Monday Night Raw – January 15, 2001: A Good Show Before A Great One

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 15, 2001
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 13,936
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We continue on the Road to the Royal Rumble here as this is the final Raw until the show. Austin is of course the hottest thing in the world at this point and is on the verge of winning his record setting third Rumble. Also we’re looking at Angle trying to hold onto the title as he gets ready to face HHH on Sunday. This should be fun though so let’s get to it.

After a brief tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. we’re ready to go. The holiday was around this time remember.

Rock/Taker vs. Kane/Rikishi later tonight.

Hardy Boys/Lita vs. Right to Censor

It’s Ivory, Venis and Richards here. WOW that siren is annoying. Ivory issued a challenge to Chyna on Heat the previous night which would result in Chyna actually losing to her at the Rumble. Val and Jeff start us off here. Jeff of course outmaneuvers Val with ease to take over. Off to Matt and it’s all Team Extreme to start. Spin Cycle (a weird double suplex kind of move) from the Hardys to Val.

Side slam by Richards gets two for Matt. Only the girls in this didn’t wind up in TNA at some point. I’m not sure what that says but I don’t think it’s good. JR and the King get to make fun of the RTC which is a parody of the PTC which was a major thorn in the side of Vince because they didn’t like what was on TV so they talked about it incessantly. Double suplex gets two for Steven.

Matt fights him off and gets a middle rope legdrop for two. Good thing that didn’t happen today or Steven would be buried under the ring. Off to Jeff who cleans house. The fans want Lita and Ivory accidentally tags herself in. Litarana to Val and a spear to Ivory. Ivory tries to run but Chyna throws her back into Lita and a Twist of Fate to end it.

Rating: C+. Formula based but fun match here. Both teams worked pretty fast paced and the RTC didn’t drag this out somehow. Not a great match or anything but for an opener this was fine. Chyna coming out for the save helped a lot as there was limited point to having Lita vs. Ivory. Fun match to start the show.

Chyna accepts the challenge.

Stephanie and HHH arrive.

We get a clip from Smackdown of Austin destroying Edge/Christian and the Dudleys.

Here’s HHH for a little chat. Stephanie looking good in a black leather dress. HHH talks about how he hears the same thing everywhere he goes. Everyone says to him to take care of the Game. HHH says unless he’s provoked he won’t go after Austin tonight. Stephanie says that order will be maintained tonight by Vince, who is here live via satellite.

Vince is surrounded by XFL stuff and has an XFL ball. It launched on my birthday which isn’t one of my prouder moments. If HHH provokes Austin then he loses his title shot. If Austin provokes HHH, he’s out of the Rumble. Vince aged a lot in the last decade as he looks very young here. Tonight it’s Austin/Dudleys vs. Edge/Christian/Angle which should be interesting. Vince has to leave now for a meeting but he has his phone on. Odd way for him to go but whatever.

It’s odd because the segment isn’t over yet. HHH says that Angle is champion because HHH has allowed him to be so. He says he never lost the title (Rock pinned Vince in a6 man to win it) and Angle has never won defended against him due to being busy with Austin. He talks about Kurt’s title reign and how Kurt can bring all the help he wants because HHH will win the title on Sunday anyway.

Here’s Kurt with a rebuttal. Angle is disappointed in Stephanie because she blew it because she picked HHH over him. Speaking of games, Donkey Kong has a better chance of taking the title from Angle than HHH does. He’s the big smelly ape that people actually like. Angle has someone in his corner, which is someone that the McMahons know quite well: Trish. DANG those are some big old boobs. Remember she was sleeping with Vince at the time.

Trish makes innuendo about her sleeping with Vince so Stephanie calls her a whore. That’s more or less true actually. Stephanie makes a spanking match with Jackie vs. Trish. Yeah because that’s such punishment. She can’t wrestle so let’s make her do something where there’s no wrestling required. Long segment, running nearly 10 minutes.

Back and we get a clip of Trish volunteering to get a spanking from Vince on Smackdown to explain things a bit more. HHH isn’t sure how Vince is going to take this. Stephanie needs acting lessons in a fierce way.

