King of the Ring 2002 – The Critic’s Review

Kotr02

King of the Ring 2002 was the last time the event emanated as its own show. This was around the time that Brock Lesnar was making his initial run. I think everyone pretty much saw him winning the tourney.

RVD and Jericho begin the show to decide the finals of the King of the Ring. The crowd took some time to get into this one. Turned out to be a great match. Van Dam beats Jericho with a 5 star frog splash.

Test and Brock meet up. Very cool to see Brock up against someone so big early on. We get a Goldberg chant. Test is pure steroids, as evidenced by his body acne and early death. Brock is on them too, I’m sure, but he’s not so reliant on them. Test botches an Irish whip by just turning around, moron. Test contends in this one. He was getting a decent push around this time. Test sells Heymans slap on the back like a chair shot. Brock wins with the F5. Brock is sweating bad.

We hear from Bubba Ray Dudley in the back from Raw and Lance Storm and Christian from Smackdown. Christian accuses WWE of being prejudice…against Canadians. Close.

Cole and Tazz join us to introduce Jamie Noble vs Hurricane Helms. It was a pretty big feud for the Cruiserweights. Hurricane Helms could work in 2015. That gimmick was just awesome. Of course, I doubt the gimmick would have worked during Katrina. JR and King, still on commentary, clearly shouldn’t be. A “she’s a crack whore” chant breaks out in Pittsburgh. King says he heard Hurricane’s superpower’s came up a bit short” with Nidia. Referring to his dick. Jamie Noble gets the win with a power bomb, after Nidia knocks his foot off the ropes. Lawler mentions it is like they’ve won the lottery, likely the inspiration for them doing just exactly that in storylines later.

Eddie Guerrero does a promo naming every relative he’s had. He’s also so roided, living as long as he did actually surprised me. I guess Eddie was going to wrestle Stone Cold Steve Austin before Austin walked out, based on commentary. Guerrero takes a rear chin lock and stops focusing on the legs of Flair, which King blasts on commentary. Chris Benoit comes down. Benoit puts a real cross face on Flair and tries to kill him. Bubba Dudley hits his bubba Bomb on Guerrero and Flair crawls back in to win it.

A WWE The World moment now. After William Regal and Chris Nowinski complain of slow service, the waitress sticks her finger in the food. Yeah that makes me want to eat there. Can’t imagine why it failed.

Lots of fat references to Molly Holly, including a “she’s a fat ass” chant. So insulting. Molly Holly looks beautiful. She’s facing Trish. JR gets in it too, saying his rear end is the same size as hers. At least Molly wins the Woman’s title but she takes a verbal beating.

Kurt Angle says Hogan became an American Hero because Vince McMahon told him to be one. If Vince had told him to be a zookeeper, he would have been.

Well, Hogan comes out and his music is dubbed over on the WWE Network. We get a generic theme. Hogan was in the first and last King of the Ring. He and Angle have a match that the fans eat up. Angle counters the leg drop into an ankle lock. Hogan taps. I’m glad Vince made him job to everyone even if I was mad at the time. Hogan Sucks.

Backstage segment with Goldust, Booker T and The Rock. Funny material. Lots on the Get the F Out stuff

Lesnar and RVD wrap up the King of the Ring. Brock catches Rob midair and F5s him. It’s a good match and makes Brock look good.

nWo bumps into HHH backstage.

Time for HHH and Undertaker for the title. Taker comes out on the bike, as a fan shows off his creativity:

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The match begins and it’s pretty good. A dumbass fan walks by during the match with a sign totally folded over and illegible. Good match. Rock comes out and chases Heyman off then gets into it with Taker. Undertaker hits a wicked Last Ride on HHH. Taker rolls up HHH and we see Hunters thong. Apple is autocorrecting everything today. Hunter pedigrees the Rock. Everyone gets their music played which is what it’s all about.

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One thought on “King of the Ring 2002 – The Critic’s Review”

  1. Just nine years earlier, there was so much excitement surrounding the debut of a yearly tournament PPV in King of the Ring. The early editions (1993 and 1994, respectively won by Bret “The Hitman” Hart and “The King of Harts” Owen Hart) delivered great shows, but since 1995 (which was won by King Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V), the June offering had been hit or miss (but the 1996 and 1998 shows, won by Steve Austin and Ken Shamrock, were pretty good). The majority of shows were badly booked and had shrunken-down tournaments on the show itself. In the era of monthly PPVs, I don’t understand why they needed to shrink the tournament to squeeze other grudge matches in. Why not go balls out and have the full tournament dominate the show? Those decisions led to lackluster shows and the concept is officially killed off with this show. All year, WWE has been in a state of flux. Just when they determine which direction to go, something happens and they have to veer off and mix things up yet again. Everyone worked hard here tonight and the crowd was surprisingly upbeat, but most of the matches just never really got going. The main event got way too much time and could have been much better as a shorter garbage match. Austin was gone, but Rock was back for the time being. The one man that seemed to have the full booking team behind him was Brock Lesnar. He was the one guy you could look at it and know they had a set plan of development for. Everyone else spent week after week trading wins and losses and floating aimlessly for the most part. We would get a big influx of talent over the next few weeks as the stars of the next generation begin to sprout up, making 2002 very similar to both 1996 and 1999 in terms of the future development of the company. King of the Ring is in the books and what was once a great idea gets put out to pasture with a middling show.

    On a side note, in the Sunday Night Heat match, the Hardy Boyz defeated Raven and Stevie Richards when pinned Richards with the Swanton Bomb after Raven pulled a Strike Force breakup and walked out on Big Stevie Cool.

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