April 25, 2009
King of the Ring 2000, June 25, 2000, Fleet Center, Boston, MA
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry ďThe KingĒ Lawler
First off, Iím going to experiment with dropping the detailed play by play aspect of my reviews. Itís not that I donít like doing it that way, itís just with less free time in my life I want to be able to write these a little quicker. So now Iíll just cover the key spots and story developments as opposed to everything.
Now, on to the show. This Sunday at Backlash, the WWE Title will be defended in a six man tag team match. As stupid as that idea is, itís not even unprecedented as here we have the Title being defended in just that way, and by the same guy no less as HHH, Vince McMahon, and Shane McMahon will take on The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kane with anyone on the babyface team eligible to walk out with the Title. The best part of all? Itís not even close to being the worst match concept on the show as we have a couple of other gimmicks that make it look just fine in comparison. On the other hand, this crap is complimented by an awesomely stacked King of the Ring Tournament, featuring, among others, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, and Chris Benoit
Opening Match, KOTR Quarterfinals: Intercontinental Champion Rikishi vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit qualified for the tournament over X-Pac, while Rikishi got in by beating his running buddy Scotty 2 Hotty. Also, we already have an issue between these guys as Rikishi just beat Benoit for the Intercontinental Title last Thursday on Smackdown. Rikishi controls early, so Benoit bails following a Samoan drop. He gets sent to the stairs out there. In the ring, Benoit gets an impressive German suplex for 2. Rikishi was really popular around this time and the match is pretty heated. Benoit briefly uses a standing version of the Crippler Crossface before hooking the real deal, but Rikishi makes the ropes. This pisses Benoit of to the point where he just grabs a chair and nails Rikishi for the DQ at 3:25. Benoit then locks the Crossface in again and drops the headbutt before heís finally convinced to leave by the refs. The action was good while it lasted, which wasnít long, and drew some good heat. * The story is that Rikishi advances, but heís hurting from the attack.
We see Linda McMahon, who made our main event tonight, arrive at the building promising to confront Vince. Then we cut to Vince who promises to keep his cool when he sees Linda, but HHH and Shane arenít convinced.
KOTR Quarterfinals: European Champion Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus)
Guerrero pinned Chyna, who he was in a storyline relationship with at the time to get in, while Venis beat Jeff Hardy. All appears well between Chyna and Eddie though. Val had recently turned heel and taken on Trish as his manager. The idea was that he was now getting serious about wrestling, and their relationship was strictly business. They go back and forth until Eddie takes Val to the floor with a headscissors, but Val drops him on the barrier. Back in, Eddie gets a superplex for 2. This match is getting like zero heat compared to the previous one. Eddie gets a backslide for 2, and then Val gets his own 2 from an elbow. They both in turn miss their top rope finishers, but Eddie then gets a cradle for 2. Val rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for 2, and for some reason this draws Trish up on the apron. Chyna drags her down, but now Val goes after her. She nails him and Eddie gets a nearfall from that, but Val then finishes him off with the Seamanís suplex at 8:05. Match was solid, albeit heatless, and the finish came off a little non sensical, but all in all it was pretty good. **
Remember that crap I mentioned earlier? Well, Pat Patterson is picking out a dress to wear later on so weíre on our way. Then Rikishi gets interviewed, but appears no worse for wear from the Benoit attack, and promises to make his semifinal match.
KOTR Quarterfinals: Crash Holly vs. Bull Buchannon
Crash won his qualifier over cousin Hardcore Holly, while Bull pinned Perry Saturn. These guys seem a little out of place here considering the star power of the rest of the field. Crash is playing the underdog role here, but Bull is simply no selling all of his shots. From there Bull hits a press slam to take control, and control he does. You can actually see the seats emptying out in front of you as the crowd has declared this to be the Popcorn Match, even though weíre less than 30 minutes into the show. Crash gets a cradle for 2 that gets a bit of a reaction. Bull goes for the scissors kick, but misses, so Crash gets another cradle and this one gets 3 at 3:53. Crash was kinda over, but Bull didnít have a prayer. That hurt the match bad as Bull controlled 97% of it. DUD
Vince and Linda have their confrontation now. Linda questions whether Vinceís team is man enough to go this match alone considering the interference of every heel on the roster in a previous match on Smackdown. Vince says there will be no interference, and they wonít need it anyways because Rock, Taker, and Kane will be too busy fighting amongst themselves to focus on winning.
