1. Tag Team Match for the WWF Tag Team Championships
Edge and Christian (C) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley)
Going into this match Edge and Christian had attacked The Dudleyz on RAW and Smackdown, on RAW they concussed Bubba Ray in the backstage area. Then on Smackdown they slam Devon to the mat head first. That set the stage for this match, this was your Attitude Era style opener where the crowd is hot, smoke is clearing from the opening pyro...just a really good atmosphere.
This was a good ten minute Tag Team Match; the crowd was heavily invested into this match. Edge and Christian would hit a move and the crowd would be on the edge of their seat before The Dudley in question kicks out. Edge and Christian were about to hit the Dudley Boyz' top rope headbutt move, but the Dudleyz countered into a 3-D therefore the Dudley Boyz WIN The WWF Tag Team Titles.
Rating-***, Winner-The Dudley Boyz To Win The WWF Tag Team Championships, Time-9:59
Backstage Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are backstage talking, Drew Carey comes in and they have a horribly shot conversation. They clearly sent Drew in their with no experience, this leads to Stephanie telling Drew that she'll show him to Trish Stratus' locker room.
They go to the APA's poker room, they are drinking beer and showing each other their numbers (WWE are showing us guys getting intoxicated just before they put other people's lives in their hands. LOL). Hardcore Holly comes in and tells them that if it comes down to them he will throw them both over the top rope.
2. Ladder Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Chris Benoit (C) vs. Chris Jericho
This was a brutal ladder match; this match makes you remember why Chris Benoit's brain was as messed up as it was. Benoit took some brutal shots to the head in this match; for ex Benoit went for a dive through the middle ropes but Jericho just smashes him in the head with an unprotected chair shot. Or when Jericho placed Benoit leg in the ladder before pushing the ladder over.
Jericho Irish Whipped Benoit face first into the point of the ladder, Jericho slammed the ladder into Benoit's face. Probably the spot of the match was when Chris Jericho locked in the Walls of Jericho to Chris Benoit on top of the ladder, this was really cool but at the same time looked worked as Benoit co-operated with Jericho in order to make the moves work.
Yet another cool (but painful looking spot) was when Benoit went for a diving headbutt from on top of the ladder but Jericho got out of the way therefore Benoit landed on his face. The ending saw Jericho push Benoit off the ladder onto the outside of the ring, from there Jericho slowly climbed the ladder before grabbing the Intercontinental Championship belt to win the title.
Rating-****3/4, Winner-Chris Jericho To Win The WWF Intercontinental Championship, Time-18:44
3. Singles Match for the WWF Women's Championship
Ivory (C) w/Stevie Richards vs. Chyna
This was with out a doubt the worst match on this card, this match went for around three minutes 9three minutes of Chyna man handling Ivory). Then the ending happened, the ending saw Chyna go for a move where she did a forward flip then somehow she hit her neck on the turnbuckle (it was a pretty confusing finish). She is not moving and Ivory pins her to retain.
They spend the next five to ten minutes getting her on a stretcher and taking her out of the arena, I hated this because it reminded you of the Owen Hart tragedy at Over The Edge 1999. Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross were so sombre as Chyna got placed on the stretcher (this storyline was way to touchy for my liking). They should have done this storyline with a much better actor then Chyna.
Rating-DUD, Winner-Ivory To Retain The WWF Women's Championship, Time-3:32
4. Singles Match for the WWF Championship
Kurt Angle (C) w/Trish Stratus vs. Triple H w/Stephanie McMahon
This match had an interesting heel versus heel dynamic, from what I have gathered people didn't know who to cheer for. The other dynamic in this match were the two corner women, in Triple H's corner was the bosses daughter Stephanie and in Angle's corner. Eventually both ladies would get carried out of the arena brawling as Vince tries to stop them from fighting.
From then on there was an entertaining series of wrestling, both guys had some back and forth moments where it looked like they would win the title. In the end Earl Hebner got knocked down, Triple H hit a Pedigree on Angle but once again the ref's down. HHH goes to check on Hebner but Stone Cold Steve Austin comes down and beats up Triple H.
