Brett Mix’s- WWF King of the Ring 2001 Review:
“I ruptured a disc which fragmented into my spinal column!” –Chris Benoit
-WWF King of the Ring 2001 took place on Sunday, June 24th, 2001 at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
-This was the 9th Annual King of the Ring event.
-This King of the Ring happened during the start of the WCW Invasion.
-Jim Ross and Paul Heyman do commentary for the first and only time in King of the Ring history.
-Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, Shane McMahon and Chris Benoit were ALL seriously injured at this event.
-Before the pay-per-view aired, On Sunday Night Heat, Matt Hardy (w/Lita) defeated Justin Credible to retain the WWF European Championship. This occured at 7:03 when Matt Hardy pinned Justin Credible after a Diving Hurricarana from Lita.
-Now onto the PPV……………
DDP comes through the crowd and cuts a hilarious promo about Undertaker’s wife, Ross’s commentary is icing on the cake.
Later in the show The Undertaker would just beat up Page for a good ten minutes in an unofficial match. The buildup was a lot more interesting then the actual “brawl” that went down.
I remember ordering this PPV back in June of 2001 for this storyline alone, I was rather dissapointed in this segment to say the least outside DDP’s hilarious commentary.
1) Opening Contest- Kurt Angle vs Christian in a King of the Ring Semi-Finals match
Angle was the returning King looking to become the only back to back winner in King of the Ring history.
Christian was looking to break through as well.
The King of the Ring stage to this event is the very best they ever had with the big CHAIR on the entrance stage.
Must of cost a lot of money to put that thing together.
Kurt Angle hits Christian with a fall-away slam after being kicked int the corner initially. Angle stomped on Christian.
Angle irishwhipped Christian but he moved out of the way kicked Angle in the gut and off the ropes dropped Kurt Angle with a swinging neckbreaker.
Christian stomped on Angle and choked him out with his boot. Christian with a sunset flip attempt faild and Angle tried to slap on a modified Ankle Lock, Chirstian had it scouted and fought back with right hands. He eventually blocked a belly to belly by Angle but he hits it.
Kurt Angle has the fans in his favor knocking Christian off the apron as they chanted “Lets go Angle.”
Kurt Angle goes to the floor meeting Christian as the fans got in his face. Christian is driven head first into the announce table. Christian blocked a shot and sent Angle into the ringsteps. Angle is thrown into the ring by Christian and he climbs to the top rope. Christian is sent far away by Angle into the barricade. Angle tosses Christian back in and he gets a two.
Angle in one of three matches on the night hits a textbook gutwrench suplex by Angle onto Christian. Angle stomps on Christian and then scooped him up slamming him backfirst to the mat. Christian striked Angle but he ran into a high knee shot.
Fans got behind Angle as he slapped a vertical suplex on Christian. I believe the Federation took note of these chants hence turning Angle babyface in the next month.
Angle dropped another right to Christian. Angle went for a suplex but Christian surprised him with an inside cradle. Angle hits a vertical suplex overpowering Christian.
Angle wasted no time with a pinning attempt but got a two. Kurt Angle was relentless on Christian stomping on him over and over.
Angle raked the eyes of Christian and he ducks a clothesline however Christian scored with a heelkick to Angle buying himself some time. Both men were down.
Out comes Shane McMahon the “Owner of WCW” to a huge pop.
Shane watches as Angle runs over Christian with a clothesline.
Angle with a high risk moonsault missed. (He’d miss every time since breaking the arm of Bob Holly last year) Christian hit a backbreaker on Angle and got another nearfall.
Christian had his eyes raked, Angle with a waistlock suplex attempt, Christian countered it into one of his own. Angle slaps on the Ankle lock. Christian gets to the ropes.
Angle then goes for an Angle Slam but its countered by Christian who hit an unprettier on Angle.
Christian was about to get the three but Shane pulled the referee and ran to the back.
Angle pinned Christian after an Angle Slam from the outside apron back into the ring on the canvas at 8:17.
So at the end it did appear Christian was going to win but Shane McMahon who had come out a couple of minutes before the end pulled Christian off of Angle from the outside before the three count.
