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 WWE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWE. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 September 2021

EVENT REVIEW: WWE Global Warning 2002

WWE Global Warning 2002: Melbourne
August 10, 2002
Colonial Stadium, Melbourne, Australia

Look up the WWE Global Warning event on the WWE Network and it will tell you that the date of the event was November 5th, 2002. 

It wasn't. 

The actual event took place in August, in between Vengeance 2002 and that year's Summerslam.

The first WWE event in Australia since 1986 was promoted as a Smackdown branded show despite the fact that The Un-Americans, Chris Jericho, and Triple H were all now Raw superstars. 

The show featured three matches that didn't make it to the broadcast, including Mark Henry teaming with a rookie Randy Orton to face Reverand D-Von and Batista, Hardcore Holly and Chavo Guerrero battling Billy and Chuck, and Kurt Angle beating Test

We may not be able to talk about those matches today, but let's talk about the ones we can in this WWE Global Warning review: 






Welcome to Global Warning

WWE Global Warning 2002: Stephanie McMahon opened the show
After the briefest of intros with none of the usual opening video package, pyro exploded, the crowds roared, and Michael Cole and Taz welcomed us to Australia. 

This was followed by the arrival of new Smackdown General Manager, Stephanie McMahon

Steph said nothing of significance, simply welcoming fans to the show before dancing with Rikishi as he made his way to the ring for our opening contest.


Kiss My Ass Match
Rikishi vs. Rico 

You could tell this wasn't an important event because Cole and Tazz spent more time making fun of ring announcer Tony Chimmel, each other, and the size of Rikishi's ass than they did calling the action.

Not that there was much action to call. 

This was all over in pretty much no time. 'Kishi battered his former tag team partner for a few minutes, Rico made the briefest of comebacks but then missed a moonsault and got Samoan Dropped to end the match. 
Your Winner: Rikishi 

Afterwards, Big 'Kish flattened his rival in the corner then gave him the stink face to the delight of the Melbourne faithful. He then proceeded to dance with two kids from the audience, all while Taz and Cole cracked jokes.

Jamie and Nidia go Surfing

Prior to the next match, we saw a video package of Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble and his girlfriend Nidia learning to surf and seeing the sights of Australia. 

It looked like they had a good time, and in its own way, the video was almost cute, but it wasn't very interesting and added nothing of value. Still, at least it saved WWE the hassle of actually adding more wrestling matches to this thing.

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

WWE Global Warning 2002: Hurricane vs. Jamie Noble
Although it felt like it moved at a somewhat slower pace than most cruiserweight matches, this was a lot of fun. Noble and The Hurricane combined some of the usual highflying stuff with actual strategy and more of an emphasis on entertaining the crowd.

It was plenty enjoyable, especially when Hurricane took out the champion with a huge swinging neckbreaker off the top rope. Alas, that wasn't enough to win match.

After a solid effort, Noble retained thanks to Nidia's interference and a rope-assisted pin.

All the while, Cole and Taz continued to goof off, this time turning their insults to referee Jimmy Korderas and Raw announcers JR & King.
Your Winner and Still Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble

Post-match, Hurricane destroyed his rival with a chokeslam and smacked Nidia on the ass.

A Day at the Zoo


Before the next match, we got a look at the day Christian, Lance Storm, and Kurt Angle all went to the zoo in Australia. 

Kurt Angle getting offended by the Australian word "buggar" was hilarious, and the video including a shot where Angle clearly called Christian "Jay" was interesting. Everything else was mildly entertaining filler. 

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champions The Un-Americans (Lance Storm & Christian) vs. Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman

WWE Global Warning 2002: Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman vs. Lance Storm & Christian
And so, we had former WCW tag team champions Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio taking on current WWE tag team champions Lance Storm and Christian. 

Mysterio had only just arrived in WCW and looked eager to prove himself, flying around the ring with gusto in what was mostly an exciting match.

I say "mostly" because there was a lull in the middle of this one, but for the most part, it was a fun encounter which almost -but not quite- delivered all the excitement you'd expect from these four talented performers.

Given that this show was kind of "non-cannon" in the same way that UK PPVs were, it came as no surprise when the tag champs retained their gold.
Your Winners and Still WWE Tag Team Champions: Lance Storm & Christian 

Edge was in action next. 

That meant that, following the pattern of the rerst of the show, we were obligated to watch him go sightseeing with Billy Kidman and Torrie Wilson. The trio went to a market where Kidman thought that a digeridoo was a walking stick, then sat down to eat dessert.

Alright then.

