On This Day: November 19, 2001 – Monday Night Raw: It’s RIC FLAIR Walking That Aisle!

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 19, 2001
Location: Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Well the Invasion is over and I don’t think anyone is really complaining that it’s done. Tonight we basically hit a big reset button tonight as things get back to “normal” for the first time in months tonight. I have no idea what to expect with this show. Well ok I do as I remember watching it and the big surprise on it but it makes for a better intro if I say that. Let’s get to it.

We open with Foley and Vince on a plane earlier today. Foley says he knows that he’s getting fired, but Vince only says Have a Nice Day. That’s the last we would see of Mick Foley in the WWF/E for over a year and a half.

Here’s Vince to open the show and you know he’s happy after last night. He thanks Angle for ending the Alliance and says that ECW is dead. Until there was an opening due to high DVD sales of course. The WCW Title is now the World Championship, which is different from the WWF Championship because…..because this is called the World Championship. Also tonight, someone is going to become the inaugural member of Vince’s special club. That person gets to keep their job (along with the champions as they get to keep their jobs too).

That brings Vince to the leader of the Alliance. As soon as Austin arrives here tonight, Vince’s plans go into effect. There’s one more change: we have an empty seat on commentary. Vince brings out Paul Heyman who sits on the commentary desk, but Vince never said that Paul was the new commentator. Vince calls him into the ring and Heyman immediately starts sucking up.

McMahon says he’s a first amendment guy (Heyman: “And one of the best ever sir!”) and using his first amendment, he says that Heyman is fired. Heyman wants to fight but as the jacket comes off, Heyman runs. Heyman walks on the floor and then lunges at JR, who beats the tar out of him. Security pulls Heyman off and takes him out. Vince calls out Lawler to be JR’s partner again. That just feels right.

Women’s Title: Lita vs. Trish Stratus

Trish is defending after winning the title last night in a Six Pack Challenge. Last night Trish was seen coming out of the Hardys’ locker room when only Matt was in there so there’s some heat here. Trish is AWFUL at this point so don’t expect any kind of a good match here. Fifteen seconds in and they HORRIBLY botch a wristlock.

Spear gets two for Lita as does a sunset flip. Trish sends her into the middle rope for two before hitting an awkward slam. Lita hits a bad flapjack for another near fall before Trish kicks her in the chest to take over. An elbow misses for Stratus but she manages to shove Lita off the top to the floor. Trish kicks Lita into Matt so Matt throws Lita back in. Trish backslides her to retain. This was HORRIBLE.

Vince goes to see the Dudleys, Stacy, Test, Van Dam and Christian. These are the people who aren’t fired for being either champions, immune, or gorgeous. Vince punishes Van Dam for not accepting his offer to join the WWF a few months ago by making him face the Dudleys in a handicap tables match. The three of them and Stacy leave so Christian can suck up to Vinny a bit. That gets him nowhere.

Rob Van Dam vs. Dudley Boys

Jerry has to make up his flirting jokes about Stacy so he fires off a bunch to start. Van Dam has to fight them both off at once and makes D-Von clothesline Bubba by mistake. Rolling Thunder hits D-Von but Rob walks into a Bubba Bomb. Rob comes back by spearing Bubba into the corner, only to walk into a neckbreaker out of said corner from D-Von. Here are a pair of tables, one on the mat and one in the corner. Rob grabs a rope to avoid 3D and sends D-Von to the floor.

A kick takes Bubba down and a Van Daminator takes him down even more. D-Von comes back in and takes some kicks of his own, sending him onto a table. Van Dam goes for what would have been the longest Five Star ever, but he leaves it short (no shock) and breaks the table WITH HIS FACE. FREAKING OW MAN!!! The Dudleys pick up the dead body that used to be RVD and 3D him onto the table, as it doesn’t break. The second 3D wins it and I think Van Dam needs a doctor.

Rating: C. Van Dam has earned this rating on his own. It’s not that the Dudleys didn’t do anything, but those landings with Van Dam were SCARY, especially the Frog Splash. There was no point to this, but the handicap tables match was the signature “punishment” match in 2001. Van Dam should have gotten a bigger push in 2001.

Angle is here and he’s still smug.

Linda McMahon is at WWF New York, likely looking for Connecticut registered voters.

Angle goes in to see Rock and wants his thank you for the company still being in business. Rock isn’t amused and wants to know when Angle was planning on letting the WWF know when he was a mole. Angle spent a month blasting WWF guys with chairs but Angle says it was worth it. Rock agrees and says Angle should try to beat him up now. Angle says he’ll do it for the title. Rock will never trust either Angle or Vince again. I don’t think Rock accepted the challenge for the title match but maybe that was implied.

 

Shane and Stephanie arrive in a rental car. Stephanie could always make a living if she wore those dresses on the street.

 

Vince is in the ring again and apparently the acceptance of the match was implied as Vince says it’s happening. Austin isn’t here yet so let’s deal with his kids. Here they are and Vince says he likes hearing Stephanie called a whore. Shane tells Vince that he won and that he (Shane) lost to the better man. Shane leaves and that’s that.

