Monday 16 January 2017

WWE King of The Ring 2002 Review

Welcome children of all ages to another edition of the only internet wrestling review series that never drew a dime: Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews. As I have stated many times, 2002 was a strange year for the WWE. The likes of Austin and The Rock were being phased out, Rock was doing more Hollywood and Austin had walked out on the company due to being asked to put over Brock Lesnar on Raw with no build (Cannot say I blame him in that regard). Hulk Hogan had come back but that was not working and Triple H’s comeback was not going to plan. This leads us to King of The Ring 2002 where The Rock is returning to the WWE while Undertaker battles Triple H for the undisputed championship. In the mid-card, we have the always entertaining King of The Ring tournament with the likes of Y2J, Test, the super popular RVD and Vince’s favourite new project Brock Lesnar. The time for talking is over so sit back and relax, this is WWE’s Kling of The Ring 2002!

Opening Promo

We are treated to former King of The Ring winners who went on to become big stars, we have all four semi-finalists talking about the possibility of becoming King of The Ring. Stage design is awesome, I do not think there is one person who did not love the giant throne design.

(King of The Ring Semi-Final Match) Chris Jericho vs Rob Van Dam

Jericho is back in the mid-card after his little romance with the world championship scene. While RVD continues to be constant entertainment and the fans cannot get enough of RVD. Lock-up and Jericho takes the arm of RVD. RVD takes Jericho’s arm and kicks Y2J in the face. Jericho reaches for the hair for a side headlock, shoulder block by Y2J. Back elbow by RVD, deep armdrags by both men and a stand-off.

Jericho slaps RVD and RVD kicks Jericho in the face. Forearm shots by RVD, monkey flip by Van Dam. Spinning leg drop by RVD for a two count, flying forearm from RVD out of nowhere. Stomps to the head by Y2J, Jericho puts RVD on the apron but cannot nail his triangle dropkick. Jericho pancakes on the floor and RVD nails a beautiful tope con hilo. Diving thrust kick by RVD and RVD is going for The Frog Splash. Jericho kicks the referee into the ropes and crotches RVD. Double underhook suplex by Jericho from the top rope, two count for Jericho. RVD rakes down Jericho with his legs for a pin, Jericho powers out and nails RVD with a huge clothesline. Jericho begins undoing the top turnbuckle, small package by RVD and RVD had Jericho beaten but the referee was fixing the turnbuckle. Breakdown by Jericho, two count for Y2J.

Jericho chokes RVD with his wrist tape, clubbing blows to the back by Jericho. Jericho tries to drop a leg on RVD but RVD dodges and Jericho crotches himself. Jericho recovers for a knee to the gut which floors Van Dam. Jericho runs shoulder first into the ringpost. Spinning heel kick by RVD, more forearms and kicks by RVD. Springboard thrust kick by RVD, step-through spinkick by RVD. Handspring moonsault by RVD, enzuigiri by Jericho gets a two count. Back and forth, this two are trading blows. Irish whip by Jericho, German suplex by Jericho and it is a two count as RVD powers out of the hold. Jericho starts smacking RVD on the back of the head, RVD hotshots Jericho. Split-legged moonsault by RVD and shoulder thrusts by RVD.

RVD goes for a final thrust, Jericho counters for a sunset flip into a Walls of Jericho. RVD counters for a pin, two count for RVD. Jericho runs RVD into the exposed turnbuckle, schoolboy and feet on the ropes for two. RVD dodges The Lionsault, massive spinning wheel kick by RVD, Jericho dodges The Five Star. Lionsault and a two count for Jericho, RVD looks for a hurricanrana which Jericho counters for The Walls of Jericho. RVD reaches the ropes but Jericho is in control, both men are on the top rope.

RVD crotches Jericho and nails The Five Star Frog Splash for the win. Good match, it seemed disjointed in parts like the ending, it looked like Jericho crotched himself and rolled forever into position for the frog splash. Seemed a little silly for me but that’s juts nit-picking. The match picked up towards the last five minutes with the nearfalls and counters which Jericho always makes fun as there are so many set-ups for his finish. RVD moves forward and perhaps, it could be the former ECW star’s night. However, Jericho is feeling like a bitch so Jericho decides to attack RVD post-match and injure Van Dam with a Walls of Jericho.