Chris Jericho vs. Edge 

WWE Global Warning 2002: Edge vs. Chris Jericho
Prior to the match, Chris Jericho took to the microphone to address the crowd but found himself met with a huge chorus of "You're a wanker! You're a wanker!

Of course, Cole, Taz, and Jericho all had no idea -or at least pretended to have no idea- what the word meant. As such, your British writer got a good laugh out of the announcers repeatedly using the word over and over again, and Jericho busting out "you think I'm a wanker? Well I don't even know what a wanker is, and I think Australia sucks!"

The best line, however, went to Taz. Jericho missed a move, causing the announcer to proclaim "he landed right on his wanker!

Given that this word would never make it on air if this show had been broadcast here in the UK, I found this pretty funny, but it wasn't the only thing this match had going for it.

Wanker or not, Jericho put in a solid effort against Edge here as the two gave us the best match they were capable of delivering in ten minutes. 

After a good back and forth and some dramatic nearfalls, Edge went over by reversing the Walls of Jericho into a roll-up.

The best match on the card so far.
Your Winner: Edge 

Post match, Jericho once again channeled his WCW heel turn and threw a temper tantrum before Edge climbed up a big lighting tower to celebrate. 

Fan Frenzy 

Up next, we got a look back at the WWE Fan Frenzy event. This was essentially the Axcess events, Australia style. The event looked like a lot of fun and featured Edge, Test, Stacy Keibler and Brock Lesnar, as well as a bunch of fans spouting catchphrases from their favorite performers. Good times.

Bra & Panties Match
Stacy Keibler vs. Torrie Wilson

Special Guest Ring Announcer: The Big Val Bowski

WWE Global Warning 2002: The Big Valbowski
Before the girls could lock up, The Big Valbowski came down to make a bunch of predictable jokes about going down...under. 

Stacy and Torrie then gave us every bra and panties match you've ever seen. 

I'm sure there are some people who really like these kinds of matches, but this fan isn't one of them. Yes, both girls were insatiably beautiful, and yes, they tried hard to do some actual wrestling to the best of their limited abilities, but there's nothing about bra and panties matches that holds any appeal. 

They even did the predictable spot where the two girls start catfighting and end up rolling on top of the referee, though it was so poorly executed that it looked like official Mike Sparks was physically pulling the two on top of him for his own gratification.

The zebra loved it, so Stacy and Torrie pulled his pants down to expose his undies, then a few moments later Torrie stripped Stacy of her shorts to win the match.
Your Winner: Torrie Wilson

Post-match, Torrie gave Stacy a good spanking and sent her on her way.  

Charity Dinner

WWE Global Warning 2002: The Rock at a charity dinner
Prior to tonight's main event, we got a quick look back at the WWE's recent charity dinner/auction. 

The company often did these before the UK PPVs, so it wasn't much of a surprise to see it here to. 

Paintings of The Rock, Triple H, and Hulk Hogan sold for thousands of dollars to raise good money for good causes, The Rock was asked for his porno name, and by the looks of it, a good time was had by all.

With that out of the way, we still have 35 minutes left on this show which either means a really long main event, or some kind of shenanigans.

No Disqualification Match for the WWE Undisputed Championship
WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H

With Triple H and The Rock competing alongside the man who was certainly living up to his moniker of The Next Big Thing, this was never going to be anything less than a good match.

Was it an all-out, PPV-calibre classic? 

WWE Global Warning 2002: The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
Of course not, but as the main event for what was essentially a glorified house show, it was certainly good. 

Triple H and The Rock double-teamed Brock Lesnar in the early going but The Game switched allegiances and helped Lesnar take out The Great One.

From there, standard WWE Triple Threat formula kicked in, with the competitors taking it in turns to have a quick nap while their fellow combatants duked it out. 

Lesnar looked impressive, but it wasn't to be his night. After a good effort, The People's Champ put down The Next Big Thing to retain his title, a result which, let's be honest, was never in question.
Your Winner and Still Undisputed Champion: 

The actual match was only around 20 minutes, which still gave us 15 minutes of show time to fill, something The Rock, Triple H, and Paul Heyman did with gusto.

With Cole and Taz having signed off for the evening, Lesnar went to attack Brock with a chair, only for Hunter to stop him and help The Rock dispose of Heyman's charge once and for all. 

At this point, The Game was in the midst of an intense heel turn following his jump to Raw and fall out with best friend Shawn Michaels. Despite that, he was still very much a babyface here as he and the Undisputed Champion confronted Paul Heyman.

