Torch Flashbacks WWE ROYAL RUMBLE COUNTDOWN - 2001 PPV Report: Steve Austin wins the Rumble, Kurt Angle vs. Triple H, Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit
Jan 28, 2010 - 11:00:38 AM
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This week, we will be publishing two Royal Rumble PPV flashback reports every day going back to 1997 leading to this year's Royal Rumble PPV. At 11:00 a.m., we'll be publishing one PPV flashback. At 5:00 p.m., we'll be publishing a second PPV flashback. We're a day behind today, so look out for three Rumble Flashback reports today.
Royal Rumble PPV Flashback Report - 2001
January 14, 2001
New Orleans, La.
Originally published: Torch Newsletter #638 (VIP Sign-Up)
Report by Wade Keller, Torch editor
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the program. They showed fans going nuts at the arena and at WWF New York. The Rumble set consists of four big screens of different sizes. It's a classy looking setup for one of their primary annual PPVs.
(1) The Dudleys defeated Edge & Christian at 9:58 to capture the WWF Tag Team Titles. Edge & Christian bailed out seconds into the match, but the Dudleys chased them down and dragged them back to the ring. The Dudleys dominated early, but by 3:00 E&C were in control. At 7:30 D-Von hot-tagged Buh Buh who went to work on both Edge and Christian. Buh Buh spread Edge's legs and D-Von nailed the headbutt. The crowd went nuts as Buh Buh rolled up Edge for a near fall. The Dudleys went for the 3D on Christian, but Edge intercepted Buh Buh with a spear. E&C tried to give Buh Buh their own version of the diving headbutt, but Buh Buh reversed Christian, and D-Von shoved Edge off the ropes so Edge headbutted his partner. The Dudleys then scored the pin on Christian. Very good action in the opener. A bit "formula," but in a good way since the execution was flawless and the crowd ate it up. (**3/4)
They showed Drew Carey arriving at the arena earlier... They showed Michael Cole interviewing Vince McMahon about the Rumble... Carey walked up to Triple H to say hi. He introduced Carey to his wife Stephanie. He asked Triple H when he married the boss's daughter. Triple H, growing a tad impatient, said a year ago. Carey said he hasn't seen much WWF lately because he's so busy. He said he met Kamala at an airport recently. Triple H said he had business to take care of and wanted to excuse himself. Stephanie, though, told Carey she heard he's quite the ladies' man. He said there are a lot of good looking women around. Steph said she wanted him to meet Trish - her attempt to mess with Vince's romance. A bit awkward, but the trade off of Carey's appearance in exchange for a small PPV plug is worth it. The WWF can use mainstream implicit endorsements such as Carey given their public relations problems.
The APA were playing cards and drinking beer. Crash ran in and yipped like a chihuahua that he made it into the Rumble. Then he ran off. The APA said he must be drunk...