Winner: RVD over Jericho via Five Star Frog Splash!

(King of The Ring Semi-Final Match) Test vs Brock Lesnar W/ Paul Heyman

Test seemed to always pop-up in a big match from time to time, during the Invasion angle, Test had victories over the likes of Kane, Undertaker and The Rock winning the tag team titles alongside Booker T. Test’s luck may have ran out as he is facing The Next Big Thing Brock Lesnar. I will never understand these heel vs heel matches with no intentions to turn either men face. However, we are underway and both men lock-up. Lesnar shoulder thrusts Test hard in the corner, Test catches Lesnar with a clothesline and a boot. Big right hands by Test, Lesnar powders to avoid The Big Boot. Heyman encourages the rookie monster who makes his way into the ring.

Test tees off on Lesnar, elbows in the corner by Test. Test stomps a mudhole in Lesnar, huge spinebuster by Lesnar turns the tide. Hard Irish whip by Lesnar, Test crashes to the canvas. Test is taking a pounding but fires back before Lesnar nails a back suplex. Cover and a two count for Lesnar, nasty forearm by Lesnar brings another two count. Massive backbreaker by Lesnar, Test eats a powerslam from The Next Big Thing. Two count for Lesnar, we have a miscommunication which looks ugly but Lesnar recovers to take a sidewalk slam from Test. Right hands from Lesnar, more shoulder thrusts. Test comes back with a corner clothesline, Irish whip and another corner clothesline.

Full-Nelson Slam by Test, Test measures for a Pumphandle Slam. Lesnar slips out the back, Test blocks the suplex. Kick to the mid-section by Test, Pumphandle Slam by Test and Lesnar barely kicks out! Test misses The Big Boot but nails The Big Boot on the second attempt, Lesnar kicks out at two! Crowd thought that was all, Test is aiming for a second Big Boot. Heyman distracts Test and Lesnar nails The F-5 for the win.

Good match with Lesnar continuing to be the most dominant man in the WWE. The narrative was there of Test being the biggest opponent that Lesnar ever faced, Test was strong enough to go blow for blow with Lesnar and amost upset The Next Big Thing but Lesnar kicked out of Test’s killshot. As the heel, Lesnar had a helping hand in overcoming Test but Lesnar still gets to shine.

Winner: Brock Lesnar over Test via F-5!

Raw/Smackdown Interviews

Bubba Ray is asked about who he thinks is going to win The King of The Ring and Bubba answers truthfully by stating he loves RVD but Brock Lesnar is too damn strong for RVD. Lance Storm and Christian are also interviewed which leads to The Un-Americans pissing all over America because there are no Canadians in the final. Good stuff from the quick interviews.

(WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match) The Hurricane © vs Jamie Noble W/ Nidia

Nidia was the female winner of Tough Enough and also, an ex-girlfriend of The Hurricane. Hurricane was stalked by Nidia and it led to the debut of Jamie Noble, former WCW talent and current boyfriend of Jamie Noble. Noble wants the cruiserweight championship and we have a story with a lot of depth for a cruiserweight championship match. Noble had unmasked Hurricane, Hurricane vows to vanquish Noble and rid his life of his crazy ex Nidia.

Lock-up with Hurricane pushing back Noble, right hand from Hurricane. Roll-up by the champion gets two, more mat wrestling with Hurricane catching Noble at every pass. Noble takes control with an elbow to the head, shoulder thrusts in the corner by Noble. Irish whip and back elbow by Hurricane, Shining Wizard by the champion. Hurricane goes for The Chokeslam, Noble fights out but eats a superkick. Headscissors hold from Hurricane, Noble escapes and has control as Nidia grabs Hurricane’s boot. Hurricane gives chase before Noble bullseyes Hurricane with a vicious lariat on the floor. Cover in the ring and it is a two for the challenger.

