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 Test. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Test. Show all posts

Saturday, 21 May 2022

PPV REVIEW: WWE Insurrextion 2003

WWE Insurrextion 2003 - Event Poster
June 7, 2003
Telewest Arena in Newcastle, England

WWE Insurrextion 2003 has the distinction of being the WWE Insurrextion 2003 has the distinction of being both the first Insurrextion to take place under the WWE name following the WWF vs. WWF lawsuit and also the last Insurrextion to take place ever. 

After this, WWE wouldn't return to the UK for a pay per view offering until Clash at the Castle in 2022. 

So how was their final British PPV for 19 years?

Let's go down to Newcastle to find out. 

We’re Going Through Changes

Tonight’s opening video talked all about change, focussing on recent developments such as the return of Kevin Nash and Stone Cold Steve Austin now co-managing Raw with Eric Bischoff.

WWE Insurrexion 2003 Review - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the action

It was a decent opening, but not one of WWE’s best.

With that done, Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to Newcastle for what would prove to be WWE’s last-ever UK exclusive PPV before sending to the ring for our opening bout.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Jazz (w/ Theodore Long) vs. Trish Stratus

This match, along with multiple variations of it (triple threats, four-ways etc.) had been done so many times by this point that your writer is kind of tired of talking about Trish Stratus vs. Jazz.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 - Jazz is ready to defend her Women's Championship

The match wasn’t terrible or anything, but for the better part of ten minutes, the two ladies did nothing that particular made you sit up and take note.

That is apart from one brief moment when Trish Stratus slapped her opponent in such a horribly weak-looking Boston crab that it made The Rock’s sharpshooter look positively crippling by comparison.

Speaking of weak, the end came when an angry Victoria ran in, distracting the referee so that old man Teddy Long could grab Trish and attempt to throw her into the corner.

Long’s attempt was so slow and feeble that Stratus pretty much had to hurl herself into the corner.

With Long out of the ring, Jazz made the cover and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner and Still WWE Women’s Champion: Jazz

Up next, we got a quick look back at Christian screwing Booker T out of the Intercontinental title back at Judgement Day 2003.

The two would meet next.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. Booker T

WWE Insurrexion 2003 Review - Christian

Thanks to the guy in the crowd with the “Christian is on crack” sign. I laughed at that one.

Booker T was in no mood for humour though. The stoic-faced superstar snatched the title belt from Christian and lifted it aloft, nodding in recognition that be was the real champion before locking up in attempt to prove it.

The match was, quite honestly, fantastic.

I’ve read three other reviews of this show and all seem to say this one wasn’t anything special, but personally I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of it.

As I’ve mentioned many times, the wrestlers usually toned things down a notch or two when they wrestled in the UK, but these two didn’t.

The match was solid, exciting and genuinely entertaining and I don’t know what more anyone could expect from them.

Towards the end, referee Jack Doan took a tumble. Booker knocked Christian down and got him with what would have been a three count had Doan been in the zone.

Instead, by the time the zebra got to make the count, the challenger could only get a two.

Christian then went for an Unprettier but Booker reversed it into a German Suplex into a roll-up, but the champion reversed it and got the win by holding onto the ropes like the flukey cheating heel that he was.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Christian

Out in the back, Stone Cold Steve Austin confronted Theodore along.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Stone Cold Steve Austin confronts Teddy Long

Punishing Long for getting involved in the women’s title match, Austin announced a change to the upcoming Dudley Boyz vs. Rodney Mack & Chris Nowinski, making it a six-man with Spike Dudley on his brothers’ side and Long himself as Mack & Nowinski’s partner.

I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere about Teddy Long being booked in a tag match, but I can’t think of it right now.

Kane then walked by and stared down Austin as he made his way to the entrance for our next contest.

Before that, we looked back to Raw where Austin had tried to motivate Kane, who had been on something of a downward spiral.

When encouraging Kane to be the same badass who beat him for the title in a first blood match at King of the Ring ‘98 didn’t work, Austin slapped the piss out of the Big Red Machine and encouraged him to hit him with a chokeslam.

When that didn’t work, Austin merely stunned the tag team champion.

WWE Insurrexion 2003 - RVD & Kane vs. La Resistance

I’m glad they showed that because the backstage stare down made zero sense otherwise.

WWE World Tag Team Championship
WWE World Tag Team Champions Kane & RVD vs. (Sylvian Grenier & René Duprée)

Our third straight title match in a row began with La Resistance getting heat by claiming that the UK was as bad as the USA and they couldn’t wait to leave with the titles.

Unfortunately for them, they wouldn’t get that opportunity as Kane and RVD beat them in a decent match.

Though this was nothing out of the ordinary, it served its purpose well and got the crowds involved.

After a good effort, Kane hit double choke slams to the French men and RVD came off the top with a five-star frog splash for the win.
Your Winners and Still World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance

Out in the back, Goldust was interviewed by Al Snow of all people

I’m not sure when Al got relegated to this position, but here we are.

Al Snow interviews Goldust

Promoting his upcoming match with Rico, Goldust -who was going through his ‘I have a vocal stammer/Tourette’s/whatever’ phase yelled the word “tally whacker” several times before promising to beat the “tally ho” out of Rico.

This was far less funny than it meant to be, and not just because nobody in England uses the word “tally whacker.”

Rico vs. Goldust

This match was OK, but it was the sort of thing that was best left to whatever B-show WWE was running at the time rather than what was supposed to be a special event.

Not that Jim Ross seemed to think it was anything special.

The announcer spent part of the previous match joking with King about having a small penis. In this match, he randomly name-dropped James Bond character Pussy Galore out of nowhere seemingly just to get a rise out of Lawler.

To be fair, that was more interesting than anything going in the match, which ended when Goldie power slammed his way to victory.
Your Winner: Goldust

The match was followed by an emotional tribute to Classie Freddie Blassie who had recently passed.

In memory of Classie Freddie Blassie

On behalf of pencil-necked geeks everywhere, RIP Freddie, you were one of a kind.

The Highlight Reel with Eric Bischoff

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Jericho, Stone Cold, and Bischoff

Up next, Chris Jericho came and proved he’d done his research by calling the Newcastle crowd ‘tossers’ and referencing rival city Liverpool’s recent appointment as a European City of Culture.

He then brought out his buddy Eric Bischoff and the two continued to insult the live audience until Steve Austin showed up.

Stone Cold was really there to announce that tonight’s main event between Triple H and Kevin Nash was now a street fight, but he also had some hilarious banter with the two heels before offering them a beer.

