WWF Royal Rumble ‘02
January 20, 2002
Royal Rumble 2002 was a fresh start for the company after the abysmal WCW InVasion storyline had mercifully ended and all the WWF and WCW Championships had been unified into a manageable set of Titles. Ric Flair had come aboard the company as co-owner and former WCW talents were being brought back into the company little by little to fill out the roster once again.
Edge and William Regal had a nice little Intercontinental Title match, the unlikely underdog pairing of Spike Dudley & Tazz retained the WWF Tag Titles against Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley and Trish Stratus kicked off the golden age of women’s wrestling in the WWF with a Women’s Championship retention over Jazz.
However it was the second half of the show that put this show over the top. The Ric Flair-Mr. McMahon Street Fight was the best match you’ll ever see between two fifty year olds. Knowing their limitations the two went at it tooth and nail with weapons and over the top violence and blood. Flair won the match and established that Flair could still go in the ring should he need to.
Then The Rock and Chris Jericho had another great match in the series of fantastic ones that they produced throughout late 2001 and into 2002. Those two were incapable of having a bad match together and were in that rare breed that could literally talk fans into the arena.
Plus the main event Rumble match was great fun thanks to legitimate rookie Maven eliminating The Undertaker in a huge moment. Then there was a stand off between Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin that was interrupted by The Hurricane in a great comedy moment that broke up the levity of the night. In addition thee was the great and welcome return of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, Kane physically manhandling the 500 lbs. Big Show out of the ring and a great finale featuring a wealth of main event talent.
Triple H won the match as expected. He had just come back from a vicious quad injury and his return was highlighted by an over-the-top video package playing over a U2 song. His actual return early that month inside Madison Square Garden was one of those roof blowing pops that most wrestlers could only dream of getting.
- WWF World Tag Team Champions Spike Dudley & Tazz beat Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley.
- William Regal beat WWF Intercontinental Champion Edge to win the Championship.
- WWF Women’s Champion Trish Stratus beat Jazz.
- Ric Flair beat Mr. McMahon in a Street Fight.
- Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho beat The Rock.
- Triple H won the 30-man Royal Rumble match last eliminating Kurt Angle. Other participants included The Hurricane, Faarooq, Billy Gunn, Al Snow, Rikishi, Big Boss Man, Goldust, Matt Hardy, Test, Perry Saturn, Booker T, The Big Show, Lance Storm, Val Venis, Scotty 2 Hotty, Diamond Dallas Page, Bradshaw, Kane, Curt Hennig, The Godfather, Albert, Chrisian, Jeff Hardy, The Undertaker, Chuck Palumbo, Maven, Rob Van Dam and Stone Cold Steve Austin.