The former ECW boss was hilarious here as he first pleaded for his life and then clapped and cheered along as the Melbourne crowd erupted with chants of "Rocky! Rocky!"

Proving he was smart, Heyman was reluctant to shake The Rock's hand for fear that it would lead to him getting Rock Bottomed and People's Elbowed. Eventually, The Brahma Bull convinced Heyman to shake and let go without trouble, but when Paul E. shook The Game's hand, he naturally got a pedigree for his efforts.

The fun and games continued as first HHH convinced The Rock to hit Heyman with a People's Elbow, before Rock himself convinced Hunter to deliver the move he'd been on the receiving end of countless times.

Finally, Rock stood back and allowed his long-time rival a chance to bask in the adulation of the crowd then, once The Game left, the Undisputed Champion took the microphone to thank the fans and utter some catchphrases.

Honestly, that last 15 minutes of post-show shenanigans was more entertaining than anything else on the show.








The after-match stuff may have been the highlight, but that doesn't necessarily mean that WWE Global Warning was a poor show or anything. The main event was as good as you were going to get for a show at this level, while Edge vs. Jericho and the tag team championship match were also enjoyable. 

Sure, this felt like one of the many UK PPVs were nothing of any consequence happened, and sure, there was far too much "here's what the WWE Superstars did in Australia" stuff between the relatively few matches on the card, but if the goal of professional wrestling is simply to entertain, then I think it's fair to say that Global Warning 2002 achieved that goal. 

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.

Why?

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, 29 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWE Judgement Day 2002

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Event poster
May 19, 2002
Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee

In some ways, WWE Judgement Day 2002 was a night of firsts. 

It was, of course, the company's first PPV since they switched from being the WWF to WWE.

It was also the first PPV appearance of future main eventer, world champion, and movie star, Dave Batista. 

Yet it was also a night of lasts. 

This was the last time we would see Stone Cold Steve Austin competing before he "took his ball and went home" for a while, and it was the last time Brock Lesnar would be stuck around the undercard before his King of the Ring 2002 victory catapulted him to main event status. 

With all that being said then, let's head on down to Nashville and check out the show.






Judgement Day is Upon Us

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler called the event
Tonight’s show began with a rather sinister video package that spliced clips of the company’s biggest stars talking about their rivals with ominous footage of a noose and, eventually, somebody hanging from said noose.

As morose as that was, it eventually gave way to the standard pyro, crowd shots from the audience and the newly re-christened The World restaurant (formerly WWF New York), and our greeting from Jim Ross.

Tonight, he and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler would be calling all of the action, including this, our opening contest: 

WWE Intercontinental Championship 
WWE Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam 

This was as solid an opening match as you were going to get.
WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Eddie Guerrero defended the IC title against Rob Van Dam

Miles better than their match at Insurrexion 2002 and at least on a par with their battle at Backlash 2002, it was a tremendous back-and-forth encounter that engaged the crowd from bell to bell.

After a very enjoyable match, Eddie Guerrero got the backslide on RVD and scored the fall thanks to rope-assisted shenanigans.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero 

Out in the back, Batista made his WWE PPV debut as Deacon Batista, Reverend Devon’s muscle-bound briefcase carrier.

The two were joined by Vince McMahon and his assistant, Stacy Kiebler, who was set to challenge Trish Stratus for the women’s Championship.

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Batista, D'Von, Stacy Kiebler and Vince McMahon
The Reverend called for a prayer to ask  The Good Lord to keep Stacy safe, but when he, Keibler and Batista had their eyes closed in prayer, Vince opened his and used the moment to do a sly bit of perving on Stacy’s boobs and bum.

I get that this wasn’t very PC, but McMahon’s facial expressions throughout this whole segment were at William Regal levels of funny, and I couldn’t help but find this whole segment hilarious.

It was followed by a quick video in which an old woman trimmed her bush and set fire to it as a means of telling us to Get the ‘F’ Out.

WWE Women’s Championship 
WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus (w/ Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. Stacy Keibler (w/ Reverend Devon & Deacon Batista) 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Bubba Dudley mocks Stacy Kiebler
Since being split up in the draft, Devon had been a heel and was Vince’s ‘Spiritual Advisor’ which put him in Stacy’s corner while Bubba Ray Dudley had turned face and formed a loose alliance with Trish Stratus which meant that he was in her corner.

I mention this, because even though both women worked hard in this match, it was clear that the only reason for this taking place was to give The Dudley Boyz an excuse to be back in the ring together.