“If you want to see Chris Jericho and Eric Bischoff drink a beer with Stone Cold
Steve Austin, give me a doo-wah-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-do!” Yelled Jericho in a line that made this fan laugh his ass off.

The crowd naturally obliged, beers were drank and the whole thing ended with a couple of predictable stunners.

This whole thing was fantastic.

All three men were on form and were clearly having a laugh, with Austin visibly making Jericho break character and laugh on several occasions.

Honestly, I bet that segment ends up being the best thing on the whole show.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Ric Flair and Triple H

Out in the back, Triple H and manager Ric Flair were understandably outraged at Austin’s announcement.

A quick look at the outside of the arena followed at the Insurrexion theme played.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but that theme was just a take on Machine Head by Bush.

Rodney Mack, Chris Nowinski, and Teddy Long vs. The Dudley Boyz (D-Von, Bubba, and Spike Dudley)

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - D'Von Dudley

This match was, like many UK PPV matches, just OK.

The heels did their job well but this one was all about The Dudleyz getting their trademark spots in and popping the crowd.

It was reasonable enough, but no better than anything you might’ve seen on Raw around this time.

The end came when Rodney Mack accidentally clotheslined Teddy Long. Spike pounced on Long.
Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz

Next, we got a look back at the rivalry between Test and Scott Steiner.

To recap, this revolved Test being an absolute misogynistic asshole to his manager Stacy Keibler and Steiner being the chivalrous gentleman wanting to protect her.

The two would meet with Stacy’s services on the line at Badd Blood in a few weeks, but first we had this.

Test vs. Scott Steiner

(Special referee: Val Venis)

Prior to the match, Val Venis surprised everyone by coming out in tight little shorts and a referee’s shirt.

After doing his usual “hello, ladies…” shtick, he next introduced our girl Stacy, who took it upon herself to be the ring announcer.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Stacy Keibler and Scott Steiner

The match itself was…well, I mean it was no better but no worse than you’d expect a Test/Steiner match to be.

The action was fine, while the involvement of Stacy and the whole storyline surrounding it made it a little more entertaining than it might have otherwise been.

At the finish, Test went to swing a chair at Steiner, but Stacy blocked it and Big Poppa Pump hit what I think was a reverse DDT for the one, the two, and the three.
Your Winner: Scott Steiner

Post match, Stacy celebrated with The Big Bad Booty Daddy.

Finally, we got the standard video package for HHH vs. Kevin Nash that i feel like I’ve already seen a thousand times.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Kevin Nash vs. Triple H

With that, it was on to our main event.

Street Fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Kevin Nash (w/ Shawn Michaels

The match started with a wild four-man brawl. The actual combatants fought inside the ring while Shawn Michaels took Ric Flair to the outside to duke it out with his upcoming Badd Blood opponent.

WWE Insurrextion 2003 Review - Earl Hebner warns Triple H and Kevin Nash

The contest was barely two minutes in when Nature Boy began gushing blood despite not being in the actual match.


Because he was Ric Flair and he couldn’t help himself.

Flair and Michaels then made their way to the back, leaving the spotlight on The Game and Kevin Nash who gave us a solid match with an overbooked finish.

Although not the best street fight you’ll ever see, I genuinely thought this was a good outing for the two Kliq members and was exactly on the kind of level that you’d expect for a UK-only PPV.

Towards the end, Earl Hebner (who had been bombarded with “You screwed Bret!” Chants all night despite it being six years since Survivor Series 1997) got knocked and took a nap so long you’d be forgiven for thinking somebody had slipped him a NyQuil.

The ref bump opened up an opportunity for HBK and Nature Boy to return to the ring, Nash to hit a powerbomb and cover HHH for an eight count until a second referee came in and delivered an official two count, and finally, for the champion to plant his opponent with a sledgehammer to the head for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

Afterwards, H and Naitch’, both covered in blood, made their way to the back having narrowly escaped with the title intact.

All in all, Insurrextion 2003 was a good show for what it was.

If this had been a major PPV meant for global audiences, I’d probably be marginally less favorable towards it as nobody needs to see Goldust vs. Rico on PPV…or probably at all for that matter.

But it wasn’t, this was a show catering to a live audience who really only got the chance to see WWE live once or twice a year at most, and by those standards, it delivered.

Although this Raw-brand card didn’t give us as many stand out matches as the Smackdown only Rebellion 2002 had months earlier, it was perfectly acceptable for a piece of throwaway entertainment.

Besides, that Austin/Bischoff/Jericho Highlight Reel segment was a joy, especially when you could see Steve and Chris clearly having fun and laughing at themselves and each other.

All in all, a fitting way to bring WWE’s run of UK-exclusive PPVs to an end.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWE Summerslam 2002

August 25, 2002, 
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

There once was a time when one of the biggest complaints of the average professional wrestling fan was that authority figures in general, and the McMahon Family in particular, hogged too much screentime and often overshadowed the actual in-ring competitors. 

If you ever needed a prime example of why this was problematic, look no further than the run up to WWE Summerslam 2002. 

With the brand-split still in its infancy, Eric Bischoff and Stephanie McMahon had replaced Ric Flair and Vince McMahon as the GMs of Raw and Smackdown respectively.

The two had then begun feuding as they tried to snatch up all of the company's top talent and secure a fully-loaded roster. 

This storyline overshadowed everything else on TV, including two storylines which really should have taken center-stage during this time:

The Rock defending his WWE title against the young, unstoppable monster known as Brock Lesnar, and Shawn Michaels competing in his first WWE PPV match in four years (albeit an "unsanctioned" one) against former friend turned rival, Triple H.

Would the Bischoff/Steph saga overshadow Summerslam as a whole, or would matches like the ones above steal the show?

Let's get down to it to find out. 

The Hottest Night in the North East

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Tazz and Michael 'Bad Ass Mofo' Cole call the show
In lieu of the usual epic opening video, Summerslam 2002 began with a quick graphic intro and the usual fireworks and crowd shots as Michael Cole welcomed us to “The Hottest Night in the North East.”

With that done, it was straight onto the action.

Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio

After a few weeks of hype, Rey Mysterio had debuted on the first Smackdown after Vengeance in a great match against Chavo Guerrero. That was followed by an equally as enjoyable encounter with Tajiri before the former WCW star dived headlong into a feud with Kurt Angle.

Tonight, Mysterio made his WWE PPV debut and wrestled in his first PPV altogether since WCW Greed, delivering a thrilling opening contest with The Olympic Gold Medalist.

