Derek J. Hernandez

WWE Network Match Of The Week: 2001 Royal Rumble

I’ve been a pro wrestling fan for as long as I can remember, so having access to a video library as extensive as the WWE Network’s is like a dream come true. Being able to watch live events and exclusive content on the network is amazing, but reliving favorite moments from my childhood and brushing up on hidden gems in pro wrestling history takes up most of my free time.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I usually spend about 3-5 hours a week watching the WWE Network, with about 90% of that checking out past pay-per-views. Since I’m already spending too much time watching rasslin’, I figured I would jot down a few notes when I watch certain events and share my thoughts on a somewhat regular basis. I might attempt to do more in-depth reviews down the line, but for now these “recaps” will mostly point out a few highlights and interesting observations from the matches I take in. You can almost use these write-ups as some sort of viewing guide that’ll help you decide what to check out on the network.

First up, the 2001 Royal Rumble in New Orleans, LA….

Event: 2001 Royal Rumble

Match: Royal Rumble Match

Location: New Orleans, LA

Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler

Highlights of the “Hardcore Rumble”

  • The Rock cuts a pre-Rumble interview and compares the Royal Rumble to a big pot of Jambalaya.
  • In response to all the “Are Kane and Undertaker together?” questions, the Rock talks about Kane’s big red nipple and explains that he doesn’t care. This was funnier to watch than type.
  • The Royal Rumble video package is decent, but not special. This was during the heart of Rikishi’s “I did it for The Rock” phase and I still can’t stand seeing his dimply ass. The package focuses on Rikishi, Kane, Biker Taker, Rock, and Stone Cold. You can probably see where this is going.
  • The Fink is the ring announcer. Nice.
  • FUNNY SIGN ALERT: Someone actually took the time to make a “D’Lo” sign. Neat.
  • Jeff Hardy is the first entrant and Lawler actually says something funny. While Hardy does  his intro dance, Lawler asks if he’s having a seizure.
  • Right to Censor’s Bull Buchanan enters at number two and is followed by Jeff’s brother Matt. They do their typical Team Extreme stuff and eliminate Buchanan.
  • The Hardys have a cool moment where they fist pound before they look like they are about to throw down a la Demolition at one of the earlier Rumbles.
  • Drew Carey comes in at number five, but before that, The Hardys botch a few moves, take their shirts off and eliminate Farooq.
  • FUNNY SIGN ALERT: The Sign Guy has a “Drew Carey 3:16” sign.
  • I spot Teddy Long as one of the refs on the outside of the ring, playa.
  • Kane comes in while Drew Carey is the only person in the ring (Hardys eliminate each other) and Jim Ross says Kane is a carnivore and Carey is a porkchop. Vintage JR.
  • Carey tries to bribe Kane, but Kane is not having any of it. Carey eliminates himself with a big grin on his face.
  • The Rumble turns into the Hardcore Rumble once Raven comes in with all his toys: kendo stick, garbage can, fire extinguisher, street sign, and more.
  • Al Snow starts knocking people out with a freaking bowling ball.
  • The lovely Terri Runnels comes in and JR asks what is she NOT wearing.
  • By the way, This was the Sign Guy before he wore his red hat, blue shirt get-up. Take that for what it’s worth.
  • We get a Honky Tonk Man appearance, but Kane destroys him with his own guitar and throws him out before Honky can annoy us any further.
  • The Rock comes in at number 13 to a huge pop.
  • FUNNY SIGN ALERT: “Rock, wanna slice of my pie”
  • This was the Rumble where R-Truth was a rookie and called himself K-Kwik.
  • Big Show makes his return to the WWE and destroys everyone. JR says it is like a “man playing with children.” Probably should have used a better choice of words.
  • The Rock eventually takes out Show, but Show takes out his frustration about being eliminated by choke-slamming Rock on the announce table.
  • Limp Bizkit comes on and people lose their god damn minds. It’s Biker Taker.
  • Taker has that “Sara” tattoo on his neck that he will never regret.
  • Scotty 2 Hotty has the pleasure of coming in when only the Brothers of Destruction are in the ring. This goes exactly like how you would expect.
  • Triple H attacks Austin from behind when he tries to enter the ring. This is payback for events earlier in the night.
  • Remember that one time that the WWE tried to feature Billy Gunn as “The One”? Yeah, this was during that time.
  • HAKU shows up towards the end of the Rumble. The crowd doesn’t seem to realize who this guy is. Sad.
  • Stone Cold finally gets to the ring and competes the rest of the way wearing a Crimson Mask. It’s badass.
  • Rikishi enters at number 30 and eliminates Taker. Because he’s a main event playa at this time.
  • Austin and Rock have a cool moment where they lock eyes, get up slowly, and start throwing blows. Probably the highlight of the match.
  • JR drops an XFL reference.
  • Kane and Austin are the final two and Austin finally eliminates Kane after a few chair shots.
  • Time for some Steveweisers.

Based on the following scale, I would say the 2001 Royal Rumble match is something you should check out when you have some time to kill. The novelty of this being the most “Hardcore” Rumble is worth a watch, and seeing The Rock and Stone Cold go at it towards the end is great. However, the match definitely lacks star power once you get past Kane, Taker, Rock, and Stone Cold.

  • Pass – avoid at all cost
  • Kill Some Time – check this out on a weekend night you stay in and pop open a beer.
  • Essential Viewing – if you consider yourself a serious wrestling fan, you must watch this.

What match would you like me to recap next?

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