On Sunday, April 30th, 2000, WWE presented its Backlash 2000 pay per view from Washington, DC. The main event of Backlash was The Rock facing Triple H with Shane McMahon as the special guest referee. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary. In anticipation of WWE Stomping Grounds, we run down the event that was originally slated to take place in Backlash with a recap.
Debra comes out as a special guest ring announcer for the first match of Backlash. We are made aware that six titles would be on the line on this night. Degeneration X members X-Pac and Road Dogg, with Tori, come to the ring looking to capture the WWE tag team championship. Road Dogg gets on the mic and declares they are going to walk out with the tag team gold. It was at that point that the cameras scan all over the arena looking for Edge and Christian, who come in through the crowd.
WWE Tag Team Championship
Degeneration X vs. Edge and Christian
The fans are loud as the match gets underway of Backlash. X-Pac gets the early advantage on Edge with armbars and some taunting. Edge regains control using his size, speed, and strength. Fans are on the case of X-Pac, who tags in Road Dogg. Edge counters by tagging in Christian, who uses Edge as a platform to splash Road Dogg in the corner. But, Road Dogg tags X-Pac back in, only for him to face the wrath of Christian. With the referee distracted, Road Dogg attacked Christian both on the ring apron and then outside the ring. Christian attempts to make a tag, but since referee Jimmy Korderas had been distracted by X-Pac, he redirects Edge back into his team’s corner.
Road Dogg kicks Christian in the spine on not one, but two occasions. He then locks in a rear chinlock on the mat. Christian gets to his feet but is caught by the antics of the Road Dogg. The next time he gets up, both men wipe each other out on a cross body block. Edge then hits a diving headbutt on Road Dogg as the referee is distracted. Christian goes for a pin, but only gets a two. With both DX members down, he makes the tag to Edge. Edge wipes out X-Pac with a seated powerbomb. Christian comes back in and attempts an unprettier, while Edge attempts a rollup after a Tori distraction. With the referee distracted Christian clocks X-Pac in the head with the ring bell and covers him for a count of three for the first match at Backlash.
Winners: And Still champions Edge and Christian
WWE Light heavyweight Championship
Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Dean Malenko
The second match of Backlash starts quickly as Scotty goes right at Malenko. A forearm and then a back body drop gives him the advantage early on. After backing Malenko into the corner, he hits a belly to back suplex. He moonwalks and gets clocked. Scotty goes for a bulldog, but Malenko cuts him off with a short clothesline. Malenko then has the advantage and takes the fight to the outside. He brings Scotty back in the ring and continues to work on him in the corner. He dropkicks the knee and starts working on it, wrapping it around the ring post and then twisting Scotty’s ankle. Malenko avoids an attempted enziguri and goes back to the knee, applying a kneebar. He picks up Scotty but is caught with an enziguri. Scotty briefly gets the advantage, but Malenko regains control.
He baseball slides into the ribs but immediately returns to working on the legs and knees. Scotty tries to catch him with a roll up, but the champion kicks out at two! Malenko is relentless working on the knee and leg. He charges and the two fly through the ropes. Scotty goes to the top rope but Malenko gets a superplex. The referee starts a ten count, but when they get up Scotty tries an inside cradle. After Malenko escapes, Scotty hits a bulldog leading to the worm and the chop. Malenko tries a powerbomb unsuccessfully but manages to drop Scotty across the rope throat first. Scotty climbs to the top rope but is caught with a DDT, leading to a pinfall win for Malenko, who retains his championship for the second match of Backlash.
Winner: Dean Malenko
Backstage Shane interrupts Vince’s discussion with Patterson, Brisco, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon. The elder McMahon regains control of the discussion telling them they will need all hands-on-deck at Backlash.
Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan vs. The Acolytes
These two teams didn’t even wait for the bell to ring, they went right at one another during Backlash. Bull Buchanan is the younger member of his team, and Bradshaw the younger on his, and these two pair off and start hitting each other, and hitting often. Farooq sends Bossman to the outside where Bradshaw takes the fight to him. Once he is rolled back inside Farooq tags his partner back in. Farooq returns to the ring soon after and batters Bossman some more. Once he whips him from corner-to-corner Bossman counters and then tags in Buchanan, who lays into the former WCW world champion. He and Bossman exchange quick tags to stay on offense. Farooq pushes Buchanan into his corner; the big man thinks he gets a tag, but the referee didn’t see it and keeps Bossman out of the ring.
In the center of the ring, Buchanan continues to work on the back of Farooq. Farooq eventually makes it back to his own corner and tags in Bradshaw who hits a flying shoulder tackle. He follows with a DDT and then proceeds to climb outside the ring, only to be caught and then suplexed back in. Buchanan attempts to pin him, but only gets a count of two. Bradshaw hits a ‘Clothesline from Hell‘ but the Bossman breaks up the pinning attempt. After a nightstick from the Bossman and a scissor kick off the top rope by Buchanan, we get a three-count pin and win at Backlash 2000.
Winners: Bull Buchanan and Big Bossman
Hardcore Championship match
Crash Holly vs. Tazz vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Perry Saturn
This championship match at Backlash initially saw Crash Holly hit from behind on the ramp by Saturn who is making his way, towards the ring. Then, Hardcore Holly powerbombs his cousin and Matt slips in for a tag. At this point, Tazz comes in and makes a pinning attempt after a suplex. The chase is on as Crash climbs up the stanchions with Matt in pursuit. Matt then leaps off and splashes onto everyone below. Matt then finds a way to bring Crash back into the ring, but Tazz breaks up a pinning attempt.
Jeff Hardy then hits ‘Poetry in Motion’ on Tazz. Tazz bounces back with a clothesline. Saturn attempts to stretch Crash, but Tazz, who is everywhere, breaks it up and makes a pinning attempt himself. Both Saturn and Tazz fight to beat down Crash and beat on each other in the process. Hardcore brings in a sign and cracks Crash over the head with it. Saturn then hits a leaping spin kick. Hardcore attacks the unsuspecting Saturn, beating on him with a sign among other things. He then suplexes Crash outside the ring.
Eventually, everyone is at ringside beating on one another. Tazz eventually whips Crash inside the ring and the champion manages a dropkick. Everyone seems to be taking their shots at Crash and trying to pin the champion. Tazz eventually cracks everyone with a sign. It is important to note that unlike other multi-person championship matches, the champion that must be pinned here and not anyone else. In one corner Saturn and Tazz continue to battle one another. Saturn goes for a pinning attempt only for Tazz to break it up. Tazz beats on Crash pretty heavily now, but Matt strikes him with a sign. Matt and Jeff attempt to make pins unsuccessfully.
Tazz wraps a rope around the neck of Matt. Meanwhile. Hardcore lifts up Crash and superplexes him from the top rope. He attempts to make the pin only to have that broken up. Saturn then hits a brainbuster and makes a pin, but that is broken up. Matt breaks up a Hardcore pinning attempt. Then, Jeff brings in a ladder and the fans cheer wildly. Matt clotheslines Hardcore over the top rope. Both brothers are fighting for the title. Tazz then measures Crash and locks in a Tazzmission, but Saturn goes for a pin. The Hardyz wipe out most of the competition. Inside the ring, an unconscious Tazz lay prone while Crash slips in to lay his hand overtop of the fallen Saturn for a three count and a win at Backlash 2000.
Winner: Crash Holly
Backstage Jonathan Coachman interviews Shane McMahan asking an array of questions, focussing on his involvement in tonight’s WWE championship match.
Big Show vs. Kurt Angle
Before the match, they show how, while part of a tag team with Angle, Big Show was more concerned with having fun and not focused on winning. Big Show attacked Angle and gives him a powerbomb after Angle said that Show is a big a** and is letting all his talent go to waste.
Angle approaches the ring with a microphone in hand and shares how he is much like the town of Washington. He states that fans should be ashamed for America today, including their President. Then, ‘The Showster’ comes to the ring, which is Big Show dressed as Hulk Hogan while ‘Real American’ plays. He is wearing the familiar yellow tights and boots and even gave a Hogan-esque promo to start the match.
