Royal Rumble: The Complete History

Royal Rumble 2002

The main feud was between Chris Jericho and The Rock for Jericho’s Undisputed WWF Championship. The feud, which had begun in October 2001 while the two were members of Team WWF during the InVasion and traded the WCW Championship between them.

Date: 20th January, 2002
Venue: Philips Arena
City: Atlanta, GA
Attendance: 12,915
Commentators: Jim Ross &
Jerry “The King” Lawler
Theme Song: Cocky by Kid Rock

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Background

Royal Rumble 2002 promotional poster

Royal Rumble 2002 promotional poster

The main feud was between Chris Jericho and The Rock for Jericho’s Undisputed WWF Championship. The feud, which had begun in October 2001 while the two were members of Team WWF during the InVasion and traded the WCW Championship between them, continued at Vengeance, when Jericho defeated both The Rock and the reigning WWF Champion Steve Austin to unify the titles. On the following night’s episode of Raw, Jericho successfully defended the Undisputed title over Steve Austin in a Steel cage match with the help from Booker T. During the following two weeks, Jericho had successfully defended the title against the likes of Rob Van Dam, The Big Show, and Kurt Angle. The Rock earned a match for the Undisputed WWF Championship at Royal Rumble on the January 3 episode of SmackDown! by defeating Booker T. On the January 10 episode of SmackDown!, The Rock and Rob Van Dam defeated Jericho and Test when The Rock made Jericho submit with the Sharpshooter.

On the January 7 episode of Raw, buildup towards the Royal Rumble match started, with Austin saying he wanted to enter. Later that night, Triple Hmade his return after missing nearly eight months with an injury and announced that he too would be entering the Royal Rumble match. He was interrupted by Kurt Angle, who then announced his intentions to enter the match, which was to be his first, and mentioned his victory over Triple H at the previous year’s Royal Rumble event when he was the reigning WWF Champion. Triple H performed a Pedigree on Angle in retaliation. During a match between Austin and Angle on the January 10 episode of SmackDown!, Kane, The Big Show, and Triple H all interfered. In the end, only Triple H remained standing, until The Undertaker stared him down from the top of the ramp. On the January 14 episode of Raw, Triple H stated that he wants to win the Undisputed WWF Championship. Austin came out, and they fought until The Undertaker came out, and hit Triple H with a chair, allowing Austin to hit the Stone Cold Stunner. The Undertaker then hit Austin with the chair. On the January 17 episode of SmackDown!, Austin and Triple H defeated Angle and Booker T. After the match, The Undertaker again came out, and stared them down.

The feud between Edge and William Regal continued from Vengeance. On the December 10 episode of Raw, Edge mocked Regal, prompting Regal to nail him from behind with brass knuckles. On the December 13 episode of SmackDown!, William Regal and Kurt Angle faced Edge and Rikishi in a tag match. After the match, Edge hit Regal with a steel chair and an Edgecution onto the chair, breaking his nose, and causing him to bleed. On the January 7 episode of Raw, Regal interfered after Edge’s victory over Lance Storm and hit him with brass knuckles. Regal challenged Edge to a match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at Royal Rumble, and Edge accepted. On the January 14 episode of Raw, Edge and Rob Van Dam faced William Regal and Test, where Regal pinned Edge after using the brass knuckles. On the January 17 episode of SmackDown!, Regal defeated Rob Van Dam when he used brass knuckles behind the referee’s back. Later on the night, Regal came out during Edge’s match with Test but failed to interfere when Edge nailed him and referee Nick Patrick with a chair.

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Match Results

WWF Tag Team Championship: 
Spike Dudley & Tazz (c) defeated The Dudley Boyz (with Stacy Keibler) (5:06)

Intercontinental Championship:
William Regal defeated Edge (c) (9:45)

Women’s Championship:
Trish Stratus (c) defeated Jazz (3:43)
Special Guest Referee: Jacqueline

Street Fight:
Ric Flair defeated Vince McMahon (14:55)

Undisputed WWF Championship
Chris Jericho (c) defeated The Rock (18:48)

Royal Rumble Match:
Triple H won by last eliminating Kurt Angle (1:09:22)

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Aftermath

Steve Austin won a number one contender’s match against Kurt Angle on the January 28 episode of Raw to earn a match for the Undisputed WWF Championship at No Way Out. A feud between Austin and Chris Jericho started with Jericho interfering in Austin’s match by attacking him with his title belt.

The Undertaker continued his feud with Maven over the elimination during the Royal Rumble match, which grew to include The Rock after he mocked Undertaker for his quick elimination. The Undertaker’s interference led to The Rock losing to Kurt Angle in the tournament to challenge for the Undisputed championship at No Way Out. On the February 4 episode of Raw, during a tag team match, The Undertaker grabbed a steel led pipe from his motorcycle and nailed The Rock in the head with it, allowing Chris Jericho to score the pinfall win. The Rock retaliated by hitting him with a chair and helping Maven win the WWF Hardcore Championship that Undertaker had won at Vengeance; however The Undertaker performed a Tombstone Piledriver on The Rock onto the hood of a limousine in revenge. A match was made between the two at No Way Out.

Kurt Angle started a feud with Triple H, unhappy about how he lost the Royal Rumble match, and attacked Triple H after a confrontation. During Triple H’s match with Booker T, Angle interfered and attacked Triple H. Angle then had Vince McMahon make a match between the two at No Way Out for Triple H’s title shot at WrestleMania X8. Triple H and his on-screen wife Stephanie McMahon were having problems, so she faked a pregnancy and demanded that they renew their wedding vows. Triple H discovered the truth, and ended their marriage. Stephanie McMahon then announced herself as the guest referee in the match at No Way Out.

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Royal Rumble Stats

Draw
Entrant Order Eliminated by Time
1 Rikishi 6 Undertaker 13:39
2 Goldust 4 Undertaker 13:00
3 The Big Boss Man 1 Rikishi 03:05
4 Bradshaw 3 Billy 07:17
5 Lance Storm 2 Snow 04:46
6 Al Snow 5 Undertaker 05:12
7 Billy 7 Undertaker 03:37
8 The Undertaker 10 Maven 07:40
9 Matt Hardy 9 Undertaker 04:16
10 Jeff Hardy 8 Undertaker 01:30
11 Maven 11 Undertaker
03:34
12 Scotty 2 Hotty 12 Diamond Dallas Page 02:36
13 Christian 16 Austin 12:14
14 Diamond Dallas Page 13 Christian 05:15
15 Chuck 17 Austin 09:04
16 The Godfather 15 Christian and Chuck 01:48
17 Albert 14 Christian and Chuck 00:48
18 Perry Saturn 18 Austin 02:57
19 Steve Austin 27 Angle 26:46
20 Val Venis 19 Austin 02:58
21 Test 20 Austin 01:42
22 Triple H WINNER 23:14
23 The Hurricane 21 Austin and Triple H 00:39
24 Faarooq 22 Triple H 00:36
25 Mr. Perfect 28 Triple H 15:18
26 Kurt Angle 29 Triple H 16:09
27 Big Show 23 Kane 02:45
28 Kane 24 Angle 01:02
29 Rob Van Dam 25 Booker 02:12
30 Booker T 26 Austin
00:33

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