/4 April 2000
WWF SmackDown! taping
San Jose, CA
Well, another eleventh hour call to the producers on site got me a ticket to the SmackDown! taping. I have figured out that somewhere down the line between MY producer and the guy who puts my name on the list to get access, there exists somewhere in Connecticut a person whose sole purpose at WWFETowers is to shred Sportsline FAXes into little pieces and serve them in a salad for Shane McMahon to EAT. Shane McMahon EATS SportsLine FAXes. I'm sure of this...two shows in a row, you start to see the little conspiracies...
Anyway, thanks to (hope they don't get in trouble if I use their names - ha, like anyone READS this thing who's high enough to ban me for life) Adam and John for placating me with the place to park my rump for three hours.
Of interest (or maybe not):
The OvalTron was on the LEFT.
Almost the entire selection of merchandise was completely new from last time in February - that was a little surprising, since I figured they'd at LEAST give everybody another chance at the "Finally, the Rock has Come back to / San Jose" one, but nope.
Notable in attendance: DAVID MELTZER, double dating with A REALLY HUGE DUDE. He got third row ringside in front of me. I thought about calling out "Hey, Meltzer! Viscera's BEST MATCH EVER - agree or disagree?" at one point, then "Hey, Meltzer! Ladder match: five stars? Scott Keith said so!" at another point, but decided I didn't want to introduce myself. That man looks CREEPY. Oops, sorry Mike - you and him still speaking to each other?
I ended up in the first row off the floor (except for a row with the hockey benches) - just before the "real" matches started, local superstar TOM TOLBERT was escorted to the row in front of me...
At 7:20, ring announcer TONY CHIMEL arrived to a "hey, I know who that guy is!" pop from the crowd. He started to regale us with the usual disclaimers. He also revealed that the next show at the Arena would be "RAW is WAR" 10 July, and the tickets would go on sale Saturday (and probably sell out later Saturday, he should have added).
At this point they turned out the clocks in the Arena - an attempt to make time stand still (and probably also not give away that the time doesn't match the TV time when they start...)
Dark Match: 2EXTREME (with El Jefe, from the Badlands, 460 pounds) defeated THE BALLARDS (with the Big Schwag, from Montreal, 490? pounds) in 5:54 when one of the Extreme put the other in a body scissors and dropped him on "#1" (not "#23") in a front slam. Thanks to Arthur Kimes, I knew beforehand that this was a tryout for the guys from the indies down south, and that the Ballard Brothers were named Shane and Shannon (oh Lord, not again) and that the team *really* named TEAM HARDCORE consisted of Justin McCully and Hardkore Kid - not that I could tell ANY of them apart. Ballards had a hockey thing going, which I'm sure is a ripoff - I mean "homage" - to that *other* famous hockey family. Schwag carried a Canadian flag to ensure the heel reaction, which worked. The Extreme lads had a grunge/flame thing going - one with green hair, the other with red. El Jefe looked like a jefe. This match was INDYTASTIC! tho' I'll probably get in trouble when I say "the managers were pretty much useless in this match." The most junior referee, Mike Sparks, worked this match.
At this point, Tom Tolbert was escorted to his chair by a guy I KNOW I should recognise but I don't. Heck, there are a lot of WWF personnel that I should be able to put names on, but I can't. Just as well, really - they don't know who *I* am, so it evens out.
I'm guessing ALL of these are for Heat, but who can say for sure.
D'LO BROWN defeated PETE GAS with a Sky-Hi and pinfall in exactly 4:00 following a spectacularly missed top-rope guillotine legdrop by the Gasser. I'd say he's getting better, but could he have gone anywhere but up? D'Lo gets a massive pop in his "normal" suit and music - better come up with something to do for him! Jim Korderas reffed. (These details are IMPORTANT!)
KAT & MAE YOUNG defeated TERRI & FABULOUS MOOLAH, also in exactly 4:00 (play Twilight Zone theme here) when Young hit an alleged splash on Moolah for the pin, in a match that I'm sure will seem much better live than when I watch it on Sunday. Look closely for Kat's cameltoe - or is it just a strategically-placed *faux* cameltoe? Laugh with delight at the DOUBLE BRONCO BUSTER! Think of referee Mike Sparks' reward for reffing the indy match by becoming *the luckiest man on earth*. Chortle at the "We want puppies" chant by the San Jose faithful! Have I sold you on it yet? C'mon, what were you GONNA watch - "60 Minutes?"
