WWE PPV Flashbacks: Rebellion - December 2, 2000

December 2, 2000
Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, England

With the year 2000 drawing to a close, there was one last stop before the final PPV of the year later in the month of December. That was the second UK exclusive event of the year, Rebellion. As usual, that means we have another glorified house show on our hands, but we've got a few interesting matches ahead tonight. In our main event, reigning WWF Champion Kurt Angle puts his title up for grabs in a fatal four way match against the Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Rikishi. Also the Undertaker goes one on one with the rabid wolverine, Chris Benoit. Lets jump right into this one without any further ado. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91.

Before we get to our opening video, we kick off outside the arena to see a car pull up with the number plate saying 'Commish'. Out steps Commissioner Foley and his newly appointed assistant Debra. After we see them arrive we get a fairly basic video package highlighting the aforementioned fatal four way. Our announcers are the team of Jim Ross & Tazz, since King obviously didn't make the trip to the UK this time. Its kind of weird to see JR and Tazz mostly getting along despite their issues a few months prior.

Anyway, we kick the night off with Foley and Debra making their way to the ring. They hype the main event before mentioning that Triple H has flown back the US unhappy about not being in the title match. Debra makes the fatal four way a no DQ and no count-out match, which brings out WWF Champion Kurt Angle. He attempts to have the match cancelled, but Foley tells him the decision is final. They leave and its time for our first match.

Tables Elimination Match:
Dudley Boyz vs Edge & Christian vs T&A w/Trish Stratus

Basically just a match thrown together here, although both heel teams have had issues with the Dudley Boyz over the past year, with Edge & Christian being on opposing sides to them last month at the Survivor Series. Its elimination rules meaning a member from each other team has to go through a table for a winner to be crowned. These type of matches were always a good way to kick off the show in 2000 as the crowd loved their Dudleyz and their tables. Anyway, only two men are in the ring at a time here, and the Dudleyz start out going at it with T&A whilst Edge & Christian hang around. Albert actually breaks a table with a boot, but it doesn't count of course. After T&A dominate for the most part, Edge gets the blind tag on Test, gets a few shots in on Bubba and then tags back out to Test. T&A go back to work on the Dudleyz, but as Albert brings a table into the ring, E&C come back in and double power bomb the big man through it, eliminating T&A from the match around five minutes in. From there its down to E&C and the Dudleyz, and the heels work over D-Von for a bit. Bubba ends up getting the hot tag only for Edge to nail him with the spear. E&C attempt to follow up with their own version of the "wazzup" but it backfires and Edge goes right into Christian's nuts. From there the Dudleyz hit the real thing and attempt to follow up with a 3D on Edge. Christian stops them in their tracks, but its not much use as he gets 3Ded through the table instead, giving the win to the Dudley Boyz at 9:55. A decent enough match to get the crowd going to start the show. The Dudley Boyz were getting ready for another run on top of the division, so it made sense for them to get the win here.
Grade: **1/2

In the back we get a word with Lita. She is excited to be in England for the first time in her life, and looks forward to winning back the Women's Championship.

WWF Women's Championship:
Ivory (c) w/Steven Richards vs Lita

This is a continuation of the rivalry between these two, as we saw Ivory retain the title against former champion Lita back at Survivor Series. Before the match, Richards gets on the mic and does his usual spiel about morality and criticises Lita's lack thereof in his mind. Lita rushes to the ring after interrupting the RTC leader and goes after Ivory to get this thing started. She spears the champ and follows up with a drop kick before going after Richards himself and grabbing him by his tie. Good thing its not 2010 huh? Nonetheless, this provides the distraction to allow Ivory to jump Lita from behind and the reigning champion goes on offence. Lita eventually comes back and delivers the Twist of Fate to her opponent. Instead of capitalising though, she decides to take Richards down with a suicide dive to the outside. She comes back in afterwards, but Richards gets some payback by reaching in and preventing a sunset flip to Ivory. Ivory counters with a pin of her own out of nowhere with the assistance of Stevie and the ropes, and gets the pin to retain the title at 2:55. Decent enough for the time it was given. Ivory would pretty much move on from this feud from here to face a new contender in the women's division going forward.
Grade: **

We now go backstage where the Rock, looking very strange with a tiny pair of sunglasses, cuts his usual good promo about the main event and his quest to regain the WWF Championship.

