Welcome one and all to another hard hitting edition of Seanomaniac's Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling blog online that still wants Darren Young to be great again. As of right now, I am in beautiful La Rochelle in the west of France visiting my girlfriend; It is long distance and we do not see one another often enough so do not expect too many reviews at the end of the month but I also would like to announce that I work for WrestlingNewsSource.com! I will be producing their Flashback Friday segment so if you want to see more content from this fathead why not check it out sometime? Ok shameless plug out of the way, it is back to what you are here for and that is another pay per view review. I played around with the idea of doing a series on WCW from NWO until the end which could be fun but for now, I am focusing on my chronological journey through WWE pay per views. King of the Ring 2001 is the poison of choice tonight folks and I am looking forward to this pay per view. The card is not all impressive but the king of the ring tournament is always interesting as we will come to learn whether the concept was a sucess (Think Stone Cold, Triple H, Owen Hart) or whether it was a failure (Think Billy Gunn, Mabel and Ken Shamrock). Kurt Angle will also be battling WCW owner Shane Mcmahon in what is considered a classic and Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWF Championship against Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit with the added twtist that possibly Benoit or Jericho could make the jump to WCW. Finally, we have DDP of WCW, the Master of The Diamond Cutter had been stakling The Undertaker's wife Sarah to earn the attention of The Deadman. It worked and now the two were going to tear it up in the ring. Just what part would WCW play in this battle? What could be on the horizon? Well, we all know but just for this review, suspend your beliefs as we chow down on WWF's King of the Ring 2001. Let's rock!
I love the imagery of this promo with the throne and phrases such as my mind is spent, my body and soul are all but destroyed. Rattlesnakes, crickets and lightening make this a very dark and demented opening but I really like it, it sets the tone for the whole there is hell to pay! JR and Paul Heyman welcome us to the action!
DDP comes through the crowd and says he is here at the arena, DDP wants to fight. The whole DDP stalker things was such a fail. Everyone knew DDP was with Kimberley why would he want Sarah? As well of that, the beginning of the feud was over DDP wanting Taker's attention so stalking Sarah was only to achieve DDP's original goal but DDP would later become obssessed with Sarah and she would pin him on Raw so yeah should I say anymore?
(King of the Ring Semi-Final Match) Kurt Angle vs Christian
Kurt Angle was looking to make history, they said no one had ever won The King of the Ring back to back and Kurt Angle said it was my night and I am going to become the only man ever to do it oh yes it's true it's dam true. However, Kurt would have to battle his long-time friend Christian in this semi-final match. The four semi-final spots were occupied by Team RECK which consisted of Rhyno, Edge, Kurt and Christian. Christian wastes no time by pummeling Kurt in the beginning, Kurt throws Christian ot the mat and stomps his former friend. Kurt misses a splash in the corner with Christian nailing a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Christian stomps Angle, sunset flip by Christian. Angle rolled out for an Ankle Lock but Christian kicked off the Olympic Hero.
Massive belly to belly suplex by Angle, Angle shoves Christian to the floor. Angle and Christian smash one another into the steel steps before Angle drops Christian onto the barricade from the top rope. Gutwrench suplex by Angle, more stomps by Angle. Great back suplex for a two count, Christian battles back but Angle cuts him off with a knee. Snap suplex for a two count for The Olympic Hero, right hands by Angle. Quick inside cradle by Christian for a two, Angle counters Christian's reverse DDT into a suplex. Spinning heel kick by Christian, Shane Mcmahon appears on the entrance way. Angle clotheslines Christian and Kurt looks at Shane, Angle misses his beautiful moonsault. Christian pins Angle for a two count, backbreaker by Christian for a two count.
Christian counters a german suplex, Christian was looking for The Unprettier and Angle rolled into The Ankle Lock. Christian reaches the rope, Angle looks for The Angle Slam and Christian counters for an Unprettier. Christian covers with victory in his grasp but Shan pulls out Christian. Christian stands on the apron and Angle capitalizes with an Angle Slam for the victory. The sequence of counters into finishing and signature moves was very entertaining, I would have liked to see more between these two with a little more of a clear direction as both were heels during the time so crowd reaction could have been better.
