| Date: June 24, 2001
| Venue: Continental Airlines Arena | City: East Rutherford, New Jersey
| Attendance: 17, 777 | Buyrate: 445, 000
My muscles ache. My mind is spent. My body is broken. Lead me to my throne. Those would be the words uttered by our four King Of The Ring semi finalists. The annual tournament is back to just the semi-finals unlike last year when the PPV hosted the quarter finals too. Tonight will see Kurt Angle, who in previous rounds beat Hardcore Holly and Jeff Hardy, take on Christian who got here by defeating Kane and the Big Show. In the other semi finals, Edge, who beat Test and Perry Saturn takes on Rhyno who got past Tazz and Tajiri. So the final four are Kurt Angle, Christian, Edge and Rhyno. Four best friends who will have to fight one another in order to become King Of The Ring.
Kurt Angle will have another challenge tonight in the form of Shane McMahon. Shane interrupted Kurts medal ceremony after the Olympic Hero got his medals back from Chris Benoit. Since then, the former WWF Champion and current wCw owner have been at each others throats. The two meet tonight in a Street Fight. How have I got this far without mentioning the WWF title match? Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will defend his Championship against two men in Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. This match was made by CEO Linda McMahon after both Benoit and Jericho scored pinfalls over Austin in tag team matches. Benoit and Jericho actually won the tag team titles from Austin and Triple H in a match that Triple H injured his quad and has put him out of action. On Smackdown a few days ago Austin cost Benoit and Jericho the tag titles against The Dudley Boyz making this WWF Championship match tonight more personal.
Speaking of The Dudley Boyz, they will be defending their Tag Team titles tonight against brother Spike and a partner of his choosing. Who will Spike find for a partner? Also expect to see a Light-Heavyweight title match as Jeff Hardy, who beat Jerry Lynn for the belt, defends against X Pac. Also, a stalker had been following around Undertakers wife Sara recently and finally revealed himself to be former wCw Champion Diamond Dallas Page. He’s called out Undertaker and has promised he will be at King Of The Ring. Let’s get to it.
A video package kicks us off with hots of wrestlers like Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and DDP. A throne flashes between them and shots snakes and rats. They are getting very creative with these opening packages. Jim Ross then welcomes us to King Of The Ring 2001, he is joined by Paul Heyman.
Diamond Dallas Page’s music hits and the newest addition to the roster walks through the crowd looking like a stalker. He jumps the barricade and enters the ring to tell The Undertaker that he has arrived. He tells the former WWF Champion that he has some X Rated footage of Undertakers wife Sara. He then says that he’ll kick Undertakers ass tonight and that he’ll be on Raw tomorrow. DDP holds up a tickets and says that he’ll be sat in the front row with a sign that says “Make Me Famous”. He then sits down in the front row.
Jim Ross tells us that we will get a tag team championship match tonight and there is also a rumour that either Chris Jericho or Chris Benoit have been negotiating with wCw. Could one of them defect to wCw as WWF Champion tonight?
Kurt Angle vs. Christian – King Of The Ring Semi Final Match
This is a first time meeting between these two friends on PPV. Kurt is the defending King Of The Ring and gets a good pop but Christian attacks him before the bell. Christian doesn’t keep the advantage as Kurt hits some big olympic throw come suplex and then stomps on his mate in the corner. Christian gets a bit off offence in, hitting a neckbreaker for the first near fall of the night. This is Christians 27th PPV in a row, nobody in history has fought on that many PPVs consecutively before. Angle goes for the ankle lock but Christian gets to the ropes quickly. Angle then hits a belly to belly suplex and sends Christian to the outside. Kurt could potentially wrestle in three matches tonight. It’ll be three if he wins this one. Christian smashes Angle into the ring steps and then back into the ring. The former Light-Heavyweight champion then goes to the top but Kurt knocks him off to the outside of the ring. Two of my favourites in action here. Kurt gets a two count and then hits a gut wrench suplex and a belly to back suplex for a two count.
