Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Brent Watches The 2001 Royal Rumble

I'm sure if there is someone who actually regularly follows this blog they're asking why I jumped from the '89 rumble to the '01 rumble. But basically I wanted to watch some of these shows from '01. So I was going to watch them and I figure it makes sense to go ahead and actually write them up rather than doing it when I end up watching them some time down the road. Why am I justifying my decision? You don't care. Fuck it.

Tonight 30 men are pitted against each other for the ultimate goal. Pyro! We're live in New Orleans, LA.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Edge & Christian (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz

On modern showings/releases of this match do they mute all the references to the Dudleys recovering from concussions from the double con-chair-to? Not that I think they should. I'm just curious about it. I'm sure there's someone now that would complain about how tateless fake concussions are. Just like there are idiots that claim the WCCW angle where Chris Adams was blinded was just SOOO tasteless. It's pretend fighting. Pretend injuries just kind of make sense. By the way, it was refreshing to see Big Show hit a motherfucker in the head with a chair on Smackdown. The Dudleys put people through tables so they were fan favorites ("we want tables" chants pretty much from the opening bell). I always hated seeing the Dudleys playing face given the horrible waste of what they do best it was.

Lawler says he loves it when Edge taunts Bubba on the apron and JR accuses him of having a boner. "Whassup" by the Dudleys after the hot tag and that seems to generally be ignoring that they kept selling the concussion thing. Tornado action for a bit and a 3-D finishes things to get the Dudleys the tag titles.

Earlier tonight on Heat, Drew Carey arrived. ...yay? Now he's backstage plugging an improv PPV he has coming up while talking with HHH and Steph. Jesus, this is horrible. Anyway, Stephanie is going to take Drew to meet Trish Stratus. Now we get APA laughing about their numbers and Crash Holly barging in to say he'll throw their butts over the top rope if he has to.

Ladder Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Chris Benoit (c) vs. Chris Jericho

I've been working on a thing with a bunch of Benoit/Jericho matches but hadn't gotten to this match, so here we go. These two always worked really well together. In Japan, in WCW, in WWF/E, tagging against each other, tagging with each other..etc. I like Jericho but it's more because Benoit was really fucking awesome. It shouldn't be taboo to say it. He was really, absurdly fucking good. They're selling that Jericho has an injured arm from a Benoit/Saturn attack. The inclusion of the ladder is saving me from disliking me this match simply on the basis of having watched these two work far too often. Jericho absolutely kills Benoit with a brutal chair shot as he tries a suicide dive to the outside (oh man, I didn't realize I typed that until it was already there and I refuse to erase it now).

J.R. lets us know that tonight is the debut of the WWF on Arab radio and television. Ah, early 2001. When Chris Benoit wasn't a murderous monster and being on Arab TV didn't mean you were some sort of terrorist sympathizer. This match is pretty fucking brutal and absolutely spotty but it's a fucking ladder match so that's pretty much what you get. J.R. brings up the Dudleys' concussions and how these two are rattling each other's brains. That one was pretty weird to hear. By the way, WWF ladders are the only ladders worthy of these matches. Those were some sturdy motherfuckers. Jericho uses a modified Walls of Jericho using the top of the ladder in Benoit's back. Creativity! Jericho ends up climbing the ladder for the win after a nasty bump by Benoit. That was a crazy good ladder match. Some big, big lady in the crowd celebrates by jumping up and down clearly not wearing a bra and flapping all over the fucking place. If I did star ratings she'd have cost them a star for her post match crowd celebration.

Drew Carey backstage with Trish and Vince comes in to plug Drew's PPV also. Vince wants Drew to participate in the Royal Rumble. See, he'll give it a shot to try and impress Trish. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to feel bad or what. But I don't feel bad seeing as how Drew is an idiot.

WWF Women's Championship: Ivory (c) vs. Chyna

Chyna's eyes are all googly and uneven in the pre-fight picture. Chyna is coming off a pike piledriver that "left her with three herniated discs in her neck" but she's going to cry and fight through doctors orders to try to even the score with Ivory and Right to Censor. J.R. is really akward tonight talking about how Ivory is sexually repressed and pre-menstrual 30 days a month, which seems like a pretty serious medical issue. Chyna beats the shit out of Ivory for the whole match, does her little backflippy thing into the corner and collapses grabbing her neck so Ivory turns over and pins her. Pretty stupid injury angle here where she's not moving and they bring out the backboard to strap her in. Chyna keeps one arm bent and in the air at an awkward angle because...that's what happens when you are paralyzed, you become completely frozen in the position you were in at the time. What was I saying earlier about tasteless injury angles?

More Drew Carey. He thinks Kane is a grouch. I bet he improved that line! :) HHH gets hyped up looking in the mirror with his raging backne. The world title match between HHH and Kurt Angle is next!

WWF Championship Match: Kurt Angle (c) (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley)

Remember back before Angle was a weird nutjob spewing Hogan-esque stories of gandeur? I mean, I still really like Kurt but he's fucking weird now. J.R. and Lawler are much more interested in talking about Trish sucking McMahon's dick and Drew Carry than the WWF title match, but I suppose that's just the way it goes. Man, this "era" still feels really recent to me but they're talking about George W. Bush becoming the new president of the U.S. and the XFL. The match started off a little uninspired but as HHH takes over by going after Angle's injured knee it's getting a little bit better. Indian deathlock, chop blocks a figure four..etc. It's slow for a "main event match" around this time but it's refreshing enough. Trish and Stephanie fight on the Spanish announce table and I actually "LOL" when J.R. busts out a "WATCH OUT HUGO!"

