Monday Night Raw – December 24, 2001: The Wrestling Equivalent Of Coal In Your Stocking

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 24, 2001
Location: Miami Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

It’s Christmas Eve so of course we’re not live. We have a few weeks before HHH gets back so until thing we’re kind of in a holding pattern. Jericho is champion but given that they don’t even have an Undisputed Title belt for him, how serious can we take his reign so far? The show is in a bad stretch and it’s really only going to get worse in the next few years. Let’s get to it.

In case you didn’t see the link at the end of the last review, here’s the December 17, 2001 show which I had done already:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2011/12/27/monday-night-raw-december-17-2011-nuns-groceries-and-bingo/

We’ve got an eggnog match later so you can tell things aren’t that serious.

Then again we have Jericho vs. Rock for the title later so maybe things won’t be that bad.

Here’s the hometown hero in his old Miami jersey to open the show. It’s Rock if that wasn’t clear. Rock says he’s come back home and talks about the main event tonight against Jericho. Oh and the Hurricanes will win the Rose Bowl. I believe they did that actually. He asks for his book and is handed The Rock’s Night Before Christmas. The book is exactly what you would expect with the focus being on Rock vs. Jericho.

Before he can finish though, here’s Angle, thankfully with the classic version of his music instead of that bad remix. Angle accuses Santa of being a pervert for seeing you when you’re sleeping. He thinks Vince is better than Mr. Claus because Vince has made the main event tonight a triple threat match. Rock doesn’t really care. Somehow this segment took almost 12 minutes.

Vince is having a Christmas party with Patterson and Brisco as elves. Bubba is Santa which means Stacy as a sexy Mrs. Claus. Booker and the Big Bossman show up so it’s time to bust out the strippers. Booker officially has a contract now. Vince’s music is playing as this goes on.

Rikishi vs. Test

Rikishi pounds him down into the corner but Test avoids a charge and beats on Rikishi. A DDT puts Rikishi down for two and Test shoves the referee. The referee punches Test and it’s a DQ win for Rikishi. This was nothing.

Test pounds on the referee but Rikishi makes the save.

Trish, looking GREAT, shows up at Flair’s Christmas party. Torrie is Mrs. Claus and I think Tajiri is Santa. Big Show struts like Flair and Tajiri gives Torrie some very small lingerie. Albert and Edge try to make Kane laugh and Big Show does his Hogan impression which is still pretty good. Debra brings in cookies and says Austin is on the way. Well it’s not like anyone was watching this episode anyway.

Billy and Chuck give each other matching headbands. Taz talks to Bubba because Bubba has a good looking girl on his lap and that’s not Santa-like. Bubba: “You’re just mad because all my elves are taller than you.” That was a good line. Fink shows up and brings in Mae and Moolah as the new dancers.

Billy and Chuck vs. APA

Billy and Chuck aren’t quite gay yet but they’re inching towards it. The APA looks at each other and pound on Billy and Chuck from behind. Billy and Chuck double team Farrooq before Chuck gets some alone time with him. Chuck gets laid…..out by a DDT and it’s off to Bradshaw and Billy. It’s finishers a go-go and Chuck trips Bradshaw so Billy gets to be on top for the quick pin. That’s good as I was running out of sex jokes.

RVD is ticked off and looking for someone. After a break he goes into Jericho’s room but finds Lance Storm. I guess he got a job on Smackdown. They get in an argument and a match is made.

Show and Albert are in Kane masks talking to the Big Red Machine when Arn Anderson shows up with beer. Austin shows up too with even more beer. We get a live WHAT rendition as Austin reads off a Christmas list while sitting on Tajiri’s lap.

Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm

It’s the Barely Legal rematch that no one was asking for. They brawl to start with both guys flying around and hitting kicks to the face for two. Not that it matters as we’re in a chinlock 45 seconds in. Van Dam kicks him down and hits the cartwheel moonsault for two. A superkick gets two for Storm but Van Dam backflips out of a belly to back superplex. Another kick sets up the Five Star for the pin. Another short match.

Test hits on Terri at Vince’s party. That goes nowhere so Paisley interviews Maven about Tough Enough 2. This goes nowhere until Booker yells at Maven, setting up a match later. Is it clear that it’s Christmas Eve and they’re not even trying? Mae is drunk.

Stacy Keibler vs. Torrie Wilson

It’s an eggnog match between the Mrs. Clauses. What are you expecting here? They fight by the pool of eggnog, they go in it, they do some “wrestling” and the referee falls in as well. Torrie wins in like two minutes.

Back to Vince’s party and Jericho shows up to complain about being put in a triple threat. Vince tries to soothe him but Stephanie returns, a mere FIVE WEEKS after being thrown out. She has a gift for Vince, which is a monogrammed money clip. Vince doesn’t seem to care and throws her out. She would be back full time in about three weeks.

European Title: Christian vs. The Hurricane

Christian is defending and takes a shot at the Miami Hurricanes which is appropriate in more ways than one. Christian charges at him to start and is immediately clotheslined to the floor. Hurricane hits a big dive to the floor as JR suggests Pat Patterson is a fairy and not an elf. Back in and Christian kicks Hurricane low to take over.

