RADICAL'S REBELLION RANT
As per usual I'll be offering up my opinion on the WWF's pay-per-view offerings, and this is no exception. Rebellion is the sixth England-only pay-per-view, so we'll see how it holds up to those of the past...
As a side note, I FINALLY got the opportunity to play on SmackDown 2 yesterday. If you have the means of picking a copy up, I would recommend you do so. It is so choice.
Comin' atcha liiiiiiiiiive from Sheffield, England, your hosts are Good Ol' JR and Tazz.
The Hardcore Commish and Legs start us off with the usual opening promo-do they want us to compare this to RAW or what? The upshot of this yakfest is that the Fatal Fourway main event is now no DQ, no countout. Cryin' Kurt Angle enters to offer his rebuttal, and gets told to get lost.
Opening Match, Triple Threat Tag Team Tables Match: T&A w/Trish Vs. Edge and Christian Vs. The Dudleyz: D-Von and Albert start and Albert gets the upper hand with some big fat hairy offence, but D-Von makes the tag to Buh Buh to a big pop. Double-team-a-rama on Albert, but he regains the upper hand as soon as D-Von leaves the ring. T&A throw a talbe in the ring but the Duds pick it up, and Albert breaks it in half with a weak bicycle kick. Nice one fatboy. Test with a big boot for Buh Buh but Buh Buh blocks the elbowdrop by putting a foot up. Test gets sent to the floor, and Edge and Christian finally get involved, as Albert prepares to suplex Buh Buh through a table-they sneak up behind him and powerbomb him through the table, eliminating T&A.
Christian comes in against D-Von and hits a quick front suplex, then tags Edge. Fisticuffs erupt and Edge and Christian slide out and grab a table, but D-Von baseball slides it into their faces. D-Von manages a tag but the ref, of course, does not see it, and Edge and Christian work D-Von over. He finally makes the tag but the Duds don't keep the advantage and the Blondes go for the Wazzup Dropon Buh Buh, but Buh Buh rolls through and D-Von shoves Edge off, causing him to headbutt his own bro down low. Wzzup Drop on Edge, and D-Von gets the tables, as it were. Christian saves Edge from 3D by shoving him out of the way, but takes it himself, through the table, for the Duds win at 9:56. Not a bad opener, all in all.**1/2. I should point out that Tazz FINALLY corrects JR on the 3D issue-when JR calls a back suplex/neckbreaker combo the 3D, Tazz shuts him up quick.
Lita interview. She really shouldn't talk, y'know.
Women's Titla Match: Ivory (c) w/Steven Richards Vs. Lita: Steven and Ivory do the usual mic schtick prematch. Not as bad as their match at Survivor Series, but still not worthy enough of play-by-play. Ivory sits down on a Lita sunset flip and grabs onto Steven's hands for the pin at 2:56. Next.*
Rock rants-after a VERY long pause. Showoff.
Hardcore Title Match: Perry Siren Vs. You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party Steve Blackman (c): Tazz mocks JR's stupid words, saying that this match is "gonna be a donnybrook...no, a rocketbuster!". You the man, Tazz. Blackman beats the crap outta Saturn but get tossed to the floor, and Saturn follows with a plancha. Blackman blocks a suplex attempt with a swinging neckbreaker on the floor, tosses Saturn back in, and fetches some NASTY metal sheets from under the ring. Back in, and Blackman with a headshot/bodyshot/headshot combo of sheet shots for a nearfall. Blackman wedges a trash can in between the second and third turnbuckles-that NEVER works for you, Blackman-and Saturn droptoeholds him into it. Pointless little grappling sequence leads to Saturn throwing Blackman over the top rope. Blackman tries to skin the cat but Saturn wallops him with one of the sheets, causing Tazz to go into fits of laughter. Slight overreaction there, Tazz. Saturn sprays Blackman with a fire hydrant and sets up a steel chair but Blackman droptoeholds him and GETS THE STICKS, BABY. 1,000 sticks on Saturn! Blackman hits his crotch shot back suplex for two, and Saturn gets a rollup out of nowhere for a nearfall of his own. Saturn grabs the chair, but Blackman comes off the ropes with the KICK OF DEATH for the pin to retain at 6:05. Not half bad, actually.**
"Captain Shill" Michael Cole interviews Good Will Regal, who cuts a face promo about being proud of his country and how great it is being back there-then turns heel halfway through, insulting the Sheffield crowd and England in general. Funny stuff.