Austin gets into the ring and hits a stunner on Triple H, Angle rolls over to him and puts his arm over Triple H as the referee slowly counts the 1...2...3 therefore Kurt Angle retains the WWF Championship with a large assist from Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Rating-***3/4, Winner-Kurt Angle To Retain The WWF Championship, Time-24:16
Backstage The Rock is shown cutting a promo about how he is ready for the Royal Rumble, he doesn't care whether the Brothers of Destruction are reunited because he'll throw them both over the top rope and to the floor, except he said that with a lot of Rock references.
5. MAIN EVENT-The 2001 Royal Rumble Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin Won By Last Eliminating Kane
This match is probably the greatest Royal Rumble Match of all time; it was so beautifully written (nothing I could come up with would come near the writing of this match). The first chapter of this match started off with Jeff Hardy (#1) and Bull Buchanan (#2), then Matt Hardy comes in at (#3). The Hardyz toss out Bull Buchanan before going at one another for the next two minutes. Then the celebrity Drew Carey comes in at #5.
The Hardyz eliminate themselves at the same time to leave Carey by himself in the ring, Kane comes in at #6. Kane stares down Drew Carey, Carey offers Kane money (LOL) to not harm him. Kane grabs Drew for a chokeslam but Drew gets away before climbing over the top rope to eliminate himself. From there the second stage begins, the hardcore stage.
Raven, Al Snow, Steve Blackman, Perry Saturn and Grand Master Sexay all make their entries into the match, each guy brought a variety of weapons. The ring turned into the WWE Warehouse, there were trash cans, pot plants, chairs, probably some pets (everything you can imagine). The hardcore guys do their thing before Kane goes on a spree and eliminates all five of them.
Honky Tonk Man comes out next to make his return following a decade long hiatus from WWE, Honky Tonk Man grabs his guitar and sings his entrance theme. Kane looks at him like "You absolute idiot" before grabbing his guitar and smashing it over the head of Honky Tonk Man to eliminate him. Then #13 comes out, Number 13 is the Great One...THE ROCK.
That leads to the fourth chapter of this Royal RumbleThen you skip a little bit and Big Show makes his surprise return at #23 only to be eliminated by The Rock. Big Show proceeds to Chokeslam the Rock through a table. At #25 the Undertaker comes out which prompts the Brothers of Destruction reunion, Scotty 2 Hotty comes out and his eyes bulge out of his head as he sees The Brothers of Destruction in the ring (they eliminate him within a minute).
Then #27 is Stone Cold Steve Austin, Austin comes down but Triple H attacks him from behind. Triple H throws Austin into the ringside barricade, he punches him in face, hits him in the face with all kinds of stuff. Austin is bleeding everywhere, meanwhile The Rock gets back into the ring and Billy Gunn comes in at #28 and Haku comes in at #29 (Rikishi comes in at #30).
The Final 4 consists of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Kane and Billy Gunn; they make short work of Billy Gunn. That leaves Austin, Rock and Kane (Kane is at 10 eliminations at this point), The Rock goes to bodyslam Austin out but Kane grabs the Rock's legs to eliminate The Rock. From there Kane probably should have won but instead Austin uses a chair into a clothesline to eliminate Kane to win the Best Royal Rumble Match Ever.
Rating-*****, Winner-Stone Cold Steve Austin, Time-1:01:55
Overall Show Rating; A; This show had almost the exact same format (matches and star ratings) as the 2000 Royal Rumble PPV. It opened up with an entertaining 3 Star Match (The Dudleyz vs. Edge and Christian for the Tag Team Titles), then we had a 4+ match that involved weapons (Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit for the IC Title in a Ladder Match).
Then we had the worst match of the night at a DUD (Chyna vs. Ivory), then we had one of the two main events get a 3 and a half star rating (the WWF Title match between Angle and Triple H). That lead to the main event which was the greatest Royal Rumble Match of all time, this was won by The Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin although Kane probably should have won.
This is a must watch show; from the entertaining opener, to the incredibly violent ladder match, to the WWF Title Match to the greatest Royal Rumble Match of all time...definitely check this show out alongside Royal Rumble 2000.