WWF Royal Rumble 2001
WWF ROYAL RUMBLE
Sunday, January 21st, 2001
Live from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Kurt Angle (10/22/2000)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit (12/10/2000)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (12/21/2000)
● WWF European Champion: William Regal (12/04/2000)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Raven (12/25/2000)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ The Royal Rumble comes on the air with a nice intro video hyping the importance of the Rumble to everyone, how it could be their one chance at a world title shot. Jim Ross then welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
- WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Edge & Christian © vs. The Dudley Boyz
The Dudleys haven’t held the tag titles since Wrestlemania and look to finally regain the gold tonight. But they’ve been taking some major beatings from E&C over the past week and are showing it as they hit the ring. The Dudleys go right to work on E&C and whip both of them but E&C bail out to the floor and start walking out on the match. The Dudleys cut off their escape in the aisle and Bubba hammers Christian on the floor while D’Von throws Edge in the ring. D’Von goes for a whip, Edge reverses but D’Von htis a neckbreaker for a two count. Christian tags in but runs into a hiptoss and D’Von whips him and hits a spinning elbow. Bubba tags in and the Dudleys whip Christian into a double shoulderblock then Bubba follows up with an elbowdrop for a two count. Bubba pounds on Christain in a corner then whips him and drops him on the mat. Bubba whips Christian into into a corner but Christian lifts himself up and hits a headscissors. Bubba decks Edge on the apron and hits Christian with a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Christian tags in Edge but D’Von also tags in and hits a powerslam for a two count. D’Von goes for a whip but Edge reveses and Christian nails him from behind and D’Von goes right down. Edge stomps D’Von in the head repeatedly and hits a back suplex. Christian tags in and whips D’Von then hits a Russian legswep and rams him into the mat repeatedly. Christian draws Bubba in to distract the referee while Edge chokes D’Von on the ropes and Edge comes in without at tag. D’Von tries to fight back but Edge clubs him in the back then hits a neckbreaker but Bubba breaks up the pin.
Christian comes in without a tag and mashes D’Von’s head into the mat before tagging Edge back in. Edge snapmares D’Von to the mat and applies a chinlock and D’Von fights out of it but Edge hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Edge hits a sledge to D’Von’s head before tagging Christian back in and Christian chokes him then draws Bubba to distract the referee while Edge chokes D’Von with his boot. Edge tags in and sets D’Von up for a spike piledrivier while Christian climbs to the top rope but D’Von counters and catapults Edge into Christian, causing him to staddle to turnbuckles. D’Von then rolls Edge up for a two count and both men end up clotheslining each other. D’Von crawls toward his corner makes the tag to Bubba but the referee was distracted by Christian and refuses to allow Bubba in the ring. While Bubba argues with the referee Christian slides a pair of chairs in the ring and E&C ready for a ConChairto on D’Von but D’Von ducks it. D’Von clotheslines both men then crawls over to his corner again and this time makes the hot tag to Bubba. Bubba clotheslines Edge and whips Christian into a backdrop then drops Edge on the ropes and hits the Bubbabomb on Christian. Bubba slams Edge and sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von out for a table and D’Von heads out but Christian nails him from behind. Meanwhile Edge brings one of the tag belts in the ring but misses a swing at Bubba and Bubba rolls him up but only gets two. Christian comes in and goes for the Unprettier but D’von breaks it up. D’Von whips Christian and the Dudleys goes for a 3D but Edge spears Bubba to prevent it while Christian DDT’s D’von. Edge climbs to the top rope while Christian sets Bubba up as they mock the “Wassup” headbutt. Howeber Bubba counters into a rollup while D’Von shvoes Edge off to top causing him to headbutt Christian below the belt. The Dudleys nail Edge with the 3D and D’Von covers for the victory! (9:59) The Dudleys finally win their second WWF tag titles. The match followed the tag forumla pretty much but was still very good and it got the crowd going. Plus it’s nice to see the Dudleys get a long overdue reign, although it was mainly done to keep E&C from being too dominant. ***½
~ Clips are shown of Drew Carey’s arrival earlier on Heat as JR plugs his Improv All-Stars pay-per-view on Saturday.
~ Next we get clips of Michael Cole asking Vince McMahon about the status of Triple H’s title shot on Heat after he provoked Steve Austin on Smackdown. Vince said Triple H’s provication was caused by Kurt Angle so he will still receive his title match.
