(by PHIL RIPPA)
I am reviewing King of the Ring 2000 because Derek Jeter bought the Miami Marlins and Dolfan was less than pleased. (I assume he did not receive a gift basket.) Payment this time was in the form of a Rusev Day shirt.
KING OF THE RING 2000 – June 25, 2000
I am cautiously excited about this show because I have no idea if I ever watched it. Like I know conceptually Kurt Angle was King of the Ring. How did we get from Point A to Point B? When selecting it, Dolfan said to me “The main was Rock winning the title by pinning Vince in 5 way.” (Oh sorta spoiler alert. I mean Rock wins but it wasn’t a 5 way. I enjoy when people’s memories are as shit as mine.) This was a match? Who? What? When? Where? How?
It appears as if I had bailed on doing Heat workrate reports at this time so that would also explain why I didn’t give a fuck about this show when it was happening.
I really am trying to focus on being more positive this year. This show is going to be the moment where the Universe slaps me around with its uncircumcised penis for this naiveté.
The sponsor of this PPV is Subway which is disappointing because it means the WWF is starting to come up in the world. Yes, Subway just started using Jared Fogle as sponsor but do I really wanna burn out all my energy now dealing with that?
The 2000 King of the Ring was giant with 32 people and the first two rounds taking place on TV. (It is the largest KOTR tournament ever and the only time they went beyond 16 people.) I am really kinda curious when the last time the WWF/WWE (not the Network special stuff) ran a tournament this big but I spent far too long trying to find a commercial that apparently only I found interesting and that is all the research I care to do for this review. More on that commercial later.
RIKISHI vs. CHRIS BENOIT – KOTR Quarterfinal
Rikishi got here by beating Shane McMahon and Scotty 2 Hotty (TOO COOL EXPLODES~!). Benoit ran through DX (Road Dogg and X-Pac) to earn his Quarterfinal spot.
Rikishi had just won the IC title from Benoit on Smackdown so there is some history. Basically they have a three minute cracker of a match but Benoit snaps (FORESHADOWING~!) and grabs a chair and waffles Rikishi with it (Kishi thankfully gets his hand up to block the shot). Great spot where Benoit does the diving headbutt over the crowd of officials trying to break the assault up. Outside of the ugly bump Benoit takes into the ring stairs and him giving Rikishi a German not much to describe. Still the pace and hot crowd made it a fun opener. (In hindsight – the show peaking basically in the opening match wasn’t a great sign.)
EDDIE GUERRERO vs. VAL VENIS – KOTR Quarterfinal
Eddie won his first round match over Matt Hardy. He then beat Chnya in the 2nd round. You would think that would come up in this match but nope. Venis went over Al Snow and he too had to dance with a Hardy, this one being Jeff.
Eddie has Chyna with him while Venis has Trish Stratus’ breasts with him… err… I mean all of Trish is here. Since all these matches have a 15-minute time limit but in reality they are given actually half of that to work with – they are all sprints. God I really wish these were framed like Beat the Clock challenges or something. Then maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much when, in what seems like 74 seconds in, they are already battling over Frog Splashes (it was longer but I have also been watching FAR too many Vince Russo booked shows recently. My concept of time is completely shot.)
The plus is that Venis is a good guy to work with Eddie since he is familiar with letting more talented luchadores work around him. This is the moment where I ventured off to see if Sean Morley and Eddie had ever worked in Mexico and it doesn’t appear that they did but I did then start trying to find Morley in Japan footage. I never knew a Val Venis/Rex King tag team is one I wanted to see until now.
This is a fun time even more fun if you can turn off that part of the brain that is waiting for the screwy finish because you know it is coming. With all the hooting and hollering that Trish and Chyna start doing – Eddie is distracted enough that Venis hits a fisherman suplex for the win. Wait – did he always have that in his back pocket as a secondary finisher? I have so many questions.
A “Gene Likes Men” sign is held up. You do you Gene. Get better friends. Hopefully ones who weren’t chanting “We Want Puppies”. Wrestling fans are the worst. Then. Now. Forever.
Pat Patterson is in the back bitching that there are no dresses in his size. Oh God Fucking Dammit – this is the fucking show with the motherfucking Pat Patterson/Gerry Brisco Evening Gown Match. Aww hell no. Fuck – maybe I should have spent all my energy mocking Jared Fogle now.
