Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Dawn Marie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dawn Marie. Show all posts

Friday, 4 March 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE Royal Rumble 2003

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Event Poster
January 19, 2003, 
Fleet Center, Boston, Massachusetts

For the past decade, the winner of the annual 30-man Royal Rumble match had earned an automatic world title shot at The Granddaddy of Them All, Wrestlemania. 

At least in theory, anyway. 

As we saw on occasions such as Wrestlemania 2000, Vince McMahon and his team weren't against reneging on their storyline promise if it meant delivering a card that was more to their liking. 

It got complicated and complex at times, which made you wonder why they didn't just do away with the rule altogether.

After all, the Rumble is such a unique attraction that I'm sure it would still sell on its own without a stipulation that was ignored half the time anyway.

Still, the company persisted with teasing a straight-forward narrative of Wrestler A earning and receiving a title shot against Wrestler B, only to change things up and go with something completely different.

This year, things had the chance to get even more consulted as this was the first Royal Rumble since the WWE Draft and subsequent brand extension, meaning a whole new world of possible scenarios on the road to Wrestlemania. 






We could worry about that some other time though. For now, let's get ready to rumble down in Boston.

Wrestlemania is Very Important

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Michael Cole and Tazz


Tonight’s opening video featured a montage of WWE performers doing their thing while speaking about how the Road to Wrestlemania began tonight.

This was super important because Wrestlemania itself was super important. Not just super important, but like the most important thing in the whole world.

And if you didn’t believe that, stars like Chris Jericho, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, and others were all to happy to tell you that nothing mattered more than main eventing on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

This wasn’t the most compelling opening video WWE had ever done, but it served its purpose and was effective.

With that out of the way, we got the obligatory crowd shots, pyro, and rousing greeting from Michael Cole who, along with Tazz, would be calling our first match of the evening.

The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar


It was back at Survivor Series 2002 that the dastardly Paul Heyman had turned his back on Brock Lesnar by helping Big Show beat The Next Big Thing for the WWE Championship.

Lesnar had extracted a modicum of revenge by ensuring Show then lost that same title to Kurt Angle at Armageddon 2002, making this the first time the two had met for a one-on-one encounter since November.

The match wasn’t quite up to the same standards as their Survivor Series outing, but it was still an enjoyable opener in its own right.

Alright, you weren’t going to get a catch-as-catch-can classic out of these two, but if you like watching two big, burly bruisers beating the crap out of each other, you’ll probably like Show/Lesnar II.

Even though the feud itself was enough of a reason to put these two together, this match had the added stipulation that the winner would earn a place in the Rumble match while the loser wouldn’t be allowed to compete in that match.

With that on the line, the two men went at it hard and heavy, with Lesnar showing that despite being an Ass-Kicking Machine, he could bump with the best of them.

Indeed, the then-youngster got thrown around the ring with abandon by his larger opponent before making a comeback and overcoming a Heyman run-in to put Show away with an F5.

Big Show and Lesnar had excellent chemistry together and it helped create a match that was far superior to what you might imagine it would be.
Your Winner (Earns a place in the Rumble): Brock Lesnar

Backstage, Terri reminded Chris Jericho that he had been given an opportunity to decide which number he entered the Royal Rumble 2003 match at.

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Terri Runnels interviews Chris Jericho



In a good promo, Jericho refuted the former Marlena’s claim and insisted that he’d only ever had one option:

Not the coveted Number 30 spot but rather the Number 2 spot.

Why? 

Because Shawn Michaels had already been confirmed as the number one entrant and the two hated one another.

Wrapping things up, The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla proved that he couldn’t go a single day without telling somebody that he once beat Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock on the same night before vowing to eliminate 29 other athletes and go onto headline Wrestlemania 19.

Up next, we switched to Raw, which meant commentary from King & JR.

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm and William Regal vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley)

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - World Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & William Regal


After Jim Ross told us that Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley had won 15 tag team championships across three different organizations, Jerry Lawler commented something to the effect that fans would be clamoring for tables.

It was a comment which reminded this fan why I never got too into The Dudleyz.

They weren’t bad wrestlers by any stretch, and I have enjoyed some matches that they were a part of, but it always struck me that nothing they did in the early part of any match actually mattered.

The two could be tearing it up and all the fans would respond with would be a “We want tables” chant, meaning that anything the decorated team did always felt like it was just killing time until the obligatory “D’Von, get the tables!” moment.

Anyway, this wasn’t a bad match by any stretch, but not apart from the aforementioned Dudley problem, the whole thing felt kind of rushed.

Towards the finish, Chief Morley stormed to the ring as he apparently had some beef with The Brothers Dudley.

In the resulting fracas, a pair of brass knuckles came into play which were supposed to give the heels the advantage but instead ended up in the hands of D’Von Dudley.

After a 3D, D’Von blasted Lance Storm with the International Object. One three count later, he and Bubba Ray were now 16 time tag team champions.
Your Winners and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

After a commercial for the company’s upcoming house shows, we got a look at impending arrival, Nathan Jones.

Last seen on Retro Pro Wrestling competing at WWA The Inception (where he was given the odd and confusing nickname of ‘The Front Row’), Jones’ real-world prison time was played up to full effect here, with his promo package showing us (what I assume to be) genuine Australian news footage about his time in a maximum-security prison, showing us just how scary and badass this dude was legitimately supposed to be.

The second coming of Nailz this was not.

Al Wilson is Dead

Prior to the next match, we got a lot back at the awful storyline between Torrie Wilson, her dad, Al Wilson, and Al’s lover, Dawn Marie.

This was bad and awkward enough when it was just Dawn Marie trying to get Torrie to have a little lesbian action with her.

It was even worse now that Dawn had since married Wilson and proceeded to, I don’t know, shag him quite literally to death on their honeymoon.

Did anyone actually find this entertaining? Did none of the three people involved stop and say “actually, this is crass and pretty tasteless?”

How did this crap ever get on TV, let alone PPV?

Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson


This match was not good.

