Straight off, Paul Heyman on commentary was captured perfectly. IMO, the very best colour analyst in WWF/WWE history. Ultra talented, and this was a perfect role for him.
Anyway, onto the stuff that really matters.
Most certainly knocked the opening promo out of the ballpark. Felt you kicked right into gear, coming hot off the heels of the big WrestleMania. It was always going to be tricky to measure what point Vince should address first; WCW or his new alliance with Austin. Even now, I’m on the fence as to what Vince should’ve remarked on first, but you measured it well, and segued nicely from the WCW talk and into the Austin alliance topic. Seems pretty clear that Vince and Austin wont be friends, but have aligned simply for their own personal gains. Now that dynamic jumps out as being interesting, and most certainly could allow plenty of tension between the boss and the champion.
This one certainly threw me. Triple H being the one to question Vince DOES make sense, perfect sense, I just didn’t expect it. Sets up instantly the mouth watering prospect of a bad-ass (in his prime to boot) Triple H face turn, and a turnaround in the dated Austin - Triple H storied rivalry, with the face / heel balance switched. It would look likely that The Game is heading into the direction of a face turn, but where exactly will that leave a vengeful Rock in this equation??
A terrific promo to kick off a promising thread, with an immediate tease of a MAJOR face turn along with a major potential angle. Many places to go with it too, as Stephanie could find herself torn between family and husband in the long run, along with what could be an epic face Game vs. heel Austin feud, and it looks like it’s going to be handled the correct way too, and not just forced upon us. Great opening (albeit a little too heavy on the use of ‘bullshit’), although giving away Triple H vs. Undertaker for free the night after they had a memorable match at WrestleMania is questionable. That rematch is money.
Everytime I seen Regal utter ‘Mista’ I kept thinking Booker T, or the like. I get that you’re trying to portray the accent, but I personally don’t believe it works for Regal to pronounce it ‘Mista’.
Big things in the pipeline for Rhyno IMO. The guy was an absolute beast upon his debut, and with Heyman shilling him to hell, week in, week out, he’s bound to be going upward and onwards. Hoping he can make a huge impact, and build off this win.
Return match for Test on Smackdown sounds fun. Getting the match on Smackdown gives it a chance of getting near 10 minutes to do it’s job, but I fully expect Guerrero to retain, and prosper with a long, fruitful title reign.
Makes sense too for Test to beat Eddie in the pre-cursor six man tag. Their match at that Mania was a fun undercard match, and it could well be a decent mid card feud for the next number of weeks if you decide to go in that direction. Hopefully Test continues his upward spiral too, as I fondly remember thinking he’d be the King of the Ring in 2001 and go on to big things. Think he lost in the first round to Edge
. Enough of the nostalgia though
Delighted that Angle/Benoit will be continuing on. Decent promo from Angle, playing off his typical annoying heel persona, and completely no selling Benoits crossface. Great, classic Angle, and the booking of the Submission match is cool too. Not as awesome as the Ultimate Submission match, but I do applaud you for not just copying the WWE playbook, whilst still staying true to the root of the angle, when it started out like this, as a battle of the two submissions. A truly mouth watering prospect for Backlash already.
Jericho and X-Pac had some decent matches (I think, if I remember right) around Autumn 2000, so it’s pleasing to see a good match to carry the in ring portion of the show. The defence for Jericho was to be expected, but there was a lot of random, out of the blue title matches back in the day, coming out of nowhere like this. Glad you’re sticking to that system, and not instantly turning to the more recent way of handling title matches. I cant see the X-Factor group going too far tbh, but I could be wrong of course.
Assuming Too Cool are on the outs?? Getting jobbed out big time to a less than 100% E&C came as a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure how much steam is left in the E&C / Dudley / Hardy triangle feud, as it does feel like WM 17 was closure. Those three teams though are by far and away the most bankable teams available, but something needs shaken up in the tag division to keep the three teams fresh if they are all remaining together. E&C vs. The Dudleys isn’t appealing to me right now, but hopefully you can add some more spark to the rivalry.
Plenty of hype for Smackdown it seems, albeit with lesser matches being announced; but build up none the less. The role of Trish Stratus in the coming weeks and months will be interesting to keep an eye on, as she fell off the radar after WM 17 initially, doing very little for the coming months.
Please don’t job out Raven. Raven = RATINGS
. He’s a valuable asset, and hopefully you catch his potential, even if it is limited to the Hardcore division. Big crossroads for Big Show too, as he just seemed to aimlessly drift for months, nay, years at this time. A big potential talent, but where does he go??
Foreshadowing what’s to come?? Triple H and Austin head to head just adds to the simmering tension brewing.
Rather disappointing that there has been so little mention of The Rock on the show. After the biggest main event in WrestleMania history, his name has barely been mentioned. I’m expecting a late appearance, but I’d expected to hear more from the commentary about him.
Surprised Triple H picked up the clean win, grabbing his heat back from the previous night. It’s only step one though in the build for an epic rivalry between Triple H and the Austin / Vince alliance.
Vince referring to Austin as the ‘new face’ in professional wrestling. Wasn’t that 1998?? Anyway, after you kicked the show off with a great promo, you’ve delivered again with a dynamite conclusion to a good show. Austin remained 100% bad-ass, but in a whole new light. As good as you wrote Austin, I was thrown a little by his attitude to Vince. Why would Vince suddenly allow himself to be talked to like that by Austin, after years of putting Austin through hell for that same attitude??
We definitely need more closure on what exactly made this arrangement happen between Vince and Austin, as it seems like Austin still despises the boss. For now though, I’m taking it that Austin has aligned with Vince to save himself more hassle, whilst Vince has aligned with Austin for??
Anyway, moving on for now, if Austin was dynamite, The Rock was ON FIRE. Super, super, super promo from The Rock, unfortunately cut short, but at the same time, cut short by an alarming WCW promo, that really took me by surprise. Didn’t expect a WCW tease this early, but it looks like you’re going all out for it. Big question that I’m sure many will ask, or be thinking … did The Rock know anything about it?? It certainly played to his advantage, as it served a chance to distract Vince and Austin, and then allowed him to gain a measure of revenge.
Simple, but effective Rock Bottom sends the message, loud and clear, and we have ourselves a sure fire Backlash main event set, with Rock and Austin looking to settle the score. Gimmick match please.
Excellent show to kick off with, setting the foundations for a promising thread, although we definitely need a clear, firm explanation for why exactly Vince and Austin are together.