This flashback is inspired by a strange and wonderful event this morning.
While rooting through the family videotape collection earlier (yes, there was "home entertainment" before DVDs and YouTube young'uns) I stumbled upon something I had forgotten about long ago, deep, deep inside the back of the cabinet.
Covered in cobwebs and shrouded in dust lay my one and only WWF video―Survivor Series 2000.
So old is this video that the price tag on the front states a price of £16.99, which for those of you who don't know, we haven't used pounds here since Monica Lewinsky was famous.
So, like an Enid Blyton novel, I eagerly put my newfound treasure to use and slapped it into the similarily cobweb-covered VCR perhaps secretly hoping for a nostalgia trip. What follows here is a look at the PPV events on my trip down memory lane.
The tape started with an excellent opening video package and promo of The Game Triple H. Really sets the tone for the PPV and main event where The Game will meet his arch nemesis "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Some of you may remember a cliffhanger in WWF storylines a few years ago where Austin was run over by a car. Apparently, it was the Game that masterminded it all along. Who would've known, eh?
1. 3 v. 3 Intergender Tag Match
T&A v. Blackman, Crash & Molly Holly **1/2
Just to get this off my chest: Trish is probably the single sexiest woman in the history of wrestling. I will stand by that to my grave. Watching this I fantasized about rubbing honey all over her amazing body and licking her all over like a big bear―which says a lot about her in-ring work here.
In fairness, Trish really is a real damn loss to the wrestling world, not just because she was a looker, but a decent actor and wrestler too over the years unlike say, Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson.
As for the match it's strange watching the late Test and Crash duke it out here. Overall average stuff however by everyone, nice diving sunset flip by Molly (where is she now?) over a clearly awkward Trish.
A "Team ECK" promo follows. These guys are real comedy gold together. I remember reading in Powerslam many years ago that because Kurt Angle was so damn good at playing the goofy Olympic prat it would be almost impossible to take him seriously if he went serious...."What you guys drink, Molsons? They have that as a non-alcoholic drink, don't they?"
2. Survivor Series Elimination
Road Dogg, K-Kwik, Chyna, "The One" Billy Gunn v. The Radicalz **1/2
Average stuff here again. Who would've guessed back in 2000, Road Dogg and Monty Sopp would go on to have one of the worst cage matches in human history? Radicalz look the real deal here (take notes Legacy), really reminds you of a time when the WWE could put a proper heel stables together.
Again, weird watching Benoit and Guerrero tag each other. Also funny seeing Chyna here...If I remember right, she was in an interesting "will she/won't she" storyline with the loved up Eddie Guerrero or "Latino Heat" as he called himself.
For the finish Benoit gets outside assistance from Saturn to pin poor Billy off the suplex...Billy's career never recovered.
Chris Jericho pulls a outstanding promo here (What's new?) on his feud with Kane: "I thought it was all about coffee, I was ready to have a sanka on a poll match where the winner gets to pour coffee over the loser as much as he wants" then Chris gets all serious: "This is about a man who everytime he looks into the mirror sees an ugly, bitter, unforgiving monster...that man is me." Is Chris the best promo maker ever?
Nice pre-match recap: "If the world can't accept the freak, then I'm going to give them the monster". Really makes you wonder why they ever decided to unmask Kane and turn him into a Kozlov; it made no sense then and it makes less sense now.
Great storylines like this made Kane's character far more than the two dimensional cheap Michael Myers ripoff we're all too accustomed to in the WWE nowadays.
3. Singles Match
Kane v. Chris Jericho ***1/2
Jericho starts with a flurry. Very acrobatic stuff. Kane debuts a weird standing reverse camel clutch thingy mid-match. To my knowledge he never used this move ever again. Jericho keeps standing up after every fist and at one point grabs Kane's tights to keep himself upright-great ring psychology.
Great finish with Kane catching Jericho one-handed off the Lionsault and getting up to chokeslam him.
4. European Championship
William Regal v. Hardcore Holly *1/2
Regal starts with a typical Brit ponce promo. Regal keeps working the arm. Waving. Working the arm. Waving...Holly eventually goes nuts and drops Regal with the belt.
Has Hardcore at any point of his career ever been over? Everybody went for a tinkle during this one, including me.
Oh, Trish and Angle here! Trish keeps talking about "special assistance" now that Stephanie McMahon isn't around. JR hilariously points out if that were him, he'd be getting a room right now
5. Singles Match
The Rock v. Rikishi ***1/2
The storyline between the two leading up to this is outstanding, probably the most outrageous storyline in the last 10 years the WWF initially got right. It was Rikishi who ran over Stone Cold, and he did it for his friend and fellow Samoan, The Rock.
After naming legends like Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers, Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan; he pointed out how pro wrestling has always been about the 'Great White Hope' and about guys like the Rock's father Rocky Johnson being kept down. So Rikishi taking out Austin allowed the Rock to finally reach the top.