CRASH HOLLY vs. BULL BUCHANAN – KOTR Quarterfinal
Crash is getting the giant killer/Cinderella run in this tournament so he beat Albert in the first round. He beat Bob Holly in the second round because Gerry Brisco hates Crash. Over the Hardcore title of all things. Well at least it is a reason. Because Crash is doing the giant killer gimmick it means the entire match is Bull beating on Crash until he slips on a banana peel and loses. The banana peel here is a missed scissor kick. The time it took you to read all this was longer than the match.
I guess I have to start acknowledging these backstage Vince segments. The first one was fine since it was the rest of the family just rolling their eyes at crazy ass Vince. This second segment is Vince and Linda playing out their bizarre relationship for all the world to see. Long story short – Linda McMahon is able to constantly troll Vince into making terrible decisions. This time – Vince agrees that there would be no interference in the Main Event. Vince says Joe Cool a lot. I think he just took up smoking.
KURT ANGLE vs. CHRIS JERICHO – KOTR Quarterfinal
Kurt earned his spot with wins over Bradshaw and Bubba Ray Dudley. Jericho had to run through fellow dirty hair blondes Test and Edge.
Angle is wildly over with the crowd so they smartly send him out with a mic to make sure he is the heel. Since it is the turn of the century – he can still mock all the Boston sports teams.
Two minutes have elapsed and Jericho has already landed a missile dropkick and the Lionsault AND the double jump dropkick to the ring apron. Gotta get your shit in no matter the length of the match.
Someone in the crowd wants us to “Smoke the Magic Leaf”. Sure glad he wrote the letters in Green and Black or we would have no idea what he was talking about. HA! And he just had his sign taken away.
Everyone else will enjoy this match more than me but I am distracted by the blatant spot calling (maybe we can trace John Cena’s terrible spot calling back to one of these two) and Teddy Long’s gut. Just as well because the finish is all sorts of sports entertainy because of course it is.
Jericho applies the Walls of Jericho. Stephanie McMahon’s breast amble down to ringside. You have seen the GIF so you know I am just stating fact.
Teddy Long is distracted because Teddy Long is a terrible ref. Angle taps out while Long is fuck all. Jericho breaks the hold so he can yell at everyone because apparently you can only yell when not applying a submission hold. Angle recovers and clobbers Jericho who in turn clobbers Long (kinda). Now with the ref bumped – Steph comes in the ring and goes to hit Jericho with the Women’s Title. She misses Jericho. She also misses Angle but Kurt – bless his heart – sells it anyway. Jericho then confronts Steph. Slap blocked. And since it’s Boston and the year 2000 and wrestling, y’all know what is coming. Jericho kisses Steph. Lawler rightly points out it is assault. Steph sells disgust. Angle FINALLY hits the Angle Slam to advance and end all this horseshit.
Guy in the crowd has a sign that says “I’d rather be at Greto’s”. So why the fuck are you not there? Are you being held against your will? Make your own God Damn decisions. Fucking Bostonians.
Vince and Shane talk which is, basically, them blaming Triple H for all their problems. Better get used to that Paul.
We cut to Mick Foley who is live from WWF New York Times Square. Ivory is tending bar for reasons unknown to anyone. And God does she make sure it is known she is there. Meanwhile – Foley can’t hear Jim Ross as JR tries to talk to him. The mouth breathers in the bar are chanting so loud for Ivory that we can’t hear whatever the fuck Foley is talking about. I catch Foley referencing a “business meeting” he has the next day so take that as your tease for when he was announced as commissioner the next night on RAW.
That segment went about as well as the idea putting a wrestling themed restaurant in Times Square.
EDGE/CHRISTIAN vs. T&A (TEST/ALBERT) vs. HARDY BOYZ (MATT & JEFF) vs. TOO COOL (GRANDMASTER SEXAY/SCOTTY 2 HOTTY) – Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match, WWF Tag Team Championship
Immediately we are treated to a fan with a sign that says “Edge please flash me for my photography”. Stay classy Boston. Edge and Christian mock the Red Sox by role playing as Bill Buckner. I miss the days when the Sox were still so shitty, you had to reach back 15 years to mock them. Otherwise it was just sad.
Too Cool are the champs. Pretty sure Too Cool won’t be the champs in a few minutes.