~ Backstage Triple H is asking Stephanie not to let her issues with Trish Stratish ruin his chance to win the title but Stephanie says that’s why she’s going to be in his corner, to take care of Trish if she gets involved. Drew Carey then comes in and shakes the Helmsleys’ hands before mentioning how he ran into Kamala earlier. Drew next asks where he can find Vince McMahon hoping to get some advice from promoting his pay-per-view. Stephanie instead tells Drew of a big fan of his and takes him to meet Trish while Triple H just rolls his eyes.
~ Elsewhere we find the Acolytes in their office talking about the Rumble then decide to show each other the numbers they drew and Bradshaw chuckles while Faarooq isn’t happy. Crash suddenly barges in and threatens to throw both of them out of the Rumble if they get in his way then takes off while the Acolytes are left speechless.
~ A video package is shown highlighting the Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho feud.
- WWF INTERCONTIENTAL TITLE: Chris Benoit © vs. Chris Jericho – Ladder Match
Jericho is coming in with a dinged shoulder about Benoit and Perry Saturn attacked it with a ladder on Smackdown. Both men waste no time exchanging shots to start with Jericho getting the advantage then whipping Benoit into an elbow and follows up with a clothesline. Jericho chops Benoit in a corner and stomps him down then goes for a whip, Benoit reveses Jericho into the opposite corner but eats a boot. Benoit tries to goes for the Crossface already when Jericho escapes it and goes for the Walls of Jericho but Benoit fights him off and throws him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Benoit follows up with a shoulderbreaker then goes for another but Jericho floats over him and clubs him in the back repeatedly. Jericho goes for a whip, Benoit reverses but Jericho hits a forearm. Benoit rolls out to the apron when Jericho goes for the springboard dropkick but Benoit ducks it and Jericho flies out to the floor. Benoit goes out and tries to regroup on the floor when Jericho nails him from behind but Benoit whips him into the ringpost. Benoit grabs a ladder and sets it on the apron when Jericho goes for a baseball slide but Benoit avoids it and throws him into the steps. Benoit slides the ladder in the ring and starts climbing up but Jericho is back in and pulls Benoit off with an electric chair. Jericho whips Benoit into a corner then grabs the ladder and rams it into Benoit’s head. Jericho sets the ladder between ropes in a corner then goes for a whip but Benoit reverses him right into the ladder and Jericho falls to the floor. Benoit dives through the ropes but Jericho grabs a chair and whacks Benoit in mid-air!!
Jericho suplexes Benoit onto the barricade then rides the ladder from the apron but Benoit dodges it and Jericho bounces off the barrier. Benoit grabs the ladder and rams Jericho in the face then whacks him in the back with the chair. Benoit throws Jericho back in ring and whips him into a forearm. Benoit brings the ladder in and props it in a corner then scoops Jericho up and lawn-darts him into the ladder. Benoit scoops Jericho up again but this time Jericho slips out and shoves Benoit into the ladder then hits a dropkick. Jericho crotches Benoit into the ladder then goes up and hits a Russian legsweep driving Benoit and the ladder into the mat! Jericho grabs the ladder again but Benoit dropkicks it into Jericho’s face. Benoit hits a back suplex then sets the ladder on the turbuckles in a corner and goes for a whip but Jericho reverses him face-first into the ladder. Jericho goes out and sets the ladder next to the ropes then see-saws it into Benoit’s face. Jericho climbs to the top rope and knocks the ladder into Benoit with a missile dropkick. Jericho sets the ladder up and climbs up but Benoit stops him and suplexes him over the ropes to the floor! Benoit starts climbing up the ladder as Jericho gets back in and stops him but Benoit kicks him away. Jericho then climbs the ladder on the other side and puts Benoit in a Walls of Jericho across the top of the ladder!
Jericho shoves Benoit off the ladder and reaches for the belt but Benoit kicks the ladder over. Jericho grabs the ladder and rams it into Benoit then sets is back up underneath the title belt and climbs up again. Benoit grabs his leg and Jericho knocks him away then leaps off the ladder but Benoit catches him right into the Crossface! Jericho starts tapping out like crazy but that doesn’t mean anything in ladder matches. Benoit eventually releases the hold before throwing Jericho into the ringpost a second time. Benoit goes for it again but Jericho counters and flapjacks Benoit onto the ladder. Jericho rams Benoit with the ladder in a corner then sets it up. The two start fighting on top of the ladder when Jericho sets Benoit up for a superplex off the ladder but Benoit fights Jericho off to the mat. Benoit climbs to the top of the ladder and goes for the diving headbutt but misses! Jericho then sets the ladder on top of Benoit, pinning him to the mat. Jericho climbs up and nearly reaches the belt but Benoit tips the ladder over and Jericho falls onto the ropes. Benoit climbs up the ladder but Jericho is in with a chair in hand and whacks Benoit in the back with it. Jericho tips the ladder over and Benoit falls onto the ropes and flips out to the floor. Benoit tries to recover on the floor as Jericho climbs up the ladder. However Benoit can’t make it back in time as Jericho pulls down the belt for the win! (18:44) Jericho finally gets a pay-per-view victory over Benoit for his fourth IC title. Excellent show-stealing match from the Chrises as always with plenty of great wall-to-wall action and insane spots. ****½
~ Backstage Drew Carey is conversing with Trish Stratus who claims to be involved with someone when Vince McMahon comes into the room and seems surprised to find Drew talking to Trish. Drew shakes Vince’s hand and brings up his pay-per-view then asks for adivce on how to promote it. Vince suggests that since Drew does improv, why not participate in the Royal Rumble match. Drew seems hesitant but Vince claims he would impress the WWF fans. Vince also mentions how he won the Rumble once before then assures Drew he won’t get hurt and after some convincing by Trish, Drew accepts! Vince wishes Drew luck saying he will be a “real big hit” then leaves with Trish.
