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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF Judgment Day 2000 – Triple H vs. The Rock

April 14, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Judgment Day 2000
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF Judgment Day 2000 – Triple H vs. The Rock  

WWF Judgment Day 2000
May 21st, 2000 | Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky | Attendance: 16,827

Each time I review a show from 2000, I point out how much I love that year. The WWF did a ton right during this era and on paper, this Pay-Per-View was right up there with the best. Judgment Day first happened in 1998, but disappeared on the 1999 scheduled. It returned in 2000 and stuck around for another decade or so. This was the second Judgment Day event.

The opening video package was simple and kind of lackluster considering the company’s production team. They usually knock it out of the park. It was cool to see them list things that happened in an hour as a way to promote the main event.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary.

Cameras immediately went backstage to show the McMahon-Helmsley Regime. They sent Hardcore Champion Gerald Briscoe to get coffee and bragged about how they’d win everything tonight. Briscoe got jumped by a bunch of midcard guys who wanted the Hardcore Title.

Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi and Too Cool
The pre-match stuff was stellar. Kurt said teenage girls were attracted to him because he was “all that.” The infamous jug band five second pose. Those three were incredible together. There have certainly been better opening matches in history, but this is about as perfect as you can get for what you look for in an opener. To explain, they never went overboard for the rest of the guys on the card, they had the crowd in the palm of their hands, everything moved briskly, and all the characters did exactly what they needed to. We even got some comedy with Grandmaster Sexay accidentally losing his pants at one point and Edge trying the Worm. Rikishi got the hot tag and laid into everyone. He was absurdly over. The finish was cool. Christian hit Rikishi with the ring bell and you’d think that would be it. Instead, Sexay came off the top with the Hip Hop Drop and that was the actual finish at 9:46. The hottest of openers. [***½]

Of course, our babyfaces danced after the match.

Shawn Michaels, the guest referee in the main event, was interviewed about his shady past as a special referee (See: SummerSlam ’97 and Smackdown #1). He said that he would do the job tonight, something 90s Shawn wasn’t known for.

EARLIER TODAY ~ The Radicalz boys got into it with each other.

WWF European Championship: Eddie Guerrero [c] w/ Chyna vs. WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko vs. Perry Saturn
The Radicalz explode! The two lesser members jumped Eddie to start. If it wasn’t obvious beforehand, Eddie was the clear babyface, even with his sometimes less than “good” actions. The match followed some of the Triple Threat tropes we’ve come to know over the years. For example, Saturn was completely gone from the match for a bit, allowing for Eddie against Dean. He returned just in time for a new spot. The best parts of the match were actually when it was just Eddie and Dean one on one. I did really like the triple German suplex spot they busted out. Chyna took out Saturn and then tried to use the loaded roses on Dean. He stopped her, but fell onto the roses and Eddie won in 7:57. Two straight creative finishes. A fun little match with some good interactions and smooth transitions. [***]

Gerald Briscoe snuck around in the bathroom, scared to lose his Hardcore Title. He even got scared of his own reflection in the mirror.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Big Show vs. Shane McMahon
This all began because Shane said Show embarrassed him by being the first man eliminated in the WrestleMania main event. Show came out and just beat the hell out of Shane in the opening minutes. With Shane in trouble, out came Big Bossman with his nightstick. Show got rid of him, which brought out T&A. Major props to Trish for taking a pretty big bump when Show tossed her to the outside onto her team. She wasn’t wrestling consistently yet, but she was game for that. The fight moved to the entrance where Bull Buchanan ran in. He hit Show with a nightstick and they shoved a massive speaker onto Show’s leg, trapping him. Shane hit him with a cinder block and won in 7:12. Smoke and mirrors galore, but it was needed for these two at this point. Relatively fun. Trish was the MVP. [**]

Backstage, Gerald Briscoe tried relaxing with some referees. When it looked like they would attack him, he ran away. This is a tired joke already.

Elsewhere, Shawn Michaels and Triple H had a friendly chat ahead of the main event. They talked about Shawn’s super tight officiating shorts.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Submissions Match: Chris Benoit [c] vs. Chris Jericho
Their Backlash match was great (****) even if it ended with a DQ finish. Knowing their signature submissions would be the way to go here, both men targeted a smart body part. Benoit attacked the arm in a vicious manner, while Jericho found an opening and went after the knee. These guys understood exactly how to make this work as nearly every spot involved those body parts. Everything mattered and there was no wasted motion. Too often do we see guys do moves for the sake of it. Benoit brought out the violent side of Jericho, who removed Benoit’s knee brace and beat on his leg with it. Fantastic way to utilize the No DQ aspect. This match also had the memorable Tarantula like Walls of Jericho spot. Benoit escaped another Walls with a knee brace shot before forcing Jericho to pass out in the Crippler Crossface at 13:27. Stellar match. It was stiff as hell and the psychology was on a whole different level from what most others were doing. One of the best submissions matches ever.[****¼]

More from Gerald Brisco. While getting interviewed. He freaked out because some concession guys were looking at him.

