Torch Flashbacks WWE ROYAL RUMBLE COUNTDOWN - 2002 PPV Report: Triple H wins the Rumble in Atlanta, Chris Jericho vs. The Rock, Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon
Jan 28, 2010 - 3:05:08 PM
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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 - 2002
January 20, 2002
Atlanta, Ga. (home of the 2010 Rumble)
Originally published: Torch Newsletter #688 (VIP Sign-Up)
Report by Wade Keller, Torch editor
A montage aired of previous Royal Rumble winners... Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the program from ringside...
(1) Tazz & Spike Dudley beat The Dudley Boys (w/Stacy) at 5:05 to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles. The Dudleys beat up Spike early in the match. Bubba and D-Von ran into each other at 6:00 giving Spike a chance to hot-tag Tazz (which was missed as they were replaying a Dudley flap jack from earlier). Tazz scored a near fall after a suplex into a bridge. Stacy got on the ring apron and distracted Tazz. She tried to slap Tazz. Tazz ducked, but he didn't have to duck since she swung way over his head to begin with. Tazz came back and quickly made D-Von submit to the Tazzmission. Okay opener, but forgettable. (*1/2)
(2) William Regal beat Edge at 16:45 to capture the Intercontinental Title. Regal started on offense. The crowd chanted "Regal sucks." Edge surprised Regal with a backslide for a two count. The crowd heat died down tremendously by 5:00 as Regal continued to dominate with his methodical (i.e. coma-inducing) offense. In a sequence that made ref Nick Patrik look like an idiot, Edge covered Regal while his body was halfway under the bottom rope. Patrik saw that, then counted to two anyway, and then stopped before three and broke up the pin attempt. Even Ross picked up on how stupid it looked, saying that the ref must have been counting instinctively. Late in the match Regal reached into his trunks for his brass knuckles and hid behind the ref. A groggy Edge speared toward Regal, but hit the ref first. Regal nailed Edge with an uppercut with the knux and shoved the knux back into his tights. The ref was still down when Regal first made the cover. The ref crawled to Regal and made the groggy three count. Flat match because Regal is so slow and Edge's character is so blah. There wasn't strong style or personality chemistry, either. (*)
Michael Cole asked Regal as he left the ring how he could possibly justify his actions. Regal said he was blessed with the power of the punch. Ross said he's not only a cheater, he's also a liar.
(3) Trish Stratus pinned Jazz at 6:21 to retain the WWF Women's Title (with Jacqueline as special referee). They went through an early sequence of reversed roll-ups. Trish took a nice hard flatback bump from a Jazz clothesline in the first minute. Jazz got in Jackie's face about her refereeing, so they ended up in a shoving match. Jackie hesitated on a Jazz pin attempt a few seconds later. Jazz threateningly pointed at Jackie. Trish favored her taped hand. Trish finished Jazz with a bulldog. Actually quite watchable given the low standard set by the WWF for women's action. (*)
(4) Ric Flair beat Vince McMahon via submission at 23:58. Flair's youngest son and daughter were ringside. His son Reid looked like he was on the verge of tears as Flair entered the ring. Vince shoved Flair to the mat to start and then gloated. He put Flair in a headlock and Flair screamed in pain, but then shoved Vince into the ropes. Vince bounced off the ropes and checked Flair to the mat. Vince did the Flair strut mockingly. At 3:00 Flair gave Vince a series of chops to the chest and Vince grimaced in a cartoonish exaggerated way. Vince quickly took over with a clothesline. A very, very tanned Vince began huffing and puffing. Flair did the face-first bump to the mat which elicited a noticeable pop from the long-time Flair followers in the crowd. Flair then did the flip into the turnbuckle. Vince clotheslined Flair again (Vince's move of choice, so apparently he's been studying Ultimate Warrior tapes to learn technique) and sent him to the floor. Vince nailed Flair with a metal "Keep Off" sign. Vince retrieved a trash can and hit Flair, who came up bleeding from the forehead. Vince got in the face of the Flair kids. He stole their camera and snapped a picture of Flair's bloody face close up. At 14:00 Vince applied the figure-four. Flair reversed it, so Vince broke the hold and went limping at ringside looking for a weapon. He retrieved a lead pipe from the time keeper's area. When Vince swung at Flair, Flair preemptively gave him a forearm uppercut between the legs. Flair caught up to Vince at ringside and nailed him with a series of chops. Vince sold them well, looking like a baby whose toy just broke. Flair began disassembling the ringside table and used a monitor as a weapon against Vince. Vince came up bleeding. Flair brought Vince to ringside and let his daughter take a picture of her dad biting Vince's bloody forehead. Flair gave Vince a mule kick between the legs, then hit him with the lead pipe. Vince went down like he was shot. Flair got energized as he put Vince in the figure-four. Vince screamed in pain and tapped out. Fun match. Everything it needed to be and was expected to be. (**)
Cole interviewed Nick Patrik regarding the finish of Regal-Edge. Stephanie interrupted right away and asked for the interview time. Steph bragged about what Triple H was going to do in the Royal Rumble. Austin walked up behind her and began saying, "What?" Steph screamed and ran away. Funny segment.
