October 25, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
Survivor Series 1999
November 14, 1999
Joe Louis Arena
Buy Rate: 1.14
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
1) Godfather & D-Lo Brown & the Headbangers defeat the Dudleys & the Acolytes
Godfather (Charles Wright) & D-Lo Brown (AC Conner)
Bradshaw (John Layfield) pins Thrasher (Glen Ruth) with a Clothesline from Hell at 3:12
Bubba Ray (Mark Lomonica) pins Mosh (Chaz Warrington) after a 3-D at 4:58
Bradshaw is disqualified for using a chair at 5:57
D-Von (Devon Hughes) and Faarooq (Ron Simmons) are counted out at 6:45
Godfather pins Bubba Ray after a Ho-Train and Lo-Down at 9:35
Scott: The opener pits pimps against drunks and rednecks. Well, not really. D-Lo Brown, former friend of Mark Henry, teams with his pimp daddy friend and the Headbangers who, yes, are still here against the Dudleys and the Acolytes. This is just a chance for these teams to get on the show, although there was some interaction on RAW between the Dudleys and the Headbangers. Mosh and Thrasher would hang around for a bit, but not much longer. The Acolytes were extremely stale since the Ministry is dead as the Undertaker is gone for now, but after this things change for them. All the good guys dressed as pimps. Nice. This was nothing special, but nothing offensive. Grade: 2
Justin: A good old generic Survivor style match-up kicks off the 13th Annual Survivor Series. Godfather and D-Lo had been floating around aimlessly as of late, so creative tossed them together to have a run as a tag team and they would have a run that would last into early 2000. The Headbangers had vanished in early 1999, when Thrasher suffered a serious injury and Mosh was repackaged a few times, once as Beaver Cleavage and again as fun-loving, woman-beating Chaz. Around Chaz’ singles run, it was rumored that Thrasher was going to be returning with an evil clown gimmick, but once the Chaz push fizzled, it was decided that the Bangers should just re-unite and join the growing tag division. On the heel side, the Acolytes were nearing the end of their true heel run, and were starting to get quite stale. As 2000 rolls around, however, Faarooq and Bradshaw would go through a radical change, one that would prolong their run for another 3 years. Finally, the Dudleys were still trying to find their niche in the tag division, and they would discover it, but only after totally overhauling their look and style. All four teams were stagnant here, but would see some better days as the new millennium dawned. Grade: 2
2) Kurt Angle defeats Shawn Stasiak with an Olympic Slam at 5:54
Fun Fact: Sean Stasiak debuted as Meat in May of 1999 and was managed by Jacqueline and Terri, known as Pretty Mean Sistas. PMS brought him in to be their love slave and man servant to show that they were really in control. Meat’s run lasted until September, when he then ditched the Meat persona, and began wrestling as himself. Stasiak would last until mid-December which is when he was fired for tape-recording conversations with other wrestlers. He would turn up in WCW in 2000 and would eventually return to the Federation after the WCW buyout in 2001.
Fun Fact II: Kurt Angle is from Pittsburgh, and was an accomplished collegiate wrestler at Clarion University in Pittsburgh. Then he famously won the 1996 Gold Medal in Freestyle wrestling in Atlanta with a broken frieken’ neck. He had said he wouldn’t participate in professional wrestling, and indeed he didn’t sign a contract offered to him by the WWF after the Olympics. He definitely didn’t want to after his infamous appearance in ECW in 1996, the same episode where the Sandman was hung off a cross by Raven. This infuriated and offended Angle, who walked out and didn’t get into the business yet. In 1997, following the incident, Angle worked for a year as a sports reporter on the local Pittsburgh Fox affiliate. After that didn’t quite pan out Kurt was itching to back into action. In October 1998, Kurt Angle changed his mind and signed a five-year deal with the World Wrestling Federation. He was assigned to the Power Pro Wrestling developmental territory in Memphis, where he began training and he was on house shows and dark matches from that point until this moment where he finally made his PPV debut.
Fun Fact III: The theme music that Angle comes out to is the music of the former Patriot from 1997. He would use this music from now until his departure in 2006.
