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The SmarK Royal Rumble Countdown: 2000

The Netcop Rant for Royal Rumble 2000

- Live from Madison Square Garden

- Your hosts are JR & The King

- Opening match: Kurt Angle v. Tazz.

I guess that Byte This lied to us. I’m so crushed. (2012 Scott sez:  That would be the WWF’s internet call-in show thing, where they basically said “Angle’s mystery opponent isn’t Tazz.”) Crowd pops monster for Tazz, so I guess they were expecting this one. Tazz dumps him quickly and they fight on the floor, with Angle getting a suplex in the aisle on Tazz as the crowd chants “ECW”. Back in the ring, Angle gets a belly-to-belly, but goes to the top and gets suplexed off for two. German suplex gets two for angle. Tazz hits a released german suplex of his own, then the head-and-arm Tazzplex and T-bone Tazzplex to knock Angle silly, and the Tazzmission finishes at 3:16 to end Angle’s undefeated streak. Short but got the point across. **3/4 Angle does a stretcher job for good measure. (2012 Scott sez:  And then Angle became a giant star and Tazz did nothing.) 

- Table match: The Dudley Boyz v. The Hardy Boyz.

(2012 Scott sez:  Oh yeah, the gimmick where I replaced all the “s” with “z”.  Ho ho.)  Lots of insane spotz here to start, as Jeff hits a plancha onto Buh Buh, but tries the rail run and splatz into a well-placed table. A ladder and a chair get involved, and the Hardyz get the first table breaking by doing yet another insane spot, with Jeff coming off the top of the ladder and Matt flying out of nowhere at the same time for a double splash onto Buh Buh. Crowd chants “Holy Shit” for that one. It really has to be seen to be appreciated. They go for part two on D-Von, but he escapez. The Dudleyz then one-up them by bringing two setz of ring stairz into the ring, then setting up a table on them, then superbombing Matt through the table. Man, if his head had been a foot back, he’d be dead. That’z just insane. So if either D-Von or Jeff go through a table now, it’z over. Two tablez get set up in the aisleway under the taxi that looms over the entranceway, and Matt is put on the top one. Kind of a dumb idea, since Matt was already “eliminated” anyway. Buh Buh endz up battling Jeff on the entranceway itself, and takes a Nestea Plunge backwards, through the top table. Matt movez in time to get off, takez out D-Von and putz him on the surviving table, and Jeff doez the senton bomb, off the entranceway, through D-Von on the table for the win at 10:17. See what happenz you stick the Dudleyz in there with an actual talented team instead of a pair of useless brawlerz like in ECW? ***1/2, which is just about the highest rating I’ve ever given a Dudleyz match. (2012 Scott sez:  And then the next month, the repackaging was complete with the Duds winning the tag titles from the New Age Outlaws and kicking off the greatest run of their career.  I would certainly go on to give much higher ratings to many more Dudley Boyz matches.  Of course, my ongoing addiction to Smackdown v. RAW 2011 has me annoyed at the mere mention of tables matches these days…) 

- Royal Rumble swimsuit contest.

The contenders: Terri, Jackie, Luna, Ivory, BB and the Kat. Ivory, after much prodding, reveals a conservative teal bikini. **1/2 Terri is wearing the fleshtone suit she had at Summerslam 96. Always a classic, especially when she leans over all the ropes for effect. ***1/2 Jackie has her teeny string bikini from last year’s Fully Loaded, but really who likes Jackie? **3/4 Luna refuses to participate. DUD B.B. has a rather dull red number. She looks different, too, for some reason. **1/4 The Kat has…Saran Wrap. Very tasteful. *** Then the worst (and I mean THE WORST) happens, as Mae Young comes out as a late entrant and exposes herself, and a couple of times the big red “censored” sign isn’t fast enough to cover it up. (2012 Scott sez:  It was just a prosthetic boob, in case you’re wondering.)  AAAAAAAAAAH! MY EYES! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to conceive children now. (2012 Scott sez:  My daughter says that I was.) Mae is then declared the unanimous winner. This must be someone’s idea of a colossal rib. Let’s just never speak of this EVER AGAIN, shall we?

- Intercontinental title match: Chris Jericho v. Chyna v. Hardcore Holly.

