|Sponsor(s) RC Cola|
City Sacramento, California
|Date May 20, 2001|
Venue ARCO Arena
|Promotion World Wrestling Federation|
Judgment Day (2001) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and sponsored by RC Cola. It was the third such annual event and took place on May 20, 2001, at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California.
Seven professional wrestling matches were featured on the event's card. The three main featured bouts were scheduled on the undercard. The main event was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin defending the WWF Championship against The Undertaker in a No Holds Barred match. The second was a Chain match to win the WWF Intercontinental Title. The challenger Kane against the WWF Intercontinental Champion Triple H. The third featured bout was a 3 Stages Of Hell Match for Kurt Angle's 1996 Olympic Gold Medals that Chris Benoit stole from Angle.
The event grossed over $670,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 13,623, which was higher than the previous year's event. The Judgment Day 2001 event received a lower buy rate than that of the previous year; it had less than 300,000 pay-per-view purchases.
The event featured seven professional wrestling matches with outcomes predetermined by the WWF's creative writers. Wrestlers portrayed either a villainous or fan-favorite role as they followed a series of events which build tension, leading to a wrestling match. The name of a wrestler's character was not always the person's birth name, as wrestlers often use a stage name to portray their character.
The main event at Judgment Day featured a No Holds Barred match, a match with no disqualifications nor countouts, in which Steve Austin defended the WWF Championship against The Undertaker. The buildup to the match began on the April 30 episode of Raw Is War, Austin retained the WWF Championship against Undertaker, though by disqualification after executing a low blow on Undertaker, thus resulting in the decision. In the following weeks, Undertaker attacked Austin, and at one point taking his vest and the WWF Championship. Around that time, The Undertaker, received a phone call stating that his wife, Sara, had been involved in a car accident. The Undertaker found out that everything was okay and that there had not been a car accident at all. The Undertaker began to hunt down whoever made the phone call. On the May 17 episode of SmackDown!, during Undertaker's match with Triple H, WWF Champion, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin appeared on the "Titantron" and admitted that he and Triple H were the ones who had made the phone call.
The buildup to the "Three Stages of Hell Match" started after Chris Benoit stole Kurt Angle's medals by picking them up from the ring after throwing Angle over the top rope and out of the ring. This rivalry escalated more when Benoit announced that he was going to keep the gold medals in a "safe" and "warm" place, which turned out to be in the crotch of his tights. On the following "SmackDown!", Angle faced Benoit and retrieved his medals, but when he went to kiss them he was repulsed by Benoit's crotch odor, which gave Benoit enough time to apply the Crippler Crossface on Angle. Angle dropped the medals and submitted, and on the following Raw Angle challenged Benoit to a Three stages of Hell match. The first fall would be a pinfalls-only match, and the second a submission match. If the third fall was needed, it would be contested as a ladder match.
One main event at Judgment Day featured a Chain match, with Triple H defending his WWF Intercontinental Championship against Kane. The buildup to the match all started after WrestleMania X-Seven on the April 5 episode of SmackDown! when Triple H won the Intercontinental title by defeating Chris Jericho after WWF Commissioner William Regal interfered. Two weeks later on SmackDown!, Triple H and Steve Austin interfered in Kane's WWF Hardcore Championship defense against Rhyno by injuring his left arm with multiple steel chair shots, enabling Rhyno to win the title. At Backlash, WWF Champion, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and WWF Intercontinental Champion, Triple H defeated The Undertaker and Kane to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in a tag team match, in which Austin's WWF title and Triple H's Intercontinental title were also on the line after interference from both Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and her father Vince McMahon The following night on Monday Night's Raw Is War, Kane was scheduled to challenge "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for the WWF Championship, but Kane was attacked backstage by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H before the match even started. Therefore, The Undertaker replaced Kane in the WWF Title match and defeated "Stone Cold" Steve Austin by disqualification, but did not win the WWF Title because of the disqualification. Afterward, Kane came down to the ring to save The Undertaker from the assault given to him by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H, but Kane ended up being put out of action for two weeks after "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H targeted his left arm. On the May 14 episode of Raw Is War, Triple H announced a chain match for the WWF Intercontinental title between himself and Kane at Judgment Day.
Before the event began, a dark match took place on Heat, in which Raven defeated Val Venis.