They haven't shown any of the actual match in a few minutes as Vince tries to break up the fight and takes the ladies backstage. HHH nails a Razor's edge for 2, Angle busts out his beautiful moonsault for 2 and then it's ref bump time. A second ref bump seconds later (both on Earl Hebner). HHH hits the pedigree but no ref to count and Austin runs out to whip Hunter's ass. Austin hits HHH with the belt and then a stunner and Angle rolls over for the pin and retains. Could have been better and the match was secondary to the larger story (and Angle seems completely unimportant for a world champ in this match).

Rikishi has #30 and is limbering up in the back. Finally, The Rock is going to say some things. He does suggest that The Undertaker wants to "tickle Kane's big red nipple" though.

The Royal Rumble

Jeff Hardy draws #1 and Bull Buchanan is #2. That's about as non-gimmicky as it gets with the starting 2 numbers in the Rumble. Matt Hardy is in at #3 though and they quickly eliminate Buchanan and go at each other. Motherfucking Farooq sets those pretty boy sons of a bitch (same mom, I had to think about that for a second). The Hardys take over on him though and eliminate Farooq and now it's totally serious as Matt tried for a sneaky elimination on Jeff. And Drew Carey is out at #5. The Hardys eliminate each other and Carey is alone in the ring but here comes Kane. Drew should try improving acting scared without smiling. After Raven saves Carey he jumps out and eliminates himself. I hope they got whatever they wanted from having him in the match. It gets random and stupid as Raven is grabbing weapons and Al Snow runs out early to attack Raven. Here's ol Al Snow beating up Kane with a bowling ball and hitting Raven in the nuts with it. The ring is filled with garbage and weapons and J.R. mentions that it's like a hurricane blew through New Orleans, how tasteless to make a comment like that years and years before Katrina!

Saturn is out to join this motley crew and Lawler is rambling about puppies. This is not my beautiful rumble! Here comes Stee Blackman with his stupid fucking sticks. This is the back yardiest Royal Rumble ever and I hate it. Here comes Grandmaster Sexay to hit people with garbage can lids. Fuuuuck. Finally Kane has had enough of this shit and eliminates EVERYONE and is alone in the ring when Honky Tonk Man's music hits. He sings, Kane hits him with a guitar, shakes his head no and tosses him. And here comes The Rock. Taz and The Goodfather both last about 10 seconds. FUUUCk this is stupid. I love Kane as a big fucking wrecking ball but this is just not a well put together Rumble. Hey! There's the guy in the crowd freaking out in a really strange way that I've seen in a Botchamania before, but I can't remember which one and there have been a lot of them.

Hey! What the fuck is R-Truth doing here? oh...wait, that's right. K-Kwik. It has slowly settled back down into a much more standard format once they get some big bastards in there who aren't going to get eliminated quickly. Big Show makes his return to some "WHAT?!" from Lawler and J.R. and he eliminates K-Kwik and Test. Good...fucking awful dead weight. Show pretty much chokeslams everyone in the building except Kane and Rock. Nevermind, He chokeslams Kane but Rock has the sense to kick him in the nuts. and knock him over the top rope. That's about the most effective 1:45 seconds possible and Show rips the monitors out of the announce table and pulls Rock to the outside and chokeslams him through it. Taker comes in and he and Kane eliminate everyone except for Rock (who is still on the outside) and have a staredown before Scotty 2 Hotty's music hits and he slowly walks to his doom. God dammit, I really like to ramble on tangents watching shows but the Rumble is too hard to do that with without feeling like I'm missing too much shit.

Austin comes out and is doing his awesome thing where he doesn't give a fuck, he's going to come in that ring and whip Taker and Kane's asses but HHH jumps him and they brawl on the outside, both bleeding while Rock gets back in the ring and attacks Kane. Hell yes! Haku is back! Oh no, no one gives a shit but me (ten years later no less). Austin is gushing blood from the HHH attack and still hasn't found his way to the ring. Rikishi out at #30 and as he walks by Austin, he gets his ass kicked and both men get in the ring. Final four ends up being Austin, Gunn, Rock and Kane. Rock and Austin lock eyes and things get awesome and intense until they start beating the shit out of each other. MY GOD WHAT A STUNNER! Ross steps up his game toward the end here and is losing his voice selling the shit out of the intensity. Kane eliminates Rock while he is tangled up with Austin (thus not giving either man a "win" over the other). Austin hits Kane with 3 unprotected chairshots and then eliminates him for the win. Austin celebrates with some Stevewiesers and ends the event celebrating covered in blood and beer. That's just right.

Not a bad show by any means and the ladder match is pretty fucking great. The start of the Rumble is absolute shit, but the end is pretty amazingly hot. The tag match is fine, I know the WWF title match is pretty highly thought of by some but it's a touch disappointing for me. Regardless, pretty damn watchable show (though not as MUST SEE! as some fat internet nerd at a certain site may pretend).


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