Monday Night Raw – June 11, 2001 – Angle vs. Benoit In A Cage

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 11, 2001
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman

The Invasion rolls on tonight and we’re getting very close to the King of the Ring. After tonight there’s only one show left before the PPV so things should be heating up pretty well. Tonight has a pretty famous main event as it’s Benoit vs. Angle in a cage. Angle brings out the best in Benoit which is saying a lot so that should be good. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Regal to open the show to huge heat. He wants to know where all the sportsmanship and decency has gone. We get clips of Jericho “cheating” last week as Regal tries to spin things. He considered stepping down as commissioner but he believes in the power of good manners so he’ll stick with it, despite a loud Foley chant. Tonight, Jericho has to face Rhyno and Big Show at the same time. Benoit on the other hand, gets Angle inside a cage.

As for King of the Ring, just because Benoit and Jericho have both beaten Austin in tag matches, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be in the title match at King of the Ring. That may have been the case in former Commissionerships but….cue Foley. Foley admits that some tomfoolery went on while he was on the job. Actually it happened every day while he was Commissioner. They’re treating it like a medical disease. They have a battle of WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR VOICE and somehow that transitions into Foley was on the Tonight Show.

Speaking of Tonight, “right here tonight in Richmond, Virginia”, Foley has a special guest. Regal tries to get rid of Foley but Linda McMahon comes out to that rocking old school Wrestlemania theme. She’s been thinking about the King of the Ring and says the Canadians are worthy of title shots. As for what might be fair, what about Austin defends against both of them? If Austin beats the first one, he has to face the second one.

Regal asks if that’s fair and Linda says no, but she means not to the Canadians. If Benoit went first and won, then Jericho gets no shot. We get a clip from Smackdown of Austin saying he can beat Jericho and Benoit at the same time. Therefore, Mick called her and suggested…something that we have to wait for a Foley chant to end to hear. It’ll be a triple threat at King of the Ring. Linda says that what she and her lawyers want and Regal has to agree. Before they leave, Foley reminds Linda that Regal called her a deadbeat, giving us that awesome look that Linda does when her eyes bug out.

Edge is talking to Rhyno when Christian comes up. He thinks he’s been left out of the Already Advanced To The King Of The Ring Club. Christian whines that he has to fight Kane to get into the tournament.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Kane vs. Christian

Kane dominates him to start with the power game. Christian tries to use speed but gets kicked in the face. Top rope clothesline kills Christian but Edge breaks up the pin attempt. While Edge is being dealt with, Albert runs in and hits the Baldo Bomb as Christian steals the pin. He might have gotten in two shots before that.

Austin and Debra arrive and Linda and Foley meet them. Austin yells at her so Foley gets in his face. Steve yells into the window of their limo but Foley tells him about the title match and they drive off. That shut him up….kind of.

Foley was on the Tonight Show. That’s pretty awesome.

Hardy Boys vs. X-Factor

It’s Credible/Pac here. Jeff has won the Light Heavyweight Title on Smackdown. I don’t think anyone knew that title existed so it was kind of shocking to see. Matt vs. Pac gets us going and they speed things up. Jeff is in a sweatshirt which is too big for him. Matt gets sent to the floor where Justin takes his head off with a superkick. Matt gets beaten down for awhile but avoids the Bronco Buster. Justin misses a baseball slide as well as the post that his balls were supposed to hit. Hot tag to Jeff and house is cleaned. Jeff loads up the Swanton but Lita hits that perfect top rana and then the Swanton hits for the pin on Pac.

Rating: D+. Too short to be all that bad but it was nothing special. X-Factor never amounted to anything at all so it was nice to see them lose here. I don’t think they lasted much longer but Albert wound up win the IC Title in about two weeks. Nothing to see here but it wasn’t bad. Actually scratch that: Lita’s hurricanrana was, but that’s one of my favorites.

X-Factor beats them down post match, including a chair shot to Jeff.

Austin runs in to Regal’s office and yells A LOT. Hey dude, we know your name already. There goes the tea and Austin demands Regal face him like a man. Tajiri comes to Regal’s defense and that’s the last we’ll see of him for awhile.

Trish seems to flirt with Blackman before his match at King of the Ring with Saturn. This goes nowhere.

Jericho tells Benoit he’ll get the first shot if he wins. Benoit says Jericho will get the first shot.