Scott: Another huge debut that will re-shape the face of the WWF from here on out. The 1996 Olympic Gold medalist was also invited to ECW a couple of years before, but unfortunately for Paul Heyman, that was the night Raven crucified Sandman. So, Angle declined. Now, he debuts against the former “Meat”. Not a horrible match, considering the opponent, but quickly, Angle becomes a pretty damn good heel. He has untapped charisma that carries him to 2000, and one of the greatest single debut years in professional wrestling history. Grade: 2
Justin: As 1999 was sputtering to an end, mainly thanks to unrest on the creative team and injuries to the roster, a slew of new competitors began to crop up. This group of WWF rookies would eventually carry the Federation to their greatest year in its history in 2000. One of those newcomers is Olympic hero Kurt Angle. As he climbed up the ranks in the developmental system, Angle was pegged as a future superstar, as he was quickly learning the ropes and becoming a master on the microphone. Right off the bat, he is established as a solid heel when keeps flaunting his successes in the crowds’ faces. Stasiak carries his end of the match here, but unfortunately for him, a stupid backstage slipup would cost him his job and set his career back by a bit. Anyway, Angle has arrived and a new era in the WWF was dawning. Grade: 2
3) Val Venis, Mark Henry, Gangrel & Steve Blackman defeat British Bulldog & the Mean Street Posse
Val Venis (Sean Morely) & Mark Henry
Steve Blackman pins Pete Gas (Pete Gasparino) with a Martial Arts kick in 2:57
Gangrel (David Heath) pins Rodney (Leinhardt) with an Implant DDT in 4:25
Mark Henry pins Joey Abs (Jason Ahrndt) with a Fat Splash in 6:02
British Bulldog (David Smith) pins Gangrel after a Superplex in 6:46
British Bulldog pins Steve Blackman with a Fisherman’s Suplex in 7:30
Val Venis pins British Bulldog after a Money Shot in 9:09
Fun Fact: On 10/2, the WWF presented Rebellion, a UK-only PPV. During that show, the Bulldog stormed backstage demanding a World Title shot from Vince. When he was denied, he started tearing up the office, and at one point tossed a garbage can across the room. Well, the camera panned over to see Stephanie McMahon laid out in the corner, as she had been smacked in the head by the errant toss. Vince was irate and refused the Bulldog and sent him packing. On the 10/4 Raw, Bulldog came out to apologize but then refused and claimed that Vince shouldn’t have had her backstage and that there are too many women hanging around the Federation anyway. Now, since Stephanie was struck so violently, she ended up with a case of short term memory loss, and was having trouble remembering certain things, specifically that she was dating and was now engaged to Test. Well, as the weeks passed it was decided to push back the wedding date until Stephanie was fully recovered, but in the mean time, Test was out for revenge and challenged the Bulldog to a steel cage match on the 10/25 Raw. Halfway through the match, the Mean Street Posse, who were still at odds with Test, interfered on the Bulldog’s behalf, but the beat down was stopped by Shane, who had since accepted Test into the family, who did a spectacular dive off the top of the cage and onto all of the Posse members. Test won the match and Stephanie ran down to ringside to celebrate with her man and her brother. As the weeks wore on, the Bulldog and the Posse began hanging out and protecting each other, thus explaining their teaming here.
