OSR: WWE Royal Rumble 2001 Review
Back at the beginning of 2001, the Royal Rumble was entering its 13th Year. The company was on a roller coaster to the Reliant Astrodome for WrestleMania X-Seven. With four championships, five matches and one Royal Rumble match, this could be an interesting event. The countdown to the Royal Rumble wouldn’t be right without going to this one, regarded as one of the greatest. Here is the Royal Rumble countdown OSR with the Royal Rumble 2001 Review…
The opening promo looks at the importance of this event for the WWE Superstars, with a whole multitude of superstars being given prominence in hyping the Royal Rumble match, rather than a select few. We then go inside the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana with our commentary team for the event JR and The King. We then quickly go to the ring for the first match of the event.
1. WWE Tag Team Championship: Edge and Christian (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)
Both teams are in the ring, as the history package shows Edge and Christian taking out The Dudley’s. The match quickly gets underway, with The Dudley’s going after Edge and Christian. They have the dominence for the first few moments, until Edge and Christian regain control.
The style and pace of the match adds a real energy and excitement to the match, with Bubba soon getting the hot tag into the match. Eventually, The Dudley Boyz are able to nail Edge with the 3D to pick up the win in a great opening match.
Winner: The Dudley Boyz, to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship
Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars
2. WWE Intercontinental Championship – Ladder Match: Chris Benoit (c) vs. Chris Jericho
The history package is shown, for the intense feud which has being established between the pair. After they make their way to the ring, it soon gets started with a technical but brutal approach with different weapons being used.
A unique and cool spot sees Jericho apply the Walls of Jericho across the top of the ladder, but is still not successful. After a few more moments of brutal spots, Chris Jericho is successful in capturing the championship in an absolute cracking Ladder match.
Winner: Chris Jericho, to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Match Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars
3. WWE Women’s Championship: Ivory (c) (w/ Steven Richards) vs. Chyna
The history package looks at Chyna being taken out by the Right to Censor, before being mocked by them. Ultimately, Chyna makes her return following Ivory’s challenge. Both ladies then make their way to the ring for the match to begin.
Chyna is exceptionally dominant in the early moments, tearing Ivory apart from one side of the ring to the other. Chyna even makes to take out Richards in the process. The Ninth Wonder of the World then nails a handspring elbow, but then immediately collapses allowing Ivory to get the win in an average match.
Winner: Ivory, to retain the WWE Women’s Championship
Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars
4. WWE Championship: Kurt Angle (c) (w/ Trish Stratus) vs. Triple H (w/ Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley)
The history package shown looks at Mr McMahon naming Triple H as the number one contender, but also the feud established between Trish and Stephanie. Both are given equal footing going into the match, as both participants and their accompaniments making their way to the ring.
The match gets underway, back and forth between both men, with a technical and methodical approach. As this approach fizzles out, Angle is able to be the dominant force in the match. It is difficult to work out who is playing what role here – who is the babyface and who is the heel?
Trish soon becomes involved in the match, with this leading to a catfight between Trish and Stephanie. This prompts an appearance from Mr McMahon to separate them. They are then both escorted from the arena by Mr McMahon as the match continues.
With Triple H back in control, the referee is down. This prompts Stone Cold Steve Austin to make his way out, taking out Triple H. Following a stunner, Angle is able to pick up the win in an enjoyable match. But in some ways, it was slightly disappointing as it could have being better.
Winner: Kurt Angle, to retain the WWE Championship
Match Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars
5. The 2001 30-Man Royal Rumble Match
The history package is shown, which in itself is rather lengthy. It looks at the various feuds which are coming into this match, but is heightened over the uncertainty of The Undertaker and Kane working with one another. We return to the arena for the match to begin.
The first entrants are Bull Buchanan and Jeff Hardy, the first of which is quickly eliminated. Drew Carey is the surprise entrant at number five, and find himself alone with Kane. After failed bribery attempts, he eliminates himself from the match. The Rumble at this point briefly becomes hardcore.
With five superstars going for Kane with weapons, he goes ballistic with a trash can and eliminates everyone. This brings him down to the next entrant, The Honky Tonk Man. After Honky goes to sing, Kane nails him with the guitar before quickly eliminating him in an amusing skit.
With the competitors now Kane and The Rock, they are able to have a very strong and enjoyable exchange. The match continues, and the ring begins to fill up again. This lasts until The Big Show returns as the Number 23 entrant, taking out many until he is quickly eliminated by The Rock.
All the superstars standing in the match go for Kane, which leads to The Undertaker being the next entrant. In under a minute, they eliminate all the superstars bar themselves and The Rock (who is unconscious) before standing side by side. Between them, they then decimate Scotty 2 Hotty.
The next entrant is Stone Cold, who is taken out by Triple H from behind. He leaves Austin laying and bleeding. The Number 29 entrant is Haku, who is making his return to the WWE after a 9 year absence, who quickly becomes embroiled with Kane and The Undertaker.
The final four in the match are Kane, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and surprisingly Billy Gunn. Gunn is the next eliminated by Austin, followed by The Rock then Kane to make Stone Cold the winner in a cracking match, which featured most things you could ask for.
Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin, last eliminating Kane
Match Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars
This was a very good and enjoyable event. The under card on the show was very strong, and not only told compelling stories but gave strong performances. The opening match between The Dudley Boyz versus Edge and Christian, is quite possibly one of the strongest WWE Tag Team Championship matches from the time. This is quite possible a forgotten match from their series, but possibly one of their best. The ladder match between Benoit and Jericho was possibly the best ladder match of the time. It was absolutely brilliant, and well contested from start to finish. It was thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable match to watch. Arguably, the best match on the under card on this event.
Whilst the female match will not go down as an absolute classic, it served as a catalyst to setup their later match at WrestleMania X-Seven. But despite this, on this event the storyline they were going through was well told. The match for the WWE Championship, whilst in some respects it was a very good match. There is a niggle that it could have being massively better. But the other issue is the match sort of got lost within itself by the telling of the feud between Stephanie and Trish. The good thing to come from this though was the clear direction for Triple H going forward.
The Rumble match itself was absolutely cracking from start to finish. It featured many surprises, and took several different paths throughout which allowed it to cater for many wrestling fans. The best performances in the Rumble match itself was undoubtedly Kane and The Rock who stood out above everyone else and got you gripped in what was happening. This event is definitely worth watching as part of you 9.99 subscription fee to the WWE Network. 100% worth the value.
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