This is where many were confused. Shane and Christian were Babyfaces and Angle was the heel, and Shane met Angle later in the night so the crowd was shocked when Shane helped Angle.
We’d all shortly realize it was because Shane wanted Angle to compete in more matches thus becoming more fatigued before the Street Fight later on.
A nice opener, great match.
2) Edge vs Rhyno in a King of the Ring Semi-Finals match
Edge was extremely over here so the writing was on the wall.
Rhyno could certainly work as well, a nice contrast in styles here.
Edge hit a spinning heel kick and Rhyno showing great balance landed on his feet on the apron. Rhyno was dropkicked off the apron to the floor.
The two brawl on the outside and the pace was considerably slower here then it was during the opener.
Rhyno elevated Edge up on the barricade. Back in the ring Rhyno sent Edge sternum first into the exposed steel.
The manbeast was now in control. Rhyno delivered shots to Edge in the corner of the ring and now Edge is sent tot he corner. Rhyno speared him in the mid-section. Rhyno has established his pace.
Rhyno with a ton of power and force driving his knee into Edge in the corner. Somehow Edge kicked out but he was hurting.
The crowd was relatively dead here but it’s to be expected when Rhyno was wearing down Edge.
Rhyno with a suplex into a grapevine focusing on the ribs. Rhyno locks on a bosyscissors. Heyman on commentary puts over one of his boys being a thinking wrestler, not just power.
Rhyno and his methodical weardown on Edge with a bodyscissors and as Ross points out he had the big legs to execute it well.
Edge attempted to run off the ropes but runs right into a high knee from Rhyno. Rhyno slams Edge to the mat. Rhyno with a big splash on Edge off the ropes. Rhyno drove the point of his knee into the spine of Edge in the corner of the ring.
Rhyno irishwhipped Edge to the corner but he got a leg up. Rhyno’s own force was used against him here as Edge elevated him up clotheslining him back off the ropes to the mat with a hot shot. Edge selling the ribs fights out of desperation hitting a clothesline on Rhyno.
Edge hits a necbreaker to Rhyno but was unable to capitalize on it. Edge up top with the bad ribs was met by the man beast. Edge fought back and off the top rope he managed a sunset flip from the top rope.
Rhyno went for the Gore and Edge had the same idea for a spear, as both men turned around they collided and a mid-ring collision broke out.
Both men down as the fans got to their feet.
Rhyno was able to cover Edge but it took too long and Edge barely lifts his shoulder which hurt his ribs. Edge with a unique bridge-cradle on Rhyno getting a two.
Rhyno goes for a GORE but Edge moves out of the way forcing Rhyno to gore the corner. Edge hit his ddt.
In the end at Edge pinned Rhyno after an Edgeacution at 8:52 to advance to the finals to meet Angle.
This match featured great selling and psychology. With a better crowd it would of came off better. Either way it was great.
3) The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) vs “Mystery Man” and Spike Dudley for the WWF Tag Team Championship
Who will be Spike’s partner. Good god, it’s Kane!
I have respect for Spike Dudley but he was annoying as all hell during this time period.
His match with Steve Austin on Smackdown! was a highlight though.
Here we go, it’s quite the contrast in tag teams. Then again Kane has teamed with many different people, all shapes and sizes.
Spike wasted no time attacking his half-brothers Bubba and D-Von.
Kane equals things in the ring and both men take it to the Dudleyz. Kane charging off the ropes drops Bubba Ray Dudley with a clothesline. Spike the legal man goes to work on Bubba.
Bubba Ray Dudley launched Spike in the air onto Kane who brings him back and Spike lands on Bubba getting him a nearfall. Spike scores with a nearfall.
In the corner Bubba Ray Dudley desperately tagged in D-Von. Spike unloads on D-Von into the corner of the ring. Kane comes in now and D-Von strikes but Kane off the ropes drops D-Von with a powerslam and then a leg drop.
Kane tags in Spike and while D-Von plays hurt the official dragged Spike away.
Unfortunately the crowd were once again dead but the action here remained solid.
Both Dudleyz looked to isolate little Spike. Bubba unloads shots on Spike in the corner followed by an elbow drop and then he choked him out using his ring boot.
