Royal Rumble 2002 was billed as being one of the most star studded Royal Rumbles ever, with the likes of Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker and Kurt Angle all being included in the Royal Rumble match, plus the return of some old WWE faces in Goldust, Mr. Prefect, Val Venis and The Godfather, the Royal Rumble should have been something spectacular. Find out if it was.
Length: (VHS) 164 mins (DVD) 195 mins
- WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Spike & Tazz vs. The Dudley Boyz
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: William Regal vs. Edge
- WWE Women’s Championship Match: Jazz vs. Trish Stratus / Guest Referee Jacqueline
- Street Fight: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon
- WWE Undisputed Championship Match: The Rock vs. Chris Jericho
- 30 Man Royal Rumble Match
The main event for this PPV featured Chris Jericho vs. The Rock for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Now these two competitors had been having a feud on and off since back in October when Jericho had won the WCW World Championship belt from the Rock in an awesome match up at No Mercy. This time the stakes would be a lot higher as the WWE Undisputed Championship would be on the line, as the first ever champion would defend his title against The Rock. This match was pretty hyped up, and if it were anything like the match at No Mercy, it would surely be something not to be missed. See how it faired?
Also on the card, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair would tie up his wrestling boots one more time, as he would challenge Vince McMahon to a Street Fight. These two 50% “Shareholders” had been trying to out do each other since Flair made his WWE return back in November, this was actually a pretty hot feud, and it had been built up nicely, although I wasn’t sure if both middle-aged men could pull of a decent match. Then I thought, It couldn’t be any worse than what we all would be in store for us when Hogan makes his return, could it.
The rest of the under-card looked ok, nothing great, but nothing too bad.
Highs & Lows
As you can always expect from our beloved Vince McMahon and his creative team, this PPV was a feast of disappointments. It wasn’t massively disappointing, but it had its fair share. The Royal Rumble match was hyped up so much, I think it was hard for it to live up to it all, I mean nearly everyone could see who was going to win the Rumble match, so there was no surprises there.
Anyway on to the first match, Spike and Tazz vs. The Dudley Boys, for the WWE Tag Team Championship belts. This was the biggest push both Tazz and Spike had received in quite a while, I was quite happy to see that these two were on PPV, well at least Tazz, but I wasn’t sure how the match would turn out. The match started off with a brawl between all four men, this lead to Tazz being suplexed out side of the ring. Poor little Spike was left in the ring alone as both Bubba and D-Von kept delivering a barrage of offensive moves. Spike managed to reverse a suplex, but with some blundering officiating, he never made the tag. Suddenly the momentum changed again and Tazz manages to get the tag, and make the save as he suplexes everything in sight. Stacey interferes and Tazz locks the Tazmission on to her, as he does to D-Von for the victory. This match was an average opening bout, nothing to special at all.
Next up, Britain’s own William Regal goes up against Edge in an Intercontinental Championship match. Both of these had fought in a match at the WWE’s previous PPV back in December, but that match was pretty dismal, this I hoped would be something different, surprisingly enough this sucked to. Well it never sucked; it’s just that William Regal can’t seem to work a decent match with anyone now. The match was considerably boring, not because of the lack of effort by both men, it is just that their styles don’t seem to match at all. The match did have some nice spots in, and it was entertaining to a certain degree, just not my thing. The ending came when the referee is knocked down and Regal pulls out the Brass Knuckles and knocked out Edge, surprise, surprise.
Ah, a nice Women’s Championship match now, well a Women’s Championship match, not sure if its nice. Jazz vs. Trish, with special referee Jackie. To be fair, the match was actually ok, it was much better than some Women’s Championship matches I have seen, but that doesn’t me a whole lot. Anyway, Jazz got the advantage quickly in the match, she works on Trish’s “damaged” hand, there is some argument with Jackie and Jazz and they both trade shoves, Jazz then turns her attention to Trish once again and the match continues. Jazz rolls Trish up for the pin, but Jackie refuses to count. As the match continues Trish scores the victory when she hits a bulldog onto Jazz. If you discard the fact that this is extremely botched up in places, and it is about as entertaining as a chocolate teapot is useful, then it is ok, apart from that I hated it.
Next up, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair goes up against Vince McMahon in a street fight. This is Ric Flair’s first big match back in the WWE, and many people thought that it would be terrible, I mean it had been nearly 10 years ago since Flair had left the WWE, and he wasn’t getting any younger. I will admit I was doubtful that Flair could still wrestle, but was I mistaken? Well, the match starts off with both men brawling, until Vince puts Flair into a really painful headlock, while at the same time showing off his pythons, no wonder him and Hogan have had a falling out, anyone smell jealousy. Flair then gets him in the corner and starts to pound on him, until Vince gives Flair a low blow. Both men continue to brawl until the match goes outside where Vince nails Flair with a metal sign. From this point on Vince has the advantage, he takes Flair to the ring side area where Beth and Reid Flair are, he steels a camera from Beth and he tries to take a picture of a bloodied Ric Flair, however the Sports Entertainment genius and multi millionaire can’t even seem to work a camera, so he throws it back to Beth, silly man. The match continues in the ring as Vince works on Flair’s legs, he goes to put the Figure Four leg lock on, but Flair reverse the move. Vince grabs his lead pipe, but Flair gives Vince a shot to the face, followed by a battering of chops “Whoooooooooooooo”. The fight goes to the outside where Flair hits Vince with a TV monitor, the match continues and Flair takes Vince out again to where Beth and Reid are, he gets the camera and takes a shot for the family album. Back in the ring McMahon gains little advantage and Flair floors him with the lead pipe, he then hits Vince with the Figure Four and the rest is history. This match was pretty decent to be fair, I really like Flair and he never disappointed, he gave 100% in this match and it paid off, it was no Flair/Steamboat or Flair/Sting, but it was a decent match for two middle aged wrestling icons.