~ Elsewhere Billy Gunn is talking to Chyna trying to convice her to listen to her doctors and not compete tonight. Chyna says Ivory has given her no choice and that she feels good after what she did on Smackdown. Chyna tells Billy not to concern himself with her and to worry about winning the Rumble.
~ Still elsewhere Michael Cole interviews Chris Jericho on his Intercontinental Title win. Jericho puts Benoit over as a tough opponent but in front of the world he proved him wrong.
- WWF WOMEN’S TITLE: Ivory © (w/Steven Richards) vs. Chyna
This is Chyna’s chance for revenge after Ivory helped put her on the shelf last month with the spike piledriver. Chyna starts off with a pair of clotheslines then throws Ivory by the hair. Chyna whips Ivory into a corner then sets her on the top rope and snapmares her to the mat. Chyna stomps Ivory down in a corner then sets her on the top rope and pops her off to the floor. Ivory tries to flee into the crowd but Chyna chases her down and press slams her over the barrier back to ringside. Chyna throws Ivory back in the ring and follows up with a powerslam when Richards hops onto the apron but Chyna slings him in the ring and clotheslines him. Chyna tosses Richards back out then turns and nails Ivory with the handspring elbow … but crumbles to the mat holding her head, as if she reinjured her neck. Ivory crawls over and drapes a hand over Chyna to get the pin to retain. (3:32) The match was nothing but what happens next is even worse. DUD
Richards and Ivory take off with the belt while Chyna is still down in the ring so Lawler gets off the headset to check on Chyna while JR talks in his “serious” voice. Billy Gunn is also out as the EMTs load Chyna onto a stretcher and wheel her out of the arena. They’re actually treating this angle like a real injury which left a real bad taste in everyone’s mouths, especially when you consider what happened to guys like Owen Hart and Darren Drozdov.
~ Backstage Stephanie is talking to the makeup lady when she finds Trish Stratus in the chair and warns her not to get involved in Triple H’s match or else she’ll have no problem taking her out. Trish says she would get involved in Stephanie’s affairs because she has her own affairs to worry about.
~ Elsewhere Drew Carey is sitting in the lockerroom when Harvey Whippleman hands him some wrestling gear. Kane soon comes in and Drew tries to shoot the breeze with him but Kare just glares at him and walks off.
~ Still elsewhere Tiger Ali-Singh and Lo Down are arguing on who gets to represent them in the Rumble after they beat Kaientai earlier in the evening on Heat to enter one of their group. D’Lo Brown and Chaz both plead their case to Tiger who says his deicison will be the best for their group. However Vince McMahon walks by and tells Tiger that there’s been a change of plans and that none of them will be in the Rumble because they’ve been replaced by Drew Carey. Tiger is dumbfounded, wondering who Drew “Curry” is. They sure are taking up a lot of time with the backstage segments.
~ We then cut to WWF New York and get comments from the fans on who will win the WWF Championship match. We also find Triple H getting himslef ready for the match while Kurt Angle heads to the ring. Highlights are then shown of the Triple H/Angle feud also involving Stepahnie and Trish Stratus.
- WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Kurt Angle © (w/Trish Stratus) vs. Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon)
So here we are, folks, a rare heel vs. heel title match on pay-per-view. And this is the first time Trish has actually appeared in Angle’s corner. Both men lockup to start when Triple H gets the advantage with an arm wringer, Angle counters into a Fireman’s carry and applies an armbar but Triple H forces him into a corner. Triple H applies a headlock, Angle shoves him into the ropes but eats a shoulderblock. Triple H comes off the ropes but runs into a hiptoss and Angle clotheslines him over the ropes. Triple H climbs back in and gets in some shots then goes for a whip but Angle reverses him into a corner and hits a backdrop. Angle applies an armwringer and slams Triple H by the arm before going into an armbar. Triple H goes for a suplex but Angle flips out of it and hits a snap suplex. Angle follows up with a second suplex and a third for a two count. Triple H bails out to the floor to regroup as the crowd doesn’t know who the hceer for. Angle goes out to continue his offense and goes for a whip but Triple H reverses him into the barricade then drops him onto it. Triple H rams Angle into the ringsteps before throwing him back in the ring but Angle greets him with several right hands. Triple H comes back with a drop toehold then wrenches Angle’s leg with a grapevine and attacks the knee. Triple H hits a Dragon legwhip then goes for another legwhip but Angle counters with an enzuigiri for a two count. Triple H kicks away at Angle’s bad knee then pops him with a right hand. Triple H goes for a whip but Angle reverses and slings Triple H over the ropes. Triple H grabs Angle by the legs but Angle pulls him into the ringpost instead then goes out and whips him into the steps. Angle rolls Triple H back in the ring and charges at him in a corner but Triple H sidesteps him then goes out and wraps Angle’s leg around the post twice. Stephanie distracts referee Earl Hebner while Triple H grabs a chair and whacks Angle in the knee. Triple H then hits a kneebreaker onto the ringsteps before throwing Angle back in the ring then chopblocks the bad knee twice. Triple H elbowdrops the knee then applies a modified Indian deathlock and Angle manages to fight out of it. Angle whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H hits the facebuster for a two count. Triple H slams Angle’s knee into the mat and chops him in a corner then works over the knee and slaps on the Figure Four.
Angle tries to hold on as Triple H tries using the ropes for leverage but Trish tries to get Angle out of the hold. This prompts Stephanie to pull Trish out of the ring and the two ladies start going at it. Stephanie and Trish fight all over the Spanish announce table as Vince McMahon comes out and tries to step in-between them. And notice how we’re paying no attention to the guys in the ring. The two ladies continue bralwing so finally Vince pulls Trish off Stephanie and carries her over his shoulder up the aisle. Stephanie manages to pull Trish off Vince and tries to choke her on the ground and Vince continues to play peacemaker as all three make their way to the back.
Meanwhile we get a shot of Triple H watching this, reminding us there’s a match going on. Triple H goes for another Figure Four but Angle counters with a roll-up for a two count. Triple H elbowdrops Angle’s knee and goes for the Figure Four but Angle kicks him into the turnbuckles. Both men exchange shots with Angle getting the advantage until Triple H hits a knee to the chest. Triple H comes off the roeps but walks right into a DDT for a near fall. Angle hammers Triple H in a corner then hits an Atomic Drop and a bridge suplex for a two count. Angle follows up with a Russian legsweep then climbs up the ropes but Triple H low blows him and hits a Razor’s Edge for two. Triple H goes for a Pedigree but Angle counters and tries to catapult Triple H into the corner when Triple H kicks Angle away but Angle falls forward and headbutts Triple H below the belt. Angle climbs to the top rope again and connects with a moonsault but only gets a two count. Triple H tosses Angle over the ropes then goes out to the apron and goes for an axehandle but misses Angle and takes out Hebner. Angle hammers Triple H and goes for a whip but Triple H sends him into the post. Triple H throws Angle back in the ring then climbs to the top rope but Angle armdrags him to the mat. Angle covers Triple H but Hebner is still recovering on the floor and can’t count. Angle goes out to help Hebner as Triple H moves in but Angle pulls Triple H out to the floor. Angle gets in some shots but Triple H throws him into Hebner, knocking him into the steps. Triple H throws Angle in the ring then brings in the WWF Championship belt as well and takes a swing but runs into a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle grabs the belt but Triple H cuts him off and hits the Pedigree. Triple H covers Angle but can’t get a three Hebner is still out on the floor so he goes out to revive him when Steve Austin runs out and jumps Triple H. Austin throws Triple H back in the ring and clocks him with the WWF title belt then lays him out with the Stunner. Austin tosses Hebner back in the ring while Angle covers Triple H and grabs the pin to retain. (24:15) Good effort from both guys but it took a while to really get going and a big chunk of the match was taken by the ladies fighting. Plus it would have been nice to see Angle get a clean pinfall for once over a big name. Also notice how Triple H did a job for Angle (albeit a dirty pin), yet Austin couldn’t do the same for Angle in their match on Raw. Just though I’d point it out. ***½
~ Backstage we find Rikish and The Undertaker both warming up for the Rumble.
