Brett Mix’s- WWF Royal Rumble 2002 Review:
“Me and Triple H have different opinions. I said we don’t agree. I don’t agree with Triple H. Do you have time for me to tell you a story? I’m going to tell you a story about a man named Stone Cold Steve Austin, who rolled into Dallas Texas last night. I was real thirsty, so I went to a bar. I drank some beer. And more beer. I threw some darts. I played some pool. I got on one of those mechanical bulls, I rolled that bull front ways, side ways, two handed, one handed, no handed, finally had to shut that Sum Bitch down because I wore it out. Then I started drink more beer. Then I started a fight! The whole bar started fighting…I kicked everybody’s ass! I started throwing everyone out the door, one by one. So then the Bartender looked up at me and said “STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!” and I said “WHAT!?” He said, “Why are you throwing everybody out of the bar?” I said you dumb son of a bitch, I am gettin ready for the Royal Rumble. The ROYAL RUMBLE. And the bartender looked at me and he said Stone Cold, and I SAID WHAT! He said I heard Triple H is coming back to win the Royal Rumble. I drank some of that beer, I put that beer down. I looked at that bartender right in the eye and I said EH-EH! Triple H is going to do a lot of things in his life and he made a big comeback, he looks great, phenominal, he is the Game! He is that damn good! The bottom line is, he can do all the bench presses, shoulder presses, lat pull downs, bar bell curls, tricep extensions, Squats! Sit ups, leg lifts, but the one thing he wont do is throw Stone Cold over the top rope, that just wont happen! I told that bartender I am working on my strategy right now! I told him to look down, that is a beer belly. By lowering my center of gravity it makes it harder for someone to throw me over the top of the rope. That is my strategy for the Royal Rumble! -Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWF RAW Jan 2002)
-WWF Royal Rumble 2002 took place on Sunday, January 20th 2002 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. in front of 12, 915 fans.
-This was the 14th Annual WWF Royal Rumble event.
-Steve Austin by the time he was done in the Rumble match (as it was his last one) had eliminated 36 people over his career in a Rumble match. That is more then any wrestler in history and that record still stands today, as of this review.
-This was the first time many former WCW and ECW stars competed in a Rumble match such as Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Gregory Helms.
-Shawn Michaels was at WWF New York and predicted either Austin or Taker to win the Rumble as they were both from Texas.
-This Rumble marked the return of four superstars. The Godfather, Val Venis, Goldust and Mr. Perfect all returned to the federation in the Rumble Match.
-The Rumble Match is nearly 70 minutes in length making it the longest Rumble Match in history as of this review.
-This was the last Royal Rumble PPV with the WWF name and before the brand split.
-The main feud was between Chris Jericho and The Rock for Jericho’s Undisputed WWF Championship. Their feud continued from Vengeance 01, when Jericho cheated to defeat both Steve Austin and The Rock to win the title and ultimately become the first WWF Undisputed Champion. The Rock earned a match for the Undisputed WWF Championship at Royal Rumble on the January 3 edition of SmackDown! by defeating Booker T. The feud grew personal as The Rock took a break from his usual comedy promo’s and turned them more serious.
-Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler do commentary for this event.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Dudley Boyz (with Stacy Keibler) vs Spike Dudley and Tazz (c) for the WWF Tag Team Championship
For the second straight Rumble PPV the Dudley Boyz open the show with there music hitting the pa and out they come as the challengers once again, only this time as HEELS and with Stacy who looked tremendous here.
This would be a theme for the Dudleyz to compete in Rumble PPV’s for the tag titles as they did for four consecutive years from 2001 to 2004 at this very event.
Stacy Keibler got a great ovation bending through the middle rope, it must be because were in Atlanta which is WCW grounds and they remember her. Or she’s just insanely hot. Probably both but I’m sticking with the second option.
It’s rather humerous seeing Spike Dudley and Tazz as partners, as champions, and Spike in a neck brace due to the Dudleyz 3Ding him outside before the event.
The match gets going right away as the Dudleyz attack there opponents right as they enter the ring as they usually did.
Bubba Ray Dudley tossed Spike out on his bad neck, and Tazz just brawled with D-Von to the outside before they gave a reverse 3-D to Tazz on the outside!
Spike was thrown in with his bad neck. Bubba set up Spike for a neck breaker and then hit two of them.
Bubba Ray Dudley threw Spike’s neck collar off and then beat him with a few more neck breakers. D-Von tagged in and he beat on Spike some more with a snap takedown.
Good strategic focus by The Dudleyz but this isn’t the best way to get a PPV going for the fans with a heel beat down to Spike’s neck. Bubba dropped his “little brother” on his head in a Brain Buster type move.
The fans were still into it with “We Want Table’s” chants despite Dudleyz being heels.
Spike with a desperation Dudley Dog off the top and then the crowd applauded while Bubba tagged in D-Von and Spike tagged in Tazz but the ref never saw it. Dudleyz then elevated Spike up with a flap jack, shades of the Midnight Express. D-Von then climbed to the top and missed a headbutt. Spike up holding his neck, ducked a potential clothesline by Bubba and him and D-Von double team each other with a double clothesline which bought Spike enough time to tag in Tazz.
Tazz came in charging in with a bunch of clotheslines and then suplex after suplex to both Bubba and D-Von, he hit a Northern Light’s suplex on D-Von but only got a two. Spike jumped off the top and hit a crossbody to Bubba, Tazz with a hard kick to Bubba, Spike then hit another Dudley Dog by Spike.
Stacy went on the apron and tried to slapp Tazz but he locked in the Tazzmission on the apron and she got knocked off, Spike went for yet another Dudley Dog on D-Von but he pushed Spike to the outside out of the ring.
D-Von then got caught by Tazz!
In the end Spike and Tazz retained the tag straps at 5:06 when Tazz forced D-Von to quit after the Tazzmission.
Basic and had a formula, and for the length you got quite a bit of quality so I can’t rate this one bad at all however it definitely needed more length and ultimately more action to be ANY GOOD.
