Royal Rumble 2002

| Date: January 20, 2000
| Venue: Philips Arena | City: Atlanta, Georgia
| Attendance: 16, 106 | Buyrate: 670, 000

30 men, one match, one winner. The stakes couldn’t be higher for this years star-studded Royal Rumble match which has bought in the highest ever buyrate for this annual event. The Royal Rumble match itself is always a popular one and this years match will feature the likes of 3 time winner “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and the returning Triple H. Four familiar faces will also be returning to the ring in the form of Val Venis, The Godfather, Goldust and Mr Perfect. The main emphasis has been on the returning Triple H, Kurt Angle, Austin and The Undertaker so don’t be surprised to see those guys make up the final four. But who will the winner be wrestling at Wrestlemania?

Chris Jericho became Undisputed WWF Champion at Vengeance when he beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night. To determine a number one contender for his title, a match was held between The Rock and Booker T. Unsurprisingly it was The Rock that won and tonight the feud between Jericho and The Rock continues. Another rematch we’ll get from Vengeance tonight will be an Intercontinental Championship match between champion Edge and challenger William Regal. Regal has attacked Edge on numerous occasions with brass knucks and challenged Edge to rematch. Edge actually broke Regals nose with an Edgeocution onto a chair. They had decent chemistry at Vengeance so this rematch should be no different.

One of the biggest rivalries over the past couple of months has been between co-owners of the WWF, Vince McMahon and Ric Flair. Both men have laid each other out with right hands and on Smackdown a few weeks ago, Ric Flair made it clear that he not only had an ownership clause but he is also an active wrestler on the roster. He told McMahon that at the Royal Rumble, it would be Flair against McMahon. Since then McMahon has gone as far as to mock the Nature Boy, making this rivalry much mor personal. The Women’s title will also be on the line tonight when Trish Stratus defends her title against Jazz. Jazz beat Jacqueline to become number one contender and ironically it is Jacqueline that will serve as special guest referee tonight. Jazz smashes a case into the hand of Trish on Smackdown, will this affect her tonight?

The other match on the card tonight will be for the tag team championships. Tazz and Spike Dudley upset The Dudley Boyz on Raw a few weeks ago, defeating them for the WWF Tag Team titles. Tonight there will be a rematch between the two teams. So let’s get to it.

We kick off with a video package showing pictures of Royal Rumbles matches gone by with soundbites such as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan winning, only one of Shawn Michaels feet touching the floor and Vince McMahon winning the match. Then soundbites of some of the men that have entered this years Royal Rumble which features the returns of Val Venis, Mr Perfect, Goldust and The Godfather! Jim Ross then welcomes us to the event and he’s joined by Jerry Lawler.

Tazz & Spike Dudley (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) –  WWF Tag Team Championship Match

The Dudley Boyz are joined by Stacy Keibler and they attack Tazz and Spike as they make their entrance. Spike is wearing a neckbrace after an attack from Bubba Ray and D-Von on Smackdown. Bubba Ray and D-Von hit a double neckbrace on Spike early after disposing of Tazz on the outside. The Dudley Boyz have been in tag team matches on the previous two Royal Rumble events, beating Edge and Christian last year but losing to The Hardy Boyz the year before. The Dudley Boyz make quick tags as a “we want tables” chant breaks out. This is a Royal Rumble PPV debut for Spike. Tazz was in the Rumble match last year and made his debut at the event in 2000. Spike hits the Dudley Dogg from nowhere but he can’t capitalise.

The Dudley Boyz hit a double flapjack on Spike taking him back down to the canvas. Spike is looking for his first PPV victory tonight and he tags in Tazz! Tazz hits clotheslines and belly to belly suplex’s on  both Dudley Boyz. Spike then comes flying in off the top with a high cross body. Spike hits Dudley Dogg on Bubba Ray but Stacy Keibler then gets up on the apron. Tazz locks Tazzmission on Stacy! D-Von knocks Tazz into Stacy and she goes flying to the outside. Tazz then locks Tazzmission on D-Von and he taps out! Tazz and Spike Dudley retain their tag team championships tonight which mean Spike gets his first PPV victory tonight!

