On This Day: April 30, 2000 – Backlash 2000: This Is What Wrestlemania Should Have Been

Backlash 2000
Date: April 30, 2000
Location: MCI Center, Washington, DC
Attendance: 17,867
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the final series. This feels like the last week at school when you realize that it’s over after this. This show is probably what Wrestlemania should have been. The company was on fire at this point and this might be the best show of the year for the best year of the company. The main event is Rock vs. HHH for the title with Shane as guest referee. There are also rumors of a Rattlesnake sighting. Let’s get to it.

We open with a video of Rock vs. HHH who has most of the McMahons in his corner. The idea here is McMahons/HHH vs. Rock/Austin. Austin blew up a bus or something recently.

Here’s a VERY drunk Debra to announce the first match. This is her return to the company after awhile.

Tag Titles: Edge/Christian vs. D-Generation X

This would be Road Dogg/X-Pac and the Canadians are the champions. I do miss DX’s Kings of Rock theme. I also miss Tori. Debra is GONE. Edge vs. X-Pac gets us going. Pac speeds things up and armdrags Edge down. Edge takes him down as well and hits a spinwheel kick to clear the ring. Back in Pac spits at him and tags out to Roadie. The champs hit Poetry in Motion and it’s off to Christian vs. Dogg.

The Canadian gets guillotined on the top and Pac kicks Christian’s head off. He’s sent to the floor due to a Tori distraction, resulting in him being sent into the steps. Back in Road Dogg stops a tag and the Bronco Buster keeps Christian in trouble. Some hard kicks to the back get two for Roadie. Christian comes back but gets caught in the dancing punches to a big reaction. Shaky knee gets two.

I think they’re both supposed to try a cross body but Christian looked like he just jumped into the one from Road Dogg. Pac breaks up the tag but while he’s being put out, Edge drops a swan dive on Road Dogg which gets two for Christian. Christian escapes a double something into a double reverse DDT. Everyone but Edge is down and there’s the hot tag. Pac’s rana is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two. Unprettier is broken up but Edge spears down Road Dogg. Tori gets up and Pac accidentally drills her, getting a rollup for two by Edge. X-Factor takes Edge down but Christian hits him with the bell so Edge can pin him.

Rating: C+. This was a good choice for an opener as both teams were moving well out there. That’s what you do for an opener: get the crowd fired up and make them cheer, even though the Canadians were on the verge of turning heel anyway. Good solid opener here and it was fast paced enough to fire up the fans.

Debra can barely say WWF Tag Team Champions. Pac was busted open.

Rock is here.

Light Heavyweight Title: Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Dean Malenko

Dean is champion and this is Scotty’s rematch I believe. Scotty dances with Lillian pre-match. Scotty starts off fast with some near falls. Belly to back puts Dean down and Scotty nips up into the Moonwalk. He sets for the bulldog to set up the Worm but Dean clotheslines him down instead. Dean, the heel, tries to get the buckle pad off but can’t quite get it. He rams Scotty into the buckle anyway and we head outside.

A dropkick to the knee gets two and Dean works the leg over a bit. After a quick leg lock he wraps it around the post a few times. Back to the leg lock and then a leg lace. Dean hits a knee crusher but Scotty comes back with an enziguri. That gets him nowhere so it’s back to the knee by Dean. He tries a spinning toehold but Scotty kicks him into the corner and rolls him up for two.

Malenko kicks at the knee again but then charges at Scotty, sending both of them out to the floor. Back in Dean hits a superplex to put both guys down. Dean is up first but walks into a backslide for two. Scotty bulldogs him down and it’s Worm time! That gets two so Malenko rolls him up with feet on the ropes for two. Things are speeding way up. Tiger Bomb gets two for Dean and he’s frustrated.

Scotty comes back at him again but walks into a powerslam for two. He tries to put Dean on the apron but gets guillotined down on the top rope. Malenko goes up top but Scotty pops him with a right hand. Scotty goes up for a superplex but Dean counters in mid air into a DDT. FREAKING OW MAN and Dean retains. SICK counter.

Rating: B. Malenko is awesome but unfortunately he never quite did anything of note in the WWF. The Light Heavyweight Title was almost exclusively defended on the late night weekend shows which meant that most people didn’t know the title was around or who held it. Dean would hold it until a few weeks before the next Wrestlemania. This was a really good match though and that ending is GREAT.

