2000 - The WWF holds the 13th-annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Here is Tim Whitehead's original report on the show:
WWF kicked off 2000 with a great PPV show with the Royal Rumble from a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York. The show opened with two very good matches, but the highlight was the dramatic and often frightening WWF World Title street fight between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Cactus Jack, one of those rare matches that will always remain emblazoned in people's memory. HHH was slow to get over last year when Vince McMahon decided to give him the big push. Crowds didn't respond all that well to him at first and it appeared that he lacked that intangible "something" even though it was clear he had the skills and the work ethic. A lot of promotions would have given up on him and phased him down under those circumstances but to the WWF's credit they stuck with him and eventually he got over big time and is now legitimately among the top stars in the business, and deservedly so.
TAZZ defeated KURT ANGLE in 3:14. The match was brief but very good and was an excellent way to introduce Tazz into the storyline. I love watching for "I" signs in the crowd. One said, "Irritable Ignorant Idiot". Angle ran down the Knicks and Patrick Ewing. I really like his routine. Tazz emerged as Angle's opponent, who had been billed as "To Be Announced". Angle charged at him and got backdropped high over the ropes for a major bump. Tazz went out after him but Angle suplexed him on the floor. Back in the ring they traded suplexes and Tazz scored a pin after a superplex off the top but the ref voided the count after seeing Angle's boot on the ropes. Angle scored a couple of quick twos but Tazz went crazy with some killer suplexes. The commentators sold the suplexes big. This is one of the big differences between WWF and WCW. In WCW, the announcers would have been discussing Kevin Nash's feud with Sid Vicious while this was going on. Tazz locked on a choke and Angle went limp and was declared out by the ref. JR and Lawler argued over whether the hold was a sleeper or and illegal choke, which will be part of the storyline. Angle sold it big and didn't revive afterward and was given the full EMT routine and stretcher job. Later in the locker room, he was finally revived but still dazed and kept complaining that Tazz used an "illegal choke" so Tazz's win shouldn't be allowed to stand and his undefeated streak should remain intact.
THE HARDY BOYZ beat THE DUDLEYS in a Table Match in 10:17. The rules here were that the first team to put both members of the other team through tables would win. Passing through a table on an offensive move didn't count, which allowed more tables to be broken. The Dudleys put John Rocker over in their pre-match tirade against New York. Buh Buh Ray tried to put Jeff through a table early but Matt lifted the table out of the way and Jeff took a bump on the mat. Matt did a senton onto Buh Buh on the floor. A couple of more table spots were attempted but blocked. Jeff nailed Buh Buh with a brain scrambling chairshot. He then did his run along the rail but was met with a table when he came off. He hit the table but it didn't count as going through it since he was on an offensive move. The Hardys tried to double suplex Buh Buh through a table but D-Von moved it out of the way. They then used a ladder to send Buh Buh out and gave him another sick chairshot before finally putting Buh Buh through a table on the floor as Matt came off the ladder and Jeff came off the top rope and they both put Buh Buh through. The Hardys used a chair on D-Von and tried to put him through some tables but D-Von moved and the Hardys went through the tables instead (since they were on offense this again didn't count). Buh Buh then plastered Matt with a sicko chairshot and put him through a table to even things up. Jeff hit D-Von with a chair and placed him the top table of two stacked below a ledge. He climbed up and was going to dive off and put D-Von through the tables but Buh Buh attacked him on the ledge. Buh Buh ended up falling off the ledge through the tables. The Hardys got another table and laid D-Von out on it and Jeff senton bombed him from the ledge through the table for the win. Really good match, and brutal as hell!
MAE YOUNG won the Miss Rumble 2000 swimsuit competition. Jerry Lawler hosted the segment, with the pageant judges being Sgt. Slaughter, Tony Garea, Fabulous Moolah, Johnny Valiant (remember him?), Freddie Blassie (who got a pop when he came out), and Andy Richter of the Conan O'Brien show. Ivory acted like she didn't want to be involved, but did remove her gown to reveal her bikini. Luna said she didn't like the contest, either, and refused to remove her robe. Since it was see-through it didn't make a whole lot of difference. Jacqueline, Terri, and B.B. all strutted their stuff. Kat, who naturally got the biggest pop, removed her robe and was wrapped in the good places with bubble wrap. Mae Young then arrived as "The Stripper" aired over the PA. She stripped topless. I swear she did. They put a big censored "X" over the screen but a few glimpses were allowed to come through. And she was declared the unanimous winner, I guess for having the boobs that come closest to reaching her knees. Mark Henry ran out and covered her up. A really embarrassing segment.