Rating: 5/10

We see some footage from Smackdown with Edge nailing William Regal, Test and referee Nick Patrick with a chair.

Lilian Garcia is backstage with Edge who says he’s happy to play dirty tonight.

Edge (c) vs. William Regal – WWF Intercontinental Championship Match

This is a rematch from last months Vengeance when Edge retained his Intercontinental title against Regal. This is Edge’s fourth Royal Rumble PPV and he’s yet to pick up a win. Edge starts the match quickly with forearms, clotheslines and a back body drop. Regal gets back into the match with a cheap shot and it’s Regal with the first near fall of the night. Edge hits an enzeguri but Regal hits a hard suplex and gets a few near falls before applying a chinlock. Regal hits a tigerbomb for another near fall before knocking Edge out of the ring. Edge hits a DDT on the ring apron for a two count before the two men crack heads.

The two men slug it out and Edge hits a spinning heel kick and a suplex for a two count. Edge then hits a couple of clotheslines for another two count. From nowhere Regal then takes Edge down and locks on the Regal Stretch! Edge then counters the hold into a Stretch of his own! Regal gets out of that and Edge heads to the top before flying off with a spinning heel kick. Regal grabs a pair of brass knucks from his tights! He pulls the referee between he and Edge and the champion spears the referee down to the mat. Regal then smashes Edge in the face with knucks! Regal rolls on top of Edge and the referee is slow to count but he counts the three! William Regal wins the match and becomes Intercontinental Champion!

Referees come out to see to Edge whilst Michael Cole interviews Regal in the entrance way. Regal says he’s blessed with a gift, the power of the punch. Regal leaves as Intercontinental Champion tonight!

Rating: 6.75/10

Trish Stratus (c) vs. Jazz – WWF Women’s Championship match with Jacqueline as special guest referee

Before the match begins we see some footage from Smackdown with Jazz smashing Trish’s hand in a case backstage. Jazz beat Jacqueline in a number one contenders match. Trish comes out in a cast. Jazz is looking for her first PPV victory tonight after losing in her debut at Survivor Series. Jazz lays into Trish  before the bell, hitting Trish with a back body drop and a splash for a near fall. Trish, all in purple, gets back into it with a sunset flip. The two girls swap pinfalls and Jazz hits a clothesline. Jazz then works the left arm of Trish before getting in the face of referee Jacqueline. This is a Royal Rumble debut for both women. Trish hits a springboard bulldog but she can’t keep Jazz down for the 3. Jazz hits a DDT for another near fall.

Jazz hits a big splash in the corner but tries it again and Trish gets her boot up. Trish then hits a bulldog and that’s enough for the three! Trish Stratus wins and retains her Women’s Championship! A big win for Trish who has now won on three consecutive PPVs. A decent enough match between these two ladies.

Rating: 4/10

We see Ric Flair arriving with his daughter Megan and son Reid.

There’s a video package for Ric Flair and Vince McMahon. Flair made the challenge and McMahon has mocked him since.

Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon – Street Fight

Both men have won Royal Rumble matches before, Flair in 1992 and McMahon in 1999. Flair’s last WWF PPV match was actually 9 years ago in the 1993 Royal Rumble. Referee Mike Chioda looks like he’d died his hair blonde. Both McMahon and Flair have wrestled on six WWF PPVs before. Both men are former WWF Champions. Vince throws Flair down to the mat first and poses. McMahon drops Flair again and this time mocks Flair. Vince hits a chop in the corner but Flair switches it round and hits some infamous Flair chops of his own! McMahon takes down Flair who falls down in his trademark style. More trademark Flair as Vince hits an Irish whip. Mr McMahon then dumps Flair out of the ring.

On the outside now and Vince nails Ric with a sign before throwing him into the barricade. Flair looks like he’s bladed as he’s bleeding from the face. McMahon hits him in the face with a trash can and then lays into him with right hands. McMahon hasn’t had a PPV match since last years Wrestlemania where he lost to his son Shane. Flair was last seen in the WWF feuding with Mr Perfect who also returns to PPV tonight. McMahon slams Flair on he outside in front of his children. Vince then grabs the camera out of Megans hand and takes a selfie of him and Flair. Vince throws Flair back in the ring and applies a leglock. Vince then wraps Flairs leg around the ring post. McMahon locks on the figure four! Flair manages to turn on to his front to reverse the hold.

