The war between the Brothers of Destruction and the Two-Man Power Trip grows more intense in 2001, and it’s Judgement Day for the Game as Kane goes after the Intercontinental Championship!
Welcome to part 9 of The Blog of Kane! My apologies for sidelining this series of the Big Red Machine for so long, but I endeavour to complete this on SmarkDown’s Blog before I tackle any other series.
Now we move on to Kane challenging Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship at Judgement Day 2001!
PREVIOUS ENTRY –>
The entire WWF Landscape had changed again thanks to WrestleMania 17; the Attitude Era ended, Steve Austin was back on top as WWF Champion and had shockingly allied with Vince McMahon AND Triple H to form the Power Trip, the Rock had been brutalised and suspended (to write him off telly so he could go film The Mummy Returns)…and that really left only the Undertaker and Kane as viable threats to stop them.
The Brothers of Destruction fought the good fight, but the war was brutal. Kane lost the Hardcore Championship to Rhyno, thanks to a brutal attack from the Power Trip, which resulted in multiple-chair shots damaging Kane’s arm. Triple H had regained the Intercontinental Championship, Taker and Kane won the Tag Team Championship together, and in a Winner Takes All Match at Backlash, the Two-Man Power Trip (thanks to help from Vince) won the tag titles.
The war intensified with Austin and HHH now in control of all the top gold. The Undertaker brutally retaliated by throwing Austin through a window after the Power Trip had made a hoax phone call saying that Taker’s then-wife Sara was in a car collision. Kane had returned after another assault from the Power Trip, to attack Triple H with a chain. It would again be Austin vs the Undertaker for the WWE Championship, whereas Kane would challenge Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship in a Chain Match.
Judgement Day was upon them…
The Match Itself
The Intercontinental Champion/Tag Team Champion comes out first with Stephanie…naturally to the harmonies of The Game by Motörhead (I miss Lemmy), and once again, it’s a glorious entrance. Kane comes out next, bandaged left arm and menacingly wielding the chain with his right. He comes in and immediately goes for Hunter’s head with the chain. Triple H scurries to safety like the magnificent heel he is. Kane completes his entrance, whilst Hunter’s back at the entrance, scared, defensive & angry.
Referee Tim White is trying to calm the carnivorous, chain-wielding Kane down (Good luck with that!). Helmsley slowly ventures back into the ring, as Kane wraps the chain round his arm. Meanwhile, Jim Ross recaps the heinous actions of Austin & HHH (breaking Kane’s arm and hoaxing Taker over his wife). Kane goes for Triple H again with the chain; Kane clearly wants the Game’s head, and Hunter clearly wants no part of the Big Red Machine.
Eventually, Tim White manages to convince Kane to put the chain down so the match can start, but that gives the Cerebral Assassin the opportunity he needs to get another chain and smack Kane in the back of the head to put him down straight away! Nice going, Tim! The bell rings, and Triple H goes right to work on Kane’s heavily-injured left arm; torquing it round the ropes, slamming it on the ring-apron and bashing it against the ring post. Rich psychology, straight away!
Right on cue, Steph’s being a b**** at ringside, as Hunter continues to punish Kane’s arm. They’re STILL not chained together yet! The Intercontinental Champion continues to press his advantage with a chair-shot, and then ANOTHER chair-shot on Kane’s arm whilst its lying prone across the Spanish Announce Table! Hunter, you B******! Once again, I’m reminded why I loved hating Triple H so much when he was this good a heel!
Tim White orders the IC Champ to put the chain on, whilst JR protests that the bout has already long started and the combatants aren’t even chained yet! FINALLY, Triple H chains-up Kane’s broken left-arm to his own healthy arm, whilst replays show the spot where Triple H landed the chair-shot across the announce table. An injured Kane is back up on his feet, and knocks Hunter down with some powerful right hands. The crowd’s rooting Kane on as he looks some of the chain and whips Hunter across the back. Helmsley retaliates by yanking Kane’s left arm. The Big Red Machine goes down immediately, and sells the injury fabulously!
“We used to think Kane was invincible! Invulnerable! Impervious to pain! But he’s obviously in a world of hurt right now!” says Paul Heyman brilliantly. Hunter exits the ring, and uses the full length of the chain to yank hard on Kane’s arm! Creative and more brilliant psychology! HHH follows up with a double-axe handle (using the chain) to take Kane down, then follows up with a cover. Kane POWERS out at two, but that clearly hurts him even more as he nurses his left arm! Kane’s selling is on-point here!