2) Edge (c) vs William Regal for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
These two have tremendous chemistry.
Matches at Vengeance 01, this one and No Way Out 2002 spring to mind when thinking of some of the better matches these two have put together.
I love the contrast in styles and the crowd really seems to get behind the good guy vs bad guy scenario usually when these two clash, plus we usually always see a great wrestling match.
This one got some time to work and that should only mean good things, time to take another look.
This feud was very vicious and Edge wanted revenge as he cut a good promo with Lillian before the match, the story here was that Regal used the Brass Knucks over and over to win matches weeks prior to this match.
Referee Nick Patrick checked the ring area for Knucks to see if Regal would use them or if it would be as he would say “The Power of the Punch.”
Edge was coming into his own as a babyface in 2002! I often wonder what would become of Edge if he didn’t get injured for a year from 03 to 04.
William Regal go checked for knucks in his tights and it looked like Patrick was trying to grope him but sure enough he found some and the fans cheered as William Regal looked irritated. Edge came up behind William Regal while he was talking to the ref and the match began as Edge hit him with some right hands and the bell rang. Edge irishwhipped William Regal to the turnbuckle and hit a backbody drop. Edge took down the challenger for the IC Title and then he kicked at Regal in the corner. Edge then slammed Regal face first into the canvas two times focusing on Regal’s busted nose where Edge slammed him into a steel chair weeks previous.
Regal got up and knocked Edge down while he shook off some punishment. Regal Sucks chants were heard all over and when Regal went for an uppercut Edge hit a backslide and got a nearfall, Regal then with his big left hand levelled Edge down and rubbed his forearm into his face by the middle rope. Edge the IC Champion responded with a spinning heel kick to Regal. Once both men got up though Regal hit a gutwrench suplex and Edge landed right on his face. Good back and forth action here, a lateral press and Regal got a near fall followed by another one. Regal then grabbed Edge by the hair and drove both knees to the face of Edge and then gave him a forearm and another lateral press by a nearfall. Regal then choked Edge out by grabbing both his forearms and twisting them over his stomach. Edge got to his feet and he caught a forearm shot by William Regal. Regal then hooked Edge’s arms and went for a powerbomb but Edge countered it into a backdrop but Regal held on! Awesome. Regal then hooked a double armed powerbomb successfully to Edge this time and executed it perfectly. Nice move. Edge then got rammed by Regal’s forearm as he came charging at him.
Edge was on the outside of the apron and William Regal kicked at his face and he fell to the outside. Regal grabbed Edge by the hair and put him up on the apron with him and Regal hooked the arms again but Edge answered back with a DDT RIGHT on the ring apron, which will bust up his nose even more. Great stuff. Edge came in and got a nearfall. Edge used his legs on the bottom rope which was unusual for a babyface, but Regal broke the count either way as his feet were on the bottom rope on the other side. Edge sent Regal into the corner but he bounced back into Regal and both men fell down. Both men on the mat and they got to there feet before the ten count. William Regal caught a big right hand from Edge. Edge off the side ropes with a shoulder bwlock, and an upper heel kick. Edge with a snapshot vertical suplex, hooks the leg and with a lateral press Regal was just able to kick out. William Regal then with a facelock and a back suplex but Edge landed on his feet and hit Regal with a clothesline. Edge rolls over and got a two on Regal as he raised his left shoulder off the canvas. Edge then kicked Regal in the mid-section but Regal with his great instincts turned around with a waistlock and got Edge down, hooked the boot of Edge and locked on the Regal Stretch! His version of the STF.
Edge made it to the bottom ropes to the fans delight and Regal then dragged Edge but he hit a droptoe hold and now Edge tried an STF on Regal to one-up him! Edge then dropkicked Regal into the side ropes into a roll-up but only a two count. Edge then went up high but William Regal caught him up there and hit him with some left hand shots. Edge pushed William Regal off the top and Edge flew with a spinning heelkick in mid-air to William Regal. Regal then pulled in his tights and Edge went for a spear but Regal shoved the ref right in front of him and then Edge speared the ref. Regal seemed to have knucks in his left hand and Edge picked him up and caught a big shot by Regal.
The Power of the Punch!
Fans booed as Regal brilliantly found a way to use knucks just like The Rock did at this very event in an IC title match four years before. Regal covered Edge and got the three count!
In the end, William Regal defeated Edge to become the New Intercontinental Champion at 9:45 after the Power of the Punch. This rivalry wouldn’t end here but this match was a great back and forth one that probably wasn’t there best of the three in this time span as it was slower but it was still impressive.
Great stuff here.
3) Trish Stratus (c) vs Jazz for the WWF Women’s Championship, with special guest referee, Jacqueline
Purple Puppies vs Jazz, yawn.
I know the WWF tried to make the Women’s division good from 2002-2004 but it just didn’t work so many times, very often did we see a great match.
Basically, you get routine material the bulk of the time.
Trish Stratus was inexperienced at this time, she hadn’t really come into her own ringwise but she was in there with a good wrestler in Jazz.
Jackie came out to officiate the match.
Jazz took down Trish right away and hit a big splash which scored her a nearfall. Trish fought back with some shots but was irishwhipped and Trish hit a sunsetflip and then the two countered with a bunch of roll-up’s, nice series of nearfalls.
Jazz with a stiff forearm to Trish and then elevated her dropping her across the top rope.
Trish had an injured hand in this match and Jazz’s focus was on that any time she could. Jazz attacked Trish over and over and then stretched her arm over the bottom rope and focused the injured hand even more.
Jazz and Jackie trashtalk each other as the sister’s go at it a bit with shoves, Trish covered by Jazz, Jackie hesitated and gave her a slow count. This bought Trish time to fight back but a front facelock was countered by Jazz, Trish then with a springboard bulldog, a nearfall, Jazz then planted a hard DDT to Trish.
This wasn’t so bad really, the action was actually pretty good.
Trish caught Jazz with a big boot as she charged towards her in the corner and then hit the Stratusfaction.
In the end Stratus retained her title at 3:43.
