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Brian Popkin




Here are the minor adjustments I would have made to the booking of KotR 2002.

I have a confession to make. I hate reading fantasy wrestling columns. I don't like when a person says, "KotR sucked, I would have had Goldberg, Sting, Luger, and Bichoff come out and destroy everyone. This could've set up the second invasion." Now this is a far-fetched reality. In my column, I'll only make minor adjustments to help the WWE tell their story better.

In doing this, I'm not going to mess with the results. These are the direction that the company wants to take. They wanted Brock to win the KotR, I'd have preferred RVD. They wanted to give Angle a clean win over Hogan by submission. I think Hogan has been jobbing way too much as of late and needs to keep some of his heat so he can give a rub to others in the future. They wanted the Undertaker to keep the belt, and I agree, I love the dominent heel and you've got no alternative.

So here is a quick rundown of my KotR. It is more focused on the KotR tournament matches, unlike the real PPV where the majority of the matches had nothing to do with the tournament. So, I have all tournament matches except for one heavyweight title match.

Here are my matches: KotR First Round. RVD over Y2J by pinfall. Brock Lesner pins Test. Angle over Hogan by submission. The Rock pins Eddie Guerrero. To get Hogan to enter the tournament, Vince could bring up that winning the KotR was the one thing that Hogan never accomplished in the WWE. And Angle could reluctantly enter the tournament, not that he has anything to prove, just because Vince agrees to match him up against Hogan. This way Angle can stop Hogan from winning.

To get to the Rock vs. Eddie Guerrero, the match could originally be Eddie vs. Flair, but Flair has been laid out earlier in the show at the hand of Chris Benoit. Due to the Crippler Crossface, Flair can no longer compete in the tournament. Thinking he has a bye in the first round, Eddie gets on the mike bragging about how he will automatically advance. Then he complains that he got screwed out of having "the match of my career" vs. Stone Cold. The Rock shows up, and says he doesn't give a rat's ass about Eddie's dad, brothers, or his inbred cousin Juventud. "You want the match of your career, just bring it!" Eddie looks sharp in the match, but the Rock hits the Rock Bottom in a clean match. I have no pointless interference by Bubba Ray Dudley here.

In the first second round match, I have the Rock vs. Kurt Angle. The ending comes as they both battle outside the ring. They set up the announcer's tables. The Rock teases a Rock Bottom on the main table, it is countered. Angle teases a great overhead belly to belly suplex on to the spanish announce table, it is also countered. Brock Lesner comes out, takes out both men and powerbombs the Rock through the table that Angle is lying on. As a result the ref counts out both men, Double Countout. Neither wrestler advances to the finals. I know people will call this a screwjob, but both wrestlers have too much heat for either to lose this match.

For the KotR final, Brock takes out RVD, just like you saw on tv. Only I'd have Paul E change the name of Brock's finisher. The F5 isn't impressive and the Brockbuster isn't working. How about calling it "the plane ride from hell." His setup move could be the "airplane spin." They could then do something on Confidential talking about Brock's role in "the plane ride from hell" to set this up. And during the Triple H vs. Undertaker main event, Paul Heyman does commentary. He brags about how he told Brock to destroy the Rock and Angle so he would win his finals match by default. The Rock comes out, chases away Paul and interferes in the title match. Just like you saw, the Taker keeps the belt.

Overall, I like my PPV just a little better. You missed the women's match and the cruiserweight match, but I don't think either belongs at the KotR PPV. You can't convince me that Jamie Knoble, a no-name making his WWE debut, deserves a KotR match. You want to put him on Heat fine, but save the KotR PPV time for the tournament. The way the WWE ran the event, Jericho and Eddie Guerrero got de-pushed back to midcard status. Jericho was the only former champion to be in the tournament, and since everyone knows the purpose of KotR is to elevate a midcarder, this must make Jericho a midcarder. Had they done things my way and added Hogan, Angle, and the Rock to the tournament; Jericho would have been in good company and would have lost nothing in his match. Eddie would have gained more from a loss to the Rock than by a victory over the Nature Boy. A loss to Flair was especially damaging given all the jobbing Flair has recently done. He lost to Austin in a handicapped match, Austin again, and even to Vince. Eddie shouldn't have lost so much just because Austin walked out.

As for people saying the main event ruined the whole PPV, I can't help you there. I like Taker and he deserved to win. He has been loyal to the company for 11 years and is a dominent heel who still gets the pop from the crowd. They did all they could to spice up the match by adding the Rock. Besides the main point of the KotR is to crown a new champion and they did that with Brock Lesner. As a king, I rank him along side of Ken Shamrock, a very succesful wrestler who is the NWA champ. Besides, Brock is a lot better than King Mabel.

Brian Popkin

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