April 19, 2001
The April 19 episode of SmackDown! was highlighted by two title changes, and by the announcement of several matches for Backlash!
As the show went on the air from Nashville, Tenn., Commissioner William Regal sauntered to the ring. Regal greeted his good friends in Nashville, and then demanded that Undertaker and Kane come to the ring. The commissioner scolded the Brothers of Destruction for ruining Stone Cold's and Triple H's celebration on RAW -- he told Taker & Kane not to interfere in other people's business, and to stay away from the Rattlesnake and the Game.
Regal also told Kane that he would have to defend his title right away against Rhyno, accompanied by Edge & Christian! The Tag Team Champions and the Man-beast walked to the ring, and the fight was on! Edge & Christian immediately went after the Taker, battling with him into the crowd, and leaving Kane and Rhyno in the ring.
The Big Red Machine was in control of the match -- until Triple H and Stone Cold ran down to the ring and brutally attacked Kane with steel chairs! Under hardcore rules, the attack was as legal as a headlock! After the mugging, Austin put Rhyno on top of Kane, who was easy prey for a pinfall. Rhyno is the new Hardcore Champion!
After the bout, Triple H and Stone Cold continued their assault on Kane, and the Undertaker finally got away from E&C, making his way back to the ring through the crowd. Before Taker could hit the ring, however, the Rattlesnake and the Game ran for cover. An incensed Taker checked on his brother -- now the former Hardcore Champion.
As Kane left the ring during the break, he was holding his left arm as if it was broken.
In eight-man tag action, the Right to Censor took on the APA and Kaientai. The action soon spilled out of control, and Faarooq and Bradshaw nailed Bull Buchanan with a spinebuster. Taka then hit a knee from the top rope, and pinned Bull to win the bout, as the Right to Censor's losing streak continued!
The Undertaker and Kane walked in the hallway backstage, with the Big Red Machine still clutching his left arm in pain. Taker promised Kane that they would get payback before the night was over. Taker then asked a backstage technician where Commissioner Regal's office was, and after the technician told him, Taker told the technician to call 911!
In a backstage parking area, Shane McMahon arrived at the arena in his "WCW 1" limousine!
In the commissioner's office, the Undertaker roughed up the commissioner and demanded a match against Stone Cold and Triple H, and another match against Edge, Christian and Rhyno. The commissioner acted as if he was powerless to grant their request, so Kane lit a fire in the room! A petrified Regal told Taker & Kane that they could have a Tag Team Championship match against Edge & Christian later in the night on SmackDown!, but there was nothing he could do about their other request. Kane then lit another fire in the commissioner's office, and the terrified Regal said that if they could beat E&C on SmackDown!, then they could have a match against Austin & Triple H! As the Brothers of Destruction were about to leave, Regal told them that their match against E&C would be no-disqualification, which Undertaker said was fine with him. Before leaving, Kane lit Regal's desk on fire!
Footage was shown from earlier in the day of Grand Master Sexay using Eddie Guerrero's European Championship as a mirror! As Latino Heat questioned what Sexay was doing, Sexay answered using hip-hop talk, which drew Guerrero's ire! That led to a European Title match between the two on SmackDown!, which Latino Heat won after a roll-up -- with his feet firmly planted on the ropes!
Back in the commissioner's office, Stone Cold and Triple H were yelling at Regal for giving Taker and Kane a shot at them. Regal assured the Federation Champion and the Intercontinental Champion that the Brothers of Destruction would have no shot at beating Edge & Christian in a no-DQ match, and as the trio were about to talk strategy, Mr. McMahon told the men to take a break from their seriousness to watch some real entertainment involving him and his son, Shane. As Mr. McMahon walked away, Triple H told Regal that Taker & Kane had better not beat E&C.
Lilian Garcia interviewed Edge & Christian about their Tag Team Championship match against Taker & Kane on SmackDown! E&C said that they would emerge victorious, just like Rhyno had earlier in the night, and just like they had done so many times before in the face of adversity. They told Lilian to bet on them, since they had a plan.
Mr. McMahon then headed to the ring, ready to deliver some entertainment involving his son, Shane. The Federation chairman recapped the recent events involving his son, and then Vince claimed that he never wanted to buy WCW anyway! Vince said that Shane mentioned on RAW that he wanted to say something to him, so he challenged Shane to come to the ring and tell him face-to-face!
The WCW chairman wasted no time in walking to the ring, and Vince asked him what the new was. Shane said he was actually there to apologize to his father -- because had he known that WrestleMania would be so much fun, he would have kicked his ass a long time ago! Shane told his dad that things were heating up with WCW, and things were about to get very interesting. Shane said that Linda found Vince's divorce speech from RAW very interesting -- and so did Linda's attorneys. Shane said he wanted to tell his father to have a nice day, to quote Mick Foley.
