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 Edge & Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edge & Christian. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 September 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Way Out 2001

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 - Event Poster
February 25, 2001
Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada

I'm not sure if this is the first time I've said this, but it certainly won't be the last:

Until the Invasion came along and made a big mess of everything, the World Wrestling Federation were enjoying one of the best periods in their history, at least from a creative standpoint if not a commercial one.

By the time No Way Out 2001 came around, they were just weeks away from hammering the final nail in World Championship Wrestling's coffin and winning the Monday Night Wars once and for all.

Meanwhile, their stacked roster was churning top quality show after top quality show, all leading up to what would eventually become the show widely regarded as one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time, Wrestlemania XVII.

Before that, however, there was this, another in a long series of awesome events from the WWF.







Don't believe me? Lets head down to the wonderfully named Paradise, Nevada and see what went down at No Way Out 2001.

Two Men, Three Stages of Hell

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 - Jerry Lawler called his last PPV with Jim Ross before leaving the company for a few months
Tonight's opening video was nothing particularly special. It focussed on the show's two marquee matchups:
  • The Rock challenging Kurt Angle for the WWF title
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin taking on sworn enemy Triple H in the first-ever Three Stages of Hell match.
After the usual fireworks and hoopla, we got a greeting from our announcers Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler, then headed down to ringside for our opening match.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore ChampionshipWWF Hardcore Champion Raven vs. The Big Show

Two years ago to the month, Big Show had debuted WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre and went straight into the main event scene. Now he was floundering in the hardcore division which nobody ever really took seriously.
WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 - The Big Show beat Raven for the WWF Hardcore Championship
As he made his way to the ring, Show was attacked by a mysterious masked ninja woman who would later be revealed to be Tori.
Show disposed of her and then marched straight into a decent though uninspired garbage brawl with Raven.
Things got better towards the end when Crash Holly (disguised as a popcorn vendor), Bob Holly, Steve Blackman and Billy Gunn all ran in to get them some.
Gunn was temporarily our hardcore champion but then Raven won it back and lost it to Big Show.
Though the first part of the match wasn’t all that brilliant, the final few chaotic minutes were enjoyable.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: The Big Show


WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 - Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock
Earlier in the day, WWF Champion Kurt Angle arrived in a limousine and was interviewed by Kevin Kelly. Responding to Kelly’s question about how he was feeling, The Olympic Gold Medalist insisted he wasn’t at all worried about facing The Rock later on tonight.
Back live in the arena, Lillian Garcia interviewed Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero.
The two Radicalz would be competing in a fatal-four-way along with X-Pac and Chris Jericho for Y2J’s Intercontinental Championship. In a solid promo both men insisted that although they knew it was every man for himself, it would be one of the two of them taking home the gold tonight.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 - Chris Jericho puts Chris Benoit in the Walls of Jericho
Although we might have had a better match had Jericho defended the title in a straight singles match against any one of these challengers, it was still a solid and compelling match.

Everyone got their chance to shine and everyone looked impressive. Yes, that includes X-Pac.
Speaking of Pac, he was helped out towards the end by his buddy Justin Credible, who was last seen on WWF PPV as Aldo Montoya back at the 1996 Royal Rumble.
After a very good match, Y2J rolled up X-Pac to escape with his title in tact.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho
Backstage, Triple H was busy getting his wrists taped while his father in law tried hinting to Commissioner William Regal that he should prevent the match between Stephanie McMahon and Trish Stratus.
Regal, of course, didn’t get the hint and had no idea what to do.

Who’s The Biggest Trash Bag Ho?

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 - William Regal confronts Trish Stratus backstage
Cutting to WWF New York, Test was on stage and was the perfect person to ask for their thoughts on a match between his ex-fiancé and former manager.
Test was looking forward to seeing both women beat the hell out of each other to determine who was -in his words- the biggest trash bag ho.
Back in the arena, William Regal tried to stop Trish and her boobs from going to the ring but had no luck.
Killing time, we got adverts for Raw is War and the new WWF The Music Volume 5 CD.
Finally, it was back to the ring.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley vs. Trish Stratus

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 -  Trish Stratus ready for her match with Stephanie McMahon
This was surprisingly pretty good.
Ok, so it was never going to be a great match, but Trish was improving as a wrestler and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley was...
...Well, she put a lot of effort into it let’s put it that way.
Though the whole thing felt like it was building up to the spot where Steph pulled down Trish’s pants and gave her a spanking (to the obvious delight of the crowd), it was still pretty fun.
The end came when William Regal got involved and, after umming and ahhing about who to help, dropped Trish so that Steph could get the fall.
Your Winner: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
After a sentimental commercial for Wrestlemania X-Seven, a furious Vince McMahon scolded William Regal backstage and booked the two of them in a tag match. The following night on Raw it would Vince & Trish vs. Regal & Steph.
A video package aired next to promote the HHH vs. Austin match. Michael Cole then asked Stone Cold if he was ready to enter hell, but Austin just looked at Cole as if he’d asked him if he liked beer.
He then walked off, ready for battle.

