Live from New Orleans, LA.
I just watched the show, and here's a rant. It's that simple.
Tag Team Titles, Dudley Boyz v. Edge & Christian. Good choice for the opener. Champs bail to start, but Duds bring them back into the fold. TABLES chant. The storyline here is that the Blondes are working the injured necks of the challengers. Neckbreaker from D-Von, and Christian tags in. Elbow gets two. Buh Buh Ray in, elbow gets two. WE WANT TABLES. These guys are working a good match, but the crowd has a one track mind. Christian gets a rana, but BBR hits the sidewalk slam and makes the tag. Edge in, and he gets powerslammed for two. Dudleyz are selling head injuries like nuts to get the match over. Champs work the neck of D-Von. Capably, I might ass. Russian legsweep, and Christian coolly rams his neck into the canvas. Heels work over D-Von, and cheat according to the WWF prescription. Edge hits a neckbreaker, and Christian's cool new tights continue the assault. Some kind of D-Von chant breaks out. ANOTHER neckbreaker. It gets two. Edge: "I'm gonna break it like a twig!" Edge in, and he tries a piledriver. Cool slingshot spot leads to a D-Von roll-up for a deuce. Double KO. Hot tag, but ref stop Buh Buh. Chairs in from the heels. They miss the con-chair-to, but D-Von gets a double clothesline. BBR runs in and does his usual stuff leading to the Wassup Drop. D-Von, get the tables. Crowd pops big. BBR gets a roll-up for two. Christian tries the Unprettier, but Edge stops a reversal of that into 3-D with a spear. That gets two. Champs try Wassup Drop to huge heat, but BBR reverses to a roll up for two. 3-D! 3-D! That gets three, and we have new champs in 9:59. ***1/4 Fun, fun match with a cool ending sequence. Nice and clean, too. Nice match for D-Von, despite Dudleyz lack of offense. Crowd is pleased for new champs.
Drew Carey arrives. He's in the Rumble.
Drew chats with HHH. Hilarity ensues.
Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match: Chris Benoit v. Chris Jericho. Kind of a weak pop for Y2J. Benoit is still over. Slugfest to start. Benoit goes for the crossface, but Jericho tries the Walls. Benoit starts to work Jericho's shoulder. Shoulderbreaker from Benoit. He tries another, but Y2J gets the flying clothesline. Jericho tries a springboard dropkick, but hurts the shoulder. They fight neat the ladder, but Jericho's shoulder goes straight to the post. Benoit takes the ladder, I Jericho slides out. Benoit throws him into the post. Nasty. Benoit climbs the ladder in the ring, but Jericho takes him off into an ocean cyclone suplex. Jericho hits Benoit with the ladder. Jericho begins to work Benoit's gut. He puts the ladder on the top turnbuckle, and brings the offense. Knees to the gut, but Jericho takes the whip to the ladder. When Benoit tries a tope, Jericho slams a chair into his head. Holy fuck. Jericho takes the advantage with a suplex on the security wall. He rides the ladder down to Benoit, but misses him. Benoit nails him the face with the ladder, and adds a chairshot for good measure. Clothesline back in the ring, and Benoit fetches the ladder. Benoit tosses Jericho into the ladder. What a beating. Benoit tries it again, but Jericho flips out and kicks him in the face. The Jericho puts Benoit's leg in the ladder in the corner, and pushes the ladder down. Really, really good. Jericho eats a Van Laddinator, and Benoit hits a vicious belly-to-back suplex. Announcers speculate as to who invented the ladder match. Benoit goes to the propped up ladder in the corner. Jericho slingshots the ladder into Benoit's chin. Vicious. He then drapes it across Benoit's face and dropkicks it from the top rope. He sets up the ladder for the climb, but Benoit belly to backs him off the ladder, OVER THE TOP ROPE. Whew. Crazy, crazy stuff. Benoit climbs the ladder. Jericho attacks. Benoit kicks him off, and Jericho gets the motherfucking Walls on top of the ladder. May I be the first to say "Holy Shit." Big pop for that. He throws Benoit off, but Benoit kicks the ladder over. Jericho takes it on the rope, and both men are down. I'm giddy. Jericho hits him with the ladder, but comes off the ladder into the crossface. Jericho taps for no good reason God, Benoit is destroying him in there. Benoit tosses him into the ringpost. Y2J turns the tide by catapulting Benoit into the ladder. Jericho: "Get up, you son of a bitch!" Jericho sets up the ladder in the corner, and both men climb. They set up for a superplex, but Benoit pushes Jericho down and MISSES the flying headbutt. Damn. Jericho turns to climb, but Benoit topples him even though he's pinned under the ladder. Jericho takes the bump to the turnbuckle. Ugly stuff. Jericho knocks Benoit off and out the ring with repeated chairshots. Jericho climbs and grabs the title in 18:44. ****3/4, minus a bit for the weirdness of the ending. Still, an easy MOTYC. I can't say enough about both men's work in this one.
