I GET LETTERS:
Adam Gallegos rightly takes me to task: CRZ -
I'm probably not the first to point this out, but the arena where RAW was this last Monday is the American Airlines CENTER, not the American Airlines ARENA as you stated in your report. The American Airlines Arena, in fact, is in Miami. This was actually a big panties-in-a-wad controversy here when the facility opened, with American Airlines spokespeople forcefully correcting people calling it an arena instead of a center. Whatever.
I humbly apologise to the AMR Corporation.
KINGS UPDATE: BEST IN THE LEAGUE HOLY SHIT BEST IN THE LEAGUE HOLY SHIT BEST IN THE LEAGUE FIRST IN EVERYTHING DID I MENTION BEST IN THE LEAGUE? (29-9, 10 game win streak)
Network - day!
TV-PG-DLV One World Leader Attitude - WWF!
The Rock FINALLY shows up! That'd make him early for tonight - SUPER LATE for RAW. Rock stops in his tracks - pull back to reveal Austin, sipping a beer. "Where you been?" Rock, remembering not to say "What," instead says "Excuse me?" "I said, where you been? I've been waitin' on ya." "Well, if you must know, the Rock was right up the road, small little joint, called Just Bring It. You wann go?" "I been there. I'm here to give the good news, Rock. Face to face, man to man, Stone Cold is here to give you the good news." "You've got some good news for the Rock!" "You ready?" "Tell me." "Stone Cold Steve Austin's gonna win the Royal Rumble. How's that?" "Well, that's fantastic. Okay." Rock tries to walk off, but Austin grabs him. "Ah! Ah!" Rock removes Austin's hand from his wrist. "That means I got some bad news for you, too. The bad news is, when you beat Chris Jericho for the Undisputed title, if I win the Royal Rumble, like I say I'm gonna do, that means you face Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania. Do you know why that's bad news? Because last time I checked the record book, it was Stone Cold Steve Austin two, the Rock zero...at WrestleMania. In head to head competition. Thank you." Rock smiles. "That's all I had." "Ahem. Just so you know, you didn't have to remind the Rock that it's two to zero. You didn't have to remind the Rock that you beat him at WrestleManias in the past, 'cause the Rock will never forget. As a matter of fact...I think about that all the time." "I do, too." "I think about that ALL the time. You know, it's funny - because the last time I thought about it was...at Survivor Series, when I beat you. And just so you know, WrestleMania 18 - sixty thousand strong. The Rock/Austin...does not - will not get any bigger or better than that. You go to the Royal Rumble, you do your thing." "I will." "The Rock is going and he's gonna do his." "You will." "I'll see you at WrestleMania." "I'll see you too, Champ. Good luck." "Good luck to you too." One more look to the beer - then Rock walks away. Austin takes another swig...
Closed captioned logo and opening credits are beautiful, people!
PAAAAAAAAAAAA-ROW - we're off and away from the CenturyTel Center in "Louisiana" (Bossier City joins East Rutherford on the "cities we don't like to mention" list) and SAP transmitido en espanol on 17.1.2 (taped 15.1) - happy birthday, MLK! - time for some PPV hype and possibly wrestling on UPN and the Score - dig it! It's SMACKDOWN!
TONIGHT: Stone Cold & Triple H team to take on Booker T & Kurt Angle! Wow, and I was worried they'd have two *nonsensical* tag team pairings for a main event! But first...
POINTS TO SELF v. KISS ASSMAN (with Let Us Take You Back to RAW) - How "crafty and cunning" to you have to be to use brass knuckles, anyway? You know, on paper this is an interesting matchup. ...on paper. Referee "Blind" Chad Patton makes a point of patting down Regal before the match - go figure, he finds nothing. Lockup, side headlock by van Dam...he tries to run the ropes but Regal keeps a hold on the wrist. Regal with an armbar - van Dam rolls through and nips up. Back to the side headlock - Regal powers out - hiplock doesn't work when van Dam lands on his feet (sorta) - Regal's left is blocked, van Dam's side kick is blocked (though Cole thinks it landed - "ooh what a shot!") but van Dam's leg sweep DOES work - van Dam with a full twist on the legdrop - 1, 2, kickout. Kick by van Dam, right, into the ropes is reversed and van Dam gets pulled into a left. Overhead German suplex by Regal - whoa. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. van Dam pops back up - right, right, uppercut, Regal with a knee. Regal with a running knee for 2. Regal hits the chinlock. To a headlock, adding a left forearm across the bridge of the nose. Regal brings him up - European uppercut. Left, left, left. Double jumping kneelift. "Regal sux!" chant. Another stomp. Regal brings him up, only to step on the back of his knee to take him back down - now crossing the arms in a...hmm, let's call it a "standing straitjacket surfboard" and remind me to ask Rev. Ray about that one later. Commentators almost completely fail to remark upon, or indeed even notice Regal's innovation. van Dam back to his feet...Regal unwinds him, but van Dam counters with a back body drop. Rollup for 2 - Regal pops back up and takes him down with a forearm. Regal goes to the facelock. "RVD" chant. Again van Dam fights his way back to his feet - elbow - elbow to break it - elbow, right, right, right, into the ropes, reversal, head down, van Dam back to back over the top - Regal's kick is caught so van Dam can execute his stepover heel kick. Spinning side kick - off the ropes with Rolling Thunder - 1, 2, Regal gets the shoulder up. van Dam with a forearm, into the opposite corner is reversed but van Dam gets the shoulder up. To the top - BIG crossbody splash - 1, 2, Regal kicks out! Superfluous tumbling run leads to Regal stepping aside and giving van Dam snake eyes. Euro uppercut puts van Dam on the apron - Regal goes outside and slams him on the apron. Regal heads to the timekeeper's table and finds a set of brass knuckles - and grabs a chair for good measure. Patton dutifully removes the chair. van Dam back over - gutshot, forearm, rolled in the ring. Regal with a shoulder through the ropes, but van Dam hits an overhead kick - then goes up top for a thrust kick. Regal's out of it - shoulder to the gut, shoulder, superfluous backflip, giving Regal enough time to load up his left - BOOM! - cover - 1, 2, 3!! OMG VAN DAM IS PINNED AGAIN! (5:06) Quick replay shows Regal's getting REALLY good at keeping us from seeing the knux. Will he use 'em Sunday? MAYBE
Kurt Angle is WALKING! "Excuse me - where's the Rock's locker room?" "Yes, Kurt. Right down there, right on to the left." "Kurt? It's Mr. Angle to you, PAL." "Yes, Mr. Angle." "In fact, it's Mr. Angle...Olympic Gold Medalist. And after this Sunday, 2002 Royal Rumble winner! (walking off) Dork."
Oh man, and it's coming out same day as "Big Fat Liar?"
I WONDER what I'll watch THAT night!
(Probably "Iron Chef.")
Catch the WWF Live! Saturday, Chattanooga! Sunday's Royal Rumble in Atlanta is sold out! Monday is RAW in Greenville! And Tuesday is North Charleston.
In the dressing room, I was TRYING to talk to the Rock on his cel phone, but Kurt Angle interrupted! "I'll call you right back. All right." Man, Rock's said "I" more tonight that he has in the past TWO YEARS. "Did you knock?" "Oh, I get it, who's there?" "...what do you want." "Listen, I know you're wrestling Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWF title at the Royal Rumble. Well, I'm in my first ever Royal Rumble match. And you know when Kurt Angle is in his first ever ANYTHING, he always comes out on top, he always wins. Which means...it's gonna be the Rock...and Kurt Angle....in the main event...at WrestleMania. Beautiful." "Oh, the Rock gets it." "Yeah." "The Rock understands, the Rock sees your vision." "Oh, yeah, uh huh." "It's a vision! It's a match come true - a DREAM match - " "Dream match." "A dream match come true!" "Exactly, exactly." "The Rock/Angle! Sixty thousand str-- ...close your eyes." "What?" "Don't worry, close your eyes. The Rock's not gonna punch you in the mouth or anything like that, it's just you and the Rock, it's the Rock's locker room. Close your eyes - close your eyes. Picture this. Close your eyes, don't worry, close your eyes. The Rock/Angle. WrestleMania. Main event. Sixty thousand strong going CRAZY for Kurt Angle!" "Oh yeah, goin' crazy." "Kurt Angle's music hits - you walk out, they are going CRAZY chanting Kurt Angle's name, all over the place they are going CRAZY chanting your name - The Rock/Angle, in the match - electrifying match, one of the best of all time, quite possibly the best ever." "Ever. Yeah." "Yeah." "I see it." "You see that? See this, see this. Anklelock submission on the Rock." "Oh yeah. And the Rock's tapping, I love it!" "Nonono, the Rock's not tappin' yet. He's not tapping yet, because that means the match is over. Rock's not tapping yet - ah what else - ah - ah - Angle Slam!" "Oh, Angle Slam to the canvas, yeah! I love it!" "You see that?" "Oh yeah." "You see that?" "Oh, that's beautiful. How 'bout--" "What?" "How 'bout me stompin' a mudhole in your chest?" "Yes! Yes, yes yes, you are stompin, you are WHOOPIN' the Rock's (ass)!" "Oh, German suplex!" "German - you want a German suplex?" "Yeah!" "Here we go....BOOM! German suplex on the Rock!" "Oh, I feel it!" "A dream - a DREAM come true!" "Yeah! It's a dream--" "WAKE UP! Wake up. That...is dream. It's a dream!" "What do you mean?" "It's dream - it's dream." He puts his head on his palm and pantomimes sleeping...mumbling...and wiping drool off his face. "Don't wake me up, don't wake-- it's a DREAM! Reality is... the Rock/Angle? WrestleMania? HUGE!" "Yeah." "Money." "Yeah." "Athletes - two of the best athletes of all time." "Best ever." "Rock Bottom on Kurt Angle..." "N-no! No." "Mm hmm. PINE buster on Kurt Angle." "No, no." "People's Elbow NGGH on Kurt Angle." "No, no!" "1" "Uh uh." "2." "No no no." "....3." And he goes back to mumbly sleep.