Shane screwing with Angle by having him win this match was great as Angle could not figure it out before it was too late. Angle played the goofy clueless heel so well, I still miss this Angle from time to time.
Winner: Angle over Christian following an Angle Slam!
(King of the Ring Semi-Final Match) Edge vs Rhyno
Rhyno came into WWF around Wrestlemania time and the man is undefeated on pay per view. Rhyno looks like a monster and Rhyno spits on Edge to begin the match. Spinning heel kick by Edge, stomps and punches by Edge. Elbow by Rhyno, massive chops and clubbing blows by Rhyno. Edge elevates Rhyno to the apron, dropkick floors The Man Beast. Edge was looking for a powerbomb on the floor but Edge countered and hung Rhyno by his tender parts. Rhyno hotshots Edge onto the barricade, Rhyno exposes a second turnbuckle cover while the referee tends to Edge. Rhyno whips Edge right into the exposed turnbuckle.
Rhyno stomps Edge in the corner, shoulder thrust into the ribs. Knee to the face by Rhyno, cover and a two count. Shots to the ribs by Rhyno who locks in a bodyscissors. Knees to the ribs and Michinoku Driver by Rhyno. Rhyno climbs to the top and nails a splash for a two count. Rhyno eats the top rope thanks to Edge with a hotshot, inverted atomic drop by Edge, neckbreaker drops the last ever ECW champion. Rhyno crotches Edge on the top rope, sunset flip powerbomb by Edge out of nowhere. Two count, spinebuster by Rhyno, Rhyno measures for The Gore.
Edge spears at the same time and both men smash heads. Cover by Rhyno for a two count, O Connor roll by Edge for two. Rhyno kicks out and attempts The Gore. Edge dodges and Rhyno Gores the exposed turnbuckle, Edge drops Rhyno with the Edgecution! Edge picks up the win! This was a good match, Rhyno does not have a reputation as a super worker but I thought he worked the ribs of Edge reallt well in this match. The two had a lot of chemistry due to their upbringings together in wrestling and it really showed. The finish makes Edge look strong while also protecting Rhyno from looking like an absolute idiot.
Winner: Edge over Rhyno following an Edgecution!
(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) The Dudley Boyz vs Kane & Spike Dudley
Stone Cold Steve Austin had cost Benoit & Jericho the WWF tag team championships on Smackdown and The Dudleys are continuing to punsih their brother Spike for dating Molly Holly. Similar to ECW as Bubba and D-Von are complete dickheads to the supposed runt of the family. Spike has challenged the Dudleys to this match so who will be his partner ( just act if I did not spoil it in the title). Kane comes to the ring wearing the intercontinental title which did not really porsper even though Kane and Triple H were the last two holders as of this pay per view. Kane clotheslines The Dudleys and Spike is in with Bubba.
Bubba tosses Spike at Kane, Kane catches Spike and hurls him at Bubba. D-Von tags in and Kane also tags into the match. D-Von punches have no effect, powerslam and a cover for two by Kane. Spike is in with D-Von, D-Von feigns injury and sneak attacks Spike. Tag to Bubba corner clubbing by Bubba. Knee to the face by Bubba, D-Von is legal and there is a huge corner clothesline and sidewalk slam combination. Kane saves Spike from being pinned, Bubba hammers Spike in the gut.
Massive back body drop, Spike attempts a sunset flip. Bubba locks in a sleeper on Spike, huge powerbomb by Bubba Ray. D-Von is legal, right hands in the corner by D-Von. Scoop slam, D-Von ,isses a headbutt. Kane is legal hot tag baby! Kane mows down Bubba and D-Von, sidewalk slam on Bubba; D-Von is hurled to the floor, massive powerslam by Kane. D-Von makes the save way too late as the crowd boos the botch. Kane tags Spike and throws Spike onto The Dudleys. Kane clotheslines Bubba from the top rope for a two count. Dudley Dog on Bubba; cover and D-Von makes the save. Kane attempts a Chokeslam, What's up headbutt on Kane.