In a moment that probably won't make it to television, Moolah totally cold-cocked Sparks post-match then gave the "up yours" arm motion to all four sides. Moolah's a DIVA.
KEVIN KELLY and MICHAEL HAYES were welcomed out while the pyro for Heat was set up. It was really loud.
ESSA RIOS (with Lita) defeated FUNAKI (with a flag) following a top-rope moonsault in 5:05. Guess who ALSO hit a moonsault after the match! Our commentators got some screen time after this match, which probably guarantees it will open the show, so don't be late! It was a good match! C'mon, Rios and Funaki, mmmmm tasty!
CRASH HOLLY (with Scale Holly and a trashcan lid) successfully defended the Hardcore title against SEXUAL CHOCOLATE MARK HENRY (with a full can o' plundah and a kendo stick) in 2:42 with a drop toehold into a cookie sheet and seemingly fast count by referee Jack Doan. Turns out that Doan had an ulterior motive, though, as referee Jim Korderas came out and Doan removed his shirt - then waffled Holly with a cookie sheet! Holly managed a DDT on Doan and escaped as the "Mr. 24/7" gag - I mean, angle - continues...
As the ring was cleaned, Chimel shilled the fine merchandise available at the souvenir stand, including copies of the "Aggression" CD and the "Poontang Pie" T-shirt. Listen to Chimel wrap his lips around the word "poontang" - ah, THERE'S a man who loves his job!
VAL VENIS & STEVIE RICHARDS made an unlikely team and score the pinfall on the HEAD BANGERS in 4:01 when Venis managed the Money Shot and pin on Mosh. Richards forgot to wear clothes under his towel, so Venis went it alone for the first thirty seconds. After the match, Venis told off a celebrating and extra happy Richards. When, oh when, will Richards and the WWF realise that his perfect partner is in fact the Blue Meanie?
Chimel asks us for another thirty seconds of heat while the commentators do some yakking
VISCERA upset CHRIS SUNDAY JERICHO in 5:23 when EDDIE GUERRERO and CHYNA did some deviousness and took a trip to Run-in City that managed to pass unnoticed beneath the watchful eye of referee Chad Patton. When I say it's Viscera's GREATEST MATCH EVER, I just MIGHT not be hyperbolizing! Jericho has an entertaining pre-match spiel about "Viscera the Hut, the love child of Fat Albert and Mr. T" but why should I spoil EVERYTHING? Huge "Y2J" chant post-match will likely not make it to your screen.
It's 8:30 now, and Chimel shills the smokin' skull belt as well as the new "Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla" T-shirt (I'm OFFENDED!!!!!!!) while the four junior refs change the ropes from black to blue, the tech crew changes the aprons and banners, and we get entrances for JERRY LAWLER (big face pop) and MICHAEL KING COLE (mixed - ha!). LILIAN GARCIA is welcomed out to sing the national anthem and only messes up one word to my ear...
At 8:35, the "One World Leader Attitude" opening plays, and we're off.
Shane's outside, talking on his cel phone. Apparently, Vince hasn't arrived?
Opening Credits, PYRO and fan fun
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: RIKISHI PHATU v. CHRIS BENOIT - good hot (if short) match to open the card as Benoit hits an AWESOME belly-to-belly overhead suplex (with bridge) for the pin at 1:55. First look at referee Earl Hebner...but not the last... Post-match, Phatu gets the "send 'em home happy" treatment by demolishing Benoit with a stinkeye, belly-to-belly (not NEARLY as cool as Benoit's) and Banzai Drop.
A limo arrives - it's Vince! And he's WALKING!
