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King of the Ring 2002

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King of the Ring 2002 was the tenth annual King of the Ring professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on June 23, 2002 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. It was the final King of the Ring pay-per-view event and the only King of the Ring pay-per-view to feature Raw and SmackDown brands.

The main event was a standard wrestling match for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Undisputed Champion The Undertaker defeated Triple H to retain the title. The undercard featured the 2002 King of the Ring tournament won by Brock Lesnar. Other matches on the undercard included Kurt Angle versus Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair versus Eddie Guerrero, a WWE Women's Championship match between champion Trish Stratus and challenger Molly Holly and a WWE Cruiserweight Championship match between champion The Hurricane and challenger Jamie Noble.

Background

King of the Ring featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on Raw and SmackDownWorld Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers were from WWE's Raw and SmackDown brands—a storyline division in which WWE employees are assigned to a television program of the same name.

King of the Ring featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on Raw and SmackDownWorld Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers were from WWE's Raw and SmackDown brands—a storyline division in which WWE employees are assigned to a television program of the same name.


The pay-per-view event featured the annual King of the Ring single elimination bracket tournament. The winner would earn a WWE Undisputed Championship match at SummerSlam on August 25. Qualifying matches for the tournament started on the June 3, 2002 episode of Raw, with X-Pac and Booker T defeating Goldust and the WWE European Champion William Regal respectively. On the June 6 episode of SmackDown, two qualifying matches were held. The first match saw Val Venis defeat Christian. The other scheduled match was between Chris Jericho and Edge. Edge forfeited the match due to his shoulder injury that he suffered the previous week in a Steel Cage match. Jericho attacked Edge and worsened his injury. On the June 10 episode of Raw, the qualification continued as the WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam defeated Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar defeated Bubba Ray Dudley. On the June 13 episode of SmackDown, the final qualification matches occurred with Test and Hardcore Holly defeating the WWE Cruiserweight Champion The Hurricane and Tajiri respectively. On the June 17 episode of Raw, the quarterfinal matches occurred with Rob Van Dam defeating X-Pac and Brock Lesnar defeating Booker T. On the June 20 episode of SmackDown, Test defeated Hardcore Holly and Chris Jericho defeated Val Venis in the quarterfinal matches.

The main rivalry heading into the event was between The Undertaker and Triple H for the WWE Undisputed Championship. At WrestleMania X-Seven the previous year, Undertaker and Triple H first fought each other with The Undertaker extending his WrestleMania record 9-0 by defeating Triple H. At Backlash, The Undertaker cost Triple H his title match against Hulk Hogan, making Triple H attack him the next night on Raw. Undertaker cost Triple H a match against Chris Jericho on the same week's Smackdown. The two fought at Insurrextion with Triple H winning. On the May 30, 2002 episode of SmackDown, the storyline restarted when Undertaker defeated Randy Orton to retain the Undisputed Championship. Afterwards, Triple H assaulted Taker, claiming that if Taker gives him a title shot, he won't retain the Undisputed title. Later that night, Undertaker distracted Triple H and cost him a match against Test. After the match, Undertaker nailed Triple H with multiple chair shots esp.targeting his arm with it. On the June 6 episode of SmackDown, Triple H and Hulk Hogan co-won a battle royal, an over-the-top-rope elimination match. The match was to determine the number one contender for the Undisputed Championship at King of the Ring. The SmackDown Owner Vince McMahon booked Triple H and Hogan for a standard wrestling match, which was also a rematch from Backlash between the two. In that match, Triple H defeated Hogan to become the number one contender for the Undisputed Championship at King of the Ring. The next week, Vince McMahon arranged a contract signing between the two, but after the contract was signed, the security attacked Triple H. Triple H, however, brought his Sledgehammer and hit the Pedigree on one security guard, making Undertaker retreat. Triple H then destroyed the announcers table, the timekeeper's table and a camera. Later that night, Triple H fought both Undertaker and Kurt Angle, and got DQed by using the Slegehammer on Undertaker. The next week Triple H fought Billy Gunn, only for the Undertaker and Angle to attack him. However, Angle accidentally hit the Undertaker. Undertaker wanted a match against Angle that night, a match that he lost thanks to Triple H's interference.

The predominant feud from the SmackDown brand was between Kurt Angle and Hollywood Hulk Hogan. At Judgment Day, Angle got his head shaved bald following his loss to Edge in a Hair vs. Hair match then during the latter event, Hogan dropped the WWE Undisputed title to The Undertaker due to interference from SmackDown Owner Vince McMahon. On the May 23 episode of SmackDown, Angle started wearing a hairpiece with a piece of amateur wrestling headgear after being shaven bald. On the May 30 episode of SmackDown, Angle interrupted a staredown between Hogan and Vince McMahon when he nailed Hogan with a steel pipe to the back of the head. Later that night, Hogan cost Angle a Steel Cage match against Edge. On the June 13 episode of SmackDown, Hogan challenged Angle to a match at King of the Ring, which saw Angle accepted. Later that night, Angle and The Undertaker attacked Hogan before a tag team match pitting Hogan and Triple H against Angle and Taker. After Angle and Taker defeated Triple H by disqualification, Hogan went after Angle and eventually stripped Angle's wig from his head. The next week, Hogan attacked Angle after Angle's match with the Undertaker.