D-Von came back in and the isolation continues. Despite the Dudleyz being heels the fans still wanted tables. Bubba slammed Spike and D-Von dropped fromt he top with a legdrop, Kane breaks up the count.
D-Von held Spike for Bubba Ray Dudley to come in and go back to work. Bubba Ray Dudley hits a HUGE back bodydrop launching little Spike high in the air slamming hard to the mat. Spike fights back once up and goes for a sunsetflip, Bubba attempted to drop on Spike but he moves.
Spike still is catapolted by Bubba Ray Dudley almost out of the ring with a lot of air.
Bubba Ray Dudley begins to weardown Spike in the ring while the fans in Jersey get behind Spike. Bubba Ray Dudley hit his Bubba Bomb but Spike kicked out.
D-Von tags in and unleashed a ton of strikes on Spike in the corner. A scoop slam to Spike and now D-Von Dudley off the top rope missed with a flying headbutt.
This allows Spike to try and make the hot tag to Kane. Kane elevated Bubba once tagged in and ten kicked at D-Von. Kane hit a swinging neckbreaker to Bubba Ray Dudley but he kicks out.
Kane hits a hiplock on D-Von and then a sidewalk slam to Bubba.
Kane tosses D-Von to the outside and then hits a powerslam on Bubba. D-Von interupted the count and the fans aren’t pleased.
The fans are getting back into this one now. Kane cleans house and tags in Spike.
Spike Dudley is launched from Kane over the top rope onto both of his “half brothers” out onto the floor. Spike through in Bubba Ray Dudley.
Kane hits a flying clothesline off the top but Bubba kicked out.
Spike downstairs on Bubba and goes for his Dudley Dog and drives him to the mat. D-Von interupted the count which doesen’t sit well with Kane. Kane grabbed him by the throat but the Dudleyz double suplex Kane.
Bubba holds Kane and D-Von drives into his groin. Spike on the other side of the ring flies off the top with a double dropkick. Spike looked for the Dudley Dog but D-Von held onto the top rope for leverage, the Dudleyz hit the 3-D as Jersey calls for it.
So in the end Bubba pinned Spike after a 3D to retain the titles with D-Von at 8:32.
This was such a great match. I never used to be a fan but this was just solid in every way.
4) Edge vs Kurt Angle in the 2001 King of the Ring Finals
The finals of the King of the Ring is here and once this event would Main Event the show, now it’s slapped in the mid-card.
Edge versus Angle, both were “friends” via kayfabe so it was slightly interesting.
Both men had already competed.
Angle gets on the mic and says he doesen’t want anything to get in the way of their friendship.
Angle said since he has a Street Fight with Shane he wanted to save Edge the embarassment of losing so he should quit right now.
Edge didn’t ake a liking to this move from Angle and met him with righthands and a flapjack off the ropes driving Angle waist first into the canvas.
Angle regained some momentum and suplexed Edge over the top rope to the floor with a nice belly to belly suplex. A nice belly to belly throw by Angle and now he drove Edge into the steps some more. Angle scoops up Edge and drives him to the mat.
Angle showing minor signs of fatigue despite the fact he is dominating the pace, just doing it a bit slower then usual. A hiptoss into a headlock on the mat wearing down Edge. A nice chinlock applied. Kurt Angle found himself in a roll-up by Edge but then ran directly into a belly to belly from Angle.
Another suplex from Angle and another nearfall.
Angle with a snapmare into another reverse chinlock. This was logical for Angle to do because it would not only wear Edge down but it would perserve Angle some needed energy for a little later on with his street fight with Shane.
Angle slowed the pace down big time here but Edge got right back up. Edge fought back with a couple of strikes, he ducks a clothesline and Angle takes him out to the floor. Angle followed
Edge outside the ring and dropped a righthand onto Edge. Kurt Angle with more shots before a front facelock dropping Edge abdomen first on the barricade.
Kurt Angle gets involved in a verbal confrontation with the official before he throws Edge back in. It looks to be all good for Angle until Edge dropkicks angle up high.
Edge now capitalizes by swinging with some rights with Angle up top. Edge climbs up and hits a hurricanrana off the top rope to Angle buying himself some time. Since Edge took his time Angle kicked out.
