Monday Night Raw – May 28, 2001 – And That’s How The Invasion Started

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 28, 2001
Location: Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Attendance: 12,477
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman

Tonight we keep going with the King of the Ring build and more of Austin vs. the Canadians. I think I vaguely remember this show but I’m not sure. There’s one major thing that happens tonight which is the start of something big and you’ll know what I’m talking about when we get there. The card looks decent so let’s get to it.

We get a video from Smackdown where Benoit and Jericho defended their titles in a TLC match, which I’ve actually reviewed. Here’s the Smackdown if you’re interested:

It’s a shame we didn’t have the title change here in Calgary. Can you imagine the pop for that?

A courier sent JR a letter earlier today saying Undertaker’s wife would be here tonight. It wasn’t signed. And so it begins. That’s not the big thing I was referencing earlier either.

Here’s Vince to open things up. He doesn’t like being in Calgary and they don’t seem too happy to see him either. Vince talks about how in Canada, French and English can get along and that amazes him. Some people even feel proud to say they’re Canadian. Think that pops the audience much? Vince thinks maybe Canadians are happy to have brought Americans hockey, strong beer, or the word “eh”. However, Americans should never go to Canada.

Cue Jericho….and his mic doesn’t work. Vince: “That must have been a Canadian microphone.” Jericho gets right to the point: he wants Austin for the title and he wants him tonight. Vince declines so Jericho accuses him of wearing a toupee. He brings up Vince being a genetic jackhammer and says that Vince has made two sluts: Stephanie, and his new one: Austin. Vince also is a great singer, and with that we get the always awesome Stand Back video. Vince is ticked so he gives Jericho his title shot. Just not against Austin. It’s against Big Show for the Hardcore Title.

Cue Benoit who says he can’t just “STAND BACK” and let Jericho have all the fun. Benoit says that he should get the match with Austin. He even has more footage from Stand Back night, this part focusing more on Vince’s dancing abilities. Benoit gets to face Rhyno. Whoever is more impressive in their individual matches gets Austin for the title. Somehow this segment took twenty minutes.

Stu Hart (looking like he had no idea where he is) and his family are here.

Hardy Boys vs. Justin Credible/X-Pac

Justin vs. Jeff starts us off and it’s off to their partners a few seconds in. Matt gets crotched on the post and Lita’s evening is ruined according to Heyman. Bronco Buster to Matt. Oh and Eddie is here with the Hardys. When the referee isn’t looking, Lita crotches Pac on the post as payback for her unattended vagina that night. Hot tag brings in Jeff and he cleans house. Eddie breaks up a double superkick, allowing the Hardys to hit their finishers on Pac for the pin.

Rating: C-. Really quick match here but they didn’t get boring or anything. Eddie would be gone after Smackdown due to rehab and so we never found out where this was going. I’d asssume it would be to an eventual Eddie heel turn, possibly with Lita, but there’s no way to really know. Decent match though.

Eddie saves Matt from Albert post match.

Trish and Terri fight over a mirror.

Tajiri is cleaning Regal’s office when Albert comes in and demands a match with Eddie. Regal says ok.

Chris Benoit vs. Rhyno

Rhyno goes for the bad ribs immediately, hurting Benoit with a gorilla press drop. Benoit snaps off the rolling Germans and the Crossface but Rhyno grabs the rope. The Gore hits but Benoit rolls to the floor. Benoit fight back and hits the Rolling Germans again but opts for some chops instead of covering. A superplex puts the man beast down for two. The Gore is countered into the Crossface for the tap. This was short but intense. Not enough to rate though.

We recap the Blackman/Trish/Grandmaster thing. Sexay thinks shenanigans of a sexual nature were afoot.

Steve Blackman/Trish Stratus vs. Perry Saturn/Terri

At least the girls look good. Saturn is loopy and Terri is in a skin colored bikini. Nice to see she’s taking this seriously. The men start us off and Saturn hammers him down. The girls come in to wake the crowd up a bit and Trish is just not that good yet. The guys come in again and Blackman dominates. Terri interferes and gets spanked. Catfight time and here’s your major moment: Lance Storm runs in and superkicks Saturn so Blackman can get the pin.

And that was the start of the Invasion.