European Title Match: Crash w/No Last Name & The VERY Comely Molly Holly Vs. Good Will Regal (c): The crack sound crew accidentally cut Crash's music while he's halfway to the ring, because it wouldn't be a UK only PPV without some technical screwup. Regal cuts another heel promo in the ring, and Crash jumps him, but Regal gets a Blue Thunder bomb for a nearfall. Tazz is like a MACHINE, putting over everyone and their mother in his commentary. Now THAT'S a good color guy. Back elbow gets a nearfall for Regal, as does a suplex, and Crash gets a quick rollup for two and a big pop. Regal knocks him down straight afterwards and waves to the fans-instant heel heat. Back Suplex gets another nearfall for Regal, and WE HIT THE CHINLOCK. Regal uses old school heel tactics, putting his feet on the ropes for "extra leverage". He break and swings at Crash, who ducks and gets a backslide for two. Rollup by Crash for two. Huracanrana for two, and Regal reverses a whip into the corner, then catches Crash as he tries for a pumphandle splash and drops him facefirst into the mat for the pin...but Crash had his foot on the ropes. As referee Chad "I was looking at my watch" Patton (there's an alternative, CRZ!) converses with the timekeeper and restarts the match, Molly hits a missile dropkick on Regal, giving Crash the pin and the title at 5:01. Now THAT was a shock. Again, an average match. **1/4. Post match, Regal decks Crash and steals the belt back, which I hope doesn't mean that this whole title change will be conveniently fogotten by the time RAW rolls around. Nah, that's a WCW thing, right?
Angle talks to Chris "The Mute" Benoit, who seems to have lost the power of speech. His eyebrow DOES remain raised throughout, though, at least proving he's TRYING to be like the Rock.
Recap of the whole Eddie/Chyna shebang, which means it's time for...
Chyna/The One Smoking Rockybilly Gunn Vs. The Texas Jumpin' Bean Eddie Guerrero/MoFo Deano Machino: May I say that Chyna is looking very do-able tonight, thankyou very much, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I WANT TO SEE HER WRESTLE. Gunn's theme sounds like something from Van Halen's B-side collection. Guerrero starts against Gunn, and Gunn takes him down with a tilt-o-whirl. Guerrero begs off and Gunn shakes his hand-then knocks his head off with a clothesline for two. Dean runs in for the save, and Chyna and The One pull out duelling press slams on the Rads. Chyna and Malenko apparently got the tag somewhere in here, and Chyna slaps him around, hitting the CRAPPY HANDSPRING ELBOW OF DEATH, but Guerrero trips her and the beatdown begins, thank God. Tazz refers to the Radz as "Impact Players"-huh? The Rads double team her to the max, cheating like mad, and Malenko gets a front facelock. Chyna edges into her corner but Eddie interfers, causing Gunn to rush him and get sent back to the apron, which in turn allows the Radz to beat Chyna up some more. Good for them. Anyhoo, Chyna eventually reverses a whip, and catches Dean with a low blow when he attempts to pumphandle out of the corner. Hot tag to Rockabilly, who cleans house but gets cheapshotted and double teamed. Chyna makes the rescue and it's a pier four. Gunn with a nearfall on Malenko from a powerslam as Chyna takes Guerrero to the floor. Jackhammer on Malenko, and Gunn gets the FameAsser, but Guerrero manages to break up the cover. Chyna pulls him out, and Gunn catches Malenko off the ropes with a cobra clutch slam for the pin at 7:28. Wow! If the cobra clutch slam is Gunn's new finisher, he's gonna be more over than Austin! Good match, actually.***
Some English Guy talks to fans in the crowd, and I don't understand a word of it.
