| Date: May 19th, 2002
| Venue: Gaylord Entertainment Centre | City: Nashville, Tennessee
| Attendance: 14, 521 | Buyrate: 373, 000
Judge, jury and executioner. The Undertaker takes on all three roles tonight as he zones in on the WWF Undisputed Championship. Undertaker beat Stone Cold Steve Austin to become number one contender to the title last month at Backlash and tonight he gets his shot. Hulk Hogan is the reigning champion after beating Triple H at Backlash and goes in tonight as defending champion. Since Backlash, Hogan has shown no fear when it comes to Undertaker, even crushing his bike under a big truck. Undertaker would get his revenge by tying Hogan to his bike and dragging him around the arena last week on Raw. These two men last met over 10 years ago at This Tuesday In Texas, tonight they renew their rivalry.
In another big match tonight, old enemies Triple H and Chris Jericho will square off one on one in a hell in a cell match. This Wrestlemania rematch occurs after Jericho has done the bidding of Smackdown General Manager Vince McMahon. Triple H has been on the receiving end of a couple of beatings courtesy of Jericho and although he has got his revenge in tag team matches, tonight the two men go one on one inside the demonic structure that is hell in a cell. The other big match tonight is a handicap match with Stone Cold Steve Austin taking on Ric Flair and The Big Show. Flair revealed that he’s hated Austin all along and even set up Austin so that his tag team partner The Big Show would turn on him and join the nWo. Flair is now working as a heel General Manager of Raw and he teams with The Big Show in handicap action tonight.
Besides the Undisputed title, there will be three other title matches tonight. Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero defends against the man he beat for the belt, Rob Van Dam. This rivalry has continued low key since Backlash with both men wrestling against each other mostly in tag team matches. The battle of the frog splashes continue as these men battle for the gold. The tag team titles will also be defended as Billy and Chuck defend against Rikishi and a mystery partner. Rikishi has been a thorn in the side of the tag team champions and their stylist Rico, even hitting the stink face on Rico. Vince McMahon fed up with it all has said that the tag team champions will defend against Rikishi and a partner of McMahon’s choosing.
The other title defended tonight will be the Women’s Championship. It was revealed this month that Women’s Champion Trish Stratus is free to go between Raw and Smackdown as she pleases and got into a swimsuit competition with Stacy Keibler. Keibler wasn’t happy with Stratus and asked Vince McMahon for a shot at the Women’s Championship, something McMahon granted for Judgment Day. What makes this match more interesting is that on one side, Trish has formed a relationship with Bubba Ray Dudley as of late and he will be in the corner of Stratus whilst on the other side, Vince McMahon has asked D-Von Dudley and his new partner, the Deacon Batista to be in the corner of Stacy. It” be the first time we see the Dudley Boyz in the same ring since they were split up in the draft.
There will be a Backlash rematch with huge implications tonight also. The rivalry between Edge and Kurt Angle has continued over recent week especially with Angle targeting Hulk Hogan and Edge saving the man he has always looked up to. Edge would challenge Kurt to a hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day in which the loser would get his head shaved bald. Either Edge or Kurt Angle will be leaving Judgment Day minus their hair. Also tonight we will see a unique tag team match after some brutal chair shots to Brock Lesnar from The Hardy Boyz, Paul Heyman challenged Matt and Jeff to a tag team match at Judgment Day in which Lesnars partner would be none other than Paul Heyman himself.
Before the show, William Regal successfully defended his European Championship against the recently returned D-lo Brown.
A video package kicks us off, first with a creepy Undertaker theme. It then goes into shots of Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Ric Flair and Steve Austin with soundbites from all 6 men. There’s a female voiceover which is a bit different. Judgment Day is upon us! Jim Ross welcomes us to Tennessee, he’s joined by Jerry Lawler and the first thing I notice is the barbers chair near the entranceway.
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rob Van Dam – Intercontinental Championship Match
This is the third consecutive PPV match between these two men. Guerrero beat Van Dam for the title at Backlash before RVD beat Guerrero at Insurrextion by disqualification. Guerrero comes out first which is unusual for the champion. Van Dam gets the first strike in with a shoulder tackle for a one count. Van Dam hits a clothesline for the first near fall of the match, It’s a quick start to the match and Guerrero rolls out of the ring to vent his frustrations. Two solid Intercontinental division competitors here. Eddie gets back into the ring and hits RVD with a cheap shot to take the advantage. Van Dam hits a split legged moonsault and lays in some kicks and a big back body drop and a legdrop for a two count.