Scott: Bulldog and the Posse are heels, but aren’t the other guys heels too? Venis stole Rock’s sock, Henry was a heel nympho, and Gangrel and Blackman are just…bad guys I guess. This was one of those slap-together matches, but the logic makes sense. With the creative team in disarray after Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara’s departure, these past couple months are mired in disarray. Posse gets the shit kicked out of them, Bulldog gets a couple of pins, but the 2-on-1 is enough for the win. Not bad, but not great. Grade: 2
Justin: A really weird last minute match that harkened back to Survivor Series of old, as it was an elimination style match with a mix of various talents. As explained above, Bulldog’s team made some sense, but the opposition really had nothing in common, and this was setup as a squash of sorts to put Val and Henry over. Not really sure was supposed to accomplished here, but it’s decent enough and the crowd stays fairly into it. Val ended up looking the strongest and would go on to pick up a big win at our next outing. Grade: 2
4) Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah (Lillian Ellison), Tori (Terri Poch) & Debra (Williams) defeat Ivory (Lisa Moretti), Terri (Runnels), Luna (Gertrude Angelle Vachon) & Jacqueline (Moore) when Young & Moolah pin Ivory with a Double Clothesline at 1:54
Scott: I would watch every Jim Duggan and Bushwhackers match ever in WWF history if I don’t ever have to watch this pile of shit ever again. Throw the chicks together, miss every move in the book, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. Let’s move on. Grade: .5
Justin: OK, the Moolah thing was funny at first, but is getting stale already, and there is no reason these two fossils should be defeating Ivory cleanly in under 2 minutes. Debra and Terri had no reason to even be out there as they didn’t even know how to wrestle and Luna was basically dragged out of mothballs for this epic. Just a complete and utter mess, but at least it was short. Grade: 0
5) Kane (Glen Jacobs) defeats X-Pac (Sean Waltman) by disqualification when D-X interferes at 4:16
Fun Fact: On the 10/25 episode of Raw, the Main Event featured a tag match between the Rock & Steve Austin and the New Age Outlaws. About 9 minutes in, X-Pac showed up out of nowhere and gave the Rock a spinning heel kick, leading to a Billy Gunn pin. After the match, Triple H showed up and the 4 men beat down Austin and Rock. During the assault, Triple H passed out D-X football jerseys and all of a sudden the D-X theme blared up over the speakers and all four men stood in a corner showing off their new shirt. The show faded out on Jim Ross proclaiming that “D-X is back together, Damnit!” That week on Smackdown, the show opened with Triple H proclaiming himself the CEO of D-X and X-Pac, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn showing their unity and support. Hunter then called Vince out and let him know that D-X was taking over control of the Federation. Later in the night, backstage, X-Pac assured Kane that the D-X stuff was just on the side, and that he and Kane was what really mattered, and he would prove it in a match against the Dudleys later in the show. Well, as expected, about 3 minutes into the match, X-Pac turned his back on his friend and led a D-X beatdown on poor Kane. The next week on Raw, Tori confronted X-Pac and scolded him for hurting Kane like that, since he had already been through so much and was just learning to trust others. X-Pac then clued Tori in that Kane’s face wasn’t the only thing burnt in the fire, leaving her pissed and speechless. Over the following weeks, the two men would battle in tag matches, with D-X usually getting the best of Kane leading into the show.
Scott: The first of a multi-match series between the former tag team champions. Kane & X-Pac upset Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett the night after Wrestlemania, and were strong as champs. They dropped the straps to Undertaker & Big Show at Summerslam. Once DX got back together, X-Pac kicked his good friend to the curb that week on Smackdown. This is the first chapter. This didn’t really get going before the neon green run-in led to the DQ. Seeing a new, even edgier DX is nice, as it helps put Triple H over. Tori, Kane’s girlfriend, gets kicked to the head for her helping her man. She becomes a focal point of the storyline over time. Grade: 1.5
Justin: This match was starting to show some promise, but was ended very prematurely thanks to the D-X run in. X-Pac and Kane would battle into early-2000 and worked very well with each other, as each match was fast paced and fun to watch. The main point of this encounter was to keep the feud boiling and to put even more heat on X-Pac, who had been a popular face for all of 1999, which explains a) the cheap DQ and the vicious kick he gives Tori, which really pisses off the crowd. This war would wage on, and chapter 2 would take place the next month. Grade: 2
6) The Big Show defeats Big Boss Man, Mideon, Viscera & Prince Albert
Big Show (Paul Wight)
Big Show pins Mideon (Dennis Knight) with a Chokeslam at :18
Big Show pins Albert (Matt Bloom) with a Chokeslam at :29
Big Show pins Viscera (Nelson Frazier) with a Chokeslam at :54
Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) is counted out at 1:24
Fun Fact: Big Show was supposed to have Blue Meanie, TAKA Michinoku and Sho Funaki as his partners, but decided he wanted to go it alone to get revenge on the Boss Man, so he assaulted his partners on Heat before the show, rendering them unable to compete.