Jericho/Kane video package-the exact same one that they used for Survivor Series. I hope that's not an omen.
Chris Jesus Vs. Kane, "One Fall To A Finish": Hearing JR excitedly saying "it's one fall to a finish, folks!" like it's some sort of huge, rare stipulation just makes me wanna puke. Jericho cuts a pretty good promo, calling Kane the Union Jackass, and rushes the ring, and it's on like neckbone, as it were. Jericho gains the upper hand, knocking Kane to the floor and beating him around the ring, but gets caught off the top back inside and slammed for a two count. That'll learn 'im. Kane hits some lay-zee offence, punctuated by a Jericho small package for two. This match is basically the same as their Survivor Series snoozer, so I can't be bothered for full play by play. If you want it, go back and read my Survivor Series recap. Fast forward a bit to Jericho catching Kane coming off the top with a dropkick to the gut. Jericho sends him into the turnbuckle and rolls him up for the nearfall, then tries for the Walls Of Jericho, but Kane blocks it. Crowd rallies for Jericho, but Kane breaks the hold and goes for a chokeslam. Jericho kicks him low and gets a bulldog, but the followup Lionsault hits nothing but knee and Kane chokeslams him for the win at 8:05.**. As soon as the pin is counted Tazz, the Human Blowjob Machine, just JUMPS on putting Jericho over, after spending the whole match talking about how unstoppable Kane is. Jericho chases Kane up the ramp and hits him with a chair, then puts him in the Walls again at the top of the ramp.
Backstage, Lita makes Trish her bitch. No, not like THAT. Bras are seen. This whole segment reminded me of a bad lesbian prison movie. Good job, WWF!!
Tag Team Title Match: Hardy Boyz Vs. Bull Buchanan.The Goodfather w/Val Venis: Val's wearing black trousers tonight-who says you don't get any shocking swerves on UK only shows? Pier four to start and the Hardys throw the Suits to the floor, baseball slide them and hit a pair of planchas. Back in the ring things settle down as Jeff slips into the Ricky Morton role against Goodfather. Tag to Bull, more beatings, but Jeff manages a tag to Matt. Bulldog for Bull, and Matt goes for the Twist Of Fate, and Goodfather swings one of the tag belts at him-but hits Bull by accidnet. Jeff knocks him out of the ring and follows, but Goodfather manages to pull Matt off of Bull before the three. Matt thrown into the ringpost, and now he's greebo in peril. The champs work him over with some ploddng offence, but Matt knocks down Goodfather and tries for a tag. Goodfather stops him with a spinebuster, but misses the Censor Train moments later and Jeff gets the tag. Dropkick for Goodfather, Bull in, Jeff ducks a double clothesline and hits a corkscrew moonsault on both men. Bull and Goodfather stacked in the corner, and the Hardys nail Poetry In Motion. Twist Of Fate for Goodfather, Swanton Bomb for Bull and Jeff covers, but the ref is busy with Goodfather and Matt. Val hits the Censor Shot on Jeff's head (ouch) and Bull rolls over for the pin to retain at 8:07. Sagged in the middle but was hot otherwise. ***1/4.
Kurt berates Edge and Christian for refusing to help him. Bastards.
The Radicals deliver Ye Olde Beatdowne to the Undertaker backstage, focusing on his left knee.
Tazz and JR say "Oh My God, the Radiclas just delivered a beatdown to the Undertaker backstage".
Moments ago, the Radicals deliver Ye Olde Beatdowne to the Undertaker backstage, focusing on his left knee. Yeah, there was a lot of point in THAT replay.
