There’s a phrase us old school, traditionalist types have used as our battle cry all throughout the presently fading pro-wrestling boom. “Shut up and wrestle!” is the mantra which succinctly sums up our disappointment at various times with a business that allowed promos to supersede matches.
When people look back on the history of wrestling years from now WWF Armageddon 2000 is the pay-per-view that will no doubt symbolize the whole yackity-yack-yack period. Booking a flimsy Armageddon card when they have a roster full of talented wrestlers was the WWF’s first mistake. The second was to then fill that air time with a deluge of drawn-out, run-of-the-mill promos, company ads and stock footage of past Hell In The Cell matches fans have no doubt seen before on tape countless times. The Undertaker taking about five or ten minutes to describe his Hell In The Cell matches? Kurt Angle being interviewed for five to eight minutes? Vince McMahon cutting a long-winded, unnecessary promo you’d expect to see on Raw Is War? And how many times do die-hard , knowledgeable fans need to see footage of Foley’s infamous bump during the show? I lost track at five or six.
At one point, I kid you not, almost twenty minutes went by without a match. Normally peerless in the industry, the WWF production and writing staff really messed up and they did so in a really big way. To top off an already appallingly bad night for the WWF, the transmission of Shawn Michaels’ interview from the WWF Restaurant in New York experienced satellite trouble and the wrong title graphic was shown during the WWF Women’s World Heavyweight Title match. HBK spouted off for minutes with only the audio streaming through. Viewers were left to vacantly stare at a blank screen for the duration of HBK’s ramblings.
But, the very worst thing of all about the wretched Armageddon pay-per-view was the bouts the WWF did present (excluding a couple) were utter rubbish, especially the main event Hell In A Cell match for the WWF World Heavyweight Title. A candidate for Worst Match Of The Year, the steel cage contest between Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Rikishi, The Rock and Triple H couldn’t possibly live up to hype the WWF itself generated during the broadcast and it didn’t. Reminiscent of the Hardcore Junkyard match WCW littered our screens with or the Hardcore Invitational at WrestleMania 2000, the full-scale brawl had very few high points. There’s only so many punches, kicks and guys being slammed or rammed into something before it all kinda blends into one, big chaotic mess. Everyone bladed and each of the WWF superstars involved worked hard but because of the very nature of bout they didn’t have much to work with.
The turning point that basically ruined everything was when Vince McMahon, against the very idea of placing six top WWF superstars inside a cage from the get-go, and his stooges drove a flat-bed truck down to ringside in an attempt to pull the Hell In A Cell down. Up until that stage, things weren’t going too badly. Triple H got his head dragged around the entire cage by Austin. There were a multitude of interrupted pinfalls that keep the unpredictable pace hopping. Once the truck showed up and ripped off the cage door, all hell broke loose and not in a good way. Foley did a run-in beating up the Stooges. Security came down and took away a fit-to-be-tied McMahon. The wrestlers fought to the Armageddon entrance way display, a grouping of battered automobiles. They then proceeded to suplex, slam and throw each other into the vehicles.
Austin, Taker, Angle and Triple fought on the top of the Cell. Rikishi jumped in on the action chair-shoting The Undertaker. The Undertaker chokeslammed Rikishi off the cage roof into the bed of the flatbed truck. Quite an impressive fall for the big guy. Although the one obvious trick that eagle-eyed viewers could see is that the pile of wood chips in the bed of the truck were there to cover an air bag employed to soften Rikishi’s fall.
Once the wrestlers made it down into the ring again, The Rock, Austin, Triple H and Kurt Angle squared off. The Rock punished Angle with a Rock Bottom. Austin stopped the three count. Austin Stunned The Rock. Triple H cut the pinfall short. Triple H pulverized Austin with a spinning neckbreaker. While Triple H went to cover Austin, Angle has already draped his arm over the unconscious Rock to pin him and retain the WWF World Heavyweight Title. A bloodied Angle showboated until Austin Stunned him.
- The next WWF pay-per-view is The Royal Rumble on January 21st.
WWF Armageddon 2000 Results
- Mick Foley announces on Sunday Night Heat that if anyone is critically injured during The Hell In A Cell match, he will resign as WWF Commissioner. Foley receives a phone call. We are led to assume it is Linda McMahon. Foley reassures the caller that everything is fine. The Stooges greet Vince McMahon as he arrives in a limo.
The Hardy Boys, Lita versus Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero (Tag Team Elimination Match)
- Jeff Hardy Swanton Bombs Guerrero to kick him at 2:55. Saturn Death Valley Drivers and pins Jeff Hardy at 3:38. Matt Hardy Twists Of Fate Saturn at 5:07 to boot him out of the match. Terri interferes. Lita spears her. Malenko school boys Matt Hardy in the confusion to send him packing at 5:32. By golly, Lita and Malenko are the final two. Malenko rocks Lita with a Super-Plex. He refuses to pin her, dishes out some more punishment then finally puts on the Texas Clover Leaf. Lita submits. Lita says after the match that she knows she can beat Malenko.
