1. Godfather, D'Lo Brown, and Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) vs. Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and Acolytes Protection Agency (Faarooq and Bradshaw) - B: 3 J: 3
Brian: I think this show marked the day Detroit officially started dying. Headbangers looked like idiots sporting gigantic afro wigs, gold necklaces, and silk shirts. They were made to look even stupider by how easily the A.P.A. vanquished them. It looked like Bradshaw was getting his jollies off clubbing Thrasher. Lame story wherein A.P.A. and Dudley Boyz can't coexist which lead to the eliminations of Bradshaw, Faarooq, and D-Von. It seems like lazy booking to me. I'm not sure why Brown was allowed to kick-out after a Superbomb from the top. Bubba was actually booked pretty strong, surviving a Sky High, and getting most of the in-ring time for his team. This stacks up to the old school Survivor Series team-based matches about as well as the Detroit prostitutes Godfather paraded around do to Arianny Celeste.
Jess: I’ll go one step further and say this show killed the auto industry. They looked even dumber when the wigs fell off after one move. That partner thing carried through to several matches here, even that ridiculous locker room attack where Big Show pummeled Blue Meanie and Kaientai; wouldn’t they have just understood if he had asked them not to help? Logically there’s a huge flaw with D-Von and Faarooq being counted out because only one of them was legal; oh well. It was both smart and I hated how Godfather got to really do nothing but finish off Bubba, he did about 90 seconds of work. Auspicious start.
2. Shawn Stasiak vs. Kurt Angle - J: 3 B: 2
Jess: Here’s the ballyhooed Angle debut match. It was apparent then and now when you watch this match you say “oh yeah, they were going to do something big with him.” Angle had all the positions down and was where he was supposed to be but lacked any charisma in his performance. Stasiak looked quite good here though, as good as you can in a 6 minute carry job, even Ross seemed surprised. Finish happened with as much excitement as dropping a penny in the street; the Joe Louis fans weren’t too kind with this match.
Brian: You'd think Stasiak, his father having one of the shortest WWE championship title reigns in history, would have a bit of a chip on his shoulder. But no, Shawn always seemed content to coast, never seem motived, and in this performance didn't work with a lot of confidence. Odd seeing Stasiak pop up seconds after taking the match-ending Angle Slam which would soon become one of the more protected finishers in the industry.
3. Val Venis, Mark Henry, Gangrel, and Steve Blackman vs. British Bulldog and Mean Street Posse (Rodney, Pete Gas, and Joey Abs) - B: 3 J: 3
Brian: What a makeshift team Venis' squad is and how'd Bulldog get stuck with that cadre of nobodies? Val sells a Bulldog vertical suplex by gesticulating like he just accidentally spilt hot coffee on his lap because he was trying to make a YouTube video with his phone while driving on the freeway. The Mean Street Posse get wiped out. Rodney looked particularly bad throwing some D-grade forearms. You'd find better in a children's karate class. When Bulldog started rallying his wins came off poorly. He gave Gangrel a vertical suplex but Gangrel sat there during the pin just watching the referee with the equanimity of someone reading a magazine in a waiting room. Then, Bulldog used a fisherman's suplex to put away Blackman, a move I don't think he'd ever done before. Finish was uncreative as it was the exact same one from the opener: two faces left versus one heel, one face (Godfather/Henry) does a power move, tags in other face (Brown/Venis) to hit an aerial move off the top. You can tell the writers put about as much thought into this undercard as the three people credited with the screenplay for Thor.
Jess: JR makes the remark at one point that “Hindsight’s 20/20” while Bulldog watches on mouth agape like Wile E Coyote as his team falls apart like a burger from Five Guys. I chuckled out loud as Ross proclaims one of the Mean Streets was in deep shit when Blackman gets in and his punches looked no better. That biel Henry gave Bulldog was pretty sick, with Bulldog having WCW flashbacks and hoping he didn’t end up in the hospital for another 6 months. Oh yeah his wins made no sense; he didn’t even use the powerslam. And not just Gangrel but Blackman also immediately popped up after they were pinned like they were late for work or something. Wait, it took 3 people to write Thor? Was one high on pills, the other reading all the Game of Thrones novels without stopping and the 3rd in labor?
4. Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah, Tori, and Debra vs. Ivory, Luna, Jacqueline, and Terri Runnels - J: 0 B: 1
Jess: I absolutely can’t give this any fucking points. You had feel bad a little as Luna and Jackie actually know how to wrestle but were saddled with Tori (who couldn’t even excel amidst the greatest group of women wrestlers of all time in 90’s AJPW), Debra who was there because of Austin and her deep fried chest and then two women who were clearly in their 70’s. Lawler kept stressing this was a “sudden death” match with only one pin; can you imagine Patterson backstage trying to organize these as a normal SS match? What a joke; only saving grace is it was probably less than 3 minutes total.
Brian: Why was Terri listed as a participant when she never even got on the apron and just stood ringside? For their age I didn't think Mae or Moolah looked that bad in terms of what they did in-ring during this quick bout. Luna didn't have any qualms roughing up the elderly tossing Young out of the ring making her bounce hip-first off the hard apron. Maybe it's for the best this wasn't an elimination match. Why, of everyone, did the champion Ivory have to take the loss for her team? Bad booking.
5. Kane vs. X-Pac - B: 3 J: 2
Brian: I liked Waltman cutting off Kane as he was perched up on the top rope with a big dropkick (and Kane's subsequent bump off to the floor). X-Pac got some Pillman height on that one. Lame cop-out DQ finish would have been more suited for Raw. The longstanding Kane/X-Pac feud would finally end at WrestleMania 2000. Ross sounded even more like an idiot than normal screaming: "DX are scattering like quail!"
Jess: Uh-huh but that time delay caught me off guard and seemed like Kane figured if he’s only working 4 minutes why not take a bump out of it? Thought Pac’s spin kicks were kindy swank too. X-pac’s promo was quite rambling before hand but at least it’s all natural; I still think word for word scripting is killing the business. Thought it was funny when DX ganged Kane as only in the confines of this sport would a guy jumping someone first hit him with a huge gaudy championship belt instead of oh, I don’t know, any other object he could find!
6. Big Show vs. Big Boss Man, Prince Albert, Mideon, and Viscera - J: 1 B: 1
Jess: Forgive me NHO gods, but yeah I’ll give this a point and merely for the crazy chokeslam Big Vis takes. That dude bounced like a basketball when we use to go into Meijer’s and shoot hoops in the aisleway before they put those plastic guards in the nets. I mean, there’s no match and he made 3 dudes look like wimps but strong booking for Show here.
Brian: Mideon looked like something underneath my kitchen sink. Giant Bernard gets schooled like Bernard King. I hated seeing my boy Viscera made into mincemeat. They were pushing Big Show to the moon. No wonder NASA puled the plug on lunar launches.
7. Chyna vs. Chris Jericho - B: 0 J: 0
Brian: Was Chris being punished or something? They have about as much chemistry as Jolie and Depp in The Tourist. Mid-match Jericho pours a bottle of water on Chyna's head like he's a frat boy trying to wake up a pledge asleep on the lawn. So Jericho has to rely on hitting her with a foreign object (championship belt) and still can't beat her? She also survives the Walls of Jericho. Who in the hell was booking her as the wrestling equivalent of Superman? I'd read the finish was a Pedigree off of the top rope which I figured had to be a sick bump and awesome visual. Boy was I ever wrong. That thing looked like shit. Jericho got himself cooperatively into position, and then he was already hitting the mat (knees-first) before Chyna even leapt off. This was a terribly unfunny joke and patently insulting.
Jess: This was a hard time to be a Jericho fan. One thing I noticed quickly was those weak paws Jericho was using as punches; looked like he was petting a deer. Yeah I hated every single aspect of this so badly. When Chyna bumps over that table, Ross fake veneer of sympathy was as laughable as Chyna surviving the Walls of Jericho longer than half the roster of 2008. Let’s talk about that belt shot; it was weaker than Casey Anthony’s alibi. That pedigree, I mean, let’s be honest, Helmsley has never tried that spot in his whole career (that I know of) there’s good reason, Jericho leaping off backwards knees first shortened his career and Chyna looked worse than she did on Celebrity Rehab performing that joke of a move. There’s not a single redeeming quality about this and I can honestly say no one in this company ever had to put her over as big as Jericho did here. Can’t wait to read his 2nd book and find out how bad he shits on this match.
8. Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty) and The Hollys (Hardcore and Crash) vs. Edge and Christian and Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) - J: 4 B: 3
Jess: I thought this had some potential to it. One thing that detracted from the match was Ross and Lawler going back and forth over the attack on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin moments earlier; that being said it was some comical dialogue. I hated the way this bout was booked and it kind of pigeonholed the workers. Jeff and Christian ended up by themselves rather quickly but were just kept on the ground in beatdown mode and both could have provided some good comeback stories. Jeff’s 450 splash was the highlight of the whole show; really awesome. Too Cool seemed to do the bulk of the in ring portion and per norm here, the Hollys were fighting with each other; that’s original. Think on another night in another agent’s hands this would have been the show stealer.
Brian: Another match with horrible structure/layout. I can only assume Hardcore Holly was the sole survivor as some sort of gesture of respect to the veteran. It certainly wasn't based on any sort of appeal or crowd support as they seemed apathetic at best.
9. New Age Outlaws (Mr. Ass and Road Dogg) vs. Al Snow and Mankind - B: 3 J: 3
Brian: Al Snow in the semi-main event? Only other time I remember him being that high up a major card was Backlash 2002 teaming with Maven versus Billy and Chuck (underneath Hogan vs. Triple H). All four guys are working in t-shirts. Real professional look, assholes. I guess it was casual day. You wouldn't see Tony Garea and Rick Martel, or even the British Bulldogs doing that on the big stage. Mr. Ass has all the charm of a cold sore. Slow-moving like a Malick film minus the beautiful visuals and appeals to the human condition. If a I were a young guy working for TNA and Snow was an agent for my match and tried to give me some criticism I'd just hand him a bootleg DVD of this show and walk off. Foley can survive being thrown off a cage but a Fame-Ass-er almost put him down? Al sells a bump into the ringsteps by curling up for a nap. The last act was a mess.
Jess: I guess a ‘3’ does it justice. Probably one of the longer matches on the show but I think it didn’t deserve the time. Yeah and Gunn had abs like a washerboard and he’s still wearing a shirt and what’s that? Of course it’s tied in a knot. Road Dogg was selling some Al Snow stomps like Bullet Bob was strapping him with a belt for stealing a cookie before dinner when he was 7. Haha, Snow would shit a brick wouldn’t he? Remember that wild hardcore match he and Road Dogg had years ago? When they got in the ring here, they looked like an 18 year married couple, disillusioned with the institution and neither wanting to empty the dishwasher anymore. There were more low blows in this match than at a Comedy Central roast too; I didn’t care for that ending either.
10. Big Show vs. Triple H vs. The Rock - J: 4 B: 4
Jess: This could easily get a 3, but I’m searching for something to like on this show. Show replaces Austin? “Yes, sir, I’d much rather take a McDonalds coupon than a pay rise, thank you.” I thought Rock was easily the most hidden in this, because Helmsley did seem to be trying to take Austin’s role of taking a pointless yet painful garbage bump and Show was probably trying to prove he deserved this win after a verbal brow beating from every top guy in the locker room prematch, as well as a Terri reach-around, no doubt. I almost did a soda spit take when Helmsley threw himself through that prop table like he was Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live. No one likes taking stair bumps more than Rock and it was almost harder to buy his facial reaction after it than that his movie Doom was any good at all. Double suplex through that table I liked, because for once they didn’t empty it before they slammed a guy through it. Hunter taking 2 lazy Rock Bottom’s leading to the McMahon spot of the night was all typical main event schlock for this time. Can’t wait to see a pic of Vince after he croaks like that one of Gadaffi’s. Even if you don’t like Show, give them points for giving someone else a shot in the main event picture. Of course, as Brian and Adam can attest this led to probably the biggest joke of a World Title program between him and Bossman but as we learned from Ross earlier, Hindsight’s 20/20 and as it says on a big poster in Stamford HQ, “Forethought’s a dirty word.”
Brian: Triple H got punched through a table? (laughs hysterically) Alright. Best match on a bad, bad show. When did this become a no countout bout? I give them credit for at least trying to suplex Show through the announcer's table -- it came off about as clean as a hobo's flannel shirt though. Show was 26 at the time and should have probably been in one of Dan Gladish's botany courses not faux fighting. What the hell happened with Triple H ducking Vince's belt shot then standing there and watching him do it a second time and allowing himself to get smashed in the face? Made him look like a bigger idiot than when Chyna was on the Howard Stern show outing Hunter's love of anal sex. Why use a sledgehammer when Chyna's phallic-shaped clitoris can do the job?