Rob Van Dam hits a backbreaker for a two count and once again kicks Guerrero in the back. Van Dam locks on a Mexican surfboard (ironically) on Eddie causing Latino Heat to scream in pain. Van Dam then hits a standing moonsault for a two count. Eddie hits some big right hands and chokes Van Dam in the corner. Eddie has slowed the match right down and he hits some right hands but Van Dam gets back into it with a monkey flip. Van Dam hits rolling thunder and gets a two count. He then hits a spinning heel kick and heads to the top but Eddie crotches him on the top rope before hitting him with a powerbomb. Eddie then heads to the top but misses with the frog splash! Van Dam heads to the top but he misses with the frog splash as well!
Eddie Guerrero has fought at Judgment Day once before, beating Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko in a triple threat match. Both men get up to their feet and after a bit of running about Van Dam hits a cross body for a two count. Eddie then hits a rake to the eyes and a forearm. He tries for another but Van Dam hooks him in a backslide for a two count. Guerrero then hits a backslide of his own and hooks his feet on the ropes to help him get the three count! Eddie Guerrero wins the match and retains his title with a lot of help from the ropes! A good bout between these two men if a slightly disappointing ending.
Vince McMahon is backstage with Stacy Keibler, D-Von Dudley and the Deacon Batista. D-Von says a prayer for Stacy, asking that she beats Trish Stratus tonight. D-Von says that he has spoken to Bubba Ray and said that he better not show up today or he’ll have hell to pay. Vince says he’ll be watching the match but he does have someone to see.
Trish Stratus (c) vs. Stacy Keibler – Women’s Championship Match
Trish Stratus is now second of all time in terms of Women’s matches on PPV, just behind Chyna. This is her 13th PPV match, she trails Chyna by 7 matches. D-Von and Batista head out after Stacy to watch her back. Remember Stacy used to manage the Dudley Boyz at one point. This is a first PPV appearance for Batista who is a bodyguard for D-Von. Bubba Ray then makes his entrance to watch Trish’s back. Trish attacks Stacy as she’s talking to D-Von but Stacy hits a big boot for the first near fall of the match. Trish manages to lock on a Boston crab but Stacy reverses it and there are a couple of near falls. Trish hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Trish then hits some kicks knocking Stacy out of the ring. Bubba Ray gets in Stacy’s face, laughing at her and receives a slap for his troubles.
Batista gets in the ring and powerslams Trish as the referee is distracted. Stacy covers her but Trish kicks out! Trish then hits a kick and a baseball slide to Batista. Stacy then attempts a boot on Trish but hits Batista. Trish hits a bulldog and that’s enough for the three! Trish wins and retains her Women’s title! Trish scarpers leaving Bubba Ray and D-Von in the ring. D-Von wants a hug. Bubba Ray shakes his hand but Batista attempts to attack Bubba Ray. Bubba gets rid of Batista and D-Von knocks his half brother down with a clothesline. Batista and D-Von then lay into Bubba Ray before getting a table. Batista sets up the table and then he and D-Von hit a double flapjack on Bubba Ray through the table!
Ric Flair and Arn Anderson are backstage when Vince McMahon walks in. Vince and Flair shake hands, happy to see one another. Flair says unlike McMahon, Flair will take Austin down.
The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
This rivalry has been running since Wrestlemania. Brock Lesnar beat Jeff Hardy at Backlash and then the Hardy Boyz beat Brock Lesnar and Shawn Stasiak at Insurrextion. The Hardy Boyz wrestled at last years Judgment Say in tag team turmoil but lost the match. Jeff and Matt jump Brock before the bell but as they turn their attention to Heyman, Brock gets back involved. Brock and Jeff officially start the match and Lesnar belly to belly suplexes Jeff across the ring. Jeff tags Matt who hits a flying forearm and some big right hands. A “Goldberg” chant breaks out aimed at Lesnar. He hits a big slam and a big back body drop. This is actually an in-ring PPV debut for Paul Heyman. Brock hits a backbreaker on Matt and some big shoulder charges in the corner.
