ROYAL RUMBLE 2002
Okay, so dig this. I'm like, totally not cool with the draft and the split, because I have no UPN, and, obviously, no SmackDown! So what I'm stuck with is Raw and its unimpressive roster full of Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible, and it's like, I don't know if I can stick around for this bull puckey unless Ric Flair trades the nWo for Kurt Angle or something. I mean, what am I gonna do, tune in every Monday for Mr. Perfect and Goldust? Sorry, cats, but that ain't my style. I will miss The Rock and Kurt Angle too much to live without them in an imperfect wrestling world. Baby, baby, baby I'll see you someday. (When the split tanks and they go back to how it should be.)
So. SO. So that brings us to this point, where I've got a bunch of tapes lying around that I wanted to watch and I said, "Well, I guess I could do tape reviews." I did like, uh, Guilty as Charged and Sin and Greed and No Way Out and Starrcade for /slash in 2000/2001 before I stopped sending them in for whatever reason (I don't remember), but now I am going to do MORE of them because GOD KNOWS I'll have something entirely original to say about old shows that mean absolutely nothing at this point. And, yes, I'm aware that it's a bit strange to watch a show that's all of two months old because I'm disinterested in the current product. Leave me alone, I love Royal Rumbles.
LIVE! on January 20, 2002 from the sold-out Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Commentating on the matches will be HELLO AGAIN, EVERYBODY, I'M JIM ROSS ALONGSIDE JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER.
TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH - THE DUDLEY BOYZ (w/STACY KEIBLER) v TAZZ & SPIKE DUDLEY (CHAMPIONS): The match starts quick with some brawling, and then a reverse-3D on Spike, who's wearing a neckbrace for a reason that I forget. Boy, that Stacy Keibler is something else. Bubba and D-Von beat on poor, tiny Spike to start out. Bubba gets "almost a Dick Murdoch-like God Bless His Soul Brainbuster-Type Maneuver" on Spike, but then the tiny little fella gets the Dudley Dog. Spike tries to get the hot tag, but JACK DOAN just doesn't see it, so, of course, they double up on Spike. D-Von up top, headbutt misses. Both bad Dudleys in now, and they go for a double clothesline from opposite sides of the ring, but instead clothesline each other. Tazz, after standing and watching this happen, gets the hot tag and has clotheslines and all kinds of suplexes for all (except Spike). BROOKLYN BOOT. Swinging bulldog by Spike on Bubba! Stacy is on the apron! Tazzmission on Stacy! D-Von nails Tazz from behind! Dudley Dog -- D-Von throws him out to the floor! Tazz gets the Tazzmission on D-Von! D-Von taps! Uh...okay. (04'58") This was short and pointless, other than to say, "Hey Tazz and Spike, they're no fluke! They've got fight in 'em!" *
Here's a great video package with William Regal and Edge. I lied, it's not great.
Here's EDGE having a little chat with LILIAN GARCIA. Edge has some words for Regal, but they don't really come off well and, in fact, it's sort of a lame promo. But Lilian looked nice!
