Monday Night Raw – October 22, 2001: WWF Domination…..Again

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 22, 2001
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman

Since I had already done the October 15 show I’m jumping ahead to this one (see the October 8 review for the link to the October 15 show). It’s after No Mercy and the major change is that Jericho is now the WCW Champion, having finally won the big one over Rock. We’re on the way to Survivor Series in four weeks which is the final burying place of the Alliance. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Austin retaining over Angle and RVD last night, pinning Van Dam.

Here’s Vince to open things up and he’s got Linda with him. Vince says that he’s been off recovering and has been watching Shane and Stephanie dismantle the largest wrestling empire ever. That’s not going to happen though because Vince isn’t going to let it. He needs a charge though and goes to kiss Linda but here are the kids. Stephanie tells the old prunes in the ring to dry up and blow away. Vince says they’ve thought about that but they’re not ready to go yet.

Shane and Stephanie have been handed everything unlike Vince and Linda. They got where they are by way of calculated risks. Vince is tired of the Alliance and the Invasion, so he wants to bring it all to a head at Survivor Series in a winner take all match. Shane tells him to take the bass out of his voice and the match is made.

Vince is tired of all the titles being with the Alliance so tonight they’re coming home. He suggests Austin defending tonight but Shane stops that dead because Austin isn’t here tonight. Vince says that it’s Jericho/Rock vs. the Dudleys for the WWF Tag Titles. Shane wants to fight Vince right now but Regal stops him. Linda wants to know where she and Vince went wrong. Oh sweet merciful goodness don’t tempt me like that. Their daughter is a maneater and their son is a wuss.

Lita/Trish Stratus vs. Ivory/Mighty Molly

Molly has the signature Hurricane music now. She offers a handshake to start but gets headscissored to the mat instead. Off to Ivory who gets double teamed by Lita and Trish. I never thought I’d like to be Ivory. Trish stays in now and chokes in the corner. Her offense wasn’t all that well rounded yet to put it mildly. Ivory slams her down and it’s back to Molly. A suplex looks to set up the Molly Go Round but Trish crotches Molly and hits the Stratusphere to put both girls down. Hot tag brings in Lita but Poetry In Motion with Trish on all fours (loudest pop of the night) is broken up. Twist and moonsault pin Ivory quick.

Rating: C. Trish was starting to get going in the ring but Lita was on fire around this time. The match was sloppy at times but the energy in it blows away everything that the girls today have. It’s amazing what happens when they actually have some fire in them instead of just smiling all the time.

Vince and Linda meet RVD in the back and Vince tries to recruit him. Van Dam isn’t sure but he likes just being RVD. Vince says ok then, but tonight he’s defending the Hardcore Title against Big Show.

Matt goes to celebrate with Lita but finds Trish in a towel (second biggest pop of the night) instead. Awkward chatter abounds and Trish goes to take a shower. Matt likes what he sees when Lita comes in. She goes to take a shower but Matt stops her so he won’t get caught looking at Trish.

Mick comes in to Regal’s office and thinks they should watch together. Foley has made Bradshaw vs. Hurricane for the European Title later tonight. He thinks there should be all clean finishes tonight and there might even be a Connect Four game.

Angle and Edge are chatting and Angle says he never liked Christian. Rhyno pops up out of nowhere and Gores Edge into a steel wall. Angle gets held back by referees.

Foley makes Rhyno vs. Angle for the US Title.

Cruiserweight Title: Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman

Billy won the title last night over X-Pac. Kidman ranas Tajiri down to start but misses a corner charge and gets drilled by an enziguri. Out to the floor for a second but Tajiri misses a top rope dive. Kidman hooks a chinlock which is broken in just a few seconds. Tajiri’s rana is countered into a powerbomb for two.

A LOUD chop sends Kidman into the corner and kicks put him down. A spinwheel kick gets a near fall. There’s the handspring elbow for another two count. Kidman comes back with a DDT but Tajiri comes back with a slam. That’s not exactly what I expected but ok. Tarantula goes on but the Buzzsaw Kick misses. Sky High gets two for the champion and they hit the mat for a second, resulting in the Buzzsaw Kick and a new champion.

Rating: C-. There were some awkward spots in there and it brought things down a bit. This was so much more entertaining than the Pac vs. Scotty match, because it was MUCH faster paced and therefore more exciting. That’s my problem with Pac for the most part: he wrestles like a small heavyweight instead of a Cruiserweight, the latter of the two being FAR more entertaining.

Here’s DDP for a chat. He talks about how a lot of people (including the hometown Kansas City Chiefs) have lost lately but that’s a good thing. When you lose, you learn to eat smarter, train harder and to improve your lives. Cue Kane with slightly remixed music. Page says that Kane having a messed up face is good, because it’s almost Halloween. Chokeslam takes care of Page, because CLEARLY the way to get over a new character after the old one got killed by Undertaker is to have the new one get killed by Undertaker’s BROTHER.

US Title: Kurt Angle vs. Rhyno

The fans chant USA and Heyman finally asks the important question: are you sure they’re cheering for Angle? Rhyno is from Michigan, which is in the USA. Angle immediately grabs a German but he can’t roll them. He can however hit a belly to belly, followed by punches and chops in the corner. A cross body gets two. Rhyno comes back with a freaking airplane spin into a TKO for two.

Rhyno puts him in Shattered Dreams position but spears him in the corner instead. Angle makes a brief comeback but walks into a spinebuster for two. Out to the floor and Angle rams him into various things. Back in Rhyno takes him down again and hooks a quick chinlock but Angle quickly gets out and hooks the ankle but Rhyno escapes. Back to the chinlock followed by a belly to belly, getting two for the champion.