Spike double dropkicks The Dudleys, Spike misses a Dudley Dog on D-Von and walks into a 3D for the win. Kane saves Spike from the tables and Chokeslams Bubba through the table. Nice match from these two, Spike was a good babyface due to his selling and size; Crowd loved Spike and wanted to see Spike beat his brothers. Kane looked dominant as was per usual and The Dudleys had to take out Kane to win because in a fair fight, they could not beat Kane & Spike.
Winners: The Dudleys over Spike & Kane following a 3D!
(King of the Ring Final Match) Edge vs Kurt Angle
Edge comes to the ring nursing his injured ribs, Christian had wished his brother good luck in the final as there seemed to be a little tension between the two men. Angle tells Edge that he is sorry for last week but he wants his friend Edge to forfeit the match so Angle is not fatigued going into the main event. Edge knocks Angle on his ass for Kurt's suggestion.
Flapjack by Edge, kicks in the corner and punches on The Olympic Hero. Angle turns the tide and stomps the bejesus out of Edge. Edge fires back, nailing a spinning heel kick. Angle belly to belly suplexes Edge from the ring to the floor (scary bump but Edge is ok). Edge is rammed into the steel steps. Back suplex by Angle, cover and a two count. Snap suplex and a sleeper hold. Edge is propped onto the top rope; Edge fights off Angle and cradles Angle for a two count. Belly to belly suplex by Angle, cover and a two count. Snapmare, Angle applies a reverse chinlock.
Edge survives and battles back, Edge is thrown to the floor by a focused Kurt Angle. Angle drops Edge on the barricade, Angle climbs to the top rope but Edge dropkicks the Olympic Hero. Edge hurricanranas Angle for a two count! Both men hammer one another on their knees, Edge drills Angle with clotheslines and a back body drop. Angle misses a dropkick, corner catapult into a cardle by Edge for a two count.
Angle Slam is countered, Edgecution is countered. Ankle Lock is reversed into a victory roll for a close two. Edge nails The Edge O Matic for the win possibly but Christian distracts the referee. Angle and Edge continue brawling until Edge clothesline the referee by accident. Angle capitalizes with an Ankle Lock, Edge taps but there is no referee.
Shane Mcmahon appears to spear Angle, Edge plants Angle with an Edgecution for the win. Another good match, I think Angle was easily the most entertaining superstar on the roster at the time. Body part work was excellent and Edge sold well. Angle even had the visual tapout to keep Angle looking strong. Edge played the babyface rôle well and he was on his way to bigger and better things.
Winner: Edge over Kurt Angle following an Edgecution!
(WWF Light Heavyweight Championship Match) Jeff Hardy vs X-Pac
The leader of the X-Factor taking on the high-flying Jeff Hardy. Funny how WWF are promoting Fully Loaded as the next pay per view which did not happen as Invasion would take its place. Lockup and arm drag by X-Pac, side headlock and takedown by X-Pac. Shoulder block by X-Pac, Hardy pulls out an arm drag and a headscissors takedown. Jeff runs up the barricade and nails a clothesline. Jeff misses a Whisper in the Wind, Pac hammers the back of Jeff, abdominal stretch by X-Pac using the ropes. Jeff reverses the move before X-Pac flips Hardy to the floor.
Springboard plancha by X-Pac, massive roundhouse kick by X-Pac. Jeff battles back to his feet but X-Pac nails a spinning heel kick for a two count. Kicks in the corner and it is a bronco buster? No jeff moves out of the way, Jeff nails a neckbreaker and his leg drop. Jeff whips X-Pac into the corner, X-Pac cannot dodge and we have another botch. The spot is redone with Jeff nailing a Whisper in the Wind, ten punches in the corner.