WWF Hardcore Championship:
Steve Blackman (c) vs Perry Saturn

I can't remember there being any real feud between these guys, so this is really just a thrown together title defence for Blackman who has actually had a pretty decent reign since becoming the focus of the Hardcore division. Saturn was a guy who always floated around the Hardcore division when needed, and he was of course a member of the reformed Radicalz at this point. No sign of Terri tonight, but she was still with him here. Anyway, Saturn jumps the champion to start and we quickly take things to the outside from there. Weapons quickly come into play and Blackman goes on offence with some kind of metal shelf. Saturn ends up coming back after hitting Blackman with a tray and we get a little back and forth as the two exchange weapon shots in typical Hardcore division fashion. There's really not much to say that we haven't seen before by this point. Blackman ends up putting his opponent away with a bicycle kick into a chair, sending it into Saturn's face to score the pinfall, retaining his championship at 6:03. Fine for what it was, but this wasn't anything more than you expected for this type of match.
Grade: **1/4

We now cut to the back where the reigning European Champion, William Regal is standing by. He gets a pretty big pop from his home country crowd, and starts out by saying how glad he is to be here as a hero to his fellow English fans, before heeling out and saying that he's the only real hero the country has after all. He's in action next.

WWF European Championship:
William Regal (c) vs Crash Holly w/Molly Holly

This is obviously an extension of Regal's feud with the Holly family, after defending his title against Hardcore Holly back at Survivor Series. Regal comes out to a mixed reaction here after his previous promo, and once again gets on the mic before the match. He is eventually interrupted by Crash, who gets a pretty good pop and has Molly in tow. Regal quickly takes the advantage after Crash's brief offence. Its mostly all Regal and he resorts to heel tactics to keep the tide in his favour, using the ropes to his advantage throughout. Crash ends up coming back with a hurracana, but Regal responds with a facebuster moments later, bringing his opponent down. He goes to make the cover and seemingly gets the pin, but Crash got his foot on the rope and the match is ordered to continue. As this is going on, Molly comes in and delivers a missile dropkick off the top to Regal. She gets out as the ref turns back around, and Crash capitalises by making the pin at 5:10 to win the European Championship. Well, you always know if a title is going to change on these UK shows its going to be the European title! Nothing much here, but it served the purpose of Regal being humiliated. Crash doesn't have much time to celebrate his victory though, as Regal comes back and lays out both he and Molly before stealing the title belt and leaving with it. He would win it back on the next episode of Raw is War, so this was really just to pop the fans in attendance.
Grade: *3/4

We now go backstage and see Kurt Angle asking Chris Benoit for help in his title defence later in the night. Benoit blows him off and Angle is left frustrated. From here we got to a recap package of the Eddie/Chyna relationship and subsequent break up.

Billy Gunn & Chyna vs Eddie Guerrero & Dean Malenko
Once again, not a huge amount to talk about on the storyline front since our last show, as the rivalry here has been going on for the past few months now. One thing to note however is that we have a new Intercontinental Champion, as Billy Gunn defeated Eddie Guerrero on an episode of Smackdown following Survivor Series to win the title. Speaking of champions, Dean Malenko is still the holder of the long forgotten Light Heavyweight Championship, as he has been for the most part since arriving in the company at the start of the year. Chyna actually looks really great tonight, dressed out in a white attire. Anyway, Eddie blindsides Gunn to get this one started and begins the match on offence. The former Ass Man mounts a bit of a comeback, fighting off both Radical members in the process. Eddie tags out when Chyna comes into the match, fighting out of a Texas Cloverleaf from Malenko, only for Eddie to trip her up from the outside. Malenko works Chyna over a bit, but the Ninth Wonder of the World eventually resorts to a low blow and follows up with the hot tag to Billy. He builds some momentum, taking Malenko out with the Fameasser at one point, but Eddie manages to make the save by breaking up the fall. This leads to Chyna and Eddie going at it on the outside, and meanwhile Billy Gunn hits the One and Only on Dean to pick up the victory at 12:15. A fun little match here for the most part, which was effectively the end of this feud for the most part. Chyna would set her sights on a whole new kind of foe from here, whilst Billy Gunn's time with the I.C title would not last for long.
Grade: **1/4

At this point we get a quick word with some fans in the crowd before throwing to a video package highlighting the rivalry that started over some spilt coffee - Chris Jericho vs Kane.