Fun Fact II: On the 10/11 Raw, Big Show confessed to D-Lo Brown that his dad was terminally ill with cancer, and he didn’t have long to live. Later that night he was set to face the Big Boss Man, who cut a nasty promo on him, saying he didn’t care about his dad and that he needed to focus on their match instead. The match ended with a DQ, but the saga was not over. The next week on Raw, the saga continued, as a rematch between Boss Man and Show was set, but, as Boss Man waited in the ring, they cut backstage where Big Show apparently received the terrible news that his father had passed away. He no-showed the match and the Boss Man won by forfeit. Of course, later in the show, G-TV revealed that the Boss Man had paid off an actor to report the fake news to the Show. After destroying the actor on Smackdown, the war continued on Raw when the Boss Man showed up with the Big Show’s dad watch (which he then beat with a hammer) that he took from him when he paid a visit to the hospital. The next week on Smackdown, Show appeared during a hardcore match between Boss Man and Snow. He trapped Boss Man in a car and then pushed a dumpster on top of it, getting his revenge for weeks of turmoil. The next Monday, Boss Man and his henchman, Albert, reappeared and released a gas bomb in Show’s locker room, sending him to the hospital unconscious. The following week on Raw, it was announced that Show’s father had finally passed on. Here is what happened following the announcement (courtesy the amazing CRZ): If you're like me, you're just hoping she gets through it without a major blunder. "...this weekend, later on this week." Well, that's not TOO bad. Everyone rises for a moment of silence and ten bells - whoops; it's interrupted by the BIG BOSSMAN. "Hold one just one minute! How DARE you start the grieving process without me! I've got feelings too! It pains me deeply to hear that the Big Show's dad has passed on. In fact, it pains me so deeply, I went out and bought a sympathy card, and I'd like to read it to you, if I could. Shut up and listen to me! 'With the deepest regrets, and tears that are soaked / I'm sorry to hear that your dad finally croaked / He lived a full life on his own terms / Soon he'll be buried and eaten by worms / But if I could have a son as stupid as you / I'd have wished for cancer so I would die too / So be brave, and be strong, get your life on track / 'Cause the old bastard's DEAD and he isn’t never coming' back!' That's EXACTLY how I feel about the Big Show's daddy being dead!" Now, the next week on Smackdown, there was exclusive footage of the Big Show’s father’s funeral, and this happened (courtesy the gorgeous CRZ): Big Show is delivering a few words, but he's interrupted - off in the distance, it's a sound. My God, it's FORD TIMELORD! Boss Man drives an old black 'n' white police car equipped with hilariously oversized loudspeaker (think "Blues Brothers"), does a bit of offensive talking, then hits on the Big Show's Momma (now that she's single, maybe she'd be interested in a "real man"). Oh, you don't bring his momma into it! Show now over to the car, Boss Man takes off and Show falls. As everyone else in the party surrounds Show to see if he's okay, Boss Man drives over, produces a chain, secures it to the coffin ("he always wanted to be a drag queen!") - And drives off. Show manages to climb aboard the coffin for a bit of a toboggan run, but the ride falls short for the Show as he eventually falls off. Boss Man keeps driving. All in one shot, this was a combination of shocking, bizarre, horrific and hilarious. The image of the Big Show riding his dead father’s casket as it was driven away by a crazed Boss Man would be burnt in wrestling fans heads for a lone time. The feud would continue past this show, but this is as far as it gets for now.
