WWF Smackdown
Royal Rumble Pay Per View

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Rumble in the Bayou

On Sunday Night Heat just before the Pay Per View, Vince clears up the controversy regarding whether or not Triple H provoked Stone Cold on Smackdown! and thus lost his chance to go for the WWF Title tonight. Vince says that Angle interfered, and Triple H stuck to the spirit of the ruling, if not the letter, so he will still get his shot tonight. As if we were all worried about it.

Stephanie and Triple H discuss Hunter's match tonight. Stephanie says that she will be ringside to prevent Trish from interfering. There's a knock at the door -- it's Drew Carey! I don’t know why I was so excited about that. Drew is looking for Vince. Stephanie doesn't know where Vince is, but she directs Drew to Trish Stratus' dressing room, since Drew is such a "ladies' man." Drew asks if Trish is dating anyone, and Steph says that she isn't. Steph leaves to show Drew the way.

The Acolytes are playing poker and drinking beer backstage. They decide to show each other their Royal Rumble numbers, to big laughs. Crash Holly enters to let the Acolytes know that even though they are friends, he will eliminate them from the Rumble if he has to.

After all of that, it's finally time for the Intercontinental Title Match, which will involve ladders. Chris Jericho versus Chris Benoit. Ladders. I can't wait. There's a long clip package of all the interaction these two have had in the WWF. Jericho and Benoit both make their entrances, but there’s no interview with Jericho, to my disappointment. JR explains that the Intercontinental Title Belt is suspended from the ring, and the winner will be the one who sets up the ladder, climbs it, and retrieves the belt. Benoit is the first to get to the ladder, and he places it ringside and then shoves it into the ring. After beating Jericho and leaving him for dead outside the ring, Benoit puts up and begins climbing the ladder. Jericho follows him up, and does an "Electric Chair" -- Benoit ends up on Jericho's shoulders, and Jericho drops him backwards. Jericho picks up the ladder and starts using it on Benoit's face and gut. Benoit later tosses Jericho face-first into the ladder. Jericho ends up outside the ring, and Benoit decides to leap over the top rope and land on Jericho -- except that Jericho is holding a chair and Benoit ends up going into the chair headfirst. Man, that was loud. Benoit really knows how to sell the chairshot. A bit later, Benoit rams Jericho's head with the ladder, and Jericho clearly and obviously puts his hands up so that it doesn't hurt his pretty face. Or maybe I'm projecting. There are a lot of "being on the ladder while it's falling" and "hitting your opponent with the ladder" spots. I don't mean to gloss them over, because they are amazing, but you really have to see them to appreciate them. Jericho starts to climb the ladder, going for the belt, but Benoit grabs him and dumps Jericho over the top rope. With Jericho out of the ring, Benoit starts climbing the ladder. Jericho makes it back into the ring and follows him up, eventually getting a submission hold on Benoit on top of the ladder. Sweet fancy Moses, that was cool. Jericho dumps Benoit off the ladder and reaches for the belt, but Benoit pushes the ladder over. Benoit gets the Crippler Crossface on Jericho, but there are no submissions in this match. Later, Benoit attempts a headbutt from the top of the ladder, but Jericho rolls out of the way. Jericho sets the ladder right on top of Benoit in an attempt to pin Benoit while he climbs, but Benoit pushes the ladder over and Jericho falls on the turnbuckle. I love when they use the camera attached to the belt! Benoit starts climbing, but Jericho uses a chair on Benoit before pushing the ladder over so that Benoit flips out of the ring. Jericho sets the ladder up and really sells his injured left arm while climbing. But he makes it to the top and gets the belt to become the new Intercontinental champ. Wow. That was an awesome match.

Backstage, Drew Carey is chatting up Trish Stratus. Trish says that she is "involved with someone," but Drew tries to convince her that he would be the better man. Vince walks in. Drew, not knowing about Vince and Trish, talks about his Pay Per View. Vince says that the best way to promote Drew's Pay Per View would be if Drew participated in tonight's Royal Rumble. Drew is anxious about getting hurt, but Vince assures him that it will be fun, with no injuries. Drew agrees to participate. I bet hijinks will ensue.

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WWF Smackdown

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