McMahon exits the ring and limps over the timekeeper where he pulls out a lead pipe from the table. Vince used the lead pipe on Flair a few weeks ago on Raw. He raises it above his head but Flair hits him with a low blow! Vince heads to the outside and Flair follows him out and lays in some chops. Flair throws McMahon into the security barrier before picking up a television monitor from the Spanish announce table and smashing it into McMahons face! We then get a great shot of a replay on the monitor. Ric throws Vince back into the ring and then back out. McMahon looks like he’s bleeding now and Flair lays into him in front of his children.

Back in the ring and Flair hits some weak right hands and a blatant low blow before picking up the lead pipe and cracking it off Vince’s head! Ric Flair then locks on the figure four leglock in the middle of the ring! McMahon taps out and Flair picks up the big win! A good win for Flair on his return to the ring.

Rating: 6.5/10

Michael Cole is backstage with referee Nick Patrick, asking Nick if he’s had time to review the Regal result from earlier. Patrick is about to answer when Stephanie McMahon shows up and asks to take over. She then says that tonight Triple H is going to destroy Kurt Angle, The Undertaker and Steve Austin in the Royal Rumble match tonight. Austin then shows up behind her and “what”‘s her out of the interview. He then cuts a promo saying he’s going to win the Royal Rumble match. What?

Video package for Jericho and The Rock next.

Chris Jericho (c) vs. The Rock – WWF Championship Match

This is the third PPV meeting between Jericho and The Rock. Jericho has won the previous two. It’s a first title defence for Jericho as Undisputed champion. This is Jericho’s third Royal Rumble event, he become Intercontinental Champion at the last two event. He was also in the 2000 Royal Rumble match. He talks some trash to The Rock in the early going and asks the challenger to just bring it. The Rock does and lays into Jericho, hitting him with a Samoan Drop. Jericho exits the ring and Rocky chases him back into it before knocking him down with a spear and right hands. Jericho hits his flying forearm and some clotheslines in the corner.

The Rock hits some right hands but Jericho gets back into it with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Jericho takes off the top turnbuckle pad and then attempts the Walls of Jericho but The Rock fights him off. Jericho goes up top and flies off with a missile dropkick before applying a chinlock. The Rock gets out of it and Jericho goes up top but this time Rocky crotches him and hits a superplex. Both men get up but it’s The Rock with a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Jericho reverses an Irish whip and hits a bulldog and two Lionsaults. Jericho gets a two count and then gets into a shoving match with referee Earl Hebner. The Undisputed Champion then goes up to the middle rope but The Rock catches him on the way down and locks on a Sharpshooter! Lance Storm and Christian then appear and Storm gets up on the apron, distracting the referee as Jericho taps out. Christian then attempts to hit The Rock with a title belt but The Rock gets rid of him. Jericho hits a Rock Bottom to The Rock but Rocky kicks out.

Jericho attempts The People’s Elbow but The Rock nips up and throws Jericho out of the ring. Jericho gets back into it, dropping The Rock on the Spanish announce table and then attempting the Rock Bottom but The Rock reverses it and Rock Bottoms Jericho through the English announce table! The Rock rolls Jericho back into the ring but Jericho kicks out of the pinfall. The Rock then motions for another Rock Bottom but Jericho fights him off and applies the Walls of Jericho! Rocky gets to the ropes and Jericho isn’t happy. The Rock attempts a big clothesline but Jericho gets out of the way and The Rock nails the referee! Jericho grabs the WWF Championship belt and smashes The Rock with it! Jericho then waves Nick Patrick back down and he comes running out as Jericho hooks the leg but again The Rock kicks out!

