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Matt’s Retro Reviews: WWF Championship 2000

Matt Davis digs into the WWF Championship in 2000, featuring Triple H and The Rock!



The Rock WWF Championship WWE

Matt Davis digs into the WWF Championship in 2000, featuring Triple H and The Rock!

Welcome to the 15th edition of the Retro Review on The Chairshot! This will be a biweekly article here on The Chairshot because we have a lot to discuss! In starting, my question for you is; have you ever had a discussion with a friend or in a group online about who is the greatest champion of all time? What is your defense of your claim? Wins? Quality of matches? Length of reign? In this weekly article, I will be looking back one year at a time and evaluating one specific championship in each article, with a yearly grade ranking and overall grade ranking and as we progress through the years, I will reveal who I believe is the best champion of all time.

To start us off, I am going to discuss the most recognizable championship in the history of wrestling, the WWE Heavyweight Championship. These articles will not discuss the “Big Gold” World Championship, Universal Championship, or any other recognized heavyweight championship in WWE, those will be discussed in other articles. During these reviews, I will count matches aired on weekly television, PPV, and matches also released on VHS and later on home media.

Triple H (January 3rd, 2000 – April 30th, 2000)

  • Record: 21-9
  • Clean Losses: 4
  • Successful Defenses: 9

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • Triple H d. Mick Foley (Street Fight), January 23rd, 2000, Royal Rumble
  • Triple H d. Cactus Jack (Hell in a Cell), February 27th, 2000, No Way Out
  • Triple H d. Big Show, & The Rock, March 20th, 2000, Monday Night RAW
  • Triple H d. The Rock, Big Show, & Mick Foley, April 2nd, 2000, “WrestleMania 2000”
  • The Rock d. Triple H, April 30th, 2000, Backlash

Thoughts: This is the beginning of the “new era” as I alluded to in the last article. The WWF Champion wrestled in 30 matches in four months. A lot of people hate Triple H because of how was booked from 1999-2009. But if you watch the shows, he was a workhorse, working more than any champion before him. You have to respect that. He also defended the championship successfully 9 times in that span. A lot of the matches were quick defenses against mid-card talent, but, and this is what elevates this championship reign from good to great, he had legendary matches with Mick Foley at the Royal Rumble and inside Hell in a Cell at No Way Out, the first ever WWF Championship match inside the Cell. Both matches were regarded as all-time classics and are still discussed today, two decades after they happened. While there were only five “recommended” matches, there were several that were on the fringe that I did not list. 

Grade (A+ through F ): A-

The Rock (April 30th, 1999 – May 21st, 2000)

  • Record: 2-2
  • Clean Losses: 1
  • Successful Defenses: 0

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • The Rock d. Triple H, April 30th, 2000, Backlash
  • Chris Benoit d. The Rock, May 15th, 2000, Monday Night RAW
  • Triple H d. The Rock (Ironman), May 21st, 2000, Judgement Day

Thoughts: Ugly reign, but not horrible. I enjoyed multiple moments in this reign, even if it was only three weeks. Rock beating Triple H at Backlash was the right call, arguably he should have won at Wrestlemania, but a quick fix was put in, getting the huge reaction they wanted. The fans wanted it and got their moment on a delayed basis. Overall, four matches in three weeks means we’ve seen the WWF Champion wrestle almost every week of the year. Notably, The Rock lost the championship technically by disqualification because he lost the final fall in the Ironman match by disqualification when The American Bad Ass made his return to the company and unleashed hell in the main event, choking Triple H as time expired. The special referee, Shawn Michaels disqualified The Rock over the interference and awarded the title (once again) to Triple H. The follow up from the match in 1999 was great storytelling there. Overall, I can’t say this was an F reign even if it was short. Very entertaining.

Grade (A+ through F ): D+

Triple H (May 21st, 2000 – June 25th, 2000)

  • Record: 3-3
  • Clean Losses: 1
  • Successful Defenses: 1

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • Triple H d. The Rock (Ironman), May 21st, 2000, Judgement Day
  • Undertaker & The Rock d. DX (handicap), June 8th, 2000, Smackdown
  • Triple H d. Chris Jericho, June 12th, 2000, Monday Night RAW

Thoughts: Not a huge fan of this championship. Another awkward title change, with some questionable timing. Why not hold off this time, and switch the title at SummerSlam? One title reign lasted too long, and this one should have been longer. I hated the KOTR main event six man tag match and do not recommend watching it. Any match involving the McMahons in a main event WWF Championship match is a hard pass for me. 

