Friday, January 13, 2012

Royal Rumble Top 30 - January 13

18. The Rock vs. Chris Jericho - 2002

I have a much deeper appreciation for the Jericho/Rock rivalry. At its peak, I hadn't yet gone through treatment, so you were likely to hear me say things like "OMG JERICHO IZ BURRRRIIIIEEEEDDD!!!" But looking back, these two had some great matches, terrific promos and The Rock's "burials" were just what The Rock did, for better or worse. And after reading Jericho's books and learning how much he loved working with The Rock and how many good matches they had (even if most were marred by Attitude Era finishes), they're much more fun to go back and revisit with the benefit of hindsight.

And speaking of promos, this match gets a place on the list for Jericho's promo on the Smackdown before the Rumble. The infamous "YOU WILL NOT LOOK PAST ME!" promo that was probably my favorite Jericho promo up until his 2008 turn and started calling us all mucilaginous troglodytes.

The match is pretty great too, mainly thanks to The Rock's unmatched intensity and Jericho's general amazingness. As mentioned, they did have some bad finishes in their storied rivalry and this match is no exception, though I do think it would've worked better in any other era. But everything beforehand is powerful thanks to its obscenely talented participants and a red hot Atlanta crowd. Wouldn't it be great if these two locked up one more time in 2012? Would be a hell of a SummerSlam main event; just throwing it out there, Dwayne!

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