Triple H then uses the chain to shove Kane arm-first into the ring-steps, then ruthlessly persists by slamming Kane’s face into the steps, then whipping Kane’s arm with the chain right across the steps! Steph is still being the perfect evil cow with her expressions…Kane is still selling the arm fabulously…Triple H now dumps Kane back in the ring, and gets the steel chair to finish the job…
But then it’s KANE’S TURN TO YANK THE CHAIN! Triple H goes hurtling out of control face-first into his own chair as it collides with the ring-post! SICK spot! The crowd comes alive! Kane has now bought himself some precious time! And he’s till selling all the punishment he’s taken! NOW Stephanie’s worried and fearful! NOW Triple H is BUSTED OPEN! NOW the b******’s gonna GET IT! AND HE DOES!
Kane’s back up on his feet! He grabs Triple H by the head and SMASHES the IC Champ’s head in on the steps AGAIN & AGAIN with such brutality! Hunter sells his long-awaited comeuppance beautifully, as Kane now uses the chain to clothesline the Game at ringside! Kane brings Hunter back into the ring, as Hunter begs Kane to back off! Kane’s not interested in mercy! The crowd comes alive as Kane now wraps the chain around Helmsley’s FACE and tortures him with it! Kane then wraps the chain round his right fist and decks Hunter with it. HHH tries to get away, but Kane has him now!
The Big Red Machine – back in the ring – has wrapped the chain round Hunter’s neck (whilst he’s on the floor) and then uses all his strength to HANGMAN the Game! ANOTHER sick spot! Stephanie screams in despair! The crowd’s loving this! Kane eventually lets go, as Hunter slumps to the floor. Kane then wakes up the Game by viciously whipping him across the bare back with the chain! Hunter screams in agony! I can’t get over just how good the selling, psychology and storytelling from both guys has been here!
Kane delivers another chain-wrapped fist into the open wound on Hunter’s forehead and then brings them both back to the ring. Kane tries to go up top for another attack, but the Cerebral Assassin turns the tide by using the chain to pull his challenger off the top rope to the canvas, aggravating the arm again. Steph is worried, Hunter tries to bounce back with a chain-assisted clothesline to take Kane down again. The action spills back to ringside, Kane’s right-hand sends Triple H over the barrier into the enthusiastic Sacramento audience. HHH again targets the arm, Kane responds by slamming the IC Champ off the barricade onto the floor! Another sick-bump!
Both these guys are hurting like hell as the commentators are sure to note the brutality of this match. The fighting resumes back in the ring. Hunter’s face buster and clothesline puts Kane down, but both are visibly spent. Triple H tries to finish things with a Pedigree, but Kane powers out. Then delivers a nut-shot with the chain! OUCH! Another yank of the chain. Another clothesline follows. Kane goes on top, and then flies with the chain to take Hunter down! He signals for the end! The crowd are ready! MONSTROUS CHOKESLAM!
Damn it! Stone Cold runs-in for interference, but eats a big boot from Kane, then gets thrown out of the ring. Triple H takes advantage again with a low blow and tries to finish things off, but Austin’s back in with a chair! HE MISSES! HE NAILED HUNTER IN THE FACE!!! Kane then nails Austin to get rid of him and makes the cover! 1-2-3! KANE IS THE NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION AT 12:27!
In my personal opinion, in terms of one-on-one singles matches…this bout is the greatest of Kane’s career. His matches with the likes of Undertaker and Austin were more famous, but in terms of story-telling, psychology and selling…THIS Chain Match is what I use to state my case that Glenn Jacobs is one of the greatest, most underrated workers of all time. Kane was well in his prime here, and he showed that he truly belonged in this main-event picture, as part of the biggest storylines, against one of the greatest of all time.
Say what you want about Triple H. I certainly have over the years! But in the latter half of 1999, he was READY to carry the company as WWF Champion. 2000 was undoubtedly the year of the Game, and before he got injured the next night on Raw, he was still tearing it up in 2001. To me, Triple H is the greatest heel of all time, and this was another classic example. Making people despise him, working superbly, and then helping to deliver the long-awaited moment where he gets his arse thoroughly kicked. Kudos to him, and Stephanie for being such good heels!
As for the Austin interference…I’m alright with that. It helped set things up for Two-Man Power Trip’s showdown with Jericho and Benoit the next night on Raw, and (of course) their destruction…when Triple H would get injured and shelved for the rest of 2001. As for Kane, he would be a fighting IC Champion; defending the title successfully on Raw and SmackDown against the likes of Kurt Angle, Edge, Christian and Rhyno before losing it to Albert after some incredibly good matches between the two!
That’s it for 2001! Next time we move onto 2002! Stay safe, all! See you next time!
Check out the match here –>