In another dark match, The Holly Cousins (Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly) defeated Kaientai (Taka Michinoku and Funaki).
The event opened with William Regal facing Rikishi. Regal performed a Regal Cutter on Rikishi to win the match.
Next, Kurt Angle faced Chris Benoit in a Three Stages Of Hell match for Angle's Olympic Gold Medal, with the first fall being a Singles match. Angle performed Rolling German Suplexes on Benoit, mocking Benoit, and attempted a Diving Headbutt on Benoit but Benoit avoided the move. Benoit performed an Angle Slam on Angle, mocking Angle, to win the first fall. The second fall was a Submission match. Angle performed an Angle Slam on Benoit and forced Benoit to submit to the Ankle Lock to win the second fall. The third fall was a Ladder match. Benoit applied a Crippler Crossface on Angle, causing Angle to pass out. Edge and Christian interfered, attacking Benoit. Angle retrieved his Olympic Gold Medal to win the match.
After that, Rhyno defended the WWF Hardcore Championship against Test and Big Show. Rhyno performed a Gore on big Show to retain the title.
Next, Chyna defended the WWF Women's Championship against Lita. Chyna performed a Powerbomb on Lita to retain the title.
After that, Triple H defended the WWF Intercontinental Championship against Kane in a Chain match. WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin interfered, allowing Triple H to attack Kane with a Low Blow. Austin accidentally hit Triple h with a steel chair, allowing Kane to pin Triple H to win the title.
Later was a Tag team turmoil match to determine #1 contenders to the WWF Tag Team Championship. Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn were eliminated by The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) after Faarooq pinned Saturn following a Spinebuster. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) were eliminated by the APA after Bradshaw pinned Bubba following a Clothesline from hell. The APA were eliminated by X-Factor (X-Pac and Justin Credible) after Albert tripped Bradshaw, allowing X-Pac to pin Bradshaw. The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) were eliminated by X-Factor after X-Pac and Credible performed a double Superkick on Matt. X-Factor were eliminated by Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit after X-Pac submitted to the Walls of Jericho by Jericho and the Crippler Crossface by Benoit, which were applied simultaneously. Edge and Christian were eliminated by Jericho and Benoit after Benoit forced Christian to submit to the Crippler Crossface, meaning Jericho and Benoit won the match, and the #1 contendership for the tag titles in the near future.
In the main event, Stone Cold Steve Austin defended the WWF Championship against The Undertaker in a No Holds Barred match. Undertaker performed a Chokeslam through the Announce Table on Austin. Austin hit Undertaker with a steel chair and performed a Stone Cold Stunner on Undertaker for a near-fall. Undertaker performed a Chokeslam on Austin and hit Austin with a chair. Triple H attempted to interfere but Undertaker hit Triple H with the chair. Undertaker attempted a Last Ride on Austin but Triple H hit Undertaker with a sledgehammer. Austin pinned Undertaker to retain the title.
By virtue of their victory in the tag team turmoil match, Benoit and Chris Jericho were given a shot at the WWF Tag Team Champions on the next night's Raw. During the match, Triple H misstepped while breaking a submission hold on Austin and tore one of his quadriceps. Late in the contest, Triple H tried to break up a pin by striking Jericho with his sledgehammer, but Jericho moved and Austin was hit in the chest instead. He was then pinned, which cost the Power Trip their tag team titles. Triple H went on to miss the rest of the year, while Austin began feuding with both Benoit and Jericho by himself. Austin would eventually cost Benoit and Jericho their titles when he assisted the Dudley Boyz in defeating them just before King of the Ring. At King of the Ring, Austin defeated Benoit and Jericho in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWF Championship. The feud came to an abrupt end, however, after Benoit suffered a broken neck during the match and was nearly forced to retire.
With their respective feud ending, The Brothers of Destruction moved on to other endeavors. Kane would eventually lose the Intercontinental Championship to Albert while The Undertaker began a feud with a mystery man who had been stalking his wife. That man unmasked himself as Diamond Dallas Page, and the two would feud off and on for the next several months as the Invasion began.
Soon after Judgment Day Chyna left WWF, and this would be her last match with WWF/WWE as she died on April 20, 2016 in Redondo Beach, California after a drug overdose. The Women's Championship would remain inactive until Survivor Series.