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Guest columnist: Ian Challis



Ok, as many of you know I was pretty sceptical about the entertainment value of this pay-per-view coming into it, even going as far as to slate it completely. So, I decided to sit down, watch it, and give you a run-down of the events, complete with sarcastic opinions. And who knows-if you guys like this, then maybe it'll become a regular, probably not.

  • Comin' atcha liiiiiiiiive from Albany, New York, your hosts are Good Ol' JR and The Luckiest Man Alive. JR' s managed to say Austin seven times already.......

  • Opening Match: Dudleyz Tables Invitational: This would be your standard Turmoil rules-when one team is eliminated, the next comes in and takes their place. Too Cool and Lo Down start (WHOOHOO! LO DOWN ON PPV!!) and both teams bring their own tables and Lo Down rush Too Cool. Brawl brawl brawl, Lo Down repeat the "table to the gut" spot they used on Buh Buh a coupla weeks ago. Chaz with a screwed-up suplex on Scotty, then Grandmasta responds in kind with one of his own on D-Lo. Chaz blind-charges Scotty and gets a table to the 'nads for his troubles. Too Cool take charge but Chaz crotches Scotty on the top and D-Lo hits the Skihigh on Grandmasta. Chaz waits...and waits...while D-Lo lays out Grandmasta on a table, then D-Lo goes for the Lo-Down through a table while Chaz goes for a superplex through a table-and Too Cool dodge both, sending Lo-Down through the wood. DAMN!! The Steve Blackman of tag teams has been eliminated!!

    Tazz and Raven are up next and Too Cool look to finish early by laying Raven out on a table outside the ring, but as Scotty goes to splash him off the apron Tazz drags him back in the ring with the Tazzmission. I got a horrible feeling Raven's gonna have to sell the Worm twice in a week...The ECW Gang try for a double suplex, over the top rope, through a table, but Grandmasta blocks and tries his sunset flip off the apron-and destroys the table with his legs in the process. Good one Brian. Anyhoo, my suspicions are confirmed as Scotty bulldogs Raven and applies the Worm, but, thankfully, my boys double suplex Scotty through a table moments later to eliminate Too Cool. ONLY TWO MORE TEAMS BOYS!!

    The Duds are out with a table of their own (where are Public Enemy when you need 'em?)and they basically bury Tazz and Scott, hitting the atomic full nelson and Wazzzzzup early, then it's MARK-OUT CITY(ugh) as Buh Buh tells D-Von to get the tables. Tazz comes back with a T-Bone Tazzplex for Buh Buh-but it's all academic as D-Von leg drops him through a table soon after. Tazz gives us "drat!" as he leaves. And so we are left with that epic showdown...Right To Censor against the Duds. I LOVE WRESTLING! It's a big ol' brawl-Katie, bar the door-and we pair off by race-oops, sorry. D-Von and Goodfather hit the floor while Buh Buh brawld with Bull in the ring. Bull accidently clobbers ref Jack Doan, and once again, as they ALWAYS do in Tables matches, the Duds (Buh Buh more specifically)pick this time to put Bull through a table. So, what happens? Of course, Goodfather nails Buh Buh with a chair and lays him in the table wreckage in place of Bull. Doan comes round, puts two and two together and declares Right To Censor the winners. The push never ends!! But wait! Here's Mike Sparks to tell Doan what REALLY happened-and Doan restarts the match. We can't have a Dusty finish-Chris Benoit ain't involved. Long story short, about five seconds later the Duds 3D Goodfather through a table to take the match-and get their first-ever win in a table match on pay-per-view. Okay crap.**.

  • Rikishi. Backstage. Sledgehammer. Nuff said.

  • The Acolytes/Lita Vs. T&A/Trish Stratus: Lita comes out, APA music plays, we see footage of T&A beating the piss out of the Acolytes. Lita tries to go to the back but T&A and Trish cut her off and Ye Old Beatdown ensues, until the Hardy Boys (with street clothes!) make the save. Hey-we just got screwed out of a match!

  • Excellent interivew with Edge and Christian, bringing back memories of Airplane, Porky's and many other classics. Y'see, they said they had food poisoning and blamed it on their nuts and-oh, never mind. The subtlety's lost on you.

