Worst: TERREH NOOOOO
Do you rullize how violent this is gonna be? NO.
Oh man, the Hardy Boyz on the microphone. This is one of my favorite, inconsequentially bad WWF promos ever, and revisiting it after a decade or so of quoting it I’m noticing all sorts of weirdness. Why is Matt’s shirt soaking wet? Is it because they’re about to wrestle the Dudleys, and everyone knows that the Dudleys are “a-stream?”. Is Matt Hardy really Air Marshall 50 Cent from Soul Plane 2: The Blackjacking? Why is Michael Cole dressed like a gambler from Red Dead Redemption?
Best: Still The Best Tables Match In WWE History
I love this match, and watching it again, it really holds up. What it does differently from most WWF/E gimmick matches is that it exists outside of the Money In The Bank style “everybody wait while we set this up” thing. The IDEA was to put your opponents through tables, so when they were down, you set up a table to put them through it. There was a reason for the ridiculous construction. Also, it seems like it’s always moving from point A to point B … the wrestlers have a reason to have chairs, they have a reason to go outside. They have reasons to be constantly flying around and jumping off things. It all makes sense, even if “I’m going to put you on a table and then the table will break” is one of the least understandable things pro wrestling saved from ECW.
Everything still works. The Dudleys do all the construction because it’s their game … they stay overconfident as the Hardys, clear underdogs, always fight up from underneath. All of the Hardys major bombs in this match are from out of nowhere… Jeff is only put into a position to jump off the top of the set because the Dudleys took him up there for a spectacular finish. Hubris. My two favorite moments come back-to-back:
1. Matt Hardy setting up a ladder to dive off onto D-Von, jumping off and then OH WAIT SH*T GOD HERE COMES JEFF HARDY FROM ABOVE US. It’s cool, claustrophobic, and the kind of thing that made us go “yeah okay your respeck knuckles are stupid but let’s enjoy the good wrestling match” with the Hardys for years.
2. D-Von’s SUSPENSE DODGE~ of both Hardys. He manages to roll out of the way in time to dodge a leg drop from Matt Hardy, then (with another great off-camera moment) spins out of the way to let Jeff come tope con hilo’ing brain-first through a second table. The match continues, and we’ve found a way to milk two more broken tables out of the story without ending it or being stupid. It makes sense… the Hardys have to give it everything they’ve got or they’re gonna die. So what’s the problem with dying? Air Marshall 50 Cent!
Best: “There’s Only One Jeff Hardy In This World”
Confession: Jeff Hardy was my favorite wrestler in the world for a while.
That’s a REALLY hard thing to admit in 2012, when you’re a guy with a respected-ish wrestling column. I thought he was the best. I had trouble with my weight and self-confidence when the Hardys first became vampires, and here’s this extremely handsome dude wearing skin-tight Gadzooks shirts with crazy-colored hair from more or less where I came from reinventing dangerous North American pro wrestling in the big leagues by flying around with an effortless grace and falling more convincingly and dangerously than anyone I’d ever seen. I thought the Swanton was cool. I didn’t even care that they called it the “Swanton”. At the time, Jim Ross was right — there was only one Jeff Hardy in this world, folks, and he was in the WWF.
And I’m going to pretend he died at some point in late 2001. R.I.P., Jeff, you died and left a beautiful corpse, and it doesn’t change colors when someone turns on a black light.
Worst: Matt Hardy’s Frosted Hair
On the flip side, Matt Hardy can f**k right off. Who has ratty, stringy brown hair and thinks “you know what, this would look better if I sprayed a bunch of fake f**king Christmas snow in it”. It looks like Alvie Singer accidentally sneezed on him before he went out to wrestle.
Man, to think that this goofy cornbred motherf**ker got to sleep with a series of beautiful women with no self-esteem.
Worst: The Reality That Everyone You Like Will Eventually Bail On Life And Disappoint You
I’m gonna try not to dwell on this much longer, but since this is my first Old Show Best And Worst report, I’m allowed a little bit of wistful “man, all these people sure do suck now, huh” time. It’s not true … Bully Ray is the f**king bomb right now. Jeff went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship, and at the very least gave CM Punk a drug-laced reason to worm his way into the main-event. Matt Hardy’s ECW reign led to Mark Henry being taken seriously for the first time in… ever. D-Von shakes like an electrocuted fish when he falls down and runs a wrestling school, so now random people like Robbie E. do the “D-Von sell”. It’s not so bad. The matches are still good.
At least this PPV happened before The Radicals showed up. Jesus.
Best/Worst: Jesus Christ With These Chairshots
I’m the last guy who needs to preach to you about the dangers of unprotected chair shots, and yeah, I’m going to take every opportunity I can to defend blood in pro wrestling as an important cog in telling an emotional sports fighting story, but at some point between the “I Quit” match at Royal Rumble 1999 and Bubba Ray Dudley caving in Jeff Hardy’s skull with extreme prejudice at Rumble 2000 it got pretty f**king ridiculous. Watch ANY of the chairshots in this match. They are NOT COOL.
A little later I’m going to mark out about a guy getting faceplanted in thumbtacks and everything, but there’s a crazy, tangible difference in stabbing yourself with a tiny prick and having a fat guy hit you in your head so hard your mind stops working. Don’t believe me? Ask Reby Sky. She’s familiar with both.