BILLY (with Chuck) v. TAJIRI (with Torrie Samuda) - Lockup, to the corner. Referee "Blind" Jimmy Korderas wants the clean break - and gets it! Billy bows in deference to Tajiri's culture - then pops him with a kick, right, and right. Into the opposite corner - boot up by Tajiri. Tajiri off the ropes, ducks the punch and hits a flying head scissors off the ropes. Kick - Tajiri asks nicely for Billy to please hold his leg so he can snap off an enzuigiri - TIMMMBERRRRRRR. Into the ropes is revesred, reverse body scissors by Tajiri - which Billy turns into a wheelbarrow full nelson face plant. Whoa, new moves from the Billy! Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. Tajiri crawls to the corner. Still to come, Triple H's first match back since his injury (yes, they ARE giving it away for "free")! Straight right puts Tajiri outside - Billy starts discussing politics with Korderas, but no shenanigans on the outside...yet. Tajiri's back in - ducks the clothesline, hits the kick. In the corner, Tajiri with a kick, opposite corner whip is reversed, but Tajiri's out of there, causing Billy's face to meet the post. Gutshot, climbing the ropes for a tornado bulldog - leg is hooked - 1, 2, Billy kicks out! Into the ropes, but Tajiri drops down for the handspring elbow. 1, 2, no. Tonight, footage of Tazz and Spike Dudley getting punked out! Billy whipped, reversed, Tajiri up for the tarantula for 4. Winding up...but Chuck is in the ring, so instead of the KICK, Tajiri ducks Chuck's clothesline - GREEN MIST for Chuck, but Billy takes advantage of the distract with the gutshot, Pound-Ass'er, and pin. (2:44) Billy gently brushes the mist out of his partner's eyes...then helps Chuck get some revenge on Tajiri with a doubleteam stompdown. Billy holds him up for a Jungle Kick. Play their music again!
WOW! JONATHAN COACHMAN stands in front of an exciting DOOR! He'll be talking with Triple H soon...or maybe not. The water delivery guy says Triple H isn't in his dressing room...he's on his way to tell the Rock that he's going to win the Royal Rumble. Coach runs off...
As you look at WWF New York, look also at this ad reminding you that you can watch Royal Rumble there for a modest fee!
In the Rock's dressing room, we admire Triple H is back - I mean, Triple H's back. Rock wants to speak first. "Before you say anything...remember. You and the Rock have...unsettled business." "Oh, you're right, Rock. That's all in our past - we'll settle our business in the future, and that's what I'm here to talk to you about today - our future. You see, this Sunday's a big day for both of us, isn't it, Rock? The Royal Rumble is a big day for you, and for me. And you know me better than anyone, don't you, Rock. You know the Game - you know how it's played. This Sunday at the Royal Rumble, against 29 guys, you know that I will walk out a winner." "And you know the Rock...better than anyone. The Rock/Chris Jericho...you're lookin' at the Undisputed Champion." "I might be. But only until the future - only until WrestleMania."
Meanwhile, at the Magic Window, LILIAN GARCIA stands with TRISH STRATUS - THE FITNESS MODEL - is she up to facing Jackie - excuse her, Jazz - at the Royal Rumble? Before she can answer, JAZZZZZZZZZZZ jumps her from behind and then slams an equipment case lid on a big block - I mean, ON HER HAND. "See you Sunday, CHAMP." Lilian frantically cries out for help as we head out of the unproductive segment to the ad break.