  • Rikishi. Car park. Sledgehammer. Oooooh.

  • Steel Cage Match To Finally End This Goddamn Awful Feud: Chris "Damn you MacMahon" Jericho Vs. X-Pac (w/New Tights): Jericho winks at the smarts in the pre-match interview by saying he knows everyone's sick and tired of this feud. X-Pac's about a 7 on the Jannetty-O-Meter tonight-only a couple of joints, I'd say. Brawl on the floor to start, then Jericho levels 'Pac and they get in the cage. 'Pac slams the vicious chickenwire into Jericho's face. Punchy-kicky from Sean, and he chokes Jericho down then goes for the door. Jericho makes the save and takes a heel kick for his troubles. More exciting kicking, then 'Pac tries to climb out, but Jericho dropkicks his legs, crotching him on the top rope. Jericho throws 'Pac's head into the cage, then bulldogs him down. Punch, kick, punch, kick, climb attempt by Jericho. Pac grabs his legs, but Jericho kicks him away and hits a missile dropkick. Lionsault-directly onto Sean's knees. Sean once again goes for the door but Jericho once again grabs him and once again gets kicked around. D'you see a pattern here folks? Pac does the ol' "Repeated rams into the cage" spot with Jericho's head, but then charges him and takes a NASTY backdrop into the cage, getting jammed between the ropes when he falls down. Pac gets up first, however, and knocks Jericho down with a heel kick-and covers. Fucking idiot. Pac beats him down in the corner and executes the broncobuster, then tries to climb out-but Jericho follows him up-and powerbombs him off of the top turnbuckle! Solid 6 on the Foley Scale there.

    Jericho continues to beat on Pac (yay!) and Sean begs off with a Jericho knocks his head off with a clothesline and climbs the cage again. Pac crotches him on the top rope (how many damn crotch shots do they want in this match? Are they going for a record?)and goes for the door, and just when I'm shouting at Bennet (close friend and Rock mark-hey, we all have our flaws)that X-Pac nevers jobs, Jericho jumps up and catches him. Of course, Pac manages to grab a chair from outside, as is prerequisite in cage matches. Pac levels Jericho with the chair and climbs the corner of the cgae, but Jericho again gets up and follows, then crotches Pac on the top of the cage. Geez, these guys are never gonna have kids again. Jericho slaps on the Walls Of Jericho on top of the cage in a pretty cool-looking moment, but Pac boots him down to the canvas in a 5.5 Foley. Pac climbs over the top and stands on top of the open door, showboating-allowing Jericho to get up and dropkick the wall, causing Pac to slip and crotch himself on the door. Jericho crawls out the door and takes the win-and seems legitimately hurt afterwards. Pretty rockin' spotfest.***1/4. Let's see, a quick tally puts the number of crotch shots at around 10. Good work, guys. X-Pac-the Man With The Iron Balls. What a gimmick!

  • Hey, look! It's Steve Blackman at WWF New York! Why aren't the fans jumping him and winning the Hardcore title? Oh, he's got those sticks with him. "It's party time!" You damn right, Blackman. You damn right.

  • Rikishi. In Foley's office. Sledgehammer. Words are exchanged.

    Val Venis (w/Special Chicken Recipe consisting of Eleven-Yes, I said ELEVEN Secret Herbs and Spices)& Al Gore Vs. Stan Lane & Chyna: Steven does his "Holier Than Thou" mic work-where's the Blue Meanie when you need him? Gunn manages to reinstate his INCREDIBLY faggy entrance wiggle on his first night back. What a pro. Gunn and Venis start, nothing to see here. Val gets thrown to the floor where Chyna works him over, but it doesn't help much as Val gives Ass Snake Eyes back in the ring. Steven gets the tag and runs straight into a press slam, then Chyna gets tagged in and executes some devestating snapmares. Just vicious, I tell you. She then tops this by rubbing Val's face in her fake hooters. Ass comes in and plays rectally-fixated-lovechild-of Lex-Luger-in-peril as the RTC work his shoulder with devestating armbars. DDT on Steven marks the comeback and Chyna gets the lukewarm tag. Crappy elbow for Venis, low blow for Steven, followed by a Fame-Asser. I gotta say, I've missed the Fame-Asser. Goodfather and Bull run in and distract Billy while Chyna goes to Pedigree Val-and Eddy Guerrero comes in and nails her with the loaded roses. Ref Chad Patton ignores the petals everywhere("Oh, Tiger Ali Singh must be back")and Val gets the three count. Pfft.*1/2. On the plus, this means only good things for Eddys heel turn...