The Rock gets up and hits a DDT but Nick Patrick doesn’t count the pinfall! The Rock hits Patrick with the Rock Bottom and then turns around and hits a spinebuster on Jericho before hitting him with the People’s Elbow! He hooks the leg but there’s no referee to make the count. The Rock tries to revive Earl Hebner so Jericho hits him with a low blow, smashes him into the exposed turnbuckle and then rolls him up. The referee wakes up but doesn’t see Jericho using the ropes for leverage and he gets the three! Jericho beats The Rock and retains his championship! That’s 3 times Jericho has beaten The Rock on PPV.

Rating: 7.75/10

Shawn Michaels is at WWF New York who says the McMahon/Flair match was a treat for him as a wrestling fan. Michaels then predicts The Undertaker or Austin to win the Rumble match.

There’s a VT for the Royal Rumble match now.

The 2002 Royal Rumble Match

I bloody love this match. The Fink reads out the rules and it’s time for the match! #1 is Rikishi who gets a bit of a mixed reaction. He’s had plenty of Royal Rumble appearances and got to the final 4 in 1994. #2 is the return of Goldust! Goldust’s last WWF PPV match was back in April 1999, losing to The Godfather who we should see at some point in this match. He made his PPV debut at the 1991 Royal Rumble event, teaming with his daddy Dusty Rhodes. A very interesting start to the 2002 Royal Rumble match. Goldust hits some big right hands in the early going and Rikishi nearly eliminates him but Goldust rolls back in. Rikishi then backdrops Goldust over the top again but again Goldust rolls back in. The countdown begins and there’s a new countdown clock. #3 is usually the first man out. The Big Boss Man enters the Rumble at #3, he’s recently been bought back into storylines as Booker T’s bodyguard. Boss Man lays into Rikishi with right hands and Goldust gives him a hand. These three men seem quite old school in the grand scheme of things. They all wrestled at Royal Rumble PPVs long before the Attitude Era.

#4 is Bradshaw and he slides in and goes after everyone! He takes Goldust down with a big shoulder charge. Rikishi in the other corner lays a Stink Face in to the Big Boss Man! Rikishi then eliminates The Big Boss Man, what did I tell you about that #3 spot. That was Boss Mans first PPV match in nearly two years. Goldust hits Bradshaw with some big right hand sin the corner but Bradshaw powerbombs Goldust. #5 is Lance Storm and he enters with some clotheslines to Goldust. Lance Storm is looking for his first PPV victory tonight on the 6th time of asking but I can’t see that happening. He gets Goldust teetering on the top rope whilst Rikishi has Bradshaw teetering on the opposite corner. Goldust and Bradshaw stat alive and the big Texan turns his attention to Lance Storm. #6 is Al Snow who runs down and takes Lance Storm down with a clothesline. Snow has had his fair share of Royal Rumble matches that haven’t amounted to much. Bradshaw takes Lance Storm down with a big clothesline from hell. A “we want head” chant breaks out. Storm hits Bradshaw with a low blow.

Last years Royal Rumble match will be remembered for the Hardcore centre of which Al Snow was involved. Lance Storm is the only man so far to be wrestling in his first Royal Rumble match. #7 is Billy Gunn who makes the mistake of going after Bradshaw. This is Gunns fourth Royal Rumble in a row. Al Snow and Lance Storm battle on to the apron where Snow hits Storm with a superkick eliminating him from the match. Billy Gunn then eliminates Bradshaw. Those two men have been feuding with their partners Faarooq and Chuck Palumbo respectively. #8 is The Undertaker and to quote Jim Ross, business is about to pick up. The Undertaker gets in the ring and chokeslams anyone that moves before eliminating Goldust, Al Snow, Rikishi and Billy Gunn. Undertaker is left completely on his own. #9 is Matt Hardy who had been teasing a heel turn recently but it seems that he’s now face again. Matt charges the ring with girlfriend Lita who hits Undertaker with a low blow! Matt and Lita then stomp away at Undertaker before Lita exits the ring. Matt hits some big right hands and attempts to eliminate Undertaker but to no avail. Matt and brother Jeff eliminated each other in last years Rumble match.