CHRIS JERICHO defeated CHYNA and HARDCORE HOLLY in a three-way match to become the undisputed IC Champion in 7:28. There were a few good spots here but overall the match didn't click. They traded slaps to the face. Chyna took a bump over and Jericho scored two on Holly with a flying forearm. Jericho hooked the Walls of Jericho on Holly but Chyna broke it up. Jericho hit a crossbody to the floor on Holly. Chyna did her handspring elbow. They did a few spots where they kept breaking up pin attempts. Chyna kicked a chair into Holly's face and it looked pretty weak. Jericho and Chyna cooperated to do a double splash on Holly but then argued over who would score the pin. Chyna hit a low blow on Jericho and a sloppy Pedigree on Holly for a near fall. Jericho crossbodied Chyna off Holly's shoulders. Chyna superplexed Holly and hit him with a chair. She went for a Boston Crab on Holly but Jericho nailed her from behind and pinned her with a moonsault. There was little heat during the match but there was a pop for Jericho going over.
THE ROCK was interviewed and was confident that he would win the Rumble and sarcastically noted that Crash Holly and Headbanger Mosh were two guys who might give him a little trouble but in the end he'd emerge the victor. Rock was way over as always.
THE NEW AGE OUTLAWS beat THE ACOLYTES to retain the WWF World Tag Titles in 2:35. Pretty much the usual stuff in a brief format. Mr. Ass took a spin bump off a Bradshaw lariat. Faarooq nailed Road Dogg with a spinebuster but Ass broke up the pin. The Acolytes double powerbombed Dogg. X-Pac ran in and spin kicked Bradshaw behind the ref's back. Ass pinned Bradshaw with the Famouser.
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY defeated CACTUS JACK in a street fight in 26:49 to retain the WWF World Title. They aired a great promo video to build up this match. Stephanie came out with HHH but left, not wanting to stay at ringside due to the expected brutality. Cactus wore his "Wanted Dead" T-shirt. Cactus started off pounding HHH with fists. He gave HHH a neckbreaker on the floor. HHH hit Cactus with the ring bell and a hard chairshot. JR shrewdly brought up last year's Rumble where Mick Foley took all the sick chairshots while handcuffed. Cactus scored a two after legdropping a chair on HHH's face. They fought through the crowd and ended up in the New York street scene set. Mankind used a garbage can on HHH and suplexed him on a wooden pallet. Apparently a sharp protrusion of some sort on the pallet slashed HHH's lower leg just above the top of his boot and he began bleeding from there from a deep cut. They brawled some more around this set before fighting back to the ring. Cactus rammed HHH into the stairs and kneed him in the face. Cactus pulled a board wrapped in barbed wire from under the ring for a big pop. HHH got it from him and used it on Cactus. Cactus low blowed HHH and scored a near fall with a DDT. Referee Earl Hebner tossed the barbed wire board out and Spanish announcer Hugo Savinovich tried to hide it but Cactus slugged him and got it back. Cactus hit HHH square in the face with the barbed wire and JR sold it like crazy. In fact, he sold the rest of the match like crazy. This was actually kind of scary because it looked for a moment like HHH was juicing from the eye. He was in fact juicing from several cuts on his face. Cactus hit HHH with more shots and raked the wire across his face and HHH was spouting a major gusher, in addition to continuing to juice from the leg wound. They went out to the floor and Cactus tried to piledrive HHH on the announcer's desk but HHH blocked it and backdropped Cactus through the desk. In the ring, Cactus blocked a Pedigree and again walloped HHH with the barbed wire board for a near fall. Cactus lariated HHH over the top but once on the floor HHH sent Cactus crashing onto the stairs twice for sick looking bumps. JR was still going nuts. HHH began working over Cactus' knee, which had hit the stairs hard. He got a set of handcuffs from Howard Finkel (no explanation given as to why Fink had them) and cuffed Cactus' hands behind his back like Rock did last year. Cactus fought back and tripped HHH up. He even bit his ear, but HHH eventually recovered and began laying in some sick chairshots, including one straight to the face that left Cactus bleeding from the mouth. He laid in three or four shots (not nearly as many as last year) before Rock ran out and flattened HHH with a chair (legal since this was no-DQ). A cop unlocked Cactus' handcuffs. Cactus piledrived HHH on the Spanish announcers' table. He then pulled out a bag of thumb tacks and dumped them on the mat as JR really freaked out. Stephanie came out and looked very concerned. HHH got back in the ring and Cactus charged him to knock him onto the tacks but HHH ducked and Cactus was backdropped onto the tacks. HHH hit the Pedigree (not on the tacks) but only got two for a major pop. He then Pedigreed Cactus on the tacks and scored the pin with several tacks stuck in Cactus' face. HHH collapsed to the floor afterward, a bloody mess, and was stretchered out as Steph looked worried. Cactus revived, ran after him, rammed his gurney into the ring to dump out on the floor and used the barbed wire board on him again to further bloody him up. A great match, very intense and memorable.