Angle wrestled on every PPV in 2000 and every show so far in 2001, only his opponent Christian and Chris Jericho can also claim that. Kurt hits a couple of big right hands and sets up for a suplex but Christian rolls him up for a near fall. Kurt quickly hits the suplex and gets a near fall. Christian hits a big spinning heel kick and the crowd roar as Shane McMahon walks out from the back. He watches Kurt who hits a clothesline on Christian. Angle then goes to the top but Christian rolls out of the way of a moonsault. Christian rolls Kurt up but only for a two count. Christian hits a backbreaker for a two. Christian goes for the Unprettier but Angle pulls Christian down and locks on the ankle lock! Christian gets to the ropes by pulling the referee down and then Kurt goes for the Olympic Slam but Christian reverses it into the Unprettier. He hooks the leg but Shane pulls him out of the ring! That was unexpected. Christian gets onto the apron and Kurt Olympic Slams him back into the ring. He hooks the leg and gets the 3! Kurt beats Christian and advances to the King Of The Ring finals in a good opener.
Stone Cold Steve Austin is backstage with Debra when Jonathan Coachman interrupts them. Austin asks where Vince McMahon is but McMahon said he wouldn’t be here tonight. Coachman asks what Austin thinks of Jericho or Benoit beating him tonight and going to wCw. Austin has no response, he just blankly stares at the Coach.
There’s a video package showing all of the times DDP stalked Undertakers wife Sara. Paul Heyman then interviews DDP at ringside. DDP says he has balls to go after Undertaker. We then see some footage of DDP being stalked. Page isn’t happy but continues to challenge Undertaker.
Edge vs. Rhyno – King Of The Ring Semi Final Match
This is Rhyno’s King Of The Ring debut, in fact it’s his first time wrestling on any of the “Big 5”. He gets a good pop. An “E-C-Dub” chant breaks out for Rhyno who spits his gum in the face of Edge and the two friends slug it. Edge hits a spinning heel kick and a big knife edge chop. This is the first time Edge has made it this far in a King Of The Ring tournament. Edge knocks Rhyno out to the ring with a dropkick and follows it up with some right hands. Rhyno smashes Edge into the barricade but Edge managed to atomic drop the former Hardcore champion on the barricade. Edge throws Rhyno into the barricade which is seeing a lot of action at the moment. The two men battle into the entrance way in what should definitely be a count out by now. Rhyno throws Edge into the barricade a couple of times and then rolls into the ring and takes off one of the middle turnbuckles before throwing Edge into it.
Rhyno hits a shoulder barge to the middle section in the corner before driving his knee into Edge. Both men use a similar finisher which should make for an interesting conclusion. Rhyno gets the first near fall of the match. He then locks on a body scissors which you don’t see very often. Edge gets out of it but Rhyno hits a big knee to the middle section. Rhyno hits a blue thunder bomb and goes up top where he hits a huge splash! Near fall for that. Edge won the tag team titles at last years King Of The Ring PPV. Edge gets back into it with a boot and an atomic drop and clothesline. He then hits a neckbreaker and goes to the top but Rhyno goes up with him and tries for a superplex. Edge fights him off and hits a sunset flip/powerbomb for a two count. Rhyno hits a spinebuster and motions for the Gore but Edge has the same idea and attempts the spear and both men knocks heads! Rhyno is the first man up and pins Edge but Edge kicks out. Rhyno goes for another Gore but Edge sidesteps it and Rhyno goes face-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Edge then hits a big DDT and that’s all she wrote! Edge goes to the King Of The Ring Final to meet Angle!
We see some footage from Heat with Spike challenging The Dudley Boyz to a tag team title shot. Spike and Molly Holly are live backstage and Jim Ross asks who Spike has found as his tag team partner. Spike says they’ll have to wait and The Dudley Boyz then show up mock Molly.
Tazz is then with Chris Jericho asking Chris if he is going to wCw. Jericho says that with Shane in charge, maybe wCw won’t be so bad. Chris doesn’t give Tazz a straight answer on whether or not he’s going to wCw.
