Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Fully Loaded 2000
Date: July 23, 2000
Location: Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
In addition to the WWF Title match featuring the Rock defending against Chris Benoit, we also have the Undertaker (now a biker) facing Kurt Angle and HHH vs. Chris Jericho in one of the earlier matches in a very long running feud. On top of that though there’s another match with a single moment that should receive a lot more attention than it does. Let’s get to it.
The opening video has a gambling theme with the voiceover talking about how everyone can lose it all on a single roll of the dice.
T&A/Trish Stratus vs. Hardy Boyz/Lita
T&A would be Test (a tall guy with a great big boot) and Albert (a big bald powerhouse). The feud is mainly between the women but Trish isn’t much of a wrestler yet so the guys are here to make this watchable. It’s a brawl to start with Trish doing her best to hide from Lita. Wearing bright pink might not have been the best option for camouflage.
Albert throws Matt out of a suplex to start before holding him on the mat in a test of strength grip. Somehow Matt climbs to the top for an armdrag to put the monster down, only to have Matt’s knee give out on a backdrop to the apron. Thankfully he’s able to get back up and shoves Test off the middle rope for a legdrop.
Jeff comes in (BIG high pitched pop for that) and gets caught in a spinning side slam, only to have Test get caught in the corner for a double stomping. That just earns Matt a big boot to the face and it’s off to Trish, much to Lawler’s delight. She accidentally slaps Test though, allowing Matt to grab a rollup for two. Trish keeps screwing up by missing an elbow but she’s able to crawl over and make the tag off to Albert.
Thankfully the Hardys come in to save Lita and a double suplex drops Albert. Test comes in as well but the good guys (and Lita) get together for a double suplex on Test and Trish. That means it’s time for the shirts (including Lita’s) to come off, further riling up an already hot crowd. A big toss sends Jeff over the top to the floor but he’s fine enough to roll Albert up for two.
Test comes back in for a chinlock before countering a hurricanrana into a wicked sitout powerbomb. Jeff avoids a top rope elbow though and the hot tag brings in Matt. The guys all come in at once and Jeff drops Test with a tornado DDT before Lita comes in with a hurricanrana.
She’s not done yet though as she dives down onto Albert but another hurricanrana to Test is countered with a powerbomb. NOW Trish will come in of course but Lita kicks out at one. The fans aren’t that pleased with a bulldog to Lita as they want puppies. For some reason Trish goes up top, only to get superplexed down. With Matt and Jeff taking care of T&A, Lita scores with the moonsault for the pin on Trish at 13:12.
Rating: B. You really can see how far the Hardys have come in the last year as they now feel like a major team instead of two guys who got a fluke win over the Acolytes. It also helps that they have the very popular Lita instead of Michael “oh yeah I remember him” Hayes. Trish would of course get WAY better and have one of the best rivalries ever against Lita over the years to come.
T&A destroy the winners, including Trish whipping Lita with a belt.
Edge comes up to Commissioner Mick Foley to tell him that Christian has food poisoning. Foley finds that very convenient since they have the Acolytes tonight.
Undertaker arrives on his motorcycle and chases after Kurt Angle, riding the bike right into Kurt’s locker room.
Tazz vs. Al Snow
Tazz is a tough guy from New York who made his name in ECW and this is his first match back from an arm injury. Since he’s been back he’s been attacking various wrestlers, including Snow to set this up. Snow goes after him fast and drops Tazz with an elbow to the face before stomping away. Tazz comes back with some big boots of his own, only to eat a nice superkick.
Something like an Alabama Slam (not yet named) drops Snow out of the corner though, only to have him come back with a moonsault. Snow’s guillotine legdrop and moonsault get two each and the fans call this boring. That’s probably accurate but Snow playing it straight has never been the most interesting thing. Snow goes after Head, only to have Tazz take out his legs to put Snow down again. A capture suplex plants Snow and the Tazmission (a judo choke) makes Snow tap at 5:20.
Rating: D+. Of all the people they could use for Tazz’s comeback match, they picked Al Snow? It’s one of those matches that isn’t going to work no matter what you do because Snow, at least when he’s just being himself, isn’t all that interesting. Tazz looked dominant but he needs a real feud if he’s going to be taken seriously.
Christian is checked by the doctor and the diagnosis is….not clear.
Someone keeps sending Stephanie McMahon flowers but they weren’t from husband HHH. That really doesn’t sit well with him and he finds a card that says they’re from Kurt Angle. This was part of a long running storyline where Angle might have been trying to steal Stephanie from HHH because that’s what American heroes do.
European Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Perry Saturn
Eddie (VERY over with the Texas crowd) is defending and has Chyna with him in possibly the biggest storyline of their collective careers. Saturn has the mostly worthless Terri Runnels, who has caused some of the drama between the former stable mates, with him. Chyna goes after Saturn to start so she can chase off Terri, leaving the guys to start things off. Eddie throws Saturn around to start and sends him to the floor for a clothesline from Chyna.
Back in and Eddie snaps off a top rope hurricanrana for two before working on the arm for a bit. Saturn is sent outside again and Chyna throws him into the steps, allowing Eddie to hit a gorgeous dive off the top. A tornado DDT cuts off Saturn’s comeback and there’s a bit of blood on the top of his head. Another hurricanrana puts Saturn down but he counters a third into a powerbomb.
Saturn misses a moonsault (the third in three matches) but avoids the frog splash, only to have Eddie roll through because he’s just that good. He can’t avoid a suplex into a release powerslam though and Saturn goes up. That’s fine with Eddie who knocks him out to the floor but Saturn clotheslines Chyna over the announcers’ table. Cue Terri again for a low blow to Eddie, allowing Saturn to drop a top rope elbow to the back for the pin and the title at 8:10.
Rating: C-. The good stuff here is all due to Eddie who was looking smoother than he had in a long time. There’s just something about his in ring abilities that almost no one could ever match. Saturn on the other hand just wasn’t all that sharp here and the women were only there for the ending, which is rarely a good idea.
The Radicalz explode:
Undertaker is ready to destroy Angle and things get worse when he sees Angle getting on his motorcycle. A chase ensues.
Tag Team Titles: Edge and Christian vs. Acolytes
Edge and Christian are defending and Edge says Christian really is sick. Sick of being in Dallas, Texas that is! After a few jokes about Dallas’ sports teams, Christian says John F. Kennedy’s assassination wasn’t important because Kennedy would have killed himself anyway if he had to spend five more minutes in Dallas. The Acolytes clear the ring and Bradshaw yells about how awesome Texas is.
They start the beatdown fast with Faarooq hitting Edge in the head with the steps but it’s early on so there isn’t much of an effect. Christian gets caught in a super fall away slam but is able to get up and dropkick Bradshaw to save Edge from a powerbomb. Bradshaw fights out of a double team in the corner though and blasts Edge with a top rope shoulder. The hot tag brings in Faarooq as everything breaks down. Faarooq hits the Dominator on Christian but Edge comes in with the title belt for the DQ at 5:29.
Rating: D+. This had a lot of energy and the fans wanted to see Edge and Christian’s heads removed from their bodies but the match felt like a standard Raw match, especially after all the shenanigans with Foley earlier in the night. The tag division was at a peak around this time with all the teams looking good and some amazing chemistry between the top teams. A few more teams getting the titles might have helped though.
Big Boss Man annoys a guy trying to drink at WWF New York, a WWF themed bar and nightclub.
Stephanie thinks the flowers might not be from Angle because the card just says “it’s true it’s true” and doesn’t have a name. HHH storms out of the dressing room.
Undertaker is still chasing Angle but Kurt sneaks up on him and hits him in the knee with a wrench.
Intercontinental Title: Rikishi vs. Val Venis
Inside a steel cage with Venis defending and pinfall/escape to win. Venis, with Trish in his corner, is defending and is now more serious with the adult film stuff basically forgotten. Rikishi, a 400lb dancing Samoan, recently lost the title thanks to an interfering Tazz so this is also about revenge.
Venis is sent into the cage a few times to start but goes for the door to draw Rikishi away from climbing. Rikishi goes head first into the cage a few times as they’re certainly making use of their surroundings. The Stinkface (don’t ask) is broken up by a low blow before a clothesline turns Rikishi inside out. Venis drops an elbow from the top rope (as in from the middle of the rope instead of the corner) for two.
They fight on the top rope with Venis going into the cage to bust him open and Rikishi crotching himself to keep things even. It’s Rikishi up first though and a Samoan Drop sets up the Rump Shaker (Banzai Drop) for two as Venis gets his foot on the ropes. A ram into the cage sets up the Money Shot (top rope splash) for two on Rikishi and both guys are down.
Cue Lita with a belt to strap Trish and rip off her top to change Lawler’s opinion very quickly. The girls leave so Rikishi sends Val into the cage again, bumping the ref in the process. Rikishi starts climbing…..but stops and looks back. In the aforementioned moments that should receive more attention, Rikishi DIVES OFF THE CAGE WITH A 400LB SPLASH to completely crush Venis. There’s no referee though so Tazz comes in with a camera to knock Rikishi out and give Venis the pin to retain at 14:10.