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Kurt Angle hurts Rey Mysterio
Angle countered his opponent’s lightning quickness and breathtaking ability with some seriously heavy-duty slams, making for a truly exciting bout.

Kurt won in the end when Rey had no choice but to tap to the ankle lock, but before that, the supremely over Mysterio looked absolutely awesome.
Your Winner: Rey Mysterio

Out in the back, Stephanie McMahon sent a lackey to tell Eric Bischoff that there was no way his Raw brand could top that excellent opening match from Smackdown.

On entering her office, however, the Smackdown GM found Bischoff waiting for her.

As it turned out, there was only one office for General Managers, so the rivals agreed to watch the show together in one office, mainly so that they could bicker about who’s brand was better all night.

This took us to our Raw announce team of Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and Jim Ross.

Getting himself confused, King welcomed us to “the Raw portion of Smackdown” before quickly correcting himself.

This is Summerslam,” said JR, who has obviously never made a goof in his entire career.

Chris Jericho vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Chris Jericho hurts Ric Flair
Chris Jericho
and Ric Flair had been beating the hell out of each other on Raw, culminating in Flair disrupting Y2J’s Fozzy concert and destroying all the equipment in an angry rage that was a lot of fun to watch.

Tonight, the two locked up in what was the Nature Boy’s first-ever Summerslam match, one in which he came out to different theme music than the usual Sunrise section of Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Flair relied almost entirely on a single offensive move -the knife-edge chop- for the duration of this contest yet despite that it was still plenty entertaining.

Jericho battered and bullied his olde opponent and even locked in a Figure Four.

Flair got the ropes, planted a sneaky low blow and then won with a Figure Four of his own.

Before that, this was a strong match with a lot to like.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

Post-match, King and JR analysed a controversial spot in the ropes where Flair seemed to simultaneously grab the ropes and tap out to Jericho’s figure four at the same time.

Brock Destroyed Hulk Hogan

Out in the locker room, Paul Heyman reacted to a Hulk Hogan video that isn’t shown on the Network version of this event.

The former ECW boss boasted about his man Lesnar destroying Hogan on Smackdown before giving The Next Big Thing a pep talk about taking out The Rock in tonight’s main event.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Edge hurts Test
Just in case you had any doubts at all, let me reassure you that yes, this was a damn fine match.

After a good bit of back and forth, Edge fell to the outside and appeared to aggravate the shoulder injury that had recently taken him out of action for a few weeks.

Naturally, the dastardly heel Eddie Guerrero spent the bulk of this very good match working on that shoulder, only for his resilient opponent to continue fighting back.

Eventually, after a top performance from both men, the 2001 King of the Ring drilled Guerrero with a spear to pick up the win.
Your Winner: Edge

After a promotional video espousing the fact that WWE season never ends, we next went backstage where Jonathan Coachman interviewed The Un-Americans.

As Test cackled in the background while holding the group’s upside-down US flag, Christian explained that he and Lance Storm couldn’t wait to defeat Booker T & Goldust. For his part, Storm got plenty of heat on his team by insulting the Long Island crowd.

Their match was next.

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions The Un-Americans (Lance Storm & Christian) vs. Booker T & Goldust

This wasn’t the most action-packed match in the world, but the way they played up Goldust being cut off from his partner was masterfully done and made for very enjoyable viewing.

When Booker did eventually tag in, the pace picked up and things got even more entertaining until a ref bump allowed for a run in by Test that had been predictable since before the match even began.

That run in gave the bad guys the win.

This wasn’t the best match on the show, but it was perfectly good for what it was.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: The Un-Americans

Over at The World, Jamie Noble cheered on his girlfriend Nidia as she picked some dude to make out with and then snogged his face off on a sofa.

It was erm, well, it was a thing that happened let’s put it that way.

Back in the arena, Steph told Eric that a woman’s place in wrestling was on top before the two bickered over who would win in an inter-promotional match for the International Championship.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit vs. Rob Van Dam

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Krispin Wah hurts Rob Van Dam
It was weird that this was the second match out of the last three in which the heel spent most of the match working over the babyface’s shoulder, but I’ll admit that’s a small complaint.

That aside, this was every bit as good as you might expect it to be.

Chris Benoit pulverized Rob Van Dam but simply couldn’t get him to tap to the Crippler Crossface and eventually succumbed to a Five Star Frog Splash to end yet another very high-quality match.
Your Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Rob Van Dam

Out in the GM’s office, Bischoff gloated to Steph about the Intercontinental championship coming back to Raw, but McMahon simply laughed in his face.

The Un-Americans Hate America

Before our next match, we got a look back at how evil The Un-Americans were and how their evilness had turned The American Bad Ass back to being a babyface so that he could face Test.

Test vs. The Undertaker

WWE Summerslam 2002 - The Undertaker pins Test
I won’t lie to you, dear reader, I’ve become a bit of a fan of Test over the last year or so.

Sure, he was never the highlight of the night, but he was a decent big man who had been part of some enjoyable matches since the Invasion.

This was one of them.

While the ending was never in doubt (not was the predictable run-in from Storm and Christian), it was a solid and entertaining match in which Test legitimately looked like a threat before eating the inevitable tombstone from The Undertaker.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Afterward, the Phenom headed into the crowd to find an American flag then held it aloft to the delight of the New York faithful.

Good Friends, Better Enemies

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H - Non-Sanctioned Street Fight
Before the next match, we got an awesome video package looking at the rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Triple H.

The video took us all the way back to 1997 and the height of the original D-Generation-X before skipping to recent weeks when The Game turned on The Heartbreak Kid and threw him through a car window.

It also showed us Hunter promising to end Shawn once and for all, and Eric Bischoff us sanctioning this match so that WWE wouldn’t be responsible.

This was excellent stuff that only got this long-time fan even more pumped up for a match I’ve been looking forward to since the show started.

Unsanctioned Fight
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Shawn Michaels
Yes, I was very much excited about this match.

Shawn Michaels is my all-time favourite and yet I’d never actually seen his big 2002 comeback on account of this being a time when I’d taken a break from watching any wrestling at all.

Fortunately, the match did not disappoint.

OK, so it nearly did.

There was a section of the match where Triple H was in charge and was trying to systematically cripple The Heartbreak Kid once and for all. That meant long periods of Shawn lying on the floor and Hunter just pacing around the ring doing almost nothing.

That was dull, but when HBK executed his patented kick-up, it was a genuinely exciting moment.