Neither woman was exactly known for her technical prowess, yet they tried in vein to wrestle a standard match when the awful storyline hanging over it -as horrible at it was- did at least present an opportunity for a quick cat fight or some overbooked chaos where Torrie just beat the hell out of her evil step-mother.

Predictably, the now Hall of Famer did pick up the win over Marie, and if anybody in the audience cheered, it was likely only because they were glad it was over.
Your Winner: Torrie Wilson

Backstage, Smackdown GM Stephanie McMahon interrupted Randy Orton from talking to Raw boss, Eric Bischoff.

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Stephanie McMahon interupts Eric Bischoff talking to Randy Orton


McMahon reminded Bischoff that her daddy had promised to fire him in 30 days and wondered what bombshell the author of Controversy Creates Cash would do to try and save his job.

Easy E promised that what he did have planned wasn’t just a bombshell but an “atomic bombshell.”

Unimpressed, Steph related that she had an atomic bombshell of her own to drop on the next episode of Smackdown.

This was followed by a vignette in which Sean O’Haire questioned the existence of God.

I wasn’t watching wrestling at all back in 2003, so I haven’t seen any of O’Haire’s WWE run, though I definitely saw the appeal of him back in WCW, so I’m personally interested to see him as I go through these reviews.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Scott Steiner

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Earl Hebner lays down the law for HHH and Scott Steiner


Prior to the match, we saw a video recap of Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner challenging Triple H to a title match before beating him in an arm wrestling match to demonstrate his superiority.

The match itself began fine. It wasn’t a balls-to-the-wall epic or anything, sure, but it certainly wasn’t offensive.

Then, Big Poppa Pump knackered himself and wound up botching his way through a succession of repetitive suplexes and sloppy action.

Things were so bad (almost every bit as bad as you’ve heard they were) that the crowd loudly turned on babyface Scott Steiner and crapped all over the match itself.

They crapped the loudest and hardest towards the finish.

The Game tried to get himself disqualified but Earl Hebner was having none of it, instead insisting on a clean finish.

A few moments later, the champion brought out his old pal Sledgie and got DQ’d anyway.

Sure, it was a finish that made it easy to setup a rematch, but that was one rematch nobody wanted to see.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Triple H retains

Post match, Scott Steiner went crazy and destroyed Triple H. A gaggle of officials couldn’t stop The Big Bad Booty Daddy for holding The Game in the Steiner Recliner, but fortunately, Eric Bischoff could.

After a video package highlighting the rivalry between Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, the two would meet in our second title match of the evening.

WWE Championship
WWE Champion Kurt Angle (w/ Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas)

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - Kurt Angle vs. Krispin Wah


This was an awesome match that outshone Angle and Chris Benoit’s earlier effort back at Unforgiven 2002.

Though it took a little while to build up, it gradually developed into an all-out wrestling masterpiece between two of the best the sport had to offer at that time.

Keeping primarily between the ropes, the two traded holds, suplexes, and a flurry of near falls to deliver an awesome match that made the earlier HHH/Steiner fiasco look like two rookies in their first week of training.

After a thrilling match, the champion retained by making his opponent tap.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Kurt Angle

Post match, the crowd gave Benoit a standing ovation for his tremendous performance.

Benoit, who was clearly over in a big way, acknowledged the love and respect before hobbling to the back with his star on the rise.

Prior to the Rumble match, tag team partners Kane & Rob Van Dam agreed that it really was every man for himself tonight and that they would each do whatever it took to win.

2003 Royal Rumble Match
Featuring: Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Chris Nowinski, Bill Demott,  B-2, Rob Van Dam, Edge, Christian, Tajiri, Tommy Dreamer, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, Eddie Guerrero, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Rosie, Jamal, Test, Rikishi, A-Train, Matt Hardy, Maven, Goldust, Booker T, Jeff Hardy,  John Cena, Batista, Kane, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar.

WWE Royal Rumble 2002 Review - The Undertaker confronts and congratulates Brock Lesnar


This was an excellent Royal Rumble match pretty much from start to finish.

Making his first appearance in a rumble match since 1996, number one entrant Shawn Michaels probably set a new record for the least amount of time he’d ever spent in such a match, at least since he split from Marty Jannetty.

He and his number-two placed rival Chris Jericho wasted no time going at it, but Y2J quickly got the upper hand, destroying the Heartbreak Kid with a steel chair and taking him out of the match in no time.

Jericho went on to prove himself to be the MVP of the match. Busted open, he lasted all the way into the part of the match where the final six or seven competitors were entering, only for an irate Michaels to storm back to the ring and extract revenge by eliminating his adversary.

The two were broken up by officials on the outside, but this feud was clearly far, far from over.

After Michaels’ elimination, stars like Edge, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, and Tajiri all entered the fray and wowed the crowds, giving us some of the fastest-paced and most exciting action we’d ever seen in a rumble match.

As all this was going on, Christian took his spot in the contest wearing the most garish and god-awful ring attire you’ve ever seen.

Honestly, this fan thinks that was a stroke of genius.

As a heel, it did Christian no favors to try and look cool. Wearing a hideous ensemble that everybody hated only served to make him even more despised.

It was a smart move, but it was Jericho who made the smarter move by eliminating both Christian and his brother Edge at the same time, ultimately clearing the ring and being the only remaining competitor until Rob Van Dam entered the fray and lasted all the way to the final five.

At that point, RVD’s partner Kane set him up, insisting that he would gorilla press slam his partner on top of a prone Batista, but instead hurling him out of the ring.

Eventually, that left us with a final four of Kane, Batista, Lesnar, and a returning Undertaker, who hadn’t been seen on WWE PPV since No Mercy 2002.

Batista went out first, then, just as Kane had betrayed his partner, he was betrayed by his brother as ‘Taker hurled The Big Red Machine out of the ring.

A few moments later, Brock eliminated The Undertaker to stamp his ticket for the main event of Wrestlemania.
Your Winner: Brock Lesnar

Post match, The Dead Man returned to the ring to show some level of respect to his former rival, encouraging Lesnar to give him a title shot if and when he won at ‘Mania.







All in all, Royal Rumble 2003 was a good show.