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)(c) vs. Spike Dudley & Kane – WWF Tag Team Championship Match
We see some footage from Smackdown with Steve Austin costing Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit the tag team championships. Kane is the mystery partner which I had a sneaking suspicion might be the case. Kane is of course the Intercontinental champion. Spike races to the ring but Kane cleans house. Spike and Bubba Ray officially start the match and Bubba Ray throws Spike into Kane. Kane throws Spike back and gets a near fall. Spike is looking for his first PPV victory tonight. D-Von tags in and Spike hits some forearms and tags in Kane. Kane hits a powerslam on D-Von and follows it up with an elbow for a two count. Spike tags himself back in but D-Von feigns an injury to take the advantage. The Dudley Boyz don’t have the best PPV record. D-Von tags Bubba Ray who lays into Spike in the corner. Molly Holly isn’t at ringside for this one. Bubba Ray hits a sidewalk slam and D-Von comes off the middle rope with a legdrop for a two count.
Bubba Ray hits a big back body drop on Spike who isn’t having a good time of it in this match. Bubba monkey flips Spike across the ring and then locks on a sleeper. Spike gets out of it but finds himself on the wrong end of a powerbomb. Bubba Ray and D-Von are looking for their first victory at a King Of The Ring PPV tonight. Spike avoids a diving headbutt from D-Von and then tags out to Kane. Bubba Ray also gets the tag and Kane hits a back body drop and clothesline on Bubba Ray and a clothesline on D-Von. He hits a neckbreaker on Bubba for a near fall. Kane just takes apart both Dudley Boyz and then hits a powerslam on Bubba Ray and what should have been a three count. Bubba Ray didn’t kick out. D-Von was too slow to break it up. Kane clears the ring and tags Spike before throwing Spike all the way out of the ring on top of the Dudley Boyz. Bubba Ray gets back in the ring and Kane hits a clothesline off the top to give Spike a two count. The Dudley Boyz go for 3D but Kane pulls out D-Von and Spike hits the Dudley Dog on Bubba Ray for a two count.
Bubba Ray and D-Von hit a double suplex on Kane and then hit the Wassup drop minus the Wassup. Spike hits a dropkick on both men but Bubba Ray and D-Von catch him with the 3D which is enough for the 3! The Dudley Boyz retain their tag team titles tonight. After the bell D-Von sets up a table but Kane powerbombs him and then chokeslams Bubba Ray through the table! Kanes music hits but he doesn’t leave King Of The Ring as a double champion.
Edge is backstage and Christian shows up and wishes him good luck. He wants his buddy Edge to win tonight.
We get a shot of DDP and once again we see footage of him being spied on. DDP is getting really pissed off.
Billy Gunn is at WWF New York and he’s not happy to not be at the arena tonight. He doesn’t give a crap who wins tonight.
Kurt Angle vs. Edge – King Of The Ring Final
This match is on way too early in the night. It’s a first time meeting between these two men. Kurt gets on the mic before the bell and says he wants nothing to get in the way of their friendship. The two men shake hands and Kurt says that realistically Edge can’t beat Angle tonight so he should lay down for Kurt so the Olympic gold medalist will be fresh in his match against Shane later. “Come on Edge, I think I know you”. Brilliant. Edge hits him with a right hands. It’s all Edge in the early going as he lays in boots and right hands whilst holding his ribs. This is Angles 6th match in 2 King Of The Ring PPVs and he’s won his previous 5. Edge hits a spinning heel kick but Kurt belly to belly suplexes Edge out of the ring. Angle throws Edge into the ring steps and then stomps away at his friend on the outside. Kurt hits a belly to back suplex and covers him for a two count. Angle hits a suplex and locks on a sleeper. There is a very vocal fan at ringside shouting asshole and telling somebody that they suck. Edge gets out of the sleeper but Kurt pops him on the top rope. Edge elbows him off, rolls down and rolls Kurt up for a two count. Angle hits a belly to belly suplex for another near fall.
