Rumble 2002 stumbles
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM!
Triple H wins WrestleMania spot
Triple H celebrates his 2002 Royal Rumble win.
The WWF Royal Rumble has always been about surprises. Surprising match-ups.
Surprising tactics. Surprising finales. This year's annual free-fall for a
WWF World Heavyweight Title shot at WrestleMania had none of these. About
the only three shockers worth mentioning are: 1). "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
didn't square off with Triple H in the end. 2). Rookie Maven booted out The
Undertaker. 3). The returning Mr. Perfect made it to the "final four".
Other than those three happenings, the Royal Rumble was an outright
snoozefest lacking any humour or twists that have made it a fan favourite
pay-per-view over the years.
For some foolish reason the WWF bookers decided to halt any momentum the
match was gaining by allowing more than one man to dominate for terminally
long periods of time. First off, it was The Undertaker hurling out about
four or five participants. If that wasn't bad enough, he took offence at
being eliminated by 'Tough Enough' winner Maven and proceeded to beat his
sorry butt all the way through the crowd and to the concession stands.
Maven was never officially eliminated from The Rumble but couldn't make it
back to continue after having his head slammed through a popcorn machine by
The Undertaker. Next it was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin who exploded into the
ring to toss out a handful of wrestlers just so he could sit on the top
turnbuckle and count the seconds down until the next challenger came
through the curtain. Once Triple H showed up, he and Austin brawled. When
Faarooq and The Hurricane were individually ushered out Austin and Triple H
took a pause in their personal melee to dump them out. All in all, the fits
and starts in the action caused the match to plod along at a snail's pace
testing the attention spans of the viewers at home.
As it does almost every year, the Rumble came down to four men. This time
out it was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle and Mr. Perfect
(Curt Hennig). With Triple H down, Perfect and Angle double-teamed Austin
in would could be the makings of a great tag-team if the WWF were to hire
Perfect on again. Once expelled by them, Austin returned with a steel chair
in hand crowning everyone left in the Rumble to the cheers of the crowd in
Chris Jericho uses the ropes to put away The Rock and remain WWF World Heavyweight Champion.
With Perfect shown the door, Angle and Triple squared off. Angle managed to
heave Triple H over the top rope but The Game landed on the apron. Punching
his way back in, Triple H was backdropped out by Angle. A hair from being
eliminated, Triple H held onto the top rope and pulled himself back in.
Angle rushed him. Triple H gave him a face-buster driving Angle's head into
his knee. He then clotheslined him out to win the match. Rumour has it that
the WWF will cap off Triple H's return to the WWF after suffering a serious
injury earlier this year by having him win the WWF World Heavyweight Title
at WrestleMania. It is likely that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will defeat
the current champion -- Chris Jericho -- at the No Way Out pay-per-view
setting-up a WrestleMania main event between The WWF Rattlesnake and The
Overshadowed by the Rumble (and Triple H), WWF World Heavyweight Champion
-- Chris Jericho -- held onto the strap through nefarious means. After the
interference of fellow Canadians Lance Storm and Christian didn't work out,
Jericho smashed The Rock's head into an exposed turnbuckle and pinned him
while illegally using the ropes for leverage.
The next WWF pay-per-view is No Way Out on February 17th.
WWF Royal Rumble 2001 Results
Dudley Boys (challengers) versus Tazz, Spike Dudley (champions) (WWF
World Tag Team Title Match)
Pretty decent opener with the Dudleys trying to take out Tazz so they
could run rampant over Spike...which they do until Spike eventually "hot
tags" Tazz. Stacey climbs on the apron in attempt to distract Tazz. He
slaps the Tazz-Mission on her. A few minutes later, he does the same to
D'Von. D'Von taps out.
Winners: ...and still WWF World Tag Team Champions, Spike Dudley and
Tazz at 5 minutes and 3 seconds.
Match Rating: 7 / 10.
Promo time. Edge tells us that he is ticked off at Regal and hefts a
steel chair to show us he means business.
William Regal (challenger) versus Edge(champion) (WWF
Let's hope the feud between these two isn't over just yet as they are
giving us some fantastic bouts. Nick Patrick confiscates the brass knuckles
Regal has hidden in his trunks before the match even starts. Regal feels
violated. For the first time in a long time, William applies the Regal
Stretch to Edge. Edge reverses it on Regal. Edge goes for his Spear. Regal
pushes Patrick in front of him so he takes the damage instead. With Patrick
down, Regal pulls out his spare pair of brass knuckles and labels Edge
before Patrick comes back to the land of the living. Patrick revives just
in time to count the pinfall on Edge.
Winner: ...and new WWF Intercontinental Champion...William Regal at
9 minutes and 45 seconds.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
Jazz (challenger) versus Trish Stratus (champion) (WWF World Women's
Heavyweight Championship Match)
Jackie is the special guest referee for this one. Not too shabby for a
WWF women's match. Jazz hits hard and Trish at least is showing some
enthusiasm. Jazz focuses her attack on Trish's injured hand throughout the
bout. At one point, Jazz and Jackie get into a shoving match. Trish
eventually catches Jazz in her bulldog (Stratusfaction) and puts her lights
Winner: ...and still WWF Women's World Heavyweight Champion...Trish
at 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
Match Rating: 5 / 10.
Ric Flair is shown entering the arena with his daughter and son. It is
time for McMahon to go to school, says The Nature Boy. Woooo!
