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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF King of the Ring 2000

February 18, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF King of the Ring 2000  

WWF King of the Ring 2000
June 25th, 2000 | FleetCenter in Boston, Massachusetts | Attendance: 15,388

In the midst of a creative boom, the WWF gave us this show. I don’t remember a ton about it, but I do recall it being one of the worst PPVs of the year. Unlike a lot of other King of the Ring PPVs, this one had eight wrestlers competing for the crown, so someone had to win three matches to become king.

The opening video package focused on how becoming king could make someone a star, before turning to highlight the weird WWF Title match. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler hosted the show.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Chris Benoit vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Rikishi
Three days prior, Rikishi won the IC Title from Chris Benoit. After Benoit/Jericho/Angle were IC Champs, this started a dark era with Rikishi/Venis/Chyna/Billy Gunn as champions until things were righted in 2001. This was a brawl at the start, with Benoit pissed about dropping the title. Benoit hit a sweet German suplex for two. He fired off chops and applied the Crippler Crossface, but Rikishi reached the ropes. Benoit then grabbed a chair and beat Rikishi with it, losing via DQ in 3:25. Hot garbage. I hate that finish because it makes the tournament look useless. If Benoit was truly that pissed, he should’ve attacked Rikishi with the chair before the match or something. Lame match, decision and finish. [¼*]

Post-match, Benoit added more chair shots and a diving headbutt.

Backstage, Triple H, Stephanie and Shane warned Vince to not get out of hand when he gets confronted by Linda tonight.

Chris Benoit was interviewed about his actions, which he explained as him doing what he wants to do, when he wants to do it.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero w/ Chyna vs. Val Venis w/ Trish Stratus
It’s the techno Val Venis theme era. These four would go on to be involved in a tag match at SummerSlam. Early on, they went outside and Val dropped Eddie on the guardrail. It was supposed to be a more aggressive era for Val. It’s the Attitude Era, so while these guys worked solid exchanges, the crowd chanted for puppies. Eddie missed the Frog Splash, but got his knees up on the Money Shot. Val got a near fall with his feet on the ropes. It was one of those obvious ones that you expect the referee to catch. It was time for Eddie to get aggressive, reeling off a series of headbutts. He hit a super rana, but Trish got on the apron. Chyna pulled her down, though it remained a distraction. Val went after Chyna and got rolled up for two. Val won a short exchange and hit a fisherman suplex to win in 8:04. Solid match with some good back and forth, as well as involvement from the over ladies at ringside without overdoing it. Unfortunately, Benoit and Eddie haven’t advanced, while Rikishi and Val have. Yikes. [**¾]

Backstage, Pat Patterson struggled to find an evening gown dress for his match later. Elsewhere, Rikishi confirmed that the beating Benoit gave him will pale in comparison to what he does to Val Venis later.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Bull Buchanan vs. Crash Holly
Imagine a world where the WWF had a stacked roster and somehow managed to put this as a PPV KOTR match. Oh, wait. The story was that Crash had advanced over Albert, showing an underdog quality that would come into play here. Bull beat him with backbreakers that looked cool. The rest of his offense didn’t. He missed the Scissors Kick and Crash rolled him up to steal it in 4:07. At least it was short. [¾*]

Vince McMahon confronted Linda in her office. He recapped a bunch of the stuff she’s done recently before asking why she was there. Her response was that she was here to make sure the main event had no interference.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
This would make for a great Semi-Final or Final match. Instead, the winner gets Crash Holly. Yikes. Angle’s pre-match promo saw him run down Boston sports team and even bust out an awful Boston accent. Jericho’s saw him call Kirk Angel a 30-year old virgin. Those words allowed for an intense match, with Angle going right after Jericho. Jericho got overwhelmed, but rallied with a Lionsault and springboard dropkick. Off-topic, but it’s hilarious to hear Teddy Long as a referee. “GET BACK IN THE RING, PLAYA!” Angle took control again after sending Jericho into the steel steps. I always get a kick out of seeing WWF Jericho using the double underhook backbreaker. He went away from it in later years, but I used it a ton in old video games. We also got to see a German suplex and hurricanrana in the next few minutes. As Jericho set up for the Walls, Stephanie McMahon bounced down to the ring to distract the official. Angle tapped out, but nobody saw. Stephanie entered the ring after a ref bump and accidentally clocked Kurt with the title. Jericho planted a kiss on Stephanie to a MONSTER pop. That allowed Angle to hit the Olympic Slam and win in 9:50. Though that didn’t need an overbooked finish, it did further the Angle/Steph and Jericho/Steph storylines, which were highlights of the year. This was a good outing from both men in front of a very hot crowd. [***¼]

Vince and Shane bickered backstage about Vince losing his cool with Linda, as Shane expected.

