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January 29, 2001 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble review, Shawn Michaels to return, more


In what was one of the best PPVs in the history of the WWF, the company gave a big tease for the eventual Rock vs. Steve Austin match which at this point still looks to be the headliner at Wrestlemania, putting Austin over in the Rumble.

The show, featuring some strong highs and only a few lows, featured an early match of the year candidate in the Chris Jericho IC title win over Chris Benoit in a ladder match. The match was different than most ladder matches, and a change of pace from original thoughts. The original idea was to use multiple ladders, break ladders and revolve the match around ladder spots. Instead they went with an approach that would see them not have to top previous ladder matches for the multitude of crazy ladder spots by revolving much of the match around doing a wrestling match, but throwing in enough ladder spots that nobody felt they weren't getting the gimmick. The five-match PPV aspect of the show also featured a second match along the same lines, with the Dudleys winning the tag titles over Edge & Christian in a match devoid of crazy spots, and while the table was teased, it was never actually used, but the teams still put on a solid opener.

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