It’s nearly time for the 2010 Royal Rumble and it’s got the Diva Dirt team feeling all resminiscent! Over the next day or so, we’re going to be rewinding the clock and reliving our favourite Rumble moments.
Erin: I’ve chosen the Trish vs. Jazz Women’s Championship match from the 2002 Royal Rumble. Jacqueline served as the referee, which if I recall correctly was a recurring thing for her back then proving that, as much as we like to glorify the 2002/2003 Diva era, even the really talented Divas could get saddled with inane roles. The match had its buildup capped off with a brutal attack by Jazz, who smashed Trish’s hand in an equipment trunk just days before. If that’s not something that could build excitement for a title match, I don’t know what can. Ever the resilient underdog, Trish came prepared, hand bandaged but ready to fight.
Jazz demonstrated her pitbull-like tenacity in not letting Trish even get out of her coat before starting the match. Jazz righly focused on Trish’s injured hand, showing no mercy and allowing Trish to be the selling machine she was starting to become that early in her wrestling career (this was, after all, her first title reign). In this match Trish showed some impressive, natural skill, especially for someone who began wrestling regularly only months before. These days, it seems to take much longer for the new Divas to pick up that feeling of naturalness in the ring. That said, she had a more than capable ring partner here in Jazz, whose punches were enough to lay a Diva out with one blow. I really miss the kind of stripped-down toughness Jazz exuded and had on full display in this match. Even referee Jacqueline wasn’t messing around; Jazz’s cheating prompted a more physical response than we usually see out of the officials.. Anyone think there needs to be more shoving by referees? Okay, maybe not..
I especially loved that Trish’s (often maligned) Stratusfaction finisher didn’t end the match like you’d think it would. Jazz actually reversed the pin into one of her own and made you seriously doubt Trish’s power to defeat such a tough opponent. I love that kind of unpredictability. Even though a standard bulldog was enough to finish off Jazz, it was still a hard-fought match and wasn’t as cookie-cutter of an ending as the rising babyface often earns. All around this match demonstrated how a less experienced champion can be successful without burying or discrediting her more experienced competition. It wasn’t insulting to Jazz to lose to such a green champion, because Trish had that “come from behind” style that allowed her to battle back and pull out wins without ever actually being dominant. Young babyfaces of today, take note: this is how you play the underdog role.
Discuss your memories of this match in the comments.