There was nary a dull moment in the 30 man battle royal, and despite the lack of any surprise participants, it was hugely enjoyable.

The Angle/Benoit match was also off the charts, and the opening Lesnar/Show contest was good stuff.

Sure, the Steiner/HHH match and the women’s debacle both absolutely sucked, but if you take those out of the equation and don’t set your hopes too high for the tag title match, this is a worthwhile watch.


Friday, 18 February 2022

PPV REVIEW: Armageddon 2002

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Event Poster
December 15, 2002
Office Depot Center, Sunrise, Florida

Armageddon 2002 came at the end of a big period of change for WWE.

With the Invasion angle now but a distant memory, the company had gone into the New Year with a bloated roster, leading to the creation of the first roster draft.

Shortly after, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) became World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and, shortly after that, one of the company's biggest stars of the previous decade, Shawn Michaels, had returned to action following a four-year hiatus.

In another landmark moment for 2002, the Elimination Chamber was invented and took place at Survivor Series '02, giving Michaels a World Heavyweight Championship win and quickly re-establishing himself as the main event attraction that he was.

Tonight, Michaels would head back to the main event to defend that title against former friend turned bitter rival, Triple H, while on the undercard, the WWE's last PPV of the year would see young stars like Dave Batista and John Cena start their journey to the top.




Here's what went down when Armageddon 2002 came to Sunrise, Florida.

The End is Here

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler called all the action


Tonight’s show began with all of WWE’s trademark opening video staples.

You wanted an elderly Freddie Blassie waxing philosophical like he’d done in countless other videos in the past?

You got it.

You wanted shots of that abandoned warehouse they always showed?

You got that too.

You wanted that bad ass rip-off of The Doors’ that featured on several other PPVs?

Here it was!

You wanted shots of wrestlers interspersed with random pictures of missiles and war-torn lands?

Yep, you got that too.

Ok, so it wasn’t the most impressive video of all time, but it was still mighty good.

With the video over, we got crowd shots and a greeting from our announcers Jim Ross & Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler who led us right into our opening match.

Four Team Elimination Match for the WWE World Tag Team Championship
World Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von & Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. Lance Storm & William Regal vs. Booker T & Goldust

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - The Dudley Boyz go WASSUP!


I’ve got to be honest with you, dear readers, this match was a bit of a letdown, at least in the early going.

After a few minutes of decent but unremarkable action, the recently reunited Dudley Boyz got taken out, followed quickly by Lance Storm and William Regal, denying this fan of the opportunity to see some kind of interaction between Storm and his former Thrillseekers partner, Chris Jericho.

With those two teams out of the running, Jericho and Christian went at it with Booker T and Goldust in what turned out to be a fun and explosive exchange.

It was good stuff, but I couldn’t help but feel that the match would have been a lot better had they kept it as a straight 2 vs. 2 between the two remaining teams.

After a good effort, Booker put Jericho away to capture the gold for his team.
Your Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Booker T & Goldust

Post-match, the new champions were interviewed at ringside by Jonathan Coachman, with The Booker Man putting his partner over and working the crowd.

Will Brock Be in Angle’s Corner?

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Josh Mattews interviews Brock Lesnar


Out in the back, Smackdown backstage reporter Josh Matthews asked Brock Lesnar whether he would be in Kurt Angle’s corner tonight against WWE Champion The Big Show.

Rather than give Matthews a straight answer, The Next Big Thing simply promised to make an impact on tonight’s show.

Edge vs. A-Train

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Edge faced A-Train


I don’t know about you, but A-Train was always one of those wrestlers who -though he wasn’t terrible in the ring- I certainly never had any desire to watch wrestle.

He got his way into this match by virtue of beating up Edge’s buddy and tag partner Rey Mysterio before costing the future Rated R Superstar a shot at the title.

The match was surprisingly enjoyable. Not amazing by any stretch, but certainly a solid performance from both men.

After a good outing with a couple of exciting near falls, A-Train got fed up and blasted Edge in his supposedly injured knee with a chair.
Your Winner via DQ: Edge

Afterwards, Edge went loco and destroyed his nemesis with the chair, much to the delight of the audience.

Big Show Wants Respect

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - The Big Show demands respect


Backstage, an angry Big Show ranted to Paul Heyman about not getting any respect. For some reason that I couldn’t quite follow, he had decided they the best way to get it was to barge into Stephanie McMahon’s office.

Before he could do that, however, the champion’s agent, Paul Heyman convinced him to go prepare for his match instead, insisting that he, Heyman, would handle everything.

WWE Tag Team Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Eddie Guerrero faced Chris Benoit


With Michael Cole informing us that the winner of this match would inevitably get a title match, both Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero made their way to the ring with purpose.

As they did so, you got a distinct feeling that this was about to be a show stealer and proverbial Match of the Night candidate

Unfortunately, these two talented performers failed to live up to expectations on this particular night.

The first half of the match saw Guerrero and Benoit focus on a mat-based approach with lots of holds and chain wrestling. It was solid, but unfortunately, it only served to elicit a noticeable “boring”
chant from the Florida faithful.

The two would occasionally liven things up by trading rolling German suplexes or having Guerrero leap off the top to the outside with a big time crossbody on his former Radicalz teammate, but then it was back to basics.

Things picked up towards the finish (which saw Eddie tap to the Crossface) but by that point it was too little, too late.

This was a fine match, for sure, but just not what the crowd wanted to see and by no means either man’s best outing.
Your Winner: Chris Benoit

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon


Back in Stephane McMahon’s office, the Smackdown GM refused Paul Heyman’s request to ban Brock Lesnar from being in Kurt Angle’s corner tonight.

Steph refused, prompting Heyman to sweat that if Lesnar did get involved tonight, Big Show would break his neck.

No lie, the interaction between Steph and Heyman was one of the most entertaining things on the show so far.

Dawn Marie Seduces Torrie Wilson

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Al Wilson and Dawn Marie


Up next, we saw a video package of the time Dawn Marie promised to call off her marriage to Al Wilson if his daughter Torrie Wilson spent the night with her in her hotel room.