Moments Ago, See Last Paragraph - you know, they're not usually so obvious about the stuff that masks the other stuff - bad blocking, that
DR. TEETH v. BOSSMAN ISHEBIG for DDP's reinstatement - Ric Flair gave Page this shot at reinstatement - he must REALLY LIKE Page to choose the Bossman as his opponent! Lockup, to the corner, reversal, reversal, referee "Blind" Teddy Long finally interjects himself to try to get them separated, and that's when Bossman opens up - right, right, right, right, standing on the chest, knee to the chest. "Get up!" Right hand. Right. Into the opposite corner and Page hits hard. Bossman brings him up - Page fires back - right, left, right, left, discus lariat, cover, 1. Right, left, off the ropes...into the Big Bossman Boot. Blatant chokehold for 3 - another blatant chokehold for 3. Bossman and Long share a few pleasantries. Page tries to choke back - Bossman has the reach advantage, though - he wants a throat slam but Page elbows, elbows, elbows, so Bossman opts for the shove instead. Stomp. Kick. Bossman brings him up - Page shot into the ropes - spinebuster! Bossman with the choke. Right hand - Page fires back - right, right, right, off the ropes, Bossman clamps on the sleeper...Page counters with a neckbreaker. Bossman catches the kick, but spins Page into ANOTHER clothesline! Right, right, right - in the corner and up for a Ten Punch Count Along...but Page only gets to 2 before Bossman hits an uppernut...and Snake Eyes. "He's not goin' to the Rumble!" "Boss Man Sux!" Page trying to pull himself up by Bossman's flak jacket - Bossman having a laugh at that. Scoop...Page down the back, spins him around, DIAMOND CUTTER! And rolls over for the 1, 2, 3...well, you can't get rid of Page THAT easily. (3:09) "THAT'S - a GOOD thing!"
Rock is ready to get WALKING! Except Undertaker is standing near the doorway, one foot propped against the wall. Walks over. "You know the smart money has you beatin' Jericho at the Rumble. Me, I'm not so sure about that. But there is, ah, one thing I thought you might like to know, is that I'm in the Rumble, and I'm gonna win. So if you just happen to get by Jericho...that means me and you, at WrestleMania we're gonna git it on. I just thought you might like to know that." "Rock/Undertaker. WrestleMania. Can't wait." "Good." "If we're done....the Rock is goin' to the ring." "Don't let ME stand in your way." Rock backs away...smart not to take his eyes off him, I guess
Royal Rumble spot hypes....Flair/McMahon. Well, I guess a 30 second spot is preferable to a 20 minute segment?
Trish Stratus shills Stacker 2
And now, the WWF Smack of the Night!, presented by Clearasil! From last week's SmackDown!, Jericho taps out to the Rock....but I'm STILL trying to figure out what the promised "implications for the Royal Rumble" were from that tag team main event...
And here's THE ROCK (with SAP transmitido en espanol - and Royal Rumble graphic: Jericho/Rock) out to say a few words - and a few more words - and a few MORE words. I wonder if he'll say "Bossier City." "Apparently, this year's Royal Rumble is going to be very different from all the rest. Because apparently there's not going to be just one winner of the Royal Rumble - EVERYBODY is going to win the Royal Rumble. Steve Austin told the Rock HE's going to win the Royal Rumble. Kurt Angle told the Rock HE's going to win the Royal Rumble. Undertaker, Triple H, they're all going to win the Royal Rumble. Big Show, Booker T...hell, the Rock just got a postcard from the sick ffffffffffffreak Goldust, saying HE'S going to win the Royal Rumble! This jabrone holding the camera just whispered to the Rock...HE is going to win the Royal Rumble! Give the Rock the camera! Give the Rock the camera." A "Rock Cam" graphic is added to his feed. "Unclip yourself, jabrone - unclip yourself - good. Now, bring your candyass in front of the Rock." Hey, he's not a BAD looking guy...crowd chants "Rock E!" Cole ID's him as "Al Durotti," and I GUARANTEE I've misspelled his name. "Does this jabrone look like a man who's going to win the Royal Rumble? You're on SmackDown!, go on and wave to all your friends back home. There you go, wave to Uncle Joe. Yeah, wave to your boyfriend Mike." Rock starts filming the audience...and failing to focus. Quick cuts prevent us from viewing the camera section. Cole and Lawler act like they've never been filmed before. Rock zooms in - FOCUSSSSS "This six year old kid in the front row, he said HE'S goin' to win the Royal Rumble! This hot little mama right here with the Rock, with the Rock sign: ROCK! WHAT ARE YOU DOIN' AFTER THE SHOW? She's just thinkin' about the Rock's strudel - she said SHE is goin' to win the Royal Rumble! The entire section of 108 says THEY'RE going to win Royal Rumble! Take your camera back - HOLD ON JABRONE, the Rock forgot to shoot this side." FINALLY Al manages to adjust