~ Elsewhere Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock but Rock cuts Kevin off and starts off with the usual then calls the Rumble one big pot of jumbalaya because it contains all shapes and sizes. Rock mentions if Kane and The Undertaker joining forces will spell trouble for all the other men int he Rumble. Rock that says the Rumble could come down to him vs. Bull Buchanan, Perry Staurn and even Steve Austin himself. Rock promises to win the Rumble and go onto Wrestlemania if you smell and so on.
~ A video package is shown hyping the Royal Rumble match which, oddly enough, seems to focus mainly on Rikishi, Kane, Undertaker, Rock, and Steve Austin.
- The Royal Rumble Match
Winner gets a title shot at Wrestlemania X7 and they’re doing two-minute intervals this year. Jeff Hardy is up first at #1 as JR mentions Shawn Michaels winning the 1995 Rumble after being the first man in. Bull Buchanan is out at #2 and Jeff attacks him as he comes in but Buchanan shoves him down. Buchanan whips Jeff into a corner when Jeff lifts himself up. Jeff attempts the legscissors when Buchanan tosses him over the ropes but Jeff lands on his feet on the apron and shoulderblocks Buchanan through the ropes. Jeff climbs to the top rope and hops over Buchanan before hitting a legscissors. Jeff charges at Buchanan but eats a boot and Buchanan comes out with a clothesline. Buchanan presses Jeff up and goes to toss him over the ropes but Jeff slips out. Buchanan works Jeff over but Jeff escapes and gets in some shots then tries to get Buchanan over the ropes but Buchanan rakes the face. Buchanan tries to toss Jeff out but Jeff holds onto the ropes and fights out of it. Jeff goes for a whip but Buchanan reverses him hard into a corner as Matt Hardy comes out at #3. Matt saves Jeff from going over and goes to whip Buchanan who reverses him into a corner. Buchanan charges but Matt sidesteps it then drops to the mat and Jeff connects with the Poetry in Motion. Both Hardys then clothesline Buchanan over the ropes for the first elimination. Matt and Jeff are left by themselves, so they touch hands before going at it, just like Demolition in the ’89 Rumble. Jeff grabs a waistlock but Matt backs him into a corner and elbows out. Matt tries to dump Jeff over the ropes but Jeff holds on and rakes Matt’s face. Jeff wails away on Matt when Matt hits a back suplex but Jeff comes back with a jawbreaker. Jeff tries to dump Matt over the ropes but Matt slides back in then the Hardys stop fighting and turn their attention to the stage as Faarooq comes out at #4. The Hardys double-team Faarooq and whip him but Faarooq clotheslinies both men. Faarooq hammers Matt in a corner and tries to eliminate him but Matt fights him off. Matt drops to the mat and Jeff goes for the Poetry in Motion but botches it and hits an elbow. Faarooq manages to dump Jeff over the ropes but Jeff lands on his feet on the apron. Faarooq turns toward Matt and sets him up for the Dominator but Jeff pulls Matt off to safety. Matt hits the Twist of Fate on Faarooq and Jeff follows up with the Swanton Bomb off the top then the Hardys toss Faarooq over the ropes for the next elimination. Matt immediately tries to throw Jeff over but Jeff rolls back in and the Hardys are back to fighting. Matt whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and hits the Whisper in the Wind.