Scott: The first part of another Survivor Series swerve is here. Big Show had partners, but took them all out on Heat, and went at it alone. The frustration over his father dying (in the storyline, Show’s dad is alive in real life) put Show over the edge, and Big Boss Man was pushing all the buttons. Here, he annihilates the 3 jobbers on the team, and Boss Man runs away, which accomplished two things: 1) Gave Big Show a monster push in 2 minutes, and 2) Kept Boss Man as a hot heel. By the way, Show’s night is not over. Look at the next paragraph in asterisks. Grade: 1.5
Justin: There really isn’t much here, as the story between Show and Boss Man was the pre-eminent reason for the whole match. Show runs through everyone like a hot knife through butter, but the Boss Man escapes before he can take a Chokeslam too. Show looks like a star here and the crowd is digging him, and it wouldn’t be the last time tonight. Grade: 1
*** During an interview, Stone Cold Steve Austin is baited by Triple H into the parking garage deep inside Joe Louis Arena. All of a sudden, a Crown Victoria comes barreling through a gate, and plows right into Stone Cold. Well, a stuntman that looked like him, but you know what I mean. An ambulance takes Austin away, and he is out of the triple threat match later on. In reality, Austin was preparing for surgery in January to fix his ailing neck, on borrowed time since the Piledriver Owen Hart gave Austin at Summerslam in 1997. He would be gone for 11 months. This was an important time for the WWF. It was the first time they would be without their meal ticket for this long of a period of time. Could the current crop of main eventers hold the fort, and keep the McMahon express moving along? ***
7) Chyna (Joanie Laurer) defeats Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) to retain WWF Intercontinental Title with a Pedigree at 13:43
Scott: The first of three matches involving these two and the Intercontinental title. After going through a tumultuous year, moving from one waist to the next, the IC title is starting to show a little stability. Jericho spent the last month mocking Chyna, thinking she wasn’t worthy of being an IC champion. He even makes a funny comment one week about the great IC champs of the past, including the Mountie. Made Justin proud, I tell you. Their first match together is very entertaining, with some nice spots and good psychology. Chyna has been able to hold her own this year in matches with men, and against maybe the best of the bunch, she looks pretty good. The Pedigree off the top rope is an impressive finisher. Was it Triple H’s idea to job Jericho here? Hmm…that is something to ponder. Grade: 3.5
Justin: Many people were skeptical of giving Chyna the I-C title, but she was holding up her end of the bargain quite well. This feud was entertaining thanks mainly Jericho’s work, but Chyna was keeping up, and the matches were just as good. As well as Chyna was doing, the crowd at the Joe was solidly behind Jericho, and they boo vociferously when she reaches the ropes while in the Walls of Jericho, and boo even more when she wins the match. Like every other match on this card, the feud does not end here, and better days would be ahead for Y2J. This was a fun little match though and the crowd stayed into it the whole way through. Grade: 3
8) The Hollys & Too Cool defeat Edge & Christian & the Hardy Boyz
Hardcore Holly (Bob Howard)
Crash Holly (Michael Lockwood) pinned Edge (Adam Copeland) with a roll-up in 6:06
Scotty Too Hotty (Taylor) pinned Matt Hardy with a Top Rope Bulldog in 6:22
Jeff Hardy pinned Scotty Too Hotty with a 450 Splash in 10:11
Brian Christopher (Lawler) pinned Jeff Hardy with a Top Rope Legdrop in 11:34
Christian (Jay Reso) pinned Brian Christopher with an Impaler in 11:45
Christian pinned Crash with a Tomikaze in 13:58
Hardcore pinned Christian with a Victory Roll in 14:26
Fun Fact: After missing most of the year due to injuries, Too Cool, the former Too Much, returned with a brand new hip hop look on the 10/25 Raw, interfering in a match between the Hollys and Edge & Christian.
Scott: Not a bad match with the 4 top contenders to the titles going at it. The Hollys had really gotten under each team’s skin, interfering in various matches on RAW and Smackdown. They had been tag team champions in this stretch, but lost the titles to Al Snow and Mankind. Too Cool would gain more heat into 2000, and eventually become champions. However, the real talent was on the other side. The Hardyz and Edge & Christian were continuing to raise eyebrows as they perfected their chemistry together. They had already torn the house down at No Mercy, but that was just the beginning. Hardcore Holly got the rub in the end, but it was the Canadian Connection and the Hardyz that would continue its rise. Grade: 2
Justin: A fun affair between the four hottest teams of the now sparkling tag division. Tag Team wrestling in the WWF had been almost non-existent since 1993 but had finally started making a comeback as the Millennium was coming to a close. Too Cool was back in the fold and would only strengthen the division. Of the four, the Hollys had had the most success recently, but the Hardys seemed the most ready to truly break out. Edge & Christian had been stagnant since No Mercy, and really wouldn’t take a step forward until April. Hardcore picks up the win, as he was poised for an upper-mid card push as 2000 dawned. Grade: 3
9) The New Age Outlaws defeat Mankind (Mick Foley) & Al Snow (Al Sarven) to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when Billy Gunn (Monty Sop) pinned Mankind with a Spike Piledriver at 13:47
Fun Fact: As the friendship between the Rock and Mankind continued to crumble because Foley was fed up with the Rock’s treatment of him, the bond between Al and Mick got that much stronger. They were providing quality on-screen moments, including a memorable trip to Las Vegas as well as to a Philadelphia strip club, and were gelling as a team. Mankind and Al Snow defeated the Holly Cousins for the Tag Team titles on the 11/4 Smackdown, but lost to the Outlaws the following Monday. Despite questioning himself, Mankind signed for a rematch to try and regain their titles at the PPV.
