Welcome to the 3rd installment of my Retro Smackdown Review Series. If you’re not familiar with these yet, I have been going over Retro episodes from the blue brand giving a brief recap and my take on these different episodes. One of the glaring things that stood out to me once again as I went back and watched this episode is the people who are no longer with us. In this one it there were five; Test, Chyna, Bossman, British Bulldog and Crash Holly. May they all RIP.
The highlight and main focus of this show was that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the special guest of the evening promoting his new movie End of Days. Something I had totally forgot that also took place that night was the infamous Big Show/Bossman funeral scene. During this time period, these two were in the middle of a very bitter and personal feud that centered around the storyline death of his father. While Big Bossman poked fun at it every chance he got, probably the most memorable moment from all this was Bossman showing up at the grave yard and dragging the casket along using the squad car while Big Show was holding on for dear life to the back. Over the top storylines like this were normal during that time period. No way would we see anything like this at all today.
Now, on to the main highlight of the night – The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He arrives to the building in a limo with a welcoming committee that included Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco. He meets both Austin and Rock backstage. Arnold tells Austin he wants to see him open up a can of whoop ass. Him interacting with Rock was even more amazing. I was in awe of this moment. Who would have thought at the time that Rock would end up being just as big or maybe even a little bigger of an action star as Arnold is. Would be interesting to see those two in a movie together. Especially a younger Arnold. Vince later comes to the ring to introduce him to the crowd as well as present him with a replica of the WWF championship. (Attitude Era Eagle Belt. My personal favorite.) Arnold speaks to the crowd and just seems extremely humbled and happy to be there.
Arnold gets to sit in on commentary with Michael Cole and The King for the main event, a Survivor Series style match between Shane, Kane, Test and The Rock vs DX ( Triple H, X-Pac, and The New Age Outlaws). Stone Cold is your special guest enforcer outside the ring. Test doesn’t start the match cause he was attacked by DX earlier in the night. So we start off with a 3 on 4. X-Pac and Kane go first cause they were counted out while they were fighting up the ramp. Road Dogg eliminates Shane and now we’re down to 3 on 1. Test, busted up nose and all, comes down to finally get in the match. Low and behold, Arnold ends up helping in the match. Arnold slips one into the ring and Austin uses it on Triple H. Ref is out. Austin counts the pin. Test picks up the victory for his team. Triple H is not happy. He goes after Arnold. Takes a swing. Misses. He starts hitting Triple H with a series of punches in the corner by the announce table. Austin comes out to raise his hand. Arnold and Austin have a beer in the ring to close out the show. What a moment.
Other matches from the night included Edge w/ Christian vs Hardcore Holly w/ Crash in singles action. Holly picked up the win. The Dudleyz get the win over The Godfather and D’lo Brown. Bossman retains his hardcore title against Faarooq with some help from Prince Albert. ( I miss the hardcore matches). We get a vignette for Kurt Angle’s debut. Who could have imagined at the time he would have become a big a star as he did. As well as learn the business so fast. Jericho attacks Chyna backstage. Busting her open. All in hype to their upcoming IC title match at Survivor Series. A women’s title match between Ivory and Tori turns into an all out brawl that included Jacqueline, Terri Runnels, Debra, Mae Young and Moolah. That’s two more no longer with us. RIP to them as well.
All in all this was a cool show. This had to be one of the better celebrity appearances we have seen in WWE over the years. These things can be a hit or miss. This was a hit in my book. As always, I would love to hear suggestions for retro Smackdown’s to review. Feel free to tweet me @MoneyMakerChris with ideas.
This article comes to us via Chris Durham (@MoneyMakerChris)