The Way Too Long Review of The Best of Smackdown: Disc Three
by Charlie Reneke on October 8, 2009

Moment #39: Motherslapper (March 23, 2000)

Stephanie McMahon bitch-slaps Linda.  She really ought to consider slapping her again.  Running for Senate?  Yeah right, like the owner of the trashy WWE is going to win the Republican nomination.  As I said on my podcast, all her opponents need to do is air a ten second clip of her from Wrestlemania 22 where she took part in a prayer that included the line “God, you don’t like me and I don’t like you…” and she’s done for.  That shit will not play to the jebus crowd.  Anyway, Linda says “People ask me what I was thinking when she hit me.  I was thinking… wow that hurts.”  Um wait, you mean getting hit HURTS?  Ah, so that’s why people do it.

Moment #38: A Celebration to Remember (February 19, 2004)

We get Eddie’s championship celebration on Smackdown.  We get to see confetti and balloons fall from the ceiling.  This one is slightly nicer to watch then Jeff Hardy’s, though I still would rather have matches then the stuff they are giving us.

Moment #37: Big Show Returns (September 9, 2004)

Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle are having a lumberjack match, things break down and basically turn into a battle royal.  BUT WAIT~!! because Big Show arrives with a hair-line pushed back about three inches.  He cleans house, then chokeslams damn near everyone.

Moment #36: Sexy Kurt (March 24, 2005)

Kurt Angle is feuding with Shawn Michaels leading into Wrestlemania 21, and decides to replay Shawn’s entire career in record time.  Thus, he comes out here with Sensational Sherri.  He then sings his own version of Shawn’s music.  I’ve only heard about this and never actually watched it.  It’s HILARIOUS!

Moment #35 is…

Match #15: Tag Team Championship
(c) New Age Outlaws vs. Mankind & The Rock
10/14/99 Smackdown

This is the ‘last time ever’ for the Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection to team up.  If only.  I’ve only rated two of their matches.  One got 1/4*, the other a DUD.  And the DUD was a match against the New Age Outlaws.  This is a different match, and hopefully a better match.  Mick was under the impression that he would be retired by the Survivor Series at this point.  He would delay his retirement when Steve Austin’s neck became too problematic and left the WWE without anyone to fill his place in the main event scene.

Billy starts with Rocky.  Rockabilly?  They lockup and Rocky grabs a headlock.  Billy is blown up by this.  Shoulderblock by Rocky, which Billy can barely muster the energy to bump for.  He tries to leapfrog Rocky on a whip, can barely get up for that, then gets a drop-toehold.  Billy nearly botches another leapfrog (what an athlete) and then gets clotheslined.  Brawl in the corner, then a hardwhip by Rocky leads to him eating a neck-breaker for two.  Billy goes for the Fameasser and Rocky somehow ‘counters’ it into a slam that looked horrible.  Neither guy is sure whether they should be the one selling or not, so Rocky loads up the Rock Bottom.  Things break down and we have a big slug-off with all four guys.  Another referee comes down to restore order and draws more heat then the Outlaws do.  We settle down with Mankind and Jesse James.  Mankind brawls him to the corner and slugs it out.  Running knee-smash in the corner, then Mankind puts up his dukes and slugs it out.  He does Jesse’s “shake-rattle-roll” punches.  Roaddogg counters with a low-blow and his own shake-rattle-roll punches and kneedrop.  He goes for the hump-handle slam but Rocky gets a clothesline to stop it.  The referee’s back was turned and thus Rocky assumes the role of legal man in the ring.  He punches James around, who then ducks a clothesline.  Rocky reverses a whip and hits a stiff back-elbow.  Slam into Mankind’s shoe, then a tag.  Mankind charges into an elbow, then we have a double clothesline in a double-KO.  Billy makes the tag in and it’s elbows for all and a big piledriver to Mankind for two.  The Outlaws double-up on Mankind in the corner, then James hits nice dropkick to Mick’s face.  Yeah, I know.  I’m supposed to pick one name and stick to it when dealing with Mick Foley.  But what the hell, I can only type “Mankind” so many times.  Besides, if you don’t know who I’m talking about, you’re a retard.  Anyway, Billy comes back in with some punches in the corner.  Shoot to the corner and Billy misses a stinger-splash, then eats a face-buster.  Hot tag to Rocky.  Punches for all.  Rock Bottom to Gunn for two as James breaks it up.  He kicks Rocky out of the ring, while Mankind hits the double-arm DDT… for two?  Wow.  Fans didn’t really buy it as the finish anyway.  Foley loads up Socko but eats the Fameasser instead.  Billy covers, BUT WAIT~!! because here comes Crash Holly with a baseball bat.  He aims for Billy but hits Mick instead.  Billy takes Crash, BUT WAIT~!! because Hardcore Holly shows up and KOs Billy with a tag title belt and Foley covers for the pin and the championship.  Mankind tries to get a hug from Rocky, but Rocky is pissed because now they have to team up some more.
*** I think it’s safe to say that this was the only decent Rock ‘N’ Sock match during their original run.  They stuck to the tag team formula and turned out an average but acceptable match as a result.

Moment #34: Houdini of Hardcore

Crash declares that he will defend the hardcore title 24/7, 365 days a year.  We get highlights of what that led to, including a memorable moment where the Headbangers  chase him through a Chuck-E-Cheese.  Crash hitting a rana off of a flying fox is pretty funny.  Other moments include Ivory offering Crash a massage and bashing him over the head with a vase in an attempt to win the belt.  Crash bails to seek help from the APA and ends up getting killed by them and Kaientai.  Several years ago the WWE put out a full DVD dedicated to this, WWF Hardcore, and you can still find it relatively cheap online.