THE ROCK won the 30 man ROYAL RUMBLE at the 51:46 mark to earn the WrestleMania World Title shot. Before the start they aired footage of the classic 1995 Rumble finish where Shawn Michaels went over the top rope but only one foot touched the floor so he was not eliminated and went on to win. There were 90 second intervals between entrants but they were actually slightly longer to fill time. D-Lo Brown (#1) came out first, followed by Grand Master Sexay (#2). They fought to no heat until Headbanger Mosh (#3) arrived. Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki, who were upset that they didn't get a spot in the Rumble, ran in but were quickly tossed out. Christian came in (#4) followed by Rikishi Phatu (#5). Phatu eliminated Mosh, Christian, and D-Lo. Phatu's longevity and effectiveness was one of the stories of the match. Scotty Too Hotty (#6) came in and the two Too Cool members began dancing with Phatu but he turned on them and eliminated both Sexay and Hotty. Steve Blackman came in (#7) but Phatu dumped him over. Viscera (#8) came in but Phatu eliminated him as well after some big man spots. Big Bossman arrived (#9) but stalled on the floor and didn't get in the ring until Test (#10) arrived. British Bulldog (#11) and Gangrel (#12) arrived. Taka & Funaki arrived again and were just as quickly tossed out with Taka taking a killer bump on his head which they kept replaying for the rest of the show. In next were Edge (#13), Bob Backlund (#14), and Chris Jericho (#15). Backlund arrived to the tune of "Hail to the Chief" since he's running for Congress (I know that's the President's theme, but Congress doesn't have one of its own). Everyone joined forces to eliminate Phatu. Backlund was mercifully dumped over pretty quickly. Crash Holly (#16) came in followed by Chyna (#17). Chyna and Jericho got into it and both got eliminated. Faarooq (#18) arrived but the Posse illegally ran in and caused him to be eliminated. Road Dogg came in (#19) and spent the next several minutes hiding in the corner. Al Snow (#20) arrived. Bulldog was eliminated. Val Venis was in next (#21). Funaki ran in alone (Taka was carted out after his bump) but got tossed again. They really showcase their foreign talent here, don't they? Prince Albert (#22) arrived. Edge was tossed out. Hardcore Holly (#23) was in next. Rock, who had been teased by the announcers at nearly every call, finally went in (#24) to a huge pop. He eliminated Bossman and Crash. Mr. Ass (#25) arrived. Big Show was up next (#26) and got a pop. He ousted Test and Gangrel. Bradshaw (#27) arrived but the Posse showed up again and caused him to get dumped out. Kane came in to a decent pop (#28). By the way, Lawler kept changing his prediction about who would win with each entry and elimination of a key player. Venis was eliminated. Godfather (#29) arrived with some major high class Park Avenue hos. The hos got a big pop. Albert was eliminated. Funaki ran in yet again and was dumped. X-Pac (#30) went in as the cherished final entrant. Hardcore, Godfather, and Snow were all eliminated. Dogg came out of hiding to help Ass but since this was every man for himself, Ass eliminated him. Ass was then dumped over as well. Rock tossed X-Pac out for a good bump but the ref didn't see it and he came back in. Kane went after Show but X-Pac kicked Kane from behind and eliminated him. Show then tossed X-Pac out and this time the ref saw it. This left Rock and Show, as might have been expected. Rock laid out Show and hit the People's Elbow. Show recovered and hit a chokeslam on Rock. Show went to throw Rock over but Rock grabbed the ropes and Show's momentum carried him over and he was eliminated. Rock won to a big pop but Show attacked him afterward as the broadcast ended. A standard Rumble, with the most popular star going over to make everyone happy and end a very strong PPV.
2000 - Derek Stone wins his third World League Wrestling Heavyweight Title in Lexington, Missouri, defeating Luminous Warrior.
2001 - The WWF tapes the January 25 edition of SmackDown! and the January 28 Sunday Night Heat at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama. The results:
Sunday Night Heat:
- Billy Gunn pinned Albert after the One and Only.
- Perry Saturn (with Terri) pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Raven in a non-title match after a Death Valley Driver.
- Al Snow pinned Essa Rios after the Snowplow.
- WWF Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) defeated Tiger Ali Singh and Lo Down (D'Lo Brown and Chaz) in a handicap match, when D-Von pinned Singh after the 3D.
- The Undertaker defeated Rikishi by disqualification when Haku interfered, with Kane making the save after.
