Royal Rumble: The Complete History

Royal Rumble 2001

The Rock began discussing the Royal Rumble on the January 4 episode of SmackDown!, when he promised to win the Royal Rumble match for the second year in a row to earn the title match at WrestleMania with the first being the previous year’s Royal Rumble event.

Date: 21st January, 2001
Venue: New Orleans Arena
City: New Orleans, LA
Attendance: 16,056
Commentators: Jim Ross &
Jerry “The King” Lawler

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Background

Royal Rumble 2001 promotional poster

Royal Rumble 2001 promotional poster

The Rock began discussing the Royal Rumble on the January 4 episode of SmackDown!, when he promised to win the Royal Rumble match for the second year in a row to earn the title match at WrestleMania with the first being the previous year’s Royal Rumble event. On the following week’s episode of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon, the WWF Chairman, added Stone Cold Steve Austin to the match. The same episode also featured a standard match involving four wrestlers contested between The Rock, Kane, Rikishi and The Undertaker, with the winner earning the right to enter at number 30 in the Royal Rumble match. The match was won by Rikishi.

A featured preliminary match at the Royal Rumble was WWF Champion Kurt Angle defending against Triple H in a standard match. The build up to the match began on the January 8 episode of Raw, when Angle defended the WWF Championship against Steve Austin, which ended in a No Contest when Triple H interfered and ambushed Austin with a steel pipe. On the January 11 episode of SmackDown!, Vince McMahon announced that Angle would defend his title at the Royal Rumble event against Triple H. Leading up to the event, both men spoke about the match, with Triple H claiming that Angle only held the championship because he allowed him to, and Angle denying this.

Another featured preliminary contest at the Royal Rumble was a ladder match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, in which the champion, Chris Benoit, defended his title against Chris Jericho. Their feud started at WrestleMania 2000, when Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho challenged Kurt Angle both the Intercontinental title and the WWF European Championship in a Two-fall Triple Threat match. During that match, both men pinned each other in one fall each to win the respective championship from Angle. Since that event, Benoit would hold three pay per view victories over Jericho esp. at SummerSlam in the best 2 out of 3 falls match. On the January 4 episode of SmackDown!, Benoit defended his title against Jericho in a standard match. During the match, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko, Benoit’s partners in the group of The Radicalz, interfered by attacking Jericho, causing him to win the match by disqualification but not the championship. On the January 8 episode of Raw, Jericho teamed with The Hardy Boyz against The Radicalz (Saturn, Malenko, and Benoit) in a six man tag team match, which Jericho won by pinning Benoit. On the January 11 episode of SmackDown!, Jericho demanded a title match at the Royal Rumble, and Benoit offered to give Jericho any type of match he wanted. Jericho then announced that their match would be a ladder match.

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Match Results

WWF Tag Team Championship:
The Dudley Boyz defeated Edge & Christian (c) (9:59)

Intercontinental Championship:
Ladder Match:

Chris Jericho defeated Chris Benoit (c) (18:44)

Women’s Championship:
Ivory (c) (with Stevie Richards) defeated Chyna (3:32)

WWF Championship:
Kurt Angle (c) (with Trish Stratus) defeated Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) (24:16)

Royal Rumble Match:
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin won by last eliminating Kane (1:01:55)

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Aftermath

Kurt Angle entered a feud with The Rock again and would go to fight him at No Way Out for the WWF Championship in a Singles Match. Kurt Angle would lose the match after being pinned by The Rock losing the championship to him.

Triple H would continue his feud with Steve Austin at No Way Out in a Three Stages of Hell Match. Triple H defeated Steve Austin by winning two matches with Steve Austin only one. This match finally ended the Triple H/Austin feud that lasted since SummerSlam.

Steve Austin and The Rock would fight once again at WrestleMania for the WWF Championship in a No Disqualification Match. Steve Austin would win the title thanks to an interference from Mr. McMahon. The two would have another match the next night on Raw for the title this time inside a Steel Cage. The match went to a no contest due to another intereference by Vince’s son-in-law Triple H.

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Royal Rumble Stats

Draw
Entrant Order Eliminated by Time
1 Jeff Hardy 4 Matt Hardy 06:36
2 Bull Buchanan 1 Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy 02:08
3 Matt Hardy 3 Jeff Hardy 04:45
4 Faarooq 2 Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy 00:58
5 Drew Carey 5 himself 02:54
6 Kane 29 Austin 53:46
7 Raven 9 Kane 08:51
8 Al Snow 8 Kane 07:08
9 Perry Saturn 10 Kane 05:02
10 Steve Blackman 7 Kane 03:08
11 Grand Master Sexay 6 Kane 01:03
12 The Honky Tonk Man 11 Kane 01:16
13 The Rock 28 Kane 38:42
14 The Goodfather 12 Rock 00:14
15 Tazz 13 Kane 00:10
16 Bradshaw 18 Undertaker 17:40
17 Albert 20 Kane 15:53
18 Hardcore Holly 21 Undertaker 14:04
19 K-Kwik 16 Big Show 07:53
20 Val Venis 22 Undertaker 10:22
21 William Regal 14 Test 02:01
22 Test 15 Big Show 02:08
23 Big Show 17 Rock 01:23
24 Crash Holly 19 Kane 02:31
25 The Undertaker 25 Rikishi 10:45
26 Scotty 2 Hotty 23 Undertaker & Kane 00:46
27 Steve Austin Winner 09:43
28 Billy Gunn 27 Austin 07:22
29 Haku 24 Austin 02:51
30 Rikishi 26 Rock 02:35

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