 Hard Irish whips by Noble, Noble chokes Hurricane with the bottom rope. Snap suplex by Noble, cover and a two count. Small package by Hurricane, two count as Noble kicks out of the pinning manoeuvre. Noble scoops up Hurricane onto his shoulders and electric chair drops Hurricane. Noble applies a submission and Hurricane armdrags out of the hold. Variation of an Edge O Matic by Hurricane for a two count. Sleeper by the champion, jawbreaker by the challenger and a sleeper by Noble. Hurricane battles back, neckbreaker by Hurricane. Leaping clothesline by the champion and a beautiful over castle. Hurricane signals for the end, Eye of The Hurricane is blocked into a German suplex by Noble, two count for Noble.

Eye of The Hurricane connects and Noble powers out, Hurricane reaches for his cape but Nidia steals the cape. Hurricane suplexes Noble to the floor and the champion nails a crossbody to the floor. Nidia plants a kiss on Hurricane which allows Noble to nail a baseball slide. Noble and Hurricane climb to the top rope, Noble looks to superplex Hurricane to the floor. Hurricane fights out of the superplex to nail a neckbreaker from the top rope. Hurricane sells and crawls into the cover, Nidia has the referee’s attention. Hurricane sidesteps Noble who launches into Nidia, Chokeslam by Hurricane and Noble kicks out of The Chokeslam

Noble crotches Hurricane and nails a powerbomb, Hurricane’s foot is on the ropes but Nidia pushes off the foot and Noble has stolen the championship. A very good match, I liked the story going into the match. Hurricane and Noble were on their A-Game, Noble looked fantastic kicking out of all of Hurricane’s big moves. The finish was fun too with Nidia screwing Hurricane one more time, I would like to think there is more to this story but I am not too sure on how much further this story goes, strong debut showing for Noble on pay per view and it looks like the cruiserweight division could be something on Smackdown similar to WCW.

Winner: Jamie Noble over Hurricane via Shenanigans!

Eddie Guerrero Promo

Weird promo from Eddie who begins talking about all of his family who will be watching tonight’s match. Guerrero is not worried about Ric Flair, half of the promo is in Guerrero’s native tongue so I imagine if I spoke the language, I would enjoy it so more. Still, Guerrero is entertaining making fun of Flair.

Ric Flair vs Eddie Guerrero

Ok, since we last seen Flair, Flair has turned face due to Austin leaving WWE, lost control of WWE to Vince Mcmahon thanks to Brock Lesnar, and has entered a feud with Eddie Guerrero. It was reported that Austin was meant to work with Eddie but Flair was inserted into Austin’s place as The Rattlesnake left the WWE taking his ball and going home which they love to remind everyone of time after time.

We are off, Guerrero shoulder blocks Flair and begins to strut. Flair eats a dropkick and powders as it is clear that Guerrero is in control of this match. Flair chops Guerrero in the corner and Guerrero powders. Guerrero comes into the ring and tees off on The Nature Boy before Flair begins chopping Guerrero. Right hands floor Guerrero, low blow by Flair. More chops and punches in the corner by Flair, Irish whip into a huge chop. Guerrero bails and has a miniature temper tantrum with theatrics. Front chancery by Guerrero, Guerrero wrenches away before Flair counters with a suplex. Guerrero ducks a chop and dropkicks the knee of Flair, Guerrero has begun working the leg.

Flair is screaming out in pain as Guerrero grounds Flair and works the leg with strikes and submission holds. Guerrero drops down on the leg and applies Flair’s Figure Four. Guerrero almost pins Flair of the hold but Flair springs up at two. Flair reaches the ropes after many agonizing seconds in the hold, Guerrero scores with a beautiful snapover neckbreaker. Chops by Guerrero, Flair comes back with chops of his own. Guerrero rakes the eyes but Flair elevates Guerrero to the floor. Guerrero hotshots Flair and lands a suplex. Guerrero is on the top rope, Flair dodges and goes right for the leg. Flair is looking for The Figure Four, Benoit is making his way down to the ring.

Figure Four by Flair, Guerrero makes it to the ropes. Chops by Flair, Guerrero slides out of the suplex for a victory roll and a handful of tights, Flair kicks out  and they try a pinning sequence that falls flat as Guerrero cannot bridge up, Guerrero catches Flair with an elbow. Guerrero nails a tornado DDT, Guerrero covers and Flair puts his feet on the ropes. Guerrero stomps all over Flair and Benoit locks Flair in The Crossface as Guerrero has the referee. The damage has been done as the referee ejects Benoit out of the arena. Bubba Ray Dudley comes out of the crowd and takes down Guerrero with a Bubba Bomb. Flair pins Guerrero out of The Bubba Bomb.