Angle hits a snapmare and goes back to the sleeper. Nobody has fought on as many PPVs as Edge without main eventing. Edge gets out of the sleeper but Kurt throws him out of the ring. Kurt then hits a suplex on Edge on the barricade before throwing him into the ring and going up top. Edge dropkicks Kurt, crotching him on the top rope before hitting a hurricanrana off the top for a two count. Kurt and edge slug it out in the middle of the ring and Edge hits a couple of clotheslines and a back body drop. He then slingshots Angle into the top turnbuckle for another near fall. Angle goes for the Olympic Slam but Edge lands on his feet and goes for his DDT. Kurt gets out of that and goes for the Ankle Lock but Edge rolls it through and hits his reverse powerbomb! Christian comes running out which distracts the referee who is already distracted before he runs out. Edge goes for a clothesline but accidentally hits the referee! Kurt locks on the Ankle Lock and Edge taps out but the referee is out! Shane McMahon comes out and spears Kurt! Edge hits the Impaler DDT and hooks the leg for the three! Edge wins the match and becomes the 2001 King Of The Ring!
Tazz is backstage with Chris Benoit, asking him if he’s off to wCw if he wins the WWF Championship tonight. Benoit tells Tazz it’s a pretty good question and walks off.
Jonathan Coachman is backstage with Edge who is happy to be King Of The Ring. Christian walks in and confirms that he was trying to help Edge earlier. The reign of awesomeness begins now!
Kurt is then shown shouting backstage at security telling them wCw wrestlers better not show up in his match with Shane.
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. X Pac – Light-Heavyweight Title Match
This is a first time meeting between these two men as Jim Ross advertises Fully Loaded next month. Two quick men in this one. X Pac hits a takedown in the early going before Jeff gets back into it with an armdrag. Hardy then hits a spinning head scissors, sending X Pac to the outside and then flies off the barricade with a clothesline. Back in the ring and Jeff misses with a corkscrew off the top. X Pac has the advantage now and he applies an abdominal stretch, using the ropes for extra leverage. Hardy reverses it but X Pac hiptosses him to the outside. X Pac then goes up top and hits a cross body to the outside. Back in the ring and X Pac hits a spinning heel kick for a near fall. The leader of X Factor applies a sleeper as an “X Pac sucks” chant breaks out. Hardy gets out of the sleeper but gets caught with another spinning heel kick. This is the first time Jeff Hardy has fought a PPV meeting without his brother Matt being in the same match. He gets out of the way of the Bronco Buster and Jeff takes the advantage with a dropkick and slingblade.
Jeff hits a legdrop to the lower abdomen as Jim Ross puts it. X Pac then squashes Hardy in the corner when he attempts to leapfrog him. Jeff squashes X Pac with a corkscrew for a two count. Jeff goes up top again and hits a cross body but X Pac rolls through for a two count. Jeff hits some big right hands in the corner but X Pac rakes the eyes and hits the X Factor! He covers Hardy but Hardy gets his foot on the ropes! The referee counts the 3 but then sees the foot and the match continues. X Pac goes for another X Factor but this time Jeff reverses it into a jawbreaker. Hardy then goes up top but X Pac crotches him! X Pac goes up top with Jeff but Jeff pushes him off and hits the Swanton Bomb which is enough for the three! Jeff Hardy wins the match and retains his title. A decent match but not as good as I was hoping it would be.
William Regal and Tajiri are in Regals office when Stone Cold shows up. He borrows Regals phone to speak to Vince McMahon and tell him that if Benoit or Jericho win the title tonight then they’ll defect to wCw. Austin wants Vince at the arena and it sounds like he’s on his way.
We see some more footage of DDP being stalked. DDP gets in the ring and calls out Undertaker again. We see some footage of DDP backstage from earlier and it’s revealed to be Sara filming him. She says it’s time for DDP to become famous and out comes The Undertaker! Undertaker takes his time and stops to stare at DDP. He then puts on some gloves and enters the ring. The two men slug it out until Undertaker gets the advantage and lays in big lefts and rights. DDP hits a low blow but Undertaker sends him to the outside. Undertakers wife Sara then comes out, filming Undertaker laying into DDP. DDP grabs a chair and smashes it into Undertakers back but Undertaker spears DPP over the announce table. They get back into the ring where Undertaker lays into DDP with lefts and rights and stomps. This has just turned into Undertaker beating the crap out of DDP. DDP escapes through the crowd as Sara films him leaving.
Austin is backstage telling a security guard that as soon as Vince McMahon gets here, to tell him to come and find him in his locker room.
