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[2001-01-01-WWF-Raw] The Undertaker vs Rikishi


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The winner of this goes on to meet the winner of Kane vs The Rock on Smackdown and then the winner of that faces Kurt Angle for the World title next week on Raw.  We get clips of Rikishi leaving the Rock and Taker laying on last week’s Smackdown.  The Undertaker is out first, followed by Rikishi who stays at the top of the entrance, beckoning Taker to come and meet him.  He doesn’t need a second invitation, hopping on his Harley and driving back up the ramp, Ross and Lawler thinking that he’s going to run Rikishi over.  They disappear through the curtain before returning, Rikishi doing the teeter totter spot on the edge of the ramp teasing that he’s going to take a spill off it to the floor.  The pair fight their way back to the ring and the match is officially underway.  The Rock is shown watching on a monitor backstage as Taker floors Rikishi with a big running lariat in the corner.  Rikishi rolls to the floor, Taker in hot pursuit, however when Ki ducks back inside he’s able to get a jump on the former “Dead Man”, dropping a leg across the back of his head.  Belly to belly.  Taker pulls himself to his feet, but Rikishi misses on the charge as he goes to “Back dat ass up”.  A clothesline turns the Samoan side.  He grabs his sternum on attempting the Last Ride, Jim Ross in disbelief prior to the attempt thinking that there is no way he would be able to hit that move on a 400lb’er.  Rikishi telegraphs the backdrop and a jumping DDT gets Taker the win who is now just one more win away from a World title match.

The last time these two met in a singles Rikishi came out on top, despite that I don’t think the result was ever really in doubt.  The heel turn has killed Rikishi who’s dead in the water as a character at the moment.

Note:  After finishing 2000 I had planned to continue with the PWO2K project (the year 2001 at least), albeit not putting myself under any pressure or constraints, just when I fancied watching some stuff I would and I’d then write about it on the board.  Seeing how the project has completely died that will not be happening now as I have other things I could be doing with my time and other wrestling I would rather watch when fancying some wrestling.  Deleting about 25GB of stuff from my computer the other night was the official nail in the coffin for me.  I have a bunch of reviews that I’ll be posting from stuff I’d already watched (the intention was to post everything in order for 2001 not jump around so much as I did with 2000) then that’s it for me on PWO2K.

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Mini four way tournament for #1 contender between Kane/Rock/Rikishi and Taker. Rikishi comes out to the entranceway but just stands there. Taker gets on his bike and chases after him. They tease some bumps from the entranceway but eventually walk fight back into the ring. Taker dominates sending Rikishi into the table until Taker rolls Rikishi into the ring first and he recovers enough to drop a legdrop on Taker.  After about 90 seconds of Taker offense, Taker is back at it with a clothesline. This provides just a quick hope spot as Rikishi is able to hit a belly to belly seconds later.  Rikishi warms up the ass and misses a charge in the corner.  Inside out bump on another Taker lariat.  Taker goes for the last ride but the ribs are too injured.  Rikishi gives a legdrop to those ribs but puts his head down and a quick DDT from Taker wins.  Weak finish as I thought they were actually going to make Rikishi look good here.  Taker’s bulldozing approach in 2000 was a complete turn off and he starts off 2001 in nearly the same way. *1/2

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