Thursday 13 September 2012

WWF 2000 Revisited - Royal Rumble Review

Thanks to Silvervison and kind strangers on Amazon, over the past year I've been able to both buy and watch every PPV from WWF in 2000. And why am I so happy about this do you ask? Well, quite simply, 2000 is my favourite year in wrestling.

Although I started watching wrestling in 1999, it is 2000 where I have the fondest memories. The Rock's feet touching the ground first at Royal Rumble, Triple H being untouchable throughout the whole year, the tag team scene reaching new heights, and the rise of Kurt Angle.

Having gone through the entire PPV calendar from 2000, and keeping record of my thoughts on each of them, I think it's now time to post my thoughts on this brilliant year to you, one PPV at a time.

First up...

Tazz vs. Kurt Angle
Up until this match-up, the “Olympic Gold Medalist” Kurt Angle was undefeated in the WWF. As far as I can remember he had some close calls, but in true heel fashion he managed to get away victorious.

Word must have gotten out about Tazz joining the WWF because when his music hit the place erupted, and if ever there was a reception that set the tone for the PPV, this was it.

The match was short, but served its purpose well. The crowd were hot for Tazz's offence and got even louder when he “choked” out Kurt Angle and won the match.

It was a good ending to the match. Tazz won on his debut, and Kurt Angle had a justifiable reason for being beaten by saying that Tazz didn't apply a sleeper hold, but rather a choke hold.

Granted, the match could have gone on longer (especially considering there was some amount of filler on this show) and so, it's hard to reward this match anything more than what it deserves action-wise. 2/5

Elimination Tables Match
The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz

What's there to say about the tag team division in 2000? Well, these two tag teams, along with Edge and Christian, tore up the division and brought a great balance to every show they were on.

Given enough time, these tag teams could put on great stuff together, and at Royal Rumble The Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz were given a chance to shine once again.

This Elimination Tables Match is a really fun watch. It has face paced action, a nice use of the tables and really good spots as well. In many ways, this was the start of what became a hugely fun rivalry between these two teams for the next 2 years. 3.5/5

Miss Royal Rumble 2000 Competition
If ever a match(?) showed how thrash the Divas division(?) was back in the Attitude Era this was it.

Having old men gawk up at these women was bad enough, but having Mae Young strip for the whole world to see? That... that was much worse. I'd give this thing a rating, but then again, I hardly even know what the hell this was.

Intercontinental Championship
Triple Threat Match
Chris Jericho vs. Chyna vs. Hardcore Holly
I'll say this now, I hated Chyna. I thought she was a shitty wrestler and though she didn't fit in wrestling the men, despite her size. For me it just didn't look right. You would see male wrestlers punch her in the face and kick her in the stomach while the commentators just talked like nothing was going on. It was all just very weird to me.

As for this co-Intercontinental championship feud? Well, I hate that as well. It was very drab throughout, and it did absolutely nothing for Chris Jericho as well.

So, with that said, you can probably already guess what I thought of this match already. Everyone in the match worked hard, but it just didn't work. Also, I have no idea why Hardcore Holly was in the match in the first place. 2/5

WWF Tag Team Championship
New Age Outlaws vs. The Acolytes
At this time, the New Age Outlaws and The Acolytes were involved in a relatively good feud, filled with grudges, chasing and a fight in a bar. So, it came as a bit of a disappointment to see this title match last such a short amount of time.

For the build-up that was produced into this feud, in the end all we were given was a 2 minute mess. 1/5

WWF Championship
Street Fight
Triple H vs. Cactus Jack
Arguably the feud that truly catapulted Triple H's career. Starting back in the later stages of 1999, Triple H and Mankind were having a really fun rivalry. However, it was in the build-up to their match at Royal Rumble where things really picked up, as Mankind unleashed the highly dangerous Cactus Jack to Triple H in a classic segment on Smackdown.

In the first of their big matches together, Triple H and Cactus Jack fought in a brutal Street Fight which had everything you could ask for in a match. In many ways this is the match that signified both of these men's brilliant chemistry together. It was bloody, brutal, and had to pacing and excellent storytelling to go with it. Flawless. 5/5

2000 Royal Rumble Match
With Triple H and Cactus Jack in the WWF title match, as well as Undertaker and Stone Cold on the sidelines, it's fair to say that this match lacked star power, and it definitely showed.

The two main stars in this match however, Big Show and The Rock, had a fairly entertaining rivalry going into this match. After being called a “jabroni”, Big Show took deep offence to the insult and decided to get some retribution. The promos were fun to watch, and Big Show was in his prime, so although the match lacked some star power as stated above, build-up wise, it at least had this.

Sadly though, match-wise, it just didn't have that spark. The match was filled with far too many mid-carders in the first half hour or so, and although it wasn't necessarily their fault, it still hurt the match significantly.

By the time the first big name came out (The Rock), there were only 6 left to appear. It was only then that the match picked up, by at that point it just wasn't enough.

The match still had some choice moments of course. It had some good action, we were greeted with many replays of Taka Michinoku elimination, and the final moments of the match were enjoyable. In the end though, it just wasn't enough. 3/5

Overall, this was a really enjoyable PPV. There were a lot of matches that played in as nothing more than filler, and unfortunately the Rumble match didn't quite deliver due to the lack of big stars in the match. But, the fun Elimination Tables match, the classic Street Fight and the electric crowd in Madison Square Garden did enough to make this a very good show. A promising start to 2000.

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