(2) Chris Jericho beat Chris Benoit in a ladder match to capture the Intercontinental Title. They went at each other right away. By 3:10 Benoit was climbing the ladder, but Jericho recovered and dropped Benoit backward to the mat. They brawled at ringside for a few minutes. Benoit dove through the ropes at Jericho at ringside, but Jericho met him with a swing of a chair. Cool move. At 7:40 Benoit set the ladder up in the corner. Jericho reversed Benoit into it. Jericho shoved one of Benoit's legs into a top rung of the ladder, then climbed the ladder. They both fell backward with Benoit taking the brunt of the bump. When Jericho lifted the ladder to use against Benoit, Benoit dropkicked it into Jericho. Benoit hit a nice German suplex. At 10:00 Benoit set the ladder up in the corner jutting out. Jericho reversed Benoit face-first into it. Jericho used the top rope as a fulcrum and dropped off the ring apron and rammed Benoit in the chin with the end of the ladder inside the ring. Jericho then set up the ladder in center-ring. Beniot got up and back suplexed Jericho off the ladder and all the way backward over the top rope. Jericho bumped to the floor. Benoit struggled to get to his feet as Jericho caught his breath on the floor. Benoit climbed to the top of the ladder and reached for the belt. Jericho stopped him. Jericho bent Benoit backwards over the top of the ladder and leaned back to add leverage. Cool looking move. Jericho then climbed to the top, but Benoit managed to shove the ladder over. Jericho snapped neck-first over the top rope. Jericho leaped off the top of the cage toward Benoit, but Benoit sidestepped him and threw him into the Crippler Crossface. Jericho tried tapping out several times, but the match can't end via tapout. Benoit released the hold after a minute and threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Jericho managed to reverse Benoit face-first into the ladder. Benoit went for a diving headbutt off the top of the ladder at 16:30, but Jericho moved. Jericho put Benoit underneath the ladder and then climbed it. The strategy didn't work since Benoit powered the ladder off his chest and sent Jericho flying into the top rope. Jericho bumped to the floor. The WWF showed a great overhead shot of Jericho's bump. Benoit climbed the ladder. Jericho chaired Benoit and Benoit bumped to the floor. Jericho climbed the ladder, but was so beaten up he could barely reach for the belt. At 18:43 he grabbed it, then fell to the mat victorious. Excellent match. (****1/2)
Carey met with Trish Stratus. She said she was seeing someone and it was getting serious. Vince walked in and looked quite jealous. Carey asked for some advice on promoting his improv comedy stand-up PPV this coming Saturday night. Vince deviously suggested he enter the 30-man Rumble. Carey wondered if he would get hurt. Vince said, "No, we're about fun." Trish disingenuously said she'd be very impressed if he were brave enough to enter the match. Vince said, "You're going to be a very big hit." Fun skit.
Gunn tried to talk Chyna out of wrestling because of her injury status. Chyna said she wasn't the one who was going to be hospitalized after her match.
Cole interviewed Jericho about his win. Jericho said Benoit is one of the "toughest bastards" he's ever wrestled. He said he proved Benoit wrong in front of the world.
(3) Ivory pinned Chyna at 3:27 to retain the WWF Women's Title. Ross hyped that this was the first time Chyna had ever attempted to win the WWF Women's Title (a title she had previously said was beneath her aspirations). Chyna began throwing Ivory around like a ragdog, knocking her off the top rope to the floor at 1:00. Ivory bailed out into the crowd. Chyna chased her down and pressed her over her head and carried her back to ringside and dumped her on the floor. Back in the ring she whipped Steven Richards into the ring then tossed him over the top rope to the floor. Chyna went for a handspring elbow in the corner, but when she made impact she collapsed as if her bad neck or back gave out. She lay on her back and Ivory draped her arm over her for the win. Chyna moved her arms, but not the rest of her body. The crowd fell silent, unsure if it was a stunt or not because the finish of the match seemed to be such a mess. Lawler got up with a look of concern on his face. Paramedics immobilized Chyna's neck and put her on a backboard. Her left arm got rigid looking in the process. Ross talked somberly about how the winner and loser don't matter in this situation. Billy Gunn ran to the ring to check on her. Lawler went into his "real life" voice as he talked with grave concern about her condition. It felt like the Owen Hart situation again. Ross referred to it as a "tragedy." (1/4*)
Vince McMahon informed Tiger Ali Singh and Lo-Down that they'd been replaced in the Rumble. Tiger asked who replaced them. Vince said Drew Carey. Tiger asked, "Who is Drew Currey?" Vince grimaced and walked away.
Triple H huffed and puffed into a mirror to psych himself up for his match.