Chyna v. Ivory. Some girlwrestling ensues. Ivory gets killed by Vader-Chyna, but the match ends when Chyna does a handspring elbow and goes down with a neck injury. They play it straight, with Ross acting like Chyna is Owen Hart. If this is a work, then I wish it wasn't. If it is a work - the ending to the match is lame. Crowd claps when she gets taken away. They think it's real. "Sgt. Slaughter" chant went up briefly. They should bring him back as a babyface. I don't know what to think here, but either way it's depressing. Match went 3:33.
Drew meets Kane. Funny stuff from Drew.
WWF Title: HHH (with Steph) v. Kurt Angle (with Trish). Why don't they make the highlight packages go back farther? There's ignored history here. Let's see if this match can live up the rich history of badass WWF Royal Rumble World Title Matches. HHH looks a little less jacked than usual. HHH is so a tweener. They wrestle to start. Armdrag lets Angle clotheslines 3H out of the ring. "Angle sucks" chant. Wow. Stiff right hands in the corner. Backbody drop on Angle. Angle works the arm, and fires off a sequence of vertical suplexes for two. HHH rolls out and drops the champ on the barrier. Ross: "In my book, there was no one better than HHH in 2000." He's shooting, folks! HHH starts working the leg over. I guess he is the New Man. He works the leg for a long time, cutting off Angle's offense at every turn. HHH takes the Michaels bump outside, but continues to work the leg. Crowd doesn't know what to make of the match, but it definitely isn't boring. HHH takes the chair to Angle's knee, Summerslam '99 style. Kneebreaker on the stairs sounds better than it looks. I would have preferred Angle v. Austin, but this is pretty fucking good. HHH applies a version of the Indian deathlock. This is a killer moveset exhibition from HHH. Facebuster gets two. Another cover gets two. Angle is getting systematically destroyed. Figure four applied. Catfight then erupts to a tremendous pop. On top of the Spanish announce table, no less. Out comes Vince to break it up, but he does a bad job of it. Lawler: "I feel like I'm in a trailerpark." Vince hauls Trish away. The catfight continues. Too funny. Match has stopped in the ring. HHH tries the figure four again, but gets small packaged. HHH goes back to the knee. Angle fights out, and we get a second slugfest. Angle hits a DDT for two. Atomic drop and bridged German suplex get two. Russian legsweep allows Angle to go to the top rope. HHH punches him in the penis and gives him the Razor's Edge. J.R. even calls it a Razor's Edge variation. Cool. It gets two. Twice. HHH tries the pedigree, but gets a slingshot into an Angle ballshot on himself. Angle hits the moonsault (for once) and it's a beauty. He blows out his knee in the process. That gets two. Angle gets tossed, and a HHH clothesline off the apron gets the patented WWF ref bump. HHH to the top rope, and the crowd is into it. Angle armdrags him off, and covers. No ref. Ref is bumped again on the outside. HHH grabs the title belt, but Angle cuts him off with a belly-to-belly suplex. HHH hits the pedigree, but the ref is down. HHH rolls out to wake up Earl, as Austin comes down to ringside. He hammers HHH, as the crowd goes batshit. Austin hits the belt shot and wakes up Hebner. HHH blades. Austin is back in for the stunner, and Earl wakes up as Angle throws his arm over for 1, 2, 3 in an excellent 24:16. I would have had him kick out, but whatever. ****1/2 That was probably the right booking. I expect Austin to win the title on RAW. HHH stumbles backstage. Minus 1/2* for the ending interference, but nevertheless this was everything the Unforgiven match wasn't. Excellent stuff.
Rock backstage. Good promo, featuring comment about Kane's nip.
Royal Rumble Match for WWF Title Shot at Wrestlemania. It's that time. Jeff Hardy is no. 1. Bull Buchanan is number 2. They do their usual match, and it's pretty good. Matt is #3 and they toss Bull in short order. They stop fighting each other when Farooq comes in at number 4. Farooq kicks brief ass, but Hardyz finish him with the Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combination. Brothers ain't gonna work it out. Drew Carey is #5. He loves the fans. Matt begins slaughtering Jeff for overshadowing him. Hardyz eliminate each other in the corner. Next guy is Kane at #6. Early, early. Drew asks the refs what to do. Kane stalks him, his entrance nearly taking up two minutes. Drew offers a handshake, but no dice. Drew offers money. Too funny. Kane goes for the chokeslam, but Raven breaks it up at #7 with a caneshot. Drew eliminates himself. Raven gets killed, but regroups with a fire extinguisher. Al Snow returns to beat on Raven in revenge. Refs stop Al from entering, presumably because his pop was so anemic. Raven beats on Kane. Hardcore brawl in the ring. Al Snow finally in at #8, and he hits a few people in the penis with a bowling ball. At #9 is Saturn, with cool music. Saturn weirdly works on Kane's leg. Raven climbs on Kane's back. Steve Blackman is #10, and the Hardcore stuff continues. Grandmaster Sexay is #11 to no pop at all. It's time for Too Cool to reunite with Rikishi as heels. Everyone gets dumped by Kane, and he's all alone for #12. It's the Honky Tonk Man. Whoa. Nice surprise. I have to explain to everyone watching with me who he is, but still, I'm impressed. The first of three big surprises on this night. No one in the crowd has any idea who he is. He gets a face pop, no less. Honky Tonk tries to sing, but Kane cuts him off with a guitar shot. That bit sucked hard. The Rock enters at #13. Little early for the Great One. Usual shit from these two. Diesel - I mean Kane - dominates. Goodfather is #14, but Rock takes care of him quickly. Back to Rock v. Kane. Tazz is #15, and he lasts five seconds. He hosted heat, he gave you his heart and you threw it back at him, brutha! What a waste. Rock almost gets tossed, but turns the tables. They show Tazz getting knocked out again. #16 is Bradshaw. He stays in. Boring. Albert is #17 as it slows down with the big guys in there. Whenever Rock almost goes out, crowd has a fucking heart attack. #18 is Hardcore Holly. Albertbomb on Bradshaw meets with no pop whatsoever. K-Kwik is #20, and I'm bored. Usual Rumble stuff, but where's Benoit & Jericho and the guys in the tag match? Val Venis is #20, as Kane has been in there forever. Number 21 is Regal is money, and he should have lasted longer. Test is #22, and he tosses Regal. Crowd is just waiting for Austin. They need to clear out the dead weight.
