Retro Match Ratings: The "First" WWF Smackdown 8/26/1999

Opening Segment

  • We see a much different situation than our last retro review that covered the Smackdown pilot . Triple H is champion. Taker is about to be gone for months. Austin may never be the same again.
  • The set is the original Smackdown set we all remember.
  • New Triple H music, and Chyna is with him.
  • The Rock comes out, cuts the typical Rock promo and challenges Triple H for the WWF Championship.
  • Rock and Triple H go back and forth, and honestly it's not a good one. But this was the era of crowd participation and nobody was ever better at that than the Rock.
  • Commissioner Shawn Michaels shows up and says he's the person that can make it official, so he does. WWF Title match tonight, with Michaels as the special guest referee to avoid any shenanigans.
  • Shane McMahon isn't happy about this decision. Shawn Michaels says that Shane is now a WWF Superstar, and now he's going to face Mankind tonight.
  • Foley cuts a little promo and hits the ring. He and the Rock take out everyone, including the Mean Street Posse.
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Billy Gunn defeated Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra & Miss Kitty)

  • This is a non-title match. Lawler is excited about Miss Kitty and Debra. Jarrett had just gifted the European title to
  • Billy Gunn is easily distracted by Debra's boobs, but it doesn't quite work.
  • Gunn was a heel just days before this and is working Jarrett now.
  • Gunn landed a nice powerslam, but got posted.
  • Jarrett does those dumb ten punches in the corner.
  • Chyna appears and hits Debra with a guitar HARD. My god!!!
  • Gunn uses the distraction to roll up Jarrett.
  • Chyna and Billy Gunn are arguing in the ring. Billy Gunn moons Chyna and gets hit in the ballsack.

WWF Tag Team Championships
Undertaker & Big Show (c) (w/ Paul Bearer) defeated X-Pac & Kane and The Acolytes

  • Kane and X-Pac are one of the first signs of consistency from the April episode that we've seen so far.
  • Big Show and Undertaker had their own tag team music.
  • Every person in this match is an eventual/former world champion or Hall of Famer...
  • Undertaker sits down at commentary. He says he's teaching tough love. How often do you ever hear him on commentary.
  • Kane is on fire, pun intended. He and X-Pac were such a good team.
  • Big Show is getting beaten up, and Taker isn't happy, slapping him.
  • Acolytes chop down Big Show while he tries to powerbomb X-Pac. For some reason both of them are in, but Kane waits for a tag.
  • Kane gets a giant pop for his hot tag. His top rope clothesline made the place come unglued.
  • X-Pac reverses an Irish whip and takes out the Acolytes, but walks into a Chokeslam from Big Show.
  • This was one of Taker's last appearances before "American Badass." He'd wrestle a few matches, then disappear until May, except for a match in Puerto Rico.
  • X-Pac is backstage saying that he's tired of being the weak link.

WWF Hardcore Championship
Big Bossman defeated Al Snow (c)

  • Al Snow pleads with Big Bossman to not hurt Pepper, his dog that Bossman has kidnapped.
  • Bossman's 1999 run is one of the most dastardly heel runs ever.
  • Bossman isn't happy and says that Al Snow has to give him a Hardcore Title match or he'll kill the dog or something.
  • Pepper isn't dead yet, so that's cool.
  • Snow and Bossman have some pretty bad brawling, but there's a pretty good see saw spot that works better than it's supposed to at first, then nowhere near as well as it should after.
  • Bossman pins Al Snow after a night stick to the head, and takes Pepper.
  • This wasn't much of a match, but it helped make a title change happen and established Bossman as a bastard.
  • Al Snow is frantic and looking for Pepper backstage.

Road Dogg defeated Chris Jericho via DQ

  • I forgot that Howard Finkel was Jericho's crony. He throws something in Road Dogg's eye.
  • Jericho's usual great side backbreaker isn't good, but his double arm back breaker ruled. I miss that move. I hope we see it more in AEW.
  • Jericho pulls out a table, but has a suplex countered into a DDT....and he gets up before Dogg.
  • Y2J bumps his ass off for Road Dogg's punch and Road Dogg's ass cracks Jericho's head on the rope guillotine.
  • Road Dogg sells his back great.
  • Jericho does a double powerbomb, with the second going through the table. The opponent has to help Jericho too much on this.
  • Jericho applies the Lion Tamer, which gets a good pop.
  • This is Jericho's debut match, and I think it worked better than a win. He's just a dick.
  • Jericho encourages Finkel to hate Tony Chimel.
  • Ultimate Warrior's music hits and Finkel hits the ring. This is the dumbest shit. Finkel pushes down Chimel and they fight.
  • Ken Shamrock and Chris Jericho would bump shoulders and Jericho made Finkel berate Shamrock.
  • Jericho hits Shamrock with a chair, and Shamrock gets up and chases Jericho off! Wow.
  • Shamrock was supposed to fight Jericho a month later at Unforgiven, but left WWE days before and was replaced by X-Pac.
  • Chris Jericho escapes in his FORD TAURUS, but leaves Finkel behind, who shits his pants when Shamrock threatens him.