Both men slowly rise to their feet. Edge with bad ribs was able to use Angle’s own momentum dropping him with clotheslines after he charged off the ropes. Angle missed a dropkick and Edge catapolted Angle into the corner. Edge gets a nerfall. Angle goes for an Angle Slam and Edge counters into an Edgeacution but Angle counters it into an Ankle Lock.
A roll-up out of desperation by Angle but Edge kicks out.
Exciting times now.
Christian runs out distracting Edge and Angle rolls up Edge getting a two.
Back and forth nearing the closing stages. Angle runs into a high boot and Edge takes out the official. Angle slaps an Ankle Lock on Edge and he taps out.
Kurt Angle should eb the second straight King of the Ring but the referee was down. Waiting from behind, Shane-O-Mac speared Angle.
Both men up and Edge hits the Edge-a-cution and the official makes it over to make the count.
King Edge. Great climax.
In the end Edge pinned Angle after an Edgecution at 10:21 to become the King of the Ring.
This match is very solid but it has nothing on the bouts the two would have in the year 2002 on PPV. (Backlash and Judgment Day 02)
5) Jeff Hardy (c) vs X-Pac for the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship
X-Pac was part of that stable X-Factor. Who were about as memorable as the Union so lets move on.
Jeff Hardy and X-Pac use their aerial offense to get things going. X-Pac applies an abdominal stretch and uses the top rope for leverage.
Jeff counters it into one of his own until X-Pac hiplocks Jeff over the top to the floor. X-Pac with a crossbody off the top rope drops down onto Jeff. X-Pac poses while the crowd boo as his heat was in full circle.
Jeff fights back with a shoulderblock but off the ropes X-Pac is hit with a heel kick by X-Pac.
X-Pac with a reverse chinlock and the fans get on his face. Jeff Hardy runs into another spinning heel kick but somehow X-Pac can’t put away Jeff.
Jeff Hardy fights back with some aerial offense of his own but a collision in the corner is botched.
Jeff gets on top of X-Pac forgetting about the botch and he removes his shirt.
X-Pac drops Jeff with a Bronco Buster and counts the three. The official realizes that Jeff’s leg was on the ropes and X-Pac is angry.
Out of the corner Jeff drives X-Pac’s neck into his own using a jawbreaker countering an X-Factor. Jeff climbs to the top but X-Pac shakes the ropes making him lose balance. Up top Jeff shoved X-Pac off the top to the canvas.
Jeff hits the Swanton and gets the win at 7:11 to retain the title.
This match was the worst of the night which says a lot about the event.
This match was by no means bad either, a few sloppy moments hold it down but it remains entertaining throughout.
6) Kurt Angle vs Shane McMahon in a Street Fight
Kurt Angle’s third match of the night.
This feud started because Shane interupted Angle one night for no reason and talked about his purchase of WCW which had nothing to do with Angle at all.
Questionable booking but it did lead to a Classic.
Bad blood between the two as the bell rings, Angle is pissed Shane cost him back to back King of the Ring reigns.
Shane McMahon has been in great matches before, but he took that to a whole new level here.
What makes this match great is the fact both were able to brawl at an incredible rate. Angle was already fatigued and Shane was ready.
Shane also busted out some Wrestling moves to try and go toe to toe with a submission specialist like Angle.
They take no time to get things going.
Angle jumps Shane-O-Mac from the opening bell and then hits a waistlock taking him down.
Two belly to back suplexes while holding onto the waist. Shane tries to roll out and gets to the ropes. Angle suplexed him back.
Kurt Angle tried to stay ahead.
Angle now hit a running knee on Shane in control. Kurt Angle who had already wrestled twice was in tough with Shane here. Shane fought back and twisted Angle acrosss the mat with a modified armdrag.
Shane had some tricks with a heel kick into a drop toehold and left the ring for a breather.
That’s why this was brilliant, not only was it barbaric but it was smart.
Angle has a cut above his eye and before the match would end, both men would be a bloody wreck.