#10 is Jeff Hardy who is right on cue after Jerry Lawler said Matt could do with some help. Jeff blocks Matt from being eliminated and both Hardy Boyz and Lita triple team Undertaker. The Hardy Boyz embrace showing that they’re back on the same page but it ends with Undertaker clotheslining both men down. Undertaker tries to throw both men out but they get back in. Matt hits Twist of fate on Undertaker and Jeff follows it up with a Swanton Bomb! Jeff then attempts Poetry In Motion but Undertaker catches Jeff and throws him out of the match. Undertaker follows that up with a Last Ride to Matt Hardy before eliminating him. Undertaker is left on his own again but not for long as #11 is Maven! Maven is making his PPV debut tonight after winning Tough Enough. Lita gets up on the apron and Undertaker pie faces her. Matt and Jeff Hardy then get back in the ring and lay into Undertaker! Undertaker fights off both Hardy Boyz but is distracted long enough for Maven to come from behind and dropkick Undertaker over the top and out of the match!

There is a huge pop in the arena but Maven looks terrified! Undertaker gets back in the match and lays into Maven, throwing him through the ropes. Undertaker grabs a chair and smashes it hard into Mavens face. That looks extremely painful. As Undertaker lays into Maven on the outside #12 Scotty Too Hotty dances his way to the ring! Undertaker hits Scotty with a big right hand and then puts Maven back into the ring before throwing him back out of the ring over the top rope. I guess that means Maven is eliminated. The rookie is bleeding from the forehead and Undertaker takes him through the crowd, battling up the stairs. #13 is Christian as we see Undertaker throw Maven through the glass popcorn stand. In the ring Christian celebrates with his European Championship, lying across the top rope. Scotty gets back into the ring and hits Christian with some right hands. Scotty goes for his bulldog but Christian ducks it and hits his reverse DDT. Don’t think either of these men will be winning the rumble.

#14 is Diamond Dallas Page! He gets a good pop in Atlanta. Christian hits DDP with a reverse DDT. Page is making his Royal Rumble debut tonight and he hits Christian with a Diamond Cutter! Scotty kicks DDP out of the ring through the ropes so he’s not eliminated. Scotty then hits Christian with a bulldog and the Worm! But DDP then grabs Scotty from behind and eliminates him from the match. Chuck Palumbo comes in at #15, joining DDP and Christian. Chuck goes after former Alliance buddy DDP, laying him out with a right hand. Palumbo takes the time to celebrate so DDP attacks him from behind. Palumbo reverses an Irish whip, sending him into Christian who takes DDP down with a clothesline. All three of these men were part of the Alliance and one time of another. #16 wasn’t, it’s none other than The Godfather! He gets a huge pop and keeps heading to the back and bringing out more hoes! He hasn’t wrestled on PPV since last years Wrestlemania. In the ring Christian and Chuck Palumbo eliminate Diamond Dallas Page which we don’t even see because The Godfather is too busy dancing with his 12 hoes.

#17 is Albert who lays out Christian and Chucky. Albert then hits a big pump kick on The Godfather. He tries to eliminate The Godfather but Palumbo and Christian come from behind and eliminate Albert. The Godfather attempts a Hoe Train on Christian and Palumbo but they get out the way and clothesline The Godfather over the top and out of the match! Palumbo and Christian are then left in the ring and joined by Perry Saturn who comes in at number 18. We’ve not seen Saturn for a while. He’s wearing cow print trunks. Lot’s of boo’s when Godfather got eliminated. Palumbo lays into Saturn as Chuck and Christian seem to have struck up a partnership. Hilarious how Jim Ross keeps calling Palumbo “Chucky”. Saturn goes after both men but can’t eliminate them. #19 is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin who has won 3 of the last 5 Royal Rumbles. He’s the only 3 time winner and is a favourite to win the match tonight. I don’t think he’ll struggle with these three. Austin eliminates Christian, Palumbo & Saturn in quick succession. He then puts Christian back in the ring and hits him with a Stunner before throwing him out again. He then does the same to Chucky Palumbo!