- Bradshaw and Jeff Hardy defeated Faarooq and Matt Hardy, when Jeff pinned Faarooq after the Swanton after Matt hit Faarooq with the Twist of Fate.
- Big Show defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho by disqualification, when Chris Benoit interfered. After the match, guest commentator The Rock hit the Big Show with the Intercontinental title belt and gave him the Rock Bottom on the floor.
- Tazz defeated K-Kwik by submission with the Tazzmission.
- WWF European Champion Test pinned Christian after a big boot.
- Crash and Hardcore Holly (with Molly Holly) defeated The Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather (with Steven Richards and WWF Women's Champion Ivory), when Hardcore pinned Buchanan after Ivory accidentally hit him with her Women's title belt.
- WWF Champion Kurt Angle pinned Kane after Haku and Rikishi interferered. The Undertaker attempted to make the save but was also attacked.
2003 - The WWE Tough Enough III finals airs on MTV from The World in New York City, New York, with John Hennigan and Matt Cappotelli announced as the winners. The other finalists were Eric Markovcy and Jonah Adelman.
2005 - Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX holds "Ground MAX: Night One" at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, which featured a six-man tournament for the vacant AWA World Heavyweight Title. The results were:
- Rikiya Fudo defeated Shinsuke Z Yamagasa.
- In a tournament semifinal match, Steve Corino defeated NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion Masato Tanaka and Simon Diamond in a three-way match.
- In a tournament semifinal match, NWA United National Heavyweight Champion Takao Omori defeated Kensuke Sasaki and Kohei Sato in a three-way match.
- Yoshihito Sasaki defeated Osamu Namiguchi.
- Shinjiro Otani defeated Ryouji Sai.
- Minoru Fujita, Ikuto Hidaka and Tatsuhito Takaiwa defeated Sonjay Dutt, NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champion Leonardo Spanky and ZERO1-MAX International Junior Heavyweight Champion Super Crazy.
- In the tournament final, NWA United National Heavyweight Champion Takao Omori defeated Steve Corino to win the vacant AWA World Heavyweight Title.
2006 - WWE holds a live RAW and tapes the weekend's edition of WWE.com Heat at Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlote, North Carolina, the first WWE event held at the venue. The results:
In a dark match, Deuce and Domino (with Cherry) defeated Brad Allen and Chris Hamrick.
- Trevor Murdoch pinned Romeo (with Antonio) after a top-rope bulldog. Before the match, The Heart Throbs brought two women from the crowd (Beth Phoenix and Shelly Martinez, their debuts) in the ring to dance with them before being interrupted by Murdoch's entrance.
- Chavo Guerrero pinned Jason Jones after the frog splash.
- Val Venis and Viscera defeated Snitsky and Tyson Tomko, when Viscera pinned Tomko with a splash.
- Kane defeated Carlito.
- Ashley and WWE Women's Champion Trish Stratus defeated Candice Michelle and Victoria.
- Shawn Michaels pinned Shelton Benjamin.
- In a Royal Rumble Qualifying match, Jonathan Coachman defeated Jerry Lawler, after the Spirit Squad, making their television debut, entered the arena and started a cheer, distracting Lawler, enabling Coachman to get the pin.
- Big Show defeated Lance Cade, Rob Conway and Gregory Helms in a battle royal. If Cade, Conway or Helms would have won the match, they would have earned a Royal Rumble spot.
2007 - WWE held ECW live and taped the January 26 SmackDown! at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama. The results were:
- World Heavyweight Champion Batista pinned WWE Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms with the Batista Bomb.
- WWE United States Champion Chris Benoit defeated The Miz by submission with the Crippler Crossface.
- Deuce 'N Domino (with Cherry) defeated Adam Evans and John Robinson, when Deuce pinned Evans after the Crack 'Em in the Mouth.
- Finlay and King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) fought to a no contest, when both men began fighting on the floor after Booker grabbed Little Bastard as he tried to pull Sharmell under the ring.
- MNM (Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro and Melina) defeated Ashley and WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick, when Mercury pinned Kendrick after the Snapshot.
- Kane defeated Montel Vontavious Porter by disqualification after MVP repeatedly hit Kane with a steel chair.
- A five-way elimination match between King Booker, Finlay, WWE United States Champion Chris Benoit, Montel Vontavious Porter and The Miz ended in a no contest after The Undertaker came out and cleared the ring.
- In a dark match after the show, World Heavyweight Champion Batista defeated Mr. Kennedy.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, The Sandman and Kevin Thorn in a battle royal, last eliminating Thorn.
- Marcus Cor Von defeated Wes Adams by submission with an armbar.
- CM Punk pinned Elijah Burke with a roll-over.
- ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley pinned Test with a powerslam