(4) Kurt Angle (w/Trish) pinned Triple H (w/Stephanie) to retain the WWF Title at 24:18. A methodical opening few minutes, indicating they were going at least 20 minutes. At 7:00 Triple H bumped over the top rope to the floor and into the security boards. By 9:00 Triple H was back in control, throwing Angle into the ring and then clipping his knees from behind. Triple H began working over Angle's legs. Ross said with all due respect to Angle's Olympic background, it remains to be seen whether anyone is on the Game's level. Triple H applied an Indian death lock. Angle punched away at Triple H in an attempt to escape. At 11:30 Triple H scored two near falls after catching Angle when he was attempting to do a backdrop. He then drove his knee into the mat. Triple H then applied a figure-four. Trish entered the ring and tried to get at Triple H, but Stephanie yanked her out of the ring. Steph beat up Trish on the announcing table. They ended up in the lap of one of the Spanish announcers. Vince came to ringside to break them up. He got in the middle, but they kept trying to get at each other. Vince picked up Trish and carried her to the back. Steph chased them down and yanked Trish off of Vince's shoulder and punched away at her more. Vince separated them again and dragged Trish toward the back. They eventually clawed at each other all the way to the back.
Back in the ring, Triple H went for a quick roll-up for a two count. Triple H gave Angle a low blow and Edged him off the ropes for a near fall. At 20:30 when Triple H climbed to the top rope, Angle charged him and armdragged him to the mat. Nice move. He went for the cover, but the ref was down. Angle went to ringside to check on the status of the ref. Triple H followed him to ringside. Triple H threw Angle into the ref, which didn't do a lot to help his odds of winning the title. Triple H grabbed the belt from the ringside timekeeper and he went to hit Angle, but Angle kicked it out of his grip and gave him an Olympic slam. Angle picked up the belt and went to hit Triple H with it, but Triple H kicked the belt out of Angle's hands and gave him a Pedigree. He covered Angle. The ref was still down. Steve Austin then ran to the ring and attacked Triple H, knocking him out with the title belt. He then grabbed the ref and threw him into the ring. Triple H began bleeding from the forehead. Austin gave Triple H a Stone Cold Stunner and then retreated to the back. Angle draped his arm over Triple H and the ref counted to three. The match itself was nothing particularly special. Having two heels took away from the crowd heat, and the pacing was methodical enough not to overcome that factor. Solid action and well-executed, but not a standout performance by either wrestler. (***1/4)
Rock said he is sick of being asked about whether Kane and Undertaker are friends or foes. He said he hears that Kane wants to buy Taker chocolates and Taker wants to suck Kane's nipples (or was it the other way around?). He said in any case the result will be the same - he will whip everyone's ass and be the last one standing on the road to WrestleMania.
(5) Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble by outlasting 29 other wrestlers. The match began 48 minutes into the second hour of the broadcast, leaving more than an hour to play out the match. It took that long. For the record, here is the order of entry: For the record, here is the complete order of entry: Jeff Hardy, Bull Buchanan, Matt Hardy, Faarooq, Drew Carey, Kane, Raven, Al Snow, Perry Saturn, Steve Blackman, Grand Master Sexay, Honky Tonk Man, The Rock, Goodfather, Tazz, Bradshaw, Albert, Bob Holly, K-Kwik, Val Venis, William Regal, Test, Big Show, Crash Holly, Undertaker, Scotty Too Hotty, Steve Austin, Billy Gunn, Haku, Rikishi.
For the record, here is the order of elimination: Bull Buchanan, Faarooq, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Drew Carey, Grand Master Sexay, Blackman, Snow, Raven, Saturn, Honky Tonk Man, Goodfather, Tazz, William Regal, Test, K-Kwik, Big Show, Bradshaw, Crash, Albert, Hardcore Holly, Val Venis, Scotty Too Hotty, Haku, Undertaker, Rikishi, Billy Gunn, The Rock, and Kane.
Kane was in the ring for nearly 55 minutes. Austin, who won, was in for about 15 minutes. The Rock was in second-longest at 40 minutes. Tazz was in the shortest amount of time, only 15 seconds. Goodfather was in the second shortest at 30 seconds. Faarooq, with his tender knee, was only in for a minute.
The match was excellent from a booking standpoint. It was intricately booked, yet easy to comprehend. There fewer predictable moments than usual for this annual match. There was even mystery over who would win the match - and the conclusive winner was nice. The "disputed winner" finish can only be used once every few years. (****1/4)
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