Matt hits a tornado DDT, taking Brock down. Matt tags in Jeff who hits whisper in the wind. Jeff follows it up with a jawbreaker and then tags in Matt. They hit legdrops on Lesnar and then poetry in motion before clotheslining Brock out of the ring. Matt and Jeff turn their attention to Heyman and hit poetry in motion on him! Brock then drags Matt out of the ring and Jeff sets up for the Swanton Bomb on Heyman but Brock catches him. Brock back body drops Jeff into Matt, sending Matt sprawing to the outside. Brock hits the F5 on Jeff but Heyman wants the tag! Lesnar tags in Heyman who trips as he gets into the ring. Paul pins Jeff and gets the three! Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman beat the Hardy Boyz tonight!
Booker T is backstage in his nWo gear. Mark the interviewer asks Booker about being put in the nWo by Ric Flair. Booker T is down with it but then looks off camera where he sees a female. The girl whispers to Booker T where she’d like his autograph, gives him her room key and leaves. Booker T is a very happy man.
VT for Stone Cold and Ric Flair up next.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Ric Flair & The Big Show – Handicap match
Big Show has wrestled at two Judgment Day PPV’s before and lost at both. Once to Shane McMahon and last year in a triple threat match that Rhyno won. Austin has only wrestled at last years event where he beat The Undertaker. Ric Flair makes his Judgment Day debut tonight. This is Austins 24th PPV in a row which is more consecutive PPVs than anyone else currently. Ric Flair returned this year and has fought PPV matches against Vince McMahon, Undertaker and now Austin. So far this PPV has felt a lot like a Raw brand PPV. This is the third Raw match and the other match was won by a Raw competitor.
Austin hesitates getting in the ring and when he finally does he goes after Flair, knocking him down. Austin attempts a Stunner on Big Show but gets pushed into Flair. Flair goes up top but Austin hits him with a right hand. Austin knocks Flair out of the ring and then hits a low blow on Big Show before locking a figure four on the worlds largest athlete. Flair breaks it up and Austin locks Flair in a figure four. Austin then goes out the ring and grabs a chair but the referee takes it off him. Stone Cold then grabs another chair, sets it up and sits down on it in the ring before throwing it out. Austin and Flair officially start the match and Austin hits Big Show with a cheap shot. Austin then hits Flair with some big right hands. Stone Cold grabs a beer but then throws it out.
Flair knocks Austin down but then gets hit with a big back body drop. Flair takes the advantage with a thumb to the eye and then hits some of his trademark chops. Austin then hits some chops of his own! Another back body drop from Austin and then some big right hands and a clothesline. Flair tags in Big Show who Austin beat at Insurrextion a couple of weeks ago. Austin does some press ups but finds himself on the wrong end of some chops from Big Show. Austin hits some big right hands bug Big Show knocks him down with a boot and tags in Ric Flair. Flair hits some right hands and whilst distracting the referee he hits a bigtime low blow. The two men then slug it out with chops with the crowd chanting “woo” and “what” with every hit.
Flair goes up top but Austin throws him down to the canvas. Austin is the only man to have wrestled on every PPV in 2001 and so far every PPV in 2002. Flair gets a near fall and lays into Austin with some kicks, punches and chops. He then tags in Big Show who drops elbows on Austins knee. Big Show just works away at Austins leg before tagging Ric Flair back in. Flair attempts to roll Austin up for a figure four but Austin rolls Flair up for a two count. Flair then locks the figure four leglock on! Austin reverses the hold but not for long as Big Show drops an elbow on Austin, breaking up the hold. Flair and Austin slug it out resulting in Austin hitting a weak looking spinebuster on Flair and locking on a figure four. Big Show once again breaks up the hold. Flair tags Big Show who finds himself on the wrong end of Austins boot. Stone Cold then hits a Lou Thesz Press and his trademark elbow before doing the same to Flair!