All of the sudden Angle drops to his knees insisting Shane McMahon can’t beat him in a one on one amateur ground so he drops to the mat allowing McMahon full advantage. Shane goes for a waistlock and Angle rolls him over and hammers away on the lowerback of Shane.
Angle in control hits a textbook gutwrench suplex on Shane McMahon. Angle clearly showing he could take Shane apart. Angle sent Shane out of the corner and Angle with a bloodied eye hit a belly to belly overhead throw.
Angle once again tosses Shane McMahon over his head crashing hard to the mat. Angle parks on top of Shane and hits him with hard forearm shots. Angle with a roll-up on Shane, he had it scouted but Angle countered it into an armbar. Angle tells Shane McMahon he’snot in his league.
Shane once again is given the priviledge of getting the upperhand as Angle bent down. Shane McMahon scores with a kick to the ribs clotheslines Angle.
Good counter stuff here.
Angle had a waistlock and Shane McMahon spins around using his ring awareness to take Angle to the floor.
Kurt Angle runs back in and then outside the ring. Shane chases him.Shane McMahon launched himself from the barricade onto Angle. Shane McMahon uses a kendo stick on Angle who falls to the concrete.
Shane rams Angle backfirst into the barricade. Shane drops some blows on Angle but he spears him into the steel steps with a shoulder tackle right into the steel steps. Shane McMahon pulling out all the stops. Shane McMahon beats on Angle with weapons this time and now a trash can is thrown inside the ring. Shane grabs a can.
Shane applies the Ankle Lock to the Olympian. Angle runs into the corner and misses Shane and he hits a tornado ddt. Shane McMahon is doing fine in the wrestling department.
The Boy Wonder was earning his name McMahon.
Shane McMahon locks in the Sharpshooter on Angle.
Now I’ve seen it all.
Angle reaches the ropes to break the hold. Shane McMahon avoids some kendo shots from Angle and he drops him before scoring a nearfall.
Shane McMahon now grabs a can and places it on top of Angle hitting him with it time and time again. Shane then placed the trashcan above Angle and he leaped off the top with a moonsault that missed.
Angle has boughten himself time. Angle then dumps Shane over the ropes to the floor in a fireman’s carry.
Shane McMahon and Angle have bumped hard on the outside. Both men barely able to stand. Shane McMahon and Angle brawl over to the stage.
Angle tries to belly to belly Shane McMahon overhead into the Glass.
It doesen’t break.
Angle suplexed Shane through the glass and this time Shane flies through shattering the glass.
Shane McMahon was a bloody mess.
Shane McMahon was driven through the glass on the outside but it didn’t break.
Then AGAIN it didn’t.
Angle finally threw Shane through the Glass and this time a bloody Shane went flying over landing on a ton of pieces of glass.
Kurt Angle’s arms were bloody but he looked over at a knocked out Shane who was full of blood himself.
Angle rolls Shane over on a kart and somehow by the time they get to the ring Shane fights back.
Out of desperation Shane McMahon hit an Angle slam on Kurt which got a two.
What a bloody war.
Kurt Angle sets up a Wooden table and puts it on the top turnbuckle as a platform…
Angle hits an Angle Slam to Shane McMahon off the top table all the way crashing to the mat.
Unbelievable after all the suffering he had faced to this point.
The crowd loved it.
In the end at after a violent war, Angle pinned Shane after a Super Angle Slam off of a table on the top turnbuckle at 26 minutes. Wow…
This match is by far the best match in Shane’s career and one of the greatest pure fights in Company history.
7) Main Event- Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs “The Rabid Wolverine” Chris Benoit vs “Y2J” Chris Jericho in a Triple Threat Match for the World wrestling Federation Championship
Main Event time.
Cards stacked against the very worried Champion.
“My name is Stone Cold Steve Austin, I am the WWF Champion, and I can NOT BE STOPPED.”
The paranoid and insecure Rattlesnake was worried all night about where Vince McMahon was. Of course the old Austin would just kick his ass if he saw him but THIS Austin needed Vince to retain his title he figured.
Austin sold his soul for the title and he lets Benoit and Jericho know it before entering the ring.
The odds were stacked against the Rattlesnake.
The Chris’s don’t wait as they attack Steve on the outside, back in the ring the bell rings.
