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WWF in 2000

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  • #31
    A always knew that they pushed Kurt Angle hard from minute one. Obviously they wanted him to be a top guy in the company, and he more than held up his end. But it hadn't dawned on me until watching everything in such short succession how hard they pushed him. In 11 months he had an undefeated streak, won the European, IC and WWF World Titles, as well as winning King of the Ring.

    Has there been anyone else that has gotten a push that hard? Brock I suppose, but his was almost a completely different type of push. He was just completely smashed over to the top within a few months and an unstoppable monster.

    But with Kurt they started him like they would any other debuting star that they wanted to get behind, and within a year he was an established main event talent that never left the top of the card again. Was that the plan? Did they want to have Kurt established as a top guy quickly? Or did they just know they probably had a good hand that they could get behind, and if they gave him a few years and protected him, he might be able to get to the top, but he picked up the in-ring so quickly, was such a good heel and showed such immense personality and charisma that they just rolled with it?

    Fully Loaded was the turning point for Kurt, and probably the sink or swim moment for him. He won King of the Ring, and then the next month is working with Undertaker. And the whole angle makes it appear that Kurt is being thrown to the wolves and he's going to get killed by Taker like a midcard goof, but right from the get go he shows no fear and brings the fight to Taker, trying to hit him before the bell with a wrench, Taker overwhelms him and brings him on a walk through the crowd beating the hell out of him, then Kurt breaks him down with a cheap shot from the wrench and grounds him with wrestling to put a heat on him, before Taker makes the comeback and puts him away.

    There's actually a pretty cool moment where Taker manages to reverse one hold on Angle into a hold of his own, but immediately coming out of it Angle starts going shot for shot with Undertaker, and actually brings him to his knees. It's almost this specific moment that takes Angle from the technician that Undertaker can beat down, to an equal. Ultimately Taker hits some strikes, a chokeslam and a Last Ride, but it's this really cool thing where at the beginning Kurt would throw a strike or two and they'd be completely ineffective and Taker would fire back, but now Kurt is able to not only go shot-for-shot but put him on his knees.

    After that match, it's almost like Kurt gets a new confidence for real. He seems completely at ease in there with Rock or Triple H. Like he knew he passed some sort of a test, and he knew he fit in with the main event talent now, and all of them made a point of making him look good after that match.

    The Fully Loaded "triple main event" was really that for Angle, Benoit and Jericho. All three lost, but all three were made to look like equals to the established main event talent.

    Triple H beat Jericho by stumbling up at nine in their Last Man Standing match, but was selling injured ribs afterward until almost Summerslam. Benoit brought it to The Rock from the opening bell, and was announced as WWF Champion by DQ before the match was re-started, and was involved with The Rock and/or Triple H until No Mercy.

    I would love to know what happened with Benoit and Jericho. Jericho kind of abruptly goes from a main event feud with Triple H to working with X-Pac for a month and then an undercard program with Kane. Kane was definitely positioned as a main event guy, but it just seems like a step down.

    Benoit meanwhile goes from feuding with The Rock for the WWF Title to reuniting with the Radicalz as backup for Triple H, and while all the guys he'd spent the last five months working with are still fighting over the title, he and the Radicalz are suddenly working with the DX also rans by Survivor Series and he's back to the IC title with Billy Gunn at the end of the year.

    The return of Austin and Triple H turning firmly heel (after kind of being somewhere in between when dealing with Kurt Angle and doing a one month thing with Benoit) with Rikishi being elevated as a main event heel definitely made the main event scene congested. But Benoit seemed to get the shaft a little bit. By the time he got hurt, he was right back to working with the main event guys again, but there's this really strange lull he suddenly gets for seemingly no reason.
    Last edited by Team Farrell; 02-02-2021, 02:05 PM.


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    • #32
      I mean, you've watched it a lot more recently than me, COACH, so you can probably be sure about Angle and the moment he came into the main event reckoning. Just personally, I think he got over enough the moment they put a microphone in his hand, and WWF knew they had him for a while (a five year contract, I think?) so could invest in him early without the risk of him suddenly deciding it wasn't for him and heading off somewhere else.

      When you consider the glowing reports he got from those who trained him and worked with him about how quickly he picked up the in ring stuff, and then that realisation that he could get the crowd to go with him as a character as well, it was clear that he could reach the top and, in perhaps a rare moment for WWF/E, they realised exactly what they had and ran with it. By the time he's hanging with Taker, HHH, and The Rock in 2000 he's got everything.

