February 25, 2002
It was a breezy, chilly day as six of the WWE's biggest stars arrived for their first Fear Factor stunt. They stood at the end of a long, concrete pier as a helicopter dangling a ladder flew by. Joe explained that each of them would hang from the bottom rung of that ladder and as the helicopter spun above the cold Pacific Ocean, they would have to climb up and into the "bird." The four players with the best times would advance.
Lita was up first. After struggling for a few valuable seconds, she employed an upside-down, foot-flip technique. She flipped her lower body up and hooked her feet into the ladder. Using this position as leverage, she hoisted her body up and was able to begin climbing. Her final time was one minute, fifty-five seconds. Next up, Mighty Molly. A former gymnast who can't swim, Molly followed Lita's lead and flipped up the ladder. Molly benefited from seeing Lita go first and got a faster time: one minute, twenty-six seconds. Jacqueline, who also can't swim, got tangled up in the foot flip, but managed to pull out of it. By beating Lita's time by twenty-two seconds, Jacqueline bumped Lita out of competition.
First up for the men was Matt Hardy. He chose to climb up the side of the ladder, straddling it, rather than a normal, step-by-step climb. This paid off with a fast time of one minute and one second. His brother, Jeff, whom everyone named as their biggest competition, decided not to use the leg-flip technique. But using his arms only at the start, tired him out. Just as Jeff reached the rail of the helicopter he lost his grip and plunged into the water below! Now, all Test had to do was complete the stunt to advance - which he did in two minutes and seventeen seconds.
Day two found our four remaining competitors descending into a dimly lit cantina. Joe was waiting with the Blender of Fear. A simple game of craps was the key to this stunt. Each player would roll three dice, which were labeled with ingredients to be included in a Fear Factor protein shake. Using a base mixture of pig brains, additional ingredients included pig intestine, durian (a pungent fruit), animal fat, rooster testes, cow eyes, veal brain, spleen, cod liver oil, bile and fish sauce. Molly went first and rolled fish sauce, bile and cod liver oil. As Joe gleefully blended the thick mixture, Molly looked on horrified. She had two minutes to drink up, but after two sips she spent most of her time gagging. Molly was disqualified. Jacqueline was dreading her turn. Her dice landed on bile, durian and spleen. Durian looks like mango - but has such a killer smell that it is illegal in most airports and taxis! Despite the horrible stench, Jacqueline chugged down her drink and gleefully displayed her "milk" moustache afterwards. Test, who seemed ready for anything, rolled bile, cod liver and rooster "jewels." Like Molly, he took a few sips and quit! Only Matt Hardy remained. He rolled spleen, spleen and animal fat. He had no problem gulping down the concoction and proudly displayed the dripping leftovers covering his entire mouth.
It was freezing cold at the remote location that Matt and Jacqueline arrived at on day three. They faced six telephone poles positioned in a line by height. Attached to the shortest pole (which still towered into the sky) were three flags. The object was to move the flags, one at a time, from the shortest pole to the highest pole. The person with the best time would win. If a player fell while stepping from pole to pole, they could climb back up and start over without a penalty. And if that wasn't bad enoughôthey made it rain on them! Matt was up first. The poles were wobbly and only eight inches in diameter, making things even more difficult. However, Matt steadily got the first flag to the last pole in about a minute and a half. For the second flag, twice he made it to the last pole, but fell while trying to hook the flag onto it. Finally, after seven minutes and eight seconds, Matt completed the stunt. Jacqueline seemed pumped to win money for her charity, and climbed up the first pole with no problems. However, once she tried to step over to the second, shaky pole - her confidence was gone. Her legs were shorter than Matt's, so it was less a step than a little jump. Jacqueline decided to quit, but Joe wouldn't let her! After a rousing debate, during which Joe refused to let Jacqueline down, she finally convinced him that she was serious. With no competition, Matt Hardy became the Fear Factor/WWE champ. Matt was playing for the American Cancer Society.