King of the Ring 2002 Qualifying Matches (Some Dream Matches!)

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KING OF THE RING 2002:
-So we’re in the 2002 era now- the InVasion was a crushing disappointment, the nWo is here, and most of the big stars have slowed down and Triple-H rules much of the company. The product was ICE FREAKING COLD at this point, with the fans acting like their souls had been cut out. This is also famously the reason Steve Austin bailed on the company for a year or so, as he was booked to job in a short, unhyped match with Brock Lesnar in a Qualifier. Disgusted with the company (and acting COMPLETELY paranoid about his position on the card- he’d been embarrassing all three nWo guys in angles a few months beforehand), Austin went home without notice.

X-PAC vs. GOLDUST:
(WWF RAW, June 3rd)
* X-Pac is in the nWo here, but comes down solo (wearing a Kane mask, because they have an issue AGAIN?), while Goldust has a fake X-Pac goatee stuck onto his face and isn’t over in the slightest, despite being paired up with Booker T, who was an nWo member disliked by the others at this point.

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WWF King of the Ring 2000- Second Round Matches

WWF KING OF THE RING (2000)- SECOND ROUND:
* Continuing the previous review, the second round of the 2000 King of the Ring features some of the more “Okay, come on- is this really a random draw?” matches, as a few guys fight unrelated opposition, but we have Chyna/Eddie, Rikishi/Scotty, and Crash/Hardcore.

Bull Buchanan – Online World of Wrestling

Because Early 2000 WWF: BULL BUCHANAN! Whether you want him or not!

PERRY SATURN vs. BULL BUCHANAN:
(June 18th, Heat)
* Saturn beat D-Von Dudley thanks to DX interference, while Bull handily defeated Steve Blackman.

The much larger Bull uses his size to start, shoving Saturn around, but eats a boot in the corner and a dropkick off the middle. He throws punches but eats a clothesline, but a third straight “whip to corner” reversal sees Saturn back on the advantage, tripping Bull into the ropes and hitting a T-bone suplex for two. But Bull comes off the ropes with a boot and hits his Ax Kick finisher for the quick win (1:51)! Jesus christ that was fast. As a match, this was nothing- Bull was so green they just did three “whip to the corner, but the guy who hits it reverses the charging move” spots to switch momentum, then ANOTHER whip-reversal to set up the finish. 2 minutes for a clean win marks Saturn as the “Jobber” of the Radicalz, which is funny as he was one a lot of fans (including me) assumed was gonna be the biggest star.

Rating: 1/2* (very quick and mobile match, but super-short and a glorified squash)

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King of the Ring Qualifying Matches- 2000 (some Dream Matches!)

King of the Ring (2000) - Wikipedia

KING OF THE RING (Qualifying Matches) 2000:
* So I finally remembered to do another one of these, though we’re past the point where I can recall most of the angles. The name of the game this tournament is the same as last one- Make A New Star. Hopefully this “Kurt Angle” guy will prove more successful than Billy Gunn. This will be a MONSTER set, so I’ll split it up for today and tomorrow.

This tournament is unusual due to the MASSIVE roster of guys- the jam-packed company and no Russo at the time (therefore his attention span couldn’t wreck it) made for a 32-man tournament! We’ve got a huge assortment, though, as all four Radicalz (then newly-hired by the company), Chyna, Jericho & Rikishi provide serious competition, while the company’s vast tag ranks fill out slots left & right for “easy wins” or upsets- Too Cool, APA, T&A, the Hollies, Dudleys & Edge/Christian. This is a verrrrrrrrry interesting time for the company, as they put the final nail in WCW by hiring away four of their top workers, while Jericho & Rikishi had gotten over and Angle was now a completely miraculous rookie find. And what was a company based around having shitty 2-minute brawling matches now had a ton of great wrestlers all over the place, which was kind of shifting the basic style to longer matches with high spots.

Of course, having looked at all these matches… they’re still mostly super-short (as KOTR matches have been since 1994, to be fair), and OH GOD a ton of guys are still stuck in the “Punch & Kick” mode. Bad agenting was all around at this time, with only a handful of guys avoiding it. But it’d be a long, hard road to hit the point of improvement, and a lot of dudes who couldn’t make that transition saw their careers die. You’ll see a very high level of “the guy who loses the match does most of the offense”, probably in a way to look a bit strong or make him feel better about losing- this goes back a ways (you see mid ’90s joshi do this a bunch, too).

I’ll do the first round in one post, then see what I can find for the second round for next week.

RIKISHI vs. SHANE McMAHON:
(May 29th, RAW)
* Okay, I forget the story behind this. Shane is entered in the KOTR, but has to fight Rikishi, who is in the midst of his biggest year ever before everything went horribly wrong. Shane, in a WWF shirt & regular jogging pants, boasts about “beating the Big Show” and how Undertaker couldn’t beat him, marking him as a smart-mouthed wimpy heel.

