Welcome boys and girl to another edition of the only wrestling review series on the internet that’s more surprising that seeing Undertaker in the Royal Rumble: Seanomaniac Wresting Reviews! Right, so, where were we? Oh, that’s right it’s 2002 in WWE. Judgement Day to be exact where Hulkamania battles The Deadman, Kurt Angle faces Edge in a hair vs hair match and we have Stone Cold Steve Austin battling Ric Flair and The NWO. I did not even mention matches like Triple H vs Chris Jericho in a Hell in a Cell or RVD vs Eddie Guerrero. There are some big match-ups on this card, the roster looks healthy and Backlash was a good show, the question is: Can Judgement Day 2002 deliver as a great pay per view? Well, read on and you shall find out….
We hear the voices of young children speak about death, Freddie Blass speaks biblical quotes while a voice like a witch asks have you lived a good life? Lots of fire, nooses and it ends with a person hanging. Stage is built as a tombstone, it looks badass. JR and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the action!
(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) Eddie Guerrero © vs Rob Van Dam
Guerrero had returned to the WWE after Wrestlemania and captured the championship from RVD at Backlash with some cheating involved, RVD failed to recapture the gold at Insurrextion but RVD has another chance at winnign the gold tonight.
They begin talking trash, shoving contest ensues before RVD grabs a side headlock. Shoulder block and a two for RVD. Clothesline by RVD, cover and a two count. Powerslam by RVD and Guerrero powders and has a fit. Lock-up, Guerrero does not execute a clean break and begins peppering RVD. Uppercuts by the champion, RVD blocks a corner clothesline with a boot to the face. Split legged moonsault by RVD, RVD begins kicking and throwing bombs at Guerrero. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by RVD and it’s another two for the challenger. Guerrero escapes a Romero special momentarily before RVD drags back Guerrero and executes the move beautifully.
Huge RVD chants throughout the arena, standing moonsault by the challenger. Guerrero hides behind the referee and nails RVD with a right, vicious stomps by Latino Heat. Guerrero chokes RVD with his boot, Guerrero rubs his forearm across the nose of RVD. Guerrero pokes the eyes and lays in the forearms to Van Dam’s face. RVD counters an Irish whip and nails a monkey flip from the floor, shoulder thrusts by RVD. RVD is hotshotted onto the top rope, Rolling Thunder by RVD and it’s a two for RVD. Roll-up by Guerrero gets two, step-through spinning heel kick by RVD. RVD looks for The Five Star, Guerrero crotches RVD. Powerbomb by Guerrero, Guerrero is feeling froggy. Guerrero misses and east canvas, slugfest before RVD floors Guerrero with a kick.
RVD misses his Five Star Frog Splash, both men are selling the effects of their war. They have a face-off, crossbody by RVD for a close two. Guerrero rakes the eyes for control, RVD blocks an uppercut for a backslide. Two count for RVD, Guerrero returns the favour and puts his feet on the ropes for the win.
I must say, RVD has been an absolute delight and bright-spark since coming to the WWE. Every match has been fun in some sort of fashion, they have been entertaining and RVD gives it all in the ring. Guerrero and RVD put on a great opening match here, the counters, the bumps, the shine. Everything was so good, RVD is so over that I am surprised they did not put the belt back on him at this show but RVD would win back the title soon after so I cannot really complain. As much credit as I give to RVD, it is not a one match show. Guerrero was great too and they had a great little feud for the title and I have enjoyed it while it lasted.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero over RVD via Shenanigans!
(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus © W/ Bubba Ray Dudley vs Stacy Keibler W/ Deacon Batista & Reverend D-Von
Not sure where this feud came from, Stacy is Vince’s assistant so I know why she is getting the title opportunity but I thought the championship was exclusive to Raw. And Stacy is a major step down from the likes of Molly Holly, Jazz and Jacqueline. Stacy is accompanied by D-Von who had split from Bubba due to Vince wanting to break up a majority of the tag teams in the company. Bubba is also here, Bubba is supporting Trish so we have a lot of history here in this match. Trish walks into a roundhouse kick from Stacy, back body drop by Stacy. Two count for Stacy, Trish comes back with a series of clotheslines. Boston crab by Trish, Stacy counters for a pin. Two count for Stacy, neckbreaker by Trish. Forearms by Trish, Chick Kick and Stacy falls to the floor.