Angle sends him to the corner and pounds away, hitting another cross body for two. An overhead belly to belly sends Rhyno flying and it’s Rolling Germans time. It’s a standard set of three but Rhyno sends him chest first into the corner. Angle Slam hits out of nowhere but Kurt can’t cover. The delayed cover off the belly to back suplex (that’s all it was) gets two. Moonsault misses and Rhyno Gores both of them to the outside. That gets two back in the ring and there’s the ankle lock for the quick tap out.

Rating: B-. This was a decent match as Rhyno continues to be a very steady hand to have out there. He consistently had decent to good matches every time he was out there in this period. Angle going from the world title to the US Title in two weeks wasn’t the best thing in the world but it worked here pretty well. Quite good match.

European Title: The Hurricane vs. Bradshaw

Hurricane keeps doing his posing and Bradshaw keeps knocking him down. Out to the floor and Molly glares at him. Hurricane tries a dive but Bradshaw….”catches” him I guess you could say, in a fall away slam. By that I mean he tries to and drops Hurricane down on the floor. Back in the ring and Hurricane hits a superkick but it can’t even put Bradshaw down. Suplex is countered by Bradshaw and both guys are down. A neckbreaker puts Hurricane down and Molly dives at Bradshaw which goes as well as you would expect. There’s the fall away slam for her and the Clothesline gives Bradshaw the title. Too short to rate but it was nothing.

Foley makes fun of Regal in the back and wins Connect Four.

Undertaker/Kane vs. Booker T/Test

Taker and Test start us off and Taker will have none of these punches in the corner. A big boot and a clothesline put Taker down and it’s off to Booker. Side slam and knee drop combine for no cover by Booker. Taker comes back with a clothesline and it’s off to Kane. Booker kicks him down and it’s off to Test. This is your usual power brawl so far. Taker comes in and does his arm lift to Booker but walks into a big boot from the Canadian.

Out to the floor and Booker rams him into the steps. Back in and the beating continues. Yes, Undertaker is actually selling some of this stuff. The ax kick misses and the side kick is caught in a slam move. Double tag brings in Test and Kane with the masked one cleaning house. Kane hits a big boot to both guys but Booker breaks up the chokeslam to Test. Booker and Taker go to the floor as the other two hit big boots at the same time. Chokeslam to Booker and after Taker saves Kane from the pumphandle slam, the Tombstone by Kane pins Test.

Rating: D. The ending was decent but man was the rest of this dull. The match wasn’t bad I guess, but this is the same thing we’ve seen time after time which doesn’t make it interesting. All it does is make it repetitive and clear that they have no idea what to do with these four guys or anyone else they’ve had out there in this position.

RVD and Big Show don’t say anything to each other.

Hardcore Title; Rob Van Dam vs. Big Show

RVD is defending. Show immediately knocks him down as the RVD chants get louder and louder. He crushes Van Dam in the corner and a big boot puts him down. There go the straps but the chokeslam is countered by a high kick. Van Dam gets draped over the top rope and we go to the floor. Rob manages to get to the corner and hits a kick off the apron to slow Big Show down. Here come the weapons but Show starts crushing him again. Trashcan lid shot does nothing so RVD grabs a fire extinguisher. Show gets a chair to block it but takes the Van Daminator and Five Star for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was basically a squash until the end where Van Dam hit two moves out of nowhere to retain. That being said the ending was at least a smart one with there being a reason for Show to have a chair in front of his face, which hardly ever happened. Nothing great here but it could have been a lot worse.

Maven is at WWF New York and says he’s going to the WWF farm system when Taz beats him up.

Foley makes Taz vs. Snow for Smackdown before taking some jabs at Regal.

Jericho is in the back when Rock comes in. Rock congratulates the new champion on winning the big one. He’ll be coming back for his title though. Jericho insists he’s still WWF after Rock accuses him of defecting for some reason. Rock goes to leave but Jericho stops him to give him the name plate from when Rock was WCW Champion. Rock has a gift for him too: a chair for when they have a rematch so Jericho can have a chance. Jericho won with a chair shot last night. See how easy this was? The chair was a focal point of their feud and it comes back here. That’s not hard!

WWF Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Chris Jericho/The Rock

Jericho and D-Von get us started with Jericho speeding things up. Middle rope dropkick gets two and it’s off to Rock. DDT gets two as well. Off to Bubba who hits a side slam for two. Rock comes back with a Samoan Drop for the same before tagging the new champ back in. D-Von comes back in as JR criticizes WCW for never giving Jericho a title match. Rock comes in with a glare to the Canadian.

The challengers are tagging very quickly here as it’s already back to Jericho. Stacy offers a distraction to allow the Doomsday Device to shift the momentum. D-Von hooks a chinlock and talks to Jericho loudly in the process. Powerslam gets two. Rock gets drawn in and the beating continues. Jericho enziguris Bubba down and it’s off to Rock vs. D-Von. Bubba breaks up the Elbow but Rock nips up in a cool spot. The Elbow hits for two but Bubba makes the save again. Jericho’s missile dropkick hits Rock but he breaks up 3D a second later. Rock Bottom to D-Von changes the titles.

Rating: C-. Just a main event tag match here and it furthered the Rock vs. Jericho feud as well. It’s a Russo standard with the wacky partners so maybe he did have an influence of some sort. Thankfully this reign wouldn’t last that long and we could get back to Rock vs. Jericho tearing the house down again.

Rock gives Jericho the WCW Title post match.

Vince and Linda celebrate all the title wins with Vince wanting sex out of it.

Overall Rating: B-. Was it good? Yes. Does it really change anything? Not really. The problem here is still clear: these title wins mean nothing and considering WWF’s total and complete dominance over the Alliance so far, having them win three titles back in one night isn’t going to make people think that the Alliance has a better shot at winning at Survivor Series. Good show for the short term, but it doesn’t do much for the long term.

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