Austin runs through the crowd as paranoid as he was and Benoit and Jericho beat on Stone Cold by the bords to where the New Jersey Devils play in the NHL.
Austin ran across the barricade and kept getting punishment dished out to him by both Benoit and Jericho. Austin was able to elevate Jericho over the barricade.
Jericho takes Steve up and both Jericho and Benoit doubleteam Steve with chops in the corner.
Jericho lands a suplex and every time Steve turned around he walked right into a heel kick by Benoit.
Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jericho and Benoit had all competed in classic matches as of late.
Austin and Jericho attack Benoit until he is driven outside of the ring. Benoit viciously kicked at Austin in the corner and choked him out.
Benoit irishwhipped Austin but he got the boot up. Steve firing for a clothesline is caught in a Crossface. Austin counters. Front facelock by Benoit into a vertical suplex dropping Austin who was used to those.
We all remember the Edmonton Classic on Smackdown! beteween Benoit and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Benoit with more shots to the Champ and a reverse elbow. Austin kicks out. Benoit in control momentarily until Stone Cold Steve Austin reversed it and elevated Benoit to the floor.
Austin had Benoit and drove him into the steps. Austin told Benoit he’d never get the gold before slamming him into the steps agai
Benoit had bruised up ribs, Austin was in a ton of pain as well.
Austin fights back burying the knee into the sternum of the Rabid Wolverine. Austin a desperate and paranoid champion fought back with more shots to Benoit. Stone Cold got a nearfall.
Austin with Benoit tosses him into Jericho coming back on the barricade. Austin choked him out there.
Stone Cold Steve Austin dropped his body weight onto Benoit on the ropes. Benoit gets up and Austin flips him off and goes for the Stunner, Benoit shoved Austin into the official.
Chris Benoit hits the Stunner on Austin!
Benoit grabs the title and levels Steve with it. Still no official and when hebnber counts Austin kicks out at the same time Jericho interupts the count.
Jericho and Benoit take out their bad blood with one another brawling on the foor.
Things got exciting now. Jericho elevated Benoit into the ringpost.
Jericho on Austin in the ring chopping away at him until Austin turns Jericho over in a Boston Crab but he knows how to counter his own lion tamer.
Who said Austin couldn’t wrestle? It was afterall, 2001 when he was on his game.
Jericho this time attempted the Walls but Austin got out, Y2J hit a snapshot suplex driving a battered Steve to the mat hard. Chris scores with a European uppercut and off the ropes Austin catches him dropping him with a Spinebuster.
Awesome wrestling here.
Stone Cold Steve Austin covers but Jericho kicks out. Beonoit is rising up on the outside. Stone Cold Steve Austin targets the ribs on Jericho. Austin raked the face of Y2J with his leg braces. Austin hits a side russian legsweep on Jericho.
Stone Cold Steve Austin covers but again Jericho kicked out.
Austin caught Jericho in a sleeper hold mid-ring to wear down the quicker Jericho. Austin used to use this move in a modified version as the Million Dollar Champion under the Ringmaster.
Ross points out that we rarely see Austin use a move like this. Jericho elbows out and hits a back suplex on Austin. It’s important to note that because Austin bumping to the mat had to take its toll on an injured opponent.
Both men (Jericho and Austin) from their knees slugged it out and Jericho sends Austin to the corner and crashes into him with a flying forearm off the charge. Jericho dropped Stone Cold Steve Austin with a pair of clotheslines, and then with his eye spotted Benoit on the apron.
Jericho with a springboard dropkick to Benoit off the apron.
Jericho hits a bulldog on Austin before a Lionsault on Austin. Stone Cold got up first and flipped him off, Jericho countered a stunner but Steve hit the Thesz Press on Jericho before hammering him with rights.
Benoit grabs a chair and levels out Jericho.
Austin hits the Stunner on Benoit and some in Jersey pop. Austin covers Jericho as Benoit rolled out of the ring and got a long two. Austin was a desperate man who didn’t know what to do by this point so he dragged Jericho over and put him up high.
Austin with Jericho on the top goes for a Superplex and you have to give both men credit for taking that big bump at this point in the match. Especially considering how much torment the few had gone through in recent weeks.
