The Undertaker Vs RVD – Vengeance 09/12/2001
The first major match in Undertaker’s heel turn at the end of 2001. Loved his heel run during this time; going around demanding respect, beating the hell out of people, and eventually winning the WWE Undisputed Title!
It all started with making JR join the Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club, then he would attack random people and destroy whoever he had a match with, and then he set his sights on RVD. No true explanation as to why, but his heel turn was all based around wanting respect which he most definitely had, so I guess he didn’t need a real reason to go after RVD lol. Despite loving this time in his career, it didn’t really make that much sense :p.
The Hardcore title is on the line here, as RVD was the champion and it’s what allowed him to remain with WWF after the Alliance lost at Survivor Series. Always remember his entrance here, when he showed up with the new haircut, and coming out on his bike with the sunglasses; reminds me of the Terminator in T2 lol. And anything or anyone that can remind me of what I consider to be the greatest movie of all time is awesome :).
RVD is over like fuck, and as the RVD chants start, The Undertaker gets more and more pissed, which can only be bad for Mr PPV. ‘Taker shows RVD no respect by going for an early cover, while RVD shows Undertaker plenty of respect by throwing out some HUGE moves early on to try and keep the Dead Man down. No slow build here, both guys start off with big blows and big moves (well, RVD is the one throwing out the big moves, but that’s most of his arsenal anyway lol). Normally I would be against shit like this, BUT there are times where it’s done right, and where it makes sense, and this is one of those times. For starters, it’s a hardcore match, and everyone expects crazy shit anyway. Then we have Undertaker who wants to destroy RVD for disrespecting him, and we have RVD who needs to fight for his life and his title against the Phenom.
They spend little time in the ring, instead opting to go into the crowd where RVD uses his environment to pull out some crazy moves, while Undertaker takes everything RVD can throw at him and continues to come back, including throwing him over a guard rail that lands on Van Dam’s face, so Undertaker stands on it lol. Gotta love Undertaker in response to the RVD chants… “RVD’s getting’ his ass kicked!”
But, this is wrestling, and Undertaker is an old school guy, so him saying that is basically jinxing himself, allowing RVD to make a comeback and hit a huge crossbody from about 15 feet in the air. Now it’s time for RVD to really get into a rhythm and show why he is the hardcore champ and why he did so well in ECW. Undertaker sells all the shots really well, another thing I loved about his heel run. He was so animated with his selling, but not to the point it was cartoony.
Some awesome back and forth action from here on out as they battle at the top of the ramp. More crazy RVD moves, Undertaker disappearing behind the curtain and returning with a steel chair, RVD using it against him etc etc. Really run to watch, and lots more going on than I am writing down lol.
Finish is great, and really well executed. Undertaker could have easily fallen back by mistake, or RVD could have slipped and screwed something up, but both men do exactly what they planned, and the Dead Man sent RVD to hell with a chokeslam off the stage! New hardcore champ! RVD already added some credibility to a belt that let’s face it, meant fuck all this time the year before, and with Undertaker holding it? Credibility goes through the fucking roof!
Loved this match. A great back and forth brawl, and while the finish was a big spot, they didn’t go into spot territory like some of RVD’s other hardcore title matches ended up like. Sure, RVD hit some crazy moves, but against someone like The Undertaker they weren’t as big as they would be against the likes of Jeff Hardy etc. Basically, if this match had been against a smaller guy (both in size and status in the business), both men battling back as much as they did all the way through after the moves RVD did would probably go into the no selling territory, but against The Undertaker, it’s much more believable that he would be taken down and hurt from the moves at first, but could easily make a comeback not too long after. Or maybe my man love for the Dead Man has just made me blind. Whatever :P.