Video package showing the rivalry between Shane McMahon and Kurt Angle that all started during Kurt Angles medal ceremony.
Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle – Street Fight
Much like at last years King Of The Ring PPV, this is Kurts third match of the night! Shane has new music, here comes the money and here comes the owner of wCw. Kurt spears Shane down before the bell and then throws Shane around by the waist. Shane has beaten Vince McMahon and Big Show in recent months. Kurt hits a couple of knees to the gut but Shane gets back into it with some jabs, a leg drag and an amateur takedown of his own. Angle is now bleeding from just above his eye. He sits on his hands and knees and dares Shane to try something. Shane does but Angle rolls through and lays in with right and left hands. Angle hits a gut wrench suplex and a belly to belly suplex. He then just rolls around, holding Shane by his waist. He challenges Shane once again to some amateur wrestling but this time Shane just punts him in the ribs. McMahon hits a reverse elbow, clothesline and then sends Angle to the outside of the ring. Kurt chases Shane around the ring and Shane leaps off the barricade not once but twice.
Shane gets a kendo stick from under the ring and leather Kurt with it until it snaps. Out of desperation Angle spears Kurt into the ring post. He tries again but Shane moves and then clotheslines Angle over the barricade. Angle comes back over but ends up getting arm dragged into the barricade twice. Back in the ring and Shane gets a near fall as Kurt bridges out of the pinfall attempts. Shane pulls a sheet of wood and a couple of trash cans from under the ring. He grabs a metal sign and hits Angle with it a few times for a two count. Angle misses with an enzeguri and McMahon locks on an ankle lock! Kurt kicks his way out of it and Shane hits him with a DDT before locking on a Sharpshooter! Angle gets out of it by grabbing the kendo stick and hitting Shane with it. Shane avoids a couple of swings and hits his trademark jabs, taking Angle down and pinning him for a two count. Shane grabs a trash can and hits Kurt with it before resting the trash can on top of Angle and going to the top. He dives off with a shooting star press but Angle moves out of the way! Kurt pins him but Shane gets his shoulder up.
Kurt dumps Shane out of the ring and battles with him the aisle. The former WWF Champion hits a suplex on the boy wonder in the entrance way as both men look fatigued. Both men get up and throw punches before Angle drives Shane into a big of the set. Angle then falls over. Angle then belly to belly suplexes into a panel of the set and Shane lands right on his head. Kurt gets up, pulls Shane up and belly to belly suplexes Shane again, this time sending him right through the glass panel! Both men are covered in blood now and Kurt tries to send Shane through another panel but again, Shane just hits it and lands on his head. Kurt gets him up and tries again and once again Shane hits it and falls on his head. Angle pulls him up to his feet again and this time just throws Shane right through it. There are blood stains on the set and Kurt covers Shane but the referee tells him that covers can only occur in the ring. Angle grabs a metal box that’s on wheels and puts Shane on it. He wheels McMahon back to the ring and throws him in it before covering him but only for a 2! Shanes shoulder fires up.
Angle grabs a trash can lid but Shane hits him with a low blow and then uses the lid himself. McMahon then hits the Angle Slam but he’s slow to cover and Angle gets his shoulder up. Angle catapults Shane into the top turnbuckle where the owner of wCw just hangs. Kurt sits him upright on the top turnbuckle and then grabs the big piece of wood, hits Shane with it and lays it across the top rope. Kurt Angle then hits the Angle Slam off the top rope! A “Holy Shit” chant breaks out and Kurt crawls over to Shane, covers him and gets the three! What a match! Shane gets a standing ovation after the match.
The three competitors in the main event are all getting ready backstage with Austin wondering where Vince McMahon is.
Video package for the main event next.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit – WWF Championship Match
This is the first time Austin has been in the ring with either of these men in a pay per view match. I love Austin as a heel. He’s waiting for Vince McMahon to show up. He stalls in the entrance way and Benoit and Jericho go out to get him involved. They go through the ring and the bell rings, then Austin runs out and through the crowd. Benoit and Jericho chase him and lay into him before sending him back to the ringside area. Austin runs away again but the two Canadians keep fighting him back to ringside. Jericho and Benoit are looking for their first WWF title win tonight. Austin back body drops Jericho and then takes Benoit back into the ring. You have to wonder whether Triple H was originally supposed to be in this match as well before he got injured. Jericho and Benoit take turns to chop Austins chest. Jericho hits a flying forearm and covers Austin but Benoit breaks up the count. Austin takes on both men separately but eventually the double teaming becomes too much. Jericho then accidentally nails Benoit with a spinning heel kick. Jericho helps Benoit up and then lays into him with rights and kicks!