Stacy slaps Bubba which is not a good idea, Batista gets in the ring and scoop slams Trish. Cover by Stacy but Trish kicks out of the slam. Reverse chinlock by Stacy, Stacy steps on the back and chokes Trish. Kick to the face by Trish, Trish basbeball slides Batista and a huge bulldog by Trish, Trish retains her championship.
Bubba and D-Von have a staredown, D-Von wants a hug. Bubba and D-Von shake hands before Batista tries for a cheap shot. Bubba takes care of Batista but D-Von clotheslines his brother. D-Von looks to regret hitting his brother but seconds later, Batista and D-Von drive Bubba through a table.
That was brief, I expected much, much worse but that was fine. The angle at the end was entertaining with D-Von cementing himself as a heel. Unfortunately, D-Von singles run in WWE yielded no results while Bubba did quite well for himself when he would reunite with Spike.
Winner: Trish Stratus over Stacy Keibler via Running Bulldog!
The two former enemies are not best friends, Flair calls Vince right and that Flair should never have ever doubted Vince’s opinion. Flair tells Vince that Flair will wipe out Austin which makes Vince crack a smile like “Look at this delusional old fool, becoming Spartucus is a better idea than trying to take down Austin”.
The Hardy Boyz vs Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
Lesnar had continued to kick the bejesus out of The Hardy Boyz but those damn Hardys would not give up so Poppa Lesnar has decided he is going to destroy these two once and for all. The Hardys jump Lesnar to begin the match, Heyman hides and runs from The Hardys before Lesnar saves Heyman. Big spinebuster by Lesnar to Jeff, shoulder thrusts by Lesnar. Jeff runs into a belly to belly from Lesnar, Jeff counters a powerslam and tags Matt.
Matt begins hammering away at Lesnar, Lesnar uses brute force to turn the tide and dismantle Matt. Funnily enough, Lesnar is getting Goldberg chants. Powerslam and back body drop by Lesnar on Matt, backbreaker by Lesnar. Matt is able to knock down the beast with a leaping DDT. Tag to Jeff, Whisper in The Wind, Jeff nails a jawbreaker and we have a leg drop combination on Lesnar. Poetry in Motion and Lesnar is knocked to the floor. Heyman begins running, Matt chokes Heyman and The Hardys nail a Poetry in Motion. Lesnar pulls out Matt and saves Heyman from certain death.
Lesnar throws Jeff into Matt, F-5 by Lesnar and Lesnar talks Heyman into the match. Heyman covers Jeff for the win, great heel work from Heyman. Great use of Lesnar who continues to dominate everything in sight. The Hardys did seem dead in the water as a tag team by this point which led to Jeff’s single run and Matt going to Smackdown. It seemed like it was time so this match was good for everyone in the long run.
Winners: Lesnar & Heyman over Hardy Boyz via F-5!
Booker T promo
Booker T has joined The NWO, Booker T was one of the most popular guys at The Insurrextion pay per view so to see Booker in The NWO is a little disheartening. However, the pay-off is worth it! Anyways, Booker walks up to a very sexy female and she gives Booker the keys to her hotel room.
(Handicap Match) Big Show & Ric Flair vs Austin
I love the backstory of Show talking about how Show and Austin were meant to be a Wrestlemania main event at one time, Show had been in a rut as of late yet, you could call his whole WWE career by this point a rut and a waste. Show had already been beaten by Austin clean at Insurrextion but it is like the WWE discard the UK pay per views once they have happened. So, Show is treated like a big threat and Flair is Flair.