Three Stages of Hell Two-out-of-Three Falls MatchTriple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 -  Steve Austin battled HHH in a Three-Stages of Hell Match
This was billed as two-out-of-three falls with each fall having a different stipulation, but it was also presented as if we would definitely see a cage match for the third stage of hell, so that pretty much spoiled the fact that we would see Austin and HHH score one fall apiece in the first two stages.

Fall 1: Standard Wrestling Match

The first fall was your usual one-on-one encounter. For Austin, that would typically mean a brawl through the crowd and all kinds of outside-the-ring shenanigans, but since they had to make this feel different from the upcoming street fight, it was kept mostly in the ring.
The fact that it proved to be a solid chunk of pro wrestling proved that Austin was still capable of having a very good wrestling match without resorting to all of his usual tricks.
Speaking of Stone Cold, he capped off the first fall by destroying HHH with a stunner for the three count.
First Fall Winner: Steve Austin

Fall 2: Street Fight

The second fall was even better.
A brutal, bloody and violent war of a match, this may have been a carbon copy of just about every main event from around this time period, but it was still exceptional stuff.
Predictably, The Game scored the three count thanks to the pedigree after a thoroughly gripping battle.
Second fall winner: Triple H

Fall 3: Steel cage match

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 -  A Bloody Triple H prepares to drill Steve Austin with Sledgehammer
Though the street fight was arguably the best chapter of this story, the cage match was still an engrossing affair with a heck of a lot to enjoy.
After beating each other to within an inch of their lives, both men struck each other at the same time, HHH using his sledgehammer and Austin with a Foley-inspired barbed-wire-wrapped board. They collapsed to the mat, with a dead Triple H collapsing like a sack of crap onto Austin.
One three count later, and I’m pretty sure Austin became the first Royal Rumble winner to lose at the February PPV before still headlining Wrestlemania.
Please correct me if I’m wrong on that one.
Your Winner: Triple H
Afterwards, both men did an excellent job of selling the war they’d been through by playing dead for a really long time. Austin still managed to get one last stunner in there for good measure.

The Kat Wants to be Naked

Up next, we were told that Jerry Lawler would be facing Steven Richards. This all started because Ivory was feuding with The Kat, who hadn’t been seen on PPV since she faced Terri in a Thong Stinkface Match at Summerslam 2000.
According to JR, The Kat just wanted to be naked and was fighting for her right to do so against Right to Censor. This got Lawler involved and here we were.
Backstage, Richards led Right to Censor in prayer.

Be the Ultimate Fanatic

A commercial then aired for a competition in which you could fly to New York and appear with Mick Foley on something called Ultimate Fanatic. I’ve never heard of that and obviously trying to Google it just brings up Ultimate Warrior stuff, so who knows what that was.
With that done, Tazz came down to join JR on commentary. Neither man mentioned the fact that they were feuding six months earlier.

Steven Richards (w/ WWF Women’s Champion Ivory) vs. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler (w/ The Kat)

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 -  The Kat wanted to get nekkidIf King wins, Kat gets naked. If Richards wins, Kat joins RTC.

This was an Ok match but there really went much to it. It was obviously just there to cool down the crowd after the incredible Three Stages of Hell and to that end it was at least highly effective.
After a few short minutes of inoffensive action, Kat accidentally blasted King with Ivory’s title belt.
Richards got the three count, denying the world of the Kat nekidness.
Your Winner: Steven Richards
Post-match, RTC kidnapped Kat. She would be forced to join the group the following night on Raw but would then be fired for real the next day, with Jerry Lawler also quitting the company in protest.

We’re Going to Put Those Boys Through Hell

Up next, a video package aired which showed Edge & Christian stirring things to get The Dudleyz beaten up by The Undertaker so that E&C could isolate Kane and destroy him with chairs.
Back live in the arena, The Undertaker told Michael Cole that tonight’s tag team title triple threat tables match wasn’t about the gold but about pain.
“We’re not just going to put those boys through tables,” said Kane. “We’re going to put them through hell.”

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Tables Match WWF Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Undertaker & Kane

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 -  Kane wore a rare all-black attire for his tag team match with The Undertaker versus Edge & Christian
Showing solidarity with his brother, Kane wore a rare all-black version of usual attire with only a hint of red on the mask. It looked pretty awesome, but wasn’t enough to help the Brothers of Destruction win the match even though they came pretty close.
Though it was messy in parts, it was also a lot of fun. Edge and Christian bumped like crazy, the champs got all of their spots in to the delight of the crowd, and Kane & ‘Taker did almost everything in unison, creating a kind of synchronised pro wrestling that worked for them.
Just when they looked to have the match won, however, the recently formed team of Rikishi and Haku came down to attack them.
That left The Dudleyz to put Christian through a table and retain their titles.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz
Afterward, Undertaker dropped a very obvious F-Bomb and was clearly upset about losing the match despite claiming that he didn’t care about the titles just ten minutes earlier.
Before the main event we saw the exact same Wrestlemania commercial aired that we’d seen earlier.
Out in the back, Kurt Angle walked, ready to defend his title.