WWE Championship match now, The Rock vs. Chris Jericho. Jericho had held the WWE Undisputed Championship now for well over a month; many people thought his reign would be over after this PPV, I for one had no faith in Jericho at all. However, whomever won this match, one thing would be almost certainly guaranteed, it would be a superb match, both men had fought in a top notch match at No Mercy 2001 back in October and we were all dying to see if they could reach that level, or even beat that level of quality. The match started off with both men brawling with one another, The Rock then hits a Samoan drop on Jericho and he goes for the pin, only to get a two count. As the match continues Jericho goes over to a turnbuckle and he rips a pad off, he then is attacked by Rocky, who is then taken down by Jericho, who attempts to put the Walls of Jericho on Rock, but Rocky manages to reverse the hold. Jericho then goes to the top, he hits a missile drop kick, goes for the pin, but he only gets a two count. Jericho then puts a chin lock on Rock to try and make him submit, Rock once again manages to escape from the clutches of the Champ. Both men end up on the top turnbuckle as The Rock Superplexs Jericho down to the canvas. As both men lay motionless on the ring floor, Rock manages to get up first and he hits a Belly to Belly on Jericho but again he only scores a two count, now Jericho hits a bulldog on The Rock and he then pulls out two Lionsaults, but he only manages to score a two count. As Jericho goes to take to his retribution out on the referee, The Rock hits Jericho with the Sharp Shooter, but the un-Americans, Lance Storm and Christian run in and try to make the save. The Rock soon deals with Jericho’s Canadian comrades and the match continues. As the Rock turns he falls straight into his own move, as Jericho hits the Rock Bottom onto The Rock. He then goes for the People’s elbow, but The Rock once again jumps up and throws Y2J out of the ring. Now, Rock sets up the announcing table and he Rock Bottoms Jericho from one table right through the other. The Rock takes Jericho in the ring, and surprise, surprise he gets another 2 count. Jericho now is getting ready to receive yet another Rock Bottom, however he manages to reverse the move into the Walls of Jericho, but Rocky makes the ropes, Jericho again puts the Walls on The Rock but he reverses the move into a pin, guess what? 1………..2………..and Jericho kicks out, is that all Earl can count up to, two! Anyway Earl gets knocked down and Jericho makes use of the situation by hitting The Rock with one of the title belts. Nick Patrick, who hopefully knows how to count to three, comes running down the aisle to the ring, he counts to 2 as well. Now Rock DDTs Chris, and goes for another cover, this time Nick Patrick seems to be having difficulty counting to two, never mind bloody three. The Rocks has had enough of all this mathematical illiteracy and he knocks Nick Patrick down. Jericho then hits a low blow on The Rock and he rolls him up for the pin and uses the ropes to help him cover The Rock, and by goodness the referee awaked a mathematical genius as he managed to count to three. This match was superb throughout, it displayed a great display on actual wrestling and entertainment, and with a pretty shocking win it was actually most enjoyable This match was the best of the night, and could well be a WWE match of the year candidate.
Royal Rumble match time now, and it was surely going to be a good one. The Royal Rumble match was pretty good, we seen the return of Goldust, The Godfather, Val Venis and Mr Perfect. Firstly Goldust looked in the best shape I have ever seen him, he was number two and it was so cool to hear his theme music once again. When the Undertaker came down to the ring (with his dubbed music, I might add) he cleaned the ring of the wrestlers and he then waited, as his next “victim” was Maven. As you may or may not know Maven eliminated Taker, but that ended up being the biggest mistake of his life as Taker took him on a tour of the arena and give him a first hand feel of everything. I am not sure, but The Godfathers entrance seemed to be longer than his stay in the ring, as he brought 12 “escorts” down to the ring with him. Kane eliminated The Big Show by lifting all 500 pounds and tossing him outside the ring, but he then received an Angle Slam outside of the ring by Kurt Angle himself. It was good to see all of the returning wrestlers, but none more that Mr. Perfect, when his theme music hit, the whole crowd was pumped. Surprisingly Perfect was in the last four with Angle, Triple H and Steve Austin, and surprise, surprise Triple H won the match? That’s right, you never saw that coming did you? Anyway he won the match, and got to go onto Wrestlemania to face the WWE Undisputed Champion.
This PPV was really hyped up by the WWE, and even if it had really tried I don’t think it could have lived up to the hype. The first few matches were nothing special at all, Vince vs. Flair was pretty good, Jericho vs. The Rock was superb and the Royal Rumble match itself was good. By no means at all is this a bad PPV, in fact it was a solid PPV to kick a year off with, however it seemed to lack something, not sure what. If you haven’t seen this PPV then I’d advise you to get it, if you have, I wouldn’t bother getting it again.
- Ric Flair Up Close: A nice little look at Ric Flair, an interview with him about his return to the WWE
- Spike & Tazz review their match: Spike and Tazz look back on their match and comment about it.
- Post Royal Rumble interviews: Short interviews with Maven, Al Snow, Goldust and Val Venis.
- What Kurt: A pre-match promo with Kurt Angle about his being in the Royal Rumble
- Triple H Returns: A look at Triple H’s return to the WWE on RAW.
- Stone Cold Says: A pre-match interview with Stone Cold about him being in the Royal Rumble.
I’d most certainly get the DVD, it is not much more expensive and it has some nice little extras.
Points: 7 / 10