Spike and Molly like each other. They’re in a six man tag tonight against each other. This is really awkward. They’re about as good at acting as Stephanie. Nothing is going to come between them but Bubba pulls Spike away from kissing her.

Austin yells at Vince and shouts c-o-n-spiracy! Austin gets in Vince’s face and then hugs him. He rubs his hand up Vince’s back as you do when you hug someone but has a mindless and kind of scary look on his face. Funny…..?

Chris Jericho vs. Rhyno/Big Show

Rhyno comes out first so Jericho goes after him as fast as he can. Jericho suplexes him and hits the springboard dropkick to put Show on the floor. Lionsault gets two but Show pulls him to the floor. The monsters have to tag. Rhyno beats on Jericho and rams him into Show’s boot. Another big boot puts Jericho down and the Canadian is in trouble. Jericho manages to knock Rhyno down but there’s too much Big Show. Chris does manage to send Show into Rhyno and hits a missile dropkick to Show. Rhyno breaks up the Walls (that’s a new one) and the chokeslam ends Jericho. Then Rhyno Gores Show and steals the pin.

Rating: D. This was exactly what you would expect: dominance by the monsters, a little comeback by Jericho, and then a win for the monsters. I don’t know what the point of this really was, other than the ending I guess, but it was nothing of interest either way. Jericho got dominated as you would expect. What’s the point?

Shane arrives and runs into Kane. Kane gets in Shane’s face and says he’ll take out Albert. Shane thanks Kane for saving him from Undertaker about the whole stalking thing. I really need to watch Smackdown to get the other half of these stories. Shane suggests Kurt might have something to do with it.

Rhyno says that’s the third win in a row over Jericho so if Jericho wins the title, he has to be #1 contender.

Jericho is getting looked at when Austin jumps him.

Here’s Kurt who has something to say. He makes fun of Richmond because that’s what heels do. Kurt brings up the Confederacy which is still a sore spot in the south. He brings up the whole reenactment of battles which the south lost. That’s a good point but I live in the south and I don’t want to listen to how the south will rise again from my family. Anyway, there’s a cage match tonight and how about it huh? His motto in life is that cheaters never win, and Benoit is a cheater.

We get the same video from last week where Kurt was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Angle calls himself the closest thing to a modern day superhero there is. And no, HE DOESN’T SUCK! He’ll use those powers to win back to back King of the Rings. He calls out Shane but gets Taker instead. He says word has it Kurt likes messing with other men’s wives. Kurt denies knowing anything about it. He met Sara once and didn’t find her attractive.

That earns him a Last Ride and we get a new video. The guy is at Taker’s home again but Sara isn’t there. Instead Sara is at a hotel where she’s been hidden from him. He’s growing tired of Taker’s games and steals some of Sara’s clothes. Using her lipstick, he writes I Know Where You Are on the mirror. Taker runs off and Shane pops up with an Angle Slam to Kurt.

Rock was at the MTV Movie Awards. This was before he was an actual mainstream star. Pink and Ben Stiller might know who he is.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Perry Saturn vs. Steve Blackman

Trish is with Blackman here. Perry is still loopy but once the match starts he’s fine. Go figure. Basic stuff to start and Blackman gets a spinebuster. Terri tries to interfere but Trish gets her down. Saturn grabs a crucifix for two. Dean interferes as well and the Moss Covered Three Handled Family Credenza ends Blackman. This was nothing.

Trish goes after Terri post match and Dean accidentally hits Saturn in the head with a kendo stick.

Austin is freaking out so Debra offers him carrots and broccoli. Austin very calmly: “I don’t want a carrot.” He eats some of it anyway while freaking out.

The male Hollies are warming up when Molly comes up and begs them to not hut Spike. They make fun of her for it and says the only way Spike survives is if Molly beats him.

Terri and Dean come in to see Regal and request a week off for Saturn. Regal says ok and Saturn comes in and says British people fight dragons so they don’t get all firey. He also debuts his catchphrase of You’re Welcome.

Dudley Boys vs. Hollies

Spike and Molly are in this one. Crash starts with Spike but Molly is brought in quickly. They don’t want to fight of course and are all afraid of it. Bubba is his usual awesome self: “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? PUNCH HER IN THE HEAD!” Molly takes him down by mistake and Hardcore tags himself in for the sake of the crowd not joining a drum circle. Crash goes up but gets crotched. Not hot tag brings in D-Von who hits What’s Up on Crash. It’s Table Time and Molly runs away from Bubba. In the ring the 3D ends Crash and we’re done.