The McMahon-Helmsley Era (I think that’s their name at this point at least) is in the back and Patterson and Brisco swear their loyalty. Vince says it’s all hands on deck tonight.

Big Boss Man/Bull Buchanan vs. Acolytes

Brawl to start and it’s Bradshaw vs. Buchanan to get us going. A DDT puts Buchanan down and Bradshaw goes up top for a shoulder which gets two. A spear puts Bull down as does a fallaway slam. Off to Boss Man vs. Farrooq with a Boss Man Sucks chant at the same time. Farrooq suplexes him down for two and Boss Man goes to the floor. Bradshaw puts him into the steps to keep the Acolytes in control. This is a VERY fast paced match.

Bradshaw sends him to the floor again where Farrooq gets in a few shots. It’s basically been a squash up to this point. Simmons comes in legally and finally gets taken down by Boss Man. Off to Buchanan who drops an elbow and pounds Farrooq into the corner. Farrooq plays Ricky Morton which some pretty original casting.

Off to a chinlock which doesn’t last long as it’s off to Bradshaw. Everything breaks down and Bradshaw goes up. Boss Man slows him up so that Buchanan can suplex him down for two. Buchanan misses a charge and the Clothesline gets two. A nightstick shot stops Bradshaw dead and an ax kick from the top (cool!) gets the pin.

Rating: B-. What in the world was this??? Who would have ever thought these four would have had a match that was almost faster paced than DX and Edge/Christian? The ending was great too with Buchanan’s ax kick looking great, although it wound up being more like a Fameasser. Still though, good match and a HUGE surprise.

The Hardys are in the back and say they’ll fight if they have to over the Hardcore Title.

Hardcore Holly is looking forward to beating up Crash for the Hardcore Title. Crash offers a handshake and gets slapped in the head.

We go to the announce desk for a quick talk. That’s normal but for some reason a name graphic comes up that says Tim Russert. I rewound it to see if that’s what it said and it certainly did. How odd.

Hardcore Title: Crash Holly vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Perry Saturn vs. Tazz

Matt was defending against Jeff when Crash came in and stole the title. You can only win here by pinning Crash or Crash can win by pinning anyone. That’s a unique twist on multi-man rules. Crash runs into a cameraman during Saturn’s entrance. Saturn immediately suplexes Crash for two. Hardcore powerbombs him for the same. The idea here is pretty clear: everyone is going after Crash one at a time and then they’ll fight each other. Northern lights suplex gets two for Tazz. Remember there’s no point in anyone covering anyone but Crash.

Crash runs up the ramp and climbs the structure (it’s the cool one with the swinging hooks). He’s followed by Matt and winds up getting hung upside down by his knee. Everyone gets him down so Matt dives on all of them. The fans are impressed. Saturn does something to Matt that we miss and a piece of the structure breaks off. Jeff dives off part of it as well to take down Saturn. Matt and Crash head to the ring and Jeff joins them for some double teaming.

This is one of those matches where you can’t really keep up with what’s going on. Saturn hooks a freaky arm bending hold on Crash but Matt breaks it up. Even the announcers can barely keep up with what’s going on here. Tazz gets a clothesline and Matt covers for two. The Hardys beat up Tazz and Hardcore on the floor. Hardcore suplexes Crash out there for no cover. There are some signs being used as weapons now.

Back in the ring and Crash dropkicks Tazz down for two. There’s an extension cord in the ring now and all six guys are in as well. Tazz pops the Hardys with a sign and gets two on Crash. C rash barely has any offense at all for the most part here. Saturn suplexes Hardcore and gets two on Crash. The Hardys both have cookie sheets and they clean a few rooms. Jeff hits a Sabu style moonsault on Crash so Saturn can get two. Hardcore superplexes Crash for two. A Falcon Arrow onto a chair gets the same.

Jeff brings in a ladder (JR: “The ladder gets a pop!”) and beats up everyone in sight not named Matt with it. This has already gone on way too long. Hardcore gets thrown into the ladder while Saturn is outside on the announce table. Jeff Swantons Crash from the top of the ladder and Matt steals a two count, leading to a brotherly fight. Tazmission to Crash but Saturn clocks Tazz with a stop sign. Jeff dives on Saturn and Crash steals the pin on Tazz to retain. The Hardys music plays for some reason.