  • Steph and Hunter discuss the night's plans in their always-lovely dressing room. Y'know, I'd have thought Hunter would be a tad more annoyed that Steph was spending so much time with Kurt Angle...but then that's just me.

  • Rikishi. Sledgehammer. What the HELL is he wearing? Looks like a muu muu. Remember that Simpsons episode where Homer intentionally gains weight and normal clothes no longer fit him? Yeah. He's also got a really interesting new theme song, which really puts him over as a heel with the cutting-edge lyrics "He's a bad man". He demands that Foley come out and raise his hand seeing as Austin's no-showed. So out comes Foley, complete with five minute entrance, and before he can say a word Austin's crappy new theme hits...and Austin drives his truck out into the arena and down the aisle. I wondered why the backdrop was so poor...

    No Holds Barred: Stone Cold Steve Austin Vs. Rikishi: We're told that there was never an opening bell-so what was little "ding ding ding" noise when Austin jumped out of his truck? Austin kicks the crap out of Rikishi and slams his head into the truck door. Then into the steel steps. Then into the Spanish announce table. Then he chokes Rikishi with a cable. Then he beats him into the crowd. Bit one-sided, huh? Oh, wait, Rikishi gets some offence-he threw a drink in Austin's face! Feel the moveset! Rikishi sorta pushes Austin back towards the ring, and Austin does his "I'm gonna try and piledrive you and you're gonna backdrop me" spot. And of course, after that backdrop, Austin gets straight back up, takes his belt off and whips Rikishi. JR frantically resists the urge to scream "AUSTIN'S WHIPPING HIM LIKE A GOVERNMENT MULE, FOLKS!!". More brawling round the ring, and Rikishi tries a chair shot, but Austin (of course) ducks and delivers three of his own. Rikishi further makes his Islander people proud by blading like a MAN. Austin belts Rikishi round to the truck, where he slams the tailgate down on his head a few times then tosses him in the back. He drives Rikishi out to the car park, places him against a wall, and goes to crush him with the truck-but thankfully the Big Bossman (well, maybe not)drives a police car in the way in the nick of time. Austin rams the car one more time for good measure, then the ENTIRE Albany police force (I shit you not-there was about nine cars)show up and Austin gets hauled off in cuffs. Well, this match supposedly didn't start but Hell, I'll rate it anyway. And here's the shocker-I LIKED it. Y'see it wasn't at the top of the card, it was a hot brawl, and it left the story open to be continued without a pointless Austin squash or blowing the whole story by having a hasty Rock heel turn. I won't give it a star rating, but for some damned reason, I enjoyed this segment. Weird world, huh? Seeing as I'm the ONLY internet writer who's said that they liked it...

  • European Title Match: William Regal (c) vs. Naked Mideon: Regal does some more top notch mic work pre-match, and tells us that, thankfully, Mideon will be fully clothed tonight. That's right-Mideon's official name is now *Naked Mideon*. Boring start as they feel each other out(sorry-bad choice of words)-armdrag, armbar, the usual-then Mideon uses some unique offence-he threatens to take his shirt off. Wel, it's effective, I'll give him that. Regal throws him around a bit with some basic stuff, and Mideon comes back with a bodyslam and a dropkick(!). Regal comes back and takes it to the floor-where Mideon takes his shirt off. Oh dear. I can see where this is going. The power of being shirtless gives Mideon the advantage but Regal gets a bad butterfly suplex. Mideon rolls outside-and when he re-enters he's wearing his pouch. Oh shit-he rips off the pants! AHHHHHH!! MY EYES!!! Oh my God-HE KISSED REGAL!! Mideon to the top rope, and Regal crotches him then goes for the Regal Stretch-and changes his mind when he sees Mideon's bare ass. Instead he settles for his SWANK arm-wring into a neckbreaker for the three. Not bad, all in all-but that ain't saying much.*.

