Retro Review

Insurrexion 2000 – Retro Review

Matthew Roberts goes back twenty years to one of WWF’s most memorable UK-based PPV’s, Insurrexion 2000.

With Takeover Blackpool II just around the corner, Matthew Roberts takes another trip in the TWM Time Machine™ to go back twenty years to a totally different kind of WWE UK event…

Twenty years or so ago the biggest events that the WWE would hold on these shores would be their (generally) bi-annual PPV events, exclusive to the UK.  Some shows were very good (see 1997’s One Night Only) , a lot were less so (take your pick).  On paper Insurrexion 2000 seems to have a great line-up (allowing for the usual UK shenanigans of course) but does it live up to the billing?

Well the mild disappointment comes right off the bat. 2 Cool against Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko sounds like it could be very good indeed but in the end has to settle for being a relatively entertaining opener.  This is largely because the focus of the match isn’t that it should be a good match but rather that it showcases the ongoing tensions between the Radicalz pairing of Saturn and Malenko.  This costs them the match and sees them go at it afterwards.  Still, a crowd pleasing win first up at least sets the scene for the evening. 

After a backstage segment with Mae Young and Kat, Vince McMahon comes out into the arena in order to sow a few seeds of intrigue into the evening’s main event.  And complain about his wife; but there you go.  The Rock is defending his WWE Title against Triple H AND Shane McMahon, but who does Vince want to win?  It seems as if as long as Rock loses Vince will be happy but where would his real allegiances lie? 

Kane against Bull Buchanan is standard house-show nothingness but at least is over quickly.  Road Dogg and Bradshaw is the same but at least has distractions at ringside in the form of Tori (who Bradshaw seems inclined to go after) and Ron Simmons.  It also has a pleasing result in my eyes when Road Dogg gets a fluke win. 

The less said about the Arm-Wrestling Challenge between The Kat (accompanied by Mae Young) and Terri Runnels (accompanied by the Fabulous Moolah) the better really, although it would be totally fair to say that seeing them arm wrestle is much preferable to seeing them attempt to wrestle.  Kat gets her top ripped off and we see absolutely nothing but this did allow the WWE to “warn” American fans that this release contained nudity when it hit home video there.  Yes, that was a warning, and in no way a desperate promotional tactic to shift units. 

The “Showkishi” and Rikishi versus The Dudley Boyz match is terrifying, mainly due to seeing Big Show dressed like his partner and whilst a decent old school tag team formula match, it does seem to exist purely to get to the post-match dance-off.  This is made possible by Edge & Christian, the fiends, doing a run in so everyone else can be friends. 

Kurt Angle against Chris Benoit is a match that on paper screams excellence.  Then you remember this is rookie Kurt Angle against a Chris Benoit visibly suffering from an eye injury.  Which might explain why it went all of six minutes.  This would have been a disappointment on TV so it’s certainly not welcome on a PPV.  Still, it’s better than a Hardcore Title match between Crash Holly & The British Bulldog, held entirely for the “Home favourite” pop.  Davey Boy was a shadow of his former self by this point, sadly. 

Edge & Christian defend their tag team titles against The Hardys next in another decent match that nevertheless is not a patch on what they could produce.  The intentional DQ finish doesn’t help either.  The European Title match between Eddie Guerrero (accompanied by Chyna) against Chris Jericho (who isn’t defending his IC Title here) is better but still a notch below what you might hope for from these two. 

And then it’s the main event, as The Rock defends his WWE Title against Triple H and Shane McMahon.  Anyone expectying this to end in anything other than Rock pinning Shane after an overbooked mess clearly hasn’t been paying attention to their history lessons but whilst it is exactly that there is no denying that there’s a lot of entertaining stuff going on and it’s fun to watch.  Almost what you would call an ideal house show main event. 

And therein lies the problem with this show.  Treated as a house show, it would be a fine night of action and almost leads me to think that I’ve been too harsh on portions of it during this review.  But given that you were expected to fork out on Sky Box Office for this show, there’s simply not enough to warrant a thumbs up in that context.  But anyone with a few hours to spare and who wants to see some mindless entertainment from 2000 WWE probably won’t feel too short-changed if they give it a watch today.

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