(5) Chris Jericho pinned The Rock at 18:50 to retain the WWF Title. They did some trash talking before the bell. Rock took early offense, so Jericho bailed out to ringside, a tribute to a heel Flair in his prime as champ. Jericho dominated offense for several minutes, including a dropkick off the top rope at 7:00. He then settled in on a chinlock. Jericho hit the Lionsault at 13:00. He didn't go for the cover, opting instead to hit a second Lionsault. He then scored a near fall. The crowd popped for the kickout. Rock sidestepped Jericho's dropkick off the ropes and immediately put Jericho into a Sharpshooter. The crowd cheered. Lance Storm charged the ring followed by Christian. Rock punched both of them. Jericho surprised Rock with a Rock Bottom for a near fall. Big pop for Rock's kick out. Jericho then began the People's Elbow sequence, but Rock nipped up to his feet and threw Jericho out of the ring. Rock began tossing the monitors off of the ringside table (because he wants to hurt Jericho, but not hurt him too bad). Ross yelled, "Hey, we have to work here!" Rock blew him off. Ross yelled that they should use the Spanish announcing table instead. Jericho fought back and set up Rock for a Rock Bottom on the table, but Rock elbowed out of it and slammed Jericho through the Spanish announce table at 20:00. Rock threw a nearly dead-weight Jericho back into the ring. Rock bumped into the ref. Jericho got the title belt and hit Rock in the forehead with it. Jericho waved to the back, and ref Nick Patrik came out and made a quick count, but Rock kicked out. Rock DDT'd Jericho, but Patrik wouldn't make the count. Rock got up and gave Patrik a look that could kill. He then gave him a Rock Bottom. Rock then slammed Jericho to the mat and signalled for the People's Elbow, bringing everyone to their feet. Rock dropped the Elbow and covered Jericho for a visual eight count. Jericho hit Rock with a low blow and then put his feet on the second rope for leverage and the ref counted to three. The finish was another tribute to a pinfall technique by Flair. (***3/4)
(6) Triple H eliminated Kurt Angle at 1:11:42 to win the 30-man Rumble. Rikishi and Goldust entered first. Goldust was given his entire elaborate ring entrance. Bossman came out third. The action crawled to a standstill as all three tried to eliminate each other over the top rope in a corner of the ring. Bradshaw entered next. He went after all three. Rikishi gave Bossman (1) the Anal-Lip Rub in the corner and then eliminated him over the top rope. Lance Storm was the fifth entrant. More standstill in the ring as the four wrestlers in the match stood around half-heartedly trying to eliminate each other. Just a blah match at this point. Al Snow entered next. Fans chanted "We Want Head!" Billy Gunn entered next. Snow eliminated Storm (2) with a sidekick, knocking him off the apron to the floor. Gunn eliminated Bradshaw (3) as Bradshaw was going after Goldust. Undertaker entered eighth, and it was time to clear the ring. Taker punched Gunn, rammed Snow into the turnbuckle, then eliminated Goldust (4), Snow (5), Rikishi (6), and Gunn (7). Matt Hardy entered next with Lita by his side. They stomped away at Taker in center-ring. Matt tried to eliminate Taker, but he couldn't get him off his feet. Taker beat on Matt for another minute. Jeff Hardy entered next, at no. 10.