Austin appearing this early on a card is hard to believe, I have not been impressed by Austin since his face-turn after Survivor Series. It feels like Austin was burnt out but perhaps it was the storylines that Austin was in that affected Austin’s performance? We will never know but Austin comes to the ring and starts throwing bombs at both Show and Flair, Flair eats a back drop. Austin goes after Show’s knees and knocks the big man down. Austin has Flair and Flair has been knocked to the floor, Show eats a stomp the balls. Austin locks in the figure four on Show and then Flair before grabbing a chair from the floor. The referee asks Austin to get rid of the chair, it is Lil Naitch Charles Robinson but I think it is a more of a coincidence rather than a possible angle.
Flair and Show decide to work the match like a tag team match, Austin smacks Show with a massive right. Flair and Austin lock-up, shoulder block and right hands by Austin. Flair powders as Austin checks his imaginary watch. Austin decides to have a beer in the middle of the match? What is this? Shoulder block by Flair, back body drop by Austin. Flair pokes the eye of Austin, chops by Flair. Austin blocks a right and chops Flair, Flair Flop and a back body drop. Austin nails Flair with right hands and a clothesline before Flair tags in Show. Lock-up and Show chops Austin in the corner, Austin falls to the mat. Second lock-up, same result. Third lock-up, Austin ducks the chop and lays into Show with right hands. Irish whip is reversed and Show nails a big boot.
Flair is legal, right hand by Flair. Flair holds the referee and nails a low blow behind the referee’s back. Chop war begins, Flair rakes the eyes and climbs to the top rope. As usual, Flair is yanked off the top rope, Austin stomps a mudhole and walks it dry. Show is in, powerslam by Show. Flair unloads on Austin with right hands, Flair begins working the leg of Austin. Tag to Show, Show drops huge elbows on Austin’s knees. Flair receives the tag and gets cocky, Austin nails a clothesline but Flair goes right back to the legs. Figure Four by Flair, Austin turns over and reverses the pressure. Show elbows Austin to save Flair, backslide by Austin gets a two count. Austin and Flair chop the shit out of one another again, spinebuster by Austin and Austin applies the figure four.
Show breaks up the hold with a leg drop, Show runs into the ring and eats boots from Austin. Middle rope Lou Thesz Press by Austin, Lou Thesz Press on Flair and an elbow drop to the golden globes. Another spinebuster on Flair by Austin, Show is looking for the Chokeslam. Stunner by Austin on Show, X-Pac kicks Show by accident and Austin Stunners X-Pac and Flair and finally, Austin pins Flair for the win.
It was not a bad match but more of the same from Austin. You saw the same spots from The Insurrextion match between Show and Austin, the interactions between Flair and Austin was good. Nothing memorable though, Austin never looked like there was a chance of him losing and I do not know where the story could go next from here, Austin squashed The NWO and Flair. We would never know as Austin would walk out on the company after being asked to lose to Brock Lesnar in a King of The Ring Qualifying match on free pay per view.
Winner: Austin over Flair & Show via Stunner!
Edge vs Kurt Angle (Hair vs Hair Match)
These two stole the show at Backlash, they are two superstars in the WWF. Angle had reached the top and proved he was one of the world’s best while Edge had been steadily pushed for a year now and the experiment has paid off. The two now prepare to settle their differences with this hair vs hair match.
Angle begins with a front facelock, Edge pushes back Angle. Shoulder block by Angle, victory roll by Edge and Edge says you were that close to losing your hair. Angle clubs Edge and nails some nice forearms, Edge sidesteps Angle and hurls Angle to the floor. Baseball slide by Edge, back body drop by Edge. Edge ties Angle in the ropes, Spear by Edge. Edge tries for another Spear but Angel frees himself and belly to belly suplexes Edge to the floor (Nasty looking spot). Angle tees off on Edge, Angle chops Edge in the corner. Edge chops Angle but runs into a spinebuster from Angle. Angle chokes Edge using the ropes and stomps away at Edge.