Rating: D+. You can’t say Crash didn’t earn it after a beating like that. The match went on too long though, clocking in at over 12 minutes. The problem was they ran out of stuff to do about 8 minutes in, so from about that far in until they bring in the ladder, this was a lot of laying around and doing nothing of note. It would have been better with less time.

Shane says he doesn’t have a conflict of interest tonight.

We recap Angle vs. Show. Show has “gone Hollywood” resulting in some funny imitations. HHH gave Angle and Show a tag title shot but Angle didn’t like Show being a fat Scottish guy so Angle jumped him. This went badly, setting up the following match.

Kurt Angle vs. Big Show

Angle runs down Marian Berry, who is mayor of Washington DC. He’s also a former crackhead. The lack of integrity is what’s wrong with America. That means we need a Real American…..and that’s what we get. Here’s Big Show doing the absolute best Hulk Hogan imitation you’ll EVER see. He’s got a Showster t-shirt with the rips in the back, yellow boots, a bald skull cap with blonde hair down the sides, he does the hand to the ear, rips the shirt and throws it, and does the swinging arms warmup that Hulk did. And then, he talks.

Doing an even better Hogan imitation, he talks about being to the top of the mountain and says dude and brother more times than should be humanly allowed. Angle jumps him but Show HULKS UP almost immediately. Right hand doesn’t work (JR: “The old no sell!”) so Show punches him three times and hits the big boot. LEG DROP gets two and a bigger reaction than anything else so far, which is saying a lot as the fans were going nuts the entire time so far.

Angle goes for the leg and the fans chant for Hogan. Show (who has his goatee dyed too) rips off the cap and hair and destroys Angle in the corner. Chokeslam ends this quick. It’s too short to rate but as a match it was worthless. From an entertainment perspective, this is one of the best and funniest moments you’ll ever see. Check this out as it’s well worth it if you’re a Hogan fan.

We recap T&A vs. the Dudleys. The Dudleys are the hot new team and Bubba likes to put women through tables. The only one he hasn’t been able to do it to is Trish, so Trish has been making these sexy videos about tables. She keeps kissing him to keep from being put through the tables and then T&A would put him through it instead.

Trish, still the evil chick who wears skin tight tiny outfits and has more sexual innuendo than Lawler could ever dream of, says Bubba will see how she feels in a minute.

Bubba is in another of his trances.

T&A vs. Dudley Boys

Brawl to start of course and Bubba chases Trish around on the floor. Albert and D-Von get us going with the future Japanese bore taking control. D-Von takes him down for two and I have no idea who the faces are and who the heels are here. Off to Bubba who takes his head off with a clothesline. That and an elbow drop both get two. Off to D-Von and the Dudleys hit a double suplex and the yet to be named What’s Up.

Albert comes back with a bicycle kick and it’s off to Test. Double splashes in the corner get two on D-Von. I could listen to Bubba Dudley yell from an apron all day. I’d get pretty bored but I certainly could do it. The big evil (I think?) ones double team D-Von. Albert slams Test onto D-Von and shouts to TESTIFY TO THAT. Bubba: “SHUT UP!” The fans of course want tables but D-Von gets a neckbreaker on Test instead.

The referee misses the tag to Bubba and the beating continues. Albert hits his slingshot into the bottom rope for two. A sunset flip out of nowhere gets two for D-Von, but he’s quickly powerbombed for the same. The fans want tables and Trish isn’t sure what to think. Albert goes up but Bubba distracts him, allowing D-Von to hit a superplex and make the hot tag.

Reverse 3D (called the 3D by JR of course) gets two. Baldo Bomb kills Bubba but D-Von pulls him away from the big elbow. The Dudleys load up the REAL 3D (as in Bubba gets a running start) but Trish offers a distraction by taking her jacket off and shaking her hips. Keep in mind that this is before Trish let herself go in 2001/2002, and yes I said that right That lets Test kick Bubba’s head off for the pin.

Rating: D+. Anything with Trish in hot pink shorts and shaking her hips is never a bad thing. The match however was pretty bad, but the whole point was the post match stuff. Also the Dudleys were more or less turned face in this match due to the fans loving hot women being put through tables for some reason.

Post match Bubba hits the Cutter (called a neckbreaker by JR who is way off tonight) on Test and grabs Trish. She French kisses him but gets powerbombed through the table anyway. The orgasmic look on Bubba’s face is always great. Trish is taken out on a stretcher.

Chyna and Eddie arrive. Eddie is told he has a match next. They’re just arriving from the prom as Eddie has earned his GED if I remember correctly.