Thumb to the eye and an X-Factor, Jeff puts his foot on the ropes and the referee counts the pin. Referee reverses the decision, Jeff and X-Pac battle on the top rope, Jeff pushes off X-Pac and nails a Swanton Bomb. That was ok, a little sloppy. X-Pac did come off as a massive tool so misson accomplished in this regard, just did not really gel together for this match.
Winner: Jeff Hardy over X-Pac following a Swanton Bomb!
(Non-Sanctioned Match) DDP vs The Undertaker
Throughout the night, there have been clips of DDP being filmed and being stalked like DDP did to Sarah. The more the clips played, the more DDP became enraged and annoyed. DDP snaps and is in the ring ready for tonight, it is revealed that Sarah had been filming DDP and Judgement Day is here for DDP. Taker appears on the ramp, Taker slowly stares down DDP while putting on his gloves for an ass-kicking.
Really badass looking moment as DDP looks on at The Undertaker who shakes his head at Page. Taker is ready, DDP punches Taker in the beginning and then Taker hammers Page. Ground and pound by Taker, Stomps in the corner by The Deadman, DDP low blows Taker. Right hand by Page, Taker fights from his feet, more right hqnds from The American Badass. Sarah appears to film Taker brutalizing DDP.
DDP is thrown into the timekeeper's area. Page retaliates with a chair shot to the back, Taker does not even sell this as Page is on his back seconds later after a tackle from The Deadman. More punches and kicks by The Deadman, Undertaker holds Page in front of Sarah's camera, Page begs for a break. Big boot to the floor by Undertaker and Page bails our of the arena. That was a disappointment, no referee, no moves and no finishes. This was truly a waste of a segment. I have no idea who decided on this but that was awful and if I was DDP or any WCW superstar, I would be worried about my career. DUD!
(Street Fight) Kurt Angle vs Shane Mcmahon
Angle had won back his medals from Chris Benoit, Angle was celebrating before WCW owner Shane interrupted the ceremony. Angle had been Angle Slammed by Kurt, Kurt challenged Shane to his type of match: a Street Fight! Angle comes out with a look of intensity on his face that would make Kenta Kobashi blush. Angle tackles Shane to the mat and suplexes the boy wonder six ways from Sunday. Angle clubs Shane and suplexes Shane to the mat. Massive knee to the ribs by Angle, make it two.
More knees to the ribs, UFC Style. Shane catches Kurt's leg and takes down Kurt. Shane slides out of the ring while Kurt begs Shan to take the back and put perform The Olympic Hero. Shane takes the back and Angle teaches Shane you do not take the back of a God. Gutwrench suplex by Kurt, belly to belly suplex by Kurt. Another suplex, forearms to the face by Angle. Angle slaps Shane into next week before challenging Shan to tackle him once more. Shane leans into wrestle before kicking Kurt in the ribs. Massive clotheslines by Shane, Kurt takes down Shane.
Shane builds momentum and drops Kurt to the floor. Angle is pissed and Shane runs from Angle. Shane runs into Kurt and knocks Angle down. Shane climbs the barricade behind the announce table and clotheslines Angle. Shane pulls out his kendo stick and wears Angle out before Angle tackles Shane into the ringpost in an act of desperation. Shane dodges a clothesline and clotheslines Kurt to the crowd.
Shane armdrags Angle twice into the barricade. Shane spears Angle right into the steel steps, cover and a two count. Shane goes for a board and some trash cans. Angle is pouring blood above his right eye, sign to the back of The Olympic Hero. Cover by Shane and it is a two count. Angle knees Shane multiple times before Shane catches the foot and locks in The Ankle Lock. Kurt literally kicks out of his own move, Shane spikes Angle with a DDT. Sharpshooter by Shane Mcmahon, Kurt reaches the ropes but Shane drags Angle back. Angle grabs a kendo stick and nails Shane in the back of the head. Shane jabs Kurt, Angle is floored for a two count.
