Wednesday, July 18, 2018

WWE King Of The Ring 2002

Spoiler: This show fucking sucks. Who would've guessed?

This is the final King Of The Ring PPV... oh, they'd eventually have other King Of The Ring tournaments every once in a while, but this would take place on TV and it's usually an excuse to give some a royalty gimmick or have them wear a silly crown or something. The subsequent King Of The Rings were so important and so vital that I can hardly remember any of them... I don't even remember the last King Of The Ring winner and that was a couple years ago, I think.

But I digress... let's get on with the show, shall we?

KOTR Semifinals: Rob Van Dam defeated Chris Jericho to advance to the finals. This match is a thing that happened... not a bad match, not a great match, but good enough to get the ball rolling I suppose.

Funny story about this; Chris Jericho once wrote an essay on his website bashing the internet wrestling fans for not praising this match like a five-star classic or whatever the case may be. I wrote a follow-up on my own site that I think might have been posted on this blog as a DTM Classic entry or something... and man, I cringe every time I read that posting. If only I could find the original Jericho article... maybe some day, Geordi.

KOTR Semifinals: Brock Lesnar defeated Test to advance to the finals. Kind of funny to see Test get a near-fall on the next big thing that they were supposedly trying to protect, but nonetheless, Brock winning seemed like a foregone conclusion even back in the day.

Jamie Noble defeated Cruiserweight champion The Hurricane with an assist from Tough Enough I winner Nidia to win the title. Jamie Noble was playing the hick here, so it's funny to see a hick beat the superhero. Aside from that... eh, I wasn't really feeling this one. Noble would go on the hold the title until November, where he'd lose it to Billy Kidman. As for Hurricane, he'd flounder for a bit before meeting up with his arch-nemesis, the Scorpion King.

Ric Flair defeated Eddie Guerrero with a timely assist from Bubba Ray Dudley. At this point, Flair has only had a handful of matches and wasn't quite back in top form. If I can gather a guess, it'd probably take him another year before he was doing his old schtick without missing a beat. but for now, this is less like watching Ric Flair and more like watching David flair... not a good sign.

Molly Holly defeated Women's champion Trish Stratus with a roll-up and some tights to win the title. The feud here is that Trish is calling Molly fat (even though Molly was never fat - nor was she bordering on anorexic-like physiques like some other Divas who would show up in later years, but that's another story) and this is Molly's revenge or something. Funny thing is that Trish is supposed to be the good gal... leading me to believe that WWE (or Vince) has no fucking clue on how to produce likeable good guys (or gals.) The match, however, was just fine. Nothing particularly mind-blowing, but it was respectable fare... which is the most you could hope for out of this show as a whole. Given the terrible storytelling in general, is it any wonder why I couldn't get into any of the women's stuff at the time?

Kurt Angle defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan via submission... okay, backstory. Kurt Angle lost a hair-vs-hair match against Edge a month prior and spent the weeks following wearing a stupid looking hairpiece, prompting a feud with Hogan for some reason. I think after this match, Angle ditches the hairpiece and sticks with the bald look that most people know him best as.

Anyway, this match was slow and cumbersome... mostly because it's a Hulk Hogan match in 2002 and the guy could barely move, which kills any suspension of disbelief there was to be had here. This is where a bunch of us coined the phrase "moving at the speed of light"

KOTR Finals: Brock Lesnar defeated Rob Van Dam in a foregone conclusion match to become 2002 King Of the Ring. This also earns him a title shot against the Undisputed champion at a later date... which Brock would win, of course. Nothing to this match.

Undisputed Champion Undertaker defeated Triple H to retain the title and holy fuck, this match was the drizzling shits. Punching, restholds, both guys look tired... I didn't think it was possible for two guys to move even slower than Hulk Hogan, but fuck me, they've pulled it off. Not even quick commentary cameos from Heyman or the Rock could save this pile of shit. Oh, and by the way, this was what you have left when Austin fucks off and Rock is on hiatus from making real money in Hollywood; two old farts who are considered to be the big dogs in the company and clearly don't give a shit about putting on a decent effort.

And the sad part is that even after this black hole, both guys would actually get WORSE as time went on. As in almost unwatchable. Given how bad the product became in 2002-2003 with HHH transitioning into McSon-In-Law and Taker transitioning to Old Biker Dude, I honestly couldn't see myself having imagined back in the day that both guys would actually step up their game years later and act like they actually gave a shit about putting on a good show. Hell, I'd say it took YEARS for the stench to have been completely cleared before I could get into their matches more and more... and even then, it usually depends on who's on the other side.

You know, I shit on their two Wrestlemania matches in recent years; I'm probably one of the few people who didn't care for those matches. But compared to this slothing mess, those matches may as well be ten-star classics in comparison. For all their wasted efforts in those matches, at the very least, they made a fucking effort. Here, they couldn't even be bothered and that's fucking sad. And quite frankly, the same could be said for the entire show; everyone seems to be just going through the motions and not putting much care in the world to give the crowd a worthwhile show. And if you don't care about putting in your absolute best, then why should the audience care?

And so ends the final King Of The Ring PPV and what an absolutely horrid note to go out on. Outside of that one Women's match and that one skit featuring Rock, Booker, and Goldust, this show was an absolute waste of time with almost nothing of value to be had here. Really, if you're really interested in seeing Brock's ascension to the crown for whatever reason, I'm sure it's available on that King of the Ring DVD set and that's probably the best way to check that out. As for the show itself, don't waste your time.

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