Finally, WWF TV cameras have come back to Montreal
By YVES LEROUX -- For SLAM! Wrestling
After a four-year hiatus, the WWF TV cameras made their way to Montreal on Tuesday October 16th for the Sunday Heat and Smackdown taping. Not since that infamous PPV event back in November 1997, when Bret Hart had his last match in the WWF and it ended in a questionable manner, did the WWF bring its TV cameras back here, until Tuesday.
Talk to the hand: Jericho stops The Rock.
Jericho floors The Rock.
-- photos by Yves Leroux
In front of a near sell out, with a very rowdy crowd roaring, the usual eardrum shattering pyros, the show got under way with Raymond Rougeau
getting the already pumped up crowd into Richter scale mode with his entertaining French announcements.
But on this night, the memory of Bret Hart was still alive as about a third of all signs in attendance made references to what many referred as the "screw job".
The first portion of the night was the taping of Sunday Night Heat and was started with Tommy Dreamer against Albert. After a rather slow and eventless match, Albert won with his usual sit down power bomb.
Next was a one sided even featuring Chuck Palumbo destroying Funaki in around 4 minutes. Funaki received a surprisingly very warm applause as he was leaving the ringside from the appreciative crowd.
Then, Hugh Morris and tag partner Kanyon made their appearance to a quiet reaction, which rapidly changed into one of the loudest roar of the night for the A.P.A. Faarooq and Bradshaw have developed quite the following here with their "in your face" approach. A very entertaining match that Bradshaw ended with his "clothesline from hell" on Hugh Morris.
Montreal, along with most WWF fans, loves to hate X-Pac. Why? No one has the same answer, but one thing is certain, the man can get the quietest fan into a frenzy, just by walking down to the ring. Tonight, he was up against Crash Holly and all were treated to a typical lightweight match with many high flying moves won by X-Pac with his usual X-factor.
One of WWF's busiest men, Rhyno, was up against The One Billy Gunn in the next match and probably the longest for the Heat taping with Billy Gunn in great shape and putting up very good opposition but finally pinned after a Rhyno flying punch.
The last match of the Heat taping involved Stevie Richards against Scotty 2 Hotty and after his usual antics, and an ineffective worm dance, still managed to pin Stevie Richards after a flying elbow.
After a brief intermission and Lilian Garcia singing the Canadian anthem, there was a short recap of Raw's main match featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin against Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam interfering to give Stone Cold the win, the crowd was more than warmed up to begin Smackdown and what better way than to bring out fellow Canadian Chris Jericho so he can start the show with his latest views of the feud with Rock.
But only after a few seconds, Stephanie, dressed in a very revealing black mesh outfit, comes down to the ring all the while interrupting Y2J. After only about a minute of insulting each other, the crowd almost cracked open the roof as they heard the Rock's intro music and the man coming down to the ring.
But even though Stephanie tried to convince the Rock to concentrate his insults towards Y2J, both Y2J and the Rock tried to outsmart each other with one-liners, which led to Stephanie leaving the ring crying and screaming.
Then, after a few return insults, Rock put the rock bottom on Y2J and left the ring in a thunderous reaction.
We see a clip of a limo arriving, no one gets out.
The first match pitted Hurricane Helms, Lance Storm and Molly Holly, accompanied by Ivory, against the Hardy Boys and Lita. As expected, many highflying moves and even a first in Montreal: a triple body slam. But it wasn't to be as Hurricane won the match for his team win a pin.
Again we see a limo parked in the garage but still no one gets out.
In the Alliance dressing room, Stone Cold talks about his past achievements and history, and Christian is introduced as the newest member of the Alliance.
The next match had Tazz up against Tough Enough competition male's winner Maven who was accompanied to ringside by the woman's winner Nidia. A complete domination by Tazz would be an understatement, Tazz even pulling Maven up a few times to avoid the three count for more punishment. But in the end, Maven surprised Tazz with a small package and the win.
Again, the camera switches back to the Garage where we finally see the limo door open and Rob Van Dam whispering something to someone inside and then walking in.
The camera then switch again to the Alliance dressing room with Stone Cold praising RVD and his help when he frog splashed Kurt Angle to give Stone Cold the win at Raw.
We then see Lilian Garcia asking Mick Foley about the upcoming tag team match and his reasoning behind teaming up the Rock and Y2J.
Under the usual pyros came out Undertaker and Kane to face Test and Booker T. The match was a good one with Booker T scoring a pin on Kane thanks to Test's interference.