Finally, The Rock Has Come Back... To Las Vegas

Backstage, The Rock warned Kurt Angle that his time as WWF champion was over. The Great One gave us none of his usual catchphrases, but was still as charismatic as ever.

World Wrestling Federation Championship WWF Champion Kurt Angle vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF No Way Out 2001 -  Kurt Angle threatens to break The Rock's f'n Ankle
Damn, this was so insanely good.
It had a completely different vibe to it than the HHH/Austin match but it was still an absolutely riveting match with non-stop excitement from bell to bell.
At one point, The Big Show inexplicably came out and killed both competitors and the referee with chokeslams but that achieved nothing more than Mike Chioda being replaced with Earl Hebner.
Hebner and Tim White were carrying Chioda out of the ring when The Rock made a cover. Deciding that was more important than helping his colleague, Hebner hilariously dropped Chioda like a sack of crap. In the midst of all the drama it was a hysterically funny moment.
A little while later, Angle recovered from his chokeslam and cranked the ankle lock on his opponent.
“Come on, tap you son of a bitch!” Yelled Angle. “I’ll break your f**king ankle!”
Even more so than any of the actual wrestling moves, it was this intensity, this passion and emotion that match that made the match so amazing.
Eventually, the challenger made a comeback and hit two rock bottoms to regain the WWF Championship.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock
Post-match, Angle ran off crying while The Rock celebrated, his third straight Wrestlemania main event now secure.







All in all, No Way Out 2001 was an awesome show from beginning to end. The IC title match, the outstanding HHH/Austin match and that incredible main event all make this a must-see show.
In between those matches, everything else served a purpose and was entertaining in its own right.
After a wonderful start to the year with a very entertaining Royal Rumble, the WWF were on a roll in early 2001.




Other reviews of 2001 pro wrestling events: 
    More WWF No Way Out Reviews
    Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

    Thursday, 27 August 2020

    PPV REVIEW: WWF Royal Rumble 2001

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Event poster
    January 21, 2001
    New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana

    It's fair to say that the year 2000 was the last full calendar year that everything was 'normal' in the world of professional wrestling as we knew it back then. 


    By the end of that year, there were still three major players - the WWF, WCW, and ECW. Sure, the latter two may have been on their last legs, but they were there.

    By the end of the year 2001, however, everything would be different. Not only would WCW and ECW be gone, but they'd be owned by the World Wrestling Federation, while the WWF itself would be only months away from not even being the WWF any more thanks to those pesky Panda People.

    Still, at least everything seemed normal on that late January night when the World Wrestling Federation brought the Royal Rumble to New Orleans.






    Here's what went down at the last Royal Rumble of an era remembered so fondly by so many of us...

    The First Step Towards Immortality

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Jim Ross called the event
    Tonight’s video package was a bold, dramatic affair that told us that if Wrestlemania was the showcase of the immortals then the Royal Rumble was the first step towards immortality.

    As with 99% of the company’s PPV intros, it was very well done and really got you psyched for the show.

    The camera then panned the huge crowd both live in the arena and at WWF New York. Man, I bet WWE -or indeed any wrestling company in the world- would kill to have such a huge crowd that was as red hot as the ones back then.

    Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to the show and, with that, it was down to ringside.

    World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
    WWF World Tag Team Champions Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley)

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Edge and Christian battled The Dudley Boyz
    The Dudleyz wasted no time going after their opponents and attacked them right from the opening bell, but Edge & Christian soon managed to cut D’Von off from his partner and dominate the bulk of the match.

    That whole part was fine, but it did look as though it was going to give us a fairly bland opening match with neither team performing anywhere near the level they were capable of.

    Then they began building towards the finish and it was absolutely tremendous.

    Near falls followed counters followed reversals followed more near falls, all in one utterly enthralling finale which came to a head with a win for Bubba Ray and D’Von courtesy of the 3D.
    Your Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Drew Carey meets Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
    Earlier, on heat, comedian Drew Carey arrived at the arena. Also on that show, Vince McMahon addressed something that had happened on Smackdown and told us that, yes, Steve Austin would be in tonight’s Rumble match and, yes, Triple H would be challenging Kurt Angle for the WWF title.

    Back live in the arena, HHH urged Stephanie McMahon not to let her hatred of Angle’s manager, Trish Stratus get in the way of him becoming champion.

    After Steph was done ranting about her man winning tonight’s match, they were interrupted by Carey, who was excited about bumping into Kamala at an airport.

    Honestly, that’s what he said.

    He also said that he wanted to talk to Vince McMahon about promoting PPVs since the only reason he was there on the show was to promote his own upcoming PPV special.

    Steph didn’t know where her Dad was, but she did want to introduce Drew to Trish, partly to get the comedian out of Hunter’s way (because who has time to talk about Kamala’s singing career when you’ve got a title match?) but mostly to stick it to Trish.

    Always Poundin’ Ass

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Farooq and Bradshaw with their questionable t-shirts
    Across the arena, Farooq and Bradshaw were playing cards and drinking beer. They got into it about something but I’m not sure what because I was too distracted by their ridiculous APA: Always Poundin’ Ass t-shirts.

    Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?

    I sort of got the idea that they were talking about which number they’d drawn for the Rumble as both men flashed one another bits of paper and agreed it was going to make things interesting.

    Crash Holly then burst on the scene to warn the two men that if they got in his way, he’d have no problem throwing them over the top rope.

    ‘DAMN,’ said Farooq.
    ‘And people call us drunks,’ added Bradshaw.

    World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
    WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

    In the past year, these two had given us many great matches at events like Judgement Day 2000, Summerslam 2000 and many others, so it was fitting that they kicked off 2001 with another scorcher.

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Chris Benoit faced Chris Jericho in an excellent ladder match
    I’ve always said that my favorite match of all time was the Intercontinental Championship ladder match between Triple H and The Rock at Summerslam 1998, but I genuinely believe that Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho at the 2001 Royal Rumble might be every bit as good as that one.

    Honestly, I’ve watched so much wrestling over the course of running this blog that I start wondering if I’m not becoming a bit desensitized to it all.

    Then a match like this comes along and reminds me why I do love pro wrestling.

    I can’t remember the last time I spent so long literally on the edge of my seat, utterly enraptured by every move. Nor do I ever remember joyously yelling ‘HOLY S**T!’ as often as I did here.

    It was stiff, it was brutal, it was dramatic,  and it was absolutely exceptional.

    Quality stuff from start to finish, this one ended when Jericho knocked Benoit from atop the ladder to the outside then climbed up and captured his third Intercontinental Championship.
    Your Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho

    Out in the back, Drew Carey was busy getting rejected by Trish Stratus when Vince McMahon walked in.

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Drew Carey flirts withTrish Stratus
    Seizing his opportunity, Carey quizzed McMahon on how to better promote his upcoming PPV, but Vince was more interested in encouraging him to enter the Royal Rumble match.

    Yep, that was happening.

    Don’t Worry About Chyna

    Across the arena, Chyna was gearing up for her match with Ivory as her buddy Billy Gunn urged her not to go through with it.

    The Ninth Wonder of the World was in rough shape after being on the receiving end of a spike piledriver at the hands of Right to Censor, but she wasn’t going to let that get in the way of getting revenge on arch-rival Ivory.

    Instead, she stormed off and insisted that Gunn would be better off worrying about the 29 other men he’d have to fight in the Rumble.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Your New Intercontinental Champion

    Before we went back to Ross and Lawler, Michael Cole got a quick word with new IC champion Y2J.

    Referring to Benoit as ‘one of the toughest bastards I’ve ever faced,’ Jericho kept it short and sweet, declaring that he’d proven his rival wrong once and for all.

    World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship
    WWF Women’s Champion Ivory (w/ Steven Richards) vs. Chyna

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Chyna presses Ivory in their women's title match
    Though the match was very short, it was actually kind of fun to watch Chyna woman-handle her much smaller opponent, throwing her around like a rag-doll and generally kicking her ass all over the place.

    Then the finish came, and it was really underwhelming.

    The challenger backed the champion into the corner and went for her trademark cartwheel handspring elbow. However, as she struck Ivory, Chyna’s neck injury was reaggravated and she collapsed to the mat like a sack of crap.

    A barely-conscious Ivory draper an elbow over her opponent and won the match in the space of just a few minutes.
    Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Ivory

    Selling the seriousness of the injury, Chyna lay prone on the mat, unable to move as Jerry Lawler abandoned his position at the announce table and hit the ring to check on her.

    Chyna’s buddy Billy Gunn came down, quickly followed by agents Sgt. Slaughter and Tony Garea as we got a really long stretcher job.

    I’ll Touch You, Trish

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Trish Stratus confronted Stephanie McMahon backstage
    Backstage, Stephanie McMahon headed to makeup to her hair fixed, only to find her nemesis Trish Stratus was already there.

    Trish offered to touch it up for her, leading McMahon to warn the blonde beauty that if she cost HHH the title then Steph would, yes, touch her.

    The crowd cheered at the thought of some Steph/Trish touching.

    Ahem.

    Drew Carey is a Big Deal

    Elsewhere, Harvey Wippleman handed some wrestling gear to a very nervous-looking Drew Carey.

    ‘Hey, who's the guy in the goofy mask?’ Asked Carey as Kane walked in, looked at the comedian, and left again.

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Kane stares down Drew Carey backstageNo doubt that would pay off later.

    As if to hammer home the point that Carey being there was a big deal, his name was dropped in another segment when Vince McMahon told Lo-Down (Chaz and D’Lo Brown with Tiger Ali Singh) that neither of them would be competing in the Royal Rumble because they’d been replaced by Carey.

    You’ve gotta feel bad for D’Lo Brown.

    He was one of the most entertaining parts of the early Attitude Era midcard and now he was basically comic fodder.

    Who Will Win the Championship?

    At WWF New York, a bunch of fans gave their pick for the WWF title match.

    It was pretty much a 50/50 split between those who thought HHH would win and those who were rooting for Kurt Angle.

    Back in the arena, HHH got psyched up for the big match by snarling at himself in the mirror.