After an initial attack by Angle, Showster hulks up and hits the big boot and then the leg drop. He pins Angle and gets a count of two as Angle kicks out. Angle then hits a chop block and begins to work on the left leg in preparation for the ankle lock. Fans at this point were chanting ‘Hogan.’ Big Show takes off the Hogan skull cap and demonstrates his own move set, and finishes Angle off with a chokeslam. He covers for the three count and win.
Winner: The Big Show
The Dudley Boyz vs. T&A
The storyline behind this match, wouldn’t fly today, as it was centered around Bubba Ray’s fascination with putting women through tables. Trish had been thwarting him every time he tried to make her his latest victim by kissing him. Prior to the match, Trish delivers a promo saying she will show Bubba Ray exactly how she feels. They cut to Bubba Ray who is fixated on a monitor staring at Trish while Devon tries to snap him out of it.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan is shown at ringside. The Dudleyz made their way out first followed by T&A, which is Test and Albert, accompanied by Stratus. Bubba looks laser-focused on her, but once the match starts he and Devon focus on their adversaries. Once outside the ring, Bubba chases Trish until Test clotheslines him. In the ring Albert and Devon exchange fists. Eventually, Bubba is tagged into the match, whips Albert into the ropes and hits him with a clothesline. He then yells at Trish saying he was going to get her, among other things. Albert begins to fight back until Bubba regains the advantage. He tags in Devon and they suplex Albert. The referee gets distracted and they land a head butt from the top rope.
Devon gets bicycle kicked by Albert and then Test. Test then begins to work on him, but he retaliates with a shoulder block. Devon knocks Albert off the ring apron only to be caught with a powerbomb by Test. Both men get to their feet. They exchange punches until Albert is tagged back in and hits a full face drop. Devon recovers, but Test gets a blind tag and is press slammed onto him. Both members of T&A work on Devon while the referee is distracted.
Fans begin to chant for tables. Bubba reaches for a tag, but Devon is on the mat. Test and Albert bring him back over to their corner to work on there. He attempts to recover but is stopped with a shoulder tackle. Albert tries a pin, but only gets a count of two. Test is tagged in and tries a pin of his own, but Devon kicks out once again. Albert is tagged in and attempts to lay in more offense on Devon gets a powerbomb and tries a pin, but he can also only get a two count.
Albert climbs to the second rope but is distracted by Bubba, and Devon hits a superplex. Each man is trying to get to their respective corners, but Bubba Ray is tagged in first. Eventually, Albert hits an Albert bomb, but Test misses a follow-up elbow drop. The Dudleys try to set up for 3D but are distracted, and Test gets a big boot and a pinfall on Bubba Ray
After the match, Bubba gets his hand on Stratus, as the fans cheer wildly, and Devon brings in a table. Bubba gets caught in a lip lock, but it doesn’t do a thing, and Stratus is Bubba Bombed through the table. The look on Bubba’s face afterward is rather disturbing. Devon and Bubba Ray head to the back, with Bubba declaring ‘I got you, you little bit**’ as medics attend to her in the middle of the ring. Test and Albert are also there looking concerned. Trish is strapped on the stretcher, appearing unconscious. They head to the backstage area and load her into an ambulance waiting nearby. Both Test and Albert accompany her in the ambulance as a car pulls up.
Inside the car is Chyna and Eddie Guerrero. A referee approaches and tells Eddie to get out there now or he is going to forfeit his European title. The car proceeds to drive out to the arena floor.
European Championship match
Eddie Guerrero vs. Essa Rios
Guerrero arrives in style at Backlash, wearing a tux, and Chyna by his side with roses in her arms. Latino Heat was in its infancy here. He removed his shirt leaving him in a bow tie and dress pants. They flashback to the birth of their relationship and how Guerrero first began to make overtures. They also showed how Lita and Essa Rios came to be a unit. They then make their way to the ring. Chyna, sporting a gown, is now outside the ring, while Lita is on the other side not dressed as formally.