DDT by Angle, cover and a two for Angle. Angle slaps on a sleeper but Edge fights back, Angle pulls the hair and nails a suplex. Angle goes for another but Edge has it well-scouted. Edge throws rights, flying forearm and a spinning heel kick. Edge O Matic and it’s a two for Edge, Angle whips Edge and scores with a belly to belly suplex. Edge elevates Angle to the apron and dropkicks The Olympic Hero, crossbody plancha by Edge. Edge climbs to the top rope and scores with a missile dropkick. Two count for Edge, Edge attempts to pick up Angle and Angle catches Edge with a German suplex, Edge counters the second for a victory roll, two count for Edge. Edge drops Angle with a variation of The Edgecution.
Edge is on the top rope but Angle runs up the ropes and nails a belly to belly from the top rope. Two count for Angle, Edge fights back and lays out Angle with a DDT. Edge Spears the referee by mistake, German suplex by Angle. Angle sees the referee is down and grabs a chair from the floor, Edge Spears Angle but there is no referee. Edge stirs the referee and looks for another Spear, Angle blocks with a boot to the head. Angle Slam is blocked and Edge nails a Spear, Angle kicks out at two and a half, that was so close!
Angle Spears Edge and snaps, Angle Slam and Edge kicks out at two! Straps are down, Ankle Lock but Edge counters with an enzuigiri. Angle goes back to The Ankle Lock, Edge is in the middle of the ring, Angle is shoved off the ropes by Edge and Angle falls into an inside cradle 1..2…3! Edge wins and Angle will be shaved bald. After the match, Angle attacks Edge. Edge knocks out Angle with an Edgecution and Edge is dragging Angle towards the barber chair. Angle kicks off Edge and runs to the backstage area. Looks like this story will continue throughout the night.
Tremendous match, so dramatic and the crowd were so invested in this match. It was fantastic, from the second Angle through Edge to the floor with the belly to belly. Edge had his back up against the wall from that point, Edge would mount a comeback but Angle, would shut down Edge’s momentum time after time. Angle could not take down Edge so the referee bump was Angle’s opportunity at cheating to win. It backfired as Edge nailed two Spears and we were treated to an agonizingly close two count. We were not done though as Angle went agonizingly close with an Angle Slam and in the end, Edge used his last bit of strength to shove off Angle and outsmart The Olympic Hero. Oh, it was great and easily, the best match of the night. Hats off to these two who were tearing it up in the ring.
Booker T Promo 2
The five time WCW Champion has seduced the lovely, young lady and we are in the bedroom with the two. Booker T and the young women settle into bed, we hear kissing noises and then we hear Goldust’s voice. The three are in the bed and Booker T is understandably pissed off that his romantic evening has been ruined by The Bizarre One. Funny segment where Booker is finally showing some personality and their duo was short-lived but so entertaining.
(Hell in a Cell Match) Triple H vs Chris Jericho
Let me tell you the sad tale of both these men, Chris Jericho had finally broken out as a main eventer conquering Austin and The Rock in the one night at Vengeance to become the first-ever Undisputed Champion. Jericho was pencilled in for a main event at Wrestlemania and things were looking too sweet. However, Triple H wins the Royal Rumble and Jericho is reduced to a pawn in terms of storyline as it’s all about Triple H and Stephanie’s divorce. We also had Triple H winning the rumble, winning the championship and losing it to Hulk Hogan the next month. Neither men were on fire and suddenly, Vince decided Jericho would align with Vince after Triple H would be finalising his divorce when Vince could have aligned with Jericho to give him the seal of approval for Wrestlemania. You see my problem? It is a little case of too little too late for Triple H vs Jericho.
They begin by throwing bombs, Jericho chops Triple H. High knee by The Game, back body drop. Triple H tees off on Jericho, Triple H takes Jericho to the floor. Both men block tasting the cage, hard right hand by Triple H. Forearm by Jericho out of nothing, more right hands by Jericho. Jericho and Triple H face off in the corner, Jericho runs shoulder first into the ringpost. Triple H rams Jericho into the cell wall, Triple H does it one more time. Jericho has been opened up, Triple H continues the punishment with short-arm clotheslines. Suplex and cover by The Game, two for Triple H. Jericho reverses an Irish whip and sends Triple H to the floor.
