Opening video package: Melodramatic, an Irish priest waxes philosophical about evil a la Boondock Saints to put over the Elimination Chamber. I'm very disappointed that we didn't get Saint Anger by Metalica, but the generic music they used reminds me happily of Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth.
The Dudley Boyz vs La Resistance (c)
In the video package we see Rob Conway turn heel, but he isn't mentioned by name, or with La Resistance at the beginning of the match. So just a random service-man turned heel as far as we know. The Dudleys dominate early until the heels take advantage. The crowd is 1000 percent into the Dudleys D-Von breaks up a pin at one point, and La Resistance jump in too early to do attack Bubba while the ref is dealing with D-Von so everyone just kinda has to ignore the heels cheating. D-Von makes a great comeback eventually, but they go to a false finish where Dupree knocks Sylvain off the apron and a rollup happens. It's given non of the gravitas of a miscommunication and Lawler has to catch himself laughing while he commentates this bit. D-Von kicks out of La Resistance's tag finisher. Wazzap, 3D and Greiner pulls the ref out of the ring. Bubba follows the Greiner and the ref out. Meanwhile a camera man hits D-Von and puts Rene on top of him. JR is midtangent so he misses it completely, and this is given none of the gravitas as La Resistance pick up the win. I think that's the theme of the match, a crowd that was way into a hot angle that was screwed up by odd timing, odd false finishes, and a completely random finish. But underneath all that was a serviceable tag match
Post match: This is a burial. Spike runs down, and gets attacked by the three Frenchmen. Coach interviews the Dudleys and calls La Resistance clever. Bubba slags him for it....but then agrees, but then says the Dudleys will be back bigger and stronger. Did we need the interview here? Could we not have ended the segment there? At least then The Dudleys wouldn't have buried themselves after.
Eric Bischoff warms up, and Christian shows up to bitch. Pointless. Christian is IC Champion and isn't booked tonight. Rightfully he's angry about this. Bischoff blames Austin. Christian also offers to interfere on his behalf. Bischoff alludes to a back up plan. Christian asks about what happened between Linda and Eric in the bedroom. Bischoff says he will go to the ring soon to talk about his escapades.
Weird to see The Undertaker in the second match on the card. Undertaker comes into this match with a kayfabe rib injury. A-Train is also Vince's hired gun, taking out Smackdown GM Stephanie McMahon, and now the Undertaker per Vince's orders. Sable is also having sex with Train.
Undertaker is playing it more defensively than normal because of his injuries A-Train dominates until Taker blocks a chokeslam and hits a Russian Leg Sweep. Taker is working the arm to set up for Old School as well as block Train's finisher, the De-Railer. Train works Taker's ribs. but Taker consistently fights back. Train hits the De-Railer, but a ref bump from earlier justifies Taker kicking out of Train's finish. Now we get a ref bump that truly takes out the ref, in which Brian Hebner sells Taker's lariat with a crazy flip bump. Taker kicks a chair into Train's face and gets a slow two count. A-Train gets hit with a chokeslam soon after for a three.
This match had a lot good things going for it, but it felt like Taker didn't give Train a lot, so he looked like a doofus.
Post match: Sable tries to seduce Undertaker, but Taker teases a chokeslam, only for Stephanie McMahon to show up! Stephanie cat fights with Sable until A-Train pulls her off. What did that accomplish?
Coach narrates Jericho warming up and asks marks who will win the main event: pointless
Shane vs Bischoff video package: Shane wants to fight Kane after Kane tombstoned Linda. Bischoff prevents this per Vince. But Austin makes Shane vs Bischoff at on Raw. Kane interferes, giving Bischoff the win. There's also an interlude where Austin prevents a Jim Ross lawsuit by booking Bischoff vs Kane, and Kane walks out. However, the match was unknown by everyone except Austin to decide who would face Shane at Summerslam. This booking is super wacky, but props to babyface Austin for signing contracts to account for heel buffoonery at least. Eric is mad about Shane being handed WCW, and sexually assaults Linda.