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH - WILLIAM REGAL v. EDGE (CHAMPION): According to JR, Rob Zombie's "Sinister Urge" brings Edge to the ring. That's not right! Ooooh that Jim Ross! Him getting things wrong just burns my hide! Ooooh! NICK PATRICK, A BAD REFEREE searches Regal and takes the knizux from his panties. Edge pops Regal one in the nose, but Regal gets some of his unorthodox left hands in. European uppercut, avoided, backslide, two count. Regal with a German-type suplex sort of a throw that flips Edge over onto his face. Two count! Another two count. Another two count. Okay, dude, I like, don't think that's gonna get it done, bro. Uh he does something else and gets a couple more two counts then he goes into a resthold. Edge with a CRAZY backdrop! That backdrop was CRAZY! Regal with something and a cover. Man, I'm not paying very good attention to things. It's like, I'm watching, but I'm not watching. Know what I mean? I hear that, homey. Regal knocks Edge to the floor, then goes for a butterfly suplex off the apron. Edge counters -- DDT on the apron! That was kinda cool, even if it didn't look so great. Nick Patrick, A Bad Referee counts very loudly, then notes that Edge's legs are under the bottom rope and Regal's is ON the bottom rope, so that stops the pin attempt. Crackin' skullz on the collision, both men down. Nick Patrick, A Bad Referee gets another chance to count very loudly. Edge right, Regal left, Edge right, Edge right, knockdown with a forearm, heel kick, vertical suplex, two count. Regal with a damn nasty suplex that flips Edge over, but he springs up with a clothesline. Groggy rollover into a two-count. Edge calls Regal a son of a bitch and asks him to get up. Regal Stretch! Edge gets the ropes and the crowd approves. Hold broken, Edge Stretch! Edge Stredge. To the ropes immediately. Dropkick to the back, roll-up, one, two, KICKOUT. Edge tries to go up top, but Regal cuts him off. This match is pretty darn good. Regal goes for the super butterfly suplex, but gets shoved away. Flying heel kick! Regal is either masturbating or getting some knizux. Spear -- but Regal pulls Patrick into the middle. POWER OF THE PUNCH. One...two...three. William Regal is the NEW! Intercontinental Champion at (09'45"). That match was pretty darn good. *** All the referees check on Edge because just one won't do. BIG DADDY COOL MICHAEL COLE wants to know just how William Regal can justify his actions. "Michael...I've been blessed with a gift. The power of the punch! And it is a gift, Michael, it's a blessing! [Regal looks up] Thank you! Thank you!"
The Attitude, The Excitement, Nothing Beats the Experience of the WWF LIVE.
They say I'm cocky, and I say, "What?"
Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, THE FINK would like to introduce our special referee, JACQUELINE! Oh golly!
WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH - JAZZ (w/EWW) v. TREEEEEISHHH (CHAMPION): OMG, it's that thing on SmackDown! when Jazz beat up Trish and then Lilian called her a punta. They don't show the good part, unfortunately. But that's why Trish has a damaged left hand that is in such poor shape that it has some gauze wrap. Jazz attacks with some horrible punches. Backdrop. WARRIOR SPLASH. One, two, no. Jazz stands there so Trish can, eventually, start punching her. You know, whenever Trish is ready. They do some stuff and roll around. Jazz works on the injured hand and Jacqui yells numbers in order. Jazz gets all up in Jacqui's business, her biznass. But Jacqui ain't havin' none of that. Jazz cradles Trish's legs and Jacqui stands there for about four seconds then realizes she should be counting. Boy that's awful. SPRINGBOARD BULLDOG! One, two! Rollover! One, two! Jazz with a DDT, two count. Another bulldog, and that's the three count at (03'45"). Sure, why not? *
When the two sides of Lita meet, it just feels right, and it causes her to hug dogs.
Moments ago, we saw Trish beat Jazz.
Earlier tonight on Heat, RIC FLAIR arrived at the arena with his son REID and his daughter MEGHAN OR MEGAN OR MEAGHAN OR WHATEVER. Ric tells COACH that they came to see him (Ric) take Vince to school.
Here's a video recap of why Ric Flair will wrestle Vince McMahon. THAT CONSORTIUM...WAS *ME*!
