November 26, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero

Vengeance 2001
December 9, 2001
San Diego Sports Arena
San Diego, California
Buy Rate: .78
Attendance: 11,800
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler

Sunday Night Heat

1) The Acolytes defeat Billy Gunn (Monte Sopp) & Chuck Palumbo in 6:20

Pay Per View

Fun Fact: Before we dig in here, let’s see how everything changed in the span of two hours. Those two hours comprised of Monday Night Raw the night after Survivor Series in Charlotte. After Survivor Series, there was a complete reset of the entire company and all the storylines of July through November were wiped away. Shane and Stephanie were shown the door, although Shane left with dignity which makes it look like he can continue on as either a face or a heel. Stephanie went away kicking and screaming, but she’ll be back soon enough when her husband returns from the DL. Paul Heyman was swiftly fired by a vengeful Mr. McMahon and Jerry Lawler returned as color commentator, who left after No Way Out when his now ex-wife Stacy Carter was fired. Stacy had cheated on the King and left him and dry shortly after. After a run with the fledging XWF, hundreds of internet updates and interviews and a somewhat pathetic public cry for companionship, Lawler came crawling back to Vince, who was waiting with open arms. A lot of the roster was also reset in terms of face and heel. Behind the scenes, Vince panicked at the declining ratings and decided to return the raunchy and edgy ways that the product featured heavily during the salad days of the Attitude Era. After two years that focused on in ring action and serious storylines, Vince wanted to mix things back up and bring back the fans that had begun turning away during the Invasion. One of his major ideas was to insert himself back into the mix as the main heel foil, giving his children a break from that role. We will look further into Vince’s new role as well as the main event situation a bit later.

Fun Fact II: There was some controversy surrounding this show and the promotional poster that was released earlier in the fall. The promotions department often releases the posters to the TV vendors and other advertising outlets quite a bit ahead of time prior to the PPV and this time it ended up hurting them quite a bit. The issue was that the poster featured Triple H, brandishing a sledgehammer and sitting solemnly. Now, they didn’t reference pr promote a Triple H appearance in any way, but many fans took this as a sign that he would be back for the event. When it didn’t happen, many fans were outraged and it became quite a hot button issue across the net, with many fans complaining of false advertising. The furor would die down eventually, but it was just another chink in the quickly wearing armor of the WWF as far as the net fans were considered.

1) Albert (Matt Bloom) & Scotty 2 Hotty (Scott Garland) defeat Test (Andrew Martin) & Christian (Jay Reso) when Albert pins Christian with the Baldobomb at 6:20

Scott: A pretty solid enough opener to the show. This result is kind of a shock because really Test and Christian really had the better of the year between these two teams. Both of them were high profile Alliance members and won the Intercontinental Title. Scotty and Albert were pretty much afterthoughts and Heat performers during the year, but for some reason got the victory. You figured that Albert would turn on Scotty either during or after the match since he’s a better heel. Not a bad match, just a surprise ending. Grade: 2

Justin: After spending the year in limbo, Albert has now found his funky side and was dubbed the “Hip Hop Hippo” by his new partner. After returning from injury, Scotty was without a partner as Grandmaster Sexay was released after being stopped at the Canadian border and having drugs found in his car. So, instead of floating around aimlessly alone, the two team up to make a pretty fun combo that the fans were starting to get behind. The match started quickly and Test had some pretty good heat going throughout. There was even some intrigue when the former T&A went face to face during the bout. Scotty took the beating for most of the match as Christian and Test beat him down with some solid, stiff offense. JR and Lawler talked quite a bit about Test’s immunity that was won at Survivor Series and discuss how he can do whatever he wishes without fear of being handed a pink slip. Albert clearly came off as the star of the match to me as he worked hard, looked good and got a good reaction from the fans. He also took a super stiff boot to the grill from Test at one point. After busting out a Giant Swing, Albert plants Christian with the Baldobomb and picked up the victory. It was a big win for the new team and the match as a whole was a fun opener that got the crowd up and running. Grade: 2.5

2) Edge (Adam Copeland) defeats William Regal (Darren Matthews) to retain WWF Intercontinental Title with a spear at 9:07

Fun Fact: Among the many things that happened on the Raw after Survivor Series, William Regal became the inaugural member of the Vince McMahon “Kiss my Ass” club. In attempt to regain employment after sinking with the Alliance, Regal willingly kissed McMahon’s ass and was promptly reinstated. He also began utilizing brass knucks as his weapon of choice in his matches.