  • Another look at the hilarious (no, that ain't sarcasm) Angle/Rock "interview" from Heat. Now THIS is how you put Angle over.

  • Los Conquistadors interview. You can sum it up thusly-"si senor", "Dos", and "Arriba!".

  • Tag Team Title Match: The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Los Conquistadors: Oh boy, this is gonna be confusing. Uno starts against Matt and the Conquistadors demonstrate that staple of Lucha Libre-the stall. Matt gets it going by clotheslining Uno, who tags out quickly. Slow, slow start here. Me and Bennet do the JR and King thing-he thinks it's jobbers under there, my money's on Edge and Christian. Things finally pick up when the Hardys nail Poetry In Motion (man, that just reeks of gay...) on Uno, then droptoehold Dos into Uno's crotch. Conquistadors come back with a double dropkick sending the Hardys outside, and then do some goofy dancing and shit in the ring. Back in and Uno takes control over Jeff with basic moves, then misses a corkscrew senton, allowing Jeff the hot tag. Matt cleans house and it's a Pier Four. All four men go outside and Dos nails a suspiciously Christian-ish plancha on Jeff. Matt wipes out all three guys with a top rope dive to the outside. In the ring Dos nails another Christian-ish move (slop drop) but Jeff breaks the cover up with a swanton. Uno tosses him outside then breaks up the cover on Dos. Matt with the Twist Of Fate on Uno, then he goes for the mask, but when he rips it off there's another on underneath! Dos sneaks up behind and nails the Tomikaze on Matt, and we got new champions at about ten minutes in. **1/2. The Conquistadors quickly exit, leaving Matt looks pissed off...

  • Really exciting footage of Asutin's truck and the police car getting towed away. Whee.

  • Triple H watches himself tap out to the crossface-and has an epiphany...

  • Triple H vs. Chris Benoit: Lockup to start and HHH powers Benoit into the corner and beats him down, then starts to work over the leg, Dean Malenko-style. Hunter ducks an enzuiguri and slams Benoit's knee into the mat, then the ringpost, then drops some elbows on it. Man, tihs is harsh. Drop toe hold puts Benoit down and Triple H grapevines his leg-and wrenches back on it a few times. That looks BRUTAL. He then topes that by bending over backwards and grabbing Benoit in a rear chinlock, while keeping the grapevine on. Nce. He breaks and throws Benoit around a bit, but Benoit ducks a clothesline and back suplexes him over the top, sending himself crashing to the floor in the process. Hunter goes for a Pedigree on the floor but gets catapaulted into the ringpost, then tossed into the steel steps. Back in the ring and Benoit pulls out the Ric Flair chops (WHOOOO!)then takes HHH down with an armbar. Now Benoit's working HHH's shoulder-great psychology between these two, just awesome. Hammerlock belly-to-back suplex gets two for Benoit. Northern Lights (Tazz: THAT'S A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX, MICHAEL COLE!!)suplex gets two. Back to the floor and Benoit throws HHH into the Spanish announce table (which has taken a load of punishment tonight and, to it's credit, has stayed standing), then back in the ring a snap suplex gets another nearfall. Benoit applies that old chris Jericho fave, the armbar. Hunter breaks but Benoit slaps on a cross armbreaker and hits another hammerlock belly-to-back. Air Canada headbutt follows to HHH's shoulder.

    Both men down and Benoit is first up, going for more punishment on the arm, but HHH reverses to a small package for two. Benoit comes back and goes for a suplex but Hunter drops out of it and hits a SUH-WEET inverted suplex. Slugfest, won by HHH. High knee and neckbreaker follow. Bneoit with a blind charge and he eats nothing but boot, then HUnter puts him up top and hits a superplex. Both men down-again.