Austin takes the cover off the top turnbuckle and then gets rid of Benoit. He goes for a Lou Thesz Press on Jericho but Jericho catches him and locks on the Walls of Jericho! Benoit breaks it up, sends Jericho into the exposed top turnbuckle and then out of the ring. He then goes for the Crippler Crossface on Austin who is quick to get to the ropes. Benoit hits a suplex on Austin and knocks him down with a forearm for a near fall. Austin sends Benoit out of the ring giving him a bit of a break. He then goes outside and slams Benoits face into the ring steps. Stone Cold rolls Benoit back into the ring and lays into him with right hands. Jericho rises up to his feet on the outside which gets a pop but Austin sees it and throws Benoit into Jericho. Jericho looks like he’s bleeding. Austin goes for a Stunner but Benoit shoves Austin into the referee and then Stunners Austin! Benoit covers the champion but the referee is down. Earl Hebner wakes up a second too late. Benoit then grabs the WWF title belt and leathers Austin with it. Jericho breaks up the cover.
Benoit and Jericho slug it out on the outside. Both men are looking for their first King Of The Ring victory tonight. They both lost in the quater finals of last years tournament. Austin tries to get the Walls of Jericho on Jericho in the middle of the ring. Chris counters it and tries for the Walls of Jericho himself but Austin gets to the ropes. Jericho hits a suplex for a two count. Stone Cold gets back into the match with a spinebuster. This match has gone from Austin against Benoit to Austin against Jericho. Austin hits a side Russian leg sweep but Jericho kicks out of the cover. Stone Cold then locks a sleeper on Y2J. Jericho gets out of it with a suplex. The two men slug it out and Jericho hits a flying forearm and a clothesline. He then dropkicks Benoit off the apron and hits a bulldog on Austin. Jericho tries for a lionsault but Austin gets his knees up. Austin hits a Lou Thesz Press and then Benoit enters the ring with a chair. Austin ducks and Benoit accidentally nails Jericho! Stone Cold then hits the Stunner on Benoit who falls to the outside. Austin pins Jericho who gets his shoulder up.
Austin hits a superplex on Jericho before taking Jericho up another corner and hitting another superplex. Jericho continues to kick out and Austin pops Jericho on another corner. Before he can do anything though Benoit grabs Austin around the waist and hits 5 German suplexes before Austin breaks the hold with a low blow. All 3 men are down but it’s Jericho up first and he gets the Walls of Jericho on Austin! Benoit then puts the Crippler Crossface on Austin at the same time! Austin taps out! But Earl Hebner says that only one person can win so the match continues. Jericho runs at Benoit who locks the Crippler Crossface on Jericho! Jericho gets out of it and the two Chris’s get into a chopping contest. Benoit hits a suplex for a one count. Austin then grabs a chair but Benoit baseball slides it into his face. Jericho then dumps Benoit out of the ring. Booker T, the last ever wCw Champion then hops over the barricade and hits a scissors kick on Austin before throwing him through a table! Security go after Booker who leaves through the crowd.
Back in the ring Benoit hits a couple of German suplexes to Jericho until Jericho counters and locks the Walls of Jericho on Benoit! Benoit gets to the ropes to break the hold. Benoit throws Jericho into the ring post and after a few reversals Benoit hits a slam and goes to the top rope but Jericho throws him off and hits a bulldog! Jericho hits the Lionsault and covers Benoit who gets his shoulder up. Jericho flies at Benoit and both men topple over the top rope. Austin is still out as well. Jericho jabs the top of the announce table into Austins kidneys before throwing him back in the ring. Jericho goes up to the top and hits a moonsault! Benoit breaks up the pinfall attempt and throws Jericho out of the ring before going up top and hitting a flying headbutt on Austin. Jericho pulls the referee out of the ring to stop the pinfall attempt. Benoit puts Jericho on the top rope and hits a belly to back suplex from the top! This has been one hell of a match. It has definitely elevated Benoit and Jericho. Austin covers a fallen Benoit and the referee counts the three! The match is over, Austin retains his WWF Championship!