Jericho whips Triple H into the cage once before Triple H whips Jericho into the steel steps. Triple H was looking for a piledriver on the steps but Jericho catapults Triple H into the cell wall. Jericho pulls out a ladder? This is unique! Jericho uses the ladder as a battering ram and wipes out Triple H. Triple H is bleeding as Jericho wrenches Triple H’s face of the cage wall. Triple H is hurled into the ladder, Jericho drops the ladder on top of Triple H. Triple H fights back before Jericho whips The Game into the cell wall. Jericho goes back to the ladder but Triple H has a chair, wham and Jericho has been knocked down. Jericho catches Triple H with a facebuster, Jericho grabs the steel steps. Jericho eats the steps after a drop toehold by The Game. Neckbreaker by Triple H.
Facebuster by Triple H, Triple H flings the steps at Jericho’s shoulder. Like a dart, Triple H launches Jericho into the cell wall. Triple H sidesteps Jericho and Jericho rams into Tim White the referee. This bump would lead to White’s retirement as White suffered a serious shoulder injury. Jericho throws the referee into the cage wall, that might have been the injury right there. White is bleeding as Jericho roughs up the referee. In the ring, Triple H recovers and drills Y2J with a spinebuster. The new referees open the cage door and now Jericho and Triple H can escape to the outside. Triple H finds his sledgehammer, shot to the head of Jericho. Jericho crawls to the outside and slams the cage door on Triple H’s face.
Jericho and Triple H are brawling around the cell, Jericho drags Triple H to the Spanish announce table. Triple H DDTs Jericho through the table. Triple H pulls out a 2x4 wrapped in barbwire. Jericho climbs to the top of the cell and Triple H is on Jericho’s tail. Jericho smacks Triple H across the back with the 2x4, another shot and another scream from Triple H. Jericho applies The Walls of Jericho on top of the cage. Triple H powers out of the hold, Jericho grabs the 2x4. Low blow by Triple H, Triple H was looking for the Pedigree but Jericho back body drops Triple H. 2x4 to the head by Triple H, cover and a two count for The Game. Pedigree and it is all over.
A weak Hell in a Cell match that did not have the big match feel. JR sells it like it was a war but I am not buying it on this night. They worked hard, I won’t criticize their efforts in that regard but the drama was just not there. It always seemed like a forgone conclusion that Triple H would be walking away with the win. It is not as bad as Taker vs Bossman but it was a weaker match.
Winner: Triple H over Jericho via Pedigree on the Cell!
(WWE Tag Team Championship Match) Billy & Chuck vs Rikishi & Rico?
Everybody’s favourite tag team Billy and Chuck have been having problems with Rikishi, Rikishi needs a partner for this match and Vince Mcmahon had decided who that partner will be and it looks like Vince decided to screw Rikishi as Billy and Chuck’s manager Rico is chosen as The Master of The Stinkface’s partner.
Billy and Rikishi start, Rikishi hammers Billy. DDT has no effect on Rikishi as Rikishi superkicks Billy. Double flapjack by Billy & Chuck after Rikishi misses an ass splash. Neckbreaker by Billy, Chuck tees off on Rikishi. Belly to belly by Chuck gets a two count. Fameasser by Billy gets a two count, tag to Chuck. Chuck floors Rikishi with a discuss punch, belly to belly by Rikishi. Rikishi knocks down Chuck, Samoan drop to Billy. Splash from Rikishi, Billy saves Chuck. Samoan neckbreaker by Rikishi on Billy but Chuck is still legal. Chuck nails a dropkick and holds onto Rikishi. Rikishi dodges a spinkick from Rico and it floors Chuck. Rikishi superkicks Rico out of the way and Rikishi pins Chuck.
That match was so flat, you have no idea. Even when Rikishi won the match, the crowd could only muster a meh. It served its purpose as a way of calming down the crowd between the big matches but that was just dead. Also, Rico who is a non-wrestler knocked out one half of the tag champions?