From there, the match picked up in intensity. The Game bled like the proverbial stuck pig, Michaels flew off the top and crashed onto his adversary on the outside, both men crashing through a table.

The showstopper then flew off a ladder and hit HHH with his trademark elbow drop. Hunter blocked a sweet chin music attempt, countered with a pedigree attempt but had that countered with a flip, a cover, and Shawn Michael’s first PPV victory in over four years.

Man, that was good.
Your Winner: Shawn Michaels

Post match, The Cerebral Assassin took out his nemesis with two vicious sledgehammer shots to the spine, causing Michaels to be stretchered out of the arena.

Lillian’s Revenge

WWE Summerslam 2002 - Howard Finkel and Trish Stratus
Over the past few week, Howard Finkel had inexplicably turned heel and become some kind of creepy, egotistical misogynist as he entered into a feud with Lillian Garcia and Trish Stratus.

Tonight, The Fink took a moment to tell us that this was the first PPV he’d announced in this arena since Wrestlemania 2, and was about to put himself over even more before being interrupted by Trish.

The former women’s champion feigned having a crush on ‘Howie,’ promoting the veteran ring announcer to up the creepiness factor to an all-time high.

It was, of course, a rouse, and all designed to set up Lillian Garcia appearing, slapping him in the face and kicking him where the sun don’t shine.

This feud was dumb, but at least it didn’t last long.

All of this followed a video package hyping our main event and then, it was onto the action.

WWE Undisputed Championship
WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)

WWE Summerslam 2002 - The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar
This match was excellent.

Brock Lesnar came out swinging, quickly battering The Rock and taking him to a little place we’d later get to know as Suplex City.

This impressive start clearly won the crowd over, so much so that when the champion made his comeback, the crowd routinely booed him and chanted ‘Lesnar! Lesnar!’ as a means of encouraging the challenger to break out of Rock’s sharpshooter.

From there, things only got better. It was wild, it was brutal, it saw Rock looking seriously pissed off throughout the match, it saw Paul Heyman take a Rock Bottom through the announce table, but more importantly, it saw a hot finish which culminated with Brock hitting the match-winning F5.
Your Winner and New Undisputed Champion: Brock Lesnar

Yes, after just five months after his WWE debut, Brock Lesnar had captured the title in an utterly exhilarating match.

Summerslam 2002 was an exceptional show and undoubtedly one of WWE’s best of the year so far.

While the main event, HHH/HBK, and Mysterio/Angle were the highlights, everything else (apart from the weird Howard Finkel) bit delivered on a scale that ranged from good to great.

Definitely a show worth watching.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWE King of the Ring 2002

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Event poster
June 23, 2002,
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Though it’s not an event that gets talked about much these days, WWE King of the Ring 2002 was a historically significant event, namely because it was the last time King of the Ring would feature as one of the company’s Big Five PPVs.

Indeed, although the concept would be revived for TV multiple times over the next two decades, this was ultimately the last King of the Ring PPV to ever take place.

To a lesser degree, it was also important for being the first PPV since Stone Cold Steve Austin had “taken his ball and gone home” - having exited the company a few weeks earlier following after being unhappy with a proposed TV match between himself and Brock Lesnar.

The company hadn’t exactly kept this quiet, either.

On the episode of Raw that Austin vs. Brock was supposed to take place on, Vince McMahon instead came out and publicly thanked Stone Cold for his service.

From there, Austin’s departure was played into an angle where McMahon thought he was coming back, only to find out that it was The Rock who was returning.

The Great One hit the ring and cut a semi-shoot promo in which he spoke of  how much wrestlers were passionate about what they do and urged any wrestler who didn’t want to be there to “get the F out.

And as for Brock? Well, it turned out he didn’t need a win over Austin to continue his meteoric rise.

He had smashed his way into the King of the Ring finals and was now well on the way to cementing his legacy as World Wrestling Entertainment presented King of the Ring 2002.

Who Will Win King of the Ring?

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler
Tonight’s show opened up with a look back at all of the people who had won the King of the Ring tournament since the PPV’s inception.

Well, I say all of them, it missed out the 1995 King of the Ring PPV and jumped right from ‘94 to ‘96, probably because the company was too embarrassed to admit that the Main Event Mabel experiment had been a disaster. 

It then skipped over Ken Shamrock and Billy Gunn too, probably for similar reasons. 

From there, the video asked the all-important question:

Who would win this year’s event.

Would it be The Next Big Thing Brock Lesnar?

The Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam?

The first ever undisputed champion Chris Jericho?

Or erm...Test?

There was, of course, only one way to find out, so went down to the arena with crowd shots aplenty and our usual greeting from announcers Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Ross and Lawler quickly put over the non-tournament matches and with that it was on with the show. 

King of the Ring Semi Final 1
Chris Jericho vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho
There are those occasions when two wrestlers are so talented that expectations for a match between them are set incredibly high, meaning no matter what they do, they can’t help but disappoint.

This was not one of those occasions.

The combined talents of Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho resulted in an opening match that was crazy good.

Definitely a contender for one of the best King of the Ring tournament matches ever, this was every bit as good as you’d hope it would be.

The match built up and built up towards a crescendo of near falls before RVD finally got the better of Jericho and earned his place in the final.
Your Winner (advances to the final): Rob Van Dam

After, Lawler conducted an in-ring post-match interview with the victor who, in a typical laid back fashion, claimed that he didn’t care if he had to face Lesnar, Test, or even Godzilla in the final.


Well, because he was R...V...D of course. 

Just as this was wrapping up, a frustrated Jericho attacked and locked Van Dam in the Walls, essentially giving the ever-popular Intercontinental Champion a good excuse for losing to Lesnar late on. 00.21.10 - RVD

Speaking of The Next Big Thing...

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Paul Heyman psyches up Brock Lesnar
Godzilla is Fake

Backstage, Lesnar and Paul Heyman had been watching this unfold on a television monitor.

Referencing RVD’s promo, Heyman buried Godzilla for being fake while reminding Lesnar that he was real.

It was a compelling pep talk from Heyman, even if Brock probably didn’t need it.

King of the Ring Semi Final Match 2
Test vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)

I originally started writing about this match by saying that I doubted anyone really thought Test stood a legitimate chance of beating Brock.

That’s not to say Test wasn’t a decent performer. I always enjoyed his character and while he wasn’t the best wrestler in the world, he was far from the worst.

Still, I assumed this was going to be Brock inevitably squashing the Canadian en route to the final.