STREETFIGHT - RIC FLAIR v. VINCE McMAHON: King says Vince has "muscles in places Flair don't even have places." We establish quickly that Vince is stronger, as he shoves Flair down and then flexes. Back-and-forth stuff that means nothing until Vince chops and whoos, which angers Flair. Chop chop chop, whoo! Flair Flip attempted, but he can't complete it. The crowd went nuts for that, too, then it was like, "Awww. Man, he's old." And then everyone was depressed. But they did forget about it as soon as they went to the aisle and Vince hit Flair with a sign that says, "KEEP OFF." Now they brawl at ringside and Flair blades and gets whipped into the steps. Vince slams Flair right in front of Reid and Meghan (Megan? Meaghan? I don't know), then steals their camera and takes a picture of his bloody, bloody face. But the girl steals it back after he's done. Back in, and Vince fakes the crowd out by dropping down and working the leg after teasing the figure-four. Ankle lock of sorts. More leg workage. I like this stuff, but I can't help but think how dated this whole process is with fast-paced matches being En Vogue like Albert Ching. Figure-four by Vince! Two count on Flair, he raises up. Flair starts getting the crowd going, but drops again. One, two, up. The crowd keeps cheering (this rules), and Flair turns it over! Vince breaks the hold and flees to the outside. McMahon limps around, then finds himself a lead pipe hidden in the most convenient of places. MIKE CIODA more or less tries asking Vince nicely to not use it, since it is a streetfight and all, but he doesn't listen. Flair with a low blow! To the outside, chops and punches, Flair's taking Vince to school now. Flair dislodges a monitor, then plows Vince right in the face with it. Flair's lost it, apparently. Hey look, we get to see the replay on the Spanish monitor. That's weird. Vince is bleeding now. JR keeps calling them two of the biggest icons in the history of sports-entertainment, which is kind of retarded but I guess is appropriate. Flair dishes out more punishment in front of the young'ns, then we go back in. Flair with rapid fire rights to the cut on Vince's forehead, and a MULE KICK. YEAH. Flair has the lead pipe! WHAM! WHOO! Now. NOW. NOW! WE GO TO SCHOOL. Figure-four! Vince is dying, I believe, and he taps at (14'55")! You know, I liked this match and all, but saying it's proof Flair can "still go" is iffy at best, considering the only style is the WWF style, and that's hardly what this was. It was just a bunch of punching and chopping and weapons and blood, but like, it ruled. ***
Michael Cole is kicking it with Nick Patrick, A Bad Referee backstage, and Cole asks him if he had a chance to review the tape from the Regal-Edge match. "...well." Oh, here's STEPHANIE. She wants to interrupt, so Nick Patrick, A Bad Referee allows himself to be excused so she can give her thoughts on whatever topic is burning a hole in her pants. "Hi, Michael. I just wanted to say that the beating Ric Flair just gave my father is nothing compared to what Triple H, my husband, is going to give 29 other men in the Royal Rumble. Triple H is going to DESTROY Kurt Angle. Triple H is going to DESTROY The Undertaker. And Triple H is going to DESTROY Stone Cold Steve Austin. I just wish that Stone Cold's little wife DEBRA was going to be at ringside. Because I would like to DESTROY HER. Debra thinks she's all MEAN and tough (she does?)" OMG it's STONE COLD STONE COLD STONE COLD. "But Triple H has taught me a thing or two. Because you see, Triple H and I, we're a TEAM. I mean he's here--" "WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? You gonna flap your gums about what Triple H is gonna do to me? Over the top rope? 29 people? You're gonna kick Debra's ass? WHAT? Go ahead, talk! WHAT? WHAT? WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?" Stephanie freaks out and runs away, Michael laughs. "You got somethin' to say to me, you wanna talk about the Royal Rumble. WHAT? WHAT? You wanna ask if Stone Cold is gonna win the Royal Rumble? Stone Cold. (WHAT) I said Stone Cold. (WHAT) STONE COLD. (WHAT) What part of Stone Cold do you not understand? (WHAT) 29 pieces of trash! (WHAT) Over the top rope! (WHAT) That includes Triple H! (WHAT) Kurt Angle! (WHAT) The Undertaker! (WHAT) The bottom line-- (WHAT) the bottom line-- (WHAT) the bottom line is Stone Cold Steve Austin is gonna win the Royal Rumble, and go to Wrestlemania, and that's the bottom line WHAT? 'Cause Stone Cold said so!" "The, the bottom is one word?" "WHAT?"