Moment #33: Mysterio Flies (July 25, 2002)

The match is actually Chris Jericho vs. Edge.  We get some slow, uninteresting highlights of it.  Edge wins, then the Un-Americans jump him.  John Cena tries to make the save, then Mysterio shows up and hits a cross-body off the top of the cage.  Was this really needed?  Why not just give us the full match?

Moment #32: Undertaker’s Revenge (September 26, 2008)

We get highlights of the Undertaker stalking Vickie Guerrero around.  Really HORRIBLE segment that I’m sure was the opening crawl of the next week’s episode of Smackdown.

Match #31: Divorce Court

Various high-lights of the Vince vs. Linda feud.  Vince chews out Linda and says he wants a divorce.  CM Punk doesn’t understand why anyone would want to get married, but if you’re going to get divorced that’s the way to do it.  Linda ended up catatonic and Vince ended up having an affair with Trish Stratus, including kissing her in front of Linda.  Todd Grisham’s demented comments through-out this entire DVD set have been hilarious.  Why can’t he be this witty when he’s calling matches?

Moment #30 (June 27, 2002)

It’s the night after the King of the Ring.  Vince McMahon brings out Kurt Angle, fresh off of making Hulk Hogan submit at the King of the Ring.  Angle is wearing his head-gear with a really terrible hair-piece to cover up his baldness after Edge won a hair match against him.  Angle gloats about how he has ruthless aggression and is on a big winning streak.  He chews the fans out, says they suck, how they can’t mock him or break his concentration.  He takes off his hair-piece so that nobody can say anything to ruin his mood.  He’s on a roll, and thus he issues an open challenge to anyone he’s never wrestled before.  Out comes…

Match #16
Kurt Angle vs. John Cena
6/27/02

This is John Cena’s debut.  And he has ruthless aggression it would seem.  If someone had told me in 2002 that John Cena was going to re-invent the Hulk Hogan formula and carry the company very well through a tough economic time for the country, I would have said “bullshit.”  People might not like him, but there’s no denying that he’s carried the company with class.

Cena says that he has ruthless aggression, then bitch-slaps Angle to start the match.  Takedown by Cena and mounted punches, then a 360 clothesline.  Fans are fucking HOT for Cena and he just debuted with no hype, no vignettes, and no name recognition.  Back in, Cena shoots of Angle and gets a backdrop and a pair of clotheslines.  Stinger-splash by Cena gets two.  Angle goes for the ankle-lock a couple times, but Cena keeps countering it.  HUGE high-angle German suplex by Kurt to take control of the match.  He fires off another one, then stomps away.  Angle tries for another German but Cena rolls him up for two, then eats another clothesline.  Ram into the corner by Kurt and a vertical suplex for two.  Front-facelock by Angle, then Cena gets out with a backdrop to a double-KO.  Both guys are up and Cena slugs it out, then hits a flying-forearm and a very high-angle spinebuster for two.  Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Cena counters with a DDT for two, two, and two.  Shoot to the corner and Cena side-steps a shoulderblock and Kurt eats post for two.  Small-package for two.  Kurt punches low but still runs into a powerslam for two and two.  Fans are into this.  Kurt snatches Cena into a butterfly lock and turns that into a pin for the three.  Cena offers a hand-shake to Kurt, who is like “bitch please, it’s not like you’re going to end up as one of the three biggest drawing champions of the national era” and bails.
***1/2 Excellent debut by Cena, though Kurt mostly carried here.  This is the type of debut that the WWE would be well-served to try and emulate with some of the newcomers that are coming up.

Moment #29: Icon Destruction (August 8, 2002)

Hulk Hogan gives notice that he’s going to leave the company as he’s old and his knees can’t take it anymore.  He would later blow out his ACL while getting up off the couch at his house.  No, that was not a joke.  Anyway, the WWE decides that they might as well get one last rub out of him and match him up with Brock Lesnar, who is weeks away from taking out the Rock to win the championship.  Brock absolutely kicks the SHIT out of Hogan.  To Hogan’s credit, he knew he was about to take some time off and thus instructed Brock before this match to ‘just be as stiff as possible’.  It’s a shame that the Hulk Hogan of 2002 who was anxious to give back to the business didn’t show up when he wrestled Shawn Micahels and later Randy Orton at Summerslam.  Mind you, Hogan didn’t actually step up and say “I’ll put over Brock Lesnar.”  He argued against doing it, saying that it would mean more if he came back at the Survivor Series or the Royal Rumble to do it.  But once he agreed to it, he gave Brock his blessing to just dominate him and make it look good with stiff shots.  Including a very cringe-inducing powerbomb that a guy of Hogan’s age and health should not have taken.  Brock in response made Hogan’s moves look better then anyone in years had, including his big boot, by taking it full-force in the face.  Nice.  Brock hits the F5, but in another moment that Hogan came up with, he said something to the extent of “if we’re going to do this, have him beat me by match stoppage.  People have pinned me, and Kurt Angle just made me tap-out, but nobody has beaten me to the point where the match needed to be stopped.”  And thus after the F5 Brock slaps on a bear-hug and Hogan bleeds from the mouth to sell it.  Awesome stuff.  Brock chairs Hogan afterwards.  Give Hogan credit, he put the kid over huge here.  I wish Brock had appreciated how good everyone in the WWE set out to make him and honored his contract instead of taking his ball and going home.

Moment #28: Get in My Belly (April 13, 2000)

Prior to Wrestlemania 2000, Big Show made a cameo on an episode of Saturday Night Live that was hosted by the Rock.  He did well for himself and thus he was given a more playful gimmick.  His impression of Hulk Hogan at Backlash in 2000 is still one of my favorite moments.  Here, he is dressed like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers.  Considering his comic timing is pretty good, they need to have him lighten up with Chris Jericho.  I would like to see that dynamic.  Fat Bastardshow says to Kurt Angle “You don’t have a neck, you have a bowling ball stuck on a concrete block.”  Good line.  Big Show says he likes to entertain but he’s in the body of a monstrous killer.  Really?  He looks nothing like Chris Benoit.

