Arnold Furious: We’re in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Entertainment Center (stop sniggering in the back). Hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. 2002 was a time of unexpected turbulent change. The WWF had won the Monday Night War, routing WCW in 2001 and taking all their worthwhile talent, before taking any remaining name talent from ECW too. With no competition, the WWF set about reinventing itself. Their hand was rather forced after they lost a legal case, a rarity for Jerry McDevitt, against the World Wildlife Fund over use of the initials “WWF”. The promotion could no longer trade under those initials and was forced to “get the F out”. I imagine Vince McMahon was steaming mad about being forced to change his company’s name (or about being forced to do anything, for that matter, he’s a control freak). Seeing as the F had just got out, this is the first PPV aired under the new name; World Wrestling Entertainment. It seems normal, as time passes, but in 2002 the name change was bizarre and many speculated as to why they’d not used WCW (a dead brand) or WWWF instead opting for something that spelled out “wee”.
There were teething issues on the changeover and most of the advertising for Judgment Day 2002 had already been done, so the WWF logo was all over it and nearly impossible to edit out. Because of little issues like this the DVD has become exceptionally rare (for modern times). Buying it from Amazon here in the UK will set you back £35, which is a lot for a new DVD let alone a release from over a decade ago. Think yourself lucky in the UK though, as the American version is all but removed from circulation and copies sell for nearly $200. So if you happen to own a copy that’s in mint condition, you’re sitting on a potential gold mine. I didn’t want to upset myself before watching this show by looking at the card, then the opening video reminds me that tonight’s main event is Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker. In 2002!