Welcome to part 7 of The Blog Of Kane. On this edition, Kane challenges The Rock for the WWF Championship on the August 28 2000 edition of Monday Night RAW.
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KANE VS. THE ROCK
Kane & X-Pac’s friendship was a positive boon for the Big Red Machine. They won the Tag Team Championship twice in 1999 and were voted the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of the Year in 1999. Unfortunately, the alliance/bond didn’t last as WWF Champion Triple H rebuilt D-X, married Stephanie and ushered in the McMahon-Helmsley Regime. X-Pac followed suit, betraying Kane for the money and the power. Alas, the subsequent Kane/X-Pac feud was arduous, lacklustre and just daft. Kane somehow ended up dating Tori (DON’T ASK!), Tori ultimately ended up ditching Kane for X-Pac and joined D-X’s ranks, none of the bouts were particularly special…and FINALLY the tedious storyline ended at WrestleMania 16 when Kane & Rikishi defeated X-Pac & Road Dogg.
During this time, Kane joined the likes of the Rock, Cactus Jack, Rikishi & Too Cool and the Dudley Boys in the war against the McMahon-Helmsely Faction. Paul Bearer returned to his son’s side for a time, but he disappeared again. The Undertaker returned after a long absence to help destroy the McMahon-Helmsley Regime once and for all. The Rock won the WWF Championship from Triple H and Mick Foley ultimately took power as the new WWF Commissioner. But whilst Kane had been fighting on the front line, he seemed to have got lost in the shuffle.
That all changed when he turned heel in the summer of 2000, attacking his brother to restart their rivalry. Now sporting new attire, Kane was also in contention for a WWF Championship Match with The Rock the night after SummerSlam. Could he get back on top?
The Match Itself
Both combatants have entered the ring, and Kane’s staring deep into the Rock. As ever, Dwayne’s facials & mannerisms are PERFECT. The Great One knows EXACTLY how to express the correct emotions; whatever the mood and circumstances. He’s the WWF Champion, and the Rock KNOWS he’s got a major challenge ahead of him tonight. 24 hours after retaining the title at SummerSlam…he’s got KANE. It’s no surprise that Dwayne Johnson transitioned to Hollywood so successfully…he LIVES the story. He reflects it PERFECTLY.
The Greensboro Crowd begin with the “Rocky!” Chants, JR & King are selling Kane as the challenger brilliantly, we have a big-time match on our hands…it’s the WWF IN 2000, BABY!!! The bell rings, the fight is on! Champion and challenger exchange blows! Rock ducks a clothesline and smacks Kane with some right-hands. Kane reverses an Irish-whip and smacks the Brahma Bull with a big boot! Already in control, Kane has Rock firmly on the ropes, but the Rock is able to connect with a side-Russian leg-sweep for a two-count.
Kane’s back-up quickly and is soon pummelling Rocky in the corner. Kane’s brutal blows…Rocky’s SELLING…things of beauty! Kane takes a moment to intimidate Earl Hebner, but that gives Rocky enough time to recover and start laying the SmackDown on his challenger! But Kane turns the tide with a NICE running power-slam! AGAIN, Dwayne sells the impact fabulously!
Meanwhile, Kane kicks the Rock whilst he’s down, as Good Ol’ King says that the Monster wants to represent the People as their champion! The fantastic crowd rally behind the Great One with “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” as Kane batters Dwayne (Hey, that rhymed! Sorry…). Anyway, Kane follows up with a great suplex on the People’s Champion for a near-fall. Rocky won’t go down without a fight, though! But another comeback attempt is shut-down courtesy of Kane’s brutal sidewalk slam!
Kane heads-up for the top-rope and then nails the Great One with a SPECTACULAR flying-clothesline! The WWF Champion is in trouble! But the Rock manages to kick-out before 3! Rocky tries again to fight back, but Kane is far too powerful and soon has him on the ropes again. However, the Rock manages to reverse an Irish-whip into a Samoan Drop! Which buys the Champion some much-needed time! However, Kane sits-up first as the ‘Rocky’ chants start-up again. The Great One manages to land a terrific-right, and another, and another, and another! He now has the Big Red Machine on the ropes! As usual, JR and King put over both combatants big on commentary!