The fans chant the Hurricanes’ (the football team, not the masked dude) fight song as Christian knees Hurricane in the ribs for two. Hurricane hits a quick crossbody but can’t get much more after that. Molly offers a distraction and Hurricane comes back, hitting a Blockbuster for two. Christian throws him to the floor but ducks an attack from Hurricane which takes out Molly. Christian throws him back inside and hits the Unprettier to retain.

Rating: C-. Not bad here but when this is the first match that broke three minutes after over an hour of the show, it’s kind of hard to get into it. Also the ending here was really abrupt with Christian just hitting his finisher out of nowhere for the pin. The title meant nothing at this point and was ready to be retired, which wouldn’t come for almost a year.

Taz switches parties and causes a match to be made between Bubba and Tajiri for later. Austin plays the guitar for some entertainment.

Booker T vs. Maven

Booker has Bossman as a bodyguard in an angle I don’t remember at all. Maven is brand new here still so this isn’t going to be much in the ways of competition. Maven fires off some forearms to start followed by a few dropkicks, which was really the only move he could do well. Booker shrugs that off and kicks Maven down to take over. A superkick puts Maven down and there’s the Spinarooni. An Alabama Slam gets the pin for Booker. Total squash after the first 20 seconds.

Bubba Claus vs. Tajiri Claus

Oh….why not. Tajiri knocks him to the floor and hits an Asai Moonsault. The visuals here are pretty funny and JR says this would be a main event at any arena in the North Pole. I can live with nods to Monsoon. Back in the ring the Bubba Bomb takes Tajiri down and a low blow slows him down even more. The fans of course want tables but they have to settle for a splash/elbow drop from Bubba instead.

Tajiri has lost his hat and Bubba takes his own belt off to whip Tajiri a bit. Bubba misses the middle rope splash as is his custom, which likely had to do with him doing the stereotypical Japanese bow before jumping. The look on Bubba’s face is pretty great. A low dropkick gets two and Tajiri fires off some kicks to take over. He goes up but D-Von crotches him, letting Bubba hit a superplex for no cover. The Dudleys set up What’s Up but Taz runs out and crotches D-Von. The distraction lets Tajiri hit the Mist and the Buzzsaw Kick for the pin.

Rating: C. If you were looking for a serious match here, what is wrong with you? This was a fun match and I’m a Tajiri fan so I was digging this no matter what happened in it. On top of that, Bubba’s facials are are always great. Fun match here which is something this dull show needed badly.

Angle says he’ll strip Jericho of the title tonight. Mae Young: “DID SOMEONE SAYS STRIP???” You can figure the rest out for yourself.

We recap the Undertaker vs. the Hardys feud as the team is back together again after fighting for weeks.

Apparently Mae Young has stopped Vince’s party cold and she takes her pants off on stage. Austin comes in and beats up Vince and the Stooges. Patterson winds up looking up between Mae’s legs.

WWF World Title: Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Rock

It’s a brawl to start with the heels double teaming Rock in the corner. Rock gets in a shot on Angle and avoids a save from Jericho. Angle suplexes Rock down and we head to the floor where the heels take turns ramming Rock into the table. Rock will have none of that and rams them into the table, only to get dropped onto the table chest first. A charging Angle is sent into the steps and Jericho is clotheslined down as Rock takes over again.

Back inside a spinwheel kick gets two for the champ but the Lionsault hits knees. Angle comes back in and pounds away on Rock, who backdrops Jericho to the floor. A Samoan Drop puts Angle down for two but Jericho makes the save. Rock hits a double clothesline to put both guys down but he can’t follow up. The Great One gets up first and punches both guys time after time to fire up the crowd.

Angle finally gets in a shot to the back but Rock whips Kurt into Jericho on the apron. Rock drops a leg on Angle and puts on the Scorpion. Jericho tries to make a save but walks into the spinebuster and the Elbow for two. Angle puts the ankle lock on Rock but Jericho dropkicks Kurt to break it up, starting a fight between the two. The American hits a German on the Canadian but Jericho rolls through into the Walls.

Angle escapes and puts on the ankle lock, only to have Rock take his head off. Jericho’s forearm hits the referee and Rock puts the champ in the Walls, making him tap to no referee. The hold is released and Angle clocks Jericho with a chair by mistake. Rock Bottom takes Angle down but there’s STILL no referee. Angle DDT’s Rock on the chair but Jericho steals the pin to retain.

Rating: B-. This was a good match but the problem with it is that there was no way the title was changing tonight. This would have torn the roof off the place at a house show and the live crowd was probably getting into things, but at the end of the day there was no chance Rock was winning the title here and I think most of the people knew it.

Overall Rating: D. Nothing to see here other than a main event which is just above average at best. Other than that, this is a throwaway show if there ever has been one. Then again, it’s Christmas Eve so it’s not like anyone was watching. I don’t think I watched this one live which says a lot for me. Nothing to see here and next week is a Best of 2001 show which won’t offer much, meaning this is pretty much the end of the year.

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