 

Stephanie plays the daddy’s little girl card, calling herself young and naive. She blames Shane for everything that happened, including Linda getting slapped. It was Shane that made Stephanie slap Linda and tell Vince that she wanted him to die. She says she’s sorry and tries to cry. Vince calls for security and Stephanie is literally dragged away. Vince starts the goodbye song.

Jericho comes in to see Vince (notice his name coming up a lot tonight?) and Vince yells at him for putting the WWF in jeopardy last night by attacking Rock. Jericho says that it was due to his ego which Vince isn’t happy with. Vince doesn’t like big egos, but he loves MASSIVE egos. Oh and Jericho gets Kane tonight.

Mr. T. is here.

World Title: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle

Rock is defending. Kurt gets in some early right hands to take over and Rock gets stomped. Rock comes back with punches of his own but he gets sent to the floor very quickly. Back in and a belly to back suplex gets two for Kurt. There’s the ankle lock but Rock quickly breaks it. The countering doesn’t last long as he walks into a belly to belly to take him down again. Another belly to belly gets two and Kurt pounds away.

They’re clearly just going through the motions here but since tonight is pretty much resetting everything, it’s pretty much ok as the matches are just there to fill time until they figure out what they’re doing next. Angle goes up but gets crotched and Rock hits a belly to back superplex. Kurt clotheslines him down but Rock nips up and makes his comeback. Spinebuster looks to set up the Rock Bottom but Kurt counters into the Slam for no cover. Ankle lock is countered into a rollup for Rock to retain.

Rating: D+. Like I said they were going through the motions here and it didn’t do anything at all. They basically took the night off here and that’s ok. Angle threw in some suplexes to make it look like he was trying but they were clearly in very low gear. Angle would do nothing of note until he went to Smackdown in the Brand Split while Rock kept being Rock.

Angle attacks Rock post match and Jericho comes out to help him. Both use their submissions on Rock.

Here’s Vince for the 12th time tonight for the Club stuff. The first inductee: William Regal. Regal offers to be a gopher for Vince but Vince says he meant the title of this club literally. Vince has Regal get on his knee and Vince takes his pants down. We’re watching one of Vince’s fantasies aren’t we? Vince takes his underwear down too and makes it dance. Oh wait Regal has to use chapstick first. Vince bends over a bit and Regal kisses it. Someone send Linda’s Senate opponent this clip NOW. The election will be over.

Regal gets laughed at by people like Taz, who still has a job because….someone help me out here. Regal slugs him.

Chris Jericho vs. Kane

Kane speeds things up to start and sends him into the corner. Jericho sends him into the rope and slingshots Kane’s throat into the bottom rope to take over. A swinging neckbreaker misses for the most part but we’ll count it anyway. Jericho grabs a chair which is quickly knocked out of his hand. Kane goes up and jumps into the chair for the DQ. This was nothing.

Jericho beats on Kane and puts him in the “Walls” (they couldn’t quite get it right either time they tried) and no one makes the save. Wasn’t Undertaker the one preaching about being a unit?

Creed Desire video.

Angle yells at Edge but Edge says he saved his own job by winning the IC Title last night. Edge accuses Angle of playing both sides last night. Their feud wouldn’t start for about six months if my memory is right.

William Regal vs. Taz

Taz punches, Tazmission is broken up, Regal Stretch ends this in less than a minute. Taz has a job because of being a commentator. Ok then. The arena is all smoky from Taz’s pyro.

Kurt is melancholy over not being thanked for saving the company, so Vince offers him the WWF Title.

Vince and Angle go to the ring and Vince tells the fans to thank Kurt for what he did last night. Vince says Austin can stay wherever he is because we need a dignified champion. This is a very fast heel turn by Vince who was the nicest guy in the world all night so far. Vince says that as the sole owner of the WWF, he’s going to….be interrupted by some very familiar music.

RIC FLAIR walks out (notice the location of the show) and the place goes bonkers. Vince calls Flair a has been but Flair is very happy. He says he bet on a winner last night when he bet on the WWF. Flair says Angle should win the world title in the ring like he’s capable of doing.

Vince keeps trying to get Flair out but Flair says that this morning when Shane and Stephanie sold their stock in the company (what stock? They had bought WCW and ECW, which in storylines were different companies. What stock would they still have in the WWF? I guess the idea is that Flair bought it in June, but he flat out says he bought it “this morning”. Eh it’s WWF logic so we’ll go with it) this morning, Flair bought it, so now he and McMahon are partners. The look on Vince’s face is GREAT.

Cue Austin who beats the tar out of Angle and runs him off. Flair hands Austin the title as Austin is a good guy again. A beer bash ends the show.

Overall Rating: D. The only good stuff to come out of this was in the last ten minutes, but it raises A TON of questions. First and foremost, WHY DIDN’T THEY BRING FLAIR IN SIX MONTHS AGO??? A Flair owned WCW and a Heyman owned ECW (what a strange business partnership that would have been) vs. the Vince owned WWF would have been a very interesting story, but instead that whole thing is gone, it appears to be Austin vs. Vince again, and Rock vs. Jericho is going to light things on fire for awhile. That’s one heck of a reset.

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