The match was as good as you were going to get out of Trish and Stacy, but it was more of a plot device than anything.
Your Winner and Still Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus 

Indeed, we got our obligatory Dudleyz reunion after the match followed by Devon and Deacon beating up Big Bad Bubba and dumping him through a table.

Let’s Be Friends

Backstage, Ric Flair and Vince McMahon decided that since they were both now heels they should shake hands and pretend to like each other despite having hated one another’s guys for months on end.

OK, so it was heavily implied that neither man really liked the other, but why even bother having this segment at all?

The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Paul Heyman teamed with Brock Lesnar against The Hardy Boyz
For all that Brock Lesnar did in his career, it’s mad to think that his first few months in the WWE were limited to beating up The Hardy Boyz every week.

This was just another in a long series of matches that the three had were the challenge was to make Brock look like a total monster without making Matt and Jeff look like total jobbers.

To that end, they were mostly successful. The brothers took the fight to The Next Big Thing in an entertaining contest but ultimately fell short.

Following a fun bit of action, Brock destroyed Jeff Hardy before finally tagging in Paul Heyman who got the three count.
Your Winners: Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman 

Out in the back, Mark Lloyd interviewed Booker T

The Booker Man had been hand-selected by Ric Flair to be the newest member of the New World Order which was apparently how that worked now.

It was dumb, but not as dumb as the way the promo ended.

After boasting about being a five time (five time, FIVE TIME!) Dubya See Dubya champion and not really addressing Lloyd’s comments at all, Booker noticed a woman in an evening gown randomly standing by herself and looking completely out of place.

Wanting himself a piece, Mr. Five Time approached her and accepted her hotel key so that they could apparently go and have some sexy times later on.

It was very silly and made no sense whatsoever.

Who was the woman?

Why was she dressed all fancy yet randomly hanging around next to some dirty production equipment backstage at a wrestling show? 

After a quick look at the rivalry between Steve Austin and Ric Flair, it was onto our next match.

Handicap Match
Nature Boy Ric Flair & The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Stone Cold Steve Austin
This was famously Steve Austin’s last PPV match until No Way Out 2003 and, honestly, with a match like this, it’s hard to blame The Texas Rattlesnake for ‘taking his ball and going home.’

This was Stone Cold Steve Austin, main event superstar and certified legend competing in what was basically a midcard match.

Some of the action was fairly decent, and the chop-offs between Austin and Flair was fun stuff, with the crowd chanting ‘WOO!’ Every time Flair landed a chop and ‘WHAT?’ Each time Austin did.

Yet despite that, this really felt like a demotion for Stone Cold.

In the end, X-Pac came down and accidentally kicked his nWo team mate Big Show in the face, Austin delivered stunners all round and won what was a pretty entertaining but still questionable contest.
Your Winner:  Steve Austin

Afterwards, Austin drank a couple of beers and hobbled to the back, probably feeling annoyed that he’d gone from main eventing to being done within the first hour of the show.

Hair vs. Hair Match
Kurt Angle vs. Edge

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Edge vs. Kurt Angle
These two had a cracker of a match back at Backlash which this fan enjoyed immensely.

Since then, Kurt Angle had meant to reveal a new t-shirt boasting all of his accomplishments but Edge had switched it to one that said ‘You Suck’ on it.

By some twist of logic, that low meant the two were set to meet again in a hair vs. hair match which turned out to be arguably even better than the aforementioned Backlash encounter. 

A thrilling contest that only got better the longer it went on, this one saw Edge and Angle really up their game as they built to a dramatic finale with Edge battling out of the Ankle Lock and scoring the win with a roll up. 
Your Winner: Edge

Post-match, Angle attacked Edge but the future Rated R Superstar made a quick comeback and dragged his rival to the entrance where a barber was stationed with all of his tools.

Before the Olympic Gold Medalist could get his head shaved, however, he managed to escape and run off. Edge gave chase, leaving the bemused barber to stand around aimlessly.

Earlier, I was going to say they really should have brought Brutus Beefcake in for this segment, but now I see why they didn’t.

Booker T’s Naked Bum

Down the street, we went inside a room at the Marriott Hotel where Booker T was about to get it on with the random woman from earlier.

You’d have to imagine that it was only due to Booker’s inflated ego that he was perfectly OK having a cameraman in the room while he was about to get it on.

Anyway, the girl wanted the lights off which was the obvious cue for something to happen.

Sure enough, Booker’s estranged tag team partner Goldust emerged, and when the light came back on he was under the covers with Booker and his girl. 

The reason? Booker hadn’t been returning any of his phone calls and he wanted to get the proverbial band back together.