Grade (A+ through F ): D

The Rock  (June 25th, 2000 – October 22nd, 2000)

  • Record: 21-12
  • Clean Losses: 6
  • Successful Defenses: 7

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • The Rock d. Chris Benoit, July 23rd, 2000, Fully Loaded
  • Lita & The Rock d. Triple H & Trish Stratus, July 31st, 2000, Monday Night RAW
  • The Rock d. Triple H, & Kurt Angle, August 27th, 2000, SummerSlam
  • Edge & Christian d. The Rock & Undertaker, September 4th, 2000, Monday Night RAW (WWF Tag Titles)
  • The Rock, Triple H, & Undertaker d. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, & Kane, September 21st, 2000, Smackdown
  • The Rock d. Chris Benoit, Kane, & Undertaker, September 24th, 2000, Unforgiven
  • Kurt Angle, Edge, & Christian d. The Rock, & The Hardy Boyz, October 16th, 2000, Monday Night RAW
  • Kurt Angle d. The Rock, Triple H, & Chris Benoit, October 19th, 2000, Smackdown
  • Kurt Angle d. The Rock, October 22nd, 2000, No Mercy

Thoughts: The Rock wrestled 34 times in four months, so let’s count this in total for the year… 74 matches for the WWF Champion, as a whole, out of 52 calendar weeks and 12 PPVs, in the year 2000. That is absolutely incredible. Not much to do with this particular reign, but 34 matches in four months is nuts. 7 successful defenses. The one thing that separates this reign from Hogan’s 1984-1988 reign to me, is the 6 clean losses throughout the reign. A couple of them were in meaningless non-title singles matches that were not good matches either. Have to take a half of a point off for that. But wow. 9 Recommended matches in just four months. Tons of action, multi-faceted rivalries spanning all over the company, including Triple H, Kane, Undertaker, Chris Benoit, and Kurt Angle. The Rock was also mixed in with Edge and Christian multiple times, putting the WWF Tag Team Titles in the spotlight here. The Rock carried the company, propelling him to unseen previous levels of popularity catapulting him to become the superstar he is today. Overall, amazing reign. One of the best of all-time.

Grade (A+ through F ): A

Overall WWE Champion Ranking

  1. Hulk Hogan (January 23rd, 1984 – February 5th, 1988) – A
  2. The Rock  (June 25th, 2000 – October 22nd, 2000) — A
  3. Bret Hart (March 20th, 1994 – November 26th, 1994) – A
  4. Triple H (January 3rd, 2000 – April 30th, 2000) — A-
  5. Yokozuna (June 13th, 1993 – March 20th, 1994) — B+
  6. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (April 5th, 1992 – September 14th, 1992) – B
  7. The Rock (November 15th, 1998 – January 4th, 1999) — B
  8. Undertaker  (March 23rd, 1997 – August 3rd, 1997) — B
  9. Shawn Michaels (November 9th, 1997 – March 29th, 1998) — B
  10. Bret Hart (October 12th, 1992 – April 4th, 1993) — B-
  11. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (March 27th, 1988 – April 2nd, 1989) – C+
  12. Triple H (September 26th, 1999 – November 13th, 1999) — C+
  13. Sgt. Slaughter (January 19th, 1991 – March 24th, 1991) – C
  14. Hulk Hogan (April 2nd, 1989 – April 1st, 1990) – C
  15. Triple H (August 23rd, 1999 – September 16th, 1999) — C
  16. Bret Hart (August 3rd, 1997 – November 9th, 1997) — C-
  17. Hulk Hogan (March 24th — November 27th, 1991) – D+
  18. Undertaker (May 23rd, 1999 – June 28th, 1999) — D+
  19. The Rock (April 30th, 1999 – May 21st, 2000) — D+
  20. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (March 29th, 1998 – June 28th, 1998) — D
  21. Ric Flair (January 19th, 1992 — April 5th, 1992) — D
  22. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (June 29th, 1998 – September 27th, 1998)– D
  23. The Ultimate Warrior (April 1st, 1990- January 19th, 1991) – D
  24. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (March 28th, 1999 – May 23rd, 1999) — D
  25. Ric Flair (September 14th, 1992 – October 12th, 1992) — D
  26. Diesel (November 26th, 1994 – November 19th, 1995) — D
  27. Triple H (May 21st, 2000 – June 25th, 2000) — D
  28. The Rock (February 15th, 1999 – March 28th, 1999) — D
  29. Big Show (November 13th, 1999 – January 3rd, 2000) — D-
  30. “Stone Cold Steve Austin” (June 28th, 1999- August 22nd, 1999) — D-
  31. Mick Foley/Mankind (January 4th, 1999 – January 24th, 1999) — D-
  32. Bob Backlund (November 23rd, 1994 – November 26th, 1994) — D-
  33. Psycho Sid (November 17th, 1996 – January 19th, 1997) — F
  34. Psycho Sid (February 17th, 1997 – March 23rd, 1997) — F
  35. Mick Foley (January 26th – February 15th, 1999 ) — F
  36. Shawn Michaels (January 19th, 1997 – February 13th, 1997) — F
  37. Bret Hart (February 16th, 1997 – February 17th, 1997) — F
  38. Undertaker (November 27th, 1991- December 3rd, 1991) – F
  39. Hulk Hogan (December 3rd, 1991 – December 4th, 1991) – F
  40. Kane (June 28th, 1998 – June 29th, 1998) — F
  41. The Rock (January 24th, 1999 – January 26th, 1999) — F
  42. Mick Foley (August 22nd, 1999 – August 23rd, 1999) — F
  43. Yokozuna (April 4th, 1993 – April 4th, 1993) — F
  44. Hulk Hogan (April 4th, 1993 – June 13th, 1993) — F
  45. Vince McMahon  (September 16th, 1999 – September 20th, 1999) — F

**Speaking of championships, I am currently designing custom made championships and shirts for your wrestling figure collections! Check out the page at Grand Slam Creations – Custom Wrestling Belts & Accessories on Facebook, give us a like and a follow and share with your friends! 

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