Winners: Rikishi & Rico over Billy & Chuck via spinkick!
Angle gets shaved
Angle sneak attacks Edge and it looks as if Edge is going to suffer the haircut even though Angle should be taking the punishment. Fortunately, Edge fights back and puts Angle to sleep with a choke hold. Justice is served as Angle is out cold and shaved bald. I remember this like it was yesterday, it was fantastic and Angle was so funny freaking out. I swear that Angle could have been an actor he was that good. While most people love wrestling machine Kurt Angle, there will always be a place in my heart for goofball Angle.
(WWE Undisputed Championship Match) Hulk Hogan © vs The Undertaker
Hulkamania ran wild brother and suddenly, it ran mild. Hogan could not sustain his popularity so it looks like the title will be on the move once more as Undertaker had been on a roll since turning heel. The feud before the match was decent with Undertaker proclaiming that Hogan was only champion thanks to Undertaker and that Undertaker was going to turn the lights off on Hogan. Taker comes to the ring wearing one of Hogan’s belts while Hogan seems to milk his entrance before running to fight Taker.
Taker whips Hogan to begin the match, Taker looks to bloody Hogan in the early going. Hogan is back on his feet, big punches from Hogan and Hogan has the belt. The referee disarms Hogan and the match has officially begun. Corner clothesline from Hogan, Hogan punches and chokes Taker. Back body drop by Hogan and Hogan clotheslines Taker to the floor. Taker meets Hogan on the floor and gains control with headbutts and rights. Hogan turns the tide by hurling Taker into the steel steps, more right hands by Hogan.
Hogan gets caught in the ring as Taker attacks the arm. Hogan crotches Taker before Old School, Hogan nails a superplex. Cover and a two count for Hogan, Hogan unloads with right hands on The Deadman. Taker ducks a clothesline and attacks the knee-braced leg of Hogan. Taker applies a leg lock and wrenches as Hogan writhes in pain. Hogan literally kicks out of the hold, battering Taker. Hogan wins the bomb war before Taker goes for the throat. Polish hammer from Hogan, big boot and Taker dodges the Leg Drop. Single leg Boston crab by Taker, Hogan crawls to the ropes. Right hands in the corner by Taker, Taker misses a big boot and Hogan is firing up in this match. Chokeslam by Taker, two count as Hogan powers out.
Hogan hulks up, right hands, big boot and Hogan nails The Leg Drop. Taker kicks out at two, Hogan sells it like death himself has come knocking. Running DDT by Taker and Hogan kicks out at two, here comes Vince Mcmahon. Taker has a chair, Hogan boots the chair into Taker’s face. Mcmahon distracts the referee. Hogan waffles Mcmahon, Leg Drop. Taker wallops Hogan with a chair and Taker Chokeslams Hogan for the win.
Alright match, Hogan had to be carried in all his matches by this point with his knees so bad. Taker was not able to get a good match out of Hogan on this night, I do not think it was possible with anyone except The Rock by this point. The two pay per views Hogan has main evented, have been quite poor. Taker did deserve the championship, Taker was great since the heel turn. The constant switches of the undisputed championship was doing no favours for the WWE, 2002 was off to a weird and mostly bad start. Where do we go from here?
Winner: Taker over Hogan via Chokeslam!
Judgment Day 2002 was an average pay per view for the WWE. I think WWE did two things right on this pay per view: the continuation of Lesnar’s push and the match between Angle and Edge which stole the show. Eddie vs RVD was good but I think the wrong man one on this night, the women’s match was brief as was the tag team match, these are both positives. The big matches of the night were all misses, Austin vs Flair and Show had no drama do it, Jericho vs Triple H lacked the intensity it needed as the grandioso blow-off match and Taker vs Hogan lacked any real substance. It was just there, Taker got his win and it seems WWE has no idea what of what it wants to do with itself. Perhaps things will become clearer at King of The Ring. Until then, remember that there is always another night!