As Taker was about to suplex Matt over the top rope, Jeff made the save. Matt and Jeff hugged. Taker double clotheslined them. Taker eliminated Jeff (8) when he flew at him in the corner. Taker than slammed Matt (9) to the mat and eliminated him. Maven entered the ring next and Taker gave him a boot to the face. Lita got on the ring apron to yell at Taker. Taker shoved her off the apron. The Hardys then attacked Taker before he could eliminate Maven. Taker fought off both Hardys. Maven dropkicked Taker (10) from behind to eliminate him for a huge pop. Maven celebrated. Taker, being a sore loser, returned to the ring and went after Taker. Taker beat up Maven at ringside, drilling him with a stiff chairshot. Taker continued to beat on Maven. Scotty 2 Hotty came out in the no. 12 slot. Taker threw Maven back into the ring, then punched Scotty before he could get to the ring. Taker then returned to the ring and threw Maven over the top rope (Ross said Taker wasn't legal), who was bleeding from the forehead. This whole Taker-Maven sequence was very well booked, getting Taker over as a sore loser and a bully. Taker dragged Maven into the lower deck and beat on him among the fans, then dragged him into the concession area. Christian entered an empty ring. Meanwhile, Taker threw Maven through the glass window of the popcorn stand. Scotty finally made it to the ring, having recovered sufficiently from Taker's attack in the aisle.
Dallas Page entered next. Scotty gave Christian the Worm. Page threw Scotty (11) out of the ring. Chuck Palumbo entered next. Godfather came out next with twelve hos. Ross informed us that in the ring, Page (12) was eliminated. They showed it on replay. Albert entered next. In the ring at this point were Albert, Chuck, Christian, and Godfather. Maven technically hadn't been eliminated, but he hadn't been seen since Taker rammed him into the popcorn stand. Albert (13) and Godfather (14) were eliminated next. Perry Saturn entered next, followed by Steve Austin in the 19th slot. Austin eliminated Christian (15), Saturn (16), and Chuck (17). Val Venis was no. 20 to enter. Val did the male stripper gimmick. Test entered next and went right after Austin, kicking him in the corner. Val joined in. Test mistakenly gave Val a big boot. Austin eliminated Val (18) with a clothesline. Austin then threw Test (19) over the top rope. Triple H's entrance music began. Austin waited for The Game's arrival. It took Triple H almost two full minutes to make it to the ring. They had an intense staredown. Hurricane came out next. He went for a double chokeslam on both Austin and Triple H. The crowd laughed as he struggled to lift both men at once. Triple H and Austin then easily tossed Hurricane (20) over the top rope. Nice spot. Faarooq entered next, but he was quickly eliminated (21) by a Triple H clothesline.
Mr. Perfect came out next. Ross said this is quite a way for Perfect to return to the WWF after "years of obscurity since leaving the WWF." Kurt Angle and Big Show then entered and dominated offense until Kane entered. Kane picked up Big Show (22) and dropped him over the top rope. Angle then quickly eliminated Kane (23). The announcers raved about Kane's strength. Rob Van Dam entered in the 29th slot. Big crowd pop. He entered the ring by giving Angle a Five Star Splash. Booker T got the lucky no. 30 spot. Booker eliminated Van Dam (24), then did the Spinarooni, but Austin met him with a stunner and Booker (25) bumped over the top rope for a huge pop.
The Final Four at this point are Perfect, Angle, Austin, and Triple H (not counting Maven). Angle eliminated Austin (26) from behind. Austin returned to the ring with a chair and hit Angle, then Perfect, then Triple H. Angle was about to eliminate Perfect, but Perfect remained on the apron. Perfect then gave Angle the Perfectplex. Triple H then eliminated Perfect from behind. It came down to Triple H and Angle. Angle backdropped Triple H over the top rope, but Triple H held on and his feet didn't touch. He returned to the ring. As Angle celebrated, Triple H returned to the ring, attacked him from behind, and clotheslined Angle (29) over the top rope for the win. Good Rumble (****1/4)
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