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WWF Smackdown - September 23, 1999

by Samoa Rowe

-If I haven’t seen it, it’s new to me!

-From Dallas, TX. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Michael Hayes.

-The show kicks off with Vince McMahon coming to the ring, probably to talk for a long, long time. I have to admit that it’s refreshing to see Vince cut a promo without the crowd chanting “What?” the entire time. Vince introduces Triple H (with Chyna) who is heading into a Six Pack WWF title match at Unforgiven. Vince and HHH have been feuding, with Vince recently winning the WWF title from The Game. Vince promises to screw HHH royally tonight and books him against all of his Unforgiven opponents in separate matches. Not only does Triple H have to wrestle five times, but in five different gimmick matches. I’m guessing Vince Russo wasn’t quite out the door yet by this time. It gets even better, Triple H has to win 3 out of 5 of these matches to keep his spot in the main event at Unforgiven. I’m stunned that they haven’t put John Cena in a similar spot yet.

Choke Slam Challenge:
Triple H (with Chyna) vs. Big Show

The first man to hit a choke slam wins. Triple H goes right after Show but quickly finds himself getting pummeled by the big man. Show misses a splash and Triple H attempts a choke slam, but he just can’t lift Show. Big Show counters and delivers a choke slam for the win at 1:46. I guess Triple H has his work cut out for him tonight.
Winner: Big Show

-Big Show puts Triple H down with another choke slam for good measure. Triple H is a heel, right? Chyna prevents a third choke slam and Triple H crawls up the ramp.

-Yeah, Vince Russo must still have the book, as later we’ll get a “First Blood” match between Chris Jericho and Ken Shamrock.

-The referees are on strike! All of the matches tonight will be officiated by “scab” referees like Tom Pritchard and Harvey Wippleman. The Dudley Boyz do some union busting and attack Ron Simmons, who was among the protesters.

-Commercial for WWF Attitude on Nintendo 64 and Playstation. That game sucks so badly, but it seemed so awesome at the time.

-Lillian Garcia interviews Chris Jericho backstage. Jericho says he’s proven week after week that he’s the most dangerous man, not Ken Shamrock. Jericho is looking forward to making “Scamrock” bleed.

European Championship:
“Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry © vs. X-Pac

X-Pac gets a nice pop as he’s decked out in DX gear and making a comeback after a brief hiatus. I’m amazed that Henry managed to get the European title around his waste. The match is about to begin when D’Lo Brown shows up to join commentary. D’Lo gets the winner of this match at Unforgiven. X-Pac is quick but Henry elevates him into the air in scary fashion. Cue the bear hug. They trade counters in the corner, with Henry nailing a splash. Henry jumps onto X-Pac on the rope but misses an elbow drop. X-Pac makes a comeback as D’Lo criticizes Henry’s physique. Bronco Buster! Henry explodes with a clothesline but D’Lo distracts. X-Pac sends Henry to ringside with a back spin heel kick. Henry gets counted out at 3:24. X-Pac seems okay with this, no one really wants to be European Champion anyway. Winner via count-out: X-Pac

-Henry and Brown start brawling. 1999 was a time when meaningless midcard matches got built up for pay-per-view. Madness, I say.

-Lillian Garcia interviews Luna Vachon backstage. Luna is happy to finally be getting her shot at the Women’s title at Unforgiven. She issues a challenge to champion Ivory that they make the match hardcore rules.

-Jeff Jarrett and The Kat come to the ring for an unscheduled interview. Jarrett puts himself over as a man’s man in a man’s world. You see, men are dominant, and women are weak. He’s planning on bitch-slapping some reality into Chyna at Unforgiven. Jarrett boasts his attack on Debra on Raw. Jarrett goes after a female stage manager who asked him to wrap it up and things get uncomfortable pretty quickly. Jeff tosses her papers into the ring and orders her to do what women do best: clean crap up. Jeff shoves her down and puts her in the figure four. Chyna runs in for the save, clocking Jeff in the head with a frying pan. Chyna dresses Jarrett in an apron and she puts his pants on. Chyna vows to win the IC title from Jarrett at Unforgiven. Don’t let Linda McMahon’s political rivals see this.

