Monday Night Raw – June 18, 2001 – The Stalker Gers A Pop

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 18, 2001
Location: Ice Palace, Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 10,264
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman

It’s the go home show for King of the Ring and that’s about all we’ve got for that show. The tournament gets set tonight I think and we have a main event, but other than that I don’t remember anything being made for the card. The Invasion would get its first big name at that PPV though, so at least there’s that. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is from Smackdown with Austin trying to get a petition together to present to Linda that says the triple threat is unfair. Spike ripped it up when Austin called Molly a bimbo, resulting in Spike getting a world title shot.

Dudleys/Austin vs. Canadians/Spike later. Now this is where things get confusing. That’s what the graphic says, but JR says it’s just Dudleys vs. Canadians for the titles. Oh boy. I wonder who’s getting fired over this one. Now the Dudleys would indeed get a title match later this week on Smackdown (and they’d win the belts), but that’s not what we saw on the screen.

We open with Spike and Molly of all people. Spike talks about how he’s shocked to have been in this ring and gotten to wrestle for the WWF Title and that could have been his moment in the sun. However, Austin had to go after Molly after that, so Spike calls out Austin. Heyman’s reaction is very funny.

Austin and Spike introduce themselves and Austin says he’s not going to be called out by someone like Spike. Spike says he just did and Austin starts to walk away. Spike asks the fans and they want to see it for the title. Austin still says no but says Spike has guts. No one else would, but Molly is still a bimbo. Spike: “YOU TAKE THAT BACK!” Molly slaps Austin and Heyman erupts. Austin looks….happy? That earned Molly respect so Austin sticks his hand out. Spike shakes it and Austin pulls him but doesn’t attack. Molly however gets a Stunner though.

During the break, the Dudleys didn’t seem mad.

Molly is getting looked at and the Dudleys show up. They praise Spike for standing up for himself. However, they want to know what’s wrong with a picture when Spike has been here three months and has gotten a title shot while they’ve gotten zero in a year and a half. Spike says he’ll do something about it.

Now the graphic says the titles are on the line in the main event. Interesting.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy

This would be a TNA PPV main event today, almost 11 years later. Angle snaps off a quick German and Jeff is in trouble. He goes after the leg but Jeff speeds things up and we go to the floor where Jeff runs the railing into a clothesline. Angle hits the release German this time but the Slam is countered. A jawbreaker looks to set up the Swanton but Kurt rolls away before Jeff jumps. The moonsault is as gorgeous as ever but Kurt misses, allowing Jeff to hit the Swanton for two. Jeff goes up but gets pulled down into the ankle lock for the tap out.

Rating: B-. What the heck was that??? Jeff Hardy is a midcard guy on his best day in 2001 but this was AWESOME. Well, awesome all things considered. I mean it was just a three minute match but they cranked out a very fun match here, especially when you consider where Jeff was on the ladder at this point. Jeff’s best match ever might have been with Kurt in 2010 so this isn’t really shocking.

Austin needs someone to talk to who understands him. His wife, Debra, volunteers. Austin: “I said someone that understands me.” Debra says understands about titles because she used to be champion. Austin laughs and Debra is hurt.

Tajiri and Regal are talking about the tournament which Tajiri is in when Austin enters. Spike asked for a match with him and Regal made the aforementioned six man, saying the title match will wait for tomorrow. Austin says he’ll do it but he needs someone to talk to and he picks….Tajiri? Regal is confused but goes along with it and leaves.

Tough Enough commercial. Josh Matthews is I believe the only one left from that season.

Tazz, one of the Tough Enough trainers, says that there’s a preview at WWF New York. Hardcore Holly comes up to make fun of him and a match is made.

Kane is at WWF New York…and he’s playing a crane game to win prizes. He doesn’t win so he breaks the glass and steals a bunch which he gives to a kid. You know, I watched a Raw earlier today and Kane was about to win the world title from Austin. The last thing I expected him to do was play a crane game to win prizes. Just throwing that out there.

We recap the Undertaker’s wife stalker thing with Sara being stalked. That’s about it.

Taz vs. Hardcore Holly

The entrances are cut off by a new stalker video of the stalker watching Taker and his wife leaving their house. She almost comes into what I guess is a garage where he is but doesn’t. The voice says tonight he’ll reveal himself. Back to the match. Holly starts out fast with his usual stuff and drops a top rope leg for two. Taz comes back but walks into a powerslam. And there’s the Tazmission out of nowhere to end this.

Austin explains how Linda McMahon is ruining his life. Tajiri replies in Japanese as Austin rants against women. Austin thanks him for the talk and bows to him. Regal comes in and says that Tajiri is up next. Funny stuff at least.

Christian isn’t happy that he has to face Big Show and teases tension with Edge. Angle breaks it up.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Rhyno vs. Tajiri

The winner gets the winner of Edge vs. Saturn. Lillian sounded a step off on the announcing for some reason. Rhyno takes over with power but Tajiri ranas him down and they go to the floor. Back in a spinebuster gets two for Rhyno. Tajiri hits the handspring elbow which is always cool. There’s an Octopus Hold which he shifts into the Tarantula. Buzzsaw kick misses and Rhyno powerbombs him half through the ring. Rhyno loads up the Gore but Tajiri KICKS HIS FREAKING HEAD OFF to counter. Tajiri goes up for some reason but jumps into a Gore for the pin.