The Rock threatened Shawn Michaels if he pulled any funny business as referee.

Tables Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. Road Dogg and X-Pac w/ Tori
DX was WAY past their expiration date here. What made the Tables Match at the Royal Rumble 2000 so great was that it was tornado style and full of action. For some reason, this was done with traditional tag rules. The match kind of all over the place. They did a bit of brawling outside, we got your typical hot tag, and it just seemed like they weren’t sure what they wanted it to be. D-Von went through a table first with a Pumphandle Slam off the steps and did his seizure sell. X-Pac got powerbombed through one to even the score. Following a ref bump, Road Dogg to a 3D through a table. Since the official didn’t see it, the match continued. Tori got involved and nearly took a powerbomb through a table but Gerald Brisco came out and prevented it. X-Pac then put Bubba through the table with an avalanche X-Factor. The referee saw enough of that to call for the bell in 10:55. Kind of a mess and the tag stuff was pointless. It picked up in the middle, only to get riddled with overbooking. Still, somewhat entertaining. [**]

Post-match, Gerald Brisco ended his night (I think) with a 3D through a table. A smart guy in the back would’ve pinned Brisco for the title here and spared us the Evening Gown Match at King of the Ring.

WWF Championship Ironman Match: The Rock [c] vs. Triple H
I love their Backlash match (****½). HHH sent the McMahon Helmsley Regime to the back to handle this man to man. The crowd was stoked for this as even just the opening lockup got a huge reaction. The first fall was worked at a deliberate pace. You could tell they were conserving energy and did so in a sensible way. From out of nowhere, the Rock Bottom connected and the champ went up 1-0 at 11:07. The second fall felt much different. They immediately went outside and it set up more of a brawl vibe. It also had more drama, like a lengthy figure four spot and HHH going for several pins in a row, even right after kickouts. That’s such a smart spot in a match like this. HHH scored with a Pedigree to tie things at the 25:55 mark. With Rock groggy, HHH pulled him into an inside cradle and took a 2-1 lead at 26:54. Fall #4 saw more fighting outside. HHH’s back took a beating, but he still went up 3-1 with a piledriver at 32:50. I dug how they were pulling out different moves to gain an advantage. This next section of the match saw HHH play it safe and the fatigue kicked in for both. Rock hit a somewhat sloppy version of his floatover DDT to get another fall at 40:40, making it 3-2. People got confused when HHH clocked Rock with a chair and got himself DQed to tie it at 3 in 44:07. However, it was smart as HHH then pinned a now bloody Rock to go up 4-3 at 44:35. Wisely, HHH applied a sleeper and took a commanding 5-3 lead a 48:03. Impeccable booking to this point. Drama uptick in the final ten minutes. HHH and HBK got into an argument and Rock kicked out of some moves to stay alive. A desperate Rock came close a few times and the fans were hanging on every close call. With time winding down, Rock hit HHH with a Pedigree on the announce table. Rock beat a countout to pull to 5-4 at 56:08. The McMahons strolled down with the match in jeopardy. HHH beat another countout but fell to the People’s Elbow and this was tied at 58:05. Insane. All hell broke loose here as DX came out. That creepy little girl nursery rhyme video played, ending with “HE’S HERE” and the Undertaker made his return, riding out on a motorcycle. He began hitting all the DX guys. HHH took a Chokeslam at 55:57 or so. HBK called that a DQ, which gave Triple H a 6-5 victory. The ending was a hot mess that felt super rushed and a DQ finish to this was cheap. That being said, the first 58 or so minutes were outstanding. Tremendous storytelling, excellently laid out, and two guys busting out moves we don’t often see while showing creativity with each fall. [****¼]

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
When this company is on a roll, they can deliver something special. Following a stellar Backlash event, they gave us this gem. The Tables and Falls Count Anywhere matches are the worst things on the show and even they had enjoyable moments. The opener is hot, the European Title match is fun, the IC Title is fantastic, and the main event is the second best hour Ironman match I’ve ever seen. The show is paced well, with everything moving along smoothly. It’s so good.

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Kevin Pantoja