Before Shane could leave, Vince said he was glad that Linda and Linda's attorneys found what he said interesting. Vince said that he also found Shane's conversation with the Big Show on RAW to be very interesting. Vince reminded Shane that Big Show was under contract to the World Wrestling Federation, and said that if Shane wanted to talk to him, he would have to do it publicly. Vince then called out the Big Show.
The 7-footer strolled to the ring, and shook hands with Shane. Mr. McMahon didn't seem pleased, and then the Federation chairman asked Show what he was trying to do by asking Shane to watch his match on RAW -- was he trying to impress Shane? Vince said that Show had unbelievable potential -- but said that Show was the biggest disappointment in the history of this business! Shane defended the Show, and Vince hypothesized that Shane was trying to recruit Show to WCW!
He congratulated Shane on getting his first Federation recruit, and then said that maybe Shane would give him a pep talk. Vince then played footage from the year before of Shane burying the Show, leading up to their match at Judgment Day 2000! Vince brought up Shane's mocking catch phrase -- "Which way did he go?" -- and then asked Show which way he would go, to the World Wrestling Federation or to WCW? Shane tried to stop this, saying he wasn't trying to recruit the Show, but Vince told his son to shut up!
The Show then went to chokeslam Vince, but quickly took his hand off the Federation chairman's throat and instead chokeslammed Shane! As Shane lay on the mat, Mr. McMahon told Shane that at Backlash, Shane would meet Big Show in a Last Man Standing match!
In a Tag Team Table match, the Dudley Boyz took on Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho, in a match set up by Commissioner Regal to punish Y2J and the Wolverine. As the match began, Commissioner Regal and Kurt Angle came to the stage. Regal made two matches for Backlash -- Jericho against Regal in a Dutchess of Queensby Rules match, and Benoit against Angle in a 30-minute Ultimate Submission Match! Regal said he would announce the rules for his match sometime in the future, and that the winner of the Benoit/Angle match would be the man to score the most pinfalls in the 30-minute time period! The match ended when Angle -- who was watching the match from the stage -- pushed Benoit off the top rope and through a table!
Backstage, Mr. McMahon wished Edge & Christian luck in their Tag Team Championship match against Kane & Taker -- but he said that with the match being no-DQ, they wouldn't need luck. Mr. McMahon then went into the locker room, where Stone Cold and Triple H were watching the footage of their brutal assault on the Hardy Boyz on RAW.
Jonathan Coachman interviewed Molly Holly about her Women's Championship match with Chyna. Molly said that she knew she was at a size disadvantage, but she said she would do her best -- and maybe, just maybe, she would become the new Women's Champion!
Kevin Kelly interviewed Undertaker and Kane about their Tag Team Championship match with Edge & Christian. Taker said that beating up commentators and women didn't make you a bad ass, and he would show Stone Cold and Triple H what being a bad ass was all about after beating E&C. Taker said that E&C were seven-time champions and seven must be their lucky number -- since they would lose the titles for the seventh time when they faced he and Kane!
In a Women's Championship match, Chyna easily defeated Molly Holly following a powerbomb.
Kurt Angle came to the ring, and said that pinfalls sometimes leave him a little empty inside, since he likes to humiliate his opponent and to make him submit to his "Olympic wrath." He said that Backlash would be 30 minutes of torture for Chris Benoit, and that he would make the Wolverine squeal over and over again in the Ultimate Submission match.
Angle then called out three local wrestlers, who he said would face him in a five-minute submission exhibition. Kurt said the rules were simple -- he would put himself in the middle of the ring, and each of the guys would get a chance to make him submit. Angle said he hoped Chris Benoit was watching, and to multiply what he saw by 50, since that's what would happen at Backlash.
The five-minute clock started, and Angle locked up with each man, dominating all three with various submission maneuvers. But with just a minute left on the clock, Benoit snuck up behind the Olympic hero and locked on the Crossface -- and Angle tapped out! Benoit got a standing ovation from the crowd for forcing Angle to tap!
The main event on SmackDown! was the no-DQ match for the Tag Team Championship, as Edge & Christian -- accompanied by Rhyno, the new Hardcore Champion -- took on the Undertaker and Kane. Kane's left arm was heavily taped for the bout, the result of the earlier attack by Stone Cold and the Game. Before Taker could even get in the ring, Kane was the victim of a triple-team by Edge, Christian and Rhyno.
After a few minutes of action, Rhyno lured Kane up the ramp, where Stone Cold and Triple H attacked the Big Red Machine, as Edge & Christian double-teamed Taker in the ring. Inside the ring, E&C went for the con-chair-to, but Taker ducked. Then, after punching out Edge, Taker gave Christian the Last Ride to score the pin! After the bout, Austin and the Game attacked the Undertaker, but Kane ran them off with a steel chair.
Kane and the Undertaker are the new Tag Team Champions, and they have also earned a match against Stone Cold and Triple H!