Austin hits a spinebuster on Flair and then a Stunner on Big Show but that doesn’t take him down! X Pac then runs out but accidentally hits Big Show with a kick. Austin then Stunners X Pac and Ric Flair before pinning Flair for the three! Austin wins the match despite all the odds being against him! Austin celebrates up the entrance ramp with a beer. Where were the other nWo members Kevin Nash and Booker T? Not the best match between these.
Michael Cole and Tazz are up in the rafters somewhere introducing the next match between Smackdown competitors Kurt Angle and Edge.
There’s a VT next for Kurt Angle and Edge, a rivalry that started with a t shirt.
Kurt Angle vs. Edge – Loser gets their head shaved bald
This is a devestating first for me. My laptop decided to install updates and restart just as I had finished watching this match. As a result I lost everything I had typed for this one. Gutted. This was a good match between these two though. It ended in a similar fashion to their match at Backlash with a quick roll up out of nowhere. At Backlash it was Angle that won that way but tonight with the stakes higher, it was Edge that won. This feud has really elevated Edge but it would be nice to see Angle get elevated again.
There’s a shot of a nearby Marriot hotel. Booker T is then shown lying in bed and the girl he met earlier joins him in bed. The girl asks Booker to turn the lights off and then asks him to kiss her there and there. Booker asks her to ask him something else and Goldusts voice is then heard asking Booker to leave the nWo. Booker switches the light on and Goldust is in bed with them. Booker leaves!
Michael Cole and Tazz introduce the next match as the Hell in a Cell lowers from the ceiling. They link to a video package showing the history between these two men.
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho – Hell In A Cell
This is the third pay per view match between these two men. Triple H has won the previous two, at Fully Loaded 2001 and Wrestlemania X8. Both men have wrestled on the last two Judgment Day PPVs. In 2000 Triple H beat The Rock for the WWF Championship and Jericho lost to Chris Benoit. Last year Jericho teamed with Benoit to win a tag team turmoil match whilst Triple H lost to Kane. Triple H is one of 6 men (although probably 5 after this show) to have wrestled on every PPV so far in 2002. The two men slug it out in the early going and Triple H knocks Jericho down with a high knee and a back body drop. The rivalry between these two men over the last year or so has been based around Stephanie McMahon but she is not involved in this one. The two men block each others attempt to throw them into the side of the cell.
Jericho hits a flying forearm and lays into Triple H with right hands. Jericho reverses an Irish whip into the corner but then misses with the shoulder charge. Outside the ring and Triple H throws Jericho into the side of the cell twice. Back in the ring and Triple H hits a couple of clotheslines and a suplex for a two count. Jericho throws Triple H out of the ring and then lays into him on the outside before catapulting Helmsley into the cell. Jericho finds a ladder under the ring and rams it into Triple H’s face, busting him wide open. Jericho once again rams the ladder into Triple H’s face. Y2J sets the ladder up in the corner and then Irish whips Triple H right into the ladder, sending him out of the ring. Back in the ring and Jericho charges at Triple H with the ladder once again but this time Triple H swings a chair into him. Jericho manages to hit a bulldog on Triple H into the ladder and then slides the steel ring steps into the ring.
Jericho picks up the ring steps but Triple H drop toe holds Jericho face first into the steps. Helmsley hits a neckbreaker and a facebuster before ramming the steps into Jericho. Jericho runs into Triple H who sidesteps him and accidentally shoves Jericho into the referee who goes flying. Jericho swings a chair into the face of Triple H but there’s nobody to count the cover. Jericho helps referee Tim White up to his feet but then throws Tim White into the side of the cell. Tim White is bleeding now and more referees come out to help him. But they can’t get in the cell as Tim White has the key. Triple H hits a spinebuster on Jericho as the referees use bolt cutters to break into the cell. Triple H kicks a chair into Jericho’s face and all three men involved in this match are bleeding from the face.
Triple H grabs his sledgehammer from underneath the ring and blasts it into the face of Jericho. Bleed it out man. Triple H hooks the leg but there’s no referee to make the count. Jericho crawls out of the open door of the cell and Triple H follows but Jericho slams the door in his face. The two men fight it out outside of the cell. Thw two men fight around to the announce desks where Jericho sets Triple H up for a Pedigree on top of the Spanish announce table. Triple H reverses it though and DDTs Jericho through the table. Triple H finds a barb wire 2×4 from the timekeepers desk and Jericho races up the side of the cell up to the top. Triple H follows him up with the barb wire 2×4 but as he throws it up Jericho grabs it and nails Triple H with it. Jericho then locks on the walls of Jericho on top of the cell! Referee Mike Choida climbs up on top of the cell to check on Triple H. Didn’t realise a hell in a cell match meant falls count anywhere.