This was followed by Dawn and Al coming to the ring where the former began rolling footage from said hotel room where she began to seduce Torrie.

The live crowd ate it up, but, honestly, it wasn’t sexy in the slightest. It was weird and uncomfortable and this writer for one was glad when Al Wilson put his foot down and ordered Dawn Marie to
Stop.

That was horrible.

Kane vs. Batista (w/ Ric Flair)

Batista hit the ring to what sounded like a demo version of his signature “I Walk Alone” theme while Jim Ross told us that the future champion was making his PPV debut here.

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Batista and Ric Flair


Ross wasn’t wrong here, this was certainly his PPV debut match, but he’d technically appeared before as Reverend D-Von’s hired muscle back at Judgement Day 2002.

With Ric Flair in his corner, Batista went up against Kane in a match that was…OK.

Sure, it was competently performed and a strong effort from both men, but the match simply wasn’t that interesting or exciting.

What’s more, the regular interference from Flair (who was the most popular man in the whole thing) took the shine of his rising star protege.

After a so-so outing, Batista put away Kane for the three.
Your Winner: Batista

Out in the back, Kurt Angle searched for Brock Lesnar…

Cena Raps

Up next, heel John Cena came out with Bull “B-12” Buchanan in tow to spit lyrics about how awesome he was.

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - John Cena raps raps raps


The whole thing, which sounded more like slam poetry than actual rapping, was greeted with near silence from the crowd.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Victoria vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline

Prior to the match, we were taken back to Survivor Series 2002 where Victoria beat Trish Stratus for the women's championship, after which she stole Jacqueline’s clothes for no other reason than the fact that she was supposed to be off her rocker.

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Trish Stratus vs. Victoria vs. Jacqueline


The match was a good effort by all three women but, much like the previous bout, did almost nothing to capture the imagination and compel you watch.

After several minutes, the reigning champion picked up the fall to continue her big-time push.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Victoria

After the match, a victorious Victoria stole Jacqui’s hat and took it to the back.

Time for Retribution

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to persuade Brock Lesnar to be his corner for tonight’s WWE title match by reminding him that he would be only 20ft away from the man who screwed him out of the gold, Paul Heyman.

In a compelling segment, Lesnar refused to confirm that he’d be there, but did promise that Angle wouldn’t regret helping to get his recent suspension lifted.

This was followed by a video package highlighting the Lesnar/Angle/Show/Heyman storyline before we went down to our penultimate match of the evening.

WWE Championship
WWE Champion The Big Show (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Kurt Angle

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - The Big Show clobbers Kurt Angle


This was a decent match that was hampered by having the Lesnar appearance tease lingering overhead.

Angle tried to use his speed and agility to get the better of Big Show in the early going, but the champion countered by using his strength and size to his advantage and wearing The Olympic Gold Medalist down.

It was as good as you could ask for from a match involving The Big Show, but it was met with reserved applause from an audience who were clearly just waiting for Lesnar to show up.

In fact, when the referee got knocked down along with the two combatants, the crowd merely chanted “We want Brock!”

They would, of course, get him, but not before A-Train ran in with a completely random attack on the challenger.

Eventually, The Next Big Thing hit the ring while official Mike Chioda was napping and hit Show with an F-5.

It got the biggest response of the whole match and led to Angle covering Show to capture his third WWE title.
Your Winner and New WWE Champion: Kurt Angle

Prior to the main event, Rob Van Dam came to us live from The World to give us his prediction.

Though he’d been in the ring with both men and knew how tough they were, The Whole F’N Show gave the nod to Michaels, noting that there was nothing he loved more than seeing Triple H get his ass kicked.

Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (w/ Ric Flair)

I’ve read numerous complaints from other reviewers who say that something about this match just didn’t click or wasn’t quite right.

WWE Armageddon 2002 Review - Triple H prepares to hurt Shawn Michaels with a flaming barbwire 2x4



Honestly, I’m not sure I agree with them.

This was a good match. It didn’t live up to their awesome unsanctioned match back at Summerslam 2002, but it was enjoyable in its own right.

Both champ and challenger wasted no time in going at one another with fists, fury, and a flurry of weapons as they battled in a street fight.

Triple H won that round after planting HBK with his patented pedigree.

The second fall was a cage match, and it’s here where I’ve seen this contest draw the most criticism, as surely it would have been better to end the match on that one?

Again, I don’t agree with that criticism as it allowed both men to masterfully tease a spot where Michaels would have crashed off the cage through a two-tier stack of four tables, leaving fans wanting more.

They didn’t get it at that moment. Instead, they rolled back into the ring where Ric Flair’s interference infuriated the champion to the point where we got a great spot in which the defending champion simply went ape shit on his adversaries.

This entertaining part of the match saw HBK take out both Flair and Hunter before pinning the latter to even the score.

Blood soaked and battered, the two men intensified their fight in the third and final fall, a ladder match.

Separately, both men had given us better ladder matches than this one, but it was still gripping in its own right.

After six or seven minutes of war, The Showstopper took out his rival then slowly dragged his weary body up the ladder in pursuit of the gold.

Before he could make it however, the challenger recovered and toppled the ladder, sending Michaels crashing out of the ring and through the four tables…just as he’d teased earlier:

The spot -which certainly cool- pretty much killed The Heartbreak Kid, giving the game all the time he needed to scale the ladder and reclaim the title he’d lost one month earlier at Survivor Series.
Your Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

As the show went off the air, a destroyed Shawn Michaels lay comatose on the outside while his nemesis scaled the top rope, his face a bloody mess but his hand holding a loft the championship.






Speaking of blood, the one thing I didn’t mention was that during Flair’s run-in, the Nature Boy blades and proceeded to seriously gush.

I don’t mean he bled just a little, I mean he bled like he was competing on an NWA show booked by Dusty Rhodes back in the 80s.

I mean more blood than any of the two men actually competing in the match.

Anyway, Armageddon 2002 wasn’t the greatest PPV in the world but, then again, WWE’s December offerings have rarely ever been considered all-time classic shows.

The main event was the highlight of the night for me, though Benoit/Guerrero was also an enjoyable performance.