Scott: Edge wraps up his first year as a solo superstar with a successful title defense against the former WWF/Alliance commissioner. Regal also had a pretty busy 2001, from embarrassing Chris Jericho with the “Duchess of Queensbury” nonsense, to becoming commissioner of both the WWF and the Alliance. Now, he is just another superstar but one you know will give you a pretty good match. Edge started the year as part of the heel tag team champs with Christian. By the end of the year he completed a feud with Christian and is one of wrestling’s real breakout solo talents. This match was pretty good as Regal showed his vicious side and it continues the “brass knucks” storyline where Regal doesn’t have the knucks on him, but hides them somewhere around the ring. Edge wins this match, but the feud continues. Grade: 3

Justin: After putting his pride aside to regain employment, Regal is firmly entrenched on the heel side of the fence and is generating some nice heel heat in the role. He continues to work his stiff European style and now has mixed in some psychology with the brass knucks gimmick. He controls the early portion of the match with basic strikes and was able to maintain control despite a series of mini comeback attempts from Edge. Regal would eventually go for the knucks but they are never used in this encounter. After a nice powerbomb by Regal, Edge finally started to battle back and the end was an even battle. Edge would finally hit the spear and pick the win in a methodical brawl. Regal dominated and looked good but just couldn’t put Edge away and eventually got beat. It was a bit of a style clash, but I enjoyed the story of match quite a bit. Grade: 2.5

3) Jeff Hardy defeats Matt Hardy with the Swanton Bomb at 12:29

Scott: After a very successful tag team run, the inevitable split happened and the Hardy brothers have their first, and to date only, PPV meeting. The whole backstory was that instead of winning the tag team titles at Survivor Series, Jeff Hardy wanted to shock the world and his Swanton Bomb off the top of the cage failed, costing his team the unified Titles to the Dudley Boys. Matt was finally getting fed up with his brother’s antics and wanted to “teach him a lesson.” Matt was also getting a little paranoid that his girlfriend Lita was defending Jeff in his actions, so Lita became the special referee for this one. The match was ok, but two things took away from what would have been a tremendous match. First off, the fact that Lita wasn’t a real referee didn’t allow for a good flow to the match as Matt spent too much time bitching to her about being fair and not enough time actually wrestling. That connects to the second problem with the match, which was that you would expect both guys would really get in a good flow since they know each other so well, but instead of having some nice crazy spots, they ground each other with wear down moves and strikes and it took the crowd by surprise and slowed these guys down too much. Of course, you know this match would also have a screwjob ending, as Jeff hits his Swanton Bomb, but when he went for the pin Matt put his foot on the ropes. However Jeff pulls his leg off the ropes and Lita never notices, counting her boyfriend down and awarding the match to Jeff. Of course Matt’s not happy and was leading to a heel turn, but the push was squashed and they reunite the following month. Maybe at some point these two will get together again, but for now this is their only meeting on PPV, and it’s subpar. Grade: 2.5

Justin: After Survivor Series, the split between these two was simmering and you could sense an implosion was coming. Matt finally burst and took out his frustrations on both his brother and his girlfriend. In one heated moment backstage, both Hardys actually shoved Lita to the ground by accident. With things boiling over, the match was made here and Matt put Lita in between them. The crowd was pretty amped to see these too finally tussle, but once the slower pace and storyline took over the match, the crowd quickly started to quiet down. Both men looked a bit unsure and seemed to lose their confidence and it led to a choppy pace. Lita called it down the middle, which frustrated Matt as he grounded Jeff and worked the knee. The crowd tried to get back into it as the match wore on, but they just weren’t digging the unexpected flow. Matt’s annoyance with Lita’s performance would continue after the match as she missed Matt’s foot on the rope at the finish. The end was decent enough and the story within the match made sense, but they definitely needed a few more high spots mixed in to get the crowd going. Overall, it was a disappointing performance, but I think if these two had a chance to build off this match people wouldn’t judge it so harshly. It seemed like the first act in a multi act angle but they never got the chance to pay it off. Grade: 2

4) The Dudley Boys defeat the Big Show (Paul Wight) & Kane (Glen Jacobs) to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when D-Von Dudley (Devon Hughes) pins Big Show after the 3D onto the exposed turnbuckle at 6:50