There's some celebs in the crowd, but I have NO idea who they are. Cole & Lawler shill "the Beat" on UPN - ugh
VINCE & SHANE come out to a huge "asshole" chant from the crowd. Vince repeatedly calls San Jose "Sacramento," then evokes the Rock by saying "San Jose, Sacramento, San Quentin, oh it doesn't really MATTER!" because as far as Vince is concerned, we can all just drop off into the Pacific. He addresses the "nasty rumour" that DX won't be here (which, in truth, was the first I'D heard of that rumour) - they're just at an autograph session and they'll be here soon. "Let's clear up the controversy. The inmates are running the asylum. Let's take you back to the closing moments of RAW is WAR." We see the closing moments of RAW is WAR. The Rock was frustrated Monday night - frustrated that he couldn't beat Shane one-on-one - and he took his frustration out on ANOTHER man he couldn't defeat one-on-one - his son-in-law, Triple H. Earl Hebner counted the fall, Lilian Garcia announced the winner...here we pause for an impressive "Shane's a pussy" chant by the San Jose faithful...and the Rock SOILED the WWF title by putting his hands on it Monday night. Let's get to the bottom of it - EARL HEBNER is called out. "Can you walk ANY faster than that, please?" Vince asks Hebner why he counted the fall on Monday. "Because the Rock ROLD me to count 1, 2, 3." Vince says that until this moment, the integrity of WWF officials had NEVER been questioned (that got a chuckle from me, but nobody around me - sigh) - "if you ever do that again, I'll knock you on your ass." Hebner is dismissed. "What about Lilian Garcia?" She's called out. Vince tells her, "You're not a bad singer - why don't you pretend it's just you and me out here and why don't you sing me -" here he twirls a lock of her hair - "why don't you sing me a little song." Garcia breaks out into "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" for a pop, and Vince cuts her off. He reminds her that "pretty women with a little bit of talent are a dime a dozen," and she could be replaced in an instant. Hmm, heard THAT before? If she repeats her performance on Monday, "the only thing YOU'LL be singing is the blues." It's not easy being the boss, says Vince - he's surrounded by incompetence. One other mistake was made Monday night, and that was by Good Ol' JR, when he insinuated that the McMahons might not quite have the intestinal fortitude for the Rock. Vince, as you might well remember, has testicles that are figuratively the size of grapefruits - Shane's, by the way, are the size of pomegranites. So tonight in Sacramento (another hail of boos), In This Very Ring, it'll be Shane & Vince against the Rock.
CARYN MOWER does her thing during the "ad break" - I didn't catch her character's name, but I thought she might have said it. She immediately annoys everyone in the building, which is apparently her gimmick. More power to her.
A weak "Baldy" chant is floated at Jim Korderas - he SHOULD have told them to wait for Teddy Long, but I guess he didn't think of it at the time. Heck, I didn't either - until just now
Shane & Vince come out again for a retake. Vince says that the Rock is not the champion - nor would he ever be again. This was apparently forgotten in the previous segment, see. Watch Thursday for this to be edited in! Hooray!
The Castrol GTX Slam of the Week is Jeff Hardy's super swanton bomb from WrestleMania - again
T & A (with Trish Stratus) fell to the DUDLEY BOYZ as Buh-Buh Ray pinned Test after 3D in 5:17. Test and Albert now lift Stratus over the top rope. The Dudleyz have officially crossed over into the land of the face, as the crowd BEGS them to produce a table and put Stratus through it. Such shocking endorsement of violence towards women is incredibly depressing - I mean impressive! IMPRESSIVE! Unfortunately (or fortunately), Albert punks out D-Von on the outside before they can set up the spot. The HARDY BOYZ make an appearance here and look at the refs and officials SPRINT out to break it up! Meanwhile, T & A (and S) have made their escape. Play the Hardyz' music!
Backstage, Scotty Too Hotty sprays his hair - Kurt Angle appears and asks him if he'll tag up with him for a shot at the titles tonight. Hotty says he won't dis the Grand Masta - he's waiting for him to recover from his injuries and then THEY'LL go for the titles. Angle, not speaking "jive" fluently, has problems interpreting Taylor's answer...
Wow! It's the Rock's back! Turn around, yutz!
TAZZ vs. PERRY SATURN never got started as Saturn jumped Tazz and they ended up brawling out behind the curtain, taking referee Tim White with them.
Kevin Kelly stood in the presence of the Rock, who manages to work in "monkey's nipple," "ass" and "slut" to ensure that SOMETHING gets bleeped tonight. Rock accepts the McMahon challenge, naturally. Rock is going to raise the People's Hand - "Shane, you get the front - Vince you get the back." I am smelling what he is cooking!
Caryn Mower makes her second appearance to a smatter of some more boos. I believe I can best describe her as "Sally Struthers meets Sally Field" but that assumes my audience is at least as old as I am, if not older. Tough noogies for you fifteen year olds, I guess.