The match was junk and too short to rate again. It sucked, although the girls looked good.

During the break, Storm ran out of the building, celebrated with Shane, and left in a limo. Paul: “It’s just begun.”

Vince FREAKS on security in the back.

Al Snow is at WWF New York. He talks about his new show: Tough Enough.

Spike and Molly are all lovey dovey in the back. I see why these two never talked. Spike is about to kiss her when Angle comes in. He says it’ll be a mistake and offers them a lesson in the birds of the bees. Spike protests and smacks Angle. Just guess how well that goes for Spike. Molly goes looking for the Dudleys to help Spike but they just happen to run out in front of the Hollies, who beat down the Dudleys. See how simply a story and feud can be made?

After a break the Dudleys are yelling at Spike. Molly is going through a table.

Hardcore Title: Chris Jericho vs. Big Show

Lillian says Jericho is also the IC Champion, which is completely wrong. Jericho lost that title almost two months before this. He runs past Show and gets in the ring first, hitting a baseball slide to take over. A chair shot doesn’t work as Show knocks it away. Remember he’s still banged up from TLC. Show take over with the power game and throws around various metal object.

Jericho manages to dropkick a chair into Show’s knee but is then easily tossed head first into a trashcan. Total dominance so far. Show misses a legdrop onto a trashcan and Jericho gets in a few shots which don’t get him anywhere. Show puts him on the middle rope and picks up the steps. Jericho manages to fire off a dropkick into the steel to knock them into Show’s head and a fast Lionsault gives him his second title at the moment.

Rating: C. I don’t know why but I liked this. Jericho sold like a master and I can actually buy the ending because it puts Jericho over very strong. The finish was clean too, as Jericho didn’t cheat at all to win this, given the structure of the rules. Fun match and I have no idea why I liked it as much as I did, since there certainly isn’t much to it.

Jericho holds up both belts on the stage and turns around into a Gore by Rhyno to give him the Hardcore Title.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Albert

Dig that X-Factor theme. That’s the only good thing they had going for them. Eddie pounds away as fast as he can but Albert catches him and starts using the power. BIG gorilla press puts Eddie down. Eddie gets in a dropkick to the knee but his dive to the floor is caught and Albert rams him into the post. Eddie counters a powerbomb but Albert runs him over again. Lita comes running out as Eddie counters a Baldo Bomb into a rollup for the pin. Too short to rate but Eddie did his usual good stuff. No idea what Lita added to this.

Mick Foley was on the Today Show about his new book which is also a New York Times #1 bestseller. Can you imagine a wrestler today writing a book and having it go to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list? Foley did it TWICE.

We get the first of the Stalking Sara videos where someone is filming Undertaker’s pretty blonde wife at her house. The reveal would be awesome at the time and then would totally fall flat on its face.

The Hollies talk about the tables match and Molly begs to keep Spike from going through the table.

The Canadian Chrises talk about getting the title match tonight when Vince comes in. Both of them have impressed him and they’ve both earned a title shot at Stone Cole. Austin wants to fight them both at the same time but Vince isn’t letting that happen. Benoit gets the shot. Post show Vince wants to know where the Stand Back footage came from. Jericho gives him a pep talk. He wants the first shot and Benoit has no problem with that.

Tajiri broke something in Regal’s office but Vince comes in before he can get fired. Tajiri bows a lot and Vince doesn’t get it. Regal sends Tajiri off to get some coffee for Vince. “Bloody foreigners.” Vince says Austin has a brilliant idea for the main event and tells Regal to make sure to watch, but he won’t say what it is.

Dudley Boys vs. Hollys

This is a tables match. Just the four people in this one so no Spike or Molly, but they’re at ringside. I think you only have to put one person through a table to win. The Hollys take over to start and Crash brings in a table. Bubba prevents Hardcore from powerbombing D-Von through it and JR says he thinks Hardcore was attempting a powerbomb. Was it when he powerbombed D-Von that gave him away Jimbo?

The cousins try to throw Crash into Bubba through a table but instead Bubba moves and Crash just bounces off of it and lands on his head. FREAKING OW MAN!!! What’s Up Hardcore? It’s Table Time but Hardcore dropkicks them down. Not that it matters because there’s a 3D through the table for Hardcore and the win.

