Royal Rumble 2001
Lee Maughan: From New Orleans, Louisiana. Hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
WWF Tag Team Championship
Edge & Christian (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz
This match came about after Edge and Christian had made fun of the Dudleys’ parents, belted them in the head with “Conchairto” chair shots on RAW, and driven them through tables on SmackDown!, all to no reply. Which, if you’ve followed wrestling for more than six months, should tip you off to the outcome here; another blip on the Edge & Christian reign of dominance where they kept dropping the titles for short periods so as not to completely overshadow every other team in the division, not to mention build up rematches. That’s one of the key points of this neat little opener, as the ultimate goal was the second TLC match at WrestleMania X-SEVEN, with these two teams once again clashing with perennial rivals the Hardy Boyz. A pretty good match here, dull chinlock on D-Von aside, with Edge and Christian at their new generation Midnight Express peak and Bubba Ray running wild off the hot tag. Amusing finish sees Edge and Christian attempt the Wazzup Drop but Bubba rolls through on Christian and Edge gets shoved off the top into a diving headbutt right on Christian’s taint. That sets up the 3D to give the Dudleys their second reign as WWF Tag Team Champions. Several more would follow over the next couple of years.
Final Rating: ***¼
– Backstage, Triple H tells Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley that he doesn’t want the heat between her and Trish Stratus to interfere in his match tonight. You see, Triple H was previously working an angle where Stephanie was the object of Kurt Angle’s affections, but that just served to emasculate poor Hunter and make him the de facto babyface, all of it contradicting his status as Hunkiest Heel in This Damn Business™. Obviously that couldn’t stand, despite how the storyline was firing on all cylinders, so Triple H beat Angle at Unforgiven and had it made that Stephanie only had eyes for him. It’s all about the game, and how you play it.