Rating: C. The cage spot and the fans’ reaction to Lita carry this but why in the world would you not change the title here? If you just have to have the title on Venis, switch the title here and then put it back on Val on TV somewhere. After that dive, there’s really no justification to not put the belt on him, at least for one night. I really don’t agree with that finish but the splash was amazing.
Rikishi gets helped out.
We look at Angle taking out Undertaker’s knee earlier.
Undertaker is limping around in the back despite coming in with a knee injury.
HHH demands that Harvey Wippleman (the person delivering the flowers) show him who is sending them. Harvey says they’re from that locker room so HHH goes in and violence is heard. The door opens and Chris Jericho walks out with HHH down on the floor.
Here’s Shane McMahon for a chat. He gets right to the point by calling out Rock but says that’s not fair to Benoit. Cue the Rock and Shane immediately bails to the apron. Rock knows this is a setup and wants Benoit to just come out here already and start the fight now. Benoit gets on the screen from Rock’s locker room to say Rock isn’t stupid enough to get disqualified tonight (which would mean a title change) so he’ll just destroy Rock’s clothes. The announcers freak out as Benoit breaks Rock’s sunglasses and rip up his shirts. This was just a way to kill some time but it felt like a TV segment.
We recap Kurt Angle vs. the Undertaker. Angle had insulted Undertaker’s motorcycle and doused it with milk. Undertaker wasn’t pleased so Kurt replaced it with a motor scooter, further ticking Undertaker off. Angle made things even worse by accidentally hitting Undertaker with a sledgehammer to officially make this a fight. With all hope lost, Angle destroyed another of Undertaker’s motorcycles and called it a bicycle before injuring Undertaker’s knee.
Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
Undertaker rides his motorcycle to the ring during Kurt’s entrance and knocks the (clearly fake) wrench out of his hand. The beating starts in the crowd and heads inside for the opening bell. Undertaker scores with a big boot but Undertaker doesn’t want the pin just yet. The same thing happens off a vertical suplex so Kurt grabs a desperation sleeper. That just further ticks Undertaker off so he elbows Kurt in the face as the knee seems just fine so far. They head outside and Kurt gets in a wrench shot to the knee. Well maybe now Undertaker will sell the thing.
Back in and Undertaker punches his way out of trouble, prompting JR to say Undertaker has a PH.D. in street fighting. Lawler: “Folks I’d like to apologize for that.” Kurt takes him down by the leg so Undertaker kicks him in the face with the good leg to break the momentum again. It’s right back to the leg lock as JR uses the inaccurate “they’re the same height on the mat” line. Actually Undertaker is still much taller but the advantage is negated. Undertaker pops up again and wins a quick slugout, setting up the chokeslam. The Last Ride puts Kurt away at 7:34.
Rating: D. This was just a step above a squash and that’s not the kind of thing that should be happening to Angle. The knee injury was barely sold save for a little limping which really hinders whatever Kurt could do out there. Undertaker was WAY off his game around this point and basically looked lazy while still winning far more often than he lost. This match was horrible in almost all aspects though, save for Angle trying to do whatever he could to no avail.
We recap Chris Jericho vs. HHH. Jericho had kissed Stephanie to get inside HHH’s head and then tormented him for weeks, including costing him a match to the Brooklyn Brawler. HHH hit Jericho in the head with a sledgehammer to leave Jericho very bloody but it just sent Jericho to another level. That extra aggression made Jericho request this as a Last Man Standing match so he could get some real revenge.
HHH vs. Chris Jericho
Last Man Standing, meaning the first person to not be able to answer a ten count loses. I know it would become really overused in the coming years but this is only the second in company history to this point. Jericho has taped up ribs coming in. HHH tries to jump him to start but gets knocked back as the brawl is on fast. Jericho stomps him down in the corner and out to the floor, setting up a springboard dropkick to knock HHH off the apron.
Back in and Jericho runs into a facebuster which messes up the ribs for some reason. HHH takes him outside for a flapjack onto the barricade as the offense get a lot more intelligent. Back in and HHH drops knees to the ribs as the tape is slowly removed. Some shoulders to the ribs have Jericho in more trouble and it’s off to a choke with the tape. Stephanie even adds in a slap of her own before HHH suplexes Jericho in the aisle.
That’s only good for five so HHH takes him back inside for an abdominal stretch and some elbows to the ribs. Jericho hiptosses his way out and scores with a spinwheel kick, only to have the Lionsault hit knees. We hit the sleeper with a bodyscissors (which JR says we haven’t seen in years) as Lawler sings Sominex (sleep aid) jingles. HHH lets go but Jericho is up at nine, only to be taken down by a Pedigree.