Inferno match:
Triple H (with Chyna) vs. Kane

That’s right, we’re having an inferno match on Smackdown for the sheer hell of it. It’s like they forgot this was Smackdown and they didn’t have Nitro to compete with. Kane and Triple H have a basic exchange as the flames rise around them. Kane tries to force HHH’s hand into the fire but gets blocked. Facebuster and knee lift by Triple H, who then tries to roll Kane into the fire. Kane blocks but HHH delivers a low blow. The Pedigree is countered and Kane nails a choke slam. Kane signals a Tombstone, but pauses when he sees his buddy, X-Pac, laid out on the stage. Undertaker and the Ministry were behind the attack. Kane flies off the top rope to Viscera and Mideon on the floor. Viscera pushes Kane into the apron and Kane gets caught on fire at about 3:30. This was amazingly goofy.
Winner: Triple H

-Kane chases after the Ministry, burning hand and all. The flames go out and Kane checks on his friend.

-After a commercial, Kane is throwing a tantrum over what happened. X-Pac still looks dead.

-Lillian Garcia interviews Undertaker and the Ministry. Undertaker is satisfied and is heading out. Garcia asks him about his match with Triple H. Undertaker says no one orders him to do what he doesn’t want to do. Vince shows up to talk some sense into the Dead Man. Vince says if Undertaker doesn’t wrestle tonight, he’s out of the Six Pack challenge. Undertaker blows Vince off and leaves.

-The Rock, one half of the Tag Team Champions, comes to the ring for an interview. Rock says that Triple H needs to go back to the drawing board, because his “game” absolutely sucks. Rock says earlier today he talked to some hockey players I’ve never heard of, but it excites the crowd. He promises that he was going to whip Triple H’s ass all over the arena, but he has something extra special for Dallas. Turns out that Rock asked them for the Stanley Cup so he could shove it up HHH’s ass. We’re interrupted by the other half of the Tag Team Champions, Mankind. Foley is confused, as always, and offers Rock an athletic cup so he can protect the peoples’ jewels. Mankind comes dangerously close to stealing one of Rock’s catchphrases, but Road Dogg shows up to distract them. Road Dogg reveals that he’s reunited with Mr. Ass. It looks like the Rock n’ Sock will have to deal with the New Age Outlaws.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
The Rock and Mankind © vs. Road Dogg and Mr. Ass

Mr. Ass works over Mankind in the corner and nails a neck breaker for 2. Mankind delivers a low blow and knee lift for 2. Road Dogg tags in but Mankind drives his face into Rock’s boot. The Rock tags in and pummels Dogg. Shake, rattle, and roll by Road Dogg, but Rock responds with a Samoan Drop. Mankind tags in and nails a running knee to the face. Suspiciously low leg drop by Mankind. It’s funny how much they favored groin attacks back then. Rock is back in and totally dominates. Once again, Rock punches the groin area. Mankind tags back in and Road Dogg counters with a back suplex. Mr. Ass gets a hot tag and squares off against The Rock. The match breaks down with all four men in the ring. Mr. Ass whips Mankind into Rock, knocking him off the apron. The Fame-asser finishes Foley at 6:25. This match sure came out of nowhere.
Winners and new WWF Tag Team Champions: Road Dogg and Mr. Ass

-The New Age Outlaws celebrate with their DX catchphrases.

-Vince McMahon orders Mideon and Viscera to face Triple H in Undertaker’s place.

-Triple H tells Chyna that he’s going to win the WWF title again if it costs him his last breath.

-Al Snow is pacing back and forth backstage. Who knows why.,

Casket match:
Viscera and Mideon vs. Triple H (with Chyna)

Triple H is quickly double teamed. Yes, we’re watching a heel vs. heel handicap match, with the odds firmly against a nefarious heel in Triple H. Also, the underdog heel’s valet is currently the baby face in a feud against an even meaner heel. Anyhow, Triple H dodges a Viscera splash and Mideon suffers the attack. Chyna sneaks in for a low blow and Viscera and HHH dishes out Pedigrees. Mideon gets placed in the casket and Triple H wins at 1:45. Shane McMahon shows up and informs Triple H that he has to put BOTH opponents in the casket… AT THE SAME TIME! The match continues and HHH gets double teamed again. The casket is physically two small for both Mideon and Viscera to fit in it, so Triple H is screwed. The Ministry rolls Triple H into the casket for the win at 2:51. That’s right, Triple H just lost to VISCERA AND MIDEON! No wonder Gamey played so much politics in the years to come.
Winners: Viscera and Mideon

-Recap of Raw, where things got ugly in a hardcore match between Hardcore Holly and Big Bossman. Holly threw a pitcher of glass into Bossman’s face.

-Hardcore and Crash Holly come to the ring for an interview. Holly boasts about cooking up Al Snow’s dog recently and blinding Big Bossman. Holly calls out Al Snow, who quickly answers.