Austin sets up Jericho on the top turnbuckle once again and again he is going to try the Superplex and he does it. Two consecutively by Austin. Great stuff.
A nearfall is scored.
Benoit is back in and he hits a German Suplex on Austin like the match in Edmonton where he hit ten.
Austin’s holding on for dear life and Benoit got one, two, three, four, then five!
Five German’s to a battered Champion from the best in the world in Chris Benoit. Amazing.
Austin lowblows Benoit and all three men drop to their back.
What a war.
Stone Cold Steve Austin is the Walls of Jericho now and Benoit applies the Cripper Crossface as well!
Stone Cold Steve Austin is tapping out to both submission holds from Jericho and Benoit.
The official says both men can’t so it must be breaked. This bought Austin a bit of time.
Jericho and Benoit were mad at one another as it was.
Jericho and Benoit apply their submission’s on one another and then Benoit hits a beautiful snap suplex to Jericho. It’s always a treat watching Benoit and Jericho go at it.
Austin on the outside grabs a chair. Benoit then hits a baseball slide into Austin connecting with the chair.
In the ring Jericho slaps a facelock on Benoit elevating him to the outside.
A very physical match.
All of the sudden the WCW Champion Booker T runs through the crowd and attacks Austin to a loud ovation as he makes his WWF debut. This was the first MAJOR WCW star to run in on the WWF so it was big at the time.
Stone Cold Steve Austin is drove through a table and Jersey love it.
Meanwhile Benoit hits a German on Jericho, then another. Jericho had it scouted on the third and rolled through Benoit countering it into the Walls of Jericho. Will Benoit tap.
Jericho has Benoit where he wants him.
Benoit grabs the rope. Stone Cold is destroyed by the announce table but he slowly makes his way to the ring after Benoit and Jericho fight for the title. Benoit throws Jericho shoulder first to the post softening him up for the crossface.
Reversal after reversal and Benoit slams Jericho to the mat. Benoit goes up top for a flying headbutt. Jericho gets up and slams him to the mat with a powerslam. Jericho drives Chris into the mat head first. Jericho with a long distance Lionsault.
Jericho taking his time to cover Benoit and once he does he kicks out.
Both Jericho and Benoit back up and Jericho chops at Benoit by the side ropes, off the ropes Benoit hangs on but Jericho takes Benoit to the outside with a crossbody.
Both men fall to the floor.
Carnage everywhere, all men down. Jericho picks up a piece of the announce table and targets the Champion’s kidneys after his attack from Booker T.
Jericho brings Austin back in the ring while Steve continues to sell the injuries. A fatigued Jericho took his time getting to the top rope and once up there Jericho hit a moonsault on Austin.
Benoit breaks the count again and tosses Jericho out of the ring. Benoit hits a flying headbutt on Austin but Jericho grabs the official out of the ring.
Benoit sends Jericho hard to the corner and sets him up top for a back Superplex. Benoit delivered shots to the kidneys of Jericho before the belly to back suplex off the top.
This was the spot that put Benoit out a year because of this landing.
Stone Cold Steve Austin was already hurt from the Booker interference. Angle and Shane earlier were a wreck.
And now the best wrestler in the world Chris Benoit who was having a fabulous 2001 would be out a year.
Austin slowly crawled to Benoit and he got the three.
So how it went down in the end Austin pinned Benoit after Benoit hit a back suplex on Jericho off the top rope at 27:52 which legitimately hurt him.
The ending was questionable but the work in the match was very solid. Austin taking two Superplexes off the top followed by five German’s from Benoit in his state was impressive.
Great workrate through a half an hour between three of the guys who are the very best in the world.
It’s matches like this that cut the career of Steve Austin short. Which is why his 2001 run has reached legendary status.
Extra points for the fact everybody in this match was in a ton of pain. So many bumps throughout.
This is an excellent match to close a great show.
Final Rating for WWF King of the Ring 2001 = 8/10
This show was the best King of the Ring since the original.
A couple of Classic matches surrounded a show full of quality overall in a time period where the company was used to providing quality PPV events.
This is a great event, pick it up, it features a little of everything.