In the only entertaining moment, Booker fled from the bed and left the room where his bare bum on full display.

Honestly, I can’t explain why, but that part was funny whereas the whole rest of this skit was just plain dumb.

Hell in a Cell is a Cell in Which There Will be Hell

Before the next match, we went to Smackdown commentators Michael Cole and Tazz to put over their show’s big match.

“Hell in a cell is simply a cell,” said Michael Cole. “And Triple H and Chris Jericho will go through hell in that cell.”

Well, thanks for that original and creative explanation, Michael. 

A video package then followed which did a better job of explaining the feud than Michael ‘State the Bloody Obvious’ Cole had just done, and with that it was on to the cell where the hell would be.

Hell in a Cell
Chris Jericho vs. Triple H

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Triple H vs. Chris Jericho - Hell in a Cell
This was the first Hell in a Cell match since the multi-man match at Armageddon 2000.

It was also excellent, way better than said match and even better than HHH and Chris Jericho’s meeting at Wrestlemania 18.

It didn’t necessarily start out that way, however. The early part of the match was slow and sluggish as The Game and The Larger Than Life Living Legend cranked up the violence factor and tried to inflict as much damage as possible.

Then, referee Tim White absolutely stole the show by getting knocked off the apron and taking a wicked bump into the steel mesh.

Honestly, it was an insane bump that was more impressive than any individual spot that the actual wrestlers pulled off. Sadly, it was also the spot that ended White’s career as a referee and eventually led to those awfully distasteful segments a few years later where White would repeatedly try to off himself.

The moment Tim landed on the floor, JR started yelling. 

“But Tim White has the key! Tim White has the key!”

Not “OMG, Tim White just went flying and got knocked the F out.” Or “holy crap Tim White must be hurt!” But “Tim White has the key!”

Jim Ross, ladies and gentlemen, master of subtlety.

Sure enough, White’s bump would lead to the cage being opened so that a gaggle of officials could rescue him, but not before Chris Jericho kicked his ass for costing him the match.

The cage opening was the real turning point.

We got some brawling, a cool spot where HHH DDT’d Jericho on top of the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table, and then The Game making a call back to his No Way Out 2000 match against Cactus Jack by producing a barb wire-wrapped baseball bat.

The two inevitably made their way to the top of the cage where some excellent action culminated in a match-winning pedigree.

I loved this match.
Your Winner: Triple H

Out in the back, Kurt Angle tried to hide from Edge by pretending to be a woman getting her hair cut.

Edge caught up to the Olympic Gold Medalist and the chase continued.

We then saw a video in which a couple had sex in the back of a car while Mark Henry’s old ‘Sexual Chocolate’ music played. The window went down with a WWF logo on it and came up again the WWE logo on it.

Get it? 

Because GET THE ‘F’ OUT!

Meanwhile, at The World, Maven and Torrie Wilson were on a date where Torrie talked about how much she liked to take her clothes off.

WWE Tag Team Championship 
WWE Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck (w/ Rico) vs. Rikishi & Rico

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Billy & Chuck vs. Rico
No, I didn’t make a mistake there.

Rico was still Billy & Chuck’s stylist but Vince McMahon had decided to screw with Rikishi by making Rico his partner for tonight’s match.

Ultimately, the plan backfired because when Rico went to kick his partner in the face, ‘Kishi ducked and Chuck ate a face full of boot. 

Chuck also ate some big ol’ booty as Rikishi squashed him and one three count later we had new tag team champions.

The match was nothing. 

It lasted about three minutes and wasn’t very exciting, but at least it served it’s purpose in putting some space between the Hell in a Cell match and the main event. 
Your Winners and New Tag Team Champions: Rikishi & Rico

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Kurt Angle got shaved bald
Out in the back, Edge continued to pursue Kurt Angle, only for Angle to sneak attack his enemy and whack him over the noggin with a trash can lid.

The former champion then led Edge to the arena and the barbershop area, aiming to chop off his long, blonde locks.

Instead, Edge kicked his foe in the gut and knocked him out with a sleeper hold and shaved Angle’s head to create the look that Angle would maintain for the rest of his active career.

Finally, Edge encouraged the crowd to sing along to Angle’s theme, replacing their usual ‘you suck’ chants with ‘you’re bald’ ones.

Then, we got a video for the main event before the bell rang snd the match itself got under way.

WWE Undisputed Championship 
WWE Undisputed Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker 

WWE Judgement Day 2002 - Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan for the Undisputed Title
In another ‘first’ for this PPV, it was the first PPV to see Undertaker using his Dead Man Walking theme song.