Chris "The Rock" Benoit Vs. American Old Guy: Of course, they run through the whole "Heel wins on a forfeit but face comes out at the last minute" routine. Taker limps into the ring and Benoit goes straight to the knee, kicking it and working it in the corner. Taker gets a slam but Benoit pops straight back up and goes back to the knee, but Undertaker slugs his way back into control, and hits the ropewalk for the first time in a long time. It gets two. Big boot, and Benoit bails, then trips Taker in the corner and tries to post him. Taker yanks him forward with his legs, however, and Benoit cracks his head on the post. Tazz and JR pay lip service to Tommy Billington, who is apparently in attendance tonight. Taker follows Benoit to the floor and works his back over, throwing him into the ringpost. Back in the ring and Taker busts out a bearhug, but Benoit headbutts him to break it up. Irish whip and Benoit trips Taker, then goes back to the knee, smacking it against the canvas. Deathlock modification gets a couple of twos for Benoit, but Taker punches him to break it. Benoit keeps him down, using a spinning toe hold, but Taker counters, flipping Benoit over into his own hold then getting to his feet, but Benoit drop toe holds him, then slaps on a figure four. Taker rolls through it, reversing the pressure, and Benoit makes the ropes. More knee workage, and Benoit hits Air Canada to the knee then goes for another submission hold, but Taker gets an inside cradle(!) out of nowhere for the pin at 12:19. Another enjoyable match.***.
Main Event, Fatal Fourway For WWF Title: Rikishi Vs. Cryin' Kurt Angle (c) Vs. The Rock Vs. No Sell Steve Austin: HUGE pop for Austin. The champ enters second, because he's not one of the old guard, you see. Austin pairs off with Angle while Rock goes after Rikishi, but Rikishi drags Austin out and the two fight on the outside. Rock gets a Samoan Drop on Angle in the ring for two. Angle rolls out and Austin throws Rikishi in, and Rock and Austin beat on him, then stomp him in the corner. Angle, meanwhile, has grabbed his title belt and is walking up the ramp, but Rock runs after him and knocks him down from behind by magically waving his arm in the general vicinity of Angle's head, then drags him back to the ring. Austin hits the Thesz Press on Rikishi, meanwhile, then does the same to Angle, who tries to sneak up on him. Austin takes Angle to the floor while Rocky stomps Rikishi. Rikishi takes the upper hand and hits the buttsquash in the corner, but Rocky hits a low blow to block to Stinkface. Roody Poo spinebuster and People's Elbow, but Angle breaks up the pin and covers Rikishi himself, and Austin breaks that up, and Rikishi kicks out of his cover. Austin beats Rikishi down in the corner as Angle chokes the Rock, but Rocky tosses him as Austin kicks Rikishi out of the ring-and it JUST GOT INTERESTING. Rocky and Austin slug it out after a staredown, and Rocky goes for a spit-take right had, but Austin ducvks and hits the Stunner to a huge pop. Rocky sells it like Mr. Perfect, rolling all over the place. Angle breaks up the pinfall, but Rocky kicks out when Angle covers him.
Rikishi works Rocky over as Austin brawls with Angle. Rocky gets sent to the floor and Angle and Rikishi whip Austin into the corner, but Austin rebounds with a clothesline for Angle first, then Rikishi, who works in a swank flip. Austin beats Rikishi in the corner AGAIN, but Rocky turns him around and Rock Bottoms him. Rikishi pulls the ref out at two and discusses politics with him on the floor, while Angle hits the Olympic Slam on Rocky. Cover, but Rikishi's still busy with the ref, and when he finally does count the pinfall Rocky kicks out. Edge and Christian run in, and Austin knocks them straight on their asses, while Rikishi stumbles into another Rock Bottom. Edge breaks the cover up at the last second, and the Radicalz run in, going straight for Austin. Edge and Christian subdue the Rock while the Radz mug Austin, and Angle hits the Olympic Slam on Rikishi in the ring for the pin at 8:50. Short enough and dynamic enough to make it good. ***1/2. Post match, Edge and Christian scarper, and Rocky and Austin swiftly despatch the Radz. They share some strong words-and then some beer. Yeah, wotta shock.
Final Thought: While not a blowaway card, this is easily in the top three English pay per views of all time, squarely behind last year's Rebellion at number two, and the roof-raising One Night Only from October 1997. All good to average matches here, with the only real low point being the Women's title matches. And that was compensated for with the two high points we saw in the backstage bitchfight. Can't go wrong here- well recommended.
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