Moment #27: Bald is Beautiful

I’m thinking they have issues with ordering moments in this DVD properly.  Here, we get the highlights of Kurt Angle with his head-gear on.  Triple H and Hulk Hogan rip it off, and Angle’s hilarious, over-the-top selling of it is amazing.

Moment #26: Border Patrol (April 8, 2004)

In the long history of Sports Entertainment, I think this might be the greatest way to make someone the #1 contender.  Smackdown GM Kurt Angle had issued a series of matches to determine who the “Great American” would be that could challenge that filthy little Mexican Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship.  After all the matches were completed, fucking Bradshaw, fresh off debuting his new JBL character, shows up and chases off some border-crossers.  It’s not shown on here but he would be declared #1 contender for this.

-We recap the Zach Gowen bullshit.  I’ve heard stories about Gowen.  And none of them are nice.

Moment #25 is…

Match #17: Handicap Match, No-Holds-Barred
The Big Show vs. Zach Gowen & Stephanie McMahon
7/3/03 Smackdown

As a funny historic side-note, there were two one-legged wrestlers floating around at the time.  Zach Gowen, bad as he was (with maturity problems on top of that) was the better of the two, but the WWE didn’t know which was the one that had something that resembled talent and signed the wrong one first.  To this match, where Show shoves Gowen down.  Gowen pops up and gets skillet-chopped down.  Show shoves Steph out of the way and goes to the floor, where he grabs Gowen.  Steph jumps off the apron and grabs a sleeper on Show.  Big Show struggles just a little too much to get her off, then slingers her down to the mat.  Show rips of Gowen’s prosthetic leg, but Zach recovers and dropkicks show in the face.  He goes for a plancha but Show catches him, shrugs off Stephanie, and press-slams him into the ring in a nice bump.  Gowen got some air on that one.  He tosses Steph into the ring, then takes a few more punches from Gowen.  Headbutt sends Gowen to the canvas, then he sets up Steph for a slam.  Vince McMahon gets on the apron to tease that he’s going to spare her, then orders Show to finish her.  Gowen drags McMahon off the apron, then fires off another dropkick to Show.  Gowen then hops his way into a clothesline.  Chokeslam by Show, then Vince grinds his boot into Gowen’s neck.  Stephanie comes over and bitch-slaps Vinnie Mac, so Show goes for a chokeslam on her.  BUT WAIT~!! because Kurt Angle shows up and slaps the ankle-lock on Show.  Vince chairs Angle, BUT WAIT~!! because here’s Brock Lesnar.  He goes to F5 McMahon, but Show makes the save.  Gowen kicks the chair into Show’s face, then Show eats the Angle Slam and the F5 in short-order.  Gowen dropkicks Vince McMahon, then hits a moonsault on Show for the pin.  You know, the WWE once said WCW didn’t know how to book a giant like Big Show.  They should have booked him more like Andre the Giant.  Funny enough, I don’t remember Andre ever doing job-duty for a guy with one-leg.
* Not really fair to rate this as all, as this was more angle then match.  But what they gave us was silly and poorly conceived.  If they needed to use the ‘win the match to earn the contract’ stuff they could have picked someone that Gowen could have realistically beaten.  Like, say, Mae Young.  On another note, let’s assume this countdown stuff means anything.  Was this REALLY the 25th greatest moment in the history of Smackdown?  It wouldn’t have been a better fit in, say, spot #90?

Moment #24: Right Place, Wrong Time (July 27, 2000)

Ah, now I get it… it’s not a top 25 moment unless it has a McMahon in it.  Triple H gets booked in a match as Trish Stratus’ tag partner.  Triple H starts to bitch about how women know nothing about wrestling and thus Stephanie gets pissy with him and storms out.  Then Trish shows up and asks him to teach her some holds.  So he tries to teach a hammerlock and how to counter in, and then Stephanie walks in when it looks suspiciously like Trips is giving her anal.  I loved the reaction on Triple H’s face.  Stephanie gets mad and breaks everything in the room, then takes off crying.  Funny.

Moment #23: Ultimate Opportunist (May 11, 2007)

Undertaker is the World Heavyweight Champion.  He gets injured and has to take some time off.  He’s booked against Batista in a cage match.  They play the Hogan/Orndorff finish and both guys climb out at the same time, so the match is a draw.  BUT WAIT~!! because here comes Mark Henry to kill the Undertaker.  BUT WAIT~!! because Edge comes out to cash in the Money in the Bank he had won the day before when Mr. Kennedy got injured.  Edge immediately covers for two, then hits the spear for the pin and the title.  At least they didn’t have Taker kick out at two like Jeff Hardy did on CM Punk, or John Cena did on Edge.

Moment #22: Angle vs. Lesnar (September 18, 2003)

This is an iron-man match, and the only WWE one I’ve never seen.  Brock intentionally gets DQed on the first fall with a chair, then hits the F5 to tie it up.  He then slaps on an ankle lock to make Angle tap to go up 2-1.  Lesnar takes Angle outside and hits the F5 on the floor and wins a fall via count-out to go up 3-1.  Angle gets a fall with an Angle-slam, and jesus this was all only 30 minutes in?  The ref gets bumped and so Brock hits Angle with a belt and goes up 4-2.  A superplex puts him up 5-2.  This match looks sick.  A throw off the top rope gives Angle a fall (bullshit), an anklelock gives him 5-4, then he snatches up another ankle lock but time runs out.  Someone at the WWE needs to get this bitch on DVD.  I’m sure we would already have an iron-man DVD if not for Chris Benoit.

Moment #21: DX-Plosion (April 27, 2000)

Stone Cold Steve Austin, looking a bit pudgy while he recovers from his neck surgery, drops a support beam on DX’s bus, which somehow causes it to explode.  Was this skit filmed by Michael Bay?

