WWF in Denver
|Guest columnist: Drew Hart
Salt Lake City, UT
I'm not sure what the attendance was at the show. The E-Center can fit up to 12,000 people but it wasn't a complete sell-out, around a 150 or so seats in the $40 section were open. This is where the ice hockey and speed skating events will take place in the 2002 Olympics.
Spike Dudley vs. Crash
Crash ducks out of the ring in the first few seconds to make sure people know whom they are supposed to boo. Spike does a little audience participation bit where the crowd cheers when he points to himself and boo when he points to Crash. Crash does a Yosemite Sam jumping down in anger bit to protest. A nice little match which ended with Spike getting an Acid drop for the win.
Jerry Lynn vs. Eddie Guerrero
This was a pretty slow moving match with Lynn putting Eddie in a side headlock three different times, the bastard. 5 large "Eddie" chants broke out during the match and two mild "Eddie Sucks". Lynn got the pin after a failed frog slash from Eddie.
Jeff Hardy vs. "The One" Billy Gunn
I wonder what Jeff feared more, the leapfrog over a ladder onto a table or getting into the ring with Gunn. No major injuries with Jeff hitting a Swanton bomb for the pin. A few "Jeff" chants were started but ended quickly as the crowd couldn't figure out how to chant something with one syllable. Billy Gunn is a pretty big guy, I'll give him that.
Dudley Boyz vs. X-Factor vs. APA vs. Dean Perry
This was announced as a four-team elimination match. If a member of a team gets pinned both members have to leave. Bradshaw kicks the crap out of Malenko and Saturn for a while and then Dean ducks out and Faarooq tags in. X-Pac does a blind tag on Perry. While the ref is looking away X-Pac hits Faaroog in the nuts and then gets an X-Factor for the first pin. Match starts up again and Saturn is pinned following a 3-D. The crowd is begging for tables by this point. "X-Pac Sucks" chant breaks out, and he eggs the crowd on by standing on the second rope with his arms raised after a broncobuster. Bubba Ray fights back and said something to D-Von, which I couldn't hear because the crowd was screaming "Get the tables". The ref is distracted with Justin and D-Von fighting outside the ring and missed X-Pac hitting Bubba with the ring bell. Winners X-Factor. The Dudley's get a table in the ring and beat the crap out of Justin. Justin gets a 3-D through the table, and a wicked one at that. The table didn't fully break on contact and he was hunched over the cracked table for a second before it collapsed under his weight. Pretty entertaining match. X-Pac is really good at turning to the crowd and taunting them when he isn't in the ring. He should have shaved his beard a long time ago because he has been looking good in the ring since then.
The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
The Undertaker grabbed Kurt's medals before the match started which lead to 5 minutes of 'taker teasing he was going to throw them into the crowd. Kurt was demanding he give them back...from outside the ring. Undertaker got down on his ands and knees in the amateur wrestling start position but Kurt refused to get in the ring. Finally 'taker left the ring and chased him around for a while and the match finally started. Kurt worked the legs most of the match. Undertaker did a walk the ring ropes for the old school fans. Match ended when with a choke slam from 'taker and the pin. No last ride for us. Big Show vs. Test
This was a hardcore match so they used a garbage can and a fire extinguisher. No cookie sheets though. Show tried to be more boring than Lynn as he used two long bear hugs on Test. Show gets a choke slam for the win.
Matt Hardy (with Lita) vs. Edge
Crowd learned from the "Jeff" chant disaster and gets a few "Hardy" chants going. This then turns into a loud "Lita" chant as they start to ignore the match all together. They get back into it when Edge pushes Lita. Lita hits a sweet huricarana off the top rope followed by a twist of fate from Matt for the pin. Good match, too bad nobody was watching it.
Kane vs. Rhyno
Kane won...with a choke slam. Must have been choke slam night or something.
Benoit and Jericho vs. Stone Cold and Regal
Crowd booed Regal all night, but refused to boo Stone Cold. Every move Austin got the crowd cheered. They were also cheering Benoit and Jericho. I think they were just happy the WWF decided to come to town again. Austin put his arm out to Jericho for a test of strength but Jericho just gave him the finger. Austin was upset by this and left the ring and started towards the dressing room. He changed his mind and the match started up again. Benoit had his ribs taped, which I thought was a nice touch. It was a pretty good match with Austin finding plenty of time to get into arguments with fans at ringside and Regal making sure to wave after his moves. Jericho finally got the pin on Austin for the win. The crowd was dying to see a stunner, Austin had three of them blocked during the match, and after the match were chanting for one when Austin and Regal were still in the ring. They killed some time with Regal checking Austin's nose for blood. Then Austin made like he was going for one, but instead gave Regal a big hug. After cheering him all night Austin finally got the crowd to boo him with that.
Pretty good show with the Show/Test match being the only weak match-up. I'm not sure why they had all the title defenses when I don't think anybody in his right mind would expect a title change a house show. Makes it pretty obvious who is going to win. I don't know about the rest of the county but the crowd loves Austin here.