The Rock scores a fantastic clothesline on Kane to take him down! Then he nails a DDT, but that only gets a two-count. Kane then reverses the next Irish-whip attempt and flings the Rock into the ref. Poor Earl is down again. The Rock counters a Tombstone attempt into a spine-buster! The crowd knows what’s coming next! WE ALL DO! Most Electrifying Move in ALL Sports-Entertainment – THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE! – The People’s Elbow! Rocky covers Kane, but of course, Earl’s too hurt to count! As soon as Dwayne leaves to check on the ref, Kane is back up to deliver an almighty choke slam to the champion!
Earl manages to recover enough to make the count…1…2…NO! The Rock JUST kicks out in time! That was genuinely close! Kane clutches his hair tightly in frustration and roars monstrously at the ref! Kane batters the Rock furiously! He has him on the ropes again! But the Rock suddenly counters with a ROCK BOTTOM! OUT OF NOWHERE! 1…2…NO! KANE KICKED OUT OF THE ROCK BOTTOM!!! ANOTHER CLOSE NEAR-FALL!!!
The crowd’s unglued, Dwayne can’t believe it, JR asks’ “What does the Rock have to do to beat this monster?!” …this is a REALLY good match, y’know!
The Brahma Bull clotheslines his challenger over the top-rope to the floor, Kane lands on his feet, the fighting now spills out to ringside and into the crowd itself…and then, Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass” starts playing! The Undertaker’s here! Kane finishes pummelling the Rock and then goes off to play with his brother! The crowd still love Taker and Kane slugging each other! However, Earl is too busy checking on the Rock (awww…!) to notice Taker nail Kane with a thunderous choke-slam in the ring!
Rocky finally manages to crawl back into the ring after all the abuse he’s taken! Earl is right there to count! 1…2…NO! Kane kicks out AGAIN?! Incredible! Rocky’s had enough now! With a look of sheer anger and determination, he nails the Big Red Machine with a SECOND THUNDEROUS Rock Bottom! THAT gets the 3-count! THE ROCK RETAINS THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP AT 8:08!
Jim Ross: “The Rock knows he had Lady Luck on his side tonight!” Jerry Lawler: “AND the Undertaker!”
THIS was simply a great Raw main-event! Was it classic or memorable? No, but it was a standard, hellacious match that you’d expect to find consistently on television during the World Wrestling Federation’s most successful period. 2000 was simply THE year for WWF, and it shows here. Amazing crowd, fantastic action from start-to-finish, unmatched commentary, and two proven main-eventers who are simply legends of this industry.
As we know, the Rock is one of the greatest wrestlers/WWF Champions of all-time. Interviews, personality, charisma, timing, in-ring ability, facial expressions, selling…Rocky VERY seldomly made a mistake. And very much like Triple H in 2000, it wasn’t JUST the big-time Pay-Per-View matches that Rocky delivered in as WWF Champion. It was night-after-night on Raw AND SmackDown too! Just like Triple H made you believe he could lose to the likes of Chris Jericho, Tazz and Taka Michinoku…Rocky could make both himself and his opponent look good whilst defending the belt. In this case, it was Kane.
Kane looked a legitimately credible threat to the WWF Title again; something he hadn’t looked like in ages thanks to that stupid storyline with X-Pac & Tori. But it’s also important to remember that Glenn Jacobs was also really starting to show what he could do as in-ring worker here. Obviously, his body-language and character-work were stellar from the get-go, but now Kane was getting to showcase more of his wrestling ability. Here, he competed in a fast-paced, exciting match with the Rock, and Kane would go-on to wrestle some excellent bouts against the likes of Austin, HHH, Angle, Jericho, Benoit and Edge over the following years. Of course, you can take or leave the Undertaker interference, but it made sense given that Rocky would soon be booked to defend the WWF Championship against Taker, Kane and Chris Benoit at Unforgiven. As for this match, I recommend watching this one!
Join us again next time in 2001 where Kane goes after the Hardcore Championship!
Check out the match here –>
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