The camera goes back to the garage to have yet another look at the limo, just in time to see Vince coming out under loud approval from the crowd.
The next match had Tajiri and the Big Show, without Torrie against the Dudley Boys who had Stacey Kiebler in their corner. Again, a short but exciting match with Tajuri scoring the pin, but certainly the highlight was when Torrie ran to the ring to attack Stacey and pull her skirt down to the delight of many in the crowd.
Then, Y2J again makes his entrance to the ring, followed by Stone Cold against Justin Incredible and Raven, but seconds after the match starts, Y2J hits his opponents AND his partner with a chair. And to add insult to injury, gave the Rock a People's elbow under mixed reactions from the crowd. Can you spell heel turn?
But certainly the most anticipated match of the evening, and its highly awaited rising star Rob Van Dam was up against Kurt Angle. And even before the match begun, they were already at each other's throat outside the ring, with Kurt Angle getting bloodied right at the beginning of the match. This match was the high point of the evening with many reversals and high-risk manoeuvres and high flying jumps until when Kurt, who, was about to pin RVD, got attacked by Stone Cold, who ran to the ring, only to get reversed and getting both down out cold. That's when RVD went up to the top rope for his 5 star frog splash but decided at the last second to jump Stone Cold, to the absolute delight of the crowd. That's when Vince came out of the back and all hell broke loose.
Stone Cold stayed long after the taping of the show had ended to work the crowd and he was absolutely masterful at it. No one left until Stone Cold left the building, a good 20 minutes after the last camera was turned off.
All in all, a good show and once again, Vince achieved what he meant to do, and that's to show up here, and make everyone forget about November 1997. And that he did masterfully.
Will the WWF cameras come back in Montreal? No doubt, but will it be in less than 4 years this time?
Smackdown! - October 18, 2001
- Rob Van Dam helps Stone Cold Steve Austin defeat Kurt Angle after the two the traded a series of low blows on RAW Monday night. These three are set for an explosion in just three days. From the Molson Centre in Montreal, Canada, where in just 72 hours the world will witness No Mercy.
- Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring to get the show off to an explosive start. He wants to address the nay sayers that tell him he can't win the big
one. Y2J is now concentrating hard on his craft and will walk away Sunday night having defeated The Rock, in The Big One. No sooner does he say this, when out walks
The Alliance's princess, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsely. SMH came out and simply annoyed the crowd. However, the question I have is how much "bigger" does
she think she can get. I mean she's competing her ego against Y2J's. SMH tells Y2J she hopes The Rock humiliates him Sunday and she thinks The Rock will want
her support. The Rock was quick to come out to finally shut these two up! The Rock says SMH is looking gigantic and that he doesn't want . . . again SMH
interrupts a high profiled wrestler. SMH reminds The Rock that Monday night Y2J watched as Rhyno and RVD gave him a beating. To support her argument SMH
presents some file footage for us when Y2J finally made his long awaited debut in the World Wrestling Federation. It just so happened to take place when The Rock
was talking about placing someone in The Smackdown Hotel. SMH warns The Rock that Y2J has screwed people in the past, but The Rock doesn't see Y2J as a
threat. Y2J doesn't want her support anyway, but reminds her you couldn't spell Jericho with H-O. The Rock does want her support, if she only gives him the
support her bra does. SMH has finally had enough and cries herself to the back. Y2J demands an apology for The Rock Bottom he received Monday night for trying
to help him retain the WCW Championship belt. The Rock and Y2J then revert back to their third grade years and babble and whine about being able to kick each
other's butt. The Rock levels with Y2J and tells him people think he drops the ball when it comes to the big one. Y2J is about to end with one of his catch phrases
when The Rock interrupts him. In a retaliatory move, Y2J extends his hand and motions for him to "Bring it." The Rock has had enough of Y2J's antics and Rock
Bottoms him to the mat.
- We have a party in here! The Alliance is throwing a party for RVD, which was the idea of SCSA. The party is to show thanks for proving himself a true
Alliance member by hitting Angle instead of SCSA in their match Monday night. Tazz steps up and asks for a beating reminding SCSA that if RVD uses the Five
Star Frog Splash on Angle, he'll lose the WWF Title without being pinned. The Alliance boos Tazz out of the party and starts to chant RVD.
- In our staple segment that happens after a commercial, a black limousine rolls up to the garage area in the arena. Gee, who's in the limo?