Instead, Test delivered a star-making performance in which he almost...almost walked away with the victory and more than held his own against his rapidly rising opponent.

Though he was technically a heel, his somewhat underdog status and the fact that Brock was an uber-heel meant that Test had the crowd firmly behind him as he took the right to Lesnar and only lost because Heyman got involved.
Your Winner: Brock Lesnar (advances to the final) 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Marc Lloyd interviews Lance Storm and Christian
Out in the back, Jonathan Coachman made his way into the Raw Locker room to get some thoughts on the all-Raw final.

Bubba Ray Dudley told coach that having been in the ring with both RVD and Lesnar, he really didn’t fancy RVD’s chances.

Dudley also added that while he would have loved to be competing in the tournament tonight (he lost to Brock in the first round), he would simply find another way to make an impact.

Across the way, Marc Loyd looked to get a similar response from the Smackdown crew.

Instead, he bumped into Lance Storm and Christian.

The duo had recently started a whole “this company is prejudiced against Canadians” angle on Smackdown and told Loyd that the fact an all-Canadian final between Jericho and Test wasn’t happening was only further proof of WWE’s bias.

Storming off (no pun intended) Lance declared that he and Christian would have to stand up for what was right, and thus, a new tag team was born.

Standback, There’s a a Noble Coming Through 

Back in the arena, Smackdown’s Michael Cole and Tazz looked like they were standing in front of a green screen as they hyped up the upcoming Cruiserweight match between The Hurricane and Jamie Noble.

This was followed by a video package recapping the story between the two.

To sum up:

Shane Helms and Tough Enough 1 co-winner Nidia had dated at some point but then he dumped her to focus on superhero things, so Nidia had started dating former WCW Cruiserweight star Jamie Noble and recruited her new boyfriend to antagonize Hurricane.

Adding to all this was the fact that Nidia was portrayed as some kind of sexual deviant/nymphomaniac who got horny any time someone was aggressive.

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

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Jamie Noble vs. The Hurricane
This was a tremendously fun Cruiserweight match.

Maybe not an all-time classic, sure, and maybe not even on a par of some the jaw-dropping spotfests these two were involved in as members of 3 Count and The Jung Dragons back in WCW, but a good, solid, flip-flop-and-fly match in its own right.

After plenty of back and forth action and some genuinely exciting moments, Noble powerbombed the living hell out of Hurricane and made the cover.

Nidia prevented her ex-lover from using the ropes to break the fall, and one three count later we had a new Cruiserweight champion.
Your Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble 

Post-match, Nidia snogged the new champion’s face off.

A Word With Latino Heat

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Terri interviews Eddie Guerrero
Earlier, on Sunday Night Heat, The Rock had arrived at the arena.

We’d hear more from him later, but for now it was time for heat of a Latino kind.

Backstage, Terri reminded Eddie Guerrero of the time he and Krispin Wah had beaten up Ric Flair and asked if he was worried about unleashing ‘The Dirtiest Player in the Game.’

As if to show just how unconcerned he was, Latino Heat spent the first part of his promo giving shout outs to his family before finally declaring that he was going to put Ric Flair in a retirement home once and for all.

This was good stuff from Guerrero, who never failed to entertain.

Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Eddie Guerrero vs. Ric Flair
For those keeping score, this was the first time Flair and Guerrero had wrestled -at least on PPV- since WCW Hog Wild 1996.

Meanwhile, Naitch had already turned twice in the six months he’d been in the company.

He’d joined as a babyface co-owner for a storyline with Vince, turned heel for a feud with Austin, then turned face again to take Austin’s place in a storyline with Eddie Guerrero.

Anyway, regardless of all that, this started off as a fine match with the wily Guerrera trying his best to out-maneuver his skillful opponent before finally getting the better of him and beating him down.

From there, however, the match slowly but surely ran out of steam and struggled to maintain this fan’s attention.

After an otherwise decent outing, an interfering Chris Benoit put Flair in the Crippler Crossface on the outside.

While the referee was busy sending The Rabid Wolverine to the back, Bubba Ray Dudley put in the night’s most random cameo and planted Eddie with a Bubba Bomb.

Flair got back in the ring, made the cover, and this one was done.
Your Winner: Ric Flair

Meanwhile, over at The World (formerly WWF New York), William Regal and newcomer Chris Nowinski complained about the slow service.

When Nowinski laughed at the waitress for only going to community college, she played with his food behind his back to gross it up a bit before he ate.

Up next, women’s action.

WWE Women’s Championship 
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly 

This was a good women’s championship between two talented performers who showed up to work, so it was a shame that Ross and Lawler spent most of the match referencing the awful “Molly’s got a big butt” angle.

That aside, this was a good match that came to an end when the challenger reversed a roll-up, grabbed a handful of tights, and captured the title.
Your Winner and New Women’s Champion: Molly Holly

Out in the back, Kurt Angle spoke to Marc Loyd about his rivalry with Hulk Hogan.

Back at Judgement Day, Hogan had lost the title to Undertaker while Angle had lost his hair to Edge.

Hogan had then tried to retire, only for Vince McMahon to declare that he had The Hulkster under an iron-clad contract and would insist he keep wrestling.

Hogan had challenged Vince to a fight but got attacked by loyal McMahon suck-up Angle instead.

All the while, Angle had been wearing a wig and wrestling headgear to hide his newfound baldness.

This led to one of the most hilarious promos of all time in which Hogan actually poked fun at his own baldness and declared that he has “lost a hair match to Mother Nature, brother.

Honestly, it’s been days since I watched that episode of Smackdown and I still haven’t stopped laughing at that line.

Anyway, that match was next.

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Kurt Angle 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Kurt Angle vs. Hulk Hogan
This was another good match, with Hogan’s old-school style somehow blending in well with Angle’s Wrestling Machine approach.

After a good back and forth battle, Hogan ripped Angle’s wig off, prompting The Olympic Gold Medalist to storm off.

He later returned brandishing a chair but when he swung, Hogan moved, the chair hit the ropes and Angle wound up KO’ing himself.

It wasn’t over there though, our Olympic Hero reversed a pin attempt into an Ankle Lock, and despite a valiant effort to break the hold, Hulk Hogan had no choice but to submit in what was probably the first time in his career.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle 

Out in the back, the greatest backstage skit of all time took place.

Goldust had dressed up as The Rock and was busy hyping The Great One’s return to Booker T when Rock himself turned up and put an end to it.

What followed was a hilarious back and forth between all three men.

