WWE Velocity at 20: Unpacking the First Episode

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WWE Velocity aired for the first time on TNN 20 years ago today (May 25). WWE Velocity was a second show for the SmackDown brand and aired from the iconic big fist set. The landscape of the WWE has changed a lot since then. Velocity was a new enhancement talent show similar to Sunday Night Heat.

Here, we unpack the debut edition of WWE Velocity. 

WWE Velocity Full Card (5/25/20)

  • Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman 
  • Hardcore Holly vs. The Big Valbowski 
  • WWE Women’s Championship Bra & Panties Match: Trish Stratus vs. Stacy Keibler 

 The Women’s Evolution Had Not Been Televised

The best reflection of WWE’s change over the past two decades came in the match it chose to headline its brand new show. The Velocity main event was a WWE Women’s Championship Bra & Panties match between Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler

Keibler was, at the time, Vince McMahon’s personal assistant. The match was supposed to present the opportunity for Keibler to get an easy win for the championship. 

Stratus, however, managed to strip Keibler first to retain her Women’s Championship in 01:54. 

Cruiserweight Stars: A Commodity on WWE Velocity

Tajiri and Billy Kidman had the honor of opening the first-ever WWE Velocity. The action was highly praised and celebrated as involving two performers from the WWE cruiserweight division. The cruiserweight performers were exclusive to SmackDown and Velocity which was managed by Vince McMahon. 

Tajiri was a red-hot heel as he had been forcing Torrie Wilson to wear a geisha outfit. Tajiri controlled Kidman for most of the match whilst snarling at the audience. Wilson – who had recently dumped Tajiri – appeared in a skimpy outfit much to the chagrin of “The Japanese Buzzsaw”.

The distraction caused Kidman to get the win. 

Tough Enough Was a Thing 

As well as exclusive matches, Velocity aired highlights from SmackDown. We saw Kurt Angle had just had his head shaved by Edge and was sporting a wig. Tough Enough 1 winner Maven then ridiculed Angle for wearing a wig. Highlights of the resulting Maven & Edge vs. Angle & Christian match aired.  

Tough Enough Season 2 was also highlighted. Trainer Hardcore Holly defeated “The Big Valbowski” Val Venis in an exclusive Velocity match. 

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.