Tonight, he and Hogan met in their first PPV match since This Tuesday in Texas, and it was probably about on a par with that match in terms of quality.

That’s not to say it was bad or anything, but after several solid matches on this show, Hogan/Taker wasn’t exactly going to end things on a high note.

After some decent but unspectacular action, Vince McMahon came down and got himself beat up by the Hulkster.

The distraction allowed ‘Taker to waffle the champion with a chair and pin him for the title much like he’d done back at Survivor Series 1991.
Your Winner and NEW Undisputed Champion: The Undertaker

Afterwards, the new champion destroyed Hogan with a chair before walking to the back with the belt proudly around his waste.








In a way, it was entirely fitting that the first WWE-branded PPV should end with the man synonymous with the WWF being taken out and destroyed once and for all.

It was a poignant moment on which to end what had been an all-round good show.

Though not every match was amazing, the opening Intercontinental Championship match was very entertaining , the Hell in a Cell match was really enjoyable, and the Hair vs. Hair match was an awesome Match of the Night winner.

Skip the women’s match, the handicap match, and the main event, and this is a good show to watch.


Thursday, 15 July 2021

PPV REVIEW: WWF Insurrexion 2002

May 4, 2002
Wembley Arena, London, England

Like most UK-exclusive PPVs, WWF Insurrexion 2002 may never be remembered for anything that took place in the squared circle, yet regardless, it's still an event that holds a unique place in the history of professional wrestling. 

For one thing, it was the last ever PPV of any type by Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire to be branded as a "World Wrestling Federation" event. 

Technically, Backlash 2002 was the company's last WWF Pay Per View on American soil, but since Insurrexion took place a few weeks later, it holds the distinct honour of being the last major event to take place before the company became WWE. 

Still, that's not the only reason why it's important. 

After all, it was following this event that the WWF superstars boarded a plane and embarked on what would go down in history as the infamous Plane Ride From Hell

That tumultuous journey has already been covered in great detail by just about every pro wrestling site on the web, so for today, let's simply head down to London for the World Wrestling Federation's last hurrah. 





The Battle Has Crossed the Ocean 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross

We began tonight with a simple video which spliced footage from moments from some of the bigger storylines going on at the time with a generic vocice over which told us that all of the stars who hated each other had crossed the ocean to continue their battle.

As opening videos went, this was hardly the greatest, but let's face it, nobody watches a pro wrestling event purely for the opening videos.

When it was over, we got the customary crowd shots and introduction from Jim Ross and Jerry 'The king' Lawler

King was on one as he promised to teach JR all about how to speak the Queen's English and then spent the evening demonstrating how to do so by tossing out phrases like "It's all gone Pete Tong" which, honestly, I don't think I've heard anybody say in about 20 years.

It means "it's all gone wrong," in case you were wondering.

With that, it was on to our opening match.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam
I've mentioned multiple times before that no matter how good the performer, they always seemed to turn it down a notch or two when they came over to jolly old England. That was still the case with two talented wrestlers like Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam, as their intercontinental championship match here paled to in comparison to the excellent encounter they'd had a fortnight previously at Backlash 2003.

Still, RVD and Guerrero at their worst was still better than many others best and this was still a fine effort nonetheless.

After a very good opener, Eddie Guerrero tossed the referee into the corner to get himself disqualified. 
Your Winner via Disqualification: Rob Van Dam (Eddie Guerrero retains)

Afterward, Eddie chased the official around the ring, only to get whacked in the face by one of Rob Van Dam's 'educated' feet. RVD then proceeded to wallop his rival with the title belt and finish him off with a crowd-pleasing frog splash before basking in the glory of the fans, making this the perfect way to start off the show.

The UK is Full of Trash...And So is Terri Runnels

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Terri interviews Molly Holly & Jazz
Backstage, Terri continued to settle into her new role as a backstage interviewer by asking Molly Holly and women's champion Jazz for some comments about their upcoming match.

Playing the puritan, Molly lambasted Trish Stratus, Terri, and other models for exposing their bodies and then turned her attention to the UK tabloid newspapers which featured topless models on Page 3.

According to Molly, Trish Stratus was trash, the Page 3 models were trash, and the whole UK was trash.

Terri then stood up to Molly by claiming that The Hurricane's former sidekick was jealous that she didn't have good boobs. As if to prove that she, Terri did have good boobs, she proceeded to get her kit off and stand around in her bra. 

Don't get me wrong, Terri was all kinds of gorgeous, but that was a pretty trashy move. 