Scott: The clear tag team of the year for 2001 caps off their year with another win over a team they probably should have lost to. I honestly don’t remember that Big Show had this much activity during the year, but once again he’s at the forefront of another PPV match. Kane concludes an up and down 2001. He started red-hot with a historic Royal Rumble and a great match at Wrestlemania. Then, as usual whenever he hooks up with his “brother” the Undertaker he falls down the same sloth-like, workrate-challenged matches that his big brother had been suffering from. Now, with the Invasion over, Kane is back to wow…having a decent match? This match is ok, as Kane and Big Show seem to have decent chemistry together as a team, and the Dudleys did their best job of getting beat up and sneaking out a cheap win. They tease a feud as Show has some miscommunication with the Big Red Machine and the champs retain. Grade: 2

Justin: With the tag division slowly starting to become a bit stale, we get another makeshift team challenging the dominant Dudleys. Once again, Kane gets a mega pop as he continues to be one of the most members of the roster. Show used his size to gain control and he and Kane dominated out of the gate. The Dudleys finally turned things around thanks to a nice distraction from Stacy Kiebler at ringside. All four men worked hard again, especially Show, who showed a lot of energy throughout the match. After some miscommunication, Kane and Show started to fall apart and the Dudleys are able to drop Show with the 3D on an exposed buckle. The crowd was actually into this and it was a fun little title defense for the Dudleys, who continue to roll on as champs. Grade: 2.5

5) The Undertaker (Mark Callaway) defeats Rob Van Dam (Rob Szatkowski) to win WWF Hardcore Title with a chokeslam through tables at 11:05

Fun Fact: The night after Survivor Series, Vince McMahon debuted his “Kiss My Ass” club, where people would have to literally kiss his ass to stay in the WWF after the Invasion. That night it was turncoat William Regal and Vince was still a babyface for the most time. After his return to being a heel, he started picking on good guys to join the club. On the 11/26 Raw in Oklahoma City, Vince wanted Jim Ross to kiss his ass. That brought out the Undertaker, who acted like he was about to beat Vince’s ass. Before he acted, he asked JR if he was going to kiss Vince’s ass and JR defiantly said no. Then out of nowhere, Taker attacked JR and made him kiss Vince’s ass. Taker said he had been kissing Vince’s ass for ten years, so does that make someone who didn’t better than him? Taker had officially turned heel and his hook was that he was now going to command respect from everyone. He also cut his hair very short, to complete an absolute makeover from his Deadman days.

Scott: The next chapter of the Undertaker’s legacy is as “Big Evil.” A short haired, pissed off biker who wants to command respect. One guy who looks like he respects no one is RVD. He started the year with a double whammy against Jeff Hardy and then got bogged down with the Austin/Angle feud. Now that the Alliance is dead, RVD can branch off and do his own thing. The match is pretty good, as Taker gives RVD some pretty brutal shots, but RVD held his end of the bargain, particularly on the stage when he threw Taker through a part of the set. Taker then finishes it off with a huge chokeslam off the stage and onto a pile of tables, cables and other stuff. Not much more to say, except a good, sloppy fight and Taker adds another trophy to his legendary case. Grade: 3

Justin: After just under 10 years as one of the most over top level faces in the WWF, Undertaker finally changes his attitude and goes back to his roots by turning heel. In an unexpected turn, Taker forces JR to kiss McMahon’s ass in his hometown and a whole new persona was born. Off went his trademark long hair and in came a nasty, respect driven attitude from the Deadman. The crowd was already solidly against him, especially with him standing across the ring from the still hot RVD. The two men put on a good little brawl as they battled through the crowd throughout. Taker would control and methodically pick RVD apart with calculated strikes and stiff shots. RVD hit the best high spot of the match when he landed a cross body off a balcony, but his extreme background wasn’t enough to overcome the newly motivated Taker, who was on a mission to take home the gold. The match was solid and the finish was good as Taker puts RVD down and picks up the Hardcore title. The last few weeks were big ones for Taker as the heel turn and attitude change was definitely the turning point and saved his career. He had been getting stale, lazy and sloppy but this renewed persona and push definitely motivated him to get back into shape and his matches would instantly improve. This was a good match, but a landmark moment. Grade: 2.5

6) Trish Stratus (Patricia Stratigias) defeats Jacqueline (Jacqueline Moore) to retain WWF Women’s Championship with a backslide at 3:35