(2012 Scott sez:  Who’s bright idea was it to get Bob Holly involved in this shitty angle, anyway?)  Big slapfest to start, then Chyna gets tossed and Holly goes with Jericho. Y2J quickly gets the Walls of Jericho, but Chyna saves. Holly goes out, Jericho & Chyna go. Holly & Chyna fight on the floor, and Chris springboards onto Holly. Back in, Holly & Jericho go. Chris ends up on the floor again and Chyna gets the Pedigree on Holly for two. Holly & Jericho do a Rockerplex on Chyna, which gives Jericho a two-count. More fighting on the top rope results in Chyna superplexing Holly, who cradles her for two. Chyna chairshots Holly and tries her own Walls of Jericho (The Great Wall of Chyna?) (2012 Scott sez:  That was a finisher name just BEGGING to be put to use) but Jericho breaks it up and Lionsaults her for the pin and the undisputed title at 7:30. Thank god that feud is over. Match dragged a bit, but was otherwise solid. **1/4 (2012 Scott sez:  I was pretty bummed that Jericho got jobbed to Kurt Angle the very next month, but again, Angle was the guy who made them money in the long run, so hindsight says they were right.) 

- The Rock says that if he can get by Crash Holly and Mosh, he’ll have a shot at winning the Rumble. New catchphrase: “Get yourself a tall glass of shut up juice”. (2012 Scott sez: Yeah, that one didn’t go anywhere.) 

- WWF tag team title match: The New Age Outlaws v. The Acolytes.

Major league ass-whupping from the Acolytes to start, then the ref gets bumped about two minutes in. Eh? X-Pac runs in, Billy Gunn gets the fameasser and pins Bradshaw at 2:35 to retain. I imagine we’ll see a rematch on RAW because this was snipped for time reasons. ½*

- WWF title match: HHH v. Cactus Jack.

Cactus gets a quick start, so HHH bails and grabs a chair. Jack gets it and legdrops it on his face. Out to the floor, where HHH gets suplexed onto a pair of pallets. And a garbage can. And onto the stairs. Note to self: Don’t piss off Mick Foley. Cactus searches under the ring and finds a barbed-wire covered 2x4. The ref gets in his way, so HHH steals it and delivers some shots with it. Ouch. It ends up at ringside with Spanish announcers. Jack hits a double-arm DDT and then retrieves his 2x4, which has been miraculously re-wrapped with barbed-wire that looks suspiciously rubberized. Well, I don’t expect anyone to rip themselves apart with real barbed wire, but it looks silly to have different-looking weapons like that. He drops an elbow with it, and then bludgeons HHH with it, drawing some good juice. It’s a MANLY blade job, turning HHH’s blond hair red. Must have eaten his aspirin before the match. (2012 Scott sez:  These days, HHH probably takes the aspirin anyway because it makes good health sense, you young whippersnappers.)  Jack tries the piledriver on the table, but HHH reverses. Back in the ring, and Jack then reverses the Pedigree, slingshots HHH into the post, then rams him face-first into the barbed wire. It gets two. Back out, and Jack pulls an older spot out of mothballs, taking a hiptoss into the stairs, right on his knee. Back in and HHH works on that knee, then finds a pair of handcuffs at the announce table. Oh, lord, it’s 99 all over again. HHH charges with the stairs, but Jack drop toeholds him and HHH goes face-first into them. HHH finds a chair and starts doing a Rocky job on him, so Jack retreats outside as HHH closes in for the kill. Then, ironically, the Rock himself emerges with his own chair and bashes HHH’s brains in. A cop unlocks the cuffs for Jack and now the crowd is just going BERZERK. Jack stalks him back to ringside and delivers the piledriver on the Spanish table successfully this time, but the table doesn’t break. Man, that looked VICIOUS. Jack then finds a jumbo bag of thumbtacks and scatters them in the ring. Stephanie joins us at ringside. Cactus takes a backdrop in the tacks, and HHH gets the Pedigree for…TWO? Crowd starts chanting “Foley”, but Jack walks into another Pedigree, ON THE TACKS, and that’s enough to finish it at 26:48. Oh. My. God. What an AWESOME brawl. I have new respect for HHH’s brawling abilities after this brutal war. ***** I know I’m probably opening a huge can of worms with that rating, but after that, they deserve it. (2012 Scott sez:  Nah, this one’s pretty much universally rated at *****, outside of Meltzer who had it at ****1/2 just to be different I guess.) 

