Sunday, January 23rd, 2000-New York City, New York-Madison Square Garden-WWF Royal Rumble 2000-Street Fight for the World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Championship-For the main event match at the Royal Rumble 2000 pay-per-view, WWF Champion Triple H defended his second title reign with the championship against Cactus Jack. Triple H won his second WWF Championship several weeks before hand from the Big Show, low blowing him and Pedigreeing him to pick up the victory.
Also in the video package, Mankind mentioned that he thought that the McMahon/Helmsley régime sucks. In which, Triple H and Stephanie “fired” Mankind, and HHH brought in a “phony Mankind” and made Mankind out to a fool. Mankind was reinstated because of the Rock and the whole locker room was “willing to walk out if Mankind isn’t reinstated.” So Mankind was. When he came back out, he and Triple H did battle and it turned pretty bloody. HHH got the better hand and Pedigreed Mankind through the announcer’s table. That following Thursday on Smackdown (because they all happened on Monday Night Raw), Mankind found a “suitable replacement” for Triple H because Mankind wasn’t good enough to face Triple H at the Rumble in a Street Fight for the WWF Championship. Mankind transformed into Cactus Jack, Triple H sold this transformation with his facial expressions, and Cactus ripped apart the WWF Champion and held the WWF Championship high.
[adinserter block=”1″]The challenger came out first. And one thing I noticed right away while watching this match on my WWE Royal Rumble Anthology DVD set, WWE dubbed over Cactus’s theme song to a different theme. That sucks, I really liked his theme song that he came out at the Rumble back in 2000. That’s one reason why I really don’t like watching old WWF on new WWE DVD’s.
But, anyways, the WWF Champion came out second, and sent his wife back because of the brutal match that’s about to happen and because of the crazy mad-man that he’s about to face.
Jim Ross: “…There’s no doubt at the moment that man’s the best there is in the game [Triple H] but that man will do anything he can to once again become WWF Champion [Cactus Jack]…”
Right when the match started, Cactus got the advantage right away, and the match broke out outside. When they went outside, Cactus hit HHH with a swinging neck breaker. Cactus controlled that battle outside until HHH hit Jack with the ring bell.
After which, HHH rolled back into the ring with a steel chair and challenged Jack to come into the ring. Cactus did, and got nailed with the steel chair.
Cactus got control of the match, took the match outside, and took the battle into the crowd. After which, they went to the entrance stage to do battle. Cactus laid down a couple of wooden pallets and then suplexed Triple H upon them, cutting HHH’s calf pretty bad.
HHH was able to counter Cactus, and got control of the battle. Jerry Lawler mentioned: “…if it would have been Mankind he [Triple H] would have bet him a while ago…” After Lawler said this, Triple H back dropped Jack on a trash can on the entrance stage.
After this, I saw a sign that said: “Cactus Jack: King of Hardcore.” Reason why I bring this up, Lawler mentions that sign on commentaries during this match, that he doesn’t like to call Cactus king of anything.
Cactus got control around this time and hit HHH with the running knee to the steel steps, which would hurt if Jack would of made contact.
This match went back and forth. This match I really enjoyed as a hardcore technical wrestling match. After the running knee to the steel steps we say the barbed wire 2-by-4 come out and was introduced to the match, with both me using “Barbie” on one another.
At the end of the match, Cactus brought out the usual bag of thumb tacks. After pouring out the bag of thumb tacks, Cactus got back dropped into them, then got Pedigreed at the other end of the ring. A surprise to everyone, Cactus kicked out at the count of two! Triple H then did something that was pretty brutal, and Pedigreed Cactus into the thumbtacks, and covered him for the victory of the match.
[adinserter block=”2″]Looking at this match almost ten years later with 2009 eyes, I really enjoy this match and I think this match is still one of the better wrestling and hardcore matches. I wish matches and feud these days would be like this. While typing out this article, I remember when this feud started, when Triple H beat Mankind back in 1996 when Triple H beat Mankind in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament. And how their feud back then helped put their names down as guys to watch, and now at this time, it was the end of Mick Foley’s career (at that time), and he wanted to put over Triple H as the man to rest the company on his shoulders. I think that was a major pat on the back for Triple H.
But in the end, this is one of few matches I really do like going back and watching a couple of times a year because every time I get involved into the match. Even though I know each and every turn will happen when it does happen, but this match has me emotionally tied into it, and to me, that marks a great match. If any bookers or story line writers read this article, please take a look at how this feud was set up, how it went, how the crowd reaction went, and how this match was set up and delivered, because ten years later, this match is standing the test of time. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, goodbye!
Check out more of Eric’s blogs at http://jericholic2009.blogspot.com.
See the match on the WWE – The History of the WWE Championship DVD by clicking here.
Order the Triple H: King of Kings – There is Only One DVD by clicking here.
Check out the WWE – Mick Foley Greatest Hits & Misses – A Life in Wrestling (Hardcore Edition) DVD by clicking here.