Another good match, Flair as a face is not as good as Flair heel but it is still pretty damn good. Psychology was great with Guerrero working the leg throughout the match due to his past assaults, his ego to beat Flair at his own game and Guerrero abandons his plans as his frustration grows throughout the match. Flair sold well so no complaints there, not sure about the finish. I do not have a problem with it but like where did it come out of it? Had Bubba been feuding with Guerrero and Benoit? Perhaps, I know the feud continues until the next month but really? My own guess is the WWE stuck Flair in Austin’s spot and needed a way out of it so they had Bubba interfere so they could move on to Bubba vs Eddie & Benoit.

Winner: Ric Flair over Eddie Guerrero via Bubba Bomb!

(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Trish Stratus © vs Molly

This feud had begun because Molly has a fat ass…… I am serious….. no, go ahead and laugh but this is the reason these two are wrestling. And let me just say, Molly has a great ass. Now, a feud over that is so dumb that I feel stupid just typing it, it is like most times WWE is in another universe with their logic and reasoning. Anyways, many degrading comments are made about Molly, Trish has showed her ass to Molly a few times and Molly has choked out Trish with underwear. Bunch of shit if you ask me but this is what you have to deal with, let’s hope the match overshadows the terrible angle.

Molly back drops and slams Trish hard into the mat, Molly dishes out the punishment before Trish slams Molly hard. Molly catches Trish in a Fujiawara armbar, Molly works the arm before nailing a big clubbing blow to Trish. Victory roll out of nothing by Trish, neckbreaker by the champion. Irish whip into the corner, rolling prawn hold pin by Trish. Two count before Molly drop toeholds Trish into the bottom rope, choke hold by Molly. Molly dropkicks Trish to the floor, Molly rams Trish into the ring apron and chops the champion. Molly whips Trish into the crowd and throws her back ringside. Molly throws Trish into the ring before Trish nails a Chick Kick and knocks Molly to the floor.

Trish crotches Molly on the top rope, Molly knocks off Trish and Trish nails her handstand frankensteiner. Chops by Trish, clothesline and a dropkick by Trish. Molly comes back with a jawbreaker, Trish fires up with a Chick Kick. Molly counters a Stratusfaction for a German Suplex. Two count for Molly, Molly misses The Molly-Go-Round. Trish scores with an O Connor Roll but Molly counters and grabs Trish’s tights on her ass for the win.

If anything, justice had been served but I digress, it was brief but there was some nice action in this match. Molly as a self-righteous, superior being was a great heel character while Trish was the star that the division needed in terms of a top babyface in Lita’s absence (Always thought Trish was a more natural heel). Trish sold well and Molly came off as obnoxious and I look forward to their future battles so mission accomplished.

Winner: Molly Holly over Trish Stratus via O Connor Roll and a handful of tights!

Kurt Angle vs Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan wanted to retire but Vince Mcmahon said no, Hogan wants to kick Vince’s ass but Vince had an ace of his sleeve in Kurt Angle. Kurt Angle had been shaved bald by Edge at the last pay per view and in my opinion, had been the best thing about the last two pay per views. Hogan has been on a downward slope since the Wrestlemania match with The Rock, the novelty has been taken away yet, I do not think it has reached WCW Hogan’s level of “performance”.

Lock-up, Hogan shoves down Angle and poses at Angle. Second lock-up and Hogan has Angle’s suplex well scouted, side headlock by The Hulkster. Angle counters for a wristlock hold, Hogan is down to one knee. Shoulder block from Hogan, Angle powders to the floor. Angle re-enters the ring and goes to the leg of Hogan, clotheslines by Angle. Hogan sidesteps Angle and Angle tumbles to the floor. Hogan hurls Angle back into the ring, Hogan rams Angle’s face off the turnbuckle nine times, right hand and Hogan looks to rip off Angle’s hairpiece. Low blow by Angle out of the referee’s view. Angle stomps all over Hogan and chokes The Hulkster. Chops by Angle, Hogan fires back and Angle rakes the eyes and drops Hogan with a back suplex. Second back suplex by Angle, two count for The Olympic Hero. Suplex by Hogan, right hands and a scoop slam. Sleeper by Angle, Hogan survives the sleeper to eat another back suplex.