Chris Jericho vs Kane
This highly personal rivalry continues here with a rematch from Survivor Series. There's not a great deal more to say as they have just been going at it ever since. Jericho is out first and he gets on the mic before the match, talking about Kane and calling him the Union Jackass. This brings out the Big Red Monster, who is unfazed by Jericho's initial offence and the action quickly moves to the outside thanks to a Jericho clothesline. They quickly return to the ring where Kane takes over and proceeds to destroy Jericho with his power based offence. Jericho fights back after a while after taking a beating, delivering a dropkick off the top and rolling Kane up. It doesn't keep the Big Red Machine down, but Jericho instead locks in the Walls of Jericho, or rather he tries to. Due to Kane's size, Jericho is unable to keep the hold on and this allows Kane to escape out. He goes for the Chokeslam but Y2J counters into a facebuster. He follows by going for the Lionsault, only for Kane to block it with his knees. That gives Kane the window he is after, and the Big Red Monster hits a successful chokeslam for the win at 8:04. A bit below the standard of their previous match, but thats not really saying much at all. These two just didn't seem to have great chemistry together. The story was the same here with Jericho doing his best to overcome Kane's assault, only to fall short, and that storyline would continue across to our last PPV of the year later in the month. For now, Jericho gets a little redemption by whacking Kane with a chair after the match and locking in the Walls to make him tap out.
Grade: *3/4

We now go backstage where Trish gets in Lita's face about her loss earlier in the evening. Lita responds by attacking her rival, and the two women brawl into the Women's locker room. Lita rips off Trish's top which leads to Ivory getting involved and the RTC member's dress being ripped off to reveal her underwear. Steven Richards, who happens to hang around in the female locker room breaks it up. I bet Lawler was disappointed he missed out on this.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather (c) w/Val Venis vs Hardy Boyz

Our next title match of the evening sees the former champions, the Hardy Boyz, attempting to regain the titles from the team that defeated them about a month or prior, RTC's Buchanan & Goodfather. This was pretty much the end of these teams going at it, as the Hardy Boyz would take a brief step out of the tag title hunt over the next few months. So yeah, I just gave away how thing one turns out. Much like many other heels tonight, the RTC jump their challengers before the match gets going, but the Hardyz fight back and we start things off officially with Bull and Jeff going at it. Jeff takes control in the early going with his fast paced offence, but Goodfather comes in and nails the popular superstar when he takes a moment to play up to the crowd. Nonetheless, Matt tags in and the momentum returns to the challengers when he hits Goodfather with a Twist of Fate. Val interferes, attempting to break the pin up, but Matt moves so he instead hits his own man, but he corrects his mistake by subsequently throwing Matt out of the ring. This leads to an RTC beat down back in the ring upon Matt Hardy, but after taking a beating, he gets a hot tag to his younger brother. The Hardy Boyz clean house and Jeff goes to put Goodfather away with the Swanton Bomb. Buchanan manages to distract the ref though, which allows Venis to sneak in and hit the Money Shot on Jeff, giving Goodfather the pin for RTC to retain their titles at 8:05. They would turn out to be transitional champions, but for now the RTC has quite an impressive collection of gold. As far as the match here goes, the Hardy Boyz made this one okay.
Grade: **1/2

Backstage Kurt Angle finds his old buddies Edge & Christian. He asks them for help retaining his title in the fatal four way, but Christian says he is still hurt from the tables match earlier. Angle calls them selfish before storming off.

Elsewhere in the back, the Undertaker comes across Benoit, his opponent in just a few moments. They stare down, which leads to the rest of the Radicalz jumping the American Bad Ass from behind and injuring his knee.

Undertaker vs Chris Benoit
I really think this was just thrown together for this show, as aside from both being in the WWF title match at Unforgiven a few months back, I really cannot recall much interaction between these guys at this point in time. Undertaker is of course coming off his title feud with Kurt Angle from Survivor Series, whilst Benoit has really been treading water in the Radicalz since Triple H turned heel ending their previous rivalry. Anyway, due to the previous attack, Taker doesn't make his entrance and Benoit commands the ref to declare him the winner by forfeit. Taker's music hits once again, but still no sign of the American Bad Ass. They go to announce Benoit as the winner, but Taker's music finally hits and he staggers out to a big pop ready to go. This gives Benoit a target to focus on though, and he goes right after his opponent's knee to get started. Taker manages to fight his way back though, but when he goes for Old School, he ends up aggravating the knee even more coming down off the ropes. The action goes to the outside where Taker starts to dominate, but Benoit comes back by dropkicking his opponent in the injured knee to regain control. Back in the ring, Benoit continues his focused attack by locking in the figure four, only for Taker to roll over into a submission of his own. Benoit gets to the ropes and goes right back after his opponent's leg. Benoit actually hits the Diving Headbutt on Taker's knee and attempts to lock in the figure four once more. Before he can do so however, Taker manages to roll Benoit up out of nowhere and that gives him the victory at 12:15. This was a surprisingly solid match considering Taker's track record in this stretch of time. He actually seemed motivated in there, and the selling of the knee allowed for a good story to develop throughout the match that saw Benoit target the injury to take the big man down, only for Taker to score the fluke roll up at the last moment to win. Definitely one of Taker's better PPV singles matches in quite a while. But hey, Benoit was always great in the ring. Had this taken place in a few more years when Taker was back in shape, this would have been much better.
Grade: ***

The main event is up next so we get the same basic video package about the fatal four way that we kicked off the show with.