4) “Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs Vince McMahon in a Street Fight
Okay, for those who don’t remember, Flair was in his 50’s and was not an active wrestler at the time. Infact he had just returned to the company but he was going to get in the ring on PPV again and this time it’d be with another person in his 50’s, the chairman of the company.
They added the Street Fight gimmick in an attempt to make it watchable I guess.
Either way Flair said he didn’t feel like he got his game back till later on so he didn’t bring his A game here but in a match with Vince this was at least watchable.
An alright feud despite a lot of the Raw and Smackdown! segments at the time being amazingly repetitive.
Flair’s children were at ringside for this one.
In Kayfabe both McMahon and Flair were Co-Owner’s of the company at the time.
Ric Flair looked pretty emotional when coming out in Atlanta, having known he would probably never get the chance to do this again as it didn’t seem like a possibility not to long ago.
JR was great on commentary here.
McMahon came out all juiced up and of course King put that over like he always does.
Two of the biggest icon’s in the history of Sport’s Entertainment about to get it on, in a match no one would of probably thought would EVER take place, especially in the 80’s, could you imagine the NWA’s Flair up against Vince McMahon, the skinny chairman of the Federation in 2002? In a Street Fight no less!
Fun Fact: Both these men won the Royal Rumble, McMahon in 99, Flair in 92.
10 years after Flair’s brilliant 92 performance he’s here to face off against Vince McMahon in another match on the night that was absolutely personal.
Ric Flair and Vince tied up and Vince pushed him down and then flexed his muscles. McMahon with a side headlock to Flair and then hit a hard shoulder block and flexed again before doing his strut. Some good humor here in attempt to humiliate Flair. Flair with a go behind, took the leg out of Vince and then punched Vince in the corner with a couple or right hands.
Flair had Vince down and bounced off the side rope and let out a WOO. McMahon took Flair to the corner and hit him with a shoulder block and a reverse elbow. Vince then hit a chop on Flair, but Ric Flair cornered him and hit some hard chops to Vince’s chest as he WOO’d before a strut. McMahon raked the eyes of Flair which was right out of his book and he irishwhipped Ric Flair to the corner and hit him with a clothesline.
Jim Ross says Jerry Lawler is a little to excited about McMahon’s body and I’d agree.
Flair did a face flop and then got thrown to the corner and flipped over and was knocked off the apron by Mr. McMahon who had a slow pace to this beatdown. Vince picked up a sign that said KEEP OFF and hit Flair right in the head with it a couple of times very hard. This was afterall a Street Fight.
Vince hit Flair with a trashcan shot and he had been busted wide open. Vince with right hands to Flair on the outside and a knee to the abdomen. Flair was then thrown right into the ring post. Vince threw Flair into the steps and then slammed him on the mat.
McMahon hilariously took a camera from Flair’s daughter and snapped a shot of Vince beating up a bloodied Flair and the fans laughed. Vince knocked Flair down in the ring. McMahon then picked up a leg and dropped an elbow to Flair’s leg. Ric Flair’s legs were being twisted by Mr. McMahon as he took another page out of Ric Flair’s playbook which fit the match’s story quite well.
I liked how McMahon stayed focused on Flair’s leg and slammed it against the ring apron and then eventually the steel ring post, and with a bloody Flair screaming “Oh God” after every move by Vince it made it that much better.
The final insult it would seem, Flair was put in the Figure Four Leglock by Vince McMahon! Flair’s back was against the mat and then Flair using his mat instinct and veteran knowledge to reverse his own move that was being applied on him to Vince and then he took a walk as he limped out of the ring. McMahon went by the timekeeper and got a lead pipe. Vince walked towards Flair who was bloodied on his back in the ring with a pipe. Flair hit a low blow just as McMahon started to hit a bloodied Flair with the pipe! McMahon then took a walk outside the ring and this bought Ric Flair enough time to meet him outside the ring with a few chops to McMahon. Flair with a hard shot to Vince outside the ring and then a hard chop across the chest. Ric Flair sent Vince face first into the top of the security railing. Flair then grabbed a TV monitor and levelled Vince in the head with it and he went flying over the Spanish Announce Table. King was hillarious saying Flair would have to pay for that monitor. Flair then watched a replay of him hitting McMahon with the monitor on the monitor he used. Awesome.
Ric Flair had snapped and then gave him a hard chop right in front of his kids. Back in the ring a bloodied McMahon begged but Flair kicked at him and then Flair set McMahon down and gave him hard right hands as both men were bloodied. Flair then with a lowblow to Vince backwards.
Flair then grabbed the lead pipe which got a big pop, hit Vince.
Flair locked in the figure four!
McMahon taps! McMahon taps!
JR: “Ric Flair came back to PPV, he came back to Atlanta, and he has defeated Mr. McMahon in a bloody Street Fight!”
In the end Flair made Vince submit with the Figure Four Leglock at 14:55. It could of been a shorter match, that’s for sure.
Flair was a bloody mess when it was all said and done but walked away victorious.
It had its moments but definately should of been half the length and it would of been more effective.
This was nuch better then remembered and it actually was a nice match believe it or not.
5) Y2J Chris Jericho (c) vs The Rock for the Undisputed World Wrestling Federation Championship
Rock’s promo’s became more intense around this time as this feud had started in late 2001 when both guys were on team WWF, they had an absolute Classic at No Mercy 2001. That No Mercy match still holds up for both guys as arguably a top 5 match for either, it’s a **** 1/2 match where I sit.
Rock came out to a thunderous roar from Atlanta and he posed on the top turnbuckle as always awaiting to perhaps become a 7 time WWE Champion at this point.
The WWF title had changed hands 4 times at Rumble events and the last time it was done was three years ago when The Rock himself did it by defeating Mankind.
Jericho came out as the first Undisputed Champion so he had a lot of momentum as a heel and got genuine heat which is why he was so great. He could of been booked better around this time, especially on the road to Wrestlemania after this event but at least he was Champion.
Y2J had both belts with him when entering because this was before they made the Undisputed Title just one single belt after Wrestlemania.