Moment #20: Batista Forfeits Title (January 13, 2006)

At the rate Batista is going they’ll be able to fill a two-disc set of “Batista’s Greatest Injuries” by 2012.  Thus, we have a battle royal to decide the new champion.  Thankfully, we don’t get the full version of that match on DVD.  It looks better in clipped form, like most battle royals do.  Kurt Angle is the surprise 20th entry and dumps half the people himself.  Mark Henry looks to win, but Angle went out under the bottom rope.  Angle eliminates Henry, Chris Benoit/Big Show style and takes the belt, though his feet hit the floor at nearly the same time.

Moment #19: People’s Elbow (September 30, 1999)

Rocky is the guest referee for the British Bulldog/Triple H main event.  Bulldog has the match won, but IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THE ROCK COUNTS TO THREE!  Rocky then gives Bulldog a people’s elbow, and slides into the finish of it.  Man that looked awesome.  It’s too bad he couldn’t do it that way every time.

Moment #18 is…

Match #18 (well, that’s good timing): Tag Team Championship
(c) Billy & Chuck vs. Edge & Hulk Hogan
7/4/02 Smackdown
AS SEEN ON:  Edge – A Decade of Decadence

Childhood dreams come true in the WWE.  Edge was a confirmed Hulkamaniac as a kid, and now he gets to wrestle with him for the tag titles.  Big smile from Edge as Hogan makes his entrance.  Awesome to see a totally authentic reaction like that.  Hulk starts with Chuck, who looks a lot like Mr. Kennedy with the bleached hair.  Hogan can barely bump at this point and would leave the WWE shortly after this.  Chuck punches Hogan down and slams him, but gets cocky.  Hogan smacks him around and drops a bunch of elbows.  Tag to Billy.  Michael Cole tries to make a case that Billy is the best tag wrestler ever.  Tag to Edge who smacks Billy Bitchcakes around.  Edge-O-Matic for two.  Edge beats up both heels, but turns his back on Billy and gets clotheslined to become the face-in-peril.  Chuck beats him around and gets an overhead suplex for two.  Tag to Billy who chokes him and bit.  Michael Cole is seriously pimping Billy Gunn here.  Suplex by Billy gets two.  Chuck tags in.  He slams Edge and drops an elbow for two.  He misses a charge and gets dumped to the floor.  Billy holds Edge for a free shot from Rico, who misses and wipes him out with a superkick.  Edge makes his way to the apron but Billy recovers and bulldogs him on the stairs.  Chuck covers in the ring for two.  Tag to Billy who grabs a front facelock.  Edge goes to tag Hogan and ends up rolling up Billy for two.  Tag to Chuck who goes for a slam but Edge turns it into a facebuster.  Tag to Billy, hot tag to Hogan.  Punches for all.  Noggin Knocker and the big boot to Billy, but Chuck kills Hogan with a superkick.  It gets two.  Double team to Hogan but he gets a double clothesline.  Hogan is selling death for some reason so he makes the hot… I guess… tag to Edge.  Clotheslines for all.  Implant DDT to Chuck, but Rico trips him up.  Hogan beats up Rico while Billy and Chuck switch spots.  Billy goes for the Fameasser but Edge hits the spear for two as Chuck saves.  Double big boot to Billy, then back-to-back legdrops from Edge and Hogan win them the tag titles.  Edge is beaming.
*** Pretty standard tag match.

Moment #17: Kurt Kisses Stephanie (August 24, 2000)

So Stephanie had a teeny-tiny little crush on Kurt Angle, which kind of irked her hubby Triple H.  Angle had somehow found his way into the WWE title match with Triple H against the Rock that Sunday at Summerslam.  But first on the agenda was Stephanie getting into a mixed tag match, with Rocky teaming with Lita (fresh off winning the Women’s title from Steph the previous night on Raw).  Steph decided to flip to see who would team with her, and it ended up being Kurt Angle.  Steph actually took a decent bump off of Lita’s head-scissors, back in the days before Lita was one of the most sloppy workers in the business.  She never did recover 100% from her neck-injury.  Rocky whips Angle into Steph and knocks her out.  Trips comes out to take her to the back, then he goes out to check on Angle.  Kurt bails on the match and leaves Trips to get his ass kicked, then plants a lip-lock on Steph in the back.  Todd Grisham’s “I would comment but I’ve never kissed a woman before” bit had me legitimately laughing my ass off.  They have to figure out a way to let him talk like this on commentary.  The “Wait, what did you say” commentator.

Moment #16: JBL vs. Dollzilla (February 10, 2005)

This should have been in the top five.  We’re in Japan and JBL tries to use the same tranquilizer Kurt Angle shot the Big Show with, only he loads it with a more powerful gun.  The girl he hands it to (for the life of me I have no fucking clue who it is) shoots him by mistake.  JBL ends up wasted.  He walks around the back, stoned off his ass.  He talks nice to Carlito “ya half har luk a chia pet”.  He then grabs a giant, inflated dinosaur and gets into a fight with it.  Even better is he sounds just like Dubbya when he’s talking.  Todd Grisham doesn’t find humor in it, considering all the children today experimenting with tranquilizer darts.

Moment #15: TLC III (May 24, 2001)

The moment all those child-murderer enthusiasts out there have been waiting for is finally here… Chris Benoit makes his triumphant return to DVD.  You know, I thought wrestling fans were the biggest fucktards on the planet.  And then this shit with Roman Polanski went down.  So let me get this straight: some of the biggest actors and directors in Hollywood are up in arms because a guy got arrested for drugging a thirteen year-old girl, fucking her in the ass, pleading guilty to it, then fleeing the country to avoid jail time?  And now that this child rapist has been captured and is going to serve time, they’re mad?  Those are some sick mother fucking puppies making movies.  And hence forth I will refer to any actor or director calling for his release a “raping children in the ass enthusiast.”