the focus. Rock zooms in on a set of R O C K Y signs, heh heh - that's good self promotion. "Take your camera back - HOLD ON the Rock forgot to shoot the upper deck!" Hahahaha. Crowd is SO entertained, they've forgotten to say "What!" Or they've edited them all out. "Take it back. The Rock's point being, and the Rock has something very simple to say and he wants to make it crystal clear, his point is this: ....IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO'S GOING TO WIN THE ROYAL RUMBLE! The only thing that matters is that the Rock can face them all, he can face Austin, he can face the Undertaker, the Rock can face Mr. Perfect, the Rock can face Punky Brewster on an ice cream SSSSSSSAMMICH - the fact of the matter is this: is that the only thing Undisputed is goin' to be the Rock LEAVING the Royal Rumble the Undisputed Champion and there ain't NOTHIN' - AND THE ROCK MEANS NOTHING--" But the Y2J Countdown interrupts at this point and MR. JERICHO appears to be *very* tired of everyone but HIM getting some time to speak. "Cut that music! Cut the damn music NOW!! How dare you, Rock. How dare you disrespect me, Rock! I AM THE UNDISPUTED CHAMPION - I AM THE MAN YOU WILL BE FACING THIS SUNDAY AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE AND YOU HAVE NOT EVEN MENTIONED MY NAME ONE TIME! On top of that, everybody's talking about facing you at WrestleMania as if it's some kind of a foregone conclusion that you're gonna beat me this Sunday - as if I'm some kind of a fluke champion, or a transitional champion, but they can all go to hell if they thing that! And all of YOU all can go to hell if you think that! But most importantly, Rock, YOU can go to hell, too. Because there's something a lot more painful than any beating you can get, Rock, and that is the truth - because the truth hurts!" Pause for "Rock E" chant. "The truth hurts, Rock, and the truth is you had the chance to become the Undisputed champ last month at Ven gea nce, but YOU FAILED! YOU were beaten by ME! And you wanna talk about facing the Undertaker or Steve Austin at WrestleMania - you can face anybody you want at WrestleMania, but it won't be for this Championship! ["Ass hole!"] Because this championship is not yours, Rock - this championship is MINE - it's MINE - IT'S ALL MINE - IT'S ALL MIIIINE - and the truth is...Chris Jericho is the most overlooked champion in WWF history! But you know what else is the truth, Rock? At WrestleMania, I will STILL be the Champion - because this is MY championship - this is my championship, dammit, and this is my show, and this is MY--" "Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! Let the Rock clarify something to you, Undisputed champion or not, this is not YOUR show...this is SmackDown!, this is THEROCK's show! And what you're failling to realise is everybody is talkin' about WrestleMania, facin' the Rock, for one reason: because THEY know, them in the back, they know, the guys in the back, they know, them, the MILLIONS...and millions of the Rock's fans, they know that the Rock...is better than you. You see the guys in the back know it, everybody around the world knows it, you know it - and you see, Chris Jericho, the truth, it does hurt - it really really hurts - but not as much as the Rock is goin' to hurt you this Sunday at Royal Rumble IF YA SUH-MELLLLLLL--" "NO!!! NO NO NO NO NO!! THIS IS NOT A JOKE! I AM NOT A JOKE! I AM SERIOUS! AND YOU WILL NOT LOOK PAST ME, YOU STUPID SON OF A (BITCH)!" Crowd chants "Rock E!" as we see tears in Jericho's eyes. Rock removes his shades...slowly leaves the ring...and walks up the ramp..."Rock E!"...until he stands face to face with Jericho. "The Rock DOES NOT THINK that this is a joke. The Rock is not smiling - he's not laughing - (slowly circles round Jericho) - so you know, (station identification - top o' the hour) the Rock is taking you very serious, Chris Jericho - dead serious, Chris Jericho - and cannot wait to whup your candyass..." Now standing behind him. "...at the Royal Rumble this Sunday night. And just so you know, and you never forget...if you ssssssssssmell...what the Rock...(nose to nose)....is cookin'." No music - oh there it is.
Were you aware that Kid Rock's "Cocky" is the theme from Royal Rumble 2002? Well, take a gander at this here CD cover!