Jim Ross said it best, “I can’t remember the last time the Champion walked in as the underdog?”
The deal here was, Jericho was given little respect by superstars (kayfabe) as most wrestlers told Rock that once they won the Rumble they’d be facing HIM at Wrestlemania. That was one of the most attractive features of this match was the fact that Jericho wasn’t expected to win this match just like he wasn’t expected to win at Vengeance. Could Jericho prove everyone wrong again?
This was Jericho’s third Rumble event, he had won the IC title at the last two Rumble’s and he was undefeated at the PPV, infact I still don’t think he’s ever lost at this event in a single’s match to date.
Chris Jericho signalled to Rock that HE was the champion and tried to intimidate him and show Rock he was not intimidated going against a mega star like Rock. This was the biggest match in Jericho’s career they billed it.
It was a personal rivalry between the two and they stood toe to toe, eye to eye.
Jericho tells The Rock to just Bring it! Great!
The fans “OOOOHHHHHH”
The Rock hits rights to the Undisputed Champion and then hit a Samoan drop.
Rock irishwhipped Jericho to the side ropes and he went under the bottom rope as the fans booed.
Rock chased him around the ring and the met him inside with a tackle. Rock got the crowd fired up as he pounded away on Y2J. Rock then caught a reverse elbow by Jericho and then he ducked a clothesline, and hit a flying forearm to Rock. Jericho had a large part of the crowd on his side in the match at No Mercy 2001, and still some were going for him here but this time around Rock’s fanbase was a lot more solid in this match.
Chris Jericho sent Rock into the corner and then hit him with a clothesline. Chris Jericho charged towards Rock in the corner and hit shoulder first, Rock elevated Jericho up sending him face first. Rock was lean at this time and very fast, a different style but it suited him.
Jericho measured Rock by dropping him with a gut shot on the top rope and then gave him kicks to the ribs. Jericho with a couple of hard right hands to the abdomen of Rock in the corner. Y2J with a chop and Rock’s selling always looks pretty funny at times. Rock ducked a clothesline and then hit a reverse elbow to his head, however when running towards Y2J, Jericho got a spinning heel kick and a nearfall. Jericho then argued with Hebner, Y2J trashtalked Rock and hit a vertical suplex. Y2J then put one leg on Rock’s chest with an arrogant cover screaming “Come On BABY!” Jericho went to the corner and untied the top turnbuckle padding exposing the corner of the ring. Rock was taken down by Y2J as he turned Rock over into the Walls but Rock used his leg strength to turn him over but Jericho was so quick hit a sliding dropkick making sure Rock wasn’t going to get to his vertical base. Crowd chanted for The Rock and Y2J went up to the top rope and signalled he was the Champion once again.
Chris Jericho with a beautiful dropkick in mid-air off the top rope.
On Jericho’s new DVD, they’d be foolish not to include the No Mercy 2001 match with this one. Both are Classics, and this pace to the match was very nice. Jericho then after the high impact move put Rock in a sleeper. Rock battled back after about a 40 second break in the sleeper but once to his feet was knocked back down by Y2J.
Chris Jericho loved his high risk moves so he tried going up for perhaps another dropkick but Rock knocked him off stride and he fell groin first on the top. Rock gave him some chops and blows while he was up top there. Rock gave Jericho a nice vertical superplex from the top and unfortunately for him he couldn’t capitalize due to the superplex taking a toll on him as well do he didn’t have enough strength to go over and cover Jericho.
Rock got to his feet at the exact moment Rock did and then he blocked a right hand and gave overhand right’s to Jericho. Y2J countered out of desperation and was tossed to the side by Rock. Jericho kicked out and then Rock gave him another shot and Jericho irishwhipped Rock to the corner and hit a Lionsault after he drove Rock’s face first into the canvas. Instead of covering him he went for another Lionsault. Two in a row and then he only got a two and Y2J looked as if he was about to cry when Hebner didn’t count the three. Jericho pushed Earl a couple of times until he pushed him back. King said Hebner wasn’t as bad as people say, he’s worse! Good stuff. Jericho leaped from the top but Rock countered it into a Sharpshooter.
Jericho tapped out!
However Christian and Storm came running out and distracted the referee, a Canadian reunion of sorts. Jericho then hit a Rock Bottom on The Rock as he turned around after knocking out Christian and Storm.
Rock kicked out as the fans got in his favor.
From this moment on the match was heavy, and fast.
Jericho kicked Rock’s shoulders and is about to apply the most electrifying move in Sport’s Entertainment today. The Jericho elbow. But The Rock stopped that attempt quickly kicking up and sending Jericho to the outside. Rock sent Jericho head first into the steps. Rock then took the monitor’s off JR and King’s table, King said he should of done it to the Spanish table. Jericho though retaliated and sent Rock head first into the table, then bounced him face first into that table. Jericho took the monitor’s off the Spanish Table. Chris Jericho sent Rock face first into it again and this time he landed. Jericho looked as if he was going to slam Rock through a table with a Rock Bottom but Rock elbowed him.
The Rock then hit a Rock Bottom to Jericho through the table from the Spanish table! Good stuff, it was hillarious watching The Fink run like hell right before the table spot.
Rock grabbed him by the tights and put him in the ring and almost got the three but Jericho was able to get out. Rock set up for a Rock Bottom but Jericho knocked him off and set him up for the Walls of Jericho. Jericho with the Walls of Jericho to Rock and he was reaching for the bottom rope but couldn’t quite get there. Rock eventually got there. Jericho grabbed Rock by the legs and went for a Walls of Jericho, but Rock rolled him up with an inside cradle and got a two count!
Jericho kicked at Rock’s head and then stomped on the canvas wanting Rock to get up. Chris Jericho with some right hands and then irishwhipped Rock into the side ropes and Rock clotheslined Hebner.
Jericho grabbed one of the Championship belts and hit Rock in the head with the belt. Jericho covered Rock but only got a two and the fans went wild after Nick Patrick came running from the back and he seemed dissapointed he only got a two. Jericho complained to Patrick and then he turned around which bought Rock some time and he kicked him in the mid-section and hit a DDT. Rock covered Jericho but Nick Patrick didn’t count the three and the fans booed.