Ric Flair versus Vince McMahon (Street Fight Match)
In another ludicrous booking decision (probably the bookers trying to
kiss-up to McMahon), the "buff" Mr. McMahon is portrayed as some sort of
unstoppable powerhouse or mini Lex Luger tossing Ric Flair, a wrestling
legend who has forgotten more about wrestling than McMahon will ever know,
around like a rag doll into guard rails, ring stairs and posts.
Astonishingly, the match is 75 percent McMahon beating the tar out of Flair
and busting him open. To rub it in, McMahon takes a camera held by Flair's
daughter at ringside and snaps a picture of him and a bloody Nature Boy.
McMahon even puts Flair in a weak figure four. Flair easily reverses it.
Ten minutes into the match, Flair finally mounts some offence when McMahon
retrieves the lead pipe he has hidden near the announcing desk. Flair
low-blows McMahon and smashes him in the head with a television monitor.
This move busts McMahon open. Flair makes McMahon pose for picture with his
daughter's camera to humiliate him. Back in the ring, Flair brains McMahon
with the pipe and slaps him in the figure four. McMahon submits. Viewers
are left wondering if McMahon is such a formidable force in the ring, why
the heck isn't he in line for a shot at the WWF World Heavyweight Title?
McMahon's unending need to be in the spotlight and more times than not the
top heel in his own company at the expense of others is another reason why
he should retire to the offices of Titan Sports ...for good.
A bloodied Ric Flair heads to the dressing room after defeating WWF owner Vince McMahon in a Street Fight.
Winner: Ric Flair at
14 minutes and 55 seconds.
Match Rating: 4 / 10.
Another McMahon chews up screen time. Stephanie says her "husband"
Triple H will dominate the Rumble and runs down Debra. Austin interrupts
and says "What?" a lot for some reason. In another fit of really bad
acting, Stephanie runs away when Stone Cold arrives. Stone Cold screams
"What?" some more and says he will win the Rumble. Stephanie in Triple H's
corner and Debra in Austin's at WrestleMania? You can bet on it.
Shawn Michaels was shown at WWF New York and commented on the Rumble.
The Rock (challenger) versus Chris Jericho (champion) (WWF World
Heavyweight Championship Match)
Solid outing by two really spirited performers. At 9:53, Lance Storm
and Christian tried to take out The Rock. He took out them instead. Jericho
hit The Rock with the People's Elbow but Rocky kicked out. The Rock blocked
Jericho and gave him a Rock Bottom from one announce table to another.
Angry at Nick Patrick for not laying down a count, The People's Champ Rock
Bottomed Patrick. The Rock score The People's Elbow and had Jericho
beat....except Patrick was still in Dreamland. Rock's head to an exposed
turnbuckle and a roll-up using the ropes has Jericho retaining the WWF
World Heavyweight Title. Good thing for The Rock too. Now he can finish
filming The Scorpion King.
Winner: ...and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion...Chris Jericho
at 18 minutes and 47 seconds.
Match Rating: 8 / 10.
The Royal Rumble
When Undertaker cleared the ring, Matt Hardy came out next with Lita.
Lita helped Matt attack Taker. The next out was Jeff Hardy. The Hardy Boys
double-teamed Taker and hugged to show they have reunited. Taker kicked
both Hardys out. They returned to distract him so Maven could sneak in a
drop-kick which put Taker over the top rope.
In a funny moment, DDP got rid of Scotty Too Hotty right after he did
The Godfather came out with no less than 12 Hos. The cameramen were so
concentrated on capturing The Godfather dancing with them that they missed
DDP being catapulted out of the Rumble. It was later replayed for us.
When he got rid of Christian and Chuck, Austin had time to kill so he
brought them both back in individually, Stunned them and gave them the
In a remarkable feat of strength, Kane actually picked up The Big Show
and threw him out.
The Hurricane came in as Austin and Triple H laid each other out. He
posed above them and then lifted both of them up by the throat. Austin and
Triple H dispensed with him easily.
RVD hit the ring like a house of fire but was chokeslammed. Booker T.
then entered and just dumped him out much to the disappointment of the
vocal crowd. The crowd also booed quite loudly when The Godfather was chucked.
||Thirteen minutes and thirty-seven seconds.
||Tweleve minutes and fifty-nine seconds.
||Five minutes and 26 seconds.
||Eleven minutes and 28 seconds.
||Thirteen minutes and 23 seconds.
||Thirteen minutes and 31 seconds.
||Twenty minutes and 18 seconds.
||Eighteen minutes and 52 seconds.
||Not officially eliminated.
|Scotty Too Hotty
||Twenty-eight minutes and eighty-eighty seconds.
||Thirty-two minutes and forty-six seconds.
||Thirty-two minutes and twenty seconds.
||Thirty-seven minutes and twenty-nine seconds.
||Twenty eight minutes.
||Thirty-six minutes and forty-five seconds.
||Thirty-four minutes and two seconds.
||Thirty-eight minutes and seven seconds.
||1 hour, 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
||Forty-three minutes and eight seconds.
||Forty-three minutes and twenty-four seconds.
||Winner at 1 hour, nine minutes and 21 seconds.
||Forty-eight minutes and five seconds.
||Forty-nine minutes and forty-two seconds.
||1 hour, seven minutes and five seconds.
||1 hour, nine minutes and twenty-onne seconds.
||Fifty-eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds.
||Fifty-eight minutes and forty-two seconds.
|Rob Van Dam
||1 hour and 44 seconds.
||1 hour, 2 minutes and 44 seconds.
Winner: ...Triple H at 1 hour, nine minutes and 21 seconds..
Match Rating: 4 / 10.
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Overall Event Rating: 7 / 10.