Last week, I stated that the ladder match between Benoit and Jericho for the Intercontinental Title would be a candidate for “match of the year.” I didn’t realize how right I was. I’ll get to that match later.
The Royal Rumble was a very entertaining pay-per-view. The Dudley Boyz finally regained the Tag Titles in a very well-played match that did not involve anyone going through a table or being hit by chairs. It’s about time that the Dudleys gear up for an extended title reign, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned heel in a few months to re-energize their careers.
I’m going to skip the second match because I want to end this PPV review on a high note, so on to Chyna vs. Ivory.
I hate to admit it, but I lost a lot of respect for WWF and Chyna after this match. Chyna dominated Ivory the entire time, throwing her around like a rag doll. That was enjoyable. But when Chyna “re-injured” her neck while doing her somersault move, I felt sick to my stomach.
I really don’t like injury angles. Chyna is not really hurt, it’s just part of the story. But when I see her selling this “career-threatening” injury in all its glory, it literally makes me ill. Last year, WWF wrestler Droz suffered the same injury that Chyna is faking. There is little to no hope of Droz ever walking again let alone wrestling. I wonder what he feels about Chyna’s “injury.”
The World Title was up for grabs between HHH and Kurt Angle. Surprisingly, Angle kept the belt, but, coming as no surprise, Stone Cold Steve Austin interfered to keep HHH from getting it. This is an ending that should not be in a PPV. If you’re going to screw someone out of the title in such a heated match, do it on Monday night. I hate the fact that they used such a good match between Angle and HHH just to fuel the rivalry between Austin and HHH. That was disappointment number two.
Thankfully, the main event was the Royal Rumble, a thirty-man battle royale with the last man standing getting a shot at the WWF Title at Wrestlemania. Everyone and his mother knew who was going to win…
The WWF promised some surprises for this Rumble and they delivered. Disappointment number three: Drew Carey, one of my favorite comedians, actually participated in the Rumble. He eliminated himself after almost receiving a choke slam from Kane. Didn’t the WWF learn anything from WCW? Do not put TV stars in the ring!
Disappointment number four: The Honky Tonk Man was also in the Rumble. Thankfully, his participation was- short-lived as he ate a guitar from Kane. Again, didn’t WWF learn anything from WCW? Do not put geriatric wrestlers in main events!
Disappointment number five: Drew Carey stayed in the Rumble longer than Tazz. Come on, Tazz proved to the world that he was a great performer in ECW. Why does WWF continue to screw him?
Other highlights of the Rumble included the return of the Big Show and Haku (a.k.a. Meng from WCW). Of course, Austin won — big surprise.
Now for the coup de grace. Benoit and Jericho. Ladder Match. Intercontinental Title. Hell yeah!
Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Hardyz, the Dudleys, and Edge & Christian. Those names are synonymous with ladder matches. Now you can add Benoit and Jericho to the list. These guys pulled off their best match of their careers in my opinion. Hardy-like acrobatics, Shawn Michaels-like aggressiveness and psychology and Dudley-like intensity made this match the best match of the night and just maybe the best match of the year. And to top it off, Jericho walked away with the belt.
I can just see a year or so from now when these two battle for the World Title. We can only hope.
All in all, Royal Rumble was entertaining, but somewhat of a disappointment. Even the incredible ladder match wasn’t enough to save this one. The screw-job ending to the World Title match, the blah battle royale, and the Chyna “injury” was a huge let-down. It wasn’t the best, but then again, it could have been worse.
Servo Sez: Since I’ve talked so much about the match of the year, next week’s article will be just that. I will pick the 5 greatest matches and 5 greatest wrestlers of 2000. I will also do a worst section for all the crap we have witnessed in the past year. So if anyone has any opinions, let me know by e-mailing or writing the Carolinian. “INDEED!”