She said YES!

  • Test is worried about his marriage proposal to Stephanie.
  • Stephanie comes out to the ring IN FRONT OF THE WORLD and says she has an answer.
  • Test officially proposes and Stephanie accepts.
  • They smooch.
  • Mean Street Posse and Shane McMahon attack. Shane was supposed to stay away after Summerslam.
  • Mankind is out to help Test and MURDERS EVERYONE WITH A STEEL CHAIR!
  • Long live the Union!

Shane McMahon defeated Mankind

  • Mankind says their match is happening now, and offers Shane McMahon a free shot.
  • Shane cracks Mankind with a chair with all his unconscious friends around the ring.
  • Mankind gets up and does a back elbow, and Shane McMahon does maybe the best back elbow bump in history.
  • The Posse attacks, but Stephanie and Test hilariously attack, as do The Stooges. Amazing.
  • Back in the ring, a Shane mini-elbow leads to him eating a double arm DDT and a Mandible Claw.
  • Chyna distracts the ref and Triple H hits Mankind in the knee with a chair.
  • Shane wins.
  • This was a mess.
  • We see Earl Hebner, Michael Cole and others congratulating Test and Stephanie as they leave later. I kind of like these cut ins.

Steve Austin

  • Nobody cuts a promo like Steve Austin.
  • His knee is messed up from the Summerslam attack.
  • There is nobody in the world cutting promos like this today. That's a pretty high bar.
  • Austin doesn't even blame Triple H for doing what he did to be champ.
  • This was an AMAZING sit down interview with Michael Cole.

Evening Gown Match
Tori defeated Ivory

  • This will for sure be better than the AWA Superclash 3 lingerie battle royal.
  • Tori isn't wearing an evening gown, she's wearing Tony Garea's shirt.
  • This is a brawl, but Tori has a nice spear.
  • Ivory gets stripped, and that's it.
  • Luna Vachon breaks up the brawl.

WWF Championship
Special Guest Ref: Shawn Michaels
Triple H (c) (w/ Chyna) defeated The Rock

  • Chyna doesn't know who Lilian Garcia is but says she needs to respect Triple H
  • This is just a bunch of STARS. It has nothing to do with how physically big they are, or the wrestling being better, they're just presented as stars.
  • Rock Bottom and Pedigree are both countered right out of the gate. Great way to start this match.
  • Chyna gets her shots in and Michaels admonishes her.
  • The Rock gave Triple H too much on an Irish whip. He didn't make Triple H work for it.
  • They brawl all up the ramp, and Rock suplexes Triple H on the stage. This was a great way to show off the stage. There's also a hideous Russian Leg Sweep up there.
  • Chyna hits Rock RIGHT IN THE PENIS, and gets ejected. Jim Ross brings up that Jesse Ventura reffed Summerslam way too often.
  • Shane McMahon comes out, and I can tell you that not a lot has changed in 20 years. There's still too much Shane McMahon on the shows.
  • The Rock has the match won, but Shane distracts HBK.
  • The Rock wallops Shane.
  • Rock Bottom hits, but when The Rock goes for the People's Elbow, Michaels superkicks him.
  • Pedigree. Pin.
  • I don't believe there was ever an explanation for this, but Michaels and Triple H embrace.
  • Triple H's week: August 22: Summerslam against Austin and Mankind. August 23: Raw title win over Mankind. August 24: Smackdown title defense against the Rock. August 28, MSG title defense over The Rock. August 29, Philly title defense over the Rock. August 31, Smackdown tag title match with Shane McMahon against Rock & Sock, and defended his title over Gillberg.

Other Notes

  • Kurt Angle vs. The California Kid, Edge vs. Matt Hardy, D-Lo vs. Hardcore Holly, Val Venis vs. Mark Henry and Gangrel vs. Chaz are the dark matches and other were filmed for "Jakked."
  • The show took place from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City.
  • The idea for Smackdown was "will be more lavish sets, slightly cleaner language and a concert-like light show stage. There will also be plenty of pre-taped out of the ring footage added to the action taped every Tuesday at the arena. The show will carry a TV-PG rating as opposed to the TV-14 that Raw carries" per the Observer.
  • For whatever reason, I think Blue Meanie holding up a picture of Sable on TV guide and the "Blair Bytch Project" was pulled.
  • The show drew a 4.16 rating and a 7.2 share. Thunder did a 1.94 and a 3.3 share.

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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