Anyway, back to the TLC III.  You can get the full match on the Ladder Match DVD.  I gave it *** due to over-telegraphing of the high spots.  Chris Benoit gets a total of two seconds on the disc, and his name isn’t mentioned, only a note that the teams are Hardys, The Dudleys, Edge & Christian, and the “Tag Champs.”  You get to see his face for one second, then you see him pull the belt down with his face not on camera.  I’m actually glad the WWE included this so that fans will get that he’s not welcome in DVD land anymore.  And anyone who wants to blame the WWE for that can fuck right off.  Blame the guy who murdered his wife and child.

Moment #14: Blockbuster Champ (November 11, 1999)

Arnold Schwarzenegger shows up on Smackdown and is given a replica of the WWE Championship belt.  When I was a kid I went to John Jacob Astor Elementary School in Astoria, Oregon.  When I was in third grade, Universal Studios selected our school to film the movie “Kindergarten Cop.”  Everyone in the school got to be an extra in the movie.  Unfortunately for me, around that time my grandfather began the process of dying, and my dad wasn’t exactly someone capable or willing to take care of me.  Thus I had to leave Astoria and go with my mom as she took care of my grandfather.  He died shortly after we got there, but it was too late for me to go back to school as filming had just began.  Guess what?  It worked out pretty sweet for me.  I had already completed all my classes ahead of time, and it turned out that all the kids in school had lost their summer vacation as a result of filming interrupting classes.  Even worse, they all had to wait in school buses all day while they waited for their scenes to be shot.  Meanwhile, because the school happened to be on the street I lived on (the same street that the Goonies and Free Willy 1 & 2 were also shot on) I got to see the whole thing get filmed.  And I got a summer vacation on top of that.

Arnold was a dick.  He went out of his way to avoid ALL the students and stayed in his trailer all day, or out in his studio chair smoking cigars and bitching about the weather.  Only a select few were able to even get remotely close to him.  Plus he was much shorter then anyone who’s never seen him in person would guess.  The ferret in the movie later went to the school’s janitor, Mr. John, who was just about the coolest guy in the whole world.

Anyway, Arnold talks about how cool the WWE is, then does commentary with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.  Triple H tries to punch him and Schwarzenegger levels him with a shot that sure looked solid.  He then passes Steve Austin a chair to take him out.  Fun segment.  I’m shocked it wasn’t ranked higher.

Moment #13 is…

Match #19: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
4/12/01 Smackdown

So the plan had been “The Hardys are incredibly over… why don’t we make them the top contenders to beat Steve Austin and Triple H?”  This was to be the start of it, but  then the plans were changed when it was decided that neither of the Hardys would be able to carry their end of the feud on the microphone, and thus their spots later went to Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho instead.  This match (and it’s follow up on Raw the next week) were pretty controversial because they were both glorified squashes.  I’ve only seen the Raw match and it was indeed a burial.  But I’ve never seen this one, so I’ll “get to the point” as some of my less enthusiastic readers tell me I need to do.

Trips pounds Jeff into the corner, then into the ropes, then he dumps him to the floor.  On the outside, we don’t see anything because it’s more important to show Stephanie McMahon backstage looking rather nasty.  Back to the match where Jeff hits a head-scissors and a pair of dropkicks.  Jeff charges into a KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! but Jeff turns it into the triple-combo for two.  Ten-punch by Jeff, but Trips tosses Hardy down.  Whisper-in-the-wind that looked slow and sloppy gets two.  Trips shuffle-boards Jeff under the bottom rope and to the floor.  There, Jeff rams Trips into the stairs, then barely manages to hit the rail-runner without botching it.  Jeff comes off the apron but gets power-slammed on the floor.  Whip into the stairs by Trips.  Back in, where Jeff tries to fight back and eats the flying knee.  Mounted punches instead of a cover, then a choke on the ropes.  Punches in the corner by Trips, then a hard whip into the turnbuckle.  Another shoot-off and he grabs a sleeper.  Jeff struggles with it for a while, then turns it into a jaw-breaker.  Russian-legsweep by Jeff, then he climbs for the Swanton, but Trips… um… trips the referee into the ropes and crotches Jeff in the process.  Triple H shoves the referee down, BUT WAIT~!! because Matt Hardy is out to chair him down and Jeff hits the swanton for the pin and the title.  And of course, it’s more important to immediately cut to a shot of Stephanie reacting then it is to show Jeff Hardy celebrate his first singles title.  Man, I do not miss that bitch.
*** Perfectly acceptable match with no bells and whistles attached to it.  Anyone who bitched about this being a squash… um… it wasn’t.  What the FUCK do you want, Jeff to get in 75% of the offense?  He was the babyface.  Triple H was the heel.  Do I need to draw you a diagram?  Hell, I can’t blame the WWE for legitimately squashing Hardy on the next Raw.  I would have booked that out of SPITE.

Moment #12: Champion Chairman (September 16, 1999)

Triple H puts the WWE Championship on the line against Vince McMahon.  McMahon gets his ass kicked, and then Steve Austin comes out, KICK WHAM STUNNER~!! and Vince McMahon is the WWE Champion.  By the way, my source in the WWE Home Video, who swore to me that blood-censoring on DVD would not happen, was dead wrong.  We indeed get the black-and-white filter.  So instead of seeing blood, it looks like Vince McMahon’s face is covered in ink.  Thankfully the WWE has cut this policy.  As it turns out, having blood does not really bump up a show from TV-PG to TV-14 on it’s own.  It’s a combination of things.  I’m not sure how I feel about blood in wrestling.  On one hand, I like a gory match just as much as the next guy.  On the other hand, I agree with Eric Bischoff, who says “some guys bleed because they have nothing else going for them.  If you need blood to have a good match, there’s no point, the match is going to suck whether it’s bloody or not.”  Speaking of which, I need to review Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL from Judgment Day to see if that point is valid, as I remember everything about that match BUT the blade job by Eddie being horrible.