- Royal Rumble:

The intervals are 90 seconds this year, which is tolerable. D-Lo Brown is #1, Grandmaster Sexay is #2. Quick start as D-Lo tries a running powerbomb, but Sexay reverses to a rana. Mosh is #3. Kaientai, who along with the Mean Street Posse were taken out of the Rumble on Heat, suddenly storm the ring and attempt to get in by force. They are quickly tossed. Christian is #4. Rikishi is #5, and he clears the ring of everyone but Grandmaster Sexay. Uh oh. Scotty 2 Hotty (which seems to have become my own de facto nickname now thanks to their success) is #6, and tries to make peace by bringing Phatu’s sunglasses with him. So they stop to dance, getting a huge reaction from the crowd. Then, as Too Cool finish the number, Rikishi casually dumps both out. Just business, he says. (2012 Scott sez:  Awesome sequence right there.   Perfect use of the goofy comedy spot early in the Rumble, plus it establishes Rikishi as someone to be taken seriously.  Great stuff.) 

Blackman is #7, and isn’t long for the match, leaving seconds later. Rikishi is so over that it’s frightening. If he stays motivated, he’ll be main eventing by Summerslam. (2012 Scott sez:  Unfortunately, he didn’t stay motivated, but he was still main eventing by the end of the year, in a manner of speaking.)  Viscera is #8, so we get the FAT BOY SHOWDOWN OF DOOM, which is won by Rikishi after three superkicks and a good shove out of the ring. Big Bossman is #9. He won’t get in, pissing off the crowd. Test is #10, and he gets him in. Bulldog is #11. Gangrel is #12. Kaientai hits the ring for comic relief again, and when Taka goes out he takes a nasty bump to the floor, hitting his head on the mats. This would be replayed several times during the match as a morbid running gag. (2012 Scott sez:  Not that funny back then, even less funny now.)   

Edge is #13. He teases a couple of eliminations as Rikishi buttdrops Bossman. Mr. Bob Backlund is a surprise entrant at #14 (subbing for Thrasher by process of elimination) and gets a big pop. Still looks good, too. Everyone gangs up on Rikishi and dumps him, and the crowd is PISSED. Jericho is #15 to a big pop (all the big stars were inserted into the Rumble on Heat to shore up the star power). He dropkicks Backlund out. Crash Holly is #16. Chyna is #17 and she and Jericho eliminate each other. Faarooq is #18, and now the Mean Street Posse act as comic relief, charging the ring and going after him. Bossman tosses Faarooq as a result. Road Dogg is #19, and he soon adopts a smart position: Grab the bottom rope and hold on for dear life. (2012 Scott sez:  Insert Pat Patterson joke here.) 

Al Snow is #20. Crash almost goes out about 10 times. Road Dogg pops up long enough to eliminate Bulldog. Val Venis is #21, and he goes for Test. Funaki makes a solo run-in and gets dumped. Prince Albert is #22, as Edge goes out via Venis. Hardcore Holly is #23, and we’re all just awaiting a showdown with Crash. It never comes. Rock is #24, tossing the Bossman to say “howdy”. Mr. Ass is #25. Rock DDTs Crash and dumps him. Big Show is #26, and boy is he EVER getting over as a heel despite the WWF’s insistence to the contrary. (2012 Scott sez:  I’m confusing myself here.  Was he supposed to be a babyface at that point and the crowd was turning on him?  Was I being super-sarcastic?  It’s hard to tell sometimes, even for me, and I WROTE THIS!)  Test and Gangrel go in short order. Bradshaw is #27, and the Posse hit the ring again and orchestrate his elimination. Show continues kicking ass. Kane is #28, complete with pyro. He tosses Val Venis as an afterthought. Godfather is #29 as Kane sends Prince Albert home. Funaki tries it again, no luck. And X-Pac is of course #30 to round out the field. Snow sends Holly to the floor. Show tosses Godfather. Rock dumps Snow. Road Dogg laughs at him and Mr. Ass dumps HIM out. The Outlaws argue and Kane dumps Billy on his ass outside the ring. So we’re down to…

- Final Four: Kane, Rock, X-Pac and Big Show.

Rock tosses X-Pac nearly into the fifth row, but the refs are tied up with the Outlaws so they don’t see it. Kane and Big Show choke each other, leading to a Kaneziguri to break and a slam. Wow. X-Pac hits a spinkick from behind on Kane, however, sending him out. Big Show then launches X-Pac to the floor for real. So we’ve got Rock v. Big Show. Rock gets a spinebuster and the People’s Elbow, but Show comes back with a chokeslam to MONSTER heel heat. We have a winning storyline for him! Show casually carries Rock around and dumps him out, but Rock hangs onto the top rope and Show goes tumbling out, giving Rock the win at 51:48. Best Rumble in years. ****

The Bottom Line: If you didn’t order the show, ORDER THE REPLAY. This was the best PPV the WWF has put on in a long, LONG, time. A great, great show with only one glaring low point and a super-hot crowd.

Thumbs way up.