Scott: Trish Stratus’ first title defense is pretty awful. Jacqueline just doesn’t have the goods she used to have three years ago when she was fresh and feuding with Sable. Remember the hand print bikini? Fortunately it’s short, but better things are to come for Trish and her career as she would become on of the greatest Women’s champion of all time. She pretty much sacrificed her 2001 year on camera in order to really get down the ins and outs of being a wrestler. After smacking Vince at Wrestlemania, she was pretty much off camera for the rest of the year rehabbing an injury and honing her craft, while newer divas like Torrie Wilson and Stacy Kiebler were hogging the spotlight. Nice win, but an ugly match. Grade: 1

Justin: Despite the gradual improvement of the women’s division, the majority of the fans are still mainly into chanting for puppies and ignoring the action. It will take some time for the perception to change, but to their credit, the ladies persevered and kept on training and improving. Here, however, that improvement was minimal and the match was a bit of a mess. The bout was basic and they worked hard, but it just wasn’t clicking. After a nice ten month break, we are back to hearing Jerry Lawler’s lecherous perverted commentary and it is already getting old again. The finish was a bit weak, but Trish picks up some credibility with a win and Jackie gives her a handshake out of respect as well. Grade: .5

7) Steve Austin (Steve Williams) defeats Kurt Angle to retain WWF World Title with a Stone Cold Stunner at 15:01

Fun Fact: Now we can get to the real reason we’re here. The night after Vengeance, everything reset. The Invasion storyline was pretty much forgotten. By the end of the show Vince went back to being a hated vindictive heel, and Angle went from WWF hero to his smarmy selfish heel. With the Alliance vanquished, Vince and Kurt Angle came out the next night on Raw. Vince was holding the WWF Title belt, still owned technically to Steve Austin. Vince was to strip him of the title and hand it to Angle as a reward for turning on the Alliance the night before at Survivor Series and helping the WWF win the “Winner Take All” match. Well, Austin was still technically champion since Vince said all titleholders would retain jobs regardless of what side it was. As Vince was about to hand the title to Angle, and as he was saying “As the sole owner of the World Wrestling Federation”, you suddenly hear the familiar start of Also Sprach Zarathustra. In case you’re not familiar with the title, it’s the theme of The Man! WHOO!! Ric Flair comes walking through the curtain and Charlotte goes insane. Vince and Kurt are dumbfounded, but Flair clarifies. If you remember, Shane and Stephanie sold their stock in the WWF to a “consortium” so they could buy WCW and ECW respectively and attempt to put the WWF out of business. Well, the consortium was the Nature Boy, and now he and Vince each own half of the WWF. Later that week on Smackdown, Flair wanted to combine the WWF Title and the World Title (former WCW Title) into an undisputed title by having Stone Cold and Rock face each other at Vengeance. Vince comes out and poo poos that idea. Instead he says there should be a mini-tournament, with Austin taking on Angle, Rock taking on Jericho, and the winner would meet afterwards for the Undisputed Title and thus the stage was set. We also got a fantastic montage to open this show. The montage featured clips of WWF and WCW champions of the past to help build the importance of the title merger.

Fun Fact II: Since Flair’s WWF departure in 1993, he returned to WCW and won back what was considered “his World Title” at Starrcade of that year against Vader. Flair would be a capable champion as always, until the arrival of Hulk Hogan. Then everything changed. The NWO was born and Flair would be a misused pawn in the Hogan/Bischoff/Nash game of wrestling. By the time WCW folded and Flair lost to Sting on the final Nitro, Flair was a self proclaimed shell of his former self who was out of shape and had no self confidence. He passed on the Invasion to keep earning Uncle Ted’s guarenteed money and this return was much better for him and for the WWF.

Scott: This has been one of the most unusual feuds in recent memory. Both these men have put on outstanding matches from July till now. First off, the level of brutality and punishment is high, but the most important factor is the bouncing of sides in this feud. Let’s recap: at Invasion, both guys were babyfaces and Austin turned heel. If you remember Angle got a crazy response from the Cleveland crowd. Then, at Summerslam, Angle is a way over face and Austin a hated heel and that was ditto at Unforgiven when Angle won the title in his hometown. At No Mercy Austin was still the heel, but RVD took some of the juice from Angle’s heat and Kurt’s started to fade. By Survivor Series Austin was still a heel, but respected for his loyalty, and Angle was on the heel side as well, but then hit Austin with the belt to help WWF win, yet still comes off as a selfish jerk. By the end of the Raw the next night Angle looks exactly as he did at the beginning of the year. The match is good, but a little tiring although many feel it’s the best match of their series. I like the Summerslam match and the Unforgiven rematch was good, although not as violent. You were figuring with the win here that Austin and Rock would meet in the final anyway, but obviously if they wanted that they would have taken Flair’s match and not done the whole Vince switcheroo. Austin wins and moves on to the finals of the mini-tournament. Angle started the year as WWF Champ, he ends the year in storyline limbo. Grade: 2.5