WWF Championship:
Kurt Angle (c) vs The Rock vs Steve Austin vs Rikishi

These guys were all reasonably linked together at this point, with the top of the card becoming quite stacked around this time. Austin obviously has issues with Rikishi, whilst Rock does the same. Rock also was the man Angle beat to win the WWF Championship back at No Mercy, so there is that too. Anyway, Rock and Austin both get pretty big pops, although Austin's is louder. The match starts out with Austin and Rikishi pairing off whilst Rock and Angle do the same. Austin and Rock get the better of their exchanges at first. We get a little back and forth with Austin and Rock working together to take on Rikishi after a bit, which leads to Angle deciding he has had enough and attempting to leave. Rock stops the champion in his tracks and Austin takes both heels out with the Lou Thesz press. Rikishi recovers and attempt to stinkface the Rock, only for the Great One to avoid it and follow up with the spinebuster and People's Elbow. Angle breaks up the count and we get some more back and forth action between the guys in the ring. Austin and Rock end up facing off and the crowd goes bananas. Austin hits Rock with the Stunner, but Angle breaks up the count. Austin fights him off, but Rock pulls himself back together and hits the Rock Bottom on the Rattlesnake next. This time Rikishi pulls the ref out of the ring to stop the pin though. Angle follows up with an Olympic Slam to Rock, but the ref is busy dealing with Rikishi on the outside to count. As Austin then goes to roll Kurt up, Edge & Christian hit the ring and put a beating on Austin and Rock. Austin manages to stun Rikishi in the chaos, but this leads to the Radicalz also hitting the ring to take him out. This brings us down to just Rikishi and Angle. Angle manages to deliver the Olympic Slam to the big man amidst everything, and that gets him the pin to retain his title at 8:50. A very short, albeit fun main event. We all knew Angle was winning here with this being a UK exclusive and all, but it was cool to get the chance to see Rock and Austin colliding briefly after quite some time. Rikishi taking the fall was predictable as his honeymoon with the main event scene wouldn't last much longer. Fun little match to cap off a show like this.
Grade: ***1/4

After the match, Angle leaves with his title, but the Radicalz stick around to dish out a further beating on Austin and Rock. The two fan favourites manage to fight back to the delight of the crowd though, and after dishing out a few stunners and Rock bottoms, the two share some beers together. Fun way to end the show for the fans in attendance.

As I always say for these UK events, this was a glorified house show. Everything was fine looking at the show in that way, even if the actual matches weren't amazing for the most part. Still the two main event matches were solid enough - the fatal four way and the surprisingly decent Taker/Benoit match. I really don't have much more to say. Its an uneventful show as the only title that changed hands was back in the hands of the former champion shortly after it anyway, but it was fine for a show to entertain the fans across the pond getting the chance to see their favourite superstars live.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Steve Austin - there's something just right about Austin being back in a WWF title match after so long. He was undoubtedly still the most popular guy in the company here, and it was good seeing him mix things back up in the title hunt.
2. The Rock - much like Austin, the crowd loved the Great One as always. This wasn't his greatest PPV performance, but it was fun seeing him in there with Austin again especially.
3. Undertaker - a bit of a surprising pick for me as he hadn't been on the greatest stretch lately. I know he would have a brief resurgence around Mania time, but he would still have a few bad days ahead after that before re-emerging as one of the greats again.

FINAL GRADE: 4.5 out of 10

What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1. Rock continues to go neck and neck with the Game.

Steve Austin = 89
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 67
The Rock = 48
Triple H = 46
Mick Foley = 38
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 26
Owen Hart = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
X-Pac = 18
Diesel = 15
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
Chris Jericho = 13
Matt Hardy = 13
Jeff Hardy = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Christian = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 10
Edge = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Kurt Angle = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Bubba Ray Dudley = 6
D-Von Dudley = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Chris Benoit = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Shane McMahon = 3
Chyna = 3
Rikishi = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Test = 1
Big Show = 1
Dean Malenko = 1
Scotty 2 Hotty = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @Mpmcc91. Thanks for reading!