KOTR Quarterfinals: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho
Angle got in by defeating Bubba Ray Dudley, and Jericho beat Edge in his qualifying match. For some reason, I just love the fact that Angleís on screen graphic identifies him as ďKurt Angle, American HeroĒ. Thatís such a great touch. Good back and forth to start and then Jericho gets a dropkick off the top for 2. Lionsault hits, but Angle gets his feet on the ropes at 2, which is an odd spot for so early in the match. They go to the floor where Angle takes advantage and sends Jericho to the stairs. Suplex gets 2 back in the ring. Jericho is back with a double underhook backbreaker for 2, and then Angle responds with a back suplex for 2. Clothesline gets another 2 as does a German suplex. Jericho with a spin kick for 2, but the bulldog is countered to a clothesline for 2. Angle Slam is countered to an attempt at the Wall of Jericho, but Stephanie McMahon, who was having issues with Jericho at the time over some comments about her being a trash bag ho and all, runs in and distracts the ref who misses the tapout. Jericho then gets shoved into the ref. Steph tries to hit Jericho with her Womenís Title belt, but Jericho ducks and Angle takes it instead. Jericho plants a big kiss on her, but that lets Angle come from behind and hit the Angle Slam which gets 3 from the now recovered referee at 9:51. Definitely the best of the first round matches, but I think that this would have made for a better final than anything else they could have done. ***1/2 The semifinals are now set as Rikishi vs. Val Venis and Crash Holly vs. Kurt Angle.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Too Cool vs. Edge & Christian vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus) vs. The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita)
Too Cool, who had gotten really over with their gimmick change and alliance with Rikishi had won the Titles from Edge and Christian about a month before this show and now come here to defend in a four way. Jeff Hardy and Albert start out. The entire first segment is actually a mini match between T & A and the Hardyz. Matt goes for a Twist of Fate on Test, but Trish distracts him. Lita attacks her, and now Matt gets the Twist, but Albert saves at 2. Test gets the pumphandle slam on Matt, but Jeff comes off the top with the Swanton on Test and Matt covers for 3 at 3:43. Next we get The Hardyz and Edge and Christian going at it, which is generally a good combination. Lita nails the rana on Edge which gets 2 for Matt. Matt gets the Twist on Christian, but Edge saves at 2. Jeff goes up, but Edge pulls him own on the ropes. Unprettier by Christian on Matt eliminates the Hardyz at 7:57. Down to the champs against the previous champs. Scotty gets caught in the corner and worked over, taking a coupe of nearfalls. Eventually he gets the boots up on Christian and makes the hot tag to Grandmaster Sexay, who comes in as the house afire. Edge gets catapulted into Christian and then rolled up for 2. Powerbomb also gets 2 with Christian saving. Sexay runs into a double flapjack, leading to Edge and Christian mocking the worm, but then Scotty comes from behind and sets up the real thing on Edge which gets a huge reaction. Christian tries a belt shot, but Sexay takes him out. Too Cool then gets Edge with the Tennessee Jam/Decapitation type move and Scotty covers, but as the ref is getting Sexay out, Christian successfully gets the belt shot. He throws Edge on top and that gets the 3 count to regain the WWF Tag Team Titles at 14:12. This was pretty much just three separate matches, but everything about it was pretty good. **1/2
KOTR Semifinals: Rikishi vs. Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus)
The bracketing teased a Benoit/Guerrero matchup in this spot, but we get this instead. They actually wee feuding at the time, and Val would be the one to go on and take the IC Title from Rikishi, but they still donít get much of a reaction. Rikishi dominates at the start, sending Val to the stairs and hitting a legdrop. Val comes back with a single arm DDT and works over the arm. He goes up, but leaps right into a belly to belly suplex which gets 3 at 3:16. Post match sees Trish go after Rikishi, so he sets her up for the Banzai Drop, but Val saves and attacks Rikishi with the stairs and a chair, further injuring him. Ĺ*
KOTR Semifinals: Crash Holly vs. Kurt Angle
Crash starts out on offence, but no one is giving him a chance here. Angle takes over with a suplex for 2. Crash gets a dropkick off the top for 2, which got a bit of a nearfall reaction. Angle then connects with a stungun and the Angle Slam for 3 at 3:57. No messing around in this round, thatís for sure. Ĺ*
Hardcore Championship Evening Gown Match: Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Brisco
I canít believe someone thought that this was a good idea. It just dies in front of the crowd, drawing nothing but X-Pac heat. The less said here the better. Crash Holly runs in for the mercy killing and pins Patterson to win back the Title at 2:47 which felt like it was about 10:00. -****
Dumpster/Tables Match: X-Pac, Road Dogg, & Tori vs. The Dudley Boyz
