Monday Night Raw – July 16, 2001: The Old Stone Cold Is Back. For Six Days.
Monday Night Raw
Date: July 16, 2001
Location: Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Jim Ross, Michael Cole
This is the go home show for Invasion and the idea is that Team WWF has no real leader. Vince begged with Austin to be the old Stone Cole instead of the hilarious one he’s been lately. The Alliance has officially been formed and we’re getting ready for the Inaugural Brawl on Sunday. Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip from Smackdown with Vince asking Austin to be the old Stone Cole again. He begged Austin to beat him up but Austin shook his head no, walked up the ramp, and left. Vince yelled back at Austin to come back and stun him, ala Shane (the movie, not the kid).
Austin is at the Friendly Tap here in Providence instead of at the arena.
Taker/Kane vs. Page/Rhyno is the main event.
Here’s Spike on crutches to open the show with a major announcement. He’s got something that’s been building in him for awhile and would like Molly to come out here. The announcement is that he loves her. She loves him too. Spike gives her a rose and Molly says she has something for him too but she can’t give it to him here. Spike: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you and good night!”
Cue Heyman to interrupt the live sex celebration. Heyman says Spike needs to join ECW before this gets insane. Go to the penthouse suite and take care of things with Molly then come to the ECW offices. ECW has offices? Spike declines and says he’s staying with Molly. There’s a place in ECW for Molly too. It’ll only take some liposuction and breast implants.
Spike defends Molly but the Dudleys come out to stop that. Bubba says Spike cost them the tag belts and accuses him of stealing their spotlight. People should be talking about ECW but they’re talking about Spike and Molly. D-Von jumps him and tie him in the ropes. Molly tries to fight back but winds up going through a table.
Angle is practicing his speech to Vince to offer his services as leader of Team WWF on Sunday. Vince comes in and Angle mentions that Austin is at the Friendly Tap. He pitches his idea of leading Team WWF and Vince doesn’t even acknowledge it.
Farrooq vs. Chuck Palumbo
Cole is already screwing things up as he says this is a tag match. O’Haire and Bradshaw are here and these four are the WCW and WWF tag champions. Palumbo charges into the ring and takes over to start but Farrooq pounds him down. The tag teams will meet on Sunday at Invasion in a non-title match. A dropkick puts Farrooq on the floor and Palumbo adds a baseball slide. O’Haire gets involved and eats some steps due to Bradshaw. DDT gets two for Palumbo. Farrooq hits a spinebuster but O’Haire distracts him, allowing the superkick from Palumbo to get the pin. That might be the first Alliance win that was almost clean.
Angle complains to Steve Lombardi that he should be the leader. He calls him Bomber to be funny. Kurt: “I can be extreme. I drank milk the day after it expired once.” Raven comes in and says Kurt isn’t extreme. Angle says Raven isn’t missed so Raven does some of his poetry. Angle asks what most people ask when they hear a Raven promo: what are you talking about? Anyway it’s Raven vs. Angle later, ECW rules. Angle: “WWF rules pal!” Angle was awesome in this role.
Mike Awesome vs. Edge
Before the match, Storm issues a challenge for Invasion between the two of them vs. Edge/Christian. Storm will have no more of these offbeat shenanigans! Five points for working shenanigans in. Here are the Canadians and Christian says Holy Jurassic Park, we’ve actually found a living, breathing Reekasaurus Rex. The tag match is made and offbeat shenanigans RULE!
Awesome controls to start and splashes him into the corner. Edge comes back with a clothesline and neckbreaker for two. Awesome takes it to the floor and rams Edge into the apron. Back in Edge gets his knees up and fires off some dropkicks. Awesome Bomb is countered into the Buzzkiller (Edgecution) but Storm puts the foot on the rope. Storm comes in and is easily dispatched. Christian brings in chairs for a Conchairto but as the referee gets rid of them, Storm superkicks Edge and Awesome gets the pin.
Rating: D+. Eh not bad but the Alliance guys still can’t get a clean win no matter what they do. This is the problem that they had for the entire run of the angle: there’s no reason to assume that the WWF was ever in any real danger because they never got beaten clean at all. Eventually someone competent would beat WCW/ECW (not yet called the Alliance actually) so why get worried?