Video packeege. The Total Packeege. TickTOCK. TickTOCK.
UNDISPUTED WORLD TITLE MATCH - THE FAMOUS ROCK (w/SIZE 14 BOOT) v. CHRIS JERICHO (CHAMPION, w/CANDY ASS): OMG Jericho puts his hand in Rock's face so he can talk to it, and then indicates that he'd like him to Just Bring It. This angers everyone, but more than anyone else, The Rock, who lets Chris Jericho know just how upset he is by striking him with his fists. Jericho runs away, but Rock chases him down and gives him more of The People's Fists. Jericho turns the tide with a clothesline in the corner and a slap, and goes for something in the opposite corner but tackles the ringpost instead. Faceslam by The Rock. Spinning heel kick by Jericho, two count. Vertical suplex, COME ON, BABY! Two count again. Jericho unties the top turnbuckle in the upper right corner, but it means nothing right now. Double-leg takedown, Jericho goes for the Walls of Himself, but can't get it. He stays on the advantage, though, by mounting and punching The Rock. Missile dropkick! Rear chinlock now. Boy. This is a long rear chinlock. Boy. The Rock's an awesome seller. Arm drops ONCE. Arm drops TWICE. Arm does NOT drop THRICE. Jericho up top, but Rock stops him from jumping off with what would undoubtedly have been a high-impact maneuver, and gets a superplex. Rock's tired, though, so no pin for him. Rock with a right, a right, a right, more rights, complicated Irish whip that looked cool, and Rock gets some form of a belly-to-belly throw. Irish whip reversed by Jericho, out of the corner, bulldog! Lionsault! Jericho wants the belt! In fact, he HAS the belt! ANOTHER Lionsault, one, two, NO. Jericho is LIVID. Well, okay, maybe not LIVID. But he's...wait, yes, he's LIVID. Jericho off the top, Rock avoids the move, sharpshooter! Hey it's LANCE STORM! Jericho is tapping, but EARL HEBNER is distracted! Hey it's CHRISTIAN! Rock cleans house on those two, but Jericho gets the Rock Bottom! One, two, NO! It's not to be! Hey Jericho's gonna do the People's Elbow! Haha, he doesn't throw his elbowpad to the crowd. Rock KIPS UP and throws Jericho over the top rope to the concrete floor! That's very thin padding, I've been told. Rock is dismantling the announce table, and JR pleads with him to think about what he's doing. The King pleads with him to use the Spanish table, instead. Jericho comes to life and drops Rock with a snake eyes thing on the Spanish table, then dismantles THAT table. JR thinks this has disintegrated all to hell, if you ask him. I did! Kind of. Up on the table, Jericho wants the belt! It's yours, dude! Jericho sets for the Rock Bottom, but Rock elbows away! ROCK BOTTOM THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE! The *real* announce table! *From* the Spanish table! How *about* that? JR thinks Jericho may have a concussion. Into the ring, cover, two, Jericho kicks out! The Rock is coiled, he's *coiled*. Jericho avoids the Rock Bottom, Walls of Jericho! Rock fights and fights and fights, and The King says he "looks like The Scorpion King," which is, like, totally retarded and awesome. Rock gets the ropes! Inside cradle by Rock! One, two, kickout! Hebner gets bumped, and Jericho nails Rock right between the eyes with the WWF championship belt! Jericho's waving to someone, and, of course, it's NICK PATRICK, A BAD REFEREE. He runs in -- two count! DDT by The Rock! Cover, and Nick Patrick, A Bad Refere won't count. The Rock is upset. Nick Patrick points to himself but shows no fear, to which The Rock responds with a Rock Bottom. SPINE ON THE PINE! Here it comes, JR, here it comes! People's Elbow, right to the heart of the champion! Both the referees are dead! Man, there are totally more than two referees. I saw them all earlier, helping Edge. Low blow by Jericho, and The Rock jumps like five feet in the air. Rock gets his head smashed into the exposed turnbuckle! Rollup, with the feet on the ropes! Hebner comes to! One, two, three! (18'47") What a stupid finish! But a really awesome match. It's no coincidence that all of Jericho's best matches for the last year or so have been with The Rock. ****
It's WWF New York, and it's HBGAY. I really hate Shawn Michaels! He says it was great to be a fan again and watch Vince and Ric Flair go at it, he likes those dudes. They were inspirations. You don't mess with Texas, so he's going with Stone Cold and The Undertaker for the Rumble. Only one guy can win it, bro.
