Views from the Hawke's Nest: The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment Disc 2
Posted by TJ Hawke on 11.03.2013
And we came here not as conquerors, but as liberators to return control of this city to the people.
July 5, 1999
The Rock vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna) [Cage match]
I forgot how amazing HHH’s music was during this period.
Needless to say, these two are so much better than they were earlier in their careers. They went back and forth for a bit. Chyna managed to get handcuffs to HHH. HHH could not use them right away. Chekhov’s handcuffs. HHH was still in control for a bit. Rock came back and almost escaped through the door. Chyna interfered to stop that. The referee was knocked out. HHH escaped, but the referee didn’t see it. Rock left the cage, too. They battled until Rock got both of them into the cage. Rock was now in control. HHH was eventually able to cut him off. HHH almost escaped over the cage, but Rock helm him in. They slugged it out on top of the cage. Chyna got HHH a chair, and Rock ate an uprotected shot to the head. HHH decided to go BACK IN the cage like an idiot. He then crotched himself like an even bigger idiot. Cerebral assassin indeed. Rock dropped to the floor before HHH could get out the door.
This was a solid match, but there were some weird aspects of the match. I’m not sure if Vince Russo was booking the show at the time, but some of the spots definitely felt Russo-riffic. Also, why did the handcuffs not come back into play? Match Rating: ***1/4
The crowd popped for the finish, which has to be the only reason this match made it to this DVD. Vince McMahon screwed up Big Show so badly. Match Rating: *1/2
December 30, 1999
The Rock vs. Kane (w/ Tori) [No Holds Barred]
They quickly ended up on the floor. Kane gave him a low blow. Kane got knocked off the stage and sent through a conveniently placed table. Kane came back with another chokeslam through a second table. They ended up back in the ring. Kane accidentally gave Tori a lariat. Kane then ate a chair shot to the head and a Rock Bottom on the chair: 1…2…3
This was short and fun. Rock’s charisma added so much to these kinds of matches. Kane did his job. While I enjoyed this, I do not really understand why it was on the DVD. Match Rating: **3/4
Once again, HHH’s music during this time period was so perfect. Vince informed the crowd that Austin would not be there tonight. Chekhov’s Stone Cold Steve Austin.
After their controversial (and widely considered lame) main event at Wrestlemania, they came right back at Backlash with the match that should have main evented Wrestlemania. They slugged it out early on. Rock avoided a pedigree attempt. They went back and forth until HHH locked in the sleeper. Rock escaped and came back until Vince hit him with the belt. Rock recovered, and they went back and forth more. Rock hit a big DDT, but Shane refused to count. Rock punched Shane to the floor. Shane always took giant bumps. HHH started to really sell his left arm. HHH went for the pedigree on the Spanish announce table, but Rock avoided it and managed to Rock Bottom HHH and Shane at the same time through the table. Vince attacked the Rock, and HHH gave Rock a pedigree. Pat Paterson and Gerald Brisco ran down in referee shirts. I LOVE THE STOOGES SO MUCH. Rock was completely outnumbered when Steve Austin ran down for the save. Chair shots for everyone!!!!! Linda McMahon and Earl Hebner came down. Linda shoved Stephanie. Rock gave HHH a spinebuster and a People’s Elbow: 1…2…3!
Rock and Austin had a beer after the match.
WWF was so goddamn hot in 2000, as the crowd went nuts for all the big storyline stuff involving the interference and whatnot. The atmosphere made this a fantastic time. Rock and HHH had great chemistry in 2000. Match Rating: ****
Rock, obviously, ran through Shane. The new Corporation managed to sporadically interfere, but the match was mostly Rock kicking Shane's ass. Paterson distracted Rock, which gave Shane a shot at escaping. Rock knocked Shane out on top of the cage, but Paterson gave Rock a low blow. Paterson tried to push the knocked out Shane over the cage, but Rock recovered and gave Paterson a Rock Bottom. Rock gave Shane a People's Elbow. He went to walk out the door, but Briscoe slammed the cage into Rock's face. HHH then went into the cage to beat up Rock. Earl Hebner showed up, which allowed Rock to give HHH a spinebuster. Rock then escaped to win, and Vince looked distraught.
Shane and Vince are great performers. When there was enough gaga (like here), they were were able to do their part in putting together fun matches. I really enjoyed this. They managed to tickle my nostalgia bone, while simultaneously working the crowd into a frenzie. Thumbs up! Match Rating: ***
No Way Out
February 25, 2001
Kurt Angle(c) vs. The Rock [WWF Championship]
The winner of this match would defend the belt against Austin. WWF was obviously doing Rock/Austin, but we'll see if the crowd goes along for the ride.