Mick Foley was hosting the event over in WWF New York, with Ivory as the bartender. Mick gave viewers a generic host promo.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Too Cool [c] vs. Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz w/ Lita vs. T&A w/ Trish Stratus
E&C provided a five-second pose dedicated to Bill Buckner. HOWBOUTIT? Three of these teams were mega over, as were both women at ringside. Jeff and Albert started things off, with Jeff countering a press slam by landing on his feet. I don’t recall ever seeing that before. Trish attempted to get involved a bit later, causing Lita to knock her down. I guess that kind of signaled the start of their rivalry, as they’d partner with their tag teams in a fun six-person tag the next PPV. Lita was brought in the ring, but the Hardys saved her. Test powerslammed Matt, but Jeff hit him with a Swanton. Matt rolled Test over to eliminate them in 3:42. The champs got some work now, with Scotty getting in some offense. Christian tagged himself in as Scotty was in the middle of a moonwalk. That led to another good Hardys/E&C exchange, which saw Lita catch Edge with a LITACANRANA. Christian saved him with another blind tag and eliminated Matt with the Unprettier in 7:56. Grandmaster Sexay got in offense and danced, causing JR to make a quip about how his parents must feel about his antics. Lawler replied, “Why don’t you ask them sometime?” Grandmaster continued to dance in between offense, which the fans ate up. He sent both E&C into the corner, causing Edge to fall into Christian’s crotch. He then got two on a rare sitout powerbomb. E&C mocked the WORM, only for Scotty to interrupt and show the real WORM. I didn’t mean for that to sound dirty. As the champs hit their finish, the referee was busy getting Scotty to the apron, so he missed the pin. Christian snuck in to whack Grandmaster with the title and they stole the titles in 14:11. This probably would’ve worked better as a straight up tag, but you had to get Trish and Lita on the show. What we got was still fun and a pretty solid outing with a lot of moving parts. [***]

A Fully Loaded ad ran, focused on what it takes to be a champion, which wasn’t exactly the theme the show would end up going with.

Michael Cole interviewed Crash Holly about how surprising it is that he’s in the Semi-Finals. Crash said it shouldn’t be surprising and that Angle is in big, big trouble.

King of the Ring Semi-Finals: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rikishi vs. Val Venis w/ Trish Stratus
These guys were in the midst of a surprisingly heated rivalry. Like most tournament matches tonight, this went outside, as Rikishi sent Val into the steel steps. Val turned it around by targeting the shoulder that Benoit injured earlier. Val came off the top, but Rikishi got to his feet. He caught Val with a belly to belly to score the win in 3:15. Not much here. At the very least, it made sense with Val going after the arm. It just didn’t get the time to develop. [*½]

Trish attacked Rikishi but failed. He set her up for the Banzai Drop, only for Val to make the save with a low blow. Val brought the steel steps in and drove them into Rikishi’s shoulder. He also smashed it with a chair, setting the stage for a Steel Cage match at the following PPV.

Because we can’t have enough backstage segments, Gerald Brisco was interviewed about his match tonight. He doesn’t find it funny and promised to show Pat Patterson that he’s “all man.”

King of the Ring Semi-Finals: Crash Holly vs. Kurt Angle
Crash began with several flash pin attempts. He knew he was overmatched. He got in a few hope spots, while Angle threw him around. Crash’s best shot came on a missile dropkick near fall. Angle then nailed a hotshot and the Olympic Slam to advance in 3:58. Exactly what it needed to be. Crash got a few bursts of offense and never truly threatened. [*]

Clips were shown of the WWF’s house show the prior night at Madison Square Garden. I was at this event, which was main evented by the Tag Title match they ran on this show. Future President Donald Trump was in the front row and was the focal point of this footage.

Both Kane and Undertaker were separately interviewed about the main event and said the same thing. They want the title. Basic.