No Way Out plug. Oh if only we'd have known.
Thirty men in the Royal Rumble! In order on the video package: Booker T, Kane, Mr. Perfect, Christian, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Billy & Chuck, Bossman, Lance Storm, Austin throwing Billy over some ropes, Undertaker throwing Bradshaw over some ropes, Big Show clotheslining Edge over some ropes, Kane throwing Saturn over some ropes, Big Show press-slamming K-Kwik over some ropes, Matt and Jeff, the Hardy Boyz, falling from the top rope, Scotty II Hotty, The Hurricane, APA, Goldust, Al Snow, Wrestlemania XV (where you go when you win), Big Show, Test, Val Venis, Chris Jericho (see, he's the champ, the winner will face him at Wrestlemania XV, apparently), Godfather, Saturn, Albert, Undertaker, Austin, and then we start focusing on Triple H, then everyone gets cocky and Austin says, "What?" Oh, also, DDP exists!
Ladies and gentlemen, it is NOW TIME for the Royal. Rumble. Match! Here are the rules, in case you're retarded!
THE ROYAL RUMBLE: Here is the individual who drew number one...RIKISHI! And here is the individual who drew number two...GOLDUST! Well, at least people cared he was back for a night. JR can only shudder to think what this man has been doing since he left the Royal Rumble. HAW, he must've watched his matches in WCW. HAW! Rikishi apparently has no idea what to think of Goldust, who is bizarre. Goldust does his Goldust stuff like biting at his opponent and stuff, then he turns his back and Rikishi attacks. Goldust escapes the buttdrop, then manages to catch the apron after being thrown over the top. And he does that again. This isn't very exciting! Goldust teeters on the apron, but punches away and gets back in. Countdown is on, and number three is BOSSMAN. Eww. That's what I say to this trifecta of WWF superstars, eww. Bossman beats up Rikishi and Goldust sits on the top turnbuckle for some reason. AWF, AWF, AWF, AWF, UHF says Bossman as he punches away. Goldust comes over to give Bossman some assistance in trying to shove the bottom-heavy Rikishi over the top. Goldust attacks Bossman! When you see great friends like Goldust and the Big Bossman going at it, you know it really *is* every man for himself. Countdown, and number four is BRADSHAW. Bradshaw's not exactly a house afire, but then again, he never is. He's just mean and ornery. Stinkyface on Bossman! Big kick, clothesline, and out goes the Bossman! Number five is LANCE STORM. Rikishi is trying to do the balancing on the top rope and push thing to eliminate Bradshaw, and Storm tries the same on Goldust. That has *never* worked, I don't know why people keep doing it. These wrestlers don't watch gamefilm, I guess. Rikishi gives up on Bradshaw and goes to help Storm, but Goldust gets away. Bradshaw punches Storm and then clubs him. Number six is TOUGH ENOUGH'S AL SNOW. JR thinks is some great opportunity for the grizzled veteran. CLOTHESLINE FROM HELL on Lance Storm! The crowd "wants Head." Snow and Bradshaw go at it while Goldust flys solo and Rikishi tries to eliminate Storm, but here's number seven, BILLY. Snow and Storm have a contest to see who can stand on the apron and hit the other longer, and Al Snow wins by superkicking him off, which means Storm is goonnee. Haha, Bradshaw kicks Goldust and he falls over. Hey there goes Bradshaw via Billy! Well boo. Billy pairs off with Goldust, answering everyone's prayers. Oh my, business is about to pick up here, because number eight is THE GODDAMNED UNDERTAKER. Chokeslam for Billy! Asskickin' on everyone else! Chokeslam over the top, Goldust is gone! Al Snow is gone! Rikishi takes it to Undertaker, but like, no. Big boot, clothesline, happy trails. And goodbye Billy. The Undertaker stands alone! What an American Badass. Number nine is...MATT OF THE HARDY BOYZ (w/LITA)! Remember when Undertaker beat the Hardyz and Lita up and they were gone? Yeah, I just remembered. Lita kicks Undertaker in the nuts! Swinging neckbreaker from Matt! Stompin' a mudhole! Matt fights valiantly, but folks, Undertaker is pretty damn big and Matt Hardy ain't. That's about as simplified as I can make this situation. But he stays in long enough to see JEFF OF THE HARDY BOYZ at number ten run into the ring to give him some help! Team Xtreme are ALL stompin' a mudhole! Double clothesline by Undertaker! Wait, Twist of Fate! Swanton booooomb! Matt takes his shirt off, but Jeff respectfully declines. Poetry in Motion -- Jeff is caught, goodbye Jeff. Uh oh. LAST RIDE on Matt. Lita is worried. And Matt is gone, too.
Countdown is back on, number eleven is...MAVEN. Poor Maven! ;-) Lita is up on the apron, so Undertaker knocks her off. And here come the Hardy Boyz again, which is getting lame since they already got their asses kicked. Whoa, Undertaker flings Jeff under the bottom rope. Maven with a DROPKICK! OH MY GOD! MY GOD! MAVEN JUST ELIMINATED THE UNDERTAKER! He celebrates! Now he's not so sure. The Undertaker gets in and attacks Maven, then tosses him through the middle rope and kills him outside. GODAMIGHTY what a chair shot. Undertaker blades Maven and stuffs it back in his pants, which I'd care about if, like, it wasn't Maven and those things didn't need to happen. Hey, here's number twelve, and it's SCOTTY II HOTTY. Undertaker goes and punches him, then goes after Maven again. JR thinks enough is enough. Undertaker beats him up all through the crowd, passing by a big fatty with a hilarious football jersey that has the number 69 on it. They go into the lobby area or whatever, and by the way, number thirteen is CHRISTIAAAAAAN. Then Undertaker throws him head-first through a popcorn machine, and then Undertaker eats some popcorn, but Undertaker doesn't really like the popcorn, so Undertaker spits the popcorn out. Scotty has apparently not yet recovered from that vicious punch, so Christian hangs out and relaxes on the turnbuckles. Scotty gets in, goes for the bulldog, duck, reverse DDT. Number fourteen is DDP! He's no stranger to the Atlanta area, oh no he's not! Hahaha, the crowd doesn't care about him. Christian with a reverse DDT on Page. Diamond Cutter on Christian! Scotty gets into the mix and goes after Page -- superkick! Page falls through the ropes, so he's still in. OMG. BULLDOG. W. O. R. M. HOO, HOO, HOO. WOOF WOOF WOOF, BANG. DDP sneaks in and eliminates Scotty right after the worm, and number fifteen is CHUCK(Y). Chucky stomps away on DDP, but Page fights back. Then the heels team up on Page because he sucks. That's my theory, anyhow. Here's number sixteen and it's...THE GODFATHER! He's gone legit! New and improved, he's back! The entrance takes forever. Like, he goes to the ring, then he comes back to dance again. While we watch this thrilling dance party, JR lets us know that DDP was eliminated. And by the time Godfather gets in, it's time for number seventeen, which is PHAT ALBERT THE HIP HOP HIPPO. Then he gets eliminated. Boy that was useless. CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA, WOO WOOOOO, but the Ho Train is unsuccessful. Christian and Chucky eliminate him, too. What a team they make. But this isn't a time to make new friends. Number eighteen is FAIRY SATURN. Nice cow underwear, dude. He's goofy, that Saturn. Goofy as a pet coon. The crowd goes nuts because something in the crowd is interesting, because God knows it's not Saturn that anyone is cheering for. Man, is Saturn useless and crappy or what? What happened to him, he used to be pretty good. OH MY GOD NUMBER NINETEEN IS STONE COLD STONE COLD STONE COLD! Can of whoopass! He's here to fight and raise hell! WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT. There goes Christian! Stunner on Saturn! (Saturn couldn't even do *that* right.) Goodbye, Chucky! Adios, Saturn! OH HELL YEAH. OH HELL YEAH. Checkin' the watch! Austin gets Christian and throws him back in -- Stunner! Out goes Christian (again)! How about more for Chucky? STUNNER! What time is it? Out goes Chucky (again)! Austin checks his watch again and sits up top. WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
Number twenty is...VAL VENIS. Hello, ladies. Val Venis is a former European and Intercontinental champion, I'm reminded, so he won't be afraid of Austin. Austin jumps on him, stomp, stomp, stomp, what, what, what. Stomps and whats. Stomp. What? Venis with a few right hands, and he floors him with a back elbow. Elbowdrop and a kneedrop. Right hands, and Val is happy with his performance. Here goes the clock again, Thesz press, piston-like right hands. Number twenty-one is I HATE TEST. He has immunity. Did anyone care about that past the night after Survivor Series? I mean, like, really? Test and Venis (CANADIAN MAFIA!!!!!!!!) double-team Austin with some stomps and boot chokes, then a double back-elbow. These two are just letting it all out. Right hands and whats, and Test's big boot misses Austin and hits Val. Val's gone, stunner on Test! Test is gone! Yeehaw! Countdown and number twenty-two is...TRIPLE H. JR's reaction to the music is classic. "Oh my." Oh man this is awesome. "Oh my" is right. They start with some jawin'. Right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, Austin with the rights, Triple H fires back, and now someone else has to come in and ruin the fun. Oh boy number twenty-three is THE HURRICANE. Austin and HHH are both down due to a collision as Hurricane gets in, and he does some HILARIOUS poses. He sets up for a double chokeslam. Hahaha, for once I find him funny. Austin and HHH exchange a perplexed look, then toss Hurricane out. Austin wastes no time going back to the attack, and it's all back-and-forth. Number twenty-four is FAAROOQ. See, this is what I totally love about Rumbles, getting these guys like Faarooq that are average names but bad dudes in with the real hosses. Faarooq gets a stunner, and HHH clotheslines him out. Back to the fighting, and number twenty-five is MR. PERFECT! And like, he's been a totally useless flop past this one night and when he said something funny to Debra the next night, but this is cool. Perfect takes his time getting in because he's a savvy veteran. Perfect in, and he goes to work on both dudes. Perfect's the only guy thus far to last with Austin and HHH until the next man enters, and number twenty-six is...KURT ANGLE! Angle pairs off with HHH and takes it to him, while Austin chops at Perfect. Perfect chops back, though! What a sound strategy. Angle almost eliminates HHH, but Austin curiously stops that from happening. Number twenty-seven is...WEEEEELL IT'S THE BIG SHOW. YEAH. IT'S THE BIG SHOW. Too bad he can't punch a chair. Chokeslam on Mr. Perfect! Austin and HHH avoid a double chokeslam for the second time, but Show runs them both over with clotheslines. Angle runs over and tries to get a German suplex on Big Show, but it ain't happenin'. Big Show lifts Angle high above his head, but HHH clips him down. Big Show is still killing everyone, though. HEADBUTT. HEADBUTT. HHH goes low on Big Show, which is smart. Chokeslam on HHH! "OH GOD!" Number twenty-eight is KANE. Everyone's down except Big Show, setting up an epic encounter between these two huge giants. Remember when they had that awful match at King of the Ring in '99? Man, that was so long ago. AHHHHH KANE PICKS UP BIG SHOW AND DUMPS HIM OUT. That gets a big pop. STUNNER ON KANE! Angle gets Kane in the Olympic Slam position, and tosses him out! Well...at least he got rid of Big Show, right? Number twenty-nine is ROB VAN DAM. Up top right away, FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH ON ANGLE! Superkick for HHH! He avoids a stunner! He kicks everyone with his educated feet! Rolling thunder on Austin! Pedigree on RVD! Austin goes back to HHH, and Angle works on Perfect. RVD has apparently DIED. Number thirty is...BOOKER T, SUCKA!
Booker T comes in, picks up the late Rob Van Dam, and tosses him over. Spineroonie! Austin is annoyed -- STUNNER! Goodbye, Booker T. The Final Four: Stone Cold, Kurt Angle, HHH, Mr. Perfect. Austin counters out of the Pedigree and hits a slingshot, then HHH bounces back into an Olympic Slam. Not one, not two, but THREE German suplexes by Angle on Austin. Austin is nearly eliminated by Angle and Perfect, but no go there. Some punching that gets a little confusing. HHH is dead! Austin tries to get Perfect out, but Angle sneaks up and dumps Austin! Mr. Perfect goes after Angle now, but Austin drags Perfect out so he can take his frustrations out on him, I guess. But here comes Angle, and he sends Austin into the ringsteps. Angle and Perfect fight some more, but here comes Stone Cold with a chair -- down goes Angle! Down goes Perfect! Up gets HHH! Down goes HHH! Perfect's hair is a hoot, all poofy and sticking out. Perfect holds HHH, Angle charges, and (duh), the clothesline misses and hits Perfect. Mr. Perfect comes back in, though -- Perfectplex on Angle! Neck snap! Gosh that was nice of Angle. HHH eliminates Perfect on a blindside, though, and it's down to Triple H and Kurt Angle for the hand of the fair Stephanie McMahon. No. But it *should* have been. Belly-to-belly from Angle! Choke takedown by HHH and out of that he creatively chokes Kurt Angle. Angle dumps HHH -- no, his feet don't touch! Angle celebrates, HHH charges, Angle ducks, facebuster! Angle's in trouble, clothesline, Angle's gone! Triple H wins the Royal Rumble! (69'23") Triple H is going to Wrestlemania (he already went, and he won!) It wasn't like, the greatest Rumble or anything. But it was totally awesome. I don't know how to rate Rumbles, really, they always rule. I mean, I can tell the difference between really, really great ones like '92 and '01, which this one was not as good as, but most of them are a lot alike.
Oh, whenever I watch Rumbles I use RUMBLE RATE which is like, how I rate the top ten performances. You know who always ruled in Rumbles until this one is Bossman.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin
2. Kurt Angle
3. Triple H
4. The Undertaker
5. The Big Show
6. Mr. Perfect
7. (tie) Christian and Chucky
9. Kane (he did one thing, but it ruled)
10. Rob Van Dam (ditto)
THINGS I THOUGHT ABOUT WWF ROYAL RUMBLE 2002: Well, I thought it was good! It's actually better now than I thought it was when I first saw it. It's like, not great, but pretty darn good. Rock-Jericho was awesome and the Rumble was the Rumble, and Flair-Vince was pretty cool if not great, and Edge-Regal is so completely underrated and I'm so tired of hearing about style clashes and blah blah blah. The opener was lame and so was the broads match, but that's to be expected.
One thing that's really weird about this show that I thought about after the Rumble was that by the time the Rumble started, it's like I forgot that anything before the title match even happened. It was like the whole thing was saying to me, "Dude, I know this isn't so great, really, but like, hold on, we'll get to the stuff that matters in a while." But I guess that's how it really is anyway. At least my theory is being honest.
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