Rock was starting to peak as a performer right here. It's hard to say how much better he would have gotten, but he pretty much stopped being a year-round full-timer a month of so after this match (which is the period when he started to frequently leave to film movies). They went back and forth to start the match. Rock got the sharpshooter, but Angle made the ropes. It looked like Angle was getting control of the match, but Rock hit a DDT. The Big Show, with his awful haircut, made his way to the ring. He gave the ref, Angle, and the Rock a chokeslam. The referees were distracted. Angle got a nearfall after a referee got back in the ring. Rock hit Angle with the belt for the nearfall. Weird thing for a babyface to do considering that Angle did not cheat. Angle got the Drunk Lock. Rock managed to make the ropes. Angle went after the now-injured leg. Rock came back with a spinebuster. Rock hit the People's Elbow: 1...2...NO! The crowd booed. Angle undid a turnbuckle pad. Drunk Slam from Kurt: 1...2...NO! Angle kicked out the injured leg, but Rock then sent Angle into the exposed turnbuckle. Rock Bottom: 1...2...NO! It didn't look like Angle moved at all. Rock Bottom #2: 1...2...3
Not sure what happened with the finish. Vince may have been on a kick for the referees to not let sloppy pins slide. This was WWF/E main event formula. They went back and forth for the majority of the match. They traded finishers. The crowd was into everything. Thumbs up! Match Rating: ***3/4
April 1, 2001
The Rock(c) vs. Steve Austin [WWF Championship]
What? How is that match not on this DVD? It's the best match of Rocky's career. *Insert comments about how it's on many other DVDs* Yea, yea, yea. I get that. But still.
I just learned it's not on his other DVD either. TOMFOOLERY.
August 19, 2001
Booker T(c) (w/ Shane McMahon) vs. The Rock [WCW World Heavyweight Championship]
Ah yes, the Alliance. Rock chased Shane around for a while. Rock ran wild for a bit. They ended up on the floor with Booker in control. Rock finally came back with a sharpshooter, but Shane distracted the ref. Booker capitalized with a thrust kick. Rock came back with a DDT. Shane hit Rock in the face with the belt. Bradshaw and Ron Simmons ran in. Bradshaw MURDERED him with a lariat. Booker hit the Book End: 1...2...NO! Rock made a big comeback. The crowd is not buying what these two are selling. Spinebuster/People's Elbow: 1...2...SHANE TACKLED THE REF! Rock gave Shane a Rock Bottom on the floor. Spinebuster from Booker. Scissors Kick! Rock kipped up and hit the Rock Bottom: 1...2...3
Let me take this moment to say that Booker has always kind of been "eh" to me. He was never put in a great position, but how many truly great matches did he have in his career? Obviously, Booker was not put into a great position here though. Everyone knew Rock was winning, and Booker T was a lame duck champion for the abysmal Alliance stable. Match Rating: **1/2
January 20, 2002
Chris Jericho(c) vs. The Rock [WWF Undisputed Championship]
These two had a fantastic match at No Mercy 2001. I don't think this topped that, but I do not remember. They went back and forth for a while. Jericho managed to get control, and he worked Rock over. This went on for a while. Rock finally made a comeback. Jericho hit two Lionsaults, which got a nearfall. Rock got a sharpshooter. LANCE STORM and Christian ran in. They failed at life. Jericho hit a Rock Bottom: 1...2...NO! Jericho called for the Elbow, but Rock tossed him to the floor. Jericho tried for a Rock Bottom through a table, but Rock reversed it into a Rock Bottom through a table! Back in the ring, Jericho got the Walls! Rock just got to the ropes. Ref bump. Jericho hit Rock with the belt: 1...2...NO! DDT from the Rock. The referee refused to count. Rock gave him a Rock Bottom. Spinebuster/People's Elbow from Rock. Low blow, exposed turnbuckle, schoolboy, feet on the ropes from Jericho: 1...2...3! LOL
Great heel finish. This was nowhere close to their classic from No Mercy 2001, but this was a very strong PPV world title match. Jericho really would not find his main event voice until 2008, but he was still a great performer back then. Rock was on fire with everything he was doing in the ring by this point. Match Rating: ***1/2
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The 411: Unfortunately, Disc 2 is pretty similar to Disc 1 in terms of consistency. Some of the match choices are just baffling. Luckily, also like Disc 1, there is enough quality on here to make it a great time. This disc focuses on what would end up being Rock's prime as a performer, and it serves as a reminder that he was one of the greatest main eventers in the history of the WWE.