Take for example the excellent match put on by The Rock and Chris Benoit last night at the Fully Loaded pay-per-view. Well, it was a killer contest until WWF Commissioner — Mick Foley — (one in a long line of WWF head honchos meddling in crucial matches) overruled the official’s decision and restarted the WWF World Title bout. It makes you wonder why the WWF bothers to have referees in the first place when the higher-ups (namely the McMahon family) customarily pull rank on them to achieve the outcome they desire. Whatever happened to just the wrestlers settling the score? May the best man or the most devious man win and all that stuff? We’ve gone from the evil McMahons screwing the faces to the good Mick Foley screwing the heels. The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems. It used to be in the WWF that the wrestlers alone determined who won and who lost. What I mean by that is it was a unique occasion when anyone besides wrestlers, managers or referees figured into the conclusion of a match. Ever since the epic Austin — McMahon angle, corporate interference by a federation’s president, commissioner, wife, son or grandmother is commonplace in wrestling. Screw job endings, throwaway handicap matches and phony biased booking are now the norm. Wrestling as a whole has suff ered because of it.
It’s true. It’s true.
Before Foley stuck his nose in, Benoit and The Rock tore the roof down with a breakneck and intense pace. Their display and that of Jericho and Triple H in the previous “Last Man Standing” match boldly underscored the WWF’s simple formula for success of building the company around developing exciting young talent not has-beens (Nash and Hogan) who can’t carry the torch any longer.
Handicapped by the fact that if he was disqualified he would lose the WWF World Heavyweight Title, The Rock was at a distinct disadvantage. Benoit could bend the rules as much as possible while The Rock had to play it straight. With Shane McMahon interjecting himself as much as he did, it was really a two-on-one battle. Shane threw in cheap shot upon cheap shot but worst of all, he distracted the ref when The Rock clearly had the pinfall or submission victory. The Rock had Benoit’s his shoulders to the mat for a 10-plus count following a People’s Elbow though there was no official to make the count or call for the bell.
Shane McMahon finally chair shot referee Earl Hebner across the back knocking him senseless. The Rock picked up the chair and cleared the ring of Shane-O-Mac. The Rock deposited the chair outside the ring and put Benoit in his own Crippler Crossface submission move. Benoit tapped out and a groggy Hebner called for the bell. The Rock thought that he had won. He was wrong. Conferring with ring announcer Howard Finkle, Hebner disqualified The Rock. Hebner didn’t see who whacked him with the chair but when he awoke did observe The Rock with one in his hands. Putting two and two together, he assumed The Rock hit him and DQ’d him for it. Benoit was declared the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Shane bashed The Rock with a flying chair shot to the head as he and Benoit split up the rampway. The Rock came up bleeding from his forehead.
Regretting the stipulation he had put on the match, WWF Commissioner Mick Foley stormed to the ring. Foley said that he and the fans didn’t see The Rock break any rules so he was restarting the match. Benoit’s three German Suplexes earned him a two count. The Rock escaped a Crippler Crossface by slowly inching his way to the ropes. The People’s Champion blocked a move by Benoit, switched it into a Rock Bottom to put Benoit away for the pinfall. A thrilling finale to a thrilling match-up that was ruined by the standard WWF screw job ending. Why am I not surprised?
- The next WCW pay-per-view is WWF pay-per-view is SummerSlam on August 27th.
WWF Fully Loaded 2000 Results
T and A, Trish Stratus Vs The Hardy Boyz, Lita
- Trish actually tries to wrestle. An “A” for effort but an “F” for execution. Her attempted elbow drop and running bulldog came off badly. Lita though, looked sharp. Her Tornado DDT and Hurracanrana on Test were impressive. Give her the Women’s Heavyweight Title already. Lita’s moonsault on Trish wins the match. A replay SmackDown!, Trish whips Lita with a belt.
- Winners: The Hardy Boyz, Lita at 13 minutes and seven seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- In a really lame angle, Edge tells Foley that Christian has food poisoning and can’t wrestle tonight. Foley is suspicious that Edge and Christian are trying once again to sidestep a title defence. Edge tells Foley to find an EMT to check out Christian if he doesn’t believe their story. On his motorcycle, The Undertaker chases Kurt Angle backstage.
Tazz Vs Al Snow
- People were expecting great things from these two ECW veterans. It didn’t happen. The match would supposed to give Tazz a jump start push. It did the opposite raising Al Snow’s status instead. Snow had the better offence and Tazz didn’t look all that menacing as he has in the past. Snow escapes the Taz-Mission. Tazz does it a second time and Snow is done for.
- Winner: Tazz at 5 minutes and 22 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Christian is barfing in a toilet stall and comes out looking pale. An EMT assesses Christian as unable to wrestle. Foley is fooled too. Someone is sending Stephanie flowers. A ticked off Triple H reads a card that came with them. Sappy sentiments end with the phrase…It’s true. It’s true. Stephanie claims to not know anything about it. Triple is off to hunt down Angle.
Saturn (challenger) Vs Eddie Guerrero (champion) (WWF European Championship Match)
- Just like the Snow and Tazz match, this one should’ve been better when you consider the highly skilled talent involved. Terri Runnels is with Saturn. Chyna shoves Eddie to get after her. She chases Terrie away. Chyna cheap shots Saturn throughout the bout. Saturn oversells her moves…on purpose? You have to wonder. Saturn’s head is bleeding. Fed up with Chyna, Saturn punches her in the face and clotheslines over the announcer’s table. Runnels returns. Saturn pulls Runnels in front of him. Runnels low-blows Guerrero. A flying elbow smash and Saturn is your new European Champion.