WWF Women’s Champion Jazz & Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus & Jacqueline 

The ‘Divas’ era wasn’t exactly known for producing five-star classics, but it has to be said that all four women worked hard in this match and did the very best job they could with what they had.

Though it wasn’t spectacular by any stretch, it was a fairly enjoyable wrestling match in which Trish, Jacqueline, Molly, and Jazz were able to show off their wrestling prowess rather than their boobs.

Naturally then, the crowds all chanted for puppies.

In the end, Trish and Jacqui hit a couple of matching tornado DDTs for the three count.
Your Winners: Trish Stratus & Jacqueline 

Backstage, X-Pac twiddled his nun-chucks and boasted to Scott Hall about destroying Kane so bad that he was able to steal The Big Red Machine’s mask.

Tonight, ‘Pac promised that he’d never return to England again if he couldn’t beat Bradshaw.

“I don’t know why you’d want to come back here anyway,” scoffed Hall.

Cheeky.

X-Pac vs. Bradshaw

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - X-Pac faced Bradshaw
This wasn’t as random a match as it sounds.

Bradshaw had been jumped by the nWo on a previous episode of Raw and found himself loosely aligned with Stone Cold Steve Austin in a war with the black-and-white rebels.

Tonight, he went up against X-Pac in what was a reasonably entertaining match.

Prior to the bell, ‘Pac -who always came to the ring wearing Kane’s mask now- loosened the padding from a middle turnbuckle and later used the exposed buckle to beat Bradshaw into a bloody pulp.

That wasn’t enough to put the Texan away, but plenty of outside interference courtesy of Scott Hall certainly was.

Though this was never going to earn Match of the Night honours, it was a perfectly serviceable undercard match that this fan enjoyed.
Your Winner: X-Pac

Out in the back, a pissed-off Undertaker told Jonathan Coachman that he was going to destroy Triple H tonight just like he destroyed Hollywood Hulk Hogan on that week's episode of Raw.

'Taker didn't care about The Game's passion for the wrestling business. All he cared about was kicking ass, and that's exactly what he was going to do tonight.

This was standard stuff from Booger Red, but that didn't make it any less of a convincing promo.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Steven Richards vs. Booker T

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Steven Richards faced Booker T for the hardcore title
Pac/Bradshaw may not have been as random as it appeared, but this match certainly seemed to be thrown together at the last minute. 

Steven Richards had beaten Bubba Ray for the Hardcore title on Raw with an assist from Jazz and here put it on the line against Booker T, who, despite being a heel, was very popular with the London audience.

"I guess they like a sucka over here," quipped a puzzled JR as he tried to figure out why 'T was getting such a positive reaction.

The crowd response helped elevate what was a good match in its own right and probably the best thing this writer has ever see that had Steven Richards involved.

The hardcore stuff was kept to a minimum in favor of some honest-to-goodness pro wrestling and was all the more enjoyable for it.

After a good battle, Booker T decked Big Stevie to win the hardcore title.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Booker T

As Booker was celebrating, Crash Holly ran out and rolled him up for a flash victory.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly

Crash's joy was short lived as Booker almost immedietly got up, decapitated him with his patented scissor kick and regained the title.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Booker T

Not that he'd have much chance to celebrate either. Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible rushed out next and began an attack, only to get their butts whooped and sent packing.

Finally, Steven Richards returned to the ring wih Jazz, whacked Booker from behind and took the title back.
Your Winner and NEW Hardcore Champion: Stevie Richards

Honestly, there was more title changes in this one segment than there had been in the entire history of UK-based WWF PPVs.

Brock Visits Planet Stasiak

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar confront Shawn Stasiak
Up next, we got a look at newcomer Brock Lesnar's feud with The Hardy Boys, which was based on nothing more than Matt and Jeff repeatedly getting their asses kicked by The Next Big Thing.

Tonight, they'd team up to fight Brock and Shawn Stasiak in what was supposed to be a tag team match. Paul Heyman, however, had other ideas.

Backstage before the match, he urged Shawn to stay on the apron and have an easy night, essentially letting Brock do all the work.

The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Brock Lesnar & Shawn Stasiak (w/ Paul Heyman)

So of course, Stasiak didn't stay on the apron, he rushed to the ring ahead of his partner and took the fight to Matt and Jeff, only to inevitably get beaten up. 