Given that the worst two things on the show weren’t matches at all but rather the Cena rap and that awful Dawn Marie business, I’m happy to say that this was at the very least a decent show.


Wednesday, 2 February 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE Rebellion 2002

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Event poster
October 26, 2002,
Manchester Arena, Manchester, England

WWE Rebellion 2002 may not be a show anybody talks about today, but it does have the distinction of clocking up a number of firsts and lasts in the history of Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire.

Since all of the previous incarnations of this event had been held while the company was still known as the World Wrestling Federation, tonight's show was the first Rebellion event to be promoted under the WWE banner.

In fact, it was the only Rebellion to be promoted under this banner as Vince would decide to stop doing UK-exclusive PPVs entirely the following year, making this the last ever Rebellion.

Notably -and here's a bit of obscure trivia for you- it was technically the first Smackdown-exclusive Pay Per View in WWE history as the Blue Brand made their way over to Manchester for one last hoorah.

Of course, the only question is:






Was it any good?

Let's head down to jolly old England and find out together, shall we?

The Rebellion Has Begun

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Michael Cole and Tazz called the action
We started tonight's show with a very impressive opening video in which a little girl gave a monologue over shots of the Smackdown superstars.

When the heels were shown on screen, the girl talked about how sad she was that evil forces had taken control and took pleasure in the pain and suffering of others. 

Switching over to shots of the babyfaces, she spoke of her hope that things would get better now that the rebellion had begun. 

This was very well done, especially for a UK PPV. 

From there, Michael Cole and Tazz welcomed us to the show as pyro exploded, the cameras panned the crowd, and WWE Rebellion 2002 got underway. 

Steph Starts the Show

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Stephanie McMahon made an announcement at the start of the show
Much as she'd done back at WWE Global Warning, Stephanie McMahon kicked off another international event by hitting the ring and taking to the microphone. 

This time, the Smackdown General Manager informed us that The Undertaker would not be here, partly becasue he'd been beaten up by Big Show and Brock Lesnar, but mostly because his new child was due to be born any day. 

She went onto inform us that Edge would be taking The Dead Man's place in a scheduled 2 vs. 1 handicap match against Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar for the WWE title, before wrapping up by announcing that, as part of a "special trade agreement" with Raw GM Eric Bischoff, Smackdown had secured the services of Booker T for one night only. 

On that note, the Booker Man himself made his way to ringside and it was on to our opening match.

Booker T vs. Matt Hardy V1

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Matt Hardy loves English muffins
Here, we had the PPV debut of Matt Hardy's V1 character, complete with "Matt Facts" and that awesome Monster Magnet theme song.

Tonight, he went up against Booker T in a fun opening contest. 

This wasn't an all-out wrestling classic, but it wasn't designed to be.

It was designed to entertain the fans by pitting a despised heel against a beloved babyface and having them appeal to the crowd. 

From a pure wrestling stand-point, it was average at best, but entertainment value, it was very good indeed.

To the surprise of no one (especially given that the faces usually always went over on these UK PPVs), Booker T picked up the win.
Your Winner: Booker T

Post match, The Five Time, Five Time, Five Time WCW champion continued to entertain the fans with a spinarooni.

Paul Heyman is Furious

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Paul Heyman confronts Stephanie McMahon about his role in the show's main event
Out in the backstage area, an upset Paul Heyman burst into Stephanie McMahon's office and did his damndest to get out of the handicap match later on in the show. 

Heyman first appealed to McMahon by noting how unfair it was that Edge could become champion by pinning him, rather than Lesnar.

When that didn't work, the former ECW owner insisted that he couldn't wrestle anyway because he hadn't brought his "trunks," as if he ever owned a pair of wrestling trunks in his life. 

That didn't work either, with Steph simply demanding that Lesnar's manager go and get ready for the match.

This was followed by a look back at the rivalry between Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson, and was pretty much the same video we'd just seen back at No Mercy 2002 the week before.

Mixed Tag Team Match
Dawn Marie & John Cena vs. Torrie Wilson & Billy Kidman

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Kidman & Torrie Wilson vs. John Cena & Dawn Marie
John Cena
had recently turned heel on Kidman after the two had lost in the recent tag team titel tournament, making both men the perfect partners for Wilson and Marie.

Much like the last match, this was more about entertainment than actual wrestling, but it certainly wasn't bad. 

OK, so they once again did the lame spot where the girls cat fight and wind up rolling around on top of one of the guys, only this time it was Billy Kidman who got to be the "lucky" recipient rather than the referee as it usually was. 

I'd complain that this is the third event I've watched in about two weeks that I've seen this spot, and that Wilson and Marie did the exact same thing back at No Mercy, but hey, it always got a pop and Kidman's reaction afterward was pretty funny.

After that, we got a little more action before the girls toppled to the outside and Kidman smacked Cena with a wicked kick, causing the future world champion to face plant the mat in such a glorious fashion that it almost put the famous "Flair Flop" to shame. 

Billy followed this up with a shooting star press and, one three count later, won the match.
Your Winners: Billy Kidman & Torrie Wilson

Afterwards, Torrie celebrated by giving Kidman a good snog. Once again, the former cruiserweight champion's reaction was gold.

Edge Swears Victory

Out in the back, Edge cut an intense promo in which he vowed to become the WWE champion in front of the "Manchester chapter of the Edge Army."

This was good stuff from Edge, but he wasn't yet at a point in his career where I imagine many saw him as a legitimate threat to Lesnar. 

Funaki vs. Crash Holly

Holy crap, an actual Funaki match. 

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Funaki vs. Crash Holly
Funaki hadn't beeen seen on PPV since participating in a Battle Royal at Survivor Series 2001, and it had been so long since he'd participated in a non-battle royal PPV match that I can't even figure out when that would have been. 

Smackdown's Number One Announcer was popular with the UK crowd, but not popular enough to get them invested in this match.

In fact, despite the fact that it was competently performed, this one played out to almost total silence.