Everyone was standing on there feet!
Rock then stared at Nick Patrick and hit a Rock Bottom on him. Jericho then caught a Spinebuster. Rock kicked at the shoulder of Jericho and threw the elbow pad and hit the People’s elbow! Rock covered Jericho but there was no referee.
The Rock tried to get Hebner up but in the mean time Jericho hit a lowblow to Rock and then hit him face first on the exposed turnbuckle, and used his legs on the rops to cover Rock and ultimately defeat him to retain the title!
Fantastic booking here.
So in the end Jericho retained his title at 18:48 when he used his feet on the ropes for leverage to pin Rock.
What a war!
I consider this a classic, just behind there No Mercy match in 2001 where Jericho won the WCW Title. This is just awesome and flat out fun! Energy galore really made this one stand out.
6) Main Event- The 2002 WWF Royal Rumble Match
3 The Big Bossman
5 Lance Storm
6 Al Snow
7 Billy Gunn
8 The Undertaker
9 Jeff Hardy
10 Matt Hardy
12 Scotty 2 Hotty
14 Diamond Dallas Page
16 The Godfather
18 Perry Saturn
19 Stone Cold Steve Austin
20 Val Venis
22 Triple H
23 The Hurricane
25 Mr. Perfect
26 Kurt Angle
27 The Big Show
29 Rob Van Dam
30 Booker T
An extremely stacked Rumble (especially in the second half) full of surprises and flat out fun. Arguably the best BOOKED Rumble in order of talent, I’ve ever seen. I’ll elaborate throughout the review.
We all know how Steve stalked poor little Steph backstage before the Rumble match with a chorus of “What’s!”
Austin was fired up and wanted to win his fourth Rumble. He delivered some great promo’s going into this event. One on the night earlier with Stephanie backstage.
The reason this Rumble match is so great is because of all those big names, and you’ll notice how many were saved for last. It’s amazing, definately made for a great climax.
This rumble match was maybe the most fun as a fan you’ll have watching any Rumble, and I rank it third behind only 92 and 01.
“Cocky” by Kid Rock was used originally in the Rumble Pre-video package which was just awesome but it’s editted out of the Anthology which just blows. The WWE is too cheap to include My Way or Cocky or any other great song for there events and it just wrecks the feeling of originality on there events. It’s a shame.
Intervals were every two minutes and this was the longest Rumble Match ever.
The man who drew #30 the year before was #1 this time around, but this time he is a BABYFACE rather then the heel he was last year, and of course I`m talking about Rikishi. King said we might see 29 Stinkfaces tonight, god I hope not. Rikishi then brushed his nose on the way to the ring like he always does to let his kids know he’s thinking about him.
Goldust got a huge pop coming out at #2. He was one of the four returning wrestler’s in this Rumble match and JR’s lets us know he`s a little off. Gold fell from the ceiling as the Rumble match began with Goldust and Rikishi!
King said “Goldust has to be looking at Rikishi’s butt and saying…I hope I don’t encounter that!” Right. I’d expect the opposite but that’s me. Goldust seems to be on the other side if you catch my drift. The two went at it and Goldust was put over thankfully by Ross telling the newer fans who may not remember him to not let the packaging fool them. He’s a former IC Champion and he was a great wrestler at that. Goldust has always been one of the most underrated workers ever and I don’t just mean comedy, he was great all around. Rikishi had seen enough and hit some right hands and went to slam him out but Goldust hit an uppercut and then a sunsetflip on Rikishi but he didn’t go down and Goldust quickly up and gave him a big shot. Rikishi sent Goldust out but he landed on the apron and hit Rikishi with a low blow once back in which of course is legal because there is no DQ. Rikishi then backdropped Goldust over the top again and another close call as he stayed in. Rikishi sent Goldust head first into the buckle.
Rikishi hit Goldust in the corner with a splash and then out came The Big Bossman. He actually got a pretty good pop because he was from Georgia. Bossman was a heel still at the time and this is his final Rumble appearance. Bossman was in a lot of the earlier Rumble’s so it was nice to see him back. Bossman charged at Rikishi with a clothesline that turned him inside out. Goldust then stayed on the top of the rope and watched Bossman pound on Rikishi in the corner until a double team came about and Goldust with Bossman tried to both take the big man out of the ring. When they couldn’t eliminate Rikishi the every man for himself was examplified as Bossman and Goldust went at it.
Bradshaw at #4 came out to a big pop surprisingly as well. Bradshaw cleaned house showing his power knocking down Bossman and then irishwhipping Goldust hard to the ropes and hitting him off with a shoulderblock. Rikishi worked over Bossman while Bradshaw was on Goldust. Rikishi hit his back into Bossman and then went for a Stinkface on Bossman and got it. Bossman then got a thrustkick and was clotheslined by Rikishi over the top rope and out of the Rumble for the first elimination, talk about going out of your last Rumble in style! Some in Georgia actually booed Bossman getting out. If you listen for it, you can actually ehar it. Goldust then hit Rikishi and Bradshaw. Kings points out when HBK picked two Texan’s in Taker and Austin, he might of forgot about Bradshaw.
Out next was Lance Storm who JR bills as Mr. Personality. Hilarious. Goldust hung Storm face first on the ropes, while Rikishi tried to throw out another guy in Bradshaw. Lance Storm called underrated by Ross, perhaps if they kept that billing instead of labelling him BORING the following year he could of worked in the WWF/E. Rikishi tried to throw out Storm and Bradshaw met him with a right hand. Goldust was laying down on the mat as he was a little fatigued. Bradshaw put on the brakes and lowered the boom on Lance Storm’s back. Bradshaw picked up storm but couldn’t get him out.