Both men are solid workers so quality a great bout is to be expected. There are a number of spots by both Rios and Guerrero. Rios misses a tope suicide through the ropes, and that is when Guerrero capitalizes and whips him into the steel steps. From the apron, he scoops Rios up and slams him, and then does a slingshot senton into the ring. Chyna gets involved, decking Rios unsuspectingly. Guerrero then whips him into the ropes, but the high-flier reverses and follows up with a top rope dropkick. He hits Guerrero with a monkey flip, but then gets tossed out of the ring. Chyna decks Rios again and Lita does nothing about it. However, Lita appears to be set to hit him with a move, but Chyna pushes her off the top rope. Rios then hits a moonsault to the floor onto Guerrero, landing partly on the announce table.
With the referee distracted Chyna trips Rios who gets caught in a superplex by Guerrero. However, Rios pins Guerrero, but only for a count of two. Guerrero then hits a brainbuster and climbs the ropes, only to be caught with an arm drag off the top. Rios sets up for a moonsault but gets caught by Guerrero once again. Latino Heat then hits the Gory special and pins him for a count of three at Backlash 2000.
Winner: and still WWE European Champion Eddie Guerrero
After the match, Rios dropkicks Guerrero and Chyna, knocking them down. Lita then comes in and strips Chyna of her dress, leaving her in only her bra and panties at Backlash. At first, she is embarrassed by it, then embraces her nearly naked appearance and poses for the crowd.
Backstage Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are being interviewed by Jonathan Coachmen. Triple H makes his intentions clear for the night. Vince McMahon is also interviewed and speaks about ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin’s potential appearance.
Michael Cole then interviews Intercontinental champion Chris Benoit about what he plans to do to Chris Jericho during their upcoming match at Backlash.
Intercontinental Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit ©
Jericho comes to the ring with a microphone in hand and reminds fans of how Benoit is ‘Mr. Roboto‘ at Backlash. The second last match of the night at Backlash is a battle between two men with a great pedigree of experience. A collar and elbow tie up showcases the grappling skills of both men. Benoit slaps Jericho and gets slapped in return. Jericho takes down Benoit in a side headlock, Benoit kicks out and both men go right at one another with a series of chops. Jericho takes the fight to his opponent early, but ‘The Crippler’ returns the favor with a series of German suplexes. Jericho grabs the ropes to escape. Outside the ring, Benoit attempts a tope suicida, but Jericho ducks and Benoit hits the mat hard. Both men are outside the ring and Benoit dropkicks the steps into an unsuspecting Y2J.
Back in the ring, Benoit has the advantage and continues the attack. He is relentless with snap suplexes and chops and drops Jericho across the top rope. He attempts a pinfall, but Jericho kicks out at two. Jericho gets back to his feet and attempts to fight back, but Benoit maintains the upper hand. He is relentless, applying an abdominal stretch, but he misses a clothesline and is caught with a lionsault. Both men are laying in the ring while referee Tim White starts a ten count. Jericho hooks the leg and gets a two count, but that is all. Benoit recovers and lays in another chop followed by punches and kicks. He tries to follow up but is caught with a spinning heel kick. Jericho hits a bulldog, but again Benoit is able to kick out at two.
They continue their assault on one another. Jericho blocks a suplex and drops Benoit on the top rope. He stops Benoit as he climbs the ropes and attempts a belly to back suplex, but Benoit twists in midair. The champion continues the assault, but Jericho recovers to powerbomb him twice and goes in for a cover, but is caught in the ‘Crippler crossface.‘ Jericho is caught in the middle of the ring, but inches over to the bottom rope. Benoit gets up and pulls Jericho to the middle of the ring and attempts to lock it in again, only to have it reversed into a ‘Walls of Jericho.’ He grabs the bottom rope to break the submission attempt. Jericho attempts to hit Benoit, but misses and takes out referee Tim White. Benoit then uses the title belt to take him out. He drags the referee over but is only able to get a two count. He climbs the top rope, but misses a diving head butt, hitting the title belt that is still laying in the middle of the ring. The referee calls the match, awarding the win to Benoit.
