WWF Royal Rumble PPV Coverage
(Live from Atlanta, Ga.)
A montage aired of previous Royal Rumble winners including Hacksaw Duggan, Steve Austin, and The Rock. A preview feature aired on this year's event.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the program from ringside.
(1) Tazz & Spike Dudley beat The Dudley Boys (w/Stacy) to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles. The Dudleys beat up Spike early in the match, prompting Ross to proclaim "it's just a matter of time now" at 5:00. Bubba and D-Von ran into each other at 6:00 giving Spike a chance to hot-tag Tazz (which was missed as they were replaying a Dudley flap jack from earlier). Tazz scored a near fall after a suplex into a bridge. Stacy got on the ring apron and distracted Tazz. She tried to slap Tazz. Tazz ducked, but he didn't have to duck since she swung way over his head to begin with. Tazz came back and quickly made D-Von submit to the Tazzmission. Okay opener, but pretty forgettable.
Lillian Garcia interviewed Edge regarding his match with Test. Edge brought out a chair and said he can play dirty with the best of them. Lillian had the same look plastered on her face that she always does - plastic wide-eyed fear.
(2) William Regal beat Edge at 16:45 to capture the Intercontinental Title. Regal started on offense. The crowd chanted "Regal sucks." Edge surprised Regal with a backslide for a two count. The crowd heat died down tremendously by 5:00 as Regal continued to dominate with his methodical (i.e. coma-inducing) offense. Edge snuck in a surprise DDT on the floor on Regal to take over offense. In a sequence that made ref Nick Patrik look like a complete and utter idiot, Edge covered Regal while his body was halfway under the bottom rope. Patrik saw that, then counted to two anyway, and then stopped before three and broke up the pin attempt because Edge was under the ropes and Regal had put his feet over the bottom rope. Even Ross picked up on how stupid it looked, saying that the ref must have been counting instinctively. Regal came back and applied the Regal stretch at 12:00. Edge reached the bottom rope to break the hold. Edge reversed Regal into a Stretch-type hold, also. Edge then dropkicked Regal into the ropes and schoolboyed him on the rebound for a two count. Regal caught Edge climbing the ropes and went for a superplex, but Edge shoved him to the mat and gave him a spin wheelkick. Regal went for the brass knuckles and hid behind the ref. A groggy Edge speared toward Regal, but hit the ref first. Regal nailed Edge with an uppercut with the knux and shoved the knux back into his tights. The ref was still down when Regal first made the cover. The ref crawled to Regal and made the groggy three count. Flat match because Regal is so slow and Edge's character is so blah.
Michael Cole asked Regal as he left the ring how he could possibly justify his actions. Regal said he was blessed with the power of the punch. He looked to the sky and said "thank you." Ross said he's not only a cheater, he's also a liar.
(3) Trish Stratus pinned Jazz at 6:21 to retain the WWF Women's Title (with Jacqueline as special referee). They went through an early sequence of reversed roll-ups. Trish took a nice hard flatback bump from a Jazz clothesline in the first minute. Jazz got in Jackie's face about her refereeing, so they ended up in a shoving match. Jackie hesitated on a Jazz pin attempt a few seconds later. Jazz pointed at Jackie. Trish favored her taped hand. She still was able to pull off a bulldog for a two count, but Jazz reversed it for a near fall at 5:00. Jazz followed with a DDT for a two count. Seconds later Trish finished Jazz with a bulldog. She continued shaking her hand in pain after the match. Actually quite watchable given the low standard set by the WWF for women's action.
[Cole announced that as a result of their loss earlier, the Dudleys were no longer no. 1 tag team title contenders. Instead, Octagoncito & Espectrito are the new no. 1 contenders for the new WWF Midget Tag Team Titles and would be challenging Tazz & Spike for those belts on Raw tomorrow night.]
[Note: Items in brackets like these are totally made up.]
