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Steven Emanuel




Hello everyone. I hope all of you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. I myself finally got the Playstation 2 I have been anxiously waiting for since last year with Smackdown 3 (which is great) and the awesome SSX Tricky! So it's the New Year and we can start off fresh and clean because after September 11th, 2001 went down the drain. With the New Year, the Road to Wrestlemania begins at the Royal Rumble. Every January good wrestling always happens. I ain't playing. Every January good wrestling happens. The WWF is in a bad condition now but by January it'll be back on top.

You want proof? Well you're not getting it! Just kidding! :) Here now I will review every January pay-per-view since 1996 because that's when the 12-month pay-per-view schedule began.

Since WCW didn't have a pay-per-view I'll start with the WWF.

WWF Royal Rumble: January 1996: A great show. Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble match and went to Wrestlemania XII to fight and defeat Bret Hart in that classic 60 minute Iron Man Match for the WWF Title. Also on that show, Stone Cold Steve Austin debuted as the Ringmaster and in just two years would become the most popular WWF wrestler ever!

N.W.O. Souled Out: January 1997: Okay so this isn't a memorable show per se. But it showed how far the N.W.O. angle could be taken. Plus the set was a precursor to the Warzone set which would debut two months later. It was a creative show.

WWF Royal Rumble: January 1997: A very memorable show. Stone Cold Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble match despite some controversy. This would lead to the Bret Hart-Stone Cold feud and that classic Wrestlemania XIII submission match which would turned Austin face and Hart heel and make Stone Cold more popular. Also on that show, Shawn Michaels defeated Psycho Sid to win the WWF title in front of 60,000 of his hometown Texans. Michaels would vacant the belt in February which would lead to the Hart-Austin submission match.

WCW Souled Out: January 1998: Okay. Not a memorable show again. But this was the beginning of the N.W.O. breakup angle that would culminate in the Wolfpac being formed, which would be used as WCW's final ratings ploy.

WWF Royal Rumble: January 1998: A very great show. Stone Cold Steve Austin once again won the Royal Rumble match. That match would lead to the Stone Cold era being born at Wrestlemania XIV when Stone Cold defeated Shawn Michaels with Mike Tyson as the Special Enforcer therefore starting Austin vs. McMahon which would make the WWF #1 again. Also on that show was Shawn Michaels final match.

WCW Souled Out: January 1999: Does anyone really remember about this show? I do. Ric Flair and his son, David took on Curt Henning and Barry Windham. In the end, the reformed N.W.O. attacked David while Ric looked on helplessly. This would lead to the David Flair heel turn which would lead to the Ric Flair heel turn which would lead to him being a mental patient which would lead to his absent in the WCW. Okay, that sucked. :(

WWF Royal Rumble: January 1999: Worst Rumble ever!!! At least that is what the Smarks say. I personally thought it was okay. Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble match upsetting the favorite Stone Cold Steve Austin. But McMahon would relinquished his title shot thereby giving Stone Cold the shot where he would go on to Wrestlemania XV to defeat the Rock to become World Wrestling Federation Champion. Also on that show, The Rock defeated Mankind in the brutal I Quit Match in which Mick received 12 chair shots to the head. That match would make Foley retire from wrestling.

WCW Souled Out: January 2000: A card only memorable for the last straw for the Radicalz: Chris Benoit, Eddie Gurrerro, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn. Vince Russo had stepped down as head writer in WCW. A new committee lead by Kevin Sullivan took over and that sent panic throughout the younger stars of the WCW. To show, the new committee believed in young stars, they gave Chris Benoit the WCW title. The title he worked for four years. But Benoit refused it the next day and walked out of WCW along with Gurrerro, Malenko, and Saturn. They would enter the WWF, two weeks later.

WWF Royal Rumble 2000: A classic card. Kurt Angle's undefeated streak ended when the debuting Tazz choked him out. The Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz put on an incredible amount of strength in the first ever Tag Team Table match. Mae Young stripped. Triple H defeated Cactus Jack in a Street Fight for the WWF Title in which Cactus was dumped into a bed of thumbtacks twice. That match would lead to the incredible Hell in a Cell match next month at No Way Out in which Cactus retired only to come back the next month at Wrestlemania 2000 to fight Triple H along with The Rock and Big Show in a Fatal Four Way match for the WWF Title. The Rock won the Royal Rumble match, who would lead to him losing the Fatal Four Way match but win the title later on, that month at Backlash making the Rock the most popular star of 2000.

WCW Sin: January 2001: This was the third to last WCW show. This show is only memorable because of Sid's twisted leg in his triple threat match against Booker T. and Scott Steiner. The injury would retire Sid permantley from wrestling. One good thing that happened in WCW's final months was the elevation of young stars.

WWF Royal Rumble: January 2001: Another memorable show. Chris Jericho defeated Chris Benoit in a ladder match for the Intercontinental title, which was named #10 in The Top Ten WWF matches of the year. Kurt Angle defeated Triple H for the WWF title, which is memorable for Stephanie McMahon Helmsey's and Trish Stratus fight, which would lead to their good women's match at No Way Out. Stone Cold Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble match again which was memorable for the Rumble participants Drew Carrey, Honky Tonk Man, and Haku. Austin's win would send him to Wrestlemania X-Seven to defeat the Rock for the WWF title in the best Wrestlemania ever. That was the Mania of Austin's heel turn which flopped until the Invasion Angle happen when Austin joined the WCW but now that it's gone is back to being the #1 baby face in the company.

So, that's that. January wrestling is good wrestling and the effects of this month will have an effect all year long.

Peace. :)

Steven Emanuel

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