Eric basically calls Linda hot with a straight face, and apparently the sexual assaults were various. Eric is still talking when Shane's music hits, and acts like he's being interrupted by the music. Shane kicks Eric's ass until an in-disguise Coach attacks Shane with a chair, Bischoff makes the match a Falls Count Anywhere match. Shane kicks out at 2. Eric has the production team cut Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler's mics off so that Coach can commentate Eric Bischoff's beating of Shane, mocking JR all the way. Shane fights back eventually and the crowd loves it. Bischoff's out. Austin shows up, but Austin can't touch Coach unless he's provoked. Shane shoves Coach into Austin Shane uses Eric's hand to slap Austin. Austin stuns Bischoff. and Shane puts him through a table for the three. This is basically a Raw segment, but it is fun to see the babyfaces get their comeuppance
No rating, fun segment
Evolution back stage: Triple H and Ric Flair try to tell Randy to just look out for Triple H. Randy agrees but he has a mischevious air about him
Tajiri vs Chris Benoit vs Rhyno vs. Eddie Guerrero (c)
The story of this match is that Eddie has screwed over everyone in the match (Rhyno screwed Benoit out of the US Title tournament, Eddie attacked the other three men on Smackdown) and they all want a shot at him. Yet somehow, Eddie is overwhelmingly babyface. Eddie high tails it out of the ring, and Chris/Rhyno turn on each other Eddie shows up to break up pinfalls. Eventually the other three guys tee off on Eddie. Eddie eventually gets to eliminate the Benoit and Rhyno while Tajiri and Eddie do spots. Lots of hard hitting strikes from all four guys. One cool spot is Benoit locking in the crossface while Rhyno runs to break up Eddie's Lasso from El Paso on Tajiri, and Eddie has to decide whether to keep his submission locked in or to break up the other submission. Rhyno hits a gnarly spinebuster on Tajiri. Rhyno takes the feet of Tajiri when he goes to do the handspring elbow, but that disallows Tajiri to do the full spring, which is cool. Eddie gets backdropped when he tries to break up a German Suplex which was pretty cool. Eddie blocks a Gore by Rhyno with the US title belt. Tajiri takes a digusting bump, basically getting powerbombed straight down out of the ring when he and Benoit get distracted with each other allowing Eddie to pick up the scraps with a frog splash and pin. This was a wacky match with a lot of 4-way innovation, an underrated hit.
A replay of Brock Lesnar murdering Zach Gowan: Traumatic for a pre-teen me. Brutal even now. Matt Hardy is also shown winning by forfeit on Heat.
Angle/Lesnar video package: Wacky. Lesnar fakes a concussion to beat up referee/friend Kurt Angle in a match between himself and Vince. Lesnar goes on a terrifying path of destruction because he lost the WWE Title to Angle at Vengeance
We get a bizarre moment before the bell rings where you hear the ref tell the guys that he wants a good clean fight. Lesnar is in control for 80 percent of the match, really throwing Kurt around. Vince McMahon interferes for Brock but Kurt comes back and wins. Every match so far has had some kind of interference. Also the fact that Lesnar had like five rope breaks that were ignored bugs me. Kurt also beats up Vince post match
Jim Ross narrates Goldberg warming up: Cool just because it's Jim Ross
Rob Van Dam vs Kane video package: This was super traumatic and unsettling when I was 12, but now it just comes across a hokey horror movie camp including Jim Ross being set on fire, which I honest to God forgot happened, and it's a fucking amazing storyline and I will fight anyone who disagrees.
The No Holds Barred stip is last minute. I remember Kane being shackled and accompanied by cops for longer. The story of this match is that RVD is the fearless babyface where Kane is a monster heel. Kane is hit with stuff that would take a normal man down, but Kane is barely down for long. Lots of gross sounding steel steps in this match. RVD misses a Coast to Coast and it sounds gnarly RVD gets tombstoned on the steps for a callback to what he did to Shane McMahon for the three. This was awesome.
Linda slaps Eric in the trainers room: because the comeuppance wasn't enough
Ric Flair pep talks Triple H while he stares at the belt: Very cool, very real.
Triple H (c) vs Goldberg vs Kevin Nash vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho vs Randy Orton
As a Saint Louisan, I have to say hearing Howard Finkel pronounce "Missouri" "Miss-or-ah" (which is the wrong way to say it, don't let anyone tell you different) actually upset me. Nash got his hair cut by Jericho on Raw and he looks horrible. Shawn and Jericho start. Quick exchanges lead to brawling. Orton is next and takes the first big bump on the grating which sounds horrible. Nash is next and Jericho gets thrown into the grating and bleeds. Nash is eliminated by a chin music and a jacknife cover by Jericho . Triple H is next and HBK immediately super kicks him into his pod. Nash goes ape shit on everyone else before leaving.. HBK tries for some covers but gets nothing. The others stagger up just as Goldberg gets released. Orton gets speared out. Jericho takes a horrifying spear through the pod glass. HBK gets Goldberg down, and an elbow drop, but gets speared/Jackhammered. Jericho takes another spear plus a Jackhammer and is eliminated. Flair tries to hold HHH's door closed while Evolution flips him off. Goldberg kicks the pod glass down. A brief comeback by Triple H ends in a horrifying lariat Goldberg gets pinned out of nowhere after a sledgehammer shot. This is probably the most classic case of "the wrong man won" but I don't remember it being that abrupt. This match was meh until Goldberg showed up, and then knocked back down by the abrupt finish
Nearly every match had some sort of interference or cheating, and the heels came through on the most important matches (Tag Team Championship, World Heavyweight) causing the show to have basically two feel good moments in nearly three hours. Not a good way to book your second biggest show of the year.