(4) Ric Flair beat Vince McMahon via submission at 23:58. Flair's youngest son and daughter were ringside. His son looked like he was on the verge of tears as Flair entered the ring. Flair had a glow on his face. He actually looked really good in the face, as if he were ten years younger instead of on the verge of turning 53. Of course, Vince McMahon puts Flair to shame when it came to physique, although Vince doesn't have to adhere to the stringent Olympic drug testing policies. Vince's knees must not be as "hot and sexy" as his biceps since he's always got those covered up, in this case by black jeans. Vince shoved Flair to the mat to start and then gloated to Flair. He put Flair in a headlock and Flair screamed in pain, but then shoved Vince into the ropes. Vince bounced off the ropes and checked Flair to the mat. Vince did the Flair strut mockingly. At 3:00 Flair gave Vince a series of chops to the chest and Vince grimaced in a cartoonish exaggerated way. Vince quickly took over with a clothesline. A very, very tanned Vince began huffing and puffing. Flair did the face-first bump to the mat which elicited a noticeable pop from the long-time Flair followers in the crowd. Flair then did the flip into the turnbuckle. Vince clotheslined Flair again (Vince's move of choice, so apparently he's been studying Ultimate Warrior tapes to learn technique) and sent him to the floor. Vince nailed Flair with metal "Keep Off" sign. Vince retrieved a trash can and hit Flair, who came up bleeding from the forehead. Vince shoved Flair into the ring stairs. Vince got in the face of the Flair kids. He stole their camera and snapped a picture of Flair's bloody face close up. In the ring Vince worked over Flair's legs (he's been studying Ole Anderson tapes, too). Flair was bleeding heavily as he panted in pain as Vince twisted his ankle. Vince wrapped Flair's leg around the ringpost. At 14:00 Vince applied the figure-four. Flair reversed it, so Vince broke the hold and went limping at ringside looking for a weapon. He retrieved a lead pipe from the time keeper's area. When Vince swung at Flair, Flair preemptively gave him a forearm uppercut between the legs. Flair caught up to Vince at ringside and nailed him with a series of chops. Vince sold them well, looking like a baby whose toy just broke. Flair began disassembling the ringside table and used a monitor as a weapon against Vince. Vince came up bleeding (he was able to secretly blade underneath the ringside table). Back in the ring Vince begged off. Flair brought Vince to ringside and let his daughter take a picture of her dad biting Vince's bloody forehead. Nice addition to the family photo album, right next to the picture of the family cat after getting run over by a car and the picture of grandma in her casket. Flair gave Vince a mule kick between the legs, then hit him with the lead pipe. Vince went down like he was shot. Flair got energized as he put Vince in the figure-four. Vince screamed in pain and tapped out. Fun match. Everything it needed to be and was expected to be.
Cole interviewed Nick Patrik regarding the finish of Regal-Edge. Stephanie interrupted right away and asked for the interview time. Patrik is not a natural actor. Steph bragged about what Triple H was going to do in the Royal Rumble. As she went on and on, Steve Austin walked up behind her and began saying, "What? What? What?" Steph looked frightened and finally screamed and ran away. Funny segment. Austin had that "fifteen beers and counting" look in his eyes.
[Timecheck: 9:00 p.m. ET]
(5) Chris Jericho beat The Rock to retain the WWF Hvt. Title. They did some trash talking before the bell. When Rock began to retort Jericho, Jericho put his hand in Rock's face. Rock took early offense, so Jericho bailed out to ringside, a tribute to a heel Flair in his prime as champ. Rock speared Jericho as Jericho re-entered the ring. (Shane McMahon was heard in the background screaming, "That's MY move!"). Jericho charged Rock in the corner, but Rock moved and Jericho went shoulder first into the post. Jericho fought back, dropping Rock throat-first over the top rope at 2:00. Jericho dominated offense for several minutes, including a dropkick off the top rope at 7:00. He then settled in on a chinlock. Jericho hit the Lionsault at 13:00. He didn't go for the cover, opting instead to hit a second Lionsault. He then scored a near fall. The crowd popped for the kickout. Rock sidestepped Jericho's dropkick off the ropes and immediately put Jericho into a Sharpshooter. The crowd cheered. Lance Storm charged the ring followed by Christian. Rock punched both of them. Jericho surprised Rock with a Rock Bottom for a near fall. Big pop for Rock's kick out. Jericho then began the People's Elbow sequence, but Rock nipped up to his feet and threw Jericho out of the ring. Rock followed Jericho, ramming him face-first into the stairs. Rock began tossing the monitors off of the ringside table (because he wants to Jericho, but not hurt him too bad). Ross yelled, "Hey, we have to work here!" Rock blew him off. Ross yelled that they should use the Spanish announcing table instead. Jericho fought back and set up Rock for a Rock Bottom on the table, but Rock elbowed out of it and slammed Jericho through the Spanish announce table at 20:00. Rock threw a nearly dead weight Jericho back into the ring. Jericho put Rock in the Walls of Jericho in center-ring at 23:00. Rock reached the ropes a minute later. Rock surprised Jericho with a nicely placed inside cradle for a quick crowd pop. Rock bumped into the ref. Jericho got the title belt and hit Rock in the forehead with it. Jericho waved to the back, and ref Nick Patrik came out and made a quick count, but Rock kicked out. Rock DDT'd Jericho, but Patrik wouldn't make the count. Rock got up and gave Patrik a look that could kill. He then gave him a Rock Bottom. Rock then slammed Jericho to the mat and signalled for the People's Elbow, bringing everyone to their feet. Rock dropped the Elbow and covered Jericho for a visual eight count. Jericho hit Rock with a low blow and then put his feet on the second rope for leverage and Patrik counted to three. The finish was another tribute to a common pinfall technique by Flair. Very good match.