RIKASHMONEY (with SmackDown! is brought to you by Stacker 2, Xbox, and Subway - eat Jared) v. CHRISTIAN and LANCE STORM in an handicap, over-the-top-rope challenge - Storm and Christian doubleteam Rikishi - but he hits a double clothesline off the ropes. Clothesline for Storm, Christian put into the ropes, but he tries a sunset flip...then remembers that never works and scoots away before Rikishi can drop that ass. Storm with a Viscera to turn it back around. More doubleteam punching in the corner. Storm and Christian try to put 'kishi over the top rope, but no. Rikishi fights back, Storm and Christian fight back, and so on, and so on - we move to into the ropes, two heads down - sheesh, so 'kishi kicks Christian, ducks Storm's clothesline and gives him a Samoan Drop. Christian punches, Rikishi punches back, whips him into Storm and goes for a DOUBLE FAT ASS SPLASH...but again, Christian sneaks away - Storm does not. Clothesline for Christian. Storm flumps down - 'kishi raises the roof, then delivers the stinky face to Storm. RIKISHIKICK takes Storm over the top and out - Christian tries to surprise Rikishi and throw him out - no dice. 'kishi fires back - right, right, right, wants to go off the ropes but Storm hangs onto the ankle - Christian runs at 'kishi, so he ducks and dumps him over the top to the floor and onto Storm - winning the match. (1:43) But there's no celebration - WELL IT'S THE BIG SHOW wants him some. 'kishi punches as he hits the apron, right - Show block, right. Show in - well it's the big clothesline. Show - RUNS INTO A SAMOAN DROP!! Wow. Scoop - ah, no. Show with a forearm in the back to kill THAT noise. Show scoops - HOLY SHIT, HE SCOOPS HIM UP - makes some laboured steps to the ropes...and TOSSES RIKISHI OVER THE TOP TO THE FLOOR!! This brings out the A.P.A. - well why not? Show pounds down Bradshaw, Faarooq, elbow for Bradshaw, tries to run Faarooq out but he hangs onto the ropes - and Bradshaw comes from behind and clotheslines Show in the back - and out! Then BRADSHAW TOSSES FAAROOQ! Well, no, Faarooq hangs on again - and takes issue, even though Bradshaw is smiling and saying "I gotcha!" They shake hands...and the FAAROOQ SHOVES BRADSHAW out. "What the hell is that?" Back in - before this discussion can continue, the wall of flame signals the arrival of KANE. Faarooq slips out, Kane works over Bradshaw, Faarooq back in to attack from behind - doubleteam is on - Bradshaw holds him while Faarooq works the body. Into the ropes, double shoulderblock. They bring him back up - more punches in bunches - into the ropes, two heads down - Kane kicks Bradshaw and clotheslines Faarooq. Bradshaw manages a kick, but Kane ducks the clothesline attempt and dumps him on the floor. Faarooq puts Kane in the corner - he wants the spinebuster, but Kane stops, grabs him by the throat, and tosses him out. ALL FOUR CORNERS ARE ABLAZE!!! Well. Including the match and the post-match match, we come up with about (5:10)
And now, the Stacker 2 Burn of the Week, brought to you by...wait, let me check...yes, Stacker 2! From RAW, Spike manages the victory over Bubba Ray Dudley. Hey, we're NOT getting a D-Von/Tazz match tonight?
Your hosts are a pair of kings, MICHAEL KING COLE & JERRY LAWLER. They set up the next clip...
EARLIER TODAY! Cameras were out looking for the Rock, but instead caught Tazz & Spike Dudley arriving...and promptly getting a beatdown from the Dudley Boyz. Tazz is eventually sent into the grille of an 18 wheeler, and locked in the trunk, so they can REALLY work on Spike, climaxing in a 3D (Dudley Death Drop) on the *concrete*. "See you Sunday." "At the Rumble, survive...if we let you." And that cameraman did nothing - NOTHING! to stop the carnage
The graphic don't lie - the tag team championship is on the line at the Royal Rumble when Spike & Tazz take on the Dudley Boyz!
Debra can't wait for Austin to go finish off Kurt Angle and Booker T...mostly so SHE can finish off Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley! Austin says he needs to team with Triple H tonight; he can't have her chasing Stephanie around the ring. So she ain't coming out tonight. Well hey THAT'S a relief!
Commentators shill "Enterprise"
Backstage we go AGAIN: "Kurt, I'm lookin' forward to tonight. Gettin' the chance to take out Austin AND Triple H right before the Rumble!" "Oh, it's true, Book. And I know you never faced Triple H before, but take it from me - a guy who's beaten him PLENTY of times - he's That Damn Good - but you're That Damn...Much Better! Yeah." "Yeah. Yeah, tonight is gonna be EEEL, tonight it's gon' be SIZZICK, tonight it's gon' be SWEET. Yeah!" "Oh, sweet and sour like an ice cold shower - word." "Say WHAT?" "Don't say that word. I HATE that word. Now Book, you didn't know I was hip, but I'll tell you this. Those two 'suckas' might not even *make* it to the Royal Rumble!" "Yeah, that's cool." "And even if they do, they're not gonna WIN the Royal Rumble." "I know that!" "Because everybody knows that I'M gonna win the Royal Rumble." "You didn't say that. Tell me you didn't just say that!" "Well, Book, no offense - I'm sure you'll do just fine, but you're not exactly....an Olympic Gold Medalist." "Lemme tell you something, man - I don't need no damn gold medal to throw your ass over the top rope - sucka!" Staredown. "Well, we'll worry about that Sunday. But for tonight, let's take care of business with Austin and Triple H." "Yeah. I can dig that."