 Angle drops Hogan with an Angle Slam after Hogan misses a punch, Hogan kicks out at two and begins Hulking up. Punches, big boot and here comes The Leg Drop. Hogan shows Angle’s bald head and does not go for The Leg Drop. Angle bails to the floor, Angle is walking to the back. Hogan tries on Angle’s headpiece, Angle comes back with a chair. Angle misses and hits himself with the chair in the face, Hogan nails the big boot and goes for The Leg Drop. NO! Angle catches the leg for an Ankle Lock, Hogan tries kicking off Angle but Angle is relentless and Hogan taps out to The Ankle Lock.

I could not believe my eyes as I saw this the first time, Angle defeated Hogan clean as a sheet and made HULK HOGAN TAP OUT. The match was ok, Angle was entertaining which is no surprise but Hogan had done it for me at this stage. Triple H, Undertaker and now, Angle had not got anything out of Hogan in the ring, Wrestlemania X8 seems like a distant memory. That is ok though because the big story here is Angle made Hogan tap, this is a huge endorsement and shows the faith the company had in Angle. The finish was great, I would have liked a bit of leg work prior to the submission to build up some drama but the way Hogan struggled and tried to kick off Angle was great stuff. For the finish alone, I will rate this as a good match.

Winner: Angle over Hogan via Ankle Lock!

Rock/Goldust/Booker T Promo

Everyone’s favourite duo are having a little discussion about The Great One, Goldust is dressed and imitating The Rock to Booker T before The Rock shows up in front of Booker and Goldust. Booker T and Rock have a face-off before Goldust interrupts for a moment, Booker T says he is down with what The Rock said as Rock mocks Goldust for touching himself and being weird.

(King of The Ring Final Match) Rob Van Dam vs Brock Lesnar W/ Paul Heyman

The time has come for the winner to be decided, high stakes as the winner will go onto main event Summerslam in a WWE Undisputed Championship Match. RVD vs Lesnar, a battle and bruised hero against an overwhelming strong beast.

I have a problem before the match begins as RVD is not selling any injuries from Jericho’s assault, Lesnar piefaces RVD but RVD dodges and throws kicks and forearms at Lesnar. Thrust kick by RVD, shots to the ribs by RVD. Lesnar counters a monkey flip into a powerbomb, Lesnar works the back and it looks like RVD is selling the back now. Lesnar picks up and hurls RVD back first into the corners. Huge powerslam by Lesnar, two count for Lesnar. Series of backbreakers by Lesnar, Lesnar has a bearhug on RVD. Shoulder thrusts from Lesnar, RVD creates some space as Lesnar runs into the ringpost. More kicks from RVD. RVD nails a thrust kick, Rolling Thunder but Lesnar powers out at two.

RVD tries keeping Lesnar grounded, Five Star Frog Splash and Heyman hotshots RVD. RVD baseball slides Heyman but dives into an F-5, Lesnar wins in what was an extended squash. 2002 looks like it has some focus because there is no doubt about it now as Brock Lesnar is the end all and be all as Lesnar continues to walk through the WWE roster. I wish RVD came in selling his injuries but once Lesnar went for the back, RVD sold everything to perfection.

Winner: Brock Lesnar over RVD via F-5!

(WWE Undisputed Championship Match) Triple H vs The Undertaker ©

Just before the match, Triple H runs into The NWO and we have a mini-Kliq reunion as The NWO offer their support to Triple H. Anyways, this feud can be traced back to Backlash as Undertaker screwed Triple H out of the championship as Undertaker thought it would be easier to beat Hogan than to beat Triple H. Triple H is coming for revenge and The Undertaker is not too happy about facing The Game. Simple story but will the match live up to the hype? You also have The Rock looming in the background, what part will The People’s Champion play in the main event?

