June 23 - King of the Ring (a.k.a. Night of the Hotshots)
[Yet another disclaimer. We could ignore his walking out, but we can't ignore Steve Austin's actions in between the time we wrote last week's TV shows and the PPV. Of course, it's worse for us on a certain level, since Austin is the champion here.]
We're skipping the Heat recap, since tonight it will be squash matches and PPV video packages featuring the usual suspects.
The show opens with boardroom shot of Linda McMahon. "Many of you know that this has been a difficult week for those of us in the company and for Stone Cold Steve Austin. Due to his personal situation, Steve Austin and Debra have been indefinite leaves of absence to deal with any outstanding issues. We wish them nothing but the best, in this difficult time. Of course, Stone Cold has been stripped of his Unified Title and the title match tonight will now be a contest to name the new champion. Kurt Angle will remain in the match, but his new opponent will be ... The Rock."
The show opens with a somber JR and King, who obliquely wish Steve Austin and Debra well. The King is all excited about the Rock's return. JR wonders how his time off will affect his ability to compete against Kurt Angle.
Match 1 - Jr. Heavyweight Lucha Rules Match - The captain of the winning team will receive a title match tomorrow night on RAW against Lance Storm - Chavo (Tecnicos Captain), Misterio and Hurricane vs. Kidman, Moore (Rudos Captain) and Fuanki.
Before the match, we're backstage with the heels. Shannon informs Funaki that he has bad news for him. They called up a friend of theirs and he's taking Funaki's place in the match. Then, coming into the dressing room are Kidman and Jamie Knoble.
The first fall ends with Chavo making Kidman submit to the Gori Special 2000 and Hurricane pinning Knoble with the Vertebreaker. The second fall ends when Moore pins Chavo with the Viagra Driver. The third fall comes after Kidman makes Misterio submit to the Fujiwara armbar and Chavo pins Kidman with the tornado DDT. In the ring, Moore gives Hurricane a Michinoku Driver, but the referee DQ's him, since the match is being contested under Lucha Rules and the move is too close to a piledriver. The faces win and Chavo gets his shot at Lance Storm tomorrow night on RAW.
Backstage, the Coach interviews Trish about her hair vs. hair title match tonight against Molly. Trish isn't worried about Michael Hayes' interference. In fact, she's got a surprise for Michael Hayes.
Match 2 - Women's Title - Hair vs. Hair - Molly vs. Trish. Of course, Hayes tries to interfere in the match. After Trish kicks out of a pin set up by a Hayes trip off the ropes, she rolls out of the ring and grabs the mic and asks her special guest to please come to ringside. The crowd gives a moderate pop for tonight's mystery guest, Terry Taylor. JR puts over the wars they had back in Mid-South. With Hayes neutralized, Molly is flummoxed and an easy pinfall victim for Trish, who wins the match after a bulldog. Molly tries to escape but Taylor prevents her from leaving. She gets her head shaved. Hayes tries to pull her out, but Taylor slugs him. While Hayes is stunned, Trish managed to cut some of Hayes' hair off.
Backstage, we see Flair and Vince sitting in the owners' box. They agree to make a "friendly" wager on tonight's KOTR. Whichever side wins, that owner will get control of next month's PPV, whatever that entails. Vince says that when D-Lo beats Jericho, he won't book any RAW talent on the PPV. Flair says he has his own ideas for the show, but won't reveal them now.
Match 3 - Three-way Elimination Match for Tag Team Titles - Canadians vs. Horsemen vs. Dangerous Alliance
First out are Lesnar and Benjamin, led by Heyman. Next are Eddy Guerrero and William Regal, accompanied by Benoit. Finally, out come the champions. Edge is in street clothes and in no condition to wrestle. They pause on the ramp and then out comes Val Venis wearing a Canadian Pride hockey sweater and the other tag belt.
Given all the talent in this match, we're giving them a long time, like 20 minutes or so. The first team eliminated is the Alliance. Regal tags Eddy and then puts Benjamin in a standing toe hold. At the same time, Eddy comes off the top with a Frog Splash and pins him.
This leaves us with Horsemen vs. Canadians. The heels work on Regal and eventually he makes the hot tag to Eddy. Val gets thrown in the ref and both sail to the concdrete. Benoit and Edge brawl on the floor and then Benoit sends Edge into the ringpost. In the ring, Eddy and Christian bang heads and both lay on the apron. Benoit scrambles up the corner and starts overlooking the two bodies. The crowd roars and Benoit dives off and hits ... Christian. He rolls Eddy on top of Christan and exits the ring. Regal throws the ref back in. Three count. New Tag team champions.
