By Liam Byrne @tvtimelimit
Triple H © vs The Rock vs The Big Show 11/14/99
WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
This was a match at the time that had everyone excited. No, not the triple threat match with the Big Show, but the originally scheduled main event with Steve Austin challenging both the Rock and Triple H in a contest which would see the three biggest stars – at least before H’s shtick got old for many – of the promotion collide. Little did the regular fan know but Austin’s injuries were getting the better of him. Rather than rebook the match before the pay-per-view, McMahon decided to book an angle on the night that would eliminate Austin and see him replaced with the Big Show.
Whilst I was of an age (13) and in a country (the United Kingdom) that the cost of a pay-per-view didn’t matter, I can imagine a lot of people resenting paying good money for a show that promised the Rock, Austin and Triple H battling it out, only for Rikishi to run Austin over with a car part way through. The Big Show, already mismanaged heavily since his debut, just was not an adequate replacement. Earlier in the show, he had effectively ended a feud with the Big Boss Man that would be most remembered for Show going surfing on his father’s coffin as the Big Boss Man towed the casket away. He was dominant, destroying Boss Man, Mideon, Prince Albert and Viscera all by himself.
The Big Show as replacement announcement was his music going off as both Triple H and the Rock stood in the ring waiting. To be fair, he received a good pop from the crowd in attendance and H’s expletive under his breath helped sell how dangerous this new opponent might be to his title. This was further highlighted as he took the fight to both H and the Rock, dropping them with a double clothesline and big boots. Only a clothesline from the Rock halted the Big Show’s chokeslam from dumping Triple H hard to the canvas within the first minute. It ended up taking double team from the two nemeses, a clothesline over the top rope, to allow the Rock and Triple H to finally begin their own brawl.
Show wasn’t having it all his own way though, as a People’s Elbow after an attack by Triple H saw the champion need to break the pin to protect his title. This lead to the Rock getting dropped with a H facebuster and a Show sidewalk slam, yet Show would take Triple H up the aisle rather than try and take advantage of the Rock’s incapacitation. All three men brawled at the top of the bespoke set, with Triple H getting dumped by the Rock through a table covered in beverages before Show was dropped with a fire extinguisher for his trouble. Another low blow, this time from Triple H, halted a Big Show chokeslam once again as each man was throwing themselves around in an attempt to make this a contest that made up for the last minute substitution.
The ringsteps, the guard rail, and a ring bell were all brought into play in quick succession, ending with The Big Show taking a double suplex through the Spanish announce table. Finally, the Rock and Triple H were able to renew old rivalries as they fought through the crowd as Show struggled to make it back to his feet. The exuberance with which they brawled saw the referee dropped with a clothesline, leading to a nearfall as Shane McMahon ran down to count the fall after a Rock Bottom. A second pinfall attempt saw McMahon dragged from the ring as the giant challenger had finally recovered.
McMahon would end up getting hit with a pedigree as he attempted to stop an attack with the title belt, whilst DX made their way down to the ring as it looked like Triple H was about to lose. To a raucous response, Vince McMahon arrived, picking up the title belt and smashing Hunter over the head with it. A chokeslam later and the Big Show was the new champion, a result that saw McMahon flip the bird several times in H’s face for good measure.
Whilst he fan’s reacted well for The Big Show’s title win, it still paled in comparison to what might have been possible had Austin’s body allowed him to compete that night. That being said, the three men tried their best to make up for what had been a shoddy decision to not announce Austin’s injuries before, and with it created a significant moment as Show picked up his first WWF World Title.