Justin: After a six month war filled with hysterical comedy and violent battles, we get the final blow off to the epic Austin/Angle war. The crowd was fully behind Austin here as they were happy to be able to cheer him on once again. Angle is back to being the arrogant jerk and all is right with the world. Angle’s heel turn was well worked as he claimed that nobody thanked him for saving the WWF and he felt no love other than from Vince. In a swank little double turn, Vince and Angle were now heels while Austin was repositioned as a face. The two men counter wrestled early on, trading off offensive series and battering each other. Kurt starts to generate some great heat as he brutalizes Austin’s leg and ankle and the match really got cooking when Kurt got on offense. Austin would rally and sneak in a Stunner to pick up the win and advance to the finals. The pop for Austin’s win was huge and capped off another fun, yet abridged, match between these two. Grade: 3.5

8) Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) defeats the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) to win the World Title with a Rock Bottom at 19:05

Scott: This was the biggest shocker of the night and the glass ceiling was another moment closer to being shattered. When Jericho won the World Title at No Mercy, it was the first time that the future seemed to be overtaking the past. Vince realized that the Attitude Era was maybe running its course. Maybe not in the sleaze/storyline department, but in who will be executing the strategy. Austin burned up any time his neck had left having one of the best overall years of his career. The Rock may be on borrowed time also but for different reasons. He’s ready to hit Hollywood, and so Vince needs to look at the future, even at the risk of being safe. Guys like Jericho needed to be groomed as the future of the company, regardless of who likes or hates him. Fortunately with the purge of WCW and ECW and the influx of talent the bookers have a fresh group of talent. Booker T is clearly one that will stick around, as you see in the final match, as will RVD and a few others. The match is great, as was their two previous matches at No Mercy and on Raw a few weeks later. This was the best two year stretch of Rock’s career, as he was the best at putting guys over to look like superstars. Not that Jericho needs prodding, he was always meant for stardom. Of course he just needed the opportunity, and he certainly wasn’t going to get it in WCW with those cronies. Even in the WWF he’s had his detractors. Now, Vince is handing the ball off to him and he’s going to carry it. The first step was winning the title at a secondary show in October; this is the much bigger step, as he’s winning a match that puts him one match away from the biggest prize in the industry. Grade: 4

Justin: The hottest feud of the final quarter of 2001 rages on here and the stakes are even higher this time around. Rock seemed on a crash course with Steve Austin and many figured they would meet here to finally unify the belts. However, Chris Jericho had other plans and was looking to finally bust the glass ceiling and win the big one. Jericho would control early and gain some solid heat. The first portion of the match was a bit of a slower pace than normal for these two and the crowd was a bit up and down due to it. Rock worked in his picture perfect comebacks, as always, which helped the crowd stay with them through the slow moments. After a couple of back and forth battles, Vince would make his presence felt and cost the Rock the match, handing Jericho the upset win. The match was solid overall, although not up to their usual standard. The finish totally carried things as it was red hot and the crowd was rocking. Grade: 3.5

9) Chris Jericho defeats Steve Austin to win WWF World Title and unify the Championships after a Booker T (Booker Huffman) belt shot at 12:37

Scott: Wow. I guess if you really look at it this isn’t a surprise. Why have Jericho waste time defeating Rock if he’s just going to lose to Austin anyway. The logic would be that Stone Cold, the poster boy of the WWF resurgence, would be the Undisputed Champion. However in reality Austin was running out of time and since it’s the dawning of a new year that means the Wrestlemania XVIII plans need to start shaping up. That means a heel needs to be at the top of the ladder. Jericho has really earned this chance. He spent the first half of the year being stuck in an insipid feud with William Regal and then was lost in the shuffle at the start of the Invasion, being relegated to the lower mid-card making boob jokes to Stephanie McMahon. Then as we head to the fall he’s put in a feud with the Rock and wins the WCW Title for the first time. With the victory, and the subsequent Vince McMahon celebrating afterwards Jericho is officially heel and is Mr. McMahon’s favorite. Fortunately McMahon splits from Jericho so he can run on his own, but as we see over the next few months he really isn’t on his own. As for Austin, this may be the sign that perhaps Vince was going to adjust his role into an upper mid-carder who will help the younger talent get over. Austin’s 2002 will be marred with controversy. The match isn’t bad, but the two big things to note are not only Jericho’s win, but the interference of Booker T, who cracks Austin with the title belt that led to Jericho’s win. That’s a sign that the higher-ups think highly of the Booker-man, even though his PPV record to this point is 1-4. In any event, the unlikeliest of the quartet going into this show is the Undisputed Champion, and that’s ok with me. Grade: 2.5