Backstage, Vince meets up with D-Lo. If he can win KOTR, Vince says that he will tear up D-Lo's contract and handsomely compensate him for his victory. D-Lo just nods and rubs his chin.
We cut to Flair and Jericho. Flair asks that they put aside whatever differences that they have for one night, as he'll be rooting for Y2J to win KOTR. Jericho says that when he wins, he wants a return match tomorrow night on RAW for the Canadians for the tag titles. Flair agrees and they begrudgingly shake hands.
Match 4 - Group of Death vs. HHH, HH, RVD and KN
Let's be honest. This isn't going to be a pretty match. Do you really want a description of it? The end shockingly comes when RVD gets the pinfall on the Big Show, after HHH hits the Giant with the sledgehammer.
Backstage, the Coach interviews Angle and Heyman. Angle says that no one will keep him from the Unified Title, not Steve Austin, not the Rock and ceratinly not any of the McMahons. Heyman says not to badmouth Vince, because as champ, he'll be Smackdown too and under Vince's control.
Match 5 - Unified Title - Angle vs. Rock
Angle comes out first with Heyman. As we are waiting for the Rock, HHH's music starts and he comes to the ring. He says that Angle doesn't deserve this match, he does. They start jawing and HHH decks Angle. Heyman tries to break it up and HHH throws him off. HHH kicks Angle to the floor and then, from under the ring, pulls out the sledgehammer. He waffles Angle with it and Angle juices. As if that wasn't enough, he pulls up the mats and gives Angle 4 Pedigrees on the concrete. JR is selling his ass off here, saying HHH has gone plumb loco and even Angle doesn't deserve this. Finally, the refs get HHH to the back, but Angle is now a horrible, bloody mess. Heyman is furious, demanding that the match be postponed. Angle says no, bring on the Rock now.
And here comes the Rock. The match is mostly the Rock getting two-counts on Angle, but being unable to pin him. Angle kicks out the Rock Bottom and the Elbow and the Miavia DDT. Finally, the Rock puts Angle in the sharpshooter for a good four-to-five minutes. Angle almost gets to the ropes but the Rock drags him back to the middle of the ring. Angle passes out, rather than giving up. Heyman is beside himself at ringside. The Rock celebrates. The ref wakes up Angle. The Rock picks Angle up and shakes his hand. Angle is stunned, but then raises the Rock's arm in victory. Rock leans over and whispers something in Angle's ear and then leaves. Heyman jumps in the ring, Angle tells Heyman something and then they both smile. Lesnar and Benjamin come to ringside to help Angle to the back. JR puts Angle over huge and also gripes about HHH's attitude.
Backstage, Michael Cole stops the Rock in the back and asks what he said to Angle. The Rock says that was the greatest example of testicular fortitude the Rock has ever seen and told Angle to rest up good tonight, because he was giving him a rematch tomorrow night on RAW.
Cut to Vince and Flair in an office backstage. Vince is bragging that one of his wrestlers in now champ. Flair says that it's only because his son-in-law HHH (Soon to be ex son-in-law, Vince corrects him) beat Angle eight ways to Sunday. Flair says he doesn't like Angle but he respects him and looks forward to the match tomorrow night. But right now, all he cares about is the next match.
Match 6 - KOTR Final - Chris Jericho vs. D-Lo Brown
D-Lo gets the early offense. Jericho makes his comeback when D-Lo misses a Frog Splash. D-Lo regains control a few minutes later. Jericho then goes for the Five-Arm but misses and knocks out the ref. D-Lo hits the Sky High, but there's no ref. From the back, out runs Vince to cheer D-Lo on. He rolls the ref back in and tells D-Lo to hit the Liger Bomb. This of couse brings out Flair, who clocks Vince. Jericho counters the Liger Bomb with a huracanrana and gets a two count. Jericho hits a Tiger Driver '91 on D-Lo (which King sells like D-Lo is dead) and the three count.
Here come the Canadians, out to celebrate. Flair gets in the ring and congratulates Jericho. Y2J shakes Flair's hand, but as Flair walks away, the rest of the Canadians jump Flair and put the boots to him. This leads to Arn, Malenko, Benoit, Regal and Eddy hitting the ring and cleaning house. The Canadians bail.
Vince, who is still at ringside cursing, glares at Flair. Flair gets the mic from Lilian and says the excitement here tonight will be nothing compared to next month. Flair asks Vince what the show next month is going to be. Vince (who has the handy second mic) says it's Vengeance, live July 21 from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Flair says no, it isn't.
Thanks to Chris Jericho's victory tonight, next month's PPV will no longer be called Vengeance and it won't be in Detroit. Next month, for the first time ever, World Wrestling Entertainment will bring to you, from the Baltimore Arena, the Great American Bash.
The Psycho Pirate
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