(6) The Royal Rumble.
(2) Goldust (to read Bruce Mitchell's feature column on Goldust, click here).
My hunch is Goldust came out as one of the first two so they could do his elaborate entrance. Nothing much happened the first two minutes.
(3) Boss Man (Why do they separate his name into two words? Be Cause?)
The action came to a standstill as all three tried to eliminate each other over the top rope in a corner of the ring.
He went after all three. Rikishi gave Bossman the Anal-Lip Rub in the corner and then eliminated him over the top rope. (Bossman-1st)
(5) Lance Storm (Storm in real life is the exact opposite of Goldust's on-air character).
More standstill in the ring as the four wrestlers in the match stood around half-heartedly trying to eliminate each other. Just a blah match thus far.
(6) Al Snow (Fans chanted "We Want Head!" which surprises me considering Rikishi and Goldust were both in the ring.)
Bradshaw flattened Storm with a vicious lariat. The match continued to be at a standstill.
(7) Billy Gunn (Just what the match needed.)
Storm and Snow suplexed each other over the top rope, but each landed on the ring apron. Snow eliminated Storm with a sidekick, knocking him off the apron to the floor. (Storm-2nd)
Gunn eliminated Bradshaw as Bradshaw was going after Goldust. (Bradshaw-3rd)
(8) Undertaker (time to clear the ring)
Taker punched Gunn, rammed Snow into the turnbuckle, then eliminated Goldust (4th), Snow (5th), Rikishi (6th), and Gunn (7th).
(9) Matt Hardy (w/Lita)
Taker grabbed Matt by the throat, so Lita leaped off the top rope. Taker caught her by the throat, also. He dropped Matt. Lita kicked Taker low. Matt gave Taker a neckbreaker. They stomped away at him in center-ring. Matt tried to eliminate Taker, but he couldn't get him off his feet. Taker beat on Matt for another minute.
(10) Jeff Hardy
As Taker was about to suplex Matt over the top rope, Jeff made the save. Matt and Jeff hugged, reconciling. Taker double clotheslined them. Taker eliminated Jeff when he flew at him in the corner. (Jeff-8th) Taker than slammed Matt to the mat and eliminated him. (Matt-9th).
Maven entered the ring and Taker gave him a boot to the face. Lita got on the ring apron to yell at Taker. Takers shoved her off the apron. The Hardys then attacked Taker before he could eliminate Maven. Taker fought off both Hardys. Maven dropkicked Taker from behind to eliminate him for a huge pop. (Undertaker-10th)
Maven celebrated like he just scored a knockout in a big UFC fight. Taker, being a sore loser, returned to the ring and went after Taker. Taker beat up Maven at ringside, but was unable to legally eliminate him since he himself wasn't legal. Taker drilled Maven with a stiff chairshot, then shoved the cameraman over, palming the camera lens. Taker continued to beat on Maven.
(12) Scotty 2 Hotty
Taker threw Maven back into the ring, then punched Scotty before he could get to the ring. Taker then returned to the ring to continue his beating on Maven, who was bleeding from the forehead. This whole Taker-Maven sequence has been very well booked, getting Taker over as an sore loser and a bully. Taker dragged Maven into the lower deck and beat on him among the fans. Taker dragged Maven into the concession area.
Taker threw Maven threw the glass window of the popcorn stand. Fans surrounded Maven and cheered. Taker ate some popcorn and walked away. Meanwhile, in the ring Christian stood in center ring showing off his European Title belt. He laid on the top rope a la Shawn Michaels and looked to the crowd shrugging his shoulders. Scotty finally made it to the ring, having recovered sufficiently from Taker's attack in the aisle.
(14) Dallas Page
Scotty gave Christian the Worm. Page threw Scotty out of the ring. (Scotty-11th)
(15) Chuck Palumbo
Chuck and Christian beat on Page at 47:00.
Godfather came out with four hos, then he went back and got four more. He then returned to the back and brought four more out with him. Lawler joked that Godfather now owns an escort service. But remember, he's not a pimp. Godfather sported an updated look as pimp fashion has changed a lot since he was last around. Ross informed us that in the ring, Page was eliminated. (Dallas Page-12th). It says everything about the WWF that showing Godfather's entrance was more important than showing the action in the ring - you know, the action where a WWF Title shot is on the line.