On a related note, Cole says the WWF is 0-3 tonight. After two matches. I don’t even need to make fun of him anymore.
Stephanie, with her horrible braided hair, praises Booker for how awesome he is. Jericho comes in and makes Seinfeld references with Steph. He calls her a w**** so Booker gets in his face. They fight for the WCW Title tonight.
Regal fires up Tajiri for Regal’s match tonight with Tazz. Not sure how that works but whatever. Tajiri will be doing commentary. This should be good.
Stephanie talks to the other parts of the Triad of Terror (Shane/Heyman) about Booker’s match tonight. They announce Team Alliance for Sunday: Booker, DDP, Dudleys and Rhyno. So we have Booker, a tag team that lost to the APA, a guy that has gotten mauled by Undertaker every time it’s been fair, and a lackey to a tag team against the five best the WWF has to offer. SMELL THE BUYRATE!!!
Vince comes to the Friendly Tap, which appears to be totally empty other than Austin, Vince and Debra. He apologizes to Austin for what he asked on Thursday but he still needs Austin tonight. Austin keeps drinking and turns his back on Vince. Vince says he’s heading back tot he arena and hopes to see Austin there tonight.
Tazz vs. William Regal
Tajiri is on commentary. Apparently he did this on Smackdown as well. The brawl starts on the floor but heads inside quickly. Knee Trembler puts Tazz down but Tazz comes back with a suplex. This draws Tajiri into the ring for a showdown. Tajiri says wait and takes his shirt off to reveal an ECW one underneath. Regal is shocked…..and then Tajiri turns AGAIN, breaking Chyna’s record for time between turns. He kicks Tazz in the head and puts him in the Tarantula. That makes ECWCW 3-0 tonight, or 17-0 if you’re Michael Cole. Good to see they didn’t do the face turn at the PPV or anything like that. We HAD to do it immediately.
DDP gives Rhyno a Best of Sara tape for the Alliance to watch.
Tim White talks to Austin and says he closed the whole bar for him today. That explains a few things. White says he knows Austin will make the right decision.
WCW World Title: Booker T vs. Chris Jericho
JR calls Booker a sellout. How is he a sellout exactly? He’s working for the company that made him famous. Feeling out process to start and the springboard dropkick sends Booker to the outside. Baseball slide sends Booker flying and they fight on the floor a bit. Back in a top rope cross body gets two for Chris. Booker comes back with the spinwheel kick as the announcers talk about how much they need Austin.
Jericho comes back with something kind of like a spear to set up the Walls but Shane comes up for the distraction. Booker superkicks the Canadian for two. Alabama Slam (called a powerbomb by Cole) gets two. Booker hooks a chinlock but Jericho quickly breaks it and hits a flapjack to put everyone down. Jericho chops away and a middle rope dropkick gets two. It should be three but Nick Patrick’s shoulder is bothering him.
Jericho tries the Lionsault but Booker rolls away. Chris lands on his feet and avoids the axe kick. There are the Walls and Booker taps but Nick Patrick has a knee injury this time. Earl Hebner comes in and decks Patrick. He sees the tap and goes to call for the bell but Shane hits him. The distraction lets Booker get a fast rollup with a fast count from Patrick to keep the belt in WCW.
Rating: B-. Fun match but again the ending hurts it. Jericho and Booker should be out there having 20 minute wars instead of these things to build up to a referees’ match on Sunday. That might be interesting though so we can’t have that. Anyway, good match between talented people so there’s no surprise here.
Heyman talks to Saturn in the back and offers him a spot in the Alliance. Saturn says Snausages.
Raven vs. Kurt Angle
This is under ECW Rules, meaning street fight/hardcore. Angle spears him down immediately to make him drop whatever Raven has in his hand. Kurt hits him with the medals. That’s a new one. Raven comes back with a drop toehold onto a trashcan (doesn’t dent) for two. Angle pounds him down and rips Raven’s shirt off to choke him. Sign to the head sets up a trashcan to the head and a few to the back. Raven counters into the clothesline and bulldog out of the corner (basically stolen by Punk) but Kurt breaks it with ease. Angle Slam and Ankle Lock end this. Total squash.