The DX Express - ARRIVES! And now DX is WALKING! Let's play "the Kings!"
HEAD CHEESE (with Head and No Cheese) fell to BIG BOSS MAN & BULL BUCHANAN when Snow suffered a Bossman Slam and top-rope Buchanan guillotine in 4:42. At this point in the night, the security got fed up with an overly-large "Everybody Loves the Twins" sign and confiscated it. Interesting moment of surrealism saw the crowd attempt to fire up a "Cold Beer" chant every time Buchanan was in - this may signal a future problem...
Chyna and Guerrero - ARRIVE! in an appropriately stereotypical car
Chimel shills the Tazz T during the "ad break" - he's starting to draw some boos for his relentless pleas for commerce
The Lugz Boot of the Week is Chyna turning on Jericho
EDDIE GUERRERO & CHYNA have new music and entrance video - "Mama Cita" - hey I guess the C-2000 is gone, oh damn, I'll SURE miss it. Taste the sarcasm! Eddie carries a rose in his mouth and several more in his hand. Does Triple H know about this relationship? Eddie asks Chyna "why you did what you did...mami" and Chyna reveals that "I really couldn't resist your Latino Heat." She turns her attention to "poor little insecure intimidated Christ Jericho - and I do mean 'little' - worried that a woman would steal his glory - which, of course, I did." Jericho tried and tried to get in her pants - but he WEARS the pants around here. "You truly ARE the 9th Wonder of the World!" Eddie says all his ancestors are proud of him - Cortez, one I missed, Don Quixote, Pancho Villa, and now there's ... EDDIE!" After he busts into some Spanish for us, CHRIS THURSDAY JERICHO sprints out and cleans house. The refs come out to break it up and the couple beats a retreat.
Backstage, Angle asks Essa Rios to be his partner, but finds a lingual stumble block. When Lita appears, he asks her to relate that he knows how poor his country is - when they win the tag team titles, he can sell his half of the gold and feed his family! Rios takes the appropriate amount of umbrage.
Jericho manages one more bow in the "ad break" and gets quite a pop
In the McMahon's dressing room, DX busts in and Triple H makes quite a fuss about the McMahons booking themselves in a match with the Rock when he's made it pretty clear that HE wants a match with the Rock. He demands a match tonight - even a title match, if that's what it takes! - but he gets a "no." Road Dogg & X-Pac ask to take the McMahons' place tonight. Vince says "it's our night!" and says that it was no coincidence that their scheduled autograph appearance ran late. As we go out, Stephanie asks for a private word with her father (and possibly this cameraman). She appears to be trying to show off her breasts, which will probably cause several of you to go wild despite the fact that she's HORRENDOUSLY UNATTRACTIVE.
DEAN MALENKO defends the light heavyweight title in a very nice match with TAKA MICHINOKU that managed to turn the crowd from watching a brouhaha in the stands to getting into the wrestling in the ring. Imagine that! SWEET top-rope gutbuster leads to the Tejas cloverleaf for the tap at 5:02. Tape the show, fast forward to this match, if you hate the WWF, okay? Okay.
Shane, backstage, gives a little narration over clips of the Big Show dancing and putting out Grand Master Sexay from RAW as Show talks from off camera. He's apparently got a new "style" but we're not gonna see it until...well, maybe after this short commercial message!
Stephanie & Vince share a tender moment with all of us - she suggests putting X-Pac and Road Dogg in the main event in the place of her father and brother. "Please? For me, Dad...please?" ".....just this once." Hey, it's not incest if they're not fucking!
Caryn Mower comes out and proclaims Jerry Lawler "the King of Workouts" - get your fat butts up - they shouldn't call this place Silicon Valley, they should call it CELLULITE Valley, I think we get the idea, okay, okay.
Exterior of the SPECTACULAR San Jose Arena and SOLD OUT marquee. It was, too! Jam packed with all kinds of folk!
Backstage, Mae Young offers to be Kurt Angle's partner - at the last minute, Angle convinces Hardcore Holly to be his partner, averting a near tragedy. Young helpfully offers to feed the laugh track with "What a chump!"
