Ranking SummerSlam #7: 2000 - The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Triple H

Or…the one that proves you should never try this at home


This feud, like other Attitude Era feuds, takes a little bit of explaining. However, unlike the Vince Russo written storylines that dominated the 1997, 1998 and 1999 editions of SummerSlam, this edition is less convoluted and easier to digest.

It's actually pretty basic: You had a man trying to steal another man's wife. Oh, and the WWF title was in the picture too.

Let's talk about it.

On an early August edition of Monday Night Raw, a #1 contender's match for the Rock's title was made between Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle and Triple H. Hunter and Angle both pinned Jericho at the same time and, much like in 1999, each man was named the #1 contender.

Here's where it gets interesting. Hunter and Stephanie McMahon's (then kayfabe-only) marriage was on the rocks. It didn't help when Steph walked in on Hunter showing Trish Stratus a hammerlock that looked a helluva lot more than a basic wrestling move. Clearly looking to snatch up the "Billion Dollar Princess" for himself, Kurt Angle pulled one of the oldest tricks in the book and went to a grieving Steph and told her she could count on him for anything.

The next few Raws had lot of sexual innuendo everywhere, at first between Hunter and Trish and then between Kurt and Steph, each twosome claiming that they were "just friends."

It seemed like Hunter and Angle buried the hatchet after demolishing the Rock (who went after both Hunter and Angle indiscriminately this entire time), but there's a lot of twists and turns in matters of the heart and this feud would be no different.

Hunter and Angle were booked to fight the APA on Raw when Hunter walked on out Angle, leaving the hapless gold medalist to be flatlined. Oh it's true, it's true! Jim Ross had one of his all-time great lines when he said "Triple H and Kurt Angle aren't on the same page! They aren't even reading the same book!" Watching JR and the King back when Lawler had his fastball makes me so sad for the shoddy state of announcing nowadays.

Angle returned the favor to Hunter the next week, and the feud came to a head on the go-home edition of Smackdown when Angle inadvertently decked Steph, leading to Triple H carrying her to the back, calling back to Hogan carrying Miss Elizabeth while the Mega Powers were exploding. Leaving a groggy Steph on the couch, Hunter ran back into the ring to help Angle after Steph implored him too. Hunter walked into an ass-kicking as Angle left him lying in the ring then went back to Steph and made out with her on the couch.

Meanwhile, the Rock spent this buildup being awesome, needling Angle, Steph and Hunter and giving out Rock Bottoms like they were flyers on a streetcorner. He was his usual brilliant self which helped prevent this feud from being all about Angle, Hunter and Steph.

Main Event Time!

When Kurt Angle makes his way back to the WWE, I'm going to stand up, mark out and quickly chant "You Suck" in time with his music. I used to love doing that. The thing about this feud is that Hunter was wearing different masks at different times. When it was he vs. Rock (like it was for most of 2000) he was the clear heel and he was damn good at it. However, vs. Kurt Angle, Hunter was the face, and the crowd treated him as such.

Angle came out first and cut a deliciously heelish promo about how the only thing he was sorry about was that he didn't make out with Steph sooner. Then Hunter came out and the two had a brawl before the match officially started.

The "highlight" of this brawl took place when Hunter was on top of the Spanish Announce Table ready to Pedigree Angle. As he jumped, the force of his jump broke the table and both men fell to the ground. Poor Angle's head bounced off the table hard. It looked really bad.

Angle was selling a concussion (probably wasn't a sell. Probably was an actual concussion) when the Rock made his introduction. Triple H and the Rock spent most of 2000 feuding while Steve Austin was on the disabled list with his bad knee and neck. They had some classic matches, especially the Iron Man match at Judgment Day. Rock and Hunter have a good one-on-one match while Angle is being stretchered out of the ring. During this stretchering phase, Hunter chased the gurney down and started punching poor Angle.

Rock and Hunter have a good back-and-forth match when Steph comes out to massive heat. Hunter, at first pissed she's there, calls for her to wallop the Rock with the belt. Of course, she misses and hits Hunter. Rock grabs her and she runs to the back. A few minutes later she drags a woozy Kurt Angle to the ring. We now have our classic Triple Threat match, where one guy (Triple H at first) sells on the outside while the other two do their thing.

After some more Steph shenanigans, Angle screws over Hunter as Steph gives off some world-class facial expressions. They are the same ones she used when Daniel Bryan beat Triple H at WrestleMania XXX.

All three guys fight now as the crowd goes into a fever pitch. Hunter accidently punches Steph and gets a sledgehammer to the face from Angle for his troubles. The Rock throws Angle out of the ring and hits a People's Elbow on Triple H as the crowd, who popped for everything the Rock did all match, erupts as Rock retains the belt.

Angle and Hunter feuded some more as the Rock eventually dropped the belt to Angle at October's No Mercy, the same card where Triple H and Chris Benoit had a great match as well.

Curtain Jerker's Star Rating – 3¾-4 for the match itself. The feud elevates it to this spot.

Up Next - This next feud had lots of "real life" written into the storyline.

Also in this series:

#8 - Orton vs. Benoit

#9 - Steve Austn vs. The Undertaker

#10 - Cena vs. Orton

#11 - Triple H. vs. Mankind vs. Steve Austin

#12 - Punk vs. Cena

#13 - The Rock vs. Booker T

#14 - Michaels vs. Vader

#15 - Elimination Chamber

#16 - Cena vs. Edge

#17 - Michaels vs. Hogan

#18 - Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

#19 - Hogan/Savage vs. Andre/DiBiase

#20 - Team WWE vs. Team Nexus

#21 - Rude vs. Warrior

#22 - Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus

#23 - Luger vs. Yokozuna

#24 - Hogan/Warrior vs. Slaughter/Mustafa/Adnan

#25 - Diesel vs. Mabel

#26 - Undertaker vs. Undertaker

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