Rating: C-. Not bad but nothing to remember. I think this blew off their feud which was a fine little feud that was aired on TV. Why they don’t do more of that I’m not sure, but it was perfectly fine, it brought in some new blood to the tag division (which didn’t stay around but whatever) and it came to a logical conclusion. Now why can’t they do that more often?

The Dudleys try to put Molly through a table so Spike says put me through it instead. For some reason he thinks laying on the table is going to stop them, and I think you know what’s coming. Molly is powerbombed through Spike through the table. Molly keeps asking if Spike is ok as she goes out.

We talk about the semi-huge white elephant in the room: HHH isn’t here. We get a video of him in the office of Dr. James Andrews and him getting the diagnosis. It’ll be six weeks of crutches and then at least four months to heal before we even start rehabilitation. HHH talks about being put in the Walls of Jericho and then collapsing after the match ended. He knows he’ll be back and it was never if he would be back.

The next day was the surgery and I know the timing is bad but my goodness Stephanie is beautiful. This was a bad quad tear because the tear was under the first layer of muscle which made it hard to find. The repair was good though. JR says he’ll be out at least four months, which wound up being closer to seven.

WWF World Title: Steve Austin vs. Chris Benoit

I remember this match happening and I fell asleep before it ended so I’ve never seen this all the way through. For some reason Lillian doesn’t introduce them here. Instead the Fink does big match intros. I guess she got the night off for the screw up earlier? Benoit has taped up ribs. Fink’s voice is just perfect. There’s something right about him introducing the world title match.

Austin goes after the bad ribs immediately and Benoit tries for a home run Crossface. Remember we’re in Canada so everything Benoit does gets a big eruption. He chops away but Austin his the Thesz Press. Benoit grabs a Crossface and the place explodes. Austin finally gets a rope and they go to the floor. The challenger gets fired into the steps and we go back into the ring.

Benoit gets a Sharpshooter and it’s in the middle of the ring. The place goes nuts and Benoit pulls him back to the middle of the ring. Austin FINALLY gets a rope and the booing is great. Out to the floor and Austin suplexes Benoit onto the announce table which doesn’t break. There’s an abdominal stretch back in the ring. I think JR’s voice is about to go. Benoit gets it broken due to the referee seeing Austin cheating and here are some rolling Germans.

We go up and Chris looks for a superplex but Austin counters and slams him face first onto the mat. Austin’s superplex gets two. Austin tries a belt shot but Hebner takes it from him. Back in the ring we get a Stunner but Vince is arguing with Hebner. Benoit gets up and clocks Austin with the belt but the count is delayed so it’s only a two. This is REALLY good stuff. Another Stunner attempt is countered into the Crossface but Vince pulls the referee out. Hebner shoves Vince down but Austin gets the ropes again. And then in a HORRIBLE ending, Austin puts the Crossface on and Vince says ring the bell. Yep, they did that.

Rating: B+. Until the ending, this was excellent. I’d love to see these two get twenty five minutes in a PPV main event and let them let it all hang out, but I’ll have to settle for a 12 minute Raw main event instead. Great match which I was getting into 10 years later and knowing the ending. That should say a lot about how great it was.

Jericho comes out and puts Austin in the Walls while Vince is in the Crossface.

Overall Rating: B+. I really liked this show. A lot of stuff happened on it and we get a great main event on top of it. Plus you get the starts of the Stalker and Invasion, which are both pretty big deals. Unfortunately the Invasion would be one of the worst run angles in the history of wrestling if not the worst, so we kind of peaked early. More would come soon enough though. Great show.


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  1. dude_d_dude says:

    Uh KB, I think you mean 2001, not 2011 (see title)

  2. Sebastian Howard says:

    I remember when the Invasion angle happened earlier this year, oh yes what a terribly botched angle. Cena wrestled Goldberg and they were both attacked by the New New NWO which consists of everyone on Smackdown except for D-Bry. They shouldn’t have ended it at Invasion though, they could of kept that amazing angle going and had that Austin vs Sting match that everyone wanted to see so badly.

  3. @Sebastian Was that when Hornswoggle unveiled his ownership of TNA?