Here, see for yourself:

King of the Ring Final
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Rob Van Dam 

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Brock Lesnar won the King of the Ring
This was one of -if not the- shortest matches on the show up to this point, but it was still entertaining in its own right.

RVD took the fight right to Lesnar and almost looked to have him beat with a five-star frog splash, but alas it wasn’t to be.

Lesnar caught Van Dam coming off the ropes, hit him with an F5 and won the tournament.
Your Winner and 2002 King of the Ring: Brock Lesnar

There was no fanfare or ceremony for your new King of the Ring, Big Brock simply walked backstage with Paul Heyman reminding him that the winner of the tournament earned a title shot at  Summerslam.

A Clique Reunion

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - The Clique had a backstage reunion
Backstage, Triple H was walking, ready for his match with The Undertaker when he bumped into the New World Order.

Teasing tensions, The Game eventually hugged it out with Kevin Nash and the recently returned Shawn Michaels before embracing X-Pac.

With Big Show looking on ominously, Nash told Hunter that if he needed help, all he had to do was throw up the too sweet gesture.

Hunter walked off, leading to another green screen appearance from Tazz and Cole, followed by a video package highlighting our upcoming main event.

WWE Undisputed Championship 
WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker vs. Triple H

WWE King of the Ring 2002 - Undertaker defended the Undisputed title against Triple H
This was a match that was really a victim of circumstance. In any other situation and with anything else going on around it, Undertaker vs. Triple H could deliver, but tonight, it all went wrong. 

Perhaps the main problem was the inevitable appearance of The Rock casting a shadow over everything both combatants did. 

The Great One hadn't been scheduled to return for a few weeks but had been rushed back to the company to help fill the gaping void left by the absence of Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

In the aforementioned segment with Booker T and Goldust, he had claimed that his reason for being here was to watch the main event. That meant everybody knew there was going to be a run-in from The People's Champion at some point.

As such, the fans in attendance seemed to barely care about anything either competitor did. 

In fact, at various points, you could clearly see that fans in the first few rows were either visibly bored or simply trying to entertain themselves while waiting for The Rock, all to the detriment of the actual match taking place. 

Midway through a lacklustre performance, Earl Hebner got utterly mangled in the corner before both champ and challenger took each other out with clotheslines. The moment their bodies hit the mat, all eyes turned away from the ring and immediately started looking towards the entrance, as if to say "finally, something we actually care about." 

Sure enough, The Rock dashed to ringside and ran off Paul Heyman. Heyman had been doing a very annoying job on commentary, completely overshadowing anything going in the ring by incessantly focussing on Brock Lesnar. 

Yes, I get it, but Heyman's persistent chatter certainly didn't help a match that was already struggling, so it was a relief when Rock saw him off. 

Things picked up slightly from there.

Undertaker attacked The Rock, The Rock swung at 'Taker with a chair, missed, and took out The Game. Back in the ring -with Earl Hebner comatose- Rock finally laid out the champ with a Rock Bottom, but it wasn't enough to give HHH the win. 

With the match getting a second wind, I was almost ready to change my opinion on it entirely and say that it developed into a very good, dramatic match, but then the finish happened.

The challenger laid out his opponent with a Pedigree, but Hebner was so destroyed that he could make the pin. Hunter tried dragging the zebra over to the middle of the ring so that he could better count, but 'Taker struck his nemesis with a low-blow and this undisputed championship PPV main event ended with -of all things- a roll-up. 
Your Winner and Still Undisputed Champion: The Undertaker

Post match shenanigans ensued with The Rock returning to take out 'Taker, The Game getting revenge for that earlier chair shot by pummelling The People's Champion, and Big Evil taking out Triple H to stand tall as the show went off the air.

I've read a lot of criticism of this show, with many people saying that it underperformed and that the quality was bad.

I'll give you that the main event was severely disappointing. I won't lie, it took me three attempts to watch it. At first, I thought it was just because I wasn't in the mood, but now I realise it's because it sucked. 

That said, I stand by my verdict that the rest of the card was pretty good. RVD/Jericho was a fine opening contest, the cruiserweight battle and the Hogan/Angle matches were enjoyable, and Lesnar and his opponents played to their strengths as The Next Big Thing took another step closer to superstardom.

Not the greatest show of all time perhaps, but certainly better than some cynical fans would have you believe.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 2001

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Event Poster
November 18, 2001, 
Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, North Carolina

Survivor Series 2001 was the night that The WWF Invasion finally came to an end.

That meant that one of the greatest missed opportunities in pro wrestling history came to an end.

It meant that the enjoyable push of Rob Van Dam as one of the most popular stars of 2001 -and one of the few bright spots of the Invasion- was coming to an end as despite being hugely over, RVD would find himself lumbered in a mid-card feud with Goldust a few months later.

It meant an end to Stone Cold Steve Austin's run as the leader of a company that discarded him and told him he'd never be a star, and the end of  us all pretending like Vince McMahon couldn't have just barred The Alliance from entering the arena if he'd wanted to. 

Here's what went down on that fateful night in what had long been NWA / WCW Country, Greensboro, North Carolina. 

This is the End, My Only Friend, The End

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Paul Heyam and Jim ross
Remember that awesome Doors sound-alike that the World Wrestling Federation used back at Armageddon 2000?

They wheeled it out again here to serve as the soundtrack for tonight’s opening video package, splicing footage of WWF legends like Gorilla Monsoon and Freddie Blassie standing around looking reflective with clips of historical moments such as The Ultimate Warrior charging to the ring, and shots from the recent WWF vs. Alliance feud that was finally going to end tonight.

Curiously, the intro had been redubbed so that after the video, a dude said “and now, WWE Survivor Series” even though the company was definitely still the WWF at this time.

From there, we went to the obligatory crowd shots both in the arena and at WWF New York while Jim Ross put over tonight’s event as the most significant event in pro wrestling history.

He and fellow announcer Paul Heyman bantered back and forth about hating working together before it was down to our opening contest.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Christian vs. Al Snow

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Christian defended the European title against Al Snow
One of the dumbest moments of the Invasion storyline was Christian defecting to The Alliance for no other reason than the fact that he was a heel.

Tonight, he kicked off Survivor Series 2001 by referring to Greensboro as ‘the place the WWF [came] to die’ before meeting the challenge to his European championship laid down by Al Snow of all people earlier on Heat.

Snow may not have been a prominent character on TV during the Invasion (he was mostly off doing Tough Enough) but he gave us a fun opening match here against Christian.

Both men traded the advantage multiple times, going back and forth in an entertaining effort that had the crowds hooked from start to finish.