Austin waits around checking his watch until #20 comes out and it’s Val Venis! Venis hasn’t fought on PPV since last years Wrestlemania. It’s Val’s fourth Rumble in a row. It’s taken Triple, Kane and The Undertaker to eliminate Val over the past 3 years. He lays into Austin with some big right hands. Austin then hits a Lou Thesz Press and some big right hands. #21 is Test and he goes right for Austin. Test has been getting a big push over the last 6 months but could he win the Rumble tonight? Austin eliminated Test from the 1999 Royal Rumble match. Big Show has eliminated in the two Rumbles since then. Venis and Test double team Austin but Stone Cold fights back. Test accidentally hits Val with a big boot and then Austin eliminates Val Venis before hitting a Stunner on Test and eliminating him from the match!

Austin waits alone in the ring until # 22 comes out and it’s Triple H! Last time Triple H had a PPV match, he was buddies with Austin. These are two of the favourites in the match, two of the heavy hitters. The last time Triple H was in a Royal Rumble was 1999 and he was eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin. The two men go face to face in the middle of the ring before slugging it out. It isn’t long before #23 comes out and it’s The Hurricane! Hurricane gets in the ring just as Austin and Triple H have knocked each other down. The Hurricane then gets both Triple H and Austin by the throat to try a double chokeslam but Austin and Triple H look at one another before throwing The Hurricane over the top and out of the ring. Triple H then lays into Austin with right hands until Austin hits a spinebuster. #24 is Faarooq and it sounds like he gets a few boo’s. Faaoorq hits Austin with a spinebuster and then tries to eliminate him but Triple H actually saves Austin. Stone Cold then hits a Stunner on Faarooq and Triple H clotheslines Faarooq out of the match.

Triple H goes back to work on Austin and the two men slug it out. Neither man can eliminate the other but out comes #25 Mr Perfect who gets a huge pop. It is awesome to see Perfect who hasn’t wrestled in a PPV match since Summerslam 1993 where he lost to Shawn Michaels. Perfect takes his time getting to the ring before getting in and throwing his towel at Austin. Perfect then lays into both men. Perfect and Triple H were on screen buddies at one point. Triple H and Austin try to double team Perfect but they can’t throw him out. #26 is Kurt Angle who looks intense and runs straight to the ring. A “you suck” chant breaks out, aimed at Angle. Angle pairs off with Triple H whilst Austin and Perfect go at it in the other corner. This is Kurt Angle’s first Royal Rumble match. Perfect was runner up in the 1990 Royal Rumble match. There are only four men left in this one and they’re all big names. #27 is The Big Show who was runner up in the 2000 Royal Rumble. Well, he technically won it. Big Show comes in and chokeslams Perfect. Austin and Triple H double team Big Show until Show takes them down with a double clothesline.

Angle attempts a German suplex on Big Show but can’t get him up. Show then lifts Angle high above his head but Triple H saves Kurt from being eliminated. Big Show takes down everyone with headbutts and then chokeslams Triple H. #28 is Kane who has an on/off relationship with Big Show. Kane was runner up in last years Royal Rumble match. Big Show hits a big boot on Kane and then both men try for a chokeslam. Kane picks Big Show up and bodyslams him over the top and out of the match! Kurt then hits an olympic slam on Kane over the top and out of the match! Austin goes back to Mr Perfect whilst Triple H lays into Kurt Angle. #29 is the ever popular Rob Van Dam making his Royal Rumble debut. He gets in the match off the top rope and 5 star frog splashes Kurt Angle! RVD takes down everyone and hits rolling thunder on Stone Cold! Triple H then hits a Pedigree on Van Dam! Everyone is down in the ring. They slowly get up and Kurt goes after Perfect whilst Austin and Triple H go at it. RVD is still down.

#30 is Booker T joining Rob Van Dam, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mr Perfect, Triple H and Kurt Angle. These are your final 6. Van Dam is still down from the Pedigree he took and Booker T stands him up and throws Van Dam over the top, out of the match! Booker T then gives us a royal spineroonie! Austin kicks him in the gut and Stunner Booker T who sells it right over the top rope and out of the match! We’re down to the final 4. Angle hits an Angle Slam on Triple H! Kurt then hits a few German suplexes on Austin. Austin hits a low blow on Angle and goes back to work on Mr Perfect. Angle and Perfect double team Austin and nearly eliminate him from the match. Austin then has Mr Perfect teetering on the top rope but Angle comes from behind and eliminates Stone Cold Steve Austin from the match!