- Match Number 1: Lance Storm, The Hurricane and Molly Holly, with Ivory versus The Hardy Boyz and Lita. The Hurricane and Storm looked strong as
the two worked on Matt and Jeff Hardy. Matt and Hurricane knocked each other silly forcing the two to tag in their female partners. Lita got the better of Holly, but
Storm pulled her off before the three count. A Triple Suplex followed this up on Holly, Storm and Hurricane. As people begin to tussle everywhere, Hurricane sees
an opening and hits Jeff with the Eye of the Hurricane. The camera cuts to the back as Bradshaw and Faarooq are admiring The Hurricycle. They first contemplate
taking it to No Mercy, but instead commandeer it and take it out for a night on the town.
- SCSA and The Alliance are still waiting for RVD. So to pass the time SCSA decides to tell a story about an Olympic Champion that went down the
highway of success in the WWF. However, when he hit mile marker 3:16 he ran into a roadblock. SMH cuts in and says William Regal has an announcement to
make. Regal announces RVD will arrive shortly, but he now wants to take the time to introduce a new member to The Alliance, Christian.
- The limo is still sitting in the garage area. The door slowly opens, but before the occupant can exit the camera closes in and forces them to shut the door.
- Match Number 2: Tazz versus Raven, with Nidia. This is round three of this not-so-thrilling three battle series. So far Tazz has walked away the winner
of the first two matches. Maybe the female winner of Tough Enough Nidia at ringside will help Maven. As the match begins, nothing has changed as Tazz pounds
on his student in front of the Montreal faithful. Tazz attempts a pin, but Nidia pulls Tazz off Maven angering Tazz. With Tazz concentrating on Nidia, Maven pulls
off the School Boy and rolls up Tazz for his first victory in the WWF.
- Angle is out promoting his new book "It's True. It's True." The book is a number one Best Seller and of course he must make an appearance on "Live
with Regis and Kelly."
- The limo door opens and out of it comes RVD. RVD exits, looks back and thanks some "dude" for hanging with him today.
- The hype for The Rock versus Chris Jericho is mounting as clips of the past are shown. The Rock and Y2J are very similar. They each have great egos
and silly catch phrases. However, The Rock is much stronger than Y2J.
- Lilian Garcia delves deep into the mind of Mick Foley. She asks Foley why he put Y2J and The Rock together in a tag team match for this evening.
Foley thinks he needs to make sure The Rock and Y2J don't tear each other apart, but work together and become a great tag team. Foley then announces that The
Dudley Boyz will be putting their titles on the line against The Big Show and Tajiri.
- Back at the party, Booker T and Test cut out to get ready for their match. Finally RVD arrives at his party. SCSA is there to greet him and express how
proud he is of him. SCSA has plans for the two to keep the WWF Title in The Alliance. SCSA continues to kiss RVD's butt by telling him he means the world to
SCSA. The two then have a moment as SCSA takes off his watch and presents it to RVD. The Alliance then breaks out into their own chant of "RVD" as the watch is given to him.
- Match Number 3: Test and Booker T versus Kane and the Undertaker. Booker T will face 'Taker and Test will face Kane at No Mercy. This means
tonight is a preview to what we will see come this Sunday night. Kane and 'Taker came out of the gates fast as they pounded and weaken Booker T and Test. Booker
T gets Old Schooled by 'Taker while Paul Heyman whines at ringside about how wrong of a move it is. Test and Booker T realized cheating was the way to go as
they illegally tagged up on Kane. Kane, with all he had in him, tagged in 'Taker who cleaned the clocks of Test and Booker T. Moments later the pairings split off as
Test and Kane battle on the outside while Booker T and 'Taker do battle inside the ring. 'Taker kicks out of a pin by Booker T and Booker T does the same after
'Taker delivers a Choke Slam. Test tried to come in and help Booker T, but fell to a Choke Slam. 'Taker then concentrated his focus on Booker T. As 'Taker set up
Booker T for a Last Ride, Test comes back and plants 'Taker with a Boot to the Face.
- The limo driver steps out of the limo and opens up the back door. Out of the limousine steps the owner of the World Wrestling Federation, Vince
McMahon. Heyman can't believe it, acting as if his worst nightmare came true.
- The party is over as The Alliance, SCSA and Debra all look in the direction of RVD. SCSA goes back into his "what" phase as he realizes RVD just got
out of a limousine with Vince McMahon. SCSA wants to know what McMahon had to say. RVD makes it clear that McMahon tells him the same thing he does.
