17 year ago today, three of the greatest wrestlers of all time clashed at Vengeance to do battle for the WWE Undisputed Championship.
Most wrestling fans over a certain age tend to think that the Attitude Era was the greatest period in the industry's history. On a number of levels, those fans are probably right. However, that iconic era didn't just come to an abrupt end. We didn't all wake up one day and the Attitude Era was simply over. There was a modicum of overlap.
That overlap began during the decline of WCW. Eventually, Vince McMahon would buy his competition and gradually acquire some of the defunct company's wrestlers. Before WCW's biggest guns made the jump, the Superstars who helped win the Monday Night War for WWE continued to impress. 2002 is a year that is often overlooked in terms of success. A year when many of those top Superstars thrived.
REMEMBER WHEN: Omega, Rollins, & Bryan Competed In A Triple Threat Match
You need look no further than Vengeance 2002's main event for evidence of that. The Rock, The Undertaker, and Kurt Angle clashed for the WWE Undisputed Championship on that night. A night that happened 17 years ago to the day, as pointed out by WWE. Rock, who won that match to become champion for the seventh time, took time out to thank Angle and Taker for the memories.
Rock tweeted "Our roster was so deep with big box office drawing$ talent back then we all took turns at being #1." Angle has since replied to the glowing praise with some of his own, writing, "You’re one of the best pure athletes I’ve ever faced," in regard to Rock. Taker might have a Twitter account of his own now, but he is yet to chip in with his own thoughts on the match.
If you had told us after that match that Taker would be the last one active of the three, we would have called you crazy. The Deadman's career began years before both Rock and Angle. Yet here we are. Angle retired earlier this year, and although Rock has not officially retired, he will likely not wrestle more than a match or two for the rest of his life. At least we have the WWE Network so can relive the match above as often as we like.