We’re down to Mr Perfect, Triple H and Kurt Angle! At the moment I’d predict Triple H to go on to Wrestlemania against Chris Jericho. Austin gets back into the ring and lays all three men out with a steel chair! It’s only the second time of 6 Royal Rumble that Austin has entered that he hasn’t got to the last 2. All three men get up and Angle nearly eliminates Perfect! Perfect sorts himself out and hits a Perfect-plex on Angle! Triple H then eliminates Mr Perfect from the match! We’re down to Triple H and Kurt Angle. Helmsley takes Angle down and then lays into him with right hands. Kurt hits a belly to belly suplex and tries to eliminate Triple H but can’t. Triple H chokes Angle down to the mat and then runs at Angle who back body drops him on to the apron. Kurt thinks he’s won but Triple H gets back in, hits a facebuster and then clotheslines Kurt Angle over the top and out of the match! Triple H wins the Royal Rumble match! Triple H is going to Wrestlemania.

Rating: 8/10

And that was the 15th annual Royal Rumble PPV. 6 matches, one of which is the longest 30 man Royal Rumble of all time. The show kicked off with Spike Dudley and Tazz retaining their WWF Tag Team titles against The Dudley Boyz. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty surprised by this result. Tazz won with the Tazzmission and although the result was clean, I can definitely see this rivalry continuing until the Dudley Boyz inevitably get their titles back. William Regal then beat Edge in another surprising result. I like this result though, Regal has been awesome since returning to the WWF and him as champion sets up a number of feuds such as with the likes of Rob Van Dam, Mr Perfect or continuing with Edge.

Trish Stratus beat Jazz in relatively quick fashion. I was surprised (again) with such a clean finish as Jazz has a lot of potential in the Women’s division. The two ladies put on a good match, above the quality of a lot of other women’s matches. I really thought they would hold off on this match until Wrestlemania so it’ll be interesting to see where they go with the women next. Ric Flair beat Vince McMahon in a match that could have gone either way. It wouldn’t be a Flair match without blood so we weren’t left disappointed. There are a lot of potential “dream matches” with Flair back on the roster and to be honest, this “co-ownership” of WWF can’t last forever. I can see both of these guys in action at Wrestlemania.

Chris Jericho retained his Undisputed title against The Rock after some help from Christian and Lance Storm. It wasn’t a clean finish but I wasn’t expecting one. Jericho needs to go to Wrestlemania as Champion, The Rock doesn’t need the belt although he will elevate any match he is involved with. This may be the last PPV match we see between these two unless they blow it off with a big gimmick match, like a cage, at No Way Out. I wouldn’t mind that before they move on to other things. I think Wrestlemania is heading toward Jericho vs. Triple H. Hunter won the Royal Rumble in what might have been the most star studded Royal Rumble ever. Maven eliminating The Undertaker was fantastic, the final four may have been the best final four ever and in one match Jim Ross got over Chuck Palumbo better than ever. Triple H may have been the predictable favourite but him winning isn’t a bad thing. A decent night of action.

Overall Rating: 63.3/100 (ranked 24th out of 133)

Match Of The Night: The 2002 Royal Rumble Match
Worst Match Of The Night: Trish Stratus vs. Jazz
Surprise Of The Night: Maven eliminates The Undertaker
Worst Booking Of The Night: Tazz and Spike beat The Dudley Boyz
Superstar Of The Night: Triple H
Royal Rumble 2002 Will Be Remembered For: Triple H winning the Royal Rumble match

One thought on “Royal Rumble 2002

  1. This was a pretty good show to start the very unpredictable 2002, which would be a bizarre year of major changes and polarizing booking. The Attitude Era was officially in its final days, thus beginning the bridge to the next era. The one standard that lasted that whole year would be the loaded roster and solid in-ring action.

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