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I just finished the year 2000 on the network. What a year. And obviously the major storyline was Who Ran over Austin. As a kid I felt differently. Now? Not much has changed. Concept good, delivery a bit off. The idea Rock needed a leg up, or he was being kept back because of his race. Was hard to accept. At that point he was a multiple WWF champion. It did bring a great Rikishi Heel run though. I thought it was a missed opportunity for a Rock heel turn. Taking out his main rival meant he would sky rocket to the top. Of course HHH was the mastermind. Which just reaffirmed his status as the top heel in professional wrestling at the time. So in Essence Rikishi Diddnt do it for the Rock. He did it for himself. And of course Austin dropped HHH in a car in the air haha
 

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I'd probably have to go back and rewatch it all but I don't remember it being all that great of a heel run for Rikishi. It just seemed random and forced. Plus Rock didn't need anybody's help to get heat so his explanation always fell flat with me. I also don't think it really elevated Rikishi in the end. Just think of that Armageddon hell in a cell, Rikishi stands out as the odd man out.
 

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I actually liked the reveal that it was Rikishi, especially given the motivation they gave him.

But then Austin just killed him at the PPV and then again in a Steel Cage match a couple weeks later. And then in the end, Triple H was the one pulling the strings the whole time, which completely took away from Rikishi's race based motivations for doing what he did.

Might as well have been Triple H from the get go.
 

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This led to the iconic "I did it for the Rock" promo lol
 

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It's weird because I just watched an episode of Raw July 2000 where Rikishi and HHH are fighting over the IC title, little anyone knowing those two should be wary of each other since they were in cahoots with running over Austin. Rikishi even gave HHH the stink face. Bizarre thinking about it where it leads to.

HHH was only revealed as the mastermind because nobody was taking Rikishi seriously as a heel and it was tanking hard. I'd have given the thing to Benoit (even though he wasn't in the WWF at the time) but still it could have been good.
 

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It's weird because I just watched an episode of Raw July 2000 where Rikishi and HHH are fighting over the IC title, little anyone knowing those two should be wary of each other since they were in cahoots with running over Austin. Rikishi even gave HHH the stink face. Bizarre thinking about it where it leads to.

HHH was only revealed as the mastermind because nobody was taking Rikishi seriously as a heel and it was tanking hard. I'd have given the thing to Benoit (even though he wasn't in the WWF at the time) but still it could have been good.
What?

Benoit was having matches with Rock for the WWF title in July 2000. He'd already held the IC title after he won it at WrestleMania 16.
 

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Kurt Angle would have easily made the most sense from a motive standpoint, but unfortunately it would have made his feud with HHH that lasted all Summer long make no sense (unless you erase the part about the assailant being in cahoots with HHH, but then we wouldn't have gotten the feud between he and Austin in late 2000/early 2001, including that epic Three Stages Of Hell match), so that couldn't have happened

Rikishi was as decent choice as any. The heel turn ruined him, but at least they thought outside the box
 

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The mastermind shoulda been vince

Obvious choice and it wouldve been better for rikishi and everyone involved if it had been vince behind it from the start instead of hauling triple h into it because rikishi was floundering on his own
 

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Should have been Jericho that ran Austin over. Guy looking to establish himself as a top guy. What better way to do that than by taking out a top star like Austin?
 

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I actually didn't mind it being Rikishi, at least in theory.

Call me a pessimist but the odds of something like "Who Hit Austin" living up to all of the hype are incredibly low.

Rock, McMahon, Triple H would have been predictable.

Taker, Foley, Kane would have seemed out of right field.

Michaels, Hart, Hogan wouldn't have been possible.

At least with Rikishi they choose someone different in an attempt to elevate him into the main event scene. They may have picked the wrong guy but the theory was sound.
 

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I would've taken Steph.

Use The Radicalz as henchman trying to stop the truth from coming out while a mystery person frames top stars like Rock, Taker and Jericho for Austin to go after until the reveal. Vince and Foley have a falling out over McMahon knowing the truth but covering things up to protect his daughter from repercussions while also testing the depths Austin is willing to go in order to get back on top.

Once Angle is found out as having framed other stars and assumed to be the driver, we get the Armageddon Cell match (Y2J replaces Rikishi), leading to Foley forcing Steph to admit her role afterwards and Vince firing him once Austin gets his hands on her. Trips steps in as the concerned husband but is really the mastermind behind it all, giving us the No Way Out match and then we tease Steph finally having enough of him and going to Kurt, only to swerve us all at Mania where Trips beats Kurt. Austin stuns Vince after shaking hands and goes on to beat Trips inside the Cell at Judgment Day just in time for the InVasion to kick off.
 

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I was so pissed watching this PPV live when they wrote Austin off. That was the only time we got close to a Rock vs Austin vs HHH match.

Of course, I didn't know the real reason since I was young, but when Big Show took his spot, I was pissed.


Also, I always felt the moment they ran over Austin was the start of the fall of WWE and North American wrestling in general. I'm not blaming this segment in particular, it just felt like WWF/WCW/ECW in 96-99 was amazing, then wrestling hasn't reached that since.
 

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I like the idea of Test.

He was really, really over before languishing in mid card purgatory. He was younger than Rikishi, and perceived to have a future. He was a perfectly fine wrestler with some impressive athleticism. He improved very quickly too (compare him in the Corporation to his match with Shane McMahon a few months later which even Meltzer said was MOTN), because when he first came in, he looked every bit the wrestler who was never sent through developmental despite only having ten matches to his name. His main problem was the blandness. He looked good, but didn't really carry himself as a star.

They would have needed to keep his momentum going through 2000, and it's just not possible in my opinion. He couldn't seem to shake his overall blandness outside of that 2006 ECW run in which he seemed to have his strengths catered to and came across quite well with that nasty streak they gave him. I think he improved a bit on the mic too. I'm not saying he improved a lot, but he came across better.

I hated that Andrew was made to look a complete fucking fool by DX in December 1999. He has his wedding day ruined by HHH in November and then basically is beat down by DX, including that one time he had to team with HHH to face DX.. why on earth would he even accept that match lol? I don't even think he ever sought retribution for any of that or even cared about his fiance leaving him. Infuriating stuff from the supposed genius that is Chris Kreski..

He managed to stay over, miraculously, and received a monstrous pop at MSG at RR00.. and then was put into the midcard where he was swept aside once The Radicalz, Angle, Jericho and various tag teams took up their positions. He just floundered without Russo's vision, which wasn't shared by the team that came in after he left. Politics wouldn't have helped either.
 

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I couldnt believe it, simply because I couldnt imagine rikishi getting his ass in a car to drive it.
 
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