Not even Crash Holly sporting a Japanese headband and busting out Karate Kid moves was enough to elicit a response, proving that racial stereotyping wasn't always as funny as the wrestling business used to pretend it was.

In fact, the match was so uninteresting that Tazz started entertaining himself with a Gordon Sollie impression.

The match ended with a roll-up for Funaki.
Your Winner: Funaki 

Out in the back, Jamie Noble and Nidia agreed that people in the UK were smelly trash while across the way, Rey Mysterio psyched up himself up to face Noble and Tajiri in this next match.

Triple Threat Elimination Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Cruiserwieight Champion Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) vs. Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio 

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Jamie Noble defends his Cruiserweight title
This was just about as good a cruiserweight match as you might expect it to be, showcasing the kind of fast-paced, back-and-forth action that you just weren't going to see anywhere else on the card.

Somewhat predictably, Tajiri got taken out of this elimination rules match early on, clearing the way for champion Jamie Noble to have an exciting one-on-one encounter with Mysterio.

At multiple points, the challenger looked to have the match won, only Nidia to get in the way and stop things. Eventually, Noble drilled Mysterio down in to the mat and got the win thanks to his girflriend's assistance.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble 

Post match, Mysterio delivered a 619 to both Noble and Nidia. 

Who's The Captain?

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to explain to Chris Benoit that because he was American, he was therefore better than his Canadian tag team partner and therefore the captain of their team. Benoit countered by reminding the Olympic Gold Medalist that since he'd beaten him on Smackdown, that technically made him the captain. 

The two were clearly at loggerheads, but somehow they'd have to settle their differences in order to defend their titles on tonight's show. 

Chuck Palumbo & The Big Valbowski vs. D'Von & Ron Simmons

WWE Rebellion 2002 Review - Ron Simmons puts a hurting on Chuck Palumbo
After the whole wedding-that-wasn't debacle between Billy & Chuck, Billy Gunn had been injured, leaving Chuck Palumbo wandering around with nothing to do, hence a random tag team with The Big Valbowski

Across the ring, D'von had dropped the whole Reverand thing while Ron Simmons had ditched his Farooq moniker.

The match between the two teams was fine for what it was, but the crowd were practically silent for it and I can't really blame them. It was a by-the-numbers, go-through-the-motions affair which ended with a win for Ron and D'Von when the latter rolled up Valbowski.
Your Winners: D'Von & Ron Simmons

Prior to the next match, Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero cut a backstage promo in which they played up to some Mexican stereotypes and then tried to get heat by ragging on British staples like tea and crumpets.

Their match was later, but first, we had this. 

Kiss My Arse Match
Albert vs. Rikishi

WWE Rebellion 2002 - Rikishi faced Albert in a "Kiss My Arse" match
Yes, it's a Kiss My Ass match, but we're in England, so it's Kiss My Arse instead.

Prior to the bell, Albert took to the microphone to talk about how sexy he was and promised to make Rikishi kiss his "Big Hairy Ass."

Unfortunately for the big fella, he didn't get to keep his promise. 

After a decent but rather unexciting match, 'Kishi predictably toppled his "sexy" opponent and picked up the victory.
Your Winner: Rikishi 

Post-match, Albert tried to leave but Rikishi called him back to the ring. Instead of willingly puckering up, the former Hip Hop Hippo attacked and went to ram his hairy butt into his foe's face, only for Big Kish to hit him with a low-blow and an equally as predictable stink face.

From there, the one-time Headshrinker called Michael Cole, Tazz, and Tony Chimmel into the ring for a spot of some of the most awkward dancing you've ever seen in your life. 

This was followed by a look back at the rivalry between The Guerreros and the team of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, leading into their upcoming title match.

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit vs. Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero Jr)

WWE Rebellion 2002 - Eddie Guerrero Tries to Break Kurt Angle's back
It's fair to say that, alongside Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker from One Night Only 1997, this was one of the best matches ever showcased on a UK PPV. 

Whereas many wrestlers tended to phone it in at these kind of shows, Eddie, Chavo, Benoit, and Angle all busted their behinds to deliver an excellent performance that was captivating from start to finish. 

At various points, it looked as though Los Guerreros would genuinly be taking the titles home with them but, of course, that never happened. 

After a thrilling contest, Kurt drilled Eddie with the Angle Slam and that was that.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit

Post-match, Angle and Benoit continued their "partners who hate each other" thing by almost coming to blows before finally united to see off Eddie & Chavo, who had tried to steal the tag titles.

Brock is Mad

Backstage, Brock Lesnar scolded his manager Paul Heyman for not getting tonight's main event cancelled, and insisted that if Edge should beat the former ECW manager, he (Lesnar) would have no problem busting him in half. 

Handicap Match for the WWE Championship
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman vs. Edge

WWE Rebellion 2002 - Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
This was another thrilling match in which Edge looked like he could genuinly beat The Next Big Thing and become our new champion.

Of course, despite it being a handicap match, Paul Heyman didn't get involved any more than he would have done in his capacity as a manager, though he did recieve a wicked spear courtesy of the future Rated-R Superstar. 

After a tremendously exciting match in which the challenger gave his opponent everything he could possibly throw at him, Brock hit an F5 to retain.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar

Post-match, Paul Heyman yelled at Edge for spearing him and looked to hit him with a chair, only for Edge to kick the chair right into Heyman's face and give him a Downward Spiral to end the show. 








The last ever WWE Rebellion Show was a largely positive show. 

While matches like Albert/Rikishi, Funaki/Crash, and Dvon/Simmons vs. Palumbo/Valbowski didn't really deliver, everything else did to varying degrees. 

The opening Hardy/Booker match was a fun sports entertainment contest, the Cruiserweight title match was great, and the last two matches were as exciting as you could possibly ask for. 

Despite nothing major happening in terms of development, this was still a very watchable show that saw the Rebellion brand go out on a high note. 




Other 2002 pro wrestling reviews: 

Thursday, 20 January 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE No Mercy 2002

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Event poster
October 20, 2002, 
Alltel Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas

WWE No Mercy 2002 came to us in the midst of storyline that has since gone down in history as one of the worst of all time:


As if anybody needs reminding, this was a time when Triple H decided that he didn't like Kane being happy, so accused him of murdering a girl called Katie Vick as a result of drunk driving. 