Well, that felt like one of the best King Of The Ring PPVs I’ve seen. And I’ve seen them all. The tournament itself took up 3 of the first 4 matches and all 3 of the matches were good. The pick of the three for me was the semi-final match between Kurt Angle and Christian that opened the show. There was definitely a tease for Kurt to become the first man to win back to back King Of The Ring tournaments. He was helped into the semi finals by Shane McMahon who was trying to tire Angle out before their match later in the show. What we also learnt from this tournament is the cracks between Edge and Christian are starting to show. Christian is beginning to look much more like a heel than Edge and he almost cost his “brother” the crown. It was Edge that won the crown though and it’ll be interesting to see if he goes solo now and has a successful singles career.
The Dudley Boyz retained their tag team titles against brother Spike and Intercontinental Champion Kane. This was a fairly predictable result but it gave Kane something to do on the show. It was a decent enough match that gave The Dudley Boyz a rare PPV run. It seems as though those damn Dudleyz are heel now and could potentially have their best tag team reign to date. They are due a decent reign so I have no problem with it. Jeff Hardy as Light-Heavyweight champion brings a lot of credibility to the belt. We’ve not seen much of the belt for the last year or so. Malenko had a long run with it and then Crash Holly and Jerry Lynn had shorter reigns. Jeff Hardy is a hell of a hand so I’m all for seeing more PPV defences against the likes of X Pac. These two put on a decent match but I was hoping for a lot more. It was a little bit sloppy and there were a few botches. But I like where this division is going.
The on-going storyline between Diamond Dallas Page and Undertaker continued tonight with a brawl. There is no doubt in my mind that an official match will take place at next months Fully Loaded PPV. In the sub main event we saw Kurt Angle take on Shane McMahon in a brutal contest. Angle nearly killed Shane, especially when he tried throwing him through the panes of glass. Seeing Shane dropped on his head like that makes me cringe every time. It was one hell of a match though. For Kurt to fight in three matches like this is such a credit to him. There is a lack of a main event at the moment with Undertaker forking off to take on DDP, Triple H injured, Kane in the Intercontinental division, The Rock nowhere to be seen and now with Chris Benoit injured there is going to be a lot of time and spotlight put on Kurt.
The main event was another classic match. A really under-rated match between three of the best workers of all time. Sadly Chris Benoit did break his neck right at the end of the match when he German suplexed Chris Jericho from the top turnbuckle. Austin won the match and is arguably having the best WWF title run of his career. Jericho is one of those guys that they can keep building towards the main event, he’s definitely got WWF Champion written all over him, it’s just a matter of timing when they pull the trigger. A great main event though and one you don’t hear a lot about. Really good PPV and in my eyes, not only the best King Of The Ring PPV you’ll see but one of the best PPVs you’ll ever see.
Overall Rating: 71/100 (ranked 2nd out of 125)
Match Of The Night: Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle & Steve Austin vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho
Worst Match Of The Night: Jeff Hardy vs. X Pac
Surprise Of The Night: Booker T attacks Steve Austin
Worst Booking Of The Night: None
Superstar Of The Night: Kurt Angle
King Of The Ring 2001 Will Be Remembered For: Kurt Angle nearly killing Shane McMahon, Edge becomes King Of The Ring and the Invasion truly begins.
One thought on “King Of The Ring 2001”
The King of the Ring tournament had really become nothing but an afterthought and a plot point for other storylines by 2001.
Nothing against Edge, because he deserved the big moment in the spotlight. However, the grand final was so damn early in the show, you easily forget why it was called “King of the Ring” in the first place. The KOTR concept really needed to die off, but alas they tried it one more time the next year.
Meanwhile, on Sunday Night Heat, Matt Hardy successfully defended the European Title against Justin Credible thanks to outside interference from Lita.