- Winner: …and new WWF European Heavyweight Champion…Saturn at 8 minutes and 11 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- Edge and Christian celebrate their trick on Foley. Food poisoning rules! Uh, okay. Foley surprises them. Christian runs back into the stall barfing. Foley peers over the top and sees Christian scooping a disgusting substance from a pail into the toilet. Busted! Kurt Angle tries to start The Undertaker’s bike. ‘Taker runs him off again.
Edge, Christian (champions) Vs The Acolytes (challengers) (WWF World Tag Team Title Match)
- Edge and Christian belittle Texas’ sports teams. Christian says that if JFK wasn’t assassinated, he would’ve committed suicide any way if he had to spend another moment in Texas. The Acolytes’ entrance music halts their “flash photography” segment. Bradshaw, a Texas native, cuts a promo on the champs citing Dick Murdoch, The Von Erichs and The Freebirds for making the area great. Edge deliberately brains Faarooq with a tag belt to get disqualified. Edge and Christian lose the match not the belts. The Acolytes and Edge, Christian brawl up the rampway.
- Winners: ..via disqualification, The Acolytes at 5 minutes and 38 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
- Another segment to plug the WWF restaurant in New York as the Bossman harasses a patron for I.D. Is it just me or are these segments getting kinda ridiculous? I am sure the place is great but there is only one and it is in New York, so why should anyone in London, England or Calgary, Alberta, care unless they are planning on taking a trip there? Give us a break, please. WCW has a eatery too yet we don’t hear about it on every edition of Nitro. Taker is still chasing Angle. The Olympic champions doubles back on Taker and beats him with a wrench again just like on SmackDown!.
Rikishi (challenger) Vs Val Venis (champion) (WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title – Steel Cage Match)
- A moderately brutish match. Venis has his head bumped off the top of the cage like a rubber ball. He bleeds from a cut over his eye. Trish slams the door on Rikishi’s head so he can’t climb out. Lita appears with belt in hand. She rips off Trish’s shirt (she has a sports bra thingy underneath) and whips her with the belt all the way backstage. Val and Rikishi struggle near the top of the cage. Val loses his balance and falls off. He lands on the official. In the dumbest, stupidest move of his entire career, Rikishi splashes Val from the top of the steel cage. To soften the splash, he absorbs the impact with his hands as he lands. It appears that he has injured himself as Rikishi can be seen clutching his wrist or his ribs following the impact. Rikishi is about to walk out the door. Tazz bashes Rikishi with a video camera halting his exit. Val takes the easy pinfall.
- Winner: …and still WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion…Val Venis at 14 minutes and 6 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Triple H grabs a flower delivery guy and forces him to reveal where Angle is. Upon entering a locker room, all sorts of bashing and crashing is heard going on. Chris Jericho opens the door. It was him who was sending Stephanie the flowers. Triple H is laid out on the floor. In another dim-witted angle, Shane McMahon comes to the ring and challenges The Rock to a match. The Rock arrives and repeats what Jericho said about the D-Generation ambush on Raw. That Shane and Benoit are incredibly stupid if they think he would fall for something like this. Benoit appears on the TitanTron. He is in Rock’s private dressing room. Benoit trashes The Rock’s wardrobe, ripping his expensive clothes apart. This may be a stupid question but why would The Rock care if Benoit destroyed his wardrobe when he is a multi-millionaire and could easily afford to replace his belongings? Dumb segment.
Kurt Angle Vs The Undertaker
- Way better than it looked on paper. Good counters and reversals by Angle and Taker. Angle focuses his attack on the knee he battered with the wrench. Taker survives to chokeslam and Last Ride Angle into oblivion.
- Winner: The Undertaker at 7 minutes and 35 seconds.
- Match Rating: 6.5 / 10.
Chris Jericho Vs Triple H (Last Man Standing Match)
- In one word — awesome. Jericho and Triple H work themselves silly. Triple H takes advantage of Jericho’s ribs punishing them all he can. HHH takes a chair to Jericho. The ref admonishes him even though it is clearly a No DQ match. Jericho low-blows out of a Pedigree and chair shots HHH in the head. Hunter bleeds and bleeds. Jericho and HHH smash television monitors over each other heads at the same time. At a count of eight, they get back up. Jericho has HHH in the Walls Of Jericho. Stephanie leaps on Jericho’s back. Jericho puts the Walls on her to a huge pop. HHH pulls a sledgehammer from under the ring. He swing at Jericho who ducks. HHH hits the ring post. Jericho gains possession of it and strike Triple H in the stomach. Standing on the time keeper’s table, Triple H reverse suplexes himself and Jericho through the announcer’s table. HHH gets to his feet at the count of nine to win. At the count of eleven, he drops to the floor. Stephanie calls for help and screams as she notice HHH blood is on her hands…literally.
- Winner: Triple H at 23 minutes and 12 seconds.
- Match Rating: 9 / 10.
Chris Benoit (challenger) Vs The Rock (champion) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion…The Rock at 21 minutes and 66 seconds (19:29 match, 2:37 restart).
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 43 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 7.5 / 10.