SCSA is livid RVD talked to McMahon, especially since McMahon said he would make a great champion. RVD doesn't see the big deal, but SCSA does as he
changes into an Indian Giver and takes back his watch. SCSA lays down the law saying RVD is either with him or against him. RVD, despite SCSA's constant
nagging, plays everything cool.
- Match Number 4: D-Von Dudley, with Bubba Ray Dudley and Stacey Keibler, versus Tajiri, with the Big Show. Tajiri goes for an early pin on D-Von,
but D-Von kicks out. An angered D-Von wouldn't let a pip squeak get the better of him as Tajiri began to feel his wrath. D-Von climbs the ropes, but can't hit the
Flying Head Butt as Tajiri rolls out of the way. Tajiri and D-Von continue to battle, but Tajiri is quick to lock in the Tarantula. Stacey hops up on the apron and
distracts the referee as Bubba Ray and D-Von hit Tajiri with a 3-D. Show, seeing what happened, comes in and Choke Slams D-Von for the cheating his brother and
he did. This allowed Tajiri to make the pin to defeat D-Von. The Dudleyz couldn't accept the loss and went after Show and Tajiri. As that happened, out runs Torrie
Wilson, who dives into the ring and pulls down Stacey's skirt.
- This past Sunday, WWF CEO Lind McMahon donated one million dollars to the relief effort for the attack on America September 11. A fitting moment,
especially as the show transpired from WWF New York.
- Shane McMahon is outraged over the arrival of his dad to the arena. Shane whines to Regal, but Regal reminds Shane he is the master at playing head
games. Shane sees the light and begins to get the hamster wheel turning for his next plot.
- Match Number 5: Chris Jericho and The Rock versus Justin Credible and Raven, with Terri. The match never really gets going. The Rock and Y2J,
before Raven and Credible entered the ring, almost came to blows. The Rock and Y2J can't decide who will start so they decide to battle each other. Seeing a wide
open door, Raven and Credible begin to stomp a hole on The Rock. Y2J leaves the ring to grab a chair and lays out all three men. Raven and Credible roll out of the
ring, leaving a weakened Rock lying on his back after the chair shot. To throw more gas on the fire, Y2J performs The People's Elbow on the originator of the
move. The war culminates this Sunday!
- Jonathan Coachman is out to get a word from Edge for what Christian did to him Monday night. Edge is pretty adamant about how Christian used his
mother to goad Edge into walking into a trap made him furious beyond anything imaginable. Edge vows to make Christian pay in their Ladder Match at No Mercy.
However, he wants a little pay back before Sunday night. Michael Cole and Heyman go over all the matches and we then cut to Edge storming into a locker room.
- Edge is looking for Christian, but instead walks in on SMH. Finally Christian arrives, but he isn't alone as Hugh Morrus and Chris Kanyon are by his side.
Christian levels Edge with a steel chair, showing no remorse for beating on his brother.
- Main Event: Non-Title Match: Rob Van Dam versus Kurt Angle. Throw in SCSA and we have the Three Way Dance at No Mercy. The two begin their
battle on the outside where RVD takes control of the match as Angle falls flat on his back. The two battle back to inside the ring, where RVD connects with Rolling
Thunder, but can't get the pin. Angle traps RVD in the corner and pounds RVD with rights, but RVD reverses and hits Angle with shoulders. And yet again, Angle
is busted wide open. RVD locks Angle in a headlock on the mat as the blood pours out of Angle's nose. Angle breaks free, eludes a Spinning Heel Kick and
connects with a Flying Body. RVD tries to keep the momentum, but Angle connects with the Angle Slam. Angle doesn't go for the pin as he applies the Ankle
Lock. From the back comes SCSA storming to the ring to defend his Alliance brother. SCSA Stuns Angle and goes after RVD, chasing him from the ring. Angle
comes back in and hits SCSA with an Angle Slam. RVD climbs the ropes and faces the decision from Monday night: SCSA or Angle. RVD connects with the
Five Star Frog Splash on AUSTIN! Cole can't believe it. Heyman can't believe it! Suddenly, from the back, out walks Vince McMahon. McMahon extends his
arms and does his RVD impersonation. The crowd is chanting RVD and the camera fades to black. The Triple Threat match for the WWF title is going to be a
classic match. Vinny Mac is back! That's it, I'm outta time, I gotta go!