Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson covered the WWE Armageddon 2000 pay-per-view on a recent episode of “Grilling JR” on AdFreeShows.com.
The main event of that show featured a Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship. The names in the match were Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Rikishi, and The Undertaker. That show also included Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit, The Radicalz vs. Team Xtreme, and Val Venis vs. Chyna.
Ross talked about the rumors of bringing back Shawn Michaels around this time to eventually get him to WrestleMania 17: “I think WrestleMania 17 from start to finish was the very best WrestleMania I ever worked. There were other shows that had great matches on them that I loved calling. WrestleMania 13 with Austin and Bret was a piece of art. Young wrestlers today that don’t watch Austin and Bret at WrestleMania 13 are screwing themselves. You’re not investing in your own career by not watching the great matches from legendary matches because it’s all about the storytelling. You can’t use the excuse that it doesn’t work today. Bulls**t. Storytelling works every day. I think WrestleMania 17 was absolutely amazing, but quite frankly, when you go back and look at the card, and this is going to sound really screwy and some Shawn Michaels aficionados will say J.R. lost his mind for real, but we didn’t need Shawn on that show. If you are going to put him in a gratuitous booking, what are we doing here? We are going to get him in the ring and test his back at WrestleMania in a cold match simply because he’s from Texas? That card was loaded so we didn’t need Shawn there. But we would need him later on and later on we got him.”
Ross was asked if Dean Malenko taking Lita out on a date in the storyline was meant to give Malenko more personality and do the writers see this as a challenge?
Ross said, “I think any talent should be able to expand their character and their scope. Vince may have said in a meeting that we need more scenarios to get more personality out of Malenko. He said that in passing and some enterprising young writer looking to ingratiate himself to the big boss probably thought he had an idea. I think the date was entertaining quite frankly. Here is the irony of that. Dean is one of our coaches in AEW who is another valuable contributor to what we are doing. Behind the scenes, he’s funnier than hell. He has a dry sense of humor. He’s a funny guy. He’s battling Parkinson and he’s courageous and he’s fighting through it. He’s always good natured every week when we do TV. We needed that personality in front of the camera that we were not getting so here is a vehicle that might accomplish what we are looking for. I think the vignette was well done.”
Ross was asked if moves such as Michaels’ superkick or Jake Roberts’ DDT should be protected or is this just an evolution of the business. He said, “That evolution of the business is bull**t. Yes, they should be protected. The DDT is a finish. The superkick is just a part of the flow of the match (now). Nobody wins with it. What does that say to you? Does that say guys back in the day were more proficient delivering a DDT or a superkick than in this generation where ‘things are evolving’? I want some proof of that sh*t. I want somebody to prove to me that the changing of the wrestling business is what it is today and it’s making a difference. I say no. I told a kid the other day at AEW that everybody does the same fu**ing spot. All you guys go outside. You cluster up like coils. You stand there in a huddle, friends and foes together, side by side so you can catch some leaping idiot going over the top who never wins with this move. They are looking for the “holy s**t chant. They love to hear ‘this is awesome’. It’s a spot folks. It’s a trapeze act. I don’t buy into that. The DDT is a great finish and should be used as such.”
Ross was asked what he thought of Rikishi taking the bump from the cage to the truck: “People don’t realize the impact the Foley coming off the cell had on the overall presentation of some PPV’s. What’s our big holy sh*t spot. Shane McMahon jumping from a high level where they were always trying to find something else. I don’t know. I’m not a stunt guy. If it fits, but if your whole match is built around one stunt and Rikishi going off the cell and he takes a nice safe bump on the bed of a truck, I didn’t think it looked good. It seemed too forced is my point. It seemed too contrived. But overall, those guys had a hell of a match. They delivered.”