Monday Night Raw
Date: August 27, 2001
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Paul Heyman, Jim Ross
Back to 2001 now with us getting closer to Unforgiven. The main feud is still Angle vs. Austin with some Booker vs. Rock thrown in on the side. I barely remember the last one of these that I did which is probably because I haven’t done one in about a month. I remember them being just ok for the most part though which isn’t a good sign. Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip of Austin cheating to beat Jericho to keep the title on Thursday.
Rock defends against Rhyno tonight.
Here’s Shane to open things up. He talks about buying WCW about five months ago and doing it to own the most dominant brand in sports entertainment. The fans don’t really buy that but whatever. One of the things that came with WCW was its champion, Booker T. He was a champion you could be proud of, unlike the current WCW Champion The Rock. It’s all about the money and Rock as champion doesn’t make the money for WCW, because Rock has nothing to do with its history. Therefore, the next champion will be….Rhyno. Come on Shane you’re smarter than that.
Cue Rock who says he knows the history of the WCW Title and how it traces back to Frank Gotch (it doesn’t), Lou Thesz (kind of), Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. Rock also knows what the title has come to: Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T, the guy from Scream 2, the maid from the Jeffersons and so on. It’s like Stephanie: everyone gets a turn. Now though the title means something and the Rock will be the most electrifying WCW Champion of all time.
Rock knows he’ll be defending against Rhyno later tonight, but how about right now he comes down there and gives Shane a shot right now? Shane does the Just Bring It hand sign so here comes Rocky. Naturally it’s a trap as Rhyno comes in and Gores Rock to get an advantage later tonight.
Austin has a bad arm which Debra is trying to tend to. As he yells at her, RVD and Raven come in. They have a Hardcore Title match later and since it’s Alliance vs. Alliance they want Austin’s blessing. Instead Austin puts them in the main event instead of him and a mystery partner against Jericho/Angle.
Undertaker vs. Albert
They slug it out and Taker reverses an Irish whip to take over. Old School hits and he does his still bad cross armbreaker. Taker has to stop to chase X-Pac around like it’s 1999 and walks into a shot with the Cruiserweight Title. That gets X-Pac an evil glare so Albert jumps Taker but can’t hit whatever the chokebomb was called at this point. Oh it’s the BaldoBomb. Thanks Paul. Anyway it’s countered into the chokeslam for the pin by Taker.
Rating: D. Taker was in a bad BAD funk at this point and by funk I mean he sucked for about three years. He wouldn’t sell ANYTHING for anyone other than a giant, which is why Kronik was brought in for one of the worst matches in recorded history. This match did nothing for Albert, but that might be for the best.
Shane Helms talks about superheroes before his match with Matt. Ok then.
European Title: Hurricane vs. Matt Hardy
This is the debut of the Hurricane superhero character but he has hip hop music still. Matt looks shocked but he clotheslines Hurricane down quickly. Superkick by Helms sets up a top rope cross body for two. There’s a Russian legsweep by Matt and Hurricane is in trouble. The middle rope leg gets two. A cross body misses for Matt and here’s Ivory to hit Lita in the knee with a pipe. She hits Matt as well, allowing Hurricane to hit the Eye of the Hurricane to steal the pin and the title. This was really quick.
Angle ignores Michael Cole so Cole follows him anyway. Angle finds Raven and gives him a big old beating, putting him in an ankle lock before screaming that RVD needs a new partner.
After a break, here’s the EXACT SAME SEGMENT IN FULL. Good grief.
Lita gets her knee looked at when Raven comes in to get attention as well. The trainer says Raven can’t wrestle so Shawn Stasiak pops in to offer his services to take his place. Austin calls him selfish but gives him the shot anyway. Stasiak leaves so Austin yells at Raven for making him go out there tonight. Austin hits him in the ankle because he’s that kind of guy. I guess Matt and Lita were just watching in the back.
Edge is having a soda when Hugh Morrus comes in to make fun of his fake name. Edge points out how stupid that is and thinks his name should he Hugh Suck. Christian comes in and somehow gets Hugh an IC Title match tonight.
We get a clip of whatever Smackdown Test joined the Alliance on and cost the APA the tag titles.
Test vs. Bradshaw
Brawl to start of course and Bradshaw takes over, hitting a DDT. Shane is at ringside and offers a distraction to let Test take over. Full nelson slam puts Bradshaw down and Test pounds away. Bradshaw tries the Clothesline but Test hits a sidewalk slam to put him right back down. The flying elbow misses and Bradshaw powerslams him for two.
Test tries a cross body into the corner so that Bradshaw can hit the fallaway slam to put him back down. Shane gets up on the apron but Bradshaw sends Test into him for two. Farrooq chases Shane but gets taken down by Test. Bradshaw chases him back in and walks into the big boot for the pin.
Rating: C. This was a MUCH better match than you would have expected. It’s a good example of a match where two power guys didn’t try to be anything more than two power guys, which usually results in an ok match. The interference was a bit overdone but it’s 2001 WWF after all so what else was to be expected? Good match and I was rather surprised by it.
Austin is yelling about Angle attacking Raven when RVD comes in. He thinks Austin did it so that he could team with RVD which would be perfect. RVD says he’ll carry the whole match. Debra likes the idea but Austin doesn’t think so. He’ll get back to RVD on that.