      EDIT: I'm actually watching the three Fully Loaded main events now, and love how rare things like Last Man Standing matches used to be used. JR just said this is the second one ever in WWE. Something like that carries weight, it says that this isn't a regular or normal match, this is the peak of a feud. It's almost remarkable how watered down things like the LMS stipulation have become simply through the repeated use of the gimmick at various points. Heck, Sheamus and Del Rio had an LMS match on an episode of Main Event once.
      Last edited by Oliver; 02-05-2021, 09:42 AM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Oliver View Post
        EDIT: I'm actually watching the three Fully Loaded main events now, and love how rare things like Last Man Standing matches used to be used. JR just said this is the second one ever in WWE. Something like that carries weight, it says that this isn't a regular or normal match, this is the peak of a feud. It's almost remarkable how watered down things like the LMS stipulation have become simply through the repeated use of the gimmick at various points. Heck, Sheamus and Del Rio had an LMS match on an episode of Main Event once.
        That is one thing that I really, really miss. WWE has become so reliant on gimmick matches over the past 10-15 years that they've lost a lot of their specialness.

        It also goes a bit to what makes it seem so "fake" today. It's not just flips and dives, it's things like at last week's Royal Rumble, Kevin Owens was thrown off of the set through two tables and got up, he was hit with a cart thing, he gave Roman a swanton off a scissor lift through a table. And none of these were finishes, both guys were back up and fighting almost like what they'd already been through didn't even bug them. It makes it seem like all these spots that are legitimately dangerous and actually hurt are easy and don't mean much. That's three finishing spots in one match.

        And they're visually larger and obviously stunts, which in a way makes them look less plausible.

        That match between Triple H and Jericho took place mostly inside of the ring. They fought on the floor a few times (and the finish took place on the floor), took a suplex on the concrete at one point, but it was mostly in the ring. And it wasn't this insane bevvy of weapons. In that match, they use one steel chair, a monitor from the announce table (one time), Triple H's patented sledgehammer, and a bump through the announce table. Not a kendo stick or a forklift in sight. As the match goes on, the guys start moving slower and with more difficulty, like it's almost impossible to continue but they want to because they don't want to give the other guy the satisfaction of knowing that he won.

        The point of the match wasn't to use the no disqualification rules as an excuse to have a hardcore match. It's to have these two guys that dislike one another take the pleasure of using their fists and feet to hurt the other. Then about half way through the chair gets involved to ramp it up a bit and bust Triple H open. There's one shot to Triple H's ribs with the sledgehammer, and the finish is a back suplex through the announce table.

        But the whole match is feels more violent and brutal, without the need for a bunch of weapons and multiple table bumps and stunts and handcuffs, than what Roman and Kevin Owens did. It feels more like two guys who don't like one another, than it does two guys coming up with contrived ways to use the whole venue.

        I miss when they could say that this was "only the third" Elimination Chamber match, because the most dangerous structure in the industry was only used when it was needed. This year, I think they made mention that on the card would be the 25th Hell in the Cell match. Plugging that like they plug that they've had 37 WrestleMania's feels so wrong when it used to be something that was only used when two guys absolutely had to finish their problem and there was no other way to do it.
        Last edited by Team Farrell; 02-05-2021, 02:35 PM.


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        • #34
          Originally posted by Team Farrell View Post

          That is one thing that I really, really miss. WWE has become so reliant on gimmick matches over the past 10-15 years that they've lost a lot of their specialness.

          I miss when they could say that this was "only the third" Elimination Chamber match, because the most dangerous structure in the industry was only used when it was needed. This year, I think they made mention that on the card would be the 25th Hell in the Cell match. Plugging that like they plug that they've had 37 WrestleMania's feels so wrong when it used to be something that was only used when two guys absolutely had to finish their problem and there was no other way to do it.
          The WWE became the boy who cried wolf. So much so, that no one cares anymore about the gimmicks.

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          • #35
            Why did they shift to Vince vs Shane at WrestleMania 17?

            To end the year, it seems like the heat is very clearly on Vince vs Mick Foley, especially with Foley being bloodied and fired days before Christmas. That was a rumored match, but for some reason they went Vince vs Shane instead with Foley slotted in as a ref.

            The last few weeks of 2000 the tension is on Vince and Mick, and then that's not the focus anymore. It's a bit of a shame that they never got to that match.


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            • #36
              On the gimmick matches losing their lustre point, I was borderline amazed when they said on commentary for the PPV that the RAW EC match was the 28th in history. The match type hasn't even been around for 20 years. Then I looked at HiAC and saw that it only took them 16 years to hit 28 of them. Only 14 (12 if you skip the 1992 HBK/Hart one that was on WWF Superstars) to hit that mark with ladder matches. They just move through things so fast, and I suspect some of that is having to 'sell' a PPV where they can hang the show around the match type as a hook - I don't necessarily mean the specific HiaC PPVs, but something like Bad Blood 2003 where, frankly, the card is wafer thin but by putting the main inside the cell it can sell itself.

              On WM17, COACH, I though I read somewhere that Foley actually turned down a match with Vince at WM17 in part because he wanted his in ring retirement to stick from the Mania the year before. Obviously, that lasted for the next three years until WMXX.

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