    World Wrestling Federation Championship
    WWF Champion Kurt Angle (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon)

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Trish Stratus led WWF Champion Kurt Angle into battle against Triple H
    Point of interest, this was the first WWF PPV in which Triple H used his Motörhead ‘The Game’ theme.

    After his entrance, Hunter engaged in a solid wrestling match with Kurt Angle which was mostly very good.

    Why only mostly?

    Because at one point, Steph and Trish got into a predictable catfight that had to be broken up by Vince McMahon because this was during the time when he booked himself to be shagging the beautiful Ms. Stratus.

    That was unnecessary, but the rest of the match was damn fine.

    The Game dominated, for the most part, spending a large part of the bout working over the champion’s leg before just going all out to try and beat him.

    Toward the finish, Earl Hebner got murdered which gave Stone Cold Steve Austin the chance to run out and get revenge on HHH for costing him the title recently.

    The Texas Rattlesnake smacked his rival in the face with the title belt then planted him with a stunner for good measure before hauling a mostly-dead Earl Hebner back in the ring.

    A lifeless Kurt Angle managed to drape an arm over his opponent, Hebner made the slowest count in all history and the Olympic Gold Medalist had once again barely escaped another match with his title.
    Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Kurt Angle

    Afterward, The Game stormed off, presumedly to find Austin.

    Finally, The Rock Has Come Back...to New Orleans

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock
    Interviewed by Kevin Kelly, The Rock cut a fantastic promo about tonight’s 30-man rumble.

    First, he addressed rumors that Kane and The Undertaker were in cahoots (that again?) and vaguely suggested they might be into some kind of weird brotherly incest before insisting that he’d throw both men over the top.

    Finally, he confirmed that it may all come down to him and Stone Cold, if you could detect the odor of his efforts in the kitchen.

    A video package followed, highlighting tonight’s Rumble competitors. The video did a good job telling us that Rikishi had the number 30 spot as well as showcasing main event stars like Kane, Undertaker, The Rock, and Stone Cold.

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match featuring The Hardy Boyz, Drew Carey, Kane, Raven, Honky Tonk Man, The Rock, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Billy Gunn, Rikishi and more...

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - Drew Carey tries to buy his way out of fighting Kane in the Royal Rumble match
    From start to finish, this was one of the most entertaining Rumbles in history with nary a dull moment in sight.

    Howard Finkle gave us the rules of the match, including the fact that there’d be two minutes between entrances.

    Then it was on with Jeff Hardy as competitor number one, Matt Hardy as number three, and Bull Buchanan between them at number two.

    The brothers made short work of Buchanan then turned their attentions to one another, holding nothing back as they battled tooth and stopping only to dispose of number four entrant Farooq.

    Drew Carey made his way out at number five and rejoiced as Matt and Jeff eliminated each other at the same time. His celebration was short-lived, however, as Kane was out at number six.

    Pacing up and down the ring looking goofy and nervous, Carey offered Kane a handshake. When that didn’t work, he offered him money.

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - The Honky Tonk man put in a surprise appearance in the Rumble match
    Naturally, the Big Red Machine declined that too and was about to chokeslam Carey when number seven Raven came to the rescue.

    Realizing he wanted none of that, the Drew hopped over the top rope and eliminated himself.

    Raven’s arch-rival Al Snow then came out and filled the ring with garbage so that the two of them -along with Perry Saturn and Steve Blackman- could attack Kane hardcore style.

    The Big Red Machine eventually cleaned house, only to be joined by none other than The Honky Tonk Man. Appearing in his first Rumble match since his last surprise appearance at the 1998 Royal Rumble, Honky wanted to sing his theme song, but Kane wanted to chokeslam him and eliminate him.

    Guess who won that exchange?

    With Honky gone, The Rock came out at number 13 to kick off the second, more serious half of the rumble.

    In other highlights.

    The Big Show returned to the company after a lengthy absence and murdered everyone in sight with chokeslams before being quickly eliminated by The Rock. To get his revenge, Show dragged Rock under the bottom rope and chokeslammed him through a table.

    WWE / WWF Royal Rumble 2001 - The Brothers of Destruction, Kane and The Undertaker
    The Undertaker revealed that he and Kane were working together after all. The two cleaned house and then dominated the match.

    Stone Cold Steve Austin was attacked by Triple H during his entrance. The Game beat Austin to a bloody pulp. Austin did a gruesome blade job that was even more intense than his infamous crimson mask from Wrestlemania 13. At one point, he honestly looked like Frank from the first Hellraiser movie.

    Haku returned to the World Wrestling Federation, appearing in his first WWF PPV since the 1992 Royal Rumble. Haku looked impressive here, almost as impressive as he’d looked when he won the WCW Hardcore title at WCW Sin just one week before this event.

    In the end, it came down to Austin, Kane, and The Rock. Kane got rid of The Great One but got smacked upside the head with a chair several times by Austin before being clotheslined over the top rope with force.
    Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin

    Ladies and gentlemen, Stone Cold was going to Wrestlemania, and as the show closed, he threw a beer bash to celebrate.