Not content with that, The Game proceeded to shag a mannequin that was supposed to be Katie, a moment few wrestling fans who saw it have ever forgotten.

The dumbest part of all this was that it was entirely unnecessary.

The Cerebral Assasin and The Big Red Machine were set to meet tonight at No Mercy in a match that would unify the World Heavyweight Championship, a story that itself was steeped in enough significance that it could have surely been enough to give the two men a compelling reason to meet.

Regardless, this is where we found ourselves tonight as No Mercy came live from North Little Rock, Arkansas.




Winner Take All

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Kane and The Undertaker
No Mercy 2002 began with a cold open featuring The Undertaker sitting in the locker room looking at his injured hand.

At that point, his brother Kane walked in, took a seat, and asked “so, how’s your week been?”

It was a pretty funny moment despite the fact that the two had been in some pretty intense storylines.

The obligatory opening video then showed us that Kane had been at war with Triple H during the infamous Katie Vick debacle.

The two would face off tonight in a winner-take-all match with Kane’s Intercontinental title and The Game’s World Heavyweight Championship both on the line.

Meanwhile, ‘Taker was still engaged in a bitter rivalry with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar after the two failed to settle things last month at Unforgiven 2002.

Tonight, they’d look to end things once and for all in a Hell in a Cell.

With that, we got crowd shots and pyro (but nothing from The World which was new) as Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to the show.

From there, it was down to ringside for our opening contest.

WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Booker T & Goldust

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Booker T teamed with Goldust to face Christian & Chris Jericho
So, does Christian have the distinction of being the only man to have separate tag team title reigns with both members of The Thrillseekers?

I think so. I also haven’t been watching the ‘tween-PPV tv shows as of late so I’ve no idea how Christian’s alliance with Lance Storm came to an end, but here we are.

Regardless of how they got together, Christian and Chris Jericho entered into a spirited performance with Booker T & Goldust, the result of which was a very fun opening match.

The champs cut Goldust off for the first part of the match before Booker T got involved to the delight of the live crowd.

We then got several moments of wild action before Jericho attempted a springboard dropkick on Booker only for the middle rope to completely snap, causing Y2J to collapse in a heap.

The former Undisputed Champion recovered well, hurling Book out of the ring then polishing off Goldust with a DDT onto the title belt and a top rope moonsault that was even more impressive given that he had no middle rope to help him up to the top.

Even with the scary moment when the rope broke, this was a great opener.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho & Christian

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Funaki interviews Al Wilson
Backstage, Smackdown’s Number One Announcer, Funaki questioned Al Wilson about his goings-on with Dawn Marie.

Funaki showed Wilson two separate instances in which Marie had given him a peak at her body and asked how those peaks made him feel.

Wilson ummed and ah’d but never answered the question, so Funaki then showed him footage of Torrie Wilson catching her dad in the shower with Dawn.

In slow, broken English the man with the microphone asked:

So, Funaki have one question: Why you wear your clothes in the shower?”

Wilson ignored that and simply gave a very dated Bill Clinton reference by insisting that he did not have sexual relations with that woman.

Way to keep it relevant, Al.

Mr. Wilson may not have been much good here, but Funaki was good, especially when he gave us the punchline to the whole segment, speaking in further slow, broken English as he said:

It seems...that Al...Wilson...does not understand English.”

Brilliant. I laughed so damn hard at that.

Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Dawn Marie faced Torrie WIlson

Dawn Marie made her way to the ring as the crew were still fixing the ropes.

The match was never going to be a classic, but it was the best it could be given each woman’s skill level and it certainly didn’t stink.

Dawn Marie spent most of the match mauling Torrie before they went into the same old tired spot that got done in every match involving two hot women:

Both girls get in a cat fight, end up rolling around on top of the referee and the referee likes it too much.

Yawn.

That was lame, but the rest of the match was OK for what it was.

After spending most of the time getting her butt whooped, Wilson pulled off a swinging neck breaker to score the fall.
Your Winner: Torrie Wilson

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Coach interviews Rob Van Dam

Backstage, Rob Van Dam gave an entertaining interview to Jonathan Coachman about his rivalry and upcoming match with Ric Flair.

Flair had turned heel on RVD by costing him a title match against HHH back at Unforgiven. The two would lock up later, but for now Mr. PPV claimed that he not time for styling, profiling, limos or jets as he was a chair smashing, frog splashing, ying-yanging man named Rob Van Dam.

That was good stuff from RVD. What wasn’t so good was that Coach then saw Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar and Undertaker’s ex, Tracy, all heading through the back.

Lesnar and Heyman had nothing to say but Tracy wanted Coach to know that ‘Taker was a scumbag and would get what was coming to him tonight.

Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Ric Flair battles Rob Van Dam
This was neither man’s greatest ever match, but it was still a solid effort with a lot to enjoy.

Ever the veteran, Flair spent time attacking RVD’s greatest weapon, his two legs, and even locked him in the figure four.

Van Dam made a comeback and one frog splash later picked up a big victory following a decent contest.
Your Winner: Rob Van Dam

Backstage, Big Show was seen venting his frustrations to Stephanie McMahon, much to the chagrin of Raw GM Eric Bischoff.

As Show’s boss, Easy E wanted to know just what was going on, so the giant let him have it, bemoaning the fact that he hadn’t been featured on a PPV since July and hadn’t headlined a show in ages despite the fact that he was 7ft, 500 pounds and a former WWE and WCW champion.

Bischoff berated his employee for daring to take that kind of tone with him, so Big Show grabbed hold of him and threatened to break his neck if things didn’t change.

How Awesome Was the Intercontinental Championship?

Tonight’s winner-take-all match meant that this would be the last time the Intercontinental Championship would be defended as it got absorbed with the world title.

As a final farewell, WWE gave us an awesome video package highlighting the history of the prestigious title and showcasing just about every man to ever hold the title.

It was very good, not least because it gave us a few shots of the much-missed Owen Hart.

