I’ve been on a long journey on the WWE Network where I watch every Pay-Per-View since the In Your House events around ‘96 and I’m up to Summerslam 2000. I have to take a break to just talk about how this was one of my favorite Summerslams.
I have two favorites off the top of my head: Summerslam 2000 and Summerslam 2005 (Another post for another day). Summerslam 2000 resonated with me because for the most part, all the storylines were great. The Summerslam 2000 card consisted of:
Right to Censor (Steven Richards, The Godfather and Bull Buchanan) vs. Too Cool (Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay)
X-Pac vs. Road Dogg
Intercontinental Championship Match
“Whoever gains a pin or submission against Venis’ team wins the title“
Eddie Guerrero and Chyna vs. Val Venis and Trish Stratus
Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz
Hardcore Championship Match
Steve Blackman vs. Shane McMahon
Two Out of Three Falls Match
Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho
Tag Team Championship Triple Threat TLC Match
Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)
The Kat vs. Terri
The Undertaker vs. Kane
WWE Championship Match
The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle
I’m excited, and can go into every match and cover it (even the Stinkface match), but I won’t. We’d be here forever. I can vividly remember being super eager to watch this Summerslam because of the first ever TLC match, Chyna and Eddie Guerrero doing anything, being terrified that The Undertaker would rip Kane’s mask off in that unsanctioned fight, and of course like everyone else I wanted to know what was going to happen between Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Kurt Angle and Triple H after that passionate kiss between Stephanie and Angle the Thursday before on Smackdown. I must have replayed that kiss a thousand times on my VHS recording, it was such good television!
This TLC match couldn’t have happened with just any three tag teams put together. Let me phrase that better, this triangle tag match could have happened with any tag team, but it wouldn’t have been iconic like this match is with Edge and Christian specializing in chair shots that certainly aren’t wrestling legal by today’s standards, The Hardy Boys with their ladders, and “Those damn” Dudley Boys with their tables. The objective of a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match is to retrieve the suspended tag team titles from the ceiling by using a ladder. You may also use tables and chairs as tools to beat the shit out of your opponent so that they can’t get to the ladder to climb first.
There’s a huge hometown ovation for The Hardy Boys being that this Pay Per View took place in Raleigh, NC and The Hardy’s are from Cameron, NC. I remember being an eleven year old kid being such a “Team Extreme” fan and wanting the Hardy’s to come out on top. The Hardy’s were so fired up, they don’t even let the announcer finish introducing them because they’ve already ran in the ring and started throwing punches. You could feel the electricity of the crowd rooting for Matt and Jeff Hardy to win this first ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
Each team knew exactly how to use their weapons and they also knew how to be creative with their tools together to pull off a classic match. Jeff Hardy does a swanton bomb off a twenty foot ladder onto Bubba Ray Dudley…and misses. Bubba Ray Dudley gets pushed off a ladder and crashes through four tables. There’s a point in the match where it looks like Edge and Christian are going to retain their titles, and just when they’re about to grab them, Lita comes out and pushes the ladder over sending both partners flying.
This is the part where eleven year old me is so excited because Lita was, and still is, the coolest girl around. She wasn’t super muscular like Chyna but she didn’t care, she was DIY punk and would do anything to help The Hardy Boys even if it meant taking a devastating spear from Edge in this match. I wanted to be Lita, and yeah thirty one year old me still does. She was seriously a game changer for women’s wrestling.
This match is so competitive but everyone is on Matt and Jeff Hardy’s side, especially Lita, and The Hardy Boys’ hearts are so determined that at one point Jeff Hardy dangles from the suspended belts on the ceiling with D-Von Dudley desperately fighting to grab those belts. Even though Matt and Jeff Hardy didn’t win the titles that night, this match told the story of two hometown brothers willing to give their all to win the gold and it still holds to this day.
The main event is essentially two matches: Triple H vs. Kurt Angle, and Triple H vs. The Rock. Kurt Angle has been throwing himself hard at Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and hiding behind the “Friendzone” status, pissing Triple H off. You’d think Kurt Angle would leave the wife of a guy who carries a sledgehammer around alone, but no, he goes and makes out with her while she’s kind of out of it. So Triple H wants to do more than beat the shit out of Kurt Angle. In fact, Triple H beats Kurt Angle so bad that he pedigrees Angle through a table putting him on a stretcher before The Rock even comes out.
The Rock comes out finally and the match between him and Triple H begins, A Rock and Triple H fight usually goes on outside of the ring, and this match does too; these guys battle all over the place. But what gets interesting is Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley comes out to assist her husband The Game and ends up accidentally hitting him in the face with the WWE Championship, costing him a win and showing more cracks in their marriage. Even though you kind of feel for Triple H because his marriage is on the rocks, he still does little things to remind the WWE Universe that he’s still trash, like hitting The Rock in the gut with a sledgehammer. Little psychology things like that are what make Triple H the legend he is today.
Back to the love triangle between Kurt Angle, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Triple H, Stephanie somehow persuades Angle backstage to get up off the stretcher to help her husband win the match. She brings Angle back to the ring making it a triple threat again. But what Stephanie doesn’t realize is that Angle wants the title too so he costs Triple H the match, probably also a receipt for being put through a table earlier too. Things get so heated that Stephanie ends up in a situation with Triple H and Kurt Angle where Triple H goes to throw a punch, Kurt Angle ducks and Stephanie ends up getting knocked out instead. This leads to The Rock winning and retaining his title, but Kurt Angle leaves with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley knocked out in his arms ending Summerslam and leaving you wondering where did Kurt Angle go with Stephanie that night?
If you’ve never seen this Summerslam I would recommend going back and watching it; and if you have, well watch it again. I really enjoyed this one. I can say that the Stinkface match was my least favorite match, but if I’m in a certain mood I can sit through it and laugh a little. I could continue about Summerslam 2000, but I think you should take a look and watch it for yourself. It’s definitely one for the memory books.