Both Hardys are down as the clock counts down and Drew Carey comes out at #5. Drew takes his time getting to the ring, slapping hands with the fans while the Hardys are still fighting with Matt hitting the guillotine legdrop from the middle rope. Matt whips Jeff but Jeff slides under Matt and dropkicks him from behind then knocks him over the ropes. Matt lands on the apron and suplxes Jeff over the ropes onto the apron as Drew finally climbs in the ring. Matt goes for a suplex off the ropes but Jeff counters and they both end up falling to the floor, eliminating each other. This leaves Drew standing alone in the ring waiting for the next man and #6 turns out to be Kane. Kane slowly climbs in the ring as Drew starts begging the Hardys to come back and help him. After Kane sets off his pyro, Drew offers a hand then tries offering a bribe but Kane slaps the money away and grabs Drew by the neck. Kane goes for a chokeslam but Raven runs in at #7 and saves Drew with a kendo stick to Kane’s back. Drew decides that’s enough so he climbs over the top rope and hops down to the floor, eliminating himself. Drew gives Raven some encouragement on his way out but Raven is too busy getting pummeled by Kane to notice. Kane nearly uppercuts Raven over the rope then throws him across the ring. Kane whips Raven into a corner but eats a boot then Raven comes out but runs into a sidewalk slam. Raven rolls out to the floor (making sure to go under the ropes) then pulls out a fire extinguisher and sprays Kane with CO2. Raven tosses other weapons in the ring when Al Snow suddenly comes out and attacks Raven for being put on the shelf last December. Raven rolls back in the ring as Snow tries to go after him but the referees hold him back. Raven clocks Kane with a road sign and a trash can lid as the clock ticks down. Once the buzzer sounds Snow is allowed in the ring so I guess he’s #8. Snow waffles Raven and Kane with a trash can lid and beats them down in opposite corners. Snow goes out through the ropes and brings in more plunder, including his bowling ball which he uses on Kane then rolls into Raven’s crotch. Kane nails Snow with a boot and works him over in a corner but Raven hits Kane with a can. Raven and Snow double-team Kane with trash can shots but Kane won’t go down. Snow whips Kane into a double drop toehold into the trash can then turns against Raven as Perry Saturn is out at #9. Kane is up and takes out Snow and Raven when Saturn trips him from the floor and rams his leg into the apron. Saturn slings himself over the top rope into a hilo on Kane and continues working over Kane’s leg then applies a leg vice. Kane kicks Saturn away when Raven jumps on Kane’s back but Kane flings Raven off. Saturn dropkicks Kane in the leg but Kane press slams Saturn in return. Snow jumps on Kane’s back but gets flung off as well so Snow, Raven and Saturn all gang up on Kane and finally manage to bring him down. Snow, Raven and Saturn continue their triple-team as Steve Blackman comes out at #10.
Blackman grabs his sticks and works Raven over with them when Snow swings a lid at him but Blackman blocks it and takes Snow down with the sticks as well. Blackman plants Saturn with a stick-assisted suplex but Kane pops him with a right hand. Blackman and Saturn team up against Kane while Raven nails Snow with the lid. Raven tries to eliminate Snow but can’t get him over the rope and Snow fights back. Snow whips Raven into a spinkick then grabs a stick and works Raven over with it. Blackman hits Snow and Raven with a lid before Kane chokes him in a corner as Grandmaster Sexay enters at #11. Sexay whacks Snow, Raven and Blackman with the lid while Blackman tries to fight back against Kane but Kane pops him with an uppercut. Sexay tries to toss Snow over ther ropes when Saturn nails Sexay from behind. Raven grabs the lid and blasts Sexay and Saturn then jumps onto Kane’s back yet again but slips off. Sexay works over Blackman with a pair of nunchucks but Kane brings a trash can in the ring and whacks Sexay, sending him over the ropes and out of this match. Kane then waffles everyone else in the ring with the can and throws Blackman over the rope. Blackman tries to skin the cat but Kane nails him with a lid, causing him to fall to the floor. Kane tosses Snow over the ropes then boots Raven over before nailing Saturn with a stick and tosses him over the ropes as well. Kane is left alone in the ring and clears out the plunder as the #12 entrant comes out and its… The Honky Tonk Man?! Yes, Honky himself is making is way to the ring with his guitar. Honky grabs a mic and asks Kane to stay back for a second before giving the crowd a mini-concert. Honky begins signing his theme when Kane grabs his guitar and smashes it over his head then tosses him over the ropes and that’s the end of that. Kane is again left alone in the ring as The Rock comes out at #13. Rock goes right to work on Kane then goes for a whip, Kane reverses but Rock connects with a forearm. Rock tries to throw Kane over the ropes but Kane stops himself and clotheslines Rock. Kane works Rock over then whips him and hits a clothesline. Rock starts to fight back and comes off the ropes but runs into a boot. The Goodfather comes out at #14 but Rock meets him with a series of rights then knocks him over the ropes with the Smackdown and Goodfather is gone just like that. Rock turns around into a right hand from Kane and Kane follows up with a suplex. Kane chokes Rock on the mat and whips him but Rock ducks a clothesline and fights back. Rock goes for a whip but Kane reverses and hits a sidewalk slam. Tazz charges in the ring at #15 but runs into the hands of Kane who sets him on the top rope and knocks him off to the floor, ending his run.