Santino says “He’s the boss and he’s the best.  He made a new word.  He’s the Bost!”

Moment #11: Thuganomics

We get various highlights of John Cena during his whigger phase.  Maybe if he hadn’t dropped that part of his character the fans wouldn’t have totally turned on him.  Some of his lines here are absolutely brutal, especially his lines against Big Show.

I’m at a total loss to figure out what is in the top ten.  I’ve figured that Big Show & Brock Lesnar causing the ring the fall apart would be #1, but otherwise, I’ve got no clue.

Moment #10: Tribute to the Troops

Urge to kill… rising.  You know, I appreciate that the WWE goes to Iraq to entertain the troops.   Except for the fact that they’re way too self-congratulatory about it.  They can only say “it’s not about us, it’s about the troops” so many times before you say “You know what, I think you’re lying.  I don’t think it’s about the troops at all.”  There are a LOT of entertainers who do U.S.O. shows that don’t talk about how fucking awesome and selfless they are for doing it.  And it really rubs me the wrong way, to the point where I now boycott the tribute shows.  Besides, if the WWE loved the troops so much you would think they would give them one decent match JUST ONCE.  But nope, they can’t even do that and give them sub-house show quality stuff.  “Hell, it’s not like they’re paying for a ticket to see us.  Free-loading bastards.”

Various highlights of the selfless WWE stars selflessly hugging the troops.  The wrestlers all talk about what an honor it is to do these shows, and they should be proud.  But the WWE pats itself on the back about these shows so much that everything comes off as disingenuous.  That’s just my opinion.  I’m sure I’ll get heat for it.

Moment #9: Supermarket Brawl (December 13, 2001)

Stone Cold stalks Booker T at a supermarket, then attacks.  Austin beats Booker up and down the store, even managing to sing “When the Moon Hits Your Eye” in the middle of the brawl.  They spill to the back where Austin throws eggs at him.  After some more brawling, the cops arrived.  Presumably someone saw a white guy with a shaved head beating up an African-American and told the police that there was a hate-crime in progress.

Moment #8 is…

Match #15: No Disqualification
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
9/26/02 Smackdown
AS SEEN ON: Viva La Raza – The Legacy of Eddie Guerrero

Lockup and Eddie slugs it out.  Back-elbow, then a headlock into a shoulderblock.  Monkey flip by Edge, then to the corner where Eddie rakes at the face.  Edge wrings Eddie’s arm up and grabs a keylock, but Eddie muscles him to the corner.  Shoulderblocks and a diving hangman by Eddie, then he covers with his feet on the ropes gets two.  Backdrop by Edge and a dropkick to take control.  Scoopslam and an elbowdrop gets two.  Now an armbar.  Edge torques on it, then Eddie kicks loose and gets an enziguri.  Forearm by Eddie and then some punches.  Vertical suplex gets two.  Now to a chinlock.  Edge slugs out of it and gets a powerslam for a double knock-out.  Edge recovers first and climbs, but Eddie catches him and hits a superplex for two.  Eddie fires off some elbows to the back, then tees off some more.  Some fucktard fans in the attendance are chanting boring at this.  Shoot off and Eddie ends up on Edge’s shoulders.  Edge hot-shots him into the ropes from there, then dumps him with a clothesline.  Edge pulls out a ladder.  Edge tries to use this as a battering ram but Eddie ducks and the referee gets killed.  Eddie takes out Edge, then grabs a chair and hits him in the back with it.  Eddie puts Edge back in the ring and chairs him in the ribs.  Ouch.  Eddie climbs and taunts the fans.  By time he goes for the frog splash, Edge is recovered enough to roll out of the way and we cut to a commercial.

We’re back with Eddie stomping the shit out of Edge in the corner.  Eddie shoots him off and grabs a sleeper.  The announcers voices sound strange all of a sudden.  I’m wondering if they are cutting out some kind of commentary about you-know-who.  We get replays of Edge missing with the ladder, then Edge hitting the spear during the break for two.  We’re live again with Edge fighting out of the chinlock and getting a single-arm takedown for two.  Eddie catches Edge climbing and fires off a rana from the top for two.  Eddie goes for the springing-rana but Edge turns it into a powerbomb for two.  Edge bails to get a ladder, then brings it back in only to get it dropkicked in his face by Eddie.  Guerrero bails to grab another ladder, then uppercuts Edge onto it.  He places another ladder on top of Edge and then hits the spring-board splash on it.  Ouch.  He covers and it gets two.  Eddie preps the ladder in the corner and climbs it.  Edge recovers and climbs, and they slug it out on top.  Eddie fights him off and hits the murder-death-kill bomb off the top of the ladder.  Big pop for that, and huge chants for the heelish Eddie.  It gets two.  He preps Edge up against the ladder in the corner, then charges and gets caught in a backdrop.  Eddie wipes out huge against the ladder to a big pop.  Edge preps the ladder and climbs, then Eddie climbs as well.  Edge fights him off and HITS THE IMPACT DDT OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER THOSE SICK MOTHER FUCKING ASSHOLES!  Looked beautiful and sick.  It gets the pin.  The impact was so awesome that Eddie would die from it three years later.
****3/4 Amazing free-TV match that totally made up for all the stink bombs they let off on PPV.

Moment #7: The Rock Says…

Various clips of the Rock doing his thing.  We get to see him torture Coachman by making him sing.  “Sweet cream on an ice-cream sandwich, what in the hell are you doing?”  Santino is personally sick of being compared to the Rock, himself, and if it happens one more time he’s going to freak out.