Trash can to the head by Shane, more shots to the ribs, Shane places the can on Kurt and climbs the top rope. Shane produces a beautiful shooting star press but Angle moves out of the way. Cover and a two count for Kurt, Angle nails a fireman's carry and elevates Shane to the floor. Angle slams Shane into the barricade, kicks are on the menu for the WCW owner. Kurt attempted a suplex but Shane countered and as a result, Kurt had broken his tailbone (Yes legitimate injury right there). Angle grimaces which is no surprise, Angle and Shane exchange punches towards the stage. Kurt rams Shane into the iconic stage and in another iconic moment, Kurt belly to belly suplexes Shane onto the glass which does not break ladies and gentlemen (It was suppose to shatter but the wrong glass was ordered).
Kurt belly to belly suplexes Shane right through the galss. Both men are pleading heavily from different body parts. Angle tries another suplex, it does not break and Shane lands right on his head. Angle hurls Shane through the glass and a bloody Shane bursts onto the stage. Angle with a broken tailbone and Shane cut up all over his face. Kurt uses a stage box to carry Shane to the ring. Angle wheels Shane into the ring and covers for a two count! Crowd cannot believe what they are seeing with this match. Kurt eats a low blow, trash can to the head of Kurt. Angle Slam by Shane with the last of his strength, arm over Kurt and it is two! Shane is caught by Kurt, catapult by Angle. Shane is draped across the turnbuckle, Kurt wallops Shane before placing a board beneath their feet.
The board acts as a support mechanism as Kurt drives the air out of Shane with a top rope Angle Slam. Holy Shit indeed motherfuckers as Kurt gets the win with the move of the night! That was an amazing match, the star of the night was Kurt Angle. Angle was the most entertaining overall, he was fun to watch and hate while pulling out all the stops to make sure you were talking about him when all was said and done. Shane is a great performer, Shane always did something amazing and he stole the show along with Kurt. The match was entertaining, the bumps which went wrong really helped in a sadistic sort of way.
With Kurt's broken tailbone and Shane's concussion and blood from the botched glass throws, it really helped sell the story of these two guys being through hell. I loved everything, Kurt's meanstreak, Shane's never say die attitude and the finish was just beautiful. To put it simply, you have to see this match.
Winner: Angle over Shane following An Angle Slam from the heavens!
(WWF Championship Match) Stone Cold Steve Austin (C) vs Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit
All night, Stone Cold Steve Austin had heard rumours of Benoit and Jericho winning the championship and taking it to WCW. Austin was paranoid and could not rely on his pal Vince Mcmahon as Vince was nowhere to be seen. Triple H was gone, injured in an infamous Raw main event where Jericho and Benoit defeated The Power Trip for the titles. Austin wonders whether Vince will make it for the main event while the challengers enter the ring. Just to ramp up the tension, Austin's partnership with Vince will end if Austin cannot walk away as the champion.
Austin stalls for Mcmahon who is not coming as the two Canadians beat the tar out of Austin. We are in the crowd as Jericho & Benoit beat down The Rattlesnake. Austin elevates Jericho to the floor and Austin stomps on Benoit in the ring. Chops by Austin, Jericho & Benoit are chopping Austin. Flying forearm by Jericho who covers Austin, Benoit is not happy and they tease dissension. Austin continues to take a licking from Benoit & Jericho. Austin is hammered like a nail by the two challengers. Jericho wipes out Benoit with a spinning heel kick after Austin dodged the kick.
Jericho goes after Benoit with stomps in the corner, Austin teams up Jericho to beat down Benoit. Lou Thesz Press is countered into The Walls of Jericho, Benoit shoves Jeircho into an exposed turnbuckle. Benoit suplexes Jericho to the floor, Benoit attempts a Crossface on Austin but the champion reaches the ropes. Snap suplex by Benoit, reverse elbow by The Rabid Wolverine for a two count. Benoit is elevated to the floor by Austin who stalls until he slams Benoit into the steel steps.