    Hunter covers for a two count (as is prerequisite after a superplex double-KO spot). Pedigree attempt but Benoit backdrops out and hits his German suplex trifecta-but only gets two of them. Pair of Dragon suplexes get a pair of two counts for Benoit. HHH comes back with the facebuster on the knee, but Benoit rolls with it and gets the Crippler Crossface! Hunter breaks after a minute or so-so Benoit pounds his shoulder a few more times, and slaps the crossface on again, in the centre of the ring. Hunter stands up with it and hits a Death Valley Driver(!) to break. Steph runs in (bounce, bounce) and slaps Benoit. Shouldv'e headbutted him-THAT would've reeked of coolosity. Cool spot follows as Hunter goes for the Pedigree but Benoit reverses and goes for the crossface, but Hunter reverses that, and Bneoit reverses AGAIN. Steph hops on the apron and shoves her ample bosom in the ref's face, allowing Hunter a low blow and a Pedigree for the three count. Great, great match.****, and both guys deserve a round of applause and a night with Stephanie for their troubles.

  • Edge and Christian celebrate with Los Conquistadors. Arriba, chevichunga!!

  • Main Event, WWF Title Match: The Rock (c) Vs. Kurt Angle: Steph distracts Angle to begin with, allowing Angle to get the jump on Rock. To the floor early (oh, it's gonna be one of THOSE matches)and Angle gets a chairshot. Back inside Rock gets a Samoan Drop for a nearfall. Hey, there's Triple H backstage! And he's drinking GATORADE!! Angle bails but Rock knocks him down in the aisle and we go to the entrance way for the mandatory brawling segment. Rock throws Angle into the corrugated plastic entrance setup, then into the crowd barrier, but Angle tosses him nto a lighting rig, causing a bigass set of lights to fall on the Rock. Ouch, that didn't look right. Brawl back down the aisle, and back in the ring for more punchy-kicky and Steph chokes Rock on the bottom rope. Rock wraps Angle round the ringpost and delivers the BALLSHOT OF DOOM, then goes outside and pounds on Angle's knee with a chair. Back in and Rock busts out his dragon screw/Sharpshooter combo, and Kurt taps, but of course Steph's breasts are on the apron, getting in the ref's face. Rock chases her round the ring and runs straight into Angle's overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Rock blocks his followup punches but Angle hits a flying forearm for a two count, then chinlocks the Rock into oblivion. Rock powers out and dumps Angle over the top rope, but Angle takes charge on the floor. It doesn't last long and Rock rams Angle's head into the announce table and executes the mineral water spot. Angle throws him into the ringpost to take control, then nails Rock with the title belt in the ring while Steph distracts the ref. Why bother to distract him? It's no-DQ! Adds that extra bit of heelishness I suppose. Anyway, that gets two. Angle to the top but Rock crotches him and gets a superplex for two, then Angle hits a German suplex. Hollybuster Moonsault misses, however, and Rock comes back with the Layin' The Smackdown DDT and his megaloose belly-to-belly suplex. Roody poo spinebuster sets up the People's Elbow, but STeph gets in the ring-and eats the Rock Bottom. Angle rolls out for a breather, and trips Rock when he goes for the People's Elbow-and heeeeeeeeere's Triple H. He beats on Angle a bit, then when Rock gets in his face he Pedigrees him. Hunter drags Steph out, Caveman-style and Angle covers Rock for two. Rock comes back with another DDT for a nearfall, and we've got to the point where any nearfall could be the last. Outside for more brawling and Angle tries desperately to get away from Rocky. Rikishi's out (complete with comically large head bandage)and he takes it to Angle and tosses him back to the Rock, who gets the Rock Bottom for two. Rikishi now gets in the ring and goes for the buttsquash in the corner on Angle, but Angle pulls the Rock in the way, so Rikishi goes for a superkick-and Angle ducks, and again Rock goes down. Angle says thankyou to Rikishi with an Olympic Slam, then hits another on Rock, and covers-and ANGLE WINS!! ANGLE WINS!! WHOOHOO! IN YOUR FACE BENNET!! IN-YOUR-FACE!! Great wrestling+emotion=Best match of the night.****1/2

  • Final Thought: Well, what can you say? Two four star matches, one three stars plus, and an Austin segment that didn't disappoint-mind you, I didn't exactly expect a lot to begin with. I guess if I'd have bought the show for the Austin thing I'd be pissed off, but hey, I didn't, so there. Good night-not as good as some this year, but still a decent, entertaining show. So, lemme know what you think at I await your criticsms.....see you next week!

    Ian Challis

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