May 4, 2000
Richmond, Va., played host to a supercharged SmackDown!, kicking off with a rematch from Chris Jerichos tremendous match at Backlash as he squared off against Chris Benoit for the Canadian Cripplers Intercontinental Title. The bout was every bit as good as the classic encounter from Backlash. The turning point came when Benoit was reprimanded by referee Earl Hebner, the hero of Mondays RAW who enjoyed a rousing ovation from his hometown crowd. Benoit shoved Hebner, who shoved Benoit out of the ring. Out of nowhere, Jericho hit Benoit with the Intercontinental belt and executed the Lionsault for the 1,2,3 to become Intercontinental Champion for the third time!
Mr. McMahon addressed the crowd, flanked by the McMahon-Helmsley regime and D-Generation X, and called Richmond a town of historical significance. After a brief history lesson, Mr. McMahon then said Richmond is known for a corrupt city council and the home of corrupt Federation official, Earl Hebner. The Federation owner recapped Hebners recent actions and ordered that Hebner compete "in that very ring!" Hebner was to team with Federation Champion The Rock in a handicap match against Triple H, X-Pac and the Road Dogg, with the title on the line. If The Rock OR Hebner is pinned, the winner of the match becomes the new champion!
Tag Team Champions Edge and Christian underwent facial treatment as a result of Rikishis stink face on RAW.
Eddie Guerrero and Chyna continued their feud with Essa Rios and Lita, who was a bit apprehensive about having to face the Ninth Wonder of the World. Lita, though, did get a few kicks in when Chyna was off her feet. After breathtaking action between Rios and the European Champion, Litas attempt at a flying bodypress was refuted by a Chyna powerbomb. "Mamacita" proceeded to take Lita apart and get the win for "Latino Heat."
Hardcore Holly cared less about Kurt Angles philosophy and feelings toward Virginia, which won crowd sentiment towards Hollys favor. The match was a virtual draw until Angle suffered a knee injury, but Hardcore made the mistake of shoving the referee, who shoved Hardcore into an Angle, match-winning back suplex. But it was Hardcore who got the last laugh, attacking the former Olympian after the match.
Edge and Christian proudly announced their faces were "ass free" before their handicap match against Rikishi, but it wasnt long until Edge received a second dose of stink face. Edge came back with a spear and the tag champs took control. Once the action spilled to the outside, momentum shifted back in Rikishis favor, and he backed his ass back into the ring to gain the countout win. In a post-match attack, Edge and Christian were about to nail Rikishi with the timekeepers bell until Too Cool cleaned house and did their dance.
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Tori verbally undressed the Dudley Boyz, telling them its pretty pathetic that they had to pick on women to make themselves feel strong, before adding she and Tori are two girls they dont mess with. D-Von warned Buh Buh Ray the repercussions of attacking Stephanie. Buh Buhs response was a sadistic smile.
T & A gave it a go without Trish Stratus, still on the mend after Buh Buh Ray Dudley put her through a table at Backlash, against the Hardy Boyz. Test and Alberts strength dictated the match until Jeff nailed Test with his Swanton Bomb when the referee was distracted. Matt covered the fallen Test for the win, which came at a price as T & A worked Matt over after the match.
The Big Show was at it again, this time as Shonan the Barbarian. Opponent Bull Buchanan attacked Shonan before the bell, but thats when Shows fun and games ended. Show manhandled the 6-8 Buchanan and finished him with two chokeslams. Instead of pinning him, Show rolled Bull out of the ring.
In the back, Mr. McMahon sarcastically wished Hebner the best of luck in his very first match.
Dean Malenkos Hardcore Title challenge to Crash Holly began in a moonwalk hut set up backstage. The fight entered the arena, and it wasnt long before Perry Saturn wanted a piece of the action, objected by Malenko. As the two Radicalz argued, Crash nailed the Light Heavyweight Champion with a trash can to get the win. Malenko and Saturn had to be separated after the match.
When asked by the Big Show how he felt about his new, entertaining attitude, Shane McMahon expressed his disappointment with Shows performance at WrestleMania, and called him pathetic, a fool and a pee-brain, among other things. Show looked emotionally distraught after Shanes harsh response.
Finally, it was Earl Hebners debut. The Rock valiantly carried the match. Competing with a separated shoulder, Triple H put up a gallant effort himself. Hebner did find his opening to slap the taste out of "The Games" mouth.
As the bout progressed, DX unmercifully pounded The Rock, who mounted a brief comeback until stopped by an X-Pac heel kick. The Rock found his second wind and attacked the entire McMahon-Helmsley faction. Chris Jericho even joined the fray, attacking Triple H. Back in the ring, Hebner delivered a low blow to X-Pac, who then tasted Rock Bottom as The Rock retained the Federation Title.
After the match,
DX attacked The Rock in a post-match brawl, and the McMahons fed
Hebner to the wolves. Numerous Triple H right hands busted
Hebners mouth open, and per the orders of Mr. McMahon,
Triple H pedigreed Hebner onto a steel chair. Rikishi attempted
to end the carnage but was outmanned. The Big Show got his shots
in, but it was still strength in numbers in favor of the
McMahon-Helmsley regime until the Dudley Boyz hit the ring and
sent Mr. McMahon, Triple H and Co. scurrying to the back.
However, McMahon stooges Patterson and Brisco were left for dead.
Patterson was given some Rikishi stinky face and Brisco was sent
for a ride through a table by Buh Buh Ray Dudley! As SmackDown!
went off the air, Earl Hebner was taken away on a stretcher.