Justin: After upsetting one mega star in the previous match, Jericho advances to battle the top dog in the WWF for both World titles. Before the match can start, Kurt Angle makes his presence known again and jumps Austin. The match was your standard main event style brawl and it totally woke the crowd back up and roped them into the drama. In a weird twist, it seems that Austin has surpassed Rock to once again become the most popular star on the block. A part of that could be that the fans were still happy to be cheering Austin again after having to hate him for most of the year. After a lot of back and forth and a fun battle, Vince would run Nick Patrick out to try and screw Austin. Ric Flair would have no part of that, though, and he quickly hustles down and takes Patrick out. That would lead to a Vince/Flair brawl and some eventual interference by Booker, which would lead to a brief feud with Austin. Thanks to the interference, Jericho picks up the major win and is now the man to beat in the WWF. He could have used a clean win here, but to be honest, nobody own clean during this time period, so it isn’t that bad of a transgression. Regardless, this was a huge win for Y2J and the sign that Vince and company were set to get behind him in a major way. I actually really liked this match, especially the heat, over booking and pacing, so I am going to go quite a bit higher than Scott here. Grade: 4

Final Analysis:

Scott: The final PPV of 2001 is an ok show with ups and downs. On the one hand we had some great main event matches that tied up loose ends and created a single undisputed Champion. Who that champion is was the big shock, as Jericho may have won the two biggest matches of his career and right now ends the craziest year in WWF history on top of the mountain. Austin and Rock gladly pass the torch, and now their future is somewhat in limbo. Of course the fans were expecting the much-heralded return of Triple H, but that went out the window when doctors said he wasn’t ready. Bad move there by the company to inadvertently get the fans pumped (including myself) for the return of the Game and then not deliver. Back to the show: The undercard had a couple of highlights, like the brutal hardcore match between Undertaker and RVD. Sure RVD lost, but he took a pretty good beating and Taker needed the win to get his confidence back after a very subpar 2001, which flat lined in that abysmal match with Kronik at Unforgiven. Trish’s first title defense was a flop, but she’ll get better with other opponents. The Dudleys started the year as babyfaces chasing the titles, but for the most part they have had a vice grip on them all the way to the end. A nice win for Edge against an experienced Regal, but that’s not the last we’ve seen of this feud. I would say that with the grades ranging from ugly to top notch, we’ll grade in the middle and say goodbye to a crazy 2001 and enter a bizarre and transitional 2002. Final Grade: B-

Justin: After a roller coaster year, 2001 finally comes to a close with a solid PPV outing. So much has changed in the past month and that is clearly evident throughout the show. Paul Heyman is out of the announce booth and Jerry Lawler is back in and I can’t say it was for the better. It was cool having Lawler back and his return was a great moment but he just can’t come close to Heyman is putting over the importance and storylines of the matches. Lawler does bring energy and has better chemistry with JR so it isn’t all bad. Ric Flair is now on the scene and is part owner of the company. You would assume that angle could carry the WWF for a while as there was so much to do with it, but, like the Invasion, panicking and hot shotting would end it prematurely as we will soon see. The main thing to take away from this show is the fresh feel that the company now has. However, despite the change in landscape, some things do feel familiar as Vince began to revert to the Attitude style with some questionable segments and a raunchier product after a serious and mat based year. After the most tumultuous year in wrestling history, 2002 was ready to bring us further into the unknown. There was seemingly no serious competition on the horizon for Vince and the WWF and their roster was jam packed with solid talent and major stars. Triple H was on his way back but we had an unknown commodity holding the big gold. The question on the table as the years ends was whether or Chris Jericho could succeed as World Champion and if he would be given the proper chance to just do that. This show on a whole was entertaining and memorable and featured some really good matches that were big from a historical perspective. Final Grade: B

MVP: Chris Jericho
Runner Up: Edge
Non MVP: Trish Stratus & Jacqueline
Runner Up: Matt & Jeff Hardy

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