- Winners: Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero at 8 minutes and 4 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
- An insanely long interview with Kurt Angle airs.
William Regal (champion) versus Hardcore Holly (challenger) (WWF European Championship Match)
- Regal tells the Alabama crowd to use a handkerchief, wash their overalls and quit getting too lovey-dovey with their farm animals. Lawler chimes in that there are four million people in the state but only 15 last names. Oh, that Lawler. The difference in styles leads to a enjoyable match. Three cheers for the return of the European Uppercut. That move rules. Raven Evenflows Holly then scoots out before the ref sees. Regal covers.
- Winner: …and still WWF European Champion…William Regal at 4 minutes and 56 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
Val Venis Vs Chyna
- Val ends the agony with a Fisherman’s Suplex after Chyna gets distracted while chasing Ivory. Chyna pulls Ivory back in the ring. Venis saves Ivory and powerbombs Chyna.
- Winner: Val Venis at 5 minutes and 24 seconds.
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
- Footage of Triple H, Foley Hell In The Cell unspools. Stephanie McMahon makes Vince aware of her concern for Hunter. The Undertaker reminds us of his past Hell In The Cell bouts. Vince McMahon and The Stooges hit the ring. McMahon meant what he said about Linda. He appeals to the fans to stand up if they support the main event being scrapped by observing a minute of silence. Astonishingly, McMahon receives no support for the motion. McMahon places the blame on Foley and the fans if anything horrible occurs during the main event. Thanks for coming out, Vince. Half an hour later, we are back to grappling.
Kane versus Chris Jericho (Last Man Standing Match)
- Kane and Jericho brawl in the backstage area where some ringhands are eating their dinner…but not for long. Medion is in the line of fire so both competitors punk him. Funny that. Fighting near the entranceway, Jericho bulldogs Kane on some tables and electrical equipment. Y2K pushes over a bunch of oil drums piled one on top of the other. They bury Kane. Jericho stands on top of them as the ref lays down the 10 count. Kane shoves his hand up between the barrels. The ref doesn’t see it and Jericho stomps on Kane’s hand driving it back under the mass of metal.
- Winner: Chris Jericho at 17 minutes and 14 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- Foley gives an interview. The WWF hocks their new videos. HBK’s “dark promo” airs. Footage of the Undertaker – Foley Hell In A Cell Match is broadcast.
Edge, Christian (challengers) versus The Right To Censor (champions) versus The Dudley Boys (challengers) versus K-Kwick, The Road Dogg (WWF Tag Team Title Match)
- Not too shabby and even when the match breaks down, the action makes sense. Edge sneaks in a pin to capture the belts for his team.
- Winner: …and new WWF World Tag Team Champions, Edge and Christian at 9 minutes and 41 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
Chris Benoit (challenger) Vs Billy Gunn (champion) (WWF Intercontinental Title Match)
- Best match of the night, bar none. Gunn is taking advantage of his singles push and even though I am not a fan, he has made tremendous strides in this area since his return. This bout is the capper if anyone, like myself, doubted his ability as a singles wrestler. Of course, wrestling with Chris Benoit helps too. Gunn escapes the Crossface once. The second time is in the middle of the ring and he taps out.
- Winner: ….and new WWF Intercontinental Champion…Chris Benoit at 9 minutes and 58 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
- Ross chats with Steve Austin.
Molly Holly (challenger) versus Trish Stratus (challenger) versus Ivory (champion) (WWF Women’s World Heavyweight Title Match)
- What’s with Molly Holly and Crash’s walk to the ring? Does every “rural-farmer” type wrestler have to walk like Hillbilly Jim? Just when you think the talented women are getting their push, this comes along. Ivory pins Trish in a blink-and-you-will-miss-it encounter. Test and Albert do a run-in. The Acolytes arrive and kick butt.
- Winner: …and still WWF Women’s World Heavyweight Champion…Ivory at 2 minutes and 13 seconds.
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
- Roll footage of Foley against The Undertaker in their Hell In A Cell bout. The Rock cuts his usual promo. He makes 13 references to himself.
Kurt Angle (champion) versus The Undertaker (challenger) Vs Triple H (challenger) Vs Steve Austin (challenger) versus Rikishi (challenger) versus The Rock (challenger) (WWF World Heavyweight Title – Hell In A Cell Match)
- Winner: …and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion…Kurt Angle at 32 minutes and 12 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Overall Event Rating: 2 / 10.