The predominant feud from the Raw brand was between Ric Flair and Eddie Guerrero. For the previous two months, Ric Flair had feuded with Steve Austin eversince the start of the brand extension where Austin was a free agent and signed with the Raw brand on the April 1 episode of Raw, following advice from Vince McMahon and Ric Flair. On the Mat 20 episode of Raw, Eddie Guerrero attacked Austin on a bar. On the May 27 episode of Raw, Chris Benoit returned to the WWE in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta from a neck injury that he suffered the previous year at the King of the Ring event. Later that night, after Eddie Guerrero lost the WWE Intercontinental Championship to Rob Van Dam in a Ladder match, Guerrero knocked Van Dam over the top rope with the ladder. Moments later, Austin charged to the ring and attacked Guerrero along with Flair and Arn Anderson until Chris Benoit got to the ring and assaulted Austin, enabling Guerrero to perform a frog splash on him. On the June 3 episode of Raw, Steve Austin defeated Flair in a match where Flair became Austin's servant. If Flair would've won, Austin would forever be on the bench. However, the feud ended abruptly with Austin's unexpected departure from the company on June 10 for his refusal to lose a hotshotted match to Brock Lesnar. That same night, Flair lost his half of the WWE ownership to Vince McMahon and returned to active wrestling. On the June 17 episode of Raw, Flair gave a speech over losing the position of Raw Owner to Vince McMahon. The speech was interrupted by Guerrero and Benoit. Flair challenged Guerrero to a match at King of the Ring, which Guerrero accepted. Afterword, both Guerrero and Benoit assaulted Flair, ending with Guerrero straping Flair in Flair's own Figure four leglock submission hold.

A secondary feud from the SmackDown brand was between The Hurricane and Jamie Noble for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. On the June 6 episode of SmackDown, Noble and his valet Nidia made their WWE debut by attacking Hurricane in his locker room. The following week on SmackDown, after Hurricane lost to Test in a King of the Ring Qualifying match, Noble and Nidia made their way to the ring and took turns finishing the Hurricane off with a series of slaps before taking his mask. On the June 20 episode of SmackDown, Noble defeated Billy Kidman to become the number one contender for Hurricane's Cruiserweight Championship at King of the Ring. After the match, the Hurricane got his mask back after nailing Noble with the chokeslam.

A secondary feud from the Raw brand was between Trish Stratus and Molly Holly for the WWE Women's Championship. On the April 1 episode of Raw, after Stratus defeated Terri Runnels in a Paddle on a Pole match, Holly returned in a drastic attitude change and new look by nailing Stratus in the head with a paddle, breaking it into two. On the May 27, 2002 episode of Raw, Stratus and Spike Dudley defeated Holly and William Regal in a mixed tag team match. After the match, Holly attacked Stratus with Regal's brass knuckles. Holly would sneak attack Stratus on many occasions, leading to a title match between the two for Stratus' Women's Championship at King of the Ring.

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.

Tournament brackets

The tournament took place between June 3 and June 23, 2002. The tournament brackets were:

  First Round
(TV)
Quarterfinals
(TV)
Semifinals
(PPV)
Final
(PPV)
                                     
 Brock Lesnar Pin  
 Bubba Ray Dudley 4:49  
     Brock Lesnar Pin  
     Booker T 3:22  
 Booker T Pin
 William Regal 3:26  
     Brock Lesnar Pin  
     Test 8:18  
 Hardcore Holly Pin  
 Tajiri    
     Hardcore Holly Pin
     Test    
 The Hurricane Pin
 Test    
     Brock Lesnar Pin
     Rob Van Dam 5:42
 Chris Jericho Forf1  
 Edge    
     Chris Jericho Sub
     Val Venis    
 Christian Pin
 Val Venis 3:22  
     Chris Jericho 14:32
     Rob Van Dam Pin  
 X-Pac Pin  
 Goldust 3:26  
     X-Pac Pin
     Rob Van Dam 6:00  
 Eddie Guerrero Pin
 Rob Van Dam 9:38  

Note

  • Edge forfeited his match to Chris Jericho due to a shoulder injury.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

External links

King of the Ring
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2002 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views
Royal RumbleNo Way OutWrestleManiaBacklashInsurrextionJudgment DayKing of the RingVengeanceSummerSlamUnforgivenNo MercyRebellionSurvivor SeriesArmageddon

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