Towards the end, Al hit the Snow Plow only for Christian to get his foot on the ropes to break the count.

Proving that he wasn’t the smartest dude on the roster, Snow stared at Christian’s foot on the rope for a few seconds and somehow deduced from this that he’d won the match.

A few moments later, he was punished for his stupidity by eating an Unprettier and taking the fall.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Christian

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - The Alliance confront Stone Cold Steve Austin
Another dumb moment in the Invasion storyline came when Vince McMahon told everyone that Steve Austin would be defecting and rejoining the WWF, sewing seeds of distrust in The Alliance.

Tonight, Austin arrived at the arena with his wife Debra and WWF title belt in tow only to be confronted by his Alliance teammates who wanted to know what was going on.

Why hadn’t he returned their phone calls? He didn’t want to.

Was he joining the WWF?

Hell no!

In a fun segment, Austin demanded that his cohorts stop being paranoid and vowed to take out the World Wrestling Federation one way or another.

Sh*t Happens

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Michael Cole interviews Vince n Linda McMahon
Elsewhere in the arena, Linda McMahon expressed concern that somebody might get hurt tonight, only for her husband Vince to dismiss her with the old saying ‘sh*t happens.’

McMahon then gave a confident interview to Michael Cole in which he boasted about building an empire by taking calculated risks.

Tonight, according to Vince, that empire would absolutely come out on top.

When it was all over, McMahon was interrupted by William Regal. The Alliance Commissioner was as entertaining as ever as he told Vince that Austin was as loyal to the group as Regal was to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Tonight, said Regal, The Alliance would do to the WWF what he was about to do to Tajiri.

William Regal vs. WCW Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - William Regal vs. Tajiri
’s girlfriend Torrie Wilson wasn’t with him tonight after Regal had pretty much murdered her on the go-home Smackdown show.

Seeking revenge, the Japanese Buzzsaw quickly got revenge by kicking Regal’s face off and making him bleed. Not that this was enough to earn him the victory.

After a very short but enjoyable match that lasted less time than the previous two backstage segments, Regal destroyed his former assistant with a powerbomb.
Your Winner: William Regal

Not content with that, Regal beat up Tajiri after the bell. Torrie then ran out to check on her man so Regal murdered her again.

The brute.

Edge and Test

Prior to the next match, we were reminded of the rivalry between Edge and Test. The latter had cheated to beat the former for the Intercontinental Championship but Edge had then beaten Kurt Angle for the US title.

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Test flirts with Stacy Keibler
WWF Commissioner Mick Foley had then booked the two in a title unification match on tonight’s show. This video package had also been overdubbed because in Foley’s original announcement he had confused which man owned which title.

Back in the arena, Test had begun to play up the conceited ‘obsessed with his own looks’ gimmick that he’d suddenly adopted on the last Smackdown when Stacy Kiebler had told him he was hotter than Edge.

Backstage, the Intercontinental Champion was busy admonishing make-up lady Janet Ventriglia for not rubbing oil into his body properly when Kiebler came to wish him luck in his match.

Though she wouldn’t give a straight answer when he asked her out, the former Miss Hancock did rub his bum as she left.

“Yeah,” smiled Test afterwards. “She wants me.”

Across the arena, US Champion Edge gave a hilarious interview to Jonathan Coachman in which he mocked Test for ‘being dumped by virtually every chick on the planet’ and promised to dethrone him in tonight’s match.

US vs. Intercontinental Championship Title Unification Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Test vs. WCW US Champion Edge

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Test vs. Edge - US title vs. intercontinental title unification matchBoth men had enjoyed the best year of their WWF run so far in 2001.

Edge had triumphed (along with Christian) in the memorable and historic TLC match at Wrestlemania X-7 before going on to win the 2001 King of the Ring and enjoy a couple of reigns with the IC title before his latest role as United States Champion.

Though not as successful, Test had enjoyed two tag team title reigns with Booker T in a fun make-shift team and was now heading into this title unification match with the Intercontinental gold.

At first, the match didn’t seem like it was going to be up to much. It was somewhat slow and rather uninspired, but then something (who knows what) happened to light a fire up the arse of both men and then suddenly upped their game, the match getting better and better the longer it went on.

Eventually, after what ended up being a solid match, Edge planted Test with a spear and walked away with both the United States and Intercontinental Championships.
Your Winner and NEW Unified US & Intercontinental Champion: Edge

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - The Hardy Boyz & Lita
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon vented to Kurt Angle about how worried she was that if The Alliance lost she would have to become a regular person and clean her own toilet.

Ever the gent, Angle assured her he wasn’t going to let that happen.

Across the way, Lita and Jeff Hardy were busy talking about how weird Matt Hardy had been acting lately when the future broken one himself interrupted their conversation.

According to Matt, everybody should have been acting weird as tonight was an important night - after all, if they lost their match tonight, they were out of a job.

Steel Cage Match Tag Team Title Unification Match
WCW Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D’Von Dudley w/ Stacy Kiebler) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - The Dudleyz faced The Hardy Boyz in a tag title unification match
There was no real reason for this to be a cage match. In kayfabe, the stipulation had been decided on a whim by Commissioner Mick Foley. In reality, this writer suspects it was simply to keep things fresh after the two teams had battled countless times in the past.

This match wasn’t quite up there with their epic tables match from Royal Rumble 2000, but it was still a solid effort fought under cage escape or pinfall rules.

Both teams went back and forth for an enjoyable 15 minutes until Stacy Kiebler seduced outside official Nick Patrick so that she could slide a table into the ring.

After a little more action, Matt Hardy escaped the cage after which Jeff Hardy planted D’Von atop the table and scaled to the top of the cage.

At that point, Jeff could have simply climbed down and won the match for his team but instead decided to dive off the cage onto D’Von.

It was a cool spot, sure, but a dumb one. D’Von moved, Jeff crashed through the table and one three count later relinquished the tag team titles.

Oh Jeff, why?
Your Winners and NEW Unified Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

Afterward, Jeff was wheeled off on a stretcher.

The Commissionership is a Joke

Over at WWF New York, Commissioner Mick Foley revealed that he wanted to be in Greensboro but his boss Vince McMahon had ordered him to hang out at the restaurant/club instead.

Picking up where he’d left off in a pissed-off promo back on that week’s edition of Raw, the angry Commissioner promised that if he still had a job come Monday he’d be flying to Charlotte to have a few choice words for Mr. McMahon.