Triple H gets out of the hold and Jericho grabs the 2×4 but Triple H hits him with a low blow. Helmsley then sets up for the Pedigree on top of the cell but Jericho back drops him. Triple H grabs the 2×4 and leathers Jericho with it. Triple H covers him but only for a two count. Triple H then hits the Pedigree on top of the cell, the referee counts and it’s over! Triple H beats Jericho for a third time on PPV. Good match between these two in with a stip that bought out the best in them.
Kurt Angle is backstage hiding from Edge. He hides in make up but as he comes back out Edge sees him and chases him down a corridor!
Maven is at WWF New York or whatever it’s called now along with his date for the evening Torrie.
Billy & Chuck (c) vs. Rikishi & Rico – Tag Team Championship Match
Rico is announced as Rikishi’s partner and the tag team champions seem pretty happy about it. Rico wants to start the match, probably to take the fall. Instead, Rikishi starts the match with Billy Gunn like it’s Smoking Gunns vs. The Headshrinkers. I think this shows just how bad the tag team division is at the moment. Gunn misses with a dropkick and Rikishi attempts to tag Rico but Rico isn’t paying attention. Billy hits a neckbreaker and tags in Chuck who lays into Rikishi. Palumbo then hits a belly to belly suplex on Rikishi for a two count. Chuck tags Billy who hits the Fame-asser on Rikishi but only for a two count! Gunn tags in Palumbo who hits some big right hands. Billy and Chuck have been tag team champions since before Wrestlemania.
Rikishi hits a belly to belly suplex on Chuck for a one count. The crowd aren’t into this match at all. Rikishi hits a back body drop on Chuck and a Samoan drop on Billy. Chuck then goes for a sunset flip but Rikishi sits his ass down for a two count. Rikishi hits a big diamond cutter on Billy before getting him with a dropkick from Chuck. Rico then attempts to hit a martial arts kick on Rikishi but accidentally hits Chuck! Rikishi shoves Rico out of the way and pins Chuck for the three! Rikishi and Rico are the new tag team champions! Well, that was unexpected!
Backstage Edge finds Angle but Kurt attacks Edge first! The two men battle to the barbers back in the arena where Edge locks on a sleeper hold. Edge then grabs some clippers and shaves Kurts hair off! Edge then sprays a load of foam on Angles head and even uses a blade to go a little bit shorter!
There’s a video package for Hulk Hogan and Undertaker next. At Backlash, Undertaker became number one contender whilst Hogan won the WWE Championship from Triple H.
Hulk Hogan (c) vs. The Undertaker – WWE Undisputed Championship Match
These two men have fought twice before. At Survivor Series 1991 The Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan for the WWF title and then in the rematch at Tuesday In Texas a few weeks later, Hogan beat Undertaker to win the belt back. Undertaker has main evented 2 of the previous 3 Judgment Day PPVs against Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin but he’s won neither of them. Undertaker lays into Hogan before the bell, attacking him with his own weight belt. Hogan then Hulks up and uses the belt himself! The bell finally sounds and Hogan lays into Undertaker. Since returning to the WWE, Hulk Hogan has had PPV matches against The Rock, Triple H and Undertaker. Not a bad comeback tour. Hulk hits a back body drop and then clotheslines Undertaker out of the ring before tearing his shirt off. Hogan lays into Undertaker on the outside, Irish whipping Undertaker into the ring steps.
Hulk Hogan may be the biggest name in WWE history but nobody has main evented as many pay per views as The Undertaker. Back in the ring and Undertaker works on the left arm of Hulk Hogan, going up top and attempting old school but Hogan crotches him. Hogan looks like he might be bleeding from the top of the head. He hits a superplex on The Undertaker for a two count. Undertaker takes the advantage with a chop block before targeting the leg of Hogan, wrapping it around the ringpost. Hogan tries to fight back with right hands but Undertaker hits him with a big uppercut. Hulk hits a sledge, a big boot and then attempts the legdrop but Undertaker blocks it and applies a half crab to the champion! Hogan gets out of it and Undertaker attempts a big boot but Hogan sidesteps it.