Stomp to the ribs by Austin, chops by The Rattlesnake. Cover and a two count, Jericho is a bloody mess on the floor having smashed his head off the ring apron. Austin punches Benoit and hurls Benoit into Jericho. Leg across the back by Austin, huge stomps by Austin. Knees to the ribs and a Stunner is countered by Benoit. Benoit shoves Austin into the referee and Austin is nailed with a Stunner by Benoit! Benoit had the match won but the referee is down, belt to the face by Benoit.
Jericho makes the save at two and a half. Benoit & Jericho brawl before Jericho flapjacks Benoit into the ring ropes. Austin tries to lock in The Walls of Jericho on Jericho but Jericho reverses and locks Austin in The Walls. Austin makes it to the ropes, spinebuster by the champion. Two count, knee to the face by Austin. Russian legsweep by Austin, sleeper by The Rattlesnake. Jericho counters Austin with a back suplex, both men chop and punch one another on their knees. Forearm by Jericho, clotheslines by Y2J. Dropkick to Benoit, modified bulldog on Austin.
Austin puts his knees up to block The Lionsault, Jericho blocks The Stunner but cannot block The Lou Thesz Press. Benoit cracks Jericho by accident with the chair, Austin Stunners Benoit. Benoit falls to the floor and Austin covers Jericho for a two count. Austin props Jericho on the top turnbuckle and nails a superplex. Another superplex, cover and a two count. Austin drags Jericho for a third superplex, Benoit German suplexes Austin five times. Benoit is slowed down by a low blow by Austin.
Jericho tries for The Walls, Jericho has The Walls and Benoit locks in The Crossface. Austin taps but the referee does not make a call as we cannot have co-champions. Benoit locks in The Crossface on Y2J, Jericho rolls over into The Walls. Benoit counters, chop war between the challengers. Massive snap suplex by Benoit for a two count, Austin grabs a chair. Baseball slide by Benoit knocks down Austin. Jericho & Benoit are both down when out of nowhere comes Booker T! Scissor Kick on Austin and Austin is back suplexed through the announce table.
Austin would actually break his hand on the table, putting him out of action for a month. German suplex by Benoit on Jericho, Jericho rolls through into The Walls of Jericho. Benoit makes it to the ropes, Benoit flings Jericho into the ringpost. Benoit scoop slams Jericho, Jericho blocks the headbutt by slamming Benoit to the mat. Lionsault by Jericho on Benoit, looked sloppy but he nailed it. Two count for Y2J! Benoit & Jericho tumble to the floor, Jericho climbs the top rope.
Jericho nails a moonsault but Benoit shoves Jericho to the floor. Headbutt by Benoit and cover, Jericho drags out the referee. Benoit clubs Jericho and nails a back suplex which would put Benoit out of action for almost a year. Austin pins Benoit off of the back suplex. Well, that ending came out of nowhere, as far as triple threats go, it was your standard affair with one man being down while the other two tear one another apart. All men worked hard with Austin barely walking away with the title.
Referee bump was unnecessary as both men would get the visual tapout over Austin. Booker T's part was almost lost in the shuffle, I think the match would have benefited from a no-contest finish with Booker T screwing everything up along with the likes of DDP and other WCW stars. You could be running the risk of pissing off the fans who paid for a main event but what a buzz you could create with WCW screwing up a WWF main event.
Overall, WWF was an interesting pay per view, it would be the last WWF pay per view to feature the WWF roster before the influx of WCW & ECW stars. It would also mark the beginning of the WCW invasion which had so much potential yet would ultimately fail for a number of reasons. A lot of matches were solid to good, Kurt Angle was undoubtedly the star of the night and I am looking forward to his babyface run against Austin but that is a story for another time so join me next time for WWF Invasion 2001!