Hardcore Holly (with Crash) vs. Hardcore Champion Al Snow

Holly jumps Snow early, but the momentum is quickly shifted. Holly answers with some clubbing fists and a drop-kick. Cue the chinlock! The match is interrupted by Big Bossman on the Oval-tron. Bossman is taunting some rottweilers in a car. PETA is going to be pissed. Snow grabs a cookie sheet and puts down Crash, but Holly delivers a Falcon Arrow for the win at 1:41. Ugh.
Winner: Hardcore Holly

-Big Bossman storms the ring and attacks Al Snow with a dog chain. Bossman forces dog food into Snow’s mouth. They’re going to face at Unforgiven in a Dog Kennel from Hell match. This feud sucks so much.

Boiler Room Brawl:
Triple H vs. Mankind

Mankind has been waiting for Triple H and pounces. Triple H must win this fight if he wants to be in the main event at Unforgiven. Triple H uses some weapons to overcome Foley’s early advantage. Triple H pummels Foley with a steel rod. They continue to brawl and Mankind finds a kendo stick. Yeah, those are always laying around utility areas. Triple H gets whipped into a transformer but he swings a bag of bolts across Mankind’s face. Mankind suffers a suplex onto a pile of bolts and nails. Mankind crawls after Triple H and ducks a wrench shot. HHH gets tossed into a steel grating. Cue the Mandible Claw! Mankind climbs on top of a door but someone pushes him off the platform and he crashes through a table. We can’t even have a clean finish in a boiler room brawl? Triple H escapes the boiler room at 4:39. This was stupid fun.
Winner: Triple H

-The British Bulldog is looking for Vince McMahon but can’t seem to find him.

First Blood match:
Ken Shamrock vs. Chris Jericho (with Curtis Hughes)

Jericho comes out dressed in Buffalo Sabres hockey gear. I’m guessing Dallas hockey fans don’t care much for Buffalo. Just call it a hunch. Jericho swings his hockey stick, but Shamrock ducks. Jericho misses a clothesline, but Shamrock’s connects. Shamrock takes control tossing Jericho around by the mask. Jericho is having a hard time moving, but Shamrock’s punishment isn’t as effective as it might be. Curtis Hughes runs in and attacks Shamrock. The distraction allows Jericho to connect with a series of hockey stick shots. Jericho delivers a frog splash and Shamrock is bleeding from the mouth. Jericho wins at 2:24. I love Jericho and all, but this was brutal.
Winner: Chris Jericho

-The British Bulldog reminds Vince that he promised him a title shot. Vince offers Bulldog a spot in the Six Pack Challenge at Unforgiven. Bulldog offers his services as special guest referee in the Brahma Bull Rope main event tonight.

Brahma Bull Rope match:
The Rock vs. Triple H (with Chyna)

The British Bulldog is the special guest referee. I must say, this show has been a real treat for those of us who really liked Triple H’s “My Time” music. Triple H and Rock are tied to each other with a 10 foot rope, but pinfalls and submissions count… anywhere! You know, because why the hell not! Rock takes control and they brawl into the crowd. Triple H fights back but gets whipped into the ring steps for a 2 count. Back to the ring, Triple H counters with a knee lift. Knee to the groin (again?) by Triple H. The British Bulldog didn’t like that and gets into a shoving match with Triple H. The Rock takes advantage of the distraction, and the brawl heads back to ringside. DDT on the floor by Rock only gets 2. They brawl on the stage, and Jeff Jarrett sneaks in to clock Chyna in the head with a frying pan. Jarrett applies a figure four on Chyna, who is completely out cold. Jarrett flees as Triple H and Rock return to the ring. Triple H delivers a face buster but then eats a Rock Bottom! Then we get around SWERVE of the night as Bulldog puts Rock down with a clothesline. Bulldog hits a Running Power Slam for good measure. Rock takes the Pedigree and is finished at 6:07. Triple H is going to Unforgiven. I’m so confused right now. The brawl was decent, at least.
Winner: Triple H

-Bulldog and Triple H put a beating down on Rock.

Final Thoughts: Okay, for those of you keeping scores, this is what we got: 9 matches, including an inferno match, first blood match, boiler room match, bull rope match, two title matches, and a title change. We also got wrestlers playing both face and heel at various times, a bait and switch, last minute changes to an advertised PPV main event, and a swerve that ended up going nowhere. Also, Triple H wrestled FIVE times, and Rock and Mankind both wrestled twice. People really pine for this era. This was Crash TV at it’s most pointless. I swear, if WWE creative pitched this same episode format today, they'd probably be laughed out of the Titan Towers. It’s amazing how the WWF booking could be so stupid during this time, but they had such a hot roster of talent that it overcame the creative flaws and made big business. Huge thumbs down for this episode.

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