Kane goes back to Rock and chokes him on the middle rope then tries to get him over the ropes. Rock fights out of it and tries to eliminate Kane but Kane grabs the face to counter it. Kane whips Rock into a corner and charges but Rock sidesteps him. Rock goes for his own whip and Kane stops himself but Rock hits a Samoan Drop and both men are down as Bradshaw comes in at #16. Bradshaw goes right after Kane and he and Rock both whip Kane into a corner. Rock clotheslines Kane but Bradshaw nails Rock with the Clothesline from Hades. Bradshaw goes to whip Rock but Rock reverses and hits a spinebuster but Kane clotheslines him. Kane works over both his opponents as the clock brings Albert out at #17. Albert beats Rock down in a corner when Kane and Bradshaw team up against him and whip him into a double-clothesline. Kane nails Bradshaw with his own clothesline then Albert boots Bradshaw and tries to dump him over the ropes but Bradshaw lands on the apron and rolls back in. Kane tries to elimiante Rock but Rock rakes Kane’s face to stop him. Albert now tries to eliminate Rock but Bradshaw nails Albert from behind then clotheslines him and hits a boot. Hardcore Holly is out at #18 and goes after Bradshaw but Kane pops him with a right hand. Albert hits Bradshaw with the chokebomb while Kane and Rock double-team Hardcore. Albert tries to get Kane over the ropes but fails while Bradshaw and Hardcore try to eliminate Rock. Rock hangs on the bottom rope while lying on the apron while Kane whips Albert into a corner and charges but eats a boot and Albert comes out with a bicycle kick. Albert tries to eliminate Hardcore while Bradshaw whips Rock into a corner. Rock clotheslines Bradshaw then tosses Kane over the ropes but Kane holds on as Rock tries to stomp him off the apron. K-Kwik is out at #19 and we’re now paired off with Rock vs. Kane, Hardcore vs. Bradshaw and Albert vs. K-Kwik. Not exactly a star-studded lineup. Hardcore tries to eliminate Bradshaw over when Kane tries to toss him but Hardcore counters with a low blow while Bradshaw is able to roll back in the ring. Rock tries to toss K-Kwik over but K-Kwik fights out of it only for Bradshaw to powerslam him whioe Kane powerslams Hardcore. Val Venis charges in at #20 and Kane plants him with a spinebuster while Hardcore stomps Rock down. I’d have to say the Rumble has really slowed down with all this deadwood.
Albert and Kane try to eliminate Val but can’t get him over so Kane hammers Val while ALbert works over Hardcore. Rock whips K-Kwik into a powerslam but Val beats him down in a corner. William Regal is out at #21 and hammers K-Kwik with a series of European uppercuts followed by the knees to the face. Regal suplexes K-Kwik then works over Bradshaw in a corner while Rock hits Val with a spinebuster. Val goes to eliminate Rock but Bradshaw makes the save and whips Val into a short-arm clothesline. Hardcore tries to eliminate Rock whil Bradshaw tries to dump Val. Test comes out at #22 and goes right after Regal, tossing him over the ropes to eliminate him. Test then goes after his former partner Albert and stomps him down in a corner. K-Kwik fails to eliminate Val while Hardcore gets Rock over the ropes but Rock lands on the apron and snaps Hardcore’s neck on the ropes. Test nails Val with a big boot and beats down Kane but Kane knock Test and Albert’s heads together while Hardcore nails Val from behind. Hardcore unsuccessfully tries to get Val over the ropes as the clock brings out #23…The Big Show!! Big Show is back, making his return since being thrown off the stage last August! Show headbutts Test and clotheslines him over the ropes to eliminate him. K-Kwik charges but Show grabs him and press slams him over the ropes as well. Show chokeslams Albert and Bradshaw tries to whip him but Show chokeslams him as well. Show then proceeds to chokeslam Val, Hardcore and Kane in succession. Show grabs Rock but Rock kicks Show below the belt and hammers him into the ropes and hits the Smackdown. Show is teetering and Rock manages to clothesline him over the ropes to eliminate him. Crash Holly is out at #24 but Show clears off the announce table then pulls Rock out to the floor (under the ropes) and chokeslams him through the table! Show finally leaves the arena while Rock is left laying in the table wreckage. Meanwhile in the ring everyone gangs up on Kane and tries to eliminate him but The Undertaker is out at #25 and comes to Kane’s aid.
The two brothers turn the tide against everyone else as Taker then throws Bradshaw over the ropes while Kane tosses out Crash. Taker turns around and tosses Hardcore out while Kane clotheslines Albert over the ropes. Taker then grabs Val by the tie and throws him over the ropes, clearing out the ring. Taker and Kane then have a staredown with each other as they await the next entrant. Scotty 2 Hotty is next at #26 but hesitant to go in the ring as Taker and Kane stand ready for him. Scotty eventually does goes in but Taker and Kane easily knock him around. Taker whips Scotty into a boot and Kane slams him to the mat then both guys double-chokeslam on Scotty before tossing him out of the match. Taker and Kane then await their next target while Rock tries to recover on the floor with Lawler saying Rock is still eligibe to get back in the ring. Stone Cold Steve Austin is next at #27 but Triple H attacks him from behind and the two start brawling in the aisle. Meanwhile Rock makes it back in the ring and tees off on Kane but Taker beats him down. Triple H is still working Austin over near the stage and rams him into an anvil case, busting him open. Billy Gunn is out at #28 takes it to both Taker and Kane while the referees finally pull Triple H off Austin, who’s left a bloody mess. Back in the ring Kane clotheslines Billy in a corner. Taker beats down Rock when Rock fights back and whips Taker but Taker counters with a DDT. The #29 guy comes out and it’s…Meng, making a surprise return to the WWF as Haku. And this actually came just a week after Meng won WCW’s Hardcore Title.