    Apart from the women’s title match which wasn’t really anything, WWF Royal Rumble 2000 was an awesome show from beginning to end.

    Jericho/Benoit was the match of the night and is worth checking out for Jericho’s performance if nothing else.

    Elsewhere, Kane and The Rock shone as MVPs of an utterly enthralling Rumble match.

    A show well worth tracking down.

    Other reviews of 2001 pro wrestling events: 
    For more Royal Rumble reviews see:

    Thursday, 2 July 2020

    PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 2000

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Event Poster
    November 19, 2000
    Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida

    As the 14th annual WWF Survivor Series got underway,  announcer Jim Ross told us that a new World Wrestling Federation Champion had been crowned at this show every year for the past six years.

    It was a pattern that took us all the way back to Bob Backlund dethroning Bret 'The Hitman' Hart back at Survivor Series 1994 and culminated in The Big Show's largely forgotten victory at the previous year's event.

    Would this be the year that Kurt Angle proved himself to be the first man to successfully retain the WWF Championship at Survivor Series since Bret Hart defeated Shawn Michaels back at the 1992 event?

    Or, would history repeat itself as The Undertaker once again won the big one at the November show, a feat he accomplished back in 1991 against Hulk Hogan?







    Ladies and gentlemen, let's head to Tampa, Florida to find out.

    Master of Puppets, Pulling Your Strings

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler called the event
    Our opening video package was the kind of compelling stuff that the World Wrestling Federation did best.

    It featured Triple H boasting about being the puppet master who orchestrated the hit and run on Stone Cold Steve Austin back at Survivor Series 1999 and how, tonight, it would all be game over when the two went head to head.

    The show then began with the usual pyro, shots of the live crowd and a look at the rabid audience watching from WWF New York as Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcomed us to the show.

    With that, it was onto the opening contest.

    Inter-Gender Six Person Tag Team Match
    T&A (Test, Albert, and Trish Stratus) vs. Crash Holly, Molly Holly, and WWF Hardcore Champion Steve Blackman

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Test confronts Molly HollyThis was Molly Holly's first WWF PPV appearance, though we'd previously seen her on PPV back at WCW Bash at the Beach 1999 as Miss Madness.

    In this explosive opening contest, it was Molly and her adversary Trish Stratus who were the real stars, putting together a competent performance with a couple of genuinely crowd-popping spots.

    Though they played their parts, you got the feeling that Test, Albert, Crash Holly, and Steve Blackman were all just there to make up the numbers.

    Not that it seemed to matter.

    This was a hot match with a hot crowd that kicked off the show right away.

    After a good battle, Molly got the better of Trish with a match-winning sunset flip from the top rope.
    Your Winners: Molly Holly, Crash Holly, and Steve Blackman

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Kurt Angle confers with Edge & Christian backstage
    Out in the back, Edge and Christian relied on their old, familiar trick of pretending that Christian was sick. It felt like the two did this every single PPV without ever learning that it never, ever paid off.

    This time, Christian hilariously suggested that he'd contracted mono after eating bad chili, all because he and Edge didn't want to help Kurt Angle in his match with The Undertaker later.

    Christian then made a miraculous recovery when Angle claimed he didn't need their help anyway and just wanted to know if they wanted to go out for a drink later.

    Flashing back to earlier in the day, Tiger Ali Singh, D'Lo Brown and Chaz couldn't access the building because they'd been left off the security sheet, because that's how you tell your audience that this tag team doesn't matter at all.

    Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
    K-Kwik, R-Truth, Chyna, 'The One' Billy Gunn vs. The Radicalz (WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero, WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, and Perry Saturn w/ Terri) 

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Terri led The Radicalz into battle
    The Radicalz had debuted in January, gone their separate ways by the spring and just recently reunited in time for a Survivor Series match against what was essentially a mini DX reunion with the addition of K-Kwik.

    Making his PPV debut, K-Kwik (R-Truth) looked awesome in his one quick burst of in-ring action before being taken out by an explosive German suplex by Chris Benoit.

    With Chyna already eliminated, that left former New Age Outlaws partners Road Dogg and Billy Gunn to battle The Radicalz.

    For their part, Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko all looked impressive, and not just because they all chose to color-coordinate and wear matching black-and-yellow versions of their usual attire.

    Even though Eddie and Dean were eliminated, the four men still worked well with the unofficial DX reunion to give us a solid match.

    In the end, Gunn was left fending for himself against Malenko, Saturn, and Benoit. He managed to take out Dean but the numbers proved too much, leaving Saturn and Benoit as the victors.
    Your Winners: Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn

    Out in the back, Lillian Garcia tried to get an interview with The Rock, but The Great One ignored her.

    Rude much?

    Michael Cole has better luck with Chris Jericho, who insisted that his rivalry with Kane was about much, much more than the fact that he recently spilled coffee on The Big Red Machine on Raw.

    Chris Jericho vs. Kane 

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Chris Jericho faced Kane
    Early on in the match, Jericho went for a suicide dive to the outside and just kind of...forgot what he was doing and fell into the ropes.