WWF Hardcore Championship Evening Gown Match: Pat Patterson [c] vs. Gerald Brisco
Here we have a case of something kind of funny happening and then the WWF overdoing the joke to the point where it wasn’t funny at all. Pat offered to lay down for Gerald, but it was just a setup. Pat jumped him and rubbed a damn maxi pad in his face. Gross. The crowd hated everything they did and booed loudly. Crash Holly saved everyone by running out and hitting Pat with a trash can to steal the title in 3:07. That was some grade-A crap. The joke wasn’t funny and everything sucked. Thankfully, it was kept relatively short. [-****]

Handicap Tables and Dumpsters Match: The Dudley Boyz vs. Road Dogg, Tori and X-Pac
Bubba was obsessed with putting Tori through a table. One would assume a match involving tables would be wild. One would be wrong. They used tags, making for a standard match. D-Von played the face in peril until he and Bubba got to hit their signature crotch headbutt. When they did it to Tori, D-Von hung around in her crotch area for a while. For DX to win, they must put the Dudleys in the dumpster. They succeeded while the referee checked on Tori, giving the Dudleys time to escape. Dogg took a rough spot where Bubba powerbombed him off steel steps in the ring through two tables outside. Like an idiot, X-Pac tried putting D-Von through a table, even though it’s not a requirement to win for his guys. It backfired and he took a superplex through the table, leaving Tori alone. She hid in the dumpster, giving time for DX to miraculously get up and hit them with chairs. The Dudleys fell into the dumpster to lose in 9:45. Ah, so it wasn’t just the tournament where the wrong guys went over. DX was useless by this point and the Dudleys were way hotter. The match was kind of dull until the final two minutes. [**]

DX attempted to leave, but couldn’t find Tori. She was in the dumpster with the Dudleys, who pulled her out and looked for revenge. They hit both DX guys with 3D and were again alone with Tori. Finally, they put her through the table with the big powerbomb.

Kurt Angle was interviewed about the finals and he put over how the tournament launched the careers of past winners. It was about 50/50 at this point. Bret, Owen, HHH and Austin all benefitted from it. It didn’t do much for Shamrock and guys like Mabel and Billy Gunn were jokes. Rikishi got interviewed as well, saying nothing would stop him from winning.

King of the Ring Finals: Kurt Angle vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Rikishi
The arm injury was the focus again. Kurt sent Rikishi shoulder first into the steel steps (a theme of the night), but then Rikishi used his arm for offense inside. He did a one-armed Samoan Drop, only to ruin that with a cutter on the bad arm. Angle got a near fall on the Olympic Slam, while Rikishi got one by simply sitting on Angle. Rikishi made the mistake of going up top, which was uncharacteristic. Angle caught him with a super belly to belly to win in 5:56. The finish came off well, but like the rest of the tournament, that lacked. They built up Rikishi’s arm throughout the night and it barely came into play in this final. Plus, there was no drama since everyone knew Angle was winning once the other top guys went out. [*]

The McMahons talked strategy backstage, because seventeen segments involving them was more important than keeping the camera on your new King of the Ring.

WWF Championship: Shane McMahon, Triple H [c] and Vince McMahon w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley vs. Kane, The Rock and The Undertaker
Defending your top title in a tag match is never a good idea. Not in WCW, not in TNA and not in WWE/F. Kane felt shoehorned into this. HHH was feuding with Rock and Jericho, while Undertaker was fresh off a return/gimmick change and got involved in the title match at the last PPV. The McMahons spent the early portions getting beat up. Shane took the brunt of the assault, getting worn out by all three faces. He got planted with a chokeslam, but Rock had to break up the pin because he wants the title. IT’S WHAT VINCE WANTED ALL ALONG! That led to Rock taking the heat segment, with the McMahons resorting to all the generic heel tactics. After a while, Rock turned things around. Kane took out his brother and then cut off the People’s Elbow with a chokeslam. HHH thought Kane was on their side, but he planted him with a Tombstone. He tried for the pin, but Undertaker broke things up. Shane got caught climbing the top, and Undertaker brought him down with a massive chokeslam through the announce table. It’s an awesome looking spot. Vince looked for his own People’s Elbow, but Rock dropped him with a Rock Bottom to claim the title in 17:54. This was kind of a mess. The stipulations held it back and made for too many moments that didn’t quite work. The only thing that really interested me was the Shane table spot. [*¾]

The final score: review Very Bad
The 411
A rough show. 2000 had so many great Pay-Per-Views, but this one just missed the mark in so many ways. The booking was strange, with the wrong guys going over on several occasions. Why put DX over the Dudleys? Why have Benoit and Eddie go out so quickly in the tournament? The show features one of the worst matches ever in Patterson/Brisco and only two of the eleven matches crack three stars. Hell, only four of the eleven reached two stars. It might seem harsh, but I just didn’t enjoy this. It would’ve fit in as a WCW 2000 PPV.