Monday, June 27, 2016

The History of WWE King of the Ring (2000)


King of the Ring 2000 - FleetCenter - 6.25.00

The 2000 edition has to be one of the most disappointing PPVs of all time.  Considering how amazing the WWF product was in 2000 and how strong the roster, anything less than a homerun would've been a letdown, but with this show they didn't even seem to try.  The tournament began with a field of 32 wrestlers, making it the largest in history.  That the company even had 32 viable competitors for such a tourney was remarkable, and I was incredibly excited to see this play out.  Unfortunately the booking of the PPV made no sense, wasted some of the company's best talents, and they tried to cram eleven matches onto a three-hour show.

The massive first-round field boiled down to Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle (Stop right there, that should've been your Final Four, period.), Rikishi, Val Venis, Crash Holly(?), and Bull Buchanan(??).  Right off the bat they got the brackets wrong, wasting Angle vs. Jericho on a quarterfinal match while pitting Holly and Buchanan against each other.  One of these matches had immense potential, the other did not.  On top of that, three of the four best candidates fell short of the semis.  Chris Benoit pointlessly got himself disqualified against Rikishi, Eddie lost to the no-longer-relevant Venis, and Jericho got beaten by Angle.  So yeah, Crash Holly made it to the semifinals but Benoit, Guerrero and Jericho didn't?  Anyone else find that scenario just wrong?  By the way, not one match in this tournament lasted even ten minutes, and the two longest bouts were in the quarterfinals.

The semis saw Kurt Angle make quick work of Crash Holly, while Rikishi trounced Venis in just over three minutes.  The Angle-Rikishi final was fun while it lasted, but failed to even crack the six-minute mark.  Again.  Why would the final match of a supposedly prestigious tournament fail to reach double-digits?  In the positive though, this tournament win helped solidify Kurt Angle as a future main event star.

Again with the stupid crown and sceptre

The non-tournament matches ranged from pretty good to Worst Match of the Year.  The one bright spot on this show was a four-way elimination match for the Tag Team Titles, as unlikely Champions Too Cool (What the hell kinda move was that?) defended against Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boyz, and T&A.  Edge & Christian managed to regain the straps in a solid show stealer.

Next was the match voted Worst of the Year by the Wrestling Observer, as Pat Patterson faced Gerald Brisco in a Hardcore Evening Gown Match.  Another example of "What demographic is this aimed at?"  Fortunately it was very short.  Much like my patience by this point in the evening.

Seriously, was anyone buying the PPV for this?

A fairly pointless, convoluted handicap match went on just before the tourney final, as X-Pac, Road Dogg and Tori faced the Dudley Boyz in a Tables Dumpster Match.  After nearly ten minutes of run-of-the-mill table spots and hardcore action, DX's numbers advantage took its toll on Bubba and D-Von, and they were stuffed into the dumpster.  But they got their heat back immediately by hitting X-Pac and Road Dogg with 3-Ds and powerbombing Tori through a table.  This feud stunk.

Speaking of convoluted, the main event was a six-man tag for the WWF Title.  Champion Triple H teamed with his future in-laws Vince & Shane against The Rock, Undertaker and Kane, where whomever scored the pinfall would be the WWF Champ.  In the match's closing moments this of course led to dissension among the babyface team as they fought over who got to score the pin.  Ultimately The Rock pinned Vince following a People's Elbow and won the belt.  What a tremendously stupid way to win a Championship.

The Rock pins Vince McMahon......
to win Triple H's WWF Title.....wait, what???

So yeah, this show was a great big disorganized dump heap.  Only three matches were even worth watching, and most of the tremendous roster was wasted.  Despite the WWF product being top-notch in 2000, only one of the Big Five PPVs really lived up to expectations, and it wasn't this one.  I actually waited in line to get tickets to this turd, and fortunately it was sold out by the time I got to the front.  Dodged a bullet there I tell ya!

Best Match: Too Cool vs. Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. T&A
Worst Match: Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Brisco
What I'd Change: Cut the show down to the tourney plus two matches, make the main event a Triple H-Rock-Taker-Kane four-way, have Benoit, Jericho & Eddie make the semifinals of the tournament, and overall get your shit together!
Most Disappointing Match: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho, which was fine but nowhere near what they were capable of
Most Pleasant Surprise: NNNNNNNNope.
Overall Rating: 2/10


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