GODFATHER brought ten - no, FIVE fine, FINE ho's with him to the ring - BIG SHOW came out in pimp getup and proclaiming repeatedly that he was "in the house" over a mic that wasn't really working very well. As one of the ho's distracted Tim White as only she could, Show broke his walking stick over the back of Godfather and got the pin in 2:16. Post-match, Show called over that one ho - planted one on her AND copped a feel on her ass! Show's THE MACK! He carried her off over his shoulder - will she be a recurring character? She definitely had the giant breasts that all WWF women seem to need...Godfather was merely content to leave with his other four ladies.
Edge & Christian are WALKING!
This time, everybody knows where they're coming from ('cause they were all here for RAW like I was) - so they stand up and look around to see if they can see them - no luck
RC Edge presents MAXIMUM POWER! The APA helps Crash Holly win the Hardcore title -from RAW
KURT ANGLE and HARDCORE HOLLY went long and strong with EDGE & CHRISTIAN for the tag team titles - when you hear a loud cascade of boos coinciding exactly with a near fall, what it REALLY is is the erstwhile Arena security oppressing a beach ball - killjoys. Crowd didn't get too into this match until near the end. Holly was pinned following the "double piggyback" drop in 6:36. Post-match, Angle berated Holly - "You call yourself the Big Shot? Take that 'O' out and put in some of the three I's, is more like it!" Angle tells Holly that this is HIS loss alone - he's still in line for gold! For an encore, he finishes off with "I should have picked Mae Young!" Holly goes apeshit on Angle, culminating in the Hollycaust, which I haven't seen in a while and kinda missed.
The Rock! WOW!
With Earl Hebner in the ring, Tony Chimel starts: "The following is a handicap match, scheduled for one fall!" Shane comes out to "No Chance in Hell" and talks to Chimel. "Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Special Guest Ring Announcer - Shane McMahon!" Shane sends Hebner to the back as the "Shane's a pussy" chant renews. Go figure, your Special Guest Referee is TRIPLE H, accompanied by his wife, Stephanie. That is a HIDEOUS dress she's wearing tonight, I must say.
D-GENERATION X (with Tori) vs. THE ROCK - Stephanie takes third headset, which I don't mind as we don't hear any commentary in the arena - HA! I'm sure it will be a REAL joy to hear her screech on Thursday. I never noticed this on television, but Road Dogg has a real Mark Curtis-like quality when X-Pac is getting beaten down by the Rock - it's quite fascinating - you should watch it if you get a chance. Anyway, after the inevitable collision, Rock hits Rock Bottom, so who should come out but EARL HEBNER, but VINCE is following him closely - 1, 2, Vince pulls him out and *floors* him. Rock apparently has a real problem with this grave injustice done to Hebner (talk about rehabilitation - sheesh, Montreal was OVER TWO YEARS AGO) and goes out after Vince - and catches him right at the top of the Time Tunnel. One right hand KO's the Chairman. Everybody comes up to help Vince, but Rock is back with a chair. WHACK for Vince! Now play his music! Rock standing over Vince with the chair... And we're out.
But we're not done in the Arena! DX rushes Rock - Triple H, Road Dogg and X-Pac all get WHACKed. H does lots of gay stuff while trying to recover from the haze in his mind - crawling over X-Pac, head in the crotch, WEIRD stuff which I guess heels do these days or something. He ends up, and I'm NOT making this up, in the 69 with Vince - so Rock WHACKs him again. Shane, Stephanie, Tori, and Earl Hebner are all at the bottom of the ramp just kinda watching all this and not getting involved. Rock takes off and Shane is over to help everybody up. Crowd chants "Rock E!" and as "No Chance in Hell" plays one more time, everyone slowly staggers backstage...
...except the Helmsleys. H stands up top and demands that timekeeper Mark Yeaton bring him his title so he can pose with it. Shane comes back and he takes the mic. "Hey hey hey...ladies and gentlemen, STILL the WWF Champion - *Triple H!* And still the WWF Women's Champion - Stephanie McMahon-Helmslsey! Have a very good evening!"
Tony Chimel reminds us one more time that RAW is WAR July 10, with tix on sale Saturday. One more plea to buy merchandise and that's it!
Vince STILL didn't adequately explain his actions during WrestleMania, but I guess we'll have to write our own explanation, 'cause I don't see one forthcoming. Being there live, you really get a perspective that you don't get watching it on TV - obviously, comparing this report with my RAW report will probably show that. It'll be interesting to see how much (or little) editing they end up doing to create the final product.
To bed for me - Thunder tomorrow!