In the ring at this point were Albert, Chuck, Christian, and Godfather.
Maven technically hasn't been eliminated, but he hasn't been seen since Taker rammed him into the popcorn stand. On the ring apron, the letter "M" in "ROYAL RUMBLE" is stressed. If you put two and two together, we already know who the winner is going to be.
Albert (13th) and Godfather (14th) was eliminated next.
(18) Perry Saturn
(19) Steve Austin
Austin eliminated Christian (15th), Saturn (16th), and Chuck (17th). Austin then dragged Christian back into the ring and beat on him, then dragged Chuck back into the ring and beat on him. He threw both of them over the top rope twice each. Austin then sat on the top rope and chanted "What?" with the fans as the clock counted down to the next entrant.
(20) Val Venis
Val did the male stripper gimmick, contradicting official comments from WWF channels that he would be dropping the gimmick (I guess they meant in the long run). Austin stomped away at Val, and for each stomp fans chanted "What?!" They fought back and forth.
Test went after Austin first, kicking him in the corner. Val joined in. Test mistakenly gave Val a big boot. Austin eliminated Val with a clothesline. (Val Venis-18th). Austin then threw Test over the top rope. (Test-19th).
(22) Triple H (i.e. The Game)
Austin waited for The Game's arrival. He got his full-fledged ring entrance since nobody was left in the ring other than Austin. It took Triple H almost two full minutes to make it to the ring. Each had their game faces on. Austin mouthed off in Triple H's face. Triple H, dripping with bottled water, tried not to crack up as Austin cracked some jokes. Just as they began fighting, the next entrant came out.
Hurricane went for a double chokeslam on both Austin and Triple H. The crowd laughed as he struggled to lift both men at once. Triple H and Austin then easily tossed him over the top rope. Nice spot. (Hurricane-20th).
Faarooq tried to eliminated Austin at first. Austin gave him a Stunner and Triple H clotheslined him over the top rope to eliminate him. (Faarooq-21st)
(25) Mr. Perfect
Ross said this is quite a way for Perfect to return to the WWF after "years of obscurity since leaving the WWF."
(26) Kurt Angle
(27) Big Show
Show quickly chokeslammed Perfect. He grabbed both Triple H and Austin by the throat, but they kicked out of his grip and together whipped him into the ropes. He clotheslined them both to the mat. Angle went for the Olympic slam, but Show elbowed out of it and then pressed Angle in the air. Triple H kicked Show before he could eliminate Angle. Ross explained that move by suggesting Triple H "saved" Angle because he feels Big Show is a bigger threat than Angle. Show headbutted Angle. Show chokeslammed Triple H.
Kane picked up Big Show and dropped him over the top rope. (Show-22nd). Angle then eliminated Kane (23rd). The announcers raved about Kane's strength.
(29) Rob Van Dam
Big crowd pop for Van Dam. He entered hte ring by giving Angle a Five Star Splash. Van Dam then hit Perfect iwht a spin wheel kick. RVD slammed Austin and then gave him a Rolling Thunder. Triple H caught RVD with a Pedigree.
(30) Booker T
[Stuttering John interviewed Booker T, asking him "How does it feel to be 30." Booker said he's not 30 and hasn't been for years and to quit asking stupid questions.]
Booker eliminated Van Dam (24th), then did the Spinarooni, but Austin met him with a stunner and Booker bumped over the top rope for a huge pop. (Booker-25th)
Austin gave Triple H a catapult into the corner turnbuckle. Angle gave Austin a series of German suplexes. Angle and Perfect stomped away at Austin.
The Final Five at this point are Perfect, Angle, Austin, Triple H< and technically Maven. Unless the WWF is planning to make it a surprise at the end, they must consider Maven eliminated even though he wasn't thrown over the top rope since they haven't mentioned him at all since Taker beat him up.
Angle eliminated Austin from behind next as he fought Perfect against the ropes. (Austin-26th)
Austin returned to the ring with a chair and hit Angle, then Perfect, then Triple H. Angle was about to eliminate Perfect, but Perfect remained on the apron. Pefect then gave Angle the Perfectplex. Triple H then eliminated Perfect, tossing him out from behind.
It came down to Triple H and Angle (and, technically, Maven). Angle backdropped Triple H over the top rope, but Triple H held on and his feet didn't touch. He returned to the ring. As Angle celebrated, Triple H returned to the ring, attacked him from behind, and clotheslined him over the top rope for the (tainted) win. Three Words: What about Maven?
WWA OPENS OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Updated: 1/11/2002 8:49:20 PM
The WWA has opened their official website, just in time for tonight's show.
The address for the WWA website is www.worldwrestlingallstars.com.