“What does everybody want!?” hits the pa and he is still over. Al Snow gets a good ovation and Snow kicks at Rikishi. Bradshaw hits one of the biggest clothelines from hell to Storm you’ll ever see after he sent him to the side ropes and Bradshaw came off the other side with a big shot. Rikishi hit Goldust with a big thrust kick. Slobber Knocker city, the fans chanted “We Want Head.” King said he’d get in on the chant but not about Al Snow, and JR asks him to behave. Goldust worked over Storm and Bradshaw, while Snow kicked at Rikishi int he corner. Action all over as the ring was filling up a bit by this point, blows being traded in the middle of the ring.
Billy Gunn ran out and he was just labelled as Billy here as he was just in a new homosexual tag team with Chuck. Billy’s 160th push attempt. Storm suplexed Snow onto the ring apron and the two traded shots and Storm raked his eyes but Storm caught Snow’s leg and then kicked him off and out of the ring. Snow came back in the ring and Rikishi almost elevated him out. Goldust was about to be eliminated by Bradshaw but Billy Gunn threw him out which got some boo’s surprisingly, again. Bradshaw got pushed as a single’s competitor on Raw in 2002 and it’s no surprise I guess as he was getting great ovations. Ever since WM X7 it seems he really came on with the audience.
Taker comes out now! The camera literally shakes. “Rollin” was also editted out, once again the WWE and their cost-cutting ways. Even Austin’s “Disturbed” theme which in my estimation is the best song ever for a Wrestler was editted out of the 01 Rumble which is pathetic. Taker came out now and he looked to dominate. Despite being a heel he got a great ovation and now he entered his yard! Snow looked intimidated as he should be. Taker took off his toque and then while everyone went to eliminate Goldust he came in and chokeslammed Goldust. Undertaker had recently cut his hair, and had recently turned heel. Taker chokeslammed Goldust out of the ring and out of the Rumble which got some boo’s. Taker dominating and then gave Snow a big headbutt. I liked how they put a big star at this part of the match. Taker threw Snow out and he could return to Tough Enough. Undertaker had never won a Rumble match to this point. Taker threw out Rikishi. Taker threw out Gunn.
Fans go wild as Taker was cleaning house, he looked extremely bad ass shaking his head saying he wanted someone out next. Lawler said there’s one thing he wouldn’t want to be. “Next.” I remember personally thinking Taker was going to win it all.
And NEXT was Matt Hardy who came out with Lita. This was sort of a Hardyz reunion as they had problems in an unsuccessful angle just before this where they tried a feud but it flopped worse then the film Alexander. Taker caught both Lita and Matt from the top with a chokeslam and then the Demon of Destruction was going to give Lita a chokeslam but she kicked him in the groin and Matt hit a twist of fate. Lita and Matt kicked at Taker. Matt Hardy then lifted up Taker’s leg and tried to get him out but Taker hit him wtih a hard shot. Taker sent Matt head first into the top buckle and then irishwhipped him into the corner. Taker stomped on Matt.
Who drew these numbers? Jeff Hardy came out next right after his brother right when King said Matt needed help. Didn`t this happen last year, seriously WWE. Jeff came in and the Hardyz reunion took place as both guys kicked at Taker and so did Lita. Team Extreme are on the same page. The Hardyz sent Taker to the corner but he came off with a double clothesline to both men. Matt though got up and hit a Twist of Fate to Undertaker and Jeff came off the top with a Swanton Bomb. Jeff leaped over Matt and hit Taker but Taker elminated Jeff with a backdrop. Back to just Taker and Matt. Undertaker hit the last ride on Matt Hardy! Taker then tossed out Matt and Taker continued to show his dominance.
Out next was MAVEN. His theme was even editted for the Anthology which is too bad, as bad as some people say his theme was it was still better then the crap the Anthology put out. Taker then had Maven up but Lita distracted him, and then The Hardyz who had been eliminated came back in and kicked at Taker to get some revenge. Taker then gave Matt a knee to the gut and then tossed Jeff in one of the most unique ways out of the ring as he slid out.
ALL OF THE SUDDEN……Maven dropkicks Taker out of the ring from behind and the fans go wild. Maven hops around the ring in what has to be his best moment of his entire life I’d imagine.
I get chills watching this monent, the call was excellent from JR and King as well.
JR: “Oh My God! My God! Maven from Tough Enough! Just eliminated The Undertaker! MY GOD, MY GOD, I don’t believe it. Now that is the biggest shocker I’ve ever seen in the Royal Rumble.”
King said what about a hundred times, and even said “let me do it again. WHAAAAT!?” King said Maven made the biggest mistake of his life after he posed on the top turnbuckle. Taker then gave Maven the beating of a lifetime now. Maven was never officially eliminated from this match but sustained too much of a beating from Taker to continue. This was a way of making Maven pay his dues, awesome booking. Taker with one of the most awesome chairshots to Maven and then he pushed the camera man over.
The Clock counted down as Taker kept beating the hell out of Maven. Okay, now remember when Scotty came out last year in 2001? He looked scared of Taker. This time in one of the most forgotten/hilarious moments in Rumble history, Scotty danced his way to the ring and turned his way around on the way to the ring and Taker gave him a hard right hand just as he turned. Awesome. Taker threw Maven over the top and out of the ring although that didn’t matter as he was already out. Maven was bloody and the camera followed Taker’s beatdown of Maven rather then Scotty 2 Hotty standing in the ring and I don’t really blame them. The two battle into the stands and Taker just keeps beating the holy hell out of Maven, definately one of the bigger beat downs ever. Taker slammed Maven into the Popcorn machine right through the glass as fans on the outside cheered on. Hillariously Taker grabbed some Popcorn. That part was down.
Moving on back to the ring stuff Christian came out and rested on the top turnbuckle, and he layed down. I love Christian. Scotty eventually made his way back into the ring and the Rumble match continued. Christian and Scotty going at it as the only two official guys in the ring as Maven at this point was out of it. Christian gave Scotty some right hands and the crowd had been on a rollercoaster so this was the only slow moment of the Rumble match in my opinion.