Undertaker hits a (poor looking) chokeslam for a two count. Hulk then starts Hulking up! Hogan starts a comeback and hits the big boot and the legdrop! But Undertaker kicks out! Vince McMahon then appears from the back and Undertaker grabs a chair but Hogan boots the chair into Undertakers face and hits him with another legdrop! But McMahon distracts the referee! Hulk pulls McMahon into the ring and lays him out with a big right hand and a legdrop. The referee sees McMahon out of the ring and as he does, Undertaker smacks Hogan with a chair! Undertaker then hits a chokeslam and that’s enough for the three! Undertaker wins the match and the WWE Undisputed title! After the match Undertaker attacks Hogan with the chair again.
And that was Judgment Day 2002. It felt like a decent show with every match having meaning. It feels like all the top stars on both brands are getting matches but the lower card is still suffering. The show started with a bang though with Eddie Guerrero retaining his Intercontinental Championship against RVD. This feud has definitely got legs to continue, especially with how this match ended. I like the IC division at the moment with these two guys battling it out. They’re both perfect for that division at the moment. The other option is that Van Dam gets moved up to the main event but we will see. Trish Stratus beat Stacy Keibler but oddly the thing that stood out to me in this one was Batista slamming Trish hard and Trish kicking out of the pinfall that followed. Trish wins though (thankfully) and not ever the champion could carry Stacy to an average match. Both girls will go back to their own brands. I’d be more interested in seeing Bubba Ray vs. D-Von to tell you the truth.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman beat The Hardy Boyz but the cherry on the cake had to be Paul Heyman making the pinfall. Lesnar is being pushed as a monster at the moment and he is worth it. He’s powerful, fast and can really work. His relationship with Heyman is perfect. The Hardy Boyz are treading water at the moment, the tag team titles are on the other brand so they’re not up to much. Steve Austin beat Ric Flair and The Big Show in a surprising result. It’s a good win for Austin though who hasn’t been involved in the Undisputed title picture since No Way Out back in February. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Austin and Undertaker at King Of The Ring but Austin has a good feud going with Flair at the moment and I wouldn’t mind seeing them go one on one.
Edge defeated Kurt Angle in a decent match. It also means that Kurt got shaved bald. I think this has to be the end of their feud. Both men can move on from this now onto new guys for the summer. It’s a really big win for Edge who only seems to be going onward and upwards at the moment. Kurt is so good that he won’t slip down the card. Triple H beat Chris Jericho in a match that felt a bit thrown together because they had nothing better to do. The hell in a cell match was great and I like the match finishing on top of the cell. It always seems inevitable that they will leave the cell and Tim White took a sick bump to allow them to do it. Great match between these two.
Rikishi and Rico then beat Billy and Chuck. Not sure I’m a huge fan of this decision but it will make for an entertaining few weeks (until they inevitably drop the belts back). Rico showed at the end that he likes being tag team champion. Maybe Rico and Rikishi will form a relationship and Rico will style Rikishi? Then in the main event, The Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan to become Undisputed WWE Champion again. There have been title changes on the last 3 major PPVs, going from Jericho to Triple H to Hulk Hogan to Undertaker. It wasn’t the best match between Undertaker and Hogan but it was above average. Vince McMahon essentially cost Hogan the match so I think a feud between those two will be the plan going forward. Undertaker could take on the likes of Steve Austin, Triple H or even Edge.
Overall Rating: 58.75/100 (ranked joint 54th out of 138)
Match Of The Night: Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
Worst Match Of The Night: Trish vs. Stacy & Billy & Chuck vs. Rikishi & Rico
Surprise Of The Night: Austin wins the handicap match
Worst Booking Of The Night: Rikishi & Rico win tag team champions
Superstar Of The Night: The Undertaker
Judgment Day 2002 Will Be Remembered For: Undertaker winning the title & Kurt Angle getting shaved bald