Because of the layout of the match, it is best to think of this match as almost a gauntlet match
Match 1 (0:00 – 3:41)
This part is all T&A vs. The Hardyz. High spot. High spot. Power move. Power move. Blah blah blah. It is just filler until the women start with their feuding and fussing (Trish w/ Test and Albert. Lita w/ Matt and Jeff). That is Trish’s role tonight. Be a second and cause chaos because creative can’t figure out any other way for matches to end. Lots of bitches be crazy on this show. Let’s all take turns almost crippling a women until in all the confusion a Swanton is hit and the Hardys win. Trish is a busy woman tonight. She ain’t got time for this shit.
Match 2 (3:42 – 7:55)
We have the only break from the routine at the top of this section as Scotty 2 Hotty hits like two moves on Jeff Hardy and then moonwalks into the corner which allows Christian to tag himself in. Then rest of this part is the Hardys vs. E&C. The Hardys hit every big move they have including Lita’s top rope head scissors but for a variety of reasons they are unable to eliminate Edge and Christian. Eventually in all the confusion, Christian hits the Unprettier on Matt Hardy and we are down to two teams.
Match 3 (7:56 – 14:11)
Sometime during this match, JR drops a wink, wink, nudge, nudge reference to Brian Christopher being Lawler’s kid. I probably was sadly excited about that 17 years ago. Still – if that is my biggest gripe about the announcers, I am living well especially compared to the last few shows I have been tormented with.
It is this match that reminds me that Too Cool was totally that generation’s Young Bucks. And Edge and Christian in goofy heel mode feed into it in all the worst ways. I mean the worm sequence is extended and y’all remember how tedious it is normally. A good minute and a half is dedicated to just that. During the closing sequence, Edge gets his tights pulled halfway down his butt so that one fan is having her wildest, wettest dreams come true.
Edge and Christian win the titles (again) thanks to ref incompetence and a belt shot.
RIKISHI vs. VAL VENIS – KOTR Semifinals
Remember folks – Rikishi is hurt. Hurt I tell you! Ignore that promo from earlier where he said he was totally fine and was holding the IC title on his hurt arm like everything was totally fine and it was so not pretaped before the show started. No he is hurt! Look at him shake his arm!
You better fucking like the Too Cool theme because it has now played for at least the third time tonight and you know a fourth is coming. (Be thankful that since Kishi keeps getting his ass kicked – they don’t play it after matches too.)
Trish is getting her steps in tonight as she comes to ring side for the THIRD time this show. I am just gonna assume the ridiculous platform boots she is wearing are made by Sketchers.
We are cock teased as they hype up the two bloody brawls that Rikishi and Val Venis had on Smackdown the last couple of weeks. I am totally down for that.
Instead, apart from a couple of tosses into the ring steps, we get Venis working over Rikishi’s bad arm for 180 seconds. Kishi then hits a belly to belly and its over. It’s more important that Trish foolish tries to attack Rikishi. Rikishi then tries to make her go squish. That means it is time for Venis to stop that and destroy Rikishi’s arm. So that is two three minutes matches for the IC champ that ends with him in pain. Good times.
Jonathan Coachman interviews Gerry Brisco. We are reminded why Coach was better off shaving his head. It’s like he started shaving his initials into his hair but didn’t realize he was supposed to do it on the side and got bored before even finishing the first letter.
They air a commercial that I wish I could have found online so everyone can see that this was a real thing and not me having a fever dream. A guy dressed up like Super Dave Osborne and Holy Fuck is that a reference that no one gets anymore. Man – future generations will never understand or appreciate the whole concept of wackadoo daredevils let alone wackadoo daredevil parodies of Evel Knievel. Who the fuck would be the modern day equivalent of even just Evel Knievel? Travis Pastrana… sorta? The dude who jumped from space? All the wingsuit dudes who keep dying? Umm… where was I?
Okay – so there is a dude dressed up like Super Dave. He is launched out of cannon and ends up crashing through an apartment window. There he lands in the crotch of the stereotypical TV house frau – overweight, wearing a muumuu and a shower cap. Of course she likes it. Never change WWE. THE ATTITUDE ERA~! EVERYONE LOVES CUNNILINGUS! Anyway – what is the commercial for? The relaunch of WWF.com. I swear I am not making any of this up.