Meanwhile, back in the arena, Test beat up Scotty 2 Hotty so that he could take his place in the upcoming Immunity Battle Royal.

Immunity Battle Riyal
Featuring Lance Storm, Justin Credible, Diamond Dallas Page, Test, The Hurricane, Raven, Billy Kidman, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Shawn Stasiak, The APA, Crash Holly, Funaki, Billy & Chuck, Spike Dudley, Perry Saturn, Albert, Tazz

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Immunity Battle Royal
Winner Gets Immunity From Being Fired For 1 Year Regardless of Which Side Loses

It’s always difficult to say much about a battle royal. Nothing much of note happened here apart from Chavo Guerrero and Hugh Morrus putting in an unscheduled appearance.

The former Misfits in Action cohorts had been fired by The Alliance after sucking up to Vince McMahon and asking him for a job, requests that McMahon flat out refused.

The two snuck into the battle royal hoping to get their jobs back but failed, as did almost everybody else.

After about ten minutes of guys hanging out on the ropes, Test eliminated Billy Gunn to ensure he’d still have a job on Monday.
Your Winner: Test

Out in the back, Booker T told Shane McMahon that he didn’t trust Stone Cold, only for Shane ‘O to try and convince Mr. Five-Time that Austin was indeed the one to lead them to the promised land.

Six-Pack Challenge for the Vacant World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship
Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline vs. Lita vs. Ivory vs. Mighty Molly vs. Jazz

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Molly Holly locks up with Jacqueline
The women’s championship hadn't been since Chyna defeated Ivory for it at Wrestlemania.

She’d since left the company, vacating the title which had been completely forgotten about over the course of the Invasion.

Tonight, these six women looked to remind people about it in what was a pretty damn good effort.

The story that often seems to be told is that from the Attitude Era onwards, the women’s division was a joke, a bathroom break, a whole bunch of nothing until the likes of Beth Phoenix and Charlotte Flair began to change all that.

While it would certainly become that for a while, there was no sense of the division being a joke in this match. It was a competent, well put together and reasonably enjoyable outing for the most part.

The only downside was the introduction of former ECW star Jazz as the mystery sixth woman.

While Paul Heyman marked out for her big time, the rest of Greensboro welcomed Jazz with total apathetic silence.

Despite that, she looked pretty impressive until the finishing spot where she went cack-arse through the ropes in an ugly botched spot.

With Jazz out of the way, Trish Stratus was left to plant Ivory with her Stratusfaction bulldog and win the match.
Your Winner and new Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus

In the post-match, Jim Ross put over Trish as being the underdog due to her limited experience compared to the other women.

“But there’s Trish, coming in the back door,” said Jim Ross before turning to Paul Heyman and quipping. “I’m sure you wouldn’t mind that.”

JR, you filthy perv.

Vince Rallies the Troops

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Vince McMahon gives Team WWF a pep talk
Prior the main event, Vince McMahon lined up Team WWF in the locker room to give them a pep talk.

Ever the asshole, Mr. McMahon role his troops that although he was confident that they’d win, the fans would never forgive them if they lost.

What’s more, said Vince, losing would mean that they’d be personally and professionally disgraced, not to mention ridiculed by their peers and family.

Finally, McMahon also told them to forget all about Stone Cold Steve Austin rejoining the company and act as if it were ‘complete BS.’

Speaking of Austin, he was seen leading his team through the backstage corridors in solemn silence.

Say what you will about the whole Invasion storyline but this segment did an excellent job at building up the gravitas of the whole situation.

By the time it was over and we went into our obligatory pre-match video there was still an hour left on this show.

That makes for a really long main event for sure.

Winner Take All Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Alliance (Shane McMahon, Booker T, WWF Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin) vs. Team WWF (The Big Show, Kane, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and WCW Champion The Rock

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Steve Austin, RVD, and Kurt Angle reach for a tag
The Rock and Austin wasted no time getting into this one, immediately going after each other with rights and lefts and battering each other around the ring.

Things eventually settled down with members from each team pairing off and taking turns to spend a little time in the ring, usually with Team WWF getting the upperhand.

Hilariously, every time a member of the World Wrestling Federation made a cover, Shane McMahon would dive in and break it up then scurry off like a rat.

Speaking of Shane, he led by example by scoring the first fall for his side.

The Big Show took to the ring and destroyed Booker T, only for Kurt Angle to hit him with an impressive Angle Slam. Big Show then ate a scissor kick from Booker and a five-star frogsplash from Rob Van Dam before Shane sealed the deal with an elbow drop to put The Alliance ahead 5-4.

Unfortunately for McMahon, his victory didn’t last long. He got his ass whooped by The Rock, chokeslammed by Kane, tombstoned by The Undertaker and finally hit with a lionsault by Chris Jericho to level the playing field.

Things would soon breakdown into a brawl during which time both Kane and The Undertaker were eliminated, leaving The Rock and Chris Jericho to take on Austin, Angle, Booker, and RVD.

Given that Rock and Jericho had become increasingly hostile towards each other in recent weeks this did not bode well for Team WWF.

After more entertaining brawling, it all came down to Rock & Jericho vs. Austin & Angle.

In other words, a match between four original WWF guys.

Jericho played face in peril for a while before Rock finally made the hot tag and destroyed Kurt Angle, making the Olympic gold medalist possibly the only person in history to tap out to The Rock’s awkward sharpshooter.

Jericho too was later eliminated and took out his frustration on arch-rival The Rock before being sent packing by The Undertaker.

That left us with another classic Rock/Austin showdown which was undoubtedly the highlight of the whole match and a joy to watch.

After an epic battle between the two men, Kurt Angle returned and turned his back on The Alliance, smashing Austin in the face with the title belt to give The Rock, and Team WWF, the victory.
Your Winners: Team WWF (Sole Survivor: The Rock)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 2001 - Vince McMahon celebrates the WWF's Victory
As a distraught Paul Heyman looked on, The Rock celebrated his victory while Vince McMahon came out onto the stage.

The closing moments of Survivor Series 2001, and of the entire Invasion storyline was the WWF owner standing tall and proud, arms raised in victory having finally destroyed his competition once and for all.

In every sense, the landscape of professional wrestling would never be the same again.

Survivor Series 2001 may never go down as an all-time classic event, but its job was to write the final chapter of a story and to that end, it worked very well.

Although there were definitely some highlights (the main event and the tag title cage match) nothing on the show actually sucked, making for an enjoyable event from start to finish.

The Invasion may have had many flaws, but at least it ended on a high note.

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.