Winner: by disqualification Chris Benoit
After the match, Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho on referee White. Four other officials come in to pull Jericho off of him. The replay shows Jericho holds up the title and clocks Benoit in the face, taking him out at Backlash.
The Rock w/ Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H w/ Vince and Stephanie McMahon
Before the main event match at Backlash takes place a recap video is shown, featuring the double cross of The Rock by Vince, who has sided with his son in law Triple H, and his daughter Stephanie. We then witness a beat down of the Great One by Triple H, who berates him as well, and an attack by Shane. But, in response, Linda McMahon announced the return of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and The Rock planted seeds for his return. After that, Stone Cold is shown on a forklift destroying the DX express bus. The seeds have been planted for this upcoming match. Will Austin get involved? Will he appear at all or is this simply be a smokescreen?
Special referee Shane McMahon makes his way to the ring first, and then Triple H comes out, accompanied by Stephanie and Vince McMahon. Once all the pageantry of Triple H’s entrance comes to an end, Vince took the mic and holds up the latest edition of the WWF Magazine. But, then The Rock makes his way to the ring. A once-popular saying was ‘The tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife,’ and it is indeed reflective of this matchup. The two men don’t even lock up, they come to the center of the ring and being to go blow for blow with one another, as it is a fight right away.
Just as Rock gets the upper hand, attempting to make quick work of the challenger, referee Shane pulls him off of Triple H. Triple H then gets the upper hand, and once Rock is outside the ring Vince attacks and then tosses him back in. He and Triple H get to their feet and resume throwing punches at one another. Triple H hits a high knee and follows up with a pinning attempt. He then hits a classic Ric Flair knee drop and attempts multiple pins, but all only for a count of two.
The Rock once again attempts to make a comeback only for Triple H to lock in a sleeper. Shane attempts to drop The Rock’s arm three times, but Rock does not let it fall for the third time. Triple H then follows up with placing his legs on the ropes and Shane pretends not to see it. The Rock is backed into a corner with Triple H driving fist after fist on him until he is dropped face first off the top turnbuckle. A double clothesline by both men takes them out, leading to Shane starting a ten count while trying to aid Triple H in getting back to his feet. Vince clocks The Rock with Shane not looking, but when he tries to make a fast three count the Rock kicks out at two.
The Rock recovers and goes right at Triple H, throwing him over the top rope to the floor. Outside, he hits him with a clothesline and then throws him back in the ring. Triple H drops The Rock with a knee but gets caught with a DDT. Shane refused to count on the pinning attempt, so The Rock clocks him. Triple H then throws him into the steel steps and then lays him on the announce table so he can beat him senseless. Triple H attempts to hit a pedigree on the announce table, but the Great One comes back and hits a double rock bottom on both The Game and Shane! He takes Triple H and throws him back into the ring.
Vince then attacks Rock from behind, causing the Brahma bull to go after him, but that leads to The Game hitting him with a pedigree. Vince is looking for a referee and waves down someone to take over, and Patterson and Briscoe make their way to the ring. Both men begin to stomp on The Rock with Triple H laying in kicks as well. Triple H drives fist after fist into Rock’s forehead. Vince clocks Rock with a steel chair. Triple H goes to position Rock for the pedigree, but the sound of glass shattering plays over the PA and Stone Cold makes his way to the ring. Once there, he clocks both McMahons and then Triple H. Linda McMahon comes to the ring with referee Earl Hebner and pushes her daughter to the ground. The Rock catches Triple H with a Rock Bottom and hits a people’s elbow on the champion. Hebner comes in and counts three to make The Rock the new WWF champion at Backlash.
Winner: And the new WWF Champion The Rock
After the match, The Rock stood in the middle of the ring with the championship, taking in the adulation of the crowd. Eventually, Austin makes his way to the ring towing the DX Express with him. Once in the ring Austin gets a beer and hands one to the new champ. Both men toast and Rock once again stood atop the middle turnbuckle soaking in the applause at Backlash 2000.
Check back in next week as Mark Blake and I preview WWE Stomping Grounds.