But they completely missed the boat on this one later. First they go on to reveal it was HHH who told Rikishi what to do, which makes no sense considering Rikishi and Too Cool were frequently at odds with the McMahon-Helmsley machine previously.
This may have been backstage politician HHH making sure he got No. 1 heel billing in WWF land in hindsight and changing a key storyline that didn't have him involved (I'm sure Rikishi's flipping burgers somehwhere thanking HHH for that, like Randy Orton will be...).
Then they jobbed out Rikishi to everybody in the company until his heel character was destroyed. Thus, this match was the high point of the angle.
Great heel wrestling from Rikishi. Keeps going for the Rock's injured chest whenever Rock gathers momentum. Rock suffers a stink-face. That's one thing I've always liked with The Rock, he always sold well and made his opponent look strong beyond what was called for.
Rikishi sells the People's Elbow like he got hit with a taser for the finish. Rikishi repeatedly Bonzai Drops Rock after attaining major heel heat.
Commissioner Foley makes Trips' match No DQ. Foley's hair is short here. Wow.
6. Women's Championship
Lita v. Ivory *1/2
I've never been a fan of women's wrestling. Clumsy match. Nice crossbody onto Steven Richards and Ivory by Lita. Ivory wins with Richards' assistance. Before I move on let me point out RTC as another example of a heel stable conceptualised and booked well.
Jericho attacks Kane backstage.
7. WWF Championship
Kurt Angle v. Undertaker ****
Kurt Angle cuts a brilliant promo pre-match calling for people to take a moment of silence to reflect on his (excellent) first year in wrestling. Kurt must have done this in a past life or something, he's great at riling up people like this.
Taker throws Angle a chair to start the match because Kurt keeps running out of the ring. Kurt obliges and hits him on the back before the bell rings. Kurt's ring psychology is absolutely brilliant. He keeps evading Taker and throwing cheap shots like the coward he'd have us believe.
But Kurt succumbs to an arm-bar of all things and taps out. Pity, E&C run out to distract the ref. Kurt works on the knee.
E&C once again are distracting poor Earl. The fans are really into this Kurt reverses a Tombstone, slides over the ropes and crawls under the ring. Taker is able to grab Angle and gives him the Last Ride.
Earl refuses to count! Another Kurt comes from behind for the rollup! Amazing finish.
I remember thinking at the time if Earl suddenly thought Taker was Bret Hart or something. Turned out in the week after, Taker was pinning Kurt's real life brother Eric Angle. From behind, they look so alike. Whatever happened to Eric?
Kurt's hilarious. He runs straight out of the building without his belt and into his car.
XFL cheerleaders promo. This is mightily ironic to watch.
8. Survivor Series Elimination
RTC, Edge & Christian w/Val Venis v. Hardyz & Dudleyz ***
Good solid match with the faces finding themselves a few men down for most of the match. These guys know each other inside out and its a reminder of how a strong tag division really adds to a card. Hardy grabs the win over the "Goodfather," cue pandemonium and tables.
9. No DQ match
HHH v. Stone Cold ***1/2
Starts decent in ring before inevitably spilling to the outside. These guys are tearing the place apart. HHH gets juiced. Stone Cold drinks a few beers mid-match and smacks Hunter with the cans.
Nice counter of the Stunner into a neckbreaker. This is gruelling stuff, a real brawl as opposed a wrestling match. The Game gets flipped over from a pedigree position through the announce table off the ring steps.
Austin stunners, but he's not covering, he's wrapping a chair around HHH's leg. Then relents. Cue boos. Then places it on his neck! Cue cheers.
HHH rolls away before Austin can make contact off the top rope.
Stone Cold follows and the Radicalz eventually interfere. The Game waits in his car for an ambush. Before we know it HHH's car is being lifted by Austin with a giant forklift. This is one of the most memorable PPV finishes I've seen as Austin drops the car with HHH inside amazingly.
Some post-match interviews. Nothing special from all the Holly's. Rikishi gives a decent promo. We see Lita getting stitches post-match. Ivory is hilarious playing an extreme feminist who's "truly trying to help Lita clean herself up."
Taker gives a good interview saying he was outsmarted rather than outfought. Kurt tells us he was using one of his three I's―intelligence, he knows his character inside out.
Final Thoughts on my epic journey
Overall, this was a good PPV. The matches by themselves aren't amazing but it reminded me of all the good storylines, characters and angles that the WWF had going for it once upon a time.
I do remember it being a lot better though when I was younger. Maybe some things are meant to be watched only once.
It's also a nice throwback to what the elders once called "common sense" was used in the WWF/E and when wrestling was more interesting.
Matches need storylines behind them no matter how good the wrestling is, and that's the most important thing I can take form this trip down memory lane.
Hope you enjoyed this flashback.