Fun Fact II: Behind the scenes, word was spreading quickly that Mick Foley was nearing retirement. Shortly before this PPV, Mick met with Vince McMahon and told him he was having trouble with his memory. This, combined with how out of shape he had become, mainly due to his layoff over the summer, and how poor he was in the ring led to a mutual decision that the time was now upon them to bring an end to a legendary career. Once he found out about the memory problems, Vince wanted Survivor Series to be the death knell of Mick’s career, as he didn’t want Mick’s condition to worsen. Foley, ever the mark for himself, did not want to go out as a pathetic shell of his former self, so he convinced Vince to let him get into shape and have one final run at the top before he hung it up for good. Vince complied, and the original storyline was for Mick to turn heel and feud with the Rock, ultimately putting him over on his way out the door. Foley was all for this and began preparing himself to find that anger inside of himself to really get the feud over. At the last minute, however, Vince decided to keep Foley face and go a different route with him as his days were nearing an end. More on that as we move forward.
Scott: Typical match for Mr. Ass and the Road Dogg. The clock is definitely ticking on these two. One of the greatest tag teams in WWF history is starting to show its lack of workrate in a big way. Against Al Snow and Mankind, they were able to skate through this match with their usual “Road Dogg talks, dances and gets the crap kicked out of him, hot tag to Billy, end of match.” Even as heels, they use the same formula. Mick Foley’s body is on borrowed time, but he’s in line for one last big run. The NAO’s run at the top is slowly coming to an end. Grade: 2
Justin: It is a good thing that this wasn’t Mick Foley’s final match, because he was a flat out mess at this time. He was grotesquely overweight and was barely mobile in the ring. He began wearing disgusting light blue sweatpants with holes in them as ring attire and basing his matches solely on comedy spots as he had started convincing himself that he got bigger pops screwing around with socks than killing himself, and it was much safer, so why not play it that way. This match is a prime example of his deterioration, as a man who was once able to pull anyone up to a good match could barely pull up his own pants as he rolled around the ring. Snow tried his best, but this thing was a mess from the start, as the Outlaws became too reliant on their comedy spots and catchphrases as well. As 2000 dawned, a lot of these stale acts from 1998 and 1999 were getting on people’s nerves, and many would be repackaged or sent packing. As for this match, stay away, unless you enjoy watching Mick Foley degenerate into an Attitude version of Playboy Buddy Rose. Grade: 1.5
10) Big Show (Paul Wight) beat Triple H (Paul Levesque) and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) in a “triple threat” match to win WWF World Title when he pins Triple H with a Chokeslam at 16:14
Fun Fact: After reforming, Triple H informed Vince that DX was looking to infiltrate and take over the company. The first step in that plan occurred on the 11/8 Raw, when Test was facing Triple H. During the match, we cut to the back to see Road Dogg dragging a cameraman to the locker room, where he claimed Stephanie was now being kept. The camera got a quick shot inside the room and all that could be seen was X-Pac and Billy Gunn removing a seemingly unconscious lady’s shoes. As soon as he saw this on the Titantron, Test, Vince and Shane screwed to the back, opened the door and found an empty room. The show faded out with Vince screaming for his daughter. The next week on Smackdown, it was revealed that it wasn’t Stephanie in the dressing room, but D-X wanted to prove a point that it could have been and still could be if Vince didn’t stay out of their business. The story takes a bizarre turn in late-November, and we will get into that at the next show.
