job of laying out everyone’s story arc for the upcoming year, which would become a trademark of new head writer Chris Kreski, which is a huge improvement of Vince Russo, if you want proof compare this show to Rock Bottom 1998. As 2000 rolls around, we have a fresh group of Main Eventers in face Big Show, heel Triple H and face Rock, hot new upper-mid-card acts in Jericho, Angle, Snow, heel X-Pac and Kane and a young, enthusiastic tag team division. Things were looking up, and the product was hotter than ever, and for most of 2000, we would see some of the greatest wrestling and storylines in the history of the sport. Final Grade: B-
MVP: Chris Jericho
Runner Up: Triple H, Stephanie and Vince McMahon
Non MVP: British Bulldog
Runner Up: Big Boss Man