KING EDGE (with Earlier Tonight!) v. THE NARCISSIteST in a nontitle match - Test has new music, yep. Remember when they'd wait until the pay-per-view to debut new music/tights? I mean, tonight I've heard this new music for Test, I've seen the APA's "cards and beer" tights for the first time....gee, it's like the pay-per-view isn't *special* anymore! Okay, here we go: collar and elbow tieup, Edge to the waistlock, Test back elbow. Test right, right, into the ropes, hiplock blocked, Edge's hiplock blocked, gutshot, leg over the neck, NOT the flippy flippy but instead Edge fashions the UGLIEST Frankensteiner I've seen in a long time instead. Edge off the ropes, Viscera kick gets 2. Right hand by Edge, right, Test ducks the clothesline and grabs the waistlock - Edge backflips out of the suplex attempt but Test hits Uncle Slam. Mount, punch, punch, punch - referee "Blind" Nick Patrick gently asks him to stop with the closed fists, and surprisingly he complies. Edge put in the corner with a turnbuckle smash, right, back elbow, right, back elbow, foot on the neck. Into the opposite corner, follow clothesline, back to the first corner, follow clothesline, shoved to the mat, 1, 2, no. Edge breaks it up and surprises Test with an enzuigiri - now both men are down. Both men up at 2. Edge ducks the clothesline and hits one of his own - make it two - ducks the swing and hits the funky face jam for 2. Test comes back with a gutshot - wants the powerbomb but Edge follows through on the flip - YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB EDGE! - Edge with a gutshot - Test shoves him to the corner, another shoulder in the gut - pumphandle...Edge down the back, there's Edgeomatic for 2. Clothesline takes both men over the top to the floor. Patrick out to check on both men (and not count). Test right, Edge right, Test right, Edge right, Test, Edge, Edge, Edge, Regal - huh? Yep, KISS ASSMAN is out to try to get a free shot on Edge - actually, Edge blocks the left, gutshot, right, mount, right, right, right, right, right, and so on, MEANWHILE, Test is grabbing a chair...Edge turns around and SPEARS Test, then grabs the chair. WHACK Regal! WHACK Test! Back in the ring, but Patrick's seen enough. Test wins. (DQ 3:43) So Edge WHACKS Patrick as well! Play HIS music, 'cause he LOST! But it's all about Sunday....or so Cole says.
Royal Rumble spot #2 - McMahon/Flair #2 - still only 3 days away!
If you have DirecTV, you're outta luck, buddy (unless you're Robert Ortega) but if you're TRULY desperate, you can register to catch the show on WWF.com
Here's a look at the exterior of the Cen uryTel Center
Here's a Special Video Look at the Royal Rumble. Was I dreaming or did I see Al Snow? I also saw K-Kwik get tossed, but I wouldn't read too much into that. Entire Triple H return and interview replayed again - even the "just in the who the hell I am" part. Wow, there are OTHER lyrics to "Cocky?" Of course, every instance of "What?" is overdubbed with a simultaneous Austin "What?"
In the dressing room, Stephanie gleefully expresses her excitement about the fact that Debra is of no value to Stone Cold, unlike her - his charming wife. Triple H says his charming wife won't be at ringside tonight, either. He doesn't even want Austin as his partner tonight, but tonight he's gonna make it work - this isn't about her, "it's about ME" and he doesn't want any distractions so she's gonna stay put, so there.
UP NEXT: That tag match you've heard so much about
Trish Stratus shills even more Stacker 2
And now, the WWF Slam of the Week, presented by Xbox! From RAW, Debra and Stephanie have a debate about whose husband can kick whose BUTT, slaps are thrown, cats are fighted, and go buy an Xbox
TRIVIA: Everybody knows about Triple H's last match before tonight - can you tell me, what was the last SMACKDOWN! match he had?
BOOKER T and KURT ANGLE (with the Royal Rumble is presented by Squaresoft's "Final Fantasy X!") v. THE TWO MAN POWER TRIP - ERR, I MEAN STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN and THE NEW MAN - We can ponder what the significance - Triple H's LAST match was a tag match...teaming with Stone Cold Steve Austin....but the opposition was Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit. In fact, we can ponder quite a while - these entrances have eaten up about six minutes thus far. Can H and Austin get along? Well, their discussion is cut short when Angle tries to run in - they both sidestep and let him hit the turnbuckle - right by H, Angle pinballs to Austin for a right, right by H, right by Austin, right by H puts him down Booker comes in and Austin gives HIM a right. Austin takes Angle to the corner - Ten Punch Count Along in full effect...but Angle brings Austin out, MISSES the atomic drop (how do you do THAT?), Austin lariats Angle, lariats T, and Angle finally gets in a shot. To the corner, chop, chop, chop, right, right, stomp, stomp, stomp, referee "Blind" Earl Hebner pulls Angle off. Angle pulls Austin to the middle, right, whip, reversed, Angle ducks, Angle ducks, but Austin catches him and delivers a stun gun...and a Fuck You elbow gets 2. Angle manages to rake the face and make the tag - T runs into a clothesline. Tag to H - Austin holds T open...poor T has to stay there like a lump while H soaks in the applause for his first time in the ring - finally, there's a free kick. Right hand, kick, right, kick, right, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, threatening