Scott: With Stone Cold out of the picture, many expected this to be a simple Rock/Triple H match for the title, as it was expected to be the night after No Mercy. That night on RAW, Austin got in Rock’s face for whacking him “accidentally” with the sledgehammer the night before in Cleveland. Vince McMahon came out and said, they both would be facing Triple H at Survivor Series. Well, Austin was taken out of the equation, would there even be a third man to put in? Well….Well it’s the Big Show! Finally, after 10 months of toiling on both sides of the fence…face-heel-face-heel-face-heel...he gets his big shot at a championship. The match itself is pretty much Triple H getting the crap kicked out of him by Show, as Rock is almost not even a factor. There is a cool spot where Rock & HHH suplex Show onto the Spanish Announce Table. Otherwise, this was a typical 1999 main event, where they fight all over the arena, using the entrance set as a weapon. In the end, Vince comes out, attempting to hit Trips with the belt. He attempted to do that twice in previous encounters on RAW and Smackdown leading up to this match, but missed. He misses here too, but gets a second shot, and whacks him. The Game walks right into a Chokeslam, and the Big Show is the new champion. Nice swerve, as they’re saving Rock for later and Triple H will detour from the World Title chase to forge another “alliance,” one that shapes his career, and eventually his real life. Grade: 3.5
Justin: Well, this was definitely a huge shock to everyone, as Big Show hadn’t fared too well in the Main Events since his debut. Now, while it was a nice surprise and a great moment for Show, a lot of people were very pissed off at the bait and switch with Austin. The WWF always made sure to warn against this by putting card subject to change on all their materials, but this was a major swerve, especially since people were shelling out $30 to see Steve Austin. A lot of fans claimed that they should have announced/done the angle the week of the show, so people who were going to buy it just for Austin were aware of the situation and wouldn’t get pissed off during the show. It was a tough decision, but Vince went the bait and switch way and gets burned for it later. The match itself is entertaining enough, but since it was thrown together at the last minute, it was very choppy. Also, Triple H and Rock were still solidifying themselves in the ring, and wouldn’t reach that level of greatness until early 2000. Add the lumbering Show into the mix, and this match turned into quite the clusterfuck. Plus, without Austin in there, the storyline drops a bit because the whole reasoning for this match was that Rock and Austin kept screwing each other in title matches with the Game. On the other hand, Big Show winning the strap was a nice pay off to the Show’s father angle, as he was able to dedicate the Title win to his dad. Overall, this wasn’t great, but was the best they could do under the circumstances. Grade: 2
Scott: A so-so effort with the survivor matches not really making any sense, but some solid title matches and a nice swerve in the end to give a newcomer the title. I’m sure it was in Big Show’s contract he was given the title on some occasions, and here was a big moment. Unlike when Eric Bischoff took big talent to WCW, Vince actually made his guys bigger stars when he got them, instead of useless tools. One more show and the millennium is over. When the year started, the Monday Night Wars were still undecided. No question now. Vince is winning, and winning big. This show was OK, but the best was yet to come. Final Grade: C
Justin: After a hot 1999, creative team changes and injuries have somewhat slowed the WWF machine. Sure, the ratings and buy rates are still high, but that was residual, and Management needed to make some major shifts in their ways to continue their upward trend, and for the first time, probably ever, Vince stayed ahead of the game and made these changes long before the product was bound to get stale. The show is one of those classic fleshing out the roster shows, but not in the classic sense of firing a bunch of guys and restocking the roster, but more in a reorganizing way. The new faces like Angle, Jericho, Hardys, Dudleys, Edge, Christian and Big Show are starting to push their way to the forefront and they would add in a huge influx of talent soon as well, and the old guard like X-Pac, Kane, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Acolytes and Boss Man had to step up their game or else be in danger of being dropped altogether. Fresh match-ups, new Main Event players and a brand new, wrestling-based attitude would keep the Federation on top for the foreseeable future. Looking at this show in particular, however, only two matches have a grade of 3 and over, and none have higher than 3.5. On the flip side, though, there is only one atrocious match, and the others are solid, yet unspectacular. An OK show, but keep in mind there are better days in the very near future. Final Grade: C-
MVP: Big Show
Runner Up: Kurt Angle
Non-MVP: The Women’s match
Runner Up: Steve Austin Bait and Switch