Rating: D. Again nothing to see here but the whole thing was to set up the post match stuff which we’ll get to here in a minute. The Spike/Molly SHOWDOWN sucked and lasted about 15 seconds. This feud has run its course now and needs to end, which to be fair I think it more or less did after this.

Bubba and Hardcore go through the table (looked fake beyond believe) so Spike and Molly finally kiss. It got a BIG pop so at least there’s that.

The cage is lowered.

Update on HHH’s knee rehab. They test his range of motion.

Test is at WWF New York. He says Stephanie is a slut and is really good friends with Shane. As for joining WCW, he might do that.

Here are all of the Austin segments from earlier in the show.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

This is in a cage and Austin comes out to do commentary. Angle spears him down to start. You can win by pin, submission or escape here. Angle hits a quick suplex but the second is countered into a failed Crossface attempt. Benoit fires off chops and Angle is rammed into the cage. Kurt puts Benoit down with a gutwrench suplex and then a second. He goes to escape but Benoit climbs up to catch him. After a lot of pounding, the Canadian hits a German on the American off the top.

Benoit goes up again but misses, allowing Kurt to hit a top rope elbow for no cover again. JR keeps implying Austin is losing the title at the PPV while Heyman keeps trying to kiss Austin’s feet. A low blow and Angle Slam put Benoit down and Angle goes up. Here’s your famous moment of the match as Kurt goes up for a moonsault and totally misses it, nearly killing himself in the process. After the match Vince basically said do that again and you’re gone. It looked awesome though.

Angle looks out of it but he manages to send Benoit into the cage to keep him down. Benoit blocks another shot into the cage and hits three Rolling Germans. Angle escapes for a second and then makes it six total Germans. There are suplexes 7-9 and Angle looks dead. Benoit goes up top but Austin stops him by holding up a chair. These guys do know you can win by pin right?

Benoit is like I can out crazy you Kurt, and launches the Swan Dive off the top. JR says it was indescribable. Benoit dove off the top of the cage and hit Angle in the shoulder/chest with a flying headbutt. Sounds describable to me. Benoit goes for the door but Austin blocks it. Chris kicks the door open and into Austin’s face but Kurt grabs the ankle lock as he’s escaping. An enziguri puts Kurt down and Benoit goes to escape again, only for Austin to slam the door on his head. Well if he hadn’t stuck his head out like that, it wouldn’t have happened. Angle climbs out to win.

Rating: B+. Major gripes I have about this (we’ll get to those) aside, this was GREAT. Angle took a man’s beating here. Both guys got destroyed and while the Austin interference was obvious, I don’t get the point in having Benoit lose here. Again, we’ll get to why in a minute, but I really didn’t like the outcome of this.

Austin destroys Benoit with a chair post match.

Overall Rating: C-. The theme of this show was that Austin is running scared of Benoit and Jericho. That’s fine. However, why in the world did they need to have both Canadians lose? The problem with their push is that the only big win either of them has is Jericho over Austin due to an error by HHH and Benoit beat him in another tag. Was there ANY need to have Rhyno pin Jericho here? I mean…he’s Rhyno.

Same with Angle. Angle is a much bigger star than Rhyno and you could have given Benoit some main event credibility here by having that Swan Dive win it. Angle was feuding with no one at this point, unless you could Spike Dudley. By the end of the cage match, Angle had taken so much punishment that it wouldn’t have been a big deal if he had lost.

Look at Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga in a cage match building up to Orton vs. Hardy at the 08 Rumble. It’s the same thing but Jeff won with the Whisper in the Wind off the top. Same idea, but done right. I don’t get the booking here, but the Alliance threw it all out anyway so it doesn’t really matter. Next week: The Stalker Revealed.

Remember to like me on Facebook at:

1 comment

  1. M.R. says:

    I don’t know how true it is, but there’s rumors this match scared Austin off from working a long program with Angle or Benoit.

    This match was a bit over the top with the cage dives but it was always fantastic when these two wrestled. Royal Rumble 2003 is still one of my top 5 matches.