Then the music hits.
WEEEEEEEELLLLL IT'S THE BIG SHOW
Well, it was a pretty fucking awesome surprise. I love how the WWF kept it a secret. Holy shit. Test exits the match along with K-Kwik. How cool is this? He KILLS everyone DEAD with chokeslams. He LOOKS slimmed down and great, as promised. He chokeslams Kane, but Rock stops the mania with a ballshot. He then clotheslines TBS out. Awesome. #24 is Crash, but who cares as Show drag Rock outside and chokeslams him through the announce table. Insta-feud. I guess he's a heel. Cool, cool surprise. Everyone gangs up on Kane as Rock is laid out but still in the match. UT is #25, and these brothers gonna work it out:
Bradshaw eliminated by Undertaker (43'31")
UT never happens, as Scotty 2 Hotty is #26. He's nervous, and gets knocked around like a pinball before getting tossed. Kane has been in forever. #27 is Stone Cold, but HHH comes down and assaults him. Austin bleeds like a big fat baby. Rock is back in, but he gets double teamed by the brothers. #28 is Billy Gunn, but the crowd could give a shit. Gunn takes way too long to get his ass kicked. Austin is bleeding like crazy. in the ring it's UT v. Rock and Kane v. Gunn. Rock mounts the comeback, but gets DDTed. #29 is HOLY LIVING FUCK MENG. They call him Haku, but I call him WCW Hardcore Champion Meng. I don't know why they bothering to make that acquisition unless they plan to team him with Rikishi. Maybe Vince just wanted to stick his penis in Bischoff's ass, who knows? Crowd could care less. At least I don't have to see him in WCW anymore. Wow. Meng beats on The Undertaker. WHY? WHY? I can't believe Meng's in the Rumble. Finally, #30 is Rikishi. Austin staggers back to the ring bloody. He fights Rikishi, tossing him in. Rock almost gets tossed. Austin tosses Meng. Where's Benoit and Jericho? Bullshit. Rikishi knocks UT out with a superkick. Nice. Rikishi drags Rock to the corner for the Banzai Drop but gets punched in the penis and knocked out. Final Four: Gunn v. Austin v. Rock v. Kane. Gunn escapes the Stunner and hits the fameasser, but gets tossed by Austin anyway. Rock hits a DDT on Austin. Austin is bleeding all over the place. Now it's Austin v. Rock. Slugfest. Crowd favors Rocky. Rock wins the slugfest to a pop, and tries the Rock Bottom, but Austin hits the Stunner and stomps the mudhole. He gets a Thesz press on Kane. ROCK BOTTOM! Kane goes out beneath the middle ropes. I smell a Kane win. Austin v. Rock again, and they slug it out stiffly. Austin tries to toss Rock, and vice versa, but Kane eliminates The Rock. Wow. I didn't see that coming.
Austin v. Kane. Chokeslam form Kane. Ballshot from Austin. I can't believe they didn't finish with Austin v. Rock. Kane grabs a chair. Austin hits the Stunner after a tombstone attempt (?). Austin then blasts Kane with the chair. Again. Again. Austin then clotheslines Kane out at 61:55 to win the Royal Rumble. I don't care for the Rumble, but this was better than laast year's event. I like the Kane thing even though I didn't like the finish. God knows I liked the Big Show thing. The big guys being in there was weak, but besides that I go ***1/2 without hesitation. Fun stuff.
Royal Rumble 2001 is an easy, easy recommendation. Best show the WWF has done since Summerslam. A ****3/4 match, a ****1/2 match, and the Rumble itself. I can't say enough abotu how good this show is. I suggest you order the replay if you didn't get it the first time.
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