KURT ANGLE vs. CRASH HOLLY – KOTR Semifinals
A Kurt Angle squash. Way to get your $60 worth (Or whatever the fuck they were charging in 2000). This is a fucking glorified episode on RAW and it fucking sucks.
They show this extended video package of the house show from Madison Square Garden the night before. The entire focus is on Donald Trump. I can’t even begin to properly express how much I hate Dolfan right now. This is – hands down – the worst thing I have had to suffer through so far in all these payolla reviews.
Kane doesn’t have his voice box. Fuck this show.
Biker Taker isn’t punching people in the face. Fuck this show.
The first video package of the night is to recap Patterson/Brisco. Fuck this show.
PAT PATTERSON vs. GERALD BRISCO – Hardcore Evening Gown Match, WWF Hardcore Title
FUCK and NO
I already danced with this devil recently for some other reason that I legit can’t remember. Good to know that my brain already repressed that memory. (It might have been I was going to put it on the 1001 but then I realized even I wasn’t that cruel.) And just for the cherry on top of this three minute shit sandwich – Crash Holly wins the title thanks to the 24/7 rules.
GOD FUCKING DAMMIT!!! I am now reminded of the motherfucking RUN-DMC DX Theme. I have never been so disappointed in my heroes in my life.
Jam Master Jay went to his grave knowing the he clearly didn’t get paid enough for that gig. I am haunted by that knowledge every day.
DX (X-PAC, ROAD DOGG, TORI) vs. DUDLEY BOYS (BUBBA RAY/D’VON) – DUMPSTER TABLE HANDICAP MATCH
To win – the Dudleys either have to put all the members of DX through a table or DX has to put both Dudleys in the dumpster.
I am really enjoying that the first match on this entire show that is having any sort of resemblance to normal match layout is the one where you have to involve a foreign object to achieve victory. Granted that lasted a super super short time. Blink and you will already miss the hot tag.
Hoo boy, nearly two hours in and I am actively pissed at a spot now. Bubba screams at Tori to get her into position because no one on this fucking roster knows how to be subtle when calling a spot. But anyway – the ref is now distracted by Tori standing on the apron because he is a big meanie. The idea is that the ref can’t see the What’s Up Spot. Why? I don’t fucking know. Are you going call a DQ in a match that involves goes necessarily going through tables? X-Pac and Road Dogg all fall victim to D’Von’s head to their crotch. Tori then comes in because she is dumber than a bag of rocks. She gets a What’s Up in full view of the ref who doesn’t do dick. So why the fuck did he need to be distracted in the first place? Anyway – D’Von continues to linger in Tori’s lower front region to a big pop from the crowd. HIS FACE IS IN HER PUSSY!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO ENTERTAINED IN MY LIFE!!! Fuck you Boston. Fuck you and the horse Paul Revere rode in on.
This match will be the death of me. After some brawling – DX tosses the Dudleys into the dumpster. Thank God this abortion is over. Why isn’t the bell ringing? Are you fucking serious? The ref is on the floor with Tori again for no other reason than he is desperately trying to white knight himself into her yoga pants. The Dudleys climb out the sides of the dumpster. DX brings the ref in to show that winners are you. Lid gets opened. X-Pac audibly swears. Dudleys deliver dueling unprotected chair shots. Wheee! Peak Attitude Era time now.
Dudleys build shit. Toss Road Dogg through it.
X-Pac gets a fiery comeback but he sets up a table because he is an idiot too. He and Tori are meant for each other. He gets suplexed through table.
The Dudleys stalk Tori who hides in the dumpster. While the Dudleys go to get her – DX completely no sell their table spots so they can deliver their own dueling unprotected chair shots. Dudleys fall into the dumpster. DX wins.
Oh but we aren’t done. X-Pac cements worst boyfriend ever status and he just leaves. The Dudleys instantly pop up from THEIR big bump so they can menace Tori again. 3Ds are handed out and then Tori goes through a table. Or I should say, Bubba’s ass while carrying Tori goes through the table. If Vince wasn’t getting ready for the Main Event, I would assume he was vociferously touching himself to this booking.
Tori also legit torched her labrum, which comes out way dirty than I attended it to. Either way, she might be the oddest person I know of who had to visit Dr. James Andrews.