Hardcore Title: Test vs. Raven

Well at least they both have good music. Raven brings out his shopping cart full of weapons. Fire extinguisher to the face gives Raven control to start but he walks into a full nelson slam to take him down. Here’s Hardcore Holly as I think you know what’s coming. Blackman comes out too and it’s a big mess. As in a bigger mess than usual if that’s possible.

Raven tries to leave but Test follows him up the ramp. Test picks him up and rams Raven’s face into the WWF.com sign above the entrance. Abandon all hope ye who log on? They go to the back where Regal jumps both of them, allowing Raven to pin Test. No rating of course as this was maybe two minutes. Raven drives off in a waiting car. This might result in Raven’s ninja.

Blackman and Holly make a match for later tonight. Good thing they had a time slot all emptied up and waiting on someone to fill it in isn’t it?

XFL ad makes me laugh.

Here’s Rock to do his usual awesome stuff. We’re six days from the Rumble and Rock has a tag match with Taker vs. Kane/Rikishi. Excuse the Rock for not doing cartwheels and backflips of joy. This is a one night partnership but today is a very special day because it is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rock has a dream of his own and that is to win the Rumble. Nice transition there. He emulates I Have A Dream but switches out free at last with whipping in a funny line. Good stuff here although kind of short by his standards.

The Dudleys say that tonight it’s a one night partnership with Austin and after the match is over, they’ll have a Dudleyville Discussion with Austin.

HHH and Stephanie call Vince to talk about Drew Carey wanting to do something at the Rumble. Ah wait that’s not why they’re calling. They’re calling to make Rock happy so Vince changes it to Rock/Kane vs. Taker/Rikishi. Uh, ok?

Some Milwaukee Bucks are here.

Undertaker/Rikishi vs. Rock/Kane

Some odd pairings here. Rikishi is #30 in the Rumble. Tough Enough is coming. It’s now 2011 and it’s on its way back. Kind of ironic isn’t it? Not really but it sounds good and these entrances are taking a long time so I need something to pass the time. Rock vs. Rikishi to start. Rikishi knocks him back into the corner and goes for a Stinkface but Rock hits a big clothesline out of the corner to avoid a bad facial.

Kane tags himself in and Rock isn’t too thrilled with that. Samoan Drop takes down the Big Red Retard as I continue to wonder what Vince was thinking when he picked Rikishi as the big bad. Kane manages to slam him in an impressive spot. Top rope clothesline takes him down again. How exactly was that hellacious though? I’m not getting that part.

Off to the Deadman now (with a tag most would call a right hand to the jaw) as the Brothers square off….again. Rock returns the favor and tags himself back in to give us the eternally bad pairing of Rock vs. Taker. Taker beats him down and hits Old School. Rock fights back but both guys go down to a double clothesline. Swinging neckbreaker puts Taker down for a second as this is a brawl.

Everything breaks down and Kane clocks Rikishi in the head with the bell. He’s a Samoan. That isn’t supposed to work. Spinebuster takes down the Rock but Kane jumps Rock to wild heat. Taker tries to give Rock the Last Ride but Rock dead weights him or something before the second attempt ends Rock.

Rating: C. This was a main event tag match and not much more. It’s fine in that regard but sweet goodness I don’t get why Rikishi was pushed so hard. Did someone really think that was a good idea? Not bad here but it’s nothing I’m going to remember in about five minutes. At least it built to the Rumble somewhat.

Benoit is bringing a ladder to the arena.

After a break here’s Benoit on top of said ladder. He talks about how awesome Jericho is and what an honor it’ll be to wrestle him in a ladder match. Benoit has made a little video for us called the best of Benoit vs. Jericho. As predicted it’s all Benoit destroying Jericho. Naturally Jericho comes in from the crowd and destroys Benoit.

The Dudleys and Edge/Christian get into it in the back and the Dudleys are left laying, including a Conchairto to D-Von.

HHH and Stephanie talk about Austin not having partners now. Stephanie thinks she should call her dad for….uh…no adequately explored reason.

Hardcore Holly vs. Steve Blackman

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the world has been waiting for! For no apparent reason this isn’t hardcore. They trade strikes and reversals to start us off. Blackman drapes Holly over the ropes and shoves the referee (Teddy Long) maybe 40 seconds in. Holly with some low blows and it’s still not a DQ. A chair is taken away from him and Blackman goes to get some more stuff. Teddy walks off as I hope this isn’t the referee strike angle. I always hated that thing. Not really even a match.