Moment #6: Funeral Crasher (November 11, 1999)

So the Big Show’s daddy dies… not really, but work with me here… and it’s wrestling so they televise the funeral on Smackdown.  He had been feuding with the Big Bossman, who read a hilarious eulogy on Raw.  “With deepest regrets and tears that are soaked, I’m sorry to hear your dad finally croaked.  He lived a full life, on his own terms.  Soon he’ll be buried, and eaten by worms.  But if I had a son as stupid as you, I would wish for cancer so I could die too.”  Classic.  Anyway, we get to the burial, where the Big Bossman shows up in the Blues Brothers car.  He jaws with the funeral people, hits on Big Show’s mother, runs Show over with a car, and then in the single greatest moment in the history of the business, he ties a chain to the casket and drags it behind the car.  Big Show gives chase and ends up surfing the casket.  I agree with CM Punk: horrible and yet hilarious.  A youtube classic, for sure.

Moment #5: Austin & Angle – Unplugged (July 12, 2001)

Steve Austin is the WWE Champion and does not deserve this as he goes to get a hug from Vince McMahon, but it’s not warm enough.  Austin decides to solve his problems with an inspirational song.  We get other clips of the Austin/McMahon stuff, including that creepy hug that Austin gave him, with his eyes all wide-open.  Then back to the singing, where Austin sings coom-by-ya.  He then sings “I Am the Champion” with his wife Debra plugging her ears.  Kurt Angle shows up and decides he would better cheer up McMahon, and then degenerate into bickering children.  Kurt chooses “Jimmy Crack Corn” and Vince has enough and leaves.  Austin gets pissy that he made McMahon leave.  Austin spent a lot of money on guitar lessons, and then instructs Debra to tell him that he’s great.  “It didn’t work” says Kurt.  Great moment.

Moment #4: The Pilot (April 29, 1999)

We get various clips of the debut of Smackdown, including the first appearance of the Corporate Ministry, Owen Hart as the Blue Blazer, Big Show dropkicking Test, and Austin giving Undertaker a stunner.  Yea?

Moment #3 is…

Match #21: WWE Championship
(c) Triple H vs. The Rock
8/26/99 Smackdown
Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels

This is the final full match of the set.  The title had changed hands twice within the last 48 hours at this point (keeping in mind that Smackdown is taped on Tuesdays).  Slugout to start, won but Rocky and he takes Trips to the corner with punches and stomps.  Rocky loads up the Rock Bottom, turned into the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! by Trips, turned into a backdrop by the Rock.  More punching, then Trips lowers his head into a kick then recovers with a clothesline.  Chyna gets a cheap-shot in from the outside.  Rocky shoots off Trips and dumps him over the top.  On the outside we start to brawl up the ramp.  Trips loads up a suplex on the top of the ramp, but Rocky reverses for one of his own.  Russian leg-sweep by Rocky on the steel ramp, which should have hurt him as much as it hurt Trips, but we continue with the brawling instead.  Back to ring-side, where Trips tosses Rocky into the stairs.  Rocky brawls Trips against the announce table, but Chyna comes in with a blatant low-blow and Michaels tosses her.  Trips goes to bitch about it, then returns to the ring where Rocky gets a DDT for two as Shawn was not in position.  Shoot off and Trips hits the flying knee.  BUT WAIT~!! because Shane McMahon is out to bitch about ejecting Chyna.  Trips gets some shoulderblocks in the corner, then fires off a hard whip into the turnbuckle.  Another hard-whip and I’m in danger of yawning.  I’m told that would be quite painful and I should try to avoid it.  Trips drops and a knee and covers for two.  Now a grounded chinlock that looks like poopie.  The arm only drops twice and Rocky slugs it out again.  Rocky hits a hot-shot but Michaels is busy bitching at Shane McMahon and it only gets two.  Swinging neck-breaker by Rocky, who then knocks Shane off the apron.  Rocky loads up the Rock Bottom and hits it, then starts to do the People’s Elbow… only for Shawn Michaels to hit sweet chin music on him.  Pedigree from Trips and that’s all she wrote.
*** Pretty average brawl between these two.  This would have led to more Shawn & Triple H moments but Shawn’s substance abuse led to him being used less and less.  He certainly looked like he was high as a kite here.

Moment #2: The Bigger they Are… (June 12, 2003)

Oh dear lord, the 9-11 Smackdown is #1.  Me am getting angry.

Well anyway, Brock loads up Big Show for a superplex, hits it, and the entire ring collapses.  Santino quotes James Earl Jones from Conan the Barbarian: “Steel is strong, flesh is stronger.”  And that’s it for the segment.

-Matt Striker and Michael Cole congratulate themselves and the company for helping to save America from the terrorists.  If not for the WWE, America would have never gotten back to their lives.  I seriously hope all involved with scripting this shit get crotch rot and die from it.

Moment #1: 9-11 Tribute Show Yea for the WWE – Are We Not the Coolest Mother Fuckers on the Planet? (September 13, 2001)

You know what?  Fuck this shit.  Whatever goodwill the WWE thinks it deserves for putting on this show was lost when Stephanie McMahon used her interview time to say that “America will beat the terrorists, just like my father beat the Federal Government.”  I hope Linda McMahon’s opponents air clips of her daughter putting our government on equal level with the terrorists.  I had planned to upload a youtube video of her saying that, but it would seem the WWE does a good job of keeping that one buried.

BOTTOM LINE: I’ll base my rating purely on the match quality.  You get twenty-one matches, the vast majority of which are pretty good.  And thus I regretfully give this set a thumbs up.  Now, as to the format of the set, it’s stupid and wasteful and many of the moments wouldn’t rank in the top 1,000 things that have happened on Smackdown.  I liked the way the Best of Raw was done way more then this.



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Charlie Reneke

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  • scouser

    You’re the most self-indulgent writer on this site and possibly the whole of the internet. First off your little anecdotes are useless and most are probably untrue. They take so much time for very little reward. Although to be fair the clue is in the title of your column. Maybe you should also add uninteresting to give a complete fair assessment.

    Added to that, you’re also a hypocrite. You criticize the WWE for milking their work for the troops claiming its all for publicity purposes. Yet you praise them for refusing to show Chris Benoit. Do you really think they do that for any other reason than publicity? You are obviously one of the 50% who think that it would be tasteless to show Chris Benoit matches but your Eddy Guerrero jokes are more tasteless than anything the WWE has done regarding Eddy because at least they are trying to convey emotion whereas yours are just cheap jokes.

    The WWE are naïve in thinking that just because they “forget” Chris Benoit ever existed then everyone else will do. Surely if we forget he existed then we are also forgetting his wife, son and the crime he committed exist. What harm does it do to show matches from before he committed a crime. The man sacrificed his body and head for wrestling and the fans and paid the ultimate price. Also his matches include other great workers who deserve to have their work praised and celebrated i.e. Chris Jericho who doesn’t even have his own DVD collection because it would be hard to do without Benoit.

    Using the Polanski metaphor that you touched on. I agree with you and think that its pathetic people feel sympathy for him. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch him films just because your country was too lazy to go and get him to put him where he belonged for so long. And does the work of the actors deserve to go unmentioned even if they did show a lack of judgement for working with a convicted paedophile.

  • Michael Crow

    There’s a distinct difference between Polanski and Benoit though. I’m relatively sure Polanski wasn’t on film, he was behind the camera, so you don’t immediately associate every moment of the film with “ass-raper”. I honestly haven’t seen any of his films, but a quick search of IMDB shows… OK, so he apparently made a cameo in Chinatown, but the point remains.

    Two, and this one’s pretty important, I don’t think you see any in Polanski’s movies that would remind you have his crime against humanity. Benoit’s matches were always violent and considering the way he went out, it would be hard not to do a quick association.

    And three, I would say murder is higher on the banning scale than rape.

    All of this said, if Benoit were alive and had run like Polanski did, don’t you think they would have chased him down too? Benoit’s crime is far more horrific than Polanski’s, and thus why no one needs to see his sorry ass again. There’s plenty of out-of-print DVD’s glorifying him, go hunt those down.

    And as to the guy who keeps wasting his time coming up with a new username to bash Reneke every time he posts: get over it. You made your point about him the last 10 or so reviews. He’s not leaving, he’s an interesting read most of the time, and I doubt most people care that you think he’s a “waste of human skin”.

  • jobbers

    I was gobsmacked when I saw Stephanie’s comments on the 9/11 tribute. Worst thing I’ve ever seen on WWF/E television.

  • Michael Crow likes the taste of Reneke’s cock

    name says it all

  • Charlie Reneke

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t comparing the Benoit situation to the Polanski one. I was comparing the way their respect fans reacted. Then again, if Chris Benoit hadn’t offed himself, who knows how wrestling fans would have reacted. Would they have called for his release, regardless of whether he was guilty or not? I shudder to think.

    “But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch him films just because your country was too lazy to go and get him to put him where he belonged for so long.”

    Actually, I don’t watch his stuff for the same reason I quit paying for RF Shoot interviews: Because I don’t want to personally contribute money to the pocketbook of a known pedophile.

  • DomDom

    Come on Reneke.

    You give TLC *** even though it was one of the most mental spotfests ever. Certainly better than the two TLC matches that came before it. Yet Edge vs. Guerrero, a match which had an awful before break section and was just two guys hitting two moves on each other, is ****3/4 ?

    I couldn’t give a toss either way about Benoit. I wasn’t emotionally invested enough in him. He entertained me and that’s about it. As much of a complete nutcase as he ended up, I still enjoy watching him.

  • Mike

    Charlie, is it lonely up there, on your pedestal, so far above us wee mortals

  • BASILIO FRUSCIANTE

    HEY CHARLIE,WHERE CAN I FIND YOUR OLDER REVIEWS,LIKE THE HISTORY OF THE UNDERTAKER REVIEW?…BY THE WAY MAN,GREAT STUFF…KEEP ON DOIN WHAT YA DOIN AND DAMN THE NAYSAYERS!

  • Charlie Reneke

    All my older stuff will sooner or later find it’s way to Pulse.

  • Awesome

    Personally Charlie I enjoy your reviews, and even though I don’t always agree with your personal opinion, it is yours to have, and I can respect that. I don’t understand why people would go out of their way to read and leave comments on something they know they won’t enjoy. Surely there is a better use for your time? I completely agree with you on He Who Shall Not Be Named. I’m sure if some Hollywood actor cold bloodedly murdered their wife and child, no film of theirs would be sold, marketed, released etc, and if you really believe keeping him off tv is for publicity you are naive. Glorifying/including Him would garner a hell of a lot more publicity than ignoring him ever would.

  • Jordan P.

    Wait would watching a polanski film constitute me as a rape enthusiast?
    Goddamn it I should’ve never let that English Teacher make us watch Macbeth!!

    As For the benoit thing I couldn’t less about the wwe ignoring him at least they’re not kissin Deadie Guerrero’s ass anymore…well as much (Nominating him as Legend was a little quick) At least chris gave us that.

  • The Raving Idiot

    I liked a couple of He who shall not be named (Chris Benoit!) matches. I love Murder-suicides.
    I liked a few of Eddie’s matches. I love weak hearts.
    Hey I loved Michael Jackson For Finally Dying. I love molestation.
    Don’t base someone’s entire career over one thing.
    And even though THEY’RE not showing him anywhere WE’RE still talking about him not Eddie,”Crash Holly”,”Test”, or any of the past wrestlers.. nope Benoit. So what does that show you? That we are morons.

  • Ron

    the miz impression hulk hogan backalash
    means the miz dresses as hulk hogan from 1987 in backalash the vs randy orton

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