Angle destroys Raven post match with various evil submissions until Justin Credible, Kanyon and some other guy run out. They get cleared out without landing a single punch by a chair from Kurt. The one major bright spot in this story: it made Angle look like a STAR.
Austin shoots pool.
Hardy Boys vs. Dudley Boys
Welcome to a game of HOW MANY TIMES CAN THESE TEAMS POSSIBLY FIGHT???? Matt is European Champion and Jeff is Hardcore Champion. Trish (dating Jeff I think) and Lita stay in the back, prompting a WE WANT LITA chant. Matt and D-Von start us off with Matt keeping control. Jeff comes in and gets taken down very quickly by the other brothers.
Bubba gets two off an elbow drop. Double flapjack puts Jeff down and it’s D-Von again. Matt offers a quick distraction so Jeff can punch Ray in the balls. It allows the hot tag to Matt and everything breaks down. Twist/Swanton combo gets two on D-Von as Ray saves. Matt tries a sunset flip but RVD comes in and holds D-Von’s arms as he goes down for the pin on Matt.
Rating: C-. Picture any Hardys vs. Dudleys match. This one wasn’t as good as whichever one you picked. In short, this feud has been PLAYED. They had the same three teams feuding in some combination or the other for over a year and a half. The same thing happened in the main event with HHH, Rock and Austin dominating everything for almost two years. People got tired of it which is why things died off.
Five Star to Jeff.
The APA isn’t happy and Vince wants to know what they’re going to do about it. Vince says that since Austin won’t be here, the rest of them have to.
Shane and Stephanie say that they’ve sold their stock to finance the Invasion. Therefore, DON’T SCREW UP. Heyman gives his usual speech which fires people up.
The APA, Taker and Vince give a speech to the WWF C Team. Taker says screw Austin so let’s do it ourselves. Angle is in there too so it’s not totally the C Team. They actually wheel in FREDDIE BLASSIE to give them a big pep talk. Does anyone actually buy that it’s this serious of a threat from a bunch of WCW jobbers and 1-2 big names?
Austin watches from the bar and leaves.
Trish Stratus vs. Terri
Terri slaps her to start but can’t handle walking so Trish giant swings her. I’m sure this match is happening for competition rather than to see Terri in a skin colored bikini right? A bulldog by Trish ends this if you’re curious.
Trish goes to strip her post match when Stacy and Torrie run in. Lita makes the save.
Diamond Dallas Page/Rhyno vs. Undertaker/Kane
The Brothers clear the ring early on. Kane and Rhyno officially get us going and the horny one takes a powerslam. This is one of those matches where everyone hits high power and high impact stuff from the bell. Taker comes in to knock Rhyno around a lot. Old School sends Rhyno to the floor and it breaks down even more. The Brothers beat on them even more and here are the Dudleys. I’m not going to bother rating it because it was far more of a brawl than a match.
Team ECWCW beats on them until Team WWF plus a bunch of guys come out. It turns into a huge battle royal and there’s another part in the parking lot. Austin is here! He beats up everyone with the pool cue but doesn’t touch the WWF guys. The ECWCW guys start to clear the ring but CUE GLASS SHATTER! Austin walks in and he clears house. He hits about ten Stunners and the Brothers are up again.
Shane and Stephanie find Blassie in the back and tell him he’ll be dead soon, just like the WWF. Gee, nice of you guys to end the show with THAT instead of Austin standing tall.
Overall Rating: D+. Where do I even begin? First and foremost, WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD I WANT TO BUY INVASION NOW??? Austin and Team WWF just destroyed Team WCW plus about ten other guys like it was nothing. We’re led to believe that the WWF is unbeatable which is saying a lot considering they’re outnumbered in this.
This is the Invasion in a nutshell: the WWF looks awesome, the Alliance can’t do jack, so they pick off some WWF guys who can fight for them. With what was available, why in the world would you do this? Heaven forbid that WCW looks even slightly better than WWF for 5 seconds. We can’t have that. I mean, it might make us a billion dollars.
Here’s Invasion if you’re interested:
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Here’s Invasion if you’re interested: