2001 Royal Rumble
Time to find out if this awesome event holds up!
Match 1 – Edge & Christian Vs The Dudley Boys – Some great tag team action to kick us off! Belts are on the line too. Dudley’s took a beating on both Raw and SD leading up to this show, so WWE logic tells us that The Dudley Boys are getting the win tonight lol. Good team work from E&C, going after D-Von’s head which was injured in the attacks last week. Hot tag is really a HOT TAG with the crowd going fucking nuts. Great finishing stretch with some awesome near falls that don’t require them using finishing moves. E&C getting cocky and trying to do the WASSSSUUUP headbutt backfires and The Dudley Boys land a 3-D and become new champs! Everything you could want in a tag match and a hot opener for the show too. Not the best tag match going or anything, add another 10 minutes and it probably could have reached those levels. ***1/4.
DREW CAREY. I’m a fan. Love Whose Line is it Anyway? and The Drew Carey Show. The All Star Improv shows that he is plugging here are great too. His stuff with HHH and Stephanie is pretty great.
APA. You show me yours and I’ll show you mine. RR entrant numbers of course. The world needs more APA. CRASH HOLLY. He’s come to tell them that even though they’re friends, he’s gonna throw them out if he gets the chance. AND THEY CALL US DRUNKS! God I love the APA.
Match 2 – Chris Benoit Vs Chris Jericho – Ladder match for the IC title. FUCK YES. These guys started feuding back in 2000 leading into WM (along with Angle). Did a couple of months after that too, then moved on to other things but every so often they’d have some interaction, which leads back to this “blow off” match (they would eventually team after WM). They have the long rivalry and plenty of HATE~! to build upon. Some great ladder spots, and holy FUCK at Benoit’s dive through the ropes, where he goes head first into a chair that Jericho holds up. Looked and sounded SICK, and probably didn’t help Benoit… XFL MENTION. This match essentially takes the original classics between HBK and Razor, with the one on one action and plenty of WRESTLING in between spots, then mixes it with the tag matches we’d started to see (E&C, Dudleys, Hardys) and throws in big sick spots like they were giving us. All these combined give us perhaps the greatest singles ladder match ever. May have to give HBK/Razor SS 95 another watch to see which I prefer (WM 10 would definitely be just below this one). ****3/4.
TRISH AND DREW CAREY. He’s trying to come on to her. She’s not interested, she’s doing Vince. Vince walks in and says he can impress Trish by… ENTERING THE ROYAL RUMBLE. I’m marking out, bro!
Match 3 – Chyna Vs Ivory – Women’s title match. Guess the world needed a piss break. Val gave Chyna a piledriver and she “injured her neck and nearly had to retire”. Story of this match is that Chyna might have come back too early. Best part of this feud (aka the only good thing) was Ivory mocking Chyna and doing a parody of her sit down interview with JR. Chyna dominates Ivory, then hits that shitty elbow (backflip makes it more powerful!) and collapses with her neck. Ivory wins. Commentators act like someone died. Fuck off. DUD.
STEPHANIE~! She needs her hair fixed. TRISH~! Stephanie says she will have no problem touching her. HLA!!!
Harvey Wippleman hands Drew some wrestling gear. Drew meets Kane. Not for the last time tonight!
D-Lo and Chaz with Tiger Ali whatshisname. Trying to decide who will be in the RR. None of them will be because they got replaced by DREW CAREY. Ha.
Match 4 – Kurt Angle Vs Triple H – WWF Title time. Trish is out with Angle, and Stephanie with HHH. Fun start to this with Angle outwrestling THE GAME. HHH can only turn the tide by turning the match into a fight on the outside. With HHH in control, he goes back to his early style of being more “technical” and begins to work over the leg of the champ. HHH uses the ropes of leverage during a figure four, so Trish gets in the ring to try and tell the ref, leading to Stephanie dragging her out and they both CAT FIGHT. Match stops for all of this lol. WWF Title match on the Royal Rumble PPV is just to build to a women’s match at the next PPV! LOL! The distraction allows Kurt to recover a little and get back into the match. RAZOR’S EDGE BY TRIPLE H. FUCKING EPIC. Kurt has a bad leg. So he tries to go for a moonsault. TWICE. First time is countered into the Razor’s Edge, second time actually hits. And doesn’t break HHH’s arm, so that’s a plus. Still a fucking stupid move. In fact, has Kurt EVER done a moonsault when it wasn’t fucking stupid to do so? The answer is no, btw. LMAO, Earl Hebner gets his head smashed into the steel steps. TWICE. Austin costs HHH the title, revenge for a few weeks ago when HHH cost Austin the belt. Good match, not as great as I remembered, but still really good. ***1/2.
Lame Rock promo. He tries to be funny. He fails.
Match 5 – 30 Man Royal Rumble Match – #1 is Jeff Hardy, #2 is… BULL BUCHANAN. Matt and Jeff end up fighting themselves. DREW CAREY. Hardy’s eliminate each other. KANE. Drew Carey + Kane was awesome. Tries to make friends with him. Tries to bribe him. Is about to get Chokeslammed until Raven shows up for the save. Drew eliminates himself so he gets away unharmed lol. One of my favourite parts in a RR match. Screw the haters. Love the hardcore aspect of this RR match. Plenty of fun shit going on until Kane goes crazy and eliminates everyone. BIG SHOW return was awesome. Chokeslams the fuck out of everyone… and then Rock eliminates him in under 2 minutes. So Show chokeslams him through a table lol. I remember watching this on channel 4 back in the day, and there was an ad break just as Big Show was making his entrance! UNDERTAKER AND KANE BACK TOGETHER. Poor Scotty 2 Hotty. He has terrible luck in RR matches. He looks terrified as he has to enter the match alone with just Undertaker and Kane waiting for him. HAKU RETURN. Austin gets attacked and busted open by HHH on his way to the ring, but still makes it unto the match and… wins. Bah. Kane was awesome throughout. Lasting nearly an hour and eliminating 11 men, breaking the previous record of 10 by Austin in 1997. Took a bunch of chair shots to get him out. Made Kane look strong as shit, shame they didn’t really follow it up as he ended up tagging with Undertaker, but hey, that was awesome too. Immensely fun RR match, one of the best. Kane’s performance is great, Drew Carey was fun, some cool returns, Undertaker and Kane reuniting. ****1/2.