Rating: C+. Not as good as the opener but that ending was very good stuff. There’s something awesome about seeing Tajiri just kick the tar out of people and also seeing Rhyno blast someone with a Gore. This was very entertaining and the show is on a roll to start so far.

Post break Regal GOES OFF on Regal. I mean there’s a vein coming out of his head.

Here’s Taker…..or not. It’s the Stalker as Taker is in Houston. He immediately unmasks and it’s Diamond Dallas Page to an ERUPTION. Yep they’re cheering a crazy stalker. He says Taker never saw this coming, just like a Diamond Cutter. Page talks about doing this because he wanted to make an impact, so he went after the biggest dog in the yard.

A few weeks ago, Taker went off on Austin for mentioning Taker’s family. Taker said he’d make Austin famous if he tried that. “You idiot, Steve Austin is already famous!” He says Taker is a liar for some reason so he wants to be famous and he wants to use Taker to get him there. He’ll be at King of the Ring. Security chases him off. Ross tries to tie it into the Invasion but it only kind of works.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Edge vs. Perry Saturn

Saturn is nuts still. We get a clip from a double date on Thursday and Saturn took another shot to the head. See it’s funny because he has brain damage and might go psycho and murder his wife and children before killing himself. Get it? Saturn starts fast and pops Christian but walks into an Edge-O-Matic for two. Edge is in control but Saturn grabs a crucifix for two. Edge goes up but jumps into a belly to belly suplex. Fisherman’s suplex gets two. Christian gets kicked in the face and the Impaler ends Saturn.

Rating: D+. Not great but WAY down from what we had been seeing so far tonight. Edge would be about to start his singles push which didn’t really stop for the rest of his career. Saturn just kept getting hit in the face until he found a mop that he liked better than Terri and that was about it.

Vince arrives, over halfway through the show.

Foley was on Regis and…..Tony Danza?

European Title: Matt Hardy vs. Albert

Albert was in the middle of pretty much the push of his life and he runs over Matt to start. A splash misses though and Matt can keep hitting and running. Matt jumps into a gorilla press attempt which he escapes and hits a running tornado DDT for two. Paul: “Albert is the Rabbi of Retribution.” JR: “Oy vey.” Albert destroys him until he chokes too long for a DQ. Weak.

Pac and Credible run in and hit a double superkick. Jeff runs in and takes them both down. Lita hits the usual gorgeous top rope rana. Albert gets back in it and destroys everyone.

Vince is with Austin and Austin feels good. Austin is getting in touch with his feelings and Vince isn’t wild on it. Austin rants about the divorce and says pick Austin or Linda.

During the break Vince left.

Spike thanks the Canadians for helping Molly last week. Benoit goes off on him, talking about how this wasn’t about him at all. And then they crack up laughing.

Edge and Rhyno get into an argument over who should be #1 contender if they win the tournament. Christian comes in and whines again.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Big Show vs. Christian

Angle is on commentary. Christian jumps him and just guess how well that goes. Edge tries to interfere which goes about as well. Show destroys him but they go to the announce table and Angle gets shoved for running his mouth. An Angle distraction allows the Conchairto to end Show and Christian puts all of Team RECK in the final four.

Steve Austin/Dudley Boys vs. Spike Dudley/Chris Benoit/Chris Jericho

Jericho vs. Bubba to start things off. Ray uses power to start but runs into the speed of Jericho. Off to Benoit and D-Von and the Canadian hits a German on the Dudley. Spike comes in with a double stomp and a rana to have D-Von in trouble. Here comes Austin to pound on Spike. Things finally calm down as Spike remembers he’s Spike and Austin remembers he’s Austin and the beating begins.

Austin calls for some tables but isn’t happy when they come out for some reason. Back to Bubba after Austin freaks due to getting rolled up for two. Bubba loads up What’s Up and both Austin and D-Von go up at the same time. That’s rather awesome. The middle rope backsplash misses and there’s the tag to Benoit. Everything breaks down and D-Von is sent through a table by Jericho.

Dudley Dog to Bubba and it’s time for the Canadian to hit Rolling Germans on the American. The Swan Dive misses though and Austin takes over. A Dudley Dog attempt results in Spike going through a table and Austin grabs a chair. Jericho comes back in for the save and we get the insanely awesome Walls of Crossface double submission to make Austin tap. Hebner asks about 4 times before calling for the bell.

Rating: C+. This was fine for a six man main event and most importantly, it made Jericho and Benoit look like a legit threat for the championship. Until then it was a bunch of fluke victories in tag matches. This was good stuff though as Austin looked like he was about to snap in that double hold.

Overall Rating: B. With all of the good to very good matches tonight, this was a pretty awesome Raw. Throw in that with the comedy from Austin and Vince and how can you go wrong? The DDP thing would be pretty underwhelming on Sunday but that’s life. Also very little mention of Angle vs. Shane, but the focus was on the tournament so that’s ok. Good show here.

Here’s King of the Ring if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2011/05/18/king-of-the-ring-2001-one-great-fight/

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