    Honestly, I’ve rewatched that spot three times and I still can’t figure out what happened. He sort of just threw himself at the ropes then went head first to the floor and nearly died.

    It looked weird and awkward and very dangerous.

    Fortunately, the rest of the match got better. Not by much, I’ll grant you, but enough to keep this fan entertained at least.

    Sure, there was a long stretch that basically just saw Kane destroying his opponent, but it made Y2J’s valiant comeback all the more dramatic, and when he had Kane locked in the Walls of Jericho, there was a genuine sense that he might just pull off the upset.

    Alas, it wasn’t to be. Chris attempted a Lionsault but got caught by Kane and chokeslammed all the way to Hades.
    Your Winner: Kane 

    Out in the back, The Radicalz we’re resting and recovering after their match when Terri entered the room to let them know that Triple H was in the building and would meet up with them later.

    It was only at last month’s No Mercy that The Game engaged in an all-out war with Benoit, but now the two were apparently in cahoots again.

    Either that or the reason for Benoit’s diabolical laughter at the end of this segment was because he suddenly remembered a really funny bit from South Park.

    World Wrestling Federation European Championship
    WWF European Champion William Regal vs. Hardcore Holly 

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - William Regal defended the European Championship against Hardcore Holly
    JR told us that this match hadn’t been advertised for the show and was the result of an earlier incident on Heat.

    In other words, the show needed a filler match and William Regal and Hardcore Holly were it.

    You could tell, too.

    While the match wasn’t exactly bad, it wasn’t really interesting either.

    Regal started with a pre-match promo in which he berated American’s lack of manners before spending most of this very brief match tying Holly in knots.

    Eventually, the challenger got fed up and drilled the champion with the title belt for a DQ finish.
    Your Winner via DQ and still European Champion: William Regal

    Post-match, Holly continued to destroy Regal even though I’m pretty sure he was supposed to be the face.

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Trish Stratus flirts with Kurt AngleClueless Kurt

    Out in the back, Trish Stratus told Kurt Angle that since his business partner, Stephanie McMahon wasn’t here, she wondered if the WWF might need some ‘special assistance.

    Clearly not understanding that Stratus was offering him some kind of nookie, the WWF Champion glossed morning over her flirting and insisted he’d be fine when taking on The Undertaker.

    He Did it For... The Rock

    Across the arena, The Rock walked through the backstage area en route to the ring.

    That brought us to a pre-match video recapping the feud between The People’s Champion and Rikishi.

    ‘Kishi had admitted to running over Stone Cold and tried to implicate The Rock, even though it had been Triple H who had really ordered the hit.

    That was enough for a feud between the two, and for their first PPV match since Rocky Maivia and The Sultan battled over the Intercontinental Championship back at Wrestlemania 13.

    Rikishi vs. The Rock

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - The Rock defeated Rikishi
    I’ve read a lot of negative reviews for this match and that kind of saddens me because I enjoyed it very much.

    Was it of the same caliber of The Rock’s usual main event epics?

    No, but it still had plenty of suspense and captivating action to keep the crowd on the edge of their seat from beginning to end.

    Predictably, The Rock won thanks to The People’s Elbow, but not before getting his ass whooped by Rikishi.

    A good effort, even if I’m the only one who seems to think so.
    Your Winner: The Rock 

    Afterward, Rikishi recovered, superkicked The Rock into oblivion then sat on him a bunch of times. He may have lost the battle, but he was the one left standing.

    Meanwhile, over at WWF New York, Raven stood alone in the crowd, grinning like he'd just taken some really good drugs.

    Your Friends are Banned From Ringside

    Backstage, Triple H hung out with his old rival Chris Benoit and The Radicalz. The chill-out session was interrupted by Commissioner Foley, who first declared that The Radicalz were banned from ringside for The Game's match with Steve Austin, but then made the match No DQ.

    I don't mean to be pedantic, but if Hunter couldn't be disqualified, what was to stop Benoit and the gang from getting involved?

    The Hs didn't seem too concerned about it either way. He was pretty confident that his opponent wouldn't be able to use his legs afterward.

    World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
    WWF Women's Champion Ivory vs. Lita 

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Ivory defended the Women's Championship against Lita
    This short, competent women's match offered little in the way of genuine excitement but was undoubtedly the best match the WWF's women's division was capable of producing at the time.

    Champion Ivory dominated for the most part while Lita -her face caked in blood after an errant blow from Ivory- fought valiantly to make a comeback.

    In the end, interference from Ivory's Right to Censor mate Steven Richards cost Lita the match.
    Your Winner and Still WWF Women's Champion: Ivory 

    Afterward, a battered and bloody Lita was helped to the back by the referee as the crowd's applauded her efforts.

    Speaking of battered, Jonathan Coachman was shown outside of The Rock's dressing room. Coach told us that The Great One was in a bad way, struggling to breathe and coughing up a lot of blood, but was being attended to by EMTs.

    Elsewhere in the arena, Chris Jericho attacked Kane with a steel chair and proceeded to beat the crap out of him. This was one feud that was far from over.

    Dead Man, Inc.