Stasiak is stalking Angle and gets Stacy to help him.
WCW World Title: The Rock vs. Rhyno
They start in the aisle and Rhyno Gores him almost immediately to hurt the ribs again. That gets a quick two in the ring as does a standing powerslam. Rock launches him over the top to give himself a breather. He can’t follow up though because of the ribs so Rhyno throws on a bearhug. This goes on for over a minute which is quite a bearhug. Rock finally punches out of it and hits a Samoan Drop to put both guys down.
A shoulder to the ribs puts Rock right back down as this has been one sided. Suplex gets two. Rock comes back with that belly to belly throw of his and both guys are down again. Back up and the jumping clothesline and DDT get two on Rhyno. A clothesline puts Rock down but he nips up and hits a spinebuster as Shane comes out. A low blow puts Rock down and here’s the APA to chase Shane off. Gore misses and the Rock Bottom retains the title.
Rating: C+. This was a very basic power man vs. injured ribs match and it worked quite well. This is something that is completely missing from Raw and Smackdown today: a main event guy against a midcarder with the champion having some trouble but nothing horrible. They had a pretty good match and you don’t waste anything big on it. Why is that so hard to grasp today?
Stasiak has put a bucket of rancid milk over the door to fall on Angle when he comes through the door. It’ll blind him and Stasiak will beat him up. And Debra comes in instead. COMEDY!
Austin blames Angle for what happened.
Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Hugh Morrus
Christian sits in on commentary. Morrus takes him into the corner to start and splashes him to take over. Edge comes back with a drop toehold and a cradle for two. Jackknife cover gets two but Hugh grabs a powerslam for two. Elbow drop gets the same. Suplex puts Edge down and Morrus keeps telling Edge to say it. No idea what that means but Morrus never made a lot of sense. Top rope elbow misses and Edge comes back with clotheslines and a spinwheel kick. Edge-O-Matic gets two but Morrus flapjacks him down. He loads up the moonsault but Christian pops up and hits him for the DQ. Uh….ok?
Rating: D+. Nothing to see here at all. This wouldn’t lead anywhere for Morrus but I guess it furthers the Christian and Edge split, which wouldn’t happen for over another month. The match was nothing of note at all as Morrus was about as low on the Alliance pole as you could possibly be, which made the ending here pretty clear.
Booker is mad at Rock for stealing the title so here’s a clip of the midget from last week. We get a clip from earlier today with Show doing a Booker impression. To put it mildly, it’s REALLY bad.
Stephanie and Jericho run into each other in the back. She says Y2J is five minutes ago and it’s all about RVD now. Jericho says she should be saying H-O-E. This was stupid too.
Big Show vs. Booker T
Booker tries a quick spin kick which is caught and powerbombed with ease. Show throws him around and chops Booker in the corner but the Alley-Oop is countered. Booker superkicks him and hits the ax kick and here’s the Spinarooni. Show sets up the chokeslam but Booker distracts the referee and kicks Show low. That doesn’t do much and they go to the floor but Show’s knee goes into the steps and Booker hits him with a chair for the quick DQ. What was this supposed to accomplish? Getting Booker revenge? That’s fine but have him get a win and put him over Big Show, not this.
Chris Jericho/Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam/???
Austin comes out but not in wrestling gear. There’s a mystery partner and that partner is….Taz. Well that’s kind of a letdown. Angle stomps on RVD in the corner and they’re starting I think. RVD takes him down with a kick and it’s off to Taz. Angle cross bodies him down and here’s Jericho. The Alliance takes over but Jericho manages a Breakdown (Skull Crushing Finale) on RVD for two.
Rob gets in another kick (no, really) and goes up, but Jericho makes the stop and superplexes him for two. Taz comes in to hit his crossface shots to the face which he dedicates to Austin. Heyman compares Austin to John Wayne and says Austin is the better American, almost starting a war between New York and Oklahoma. Rob hooks a chinlock but Jericho escapes and rolls him up for two.
Rolling Thunder gets two and it’s back to Taz who almost allows the tag to Angle. Van Dam hits his spinning legdrop and it’s back to the chinlock for a few seconds. Sunset flip gets two for the Canadian but Rob kicks him down again. Split legged moonsault hits knees though and there’s the tag to Angle. The Alliance takes him down with relative ease and Van Dam hits the Frog Splash but Taz only gets two off of it. Jericho puts Van Dam in the Walls on the floor but Austin breaks it up. In the ring Angle escapes the Tazmission and the Angle Slam ends this.
Rating: C. This was a main event tag match to the letter. Not a great match or anything but for what it was this was fine. It helps to set up the Austin being a hunted man angle, especially with the post match stuff. It also furthers Taz having issues with the Alliance which didn’t go much of anywhere but it happened.
Austin beats up Angle post match and steals his medals. JR freaks out to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. This didn’t work for me for the most part. There’s some good stuff in it, but it felt like the show was spinning its wheels for the majority of the time. I don’t know what this is supposed to do and Unforgiven hasn’t even been mentioned yet. The Alliance was about two and a half months away from dying but it seems like they’re on life support by this point. Weak show.
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