In 2002, the brand extension was in full swing. WWE was very good at making Raw and Smackdown separate entities, while combining the two for pay-per-views.
Also, the name "WWE" was introduced just a few weeks earlier. Times were changing in the company, but the same great shows continued. For Judgment Day 2002, I would give out a B grade.
Why was this event so memorable? Let's find out!
Trish Stratus was the Women's Champion. Stacy Kiebler was the challenger.
The real twist was outside the ring. Trish had Bubba Ray Dudley with her. Stacy had Reverend D-Von Dudley (and Deacon Batista) with her.
With the brand extension going, it was odd to see the Dudleyz appear. This time, they were against each other and on different shows.
Trish picked up the win, but the fun was not over. After the match, Batista and D-Von put Bubba through a table. Very odd to look back...
William Regal defeated D'Lo Brown in the Sunday Night Heat match of the evening.
It was for the European Title, and I still remember this match 10 years later. I am not sure why, but this concept really does work.
Have a nice match in the middle of the card on the pre-show. If fans aren't interested, they likely do not spend money and support WWE anyways.
For fans actually invested, it is a nice treat.
Eddie Guerrero defeated Rob Van Dam to retain the Intercontinental Championship. The two always worked well together, but this match is often forgotten about.
A week or so later, they would compete in a very memorable ladder match on Raw. This battle at Judgment Day was forever overshadowed since.
Right or wrong, this was a good start to the event.
This was Stone Cold's last pay-per-view with WWE as a full-time performer. A few weeks later, he "walked out" and left the company.
He returned for a few more matches, but this was the end of the road for Austin.
All you have to do is watch the video I posted!
Stone Cold was feuding with the nWo on Raw. Ric Flair was in the middle trying to bring order to the situation. Big Show had just joined the nWo, so he was now a heel.
Flair joined the group as well, while he was the Raw owner. Well, none of this was going very smoothly. Everybody tried, but it didn't work.
Show did nothing after this, Flair was fired as Raw owner and turned face, and then Steve Austin left WWE. He knew his time was winding down.
This two-on-one match was fine at Judgment Day. Stone Cold won, but there was just no energy anymore. The Texas Rattlesnake was all but done.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman battled Matt and Jeff Hardy.
It was an interesting feud for the new talent, but it was something that had to be done. WWE wanted fans to hate Lesnar.
Teaming him with Heyman was step one. Step two included going against some nice faces. The Hardy Boyz fit that bill perfectly.
Of course, Lesnar did most of the work. Also, he wasn't going to lose here. Thus, it was simply a fun tag match. Heyman ended up crawling into the ring for the winning pinfall.
The best part about this match is the crowd. It is hard to believe, but there were plenty of "too smart" fans here. A lot of them chanted "Goldberg" during this match. Brock has laughed all the way to the bank, despite the chants.
Yeah, thanks again, fans...
Ten years later, I still love this.
Billy and Chuck were the tag team champions. They had their trusted manager, Rico, alongside them here. The group worked very well together.
Rikishi was set to challenge for the gold, with a mystery partner to be named later. I remember being stumped. Nobody really fit with the big man, so who could the partner be?
Well, it was revealed to us by Vince McMahon. Rikishi's mystery partner was...
In a shocking move, the "new team" actually picked up the gold. My favorite part was Rico kept acting disgusted after the match, while he happily held his title belt.
Edge vs. Kurt Angle was always entertaining. This time, the loser had to have his head shaved bald. the intrigue was certainly there, but I could only imagine one result.
After an excellent 20-minute match, the crowd was rabid for a winner. Finally, we got to see Edge defeat Angle in a huge moment.
The live audience erupted. A few hours later, a haircut was in order.
Kurt was soon red, white and bald!
Triple H defeated Chris Jericho in the main event of WrestleMania for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Even with that, their feud was not over just yet.
At Judgment Day, the two would meet one more time in a Heck on a Deck match. The stakes were instantly raised, and you knew it would be brutal!
The two legends fought all over the steel structure, took out a referee and even ended up on top of the cage. After a bloody battle, there was only one logical conclusion.
Triple H (rightfully) pinned Jericho, and their feud was over. To this day, there has not been another singles pay-per-view match between them.
What a match!
Hulk Hogan was the WWE Undisputed Champion.
Undertaker was the challenger.
There was no way that Hogan was going to last long as champ, thus you had to expect a title change. The only problem was getting through this match first.
It was certainly not a very entertaining main event. However, the status of both men deserved the top honor. That is their legacy to this business.
Hulk Hogan and Undertaker closed a WWE show in 2002.
After interference from Vince McMahon, Taker pinned Hogan. WWE fans saw a new title holder, and it was not without controversy.
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