Jim Ross has opened up about WWE’s booking of the six-man Hell In A Cell match at Armageddon 2000, calling it an “absolute debacle” and “desperation booking” by the company.
The match saw the iconic moment where Rikishi was thrown from the top of the cell onto a flatbed truck by The Undertaker, while Kurt Angle emerged victorious at the end over both men, as well as The Rock, Triple H and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.
“Just in my opinion, the Hell in a Cell with six guys… an absolute debacle of booking. It’s desperation booking. We got no better ideas? We got no individuals who are totally hot, so we’re just gonna put everything in the stew? We got potato over here, carrot over here, we got some onions here, let’s put some sage in there… momma used to do that. They had no clue what they were cooking.”
Ross, now working behind the AEW commentary desk on Dynamite every Wednesday, revealed his concerns regarding how the match would be perceived by the crowd.
“I remember the talents in that six-man match. Who’s gonna get the shine? Who’s gonna get over? It’s not about who goes over, it’s who gets over. I just thought it was overthought, overbooked… you can’t just go token booking with talents like Rock and Austin and Triple H. Even Kurt, to a lesser degree, at that time.”
Meanwhile, Rikishi recently opened up about the spot, saying he wanted to steal the show despite not winning the match.
“I knew I wasn’t the person going over in that match, but I also thought, ‘What can I do to steal that away and have people talk about it years down the line?’ It was very nerve-wracking. I watched Mick Foley fall off and [he] could have died in any of those bumps. It was my time [to be thrown], and Undertaker was known for throwing people off [the cell]. I never knew that when my time came, it would be taking a bump backwards onto a steel flatbed truck. There’s no rewind from that.”
The WWE Hall of Famer would also reveal his touching “last words” to The Deadman before taking the incredible bump.
“When he grabbed me, my last words to him were ‘Tell my family I love them.’ But it’s that moment, you can’t turn back now. This is what you signed up for, what you trained for. People have paid their hard earned money to watch you guys do what you do best. I’m thankful that I was safe and they still play my high spot in the years to come.”
The former Intercontinental Champion would also reveal that he made the decision early on not to rehearse the move – and just to do it live – saying it’s something he would end up regretting and that Shane McMahon actually did it for him a couple of times.
“Earlier Shane went up there and asked me if I want to practice it. I said no I just wanted to do it during show time. He went up there and walked me through it. He did it [the bump] a couple of times. When I got up there, I felt like I should have done it beforehand.”