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Michael Cole interviewed The Undertaker about his tenth anniversary with the WWF
    Up next, one of the WWF's always-excellent video packages hyped our impending WWF Championship match. This one saw Kurt Angle gloating about having the most successful rookie year of any new superstar ever since he debuted a year earlier at Survivor Series 1999.

    It also showed The Undertaker beating Kane, Chris Benoit, and Chris Jericho to become number one contender, claiming that Angle would be the first victim of Dead Man Incorporated, and picking up a non-title win over the champion on Smackdown.

    Cutting to the back, Michael Cole reminded 'Taker that he had debuted a year ago to the day at Survivor Series 1990.

    Referencing his 'Decade of Destruction' The American Bad Mass cut a convincing promo in which he promised to take out The Olympic Gold Medalist and become our champion once again.

    World Wrestling Federation Championship
    WWF Champion Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - The Undertaker and his terrible snake skin pants challenged Kurt Angle for the WWF title
    The Dead Man already held a PPV victory over Angle from back at Fully Loaded 2000 but, alas, tonight was not to be his night.

    Undertaker opted to celebrate his tenth anniversary with the company by wearing the ugliest snakeskin pants you’ve ever seen.

    I mean, these things were so terrible they almost distracted from the match itself.

    Almost, but not quite, thanks to the impressive efforts of both men.

    Sure, there was a long period where they chilled out on the mat and put each other in submission holds that could have bored some viewers but, honestly, it only made the whole thing more compelling.

    After a solid 20 minute battle, The Undertaker looked to have the match won only for Angle to reveal that he’d pulled a Doink and switched places with a look-alike.

    The resulting confusion allowed Kurt to roll up his opponent and steal a victory.
    Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Kurt Angle

    Post-match, cameras focussed on the bewildered doppelgänger (who would later be revealed to be Angle’s brother) while the WWF Champion ran to his car and drive away.

    A commercial then aired in which the XFL cheerleaders flashed as much flesh as possible. Although the commercial told us not to worry, the girls would be taught how to cheer, there was no mention of the fact that this was an ad for a football league, let alone how to watch it.

    Man, I wonder why the original XFL failed?

    Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
    Edge, Christian and Right to Censor (WWF Tag Team Champions Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather w/ Val Venis) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) and The Dudley Boyz (D-Von & Bubba Ray Dudley)

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Right To Censor teamed with Edge & Christian to face The Hardyz & The Dudleyz
    Sandwiched between the championship match and the Austin/HHH main event, it would have been easy for the eight men involved in this traditional Survivor Series match to take it slow and give us a filler match.

    It's to their credit that they did not do this, instead going all out to give us the best match they were capable of in the time allocated to them.

    Though it was a far cry from the usual Hardyz/Dudleyz/E&C weapon-filled spotfests we'd been treated to throughout 2000, it was still nonetheless a fun contest that ended with Jeff Hardy standing tall as the sole survivor.
    Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Jeff Hardy

    Post-match, Steven Richards joined his Right to Censor posse in beating down Jeff until Matt Hardy and The Dudley Boyz ran to the rescue, dumping the heels through tables.

    Triple H is The Game

    Out in the back, Triple H colluded with The Radicalz. Although Foley had banned from the match, it was heavily implied that they' somehow play a part in tonight's main event.

    This led to a video package showing Triple H boasting about how much he benefited from having Rikishi run over Austin.

    With that done, it was onto our main event.

    No Disqualification Match
    Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 

    WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2000 - Steve Austin has a beer break before battering a bloody HHH
    Of all the wild, out-of-control main event brawls Steve Austin had ever been a part of, this wasn't exactly the greatest, but it was still damn good fun.

    The two men battered each other in the ring, out of the ring, and everywhere in between, all the while telling a well-told story that The Texas Rattlesnake was far more interested in getting revenge than gaining a pinfall.

    Though much of this was your standard Attitude Era brawl stuff, there were a few fun spots -Austin taking a beer break and later back-dropping Hunter through a table to name a few- that kept it well above mediocrity, while The Game's gruesome blade job really helped sell Stone Cold's beat down.

    Towards the finish, the two made their way backstage where, predictably, The Radicalz attacked.

    Chris Benoit lured Austin out into the parking lot where Triple H was waiting, ready to run over his opponent with a car.

    Avoiding a repeat of the previous year, however, Austin acquired a giant forklift from somewhere, lifted the car some 20-30ft in the air (with Hunter still inside it) and then dropped it on its roof.
    Your Winner by Attempted Homicide: Steve Austin (official result: no contest)

    Having been practically murdered live on air, Hunter would return to Raw just a few short weeks later, showing no signs of injury whatsoever.







    From beginning to end, the WWF had enjoyed one of their best PPV runs in history throughout 2000, producing some truly outstanding shows.

    Never really going above "pretty good," Survivor Series 2000 was not one of those shows, but it says a lot about the creative streak the company were on that one of their most underwhelming shows of the year was still a fairly enjoyable effort.

    Despite the ridiculousness of Austin's blatant homicide attempt, the main event stole the show, though the tag team elimination match which proceeded it came a solid second.



    For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:

    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.