Honestly, this made you question why ok earth WWE would get rid of the belt in the first place.

The video made it look like HHH vs. Kane was next, but it wasn’t.

Instead we got this:

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) vs. Tajiri

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Tajiri gets set to face Jamie Noble
This was as solid a Cruiserweight match as you were going to get from WWE, an exciting back and forth with lots of unique spots and plenty to enjoy.

After a compelling battle, Tajiri looked to have the match won, but Nidia snogged the referee’s face off so that he couldn’t count the fall.

She then prevented the challenger from executing a roll-up, allowing her man to retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble

Post-match, Tajiri kissed Nidia. Irate, Noble then went to show his rival how it was done but got kicked in the back of the head by the Japanese Buzz Saw.”

Chavo Gets His Butt Handed to Him

Out in the back, Chris Benoit warned Eddie Guerrero that Kurt Angle was whooping Chavo Guerrero’s butt.

Concerned, Uncle Eddie raced to the rescue but then stopped short of entering the room where the assault was taking place.

As Chavo screamed for help from behind closed doors, Eddie reached the conclusion that it had all been a rouse and, in a hilarious moment, mistook his nephew’s voice for that of a little girl.

When Chavo was finally sent hurling through the door, Eddie pounced on Angle but was immediately stopped by two officials, which begs the question as to why said officials did nothing to stop Angle destroying Chavo.

Winner Take All
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Kane

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Kane vs. Triple H
On any other night, a title unification match for the World Heavyweight Championship and the Intercontinental Championship would have been a big enough story in its own right.

WWE being what they were (and many would say, still are), they all but ignored the significance of such an event and instead focused on a dumb story involving Kane’s friend Katie Vick dying in a car accident while he was at the wheel and Triple H shagging a mannequin in a coffin while wearing a Kane mask.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the first half of this match was pretty lifeless.

Things picked up when Ric Flair got involved to start running interference for his protégé. We even got the briefest of cameos from Kane’s tag team partner Hurricane who got immediately pedigreed and spent the rest of the match napping on the outside.

Flair’s shenanigans did liven things up a bit and gave us a finishing sequence that was at least more exciting than the first part of the match, but it was nothing out of the ordinary for a PPV title match.

After an underwhelming match, The Game scored the pinfall thanks to the pedigree.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

So long IC title...for now.

Tracy Confesses

Back in Stephanie McMahon’s office, Tracy confessed to the Smackdown GM that she’d made up having an affair with The Undertaker at Paul Heyman’s request and had gone along with it because she wanted “Mark” back.

Unbeknownst to her, Mark had been listening in from behind the door and heard the whole thing. He walked in, called her a lying bitch, and left again.

WWE Tag Team Championship
Rey Mysterio & Edge vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Jericho
This was just such a tremendous match I’m almost tempted to go back and rewatch it.

Stephanie McMahon had created the WWE Tag Team Championship to give Smackdown its own duos title only to realise that she had no real tag teams on her roster.

Make shift teams like Edge & Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit had been formed and had gone on to duke it out in a tournament to determine the first ever champions.

This was the final, and what a final it was.

Exceptional wrestling, jaw-dropping high spots, Rey Mysterio getting thrown 500ft in the air by Benoit and Angle, this match had it all...

...OK, so 500ft may be an exaggeration, but it’s no exaggeration to say that this was a truly excellent match, one which ended when Angle made Edge tap to the ankle lock.
Your Winners and first ever WWE tag team Champions: Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit

01.58.26 - TAKER

Backstage, Undertaker bullied a medic into giving him a shot. In a rare moment of vulnerability, ‘Taker admitted that without a shot to help him with his injured hand, he wouldn’t survive Hell in a Cell.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Victoria

As Victoria made her way out for her debut PPV match, Jim Ross described her as being “permanently pre-menstrual,” a comment that was so problematic even Jerry Lawler of all people called him out on it.

Questionable commentary aside, this was a decent match, not great by any stretch, but competently performed and inoffensive.

After a few minutes of getting battered by the challenger, Trish Stratus picked up the three count to retain her title.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus

Before the main event, we went over to The World, where Rikishi told us about that time Undertaker pushed him off the top of the cell at Armageddon 2000 in a spot that was nowhere near as impressive as WWE made it out to be.

We then got one final video package for Taker vs. Brock and then it was on with the match.

Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review - Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
This incredible match was proof positive that sometimes less really is so much more and that Hell in a Cell match didn’t need insane, Foleyesque stunts to be effective.

In fact, neither ‘Taker nor Brock ever left the cell, instead choosing to destroy each other -and I mean utterly *destroy* each other- inside the structure.

Lesnar immediately went after his opponent's injured hand but the challenger fought back and battered Brock to a bloody pulp outside the ring.

‘Taker was even able to get his hands on Paul Heyman and attack him to the point that Lesnar’s manager bled beautifully.

The sight and sound of Heyman, his face dripping with blood, screaming desperately from outside the cage, begging ‘Taker to show mercy and then begging Brock to fight back, really added something special to what was already an amazing match.

The tides turned once again and Brock took charge, ensuring his rival also donned the proverbial crimson mask...except it wasn’t so much a mask for Undertaker. He bled so much that it was more like a crimson all-over body suit.

Anyway, things went back and forth in an awesome display of brutality until finally, the champion countered a Tombstone with an F5 to retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar

As the show went off the air, Lesnar grabbed his title and stood atop the cage as a battered, bloody, and defeated Dead Man looked on in despair.

Honestly, that was one of the most compelling matches I’ve ever seen in all my years as a wrestling fan and one I’m definitely adding to my favourites.






If you fast forward through the World Heavyweight Championship match and don’t set your expectations too high for the women’s matches, No Mercy 2002 proved to be a very enjoyable show from start to finish.

The opening tag match, Cruiserweight Championship and, to a lesser extent, RVD/Flair all delivered, and while the Smackdown tag title match was so good that it seemed certain to steal the show, it was topped by a brutal, bloody, and utterly enthralling main event that has to be considered one of the best Hell in a Cell matches of all time.


Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.