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SLAM! Wrestling

Sunday, March 5, 2000

WWF delivers solid spectacle in Montreal

By ERIC BENNER -- For SLAM! Wrestling

It's about seven o'clock, Sunday evening, and I just arrived home from the WWF's latest live offering in Montreal. As usual, I have that great wrestling feeling you can only get from a live WWF show. I have nothing but great things to say about everyone involved. As usual, real professionals.

Everyone who didn't expect to walk into a live episode of Raw, complete with heel turns and gang bangs and Titantrons and McMahon family members, was not disappointed. Everyone else, well, probably was.

And I can only wonder why people make signs for house shows when no one really sees them. The lighting's barely good enough to see it from nearby in the arena!

I have to admit, though, unlike the last card or two, at least four or five matches here were throw-aways, either because one or both guys involved were unpopular jobberish folks, or because the titles were on the line and thus the finishes given away.

To start the afternoon, on that note, Crash Holly took on Christian. In a slightly interesting move, he decided not to defend his title, making the ending even more easy to spot. A great acrobatic match with some cool high-spots, but both guys were clearly dogging it compared to what they're usually capable of. I guess not every night is as important as Monday and Tuesday and Sunday every four weeks or so. Crash sealed his fate by attempting a belly-to-back suplex, which Christian reversed into his Impaler finisher for the win.

The next match wasn't exactly an eye-opener, except to open my eyes to some of the WWF's high-profile talent lying about, wasted. D'Lo Brown, in full Godfather garb but minus the Godfather, took on Prince Albert. A slow match, but not a bad one, with both guys going at it pretty hard. D'Lo botched (worked, though) a moonsault, allowing Albert to get the over-the-shoulders-diamond-cutter-thingy with a name I cannot recall, for the win.

In the night's third match, Too Cool went at it with Saturn and Dean Malenko, in a preview of their alleged Wrestlemania confrontation. This match made the previous two disappear from my mind, and these four guys are terrific wrestlers who are perfectly suited to each other. Too Cool, by the way, was so incredibly over here. It surprised even me.

Some funny stuff during the match, as Scotty Too Hotty fell off the ropes while bouncing, and Grandmaster Sexay's pants fell off twice. Also, when Saturn threw Sexay into the guard rail, a security guy sitting on the other side was more than a little surprised. Great action, and solid double-team psychology from the heels. The worm isn't enough to stop Dean Malenko from ending up on top of a series of reversed roll-ups.

When the finish is technical, it only makes sense that Dean should be on top.

In the fourth match, straight from WWF Jakked/Metal, Mideon took on Test. Normally a mis-match, but recent Test jobs made this a close call. Test was even more over than Too Cool, if that's possible. Maybe more people knew that he was Canadian than I thought? Even more surprising, they all seemed to care. Test in short order with the meltdown and big elbow.

Surprisingly early on the card, Chris Benoit took on Rikishi next. A great wrestling sequence started it, but then, Benoit could wrestle me and I'd probably still watch it. Rikishi dominates most of the match, and wins with the banzai butt drop. Malenko and Saturn pay a visit, but so does Too Cool, so the faces dance in the ring, and the fans cheered and cheered. They ate up about fifteen minutes with their shtick, and not a soul seemed bored.

Next up, batting sixth, The Hardy Boyz took on the Dudleyz. Superb action, with lots of double-teaming of Jeff Hardy. Following the hot tag to Matt Hardy, Jeff nailed the senton bomb - and I never failed to be impressed by that one, but please, don't break your head Jeff on D-Von, and his 'half-brother' broke it up. They followed that with the 3-D for the win. But the tag titles were on the line, so duh.

As the seventh offering, Road Dogg took on Headbanger Mosh. One would have thought that Dogg would be a heel, but he wasn't. The fans cheered him and he pandered to them over and over again. There was nothing heel-ish about him, except this undeserved victory way too high on the card. Solid match by both men, though. Two-minute special, if that.

Following that, the Big Bossman went up against Edge. Bossman brought a Canadiens jersey to the ring so he could wipe his butt with it, then he threw it at Edge and Edge put it on. Sort of half-whoo!, half-ewww! Massive pop for Edge, and I guess these guys are known for their Canadianness around here. Half-way through or so, Bossman fell onto the second rope and broke it right off, but Edge did his "we're in Canada - you suck" spiel and he sounded pretty good. He's a good speaker, and underused at that. The victory is Edge's with a roll-up.

In the semi-main event, Kurt Angle matched up against Chris Jericho. In my mind at least, the match of the night by far. Oh yeah, Jericho, too, is over. I don't think we've had a Canadian contingent like this since The Hart Foundation. Of course, the IC title was on the line, so Angle had to take it. Before that, though, Jericho took on Angle in a match of words, and they went back and forth quite intelligently for awhile. Of note, when Angle disparaged Montreal's sports teams, the Expos got a bigger pop than the Canadiens. Weird.

Super match, with Jericho accidentally nailing the ref then landing his lionsault with no ref to count for him. As he tried to awaken the ref, Angle whacked him with the European title for the three-count. Following the match, Jericho landed a serious beat-down on Angle, including a few Walls of Jericho and punching of officials trying to get him to let go. I could honestly see this feud going six months or more if they let it. I can't get enough.

In the main event, The Big Show, Kane, and Triple H started brawling as soon as the cage was put up and their names were announced, and The Rock came in only a minute later after a loud Rocky chant. Kane was in red, today. I wonder if the black suit's at the cleaners on Sundays.

The cage, which was as tall as the blue barred one but made of the chain links like the cell cage, was really bouncy, and it looked like it was going to fall off at any moment. It actually didn't do much, as the wrestlers kept fleeing outside and brawling.

Kane and The Rock worked most of the match against Big Show and Helmsley, but in one surprising instance, Kane showed indifference and chokeslammed The Rock. Then he and Big Show brawled outside, leaving Triple H and The Rock alone in the cage. Road Dogg ran in just in time to block the People's Elbow, and Triple H nailed the Pedigree. Kane made the save. The Big Show pulled out The Rock and brawled with him a little, leaving Triple H and Road Dogg in with Kane. They proved less than enough, but Tori's low blow tilted the scales, and the match was over soon after, with Triple H (gasp!) still champion.

Rock ran back in, dished a Rock Bottom to Road Dogg, then Kane chokeslammed Triple H, and then nailed Tori with a Tombstone piledriver. Rock gave Triple H the People's Elbow, and then piled up Tori on top. Kane followed with a People's Elbow of his own, and that visual was the spot of the night.

It was more than made up for by Kane's remarks a short time later, in which he - as only Kane can - exclaimed, when asked, that his favourite kind of pie was "poon-tang-pie". Yeah, sure.

The Rock, who still hadn't gotten enough yet, kicked the heels out then started spieling and shticking and mocking some fans who chanted the wrong thing (you know, that Die, Rocky, Die chant he used to love so much). By the time he left, I'm sure, everyone went home happy.

The WWF, as per par for their course, delivered.


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