DDP gets probably his biggest POP ever in the WWF outside of his debut in the Federation when he was revealed as Taker’s stalker. It was in WCW land in Atlanta who of course he got a big pop. DDP then clotheslined Christian and attempted to powerslam him. A preview of the epic WM X8 Match!!! Well that was alright I guess but Christian then drove DDP’s face into the middle rope and then DDP got up and hit a Diamond Cutter to Christian. DDP got kicked out of the ring by Scotty but he went through the middle ropes. Scotty then set up Christian for the Worm. W-O-R-M, Whoo, Whoo, Whoo, Bang. Right when Scotty hits it DDP throws him out, hillarious.
Clock counted down and out came Chuck and the fans gave him X-Pac like Heat when he came out due to them wanting somebody exciting. Chuck caught a reverse elbow by DDP and then Chuck hit DDP with a jawbreaker. chuck kicked at Page and then began to choke him out in the corner with his boot. Page cornered Chuck who JR kept calling Chucky and gave him some chops. This might have been the only slow sequence of the Rumble but they did it for a reason. It was logical, because some big star was about to enter by the name of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
It wasn’t him this time though, it was the returning Godfather who got a huge pop of course. Godfather came out with ho’s, then he brought out more and more and danced around and pretty much the entire two minutes were spent with him dancing and finally he came to the ring.
The Hip Hop Hippo aka Albert came out and this was the 80th attempt at getting Prince Albert over. Well at least that’s only half as many times as Billy Gunn. A scissors kick from Albert to Godfather. Everyone in the ring teamed up on Albert and the Hip Hop Hippo was gone. Godfather hit a double clothesline to Chuck and Christian. Godfather irishwhipped Christian into Chuck in the corner of the ring and hit the Ho Train, but then Christian and Chuck double teamed Godfather out which of course got some boo’s.
Saturn came out and hit a suplex to Chuck. Chuck, Christian and Saturn were the only three men left in the ring. Christian down and Chuck and Saturn kicked at each other. Saturn and Christian werre on the same page trying to eliminate Chuck. The Rumble needed star power in a bad way to get the intensity of the match bsck up. Saturn with a modified suplex taking down Chuck!
Star Power? No problem…here comes Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin gets a god like ovation. This is Steve’s final Rumble and he is Mr. Royal Rumble to most people having eliminated a record 36 people, not too mention having won three and could of been four if not for Mr. McMahon in 1999. He throws out Christian, he throws out Chuck. Austin then throws out Saturn and the fans go wild. Austin went to the top buckle to pose and then looked at his watch in a play back to 1997. Austin wasn’t done and threw Christian back in. Austin then threw Christian out. Austin stunnered Chuck when he put him back in the ring. The fans couldn’t stop cheering Austin as he checked his time. Stone Cold threw out Chuck and checked his watch on the top turnbuckle. Austin then said “WHAT?” to the crowd on the top of the buckle as they said it back to him. One of the best sequences in any Rumble match as I’ve never seen a crowd so energized in a Rumble match and if I did this would rank right up there, the fans just ate it right up.
Stone Cold Steve Austin awaited his next opponent and it was none other then the returning Val Venis! Val came out haircut and all and went at it with Austin. Stone Cold asked his watch what it was saying and as he stomped a mudhole in Val the crowd chanted “WHAT” after every offensive move. Val hit back with some right hands though and then he sent Austin head first into the corner. King poked fun at Taker being eliminated by Maven, they discussed how certain superstars HAD to win this match.
Austin hit Val with a Thesz press and out came Test. Stone Cold beat the hell out of both Canadian’s and threw out Venis. Stunner to Test, Austin threw him out and found himself as the only guy left. Stone Cold Steve Austin waited his next opponent.
THE GAME comes out to an ovation almost as big as Austin’s if not equal as he was the favourite to win the Rumble. Austin looked at him, and Triple H took about 20 years to get to the ring.
When they did it was a showdown, toe to toe. These two have had a ton of history together.
Many people predicted it’d be these two that would square off as the final two but this show down was intense as both were popular babyfaces and had many classics, one at No Way Out 2001 which is a top ten match ever! A brawl as both men slugged it out and HHH caught Austin with a high knee.
Helms was next and out came Hurricane! HHH and Austin hit each other with a double clothesline. Hurricane waited for both Austin and HHH to get up and he lifted up his arm in an attempt to grab both HHH and Austin. The fans got a lot out of this, this was hilarious.
In one of the best Rumble moments ever, Hurricane grabbed HHH and Austin both by the throat with his Hurripowers!
The one-time two man Power Trip seem confused and make short work of him by tossing him out of the ring as the fans laugh, great stuff. Austin and Hunter then went back at it with righthands! Austin got clotheslined by HHH who was more fresh at the time. Hunter in great condition gave Austin some blows and then Austin hit a spinebuster on HHH.
Farooq of the APA comes out to next to NO reaction. Farooq hit a spinebuster on Austin and almost had him out but HHH attacked him from behind. HHH kicked Farooq up high and then Austin hit a Stunner on Farooq and HHH hit Farooq with a clothesline and he was out of the Rumble. Talk about good booking placing a guy like Farooq here with all these stars. Farooq completely no sold the Stunner which was hilarious and walked to the back as if nothing was wrong. HHH tried to get Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the ring but the two went back at it as Stone Cold Steve Austin hit some rights to Hunter in the corner and and then Austin who had just had one of the most dominant years in Wrestling history if not the most dominant was in great condition but he was getting burned out. He looked fine here though.
Mr. PERFECT comes out to a big pop. Hennig’s last Rumble, he’d die just one year after this. Hennig took his time to get to the ring and Austin and HHH were hammering each other in the ring. HHH and Hennig who had some interaction in 96 went at it. Perfect chopped Austin and then with one strap he tried to get him out. Hunter and Austin both tried to get Hennig over the top rope but he spit out his gum.