Speaking of X-Pac, here he is and sure enough heís drawing his namesake heat as well. This match is a combination of the two gimmicks. For the Dudleyz to win, they must put all three members of DX through tables, while for DX to win they have to get both Dudleyz in a dumpster and close the lid. They start out working it like a normal tag match, mainly with DX in control. Bubba finally gets a tag and dominates. Dogg and X-Pac get Whazzup Drops, and then Tori takes one too. They brawl in the aisle with the Dudleyz getting whipped to the dumpster. DX actually gets Bubba and D-Von in and shut the lid with no problems, but the ref is with Tori on the floor and doesnít see it. By the time they get him, the Dudleyz have escaped out the side flaps of the dumpster and they come back and nail Dogg and X-Pac with chairs. Two tables get stacked on the floor, and Dogg gets powerbombed through them. Another one is set in the ring, and X-Pac gets suplexed through it leaving only Tori. She manages to get away and hide in the dumpster, and when the Dudleyz go for her, Dogg and X-Pac come from behind with chairs, knock them in, and close the lid for the win at 9:47. Post match sees the Dudleyz emerge from the dumpster with Tori and set her up for the table shot anyways. X-Pac and Dogg both take 3D in attempting to save, and then Bubba finally gets her through the table with a powerbomb. Not that bad actually, but needlessly complex on the stips. **
KOTR Finals: Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi
I still say that they could have come up with a much better combination than this. Rikishi now has the arm bandaged to continue selling the injuries. Rikishi controls the early part, but Angle avoids a stinkface and then takes over himself. Rikishi comes back with a clothesline and a Diamond Cutter for 1. This time he gets the stinkface, but Angle comes out of the corner after and gets the Angle Slam. Rikishi kicks out at 2 though, so Angle tries a sunset flip, but Rikishi just sits on him for 2. Rikishi goes up, but Angle crotches him. From there, Angle gets a belly to belly suplex, and that gets the 3 count, making Kurt Angle your 2000 King of the Ring at 5:59. Not exactly an epic conclusion or anything. *
Main Event, WWF Championship Match: Triple H, Vince McMahon, & Shane McMahon vs. The Rock, The Undertaker, & Kane
A win by the McMahon/Helmsley Faction retains the WWF Title for HHH, while if the other team wins, whoever wins the fall, regardless of who they pin, walks out as the new champion. Kane and Shane are in first, with Kane offering a free shot and then no selling it. He dominates for a bit until Rock steals the tag. He wants HHH, but settles for Shane, tossing him out. Taker is in now, and he chokeslams Shane, but Rock makes the save at 2 to establish the idea that they arenít going to let their teammates win if they can prevent it. Taker gets a couple more nearfalls with saves being made until Rock steals the tag again, but HHH, who was legal, immediately tags out. Everyone ends up brawling on the floor for a bit. HHH gets Rock back in the ring and hits the Pedigree, but Rock kicks out at 2. I sense that Taker was supposed to be making the save there and missed his cue as it looks a bit confusing and he pulls HHH out immediately afterwards. We settle back down with Rock still in, refusing to tag even though heís hurting. He takes a beating in the McMahon/Helmsley corner. Rock then comes back with a Samoan drop on Vince and Shane making the save. It then breaks down into another big brawl during which Kane turns on both of his partners. HHH appears to believe that Kane has switched sides, but Kane then Tombstones him and covers, but Taker breaks it up at 2. Shane goes up top, but Taker chokeslams him from there through the announce table. This leaves Vince and Rock in the ring, with Vince trying his version of the Peopleís Elbow, but Rock gets up and hits him with Rock Bottom coming off the ropes. Rock covers Vince and gets 3 to become the new WWF Champion at 17:55. This was okay, I guess. Not a good format for defending a singles title, but they did what they could with it. Problem was that Rock and HHH had headlined the last three PPVís against each other (Yeah, Wrestlemania was a four way) and they needed something different, but this was not the answer. **
In 2000, this company was on fire both in terms of doing huge business, and putting on some blowaway shows, but this one was a disappointment. It might be a case of them getting too cocky, thinking that they can do no wrong, and having to be brought back to Earth. Main was definitely below the standards for this year, although it was pretty heated with all the big stars involved. The tournament looked great on paper with some great potential matchups, but they chose not to use many of them. The only thing that really stood out for me was Angle/Jericho, which, again, should have been the finals. So, especially when taking into consideration the time period that this show is from, I have to go thumbs down for King of the Ring 2000 and offer a recommendation to not even bother with it again.