Hebner, walking to Angle...and missing the swing when Angle ducks. Back to Booker T - misses a clothesline - H with the neckbreaker. NOW Angle gets the free shot. But H turns back to eat a superkick from T. Tag to Angle. Angle runs into a clothesline - and blatant choke. H drags him over - Austin *reluctantly* offers the hand and gets the tag. H holds him for the kick. Austin with a suplex. Picking him up for another suplex. Kneedrop. Angle manages to barrel Austin to his corner and get the tag - T punches away from the apron - now in the ring - Austin blocks, right, right, right, into the ropes, T with a shoulderblock. T up and over, ducks, caught...Austin with a spinebuster! Austin hooks the leg - 1, 2, no. H wants the tag - Austin wants the stunner - T shoves him into Angle - Austin punches Angle, but ends up turning back to eat a spinning side kick. T stomps, stomp, stomp, tag, stomp. Angle rams Austin's head into the buckle, right, right, right, chop, chop, kick, kick, kick, right, suplex out of the corner. Crowd chants "What?" in major fashion. Angle stays in control, somehow - right hand....oh HERE'S Austin with the comeback: block, right, right, right, into the ropes, Angle ducks, but Austin hits the Austin press, mount, six quick rights - off the ropes - but Angle's got him scouted and catches him in a belly-to-belly suplex! Austin might have been able to tag, but rolls away doesn't as T comes in - stomp - cover - 2. T puts on the headlock. Cole says "Two men will start - every coupla minutes another man will enter" - did the backlash get to them? Austin with an elbow, elbow, right to the gut to break the hold - but T reverses the whip attempt - gutshot - off the ropes - AXE KICK!! T consults his hand...and breakdances back up - he's ready for the Harlem side kick - AND CONNECTS!! Cover, 1, H BREAKS IT UP! Angle comes in without a tag as Hebner's back is turned - Angle is stomping a MUDHOLE in Austin in the corner - I think that's eleven of 'em there. Right, right, right, right, right, right, right...tag. T takes a kick in the gut - but goes back to the eyes. Elbow, Austin fires back - right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, Angle from behind to stop that - and free shot for H as well. Angle with a right - double into the ropes - Angle whips T into the corner, but Austin evades him, also giving Angle a lariat - then turning back - T and Austin double clothesline, EVERYBODY'S DOWN! Hebner counts...up to 6 with nobody stirring. Hebner just stops counting at 8 - but shortly thereafter, it's a HHHOT TAG - he's pumped! Double clothesline on T and Angle! Clothesline for T as Angle ducks - high knee for Angle! Right for T, right, right, right, right, Angle spins him around, H with "Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmine," shot into T - kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, opposite corner whip is reversed, but H steps aside - and Angle goes shoulder into the post and then out to the floor! H isn't done - spear for Booker T, mount and pepper...that's eleven rights. T sent into the ropes, reversed, head down, H with a facecrusher on the knee. 1, 2, Angle saves. This brings Austin back into it, forearm in the back, right hand, Angle's out. T runs at H, and H dumps him over the top to the floor (just like it might happen at the Royal Rumble!!!!!!!!!!!!) Triple H and Austin are left in the ring, but neither man knows - H backs up as Austin backs up - they collide - both spin around and rare back - are they gonna go? Are they? Nope - T and Angle ruin it - Pier Four battle, well it's all broken down. Austin tosses Angle over the top rope to the floor (just like it might happen at the Royal Rumble!!!!!!!!!!!!) - H reverses a whip - big spinebuster - pose - gutshot - Pedigree NO - Angle in with a German suplex! Austin back in - right for Angle, right, right, Angle goes out - Austin ducks a Harlem sidekick - KICK WHAM STUNNER!! H *still* manages a gutshot and Pedigree before making the pin. (9:48) I'm a little disappointed, you know - H had *eight months* to come up with a better name than "Pedigree" but didn't. I guess that iron cross took up most of his brainpower. H and Austin share a healthy stare post-match...but AGAIN we don't see the end of the conversation as THIS time, they're interrupted by an interruption - oops, I mean, by the entrance of AWESOMETAKER who - ooh! - stands menacingly at the top of the ramp. Credits are away and so am I - we'll see ya at the pay per view!
TRIVIA ANSWER: The 17.5.1 SmackDown! had a main event of Undertaker vs. Triple H, nontitle (H held the IC strap), no holds barred - everybody thought that H had made the fake accident report on Sara when in fact it turned out to be Austin. Honestly, *I* didn't remember ANY of this (which tells you how compelling it must have been at the time) but I *did* file this report.
I GET LETTERS: Amazingly, Joshua Grutman found himself not bending over Widro's knee for a long enough period of time to write to me!
I was taking a sip of beer each time they said Sunday or Rumble for my report. I started late, and when I was running low on beer I gave up on Sunday. I ended up with 116, but it must have happened more then 130 times. This was a hard, hard sell.
Grut, you're a hard, hard drunk. Everybody go read his news report at 411wrestling.com and watch the drunkenness AS IT HAPPENS!
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