As Eddie is changing in the aisle, we get a quick recap of him hooking up with Chyna. Essa was Eddie’s partner one night and Lita accidentally moonsaulted Eddie. Chyna threatened her and Lita hit Eddie again. This is before Lita meant anything.

European Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Essa Rios

Rios has Lita with him. Eddie immediately dropkicks him down but Rios speeds things up to take over. A Saito suplex stops that completely and Eddie works on the arm. Rios tries to run the corner out of a wristlock but slips off the ropes and has to drop it. Instead an armdrag sends Eddie to the floor but Rios’ dive misses. Slingshot hilo hits Essa and Eddie is in full control. Apparently Trish has been taken to the hospital.

Rios is sent to the floor where Chyna drills him with a forearm. Rios comes back with a missile dropkick for two. The fans don’t really seem to care here. Things speed up and Eddie gets launched into the ropes by Rios’ feet. Eddie sends him to the floor with ease and Chyna fires off another big forearm. Eddie dives on him and you can hear the Spanish announce team talking.

Guerrero loads up a powerbomb on the floor so Lita goes up top for the save. Chyna shoves her off and Lita crashes into the table. Rios runs in and hits a HUGE moonsault off the top to send Eddie into the table. Back in the ring a missile dropkick puts Eddie down and to the floor where Essa hits a HUGE over the corner dive. Back in Eddie hits a superplex and a brainbuster, but Rios armdrags him off the top. The big moonsault (gorgeous one too) hits Eddie’s knees and a Gory Bomb into an airplane spin into a neckbreaker gets the pin to retain.

Rating: B. This started slow but once they started busting out the lucha stuff, this got very good very fast. Rios is a guy that never quite clicked in the WWF but his chick certainly did. Lita would hook up with the Hardys the next month and become as famous as she ever did in her career. Very fun match here.

Post match Lita rips off Chyna’s dress, revealing some very nice and very small blue underwear. This was when Chyna was still hot.

HHH is still in street clothes and says he has nothing to worry about. Vince is smug about Austin not being here yet.

Benoit says Jericho may say he’s great but Benoit is the champion.

We get the second schoolgirl video of the night. It says Judgment Day is coming. That’s Undertaker.

Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit

Does this need a backstory at all? Benoit is champion and I think that’s all you need to know. Jericho is a face here…..I think? The fans chant for him so we’ll say he is. They jockey for position on the ropes and tumble out to the floor. Back into the ring and they hit a series of rollups I can’t keep up with. They trade skin ripping chops before Jericho gets on top of him with right hands. Benoit gets up and tries some Germans but Jericho grabs the top rope.

Instead Benoit throws him over the top and out to the floor. Suicide dive misses and Benoit crashes ONTO HIS HEAD on the floor. That’s a much scarier move knowing what we know now. Benoit gets back up and sends Jericho into the steps but he jumps over them to avoid contact. Benoit is cool with that and dropkicks them into Jericho’s knees to take over. Back inside Benoit gets two off a gutbuster.

The champ drapes Jericho over the top rope and hooks an abdominal stretch. Jericho comes out of it and hits the Lionsault but he can’t cover because of the ribs and a possible arm injury. Eventually it gets two and they get back up. Benoit gets his boot up in the corner but Jericho kicks his head off with a spinwheel kick. Jericho cradles him for two and then drapes him over the top just like Benoit did earlier. The challenger tries his springboard dropkick but Benoit avoids the contact.

Benoit goes up but gets crotched with his back to the ring. Jericho tries a belly to back superplex but Benoit spins around in the air and lands on Jericho for a delayed two. Awesome match so far. Jericho hits his double powerbomb for two but Benoit counters the cover into the Crossface. That gets broken up by a rope so Jericho tries the Walls but he can’t quite hook it before Benoit makes the rope.

They head into the ropes and Jericho accidentally forearms the referee. Benoit grabs the belt to blast Jericho in the face and tick off all the fans. That only gets two and the kickout gets an eruption. Benoit snap suplexes him onto the belt and goes up top for the Swan Dive. Jericho moves and Benoit hits the belt which was under Jericho……AND THAT’S A DQ??? Oh freaking blow me! JR flat out says that decision sucks.