Again it’s just nine so HHH blasts him in the ribs with a chair. Jericho still won’t stay down so HHH tries combining his last two plans with a Pedigree on the chair. That might wrap things up though so Jericho gets in a low blow, followed by a big chair shot to the head to put both guys down. HHH is GUSHING blood off that chair shot. The crowd is fired up by the blood and Jericho comes back hard with a jumping back elbow and middle rope dropkick, followed by a bulldog onto the chair.
They head out with Jericho being whipped into the steps to cut off the crowd in a hurry. The Pedigree onto the steps doesn’t work so it’s a double monitor shot to put both guys down. Somehow they’re both back up at nine and they head back inside for the Walls. Stephanie comes in for the break and gets put in the hold as well before they head outside again.
HHH finds the sledgehammer but only hits the post, allowing Jericho to use the hammer on HHH’s ribs. Of course that has almost no effect so HHH belly to back suplexes Jericho through the announcers’ table. HHH just barely beats the count to win at 23:11 before collapsing again st 23:12.
Rating: A-. Really good stuff here as Jericho again looks like he can hang in the main event. Yeah the old guard goes over again but it took everything HHH had to beat him to make this a valuable match for Jericho. These two would feud on and off for years and it helps that the first pay per view match was really good, though things would go downhill from here. Really good brawl here with HHH’s blood helping a lot.
We recap The Rock vs. Chris Benoit which spun off from Rock vs. the McMahons. Benoit beat Rock in a non-title match but the result was overturned when Benoit got disqualified. Rock was going after Benoit and accidentally hit a referee so Commissioner Foley made the rule that Rock loses the title on a DQ.
WWF World Title: The Rock vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit is defending and comes out in what’s left of one of Rock’s torn shirts. Shane, wearing Rock’s sunglasses, is at ringside as well and offers an early distraction so Benoit can jump Rock from behind. That’s fine with Rock who elbows Benoit outside but has to chase Shane again, only to catch Benoit with a clothesline on the way back in. Rock can’t get the Crossface on Benoit so Chris buries a knee in the ribs to take over again.
They head outside with Benoit sending him into the steps before just pounding away even more. Back in and Rock drapes him ribs first across the top rope before planting him with a belly to back superplex. Shane offers a distraction though and Benoit gets in a belt shot for two. You would think that would have been a bigger spot but I don’t think anyone bought that the match was ending that fast.
Benoit grabs a Sharpshooter to work on those ribs some more but Rock makes the ropes. Shane low bridges Rock out to the floor where he crotches Benoit against the post. Back in and Rock throws on a Figure Four of all things but Benoit is right next to the ropes. A clothesline puts Rock outside again and Shane adds a clothesline of his own. Their trip to the crowd doesn’t last long as Benoit sends him back first into the barricade a few times.
Back in and Benoit drops him with a belly to back suplex for two. Rock comes back with a DDT and loads up a powerbomb of all things before dropping Benoit throat first over the top rope. They keep going back and forth as Benoit slams Rock to set up the Swan Dive headbutt for two more. Rock wins another slugout and scores with the People’s Elbow, only to have Shane distract the referee to keep it a two count.
Benoit is back up though and puts Rock on top for a superplex but both guys are down. With nothing else working, Benoit goes outside and grabs a chair as Shane hits the referee with the chair. Rock will have none of that and chases Shane off with the chair before grabbing a Crossface of his own on Benoit.
Chris gives up but the referee says Rock is disqualified for the chair shot, meaning Benoit wins the title! Or not as Foley comes out and says restart the match. Benoit comes back in and starts German suplexing Rock for two. With pins not working, Benoit slaps on a Crossface, but Rock grabs the ropes. Back up and a Rock Bottom retains the title at 22:09.
Rating: A. The screwy part in the middle missed a little bit but the rest was two guys beating the heck out of each other for over twenty minutes. Benoit looked like a star out there and definitely got a big rub, even in defeat. It’s a really solid main event though, especially when there wasn’t much of an interest in the show in the first place.
Overall Rating: B. That last hour really saves an otherwise not so great show. The opener was really fun but after that the show collapses into horribly average territory only to have the last two matches bring it back up strong. This really was a great period for wrestling in the company and often times it was based on the strength of the main events. If you make that Angle vs. Undertaker match anything resembling good, this show jumps up in quality by a mile. As it is though, it’s a two match show but they were two excellent matches.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. We are proud to offer our popular Wrestling Rumors app and encourage you to download it for an optimized user experience. It is available for Android and also on iOS. Thank you for reading!