KURT ANGLE vs. RIKISHI – KOTR Finals
Someone finally realized that if they are gonna run with the idea that Rikishi has one bad wing, maybe they should tape it up. However, no one thought it might be a good idea to tell Kishi to stop throwing punches with that arm.
Angle’s idea of working over Rikishi is to hit him in the head… a lot. It is a bold strategy. Stupid but bold.
Yeah – I am being far too amused watching when Rikishi remembers to sell his arm. Like he throws a wicked clothesline and sells it. Throws punches and doesn’t. But he knows that he can only slap his ass with one arm.
The finishing sequence is… interesting. Rikishi hits the Stink Face. Angle immediately hits the Angle Slam (Does Rikishi’s butthole have healing powers?). Rikishi kicks out. He then sits on Angle who also kicks out. Rikishi decides to climb to the top rope and Angle comes over and they fight over a Belly to Belly from the top for an extended period of time. Angle then hits the Belly to Belly and wins?!?!?!?!
I think – THINK – the idea was supposed to be that Rikishi landed on his bad arm but the problem with that was he landed on the other side of his body and Kishi only kinda sold anything. It was just more the “God – I am fat and don’t want to stand up now.”
Oh well – Angle is the 2000 King of the Ring.
The USA Today did an entire insert saying Wrestling was the National Pastime over Baseball. The cover had the Rock and Mike Piazza. USA Today is/was a terrible newspaper.
VINCE MCMAHON/SHANE MCMAHON/TRIPLE H vs. KANE/UNDERTAKER/ROCK – WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
I love me some Biker Tiker but Lord is this theme terrible. When one is wishing they heard Limp Biscuit playing, you know it is bad times.
The stipulation is whoever gets the pinfall becomes the champ so we are all gonna just wait for everyone to start turning on their teammates.
I can only rub my temples so hard. Sigh.
Okay – here is your match. Someone beats on Shane McMahon. Someone then angrily blind tags in. Someone then sells Shane’s terrible punches. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, Rock becomes the face in peril but he refuses to tag out (nor should he) thus, Kane and Undertaker become more and more frustrated.
Then we get the fiery babyface comeback from the Rock and all I can keep doing is stare at the Rock slapping his thigh. Then it somehow turns into a brawl and now all I can keep doing is laugh at Vince selling punches. Seriously, he has been around wrestling his entire life why the fuck does he drop like a sack of potatoes every time he gets hit. I mean logically it would make sense if he stayed down after one AND he didn’t push himself as equal stature of all his main event wrestlers. But instead that is how he feeds himself to his opponent. Get hit. Fall down. Awkwardly shamble back up so he can drop again. I would also ask how Vince has never learned how to run the ropes either but this show is thankfully, almost fucking over.
Alright – finally all hell has broken loose so we know we are in the home stretch. Kane finally starts fighting with Taker (though it takes JR way too long to notice.) Kane then interrupts the People’s Elbow to chokeslam Rock. Triple H stupidly thinks Kane is on his side, immediately turns his back and gets tombstoned for his trouble. Taker pulls Kane out of the ring to break up the pin. An unprotected char shot later (which admittedly Taker pulls back on a whole lot) and Kane is out. Then for reasons known to only himself and God – Shane jumps up on the top rope and promptly gets choked slammed through the announce table for his troubles. So, Shane is out. (Triple H is I guess out from the tombstone since he has vanished from sight.) Vince gets in the ring and gleeful tries to do the People’s Elbow on the Rock. Oh, I guess I should mention that the Rock has been selling the chokeslam this entire time (though I can buy that since he has been getting his ass kicked for like five minutes.) Anyhoo – Rock pops up and hits the Rock Bottom on Vince for the win and the title. Why didn’t Undertaker break it up you ask? Because he was too busy showboating over Shane’s corpse.
Two minutes of angry Triple H closes the show. The whole McMahon-Helmsley faction stuff dissolves the next night on RAW and Jericho and Benoit were each about to start their own main event programs so there is at least that.
If you break up the tag match into individual chunks – nothing on this show except the Main Event went over 10 minutes. The semis and finals COMBINED were 14 minutes of match time. Fuck – in the entire tournament only two matches went over six minutes. I hate Russo’s legacy.
My cautious excitement about this show was totally unfounded. I am a fool.