Rating: A-. Seriously, WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? This was getting AWESOME and was probably on the way to being the best non-ladder match I can ever remember with these two, but then we didn’t get to see the ending. At least the replay shows that Jericho picked up the belt because it looked like he just moves and Benoit hit it. That being said, Benoit vs. Jericho with 15 minutes is more than worth watching.

Jericho puts the referee in the Walls post match. Good.

We recap HHH vs. Rock. Vince turned on Rock to help HHH retain at Wrestlemania and said that Rock would never be champion again. Rock beat Boss Man and Buchanan in a cage to get a rematch but was beaten down after the match ended. Vince stacked the deck so Linda said Austin would be in Rock’s corner. He hadn’t been seen since November so this was a big deal. Austin blew up DX’s bus to end Smackdown.

Rock says if Austin isn’t here, he’ll win the title anyway.

WWF Title: The Rock vs. Triple H

HHH is champion, Vince is in his corner, Shane is guest referee, Stephanie is HOT in a little dark blue dress. Vince points out the card subject to change line in the program, which means that Austin isn’t here. Slugout to start and Rock knocks him down after a delay into the spit punch. Rock stomps him down in the corner but Shane drags him off. Brahma Bull charges at HHH but gets sent to the floor.

HHH sends him into the steps and then the announce table. Vince posts Rock and throws him back in as the odds are stacked very high already. That only gets two, as do the suplex and knee drop. HHH hooks on a long chinlock and puts his feet on the top rope. Shane has been leaving his eyes elsewhere of course. Rock finally gets up and drops HHH onto the buckle to escape. He fires off right hands and they clothesline each other.

Rock knocks him into the corner but Vince pops up with a belt shot to put him down for a very close two. Rock gets up and throws HHH to the floor where he may have hurt his arm. Back in the ring Rock hits a spinning DDT but Shane won’t count. Rock goes after Shane and they head to the floor where HHH gets in a shot to take over. Pedigree through the table is countered by a low blow but Shane doesn’t DQ him for some reason. Instead he gets up on the table too and it’s a DOUBLE ROCK BOTTOM through the table.

Both guys are half dead but Rock gets up first. There’s no referee, but it doesn’t really matter as Shane wouldn’t count a pin anyway. Vince gets in the ring with the guys and hits Rock in the back. That goes badly as you would expect because HHH gets back up and hits a Pedigree. Here are Patterson and Brisco to count but Rock kicks out. The Stooges pound on Rock and HHH gets in some shots too. His arm is clearly hurt.

Vince hits Rock in the head with a chair so hard that he falls down too. CUE GLASS SHATTER! Austin, to a MASSIVE pop, comes out with a chair and murders everyone in sight. Everyone is down so Austin leaves as Linda and the recently fired Earl Hebner come out. Stephanie gets shoved down and it’s a spinebuster and the People’s Elbow to give Rock the title back.

Rating: B+. Why this didn’t happen at Wrestlemania I’m not sure. Either way, it happened here and it was GREAT. This was the Attitude Era formula of throw EVERYTHING out there but give the fans what they want in the end. That makes the wild brawling ok and it gives Rock the title back, which is how it should be. Austin’s pop was incredible and thankfully for Rock’s time on top, Austin wouldn’t be back to action for about six more months.

Rock celebrates but here’s Austin in his truck. He’s hauling the remnants of the DX Express behind him. Austin and Rock drink beer to end the show.

Overall Rating: A. This was an EXCELLENT show with everything hitting on all cylinders. The worst match was certainly fine and the main event was great. You couple that with a hilarious moment in the Showster and a great main event that needed to happen and this could be nothing but great. Rock and HHH would trade the title some more over the summer and it was always awesome. Great show and well worth seeing.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3RZIR8

5 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    That Austin pop was so massive that I actually remember it.

    Has anyone had more televised matches than Kurt and Show? They must have had atleast 15 matches on tv over the years.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I looked that up last night for someone asking about it. Dolph vs. Kofi counting PPV: 25 times.

    [Reply]

    M.R. Reply:

    That is absurd, now if only they could feud over the WHC.

    Was the Angle/Show number listed?

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    One on one matches: 5.

  2. MikeCheyne says:

    I love the main event in this so much. I can’t stop laughing (in a good way) when Austin comes in and hits Briscoe, Patterson, Shane, Vince, and HHH with the chair.

    JR and Lawler are also on fire. Jerry’s call of “there’s no Shane…there’s no Vince…” right before the People’s Elbow is amazing.

    [Reply]

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