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Monday Night Raw – July 7, 2003

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 7, 2003
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Please let Austin be back tonight. Last week was the Eric Bischoff Show with Eric restarting a bunch of matches and turning the show upside down in a bad way. The big story is Kane attacking almost everyone in sight in his latest path of rage. That might be what Austin wants though so let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – October 28, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 28, 2002
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This show comes in with a very simple advantage: it’s not the Katie Vick episode. There have been well over 1000 episodes of Monday Night Raw (we’ll hit #500 by the end of 2002) and last week’s might have been absolute rock bottom. There have been horrible shows before, but even the 1993/1994 episodes mainly focused on wrestling. Last week focused on sexual intercourse with a mannequin in a casket. Something tells me this one will be an improvement. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – September 23, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 23, 2002
Location: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after Unforgiven and the big story on the Raw side is Ric Flair joining forces with HHH to form….well to form nothing at the moment but that’s the only noteworthy thing that happened last night. I’m worried about what we’ll be getting going forward but that’s so often the case around here. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – September 9, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: September 9, 2002
Location: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

So there’s a new World Champion and that means we get to hear about how amazing HHH really is. That’s been the case around here for a long time but you can feel it cranking into a much higher level around this point. We’re a few weeks away from Unforgiven and the only match that seems to be coming up is HHH vs. Rob Van Dam for the title. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – August 12, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 12, 2002
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

With less than two weeks to go before Summerslam, it might be nice to add a few matches to the card. Unless I’m missing something, all we have at the moment is Rock vs. Lesnar and HHH vs. Shawn Michaels. While those are both big matches, you need more than that to fill out a show. I mean, Shawn and HHH might disagree but not everyone thinks like they do. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – August 5, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 5, 2002
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Summerslam continues to approach and that means we’re in need of some major matches. The big story around here though is someone attacking Shawn Michaels, sending HHH right back into caring about his former best friend who he just happens to beat up every now and then. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – July 1, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: July 1, 2002
Location: Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re starting the second half of the year as things aren’t exactly the most thrilling at the moment. The big story here though is Jeff Hardy challenging Undertaker for the Undisputed Title in a ladder match. Now this match is really, really fondly remembered but I wasn’t blown away when I saw it a few months back. Maybe another viewing will change that so let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – June 24, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 24, 2002
Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Thank goodness we’re past the miserable King of the Ring and that means it’s time to get read for Vengeance. Brock Lesnar is the new King and that means he’ll be challenging for the title at Summerslam, but that’s still a long way away. On top of that we’ve got the NWO running around doing…..something that isn’t entirely clear. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – June 10, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 10, 2002
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 8,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Steve Austin is gone and he’s not coming back for a long time. Austin walked out of the company earlier in the day before this show due to not wanting to lose to Brock Lesnar in a King of the Ring qualifying match with no build. He had been unhappy for a long time and this was the breaking point, meaning most of the show had to be rewritten at the last minute. There’s not much of a point in recapping most of what’s going on because everything is changing here so let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – June 3, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 3, 2002
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 7,800
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re at an interesting place here as it seems that we’re gearing up for Steve Austin/Rob Van Dam vs. Eddie Guerrero/Chris Benoit though Benoit isn’t quite ready to get back in the ring after his neck injury. Unfortunately the NWO is still running around and that’s not good for anyone, especially the people actually on the team. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – May 27, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 27, 2002
Location: Skyreach Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Things are getting a bit more interesting around here but there’s a lot of bad still going on as well. Possibly above all else though, it seems that people like Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam are moving up towards the top of the card, which is the most important thing that could happen at the moment. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – May 20, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 20, 2002
Location: Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 8,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the first night of the Undertaker regime and that means we’re getting closer to King of the Ring. In addition to that, I’m sure there’s a good chance that we’re going to get more of Austin vs. the NWO, which is now adding names for Austin to beat up from week to week. As long as it’s not Austin vs. Big Show, I think we’re good. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – May 6, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 6, 2002
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Maybe a new month will help things out a little bit. I know I say this every week but it almost can’t get worse than last week with Undertaker very slowly beating Hulk Hogan down because Hogan can barely move at this point in his career. The pay per view really can’t get here soon enough as I can’t imagine they’ll keep the title on Hogan any longer. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – April 29, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 29, 2002
Location: HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

The question at this point is how bad can things get. The wrestling has been horrible but the stories have been some of the worst of all time with uninspired main eventers who look like they’re about to collapse from old age. Maybe things can start to pick up soon because it can’t get much worse. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – April 22, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 22, 2002
Location: Savvis Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the night after Backlash and due to reasons of pure nostalgia, Hulk Hogan is the Undisputed WWF World Champion. That means he’s gearing up for a title defense against Undertaker at the next pay per view, which leaves Steve Austin to feud with Ric Flair because Austin feuds with authority figures. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Night Raw – April 15, 2002

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 15, 2002
Location: Reed Arena, College Station, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s the final show before Backlash and the big Raw main event is the fresh matchup of Undertaker vs. Steve Austin for a title shot at the next pay per view. Raw has been dying in its first few shows and I don’t see that getting any better for a long time. They really need to figure out something with this Brand Split in a hurry because it’s getting bad quickly. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – March 24, 2016

Smackdown
Date: March 24, 2016
Location: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton

Brock is here for a rare Smackdown appearance so you know we’re getting closer and closer to Wrestlemania. There are two shows left before the biggest show of the year and things are ranging from hot to lukewarm at best so it should be interesting to see which one we get here tonight. Let’s get to it.

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