Meng Haku works Taker over a corner and caps off with a headbutt then chops Kane and headbutts him. Kane and Taker double-team Haku who keeps fighting back with chops. Billy attempts to push Kane over the top rope while Haku hammers Taker in a corner. Rock starts going after Billy as Rikishi comes out as the last man.
So we’re left with Austin, Rock, Taker, Kane, Billy, Haku and Rikishi. As Rikishi comes out he sees the bloodied Austin trying to reach the ring and decides to take advantage. However Austin gets a second wind and tees off on Rikishi before throwing him in the ring. Austin stomps Billy down in a corner then clotheslines Haku over the ropes to eliminate him. Austin then goes after Kane while Taker pummels Rikishi in a corner and chokeslams him. Rock tees off on Taker and goes for a whip but lowers the head. Taker kicks the face and throws Rock over the rope but Rock hangs on and rolls back in. Taker tries to headbutt Rikishi but ends up hurting hismelf as Rikishi hits his own headbutt. Rikishi then superkicks Taker over the ropes to eliminate him. Rock goes to whip Rikishi but Rikishi reverses him into a corner and hits the butt splash. Rikishi drops Rock with a right hand then drags him near a corner and climbs up for a Banzai Drop but Rock recovers and low blows Rikishi before knocking him over the ropes and out. Once again the #30 entry fails to get it done.
The final four are Austin, Rock, Kane and Billy Gunn. Yes, one of these guys does not belong. Billy wails on Austin when Austin goes for the Stunner but Billy shoves him into the ropes and hits the Rocker Dropper. Billy goes to toss Austin over the ropes but Austin reverses and throws Billy out instead. It’s not like Billy had any realistic chance anyway. Rock drills Kane with a DDT then he and Austin lock eyes and have a staredown as the crowd is getting excited at seeing these two go at it. The two start exchanging punches and Austin gets the advantage. Rock comes back and goes for a Rock Bottom but Austin fights out of it and hits the Stunner. Kane is up but Austin unloads on him and whips him into the Thesz Press. Austin hammers Kane with the rights then grabs the legs and stomps Kane in the chest. Rock pops Austin, Austin rakes the face and charges at him but runs into a Rock Bottom! Kane tries to whip Rock but Rock reverses and throws Kane through the ropes (but not over). Rock and Austin exchange punches and Austin gets the advantage and tries to eliminate Rock but Rock rakes the face. Rock tries to throw Austin over the ropes but Austin holds on when Kane comes up from behind and throws both Austin and Rock over the ropes. Austin lands on the apron while Rock hits the floor and is out of the match. This marked Kane’s 11th Rumble elimination, a record that still stands today.
It’s now down to Austin and Kane one-on-one and Austin lands several shots but runs into a chokeslam. Kane grabs Austin but Austin kicks him below the belt. Kane brings a chair in the ring and takes a swing but Austin cuts him off. Austin goes for a whip, Kane reverses and scoops Austin up for a Tombstone but Austin floats over and hits the Stunner! Austin grabs the chair and hits Kane with it over and over, edging him toward the ropes. Finally Austin clotheslines Kane over the top to the floor for the final elimination! (64:08) Austin wins his third Royal Rumble and punches his ticket to Wrestlemania. Good, entertaining Rumble that addressed a number of angles, though it did have quite a few slow spots. Plus it’s a shame Kane couldn’t have won since he looked so dominant in there but the WWF felt Austin was their ‘Mania moneyman so there you go. ****
Conclusion: Very good pay-per-view that began the WWF’s brief resurgence from its run of mediocrity to what would be its highest point. Most of the matches were well done with the Women’s title debacle as the only real sore spot which can easily be skipped and the Rumble was also pulled off very well. Plus Drew Carey’s participant was harmless for the most part, as it should be. There is still some iffy booking to be found, especially with Kurt Angle not only failing to get a quality win but also taking a backseat to a catfight. Still these are minor quibbles as the workrate was high and the crowd was hot throughout the show. Thumbs up for an awesome supercard that began the road to Wrestlemania.