Trash talk between the two, Triple H wins the slugfest. Back elbow and right hands by The Game, Undertaker tosses Triple H into the corner, right hands by The Deadman. Triple H and Taker are brawling on the floor, neither man has clear control as both seem to be sending one another into barricades and steel steps. Taker has control in the ring, right hands in the corner, Taker misses a big boot in the corner and Triple mounts for ten punches. Taker drops Triple H on the top turnbuckle, clothesline by Taker. Sidewalk slam and an elbow by Taker, Triple H powers out at two. Taker smashes an elbow across Triple H’s face. Taker nails Triple H with a leg drop across the apron. Triple H blocks a corner clothesline, big boot by Taker. Triple H survives once more with Taker becoming a little bit frustrated.

Triple H is thrown to the floor but lures Taker in for a suplex, we are back in the ring. Clothesline from Taker, leg drop and a cover by the champion. Two count for Taker, Taker is looking for a superplex. Triple H blocks and begins punching the bejesus out of Taker, back body drop from Triple H. Leaping clothesline by Taker and it is another two count for the champion. Big Evil is exposing the top turnbuckle, Triple H blocks meeting the turnbuckle. Corner clothesline from Taker, Triple H sends Taker into the exposed turnbuckle. Neckbreaker by The Game, spinebuster by The Game and it’s two for Triple H.

Right hands by Triple H, Taker nails snake eyes on Triple H onto the exposed turnbuckle and Triple H explodes out with a high knee. Advantage is not too long as Taker drops Triple H with a running DDT. Taker looks for the Chokeslam, Triple H blocks and goes for The Pedigree. Taker blocks and catapults The Game into the referee. Double knockdown in the middle of the ring and here comes The Rock. Rock joins the commentary table to scare off Paul Heyman, Taker is rolling to the floor and looking for a weapon. Taker has a chair, Triple H goes low and pounds away at The Game. Facebuster by Triple H and Taker is clotheslined to the outside. Triple H and Taker are brawling by the announce table, big boot by Taker. Taker boots The Rock who is down, Taker has another chair.

Rock is up and lays The Smackdown on Taker, Rock nails Triple H by mistake with a chair, Rock is taken down by Taker and now, Taker has Triple H. Triple H is bleeding, Last Ride by the champion. New referee, Undertaker crawls for the cover and Triple H kicks out at two, Undertaker is in disbelief. Taker nails the new referee, The Rock is up and Rock Bottom on Taker! Rock leaves the arena with his work done? Triple H is stirring in the ring. Triple H drops the arm on Taker, Earl Hebnar slowly crawls over, 1…2….Taker kicks out at the last second.

Pedigree by The Game but both men are down again! Cover but the referee cannot see the pin-fall. Taker uses the chaos to low blow Triple H and roll-up the challenger. Taker steals the win with one of the most anti-climatic finishes to a title match I have ever seen, it was like Shane Douglas losing the ECW title to The Sandman via Singapore Cane to the leg. Post-Match The Rock comes down to the ring and best the piss out of Taker before Triple H drops The Rock with a Pedigree. Triple H runs into a Chokeslam from Taker and the champion leaves standing tall.

This was a long main event to get through, it was slow and nothing of interest happened until The Rock showed up. Even with The Rock showing up, it was ridiculous with all the near-falls from the big finishes until a low blow gets the job done. It was just a waste in the end to have The Rock there, crowd came alive for him but as long as it was Taker vs Triple H, the fans could not give a damn.

Winner: Taker over Triple H via low blow and a handful of tights!

Ok, the final King of The Ring on pay per view was average. Nothing stood out about this show, there were some good matches. They gave a lot of time to the Cruiserweight Championship match, I enjoyed RVD vs Chris Jericho, the women’s match was good and Eddie Guerrero vs Flair was very good until the ending. The big matches were lost on me, Angle vs Hogan was good only for the ending in my eyes and the main event came off as so flat that it needed The Rock causing mayhem.

 If you are looking for anything that is worthy of a watch, I would say The King of The Ring final just to see how all in they were on Brock Lesnar as I am sure any Lesnar fan would love to see how Lesnar was booked in his initial run in the company. See you next time and remember, there is always another night!

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