February 25, 2001
Las Vegas, Nevada
Originally reviewed here.
This was for Angle’s WWF Heavyweight Championship.
The winner of this match would defend the belt against Austin. WWF was obviously doing Rock/Austin, but we’ll see if the crowd goes along for the ride.
Rock was starting to peak as a performer right here. It’s hard to say how much better he would have gotten, but he pretty much stopped being a year-round full-timer a month of so after this match (which is the period when he started to frequently leave to film movies). They went back and forth to start the match. Rock got the sharpshooter, but Angle made the ropes. It looked like Angle was getting control of the match, but Rock hit a DDT. The Big Show, with his awful haircut, made his way to the ring. He gave the ref, Angle, and the Rock a chokeslam. The referees were distracted. Angle got a nearfall after a referee got back in the ring. Rock hit Angle with the belt for the nearfall. Weird thing for a babyface to do considering that Angle did not cheat. Angle got the Drunk Lock. Rock managed to make the ropes. Angle went after the now-injured leg. Rock came back with a spinebuster. Rock hit the People’s Elbow: 1…2…NO! The crowd booed. Angle undid a turnbuckle pad. Drunk Slam from Kurt: 1…2…NO! Angle kicked out the injured leg, but Rock then sent Angle into the exposed turnbuckle. Rock Bottom: 1…2…NO! It didn’t look like Angle moved at all. Rock Bottom #2: 1…2…3
Not sure what happened with the finish. Vince may have been on a kick for the referees to not let sloppy pins slide. This was WWF/E main event formula. They went back and forth for the majority of the match. They traded finishers. The crowd was into everything. Thumbs up!
Match Rating: ***3/4