Out next was none other then Kurt Angle! The big names are coming out now. King said Angle was going to win the match on Heat before the Rumble PPV began. “YOU SUCK, WHAT!?” was the chant as Angle hit HHH in the corner. The four men in the ring right now would be the final four at the end. Angle beat on HHH in the corner and Austin and Hennig went at it in the other corner. It’s nice to see Mr. Perfect and Austin going at it in 2002 since Perfect on commentary was always so high on Steve Austin when he was coming up the ranks as a mid-carder, I always respected what Hennig has had to say about Austin. Great action throughout as these four huge superstars were all going at it.
The Big Show was out next and this would add size to the Rumble. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Game went downstairs and avoided a double chokeslam by Big Show and then Show hit a clothesline on Austin. Show headbutted Austin and then Angle tried a waistlock suplex to Show and the fans laughed. HHH went downstairs on Show to avoid him throwing out Angle. Awesome action all over, this Rumble match is just awesome.
#28 was KANE! Another big man, who had the most dominant performance in any Rumble match ever the year before. Kane and Show went toe to toe and then they gave each other some shots. Big Show hit Kane with a big boot. Big Show and Kane both grabbed each other by the throat and something had to give here but Kane lowblowed Show. Kane bodyslammed Big Show over the top rope, in reference to last year Austin stunnered Kane and then Angle, Angle slammed Kane over the top rope. HHH took down Angle with a clothesline. Austin and Hennig went at it in the corner, HHH and Angle kept going at it. HHH and Angle met for the title the year previous at this very event.
#29 was an insanely over Rob Van Dam. RVD was amazingly over and hopped up onto the apron and jumped up high and hit a five star frogsplash to Angle who was down. RVD then hit a spin-around thrust kick to HHH and then a spinning heel kick to Austin, RVD then took down Perfect. RVD was dominating. RVD then slammed Austin and hit a rolling thunder on Steve. RVD seemed to get less popular as the years went on at these Rumble events but he definitely at his peak around this time. HHH hit a pedigree on RVD. Five men in the ring, a lot of carnage all over, Austin, The Game, Angle, Perfect and RVD and there’s only one man to go. This was RVD’s first Royal Rumble and the last entrant would also make his Rumble debut! Perfect hit a perfect plex to Angle.
#30, Booker T came out as the last entrant. Booker came to the ring with a lot of momentum.
Down to the final six.
Booker tossed RVD out as RVD had never recovered from Hunter’s pedigree and the fans booed.
To make up for this spot Booker did a spinneroonie and was immeditately eliminated by Austin after a Stunner which is absolutely hilarious and the fans loved it. That was Stone Cold’s record breaking 36th elimination and the last one of his career. Angle threw Austin right into HHH who hit a pedigree on Steve after Angle blocked a Stunner attempt from him.
What action! Entertaining stuff!
Down to the final four!
Austin reversed the pedigree and catapolted HHH head first into the buckle, Angle then hit an Angle Slam on HHH. Perfect and Austin went at it and then Angle hit a German on Autin locking those hands.
Autin and Angle had wars recently and Angle hit 4-5 before Steve hit a low blow, JR says it looked Benoit like as Benoit was injured during this time so he of course was not on the event.
Angle and Pefect were close to getting out Austin but he stayed in. Austin was about to throw out Perfect and Angle eliminated Austin! Austin had been eliminated, the last time he was ever in a Rumble Angle threw Austin into the steel steps on the outside. The final three now as Angle hit HHH with some right hands. Angle kicked at Hunter as did Perfect.
Austin wasn’t done.
Stone Cold Steve Austin levelled Perfect and Angle with a chair and then a final shot to HHH. Austin then walked off to a standing ovation, he made his mark and his legacy will always be remembered. Austin turned around to salute the crowd as he almost knew this was his final Rumble it seemed.
All three men down now, Angle, Hennig and HHH.
Perfect went for a suplex on HHH but Angle clotheslined him and he stayed in which got a huge ovation. Hennig then hit a Perfect Plex on Angle which got a huge roar. Perfect snapped the neck of Angle and then HHH exploded with a clothesline to Hennig out of the ring.
HHH and Angle stared each other down and HHH hopped on him and gave hinm a ton of right hands. HHH kicked at Angle in the corner of the ring. Hunter was irishwhipped into the corner and then Angle hit a beautiful belly to belly suplex. Angle then tried to get HHH over and out as he kicked at him. HHH was in a dangerous position off the apron and then Hunter hit a clothesline to Angle.
Perfect got a standing ovation as he left, which was nice to see.
Angle eliminated HHH or did he? He apparently stood in. Angle thought he had won! Angle got hit with a facebuster and then HHH with a big clothesline sent Angle inside out.
In the end Triple H won the Royal Rumble 2002 when he clotheslined Angle out of the ring at 1:09:22. This was the longest Rumble match ever. It helps that it was one of the very best in the 20 plus year history of the event!
In my opinion it is the third best Rumble of all time, (as said only behind 92 and 01) and perhaps the funnest from start to finish. I have probably watched this Rumble more times then any other one for it`s non-stop Entertainment.
Still holds up nicely, for all the moments throughout! Excellent! Classic stuff here.
This Rumble match is just so good, gets better with every watch, the booking was incredible! I could put this on every night and it would never lose its flavor.
Final PPV Rating for WWF Royal Rumble 2002= 8/10
This show is definitely a great one. Not everything was perfect but it’s surely one of the better Rumble events of all time. It had a fantastic World title match, a great IC title gem, and a fun-excellent Rumble. Nothing terrible on the card and as said The Rumble match always plays a large part when grading the PPV and this was just so fun. Solid event, pick it up.
The Rock /Jericho match was a high quality match. Match of the night for me personally.
Highlight of the event:
JR: “Oh My God! My God! Maven from Tough Enough! Just eliminated The Undertaker! MY GOD, MY GOD, I don’t believe it. Now that is the biggest shocker I’ve ever seen in the Royal Rumble.”
Thanks buddy, it definitely was fun re-watching this one in paticular for those specific reasons…
Awesome review. The talent in the Rumble match and Y2J/Rock makes this a stand out event for me.
I will try to rewatch the 2002 Rumble match this week, been too long. It will definitely be the original WWF DVD I choose given the music edits you mentioned on the Anthology disc!