Eventually, Big Brock managed to tag himself in and commence with the dismantling of his opponents, but when he attempted to shoulder tackle Matt in the corner, Hardy moved out of the way. That allowed the man from Planet Stasiak to tag himself back in and swiftly eat a Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb to technically give Brock Lesnar his first official taste of defeat in the World Wrestling Federation.
Your Winners: The Hardy Boys

Afterwards, Brock F-5'd everyone in sight.

As a side note, I want to register how much I enjoyed Shawn Stasiak. 

I know that's not a popular opinion, but the time he tried to attack The Rock at Summerslam 2001 and ran straight into a wall was absolutely hilarious, and the whole Planet Stasiak thing, if given enough time, could have gotten over.

Anyway, that being said, let's move on with the show.

William Regal: Britain’s Last Great Hope

Backstage, William Regal spoke to Jonathan Coachman about challenging Spike Dudley for the European Championship.

Trying to make sure he was still very much the heel, Regal put down his own countrymen and insisted that he was a role model to all the “dossers” in the audience.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Spike Dudley vs. William Regal 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Jonathan Coachman interviews William Regal
The match itself was pretty good, not necessarily because of the actual wrestling but because it was very cleverly done.

After a few minutes of decent action, Spike Dudley appeared to bust his ankle. Presenting it as legitimate, the champion spent a long time agonizing in the corner until a trainer arrived on the scene, cut Spike’s boot off and began helping him to the back.

The crowd gave Spike a genuine ovation, believing that the whole thing was real, but then Regal attacked him from behind to show that it wasn’t. 

Back in the ring, the challenger dominated but made the mistake of being too cocky, making a pin attempt and then breaking it at the count of two so that he could punish his opponent even further.

That was to be Regal’s downfall.

Spike got up, caught his rival off guard with a small package and that was that.
Your Winner and Still European Champion: Spike Dudley 

Afterwards, Regal blasted Spike with his trusty brass knucks.

This was followed by a video pacakage detailing the story behind our next match.

To sum up, Ric Flair had been the special guest referee for Steve Austin’s match at Backlash 2002 against The Undertaker. Flair had inadvertently counted a fall on Austin not realising that The Rattlesnake’s foot was on the rope.

Flair then tried to make things right by giving Austin a tag team match pitting him and Bradshaw against the nWo, but someone had knocked Bradshaw out so Big Show took his place.

Big Show then proceeded to make heel turn #824 by turning on Austin and rejoining the nWo for the first time since the late 90s.

The two would clash next.

The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 
Special Referee: Nature Boy Ric Flair 

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Big Show
Prior to the bell, Ric Flair came out and made himself the special guest “second” referee, meaning he’d be on the outside of the ring while Retro Pro Wrestling favourite Nick Patrick would officiate on the inside.

The match was...I mean it was as good a match as you were going to get out of a bloated Big Show at this stage of the career and was very formulaic (Austin worked his opponent’s legs, Big Show beat up Austin, Austin made a comeback and won) but it was entertaining in its own right and pretty enjoyable.

Towards the finish, Nick Patrick got bumped and Scott Hall and X-Pac came out, only for Flair to see them off.

Kevin Nash then turned up but Stone Cold gave him a stunner, followed up with one for Show and won the match.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin 

Post match, Flair returned to the ring and tried sucking up to Austin by boasting about how he’d gotten rid of the nWo. Unimpressed, Stone Cold gave Flair a beer then stunned him into oblivion.

A video then reminded us of the moment The Undertaker cost Triple H the WWF title at Backlash, leading to tonight’s main event.

The Game was a Smackdown star and had no business being on a Raw show like this one, but that didn’t fit the narrative so nobody mentioned it.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H

WWF Insurrexion 2002 - Triple H prepares to Face The Undertaker
There was nothing particularly remarkable about this match, not that you’d know that if your only experience of it was from JR’s commentary.

Doing his job perfectly, Ross sold this like it was the greatest match of all time and that both The Game and The Dead Man had waged an absolute gruelling war on each other.

The truth was that they took everything down a notch from their usual standards and delivered a match which, while enjoyable in its own right, was nothing more special then you might see on an average episode of Raw.

Triple H went over with the Pedigree.
Your Winner: Triple H

Afterwards, HHH and ‘Taker had a post-match staredown as the latter walked backstage, forgetting to take his motorbike with him.







These UK PPVs were never stand out classics, but give to give credit to the Raw roster, Insurrexion 2002 was better than average.

Nothing outright sucked, almost everything was watchable, and the wrestling-starved UK audience were pumped up enough that it created a great atmosphere.

All in all then, a resounding success of a show. It’s just a shame that what would happen on the plane ride home was anything but a success.

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.