HHH/Steph call Vince who says if Austin can get some partners he can have replacements. Vince asks about Trish and Stephanie…I think gets on him about it?

Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline

At least Trish looks great in leather pants that are skin tight. I have no idea how you’re supposed to win this as they both have straps. I’m assuming you win by pinfall. As Trish is about to be whipped here’s Angle for the save. Jackie tries to spank her but only gets her pants down. Her thong-clad hips are slapped by the strap and I guess Jackie wins. This was whatever.

We get a clip of Kai En Tai dancing with Too Cool but then turning heel for no apparent reason.

K-Kwik/Too Cool vs. Kai En Tai/Tazz

Kwik is commonly known as R-Truth. Some odd pairings here to be sure. Tazz cuts a brief promo. Kai En Tai’s dubbing gimmick is something I wasn’t a fan of back in the day but now I find it hysterical. Scotty and Funaki start us off. Too Cool hits a Hart Attack of all things. Taka tries a rana but gets caught in a nice sitout powerbomb by Grandmaster. Tazz surprisingly does the worst of his team as Truth comes in. The Worm hits Tazz but after Funaki interference the Tazmission beats Truth.

Rating: D+. Nothing special here in the slightest. It was a quick six man tag to fill in a spot on the card. Tazz would be face by Mania and I have no interest in the other five guys here. Yeah there really isn’t much else to say about this match is there? Why was this on the card again?

Angle suggest that Trish head back to the hotel and put some salve on her. She was somehow curvier at this point.

Royal Rumble Moment: Too Cool and Rikishi dance in the ring. That was awesome.

HHH and Stephanie conspire evily.

Info for Tough Enough is given. This would result in Maven and Nidia who both meant a grand total of nothing.

We recap the Chyna/Ivory thing from earlier in the night which is an odd time to have this on. Ok then.

Billy Gunn is at WWF New York and they ask him how he feels about Chyna coming back so soon. He’s not sure about it but it’s her call. Oh and he might win the Rumble. That’s hilarious.

Kurt Angle/Edge/Christian vs. Steve Austin/???/???

That’s quite the heel team as they’re all champions at this point. Out of nowhere the APA run in and they’re the partners apparently. Austin and Angle start but Angle tags Christian in almost immediately. Off to Edge and Bradshaw now which goes badly for the Canadian. Double spinebuster to Edge as Farrooq comes in. It’s weird to see Austin beat up Edge. They’re tagging that fast mind you.

Angle vs. Austin now and Austin shockingly BACKFLIPS out of a suplex. Edge and Christian grab some chairs but can’t hit a Conchairto on Austin. The APA chases them off and we’re down to the two stars. Superplex gets two for Austin. HHH comes out to the ramp and Austin stares him down. Low blow by Angle and Kurt takes over. Austin manages to counter an Angle suplex and takes over again.

There’s a belly to belly for Austin’s trouble though as Angle pops those hips like only he can. Angle Slam is blocked as they’re flying through this. Thesz Press and Austin hammers away. Angle goes up but jumps into a Stunner to end it. More or less a one on one match but that’s fine by me.

Rating: C+. WAY fast here and it worked pretty well I thought. This works fine as HHH not getting involved here and having Austin do his dirty work for him was perfectly fine as it kills two birds with one stone for him. The tag team aspect meant nothing for the most part but the match was still incredibly energetic and fun.

HHH comes down to the ring and begs Austin to hit him, offering him the first shot. Austin goes to the floor and gets a chair while HHH screams at him to hit him. Austin walks away and makes the symbol of the title around his waist. HHH calls him a pussy, making him charge back but Angle comes up from behind HHH and gets the Slam but Austin gets a Stunner on him to end the show.

Overall Rating
: C+. Well the wrestling was pretty bad, but everything was covered for the Rumble. The PPV was awesome so that helps a lot, but I don’t think anyone actually believed Austin would lose. There were only five matches and everything got some build, but this was pre-Brand Split so there was always Smackdown for more building and the final build. Fun little show, but nothing great or memorable at all.

 

Here’s the Royal Rumble if you’re interested:

 

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2013/01/15/royal-rumble-count-up-2013-redo-2001-two-masterpieces-in-a-row/

 

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume I at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FF492XM

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

 

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