DVD Release Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2002
MATCH #1: WWF Championship Match – Kurt Angle vs. The Rock, No Way Out, 2.25.01
Rock starts off hot but Angle weathers the storm and starts to wear the Rock down. He hits a couple of suplexes, and Rock counters with one of his own. Both men are down for a second and then get back up to exchange blows. Rock hits the clothesline and locks on the Sharpshooter. Angle gets to the ropes and Rock goes right back to work, hitting a Samoan Drop for two. Angle briefly fights back but Rock gets in position to deliver a superplex, and he gets two off it. He recovers and sends Rock to the floor. Back in the ring Rock hits a sudden DDT and both men are down. Then for some reason Big Show’s music hits and he comes down to the ring and delivers chokeslams to the referee, Angle, and then the Rock. Angle is able to get his hand over Rock for a cover, but he kicks out at two. Rock goes and gets the title belt and nails Angle with it, but it only gets two. As both guys are recovering Angle grabs Rock in the Ankle Lock and holds him in it for quite a while before Rock makes the ropes. Angle gets a little cocky so Rock is able to catch him with a Spinebuster and the People’s Elbow for two. They get back up and one of the turnbuckle pads gets removed. Rock gets thrown into it and then Angle hits the Olympic Slam and Rock kicks out! The crowd is going ballistic. Rock is able to throw Angle into the exposed corner, and then hits the Rock Bottom and referee Hebner blows it by not counting three even though Angle didn’t lift his shoulder. One rule I was taught as a referee is that it’s the responsibility of the wrestler to lift his shoulder, and for the referee to act like what he’s doing is real. Rock yells at Hebner and delivers an emphatic Rock Bottom to win the title for the sixth time at 17:21. This was a super-hot match but definitely loses major points for the senseless Big Show run-in and the botched finish, even if it was the referee’s fault.
MATCH #2: Handicap Match for the WCW Championship – The Rock vs. Booker T & Shane McMahon, Unforgiven, 9.23.01
Rock has been the Champion since 8.19.01, and this is already his fourth defense. Booker starts the match, and it’s important to note that if Booker or Shane score a fall they will become the Champion, so both members of the WCW team have a chance to win the belt. Rock is fired up early on but the numbers game plays a big factor. Shane tags in but Rock is not as work down as Shane expected, so he tries to run. Rock catches him and looks ready to put a beating on, but Booker interferes from the apron to give Shane the advantage. Rock tries to fight up but he’s still facing a big disadvantage without anyone to tag. Shane gets too cocky so Rock makes him pay for it with a Sharpshooter. Booker breaks it up and distracts Rock long enough for Shane to low bridge the top rope and cause Rock to crash to the floor. Shane and Booker abuse Rock both in and out of the ring, keeping “The Great One on defense. Booker starts rearranging the furniture at ringside and drills Rock with a superkick. Back in the ring Rock catches Booker in a Samoan Drop and both men are down. Shane gets a hold of the WCW Title belt and he tries to hit Rock with it but he makes contact with Booker instead! He recovers and managers to take Rock out with a belt shot as well. Now both Booker and Rock are down, and Booker crawls over first to cover for a two-count. Shane goes up and tries the flying elbow drop but Rock moves out of the way. Booker comes back in and trades right hands with “The People’s Champ.” Shane joins the fray and Rock has to fight both of them off. Rock plants Booker with a DDT for two. Shane takes Rock down and teases the People’s Elbow but Rock nips up and flattens Shane with a Rock Bottom. Booker gets up and runs right into a spinebuster. Rock sets up for the People’s Elbow but Test runs out and throws Rock to the floor. Test then takes Rock’s head off with a big boot. Bradshaw comes out with a lead pipe to chase Test away. WCW referee Nick Patrick corrals Rock back into the ring, and WWF referee Mike Chioda disagrees with that tactic. Shane covers Rock and Chioda pulls Shane to the floor. Patrick and Chioda argue, and it leads to both of them getting bumped to the floor. Booker sets Rock up for the Bookend but Rock fights out of it and hits the Rock Bottom! WWF Senior Referee Earl Hebner runs all the way down to make the cover and Rock gets three! Well it certainly wasn’t dull, but they almost literally turned it into a 4-on-1 match for Rock to overcome. Though he got some help, it’s fair to say he did most of it on his own. So this was fun in its own way but not super memorable or anything, and they seemed to go overboard in protecting a guy who is bigger than any protection they could ever offer anyone.
MATCH #3: Street Fight – The Rock vs. Shane McMahon, RAW is WAR, 8.6.01
Rock starts the match off hot, unleashing a flurry of strikes and knocking Shane to the floor. Shane tries to fight back but gains no traction there, so Rock sends him into the crowd and they fight all the way up to the concourse amongst the people. Rock is dominating, but as they make their way back towards ringside, Shane is able to clothesline Rock back to ringside. Shane follows him there with a clothesline off the barricade. He finds a trash can and wears Rock out with it. They fight up the entrance ramp and Rock kicks the can back into Shane’s face. Rock finds another trash can and puts it over Shane’s head. He grabs a steel chair and decks the trash can with it, causing Shane to roll all the way back towards the ring. Back in between the ropes Rock smashes two trash can lids on Shane’s head. Shane does the only thing he can and hits Rock in the groin. He follows with some lid shots and then he finds a kendo stick to use as a weapon. As usual, Shane’s swagger gets the better of him and he allows Rock to get a second wind. Rock destroys Shane with a variety of offense, including a spinebuster. Rock sets up for the People’s Elbow and Booker T comes out to make the save. The WCW Champion walks right into a DDT for his troubles. Rock then scores with a Rock Bottom on Shane to get the pin. Watching Rock beat up a McMahon is always going to be fun no matter what. Much like the previous match this made Booker and Shane look pretty foolish, and doesn’t at all make me buy Booker as a threat to “The Great One.”
BONUS MATCH: WCW Championship Match – The Rock vs. Rob Van Dam, RAW is WAR, 9.24.01
Rock has been the Champion since 8.19.01, and this is his fifth defense. Stephanie McMahon comes out to be in RVD’s corner. They start with some chain wrestling, and the crowd is into both guys. Rock almost hits an early Rock Bottom but RVD fights it off and hits a spin kick. RVD clotheslines Rock to the floor and follows him out. He drapes Rock across the barricade and hits the spinning heel kick from the apron. Back in the ring RVD continues to work on Rock, but the WCW Champ catches RVD in a nice perfect-plex for two. Rock can’t keep the momentum though, as RVD trips Rock up with a leg sweep and then squashes him with a Rolling Thunder for two. They go back to the floor and RVD starts rearranging the furniture. RVD charges right into a back body drop and he lands on the Spanish Announce Table. Back in the ring Rock hits a spinebuster. RVD responds with a powerslam and then he misses the split-legged moonsault. Stephanie takes a cheap shot at the Rock and RVD capitalizes with a small package for two. Rock hits a big DDT and then locks on the Sharpshooter. Stephanie distracts the referee and Rock breaks the hold to chase her. Stephanie runs away from Rock, but “The Brahma Bull” goes out and retrieves her. Rock gets distracted, and that gives RVD the opening he needs to capitalize. RVD slams Rock down and goes up top, but he accidentally gets knocked down by Stephanie shenanigans. Rock then hit the Rock Bottom and gets the pin. I can’t recall another time these two were in the ring together, so that makes this a bit of a novelty, and a pretty good one.